The photos aren’t great and I’m going to photograph them again with better lighting and my slr. Last December I left my job at the pastry shop and started a new one on January 1st at The Union. A South East Asian style restaurant on Union and Main. These are some of the desserts I’ve made. Here’s the menu. I started on January 1st and a few days later, we were open for business. It took a couple of weeks of thinking and researching before I decided that these desserts felt right together. I’m sure there will be changes happening. That’s the fun part. Coming up with new ideas. From top to bottom: Pandan/coconut panna cotta with caramelized baby banana, brandy snap and tapioca pearls, lychee and mango crumble with orange custard and dark chocolate truffles which aren’t on the menu so you have to ask for it and see if it’s available. So far, it’s been so much fun. We’ve already had a good review last week!
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking’s April/May 2010 Issue. When you go to that link, you can custom make your own cheesecake by dragging and dropping the ingredients into the bowl on the page. At the end, you get the recipe and instructions. It’s a pretty cool way of experimenting with different flavours.
I’ve been wanting to use Dulce De Leche for something for a while now and I thought my birthday cake would be a great way to incorporate it. Today’s my birthday but I made the cake last night. I’ve had the April issue of Fine Cooking since it came out and I’ve been looking at all the cheesecake pictures of the filling and topping combinations, and one of them was Dulce de Leche with a Caramel topping. I thought the caramel would add too much sweetness to it so I just used cocoa powder. Here’s what I used (besides the basic stuff like like eggs and sugar):
Graham crackers, dulce de leche, Grand Marnier, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, lime zest, strawberries, cocoa powder, semi sweet sprinkled chocolate.
First, I’d like to say that this cake turned out delicious but it tastes more like a mousse than a cheesecake. If I was going to make this again I would decrease the amount of dulce de leche and increase the cream cheese to give it a harder cheesecake texture. Also, I wouldn’t add the sugar with the crackers. The crackers are already sweet. Instead of lime zest, I would use coffee. I love coffee flavour in everything. I didn’t use the whole 1 1/4 cup of sugar because I felt it was too much. I used 3/4 cup which I felt was enough sweetness. If I was going to make this again, I would try a Tiramisu cheesecake first with a chocolate wafer crust, mascarpone cheese, espresso coffee, kahlua and cocoa powder on top!
Recipe from Luscious Berry Desserts by Lori Longbotham
What a delicious summer treat. Not too sweet and rich. I’ve made biscuits before but never with whipped cream. The whipped cream which was added to the biscuits softens the texture and makes them lighter. They weren’t crumbly and hard like they’ve been in the past. We were 3 people eating them so I only made enough for 3. I didn’t want any leftovers. Don’t bake the shortcakes more than an hour ahead. They’re best served at the last minute. My guests loved them! You have to make the whipped cream topping at the last minute before serving. Next time, I’m making the biscuits a bit thinner and larger. I’m also changing the way I make the strawberries. Roasting them made them too dry and they were starting to caramelize. I would put them on top of the stove and add some water. I think they would turn out juicier and sweeter that way. I’m also going to try them with blueberries.
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp granulated sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, plus additional for brushing on biscuits
2 tsp vanilla
2 pints small red strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp confectioners’ sugar
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425 F. Butter a large baking sheet.
Step 2: Whisk together the flour, the 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, the baking powder, and the salt in a medium bowl.
Step 3: Beat 1 cup of the cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a large deep bowl just until it holds soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Beat in the vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add the whipped cream, and stir the mixture with a fork just until it begins to form a dough.
Step 4: On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough several times, just until it is well combined. Pat it out to 1/2 inch thick. With a 3-inch cutter, crinkle-edged if you have one, cut out 6 rounds; gather the scraps together and pat them out again if necessary. Brush the biscuits with cream and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place on the baking sheet.
Step 5: Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool on the pan on a wire rack. Increase the oven temperature to 450.
Step 6: Meanwhile, toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Transfer to a baking sheet with sides. When the biscuits are out of the oven, roast the strawberries, stirring twice, for about 12 minutes, until soft and fragrant.
Step 7: Just before serving, beat together the remaining 1/2 cup cream, the sour cream, and confectioners’ sugar with an electric mixer on medium sped in a large bowl until the cream forms soft peaks when the beaters are lifted.
Step 8: Split each biscuit with a fork and place the bottom halves on 6 serving plates. Spoon a generous portion of warm berries over each one, add a dollop of the cream, add the tops, and drizzle with the juices on the baking sheet. Serve immediately.
I took my first dessert class yesterday at the new cooking school, the Dirty Apron. It was a 4 hour class taught by Chambar’s pastry chef. We were taught how to make the same desserts listed on the Chambar menu. It was lots of fun. There were only 7 other women in the class and we were able to have our own stations. We made several plates of desserts that we later ate together. I felt a bit sick after finishing 2 plates! We even had time for lunch and wine! I’ve never been to the Dirty Apron before, but I’ve been impressed so far. The facilities were very clean and I can’t believe all the delicious desserts that I’ve made. They also have a store at the front where they sell high end kitchen utensils, pots and pans, and specialty hard to find food items. There’s a set of designer nesting bowls that looked so great! We were given a folder with all the recipes. There’s too many to transcribe but I would be happy include them for anyone who’s interested in any of these sweet desserts. All these recipes are very easy to make and don’t require a long list of ingredients which is how we were able to make them in such a short period of time. I need to take a break from desserts for a while, but not before I learn how to make a Boston Cream pie!
We made a Café Belge Coffee cheesecake, Belgian Chocolate Mousse and crème de cacao gelee, Rose Water Crème Brulee with honey tuile, and Tarte aux Chevre - a Goat Cheese Tart with Coronation Grape Puree and Pistachio Ice Cream.