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Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

 

Unbalanced and under~seasoned desserts:  A sweet dessert is not always a good dessert. Sweet is a taste, not a flavor, that sometimes needs to be balanced with salt or acid if one is expected to keep eating… and enjoying.

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Raindrop Cake

Raindrop Cake (Tim Ireland)

I don’t see the appeal of the “Raindrop Cake”.  Pretty presentation aside, the dessert tastes like barely sweetened spring water. It is pleasantly refreshing, but I take umbrage with calling it a ‘cake’. (And that $8 price tag.) When I reminisce about the best cake I ever ate, a tepid watery blob that jiggles like a breast implant does not come to mind. How did such a misnomer come to be?

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…. No, I Don’t Make Crappy Desserts (or vegan desserts, for that matter)

“You’re lactose intolerant?!  How are your desserts any good if you can’t eat them?”

My job interview ended abruptly, yet again. Discouraged and disheartened, I’ve kept my condition under wraps for years. But worn down by a parade of cheesy, creamy family meals that resigned me to eating crackers for dinner, and the paradox of my dietary regimen and chosen métier was questioned again: “Exactly, how are you a pastry chef and you can’t eat dairy?” Let me explain.

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Pastry Trends 2016

Food trends are a funny phenomenon. While some trends seem spectacularly silly in retrospect (hello, bone broth and paleo diets!), other trends, like organic food, morph into staples of our culinary conversation and help us connect to the food world at large. Food trends can fundamentally change the way we eat. I couldn’t buy coconut and corn flour at the supermarket if gluten-free foods hadn’t been one of the top food trends of recent years. Unfortunately, food trends are not tied to taste.  I’ve suffered through the proliferation of overpriced, dry cupcakes and Cronut wannabes simply because they were well, trendy.

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During the course of my research, I come across interesting tidbits that don’t always fit into the course of my writing. This doesn’t make them any less worthy of sharing so I am posting these randomly interesting links into a section titled “Pastry Round-Up”. 

Rasgulla (Sweet Milk Curd Balls). Rasgulla is an Indian dessert of milk curds poached in a rose syrup. The spongy texture resembles a sweet ricotta dumpling; in fact, you can skip making the milk curds and use ricotta that has been drained overnight. Like the Indian continent of a thousand dialects, rasgulla has many regional variants and there are endless ways to make this dessert suit your taste. The curds can be bound with wheat or semolina flour for a cakey texture, or the syrup can be infused with saffron, cardamom, vanilla bean, or orange blossom water. Unassuming in its simplicity, this can be a tricky dessert to prepare as the milk curds must retain just enough moisture to form a firm spongy texture when poached. This is a uniquely hearty dessert when served warm after a light summer meal or during the coming winter months with w
hipped cream and chilled fruit compote. (more…)

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Ricotta is underrated in the cheese world—always a supporting actress but never the lead. Cheese connoisseurs wax poetic about the vintage of a Cheddar cheese or the stink of a blue cheese but I’ve never heard people swoon over ricotta (unless they’re debating which ricotta makes the best cannoli filling). This ability to fade into the background makes ricotta the perfect companion in desserts where its creaminess and simple sweet taste creates a blank canvas for flavors to co-mingle and meld. My obsession with incorporating cheese into desserts thus inspired me to make this simple cheese. Although my initial attempts at making ricotta met with paltry curds and oceans of whey, I felt that ricotta was a Mount Everest worth climbing as commercial ricotta tastes so bland and nondescript.

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