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Creations from The Art of the Dessert

Dessert

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137 replies to this topic

#61 gfron1

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 06:49 AM

Chocolate Babka
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A very light coffeecake-like bread swirled with apricot jam, cake crumbs, chocolate shavings and topped with struesel.

I thought for sure that this recipe wasn't going to work. When I made the dough it was so wet and sticky - I had no idea how I was going to roll it out. But Amernick said to make it like thick ice cream and I did, so I ploughed ahead. And what do you know...it worked perfectly! I loved the texture of this but would have added more filling to satisfy my sweettooth. Of course, that meant that my spouse thought it was perfect. Amernick calls for this as a dessert with ice cream, but we both agreed that it was best left as a decadent breakfast or brunch item.

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#62 renam

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 08:08 AM

That looks so good at 7:06 in the morning. All I have is a banana here at work. Where are you getting your recipes from? Do you have your own business or is this just something you do all the time?

Rena

#63 gfron1

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 09:59 AM

All of the recipes in this topic are from Ann Amernick's The Art of the Dessert. And I squeeze these in in between my two full time jobs and eG time :blink: Sugar keeps me going!

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#64 LT Wong

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 08:51 PM

I made the babka a month back, and it was delicious.

I'll second the advice to add more filling.

The cassata looks delicious!

#65 gfron1

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 10:39 PM

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The Chocolate Viennese Cake. I had eaten sacher tortes many times, but never made one, so I didn't realize that corn starch was the reason for the texture. Often times that texture is a big turnoff for me - not this one. My guests found a good but a bit rich. We had our first snow!
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#66 lperry

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 08:31 AM

I made the Demayo chocolate cake, filled it with homemade pear/ginger preserves, and frosted with bitter chocolate sour cream frosting (which was a bad choice). The cake is incredible (I have a post-demolition photo that I will upload when I get to a computer with an image processing application). This is definitely going to be my go-to chocolate layer cake recipe. I only had 9" pans, and the cooking time was a bit longer than hers, but it came out incredibly moist. The tricky part for me was that it is a very delicate cake - I broke one of the layers just moving it from the rack to the plate - and I needed a much softer icing (maybe a ganache? Maybe even seven minute?) I was very happy with the ginger. The bite went really nicely with the dark chocolate flavor of the cake.

-L

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Edited for photo. This is a post party shot. As you can see, I am not the worst cake decorator on the planet. If, however, the worst cake decorator were to die... :wink: It tasted good, anyway!

Edited by lperry, 09 December 2007 - 09:49 AM.


#67 Tri2Cook

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 10:02 AM

If, however, the worst cake decorator were to die...  :wink:

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I don't have plans for relinquishing my title anytime soon.

Looks tasty and very moist.

Edited by Tri2Cook, 09 December 2007 - 10:02 AM.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#68 gfron1

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 01:27 PM

Great minds...its on my to-do for this afternoon. I'll try to get the pre fork pic.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#69 gfron1

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 11:36 PM

Here's my Demayo. We decided its not a German Chocolate cake because of the intensity of the chocolate - 1 C. of cocoa. My deep dark dirty secret behind this picture is that the cake was a disaster. First, I made high altitude adjustments that weren't quite right...odd doming on top. Second, my spouse sprung a dinner party on me where the cake was expected (2 hours before the party)..."oops, you mean I didn't tell you?" Third, assembling a cake before it has fully cooled is not a good idea. Fourth, I only had my finely grated Indian coconut - good flavor, poor texture. The result was a good tasting cake where the top layer broke apart into 6 pieces and slid off the sides because the filling wasn't quite set.

We all liked it, but not to the extent that lperry did. But, I don't know what's the recipe and what was my doing. But it certainly would be worth making again to find out.
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#70 lperry

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 03:15 PM

It doesn't look disastrous to me at all! I hope you try it again with something that might be better with the dark chocolate flavor. Next go round I am going to fill with berries and whipped cream. German chocolate cake was never something we had when i was growing up, and I've never had one that wasn't from a box, so it didn't occur to me to make it by the recipe. My inspiration was the little dark chocolate-covered ginger candies from Trader Joe's.

#71 gfron1

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 05:07 PM

The secret is...look at how much of the cake you can see. The top layer broke into a bunch of pieces...really, it was an ugly mess.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#72 cookman

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 09:16 PM

Has anyone tried Ann's unusual technique for making puff pastry? In it, she describes a technique in which the butter is first cut into slices, then made into 4 discrete sheets which are then layered into the dough during the first set of turns. I've never seen anyone do it this way (seems unnecessarily complicated), but I'm intrigued and plan on trying it this weekend. I'll report back with my results. Anyone else tried her technique?

#73 gfron1

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 09:26 PM

I have and thought the same thing. I think that technique provides a bit more control over the shape of the butter as you begin rolling it. Not necessary, but I see the usefulness.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#74 alanamoana

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:03 PM

I have and thought the same thing.  I think that technique provides a bit more control over the shape of the butter as you begin rolling it.  Not necessary, but I see the usefulness.

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it seems like it would help to control the gluten formation in the dough as well. while i don't have the book, i'm sort of picturing the technique in my head. do you roll the dough out into a rectangle and fold it over the "sheets" of butter that you've created? then you continue to make your folds?

#75 gfron1

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:51 PM

Yes - its pretty much the typical process, but she starts by having you cut the butter into rectangles and assembling them into your square. I'll have to pull the book and make sure I'm not misspeaking.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#76 gfron1

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 07:20 AM

I double checked and I'll paraphrase - she goes into great detail to make sure you get it right.

To prepare the butter. Dust each stick with a bit of flour. Use a cheese slicer or madoline, and cut into 7 lengthwise slices. This has been where I stopped because my store doesn't sell American shaped butter (Kerrygold and Lurpak). Ending up with 28 thin 5x1 slices (from 4 sticks). Group them into 3 groups (9, 9, 10). Put on parchment paper, long sides slightly overlapping and press them together into three 7 3/4 x 5 inch sheets. Chill. Roll out the dough to 20 x 8. With ruler, mark the dough into fourths crosswise. Place one 7 3/4 x 5 sheet on the dough...and on and on. She does what looks like a 4-fold brochure that folds into one panel (if you know what I mean). Her diagrams make it very simple. So its not the traditional envelop fold.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#77 Tri2Cook

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 08:26 AM

Interesting. I don't think I'm likely to go to that extra trouble to make puff dough but it's still cool to see how others do things.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#78 lperry

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 10:56 AM

When the book came out, the Washington Post did a story with Amernick, and the technique they (or she?) chose to highlight was this one. I saved the paper for the photos (only to have a well-meaning BF recycle it!), and I can't seem to find it on the website. At any rate, I got the impression that this technique was something new and worthwhile - hence the full page of photos and big feature in the food section. I remember that the layers looked very clean cut and flaky. I haven't tried it because I rarely use puff, and then I cheat with Trader Joe's. :smile:

#79 Tri2Cook

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 12:26 PM

There may be a good reason for doing it that way, not questioning that at all, but it would have to be a fairly significant difference for me to do the extra work. Kinda like Herme's reverse puff dough. I tried it and it's cool but it's not different enough from the usual suspects to be worth the effort to me. Now his chocolate puff dough is a different story... a thing of beauty.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#80 gfron1

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 01:39 PM

Having done both of those, and Julia's techniques...I always go back to Julia's. I have a bit of butter oozing with her technique, but that's my sloppiness. Ann's technique is for the perfectionist or a great way for a beginner since she diagrams it so well.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#81 Lior

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 02:08 PM

Rob- about your cake: Well!! It does look yummy and one should not judge books by their cover (similar reactions to my delicious desserts-taken well by their maker-no worry) I must admit that I got this little evil smile on my face when I read about your cake!
:wink:

Edited by Lior, 13 December 2007 - 02:09 PM.


#82 fooey

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 04:40 PM

I haven't purchased the book yet, so I don't have the recipe, but it's on my Amazon.com wish list.

What rice is called for? Which did you use?

I think the age of the rice is probably less important the the type of rice. I once tried to make risotto using something other than the usual Arborio Rice, and no matter how much I stirred, the right textire evaded me.

Look forward to the book!

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.


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#83 gfron1

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 08:44 AM

She has a few rice pudding recipes, and they use different rices. The Turkish Rice and Rose water pudding calls for basmati. Another one calls for jasmine. I haven't made any of them yet, so I can't comment, but she is a very particular chef, so I'm assuming there's a method to her madness.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#84 gfron1

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 06:44 PM

This is a failed attempt at the pistachio cake. I made my typical altitude adjustments and something didn't work, so I'm going to remake it tonight without any adjustments and see what happens. I had plenty of rise since these forms were only filled half way, so they must have risen enough to be able to ooze over the side when they fell.
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#85 gfron1

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 07:48 PM

I just finished round #2 where I used the recipe exactly. I had the same result. So, if someone is motivated to try the pistachio cakes, I would appreciate knowing if its me or the recipe.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#86 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 09:04 PM

I just finished round #2 where I used the recipe exactly.  I had the same result.  So, if someone is motivated to try the pistachio cakes, I would appreciate knowing if its me or the recipe.

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How disappointing, Rob! I don't have the book out of the library right now but I do have the pistachio paste.
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#87 gfron1

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 12:10 PM

For what its worth, here are the two batches of pistachios that I used. The first batch (course) was used in the altitude modified recipe which fell worse than the other. The second batch (fine) was used in the no modifications recipe which fell, but I think I'll be able to salvage something.
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#88 fooey

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 12:32 PM

Did you peel those pistachios yourself?

If so, you have 10x more patience than I do!

:biggrin:
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#89 gfron1

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 12:47 PM

oh good heavens no - I had a 50 pound box show up at my store already shelled and skinned.

Chef, Curious Kumquat, Silver City, NM


#90 Lior

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Posted 17 December 2007 - 02:10 PM

It looks delicious. Can you somehow use it? Like pry it out and use as a cup for ice cream? Or crumble it for a topping? Or as a base for a custard cake? I love doing stuff like that. I am good at it as I often end up with such cakes...

It seems like the recipe is too liquidy...?





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