Smoked Banana Bread so much flavor beyond the regular recipe

Smoked Banana Bread so much flavor beyond the regular recipe

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Let’s make Smoked Banana Bread

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smoking banana bites (combining smoked bananas with chocolate and crushed nuts)

Smoking banana bites (combining smoked bananas with chocolate and crushed nuts)

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If you joined us for our series on  a smoking banana , now it’s time to learn just what you can do with this flavorful fruit.  This recipe for Smoked Banana Double Bites makes for a perfect snack, kid loving dessert, or even a sweet party item.  Gather together the following:

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Our homemade Smoked Bacon Ice Cream is absolutely delicious!

Our homemade Smoked Bacon Ice Cream is absolutely delicious!

You must try Smoked Bacon Ice Cream from Dr. Smoke Click To Tweet

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Smoked Bacon Ice Cream

As promised, we have a bacon ice cream recipe that will have you craving this as your new favorite flavor.  To complete this recipe, be sure to visit our posting on making your own smoked bacon which by itself, is super easy using the grill of your choice.

Then save just 1-1/2 cups of the bacon for the ice cream recipe and enjoy the rest in recipes or just crisped up.  Though I warn you, you’ll want to reserve more for making additional ice cream.  This creamy, salty flavor with just a hint of rum that will remind you of praline or brittle.   Get out your ice cream maker – you’ll need at least a quart size one –  and your smoked bacon and let’s make the most memorable ice cream flavor ever.

Make the Creamy Base

After smoking the 3-pound pork belly, I reserve about 6 slices and dice the bacon to produce 1-1/2 cups of micro cubes.  Here’s where you can decide how you want the final ice cream to be.  If you prefer a less sweet version, then be sure to crisp up the bacon slices before dicing and these will be added as is to the finish ice cream as it comes out of the ice cream maker.  If you want a sweeter, more praline type of finish, then you’ll proceed to our directive on making the sugar caramel base that the diced bacon will be added to.

Measuring out the cream for the recipe

#cream

First, we need an ice cream base so collect salted butter, vanilla, dark brown sugar and dark rum.  To start, melt 3 tablespoons of salted butter in a heavy saucepan.  Add ¾ cup dark brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and ¼ cup dark rum stirring for about 2 minutes to combine.  Whisk in 3 cups of cold, heavy whipping cream to the mixture and bring to a simmer.  Remove from the heat.  Get 6 large egg yolks separated into a bowl as we will begin the tempering process of the eggs to produce a rich ice cream base.

Bringing up the mixture to thickness for our smoked bacon ice cream

#eggs

With the 6 egg yolks placed in a bowl, begin whisking them until pale yellow in color.  Tempering eggs means you are slowly adding a hot liquid to eggs in a slow stream and constantly whisking in order to prevent the eggs from scrambling.  I prefer to pour the hot cream mixture from the saucepan to a large measuring cup in order to have a spout for controlling the amount of liquid added to the whisked eggs.  Once the cream mixture is completely added to the egg yolks, place the combination back into a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.  You’ll know it is ready when the mixture coats the spatula and you can run your finger thru the coated cream and it doesn’t run back.  Remove from the heat.

Straining the mixture

#strainer

Once the egg-cream mixture has been thickened and removed from the heat, it’s time to remove any solids.  Start by getting a large bowl full of ice and a second smaller bowl to place on top of the ice bowl.  Using a sieve, pour the egg-cream mixture into the sieve that has been placed over the smaller bowl.  I like to pour the egg-cream mixture from the saucepan to a spouted pitcher to make accuracy of the pour.  Once the mixture has passed through the sieve, you’ll see some solids collected.  Those can be discarded.   Refrigerate this mixture for a least 2 hours.  We’re now ready to start working on the bacon filling.

Sweet or Savory Filling

Here’s the point in our recipe where you need to make a decision.  If you want a sweeter smoked bacon ice cream, then proceed with this step to make a bacon praline.  If you prefer a more subtle sweetness, then simply crisp up your bacon before dicing and that can be added as is to the ice cream maker.

Our Praline with smoked bacon added for the Smoked Bacon Ice Cream

#praline #baconpraline

For the praline, start by lining a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.  Place 1 cup of granulated sugar in a heavy saucepan and pour ¼ cup of water over the sugar – do not stir!  Turn the heat to medium-low and bring the sugar-water mixture to a boil.  Continue to boil the mixture until it turns amber in color which takes about 15 minutes.  Add the 1-1/2 cups of diced smoked bacon and stir quickly.  Remove from the heat and pour the mixture onto the parchment-lined sheet pan to cool.  Be sure to smooth the mixture into a thin layer.  Once set, break the praline into large chunks, then process in a food processor until coarse crumbs result.

While you were making that luscious bacon praline, our ice cream base was cooling in the refrigerator getting ready for the ice cream maker.  You’ll need a least a quart size ice cream maker for the finish to our recipe.  This is where you follow the directions for your specific ice cream maker.

Pouring the ice cream mixture into the ice cream maker!

#icecreammixture

While the ice cream maker is running, pour in the cooled ice cream into the maker.  My maker takes 25 minutes to produce the ice cream consistency.  Just a few minutes before the ice cream is ready, I add the smoked bacon praline or if your using only the bacon, the diced smoked bacon pieces.  Just mix for a few turns then turn off the maker and immediately pour the mixture into a freezer safe container.   Place the container into the freezer preferable overnight before scooping out and enjoying this creamy, salty combination.  Remember, this only becomes the best smoked bacon ice cream when you make your own smoked bacon.

Our mixture in the ice cream maker

#icecream #icecreammaker

A creamy, rich ice cream with a twist you’ll find becomes a favorite flavor fast.

What’s your favorite recipe featuring homemade smoked bacon?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

#doublefilet

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to Smoked Bacon Ice Cream and how to make your own Bacon using our cast iron pan on a gas grill- try these recipes

More recipes you might enjoy:

-UPSIDE DOWN CAKE WITH SMOKED PEACHES

-A RHUBARB FOOL THAT PREFERS SWEET AND SMOKEY

-SEASONAL SMOKEY BAKED APPLES WITH SWEET STUFFING

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

Dr. Smoke- yes Smoked Bacon Ice Cream is a perfect combination.

Dr. Smoke- yes Smoked Bacon Ice Cream is a perfect combination.

 

Our Finished grilled hot cross buns!

Our Finished grilled hot cross buns!

Hot cross buns cooked on the Grill! Click To Tweet

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I know – hot cross buns are traditionally enjoyed during lent and holy Easter weekend.  The basic recipe dates to the 12th century and is known as a sweet dough ball.  Did you know that pretty much any recipe can be made on a grill or smoker, including hot cross buns?

I’m going to take a traditional hot cross bun recipe and make it using the grill with wood chunks for added flavor and the cooking.  Don’t worry that this is a recipe that involves yeast.  You don’t have to know everything about bread making to make this recipe work.  You can add the dried fruit of your choice to customize the flavors as well as selecting the hardwood you like best.

Let’s get started so you can enjoy the SmokinLicious® version of Hot Cross Buns Wood Fired any time of year!

Yeast Makes Dough

our covered yeast and flour mixture wrap to rise

#activedryyeast

These buns start with yeast blooming.  We are using active-dry yeast in our dough which means it must be re-activated in water. Start by pouring water that is between 105° and 155°F into a large bowl and sprinkle 2-1/4 teaspoons of active-dry yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar over the water.  Stir the mixture to dissolve the ingredients and let stand until foamy which will take about 10 minutes.  Then add ½ cup sugar minus 1 tablespoon, 1 cup of warm milk, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ cup of softened butter.  Mix well then add 3 cups of all-purpose flour.  Beat with the paddle attachment of a mixer until smooth and elastic.

After beating the initial dry ingredients, it’s time to add the eggs.  Do this step by adding one egg at a time for a total of 3 eggs.  Once the eggs are mixed in, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cup of dried fruit of your choice such as currants, raisins, chopped apricots, and/or candied citrus.  I’m including currants in my dough.  Once mixed well, add 3 cups of additional flour ½ cup at a time, until a soft dough emerges.  Next, it will be time to turn the dough out on a work surface.

Tasting Notes:

These are traditionally a drier sweet dough.  That means you want to use dry fruit items in order to prevent the dough from becoming too moist.  Feel free to expand on the options for the fruit and use combinations that are pleasing to your palate.

Patience Is Key

slicing our dough into smaller amounts

#portioningdough

After adding all the ingredients to our hot cross bun dough, it’s time to turn the dough out and begin to proof also known as rising of the dough.  Start by turning the mixed dough out on a lightly floured work surface.  Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, then form into a circle.  Grease a large bowl and place the rounded dough into the greased bowl, turning the dough once to ensure it is coated with the grease on all sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until double in volume.  This will take about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Once the dough has proofed and doubled in size, it’s time to punch it down.  This is a step that releases some of the gas bubbles that have formed by the yeast during the rising time.  Once the dough has the gas released, cover it with a bowl on a dry surface and let stand for 10 minutes.  After that time, divide the dough in half and then quarters.  For each quarter, cut into six equal pieces.  Roll each dough portion into a ball and place on a greased sheet pan, spacing 1-1/2 inches apart.  This is a good time to start the grill by lighting only half the burners and placing a smoker box with wood chunks on the hot side.  We’ll be aiming for a grill temperature of 375°F.

Grill-Baking with Hardwood

Our sheet pan of dough on the grill with wood flavor

#gasgrill #woodchunks

With our grill lit using a two-zone cooking method and wood chunks of maple, white oak, and cherry in the smoker box on the hot side of the grill, it’s time to finish off the hot cross bun dough.  After spacing the dough balls on a sheet pan, I allowed them to rise for about 30 minutes.  Using the white of one large egg and a teaspoon of water mixed together, I brush each of the 24 dough balls with the egg wash.  Using a small, sharp knife, cut a cross in the top of each roll no more than ½ inch deep.  Place one sheet pan of rolls on the unlit side of the grill and cook until golden brown which takes about 25-30 minutes.  I like to rotate my sheet pan ½ way through the cooking time for more even coloring to the rolls.  When finished, transfer the grilled rolls to cooling racks.

Chef Bert and Tom planning dessert Chef Bert & Tom are excited to make hot cross buns on the grill! Chef Bert follows SmokinLicious' blogs for all things grilled and smoked

Tasting Notes:

I’m using a ½ sheet pan for my cooking but note that standard cookie sheets will work well.  If using the ½ sheet pan, your grill area may not be large enough to accommodate the pan while closing the lid completely.  I simply grill with the lid partially open, adjust my temperature control knobs to ensure the 375°F remains stable.

While the buns are cooking on the grill, you can prepare the icing that will go on top of the finish buns.  Start by mixing together 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and 1-1/2 tablespoons of milk.  You can adjust the thickness of the finished icing by adding drops of milk if you want it thinner.  Just be sure that when you add this to a pastry bag, you will be able to push it out in a steady stream and don’t find that it pours out on its own.

Tasting Notes:

Here’s my tip for filling a pastry bag.  Tip-I like to use the disposable bags for icings. Click To Tweet I simply roll down the bag about half-way to form a cuff.  I place the pointed side of the pastry bag into the opening of a roll of paper towels.  This allows me to scrap every bit of icing from the bowl without worrying about the pastry bag.  I leave the filled pastry bag in the roll until the buns are cool enough for applying the icing.

The Perfect Sweet Dough Treat with a Kick of Wood Flavor

basket of our hot cross buns

#hotcrossbuns

After making our hot cross bun dough from scratch, allowing the dough to proof, then dividing into our individual buns.  We baked these on the gas grill set up two-zone method: a hot side that we added three hardwood chunks to using a smoker box on the grill grate.  The buns were placed on the unlit side of the grill and baked at 375°F for approximately 30 minutes, rotating the pan just one time.  Once cooled, we added lemon icing crosses to each bun.  We do this by working with twelve buns at a time, lining them up on the sheet pan tightly to each other.  Using the pastry bag of icing, I place a steady stream of icing vertically on each bun, then do the same horizontally for each row, forming a cross.  Allow the icing to set and then serve.

Although hot cross buns are associated with a specific time of the year, SmokinLicious® feels these are a sweet dough treat to be enjoyed any time of the year.  And, they are best when made on outdoor equipment that can include natural hardwood for unbelievable flavor.

Tasting Notes: 

If served warm, you’ll pick up more of the wood smoke flavoring Click To Tweet these buns were exposed to on the grill.  Adding a bit of butter makes them even sweeter!

What’s your favorite dried fruit to add to hot cross buns?  Comment to let us know.   Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

Can you use a grill to bake?

You certainly can!  Anything baked in an oven can be baked on a grill.  Any kind of grill, gas, charcoal or electric can be used. Have fun with the versatility of your grill by baking cakes, pies, turn-overs, muffins and hot cross buns.

To kick up the flavor threshold, including a bit of cooking wood will complement grill baking and give you and your guests a splendid hardwood-fired taste!  Be sure to follow the temperature instructions of the recipe.

Also, use the indirect or two-zone cooking method.  Here’s a link for two-zone instructions- https://www.smokinlicious.com/blog/why-two-zone-cooking-method-lets-you-walk-away-from-the-grill/.

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to- how to bake on the grill.

More recipes similar to Hot Cross Buns:

-BEST GINGERBREAD MEETS THE GRILL

-SMOKED RICOTTA-CINNAMON PASTRY HORN

-LOVE PUFFS OF PLEASURE WITH SMOKED CHOCOLATE

 

Dr. Smoke

Dr. Smoke-  the grill is perfect for cooking Hot Cross Buns

Bocados de plátano ahumado acabado (combinando plátanos ahumados con chocolate y almendras trituradas)

Bocados de plátano ahumado acabado (combinando plátanos ahumados con chocolate y almendras trituradas)

Pruebe bocados de plátano ahumado Click To Tweet

Bocados de plátano ahumado

Si se unió a nosotros para nuestra serie sobre el ahumar plátano, ahora es el momento de aprender lo que puede hacer con esta fruta sabrosa. Esta receta de bocados de plátano ahumado es un aperitivo perfecto, postre favorito de los niños, o aun un postre de fiesta. Necesita:

 

  • 6 onzas de chocolate semi dulce
  • 1/4 de taza de coco rallado, lo más fino, lo mejor
  • 4 onzas de almendras cortadas, trituradas
  • 2 cucharadas de mantequilla
  • 4-5 plátanos ahumados(ver nuestra serie anterior sobre este proceso si se loperdió)

 

También necesitará una cacerola para fundir el chocolate o un tazón seguro para microondas, palitos o algo similar para insertar en los segmentos de plátano, y una pequeña espátula de pastel para esparcir el chocolate. También mantendría a mano un poco de agua caliente encaso de que el chocolate se endurezca. Si es oocurre, simplemente agregue 1 cucharadita de agua caliente a la vez, mezclando bien, hasta que restaure la consistencia suave.

 

Preparando:

Es muy importante que prepare los otros ingredientes antes de derretirse el chocolate como quieras para evitar que el chocolate se endurezca. Tome sus 4 onzas de almendras cortadas y agréguelas a una bolsa. Puede utilizar un mazo de cocina o un rodillo, lo que es más fácil para usted. ¡Asegúrese de machacar las almendras – no hacer polvo de almendras ni harina! A continuación, prepare una bandeja de hoja con papel de cera y prepare sus palitos para juntar los bocados de plátano ahumado. Nombré esta receta por las pequeñas explosiones de sabor que ellos dan en solo un bocado.

 

Derretir el chocolate para bocados de plátano ahumado:

Una vez que los otros ingredientes están listos y su bandeja de hoja con papel de cera está lista, es la hora de derretir el chocolate semidulce. Puede hacer esto en unas pocas maneras. En una caldera doble, que es el método preferido, en una cacerola a baja temperatura, o en un microondas. Su elección-sólo asegúrese de obtener una consistencia que no es demasiado delgada ni gruesa por lo que el plátano se recubrirá fácilmente. Agrego 2 cucharadas de mantequilla al chocolate para producir un resultado brillante. Derretir hasta que quede suave teniendo cuidado de no ir más allá de esa etapa, pues el chocolate se endurecerá. Si va demasiado lejos, simplemente agrega 1 cucharadita de agua caliente a la mezcla para recuperarla.

 

 Ensamblando de los bocados:

¡Con el chocolate derretido ahora estamos listos para el montaje de nuestros bocados de plátano ahumado! Tomando su palito, inserte en el centro de un segmento de plátano. Recuerda, había cortado mis plátanos en segmentos de 2 pulgadas cuando hice el proceso de ahumar. Ahora mojarse en el chocolate y comienza a difundir en una capa uniforme usando una pequeña espátula de pastel. Sólo tiene que conseguir la parte superior y los lados recubiertos para que puedan rodar en los siguientes dos ingredientes.Una vez más, si su chocolate debe endurecerse, simplemente agregue 1 cucharadita de agua caliente para traerlo de vuelta.

 

Con nuestro segmento de plátano cubierto en chocolate, ahora estamos listos para “el rollo”. Primero coloca un poco de almendra triturada en un pedazo de papel de cera. A continuación, enrollar el plátano cubierto de chocolate en las almendras teniendo cuidado de n opresionar hacia abajo.Sólo deja que las almendras se peguen por su cuenta.A continuación, el coco rallado.Usted puede poner el coco en una hoja de cera, así o dejar en un recipiente pequeño que puede acomodar el tamaño de su plátano.Deje que el coco llene todos los espacios entre las almendras y luego se acoste en una bandeja cubierta con papel de cera. Estos tendrán que endurecerse un poco en el refrigerador.

Esta fácil pero deliciosa receta combina bocados de plátanos ahumados con chocolate y almendras trituradas

Esta fácil pero deliciosa receta combina bocados de plátanos ahumados con chocolate y almendras trituradas

El final sabroso:

Pues ¡el final! Después del ahumado nuestros plátanos usando astillas de madera Minuto de SmokinLicious®, les dimos un baño en delicioso chocolate negro. A continuación, el rollo – en almendra triturada y coco rallado – 2 maridajes de sabor fantástico para el plátano. Luego, a la bandeja cubierta con papel de cera para configurar todo en el refrigerador. Sólo necesitas unos 45 minutos y luego están listos para una fiesta, o para un aperitivo o ese gran postre. Da su propio toque a esta receta, cambiando el chocolate negro por el blanco, las almendras por el pistacho o los piñones. Usa tintes pastel para el coco o el chocolate blanco para un gran postre de Pascua, tintes verdes y rojos para Navidad, y azul para Janucá. Haz que esta gran receta sea suya. Incluso puede hacer plátanos enteros, configurarlos y luego cortarlos en rodajas y colocarles encima de helado o pastel de libra con un poco de crema fresca.

 

El equipo culinario quiere que usted sepa …

… que se puede añadir un buen toque ahumado a casi cualquier fruta fácilmente mediante el uso de cualquier dispositivo de ahumar alimentos de mano. Hemos descubierto que las frutas con una consistencia más densa y semi porosa como los plátanos, duraznos o fresas funcionan muy bien al aceptar vapor de humo de madera y conservar un sabor excelente ahumado. ¡Adelante y dales a sus postres navideños favoritos a base de frutas un toque de riqueza ahumada! ¡No se decepcionará!

Dr. Smoke- "¡Pruebe nuestra bocados de plátano ahumado sabrosos!"

Dr. Smoke- “¡Pruebe nuestra bocados de plátano ahumado sabrosos!”

Para mas lecturas, pruebe nuestra crostini con espárrago ahumado

Para mas lecturas, pruebe nuestra crostini con espárrago ahumado

 

Our Hearts of pleasure are filled with great Smoked chocolate! You or your favorite person must try Smoked Chocolate!

Our Hearts of pleasure are filled with great Smoked chocolate! You or your favorite person must try Smoked Chocolate!

Imagine a puffed pastry filled with Smoked Chocolate and Nuts! Click To Tweet

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Sometimes you need a special dessert or treat for that occasion that you want to express your love or appreciation.  An anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day, or even as a thank you gesture.  I have the perfect treat that is simple to make and allows you to customize the ingredients to fit the preferences of the recipient.  I’ll give you my version of the Heart Puffs of Pleasure but know too, you can change the shape of this treat to any cookie cutter shape you find adorable to use.  It all starts with adding a bit of smoky flavor to some of the filling ingredients so let’s start there.

DIY Stove Top Smoker

I’m using my DIY stove top smoker technique which uses a standard stock pot and a round roasting rack for the smoking.  You can visit our previous posting on this technique on our Tips & Techniques Blog.

Our stove top smoker is a simple stock pot with wood chips in the bottom and rack on top

#stovetopsmoker

I placed Sugar Maple Minuto® Wood Chips in the base and will smoke 2 of my filling ingredients: milk and dark chocolate and peanut and cashew pieces.  I’m also including shredded coconut in my filling but I’ll just do a light toasting of this in the oven.

Before smoking, I break up the large chocolate bars to allow for easier smoke infusion and place in heat tolerant containers.  The nuts will be smoked first since I’m using a hot smoking technique for them, then I’ll remove the pot from the heat and put the chocolate pieces in to infuse with the remaining smoke vapor.  It’s important that you quickly remove the nut container and reseal the pot in order to keep the smoke vapor generating.  If needed, keep the pot on the burner for a few minutes after the nuts have been removed.  Then take off the heat, allow the pot to cool slightly, then add the chocolate pieces container.

Tasting Notes: Although you can select any ingredients you want for your stuffed puff pastry design, be sure you understand which ingredients are appropriate for hot smoking and which would require cold smoke application.  Remember, items that traditionally melt with heat will melt from any temperature above 80°F.

Cookie Cutter for Easy Design

our heart shaped cookie cutters, you can do any design

#cookiecutter

Here’s the fun part of this treat!  Selecting the design shapes you want to encase your great fillings in.  I’ve decided to do heart shapes in two sizes: a 4-inch and 3-inch heart using cookie cutters.

Using store bought puff pastry sheets, I thaw according to the package directions and then lay one sheet out on a board.  I place my cookie cutters on the pastry sheet spacing accordingly so I end up with four hearts per sheet.  Remember, you will need a top and bottom pastry heart for each treat.  I’m using a total of four pastry sheets which will provide me with three large finished hearts and six smaller.  Simply cutout the heart shapes and place on a parchment lined sheet pan.  Keep the pastry cold until you are ready to fill them, with a damp cloth placed over the hearts to keep the pastry from drying out.

 

all the goodies inside, smoked chocolate and nuts!

#smokedchocolate #smokednuts #stuffedpuffpastry

Ready to Fill!

With our filling choices smoked, it’s time to start assembling the pastry hearts.  Start by placing three pieces of smoked chocolate on a pastry heart followed by the other fillings.  In my case, that’s a spoonful of smoked nut pieces and toasted coconut.  Place a second pastry heart over the first and pinch the edges together.  I secure the edges in place by using the tines of a small fork which also adds a decorative edge.  Then egg wash your finished pastry heart.  Continue with the other pastry cutouts until complete, noting that the smaller hearts will take just two pieces of smoked chocolate.  Do not allow the fillings to go to the pastry edges.

Once all the puff pastry hearts as filled, sealed, and egg washed, it’s time to place the prepared sheet pans into a 375°F oven.  These will take between 15-18 minutes to become golden brown and “puffed”.  It’s important that you check the bottom of the pastry hearts to ensure they are golden as well so there are no raw dough segments.  Once baked, remove from the oven and place on cooling racks.  These must be cooled completely through before attempting to ice.

 Dessert Means Icing

While the pastry hearts are baking, you can make icing to drizzle over the tops.  Be sure you cool the hearts completely before icing otherwise you’ll end up with a thin, melted icing.

To make the icing, combine powdered sugar with milk or cream.  I take about 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar to 1 tablespoon of milk or cream and mix well.  I like a consistency that is the thickness of gravy so I can control the drizzle on my finished pastry.

For coloring, I like to use gel food colorings which require much less coloring and have a greater variety of colors available.  I decided to use violet, pink, and red though my red was more of a deep pink as I used such a small amount.  When the pastry is completely cool, I use a spoon to drizzle the colored icing over the top of each heart.  Allow to dry for about 10 minutes and you’re ready to serve.

finished stuffed pastry will icing added

#puffpastry #mothersday #Valentines_day

Here’s the best part about our puff pastry hearts.  They can hold any fillings you can think of.  Whether sweet, savory, spicy or other, you can make these with all types of ingredients.  And the pastry can be cut into any shape and size. Consider the person you’re making them for, the special event or occasion, and then have fun customizing them.   Even with the stove top smoking components, these can easily be made in under two hours.  Try our technique and create a truly unique and flavorful result that will be appreciated by the recipient!

Chef Bert teaching Tom how to make smoked chocolate dessert.

“Smoked chocolate”- I can have that everyday!

What’s your favorite filling to use in a stuffed puff pastry?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

Smokinlicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chips- Minuto®

For more reading related to smoked Chocolate and other great recipe ideas!

For more reading related to smoked Chocolate and other great recipe ideas!

More recipes you may like:

-SMOKED RICOTTA-CINNAMON PASTRY HORN

-SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

 

Dr. Smoke-Dr. Smoke- I Love the taste of Smoked Chocolate! Try these puff pleasures for your favorite person or just for yourself!

Dr. Smoke- I Love the taste of Smoked Chocolate! Try these puff pleasures for your favorite person or just for yourself!

 

Ember Fired Eggplant on the rack cooking above a bed of hot coals. This technique provides the heat for cooking and the aroma of the wood smoke

Ember Fired Eggplant on the rack cooking above a bed of hot coals. This technique provides the heat for cooking and the aroma of the wood smoke

EMBER FIRED EGGPLANT WITH FETA TARTS Click To Tweet

You’ve heard me mention before how great it is to ember or coal fire certain foods, with a good majority of those items falling in the fruit category.  One of the best fruits to use this technique with is eggplant.

Not of Nutritional Value

we selected two nice and plump eggplants for our ember cooking Eggplant, also called aubergine, is part of a flowering plant grown for its edible fruit.  This is a thick-skinned fruit that has a meaty quality to its flesh.  In fact, it can make for a filling meal.  Eggplant contains a lot of water – 92% to be specific!  It is not known to be a contributor for daily nutritional intake.  Despite all that, Eggplant remains a favorite ingredient to cook with.

Nestling is Key

When cooking in the coals, it is best to use medium sized eggplant.  It doesn’t matter what variety you select, the technique for cooking in the coals will remain the same.

Starting the fire

First, you need to start with a good wood fire, using clean hardwood.  In order to do this technique successfully, you need to ensure that there are no flames left in the fire, just hot coals.  You’ll know the coals are ready for the cooking when they are completely grayed over.  If your grilling area is large enough, you can stage a couple of burning wood pieces to provide additional heat to the area.  Just don’t cook directly in those flames.

preparing the hot coals for the eggplant. you want these to burn down leaving only the heat and no flame to burn the eggplant. Ember cooking is only over hot coals.When the coals are ready, make sure the embers are in an even layer and then place the eggplants side by side in the embers.  I like to use a fine screen in the bottom of my charcoal area to aide in heat retention.  Now, leave these untouched for about 10 minutes.  After that time, you can turn the eggplant to ensure all sides get evenly charred.  If you make a large enough fire, you can bury the eggplant completely in the hot coals and not have to do any turning.  That technique will require about 30 minutes of cooking time.

Chef Bert teaches Neighbor Tom about ember cooking

#chefbertandtom

Blackened, Charred Skin Makes It Ready

Once the Ember Fired Eggplant has tenderized in the coals, it’s time to carefully remove it. Cool the eggplant, so it won’t burn and can be handled.  Then, slice each eggplant open from end to end, and gently scoop out the flesh.  Be sure to leave all the charred skin behind.  If you’re ready to use this in a recipe, then no need to do anything more to the eggplant.  If you plan on using it later, you must prevent the eggplant flesh from turning dark by incorporating 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and enough water to cover the flesh.  When finished, it’s best to store the Ember Fired Eggplant in a glass jar, bowl, or other container.

6 Needed Ingredients

To make the Ember Fired Eggplant with Feta Tarts, you’ll need a muffin pan and the following food ingredients:

  • Flesh from 1 medium size coal-fired eggplant
  • ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped pistachios, plus 2 tablespoons for topping the tarts
  • ground coriander about ¼ teaspoon
  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 5 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • Extra virgin olive oil for brushing dough and preparing muffin pan

Wood Flavored Eggplant Mixture

removing any char from the fire and then chopping up the eggplant to be added as the tart fillingRoughly chop the wood fired eggplant.  Then transfer to a medium bowl and add feta, 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios, coriander, red-pepper flakes, and mint.  Season with salt and fresh ground pepper and stir gently to combine.

Making the Tarts

Lightly oil the muffin pan cups.  Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a board and lightly brush with oil.  Stack 4 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with oil.  Cut the stacked sheets into 6 equal squares.  Carefully, pick up each square and place in a muffin cup, gently pressing in place.  Fill each dough cup with about ¼ cup of eggplant mixture.  Gently fold over the corners of the dough to enclose the filling as a tart.  Brush tops with oil and sprinkle with crushed pistachios.  Then Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

showcasing the finished product! Our ember roasted eggplant within the feta tart- yummy

 

 

 

 

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What can I roast over a fire?

Just about any fruit or vegetable can be roasted over a fire.  Vegetables and fruits with a dense, husky outer skin do very well when grilled with gas, charcoal and wood fuels.  Eggplant is ideal for roasting over an open fire or directly on hot embers (ember cooking).

Additional reading:

-EMBER FIRED ZUCCHINI & RICOTTA GALETTE

-SUCCULANT WOOD FIRED STUFFED TOMATO WITH HERB RICE

TOP 10 VEGETABLES TO COOK IN HOT EMBERS

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Our wonderful Single Filet wood chunks are featured in this ember fired eggplant recipe

#woodchunks

Wood Chunks- Single Filet

Dr Smoke- "Try this because it's a really tasty appetizer and easy to make."

Dr Smoke- “Try this because it’s a really tasty appetizer and easy to make.”

Our Cast Iron pan on the gas grill with double filet wood chunks flavoring our smoked peaches into the upside down cake!

Our Cast Iron pan on the gas grill with double filet wood chunks flavoring our smoked peaches into the upside down cake!

Smoked peach upside down cake! Click To Tweet

Listen to our blog

Hopefully, you enjoyed our previous segment on adding smoke flavor to seasonal peaches.  We sure have had fun providing you with different techniques to add the natural flavor of wood. Now is the fun part where you take those smoked fruit pieces and turn them into something great.

I’m going to introduce you to a super flavorful and balanced peach cake done in the style of the traditional pineapple upside down cake – only with peaches!  For this recipe you’ll need three peaches but don’t waste the perfect time to do some extras so you can make all our great smoked peach recipes.

 Skillet Cooking

Our cast Iron pan on the grill

#castiron

Be sure you follow our posting on how to smoke peaches on a grill with wood or on a traditional smoker.  Our cake recipe starts with 3 tablespoons of butter.  Melt the butter and coat a cast iron skillet with it.  Be sure to get the butter up the sides of the pan as this will be the non-stick guarantee for removing the cake.  Place a ¼ cup of sugar evenly on the bottom of the pan and allow to brown for about 3 minutes.  While the sugar is browning, slice the peach halves into ¾-inch thick slices.  Once the butter/sugar mixture is ready, arrange the peaches around the edge of the pan on top of the sugar.  Then fill the center of the pan with the remaining peach slices.  Cook just for a few minutes until the peaches are sweetened by the butter and sugar mixture.  Remove the skillet from the heat.  Now, time to prepare the cake batter.

 Tasting Notes: Keep in mind, we will be cooking the cake on the grill which means you must use a high heat tolerant cookware.  Cast iron is ideal for this purpose but feel free to use another piece of cookware that will tolerate a grill or smokers heat.

Our upside down cake on the wood fired grill set up for a two zone cooking method.

#twozonecooking #cheftbertandtom

 Upside Down Cake Batter

Our dry ingredients ready to become the dough

#ingredients

The cake batter starts with the dry ingredients.  You’ll need a medium bowl for these ingredients.  Start by whisking 1 cup of coarse yellow cornmeal with ¾ cup all-purpose flour.  Keep in mind, you can use polenta if you prefer.  Add 1 teaspoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh lavender or 1-1/2 teaspoons of dried lavender, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.  Mix well and set aside.  Next, we’ll work on the wet ingredients for our batter.

It’s important to mix the wet ingredients separate from the dry to ensure each ingredient is mixed well.  Start by getting a large bowl.  Add 6 tablespoons of softened butter and ¾ cup sugar to the bowl.  With a hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.  Get 3 large eggs and add one egg to the batter at a time, beating well after each addition.  The batter will slowly become thinner.  Mix in ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and ½ cup heavy cream.  Now, taking the medium bowl of cornmeal mixture, add ½ the dry cornmeal mixture to the large bowl of wet ingredients.  Be sure to use a low setting on the mixer and scrap down the sides of the bowl to get a complete mix.  With the batter ready, we’ll be adding batter to our cast iron pan loaded with peaches.

A Beautiful Finish

Our upside down cake baking in the cast iron pan on the gas grill

#castironcooking

What’s great about making cakes in a cast iron pan is generally, the batter is dropped into the pan rather than poured.  Using a large spoon, drop the prepared batter over the peaches and spread with a spatula.  Time to add flavor to the entire cake by cooking it on the grill with wood chunks in a smoker box.

Cook until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean; this should be 20-25 minutes with a steady grill temperature of 350°F.  Transfer the skillet to a wire rack and let stand for 10 minutes.  Run a knife or spatula around the edge of the cake and invert onto a serving platter.  Tap the bottom of the skillet to release the cake and remove the skillet slowly.  Let cool slightly, then serve.

Although this is a sweet cake, I like to add a bit of unsweetened freshly whipped heavy cream.  Feel free to change the fruit in the cake to something else that is in season like plums, strawberries, blueberries – you get the picture.  For all you camp cooking lovers, this is one to try at the camp as well.  Just gather some hot coals and place your cast iron near those coals and you’re on your way!

What’s your favorite iron skillet dessert?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® products used in this recipe:

Wood Chunks- Double & Single Filet

For more reading related to

For more reading related to Smoked peaches using our cast iron pan on a gas grill- try these recipes

 

More yummy recipes to try:

-GRILLED PEACHES FOR THE PERFECT SALAD ADDITION

-WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

-ZUCCHINI BREAD & CAKE ON THE GRILL

Dr. Smoke- using our cast iron pan for our smoked peaches!

Dr. Smoke- using our cast iron pan for our smoked peaches!

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WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE BECAUSE OF THE UNIQUE FLAVOR BROUGHT OUT BY THE SMOKING PROCESS!

Wood Fired Apple WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

WOOD-FIRED APPLES MAKE THE BEST CAKE

As the second most consumed fruit in the USA, apples are loaded with antioxidant benefits and have been found to have extensive benefit to the colon due to the high level of gut bacteria present in its polyphenols.  Plus, this is a fruit that is readily available all year long making it an ideal choice for cooking.

We are taking the Gala variety and putting them over a coal fire for wood-fired flavor in our apple pie cake.  Pick your favorite variety of apple and get out the charcoal grill for this fun and simple technique and recipe.

Fire Up the Grill

Fire up the Stok grill

After purchasing 12 apples of your choice, get the charcoal grill going, so the flames can reduce to hot coals.  That’s all needed for our apple cooking!  Any size charcoal grill will do, including the small portable grill.  I use a chimney started to lite charwood from SmokinLicious® as this is my preferred product when I do a short cook fruit or vegetable item.  The reason?  It is not fully carbonized, so it still releases plenty of flavonoids from the hardwood.  You certainly can use a standard hardwood charcoal but add a chunk or two of SmokinLicious® double filet wood chunks to be sure you get a wood flavor.

While the chimney starter is burning down to hot coals, I peel and thinly slice 12 apples.  I use a Gala variety for my recipe and a Stôk charcoal grill, equipped with an insert system.  I place my sliced apples in the insert vegetable basket for this simple method of wood firing the apples.  Just be sure to spray the basket with non-stick cooking spray to ensure the apples don’t stick.

A Cake by Name

With my hot SmokinLicious® charwood producing steady heat, my 12 Gala apples peeled and sliced thin, I’m ready to place the vegetable basket over the hot coals.  Remember, apples have a lot of water content, so they will steam initially.  The water will attract the smoke vapor and bring great color and flavor.  After approximately 10 minutes, I shake the apple slices in the basket to allow them to rotate for even cooking and color.  You’ll see the edges become bronzed as they cook.   In 20 minutes, these will be ready to go.

wood-fired apples make the best cake

Adding the Ingredients & Cook Time

Our wood fired apples and dry ingredients mixed in the pan ready for baking

After the apples are removed from the grill and cooled slightly, add a teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to maintain color until baked in the oven.  Set those aside and gather together 2 cups flour, 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 sticks of cold butter cut into 8 cubes.

Start by combining 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of packed light brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Taking one piece of cold butter at a time, add to the flour mixture, cutting each piece using either an electric hand mixer, 2 knives or a pastry cutter.  You want to have pea-size pieces of butter mixed into the flour mixture.  Press 2/3 of this mixture into a 9-inch springform pan then add the wood-fired apple slices, spreading evenly in pan.

With the wood fired apple slices nestled in the simple cake batter of flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon, it’s time to top the apples with the remaining 1/3 flour mixture.  Be sure all areas are covered.  Set the springform pan on the foil lined sheet pan and place in a 350°F oven for 75 minutes.  Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to sit in the springform pan until cool.  Just run a knife along the edge of the cake to ensure it will separate from the pan’s ring once removed.  Remove the ring when the cake has cooled then sift a ¼ cup powdered sugar on the surface of the cake.

Cake Perfection

Our finished wood fired apple pie cake nicely golden brown

 

After giving Gala apple slices the lick of smoke from our charwood grill, mix together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon with butter for a great cake batter, and baking everything together, the ultimate in apple pie cake is born.  With a light coating of powder sugar, the wood-fired apple slices pile high for perfection in the single bite.  More like a cobbler batter than cake, you’ll love the simplicity of the construction and the unique flavor a wood fire gives to apples.  Perfect anytime of the year, just like apples are, you’ll be the envy of your neighborhood when you fire up the grill for wood infusion to apples.  Now you must also prove that Wood-Fired Apples make the best Cake – Enjoy!

The Culinary Crew wants you to know …

… that this recipe can easily be adapted with the substitution of apples with fruits like peaches, pears or even strawberries.  This switch will offer more of a traditional cobbler type baking with these moisture rich fruits taking on incredible but delicate smoky flavor.

Visit our narrated video with more pictures and step-by-step instructions.

Press above to visit our narrated video with more pictures and step-by-step instructions.

SmokinLicious® products:

Charwood

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

More recipes to try:

-Our Smoked Carrot Cake

-Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

-A SAVORY TAKE ON THE PANCAKE FROM SMOKINLICIOUS®

 

Dr Smoke- "

Dr. Smoke- “This is a MUST try recipe”!

Our Finished Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with a Smokey Twist!

Our Finished Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with a Smokey Twist!

Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with a Smokey Twist! Click To Tweet

Listen to our blog

Strawberry Rhubarb Fool–Fresh rhubarb means great recipes most of which consist of dessert!  This one is no exception.  Not only am I going to use smoked rhubarb but I’m including smoked strawberry as well.

This is the SmokinLicious® version of the Strawberry-Rhubarb Fool a popular dessert in late Spring and Early Summer.  Our creamy version is taking on a new flavor as we add another element: smoked components.  That means you need to smoke the rhubarb and strawberries first, before you make our recipe.  You can find our tips on smoking the strawberries and the rhubarb on our Tips and Techniques Blog.  Don’t be scared!  These are simple techniques you can do on any type of equipment including with a hand held food smoker.

Get smoking your fresh strawberries and rhubarb and then, let’s make the sweetest, creamiest strawberry-rhubarb fool smoker’s style!

 Tame Those Flavors

Our Finished Smoked Strawberry on a try

#smokedstrawberry

 I find it easiest to work with rhubarb and strawberries when they are cut down in size after the smoking.  For me, rhubarb cut into 3-inch lengths and strawberries sliced thin work best for this recipe.  Don’t forget to keep any of the juice that comes off the smoked strawberries both during the smoking process and as you prepare the strawberries.

The combination of the tart rhubarb and the sweetness of the strawberry plus the smoky quality from both will produce a perfect balance.  Let’s get these two flavors combined to make the perfect fool.

Since rhubarb borders on the bitter, it needs to have some additional sweet added to it.  Place your smoked rhubarb cuts which equal about one pound, into a saucepan and add a ½ cup of sugar.  Heat on medium high.  While that is sweetening and tenderizing, place the smoked strawberries (about 8-10 ounces depending on the size) into a bowl and add ¼ cup sugar, allowing this to dissolve completely.    This process will take about 30 minutes.  Feel free to adjust the level of sugar in the strawberries based on the sweetness you feel the raw strawberry already presents with as well as your own personal preference.

Our Rhubarb in the pot with sugar added

#Rhubarb

Once the sugar has dissolved in the smoked strawberries and the rhubarb has begun to shred apart, it’s time to remove the rhubarb from the heat.  Stir in the sweetened smoked strawberries and transfer to a bowl.  Refrigerate this compote uncovered until cold.  This will take about 1-1/2 hours though I prefer to leave this overnight.  Once the compote is in the refrigerator, place a metal bowl in the refrigerator as well.  You will need this to produce the trademark cream-base for our fool dessert.

Tasting Notes: Some find the texture of tenderized rhubarb to be too stringy.  If that’s the case, feel free to process the rhubarb in a food processor or blender before combining with the macerated strawberries.  Also, depending on the size of the strawberries, you may prefer to leave larger chunks, by halving the berries rather than slicing.

 Making a Fool for Me!

Folding the ingredients into a fool

#fool

Time to remove the chilled metal bowl from the refrigerator and add ¾ cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar.  Whisk this together until soft peaks form.  Be sure you don’t over beat the mixture or you will lose all the air that makes this whipped cream.  Set aside 1/3 cup of the cold smoked compote which will be used for topping the finished dessert servings.  Take the rest of the compote and fold into the whipped cream just until the mixture looks streaky.  Spoon into serving glasses or bowls and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Whenever I need a simple and quick dessert that looks elegant, I love to make a fool.  If I’m serving a more formal event, I prefer to serve these in stemmed glasses like a martini glass.  For a family barbeque or daily dessert, small bowls work well or even clear throw away cups or bowls.  Once the cream and compote mixture are spooned into the serving vessel, top with about a tablespoon of reserved compote.  I prefer to add mint leaves to finish this off.  Strawberry-Rhubarb Smoked Fool – a simple yet elegant looking treat that everyone is going to love!

Tasting Notes: Here’s a tip: this can be served cold or you can freeze it for a super cold treat on a really hot day.  The frozen rendition will remind you of a semifreddo or frozen yogurt treat.

What’s your favorite fool recipe?  Leave us a comment to opine and subscribe to get all our postings on tips, techniques and recipes.  Bringing innovation to wood fired cooking with recipes, techniques and the science behind the fire, smoke, and flavor. That’s SmokinLicious®.

SmokinLicious® Products:

Wood Chunks- Double Filet

Wood Chips- Minuto® and Piccolo®

For more reading related to Strawberry Rhubarb Fool and try other recipes! Don't forget to share your experience

For more reading related to Strawberry Rhubarb Fool and try other recipes! Don’t forget to share your experience

 

Other smoky desserts you might enjoy:

-STRAWBERRY SEMIFREDDO GETS SMOKY

-SMOKED STRAWBERRY HAND PIE

-Smoked Strawberry Napoleon

Dr. Smoke you must try this Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with a Smokey Twist!

Dr. Smoke you must try this Strawberry Rhubarb Fool with a Smokey Twist!

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