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Mai Chai Pumpkin Tarimisu

Mai Chai Pumpkin Tiramisu (40)

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I’ve decided to make a Mai Chai Pumpkin Tarimisu and because we’ll be dining with family and friends, I think this would be a perfect ending to our Thanksgiving celebration.

I wanted to tell you about this AWESOME new spice blend from P.S. Flavor-Spice Blends called Mai Chai. I suppose I’d describe it as a warm combination of spices that works perfectly in coffees, smoothies, and even ice cream.

           P.S. Flavor-Spice Blends by Pam Smith, RDN.
Pam Smith, with daughter and moderator Nicole Smith Talbott, holds monthly Facebook Live classes for P.S. Flavor Club. Available are 3-month seasonal kits, you can go to http://www.psflavorclub.com. or https://m.facebook.com/psflavor

Instant Espresso

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Mascarpone And Pumpkin Puree

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Prep: 50 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 10 minutes
Yields:  9 servings per pan
Equipment: 9 x 11  baking dish or 2-disposable 9 x 9 pans with lids, 3-quart saucepot, heat-proof mixing bowl

Ingredients:
Pie Filling:
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
8-ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 15-ounce can pumpkin purée
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Mai Chai Spice

Espresso Syrup:
2 teaspoons instant espresso
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon Mai Chai Spice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon Kahlua

Tiramisu Ingredients:
4 7-ounce packages Alessi Lady Fingers
1 bar of semi-sweet chocolate for grating
2 boxes of Turtle Pecan Biscottis, crushed

Directions:
The Espresso Syrup:

Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the instant espresso powder, stir until dissolved. Add the brown sugar, Mai Chai Spice, and Kahlua and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pie Filling:
Start by making a do-it-yourself double boiler:
Bring some water to a boil in a 3-quart saucepot, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Place a heatproof mixing bowl on top leaving 2 to 3-inches of space between the water and the bottom of the bowl.

Place the egg yolks in the mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar and whisk until the yolks start to turn pale. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan with the simmering water. Slowly add the Kahlua and whisk to combine. Cook over the simmering water, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl, until thick, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool, 30 minutes.

Place the mascarpone cheese and pumpkin purée in a large mixing bowl and stir until smooth. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the whipping cream, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and Mai Chai Spice. Whip until not quite stiff peaks Add the whipped cream mixture to the pumpkin mixture, followed by the chilled egg mixture. Fold gently until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Fill a large plastic bag with the biscotti. Using a meat mallet, break up the Turtle Pecan Biscottis. They do not have to be finely crushed.

To assemble:
Arrange the ladyfingers in a single layer in the two 9 x 9 pans, braking as necessary to fit. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the espresso syrup over each ladyfinger. Add a third of the chilled pumpkin filling mixture on top and spread it into a thin layer. Grate over a thin layer of the chocolate.

Repeat this process one more time in each pan, finishing with the crushed Turtle Pecan Biscotti. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

Note: Best eaten with 24 hours, any longer the Tiramisu will start to break down.

Mocha Chili Spiced Asparagus

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Berries And Ricotta Crostata-Updated

Berries And Ricotta Crostata-Updated (1)

I decided to update this recipe for two reasons. First, phone cameras are so much better now. Second, my baking skills have improved. Crostata is a rustic looking pie. It’s formed by folding the edges over the filling.

I think that my Homemade Pie Crust is perfect for this recipe. To get my Homemade Pie Crust recipe click on the link at the bottom of this post.

I made the dough the day before so all I really needed to do was to make the filling. Once the filling was made, all I needed to do was to roll out the dough.

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Ricotta

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Egg Wash

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Berries And Ricotta Crostata-Updated (3)

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mint

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Berries And Ricotta Crostata-Updated (1)

 

 

Prep Time: Cooking the filling 7 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: cookie sheet pan, party brush, large mixing bowl, 3-quart saucepan
Note: The pie dough is made the day before.

Ingredients For Filling:
1 pint of raspberries, reserve 5 raspberries for garnish
1 pint of blackberries, for garnish
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon Chambord Liqueur (raspberry liqueur)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon *arrowroot (or cornstarch)

1 15-ounce container Ricotta cheese, cold
1 cup confectioner sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
zest of one lemon

*egg wash
2 tablespoons of sanding sugar (or Turbinado sugar)
1 sprig of fresh mint for garnish

Directions:
Place the Ricotta into a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and powdered sugar, mix to combine. Place back into the refrigerator until needed.

The Day Before:
Make the dough for the pie crust. There is a link at the bottom of the page for my Homemade Pie Crust

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Directions For The Filling:
In a small saucepan, on medium heat, place the raspberries (reserve 5 raspberries for garnish), add water, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. You will see the berries start to burst and release their juices, 3 to 5 minutes. Next, add the *arrowroot (or cornstarch), stir well, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 2 minutes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until completely cooled.

Roll the pastry into a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Ladle the thicken raspberry mixture onto the pastry, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border all around. Fold the border up over the filling pressing and pleating if needed. Place big dollops of the Ricotta mixture onto the filling, here and there. Brush the pastry edges with egg wash. Sprinkle just the edges with Sanding or Turbinado sugar. Using the parchment paper, carefully transfer the pie onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastry, has browned and the filling has thickened. Cool for 30 minutes.

Garnish with fresh berries and sprigs of mint.

*arrowroot: A starch (similar to cornstarch) obtained from the rhizomes of several tropical plants.

*egg wash: A mixture of beaten eggs and water or milk broth over pastry or dough before baking in order to give an attractive color and shine to the surface.

Serve at warm or at room temperature.

Homemade Pie Crust

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Banana Cream Cheesecake

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What do you get when you mix banana cream pie with cheesecake? A Banana Cream Cheesecake. This dessert will have you coming back for seconds.

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Above is a picture of my vanilla sugar. I keep my vanilla pods after I’ve scraped the caviar out, I add the pod into my granulated sugar jar, this way I always have vanilla sugar on hand.  I’m using vanilla sugar in my shortbread cookie crust for this recipe

Spring Form Pan Lined With Parchment Paper

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Offset Spatula

Above is what’s called an offset spatula. This makes frosting any type of cake so much easier than using, for example; a butter knife.

Note: A useful tip for frosting is to dip the offset spatula into very hot water then wiping off the spatula. You want to do this once you spread the cream all over the top with the Bavarian cream.  This technique will give you a smooth top and defined outer edge.

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Yields: 12 servings
Bake Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Inactive Bake Time: 30 minutes in the oven
Cool Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Equipment: Electric or Stand Mixer, Spring Form Pan, Food Processor

Crust:
2 1/2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs
12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
4 tbsp granulated sugar (optional vanilla sugar)

Bavarian Cream:
1 tsp powdered gelatin
2 tbsp whole milk
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp banana extract

2/3 cup cold heaving whipping cream
5 tbsp powdered sugar

Cheesecake Filling:
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
4 tsp banana extract
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup puréed bananas (2 bananas)
3 large eggs, room temperature

Directions For Whipped Cream Topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 fresh sliced bananas

Note: Use ripe bananas, not ones that have browned

Directions For Crust:
Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.
Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper-lined in the bottom and grease the sides. Add the broken up shortbread cookies to a food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Press pulse a few times to process the cookies into crumbs. Add in the melted butter, and keep pulsing, until the mixture has the consistency of wet sand. Carefully remove the blade, then dump the crumbs into the springform pan. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides (ex: pictures above) of the springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that the water doesn’t seep through the springform pan. (ex: pictures above). Set prepared pan aside.

Directions For Bavarian Cream:
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin onto the milk and set aside. In a medium-size bowl, whisk the egg yolks together and set aside. Add the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and banana extract to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until warm. Remove the cream mixture from the heat and slowly pour the hot cream into the whisked eggs to temper* them. Add the egg and cream mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, or reaches 160 degrees F. This process should happen pretty quickly. Add the gelatin mixture to the hot cream and stir until smooth.

Pour the custard into another bowl and set that bowl inside another larger bowl containing a good amount of ice. Allow the custard cool to room temperature. While the custard is cooling, add heavy cream and powdered sugar to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. Once the custard (Bavarian cream) has cooled, gently fold the whipped cream into the custard.

Note: Be sure the custard is, at a minimum, room temperature so whipped cream does not wilt.

Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the custard so a skin doesn’t form on top, and transfer to the refrigerator.

Directions For Cheesecake:
Preheat oven to 300-degrees F.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour on low speed until completely combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air add to the batter, (this may cause cracks in the cake). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sour cream, puréed bananas, and vanilla extract, mix on low speed until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each of them is added. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.

Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust. Place the springform pan inside a large roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top of the aluminum foil on the springform pan. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. The center should be set, but still slightly. Turn the oven off and leave the door closed for an additional 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook but slowly begins to cool as well.

Crack the oven door for an additional 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to cool slowly. This helps to prevent cracking. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath along with the foil wrapping. Place onto a cooling rack and cool for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from the springform pan.

Spread the chilled Bavarian cream, using an offset spatula, all over the top. A good tip for frosting (underneath the picture of the offset spatula) is referenced above. Refrigerate the cheesecake until completely cool and firm, about 6 hours.

Add the heavy whipping, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract for the whipped cream topping to the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment. whisk on high speed until stiff peaks. Pipe swirls of whipped cream around the edges of the cheesecake. Add sliced fresh bananas for the top and along the sides.

Store in refrigerator. If you’re decorating in advance with the whipped cream and fresh bananas, place cheesecake in a plastic cake container, then into the freezer.  This will stop the bananas from turning brown.  Bring the cheesecake out to thaw out enough to slice before serving.

*To Temper, is the process of adding a small amount of the hot cream slowly to beaten eggs while whisking so the eggs won’t scramble. Then add the egg mixture back to the pot, combining it with the rest of the cream mixture.

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