Archives

O’Hara’s Irish Red Velvet Cake with Bailey’s Buttercream

Think you need to eat green this Saint Patrick’s Day? Think again. Come Saint Patrick’s Day, few desserts can stand up to the mighty Guinness Chocolate Cake – until now.  Irish Red Velvet Cake is as cheery as a wee leprechaun’s cheeks and as fiery as his beard. The crimson batter contains a dusting of cocoa and is bound with buttermilk – both characteristics of a traditional Red Velvet Cake, popular in the American South. But a few glugs of O’Hara’s Irish Red Ale gives this otherwise ordinary cake Celtic edge. This delightful Irish-American fusion makes an ideal dessert for the 40 million Irish Americans who celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day every year. (And, since Saint Patrick’s Day is more widely celebrated by Irish Americans than the Irish, this fusion turns out to be quite apropos.) What is an Irish Red Ale? Irish Red ales are reddish-brown in color and full-bodied. In the case of O’Hara’s, toasted malt sweetens the drink, while a bit of hops deepens the finish. Too much of the bubbly brew can give the Irish Red Velvet Cake a yeasty, bread-like flavor – a modest 1/2 cup does the trick. Cutting back on the …

Read More

Chocolate Ice Cube Cake | ledene kocke

If there was a giant table strewn with every cake, brownie, custard, and pie, ever, I’d be the first in line. But I wouldn’t be there to eat them. Not initially. I’d be there to soak in their beauty, to enjoy the geometry. Circles, rectangles, towers of truffles. Cubes, even. I’d languish to revel in the colors – chocolate browns, raspberry reds, vanilla-cream whites, mint-leaf greens, passion fruit golds. I’d eat with my eyes until ever bit of my spirit was nourished. Then I’d sink my teeth into the sweetness. When I happened upon Ledene Kocke, I fell immediately for the geometry; a grid, stacked in shades of cocoa and cream. Little did I know, translating the recipe would hold it’s fair share of challenges. I so wanted to make the recipe, though. With cold, hard stubbornness  I powered through and, in the words of Tim Gunn, I made it work. Let’s start by talking about the name. Ledene Kocke. Translators generally make this “Ice Cube Cake” which is completely adorable. It was only after I thought about how the cake is …

Read More

Peruvian Tiramisu

Yes. Peruvian Tiramisu. It’s real and it’s happening right now. This is tiramisu exactly as you know it with the addition of one magical ingredient from Peru: lucuma fruit. To me, the brilliant gold flesh of lucuma tastes like a combination of caramel, sweet potato and pumpkin. With a bit of banana leaf undertones. I’m not sure how it came to be that there is a fruit which tastes like caramel, but I’m smitten. I mean, really. This is the perfect dessert to serve with falling leaves, crisp afternoons, and a whisper of frost. (Hello, autumn.) Kelly, the owner of Mi Tierra in Tulsa, tells me that, while lucuma fruit is folded into ice cream, drinks, and more, tiramisu is the “big city” way to enjoy the fruit in Lima. Now… about the fact that they’re eating Tiramisu in Peru… Here’s the deal: the Italian influence in Italy is second only the the Chinese influence. The first wave of Italian immigration to Peru occurred during the period 1840–1866 (the “Guano” Era): not less than 15,000 Italians …

Read More

Whipped Ghee Shortbread Cookies | Ghraiba

Every day should be special. A day to use fancy napkins. A day to nibble cookies with tea. A day to smile more than you did the entire year before. This cookie is for such a day. Say hello to the ghraiba, or Libya’s answer to crispy, buttery shortbread. They aren’t super sweet, but they have a tender crumb, perfect for teatime. Two things make these cookies unique. First, they are made with ghee, a.k.a. cooked, clarified butter. Second, they are studded with whole cloves, which can be eaten in their entirety. The quick bake in the oven mellows the flavor enough to make the experience bearable. I made half of the cookies plain and half of them with a hit of cocoa. Decorated with whole cloves (yes, eat the whole thing!) and pine nuts, they make for a delightful giftbox for a hostess gift. The funny thing about these cookies is that they do not spread. At all. And they cook very quickly, so plan accordingly Makes several dozen 1 inch balls. Ingredients: 7.5 ounces ghee, room temperature (about a …

Read More

Tiramisu

Makes one large trifle (Serves at least 8) Your day was hard. Maybe you have a party coming up. Or you are out of ice cream. Perhaps your favorite DVD  got scratched. Or your 20 lb cat left a 1lb hairball on your favorite sweater. I have the answer for everything: make tiramisu. Trust me. After a hard day, tiramisu is easy. It’s the perfect dessert for fancy parties and casual parties. Plus, you won’t ever crave ice cream again. Well… not while tiramisu is hanging out in your fridge. After one taste, you’ll be so in love that you won’t care about the DVD or  the sweater. It’s just stuff, after all. Tiramisu, however, is glory on a spoon. Glory that you can scoop up at midnight, when no one is looking. Plus I have a few little secrets that’ll make it the prettiest tiramisu you’ve ever seen (or tasted). NOTE: Please start this recipe the night before you need it. Also, you can make caster sugar (aka fine sugar) by putting some in a …

Read More

Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Bailey’s Buttercream

Makes an 8″ layered cake So here we are, cooking the world A-Z… and I come across this epic Irish cake. I make this adaptation and… just like that – my life is complete. I don’t have time to do my hair or makeup, but – I promise you – I’ll always have time for this cake. It’s rich and dark, like an Irish sky at midnight… brightened by sweet, sweet Bailey’s buttercream, which gilds everything like moonlight. The perfect pair. The perfect balance. Especially for breakfast.  In my slippers. When no one is looking. (Possibly with a big cup of Irish coffee). Don’t worry – the alcohol cooks off, and the Bailey’s frosting? It simply contains the same amount of alcohol as you’d find in vanilla extract. So, go for it, take a bite of Irish nighttime. NOTE: You may find it easiest to bake the cake and do the frosting “crumb coat” one day, then the next day decorate it with the final layer of frosting.  Update, March 2013: I added more powdered …

Read More

Chocolate, Espresso & Vanilla Pots de Crème

Makes 8 individual desserts Some days are so good – so deliriously happy, happy, happy – that I cannot limit myself to just one dessert to celebrate, even if it is a fabulously good French one… Today is such a day because, when I told Ava “I love you,” she smiled big and lovingly, and gave me…. two… thumbs… up. She only just learned how to give a thumbs up yesterday, so I’m feeling pretty special right about now. In honor of her cuteness, we’re going with a sampler style celebration – 3 different flavors – perfect for parties, potlucks, or elegant dinners. The key to a good pot de creme isn’t a thick, creamy interior. In fact, despite the name, the dessert doesn’t even have to contain cream. It can be as delicate as a custard, which this is most definitely. Our version is an adaptation from Le Cordon Bleu at Home. Ingredients: 3 cups milk 1/4 cup heavy cream 3/4 cup sugar 1 vanilla bean, scraped 3 eggs 3 egg yolks 1 tsp vanilla …

Read More

Viennese Hot Chocolate

Serves 2-4 Viennese Hot Cocoa is so rich and tasty, you won’t need dessert. Perfect for a chilly night! Take care when adding the egg yolk to the hot liquid, you don’t want to make “scrambled egg cocoa.” Ingredients: 2 cups milk 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa 3 Tbsp sugar 1 Tbsp raspberry brandy (or regular) 1 egg yolk For whipping cream: 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 tsp vanilla extract 3 Tbsp powdered sugar Method: 1. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, and continue whipping to combine. 2. In a small saucepan, whisk together milk, cocoa, sugar, and brandy until combined. Heat over medium-low until barely simmering. Turn heat to low. 3. Place an egg yolk in a small bowl. Whisk a small ladle of the cocoa into the egg yolk, tempering it. Add yolk mixture to pot, whisking constantly until thickened. Do not let mixture boil or egg will scramble. 4. Serve cocoa in teacups or mugs with a dollop of whipped cream on top.   Votes: 2 Rating: 3 …

Read More

Cream Roll | Brac de Gitano

Serves 4-6 Brac de Gitano is a thin cake filled with apricot cream, rolled and then sliced. Andorrans enjoy this rich dessert with tea or coffee. Ingredients: Cake: 4 eggs, separated 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup flour pinch salt 1 oz butter 1 tsp almond extract Filling: 1 cup whipping cream 1/2 cup plus 5 Tbsp apricot or peach jam 1/4 cup powdered sugar 1/4 cup cocoa powder 1/3 cup almonds Method: For the cake: 1. Preheat oven to 350F . Grease and cover a 9×13 sheet pan with parchment paper. (A sheet pan looks like a cookie sheet with 1/2 inch high sides) 2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with sugar until pale yellow. Add flour, salt, butter, and almond extract. 3. Add egg whites to a medium bowl, beat until stiff. 4. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the yolk mixture. Sir gently until just combined. Fold in remaining egg whites. 5. Pour into pan and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 6. Cool slightly. Remove cake from pan and place on a sugared dish towel or saran wrap. Roll up into …

Read More