Pistachio & White Chocolate Mousse “Cake”

Watch the video here.

P1000085_1Brownie base:

  • 3.5 oz dark chocolate (60% cacao)
  • 2.5 oz butter (5 tbsps)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

Melt the chocolate and butter over a simmering pan of water.  Remove and add the sugar and salt and mix well.  Add the cornstarch and mix well.  Add the eggs and mix well.

Pour into a greased (and parchment lined bottom) springform pan.

Bake at 350 degree for 10-18 minutes or until set.  Cool completely.  When cooled, create a “collar” around the pan with parchment paper (see video)

NOTE:  you could add some chopped pistachios to the brownie mixture before baking to add extra crunch.

White Chocolate Mousse:

  • 7 oz. good white chocolate
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsps sugar

Mix the yolks and sugar until thickened and a bit pale.

In a pan over simmering water, heat

  • 1/4  cup heavy cream

Slowly pour into eggs, a little at a time, whisking well after each.  When all combined, put back in pan and continue to cook until it coats the back of a spoon and a finger drawn through it leaves a trail.

Pour over chocolate and let sit 2-3 minutes then whisk altogether until smooth.

Beat 1 cup heavy cream and slowly fold into chocolate mixture.  Pour over the brownie layer and freeze at least one hour.

Pistachio Mousse:

  • 1 tsp gelatin
  • 3 tsps cold water
  • Mix together well and set aside.
  • In a bowl over simmering water, put
  • 5-1/2 oz good white chocolate
  • 2 tbsps milk
  • 2.2 oz pistachio paste (see recipe following)

When all melted together, remove, microwave gelatin about 8 seconds until loose and add to mixture and blend well.

Add 1/2 tsp pistachio extract (or almond extract) and a drop or two of green food color – blend well.

While 1 cup heavy cream and slowly fold into pistachio mixture

Pour over white chocolate mousse – freezer 3-4 hours or until completely set

Decoration:

Melt 3-1/2 oz of good white chocolate

Spread onto silpat or a lightly buttered piece of foil.

Dot with pistachio – amount is up to you

Let set completely – when set, break into pieces to decorate “cake”

Pistachio Paste:

  • 3/4 cup of peeled pistachios (I buy raw pistachios on line and use those without needing to peel)
  • 2 tsps water
  • 3 tbsps sugar
  • 3 tbsps almond flour
  • few drop of pistachio or almond extract

Boil the water and sugar until it reaches 245 degree

Pour over the pistachio and keep mixing until they are all coated – they might look like they are coated in white sand

Add almond flour and extract

Grind in a food processor for 8-10 minutes

If they still look dry and powdering after 5 minutes, add 1-2 tbsps (or more) of a non-flavored oil (such as canola) and add more oil if necessary in order for the mixture to come to look and feel like paste.

Remove and put into a container with plastic wrap over the mixture and then tightly covered – refrigerate and use with 5 days or freeze for months.

Alternately you can buy pistachio paste on line

NOTE:  you can store this “cake” in the freezer, tightly covered, for a couple of weeks with no decorations on it or store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days tightly covered Continue reading

Szarlotka (Polish Apple Pie)

View the video here.

In a food processor, put

  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch salt

Pulse a few times to blend and then add:

  • 8 ox cold cubed butter
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2-3 tbsps ice water

Blend until almost coming together – remove and knead a bit on a counter.

Remove 1/4 of the dough, wrap and freeze

Place a piece of parchment paper on bottom of springform pan. Continue reading

Pear and Almond Cinnamon Buns

View video here.

  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)

Sprinkle yeast on milk, add a pinch of salt and let proof for 10 minutes

In a mixer bowl, put

  • 3-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt

Mix well and then add the yeast and 5 whole eggs

When all is blended, start adding

  • 2 sticks (8 oz) of softened butter, 1 tbsps at a time.

Keep mixing for 8-10 minutes on mixer.

Continue reading

Chocolate Cream Karpatka

View video here.

Chocolate Cream:

  • 2-1/4 cups milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • Heat until comes to a boil
  • In the meantime, in a large bowl, mis
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsps cocoa
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2-1/2 tbsps cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Mix all until well blended.  Then, SLOWLY add some of the milk mixture, whisking constantly- keep adding until all combined.  Put all back in the pot and return to stove.

Continue reading

Ham, Cheese and Chive Gougeres

You can watch the video here.

In a pot, put

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 stick butter 1 tsp salt

Bring to a boil

Remove from heat and add 1 cup flour and with a wooden spoon, beat well until all flour is blended in and the mixture does not coat the bottom of the pot

Put  mixture into electric mixer bowl and beat on low speed for 2-3 minutes until it cools down a bit.

Continue reading

Sicilian Ricotta Pie

Watch the video here.

In a food processor, put

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tbsps caster sugar

Blend then add 1/2 cup of cold cubed butter

Blend about 4 pulses

Add 1 egg yolk and up to 3 tbsps cold water

Pulse till almost comes together – remove, wrap and refrigerate about 20 minutes

Roll dough and put into an 8″ or 9″ tart pan with removable bottom or a regular pie plate

Continue reading

Russian Crow’s Feet

You can watch the video here.

  • 7 oz. farmers’ cheese crumbled in bowl
  • 6 tbsps very soft, almost melted butter
  • 1-½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix cheese and butter on mixer and then add flour, salt and vanilla and blend till almost comes together.  Turn out onto a board and knead it till it forms a ball. Wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Divide dough into 12 pieces.  Roll each piece into a 6-7” circle (cut with bowl to make them all the same size if you wish).

Have a dish of cinnamon sugar ready as well as some melted butter. Continue reading