Pizza

Any good college student knows that pizza is what gets you through long study nights, and leftover pizza is what keeps you going between classes.  However, any good poor college student knows that it’s way too expensive to order out all the time.  Over the last year or so, I’ve experiment with a lot of crust recipes, and finally, after months of searching and trying and waiting for things to rise, I found my perfect crust recipe!  It makes about 2-ish medium sized pizzas.  I usually just take a blob and roll it out and leave the rest to roll out the next day for a quick lunch.  I like this one because it’s a really nice thin crust that’s still chewy under the cheese, and it has no rising time, which is a plus for a hungry person at the end of the day.

3/4 C Water (warm)

1/2 t yeast

2 C flour (I always use half wheat)

1/2 tsp salt

Mix the yeast and the water.  Let it sit for about ten minutes, until a little bit bubbly.  Measure salt and flour together.  Pour in water and mix.  Knead until incorporated (about five minutes or so).

A lunchtime personal size pizza!

That’s really it.  Seriously.  Then I just mix up some sauce (a can of tomato sauce, a can of tomato paste, some salt, a little sugar, and some basil, oregano, and black pepper…to taste! Then I keep it in the fridge for all of my pizza-ing) grate some cheese and throw it in the oven. If I’m making it for my friends, too, I always just leave it plain since we can never all agree on any toppings all together, but if it’s just for me, I like to put onions under the cheese (I learned that in Denmark) and roasted red peppers on top.   And seriously, this crust is so easy you can honestly make pizza in 15 minutes, which is less t

ime than I would spend sitting around on the couch waiting for the delivery guy anyway.

I like how in the picture, my cookie sheet looks nice and aged and rustic.  Sadly, I did just buy it last semester (my previous cookie sheet was ruined by a previous roommate who turned on a burner underneath it when it was sitting on the stove).

And now, I make pizza!

Seizing Days and Chocolate

After experiencing some quite delicious homemade chocolates while in Denmark, I decided  I should give it a try, starting out with a very simple truffle.  I decided to seize one Saturday, and after searching multitudes of truffle recipes online, I decided to just mix them all together and go with a very basic chocolate.

Now, for any chocolate snobs out there, I hereby offer a disclaimer.  I live on a college campus.  I do not have a car (or even a driver’s license for that matter).  The nearest grocery store is about a half hour bus ride away, and it is quite ghetto.  Seriously.  All of the other big grocery stores are more than an hour’s bus ride away, with a transfer in there somewhere, and it’s just not worth it.  So…naturally…I must use chocolate chips for my truffles.  I don’t have access to (let alone the money to buy) fancy bittersweet chocolate. So, semi-sweet chocolate chips it was (and I daresay it came out none too badly.)

As a beginning blogger, I tend to forget the camera at each step, especially the most important steps as this is when I tend to freak out about things that aren’t melting, cooling, firming, or gelling as they’re supposed to.  So, I apologize again for the lack of photographs.  I’m still learning.

Basic Ganache Truffles

3/4 C. Heavy cream

12 oz. Chocolate chips (semi-sweet)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Cocoa powder, melted chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips for coating.

Scald the heavy cream (bring to an *almost* boil).  Pour over the chocolate chips, and let stand for a few minutes.  Then stir gently until smooth.  Put bowl in the refrigerator and let the ganache firm up overnight or over a long shift at work.  Take the ganache out and roll it into small balls (whatever size you please, really).  Set on a foil or parchment-paper lined baking sheet.  Put back into the fridge for a few hours.  When they’re firm again, roll them in cocoa powder (I found this to be easiest, but when you bite into the truffles, it leaves the bitterness on your tongue, which I personally don’t like.  Also, the cocoa powder flies everywhere while you eat and makes you look even more piggish), or coat them in melted chocolate chips and drizzle with melted white chocolate.

Do NOT, however, roll in still-warm melted chocolate chips.  This causes the ganache to melt which puts water from the heavy cream into the chocolate coating which causes it, unfortunately, to seize:

It was my first chocolate seizing incident, and made me quite sad, seeing as all the chocolate got all hard and chunky.  But not all that sad, considering that I had about 30 truffles in the fridge.

Surprisingly good for how simple they were to make, I was pleased with my first chocolate adventure, and plan to dabble further in the field.  Some other day.