HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Desserts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Desserts. Show all posts

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Martha Stewart's Pear Spice Bundt Cake



        
         This past weekend, Andrew finally made it out to the Beach for the weekend.  The Real Estate selling season in New York has made it just about impossible for him to take time here since President’s Day.  To Andrew, a weekend in the country means a chance to bake.  And Saturday he chose to make a cake that would make a wonderful addition to a Passover Seder or an Easter Dinner table. I know I'm too late for Passover but this is in time for Easter.  Ripe pears are combined with a set of spices to create a lushly moist, honey and brown-sugar cake that’s then topped off with two toppings: A cream cheese glaze with a hint of lemon and pear ‘chips’ that are as pretty as they taste.  It’s from “Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook” (Clarkson Potter), her 2005 ode to all things sweet. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Andrew's Gougeres and Chocolate Eclairs from Joanne Chang's "Flour"



        
Mark Bittman
Recently Mark Bittman used his Sunday NY Times Food pages to extoll the virtues and utter simplicity of making Pate a Choux. This dough is the basis for both Gougeres, bite sized cheese puffs that melt in your mouth and Chocolate Eclairs, my absolute favorite French pastry growing up.  Now Gougeres could not be all that hard to make because my Mother, challenged as she sometimes was in the kitchen, made them with some frequency.  But perhaps because the Eclairs of my memory involved a trip across town to a Montreal Patisserie, it was inconceivable to me that these could possibly be made at home.   So after Andrew had stuffed us all with Gougeres at Christmas Dinner, I was taken aback when he told me he was making Eclairs for New Year’s Eve Dinner.  Not only were they better than any éclair I have ever eaten, he pronounced them a cinch to make.  Frankly, I never quite believe him when he says something is easy but I’ll take his word for it.  Especially after it was seconded by Mr. Bittman.  These two pastries are so impressive they will dazzle anyone so if you want to sweeten your Super Bowl party or dazzle your Valentine, you've got it made.   As long as you don’t let on how easy they were to make. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Triple-Chocolate Cheesecake from Abigail Johnson Dodge in Fine Cooking Magazine

        

I needn’t tell you the Sweets Factory at our house has been in overdrive ever since we arrived here for the holidays.  There have been dozens of cookies, a Red Velvet Cake, even a Norwegian “Fyrstekake” a Cardomon Almond confection, beautifully decorated with star-shaped pastry.  But I would have to say that the piece de resistance so far this season has been a Cheesecake that combined three kinds of chocolate – cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate and chocolate graham cracker crust.  It was a cheesecake lovers dream. But Andrew still managed to gild the lily by topping the cake with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.  This cake serves at least 16 people.  It was taken to a dinner party and then brought home and it’s been steadily diminishing in size ever since.   It is the perfect thing to bake for New Year’s Eve because it will actually taste even better tomorrow.  Andrew assures me it is easy to make.  I’ll take his word for it.  And also pass on a couple of hints he wanted to share with you. And here they are. Thanks to Andrew and Abigail Johnson Dodge who shared the recipe in Fine Cooking, one of our go-to sources for great recipes.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Claudia Fleming's Apple Crostata with Bacon Toffee


For such a relatively small corner of the world, the East End of Long Island is long on extremely talented chefs.  Proximity to New York has led many a city chef to, if not abandon the city, set up a second home out in the land of milk and honey.  One of these is the legendary pastry chef, Claudia Fleming.  Ms. Fleming is a Long Island native who originally pursued a career in dance.  To support her passion for it, she took the well-known route of working in restaurants, most particularly Danny Meyer’s immensely popular Union Square Café.  She worked in all parts of the operation but was drawn to pastry.  She took her calling seriously and in 1991 she went to
Pastry Chef Claudia Fleming 
Paris where she worked at Fauchon and perfected her skills.  In 1994, she was called back to New York to open, with Mr Meyer and his partner, Tom Collichio, the Gramercy Tavern.  Her farm to table philosophy was perfectly attuned to theirs. She loves seasonal ingredients and creating intense flavors. She eschews her contemporary’s use of architectural flights of fancy and focuses on honest, forthright desserts you’ll never forget. And this Apple Crostata with its Bacon Toffee topping is all you need to make to know how unforgettable Chef Fleming's pastry really is. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Just in time for Halloween…Tim Burton Cupcakes



        Our god daughter, Olivia is very special to us.  We were there the night she was born and she’s been a wonderful part of our life ever since. She’s lovely to be with, so much fun and so full of personality.  When I see her with Uncle Andrew, I realize what a phenomenal father he would have been—patient, generous and interested in everything Olivia is doing.
When her birthday comes around, Uncle Andrew goes all out in the baking department every year. A couple of years ago, at Olivia’s request, he channeled her favorite movie director and invented Tim Burton-themed cupcakes.  There were two odes to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and a delicious take on “James and the Giant Peach”.  As you can see from this shot, these cupcakes were the hit of Olivia’s 11th Birthday Party.  And we think they may be just the thing to bring Halloween to the next level.  Here are the recipes which are not only odes to Tim Burton, they’re phenomenally delicious treats that will appeal to everyone at your Halloween Party.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Double Crunch Sour Cream Coffee Cake



         At one point or another, savory cooks have to conclude their cooking is far less complicated than the exact science baking requires.  A savory cook can pretty much play it by ear, adding or subtracting ingredients, substituting one thing for another and still end up with a winning dish.  But leave out an ingredient in a cake or confuse baking soda with baking powder and a baker’s end result is often doomed.   That’s what impressed me with Andrew’s latest version of Coffee Cake.  Anyone whose been lucky enough to sample his baked goods knows this is a guy who knows his way around a Kitchen-Aid. But this latest creation was so over-the-top delicious, so perfectly baked, I’d like him to take a deep bow.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Individual Pavlovas with Mixed Berries and Whipped Cream adapted from Martha Stewart and Ina Garten


Anna Pavlova 
The Pavlova is a luscious concoction of whipped cream and meringue topped with any number of combinations of fruits—passion fruit, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or kiwis. The kiwi gives some hint to the origin of this over-the-top dessert.  When the ballerina Anna Pavlova toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926, the Pavlova was created in her honor. When you look at a finished Pavlova, you can see the resemblance: the meringue looks like a tutu.  Both Australia and New Zealand lay claim to its invention and the dispute over which country is truly the mother of the Pavlova rages on.  I prefer not to rage over dessert—especially not one this rich and satisfying. When Andrew decided to make these for a recent dinner party, he went to two authorities—Martha Stewart and Ina Garten.  Martha provided the method of creating single serving pavlovas while Andrew followed Ina’s handling of the berries.  One large pavlova is spectacular when presented at the table.  But once sliced, it loses a lot of its looks.  The meringue cracks apart and the whole thing looks like one big mess on a plate.  Making them individually gives you a perfect presentation.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Blackberry and Lime Italian Meringue Pie from Bon Appetit



Yoart Grec avec Mures
         Two winters ago, Andrew and I fell in love with a Blackberry Yogurt we bought in St. Barth.  The yogurt or, more correctly Yaourt Grec avecs Mures, even made it onto our “15 Things You Must Eat in St. Barth” post and our friends Mary and John made a beeline for it when they went down to the island right after we did.  Now, I had pegged the calorie count at 80, which had it been correct, would have been the best tasting 80 calories I ever consumed.  Most unfortunately, Mary read the label correctly and the calorie count zoomed up to 280.
Still not bad but 200 calories I hadn’t counted on.  And I hadn’t counted on how much we loved the blackberries in the rich, creamy thick yogurt.  It’s blackberry season so when Andrew dug through his recipe files, he was delighted to discover a Bon Appetit with a glorious Cover Girl.  More properly, Blackberries sitting atop a lemon curd filling and topped with Italian Meringue.  Calories be damned, he decided to make this glorious confection.  Even if it took all day.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

French Lemon Tart from John Barricelli's "The Seasonal Baker"


        
John Barricelli’s cookbooks are among the most reliable you can keep in your kitchen.  Time after time, the pastry chef’s recipes turn out pies and pastries, cakes and cookies that are the essence of great baking.  We’ve now featured 5 of Chef Barricelli’s recipes –everything from his “Coconuttiest Cake of all time” http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2012/08/the-coconuttiest-of-coconut-cake-of-all.html to his superb Raspberry Pistachio Cheesecake
http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2012/11/raspberry-pistachio-cheesecake-from.html . But I must say that Andrew’s most recent take on Barricelli’s arsenal of unbeatable sweets was simply the best lemon dessert we’ve had in a long time…if ever.  You have to be a lemon lover for this one—and who isn’t this time of year?  The tang of lemons makes every summer evening feel cooler.  And the superb crust is as buttery as any we’ve ever tasted.  The secret is a silken lemon custard with just a hint of almond extract.  The result is a tart that’s a lemon lover’s dream. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Joanne Chang's Balsamic Strawberry Shortcakes from Boston's Flour Bakery

     
It’s strawberry season in the Hamptons and they’re truly flawless this year.  Nothing could be more welcome after our rainy, cold spring than these beautiful, bountiful berries.   And nothing says June like their arrival.  But time isn’t on our side.  The season is fleeting and the chance to put fresh local strawberries on the table is right now.  Out here, there are any number of road side strawberry fields where you can pick your own, a fun way to spend an afternoon with the children in your life.  We opted to go the lazy man’s route and bought our strawberries at our local farm stand down the road. We brought the brilliant red berries home and out came Joanne Chang’s “Flour” Cookbook, one of Andrew’s go-to sources for truly unbeatable baking recipes.  Use the search function on the left side of this page and you’ll come up with no less than 6 recipes from Ms. Chang, every single one of them a winner in our kitchen and with our friends.  This is no exception.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fudgy Walnut Brownies that just happen to be Gluten-Free


        
Andrew and I watch a fair number of cooking shows on TV.  In the baking category, we’re tuned into “Cupcake Wars” and “Unique Sweets”.  For quite a while now, we’ve scoffed, more than saluted, the number of bakers who turn out Gluten-Free items. We simply could not imagine anything Gluten-Free matching up to the sheer decadence of Baked’s Brownies (http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2011/01/baked-brownies.html)
or Lisa Yokelson’s “Dark Shadows” (http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2012/02/they-may-look-like-brownies-to-you-but.html), both of which are outstandingly rich and irresistible.  But, as readers of Chewing the Fat know, we’ve got more than one friend who didn’t just choose to be Gluten-Free, she had to be.  So when Andrew volunteered to bring dessert to a recent party, he pulled out all the stops to find a truly fudgy, nutty brownie that could pass Gluten-Free muster.  And boy, did he succeed.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Peppermint Patty Flourless Chocolate Cake...And yes, it's Gluten-Free!


Peppermint Patty Flourless Chocolate Cake decked out for Easter


        
One of my oldest and dearest friends, Michael, was the first person I ever met with Celiac Disease, the root cause of which is gluten.  He suffered terribly through college, fearing the worst and not being diagnosed until after we’d graduated and he’d moved to London. Never one to sit on his hands, he attacked his condition with wonderful gluten-free meals.  He’d always been a good cook, and he swung into overdrive and ended up writing a wildly successful Gluten-Free Cookbook called “Great Healthy Eating Gluten Free” (Carrol & Brown 2000).  With over 50,000 copies sold, it’s now out of print but you can pick it up used on Amazon.  Now he shares his words of wisdom on his website http://www.gluten-free-world.com/ as he writes “Global Gluten-Free”, his foray into International gluten-free cooking. Michael has commented that not many recipes on Chewing the Fat are Gluten-Free.  He’s not wrong. But here’s one for him.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Joanne Chang's Incomparable Sticky Buns from "Flour"



The book "Throwdown"
has over 100 recipes--
but only 33 of them are Bobby's 
Bobby Flay’s “Throwdown” has been around for 9 seasons on Food Network TV.  In case you missed any of the over 100 episodes, they’re rerun on the Cooking Channel often enough to clog your DVR. The popularity of the show has as much to do with its affable host, as it has to do with his subject matter. Chef Flay goes head to head with Chefs who are never quite as famous as he is.  Nonetheless, they have captured the hearts of their customers with dishes that are slightly more exalted than run-of-the-mill house specialties.   Bobby doesn’t cook the Chef’s recipe.  He and his two able assistants invent their own version of the signature dish that’s being featured.  One week, he takes on a barbecued ribs expert, the next an authority on chowder.  The local chef always appears gob smacked by Bobby’s sudden appearance on the scene.  But they recover fast and the contest is on, to be judged by local food authorities.  For the record, Bobby does not consistently win.  At the moment, he has had 32 wins, 1 tie and 68 losses.  I am slightly suspect that the local judges surely know which dish is Bobby’s and which is his challenger’s.  I mean they do live in these towns and they are supposed to know all about local food.  If they’re not bent on being run out of town, they may cheat to the hometown side’s advantage.  But that hardly takes away from the fun.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Butternut Squash and Bacon Bread Pudding



         Last October, when I was out in California visiting my son Alex’s family, I picked up a freebie publication called California Home Design.  In it was an article about a wine making family in Healdsburg who, with the help of local chef, put together one of those classic wine country dinners.  Held in the middle of a vineyard, these parties are wildly photogenic as you can see in this photo from the magazine.  And the menus tend to contain things that this Easterner has never heard of before or at least in combinations that I’ve never even imagined.  California Cuisine, as defined by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse in Berkeley and Michael McCarty of Michael’s in Santa Monica, emphasizes freshly prepared local ingredients incorporated into recipes that are often a fusion of cooking styles as diverse as the population of the Golden state itself.  Among the items on the menu at the Healdsburg dinner was a very different take on a Bread Pudding.  In fact, the ingredient list made me wonder whether this was savory or sweet, a dessert or a side dish.   So I set out to make it and to figure out when to serve it once I had.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Raspberry Pistachio Cheesecake from John Barricelli of the SoNo Baking Company



            Just before Thanksgiving, Andrew heard from a friend from his college days requesting a dessert recipe using raspberries.  Well it took all of two minutes to remember a spectacular cheesecake he made earlier in the season.  But why it has never made an appearance on these pages is a bit of a puzzle.  The cake is the essence of what a truly great cheesecake should taste like--extremely, densely creamy with that wonderful tang from the touch of sour cream that’s added to the batter.  But in this version there’s so much more...a pistachio-flavored graham cracker crust, more pistachios ringing the cake and topping the whole thing off, a layer of brilliant red raspberries.  In planning our offerings for the dash from Thanksgiving to Christmas, I wanted to give our readers some easy weeknight meals and also to give some ideas for fantastic desserts for all the entertaining that happens this season. It was a no-brainer to include this phenomenal cake because it even looks like Christmas with it’s red and green coloration.  Raspberries, while hardly in season, are one of those fruits that are increasingly found year ‘round so it shouldn’t be too difficult to pull off this.  And oh what a response you can expect when the first bite puts everyone’s taste buds into high gear.  And the surprising thing is Andrew says it's not at all hard to make, it just looks it! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving 101 Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Baked’s Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito



Thanksgiving Desserts at our house
From left to right: Caramel Apple Pie, Sables, Pear and Honey Cake,
Southern Pecan Pie, Chocolate Tart

         Chewing the Fat gets regular read-outs of what people are looking at and searching for most.  It came as no great surprise that, hands down, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies have been a big drawing card this Thanksgiving. So today I thought I'd share this easy recipe that's a real crowd pleaser--especially if children are in the crowd.  So here goes.
         Andrew’s idea of a good time is to bake enough Holiday treats for four to five times the number of people who are actually coming to our house for the Holidays. As you can see from his beautiful dessert table, he truly excels in his efforts.  Last year at Thanksgiving, we were 14 all told.  Andrew made 5 desserts.  Well, he actually made 6 but one was deemed not good enough to serve.  The day after Thanksgiving I had a piece of his rejected Sage-Crusted Lemon Pie.  It tasted fabulous although I would concur that everything else did too. The lemon tart suffered from not setting properly.  So it was not served.  I suppose looking at the dessert table you’re likely thinking “Well, where are the promised Pumpkin Whoopie Pies?”  Well guess what? They weren’t there.  The advertised Pumpkin treats were something Andrew made the day after Thanksgiving to take to our friends’ Monique and Curtis’ Leftover Party.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving 101 - Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake



The Comfort Family's Farm on Lumber Lane in Bridgehampton. A great place to get your pumpkin if you are lucky enough to live on the East End.  
           Beyond Roast Turkey and Stuffing, there's nothing that says Thanksgiving more than pumpkin.  But this year, instead of pumpkin pie, how about a phenomenally delicious Pumpkin cake?  This one, with it's brown butter frosting and pecan topping, really does take the cake.  
        For Thanksgiving, Andrew is always bitten by the pumpkin bug…well, not literally, but he goes into high pumpkin mode.  With help from Fine Cooking, the magazine we really think would make a terrific addition to your kitchen, he made this  remarkable cake:  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Perfect Pound Cake courtesy of Michael's Mother Lorraine



         




         Our friend Michael of The Bridgehampton Florist, comes from a family of home bakers whose cakes are consistently the best things we’ve ever tasted.  We’ve featured the most famous, “Beatty’s Chocolate Cake” http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2010/07/beattys-chocolate-cake.html which made its print debut in Ina Garten’s “Back to Basics” a couple of years ago.  Andrew had baked any number of recipes and they’ve all been good.  But at an Event last summer, Andrew tasted Michael’s Mother Lorraine's version for the first time and he had to have the recipe for what is The Perfect Pound Cake.   And let’s face it, a great pound cake is the starting point for all kinds of wonderful desserts.  Topped with fruit, it’s the sweet contrast underneath.  Add a little ice cream and you have the warmth of the cake, the cool creamy richness of the ice cream and the tart tang of the fruit all together in a spoonful of heaven.  You can do so many things with pound cakes, that I counted 50 variations on epicurious.com alone!  So it stands to reason, that once you’ve learned the secrets to the perfect pound cake, you open up a whole dessert repertoire. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Coconuttiest of Coconut Cake of all time from John Barricelli of SoNo Bakery and Café


         
         When Andrew made this cake for a party recently, it was a huge hit.  And no wonder, this is a coconut lover’s dream, because it’s coconut on coconut covered with more coconut.  The result is a decadent buttery cake filled with coconut pastry cream. But it doesn’t even stop there.  Shredded coconut covers the coconut buttercream icing like a blizzard of sweetness.  It’s a three layer cake made in a single nine inch pan.  Is it hard to make?  Well, to a non-baker like me, anything this elaborate looks difficult.  But Andrew assures me it’s not.  And I can promise you that the results are worth any degree of difficulty, it’s just that good.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Treats Truck's recipe for Butterscotch Brownies and memories of Andrew's Father, Gil Phillips II




         With this post, we remember Andrew’s father, Gil, whose 85th birthday would have been today had he not been taken from us in March of this year.  He was a very fine fellow, a great Father and Grandfather. A former Track and Field star in college, it's especially fitting to remember him during the London Olympic Games since he was a huge fan of the quadrennial event.  One and all know him as “Gil” and there’s a wonderful story behind why.  Andrew’s grandfather Bert, Gil’s father, was also Gilbert. However, he was quite the bon vivant and single.  He would bring many a date out to visit Andrew’s family on the North Shore of Long Island while he lived in Murray Hill in New York.  Andrew was one of 5 children and his father and mother married young.  Bert may have been a doting grandfather but he passed himself off as Gil’s brother. Thus his lady friends never hung the label Grandfather on him. So Bert stayed Bert to every one of his grandchildren and the name stuck long after his happy re-marriage.  When Gil himself became a grandfather, he carried on the family tradition and his grandchildren called him, not Granddad but Gil.   Now, unbelievably to me having seen Andrew in action baking, apparently Gil did not have much of a sweet tooth but the one thing in the world that he could not resist were Butterscotch Brownies.