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MIXED BERRIES PAVLOVA RECIPE

Pavlovas were created for, and in honor of, a Russian ballerina. It is crispy on the outside but light and fluffy inside. Leftover decorated pavlova can be refrigerated overnight, but the dessert will absorb moisture from the air and lose its crispness. Undecorated pavlova can safely be left overnight in the oven in which it was baked, and decorated when ready to serve. Use the egg yolks to make pastry cream.

Pavlova
Makes 8 to 10 servings

1/2 cup egg whites, at room temperature (about 4 large eggs)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated white sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 pint (156 g) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 pint (156 g) fresh blueberries
1/2 pint (156 g) fresh raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) Sift the granulated sugar and cornstarch, set aside. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, begin beating the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in a clean, dry bowl until foamy.

2. Add the granulated sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla and continue whipping until the beaters leave ridges in the whites, and the meringue hold a stiff, smooth and glossy peak when the beaters are lifted out, about 8 minutes.

3. On a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit a sheet pan, use a pencil to trace a 9-inch circle. Line the sheet pan with the parchment, pencil side down. Spoon the egg whites into the circle, using the back of the spoon to smooth the top and sides of the disk.

4. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and bake until the meringue has puffed up and cracked on the top and the surface is lightly browned, about 45 minutes.

5.Turn off the oven, prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon, and let the pavlova cool in the oven at least 30 minutes, to room temperature. This ensures a gradual cooling, which protects the delicate meringue.

6. To assemble, spoon it in the center of the cooled pavlova and spread out to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Arrange the slices of strawberry around the edge. Arrange the blueberries and raspberries in the middle. To serve, slice into wedges with a serrated knife. Place on the plate and spoon some of the raspberry sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

Raspberry Sauce
1/2 pint (156 g) fresh raspberries
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup seedless raspberry jam (12-ounce jar)
1 Tablespoon raspberry liqueur

Place the raspberries, sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and raspberry liqueur into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a nonreactive measuring cup or small glass bowl and chill until ready to serve.

Sweetened Whipped Cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

Whip the cream, brown sugar, and vanilla until stiff.

Posted on Jan 18, 2008

CHOCOLATE SOUFFLES WITH CARAMEL ANGLAISE RECIPE

Served with a thick, creamy caramel sauce poured directly inside, these chocolate souffles are sure to garner many applauses. Make the caramel anglaise before making the souffles because souffle won’t wait for you!

Chocolate Souffles
1/2 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for dusting
1-1/2 cups whole milk
6 large eggs, separated, plus 2 large egg whites, all at room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with the rack in lower third. Place eight 6-ounce ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush inside ramekins with butter. Dust with sugar, and tap out excess. Using kitchen twine, secure a strip of parchment paper around each ramekin so that parchment extends 3 inches above rim. Chill in freezer 15 minutes (up to overnight).

2. Bring milk almost to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; set aside.

3. Put 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until pale, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour. Add about one-third of the hot milk in a slow, steady stream, beating until just combined.
4. Pour yolk mixture back into pan with the remaining milk. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until thick, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in chocolate, vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. The souffle base can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, covered, until ready to bake the souffles.

5. Beat egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment beat until foamy. Add 1 tablespoon sugar, and beat until soft peaks form. Add remaining tablespoon sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form.

6. Using a rubber spatula, fold one-third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Gradually fold in remaining egg whites.

7. Carefully pour batter into prepared ramekins on baking sheet, filling to just below rims. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Bake until set, about 8 minutes.
8. Remove parchment. Poke a hole in top of each, and pour in caramel creme anglaise. Serve immediately.

Caramel Anglaise
3 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1.Prepare an ice-water bath. Whisk together yolks and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl.

2. Bring milk and 1/2 cup cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Pour one-third of the hot milk mixture into yolk mixture, whisking until combined.

3.Pour yolk mixture back into pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until mixture coats the back of a spoon, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer pan to ice-water bath, and let the creme anglaise cool completely.

4.Put 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, and the lemon juice into a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, without stirring, and cook until caramel turns dark amber. Remove from heat, and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup cream.

5.Whisk together creme anglaise and caramel in a medium bowl, and serve.

Posted on Jan 7, 2008

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