Lemon Cup Custard

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These are tasty and lemony, simple to make, and somewhat reminiscent of creme brulee.  Also, they require no modifications to be gluten free!

 

Lemon Cup Custard
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)

 

  1. Stir together milk and zest in a saucepan; bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 30 minutes.
  3. Reheat slowly.
  4. Place rack in center of oven, and preheat to 325°F.  Line roasting pan with 2 layers of paper towels.  Place 4-6 custard or coffee cups in pan.
  5. Whisk together eggs and sugar until well blended.
  6. Whisk 1/4 cup hot milk slowly into egg mixture.
  7. Continue to whisk, and strain in remaining milk; skim foam from surface.
  8. Stir in lemon extract, if desired.
  9. Pour custard into cups.
  10. Put pan on oven rack, and fill pan with hot water halfway up side of cups.
  11. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until centers jiggle only slightly when tapped.
  12. Transfer cups to wire rack, and let cool to room temperature.
  13. Cover and chill 2 hours or up to 2 days.
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Cheesecake Brownies

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These triple-layer brownies have an interesting blend of flavors and textures, from the soft, sour topping, to the creamy cheesecake layer, to the chewy brownie on the bottom.  As usual for brownies and cheesecake, the recipe works well gluten free.

 

Cheesecake Brownies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 16 brownies

For the brownies:
 
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cheesecake:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream OR plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
For the topping:
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2-4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar (adjust according to taste)
 
Make the brownies:
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan or spray the pan with baking spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Melt the butter and chocolate together over medium-low heat in a medium saucepan, stirring with a rubber spatula until the two have melted into each other. Take care not to heat the mixture too much – you don’t want the butter to separate. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove.
  4. Whisk in the sugar.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.
  6. Whisk in the vanilla extract and whisk vigorously for just a few seconds.
  7. With a rubber spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients, taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan.  (If using all-purpose flour, stop mixing when the dry ingredients have only barely disappeared into the batter.)
  8. Set the pan aside while you make the cheesecake batter.

Make the cheesecake:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer and large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium until it is smooth.
  2. Beat in the sugar and continue beating for 3 minutes.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat each for 1 minute before adding the next.
  5. Reduce the mixer to low and add the sour cream, followed by the flour. The batter should be smooth.
  6. Stir up the brownie batter a couple of times and spread 3/4 of the batter in the prepared baking pan – the batter should cover the entire bottom.
  7. Pour all of the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter and using a spoon or offset spatula, cover the brownie batter entirely.
  8. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cheesecake batter by the tablespoonful and using a knife, just barely swirl the brownie batter around, taking care not to dip the knife into the bottom layer of brownies.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The brownies should just pull away from the sides of the pan and the cheesecake layer should be beige in the center, slightly browned on the edges, and puffed all over.
  10. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
  11. Transfer the brownies to the refrigerator and chill for 2 hours.

Make the topping:

  1. In a small sauce pan over low heat, warm the sour cream OR yogurt and sugar together, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Pour the topping over the chilled brownies and using an offset spatula, push the topping just out to within ¼-inch of the edges – don’t let the topping spill down the sides.
  3. Chill the brownies for another 1 hour.
  4. To cut the brownies, run a long sharp knife under hot water and dry with a towel. Cut the brownies into quarters with the hot knife, cleaning and reheating before you make each cut. Remove the quarters from the pan and cut each into quarters. Keep the cut brownies chilled and bring to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie

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This chocolate Bavarian cream pie recipe comes from New Zealand and has been in the family for generations.  It’s pretty addictive!

 

Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie

Yield: Two 9” pies

For filling:

  • 1 envelope (1/4 oz) unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 1 cup milk, scalded
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg whites

For crumb crust:

For topping:

 

  1. In a small bowl, place water. Pour in gelatin, stir gently to moisten, and let sit to soften.
  2. Bring water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler or in a pot.
  3. In the top of a double boiler or a metal bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt.
  4. Slowly drizzle scalded milk into yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
  5. Cook yolk mixture over boiling water until it coats a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. (It will still be fairly runny.)
  6. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until gelatin dissolves entirely.
  7. Let sit until it cools to room temperature. (If you’re impatient, you can put it in the refrigerator, but make sure you don’t chill it too far.)
  8. While mixture is cooling, spray 2 pie pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  9. In a small bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs and melted butter. Press it into pie pans.  Cover and chill in refrigerator.
  10. When yolk mixture is cool, stir in vanilla.
  11. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat egg whites with 1 tablespoon sugar until they hold stiff peaks.
  12. Transfer yolk mixture into a clean, large mixing bowl and stir in a large spoonful of egg whites to lighten it.
  13. Fold in the rest of the egg whites in three additions.
  14. In the same bowl in which you whipped the egg whites (you don’t need to clean it), beat heavy cream until it holds stiff peaks.
  15. Fold whipped cream into the egg mixture in 3-4 additions.
  16. Divide batter between pie pans. Shake pans lightly to smooth the tops.
  17. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours or until set.
  18. Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tablespoon wafer crumbs over the tops to decorate.

The Only Ice Cream Recipe You’ll Ever Need

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My friend decided to try out a different version of our favorite celery ice cream with candied ginger and rum-plumped raisins.  He used a more custard-like ice cream base and made it dairy-free.  Lactose-free half-and-half will create a somewhat icier texture than normal, but he reports that it was a hit with his guests!

Notes:

  • You can play around with the proportions of cream and milk, as long as they add up to 3 cups
  • You can also cut down on egg yolks for a thinner base, but don’t go below three

Original recipe

 

The Only Ice Cream Recipe You’ll Ever Need
Adapted from the New York Times

Yield: 1 1/2 pints

For the ice cream base:

  • 2 cups heavy cream OR lactose-free half-and-half
  • 1 cup whole milk OR lactose-free half-and-half
  • 2⁄3 cup sugar
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3-6 large egg yolks

For the flavoring:

  • Flavors from the NYTimes
  • For celery ice cream with candied ginger and rum-plumped raisins:
    • 1 cup golden OR regular raisins
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons rum
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon celery seeds, pounded lightly in a mortar with the pestle
    • 2-6 tablespoons finely diced candied ginger (depending on how much you like ginger)

 

If making celery ice cream with candied ginger and rum-plumped raisins, prepare raisins up to 1 month ahead of time:

  1. Put raisins in heatproof bowl.
  2. Combine water, rum, and sugar in small saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Pour syrup over raisins and let cool to room temperature.
  5. Refrigerate until chilled.  You can store the raisins in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  6. Before use, drain raisins.

The day before making ice cream:

  1. If necessary, place the canister of your ice cream maker in the freezer.

Make ice cream:

  1. In a small pot, simmer heavy cream, milk, sugar, and salt (plus celery seeds, if making celery ice cream) until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove pot from heat.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks.
  4. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream mixture into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream.
  5. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170ºF on an instant-read thermometer).
  6. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
  7. Cool mixture to room temperature.
  8. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
  9. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers’ instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed.  (If making the celery ice cream, pack ice cream into storage container, folding in raisins and ginger as you go.)

 

 

 

 

 

Cardamom and Coffee Marbled Cake

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If you like cardamom, you should try this cake!  Like most cakes that were denser to start with, it works well gluten free.  The coffee flavor is very subtle, so if you like coffee, you might want to add more.  The classic chocolate-vanilla version is here.

 

Cardamom and Coffee Marbled Cake
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 9″ x 4″ loaf cake

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325ºF.
  2. Butter and flour a 9″ x 4″ loaf pan.  Place pan on an insulated baking sheet or on 2 regular baking sheets stacked one on top of the other.
  3. Using a stand mixer (preferably with the paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat butter on medium speed for 3 minutes, until smooth.
  4. Add sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.  The batter might curdle, but don’t worry.
  6. Beat in vanilla.
  7. Beat in baking powder and salt.
  8. On low speed, alternately beat in flour and milk in 3 additions of flour and 2 of milk (this is more important if you’re using normal flour, where you don’t want to over-beat).
  9. Scrape half the batter into a mixing bowl and stir in cardamom.
  10. In a small bowl, stir together the instant coffee powder and boiling water.  Stir coffee mixture into the other half of the batter.
  11. Drop spoonfuls of cardamom and coffee batters randomly into the loaf pan.
  12. Plunge a table knife deep into the batter and zigzag from one end of the pan to the other, making only 6-8 zigzags.  Even though it’s fun, you don’t want to mix the two batters too much.
  13. Bake for 1 hour and 20-30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  14. Cool cake on a wire rack for 15 minutes before unmolding.  Cool to room temperature right side up on rack.
  15. Wrap the cake well and store at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Caramel-Topped Flan

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Caramel-topped flan is another great dessert for the hot summer months.  It’s cool and slinky and refreshing.

 

Caramel-Topped Flan
From Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: One 8-inch flan OR 6 (6-oz) ramekins OR 7-8 (4-oz) ramekins

For the caramel:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Squirt of fresh lemon juice

For the flan:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Line a roasting pan or 9-by-13 inch baking pan with a double thickness of paper towels.
  2. Fill a teakettle with water and put it on to boil; when the water boils, turn off heat.
  3. Put a metal 8-inch round cake pan with 2-inch sides – not a nonstick one – in the oven to heat while you prepare the caramel.  (If you are using individual molds or ramekins, then skip this step.)
  4. Stir the sugar, water, and lemon juice together in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  5. Put the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar becomes an amber-colored caramel, about 5-10 minutes.  The sugar will bubble.  Remove the pan from the heat at the first whiff of smoke.
  6. Remove the cake pan from the oven and, working with oven mitts, pour the caramel into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the caramel evenly over the bottom; set the pan aside.
  7. Bring the milk and heavy cream just to a boil.
  8. Meanwhile, in a 2-quart glass measuring cup or in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, and sugar.
  9. Whisk vigorously for a minute or two, and then stir in the vanilla.
  10. Still whisking, drizzle in about one quarter of the hot liquid to temper, or warm, the eggs so they won’t curdle.
  11. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the hot cream and milk.
  12. Using a large spoon, skim off the bubbles and foam that you worked up.
  13. Put the caramel-lined cake pan in the roasting pan.
  14. Pour the custard into the cake pan and slide the setup into the oven.  Very carefully pour enough hot water from the kettle into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (Don’t worry if this sets the cake pan afloat.)
  15. Bake the flan for about 35 minutes, or until the top puffs a bit and is golden here and there.  It will be very jiggly, but a knife inserted into the center of the flan should come out clean.  (If using small, individual molds, start checking for doneness around the 25-minute mark).
  16. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, transfer the cake pan to a cooking rack, and run a thin knife between the flan and the sides of the pan to loosen it.
  17. Let the flan cool to room temperature on the rack, then loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Covered with plastic wrap in its baking pan, the flan will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  18. When ready to serve, once more, run a thin knife between the flan and the pan. Choose a rimmed serving platter, place the platter over the cake pan, quickly flip the platter and pan over, and remove the cake pan.  The flan will shimmy out and the caramel sauce will coat the custard.  Once unmolded, its best to enjoy it the same day, otherwise the top will start to look wrinkly.  (It will still taste the same.)
  19. Bring the flan to the table and cut into wedges. Spoon some of the syrup onto each plate.

Almost-Fudge Gateau

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This French chocolate cake resembles a cross between a lava cake and a brownie.  Because there are five eggs in the batter to provide structure, the cake works well gluten free.  It’s deliciously gooey when warm, so I recommend heating the leftovers in the microwave before eating.

 

Almost-Fudge Gateau
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 9″ cake

For cake:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons coffee OR water
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt

For glaze:

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped OR semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar OR light corn syrup

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Butter a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper, dust the inside of the pan with flour, and tap out the excess.  Place the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
  2. Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a mixer bowl or other large bowl and the yolks in a small bowl.
  3. Set a heatproof howl over a saucepan of simmering water and add the chocolate, sugar, butter, and coffee OR water.  Alternatively, you can combine them directly in a small nonstick pot over very low heat, and stir constantly to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  4. Stir until the chocolate and butter are melted; the sugar may be grainy and that’s fine.
  5. Transfer the bowl to the counter and let the mixture sit for three minutes.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the yolks one by one, then fold in the flour.
  7. Working with the whisk attachment of the mixer or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they hold firm but glossy peaks.
  8. Using the spatula, stir about one quarter of the beaten whites into the batter to lighten it, then gently fold in the rest.
  9. Scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle the pan from side to side a couple of times to even the batter.
  10. Bake for 35-45 minutes (it will be closer to the upper limit for the gluten-free cake), or until the cake has risen evenly.  It might rise around the edges and you’ll think it’s done, but give it a few minutes more and the center will puff too.  The top will firm (it will probably be cracked) and won’t shimmy when tapped; a thin knife inserted into the center should come out just slightly streaked with chocolate.
  11. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the cake rest for 5-10 minutes.
  12. Run a blunt knife gently around the edges of the cake and remove the sides of the pan.
  13. Carefully turn the cake over onto a rack and remove the pan bottom and parchment paper.  Invert the cake onto another rack.  If using gluten-free flour, glaze the cake before it cools all the way, because the cake dries out easily and you want the glaze to hold in moisture.  If using all-purpose flour, you can cool the cake to room temperature.  As the cake cools, it may sink.
  14. Carefully turn the cooled cake over onto another rack so you’ll be glazing the flat bottom, and place the rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to catch any drips.
  15. Put the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl.
  16. Melt the chocolate over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave oven – the chocolate should be just melted and warm, but not hot.
  17. Meanwhile, bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan.
  18. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir very gently with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth and shiny.
  19. Stir in the agave nectar OR corn syrup.
  20. Pour the glaze over the cake and smooth the top with a long metal icing spatula.  Don’t worry if the glaze drips unevenly down the sides of the cake – it will just add to its charm.  If using gluten-free flour, try to seal the entire cake with glaze.
  21. Allow the glaze to set at room temperature or, if you’re impatient, slip the cake into the fridge for about 20 minutes.  If the glaze dulls in the fridge, just give it a little gently heat from a hairdryer.
  22. You can store any leftovers covered in the fridge.  Reheat a slice for 10-15 seconds in the microwave to restore its warm gooeyness.