TWD BCM Rewind: Profiteroles, Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce, Benoit Style

August 29, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, other sweet, puddings, custards, mousses, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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profiteroles, ice cream and hot chocolate sauce, Benoit style

This major sweet tooth has a hard time picking out an absolute favorite dessert, but ice cream profiteroles are definitely on the shortlist. In fact, I get a little angry if I go to a French bistro-style restaurant and they aren’t on the menu! Choux is fun to make at home though, so I’m happy to take care of my profiterole cravings myself every once in a while. These Profiteroles, Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce have an extra twist…the choux puffs are actually filled with pastry cream. Cream puffs and profiteroles in one– a twofer! That’s more than I need, really, but I’d never say no. I had choux piped out in the freezer, I made the chocolate sauce ahead of time and I used shop-bought ice cream, so making a little pastry cream was no big deal. This was a great dessert, of course, and I’m glad I got a chance to make it.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll to see what other folks caught up on this week!

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Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Pistachio and Summer Fruit Gratins

May 23, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Posted in BCM, cobbler, crisps, shortcakes, general pastry, groups, jams & preserves, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 1 Comment
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pistachio and summer fruit gratins

What to say about these Pistachio and Summer Fruit Gratins? Well for one thing, they are pretty tasty. A layer of fruit and berries topped with pistachio frangipane could almost not be a winning dessert. I will fess up that I fudged the frangipane and used the “regular” almond kind, which I have a stash of in the freezer.  I sprinkled a bunch of pistachios on top to fool everyone, though! Haha– I have a few tricks up my sleeve now and then. The fruit in this can be pretty much whatever’s in season…I went with a rhubarb/raspberry combo. The ‘barb and ‘berries bubbled up in the oven and turned into a jammy layer that was the most gorgeous shade of hot pink. Hot pink and pistachio green might be my favorite color combo, but I can see myself making this one over and over again this summer as different fruits roll though the farmers’ market.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Laurent’s Slow-Roasted Spiced Pineapple

April 25, 2017 at 12:01 am | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, jams & preserves, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 11 Comments
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laurent's slow-roasted spiced pineapple

I’ve had my eye on Laurent’s Slow-Roasted Spied Pineapple for a while. I’ve high-heat roasted pineapple in a vanilla-caramel sauce before, and I can tell you that it is the stuff my ice cream sundae dreams are topped with.  Now that I’ve made this slow-roasted version, I can say that if I ever meet Laurent, I will shake his hand. Or maybe give him cheek kisses because la bise seems more French than a handshake. My disappointingly flavorless bodega pineapple was totally transformed after marinating for two hours in a low oven with jam, OJ, Grand Mariner and spices. I was also pretty pleased that the process used up two jars of jam that had been hanging around for longer than I wish to admit…keeping with a tropical theme, one was a jar of passionfruit-orange-gauava jam that I bought in Hawaii a year and a half ago but never opened, and the other was half a jar of homemade tangerine marmalade that had been kicking around since waaaaay before that. This cooked for two hours…I’m sure anything potentially troublesome was taken care of by the heat, right? For my spices, I used vanilla bean, fresh ginger and coriander seed.

I actually wound up keeping my pineapple in the oven for longer than two hours. At that point, the kitchen smelled amazing, but the pineapple still seemed a little firm when I stuck a knife into one of the chunks. I had errands to do, so I just turned the oven off and let the pan sit in there until I got back home from running around. When I pulled it out, everything was syrupy and sticky and candied (including the ginger slices– yum!). I’ve already had this twice with “plain cake” and ice cream and I cannot wait to make pineapple pancakes drizzled with roasting syrup this weekend.

laurent's slow-roasted spiced pineapple

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan. It’s also here. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Cocoa Nests with Caramel Mousse

June 8, 2016 at 8:50 am | Posted in BWJ, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 7 Comments
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cocoa nests with caramel mousse

I’ve been on a chocolate tear here for the last few weeks.  I guess though that caramel is really the dominate flavor in Charlotte Akoto’s Cocoa Nests with Caramel Mousse.  And I guess I should actually call the “mousse” that I made “cream” since I totally dumbed down her mousse recipe and just made a caramel whipped cream.

The nests are decoratively piped cocoa meringues, dried to a crisp in a low oven.  I wanted to skip the gelatin and egg yolk bombe-based mousse in the recipe, so I just made a dry caramel (on the dark side) with a bit of sugar, poured in some cream and let it come up to a boil.  Then I chilled the mix for several hours before I whipped it like regular cream.  This is something I’ve made at the restaurant before, and it’s pretty freakin’ tasty.  It’s sweet though, and I knew the meringue nests would be, too, so instead of making the nut praline garnish, I just scattered some chopped toasted hazelnuts over the finished dessert.  This was a fun project and reminiscent of a pavlova.

 For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Chocolate-Cinnamon Beignets

April 19, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Posted in BWJ, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 6 Comments
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chocolate-cinnamon beignets

Normally when I think beignet, I just think donut…well, French donut, I guess.  Something made with a donut-like dough.  Usually involving yeast.  It turns out there’s another type of beignet that I wasn’t really aware of…one made with fried pâte à choux dough, and Norman Love’s Chocolate-Cinnamon Beignets are an example.  These ones have cocoa and cinnamon flavoring the choux dough and a filling of caramelized banana pastry cream.  Yeah, there are a a bunch of things to make, but mmmmm.

Assembling these beignets is a lot like forming dumplings or ravioli.  The choux dough is wrapped and chilled, before being rolled, cut and filled.  And then folded, crimped, frozen and fried.  I’ve never rolled out choux dough before, so this was a fun exercise.  I could have cut the dough into circles like in the recipe (and made half-moons), but I cut it into squares instead (and made triangles) so I wouldn’t have any scraps to waste or otherwise deal with.  Different geometry, but it all tastes the same.

These are best served à la minute, right when they’re fried crisp and the filling is warm.  The recipe calls for serving the beignets with a sweet walnut and cream sauce, which I’m sure is delicious, but I had some chocolate-tahini sauce I made the other week and I used that instead. I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some sliced bananas, just because.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  There’s also a video of Norman and Julia making the beignets together.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BCM: Bubble Éclairs

August 25, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Posted in BCM, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 18 Comments
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bubble eclairs

I love making pastries with choux paste.  The dough is so fun to make, and then when you open the oven the oven and find a tray of chubby golden puffs, well, I think it’s just delightful. These Bubble Éclairs are like cream puffs piped (I used a pastry bag and tip rather than a cookie scoop or spoon) snuggled up together in éclair form. Cute!

You can get fancy with these éclairs, or keep them simple like I did.  I just sprinkled a little Swedish pearl sugar on the tops before baking and filled them with coffee whipped cream after (flavored with the espresso syrup I still have in the fridge from BWJ’s Cardinal Slice).  I did make a couple of fancier ones with white chocolate glaze and passion fruit whipped cream, but it was such a hot, muggy day that they became a drippy mess when I tried to photo them.  Whatever, you get the idea.  I sure wouldn’t mind an éclair served profiterole-style, with ice cream and chocolate sauce…next time.

For the recipe, see Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here). Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Inside-Out, Upside-Down Tirami Sù

January 6, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in BWJ, general pastry, groups, ice creams & frozen, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 15 Comments
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inside-out, upside-down tirami sù

Gale Gand’s Inside-Out, Upside-Down Tirami Sù is pretty different from the tiramisu I usually make.  The flavors are all here, but this reinterprets the dessert into a mix of textures and temperatures.  Instead of ladyfinger biscuits soaked and layered into something so soft you can glide a spoon through, here you get shatteringly crisp phyllo disks sandwiching a luxurious mascarpone sabayon and an icy-cold espresso granita.

I baked off my scrunched up phyllo disks in 4-inch ring molds, which worked really well.  I left the ginger out of the sugar sprinkled on top of them, because I didn’t want that flavor here.  I did, however, want a nice splash of Kahlúa in my sabayon, so I added that.

This is kind of a posh plated dessert, but you can get the three easy steps (phyllo disks, granita and sabayon) done earlier in the day and just assemble it all right before serving.  You really can’t wait to eat it once you’ve put the granita on, because it starts to melt immediately!  By the way, I have plenty of granita left in the freezer…I’m thinking of turning it into an espresso-frappe-milkshake-type concoction.  Bonus.

inside-out, upside-down tirami sù

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Tropical Napoleons

May 20, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Posted in BWJ, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 13 Comments
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tropical napoleons

Charlotte Akoto’s recipe for Tropical Napoleons is in a section of the book called “Grand Pastries,” which seems to mean plated desserts.  I have to say that a lot of them look kinda dated to me, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still taste great.  This dessert, with layers of coconut and sesame meringue, fruit and rum whipped cream is really light, but so satisfying.  I wouldn’t turn down Eaton mess or a pavlova, so I knew I would like this one, too.

Despite its “grand” status, this recipe isn’t really that involved.  Whipped cream and sliced fruit are easy enough to prep.  If you don’t have a good selection of tropical fruit (I wish I could buy passion fruit in Brooklyn from any corner fruit guy like I could when we lived in Sydney), just go with straight-up berries.  Even the meringue is a simple one to make, and a quick stencil cut from a yogurt lid makes perfect meringue disks.  I baked my meringues on a Silpat and they took almost twice as long as the recipe said to get fully crisp.  If anything gives you trouble, it will be getting those meringues off your sheet pan after they’re baked– they’re meant to be really thin, which also makes them really brittle.  I only broke one before discovering that if I ran an offset spatula carefully around its outer edge before kind of pressing the spatula down into the Silpat and scooting it underneath the meringue, it would come off in one piece.  The meringues are sweet, so I cut back a bit on the sugar in the cream.

 For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.   There’s a video here of the episode.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll

 

Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Espresso Profiteroles

September 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Posted in BWJ, general pastry, groups, other sweet, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 12 Comments
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espresso profiteroles

Choux paste treats have been well-covered here.  Gougères, éclairs, cream puffs and even crullers–wait, something’s missing.  How could I forget profiteroles, one of my most favorite desserts?   I’ll take care of that one now with Norman Love’s Espresso Profiteroles.

Despite my love of profiteroles, I admit that I didn’t have high hopes for these.  Quite frankly, I thought the picture in the book looked terrible (the choux looked bready, not light).  I’m happy to report that they turned out better than expected.  I’m not sure how much flavor was really contributed by adding coffee to the choux puffs themselves, but they puffed and hollowed nicely.  I used espresso ice cream (instead of cinnamon) and boozed up the chocolate sauce with Kahlua (instead of Grand Marnier), so that took care of the missing coffee flavors.

These are best cut and filled right before serving, when the puffs are crisp and the ice cream is just beginning to soften.  Pre-scooped and frozen is a profiterole no-no for me.  And the sauce should be warm.  Mmmmm…sauce…

espresso profiteroles

We’re going without hosts now for TWD, so for the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!

Roasted Strawberries

June 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Posted in jams & preserves, other sweet, sweet things | 13 Comments
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roasted strawberries

I’m not too crazy about strawberries in baked goods.  Baked strawberries turn pale and sad.  Roasted strawberries, on the other hand, are vibrant and intense.  We’ve been roasting strawberries at work over the last couple weeks (it’s actually a great way to save berries that are on the verge, so to speak, or were never that great to begin with), and I thought I’d take the concept home with me.

This is a super easy process that you can multiply or fiddle with.  Strawberries and a sprinkle sugar are all that’s needed, but I added a dash of cassis to mine as well.  A fairly hot oven does its magic, and in about half an hour you have a tray of deep red, syrup coated jewels.

Stir these into your morning yogurt or use them as a topping for ice cream (buttermilk ice cream would be even more amazing topped with these, as would vanilla malted).  And mixed in with fresh strawberries in a shortcake–forget about it.

roasted strawberries

Roasted Strawberries

Steph’s Note:  This is more of a process than a recipe.  Adjust amounts depending on your quantity of berries.  Although I probably wouldn’t bother to fire up the oven on a hot day for less than a quart of strawberries, this will multiply no problem.   

a quart of strawberries (bigger ones halved or quartered, tiny ones left whole)
a couple spoons of sugar (white, raw or vanilla are all good)
 optional splash of flavoring (like vanilla, balsamic vinegar, cassis or Grand Marnier)

-Preheat your oven to 400°F.

-Put the strawberries on a sheet tray, or in a cake pan or a small metal roaster.  Use something where they fit in a single layer, but don’t have too much extra empty space where juices will just burn.  Sprinkle over the sugar…you only need enough to lightly coat them, as the sweetness will intensify as they roast.

-Roast for about 15 minutes, and then give the berries a gentle stir to coat them with the liquid they’ve released.  Continue to roast until the strawberries are deeply red and the juice is syrupy, almost beginning to caramelize.  This will probably take another 15-20 minutes.  Add in your splash of flavoring.  Done….you can store them in the fridge for a several days.

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