Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Modified Classic Tiramisu Recipe

Tiramisu (pronounced "tih-ruh-mee-SOO") is an Italian dessert invented in the 1960's at the El Touga restaurant in Treviso, Italy.

Tiramisu literally means "pick me up" or "carry me up" because of the jolt feeling you get after eating the espresso mixed with alcohol lined with ladyfingers. The ladyfingers are dipped in the mixture of espresso and rum or Marsala and then layered with a custard or chocolate cake base that has been mixed with mascarpone cheese.

Makes 8 - 10 servings.


Cream Filling:

  • 2 cups (480 ml) milk, divided
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) all purpose flour
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Marsala or dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) (227 grams) mascarpone cheese
  • 32 crisp ladyfingers (Savoiardi)
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) very strong brewed coffee or espresso
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) dark rum or Marsala


  • Cocoa Powder for Garnishing
  • 1 ounce (30 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, grated or chopped
  1. In a medium sized saucepan heat 1 3/4 cups milk and 1/2 cup sugar just until boiling.
  2. In a separate heatproof bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar, flour, and egg yolks. (Egg yolk mixture)
  3. When the milk comes to a boil (from step 1), gradually whisk it into the egg yolk mixture. Transfer this mixture into another clean large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil.
  4. Continue to whisk the mixture constantly for another minute or so or until it thickens.
  5. Remove from heat and strain into a large bowl to remove any lumps that may have formed.
  6. Whisk in the Marsala (or rum), vanilla extract, and butter. Immediately cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Refrigerate until cold, approximately two hours.
  7. Remove the cooled custard mixture from the refrigerator.
  8. In a separate bowl, with a wooden spoon, beat the mascarpone cheese until it is soft and smooth.
  9. Gently fold, or whisk, the mascarpone into the cold custard until smooth.

Coffee Soaking Syrup: In a large shallow bowl combine the coffee (espresso), sugar, and Marsala (rum). Taste and add more sugar to taste.

To Assemble:
  1. Line a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap extends over the sides of the loaf pan.
  2. Working with one ladyfinger at a time, dip 8 ladyfingers in the coffee mixture and place them side by side in a single layer over the bottom of the loaf pan.
  3. Spoon 1/3 of the cream filling over the ladyfingers, making sure they are completely covered.
  4. Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers by dipping them (8) ladyfingers in the coffee mixture and placing them on top of the cream. A
  5. Cover the ladyfingers with cream and repeat with another layer of ladyfingers, cream, and ladyfingers.
  6. Cover the Tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
To Serve:
  1. Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the tiramisu.
  2. Gently invert the Tiramisu from the loaf pan onto your serving plate and remove the plastic wrap.
  3. Sift cocoa powder over the top of the Tiramisu and decorate with grated or chopped semisweet chocolate.
de Laurentis, Giada. 'Everyday Italian'. Clarkson Potter/Publishers. New York: 2005.
Sax, Richard. 'Classic Home Desserts'. Houghton Mifflin Company. New York: 1994.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

What is Grand Marnier?

Grand Marnier
is a liqueur made from the dried peels of Curaçao oranges. It was invented by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle in 1880 and is still produced by the same family in France. The company that produces Grand Marnier boasts that it is the most exported liqueur from France and is sold in over 150 countries to be used in a wide range of drinks and desserts.

Varieties of Grand Marnier

Types of Grand Marnier primarily depends on the type of Cognac used ranging from Lower-end Cognac to 50-year old Cognac.

  • Yellow Label or Cordon Jaune (not available in the U.S.) is the lowest grade Grand Marnier, which is not made from Cognac, instead made from common grain alcohol. It is rarely used as drinking alcohol, but commonly used in cooking, such as in making Crepes.
  • Red Label or Cordon Rouge, the most common Grand Marnier is made from Cognac, using essentially the same technique as the original Grand Marnier in 1880. Cordon Rouge is often used in cooking, but may also be enjoyed in various mixed drinks or by itself.
  • Centennial Edition, or Cuvé du Centenaire is made using the same technique as the Red Label, but substituting 25-year-old Cognac for the normal Cognac used. This costs nearly $200 per bottle.
  • Grand Marnier 150 is a blend of the highest-quality 50-year-old Cognac costing more than $200 per bottle. It is often difficult to find hence, its advertising tagline..... "Hard to find, impossible to pronounce, and prohibitively expensive."

Brendan 2010

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

How to make your own clarified butter?

This video demonstrates the proper procedure of making your own clarified butter

Clarified butter is the best fat for use in Mother sauces for a richer less greasy product instead of olive oil. Clarified butter also has a very high smoke point, making it great for use in stir fry. Thousand of occasional recipes call for clarified butter. However, if you do not have clarified butter on hand, you will need to clarify your own unsalted butter which is a very easy step. Here's how.

You need a good quality unsalted butter. Melt whole unsalted butter in a large stockpot over low heat to prevent the burning of milk solids. Turn off the heat when the butter is fully melted. Move the stockpot to the refrigerator and let sit overnight. The water will sink to the bottom, the butter will solidify on top of that, and the milk solids will be on top of the butter after cooling. Remove stockpot from the refrigerator and scrape off the milk solids off from the top. Lift your block of cooled clarified butter off the top of the water. Cut into pieces and store.


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Friday, June 11, 2010

Chantilly Crèpes Recipe

Chantilly crèpes (pronunciation: crep as in yep, not crayp) are the lighttest, laciest, most tender crèpes imaginable. Cornstarch is used in this recipe instead of the usual flour . To make more tender, delicate as handkerchief crepes, cook the crèpes immediately after mixing the batter. If flour is used, wait for an hour after mixing the batter.

  • 3 pieces large eggs (room temp)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 43 grams unsalted butter (approximately 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch*
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 grams clarified butter**

* you can use up to 1 cup cornstarch if you prefer thicker crèpe with more bite
** If clarified butter is NOT available you can prepare your own Clarified Butter. Click here to see how.

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed for 10 secondes
  2. Heat the crèpe pan on medium-high heat until hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.
  3. Brush lightly with clarified butter and pour a scant 2 tablespoons batter into the center.
  4. Immediately tilt the pan to the left and then down and around to the right so that the batter moves in a counterclockwise direction, covering the entire pan.
  5. Cook until the top starts to dull and the edgest begin to brown (aprrox. 15 sec)
  6. Using a metal spatula, lift the upper edge and check to see if the crèpe is golden brown.
  7. Flip the crèpe over and cook for another 10 seconds or until just lightly brown.
  8. Release the crèpe by inverting the pan over the countertop.
If crèpes are served on the same day, it is fine to place 1 crèpe on top of the other. But if you will keep the crèpe in the refrigerator separate each crèpe with pieces of wax paper so that it will not stick to each other.

Yield: 24
Storage: 2 days refrigerated; 3 months frozen

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Banana Bread Recipe: Everybody's favorite

Banana Bread has been tested through time. My mother used to baked banana bread daily and sell it to coffee shops and school canteens in our locality since I was in Grade 1 til I reached college. She has fully mastered her craft in baking banana bread that she can do it with her eyes closed.

Banana bread is her favorite recipe not only because it is quick and easy to prepare but also it does not require very expensive ingredients.

It is quick to make that is why it is everybody's favorite and many calls it Quick Banana Bread. The dry ingredients are mixed well in a bowl. The wet ingredients are mixed together in a separate bowl. Then the two components are combined and you are done.... you will be delighted by the banana bread's wonderful moist texture and vanilla sweet flavor.

Banana Bread Recipe
Yield : 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (230 g)
  • 3/4 cup refined sugar (150g)
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (115 grams)
  • 1 1/3 cups mashed bananas (|454 grams) (bululan variety)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts or cashew nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)(115 grams)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C and place oven rack to middle position. Line with parchment paper or grease and flour the sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine together all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl combine the wet ingredients: mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
  4. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky.
  5. Do not overmix the batter as it will yield a tough rubbery bread. It is alright if the batteris not smooth. Chunky and thick batter is better.
  6. Pour the batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for about 60 min or until bread is golden brown and when toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan.
Banana bread is best served at room temperature or after it has been kept in the refrigerator overnight. The crispy golden brown crust will turn soft when the bread is covered and store but the sweet flavor and moist texture remains intact.

This bread can be frozen.

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