Posts Tagged ‘cream’

Tiramisu

September 29, 2012

My favorite dessert is hands down tiramisu. Not because it is an Italian food (although that doesn’t hurt) but because there is something about coffee-soaked ladyfingers, chocolate and cream filling that just makes me happy. And I mean REALLY happy.

But it always seemed such a daunting task to actually make it by hand, and therefore my experience had been limited to restaurants. But, for Valentine’s Day last year, I decided of all desserts to know how to make, this one seemed essential. The only “hard” thing about this dish is planning ahead, since you need to make it the night before consuming. But otherwise, I was pleasantly surprised at the simplicity. Do be careful of soaking the ladyfingers too long, as they will fall apart in your hands. The good news is, after destroying a few, I started getting the hang of it!

Thanks to Gourmet for this recipe which will now be my default when I am craving my favorite sweet treat. Bon Appetit!

TIRAMISU

6 Servings

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (8-oz) container mascarpone cheese (1 scant cup)
  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 2 cups very strong brewed coffee or brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine
  • 18 savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers, 6 oz)
  • 1/4 cup fine-quality bittersweet chocolate shavings (not unsweetened; made with a vegetable peeler) or 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in mascarpone until just combined.

Beat whites with a pinch of salt in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, then continue to beat whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat cream in another bowl with cleaned beaters until it just holds soft peaks. Fold cream into mascarpone mixture gently but thoroughly, then fold in whites.

Stir together coffee and Marsala in a shallow bowl. Dip 1 ladyfinger in coffee mixture, soaking it about 4 seconds on each side, and transfer to an 8-inch glass baking dish (2-quart capacity). Repeat with 8 more ladyfingers and arrange in bottom of dish, trimming as needed to fit snugly. Spread half of mascarpone mixture evenly over ladyfingers. Make another layer in same manner with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture. Chill tiramisu, covered, at least 6 hours.

Just before serving, sprinkle with chocolate.

Yukon Gold Potato Gratin with Horseradish & Parmesan

May 8, 2011

There are certain recipes you need a staple for – your go-to recipes. The basic chocolate chip cookie. Mashed potatoes. Spaghetti sauce. For me, the one I kept trying but never found “the one” was potato gratin.

After perfecting my mashed potatoes – Yukon golds smashed rustic style with butter, cream, creme fresh and rosemary – I now needed a great alternative starch to serve with my favorite filet, roast or ham.

When making filet mignon for my parents the other weekend, I tried this one as another attempt at finding my new go-to gratin recipe. After much searching, I found it. I am convinced the thing that sets it apart (aside from the large quantities of cream, of course) is the addition of horseradish. I never would have thought of it, but it is such a natural combination that I sure should have. This gratin has a creamy sauce, a little kick from the horseradish and a salty top layer of parmesan. The perfect gratin dish.

A little tip – I didn’t have cheesecloth so instead I chopped up the garlic, thyme and just used ground pepper. Worked just fine!
Thanks to Epicurious for this great recipe that I will now frequently serve with my balsamic filet mignon.

Also to note, it is clear that I am not able to take a photo as beautiful as this one. Like some of my other posts, I have been lucky enough to have my dad be able to take a photo, so credit goes to him – http://www.robertstonephotography.com.

YUKON GOLD POTATO GRATIN WITH HORSERADISH AND PARMESAN
10 servings

1 bunch fresh thyme
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
3 pounds boiling potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices
2 tablespoons sea salt
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with back of knife
4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh horseradish, grated
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated

Place rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F.

Generously butter a 2 1/2- to 3-quart gratin dish or other shallow baking dish.

Make a bouquet garni by wrapping thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf in 6-inch square of cheese cloth and securing with kitchen string.

In heavy, 6-quart saucepan, combine potatoes, bouquet garni, salt, garlic cloves, and cream. Set over moderate heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes can just be pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove bouquet garni and garlic and discard. Stir in horseradish.

Spread potato mixture in buttered dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until top is golden brown and potatoes are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Marshmallow Cream

September 30, 2010

I am not Amish. My husband isn’t a farmer. But I still love Whoopie Pies. (I am going somewhere with this, I promise…)

Apparently Whoopie Pies got their name from Amish wives making them for their farmer husbands and putting them in their lunches. When they would open their lunches, they would say “whoopie!” And, for good reason. If you have ever had these small round cakes sandwiched between sugary, marshmallowy frosting, you will know what I mean.

Although baking them myself? I don’t know…might be easier to go to a bakery. This technique would be doomed in my amateur kitchen – how do you make the cakes so round? How do you get the right texture? How do you assemble without breaking?

But, when Bon Appetit featured a recipe that included pumpkin and maple, classic fall ingredients, I really had no choice but to give it a whirl. And worst case, my husband would shout “whoops” instead of “whoopie” and we would break out the tub of vanilla ice cream in the freezer instead.

I cannot fully express the reaction my husband gave when he ate one – it wasn’t “whoopie” (after all his mouth was terribly full) but eventually was along the lines of “I can’t stop eating these!” The cake is like a pumpkin bread but sweeter, and the frosting I could just eat with a spoon. The perfect fall dessert!

Now, the technique. My fears were a bit unwarranted, I must say. You truly just spoon the batter on the cookie sheet (I used my cookie scooper) and they turn into pretty round cakes (although I saw in my Sur La Table catalog they do make Whoopie Pie Pans). Bon Appetit nailed the timing – 20 minutes exactly (check with a toothpick). Then, assembly was a piece of cake (sorry, I couldn’t help it!). No breakage, just perfectly beautiful pumpkin whoopie pies.

Thanks, Bon Appetit (and Portland, Maine’s Two Fat Cats Bakery), for broadening my baking skills and giving me a huge reason to shout “Whoopie!”

PUMPKIN WHOOPIE PIES WITH MAPLE-MARSHMALLOW CREAM
Bon Appetit says it makes 23 pies but I found it only made 16 (maybe mine were a bit big)

FILLING
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme
2 teaspoons maple extract
CAKE
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
•3/4 cup sugar
•1/2 cup vegetable oil
•3 large eggs
•1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
•1/2 cup milk
•Nonstick vegetable oil spray

FILLING

  • Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add marshmallow creme and maple extract; beat until blended and smooth. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

CAKE

  • Sift first 7 ingredients into large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in another large bowl until blended. Gradually beat in oil. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in pumpkin. Add dry ingredients in 2 additions alternately with milk in 1 addition, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Cover and chill batter 1 hour.
  • Arrange 1 rack in bottom third of oven and 1 rack in top third of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment; spray lightly with nonstick spray. Spoon batter onto baking sheet to form cakes (about 3 level tablespoons each; about 12 per baking sheet), spacing apart. Let stand 10 minutes.
  • Bake cakes until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking. Cool cakes completely on baking sheets on rack. Using metal spatula, remove cakes from parchment.
  • Line cooled baking sheets with clean parchment; spray with nonstick spray, and repeat baking with remaining batter.
  • Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling on flat side of 1 cake. Top with another cake, flat side down. Repeat with remaining cakes and filling. DO AHEAD Can be made 8 hours ahead. Store in single layer in airtight container at room temperature.

Creamy Parsley and Pistachio Fettuccine

June 24, 2009

IMG_0959I am a sucker for pasta. Ok, I know the carbs aren’t that great for you, but nothing screams comfort food to me more than a big bowl of noodles. My husband, a bit more health conscious than I, does limit me to one pasta dish a week. But believe me, I always make the one I am allowed – and it generally comes on a Thursday night with a bottle of wine. Starting a few years ago, this Thursday pasta and wine night has now become a tradition, celebrating the fast approaching weekend.

I love this recipe because it works well in the summer, when you might not be in the mood for baked pasta or a heavy tomato sauce. The pistachio pesto gives is a very unique flavor, brightened up with a light citrus freshness.

This one come from Rachael Ray, who seems to be a pasta lover like myself. This recipe is verbatim, however I throw in fresh pasta instead of dried, something I tend to do whenever I get the chance!

CREAMY PARSLEY AND PISTACHIO FETTUCCINE
Serves 4

Salt
1 pound fettuccine pasta
3/4 cup heavy cream
Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (a generous handful)
1/4 cup shelled natural pistachio nuts, lightly toasted
1 large clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain.

While the pasta is working, in a small saucepan, warm the cream and lemon peel over medium heat.

Using a food processor, puree the parsley, cheese, nuts and garlic. Mix in the lemon juice. With the machine on, blend in the EVOO until combined.

Place the pesto in a large pasta bowl; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the hot cream mixture, add the pasta and toss.


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