Posts Tagged ‘dessert’
Oh come on, you didn’t think I’d let St. Patty’s pass without baking something outrageous and booze-filled did you?
I’m heading to a house party tonight for libations and the hostess is preparing some savory main dishes, so I figured a dessert would be a good idea. I didn’t want to do cupcakes or anything too overly sweet, and then I remembered this stout gingerbread I made a couple years ago and how perfect it could be.
This is some srs bsns gingerbread. One of those types that clears out your sinuses and fills your entire kitchen (apartment, house, street…) with the pungent smell of ginger and clove and spices. The taste is intoxicating and so malty rich from the stout. Just divine for your Irish celebration.
I attended a very special wedding this past weekend. Let me stand you to a mint julep and tell you all about it.
During college I was notorious for getting floormates and friends addicted to my favorite television shows. Buffy, LOST, Firefly. Only one person joined me in my addiction to a 1980′s TV miniseries about pre- and post-Civil War America, and that was my best friend and roommate Rach. We were addicted to North and South and watched it every time we moved into a new room. Every time we moved out. On weekends. On sick days. We loved Orry and George, their friendship, the ridiculous accents, the costumes. Everything.
We even made a trek out to Charleston, SC to visit the houses where they filmed it and had one of the best vacations ever.
So when Rach got engaged to a fellow North & South fan (the only other person we ever met at Cornell who a) knew what North & South was and b) loved it – obviously a match made in heaven!), she asked me to make cupcakes with a perfect little nod to their favorite miniseries. Mint julep cupcakes.
I was honored to be asked to make the “wedding cake” for them, and I wanted to do it right. Knob Creek in the batter, silver cupcake liners (to represent those gorgeous silver glasses the drink is normally served in), and fresh mint leaves on top. Both the batter and frosting were a gorgeous pale green due to copious amounts of créme de menthe, but the balance was there. They were rich but refreshing, and had that bite of liquor without the aftereffects. I was incredibly proud to serve them and even prouder that they were served at an unconventional wedding done the bride and groom’s way – which is what every wedding should be.
So congrats to Rach & Brandon! May your love be as everlasting as Orry and
The last time I visited home my mom gave me this recipe torn out of a magazine (along with a pile of newspaper articles and miscellaneous bits of reading materials she thought I’d be interested in), so it seemed only fitting I would make it on Mother’s Day.
A fool is a British dessert traditional using layered whipped cream and egg whites with fruit puree, but this healthier pseudo-breakfast version is just as tasty. Instead of whipped cream you use thick Greek yogurt and the fruit is a quick rhubarb preserve with that perfect sweet-tart tang. This is one of those dishes that can’t decide if it’s dessert or breakfast and is deceivingly “healthy” (trust me, with all the sugar, it’s not), yet it’s still easy and delicious — two things everyone can love.
I confess – this post was written (and made) a week in advance, with the knowledge of where I would be yesterday. That place was sunny Orlando, FL, where I spent the day squealing and fangirling my heart out at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I have no shame in saying I am a huge Harry Potter geek, but nothing compared to my sister V. So for her 30th birthday my other sister D and I surprised V with an all-expense covered trip to Orlando to visit the coolest attraction I’ve ever been to. This was a surprise 8 months in the making and we were so happy we could just combust. To celebrate, the weekend prior I decided to whip up one of the most mentioned treats in the HP universe: pumpkin pasties (that’s past-ees not paste-ees).
Pasties are a traditionally English baked good usually savory filled with meat and vegetables. Sort of like a high-end Hot Pocket. I ate them quite often while I studied abroad there (they were cheap, everywhere, and filling) and always have a special place in my heart. Since the pasties in HP are often sold on the Hogwarts Express with candy and other treats, we can assume J.K. Rowling’s would be sweet, not savory. So think of these as pumpkin handpies: buttery crust, sweet pumpkin filling, and lots of good spices. Just magical.
Few things excite me more than my friends getting enthusiastic about cooking, so when my friend Sara mentioned she tried (and succeded!) making caramel for the first time recently, I definitely got candy making on the brain.
Naturally that led me to something salty-sweet and although salted caramels are featured in the latest Saveur, I’ve had this recipe bookmarked in Christie Matheson’s Salty Sweets for ages. I’ve loved every single thing I’ve made from her book so far and this is just another treat on the list of winners. I added a bit of salt at the end (sprinkled on top for visuals more than anything) but it turned out to be the best decision ever since the caramel itself is just barely salty. Those few extra grains on top make all the difference.
Making caramel can be pretty intimidating since it’s a temperature-sensitive thing, but my best piece of advice to beginners is this: go to your local kitchen store and drop $10 on a candy thermometer. It’s such a small investment for perfect peace of mind when you approach projects like this. You don’t have to guess if the color is right – the temperature will tell you if it’s time to move on to the next step. Plus you can use it for deep fat frying which I’m always going to encourage.