Monday, April 14, 2014

Pizza for Dinner and Dessert - IHCC Potluck

Who doesn't love a good pizza? I know my family does and though take-out is sometimes the way to go, I find making my own very satisfying and the results usually better than anything we can find close by in suburbia. I turned to Mark Bittman's book How to Cook Everything for the recipes for our latest pizza night.

The Building Blocks:

the crust:
Suitable for a topping-laden pizza, Mark Bittman's Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (p178-179) came together quickly in a food processor, was easy to work with, and baked into a crisp crust. However, it lacked flavour, was a little too salty and a little too dry. It was okay in pizzas where the toppings were the stars, but given a choice, it's not a recipe I would make again. Family had no complaints about it. 1.5x the recipe made 3 - 30cm/12" pizzas.

the sauce:
An onion, a can (796ml) of Italian plum tomatoes and 20 minutes on the the clock produced this delicious, fresh tasting Fast Tomato Sauce (p502). Key to the short cooking time was the use of a large skillet (large surface area) and medium-high heat to soften the onion and cook the liquid off quickly. Far superior to anything you could buy ready-made, it's definitely something I will be making regularly.

the toppings:
pepperoni pizza broccoli pizza
Fewer toppings means wider appeal in my house with basic pepperoni a favourite with the meat-lovers. Replacing the pepperoni with broccoli and adding a few pieces of roasted red peppers on a second pizza for a meatless variation satisfied everyone else. With the exception of the amount of sauce - we like a little less - the amounts of topping ingredients in the recipes for Pizza with Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Pepperoni (p182) and Pizza with Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Broccoli (p182) worked very well. I used a half recipe for each 30cm/12" pizza.
Despite all of topping suggestions the author makes in this book, he neglects a very important category of pizza: dessert! So I had to wing it. Sauced with creamy peanut butter and topped with peanuts and chocolate chips, a drizzle of Mark Bittman's Chocolate Sauce (p921) made with bittersweet chocolate was this pizza's crowning glory. 

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Dessert Pizza
10-12 slices

Ingredients:
1-30cm/12" pizza crust, baked and cooled
130g/1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (regular, not natural or homemade that may separate during baking)
50g/1/3 cup roasted, salted peanuts, chopped
45g/1/4 cup mini white chocolate chips
45g/1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Sauce

Method:
Pre-heat oven to 190C/375F.
Spread the peanut butter on the prepared crust. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts and chocolate chips evenly over top. Bake* on a rack in the middle of the oven for 3-5 minutes or until the peanut butter appears melted, the semi-sweet chocolate is softened and glossy (the chips won't lose their shape), and the crust is warmed through. Place on a serving plate, drizzle with chocolate sauce and let sit 3-5 minutes before slicing.
* Pizza can be baked on a pizza stone, pizza pan or placed directly on the oven rack.

It's potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs and I'm bringing Mark Bittman's pizzas to the party. What's everyone else making? Visit here to find out!

8 comments:

  1. Oh my! What wonderful pizza pies! I am currently hinting strongly to my husband that a small wood-fired pizza/bread oven would be a welcome addition to our backyard terrace (within ten steps of the kitchen sliding glass doors ... perhaps I'll show him your post and tell him just what magic we could do ! Thanks for adding 'fuel to my fire' !

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  2. Whoa - you went all out with pizza making here! So tempting. If I can find a wheat free crust I am on this in a heartbeat!

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  3. Pizza for dessert, that sounds intriguing!

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  4. Your pizzas are just gorgeous and I love that creative and decadent dessert pizza too! ;-) How to Cook Everything is such a great resource book--he'll need to add dessert pizza to the next addition though. ;-)

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  5. pizza all day long...who can refuse either one???

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  6. Your pizzas look so professional! I've never made pizza - all that throwing in the air scares me a little ;)

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  7. Wow, both your savoury pizzas and the sweet pizza looks delicious! My son was just telling me a couple of days ago, that I have not made any pizza for ages! Haha!

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  8. Oh my gosh, you totally went all out with a full on pizza feast. Sorry you were a little disappointed with the crust, but you certainly made up for it with the toppings, and your very creative dessert pizza looks like an absolute winner.

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