Friday, June 10, 2005

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt in White Chocolate Dessert Cups

I made the raspberry frozen yogurt yesterday in an attempt to use up the already opened bag of frozen raspberries. When it turned out quite good, I decided to dress it up by making meringue dessert cups to serve it in. This serving idea was inspired by Dilek's Melba Eis Terrine. I even had the right number of egg whites left from the tartlets. However, when I did not want to turn on the oven on such a hot day, I thought of chocolate dessert cups as an alternative. Many years ago, I made these frequently, in fact I used to keep several of them in my freezer to serve chocolate mousse in. This time, I only made 2 cups--this is another great thing about individual desserts, you can make as few as you want. The most difficult part was to separate the foil from the chocolate lining, but once started, it peeled quickly and easily. Zeynep said that the white chocolate cups melted in the mouth and complemented the raspberry flavor very well.

Raspberry Frozen Yogurt

2 c lowfat vanilla yogurt (you can make your own by adding sugar and vanilla to yogurt.)
1/2 c whole milk
1/4 c sugar
12 oz bag frozen raspberries, thawed and sieved to get rid of the seeds (I used a little less since the bag was already opened)

Combine yogurt, milk and sugar in a mixing bowl, mix until the sugar is dissolved. Add the raspberry puree, mix until combined. Pour mixture into freezer bowl of your ice cream machine and let mix until thickened, about 25-30 minutes.

White Chocolate Dessert Cups and Leaves

2 oz good quality white chocolate, cut into tiny pieces
Tinfoil muffin liners
Non poisonous, thick veined leaves, washed and well-dried
Pastry brush

Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water. (2 oz chocolate is too much for 2 dessert cups, but I like to err on the more side rather than less, since you can always remelt and use the leftover later.) Brush the insides of muffin liners and the veined sides of leaves with an even coat of chocolate. Place shortly in your freezer. Give them a second coat of chocolate and return again to the freezer. After a few minutes, take them out one at a time, and gently but quickly, peel off the tinfoil (or the leaves). If the chocolate tends to soften with your body heat, return briefly to the freezer. Keep the shells in the freezer until serving time. (Let me note that if you temper your chocolate beforehand, you will not need to keep them in the freezer, but you will compromise the melt-in-your-mouth quality.)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Blueberry Tartlets with Lemon Curd

Although I love sucking on a lemon sprinkled with salt, lemon desserts have not been a favorite of mine until quite recently. I first made Lemon Curd Phyllo Tartlets with Raspberries, and loved it. Last week, I made lemon curd again for Quasia's wedding cake, and found the lemon taste refreshing in the lemon curd mousseline buttercream. I have seen blueberries and lemons paired in many desserts before, so I thought that I should give this combination a try.

This recipe is from the Pie and Pastry Bible--another excellent book from the author of the Cake Bible. Although the recipe was for a 9-inch tart pan, I used my tartlet pans and the amounts given below made 5 4-inch tartlets. Lemon and blueberries were very good together, but not quite as good as lemon and raspberries.

1 recipe flaky pie crust, prebaked and still warm
1 recipe lemon curd
1/2 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 c sugar
1/3 c water
1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 300F. While the crust is still warm, brush it with the egg white. (This moisture-proofs the bottom but I forgot to do it.) Spread the lemon curd smootly in the tart shell and bake for 7-10 minutes or until the center is barely jiggly when the tart is moved gently from side to side. Cool.

For the blueberry topping, stir the cornstarch and sugar together. Now stir in the water and lemon juice, and heat until the mixture is clear, thickened and bubbly. Remove the pan from heat, and add the blueberries all at once, tossing until coated with the glaze. Drain excess glaze if necessary. Gently spoon the glazed berries on top of the lemon curd. Cool completely and unmold the tart before you serve.

Rana making her own pie crust

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Quasia's Wedding Cake

Today, we had another wedding at the dergah. (We are really getting used to this now.) You can see the bride posing with some of the dergah kids and her wedding cake in the above picture. It was another sunny and beautiful day, but this time it was much hotter than last Sunday. Fortunately, the mousseline is a sturdy frosting that can withstand heat quite well, so we did not have to worry about the cake melting away before our very eyes. This 4-tier white butter cake (13", 10", 7" and 4") was decorated festively with colorful roses and piped swags. It had a lemon curd mousseline buttercream inside and plain mousseline outside. It was served with Rose's strawberry sauce on the side--a combination that looked and tasted very good.

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream with Rose's Lighty Sweetened Strawberry Sauce

I made the strawberry sauce to be served with Quasia's wedding cake. (The wedding will take place later today.) The strawberry ice cream was an edible welcome gift to Zeynep who returned from her 1-week class trip to S. Carolina yesterday. The combination really captured the taste of strawberries at their peak.

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced
3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 c sugar, divided
2 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/3 cup of the sugar; stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in the juices for 2 hours. In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or a whisk to combine the milk, and the granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1-2 minutes on low speed. Stir in the heavy cream plus any accumulated juices from the strawberries and vanilla. Pour in the ice cream maker, and operate it according to manufacturer's instructions. Add the sliced strawberries in the last 5 minutes of freezing time. This ice cream will have a very light pink color, if desired you can add a few drops of red food color until you achieve a deeper pink. (Recipe taken from the Cuisinart Recipe booklet.)

Rose's Lighty Sweetened Strawberry Sauce

This recipe is again from the Cake Bible. The quantities below will yield 1 1/3 c sauce. When I made it for the wedding cake, I tripled the recipe.

20 oz bag whole strawberries, frozen without sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c sugar

In a colander suspended over a deep bowl, thaw the strawberries competely. This will take several hours. Press them, if necessary, to force out the juice. There should be close to 1 1/4 c of juice.

In a small saucepan (or in a microwave) boil the juice until reduced to 1/4 cup. Pour it into a lighty oiled heatproof glass measure.

In a food processor, puree the strawberries. You should have 1 liquid cup of puree. Stir in the strawberry syrup and lemon juice. Measure again, there should be 1 1/4 cups. If you have less, add less sugar. The correct amount of sugar is 1/5 the volume of the puree.