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Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

Another old family recipe that should be added to your family’s recipes.  So easy, so delicious, and despite the copious amount of whipped cream, light and refreshing.

2 packages of (1/2 pound) Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate
4 tablespoons of sugar
6 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
4 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
angel food/sponge cake

Line bread pan with wax paper.

Melt chocolate in double boiler.

Stir 4 tablespoons sugar and 6 tablespoons cream into the melted chocolate.  Then add 4 egg yolks, unbeaten, one at a time, stirring thoroughly after each.

Cook a minute or two, and set aside to cool slightly.

Beat 4 egg whites until stiff.

Fold beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.

Cut the angel food cake into thin slices.

Starting with a layer of angel food cake, alternate layers of cake and chocolate. Cover top with more waxed paper.  Chill overnight.

Beat 1-1/2 pints whipping cream. Add 4 teaspoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Remove cake from bread pan, slather with whipped cream.  Serve and enjoy!

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This is another recipe from my grandmother.  She would have friends over to play bridge regularly, and nana would make little sandwiches and a lovely cake for her guests to enjoy.  I love this one.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

CAKE:

1 cup heavy cream 1 cup sugar
2 eggs 2 tsp baking powder
2/3 tsp almond extract 1/8 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups flour

TOPPING:

2 tblspns butter 1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup sugar 1 tblspn flour
1 tblspn cream
Whip cream until it holds stiff peaks.

Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add almond extract.

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir flour mixture into batter.

Pour into creased and floured 8 inch springform pan. Bake 35 minutes, or until lightly browned. (Leave the oven on!)

Combine the topping ingredients in a small pan and stir over low heat until blended. Pour over the baked cake and bake 10 minutes longer.

Cool on a rack (nb: cake shrinks as it cools). Remove sides of pan after 20 minutes.

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Aunt Helen’s Almond Torte

I’ve been enjoying this cake my entire life.  It was a family standard, introduced by my great-aunt Helen.  She probably started making it some time in the 1940s.  It is a beautifully elegant, light cake.  Perfect for summertime or to follow a heavy meal.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks, beaten lightly
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds*
1/2 pint heavy cream
2 heaping tablesppons cinnamon sugar

Grease two 8- or 9-inch cake pans** with butter or shortening.

Sift flour together with baking powder. Set aside.

Seperate eggs and set aside. You can add vanilla and milk to the yolks to save trouble later, because they go into the batter together.

Cream butter. Beat in sugar and salt. Add egg yolks, vanilla, milk, then sifted flour mixture. The batter will be very thick. Don’t be alarmed. Spread it divided between two round greased cake pans (it will just cover the bottoms of the pans, don’t worry).

Beat egg whites until just stiff. Add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, without stopping the mixer, continuing to beat
until it holds a stiff peak. Spread on unbaked batter in both pans.

Sprinkle each pan with 1/4 cup of almonds and 1 heaping tablespoon of cinnamon sugar. The cinnamon sugar makes a lovely crackly surface after baking.

Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from pans.

Whip the cream with your preferred amount of sugar and vanilla extract.

Put together, with whipped cream between the two layers.

NB: Cakes may be frozen individually.

*Really, any sliced almonds will do, if you don’t happen to have blanched sliced almonds on hand, as I often don’t.

**Eight-inch pans are probably better but 9-inch will work.

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In my opinion Toll House cookies (aka chocolate chip) are among the finest delights of life. Especially if you use pecans, and plenty of them. Dark brown sugar and natural vanilla extract are the secret ingredients.

Cook in White House kitchen.  Circa 1890

Cook in White House kitchen. Circa 1890

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Preheat Oven: 375 degrees

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar (preferably dark brown), packed
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 3 cups chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Cream butter with sugar and vanilla.

Beat in eggs.

Mix flour, baking soda and salt, then gradually (1/3 at a time) combine into wet ingredients.

Stir in morsels and nuts.

Bake 9-11 minutes.

To make less cake-y cookies, back up on the flour a bit more (although these are far from “cake-y”!).

If you insist on making these without the nuts (sacrilege, if you ask me), increase the flour by 1/4 cup.\

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INGREDIENTS

· 2 cups milk
· 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
· 1/3 cup white sugar
· 2 tablespoons cornstarch
· 1/8 teaspoon salt
· dash of cinnamon
· dash of nutmeg
· 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
· 2 tablespoons butter
· 2 ripe bananas

* * *

In a medium saucepan, combine dry ingredients. Combine milk and egg yolks; gradually stir into dry ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Boil and stir one minute.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter.

Slice 1/2 banana into each of four serving bowls.

Pour pudding over bananas.  Stir gently to get pudding all around the banana slices.

Enjoy warm or chilled, with whipped cream or without!

NOTE: If you can’t have egg yolks, increase cornstarch to 3 tablespoons, decrease butter to 1 tablespoon, and cook the pudding short of a boil.

I go back and forth with whether I like this better without the cinnamon and nutmeg or not. It’s a beautiful vanilla pudding, and sometimes just the bananas are enough.

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I made them last night and let me tell you — they are fabulous! They are lightly sweet and fragrantly almond puff-pastry delights. Thank you, Solo!

ALMOND TWISTS!

Yield:  approximately 48 twists

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit

1 package (17-1/4 oz) frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 can (8 oz) almond paste (Solo brand!)
Sugar for sprinkling

Sprinkle work surface with sugar.  Unfold one sheet of pastry and lay flat on sugared surface.  Roll out to 12-inch square.

Divide almond paste in half.  Set half of almond paste aside and break remaining half into small pieces.  Dot over half of pastry sheet.  Fold pastry in half over almond paste and roll out to 10×12 inch rectangle.  Sprinkle lightly with sugar.  Fold in half again and roll out to 10×12 inch rectangle.

Cut pastry in half to make two rectangles, each 5×12 inches.  Cut each rectangle into strips (width-wise), one inch wide each.  Twist strips into corkscrew shape and place on ungreased baking sheets about two inches apart.  Sprinkle lightly with additional sugar, if desired.

Repeat with remaining pastry sheet and reserved almond paste.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.  Remove from baking sheets immediately and cool completely on wire racks.

***

Now, that is the recipe as Solo has written it.

Because I am one who tends to rush ahead before I know where I’m going, I did not read the directions fully before I began — actually, not until I typed them in above! So there are a couple things that I did differently.

First, I didn’t use sugar to roll out the pastry, I used flour. I would definitely go with sugar next time, just because I think there may be some additional “sparkle” to be gained, but if you think there’s already enough sugar (which there is — my twists are delicious!), lightly flour your rolling surface.

Second, I had the oven at 350 rather than 375. I have a gas convection oven and they cooked in 20 minutes (two trays at once). It will be interesting to see what happens at the higher temperature. I have had problems in the past with puff pastry not cooking through fully on the underside yet threatening to become over brown on the upper side, so the slightly lower temp may have worked to my advantage here.

The third issue is not related to lack of reading ahead but rather to my execution — I sprinkled too much sugar on the pastry after the first fold. As a result, the two layers of pastry did not bind well together after rolling, though they did stay together well enough that I was able to make the twists without a problem. Perhaps the “extra” sugar I inadvertently added at this stage “made up” for that inadvertently deleted in the rolling-out stage.

And absolutely — remove the twists from the pan as soon as they come out of the oven. If you don’t, they will stick hard and fast. I didn’t have wire racks but used paper towels, making sure that the twists were all top down, with their bottoms in the air, so that the paper towel did not stick to the cooling sugar on those bottoms.

A recommendation I would make is that rather than cutting the finished pastry in half and then into strips, I would cut it into thirds, so that the finished twists are smaller. The recommended size is not too big necessarily, I just think they would be cuter if they were smaller.

Since I used one of my two sheets of puff pastry to make the ham, swiss & mushroom puff pastry quiche, I only had one to make the almond twists, which means that I still have half a can of almond paste in my fridge. I will be running out to buy more puff pastry so I can make some more of these babies and also try one of the other delicious-sounding variations on the twist theme recommended by Pepperidge Farm and others, such as the glazed apricot twists over at Epicurious.

I have a feeling that many of my friends and relatives will be getting a variety of these crispy little delights for Christmas this year.

UPDATE:   Mmm-mmm!  We made them again and learned new things!

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