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Just Desserts - Top 20 from the Culinary Alchemy Blog


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Just Desserts - Top 20 from the Culinary Alchemy Blog
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Cookbook Recipes
Cookbook Recipe
Red Velvet Cake – Red Devil Cake – Fire Engine Red Cake
 
Cookbook Recipe
Tiramisu
 
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Deep Fried Ice Cream
 
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Bananas Foster
 
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Red Velvet Cake
 
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Almond Toffee (Almond Roca)
 
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Baklava
 
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Baklava Lemon Honey Syrup
 
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French Crullers
 
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Simply Irresistible Caramel Eclairs
 
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Liege Waffles - The Other Belgian Waffle
 
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Blondies - The UN-Chocolate 'Brownie'
 
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Stroopwafler
 
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Scottish Shortbread (1-2-3 Shortbread)
 
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Chocolate Krinkles
 
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Penuche
 
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Tres Leches Cake (3 Milks Cake)
 
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Sea Foam Candy (Sponge or Cinder Toffee)
 
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Madeleines
 
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Malt Gelato
 

Cookbook Recipe
Red Velvet Cake – Red Devil Cake – Fire Engine Red Cake
Red velvet cake is a type of sweet chocolate cake, which has a distinctive dark red or red-brown color and a little lower on chocolate intensity than German’s Chocolate. Now my grandmother would use a lot of red food dye (2 Oz) and call it Fire Engine Red Cake (For us kids) as well as Red Velvet (For Adults), but honestly, after reading how red #3 causes thyroid cancer, when I make this now, I go for the more subtle red-brown color. Granted the bright red color of the cake and the contrasting white frosting make for quite a showstopper. But lets face it, ALL red food dye has a distinctive flavor, whether it’s labeled as “tasteless/flavorless” or not. I would rather forgo a little color than have a cake that tastes like a “Bleeding armadillo”. You can add more color if you like, 1 oz makes a nice bright red color, and 1.5 oz makes it downright scarlet red. Or you can leave it out all together and trust to the acidic vinegar and buttermilk to change the cocoa powder a nice maroonish-brown color. Just make sure to use natural cocoa powder not the dutch processed stuff which is to alkaline. I also love the traditional Ermine Frosting, otherwise known as Butter Roux or boiled milk frosting, but cream cheese frosting (normally used on Carrot Cake) is nice sometimes as well.

Cookbook Recipe
Tiramisu
This recipe came out of a lot of internet research after trying way too many restaurant versions made with Rum or Brandy. You can forgo the Spring form pan presentation and simply layer in a 13x9 baking dish. This will use only about 20 oz of lady fingers.

Cookbook Recipe
Deep Fried Ice Cream
This makes a great base for a couple of deserts. It is something that can be made ahead and kept frozen until ready for frying as well. I love to serve this in combination with Bananas Foster. When I do this I substitute 1 cup of the cornflakes with 1 cup of sweetened Coconut. This creates an interesting textural take on the “Coconut Banana Cream pie” flavor combination. I use Coconut oil for frying because it’s one of the few safe deep frying oils. All polyunsaturated oils (Canola, soy, corn, safflower and cottonseed) polymerize when subject to high temperatures.

Cookbook Recipe
Bananas Foster
A simple dish that goes great over Deep Fried Ice Cream, Crepes, Copenhagen Cream Waffles, etc... Flambé always looks impressive to your guests. Please be advised of 2 things. 1. Please have a pan lid and a fire extinguisher or baking soda handy before attempting this recipe. I use to think it was not a big deal, and people were just overly cautious, that is until the “Saganaki Project” when I caught my stove top on fire and almost lost my eyebrows as well as the sleeve of my shirt. 2. Most, but not all, of the alcohol burns off during the flambé, if you can’t indulge in alcohol, you may want to make some other dessert.

Cookbook Recipe
Red Velvet Cake
The Traditional frosting for Red Velvet cake, Ermine is also known as Boiled Milk or Butter Roux Frosting. It has a boiled milk and flour base that is added to creamed butter and sugar. This gives you a rich but light taste with an ermine-like mouth feel, thus the name. Not quite a butter creme, but close. It's really quite a unique and delicious type of frosting, but does need to be refrigerated though as it does not stand up well to temps above 70 degrees. I am sure this is part of the reason that it has been forsaken for the more modern Cream Cheese frosting (Which I LOVE on Carrot Cake). But I assure you, if you take the time to make this delicious frosting, you will NOT be disappointed.

Cookbook Recipe
Almond Toffee (Almond Roca)
I am always pleased when my grandmother sends me a big tin of this at Christmas. Like a lot of candy, this needs to be made on a low humidity day.

Cookbook Recipe
Baklava
The original recipe came from my mother; Then I gave it back to her 10 years later after I made my version for her Birthday a couple of years ago. I suggest getting the largest pastry brush you can find, you can layer this alot quicker if you can apply the butter in a couple of strokes. The faster you go, the less time you have for the dough to dry out. You will need a professional 1/2 sheet pan for this recipe.

Cookbook Recipe
Baklava Lemon Honey Syrup

Cookbook Recipe
French Crullers
When I was a kid, I use to love Dunkin' Donuts... Best ever made... Sadly, on the west coast, they no longer exist. Now we have been invaded by Krispy Kreme... which I thought was all fine and dandy until I had one. The are SO sickly sweet, I swear they have all been soaked in sugar syrup for 24 hours before being put on the shelf. I am convinced that the doughnuts of my youth were more spicy and not so overly glazed as what I have had from Krispy Kreme... In the interest of avoiding a sugar comma, I have embarked upon a home-made spiced French Cruller in an attempt to re-create the more spicy doughnuts I remember from childhood... and while not a "Real" Cruller, which is torpedo shaped and twisted (more like a cinnamon twist), they are quite delicious and, for the most part, resemble, in flavor, the delicious French Crullers I use to think were so "yummy" from Dunkin Donuts. Now I wrote the recipe to fully immerse the crullers in glaze as this is how most french crullers are done. I, however, prefer to just drizzle a little glaze over the top and let it run down the sides in order to control the sweetness a little better and preserve the spicy flavor. Unlike "true" crullers, which are of German and Dutch origin, French Crullers are based on Pate a Choux or Choux Paste, just like Eclaires and Creme Puffs, However, they are deep fried instead of baked.

Cookbook Recipe
Simply Irresistible Caramel Eclairs
This was my recipe from BakeSpace Challenge #2 "Movie Recipe". Into everyone's life, an Eclair eventually falls. I just prefer mine without Chocolate. LOL I have been obsessed with the Eclairs from "Simply Irresistible" ever since I saw the movie. So I finally sat down and tried to figure out how to make a good caramel pastry creme. The rest was simple enough, since Eclairs are made out of Choux paste, just like cream puffs and gougeres. Step by step pics are available at the link below

Cookbook Recipe
Liege Waffles - The Other Belgian Waffle
I have been itching to make Liege waffles for years, but have never been able to find Pearl Sugar. Granted I could order it over the net, but I hate paying shipping and handling on baking ingredients, Vanilla beans are one thing, Sugar is quite a bit heavier. Recently, while hunting for Demerara Sugar, I was lucky enough to find some, quite by accident. I have since heard that Swedish Pearl Sugar may be found in some U.S. IKEA stores as well, although I have never seen it at the San Diego IKEA. Swedish Pearl sugar is smaller than the Belgian though. If you are desperate for Liege waffles it will work, but the Belgian Sugar is SO much better, it's worth the extra effort to find it.

Cookbook Recipe
Blondies - The UN-Chocolate 'Brownie'
Deliciously buttery rich combination of pecans and brown sugar... If ya don't like "Brownies" they I urge you to try these.

Cookbook Recipe
Stroopwafler
Dutch waffle cookies with decadent caramel in the middle. Place these finished waffles over a hot cup of coffee to soften. These do take a special "Stroopwafler" iron with a very tight grid.

Cookbook Recipe
Scottish Shortbread (1-2-3 Shortbread)
There is NO vegetable shortening in shortbread - Never, Ever. Even though they share a common root word, all this means is that the fat inhibits the formation of gluten (which is a stretchy long protein) and "shortens" the dough. Butter, which is an animal derived shortening, does this just as well, especially European butter which is about 85% fat, as opposed to American butter which is only 80%. Eggs - There are NO eggs in shortbread, well, at least not in Scottish Shortbread. There is also no flavoring, at all... No Vanilla... Butter is the flavoring of Scottish Shortbread, which is why the quality of the European butter you use is SO important. :) So please find a Butter that you like the flavor of. If you want a flavored shortbread, do what I do, use American butter, cause the European butter is way too expensive to cover up with extracts and such. OK, now the recipe..... Scottish Shortbread 1-2-3 There ya go, that is all there is to it.... Hmmm, I guess I should flesh this out a little bit. OK.... 1 part Granulated Sugar 2 parts Unsalted European Butter 3 parts Unbleached AP Flour. TA DA! Seriously though, it really is that simple, and infinitely scalable. Such as 6 oz sugar, 12 oz butter, 18 oz AP flour...... 10 oz sugar, 20 oz butter, 30 oz AP flour... and so on and so forth. The fun part is the assembly. So here we go.

Cookbook Recipe
Chocolate Krinkles
One of those childhood memories is now surfacing as the Christmas holiday approaches at what seems like the speed of light (YIKES! how many more days of shopping insanity are left?) Those memories are all about the wondrous parade of holiday treats that marched from the kitchens of my Mom, Gramma and Great Gramma. One of those favorite childhood cookies that always comes to mind is the Chocolate Krinkle.

Cookbook Recipe
Penuche
For anyone who is not familiar with this New England confection, Penuche fudge attempts to recreate the flavor of the Mexican Panocha or Panela (being the pressed Raw Sugar “cones”) This form of semi-refined sugar is similar to "jaggery" in India (which is derived from Palm sap instead of Cane). It's high in natural molasses, thus Brown Sugar is a key ingredient for Penuche Fudge in place of the White Granulated Sugar normally used to make chocolate fudge. Sadly it seems that a lot of recipes flying around the net now days contain very little Brown Sugar, being comprised primarily of Confectioners’ Sugar. These are often called “No-Cook alternatives”… I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Penuche fudge doesn’t really work like that… I am not trying to be a fudge snob or anything, but the flavor of Penuche requires Brown Sugar and cooking to softball, or it ends up being more of a Vanilla Fudge than anything else… You just can’t "fudge" penuche... ;) Har dee har har

Cookbook Recipe
Tres Leches Cake (3 Milks Cake)
Soaking cake with liquids is a common practice across the globe. And while liquor or liqueurs are a common choice, such as Rum Cake, Real Fruit Cake, and most Genoise based cakes, there is nothing that is quite as extreme as the famed Tres Leches of Mexico. Dare I say it, even the Coconut Milk cake my mom use to make when I was a kid, falls short of this gorgeous galette. (though it is a really close second... Love ya mom!) Tres Leches Cake is kind of a paradox, both in flavor and in texture. One would expect that the cake would be soggy, but it's surprisingly moist and tender. One would expect it to be a cloyingly sweet, however it has more of a delicate "creamy" flavor than anything else. One would expect this soaked cake to be a heavy dessert suitable for wintertime, but on the contrary, it is surprisingly light and refreshing, making it an excellent dessert on the hottest of summer days. So what exactly is Tres Leches Cake? Direct translation is "Three Milks" cake, for this is what the soaking liquid consists of -- Evaporated Milk, Sweetened Condensed Milk and Heavy Cream (or Half & Half) This liquid is poured over a very "dry" sponge cake, allowing the "sponge" to soak up the lucious milkiness, thus providing a tender and utterly moist, but light cake. On top of this, the whole thing is generously slathered with unsweetened or very lightly sweetened whipped cream. Sinful! My own recipe uses milk in the sponge cake itself, so I guess it's kind of a Quatro Leches cake; but why argue semantics? Needless to say, I don't make this cake very often. I purposefully forget that I know how to make it. It's a matter of waistline preservation that forces me into the self inflicted memory loss. But I have accessed the darkest recesses of my mind, where said cake knowledge is stored, on a couple of occasions... Like a week ago, when I inquired of my little brother what sort of cake he would desire for HIS birthday. I thought he would ask for German's Chocolate cake, since that is the traditional celebratory dessert for both him and my dad. I was slightly taken aback when he burst out with "I really want a Tres Leches cake. Do you know how to make one?" Oh God, do I EVER!!! So armed with 8x8 square pans (round does not work, the cake is too tender to foster cutting a radial pattern from the center of a round cake) I embarked upon Tres Leches Nirvana. As a side note, exactly 1 month later, my Aunt asked for it for her Birthday too... (That is where the picture came from)

Cookbook Recipe
Sea Foam Candy (Sponge or Cinder Toffee)
My Auntie Patsy LOVES Sea Foam candy (for those living on the west coast of the U.S. of A). Sea Foam has many, many names though. It is known as Fairy Food or Angel Food Candy in Wisconsin and Sponge Candy in New York, Pennsylvania and Canada. Other parts of the globe refer to it as Cinder Toffee, Sponge Toffee, Honey Comb, Puff Candy, Hokey Pokey or Yellow Man. It is even sold commercially under the names of "Violet Crumble" in Australia (Though it doesn't contain violets in any way shape or form) and "Crunchie" in Britain. Ingredients vary slightly from place to place. Most use Brown Sugar, Corn Syrup (Whether light or Dark) and Baking Soda... Those are the basic ingredients. Sometimes it's made with Honey; other times vinegar or Molasses are added to increase the acidity. Me, I use a combination of Granulated Sugar, Brown Sugar and light Corn Syrup with a little vanilla and the "ever present in order for this to work", Baking Soda. It ain't too pretty, but it sure is tasty.

Cookbook Recipe
Madeleines
What is it about the Madeleine? Many have fallen victim to their love affair with this elusive tea cake hailing from the Lorraine region of France. Yes, elusive. For no one seems to be able to truly agree upon what a Madeleine is, other than a small scallop shaped tea cake/cookie/biscuit. I have noticed people turn to Proust's description in Remembrance of Things for a possible clue. "She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called "petites madeleines," which look as though they had been molded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory - this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal. Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy? I sensed that it was connected with the taste of the tea and the cake, but that it infinitely transcended those savors, could, no, indeed, be of the same nature. Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? I drink a second mouthful, in which I find nothing more than in the first, then a third, which gives me rather less than the second. It is time to stop.... And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom , my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane." Concerns over "the crumb", whether it should be hard or soft, dry or moist, the structural integrity upon dunking in one's tea, or should it even be dunked in ones tea. Should it be dissolved to crumbs instead? The arguments abound as everyone cerebralizes the whole thing to the point that this little bit of Genoise based tea cake has been turned into a quest for Shangra La. OYE! Poppy Cock, I say. Stop over thinking it and just enjoy them... with Lime-Blossom Tisane, of course. ;) The key to a well made Madeleine is European butter and getting as much air incorporated into the eggs as possible. Oh, and your gonna need a Madeleine pan. For the only things that anyone ever agrees on is that they are shell shaped and flavored with Lemon Zest. ;) Personally though, I prefer the intoxicating perfume of Meyer Lemon over Eureka Lemon.

Cookbook Recipe
Malt Gelato
Malt is a godsend to Bakers. Producing higher rises in yeasted products as well as providing more "browning" power and a subtle yet highly flavorful "sweetness". Yeast love Maltose, or Malt; the "sugar" that is produced by grain when it begins to sprout and the amylases enzyme begins to break down the starches in the grain. The Maltose resulting from this process is a disaccharide consisting of 2 Glucose molecules where as Sucrose, or table sugar, is a disaccharide of Glucose and Fructose. Maltose is 1/2 as "sweet" as pure glucose and about 1/3 as sweet as Sucrose (table sugar) Malt is also the foundation of beer, allowing brewmeisters around the world to provide us with copious amounts of fermented "grain juice" in a plethora of styles. Some more "artful" than others, but it's beer none the less. For it is the maltose produced by "mashing" that gives the little yeasty beasties something to chow on and produce alcohol. In the same way, Malt, when added to baked goods, allows a different strain of yeast beast to bulk up and burp up, not alcohol, but carbon dioxide (along with several other flavor compounds that lend acidity to the dough)... providing rise. Thanks be to Malt and Yeast! Malt comes in 3 forms... Diastic and Non-Diastic and Extract. Diastic Malt is, in essence, the "Baking Malt" as it still contains the amylases enzyme that breaks down starches into sugars. This is advantageous for baked goods. Not only have you added Maltose to give the yeast a "shot in the arm" but the enzymes will continue to break down the starches in the Wheat (or other) flour to produce more sugars for the yeast. A very beneficial arrangement to be sure, if one wants a beautifully risen loaf of bread. Non-Diastic Malt, on the other hand, contains no enzymes, though it can still be added to baked goods to impart it's distinctive flavor, feed the yeast and aid in browning. It is also easier for the home cook to find. This is your typical "Malted Barley Flour" in the mega mart. Though both Diastic and Non-Diastic are sprouted barley that has been dried out and ground into "flour". It is the Non-Diastic Barley Malt that is combined with Wheat flour, milk solids and sucrose sugar to create such beverage favorites as Carnation Malted Milk Powder, Ovaltine Malt and Horlicks. Then there is the Malt Extract, which is a slightly different animal all together, and comes in both liquid (syrup) and dry powder. This is where my beer brewing knowledge comes into play. Barley (preferably) is soaked in water until the grain begins to sprout, this starts the amylases working on the starch and breaking it down into Maltose. The grain is then heat dried, which stops the sprout from consuming the Maltose and growing, but allows the enzymes to continue breaking down the starches, producing more and more Maltose. (Just for a little more background, a starch is a long chain of glucose molecules, which is how plants not only store food {amylose and amylopectin}, but maintain their structure; for glucose is also used by plants to manufacture the cellulose in plant cell walls.) Once the Maltose content hits a certain level, its time for "Mashing", meaning the sprouted grain is then boiled (at a specific temperature) to break down even more starch and dissolves or extracts the maltose from the grain. At this point you have a maltose saturated solution (after the grain has been filtered out) called "Wort". Now if you were gonna make beer, you would go ahead and add brewer's yeast to this liquid and let them create a nice Lager or something (you have to add some unmalted roasted grain during the mashing process to make Stout/Porter) But, if you continue to cook the wort down and reduce the water content, you can create Liquid Malt Extract (syrup) or even better, remove all the moisture all together and make Malt Extract Powder; which is what I am going to use to make my Malted Gelato. Whew! OK, Science lesson over. On with the Gelato!!! To make this as Ice Cream, switch the Heavy Cream and Half & Half - Meaning use 1 cup of Half & Half with the Malt Extract Powder and use 2 cups Heavy Cream when cooking the custard. Also, run the ice cream machine for a longer period of time, until it climbs to the top of the dasher, to ensure you have incorporated enough air. One final note, if you cannot find Malt Extract Powder, and are using either Carnation Malted Milk Powder, Horlicks, Ovaltine Malt or you have decided to go with Chocolate Malt and are using Nestle Milo or Ovaltine Chocolate Malt, I would reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup and mix it with the egg yolks. All of the products listed above contain varying quantities of sucrose sugar already.

A collection of the 20 most popular dessert recipes from the Culinary Alchemy Blog containing a little of everything from Almond Roca to Whopper Gelato.

http://culinaryalchemist.blogspot.com

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Just Desserts - Top 20 from the Culinary Alchemy Blog

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