The dessert and pastry thread

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by kwilkinson, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    Seems like all our cooking threads are about savory foods. Somebody here must cook desserts from time to time.

    I've been getting into bread and pastry a lot lately. We have a big wine dinner tonight and I made a local apple dumpling with medjool dates, sticky toffee, and star anise ice cream. For mignardises, dulce de leche caramel with sea salt, a one bite tart with lemon and fennel pastry cream, and then a mint chocolate truffle.

    This pastry stuff is way different from the cooking side, but it's fun to explore on its own.

    So how about you tools share some stuff you've done. I know Master Matthew can make a killer beer ice cream.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  2. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    We just got in a bunch of nice peaches so I've been looking at what to do with them, also considering my family's not much into desert, so I just baked some peach and pecan muffins with brown sugar strusel.


    random thoughts:
    muffin or cake recipes that call for oil instead of butter usually end up heavy, oily, and limp. blech. lesson learned.



    just another random desert thought.... I hate when people throw raisins into things. apple streudels, rice pudding, carrot muffins, etc. It's like a landmine. uh!
     
  3. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    post recipes. sounds delicious
     
  4. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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  5. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Petit four.
     
  6. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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  7. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    It was delicious. The apple tart was super easy. I made a medjool date butter with medjool dates, brown sugar, and creamed butter. Then make a basic pate brisee. Then just half an apple, core it, peel it, etc etc. Take the tart dough and rub the bottom with the medjool date butter, add the apple on top, close the tart dough up and bake it at 325 until done, probably 25-30 minutes for the apple to get completely soft. The toffee is a basic recipe, brown sugar, butter, cream, simple syrup. The ice cream is just a basic creme anglaise (ice cream base) except I put a bunch of star anise pieces in the cream and let it steep overnight, then right before putting it into the ice cream machine I added some ground star anise.

    Dulce de leche is incredibly easy. Just take a can of condensed milk and boil it for four hours. That's not a really authentic dulce, but it's close enough and delicious. Make sure the can is completely submerged in water though, because the pressure can cause the can to explode if part of it is outside the water. I've found Carnation brand and Eagle brand work best. The others can be pretty inconsistent in how they turn out. This is also really versatile.... around four hours will make it a relatively solid caramel, 3 1/2 will make it a very soft caramel, and around 2 to 2 1/2 hours will make it the same consistency of like ice cream caramel topping.

    For the one bit lemon tart, I made a graham cracker tart crust. Basically take a cup of softened but not melted butter, cream it in a mixer, then add 1/4 cup brown sugar and a 1/4 cup granulated sugar and continue to cream it. Add 1/4 cup honey until it's mixed in well. Then combine 1/2 cup all purpose flour and 2 cups wheat flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients in two or three batches, scraping the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula after each addition. Then chill the dough so it firms up, roll it out to 1/8 inch, punch out the size you need for your tart shells, chill the shells again, and bake at 325 until brown and crispy-- around 20-25 minutes.
    The fennel/lemon pastry cream was (from memory so I could be off on something here) made by zesting two lemons, very finely chopping a fennel bulb, and mixing those two in with a cup of sugar with your hands to coat them well. Put that over a double boiler and add to it a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 4 eggs. Whisk this constantly until it comes up to 175-180 degrees. It will be very easy to whisk at first but as the eggs cook it will become thick and once you can make track marks in the mixture with your whisk, it should be around the right temp and done. Put it into a mixing bowl and allow it to cool down to 140. Once it's at 140, slowly add 5 oz of softened butter, one or two pieces at a time. The butter is what takes it from a basic lemon curd recipe to a rich, velvety pastry cream. I didn't think the fennel was noticeable enough, though, so I'm going to play around with that. I don't know if I want to use the fronds, for fear that it might turn the mixture green. I am going to try juicing the fennel next time and using 1/4 cup fennel juice and 3/4 cup lemon juice, but I also fear that will turn the cream green. Not sure what to do about that.

    The mint chocolate truffle is a basic ganache recipe with the addition of 2 tablespoons of a very intense mint simple syrup. Once the ganache is made and cooled, use a melon baller to get them to the size you want and then form the perfect circles in your hands. Put them back in the fridge to chill. Temper about a pound of chocolate and have a bowl of cocoa powder ready. Put a glove on one hand, and dip that hand in the chocolate, then take a ganache ball and roll it around in your gloved hand until it's covered in the melted chocolate, then immediately toss it in the cocoa powder to cover. Protip: Try not to let any of the excess tempered chocolate drip into the cocoa powder or it will clump up on you.
    I wasn't happy with how subtle the mint was in this recipe, either, so I'm going to try steeping mint into the cream for the ganache overnight next time I do this stuff.
     
  8. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    :devil:

    centrifuge pureed fennel fronds!

    I think I might try the apple tart and dulce du leche next cheat day. Sounds easy enough. I just hope I don't blow my kitchen up
     
  9. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    do you have a centrifuge, man? I want one just to get tomato 'curd' and make intensely flavored tomato tofu
     
  10. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    We don't even have a thermal circulator. We cook everything with fire. Welcome to 1955!
     
  11. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    i want to try centrifuged clear tomato gelatin. i have centrifuges in my lab, but not sure i should use it for food
     
  12. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    How about some rugulah? The Jooz aren't exactly known for their pastries (Hamantaschen? Seriously?), but I sure as fuck love me a rugulah.
     
  13. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    pastry's for girls. fact.
     
  14. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    I am a very girly man.
     
  15. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Not touching girls for years at a time is not the same thing as being girly.
     

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