Tag Archives: Baking and Confections

Bumbleberry Fool Parfaits

Understandably, you’re probably quite confused by the name of this treat? Yes, it’s called a Bumbleberry Fool Parfait. Any guesses as to what it is? Honestly, I would love to hear (and I promise I won’t make fun of you!). Want a hint? Here ya go:

Mmmm…looks good, huh?! Well, a Bumbleberry Fool is just a fancy way to say what this is….essentially, it’s a berry infused whipped cream, mixed fresh berries, and berry puree layered as a parfait (“fool,” I’m told, is an English term in this context). And guess what that means? For those who are Jewish, this is Passover friendly! And for those of you who aren’t Jewish, this is an equally spring season worthy dessert to make!

Not too sweet, this was a great dessert on its own. After a seder though, the berry infused whipped cream itself was a lovely accompaniment to a slice of flourless chocolate cake….really, this was quite a nice pairing (if you want, try this flourless chocolate cake from this recipe!). Another serving idea would be to top off the parfaits with some shaved chocolate. Yum!

And wanna know the other great feature of this dessert? It’s super simple. But don’t let that deceive you….it’s also pretty darn impressive looking too. Yay…a win-win situation!

Bumbleberry Fool Parfaits

from Anne Thornton’s TV show Dessert First

2 cups mixed berries, plus more for serving

¾ cups sugar (you may add more or less, depending on how sweet you want it; with this amount, it’s not too, too sweet at all)

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place berries, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender, blending until smooth. Run through a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl to get rid of the seeds. You’ll probably need a spoon to help push the thick mixture through (not the seeds though!). Set aside about ½ cup of the puree in a small bowl.

Whip the cream and vanilla together in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Then, gently fold the berry puree into the whipped cream (not the reserved ½ cup though!). Fill a pastry bag – or, as I did – a large plastic bag with an approximately 1 ¼ in hole cut on an angle with the whipped cream. To easily do this, put the bag in a large pitcher/bowl, folding the tops of the bag over the edge. Then, you have both hands free to use a large spatula to fill the bag!

Squeeze a layer of whipped cream out of the pastry bag and into each parfait glass. Top with assorted fresh fruit, and spoon on some of the reserved berry puree. Squeeze another layer of whipped cream on, then put the fresh fruit, and finish with a spoonful of reserved berry puree (you may choose to do more layers if you wish). Enjoy!

Note: While originally this recipe, when doubled what it is now, claimed to serve six, I found that this more than served three! You should safely get at least four healthy (I mean in size, not nutritional value!) servings out of the recipe as is.

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Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares

Cheesecake? Yes, please! Dulce de leche? Um, YA! When I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen a few months back, I was smitten (aren’t I funny?!)! And I finally got around to making this recipe!

The bonus about these bars? They look gorgeous too!

Notes:

These aren’t too hard to make, but it’s by no means the easiest recipe I’ve featured either. Don’t let that scare you though!

While I definitely enjoyed these, I’m not sure they quite lived up to my expectations. I love cheesecake, and I love the dulce de leche flavor, so this seemed like a match made in heaven. However, the dulce de leche flavor was definitely not as pronounced as I would have liked, and the cheesecake factor didn’t make up for it (it was by no means the best cheesecake flavor I’ve had). If I had gone into making these bars with the knowledge they would be like so, I probably would have enjoyed them more. Nonetheless, they were still absolutely delicious! Madison really liked them, and I’m sure many people will. Why not give them a shot?!

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares
from Smitten Kitchen
3 1/2 oz graham crackers, crumbled (1cup)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope, will be just about half an envelope)
1/4 cup whole milk
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup dulce de leche (one 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk; follow directions in recipe)
3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Make dulce de leche: Pour one can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk into top of double-boiler pan; cover. Place over boiling water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until thick and light caramel-colored. Make sure you watch it carefully! Remove from heat. Whisk until smooth.

Make bars: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with 2 sheets of foil (crisscrossed), leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

Finely grind crackers with sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor. With motor running, add butter, blending until combined. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of baking pan. Bake 10 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.

Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand 2 minutes to soften. Beat together cream cheese, eggs, salt, and gelatin mixture in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes, then stir in dulce de leche gently but thoroughly. Pour filling over crust, smoothing top, then bake in a hot water bath (using a 9×13-inch baking pan works well) in oven until center is just set, about 45 minutes. Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours. Chill, covered, at least 6 hours (I cheated here…I only did about 3 hours!).

Once chilled, heat all glaze ingredients in a double boiler or a small metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth, then pour over cheesecake, tilting baking pan to coat top evenly. Chill, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until set.

Lift cheesecake from pan using foil overhang and cut into squares with a thin knife, wiping off knife after each cut. A clean knife is essential for the gorgeous neat squares you’re after! Enjoy!

Baking Bonanza

Whew! I just had a baking bonanza! As I’ve mentioned before, my schedule is quite packed and doesn’t allow for as much baking as I’d like. When I got home today, I set my mind to baking, and now two and a half hours after I began searching for recipes, I’ve baked up not one, not two, but three items (and without even a trip to the store for ingredients!)! Because I made three recipes, I scaled back and halved/quartered/third-ed the recipes. In the following posts, I’ll go over what I made!

EDIT: And of course, as luck would have it, I’m having technical difficulties uploading my pictures of the goodies! Unfortunately, this means no posts until I can get this sorted out…hopefully by tomorrow!

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake

As you can tell, I’ve switched my layout! I finally did so because I was hearing it was hard to know how to comment…and that wasn’t good! So, I sincerely hope you’ll start/continue to comment! And please keep in mind that as of now, I’m not totally satisfied with the look…I’ll be revising! On to today’s post…

I told you yesterday that yesterday was my birthday! Today I’m going to share my birthday cake with you! As I said, I didn’t make it, which unfortunately means no details on the process of making it or even a recipe (but, if you google the cake, I’m sure you could find a similar recipe!). Man, this cake was gooood! It was so dense, rich, and moist. As I said yesterday, I’m not a huge fan of frosting, except for cream cheese frosting. This was a cream cheese based frosting!

I had a great birthday yesterday and this cake was the perfect way to end it! A special thanks to Madison for making the cake!