The name of this retro dessert in the cookbook I found it in is chocolate marlow, but I figured that while that might intrigue some people, it would be better to describe it more…descriptively. It’s a chocolate and marshmallow mousse that’s frozen then topped with whipped cream, sugar coated graham crackers and some chopped chocolate. In other words, amazing.
If you like the flavors of a s’more but want something a little different and dressed up, then you’ll love this. The marshmallow flavor is there but is not overwhelming or cloying. The graham crackers are baked with egg white and a sprinkling of sugar that transforms them into something really incredible. There’s a terrific crunch from the sugar and a kind of toasted-ness that makes these a perfect garnish. I’d definitely make more graham crackers next time since they’re also a good alternative to a spoon or fork!
After making a chocolate base of marshmallow, chocolate and milk it is chilled then folded in with whipped cream. After a 1 hour chill in the freezer it is perfectly scoop-able. If you allow it to harden completely in the freezer you need to let it sit out for 20-30 minutes before scooping.
After scooping I decided topping this with a little sweetened whipped cream couldn’t hurt anybody. A couple of the graham crackers and a square of chocolate top this off perfectly.
Crumble up the graham crackers over everything before enjoying!
The challenge for the Daring Bakers this month was Easter Bread, which was perfect. Easter was on the 20th this month, so of course you’d make your Easter bread and serve it at your Easter meal and then post about it a week later. Unless of course you’re like me and procrastinate most of the challenges until just a few days before the posting date! So while I did make an Easter bread for Good Friday, this bread is just for The Daring Bakers and was made well after Easter.
The April Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den . She challenged us to Spring into our kitchens and make Easter breads reflecting cultures around the world.
I chose to make a Dutch Easter bread called Paasbrood. I noticed many similarities in Easter breads as I searched for one to make. Many had dried fruits, like raisins, and many were braided either in long loaves or circles. This Dutch bread has raisins, and candied fruit peel (which I did not use) and is twisted into a long loaf. Oh, and it’s stuffed with almond paste! I couldn’t imagine anything better.
I found a recipe that looked reliable here, and I changed just a few things. I used pre-made almond paste instead of making my own. I also used a mixture of all-purpose flour and almond meal in the bread dough. I could not find candied fruit peel, and to be honest I didn’t try all that hard. I also added in some cinnamon with the cardamom. As a result this bread was very similar to the Hot Cross Buns I made last week, with the exception of the almond filling. The dough was pretty easy to deal with and had good texture and flavor after baking. The almond paste, which I was totally excited about, wound up being a little much for me. Maybe I should have used less of it. I divided a 7 ounce tube in half, rolled the halves into long ropes and put them inside each piece of dough.
When I ate a piece of the bread just after glazing I found myself breaking up the paste a little and kind of spreading it out onto the bread instead of taking a bite of mostly almond paste. And while the flavor of the bread was terrific, I wasn’t all that impressed with the almond paste filling. Maybe it just needed to be less concentrated. Or maybe I should have made my own so that the texture would’ve been different. But overall the bread was nice and toasting a slice and spreading a little butter on it is a really nice way to enjoy it.
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour, plus extra flour for dough and counter
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon caradmom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 lemon
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 cup raisins
1 tube (7 ounces) almond paste
water or milk
red food coloring (optional)
Combine milk, yeast and sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup and allow to sit for 5 minutes, until foamy.
Whisk flour, spices, salt and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add in milk mixture, egg and butter and turn mixer on low to start mixing, then on medium for 4-5 minutes. Add in a few tablespoons of flour if dough is very sticky. Once dough reaches a consistency where it is becoming more elastic than sticky, cover bowl with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour.
Divide almond paste into two equal sized pieces and roll each into a log about 12 inches long.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Flour a clean work surface and turn dough out. Knead in the raisins, then divide dough in half. Roll each half into a long rectangle a little longer than the almond paste log and a couple inches wide.
Place the almond log in the center of the dough piece and enclose it by pinching the dough around it. Repeat with the other dough and almond paste.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the dough pieces side by side on the sheet and pinch two end together, then twist the dough about 4 times, then pinch bottom ends together.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until bread is nicely browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before drizzling with the glaze.
Make the glaze: Mix about 1 cup of powdered sugar with either water or milk (you could also use lemon juice, like I did, but I would not do it again) a teaspoon at a time until it reaches a good drizzling consistency. You can color with food coloring if you’d like at this point. Drizzle over the bread and allow to set before cutting and serving.
At the end of this week I was working on the last of our Easter ham and originally thought that the idea of putting it in a fried rice was a little odd. But this wound up being a really tasty dinner and one that comes together pretty quickly.
This recipe from The Food Network was the one I followed, changing up a few things here and there. I used less vegetable oil and added some sesame oil, added more vegetables and added some plain soy sauce and Soyaki sauce from Trader Joes. Since no two people like their stir fries exactly the same, you can change up the vegetables and the amount and type of extra sauce you use. When I served this I put a bottle of soy sauce on the table and Ben added a little more to his while I was happy without it. Serving this with a bottle of sriracha as well wouldn’t be a bad idea if you want some heat.
A wok is ideal for cooking a stir fry, but you can use a large skillet. This wok is a cheap one from IKEA and has served me well for the last couple of years. Make sure to prep everything ahead of time. Cut all the vegetables and meat, whisk the eggs, and have the rice ready to add the pan. Once you start cooking a stir fry it comes together fast, and you don’t want to get flustered or burn something while you grab something you’ve forgotten.
This is a little bit of a cheater stir fry since you’re using a bag of frozen veggies instead of fresh, but it sure does help shave off some prep time! And it’s still better for you than ordering take-out. Enjoy.
4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts separated
1 16-ounce bag frozen stir fry vegetables
3 eggs, beaten
3-4 cups cooked Jasmine rice
soy sauce to taste
Soyaki sauce to taste
Heat wok or skillet over high heat, add in 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil and 2 teaspoon of sesame oil. Add in ham and cook, stirring or shaking pan occasionally, until ham is lightly browned.
Add in the chopped onion and cook until it starts to become translucent. Then add in the garlic, ginger, and the whites of the scallions and a pinch or two of salt. Stir fry for about 1 minute.
Add in the frozen vegetables and stir everything together, then cover for 1-2 minutes. Stir again until vegetables are just about defrosted. Transfer everything to a large bowl.
Wipe the pan clean, then return to medium-high heat and add 1 teaspoon each vegetable and sesame oil to the pan. Add in the eggs and scramble until almost set. Remove from the pan to the bowl with the vegetables and ham.
Wipe the pan clean and return to high heat. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Add the rice and break up any large pieces. Let cook without stirring for 2 minutes, then add in the vegetables, ham and eggs. Cook everything together and add some of the soy and/or Soyaki sauce to taste. I added almost a tablespoon of each. Serve.
Of course the first thing that comes to mind for me when I have ham around, after ham sandwiches of course, is quiche. I’ve made ham & cheese quiche before, and you’ve likely seen this combination many times. But this one is extra decadent and amazing thanks to some super yummy cheese that I had on hand. I LOVE when a meal comes together without having to try too hard and when you just so happen to have ingredients that end up being delicious together.
I had a little block of gruyere and some wine soaked goat cheese left from the Easter cheese tray. Any cheese would do, but these seemed to take this quiche to a new level of wonderfulness. Trader Joe’s has a goat cheese gouda that I think would be awesome, similar in flavor and texture to the goat cheese I used. It’s not your typical soft and creamy goat cheese, this one is soft but still grate-able.
The crust and the base for this came from this America’s Test Kitchen cookbook. Have you bought yourself a copy yet? What’s stopping you? I had to do some things differently with the crust because I started dinner at 5 and it needed to be on the table at 7. I didn’t have the time to chill the dough for an hour, roll it and chill for 30 minutes, par-bake for 30 and then bake the custard for another 45 minutes. So I improvised. The recipe below shows what I did, but if you have the time, chill the dough before rolling and par-bake for a full 30 minutes. It will yield a crispier crust.
The quiche base is not for the faint of heart. It’s heavy on the eggs, cream and whole milk. Add in the ham and cheese and you’ve got yourself a quiche that is hearty enough for the manliest of men. Add in a little crumbled bacon and they won’t have a hard time scarfing down a few pieces. But it’s not so heavy that you can’t serve it at a ladies lunch. It’s just too delicious for any sane person to say “no” to.
You can take this quiche base and add in whatever you want to. Make it vegetarian with mushrooms, spinach, peppers, asparagus, etc. Use bacon instead of ham, or cooked chicken or other meat. Play with the herbs as well. Endless options. Enjoy!
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into chunks and chilled
4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks and chilled
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
1 cup of cooked chopped ham
4 ounces of shredded cheese, 2 ounces of gruyere and 2 ounces of firm goat cheese such as goat gouda
In a food processor combine flour, sugar and salt, and pulse a few times to combine.
Add in the chunks of shortening and butter and pulse a few times until the fat is in coarse pieces.
Add the ice water into the machine, start with 3 tablespoons, pulse a few times, then add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing once or twice in between additions, until dough looks like it is just holding together, but not until it is smooth.
Pour the dough out onto a large piece of parchment and pat it together into a disk.
Place another piece of parchment on top and roll the dough out, as quickly as possible into a 12-inch circle. Peel off the top piece of parchment, then place the pie plate on top of the dough circle. Turn it all over together and carefully press the dough into the pie plate and peel off the parchment. Make sure the dough is pressed into the pan evenly, crimp the edges and transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Line the crust with foil and fill with pie weights, beans or rice.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, prepare the custard mixture while it cooks.
Remove the foil and weights, then immediately fill with the custard.
Whisk the eggs, milk and cream well in a bowl.
Whisk in the salt, mustard and thyme.
When the crust comes out of the oven scatter the ham on the bottom of the crust then scatter the cheese on top.
Move the pie plate to the oven then pour the egg mixture slowly into the pan until it is almost full. You may have egg mixture left over if you have a shallow pie pan.
Close the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. Remove from the oven when quiche is just about set.
Easter Sunday left us with a huge amount of leftover ham that is going to be in all of our meals for the rest of this week and likely into the weekend. I scoured the internet for some creative ideas on how to use it. Here is the first meal I made to use up some of the ham. It’s either a weekend breakfast or a breakfast-for-dinner meal but really can be eaten for any meal of the day and you can use any meat you have around.
This breakfast dish originated in the town of Motul in the Yucatan and in my recent search I’ve seen many different variations. The things that seem to remain constant are the fried tortillas, black bean mash, salsa, egg, some kind of meat, and the fried plantains.
I prepped the beans and the salsa earlier in the day and reheated them at dinner. But even if you’re making this and serving it immediately, you may need to heat things up, or at least keep them warm while you’re doing the other parts since this dish does have a few components and it takes some time to get everything together. I found that getting everything else ready, then frying the tortillas and bananas and cooking the eggs last was a good way to get it all done.
My grocery store did not have ripe plantains so I used bananas. A nice ripe plantain would’ve been better, but the bananas worked out ok. If the idea of bananas with everything else is just a little too adventurous for you, then leave them out. This is a great dish with or without them. I used the smoked gouda cheese called for in the recipe I used, but other cheeses would work well. I tried my best to make a nice egg over easy, but isn’t wasn’t pretty (as you can see). Fix your eggs the way you like them. I think next time I’ll scramble mine because as much as I want to like a runny yolk it’s tough for me to handle. This recipe also calls for peas, which I found to be weird, but I used them anyway. You can’t really taste them with all the other flavors going on, and they’re a fun addition to the plate, so use them or don’t.
I can see myself making these again, and I can definitely see myself making the beans and salsa again and using them for a quick dinner on tortillas with some shredded chicken, lettuce and sour cream. The flavors in both the beans and the salsa are really nice and fresh.
Once you have everything together, assemble them and enjoy!
While some of the ingredients sound weird together, try them anyway! Unless you have an allergy of course or peas make you gag. When they’re all together this dish is deliciously different. And it’s good to try new things.
2 poblano peppers, seeded and roughly chopped (reserve 1 pepper for the salsa)
1 handful of cilantro
1 medium white onion, quartered (reserve 3 quarters for the salsa)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
Reserved poblano pepper, roughly chopped
Reserved onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
Base and Toppings
8 corn tortillas
1 ripe plantain, sliced into thick, 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
oil for frying
8-10 ounces cooked ham, chopped (or other meat)
4 slices of smoked gouda cheese, optional
crumbled queso fresco
Puree the beans, 1/4 of the onion, the cilantro, 1 poblano pepper and 1/4 cup of water in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in the bean puree, stir and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt.
Transfer to a bowl and keep warm or refrigerate if using later.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add in the tomatoes, poblano and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and there is some color on the onion, about 10 minutes.
Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Heat another tablespoon of oil in the skillet and return the pureed vegetables to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens slightly, and taste and season with salt.
Transfer to a bowl and keep warm or refrigerate if using later.
Base and Toppings
Heat an inch or two of oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven to 360°F.
Fry corn tortillas, 1 or 2 at a time depending on the size of your pan, for a minute on each side. DO NOT undercook them. They’ll be chewy instead of crispy if you don’t fry them enough or if the oil isn’t hot enough. Remove from the oil to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, making sure oil is at the correct temperature before frying. This may require turning the heat up and down to regulate the temp and keep it between 360 and 375.
Fry the plantains (or banana) for about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
Cook the eggs, fry, over easy, scramble.
Heat everything if it hasn’t been kept warm, including the ham and peas.
Place one tortilla on a plate.
Top with 1/4 of the bean mixture, then your egg.
Top with some of the ham pieces and one piece of gouda cheese torn into pieces. Top with the other fried tortilla.
Spread some of the salsa on top of the tortilla then sprinkle with queso fresco, peas and cilantro. Place a few of the plantain (or banana) slices on top and serve.
It’s Good Friday, and while I have never personally associated hot cross buns with today, a lot of people in the UK, Australia and other countries with British ties do. And The Pioneer Woman. So of course she has an incredible recipe for them. That’s just what she does.
I can see this becoming a tradition in our house. My kids are too young to understand what Good Friday really means, but I did talk to Carson this morning about Jesus dying on the cross today after he ate (picked at) his hot cross bun. As they get older I can see us starting the day on Good Friday eating these and talking about the importance and the meaning of the coming weekend.
I followed the recipe, found here, exactly. The only thing I think I would do differently is to tear the dough into larger pieces. The recipe says golf ball/ping pong ball sized, and that the recipe yields 18 buns. When I was tearing them that small I was going to get more than 18. I’d say make them a little bigger, maybe tennis ball size. Also, watch them as they bake. The smaller dough balls do not need 20 minutes in the oven. Check them after 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and then keep an eye on them. At 400°F they go from nicely browned to too dark very quickly. The ones I overcooked were not as good at the ones I pulled from the oven before they got too dark.
The flavor of these buns is incredible. I baked these last night and I just had to try one warm from the oven. I was planning to have a pinch, but I stood there in the kitchen taking pinch after pinch until that bun was gone. The frosting on top makes them extra beautiful, makes the name fit them, and adds a nice bit of extra sweetness.
I hope you try these, if not on Good Friday, just as a nice breakfast bread anytime. If you lived back in the days of Elizabeth I you wouldn’t be allowed to enjoy these on any days but Good Friday, burials and Christmas! Enjoy celebrating Easter this weekend!
Spices: cardamom, nutmeg, allspice (I used 1/2 teaspoon cardamom and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg)
1/2 cup raisins (I accidentally used 1 cup, and they were still great)
1 egg white
splash of milk
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Heat milk, oil and sugar over medium heat until hot, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and let cool until warm, between 100 and 115°F.
Transfer milk mixture to a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top, followed by 4 cups of flour. Mix it all together well, then put a towel over the bowl and let it rest for 1 hour.
Stir the sugar and spices together and set aside.
Mix in the extra 1/2 cup flour along with the salt, baking powder and baking soda. After it is combined, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and flatten the dough evenly.
Sprinkle some of the sugar over the dough, then sprinkle with some raisins. Fold the dough over it self, flatten it out again and repeat with the sugar and raisins. Fold over again, flatten, sprinkle with sugar and raisins, then fold once more and flatten slightly.
Pull off pieces of dough, about tennis ball sized for larger buns, golf ball sized for smaller buns, roll into balls, pull the edges of the dough down and underneath the dough ball, and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Repeat for all the dough, leaving buns enough room to spread and rise in the oven.
Place a clean towel over the buns and let rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Whisk egg white and a little milk for glaze and brush on the buns before putting them in the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes, then check buns and rotate the pans. Bake until buns are lightly browned, 10-12 minutes for smaller buns, 13-18 for larger buns.
Let cool completely on wire racks.
Mix egg white with powdered sugar until it is smooth and thick. Add a little milk to thin it out slightly, but still at a consistency that will not run off the buns.
Put frosting in a piping bag or a ziploc, cut the tip and pipe a cross onto each bun. Let harden (or not!) and enjoy.
What could be better than a lovely place card to designate your place at the table this Easter Sunday? Why, a cute and sweet one that you can eat, of course!
Don’t worry, I’m not going to give Betsy her own china place setting.
I’ve made my fair share of sugar cookies but haven’t ever stuck with one recipe. I almost always find myself trying a new one. Not because the others have been bad, but I have an idea in my head of what I want a decorated sugar cookie to look and taste like, and I haven’t yet found it. This one is much closer to what I’ve been looking for. It’s sturdy and thick, it holds up well to rolling, transferring and baking and also has good flavor. Part of that is due to cutting them thicker than I normally do, and part to a new method I tried this time around for cutting the shapes. It’s genius and greatly decreases the floury mess my kitchen becomes when I make cut outs.
Whenever I decide to make these decorated cookies I have the tendency to make too many shapes which means lots more coloring of icing and piping different designs which translates into late nights, a messy kitchen, color dyed fingernails and sore hands. It’s more work than you think on those muscles! Making just a couple different shapes makes life easier and allows you to get really good at decorating that particular shape and design.
I chose eggs (no fancy edges) carrots and bunnies. I kept everything simple since I’d be writing names on the cookies. And I kept the colors muted to not distract from the table or stick out like a sore thumb.
The icing recipe here is the best I’ve tried for these cookies. It takes a while to dry completely, but dries with a nice gloss and isn’t rock hard like royal icing. You can add more powdered sugar to small amount of this icing to make it good for piping.
For rolling these out I used a new method. Instead of chilling the dough and then rolling it out (which can often be difficult when the dough is cold from the fridge) I rolled it out right after mixing in between two pieces of parchment. Then I placed the sheets of dough in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. Then I cut out the shapes, moved them to a parchment lined cookie sheet and baked them. The dough never once touched the counter and I didn’t have to use any flour or get frustrated with a cookie falling apart or sticking to the counter top. This is definitely the method I will be using from now on. Thanks to The Kitchn for introducing me to it!
I used the recipe from The Kitchn for these cookies, just left out the lemon zest and added an extra egg yolk for a sturdier cookie. Since they’re made with all butter, the flavor is still there, but without the super crunchy texture some sugar cookies often have. And to be honest, I prefer that texture if I’m eating the cookies plain or with just a sprinkling of sugar. But when I’m going to be decorating them and giving them as favors or gifts, I want them thicker and therefore not as crunchy. Since the cookies are so thick, I reduced the baking temp to 325 to prevent the bottoms of the cookies from getting too dark before the centers are set. Then I increased the baking time. The baking time with depend on what size and just how thick your cookies are. Mine, which were just about 1/4 inch thick, cooked for almost 15 minutes. They should be just beginning to brown on the edges when you remove them from the oven.
You can find lots of good tips on decorating sugar cookies on the web. But here are some of the cookies I’ve decorated, some with step by step instructions and some without.
1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Beat butter, cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
Add in the egg, egg yolk, and extracts and beat until well combined.
Add in the flour, salt and baking powder and mix just until combined.
Prepare 4 sheets of parchment, each about the size you’d use to line a cookie sheet.
Lay a towel down on the counter, then place one piece of parchment on top. Spoon half of the cookie dough onto the parchment and then lay another piece of parchment on top. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough evenly to the thickness you desire.
Set the sheet of dough onto a cookie sheet.
Repeat with the rest of the dough, stacking them on top of each other.
Place the cookie sheet in the freezer and let them chill for 20-30 minutes. You want the dough to be firm but still be able to cut it with the cookies cutters. If you leave it too long in the freezer, just let it sit for a few minutes before cutting your shapes.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Using your desired cookie cutters, cut your shapes from the dough and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet, leaving space between the cookies, 8-12 per sheet depending on the size
Bake for 10-15 minutes, checking after 10 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
Repeat with the remaining dough. Any dough scraps can be combined and re-rolled, chilled, cut and baked.
In preparing for Easter lunch this coming weekend I wanted to make a dessert that was light and fresh and beautiful. These coconut pavlovas with tart lemon curd and fresh raspberries will fit the bill perfectly.
A good friend made pavlovas for Easter a few years ago and they were not only delicious but beautiful. When served individually, they’re an extra special dessert for your guests. Pavlovas might sound fancy, but they are just baked meringue layers. Topping them with lemon curd and berries makes them completely lovely. You can use the recipe below for lemon curd, or buy lemon curd at your grocery store. I love the combination of raspberries with the coconut and lemon, but blueberries, strawberries or blackberries would be nice. And in fact, pineapple might be amazing…
You can make the lemon curd and the meringue a day in advance. This will free you up on the day of your lunch or dinner to tend to everything else you have to do. But this also means that if you’re bringing these somewhere you don’t have to worry about them in transit. Bring everything in separate containers and assemble right before serving. No balancing cake plates in your lap and getting mad at the driver for taking those corners too quickly!
If you’re not a fan of coconut, then you can leave it out and make plain meringues. You could also add nuts, pulsed well in a food processor, in place of the coconut to create a different flavor. The coconut adds a texture you won’t find in a plain meringue, which I found to be really nice against the smooth and creamy lemon curd.
These are gluten free, not because I did anything to make them that way but because the ingredients are all gluten-free friendly. It’s nice to serve something like this when serving a group that may contain some people who do not or cannot eat gluten. Since it’s becoming more and more common, at least in my experience, to encounter those people, it’s great to have some recipes that don’t leave anyone out or make it hard for them to enjoy the meal. Any gluten-free readers who see something wrong with the recipe below, please let me know so that I can correct it. Enjoy!
1/4 cup creme fraiche OR 1/4 cup whipping cream + 1 tablespoon buttermilk
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 9 chunks
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
fresh raspberries for serving
Combine the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a medium sized saucepan. Whisk together over medium low heat, whisking constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook and whisk until mixture reaches a pudding-like consistency.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the creme fraiche or cream mixture all at once. Add in the butter, 3 chunks at a time, and stir to almost melt them before adding the next few pieces. Stir until all the butter is melted.
Pour the lemon curd through a fine mesh sieve to remove any pieces of cooked egg.
Let cool at room temperature for about an hour, then cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface so that a skin does not form, then refrigerate until cold or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Find a cup, bowl or glass that will serve at your guide for piping the meringue. It should be small enough to fit 6 circles on the cookie sheet with enough space for them to spread a bit. Trace the circle with a pencil on one side of the parchment, turn the parchment over on the cookie sheet and set it aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites and the vanilla on high speed until mixture is very foamy.
Add the sugar in a steady stream, and continue to beat on high until mixture is very thick.
Fold in the cornstarch, vinegar and coconut.
Transfer meringue to a large ziploc bag, cut off one corner, and pipe circles onto the parchment paper. With the back of a spoon smooth out the circles and make a crater in the center of each.
Put pan into the oven, then reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and cook for 45 minutes.
Remove from the sheet to a wire rack and cool completely.
If not using right away, store in an airtight container.
Assemble the Pavlovas
Divide the lemon curd evenly among the meringue circles.
Place a few raspberries on top of the lemon curd, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
Thanks to my sister I am now aware of this bread’s existence and of its ability to lure you into eating it when you’re not even the slightest bit hungry. It’s evil. Thanks a lot, Lisa…
Lisa had this pastry at Epcot when she and her family were at Disney World on vacation recently. She asked if I’d try it out and let her know if it was worth the time and effort. As I began searching the internet for recipes I found that many people have developed an obsession with the bread as a result of visiting Disney. But as far as I can tell it’s not a Disney invention, but really a Norwegian pastry, a bun filled with custard and iced then covered in coconut. You can maybe understand now why it’s so evil. I love all of those things and when you put them together it becomes irresistible.
These are a labor of love. And they will take you the better part of an afternoon (or morning) to complete. BUT they are worth it, as long as you have someone (or many someones) to share them with or an event to make them for. The recipe makes 20-24 buns and they are best eaten the day they’re made or the day after. I didn’t try to freeze any, but am unsure how the custard would freeze and am fairly certain it wouldn’t be the same after it’s thawed. So I suggest making these for a breakfast, brunch, baby or bridal shower where you’ll be serving quite a few people. That way they’ll all be consumed at their peak of deliciousness and you’re guaranteed to make friends for life.
This recipe for skolebrød came from a blog I’ve just discovered, Five and Spice. It’s a lovely blog with delicious sounding and amazing looking food. I’m so glad to have found it! I didn’t change a thing from the original recipe and wouldn’t in the future. The bread is amazing on its own. I’d consider making it into rolls or a braided bread and serving with butter and lingonberry jam some time. The custard is pretty simple and has good flavor and consistency. Make sure to use good vanilla. The coconut on top provides a terrific crunch. I used unsweetened coconut chips, but ended up running out and using sweetened flaked coconut for the last few. It was not only more difficult to put on the buns, but wasn’t as good. Stick with the unsweetened stuff.
Consider making these. You will feel like you’ve accomplished something great when you’re done…because you have! It’s a lot of work, but again, well worth it.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together milk, butter and sugar then check the temperature, it should be between 100 and 110°F. Sprinkle the yeast on top, stir once, then let sit for about 10 minutes, until mixture is foamy.
Stir in the cardamom and salt.
Add in flour, 1 cup at a time, until you’ve mixed in 6 cups. At this point you will probably need to add in 1/2 cup flour. The dough should be fairly loose and sticky, not dense like a bread dough. If it still seems too loose, add in 1/4 cup, mix again. Add the additional 1/4 cup if you have to.
Transfer the dough into a large greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for at least 1 hour, until doubled in size.
In a small bowl whisk egg, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch.
In a saucepan heat cream and milk over medium heat just until it begins to simmer. Temper the eggs by adding 1/4 cup of the warm milk to the eggs, whisking while you add it, then another 1/4 cup.
Now, with the heat on medium-low, whisk the egg mixture back into the milk and cook, whisking constantly to keep it from getting lumpy, until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency.
Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Form the buns
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line 3 (maybe 4…) cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Flour a clean surface and turn dough out. It will be sticky! have extra flour on hand! Divide the dough into 20-24 pieces, as equal as you can get them.
Roll each piece into a ball and place them on the cookie sheets, 5-6 per cookie sheet with enough space between for them to rise when baked.
Cover with clean dish towels and let rest for 30 minutes.
Form a crater in the center of each bun and fill with custard using a spoon or a pastry bag.
Bake each batch for about 15 minutes, until the edges of the buns have browned a bit.
Let cool completely on wire racks.
Top the buns
Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. You want a consistency that isn’t too thin, but not too thick. You don’t want it to drip off the sides of the buns.
With an offset spatula or spoon, spread some glaze onto the top of the bun, around the custard.
Press some coconut onto the bun, gently shaking off any excess.
Scones. Glorious scones! Way better than muffins and not much more work. In some ways I think they’re actually easier than muffins, I never liked cleaning muffin tins. Scones are also easily adaptable. These scones are full of goodies, but a simple scone with nothing in it is amazing when spread with a little jam or truly and simply plain. If you’ve never tried to make scones, please do yourself a favor and make a batch of these! You’ll be amazed at how easy they are and how amazing they taste. This is yet another recipe courtesy of my current favorite cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I took the basic recipe and added in dried cherries, sliced almonds and white chocolate chips. I also brushed the tops with a little cream and sprinkled them with a little sugar. I would’ve liked to have used coarse sugar but couldn’t seem to find mine, probably a sign I need to do some pantry organizing. In the recipe they recommend forming the circle in a cake pan, then turning it out before slicing into wedges. What a wonderful idea! It keeps it perfectly shaped and makes for beautiful scones. But you can achieve equally tasty and lovely scones by free forming your disc. I like to use a pizza cutter to cut the scones, but a bench scraper or large knife will do just fine. Like I said before, make these with what you like or have on hand to make them your own and experiment to find a combination that you really love. Replace the cherries with your favorite dried fruit, the almonds with pecans, or walnuts, and leave out the chocolate altogether or use dark or milk chocolate chips. Be careful not to load too much into these, though. I used a total of 1 cup of additional ingredients and I wouldn’t go much heavier on the mix-ins than that. As with biscuits, don’t over mix or over work the dough. Mix and knead just until it holds together. Overworking will yield a dense scone that doesn’t rise as well. I do have to warn you about these. I photographed them while they were still warm and had a few bites of this one. A few bites turned into me eating the entire thing. And I loved every minute of it. So make sure to exercise some self control and don’t eat all of them yourself! Or do. Just call it “research” or “quality control”.
Dried Cherry, Almond and White Chocolate Cream Scones
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook Ingredients
Makes 8 scones
2 cups flour, plus more for the counter
3 tablespoons sugar. plus a little for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into chunks
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream, plus a little extra for brushing
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
Add the butter chunks and pulse until the mixture is coarse like sand with some larger pieces of butter.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the cherries, almonds and chocolate chips, then add the cream and the almond extract. Mix with a rubber spatula until the mixture just comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it comes together. Press into 9-inch cake pan or free form the dough into a 9-inch disk.
Turn dough out again (if you used a cake pan) onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
With a pizza cutter or other cutting tool, cut the disk into 8 triangles, separating them from each other a little.
Brush with a little cream and sprinkle with a little sugar (or coarse sugar if you have some).
Bake for about 15 minutes, until tops are light brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.