Caramel

Zabaglione Zen Pie

September 17, 2010

in American,Italian,Recipes

Zen Zabaglione Pie

We’ve all heard the old saying an “Apple a day keeps the doctor away”? I wonder if the saying remains true if said apple has been infused with sake?

Well, before we figure that out I wanted to invite you over to my friend Mac’s blog Dishin’ In The Kitchen to listen the podcast where I dish about my special day in the Spago Beverly Hills kitchen.

Mac’s excellent interviewing style and sweet voice made this interview a piece of cake ‘er… I mean pie. 😉

Oh, and while you are there don’t forget to pick up my Fuji Apple Sake Zabaglione recipe, you’ll need it for this yummy pie.

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One afternoon during my recent trip to Mexico, my mom went into the kitchen and pulled out a plastic bag from the pantry. She called me over and said: “Hijita… mira, ven. Esto es para ti.” (Little daughter… take a look, come here. This is for you.).

Inside the bag there was a wide assortment of clipped, handwritten, and typed recipes along with a notebook which contained recipes written by one of my aunts who used to run a hotel in the country, circa 1950. My aunt gave the notebook to my mom a few years after they decided to close the hotel and move to the city.

My mom later on added her own recipes to this notebook; she also tried to write down as many recipes as she could remember from dishes my grandmother used to prepare.

The plastic bag and it’s contents have now transferred ownership and although I have bittersweet feelings about said transaction I’m trying to embrace them.

This Prune Flan recipe didn’t make it into the famous notebook but I found it in the stack nonetheless, so I decided to give it a try.

Straight out of the archives

Ingredients

Prune Flan – Flan de Ciruelas

1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (100 g) pitted prunes
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup whole milk
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

The flan will be baked in bain-marie (baño-maria) so you will need a 13 X 9 pan deep enough to hold your oven-proof flan dish.

Fancy Schmancy Mexican Copper Pot
In a heavy bottomed saucepan or cool Mexican Copper Pan melt sugar until it turns a golden amber color. Remove the pan from heat and pour caramel into the oven-proof flan dish, then quickly drizzle the vanilla over the caramel and swirl around in dish, as much as possible.

Caramel coated flan dish
Set the dish inside the 13 X 9 pan. Carefully add 2-3 cups of water to the pan making sure not to get any water onto the dish coated with caramel.

In a blender add the pitted prunes followed by the remaining ingredients. Blend on low speed for about 1 minute then increase speed to medium-high for an additional minute.

Prune Flan in baine-marie
Pour the flan base into the dish lined caramel and bake for 30 minutes or until the flan is set. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and remove the baking dish from the pan. Let the flan rest for at least 20 minutes. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prune Flan - Flan de Ciruela

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Before you run off thinking someone has hacked into my blog… stop, wait, don’t leave. I promise there will be dessert, in fact, two types of dessert.

A few weeks ago I submitted a proposal to Foodbuzz for their monthly 24×24 event which Showcases posts from 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publisher bloggers, highlighting 24 unique meals occurring around the globe during a 24-hour period, and guess what? It got accepted!!

I happen to have a few soccer fans at home, one even asked if he could miss school to stay home and watch the very first game! The answer of course was no, we did make sure and record it for him. His response “It’s just not the same mom….”

So, I gathered a few other soccer fans and invited them over to watch USA play against Ghana all while enjoying a buffet consisting of a variety of dishes from a few select countries. Each dish of a given country was matched up with it’s opposing team’s country.

Let’s start off with cocktails shall we?

Cocktails Winner
Italy Negroni X
VS
New Zealand Kiwi Cocktail

Cocktails - Italy vs New Zealand
The Negroni is a very bold and traditional Italian apéritif traditionally made with Campari bitters. The Kiwi Cocktail was made with a traditional New Zealand favorite Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc infused with kiwi fruit and pears served with a splash of orange liqueur, lime juice, and club soda.

On to the appetizers…

Appetizers Winner
Argentina Empanadas X
VS
Mexico Quesadillas

Argentina - Empanadas
This savory filled pastry proved to be stiff competition for the Mexican quesadilla.

Mexico - Quesadillas
Surprisingly gooey melted Oaxaca cheese with a touch of mayonnaise wrapped in lovely corn tortillas was not good enough to win this match up.

Appetizers - Argentina vs Mexico

Main Course Winner
Uruguay Churrasco w/ Chimichurri Sauce
VS
South Korea Beef Galbi marinated in Bulgogi Sauce X

Main Course - Uruguay vs South Korea
Left - South Korea (Galbi) vs Right - Uruguay (Churrasco)
The bold flavors of the bulgogi marinade were no match for the Uruguayan churrasco.

As our first pair of side dishes we had two types of coleslaw, a traditional Dutch version and a Japanese version. Both were tasty, but the kimi zu dressing took these shredded vegies veggies to a whole new level.

Side Dish Winner
Japan Daikon root & cabbage salad X
VS
Holland Koolsla

Japan - Daikon Root & Cabbage Salad
Holland - Koolsla (Coleslaw)
Our second side dish pair was made up of the All American Corn on the Cobb and some Fried Plantains… I’m sure you can guess which team won in this case. I suppose our team would have had better luck if I had made corn fritters instead. :(

Side Dish Winner
USA Corn on the Cobb
VS
Ghana Kelewele (Fried Plantains) X

USA - Corn on the Cobb
Ghana - Fried Plantains
And finally we arrive to the last match of the day, dessert. Unfortunately as yummy as the Crema Catalana looks we had to sadly enforce the mercy rule because the Chocolate Fondue was way ahead of the game.

Dessert Winner
Spain Crema Catalana
VS
Switzerland Dark Chocolate Fondue X

Spain - Crema Catalana

Switzerland - Dark Chocolate Fondue
I should have called foul play, because the melted dark chocolate, fresh fruit, and pound cake started scoring points before the game even started.

World Cup 2010 - Cuisine Head-to-Head Buffet

Crema Catalana
adapted from 1080 Recipes by Simone and Ines Ortega

4 cups milk
2/3 cup superfine sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
8 egg yolks
2 tablespoons potato starch
demerara sugar, for caramelizing

Serves 6

Pour milk into a medium sauce pan with 4 tablespoons of sugar and lemon zest. Bring to a boil. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and the potato starch.

Temper the egg yolks by pouring a couple of small ladles (approx 1/4 cup) full of the hot milk into the bowl and whisking as it is being added. Gradually add the remaining hot milk into the bowl and whisk to combine.

Return contents of bowl back into the sauce pan and place over medium-low heat stir constantly until thickened, approx. 5 minutes.

Strain the custard before pouring it into the serving dish, or 6 individual dishes, let it cool, then place in the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 2 hours before serving.

Once ready to serve sprinkle a little demerara sugar on top of the custard, and use a kitchen blow torch caramelize it.

Dark Chocolate Fondue
1 3.5 ounce toblerone
2 3.5 ounce hershey’s dark chocolate bar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 small sara lee pound cake
assorted fresh fruit (strawberries, grapes, pineapple)

Melt chocolate and heavy cream in a fondue pot, serve with assorted fruit and pound cake which has been cut into bite size pieces.

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This month’s Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Cat from Little Miss Cupcake.

I can’t tell you how excited and freaked out, I was when I logged into the The Daring Kitchen website to see what the Daring Bakers’ challenge was going to be for the month of May and found out it was going to be Croquembouche.

Some people find macarons intimidating… well, I found this challenge completely and utterly intimidating.

For starters up to this point I had never made Pâte à choux (Choux pastry) and the thought of having to make close to 100 profiteroles in order to create a decent size Croquembouche sent shivers down my spine.

Nonetheless, deep down inside (way deep…) I’ve always wanted to make one, and now thanks to Cat… the perfect opoortunity presented it self.

Croquembouche
Up to this point you might be asking yourself why in the world would the title of this post be Pièce Tombée (fallen piece) if the top most pictures look like it’s well put together?

So, I will try to explain my adventures in Croquembouche making using the Cliff Notes version.

  • Started making cream puffs about a week and a half ago
  • Stored them in freezer
  • Made coffee flavored pastry cream
  • Thawed puffs and filled them with pastry cream
  • Made Caramel Glaze and started putting together the Croquembouche
  • Took a couple of pictures Wednesday night ( the two you saw above)
  • Had plans to drizzle Croquembouche with a dark chocolate glaze and take final pictures for post the following morning
  • Thursday morning ran into pantry looking for chocolate, and realized I had none
  • The night before I went to the store and was going to pick some up; decided I shouldn’t because I was certain I had plenty at home
  • Dissapointed in my lack of memory I got ready, left for work and decided I would continue working on it once I got home
  • Once I got home, I was informed by my husband that when he got home he found a bunch of “those things from the dessert I was working on” on the floor


So there you have it… THE END.

PS: This isn’t the last of battle Croquembouche, you can bet there will be a rematch!

Just in case you want to attempt this little battle yourself below are a few recipes that you might find useful.

Oh, and if you are in need of a little Culinary challenge be sure and visit The Daring Kitchen for great cooking and/or baking adventures.

Pate a Choux (Yield: About 28)
from

¾ cup (175 ml.) water
6 Tbsp. (85 g.) unsalted butter
¼ Tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup (125 g.) all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

For Egg Wash: 1 egg and pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 425◦F/220◦C degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Preparing batter:
Combine water, butter, salt and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. At boil, remove from heat and sift in the flour, stirring to combine completely.

Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly until the batter dries slightly and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Eggs
Butter & Water
Pate Choux
Pate Choux
Transfer to a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon 1 minute to cool slightly. Add 1 egg. The batter will appear loose and shiny.

Pate Choux
Pate Choux
As you stir, the batter will become dry-looking like lightly buttered mashed potatoes. It is at this point that you will add in the next egg. Repeat until you have incorporated all the eggs.

Pate Choux

Pate Choux

Pate Choux

Piping:
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large open tip (I piped directly from the bag opening without a tip). Pipe choux about 1 inch-part in the baking sheets. Choux should be about 1 inch high about 1 inch wide.
Using a clean finger dipped in hot water, gently press down on any tips that have formed on the top of choux when piping. You want them to retain their ball shape, but be smoothly curved on top.

Croquembouche

Bake the choux at 425◦F/220◦C degrees until well-puffed and turning lightly golden in color, about 10 minutes.Lower the temperature to 350◦F/180◦C degrees and continue baking until well-colored and dry, about 20 minutes more. Remove to a rack and cool.

Coffee Crème Patissiere (Half Batch)
1 cup (225 ml.) whole milk
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
6 Tbsp. (100 g.) sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. (30 g.) unsalted butter
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 Tsp. instant espresso powder disolved in 1 1/2 Tsp. boiling water

Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ cup of milk. Combine the remaining milk with the sugar in a saucepan; bring to boil; remove from heat.

Beat the whole egg, then the yolks into the cornstarch mixture. Pour 1/3 of boiling milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so that the eggs do not begin to cook.

Return the remaining milk to boil. Pour in the hot egg mixture in a stream, continuing whisking.

Continue whisking (this is important – you do not want the eggs to solidify/cook) until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and beat in the butter and vanilla and disolved instant espresso powder.

Pour cream into a stainless steel/ceramic bowl. Press plastic wrap firmly against the surface. Chill immediately and until ready to use.

Coffee Pastry Cream

Hard Caramel Glaze
1 cup (225 g.) sugar
½ teaspoon lemon juice

Combine sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan with a metal kitchen spoon stirring until the sugar resembles wet sand. Place on medium heat; heat without stirring until sugar starts to melt around the sides of the pan and the center begins to smoke. Begin to stir sugar. Continue heating, stirring occasionally until the sugar is a clear, amber color. Remove from heat immediately; place bottom of pan in ice water to stop the cooking. Use immediately.

Caramel Glaze

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Bake Sale Booth @ the Help Make a Miracle Carnival for baby Daylon
After a busy week and many a late night in the kitchen, the day of the Bake Sale finnaly arrived!

Here my youngest with a big smile and ready to help, and Rachael of La Fuji Mama who I always see with a huge smile on her face, is busy in the background getting things all set up for the Bake Sale at the “Help Make a Miracle” carnival.

You would have laughed to see the look on my little helper’s face at about 3:00 pm nothing like what you see here. But what else can you expect from an 11 year old. :) I guess, the cinnamon roll, hot dog, kettle corn, and shaved ice were a bit much…




Since I spent most of my week working on the cake pops, and because I wanted to contribute more than one type of dessert for the bake sale, I decided to make these yummy Oatmeal Cookies I chose them because they were quick and easy to make, oh and they just happen to taste fantastic!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

President Clinton’s Oatmeal Cookies
From Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
7 ounces (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups fat raisins

Sift together the flour and baking soda and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter on high speed until lemony yellow, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle or beaters.

Nutmeg
Add the sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Continue creaming the mixture on high speed until it is smooth an dlump-free, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Batter
Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl and paddle after each addition. beat on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds, until the eggs are fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

Fat Raisins in Oatmeal Cookie Batter
On low speed, add the sifted flour mixture, beating until all of the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, mix in the oats and raisins.

With a rubber spatula, scoop out the dough and divide it in half. Center one half along the bottom of a sheet of parchment paper and roll it up in the paper, creating a log about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Fold over the parchment paper, creating a sausage. Twist the ends over and wrap in plastic. Chill the dough logs for a minimum of 1 hour. (At this point the dough will keep nicely, wrapped well, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or up to 1 month in the freezer.) You can also simply spoon the dough onto parchment-covered baking sheets and bake at once.

Place racks in the middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. When the dough is chilled, remove it from the parchment paper. Using a chef’s knife or an offset serrated knife, slice 1/2 inch rounds off the log. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and from front to back, and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove the cookies from the oven and carefully slide the parchment off the sheets and directly onto your work surface. Cool the banking sheets between batches. Wait a minimum of 5 minutes before eating, or allow to cool completely before storing the cookies in an airtight container. (The cookies will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature.)

NOTE from Sherry: Instead of forming the logs and chilling, you can also scoop spoonfuls of dough onto the parchment-lined sheets. Spoon teaspoons for small cookies, tablespoons for large.

President Clinton's Oatmeal Cookies
Fat Raisins
Adapted from Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard

Raisins

1 1/2 cups golden or red flame raisins
3/4 cups dry white wine
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Combine the raisins, wine, orange juice, rum, and sugar in a small heavy saucepan, bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring all the while. Lower the heat so that the liquid is at a bare simmer and poach for 20 minutes.

Raisins Poaching
Remove from the heat, cover the pan with plastic wrap, and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

(The raisins will keep for up to 2 weeks).


Here are two lovely ladies rockin’ the Bake Sale booth!

Rachael - Fuji Mama and me

Rachael received so many amazing treats for the bake sale, just take a look at all this deliciousness… it’s never ending.

Fuji Mama's Lemon Blueberry Cake in a Jar
Bake Sale Treats
Fuji Mama's AMAZING Toffee
More Treats
I made sure and bought one of these amazing caramel apples before they were all gone!

The BEST EVER Caramel Apples
Shameless plug of my Truffle Cake Pops. Rachael and I renamed my pops for the bake sale for “marketing purposes”. 😉

Truffle Cake Pops

Without giving too much away, and because I can’t wait for Rachael’s recap on the event. I just want to say that… I was so touched by all the love, selflessness, and kindness I encountered yesterday. It was refreshing to see how many good people there are in this world, this leads me to think that Daylon’s miracle will soon become a reality.

After an amazing day of giving, I headed home, got cleaned up and the family and I headed out to enjoy a little evening entertainment compliments of our son Joseph aka Robin Hood.

A little after 7:00 PM the curtains went up for “The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood”.





The show was a hit, we all loved it! Congrats to the entire cast, you were all AMAZING!

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