Suits. It is clever. It is amusing. It is sexy. It is summer guilty pleasure television at it its finest. In case you are wondering what it is all about, here’s the low down… Harvey: charming-slickster-law-shark who says things like “I’m against having emotions, I’m not against using them”. Mike: loveable-college-drop-out-genius-pretend-lawyer, works for (dotes on) Harvey. Rachel: pencil-skirt-curves meets brainy-para-legal, crushing on Mike. Jessica: managing partner of the firm who keeps the boys in line with her crushing come backs and razor-sharp ethics. And Donna: bombshell-executive-assistant-extraordinaire (life coach) to Harvey. Now picture all these hyper good-looking well-dressed people in a law office where they win interesting case after interesting case by being smarter and savvier than everyone else and you have pretty much got it.
I know it isn’t going to give gritty shows like “The Wire” or “The Killing” a run for their money, but that’s not its goal and admittedly, I am a sucker for witty repartee wrapped up in shiny $12,000 suits.
Ok, there is actually a reason for Suits showing up here, on my baking blog and here it is: the vivacious Donna, when asked “why do you ask for skim when you are just going to put whipped cream and sugar in it?” replied “because I use skim milk, I can put whipped cream and sugar in it.”
Bang. It caught me. This little comeback felt like pure genius. I have been trying to reconcile my love for baking naughty things with my desire to eat healthier things. And here it is, illuminated for me at the gleaming Pearson-Hardman Law Office.
It is so simple. It is so perfect.
For me, baking needs a little butter, a little cream, a little sugar… I can’t get totally behind baking without these things. But I can get into reducing, switching and playing with the ratios of them. This is my summer baking mantra: because I use (insert healthier ingredient here), I can use (insert naughtier ingredient here).
My first attempt to get into the “Donna” state of mind was this Chocolate Hazelnut Tart. I know it sounds like I got a little wrapped up in the naughty bits and let the healthy bits down, but that is not the case. I will prove it to you right now: because I use tofu (not cream), I can use butter in the crust.
And it was a hit. I didn’t let anyone in on the Donna-ism that inspired it before serving it up and they all dove right in, even my husband who hates all things tofu, loved it. It is served right out of the fridge so ends up being a perfect chilled summer evening delight.
Chocolate Hazelnut Tart
5 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
15 graham crackers (I bought them, but have an inkling to make them next time)
1/4 cup skinned hazelnuts
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
generous pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 325F. Place the graham crackers and hazelnuts in a food processor, buzz until ground into a fine crumb. Sprinkle the butter, sugar and salt over top. Pulse to combine. Press into a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to help press the crust evenly across the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly browning and fragrant.
1 cup semi sweet chocolate, melted
1/2 cup Nutella
1 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup low-fat greek yogurt
2 Tbsp skim milk (my little ode to Donna)
1 package (349 grams) silken firm tofu
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Ready for this difficult process? Throw it all in a blender, processor…. and blend until smooth. I know, it is awesome.
If you want, just toast some hazelnuts and use them to garnish… but to get a salty sweet glaze on those hazelnuts keep reading…
1/3 cup skinned (or almost skinned like mine) hazelnuts
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
You can leave the oven at 325F for this. Place all these ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 2-3 minutes. Pour onto a baking sheet covered in parchment. Bake in the oven until glossy, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Once cool, transfer to a clean piece of parchment and allow to harden before chopping and placing them on top of your tart.
Allow the crust to cool completely. Remove the tart ring, I left the bottom on for good measure and just set it directly on the plate. Pour the filling into the crust. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to let it firm up a bit. Garnish with hazelnuts. When ready to serve, cut with a knife (run under hot water first) into 8 pieces and serve chilled.