Tag Archives: Dessert Chefs

Chef Michelle’s Rich Trini Rum Cake

fruitake.jpgThis cake is very popular in the Caribbean and especially in Trinidad, where it’s been the traditional flavor for wedding cakes for many years! It lasts very long when stored in an airtight container, so cakes weighed a ton! Recently, however, mainly the top tier is kept with traditional rum cake. It is a cherished treat for Christmas time, for all the office parties and family get-togethers, and given even as presents. It can be decorated with candied fruits, glazed with royal icing, and very good when covered with fondant.

Ingredients for Cake Mix:

454g butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp almond essence

2 tsp baking powder

6 eggs or 3 cups apple sauce

2 cups browning

1/4 cup candied orange peel

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp nutmeg

*2 cups pureed fruit mix

1 cup rum (leave out if you don’t want alcohol)

Ingredients for Fruit Mix:

Prepare in advance by marinating in 6 cups cherry brandy (use a berry juice if you want to keep it free of alcohol).

1 lb currants

1 lb raisins

1 lb cherries

1 lb prunes

Directions:

1. Sift all the dry ingredients together.

2. Cream butter and brown sugar, then slowly add eggs.

3. With the mixer on medium speed, add dry ingredients in 4 parts until fully blended. Do not overbeat.

4. Add the browning and the fruit puree mix, fold in with a spatula.

5. Pour into a greased and floured 8” tin about ¾ full. Bake at 250F for about 1 ½ hours. It will still be moist when a stick is inserted, but the sides will aleady start to release from the pan.

6. Pour the cup of rum and cover with aluminum foil until it cools.

This cake tastes better as it ages, and you can continue to moisten with extra rum as desired. Also served very nicely with a brown butter rum sauce and a scoop of homemade coconut ice-cream!

Connect with Our September Chef of the Month:

Website: BakeryTreatz

Instagram: @bakerytreatz

Chef Alekka’s Ode to the South Pralines

pralinesOur featured recipe of the week is a sweet southern treat. Did you know? Pralines first originated in France and were brought over by French settlers to New Orleans, Louisana. This praline recipe by our Chef of the Month Alekka is a delicious take on the American Southern praline.

Chef Alekka lived in Atlanta, Georgia from 1996-2001 and says,”I was the assistant pastry chef for a restaurant group there. I learned so much during my time there. These classic southern pralines are great crumbled on vanilla ice cream or you can dip half of them in tempered dark chocolate.”

Ode to the South Pralines

~for about 2 dozen

Ingredients:

2 cups light brown sugar
½ cup evaporated milk
¼ cup unsalted butter
2 ½ cups pecans, halves or pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine light brown sugar and evaporated milk in a sauce pan, boil, bring to soft ball stage.*
  2. Add butter and pecans, bring back to a soft ball stage while stirring.
  3. Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat until mixture begins to thicken.
  4. Drop by teaspoons on sheet pans lined with silicone mats.
  5. Let set and cool before serving; store in air-tight container.

*Soft Ball Stage for Candy Making using cold water test: 235 F to 240 F (118 C to 120 C)
A small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft, flexible ball, but flattens like a pancake after a few moments in your hand.

Get in contact with Chef Alekka and visit her shop Give Me Some Sugar if you’re in the Chicago area so you can learn how to make these amazing treats!

Website: Give Me Some Sugar 

Facebook: Give Me Some Sugar

Instagram: @givesugar

Twitter: @ChefAlekka

Chef Alekka’s Chocolate Espresso Brownies

brownies2.jpgThis recipe comes from our February Chef of the Month, Alekka Sweeney. Valentine’s Day is approaching and we all like to take this time to indulge in some dessert. This recipe caters to anyone with a sweet tooth and love for all things chocolate. Take a break from your New Year’s diet and enjoy the finer things in life… and one of those things is sugar!

Chocolate Espresso Brownies

Yields 32 brownies

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter

5 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon instant-espresso powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 large eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup 64% Chocolate pistols (I prefer Valrhona)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 15- by 10- by 1-inch baking pan with foil, allowing 2 inches of foil to hang over ends of pan, and grease foil well (except overhang) with 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. Melt remaining 11 tablespoons butter with unsweetened chocolate in a large metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt (mixture will be grainy), then add eggs 1 at a time, whisking after each addition until batter is smooth.
  3. Toss together flour and chocolate pistols in another bowl and add to batter, stirring until just combined.
  4. Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake in middle of oven until top is firm and edges just begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 20 minutes –be careful not to overbake.
  5. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then carefully lift brownies from pan by holding both ends of foil and transfer to rack to cool 10 minutes more. Cut into 32 squares and lift brownies off foil with a spatula.

Love this recipe? Get in contact with Chef Alekka and visit her shop Give Me Some Sugar if you’re in the Chicago area so you can learn to bake like a pro!

Website: Give Me Some Sugar 

Facebook: Give Me Some Sugar

Instagram: @givesugar

Twitter: @ChefAlekka

Chefuniforms.com December 2015 Chef of the Month - William Werner, Chef/Partner Craftsman and Wolves

December 2015 Chef of the Month – William Werner, Chef/Partner Craftsman and Wolves

Chefuniforms.com December 2015 Chef of the Month - William Werner, Chef/Partner Craftsman and WolvesWilliam Werner is Chef/Partner of Craftsman and Wolves (CAW), an award-winning
contemporary patisserie and cafe with a nod to classic French technique and an
emphasis on seasonal change, offering pastries, cakes, confections, confitures, breads,
desserts, as well as savory fare and signature drinks. Current locations include CAW
Valencia in the vibrant Mission district of San Francisco, a farmers’ market stand at the
venerable CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and an online retail shop shipping
nationwide.

Since opening the first location in 2012, Werner has garnered praise both locally and
nationally in publications, including New York Times T magazine, Wall Street Journal,
Real Simple, Esquire, and Bon Appétit, and GQ magazine named his famous “Rebel
Within” as #6 on “The 50 Best Things to Eat and Drink Right Now.”

In addition to opening a second location in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood
this fall, William and team are expanding the online retail shop with new products to ship
both nationally and internationally. Werner serves as a Valrhona Pastry Chef Consultant and leads professional culinary
demonstrations and classes around the U.S. and Canada.

Chef Werner is a James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Baker” 2015 finalist, Dessert Professional’s “Top Ten Pastry Chefs of America 2015,” The Passion Company’s “2015 Most Passionate Chef/Restaurateur in San Francisco,” San Francisco Magazine’s “2014 Best Pastry Chef,” Plate Magazine’s “2014 30 Chefs to Watch,” Star Chefs’ “2013 Rising Star Artisan” and James Beard Foundation “Outstanding Pastry Chef” 2012-2014 semi-finalist.

Congratulations Chef Werner on being our Chef of the Month for December!

1. Where do you work and where are you based?
Craftsman and Wolves, a patisserie and cafe with two locations in San Francisco.

2. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces?
Gray Kunz spoon

3. What is your Wisk Hand? Left or Right?
Right hand

4. What advice would you offer for aspiring pastry chefs?
Dig deep to the roots, don’t get caught up in the current trend, take time to understand the basics.

5. What is one tip every pastry chef should know and perfect?
How to work with chocolate.

6. What does a great dessert look like to you?
I believe you eat with your eyes first, so an appetizing dish is key, usually minimal wins for me, all ingredients on the plate are harmonious and make sense, nothing is there just to be there.

7. Favorite ingredient to work with?
Coconut

8. Favorite Dessert City?
Chicago

9. Best Dish you have ever made?
Braised beef cheek risotto on a camp stove

10. What trends do you see emerging in the near future for Pastry Chefs?
I see more health conscious desserts that don’t sacrifice flavor and texture — luxurious meets beneficial, if you will.

11. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)
Short sleeved chef coats are my favorite, only one breast pocket, and definitely fitted. I’m not a fan of pen holders on the sleeve.

12. What is your go-to chef outfit?  Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?
Vintage Metallica t shirt, jeans and full bib apron.

ChefUniforms.com outfits chef coats for competitors on new series, King of Cones

ChefUniforms.com outfits chef coats for competitors on new series King of Cones

Traditional Fit Chef Coat – Knotted Cloth Buttons – 65/35 Poly/Cotton
Style # 63512

Chefuniforms.com, a leading retailer of restaurant and chef uniforms, sponsored Traditional Fit Chef coats for all contestants on Food Network’s ice cream-themed competition series, King of Cones.The series which premiered August 4th, 2014, can be seen Mondays at 8pm ET/PT on Food Network.

ChefUniforms.com sponsored all of the traditional fit chef coats for each contestant on the series, outfitting each team in 4 colors: Ocean Blue, Ember Orange, Wine and Apple Green. The colors add a stylish flair and complement the ice cream theme of the competition. The Traditional Fit Chef coats have knotted cloth buttons and are made with a 65/35 Poly/Cotton blend which adds a richer fashion detail to each chef’s professional look. The coats provide a more contoured, tailored cut with extra room built into the biceps and underarm areas that both men and women can wear.

King of Cones is an ice-cream competition challenging dessert chefs to make the most incredible frozen treats imaginable.  In three heart-pounding elimination challenges, a giant ice cream truck arrives with a new theme and a mystery ingredient that the four talented contestants have to translate into a uniquely delicious ice cream dessert – before time runs out.  In the end, only one will scoop up the grand prize of $10,000 and be named King of Cones.

 

 

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