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Creations from The Art of the Dessert

Dessert

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137 replies to this topic

#31 Mottmott

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 03:12 PM

Just to update: As I liked the flavor of the pudding and the contrast between the two elements, I tried it again using a new batch of rice, stirring a bit more and cooking the rice pudding about 20 minutes longer than called for. The pudding was less liquidy this time. I think using light cream rather than half and half would also make it tighter, but I think I'll keep it this way and skip the extra calories. :laugh:

I went online and checked out a variety of rice pudding recipes and it seems that those from Asia tend to have a similar rice:liquid ratio.


[I]

I had a problem with The Turkish Rice and Rose Water Pudding. I hope Ann will have the answer to the problem I had.

As I'm still in recovery mode from a hip operation, I thought I'd treat myself to the comfort of the Turkish Rice and Rose Water Pudding. And it looked less demanding than most other recipes, not calling for lifting hot things from the oven. As I have a stool in the kitchen, hanging around to stir from time to time did not present a problem

I followed the recipe exactly, using the half and half for the Turkish Rice recipe. To my surprise it turned out to be a liquidy gruel, not "creamy and loose." The Rose-Water Pudding didn't "gel" completely, but was acceptably thinckened. I like rosewater flavor, so the dessert's flavor was agreeably subtle and suited what I was looking for in my present frame of mind.

The problem was the texture/consistency. I assume there is supposed to be some sort of pleasant interplay between the texture of the two elements.

Two possiblilities:

1. There's a misprint. The recipe as written calls for only 1/3 cup basmati rice to 2 quarts of half and half. This strikes me as a strange ratio for a rice pudding, but I tend to follow a recipe exactly the first time.

2. Sometimes grains and beans behave weirdly if they are too old.

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I did test and retest this recipe.
It does sound like a lot of liquid to the rice but as I stirred it and stirred some more, it thickened and I was really happy with the texture. And the topping of the rose water pudding seemed to marry well with it. I don't know what to tell you here, it may be my taste for these thick kind of porridgey sort of textures. It was liquidy, but the rice was cooked. I would say that you picked a recipe that needs a bit more stirring than you may have been up for. The recipe I like even better is the Red and White Parfait on page 200. Hope I shed some light here.
Ann

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Thanks for your response. Don't misunderstand. I thought I had done something wrong. The taste was lovely and I will probably make it again as I love rose flavoring. When I discovered how liquidy it turned out, I plated it more like a soup than a pudding, adding a few candied cherries in syrup I'd made with the last of this year's local sour cherries. It was pretty as well as delicately luscious. The pudding which did thicken gave it mouth feel. And I particularly like desserts that depend on flavor rather than cloying sweetness.

I think the rice may not have been as fresh and didn't give off as much starch. The rice cream never coated the back of the spoon enough to make a trail in it. I actually set the timer for each stage to be sure I didn't short time it; then when it looked so liquidy, cooked it a bit more. (In fact, I pulled out some of the rice and smashed it into a paste to stimulate thickening.) Could I have not have had the heat high enough? I used a diffuser to be sure not to burn the half and half.

I'm looking forward to other confections. I am happy to see that you not only give weight measurements, but that you specify which chocolates you use in some of your recipes. I usually buy the Valrhona guanaja in 3 kilo pkgs, but next time I'll get the Caribe as I'm lplanning to try some of your cakes. It's also helpful to see Pouilly Fuisse, not just white wine, and particular brands of sherry rather than a generic term, etc. I believe in doing it your way as near as possible the first time; alterations, if any, after. And lastly, thanks for not making an outsized coffee table book.

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When I made this, the pudding really did thicken, so it's possible that the rice was different enough that there was a problem, although it's hard to figure. But I do know that there are so many variables. For instance, in the Wellington and Vanilla Nut cookies, I call for almond paste, and specifically NOT Marzipan. But when I demonstated the Wellingtons in a different area of the country, the only Almond Paste they had for me was Solo brand. And the sugar content was higher than the almond, making it more like marzipan. So the cookie really looked different. I used AA Almond paste for testing purposes and the difference was marked. And Solo was an Almond Paste. So all of this factors in. But just know how much I appreciate your trying the book and the recipes and any guidance or help, don't hesitate to ask.
Thanks,
Ann

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"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

#32 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:31 PM

Rob - thanks so much for starting this thread. I just got this book out of the library and I can't wait to start baking. Unfortunately holiday plans are going to hold this up for a bit but at my first opportunity.... It's going to take me awhile to figure out where to start. I think I might try the caramel nut cake you posted a picture of. MMMmmmmm.
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#33 gfron1

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 05:09 AM

You're welcome. I've been in a personal whirlwind the past 2 weeks, and I'm taking off for a long hike this weekend, but then I'll be back at it. I'm shooting for the birdseed cake since she said its the cake the launched her career.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#34 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 04:10 PM

You're welcome.  I've been in a personal whirlwind the past 2 weeks, and I'm taking off for a long hike this weekend, but then I'll be back at it.  I'm shooting for the birdseed cake since she said its the cake the launched her career.

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That is another one I'm seriously considering.
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#35 gfron1

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 08:31 AM

I thought I would never get this one done! Life has gotten in the way of my dessert making, but I finally finished the Birdseed Cake. This is the cake that the book says launched her career. Its my favorite type - multi-day/multi-component - high payout.

I have got to say this is the best cake I've ever had in my mouth. Maybe that's an overstatement, but really, I can't remember anything with this many great components working together. The buttercream (I've only made buttercream a few times) is so incredibly silky, and the nougatine was a perfect addition to add texural character. So here it is:
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The cake is chocolate almond genoise. The bottom layer is soaked with rum syrup, topped with chocolate buttercream, another layer of genoise soaked with rum syrup, ganache, more genoise soaked with kirsch syrup, plain buttercream with crushed almond nougatine, the final layer of genoise, covered in light chocolate buttercream.

For me this was great because it helped me resolve my simple syrup soaking phobia. And was my first buttercream decorated dessert (I've used it in other desserts but not as the exterior decoration). I would love to spend a week with a pastry chef and learn/practice basic decorating skills...but that's for another time.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#36 Tri2Cook

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 01:12 PM

Looks awesome but does the book offer any explanation as to why it's called "Birdseed Cake"? Just curious since you didn't mention any type of seeds as a component of the cake.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#37 gfron1

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 01:13 PM

:) Sorry...its a family story how her kids used to call it that. There were no birdseeds harmed in the making of that cake.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#38 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 02:26 PM

Rob, it looks fabulous! Another busy week for me but I hope to start baking from this book soon. I was thinking of just starting at the beginning and working through all the recipes that interested me. I can hardly wait!
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#39 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 10:25 PM

I hadn't realized that anyone had responded to tthe recipe page. I'm impressed at all the desserts that have been made. If I can answer any questions or help someone in any way, don't hesitate to ask. Hope to hear from you.
Thanks,
Ann

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Hi Ann, just wondering how many ounces you use per cup of AP flour? I'm guessing by your description that it is 4-1/2 oz but since you offered to answer questions I thought I would ask. :) Oh, also for cake flour since you use that quite a bit as well.

Edited by CanadianBakin', 02 August 2007 - 10:26 PM.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#40 gfron1

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 10:14 PM

Tonight I reached my limit. I made the Chocolate Toffee Torte. It was good, but it was just too much for me. So much chocolate and so much butter. I really like how she works in crunchy (toffee and nougatine) into her buttercream. This was a dense, moist chocolate cake base, topped with chocolate buttercream and walnut toffee, ganache and ganache creme. I tried to draw a walnut on the top in a denser ganache and my friends couldn't decide if it was a brain or a vagina. Oh well...
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Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#41 insomniac

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Posted 05 August 2007 - 11:53 PM

hmmm...the brain I can extrapolate, but ?? :biggrin: ps. where do your friends work :smile:
nonetheless looks roof-of-the-mouth stickingly glorious

#42 gfron1

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 10:39 PM

Well, the vagina reference we'll just blame on my poor drawing skills, but my friends do work for a mental health agency, so you never know what's going on in their heads :wink: The leftovers ended up being taken to a local knitting circle where it was a huge hit - even in retrospect, it was too much for me.

Tonight its near 90F so I went for something cooler - the espresso succès with espresso ice cream. Very fast and easy. I enjoyed it. This was my first succè, and I started a topic to learn more about them. My assumption is that, in general, they are intended more to be a platform for something else, rather than the focus of the dessert. I enjoyed the succè - almond and espresso. A friend that I shared it with said he much more enjoyed the ice cream, so he found the succè to be stronger than he would have preferred. The ice cream was a nice strong espresso flavor and very creamy. I have some extra that will probaby make an appearance next weekend.
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Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#43 lperry

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 08:13 AM

Thank you so much for this topic. I was just given this book as a gift, and viewing your photos is helping me decide which recipe to make first. Everything you have made is just beautiful!

-L

#44 gfron1

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 09:32 PM

My gap in production has been due to a lot of travelling. But, I'm home now and ready to get back at this book. Tonight I made the Apricot and custard danish sandwiches. Apricot pastry cream, the pastry cream worked into a bavoroise (if I understand the term correctly), apricot puree with cream sherry, and puff pastry. I used the new Trader Joe's puff - I know I'm a slacker - but it was perfect. I prefer my desserts very sweet, but my spouse doesn't. I thought this was good, he thought it was super. I served them at a party and they were gobbled very quickly with fanfare. With the TJ puff cheat, this was a very quick dessert to make.
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Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#45 Ann Amernick

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 03:59 PM

I hadn't realized that anyone had responded to tthe recipe page. I'm impressed at all the desserts that have been made. If I can answer any questions or help someone in any way, don't hesitate to ask. Hope to hear from you.
Thanks,
Ann

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Hi Ann, just wondering how many ounces you use per cup of AP flour? I'm guessing by your description that it is 4-1/2 oz but since you offered to answer questions I thought I would ask. :) Oh, also for cake flour since you use that quite a bit as well.

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Sorry to take so long to get back to you, I actually was away doing a demo on a Holland America cruise. Great fun. Anyway, to answer your question, I use 140 grams for all purpose flour and 120 grams for cake flour- that's per cup. In the back of the book, is a whole table of conversions, especially eggs from grams to liquid cup measures.
The pictures of the desserts here really are looking good. Hope I can continue to answer any questions you might have.
Ann

#46 gfron1

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 06:20 AM

The first recipe in the book - Orange Apricot Tart. Almond genoise layered with fresh orange marmalade, apricot paste, and orange/apricot buttercream.
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Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#47 jumanggy

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 10:39 AM

(Torte?) When I peeked at the book, the cake was covered instead in fondant, so I've been dying to see the original version. It looks and sounds terrific!
Mark
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#48 gfron1

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 01:03 PM

Aha! Very observant. I was kind of disappointed that mine wasn't as pretty, but I realized that she had fondant on top of the buttercream - especially since that buttercream is pretty chunky.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#49 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 03:43 PM

Did you like it? I've been eyeing that one up as well. I had an occassion I thought it would be perfect for but it turned out the guest of honour doesn't like apricot so I'm still waiting for an opportunity. I might have to make it just because. :)
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#50 gfron1

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Posted 31 October 2007 - 05:32 PM

Did I like it :/ .... The person I made it for really liked it which is ultimately the goal. I, however, continue my inability to properly soak my cakes. I left them a bit dry, so as a result, I enjoyed the marmalade immensely, the buttercream quite a bit, but the cakes were just ok - but my fault, not the recipe's.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#51 gfron1

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 10:05 PM

From Ann's interview

What is the food that you love so much that you would gorge yourself on?
Maryland Strudel, I love it almost more than anything.

Now that its fall, I finally made this - I'll post that later. But, I wanted to share how much I'm enjoying this book - its the perfect skill level for me. What I'm most enjoying is that it seems most recipes teach me a new technique or skill. The strudel taught me a new way to make the dough (melting butter and sour cream together, then adding it to the flour), and cutting 3/4 through while its still warm, so that when you serve it, you'll have a clean cut. Maybe this is old hat to many of you, but its brand new to me and I'm really loving it!

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#52 gfron1

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 10:28 PM

Here it is.
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A beautiful butt if I've ever seen one. Notice the little sugar spec trying to run away on the top...I got him.

And the guts...
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I had to modify (as usual). I thought I had walnuts, but didn't so I used almonds and pecans. In retrospect, my pine nuts would have been even better. On one (the recipe makes two) I stayed as true to the recipe as I could, but on the one in the pictures I added crystalized ginger. So, on the inside there's apricot, yellow and dark raisins, currants, cranberries and cinnamon. She suggested serving with Manchego which would have been stellar, but I went for ice cream instead.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#53 jumanggy

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 09:06 AM

Great thickness (thinness?) on the dough, Rob! I've been aching to make strudel but I've been distracted by desserts gifted to me, again. Apricots aren't available here so I'll go a classic route, but sour cream in the dough sounds like an excellent idea, for extra tenderness and flavor.
Mark
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#54 Lior

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 10:03 AM

I wish you could get your "butt" over here so I could eat your "guts" out!!! :biggrin:

#55 prairiegirl

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 10:53 PM

I second that!!

#56 gfron1

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 07:21 AM

Last night I made a super meal of Chicken with Vin Jaune and Morels for some friends and capped it off with the Cassatta. Six layers of rich almost-pound cake layered with currant jelly and a mixture of ricotta, cream cheese, cream, marsala, and cinnamon, covered in a light and smooth fudge frosting.
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As I'm coming to expect with this book, this was a really tasty and easy dessert. I had stayed away from it for a while because I thought it was going to be a lot of work - it wasn't. A couple of challenges however. The recipe called for baking the cake in two 8x4 loaf pans, then cutting each into 3 layers. What you're seeing in these pics is just one loaf pan - I ended up making two cakes which is fine with me, but if I had done it her way, the cake would have been nearly 12 inches tall. The second concern was the filling. When I made the filling according to the recipe it was too thin. If I had simply mixed the filling and put in on the cake, it would have oozed out or soaked in. I tried to whip the cream while mixed which did thicken it some, and then I put it in the fridge to firm up the cheeses. Those steps made it thick enough to work with. I think the problem was that I used reduced fat ricotta since it was the only thing available in my town. That may have thinned the mixture enough to cause the problem, so someone who has access to full fat ricotta should let us know if they run into the same issue.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#57 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 10:26 PM

I haven't had a chance to bake much from this book yet but I did make the Schnecken a while ago and they were amazing. Unfortunately they disappeared before I remembered to take a picture so I can't show you. I made them the size she suggests and also in a mini-size, with raisins & nuts and without. They are the right sweetness for me (I don't like really sweet cinnamon rolls) and oh so buttery. Everyone that tried one raved.
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#58 jumanggy

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 02:25 AM

Rob: That's weird. Was the cake actually 12" tall in the book? (Though a lot of them don't have pictures....) I guess you were more successful in getting the cake to rise (I'm not sure how things work in high altitudes.) Regardless, it looks incredibly decadent :smile:
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#59 gfron1

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 07:27 AM

No pic in the book and it didn't rise anymore than a pound cake, so I don't know. Many of her recipes leave you extras to be used later - for example this one had some scraps from the squaring off, which I quickly ate, but then yesterday realized the very next recipe wanted me to use in the babka which I'm preparing to make. I have been making high altitude adjustments on the cakes using THESE recommendations, which have been very successful for me.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#60 Tri2Cook

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 08:38 AM

for example this one had some scraps from the squaring off, which I quickly ate, but then yesterday realized the very next recipe wanted me to use in the babka which I'm preparing to make.

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That's a good tip for books that make use of scraps, maybe a little "reserve for use in (whatever)" note with the recipe so you know not to munch or toss the leftovers.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.





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