Galette Gusto!

galette
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I have been really into desserts lately, especially with all the delicious fruits coming into season! Nectarines only come around once a year for a few months so I jumped at the chance to create a simple, rustic, yet impressive dessert for my clients.

Fussy tarts and pies can be such a pain to form and of course as a chef I always want to create that perfect aesthetic, however I discovered that when time is of the essence, something comparable like a galette can impress just as much but with less of a hassle.

A galette is essentially a free form rustic, generally crusty pastry that can be topped with various sweet or savory toppings. I chose to pair fresh nectarines tossed with vanilla bean and citrus to accompany the delicate yet crisp crust made with cornmeal. The result was delicious and it couldn’t be easier….here’s what I did….

For the Crust:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 stick cold butter, cubed
2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 egg (for egg wash..this creates that golden brown color)

In a food processor combine all the ingredients, except the egg. Pulse until the butter is small and pea sized, but not too small! (if the butter is fully incorporated it will not achieve the same flaky crispy texture you want)

Pull the dough out of the processor and knead by hand JUST until a ball is formed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

For the Filling:

6-8 ripe nectarines, sliced
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1 lemon, juiced & zest
2 tbsp. all purpose flour

In a large bowl toss all ingredients until combined and the nectarine slices are evenly coated.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll out until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. You may need a bit more flour to prevent sticking for this step…use your noggins people! Transfer the dough to a parchment paper lined sheet tray.

Arrange the nectarines in the center of the dough leaving about a two inch border of crust. This will allow us enough room to fold up the edges and prevent any of that yumminess from creeping out. Fold up the edges of the dough and brush only the crust with your left over egg.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. It may take a few minutes longer depending on your oven, but ultimately all you need is for the nectarines to be partially cooked and the dough to be crisp. Check this but CAREFULLY lifting the galette and checking for browning underneath.

galette2

I topped mine with a fresh raspberry whipped cream…It’s super easy….1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 3 tbsp. powdered sugar and 1/4 cup fresh raspberry puree. Sub out the raspberries for any other berry that you have :-)

Pinterest Gem Unveiled: Bananas Foster Tres Leches Cake

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There are always those recipes you see on pinterest that just jump out at you. The kind of recipes you pin and NEVER go back to……well I have about 35 pins under my “do it!” board. Chances are I will not get to all of them, but one stuck out. The website www.howsweeteats.com posted a recipe for banana tres leches cake…..UMMM what?! Banana bread…check…love it. Tres leches cake…..ummm duhhh! The two together create this amazing cake to which I have added my own twists to.

As with all my recipes…feel free to make them your own! Use the basic cake recipe and add in your own flare.

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, browned and cooled slightly (brown butter adds a nutty flavor)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (this is my go to ingredient in baking, try replacing white sugar with it in your next baking venture!)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 bananas, mashed (The riper the better!)
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum (I used the ever so classy Sailor Jerry; however, you can use whatever you have)
  • 1 ripe banana sliced or 1/2 cup dried banana chips (Garnish JUST before serving, or chips will get soggy and banana will change color)

I know, I know… it’s not the healthiest cake in the world… but it may be the tastiest!!!

You’ve been warned!

 

Step 1:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. I used a medium sized ceramic all clad. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Think of really stiff whipped cream. The egg whites will stand up when you remove the beaters.

Step 2:

Beat egg yolks and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add in the vanilla extract and bananas. With the mixer on low speed, add in cooled butter and mix until combined. Add in half of the dry ingredients, then add the 2/3 cups of milk. Finish by adding the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix. (This will create a tougher end result)

Step 3:

Fold the egg whites into the batter (Do not rush this process. Stirring the egg whites too fast into the batter will create a dense product!) Pour batter into the greased dish. The original recipe called to bake for 25-30 minutes, however, I say 30-35 but keep an eye on it!  Cool the cake completely (tell ya why later). I suggest leaving the cake in the pan. (less of a mess) Once its cool… poke the crap out of it!!! I mean really… well without making it a mess… poke as many holes as you can in the cake… I used the end of a food thermometer.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together 1 tablespoon rum, whole milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk. Pour the milk mixture over the cake getting it into the holes. Refrigerate and let sit for at least 3 hours.

Step 4:

Whipped cream time! Using an electric mixer, beat the cream, second amount of cinnamon & vanilla and the remaining tablespoon of rum. Beat this mixture until similar consistency of the egg whites you whipped up earlier. Spread the finished whipped cream over the cake. Garnish the cake with sliced fresh banana or banana chips.

 

Feeling frisky? Brulee the banana slices on a plate first sprinkled lightly with some white sugar. Maybe skip the whipped cream and top the cake with meringue and brulee the top!… wait... maybe I should have done that!

Enjoy :-)

Tiramisu Trouble?

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Italian restaurants are notorious for having signature desserts on their menus such as cannolis and tiramisu. They charge a fortune because the consumer always assumes they are labor intensive and expensive. Not the case……I can easily show you step by step how to make a delicious tiramisu that will rival that of your favorite restaurants. You will impress everyone at your next dinner party! Pinky swear! ha

The ingredients are simple, with most being pantry items.

5 egg yolks (relax you wont get sick)
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (not the cheap imitation crap!)
2 8 oz. Containers of Mascarpone cheese, room temp (this will help it whip easier)
2-3 cups strong dark coffee or espresso *this will vary so brew some extra for yourself :-)
2 packages store bought lady fingers *feeling fancy? Make your own “Aint nobody got time for that”
1/4 cup dark chocolate (keep refrigerated,  I will tell you why later)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (plus more for garnish if you would like)

My advice? Get your ingredients all measured out before you start. It will make your life that much easier.

Lets get this thing started shall we?

 

Step 1:

In a large bowl beat your egg yolks and the 1/4 cup of white sugar. Beat the crap out of these until they are soft, pale yellow, fluffy and almost tripled in volume…This should take about 3 ish minutes. Yes I just said “ish” haha

Filling

See? That wasn’t so hard! The mixture will feel light and airy as opposed to stiff and flat. At this point go into….

Step 2:

Add in your two containers of mascarpone cheese to the beaten egg yolk and sugar mixture. I added in around 1/8 cup of the chilled coffee to this mixture. Continue to beat this until the cheese is incorporated and the mixture is smooth like a baby’s bottom.
Set this mixture aside while you prepare the rest of the tiramisu.

Step 3:

Now it is time to soak the lady fingers in the chilled strong coffee. coffeetiramisu (2)

I used Starbucks because I am fancy like that. You may use any other brand but make sure it is strong! This helps with that authentic restaurant quality taste. I would suggest only dipping the lady fingers into the coffee for 2-3 seconds. Yes, that quickly. Some recipes I have came across say up to 10…..you will have mush…trust me, been there!

Cover the bottom of your glass baking pan (or any desired pan) with a layer of soaked lady fingers. Cover each layer of lady fingers with your yummy fluffy mascarpone mixture. Do this continuously until you run out of ingredients….I did about 3 layers of each in a 13×9 glass baking dish.

Step 4:

Most tiramisu desserts do not have a whipped cream layer but I am a sucker for it and wanted to add it, something tells me you won’t mind once you taste this!

Beat your 1 cup of cold heavy whipping cream with the 3 remaining tablespoons of white sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until medium peaks are formed…..Think marshmallow topping consistency. Take it to far and you’ll have butter…..woof.
whipped cream
You will want to use an electric mixer pictured above unless you feel like working out those arm muscles. Top the layered tiramisu with a generous layer of this whipped cream. The cinnamon, vanilla and coffee flavors blend perfectly together.

Garnish time!

Use an ordinary household peeler and shave your refrigerated dark chocolate on top….Heck, do as much as you want. Lets be serious chocolate and coffee are a match made in heaven. You want the chocolate cold so the curls look prettier. (and they will curl easier and will melt in your hand slower)  I took the garnish one step further and sprinkled it with more cinnamon and toasted lady fingers for some crunch….Be creative and play around with the toppings….chocolate covered espresso beans perhaps?….just sayin!

tiramisu

 

Enjoy it! Stuff your face!!!@#$$$)

 

I know I did :-)