Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tropical Napoleons

How does one go about eating this…  layers of crisp meringue with whipped cream and sliced tropical fruit…?  There is no graceful way, really. (But I would love to learn a way if it exists.)   Thank goodness each messy bite is delicious.

The meringue wafers were easy to whip up but a little tricky to shape and bake.  We were instructed to make circular molds of meringue with a cut out plastic ring, which worked surprisingly well.  But I didn't know how thin to make the wafers, so I experimented a bit and learned the thinner they are, the harder they are to pull off the tray.  And I baked them for about 10 minutes  (recipe calls for 5-7 minutes) and they never seemed to stiffen up enough;  I could have baked them longer.  But being that they are whipped egg whites, sugar and coconut, they still tasted excellent even if a bit chewy.

The whipped cream was a treat in and of itself.  The recipe asks for a small amount of dark rum to be added which makes it irresistible by my tastes.  It compliments the coconut of the meringues well.

For the fruit I used kiwi and strawberries, relying on the kiwi to make it tropical.

Check out Tuesdays with Dorie baking group to see how my fellow bakers fared with this recipe.

And Rhiannon...

Monday, May 5, 2014

(Scallop) Asparagus & Pesto Purses

It took me until two days ago to read the recipe for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie baking group.  I think I was intimidated by the title of this recipe.  Any food item that was supposed to look like or function like a purse, sounded difficult and perhaps impossible for my novice skills.

And then I read the recipe.  Simple.  One page recipe.  Six ingredients.  Never mind that one of those ingredients was phyllo dough, I could do this.

The idea is to make a purse of phyllo dough filled with scallops and pesto.  The enclosure traps the steam as it bakes and cooks the scallop.  Since I am a vegetarian, I substituted fresh (yea!) asparagus for the scallops and added a sprinkle of goat cheese and lemon zest.   I also ignored the step in the recipe instructing us to tie each little purse with string prior to baking.   (That would have made this recipe not-so-simple.  Phyllo dough and I are not such great friends and tying it up string sounds like a battle I would have lost.  Furthermore, it brings back a memory as a child, watching my mom come to tears over a phyllo dough recipe she was baking for a 'gourmet club'.  Maybe that is the origin of our animosity.)

They turned out surprisingly amazing.  We ate them within 3 minutes.  Seriously.

These purses are meant to be served as appetizers.  They can be made earlier in the day, chilled in the fridge and baked immediately prior to serving.  Brilliant for entertaining.

Check out my fellow bloggers account of this recipe at Tuesday with Dorie.

And Rhiannon...