I realize this is the third rhubarb recipe I have posted this season but who’s counting?! I actually adapted this idea from a trifle recipe. Although both parfaits and trifles are aesthetically pleasing desserts, they are not the same.
The word ‘trifle’ means something of little consequence or significance. In food terms, its anything but! A trifle is a custard and/or cream layered with fruit, placed over cake, that has been marinated in brandy or liqueur. Trifles are traditionally made in a large, deep glass bowl so you can see all the layers.
The French word ‘parfait’ means perfect and was originally made with layers of frozen custard, served in a tall glass. Currently, parfaits can simply have a yogurt base and topped with granola and fresh fruit. Though, originating from France, the parfait is now a world traveler with endless variations.
This turned out to be so good even if it was a bit time consuming.
Rhubarb Parfaits w/ Hazelnuts & White Chocolate
In a bowl, whisk eggs with sugar until fluffy. Fold flour & baking powder into egg mixture.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a large rimmed baking sheet. With a pencil, trace about 36 circles on the paper (use a small glass with the inside circumference of your parfait glasses as a guide).
Place a spoonful of cake mixture in the center of each circle. Spread mixture evenly within the traced lines. Leave a little room for the mixture to expand a bit. Bake the cake circles for about 5-6 minutes. Allow to cool.
In a saucepan, whisk together water & sugar; add rhubarb & cook for 6-8 minutes over very low heat. Remove from heat, add vanilla & transfer rhubarb pieces carefully to a bowl. Continue to cook syrup for a few minutes to thicken more before pouring over rhubarb. Let rhubarb cool completely. Reserve 6 pieces for garnishes.
In a small bowl, whip heavy cream. Add half of the white chocolate & half of the hazelnuts to the cream before adding the cooled rhubarb.
Alternate cake circles with rhubarb mixture in each of the four parfait glasses. Starting with cake on the bottom, ending with rhubarb mixture. Top each with a piece of reserved rhubarb, remaining white chocolate & some remaining hazelnuts.
When I think back to my childhood days, I have a very fond memory of my mother’s potato salad. This is probably the case with many people, but one has to be careful. Trying to create the taste of childhood is a slippery slope filled with our adult expectations. Time and distance change many things such as memory, experiences and knowledge.
Potato salad is widely believed to have originated in Germany and was brought to America by German immigrants. The thing I remember most about my mother’s potato salad was that it consisted of only a small ingredient list and had a nice slightly sweet but tart dressing. If I’m not wrong, I believe she used a bit of juice from her bread & butter pickles in the dressing. The other magic ingredient was some of her new potatoes from the garden. As the saying goes, it was ‘to die for’.
I’m not sure how popular potato salad is anymore but since its the season, I wanted to share a couple of salad recipes.
German Potato & Cauliflower Salads
In a large pot, cook potatoes in salted boiling water. Cool, peel & cube. Boil eggs & coarsely chop. In a saucepan, fry bacon until crisp. Remove from pan & blot on paper towel reserving bacon drippings for dressing. Crumble bacon. Slice green onion & radishes. Place everything EXCEPT the radishes in a large bowl.
In a bowl, whisk together reserved bacon drippings, light salad dressing, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, celery seed & dill weed. Blend well. Pour over potato mixture & carefully combine well. Cover & refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Just prior to serving, add radishes & add more salt if necessary. Carefully combine & serve.
In a saucepan, fry bacon until crisp, Remove from pan, reserving bacon drippings.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil & coat with cooking spray. Spread cauliflower florets on foil; sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cauliflower begins to brown slightly. Remove from oven & cool slightly.
While the cauliflower bakes, saute the onion in bacon drippings until tender. Set aside. Cook, peel & cube potatoes.
In a small dish, combine salad dressing, cider vinegar, sugar, mustard & garlic salt. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, cauliflower, sauteed onion & dressing. Fold together & taste to see if more salt is needed. Serve as is or chilled.
- I found, if you add the radishes just before serving keeps them crisp & prevents them from 'bleeding' their color into the salad.
- In regards to the cauliflower salad, I have also made it leaving the cauliflower RAW & substituting the white onion for green. I liked that added bit of 'crunch'.
The perfect pie for a summer evening. First off, if your not accustomed to using sour cream in a sweet pie filling you will probably cringe. My first encounter with this idea was many years ago and I’m still addicted.
Sour Cream has worked its way into many facets of my baking and cooking, so for me its a basic fridge staple. I know for some people it happens all too often … you pick up a container of sour cream to have on some tacos and then what to do with the rest before it spoils??
This pie recipe makes an extra deep dessert. It works well in a spring-form pan or a deep pie dish. The crunchy, buttery brown sugar streusel on top is lightly accented with cardamom spice & fresh lemon zest. It is the perfect foil to the lush, rich sour cream and raspberry filling.
I should mention, its best not to use light or fat-free sour cream. Another thing, is to bake the pie until the filling is set THEN top with the streusel and bake until golden. This is a pie that is best served cold or just slightly warm as it will not be firm enough to slice if it is hot.
Raspberries lovers … this one is for you!!
Raspberry Sour Cream Pie
In a bowl, combine butter & sugar; beat until light & fluffy. Mix in flour & baking powder; blend together. Pat dough in a 9-inch spring form pan or a deep dish pie pan.
In a bowl, combine sugar, flour & salt; whisk in eggs, sour cream & vanilla until smooth. Place raspberries in pie shell & pour filling over top. Bake for 30-35 minutes OR UNTIL FILLING IS JUST SET.
In a bowl, combine all streusel ingredients until well blended. After the pie filling is set, remove from the oven & turn the heat down to 350 F. Squeeze the streusel between your fingers & palms to create clumps ranging in size from small to large grapes then top pie with it. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes OR until streusel is golden brown.
Remove from oven & allow pie to cool completely on a wire rack to thicken further. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftover pie.
- Even though I mentioned you should use a full fat sour cream, I chose to use a fat free one too lighten up on the calories.
- The only difference is, it will take longer to bake & the filling is not quite as firm in the end result.
- As far as the taste goes, there is no difference. It's heavenly!!
Although, avocados are most traditionally used as a main ingredient in guacamole or to top a salad or sandwich, used in baking they are amazing.
When adding them into yeast bread recipes, you can replace all the butter with equal amounts of room temperature, mashed, ripe avocado. The ripeness of the avocado is very important as it needs to be very soft for it to work perfectly.
In addition to their creamy texture and mild flavor, avocados have a high water content so they can help to make baking softer, chewier and less likely to crumble.
You can freeze mashed, fresh, ripe avocados if you want to have an ’emergency supply’ on hand. To freeze, mash the avocados with a fork or blender. Add some lime juice and mix well. For every avocado use about 1 tablespoon of lime juice to prevent them from browning. Fill a freezer weight zip-lock bag with this puree. Remove the air from the bag, then zip closed and freeze. Best to use frozen avocados within 4-5 months of freezing.
I thought some Major Grey’s mango chutney would be a perfect compliment to these avocado rolls. Major Grey’s chutney is a style of chutney not a brand. The ingredients in Major Grey’s chutney vary both across commercial brands and recipes, but a few elements seem to remain constant like mangoes, raisins, citrus, onions, a sugar of some sort, and warm spices. The chutney is sweet and tangy with a nice ‘kick’ of heat at the end that’s enough to compliment the different layers of flavor without consuming them. You will often see it served with curried dishes or as a compliment to meats and cheeses.
Major Grey’s chutney is considered by many the gold standard of all chutneys. Complete with its own legend of a 19th Century British Army officer who presumably lived in British India and created this unique condiment.
The great part about making your own chutney is that you can tailor the ‘sweet & heat’ balance to your own preferences. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with just picking up a jar at the supermarket!!
Avocado Dinner Buns w/ Major Grey's Mango Chutney
Major Grey's Mango Chutney
In a small bowl, place yeast, lukewarm milk & 1 tsp sugar. Stir; cover & set aside until frothy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup sugar, mashed avocado, eggs. Add yeast mixture & stir to combine.
In another bowl, whisk flour & salt. Add flour mixture to yeast mixture gradually, combining after each addition. Once all flour has been added, knead on a lightly floured surface for about 2 minutes.
Lightly grease the large bowl, place dough in it & cover with plastic wrap & a tea towel. Allow to rest for at least an hour in a draft-free place until dough has doubled in volume.
Punch dough down. Divide into 18 equal pieces in shape into balls. Place into a greased baking dish & cover with plastic wrap/towel. Allow to rise until doubled in volume, about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake rolls about 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven; cool for just a few minutes then brush with the Tbsp of butter. Serve with Mango Chutney.
In a saucepan, combine all chutney ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring, until reduced & thick. Refrigerate any not used on rolls.
Vegetables may seem like unusual ingredients to use in baked goods, but this style of cooking is actually the perfect combination of savory comfort and earthy, wholesome flavor.
I know this isn’t a new concept. We have all eaten our fair share of zucchini bread and carrot cake but if you haven’t tried using sweet potato in baking, you should.
The naturally sweet, super-creamy ingredient can go way beyond the classic Thanksgiving casserole dish. Sweet or savory, sweet potatoes are versatile magic-makers. Not only will they add a pop of color but they can reduce the need for some of the expected flour, eggs and/or sugar as well as help in retaining moisture to keep baking from drying out.
In this loaf cake, I paired the sweet potato with some clementine orange, resulting in a real nice flavor!
Sweet Potato & Clementine Loaf Cake
Thinly slice clementine orange into 1/4-inch rounds. Remove any seeds. Boil sugar & water in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, then carefully add slices. Simmer until slices look slightly translucent, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; lay candied slices on a wire rack & reserve syrup for cake batter.
Prick unpeeled small sweet potato several times with a fork. Microwave on high until tender, turning halfway through, 5-8 minutes. Allow to cool about 20 minutes. Cut in half & scoop into a small bowl. Mash until smooth. Reserve 1/3 cup for cake. The rest can be used for something else or eaten as is.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line or spray a 9 X 5-inch loaf pan.
Rub 1/2 cup sugar & orange zest in a medium bowl with your hands to release natural oils. Whisk in flour, baking powder & salt.
In large bowl, whisk eggs, oil, 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato, orange juice & reserved candied clementine syrup. Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Scrape into prepared loaf pan & smooth top.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until tests done. Cover loosely with foil if browning too quickly. Allow loaf to cool for 10 minutes in pan; remove to a rack to cool completely.
In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, marmalade & lemon juice. Brush loaf with glaze, then decorate with candied clementine slices.
- Clementine rind is a little to bitter for our liking so I just removed it after it was candied & used the flesh.
The flavor of lime has not always been one that I have enjoyed. It always seemed to have an overall harsh characteristic about it. After we spent a few holidays in the Yucatan, Brion started using lime juice in his chicken soup and really enjoyed it. From there I swapped out the lemon juice for lime in our guacamole. Now here I am putting it in cheesecake. Who knew it could be that good!
A squeeze of lime juice is vital to many classic dishes. It’s the kick in a margarita, the spark that ignites many curries and the tart foil to sweetness in a host of desserts. Conveniently, for such an indispensable ingredient, limes are available year round.
Lime pairs well with apple, berries, cherry, ginger, papaya, plum and strawberry to name a few. Today, I’m using it in a cheesecake filling. It seems like a nice little dessert to start off the month of June.
Strawberry Lime Cheesecake Cups
In a bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar & lime juice & beat well. When cookie cups have completely cooled, pipe the filling in them & top with a fresh strawberry. Refrigerate until served.