Category Archives: Desserts

Tiramisù with Strawberry Sauce

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Photo Credit: NickStellino.com, 2017

Recipe adapted from:

Nick Stellino
Cooking With Friends, 2011

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients
For the Tiramisù:
2½ cups strong coffee, cooled
½ cup Kahlúa coffee liqueur
2 packages ladyfingers cookies
9 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1¾ cups sugar, divided
1½ pounds mascarpone cheese
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup sweet cocoa powder

For the Strawberry Sauce:
(Yields 1 Cup)
One 10-ounce package whole frozen strawberries, partially thawed
2 tablespoons crème de cassis liqueur
¼ cup sugar

Directions:
Mix the cold coffee and the liqueur in a large bowl. In batches, dip the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture. You want them to be moist on the outside but still crunchy on the inside.

Beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar until the mixture is thick enough to form a long ribbon when you lift the beater out.  Note: If you are concerned about using raw eggs, once you have beaten the egg yolks, cook them in a double boiler, whisking constantly until they become as thick as a custard cream. Be careful not to overcook them, or they will become scrambled eggs. After cooking the yolks, proceed with the recipe.

Add the mascarpone and beat for 2 to 3 more minutes. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites, adding the remaining sugar a bit at a time, until they form stiff peaks and have a glossy sheen, about 4 minutes.

Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture until the mixture is all the same color. Add the vanilla and chopped semisweet chocolate, and gently fold them into the mixture.

In a 9 x 17-inch glass baking dish, assemble the dessert. Layer the bottom of the dish with the soaked cookies. Top with a layer of the mascarpone-chocolate mixture. Repeat the procedure to make 1 more layer.

Using a flour sifter, cover the top of the tiramisù with a thin layer of sweet cocoa powder.

Place the tiramisù in the refrigerator and let it rest for at least 5 hours; it’s even better if refrigerated overnight.

To make the strawberry sauce, place the frozen strawberries in a food processor. Add the cassis and sugar. Pulse until pureed. Taste and adjust for sweetness of needeed. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth-like strainer to remove the seeds and pour into a small serving container until the tiramisù is ready to serve.

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Honeydew Melon, Lemon Basil and Lime Sorbet

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Photo Credit: Pamela Ellgen, 2013

Adapted from
Pamela Ellgen
Ediblephoenix.ediblecommunities.com
May 15, 2013

Ingredients:
1 whole Honeydew melon, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 cup lemon basil leaves
1/4 cup simple syrup
Juice of 1 lime
Very small pinch salt

Directions:
Pulse all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Chill in refrigerator, then place into an ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Store covered in the freezer until 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, then set on the counter to allow the sorbet to soften slightly.

Cook’s Notes:
If you do not have an ice cream maker, no problem! Simply pour the mixture onto a cookie sheet and freeze until set.  Remove the frozen mixture from the freezer and break it up using a wooden spoon. Place the frozen pieces in a food processor and blend until until smooth.  Repeat the process of freezing and blending  again for an ultra smooth consistency.

Mint Julep Lava Cake

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TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

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Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Bourbon Crème Anglaise

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Clafoutix Aux Cerisis

 

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Clafoutis is a French dessert from the Limousin region of France.The dish’s name derives from Occitan clafotís, from the verb clafir, meaning “to fill”. Traditionally, black cherries are arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. After baking , the clafoutis is dusted with powdered sugar and is best served cold, sometimes with cream.

There are numerous variations of clafoutis that use other summer fruits, including red cherries, plums, prunes, peaches, apples, pears, cranberries or blackberries. When other kinds of fruit are used instead of cherries, the dish is properly called a flaugnarde.

Ingredients:
21 ounces cherries
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 Tablespoons Kirsch
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1  cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk or cream
1/8 cup melted butter
grated zest of one lemon

Directions:
Preheat the oven at 350°F.

Pitting the cherries. If a cherry pitter is not available, it’s easier and quicker to do this by hand, but you can also use this trick: Remove the stems, and then place the cherry on the opening of a bottle. The opening must be smaller than the cherry so that the cherry does not fall through.A wine bottle works perfectly  for  this purpose . Using a chopstick, press through the cherry, allowing the pit fall into the bottle.

In a large bowl, mix the cherries with the kirsch and confectioner’s sugar and set aside for 1 to 2 hours, at room temperature. Note: if canned cherries are being used, drain them before adding the kirsch and confectioner’s sugar or a soggy cake will be the result.

Use the butter to grease a round or oval baking dish. Sprinkle a generous tablespoon of sugar into the greased pan, and carefully rotate the baking dish so that the sugar is distributed evenly, even on the edges. Add the pitted cherries to the baking dish.

Sift flour into a bowl. Add sugar and slowly whisk in the milk until well-blended. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon zest and whisk until well blended and smooth.

Pour the egg mixture evenly over the cherries and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the to cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

 

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Jalousie aux Amandes et a l’Abricot et Pêche

 

Jalousie means “shutter” in French, and these traditional slatted puff pastry fruit pies looks just like the shutters outside the houses all over the French shutterscountryside.  Using ready made puff pastry from your local supermarket’s frozen food section  along  with almonds, apricot and peach preserves, this is a very easy and elegant dessert, will surely  impress your family and friends.

 

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons apricot preserves
3 Tablespoons peach preserves
1⁄2  pound puff pastry
Water
1 beaten egg
2 Tablespoons superfine sugar
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons sugar

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425º F.

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the apricot and peach preserves; set aside.

Roll out the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch square. Cut in half to make two rectangles.

Place one half on a baking sheet that you have sprayed with water.  Brush all around the edges with beaten egg. Spread over the apricot and peach preserves.

Fold the remaining piece of dough in half lengthwise and cut eight evenly spaced diagonal slits from the center fold to about 1/2-inch of the outer edge all the way along.

Unfold the pastry and place  it on top of the preserve covered pastry on the baking sheet , matching each edge carefully to the base. Cut into fourths  and press edges together well to seal. Scallop the edges at close intervals with the back of a small knife.

Brush the slashed pastries top with water and sprinkle with  sugar and sliced almonds. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Remove the jalouise from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Pour the heavy whipping cream into a large bowl, and whisk in sugar for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, until the cream reaches the soft peak stage.

Serve the jalouise with the  whipped cream and café au lait,  if desired.

 

 

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Maple Bacon Ice Cream

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I am one of those people who like to combine, savory, sweet, salty smoky flavors all  together in one bite and this recipe does just that.And the best thing about this ice cream is that it does not require a machine,  but will require the use  of your very ordinary, ever day  freezer.

 

Serves 12

Ingredients:
For the  bacon:
5 strips Maple smoked bacon
about 2 teaspoons light brown sugar

For the Ice Cream Custard:
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon  salt
2 cups heavy cream

 

Directions:
For the Bacon:
To candy the bacon, preheat the oven to 400°F .

Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or aluminum foil, shiny side down.

Sprinkle 1½ to 2 teaspoons of brown sugar evenly over each strip of bacon, depending on length.

Bake for 12 to 16 minutes. Midway during baking, flip the bacon strips over and drag them through the dark, syrupy liquid that’s collected on the baking sheet. Continue to bake until as dark as mahogany. Remove from oven and cool the strips on a wire rack.

Once crisp and cool, chop into little pieces, about the size of grains of rice.

Note: The bacon bits can be stored in an airtight container and chilled for a day or so, or stored in the freezer a few weeks ahead.

For the Custard:
Remove the label from the can of the condensed milk. Place the can in a saucepan and fill with water, completely covering the can. Simmer the condensed milk on medium low for 2 hours. Keep a vigilant eye on the simmer can to make sure it stays under water at all times while simmering. After two hours, remove the can from the saucepan using tongs and allow the can to cool and set aside.

Add  the cooled caramelized milk to a large bowl, then add the salt and stir to combine.

In a separate  large bowl, add the heavy cream and  use an electric mixer on high speed, to  beat the heavy cream,  until thick, stiff peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add 1/3 of the whipped cream to the caramelized  condensed milk. Gently fold in the cream and combine. Add the remaining whipped cream.

Transfer the mixture to a loaf pan or freezer-safe container, cover  with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, for  at least 6 to 8  hours.

To serve, allow the ice cream to stand at room temperature for a few minutes. Stir in the the bacon bits. Serves scoops of the ice cream in bowls or on cones.

Note: The ice cream can be stored in the freezer for  up to 2 weeks.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Strawberry Blondie Brownies

Many traditionalist foodies will forever hold onto the notion that Brownies should always be chewy and chocolate,-but sometimes you have to step out of the box!

These brownies are slightly dense but they will still have a cake-like crumb consistency. Amazingly though, they do taste like  a glazed strawberry doughnut.

And speaking of boxes, the key ingredient for these brownies are the ground freeze dried strawberries.

You can use a boxed cake mix as well. Most recipes that I have seen calls for the use of the Duncan Hines brand, cause it doe not contain any pudding mix. For this recipe, you can also use the Pilsbury Strawberry Cake Mix that does contain the pudding the mix. Basically, you have to adjust the cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes when using the Pilsbury brand, as if you are cooking regular chocolate brownies. I have included the box recipe below in the
Cook’s Notes.

Enjoy!
Makes 1 Batch of 9 Brownies

Ingredients:
For the Brownies:
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup freeze dried strawberries, ground into powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

For the Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 -2 Tablespoons milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 º F.

Line an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan with quick release parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in the strawberry powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. The batter will be thick, with a bubble gum, elastic like consistency. Using a rubber spatula, spread batter evenly into pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Be careful not overcook the brownies.

While the brownies are baking, make the glaze. Mix confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. Add just enough milk until the glaze is thick but still spreadable.

Allow brownies to cool for 10 minutes; lift carefully from the pan, using ends of parchment to lift.

Pour glaze over brownies, spreading to edges so that glaze will drip down sides.

Trim the brown edges if desired and cut into squares, to serve.

Cook’s Notes:

If you are using the Duncan Hines brand of cake mix, cooking time will be 15 to 20  minutes, if you are using a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

If you are using the Pilsbury brand of cake mix, the cooking time with be 25 to 30 minutes if you are using an 8 x 8-inch baking pan for a thicker brownie.

For the Brownies:
1 box strawberry cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 º F. Line an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan with quick release parchment  paper.Mix strawberry cake mix, eggs, and oil with hand mixer until well combined. The batter will be thick, with a bubble gum like consistency. Using a rubber spatula, spread batter evenly into pan.

Follow the directions listed  above, to complete the recipe for both the browines and the glaze.

Apple Galette

This dessert is a  classic French pastry  with a frangipane filling, which is   found in many Italian-inspired desserts. Frangipane, is made from almonds ground together with sugar and eggs.

Traditionally, frangipane is a filling made from or flavored with almonds. Frangipane/frangipani is derived from frangere il pane (Italian for “break the bread”). This filling can be used in a variety of ways including cakes, tarts and other assorted pastries, such as the Jesuite. A French spelling from a 1674 cookbook is franchipane with the earliest modern spelling coming from a 1732 confectioners’ dictionary. Originally designated as a custard tart flavored by almonds or pistachios it came later to designate a filling that could be used in a variety of confections and baked goods. Frangipane is one of France’s many traditional foods associated with Christmas celebration.

Today it is normally made of butter, sugar, eggs, and ground almonds.

Frangipane, also know as frangipani in Italian and crème frangipane in French, is as rich and velvety as it sounds. It is an almond pastry cream that is used as a filling in tarts, cakes and assorted pastries. It is comprised of creamed butter and sugar, with eggs and finely ground almonds added in. The term can be used to refer to both the almond cream itself or the pastry that is filled with it.

While most pastry terms reflect a characteristic of the substance or technique they refer to, that is not the case in for the  mysterious origins of frangipane. The word frangipani itself is actually derived from the Italian phrase “frangere il pane,” which means “bread-breakers.” One legend states that this name was bestowed upon a noble Italian family in the 11th century for their generosity in distributing bread to the poor during a time of great famine. Sifting through the lore of this lusciousness, there are upon two possible origins of the almond cream moniker, featuring members of the Frangipani family, nearly three centuries apart.

One such account of the origin of frangipane features the 13th Century Italian noblewoman who married into the Frangipani family, Jacopa da Settesoli, and St. Francis of Assisi. She was a young widow when she heard of the holy man. Desiring to meet the penitent in order to seek his spiritual advice, Upon meeting St. Francis, Jacopa became a follower and benefactor of his. Francis advised her not to abandon her family. She  was so moved by St. Francis that she joined the Third Order of Saint Francis, turning administration of her affairs over to her two sons.  Francis and Brother Jacoba 754px-Josep_Benlliure_Gil48Francis and Lady Jacoba became friends and she  spent of  the rest of her life in service to him and others in need, in the practice of good works. When he travelled to Rome, Francis would stay as her guest. She gave some of her family’s property in Trastevere, Rome to Francis and the brothers to use as a hospice for lepers and she provided for their needs. St. Francis had given Jacoba the title of “Brother” in gratitude for her service and determination, a title that allowed her entry into the friary to visit with the dying St. Francis at a time where women were forbidden to enter. It was said that St. Francis requested her appearance at his death bed and asked that she bring with her an almond sweet that she had made him during one of his visits to her in Rome. While it is believed that he was too ill to consume it, this sweet nonetheless became known as frangipani.

Another account is that this almond cream’s namesake was a 16th century Italian nobleman living inleather-satin-and-embroider-2 Paris by the name of Marquis Muzio Frangipani.  Frangipani was the inventor of a popular accessory of the time, bitter almond  perfumed gloves, said to have been worn by Louis XIII. It is believed that in order to capitalize on the popularity of these almond scented gloves, pâtisseries flavored pastry cream with almonds and called it “frangipane.”

On Epiphany, also known as Three Kings’ Day, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ, where the French cut the King Cake, a round cake made of frangipane layers, into slices to be distributed by a child known as le petit roi (the little king) who is usually hiding under the dining table. The cake is decorated with stars, a crown, flowers and a special bean hidden inside the cake. Whoever gets the piece of the frangipane cake with the bean is crowned “king” or “queen” for the following year. Sounds similiar to the King Cake served throughout the Carnival season and associated with Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana.

It is believed the festivities of Carnival were brought to Louisiana by French-Canadian explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. He led an expedition on behalf of the French crown and on March 2, 1699, he set up camp along the Mississippi River, 60 miles south of the present location of New Orleans. It just so happened the next day was Mardi Gras, and so began its celebration.

But whatever the origin of this sweet cream filling, it makes for a stellar dessert in shape, form of fashion.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, about 10 x 14-inches, thawed
1  1/2 cups of toasted almonds or  finely ground almond flour
½  cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼  teaspoon salt
½ stick Lurpak, or any European style, unsalted butter, softened
2 large fresh eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 large baking apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 a fresh  lemon
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Purchased or homemade salted caramel sauce, for serving

Directions:

For the Frangipane:
Process whole toasted almonds or almond flour until finely ground. It is wise to use the pulsing method for processing the almonds to avoid over-grinding them into an almond paste.

Use the creaming method to beat the softened butter and sugar for 2 minutes on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, if using a hand held mixer add 2 additional minutes.

Add the ground almonds and beat on medium speed until blended, approximately 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.

Break the eggs in a separate bowl and add the eggs one at a time on medium-low speed, beating well after each addition.

Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and add the 3 tablespoons of flour. Beat on low speed until just incorporated, approximately 1 minute.

This frangipane is now ready to be used as is or flavored as your favorite tart or pastry recipe calls for. This mixture can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to a week.

For the Galette:
Preheat an oven to 350°F .

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry into a 16 x 14-inch rectangle. Carefully roll the pastry around your rolling pin and transfer it to a 9- or 10-inch ovenproof fry pan, pressing it gently into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Refrigerate until ready to  fill.

In a bowl, toss the apple slices with  the freshly squeezed lemon juice to coat.

To assemble the galette, pour the almond mixture into the pastry-lined pan and spread evenly. Arrange the apple slices evenly on top of the  almond mixture, overlapping them slightly. Fold the excess puff pastry back over the edges of the pan to form a rim or crimp the pastry decoratively.  Brush the pastry with the egg wash.

Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream and salted caramel sauce on top.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor