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What is your fall-back dessert?


CaliPoutine
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But latley it's been Herme's Tarte Grenobloise from the Chocolate Desserts book, but I first slice it into 24 teeny wedges, then top each one individually with the caramel pecan topping:

Can you post this recipe? It looks fantastic. Thanks

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I have two fallback desserts, each with its own following.

tarts. simple because (1) you can fit the various steps in between other tasks or cooking. The dough takes minutes but must rest afterwards...so get on with the laundry, paying the bills, or beginning the main course. all you need is flour and butter on hand (and maybe sugar and/or eggs, depending on your dough preference). (2) you can use whatever fruit is seasonal, be decadent with chocolate, or rely on a stash of lemons, as I did the other day during a blizzard with no hope of a trip to the store. (3) can be done the same morning or finished in the oven during dinner. depending on your menu and mood, you can finish in a tart pan or make it crostada style, which is more freeform. the latter is nice if you want to make individual tarts quickly--makes it look like you went to a lot of trouble. vanilla ice cream is nice with fruit tarts but hardly essential.

profiteroles. unbelievably easy--flour, butter, water, eggs, et voila. fill with good store-bought vanilla ice cream and top with chocolate sauce (homemade takes minutes but maybe you have a fave) and you have a great dessert with about 1/2 hour labor.

I'm not much of a dessert fan, to be honest, but others expect one. these always delight guests and leave me time for other things.


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For a while it was the Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake from epicurious.com, but prepped as 1" squares, then ganached and topped with a coffee bean, like so:

cheesecake_squares.gif

But latley it's been Herme's Tarte Grenobloise from the Chocolate Desserts book, but I first slice it into 24 teeny wedges, then top each one individually with the caramel pecan topping:

gallery_7930_450_1102534604.jpg

Both are relatively rich, so making the smaller portions not only looks way cool on a platter, but it also stretches it much farther than the normal amount of servings either recipe would suggest. And, too much of a good thing is usually not appreciated by most people. Me, I can eat it all and ask for more, but I must be crazy.

Kevin -- These both look amazing. For the cheesecake squares, do you bake in a square pan instead so there is no waste? What size? How does this change the prep of the recipe? Are you just using the ganache from the recipe for the coating?

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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Kevin -- These both look amazing.  For the cheesecake squares, do you bake in a square pan instead so there is no waste?  What size?  How does this change the prep of the recipe?  Are you just using the ganache from the recipe for the coating?

For the life of me, I can't find any of my notes with the recipe. I want to say that I started out using a 9x12 with parchment set up in such a way as to allow me to lift the whole cake out of the pan at once to a cutting board. It yielded a fair amount of waste since the sides of the pans were not perfectly straight. But I have 80 squares written down on the recipe, so the pan size makes sense given the (tasty) waste factor

I was doing these (and others...the double decker raspberry white chocolate cheesecake looks really cool done this way) enough at the time so I ordered 10x10 square pans with removable bottoms. The guts of the pan is actually 9x9 so I get a solid 81 squares out of that pan (and a little taller than the previous method).

The key is that you want to use pans that will spread out your batter (plus crust) to a final height of 1" so it takes some playing around. And you want to devise a way to free the cake from the pan all together to facilitate cutting. The rest of the prep is basically the same, but bake times are lower. Sometimes really low if you have layers going on. Again, it's a trial and error thing so keep a close eye on it.

I also purchased a 12" granton knife (like those giant roast beef slicers you see at a carving station) for cutting the squares. The knife is really thin, but very sharp. I'll run it under hot water, dry it and in one cut I've lopped off my 1" strip of cheesecake. That was a wise investment because when I started playing around I was just using a chef's knife and that added to my waste (never could get the wife to go for purchasing a guitar slicer, this being a hobby and all).

And yes, the ganache is just the one from the recipe. Making a little more makes life easier, but I've done it with the amounts listed.

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My fall back is a crisp served warm using whatever fruit is in season and looks good - apples, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, cherries, blackberries, etc. It's fast, fresh, nice contrasts of texture, open to endless variation and garnishes/sides, and the only real tool you need is a knife to slice fruit if required.

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Depending on how lazy I feel:

A. ice cream and cones from the supermarket or some sort of frozen novelty

B. Paula Deen's Gooey butter cake

C. Brownie sundaes

For when I'm NOT feeling lazy

A. Orange flavored flan

B. Tiramisu

C. Debbie Field's Chocolate turtle pie

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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Wow, it's hard to say. I guess my fallback is some sort of brownie. If I'm in a hurry, I'll whip up some brownie batter, and sometimes add things (cherries, raspberries, espresso, cinnamon, whatever) and then frost them with a chocolate ganache or cream cheese icing or peanut butter icing, or a praline topping, depending on what I throw in.

I have other recipes that are standards, though - tres leches cake for Cinco de Mayo, parsnip spice cake or peanut butter pie for my husband's birthday, sour cream apple pie for my dad's birthday, some variation of bread pudding for my friend Kyle's birthday...

I guess the two things I'm expected to bring to a party are brownies (if I'm lazy) or some variation of a trifle if I have time to bake a cake, make a custard, etc.

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It used to be apple crisp (haven't made it in a while), or brownies if I have less than an hour. My favorite is mango cheesecake. Incidentally couple weekends ago I made the carrot cake from Southern Living (mentioned in the 'best carrot cake' thread.) and I got rave reviews. Yummmmm.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have been making the Diabolo chocolate cake (really a nearly-flourless chocolate-almond torte) from Simca's Cuisine for the last 23 years and I almost always get asked for the recipe. I make it with Lindt Excellence, reduce the sugar and flour a bit and increase the almonds. I am the world's slowest cook and it only takes me about 30 minutes to prepare. It's pretty great with Vanilla ice cream.

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Parsnip spice cake??? That's a recipe I'd love to see!

Kevin, did you make those lovely bites with Whey Low, or regular sugar?

I don't have a fallback. I always take bringing dessert to be an excuse to try something new. Actually, I don't often get to bring dessert (hope there's no correlation with my propensity to experiment!)

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I have a recipe from Nestle Toll House Morsels about 20 years ago. It's a chocolate torte, one layer, small amount of flour, groung toasted almonds (or walnuts in a pinch) Glaze based on Toll House Morsels as well. Dollop of whipped cream on top. Quick, looks nice, always pleases. I was amused to hear a self-proclaimed chocolate connoisseur assure her escort that I had undoubtedly used one of the finer chocolates.

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Parsnip spice cake???  That's a recipe I'd love to see!

Kevin, did you make those lovely bites with Whey Low, or regular sugar?

I don't have a fallback.  I always take bringing dessert to be an excuse to try something new.  Actually, I don't often get to bring dessert (hope there's no correlation with my propensity to experiment!)

Hi Abra. I just about always use Whey Low for my desserts these days.

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Parsnip spice cake???  That's a recipe I'd love to see!
Here you go...

Parsnip Cake

This has been our house favorite for about 5 years now. :wub:

How interesting! Can you taste the parsnips? How does this differ in texture, flavor, etc., from a "regular" cake?

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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In the summer, I always make a large fruit tart. I use a sugar cookie recipe which I bake on a pizza pan as the base. Then spread with a cream cheese mixture, then top with fresh fruits, and a light glaze.

It always goes over great. Not only is it extremely tasty, it looks absolutely gorgeous.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Favorite fall back dessert: Creme Brulee - everyone has fun eating it, and after making countless batches, I can do it without really adding any work to what I'm doing. It's easy to vary the fruit with puree in the custard or garnish to what's in season, making it adaptable.

Edited by ChefDanBrown (log)
"It is just as absurd to exact excellent cooking from a chef whom one provides with defective or scanty goods, as to hope to obtain wine from a bottled decoction of logwood." -Escoffier
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Parsnip spice cake???  That's a recipe I'd love to see!
Here you go...

Parsnip Cake

This has been our house favorite for about 5 years now. :wub:

How interesting! Can you taste the parsnips? How does this differ in texture, flavor, etc., from a "regular" cake?

Yes, of course you can taste the parsnips... but in a verrrrrry good way. The texture is pretty similar to a carrot cake. It's also one of those recipes that I've never felt an urge to tweak... y'know, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

Di

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