S’mores Mousse Tart with Crystallized Ginger Meringue

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Why I Love It

Why I love it: This tart has all the great features that s’mores have and none of the annoying ones, plus it’s subtly flavored with pumpkin spice and crystallized ginger.


S'mores Mousse Tart with Crystallized Ginger Meringue RecipeBuy 703

You can think of this as a fancy s’mores tart. Instead of gooey, uber–sweet marshmallow fluff it’s got a torched meringue whose flavor is enhanced by little pieces of crystallized ginger. The chocolate part is a creamy, bittersweet mousse instead of straight melted squares that get all over your fingers and the crust is a graham cracker crust, but not just any old graham cracker crust. Rather than crushing up the bland, store-bought crackers I used this delicious homemade graham cracker recipe and morphed it into a tart crust recipe. And it was surprisingly easy to do, too. I basically just left out the leavening agent (baking soda) and that was all that was needed.

Just like any graham cracker crust dough this one is too brittle to roll out and transfer into the tart pan, instead you need to press it in with your fingers. I flavored both the tart crust and the chocolate mousse with my favorite spice blend, pumpkin spice, but if you’re not into that (why not?) you can use cinnamon in the crust instead and leave the spice out of the mousse entirely. 

S'mores Mousse Tart with Crystallized Ginger Meringue
 
The crust for this tart is adapted from Martha Stewart.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients:
For the graham cracker crust:
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
For the chocolate filling:
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
For the meringue topping:
  • 4 egg whites
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger (make sure you have the individual pieces more or less separated and not in one large clump to make it easier to fold them into the meringue)
Instructions:
For the graham cracker crust:
  1. Whisk the flours, wheat germ, salt and pumpkin spice together in a bowl.
  2. Beat butter, sugar and honey for a few minutes until fluffy.
  3. Beat in the flour mix.
  4. Bring the dough together with your hands and flatten into a disc.
  5. Press the dough into a 9-inch greased tart pan, then place the pan in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  6. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Bake the tart crust until golden-brown (8–12 minutes).
  8. Let cool completely.
For the chocolate filling:
  1. Add chocolate and pumpkin spice to a bowl.
  2. Bring ¾ cup heavy cream to a boil, then pour over the chocolate/spice mix and let sit for a minute.
  3. Stir to combine cream and chocolate into a smooth mix. (If you end up with chocolate clumps, gently heat the mix over a pot of simmering water). Let cool.
  4. Whip 1 cup heavy cream with the sugar to stiff peaks.
  5. Fold the cream into the chocolate mix.
  6. Pour the mousse into the cold crust, spread out evenly with an offset spatula, then chill in the fridge for 1½ hours.
For the meringue topping:
  1. Beat the egg whites until they start to foam, then, with the mixer running, gradually add the granulated sugar until you get glossy peaks.
  2. Again with the mixer running, gradually add the powdered sugar.
  3. Fold in the crystallized ginger.
  4. Spread the topping onto the chocolate mousse tart and briefly burn with a torch.

Food Photography and Styling: What I really liked about this tart was the alternating layers of brown and white and to extend that color pattern to the rest of the photo I put the tart on a white cake stand and set it into a brown set. The slice I cut out of the tart was a mess so I couldn’t put that into the composition and instead I just put the dirty knife into the frame to complete the story. As usual I used my strobe and large softbox and lit the set from the left with a few flags to keep the background (which is my trusty wood tray) dark.
For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.

Chinese Five-Spice Powder Chocolate Cream Cheese Tart

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Why I Love It

Why I love it: This tart is easy to make, tastes delicious and has a flavor profile that is new and unusual (in a good way). It’s a mix of a chocolate tart and a cheesecake but with a whole extra layer of flavors added by the Chinese five-spice powder.


Chinese Five-Spice Powder Chocolate Cream Cheese TartBuy 703

I had the idea for this tart after I made my Chinese five-spice chocolate truffles with crystallized ginger a little while ago. Five-spice powder is a blend of white pepper, fennel, star anise, cinnamon and clove and it’s an unusual ingredient for chocolate but works great with it. I initially wanted to make it a mousse tart but then I thought a bit of tang would go well with the flavor combination so I added cream cheese, which gave it a more cheesecake-like texture (but it’s definitely more a chocolate tart than a cheesecake). Overall the tart has a delicious and very multi-faceted flavor profile that I really like. It’s easy and straightforward to make with a simple chocolate–espresso tart crust that’s briefly pre-baked and then filled with a chocolate/cream cheese/sugar/egg and spice mix. Bon appetit! 

Chinese Five-Spice Powder Chocolate Cream Cheese Tart
 
This recipe is for a 9" round pie pan or a 14" by 4½" by 1" tart pan.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients:
For the crust:
  • ½ tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2½ tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
For the filling:
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 9 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 2 eggs
Instructions:
For the crust:
  1. Mix the vinegar and the milk. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, sugar and salt, then cut in the shortening and the butter with a pastry cutter.
  3. Pour the milk/vinegar into the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together in a ball.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  5. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap, then fit into the greased pan.
  7. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove it from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
For the filling:
  1. While the crust pre-bakes, shave a few chocolate curls (about 0.5 ounces) off of one of the bittersweet chocolate bars with a vegetable peeler. Set aside as garnish.
  2. Finely chop the rest of the bittersweet chocolate and melt in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Set aside.
  3. Beat cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder and Chinese 5-spice powder in a bowl until smooth.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the chocolate.
  5. Spoon the filling into the crust, fill it all the way up to the rim and smooth out with an offset spatula. Be sure to let the filling touch the crust all around.
  6. Bake the tart until the filling rises up about half an inch above the rim, about 30 minutes.
  7. Let cool completely.
  8. Chill in the fridge and sprinkle with chocolate curls before serving.

Food Photography and Styling: This surface is my newest prop, it’s an old metal trunk (I suppose it could have been a toolbox in its day) and I knew it was a winner as soon as I spotted it in an antique store last week. It has just the right texture, marbling and color to lend interest to a food photo and is at the same time subtle enough to not steal any attention away from the food. I’m sure you’re going to see a lot of it here in coming posts. The chocolate color of this tart worked perfectly with the surface and I shot it from overhead because that is in my opinion the best perspective for things with oblong shapes like this tart pan.

You can probably tell that I followed the rule of thirds very strictly with the center of the pan sitting on the left vertical line that divides the frame into thirds and the edge of the fabric running along the right dividing line. To make the composition look a little less rigid I sprinkled chocolate curls not only on the tart but also on the surface.
For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.

Cinnamon Bourbon Honey Cayenne Roasted Plum Tart

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Why I Love It

Why I love it: The plums in this tart are macerated in a mix of cinnamon, Bourbon, honey and a hint of cayenne pepper and then roasted in the oven, all of which makes them extra delicious. Despite the multitude of flavors this tart is actually simple and very easy to make and because the tart shell and the filling are prepared completely separately, the danger of a soggy crust is reduced to a minimum.


Cinnamon Bourbon Honey Cayenne Roasted Plum TartBuy 703

I love fruit tarts but have always struggled with soggy crusts. As the fruit cooks it releases its juices and they have nowhere else to go but into the tart shell they are sitting in. Well, I’m happy to say that that’s not a problem here because for this tart I prepared the crust and the filling completely separately.

Here’s how it goes: you whip up a sweet tart dough and bake it. Meanwhile you cook up a macerating liquid for the fruit with Bourbon, honey, cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper and then soak the sliced plums in it. All those flavors work very well together, the cayenne pepper adds just a bit of sharpness that enhances the cinnamon. Once the plums have soaked up all the deliciousness you roast them in the oven until they are soft and cooked. Then you lay them into the fully baked baked shell and voila, your tart is ready to serve!

Cinnamon Bourbon Honey Cayenne Roasted Plum Tart
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients:
For the crust:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons ice water (more if needed)
For the filling:
  • ½ cup Bourbon
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 9 ripe plums
  • whipped cream to serve
Instructions:
For the crust:
  1. Whisk flour, sugar and salt together in a bowl.
  2. Add the shortening and the butter and cut them in with a pastry cutter until you have the consistency of a meal.
  3. Sprinkle the water over the fat/flour/sugar mix and bring the dough together with your hands. (If the dough doesn't come together, add a little more water, 1 teaspoon at a time).
  4. Form the dough into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  5. Roll out the dough in between two sheets of plastic wrap and then fit into an 9-inch greased tart pan.
  6. Put back in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  7. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Line the dough with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Remove the weights and the foil and bake until golden-brown (about another 20 minutes), then take out and let cool but leave the oven running at 350 degrees F. While the crust bakes, make the filling.
For the filling:
  1. Add Bourbon to a saucepan and simmer until reduced by half. Let cool.
  2. Stir in honey, cinnamon and cayenne. Set aside.
  3. Slice the plums into wedges and add to a large bowl.
  4. Pour the Bourbon glaze into the bowl and toss the plums in it until they are well coated. Let the plums macerate in the liquid for 20 minutes.
  5. Spread the plum slices out on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Don't throw away the macerating liquid.
  6. Lay the slices into the tart shell in circles, then brush some of the remaining cinnamon liquid onto the plums.
  7. Serve with whipped cream.

Food Photography and Styling: To show the nice spiral pattern that the plum slices formed I shot this tart from an overhead perspective. I started the shoot by setting the tart pan directly on the wood and then tried various items underneath it (fabrics and paper of various colors). The white paper looked best to me because of the way it made the black, scalloped rim of the pan stand out, it gave the tart a really pretty outline. As far as equipment goes I used my strobe (as always) but instead of my 105mm lens I actually used my 60mm macro lens here. I generally only use the 60mm on restaurant shoots (because space can be very limited in a restaurant) but I was in the middle of reorganizing my studio last week and just didn’t have a high enough ladder on hand.

For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.

Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Rosemary Caramel

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Why I Love It

Why I love it: This delicious cheesecake is easy, requires few ingredients and tastes spectacular. The goat cheese and the rosemary add new and interesting flavors that transform the classic into something special.


Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Rosemary Caramel RecipeForestRosemary-Caramel-Sauce-RecipeGoat-Cheese-Cheescake-with-Rosemary-Caramel-Sauce-RecipeNatureBuy 703 Hi there! How’s your summer going? I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I do, it’s been great over here in the Rockies. The weather is wonderful and we’ve already been doing lots of great hiking and a bit of camping. I should say “glamping” because we have a small camper with such delightful features as a bed, running water, a stovetop and a fridge. It’s awesome, I love that little thing. Hot tea in the morning and cold wine in the evening, that’s my kind of camping. The fridge is nice and spacey so it’s no problem to bring cheesecake(s) either and what you see here is my new favorite camping dessert: goat cheese cheesecake drizzled with rosemary caramel sauce.

From what I can tell rosemary caramel sauce seems to be a common accompaniment to cheesecake but I had never made it until last week, which is a shame because it tastes fantastic. You make it simply by infusing the cream you use for your caramel sauce with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

The goat cheese cheesecake recipe comes from Whole Foods. I saw it and knew immediately that I had to try it, I mean what a great idea! The result was wonderful, the goat cheese adds its signature tangy flavor to the cake and turns it into something half savory. The cake is not very sweet at all, the sweetness in this dessert comes mostly from the caramel sauce.

As you can see I made individual small cakes with tart molds here but you can also make one large cheesecake. Either way it’s a great dessert for just about any occasion and also perfect for bringing to a picnic in the forest and eating on a bench under a nice, shady tree.

Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Rosemary Caramel
 
This recipe is for one 9-inch springform pan or 8 individual 4-inch tart molds with removable bottoms. Fill the pan or molds ¾ full.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients:
For the graham cracker crust:
  • 1⅓ cup crushed graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 12 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
For the rosemary caramel sauce:
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 long sprig of fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
Instructions:
For the graham cracker crust and the cheesecake:
  1. Head on over to Whole Foods for instructions. Small individual tarts take much less time to bake than a 9-inch cake, start to check them after 10 minutes.
For the rosemary caramel sauce:
  1. Add the cream and the rosemary sprig to a saucepan.
  2. Heat the cream until it starts to simmer, then turn the heat off, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the rosemary sprig and transfer the cream to a container you can pour from. Set aside.
  4. Clean the saucepan well, then add the water to it.
  5. Add the sugar in a mound into the middle of the saucepan. Be careful not to have any sugar on the sides of the pan.
  6. Turn the heat on to high and without any stirring or touching of any sort, let the sugar/water mix come to a full boil. Be careful, the mix will get very, very hot. Do not touch the pot or the caramel under any circumstances.
  7. Keep boiling the mix on high heat (still without any stirring) until it starts to turn golden brown.
  8. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to boil until the mix reaches a deep amber color.
  9. Turn the heat off.
  10. Standing back, very slowly whisk the cream into the mix, a little bit at a time. The sauce will bubble violently and is still very hot, so be careful.
  11. Let the sauce cool until you can handle it easily and fill into a glass container. If it's too thick by the time you want to use it, gently warm it up over a pot of hot water or in the microwave.
Notes:
Recipe adapted from: Whole Foods Market

Food Photography and Styling: Photographing whole, large cheesecakes is really a trick and trying to cut a perfect piece out of a whole cheesecake is even more difficult so to make it easier on myself I resorted to a small, individual cake. Drips are always beautiful in my opinion so I made sure to have some caramel sauce run over the sides of the cake (and to imply that I had just poured the sauce I let a drip run down the saucepan in the background as well). That was a bit of a trick too because the sauce had to have just the right temperature to be runny enough to form drips but not too runny to run away, so to speak. Since you can’t see the rosemary in the sauce I put a sprig of it on top of the cake and sprinkled some in the background as well.

For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.

Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Rosemary Caramel

Ginger Cardamom Hazelnut Raspberry Apple Crisp

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Why I Love It

Why I love it: This crisp makes a delicious dessert that’s bursting with great flavors. Both the fruit mix and the topping are quick and easy to put together and can be prepared in advance. Because it’s a one-dish dessert cleanup is easy too!


Ginger Cardamom Hazelnut Raspberry Apple Crisp RecipeBuy 703 I’m not a big fan of raw fruit but I am a huge fan of fruit crisps. What an incredible transformation they are. You start with hard, boring apples and tart, twist-your-face-into-a-grimace raspberries and end with a juicy, crispy, warm, sweet and flavorful dish of deliciousness. I think I could finish my dinner with a fruit crisp every night and not get tired of it. (As a matter of fact, I made the crisp I have here three times this week already).

I flavored the fruit with freshly grated ginger and ground cardamom and topped it with a hazelnut streusel. The nuts add great flavor and crunch, so don’t be tempted to skip them. You can make both the fruit mix and the streusel in advance and then keep them in the fridge for several hours. Once you’re ready, you bake the crisp for about an hour and then serve it warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (or indeed both. I mean, why not!)

Ginger Cardamom Hazelnut Raspberry Apple CrispBuy 703

Ginger Cardamom Hazelnut Raspberry Apple Crisp
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 3 – 4
Ingredients:
  • 2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½–inch chunks
  • 12 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rolled oats
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Instructions:
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Toss apples, raspberries, ginger, cardamom, cornstarch and 2 teaspoons brown sugar in a bowl.
  3. Fill into baking pan(s).
  4. Add oats, flour, hazelnuts, 3 tablespoons brown sugar and salt to a bowl.
  5. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter.
  6. Sprinkle the mix over the fruit.
  7. Bake until the topping is golden-brown (about 1 hour).
  8. Serve with whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream.

Food Photography and Styling: Since this is not an elegant but more of a rustic dessert I went with a rustic wood set and kept the styling very casual. The hazelnuts are really important to me in this recipe and you can’t see them in the streusel so I put some whole nuts, some shells and some chopped hazels in the composition. I took the second photo first and really liked it but I thought you couldn’t really see the actual food very well so I took another photo at a steeper angle.

For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.

Ginger Cardamom Hazelnut Raspberry Apple Crisp Dessert

10-Minute Pumpkin Spice S’mores Trifles

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Why I Love It

Why I love it: This super easy s’mores trifle dessert is perfect when you want to serve up the classic burnt, crunchy, gooey, melted chocolate dessert flavors but don’t have a campfire handy. It takes almost no work at all, cleanup is a breeze, and because you eat this s’more with a spoon you won’t get it all over your face.


10-minute pumpkin spice smores trifles recipeBuy 703Memorial day weekend is coming up and that means s’mores season is finally kicking off! S’mores are one of America’s finest inventions, in my opinion. The combination of flavors and textures is wonderful and never gets old. The one minor gripe I have with s’mores is their messiness, there is just about no way to eat them without bathing your hands, cheeks and chin in chocolate and marshmallow goo. How do you get around that? Very simple, you turn the s’more into the trifle that I have here and eat it with a spoon.
 
The dessert is made up of layers of crumbled graham crackers (mixed with a bit of melted butter and a smidgen of pumpkin spice), chocolate layers that consist of simple hazelnut spread (warmed up a bit to make it easier to drizzle) and marshmallow cream toasted with a torch. I got the idea for this recipe from My Baking Addiction (a blog as beautiful as it is delicious) but left out the strawberries and added the pumpkin spice (because it works great with the hazelnutty chocolate).
 
One thing is important when you assemble the trifle: don’t use too much chocolate or marshmallow cream because they are both very, very sweet. You want about half of each spoonful to be graham cracker crumbles. (This doesn’t come across in the photo because the marshmallow cream tends to spread to the outside of the glass and hides a lot of the graham crumbles from view).
 
Anyway, there you have it, a very easy, fast, cheap and delicious s’mores dessert that doesn’t get your hands (or face) dirty.


10-Minute Pumpkin Spice S'mores Trifles
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
For the graham cracker layer:
  • ⅓ cup crumbled graham crackers
  • 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
  • ⅛ teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • pinch of salt
For the chocolate layer:
  • a drizzle of hazelnut spread, warmed up for a few seconds in the microwave
For the marshmallow cream layer:
  • marshmallow cream
Instructions:
  1. Mix all the graham cracker layer ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Layer graham crackers, hazelnut spread* and then marshmallow cream* into glasses (it's easiest to pipe the marshmallow cream). Toast each layer of marshmallow cream with a torch.
Notes:
*Don't use too much hazelnut spread and marshmallow cream, both are very sweet and can very quickly become overpowering. You want at least half of each spoonful of this dessert to be graham cracker crumble.

Food Photography and Styling: To me, this dessert is all about starting the outdoors season and I thought plastic spoons would be very appropriate for that so that’s what I used. The surface is a new antique wooden board I found in an antique store this weekend and I thought it worked perfectly here. The blue provided great contrast to the brown chocolate and the rustic look added to the outdoorsy feel of the shot. As usual I used my strobe to light the set and made sure to have a lot of shadows and highlights in the scene to make it look like a sunny afternoon.

For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.

Almond Orange Mousse with Anise

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Why I Love ItWhy I love it: This gourmet dessert has a complex and sophisticated flavor but the recipe is very easy (foolproof really) and the preparation is quick (~20 minutes, plus about an hour of chilling).


Almond Orange Mousse with Anise RecipeBuy 699

I got the idea for this flavor combination from a biscotti recipe I saw recently. While I am not a big fan of biscotti I did like the sound of almond, orange and anise together so I used them in this dessert. It’s a very creamy, light and fluffy mousse that is a perfect finish for a gourmet dinner. I built the mousse on an egg yolk and sugar base that I flavored with orange zest, almond extract and ground anise seeds. After that I folded in whipped cream and whipped egg whites and stiffened the whole thing with gelatin. It’s a dessert that tastes like a lot of work went into it but in reality it’s very easy to make and just about impossible to mess up. I suggest you eat it by taking a bite out of an orange slice, then follow up with a spoonful of mousse and repeat.

Almond Orange Mousse with Anise
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground anise
  • orange slices
  • finely chopped almonds
Instructions:
  1. Whip the two egg whites to stiff peaks. Put in the fridge.
  2. Whip the cream with 1 teaspoon sugar to stiff peaks. Put in the fridge.
  3. Add gelatin along with 3 tablespoons of cold water to a saucepan. Let sit for about 4 minutes.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks with ⅓ cup sugar, orange zest, almond extract and anise in a bowl until creamy.
  5. Heat the bloomed gelatin just until dissolved.
  6. Whisk the gelatin into the egg yolk mix.
  7. Fold in the cream.
  8. Fold in the egg whites.
  9. Cover and chill in the fridge until set (about 1 hour).
  10. Scoop the cream onto individual plates and serve with orange slices and chopped almonds.

Food Photography and Styling: I think of this dessert as very fancy so I wanted to create a modern, elegant look. The dish is my matte black candle holder and the surface is just a plain black poster board. Even though the spoon is antique I thought it worked here because of its elegant shape; I liked how its pointy tip mirrored the tip of the piece of orange slice. I “glued” the spoon in place with tacky wax, without it it kept falling over on its side. To follow the rule of thirds I made sure to place the spoon on the right vertical line that divides the frame into thirds.
For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.

Pumpkin Spice Hazelnut Churros

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Deep-fried desserts are the best and this one is no exception. I embellished the batter for these churros with freshly chopped hazelnuts and rolled the pastries in pumpkin spice sugar.

Pumpkin Spice Hazelnut ChurrosBuy 676 Since I recently learned how to make choux pastry I decided it was time to make some churros. Churros are deep-fried choux pastry and they taste awesome.

As you can see, I divided the batter in half and made two different shapes, balls and strands. For the balls I used a 2-teaspoon scoop and for the strands I used a piping bag with a French tip. The strands are a bit of a trick to make, you have to pipe them into the oil, holding the piping bag with both hands, then quickly grab a small kitchen knife with one hand and cut the batter off at the tip. It sounds complicated but it’s one of those things that you get the hang of quickly after doing it once or twice.

I suggest you eat these guys as an afternoon snack with fresh coffee or a shot or two of espresso.

Pumpkin Spice Hazelnut Churros
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients:
For the coating:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin spice
For the batter:
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup bread flour, sifted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ cup finely chopped hazelnuts
Instructions:
For the coating:
  1. Mix sugar and pumpkin spice together in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
For the batter:
  1. Fill oil into a Dutch oven until it's about 5 inches deep. Start to heat it.
  2. While the oil is heating up, add milk, butter, sugar and salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium, then add the sifted flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon.
  4. Cook, continuing to stir, until the dough starts to peel away from the sides of the saucepan.
  5. Transfer the dough to a bowl, then beat on medium speed until it's cooled down to lukewarm.
  6. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the egg white.
  7. Beat in the hazelnuts.
  8. Fill half of the batter into a piping bag with a French tip.
  9. Wait until the oil has reached 300 degrees F. on a candy thermometer.
  10. Working in batches, carefully pipe short strands of the dough into the oil. (Cut them off with a knife at the tip).
  11. Once they are browned take the churros out with a slotted spoon, briefly set them down on a plate lined with a paper towel, then roll them in or sprinkle them with the sugar/spice mix.
  12. Working in batches, use a 2-teaspoon scoop to drop the remaining batter into the oil in little balls and proceed in the same way as before.

Food Photography and Styling: Brown goes well with blue so I used my blue metal tray as the surface for this shot. I couldn’t think of any plates or bowls that would have worked for both shapes of churro so I used small pie pans, which also fit with the idea of rolling or sprinkling the pastries with sugar mix. The small coffee glass provided some height in the back and fit color-wise as well and to convey that these guys are a bit of a mess to eat I sprinkled some sugar around the set.
For info on what type of camera and lighting equipment I used head on over to my FAQ page.

Pumpkin Spice Hazelnut Churros