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inspirations

Cake Design: Italian Style
Highlights from Milan
As part of our research into international cake design for the May/June issue, we asked Kathleen Lange for some recommendations, as she taught in several European cities throughout the second half of 2013. One of her teaching hosts was Silovoglio Kitchen in Milan, a full-service cake decorating academy that had just opened in Feburary of that year. (Seriously, take a look at some of the photos online...who wouldn’t want to take a class in such a beautiful location!)

The Silovoglio team also produces Cake Festival, a rapidly growing cake show that’s committed to bringing the art of cake decorating to a broader audience. There are two shows planned for 2014–in Rome on May 31-June 2 and in Milan October 4-5. If any ACD readers are going to be in either cities during those dates—let us know.
Here are some photos from the most recent Cake Festival, in October 2013, as an example of what to expect!


















Paris Pastry Tour
Easter Treats

When we left Paris in early March, most pastry chef and chocolatiers were only beginning their preparations for Easter. But here are some examples of both some current, Easter 2014 creations, as well as looks from previous years.

Café Pouchkine: Chickens in white, dark and milk chocolate that open to reveal even more treats inside.



Café Pouchkine: Elegant metallic luster eggs.


While the “Easter Bunny” is gaining popularity in France, the hen is the more traditional figure for delivering Easter treats. This version was dubbed Hélène.


Dalloyau: Whimical chocolate eggs.


Dalloyau: An lovely robin’s-egg blue surrounded by sugar birds and a striking gold honeycomb.


Hediard: Renaissance inspiration


Jardis et Gourmande: Street art eggs, love the spray paint!



Jean Charles Rochoux: Squirrels and hedgehogs



Patrick Roger: Hens in different styles from three different years.


Le Burgandy: An abstract bunny family on chocolate grass.



La Maison du Chocolat: A chocolate pastry workshop that’s a family affair.


Hotel Shangr-La: A stacking chocolate egg, with each disk flavored differently.


Paris Pastry Tour:
Pierre Hermé’s Lemon Cream

via Dorie Greenspan

One of the most amazing aspects to Pierre Hermé’s lemon desserts that were the specialties in his Paris shops earlier this month is this amazing lemon cream (curd) that is used as the filling in his tart au citron. It also shows up in some way, shape or form in other items such as the macaron, the lemon buche, a lemony cheesecake, etc.



And this is what is extraordinary about the PH lemon cream, according to Dorie:

It has all of the ingredients you find in a traditional lemon curd, but the way you make it changes the cream's texture—Pierre's lemon cream is tangier, lemonier and, I think, lighter on the tongue, than traditional lemon curd. The secret is in the way the butter is added. In a curd, all the ingredients, including the butter, go into a pot and you cook, cook, cook and stir, stir and stir and then, when the mixture cools, it's curd. With Pierre Herme's lemon cream, you cook and stir everything—except the butter—then, when the ingredients have thickened, you put them into a food processor or blender, let them cool a bit, then whir in the butter and keep whirring. Essentially, you make an emulsion. And, because the butter doesn't melt and re-firm, as it does with curd, the lemon cream is silky, luxurious and yes, extraordinary”

Pierre Hermé’s Lemon Cream
1 c sugar
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
3/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
21 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces

1) Have a thermometer, preferably an instant-read, a strainer and a blender (first choice) or food processor at the ready. Bring a few inches of water to a simmer in a saucepan.

2) Put the sugar and zest in a large metal bowl that can be fitted into the pan of simmering water. Off heat, work the sugar and zest together between your fingers until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic. Whisk in the eggs followed by the lemon juice.

3) Fit the bowl into the pan (make certain the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl) and cook, stirring with the whisk as soon as the mixture feels tepid to the touch. You want to cook the cream until it reaches 180°F. As you whisk the cream over heat—and you must whisk constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling—you’ll see that the cream will start out light and foamy, then the bubbles will get bigger, and then, as the cream is getting closer to 180°F, it will start to thicken and the whisk will leave tracks. Heads up at this point—the tracks mean the cream is almost ready. Don’t stop whisking and don’t stop checking the temperature. And have patience—depending on how much heat you’re giving the cream, getting to temp can take as long as 10 minutes.

4) As soon as you reach 180°F, pull the cream from the heat and strain it into the container of a blender (or food processor); discard the zest. Let the cream rest at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until it cools to 140°F, about 10 minutes.

5) Turn the blender to high and, with the machine going, add about 5 pieces of butter at a time. Scrape down the sides of the container as needed while you’re incorporating the butter. Once the butter is in, keep the machine going—to get the perfect light, airy texture of lemon-cream dreams, you must continue to beat the cream for another 3 minutes. If your machine protests and gets a bit too hot, work in 1-minute intervals, giving the machine a little rest between beats.

6) Pour the cream into a container, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and chill the cream for at least 4 hours or overnight. When you are ready to construct the tart, just whisk the cream to loosen it and spoon it into a prepared tart shell
.


Last Bite: ACD March/April 14
Janice Wong’s Cassis Plum Dessert

Dissatisfied with how desserts were never the highlight of a meal, Chef Janice Wong actively sought to change this perception with the opening of 2am: dessertbar in 2007. Her never ending passion for culinary art has propelled her forward to test the limits of dessert making, including constantly blurring the boundaries between sweet and savory. Ultimately, Chef Janice Wong maintains a distinctly Asian identity through the incorporation of ingredients and childhood memories from Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. The creations plated at 2am:dessertbar are sweet treats to be savored, particularly when matched with specialty wine-pairings.

Cassis Ball (makes 15-20)
10g (.35oz) gelatin
300ml (10.14oz) water
200g (7oz) white chocolate
400g (14oz) cassis puree
4g (.14oz) xanthan

1) Heat puree, water and bloomed gelatin in a pot until gelatin has dissolved.
2) Add xanthan and blend until smooth
3) Melt the white chocolate and combine with rest of ingredients. Sieve well.
4) Place all ingredients into siphon and charge with two cream chargers
5) Pipe into sphere molds and freeze

Umeshu Jelly
200g (7oz) choya shiso (plum liquer)
280ml (9.5oz) water
8g (.28oz) gelatin

1) Combine all ingredients over medium heat
2) Sieve well and reserve in a chilled environment

Teriyaki Sauce with Bamboo Shoot Pastilles
200g (7oz) bamboo shoots
200ml (6.75oz) soy sauce
50g (1.7oz) brown sugar
50ml (1.7oz) mirin
10g (.35oz) grated ginger

1) Combine all ingredients except bamboo shoots over medium heat and stir until incorporated
2) Sieve well. Dice the bamboo shoots in the marinade for 24 hours in a chilled environment.
3) Sieve well and reserve bamboo
4) Dehydrate the bamboo at 60C/140F for four hours. Coat in granulated sugar after first hour.
5) Reserve at room temperature in an airtight container until ready to use.

To Plate:
Carefully crack the top of a Cassis Ball and fill with the Umeshu Jelly. Decorate plate with the bamboo shoots and some Umeshu Jelly glaze.


European Pastry Cup Champions
Winning Looks from The U.K. Pastry Team
Inspired by “The Lion King”

The U.K. team of Barry Johnson of Rococo Chocolate and Nicholas Belorgey, a teaching chef at Le Cordon Bleu in London, took first place in the European Pastry Cup, with a series of desserts inspired by The Lion King. The two had only three months to train together for the competition.
The plated “Circle of Life” dessert combines chocolate, raspberry and lemon flavors.

The sugar showpiece featuring Zazu, and holding a version of the team’s tropical-influence cake, shown right.


The chocolate showpiece based on the concept of Simba as a man, holding one of the team’s plated desserts.


Last Bite: ACD Jan/Feb 14
Nate Winner’s Chocolate Chess Pie

Nate Winner, a graduate of the French Pastry School, has made a name for himself as the NOLA Pie Guy. Combining appearances at local markets, food-truck rallies and other foodie pop-ups, along with an online presence, Nate has developed a thriving business in New Orleans, delivering freshly-baked pies to local addresses. For his online store, he partnered with Good Eggs, a San Francisco-based business that provides a platform connecting local food vendors with buyers in their market. Currently Good Eggs is operating in San Franscisco, Los Angeles, New Orleans and New York.

“The Good Eggs platform has allowed me to market my pies and build out the business easily.” said Winner. “I have even networked with bakers from other cities like San Francisco who have also used the Good Eggs platform to seek advice on how to increase sales.”

“I started NOLA Pie Guy because I wanted to combine two things that I love, Pie and New Orleans,” said Winner. “I always make sure to incorporate local products into my recipes as often as possible.” For example, his Chocolate Chess pie recipe, also known as his Dark n’ Stormy pie is made with Old New Orleans Rum’s three year Amber Rum and their Gingeroo, a spiced ginger beer, for the whipped cream.

Chocolate Chess Pie

2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 ounces butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tblsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
1/2 milk (or heavy cream)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla (or 1-2 tablespoons of rum)

1) Melt butter and chocolate.
2) Mix sugar, corn starch and salt.
3) Combine milk, eggs, and vanilla (or rum).
4) Combine chocolate and sugar mixture. Add milk mixture. Pour into crust and bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.



Profile: ACD Jan/Feb 14
Icing Smiles stories from some the “Sugar Angels”

Anne Heap,
Pink Cake Box, Denville, NJ

“Bizzie's family probably had the largest impact on us at Pink Cake Box.  We created a birthday cake for the 3 1/2 year old after she
was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. She was a sweet happy little girl, and we were heartbroken when we learned she passed away just three months later.  When the family reached out to us to create a 7th birthday cake for her brother
passed away, we were more than
to the grieving family. Jeffery’s mot
I quote her directly as I can’t parap


Jeffrey, just weeks after Bizzie
happy to try and bring some sweets
her wrote us the most beautiful note.
hrase her words:

 “From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the “most awesome cake EVER” (direct Jeffrey quote). As you may recall, my daughter Bizzie was the lucky recipient of a pinkalicious bday cake a few months back. Bizzie passed away on 1.15.11. Bizzie talked about her cake all the time, and even the day before she passed away was looking through pictures of that day pointing to the cake. It was a very special memory for her.

Jeffrey’s 7th birthday party was today. We did not want to cancel it, so amid all of the craziness in our house we managed to plan a party. Jeffrey is not easy to impress, but impress him you did. He was SO in awe that all four Hogwart’s houses were represented in detail on the crest. He’s been through a lot these past nine months. Thank you for helping to make this day so special.”

Bob Brougham,
The Cakery, Inc., North Aurora, IL

My first cake Icing Smiles cake was for Emilio, he wanted a Lego Star Wars cake. When they placed their order I knew immediately what I was going to do for him— standing characters with lit light sabers. The whole time i worked on the cake I was thinking about Emilio and his family .With three children of my own, I tried to imagine how hard it must be for his parents and siblings. 

I was so worried on pick up day—I into a sad event. When they arrived ran and hid around the corner of the thanked me dearly and off they went smiles, Icing Smiles. 

 

didn’t want to cry and and turn it Emilio was very shy and actually
shop. His mom thanked me
 This was not a day for tear, but for


Mayen Orido,
Way Beyond Cakes, Phoenix, AZ

My second Icing Smiles was for a
seven-year old boy, Jovani, who
had opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome, a very rare neurological disorder that occurs 1 in 10 million. He was in the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center when I brought his cake over. Jovani was there with his whole family, his parents Evie and Henry and his big brother Armani. He was hooked up to his treatment treatment that day, and
the moment he saw his cake, his fa the world and he started to move ar

ce broke into the widest smile in
ound, forgetting he was hooked up.

This was my second Icing Smiles cake and it made me see how the cake can affect the entire family of the child who is sick. I saw, in eyes of Armani, who was only nine, the deep love of a brother who understands. All the attention and gifts were pouring in for his little brother and he was there handing it to him, hugging him. Icing Smiles also celebrated the siblings of the kids who are sick, and in that moment, I understood why. My husband Jim, who is a nurse, joined me for this delivery, and we were so happy he got to see this side of caking that is most important to me.

 

 


In My Kitchen: ACD Jan/Feb 14
John Krause of Pâtisserie 46

It may seem strange to some that a bakery owner should be as proud of his blast freezer as his is of his ovens, but these two videos of John Krause explaining how much his Irinox freezer can accomplish should change your mind.


By the Book: ACD Nov/Dec 13
François Payard’s Soufflé of Puff Pastry with Orange-Scented Pastry Cream, Candied Pecans and Caramel Butter Sauce

In the Nov/Dec issue of ACD, our By the Book column was on Payard Desserts, where many of the recipes are contemporary versions of French classics, such as this “Soufflé of Puff Pastry with Orange- Scented Pastry Cream, Candied Pecans and Caramel Butter Sauce.” We featured Chef Payard’s recipes for Puff Pastry and Pastry Cream, but here’s the full dessert those two components contribute to.

Chef Payard notes: “Daniel Boulud always had a preference for classic French desserts, so I developed this recipe for the lunch menu when I was pastry chef at Daniel. The dessert itself is very simple: We bake an undocked, thick round of puff pastry, letting it puff up high, and serve it hot, filled with Orange-Scented Pastry Cream and topped with a buttery caramel sauce and a few Candied Pecans. The puff pastry rounds should be baked à la minute, never ahead of time, though the dough can be rolled out and cut in advance, and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a day. Sometimes the best desserts are the simplest.”

Components
Orange-Scented Pastry Cream(see the Nov/Dec issue of ACD)
Caramel Butter Sauce
Candied Pecans
Puff Pastry Rounds (see the Nov/Dec issue of ACD)

Caramel Butter Sauce
1½ Tbsp (12 g/0.42 oz) cornstarch
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp (500 g/17.6 oz) water
1 cup (225 g/8 oz) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
2 Tbsp (30 g/1 oz) unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp (15 g/0.5 oz) Myers’s dark rum

1. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons (30 g/1 oz) of the water.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, vanilla bean pod and seeds, and remaining 2 cups (470 g/16.5 oz) water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, whisking, for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter, salt, and rum. Keep the sauce warm until serving, or refrigerate it, covered, and rewarm before serving.

Candied Pecans
1¼ cups (125 g/4.4 oz) pecan halves
¼ cup (60 g/2.1 oz) water
¼ cup (50 g/1.76 oz) granulated sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Place the pecans in a medium bowl and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring, just until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the syrup over the pecans and toss until combined. Spread the coated pecans on a half-sheet pan and bake for about 8 minutes, tossing once during baking, until browned and fragrant.

Puff Pastry Rounds
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a half-sheet pan with a silicone baking mat.

2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the puff pastry out to a thickness of ½ inch. Using a 3-inch round pastry cutter, cut out 10 rounds from the dough. Arrange the rounds on the prepared sheet pan and top with another silicone baking mat and half-sheet pan; this will allow the rounds to rise evenly. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the rounds are browned and nicely puffed. Remove the top sheet pan and baking mat. Preheat the broiler and dust the rounds liberally with confectioners’ sugar. Place the rounds under the broiler until they are caramelized. Assemble the desserts immediately.

Assembly
While the Puff Pastry Rounds are still hot from the oven, split them in half. Scoop out any undercooked dough from the center of each half and pipe a generous amount of cold Orange-Scented Pastry Cream on the bottom half of the puff. Replace the top of the puff. Place the dessert on a plate and spoon some Caramel Butter Sauce on top of the warm pastry. Garnish with some Candied Pecans.


Apple & Passion Fruit Crumble

In the Sept/Oct issue of ACD, our Madelaine interview was with James Satterwhite, the executive pastry chef at the Charlotte Country Club, who mentions that two of his favorite flavors are apple and passion fruit. It turns out this is a very popular combination in the Southern Hemisphere with lots of recipes to choose from originating in New Zealand and Australia. Now that apples are coming into season here in the U.S. we thought it might be worth mixing up some of our old apple standbys with this Down Under flavor combo. And don't worry if you can't find fresh passion fruit...lots of the recipes we spotted included a note that canned or jarred pulp was a perfectly acceptable substitution.

The following recipe is taken from ....it pleases us an sister-in-law blogging team based in Melbourne, Australia. But go ahead and do a search on apple and passion fruit...you'll be amazed at all the variations that show up!

 

Apple & Passion Fruit Crumble
5 apples
3 passion fruits (or more to taste)
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
100g/3.5 oz sugar
(optional, depending on how sweet you like your dessert and how sweet your apples are)
100g/3.5 oz rolled oats
(or your preferred crumble topping, if so, ignore this and the rest of the ingredients below)
100g/3.5 oz brown sugar
50g/1.8 oz flour
70g/2.5 oz butter
50g/1.8 oz macadamia , roughly chopped (optional or use any other nuts)

1) Preheat oven to 180C/350F

2) Core and roughly chop the apples

3) Place apples in a baking dish with lemon juice, lemon zest and passion fruit pulp. Add sugar to taste

4) Mixed the rolled oats, brown sugar, flour, butter and nuts for the topping, or use your own.

5) Spread the topping over fruit mixture

6) Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.

7) Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or yogurt.


Chef Hayden Groves Recipe Follow Up

We featured a recipe by Chef Hayden Groves, one of the finalists in the 2013 Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year competition, in our Sept/Oct issue, but didn’t have room to include his final two elements—the strawberry yogurt espuma and the selection of garnishes. So we’ve posted both of them here.

Strawberry Yoghurt Espuma
200g (7 oz) Strawberry puree
350g (12.3 oz) Greek yoghurt

Mix together and charge with one cylinder. Alternatively, a less long-lasting foam can be made with an immersion blender or whip.

 

Garnishes
1 Tbsp Fresh Origins Herb Crystals® Basil
50g Caramelized White chocolate chunks, with sea salt
Fraise des Bois, and coulis (optional)
Micro Basil
Dried strawberries
White chocolate for micro plane

1. On the panna cotta, position some dried strawberries and place a portion of sorbet.
2. Make a little pile of white chocolate chunks and place the croquant.
3. Embellish with random dashes of espuma, coulis and strawberries.
4. Finish with micro basil, grated white chocolate and the crystallized basil.


Xanthe Milton, owner of Cake Girl, developed a cult following in her Notting Hill neighborhood for her beautifully iced cupcakes. She ran basic and advanced piping workshops on all three days of the Cake International show. Limited to six people each session, the workshops were both training exercises and mini-competitions, with Xanthe choosing a winner from each time slot for a special prize. She shares her recipe for Red Velvet cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 12 cupcakes

140g (5oz) All-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp Cocoa powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 fl. oz Buttermilk
1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Red food coloring past
170g (6oz) Sugar
55g (2oz) Unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F

2. Line your muffin or cupcake tray(s) with your choice of liners.

3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium bow. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla and food coloring together until blended.

4. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Ad the egg beating until well mixed. Beat in the flour mixture, a third at time, alternating with a third of the buttermilk mixture everything is well mixed.

5. Spoon or pour the mixture into the lined cups. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and turn the cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting
110g (4oz) Cream cheese, room temperature
85g (3oz) Butter, room temperature
12oz Confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla pod
1 tsp Vanilla extract

1. Beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until combined. Add the vanilla seeds and vanilla extract.

2. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with a star nozzle (or the tip of your choice) and frost the cupcakes, starting from the outside and work towards the middle. Decorate with your choice of designs to complement your liners.


Ice Cream Cupcakes

In the May/June issue of American Cake Decorating, Carla Bruno of Carlas Cakes Online spoke about how her love of travel sparked the idea for ice cream cupcakes, as she sampled gelatos and ice creams at destinations around the world. She sent in her process and suggestions for flavors.

Ingredients:
12 cooked cupcakes
Your favorite ice cream
Any toppings (example: chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, strawberry sauce, chocolate chips, sprinkles, marshmallows, your favorite chocolate bar, peanuts, fresh berries etc)
A piping bag*
1M icing tip*
Carla notes: if you don’t have a piping bag or icing tip, you can use a zip lock bag and cut a small whole in the corner for piping.

1. Get your pre-cooked cupcakes and make sure they are completely cooled. Put the 1M tip into your piping bag and fill it with your favorite ice cream.

2. Pipe the ice cream onto the cupcake in a circular motion (as you would normally pipe icing).

3. Drizzle with some candy sauce, and top with your favorite toppings and immediately put into the freezer. Repeat steps 1-3 until all cupcakes are covered and topped. Freeze for about 4 hours or over night before serving.

Some great flavor combos from Carla:

Caramel Peanut Butter Crunch:
Vanilla Cupcake with Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream topped with some chocolate chips and Butterfinger Chocolate Bar with Caramel Drizzle.

Sweet Berry:
Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Strawberries and Raspberries and Strawberry Drizzle.

Rainbow:
Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Smarties and Rainbow Sprinkles

S’mores:
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Ice Cream Topped with Chocolate Chips, Marshmallow and Graham Cracker Crumbs

Cherry Pie:
Vanilla Cupcake with Cherry Ice Cream topped with Cherries and Graham Crackers

Melting Cheesecake:
Chocolate Cupcake with Strawberry Cheesecake Ice cream topped with fresh Strawberries and Drizzled with Chocolate Sauce.

Cookies and Cream:
Chocolate Cupcake with Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Chopped Cookies and Cookie Crumbs.

Rocky Road:
Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Ice Cream topped with Marshmallow, Chocolate Chips, Walnuts and Chocolate Sauce



Jo Malone London has released five new limited edition scents based on popular English desserts. Known her balance of gourmand scents in her fragrances, these are the first to explicity evoke certain flavors, but even so, none of them are overly sweet or cloying. Check out all five scents from her Sugar and Spice collection and get the scoop from pastry chef (and creator of Estella Cupcakes) Natalie Estella Seldon on how to make these tasty treats. We’ve shown her Lemon Tart recipe below.

Lemon Meringue Tart
Makes 6 tarts

INGREDIENTS:
1 and 2/3 cup sweet shortbread pastry (recipe not included)
14 ounces lemon curd (recipe not included)
3 egg whites
2/3 cups refined sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 small lemon, cut into four wedges
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out pastry to 1/8 inch thick and line mini tartlet tins. Trim excess off by using a rolling pin over the top, then allow to chill in fridge for 30 minutes. Line the crust with baking paper and fill with pastry weights. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove weights and paper, then cook for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden. Spoon in lemon curd to fill the tart cases and return to the oven to cook for a further 6-8 minutes or until the filling is just set. 

Meanwhile, make the meringue by placing egg whites in a large bowl. Whisk to soft peaks, then add half the sugar a spoonful at a time — whisking between each addition — being careful not to over beat. Whisk in the cornstarch, then add the remaining sugar as before until smooth and thick. When the tarts are ready, remove from the oven and, using either a piping bag or a spoon, place the meringue at the center of each tart (either as a piping swirl or peaks). Before serving, add a slice of lemon and a dusting of powdered sugar. Best eaten on the same day.


Derek Aimonetto of Sweet Life Bakery in Madison, WI, worked with us on a vanilla article for the March/April issue. He developed two recipes that uses layers of vanillas in different ways. For his Vanilla Cheesecake Indulgence, you’ll need to check out page 42, but we’ve shared his variations on beignets below.

Vanilla Beignets
Makes 24-30 beignets

INGREDIENTS:
2 c whole milk
1 large egg
3 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1 tbsp sugar
3 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp baking powder
6 c vegetable oil
½ c vanilla sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine the milk, egg, vanilla extract, and sugar. Whisk until thoroughly combined and until the sugar is completely dissolved. In another bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking powder—stir together. One cup at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until the batter is smooth after each addition. Prepare a separate bowl with the vanilla sugar.

In a heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil to 350 degrees F. Carefully spoon the batter into the hot oil, cooking three beignets at a time. Test the temperature of the oil frequently to ensure it stays between 350 and 360 degrees, adjusting the burner to compensate for variations in the heat. Gently roll the beignets while they cook to achieve a golden brown color, approximately four to five minutes. Remove the beignets from the oil and drain briefly on a paper towel. While still hot, roll each beignet in the vanilla sugar until coated. Let rest for one to two minutes. Serve warm.


Charred Orange Sorbet with Warm Rum Sauce & Spiced Cookie Bars

From the 2013 McCormick Flavor Forecast, as detailed in the January 2013 issue of Slice, comes this light, but richly flavored dessert.
Prep Time: 30 minutes • Cook Time: 45 minutes • Refrigerate: 2 hours • Freeze: Overnight • Makes 16 servings.

CHARRED ORANGE SORBET:
1 seedless orange
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 1/4 cups orange juice
1 cup Thai Kitchen® Coconut Milk
1/2 cup half-and-half

SPICED COOKIE BARS:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Allspice
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons black rum
1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

RUM SAUCE:
3 tablespoons butter, divided
4 seedless oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons black rum


DIRECTIONS:

1. For the Charred Orange Sorbet, grate orange peel. Set aside. Remove white pith from orange. Cut orange crosswise into 6 slices. Place on foil-lined baking pan. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat 7 to 8 minutes or until lightly charred. Cool orange slices then coarsely chop.

2. Place remaining 2/3 cup sugar and reserved grated peel in blender container; cover. Blend on high speed until well mixed. Add orange juice, coconut milk and half-and-half. Blend until sugar is dissolved. Pour into medium bowl. Stir in chopped orange.

3. Refrigerate 2 hours or until well chilled. Pour into an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

4. For the Spiced Cookie Bars, mix flour and allspice in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, rum and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Spread in greased foil-lined 8-inch square baking pan.

5. Bake in preheated 375°F oven 20 to 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 4 squares then cut each square crosswise into 4 triangles.

6.  For the Rum Sauce, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Place orange sections in skillet. Sprinkle sugar around oranges. Cook 10 minutes or until sugar begins to caramelize, gently stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add orange juice and rum. Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter until melted. Serve Spiced Cookie Bar with a small scoop of Charred Orange Sorbet and drizzle with warm Rum Sauce.











 


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