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Desserts

Pistachio and Chocolate Opera Cake

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Pistachio and Chocolate Opera Cake

Here is a little twist on the classic opera cake which normally consists of chocolate, coffee, almond sponge cake.  I made it with pistachios and chocolate with different variations of each.  If you love pistachios and chocolate you will love this dessert.  This is a dessert I made a few weeks ago that was a huge hit.  I served it with pistachio ice cream.  Pretty straight forward baking for this dessert, it just has a several steps to the layers.  Not hard though.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Pistachio and Chocolate Opera Cake
Pistachio Sponge
150g 3 eggs
54g 3 yolks
111g sugar
35g flour
25g almond flour  4 tbsp
35 g pistachio flour 1/4 cup ground pistachio
128g 3 egg whites
3 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
Drops of pistachio extract

Chocolate Sponge
150g 3 eggs
54g 3 yolks
111g sugar
35g flour tbsp
25g pistachio flour
35 g cocoa powder
128g 3 egg whites
3 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt

Quick Pistachio Butter Cream
2 sticks of butter room temperature
3 cups of powder sugar
1/2 cup of pistachio paste
drops of pistachio extract

Ganache
1 cup of heavy cream
1 lb bittersweet chocolate

Chocolate Mirror Glaze
10g Gelatin beef powder
210g Sugar
110g Water
65g Cocoa Powder
65g Heavy cream
50g Dark Chocolate

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

For the sponge cake,

Place eggs, yolks, and 111g sugar into a stand mixer.  Whisk until thick and pale yellow about 5 minutes.  Then add the flour, pistachio flour, and almond flour to the egg mixture and mix well.  Then pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl.  Clean out the mixing bowl and then place egg whites into the bowl.  Whisk egg whites until triple in volume and then add the 3 tbsp of sugar.  Whisk until stiff peaks and add pistachio extract.  Then fold the egg whites into the egg-flour mixture in 3 parts.  Pour the batter onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and smooth surface with offset spatula.  Place in the oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes or until golden brown and cake tester comes out clean.  

Chocolate Sponge,

Same process as the pistachio sponge.  

For the Ganache,

In a small pot add cream and bring to a boil.  Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate.  Wait 1 minutes and then mix well with a whisk until the chocolate is completely smooth and melted.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  

For the Buttercream,

This is a quick version of buttercream.  Add butter, powdered sugar, along with pistachio paste to a stand mixer bowl.  Mix with a paddle attachment 2-3 minutes until smooth. Add a drop or two of pistachio extract and mix well.  

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.  

To Finish,

You can either cut your sheet cake in half or in thirds depending on how big you want your cake to be.  If you don't want any waist you can cut in half.  Place the pistachio cake on the bottom and then spread a layer of the pistachio buttercream on top.  Then place a piece of the chocolate sponge on top.  Add a layer of the ganache on top and spread evenly.  Add another layer of the pistachio sponge and butter cream.  Then top off with the last layer of chocolate sponge and ganache.  Chill for a few hours and then pour the mirror glaze on top for a nice finish.  Accompany the cake with a side of pistachio ice cream.  Serve and enjoy!

 

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Best Cheesecake with Pecan shortbread

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Best Cheesecake with Pecan shortbread

Cheesecake is not on the top of my list for desserts.  I like it but there seem to be so many better options when it comes to ordering dessert that I normally skip over that option at the end of a meal.  When I first started catering I used to serve this cheesecake bites with lemon curd that was not only easy to make but was always a crowd pleaser.  With that being said this has to be one of the best cheesecake recipes I have ever had.  Not only does the cheesecake have a great flavor but the texture is amazing as well.  Instead of making a basic graham cracker crust I make a pecan shortbread that also brings another level of flavor that is unexpected.  My wife who really doesn't like cheesecake at all actually loved it, so that must say something.  Here is the classic cheesecake recipe with a twist, I hope you enjoy it.

Mascarpone cheesecake
1 lb mascarpone
8oz cream cheese
1 cup 3 tbsp sugar
2 oz of creme friache
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp of almond extract
3 eggs
3 yolk

Pecan shortbread
2 cups flour
1 cup of pecans
2 sticks of butter
1 tsp of salt

Strawberry Sorbet recipe

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

Strawberry gel
1 cup of strawberry juice or puree
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tsp of agar 

1 cup Strawberries sliced
10 Figs halved
1 cup Blueberries 

For the cheesecake,

Place cheeses and sugar in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment whip for 3 minutes.  Then add vanilla, and almond mixing on low.  Finish with adding the eggs one at a time.  Mix until a smooth batter is formed. Finish with the creme fraiche. 

I lined a spring form pan with parchment paper and par baked the pecan shortbread see recipe underneath,  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 until ready to serve.  

For the Shortbread,

Go here to so see the recipe and just add the pecans from this recipe.  I placed the dough in a spring form pan lined with parchment paper and par baked it for 25 minutes.  

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 

For the strawberry gel,

Put all the ingredients in a small sauce pot.  Bring to a boil stirring consistently and cook for 5-7 minutes.  Then pour gel into a half sheet pan or baking dish.  Place in the refrigerator until the agar has set.  Then take a knife and cut the set gel into sections.  Place it all into a vita mix and puree until smooth.  Pour into a squeeze bottle and set aside until ready to use.

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 the cheesecake and slice into rectangular pieces.  Then alternate the fruit on top of each slice.  Pipe a little whipped cream on top as well.  Place the slice on the plate.  Add a few drops of strawberry gel.  Then take a scoop of the strawberry sorbet.  Finish with mint, serve and enjoy the best cheesecake you have ever had!

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Strawberry and Fig Pavlova

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Strawberry and Fig Pavlova

The first time I had pavlova was when I took a trip to australia about 11 years ago.  There was a new friend of mine that I had met while I was there and she was from new zealand.   She asked me if I had ever tried pavlova before and I said no.  One night a bunch of friends got together for dinner and she decided to make one for me so I could try it.  It was a delicious egg white meringue that was crunchy on the outside and creamy marshmallowy on the inside, topped with fresh fruit.  

Pavlova
8 egg whites
2 1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla bean
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp of corn starch
1/2 lemon juiced

2 cups of strawberries sliced
8 figs quartered
1 cup of blueberries
1/4 cup of sugar
mint leaves
 

Preheat oven to 350

For the pavlova,

Add egg whites and vanilla to a stand mixing bowl.  Beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form then slowly add the sugar to the egg whites and beat until the meringue is stiff and shiny ( about 3-4 minutes.  Then fold in the cornstarch and lemon juice.  Then on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper you can put a large cake ring in the middle of the pan ( if you don't have a cake ring then you can simply mound the meringue in a circle 

Place the sheet pan in oven and immediately turn down to 300 and cook for 1 hour and 15 mins.  Turn off oven and allow to cool completely in the oven.  

Meanwhile take the strawberries and blueberries and place them in a bowl with sugar to macerate.  Once you are ready to serve then add all the fruit on top of the of the pavlova and garnish with mint.  Serve and enjoy!

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Nectarine and Cheese Danish

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Nectarine and Cheese Danish

Here is a simple pastry or danish using puff pastry, cheese, and nectarines.  This is a recipe that can be substituted with any stone fruit you have on hand.  Very simple and classic flavors here.  Once change I made to this recipe is adding mascarpone instead of all cream cheese.  Summertime is filled with wonderful fruit and we have a nectarine tree here in california that produces over a hundred fruit this year.  So here is one recipe to help get "rid" of some of those nectarines.  I hope you enjoy this sweet treat!

10 medium size nectarines peeled and medium diced
1 vanilla bean cut in half
1/8 tsp of cinnamon
3 tbsp of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tbsp of butter
1 tsp of salt 

Cheese Filling
8 oz mascarpone
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean

2 packages of dufour puff pastry
1 egg

Demerara Sugar 

For the nectarines,

In a saute pan on medium high heat add butter, diced peeled nectarines, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla bean. Cook for 4 minutes and then sprinkle flour all over and stir in.  Cook for another minute and then place on a tray to cool completely.  

For the cheese,

Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well until smooth without lumps. Then place into a plastic pastry bag with a plain tip (or none if you don't have one) and keep cool.

For the Danish, Preheat oven to 400 degrees

I took one box of puff pastry and cut them into four equal parts (you can make smaller ones or larger ones, whatever size you want).  On a sheet pan lined with parchment paper place the four pieces of puff pastry.  Pipe a 3-4 lines of the cheese filling leaving a 1 inch space around all 4 sides of the puff pastry.  Then take a few big spoonfuls of the nectarine filling and place on top of the cheese.  Then take a beaten egg and a pastry brush and brush four sides of the puff pastry.  Take the second box of puff pastry and cut four equal parts.  Using a lattice cutter cut the puff pastry into a lattice design.  Top each pastry with one lattice top making sure all sides are completely sealed.  Then brush the tops with the remaining egg.  Top with demerara sugar. You can place the pastry back in the refrigerator if the puff pastry has gotten too soft, this will firm up the dough and help with uniform baking.  Place the sheet pan in the 400 degree oven and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.  (if you oven is too hot and it browns too fast you can turn your oven down a bit or place on a different shelf in the oven.) Take out and allow to cool completely!  Serve and enjoy!

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Pistachio Cream Puffs

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Pistachio Cream Puffs

If you were me pistachios are one of those ingredients that you really have a hard time disliking.  Whether they are simply roasted with salt or pureed and made into ice-cream, this is one ingredient that I always love.  This recipe is a simple cream puff (Pate a choux dough), stuffed with pistachio pastry cream and topped with a white chocolate glaze.  This recipe is easy and absolutely delicious.  I hope you enjoy this one because this recipe is one you will come back to time and time again.  Classic pate a choux dough that can be baked ahead of time and filled with pistachio cream that also can be made a day in advance.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Pistachio pastry cream
7 oz pistachio paste or cream   
3 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or half of a vanilla bean
6 egg yolks
1/4 plus an 1/8th cup corn starch
3 tbsp butter

Pate a choux (cream puff)
1 cup milk
1 cup of flour
1 tsp of sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
4 eggs
1 stick of butter

White Chocolate Ganache/Glaze
1/4 cream
1 cup of white chocolate chips

For the Cream Puffs 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees,  In a small pot add milk, butter, sugar, and salt.  Bring to a simmer. As soon as the butter has completely melted stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and turn down the heat to low.  Incorporate all the flour thoroughly and cook for about 1 minute.  Transfer the dough to a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Turn on medium speed for a minute and then turn down to low speed.  Crack the four eggs into a measuring cup and add them to the dough one at a time.  Make sure the egg completely incorporates before adding the next egg.   Continue until all the eggs have been added.  Then take the dough and place in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.  On a sheet pan lined with  parchment paper pipe small rounds of the dough.  If the tops of the rounds have a tip from piping take your finger with a little water on it and push it down lightly.  If you don't have a piping bag just use two spoons or ice cream scoop.  Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.  Try not to open the oven door once you have put them in the oven because the cream puffs might deflate a bit.  Take out and let them cool completely.

For the Pistachio Pastry Cream,

Scald the milk with pistachio paste and vanilla bean paste in a medium sauce pot, stirring often with a whisk. Turn off the heat when the milk starts to a boil.  Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a stand mixer set to high, until the eggs and sugar form pale white ribbons (3-4 minutes).  Add the cornstarch to the eggs and beat for 30 seconds.  Temper the eggs by whisking in one ladle of milk at a time until all the milk is incorporated with the egg mixture.  Place all of the egg/milk mixture back into the pot on medium low heat.  Whisk continually until it thickens, allow about 10-12 minutes, but don't boil.  Once it has thickened incorporate butter, then pour the pudding into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve to cool.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding so it doesn't form a skin, and place in an ice bath or the refrigerator.  Cool completely. Once cooled completely place the pastry cream in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip.  

Then take your cream puffs and your pistachio pastry cream.  Take your cream in the pastry bag in one hand and take a cream puff in your other hand.  Using the metal point or tip of the pastry cream poke a hole in the bottom of the cream puff.  Squeeze about a half an ounce or until you can feel the cream puff getting full in your hand.  Continue until all the puffs are done.

For the White chocolate ganache,

Place white chocolate in a heat proof bowl.  Place cream in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 1 minutes.  Then with a whisk stir until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.

Once the ganache is smooth you can take each cooled cream puff and coat the tops of the puffs by simply dipping them halfway into the ganache.  Once all of the tops are coated with white chocolate top with finely chopped pistachios.  Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.  Serve and enjoy!

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Summer Fruit Tart with Cherries

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Summer Fruit Tart with Cherries

Here is a classic fruit tart with an addition of cherries to the fruit mix.   Summertime is an explosion of fruits and vegetables and this recipe is no exception.  This is a recipe that I have done in the past with slight variations if you want to revisit it here .   It is a basic vanilla pastry cream, inside a pate brissee crust, topped with local fresh berries and finished with a little apricot glaze.   This is another one of my favorite desserts that is bound to be a show stopper.  Nothing better than vanilla pastry cream with fruit and pie crust.  I hope you enjoy this classic fruit tart.

Pate Brissee (Crust

2 sticks of butter
2 cups of flour plus 3 tbsp
1/4 cup of ice water
1 tsp of salt
pinch of sugar

Pastry cream 

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small piece

Fruit

2 cups blueberries
2 cups of raspberries
1 cup of blackberries
1 cup of cherries halved
2 cup of strawberries halved if big
1/4 cup apricot jam

For the Pastry Cream,

Scald the milk and vanilla bean in a medium sauce pot. Turn off the heat when the milk starts to a boil.  Beat the egg yolks and sugar in a food set to high, until the eggs and sugar form pale white ribbons.  Add the flour to the eggs and beat for 30 seconds.  Temper the eggs by whisking in one ladle of milk at a time until all the milk is incorporated with the egg and flour mixture.  Place the egg mixture back onto low heat and whisk continually to thicken the pudding.  Allow about 10-12 minutes, but don't boil.  Once it  has thickened finish by whisking in the cold butter.   Pour the pudding into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer.  Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding so it doesn't form a skin, place in the refrigerator. Leave the vanilla bean in the pudding until everything has cooled,  then discard the bean.

For the Tart dough

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees. 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 22-25 minutes.  Take out the pie tart and allow to cool completely.  Take off the parchment and save the weights for another baking day.

To Finish  

Arrange the berries in whatever fashion you desire.  You can alternate berries and colors on the first level.  Then you can pile on the berries to fill in the gaps.  Once completely full.  Take your apricot jam and warm up slightly in the microwave so that it become very watery. With a pastry brush, brush the tops of the fruit so it will have a nice glaze on the fruit.  Place the tart back in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Right before serving add fresh basil or mint leaves.  Serve and enjoy!

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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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