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Posts tagged ‘dessert’

Black Bottom Pumpkin Cupcakes

Black Bottom Pumpkin Cupcakes Muffins

As I was writing this recipe, it occurred to me that I wasn’t really sure I understood the difference between a cupcake and a muffin.  What was this thing I had created?  Does a cupcake need frosting? Could that really be all it is?  Do muffins need oatmeal or bran?  I’ve seen muffins without wholesome, breakfasty ingredients.  Are muffins breakfast food and cupcakes desserts?  I was lost in a world of sweet batter. Read more

Real Salted Caramel Apples

Real Caramel Apples Recipe

Caramel apples, candied apples, taffy apples… what’s the difference?  I’ll tell you.   Candied apples are apples covered in a cinnamon flavored clear candy (here’s a good recipe).  The difference between caramel and “taffy” apples is a little more tricky.  Some say there’s no such thing as a taffy apple, but I think the distinction is useful. Cook it a little less and you’ve got caramel apples, cook it a little more and you’ve got taffy apples.

I’ve never made caramel apples before.  So, I started to research caramel apples.  I have a good idea of how to make caramel–I was pretty sure I had made it… and then passed it by on the way to toffee.  But as I was sifting through recipes, looking to mix and match to devise a recipe that would result in the kind of caramel apples I was imagining, I found an abundance of recipes that ask us to melt caramel candy and dip apples in it.  I know it’s the snob in me that doesn’t like that, but I don’t. Read more

Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

Chocolate Covered Marshmallows

I’ve been putting off making marshmallows for years. Gelatin isn’t strictly vegetarian and I had been having a hard time justifying purchasing or using such a thing.  On a recent road trip, though, driving for hours with a friend, we turned to the subject of animal byproducts.

Okay, I realize this isn’t what a marshmallow hungry person wants to hear about, but suffice it to say, I weighed my personal pleasure against one box of gelatin and the economic, moral, and political implications of that gelatin, and in the end, it seemed fair that I could try this, at least once, in the interest of accomplishing something new. Read more

Michigan Cherry Pie

Michigan Cherry Pie RecipeRemember that raspberry pie?  Well, once we had that, my aunt wanted more!  So the next day, she requested a Michigan cherry pie.  I, as always, obliged.

Cherries may not be Michigan’s most profitable crop, but they are the signature facet of Michigan agriculture.  I think this goes beyond the cherry-friendly climate and extends more toward the way Michigan views its relationship to the rest of the world.

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(Raw-)Eggless French Silk Pie

Eggless French Silk Pie Recipe

On my train ride home today, I considered what I could make that would require enough time to take my mind off disappointment and soothe my pain upon completion. For me, that leaves only one realistic option: a monstrous triple chocolate french silk pie.

Oops! One problem. I don’t cook with raw eggs. Sure, I lick the beaters, test my cake batter and cookie dough, but I don’t serve raw eggs (pasteurized or not) to my loved ones. I’m not knocking those who do, I just don’t.

So, here’s my rendition of french silk pie. It’s not low fat. But today is not a day for counting calories. Today is a day to rejoice in the glory of chocolate.

The crust is a combination of chocolate truffle cookies and ground macadamia nuts, topped with more ground macadamia nuts, sea salt, and chocolate ganache. This is all topped with an eggless french silk, drizzled with warm ganache. Mmmmhmmm, this is a heart-stoppingly good pie.

This recipe requires four steps: 1) bake chocolate cookies, 2) make & bake pie cookie crust, 3) make ganache, and finally 4) make pie filling.

Eggless French Silk Pie

Raw-Eggless Chocolate Silk Pie

Chocolate Truffle Cookie Crust

French Silk Pie Filling

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 tsp, and 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tsp confectioner’s sugar
  1. Prepare crust. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a food processor, grind cookies until smooth. Pour into a medium sized bowl.
  3. Mix cookie crumbs, 1/3 cup ground macadamia nuts, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and butter.
  4. Press into pie pan and let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes (until crust just about holds its shape).
  6. Set aside to cool (you can place in the refrigerator to speed this up as I did).
  7. Once cooled, pour in ganache (reserve a few tbsp, do not refrigerate) and top with 2 tsp sea salt and 1/4 cup ground macadamia nuts. Set aside to cool (again, helping this along in the fridge will be fine.
  1. Prepare french silk filling. Begin by preparing a pudding. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, 3/4 cup heavy cream, buttermilk, cornstarch, salt, stirring until smooth.
  2. Raise heat to medium-high, bringing to a boil, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
  3. Beat egg yolks; set aside.
  4. Continue to boil for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Temper the egg yolks by adding about 1/4 of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add rest of hot mixture to the egg mixture, then pour back into the saucepan. Continue to stir for two minutes.
  6. Pour mixture into a clean bowl; stir in chocolate, butter, and vanilla.
  7. Cover pudding with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface and refrigerate until at least at room temperature.
  8. When mixture has reached room temperature, in a stand mixer, beat remaining heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
  9. Mix 1/4 of whipped cream with chocolate pudding to lighten the mixture and then gently fold in the rest of the cream until no white streaks remain.
  10. Top with remaining ganache and refrigerate for 6 hours or, better yet, overnight. (Okay, I ate some almost immediately, but at this point, it doesn’t hold its shape and the consistency isn’t nearly as tasty).

Supplemental Recipe (See Above):

Chocolate Truffle Cookies

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Sift four, cocoa, and salt.
  3. Place butter in a large bowl and beat with a whisk attachment until fluffy (at least 5 minutes).
  4. Add sugar and vanilla and continue to beat (using beater attachment), about 2 minutes.
  5. Combine ingredients. Beat until well mixed.
  6. Spoon dough and shape into circles, placing on a parchment paper-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. When cookies have cooled, use as directed above.

Ginger Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Candied Ginger

Ginger is one of those intoxicatingly ancient spices (even mentioned in sanskrit!). When I cook with ginger, I feel like I’m accessing a little part of my human ancestry.  But let’s not get too romantic about it.  I’m taking this spice and adding an amount of sugar befitting only to a new world palate.

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Apple Pie Parcel

Apple Pie Parcel

The temperatures are dropping in Chicago this week and, well, you know what that means!  Puff pastry!  It’s futile to try to make puff pastry during heat spells unless you really want to rack up charges on your power bill.  The pastry must stay cool at all times, which means frequent trips to the refrigerator/freezer not after, but before it becomes room temperature.

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Coffee Toffee Ice Cream!

Old School Ice Cream Maker

I always thought ice-cream making was for other people.  Other people with ice cream makers.

What changed?  I found an ice cream maker just about as old as I am in the basement of my parent’s house.  And, like me, though it may not be in mint condition, it’s still capable of producing something tasty every once and a while.

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Raspberry Cream Puffs

Raspberry Cream Puffs

That’s right. More raspberries. More decadent raspberries. As you might have noticed (thanks to the price tags on these babies), raspberries are a symbol of decadence–not basic nutrition.

Since they’re such a small, low-calorie food, hunter gatherers used to discard these.  They weren’t even cultivated until the sixteenth century (that’s pretty late in the game for food cultivation).  Even then, they were used for their medicinal qualities.  Like rhubarb, raspberries didn’t really make it to North America until the early 19th century, so again, I think we can call these some pretty revolutionary berries.

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Raspberry Jalousie

Raspberry Jalousie

Raspberries are in at the farmer’s market and I’ve got some! I decided to make three different dishes with these raspberries in order to spread them out and enjoy them for as long as possible (raspberries tend to mold very quickly).

I adore puff pastry, and think it was just made to be paired with berries and sugar; so I started here.

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