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All time drool: Creme Brûlée

It’s a sweet dish also known as Burnt cream, trinity cream, crema catalana, or Cambridge cream. Everyone has their own names to remember it. This is a dessert made up of a rich custard base topped with a layer of caramelized sugar. It’s a creamy dessert that is unrivaled by most desserts.

To enjoy the dish, it should be served chilled. You will need fresh cream, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract to prepare Crème Brulee. It is mainly prepared with custard and caramel. The custard can be any flavor you like, vanilla or chocolate or anything.

Crème Brulee is often served in ramekins. It’s a dish served with small portions of the dessert individually. There are two ways of preparing crème Brulee. One common format way is to prepare the custard the way it should be. Then put it in a ramekin, which should be placed into a large pan of half filled hot/boiling water for double boiling method. Place it in the oven until the centre is wobbly and edges are set.

Let’s learn how to make custard first. There are many ways of preparing it. Choose a way you feel is easy.

  • Whisk the egg yolks with sugar over the double boiling method, and then slowly mix the sugar in it. Turn off the heat; let it cool down a little so that vanilla can be added into it. After the whole mixture is ready, freeze it. The custard is ready!
  • Temper the egg yolk and sugar mixture with the hot cream. It’s a heat treatment method. For example brief frying of spices in oil or ghee to release their aroma. It’s also called chaunk or tadka in Hindi. Likewise mixing the egg yolk/sugar mixture in the hot cream. Then add the vanilla to it. That gives the custard a perfect taste and doesn’t make it all mixed up.
  • There is also a cold method. Where the egg yolks and sugar whisked together until it reaches the ribbon stage. This means that the mixture should look pale yellow, and when you lift the whisker the batter should fall in a ribbon shape. It should hold its shape for a few minutes. Cold heavy cream is then mixed in that yolk mixture. Mix it thorough and then add the vanilla to it.

The second way is to prepare the whole of it together.

Let’s see how it goes.

Crème Brulee is a sweetened mixture of cream and egg yolks. Which is heated until it becomes thick. Then it is poured in shallow single serving ceramic dish called ramekins and is chilled before serving. It can be refrigerated for 30-45 minutes. It is chilled so that it becomes stable and firm. After poured in ceramic dish sugar is sprinkled on it. That sugar is then heated with the help of hot iron rod for a few seconds. This caramelizes the sugar, thus forming a crispy, thin crust.

Note- sugar which is too shaggy won’t caramelize easily. It will stay uncooked at the top of your Brulee. The best you can use for topping off the crème Brulee is superfine sugar. It’s seen as tiny crystals and it caramelizes fast and easily.

Some people use broiler to heat the sugar but that would uneven the result and also warm up the inside custard. A blowtorch is the best thing to melt the sugar above and give the thin crispy effect, and also creating a nicely brown look.

When you come to thinking- what is the need of heating the sugar and creating the crispy crust?

Well it’s not only the appearance but the sound of it. The sound of snap from a spoon breaking through the crust makes the tongue impatience to taste it by getting all watery. And what’s more better than cold dessert, if you want crème Brulee cold- refrigerate it for about 30-45 minutes before serving as mentioned above. But if refrigerated more than that, then it would soften the crispy crust.

Preparing the crème Brulee would save you the time when you are expecting people at your home. Freeze the custard from before. At time of serving, remove the custard from freezer let it come to room temperature. Sprinkle the sugar and heat it for the crispy crust. The heat will thaw them enough so that crème Brulee would be icy cold, but not frozen.

Crème Brulee comes in many flavors such as chocolate crème Brulee, lavender crème Brulee. Pumpkin and ginger flavor also taste yummy!

Don’t know where to search for the best recipe? Go to this link and you will be serving the best dessert ever!

 

Baking

As American as Apple Pie, right?

How often do we visit our grandparents? When we do what is the most relishing and cherishing thing we love when we visit them? Grandma’s handmade cookies and her pies! Grandma’s recipes are always delicious. Apple pie is one of them.

An apple pie is a tart or a pie, in which the main ingredient would be apple of course. Apple pie is served with whipped cream, ice cream or cheddar cheese. It sure does taste delicious. When served with any topping it refers to the name-Apple pie ala mode.

Interesting, right?

An apple as the main ingredient of the Apple pie can be fresh, canned or reconstituted from dried apples. Whatever the kind of apple is chosen it will affect the final texture of the dessert. The preparing time will also be depended on the kind of apple. The dry or preserved apples are only used when fresh ones are not available. Apple has the company of cinnamon, salt, butter, flour and most importantly sugar.

There are two levels of apple pie. The bottom and top, a double crust pie. The bottom layer needs to be baked first before baking the whole pie. This prevents it from getting soggy.

The preparations take almost an hour and a half, the cooking takes two hours. Let’s go through the process-

To make the dough for the crust whisk the flour, the sugar and salt together. Work the butter into the dry mixture using your fingers, until it’s like yellow corn meal mixed with bean sized pieces of butter. During this mixture if the flour gets warm, cool it for 10 minutes in the fridge before moving on. Then add the egg and stir the dough by hand or spoon or fork. If the dough is too dry then sprinkle a little cold water and moisturize it. Prepare the dough by this method mentioned above, meaning manually. Or to lessen your work let the food processor do the work. After all the ingredients are well mixed in the processor then bring the dough together by your hands.

Wrap the dough in a cling wrap and refrigerate it for 1 hour. Meanwhile prepare the filling of crust. Take a bowl, cut apple pieces in it and put the lemon juice in it. Slowly add sugar and mix eventually.

Now take a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat; you don’t want to burn the butter. Add the apples in the butter and cook them. Keep stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to simmer. Lower your heat to continue cooking apple until it is soften and has released most of its juice. To be precise – cook for about seven minutes.

After cooked, strain all the apple juice from the mixture. Put this juice back in the pan and cook it until it is thick and looks slightly caramelized. Put the apples with the reduced juice and spices together in a bowl and set it aside to cool.

Now the final part- cut the dough into two parts. Roll them over on a flat surface. Place one part of the dough in a pan by its shape. Put the filling on the dough and spread it. Place the other dough on the filling. Seal the edges of both part of the dough’s together. Brush egg on the surface of the dough and sprinkle sugar on it. Likewise brush on the top. Pierce some holes on top of the pie to let the steam escape while baking.

This is a long method of preparing. You could also make the crust with the help of Pillsbury readymade dough ingredients. Then you would only have to make the filling and you have an apple pie for yourself or your guests.

Here’s the recipe of apple pie if made with the Pillsbury box.

Apple pie is prepared through many styles; Dutch, English, French, Swedish and American style.

You could visit this site to make the apple pie of your preferred flavor.

 

Baking

Chocolate Chip Cookie Best Picks

The all time everyone’s favorite chocolate chip cookies are indeed an irresistible treat. People want it for a road trip, they need it to munch while watching television, and they often buy them for school break! Personally, I like to enjoy chocolate chip cookies with a shot of homemade espresso!

What’s so special about it anyways?

Want to know? Stay with me!

These cookies are drop cookies which were originated in the United States. The small morsels of chocolate in the cookies are the distinguished ingredient. This was added by Ruth Graves Wakefield, he added the chopped up pieces from a Nestle bar into a cookie.

The main ingredients in chocolate chip cookies are- flour, sugar, brown sugar, butter or margarine, chocolate chips of course, eggs, vanilla, baking soda for the fluffiness and salt to make the taste better.

Let us explore the feeling of your tongue wanting to taste those cookies, while your nose smells that delicious smell coming out of your oven, and your eyes watching the batter in the mould fluff into cookies – by looking at how a cookie is prepared.

The actual recipe combines dough which is prepared of butter, brown and white sugar both, chocolate chips and vanilla. Chocolate chips can be semi-sweet, sweet, dark, mild etc, as per the demand. Some also use extra ingredients such as oatmeal or nuts.

People who are vegetarian use the substitution ingredients such as vegan chocolate chips, vegan margarine and so forth. Vegan is vegetarian for those products which are prepared by or with non animal substance.

Some recipes are optimized to make soft and chewy cookies, whereas some recipes would make them light and crispy. The texture would depend on the measurement of the ingredients taken in the batter to prepare them. In baking not only the measurements of ingredients is important, but also the method of mixing and blending. If the batter is not well blended, and it has holes or loops, then the cookies won’t fluff or rise as they are meant to.

Every recipe has the same order. First the sugars and the fats are creamed together with a blender or a wooden spoon. After that eggs and vanilla is added followed by flour, (one at a time of course). Then the cocoa powder is added, giving the batter the tasty, mouth watering smell and the eagerness to eat them.

Note- if you want your cookies to be the world best cookies then freeze the prepared dough in the refrigerator for 24-6 hours before baking.

Types of chocolate cookies

This would be new for some of you; there are a few types of chocolate chip cookies. Wondering why would there be types in a single flavored cookie? The answer to your question is-

A super-chewy cookie

When you want the result to be dense, fudgy texture then you need to add extra moisture to the batter. Some would flatten the dough and put it round in shape on the baking sheets. There’s another way too, scooping rounded mounds of dough on the baking sheet. This would make the cookie chewy. If it is still not chewy enough then I would recommend adding more butter and eggs according to your call. Brown sugar should be added as per your recipe says.

An interesting Fact – Brown sugar has more moisture than white sugar, and dark brown sugar has more moisture than light brown sugar.

A crispy crunchy cookie

When you were making chewy cookie you added more moisture. To have a crispy crunchy cookie you need to lessen the moisture. As mentioned above – white sugar has less moisture, adding it more would make the cookie crispy.

Eggs and butter provides the protein and the structure to the cookie, so don’t cut back on them. The recipe for perfect crispy crunchy cookie is to bake them a little while longer than their baking time.

A quick tip- You might want to flatten the mould with your hands so that the cookies bake fast.

A double chocolaty chocolate chip cookie

It is said that chocolate helps the mood get better. What’s better than a double chocolaty chocolate chip cookie when upset or tensed! Now isn’t it obvious that to make the cookie double chocolaty only the cocoa powder must be added more.

Note – To get rid of lumps in the batter; use a sieve for cocoa-powder, sugar and flour.

Get your best recipe of chocolate chip cookie here from none other than Betty Crocker.

Have a snack of chocolate chip cookies with a glass of milk if you don’t enjoy coffee. You will never regret the taste of it together.

Baking

Favorite cakes and desserts!

Are you a fan of sweet dishes?

Do you love eating cakes and desserts? What if you were to know that there are various types of cakes?

There are many types of cakes and a lot of categories to divide them in. The professional bakers divide them by baking methods. Home bakers, divide them by flavors such as chocolate cake, fruit cake etc.

There are some cakes made with flour, egg, cocoa powder, sugar etc, and there are some which are eggless. Some are also made without the ingredient flour! Ever wondered how that cake would taste!? Then there are baked cakes and also un-baked cakes. Un-baked cakes are very easy and fast to make when you are craving for sweet!

Let’s name some types of cake-

  • Butter cake
  • Pound cake
  • Genoise cake
  • Biscuit cake
  • Angel food cake
  • Chiffon cake
  • Baked flourless cake
  • Unbaked flourless cake
  • Carrot cake
  • Red velvet cake.

In this article we would be talking about the-

Unbaked Flourless Cakes

These cakes are generally prepared in a mould and then are chilled before serving. They are molded in a dessert ring or spring form pan. It includes cheesecakes and mousse cakes. The bottom layer is either crust (it can be baked before the mousse is added). Mousse can be alternated by Genoise or biscuits according to the person’s demand.

Here is where you will find a recipe for mousse.

These cakes can be baked too but mostly they are preferred unbaked. They can also be prepared without flour. The cakes have generally a silky or creamy texture- that’s because they are embraced of only egg foams. Egg foams usually are of whole eggs or only of egg yolks.

Note – This type of cake contains a lot of fats from butter, cream cheese, cream or sour cream.

All the ingredients are mixed or blended with such Perfection that no air enters the batter. This prevents the cake from puffing outside or collapsing in the oven. And this would happen because of the lack of structure of wheat flour and pounding fat.

Flourless cakes include cheesecake. Hearing the word cheesecake makes your mouth watery, right?!

The earliest mention of cheesecake was done by a Greek physician Aegimus who wrote a book on the art of making cheesecake. See the cheesecake goes way behind! The recipes were found in Cato the Elder’s De Agri Cultura which includes three cakes for religious uses- libum, savillum, placenta. Placenta is the most modern in cheesecake which has a crust that is prepared and baked, both separately.

Let get to know more about the cheesecake.

It’s a type of baked flourless cake and can also be unbaked flourless. Either way it’s going to taste delicious. Cheese cake is often known as custard. Some bakers do make the cheesecake with little amount of flour or cornstarch, to make it stiff. More often the filled pan is baked by the method of double boiling. You might be familiar with this method. If not then read ahead- it’s a method where the pan with batter is placed in the larger pan half filled with water. This gives the cake a delicate, creamy texture. This method also prevents the cake from getting burned from the strong heat of oven if baked in it. It’s a small tip in baking course.

Now- let’s see how a cheesecake is prepared!

First of all- the main ingredients are cheese, pie crust (graham cracker crust, pastry or sponge cake) and sugar.

Then of course your favorite flavor. The cheesecake can consist of one or more layers according to your desire. The main layer of the cheesecake consists of soft and fresh cheese, eggs, vanilla and sugar to make it sweet. You can make the layer thick as per your wish. If you wish to make a bottom layer, then it should be of a crust base made of crushed cookies, graham crackers, pastry or sponge cake. The cheesecake is sweetened with sugar, and you can also flavor it or top it with fruit, whipped cream, nuts, cookies, fruit sauce, cookies or chocolate syrup.

Strawberry, pumpkin, key lime, lemon, chocolate, Oreo, chestnut, toffee- these are the flavors of cheesecake.

Vegan cheesecake is also a different type of unbaked flourless cakes.

Thinking what a vegan cheese cake is? Vegan is vegetarian. Some people who do not eat meat or poultry products are called vegan. Vegan- this ingredient contains no animal derived products or byproducts. These products are prepared by or with non animal substances. For example eggs and dairy products, and substances that are derived from them are purely vegetarian. Such as Honey- an insect secretions, it’s vegetarian. The most famous variety in this category is the – Vegan frozen strawberry Ombre cheesecake pops.

There are more than 80 different flavored recipes for cheesecakes. I would like to name some delicious flavors-

  • Animal cookie mini cheesecake
  • Brown sugar toffee cheesecakes bars
  • Brownie batter chocolate chip cheesecakes
  • Carrot cake cheesecake
  • Cheesecake truffle pops. etc

This is where you will find 80(!) the delicious and mouth watering recipes of cheesecakes.

Main

Passapage Favorites: Panna Cotta

Weird name for a sweet dish, right? Well yes it surely sounds weird but the taste of it is delicious.

It’s the indulgent delight of traditional Italian cuisine. It is an Italian dessert named for cooked cream.

It’s all sweet cream, thickened with gelatin and is prepared in mould. The cream can be aromatized with coffee, vanilla or any other flavor you like. It’s a type of pudding.

The main ingredients to prepare Panna cotta are cream, sugar and gelatin. The purpose of gelatin is to set the mixture and create a custard-like stability. It’s a small Preparation which takes nearly 10 minutes, but to serve it, one would have to wait for at least 4 hours.

Sugar is mixed in warm cream, and then left to dissolve. As mentioned above the cream can be flavored, by infusing spices in it or by adding rum, coffee, vanilla etc. While this cream is prepared, gelatin should be softened in cold liquid and then added to the warm cream mixture. Once added, immediately whisk the mixture until it becomes very smooth in texture. Adding the gelatin to the warm mixture of cream and sugar is what activates the gelatin. The ingredients are warmed just to dissolve properly. When the batter is ready, make sure there are no lumps left in it. If they are left then bring it back to the stove and dissolve the lumps. Don’t let the ready batter boil again.

Pour it in the molds and allow it to set. To make it a little tasty and interesting, you can have the bottom layer of caramel. Before pouring the batter, you can pour caramel into the molds.

Tip- Panna cotta can also be prepared in shot glasses and topped with berries.

What if the Panna cotta is not coming out of the mold? Here’s what you can do- dip the molds (one at a time) in half filled warm water utensil for about 5 seconds. Then invert the mold on a serving plate and carefully remove the mold.

The best thing to use to make Panna cotta is flexible silicone muffin pans. Pour your dessert in it and freeze it. Pop them out on your serving plate and serve. This will take you only half an hour to make the dish. If you don’t want to freeze your dessert then you can serve it in ramekins. This is a small dish for serving an individual part of food.

Garnishing always makes the dish look more appealing. Strawberry, caramel or chocolate sauce can be garnished and served with Panna cotta. And you have a beautiful, tasty and appealing Panna cotta with a rich and silky smooth texture.

How will you know that the recipe of Panna cotta is executed perfectly? You will know it by its stability. But if the dessert wobbles like a little girl who has wore high-heeled shoes, then you should know that gelatin is over used.

A secret to make it perfect- never exceed from 8 grams of gelatin for every 500 grams of liquid.

Well obviously it’s a heavy dish with the cream and everything. But you can make it light by using lighter cream or milk instead of heavy cream. It will alter the taste.

This dessert is a restaurant dessert and also a home cooking dessert. Quickly prepared with easily found ingredients in the kitchen. It’s a gluten-free dessert, as long as your dairy, gelatin and flavoring are gluten free. People who are conscious about their sugar or diet or carbs – can enjoy this dessert. As it can be low- sugar, no-sugar or fruit sugar.

In baking, sugar not only sweetens the cake or cookies but also moisturizes it. Substituting sugar can vary the results of the dessert. But in Panna cotta you can lessen as much sugar you want and you will like it. Honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, and other alternative syrups can be used to sweeten Panna cotta. Using these alternative syrups will help you take a lot less sugar than needed. Real fruit’s sweetness will also taste amazing instead of sugar taste.

For those who are vegetarian- Panna cotta can be vegan as eggs are not used in Panna cotta. For those who ask about gelatin, it’s not vegetarian. Gelatin is the main ingredient which gives Panna cotta its stability. But there are some good substitutes coming in the market.

Some are allergic to dairy products. The gelatin can take care of it as almost any liquid can be used. Cream can be replaced by any of these- almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk. Or you can also supplement by using a non dairy creamer.

One last thing you should know about Panna cotta is that when you are serving the dessert and it separates into different layers of milk and cream, not to worry it’s a common problem. Just don’t panic or be upset, it happens sometimes if the mixture isn’t well whisked or it gets too warm. To avoid it, let the mixture come to room temperature before serving it. Once it is at room temperature, whisk it again and pour it in the serving dish or cups. Whatever you may please!

You can find more delicious recipes here at Epicurious