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Posts Tagged ‘Dessert recipe’

Citrus Torte finished with Marsala Cream...Yum!!!!

Citrus Almond Torte

Yep as you can see I am cooking for pleasure again, well wait I think I need to rephrase that.  I am always cooking for pleasure.  Most days of the week I can’t believe I get paid to cook in the environment I do.  Getting into the food service profession as a career finally has been the best decision I have ever made in my life.  Back to what I mean by cooking for pleasure.  At Westmont I do my best to be as creative and stickler for quality as possible, but given the size of the portioning and ingredients given to work with, plus the time allotted I at times find myself producing a product I am less then proud of.  Still I do the best I can.  

  For a long time I had no one to cook for but myself leaving me severely unmotivated.  Given the clean up and effort I just could not bring myself to do it.  It is for that reason I started having weekly dinner parties here at the Lisanti Palace.  For starters it brings back the grandiose family sit down dinners I grew up accustomed to as a youngster and second it allows me to try out possible recipes for my my restaurant I hope to open someday.  Look for a blog on that really soon.  

These dinners have allowed me to try out all sorts of items, from entree’s to appetizers to sides to even dessert.  Some of the recipes are family secrets and I wont give them here.   Others I have taken from different sources and tweaked them to my liking.  Those are the ones I will post here on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Please don’t feel disgruntled and instead respect the integrity of recipes passed down through my family from Naples, Italy for generations for as long as anyone in my family can remember. 

I know the last five recipes or so have been desserts, but that is an area that has always been weak for me and one I am slowly getting a handle on.  Also the dessert category of Recipe D’Jour was lacking and I wanted to beef it up before the eventual redesign I am working on for this entire blog (that too is another blog for another day).  This Citrus Almond Torte is one that is rather simple to create, wont break your bank and can be made in a reasonable amount of time.  Did I mention it is rather tasty as well. 

Serving Size: 8-10
Total Cost: $11.50
Prep Time: 35mins
Cook Time: 45mins
Cool Time: 1hr 30mins

Ingredient List:

  • Torte
    • Butter – 4oz (room temperature)
    • Sugar – 3/4 Cup
    • Large Egg – 1
    • Egg Yolk – 2
    • Almonds – 1 cup (toasted, ground)
    • All Purpose Flour – 1/2 Cup
    • Orange Juice – 2 Table Spoons
    • Lemon Juice – 2 Table Spoons
    • Orange Zest – 1 Table Spoon
    • Lemon Zest – 1 Table Spoon
    • Coriander – 1 Tea Spoon
    • Salt – Pinch
    • Egg Whites – 2
  • Marsala Cream
    • Chilled Whipping Cream – 1 Cup
    • Confectionery Sugar – 2 Table Spoons
    • Marsala Wine – 2 Table Spoons
  • Orange Sauce
    • Orange Juice – 1 Cup
    • Corn Starch – 1 1/2 Table Spoons
    • Sugar – 1/4 Cup
    • Orange Zest – 1 Table Spoon

Step 1: Get Your Ingredients for the Torte Together – Take two eggs and separate the yolks from the whites, you will need both parts at different times so do not throw away either.  Zest both your lemon and orange.  Use actual fruit for your juices needed.   Whip egg whites till stiff but not dry, make sure if your using an electric mixer beater is clean.  Preheat oven to 375 F.  Butter and lightly dust with flour an 8inch springform pan.

Step 2: Mix Ingredients – Beat butter in a large bowl until fluffy.  Cut the butter into small manageable pieces to make process easier.  Gradually add sugar till blended. Add the whole egg, then the yolks one at a time beating well after each addition.  At low speed beat in almonds, flour, orange juice, lemon juice, lemon zest, orange zest, coriander and salt.  Be sure to scrape down bowl as many times as necessary in order to have a conform mixture.  Fold egg whites into batter in two equal parts.

The finished batter.

Step 3: Bake in Oven – Pour batter into your springform pan, place in oven preheated to 375F for 40 minutes or until you can put a tooth pick inside its center and it comes out clean.  Cool at room temperature for an hour and a half.

Torte after coming out of the oven.

Step 4: Make Marsala Cream – Beat whipping cream and confectionery sugar till soft peaks form.  Mix in Marsala. Refrigerate if holding

Step 5: Make Orange Sauce – Whisk orange juice and cornstarch in bowl till cornstarch is completely dissolved.  Melt butter in heavy sauce pan over medium flame.  Whisk in sugar, orange zest and orange juice cornstarch mixture.  Whisk until sauce boils and thickens, should take around five minutes.  Remove from flame and cool.  Refrigerate if holding more then a few hours.

Step 6: Serving Options – When serving this Citrus Torte you have several options.  First and the simplest way is to cover the top of the torte with powdered sugar and then if desired serve either the Marsala Cream or Orange Sauce or both on the side.  Second you can use the Orange Sauce as the topping of the Torte.  To do this just drizzle entire Torte in Sauce till you get the desired covering (pictured below).  Finally you can use the Marsala Cream to actually Ice the Torte as shown in the opening picture and then serve the orange sauce on the side or if you are plating it by the slice I like to drizzle the sauce over the middle of the slice after it has been placed on its side.

Torte Served with just the Orange Sauce.

 

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Ginger Bread – How to build your very own Ghetto Fabulous Ginger Bread Abode.

It can’t be Christmas with out the construction of a ginger bread house.  There is nothing I find more enjoyable about the holiday season then spending a few good hours in an attempt to build a beautiful confectionary structure that ends up coming out like a run down shanty.  But its my ginger bread shanty and that is all that matters.  No matter how ugly it looks it tastes delicious.  Ginger bread can also be used for cookies as well. Follow this recipe and all your ginger bread hopes and dreams will be realized.

Total Cost – $10.85
Feeds 4-6 people

Ingredient List:

  • Dark Brown Sugar – 1/3 Cup
  • Vegetable Oil – ½ Cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Molasses – 2/3 Cup
  • Ginger – 1 Teaspoon (Ground)
  • Salt – ½ Teaspoon
  • Baking Powder – 3 Teaspoons
  • Flour  – 3 ½ Cups
  • Assorted Candy
  • No stick baking spray
  • Frosting
    • Shortening – ½ Cup
    • Powdered Sugar – 20 oz
    • Salt – Pinch
    • Vanilla Extract – 1 Table Spoon
    • Milk – 1/3 Cup

 

Step 1: Mix Ginger Bread BatterIn a large mixing bowl combine Dark Brown Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Egg, Molasses, Ginger, Salt, Baking Powder, Flour till you have a dough like consistency.  When well blended it should be dark brown.

This is the color and consistency your finished dough should have.

Step 2: Spread Dough in to baking panPreheat oven to 350 Degrees F.  Spray non-stick baking spray in baking pan 9” x 13”.  Spread dough evenly through out.  For cookies you should flatten your dough to be around ½” for a house 1/3”.  This recipe will be enough ginger bread for a small house, double or triple depending on size of structure you wish to create.  If you are going to make your cookies from cutouts be sure to cut shapes prior to baking.  The same goes for intricate house projects. If you are building a standard house like I do then you can do your cut outs after baking although I still find doing it before is easier.

Step 3: Bake Ginger BreadPlace pan into the oven and bake for 10 minutes for cookies, 13-15 minutes for a house.  For cookies you should have a soft feel to your ginger break for house it should be rather hard.

Step 4: Make FrostingFrosting is not only for making faux snow decoration but is also the mortar that holds your house together.  It will be the decoration for your cookies as well.  In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients (powdered sugar, salt) and mix with shortening.  Cube up shortening prior to adding to mixture.  Mix till you have formed little balls with both sugar and shortening.  Add Vanilla Extract and slowly add milk till you have an icing consistency.  Blend with electric mixer if possible or elbow power will do as well.

Your finished icing.

Step 5: Build and Decorate Your House/CookiesIf your just doing cookies then your pretty much done here.  Use the frosting and your pick of candy and decorate the heck out of them.  If your doing a house your work has just begun.  Take a piece of cardboard an adequate size to accommodate your house and cover it with aluminum foil.  This will be the property for your home.

 

Next get your pieces in order.  It is very important to use some type of pattern for both your roof and house pieces to make sure it comes out even otherwise you will end up with a crooked house.  You pieces depend on the house you intend to build.  For a basic house you will need two isosceles triangles for the roofline and two rectangles for the roof top.  Then another two rectangles for the sides of the house and two squares for the front and back.  Its best to figure out some type of scale before starting.  This is if you want perfection, but if your impetuous like myself you can just wing it and see what happens.  I find this makes some of the most comical houses.  Use the icing to hold your pieces together and glue your house to the cardboard.  The icing will also hold your candy to the house as well.

A small house circa 2004

A Ginger Bread Monstrosity circa 2005

Small house with a Tree shaped cookie

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