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5 Ways to Use a Culinary Torch (Besides Making Crème Brûlée)

5 Ways to Use a Culinary Torch (Besides Making Crème Brûlée)

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For lots of Americans, cooler temps mean an end to grilling season. But what if you could harness the power to sear, smoke, char, and roast, all with a handheld device?

That’s basically what culinary torches do. None other than Julia Child first popularized the use of blowtorches in the kitchen, using a full-sized version to fire up desserts like Baked Alaska and crème brûlée—not to mention her ratings. Smaller chef’s versions soon followed, and there’s plenty you can do with them beyond the dessert course.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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As for our favorite torches, we like Authenzo Kitchen Butane Torch Lighter ($13, Amazon), which is great for more intricate work, like smoking cocktails. Meanwhile, the EurKitchen Culinary Butane Torch ($20, Amazon) has a larger head and works faster and more efficiently when you’re feeding a crowd. Try their fire power out on:


Charred garnishes add extra flavor to drinks, or you can smoke up a glass before pouring your concoction inside.


Make roasted red pepper for romesco sauce or to toss on salads, or char veggies like cauliflower before pureeing for soup for extra flavor. It’s faster than preheating your oven.


Want to kick breakfast up a notch? Torch some bananas before adding them to your oatmeal. Or caramelize a little brown sugar on top of a grapefruit for a great day starter.


Besides smoking cheese for burgers, which is simply delicious, you can perfect French onion soup. A torch’s precision helps melt the cheese layer without spilling a drop.


We especially like making s’mores with a torch because not only can you get your chocolate the perfect degree of melted, you can also toast marshmallows without burning them, the risk you run at any campfire.

Seared Otoro Tuna (Aburi Toro) 炙りとろ

Have you tried otoro sushi (super fatty tuna belly sushi)? This well-marbled fatty tuna literary melts in your mouth like butter when prepared correctly. My husband and my favorite sushi restaurant always prepares otoro sushi in two ways for us, one regular and one seared and topped with yuzu extract. We had been thinking that we should prepare seared tuna on our own since we bought a culinary torch last year with attempt to make crème brûlée (but haven’t had a chance yet). We finally made it so I want to share how to prepare this super easy seared otoro with you today.

Toro refers the lowest section of the tuna belly and there’s only a small portion per tuna so they are usually quite pricey. For this recipe we purchased the otoro from our local Japanese market for $59.99/lb. Typically toro is classified into otoro (super fatty tuna belly) and chutoro (medium fatty tuna belly). Compared to maguro (tuna sashimi), toro is usually much lighter in color due to the high fat content. Not all Japanese restaurants in the US actually offer authentic otoro. Quite a few times I’ve been to Japanese restaurants where they tried passing off albacore tuna as their toro sushi.

I need to emphasize here that this won’t really work with regular tuna sashimi due to the low fat content. Make sure when you are ready to enjoy your otoro, take out from the fridge until it warms up close to room temperature. As it warms up, the fat liquefies and it was interesting see how they catch on fire when searing with a blow torch . Enjoy and have fun searing!

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Creme Brulee (Crème Brûlée)

This is one "fancy" dessert that you can make ahead of time (I did this batch while watching TV) with a minimum of effort and still have all your guests excited about your culinary skills. Creme brulee should start with a custard base that is richer, creamier, and silkier than other cremes (creme anglaise, creme caramel, flan, etc.). On top of that custard should be a layer of caramelized sugar. This sugar can be thick or thin. A thick layer is usually produced by caramelizing sugar in a pot and pouring the liquid caramel over the custard. Thin layers (some as thin as paper) are produced by directly heating a sugar layer using a broiler or torch. I make my creme brulee with a torch and turbinado sugar.

The ingredients needed are (clockwise from top) 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 8 large egg yolks, and 1/2 cup sugar.

First pour the sugar into the egg yolks.

Beat the yolks until smooth.

Heat the heavy cream until almost simmering (you can bring to a simmer and let it cool a minute). Add heavy cream to the egg yolks one tablespoon at a time while stirring vigorously. This will temper the eggs so as to not curdle them (or make scrambled eggs) when exposed to the heat of the heavy cream.

When about 1/4 cup of heavy cream has been integrated into the yolks, pour the yolks into the heavy cream and mix until smooth.

Now, using a fine mesh sieve, strain the custard mixture to remove any small clumps that may remain in the mixture. This step will help ensure a silky texture to the custard. Blend in the vanilla extract after the mixture has been strained.

Pour the mixture into six to eight ramekins depending on size. (Makes a little more than eight four-ounce creme brulees.) In the picture below, I filled six four-ounce ramekins and two six ounce ramekins (the six-ouncers were not full).

Place the ramekins in a baking pan. Pour boiling water into the pan (be careful not to get water into the ramekins), so that the water level is halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cooking the custards in a water bath will provide a low even temperature for the custards to cook evenly and set properly. Place in an oven preheated to 250°F for about one hour.

After an hour, check to see if the custards are done. We want them to be set on the outside edge, but jiggly (like jello) at the center. The easiest way to do this is to take a pair of tongs with food grade rubber bands wrapped around the ends to help grip the ramekins. Pick up a ramekin and shake to see if the centers jiggle. If only the center jiggles a little, it's done. If the whole thing is set, remove immediately - it'll be a little over done, but still delicious. If it's not done, just put it back in the water bath and check again in ten minutes. Once the custards are done, let them cool on a cooling rack to room temperature. This will let the custards finish cooking the centers on their own.

Wrap the custards in their ramekins in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least eight hours before serving.

About an hour before serving, remove the plastic wrap from each ramekin and use a paper towel to gently soak up any moisture that may have extruded from the custard tops. Pour about a teaspoon of turbinado ("sugar in the raw") sugar in the middle of each custard. Tilt the ramekin and gently shake to let gravity move the sugar around until the top surface of the custard is covered evenly with turbinado sugar. Using a kitchen butane torch, propane blow torch, or welding torch (whatever strong open flame you've got lying around), heat the sugar until it bubbles and changes color. With a small butane torch, I take my time and don't move from one side of the creme brulee to the other until the spot I've been working on has achieved the brown color that I want. This takes a little over a minute for each creme brulee. (The process is faster with a larger torch.) Don't worry about heating up the custard underneath, we'll refrigerate the creme brulee for a bit before serving. Do worry about lighting your kitchen counter on fire. I usually place the ramekin on a piece of aluminum foil placed over a cooling rack.

Once you're done scorching your cream, place the ramekins back in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes. The caramel will still be hard, but if you wait too much longer, the sugar will start to soften and dissolve into the custard.

What is Caramel Brulee

Ingredients. Milk, Caramel Brulee Sauce [Sugars (Corn Syrup, Fructose, Sugar), Water, Skim Milk Powder, Natural Flavors, Sodium Bicarbonate, Salt], Brewed Espresso. A strong, aromatic coffee mixed with dreamy caramel sauce (extra points if you make your own!) and creamy milk, all topped off with a generous dollop of whipped cream and even more caramel sauce because why not Crème caramel is a baked custard which is cooked in a ramekin that is lined with caramel. Crème brûlée is also a baked custard with a nice crackly layer of caramelized sugar on top of it. The mixing and baking process for these two desserts is very similar

How to Make a Starbucks Caramel Brûlée Latte at Home

Crème brûlée (/ ˌkrɛm bruːˈleɪ / French pronunciation: ​ [kʁɛm bʁy.le]), also known as burned cream, burnt cream or Trinity cream, and similar to crema catalana, is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a layer of hardened caramelized sugar Just before serving, sprinkle the tops with white granulated sugar and shake off the excess. Place under broiler til caramelized or use a propane torch to burn the tops. Serve immediately. Part of the fun of Creme Brulee comes from the crispiness of the burnt top compared to the creaminess of the custard

What is a Caramel Brulée Latte? Is it Vegan? Caffeine

This seasonal drink, made with espresso, Caramel Brulee Sauce, and milk contains 150 mg of caffeine per 16 fluid ounces, less than your standard 16 ounces of coffee, but still a solid energy boost. Creme caramel is a custard with a caramel sauce. The custard is made with whole eggs, allowing it to be firm enough to stand on its own. Creme brulee is a custard made with egg yolks. While it's thick, you'd have to leave it inside a ramekin Creme Brulee is a classic French dessert with a rich custard topped with a hard layer of caramel. I'll show you how to make Creme Brulee with 4 ingredients. 4.04 from 127 vote Directions. In a large saucepan, combine the cream, egg yolks and sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture reaches 160° or is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon

Salted Caramel Creme Brulee is a new twist on a classic dessert, you will adore the hints of caramel inside this simple & rich dessert Caramel Coffee Creamer is a quick and easy homemade recipe for making Copycat Starbucks Caramel Brulée Lattes at home! Every morning, I depend on a steamy mug of coffee to help me get going. And when I have a batch of homemade coffee creamer in the fridge, I eagerly look forward to that cup o' joe from the moment I wake up Steamed milk and rich caramel brulée sauce deliciously finished with whipped cream and a caramel brulée topping—an ode to holiday sweetness. Milk, Caramel Brulee Sauce [Sugars (Corn Syrup, Fructose, Sugar), Water, Skim Milk Powder, Natural Flavors, Sodium Bicarbonate,.

Caramel Brulee Latte - mom makes dinne

Review: Starbucks - Caramel Brulee Latte Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte is a holiday seasonal drink that takes a base of espresso and steamed milk and adds a caramel brulee sauce finishing with whipped cream and caramel pieces The Caramel Brulee Latte mimics that sugary-smokey, highly addictive flavor, and even includes a crumbled topping reminiscent of actual creme brulée. Is the caramel brulee latte good? Caramel Brulee Latte - This is a nice, sweet coffee drink. It has a nice caramelized sugar flavor. It could also have 100 different names and no one would bat an.

What is in a caramel brulee latte? - FindAnyAnswer

  1. Whatis a CaramelBrulee Latte? The word bruleeis French meaning burnt or scorched. It's referring to the hardened sugar topping you'd find on Creme Brulee. The latte has caramel flavoring (Starbucks calls it brulee sauce) AND small shards of broken salted sugar on the top, which is a brulee topping
  2. utes. It makes two servings, although you can halve or double the recipe for less or more servings, as needed (or make a big batch, if you're hosting a brunch buffet).. The recipe is simply a combination of brewed coffee and warmed milk infused with caramel and brown sugar.. Top with whipped cream and extra caramel for that.
  3. Caramel Brulée Frappuccino® Blended Beverage Espresso, milk and ice blended with rich caramel brulée sauce, and then topped with whipped cream and more rich sauce for extra-gooey goodness. Select a store to view availabilit
  4. Today I am sharing my Copycat Creme Brulee Latte Recipe made with Torani Caramel syrup and let me tell you it is goooood! Keep reading for the recipe. Starbucks Copycat Creme Brulee Latte Recipe. My favorite all time dessert is Creme Brulee and will try just about anything that has the words, creme brulee in the title
  5. I have had frappuccinos before but the only other one I would get was the caramel flavor. Surprisingly, this tastes exactly like a regular caramel frappuccino. Except it has lil crunchy bits on the top. Like a happy medium between the Caramel frappuccino and Caramel ribbon crunch
  6. What is a caramel brûlée latte? A traditional caramel brûlée latte is made with brewed espresso, steamed cream, caramel brûlée sauce, whipped topping and caramel sauce and packs over 30g of sugar and about 400 calories! Starbucks caramel brûlée latte recip
  7. The top and bottom are the difference. Brulee is a just a custard with a simply melted/browned sugar crust on top. A caramel is a custard bottom, topped with a creamier sugar coat on top. A tart has a pastry on the bottom, filled with custard, topped with with a crust of melted sugar

What is caramel brulee sauce? This is the caramel sauce that coffee shops use to make caramel brulee lattes. It has a sweet and smoky flavor that comes from almost burning the caramel, similar to a creme brulee topping. This can be hard to mimic at home unless you are practiced at making caramel sauce, so most homemade recipes use standard caramel The drink takes on all the goodness of cold brew coffee and mixes it with the iconic holiday drink (the Caramel Brulee Latte), which is simply perfect because it was, like, 70 degrees this weekend.

Crème brûlée (/ ˌ k r ɛ m b r uː ˈ l eɪ / French pronunciation: [kʁɛm bʁy.le]), also known as burned cream, burnt cream or Trinity cream, and similar to crema catalana, is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base topped with a layer of hardened caramelized sugar.It is normally served slightly chilled the heat from the caramelizing process tends to warm the top of the custard. The extra thing this dessert has, which makes it amazing, is the burnt sugar on top. This crunchy layer of caramel offers a complex bittersweet taste and creates a stunning presentation (especially if you torch the crème in front of your guests). Everyone who tries crème brulee has a hard time forgetting it The caramel makes the dessert more special and delightful. The spoon will crack through the crispness of the caramel before reaching the custard that is underneath. The flavor and the texture are memorable

. It tastes more cooked, without tasting burnt, than the standard Starbucks Caramel-syrup-drinks like the Caramel Machiatto, and anything else caramel at Starbucks. It's a little interesting, but it didn't blow me away

How to Caramelize Crème Brûlée - The Spruce Eat

  • I want to taste creme brulee but haven't tried it. I don't really go to any french restaurants but it looks good. I need to try it one day. candyquilt February 17, 2011 . @feruze-- I usually make the caramel of creme brulee using a torch but I was at my friend's house one time and she asked me to make creme brulee
  • I was a first time Brulee flavored person so wasn't sure what to expect It has a little more of a coffee taste and the caramel is like a deep smoked caramel taste but it's not like the caramel punches you in the face kind of flavor. It honestly is really good and I always get a warm happy feeling when I'm drinking it
  • utes, swirling the mixture every 1-2
  • t Mocha, don't be ridiculous! That is actually available all year long
  • Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte Nutrition Facts Restaurants Starbucks Espresso Beverages Caramel Brulee Latte Nutrition Facts Select the type of milk used in your Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte to view the nutrition facts, calories and Weight Watchers points
  • Mary McMahon Date: February 01, 2021 Crème caramel is a dessert with a custard base and soft caramel topping.. Crème caramel is a French dessert with a simple custard base and a soft caramel topping, related to crème brulee except that the dessert is not fired before serving to create a hard sugar crust.A number of nations make variations on crème caramel, and the dish is extremely popular

This site uses cookies, but not the kind you eat - Starbuck

  • Then, ask for a couple of pumps each of caramel brûlée and toasted white mocha. Request two more pumps of the brûlée to be blended in with the sweet cream cold foam. Finally, finish off with.
  • Now, for some of that Homemade Caramel Coffee Syrup. You can totally use those store bought flavored syrups, but I like to make my own. Grab the Homemade Caramel Coffee Syrup Recipe here. The amount is up to you and how flavored (or sweet) you enjoy your coffee. For this cup I used about 2 -3 tbsp of syrup
  • Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte is a holiday seasonal drink that takes a base of espresso and steamed milk and adds a caramel brulee sauce finishing with whipped cream and caramel pieces. Like all of Starbucks ' seasonal coffee-based drinks, pricing is $3.75 for a Tall, $4.45 for a Grande, and $4.75 for a Venti
  • Step 2: Pour vanilla syrup and caramel sauce into mug. Step 3: Pour espresso or coffee into mug. Step 4: Pour steamed milk into mug. Stir to combine. Top with whipped cream and brulee topping, if desired. Bonus Recipe: Starbucks' Caramel Brulée Holiday Sprinkle Toppin
  • Instructions Caramel Brulee Latte Recipe. Step 1 In a pan (non-stick ) melt 1/2 tsp of butter.Step 2 add 1 tsp of brown sugar, blend it with the butter until it's caramelized. Now add 1/4 tsp of pure vanilla extract. Step 3. Add 1 ½ tsp of caramel (I love caramel!). Stir until it starts to bubble, lower the heat and stir in the milk

Caramel Macchiato Vs Caramel Latte: The Final Word Making espresso drinks at home is more than just a cost saver. It can provide a centering morning ritual, and it also is a uniquely rewarding experience to be able to make cafe-quality drinks for yourself and your friends Once the caramel has reached a lovely deep amber colour and all the sugar is melted, turn off the heat and pour in the still warm cream. Whisk continuously, as the mixture will bubble and spit up, to ensure the caramel and cream are combined Starbucks Caramel Brulee Steamer with Whole Milks contain between 210-520 calories, depending on your choice of sizes. Choose from the sizes below to see the full nutrition facts, ingredients and allergen information A caramel sauce (the stuff most of us are probably familiar with) is the end result of combining caramel with other ingredients like half and half, cream, butter and/or vanilla extract, depending on the recipe. The sweet stuff appears in a number of popular desserts, including pralines, creme brulee, and sundaes Caramel Brulee Latte (Milk in Syrups) Caramel & Hazelnut Macchiatos (Milk in Syrups) Cinnamon Dolche with Topping (has milk) No Dairy Coffee (Regular and Iced) Red Eye, Black Eye, Americano, Espresso (Regular or Iced) VIA Instant Coffee Tea (Regular and Iced) Lemonade Soy Milk Syrups: Vanilla, Hazelnut, Caramel, Peppermint, Raspberry, Toffe

Calories, carbs, fat, protein, fiber, cholesterol, and more for Caramel Brulee Latte (Tall, No Whip - Starbucks Coffee). Want to use it in a meal plan? Head to the diet generator and enter the number of calories you want It's a dessert that can seem daunting but it's really simple to make, even for novices. This Easy Crème Brûlée recipe is creamy with a crunchy caramel topping and it's a breeze to whip up! A crispy caramel topping crowns a rich and velvety custard filling, this Easy Crème Brûlée recipe brings restaurant quality to your dessert options - it's divinely delectable

The Caramel Brulee sauce that is used in the Caramel Brulee Frappuccino only lasts a month or two. To get your money's worth, you'd have to be making a ton of Frappuccino's to use all of the sauce up within the month! Caramel Brulee Topping Creme brulée might be the perfect dessert, and also the simplest — just cream, egg yolks, sugar, just a dash of vanilla, and some dazzling pyrotechnics Preparation. Bring 1 cup cream and coffee beans to simmer in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat cover and let steep at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour 3. Whisk eggs and then slowly pour the caramel mixture into them, a little at a time, whisking constantly. 4. Pour into 6 ramekins or crème brulee dishes and bake in a hot water bath in the oven for 30 minutes, or until edges are set and centre is slightly jiggly. 5 This is for a brand new and factory sealed Starbucks Caramel Brulee Topping 9 oz Bottle. Primarily used for topping Starbucks Creme Brulee lattes. Great for doctoring up your own Starbucks drinks or for baking! Hard to find toppings. Add it to your favorite coffee or hot chocolate

Creme Brulee, the never-ending dessert: I was the pastry chef for David Bouley in the late 80's and we did a version of the famous Le Cirque Creme Brulee (Sirio Maccioni, the famous maitre d', had a creme brulee every day!): 1 liter heavy cream 1 liter milk 250 grams sugar 18 yolks 2 vanilla beans. Bain Marie 300F, always in a conventional. Crème brûlée is a popular custard dessert with European origins that date back centuries (via French Country Food).Flan, on the other hand, is a custard dish with roots dating back to the Roman empire that is widely popular throughout Latin America. According to Tastemade, flan is sometimes also called crème caramel, which makes it even easier to confuse the two The Caramel Pumpkin Brulée flavor is a limited-edition seasonal drink that can be enjoyed as a breve (which is an espresso-based drink made with steamed half-and-half), a cold brew, or a Dutch Freeze. The tasty autumnal drink features hints of salted caramel and pumpkin pie flavors, and is topped off with Soft Top Sweet Cream, spiced pumpkin. I have tried to make the Creme Brulee twice but both times an utter fail. The first one was separated and curdled, which I later discovered was my fault for over-cooking/heating it. The recipe doesn't give strict warnings about this though - 'about to split' doesn't mean anything to me. So I was very careful the second time around, but it almost happened again Both crème caramel (caramel cream) and flan are French names, but flan has come to have different meanings in different regions.. In Spanish-speaking countries and often in the United States, crème caramel is known as flan.This was originally a Spanish-language usage, but the dish is now best known in North America in a Latin American context.Elsewhere, including in Britain, a flan is a.

Crème caramel is a French dessert consisting of a vanilla custard topped with caramel sauce. It is made by placing a layer of caramel at the bottom of a ramekin, then topping it with custard. After cooking in a bain-marie (hot water bath), the ramekins are inverted Besides seeing family, exchanging gifts, eating lots of food, and getting time off work, one of the best parts of the holidays is finally sipping on all the festive drinks from Starbucks Caramel Brulée Latte: Espresso, steamed milk, and caramel brulée sauce are topped with whipped cream and caramel brulée topping. Chestnut Praline Latte:. 1 The leche flan is made with evaporated milk, condensed milk, egg yolks, and caramelized sugar.. It's apparent to anyone who has made leche flan that using egg yolks is the surefire way of ensuring that it's rich and creamy. The fat in egg yolks makes it incredibly rich. The evaporated milk increases the creaminess of the dessert while the lightly caramelized nature of sweetened condensed. Preheat oven to 325°F. In a medium saucepan heat the heavy cream over medium heat until it just comes to a boil. Remove from the heat, add in the vanilla extract, cover the pot and and allow to cool for 10 minutes

Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte Copycat Recipe Make it at

  1. I find Smith's version a bit rubbery, while the master chefs' and Haga's, though indeed gorgeously soft, taste more like a creme brulee than a creme caramel. After tasting a few, it is clear.
  2. Courtesy of Starbucks. Along with the four single-use cups, Starbucks unveiled a new limited-edition reusable red cup, which is a great environmentally friendly option for holiday sippers
  3. More recently, on November 17, 2009, Starbucks introduced the Caramel Creme Brulee Latte which is a wintertime seasonal item. The Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is considered a fall beverage, and was first launched in September 2008, coinciding with the introduction of the Starbucks Signature Hot Chocolate
  4. Follow this caramel brulee latte recipe to awaken your holiday tastebuds with a creamy, rich, and decadent flavor
  5. Caramel. Plain caramel is typically made with white granulated sugar. Water, sugar and corn syrup are heated until the sugar dissolves. Then the mix is left to boil until the syrup turns golden brown. Butter, cream and vanilla syrup are added and the ooey-gooey sauce is heated again
  6. utes. There are several ways to make espresso at home. The first and easiest, but most expensive, is using an espresso machine
  7. The drink takes on all the goodness of cold brew coffee and mixes it with the iconic holiday drink (the Caramel Brulee Latte), which is simply perfect because it was, like, 70 degrees this weekend.

What's the Difference Between Crème brûlée and Crème caramel

  • Calories, carbs, fat, protein, fiber, cholesterol, and more for Caramel Brulée Latte (Starbucks Coffee). Want to use it in a meal plan? Head to the diet generator and enter the number of calories you want
  • The Nespresso caramel flavor is created for coffee recipes specially developed for the perfect alchemy with milk. Try the Crème Brûlée coffee pod today
  • One of Martha Stewart's favorites, creme brulee's seductive secret lies in the contrast between the brittle caramelized topping and the smooth, creamy custard beneath. French for burnt cream, creme brulee is best served immediately after caramelizing its sweet, sugary surface. The Martha Stewart Show, Episode 408
  • Crème caramel is a French dessert with a simple custard base and a soft caramel topping, related to crème brulee except that the dessert is not fired before serving to create a hard sugar crust. A number of nations make variations on crème caramel, and the dish is extremely popular

Crème brûlée - Wikipedi

  • Caramel sauce is made by mixing caramelized sugar with cream. Depending on the intended application, additional ingredients such as butter, fruit purees, liquors, or vanilla can be used. Caramel sauce is used in a variety of desserts, especially as a topping for ice cream
  • 10) sprinkle the sugar over the custard and caramelize with the metal salamandre or spatula to form a thin caramel layer *** For final ramekin ( souffle dishes ) placing and caramelizing please send me a note. Have a nice wkend. Margaux Cintrano. ( Margcata )
  • Hold the creme brulee torch torch about 4 to 5 inches from the sugar, and maintain a constant, slow, side to side motion. You should see the sugar melt first. You should see the sugar melt first. If there is a patch of raw sugar, continue to torch it from side to side until it melts
  • Debuted by Starbucks in 1996, the Caramel Macchiato has been a café favorite for over two decades.Learn how to craft this coffee classic at home with this simple recipe. Make it frothy with a mix of smooth vanilla, velvety caramel flavors and the perfect amount of sweetness
  • Smoked Salted Caramel Creme Brulee is the recipe you need to try if you've ever been curious about smoked desserts. It's a perfect combination of sweet, smoky, and salty for a dessert you won't be able to resist
  • Happy tap, tap, tapping! Strain your custard. There's no tempering of eggs or stovetop cooking of this custard (you're basically just whisking eggs, sugar, and cream together), so the one tiny thing you can do to all but guarantee a perfectly smooth custard is to strain the mixture before filling the ramekins

Extract 40ml of Caramel Crème Brulee coffee over the mixture. Step. 07. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with caramel syrup to taste. Step01. Pour 2.5ml of Monin Salted Caramel Syrup into the VIEW Recipe Glass. Step02. Optional: Add 1/2 cup caramel custard pudding of choice into the VIEW Recipe Glass Heat oven to 300 F. Heat milk, cream and vanilla on a stovetop until simmering. Separately cook ⅓ cup sugar and 2 tbsp water over medium heat until sugar dissolves, then over high heat for 6 minutes or until the liquid turns dark brown Creme Brûlée is a rich, creamy custard made from heavy cream, vanilla, granulated sugar, and egg yolks. Yep, that's it, only 4 simple ingredients! The custard is baked in the water bath, chilled, and then topped with more granulated sugar that you burn using a kitchen torch so it melts and becomes crunchy

Creme Brulee Recipe Allrecipe

So I tried the Caramel Brulée Latte from Starbucks and I also said if we get 50 Likes on this video. I'll film my next Starbucks review inside of a store. Brûlée definition is - a piece of burned-over woodland

Cloves: To Stud or Not to Stud

Before we get to the recipes, a note on cloves is in order. Many recipes call for studding a baked ham with whole cloves. But in the culinary arts, there is a convention that says that all garnishes should be edible. And no one wants to crack a tooth biting into a whole clove. Even so, studding with cloves is traditional, and it adds to the presentation. So if you decide to go this way, do take care to ensure you remove all the cloves (and fragments thereof) before carving. Otherwise, simply add a few ground cloves to the glaze.

Smoked Salmon in Sour Cream-Horseradish Sauce

Growing up in Minnesota, I wasn’t particularly familiar with smoked salmon or its popularity. My limited experience consisted of the bagels and Nova lox my father made a point to bring home every time we visited NYC. It was considered a treat when we had it (though I may have been more into the bagel and cream cheese at that time than the salmon). I had no idea that there were different kinds of smoked salmon and that it could be bought by the pound and on sandwiches at almost every New York deli.

The quality of smoked salmon varies – usually depending on price but also on the smoking method and/or curing method. Lower quality smoked salmon is usually saltier and somewhat mushier. I like Nova lox, which is technically a cold smoked salmon, but regular lox (which is just cured and not smoked), Scottish, or Norwegian smoked Salmon are also good depending on your preference. Whether you’re eating it on a sandwich or making a spread such as this, it’s important to use a smoked salmon you really like. Unlike most salmon spreads, the actual salmon flavor (and not just the saltiness) can be tasted in this dip-like spread. The horseradish, scallion, and dill complement the salmon and provide a freshness. No cooking, no fuss. Add a few slices of cucumbers for a refreshing crunch and this is the perfect light lunch or appetizer on a hot summer day.

1/2 lb smoked salmon, shredded
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons horseradish
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
1 cucumber, thinly sliced (optional)

Add scallions and dill to smoked salmon.

In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, horseradish, and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper.

Add dressing to salmon mixture. Toss gently. Serve on thinly sliced rye or pumpernickel bread or multi-grain crackers layered with cucumbers (if using).

Adapted from “The Art of Good Cooking,” by Paula Peck.

5. Use a light sprinkle of salt to draw out excess moisture from veggies to prevent your meal from ending up too soggy. Quick high school science class lesson: salt sucks water toward it. So if you're preparing eggplant slices for a

eggplant parmesan dish, you'll want to sprinkle on some salt, let the slices sit for 20 minutes, then sap up the excess water with a paper towel.

4th From the Left

Having just finished up a conversation with a total stranger at a local bookstore, Thought I'd share some of the knowledge I've acquired . We were talking food of course, and they were telling me how intimidated they were when reading some of the Magazines and Cookbooks out there. I tried to explain how easy it really is if you keep the simple basics in you head. The simple truth is it is simple math( my brother Rick would get a kick hearing me say that), and feel. What follows is five different concepts, tricks or just plain sense that culinary school has taught me.

Mis en place. For chefs, this means having an organized kitchen . For lay people this means finally doing that major cleaning and overhaul of your kitchen's utensils, spices and food so that you know where everything is. The results are the same. When a culinary emergency arises, last minute guests you're not frantically opening up drawers looking for the one with the oven mitt in it. It's all about making cooking go smoothly.

Number Four:

Ignore meat thermometers. There are better ways to accurately judge the doneness of meat, without resorting to the amateur way of cutting into it or trying to use a thermometer. It's all about the touch and how much give a steak or a chicken has when you touch it. Next time you're grilling, try it -- you'll notice the meat is firm and doesn't have much give when done.

Don't be intimidated by fancy names. Almost everything in cooking has a fancy title. Just because a recipe calls for carrots bâtonnet doesn't mean it takes culinary training to make. All it means is the carrots are cut up into sticks like the ones you used to carry in your school lunches.
Also, don't be impressed with a restaurant just because it has thousands of French terms on the menu. Beurre just means butter, fromage means cheese and if you ever see Saucisse de Francfort on a menu you'll need to run as fast as you can to the Varsity : that's French for a hot dog.

Buy a knife sharpener or a steel and learn how to use it. You can have all the kitchen gadgets in the world but if your knife is dull, cooking is going to be a pain in the ^$. It takes less than a minute for even a beginner to really put a nice edge on a semi-sharp blade . A trained chef can nearly do every single task using only a sharp chef's knife. If you're going to have one knife in the kitchen make it a chef's knife.

Number One:

Ratios. It's worth committing these to memory: one pound pasta for one gallon of water. 2-1 ratio of water to rice or 3-1 ratio for brown rice. 3-1 ratio of olive oil to vinegar to make a classic vinaigrette dressing. 1-1 ratio of flour to butter in a classic roux . Here is a link for Ratio charts I use.

If you're interested in cooking, just do it have fun. the truth is you really do learn from mistakes, and sometimes you end up with a unexpected treat. Hope this helps , and let me know if you have questions so I can write about it in the future cheers

Building Appetizer and Dessert Sales

It’s not uncommon for a person to be able to tell when a stranger, a waiter perhaps, is trying to get them to buy something they don’t want, and to recoil when it happens. The practice of mindless “up selling” is so endemic in much of our industry that it has become a caricature. “Would you like fries with that?” delivered deadpan, with no eye contact or thought in a quick service restaurant is bad enough, but at least there it makes a little sense. If there are only a half dozen items on the menu, there’s not a bad chance that a guest might very well want the most popular side dish to accompany his meal. And what’s the harm in reminding them, just in case they forgot? When the same level of enthusiasm and forethought is applied in other types of restaurants, it probably won’t translate well. We all know that we can count on most diners to order at least one course, whether it is an entrée or an appetizer, as their meal. It’s less of a given that they will augment that selection with a first course or dessert. The May 2012 Issue of Restaurant Start-up & Growth talks about some strategies that could help increase and build appetizer and dessert sales.

One of the most important parts of forming a strategy to increase appetizer and dessert sales is to understand how our customers perceive our waiters. We must train our wait staff to be knowledgeable about the menu, and to come across as engaged, competent professionals who care about each guest’s experience while being served by them. Regular tastings of each menu item for your wait staff, with part of the culinary team included, should be part of your restaurant’s routine. A member of the kitchen staff or a manager should describe the dishes, how they are made and what makes them special. Any ammunition that your chef can offer the waiters that can be used as a sales pitch should be brought up at these meetings. If the beef is hormone free and raised in the adjacent county, if the sauce takes 2 days to make, if the pasta special is just the way his grandmother made it, now is the time to mention it. Common concerns that some customers will have should be addressed at these tastings. If a certain dish has a high fat content, or contains pork, shellfish or peanuts, for example, your waiters should be aware of it. They should also know which menu items would work as good alternatives. If the fried shrimp appetizer is not going to work for a particular guest, maybe the poached salmon will. If it makes sense in your restaurant, this would also be the perfect time to have your beverage manager explain his or her choices, for the perfect wine or beer pairing for some of the dishes. Over the course of several such meetings, both by-the-bottle and by-the-glass selections should be covered as well as specialty drinks.

As easy as it is to get the wait staff enthused about the savory dishes they have to offer their guests, it is usually even easier to get them excited about the desserts, and enthusiasm is really a big part of the game. In addition to your waiters simply tasting each dessert on your menu, it’s even better if whoever makes the desserts can describe part of the process involved to the servers. Whether it’s using a big propane torch on the crème brûlée, making sponge cake from scratch for the tiramisù or making the raspberry sauce from whole, fresh raspberries, these interesting tidbits, and valuable sales tools, shouldn’t be kept secret from the people who can use them more than anyone. Even if the most exciting thing that happens in the kitchen is taking a particular dessert out of a box, if it’s honestly the best example of it the waiter’s ever had, he’ll be able to recommend it with real sincerity. Another reason not to neglect desserts as part of the tasting rotation is that, by the end of a meal, your waiters have built up their maximum rapport and trust with their guests and, hopefully, will have somewhat increased powers of persuasion.

Building a good rapport with their guests is one of the most important things every waiter needs to accomplish to succeed. This applies to and encompasses the waiters’ multiple roles as hosts, technicians and salesmen. Although we are currently concentrating on the last role, they are all interrelated, and, in fact, successful salesmanship is impossible without previously laying the groundwork of the first two. Emphasize to your wait staff the importance of making their guests feel at home, respected and welcome from the moment of their first interaction. This doesn’t mean insisting that each waiter initially approaches his or her tables with a chirpy, “Hi, I’m Biff and I’ll be making sure that you have a FABULOUS dinner tonight!” In fact, a one-size fits all approach will fail more often than it succeeds. Train your waiters to really pay attention to their customers, listen carefully to everything they say, notice how they interact with each other, do their best to figure out what they want from their dining experience and then act accordingly. The only constants should be an overall demeanor of courtesy, attention and being ever mindful of the fact that they are there to serve their guests in whatever way will make them the happiest

Before a waiter can intelligently try to sell a customer a specific appetizer or drink, they need to get a feel for just why that customer came in, and what will satisfy his or her particular needs. With a little experience and a lot of attention, a waiter will be able to notice patterns they’ve seen go by before. Are they picking up on clues that the guests at a particular table are foodies who might be interested in trying a wide sampling of the chef’s offerings? Describing a number of appetizers, which the waiter can enthusiastically recommend from personal experience, and making the suggestion that they can be split or shared family-style would be worth a try in this case. Offering a round of appropriate wines by the glass that would show the food off in its best light might close the deal. On the other hand, making the same pitch to a table that has made it clear that they have only 40 minutes before they have to leave to make it to a show would only make the waiter look like he’s not quite with the program, and probably can’t be trusted with anything else either. If a waiter can actually figure out without being told that a table is a little stressed about their itinerary, and point out that a certain dish will take 30 minutes to make and should be avoided under the circumstances, he’ll look like a hero. It should always be remembered that the best way to insure that each waiter is attentive to the needs of their guests and treats them with all the respect they deserve, is for that same courtesy to be extended to everyone who works at the restaurant, from the steward to the owner, in both directions.

If the first half of increasing revenue through selling more appetizers and desserts is taking the steps to have an enthusiastic, well-trained and well-informed sales force in place, the second half is making sure you are giving that sales force something attractive and desirable to sell. Besides the obvious reasons for making sure that your appetizers and desserts are something special, there’s another factor at play. The primacy effect and recency effect are two terms that psychologists use to describe the phenomenon that, in essence, an individual is most likely to have the clearest memory of the first and last things they experience during a particular event. This means that a typical guest will probably remember the appetizer and dessert they had in your restaurant more than they will the entrée. If you want your guests to leave your restaurant with great memories of the experience, your appetizers and desserts are the place to make your mark.

The first step in writing the appetizer and dessert portions of your menu is to offer a wide enough variety of items so that everyone will be able to find something that tickles their fancy. As much as possible, working within the framework of your concept, appetizers should include selections containing shellfish, fish, poultry, red meat and a vegetarian option. Plated appetizers, soups and salads should all make an appearance. As should a variety of cooking styles: poached items, fried foods, sautéed foods, etc. might all have a place on your menu. Mix it up, with some items hot and some chilled. Also be open to including at least some appetizers that are easy to share among everyone at a table. One of the best ways to make sure that your appetizers hit the right chord with your guests is to change them with the seasons. Conversely, not making seasonal adjustments might explain why they just aren’t selling. The beef-barley soup that you can’t make enough of in February probably won’t be as popular in August. Your chilled cantaloupe-mint soup has its season, too. While some of the above suggestions may not make sense on your menu, the basic concepts and ideas behind them can be used as groundwork for your restaurant.

One factor that applies to appetizers in just about any setting is that they should look at least as good, if not better, than anything else you serve. It’s the first thing guests see and, as the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. If you have cooks who’s knife skills will allow them to delicately fan an avocado on a plate, brunoise a red bell pepper, or very thinly slice a duck breast, this might be the place to let them shine. Colorful sauces such as a red pepper coulis made out of the scraps from the production of the brunoise pepper might be a welcome addition to the right first course plate. In general, any extra attention paid to presentation on your appetizer plates is probably not a wasted effort. Of course, no matter how good an appetizer plate looks, if it is not well seasoned, served at the wrong temperature, or not cooked properly, the fashion points you gain in presentation won’t save the day.

Many of the suggestions made about appetizers also apply to desserts. A wide variety will help your guests always find what they are in the mood for. Depending on your concept, options should include chocolate, fruits, custard, baked items, warm items, cold items, etc. Guests love “home-made” desserts if for no other reason, ironically, than they can’t get them at home. Even if you don’t have a dedicated pastry chef, there are plenty of desserts that can be done in-house by most cooks, with a good recipe and a little direction. “Chef Desserts” rely less on the specialized techniques and experience of pastry chefs and more on skills already mastered by many cooks. If your kitchen can produce a good Béarnaise sauce, then they can make many popular custard-based desserts like bread puddings, Crème Brûlée or the world’s best chocolate pudding. If you offer Chardonnay-poached salmon, then you can offer poached pears. Dessert sauces such as various fruit coulis can be very easy to prepare, and are less expensive and taste better than many you can buy. They are also a good way to use fruit that may not be fresh enough to serve whole. Even adding just one or two desserts made in-house will give your dessert menu more credibility than it would otherwise have. If your kitchen is already maxed out and adding even one more thing would do more harm than good, just make sure that you choose wisely from the many excellent products available to purchase, ready-to-serve. Also don’t forget, dessert is the last thing your guests will see, so make it pretty. A sprig of mint, three raspberries, a spoon of whipped-cream or a streak of sauce from a squeeze bottle can work wonders.

In many situations, a separate dessert menu can be an effective sales tool for your waiters. If you are going to go through the trouble and expense of producing one, be sure that it is attractive, fits the style of your restaurant and feels good to the touch. If it makes sense in your restaurant, include your most popular after dinner drinks on the dessert menu. If your desserts are big enough to split, and your waiters point this out, you’ll probably make more money selling more desserts than it cost you to increase the portion size. A heartfelt recommendation from a waiter to end their meal on a high note, especially with a sample dessert tray in tow, might be all that is needed to encourage a guest to add one more course to their meal. Remember that it is all about our first and last impression, and if you can get your waiters to pay attention to what your guest really want and leverage this to make the right recommendations then you could see an increase in your sales.

**** Afternoon Tea Sweet Treats ****

The best part of any party are the sweet goodies the come at the conclusion of the event. Pastries can be as simple as mini-cupcakes to elaborate productions such as Napoleons or White Chocolate Mousse piped into puff-pastry cups. Candies can be as simple as English Kisses or as stunning as Dark Chocolate Truffles. You could always cheat a little and visit your favorite bakery to pick up an assortment of petite desserts. (Remember, everything is small, bite size morsels of wonderful goodness). Or you could make a few of your own, to show off your talents, tastes and style. You don’t need to make more than 3 or 4 selections, at lease one or two per person.

Afternoon Tea Cakes
Almost Homemade Petit Four Cakes
Boston Cream Pie Mini Cupcakes

Afternoon Tea Cheesecakes
Brûléed Mini Cheesecake Bites
Strawberry Topped Cheesecake Bites

Afternoon Tea Cookies
French Almond Macaroons with Swiss Meringue Butter Cream Filling
Lemon Macaroons with Lemon Curd

Afternoon Tea Pastries
Napoleon Pastry
White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Garnish Pastries

******** Cakes ********

Almost Homemade Petit Fours
Petit Four Cakes:
1 store-bought Pound Cake or Sponge Cake
Filling of Your Choice (Such as Nutella, fruit preserves, lemon curd)

Either refrigerate or freeze the cake (once chilled or frozen, the cake can be easily cut into different shapes).

Prepare Buttercream Icing (see below) set aside.

Use a long serrated knife, slice the cold cake in half or layers (depending on the size of your cake).

You can measure the sides and mark them with toothpicks to help guide the knife gently saw your way through. Cover cake layers with plastic wrap until you’re ready to assemble them. Spread the filling (of your choice) between the layers. Place the top layer over the top of the filling.

Remove any crumbs from your work area. Position the petit fours 2 inches apart on a thin mesh wire cake rack suspended over a baking pan (to catch drips).

Decorate the top of the petit fours with sprinkles, candies pearls, Edible Flowers, (can be Crystallized/Candied Edible Flowers) or a design of whimsy.

Allow frosted cakes to sit until they are dry, then remove the cakes from the rack, trimming any excess frosting away from the bottoms with a sharp knife.

Pure White Buttercream Icing
1/2 cup Vegetable Shortening
1/4 cup milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of rose-water or rose extract
1 pound box powdered (confectioners’) sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, milk, vanilla extract, rose-water or rose extract, and powdered sugar and mix at a low-speed until smooth. If stiffer icing is needed or the weather is very warm, add a little extra sugar.

To create pastel colors, divide icing into a separate bowls for each desired color. Using a toothpick, add one drop of color at a time and mix until desired color is reached.

Chocolate Buttercream Icing: To create a chocolate icing, add 2 tablespoons of dark cocoa to the above recipe.

Boston Cream Mini-Cupcakes
Mini Cupcakes
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (or favorite yellow cake recipe)
4 Eggs
1 Stick of Butter, melted

Cream Filling
1 (4 serving size) package instant French vanilla pudding & pie filling mix
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon water

Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

HEAT oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper baking cups.

MINI CUPCAKES: – Melt butter in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave. Let butter cool to room temperature without solidifying. Empty box mix into the bowl of a stand-up mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until just blended. Add butter, mix for 2 minutes. Spoon batter into muffin cups.
BAKE 15 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

CREAM FILLING: Combine pudding mix, cream and water in medium bowl. Whisk 2 minutes.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE: Heat cream in small saucepan on low heat until hot, but not boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until melted. Let stand 5 minutes.

TO ASSEMBLE: Remove cupcakes from paper baking cups. Cut cupcakes in half crosswise using a serrated knife. Spread 1 rounded tablespoon filling on bottom halves. Place tops back on filling. Spread 2 teaspoons ganache over tops. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

******** Cheesecakes ********

Brûléed Mini Cheesecakes
1⁄2 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons plus 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 eggs
1⁄4 cup heavy cream
6 tsp. crème brûlée sugar or superfine sugar

Preheat an oven to 325°F. Lightly butter the wells of a mini cheesecake pan.

In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and stir until blended. Divide the mixture among the prepared wells. Using the bottom of a shot glass or other small glass, press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the wells. Bake the crusts for 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the cream cheese and the 1/3 cup granulated sugar and beat on low-speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the cream and beat until blended. Pour the filling into the crusts, dividing it evenly among the wells.

Bake until the filling is set, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to the wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days before serving.

Just before serving, sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of the crème brûlée sugar evenly over each cheesecake. Using a culinary torch, melt the sugar according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the cheesecakes from the pan and serve immediately.

Strawberry Topped Cheesecake Bites
18 Oreos finely crushed to about 1 3/4 cups*
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups white chocolate chips
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup heavy cream, divided
25 fairly small, fresh strawberries (or more if cutting more squares)
2 Tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with two large sheets of tinfoil (one going horizontally and one over the top of the other vertically. Make sure your sheets are long enough that you’ll have an overhang of foil over the edges of the pan. Also, be sure to mold it well to the pan).

Brush foil with 1/2 tbsp melted butter. In a mixing bowl, using a fork blend together crushed Oreos and 2 Tbsp melted butter until mixture is well combined and evenly moistened. Press mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish (the bottom of a flat measuring cup or glass works well for pressing crust), set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on medium-low speed, blend together cream cheese and granulated sugar until mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Add in eggs and vanilla extract and mix until well blended.

In a separate microwave safe bowl, heat white chocolate chips with 1/3 cup heavy cream on 50% power in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Pour melted white chocolate mixture into cream cheese mixture and blend on low-speed until combined. Tap bowl against counter top about 30 times to release some of the air bubbles then pour mixture over prepared crust in baking dish.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes then turn oven off and without opening oven door allow cheesecake to rest in warm oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 3 hours or refrigerate for 6 hours.

Once cheesecake is fully chilled and set, remove from freezer or refrigerator and lift cheesecake out of pan using the foil overhang. Cut cheesecake into squares (I’d recommend you keep some clean paper towels close by to clean your knife while cutting squares).

In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on high-speed, whip remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form, then add powdered sugar and mix until stiff peaks form.

To assemble: Cut tops from strawberries. Thinly slice berries to create a fan, leaving 1/4 of top still attached. Fan out berries.

Fill a pastry bag with sweetened whipped cream and pipe over top of each cheesecake square. Gently place fanned berry over whipped cream. Serve immediately (for do ahead you can make cheesecake the day before then assemble within an hour of serving the following day). Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

******** Macaroons ********

French Almond Macaroons with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Filling
French Almond Macaroons
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups (4 ounces) sliced almonds, finely ground, or almond flour
All-purpose flour, for dipping
3 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Sift confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Whisk in almonds set aside.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats, and mark circles using a 1 1/2-inch cutter dipped in flour.

Put egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until foamy, then beat in salt. Beat in granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon at a time, until medium-soft peaks form. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

Using a rubber spatula, fold half the almond mixture into the egg white mixture until just incorporated. Fold in vanilla and remaining almond mixture until just incorporated. Firmly tap bottom of bowl on counter to eliminate air pockets.

Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe mixture into marked circles on prepared baking sheets.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until macaroons are slightly firm and can be gently lifted off parchment (bottoms will be dry), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer macaroons on parchment to a wire rack let cool completely.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Filling
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, (3 sticks), softened, cut into tablespoons
2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Put egg whites and sugar in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees).

Attach bowl to a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high-speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla.

Reduce speed to low beat 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.

To Assemble: Spread 2 teaspoons buttercream on flat sides of half the macaroons, then sandwich with remaining halves, keeping flat sides together. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes, before serving.

Lemon Meringue Macaroons with Lemon Curd
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure cane sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 jar (about 10.5 oz) prepared good lemon curd

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixer bowl, combine the egg whites and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Whip with an electric mixer (hand-held or stand) until frothy. Continue whipping and adding the remaining sugar gradually until the egg whites have reached soft peaks and all the sugar is incorporated.

Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and cream of tartar to the egg whites and continue whipping at high-speed until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. Using two spoons, scoop the meringue out into small mounds on the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart from each other (you’ll get between 24 and 36 meringues).

Use the handle of a small spoon to form a well in the center of each meringue, as if you’re making them into nests. The indentations will hold the lemon curd after the meringues are baked. Turn off the oven and put the meringues in to bake. Set a timer for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, check the meringues and, if they’re not dry and crisp all over, switch the positions of the baking sheets in the oven. Continue allowing the meringues to sit in the warm oven for another 30-60 minutes, until they are perfectly crisp and dry (make sure to check the bottoms of the indentations, which are often the last part to become fully dry).

Remove the meringues from the oven and gently pull them off of the parchment paper. Allow them to cool for a few minutes, then fill the indentations with lemon curd — about 1/2 tsp. per cookie should suffice. Let them cool completely before serving.

******** Pastries ********

Napoleon Pastries
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
5 egg yolks
12 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch, sifted
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 8″ x 18″ sheets puff pastry
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

To make the pastry cream, put milk into a medium saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean, add seeds and pod to milk, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and set aside to steep for 1 hour. Strain milk into a bowl, discarding pod. Return milk to saucepan and bring to a simmer again over medium heat.

Meanwhile, beat egg yolks, 10 tbsp. of the granulated sugar, and cornstarch together in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale yellow and mixture falls from beaters in thick ribbons, 3-5 minutes. Gradually add 1 cup of the hot milk to egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly then gradually add egg yolk-milk mixture back into hot milk in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir constantly until custard is very warm (about 125° on an instant-read thermometer), 5-10 minutes. Add butter, 1 tbsp. at a time, whisking well after each addition. Cover surface of pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 375°. Put 1 sheet of puff pastry on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with another sheet of parchment, and refrigerate until chilled, 20-30 minutes. Put another baking sheet directly on top of parchment-covered pastry to weight it, then bake until pastry begins to turn brown, 10-15 minutes. Remove baking sheet and parchment from top of pastry. Sprinkle pastry with 1 tbsp. granulated sugar, then bake, uncovered, until pastry is golden brown, 6-8 minutes more. Transfer pastry to a clean surface and remove parchment from bottom. Set aside to cool. Repeat process with remaining 1 sheet puff pastry and 1 tablespoon sugar. Using a serrated knife, cut each pastry into twelve 4″ x 2″ rectangles, making 24 rectangles in all.

To assemble the Napoleons, spoon 2 tbsp. of the pastry cream down center of each sugared side of 8 pastry rectangles and stack another pastry rectangle on top. Repeat process with remaining pastry cream and pastry rectangles. Sift confectioners’ sugar over Napoleons.

When I’ve done teas for my family, this is Dad’s favorite pastry dessert. I think he could skip the rest of the tea, and have nothing but these instead.

White Chocolate Mousse With Raspberry Garnish Pastries
1 Package (10 oz) Frozen Puff Pastry Shells
6 Squares (1 oz each) White Chocolate
1 ½ Cups Heavy Cream
1 Square (1 oz) Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
Raspberries for garnish, if desired

Bake and cool pastry shells according to package directions.

In a microwaveable bowl, heat white chocolate and ¼ cup heavy cream on high for 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring halfway through heating process. Stir until white chocolate is completely melted. Cool to room temperature, approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, chill a bowl to beat remaining cream. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. DO NOT OVER BEAT. Fold half the whipped cream into white chocolate mixture.

Fold in remaining whipped cream just until blended. Spoon or pipe filling into pastry shells. Drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate. Top each with a raspberry. Refrigerate 1 hour.


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