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sherry yardSherry Yard is the executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck's empire, including Spago, Cut, and Chinois. Each year Sherry Yard desserts play a leading role at the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and Emmy Awards. Sherry Yard was named Outstanding Pastry Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 2002. Sherry Yard won a James Beard Award for Best Baking Cookbook for her first book, The Secrets of Baking. Bon Appetit magazine and the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association have both named Sherry Yard Pastry Chef of the Year, and in 2004 the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs presented her with a Golden Bowl Award. Desserts by the Yard: From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills: Recipes from the Sweetest Life Everis Yard’s second book.

Posted on Feb 2, 2008


This pudding can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving and serve with whipped cream, making extra decadent.

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 to 4 teaspoons chocolate liqueur
6 Tablespoons heavy cream, chilled
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, 2 minutes. The mixture will be thick. Remove from heat. Whisk in chocolate and chocolate liqueur until smooth.

2. Divide the pudding into two dessert bowl and chill pudding, and cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, until cold, at least 2 hours. Just before serving, vigorously whisk 6 Tablespoons heavy cream with 1 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl until it holds soft peaks. Top pudding with the whipped cream.

Posted on Jan 28, 2008


Flan, pronounced [FLAHN] is used as a term to describe the Spanish, Portuguese or Mexican version of Creme Caramel normally baked in a bain marie* and unmold onto a plate for serving. You will only need five simple ingredients to make this easy and quick flan recipe. This flan recipe key ingredient is condensed milk, which is a special blend of milk and sugar from which water has been removed by a special vacuum process, yielding a very thick, sweet product that can last for years without refrigeration if unopened. Try this quick and easy dessert recipe. The perfect make-ahead dessert recipes!

One (14 fl. oz) can condensed milk
14 fl. oz whole milk
3 large eggs
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped or 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup granulated white sugar, for the caramel

1. Make the caramel by melting 1 cup sugar in a pan, over low heat. Keep your eye on it. If it burns you will have to start over. It is easier to clean if you use a non stick pan. Immediately pour the caramel into a 8-inch mold and quickly swirl it around to cover the bottom and a little up the sides. WARNING: IT IS VERY HOT! You have to be quick because the caramel hardens once it starts to cool down. The caramel should have cooled down before you pour the egg mixture in it, place in the roasting pan and set aside.

2.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, bring a kettle of water to a boil for the water bath. Blend the whole milk, condensed milk, vanilla, and eggs in a blender until completely mixed. Pour the flan mixture through a metal strainer right into the caramelized mold.

3. Place the mold into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the mold. Carefully transfer to the middle oven rack. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Test the flan to see if it’s done by inserting a knife near the center. If the flan is still soft, let it cook longer until a knife inserted again comes out clean.

4. Remove from the oven carefully and let it cool on the counter to room temperature. Then cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. To serve run a knife around the inside of the mold to loosen the flan and lay a plate on top of the mold then carefully flip it over and slide the mold off.

* Bain Marie (pronounced BAN-mah-REE) or water bath, consists of placing a container of food in a large shallow pan of warm water, that surrounds the food with gentle heat. The food may be cooked in this manner either in an oven or on top of a range. This technique is designed to cook delicate dishes such as custards, sauces, and savory mousses without breaking or curdling them. It can also be used to keep cooked food warm. THE FOOD LOVER’S COMPANION, 2nd edition, Sharon Tyler Herbst, Barron’s Educational Services, Inc. 1995.

Posted on Jan 27, 2008


To heat up the night, why not try this spicy chocolate creme brulee for Valentine's Day or any other day of the year.

3 cups whipping cream
1 cinnamon stick
1 dried ancho chili* with seeds, stemmed, chopped
1/3 cup plus 6 teaspoons granulated white sugar
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine first 4 ingredients and 1/3 cup sugar in heavy large saucepan and bring to a slight boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Let the mixture steep for 3 minutes and strain.

2. Whisk egg yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. Divide custard among eight 3/4-cup custard cups or ramekins.

3. Place cups in heavy large baking pan. Add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake custards until almost set in center, about 35 minutes. Remove cups from water and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4. To serve, uncover ramekins; if condensation has collected on custards, place paper towel on surface to soak up moisture. Mix remaining 6 teaspoons sugar and ground cinnamon in small bowl.
Sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon of the sugar mixture. Tilt and tap ramekin for even coverage.
5. Ignite the torch and caramelize the sugar. If you do not have a torch, preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over custards. Broil until sugar melts and caramelizes, watching carefully and turning often, about 2 minutes. Can be made 1 hour ahead. Refrigerate. Transfer to plates and serve. Makes 8 servings.

Posted on Jan 27, 2008


flourless-chocolate-cookies-recipeThese beautiful flourless cookies are in particularly high demand at Payard during Passover, but they have become so popular that we sell them year-round. Their crackled surface gives them an elegant look, and because they are so easy and take barely any time to make, they are great for last-minute entertaining. They have a slightly crunchy exterior and a soft, almost brownie-like interior. They should only be about a half inch at their thickest.

Makes about twelve 4-inch cookies

Chocolate Epiphany: Exceptional Cookies, Cakes, and Confections for EveryoneChocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307393461

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Posted on Jan 27, 2008

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