Archive for the 'baking kosher' Category

12
Feb
12

Flourless Milk Chocolate Cake with Grapefruit and Hazelnuts


François Payard is a third generation pâtissier (French pastry chef), born in Nice (France), he lives and works in New York since 1990. His pattisseries are in such varied locales as New York, Las Vegas, Brasil, Japan and Korea, he’s authored three books – all on chocolate desserts and more. In 1995 he earned a James Beard Association “Pastry Chef of the Year” award, honoring him for his unique pastry designs and high attention to flavor.

In his Chocolate Epiphany – Exceptional Cookies, Cakes and Confections for Everyone, published in 2008, he has many delightful recipes that can be made kosher with hardly a change. It is hard to go through the book without salivating as one looks at the superb photography by Rogerio Volcan, or as one reads the recipes and envisions the results.

Here is one, which I can’t wait to try:

Flourless Milk Chocolate Cake with Grapefruit and Hazelnuts

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Candied Grapefruit

  • 1 grapefruit, scrubbed thoroughly
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Make the Candied Grapefruit Peel
  1. Cut the grapefruit into quarters. Remove the pulp and as much of the white pith as possible. Place the peels in a medium saucepan , fill it with water and bring to a boil. Drain the water, then fill the pot with fresh water and bring to a boil again . Repeat this this process a third time. Drain the water completely.
  2. Combine the peels, granulated sugar, and corn syrup with 1/2 cup water in the saucepan, and place over low heat. Simmer for about 1 hour, until the peels become slightly translucent.  Remove from the heat, and let them seat in the syrup until cool. You can keep the the peels in the syrup, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Darin and and finely chop 1/2 cup of the peel to add to the cake batter.

Milk Chocolate Cake

  • Vegetable cooking spray, for the pan
  • 4 1/2 oz milk chocolate chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup hazelnut flour or finely ground blanched hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Make the Cake
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 F. Spray the sides and bottom of a round 9-inch cake pan with vegetable cooking spray. Cut a 9-inch round piece of parchment paper and place it at the bottom of the pan.
  2. Fill a medium pot one-third full with water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl that will fit snuggly on top of the pot but not touch the water. Reduce the heat to low and place in the bowl over the pot. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat.
  3. Place the eggs, egg yolks, and brown sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the mixture turns a pale yellow and increases in volume. With a silicone spatula, fold in the chocolate until it is well incorporated . Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 40 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean and the sides slightly pull back from the edges of the pan.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of the cake to release it from pan, unmold the cake, and let it cool to room temperature on a wire rack. You can make the cake 1 or 2 days ahead. Keep it tightly wrapped in a cool, dry environment.

Milk Chocolate Sauce

  • 1 lb milk chocolate chopped
  • 2 cups whole milk

Make the Milk Chocolate Sauce

  1. Put the chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl. Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the milk over the chocolate and let the heat melt the chocolate. Stir gently, then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Let it cool until it is lukewarm or at room temperature. You can make the sauce up to 3 days ahead. Keep it covered  and refrigerated , and let it come back to room temperature before serving.

Serve the Cake – Cut the cake into slices and serve with the chocolate sauce.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

28
Sep
11

Yom Tov Recipes – Cranberry Apricot Bread Pudding


Last year we had a few posts with recipes for this time of the year:

Orange Honey Cake

Yom Tov Recipes – Carrot Kugel

Yom Tov Recipes – From Prime Grill’s Chef David Kolotkin

Yom Tov Recipes – Rib Roast

Yom Tov Recipes – Personal Honeyed Chocolate Lava Cake

This year we feature yom tov recipes again and we’ll start this year’s series with one of  Chef Lévana Kirschenbaum‘s dishes, from her new book The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen.

Photo by: Meir Pliskin

Cranberry Apricot Bread Pudding

I often whip up this treat after a party, when I look to recycle my leftover bread. Attention gluten- free diners: This is for you too!

Any bread will do as long as it is not too crusty (in other words, don’t use baguette or ciabatta!). You will love the kick and the bold ruby-colored specks the cranberries add. Nothing to it: All aboard-one step and you’re done! Individual desserts: Pour into greased muffin molds and reduce the baking time to about 45 minutes.

Sometimes cranberries can be hard to find, like in this Rosh Hashanah holiday season, so I am making the pudding with apples, which is every bit as delicious. I have included the apple variation, every bit as delicious and as pretty.

  • 3 cups milk or dairy-free milk, low-fat OK
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all-fruit apricot preserves
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange flower water  (settle for 2 tablespoons orange zest)
  • 3 tablespoons apricot brandy or rum
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped (food processor)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Mix all ingredients except cranberries by hand in a bowl, breaking up the bread and preserves as you go. Fold in the cranberries. Pour the batter into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan, or a greased 10-inch round pan. Bake for about 1 hour, or a little longer, until the pudding looks nice and puffy, and the center is firm. Serve warm or at room temperature, alone or with caramel sauce (recipe follows), and a scoop of sorbet or vanilla ice cream. Makes a dozen servings.

variation: Apple Bread Pudding GFA

Skip the cranberries and the orange flower water, reduce the milk to 2 cups. Add 4 Granny Smith (green) apples, unpeeled and coarsely grated and 2 tablespoons ciinamon. Proceed just as above.

Caramel Sauce

Another glowing example of a treat known as dairy that doesn’t in the least suffer from a dairy-free adaptation, au contraire! (Go ahead and multiply the recipe if you would like-it keeps very well.)

  • 1 cup Sucanat
  • ½ cup agave syrup
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¾ cup dairy-free milk, low-fat OK
  • ⅓ cup soy or rice milk powder
  • 3 tablespoons brandy or rum
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Bring the Sucanat, agave, and water to boil in a small saucepan, stirring. When it comes to a boil, stop stirring and cook until thick and a deep amber color, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a small bowl until perfectly smooth, then carefully add to the saucepan (to avoid splattering). Cook another 3 minutes on a medium flame, whisking. Makes about 2½ cups. Store refrigerated in a glass jar.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

29
Aug
11

Green Tea


Green Tea, originally from China, is making fast inroads in the West where black tea is traditionally consumed. Many scientific studies have been made to determine the truth of its oft claimed health benefits. There seems to be a correlation between regular tea drinking and a lower rate of heart disease and tea may even stimulate fat oxidation, while boosting the metabolic rate by as much as 4% without raising the heart rate.

Why are we posting about green tea, which we’ve mentioned before on these pages? We received quite a few emails asking for a Green Tea Cake recipe, after looking at various posts throughout the blogosphere we settled for this one (it sounds interesting and delicious!). Found it on the Dessert First blog:

Photo by: Pastrygirl, from Dessert First blog

Green Tea Cake with Red Bean Filling

Green Tea Genoise

2 eggs, room temperature
2 ¼ oz confectioners’ sugar
2 ¼ oz ground almonds
1 tsp matcha powder [powdered green tea]
1 oz all purpose flour
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 oz sugar
½ oz butter, melted [substitute margarine to keep it parve]

Red Bean Filling

1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces red beans

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a half sheet pan (about 12″x16″) with a sheet of parchment paper or a Silpat.

Combine the eggs with the confectioners’ sugar and ground almonds in a mixer until cream-colored and light.

Add in the matcha powder and combine. You can add more or less depending on your taste, but don’t add more than 1 ½ tsp or it might affect the cake’s texture.

Remove from the mixer. Sift the flour over the egg mixture.

Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl on a mixer at low speed until they start to froth. Then add the cream of tartar and increase mixer speed, whipping until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar and whip for a few seconds longer to incorporate.

Scoop about 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg mixture and fold in gently with a rubber spatula. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in until uniformly mixed. Pour the melted butter over the batter and fold in to incorporate.

Pour the batter into the half sheet pan and distribute it evenly with an offset spatula, making the layer as level and smooth as possible.

Bake in the oven for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the cake is just firm and lightly brown but not completely brown as this cake should not be over-baked.

Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it. Slide the cake off the sheet pan and onto a wire rack to cool. When the cake is no longer hot but still warm, place another rack or sheet pan on top of the cake and flip it over, then carefully peel the parchment paper from the cake to prevent it from sticking to the cake. You can place the parchment paper clean side down or a clean Silpat onto the cake, then flip it back over to finish cooling.

When you are ready to assemble the cake, trim off the edges and slice the cake in half along the short side, then cut each piece in half along the long side so you get four 6″x8″ pieces.

Whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold in the red beans gently with a rubber spatula until they are evenly distributed; the cream may take on a light reddish tint.

Place cake layer on a covered cake round and frost the top with a quarter of the whipped cream. It’s ok if some of the cream goes over the sides; just try to keep the layer even.

Cover with a cake layer and frost the top with a third of the remaining whipped cream. Repeat until you have assembled all four layers of cake.

Cover the cake and refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready to serve, trim off the sides of the cake to make them nice and even.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

12
May
11

Date and Nut Bread


I had some dates from Israel and decided to use them in a recipe, I was intrigued by the following one from Elizabeth Wolfe-Cohen‘s Perfect Jewish 


Delicious!!!

Date & Nut Bread

Yields: 12 slices

Directions

  • 1 1/2 cups self rising flour, plus a little more for dusting
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp ground ginger [SYR used 1 tsp]
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped dried dates [SYR did not use dried ones]
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda [baking soda]
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp butter or margarine, softened [SYR used margarine to keep it pareve]
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds [SYR used walnuts]
Directions
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease a 4″x8″ loaf pan. Line the base and and sides with nonstick baking parchment paper to come to 1″ above the sides. Grease again and dust with flour. Sift the flour, salt and ginger into a bowl.
Put the dates into a large bowl with bicarbonate of soda. Pour over the boiling water and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Stir the egg and butter [or margarine if you prefer it pareve] and flour mixture into the date mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until well blended. Stir in the nuts. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan, smoothing the top. Tap the pan gently on a surface to expel any air bubbles.
Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour or until set and well colored and the bread begins to pull away from the sides of the pan; a knife inserted in the center should come out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes , then leave to cool completely Using the paper as a guide, carefully remove the bread from the pan. If not serving the same day keep in the paper to prevent drying out.To serve, remove the paper from the base and sides, slice thinly.
Prep time: 20 minutes – Bake Time – 1 hour

The bread came out very aromatic, it tasted subtly sweet, we had it with some cholov Yisroel Mascarpone cheese made at Pomegranate Supermarket‘s kitchen and recommended by their resident cheese expert, none other than our good friend Elizabeth Bland. We washed it down with a Herzog Selection Chateneuf 2009, a white semi dry with a fresh, fruity bouquet. The bread was delicious, the Mascarpone just right, and the wine proved a perfect pairing!

CS

05
Apr
11

Our Internet Radio Shows for this Week


Last week week Pastry Chef Paula Shoyer – author of The Kosher Baker – was our guest, based on emails we received after it aired, there is no question her charm, her knowledge, won the audience’s heart. If you missed it, you can hear it here.

This week, we will have two special shows. Tomorrow Wednesday, April 6 2011, we will a two hour show starting at 6:30. We will be transmitting live from NYC’s biggest Pre-Passover Wine Tasting. This event will take place at: West Side Institutional, 120 West 76 Street, New York, NY 10023. There is a Private VIP tasting which starts at 6:00pm and goes on until 7:00pm. General admission starts at 7:00pm. There are over 300 wines to sample, including new ones, classic vintages and many from Costas Mouzouras’ private collection.

Some of the hundreds of bottles consumed at last year's Gotham Wines' Show

Costas is Gotham Wines ans Liquors (2517 Broadway; New York, NY 10025; Telephone: 212.932.0990), kosher brands manager. His grandfather had a small winery, in Cyprus, where Costas used to help out during his summers as a teenager. We will talk to various distributors, we will taste wines and suggest pairings with cheese and other foods.

Brigitte Mizrahi, Anderson International Foods CEO, will share her expertise on wine and cheese during the broadcast and finally at 8:00pm – 8:30pm we will speak her about her company’s products. This promises to be a very exciting show, so please listen in at: Kosherscene, tomorrow – April 6, 2011 – from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

The next show of the week will be broadcast on Thursday the 7th, and will be pre-taped at tonight’s 20th Anniversary Puah Dinner. Puah is an organization that helps infertile couples within the halachic parameters. The show will, feature interviews with the various inspirational speakers on Puah‘s very important mission. As a child of Holocaust survivors I can attest to the importance of Puah‘s work as the only effective revenge on those who would obliterate us. This show will air on Thursday at 8:00-9:00pm. Please, give us a listen.

CS

04
Jan
11

Spelt Bread


[Gil Marks is the author of numerous books, including his latest, the highly-acclaimed Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. CS]

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with various grains in place of common wheat in breads. I’ve made rye bread many times over the years, but always with some wheat flour in the dough. A couple of weeks ago, I baked a 100% rye bread, which turned out rather flat and very dense and with a nutty, fruity flavor. It was perfect with lox. I have some einkorn flour in the refrigerator awaiting use in the near future. Meanwhile, I’ve been enjoying spelt bread the past few weeks.

Triticum spelta L. (Photo from: plants/usda.gov)

Spelt (triticum spelta L.) – dinkel in German and Yiddish; farro grande in Italian; kusmin in Modern Hebrew — is a hexaploid species of wheat (it has 42 chromosomes), like common wheat. Spelt is a hybrid of emmer (a tetraploid wheat with 28 chromosomes) and a wild goat grass (Aegilops tauschii), possibly occurring north of the Caucasus or in Crimea. The kernels are slightly longer and more pointed than those of wheat, somewhat resembling barley in appearance. Spelt is a hulled grain (spelze in German and farro in Italian), meaning the husk remains attached to the kernel during threshing and requires much pounding and effort to extract the grain. (Common wheat and durum wheat are free-threshing grains in which the hulls easily slip off.) Spelt is also relatively low yielding. However, spelt grows well in poor soil and without the need for pesticides, since, as with most hulled grains, it naturally resists fungus and insects.

It was in Bronze and Iron Age (750-15 BCE) Europe where spelt found its greatest popularity, becoming the predominant wheat species of Germany and Switzerland. The word spelta, believed to be of Saxon origin, was first recorded in 301 CE in an edict of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, the Romans possibly introduced to the grain after expanding the empire northward. Romans, however, preferred common wheat, which they spread through their domains. Ashkenazim mistakenly confused spelt with both the Talmudic shiphon (probably einkorn) and the Biblical kussemet (probably emmer or a generic term for hulled wheat, of which emmer was then the most prominent), as one of the Five Species of grain forbidden on Passover and also requiring the removal of challah. (As a member of the wheat family, spelt is still forbidden on Passover and requires challah removal.) Rashi (Pesachim 35a) translated kusmin into Old French as espelte, which is usually translated as spelt, but may actually mean hulled wheats in general, similar to the German Spelzen and Italian farro. Spelt was not grown in biblical or Talmudic Israel or Egypt and there is no archeological evidence for this grain anywhere in the ancient Near East or Egypt.

Green Kern spelt - Photo from allergome.org

In the late medieval period, as new species of naked wheat became prevalent in central Europe, spelt consequently lost its attractiveness. Nevertheless, spelt remained the predominant grain in southern Germany until the nineteenth century. Still, it retains a degree of popularity in parts of southern Germany and southwestern Poland. Today, spelt’s primary form is husked and kiln-dried, the resulting grains called gruenkern (literally “green kernels”). Harvesting green grains, such as barley for the biblical Omer offering, is an ancient practice devised to collect a small part of a springtime crop while still immature, thereby salvaging at least that portion, in case a heavy storm would potentially damage or rot the entire yield.

Primarily produced in parts of southern Germany and southwestern Poland, gruenkern is rare in America, but found in some specialty food stores. Germans use the greenish-tan kernels in soups, stews, puddings, gruels, breads (mixed with wheat flour), and fritters. Today, many German families, instead of shalet (cholent), slow simmer gruenkernsuppe overnight to commence Sabbath lunch. The first edition of The Settlement Cook Book (1901), the author from a German-Jewish heritage, included a recipe for “Green Kern Soup,” directing “2 qts. soup stock or poultry soup, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, ¼ teaspoon celery, diced, 2 cups green kern, 1 cup Croutons, 2 cups boiling water, 1 teaspoon salt. Wash green kern in cold water, then cook in boiling salted water 2 hours or until tender, add the celery. As water evaporates add soup stock, page 66. If you are making fresh soup take the “top soup” and keep adding it strained to the green kern, until the desired consistency. Season to taste. Serve hot with Croutons, page 81. If you prefer, dry the green kern on back of stove, grind fine and cook until tender in the soup. Just before serving pour on one or two egg yolks well beaten and serve hot with Croutons.”

Spelt is also used in central Europe to make ale, noodles, pancakes, and bread. Spelt contains a lower amount of omega gliadins (proteins) that engender gluten than common wheat and, therefore, can sometimes be tolerated by those with wheat allergies to common wheat, which has been bred to contain a massive amount of gluten. For some, but not all of those who face problems with common wheat (not those with celiac disease), spelt is fine. Otherwise, the fat and amino acid content of common wheat and spelt are similar.

As to my spelt bread, the results were very good. Spelt bread is a bit more crumbly and not quite as high rising as common wheat loaves as well as a light brown hue. But it is still rather fluffy inside, has a crusty exterior, and with a somewhat nutty taste. In many ways, spelt flour can be used similarly to common wheat. However, spelt dough, since its gluten is more fragile and soluble, requires less kneading than common wheat, only 4 to 5 minutes by hand (wheat bread is typically 10 minutes of kneading). Also use less water than in wheat dough (which will weaken the gluten), meaning a firmer dough. However, the dough should not be too dry, or the bread will turn out too dense. I understand that bread machines, which I won’t use anyway, overstress the gluten and produce inferior spelt loaves.

In case you feel like experimenting, here’s my recipe for spelt bread (Dinkelbrot):

Spelt bread (dinkelbrot) - Detail from photo by: thefreshloaf.com

Spelt Bread

(1 medium loaf about 24 ounces)

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees (40 to 46 C) for dry yeast
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • About 3¼ cups spelt flour (13 ounces/365 grams)

Directions

  1. To make the dough: Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup water. Stir in 1 teaspoon honey and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining water, oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Gradually add enough remaining flour until the mixture holds together.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes. (Less than wheat flour.) Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
  3. Punch down the dough, knead briefly, divide in half, and form into a ball. Place, seam side down, on a parchment paper-lined or greased large baking sheet or in a greased 8-inch round baking pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let rise until nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 C).
  5. With a sharp knife, slit an X in the top. Bake until the bread is golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

Enjoy!

Gil Marks

16
Nov
10

Olive Oil Orange Cake


Chef Mark Green of Glatt A La Carte, always wanted to be a hockey player and even got a scholarship to play at Saranac in Upstate new York. Unfortunately he got hurt while playing, with his sports dream over he majored in art and photography.

After graduating from the New York Restaurant School, in 1982, Chef Mark spent the next 7 years as sous-chef at Club Med in Aruba. He did stints as Main Chef for the Divi Divi Beach Hotels in the Netherlands and the Antilles but came back to the US, eventually opening Glatt A La Carte, as Executive Chef, over 10 years ago.

He has graciously given us his recipe for a delicious, easy to make cake:

Portuguese Olive Oil Orange Pound Cake

Delicious... is an understatement!

Yields: 10 to 12 servings

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed
  • 5 eggs

Dry Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • zest of 3 oranges

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of orange juice

Directions

  1. Beat eggs lightly in large mixing bowl.
  2. Slowly add sugar to the eggs until light colored and thicken into a ribbon consistency.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add orange juice to egg mixture.
  5. Mix until fully incorporated.
  6. Add olive oil and flower alternating little by little into egg mixture until fully incorporated.
  7. Mix until it becomes a nice batter with ribbon consistency.
  8. Mix zest into batter.
  9. Take a Bund pan and spray it with cooking spray.
  10. Pour batter into Bund pan.
  11. Bake at 350 F for 1:15 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.
  12. Cool for 30-60 minutes.
  13. Combine glaze thoroughly and drop on cake.

I’ve tried Chef Mark’s recipe, both at the restaurant and at home, it’s very good. Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

Portuguese Olive Oil Orange Cake

07
Nov
10

Little Lemon Meringue Pie


I’m constantly looking for delicious desserts, I confess, I have a sweet tooth… While scouring the web, for something decadent but fairly easy to prepare, I came across the following on The Food Network:

My mother (a"h) used to make something very similar... ahh, the memories!

 

Little Lemon Meringue Pies

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sour cream or yogurt

Lemon Filling:

  • 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

Meringue:

  • 1/4 cup egg whites (about 2 large eggs)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1 (6-cup) standard non-stick muffin tin

Directions

Crust:
Beat the butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high until smooth. Add the sugar and salt and continue to beat until evenly combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the egg yolk. Add half of the flour, beating until just crumbly. Scrape down the bowl again; add the remaining flour and then the sour cream or yogurt, beating just until the dough is evenly moistened. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly to bring it together.

Roll the dough between 2 generously floured sheets of waxed or parchment paper into a circle about 1/4-inch thick with a rolling pin. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cut out 6 (4 1/2-inch) rounds using an inverted bowl or round cookie cutter. Place rounds in the muffin tins and, using a small shot glass or your fingers, press into the corners and about halfway up the sides for a snug fit (see photo). Freeze dough in the muffin tin for 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Spray the outside of 6 standard muffin liners with cooking spray and place in the crusts. Fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake crusts until just brown around the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for about 1 minute; then carefully remove the muffin liners and baking beans. Return pan to the oven and continue to bake until crusts are cooked through and evenly browned (see photo), about 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool slightly. Then carefully remove crusts from the muffin tin and cool completely on a rack.

Lemon Filling:

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and yolks in a nonreactive saucepan. Whisk constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture is smooth and sugar dissolves, about 1 minute. Add the lemon and lime juice and zest and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is as thick as sour cream and is just about to simmer, 3 to 4 minutes. (Take care to stir into the sides of the pot so that all curd thickens evenly.)

Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Whisk in the butter a little at a time, until smooth. Stir occasionally until cooled. (Setting the bowl in a larger bowl of ice will speed this up.). Fill each tartlet with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cool lemon filling.

Meringue:

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a saucepan that can hold a standing mixer’s bowl above the water. Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt in the bowl by hand. Set the bowl above the boiling water and continue whisking until the mixture is hot to the touch (135 degrees F) and the sugar dissolves, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the whites at medium-high speed until they hold soft peaks. Increase speed to high and continue to beat to make a stiff, cool meringue, about 10 minutes. Dollop or pipe on top of the filling.

Just before serving, preheat the broiler to high. Set the pies on a baking sheet, and place under the broiler until the meringue is evenly toasted, about 2 minutes. (Alternatively, brown meringue with a blowtorch.) Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

For Busy Bakers:

They can be refrigerated for up to 2 days These also freeze wonderfully! They can be assembled and frozen up to 1 week in advance. Defrost for 20 minutes before broiling the tops and serving.

To make ahead in stages:

- The crusts can be made, baked and frozen up to 2 weeks.

- The curd can be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated.

- The meringue can be made up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

19
Oct
10

Maple Pot de Crème


Recently I was looking for a really decadent dairy dessert, I found it, made it yesterday and it proved more than good enough to share on these pages. It comes from the 17 and Baking blog, a very nice blog with great recipes and photography:

Maple Pots de Crème

From Closet Cooking
Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and arrange four ramekins in a rimmed baking dish.

Combine the cream, maple syrup, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat until it comes to a simmer. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Using a small ladle, add some hot cream to the egg yolks a few tablespoons at a time. Whisk the egg yolks into the cream in the saucepan until combined. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.

Pour the mixture into the four ramekins. Carefully pour enough hot water into the rimmed baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the edges are set but the center gently jiggles when shook, about 50-60 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Eat, or cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge (I prefer them cold.)

Elissa, the blog’s author, is a very good photographer with an obvious love of baking. It was her photography that seduced my senses into imagining the taste and just try it. I was not disappointed. Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

05
Oct
10

Dulce de Leche


I grew up in Uruguay where Dulce de Leche is even more popular (and deservedly so!!!) than peanut butter was ever a favorite here in the US. A cousin sends me this delight, directly from Argentina, every few months and I look forward to it just as a junkie longs for his fix.

Looking through David Leibowitz‘s blog, I came across this mouth-watering recipe which uses Dulce de Leche and I can’t wait to try it!

Chocolate-Dulce de Leche Flan

Adapted from My Sweet Mexico (Ten Speed) by Fany Gerson

Serves 8 to 10

3/4 cup (210g) dulce de leche

For the cake layer:

3/4 cup (150g) sugar

3/4 cup (110g) flour

1/3 cup (35g) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

1/2 cup (125ml) buttermilk or plain whole milk yogurt

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 egg, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the flan layer:

1 can (12 ounces, 340g) evaporated milk

1 can (14 ounces, 395g) sweetened condensed milk

4 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC.) Lightly brush or spray an 8-inch (20cm) porcelain mold or cake pan (not a springform pan) with oil.

2. Smear the dulce de leche around the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place the mold or cake pan in a larger roasting pan, which you’ll use as a double boiler for baking.

3. To make the cake layer, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk or yogurt, vegetable oil, 1 egg, and vanilla.

5. Use a spatula to stir the wet ingredients into the larger bowl of dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Scrape the batter in the mold, over the dulce de leche.

6. Make the flan layer by blending together the evaporated and condensed milks, the 4 eggs, the vanilla, and salt, until smooth.

7. Over the back of a large spoon (like a big mixing spoon), pour the flan mixture over the cake layer, using the spoon to diffuse the custard as you pour.

8. Cover the mold or cake pan loosely with foil, fill the roasting pan with very hot water, so it reaches halfway up the side of the mold, and bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out relatively clean.

(Note: I found the flan took considerably longer to bake than 50 minutes; mine took practically an 1 1/2 hours. So being checking it at 50 minutes, but note that it may take longer.)

9. Once done, remove from the oven and carefully lift the custard out of the water bath wearing oven mitts, then let the flan cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate the flan until ready to serve.

To serve: Run a knife around the perimeter of the flan, then set a cake or dinner plate overturned on top of the mold or cake pan. Holding both the mold and the plate, flip the two simultaneously and shake gently, until you hear the flan release. Remove the mold. And remaining dulce de leche can be smeared back over the flan.

Storage: The flan can be kept for up to three days in the refrigerator.

Well gentle reader, I know what I’m preparing tonight! I better go shopping, right now, for some missing ingredients…

CS




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