Tag Archives: rum

Tiramasu Parfaits

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished photoWhile Tiramasu was all the rage a few years ago, it has since been relegated to the “not hot” list of desserts for many restaurants and you don’t see it on menus as much.

However, Tiramasu is a classic Italian dessert and one that is really easily executed once you have made the sponge – which can be done a month ahead if desired and stored in the freezer well wrapped.  Simply thaw it for use.  This amount of sponge is more than you will need  but it can’t be cut down any further and have a quality product.

While  many recipes for Tiramasu use the premade Italian ladyfinger sponge cookies, Savoiardi, we made our own sponge and it worked perfectly for us.  This was a version I made for Tony’s, the restaurant at which I preform my pastry chef duties.  I made it in wine glasses for a beautiful presentation. Continue reading

Phyllo at its Finest – Baklava

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

BaklavaMy mother was a fantastic baker and cook.  She could take nothing and make something wonderful from it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t appreciate it when I was growing up.  They practically had to force feed me like those poor geese for foie gras.  But what I did love, was anything my mother baked and is why, in hindsight, I went into the baking business.

My mother and grandparents were immigrants from what was then, Yugoslavia.  Just as in this country, different parts of the country had different assets.  Mother lived in an area rich in dairy with butter, eggs and cream at their disposal.  I would watch my mother and grandmother on Sunday’s, spread a clean, white tablecloth over a large, round table over which freshly made phyllo would be stretched.  I could scarcely understand a word as they chatted away in Serbian.

My job was to sweep up the scraps after the thick edges were removed and some of the paper thin dough fell to the floor.  While most people can’t imagine a dough being stretched so thinly a newspaper could be read through it, I thought everybody made it.  After it had been stretched to transparency, a spoon would be dipped into melted butter and I can still see my mother and grandmother  holding it  high and waving it over and over  the transparent dough as the golden drops of liquid fell from the spoon dotting the surface.  It would then be folded upon itself and more butter would be drizzled. Continue reading