Mango purin: recette 11

This dessert is an homage to my experiences with Dim Sum. Mango pudding is a classic Asian dessert and I like to make mine completely vegan because most Chinese desserts actually are vegan!

For the mango pudding itself, I used coconut milk and agar agar to acquire a cream and custard-like texture. Turmeric was key to making sure that the color was “eggy.” I still remember the first time I prepared this dessert. The pudding itself was way too tart, and I had to add a lot more agar agar than I anticipated. I topped it with puffed black rice and a coconut-misugaru ice cream, which I will include the recipes for as well!

If you want to be more Asian, use palm sugar instead of granulated! Misugaru is a Korean 5+ grain blend that kind of tastes like kinako or peanut butter. It’s really tasty, and it’s gluten-free and vegan, just like the rest of the dessert!

Mango purin:
3 red mangos
1 14 oz can of coconut milk
1 cup granulated sugar (you can cut back to 3/4 cups if the mangos are really ripe)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup agar agar powder
oil

Peel and seed the mangos. Simmer the ingredients together, minus the oil, and puree. Line a 12 tin cupcake mold with oil. Pour the mixture into each cup, and freeze for 30-45 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cups and flip over to remove.

Puffed black rice:
Wild rice
oil
salt

Pour oil into a pot until it reaches a depth of 1 inch. Bring oil up to 350 degrees F. Fry the rice in the oil until it begins to float. Strain and place on a paper towel to drain. Finish with the salt.

Misugaru-coconut ice cream
1 14 oz. can of coconut milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup misugaru powder

Bring ingredients to a simmer, whisking constantly. Freeze and churn. If you do not have an ice cream machine, you can freeze solid and blend with a food processor, then re-freeze until the ice cream is set.

Carrot cupcakes: recette 9

I used to wonder why people would put vegetables into cake. It sounded really strange at the time. But carrot cake actually tastes really good! The carrots themselves lend a lot of moisture to the batter while the spices and sugar keep the cake from being savory. Top with it with the classic cream cheese frosting and you for yourself a Southern classic.

For the garnish, I rimmed the cake using panko that I seasoned to taste like Graham crackers. I wanted the cream cheese to play off of that to be like a cheesecake on top with a carrot cake on bottom. Double the decadence!

Makes 12 cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups grated carrots
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 egg whites, whipped stiff
1 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine ingredients. Fill lined cupcake tins 2/3rds the way full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the tin.

Cream cheese icing:
16 oz cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring sugar and water to a simmer. Whip together the cream cheese and butter. Once the syrup is simmering, pour into the cream cheese mixture and keep whipping. Finish with the vanilla extract.

Panko Graham Cracker crumble:
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a pan, toast together the ingredients until golden brown. Cool before using.

Butterscotch pate choux: recette 8

Pate choux, or cream puffs, are one of the things I know how to nail. I used to be called the croquem-douche because of how skilled and knowledgeable I was at making them. If you do not understand my culinary joke, Google image croquembouche. And now you can laugh. Anyways, pate choux is a really simple recipe. Butter, flour, eggs, either milk or water, and maybe sugar. The dough can be used for churros, eclairs, or cream puffs. It’s a pretty simple ratio. For my recipe, I included sablage. It is the cookie crust you might find on top of cream puffs. Case in point, Bibble and Sip in New York use matcha sablage for their green tea cream puffs. For my recipe, I used a simple brown sugar base. The sablage helps smooth off the top of the puffs, while giving it a really cool, textured look.

For my filling, I made a butterscotch pastry cream. Think butterscotch pudding. Essentially that’s what I did here. Except I made a salted caramel, and added the butter at the end, almost like a lemon curd. It’s a pretty straightforward recipe, but you do need to be wary about the color of the caramel. The moment it turns brown, you add in your milk, and stir. If that burns, then you will taste it and it will be gross. I used malted milk, which you can create with 1 cup water to 2 tablespoons malted milk powder, just to help accentuate the caramel notes of the butterscotch.

Pate choux:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup malted milk
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bring milk, sugar, and butter to a boil. Add in the flour. Continuously mix until the flour forms a dough ball, and gets a nice glossy coating. Take off heat, and start whisking vigorously for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, slowly whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Once everything is mixed and the dough forms a smooth, yellow paste, transfer to a piping bag and pipe onto a nonstick baking surface in 1 inch diameter Hershey’s Kisses shapes. Place the sablage on each cream puff. Bake at 425 F for 20 minutes, then at 300 F for another 10 minutes to further dry.

Sablage:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar

Whip together ingredients and place between two parchment sheets. Roll out to about 1/8th inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, press out enough circles to match the cream puffs. Keep cold under ready to bake.

Pastry cream:
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring salt, sugar, and water to a simmer. Once the sugar begins to brown, add in the butter and milk and whisk. Bring down to about 150 degrees F; below boiling point. Combine eggs and flour together. Temper the egg-flour mixture with the caramel-milk. Pour back into the pot and whisk over high heat for about 3 minutes. The mixture will need to be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon or cling to the whisk. Finish with vanilla. Strain into a bowl, and chill, pressing cling wrap against the surface of the custard so that it won’t form a skin.

Assembly:
Make a hole at the bottom of each puff. Transfer the filling to a piping bag. Pipe the filling into each cream puff. Serve once filled.

Ricotta zeppoli with mascarpone caramel: recette 7

I got this idea for a dessert where milk is celebrated. Ricotta fritters immediately came to mind because of how they use ricotta cheese to create this light, fluffy batter. Mascarpone cheese is one of my favorites, and using that finish a caramel sauce just makes perfect sense to give the dessert a nice finish. I used blood orange instead of water because I lived how citrus paired with the cheeses.

Ricotta doughnuts are awesome because you don’t need to proof the dough and they are really fast to make. The biggest trick with actually cooking them is making sure that you have the balls at the right size, or else they won’t fry properly; you will end up with doughnuts that are completely raw and liquid in the center. Generally, I use the fryer at 375 degrees F and I fry for 2 minutes, and then let the doughnuts rest for 1 minute before cutting them open. That carry-over cooking generally does the trick for me.

For the doughnuts:
1 pint ricotta cheese, water strained
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
canola oil for frying

Heat oil to 350 degrees F. Combine together other ingredients. For frying, portion the batter into 1 tablespoon large balls and fry for 1-2 minutes. Drain on a towel to remove additional oil.

Mascarpone caramel:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 blood orange’s worth of juice
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Reduce sugar and juice until it begins to brown. Finish with the cream and cheese. Combine until smooth.

Orange-cream cheese doughnuts: recette 6

I just love doughnuts. There’s something about a ring that really screams out “I AM CUTE! EAT ME!” in such an enticing way. I can’t describe this feeling in a more specific way than that. Anyways, orange and cream cheese, it’s such a common flavor combination in most Japanese and Asian bakeries, and I figured with something cute like a doughnut, why not meld it with those flavors, and make an orange-cream cheese doughnut? It’s cute, simple, and there’s nothing really offensive about it.

For my doughnuts, I actually had to debate whether or not I wanted to do fried or baked. In the end, I opted for yeast-leavened and fried. If I am going to make a doughnut, I’m making a doughnut. Not a doughnut-shaped muffin-cake. For the glaze, I’m making an orange curd, and then finishing the doughnut with a cream cheese icing. I’m going to prepare the cream cheese icing without powdered sugar, just because I want it to melt on the tongue, and that’s a texture you can’t really achieve with powdered sugar.

For the doughnuts:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting
1 packet instant dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water – 110 F
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup sugar
1 stick butter – melted
1 cup milk – heated to 140 F and cooled
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Canola oil for frying

Allow yeast, honey, and water to mix together and sit for 10 minutes at a range from room temperature to 110 F. Melt together milk and butter and cool to just room temperature. Combine ingredients. Knead the dough and allow to proof for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature.

Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out rings. Allow the dough to proof and laminate for another 15 minutes.

Bring oil to 350 degrees F. The best way to test this is to put a cube of bread in the oil as it heats. Once the bread begins to turn brown, then the oil is ready. Fry the doughnuts at that temperature for 1 minute per side. Make sure to place the doughnuts on a paper towel once they are fried to drain any excess grease.

For the oil, make sure to adjust the temperature on the stove if you are not using a deep frier, because if the oil is too hot, then the doughnuts will turn dark and overcook when frying.

For the orange curd:
2 oranges; juiced and zested
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 oz. cream cheese frosting

In a bowl, combine the egg yolks and cream cheese frosting with the sugar. In a pot, heat the orange juice and zest with the salt until it releases steam. Slowly temper the cream-egg mixture with the orange juice. Continue whisking over high heat for 3 minutes. Strain.

For the cream cheese icing:

6 oz. cream cheese frosting
3/4 cups water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat sugar, salt, and water in a pot until the sugar dissolves and the water is simmering. Whisk in the cream cheese, stirring constantly to remove lumps. Finish with the vanilla extract. Strain and transfer into a piping bag.

Assembly:

Dip the still warm doughnuts into the curd to glaze. Using the piping bag, drizzle the icing over the curd. Allow to set before serving.

Chocolate-mint bars: recette 5

I love making chocolate bars: for me, it’s shortbread base with ganache, frozen and cut into bar shapes, and coated in more chocolate. I’ve done variations of them in the past, but this one is inspired by my childhood favorite Girl Scout cookie, the Thin Mint.

The base is a chocolate shortbread cookie, while the topping is a mint-chocolate ganache. I love making these bars because it’s really simple, straightforward, and they’re just a lot of fun to make and eat!

For ganache:
3/4 cups semisweet chocolate
3 cups dark chocolate
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon peppermint or spearmint extract
1/3 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin powder + 1 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt chocolate and butter. Stir bloomed gelatin into boiling water and pour into the chocolate mixture along with the heavy cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth and creamy.

For shortbread base
1 cup flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
5 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons cold water
salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine ingredients in a food processor and then transfer to a nonstick surface. Chill until firm, and then roll out to a rectangle with 1/8th an inch thickness. Prick dough with a fork and bake for 20-25 minutes. Refrigerate to harden.

Assembly: Make sure that the shortbread is chilled. Pour the semi-cooled (you want it to be thick so it won’t spread over the edge of the shortbread) ganache over the shortbread. Freeze solid and then cut into bars.

Matcha rice bars: recette 4

Who doesn’t like rice crispy treats, am I right? Using the matcha to lower the sweetness, plus green tea being all the rage these days, is how we can create a really cool snack. I will admit, I got inspired by Douglas Keane on Top Chef Masters when he made this during the 626 Nightmarket Challenge. His matcha rice crispies almost won him that challenge!

For my recipe, I’m going to use rice crispies cereal, a homemade marshmallow base, butter, and matcha powder. I’m keeping it really simple. Something I picked up from Flour Bakery in Boston is that the key to super fluffy and light treats is to not pack down the mixture once you created it. Also, it’s gluten-free, so there’s that too.

1 packet gelatin + 1 table cold water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons matcha powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups puffed rice cereal

Combine water and sugar and bring to a boil. Pour into a bowl with the gelatin that had water mixed into it and whip until stiff, pale, and fluffy. Add in butter, matcha, salt, and vanilla. Whip again. Then add in the rice cereal. Fold together. Pour onto a nonstick surface and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill for 30 minutes before removing, portioning, and serving.