Category Archives: Deserts

Torte de Elote

Golden Cornfield with Row of Trees by Matthias Hauser


Torte de Elote

Torte de Elote

adapted from a recipe by Pati Jinich, Mexican Chef   

It’s like cornbread but moister. It’s more like a corn souffle but not exactly. You have to try it and you’ll see what I mean.

Torte de Elote

Place rack in the middle of oven and heat to 360 degrees. Butter a 9×12-inch pan. Beat the butter with the sugar until creamy. Slowly add 8 egg yolks, one by one, until incorporated. Add the cream, rice flour, salt and baking powder.
In a blender, process the milk with the corn kernels, then, incorporate it into the mix above. Place the mixture in a big bowl.
Separately, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Add 1/5 of the egg whites to the butter/corn mix and blend carefully. Slowly blend the rest of the egg whites until everything is mixed, it ‘s ok if the mixture looks streaky, don’t over work it or it will lose volume. Pour onto the baking dish.
Bake until torte is springy to the touch and lightly browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Once it cools a little, cut into squares. It can be served either warm or cold; it can be covered and kept at room temperature for an entire day, or covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Torte de Elote

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Bridget’s Chinese Chews

Bridget’s Chinese Chews

One last Christmas recipe – Bridget’s Chinese Chews. It’s her family’s recipe and a Christmas tradition.

Bridget's Chinese Chews

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the first 4 dry ingredients. Then add the eggs, pecans and dates.
Spread thinly (1 inch) in a baking pan. Cook at 350o, 15 to 20 min. Roll small bit into balls while warm and roll in powdered sugar.

Bridget's Chinese ChewsBridget's Chinese Chews

17th Century Pumpkin Pie

17th Century Pumpkin Pie

I came across an old English recipe for pumpkin pie on the Folger Shakespeare Library site. It was adapted from Hanna Woolley’s 17th century recipe by Amanda E. Herbert. I tried it (with a few modifications) and it was delicious. There was a choice of using butternut squash or pumpkin, similar in taste and texture and I used the squash. The result isn’t even close to the pudding-like pie most of us are used to but still, it’s something special and definitely worth trying.

” . . . butternut squash or pumpkin, similar in taste and texture . . .”


Heat the oven to 425o. Peel the squash and slice it into ¼ inch thick slices. You’ll probably only need half of a large squash for 2 cups. Fry it for about 10 minutes in 1 tbsp butter until it gets soft.
Peel the apples and cut into pieces the same as the squash. Place the cooked squash, apples, currants, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and Marsala in a bowl and mix.
Place the first (bottom) pie crust in a pie pan. Pour the squash/apple mixture into the pie. Dot the top with the remaining butter. Cover with the second (top) crust, crimp the edges, and cut a few vents in the crust to allow steam to escape. Beat the egg with a couple of tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Brush the top of the pie crust.
Bake at 425o for fifteen minutes, then lower the temperature to 375o, turn the pie, and bake for another 50-60 minutes. Total baking time is between 65-75 minutes.

 

Kipful

Kipful
Kipful is a Christmas family recipe from Bridget’s family (German side). I’ll leave it to her  –
ingredients
ingredients2
  • Open all the packages of butter & cream cheese & let them get to room temperature.  Put 1 cup of flour & the salt in the mix master, start dropping in the butter bars one at a time & finish with the cream cheese, then the second cup of flour (I don’t really think the order matters, but that’s the ritual )  I generally triple the recipe – making it one batch at a time & putting each batch when it’s finished into a big bowl.  Put in refrigerator until firm – usually over night.mixing
  • Prep: Preheat a 450 degree oven.
  • Clear 3 counter spaces – one for flour & rolling out the dough, one for the tray you are loading (do not put on top of stove as this is too hot and the dough melts), and one for powdered sugar when they come out.  Leave a space to put the hot tray down & then make a bed of powdered sugar which you will drop the Kipfuls onto when they are still hot.   You want one spatula for the dough and a separate one for the powdered sugar.
  • Get your containers ready by lining them with foil or wax paper or whatever you like and sift a layer of powdered sugar into the bottom of each of them.   I generally do all this prep the night before.filling
  • Carve out a double handful of dough and put the rest back in the refrigerator.  Dust your hands with flour & sprinkle a copious amount on the counter.  It’s hard as a rock, so just bear down – try to keep it as close to a rectangle as you can get – then use a table knife to slice 3” squares.  Use two teaspoons & put a blob of raspberry preserves in the middle of each square.  Use the spatula to slide one square free & then pull the diagonal corners up to the middle & squeeze the sides together.
  • Into oven & start on next batch of dough.  Be sure to check to see if they are turning brown before finishing the 2nd
  • When they are slightly browned, take tray to powdered sugar station & carefully spatula them right side up on to the bed of sugar.  Sift more sugar on top.  You can now go back & finish the 2nd When it is in the oven, the finished Kipful should be ready to move to your containers.  Put a layer of wax paper between each layer to keep them separated.
  • This recipes should make about 50 kipfuls. Serve cold.

          – Bridget


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Berry Cake

 Berry Cake

Berry Cake
This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit’s ricotta raspberry cake. It’s easy and the prep method is similar to Annabel’s Apple Cake, Annabel’s Orange Cake and The New York Times Original Plum Torte.  Very good – for desert or breakfast.
berry-cake

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Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9” cake pan with butter and lightly coat with flour.
Beat eggs in a large bowl then add the ricotta. Mix until it’s smooth. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix until it’s smooth, then add the butter and mix some more.
Add the berries last (leaving out about a handful) and carefully mix them in without mashing them too much. Pour the whole mix into the pan and place the remaining berries on top. Bake cake until light golden brown, about 50-60 minutes.

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New York Times Original Plum Torte

New York Times Original Plum Torte

The Times has published this recipe every September for the last 33 years. I thought I should finally try it.

20160919_164841 The recommended “smaller blue-black Italian plums that arrive in early autumn” were available, so the time was right.doc3

It was easy and just a few ingredients. Great for breakfast!

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Just an FYI – the recipe calls for 24 plumb halves. I used 27.

Link to NYT ARTICLE and RECIPE

 


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Grapes and Vinegar

Grapes and Vinegar

Italian desserts are usually simple. Elaborate cakes and pastries are served at special occasions. Fruit is much more common. Here’s an easy recipe that I got from a friend from Ischia – Grapes and Vinegar. It’s good in summer.

Grapes and vinegar

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Preparation:

Wash the grapes and put them in a small sauce pan. Cover half way with water and add the vinegar. Bring to a boil, stir, lower heat and simmer until they begin to crack. Turn off the heat and mix in lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar and half of the chopped mint. Let it cool and then mix in the Marsala. Marsala works best but sweet sherry is also OK. Chill and sprinkle with the remaining chopped mint when serving.

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Annabel’s Orange Cake

Annabel’s Orange Cake

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I mentioned Annabel Langbein in a previous post – Annabel’s Apple Cake. She’s come up with another easy to-do cake.  Her show, The Free Range Cook, from New Zealand, is still on PBS. Check it out. Here’s another of her recipes. She calls it Orange Lightning Cake because its so quick to make. Like her Apple Cake, it’s simple and perfect for dessert or breakfast.
annabel
Annabel Langbein

ingredients for orange cake

Orange cake_Page_1

( grams and centigrade converted to US equivalents)

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  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease an 9-inch-diameter cake pan and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Cut the orange into quarters, remove the seeds and whizz in a food processor until finely chopped. Dissolve baking soda in ½ cup water and add to the food processor with butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Whizz to combine. Add golden raisins and walnuts and stir with a spoon to just combine (don’t whizz them or they will break up).
  3. Pour into prepared cake tin and bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean (about 1 hour).sliced orange

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