Tampilkan postingan dengan label Dessert. Tampilkan semua postingan
Tampilkan postingan dengan label Dessert. Tampilkan semua postingan
Tiramisu – It Will Pick You Up and Not Let You Down

Tiramisu – It Will Pick You Up and Not Let You Down

In addition to being an incredible tasting dessert, Tiramisu also offers the perfect segue when you’re trying to steer the Valentine’s dinner conversation towards spicier subjects. Please feel free to embellish the following history to further enhance the version your sweetheart hears.

Tiramisu was invented in an Italian brothel, where it was a popular snack with customers looking for a little restorative treat after certain strenuous activities. Tiramisu actually means “pick-me-up,” which of course makes it the best culinary double entendre in history.

Besides the great story, it really is the perfect romantic occasion dessert. This heady, mood-elevating concoction is a rich and deeply satisfying, yet remarkably light in texture. I know someone will ask, so yes you can use regular cream cheese, but mascarpone is far superior, and it is Valentine’s Day after all.

As far as the booze goes, I used Marsala, but it also works beautifully with amoretti, rum, brandy, or even Bailey’s. The other key liquid in this is the espresso, and I highly recommend that’s what you use. Regular coffee doesn’t have the same punch. You can use instant, but the last time I checked there was literally a café on every corner of every city.

I did these as two, rather large individual portions, but this could be easily stretched into four cups, or layered in a square baking dish, as is more traditional. Don’t over-think it; no matter what you use, it’s basically three layers of mascarpone mixture around two layers of coffee-dipped ladyfingers. 

They say you can tell how good your Valentine's dessert was, by whether or not you end up also having to cook breakfast. Which reminds me, if you make this, be sure to not use up the last of the eggs. I really hope you give this tiramisu a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 large or 4 small portions:
1/2 cup espresso with 2 tbsp Marsala wine for dipping cookies
10 or 12 ladyfinger cookies, broken in half if making cups
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
3/4 cup mascarpone cheese (6 oz)
2 large egg whites
cocoa for dusting
dark chocolate for shaving
Happy National Chocolate Cake Day Eve

Happy National Chocolate Cake Day Eve

Monday is National Chocolate Cake Day, and ever since I posted this Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake last year, the emails have been coming in with one rave review after another. As you’ll see if you check the original post here, I can’t take credit for the recipe, but I am happy to field the compliments. Anyway, if you’re looking for a great chocolate cake with which to celebrate everyone’s favorite chocolate cake-related holiday, then I hope you give this a try. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake – Giving Thanks for Cheap and Easy to Use Kitchen Gadgets

Pumpkin Cheesecake – Giving Thanks for Cheap and Easy to Use Kitchen Gadgets

I’d rather eat vegan for a week than write a blog post on why pumpkin cheesecakes crack, but I’m more than happy to explain how to get that perfect, creamy-custardy, probably-won’t-crack doneness you all deserve. Use a digital thermometer. Okay, that was a little anticlimactic, but it really is that simple.

If you turn off the heat when the cheesecake’s internal temp is between 155-160 F., and let it cool slowly in the warm oven, you should get exactly what you see here. The reason a thermometer is so key, is that going just by sight is hard to do. Even at 155 F., a cheesecake has a fairly jiggly middle, and really does look undercooked. Many cooks get scared and leave it in for a few more minutes, which can make all the difference.

This should take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Many factors are involved, but a big one is the temperature of your cheese and eggs. Mine were cold, which not only makes mixing harder, but also will increase cooking time, as a room temp batter starts cooking sooner. So, to recap, use a thermometer.

That covers the cheesecake, but what about the ginger snap crust? It was okay. The flavor was great, but it got a little gritty and gummy, and I'm not sure which, if any, of the thirty-five ingredients in the cookies was responsible. Maybe a little pre-baking would help, but I can't pretend to be overly concerned. Feel free to improve, or just go graham cracker.

This recipe was adapted from one found on my friend Elise’s blog, Simply Recipes. She’s one of my all-time favorites (food bloggers and people), and I insist you head over there to check out her gorgeous version as well. I (we) hope you give this easy pumpkin cheesecake a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 1 Pumpkin Cheesecake (10 slices)
Note: This is not a classic, dense, NY-style cheesecake, and has more of a creamy, custardy texture.

For the crust:
2 cups gingersnap crumbs
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 large egg yolk

4 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, room temp
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (15-oz) cans pure pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
1/4 cup all purpose flour

*Bake at 325 degrees F. for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until internal temp is between 155-160 F. Let cool in warm oven, with door cracked.
Apple & Cheddar Cheese Soufflés – Great for People Who Stink at Folding Egg Whites

Apple & Cheddar Cheese Soufflés – Great for People Who Stink at Folding Egg Whites

After doing such a great job folding the egg whites into this apple and cheddar soufflé batter, I celebrated by dropping a measuring cup into the bowl. By the time I fished it out, cleaned the sides of the bowl, and shook my fist at the heavens, I’d lost a lot of micro-bubbles.

I pressed on, and despite my tragic encounter with gravity, the resulting soufflés were simply fabulous, which just goes to show that maybe we need to relax about this whole folding thing. Sure, more bubbles would make it go a little higher, but if you’ve never made a soufflé before, I hope this gives you some new-found courage.

By the way, I don’t know why most similar recipes call for extra egg whites. Actually, I do know; it’s to make them more visually impressive, but I think this dilutes the flavor. I use about half the egg whites normally called for, and these are still light as a feather.

If you decide to give these a whirl, please promise me you'll use a great cheddar. I used a sharp and creamy Cabot, but any other quality, aged cheddar will work. These apple cheddar soufflés are very versatile, and would make a great appetizer, a special holiday brunch starter, or deliciously different dessert. I hope you give them a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4  (I used Le Creuset 4 3/4-ounce size):

For the apples:
1 tbsp butter, heated until edges start to turn brown
1 apple, cubed
1 tbsp sugar

For the batter:
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
pinch cayenne
pinch nutmeg
3 oz sharp white cheddar, or almost 1 cup grated
2 eggs, separated

Bake at 400 degrees F.  for about 22 minutes

*Assuming you don’t drop a measuring cup into your folded egg white fluffed batter, you should have about 2 cups of batter. You can divide each 1/2 cup portion into whatever sized ramekin you have, but a 4 3/4 to 5 oz size is ideal. Basically, when it’s fully puffed and browned, it’s done. And for goodness sake, serve very warm, but not piping hot!
Chia Chocolate Pudding – Sort of a Pet Project

Chia Chocolate Pudding – Sort of a Pet Project

If you’re my age, you can’t hear the word “chia” without thinking of the famous 1980’s commercial, and its “cha cha cha chia” jingle. That did make it a little tougher taking this seed seriously as a legitimate recipe ingredient, but as long as you manage expectations, it proved its worth beyond a gardening option for lazy people.

If you’re looking for a rich and decadent chocolate pudding then keep moving. As nutritious as this “superfood” is supposed to be, you can’t expect the same results substituting bird seeds for eggs, butter, and cream. That said, if you’re craving something sweet, relatively chocolately, and comparatively healthful, then chia seeds may be a good option.

Chia seeds are all the rage right now, and are usually seen in breakfast pudding form. In fact, I learned about them after seeing this on my friend Elizabeth’s blog, Saffron Lane. I’ve never been a big breakfast pudding guy, so I decide to do a dessert for my first attempt. Plus, I needed an excuse to use chocolate covered hemp seeds.

They're incredible easy to work with, and I look forward to doing more experiments. If you have any tips or tricks I should know about, please feel free to pop off. And if you’ve never tried using chia seeds before (the pet plant doesn’t count), I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 2 servings:
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
1/4 tsp vanilla
a few grains of salt
1 cup milk
chocolate covered hemp seeds, optional
Cronuts! Part 2: The Sights and Sounds

Cronuts! Part 2: The Sights and Sounds

As promised, here’s the finale to our two-part cronut extravaganza! The series concludes with me frying the two batches – the first half fried as prepared in the last video, but the second half of the dough received an additional tri-fold, which resulted in a much higher, but less crispy cronuts.

Both were very good, and the second batch was more impressive looking, but I’m thinking that for a true croissant/doughnut hybrid, thinner and with less layers may be the way to go. 

Of course, if you’re going to fill yours with vanilla custard, as is the custom in NYC, then the taller, airier cronut is probably a better delivery system. Rest assured, further exploration is inevitable.

In case you’re wondering, the second half of the dough was frozen overnight, and then thawed in the fridge until soft enough to work with, so it seems as though making and freezing this would not be problem. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Note: These cronuts were fried in grapeseed oil, at 350 degrees F. for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Click here to watch Part 1.

Cronuts! The Doughnuts That Make People Go Nuts! Part 1: The Dough

Cronuts! The Doughnuts That Make People Go Nuts! Part 1: The Dough

I’m assuming that since you’re on a food blog you've probably heard about “cronuts,” but just in case, here’s a quick review. 

This croissant/doughnut hybrid was invented by Dominique Ansel at the Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City. It became an overnight sensation, and now people stand in line for hours just for a chance at getting one of the precious few that are made each day.

Why all the hype? Very simple – it has the shape and flavor of a doughnut, yet features the crispy, flaky texture of a buttery croissant. What’s not to hype? Anyway, after seeing like two dozen new reports on the craze, and receiving a scary number of food wishes for it, I decided to give it a go, if for no other reason than to save a few of my NYC friends the humiliation of being Instagrammed standing in that line.

Since I’ve never tasted a cronut, what follows is purely an educated guess, but I think I got pretty close. Maybe one of you New Yorkers will mail me one, so I know for sure? My game plan was simple. Make a slightly sweet, yeasty, doughnut-esque dough, which I’d then layer with butter, using the classic croissant technique.

It’s a procedure I do all the time, as in once, back in culinary school, thirty years ago. So, instead of going by the book, or even looking in a book, I winged it, and not only that, I streamlined things too. Instead painstakingly pounding out perfectly sized slabs of cold butter, I decided to try simply spreading softened butter instead. I also threw caution to the wind, and pulled off the rare and terrifying “double fold and turn,” and lived to tell the tale.

Like I said in the video, we’ll cover the final results in Part 2, but spoiler alert…these were awesome. I did two different versions, one regular, and one with an extra “fold and turn” which resulted in a taller, and even more impressive cronut. Stay tuned!

Ingredients for 16 Cronuts:
1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup warm water (105 degrees F.)
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 rounded tablespoons white sugar (add an extra if you want a sweeter 'nut)
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pound all-purpose flour, more as needed
6 ounces soft, unsalted, "European-style" butter (12 tablespoons)

Fist steps:
- Combine yeast and warm water, and let sit five minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the flour and the European-style butter, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, and knead for about three minutes or until a soft sticky dough ball forms.
- Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Roll dough out into roughly a 18 x 9-inch rectangle.
- Proceed with butter as shown!

View the complete recipe