Some of my favorite recipes are included below. They’re not necessarily the most complex desserts. They’re just the ones that received the most positive feedback.

  1. Pistachio Cake with Lemon Cream Filling, Raspberry and Blueberry Jam, and Meringue Frosting

    August 28, 2014 by alex

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    (adapted from Bon Appetit)

    The Cake:

    1 cup unsalted butter
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup pistachios
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 cup milk
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 cups plus 1/2 cup sugar
    4 large egg yolks
    6 large egg whites
    Zest of one lemon

    Directions:

    Flour and grease two 9-inch round springform cake pans.
    Pulse the flour, pistachios, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until the pistachios are finely ground.
    Cream the butter and 2 cups sugar in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.
    Add the egg yolks, one at a time, until the mixture is pale yellow and increased in volume.
    Add the vanilla.
    Add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating between them.
    Make sure you end with the flour.
    Move the mixture into a large bowl.
    Clean the stand mixer and using the whisk attachment whip the egg whites until they are frothy.
    Add the 1/2 cup sugar gradually.
    Beat the meringue until it’s medium peak.
    Mix 1/3 of the meringue mixture into the rest of the batter.
    Carefully fold the rest of the egg whites into the batter.
    Evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans.
    Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
    Wait 10 minutes after the cakes are out of the oven to remove them from the pans.

    The Lemon Curd Filling:

    1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
    1/3 cup lemon juice
    1/3 cup sugar
    2 large eggs
    3/4 stick unsalted butter, cubed
    1 cup heavy cream
    2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Directions:

    Place 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the water.
    Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the gelatin softens.
    Add some water to a medium sauce and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
    Whisk the lemon juice, eggs, and sugar in a medium bowl and place it over the simmering water.
    Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens.
    Do not let the mixture boil.
    Take the bowl off the heat.
    Whisking constantly, add the cold butter to the lemon mixture.
    Add the soften gelatin and whisk until combined.
    Place plastic wrap over the lemon curd.
    Make sure to place it directly on the surface of the curd so that a film doesn’t form.
    Chill for 4 hours.
    Whip the heavy cream until it reaches the soft peak state.
    Add the powder sugar and vanilla to the heavy cream while it whips.
    Continue to whip until it reaches medium peak.
    Mix the curd to loosen it.
    Fold the heavy cream into the curd.
    Refrigerate until you are ready to use it.

    The Meringue Frosting:

    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    3 large egg whites
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2/3 cup mixed berry jam

    Directions:

    Mix 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, and salt in a small saucepan.
    Bring the mixture to a boil.
    Only stir the mixture until its dissolved.
    Heat until it reaches 240F.
    Meanwhile start mixing the egg whites until frothy.
    Add the cream of tartar and 2 tablespoons sugar.
    While the mixer is running, add the hot syrup.
    Continue to beat the egg whites until they are pale and tripled in volume.
    Add the vanilla for another minute.
    Use the frosting immediately.

    Assembly: 

    Spread the mixed berry jam over the bottom layer of cake.
    Make sure to leave a 1 inch border.
    Add the lemon cream to the same layer.
    Pipe a ring of the meringue frosting in the 1 inch border.
    Add the top layer.
    Frost the rest of the cake.
    Enjoy!


  2. Ginger Thins

    October 23, 2013 by alex

    I love making ginger thins. They require some patience to make because they’re so small, but the extra work is worth it because these are tasty, and fun to eat.

    I made these for a party this past Saturday and people really seemed to like them so I thought I would make them again because I had some free time last night after my homework. If you would like to make them, you can check out the recipe from a December 2012 post here. I hope you enjoy. Please let me know what you think and where I can improve!


  3. Raspberry and Earl Grey Tart

    July 24, 2013 by alex

    And the winner is the raspberry and Earl Grey tart. Thank you to everyone who voted last week. This was a ton of fun to make. I loved infusing the heavy cream with the Earl Grey tea. This was the first time that I used gelatin. I’m not a huge fan of it, but it really keeps the filling together, I hope you enjoy!

    (recipe from William Sonoma’s, New Flavors for Desserts)

    The Crust:

    2 large egg yolks
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    10 tablespoons unsalted butter

    Directions:

    Whisk the dry ingredients together.
    Add the butter, but make sure it is cold and cubed.
    Using your fingertips, mix the butter and flour together, until it looks like coarse meal.
    Mix the egg yolks and vanilla together in a small bowl.
    Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.
    Knead the dough on a slightly flour surface just until in comes together.
    Spread the dough in a 9 inch tart pan.
    Put it in the freezer for one hour.

    Line the frozen tart with aluminum foil, just enough so that it hangs off the edge.
    Fill with pie weights or rice and bake for 25 minutes in a 375F oven.
    Remove from the oven and remove to aluminum foil.
    Put it in the oven and bake in the oven for about five minutes until golden brown
    Let it cool.

    The Filling:

    I cup heavy cream
    2 Earl Grey tea bags
    1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup creme fraiche (I used Greek yogurt instead)
    Pinch of salt
    2 pints raspberries

    Directions:

    Simmer the heavy cream over medium heat.
    Remove it form the heat and add the tea bags.
    Let it sit for at least seven minutes.
    Try to extract as much from the tea bags.
    Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

    In a small saucepan, add 1/4 cup water and sprinkle the gelatin on the water.
    Warm over low heat just until the gelatin is dissolved and let it still for 15 minutes.

    Mix the infused cream, Greek yogurt, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl.
    Add the warm gelatin and mix together.
    Pour the filling in the chilled tart shell.
    Top the tart with two pints of raspberries.
    Chill in the refrigerator.


  4. Peach and Strawberry Crostata

    July 11, 2013 by alex

    Between my lemon loaf, oatmeal raisin cookies, and crostata, my crostata is my new favorite. They are easy to make and can be filled with any kind of jam and fruit.

    (recipe adapted from The Joy of Cooking)

     

    The Crust:

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    7 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    3 tablespoons ice water

    Directions:

    Shift the dry ingredients together.
    Work in the butter with your hands, until it looks like cornmeal.
    Add the water.
    Mix with a fork, until the dough comes together.
    Form the dough into a disk and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.

    The Filling:

    1/4 cup strawberry jam
    4 peaches
    1/4 cup strawberries
    2 tablespoons sugar
    4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
    Zest of 1 lemon
    Juice of 1/2 a lemon

    Directions:

    Roll out the chilled dough, until it’s 11 inches in diameter.
    Spread the jam on the dough.
    Add the filling.
    Fold the sides of the crostata inward.
    Bake in a 375F oven for 25 to 35 minutes.
    The crust should be golden brown and the filling should be thicker.


  5. New and Improved Banana Bread

    March 19, 2012 by alex

    My mom urged me to bake something with the two bananas just sitting on the counter, so I did. I decided on making banana bread and wanted to improve the recipe that I had for it.

    By mistake I missed the sour cream in the recipe and instead of using sour cream I used yogurt. Surprisingly it turned out to be better that the last one! :)

    20120319-070543.jpg


  6. Lemon loaf

    November 16, 2011 by alex

    A lemon surprise!!!

    The loaf:
    1 stick butter
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    Rind of 2 lemons
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1 1/2 cup flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup milk

    Mix the sugar and butter together. Then lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon rind. Add the eggs.
    Shift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Then add it to the mixture alternately with the milk.
    Pour into a greased loaf pan.
    Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

    The glaze:
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    Mix together and glaze the lemon loaf.

  7. Chocolate pecan tart

    November 2, 2011 by alex

    So this wasn’t on the list of items to vote for this week, but I really wanted to make it. It’s similar to the maple pecan tart I made last week. Super sweet but really good. I hope you like it. It’s another one from The Golden Book of Desserts.

    The Crust:
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    3 1/2 ounces cold, unsalted butter
    1 large egg yolk
    2-3 teaspoons iced water

    Put the flour, sugar, and butter in a food processor. Pulse them until they resemble bread crumbs. Then add the egg yolk and the iced water, until the dough comes together.

    Knead the dough and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

    Grease a spring-form tart pan and roll the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Then place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

    Cover the tart crust with a piece of parchment paper and put rice on it to make sure that the dough doesn’t rise. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350F oven.

    The Filling:
    4 ounces dark chocolate
    1/4 cup butter
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup light corn syrup
    3 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups chopped pecans

    Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
    Mix the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup until smooth.
    Add the egg, vanilla, and chocolate until incorporated.

    Stir in the pecans.

    Pour the filling into the crust. Bake in a 350F oven for 30-35 minutes.

    Enjoy!

     


  8. Maple walnut tart

    October 23, 2011 by alex

    This recipe is a great Fall dessert. This is the second recipe I used out if The Golden Book of Desserts.

    The Crust:
    2/3 cup melted butter
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    2 large egg yolks
    1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
    3-4 teaspoons iced water

    Mix the butter and sugar together until combined. Mix in the flour and water until the dough is together. Shape into a ball and place in the fridge for 1 hour. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out until it is 1/4 inch thick. Place the dough in a spring-form tart pan. Then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    Cover the tart crust with a piece of parchment paper and put rice on it to make sure that the dough doesn’t rise. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350F oven.

    The Filling:
    3/4 cup melted butter
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2 large eggs
    1/3 cup maple syrup
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups chopped walnuts
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons apricot jam

    Mix the butter and the sugar together. Add the eggs, vanilla, and maple syrup. Stir in the walnuts and the flour. Brush the tart crust with the apricot jam. Fill the tart crust. Bake for 45-50 minutes in a 350F oven.

    Sprinkle the room temperature tart with powdered sugar.