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Dessert, the Sweet Spot


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I thought I should create a thread for desserts, sweets, confection-making, etc. For selfish reasons, of course. I made a clafouti the other night. Not just a clafouti; a heaven-sent, got-religion,

Thanks to Pingarina for spreading the love. I made a plum clafouti for dessert last night (using the batter recipe Omni posted). We enjoyed it enormously.

What did Ali serve last night - was it sauteed pears?

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I've been concerned about portion control lately, at the same time that I loathe feeling deprived. With frozen cookie dough and a toaster oven, I can make one or two cookies at a time, keeping the calories and Weight Watchers points within bounds and satisfy both chocolate or dessert cravings. I call these, "Crownies," a portmanteau name combining "crinkle" and "brownie." Recipes for various iterations of this cookie are on the internet, but this is what I do:

 

Crownies

 

4 T. butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup Penzey's natural high-fat cocoa powder

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 T. vanilla extract

2 cups AP flour

1 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

1/4 t. salt

 

1. Mix the cocoa and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add sugar and mix until it's nearly dissolved. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract.

 

2. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix gently until just combined. If the dough is too soft to handle, refrigerate for a while.

 

3. Using a 1 T. ice cream scoop or measuring spoon, scoop out the dough. Roll into balls between your palms to about 1 1/2 inch in diameter, or a bit smaller.

 

The cookies can be baked at this point. Roll each cookie in either confectioner's or granulated sugar and bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet at 350F. for 10 minutes. Last time I made these the yield was 36 cookies.

 

-or-

 

 

Arrange the raw cookies in an appropriate freezer container, separating the layers with parchment paper. When you are ready to bake, roll the frozen cookie in sugar and bake for 10 minutes at 350F. on the flat sheet pan of the toaster oven. It is not necessary to line or grease the pan.

 

The cookies are adorable, and taste and feel like a chocolate brownie. Okay, side by side with a real brownie, they are probably not quite as rich, but they are very satisfying.

 

2 WW points each.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'd been holding on to a recipe for Gingered Pear and Raspberry Pandowdy for about a year now (provenance unknown) and I finally got enough pears through the CSA to make it. The fruit filling is just pears, raspberries, and lemon juice tossed with sugar & cornstarch, and the biscuit topping has candied ginger and buttermilk. It's a very nice autumn dessert.

 

Gingered Pear and Raspberry Pandowdy

 

Filling

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Pinch salt

4 large pears, peeled, cored, and sliced (2 pounds prepped)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 dry pint (2 cups or 9 ounces) fresh or frozen raspberries

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

 

Biscuit

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1/3 cup (2 ounces) chopped candied ginger

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk

 

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or deep-dish pie pan.

 

To make the fruit filling, rub the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a large bowl, then add the pears and lemon juice and toss until evenly coated. Gently fold in the raspberries, then transfer the fruit to the prepared pan. Distribute the butter atop the fruit.

 

To make the biscuit, whisk the flour, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Add the butter and toss until evenly coated. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the size of large peas. (Alternatively, you can put the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of large peas, then transfer to a bowl.) Stir in the candied ginger, the pour in the 2/3 cup of buttermilk and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The dough will be crumbly, with large pieces of butter still visible.

 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently press the dough together, then press it into a 9-inch circle. (It will be too moist to roll out.) Carefully place the dough atop the fruit. Brush the dough with the 1 tablespoon buttermilk, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

 

Bake in the lower third of the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden the juices are bubbly and thick. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

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  • 4 weeks later...

N made me a Huguenot Torte from a Times recipe I'd had on the fridge for a couple of years. It's from the Charleston area and is based on a 1930s dessert called Ozark Pudding. It's essentially a meringue with fruits and nuts (usually apples and pecans); it puffs up very high during baking and immediately falls when you take it out of the oven, so you get a crunchy meringue crust and a gooey filling. It's very sweet and needs the unsweetened whipped cream it calls for. It was intriguing, and something very different, but it's so sweet that I probably wouldn't make it again.

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  • 4 months later...

Purim is on Thursday, which means it's hamentaschen time. Made dough last night (1 .5 recipes of gingerbread and 1 of plain) and then set up the assembly line with Blovie this afternoon. Apartment smells wonderful. And they taste damn good.

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Purim is on Thursday, which means it's hamentaschen time. Made dough last night (1 .5 recipes of gingerbread and 1 of plain) and then set up the assembly line with Blovie this afternoon. Apartment smells wonderful. And they taste damn good.

i hope to do gluten free cherry filled ones, but first i must celebrate national pound cake day

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Purim is on Thursday, which means it's hamentaschen time. Made dough last night (1 .5 recipes of gingerbread and 1 of plain) and then set up the assembly line with Blovie this afternoon. Apartment smells wonderful. And they taste damn good.

i hope to do gluten free cherry filled ones, but first i must celebrate national pound cake day

 

Not gluten free, but I briefly considered making cherry filled chocolate hamentaschen. I have a lot of dried cherries and thought I would make my own cherry lekvar.

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Purim is on Thursday, which means it's hamentaschen time. Made dough last night (1 .5 recipes of gingerbread and 1 of plain) and then set up the assembly line with Blovie this afternoon. Apartment smells wonderful. And they taste damn good.

i hope to do gluten free cherry filled ones, but first i must celebrate national pound cake day

 

Not gluten free, but I briefly considered making cherry filled chocolate hamentaschen. I have a lot of dried cherries and thought I would make my own cherry lekvar.

nice!

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  • 2 months later...

N has finally finished our wedding cake. She wanted something traditionally South African and we probably wouldn't have found a baker in the area who could make just what she was looking for. First, she baked 2 tiers of dense fruitcake, using an orange-scented batter and several types of dried fruit marinated overnight in brandy. Then, she kept feeding the cake with the same brandy that the fruit had soaked in. On Monday, she and her parents spread apricot jam on the tiers and then wrapped them in marzipan (6 pounds' worth!), and yesterday they put on the rolled fondant layer. I'm amazed at the work and am really looking forward to tasting it.

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N has finally finished our wedding cake. She wanted something traditionally South African and we probably wouldn't have found a baker in the area who could make just what she was looking for. First, she baked 2 tiers of dense fruitcake, using an orange-scented batter and several types of dried fruit marinated overnight in brandy. Then, she kept feeding the cake with the same brandy that the fruit had soaked in. On Monday, she and her parents spread apricot jam on the tiers and then wrapped them in marzipan (6 pounds' worth!), and yesterday they put on the rolled fondant layer. I'm amazed at the work and am really looking forward to tasting it.

Wow! That will be the best-tasting wedding cake, ever!

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N has finally finished our wedding cake. She wanted something traditionally South African and we probably wouldn't have found a baker in the area who could make just what she was looking for. First, she baked 2 tiers of dense fruitcake, using an orange-scented batter and several types of dried fruit marinated overnight in brandy. Then, she kept feeding the cake with the same brandy that the fruit had soaked in. On Monday, she and her parents spread apricot jam on the tiers and then wrapped them in marzipan (6 pounds' worth!), and yesterday they put on the rolled fondant layer. I'm amazed at the work and am really looking forward to tasting it.

 

hope you will post photos of the cake :) .

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N has finally finished our wedding cake. She wanted something traditionally South African and we probably wouldn't have found a baker in the area who could make just what she was looking for. First, she baked 2 tiers of dense fruitcake, using an orange-scented batter and several types of dried fruit marinated overnight in brandy. Then, she kept feeding the cake with the same brandy that the fruit had soaked in. On Monday, she and her parents spread apricot jam on the tiers and then wrapped them in marzipan (6 pounds' worth!), and yesterday they put on the rolled fondant layer. I'm amazed at the work and am really looking forward to tasting it.

 

hope you will post photos of the cake :) .

 

Hope you will save us all a slice! Congrats!

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N has finally finished our wedding cake. She wanted something traditionally South African and we probably wouldn't have found a baker in the area who could make just what she was looking for. First, she baked 2 tiers of dense fruitcake, using an orange-scented batter and several types of dried fruit marinated overnight in brandy. Then, she kept feeding the cake with the same brandy that the fruit had soaked in. On Monday, she and her parents spread apricot jam on the tiers and then wrapped them in marzipan (6 pounds' worth!), and yesterday they put on the rolled fondant layer. I'm amazed at the work and am really looking forward to tasting it.

 

hope you will post photos of the cake :) .

 

First photo of the cake, taken by one of the guests. N bought the paste flowers and the rainbow ribbon, but the rest is her work. The cake toppers are toy taxicabs--one from NYC and one from South Africa.

 

7191031126_623d59b81b.jpg

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