Archive | Desserts

Strawberry Shortcake

Adapted from a recipe by Brett LaMott, chef/owner of Café Maddalena in Dunsmuir, California, a quaint town and beloved fishing spot on the Sacramento River just south of Mt. Shasta. If you are driving up I-5 to Oregon, you might speed right past Dunsmuir without noticing. However, we can tell you that it’s more than worthwhile to stop in and enjoy Chef Brett’s inspired Mediterranean cuisine at his charming bistro and wine bar.

Chef Brett says, “The shortcake in this recipe is very short, more of a biscuit than a cake.”

strawberryshortcakeYields 4 large servings

For shortcake:
2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
3 to 5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 egg
3/8 cup cold milk

For topping:
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
2 pints of strawberries, rinsed,
hulled, and quartered
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a bowl or food processor, mix the dry ingredients and zest. Cut in the butter (or pulse if you are using a food processor) until the texture is like coarse cornmeal. Whisk together the egg and the milk, then add about half to the dry ingredients, mixing with a fork or pulsing and adding more of the egg mixture as needed until the dough forms a ball.… Read More

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Candied Zucchini Slices and Crystallized Squash Blossoms

By Barbara Llewellyn Catering and Event Planning

Candied Zucchini Slices
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Zucchini slices (thinly sliced)

Bring above ingredients to a boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and drop thinly sliced zucchini slices into simmering simple syrup. Simmer for 2-3 mintues until zucchini becomes translucent. Remove with a slotted spoon, placing slices onto parchment paper to air dry.

Crystallized Squash Blossoms
With a very small paint brush, brush all surfaces of flowers with egg white. Toss flowers in superfine sugar and air dry until crispy.

Barbara Llewellyn Catering & Event Planning
434 25th St., Oakland
(510) 832-1967
www.BarbaraLlewellyn.com

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Dark Chocolate Frosting

By Barbara Llewellyn Catering and Event Planning

4 cups heavy cream
4 cups sugar
1 split vanilla bean
1 pound unsweetened dark chocolate
1 pound butter

Boil cream, sugar, vanilla for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate, butter. Whisk smoothly and strain out vanilla bean.

Barbara Llewellyn Catering & Event Planning
434 25th St., Oakland
(510) 832-1967
www.BarbaraLlewellyn.com

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Spiced Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

By Barbara Llewellyn Catering and Event Planning

Photo by Cheryl Koehler

Photo by Cheryl Koehler

12 tablespoons (1½ stick or ¾ cup) butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 cups grated raw zucchini
2¾ cups all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
2½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan for 20 cupcakes.

Cream the butter or shortening and slowly add the sugar, beating until smooth. Beat in the eggs and mix thoroughly. Stir in the vanilla, orange zest, and grated zucchini and blend well. (Batter may look curdled at this point. It will smooth out later.)

Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda salt and cinnamon, and sift onto a piece of waxed paper. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture along with the milk, and beat until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean.… Read More

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Moroccan Ghreyba (shortbread) with Lavender or Anise

chair-across2

From the story: Exploring Culture and Conversion Through Food by Anisa Abeytia

I adapted this recipe from Anissa Helou’s book Café Morocco

2 sticks butter, softened
½ to 1 cup Rapadura sugar (½ cup if using anise. The sweetness of the seed lets you get away with less sugar.)
3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons lavender (not too much or the flavor will be over-powering) or
1–2 tablespoons anise

Cream the sugar and butter. Add in the eggs one at a time. Slowly add in the flour. Add in the lavender or anise. You want the dough to be soft, but not sticky. Refrigerate the dough for ½ hour so it will be easier to work with. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll out little balls the size of a quarter. Place the balls on the sheet 1 inch apart. Gently flatten the balls and cook for 6–8 minutes.
Makes 3–4 dozen

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Flan with Cardamom, Honey, and Pistachios

chair-across2

From the story: Exploring Culture and Conversion Through Food by Anisa Abeytia

6 eggs, beaten well
3 cups milk
1 cup honey, divided
2 teaspoons cardamom
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup diced pistachios

Beat the eggs and add the milk, then add half the spices and ½ cup honey. Pour the remaining honey and spices into 8 custard dishes. I have used one large baking dish, but it never comes out quite right. Then add the egg mixture to each dish. Place the dishes in a larger baking dish and pour in boiling water to 1-inch depth. Bake at 325 degrees for 30–40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the flan. Once done, turn each dish upside down onto a plate and garnish with pistachios.
Serves 8

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Elderberry Buckwheat Tart

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From: The Regal Elder Part II by Kristen Rasmussen Vasquez

Nutty buckwheat pairs perfectly with the tartly sweet berries, balanced by a bright kick of ginger.

Serves 8

9 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for greasing pan
½ cup buckwheat flour
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons gluten-free flour blend (or all-purpose flour)
1/3 cup plus ½ cup granulated sugar, divided
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
2–3 tablespoons cold milk or water
3 cups fresh elderberries
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
2–3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch or 9-inch tart pan. Set aside.

Mix flours, 1/3 cup sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, and cut in 7 tablespoons butter. With pastry blender, fork, or hands, mix butter into flour mixture until the dough resembles small peas. Sprinkle in milk or water by the teaspoon and blend until dough sticks together when pressed, but is still crumbly.

Press dough into and up sides of pan, chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350° and bake for 15 minutes until golden-brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

While tart shell is cooling, add elderberries, remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and ginger to a large pot and heat on medium-high.… Read More

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Elder Almond Pound Cake

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From: The Regal Elder Part II by Kristen Rasmussen Vasquez

This nutty loaf cake uses both elderflower cordial and elderberries for the complete elder experience. Any sweet syrup can be substituted for elderflower cordial and other berries for elderberries, if you only happen to have one of the gifts from the elder tree on hand.

Serves 8

¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
6 tablespoons elderflower cordial*, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh elderberries, washed and dried (may be previously frozen, can use other berries if needed)
1 cup whipped cream or crème fraîche (optional)

Grease one 9- by 5-inch loaf pan (or 4 mini loaf pans) and preheat the oven to 350°.

Cream the butter and granulated sugar until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then incorporate the yogurt and 3 tablespoons of the elderflower cordial.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt and slowly whisk this into the wet mixture until incorporated. Pour half of the batter into the greased loaf pan(s).… Read More

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New York Style Laychee Cheesecake

From the story about Sarah Henry’s Farmsteads of the California Coast

Farmstead-goat

Photo by Erin Scott

½ cup graham cracker crumbs
1⅓ cups sugar, divided
⅓ cup butter, melted
32 ounces laychee (or other soft goat cheese such as chèvre)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix together graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Cream laychee, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla in a mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

While baking, mix sour cream and remaining sugar in a bowl and set aside. Once the cake is removed from the oven, pour the sour cream mixture on top, and smooth to coat evenly. Return to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely before serving.

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