Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Mexican-Inspired" Desserts

The Auction dinner was a success. I wish I had taken pictures. The creme brulee did not set like I wanted. But supposedly there is an enzyme in passion fruit that prevents it from completely setting. So, it had a more creamy texture vs gelatinous consistency. I would still make it again without a doubt! Whole Foods actually carried the passion fruits. Anyway, this ended up being my dessert menu:
Watermelon Lime Gazpacho with mangoes, kiwi, and mint
Key Lime Cheesecakes
Dulce de Leche Sandwich Cookies
Warm Chocolate Chipotle Cakes with a sweet tomatillo sauce
Passionfruit and Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

Here were the recipes if you want to try one in the future:
Watermelon Lime Gazpacho
8 c seedless watermelon
Leaves from a few sprigs of mint
2 large limes, juice and zest
1/2 cup sugar
Pureed all in blender. Put in pyrex and mixed every 45 min for a couple hrs to create slushy consistency.
3 mangoes, diced
6 kiwis, diced
Scooped into little clear plastic rectangular shooters that you can pick up at the party store.

Key Lime cheesecake
For filling
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup fresh key lime juice (strained from about 1 1/2 lb Key limes) or bottled (
Nellie and Joe’s is wonderful, as is Manhattan brand, if you can find it)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
Baked a gingersnap crust with this. Froze and sliced very thin rectangular bars to make bite size by dipping knife into hot water with every slice. Sprinkled lime zest after plated.

Dulce de leche cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
  • Rolled out between 2 silpats and froze dough. Cut with small biscuit cutter. Once cooled I stored them in an airtight container. The day of the party, I piped dulce de leche on cookies to ensure a crispy sandy texture. Dusted cookies with powdered sugar before serving. Next time, I'd like to try and rop the sides in toasted coconut. Or dip half of cookie in chocolate.
Passion Fruit Creme Brulee
6 passion fruits (about 9 fl oz/250 ml pulp)
7 large egg yolks
3 oz superfine sugar
16 oz heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean

    Begin by cutting the passion fruit in half and, using a teaspoon, scoop the fruit and seeds out into a large, deep mixing bowl. Then add the egg yolks and 3 oz (75 g) of the sugar to the bowl and, using an electric hand whisk on a high speed, whiz all the ingredients together for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is frothy and pale in colour. Meanwhile, heat the cream and milk in a saucepan over a medium heat, whisking now and then, until hot but do not boil. Now, with the whisk on a slow speed, add the hot cream into the mixture, keeping the whisk running as you do so. Then strain the custard through a sieve into a large jug, discarding the passion fruit seeds. Next, you need to put the ramekins into the roasting tin and fill them with the mixture. Now fill the tin with boiling water from the kettle to about halfway up the sides of the ramekins and place it on the centre shelf of the oven. Let the puddings cookgently for 40 minutes. They are ready when the custard is set but still wobbles when you move them gently. At this point, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool, then cover them with clingfilm and chill them in the fridge for about 2 hours or, preferably, overnight. After that, sprinkle each ramekin evenly with some of the remaining 2 oz (50 g) of sugar, dividing it equally. Then very lightly spray the surface with water, using the spray bottle. (This helps melt the sugar, speeding up the caramelising process.) Now use the blowtorch to melt and caramelise the sugar. To do this, hold it over each ramekin, aiming the tip of the flame at the sugar – it will immediately begin to bubble and melt, and soon turn to a golden caramel. As soon as the sugar has reached a dark brown colour, move on to the next one and continue until they’ve all got a lovely glazed brown surface. It will take about 40 minutes in all. After that, allow to cool before serving. - from delia smith's website

    Warm Chocolate Chipotle Cakes with Sweet Tomatillo Sauce

    1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus additional for greasing ramekins
    1 cup sugar plus additional for dusting
    6 medium dried chipotle chiles* (1 ounce)
    6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
    10 oz Valrhona semisweet chocolate (56%) or fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    4 large eggs
    4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
    1/8 teaspoon salt

    Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter ramekins and dust with sugar, knocking out excess.

    Toast chiles in a dry heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Discard stems, seeds, and ribs, then soak chiles in hot water to cover until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving soaking liquid. Purée chiles in a mini food processor or a blender, adding 2 to 3 tablespoons soaking liquid as needed to form a paste. Force paste through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard solids. Set aside 1 1/2 tablespoons chile paste and freeze remainder for another use.

    Bring juice and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour hot syrup over chocolate in a large bowl, stirring until chocolate is melted. Add butter and stir until melted.

    Add eggs 1 at a time, whisking after each addition, then stir in chile paste, flour, and salt.Scoop into mini silicone cupcake liners. Freeze. Bake for about 20 min. Cool 2 min. Flip cakes out of silicone liners and serve warm. Perfect bite size cakes. Served the tomatillo sauce on side.

    Sweet Tomatillo Sauce

    1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
    1/2 pound small fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
    1/4 pound piloncillo* (unrefined brown sugar; sometimes called panela*), coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
    1/4 cup water
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 (1-inch) piece cinnamon stick

    Makes about 1 cup. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan with tip of a paring knife, then add pod and remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tomatillos are very tender, about 15 minutes.

    Discard cinnamon stick and vanilla pod, then purée tomatillo mixture in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Cool completely, then chill, covered, until cold. - From epicurious. The sauce was not my cup of tea but people really liked it.