This Mincemeat is meatless and easily made. Coming from England, it essentially consists of cutting up a lot of fruit and letting it age with citrus, spices, rum and brandy. As the years have gone by, the meat has been removed and almost anything goes as far as what fruits to include. This is my version but by far not the only one. You can tell it comes from long ago when spices and alcohol were used as preservatives. Continue reading
Caramel Apple Tart is everything you would want in an apple dessert. Full of apples, spices, brown sugar and brandy, it’s covered with walnut streusel and caramel.
So you ask, what is the difference between a pie and a tart? The answer is essentially nothing significant. A pie is quite often covered with a pie crust. Tarts never are and are generally baked in fluted tart pans with removable bottoms – think quiche pan only deeper.
That’s where the streusel comes in. Something has to go on top of the Caramel Apple Tart to keep the filling juicy. The caramel that tops this particular tart gilds the lilly even more. This was a favorite with my wholesale clientele. So much so that we would have two 24 quart containers of caramel going at once to satisfy the demand. Continue reading
Garmisch is another wonderful yeasted coffeecake as only the Germans can make them. Superb bakers, their products not only look beautiful but are luxurious tasting.
This yeast dough is really easy to put together and even if you have been slow to come to yeasted doughs this is a great place to start. It is a firmer dough that handles easily. It can be made ahead and refrigerated for several days before shaping and after baking, it freezes to be eaten another day – maybe as a special treat on New Years Day morning.
This Garmisch dough comes from a recipe that is so old I can’t remember where I got it. The dough itself is not sweet. The sweetness of the Garmisch comes from the filling. The original filling was walnuts and while delicious, the chocolate cherry almond filling adds a note of excitement. Dried bing cherries are soaked in brandy. Almond paste, a European favorite combines exquisitely with the cherries and brandy. The processor makes quick work of combining the ingredients into a filling with the egg white used to bind the filling. Continue reading
Triple Chocolate Heart Tarts – gorgeous, sophisticated, stunningly flavorful and easy – what more could you want in a Valentines dessert? When I had my bakery, we made so many of these both for Valentines day in these adorable tart shells and during the year when we made them in 12” European tarts it was amazing. What’s “so many” you ask. What about 1500 pieces which amounted to 125 tarts for banquet desserts usually with only a few days notice? If you can’t find 4 1/4” heart shaped tart pans, use 4 1/4” round ones – the dessert will be just as gorgeous, sophisticated, stunningly flavorful and easy!
Because these tarts are very short, there is only a small amount of “crust” on the bottom to anchor the filling. The majority of the filling is poured over the bottoms and allowed to set up in the cooler. The remainder is heated just to loosen it and combined with whipped cream for a third layer of chocolate. The finish I have used here is the one we used at the shop. The rosette is piped on with a bit of buttercream which we always had around. I have included a chocolate ganache if buttercream is not to be had. Continue reading
This Espresso Fudge Cake consists of four layers of moist chocolate cake filled with a coffee buttercream highlighted with brandy. I am not one to drink coffee and when I do it has lots of cream and sweetener. But I could easily eat this buttercream all day long – so if you hesitate because of the coffee, I encourage you to try this anyway, The combination of a chocolate fudge cake and a coffee buttercream makes this Espresso Fudge Cake a stand out.
Both the cake and the buttercream are very easy to make. This cake uses an American Buttercream which essentially is a matter of adding all the ingredients to a mixer bowl and beating until light and fluffy. Continue reading