Le Fraisier by Arnaud Delmontel

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For 8 people

INGREDIENTS

BISCUIT CUILLER

  • 45g Sugar
  • 50g egg whites
  • 35g egg yolks
  • 45g flour

METHOD

  1. Beat the egg whites, gradually adding the sugar until fluffy.
  2. Towards the end of the mixing turn the speed to low
  3. Add the flour gently.
  4. Pour the mixture on a plate/baking tray and cook 8-10 minutes in the oven at 200 °c.


CRÈME MOUSSELINE(210g butter Cream  + 210g cream patisserie)

INGREDIENTS

For the cream patisserie:

  • Crème pâtissière
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 yolk
  • 50g sugar
  • 25g custard powder
  • ½ vanilla pod

METHOD

  1. Heat the milk with the vanilla.
  2. Beat the egg yolk and sugar together and add in the custard powder.
  3. When the milk comes to boil add a little bit of the warm milk into the egg sugar mixture mixing well.
  4. Pour all of the mixture back in the pan and cook until boiling.
  5. Discard and cover well with a cling film and keep it at room temperature.

For the Butter Cream:

  • 125g Sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 212g of butter
  • Water

METHOD

  1. Put water and sugar to bake at 121°.
  2. Remove and pour on the beaten egg yolk at full speed.
  3. Add butter in small pieces until the mixture becomes creamy smooth.
  4. Mix the custard in a bowl with a whisk and add the butter cream.

SYRUP
INGREDIENTS

  • 35g water
  • 35g sugar
  • 15g brandy raspberry

 

FINISHING

  1. Cut the cake into 2 through the middle
  2. Wet the first piece with the syrup
  3. Spread a thin layer of cream mousseline about 1/3 on top.
  4. Wash and remove stems from the strawberries and add them.
  5. Spread cream again filling the gaps
  6. Place the second piece of biscuit. Moisten with the rest of syrup
  7. Smooth with cream and let it firm
  8. Place almond paste on top which was rolled by a rolling pin, and pour a drop of strawberry jelly.
  9. Garnish with fresh strawberries

 

 

Chocolate Pecan Tart / Bourbon-Pecan Tart with Chocolate Drizzle

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Taking the Pecan Tart a step further and what’s the best thing to use? Of course Chocolate.

Below you will find 2 versions one with just Chocolate & Maple Syrup and the second version is with Bourbon. Choose whichever you prefer 🙂

VERSION 1

CHOCOLATE PECAN TART & MAPLE SYRUP

INGREDIENTS:

  • 375g pack shortcrust pastry (might be easier than making your own pastry)
  • a little flour, for dusting
  • 185g dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate if you like it sweet!
  • 50g salted butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 200ml maple syrup
  • 200g whole pecan nuts

METHOD:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
  2. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Fill the tart with baking paper and baking beans, bake for 25 mins, then remove the baking paper and beans. Continue to cook for 10 mins more until golden.
  3. Remove from the oven and cool.
  4. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  5. Whisk the eggs and maple syrup together, then stir into the chocolate with most of the nuts.
  6. Pour into the tart shell, top with the remaining nuts and bake for 30-40 mins until set.
  7. Cool and serve with vanilla ice cream or double cream.

VERSION 2

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BOURBON-PECAN TART WITH CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 (425g) package refrigerated shortcrust pastry
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 ounce/15g bittersweet chocolate, chopped (or more)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine first 10 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in pecans.
  3. Roll dough into a 13-inch circle; fit into a 20-22cm removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray. Trim excess crust using a sharp knife. Spoon sugar mixture into prepared crust.
  4. Bake at 180° for 45 minutes or until center is set.
  5. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute or melt over bain-marie. Stir until smooth.
  7. Drizzle chocolate over tart.

Salame di Cioccolato – Italian Chocolate Salami

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 4 tbs orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
  • 7 oz tea biscuits and/or plain butter cookies
  • 3 oz chopped pistachios
  • 2 tbs chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • powdered sugar, for decoration

METHOD:

  1. Break cookies into a large bowl and sprinkle with ½ the Grand Marnier, set aside.
  2. In a bowl, vigorously mix egg yolks with sugar until the mixture turns thick and the sugar is fully incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the butter over low heat. With the back of a spoon smash the butter as it softens and begins to melt. Remove from heat as soon as the butter starts to liquify. Stir to combine.
  4. Next combine the broken cookies, butter and sugar mixture. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. The chocolate mixture will be sticky a bit messy to handle.
  5. Lay out a long sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap on a hard surface, about 18 inches long. Roll the mixture onto the wax paper and shape into a salami shape length wise to the paper. Mold salami to the desired length and thickness, somewhere between 2-3 inches. Bring salami to one side of paper and roll paper around log gently but firmly, twist ends similar to that of a salami.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, unwrap the salami and lightly roll it in powdered sugar to give it a look of aged salami.
  8. Keep refrigerated.

Note: Salami will be very firm when cutting slices, so its best to take it out of the refrigerator a few minutes before serving. Entire salami can be cut into slices and refrigerated to make it easier to serve later. Or if entertaining, salami can be presented whole and guests can cut their own slices.

Coffee & Walnut cake

Coffee & walnut cake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250g pack softened butter, plus extra for the tins
  • 100ml strong black coffee (made with 2 tbsp coffee granules), cooled
  • 280g self-raising flour
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g walnuts, 2 tbsp roughly chopped, the rest finely chopped

For the filling

  • 100g icing sugar, sifted, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 150ml double cream
  • 100g mascarpone, at room temperature

METHOD:

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter 2 x 20cm round cake tins and line with baking parchment. Set aside 1 tbsp of the coffee for the filling.
  2. Beat the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, vanilla and half the remaining coffee in a large bowl with an electric whisk until lump-free. Fold in the finely chopped walnuts, then divide between the tins and roughly spread. Scatter the roughly chopped walnuts over one of the cakes. Bake the cakes for 25-30 mins until golden and risen, and a skewer poked in comes out clean. Drizzle the plain cake with the remaining coffee. Cool the cakes in the tins.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling: beat together the icing sugar, cream and mascarpone, then fold in the reserved 2 tbsp coffee. Spread over the plain cake, then cover with the walnut-topped cake and dust with a little icing sugar.

Everything but the kitchen sink cookies

INGREDIENTS:

makes nine 6-inch cookies 

  • 2 1/4 cups (320 gr) AP flour
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 2 tspn finely ground Turkish coffee
  • 1 cup (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (120 gr) dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup (200 gr) white sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbspn dark molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbspn cream or milk
  • 1 Tbspn vanilla extract
  • 4 cups of mix-ins: 1 cup each of pretzels (chopped), Butterfingers (chopped), marshmallows, dark chocolate chips

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare baking sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper.
  2. Whisk to combine the AP flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and finely ground Turkish coffee. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter until light, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugars and mix until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the molasses to the butter and beat until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk and vanilla extract. In two stages, beat in the flour mixture on low until thoroughly combined. Fold in the mix-ins.
  4. Scoop the dough into large rounds onto the prepared cookie sheets, about two cookies per half-sheet baking pan. Leave ample room between each cookie. Dip your fingers in water and lightly spread out and press the dough into a circle.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Note: If you don’t have Turkish coffee, substitute with finely ground regular coffee and a pinch or two of ground cardamom.
Note: This recipe can support up to four cups of mix-ins. Feel free to mix in anything you can think of or have in your cabinets: potato chips, nuts, dried fruits, chopped candy bars, cereal, last year’s Halloween candy, next year’s Halloween candy…. The sky’s the limit!

Dark Chocolate Chip and Currant Biscotti

INGREDIENTS:

makes ~60 cookies according to Lebovitz (I got ~40)

  • 350 gr AP flour
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 100 gr white granulated sugar
  • 100 gr dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried currants

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. Whisk to combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, white sugar, dark brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium high for about five minutes, until the batter has considerably thickened.
  4. Gently fold the flour into the egg mixture.
  5. Add and gently mix in the chocolate chips and dried currants.
  6. On a lightly-floured surface, divide the dough into two portions. Shape each portion into a log about three inches in diameter, and transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet, allowing a few inches in between the logs because they will spread in the oven. Wet your hands lightly with water and smooth the outsides of the dough logs.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through baking, until the logs are lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Decrease the oven temperature to 150 degrees C.
  9. Transfer the logs to a cutting board and using a sharp, serrated knife, slice the logs into ~3/4″ pieces. Transfer the pieces, cut-side up back onto the lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake the cookies again for 15-20 more minutes, rotating once half-way through baking. Remove cookies and let cool on a wire rack. Cookies will continue to harden when cooling.  Store in an airtight container.

Hazelnut Plum Tarts

INGREDIENTS:

makes six 4-inch tarts

  • 255 g (2 cups + 2 Tbspn) AP flour
  • 80 g (1/2 cup) hazelnuts
  • 1/2 tspn Turkish coffee
  • 1/4 tspn ground cardamom
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1/4 tspn sea salt
  • 2 sticks (1 lb) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 tspn hazelnut extract
  • 1/2 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbspn orange juice
  • 4 – 6 small plums
  • turbinado sugar

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C. Lightly grease the inside of six 4-inch tart molds. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, hazelnuts, Turkish coffee grounds, ground cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Process until the hazelnut is finely ground.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  4. Meanwhile, rub the orange zest into the sugar with your fingertips. Slowly add the sugar into the butter, creaming thoroughly until well-incorporated and aerated. 5. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add the hazelnut and vanilla extracts and the orange juice. Beat well.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two stages, beating until combined and until a smooth dough forms.
  6. Divide and press the dough into the prepared tart pans. Slice the plums and arrange the slices on top of the dough, pressing down lightly. Sprinkle with a healthy amount of turbinado sugar.
  7. Bake the tarts for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before unmolding from the tart tins.

Chocolate Explosion Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:

  • 2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Chocolate Layer:

  • 6 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cheesecake Layer:

  • 1/2 cup caramel syrup
  • 1 (16 1/2-ounce) package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 6 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.
  2. For the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter, stirring to combine. Press the crust into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes; let cool.
  3. For the chocolate layer: Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter (or microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes total). Whisk in the sugar, eggs, and flour until just combined. Pour into the bottom of the cooled crust and bake for 15 minutes; let cool.
  4. For the cheesecake layer: Spread the caramel topping evenly over the cooled chocolate layer. Cut the cookie dough crosswise into 1-inch slices. Place the slices in an even layer over the caramel, pressing gently together to seal the edges.
  5. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and flour until just combined. Stir in the sour cream. Pour the mixture over the cookie dough layer and bake until the cake is cracked and browned around the edge, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and gently run a knife around the edges to release the crust from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely.
  6. For the ganache: Using a double boiler, combine the chocolate and cream and melt (or microwave on high in 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1 minute total). Spread over the cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours before serving.

Green Apple Jasmine Sorbet Sandwiches with Chocolate Snaps

INGREDIENTS:
Green Apple Jasmine Sorbet

  • 1 1/4 lbs granny smith apples, cored and chopped (leave peel on!)
  • 1 cup + 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup pearl jasmine tea leaves
  • a pinch of powdered green food coloring (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Combine the apples, 1 cup of water, sugar, salt, and freshly squeezed lemon juice in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover loosely, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the apple chunks are very tender.
  2. Meanwhile, bring the remaining 3/4 cup of water to a simmer and brew the tea leaves. Let steep covered.
  3. Once the apples are tender, remove the pot from heat and add the tea and tea leaves into the pot. Cover tightly and let cool at room temperature.
  4. Once cool, press the contents of the pot through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the apple peels and tea leaves that are left behind.
  5. If a smoother sorbet is desired, puree the strained apple sauce in a food processor with the powdered green food coloring, if using, until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
  6. Once chilled, freeze the sorbet base in your ice cream maker of choice. Once churned, you may want to let the sorbet harden further overnight in the freezer.

Note: now’s the time to break out the good quality green tea–the better the green tea you start with, the better this sorbet will taste.

INGREDIENTS:
Chocolate Snaps

  • 1 1/2 cups (210 gr) AP flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbspn (75 gr) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 tspn baking powder
  • 1/8 tspn salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz./112 gr) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbspn (125 gr) sugar
  • 1/4 tspn vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks

METHOD:

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer with the paddle attachment for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and egg yolks to the butter and sugar, one at a time and beating well after each addition.
  4. Mix in the prepared flour in two to three additions. Press together into a dough, wrap with parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for one hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare baking sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper.
  6. Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a cookie cutter, cut out your desired shapes. Keep the dough cool as you work with it.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating once halfway through the baking.
  8. Once done, remove from oven and let cool briefly before removing the cookies from the baking sheet and placing them on a wire rack to continue cooling. Cookies will continue to harden as they cool.

Peach Froyo and Basil Snickerdoodle Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS:
makes 10 – 12 three-inch sandwichesfor peach frozen yogurt:

  • 2 medium peaches, ripe
  • 3 Tbspn (38 g) + ⅔ cup (133 g) sugar
  • 1½ cups (345 g) whole milk
  • 2 Tbspn (15 g) tapioca starch
  • 4 Tbspn (57 g) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup (134 g) light corn syrup
  • 1¾ cups (367 g) Greek yogurt

METHOD:

  1. Peel and pit the peaches. In a food processor, roughly puree the peaches, leaving very small peach bits in the puree. Measure out ¾ cup (165 g) for peach puree and stir in 3 Tbspn (38 g) of sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 Tbspn (43 g) of milk with the tapioca starch to make a slurry. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth. Set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining (302 g) milk, (133 g) sugar, and corn syrup. Over medium heat, bring the milk mixture to a boil and let boil for 4 minutes, being very careful not to let the milk boil over.
  5. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the starch mixture.
  6. Return the saucepan to medium heat and bring to a boil. Let cook for about 1 minute, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
  7. Gradually whisk the milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in the Greek yogurt until smooth, then stir in the peach puree.
  8. Cover the yogurt base and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Then freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions. After freezing, let firm in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight.

for basil snickerdoodles:

  • 3 cups (383 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tspn cream of tartar
  • 1 tspn baking soda
  • ½ tspn salt
  • 1 cup (226 g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups (300g) + 2 Tbspn (25 g) sugar
  • 14 g fresh basil leaves, very finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tspn ground cinnamon

METHOD:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Place the butter, 1½ cups (300 g) sugar, and chopped basil leaves in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add in the flour mixture, beating on low just until the flour is incorporated. Cover the dough and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until firm.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190° C. Prepare cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silicon mats.
  6. Combine the remaining 2 Tbspn (25 g) sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using about one heaping Tbspn of dough, form a ball and roll the ball in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  7. Place the dough balls on the cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Do not flatten.
  8. Bake each sheet of cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time. 9. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to let cool briefly. After about 2 or 3 minutes, use a spatula to remove the cookies from the tray. Place the cookies on a wire rack and let cool completely.
  9. for assembly. Remove the peach frozen yogurt from the freezer and let soften briefly. Scoop a spoonful of frozen yogurt onto the bottom of a cookie and top with another, pressing gently. Freeze until firm.

Note: I highly recommend seeking out good cinnamon that packs a spicy kick for these cookies because it will make all the difference.

Apricot and Blackberry-Marzipan Hamantaschen

INGREDIENTS:
makes ~30 hamantaschen total (~15 of each flavor)for cookie:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 385 gr (2 1/4 cups) AP flour
  • dash of salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 8 oz butter, at room temperature and cut into pieces
  • zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten

METHOD:

  1. Combine the powdered sugar, flour, salt, egg yolks, butter, and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a dough begins to form.
  2. Remove the dough from the food processor and wrap in parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. In the meantime, prepare the fillings–recipes included below.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Prepare cookie sheets lined with silpats or parchment paper.
  5. Lightly sprinkle your workspace with powdered sugar or flour. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter (~2.5 – 3 inches in diameter), cut out rounds.
  6. For apricot hamantaschen, spoon about a teaspoon of filling into the center of each cookie. For blackberry-marzipan hamantaschen, place about a teaspoon of almond paste in the center of each cookie round and top with a small amount of blackberry preserves.
  7. Fold the edged of the cookie rounds up and pinch the corners together. Place the cookies on the prepared lined cookie sheets. Brush the outsides of the cookies with the beaten egg.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Note: Despite tasting really good, this is perhaps one of the most temperamental doughs I’ve worked with. It likes to be rolled out cold (otherwise sticks to everything, even parchment paper) but folded into cookie form when it’s a little closer to room temperature.
Note: Don’t roll the dough out thinner than 1/4 of an inch, either, which will make it difficult to work with.

for dried apricot quick jam filling:

  • 1/4 lbs dried (California) apricots (~7 gr)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • sprinkle of lemon juice, freshly squeezed

METHOD:

  1. Combine the dried apricots, water, and sugar in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Over medium-low heat, cook covered for about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and continue cooking for about 5-10 minutes more, until the liquid has reduced.
  4. Pour the contents of the saucepan into a food processor. Add a small sprinkling of lemon juice. Pulse until the apricots are roughly chopped but do not process until smooth.
  5. Let cool before filling cookies.

for blackberry-marzipan filling:
blackberry preserves
almond paste (marzipan)

or
Another filling could be:
Poppyseed
Mascarpone
figs

Tart des Tropiques (Tropical Meringue Tart with lime, coconut & sesame)

INGREDIENTS:
makes one 9-inch round tart, or equivalent thereoffor pastry:

  • 260 g all-purpose flour
  • 72 g sesame seeds
  • 50 g sugar
  • ⅛ tspn salt
  • 7 Tbspn butter, cut in pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tbspn sesame oil
  • 3–3½ Tbspn water
  • 1 large egg white

for lime curd:

  • 8 Tbspn butter, cut in pieces
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 125 g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of 2 limes

for meringue:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 94 g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 tspn coconut extract
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • toasted coconut chips

METHOD: 

  1. for pastry. Combine the flour, sesame seeds, sugar, and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the egg yolk and sesame oil and pulse to combine. Add the water, one tablespooon at a time, while processing, just until the dough holds together when pressed between two fingers. Do not overmix. Remove the dough from the food processor, form into a small, flat disc, cover tightly with plastic wrap or parchment paper, and refrigerate for at least one hour. The dough should be firm to the touch.
  2. Preheat oven to 220° C. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the cold dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Transfer to tart pan, press in the bottom and sides, and prick the bottom a few times with a fork. Return the pastry to the refrigerator if it has softened. Line with a piece of parchment paper, fill with pie weights or beans, and bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Remove the weights and the parchment paper, brush the insides of the pastry with a small amount of egg white, and return to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes more, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. for lime curd. Preheat oven to 190° C. Suspend a bowl over simmering water. Place the butter, lime juice, sugar, and salt in the bowl and let cool, whisking occasionally, until the butter has completely melted. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat the eggs and yolks to combine. When the butter has melted, temper the eggs by gradually and slowly pouring about half of the butter mixture into the eggs, whisking continuously. Continue to cook over simmering water, stirring and scraping the bottom of the bowl with a spatula, until thick, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the zest, and pour the curd into the prepared tart shell. Bake the tart for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
  4. for meringue. In a bowl suspended over simmering water, beat the egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar until hot to the touch (60° C on an instant read thermometer). Immediately add the coconut extract and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat just until stiff, glossy peaks form. Do not overbeat! Immediately pipe the meringue onto the cooled tarts, and brown under the broiler or with a kitchen torch. Top with toasted sesame seeds and coconut chips.

Pumpkin pie with caramel brandy hard sauce

INGREDIENTS:
makes two 4.5″ piesfor pumpkin puree:

  • 1 small pumpkin

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees C.
  2. Split the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Discard the seeds.
  3. Place the pumpkin halves face down on a baking sheet with sides.
  4. Bake for 1 hour until fork-tender. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Puree the pumpkin pulp in a food processor until smooth.

for pastry:

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 tspn salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold, in small cubes
  • 4 Tbspn water, cold

for pumpkin filling:

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbspn dark brown sugar
  • white sugar, to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • pumpkin pie spices, to taste (try: ginger, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, white pepper)
  • heavy cream, opt., for crust
  • turbinado sugar, opt., for crust

METHOD:

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Using a pastry cutter, cut the cold butter into the flour until the size of small peas.
  3. Gradually add the water, 1 Tbspn at a time until, when you press the dough between your fingers, it holds together. Do not overmix!
  4. Wrap the dough in parchment paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, make the pumpkin filling. Combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, white sugar (if using), eggs, 1/4 cup heavy cream, and 1/4 cup whole milk into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out, about 1/8″ thick. Place the dough into the pie plates and crimp the edges. Using a fork, pierce the bottom of the crust several times.
  8. If the dough has become soft from rolling, place in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes.
  9. Line the inside of the pie crusts with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dry beans.
  10. Bake for 15-17 minutes, then remove from oven. Remove the beans and parchment paper and, if desired, line the edge of the pie crust with foil. Return to the oven for 5-7 more minutes until the crust is golden. Remove and fill with pumpkin filling.
  11. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake the pumpkin pies for 30 minutes, then brush the exposed crusts with heavy cream and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, if using. Return the pies to the oven and continue to bake for ~10-15 additional minutes until pie is mostly set but jiggles just slightly in the middle when gently bumped.
  12. Remove from oven and let cool briefly. Serve warm with caramel brandy hard sauce (recipe below).
Caramel brandy hard sauce

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbspn butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 Tbspn brandy, to taste

METHOD:

  1. Have all ingredients pre-measured and ready next to the stove.
  2. In a small light-colored saucepan (with tall sides, preferably), wet the sugar with just enough water to make it the consistency of wet sand (~1 – 1 1/12 Tbspn water).
  3. Cook the sugar on medium heat.  Do not stir once the sugar starts boiling–swirl the pan around gently instead to insure even cooking. Cook until the sugar is a deep amber color. Immediately add the butter and whisk thoroughly. Be careful–this will splutter!
  4. As soon as the butter has completely melted, remove from heat and carefully add the heavy cream, whisking continuously.
  5. Once the cream has incorporated, pour the caramel into another heat-resistant container to cool, straining through a fine mesh sieve to remove unevenly cooked sugar, if necessary. Let cool briefly and whisk in brandy to taste. Caramel will continue to thicken as it cools.

Boysenberry and Plum Cobbler

INGREDIENTS:
makes one 9 x 13-inch cobbler
  • 2½ lb small plums
  • 13 oz boysenberries
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 1¾ cup (230 g) + 2 Tbspn all-purpose flour
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • ¼ tspn salt
  • ½ cup (115 g) heavy cream, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 Tbspn (15 g) crème fraîche
  • ½ cup (115 g) whole milk

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 230° C.
  2. Quarter and pit the plums, resulting in about 2 lb of plum flesh. Combine the plums in a bowl with the boysenberries. Toss with the coconut sugar and 2 Tbspn of all-purpose flour. Spread the fruit in the bottom of one 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1¾ cup (230 g) of flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream and crème fraîche. Gently fold the cream into the flour mixture, being careful not to overmix. When incorporated, gently fold in the milk in three additions, resulting in a sticky mess rather than a uniform dough. Gently form the dough into a loose ball. Break off large hunks of dough and place on top of the prepared fruit in the baking dish. Brush the tops of the scone dough with heavy cream.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the cobbler is golden on top. Remove from the oven and let cool briefly before serving. Serve warm, with a dash of cream or a scoop of ice cream, if desired.

Cranberry Clove Linzer Torte

INGREDIENTS:
makes one 9-inch tartfor cranberry filling:

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 125 g sugar
  • zest of 1 small orange
  • juice of 1 small orange
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ vanilla bean

METHOD:

 

  1. Combine the cranberries, sugar, orange zest, and orange and lemon juices in a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape the seeds into the cranberries, and add the vanilla bean shell.
  2. Over medium heat, bring the cranberries to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let the cranberries boil, bubbling vigorously, for about 5 to 7 minutes without stirring. Once the cranberries begin to thicken, stir, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mix reaches a consistency of warm jam.
  3. Remove from heat immediately and let cool to room temperature. Remove the vanilla bean pod before using.

for crust:

  • 30 g hazelnuts
  • 76 g almonds
  • 125 g all-purpose flour
  • 150 g sugar
  • ½ tspn salt
  • 1½ tspn ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tspn ground cloves
  • 10 Tbspn (142 g) butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • ½ tspn almond extract

METHOD:

  1. In a food processor, combine the hazelnuts, almonds, flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Pulse until the nuts are completely ground.
  2. Cut the butter into small chunks. Add the butter, egg yolk, lemon and orange zest, and almond extract to the flour mixture. Pulse just until a dough begins to form.
  3. Remove the dough from the food processor, wrap with parchment paper, and chill for at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 180°. Grease and flour one 9-inch springform pan, and line the bottom with a parchment round.
  5. Reserve a third of the dough and press the remainder into the bottom of the pan. Spread a thin layer of cranberry filling on top, leaving a 1-inch ring of dough exposed around the edge.
  6. Roll out the remaining dough on a floured surface. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes and scatter randomly atop the tart.
  7. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown around the edges and on top.
  8. Remove from the oven. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, and then loosen the sides with a thin knife. Let cool completely before serving.

Banoffee Cupcakes

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INGREDIENTS:

Serves: 24

for the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking spice (can substitute cinnamon)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1⅓ cup white sugar
  • 4 large, overripe bananas, mashed well (approximately 14 ounces)

for the Filling:

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup unsalted butter

for the Frosting:

  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional:

  • Toffee chocolate bar pieces for garnish (like Heath bar)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, baking spice, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, mix the eggs, vegetable oil, sugar, and mashed bananas on medium speed until smooth. Gradually stir dry ingredients into banana mixture. Spoon into cupcake liners.
  4. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean. Do not overbake.
  5. To make the filling: combine the dark brown sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Do not stir! Boil for 3-5 minutes, or until mixture deepens in color. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and butter. Stir constantly for 3-5 minutes, or until mixture thickens ONLY sightly.
  6. To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream.
  7. To assemble. Use a knife to cut out the top of a cupcake in a cone shape. Spoon/pipe in toffee filling. Put frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a 1M tip. Frost. Garnish with toffee bar pieces, if desired.