Archives Under "dessert" (RSS)
Tentop has evolved in ways that my faithful readers never would have dreamed at it’s inception, at that is too cool for me to put into words. Our latest dinner however, was a little closer to the basic form we started with. To put it most simply, two guys cooking the food they wanted to cook. We had the fortunate benefit of having Nick Keane on board as our bar tender, and his drinks were the starting point for all the dishes that Michael and I came up with. While my liver may never forgive me for the R&D put in on this menu, I feel it was some of the best food Micheal and I have cooked, and it had to be; to stand up to Nick’s banging concoctions.
The whole menu and pairings were killer, as I hope you can imagine; but I’d like to focus on two dishes. Our entree, Delmonico Steak Frites is a good snapshot of how we approach dish design. Take a classic, in this case two classics, and jam ‘em into something new, something the same but different. Here we started with Steak Rossini, a classic even among the classics, basically filet and seared foie gras. With our typical “we can do better” attitude, we switched out the filet mignon for rib eye, (as we are, in fact, men;) and the seared foie for torchon, because it spreads like butter. We molded the torchon into a fancy flexible mold to get the cool shape. A full rib eye steak seemed a bit much for a multi-coursed meal like this, so at Michael’s suggestion we had it butchered in the Delmonico style by Ian of Tails & Trotters. I know better than to tackle a butchery project like this on my own, and Ian’s skill is widely known. He did such a good job that we ended up cooking the suckers whole, and then sexily slicing them at service. So we’ve got steak, we’ve got foie…how about truffle fries? So yeah, we jammed in yet another classic; Steak frites. Nick came up with the perfect pairing with this, a goose fat washed Manhattan, which had a lingering earthiness to it that rode smoothly underneath the profound richness of this dish. Fuck was it good.
My other favorite of the night was partially due to the pairing, and partially due to the fact that I literally dreamed this dish up. When we tasted through the cocktails the first time, I knew right away I needed to rethink my dessert. This cocktail (originally named the McRittenhouse before Nick settled on Bitter Vieux,) is one of the best I’ve tasted. Thick and syrupy, stirred of course, and perfectly balanced. This drink needed more than a slice of pie next to it. I’d been dicking around a bunch with the Milk Bar cookbook, with mixed results, and the answer eventually came from there…kind of. I had a dream one night, and my better half can verify this, because I woke up spouting gibberish about “the best ice cream sandwich” before rolling over to return to loudly snoring. The dream involved my combining Tosi’s milk crumb recipe with the age-old “crunchy layer” I learned from Chef Tony Martin. I made the crunchy layer, then covered it with the milk crumbs, covered both with a layer of parchment and weighted it down. After it was set I portioned it into rectangles and used it as the “bread” for an ice cream sandwich. In my dream, I did this process countless times. I just kept doing it and doing it until I woke up. Weird huh? Anyway, dreams do come true sometimes, and in this case, thankfully so. Here’s a recipe.
Milk Crumb Crunch
first, make the milk crumbs.
you’ll probably want to double the recipe, it’s a good thing to have around.
then you’ll need:
12 oz of chocolate (I use 64% cocoa barry)
3 cups of feuilletine (if you can’t get feuilletine, you can use an equal amount of ground nuts, corn flakes, potato chips, or any combination there of. Just some crunchy shit you think will taste good in chocolate)
1. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Prepare a half sheet pan with a silpat.
2. When the chocolate is melted, mix in the feuilletine all at once. Quickly spread the mixture out onto the prepared pan using an offset spatula.
3. While the chocolate is still warm, sprinkle an even layer of milk crumbs over it. Cover this with parchment and pile on a few half sheets on top to press the two recipes together.
4. Chill until fully set, at least one hour. Bring the pan up to room temperature before portioning into desired shape. How I used it is pictured below, as the cookie in a butter pecan ice cream sandwich. We served it with salted orange caramel and
Bitter Viuex by Nick Keane
1 1/2oz Rittenhouse Rye
3/4 Laird’s Applejack
3/4 Lillet Blanc
1/4 Green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Benedictine
3 dashes Fees whiskey barrel bitters
- Fill a mixing glass half way with ice.
- Add liquors and other cocktail ingredients.
- Twirl a bar spoon to stir for 20-30 seconds.
- Strain the cocktail into a well-chilled glass.
Because you know, it’s like you’re dying; turning forty. At least that’s the joke. Anyway, I had fun making this one. I hadn’t made a sheet cake in awhile, maybe not since Didier’s 39th birthday cake a year ago. The cake itself was a lemon sponge, the filling vanilla butt cream and fresh blueberries and raspberries. The coffin is made from the same, minus the berries, and glazed with chocolate and crusted with cocoa nibs. I made the tombstone out of chocolate shortbread.
The cake was well recieved, and the party was well attended; as all the Porteaud parties are. Kara and Didier Porteau are two of the most beloved people I know, an integral part of the family that adopted me at Ten-01. The party included much eating, drinking, and merriment, and I did a good amount of what I like to call “dancing.” Didier was a real sport about the cake, and there was much hugging and high-fiving long before I reached the “I love you man” stage, which was inevitable. When the numerous candles were finally blown out, we lowered the coffin into the grave before eating.
Lemon Sponge Cake
makes 6 1/2 sheet cakes
- 12 eggs
- 5 - 3/4 cups sugar
- 6 tsp vanilla
- 1 jar of mayonnaise
- 12 cups AP flour
- 4 - 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 - 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 - 1/2 cups milk
- 1 - 1/2 cups lemon juice
- zest of 8 lemons
Measure the eggs, sugar, vanilla, mayo, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. This probably won’t fit in your standard Kitchen Aid, you may want to halve it. Whip this mixture on medium high until light and fluffy, about 6-8 minutes. It can really just keep whipping. Whip the shit out of it as they say.
While the eggs are having the shit whipped out of them, sift together the AP flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Zest and juice the lemons. Measure the milk.
On low speed, add the wet and dry ingredients in three steps, alternating between the two. Start and end with the dry ingredients. When it’s all in, kick the mixer up to medium to ensure total incorporation.
Line six half sheet pans with parchment. Divide the batter evenly between the pans. I weigh each, 34 ounces is a nice amount for a layer. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven until GBD, rotating once during baking; about 12 - 18 minutes total.
If you Google White Chocolate Flourless Cake, you don’t get shit. At least nothing use-able. I mean, almond flour is still a flour of sorts, and any recipe you find seems to use it. I wanted a flourless cake like my dark chocolate recipe;with a rich, fudge-like texture. If you look at my old ratio, it’s quite simple. Chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs, and water. I figured I’d start there. So white chocolate is basically sweetened cocoa butter and milk. Cocoa butter is fat, so I omitted the butter from the the OG recipe. White chocolate is sweet, too sweet for some, so I yanked the sugar. Water? Didn’t feel right. Cream felt right. So I used cream. I put the batter together like the OG, baked like the OG, bottomed it with crunchy layer and glazed it like the OG. What I ended up with; the guests who ate it and I determined, was a baked custard. The texture was like a thick pudding, a decadent “just-set” confection with a coma-inducing richness that left diners with glazed eyes and lolling heads. The plate had raspberry coulis, preserved lemon granita, and crushed hazelnut brittle.
White Chocolate Flourless Cake
54 oz white chocolate
15 oz eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
line a 1/4 sheet pan with parchment. Preheat the oven to 250 F.
melt the chocolate over a double boiler.
whisk together the eggs and cream.
when the chocolate is fully melted, whisk in the eggs. Scrape the bowl and whisk again, making sure all is incorporated and homogeneous.
transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake until GBD and set, about 45 minutes to an hour. Turn the oven off and let the cake finish inside, Chill thoroughly before glazing and portioning.
This is the 200th post on mrjeffmccarthy.com!!
If you haven’t heard of Crack Pie, crawl out from under the rock you’ve been hiding under and Google the shit. I mean, this fucking thing is trademarked! Also, FYI: they brought back the McRib. Anyway here’s my version of the sucker, served with a sweet potato puree and toasted oatmeal ice cream. A simple garnish of ground honey roasted hazelnuts adds a crunch. The pastry is really similar to chess pie; or the more archaic Barbara Fritchie Pie, which to me tastes like pecan pie without the pecans. Faithful readers and newbies alike will appreciate the simplicity of this dessert, a nod to seasonality and old world pastry, it’s just fucking good. I recently traveled to New York to visit my family, and on our way back Shorty and I visited NYC and Momofuku Milk bar. We of course had the original crack pie, and it was damned good, and illuminating. You see, I had been over-baking mine, looking for it to be totally set. Miss Tosi pulls hers as it’s just starting to firm up, and serves it cold. I prefer a room temp treat, but if I baked it her way it would be an oozy mess. Anyway, I still take mine a bit further in the oven and still serve it room temp. Another tweak I…tweak is this: I substitute half of the brown sugar with muscavado sugar, and the butter with brown butter, both in the crust and in the filling. The molasses-y flavor of this almost ebony sweetener adds a nice bitter tone to an otherwise sticky sweet concoction. I also use a half sheet pan in lieu of the standard pie pan, because i like rectangles better then wedges. At the restaurant be call this this little bitch a Brown Sugar Bar, because I don’t want David Chang suing my ass. But look, if they were worried about me using the recipe, they wouldn’t have published the fucker in Bon Appetit The Ice cream we serve here was created by my pastry cook Liz Clements, who has since moved on to a full time pastry gig in a fancy restaurant. I’m sad to see her go, but proud to have her moving on up in the world. I also bit this recipe off her before she bounced so it’s all good. The sweet potato puree is piss easy, a simple process I learned from my Chef Michael: peel and slice the yams, cover ‘em with water, a little salt and a vanilla bean, and boil the shit out of them. When the water is almost completely evaporated, the potatoes should be completely cooked and ready to puree in your Vita-Prep. pass the mess through a tamis and cool to room temp before serving.
makes 2 half sheet pans
12 oz brown butter at room temp.
4 oz sugar
4 oz brown sugar
4 oz muscavado sugar
12 oz rolled oats
2 C A.P. Flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325. Cream the butter and the sugars; add the eggs and scrape, you know the deal.
2. Add in the dry ingredients, and mix on low until dough just forms.
3. Spread the batter onto a full sheet pan in an even layer.
4. Bake until GBD
8 oz brown butter
1 1/2 oz brown sugar
1 1/2 oz muscavado sugar
6. Mix by hand to form a crust like dough, similar to graham cracker crust.
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups muscavado sugar
6 tblsp milk powder
12 oz brown butter, melted and cooled.
1 1/2 tsp salt
10 oz heavy cream
24 egg yolks
3 tblsp vanilla
1. Whisk together the first four ingredients well, break up any large clumps of sugar with your hands.
2. Add the melted cooled brown butter and whisk smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk smooth.
4. Cool completely before portioning and putting into your face.
So here we are again, another blog post and another version of the ever evolving flourless chocolate cake. Why do I continually return to this cake, faithful readers might ask? And why do I do so many mother loving chocolate desserts already? Well, my answer is this: I fucking love chocolate, and a flourless cake is a clean way to showcase it’s decadence. Served at room temperature this cake is smooth, rich as fuck, and chocolatey as a motherfucker. In the past I’ve typically made this cake with Cocoa Barry 64% and it was good. This past year I made the switch over to all things Valrhona and have never looked back. The recipe below uses a combination of Jivara 40% and Couer de Guanaja 80% chocolates. The result is a sweet and creamy smoothness with a nice strong bitter backbone. I bake the shit in thin layers and hit the bottom with a crunchy layer of milk chocolate and feuilletine, then glaze the top with a ganache of sorts and then the milk chocolate decorative lines. The cake itself is pretty standard, nothing I haven’t kind of done before. The blood orange ice cream, yeah…you’ve seen it before. The ice cream is perched on a simple chocolate tuile, which is stuck to the cake with an equally simple chocolate cremeaux. The real joy in this plate for me is in the sauce. Fernet Menta Caramel suckers!! Again, not a huge deviance from the formula here, kids. I been putting booze in caramel from the beginning. But this is Fernet, and I’ve been wanting to work it into a dessert forever. So here it is. Also garnishing the plate is a mint foam, and what I think is a nice, subtle use of the ubiquitous mint leaf.
Valrhona Chocolate Flourless Cake
!5 oz Valrhona Jivara 35%
12 oz butter
11.25 oz egg
9 0z sugar
4.5 oz water
1. Preheat your convection oven to 275 F and prepare the desired mold.
2. Melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler.
3. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and water.
4. When the chocolate and butter are melted, whisk in the eggs until thoroughly incorporated.
5. Pour into the prepared mold and bake in a covered water bath until just set, like a cheesecake.
To review the methodology for this recipe click here.
Fernet Menta Caramel
12 oz sugar
5 oz corn syrup
6 oz butter
1.25 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup Fernet Menta
1. Weigh the sugar and corn syrup into a heavy bottomed sauce pot. Caramelize according to your tastes.
2. Whisk in the butter, continue whisking until incorporated.
3. Whisk in the heavy cream until incorporated, return to a boil.
4. Pour the caramel through a strainer into a storage vessel.
5. When the caramel has cooled to room temperature, whisk in the fernet menta. Serve warm.
For the Blood Orange ice cream click here.
To see a video of me plating this bitch up, click here.
To see a video of a kitten riding a turtle, click here.
Seriously, ordering a Creme Brulee is like purchasing a golden retriever. Have some fucking imagination. I mean, its like saying you favorite Simon &Garfunkel song is “The Boxer,” I have had it on my menu for so long for a couple reasons, first and foremost: It sells. People identify with it. Much like the golden retriever, it’s an easy out, you don’t have to think about it. Also, I have the molds, and I have the process down cold. I don’t even use a water bath to bake ‘em. I could caramelize a creme brulee in my sleep. In fact, I’ve often done so in my nightmares. You see there’s this snake in a vest rolling a big doughnut, and he’s standing over this table that goes on forever, with and endless supply of custard waiting to be torched. I always wake up screaming.
So enough ranting about custard that can suck it, let’s talk about something that is almost exactly the same but somehow different. It’s like the difference between spaghetti and penne. It’s made from the same ingredients; but is texturally different, it somehow “tastes” different. Pot de Creme and creme brulee are almost identical recipes. Sweetened dairy product thickened with eggs. One has a caramelized sugar crust and one does not. One is typically baked in a low flat dish and one in a cup or “pot.” One in my mind is totally played out and annoying, and one is pretty cool. Anyway, here’s a recipe. My method may seem overwrought and finicky, but it works every time.
Caramel Pot de Creme
yields 14 - 4 oz molds
A fruit tart is a ubiquitous pastry, as old school as it comes and typically sells really well on any menu. I’ve done them in the past and will no doubt do them in the future. The large varietal, the ten to twelve inch pastry shell loaded down with pastry cream and too much fruit, can basically blow me. Sure they look nice whole, but how do you get a clean slice out of an artful display of fruit that’s brushed with simple syrup or apricot glaze? I can’t. Best I can hope for is a mashed up mess of cookie, cream, and fruit. The precision baker loathes a large fruit tart, least ways one intended to eat. I can understand the exactitude required to make a showpiece, but you don’t eat a showpiece.
Now the individual variety, as pictured here, is something I can get behind. It arrives on your plate as a simple showcase of quality ingredients. In this case, the plate is smeared with a buttery lemon curd, the thin pate sucree shell next, a vanilla white chocolate mousse is piped in, Viridian Farms blueberries arranged, and then the cocaine. This is assembled a la minute and that is the key. When a tart of this nature is filled to far before it is meant to be eaten; the crust gets soggy, and faithful readers now that soggy crust is straight bullshit. So fill your fruit tarts to order or to hell with you. The recipe below I’ve used for years, is used without permission from one of my most beloved cookbooks: Desserts by Charlie Trotter.
Does this look like barf to you? Does it remind you of that morning after close up you got of the contents of the toilet after that long night of too many PBRs and poor choices? Me too! But that’s not what it is. In fact, it’s popped popcorn infusing dairy product with its buttery goodness. Last year I had pretty good success with sweet corn ice cream in a blackberry float. The idea of a float on a summer dessert menu is always a welcome one to me, both refreshing and decadent if done right. So after several large bong hits and two bags of sour cream and onion potato chips I thought: “Dude…POPCORN…ICE CREAM!!”
To be honest, the process is quite easy and the results are quite rewarding. Sure, it takes three days. Sure it uses three bags of popcorn that you could have just eaten. But was Rome built in a day? Fuck no. Neither was a Raspberry Float. The frozen custard is smooth and creamy but toasty and buttery. It tastes just like it sounds. I decided to pair it with raspberries in the float, it just seemed natural, like raspberry cornbread. I wish the fucking thing sold better, I guess it just sounds too weird for people. Faithful readers know, though: I wouldn’t steer anyone wrong! I deal in delicious through and through people!! Now eat the shit!
Popcorn Ice Cream (makes a shit ton)
3 bags popcorn (no “light” bullshit. Use something that sounds bad for you.)
6 cups half & half
2 cups heavy cream
16 oz sugar
1 cup glucose powder (optional)
16 egg youlks
More half & half as needed
1. Pop two of the bags of popcorn and place in a large sauce pot. Add the half & half and heavy cream. Bring to a boil and cover, then kill the heat. Steep for thirty minutes.
2. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. Next day, pour the whole barfy mess into a chinoise and use the back of a ladle to push as much of the liquid through as possible.
3. Re-measure the cream and make up any difference with half & half. Pop the final bag of popcorn and place it in your large sauce pot. Add the popcorn milk and BTAB. Cover and kill the heat, Steep for thirty minutes.
4. Strain the dairy (use the ladle to push) again and re-measure. Make up any difference with half & half. Return to a pot and create a custard with the sugar and egg yolks. Review how to do this here, be sure to read the footnote.
5. Pour the custard into an airtight container and refrigerate over night to ripen the flavors.
6. Next day strain the custard again and spin it in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You could serve this in a float, or simply in a bowl with berries and caramel corn. Have your friends over and surprise the living shit out of them with your culinary prowess. I promise, there will be no barfing.
So one day I was thinking I’d make an apple cake. Since I had never really made an apple cake, I turned to my good buddy Google and soon found this recipe on Group Recipes. Kate and I had gotten a Bakers Edge pan for Christmas and on a chilly winter evening soon after I first tried the Best Apple cake In 47 Years of cooking recipe. At the restaurant I churched up this simple, outstanding, breakfasty cake into something a bit more. Maybe another 47 years? Who can say without the benefit of time travel. The genius of the cake is it’s basic nature. A true quick bread leavened with both eggs and baking soda you really just kind of mix it all up; not much to it. When it comes out of the oven, let it sit for a few minutes ad then glaze it with the brown sugar glaze. The smell stirs one to salivation, heads turn and sniff, they sniff-sniff. I actually have a bit of a thing for the raw batter. So anyway, give it a try. I change up the recipe a little from the original: where it says 3 cups of apples I just slice three apples, Also and I brown the butter in the glaze before adding the sugar and cream. At the restaurant I leave out the walnuts so people with “nut allergies” can order it too. I get back at them by serving it with toasted walnut ice cream, sage caramel, brown butter struesel and candied walnuts. I fucking love walnuts. The sage powder is I cool trick I learned working with Chef Eric Suniga, a man of true kitchen prowess. Pick a bunch of sage, pile up the leaves, and roll into into a blunt with plastic wrap. Freeze rock solid and micro plane at service.
The Best Apple Cake in 47 Years of Cooking.
A fucking bomb went off! Chocolate flourless cake, salty caramel core, milk chocolate shell and blood orange ice cream. The dessert is inspired by a pastry I had in Paris, from the shop of the revered pastry Chef Pierre Herme. It was a bombe, tempered shell and caramel core, I enjoyed it on a park bench in Luxembourg gardens. Mr. Herme ingeniously used a macaron base, his desserts were all marked by inventive skill and imagination. I employ a compressed devil’s food cake sealed with icing to seal in the oozing salty caramel, just a candle held towards Chef Pierre’s brilliance. The milk chocolate shell is just that, tempered 38% milk chocolate. Here’s a recipe for my faithful readers.
Blood Orange Ice Cream
2 cups milk
2 cups blood orange puree
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 oz butter
pinch o’ salt
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup egg yolks