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Category Archives: Dessert

Puff Pastry

Puff Pastry

Laura had to make a puff pastry recipe about a month ago for work. The chef there wanted to make a beef wellington for family meal, so it seemed natural to ask the pastry chef to make puff pastry dough. Unfortunately, she hadn’t made puff pastry since the days of culinary school, seeing as almost every company in the food industry buys it in frozen sheets. So, we found our old college recipe, and, being the laminated dough king that I am, I explained how to make the dough, make the beurrage (a butter and flour mixture), fold the beurrage into the dough, and make all the subsequent folds and turns to make that layered deliciousness.

Well, Laura made it at work. It came out fine and they used it for the wellington, but she wasn’t overly confident that she did all the folds and turns correctly. So, she’s been bugging me to show her how to do it at home. I saw it as a perfect opportunity to make some homemade turnovers, which I had been craving lately for whatever reason. A win-win situation!

However . . . Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Baking, Dessert, Food

 

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Coconut Honey Panna Cotta with Vanilla Rambutan and Coconut Lace Curl

I’m always trying to think of desserts that are delicious and enticing, without being belly busters. Those s’mores tartlets that I did? Yeah, that’s a belly buster. I’m really trying my best to watch my waistline without necessarily going on any kind of diet, per se. I mean, I can lose all the weight I want if I just eat tuna and raw veggies and supplement my hunger with protein shakes, but that’s just no way to live. And I certainly wouldn’t have any content for a food blog. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in Baking, Dessert, Food

 

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Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

I’m sitting here trying to think of all the reasons why I put so much effort into cooking, but I’m actually having a difficult time narrowing it down. I enjoy it, but I can’t name why. I guess it’s something that keeps me involved and moving. After all, what would I do when I get home from work if it wasn’t for having to put a meal on the table? I’d probably just veg out and stare at the tv.

There’s something about the creative process of cooking that I absolutely love. I rarely use a recipe, and if I do, it’s more for inspiration. The exception, of course, is with baked goods and pastries, which require very specific measurements, or you’ve likely got a disaster on your hands.

Cooking, for me, is just a collection of processes, and I get to fill in the blanks. Sometimes I find this exhilarating, especially if I’m trying something new. The most recent example of this is the creme fraiche I made earlier this week. It was delightfully simple, yet yielded a product so delicious and amazing that it put its grocery counterpart to shame! Even more satisfying is the fact that a $4.00 quart of cream yields far more creme fraiche than the $5.00 8 ounce packaged stuff in the cheese section! Imagine what it would be like if I could get my hands on fresh cream . . . Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Appetizer, Dessert, Food

 

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Lemon Short Bread with Creme Fraiche and Macerated Berries

Lemon Short Bread with Creme Fraiche and Macerated Berries

I’m seem to always be talking lately of cutting calories, trying to eat healthier, and high protein diets. Yet I can’t help but try to satiate my sweet tooth, which isn’t nearly as demanding as my wife’s. We gotta do something about this.

I had stumbled upon (not using stumbleupon) a recipe for creme fraiche. I’ve seen it made in the earlier years of my kitchen career, as it seemed every menu had creme fraiche on it at the time, though I had never made it myself. I could buy it, after all, or just use sour cream.

But I was inspired, so I whipped up a small batch. It’s surprisingly easy to do. I also decided to make my own ricotta, but there will be more on that later.

So, as I was testing the creme fraiche near its completion, I pondered on some uses for it. My sweet tooth started singing to me, with delicate whispers of fresh fruit or berries with a tender, not too sweet pastry. Thinking of a fairly light, summery dessert (I know it’s winter for most of you, but it’s 80 degrees here) that isn’t too heavy on the calories, the lemon short bread idea came to mind. Granted, it’s not health food, but some fresh berries, a dollop of creme fraiche, and a little lemon short bread can’t be that high in calories, right? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Baking, Dessert, Food

 

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Would you like S’More?

Would you like S’More?

Bad joke aside, it only takes three ingredients to warm the heart: Crunchy graham crackers, half melted milk chocolate, and gooey marshmallow. Indeed, the s’more is a simple pleasure, easy to make and even easier to devour.

Well, I always like to kick things up a notch. Or 10 notches. Laura and I were talking about s’mores not long ago, and it gave me inspiration to put together something stunning and a little more elegant. My wife’s recent  interpretation of the Hawaiian Host Caramac (wish I had pictures) further elicited images in my mind of what I was looking for in a s’more dessert.  I flipped through some of my old notebooks and texts to find what I might be looking for; a graham cracker crust that would put shame to the crumbly mess found on the bottom of most cheesecakes, a milk chocolate filling soft enough to melt my heart yet firm enough to strengthen my soul, and a homemade marshmallow that could enthrall even the pickiest of marshmallow enthusiasts!

This has the potential to be epic. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in Baking, Dessert, Food

 

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Start with a bang: Mini Oreo Cheesecake

I won’t bother with a lengthy introduction. Not when Oreo’s and cheesecake are the subject at hand. So I’ll just mention this: I used to cook for a living. Now I’m in the Army. I’ve worked anywhere from high volume restaurants to fine dining restaurants and from large resort pastry kitchens to small artisan bread bakeries. I’ve even done corporate catering, but I try to forget.

So I thought my very first post could be about two adored food items: Oreo’s and cheesecake. This is America, after all, and it only makes sense to take two decadent and insanely unhealthy items and put them together into a delicious concoction to trigger onset diabetes or trigger a heart attack.

Social commentary aside, these are pretty damn delicious, but I can’t really take credit for them, although I did scale the recipe down to be a little more appropriate for just two of us. I got the recipe from another blog, who also admitted to taking the recipe from a Martha Stewart book. Figures Martha would make cheesecake in cupcakes pans.

Ingredients:

    • 16 each Oreo’s (four reserved for chopping)
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1/4 cup sour cream
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 each egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    •  pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners and place a whole Oreo in the bottom of each cup.
    Step One

    Step One

    Snacks are allowed

    Make sure you save one for yourself

  2. Using a Kitchenaid style counter mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth. Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually add the sugar and mix until combined. Add vanilla.

    Mix shit together

    Beat and Mix

  3. While mixing on low speed, add the egg. Be sure to scrape down sides of the bowl until mixed well. Add sour cream and salt and mix once again. Once, combined and smooth, remove paddle attachment. Lick if desired. Don’t worry, raw egg won’t kill you.
  4. While mixing and beating, have your wife roughly chop the remaining 4 Oreo’s and fold into cream cheese mixture with a spatula. Or do it yourself.
    That's her

    Be Careful

    Chop n Serve

    Chop Oreo's

     

  5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups. I found this easy to do with a 1/4 cup measure, but a spoon will work too.

    Fill muffin cups

    Fill Muffin Cups

  6. Bake these babies for about 24 minutes, rotating once about halfway through. When done, batter will be completely set.

    Done!

    Bake, Cool, then Eat!

  7. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate to chill.

    Wife and Baby likey!

    Betcha can't eat just one!

This is a pretty straight forward recipe and my wife and I knocked this out in about half an hour, not including bake time. This is a good option for a not-too-fancy dessert for a party or potluck. This recipe can be quadrupled (since the original recipe was 4x this).

And, wow, all that posting and picture editing sure took a lot more time that I anticipated. Until next time!

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in Baking, Dessert, Food

 

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