Posts Tagged ‘cream’

Blackberry Custard Kuchen

I most definitely did not do this kuchen justice with this picture. And, unfortunately, there is not another picture I can show you. Suffice it to say this kuchen was so delicious it was gobbled up in under 18 hours. I had planned to take pictures of a slice the next day after returning home from commencement since I baked it in a frenzy the night my relatives flew in from Seattle (and Mom, on her way out to the airport, suddenly requested a baked good to magically appear when she returned).

It was quite delicious though. The blackberries (though raspberries and blueberries would also work well) married perfectly with the slightly sweet custard topping and complementary crust.

I really need to take a class or something so I can better describe. All I can ever seem to say is “mmmmm” while my mouth is stuffed with sugary, creamy goodness.

Just make this!

Blackberry Custard Kuchen
adapted from allrecipes

Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 pints blackberries, rinsed
For topping:
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 13 x 9″ baking dish.

For crust, In a food processor or large bowl, combine 1 cup flour and salt. Pulse in butter or cut in with 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream. Press into the bottom of the prepared dish. Combine sugar and remaining 1/2 c flour in a bowl and sprinkle over crust. Arrange blackberries atop sugar/flour mixture.
For topping, Combine sugar and flour. Then add in eggs, cream, and vanilla. Pour over berries. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until lightly browned. Can be served warm or chilled.
Are you partaking of the berry season?
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Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

(Pardon the poor lighting and picture quality. This was at a very dimly lit restaurant.)

Part 2 of my birthday baking series was actually part 1 of my birthday celebration. But let’s not cry over spilled milk.

I’ve been eying (eyeing? WordPress puts a red squiggly under this latter spelling but.. it looks more right to me than eying. Opinions?) this recipe since I first saw it on Annie’s Eats many moons ago. I admire Annie a great deal. Besides her and Joanne (hi, Joanne!), I don’t know of any other medicine-inclined food bloggers out there. I’m relatively new at this blogging thing so maybe I just haven’t been around the block enough. Please enlighten me if you are or know a food blogger in medical school/residency/etc! I’d love to know!

Back to Annie.

She seems to juggle residency (I’m fairly certain of this fact but can no longer find the post/page where I learned this so I cannot confirm at the time. Correct me if I’m wrong! I love her regardless though so it doesn’t quite matter.) ..

I hate when I start sentences and then go into a multiple-sentence aside.

Back to Annie.

She seems to juggle residency, a marriage, a child, and still cooks and bakes gorgeous dishes after which she takes pictures of said gorgeous dishes! Have you SEEN the birthday parties she throws her little one? I’m not sure how she does it. I barely have time to do one of 10 loads of laundry I’m due for. (I’m not sure how either but I have THAT many clothes. Also, I never seem to NOT have time to buy butter. Strange, but true.)

Back to Annie.

She’s pretty fab. So when I saw this beauty back in May I knew it was something special and I’d have to make it for some day special and someone special.

And that someone special was ME!

ME! ME!! MEEEEEEEE!!

I went out and bought the best chocolate I could find (Valrhona, Scharffen Berger, and Guittard) and out of my oven/fridge came this amazing cake of absolute decadence. If I hadn’t shared it with 15 of my nearest and dearest I’m not sure I could have eaten my whole slice! Each layer was richness upon richness upon richness. Essentially, a flourless chocolate cake, a dark chocolate mousse, topped with a white chocolate mousse = heaven in my mouth coating each singular tastebud with chocolate.

In truth, it may have been a bit too rich for some of my friends. But for those who love chocolate, it was fantastic. For me and my birthday, I couldn’t have asked for more.

I know the recipe looks long but it really doesn’t take that long and it’s just wordy descriptions for the most part. Don’t be afraid.

Embrace the chocolate.

Clearly, I did!

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake
from Annie’s Eats, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated November/December 2009

Makes 1 9″ round cake.

Ingredients
For bottom layer (flourless chocolate cake):

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, plus extra to grease the pan
  • 7 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 c light brown sugar, packed

For middle layer (dark chocolate mousse):

  • 2 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 5 tbsp hot water
  • 7 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For top layer (white chocolate mousse):

  • 3/4 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 6 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 c heavy cream

  • Cocoa powder or chocolate curls for garnish

Instructions

For bottom layer, butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ springform pan. (I took a note from Annie and lined the pan with parchment. Also, per the comments, if you don’t grease the pan, this layer won’t shrink away from the sides as it did for me and for Annie. This is more of an aesthetic thing so if you don’t care, no worries.) Preheat the oven to 325F and center a rack in the oven.

Combine butter, chocolate, and espresso in a double boiler (large bowl over simmering water). Stir occasionally until smooth then remove from heat to cool a bit, 5 minutes or so. Whisk in the vanilla and egg yolks and set aside.

In a separate bowl with a stand or hand mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds. Crumble half of the brown sugar into the bowl, trying to remove all lumps, and beat about 15 seconds or until incorporated. Crumble remaining brown sugar and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/3 of this egg white/sugar mixture with the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then fold the remaining egg whites in with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain.

Pour into springform pan, smooth top with a spatula, and bake 14-18 minutes. The cake should be firm around the edges and the center should be set but still soft. Allow to cool on a wire rack completely. At this point, you can refrigerate the cake, covered in plastic wrap, until ready to continue.

For middle layer, whisk cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl and set aside.

Again, in a double boiler, melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth and then remove from heat and allow to cool 2-5 minutes.

With a hand or stand mixer, whip the cream, sugar, and salt on medium speed until it begins to thicken. Then increase the speed to high until soft peaks form. Whisk in 1/3 of this whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Then fold remaining cream with a rubber spatula until no streaks remain.

Pour mousse over the cooled cake. Tap gently on the counter a few times to remove air bubbles and smooth top with a spatula. Clean up any drips or dribbles on the side of the pan. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes while making the top layer.

For top layer, place white chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside.

Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl and allow to soften for at least 5 minutes. Bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add the gelatin, stirring until dissolved. Pour this mixture over the white chocolate and let stand for about 1 minute. Then whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature, about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the remaining cream on medium speed until it begins to thicken. Then increase the speed to high and whip to soft peaks. Whisk 1/3 of the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture to lighten (are you seeing a pattern yet?). Fold in the remaining cream with a rubber spatula until no streak remain. Spoon mousse over the middle layer, smooth the top, and refrigerate at least 2 1/2 hours until set. Don’t cover the pan unless you plan on getting stressed out later by having to fix it.

Garnish with curls or cocoa powder before serving.

My attractive self about to indulge.

Why do I have such scary witch-like fingers?!

Mint Cream Puffs

Valentine’s Day has never really been my “thing.” But it hasn’t really been “not my thing” either. It’s a teeny tiny itty bitty version of Christmas in my opinion. One of those days where, to an extent, you can feel the love in the air (or at least the version of love wherein the guy likes the girl so much he’s willing to pay for an overpriced dinner just so she doesn’t get mad at him). I usually like that feeling.

This year, I wanted to do something. With the busy lives we lead any excuse to have a date night of sorts (studying in the same place does not, to me, constitute a date) sounds like a good idea. We contemplated going out to dinner. NYC Restaurant Week had been extended and we had wanted to go in the first place but did we really feel like making the hike into the city after just going in two days prior? And did we have the funds (Boy keeps reminding me that we’re in a recession)? We contemplated a movie. You don’t want to see Valentine’s Day.. right? Clearly, Boy was not wanting to watch the star-studded flick (I wasn’t set on it but I wouldn’t have minded either). So we settled on making dinner. On the menu was the Pioneer Woman’s lasagna and I (obviously) offered to make dessert. I was going to my parents’ house the day before and I love any excuse to use my mom’s stand mixer (note to Boy: HINT HINT).

This is what I came up with. Peppermint cream puffs sounded like a high end after-dinner mint to me and they seemed perfect for a “romantic” night in. They were. (However, we ate most of them while waiting for the lasagna to cook since we were starving and then stuffed ourselves silly with the lasagna and didn’t eat any more puffs after that.. But I’m sure they’re a perfect ending to a perfect meal!)

Peppermint Cream Puffs

adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from My Home to Yours

Note: The original recipe was meant to be piped in a ring but I was more in the mood for little individual mouthfuls of joy. I also opted not to make the glaze out of sheer laziness but check out the book if rings and glazes are your cup of tea!

Ingredients

Pastry (the “puff”)
1/2 c water
1/2 c whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 c all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

Cream (the “cream”)
1 2/3 c heavy cream
40 fresh mint leaves
6 tbsp sugar
1/2 c sour cream (or creme fraiche), cold
peppermint extract, optional
[didn’t use]

Garnish
chocolate for melting and dipping

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425F.

Cream:


Bring 1 1/3 cups cream and the mint leaves to a boil in a medium saucepan. Pull the pan from the heat, cover and let steep for an hour, then pour into a bowl and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.

Strain the cream into a measuring cup and add as much additional chilled cream as needed to measure 1 1/3 cups. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a medium bowl, whip the cream and 1/4 cup of the sugar until the cream holds firm peaks. Stir the remaining 2 tbsp of the sugar into the sour cream/creme fraiche and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold the sour cream into the whipped cream. Taste the cream, and if you’d like a stronger mint flavor, add a drop or two of extract.

Puff:


Bring the water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour all at once and mix it in with a wooden spoon, then keep stirring energetically [REALLY FAST] until the dough comes together in a shiny mass. the bottom of the pan will be covered with a thin film of flour. Cook the dough for another minute or two, stirring constantly, then transfer the hot dough to the bowl of a stand mixer or another large bowl.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat in 3 of the eggs one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl and very gradually add enough of the beaten egg to form a dough that is thick, shiny, and silky.

Spoon the warm dough into a pastry bag [or Ziploc] and pipe puffs. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375F and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until they are puffed, brown, and firm.

Assembly:
Use a serrated knife and a very gentle sawing motion to slice off the top of the puffs.

Spoon the mint cream into a clean pastry bag [or ziploc] and pipe cream onto puff bases. Place tops on.

Melt some chocolate in a bowl over boiling water and dip/spread/decorate over tops however which way you please.

Eat day of and you’ll be super happy. Also, the mint cream goes with tons of things (see: green tea cupcake recipe to come!) so keep it in your arsenal of.. things that will impress people.

Enjoy!

– Sharlene