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    Classic Opera Cake

    This classic French cake is made with layers of almond sponge, potent coffee syrup, French buttercream, and chocolate ganache. It's worthy of any special occasion.Ah, Opera Cake. This coffee lover's dream-come-true is a six layer affair, stacked with three layers of almond sponge, soaked with espresso syrup and alternating layers of French buttercream and butter ganache. It has been described as 'elaborate' which is true. Its preparation calls for your time, patience, and a candy thermometer, but the end result is so worth the effort. It is one of my favorite cakes of all time, and it's certainly one to try if you're looking to hone your skills in patisserie. Continued, click to read more… LEGGI TUTTO

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    Perfect Baked Oatmeal

    Breakfast is ready when you are with this make-ahead pan of lightly sweet baked oatmeal. Toppings can be endlessly varied to suit your morning cravings. 

    I skip breakfast all too often, and most of the time my morning begins with a cup of coffee and whatever is closest to hand – a cookie or whatever sweet baked thing I’ve made the day before. This year I’m making an effort, or at least leaning into, a more nutritious way to start the day.
    This baked oatmeal has been a real game-changer. I can make a pan on Monday and enjoy breakfast all week long, varying toppings along the way to change the flavor so it doesn’t get boring. And oats are so filling and packed with good vitamins, minerals, and fiber – I’m not starving by lunchtime.

    This recipe makes a big 13×9-inch pan, which might be considered ‘family size’. If you’re just feeding yourself, then this recipe halves easily into an 8×8 pan. It’s incredibly easy to stir together and is very lightly sweetened with brown sugar. That is to say, you won’t have a sugar crash after eating a slice.

    I call this the perfect baked oatmeal because it really is the perfect blank canvas for any topping you’d like to add. Some baked oatmeal recipes add berries in the mixture before baking, but I’ve found this reduces its longevity. Berries get mushy, and neighboring oats take on a weird texture. This version is just oats and a few walnuts for some healthy omegas in the mix.

    Toppings can be anything you have on hand. I love this with a drizzle of maple syrup and fresh berries, but you could simply have it with a pat of salted butter. A smear of peanut or almond butter on top is nice on top of a warm slice, and becomes melty and delectable. Jams and jellies are also welcome additions. Or, put a slice in a bowl and add a splash of milk on top. 

    It seems crazy to claim that a dish as humble as this is life-changing, so instead I’ll say it’s ‘week changing’. It’s been nice having something more healthful ready to hand, and it’s provided a way to add much needed energy and heart-healthy fiber to my mornings.

    [click to print]
    Perfect Baked Oatmeal
    12 servings4 cups (360g) old fashioned oats
    1 cup (207g) light brown sugar, packed
    1 cup (113g) chopped walnuts
    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
    4 cups (960ml) milk (tested with whole milk)
    4 eggs
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter meltedPreheat the oven to 350° F.Coat a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, sugar, nuts, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to the oat mixture; pour over the melted butter. Stir until all the ingredients are well incorporated.Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the middle is well set. Cool slightly before cutting into squares.Baked oatmeal keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat slices in the microwave before serving.Notes:
    Recipe can be easily halved and baked in an 8×8 inch baking dish. Decrease bake time to 30-35 minutes.Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup, or fresh fruit. Nut butters pair well with this and make the dish even heartier. Place a warmed slice in a bowl and top with a splash of milk. Dollop with yogurt, add a handful of nuts. Jams and jellies add sweetness and taste delicious with the oats.
    link Perfect Baked Oatmeal By Heather Baird Published: Friday, January 15, 2021Friday, January 15, 2021Perfect Baked Oatmeal Recipe LEGGI TUTTO

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    Non-Alcoholic Negroni (NAgroni)

    All the delight of a negroni cocktail, but without the alcohol! This non-alcoholic negroni relies on alcohol-free gin and vermouth to make a cocktail that’s just as bold and delicious as the original. Continue reading “Non-Alcoholic Negroni (NAgroni)” » LEGGI TUTTO

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    Brioche Custard Tarts

    Photography by Joann Pai
    Shane’s rich, fluffy take on brioche tarts are made all the better with fine Irish dairy and fresh local produce. For more an intimate look at Shane’s home and his baking career, check out our blog post, In the Kitchen with Shane Smith. 

    Brioche Custard Tarts

    ½ cup (120 grams) warm whole milk (110°F/43°C to 115°F/46°C)
    3¼ teaspoons (10 grams) instant yeast
    3¼ cups (406 grams) all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons (36 grams) castor/superfine sugar
    2¼ teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt, divided
    5 medium eggs (235 grams), room temperature and divided
    ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (198 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 teaspoon (5 grams) whole milk
    Vanilla Custard (recipe follows)
    Rhubarb Filling (recipe follows, see Note)
    ⅔ cup (213 grams) warm orange marmalade
    ½ cup (100 grams) Swedish pearl sugar

    In a small bowl, stir together warm milk and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, castor sugar, and 2 teaspoons (6 grams) salt. Add yeast mixture and 4 eggs (188 grams), and beat at medium speed until a dough forms, about 5 minutes. Gradually add butter, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time, beating until combined and smooth after each addition, 10 to 15 minutes.
    Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
    Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
    Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 12 portions (about 73 grams each). Shape each portion into a smooth ball, and place 2 inches apart on prepared pans. Using the palm of your hand, flatten dough balls into 4-inch disks. Using your index finger, press down in center of each disk to create a 1-inch indentation. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.
    Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
    In a small bowl, whisk together milk, remaining 1 egg (47 grams), and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Brush egg wash onto dough. Spoon Vanilla Custard into center of each dough circle; top with 4 pieces of Rhubarb Filling.
    Bake until brioche is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Before serving, brush with warm marmalade, and sprinkle with pearl sugar.

    3.5.3251

    Vanilla Custard

    2 cups plus 1 tablespoon (495 grams) whole milk
    1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
    6 medium egg yolks (102 grams)
    ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon (79 grams) castor/superfine sugar
    2½ tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch
    2½ tablespoons (20 grams) all-purpose flour

    In a medium saucepan, heat milk and vanilla over medium heat until steaming. (Do not boil.) Set aside to infuse, about 5 minutes.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, castor sugar, cornstarch, and flour. Slowly add warm milk mixture to egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
    Transfer to a medium bowl, and cover with a piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto surface of custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely cool. Custard can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

    3.5.3251

    Rhubarb Filling

    ⅓ cup plus 1½ tablespoons (102.5 grams) water
    1½ tablespoons (7.5 grams) firmly packed orange zest (from 1 orange)
    ¼ cup (60 grams) fresh orange juice (from 1 orange)
    1 tablespoon (12 grams) castor/superfine sugar
    5 rhubarb stalks (255 grams), cut into 2-inch pieces

    Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
    In a medium bowl, stir together ⅓ cup plus 1½ tablespoons (102.5 grams) water, orange zest and juice, and castor sugar. Add rhubarb, tossing to combine. Pour onto a rimmed baking sheet, and cover with foil.
    Bake for 8 minutes. Using a sharp paring knife, test rhubarb until it cuts easily but still holds its shape. If not ready, cover and bake for 3 to 4 minutes more, and test again. Let cool completely before using.

    Rhubarb Filling can be substituted with 24 medium fresh strawberries (288 grams). Stem and halve each strawberry, and place 4 halves in center of each tart.Be careful not to overcook the rhubarb. You want the pieces to retain their shape because they will be cooked again when baking the brioche.

    3.5.3251

     

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    5 Favorite Non-Alcoholic Wines

    As more people embrace sober curiosity and Dry January, non-alcoholic beverages are booming. You can now find plenty of mocktail recipes and bottled or canned non-alcoholic options that are more creative than just soda, juice, or seltzer.
    Whether you don’t drink at all or are simply abstaining from alcohol for a bit, there are a number of fun sips to try, including non-alcoholic wine.
    After tasting my way through a handful, here’s what I learned and the bottles I recommend.
    What to Expect From Non-Alcoholic Wine
    As someone who enjoys and appreciates the real deal, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from non-alcoholic wine.
    I knew I probably wouldn’t find a bottle that tasted exactly like real wine, since the wine-making process is what gives grape juice its wine-like characteristics: tannins, nuanced aromas, distinctive flavors, all of which are mostly removed through dealcoholizing.
    What I hoped to find, though, were options that could be sipped like wine, in a nice glass, that embody the feeling and some of the taste that comes from enjoying real wine.
    The most basic definition of wine is fermented grape juice, so to make non-alcoholic wine, you have two options: either bottle the grape juice before it’s fermented or let the grape juice ferment into wine and then dealcoholize it or remove the alcohol by distillation. (Note: dealcoholized wines do still have a bit of alcohol in them, about 0.5% ABV.)
    I sampled bottles that were made both ways: wine that was bottled before fermentation and dealcoholized wine. I found some nice choices, but interestingly the ones I liked the least were wines in which the alcohol was removed. None made my final list.
    Here are the five that did.

    Red Wine: Navarro Vineyards Pinot Noir Grape Juice
    Family-operated Navarro Vineyards, in California’s Anderson Valley, knows how to make great wine, and it turns out they also make great non-alcoholic wine. After pressing their Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer grapes, they turn most of the juice into wine but save enough to be bottled as-is.
    I found their Pinot Noir Grape Juice to be a delightful substitute for red wine, albeit more sweet than dry. Since the juice is made from wine grapes, it’s not cloying and has more complexity than plain old grape juice.
    Unlike red wine, though, it’s best served well-chilled.
    White Wine: Alain Milliat Jus Raisin Cabernet Rose Grape Juice
    Yes, this bottle is marketed as non-alcoholic rosé, but it doesn’t really pour pink; rather, I found its hue to be deep golden yellow. (I also sampled the non-alcoholic Chardonnay from this producer, but it was much too sweet and cloying to be a contender.)
    However, the French Cabernet Rose Grape Juice is made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes pressed with the tannic skin from those grapes, so it has a bit of structure. But since not all the skins are used, it also has nice, bright acidity, like you’d find in white wine.
    While the color doesn’t scream white wine, it was the closest I found and a pleasant substitute!

    Sparkling Wine: TÖST
    As you can see from my favorite non-alcoholic white wine choice, there are outliers among my picks, and TÖST is another one!
    TÖST doesn’t actually contain grapes, so if you’re a stickler, you might not deem this is a substitute for sparkling wine. However, after trying a few different bubbly options, this is the bottle that came closest to the look, feel, and festivity of sparkling wine.
    TÖST is made from white tea, white cranberry, and ginger. Since its base is tea, it has the dry, tannic structure of wine, but the cranberry and ginger soften the beverage and provide flavor and intrigue. It’s lightly sweet, with crisp bubbles and a dry finish.
    Rosé Wine: Wölffer Estate Petite Rosé Verjus
    I was excited to try this pretty pink bottle because I am a fan of this New York state vineyard’s wines. Their non-alcoholic rosé is made from verjus, which is the pressed juice of unripe wine grapes.
    Since verjus is made from unripe grapes, it’s typically too tart to be sipped as-is. But there’s a touch of sweetness in the Petite Rosé Verjus, which is made from 100% Pinot Meunier grapes (one of the three traditional varietals used in Champagne production).
    When combined with water and finished off with carbon dioxide, the result is a bright, bubbly non-alcoholic rosé that’s all too easy to drink.
    Wildcard: Proteau Ludlow Red
    Even though it looks like wine in the glass, the folks at Proteau are quick to point out that their non-alcoholic drinks are not really meant to be wine substitutes, as they are complex blends of berry juice and botanicals.
    I agree. Both bottles I tried had a bit too much going on to be sipped with food, but I think they have their place as a non-alcoholic choice for those who enjoy the body and mouthfeel of wine.
    While I wasn’t a fan of the bottle made with strawberry juice, I didn’t mind the inky, dark purple bottle called Proteau Ludlow Red, with blackberry juice as its base. Extracts from chamomile, black pepper, hibiscus, and more give it an aroma and flavor all its own. I think it would make for an interesting pre- or post-dinner non-alcoholic drink. LEGGI TUTTO

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    Air Fryer Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

    You’ll return bite after bite to this plate of Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower! The air fryer makes quick work of the cauliflower, turning it crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Tossing it with buffalo sauce brings some massive flavor to the appetizer!

    Photography Credit: Nick Evans

    I’m generally a traditionalist when it comes to chicken wings. Give me the classic, please! But if you are serving a vegetarian crowd or just want something different (and slightly healthier), this Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower has all the spicy earthy flavors you crave to get your wing fix!
    This version is a riff on my normal air fryer crispy cauliflower. To get crispy on the outside, tender on the inside cauliflower add the sauce right at the end of cooking so it doesn’t burn and then just blast the florets in the air fryer for one final short cooking session.

    Why Make Buffalo Cauliflower in an Air Fryer?
    In short, it’s easier than a full on deep fryer and definitely healthier! I was amazed at how crispy and wonderful the finished florets get. It almost seems like a cheat code.
    The buffalo sauce I used is a really classic mix of hot sauce, butter, and spices. It tastes like game day to me and goes surprisingly well with cauliflower.

    No Air Fryer? Make Buffalo Cauliflower in your Oven!
    Baking this cauliflower is absolutely an option. It takes longer and the cauliflower, honestly, doesn’t get quite as crispy, but it’ll work and turn out great.
    I recommend lining a baking sheet with parchment paper for easier clean up and you’ll need to roast the cauliflower for at least 30 minutes at 400˚F, maybe as long as 45 minutes, to get a really crispy floret. Start checking the florets at the 30 minute mark. They are done when they are crispy on the outside, but you can easily pierce them with a fork.
    Buffalo Sauce Swaps and Substitutions
    There’s no reason you have to go with the standard for the hot sauce base. Try a more Tex-Mex style sauce by using something like Tapatio or go Thai with a Sriracha or Korean with gojuchang!

    Dips for the Buffalo Cauliflower
    Ranch dressing or blue cheese sauce is the standard here and I’m not sure I would mess with it too much. It’s a classic for a reason: it’s delicious!
    Can you make Buffalo Cauliflower in advance?
    You can absolutely prep the cauliflower and get it breaded and ready in advance and make the sauce in advance. The cooked cauliflower florets lose a lot of their pizazz though in the fridge so I would air-fry just the amount you can eat.
    Leftovers!
    If you do have leftovers, don’t toss them though! You can bring them back to life (as much as possible) either in the air fryer for a quick 2-3 minutes reheat session or in an oven for 5-6 minutes. I wouldn’t microwave the leftovers!

    More Great Air Fryer Recipes

    Air Fryer Cauliflower Buffalo Wings Recipe

    If you don’t have an air fryer, you can lay out the cauliflower on a baking sheet and roast it in your oven for 30 minutes, turning once halfway through. Then add a light coating of sauce to the cauliflower and roast for another 5 minutes. Then serve while warm with extra sauce.

    Ingredients
    1 large head cauliflower, broken into 1-inch florets
    2 eggs
    1 cup plain breadcrumbs
    Non-stick cooking spray
    1 cup Frank’s hot sauce
    1/4 cup butter, melted
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    Optional:

    Method

    1 Break apart the cauliflower: Cut the green stems back on the cauliflower head and then break or cut the head into about 1-inch florets. It’s easiest to start near the base of the cauliflower and work your way toward the center.
    2 Dip in egg wash and breadcrumbs: In a bowl large enough to hold the florets, whisk together 2 eggs and 1/4 cup of water. Add the florets to the egg mixture.
    Use a slotted spoon to stir the florets making sure each is well coated. Remove the florets from the egg mixture and add them to the breadcrumbs. Toss them around until they are well coated.

    3 Air fry the breaded cauliflower: Spray the air fryer basket with nonstick spray. Place the breaded florets in a single layer in the basket. Try not to crowd them. Set the air fryer to 350˚F and fry the cauliflower for 7 minutes. Flip each floret and fry for another 7 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
    Repeat this process until all the cauliflower have been fried.

    4 Make the buffalo sauce: In a small bowl, combine the hot sauce, melted butter, salt, garlic powder and black pepper.

    5 Coat the fried cauliflower: Dunk the florets of breaded and fried cauliflower one at time with a light coat of sauce. Return the pieces to the air fryer in a single layer and fry for another 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter.
    Repeat the frying process with all your florets.

    6 Serve: Serve the florets warm with blue cheese sauce, leftover buffalo sauce, and vegetables on the side.

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    Nick Evans
    Nick has been writing delicious recipes for the home cook for almost a decade. He lives in Denver, CO and embraces a delicate balance of diaper changing, trail running and beer drinking. His website is Macheesmo and his first book is Love Your Leftovers.
    More from Nick LEGGI TUTTO

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    5 Flavorful Non-Alcoholic Beers

    These alcohol-free stouts, lagers, and IPAs taste just like the real thing. Try one or all of them, especially if you’re partaking in Dry January.

    For more than 15 years, I’ve covered the craft brewing industry’s stratospheric rise in America, chronicling barrel-aged stouts, hazy IPAs, fruited sour ales, and most every beer category save for one kind: non-alcoholic.
    Why bother? Non-alcoholic beers were mainly afterthought lagers lobbed into the mainstream, as inoffensive and uninteresting as side salads at a second-rate steakhouse.
    Times and tastes have changed, though. Here are five excellent non-alcoholic beers for your next hang time, or anytime.

    The Flavorful New World of Non-Alcoholic Beer
    We’ve entered a new era of non-alcoholic beers. New-breed breweries are quickly reinventing the category and creating full-flavored, highly fragrant non-alcoholic beers.
    They’re do so by using unique yeast strains, high-tech equipment to remove alcohol via reverse osmosis or vacuum distillation, limiting or halting fermentation and the production of alcohol, and other proprietary techniques destined for a patent.
    Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all lagers.
    Today’s NA beers run the gamut from intensely hopped IPAs to stouts suited for sipping by a fire. They can deliver all the taste, aroma, and creativity that you’ve come to expect in craft beer, minus that hangover.

    For Fans of Dark Beer: Athletic Brewing All Out Stout
    Athletic Brewing cracked the code on making massively flavorful non-alcoholic beer.
    The Connecticut brewery, which was founded in 2018 and has expanded to a San Diego facility, uses a multistep proprietary process to completely ferment beer to less than .5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), helping the beers taste remarkably close to their normal-strength craft counterparts.
    The brewery’s far-ranging portfolio of non-alcoholic beers includes citrusy IPAs, Mexican lagers, tart and fruity sour ales, and this wintertime treat.
    All Out brings bittersweet cocoa and dark-roasted coffee to the table, making the beer a great pairing with rich and meaty stews or a nicely seared steak.

    For the Athlete: Bootstrap Brewing Company Strapless IPA
    Last fall the Longmont, Colorado brewery released its first non-alcoholic beer: the 100-calorie Strapless IPA.
    It’s custom-designed for the fitness-minded crowd, packed with electrolytes including potassium, magnesium, and sodium for a replenishing pick-me-up after a hike, bike ride, or your favorite exercise.
    Strapless is more than a sports drink substitute. The addition of Citra, Galaxy, and Mosaic hops equip Strapless with a complete complement of tropical fruit fragrances that beer drinkers expect in full-strength IPAs.

    For the Calorie Conscious: Partake Brewing Blonde Ale
    If you’re curtailing your alcohol and caloric intake, look to Partake Brewing.
    The Canadian brewery uses a top-secret brewing process to create an IPA, pale ale, red ale, and more that top out at 30 calories per 12-ounce serving.
    The bright Blonde weighs in at 15 calories and just three carbs, a light ale with a sweetly refreshing malt flavor that would play well with salads, as well as roast chicken and fish.

    For Fruit Fans: BrewDog Elvis AF
    The rabble-rousing Scottish brewery built its name on bold flavors and outlandish stunts, once brewing the world’s strongest beer and stuffing the bottle inside a taxidermied squirrel.
    Now the global company, which operates a U.S. brewery in Columbus, Ohio, is expertly exploring alcohol’s lowest extremes with its AF series of beers.
    None stint on taste. Wake-Up Call is a coffee-packed jolt of a stout, while Hazy AF deploys oats, wheat, and tropical hops as a nonalcoholic stand-in for a juicy IPA.
    One of my favorite BrewDog beers is the zesty Elvis Juice IPA, a pithy celebration of grapefruit. The nonalcoholic version, Elvis AF, is a sunny and citrusy refresher that would be right at home at brunch.

    For the Lager Lover: Heineken 0.0
    I’ve never been the hugest fan of Heineken, favoring other European lagers and pilsners over the green-bottled Dutch beer. Then I tried the company’s nonalcoholic analogue to its flagship beer, the 69-calorie 0.0.
    Any absence typically means that you’re missing something, but 0.0 is the rare zero-alcohol beer that’s even better than its alcohol-filled analogue.
    The nonalcoholic version drinks squeaky-clean and slightly fruity, a snappy stand-in for when I want something stronger—or simply nothing at all. LEGGI TUTTO