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Mar 18, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘desserts’

Holiday Hacks: Outsource the dessert

Friday, November 10th, 2017



Host smarter, not harder. Dessert is one of the easiest things to outsource for the holidays.

Pick up favorites like pecan pie from Sugaree Baking Co., or opt for classics reimagined by the elaborate French pastry wizards at Nathaniel Reid Bakery (like the ones pictured here).

If you’re on the fence of the great pie-cake debate, have it all with the Pake from La Patisserie Chouquette, a cake/pie hybrid that layers toasted buttercream between eggnog cheesecake, spice cake, pumpkin pie and bourbon-pecan pie.

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Marianne Moore is a contributor to Sauce Magazine and Dierbergs culinary creative director. 

Related Content
• Sauce Magazine: Guide to the Holidays 2017

• 3 quick and easy holiday starters to keep your guests at bay

• 7 recipes to help you host the holidays with the most

By the Book: Theo Chocolate by Debra Music and Joe Whinney

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016



I have fond memories of baking cookies with my mother and my grandmother when I was a little girl. We made the basics: oatmeal raisin, peanut butter and chocolate chip – all excellent cookies, but sometimes I want something more decadent. Gooey Double-Chocolate Mocha cookies from Theo Chocolate: Recipes and Sweet Secrets from Seattle’s Favorite Chocolate Maker seemed to fit the bill.

I’m gluten-intolerant, and since these only called for cup flour, I thought I could safely use a gluten-free flour blend. I wanted a pure chocolate cookie, so I left out the ground coffee, which the introduction declared optional. While the cookies were deeply chocolaty, they also spread into thin, flat disks during baking. The recipe said they would be “very fragile,” but the accompanying photo showed thick, fudgy cookies, not the delicate wafers I created.

While the cookie were rich, they were not enough to win this round. I’ll definitely try this recipe again, though, altering my gluten-free flour ratio to try and make them more substantial.

Skill level: More advanced techniques require an intermediate ability in the kitchen.
This book is for: Chocolate lovers, of course
Other recipes to try: Preston Hill Bakery chocolate bread, almond-olive oil sable cookies with chocolate, Chocolate (Factory) Eton Mess, Tallulah’s warm chocolate pudding cake
The Verdict: The pie bars from Sweeter off the Vine came together better than my deflated chocolate cookies.




Gooey Double-Chocolate Mocha Cookies
2 dozen cookies

10 oz. Theo 70-percent dark chocolate, chopped, divided
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
⅓ cup (1½ oz.) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. finely ground Fair Trade coffee beans
2 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup (5½ oz.) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

• Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
• Melt 7 ounces of the chocolate with the butter in a double boiler (see instructions below) and set aside to cool slightly.
• Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together in a small bowl, stir in the coffee and set the bowl aside.
• In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a bowl with a whisk by hand), whip the eggs and sugar together on medium speed until very thick and pale, 3 to 4 minutes (about 8 minutes by hand). Add the vanilla and mix well. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture, then the dry ingredients, and finally the remaining 3 ounce chopped chocolate and the walnuts.
• Use 2 spoons or a small cookie scoop to drop rounded tablespoons of batter 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until they’re puffed, shiny and cracked, 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet. They will be very fragile.

Melting Chocolate in a Double Boiler
• Heat a couple inches of water in a saucepan over low heat. Put the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel or glass bowl large enough to sit securely in the saucepan without touching the water. When the water comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and let the chocolate begin to melt. Stir the chocolate often, and when about two-thirds of it has melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and dry the bottom of the bowl very well. Continue to stir the chocolate until it has melted completely.

Reprinted with permission from Sasquatch Books


The Scoop: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams to open a St. Louis shop

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014



Having already received a warm reception from the James Beard Foundation, Conde Nast and Food & Wine, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream is hoping to receive an equal amount of love when it opens its 20th location at 389-391 N. Euclid Ave., in the CWE. As reported in Columbus Business First, the St. Louis location aims to start scooping its frozen treats in spring 2015.

“St. Louis is one of my favorite cities in the world,” said owner Jeni Britton Bauer via email. “For one thing, without St. Louis I wouldn’t have my husband Charly, who grew up there. We’ve gone there a lot over the years, and I loved the city’s distinct neighborhoods. The Central West End, where our scoop shop will be, is such a beautiful and vibrant place.”

The ice cream juggernaut made its mark in the industry with flavors derived from source ingredients, not laboratory creations, and milk from pasture-raised Ohio cows. Britton Bauer said St. Louisans can expect to find Jeni’s signature ice creams and frozen yogurts at the CWE shop, as well as sorbets, ice cream sandwiches, sundaes and sauces.She also hopes to create flavors unique to St. Louis, potentially collaborating with area distillers, brewers and farmers.

She is particularly excited to introduce the Askinosie Dark Milk Chocolate, which features the work Missouri bean-to-bar chocolate guru Shawn Askinose. “A scoop of that paired with a scoop of The Buckeye State (salted peanut butter with dark chocolate flecks)? That is an unbeatable Midwest tandem,” Britton Bauer said.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream made an appearance and hosted an ice cream social at Heritage BBQ by Cochon in September, and her ice creams return to St. Louis Nov. 19 when they square off against One World Ice Cream‘s creations at a friendly taste-off at Local Harvest Café.





The Scoop: The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis names new pastry chef

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014


{Pasty chef Brielle Fratellone and “Lucy,” her life-size pastry wedding dress}


It’s a sweet homecoming for Brielle Fratellone, new pastry chef at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. The hotel recently announced that Fratellone joined executive chef Melissa Lee in August, replacing chef Nathaniel Reid who worked in the hotel’s pastry program since April 2013.

Originally from the Midwest, Fratellone became enamored with pastry while working as a cake decorator in a grocery store. After winning a James Beard scholarship in 2007, she attended the Culinary Institute of America and upon graduation began working in some notable Florida hotels and resorts, including The Breakers in Palm Beach, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Amelia Island and most recently at the famed, exclusive Everglades Club in Palm Beach.

“Her creativity is helping us as a team,” Lee said. “Her leadership style is excellent, innovative and creative. When I talk about staying relevant, I talk about Brielle.”

Fratellone said she is glad to be back in the Midwest and is excited to build on current trends like deconstructing desserts and to take existing flavor combinations like sea salt and chocolate to a new level. “I want to bring modern influence to the luxury desserts we already serve,” she said.

As pastry chef, Fratellone is responsible for more than just the dessert menu. She and pastry cook Laura Cottler spent more than 96 hours planning and executing a life-size wedding dress made entirely of pastry elements for The Ritz-Carlton’s reopening of its grand ballroom. Fratellone is now hard at work creating another “out-of-the-box” holiday creation scheduled to be unveiled in the hotel lobby Nov. 28.

Baked: Summer Trifle

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013


I made this using extra scraps of sponge cake from my Chili Chocolate Marquise. It was a happy surprise. The sour cream is tangy and sweetened, and it pairs well with soft, juicy raspberries. The chocolate sponge turns soft from the weight of the cream and adds another dimension of texture. You also can use any fruit you have on hand. It’s great to eat something cool, fruity and refreshing this time of year. Make them in mason jars, put the lids on and take them for a picnic or a party. Enjoy and happy baking!

Summer Trifle
Serves 2 to 4
Adapted from Gourmet Traveler

3 eggs
¾ cup (140 g.) granulated sugar
¾ cup (75 g.) all-purpose flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Dutch cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. (30 g.) butter, melted and slightly cooled
½ cup sour cream (or crème fraiche)
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. Marsala wine (or liqueur of your choice)
1 pint fresh raspberries, washed and cut

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 13-by-18 jellyroll pan and line the bottom with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
• With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high for 5 minutes, until pale and tripled in volume.
• Sift the flour, cinnamon and cocoa powder into the mixture and fold. Then gently fold in the butter.
• Pour the batter into the jellyroll pan and level it with a spatula (Don’t worry if it’s thin; just make sure the batter is evenly spread to every inch of the pan.).
• Bake 5 to 7 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
• While the cake cools, whisk the sour cream, brown sugar and Marsala wine together until combined. Add more sugar or sour cream to taste.
• Cut the sponge cake into strips. Place some pieces of cake at the bottom of a ramekin or a glass.
• Top the cake with a few raspberries, then spoon the cream on top of the fruit. Repeat layering cake, fruit and cream until the ramekin or glass is full.
• Serve within an hour, as the sponge cake will get soggy.



Baked: Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Raspberry Mascarpone Frosting

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Spring has officially arrived, and, for me, that means lemon-y and raspberry-y desserts. I love these little lemon cupcakes because they’re zesty and delicious. The raspberry frosting is the perfect complement: fluffy and of the melt-in-your-mouth variety. If you can’t find freeze-dried raspberry powder, skip that step and place a few fresh berries right on top. The poppy seeds add a lovely crunch, and the cake has a delicate crumb and is so easy to put together. Happy spring and happy baking!

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
Adapted by Amrita Rawat from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s book Rose’s Heavenly Cakes.
Makes about 22 cupcakes

2½ cups cake flour (250 g.)
1¼ cups granulated sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
5 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/6 cup poppy seeds
14 Tbsp. butter at room temperature, cubed
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
¾ cup and 1 Tbsp. sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Lemon glaze (recipes follows)
Raspberry mascarpone frosting (recipe follows)

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, zest and poppy seeds in a mixing bowl. Beat on low until combined.
• In a separate bowl, beat the butter on low. Add in the eggs, yolk, sour cream and vanilla, beating well after each addition.
• Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
• Transfer the batter to a lined cupcake pan. Fill each cupcake mold ¾ of the way.
• Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out of a center cupcake clean, or with just a few crumbs attached. The cupcakes should spring back when pressed lightly.
• Meanwhile, make the lemon glaze and raspberry mascarpone frosting.
• When the cupcakes have baked, use a chopstick or thin skewer to stab three holes in each cupcake and pour the glaze over the holes.
• Let cool before piping the frosting on top.

Lemon Glaze

1/3 cup powdered sugar (to taste)
5 Tbsp. lemon juice

• Combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl, and heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds, until the sugar is dissolved. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.

Raspberry Mascarpone Frosting

12 oz. heavy cream (1½ cups)
1½ cups powdered sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
5 Tbsp. freeze-dried raspberry powder
8 oz. container mascarpone
Pinch of salt

• Beat the cream on high until thickened.
• Add the remaining ingredients to the cream and beat on low. Do not overbeat, as the mascarpone can curdle.

Baked: Gingerbread Guinness Cake with Vanilla Stout Frosting

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

I’ve never tasted a real Guinness, but I now I’ve baked it into a cake. Although gingerbread isn’t my favorite, I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderfully spiced this cake turned out. Boiling the molasses also brought out the flavor much more than simply adding it into the batter. And don’t be alarmed by how liquid the batter is; it still produces a fine, delicate crumb. This cake smells of Christmas and cold weather and is an ideal dessert to make for the holidays. So enjoy, and happy baking and happy holidays!

Gingerbread Guinness Cake
Makes 24 cupcakes or 2 9-inch cakes
Adapted by Amrita Rawat from the book Tea with Bea by Bea Vo

250 ml Guinness stout beer
200 ml molasses
1½ tsp. baking soda
280 g. all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cardamom
¼ tsp. cloves
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
100 g. sugar
100 g. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. finely grated ginger
200 ml (¾ cup) oil

• Boil the Guinness and the molasses in a tall saucepan until the mixture reaches a boil.
• Stir in the baking soda and let stand until cool.
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• In a separate large bowl, gather all of the other ingredients and beat them with a whisk until combined. Then, whisk in the Guinness and molasses mixture.
• Pour the batter into cupcake or cake pans.
• Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until you can insert a knife or skewer into the center and it comes out clean or with few crumbs attached.
• Let cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Stout Frosting

1 stick butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. Guinness
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. heavy cream

• Beat all of the ingredients in a bowl until combined. If necessary, add more sugar to thicken or more Guinness or vanilla to loosen.
• Spread a thin layer over the top of the cake or tops of the cupcakes.

By the Book: Pierre Hermé’s Pastries

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Pierre Hermé was famous for his involvement with Ladurée in Paris, but since his departure from the famous patisserie, he’s grown his business of designer pastries in Tokyo, Paris, Dubai and London. His desserts are the epitome of luxury: beautiful, pristine and decadent. His latest cookbook, Pierre Hermé Pastries, is certainly fit for the most beautiful of coffee tables, but, unexpectedly, it also has some recipes simple enough for home cooks.

The book is comprised of 50 desserts. From simple pleasures like cookies (See the chocolate chip cookie recipe below.) and muffins to extravagances like croissants and mille-feuille, each classic dessert has two recipes to accompany it: one classic version and one version that Hermé has reinvented. There are some recipes that are actually simple; for example, his chocolate cake recipe requires only 10 minutes of active preparation time.

So while the book feels a bit intimidating, there are definitely recipes that are easy enough for home cooks who don’t own a blowtorch. You will need a scale to make most of these recipes though, especially since Hermé includes measurements like one-and-a-half eggs or 75 grams. There’s a reason that his pastries are perfect, I suppose.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 30 Cookies

1¼ cups (120 g) pecan or macadamia nuts
8 oz. (240 g.) Guanja dark chocolate, 70% cacao (Valrhona)
1¼ sticks (150 g.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. (5 g.) fleur de sel de Guérande (or other fine sea salt)
1¼ cups (240 g.) soft brown sugar
1½ eggs (75 g.)
1¾ cups (225 g.) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. (5 g.) baking powder
¼ tsp. (1.5 g.) baking soda

• Using a rolling pin, coarsely break the pecan or macadamia nuts into pieces. Chop the chocolate into pieces
• Cut the butter into pieces and process it until it is creamy. Process it again with the salt and sugar until the mixture is smooth.
• Incorporate the eggs and process for 3 more minutes. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, chopped nuts and chocolate pieces. Process 2 minutes.
• Preheat the oven to 340 degrees.
• Line the baking sheets with parchment paper.
• Using an ice cream scoop, shape mounds of dough weighing around 1 oz. (30 g.), and arrange them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving generous space between each mound. Flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand.
• Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Store the cookies in an airtight container.

Reprinted with permission from Stewart Tabori & Chang

What’s the best dessert you have ever had and where did you get it? Tell us about it in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Pierre Hermé Pastries. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Ian, whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won him a copy of Ritz Paris Haute Cuisine. Ian, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

The Scoop: Shiver owner hopes to open two new spots soon

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

012312_blissIn late November, The Scoop reported that Brad Jureka was opening Bliss – a dessert bar – next to his downtown vodka bar, Shiver, on Washington Avenue. Today, Jureka told The Scoop that he hopes to have the late-night, sweets spot open by Valentine’s Day.

In addition, Jureka commented regarding Lotus, a bar/lounge that he is also involved with and that he hopes to open at 2001 Locust St., in the space previously occupied by El Borracho. Jureka noted that, while he would like to see Lotus open in April or May, his immediate focus is on securing the liquor license. Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch reported last week that Courtney Severit, a co-owner of Lotus who is also involved with the launch of Bliss, had applied for a liquor license for Lotus.

Nearby support for the proposed bar is “looking very positive,” Jureka said. “We are five or six signatures away from getting the necessary [support].”

Sample romance at Kakao Date Night

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

We frequently find ourselves stopping at Kakao Chocolate to pick up a box or two (OK, sometimes three) filled with an assortment of velvety truffles and chewy chocolate-coated caramels – or perhaps a pound of crisp sheets of chocolate bark swirled with fragrant nuts or laced with ginger. But this Saturday, Nov. 21, from 6 to 10 p.m., Kakao owner Brian Pelletier invites you and your S.O. to his café in Fox Park to enjoy plated desserts (each under $7) featuring his out-of-this-world artisanal chocolates. At Kakao Date Night, couples can indulge in decadent delights like chocolate bread pudding, custardy milk chocolate cremosas, dark chocolate tortes and a host of other sinful selections. Forget dinner and a movie – kindle romance with Kakao. Reservations are recommended; call 314.771.2310 or visit the café’s Web site.

– Ligaya Figueras

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