Friday, February 1, 2013

Easy Dessert Recipes

So although I'm a Culinary Arts major, every week in my lab class I choose to make at least one of the desserts on our menu. Here are some of my favorite dessert recipes that I've made this quarter in my American Regional Cuisine (ARC) class thus far.

Applesauce Cake with Caramel Glaze

1 C                 Unsalted butter, at room temp.
2 C                 Brown sugar, packed
1                     Egg
3 C                 All-purpose flour
2 tsp              Baking soda
¼ tsp              Salt
1 tsp              Ground cinnamon
1 tsp              Ground cloves
2 C                 Applesauce, unsweetened
2 C                 Raisins
1 C                  Walnuts, coarsely chopped

For the Glaze
1 C                  Brown sugar, packed
¼ C                 Unsalted butter
¼ C                 Evaporated milk

1.) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
2.) Cream the butter until smooth. Gradually add the brown sugar, beating until light and 
3.) Add the egg; beat well.
4.) Sift together 2½ cups of the flour, the baking soda, salt and spices. Add to the creamed
      mixture in batches alternating with the applesauce. Beat well after each addition.
5.) Dredge the raisins and walnuts in the remaining flour; fold into the batter.
6.) Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour & 15 minutes or until cake tests 
7.) Cool cake in pan 15 minutes, then invert onto a cake rack to cool completely.
8.) Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Combine the brown sugar, butter and milk.
9.) Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar is dissolved.
10.) Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches soft stage (240°F).
       Remove from the heat and beat about 5 minutes or until thick.**
11.) Drizzle the hot sauce over the cooked cake.

*If you don't have a mixer to cream the butter, simply cream the butter by whisking it until it becomes light, fluffy and whitish-yellow in color. 

**Now if you've never made caramel before this can kind of be tricky. I added more milk to my mixture because I wanted a smoother taste vs. a gritty texture from the brown sugar. Also, if you don't have a candy thermometer to test the caramel to see if it's at the "soft ball stage," don't worry because YOU DON'T NEED IT!!! All you need to do is take your time cooking the caramel, that's one thing you do not want to rush. Constantly stir it over low-to-medium heat. If the mixture is too thick for you add more milk; if it's too thin add a little bit of brown sugar at a time.

Ginger Pound Cake with Warm Cranberries
yields 4-6 servings

2 C                               All-purpose flour
½ tsp                          Baking powder
¼ tsp                            Salt
1 C                                Unsalted butter, at room temp
½ tsp                             Orange zest, minced
1¼ tsp                         Granulated sugar
3                                   Eggs, at room temp
2 Tbsp                         Ginger, grated
½ C                              Milk

1.) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and lightly flour a loaf pan or line in with parchment 
2.) Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3.) Cream the butter & zest until light and fluffy; about 5 minutes.
4.) Gradually add the sugar and beat until the mixture is fluffy again.
5.) Add the eggs 1 at a time, being sure that they are well imcorporated after each addition.
6.) Mix in the ginger.
7.) Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
8.) Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 1¾ to 2 hours, until a skewer inserted in the
      center comes out clean.
9.) Serve cake warm with Warm Cranberries.

Warm Cranberries                                                                         
yields 4 servings

¾ C                               Granulated Sugar
¾ C                               Water
1                                     Orange
3 C                                 Cranberries

1.) Combine the sugar and water over medium heat & bring to a boil, making sure all the
     sugar is dissolved.
2.) Cut a 2" zest strip from the orange using a vegetable peeler, do not include any of the
     butter, white pith.
3.) Add the zest and cranberries to the syrup & reduce to a low simmer.
4.) Simmer for 6-8 minutes or until the cranberries begin to pop, but do not overcook. The
     berries should be soft but still retain their shape.
5.) Remove from the heat and leave in syrup to cool.

Peach and Blueberry Cobbler                                                                  yields 4-8 servings

1½ C                       Peaches, sliced
1 C                           Blueberries, picked over and washed
1 Tbsp                     Granulated sugar

For the Shortcake
1 C                           All-purpose flour, sifted
2 Tbsp                    Granulated sugar
2 tsp                       Baking powder
¼  tsp                    Salt
4 Tbsp                    Unsalted butter
1                              Egg, beaten
2 Tbsp                    Milk

1.) Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2.) Toss the peaches and blueberries with suagr to coat evenly.
3.) Place the fruit in a baking dish.
4.) Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
5.) Cut the butter into small pieces about the size of a hazelnut, and add to the flour   
      mixture. Mix gently.
6.) Whisk the egg and milk together.
7.) Add to the flour the mixture and mix just until dough sticks together; knead gently.
8.) Divide into the size of 8 small or 4 large biscuits and cover the top of the fruit.
9.) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the fruit is tender and the shortcake is lightly
10.) Allow the cobbler to cool slightly before serving.
11.) Serve with cream, whipped cream or ice cream.

Key Lime Pie                                                                             yields 8 servings

For The Crust
1 C + 1 Tbsp                    Graham cracker crumbs
¼ C                                  Granulated sugar
¼ C                                  Butter, melted

For The Filling
2 C                                     Sweetened condensed milk
6                                         Egg yolks
¾ C                                   Key Lime juice
1 Tbsp                               Key Lime zest

For the Topping
1 C                                      Heavy cream
½ C                                   Confectioners' sugar, sifted

1.) Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2.) Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
3.) Add the melted butter and combine until the mixture resembles wet sand; press the
      mixture into a 9" pie pan.
4.) Whisk the condensed milk with the egg and blend in the lime juice and zest. Pour the
       mixture into the pan with the piecrust.
5.) Bake approximately 15 minutes or until filling is set; let the pie cool at room temp for 1 
      hour. Be careful not to over bake the pie.
6.) Prepare the topping by whipping cream with the sugar, be careful no to overmix the
7.) Garnish pie with whipped cream.