Edamame Truffle Dumplings with Sake Butter, Shiitake and Enoki Mushrooms

Happy Friday!

I made these dumplings twice now before writing about them, and let me just tell you that these are absolutely magical. If you are a fan of truffle salt or oil, you will love these. If you never had truffle flavored anything, you need to try these, especially if you are a mushroom lover.

My friend Cassandra and I were inspired to make these when we had them during my bachelorette party last August. I was taken to this amazing Japanese restaurant called Koi in Bryant Park (Manhattan).  They’re expensive at $20 for 4-5 dumplings, but my friends and I found these so irresistible that the price tag simply didn’t matter. Side note: If you’re ever at the restaurant, I also recommend the Foie Gras on Seared Tuna with White Truffle Oil as well.

Image result for Foie Gras on Seared Tuna with White Truffle Oil koi

Of course, learning to make these at home has been very much worth the investment! These dumplings are life-changers.

If you have never eaten anything made with truffle oil, you are missing out! It is a distinctive earthiness that is really hard to replicated without it.  What’s trendy lately is truffle oil on French Fries. Those are fantastic.

**A cautionary note on Truffle Oil, however–you should never use too much, and you should never use it to cook. It should be a finishing product–you drizzle/sprinkle a little at the end. In the case of these fabulous dumplings, they are a part of the emulsion process, but the truffle is never used to, let’s say, fry the dumplings. The oil is too expensive to waste, and it can easily become overpowering if you use too much.

If you’re not sure where to get Truffle Oil or Truffle Salt, I would go to a more gourmet grocery store such as a Whole Foods or Wegmans. If your area does not have truffle oil or salt, Amazon has good quality and well priced truffle oil and salt as well.

The mushrooms, enoki and shiitake, are best found in Asian grocery markets, but usually a higher end grocery story would have these as well. Shiitake are relatively popular and will be easy to find dried. If you can’t find these mushrooms, you can omit these, but I personally think mushroom’s natural earthiness play well with the truffle-forward flavor of these dumplings.

The sauce of choice is sake butter, and like it sounds, it’s simply Japanese rice wine,  dry Sake, and butter reduced in a pan. We add ginger and a bit of lemon for freshness. It’s dynamite. If you don’t have sake, you can simply do a ginger-butter sauce and do fine. This recipe is forgiving with omission. The one thing you cannot take out of these dumplings is the truffle salt and oil–everything else is recommended, but not mandatory.

For $20 for 4-5 dumplings, what adds the luxury is the seafood: at Koi, they serve these dumplings with lobster. We decided to substitute lobster with langostino for cost-effectiveness reasons, but I personally would say that scallops would be my meat of choice second to lobster for this dish. Again, you could choose not to put seafood in here and just eat the dumplings, but it does add to the allure of this dish.

This dumpling recipe we found was from the head chef at Koi, but we made tweaks that we thought would be more practical for the consumer (for example, the recipe calls for actual truffle which, if you were able to find it afford it, costs about $5,000 for a pound). Because we actually ate these dumplings at the restaurant, we were able to tweak until we completely got the right flavor. Cross-referencing and having the best version of a dish is the best way to re-create a masterpiece.

These recipe is a great make-ahead as it is a little bit of tedious work, but you can yield so many dumplings that you can boil them up for a party in no time. It takes about two minutes in boiling water to cook the dumplings themselves, and the sauce comes together in about five minutes.

Edamame Dumplings (Makes about 50)

Ingredients for Dumplings

  • 1 pound cooked edamame, shelled (we steam these in the microwave first–they are in the frozen section. Make sure they’re shelled!)
  • 4 ounces of milk (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 6 ounces of good quality truffle oil (white)
  • One tablespoon of truffle salt (stir and add more to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 50 wonton wrappers (usually one package is fine)
  • 1/2 of 1 lemon’s worth of lemon zest (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 egg

Ingredients for Sake Butter

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of peeled and minced ginger (use a Microplane if you have it)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon good-quality sake (feel free to add more)
  • A tablespoon of heavy cream (if desired)

Optional Accompaniments 

  • Seafood: Lobster, Scallops, Langostino, Shrimp (in order of preference), two ounces or more.
  • Mushrooms: Enoki and Shiitake (add to sake butter sauce and garnish dumplings with uncooked enoki). You would need about an ounce of each.
  • Garnishes:  Pea shoots and/or scallions for freshness and green on the plate.

Directions

  1. In a bowl, beat the egg with 1/4 cup of warm water to make an egg wash.
  2. If you have a frozen, microwaveable bag of edamame, follow the instructions on the bag.
  3. Once steamed, boil the edamame in the milk and butter for 6 minutes, until tender.
  4. Strain the edamame, but keep the milk and butter that you used to boil it.
  5. In a blender, blend the edamame, adding the reserved milk and butter and the truffle oil until it reaches a smooth consistency. Season with truffle salt, pepper,  regular salt, and optional lemon zest.
  6. Taste until you think it tastes good. Feel free to add more butter, salt, or lemon as needed.
  7. Assemble: Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each wonton wrapper. Brush each with the egg wash at the edges of the wrapper. Fold on the diagonal like a triangle. Use your index fingers to press air out. Flip wonton to the back and fold left and right edges over. Flip the top piece on top of the edges. Flip dumpling back over and squeeze the ends to puff up shape. Place dumplings on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Click here for the video demonstration of the dumpling fold.

  1. When ready to serve, get a pot to begin boiling water to cook your dumplings.
  2. As the pot of water is boiling, begin making your sake butter.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ginger and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup sake (or more) and bring to a boil; cook until reduced by 2/3, about 3 minutes. Add heavy cream,  if desired. Bring the whole mixture to a boil; cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add remaining butter in batches, whisking constantly. Once all the butter has been incorporated and mixture is thick and creamy, remove from heat.
  4. Add about 10 dumplings at a time for about two minutes.
  5. In a pot, boil the dumplings until clear and tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Once they float to the top, they’re done. Drain and keep aside. Place five dumplings in a bowl, and pour sake butter over top, with optional lobster and mushrooms. Garnish with scallions and/or pea shoots, and bon appetite!

 

Mini Carrot Cakes Three Ways: Trifle, Truffle, and Petit Fours (and a Bonus Recipe!)

 

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Happy Hump Day!

I definitely made these carrot cakes weeks ago, and I am certainly late in posting this recipe; however, my film editor and I made the video in a timely manner, and I am excited to announce that we are beginning to shoot videos to correlate with the blog from today onwards…exciting!

Heres the video!

I’ve always loved carrot cake; I had a terrible craving a few weeks ago, but I didn’t necessarily want to make an entire two-three layered cake for myself (although that would probably go quickly, without fail). I am a fan of mini desserts; they’re whimsical, fun, and they don’t make the diet conscious too jealous. 🙂

I decided to show you three ways of making mini carrot cakes because I couldn’t personally decide what I wanted to make. You don’t need to make three batches, either. All from one recipe you have three different desserts! If you have a favorite style, feel free to just make all petit fours or all trifles. It’s all up to you!

So…what’s the difference among the three?

Trifle: Layering cake and alternating with cream/frosting. This is great when you have a cake crumble/fall apart, but you want to make it look like it was intentionally “deconstructed.” Put it in a shot glass or martini glass to show that it’s all ready for the party.

Truffle: Similar to the aforementioned situation, you could have a crumbly cake and bind it back together with some frosting/cream and shape it into a fun ball. Truffles sound fancier than cake pop, but who are we fooling? Feel free to coat these in white chocolate (like the petit four below) to keep its shape and give it a sweeter edge.

Petit Four: Ah, the creme of the creme. The small, tiny, perfect bite of layered cake.  You can make it with the cream cheese frosting alone, or you may coat it in white chocolate on top to go for the sweetest level of deliciousness. I make round and square . Note: Round is easiest for pouring frosting and is the traditional “carrot cake shape.” Square can be done with or without the petit four cutter, but wastes much less cake than its circular counterpart.

If you are making these for entertaining, you may want to offer some choice for your guests. Also, it’s to show you how you can use one baking sheet pan to make a multitude of desserts. I can foresee this recipe coming into extreme popularity around Easter. For some people, they forget the sheer brilliance a carrot can bring to a dessert. I guess the fluffy bunnies serve as a reminder. 🙂

Hopefully, making this recipe will inspire you to make your other favorite cake recipes in a similar manner: a small, thin layer on a baking sheet. I first learned this when I made Seven Layer (Rainbow) cookies over Christmas. I had a similar revelation when I made Almond Petit Fours with Apricot Jam for my friend’s baby’s first birthday. Making tiny cakes are now becoming quite the pastime for me! Any recipe that has similar measurements that I am mentioning below will work! I think I might do a chocolate cake with raspberry mousse and chocolate ganache petit four for Valentine’s Day! Decadent bites are the best!

If you are fine with square cuts, you don’t necessarily need to order a petit four cutter; however, I find using my round and square petit four cutter has come in handy. I ordered mine on Amazon.

Alright, Doc…here we go!

Carrot Cake Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • ¼ cup  canola oil
  • ½ cup  sugar
  • ½ cup (100gr) brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1 cup  of finely grated carrots (preferably using a Microplane)

Optional, but recommended…

  • 4 ounces of chopped pecans (or you can also use walnuts, if you like!)
  • White chocolate candy coating (Microwavable tray, if possible)** (only if you want to have a candy coating for the truffle or petit four)

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 8oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

**P.S: You will have leftover icing, and you will not have a problem finding uses for it. Make some cinnamon rolls, or do what I did the next day…I made “Cinnamon Roll(ed) French Toast). So. Good. (I will post the “bonus” recipe) at the bottom.

First, make the cake!

  1. Take everything out that you need and grate your carrots before you begin! It’s quite the arm workout. 🙂 All ingredients should be at room temperature for this recipe. While you’re prepping, pre-heat your oven.
  2. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 375°F . Line 17x11in baking sheet with a parchment paper and spray cooking spray all over the parchment paper and on the sides. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can survive–just make sure you use enough cooking spray to get the cake out! It’s very thin!
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, mix together eggs, sour cream, oil, sugar and brown sugar until well combined. You may also add some vanilla extract here, about one teaspoon. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Don’t overmix at this point. Fold in grated carrots from bottom to top.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and tap a few times to get rid of bubbles. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and inserted toothpick comes out clean. It took me about 15 minutes.
  6. Make the frosting while the cake is cooling. Beat butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy for 1 minute. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for a minute. Then increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Transfer into a piping bag with plain round tip, if desired. If you don’t have a pastry bag, put your filling inside of a ziplock baggie. Squeeze it to a corner and using a scissor, clip a very small tip.

***To make all three desserts, I use a butter knife around the edge and slice vertically into three even pieces. I allocate one third of the cake to each dessert. Even if you’re only making the petit four, for example, you still want to slice the cake into thirds as you want layers of cake. This prevents you having to bake another sheet pan’s worth! You’ll be stacking one on top of the other.

Directions for Each Dessert

Trifle: In a given glass (martini or shot preferable), cut out and/or crumble carrot cake on the bottom. On top of this layer, add your cream cheese frosting. Alternate frosting and cake until you reached the very top.

Truffle: Scoop out 2-3 tablespoons of cake. Starting with a tablespoon of cream cheese frosting, put a dollop in your hands with the cake and roll into a ball like you would a meatball. Put in the freezer once rolled. Microwave the white chocolate. Stir every minute or so. Once properly melted, dip the truffle (or cake pop) into the tray and coat entirely. Let the truffle’s coating harden on a piece of parchment paper. To speed up the process, you may put the truffles inside a refrigerator.

Petit Fours: Cut out your petit fours using your round and/or square petit four cutter. If you don’t have one, you may use a ruler and cut squares by making elongated cuts diagonally.  Place the cutout cake layers on wire rack. Pipe a heaping tablespoon of frosting on half of the cake squares/ circles. Put another matching cake on top. If going for less sweetness/tradition, put some cream cheese filling on top,  using an offset spatula lightly spread the frosting and sprinkle optional pecans.

Alternative approach (if you are short on time/impatient)…put cream cheese frosting on whole layer of cake (remember, you cut your cake into three?) without cutting it into smaller pieces. Place a whole third of cake on top and press down. Put in the freezer for a few minutes to seal together. Using your petit four cutters/knife (if you’re cutting by hand), cut out your small cakes.

If you would like to candy coat your petit fours, make sure you freeze the cut cakes first. Melt your microwavable white chocolate tray in one minute alternates, stirring each minute for proper melting consistency. Once hot and melted, dip your cake and use a spoon to cover the entire mini cake with coating.Let the petit four’s coating harden on a piece of parchment paper. To speed up the process, you may put the truffles inside a refrigerator. Before it hardens completely, sprinkle on pecans, if desired. If you do not do it while it’s hot, it will not stick!

Enjoy!

Bonus Recipe: Cinnamon Roll(ed) French Toast (Recipe inspired by Scrambled Chefs)

 

16194903_727584080734383_6643892865896689340_n.jpgIngredients

  • 12 slices of white bread, crusts removed
  • butter for greasing the pan (or you can use cooking spray)
Cream Cheese Topping
  • Use your leftover cream cheese icing from above!
Cinnamon Filling
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp cinnamon powder
Egg Mixture
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (add more if you want!)
  • 1 teaspoon of white sugar
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients to make cinnamon filling. At this time, take out your leftover cream cheese frosting and make sure it’s room temperature.
  2. Prepare the egg mixture by slightly beating the egg and adding milk to it. Mix well. Add cinnamon and sugar as directed.
  3. Combine white sugar and cinnamon powder in a plate and set aside.
  4. Remove crusts from the white bread slices and with the help of a rolling pin, roll up the bread flat.
  5. Spread ½ to ¾ tbsp worth of cinnamon filling onto the bread and roll up. You do not need anything to help this stick together as the filling will do that for you. Roll it up tightly!
  6. In a non-stick pan, heat a little butter on a low to medium heat. Dip the roll ups into the egg mixture and place on the frying pan.  Let excess dredge before placing in the pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan. I made about 6 at once (they look like tiny eggrolls, but man are they filling!)
  7. Keep turning the french toast every 30 to 45 seconds or until slightly golden brown on one side.
  8. Remove from pan when every side is down and immediately put them in the coating mixture prepared early. Roll it around while it’s hot so it sticks.
  9. Serve with cream cheese glaze as a topping or for dipping.
  10. Serve immediately for the sweetest breakfast/dessert! 🙂