Archived entries for dessert

Almond and Orange Tart

I really, really love this tart. It’s easy and absolutely delicious.

I can’t explain how wonderful it is to have a dessert that is perfectly sweet, lusciously fruity, and slightly macaroon-like. It gets more delicious after a night of sitting on the table. My husband took a slice to work two days in a row to have with his coffee – and he works right next to some great pastry shops!

Almond and Orange Tart

Adapted from The Organic Seasonal Cookbook

One pre-made pie crust, put into tart shell. (My fav pie crust recipe coming soon!)

1 orange or 3 clementines (work with what you have! :)
1 star anise
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup almond meal

Preheat oven to 350.

Put your citrus fruit in a pot and fill with water until covering the fruit. Add the star anise to the water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook about 1/2 hour. Remove cooked and softened fruit, and cut open to remove the seeds.

Add citrus fruit, almond meal, beaten eggs, butter, and sugar in a food processor. The butter will melt because of the warm fruit. Process until all ingredients are pureed.

Spoon puree into tart shell. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool at least 30 minutes.
Excellent the next day!

Lemon Pull Apart Cake

I followed this recipe from Leite’s Culinaria as perfectly as I could.

However, I think I can do better. I don’t think it’s the recipe. I think it’s my technique. Along with my recent pear tart tatin, the end result was tasty but not perfect.

In this case, it’s possible that I just still need some more experience with yeasted breads and desserts. The most common thing that happens with my experiments with letting dough rise is that I don’t think it rises enough. This recipe calls for the “double rise”, which involves mixing ingredients, letting the dough rest and rise, cutting and forming the dough, and then letting it rise again before putting it in the oven. The end result was a damn tasty pull-apart cake, which I loved but I want to try again. I think the slices could be more airy, less dense. The balance of sweet and citrus is perfect in this bread, so I really want to make it work.

I was slightly relieved to read the comments for the recipe, as it looks like quite a few other people didn’t have the results they expected. Maybe this will be the week of second chances. Not the most romantic way to start off a week that begins with Valentine’s day, but isn’t every long relationship built around working on improvements and compromises?

My First Tart Tatin

Hi! I hope you like caramel. I'm covered with it.

A tart tatin is all about perfecting the basics. It’s really just a few ingredients: butter, sugar, fruit, and puff pastry. But there are so many variables at work. How is the pastry, flaky enough, with just a little chew? Melting sugar and butter together is easy enough, but there’s definitely an art to laying the fruit on top before the caramel starts to get really gummy. What about turning it out at the end – oh the suspense! The dread of melted sugar possibly burning skin! Yes, those were the thoughts that ran through my head. But everything came out well, thankfully.

There are different varieties of tart tatin. Some have lots of fruit on the top, with a thick crust. Or sometimes there is a thin crust with the fruit piled on top and falling over itself onto your little plate. Finally, in this version the crust is quite thin, showcasing a thin layer of completely carmelized fruit. It is almost always paired with crème fraîche.

My only comment on the particular recipe I used is that next time I wouldn’t use any light brown sugar. When I used the 1/2 white to 1/2 light brown sugar, the resulting caramel smelled and looked wonderful, but it had a bit too much of a molasses taste. So this post I’ll leave as “to be continued…” because while Mike and I thought that it turned out well, I think it could’ve turned out better.

Bûche de Noël

My first Bûche de Noël ! It was a very fun project for a day spent at home. Merry Christmas!

Poppy Seed Cake – Macowiec

Macowiec is a Polish sweet bread, a dessert with a subtle sweetness that’s best taken with a cup of tea. The dough is crisp and dry on the outside, and gets sweeter and more moist toward the middle. The poppy seed filling is moist throughout, and is the most rewarding part of the experience. It’s slightly sweet, with a pleasing texture and completely unique taste.

Leila investigating her morsel

There are a couple of things non-traditional about this version of macowiec, mainly the shape. This recipe calls for creating a roll, and then cutting the roll into cinnamon-bin shaped spirals. I like that. The traditional way to eat this is to have the bread in long loaves, spiraled on the inside and cut when served. The other variant to traditional macowiec is that I used dried cherries instead of raisins.

Macowiec (Polish Poppy Seed Bread)
adapted by the recipe by Margo Maszkiewicz

poppy seed filling:
1/2 lb poppy seeds
2 cups whole milk
7 tbsp butter
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup dried fruit, chopped (leave whole if raisins)
1/3 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
2 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp rum or brandy (optional)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk, warm
2 eggs, beaten
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon, grated

egg wash
(wisk together):
1 egg
pinch of salt
1 tsp water

lemon glaze (wisk together):
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup milk

First, cook the poppy seeds!
Take the 2 cups of milk and set in a pot on medium-high heat along with the poppy seeds. Bring milk to a boil. One the milk boils, lower the heat so the milk doesn’t scald, and cook until poppy seeds are soft and most of the milk is absorbed, about 20-30 minutes. Take off the heat and drain through cheesecloth; set aside.

Now, the dough.
Get things started by mixing together the yeast, the 1/2 cup warm milk, a tsp from the amount of sugar, and about 1/2 cup flour. Let sit 10 minutes. Incorporate half of remaining flour, sugar, and egg into the batter, and let dough rest for 10 additional minutes. Add all remaining flour, sugar, and egg. Once dough has all ingredients incorporated, attach dough hook to kitchen mixer and mix on slow speed for about 10 minutes. After dough has been worked, cover dough in bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.

Now we’re back to working on the poppy seed filling. We need to create a fine paste from the poppies, so the best thing to do is process through a meat grinder 2 or 3 times. (I have a cuisinart food processor, which in my opinion did the job poorly.) Once you have a paste, add the butter and honey to a medium pot. Heat until butter is melted and honey-butter starts to bubble. Add fruit and nuts; stir. Stir in poppy seeds, and cook everything together for about 10 minutes. Don’t let mixture burn or stick to the bottom of the pot. Set poppy seed filling to the side to let cool down until it is a warm (not hot!) temperature.

Turn the oven on to 350 degrees.

Beat together egg yolks with vanilla, and add to poppy seed filling.
Now beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, and add to poppy seed filling. Finally, add a tablespoon of rum or brandy if desired. Set aside.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead about 10 minutes or until texture is pliable and not as sticky. Roll out dough into a rough rectangle. Spread poppy seed filling evenly across rolled-out dough. Gently roll rectangle from top to bottom and tuck dough around filling.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut dough into sections about 1 inch apart. Set spirals on baking sheet, right next to each other if desired.

Create egg wash, and brush across all the spiral rolls.

Bake approximately 45 minutes or until macowiec is a rich brown color.

Once rolls are done and taken out of the oven, drizzle with the lemon glaze.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Bread + Buttercups | © 2011 - all rights reserved. | about

Web Design by Calyxia Design | Hosting by Default Route

RSS Feed.

Web Analytics