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May 29, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

Baked: Chocolate and Orange Olive Oil Cake

Friday, May 19th, 2017

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I love a simple chocolate cake, unfrosted with a delicate crumb. It’s better still when it comes together in one bowl and bakes in one pan. The olive oil gives a rounded flavor that cuts the sweetness of the chocolate. When I want an easy dessert to serve to company or have something to nibble on Sunday morning, this is the recipe I turn to.

 

Chocolate and Orange Olive Oil Cake
Adapted from a recipe at Baked Bree 
8 servings

6 Tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted
½ cup boiling water
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup orange-infused or orange-flavored olive oil*
3 large eggs
¾ cup plus 1 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. orange zest
½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
Powdered sugar or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake or pie pan.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and water and let cool slightly. Add the vanilla extract and set aside.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the sugar, olive oil and eggs until the mixture is thickened and pale, 2 to 3 minutes.
• Reduce the speed to low and carefully pour in the cocoa water. Mix until combined.
• With a spatula, fold in the flour, zest, salt and baking soda. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
• Bake about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
• Let cool completely before turning the cake out of the pan. Serve with sifted powdered sugar or ice cream.

*Orange-infused or orange-flavored olive oil is available at Di Olivas, Extra Virgin: An Olive Ovation and Vom Fass.

Amrita Song is owner and baker at Mila Sweets and blogs at Chai & Dumplings

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Baked: Caramel and Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

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I always do it up big for my husband’s birthday. He loves anything chocolate, so this year, I thought I’d try a sinfully delicious salted caramel and chocolate combo. These cupcakes are hollowed out and filled with two kinds of chocolate mousse and salty caramel, then topped with chocolate-espresso mascarpone frosting that melts in your mouth. They are airy, moist and irresistibly good. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Salty Caramel and Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes
Adapted from a recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction
1 dozen

½ cup sugar
⅓ cup canola oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup flour
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup cocoa powder
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
¾ cup Salty Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
¾ cup Dark Chocolate Mousse (recipe follows)
¾ cup Milk Chocolate Mousse (recipe follows)
Chocolate-Espresso Frosting (recipe follows)

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, buttermilk, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk until just combined.
• Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
• When the cupcakes have cooled, use a knife or a cupcake corer to remove the center, taking care not to go all the way through the cupcake.
• Fill each cupcake with 1 tablespoon Salty Caramel Sauce followed by 1 tablespoon Dark Chocolate Mousse and then 1 tablespoon Milk Chocolate Mousse.
• Generously ice each cupcake with Chocolate-Espresso Frosting.

 

Salty Caramel Sauce
1 cup

½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
½ cup heavy cream at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract

• In a large deep heavy-bottomed saucepot over medium heat, dissolve the sugar into the water, stirring constantly until it turns amber, about 10 to 14 minutes.
• Immediately remove from heat and slowly stir in the cream and vanilla (the mixture will bubble violently), until the caramel is fully incorporated. Pour the caramel into a jar and let cool.

 

Dark Chocolate Mousse
1 cup

1½ cup heavy cream
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

• Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.
• In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil, then immediately remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let rest 1 minute.
• Gently whisk the chocolate mixture until smooth. Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
• Use an electric beater or mixer to beat on low speed 5 minutes, until it reaches a light fluffy consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Milk Chocolate Mousse
1 cup

1½ cups heavy cream
2/3 cups milk chocolate chips

• Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.
• In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil, then immediately remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Let rest 1 minute.
• Gently whisk the chocolate mixture until smooth. Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
• Use an electric beater or mixer to beat on low speed 5 minutes, until it reaches a light fluffy consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Chocolate-Espresso Frosting
Frosts 1 dozen cupcakes

2½ Tbsp. natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
¾ cup chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
½ cup plus 2½ Tbsp. sugar
8 oz. chilled mascarpone

• In a large mixing bowl, combine the cocoa and espresso powders. Set aside.
• In a small saucepot over medium-high heat, bring ¼ cup cream to a boil. Slowly whisk the cream into the cocoa-espresso powder until the mixture is smooth.
• Whisk in the sugar until dissolved, then whisk in the remaining ½ cup cream. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
• Use an electric beater or mixer on medium speed to whip the mixture until has stiff peaks.
• With the mixer or beater on low speed, gently add the mascarpone and which until the mixture is combined, fluffy and spreadable.

 

Just Five: Chocolate Tofu Pudding

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Just5_Pudding

 

The few people I talked to about this recipe visibly recoiled. I get it: Tofu is not the most thrilling ingredient, especially when it comes to dessert. I was in this camp. Heck, I sewed and carried the flag for this camp. My favorite tofu preparation is when it’s taken a nice long oil bath and is covered in a delicious sauce. So I was surprised when I tasted this decadent, thick and creamy dessert. Silken tofu’s texture is a lot like custard: quite different from the firm and extra firm tofu I cook with.

High quality chocolate is key (remember, tofu is not known for its overwhelming flavor). Look for Ghirardelli, Scharffen Berger or Valrhona, and do not overcook it. I added cinnamon for my fifth ingredient, but a little almond or orange extract would also be nice, or a touch of cayenne pepper along with the cinnamon could make this a great version of Mexican chocolate pot de creme.

 

Vegan Chocolate Pudding
Inspired by a recipe from Mark Bittman
6 to 8 servings

¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup water
½ tsp. kosher salt
8 oz. high quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 lb. silken tofu
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

• In a saucepan, bring the brown sugar, water and salt to a boil over high heat until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool.
• Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, microwave another 30 seconds, stir again until melted.
• Combine the brown sugar syrup, melted chocolate, tofu, vanilla and cinnamon into a blender and mix on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides as needed, until completely smooth. Pour the pudding into 6 to 8 ramekins and chill 15 to 30 minutes until set. Serve.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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Sneak Peek: Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream in Maplewood

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

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The scent of fresh-made waffles will soon waft down Manchester Road in Maplewood when Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream opens doors this Saturday, Feb. 4. As The Scoop reported in October 2015, owners Eric and Laurie Moore sought to bring a taste of Eric Moore’s childhood summers on the Jersey shore to Maplewood.

The narrow space briefly housed a second location of I Scream Cakes, but doors closed just a few months after that establishment opened. Since it was already designed to function as a scoop shop, the Moores made mostly cosmetic changes to the shop, including a fresh coat of paint and resurfaced floors.

Boardwalk’s menu features scoops of Serendipity ice cream sandwiched between fluffy made-to-order Belgian waffles. Customers can choose from a full order – two waffles and four scoops – or a modest single-scoop pressed between a waffle half. They can also forgo the waffle all together and simply enjoy a scoop or two in a cup, or indulge in breakfast for dessert with a plain waffle drizzled with syrup and butter.

Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream will be open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect when the waffle irons heat up on Saturday:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Photos by Michelle Volansky

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The Scoop: Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream headed to Maplewood

The Scoop: Serendipity owner, business partner purchase The Fire & Ice Cream Truck

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Baked: Brownie Cookies with Early Grey Glaze

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

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I love to pair Earl Grey tea with chocolate. It’s flavored with bergamot, an Italian citrus that tastes somewhere between a lemon and an orange and smells a bit floral. I added bergamot extract and ground Earl Grey tea leaves to the powdered sugar glaze that tops these chewy brownie cookies. The result is a dense, almost fudgy cookie base with a sweet, lightly citrus glaze on top.

 

Brownie Cookies with Earl Grey Glaze
Adapted from a recipe at Smitten Kitchen
1 to 2 dozen cookies, depending on size

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup water, plus more to thin the icing
30 g. meringue powder*
½ Tbsp. corn syrup
½ tsp. bergamot extract
1 lb. powdered sugar
¼ tsp. ground Earl Grey tea leaves (from a teabag)

• In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and beat on low speed until well combined. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill at least 1 hour.
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and roll the chilled cookie dough to ¼-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on the baking sheet.
• Bake 8 to 11 minutes, until the edges are firm and the center is slightly soft and puffed. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
• Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a medium bowl, beat together the water and meringue powder with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Add the corn syrup and bergamot and mix 5 seconds. Add the powdered sugar and tea leaves and mix on low speed. The mixture will be very stiff. Add water 1 splash at a time until the frosting has a toothpaste-like consistency.
• Transfer half the icing to a piping bag fitted with a round decorating tip. Carefully outline the cookies with the stiff icing.
• Transfer any icing remaining in the piping bag back to the bowl. Add water 1 teaspoon at a time until the icing reaches a glaze-like consistency. Frost inside the outlines as desired. Let dry for a few hours before enjoying.

*Meringue powder can be found at Kitchen Conservatory.

The Scoop: Summer Wright to helm Vicia’s pastry program, Reeds American Table names new pastry chef

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

 

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{ Summer Wright’s panna cotta at Reeds American Table }

 

Summer Wright has been named executive pastry chef at new restaurant Vicia, set to open in late January 2017. Wright currently holds that position at Reeds American Table, where she will be replaced by pastry assistant Ashley Rouch.

Wright said she took the new position in part because of the opportunity it will provide to work with Vicia co-owners Michael and Tara Gallina, who previously worked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a highly regarded restaurant in New York’s Hudson River Valley.

“Supporting local farmers is at the core of their cooking philosophy,” Wright said in an email. “It’s really fulfilling to work with Michael and Tara, who put so much emphasis on using the local farmers’ products.”

Wright, who has 16 years of experience in the kitchen, previously worked at Niche, Five Bistro and Claverach Farm. At Vicia, she’ll be responsible for creating sweet and savory pastries for the midday and evening menus. During the day, diners can expect croissants, quiche, scones, cookies and fruit tarts. “Having the opportunity to do a daily daytime service that includes a bakery menu is a major point of interest,” Wright said.

The pastry program will make use of whole grains milled in-house. That’s a big priority for Tara Gallina, who hopes to show people that there is much more out there than all-purpose flour.

“We are really excited to put an emphasis on how versatile and delicious freshly milled flour can be in baked goods,” she said. “Our hope is to spark a conversation with people that there is just as much seasonality and variety in grains as there is with other produce that we now think more about.”

At Reeds American Table, Rouch will have the opportunity to experiment with the pastry program, chef-owner Matt Daughaday said, but he doesn’t predict drastic changes to the dessert menu. “Summer created a formula that works,” he said.

Photo by Greg Rannells

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The Scoop: Gallinas to open Vicia in The Cortex

• The Scoop: Chef Michael Gallina to open series of pop-ups, new restaurant in native STL

Best New Restaurants 2015: No. 5 – Reeds American Table

 

Editor’s note: This post originally misspelled Ashley Rouch’s name. It was updated at 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 23 to correct the error. It was also updated at 4:40 p.m. to include an additional quote from Tara Gallina. 

 

Baked: Frosted Peppermint Cookie Bars

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

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These minty cookie bars are perfect for Christmas. I’ve added crushed candy canes to the cookie batter and peppermint extract to the frosting. I was afraid it would be too sweet, but the mint balances the sugar quite nicely. The cookie is reminiscent of those delicate lovely Lofthouse treats: fluffy frosting atop a soft, crumbly cookie. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Frosted Peppermint Cookie Bars
Adapted from a recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction 
16 cookies

¾ cup granulated sugar
1¼ cup (1½ sticks) room-temperature butter, divided
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tsp. peppermint extract, divided
2 pinches of kosher salt, divided
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup crushed candy cane pieces, plus more for decoration
1½ tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. milk
Green food coloring

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square cake pan.
• In a large mixing bowl, cream the granulated sugar and ½ cup butter with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy and light, about 5 minutes.
• Add the egg and yolk and beat on high speed, stopping once to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add 1 teaspoon peppermint extract and a pinch of salt and beat until combined.
• Add the flour, candy cane pieces, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda and fold in with a spatula until even and there are no white streaks.
• Pour the batter evenly into the cake pan. Bake 25 minutes, until it is browned on top but still soft. Let cool completely.
• To make the frosting, place the powdered sugar, the remaining ¾ cup butter, milk, the remaining 1 teaspoon peppermint extract and a few drops green food coloring in a bowl. Beat the ingredients together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add more peppermint extract or food coloring to taste.
• Spread the frosting in a thick even layer atop the cookie and sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
• Use a sharp knife to cut the cookie into 2-by-2-inch bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.

 

More Holiday Cookie Recipes
• Kourambiedes (Greek Christmas Cookies)
Triple Chocolate Cookies
• Black-White Christmas Cookies
• Hannukah Hamantaschen
Springerle

Baked: Chocolate Chai Cupcakes

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

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Pumpkin spice dominates lattes and baked goods right now, but there’s something special about chai spices. Pairing cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and ginger with deep, rich chocolate gives a boost to each bite. The ReTrailer recently cold-brewed its Don’t Chai Know masala chai blend, and the concentrate is the best part: heavily ginger based and infused with all the best masala spices. It’s available at Larder & Cupboard and meant to be blended with milk, but I added it to these super moist chocolate cupcakes for a tangy, spicy kick. It’s the perfect fall dessert. Enjoy and happy baking!

 

Chocolate Chai Cupcakes
Adapted from a recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction
1 dozen cupcakes

¾ cup chai concentrate*, divided
1 Tbsp. plus a splash heavy cream, divided
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup canola oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup flour
¾ cup cocoa powder, divided
¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
• In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup chai concentrate and 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Set aside.
• In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Add the chai-cream mixture, flour, ½ cup cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and the chai-cream mixture and whisk until just combined.
• Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, until a knife inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
• Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, make the frosting by beating the powdered sugar, butter and the remaining ¼ cup chai concentrate, ¼ cup cocoa powder and splash of cream on medium speed until fluffy. The frosting should be thick but spreadable.
• When the cupcakes have cooled, top them liberally with frosting.

* Chai concentrate is available at Larder & Cupboard.

 

More Baked Recipes
Baked: Roasted Sriracha Pumpkin Seeds

Baked: Tropezienne Tarts

Baked: Chocolate Chip-Orange Muffins

• Baked: Chai-Chocolate Chip Scones

 

By the Book: Home by Bryan Voltaggio

Friday, November 11th, 2016

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I am a major Top Chef fan (Season 14 starts Dec. 1!). Season six, which featured brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, was a favorite – so much so that on a my first trip to Baltimore, I took a detour to Frederick, Maryland to eat at Volt, Bryan Voltaggio’s restaurant. It was a wonderful experience. One memorable chicken and beets dish featured local ingredients and several components that came together to make an unforgettable experience.

His cookbook, Home, reminds me of that dish. Many recipes have smaller sub-recipes that are additional components on a plate. I’m currently in a cooking rut, and the thought of making several recipes for one dish was daunting. So I decided to make simple lemon cookies.

There are only two recipes in for this dessert: one for the cookie and one for a glaze. The dough was easy to make, though the dough needed to rest at least four hours (surprise, I didn’t), and they must cool thoroughly so the glaze can harden (yeah, skipped that part, too). Even with my shortcuts, the recipes yielded tiny, slightly doughy treats with a hint of lemon and a sweet glaze that I’ll likely make again.

Skill level: Moderate. Recipes are long and detailed, but they sound delicious.
Other recipes to try: Everything mashed potatoes, loaded hash browns
The verdict: Check back next week!

 

Lemon Cookies
Makes about 18 cookies

1½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp. fine sea salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Glaze
3 Tbsp. water
2½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp. fine sea salt
2½ cups powdered sugar

Make the cookies
• Sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt together. Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and mix until smooth. Stop the mixer and add all of the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes. Put the dough in a covered container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
• Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
• Use a ¾-ounce ice cream scoop to portion the dough into balls, and lay them out on the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches of space between each cookie. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the cookies are set and slightly golden brown around the edges. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Make the glaze
• Put the water, lemon juice, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until the salt dissolves. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet. Dip the tops of each cookie into the glaze and then set them on the rack. Sprinkle the cookies with freshly grated lemon zest and leave them on the rack until the glaze hardens, about 20 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from Little Brown

Eat This: Strawberry Mousseline Cake at La Bonne Bouchée

Friday, November 4th, 2016

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A slice of Strawberry Mousseline Cake from La Bonne Bouchée is the sweet taste of sunshine we’re savoring as winter looms. Layers of classic yellow cake, fluffy vanilla mousse and sliced strawberries are iced in a silky smooth white buttercream, ringed with slivered toasted almonds and topped with a chocolate-dipped strawberry. It’s a rich treat that’s light and fresh as a summer breeze.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

 

 

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