Apricot Cream Puffs with Chocolate Halva Caps

apricotbuttercream puffs

Apricot Cream Puffs with Chocolate Halva Caps

Choux Pastry (see below)
Apricot Buttercream (see below)
Chocolate halva caramel (see below)
Chocolate Drizzle (see below)


Cut caps from pastry and pipe in apricot buttercream and replace cap.
Oil fingers and form a tablespoonful of caramel into a ball then flatten it into a fat disk.
Place disk on top of pastry.
Drizzle with chocolate mixture and chill.

Apricot Buttercream

10 oz Turkish apricots, dried
1/2 C orange/mango juice
1 T lemon juice
1/2 C sugar
2 T amaretto
16 T butter, unsalted
2.5 C confectioner’s sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1.5 C heavy whipping cream

Add enough water to apricots until covered  2 inches
Rest overnight.
Pour off excess water.
Add just enough fresh water to cover apricots and place on medium high heat with juices and sugar.
When sugar is dissolved, reduce heat and simmer until temp reaches 210 F and apricots are very soft.
Puree in a blender and add amaretto.
Combine butter, sugar & vanilla with the whisk attachment.
Add cream and whisk on high until glossy buttercream achieved.
It will come together, then separate, then come together again…about 10 min on high.
Add the cold apricot jell and blend.

Choux Pastry

7/8 C water
1/2 C  butter, room temp
pinch of salt
1 T sugar
1 C flour, AP
4 large eggs

Oven to 375 F

Combine water, butter, salt in a large saucepan and heat until water begins to boil.
Add the flour and stir to form dough.
Cook for 3 to 5 min until it pulls away from the sides of the saucepan.
Place dough in a mixer and add eggs until glossy.
Pipe onto parchment that has been sprinkled with water.
Bake for 30-40 min until golden brown.
Cool to room temp.

Chocolate halva caramel

1 C honey
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 t cardamom, ground
1 C tahini, room temp
pinch of salt
2 oz chocolate, dark, melted
Heat honey to 240 F
While honey is heating, combine tahini, vanilla and cardamom.
Mix honey in a thin stream into tahini until well combined.
Cool to room temp.

Chocolate drizzle

4 oz dark chocolate
2 oz butter, unsalted
1/4 C cream

Melt chocolate in dbl boiler with butter.
Once melted combine with enough cream to make thin ribbons fall off from a fork.


Sweet Potato Eggs Benedict


1 large sweet potato, grated
2 T salt
1 small onion, grated
1 small bunch, chives, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c four
4 T malt vinegar
6 eggs
6 large rapini leaves (could use spinach or kale)
smoked ham, sliced thin
1 avocado
1/4 C mayo
1 t Dijon mustard
3 T olive oil


Dissolve salt in enough warm water to just cover grated potato and set aside for 15 minutes.

Drain potatoes and squeeze out excess water.

Squeeze grated onion to remove as much juice as possible, then mix with potato.

Combine egg, flour and chives with potato mixture.

Form into 6 balls then squash flat in a pan with a little olive oil and fry until brown on both sides and cooked through.

Bring 3 cups of water to a simmer, add vinegar, then poach the eggs.

Blanch leaves in salted water.

Blend avocado, mayo, mustard, olive oil and enough water to make a smooth paste.

To assemble place, one blanched leaf on each potato cake, then the egg, ham and top with avocado sauce

Sweet Potato Taco


6 small sweet potatoes
4 T olive oil, divided
1 onion, fine dice
2 T mezcal
2 clove garlic, minced, divided
1 lb ground beef
1 t cumin, ground
1 t chipotle, ground
1 can (10oz) diced tomato with lime & cilantro
1/2 t salt
1 C peas, frozen
1 lime
1 avocado, diced
2 T cilantro, chopped
1 T sour cream
1/2 t paprika, smoked
12 T shredded cheese (blend of Monterey Jack, Queso, Cheddar and Asadero)


Oven 400

Rub the sweet potatoes with 2 T olive oil and bake until fork tender.
About 1 hour.
Heat remaining 2 T olive oil in a large skillet and sauté onion until translucent.
Deglaze with mezcal.
Add garlic and beef and sauté until beef browned.
Add spices and tomatoes and reduce until almost dry.
Add peas and gently incorporate until heated through.
Remove from heat and stir in juice from 1/2 lime.
In a bowl, combine the juice of 1/2 lime, avocado, cilantro, 1 clove garlic, sour cream, paprika.
Slice each potato lengthwise and squeeze to form a pouch.
Fill with beef mixture and top with cheese and avocado mixture.

Blueberry Sweet Potato Cake with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting


Honey Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

3 sticks butter, unsalted, room temperature
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
2 C confectioners sugar
1/4 C honey
1/2 C heavy cream

Whisk butter, cinnamon, salt until fluffy.
Add sugar and whisk slowly at first then on high.
Add honey until well combined then stream in cream.
Whisk on high until fluffy

Blueberry Sweet Potato Cake
350 F
9 inch round, sprayed with bakers joy
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C buckwheat flour
2 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 T cinnamon, ground
1 t ginger, ground
2 sticks butter, unsalted, room temp
2 C cane sugar
1 t vanilla
3 large eggs
1 C buttermilk
1 C blueberries, fresh

Cut sweet potatoes into rounds and steam until soft.
Run potatoes through a ricer and set aside to cool.
Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger.
In a separate bowl using a paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar and vanilla.
Add the eggs, scraping between each addition.

Add 2 cups of sweet potato mash.

Alternating in thirds, incorporate the dried ingredients and the buttermilk.
Fold in the blueberries.
Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool & frost with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream.

Bec’s Birthday Bird


Sous vide Pheasant with Mushroom/Quince/Chestnut Puree


1 Cup water
1/4 cup salt, kosher
2 pheasant breasts
2 oz pancetta
1 t thyme leaves
2 T duck fat
Mushroom/quince/chestnut sauce (see below)
Sweet Potato rounds with Asparagus(see below)
Delicata squash (see below)
Ravioli(spinach ricotta), precooked
Parsley, flat leaf

Bird Directions:

Dissolve salt in water then cool to room temperature.
Place pheasant in brine & refrigerate overnight.
Remove from brine & pat dry.
Sprinkle with thyme and add to vacuum bags.
Add pancetta and duck fat.
Sous vide at 62 C for 40 minutes.
Discard cooking liquid & pancetta.
Slice pheasant into strips.

Mushroom/quince/chestnut puree:

10 T butter, unsalted
4 shallots, medium, diced
1 quince, peeled, cored, diced
5oz shitake mushrooms, sliced
7 oz chestnuts, precooked
1/4 c cognac
1 t thyme, ground
black pepper, pinch
1 c heavy cream

Heat butter in a large skillet and sauté shallots and quince until soft (4 min)
Add the mushrooms and sauté until almost dry.
Add chestnuts to heat through.
Add cognac and flame off.
Add thyme and pepper.
Add butter until melted.
Pour all into a blender and puree adding cream as necessary.
Continue adding cream until desired consistency reached. This should be thick.
Salt to taste.

Sweet Potato rounds with Asparagus:

12 asparagus spears, small
1 sweet potato, large
1 T butter
1 t lemon juice

Cut sweet potato into 1/2 inch thick rounds and steam until easily pierced by a fork.
Steam asparagus until bright green & still crisp.
Melt butter and add lemon juice.
Cut a 1/2 inch hole in the center of 4 sweet potato rounds and set aside.
Cut the remaining sweet potato into 1/2 rounds.
Brush asparagus & sweet potato with butter/lemon mixture and salt lightly.

Delicata squash:

1 delicata squash, small
2 T butter
2 T honey

Cut squash in half lengthwise.
Scoop out seeds.
Place 1 T of butter and 1 T of honey in each half.
Bake at 350 F for 30 min.

To Plate:

On warmed plates, spoon 1/4 cup of Mushroom/quince/chestnut puree.
Top with ravioli & pheasant.
Place 3 asparagus spears in each of the 4 sweet potato sounds.
Add small sweet potato rounds and squash.
Garnish with parsley.


Venison Stuffed Squash



2 acorn squash, medium size

4 T olive oil, divided



8 oz farro

2.75 C mushroom stock, divided

2 T butter

1 lb venison, ground

1 red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 t cubebs

1 t thyme

1 t marjoram

1 t savory

1 t tarragon

1/4 c white wine

1 small can tomato paste

8 T mozzarella, fresh, grated



Oven 425 F

Cut each squash in half and remove seeds.

Coat the cut sides with about 1 tsp olive oil each then salt & pepper.

Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

Combine farro with 2.25 C mushroom stock in a medium stock pot & bring to a boil.

Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 min.

Combine 2 T olive oil & 2 T butter in a large skillet and brown venison.

Remove venison, add 1 T olive oil and sauté onion for several minutes.

Add garlic and spices and sauté for several more minutes.

Deglaze with white wine.

When reduced stir in venison and cooked farro.

Stir in tomato paste and 1/2 C mushroom stock.

Scoop most of the flesh out of each squash and combine with venison mixture.

Season with salt & pepper.

Spoon back into squash shells and top with 2 T mozzarella each.

Sturgeon Stuffed Tomato


Sturgeon stuffed tomato, garden veg saute (and a turkey sandwich)…(’cause ya know who doesn’t want a turkey sandwich!)

Sturgeon Stuffed Tomato:


5 medium, tomatoes

3 pieces of Sturgeon (see below)

1 T balsamic capers, minced

2 t cubeb vinegar (see below)

3 T mayonnaise

1 T Dijon mustard

1 stalk celery, fine dice

Salt, pinch

Pepper, pinch

Hard boiled egg, maybe…



Take 5 medium tomatoes fresh from the garden, remove seeds, but retain pulp.

Dice pulp and pat dry with a paper towel.

Dice fish to 1/8 inch cubes and add to tomato pulp.

Add capers, vinegar, mayo, mustard, celery, salt & pepper.

Pat inside of tomato shells dry with paper towel & fill with fish mixture.

I had planned on adding a diced hard boiled egg, but completely forgot until we were already eating them…

Sturgeon sous vide:

3 pieces of sturgeon, 1.5 inch thick x 4 inch long

1 T ghee

1 T olive oil


Sprinkle a little salt on each piece of fish then put in bag with ghee & oil.

Vacuum gently and sous vide at 141.8 for 16 minutes.

Remove from bag, wrap in plastic and chill.

Cubeb Vinegar

1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon cubebs
1 clove garlic
2 cups sherry vinegar

Mix and pour into storage container.


Garden Veg Side:


1 T butter

1 small onion, sliced

1 small yellow pepper, sliced

1 small handful of green beans, 2 inch cut

2 cubeb berries, crushed

Salt, pinch

Pepper, pinch

1 t lemon juice



Sauté onion in butter until translucent.

Add pepper & beans and continue to sauté

Stir in spices and when veggies are done remove from heat and add lemon juice.