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Entries in dessert (5)

Sunday
Sep182016

Reversed Impossible (it's possible) Chocolate Flan

  

 

I’ve been threatening to make the Reversed Impossible Chocolate Flan featured in  “Sweet & Southern” by Ben Mims and on NYTimes cooking for weeks. I’d been looking for a recipe like this after I made the Lemon Pudding Cake a few weeks ago (if you haven’t tried it do so. It’s amazingly delicious). I secretly tried to come up with a recipe for a one batter magic cake myself, hoping I could achieve the same separation with one chocolate batter. Well, I didn’t have much luck, but I did have a really nice chocolate mousse cake in my fridge.

     This cake has two batters (they’re both dead easy) so twice as much magic happens. Before your eyes, the pudding sinks, the cake rises and a dessert worthy of a banquet at Hogwarts appears. No charm or wand waving needed. Helga Hufflepuff would be proud.

 

For the cake

½ cup butter, room temperature (1 stick)

¾ cup sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1-½ cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1-teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup buttermilk

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cooking spray

For the chocolate custard

12 oz. can evaporated milk

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

½ cup cocoa powder

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

 

     Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray. Place it in a large roasting pan, fill roasting pan half way up with water. Remove Bundt pan, and place roasting pan on rack in middle of oven.

     In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, beat in egg and mix until incorporated. Whisk flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a bowl. Whisk buttermilk and vanilla together in another bowl.

     Beginning and ending with the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk, add to butter and sugar in three stages, beating just until incorporated. Spread evenly in Bundt pan, smooth top.


     Using a hand mixture, beat evaporated milk, condensed milk, cocoa, eggs and vanilla together until smooth (the mixture will be thin). Ladle custard gently on top of cake batter.

 

     Transfer to roasting pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes until a tester comes out clean.


     Cool completely on a wire rack before even attempting to turn out (I put it in the fridge towards the end to make sure the custard set). Invert pan onto a plate, cake should slide right out. Grab a fork.


Some notes if you make this: A few of the reviews mentioned that the custard portion was rubbery. I didn’t find that at all. The custard was silky with a rich chocolate flavor. Also, some thought the cake was bland; so with that in mind I decided to triple the vanilla, used buttermilk rather than coconut milk and skipped the vinegar.

 

 

Sunday
Jul032016

I Made Crack Pie And Thought It Was...

 

     …one of the most overrated desserts - ever. Clearly I'm not a Milk Bar cult member. Crack Pie [wait for it] ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s just not. 

     I had heard nothing but raves, raves, raves, about this addictive confection and curiosity got the best of me. Twice. Yeah, I made it twice. Why? I didn’t think that something SO good could look SO bad. The first one looked blah, uninteresting. The second pie wasn’t much better, hence the liberal dusting of confectioner’s sugar in all of the pictures I saw online. And the filling? It’s is just a bunch [a whole bunch] of butter and sugar.  I get how that appeals, not exactly caramel, but still gooey. I just think it’s BORING.

     Which brings me to what I liked about the pie - the oatmeal cookie crust.

Great idea, so great that I’ve logged the recipe in my repertoire and will use it the next time I make a cheesecake. Goodbye boring graham crackers. Hello crunchy, oatmeal cookie crust.

     Here’s the Bon Appetit recipe I used. This is in no way a slight about the recipe – it works and you’ll know it works when your pie comes out looking like a mess that needs to be covered with confectioner’s sugar. If you don’t want to make your own Crack Pie – you can pick one up for a pricey $44.00 at a Momofuku Milk Bar – that alone should break you of the crack addiction.

 

 

 

Sunday
Jun192016

Vanilla Genoise with Mascarpone Cream and Fresh Strawberries

 

I saw a recipe for a Strawberry Cassata on the NYT Cooking website the other day and it looked so appetizing. A light sponge cake, soaked in vodka laced syrup, layered with sweetened fresh ricotta and topped with berries. While that recipe wasn’t a “traditional” cassata – no candied fruit on top and no marzipan. It did get me thinking about making a copycat dessert. So I did.

 

For the cake: 

3 large eggs, room temperature

6 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for dusting

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour

3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

1-teaspoon lemon zest

For the Mascarpone Cream:

1-cup heavy cream

8oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature

3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

16oz. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

     Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan, line bottom with parchment paper, butter paper and dust entire pan with sugar, tap out excess. Whisk vanilla into cooled, melted butter – set aside.

     Beat eggs, sugar and lemon zest together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on high, until a thick, ribbon forms when the paddle is lifted. This will take at the very least 5 minutes - don’t under beat.

     Remove bowl from stand, sift flour over mixture and fold in until incorporated. Add ½ cup of batter to butter and vanilla, gently fold together until completely mixed, fold butter mixture back into batter. Spread batter into the prepared pan, smooth top. Bake for 25 minutes until top springs back when lightly pressed and a tester inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan until you can handle it, run a knife around the edge of pan, and turn out onto a cake rack. Cool completely then use a serrated knife to cut in half making two layers.

     Whisk cream, sugar and vanilla together until soft peaks form. Whisk in mascarpone until smooth.

     Place bottom slice of cake on a plate, cut side up. Spread with ¾ of mascarpone cream. Place strawberries in a circle starting from the edge, filling in until cream is covered. Cover with top slice, spread remaining cream and decorate with strawberries.

     Keep chilled until ready to serve.

 

Sunday
Nov162014

Buche de Noel - The #1 It's not Christmas Without recipe...

 

 

     This sponge cake is from Betty Crocker circa 1986. It’s the only recipe I’ve used and it’s never, ever failed me. This is really basic, so it’s easy to tweak it any way you like to suit your own tastes. For instance, instead of Chantilly cream you could make a peppermint whipped cream, or add Chambord instead of vanilla to the cake. The variations are endless, just not in this house.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SPONGE CAKE

4 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3-cup water

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa

1-teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Confectioner’s sugar

     Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 15x10x1 baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, set aside.

     Beat eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high until thick and lemony in color (this could take up to 5 minutes). Gradually beat in sugar on low speed. Then beat in water and vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Do not over beat. Pour batter into prepared pan, spread to corners using a spatula.

     Bake 12-15 minutes until center springs back when pressed with finger. Sprinkle a clean tea towel with confectioner’s sugar. Loosen edges of cake from sides of parchment paper and turn upside down onto a tea towel. Peel away paper; trim any stiff edges from rectangle. While hot, roll cake and towel up from the narrow end. Let cool on a rack for 30 minutes.

FOR THE CHANTILLY CREAM FILLING

½ cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1-tablespoon confectioner’s sugar

Beat cream, vanilla and sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until stiff peaks form, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

4-4-½ cups confectioner’s sugar

1-tablespoon vanilla

¼ cup milk

     Whisk flour and cocoa together in a medium bowl. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Gradually beat in sugar mixture on low speed until blended. Gradually beat in vanilla and enough milk until the frosting is smooth. If the frosting becomes too thin, add more confectioner’s sugar, if it too thick, add milk by the teaspoon.

 

Thursday
Oct272011

Apple Pie Pillow Puffs

  

These pillow puffs are just the cutest little things to make!  They’re perfect to whip up if your short on time but longing for an apple pie.  Cooking the apples for about 15 minutes or so before hand makes certain the apples are tender, not too mushy and the pastry has a chance to brown, not burn.  Using the pre-made pastry cuts down on the prep time so these can be whipped up in about 45 minutes…tops!

 

Ingredients

Makes 5 pluse a few more little ones

4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons butter

2 nine inch ready made pie crusts

cold water, a few tablespoons

Confectioner’s sugar

 

Special equipment:  4 ¼ inch round cookie cutter

 

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Melt the butter in a medium sized skillet.  Add the apples, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.  Cook over medium heat until the apples are very tender but not mushy (you don’t want applesauce!).

Un-roll crusts on a floured surface, cut out ten “pillows” using the cookie cutter, place five  on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Spoon apples on to  “pillows.” 

 

Roll out the remaining five “pillows” so they are slightly larger than the bases.  Brush a little water around the edges of the “pillow” bases.  Top with remaining pastry and use a fork to crimp down the edges of each “pillow.”  Bake for 15-20 minutes until the “pillows” are golden brown.  Cool then sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.  Serve with ice cream!!!

 

It’s All Delicious notes:  I used my ravioli cutter and made little apple squares with the scraps of pastry.  They were so cute too!