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Cabernet Pear & Custard Desserts

In Desserts, Creams & Sauces On May 6, 2019 0 Comments

These Cabernet Pear & Custard Desserts can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated. And yeah – two days before Mothers’ Day! You won’t have to cut and serve cake on individual plates  ’cause it’s all done ahead of time. Everyone will love it! Blessings to all my moms!

Active prep time: 30-40 minutes
Inactive prep time: 2 to 3 hours (for custard to set & chill in refrigerator)
Serves: 4

Ingredients for the Custard:
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup granulated white sugar (unbleached)
2 cups whole or low fat milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks

Directions:
1. In a 2 to 4-quart saucepot set on a cold stove burner, stir cornstarch and sugar until blended.

2. Gradually (a little at a time) and with a wooden spoon, stir in milk, salt and vanilla extract.

3. Transfer 1 cup milk mixture to a small bowl and whisk in the egg yolks until uniform,.

4. Pour the milk-egg yolk mixture into the saucepot and whisk until blended.

5. Set stove burner on medium-high heat.

6. Cook custard mixture, stirring constantly, until steam rises. To prevent scorching, lower heat to medium.

7.  When custard reaches a boil, set heat on low and stir for 1 minute until it thickens.

8. Set saucepot with custard on a trivet on counter – divide custard evenly among four small glass or porcelain bowls. Immediately cover each custard bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold and set – about 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, poach pears in wine-

Ingredients for the Pears:
750 ml (1 bottle) Cabernet Sauvignon wine
2/3 cup granulated white sugar (unbleached)
2 pears (any variety)

Directions:
1. In an 8 to 10-quart saucepot, bring the wine to a boil.

2. When wine boils, stir in the sugar. Immediately lower heat to medium or medium high so that the wine simmers.

3. Simmer-boil wine until it reduces by half – about 10 to 15 minutes.

4. When wine has reduced, peel pears and cut them in half (lengthwise).

5. Core the pear halves and gently add them (hollow-side down) to the simmering wine.

6. Cook pears for 3 to 4 minutes. After 3 to 4 minutes, using 2 forks, gently turn them over.

7. Cook pears for an additional 1 to 3 minutes. After 1 minute, check doneness by inserting pointed knife in center of one pear – it should feel tender but not overcooked. If needed, cook pears 1 to 2 more minutes.

8. When pears are done, using a flat, slotted spoon, gently transfer them to a dinner plate; set aside to cool completely. Pears can be made one day ahead, covered in plastic wrap and chilled in refrigerator overnight.  For Chantilly Cream-

NOTE: IF BUYING PRE-MADE WHIPPING CREAM IN A CAN, OMIT THE FOLLOWING RECIPE

Ingredients for Chantilly Cream
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 to 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
pastry bag fitted with a star tip

Directions:
1. Pour whipping cream into a 4-cup mixing bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour cream in mixer bowl.

2. Using a handheld mixer or in stand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.

3. With mixer running, add the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until lumps dissolve. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar, according to taste. Set the Chantilly Cream aside in a small bowl, covered, in refrigerator until ready to garnish the dessert.

Assemble the Pear & Custard Desserts:

1. Transfer the custard bowls to a counter or work surface.

2. Gently dry each pear half with paper towels (on both sides).

3. Place one pear half, hollow side down, in center top of each custard dessert. Set aside.

4. If using store-bought whipped cream, decorate the pear-custard bowls around the edges of custard.

5. For homemade Chantilly Cream garnish, transfer the cream to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.

6. Make single rosettes with cream, side by side,  around edges of custard. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve the desserts.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

 

 

No-Bake Cake

In Cakes & Cupcakes, Desserts, Creams & Sauces On February 1, 2019 0 Comments

Create the best Valentine’s Day dessert ever! All you bake is a 10-minute crust!

Serve this chilled dessert with Kickback CBD Ground Coffee –  you’ll chill, too! Get the brew here- CALI RISE – MEDIUM ROAST  |  CALI DAZE – DARK ROAST

Prep time: 25-30 minutes (crust & filling)
Cake cool/set time: 6 hours or overnight
Makes: One 9-inch cheesecake

First, make the crust:

Crust Ingredients:
One 9-inch springform baking pan
One 9-inch parchment paper circle (place paper on inverted pan and trace a circle; then, cut it)
1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs (use 1 to 1-1/3 packages inside box; ground in food processor)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Butter the springform pan (bottom only); place parchment circle inside pan bottom and gently press so that it sticks. Set aside.

3. In a 2-cup mixing bowl, using a fork, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter together until uniform.

4. Transfer the graham cracker crumb mixture to springform pan.

5. With the fork, smooth out the crust ingredients up to the pan edges. With your fingers, press the crust evenly.

6. Bake the crust on a rack set in center of oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, transfer the pan with crust to a counter or trivet to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the raspberry cheesecake filling:

Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:
2 cups boiling water
One 6-ounce package raspberry-flavored Jell-O®
Two 8-ounce packages Philadelphia® cream cheese (regular, not “light”), at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Decoration – raspberries, mint leaf sprigs, cherry gummy candies, chocolate hearts covered in red foil, white chocolate pieces

Directions:
1. In a 2 or 3-quart glass or porcelain bowl, slowly add the boiling water to the Jell-O® mix until it is all dissolved. Keep stirring the mix with a spoon until you no longer see the pink powder.

2. Transfer the bowl with liquid Jell-O® to refrigerator, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes. It should be cool, NOT SET.

3. In the meantime, in a stand mixer bowl (or a bowl using a handheld electric cake mixer), beat together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract.

4. Beat at high speed until mixture is uniform. Set bowl with cream cheese mixture aside.

5. If using a stand mixer, transfer the cream cheese mixture to another large bowl – you will now use the stand mixer bowl to beat the whipping cream.

6. In a clean 4-quart bowl and using a handheld mixer (or the stand mixer bowl), beat the whipping cream on high speed until stiff peaks form.

7. Using a spatula, gently and gradually (a little at a time) stir the raspberry Jell-O® liquid into the whipped cream.

8. Mix it slowly until the mixture is evenly-colored (reddish-pink).

9. Then, with a handheld wire whisk or spatula, gently and slowly add the whipped cream mixture to the cream cheese filling in bowl. Mix until it is all evenly-colored.

10. Pour the raspberry cream cheese filling into the prepared springform pan.

11. Transfer the cheesecake to refrigerator – uncovered – for 6 hours or overnight.

To Serve Cheesecake:
1. Take a knife and run it between pan sides and cheesecake.

2. Carefully/slowly release sides of springform pan.

3. Place cheesecake (with bottom of pan) on a serving platter and decorate it. Serve.
Note: Cheesecake keeps (refrigerated) up to 5 days.
Text & Photograph ©2019 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

Strawberry Mascarpone Terrine

In Desserts, Creams & Sauces On July 23, 2018 0 Comments

Looking for a refreshing and beautiful summer treat? You found it here! The strawberry gelatin and the mascarpone cream elements of this dessert take 15 minutes each to prepare. While you sleep (overnight), this Strawberry Mascarpone Terrine will chill all by itself! The next day, just slice and serve – easy enough, right?

Prep time: 15 minutes each (strawberry gelatin and mascarpone cream)
Inactive prep time: 5 hours to overnight (for gelatin and mascarpone cream to set)
Serves: 10 to 12

Ingredients for Strawberry Gelatin:
One loaf pan (1.5-quart)
vegetable oil, for greasing loaf pan
1 envelope plus 2 teaspoons Knox gelatin (unflavored)
3 tablespoons water (room temperature)
One pound (16 ounces) fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons water (for boiling the strawberries)
3  tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 to 4 fresh mint leaf sprigs (for garnish)

Directions for Strawberry Gelatin:
1. Lightly oil the loaf pan and set aside.

2. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the Knox gelatin with water; set aside.

3. Wash & immediately pat dry all the strawberries – set 8 strawberries aside for later use.

4. Hull the remaining strawberries; discard green stems.

5. Cut up the hulled strawberries into 1/2-inch pieces; place them in a 4-quart saucepot.

6. Add water and lemon juice to the strawberries in saucepot.

7. Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil; with a potato masher, smash the strawberries as they cook and soften.

8. After 5 minutes of cooking, stir the sugar and the set gelatin into the hot strawberry mixture.

9. Mash the strawberry mixture well so that all ingredients are blended and gelatin dissolves.

10. Transfer the hot strawberry gelatin mixture into prepared loaf pan.

11. Set the loaf pan with strawberry gelatin mixture in refrigerator to set – about 2 hours or overnight.

When strawberry gelatin has set and is firm, prepare the following Mascarpone cream-

Ingredients for Mascarpone Cream:
One envelope plus 1 teaspoon Knox gelatin (unflavored)
3 tablespoons water (room temperature)
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
8 ounces Mascarpone cheese (this is Italian cream cheese)
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (whole milk or 2% milk fat)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachio nuts

Directions for Mascarpone Cream:
1. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the Knox gelatin and the water until dissolved; set aside.

2. In a stand mixer bowl or in a 1-quart mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the Mascarpone cheese, yogurt, sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.

3. In a small saucepot set on low heat, dissolve the set gelatin with 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream for 30 seconds to 1 minute. DO NOT LET MIXTURE SCORCH!

4. Gently stir the gelatin-cream mixture into the Mascarpone cream mixture.

5. Divide the Mascarpone cream mixture in half.

6. Add the pistachios to one-half of the Mascarpone cream mixture; set aside.

7. Take 4 of the reserved strawberries and hull them; discard green stems.

8. Chop the hulled strawberries into 1/2-inch pieces.

9. Add the chopped strawberries to the remaining half of the Mascarpone cream mixture; set aside.

10. Gently spoon the Mascarpone cream with pistachios over the set strawberry gelatin in loaf pan.

11. Next, spoon the Mascarpone cream with strawberries over the pistachio Mascarpone cream.

12. Refrigerate the Strawberry-Mascarpone Terrine for at least 3 hours or overnight.

13. At serving time, garnish the dessert with remaining strawberries, mint leaf springs; dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve.
Text & Photograph ©2018 Nancy DeLucia Real

 

 

Mosaic Gelatin Dessert

In Desserts, Creams & Sauces On July 1, 2017 0 Comments

This dessert is based on multi-colored cubes of Jell-O, mixed with evaporated and condensed milks with vanilla. All you have to do is assemble the ingredients in a Bundt pan and unmold the set gelatin. Isn’t it cool?

That’s right – our Mosaic Gelatin Dessert is beautiful to look at, cool and refreshing. Enjoy it for our July 4th weekend holiday!

Prep time: 30 to 45 minutes (to cut the Jell-O into cubes)
Set time:  Make boxed Jell-O recipes and set overnight
Make Mosaic Gelatin Dessert the next day and set overnight.

Ingredients:
One 3-ounce box strawberry or raspberry-flavored Jell-O
One 3-ounce box orange-flavored Jell-O
One 3-ounce box grape-flavored Jell-O
4 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water
One 14-ounce can sweetened, condensed milk
One 7.6-ounce can Nestle brand Media Crema (this is cream)
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 fresh mint leaf sprigs, for garnish

Directions:
1. Prepare each Jell-O recipe according to package directions, but use 1/8 cup less water for each box (this will ensure a firmer Jell-O for cutting into cubes later).

2. When making each Jell-O recipe, prepare it in a 10 X 10-inch square glass or porcelain baking dish.

3. Refrigerate each Jell-O recipe 6 hours or overnight, uncovered.

4. After the Jell-O’s have set completely, cut each Jell-O into long, 1/2-inch thick strips.

5. Cut each strip into a 1/2-inch cube.

6. As you cut and amass cubes of Jell-0, gently transfer them to a 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside.

7. Pour the 4 envelopes of gelatin into a 2-cup bowl. Add the water, mix and let it stand; set aside.

8. In a blender, combine the Knox set gelatin, condensed milk, Nestle Media Crema, evaporated milk and vanilla.

9. Puree the milk and gelatin mixture until uniform.

10. Gently pour the milk mixture over Jell-O cubes in Bundt pan.

11. Transfer the gelatin in Bundt pan to a refrigerator and let it set overnight, uncovered.

12. When ready to serve, place the Bundt pan in a large bowl filled with hot water.

13. Run a knife between edges of Bundt pan and gelatin dessert. Lift Bundt pan out of water and twist it in the air to loosen the gelatin dessert.

14. Place a platter over the gelatin dessert in Bundt pan and quickly invert.

15. Garnish with fresh mint leaf sprigs and serve immediately.
Text and Photograph ©2017 Nancy DeLucia Real

Valentine’s Day Pudding

In Desserts, Creams & Sauces On January 31, 2017 0 Comments

Red is the color of passion, don’t you agree? This pudding gets its rich color from natural, red raspberries. Enjoy this recipe as a Valentine’s Day dessert or treat. Have fun!

Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8 (1/2-cup servings)

Ingredients:
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup rice flour
1/3 cup ground raw slivered almonds
2/3 cup granulated, unbleached white sugar
2-1/2 cups milk (2% milk fat) or almond milk (unsweetened)
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons rosewater
12 ounces (2-1/2 to 3 cups) fresh raspberries – set 8 raspberries aside for garnish
8 fresh mint leaf sprigs

Directions:
1. Stir the cinnamon, rice flour, ground almonds and sugar together in a 4-quart saucepot.

2. Gradually pour the milk (a little at a time) and 1 teapoon rosewater into the saucepot, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon.

3. Bring milk mixture to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes or until it thickens slightly.

4. At this point, stir the fruit into the milk pudding. The fruit should partially disintegrate as it cooks.

5. Cook the pudding on low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the fruit has added color to the mixture.

6. At this point, taste pudding and adjust rosewater level, if needed.

7. After 2 minutes, transfer the pudding to a glass or porcelain bowl and cover it with plastic wrap (this will prevent forming a skin).

8. Set pudding aside to cool on a counter for about one hour. After one hour, transfer the pudding to the refrigerator.

9. Chill the pudding until it is completely cold (about 4 hours or overnight).

10. Divide pudding among 6 to 8 individual bowls. Garnish the pudding with a raspberry and mint leaf sprig.
Text & Photograph ©2017 Nancy DeLucia Real