Saturday, August 13, 2005

Sandwiches - Pan Bagnat

Pan Bagnat is basically Salade Nicoise on a bun.
1 T red wine vinegar
1/2 t dijon mustard
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t pepper
3 T olive oil
4 large round rolls
12 oz tuna
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 hardboiled eggs, sliced
1 cup chopped Nicoise or similar pitted olives
1 tomato, sliced

In a small bowl, make a vinegarette by whisking vinegar through pepper. Gradually add oil, whisking. Slice rolls; tear out some center to form a well. Mix tuna through olives with some dressing. Stuff rolls. Serve with sliced eggs and tomatoes. Serves 4.

Sandwiches - Pan-Grilled Salmon with Scallion Mayo

Serves 4 as main course
6 scallions
4 t olive oil
1 lb salmon fillet (abt 1 1/2 " thick), skinned and bones removed
1/4 cup mayo
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
2 t fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 t chopped fresh mint leaves
4 1/2" thick slices good-quality whole wheat bread
2 cups bite-size pieces frisee or mesclun (1 oz)

Heat grill pan over mod high heat until hot but not smoking. Meanwhile, toss scallions with 2 t oil and season with s & p. Pat salmon dry and coat with remaining 2 t oil and season with s & p. Cook scallions in grill pan, turning occasionally until soft and slightly charred, abt 6 mins, then transfer to cutting board to cool. Add salmon to grill pan and cook, turning over once, until just cooked through about 12 mins. Transfer with metal spatula to plate and cool slightly. Gently flake.
While salmon is grilling, finely chop scallions and stir into mayo with celery, lemon juice, mint. Season with s & p.
Toast bread and spread lightly w scallion mayo. Divide salmon among toasts, top with dollops of scallion mayo and pieces of frisee.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Breads: Cinnamon-orange rolls (8 rolls)

1 package refrigerated breadsticks
1 T butter, melted
4 t sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup finely shredded orange rind
1/4 t vanilla
2-3 t orange juice

heat oven to 350 F.  Grease 8" round baking pan. Unroll breadsticks, place on a piece of wax paper.  Slightly flatten breadsticks.  Brush with butter.  Combine sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle over dough.  Press walnuts into dough, roll up each piece, jelly-roll style.  Seal and place on prepared pan.  Bake 25 mins till golden.  Transfer to wire rack.  Combine confectioners' sugar, orange rind, vanilla, and enough orange juice to make a drizzling consistency.  Drizzle over rolls.  Serve warm.

Bread: Little French Loaves (8 loaves)

1 envelope active dry yeast OR 1 cake compressed yeast
2 cups very warm water
6 cups sifted flour
2 T sugar
2 t salt
2 T soft shortening
corn meal
1 egg white
1 T cold water

Sprinkle or crumble yeast into water in large bowl.  Stir till dissolved.  Stir in 3 cups flour through shortening.  Beat till smooth.  Slowly beat in enough of remaining flour to make stiff dough.  Turn onto floured board, knead 5 mins, till smooth and elastic, adding only enough extra flour to keep from sticking.  Place in greased large bowl, turn to coat all over with shortening, cover w clean towel.  Let rise in warm place, away from  draft, 45 mins or until double.  Punch down, knead 1 min on board, divide into 8 even pieces.  Roll out 6 x 4".  Roll up, jelly roll fashion, tuck ends under. Grease large cookie sheet, sprinkle with corn meal.  Place loaves, seam side down, 2" apart.  Cover.  Let rise 30 mins till double.  Make diag cuts in top of each.  Beat egg white slightly w cold water in cup.  Brush part over loaf.  Place pan hot water on bottom shelf in oven, loaves on shelf above.  Bake 400 F 15 mins.  Brush with rest of egg, bake 15 mins till golden.  Cool on racks.

Breads: Pistachio Croissants

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
1/2 t kosher salt
3 T unsalted butter at room temp
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 t vanilla
4 day-old croissants, split in half lengthwise
Confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In small saucepan set over med-hi heat, add water and 1/3 cup sugar.  Cook until sugar dissolves, about 2 mins.  Turn off heat and set aside.  In food processor, combine 1/2 cup plus 2 T pistachios, salt, and remaining sugar;  pulse until nuts are finely ground.  Add butter and process until combined.  Add egg and vanilla and pulse just until combined, stopping the food processor to scrape down sides and bottom as necessary.  Brush cut side of each croissant half with some of the simple syrup mixture, then spread 2 T of nut mixture on bottom half and cover with a top half, pressing down to slightly flatten the croissants.  Arrange on parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet.  On a cutting board, finely chop remaining 2 T nuts.  Brush croissants with more simple syrup and sprinkle the chopped nuts on top.  Bake until golden and filling fuses the top and bottom halves together, abt. 25 mins.  Remove from oven and cool 20 mins before sprinkling with confect. sugar.  Serve.

Breads: Zucchini Basil Muffins

For 24 muffins:            130 calories each

2 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2/3 cup evoo
2 1/2 cups white flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 t salt
1 T baking powder
2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 med)
2 T finely julienned fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 200C/425F.  Grease muffin tins. Combine eggs, milk, oil in large bowl.  Combine flour, sugar, salt, bp in another bowl and add to liquids in batches, stirring to blend.  Don't overblend.

Add zucchini and basil and stir to blend.  Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 full, spriinkle top with cheese.  Bake 20-25 minutes for regular size muffins, until tops are golden brown and puffy.  Serve while still warm.

Breads - Low fat Oat Bran Muffins (18)

2 1/2 c uncooked oat bran
1/4 c firm pkd light brown sugar
1/4 c currants
2 T chopped pecans, dry roasted
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4 cup fat free milk or soy milk
1/4 cup honey
2 T veg oil
1/4 t almond extract
1 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl combine oat bran - salt. In small bowl, stir together rest. Stir liquid into dry mixture until just moistened. Lightly spray 12 cup and 6 cup muffin tins with vegetable spray. Spoon in mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes till light brown.

Cal. 93 Sat Fat .5 gr Cholesterol 0

Breads - fat free Zucchini Bread

veg oil spray
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c firm packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t salt
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 cup crushed pineapple (if desired)
1 T nuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 egg
1 T veg oil
1 T corn syrup
1/2 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Spray bread pan. In large bowl, combine flour thru salt. Stir in zucchini , crushed pineapple and nuts. In small bowl beat together rest. Pour liquid into zucchini mixture, stir just to moisten. Pour into pan, bake 50-60 mins. Cool in pan 10 mins, turn onto wire rack to cool. Refrig up to 7 days.

Breads: Overnight Coffee Cake

2 cups sifted flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 t baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
Cream butter and sugars.  Add eggs, 1 at a time and beat well.  Sift dry ingredients and add to better alternately with buttermilk.  Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13" pan.  Mix together:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup nuts, chopped
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
Sprinkle over cake.  Place in refrigerator overnight or for 8 hours.  Bake at 350 F 45 minutes.

Breads: Cake aux Olives et Jambon

2 cups minus 2 T flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup dry vermouth
4 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup good olive oil (200 ml)
1 1/2 cups chopped ham
1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere (Comte)
1 cup green olives, pitted and chopped roughly (Lucques or Picholine)
1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes

Oven at 350 F.  Grean 8 x 4 loaf pan.  Mix flour and bp in large bowl.  Make a well in the center and add beaten eggs, wine, vermouth.  Mix gently just to incorporate.  Add olive oil a few spoonfuls at a time, mixing until you have a smooth dough.  Add ham, cheese, olives, tomatoes, mixing until just incorporated.  Bake about 50-55 minutes.  Leave in pan until cooled, then remove.

SAvory Gruyere-Olive Bread

1 3/4 cups flour  (210 gr)
2 t baking powder
1/4 t fine sea salt
1/4 t black pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
4 oz. Gruyere, grated (1 cup)
3 T pitted, chopped kalamata olives.

Heat oven to 350, grease 8" loaf pan with olive oil.  In large bowl, whisk together flour thru pepper.  In a separate bowl, whisk together mayo thru milk.  Fold wet misture into dry until just combined.  Fold in cheese and olives.  Scrape batter into pan, smooth top with spatula.  Bake until golden and firm, 40 minutes.  Let bread cool in pan 5 mins, run knife around edge and turn onto wire rack.  Cool 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Savory Zucchini Bread with Roasted Tomatoes and Parmesan

2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
5 oz. Parmesan or other hard cheese, grated
1/2 t salt, 1/2 t pepper
5 large eggs
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup roasted Roma tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup grated shallot or onion
2 T minced fresh rosemary (or other fresh herbs)

Heat oven to 400 F.  Grease 2 loaf pans or four mini loaf pans.  In large bowl, whisk together the flour thru pepper.  In another medium bowl, lightly beat eggs with wine and olive oil.  Make a well in flour, pour egg/wine mixture in.  Slowly mix until fully incorporated;  do not overmix.  Lumps are fine.  Fold in veg and rosemary.  Divide batter evenly among pans, bake until top is golden and crusty and a toothpick comes out clean, about 45-50 moinutes or small loaves or 1 hour for large.  Cool.

Breads - Best Ever Banana Bread


2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup buttermilk (or 1 t white vinegar or lemon juice and milk added to 1/3 cup; let sit 5 mins)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup mashed bananas (2)

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 325 deg (165 C). Spray 9 x 5 loaf pan with non-stick spray. Blend together eggs, buttermilk, oil, bananas. Sift together sugar, flour, baking soda, salt. Add to banana mixture and stir in nuts. Mix well. Pour into pan and bake 1 hour 20 mins.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Desserts: Molten Spiced Chocolate Cabernet Cakes

To serve 4 people:

4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
1 T red wine
1 t vanilla
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
6 T flour
1/4 t Roasted Saigon Cinnamon
1/4 t ground ginger
1/8 t ground cloves

Microwave chocolate and butter in large bowl for 1 minute till butter is melted.  Stir with whisk until blended.  Stir in wine, vanilla, sugar until well blended.  Stir in eggs and yolk.  Stir in flour and spices.  Pour batter into 4  6oz buttered custard cups.  Place on baking sheet.  Bake in preheated 425 deg F  13-15 minutes until sides are firm but centers are soft.  Let stand 1 minute then carefully loosen edges with knife.  Invert onto plates.  Sprinkle with addit'l powdered sugar and serve.  (Also nice with vanilla ice cream).

Desserts: Blueberry Pudding Cake (Serves 6-8)

1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 T lemon juice
1 t cornstarch
10 oz (2 cups) blueberries
1 cup flour
1 3/4 t bp
1 t salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter (unsalted), melted and cooled
1 t vanilla

Position oven rack in middle position, preheat 375 F.  Butter 9" square pan.  Stir tog 1/3 cup sugar and water thru corstarch in small saucepan, stir in berries.  Simmer 3 mins, stir occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Whisk tog flour thru salt and 1/2 cup sugar in med bowl.  Whisk tog egg through vanilla in large bowl, add flour, whisking until just combined.  Spoon batter into pan, spread evenly, then pour berry mixt. over batter.  Bake 25-30 mins till knife inserted comes out clean.  Cool 5 mins on rack.  Can be made 1 day ahead, cooled, wrapped in foil, leave at room temp.

Desserts - Ole Mole Cake

Serves 10 - 12
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 t cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/4 t salt
1 cup cold water
 1/4 cup canola oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T vanilla

Heat oven to 350 F;  lightly coat 8" pan with Pam.  Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until smooth.  Pour into pan and bake 25-30 minutes until toothpick insered in the center comes out clean (I found it took a bit longer).  Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes;  remove from pan and cool completely.

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
6 T water
10 small strawberries

When cake has cooled, whisk together the first three glaze ingredients.  Dip each strawberry into the glaze and set aside (I also picture using raspberries or oranges).  Pour remaining glaze over cake and arrnage strawberries on top.  (Before placing berries, I refrigerated the glazed cake to firm up the glaze, then topped with berries and put back in fridge).  Take out of fridge about 15 mins before serving to soften glaze. (I used only about 1/2 this glaze.)

Desserts: Double Chocolate Cheesecake Serves 16

18 Oreo cookies, crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 T butter, melted
32 oz. Philly cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 T flour
1 t vanilla
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted, cooled slightly
4 eggs
1/2 cup blueberries
1 T powdered sugar

Heat oven to 325 F.  Mix cookie crumbs and butter, press into bottom of 9" springform pan.  Bake 10 mins. Beat cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla with mixer until well blended.  Add chocolate and mix well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on slow speed after each just until blended.  Pour over crust.  Bake 55 mins to 1 hour or until center is almost set.  Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake;  cool before removing rim.  Refrig 4 hours. Top with berries just before serving, sprinkle with  powdered sugar.

Desserts - Pears Baked in Wine

4-6 plump Martina or ripe Bosc pears
1 bottle Barolo, Barbaresco, or Moscato d'Asti
sugar (optional)

Wash, do not peel pears. Place in heavy-bottomed medium pot and pour in wine to cover pears. Add sugar if desired. Cover pot, cook over lowest possible heat for 5-6 hours. Wine sauce will be like syrup. Serve at slightly cooler than room temperature. Serves 4-6

Desserts: Banana Fritters with Baarbados Rum Sauce (Serves 6-8)

1 cup flour
1/4 t salt
1 T sugar
2 eggs, separated
2/3 cup milk
1 T melted butter
4-5 ripe bananas
Oil to reach depth of 1/2" in skillet
In a bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar.  Pour the egg yolks, mil, butter into mixture, beat until smooth.  In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff, fold into mixture.
Peel and slice bananas into 1/2" rounds.  Dip into the batter to coat;  allow any excess batter to drip off.  heat oil in large skillet and fry rounds over med-hi to high heat until golden brown, turning once, abt 2 mins total.  Drain on paper towels and serve with rum sauce.

Barbados Rum Sauce:
In a bowl, cream together 4 T dark brown sugar and 4 T butter.  Beat in lightly beaten egg, 4 T dark rum, and pinch of nutmeg.  Pour into small heavy saucepan and stir over low heat until well blended and thickened, about 1 min.  (2/3 cup)

Desserts: Plum Upside-Down Cake Serves 8

1 T unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan;  all at room temp
6-7 firm, ripe plums, each cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sifted cake flour (7/8 cup flour + 2 T cornstarch)
1 t baking powder
1/8 t kosher salt
3 eggs, separated
1 cup granulated sugar
5 T orange juice

Heat oven to 350F.  Butter 9-10" round pan and line bottom with parchment paper. Melt 1 T butter in large skillet over med-hi heat.  Add plums and 1/4 cup sugar and cook, tossing, until sugar dissolves and juices from the plums become syrupy, 3-4 minutes.  Arrange plums in pan in slightly overlapping concentric circles, starting from outside.  Spoon any pan juices over the top. 
Sift flour, bp, s together. Beat yolks until light, adding sugar gradually.  Add juice and sifted flour. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.  Pour batter over fruit.  Bake 375F 30-35 mins (I find it takes a bit more).  Turn upside down on serving plate.  Serve with whipped cream if desired.  Serves 8-10.

Desserts: Butterscotch Custard with Clove and Black Pepper

4 T unsalted butter
175 gr (about 1 cup) dark brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 T Scotch
1 T vanilla
3 gr (about 1/2 t) fine sea salt
6 large egg yolks
3/8 t ground clove
1/4 t black pepper
Creme fraiche

In small saucepan melt butter over med heat.  Stir in sugar until melted and smooth.  Whisk in cream through salt;  bring mixture to a simmer, stirring often.  In large bowl, whisk yolks.  Whiskiing constantly, pour in hot cream mixture in a steady stream until incorporated.  Whisk in clove and pepper;  let steep 20 minutes, until cool.  Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
Heat oven to 325F.  Divide custard among 8 6oz ramekins.  Transfer ramekins to baking dish that fits them fairly snugly.  Fill the dish with hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Cover with foil and prick foil with a fork.  Bake until custards are set but jiggle slightly when nudged, 35-50 minutes.
Cool to room temperature, then wrap with plastic and chill until firm.  Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche.  Serves 8.

Desserts: Panettone Pudding (Serves 8)

2/3 cup light raisins
6-8  slices panettone (about 6 oz)
2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup rum
1/4 cup dry Marsala
3 eggs
2 T grated orange peel
1/2 t cinnamon
Confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 375F.  Butter 12 x 9 x 2" baking dish.  Sprinkle half the raisins in the bottom of dish, top with half of the panettone slices.  Repeat. In medium saucepan, combine milk and sugar, simmer until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and stir in cream, rum, Marsala.  Beat eggs, orange peel and cinnamon, stir in milk mixture. Slowly pour liquid over panettone slices, pressing panettone down to keep it submerges.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Place dish in larger roasting pan, add hot water in roasting pan to 1" depth.  Bake 30 minutes or until knife inserted 2" from edge comes out clean and top is golden.  Just before serving, sift confect sugar over top.  Serve warm or chilled, cut into squares.

Desserts: Meringue Cookies (2 kinds)

Meringue Kisses
3 egg whites
1 t vanilla
1/4 t cream of tartar
1/4 t peppermint extract (opt)
Dash salt
1 cup sugar
3 dozen milk chocolate candy kisses
In small mixer bowl, combine egg whites through salt;  beat to soft peaks.  Very gradually add sugar, beating till very stiff peaks form.  Meringue will be glossy.  Drop from tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheet, about 1 1/2" apart.  Press on candy kiss into each meringue, bring meringue up and over sides of candies with knife or narrow spatula, swirling top.  Sprinkle with green sugar crystals.  Bake 275 F for 30 mins, immediately remove from baking sheet and cool.  Makes about 3 dozen.

Nitey-Nite Cookies
2 egg whites
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Beat egg whites until fluffy.  Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff.  Stir in nuts and chips.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto foil covered cookie sheets.  Place in oven, close door and turn oven off. Leave cookies in oven overnight.  Do not open door!  Go to bed.

Desserts: Orange Cake (Serves 8)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
4 t finely grated orange zest
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t b.p.
1/2 t s
1/2 t b.s.
Confectionary sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly butter 8" square pan, line bottom with waxed paper, lightly butter again.  Beat tog butter thru zest in large bowl with elec mixer until creamy, 2 mins.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating unti just incorporated.  Whisk in sour cream and juice, then rest exc. confect sugar, whisking until just combined.  Pour into pan, bake till golden (test with toothpick) 30-40 mins.  Cool in pan on rack 10 mins, turn out onto rack.  Discard paper and cool.  Dust with sugar.

Desserts - Fannie Mae Cake from Suzy Ball

Bottom layer:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
Cream together, then add:
4 eggs, one at a time
1 t vanilla
1 can (16 oz) Hershey's syrup
1 cup and 1 T flour
Pour into ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Bake 30 mins at 350 deg F. Cool.

Green layer:
Cream together:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 T milk
1/2 t peppermint extract/flavoring
Green food coloring - just a few drops
Refrigerate about an hour to let it set. Spread on cooled bottom layer.

1 cup chocolate chips (1 12 oz. bag)
6 T butter
Melt till smooth, pour on top. Let set.

Very rich - serves 12.

Desserts: Carrot Almond Torte

2 cups thin sliced carrots (about 6)
1 cup water
salt, sugar
1 6oz pkg blanched almonds (or ground almonds)
1/2 cup flour
1 t baking powder
2 T orange liqueur
6 eggs - separated
1 t grated orange peel
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Sliced unblanched almonds

Put carrots, water, 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t sugar in pan, cover, cook low 30 mins. Whirl nuts 1/2 at a time in blender till coarse meal (not necessary if you have ground almonds). Mix with flour, bp, pinch salt. Drain carrots, whirl in blender with 1 T liqueur. In large bowl, beat yolks till light. Gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups sugar till fluffy and pale ivory. With rubber scraper, lightly but thoroughly blend in carrot mixt. With clean beaters in small bowl, beat whites till peaks stiff but not dry, fold big spoonfuls of whites into batter. Turn into 2 greased and floured 9" layer pans or 9" spring form pan. Bake 325 deg. F 35-40 minutes for the layers; 50-60 springform. Remove. Whip cream and 1 T liqueur to soft peaks. If springform pan, split in layers. Spread cream between and on top. Garnish with sliced almonds.

Dessert - Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I hadn't made this in so many years and wondered why when everyone raved about it!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 #2 can sliced pineapple
Whole pecans
1 cup sifted cake flour (substitute:  7/8 cup regular flour & 2 T cornstarch)
1 t bp
1/8 t salt
3 eggs separated
1 cup granulated sugar
5 T pineapple juice

Melt butter in large round baking pan (9" or 10"), spread brown sugar evenly on top. Arrange pineapple slices on top and fill in spaces with pecans. Sift flour, bp, s tog. Beat egg yolks until light, adding sugar gradually. Add pineapple juice and sifted flour. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour batter over pineapple. Bake 375 F 30-35 minutes (I found it needed about 10 mins more). Turn upside down on serving plate. Serve with whipped cream if desired (it doesn't need it). Serves 8.

Desserts - Figs

1 pound fresh figs
1/4 cup sugar
1 T evoo
1 t chopped thyme
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
pinch salt
1/2 cup creme fraiche
Store-bought cake

In med bowl, toss figs with sugar, oil, thyme, pepper and salt. Let stand at room temp for 1 hour, until figs begin to soften and release their juices. Spoon over cake, top with creme fraiche and sprig of thyme, serve at once.

Desserts - Fresh Fruit and Mint Salad

1 papaya or mango
1 cup strawberries
2 kiwis
1 banana
2 navel oranges
3 T honey
1 T Grand Marnier
3-5 sprigs fresh mint
1 cup raspberries or blueberries

Peel and dice mango or papaya and put in medium bowl. Trim strawberry stems and halve or quarter if large. Add to bowl of fruit. Peel and dice kiwi, add to bowl. Peel and slice bananas, add to bowl. Cut top and bottom off oranges just deep enough to expose innter fruit; following curve of the fruit, cut skin and pith off orange in panels; holding orange over the bowl, cut between membranes to free segments, letting them fall into the bowl as they are cut free. By hand, squeeze all the juice from the remaining membrane over the fruit, then discard.
Lightly stir honey and Grand Marnier into the fruit. Strip the mint leaves off the stem, tear or chop into smaller pieces, stir into fruit. Add berries and set aside for 10 minutes or up to 2 hours. Serves 6.

Desserts - Pears Poached in Green Tea

First make Matcha Cream:

1 cup low-fat or nonfat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 1/2 t confectioners' sugar
2 t matcha dissolved in 1 T very hot water (optional)

Line a sieve or colander with cheesecloth (or coffee filter lined with filter paper) and set over a bowl leaving at least 1/2" clearance from the bottom. Spoon in yogurt, cover and let drain in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Discard whey. Whip cream in small bowl until soft peaks form; add sugar and continue whipping until firm peaks form. Fold in drained yogurt, along with matcha mixture, if using. Cover and refrig for up to 2 days.

1/4 cup Matcha Cream
4 cups water
1 1/2 T green tea leaves, preferably sencha
1 cup sugar
1 T chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 t almond extract
4 firm ripe Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled, halved, cored
1 T sliced almonds, toasted

Bring water to boil in shallow pan or deep skillet. Stir in tea, turn off heat and let steep, covered, for 5 minutes. Pour through cheesecloth-lined sieve to remove leaves, return tea to pan. Add sugar, ginger, almond extract and bring just to a boil. Add pears, cut-side up, and poach over low heat until quite tender when pieced with a wooden skewer. Transfer to a bowl and let pears cool in the poaching liquid.

Serve at room temperature or chilled. Use a slotted spoon to place two pear halves in each dessert dish; spoon 2 T of poaching liquid over pears. Serve with a generous dollop of Matcha Cream and garnish with almonds. Serves 4.

Desserts: Croissant Bread Pudding (Serves 12)

4 large croissants (abt. 3 oz each)
1 red baking apple
6 eggs
1/2 cup + 3 T sugar
2 cups half and half
1 orange
1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped
3/4 cup butterscotch caramel ice cream topping
1/4 t rum extract
1/2 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Lightly spray "deep dish baker".  Slice croissants fro top to bottom into 1/2" slices.  Set aside 16 of the largest slices.  Cube remaining slices and place in bottom of baker.  Arange reserved slices over cubes in overlapping circular pattern.  Core and slice apple, leaving peel on;  cut slices in half.  Tuck apple slices between croissant slices.  In bowl, whisk eggs and 1/2 cup of sugar.  Pour half & half into glass bowl, microwave on HIGH 2 mins or until hot.  Slowly add half and half to egg mixture, whisk until well blended.  Carefully pour egg mixt over croissants.  If necessary lightly press croissants down to coat.
Zest orange for 2 t zest.  Juice for 1/4 cup juice.  Chop pecans.  Combine remaiing sugar, orange zest, pecans;  sprinkle over croissants.  Bake 30-35 mins or until golden brown and set in center.  Remove from oven to rack, let stand 10 mins.  Combine ice cream topping, rum extract, reserved orange juice and raisins in glass bowl;  microwave on HIGH 30-60 seconds or until hot, pour into serving bowl.  Serve sauce over pudding.

Dessert - Lemon Fondant

2 cups powdered sugar
2 T water
2 lemons, zested and juiced

In a mixing bowl, combine sifted sugar, water, zest, and juice. Drizzle over any fruits and/or cake for dessert.

Dessert - Strawberries and Cream Tart

Serves 6-8

2 T veg oil
1 egg yolk
2 T cold whole milk
1 t apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 t baking powder
3 T granulated sugar
1/2 t salt
6 T cold unsalted butter in 1/4" cubes
1 whole egg

Whisk veg oil - vinegar in a bowl. Pulse the flour - salt in processor; add butter and pulse until mixture looks like coarse meal. Add milk mixt and pulse once or twice, just to moisten the flour. Transfer dough to 9" round tart pan with removable bottom; pat onto bottom and up the sides. Cover w plastic wrap and refrig until firm, at least 30 mins. Trim edges if necessary.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Pierce dough all over with fork. Line with foil and fill with weights or dried beans. Place pan on baking sheet and bake 15 mins. Remove foil and weights; continue to bake until golden, 10-15 minutes more. Beat a whole egg with 1 t water, lightly brush over crust and bake 5 more mins. Cool completely on a rack.


1 t unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seed scraped out
1 1/4 cups cold light cream
1 quart strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/2" pieces
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Sprinkle gelatin over 1 T cold water in a bowl and let soften 5 minutes. Put sugar and vanilla seeds in a saucepan and rub the seeds into sugar with your fingers. Add 1 cup cream and whisk over med heat to dissolve sugar. When mixture comes to a boil, remove fr heat and whisk in the gelatin mixt. Transfer to a bowl, set in larger bowl of ice water and stir with rubber spatual until the mixt begins to thicken. Add remaining 1/4 cup cream and stir until thick, abt 2 mins. Pour into tart shell and refrig until set, about 1 hour. Before serving, top with strawberries and sifted confect sugar.

Dessert - Lemon Curd Trifle with Fresh Berries

Serves 6
6 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
4 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut in chunks
1 pint strawberries, stemmed and halved
1 pint blueberries
1 pint blackberries
2 cups sweetened whipped cream
1 prepared lemon pound cake, sliced
1/4 c sherry
1/4 c Cognac
1/2 cup raspberry jam
1/4 cup Limoncello or Grand Marnier
Fresh mint leaves

Cut pound cake into suitable pieces, soak in combination of sherry and Cognac.  Spread each piece with jam and place in large serving bowl.  Let stand 2-3 hours.

Bring pot of water to simmer over med-low heat. Comb yolks - lemon juice & zest in metal or glass heat-resistant bowl and whisk until smooth. Set bowl over simmering water, without letting the bottom touch the water, continue to whisk. Keep whisking for a good 10 minutes until curd has doubled in volume and is very thick and yellow. Don't let it boil. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the butter, a couple of chunks at a time, until melted. Refrigerate until custard is cold and firm.

To build the trifle: put berries in a mixing bowl and toss tog so they are evenly distributed. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled lemon curd to lighten it up into a mousse. Spoon on a layer of lemon curd over the cake, then a layer of berries. Repeat layers until the ingredients are used up, the last layer looks best if it's the berries. Chill before serving. Garnish with fresh mint.

Dessert - Butterscotch Pudding with Choc Ganache

To serve 4:    HUGE SUCCESS!

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 T + 2 t cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 heavy cream
2 T unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 t pure vanilla extract

Whisk tog brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan; whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil over med heat, whisking frequently. Boil, whisking, 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. Pour into a bowl, cover surface with buttered wax paper and chill until cold - at least 1 1/2 hours.

Top with Chocolate Ganache (below), whipped cream, and salted almonds.

Chocolate Ganache   (I used 100 gr of dark chocolate and about 3/4 cup of heavy cream - could have used a bit more cream, maybe a cup).

To make ganache, hot cream is poured over chopped chocolate (semi sweet or bittersweet) and the mixture is stirred until velvety smooth. Proportions of choc to cream vary depending on its use - typical is one to one. (For this I like it softer, so more hot cream). Different flavorings could be added such as liqueurs and extracts.

When barely warm and liquid, ganache can be poured over a cake or torte for a smooth and shiny glaze. If cooled to room temp, it becomes a spreadable filling and frosting. Refrigerated ganache can be whipped for fillings and frostings or formed into truffles.

Desserts: Minted Poached Pears (Serves 6)

2 cups water  (570 ml)
2 cups red wine  (570 ml)
1 cup sugar  (225 g)
1 lemon
3 4" sprigs fresh mint (10 cm)
6 firm pears with stems
6 oz. Parmigiano Reggiano in large nuggets  (170 g)
6 sprigs fresh mint for garnish

In a saucepan, combine water, wine, sugar.  Bring mixture to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Cut lemon peel into long strips, free of the bitter white pith.  Juice the peeled lemon.  Add peel, juice, mint to wine mixt.  Remove from heat.
Leaving stem attached, peel each pear.  Cut a thin slice off each pear bottom and quickly, to avoid discoloration, stand pears upright in wine mixt.  Return to med-hi heat and bring to gentle simmer.  Adjust heat so liquid does not boil.  Cook pears 15-30 mins, depending on ripeness.  Test regularly with a skewer.  When tender throughout, pears are done.  Allow to cool in liquid for 30 mins.
Remove pears and strain paoching liquid into a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook 15-20 mins, until it coats a spoon in a light sticky syrup.  If desired, cool syrup and rewarm before serving.
To serve:  spoon or brush a small puddle of warm syrup onto each plate.  Place a pear in the center and arrange several nuggets of cheese next to it. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve immediately.

Desserts: Fresh Pineapple with Grand Marnier (Serves 4-6)

1 ripe fresh pineapple
1/2 cup Grand Marnier

Cut pineapple lengthwise into quarters or sixths, leaving leaves attached.  Cut fruit from skin into bit-sized sections, but leave in the shell to serve.  With a pastry brush, coat fruit sections with Grand Marnier.  Chill before serving.

Desserts: Cold Lemon Souffle with Raspberry Sauce (Serves 10)

1 T unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
5 eggs, separated
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 t freshly grated lemon rind
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup whipping cream

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water to soften.  Mis egg yolks with lemon juice and rind and 3/4 cup sugar.  Place in top of double boiler and cook, stirring constantly until lemon mit is slightly thickened, about 8 mins.  Remove from heat and stir in gelatin until dissolved.  Chill 30-40 mins.  Beat egg whites until stiff, grad add remaining 3/4 cup sugar.  Whip cream until stiff fold egg white and whipped cream into yolk mixt until no white streaks remain.  Pour into 2 quart souffle dish and chill at least 4 hours.  Serve with Raspberry Sauce.

Raspberry Sauce:
2 packages frozen raspberries
2 T Cointreau
Defrost raspberries and puree in blener until smooth.  Strain through a sieve and add Cointreau.  Chill.

Desserts: Drunken Casserole Cake (Serves 8-10)

4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 t bp
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 t vanilla
Beat egg whites until stiff and add 4 T sugar.  Beat yolks with remaining sugar and add to whites.  Fold in dry ingredients and add melted butter and vanilla.  Pour into 2 quart casserole, bake 375F for 30 minutes.  REmove from oven and make holes in the top with ice pick.  Pour sauce over warm cake.

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup rum, brandy, or sherry
toasted chopped almonds or toasted shredded coconut for topping
Boil sugar and water until soft ball stage.  Remove from heat, add rum.  Pour sauce over cake and before all liquid is absorbed sprinkle with almond or coconut.  (Good served warm or at room temp the 2nd day).

Desserts - Lemon Squares

3/4 cup butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar (glace)
1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon rind
powdered sugar to sprinkle

Combine butter, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, flour; pat into 8" square greased pan. Bake at 350 deg F (abt 170) for 20-30 minutes. Blend sugar, eggs, flour, lemon juice and rind and pour over hot crust. Bake at 350 deg. 20-30 minutes. When cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar. DO NOT DOUBLE RECIPE. 16-18 pieces

Desserts: Candied Oranges

1 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups water
2 t vanilla
1/2 t ground cinnamon
6 seedless oranges
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup whipped cream
1 T brandy

In a heavy pot that will hold the oranges snugly, make a syrup of the sugar, water, vanilla, cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover, simmer for 15 minutes.  Grate skin of each orange lightly to allow syrup to penetrate into the fruit. Add oranges to syrup.  The oranges should be 3/4 covered by the syrup.  Reduce heat to low, cover, slowly cook oranges for 2 hours.  Turn once or twice during cooking.  Remove pot from heat, add lemon juice, recover and let oranges cool in the syrup.  Chill overnight.  To serve, slice oranges cross-wise and arrange on a shallow serving plate.  Top with a dollop of brandy flovored whipped cream.  Candied oranges will keep for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator.  (You could use 2 pounds of kumquate instead of oranges:  will need to cook for only 1 hour.  To serve, place in small glass bowls and top with whipped cream).

Desserts: Mixed Berries with Limoncello

From Giada de Laurentiis:

4 cups mixed berries
2 T Limoncello
2 T finely chopped fresh mint leaves
2 T finely chopped fresh basil leaves

Place all in a medium bowl. Toss to combine. Serve in individual dishes to serve 4. Or I serve over angel food cake to serve 8.

Desserts - Ginny Elzinga's Chocolate Cream Espresso Torte

Serves 12.  Make AT LEAST one day ahead or up to 2 days.
1 cup hazlenuts, toasted
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
Preheat oven to 325 F.  Combine first 5 ingredients in processor, blend until nuts are finely ground.  Add butter and cut in using on/off turns until dough begins to clump together.  Press dough over bottom (not sides) of 9" diameter springform pan with 2 3/4" sides.  Bake until golden brown, about 25 mins.  Cool.

2 cups chilled whipping cream
10 oz bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 oz imported milk chocolate
2 large eggs
2 t instant espresso powder
1 t vanilla
Bring cream to boiil in heavy medium saucepan.  REmove from heat.  Add both chocolates, whisk until smooth.  Whisk eggs, espresso powder, vanilla in large bowl to blend.  Gradually whisk in chocolate mixt (filling will be very thin).  POur over crust.  Bake until filling moves only slightly in center when pan is shaken, about 55 mins.  Chill until cold, at least 2 hours.

1 t unflavored gelatin
1 T water
1 cup chilled whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 t instant espresso powder
Sprinkle gelatin over 2 T water in small bowl.  Let stand 10 mins to soften, set bowl in saucepan of simmering water and stir until gelatin dissolves.  Remove from heat.  Using electric mixer, beat 1 cream, sugar, espresso powder in large bowl to soft peaks.  Gradually beat in gelatin mixture.  Spoon whipped cream over filling, smooth top.  Chill until set, about 3 hours.

To serve:  Run knite between torte and pan sides to loosen, remove sides.  Transfer torte to platter.  Sprinkle with chocolate shavings, if desired.  Serve.

Dessert - My World-Famous Carrot Cake

Small carrots shredded to make 2 cups
1/2 c walnuts, chopped coarsely
2 c flour, unsifted
1 1/2 t soda
2 t each: baking powder, ground cinnamon
1 t salt
2 c sugar, half brown
4 eggs
1 1/2 c salad oil
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained

Process in food processor flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt for 2 seconds to mix. Transfer to large bowl. Process sugar and eggs for 15 seconds till well mixed. Add oil and process for 5 seconds to blend. Pour oil mixture over dry ingredients and mix with spoon. Stir in carrots, nuts, and pineapple.
Pour batter into greased and flour-dusted 9 x 13" pan. Bake 350 for 45 minutes. Cool before frosting.

Cream cheese frosting: Cut a 1/2" by 3" strip of orange zest. Cut into chuncks: 6 oz cream cheese and 6 T butter. With metal blade in place, turn on food processor. Drop zest and chunks of cream cheese and butter through feed tube. Process till zest is finely chopped. Add 1 t vanilla and 2 cups powdered sugar. Process till blended. Spread.

Desserts: Strawberry Blackberry Summer Trifle (Serves 10-12)

5 cups strawberries (about 2 pounds)
3 cups blackberries  (about 10 oz)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream, chilled (whipped with vanilla and lemon zest)
1/3 cup elderflowwer syrup or lychee syrup or boysenberry syrup
1 prepared angel food cake or pound cake or lady fingers

Reserve a handful of the prettiest whole strawberries and black berries for the topping.

Hull and halve the remaining strawberries and toss with sugar in med bowl with blackberries.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until they get juicy, about 1 hour.  Whip cream in a chilled bowl until it holds soft peaks.  Fold the syrup into the cream and keep chilled until ready to assemble the trifle.

Tear or cut the cake into 2" pieces.  Scatter about half the cake on the bottom of a trifle dish or clear glass bowl.  Ladle half of the berries and their juices on top of the cake, top with half the whipped cream.  Repeat with remaining cake, berries, cream to finish.  Garnish the top with the reserved whole berries, refrig for 2-24 hours.  Serve chilled.

Desserts - Tiramisu

Serves 12 - 16

Beat together till pale and creamy:
3 egg yolks
1 lemon peel
6 T sugar

Beat till stiff:
3 egg whites
1 T sugar
1/8 t salt

Mix with eggs yolks and egg whites:
750 gr. mascarpone
6 T sugar

Mix together:
1 T sugar
1 cup strong coffee
1/4 cup Kahlua

Use 1 package Savoiardi cookies (Lady fingers but not soft like the American ones)

Arrange cookies in bottom of 7 X 11" pan. Soak with 1/2 coffee mixture. Spread with 1/2 cheese mixture. Arrange 2nd layer of cookies, soak with coffee mixture. Spread with rest of cheese. Refrigerate overnight.
Before serving, sprinkle heavily with unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with 1-2 T super fine sugar.

Variation: Orange peel and Grand Marnier

Dessert - Betty Perl's Peach Cobbler

1 cup flour
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
4 T butter
1 egg
1/4 c milk (soy is fine)
2 1/2 pounds peaches or mix of peaches & plums
4 t cornstarch
1/4 t cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream

Heat oven to 400. Mix flour, 2 T sugar, bp and salt in med bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat tog the egg and milk until blended. Add to flour mixt, stir only to incorporate, dough forms (Add a bit of orange peel, if desired). Peel, pit and slice peaches - about 5 cups. Put remaining sugar in med saucepan, with cornstarch and cinnamon. Add peaches. Cook over med heat, stirring constantly, until peaches are tender and syrup is clear, thickened, and boiling, about 5-7 mins. Pour into deep 2 quart baking dish. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls in 6 portions over hot mixture. Bake about 20 mins, until golden. Serve with ice cream. Serves 6.

I like to add blueberries - don't cook, just add to baking dish.

Desserts: Champagne Gratinee with Berries (To serve 6)

3/4 cup, pus 2 T sugar
6 T water
1 pint ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced in thick rounds
1 T + 4 1/2 t fresh lemon juice
2 T thinly sliced mint leaves, plus 6 sprigs for garnish
2 T Grand Marnier
2 1/2 cups dry Champagne or other sparkling wine
1/2 cup fresh orange juice

Mix the 3/4 cup sugar and water in small saucepan.  Bring to boil over med heat, boil until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute.  Let cool.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine berries, 2 T sugar, 1 T lemon juice, sliced mint and Grand Marnier.  Cover and let stand for at least 2 hours.
In shallow nonreactive pan, combine sugar syrup, Champagne, orange juice and 4 1/2 t lemon juice.  Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours.  To serve, scrape gratine with fork into large crystals.  Spoon into chilled martini or other wide-mouthed glasses.  Surround with beries and garnish with mint.  Serve immediately.

Dessert - Cinnamon Oranges OR Oranges in Red Wine

SErves 4

4 navel oranges
2 T orange juice
2 T lemon juice
1 T sugar
1/4 t ground cinnamon

With a sharp knife, remove rind and white pith from oranges. Cut each into 5-6 slices and arrange on 4 plates. Whisk together orange juice and lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon. Spoon over the orange slices.

6 large navel oranges, peeled and coarsely chopped, discarding tough membranes
1 750 ml bottle Chianti or other Italian red wine.

Divide oranges among 12 5-8 oz juice glasses and top with wine. Let stand 5 minutes. (Fruit may be cut 4 hours ahead and kept at room temp.)

Desserts - Chocolate Truffle Cake

16 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 t all purpose flour
1 1/2 t sugar
1 t hot water
4 eggs, separated

1 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease bottom of 8" springform pan. Melt choc and butter in top of double boiler (or in microwave). Add flour, sugar, and water and blend well. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into choc mixture. Turn into pan and bake 15 minutes only - CAKE WILL LOOK VERY UNCOOKED IN CENTER. Let cool completely - it will sink a bit as it cools. Keeps in fridge for 2 weeks or put in freezer. To serve, whip cream and spread over cake. Cut cake while cold but let stand at room temp 15 mins before serving. Serves 8 according to recipe, but it's rich, so really can serve 10 - 12.

Dessert: My Grandma's Blonde Brownies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup butter
1 lb. brown sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts or pecans

Butter a 10 x 15 pan. Preheat oven to 350. Sift tog flour, salt, bs and set aside. Melt the butter in a pan on the stovetop with the sugar, blend well, remove from heat and cool 10 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the dry ingredients gradually and the vanilla and mix well. Add the choc chips and nuts. Put in the prepared pan and bake 30 mins.

This might also be good with the butterscotch chips.

Desserts - Citrus Semifreddo

3/4 cup sugar
8 large egg yolks
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 T freshly sqeezed lime juice
2 T limoncello
Pinch of salt
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lime
1 cup heavy cream
2 ounces amaretti cookies (about 10 small cookies), crushed

Spray a 9 x 5 x 3" metal loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line with plastic wrap, allowing excess to hang over ends and sides.
Whisk 1/2 cup of sugar, egg yolks, lemon and lime juices, limoncello, and salt in large metal bowl to blend. Stir in zests. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Whisk egg mixture until it is thick and creamy, and a thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 160F, about 5 mins. Set bowl of custard into another bowl of ice water to cool completely. Using an electric mixer, beat cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in another large bowl until firm peaks form. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into custard. Spoon mixture into prepared loaf pan. Fold plastic wrap over the custard and freeze until frozen, at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.

Unfold plastic wrap. Invert semifreddo onto a platter and peel off the plastic wrap. Cut semifreddo into 1" slices, sprinkle with cookie crumbs, and serve.

Dessert - Plum and Walnut Crisp

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 t salt
pinch ground nutmeg
6 T chilled unsalted butter in 1/2 " pieces

1 pint vanilla ice cream
1/4 c finely chopped crystallized ginger

2 1/2 pounds plums, pitted and quartered
1/2 cup sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 t vanilla extract

Mix first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until small moist clumps form. Cover and refridgerate 20 minutes. (Can be made 3 days ahead).
Microwave ice cream in 5 second intervals until slightly softened. Mix with ginger in med bowl to blend. Cover and refreeze. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep frozen)
Preheat oven to 400 deg. Toss plums, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla in bowl. Let stand until sugar dissolves, tossing occasionally, about 5 mins. Transfer to 11x7" glass baking dish. Sprinkle topping over, bake unmtil topping is dark golden brown and fruit is bubbling, about 40 mins. Cool slights on rack about 30 mins.
Scoop warm crisp into shallow bowls. Top with scoop of ice cream.

6 servings

Desserts: Eggnog Custard Serves 8

5 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 t vanilla
1/4 cup brandy or rum

Heat oven to 350F.  Whisk together eggs and sugar.  Slowly whisk in milk, cream, vanilla, brandy.  POur custard into 8" baking dish, 8 ramekins, or 8 ovenproof teacups.  Place in roasting pan, add enough hot water to reach halfway up sides.  Bake 40 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 48 hours.  Serve with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.  (To prevent skin forming, place piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the custard before refrigerating).

Desserts: Chocolate Mousse en Phyllo

6 18x12" sheets phyllo
6 T butter, melted
5 egg whites  (one separately)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 6 oz. package (1 cup) semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup butter
1 t instant coffee crystals
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup sugar
1 T sugar
Whipped cream
Toasted sliced almonds
Generously grease a 9" round cake pan with removable bottom.  Stack phyllo sheets in bottom and up sides of pan, brushing each with some of the melted butter, letting sheets overlap pan edges.  Trim dough to pan edge, crumble trimmings into pan.  Brush trimmings with remaining melted butter.  Bake in 375 deg. F oven for 20 minutes till puffed and golden (crust will flatten on cooling). Combine one egg white and 1 T water - immediately brush over hot crust. Cool.
In small saucepan soften gelatin in 1/3 cup in cold water.  Heat and stir till gelatin is dissolved.  Stir in chocolate and 1/2 cup butter, and the coffee crystals;  heat and stir till melted.  Remove from heat;  set aside.  In top of double boiler combine egg yolks and brandy;  beat till frothy with electric mixer.  Gradually beat in the 1/2 cup sugar till yolks are thick and lemon-colored.  Place over simmering water (upper pan should not touch water).  Cook and stir about 8 minutes or just till slightly thicker.  Do not overcook.  Place pan over cold water;  beat 3-4 minutes till consistency of mayonnaise.  Stir chocolate mixture into yolk mixture. Wash beaters well.  Beat remaining egg whites to soft peaks (tips curl over); gradually add remaining sugar, beating to stiff peaks.  Fold chocolate mixture into egg white mixture.  Pour into baked crust.  Chill, covered, at least 3 hours or overnight.  To serve, remove from pan;  top with shipped cream and sliced toasted almonds.  Cut into thin wedges.  Serves 12.

Desserts: Panettone Farcito (Serves 12)

3 cups ricotta
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 t vanilla
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
2 T grated orange peel
1 2 pound panettone
Orange liqueur, to taste

With whisk, beat ricotta, sugar & vanilla till smooth and creamy. Remove 1/2 to 2nd bowl.  Add cocoa to 1st bowl and whisk till blended.  Stir chocolate & orange peel into 2nd bowl.  Remove paper collar from panettone, turn on side.  Cut off 3/4" layer from bottom.  Cut off domed top.  With long knife, cut out center of cake leaving 1" shell.  Cut center portion into 4 layers, setting aside one layer for other use.  Place bottom on serving platter, place shell on bottom forming open drum.
Sprinkle insides with orange liqueur.  Spread bottom with 1/2 cocoa mixture.  Insert layer, sprinkle with liqueur.  Spread 1/2 orange mixture.  Continue layering.  Place dome on top.  Chill at least 3 hours.  Sift confect sugar on top and serve.

Desserts - Betsy Magagna's Apple Crisp

5-6 medium apples
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

Peel, core apples, slice into buttered baking dish. Combine OJ with sugar, pour over apples. Mix brown sugar thru flour till well blended. Cut in butter with pastry blender till size of small peas. Squeeze small handfuls together firmly, crumble evenly over apples in coarse chunks. Bake in preheated oven at 375 F about 40 mins. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Desserts: Apple Cake with HOT Caramel Sauce

1/2 cup pecans
5 medium apples to yield 2 1/2 cups chopped  (firm cooking apples)
1/2 cup butter at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 t bs
1/2 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1 scant t ground nutmet
1 cup all-purpose flour
 Hot Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup evaporated milk
Sweetened whipped cream, fresh unpeeled apple slices
Cake:  preheat oven to 350 F.  Place pecans in food processor and process unti fine.  Set aside.  Peel, core, and quarter apples and place in processor, process until they are in medium-coarse shards, about the size of almonds.  Set aside.
Place butter in large mixer bowl, add sugar and beat until fluffy.  Add egg and beat until blended.  Add soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg - mix quickly.  Add flour and just blend.  Add apples and nuts.  Pour mixture into greased 9" round cake pan and bake for 30 minutes, until top springs back.  Cool slightly.  Center may sink somewhat.
For sauce, melt butter, br sugar, salt in small saucepan over med heat.  Bring to boil, stirring with whisk.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and milk.  Stir again with whisk.
To serve, cut cake into eight wedges.  Ladle a large spoonful of sauce onto each of 8 dessert plates.  Place wedge of cake on top of sauce.  Garnish with dollop of whipped cream and two apple slices.
(Note:  Sauce may be made ahead of time and reheated over hot water.  Refrigerated cake will keep for a week.)

Desserts: Pear Cornmeal Cake with Rosemary Syrup (Serves at least 8)

8 T unsalted butter (125 gr), melted, plus more for the pan
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t fine salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, whisked
2 ripe pears, cut into 8 wedges each
6 large sprigs rosemary
(whipped cream for serving - optional)  or (powdered sugar on top, as done by Jeanne)

Heat oven to 350 F.  Butter a 9" spring-form pan.  Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 cup of the sugar in a large bowl.  Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter in medium bowl.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk to combine.  Fold in pears.
Transfer batter to pan.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45-55 minutes.  Cool in pan for 15 minutes;  transfer to wire rack.
Meanwhile, heat rosemary, remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup water in small pot over medium heat.  Cook, stirring, until sugar is melted.  Remove from heat, cover, and let sit, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes up to 4 hours.  Discard rosemary.  While cake is still warm, brush top and side with rosemary syrup.  Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream, if desired.
Calories: 393; Fat 14g, Sat Fat 9g; Cholesterol 88 mg, Sodium 333 mg, Protein 5 g, Carbo 62 gr, Sugar 36 gr, Fiber 2g, Iron 2 mg, Calcium 62 mg.

Desserts - Irish Coffee Cheesecake (Serves 10 or more)

Oatmeal Crust
1/2  12 1/2 oz. package crisp oatmeal cookies
1 T dark brown sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
3 1/2 T well0chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Lightly butter 9" springform pan. Finely grind cookies-cinnamon in food processor.  Add butter and process until crumbs hold together.  Press into prepared pan, covering bottom and extending 1 1/2" up sides.  Bake until crust darkens slightly, about 8 mins.  Cool completely.

Coffee Filling
24 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 cup + 2 1/2 T firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 eggs, room temp
2 T + 2 t coffee liqueur
1/2 t vanilla
5 t instant espresso powder
7 T Irish whiskey (Jamesons)
Preheat oven to 325 F.  Blend cream cheese and sugar in processor until smooth, stopping occ to scrape down sides of bowl.  Mix in 1 egg, liqueur and vanilla.  Disolve espresso powder in whiskey in large bowl.  Stir in cheese mixt. Whisk in remaining 3 eggs, 1 at a time.  Pour filling into cooled crust.  Bake until outer 2 " of cake are firm and slightly puffed, about 45 mins (centr will appear moist and edges may crack slightly). Cool to room temp on rack.  Refrigeratee until well chilled.  Cover with plastic wrap and let mellow for 1-2 days.

3/4 t instant espresso powder
1/2 t sugar
1 T whipping cream
1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
2 T sugar
Chocolate coffee beans
Dissolve instant espresso powder and 1/2 t sugar in 1 T cream in small bowl. Beat 1 1/2 c. cream and 2 T sugar in large bowl until peaks form.  Fold in espresso mixture.  Spread on chilled cake before serving.

Desserts: Eggnog Cheesecake

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c finely chopped pecans
1/4 c butter, melted
3 8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c packed brown sugar
2/3 c eggnog
2 T flour
1 t vanilla
1/4 t ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1 6 oz package Heath Bits 'O Brickle (1 cup)
1/3 c chopped walnuts or hazelnuts
2-4 oz white or semisweet chocolate melted (opt)

For crust, in a small mixing bowl comb crumbs, sugar, pecans, melted butter.  Press mixture onto bottom and 1 1/2" up sides of 9" spring-form pan.  Bake 350 F 10 mins.
In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese with electric mixer until fluffy.  Beat in br sugar, eggnog, flour, vanilla, nutmeg until smooth.  Add eggs and beat just until blended.  Fold in 2/3 cup Brickle and the nuts.  Pour mixture into baked crust.  Bake 350 F 40-45 mins until centr spears nearly set when shaken.  Cool in pan on wire rack for 30 mins.  Loosen sides and remove rim from pan.  Cool on wire rack.  Cover and chill.
Before serving, sprinkle with remaining Brickle.  Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.  STore in refrigerator.  Serves 12.

Desserts - Chocolate Pots (Serves 8)

2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 T cornstarch
1/8 t kosher salt
3 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 t vanilla
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 t unsweetened cocoa powder

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt.  Add 1/3 cup milk, stirring to form a smooth paste.  Whisk in egg yolks and remaining milk.  Cook mixture over med-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula until thickened, 12-15 minutes (do not allow to boil).  Remove from heat.  Add vanilla and chocolate, stirring until choc is melted and mixture is smooth.  Pour into 8 4 oz ramekins, glasses, or teacups.  Refrigerate, covered, until chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.  Sprinkle with cocoa powder before serving.

Desserts - Pear Bread Pudding (Serves 4)

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 t unsalted butter
1/4 t salt
4 eggs
5 slices soft whole-wheat bread, each cut in half
2 pears, peeled, cored, cut into eighths
1 t cinnamon
1/4 pound thinly sliced Cheddar
Heat oven to 375F.  Butter a 9" square pan.  In a saucepan, heat milk through salt until small bubbles form.  In a bowl, whisk tog eggs, then add warm milk mist in a slow stream, whisking constantly.  Layer pan with bread, top with pears.  Pous milk-egg mitx into pan, sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake until golden, about 35 mins.  Top with Cheddar, if desired, and bake until cheese is melted, 5-10 mins.  Serve warm.

Desserts: CHocolate Chip Chiffon Cake (large)

Measure (level) and sift together into bowl:
2 cups sifted flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 t bp
1 t salt

Make a well, and add in order:
1/2 cup cooking oil
7 unbeaten egg yolks
3/4 cup cold water
2 t vanilla
Beat with spoon until smooth. 

Measure into large mixing bowl:
1 cup egg whites (7-8)
1/2 t cream of tartar
Whip until whites form VERY stiff peaks, stiffer than for meringue.  Do not underbeat.

Pour egg yolk mixture gradually over shipped whites, gently folding with rubber spatula until blended.  Do not stir.  Sprinkle over top of batter gently folding with a few strokes:
3 squares unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate (3 oz) coarsely grated.  Pour into ungreased 10" tube pan and bake at 325 for about 55 minutes until top springs back when lightly touched.  Turn pan upside down over bottle until cold.

Dessert: Rum Pudding with Raspberry Sauce

1/4 t salt
3 egg yolks
6 T sugar
1 T unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup milk
3 T rum
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Raspberry Sauce

Add salt to eggs, beat until thick and lemon colored. Gradually beat in sugar. Soften gelatin in milk, heat till dissolves, cool slightly. Add milk to eggs, beating constantly. Add rum. Chill until partly set, fold in cream, turn into individual molds. Chill till set, about 4 hours. Serves 6.

Raspberry Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1 T cornstarch
1 10 oz pkg frozen raspberries, thawed
1/3 cup cold water

Combine sugar and cornstarch, stir in rest. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and boiling. Boil 2 mins more. Push through sieve, chill. 1 cup sauce.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Miscellaneous - Christmas Aperitif

To serve 8

1 cup Campari
1/2 cup gin
8 t Rose's Lime Juice
1 750 ml well-chilled bottle of Asti Spumante
8 lime slices

Mix Campari, gin, and lime juice. Refrigerate until well chilled. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead). Divide mixture among stemmed glasses. Top with Asti Spumante. Garnish with lime.

Miscellaneous: Pomegranate Mimosas

In a large pitcher, mix 3 cups pomegranate or cranberry juice with a bottle of sparkling wine.  Add a few lime slices to the pitcher or to each glass, just before serving.

Miscellaneous: Spiced Pecans

16 oz. whole pecans
1 egg white
1 t water
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
Beat egg white and water until frothy but not stiff. Add pecans, stir until coated.  Mix cinnamon, sugar, salt.  Coat pecans by stirring.  Spread on greased large cookie sheet.  Bake 1 hour at 225 F.  Stir every 15 mins.  Cool on wire rack.  Store in covered jar.
From Sally Morneault

Miscellaneous: Frosted Coffee (Serves 3-4)

Blend 15 seconds in blender till smooth:
2 cups strong coffee
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1/8 t cinnamon

Miscellaneous - Hot Apple Wine

3 cups cider
1/4 cup sugar
3" stick cinnamon
6 cloves
Peel of 1/4 lemon in strips
1 dry white wine
2 T lemon juice

In pan combine cider through peel, bring to boil, stir till sugar dissolves.  Simmer, uncovered, 15 mins, strain.  Add rest, heat thru, do not boil.  Serve in pre-heated mugs.

Misc: Hard-boiled Eggs

Preheat oven to 325 deg. F.  Place eggs in muffin tin.  Bake 25-30 minutes.