Dulce de leche roughly translates to “milk candy”, and it's made by slowly cooking down sweetened condensed milk until it thickens and the sugars have caramelized. As a kid I was obsessed with sweetened condensed milk and I could drink it by the spoonful if only my mom would have let me. Her go-to dessert in the 80’s was a creamy Filipino fruit salad, chunks of apples and bananas and syrupy canned fruit, tossed in a dressing of Philly cream cheese, heavy cream, and a can of Borden’s. I’d always volunteer to open the cans just so I could lick the tops clean, savoring the sweet milkiness. I couldn’t wait to be grown up so I could just buy a can for myself and drink the whole thing down, that was my big aspiration.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Friday, January 20, 2012
Not gonna lie, this dish is pretty labor-intensive and probably one to save for when you want to impress- the presentation is beautiful and it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days. And if you put in the time, I promise you’ll be rewarded with plenty of “oohs” and “ahhs” from around your table.
1. Combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth- the batter should be runny and without lumps.
8. Start with a crespelle and spread a few spoons full of béchamel onto it, then your vegetables or other fillings. You can also add cheese and more breadcrumbs.
9. Keep going until you’ve built 5-6 layers, ending with another crespelle on top. Spread some béchamel over the top and finish with breadcrumbs and shredded parmesan cheese.
10. Bake in a 400° F oven for 15-20 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbly- you can finish it under the broiler if you need to.
Allow the torta to cool before you spring the pan open- if you’re planning to serve it the next day you can wrap and refrigerate.
I can personally attest to the fact that it tastes even more fantastic on day two when the flavors have had a chance to get to know each other- I’m typing with my mouth full right now!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
1 c powdered sugar
8 egg whites
1 ¼ c sugar
1 t vanilla
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200° F. Sift together the cocoa and powdered sugar set aside.
2. Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer with a whip attachment, or use a good old-fashioned whisk and work out those arm muscles. When the whites start to get foamy, stream in the granulated sugar while you keep whisking.
3. Continue to beat the meringue until it’s smooth and it forms glossy stiff peaks.
4. Gently fold the cocoa mixture into the meringue in three parts until it is just incorporated, over-mixing will deflate the meringue.
5. Trace two 8” circles on parchment paper and pipe or spread the meringue into discs. Pipe the rest of the meringue into thick lines on another sheet of parchment.
6. Bake the meringues in the oven for 3-4 hours at the lowest temperature, until the sticks are brittle all the way through.
1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pot of simmering water and set aside to cool slightly, then stir in egg yolks and a pinch of salt. Meanwhile, whip egg whites with half the sugar to medium peak.
2. Fold the whites into the chocolate mixture in three parts, being careful to keep the mousse aerated.
3. Break the hardened meringue sticks into jagged pieces 2-3 inches high. Spread the mousse onto one of the meringue discs and cover with the other, then press down a little to squeeze the mousse to the edges of the cake.
4. Press the meringue sticks all around the side of the cake, then tie a string around to keep them in place. Refrigerate overnight to let it set up.
5. Dust the top with powdered sugar and decorate with a pretty ribbon to finish.