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DESSERTS

Pavlova Layer Cake With Peaches

 

Every cook needs a ta-da moment. Come to the table with this–crackly meringues layered with satiny homemade caramel and the season’s best peaches–and you’ve got yours. You can make most of it one day ahead.

The perfect Pavlova should be snowy white, crisp on the outside and slightly marshmallowy on the inside. Getting it right every time is easy if you follow a few basic guidelines and there’s also trouble shooting tips based on personal pavlova flops!

Pavlova was created for – and named after – the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova while she was touring New Zealand in 1926. Both Australia and New Zealand have laid claim to the recipe but I will let them fight it out among themselves! What is unquestionable is that the dessert is still enormously popular in both countries and around the world.

Pavlova is made from egg whites and sugar and has a unique squidgy texture thanks to the addition of vinegar (or cream of tartar) and a little cornflour. The egg whites are whipped until firm and then the sugar is gradually added until the meringue is glossy and so thick you could hold the bowl over your head without fearing it would fall out. Not that I advise you to do that last part!

 

Ingredients:

For Meringues:

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
1 vanilla bean pod, halved lengthwise
6 large egg whites, at room temperature Dash of kosher salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

For Filling:

2 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/3 cups plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup crème fraîche Lemon thyme sprigs, for garnish
2 teaspoons fresh lemon thyme leaves (or 1 1/2 tsp. thyme leaves and 1/2 tsp. lemon zest) (optional)
2 large yellow peaches, peeled and thinly sliced (about 8 oz.)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Prepare meringues: Beat egg whites and salt with an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment on medium-high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until soft peaks form.

Scrape vanilla bean seeds from pod into a small bowl; discard pod. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and half of the vanilla seeds in a second small bowl. Set aside remaining vanilla seeds. Gradually add sugar mixture to egg white mixture, beating on medium-high speed until stiff, shiny peaks form, about 5 minutes (do not overbeat).

Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper, and spread meringue mixture into 3 (8-inch) circles on prepared baking sheets. Bake at 250°F 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn oven off, and open oven door just slightly. Let meringues stand in oven 30 minutes.

Prepare filling: If using, combine lemon thyme leaves and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl; rub mixture together using your fingertips. Place peach slices in one bowl and raspberries in a second bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over peaches and raspberries; toss each to combine.

Whisk together yogurt, crème fraîche, remaining vanilla bean seeds, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl until smooth.

Assemble the pavlova cake: Place 1 meringue round on a cake stand or platter. Spread with a thin layer of yogurt mixture, and top with about three-fourths of the peaches. Top with second meringue round. Spread with a thin layer of yogurt mixture and top with about three-fourths of the raspberries. Top with third meringue round. Spread with remaining yogurt mixture, and arrange remaining peaches and raspberries on top of pavlova cake. Garnish with lemon thyme sprigs. Serve immediately.

 

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DESSERTS

Iced Pumpkin Cookies Recipe

 

Wonderful spicy iced pumpkin cookies that both kids and adults love!

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Additional: 40 mins
Total: 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 36
Yield: 3 dozen

INGREDIENTS

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.

  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.

  • To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.

     

Nutrition Facts

121.5 calories; protein 1.2g 3% DV; carbohydrates 22.4g 7% DV; fat 3.2g 5% DV; cholesterol 12.9mg 4% DV; sodium 120.5mg 5% DV.
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DESSERTS

Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake Recipe

 

This recipe becomes a favorite as soon as it is tasted. It was once referred to as ‘sinfully rich and velvety smooth’. Best if made a day before serving.

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Additional: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 4 hrs
Servings: 12
Yield: 1 – 9 or 10 inch cake

INGREDIENTS

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter one 9 or 10 inch springform pan.

  • Combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, softened butter, 2 tablespoons white sugar, and the cinnamon. Mix well and press mixture into the buttered springform pan, set aside.

  • In a medium sized bowl beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup white sugar mixing until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat at low speed until very smooth.

  • Melt the 8 ounces semisweet chocolate with 2 tablespoons whipping cream in a pan or bowl set over boiling water, stir until smooth.

  • Add chocolate mixture to cream cheese mixture and blend well. Stir in sour cream, salt, coffee, 1/4 cup coffee liqueur, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

  • Bake in the center of oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Center will be soft but will firm up when chilled. Do not over bake. Leave cake in oven with the heat turned off and the door ajar for 45 minutes. Remove cake from oven and chill for 12 hours. Just before serving top cake with mounds of flavored whipped cream and garnish with chocolate leaves. Yields 16 servings.

  • To Make Flavored Whipped Cream: Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form, then beat in confectioner’s sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur.

  • To Make Chocolate Leaves: Melt 1 ounce semisweet chocolate in a pan or bowl set over boiling water, stir until smooth. Brush real non-toxic plant leaves (such as orange leaves) on one side with melted chocolate. Freeze until firm and then peel off leaves. Freeze chocolate leaves until needed.

     

Nutrition Facts

618.7 calories; protein 9g 18% DV; carbohydrates 45.1g 15% DV; fat 45g 69% DV; cholesterol 157.5mg 53% DV; sodium 332.5mg 13% DV.
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DESSERTS

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

 

This is a wonderful pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust. The gingersnap really does make a difference.

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 1 hr 10 mins
Additional: 6 hrs
Total: 7 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 12
Yield: 1 – 9 inch cake

INGREDIENTS

 

 

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed gingersnap cookies, pecans, and butter. Press into the bottom, and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake crust 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Set aside to cool.

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending well after each. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Blend 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the remaining mixture.

  • Spread the pumpkin flavored batter into the crust, and drop the plain batter by spoonfuls onto the top. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.

  • Bake 55 minutes in the preheated oven, or until filling is set. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Allow to cool before removing pan rim. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

     

Nutrition Facts

350 calories; protein 5.8g 12% DV; carbohydrates 26.8g 9% DV; fat 25.3g 39% DV; cholesterol 101.1mg 34% DV; sodium 220.7mg 9% DV.
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