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Posts Tagged ‘Dessert’

From Dish Amelia:
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I was casting about for what I would post this month for my SLD, and the topic ended up finding me in the most natural and planetary of ways. There were so many signs in fact, that I had to list the indicators just to look at because everything seemed so connected and clear. (Cycle, Spring, oval, egg, Easter eggs, Easter…)

I decided to try making the kolache. The kolache are a Czech pastry, but it is so much more. I know what these are because both of my parents are from Texas and we would visit sometimes when I was growing up. There is a solid old Czech community near my dad’s hometown, and he impressed on me the importance and specialness of getting the good kolaches in the tiny town of Snook when passing through. (Mom, Dad, kolaches, fruit, wildflowers, jewel tone colors…) It happened that my mom just went on a little road trip to see the wildflowers, and she sent a few pics. And, I just happened to work a catering job at Lincoln Center for the new play “Ann”, abut Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas. To add to the Texan reminders, large swaths of Brooklyn were just looking towards or went to Austin for the South by Southwest music festival. (Ann Richards gig, SXSW, Texas, New York, Brooklyn, Greenpoint, Poland, Eastern Europe, Czech Republic…)

I figured that the Tall Pole might have some awareness of this pastry, because many eastern European traditions carry a level of crossover, like poppy seeds. (Traditions, poppy seeds…) The Pole was not really sure, but was not opposed to my investigation, sweet-toothed as he is. I turned to the Eastern European Food section of About.com, an excellent resource, and found the related Polish kolaczki, which was interesting. But this was not the type I was going for, which led me to the obvious next stop: awesome food blog Homesick Texan written by Lisa Fain (who also has a great cookbook). Of course she did a post on kolaches. And weirdly enough she had posted in March of 2007, leading me to wonder about kolaches and springtime. (…food blogs, springtime, traditions, New York…) Her post is wonderful, and I can only add a slightly different angle, and also a bit more sugar, as the kolaches I remember are a bit sweeter than her recipe. I also left off the sprinkled topping. (Hers is adapted from Texas Monthly and the Houston Chronicle, mine is adapted from hers.)

1 packet active dry yeast

1 cup warm milk

1.2 cup sugar

3 cups AP flour

2 large eggs

3/4 cups melted butter

1 tsp salt

fillings at your discretion

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Photo from mom.

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Prepare your starter. Combine sugar, yeast, 1 cup of flour (whisk) and then milk

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Cover and let it double in size and get foamy.

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Mix together melted butter, salt and eggs

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The starter has become foamy! Mix the butter/egg mixture into this.

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Then mix in flour, a 1/2 cup at a time.

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Knead ten minutes. So fun. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise one hour.

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Look at that! I’m always impressed by yeast.

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Pull off pieces and roll into egg-sized balls…

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Flatten into disks and brush with melted butter. Cover and let rise another half hour.

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Prepare your fillings. I chose mine based on tradition and color variety. There are several Polish pastries I’ve seen in Greenpoint that utilize this chocolaty looking (not chocolate) paste. With some investigation and many questions directed at the Tall Pole (who probably never imagined he would field so many) I found that this ingredient in Polish is called masa makowa, or poppy seed butter, and usually contains almonds and sugar. One can make this easily, but to save time, and invest in some authenticity, I braved the crazy Easter line of the Polish deli to grab some. It’s quite good. I also got some crumbly farmer’s cheese

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The fillings: strawberry, sour cherry, orange ginger, farmer’s cheese (with maple syrup drizzle, my one liberty), and poppy seed paste. Obviously you could (should?) make these too, but for maximum variety I used high quality, few ingredient jams. In the future I think I would just make my favorite or be more experimental, but I wanted to tap into tradition, not expand on it just yet.

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Make a decent indentation with your fingers and spoon in the filling.

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Bake at 375 for 13 minutes. Brush them with melted butter (why not?) when they come out. Let them cool a bit and savor this new rite of spring.

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From Dish Danielle:

Pinch a Pisces!
…Or maybe make them some ice cream instead?

pretty

March marks my birthday month and to celebrate like any sweet-toothed Pisces should, I gathered my nearest & dearest round for some cones & cocktails.  I’d tried my hand at this recipe the weekend prior, but on my 31st, I wondered if the wisdom of this new prime number might perhaps enable me to make a more sophisticated batch…?

I was absolutely spot on, and my second try absolutely bested my first.

Did you know Pisces are apparently very intuitive?

zest again

Ingredients:

2c whole milk

2c heavy cream

6 blood oranges: 4tbs zest & 1c juice

6 large egg yolks

¾ c sugar

zest infusing 2

In a small pot, place milk & cream over low heat.  Add 3tbs zest, whisking to incorporate. Allow liquid to come to temp slowly, letting the zest impart its delicious flavor.

yolks

Put yolks in a small bowl next to the pot on the stove. When milk/cream is hot enough, (just before boiling), add juice & sugar to yolks.

orange juice

Whisk vigorously to incorporate. Use a spouted receptacle and scoop up approx. 1c of hot liquid. Pour liquid in a slow and steady stream into the yolk mixture while SIMULTANEOUSLY whisking like hell. Once the yolks have been tempered, (that’s what that last move is called), dump that mixture back into the pot. Using a wooden spoon, stir slowly while custard continues to cook over low heat. Prepare an ice bath with a glass or metal bowl nested on top. The custard will eventually begin to thicken considerably, which means the yolks have been cooked properly (don’t raise the heat much—that could result in an overly eggy-flavored ice cream. Patience is a virtue that this Piscean dish barely has. If I can wait it out, you can too!).

straingin

Once the custard has thickened, immediately pour it through a fine strainer and into the bowl in the ice bath. This will strain out the zest—we’ll add a bit of fresh stuff later. Stir gently to cool. Once the custard has come down in temp, place it in the fridge for a good 5-6 hours, or overnight.

icecream

Once you’re ready to churn, get your ice cream making apparatus ready. Before pouring the custard in, buzz the liquid with an immersion blender if you have one, (if not, pour it into a well sealed container and shake it like mad). After 20-25 mins of churning, your ice cream should be close to ready. At this point, with the machine still running, sprinkle in the remaining 1tbsp of fresh zest for a pop of color and an added zip of flavor. Store in a freezer friendly container once it’s finished. I usually allow the ice cream to sit in the freezer for another few hours before serving.

ladies eating icecream

Scoop into sugar cones and dole out to your guests during your next social gathering!

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From Dish Danielle:

upclose churn

I know it’s freezing out, but I am an ice cream maniac who finds any excuse to whip up a homemade batch. My latest ice cream intention was for a New Years Eve party I co-hosted for some dear friends who recently got engaged, (Congrats DZF & VMF!)… A party at the Whisk & Ladle ain’t no party without ice cream cones served around midnight, so I got to work.

engagment party pic

Ingredients:
2 c buttermilk (try to get full fat if you can find it)
2 c heavy cream
5 egg yolks
¾-1 c sugar, give or take
pinch of salt
zest & juice of 1 lemon

*you’ll also need some sort of ice cream churning apparatus

yolk

Gently bring buttermilk & heavy cream to just under a boil in a medium stockpot. While it’s warming, crack your eggs and toss yolks into a med sized bowl. Whisk sugar (start with ¾ c) into yolks once liquid is up to temp.

whisk

Now you’ll need to temper your yolks, which is the one delicate part of this recipe: If you’re doing this alone place yolk bowl atop a pot holder/dish towel so it doesn’t slide around your counter. Using a liquid measuring cup with a spout, scoop up 1c of the warm mixture. Begin whisking yolks with one hand. Don’t stop. Use other to pour the hot mixture into yolks in a very slow, steady stream. Don’t stop whisking. Once it’s all in there you can dump the tempered yolks back into the stockpot. Over a med-low flame, continue to cook custard, stirring constantly. Add dash of salt. Taste the custard to see if you’d like to add a little more sugar, (do that now if so). You’ll know it’s ready when the custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.

stir

Immediately remove custard from pot and pour into metal bowl. Ice-bath it to cool it down before storing it in fridge, (meaning, place the metal bowl of hot custard into a larger bowl full of ice & cold water. Stir to speed up cooling process).

zest

Leave the custard in fridge until it’s as cold as the fridge, (either overnight or about 3 hours). Once the custard is cold, zest & juice your lemon. Toss the zest & half of its juice in. Taste the custard and decide if you want to add the remaining lemon juice.

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Now you’re ready to churn this delicious batch of ice cream!  Serve some killer ice cream cones to your favorite peeps. Happy New Years y’all!

midnight

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From Dish Paige:

Happy November! It’s my favorite time of year right now (aside from all of the insane weather we’ve been having here in the Northeast) because as we near Thanksgiving, it means PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!!!!!!!! I’ve always had a weakness for pumpkin pie, and at this point, if I see the word pumpkin in front of anything, I’ll eat or drink it.  The other day, we made marshmallows in class and all I could think was, “how good would this taste with pumpkin pie spice!?” The answer, as you will find out below, is….AMAZING!

For the cookies (this recipe comes directly from the Quaker Oats website, and it amazing as is):

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned)

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

2 sticks butter, room temp

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

1 large egg, room temp

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350

In a bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix and set aside.

 

In the bowl of your mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, paddle the butter until soft and fluffy. Add in the sugars and continue paddling until well combined and nicely creamed. Add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla and mix until just combined. Add the flour in 3 batches, paddling until just combined after each addition. Line your baking sheet with parchment and scoop the cookies using an ice cream scooper. With wet hands, flatten the cookies into discs. Bake for approximately 10 minutes – you want the cookies to set but remain soft. Cool.

For the filling:

75g egg whites

240g granulated sugar

60g glucose or corn syrup

water

2 packets powdered gelatin or 15g (bloom the gelatin in 2/3 cup water)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

In your mixer, begin whipping the egg whites on medium speed. Once they reach soft peaks, turn the mixer down to it’s lowest setting and keep it stirring. Meanwhile, place the sugar in a VERY CLEAN pot and combine with just enough water to make it the texture of wet sand (like you’re building a turret on a sand castle). Add the glucose the sugar mixture and heat over medium heat until the mixture reaches 260 degrees. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and pour the sugar syrup in the bowl between the sides of the bowl and the whip. Add the gelatin and increase the speed, mixing until the bowl cools down and the mixture becomes fluffy. Stir in the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.

Place the marshmallow in a piping bag and pipe a big old pile of filling on the undersides of half the cookies. Place another cookie on top and enjoy!

Note: You will have TONS of marshmallow filling so you might want to double the recipe. Or you can save it and use it for hot chocolate or any other confection you can think of!

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Apple Tarte Tatins

From Dish Danielle:

There are many pastimes synonymous with upstate New York, but none are as epitomizing as apple picking in the fall. There is something deep inside my upstate bones that pulls me towards apple trees every autumn. I can’t always make the big trek to my hometown, but luckily there are many incredible orchards dotting the perimeter of our beloved city, the BIG APPLE, (…heh). This year, not only did I go apple picking with a couple of dear friends — we visited an orchard not too far upstate that is ALSO A WINERY. This means you can buy a bottle of wine, and then yes…oh yes, tuck that bottle under your arm and head into the orchard to sip and pick. It was quite the fall afternoon…followed by several weeks worth of apple tart making/recipe tweaking. The below recipe is a mash-up of several attempts to perfect my method, taking very clever baking cues from some seriously saucy dishes.

Ingredients
1 large round pie crust: use Julia’s recipe
8 large apples, cut into medium slices (you don’t want them too thin)
6-8 hibiscus tea bags (or another nice aromatic variety)
boiling water
1 lemon, zested and juiced
ground ginger
1c brown sugar
1c white sugar, and a small handful more
½ tsp ground nutmeg
6 tbsp butter

Toss tea bags into a large bowl. Pour boiling water over them—enough so that when the apples slices are added, they’re submerged. Add half of each sugar, and a few liberal pinches of ginger. Add the lemon zest and ½ the lemon juice. Whisk so the sugar dissolves and the tea steeps well (taste the liquid and add any of the above to your liking). Add sliced apples. Let them sit, completely submerged, for 45mins, jostling them now and again. While you’re waiting, make your crust if you’re doing it from scratch.

Preheat your oven to 375.

Strain the liquid from the apples into a small pot. Place over a high flame and allow it to reduce to a thicker drizzle to top your finished tarts with. Toss strained apples with the remaining sugar, the rest of the lemon juice, a few more small pinches of ginger, maybe a few grinds of nutmeg, and cinnamon if it’s to your liking (I didn’t use it).

Place a large cast iron over a med-low flame and set the butter in to melt (I used several small cast irons and made mini tarts). Once it’s melted, take a small handful of white sugar and sprinkle it into the butter. Now, pull the cast iron off the heat and arrange your apple slices however you’d like. Pile them high because they’ll shrink a bit during this next step.

Once your apples are in the cast iron, place the pan back over medium heat and essentially allow the sugar/butter/apples to ‘boil’ for 10 minutes or so. You want the juices to be bubbling up on the sides and to turn amber in color. Remove from heat. Roll out your pie crust. Carefully place it over apples and tuck it inside the edges of your pan.


Pop your tart into the oven for 15-20 minutes and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the pan has cooled down, gently run a knife along the outer edge of the tart to loosen it from the pan. This is the hardest part: lay a large plate or cutting board over the top of the pan and flip the whole thing quickly to invert the tart. You may have to use a small offset to get the most stubborn slices of apples off the bottom of your pan, but you’ll make it pretty again with some of your reduced tea/lemon/ginger drizzle.


Use a bakers brush and paint the inverted tart(s) with the reduced drizzle.

Slice and enjoy fall’s bounty!

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From Dish Jodi:

It’s been hot here in LA. And though I love our hilltop house and big patio — a place to dip my feet regularly would sure be nice. It’s been a little bit of “Operation Find A Pool” and last weekend was no exception. Here’s a little technique I figured out.

1) Find a friend (or friend of a friend) with a pool.
2) Using sneaky undercover tactics, figure out that this person happens to love anything made with chocolate and coconut.
3) Make cookies (see below).
4) Send friend pictures of cookies, asking for a trade.
5) Realize friend is weak to idea of chocolate and coconut cookies and take advantage.
6) Dangle feet, float and splash away in friend’s pool while friend is distracted by cookies.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COCONUT COOKIES (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 cups white-chocolate chips or chunks
1 3/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream butter and sugars in an electric mixer. Mix in vanilla and then eggs, one at a time.


Meanwhile, sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into another bowl. Mix slowly into butter mixture until combined. Fold in chocolate, coconut and walnuts until evenly distributed.

Put big scoops of dough on baking sheets leaving a couple inches between. Smush them down a little to shape. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set.


Let cook on the sheets for a couple of minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

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From Dish Amelia:

One of the food jobs I’m lucky to have is working for Nourish, the company headed up by nutritionist Marissa Lippert, who approaches food with an eye for beauty, seasonality, straightforwardness and integrity. I cook in the homes of her clients, and sometimes other catering gigs.

I originally made these brownies for a client who couldn’t have dairy. I’ve made them many times since, and messed around with them a lot — trying them with only agave, honey and brown sugar to sweeten, and with whole wheat flour and ground flax seeds. (Health food city!!). However, the following recipe is for brownies that are still totally reasonably healthy (right Marissa?), fantastic in texture and interesting in flavor. Try them, they are a hit!

Yield: 20 or so 2-inch brownies, or a quarter sheet tray.

3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup cocoa
2 oz chopped chocolate
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups AP flour
1 cup chopped walnuts ( or NOT)
1/3 cup fresh dried lavender, buzzed momentarily in a spice ginder

Heat oven to 350. Stir lavender into oil first while you place out all other ingredients. Prepare the pan: spray pan, apply one sheet of parchment, spray well again. (I use handy olive oil spray).


Whisk cocoa with 1/2 cup+2 T of boiling water, add chocolate, whisk more. Add in the oil, then eggs, then sugar, then flour. If you are using nuts, pour half of the mixture into the tray, scatter the nuts evenly across, then add rest of mixture over the top. If you are not using nuts, just pour entire contents into pan, and nuts or not, sprinkle the top with maldon salt or fleur de sel, enough so that you know that each square you bite will have a fabulous flake present.


These brownies have a tricky bake time. Too little and they taste underdone in a bad way. Too much and they just candy themselves, amazing right out of the oven but becoming hard rock weapons when cool. The top should form a beautiful crust and the interior will maintain a gooey ideal.

Bake the brownies for 45 minutes but test them a couple times. Take out the pan and let them cool in it. When it’s cool, use a bench scraper or knife to loosen the edge from the sides. Turn the pan over and push in the middle to make giant brownie fall out. Remove paper and slice neatly into trapezoids. I mean squares.


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