Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lemon Ginger Cream Scones on a Hot Summer Day

I’ve had a craving for scones for a while now, but have put off making them until a few days ago, which turned out to be one of the hottest days in New York so far this year. Not an ideal day for baking of any kind, in fact, but my craving won out, and I cranked 

up the a.c. and got to the task at hand. I made a classic cream 
scone, but added crystallized ginger and lemon zest to the dough instead of the standard currants. Despite the a.c., my kitchen was warm, so I put the bowl containing the flour and butter mixture 

in the freezer for a few minutes so that the butter wouldn’t 
melt into the flour as I cut it in. The scones came out perfectly—extremely tender and warm and fragrant with the scent of ginger and lemon. And if you’re eating a scone (which rhymes with 

‘gone,’ not ‘own,’ in their country of origin), you’re indulging, so you might as well go all the way with the accompaniments. I suggest raspberry jam, homemade crème fraiche and honey butter, and a nice strong pot of Earl Grey tea. Or perhaps iced Earl Grey tea. It is summer, after all.

Note: If you prefer to cut out the scones with a round cutter, reduce the amount of butter to 6 tablespoons. The scones will hold their shape better.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crème of the Crop: Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America 2010

Dessert Professional, the magazine that I co-edit, recently named the Top Ten Pastry Chefs of 2010, as we’ve been doing for the past 15 years. The ten chefs were honored at a ceremony at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, where each chef presented a special plated dessert. Tasting portions of each dessert were served to the 300 or so hungry guests. Here’s a list of this year’s Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America, what each chef served, and some photos of the desserts and the event. Thanks to Jeff Lazar, our art director, and Raj Walia for their great candid shots.

Christopher Boos
Dunkin Donuts
Milk Chocolate Jasmine Tea Tart: Baskin-Robbins Cranberry Sorbet w/Soaked Cherries
Dunkin’ Dark Roast Coffee Cream

Frank Vollkommer
The Chocolate Mill Pastry Shop and Café, Glens Falls, NY
Pistachio Financier with Vanilla Parfait, Lemon Custard & Rosemary Infused Wild Blueberry Compote

Kimberly Bugler
21 Club, New York, NY
Strawberry Upside Down Cake with Kalamansi Silk, Basil Ice Cream, and Vanilla-Roasted Strawberries

Michelle Tampakis
Institute of Culinary Education, New York, NY
Gluten-Free Trio: Carrot Cake, Chocolate Concord Cake and White Forest Cake

Nicholas Lodge,
French Pastry School, Chicago, IL
Chapeau Chic (Pistachio Biscuit with Pistachio Mousse and Sour Cherry Cremeaux)

Roy Pell
The Phoenician, Scottsdale, AZ
Jacquelyn (Hazelnut Sponge with Milk Chocolate Coffee Cream and Vanilla Bavarois)

Robert Truitt
Corton Restaurant, New York, NY
Rhubarb Bavarois, Sorrel Cucumber Granité, Pistachio Sablé

Steve Evetts
New York Marriott Marquis, New York, NY
Hazelnut Passion Green Tea and Corazon

Bill Foltz
L’Auberge du Lac Casino, Lake Charles, LA
Honey Cake, Coconut Haupia, Valrhona Cream, and Pineapple Lemongrass Salsa

Yannis Janssens
Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Miami, FL
Foret Noire: Manjari, Kirsch Chantilly and Griottines

And Dessert Professional's Hall of Fame honoree, Gary Guittard of Guittard Chocolate:

Monday, June 14, 2010

Raspberry and Lemon-Mint Sorbet with Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

World Cup fever is raging. This became apparent to me yesterday as I was working in the kitchen and heard my husband yelling at the television “Come on! Come on!! What’s wrong with you??” England (referred to as ‘Team BP’ by the yeller) was playing the U.S., and our nation’s honor was on the line in the Boyle-Eggleston household, as it was in bars and homes all over the U.S.  

Happily, we tied, which, because of our lowly status in the team pecking order, was the equivalent of a win reminiscent of the Revolutionary War. As the sporting war raged, I was ensconced in my own world, calmly making sorbet, one of my favorite desserts. I fell in love with the refreshing tartness of lemon sorbet as a child. 

You couldn’t get it in the supermarket back then, but my father would take me to a place called Home Made, an ice cream shop in Northern N.J. that specialized in homemade ice cream and sorbets (though I think they called them ‘ices’ instead of ‘sorbets’). Home Made has been closed for over 20 years, but the memory of that simple, tart lemon sorbet is as fresh as ever. Fortunately, sorbet is one of the simplest desserts to make. Yes, it requires chilling and 

freezing, but the hands-on time in the kitchen is next to nothing, allowing you plenty of time to watch the next World cup match. Homemade cookies, such as my Pistachio Shortbread Cookies, 

are a natural accompaniment. The cookies, by the way, are also great with very finely chopped dried cherries added to the dough for some color and a pop of flavor. 

Go U.S.A!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream on a Really Fudgy Brownie

It’s been really hot and humid in New York for the past few days. I know because I’ve been doing some gardening, and I finish up each planting session drenched in sweat (and caked with dirt). When it’s this hot, I can’t help thinking about ice cream, and not just for dessert. A small scoop is a

great mid-afternoon pick-me-up, and curbs one’s appetite for a big dinner (no doubt you’ve heard of the ice cream diet, which operates on this principle). Because I love toasted coconut in just about anything, I decided to make Toasted Coconut Ice Cream and serve it on top of a simple glazed 

brownie. For the ice cream, I toasted unsweetened shredded coconut (available at health food stores) and infused it into cream and milk for 45 minutes. This homemade coconut milk is full of

toasty coconut flavor, and makes for a very coconut-ty ice cream. The brownie recipe is unparalleled—it’s from my friend Judith Sutton— and can be found here. I gussied the brownies up

a bit by glazing them and drizzling them with some melted milk chocolate. Serve one with a scoop of the ice cream on top and you’ll be in chocolate-coconut heaven, I promise.