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Desserts

October 15, 2009

Brittany Cake (Gateau Breton)

This lovely, simple flat cake from Brittany has a texture that is a cross between shortbread and pound cake. It is nice eaten warm, but the orange flavor is even more distinctive after a day or two. Serve with fresh berries and whipped cream, or a dollop of lightly sweetened creme fraiche.

8 - 10 Servings

Ingredients

½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
¾ cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or other orange liqueur
1 large egg, beaten

To make

Preheat the oven to 350 degreees,

With a mixer, cream the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and the whole egg one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix  together the sugar, flour and salt.  Add to butter and egg mixture and mix until blended.  Mix in the vanilla and orange liqueur.

Turn the batter into a buttered  10- or 12- inch tart pan and spread evenly with a spatula, smoothing the  surface. 

Brush the surface with the beaten egg and, with the tines of a fork, make a deep curved crisscross design on the top.  Bake for 1 hour, or until top of cake is golden.  Remove and let cool in the pan.

To serve, cut in thin wedges.  Make ahead: up to 10 days; store, well wrapped in foil, in the refrigerator; or freeze up to 4 months.


From Quick Cuisine, by Ann Clark

August 26, 2009

Warm Berry Crisp

This berry crisp is utterly delicious -- fruity, buttery and laced with a brilliant mix of spices.  Another amazing recipe from Ann Clark and her wonderful cookbook, Quick Cuisine.

Serves 8

Ingredients

4 cups fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or a mixture), quickly rinsed and dried; or 4 cups frozen berries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar

2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground mace
½ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch ground allspice
Pinch ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter

Plain yogurt, heavy cream or vanilla ice cream for serving


To Make

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 9-inch square baking pan.

Mix together the berries, lemon juice, and sugar and spread the mixture in the bottom of the pan.

In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, spices and salt and cut the butter in with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly. 

Cover the berries with the topping and bake for 35 minutes, or until the topping is lightly browned and bubbly.  Serve warm with yogurt, cream or ice cream.


From Quick Cuisine by Ann Clark

August 12, 2009

Strawberries with Yogurt Cream

Everyone in your family will love this dessert.

Ingredients


1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed, stemmed and quartered lengthwise
1 tablespoon best-quality balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar
1 cup best-quality Greek-style yogurt, drained
2 tablespoons heavy cream or crème fraiche
6 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish

To make

In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, vinegar and 4 tablesspoons of sugar.  Stir gently.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

At serving time, combine the yogurt and cream in a bowl and whisk gently to combine.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar to taste. The mixture should remain quite firm.

Spoon the strawberries into glass serving bowls and top with the yogurt cream.

Garnish and serve.

Other nice companions to this dessert include a slice of Brittany cake, or other light cake, an almond cookie or madelleine.


From the Provence Cookbook by Patricia Wells

December 04, 2008

Best-ever Ginger Snaps

My mom’s friend Jacqueline always wowed us with these cookies, but none of us could have guessed how easy they are to make. A simple ingredient list and five simple steps are all that are needed to make these most wonderful ginger snaps. Perfect for holiday entertaining or gift-giving.

¾ cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ cup molasses
2 cups sifted flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Cream shortening and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add egg, beat well. Add molasses.
Sift together dry ingredients.
Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
Roll into 1 inch balls and dip in sugar.
Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 8 – 10 minutes.