As “Fig Week” marches on, we’ve got another easy fig recipe for you. It’s a luscious dessert (that doubles as a naughty breakfast) and is a snap to make. Once again, we deploy our trusty hard-working toaster oven.
Preheat the toaster oven (or regular if that’s what you’ve got) to 400°F.
Slice figs in half (in quarters if they’re big) and put into a baking dish. Top with spoonfuls of mascarpone. Once you’ve dolloped to your heart’ts content, add a dash of freshly zested lemon, a swirl of vanilla bean paste and a dusting of cinnamon.
This will bake fast — give it ten minutes or so. You want the mascarpone to just begin to break, as the fat starts to separate out of the cheese. Just enough, and you’ll have lovely golden-colored beading on the melting mascarpone, and the figs will be warm. Serve without further ceremony or adornment, as this dish has all it (and you) need.
The fig-monkeys strike again! We’ve got a basket full of figs and a week of posting fig recipes for this fabulous bumper-crop.
Figs, please meet your new friends: Gorgonzola, rosemary, and bacon. We have a feeling you’ll all get along just fine.
Divet the figs for the proper introduction of Cheese. Cut the rosemary springs on the bias so that they make a nice sharp skewer. Strip the lower leaves from each rosemary spring by running your fingers down toward the cut end.
Once the figs are stuffed, wrap in them in bacon and secure each slice with the skewer.
We baked right on in the toaster oven, on the “whole-y” tray, so that the bacon fat would drip down through the holes. 450°F will do it, for about 15 minutes until the bacon cooks all the way through.
Messy to eat? Guaranteed! Serve on a plate with a fork and knife, or place in a nest of arugula as a dressed-up salad.
I’m doing it! I’m sharing my Mamma’s Apple Cake recipe, the one she learned growing up in Germany. In my family, we all make this cake so much, as it is so versatile. I know the recipe like the back of my hand. We’ve made some changes over the years, like substituting the white flour for almond flour. Why add the empty calories when you can add protein-rich almonds? Besides, it makes the cake much more moist and flavorful. Also, we cut down the sugar. Waaay. And swapped white for brown sugar, because not only is it healthier, the apples like it better. Is ¼ cup of sugar in an entire cake too little for you? We think it’s perfect, but up it if you like.
Start this cake with your favorite apples. It’s the season! For us, the tarter the better. We choose Pink Lady or Green Apples, but there are so many varietals that will work. Another key adaptation of this traditional recipe — leave the apple skins on. They look pretty, have key nutrients, give the cake a great texture, plus you don’t have to peel apples. We call that a 4-point win! Just core and slice the apples in a pretty fashion (in half, in half again, and one more time make even eighths).
Key to the success and texture of the cake is to cream the butter and sugar well. Stand mixers are bomb.com. Be patient, scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times, and get that butter nice and fluffy. The rest of the cake assembles super-fast, so take your time with this step (only).
The most wonderful thing about the artisan cake is that it needs no layering, frosting or any of that faff. A sprinkle of powdered sugar on the top and you’ve got a mouth-watering treat, especially if you serve it still warm from the oven. A dollop of whipped cream takes it over the top, you should go for it. And a nice cup of tea.
Sometimes I don’t want a whole cake sitting around our household of 2 — I’ll end up eating the whole thing. So I third the recipe and use a small cake pan. It fits in the toaster oven, so I just bake in there. And then my little cutie has a super-cute after school treat! (With a small slice for me, done and done.)
My Mom’s Apple Cake
makes one 8-inch cake
1 stick butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup almond flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 your favorite apples, cored and sliced into 8ths
a sprinkling of sliced almonds (or walnuts), if desired
Preheat the oven to 350°F & line an 8-inch cake pan bottom with parchment.
Cream together the butter and sugar using a stand mixer or eggbeaters, until the butter is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Mix together the flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and cinnamon. Crack the eggs into a small bowl or jug and lightly beat.
Add the egg mixture and the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar in 2 stages: first, add about half the eggs and mix until incorporated, then half of the flour and mix. Repeat.
Put the cake batter into the prepared pan, and top with sliced apples. The batter will rise and spread, “nesting” the apples in the cake. Scatter the top with nuts and pop in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the top is nicely browned and the edges are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Allow the cake to cool (even just slightly!) before serving with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream, sweetened with vanilla bean paste, powdered sugar and a splash of booze (either cognac, brandy, whiskey — all work a charm).
Chop Chop! No need to turn on the heat to pack in the flavor. These healthy, wonderful salads are no sweat in the kitchen. Perfect as a main course or side-dish.
Mix it up & get some new inspiration for healthy eating! This class has great knife skills, so you’ll learn fabulous technique!
Yin-Yang carrot & beet salad
Hearty warm garbanzo salad
Zucchini & quinoa salad with mint & pine nuts
Saffron couscous & roasted vegetable salad with Hipcooks Romesco
Whether you’re staying home or packing it up. The base is a gluten-free walnut cake, airy and luscious. The filling is good ol’ berries and cream. Fast, easy to make, & fun!
Cool down & chill out this season with backyard eating! What’s better than a signature cocktail & nibbles to match? In this class, mixologists take you through fun infused cocktails, and Hipcooks teachers will wow you with the bites.
Cocktails 3: Get Infused! Wednesday, July 18, 6pm – 9pm
Endive boats stuffed with fennel, orange, & olive salad
Goat cheese & avocado wontons with cilantro-infused aioli
Fig bruschetta with prosciutto & mascarpone
Puff pastry tart with heirloom tomatoes & basil oil
Cucumber cups with Gazpacho
Basil & pine nut-stuffed mushrooms
Gorgonzola & walnut shortbread
Basil-strawberry Prosecco Smash
The Sage Rush
The Garden Party
Waverly Place Echo
HOW TO EAT DELICIOUSLY WITHOUT TURNING ON THE STOVE
Create (& eat!) fabulous Sushi & Japanese izakaya-style bites.
Hipcooks Dreams of Sushi
Friday, July 29, 6pm – 9pm
THE GLOBAL SUPPER CLUB IS BACK!
Hipcooks West LA
This time, for a delightful evening of all things French, oui oui!
Pick your charity! Email us, & we’ll get started. We’ll suggest a Class Menu perfect for your group & find a date/time.
Choose your “ticket price.” All proceeds above the Hipcooks base fee are donated. Hipcooks will kick in a Gift Certificate for 2 (You can auction it off, at the event or later.)
Hipcooks will create a tailor-made invite (that you can email), & we will post to our Event Page (so that you can share easily on social media.) Invite your friends, colleges… anyone to support the cause. Fill the class & we’re cookin’ for cash!
If it’s too hot to cook outside, host a Tapas Party inside! Here’s a sexy menu for an unforgettable party. If you haven’t taken this class yet…you must! Más Tapas, por favor is also perfect as a Private Class – bring your officemates for a team builder. There’s something for everyone!
Spicy & crispy garbanzos
Patatas bravas with orange saffron aioli
Ceviche & mango salsa on mini tostadas
Jamon y queso empanadas
Stuffed piquillo peppers with quinoa and Manchego cheese
Filling: 8-10 medium Pears, thinly sliced (¼-inch or so)
½ cup White wine
Glaze: ½ cup good quality Apple or apricot jelly ½ cup White wineFresh Thyme leaves, 2 tablespoons
Pastry: Combine all the dry ingredients in your Cuisinart and pulse a few times to combine. Add ice-cold butter pieces and use quick pulses to combine until the butter is into pea-sized pieces and coated with flour. Combine water and lemon juice and drizzle 3 tablespoons of liquid over flour mixture. Pulse a few times to incorporate into the dough.
Squeeze a small handful: if it doesn’t hold together, add more cold liquid- 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until just incorporated, then test again. Do not overwork mixture or the pastry will be tough. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface. Start to press, turn and fold the dough until you have a just cohesive dough that doesn’t fall apart. You don’t want to over mix, but you do need to get the fat nicely distributed and the moisture incorporated throughout – this way the dough will stay together when you’re ready to roll it out.
Gather the dough together and press it into a disk. Wrap well in plastic and chill until firm, at least 1 hour and up to a day. To keep the dough for more than a day, wrap really well and store in the fridge. It will keep there for up to three months.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring the dough out of the fridge and let sit for a few minutes to make it easier to roll out.
Dust the counter with a light coating of flour. Unwrap the dough. With a rolling pin, soften the dough by hitting it gently, but firmly with the rolling pin. This just makes the dough easier to roll out.
Roll out the dough by working from the center and pressing out, turning the dough a ¼ turn with each press – this helps produce an even thickness and shape. Add more flour as needed – the pastry will only absorb what it needs. Roll until the dough is about ¼ inch thick and about 16 inches around – just eyeball it, no need to measure – this is a rustic galette after all!
Once the dough is shaped, roll it up over the rolling pin and transfer it off the pin by unrolling it right onto the baking sheet. Arrange sliced pears on to. Leave about a 2-inch border all around to create an edge. Fold the edges over and brush with some of the soaking liquid from the apples. Pop the galette into the pre-heated oven.
Glaze: While the galette is baking, prepare a nice glaze to finish it. Combine jelly, white wine and fresh thyme leaves in a skillet over medium heat. Dissolve the jelly and cook until the alcohol is burned off and the texture is like a thin syrup.
When the galette is finished, brush the fruit with the warm glaze for a glossy, aromatic finish.
Serve warm with vanilla bean whipped cream, lemon-zested crème fraîche, or ice cream. The galette is also awesome at room temperature if you can wait that long.
SHOP FOR MOM. OUR SPRING CALENDARS HAVE LOTS OF OPTIONS!
Spring flowers and Mother’s Day are popping up soon! Do we have Brunch for You! These weekend late-morning classes are a rare treat at Hipcooks. Bring your mom, your friends, or just yourself & learn to throw a delightful brunch party…because who doesn’t love Brunch?
A Bountiful Brunch
Chèvre-stuffed grapes with pistachio
Poached eggs wrapped in ham with mushrooms & hollandaise
Smoked salmon potato pancakes with lemon crème fraîche
Hazelnut, lemon and ricotta cake
Monika and the Hipcooks crew will host a fabulous pairing of food and art at the Artwalk at Hipcooks East LA.
Never been? It is one of those worthwhile events to check out in LA. Check out hundreds of artist lofts, schmooze with fun people, and see what the Brewery is all about. The Hipcooks space is always hoppin’.
For our menu we’ll forage like a coyote, making dishes with Fiddlehead ferns, chanterelle mushrooms, chive blossoms, dandelion flowers, pine pollen, & fallen fruit. Pop in, say hello, and have a sample!
You don’t need to have a green thumb – but you do need to have a green diet! Incorporate as much green as you can… it pays to be green. This salad helps you mix it up!
8 celery spears, peeled of excess fibrous threads and finely chopped on the bias
Handful of dates, chopped
Handful of Italian parsley, chopped
Shaved parmesan to garnish (optional)
The Hipcooks Holy Trinity: olive oil (extra virgin, first cold pressed, lemon (organic), salt (Maldon’s flake salt ) – to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, toss together and garnish with parmesan and freshly cracked pepper.
Clean green energy! This gluten-free pasta is packed with raw green power. Eat it and you’ll be springing around like a leprechaun.
4 small zucchini
2 handfuls basil (leaves removed from stems)
1 garlic clove
pinch sea salt
juice of 1 lemon
¾ cup olive oil
a handful of pine nuts, toasted
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
Use a spiralizer to make zucchini linguine. Sprinkle lightly with salt, and place in a colander over the sink to drain for about 20 minutes. Rinse, and then set aside.
Make this lemony pesto in the blender, using the basil, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Taste and season with salt. Mix the pesto with the pasta (hands are best). Serve adorned with cherry tomatoes and pine nuts.
Give the Green light to our next Global Supper Club: Persian New Year and the 1001 Nights. Sign up for Woodland Hills here