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Author Archive | Kelsey Ellis

5 Simple Recommendations to Earn Bigger Tips

5 Simple Recommendations to Earn Bigger TipsWith most Americans eating out 4-5 times a week, it is no wonder the food service industry continues to grow even in a slow economy. A server’s position is a main component of a successful restaurant operation. A server’s job responsibilities include greeting guests with friendliness, knowing the menu inside and out, provide high quality service, maintaining a professional appearance, communicating with staff to ensure guest satisfaction, and a variety of additional side tasks. Research has shown that server’s who earn better than average tips are less likely to be turned over as quickly as industry standards and maintains a better working relationships with co-workers and restaurant guests.

Here are five simple recommendations that will earn you larger tips today.

  1. Lean or squat down to introduce you by name. This shows you are personable and ready to listen.
  2. Always smile when speaking to guests. Friendliness is always noticed, people go out to eat to enjoy themselves and have a good time. The last thing they want to encounter is a grumpy server.
  3. Entertain customers with a fun restaurant fact, joke or puzzle. Reiterating the friendliness aspect of a server’s job description, sharing a quick fun fact shows you’re here to give your guests a pleasant experience.
  4. Repeat a customer’s order back to them. This one is simple, but it shows you are listening and you care about giving your guests exactly what they want.
  5. Write ‘thank you’ on the check. One extra reminder that shows your guests you enjoyed serving them.

Severing can be a tough job, the hours can be long and the appreciation sometimes low. However happiness is contagious and chances are if you smile and treat people well they will likely treat you well. Listening to guests and helping them experience an enjoyable dining experience will likely lead to increased tips.

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Molecular Gastronomy: Making science, food and eating fun!

Molecular Gastronomy: Making science, food and eating fun!

Have you heard of molecular gastronomy before? No? You’re not alone, molecular gastronomy is a modern style of cooking, and practiced by scientists and chefs who take advantage of many technical innovations from scientific disciplines. Put more simply, think of mixing up drinks like Nitrogen Cooled Lemon Drop Martinis. Or whipping up Crispy Chicken Tacos with Chili Relleno Space Foam.

Dreamstaurant celebrity chef and judge, Ian Kleinman is a pioneering molecular gastronomist and owner of The Inventing Room, a unique catering and food entertainment company based in Denver, CO. His molecular gastronomy recipes include Super Cold & Creamy Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, Floating Truffles, and Root Beer Floats with Liquid Nitrogen Whipped Ice Cream. Chef Kleinman believes food should be fun and every dining experience should have amazing food, Molecular Gastronomy: Making science, food and eating fun!drinks and service but also contain an entertainment quality that makes you think about your food and how it’s made instead of mindlessly eating it.

Borrowing tools from the science lab and ingredients from the kitchen, molecular gastronomists concoct surprise after surprise for their diners. You may wonder ‘Can I really eat this?’ or ‘Is it safe?’ The truth is the chemicals used in molecular gastronomy are all of biological origin. Even though they have been purified and some of them processed, the raw material origin is usually marine, plant, animal or microbial. These additives are also used in very, very small amounts and have been approved by EU standards. Plus the science lab equipment used just helps modern gastronomy chefs to do simple things like maintaining the temperature of the cooking water constant (water bath), cooling food at extremely low temperatures fast (liquid nitrogen) or extract flavor from food (evaporator).

Molecular Gastronomy: Making science, food and eating fun!If you’re passionate about cooking, have a creative mind but at the same time have a scientific background, molecular gastronomy is something worth experiencing.

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The Rise of Healthy Kids Meal Options

The Rise of Healthy Kids Meal OptionsRestaurants focus on developing healthy kid meal options that are more appealing to families.

Pizza, hot dogs, chicken fingers and grilled cheeses are just a few kid-friendly foods available when eating out. Recently, these are the same foods that have come under scrutiny from parents and nutritional experts who worry about what kids are eating.

Chefs and restaurateurs have both business reasons and true concerns for what kids are eating, this is one of the reasons children’s nutrition was projected to be a major trend at foods service establishments during 2012.

The National Restaurant Association’s annual “What’s Hot” survey of professional chefs determined that healthful meals for young people would be the No. 4 trend in the industry this year.

The National Kids LiveWell Program works in collaboration with Healthy Dining to help parents and children select healthful menu options when dining out. The restaurants that participate in the voluntary program commit to offering healthful meal items for children, with a particular focus on increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy, and limiting unhealthy fats, sugars and sodium.

The big question that remains is: Are kids eating these healthier meals? From early research the answer is, yes. Teaching kids to eat healthy foods from a young age will help them develop healthy eating patterns for life, offering kid-friendly meals with a variety of vegetables, using proteins that are naturally lower in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals will ensure kids choose healthy foods over processed, fatty foods.

I’m a restaurant owner, how do I join the Kids LiveWell Program?

The Rise of Healthy Kids Meal Options

According to Restaurant.org: “Restaurants that join Kids LiveWell agree to offer and promote a selection of items that meet qualifying nutrition criteria based on leading health organizations’ scientific recommendations, including the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines.” Kids LiveWell Nutrition Criteria for a full meal:

  • 600 calories or less
  • ≤ 35% of calories from total fat
  • ≤ 10% of calories from saturated fat
  • < 0.5 grams trans fat (artificial trans fat only)
  • ≤ 35% of calories from total sugars (added and naturally occurring)
  • ≤ 770 mg of sodium
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Autumn’s Best Apples

Whether you went apple-picking at an orchard, the farmers’ market, or the grocery store, we have some delicious ways to showcase fresh apples! These tasty dishes are sure to please even the pickiest of guests!

Autumn’s Best ApplesApple Pie Baked in an Apple

A simple, natural blend of ingredients with a gourmet presentation.

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • Pie crust – homemade or pre-made

Pre-heat oven to 375° F.

Directions:

  1. Cut off the top of 4 apples off and discard. Remove the inside of each apple with a melon baller very carefully, as to not puncture the peel.
  2. Remove skin from remaining apple(s) and slice very thinly. These apple pieces will give you the additional filling needed to fill the four apples you are baking.
  3. Mix sliced apples with sugars and cinnamon in a bowl.
  4. Scoop sliced apples into hollow apples.
  5. Roll out pie crust and slice into 1/4 inch strips. You can also add a strip of pastry inside the top of the apple almost like a liner to add a little more sweetness to the pie.
  6. Cover the top of the apple in a lattice pattern with pie crust strips.
  7. Place apples in an 8” x 8” baking pan. Add just enough water to the cover the bottom of the pan.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and sliced apples are soft.
  10. Enjoy!

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt CakeAutumn’s Best Apples

A true fall classic, garnish frosting with toasted pecans for extra flavor.

Ingredients:

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apple Cake Batter:

  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups peeled and finely chopped Gala apples (1 1/2 lb.)

    Praline Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Directions:

  1. Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed in a stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.
  2. Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.
  3. Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14 cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1 inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.
  4. Bake at 350° F for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely.
  5. Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2 qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly.
  6. Pour frosting immediately over cooled cake.
  7. Enjoy!

Warm Caramel Apple CakeAutumn’s Best Apples

Serve this delicious apple upside-down cake warm from the oven.

Ingredients:

Cake Batter:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (2 1/3 cups)
  • 1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist yellow cake mix
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/3  cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice

    Cake Topping:

  • 2/3  cup Betty Crocker Whipped fluffy white frosting (from 12-oz container)
  • 1/2  cup frozen (thawed) whipped topping
  • Caramel topping, if desired

Pre-heat oven to 350° F.

Directions:

  1. In 1-quart heavy saucepan, cook butter, whipping cream and brown sugar over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until butter is melted. Pour into 13” x 9” pan. Sprinkle with pecans; top with sliced apples.
  2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, eggs and apple pie spice in a stand mixer on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Carefully spoon batter over apple mixture.
  3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen sides of cake from pan. Place heatproof serving platter upside down on pan; carefully turn platter and pan over. Let pan remain over cake about 1 minute so caramel can drizzle over cake. Remove pan.
  4. In small bowl, mix frosting and whipped topping. Serve warm cake topped with frosting mixture and drizzled with caramel topping.
  5. Enjoy!

Tundra Restaurant Supply stocks everything you need to create the most delicious fall dishes. From kitchen supplies to dining room supplies and cooking equipment to specialty cooking supplies eTundra.com is your one-stop shop for baking and cooking this season!

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CULTURE: Carrying Out Tundra Values

Have fun, exceed customer expectations & work ethically, get to know who Tundra Restaurant Supply really is.

Tundra was created from a set of values that inspired a business which built meaningful relationships with its customers. These values drive Tundra’s mission to solve the needs of their customers and ensure their success. Fulfilling this mission has lead to their own success.

CULTURE: Carrying Out Tundra Values

Internally, Tundra’s Culture Crew assists with carrying out these values. They plan and carry out company-wide events that encourage employees to have fun! Examples include baseball games, BBQ’s, pancake breakfasts, Friday fun days and much more.

Tundra’s Star Card program encourages co-workers and teammates to acknowledge when each other have gone above and beyond. Giving a co-worker a Star Card

CULTURE: Carrying Out Tundra Values

automatically enters them into a monthly drawing for up to $50 in prizes.

The Tundra Megaphone Program allows employees to voice concerns, comments or questions anonymously. The Megaphone Program is marketed as “If I were President, I would…” this program has received positive feedback from employees thus kicking off a variety of changes around the company. A few fun examples:

  • Want high-quality toilet paper – Check.
  • Want picnic table to sit at while at lunch or on break? Check.
    • Plus they accompanied these tables with fresh potted flowers for visual appeal!

Bottom line is that Tundra was created from building healthy, positive relationships with its customers – part of that success has come from building superior relationships with its employees. Tundra has found people who are happy at work – work harder! Complicated idea…

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Commercial Dinnerware: A Complete Buying Guide

Dinnerware is used in every type of restaurant, whether your run a fast-casual, diner or fine dining restaurant. Choosing the right dinnerware will complete a guest’s dining experience. From modern to traditional and bamboo to Fine China knowing the dinnerware options you have is key to creating the perfect place setting.

Commercial Dinnerware: A Complete Buying Guide Bamboo dinnerware is made from bamboo fibers, a renewable resource making these plates and bowls environmentally friendly. All of the bamboo dinnerware Tundra Restaurant Supply offers is safe for commercial use and commercial dishwashing. This dinnerware is manufactured from harvested bamboo that has been dried for an extended period of time. When dry, it is then ground and pulverized into a very fine powder and has 100% food-safe pigments mixed in. High-pressure and heat is applied to cast each piece of dinnerware and then a glaze is applied. Available in a variety of colors, bamboo dinnerware will make an eco-friendly and stylish statement in any restaurant setting.

Commercial China that is found in restaurants and hotels is much more durable then fine china found in residential homes. Commercial china dinnerware is designed to withstand the restaurant environment. Classic white china, with a basic rim is often preferred in restaurants because it allows for a more varied meal presentation. China that is embossed features a wider rim with grooved patterns. China dinnerware that has a banded rim feature two or more colored stripes and an off-white surface. These plates are great for diner and café settings and are manufactured to withstand years of commercial use.Commercial Dinnerware: A Complete Buying Guide

Melamine dinnerware is a type of plastic that is scratch resistant and shatter proof. Melamine’s strength and durability make it a popular type of dinnerware in the restaurant industry. Melamine plates and bowls can be used hundreds of times and withstand the wear and tear of a commercial setting. Our selection of melamine dinnerware includes upscale and basic designs that will compliment any restaurant ambiance. Melamine dinnerware is often found in ethnic restaurants; including Mexican and Chinese food establishments.

Basketweave or Wood Weave dinnerware is beautifully crafted and finished with a smooth, polished finish. The warm finish of basketweave dinnerware will create an inviting ambiance in any restaurant setting. Basketweave dinnerware will impress guests and is perfect for serving salads, appetizers and side dishes. It is normal for commercial-grade basketweave bowls and plates to change color slightly over time – especially when used constantly. Basketweave dinnerware is best when hand-washed making it a better fit for small, quaint restaurants and cafes.

Commercial Dinnerware: A Complete Buying Guide Polycarbonate dinnerware is manufactured from food-safe plastic that is shatter proof and durable. Polycarbonate bowls and plates can often be found in institutional settings; including schools and health care facilities. Polycarbonate dinnerware is typically inexpensive, dishwasher safe and available in a variety of colors and sizes.

Glass dinnerware is not as popular in commercial restaurants because glass tends to be more expensive and very fragile. However, glass plates are great for serving first courses; including salads and appetizers. Traditionally, glass dinnerware is much smaller then melamine and china plates and platters, another reason why glass is great for serving salads and appetizers.

Dinnerware is used for everything from appetizers and salads to main courses and desserts. Make sure you choose the right dinnerware selection or your restaurant. Guests notice the finest details when visiting your food service establishment; show them how much you care with an elegant, tasteful place setting.

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Fall Menus, What to Expect This Season

Restaurants to highlight affordable happy hours, seasonal ingredients and vegetables!

Fall Menus, What to Expect This SeasonAs the weather begins to cool and the economy remains mild, many food service operators expect innovative side dishes and vegetable based menu options to become more popular, giving their customers the opportunity to mix and match, or share a few sides at happy hour.

While local, seasonal ingredients will continue to show up on fall menus, restaurateurs and chefs alike are focusing on food creations that allow guests to customize their experience and to eat and drink at unconventional times. Happy hour courses including charcuterie platters, cheese courses and extensive bar menu options are ideal for this crowd. Being creative is key; almost any food item can be dressed up or down and made in a small portion – making it perfect for happy hour. Mini pizzas, roasted almonds, parmesan straws and homemade salt & vinegar potato chips are just a few ideas.Fall Menus, What to Expect This Season

Football season is just around the corner and there are plenty of food promotions that go with it. Play off tail-gating classics, including anything BBQ, grilled or dippable. These types of food items make great happy hour appetizers.

Vegetables are expected to take center stage in more dishes this fall, with protein acting as supporting character. When looking at seasonal items, think about launching a micro menu around a particular fruit or vegetable. For example, launch an autumn apple-inspired menu. Apple muffins and apple streusel French toast make decadent breakfast options while savory apple herb roast chicken and grilled chicken apple salad make fantastic lunch and dinner options. Squash and zucchini are other great menu items that can be incorporated into everything from sweet breads to rich, flavorful main courses.

Fall Menus, What to Expect This SeasonShareable vegetable dishes are a way to help customers feel better about what they’re eating without making them sacrifice their protein packed main courses. At the same time, side dishes are a great way to boost check averages. Among our favorite ideas are crispy okra, pureed cauliflower, winter squash with horseradish and braised cabbage.

Fall is a busy time in the restaurant and food service business, highlighting happy hour specials and seasonal fruits and vegetables will get guests excited to dine at your establishment.

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Buying Guide | Flatware 101

No table setting is complete without the proper flatware pieces. Whether your guests are expecting a fine dining or quick diner experience understanding your flatware options is important and will contribute to the ambiance and style you’re trying to achieve. Tundra Restaurant Supply offers a variety of commercial flatware at every price point.

Table/Dinner KnifeBuying Guide | Flatware 101

A table knife is an item of cutlery, part of a traditional table setting. Table knives are typically of moderate sharpness only, designed to cut prepared and cooked food. They are usually made of stainless steel.

Butter Knife

Commonly, a butter knife refers to any non-serrated table knife designed with a dull edge and rounded point; formal table settings make a distinction between a dinner knife (table knife) and a butter knife.

Dinner Fork

The dinner fork is part of the traditional five-piece flatware setting. It is used during the main course. A dinner fork is a tool consisting of a handle with several narrow tines on one end.

Salad Fork

Similar to a dinner fork, but shorter and may have one of the outer tines shaped differently.

Dessert Fork

A dessert fork is smaller and features a thinner build then a salad fork. It is typically used for eating desserts like pie and cake. In Europe, a dessert fork is often referred to as a pudding fork or cake fork.

Cocktail Fork

A cocktail fork is a small fork resembling a trident used for spearing cocktail garnishes, such as olives or cheese. This is an individual fork traditionally used with the standard five-piece place setting.

Buying Guide | Flatware 101Teaspoon

A teaspoon is a small spoon, commonly part of a table place setting suitable for stirring and sipping the contents of a cup of tea or coffee.

Soup Spoon

A soup spoon is a type of spoon with a large or rounded bowl, used for eating soup. This term can refer to the Western soup spoon or the Chinese spoon. The Western soup spoon features a deep, circular bowl for holding liquid. The Chinese soup spoon is usually ceramic and of a distinct Chinese soup spoon shape.

Dessert Spoon

A dessert spoon is a spoon designed specifically for eating dessert and sometimes used for soup or cereals. Similar in size to a soup spoon but with an oval rather than round bowl, it typically has a capacity around twice that of a teaspoon.

Tablespoon

A tablespoon is the largest type of spoon used for eating from a bowl. In Europe, a tablespoon is a type of large spoon usually used for serving.

Bouillon Spoon

This is another type of soup spoon mainly used for clear soups or broths. The bouillon spoon has a rounded spoon head.

Demitasse Spoon

A demitasse spoon is a diminutive spoon and smaller than a teaspoon. It is traditionally used for coffee drinks in specialty cups and for spooning cappuccino froth. It is also used as a baby spoon.

Know the Difference | 18/10 vs. 18/0 Grade Stainless Steel

The 18/10 and 18/0 specifications are simply figures that illustrate the percentages of chromium and nickel content present in the stainless steel. Examples: if a piece of flatware has 18/10 construction, there is 18% chromium and 10% nickel content. If the flatware has an 18/0 construction, there is 18% chromium with zero nickel matter. Chromium is a hard metallic substance that helps increase product hardness. Nickel is defined as a silvery metallic element that helps resist corrosion.Buying Guide | Flatware 101

18/10 Flatware Features:

  • Brilliant luster
  • Rust-resistant material
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to maintain

18/0 Flatware Features:

  • Soft shine
  • Zero nickel content
  • Economical design
  • Subject to staining

Purchasing flatware might seem like a complicated process, but with the proper information and knowing the basics you can create a special table setting for any guest setting. Tundra Restaurant Supply offers hundreds of flatware collections at every price point.

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Delicious Deli Recipes

Delis are great for the on-the-go customer, and we all have our favorite sandwich shop that makes a sandwich just the way we like it. When choosing to stay home, try one of our favorite sandwich recipes – they’re quick, easy, toasty, and, most importantly, delicious!

Deluxe Deli Club Sandwich
Delicious Deli Recipes
Ingredients:
3 slices bread, toasted
1 Tbsp. Real Mayo Mayonnaise
1 American Cheese Slice, cut in half
2 slices Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
2 slices tomato
2 slices Bacon, cooked
Lettuce leaves

 

Directions:
1.    SPREAD 2 toast slices with mayo.
2.    COVER 1 toast slice with 1 process cheese slice half, 1 turkey slice, 1 tomato slice, 1 bacon slice and lettuce; top with second toast slice. Repeat layers.
3.    CUT into quarters.

BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwiches
Delicious Deli Recipes
Ingredients:
1  red onion, divided
2 cups  each shredded green and red cabbage
¼ cup Miracle Whip Dressing
1 bottle (17.5 oz) Barbecue Sauce, divided
1 Tbsp. oil
1  beef brisket (3 lb.), trimmed
1 can  (14.5 oz.) beef broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 Kaiser rolls, partially split, toasted

Directions:
1.    HEAT oven 350ºF.
2.    CUT half the onion into thin slices; place in large bowl. Add cabbages; mix lightly. Mix dressing and 2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce. Add to cabbage mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3.    HEAT oil in large skillet. Add meat; cook 5 min. or until browned on both sides, turning after 3 min. Transfer to 13×9-inch baking dish. Chop remaining onion piece; sprinkle over meat. Mix broth, 1/2 cup of the remaining barbecue sauce and garlic; pour over meat. Cover.
4.    BAKE 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until meat is done (160ºF). Let stand, covered, 10 min. Shred meat; place in large bowl. Add remaining barbecue sauce; toss to coat.
5.    FILL each roll with 1/2 cup meat mixture and 1/3 cup coleslaw just before serving.

Festive Turkey Sandwich
Delicious Deli Recipes Ingredients:

1 slice whole grain bread, toasted
6 slices Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
¼ cup hot prepared Stuffing (we recommend Stove Top Brand)
1 Tbsp. whole berry cranberry sauce

Directions:
1.    TOP toast with remaining ingredients.
2.    ENJOY!

 

eTundra.com stocks everything you need, from countertop cooking and warming equipment to display cases and food prep equipment for your deli.

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Baking With Tundra

Baking With Tundra

It’s obvious we’re a bit obsessed with food service – we strive to bring you products, service and knowledge that will better serve your restaurant, bakery and café. We thought we might try to inspire your culinary senses with these fun, fresh summer recipes!

Peach Cupcakes w/ Peach Cream Cheese Frosting
Baking With Tundra
Makes 24 cupcakes

Peach Cake Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1.75 oz freeze dried peaches, pulverized in a mini food processor
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup pureed fresh peach
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with liners.

2.    Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large measuring cup or bowl, mix together buttermilk, peach puree and vanilla extract. Set aside until needed.

3.    Using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl until pale, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in pulverized peaches.

4.    Mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two batches of buttermilk mixture. Mix until just combined, scraping down bowl as needed. (I like to mix the last bit by hand using a spatula to make sure I get all the stuff at the bottom.) Scoop batter into cupcake tins.

5.    Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 21 to 24 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool in tins for 10 minutes, and then remove cupcakes and place them on a cooling rack.

Peach Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes

Frosting Ingredients:

1 cup of butter, softened
8 oz of cream cheese, softened
1.75 oz freeze dried peaches, pulverized in a mini food processor
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-5 cups of confectioner’s sugar

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, mix butter until it is softened and uniform. Add cream cheese and beat together until it is uniform. Add vanilla extract and mix. Add pulverized peaches and mix. Add 3 cups of sugar to the mixture and mix. Add more sugar if necessary. Mix again until mixture is creamy and spreadable. Add more sugar if necessary, otherwise prepare to frost cake.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Unique Technique
Baking With Tundra
Makes about 3 dozen, 3-inch cookies

Cookie Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup packed dark grown sugar, preferably molasses sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

Directions:
1.    Position racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.    Sift flour and baking soda into a medium bowl.  Stir in the salt.

3.    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat half the butter (1 stick) on medium speed until fairly smooth.  Add both sugars and the remaining butter, and beat until well combined, then beat for a few minutes until mixture is light and creamy.  Scrape down sides of the bowl.  Add eggs one at a time, beating until the first one is incorporated before adding the next and scraping the bowl as necessary.  Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed to combine.  Mix in chocolate.

4.    Remove bowl from mixer and fold dough with a spatula to be sure the chocolate is evenly incorporated. The dough or shaped cookies can be refrigerated, well wrapped, for up to 5 days or frozen for 2 weeks.  Freeze shaped cookies on the baking sheets until firm, then transfer to freezer containers.  (Defrost frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator before baking.)

5.    Using about 2 level tablespoons per cookie, shape dough into balls.  Arrange 8 cookies on each pan, leaving about 2 inches between, because the dough will spread.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until the tops are not longer shiny, switching the position and rotating pans halfway through baking.  (I just baked pans one at a time in the middle of the oven.)

6.    Cool cookies on the pans on cooling racks for about 2 minutes to firm up a bit, and then transfer to the racks to cool completely.  Repeat with second batch of cookies.  (The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)

Chocolate Banana Cake
Baking With Tundra
Makes one 9 X 5 inch loaf or a 9 inch round

Cake Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)|
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions:

1.    Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350.  Grease bottom and sides of 9 X 5 inch loaf pan or 9 inch round pan.

2.    Sift together flour, coca powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.  Set aside.

3.    In the bowl of an electric mixer, using paddle attachment beat butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minutes.  Gradually beat in the sugar and beat at high until well blended, about 2 minutes.  At medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract and mix at low speed until blended.  Add the flour mixture at low speed in three additions, alternating it with the sour cream in two additions.  Remove bowl from the mixer stand and stir in the chopped chocolate.  Scrap batter into the prepared pan and smooth top with spatula.

4.    Bake cake for 55 to 65 minutes (loaf pan) or 45 to 50 minutes (round pan), until a cake tester into the center comes out clean (except for any melted chocolate.)

5.    Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

6.    Unmold cake onto the rack, turn right side up and cool completely.

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