Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
chefette

What's on your menu for dessert?

Recommended Posts

tsquare   
I think the tradition should be to try something new for the New Year, to move forward into new pastry areas, skills, flavors, and presentations--it should be strictly wrong just to reach back and do safe old things.

This is probably really basic for experienced chefs and bakers - but I made lemon curd for the first time. I had leftover yolks in the fridge and a good supply of lemons on hand. With many recipes as references, I'm forgetting which one I actually used! (4 yolks, sugar, lemon juice, butter, salt, lemon zest - no flour or cornstarch.) I wasn't sure what I was looking for when taking it off the heat - and underestimated it. Cooled it and put it in the fridge. Next day, the mixture had separated, with butter at top and liquid sunshine below. Not good. Decided to go ahead and reheat it over a medium low heat, stirring all the while. Sat and read "More Home Cooking" and stirred for 20 minutes easily. And then, almost custard! A thick mass of beautiful, sweet-tart lemon curd! I think it will be incorporated into a fruit tart this weekend. (Didn't end up needing it for the holiday afterall.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

T--so much depends on the recipe and having the right balance of lemon juice to yolks--but one little trick you might try next time: don't put the butter in until you've removed the curd from the heat and let it cool down a bit. Then add the butter and whiz with an immersion blender. Very unctuous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chefette   

OK, OK, I feel awful because I have yet to actually make that Michel Bras recipe. I am ready, have everything I need (except time), and will do it really soon. Meanwhile has anyone else made anything new? hmmmmm?

Today in Washington, DC it is cold and grey and snowing so I reverted to serious comfort food and made a bread pudding - truly scrumptious. I used the recipe I wrote down when I was 10. My Mom always made it after Christmas to use up the stale cinnamon rolls (swedish tea ring) Since I have already admitted to not making those myself for home consumption I resort to the Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl bread with raisins.

Here is the recipe in case anyone else wants to join me in a bowl of hot bread pudding drizzled with heavy cream:

1 16 oz loaf of P Farm Cinnamon Swirl Bread cut into cubes

3 cups whole milk - scalded

3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs slightly beaten

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup raisins

- Place the bread cubes in a caserole dish or pan (I used a half half hotel pan which is roughly 9x11 but I think 8x8 would do fine)

- pour the scalded milk over the bread and let it sit a couple of minutes

- whisk the eggs, add the sugar salt and cinnamon and combine then whisk in the raisins

- add this into the bread mixture ad stir it around with the whisk to combine it

- set baking dish into a pan with 1" hot water and bake 1 hour in a 350 degree oven

This always makes me think (secretly) of a book I loved as a kid - "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase" by Joan Aiken - the two little heroines who are plagued by an evil scheming governess while their parents are on an ocean voyage are constantly being served cozy meals of hot bread and milk with buttery cream in the nursery. This is how I imagine my bread pudding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a co-inky-dink - I've been sick with a cold since New Year's day and wanted something warm and comforting, so I tried out a recipe I got from my Mom at Christmas for apple dumplings she used to make when I was little. It's a very unusual recipe in that she used diced rather than whole apples, the crust has quite a bit of baking powder and milk so it's halfway between a biscuit and a pie dough, and the whole thing is baked in a spiced syrup making it almost like a cobbler or pudding. Mom made a few changes to the original recipe and I made some as well (and will probably make more changes next time I make it), but here is what I did last night:

Syrup:

1-1/2 cups sugar

1-1/2 cups water

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

3 Tbs butter

combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. remove from heat and stir in butter. Let cool to room temp

Apples:

4 granny smiths, cored, peeled and chopped into 3/4" dice

1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg (I would use less sugar next time)

Pastry:

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2/3 cup shortening (I used butter, Mom used Crisco)

1/2 cup milk

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. cut in butter using pastry blender or food processor until it forms coarse crumbs. Add milk all at once and stir quickly with a fork just until all the flour is moistened. don't over mix - treat it like a biscuit dough. Push the dough together and roll out a little larger than a 18x12 rectangle (do not chill first). Cut into squares a little larger than 6x6. Toss apple chunks in sugar/spice mixture and mound in center of pastry squares. moisten edges of pastry, bring corners together over apples and seal seams. don't worry about being neat and tidy or making sure the apples are completely sealed in - this is a very rustic, homey dessert. put the dumplings in a 9x13 baking dish and pour the cooled syrup over them making sure to moisten all of the top surfaces. Sprinkle with a little bit of sugar and bake at 375 F for 35 minutes until the apples are tender. server warm (these also reheat in the microwave quite well).

I think this recipe might be even better with rhubarb and the the spicing could be played with. Also it's quite sweet, so some tinkering with the amount of sugar might be in order.

Chefette - the bread pudding sounds great. Could I ask what size you cut the bread cubes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chefette   

Night, those dumplings do sound good too. Something to try this winter.

For the Bread pudding I don't think it matters too much about the size. I guess I end up making about a 1/2" square though (roughly) Since I am starting with sliced bread which is approx 1/2" thick, and I probably managed to slice the loaf into 4 or five slices throught the top and same down the side (too lazy to cut 3 or 4 piles of slices).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wanted to resurect this thread to mention I tried the Jean-Georges warm, liquid center chocolate cake recipe tonight. I know it's a dessert cliche, but damn if it wasn't really, really good, as well as very fast and easy to make (if you have all the ingredients you can be eating it within about a half hour of opening the cookbook, but you can also make the batter several hours ahead of time, pour into molds, and just bake off when you want to serve the cakes). I got the recipe from the "Jean-Georges: Cooking at home with a Four-Star Chef" book, but it's also available on-line here: http://www.wchstv.com/gmarecipes/warmsoftchocola.shtml

Other recipes I've seen involve inserting a cold chocolate truffle into the batter before baking, but this one just uses a very simple, rich batter baked briefly at a high temperature to acheive the soft center. Has anybody else made a version of this cake that they recommend?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chefette   

Thanks Night. I actually owe this thread some info myself. I did make the Banana Nougatine napoleon (well, some version of it anyway) finally.

As I mentioned earlier, looking over the recipe carefully I thought that it was way too complicated.

I made banana Brazilnut nougatine sheets.

Toast 4 oz brazilnuts in the oven and allow to cool

Grind with 1 container Just Bananas (2oz?) try to maintain a non-paste consistency

Caramelize 500g sugar in a heavy pan and add 2 oz butter

pour out the caramel onto a large silpat to cool

break up the caramel and grind it toi a powder

sprinkle a layer of caramel powder onto a silpat and then sprinkle with the banana nut mixture, and top with a dusting of the caramel powder

score with the bak of a knife into rectangles

place in a 325 degree oven until the caramel melts (just a minute or two)

allow to cool slightly and peel off the silpat

I also made the sugar macaroons using Sucanat (a natural cane sugar)

I stuck pretty much to the recipe from the Bras book on that. You then are supposed to gring these macaroons up and use them as the base of the yogurt cream filling. I was not that keen on the filling or the macaroons.

I really liked the nougatine though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also made the sugar macaroons using Sucanat (a natural cane sugar).

I remember using this stuff in my 'vegan' days. chefette, have you used it often in pastry work? Do you have any thoughts on how it behaves and where it might be useful?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That nougatine sounds really good - I may have to give it a try. Based on the recipe on page 186, yes?

Edit: I just took another look at the Bras recipe, and not only is it complicated, it doesn't actually make sense. :hmmm: He says to spread the caramel and banana pate sablee mixture out on a silpat, but then he moves on to spreading the nougatine between parchment sheets and heating it in the oven - never again mentioning the banana mixture. Are they supposed to be combined in some way? Something is either missing or wasn't translated properly here.


Edited by nightscotsman (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chefette   

Michael, this was my first use of sucanat. I had it around for a while waiting for something to try it with.

It isn't moist or fine grained like brown sugars. It is dry and fairly coarse. It might actually work out if you ground it up more finely in a food processor. The flavor was very assertive. I am not sure what I would use it for. Not sure it was ideal for this use.

Night... In the Bras recipe he dries bananas then mashes them up with water to make banana butter, The banana butter is used to make a banana sable. The banana sable is ground up into the nougatine. My reaction to all of this was that it was a ridiculous waste of time. This leads me to believe that he was rummaging around in the pastry kitchen one evening just robbing the poor pastry chef of all sorts of things to toss into his misguided dessert.

Looking over all this I thought - so, you wanted a banana nougatine - let's just make that then and skip all this other crapola.

And yes, the whole, make the hot caramel and spred it out and roll it between two silpats thing has never ever worked that well for me. I have to say that I would really be interested in seeing someone actually do that and actually produce nice paper thin pieces of nougatine as pictured on page 186. I did try it the rolling out way and had some moderate success, but really thought it was way more work that it was worth.

Seems like a good job to save to punish someone with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Varmint   
I just wanted to resurect this thread to mention I tried the Jean-Georges warm, liquid center chocolate cake recipe tonight. I know it's a dessert cliche, but damn if it wasn't really, really good, as well as very fast and easy to make

NSM-

Yeah, it is a cliche, but in these parts, it's a cliche that works very well. It's so damn easy and it's a good dish to get guests involved in the preparation, if you're so inclined. I serve it with different flavors of whipped cream (I like making a mint whipped cream), or a simple creme anglaise. Plus, you can make the batter in advance. You can also make this a bit more complex by putting homemade truffles in the center, so you have two very different flavors in the same dish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just gifted with Nick Malgieri's Perfect Cakes and currently have his Chocolate Pound Cake in the oven. I knew just from looking at the recipe that it would not be the deep, dark chocolatey cake I am looking for (remembering one from La Farine in Oakland) as there are only 4 oz. semi-sweet to 3c. flour/2c. sugar/8oz. butter. Very milk-chocolatey looking. I baked a tad of the batter in a brioche mold so that I could taste it sooner (!) and it is very good but not what I dream of. Will try adding some cocoa powder next time. Any other recommendations will be appreciated. :biggrin:

And regarding Nick's book, has anyone made the Capriccio Alle Nocciole (hazelnut cake from Ticino) on page 166? There is a bit of a discrepancy: in list of ingredients it calls for 1 cup sugar however he adds 6 Tbsp. of sugar to the butter and the "remaining" 6 Tbsp. to the egg whites. Can't find the other 4 Tbsp. Does he really mean only 12 Tbsp. of sugar or do you think it should be 8 Tbsp. each to the butter and egg white mixtures. I know it is not a large amount but I of course want it to be perfect, not too sweet or not sweet enough!

Thanks! Sweets to the Sweet and the Not-So-Sweet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gknl   

I made Stephanie Zonis' Double chocolate pumpkin cake for my parents to take to a Super Bowl party. It's baked in a tube pan, but is very rich and moist, more like a layer cake in texture. It calls for 6 oz unsweetened chocolate, 1/4 cup cocoa, and a cup of pumpkin puree which you can't taste at all. PM me for the recipe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In the Bras recipe...

I too wanted to give this a go, in fact, because of the complex method for the nougatine. I only have the French edition; the nougatine process seemed straightforward enough, but what stumped me was the 'bananes déshydatées'. No idea what kind of product Bras was using, I went ahead and ordered five pounds of those thick dried banana slices. By the first step, the 'pâte de banane', it didn't feel right, and I got busy with other things, so the project has been shelved since the Fall. I still have four and a half pounds of dried bananas... I'd still like to give it a go according to the Bras method, as well as adapt the Adria 'caramelo' technique, incorporating the banana into the sugar, or even swapping the ingredients- a yogurt powder 'nougatine/caramelo' with a banana-based cream...

But my question, for chefette... I'm not familiar with Just Banana. What is it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wingding   

Michael,if this is useful to you-take a medium ripe banana or two,put em in a robot coupe.Strain,and spread the puree very thinly and evenly on silpat.Dry out in a low oven-you will have beautiful,shape-able pieces of crispy banana.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chefette   

Hi Michael, I actually used a product called "Just Bananas" which seem to be some sort of flash freeze dried banana slices. They do not seem dessicated or tough in any way. They make a really great powder but are sort of expensive - a pint size container (2.5 oz) cost about $4 but they really pack alot of flavor so a little goes a long way.

If you go through his whole process let me know how it works.

It just seemed to me that unless you were using making and using most of the items (dried bananas, banana butter, banana sable, sugar macaroons) he tosses into this recipe in other desserts so had a stock of them on hand it makes this a pretty expensive offering.

The nougatine I produced was really tasty, has a nice banana taste, and is pleasantly easy to snap. It is really tasty with chocolate fudge cake and caramel mousse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Michael,if this is useful to you-take a medium ripe banana or two,put em in a robot coupe.Strain,and spread the puree very thinly and evenly on silpat.Dry out in a low oven-you will have beautiful,shape-able pieces of crispy banana.

We've done a bit of this before. I like to add a little egg white as well, to aid in the drying process. I've had success with mango, melon, plum, and apricot, to name a few. I'm big on fruit chips!

chefette, while I like some of the dessert ideas/components in the Bras book, I don't think they are as strong as the savory ones. Have you played with anything else from there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Saffy   

I love desserts! as my increasingly voluptuous figure illustrates.

This evening for dessert we had a nectarine and raspberry tart - delicious.

Tomorrow I have a chocolate chestnut cake planned :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Patrice   

Michael-I recently tried 2 recipes from Michel Bras: the gaufrette and the bread nougatine ( the one with rhubarb). The gaufrettes are incredible. they are very thin and they crack with just a touch from the fork. I used them for a chocolate mille-feuilles ( 6 gaufrettes with chocolate cream in between in layers.

The bread nougatine didn't convince me as much. I will have to give it another try... :hmmm:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Patrice   

I don't have the recipe with me right now but I will post it later...

The restaurant is going very well. The designer has completed the drawings and we are starting the ''real'' work next week!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Kasia
      Plum tart with almonds
       
      Starting from the first half of August, in the shops and on stands appear the first domestic plums. In September there are so many of them that I have a problem deciding which kind I should choose. Small and big, round and more ovate, violet, red and yellow. You can eat them fresh or make a lot of preserves (jams, plum stew, stewed fruits, pickles, liqueurs, plum brandy). Our favorite are big and round greengage plums, or slightly firm violet plums.
       
      Plums have a lot of valuable attributes. They regulate digestion and protect us from free radicals. Dried plums are more valuable regarding vitamin and fiber content, but they have five times more calories than fresh fruits.
       
      Plums have quite a lot B vitamins, so for a long time they have been well regarded for having a soothing effect on the nervous system and improving our frame of mind. That's why you simply have to make a plum cake. Either now or when the dreary autumn days arrive. Their benign impact on the nerves could be a good excuse for putting another piece of cake on your plate.
       
      I don't like complicated cookery. In this recipe you will find a lot of ingredients, but even so, preparing this delicious cake is very simple.
       
      Ingredients:
      Dough:
      250g of flour
      half a teaspoon of baking powder
      8g of vanilla sugar
      3 tablespoons of sugar
      150ml of 18% cream
      150g of butter
      Filling:
      600g of plums
      1 egg white
      3 tablespoons of minced almonds
      2 tablespoons of brown sugar
      200g of plum stew
      1 teaspoon of cinnamon
      Crumble topping:
      50g of butter
      3-4 tablespoons of flour
      3 tablespoons of brown sugar
      8g of vanilla sugar
      1 egg yolk
      Mix together the dry ingredients for the dough: flour, baking powder, sugar and vanilla sugar. Add cream. Mince the butter and add it to the dry ingredients. Quickly knead into smooth dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for half an hour.
       
      Heat the oven up to 200C. Cover a baking pan (e.g. for a tart) with the dough, leaving the edges slightly raised around the sides. Whisk the egg white and cover the dough with it. Sprinkle with the almonds and brown sugar. Bake for 14 minutes. Take it out of the oven. Don't turn off the oven.
       
      Make the crumble topping when the dough is in the oven. Melt the butter, cool it a bit then add the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and egg yolk. Mix it with a fork until you have lumps.
       
      Clean the plums, cut them into halves and remove the stones. Cover the baked base with plum stew, add the plums and sprinkle with cinnamon and the crumble topping. Bake for 20 minutes.
       
       

    • By Kasia
      Pineapple and coconut – the ideal couple
       
      Today, inspired by the recipes from the book "Zielone koktajle. 365 przepisów" ("Green cocktails. 365 recipes") I prepared a light coconut-pineapple dessert. You may make it without sugar if you have enough sweet fruit. If your pineapple isn't very ripe, add a bit of honey to your dessert.

      Ingredients (for 4 people)
      fruit mousse
      1 pineapple
      300ml of coconut milk
      1 banana
      150ml of orange juice
      2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
      decoration
      50g of butter
      1 tablespoon of caster sugar
      4 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
      4 slices of orange
      fruit

      Blend all the ingredients of the fruit mousse. Put it into some glasses and leave in the fridge. Put the desiccated coconut, sugar and butter into a pan. Fry constantly, stirring on a low heat until the butter is melted. Leave to cool down a bit. Put 2-3 tablespoons of it on top of the desserts. Decorate with a slice of orange, fruit and some peppermint leaves before serving.

      Enjoy your meal!
       
       

    • By Kasia
      Smile of the summer – apricot-peach shortcake
       
      Fortunately, the summer is not only about the weather. There is also fresh, sweet-smelling fruit. Today I would like to share with you the recipe for an easy to make weekend cake. It is excellent for afternoon tea or coffee. A little work and a little baking and after that you may serve and eat, and serve and eat again and again ... I remind you that it should be a weekend cake, so if you eat everything at once, you will need to bake another one 

      Ingredients:
      dough
      200g of flour
      150g of butter
      75g of sugar
      1 egg
      1 egg yolk
      1 teaspoon of baking powder

      fruit:
      1kg of apricot
      4 peaches
      2 packets of powdered vanilla blancmange
      4 tablespoons of brown sugar

      Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter onto a baking board. Chop it all up with a knife. When you have the consistency of crumble topping, add the egg and egg yolk and then knead the dough quickly. Divide the dough into two parts – 2/3 and 1/3. Cover the pieces of dough with plastic wrap and put them into the freezer.
      Wash the apricots, remove the stones and cube them. Put them into a saucepan, add a bit of water and boil until they are soft. Stir the blancmange powder in 150ml of cold water and add it to the apricots. Boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Turn off the heat. Wash the peaches, remove the stones and cube them. Add them to the apricots and mix them in.
      Heat the oven up to 180C.
      Smooth a 23-cm cake tin with some butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Grate the bigger part of the dough onto the cake tin, even it out and bake for 15-17 minutes. Take out the cake, but don't turn off the oven. Put the fruit mixture onto it and grate the rest of the dough onto the top. Bake for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with caster sugar before serving.

      Enjoy your meal!
       
       

    • By pastrygirl
      I'm watching The Sweet Makers on BBC - four British pastry chefs & confectioners recreate Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian sweets with petiod ingredients and equipment. A little British Baking Show, a little Downtown Abbey. 
       
      Check it it out for a slice of pastry history. 
       
      BBC viewer only available to the U.K., but on this side of the pond where there's a will, there's a way. 
    • By Kasia
      White chocolate whip with aquafaba with crumble topping and fruit.
       
      Today I would like to share with you a dessert fit for a king. It needs a bit of work, but it is easy, and so tasty that you won't regret the time you spent on it. I have already made chocolate whip with aquafaba. Today I added a bit of whisked sweet cream, due to which it is more creamy but it isn't suitable for vegetarians.

      You may use any fruit. In my opinion, bilberries, blueberries or raspberries are best. Cherries would also be excellent, but you may use your favourite fruit.

      Ingredients:
      crumble topping:
      50g of butter
      50g of flour
      50g of sugar
      1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
       
      whip:
      200ml of aquafaba (from one tin of chickpeas)
      150g of white chocolate
      150ml of 30% sweet cream
      30g of caster sugar
      other ingredients
      fruit
      caster sugar

      Heat the oven up to 180C. Cover a baking sheet with baking paper.
      Make the crumble topping. Make a smooth dough with the ingredients. Make a ball with it, roll it out flat and put it on the baking paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes until it is golden. Cool it down and crumble it.
      Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie and leave it to cool down a little. Whip the aquafaba and sweet cream with caster sugar in a separate bowl. Mix them together. Add the white chocolate and stir thoroughly but gently. Put the chocolate whip into some small bowls and leave in the fridge for 2 hours.
      Put the crumble topping onto the chocolate whip. Decorate with the fruit and peppermint leaves.

      Enjoy your meal!
       

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×