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Desserts

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Curd, and Yogurt Sorbet

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Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Curd, and Yogurt Sorbet

Here is a modern approach to a classic lemon poppy seed cake.  Its probably more presentation than technique here.  Really just the basics presented in a non traditional way.  I really like the cake here it is really moist and turns out light as well.  This is a surprisingly light dessert that is great for the winter citrus season.   This is one of my wife's favorite desserts.  Anything with lemon and meringue and she is sold.  So I'm glad we a great crop of meyer lemons this year.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

Lemon poppy seed cake
1 1/4 cup cake four
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs plus 1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
7 tbsp butter melted
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 lemon zest
1 tbsp poppyseed 

Lemon yogurt sorbet
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup glucose
2 tbsp milk powder
3 1/2 cup yogurt
6 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp of salt 

Lemon Curd
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tsp zest
1/2 cup of sugar
3 eggs
1 stick of butter 

Swiss Meringue
1/2 cup of egg whites
3/4 cup of sugar 

Honey to drizzle and Ginger lemon cookies crumbled (tates)

Mint and borage 

For the Meyer Poppy Seed Cake

In a mixing bowl add dry ingredients and mix well.  In another mixing bowl add wet ingredients and mix well.  Then combine wet and dry ingredients together until a smooth batter is formed. Bake at 375 for 10-15 min depending on what molds you use ( I doubled the batch and  poured the majority of the batter on a half sheet pan and baked it, the rest I filled these tiny bundt shape molds that I had)  Bake until a cake tester comes out clean.  Set aside to cool completely

For the Meyer Lemon Yogurt Sorbet,

Place water, sugar, glucose and milk powder in a pot and bring to a boil or until all the sugar has dissolved.  Pour that into a bowl fitted within a ice bath to cool.  Once cooled add yogurt, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.  Blend with a hand blender to mix well.  Then place back in the ice bath or refrigerator for another 30 minutes to make sure it is very cold.  Then put into your ice cream maker.  Once done put into a container and place in the freezer.  

For the Meringue

In mixing bowl heat egg whites and sugar over water bath until it reaches 160 F. Then immediately place in a stand mixer and whip for 5 minutes or until cool.  Put the meringue in pastry bag with a basket weave tip.  Set aside.

For the Lemon Curd

Place all the ingredients into a small sauce pot and turn on medium low heat.  Whisking continually until the curd starts to thicken.  Should take about 10 minutes or so.  Strain into a bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool down.   After its cool place into a squeeze bottle or pastry bag.

To finish,

Take a round cutter and cut rounds out of the poppy seed cake both small and big.  Then place on the plate.  Add meringue and curd to the plate both on top and around the cake.  Torch the meringue.  Take cookies and crumble and place on the plate.  Get a scoop of the lemon yogurt sorbet, drizzle with honey and then place on the plate.  Finish with mint and borage.  Serve and enojoy!

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"Thanksgiving"  Pumpkin, Cranberry Sorbet, and Coconut

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"Thanksgiving" Pumpkin, Cranberry Sorbet, and Coconut

I've been way behind on doing my blog, but here is a recipe that I made recently with the inspiration coming from Thanksgiving and from the world famed Addison Restaurant in San Diego.  I recently had the opportunity to eat at this relais chateux property and had a palette cleanser of cranberry and orange ( a classic combination).  This triggered me to pair together pumpkin and cranberry (another classic combination).  Here I made the sorbet and made a pumpkin spiced puree.  I had a the meat of a young coconut on hand as well and thought it would be a wonderful addition and twist to this classic pairing.  The results were a big hit.  I originally served the pumpkin puree warm to give a contrast between the hot and cold, sweet and sour flavors.  Again a great dessert or pre dessert for any meal.  This was a great alternative the normal recipes during the thanksgiving holiday.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy!

Cranberry and pumpkin 

1 small pumpkin (pie variety) roasted for an hour (3lb roughly)
8oz mascarpone
2 cups water
1/2 cup orange juice
1 orange zested
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp garahm masala
1 pinch of allspice and nutmeg
1 cup pack light brown sugar
Salt 

Cranberry sorbet
1 lb cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp inverted sugar
2 tbsp of glucose
2 tbsp of orange patron
Pinch of salt

Meat from 1 young coconut cut julienned

Chocolate mint to garnish

For the pumpkin puree,

Preheat oven to 400 degrees,

Cut pumpkin in half, remove seeds, drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Place pumpkin cavity down on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Place in the oven for about an hour or until fully tender.  Scoop out pulp and place in a pot with the remaining ingredients.  Cook for 10-15 minutes and then place in a vita mix and puree until smooth.  If it is a little thick just add a little water.  Set aside and keep warm.

For the Cranberry sorbet,

Place all the ingredients into a pot and cook for 10-15 minutes until the cranberries become tender.  Pour into a vita mix and puree.  (strain if you want completely smooth).  Cool completely on ice and then spin in a ice cream maker.  

To finish,

Serve warm pumpkin purée in a small bowl. Add a scoop of cranberry sorbet,  top with coconut pieces and garnish with chocolate mint.  Serve and enjoy! 

 

 

 

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Strawberries, Rhubarb, White Chocolate Bomb, Chamomile

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Strawberries, Rhubarb, White Chocolate Bomb, Chamomile

Here is a celebration of summer strawberries and rhubarb.  A classic combination that never seems to go out of style.  He is another take for me, I went to a white chocolate bomb that was accented with chamomile.  The rest of the dish was blanketed with different variations of strawberries and rhubarb to give you different textures and flavors.   This one is definitely a keeper if you have the time to put into it.  This is one you can absolutely do ahead of time a day or two in advance.  Here I am tapping into my pastry chef, wanna be side. Here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy.

White chocolate mousse with chamomile
2 eggs
35g sugar
250g white chocolate
200 g cream whipped with 1/4tsp vanilla paste
100 g cream steeped with 2 tbsp of fresh chamomile
5g gelatin powder with splash of water

Strawberry Sorbet (recipe here)

Biscuit recipe (recipe here twix)

Strawberry mirror
1 1/2 cup strawberry juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp of kirsh
1 tbsp of water
1 tbsp of gelatin
Few drops of red dye 

Strawberry Juice
1 1/2 pints strawberry
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar

Rhubarb compote
4 stalks of rhubarb diced
4 strawberries diced
1/2 cup of juice from compressed strawberries
1/3 cup sugar

Compressed strawberries
1 pint of strawberries
3 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp of grenadine 

Rhubarb strips
4 stalks of rhubarb shaved on mandolin
2 tbsp of grenadine
2 tbsp of sugar

Whipped Cream                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup of cream with 4 tbsp of powdered sugar

For Compressed Strawberries,

Simply add ingredients together in a cryovac bag and seal with no air.  Allow to compress over night.  

For the Sorbet and Biscuit recipes follow link and instructions

For the white chocolate mousse

In a small bowl beat eggs and sugar together.  Then take 100g of cream and heat with chamomile bring to a boil and turn off the heat.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile melt chocolate over double boiler or in the microwave for 30 seconds.  In a small bowl add 2 tbsp of water with gelatin, mix, and set aside.  Strain the cream into the gelatin mixture and mix well. Then pour the cream mixture with the white chocolate.  Then mix the white chocolate mixture with the egg mixture.  Lastly whip the rest of the cream to medium peaks with vanilla.  Fold in the whipped cream with the white chocolate base (this should not be hot anymore or else it will melt your whipped cream).  Then carefully fill half moon or bomb molds to the top, smooth the tops with an off set spatula.  Place them in the freezer for at least 6 hours or over night.  Then take them out of their molds and let them stay frozen another 2 hours at least

For the strawberry juice,

Place all of the ingredients in a pot and cook for 10 minutes, puree, strain and set aside.

For the mirror glaze,

Add water and gelatin together in a small bowl.  Place the rest of the ingredients in a small pot.  Bring the mixture up to a warm temperature.  Then pour over the gelatin mixture and mix well.  Place in an ice bowl to cool to the touch but not gel.  

To assemble the strawberry bomb

Take a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap.  Place a wire rack over top.  Then take a small ramekin and place on top of the wire rack.  Take out one bomb and place on the ramekin.  Take the strawberry mirror glaze and pour in a circular motion over top the bomb.  Continue the process until all the bombs are done.  Side note (I put mine back in the freezer and did one more layer of glaze).  completely optional.

For the rhubarb strips

Place all the ingredients in a cryovac bag and seal air tight.  Place in a water bath set at 140 for 30-40 min or until tender but still hold there shape. Then place in the refrigerator and marinate over night.

For the rhubarb compote,

Place all the ingredients in a small pot with a pinch of salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes until the strawberries and rhubarb start to break down.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

For the whipped cream

Simply place cream in a stand mixer and whisk on medium speed for 1 minute then add powdered sugar and whip until thick.  Place in a pastry bag and set aside.

To finish,

Take biscuit and crumble.  Place crumbled biscuit onto the one side of the plate.  Then place one bomb next to it.  Add some of the compressed strawberries and compote around the biscuit.  Place a scoop of the strawberry sorbet on top of the biscuit.  Then add a little whipped cream and rhubarb strips. Finish with micro herbs, serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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"Snickers" Peanut, Chocolate, Malt, Caramel

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"Snickers" Peanut, Chocolate, Malt, Caramel

Every now and again you have to indulge a little, or in this case a lot.  This is obviously inspired by the snickers which is a combination I think almost everyone enjoys unless you don't like peanuts or chocolate.   Hard to go wrong adding in a little malt ice cream and caramel sauce.  This was a dessert I did for a lunch the other day and later on served again.  It is a bit rich but very addicting, I actually had to take it away from Jp because he didn't want to finish it all even though he asked why we didn't just have this for dinner.  The great thing about this dessert is that you can do it ahead of time ( a few days ahead of time ) and not worry the night of your party with guests.  This idea came from snickers but it was based around the latest book elements of pastry for the core filling.  Here is the recipe I hope you will keep this as a go to in the repertoire of desserts to make, I know I will.  

Snickers Filling

Peanut butter and mascarpone cream

340g. Mascarpone 

115g peanut butter

115g sugar

175g heavy cream

7g gelatin

 

Chocolate mirror glaze

Gelatin 10 grams

Sugar 210 grams

Water 110 grams

Cocoa powder 65 grams

Heavy cream 65 grams

Dark chocolate 50 grams

1 cup chopped peanuts 

 

Malt ice cream 

5egg yolks

1 1/2 cream

1 1/2 milk

1 tbsp vanilla or half vanilla bean 

3 scant tbsp of malt

3 tbsp milk powder 

 

Caramel sauce 

4 oz butter

8oz brown sugar

4oz of xo patron café

6 oz of cream

 

1 cup pretzels chopped 

 

For the Malt ice cream,

Place the egg yolks in a stand mixer and turn on medium speed.  Slowly pour in your sugar.  Whip for about 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the milk, cream, malt, and vanilla bean to a pot and bring the mixture slowly to a boil then turn off.  With a ladle, temper your eggs by ladling a little of the milk mixture into the eggs, until you have about half of your milk mixture mixed in the eggs. Then take the mixing bowl with the egg mixture and pour back into the pot of milk using a spatula to scrape the sides.  Turn the heat back on medium low and stir for about 5 minutes until mixture is thickened slightly (180 degrees) then strain into a bowl placed inside a ice bath to cool down fast.  Once the mixture is cool place in your ice cream maker until done.  Then place in a container and place in the freezer.

For the Snickers Filling

In a stainless steel mixing bowl add mascarpone, sugar, and peanut butter.  Place over a double boiler and stir until all is melted together.  Bloom gelatin with 2 tbsp of water for 3 minutes.  Meanwhile place the cream in a mixer and whip until stiff peaks.  Melt the gelatin over the double boiler and then pour into the peanut butter mixture. Then fold in the whipped cream.  Then place in square silicon molds. (note: I had square steel molds that I wrapped one side with plastic wrap and tied with a rubber band.  Then I filled the molds and froze them)  The next day take the filling out of the molds and place back in the freezer for at least another 6 hours.  Then make glaze, see below.   To glaze get a sheet pan and line it with plastic wrap so that it over hangs the sheet pan.  Then place a small grid wire rack on top of the lined sheet pan.  Place the square snickers bar on the wire rack and using the glaze (that is not too hot) starting at the top pouring in clockwise motion cover each snickers so that it completely covers each bar ( I made about 6 with this recipe).  I then had a small bowl of chopped peanuts and using a small spatula gently dipped the bottom of the bar in the nuts for a little coating on the outside.  Then place back either in the freezer or refrigerator depending on when you are serving the dessert.

For the Mirror Glaze

In a small bowl bloom gelatin powder in 3 tbsp of water.  Place sugar, water, cocoa powder, and cream in a pot and turn on medium heat.  Stir regularly until it comes to a boil.  Then add in the chocolate.  Stir until completely combined.  Then add in the gelatin and stir until smooth.  You can use the glaze immediately if you want or you can save the glaze for another time, just bring the mixture up to 110 degrees before using.  

For the Caramel,

Simply place brown sugar and butter in a small pot and turn on medium heat.  Cook until sugar and butter are melted.  Then add the patron and flambé.  Let all the alcohol cook off and then add the cream.  Whisk until all is combined, cook for 1-3 minutes until you have the desired thickness and turn off the heat.  Set aside until ready to plate.

To Finish, 

Simply add caramel sauce to a plate.  Place the snickers bar one end of the caramel sauce.  Then take chopped pretzel crackers and place them at the other end of the caramel sauce.  Scoop out one scoop of malt ice cream, and serve and enjoy!

 

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Cara Cara Orange Souffle

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Cara Cara Orange Souffle

Here is a classic simple dessert using some of the best citrus available in the Malibu area.  There is a great farm that goes to the malibu farmers market every sunday and he has the best citrus fruit I have ever tasted.  It seems like every few weeks he has a new variety as well ( the farm is Etheridge Organic Farm).  He has more than citrus but really everything he has is the best.  This time he had cara cara oranges which comes from the family of navel but are a bit smaller, sweeter, less acidic, and has a pinkish tint to them.  They are absolutely fabulous!  This is really straight forward with little fuss.  The picture I took was left over batter that I baked in a spring form pan.  It is hard to take a perfect shot of a souffle unless you have everything ready to go as soon as you take it out of the oven which is hard when you have to serve your guest a hot souffle. Here is the recipe I know you will enjoy it because everyone else did.

Cara Cara Souffle

8 egg yolks
10 egg whites
1/4 tsp of cream of tartar
3/4 cup of sugar, plus more for ramekins
2 tbsp of butter, plus more for ramekins
2 tbsp of flour
1 cup of milk
1/3 cup of cara cara juice plus zest from 2 oranges
1 tsp of vanilla or bean

To garnish
powdered sugar
cara cara supremes (2 oranges)

For the Cara Cara Souffle

Prepare 16 large ramekins by buttering the inside and coating them with extra sugar (not apart of the measured amount). In a medium sauce pan add 2 tbsp of butter to melt on medium heat.  Once melted add the 2 tbsp of flour to make a roux.  Cook for one minute and then add juice, milk, and zest stirring to reduce lumps.  Bring to a simmer.  Meanwhile mix egg yolks with half the sugar.  Once the milk mixture has come to a hard simmer, temper the egg yolks with the milk mixture.  Then place back into the pot and cook for 5-8 minutes stirring consistently to avoid scrambling.  The mixture should thicken like curd or pudding.  Stir in the vanilla and strain into a bowl, set aside to cool.  Then place your egg whites into a stand mixer and start whipping on medium high.  Once the egg whites start to froth you can add the cream of tartar, then slowly add the the remaining half of sugar.  Beat until egg whites are stiff peaks.  Once you have stiff peaks fold in the egg white mixture a 1/3 at a time into the egg yolk base.  Repeat until you have all the egg whites folded into the egg yolk base.  Then fill the ramekins to the top, tap the ramekins down on the counter top to help with any air pockets.  Then with an offset spatular smooth off the top to match the height of the ramekin.  Place on a sheet pan and place in a preheated oven at 375 degrees.  Bake for 11 minutes.  Take out and dust with powdered sugar and add a few supremes serve and enjoy immediately! (Try adding Creme Anglaise for another great option)

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Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Hazelnut, Meringue, Chocolate, Orange

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Salted Caramel Ice Cream, Hazelnut, Meringue, Chocolate, Orange

This is a dessert I did a few weeks ago and I'm finally getting around to posting it.  This was one of those desserts that will be a definite keeper for the modern dessert repertoire.  Simple in concept, chocolate, hazelnut, orange, caramel.  All those flavors go perfectly together.  Now the trick is trying to find out how to bring it all together in an exciting fashion.  The first: salted caramel ice cream, straight forward and delicious.  The next, chocolate; I did in a few different ways, honey ganache truffle, and areated frozen chocolate, and I also did a hot chocolate meringue because I didn't have coco powder but I did have sweetened hot cocoa powder.  Orange segments with an orange vanilla jam.  Finished it with hazelnut sponge cake and the result was a plate full of familiar flavors with lots of textures presented in a modern way.  Absolutely delicious and not overly heavy as well.  I love dessert, it is probably one of my weaknesses, and I have an inner pastry chef in me that would love to come out and play on a higher level.  Enough wishful thinking. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy!  Some of the recipes were adapted from the Nomad cookbook.

Salted caramel ice cream
2 cups cream
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup glucose
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup of sugar plus 1/4 cup
Salt to taste 1/2 tsp 

Hazelnut Sponge

3 eggs
1 cup of hazelnut
100 grams of milk
60 g of flour
50 g of butter
75 g of sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tbsp frangelico
2 cartridges of isi siphon

Honey ganache
1/4 cup honey
7 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp butter

1 cup of ground hazelnuts

Aerated Chocolate
125 g of bittersweet chocolate
17 g of grapes oil
2 isi cartridges

Orange Jam
4 1/2 cups of orange juice and segments
2 1/2 cups of sugar
2 oranges zested
1 vanilla bean
1 package of liquid pectin

Meringues
2 egg whites
1/3 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of hot coco mix

1 orange segements

Salted Caramel Ice cream,

Set up an ice bath.  Heat milk, cream, and glucose in a small pan on medium heat. Meanwhile In another pan on high heat add 3/4 cups sugar to make caramel.  Then add the cream mixture to caramel carefully.  In mixing bowl mix yolks and 1/4 cup sugar and stir on high for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.  Then temper yolks with the milk mixture and then add all of it back to pot.  Bring the pot back to a medium heat stirring continuously until temperature comes to 170 degrees.   Then strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.  Place the bowl in the ice bath until the mixture has completely cooled.  Then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Then add salt and place into an ice cream maker to finish the ice cream.  Place in the freezer until ready to serve.

For the Aerated Chocolate

Melt chocolate and oil together stirring until warm and smooth.  Then fill the isi container 3/4 full.  Charge with two charges.  Then cool the mixture slightly, dispense the chocolate foam on to a acetate lined 1/2 baking pan.  Freeze until ready to use and then break into various pieces.  

For the Honey Ganache

Add cream and honey to a pot and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl.  Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute.  Then whisk until completely smooth.  Then add the butter until shiny and smooth.  Then fill half moon molds with the ganache.  Fill all of them and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.  Then take out and place 2 halves together to make one round truffle.   Take the truffle roll in hazelnut dust. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

For the Meringues, Preheat oven to 200 degrees

Simply place your egg whites in a stand mixer with a pinch of sugar.  Whisk on high speed after a minute gradually add your sugar and hot coco powder.  Keep whisking until you have siff peaks and shiny anbout 4 mins.  Place in a pastry bag with a plain tip.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and pipe small rounds ( I did small and tiny ).  Place in the oven and bake for an hour, then take out and let it completely dry for 5 minutes.  Then take out and place in an air tight container.

For the Hazelnut sponge 

In a food processor  or vita mix place sugar and hazelnuts and puree until smooth.  Then add the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth.  The batter should be smooth and somewhat thick but yet still pourable.  Then pour into a isi siphon half way, and charge with the first charge.  Shake very well ( 1 min) then add the second charge. Shake again very well to make sure the air gets all the way through the batter.  Then spray small paper cups with non stick oil and make three wholes with a paring knife around the bottom 1/3 of the cup and one whole in the bottom of the cup.  Then take your siphon and shake it well, fill the paper cup about 3/4 full with the sponge batter.  Place the cup in the microwave for 30 seconds then take the cup and flip upside down to continue letting the sponge cook.  Continue with more cups as you need them.  Then break sponge into little pieces and set aside.

For the Orange Jam

Place fruit, zest, sugar, juice, and vanilla bean into a large soup pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  Stir in the pectin with a hand blender to puree everything smooth; let it cook for another 3 minutes.  Turn off the heat and pour into a container or fill your sterilized jars.  Follow the steps from the National Center for home food preservation or simply fill jars and seal with lids.  Place jars in a water bath, completely covered with water and simmer for 5 minutes.  Place jars out onto a flat surface to allow the jars to set.  Don't move them for 12 hours.  You should hear the lids pop and then you know you have a proper seal.  

To Finish,

Simply add a little jam to the bottom of your plate.  Then add one ganache truffle to the plate.  Break up some of the hazelnut cake and place it around.  Add a few pieces of the aerated chocolate.  Add both sizes of the meringues along with orange segments. Finish with the salted caramel ice cream, serve and enjoy!


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"Almond Crack"ers Pink Peppercorn, Horseradish, Meyer Lemon

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"Almond Crack"ers Pink Peppercorn, Horseradish, Meyer Lemon

Here is a recipe that I know was a huge hit.  This cracker is addicting like crack not that I would know but the combination of peppercorn, horseradish, and sweet makes for a snack you can't put down.  I can't take all the credit by any means on the core of the recipe, that would go to the guys over at Chef Steps They developed this cracker they called the "Bird Feed".  I took the technique and added my flavors, to change the dynamics of the appetizer.  You could easily start the meal off with one of these little crackers or end a meal pairing nicely with sorbet or possibly chocolate.  It would have been a little better for eloise if it didn't have sugar but she still at about 10 of them.  This is definitely one to keep in the recipe file. The recipe is fairly easy just need to have the ingredients.    This cracker has a great contrast between sweet, crunchy, salty, spicy, tangy.  Really you have to try this cracker to understand the depth of flavor achieved here.  That's all I can say.  I made a whole sheet tray for dinner a week ago and it didn't last through dinner.  Absolutely delicious.  Here is the recipe hope you enjoy it

Cracker Dough

150 g Almond Flour
90 g Butter, room temperature
120 g Confectioners’ sugar
4 g Salt
1 Egg
20 g oil Olive (olive, garlic, vegetable, etc.. anything you want)
100 g Isomalt granulated

Toppings

1 piece of fresh horesradish peeled

4 tbsp of sesame seeds

1/3 cup of pink peppercorns crushed

 

Meyer Lemon Sauce 

1 1/2 cups of meyer lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup of sugar

2 tsp of agar

 

Micro cilantro 

 

Preheat Oven to 275

In a stand mixer add almond flour, butter, salt, and powdered sugar.  Mix well and then add egg and oil to make a smooth dough.  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile line a sheet pan with silpat and take out an off set spatula.  After 20-30 minutes take out the batter and using the off set spatula try to spread as evenly as possible. Then take a microplane and grate the horseradish all over the thin batter. Next add the crushed pink peppercorns and sesame seeds.  Finish with a dusting of the granulated isomalt (I used a small fine strainer) and sprinkle of salt. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Rotate the pan halfway through the cooking process for even baking.  Take out and let it cool for at least 5 minutes.  Set aside in a air tight container.

For the lemon gel

Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook stirring consistently for 7 minutes.  Then pour into a shallow baking pan.  Place in the refrigerator for 3 hours or until set and firm.  Then take a knife and cut up the solid lemon gel and place all of it in a blender.  Puree until smooth and thick about 20 seconds.  Place in a squirt bottle in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

To finish, 

Simply take your almond peppercorn cracker and place on a serving tray.  Then dot the cracker with lemon gel and place micro cilantro on top.  Serve and enjoy!




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Grapefruit, Ricotta Ice cream, Rye Financier, Basil Honey

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Grapefruit, Ricotta Ice cream, Rye Financier, Basil Honey

Here is a dessert that was inspired by grapefruit and also by the new Nomad cookbook.  Winter time is full of citrus and grapefruit is great vehicle to use for this recipe.  To me grapefruit is great on its own and I love eating it for breakfast, but to me is sometimes a challenge to incorporate into a composed dish.  Soft creamy cheese is an easy pairing for citrus, so I decided to take ricotta turn it into ice cream.  Basil and honey are all good and I decided to combine them both together.  Brown butter cake goes well with about everything but I put a little twist on it by making it with rye and caraway. The grapefruit I cut into supremes and made granita with the juice.  A light, refreshing dessert great for not being to heavy.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.  It definitely is one that I will make again and keep in my repertoire

Ricotta ice cream
415g milk
135g trimoline inverted sugar
110g sugar
50g glucose
335 ricotta drained
85g creme fraiche
10g lemon juice
6g salt

Rye financiers
5 egg whites
63g rye flour
180g sugar
3 g salt
6 g vanilla extract
85g ap flour
125 g butter
1/2 vanilla bean
1 tsp caraway seed

Grapefruit granita
120g grapefruit juice
60 g water
30g sugar
Pinch of salt
 

Basil Honey

1 cup honey

1 cup of basil leaves blanched

1 cup of spinach leaves blanched

 

1 grapefruit cut into supremes  

1/2 cup of roasted hazelnuts

 

For the Ricotta Ice Cream,

In a small sauce pot heat milk over medium heat then add in the sugar, trimoline, glucose, until dissolved.  Then pour the milk into a blender with ricotta and creme fraiche and puree until smooth.  Strain through a strainer into a bowl with an ice bath.  Add lemon juice and salt to season.  Cool completely then pour into your ice cream maker and use according to your ice makers directions.  When done place in a air tight container in the freezer until ready to use.  

For the Grapefruit Granita,

Place juice and water in a pot and heat to a boil.  Then pour in the sugar and turn off the heat until the sugar has dissolved completely.  Add a pinch a of salt and pour into a shallow baking pan.  Place in a freezer and with a fork fluff the granita every 30 minutes until completely frozen.  Then place in a air tight container and keep in the freezer.

For the Financier.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a food processor add egg whites, sugar, rye, vanilla, and salt and puree until smooth.   In a small sauce pot add butter and brown over medium hight heat with the vanilla bean.   Mix the browned butter with the flour and caraway seeds in a bowl.  Then add the egg white mixture to the flour mixture and mix well. Spray a mini cupcake pan with spray and fill each one 3/4 of the way full.  Place in oven and bake for approximately 12 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  

For Basil Honey,

Place honey in a small pot and heat until warm.  Squeeze the water out of the basil and spinach leaves and place in a blender.  Pour the warm honey over top and puree until smooth.  Set aside until ready to use.  

To finish, place a spoonful of honey on the bottom of the plate and spread evenly.  Then take a few financiers and break up in pieces and place on the plate.  Add the grapefruit supremes.  Add the roasted hazelnuts.  Then take a scope of ricotta ice cream and a scope of granita and add to the plate.  Finish with basil leaves.  Serve and enjoy! 


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Pear and Almond Tart

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Pear and Almond Tart

It doesn't get more classic french then this pear almond tart.  If you have followed me for awhile you know that 2 of my favorite flavors in desserts have either almond paste or custard.  You can easily combine the two ingredients to make frangipane, the ultimate combination.  But for this recipe I stuck to the classic almond cream and poached pears.  This recipe is easy and delicious.  It is a really forgiving recipe that is hard to mess up.  Here is the recipe and I hope you really enjoy this classic pear and almond tart!

Tart Crust (Pate Brisee)

2 sticks of good butter

2 cups of flour plus 3 tbsp.

1/4 cup of water (ice cold)

1 tsp of kosher salt

 

Almond Cream

6 tbsp. of butter (room temp.)

2/3 cup of powder sugar

1 1/2 cup of almond flour

2 tsp of flour

1 tsp of cornstarch

1 large egg plus 1 egg white

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp of almond extract

 

Poached Pears,

4-5 bosc or anjou pears peeled

1/2 cup of white wine

6 cups of water

1 cup of sugar

1 lemon zest and juice

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

1 star anise

1 tsp of salt

 

For the Poached pears,

Cut peeled pears in half and take out the cores.  Then place them in a pot with water, sugar, wine, lemon peel and zest, all the spices.  Then take a piece of parchment paper and cut a square.  Then fold it over in half into a triangle and then fold it again diagonally into a smaller triangle.  Then fold two more times continuing the triangle.  Then cut the point of the triangle off and cut around the outer edge to fit the size of the pot. Open the paper up (This is called a Cartouche), the paper should be a round circle that fits inside the pot with a whole in the middle of the paper.  This is basically a lid for the pears so they stay submerged.  Slowly bring the pot to barely simmering.  Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the pears are tender all the way through.  Check them with a cake tester or toothpick.  Cool to room temperature. 

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

For the Almond cream,

Place almond meal and sugar in a food processor and puree for 30 seconds.  Then while the machine is running add the butter a tbsp. at a time.  Once all the butter is in add the eggs again while the machine is running.  You can stop to scrape the sides if there are any clumps but once the eggs have been added you should a really smooth and creamy almond cream.  Finish with both the vanilla and almond extract.  I normally double this recipe which gives me extra laying around that I can make something else with.  But you should have enough to fill the tart with just one batch.  Set aside the almond cream until your tart dough is ready.

For the Tart dough

Using the food processor again add flour to the bowl along with the salt.  Pulse a few times to combine well.  Then turn the processor on and begin to add all the butter a tbsp. at a time.  Once the butter has been combined.  Drizzle in the cold water.  Finish with a few tbsp. of flour if needed.  Normally now you put the crust into the refrigerator to let the dough come together as it gets cold.  I don't like when my dough is so cold I can't roll it and usually I am in a rush.  If you can put the dough in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes it will really help; if not simply take the dough and put a light dusting of flour onto the parchment paper and place the dough on top.  Then dust flour on the top of the dough and put a second piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. With a rolling pin roll out your dough to a thin crust consistency.  Take your tart mold and carefully place your tart dough inside the mold.  Using a rolling pin roll the pin over the mold to trim off any excess dough.  With a fork prick the dough all over.  Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the tart and add pie weights or dried beans to weight the paper down on top of the tart.  Place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.  Take out the pie tart and take off the parchment and save the weights for another baking day.

To finish,

Add the almond cream to the tart filling it up almost to the top of the tart.  Take out the pears and slice if desired and place them on top of the almond cream.  Then place back in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Take out and cool to room temperature.  Serve or chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  And then enjoy this classic!

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Honey Ganache Ravioli with Persimmon and Chestnut

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Honey Ganache Ravioli with Persimmon and Chestnut

This is a dessert dish that was thrown together by having some leftovers in the fridge.  I had pasta dough left over from a previous dinner.  I also had honey ganache from a previous dessert.  I just made Chestnut Madeleines and had some the batter left over that I doctored up a bit by adding more chestnut puree.  Persimmon sorbet I made from all the hachiya's that were perfectly ripened.  I made a caramel sauce from XO cafe that we always have on hand, and just like that all these wonderful things left over turned into a new fabulous dessert.  Finish the dish with some fresh persimmons and viola.  Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it.

1/2 recipe of Pasta (here)

Persimmon Sorbet

7 ripened hachiya perimmons

2 1/2 cup of water

2 cups of sugar

1/2 tsp of nutmeg

1 lemon juiced

 

XO Patron Cafe Caramel 

1 stick of butter

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/3 cup of XO Patron Cafe

1/3 cup of heavy cream 

 

Chestnut Cake

4 oz of sugar

16 oz of chestnut paste

6 oz of brown sugar

3 eggs room temp

1 tbsp of amaretto

3 oz of bread flour

1/4 tsp of baking powder

 

Whipped cream

3/4 cup of heavy cream

1/4 cup of powdered sugar

 

1/4 cup of cocoa nibs grond 

1 fresh fuyu persimmon 

 

Honey Chocolate Ganache

1/4 cup of honey 

7 oz of bittersweet chocolate 

1/2 cup of heavy cream

2 tbsp of butter 

 

For Ganache Ravioli’s 

Make the pasta according to the recipe.  Knead and then rest.

For the ganache add cream and honey to a pot and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl.  Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute.  Then whisk until completely smooth.  Then add the butter until shiny and smooth.  Allow the ganache to cool completely.  Then place in the refrigerator for about an hour.  It should harden up a bit but still be manageable.   Place the ganache in a plastic pastry bag and set aside.

Take the pasta and cut in a half and run it through the pasta machine 3 times to build up the structure.  Then on the last time run the pasta through until you get to the second to last setting on the machine.  Then take the ganache and run a smooth straight line all the way down the pasta sheet starting about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the sheet.  Then take a pastry brush and water and brush the top part of the pasta sheet.  Fold over the pasta over the ganache meeting the top part of the pasta sheet.  Then pinch or crease the pasta ever half inch.  It should look something like this

Using a serrated pinwheel pasta cutter cut away any excess pasta and cut the pasta into individual portions between each crease.  Place on a flowered sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Repeat until all ganache is gone.  Use leftover past for another application.

For the Persimmon Sorbet,

In a pot add water and sugar and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 4 minutes and then turn off and cool completely.  Once cold add lemon juice and persimmons and puree until smooth.  Pour into your ice cream maker, add nutmeg, and use according to your makers instructions. Take the sorbet out and place in a air tight container in the freezer.

For the chestnut cake

Follow the same steps from the Madeleines  I added the left over paste to the recipe to make it more of a dense cake.  (which is optional.) Bake at same temperature as madeleines until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and set aside.  

For the XO Caramel Sauce

Place butter and sugar in a pan over medium heat.  Cook until butter and sugar are melted.  Then pour in the XO Patron cafe and flambé.  Cook until the alcohol is cooked off and then add in your cream.  Cook until the cream comes to temperature and the sauce thickens a little.  Set aside and keep warm.  

For the whipped cream,

Place heavy cream in a stand mixer and whisk until it starts to thicken slightly.  Add powdered sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks.  Set aside. 

To finish 

In a pot of salted boil water add pasta and cook for 2 minutes or until the pasta floats to the top of the pot.  Skim out and place pasta in the caramel sauce.  Season with with a pinch of salt and place a few on the plate.  Cut a piece of chestnut cake and place on the plate. Add a quenelle of whipped cream on top.  Add a slice of persimmon and a quenelle of sorbet.  Garnish with a little bit of nutmeg and ground cocoa.  Serve and enjoy!


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Crepe Cake,  Butternut Squash with White Chocolate and Lime

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Crepe Cake, Butternut Squash with White Chocolate and Lime

What to do with JBG butternut squash?  That is the question for this post.  We started up our weekly CSA box again for the fall here in Austin and I'm sitting on a bunch of Butternut squash.  So what to make, soup? no its too hot outside.  Risotto? don't feel like it. ButternutVariations  ? a lot of work. Modern Ravioli? nope. Here's what I decided on.  Crepe Cake, simple enough. Make a bunch of crepes, layer them with white chocolate ganache and serve it. Easy right?  Actually it is.  Well of course I added a few more components that could easily have been left out but part of this recipe comes from my wife and here love of lime.  We roasted the butternut squash and ate it with a squeeze of lime and salt, and it was delicious!  So that was one part of the flavor profile I was going for along with white chocolate, which is hard to go wrong with.  Combine all of these things together and you pretty much have a basic flavor profile of this dish.  Add in a few spices and other ingredients to round everything out, and you are done. You're left with a delicious and simple dessert that can be made ahead of time.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

 

Butternut Squash Crepe

2 cups of milk

1 cup of roasted butternut squash 

2 eggs

1 cup of flour

2 tsp of vanilla

1 tsp of cinnamon 

pinch of nutmeg

1 tsp of salt

4 tbsp of sugar

 

White Chocolate Ganache

1 pint of cream plus 2 tbsp

11 oz of white chocolate

1/4 cup of powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp of gelatin powdered

 

Lime Gelee

1 cup of lime juice (aprox. 5-6 limes)

zest from 1 lime 

1 cup of water plus 2 tbsp 

2 tsp of gelatin 

1/3 cup of sugar

pinch of salt 

 

Butternut Squash sauce

1/2 cup of roasted butternut squash

3/4 cup of simple syrup

 

Cinnamon and basil to garnish

Olive oil, star anise, cinnamon stick, clove

 

For the roasted butternut squash,  Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Simple cut 2-3 butternuts squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds and discard or save for another application.  On a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, drizzle butternut with olive oil, season with salt.  Add a few pieces of clove and star anise to a few cavities of the squashes, along with 2 cinnamon sticks.  Flip the butternut squash over and roast for an hour or until they are tender all the way through.  Take out and let them come to room temperature

For the butternut squash crepes.

Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and blend with a hand immersion blender (alternatively just place in a blender and puree until smooth). Strain the mixture if desired and adjust seasoning if need be.  Then in a crepe pan or small sauté pan on medium high heat add a touch of butter and then ladle the mixture into the pan and evenly distribute the batter by moving the pan in a clockwise motion.  Cook for 1 minute and then flip and cook for another minute.  Continue until all the batter is prepared.  Set aside to cool

For the White Chocolate Ganache,

Take 2 tbsp of cream and mix with gelatin to bloom. Then add half of the cream and place in a small pot with all of the white chocolate.  Turn on medium low heat and allow the cream to heat up and melt the white chocolate stirring occasionally.  When all the chocolate has melted strain through a fine strainer into a bowl.  Cool for 10 minutes and then stir in your gelatin.  Then place the remainder cream in a stand mixer and whip until they start to thicken.  Add your powdered sugar and remain whipping until stiff peaks.  Once the white chocolate mixture has come close to room temperature add your whipped cream, incorporating it completely.  Then pour onto a sheet pan and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  

For the lime gelee,

Add 2 tbsp of water to gelatin to allow to bloom.  Place sugar, water, lime juice in a pot and bring up to heat until the sugar dissolves.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes at least if the mixture came to a boil.  Then add the gelatin to the mixture.  Adjust seasoning if need be and pour onto a baking dish.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until set and cold.  

For Butternut Squash Sauce,

Place roasted butternut squash and simple syrup in a small bowl and puree with a hand immersion blender.  Season with a pinch of salt if need be.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer.  Set aside for later.  

To Finish 

Take the white chocolate ganache (mousse) out the refrigerator.  Take 5-7 crepes and layer a thin amount of ganache onto one crepe.  Then add another crepe and repeat the process until you have 5-7 layers.  At this point you place in the refrigerator until ready to serve, this will help with cutting it as well.  (Alternatively you can cut a desired shape out of the crepe (I did rectangular) and then layer the crepe)  Add a little butternut squash puree to the plate.  Then take out the lime gelee and cut into little cubes.  Add a few to the plate and top with petite basil leaves.  Finish with a dash of cinnamon.  Serve and enjoy!


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Baba au Rhum

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Baba au Rhum

I've read that these baba rum cakes where actually produced first in Poland.  Then later a french patissier introduced them to France.  My first encounter with these delicious rum cakes wasn't in Poland or France. My first taste of baba rum cakes was actually in Italy, around the Amalfi coast.  We spent time around the area of Sorrento a few years back and every where we went it was limoncello and baba rum cakes.  Some drenched in limoncello, some in rum, and some filled with pastry cream.  Some big, some small.  Either way you have them they are delicious and fairly easy to make.  Essentially it is brioche type dough that is baked and then soaked in rum.  It is pretty straight forward just takes a little time to make the dough and let it rise properly. Once you have them you will definitely keep these in you repertoire of go to desserts that can be easily made in advance.  Here is the recipe

1/2 cup of warm milk

1 tbsp of fresh yeast

8 oz of bread flour

8 oz of cake flour

6 eggs 

1/2 tsp of salt 

2 1/2 sticks of butter 

1 tsp of vanilla

3 tbsp of sugar

 

Rum Glaze

3 cups of sugar

4 cups of water 

1 cup of Rum (I used Pyrat) Dark rum works well too

1 slice of orange peel

egg wash

baba molds or timbal molds

For the Dough,

Dissolve yeast in the milk.  In a stand mixer add sugar, salt, flour, and eggs.  With a dough hook start to stir.  Then add the milk mixture and vanilla. Mix on low for 5 minutes and then turn up and mix on medium high for another 5 minutes.  The dough should be nice and elastic.  Then gradually add the soft butter to the dough until well incorporated (5-10 min)  The dough should start to pull away from the bowl at this point.  Then place the dough in a greased bowl and cover to allow to rise for 2 hours.  Punch down and then place into the refrigerator over night.  

Rum Syrup,

Place sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add the rum.  Cook for another 2 minutes and then turn off and keep warm.

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

The next day allow the dough to come to temperature for 30 minutes.  Then spray your molds with non-stick spray and fill them half way with the baba dough.  Cover them and allow to rise until they fill the forms.   Brush the babas with egg wash and place in the oven.  Bake for roughly 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let them rest for one minute and then transfer a few baba's at a time to the warm rum mixture.  Soak the hot baba's in the hot syrup for 1-2 minutes or until there are no more bubbles (air pockets in the pastry get filled with the rum syrup).   The baba's can served with any variety of garnishes including whipped cream, pastry cream, cherries, etc....   Served hot or cold.  Enjoy!

 


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"Cherries and Oranges" Olive oil Cake, Sorbet, Ricotta Cake and Caramel

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"Cherries and Oranges" Olive oil Cake, Sorbet, Ricotta Cake and Caramel

This recipe comes from a case of the sweetest oranges I've ever had in my life.  These were giving to my boss from an estate in Santa Barbara that they recently visited for a special dinner.  The only way to describe these oranges, is to think back when you had a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice; you can really tell the difference between fresh squeezed.  Now multiply the sweetness times 2 or 10 for that matter and that is what these oranges tasted like.  I know I'm going on and on about an orange but it truly was like nothing I've had anywhere.  A few years ago I actually went to Valencia, Spain but I don't remember having oranges while I was there and if I did they didn't leave this kind of lasting memory.  The challenge was trying to come up with something to do with these oranges.  I did make the Ivory Salmon Dish which JP loved, but also wanted to do a dessert as well.   I decided on Olive oil cake topped with vanilla pastry cream. The cake has a hint of orange and amaretto. Orange sorbet, Orange caramel, with fresh orange ricotta cake rounded out the orange flavors.  But I also had cherries that I wanted to add as a contrast.  I made a sauce with Campari and cherries which actually turned out a bit spicy but it all worked beautifully together with the orange flavors and sweetness.   Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy!

 

Olive Oil Cake (Adapted from Bouchon Bakery)

2 cups of flour

1 1/4 tsp of baking powder

1 1/4 tsp of salt 

2 tbsp of orange zest

3 tbsp of amaretto

1 tbsp of vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp of sugar

3/4 cup of milk

2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp of olive oil

 

Ricotta Cheese Cake

13oz of Fresh Ricotta

3 eggs

1 tbsp of corn starch

3 tbsp of amaretto

1 tbsp of vanilla

3/4 cup of sugar

1 tbsp of orange zest

 

Campari Cherry Gel

1 1/2 cups of pitted cherries

1/3 cup of campari 

1 cup of simple syrup (or 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar)

1 tbsp of orange zest

2 tsp of agar 

pinch of salt

 

Pastry Cream

2 cups of milk

2/3 cup of sugar

1/2 vanilla bean

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup of corn starch

2 tbsp of unsalted butter

 

"Burnt" Orange Caramel

1 cup of sugar

few drops of water

1/4 cup of orange juice

1/3 cup of heavy cream

 

Orange Sorbet

2 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice 

1 3/4 cup of simple syrup 

zest from 2 oranges

juice from 1 lemon

 

Orange segments from 2 oranges

1/2 cup of pitted cherries

Micro Sorrel and chervil

 

For the Pastry Cream,

Place egg yolks and sugar in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.  Beat for 4-5 minutes on high and then turn down to low and add the cornstarch.  Meanwhile place milk and vanilla bean in a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn off and take off the heat as soon as the milk starts to rise up the sides of the pot.  With a ladle slowly temper the eggs by pour in a little of the milk mixture into the egg mixture.  Continue to do that until half of the milk has been incorporated.  Then pour the egg milk mixture back into the pot with the milk and turn the heat back on to low.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture thickens and the cornstarch flavor has been cooked out.  Strain into a bowl and add the 2 tbsp of butter whisking until it is completely incorporated.  Place a piece of plastic over top to prevent a skin forming.

For the Orange sorbet,

Combine all the ingredients together: orange juice, zest, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a bowl.  Then pour into your ice cream maker and use according to your ice cream makers instructions.  Take out and place in a container in the freezer until ready to use.

For the Olive Oil Cake,  Preheat 350 degrees

Sift dry ingredients together into a bowl.  Place eggs and sugar in a stand mixer and mix with a whisk for 4 minutes.  Then mix oil, milk, amaretto, vanilla, and zest together.  Then alternate 1/3 dry ingredients and 1/3 wet ingredients into the egg mixture.  Continue that process until all is well incorporated.  Then spray a rectangular baking pan with non-stick spray and pour in the cake batter.  Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Take out and let it cool to room temperature. 

For the Cherry Gel

In a small sauce pot on medium high heat add cherries and campari.   Burn off the alcohol for 1 minute and then add a pinch of salt, orange zest, and simple syrup.  Cook for 10 minutes and then stir in the agar.  Cook for another 3 minutes and then puree in a blender or hand immersion blender.  Adjust seasoning if need be and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a shallow sheet tray.  Cool for 30 minutes or until solid and cold.  Then brake up with a knife and place into a blender.  Puree until smooth and then place into a squirt bottle. 

For the Orange Caramel,

Place water and sugar in a pot.  Place on medium high heat.  When the sugar starts to melt completely and caramelize add the orange juice.  Cook for a minute and then add the cream.  Stir and cook the sauce until the sugar melts and the sauce thickens a bit.  (roughly 3 to 4 min).  Set aside until ready to plate.  If the sauce is too thick when ready to plate just heat slightly.  

For Ricotta cheesecake,

I had just made the cheese and let it drain for about an hour and half roughly.  Then place the cheese in a stand mixer.  Then I add sugar, zest, cornstarch, vanilla, and amaretto mixing on low.  Finish with adding the eggs one at a time.  Mix until a smooth batter is formed.  I lined a spring form pan with parchment paper and then poured the batter on top.  Bake the cheesecake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator.  

To Finish,

Add a spoonful of orange caramel down on to the plate. Then add dots of the cherry gel on top. Cut the olive oil cake into 1 inch squares.  Place a little dollop of pastry cream on each one.  Place three on to the plate.  Then cut the cheesecake and place on to the plate.  Add the orange sorbet and finish the plate with orange segments, cherries, orange zest, chervil, and sorrel.  Serve and enjoy!


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Strawberry Parfait with Strawberry Sorbet and "Shortcake"

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Strawberry Parfait with Strawberry Sorbet and "Shortcake"

Have you ever had a Strawberry shortcake dessert bar? The last time I had one I was probably a teenager.  But I remember them being pretty delicious 20 or more years ago.  This was my inspiration for this dessert.  I had these extremely sweet strawberries and wanted to take a modern version on this classic strawberry shortcake dessert bar.  Of course with some twists, and liberal interpretations.   The final product was actually an amazing light and refreshing dessert, perfect go to, during the hot summer days.  For the parfait, and the cream element to this dessert, I added a can of coconut milk that added just another layer of subtle but sweet flavor.  Here's the recipe hope you enjoy it!

 

Strawberry Parfait

1 can of coconut milk

3 cups of whole strawberries 

1 1/4 cup of heavy cream 

3/4 cup sugar

10.5 g of gelatin powder

1 tsp of vanilla

1/4 cup of powdered sugar

 

Strawberry Sorbet

2 cups of sugar

2 1/3 cup of water

4 cups of whole strawberries 

1 large lemon juiced

 

Shortbread Recipe

1 cup of butter softened

1/2 cup of sugar plus 2 tbsp

1 tsp of salt

2 1/2 cups of flour

 

micro sorrel

1/2 cup of fresh strawberries sliced

 

For the Parfait,

Get an ice bath ready in a large bowl.  Place coconut milk and strawberries in a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour into a pot, turn on the heat and add the granulated sugar.  In a small separate bowl add gelatin and 3 tbsp of water to bloom.  Stir the coconut-strawberry mixture until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot.  Turn off the heat.  Add a little of the strawberry mixture to the gelatin to dissolve it.  Then pour the strawberry mixture into a bowl and set it in the ice bath.  Pour in the gelatin and stir until well combined.  Stir the mixture for a few minutes to cool down.  Meanwhile in a stand mixer add heavy cream.  Using the whisk start to whip the heavy cream. When the cream starts to thicken add the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Whip until stiff peaks.  Then when the strawberry mixture has cooled but not gelled  whisk in the whipped cream gently.  You want to incorporate the whipped cream well, but you don't want to over work it.  Once you have combined it completely pour onto a half sheet pan and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.  

For the Shortbread,

Go here to so see the recipe .  I placed the dough in a baking rectangular pan and baked it until golden brown.  Then after it cools completely take half of the shortbread and place either in a food processor and pulse until coarse or place in a plastic bag and crush with a mallet.  

For the sorbet,

Place water and sugar in a pot.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Then cool slightly and place in a blender with the 4 cups of whole strawberries.  Puree until smooth, and the lemon juice, then chill until completely cold.  Place in your ice cream maker according to their instructions.  Place  in an air tight container and place in the freezer 

To finish,

In a bowl add the coarse ground shortbread. Take the parfait out of the freezer and cut with a ring cutter and place on top of the shortbread.  Then take out the sorbet and add a scoop of sorbet.  Add the fresh sliced strawberries to the parfait and finish with micro sorrel.  Serve and enjoy!


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White Nectarine Sorbet with Pistachio Shortbread

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White Nectarine Sorbet with Pistachio Shortbread

Here is a great way to end a meal in the summertime that is light and refreshing.   Nothing to me is better than California white nectarine and peaches.  They are so sweet and packed with so much flavor.  For me the easiest thing to do with this super sweet fruit is to make sorbet.  I decided to make a pistachio shortbread and candied pistachio to round out this light dessert.  This dessert is simple, easy, and can be done ahead of time.   You don't want to be slaving away on nice summer day so this could be an easy go to on a night of entertaining.  Here's the recipe I hope you enjoy it.   

White Nectarine Sorbet

4 white large white nectarines peeled and pit removed 

2 cups of sugar

2 1/4 cup of water

1 lemon juiced 

 

Pistachio Shortbread

1 1/2 stick butter 

2 1/2 cups flour 

1/2 cup of sugar 

6 oz of pistachio paste

3 drops of pistachio LorAnn Oil 

1/4 tsp of salt

 

1 cups of pistachios

1/4 powdered sugar

2 tsp of water

pinch of salt

 

Micro amaranth 

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

For the Pistachio shortbread

In a food processor place butter butter, sugar, and pistachio paste.  Puree until combined well.  Add salt, pistachio oil, and flour to the mixer until the mixture just comes together.  Then take the mixture and press into a square baking pan.  Prick with a fork and sprinkle with the extra 2 tbsp of sugar.  Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until just golden brown.  Let stand for a few minutes and then cut into rectangles or just leave as is and crumble for the dish.  Set aside until ready to serve.

For the Nectarine Sorbet

Place sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and cool completely. Place the nectarines in a food processor and puree to desired consistency ( I pureed really smooth ). Leave chunks of peaches if you like to eat sorbets with pieces of fruit in it. Combine peach puree, cinnamon, and simply syrup mixture to pour into a ice cream machine. Use ice cream machine according to there directions.  Once done, place into a air tight container and freeze.  Let the sorbet properly chill and then serve.  

For the Candied pistachios 

Preheat oven to 375.  Place water and powdered sugar in a bowl and mix well.  Then add pistachios and a pinch of salt and mix well.  Pour pistachios on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and place in the oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes to ensure even baking.  Take out and let it cool completely.

To finish,

Take the shortbread and crumble with your hands into the bowl.  Take your sorbet and scoop out one scoop and place on top of the shortbread crumbs.  Add sliced white nectarines, candied pistachios and micro amaranth.  Serve and enjoy!


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"Milk and Honey"

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"Milk and Honey"

I recently did an event where the theme was revolved around honey.  I served 7 different appetizers all having honey as an ingredient.  Some where more subtle than others.  This one I think had a nice balance of honey, not too much and not too little.  I called this "milk and honey" because it has a few different textures of milk along with the honey in the recipe.  Some people don't always understand why appetizers can be expensive but in essence as a chef you are trying to make a complete dish in one or two bites.  The base of the recipe is a vanilla, chamomile-honey panna cotta which sits on a honey tuile cookie, topped with caramelized milk and dehydrated honey milk foam.  A really long description for a tiny bite but I think the results where a big hit with the group I served.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy!

Honey-Chamomile Panna Cotta (makes a half sheet pan)

6 cups of heavy cream

2/3 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of honey

1/2 cup of chamomile leaves dried

1 vanilla bean split

2 tbsp of gelatin (beef)

6 tbsp of water

 

Dehydrated milk foam

2 1/2 cup milk 

1/2 cup of glucose

3 tbsp of honey

 

Caramelized milk 

1/2 cup of butter

4 tbsp of powdered milk

 

Honey Tuile batter

1/3 cup of flour

1/3 cup of sugar

3 tbsp of honey

1/8 tsp of salt

3 egg whites

2 1/2 tbsp of butter

 

Preheat oven to 175 degrees

To make the dehydrated milk foam,

Place milk, glucose, and honey into a pot and heat until just under a boil about 180-190 degrees.  Meanwhile line a sheet pan with with acetate paper.  Remove the milk from the heat and froth with a hand blender. Scoop out the foam onto the sheet pan.  Once full place in the oven and dry in the oven for at least 4 hours or until the foam is dried.  Take out and allow to cool before you remove the acetate and break up the milk.  Store in air tight container.

For the caramelized milk

Take butter and melt in a pot then add the dry milk powder.  Cook on medium heat stirring occasionally until the milk solids turn golden brown.  Then strain off the butter and place on a paper towel.  Season lightly with salt.  Store in a air tight container.

For the tuile cookie

In a bowl mix flour, salt, and sugar. Then in the middle of the bowl make a well and add egg whites, honey, and melted butter.  Whisk until combined.  You can rest your batter for an hour in the refrigerator.  Then when ready to bake turn you oven up to 350 and fill a squirt bottle with the batter.  I then used a small round macaron template  and squirted the batter in each template.  Then placed in the oven and baked for roughly 12 minutes or until really golden brown.  If the cookie isn't cooked enough it will be soft and chewy, if yours turn out this way after cooling the cookies then place them back in the oven for a few more minutes.  The cookies want get crisps until they cool and that is the texture you want.  A crunchy thin cookie.  Place in an air tight container until all the batter is gone.

For the panna cotta,

Place cream, vanilla bean, dried chamomile, sugar, and honey into a pot.  Bring to a simmer then turn off the heat.  Allow the cream to cool slightly and steep the chamomile.  Then in another bowl mix water and gelatin and allow it to bloom for 3 minutes.  Then take some of the warm cream and strain it over the bowl of gelatin.  Once melted you can add all of the gelatin mixture back into the cream mixture and stir well.  Then strain the pana cotta onto a sheet pan and place into the refrigerator until set ( at least 2 hours).  

To assemble 

Take a small round cookie cutter and cut small rounds in the pana cotta.  Then place the panna cotta on top of the tuile cookies.  Place a small dot of honey on top of the panna cotta.  Then garnish with caramelized milk, dehydrated milk foam, and flower.  Serve and enjoy!


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"Banana Split"

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"Banana Split"

Here is my version of a banana split that I have served a few times over the last few months.  Each time I have altered the recipe just slightly.  If you are not a banana fan then you will probably not like this dessert very much since it has banana cake (bread), banana cinnamon ice cream, and caramelized bananas.  With that being said I've had a few people that have eaten this dish and said to me that they don't really like bananas but loved this dessert.  This really isn't a complicated dessert and a lot of the components can be done ahead of time which is always good.  This dessert is simply taking the flavors of a banana split whipped cream, bananas, chocolate, caramel, and ice cream and presenting it in a different way.  Food has been done, part of a chef's job is to try and present things in a different way but still tap into those childhood memories.  This dessert is nothing more than that.   This is also a good way to get rid of some bananas that have over-ripened too much.  We normally stick our bananas that go brown in the freezer.  When we accumulate too many I make ice cream, or banana bread or smoothies.   Here's the recipe I hope you enjoy!

Banana Cinnamon Ice cream

4 egg yolks

3/4 cup of sugar

1 1/2 cup of milk

1 1/2 cup of cream

1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

3-4 ripened frozen bananas thawed

 

Banana bread (cake)

3 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp of nutmeg

1 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 tsp of allspice

1 tsp of salt

2 tsp of baking soda

2 3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 cup of vegetable oil

2 tsp of vanilla

5-6 frozen thawed bananas 

 

Dulce de leche Sauce

1 can of dulce de leche

2 pints of heavy cream

 

Chocolate mousse

125 g of semi sweet chocolate chips

½ cup of cream

½ tsp of gelatin powder

2 tsp of water

 

Candied Salted Peanuts

1 lbs of peanuts

1 cups of powdered sugar

3 tbsp of water

1 1/2 tsp salt

 

Caramelized bananas

3 ripe bananas parisienne balls

Sugar

torch to caramelize 

 

Whipped cream

1 pint of cream

1/4 cup of powder sugar

1 tsp of vanilla

 

For the Ice Cream

Place the egg yolks in a stand mixer and turn on medium speed.  Slowly pour in your sugar.  Whip for about 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Meanwhile for the ice cream base start by adding all the milk and cream. Bring the mixture slowly to a boil and turn off.  With a ladle, temper your eggs by ladling a little of the milk mixture into the eggs, until you have about half of your milk mixture mixed in the eggs. Then take the mixing bowl with the egg mixture and pour back into the pot of milk mixture using a spatula to scrape the sides.  Turn the heat back on low and stir for about 5 minutes and then turn off.  You can let the mixture cool in the refrigerator if you have the time, or place in a bowl inside a ice bath to cool down faster.  Once the mixture is cool you can add the bananas with a hand blender.  Then place in the refrigerator if you wish or place in your ice cream maker until done according to your ice cream maker.  Then store in a container and place in the freezer.

For the chocolate mousse,

Bloom gelatin and water together in a small glass bowl.  Fill a small pot with water and bring to a simmer.  In a glass or stainless bowl add your chocolate.  Place the bowl over the pot to melt the chocolate making sure the water doesn't touch the bowl. Once melted take off the heat.  Place the gelatin bowl and float on top of the water to melt the gelatin and water together.  Cool slightly.  Meanwhile whip your cream to medium peaks.  Pour gelatin into the cream and whip to stiff peaks. Add the cooled melted chocolate.  Then fold the whipped cream into the chocolate being careful not to over work it.  Place into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.  Take half moon silicon molds and fill with the mousse, smoothing out the tops with an offset spatula.   Place the molds in the freezer for at least an hour.  Then un-mold the ones your going use 10 minutes before you are going to serve them and place them on a plate in the refrigerator.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For the Banana cake

Take the dry ingredients and mix together in a large bowl.  Then take milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, and mix together well with a whisk.  Then add your thawed bananas to the wet ingredients mashing the bananas with the whisk.  ( I like to leave little chunks of bananas instead of a smooth puree) Then mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Mix until just incorporated.  Then place the batter onto a sprayed half sheet pan or one lined with parchment paper and spread evenly.  Cook for 20 minutes in the oven until a toothpick comes out clean.  Set aside to cool.

For the whipped cream

Place heavy cream in a stand mixer and turn on medium high.  When the cream starts to thicken slightly add the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Whip until stiff peaks.  Place the whipped cream in a pastry bag with a plain tip or no tip at all if you wish.  Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.  

For the candied salted peanuts

Place water and powdered sugar in a bowl and mix well with a whisk.  Then fold in your peanuts and salt mixing well.  Place the peanuts on a sheet pan line with a silpat.  Place the pan in the oven set at 375 and cook for about 15-18 minutes.  Stirring the nuts every 5 minutes  with a wooden spoon so they roast evenly.  Then take out and cool.  Once cooled you can break up into clusters.

For the bananas,

Take a large melon baller and make round balls of bananas scooping them out onto a sheet pan.  Then sprinkle liberally with sugar on the tops of the bananas.  With a torch caramelize the sugar on top of the bananas.  Set aside 

For the dulce de leche sauce. 

Simply add cream and dulce de leche to a pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Turn off and keep warm.

To finish the dish add a spoonful of the dulce de leche sauce to the plate.  Then take one chocolate mousse and garnish with a little cocoa nibs placing in the middle of the sauce.  Pipe a little whipped cream on the tops of two pieces of banana cake.  Then place the cake on each side of the chocolate mousse.  Pipe one more bit of cream next to one of the cakes.  Add 3 pieces of banana to the plate placing all on top of each of the cream.  Finish with a scoop of banana ice cream topped with salted peanuts.  Serve and enjoy! 

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Mille-Feuille (Napoleon)

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Mille-Feuille (Napoleon)

This is one of my wife's favorite pastries to have with her tea and coffee.  I will say that I'm a huge fan as well.  Mille feuille (a thousand leaves) is a classic french pastry that is made of puff pastry and mousseline cream, although with everything people make it with slight variations some use strictly pastry cream, diplomat cream, but I think the mousseline works the best.  Not to mention that this recipe is adapted from Bouchon bakery book and that's what they use.  I think every country makes their own version of this classic dessert.  I know I have had this delicious pastry or a similar variation in El Salvador, America, France, Italy, England (they only did one layer and added strawberries), and Argentina I think we had one too.  Depending on the freshness, amount of cream and the topping for me really makes the difference of who has the best and worst.

I did not make my puff pastry this time because of time constraints but hopefully have a recipe soon for puff pastry.  Puff pastry is almost like croissant dough without the yeast.  It is a lamented dough that when cooked produces layers of pastry.  The only downside to this pastry is it always a bit hard to cut into without the filling going everywhere.  In the bouchon book the serve it on its side which is really smart.  I left this dessert sitting up right for this application and because I didn't serve it immediately.  I also didn't make the icing on top that is typically done because of time constraints as well.  I simply finished with powdered sugar.  It still didn't make the pastry any less delicious.

 

I puff pastry ( I used pepperidge farms )

Pastry cream 

1/2 cup plus tbsp egg yolk

1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp  sugar

1 small vanilla bean

1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp custard powder or ap flour

2 cups and 3 tbsp of milk

1 ounce (2 tbsp ) of butter

 

Basic Butter Cream

75 g (1/4 cup 1 tbsp) egg whites

150 g (3/4 cup) sugar 

plus 2 tbsp plus 2 1/4 tsp) of sugar

42 g (3 tbsp 1 tsp ) of water

8 ounces (2 sticks) butter

 

Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat Oven to 400 degrees

Take one half of the puff pastry and cut in 1/3's using the natural creases of the puff pastry.  Place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.  Take another piece of parchment paper and place on top of the puff pastry.  Then place a second sheet pan on top of the parchment and puff pastry.  The weight of the pan will not allow the puff pastry to puff up.  If you want to make 2 napoleons then do the second piece of puff pastry the same way.  I combined all of the pastry cream and all of the butter cream together and it is a perfect amount to make two napoleons. Otherwise you will have left over pastry cream and buttercream (which isn't a bad thing).  Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 22 minutes or until golden brown.  Take out and let it cool completely

For the pastry cream

Place egg yolks in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Turn on the mixer and whisk the eggs for 20 seconds.  Then scrape the vanilla bean into the egg yolks. Turn the mixer back on and add the sugar gradually into the egg yolks.  Once all the sugar has been incorporated turn the mixer up to high.  Whisk for 3 minutes on high until the egg yolks are light and fluffy.  Then add your custard or flour to the egg yolk mixture.  Mix on low for 30 seconds and then turn to high for another 45 seconds.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for another 30 seconds.  

Meanwhile in sauce pot on medium high add your milk and the scraped vanilla bean to the pot.  Gently bring to a scald.  Then temper the egg yolk mixture by pouring a little of the milk into the egg yolk mixture a little at a time while the mixer is running on low speed.  Continue until you have half of the milk mixed into the egg yolks.  Then pour all of the contents back into your pot.  On low heat stir with a whisk until the egg mixture starts to thicken and lightly bubble.  Once it starts to thicken cook for another 5 minutes whisking constantly.  You want to make sure that you do this so that the flour taste cooks out of the mixture.  Once cooked pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl that is set in an ice bath.  Once in the bowl whisk for a minute to help cool then add your butter.  Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard to help prevent a skin from forming.  Allow to cool in the ice bath or refrigerator for at least a few hours.

For the buttercream

Place water and stir in 3/4 cup of the sugar.  Bring to simmer over medium high heat until the syrup reaches 230 degrees.  Meanwhile place your egg whites in a stand mixer on medium speed and gradually pour in the 2 tbsp and 2 tsp of sugar whipping until they begin to form loose peaks.  When the syrup reaches 248 degrees turn the mixer down to medium low and gradually pour the syrup into the egg whites.  Once all incorporated turn to high and mix for 15 minutes or until the bottom of the bowl has cooled down.  Once to room temperature gradually add the butter a few pieces at a time.  If it ever looks broken simply increase the speed to emulsify the mixture back together.  Place in the refrigerator to firm up a bit.  

In the bouchon bakery book it calls for 375g of each pastry cream and butter cream to be mixed together.  As earlier stated I mixed all of both creams together.  Simply put the pastry cream in a stand mixer and whisk on medium speed until smooth then add your buttercream until well combined.  Then take a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap.  Pour the mixture onto the pan.  With an offset spatula smooth out the mousseline and place in the freezer (book says overnight) I did an hour.  Which was plenty firm enough for me to cut it and it stay firm.  

To assemble 

trim the sides and ends of the puff pastry so they all are equal.  Then cut the mousseline the same size as the puff pastry and place in between each layer of puff pastry.  Dust the top with powdered sugar.  Refrigerate for half an hour before you serve.  Cut and enjoy!


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"Mocha" Chocolate Sablee, Espresso Mousse, Nib Tuile

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"Mocha" Chocolate Sablee, Espresso Mousse, Nib Tuile

I don't do a ton of chocolate desserts but this one has elements that I have never made before so I was inclined to try.  None of the components  are necessarily hard but a few do take a little bit of time.  I named this dessert mocha because this is about the only coffee I could drink years ago.  I have never been much of a coffee fan unless it had chocolate or Irish whiskey.  Anyways this dessert has a few variations of chocolate, with a hint of coffee and cinnamon.  It also plays around with textures like crunchy, crumble, mousse and cream.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

 

Chocolate pate Sablee (adapted from Daniel)

4 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup plus 2tbsp flour

3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 cup good cocoa powder

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1 1/2 sticks of butter

3 egg yolks

 

Cocoa nib tuiles

1/2 cup of sugar

2 tbsp of milk

2 tbsp of glucose syrup

1/3 cup of butter

6 tbsp of cocoa nibs

1 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder

 

Dulce de Leche Ice cream

1 1/2 cup of milk

1 1/2 cup of cream

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1 can of dulce de leche

 

White chocolate sauce

65 g of white chocolate

70 g of cream

 

Espresso mousse

125 g of semi sweet chocolate

1/2 cup of cream

1/2 tsp of gelatin

1 tbsp of water

1 1/2 tbsp of espresso powder

 

Chocolate cylinders

8 oz of dark chocolate at least 63% melted 

acetate paper

 

Toasted black walnuts

 

For the chocolate cylinders,

Need to find tubes like cannoli molds or something similar. Cut acetate paper so that the paper can fit inside the tube and just come together at the seam.  Then take your melted chocolate that is warm and spread a thin layer of chocolate on the top side of the acetate paper with an small off set spatula.  Then careful place the paper inside the tube with the bottom side touching the tube and the chocolate side facing out to the middle.  Bring the seams together so they just meet but not overlap.  Let that dry for 24 hours.

For the chocolate sablee

In a bowl add all of the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, starch, salt, cinnamon, ) and mix.  Then in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter for 2 minutes.  Then add the dry ingredients a little at a time.  Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl.  Then add the egg yolks one at a time until well combined.  Place dough on a parchment paper and place another one on top. Using a rolling pin roll the dough out into a rectangle shape about a 1/4 inch thick.  Place in the refrigerator for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350, take the top piece of parchment off and place in the oven for 6 minutes.  Then take out and cut into rectangles and place back in the oven for another 6-8 minutes or until the tops and egdes start to dry.  Take out and cool to room temperature.

For the ice cream

Place the egg yolks in a stand mixer and turn on medium speed.  Slowly pour in your sugar.  Whip for about 4 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the milk and cream to a pot and bring the mixture slowly to a boil then turn off.  With a ladle, temper your eggs by ladling a little of the milk mixture into the eggs, until you have about half of your milk mixture mixed in the eggs. Then take the mixing bowl with the egg mixture and pour back into the pot of milk using a spatula to scrape the sides.  Turn the heat back on low and stir in dulce de leche for about 5 minutes then strain into a bowl placed inside a ice bath to cool down fast.  Once the mixture is cool place in your ice cream maker until done.  Then place in a container and place in the freezer.

For the cocoa nib tuile

To a pot add milk, butter, glucose, and sugar.  Bring to 220 degrees stirring constantly.  Then take off the heat and add your cocoa nibs, and cocoa powder.  Stir and then pour onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Tilt the pan around to distribute the batter evenly over the pan.  Then place into the freezer for an hour.  Preheat oven to 350 and place frozen pan into the oven.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the big bubbles disappear (could take closer to 15).  Cool slightly then take a round cutter and cut rounds.

For the chocolate mousse,

Bloom gelatin and water together in a small glass bowl.  Fill a small pot with water and bring to a simmer.  In a glass or stainless bowl add your chocolate.  Place the bowl over the pot to melt the chocolate making sure the water doesn't touch the bowl. Once melted take off the heat.  Place the gelatin bowl and float on top of the water to melt the gelatin and water together.  Cool slightly.  Meanwhile whip your cream to medium peaks.  Pour gelatin into the cream and whip to stiff peaks. Add the espresso to the cooled melted chocolate.  Then fold the whipped cream into the chocolate being careful not to over work it.  Place into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.  Take the chocolate cylinders out of the tube molds and fill with the mousse.  Place the cylinders in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the white chocolate sauce,

Place white chocolate in a heat proof bowl.  Place cream in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil.  Pour the cream over the white chocolate.  Wait 30 seconds and then stir together.  Strain though a fine strainer and set aside. 

To finish,

Take a spoon full of white chocolate sauce and smear on the plate.  Dust the top of the chocolate sablee with cocoa powder (optional) and place on top of the sauce.  Then remove the acetate paper from the chocolate cylinder and place the chocolate cylinder on top of the sablee. Add a tsp chopped black walnuts to the plate.  Scoop one quenelle of dulce de leche ice cream on top.  Then finish with the cocoa nib tuile.  Serve and enjoy!

 

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Strawberry and Rhubarb

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Strawberry and Rhubarb

Here is a classic combination of flavors done maybe a little differently.  Rhubarb is always an ingredient that I'm not the most confident in but is really an ingredient that is very versatile.  On this recipe and  preparation, I tried to use it multiple ways to achieve some different textures and flavors.  I also made a macadamia dacquoise as the base layer.  Combined it with a strawberry chip, and straweberry rhubarb ice cream.  Really came together as light and refreshing summer dessert.  Here is the recipe hope you enjoy!

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice cream

12 oz of strawberries chopped

12 oz of small diced rhubarb that has been peeled

1 cup of sugar

1 1/2 cup of milk

1 1/2 cup of cream

4 egg yolks

1/2 vanilla bean

 

Rhubarb glaze

1/2 cup of rhubarb juice

1 cup of port wine

12 oz of chopped rhubarb

3/4 cup of sugar

pinch of salt

 

Macadamia Dacquoise

6 egg whites

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1/4 tsp of cream of tartar

1 1/4 cup of macadamia nuts fine chopped

 

Strawberry chip (glass)

200 g of strawberries

100 g of isomalt

 

Whipped Cream

1 cup of heavy cream

1/4 cup of powdered sugar

1 tsp of vanilla

 

Sous Vide Rhubarb

6 pieces of rhubarb cut into 1 inch pieces peeled

1 tbsp of butter

3 tbsp of simple syrup

 

Compressed Strawberries

1 cup of whole straweberries

2 tbsp of sugar

chopped macadamia nuts

For the Dacquoise

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place egg whites into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and a pinch of sugar.  Whisk the egg whites until they foam and then add your cream of tartar.  When the egg whites start to form soft, start adding the remaining sugar in slow steady stream whisking on high.   Beat until the egg whites are shiny and stiff up right peaks.  Then fold in your finely chopped macadamia nuts.  Then take a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and pour your dacquoise batter on the sheet pan.  Spread evenly on the sheet pan and place into the oven.  Bake the meringue for 35 minutes and then turn off the oven and let the dacquoise continue to cook and dry out for another hour in the oven.  Remove from the oven and cool completely and then you can use a serrated knife and cut into desired shapes

For the ice cream

Take rhubarb, strawberries, and half of the sugar and place in a pot with a splash of water on medium heat.  Cook for about 10 minute or until the rhubarb and strawberries start to break down.  Then add your milk, cream, vanilla bean, and bring to a boil.  Puree with a hand mixer or vita mix until smooth. Meanwhile take egg yolks and remaining sugar and whip in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy (3 min).  Then temper your eggs by add the milk mixture into the egg mixture until all is combined.  Place back in the pot and cook on low heat for 5 min.  Then chill completely, remove the vanilla bean and place into your ice cream maker (use according to your maker's instructions).  Once done hold in an air tight container in the freezer.

For the strawberry chip,

Puree all the strawberries with a hand blender.  Place in a pot with isomalt.  Cook for about 5- 8 minutes until the isomalt is fully dissolved.  Then line a sheet pan with acetate or silpat and pour the mixture on to the pan.  Move the pan around to form a thin layer of strawberry.  Then place in your dehydrator for 12 hours or until dried completely.  You might want to flip the mixture over half way through the drying process.  Store in an air tight container.  

For Rhubarb glaze,

Add rhubarb juice, port, sugar, and rhubarb pieces into a pot.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 15- 20 minutes and then puree until smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer and then return to the pot to reduce for another 10 minutes.  Should have a thin glaze consistency.  Cool and set aside for later

For the whipped cream

With a hand mixer place cream and whip until slightly thickened.  Then add vanilla and powdered sugar until the cream reaches stiffed peaks.  Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the sous vide rhubarb,

Peel the outside of the rhubarb of any tough sinew and then cut into 1 inch pieces.  Place into a cryovac bag with butter and simple syrup.  Seal tight and place into a water bath set at 133  degrees.  Cook roughly for 18-20 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and tender but still intact.  Cool and set aside.

Compressed Strawberries,

Place sugar and strawberries and seal with extra pressure to compress the strawberries.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

To plate

Take your dacquoise and pipe a little whipped cream on top of a 2 inch rectangle.  Take a piece of rhubarb out of the plastic bag and carefully slice it.  Place it on top of the whipped cream.  Then take the strawberries and slice thinly.  Place them next to the dacquoise on both sides.  Then add a little spoonful of nuts to anchor the ice cream.  Add a scoop of strawberry rhubarb ice cream on top of the nuts.  Add the strawberry chip on top.  Add a little of the rhubarb port glaze to the plate and serve and enjoy!  There are a few different looks including a napoleon as an option



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