Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Five

In-laws are coming through town today, (which always is a reason for smiles), have a cold, have to work a full shift and all weekend (which is a reason to be pissy). What better time than now to think about food that makes me happy?

Five Favourite Desserts

If I found out (some sort of deity forbid) that I was going to die in a couple of days, these are the desserts I would fill up on.

1. Red Velvet Cake

Ray and I had red velvet cake for our wedding cake, and yes that is a picture of it. It's best with cream cheese frosting (we had cream cheese filling in ours, since the cake was covered in fondant). We had a lovely reception in the restaurant. Did anyone talk about the marvelous crab cakes? Or the saffron rice? Nope. Everybody raved about the cake. Now some folks go a little crazy with the red food colouring. Originally, the red colour came from dutch process cocoa. I like a little food colouring, and a lot of cocoa in my cake.

2. Pie

There's just something wrong with you if you don't like pie. I'm specifically referring to fruit pies here, not cream pies, which are completely different. I personally favour apple, peach and pumpkin. Awesome with a good strong cup of coffee. I confess to sometimes eating leftover pie for breakfast. I love mine with whipped cream, not ice cream. I save the ice cream for...

3. Crisps

The easiest and cheapest of all desserts to make. It's a marvelous comfort food. I like mine with either apples or pears. Just take your fruit, peel, core and slice and toss it with some flour sugar and your choice of spices. I like cinnamon and a little allspice for apples, a little ginger and nutmeg for pears. Then the topping. All it is, is flour, brown sugar, butter and rolled oats cut together until it's crumbly. Sprinkle over the fruit and bake it. How easy is that? We ate this dessert a lot when I was a kid.

4. Tiramisu

I could easily live on tiramisu. I'd be hugely fat, but I would be so content in my marscarpone cheese, I probably wouldn't care. I like tiramisu when it's done right. Not with cake, but with ladyfingers. Not with mostly whipped cream, but marscarpone cheese. Not with instant coffee crystals, but espresso. Not deconstructed, and in a heap, but beautifully layered, and light, and just for me.

5. Brownies

I prefer mine a little cakey to fudgy, and I like mine with nuts. There's just something about the smell of a pan of brownies baking in the over that makes me swoon. Which is probably why my husband likes to make them often. Chocolate is an aphrodisiac, right? Obviously they are best still warm from the oven. Heaven.

Okay, that's my five, can't wait to see yours. Have a great weekend, y'all!


willowtree said...

I'm in complete accord, except for the pies, I favour cream pies over fruit pies, the exception being pumpkin which is my number one favourite.

Mya said...

I'm not sure what a cream pie is? Do enlighten me.
I'm with you on the Chocolate Brownies. I'd chuck in a Treacle Tart, Custard Tart, my Mum's Eve's Pudding (Apple Sponge), Raspberry Pavlova and Creme Brulee.
I am so hungry now - I'm going to mug the first boulanger I see! Enjoy your w/e.

Mya x

Leendaluu said...

Oooh I just had apple pie and coffee for breakfast. Breakfast of champions!

laurie said...

1. brownies

2. brownies

3. brownies

4. brownies

5. brownies.

red velvet cake is vile, at least when i've had it--it requires an entire bottle of red food coloring, and it tastes very chemically and bitter. makes more sense now that you say the red color originally came from chocolate. now that i would like.

auntie barbie said...

Well I finally figured out what’s wrong with me, I’m not fond of pie. Love the crust, not the filling.
Anyway here are my 5 fav’s,

1. Napoleons or éclairs. Any kind of pastry for that matter with custard in it.
2. Crème brulee, goes back to that custard thing.
3. Cheese cake, any kind as long as there are no nuts involved.
4. Cinnamon Danish rolls, warm and covered in butter
5. Plain old chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Pumpkin pie is my favorite pie in the world.

Cheesecake is my favorite dessert in the world.

Pumpkin cheesecake? Nirvana.

I make a lot of crisps and brownies at home and like them a lot.I'm also really big on ice cream cakes. So easy to do and so nice to know there's one waiting in the freezer.

Jo Beaufoix said...


1. Chocoate Mousse
2. Chocolate Fudgecake
3. Chocolate Ice Cream
4. Chocolate Torte
5. Hot Chocolate Pudding

Anyone see a theme emerging here???

PixelPi said...

1 Ice cream. Lots of it.
2 Fruit cobbler. Any flavor.
3 Brownies with nuts please.
4 Tiramisu
5 Cheesecake. Lots of it.

Diana said...

I'll take a serving of each, please! I love to play with brownies. Often I'll sink whole mini peanut-butter cups or chocolate kisses in the batter so they are all melty treasures in the midst of the warm, gooey chocolate brownie. Bliss!

Jill said...

Here are my five - complete with recipes.

1) Butter Tarts. Nothing better than a home made butter tart with a cup of hot tea.

Pate Brisee (Short Crust Pastry):

1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces

1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 - 60 ml) ice water

Butter Tart Filling:

2 large eggs

1/3 cup (70 grams) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup (215 grams) light brown sugar

1/4 cup (60 ml) light cream (half-and-half) (10% butterfat)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins or 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts (toasted and chopped) (optional

Pate Brisee: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, place on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and cut into 12 - 4 inch (10 cm) rounds. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Gently place the rounds into a 12-cup muffin tin. Cover and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up the dough. Next, make the filling.

Butter Tart Filling: In a medium sized saucepan lightly whisk the eggs. Whisk in the butter, sugar, and cream. Place on medium heat and, stirring constantly, bring this mixture just to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. If using nuts and/or raisins, place about a teaspoon into the bottom of each tart shell and then fill the unbaked tart shells with the filling. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the pastry has nicely browned and the filling is set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Makes 12 - 4 inch tarts.

2) Beaver Tails

"Beaver Tails"
Canadian Doughnuts
" If you ever visited Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in the winter months on the Rideau Canal, which is the longest skating rink in the world, they serve a sweet pastry, that is essentially a flat doughnut with sugar on top.

1/2 cup warm water
5 teaspoons dry yeast
pinch of sugar
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
4 1/4 - 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
oil for frying
granulated sugar for dusting

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast, warm water and pinch
of sugar. Allow to stand a couple of minutes to allow yeast to swell or dissolve.

Stir in remaining sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, salt and most of flour to make soft dough. Knead 5-8 minutes (by hand or with a dough hook), adding flour as needed to form a firm, smooth, elastic dough. Place in a greased bowl.

Place bowl in a plastic bag and seal. (If not using right away, you can
refrigerate the dough at this point). Let rise in a covered, lightly greased bowl, about 30-40 minutes. Gently deflate dough, (if dough is coming out of the fridge, allow to warm up about 40 minutes before proceeding).

Pinch off a golf ball sized piece of dough. Roll out into an oval and let
rest, covered with a tea towel, while you are preparing the remaining

Heat about 4 inches of oil in fryer (a wok works best but you can use a Dutch oven or whatever you usually use for frying). Temperature of the oil should be about 385 F. Test by tossing in a tiny bit of dough and see if it sizzles and swells immediately. If it does, the oil temperature is where it should be.

Stretch the ovals into a tail - thinning them out and enlarging them as you do. Add the beaver tails to the hot oil, about 1-2 at a time.

Turn once to fry until the undersides are deep brown. Lift beaver tails
out with tongs and drain on paper towels.

Fill a large bowl with a few cups of white sugar . Toss beaver tails in
sugar (with a little cinnamon if you wish) and shake off excess.

You can also top off Beaver Tails with whatever preserves, pie fillings or even just powdered sugar.

3) Nanaimo Bars (Originating in Nanaimo, British Columbia)

Bottom Layer
½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ c. finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut
Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.

Second Layer
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

4) English Trifle

2 (8 or 9 inch) white cake layers, baked and cooled
2 pints fresh strawberries
1/4 cup white sugar
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 bananas
1/4 cup orange juice
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
12 maraschino cherries

Slice strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar. Cut the bananas into slices and toss with orange juice. Combine pudding mix with milk and mix until smooth. Cut the cake into 1 inch cubes.
Use half of the cake cubes to line the bottom of a large glass bowl. Layer half of the strawberries followed by half of the blueberries, and then half of the bananas. Spread half of the pudding over the fruit. Repeat layers in the same order.
In a medium bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks and spread over top of trifle. Garnish with maraschino cherries and slivered almonds.

5) Fruit Cocktail with cookies

(I don't think I need to add a recipe for this, do I?)

my two cents said...

I am now glad that I didn't have time to comment yesterday because that meant I had to come back today and now I have some new recipes to try, thanks Jill!

Jen, I think pie and ice cream are one of the best breakfasts (behind cheesecake and cream puffs).

My five favorite desserts, hmmm...are there any I don't like? Well, yes, but just a few.

Cheesecake - one of the best things I make (I'd be happy to share the recipe if you like)

Pretty much anything chocolate (especially if it is still warm)

Strawberry shortcake

Cream Puffs

Warm cookies right out of the oven

Jill said...

Thanks my two cents!

I WISH I could post pictures of all those deserts... Jen? Any way you could post pictures of what the first three dishes look like? I'm sure she's written about butter tarts before - basically the US version would be called a brown sugar pie, I think. Or peCAHN pie (without the peCAHNs). Beaver tails are *censored* delicious, but are the absoLUTE best when they are freshly made. They have a beaver tail kiosk at the Toronto Zoo if you're ever in Toronto. DEE-lish.

Enjoy the recipes! Maybe one day I'll kanoodle Jen to put up a bunch of other traditionally canadian recipes. :P