Posts tagged ‘Dessert’

September 1, 2014

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Happy Labor Day! I have been on a healthy kick of late, but everyone needs a treat now and again, especially on a holiday! If you have a cheat day coming up (or just want an amazing treat!), put these on your list. (BF and I actually ended up just splitting one cookie and sharing the rest with our co-workers just to satisfy the craving). I think it is hard to beat the original Nestle Tollhouse recipe but these take chocolate chip cookies to a whole new level! Start with disks of Valrhona Dark Chocolate, add it to perfect dough, then use a unique technique to get a cookie soft in the middle and crunchy on the edges…can you say YUM?! These cookies are generous in size, so you may only get a dozen or so out of a batch. We have been searching for this recipe for over a year. The idea came from a mix that has now been discontinued. Be prepared to be patient and prep the dough ahead to allow to cool. These really are worth the wait!

Kelly

 

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups minus 2 Tablespoons of cake flour

1 2/3 cups bread flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon coarse salt (we used kosher)

2 ½ sticks softened butter

2 eggs

1 ¼ cups packed brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

2 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk

2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Pinch of pink salt

~2 cups dark chocolate disks (we found ours at Whole Foods and used 60% dark and 64% Valrhona disks)

 

  1. Sift together both kinds of flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a small bowl. Stir in coarse salt.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and both kinds of sugar until fluffy.
  3. Blend in eggs, cream and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients.
  4. Break up some of the chips in a food processor. You will end up with a variety of sizes with lots of whole disks. Think about what you like, but those disks will give you pockets of chocolate and some pretty decoration on the top! It will look like A LOT of chocolate, but ends up being just right.

  5. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 1-24 hours. Yes, 24 hours! We actually rushed it by putting this in the freezer for half an hour, but I think it is worth waiting the full 24.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°. Line two cookie sheets with a silpat or parchment paper.

  7. Scoop dough and form into disks (about 2-3″ in diameter). Stack a smaller disk on top of the bottom disk like you are building a snowman…the yummiest snowman ever! This is what really gives you the soft, gooey center with a crispy edge.
  8. Sprinkle each cookie lightly with pink salt. Chill another 10 minutes on the pan before baking.

  9. Bake one sheet at a time on the lowest rack for 13 minutes rotate 180° after 6 minutes.

  10. Look for a light blonde center with brown edges. (See the salt? That might be the biggest key to these!)

Grab a cold glass of milk and enjoy!

October 1, 2013

Lemon Dream Cake

Some recipes come and go from your repertoire and others become staples, go-tos, still others grab you and become yours…they become part of your traditions. One such recipe for us is what we have come to call Lemon Dream Cake (or Morphine cake or in this case, Kelly’s birthday cake)! I honestly don’t care that much about cake…put a chocolate chip cookie in front of me and I will be hard pressed to say no, but cake often disappoints. This changed my entire view of what cake can be; it is super lemony and not too sweet, moist and just perfect…every time! A little story about this cake: my grandmother was kind enough to let me live with her for a time and I really wanted to do something nice for her. I decided on this cake and I had none of the right equipment. We had to borrow pans from her friend (in exchange for some cake, of course), I had to do it all by hand and Grandma kept looking at all the work I was putting in thinking it couldn’t possibly be worth it. “Just go and get one!” she would tell me multiple times. I just kept at it, knowing it would be worth it, and it was. Shortly after I made it (luckily with some still safely stored in the fridge) she had surgery and when she woke up the first thing she asked for was a cup of coffee and a slice of my cake. Hence, Morphine Cake. It is still one of my fondest memories of living with her.

The first time we made this cake, we kept looking at it thinking there couldn’t possibly be a recipe with more steps (turns out we were wrong, we just hadn’t gotten that brave yet). But after investing the time and energy once, you get the hang of things and try it again, and again, and again. In fact, we have made it for more of my birthdays than I can count. Though having made it by hand on two occasions, I can tell you this recipe taught me to love the Kitchenaid! It is one of those multi-step, multi-day labors of love that really is worth it in the end. Plan 2-3 days ahead to spread out the steps and make it feel a bit less like a production and really try to follow the directions (which we are notoriously bad at), especially for the curd and the cake. If you are looking for a show stopper, try it out!

Kelly

 

Lemon Dream (Morphine) Cake

From Bon Appétit via Epicurious

Makes 10 to 12 servings

*You’ll need a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch star tip to create the decorative rosettes. Though we have decorated it lots of ways…Be Creative!! You will notice, ours is not perfect, but it does look homemade!

Ingredients:

Lemon curd

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Cake

6 large eggs, separated

14 tablespoons sugar

1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Filling and frosting

2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar

3 8-ounce containers chilled mascarpone cheese*

 

For lemon curd:

Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk constantly until thickened and instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 160°F, about 10 minutes. Remove bowl from over water. Add butter; whisk until melted. Transfer 1 cup curd to small bowl for spreading on cake layers. Reserve remaining curd for filling. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of both curds. Chill overnight. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled. Make extra to use on everything!!)

 

For cake:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Line bottom of two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides with parchment paper, do not grease pans or parchment. (Try this method). Using electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 7 tablespoons sugar in large bowl until mixture is very thick and slowly dissolving ribbons form when beaters are lifted, about 4 minutes. Using clean dry beaters, beat whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Add remaining 7 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff and glossy. Fold half of whites into yolk mixture, then sift half of flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt over and gently fold in until incorporated. Fold in remaining whites, then sift remaining flour over and fold in just until combined, being careful not to deflate batter.

Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool in pans on racks.

Run knife around edge of pans to loosen cakes. Invert cakes onto 9-inch-diameter cardboard rounds, tapping on work surface if necessary to release cakes. Cut each cake horizontally in half (layers will be thin, you will think they are too thin, have faith). Peel off parchment.

For syrup:

Place sugar in small metal bowl. Add 1/2 cup boiling water; stir to dissolve sugar. Stir in lemon juice. (Can be made several days in advance and kept refrigerated).

For filling and frosting:

Beat whipping cream and sugar in large bowl until peaks form. Add mascarpone to lemon curd in medium bowl; whisk until blended. Fold whipped cream into lemon-mascarpone mixture.

Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Brush with 1/4 of syrup. Spread 1/4 cup lemon curd over, then 1 cup lemon-mascarpone filling. Top with second cake layer; brush with 1/4 of syrup and spread with 1/4 cup lemon curd and 1 cup lemon-mascarpone filling. Repeat with third cake layer, syrup, lemon curd, and filling. Top with fourth cake layer. Brush with remaining syrup, then spread remaining lemon curd over. Spoon 2 cups lemon-mascarpone filling into pastry bag fitted with 1/4-inch star tip (to be used for rosettes). Spread remaining lemon-mascarpone filling as a frosting over sides of cake. Pipe small rosettes of frosting over top of cake, covering completely. Cover cake with cake dome; refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Decorate for the occasion as Ali did here…

And remember to Enjoy!!!!!

June 14, 2013

CSA Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

When you get rhubarb in your CSA box, what is the most logical thing to make? Pie, of course! This pie is not too sweet, a bit sticky and oh so good. I happened to have an extra pie crust sitting in the freezer from our last pie (I always make a double batch even when I only need one…might as well make the mess once!). That meant a list minute dinner party with the family could be finished with this beautiful summery pie. Strawberry rhubarb pie is always a bit runnier than I want it to be, but I think if I had let it rest long enough, this would have been perfect. The flavor was just tart enough to be perfect for an ice cream topping. This is a bit of a baking by feel recipe. I got some reinforcement from a family friend who knows her way around a pie! She said, “I can’t give you exact amounts of fruit, just enough to fill the crust!” Try this one for a great summer treat!

Kelly

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

1 pie crust

Filling:

4 Stalks Rhubarb, Chopped

8-10 Strawberries, Halved or Quartered

½ cup sugar (adjust to the sweetness of your fruit)

Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon

2 T flour

Nutmeg

Cinnamon

1 T vanilla

Pinch of Salt

Topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 400° and prebake the pie shell for 10 minutes. Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Cook until the fruit releases juice and becomes bubbly. Combine flour and lemon juice to make a slurry. Slowly add the slurry to the sauce and stir into the fruit until thickened to desired consistency. Pour into pastry shell.

For topping, in a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and butter combine with your fingers until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit.

Place pie on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° bake for 35 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.

Serve with ice cream and enjoy!

May 5, 2013

Chocolate Lavender Pie

Pie is a birthday tradition to celebrate my dad’s birthday. He loves pie and quite honestly, I only actually make it a handful of times in a year. I have worked long and hard on my crust recipe and have finally found just the right thing. It is flaky and flavorful. When I started looking for something to make for this year’s birthday celebration, I stumbled upon the Chocolate Lavender Pie from Sunday Suppers. They are really one of my favorite food blogs and I hope to get to one of their classes in NY one day. As you know, I am incapable of following a recipe exactly, so this is my variation. It turned out great! Pie with a great crust, rich dark chocolate, a whipped cream topping and just a hint of lavender. I chose a 72% dark chocolate which over powered the lavender, but it was a pretty touch! If you love chocolate, this is one to try. Happy birthday dad!!!

Kelly

Chocolate Lavender Pie

Chocolate Lavender Pie
inspired by this recipe from Sunday Suppers

For the crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp coarse salt
4 T cold butter, cubed
3 T cold lard, cubed
1/4 cup ice water

For the crystallized lavender:
2 tablespoons dried lavender
1/4 cup granulated sugar

For the filling:
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons dried lavender (make sure it’s intended for culinary use)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (or up to 1/4 cup if your chocolate is very bitter)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Pinch of coarse salt

For the whipped cream:
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

To make the crust:
Combine the flour, butter, lard and salt in the bowl of a food process and pulse until it’s cut into the dry ingredients and the mixture has the texture of coarse crumbs. Add the ice water and pulse in 5-second bursts, just until the dough starts to come together. Don’t overwork it!

Turn it out onto a lightly floured board and roll out the dough to slightly larger than a 9-inch pie pan (you can wrap it well in plastic wrap and refrigerate it an hour to let it rest). Prick the bottom with fork tines, and put the pie in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Once the oven’s ready and the dough is chilled, spray a piece of foil with nonstick spray and press it, sprayed side down, on top of the pie dough. Fill the pie shell with beans or a pie chain, then bake it for 15 minutes until you see a little color on the sides of the crust. Carefully remove the foil and beans, then continue to bake the crust for an additional 15-20 minutes, until it is fully baked and golden brown. Cover the sides with foil if necessary to ensure the edges don’t burn. Let the crust cool completely before filling it.

For the crystallized lavender:
Boil the lavender in water for 30 seconds, then strain. Pat the lavender mostly dry between layers of paper towel, then roll the slightly damp lavender in the granulated sugar. Separate into individual pieces and let them dry completely.

To make the filling:
Combine the heavy cream, the lavender and gently heat. Allow to steep 5 minutes. Place the chocolate, sugar and salt in the bowl of a double boiler. Pour the cream through a mesh strainer into the bowl of chocolate, straining out the lavender pieces.

Whisk everything together until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is shiny and smooth. Add the room temperature butter and whisk it into ganache.

Cool the mixture to room temperature, whisking occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on top. Once slightly thickened and at room temperature, pour it into the baked crust and refrigerate it until it’s firmly set, at least 4 hours.

Chill your mixing bowl and whisk attachment for 15 minutes before you’re ready to use them. Pour the cream, sugar and vanilla into the chilled bowl into the bowl. Whip on medium speed until firm peaks form, then use immediately.

Garnish chilled pie with whipped cream, sliced strawberries (optional) and crystallized lavender. Slice and enjoy!!

May 19, 2012

Another May Day, Another Birthday!

May is a busy month for us: we kick off the month with Dad’s birthday, then Ali’s birthday, and Mother’s Day not to mention the end of high school golf season (which I coach). Trying to come up with something new to make each day feel special is always a challenge. This year I found some inspiration on Pinterest for some adorable golf inspired cupcakes. Perfect for my sister (and my golf team)! If you have a golfer in your life, these are a great novelty. There wasn’t a recipe for these so I found recipes from some of my favorite places and Mary and I winged the decorations. The cake ended up more like a muffin which was a nice balance for the rich frosting. You could use any of your favorite components as the backdrop for these cupcakes. They are a bit labor intensive, but definitely worth the impact. Have fun with these!

Kelly


 

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Sprinkles Famous Dark Chocolate Frosting

 

After preparing the cupcakes and letting them cool, prepare the frosting according to directions. Frost the cupcakes generously. Finely crush 3 graham crackers and set aside. Use a small spoon to make a depression for the “sand trap.” Cover the frosting with green sugar sprinkles. Carefully fill the depression with the crushed graham crackers. Use a dragée as a golf ball and add the flags for the final touch! I ended up making flags with some toothpicks and file labels folded in half and trimmed. J

March 3, 2012

Mediterranean Party Recipes

As promised, here are some of the recipes from the Mediterranean Party from last weekend. Here is a quick overview:

I am not a huge fan of sangria in general, because I like wine and prefer other sweet drinks. This one however is so fun! How can you go wrong with champagne? I will absolutely use this again, especially on a hot summer day…or for a bridal shower perhaps? I have to say, the favorite had to be the dates. They are rich and sweet and salty and a little spicy and just perfect. The gazpacho tastes like a garden in a glass. Such a great way to add a healthy element and would also be a wonderful first course, especially in the summer. Paella is something you can find a basic recipe for and add your own flare. Use the seafood and veggies you like and it will be lovely. The one thing I do recommend is to use something as your focal point if you are looking to impress. We used a fan of asparagus and scallops in ours, but muscles or lobster on top create a lovely effect as well. The ice cream is like nothing else you have had. It has a wonderful texture and the nuts give it a toasty richness. With the ginger cookies (my staple), a few berries, and a sprinkling of toasted nuts, it was a lovely finish. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Kelly

 

Citrus Champagne Sangria

Combine grapefruit juice, ginger ale, simple syrup (if you like sweetness) with thinly sliced blood oranges, tangerines, and apples overnight. Add half a glass of champagne or white wine to fancy glassware and top with the citrus mixture for fabulous presentation. Make sure some of the fruit makes it to the glass. J

Gazpacho Shooters – Adapted from
Marge Cirinelli’s Twisted Gazpacho

2 cans (11.5 ounces each) tomato juice

Juice from 1 lemon

1 cup fennel, fine dice

1 cup cucumber (1 medium), seeded and peeled, fine dice

2 large carrots, fine dice

1/2 cup red onion (1 small), fine dice

1/2 cup celery (2 stalks), fine dice

1/2 orange bell pepper, fine dice

1 pint sweet 100 or other small cherry tomatoes, stemmed and quartered

2 tablespoons italian parsley, fine chop

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

2-3 tablespoons jalapeño pepper, seeded, fine mince

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper to taste

splash of tequila

In a bowl, combine tomato juice, lemon juice, fennel, cucumber, red onion, celery, tomatoes, parsley, basil and sherry vinegar. Add olive oil to a small sauté pan along with minced garlic over medium heat, stirring until lightly browned. Add minced jalapeño and cook, stirring for 15 seconds. Add wine and cook until reduced by half. Stir mixture into the gazpacho and chill for 1-2 hours or overnight. Add a splash of tequila. Spoon mixture into shot glasses or small martini glasses.

Note: If you are serving them as shooters, you can use a hand held blender to smooth out the texture a bit, but if you use a fine enough dice, it will work anyway.

 

Chorizo-Filled Dates

Yield: Makes 12 dates

4 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo, coarsely crumbled

Salt and Pepper

1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

12 large Medjool dates

6 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise in half

Cook chorizo in heavy small skillet over medium heat until browned and cooked through, stirring frequently and breaking up lumps with spoon, about 5 minutes. Drain off fat; transfer sausage to small bowl. Add parsley; stir to combine. Cool.

Working with one date at a time, cut slit along top of date. Gently pry open date and remove pit, leaving pocket. Stuff pocket with 1 scant tablespoon chorizo mixture. Wrap 1 bacon piece around each date, overlapping ends slightly; fasten ends with toothpick. Place wrapped dates on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 375° oven. Bake the dates for about 20 minutes or until bacon is brown. Remove toothpicks. Serve warm.

Note: I have also made these stuffed with a chunk of parmesan cheese in place of the chorizo and they were also amazing. A combination of the two might be gracing my next party.
J

 

Dulce de Leche Ice CreamGourmet, May 2007

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 pound dulce de leche (about 1 2/3 cups; preferably La Salamandra brand)

1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (2 1/2 to 3 oz), toasted

 

Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then remove from heat and whisk in dulce de leche until dissolved. Whisk in vanilla and transfer to a metal bowl. Quick-chill by putting bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stirring occasionally until cold, 15 to 20 minutes. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker until almost firm, then fold in pecans. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 1 hour.

Note: We found that it works best if all the ingredients are cold when you add them, so freeze the nuts for a while before adding them.

 

Ginger Cookies


Courtesy of ‘The SONO Baking Company Cookbook’ by John Barricelli

**Makes about 60 cookies

 

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 t. baking soda

¼ t. coarse salt

1 t. ground cinnamon

1 t. ground cloves

1 t. ground ginger

1 cup sugar, plus ¾ cup for rolling

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg, at room temperature

¼ cup unsulfured molasses

 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Beat in the egg and molasses until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture beating until combined. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled, about an hour (and up to 24 hours).

Arrange the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick silicone baking mats; set aside. Place the extra sugar for rolling on a plate; set aside. Use a 1 ½-inch ice cream scoop to scoop out the dough, and roll balls in the sugar to coat, and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time, rotating the sheet two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until the cookies are deep golden brown and the centers are firm, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack and let cool completely. Continue to roll and bake the remaining cookies in the same way.

Note: I like to keep these in the freezer. To do so, scoop into balls and roll in sugar then place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap and freeze for several hours. Once the dough is frozen, place the dough in a freezer bag. Bake as usual using the frozen dough, no need to defrost. These will keep for several months in the freezer and are a great thing to have on hand for unexpected guests or late night cravings! Also, if you want to get really fancy make them into ice cream sandwiches…yum!

December 4, 2011

Chocolate Pumpkin Roulade

Now is probably the time to share with you that I am on strike. Pumpkin Pie making strike. Why? I tried for years to create a pumpkin pie that could beat Costco – we even had taste tests – with my crust usually faring well but Costco winning overall. My guess is it is kind of like trying to beat Campbell’s tomato soup, it will never be the same as people’s memory food. I personally think that I accomplished that at least once, but I am not a gelatin in pie fan, so I just can’t create that same texture that people seem to love in store bought pie. I have pretty much perfected my pie crust recipe and would put it up against anyone’s, however I am not going to waste the work on something I don’t really care about. See, I got all caught up in this beating Costco at Thanksgiving challenge that I completely overlooked the fact I don’t actually like pumpkin pie. Since it is a must have for many people at Thanksgiving, that gets delegated for someone to pick up from Costco. Chocolate pumpkin roulade on the other hand is right up my alley. It combines chocolate with a light, creamy, spice filled mousse. This is something you can make ahead and freeze to be pulled out and defrosted during your party (as we did.) You could use it at any holiday party for an instant hit. This is absolutely worth the effort!

Kelly

My friend Lisa’s mom used to make pumpkin roulade and she made it once. That is what got me thinking about making this. Then we came across Jacques Pepin’s chocolate roulade in Cooking at Home. It is more like flourless chocolate cake in a roll. Since I had many years of experience cutting wedding cakes and having butter cream up to my elbows I really don’t like cake, so this sounded like a perfect compromise, plus we already had our pureed pumpkin and needed to use it. We have made pumpkin mousse in the past several times that came out great and is a LOT lighter than pumpkin pie. I am ok with pumpkin pie – just not after Thanksgiving dinner. I would rather have it for breakfast afterwards. So thank Jacques for the chocolate roulade and the pumpkin cream is our own in place of his crème-Chantilly. He also uses this as the base for bûche de Noel, so you can use this for any upcoming Christmas parties. One more note – this is WAY easier than it looks. I was pleasantly surprised at how easily this came together.

Mary

Chocolate Pumpkin Roulade

Chocolate Roulade Ingredients

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for pan

1 cup heavy cream

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, in small pieces

7 egg whites, room temperature

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa powder, plus more for garnish

Pumpkin Cream Ingredients

1 pint whipped cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Butter an 11-by-17-inch jelly-roll pan or a 12-by-17 1/2-inch sheet pan, and line with parchment paper. If you butter half of the parchment and fold it in half then cut a one inch slit in the non-fold corners, you will have a perfect pan liner every time!

In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup cream to a simmer. Add chocolate, reduce heat, and whisk until chocolate is melted. As soon as mixture is a uniform dark color, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, whip egg whites and 2 tablespoons sugar to stiff, glossy peaks, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Whisk one-quarter of the egg-white mixture into the chocolate mixture.

Gently fold chocolate mixture back into the original egg-white mixture, and mix until smooth and well combined.

Pour batter into the prepared pan, and spread it in an even layer with a rubber spatula.

Bake until cake is set and puffy, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature. Lift parchment paper to remove cake from pan, and set it on work surface with long side facing edge of table. Using a fine-mesh sieve, lightly dust cake with cocoa powder.

Make the pumpkin cream. Whip the cream with vanilla and sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in pumpkin puree and remaining spices until just combined. Spread a layer over the cake leaving at least an inch boarder.

Roll the cake lengthwise, starting at a point 2 to 3 inches over the pumpkin cream. Roll cake another few inches, pressing against parchment paper to make a tight spiral. Gently peel parchment paper off as cake layer rolls away.

Complete the roll, stopping at the far edge of the parchment paper.

Tuck the loose parchment paper around and underneath the cylinder so it is well wrapped and can be moved easily.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours. (You can also freeze the roulade wrapped in the parchment and a layer of plastic wrap.)

When ready to serve, transfer roulade to serving platter. Remove parchment paper, gently rolling cake into center of platter, with seam on bottom. (If roll has slumped or twisted, lay a piece of plastic over top and sides, and reshape with hands.) With a sharp knife, trim both ends of roll crosswise or on a diagonal. Dust top with confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder, and garnish with seasonal fruit. To serve, cut the roll into 1-inch-thick slices, and lay flat on dessert plates.

Please excuse the last photo, I forgot to take a final picture, so this is after being frozen, cut and refrozen and picked at. It was much prettier the day of, especially with a dollop of whipped cream! One of our guests said “I think Jacques would approve of the pumpkin cream.” I think I would have proudly served it to him if I was fortunate enough to host him!

August 28, 2011

Ginger Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

I love homemade cookies, it is definitely a weakness. There is something about them that can’t be substituted. I don’t care how good your mass produced cookies are, they can’t beat a homemade one. Ever. They can transform your kitchen just with the smell. Plus, there is something about taking the time to make cookies for someone that shows them some love. Now, this is not something you can make every day if you strive to be healthy, but a treat every once in a while is just fine. My standard cookie is chocolate chip; classic goodness. However, I decided to mix it up a bit with ginger cookies which are a favorite of my dad’s. These are hands down the best ginger cookies I have ever had. They are not overwhelming and are just the right texture. They are awesome right out of the oven, a day or two later, and a huge hit stuffed with ice cream! Seriously, your guests will love this sweet treat to end a meal.

Kelly

Ginger Cookies

Courtesy of ‘The SONO Baking Company Cookbook’ by John Barricelli

**Makes about 60 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 t. baking soda

¼ t. coarse salt

1 t. ground cinnamon

1 t. ground cloves

1 t. ground ginger

1 cup sugar, plus ¾ cup for rolling

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg, at room temperature

¼ cup unsulfured molasses

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Beat in the egg and molasses until combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture beating until combined. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled, about an hour (and up to 24 hours).
  3. Arrange the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick silicone baking mats; set aside. Place the extra sugar for rolling on a plate; set aside.
  4. Use a 1 ½-inch ice cream scoop to scoop out the dough, and roll balls in the sugar to coat, and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.

  5. Bake one sheet at a time, rotating the sheet two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until the cookies are deep golden brown and the centers are firm, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack and let cool completely. Continue to roll and bake the remaining cookies in the same way.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Now comes the fun part of assembling the ice cream sandwiches! Yummy!

To make the sandwiches, get some good ice cream to complement the flavor in the cookies. I used vanilla and coffee and made half of each. Allow the ice cream to soften for a few minutes. Lay your cookies out on a baking sheet, face down. Place one standard sized scoop of ice cream (or three small scoops) in the center of each cookie. Carefully place a cookie on top of each scoop, gently pressing down until you just see the ice cream around the edges of the cookie. You can use the back of a spoon to even the edges if you like. Work quickly so they don’t melt too much. Cover and place in the freezer until ready to serve. Remove from freezer and place on a plate. Serve immediately!

I didn’t even manage to get a final picture before these were gone! Enjoy!!

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