Tag Archives: desserts

Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Ouefs a la Neige

I try not to make resolutions in the New Year, mostly because I always break them about thirty seconds after I make them.  I prefer goals.  Of course, I generally fall short of those, too, but it doesn’t stop me.  My goal this year is to get back on the Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks wagon.  To that end, the first challenge of the year for the Daring Cooks was given to us from Kim at Ask a Foodie.  Making sure that no matter where in the world we are, we’d have a bit of snow by making Ouefs a la Neige or Eggs in Snow.  It’s pretty similar to Floating Islands—meringues in Crème Anglaise—only the meringues in this case are poached, not baked.

Full disclosure: I don’t enjoy Crème Anglaise or any vanilla pudding-type desserts.  I turn down vanilla ice cream and milkshakes and crème brulee and even flan.  I don’t know if it’s a milk thing or a texture thing.  I suppose a combination of both.  This isn’t a dessert I’d normally make, order, or serve; however, it was fun to make, and it was certainly a challenge.

The recipes we were provided by Kim.  The crème Anglaise and poached meringues are from The Encyclopedia of Classic French Pastries by Susan Whatley, and the praline recipe was from Rachel Khoo.  Since I am not a fan of this type of dessert, I reduced the original recipe down to a third of the original.  It reduced well and was more than enough for two large servings.  I will give the full recipe ingredients list at the bottom of the post.

Apologies for the photos. Since I have been away, some things have changed, and I just have not caught up with how to share the photos between my Flickr account and WordPress.  That or I have just forgotten.  I’ll figure it out eventually.

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Oefs a la Neige

Ingredients:

Meringue Recipe

2 large egg whites, yolks reserved

Pinch of salt

¼ cup granulated sugar

7 oz. whole milk (a little less than a cup)

Whip egg whites and salt to soft peaks.

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Gradually add the sugar.  Increase speed to high & whip to stiff peaks.

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Over medium heat, bring milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan; reduce it to a simmer.

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With two spoons, spoon the meringue in an oval shape into the simmering milk.  Poach each side between 2-3 minutes, turning once.  They puff, so don’t try more than two or three at a time.  Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on a plate.

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Crème Anglaise

2 large egg yolks (reserved from the meringue)

¼ cup granulated sugar

Pinch salt

1/8 tsp vanilla

Remaining warm milk from poaching egg whites

In a heavy medium sauce pan, mix yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla together until pale yellow in color.

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Add a small amount of the warm milk, whisking vigorously.  Slowly add the remaining milk.  Stir until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Do not boil because it will curdle.  This step takes a little while, but it does get there.

Pour mixture through a strainer.  Chill custard.

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Prailine Recipe

7 tbsp. granulated sugar

2 tbsp. less 1 tsp. water

½ cup slivered almonds

Bring water & sugar to a boil.

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Add almonds.  Keep stirring.  When the sugar turns golden, pour mixture onto a silpat or parchment paper to cool.  Mine seized,

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so I added more water and it looked like everything was okay…

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until it cooled, then I had huge sugar crystals everywhere.

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Delicious, but not what I wanted.

To serve, place the chilled crème anglaise in a shallow dish

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and top it with the poached meringues and pralines.

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Original amounts:

Yield 6 servings

Meringue:

6 large egg whites

Pinch salt

¾ cups sugar

2 ½ cups whole milk

Crème Anglaise:

6 large egg yolks

¾ cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt

½ tsp. vanilla

Remaining warm milk from meringue poaching

Praline:

Same recipe

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Friday Five: Five Years of Favorites (1/5)

Five years ago, I was in the midst of preparing to go back for what would be my final year of teaching– though I didn’t know it at the time.  B had wrapped up his engineering degree.  We had lost our puppy of 11 years. And I had just become the proud owner of a Nikon D60.

Feeling a little nostalgic the evening, I thought I’d reminisce just a little bit, starting with…

1) Five Favorite Dessert Recipes:

One: Cherry Cream Cheese Danish

Two: Apple Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Three: Peach Crumb Bars

Four: Turtle Cheesecake

Five: Red Eye Devil’s Food Cake

The Pantry: Caramel Cake Part Five- Assembly

So here we are ready to put this thing together.   Let’s get to it.

Caramel Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

3- 8 inch cooled caramel cake layers

½ cup caramel sauce, room temperature

Caramel butter cream frosting

½ cup pecan halves, toasted

Directions:

Place first layer on a plate or cake round and set on a (rotating, if you have one) cake stand.  Drizzle and spread about 2 tablespoons caramel sauce on top and allow it to seep into the cake for a minute or two.

Spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons frosting on top of the caramel.

Repeat the process with both the second

and third layers.

Spread the remainder of the frosting over the top and sides of the cake.

I piped a very messy border around the bottom of the cake with my leftover frosting.  Drizzle caramel sauce over the top and sides of cake in whatever pattern you want (a squeeze bottle would’ve made this so much easier),

and then arrange toasted pecan halves around the outer edge of the top of the cake.  Put some pecans and caramel in the middle of the top for an extra touch.

Then serve it up.

Yield: 16 slices, though I bet you can get more out of it

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When you serve this cake, I recommend very thin slices because it is so sweet.  I liked it much better cold, and it was pretty good with a little scoop of ice cream.  I don’t know how or why but vanilla ice cream somehow cut the sweetness of the frosting.

As I said before, I really love the cake.  I think it’d pair well with a lighter frosting and a different filling.  The caramel sauce is also to die for, and it would be amazing drizzled over a slice of hot apple pie.  The frosting, though…I just don’t like butter creams, but if you’re a fan of them, you may like this one very much.