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

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Red Eye Devil's Food Cake...fit for the White House and Our House

         


I know Andrew is good, I mean really good. But his baking skills really hit an all-time personal best with the making of this sinfully rich, fudgy, bittersweet cake.  As Melissa Clark, who co-wrote “The Perfect Finish” (W.W. Norton and Co. (2010) the cookbook it came from wrote, “If this is not the ultimate birthday cake, I can’t imagine what is.”  Its inventor is a pastry chef named Bill Yosses. While his may not be a household name, in one household, he was the king of all pastries. That household was the White House, where he presided as Pastry Chef for both the Bush Family and the Obamas.  Chef Yosses trained in France and then was scooped up by Daniel Boulud and later, Thomas Keller.  From there he went on to work at Bouley Restaurant and Bakery.  Chef Yosses left the White House in June, a departure he says was “all Michelle Obama’s fault.” The First Lady, it seems, piqued his interest in the relationship between food and health. “Mrs. Obama’s quest to improve the way children eat was done “ with humor and good will, without preaching, just the way you would hope the ‘Mom-in-chief’ would do,” he said. Yosses said Mrs. Obama is “definitely an inspiring boss, a combination of spontaneity and seriousness.”  She inspired the Chef to such an extent that he’s headed back to New York to educate children about nutrition.  But I am sure he’ll be forever remembered there for his Red Eye Devil’s Food Cake alone.  Why “Red Eye”, you may wonder ?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Martha Stewart's Strawberry Shortcake with Basil. The Perfect Cake to celebrate Uncle Andrew's Day!



Uncle Andrew...there from the very
beginning.
Last weekend, we celebrated Father’s Day with all the necessary cards, salutations on Facebook, telephone calls filled with praise for Dear Old Dad.   I know how much it meant to me and how much I admire the Dad in my own family who is raising one spectacular grandson.  And how spectacular is he?  Well, at age almost 4, he came to visit Uncle Andrew and me for Father’s Day two years ago.  As he proudly handed me an oversized
There for Mason always.
Father’s Day card, he turned to his mother and said “There really ought to be an Uncle Andrew’s Day”.  And well there should be.  When I think of how much Uncle Andrew does for Mason, the grandson in question, and then when I multiply it out for a lifetime of giving to his nieces and nephews and god children, there likely should an Uncle Andrew month.  Then, when I think of all the other uncles –the Terrys, the Shawns, the Jeffs, the Dons, the Michaels, the Jims, the Hueys, the Bills and the Peters—this ought to be a national holiday. Add to them all the single Moms –the Annas, the Cindys, the Zoilas--who are both mother and father to their children and Father’s Day just does not cover all the people it takes to raise a child.  So here’s to all of you on Uncle Andrew’s Day!  And what better way to celebrate than with a cake! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A gorgeous addition to any Easter Table....Andrew’s Coconut Cupcakes – Ina Garten’s recipe


Coconut Cupcakes that Andrew eggified for Easter!

Easter is late this year which is just as well.  In the run-up to Easter Sunday, we’ve had snow, ice, and cold temperatures this week that feel more like March.  That’s why these cupcakes jumped off the page—they clearly look like an Easter filled with color and jelly beans.  And it’s about time. And for those who observe Lent, it’s time for a little indulgence.  Like these coco-nutty cupcakes.   with their  It’s gotten more hits than Lady Gaga. Clearly people love their sweets.  So today, we’re sharing Ina Garten’s recipe for Coconut Cupcakes.  Andrew made Ina Garten’s recipe again for an Easter party last year and they were a huge hit.  And if you love coconut, this cupcake is for you.  There’s coconut in the cake and coconut on top.  And I think you’ll agree, he’s really got them whacked—they look just like their picture.   So without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Recipe for Coconut Cupcakes:

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool. 
Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.



Frost the cupcakes and dip the frosted cake into the remaining coconut.

Makes 18 to 20 cupcakes.

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.