Last month, Melissa’s produce hosted a dessert party at their headquarters in Vernon, CA. The guests were each asked to bring a dessert. I was honored to be invited and to share my dish, Latin-Style Trifle. The invitees included celebrated cookbook authors and food luminaries, award winning bloggers and food writers. Each dessert was DELICIOUS, these ladies and gentlemen are formidable bakers!
Everyone worked very hard to produce an exquisite and delectable dessert, in return we got to enjoy them all, socialized with each other, heard a presentation on produce trends by Produce Guru, Robert Schueller, marketing director for Melissa’s produce, baking demos by celebrated pastry chefs Brian Menendez and Elyssa Fournier, and to top it off, Faye Levy, acclaimed author of 23 cookbooks wrote an article in her column for the Jerusalem Post about the event and the desserts. Check below for Faye Levy’s recipe for Ganache-frosted brownies with pistachios, walnuts and candied ginger or go the this link. https://goo.gl/b8nDrD
What an amazing honor to have my recipe mentioned in the article. This is what she says about my dish “A few desserts at the party were elaborate, like a luscious Latin-style trifle that was composed of layers of…”
I came to the United States in June of 1982 and soon discovered The Joy of Cooking and their recipe for Trifle, it was love at first bite. This rich dessert gave me the inspiration to create an even more rich recipe by adding more components like the ganache, tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, and the blood orange and rum reduction. The nice thing about this recipe is that every layer stands own its own.
For my dessert, Melissa’s produce provided me with pineapples, mangos, blood oranges, coconuts flakes, cinnamon. Honestly, I am so grateful for all their support and for recognizing the richness that immigrants, like myself, bring into the food landscape of this wonderful country.
For my Latin-Style Trifle, you can prepare all the ingredients ahead of time and built the trifle the day before you need it. It tastes even better when it rests in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Is the perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day, holidays, birthdays…or do what I do, make it for your family and indulge for a couple of days, I even have it for breakfast… everyone is going to love it. There are two ways to serve it, in the traditional trifle dish or small 5 ounces clear cups.
Latin Style Trifle by Alicia Maher
Serves about 20 (small portions)
1 marquesote (Recipe below)
¾ cup Blood Orange juice reduction (Recipe below)
¾ cup Dark Sweet Rum
1 ½ cups pineapple and mango compote (Recipe below)
Warm chocolate ganache (Recipe below)
4 cups warm vanilla custard (Recipe below)
4 cups Chantilly cream (Recipe below)
1 cup toasted coconut flakes
In a trifle dish or small cups, layer small pieces of marquesote and generously drizzle with the blood orange reduction and rum. Add and spread the pineapple and mango compote, then the chocolate ganache followed by the custard, sprinkle some cinnamon and top with the Chantilly cream and toasted coconut flakes. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Enjoy.
Marquesote is light, delicious, elegant and wonderfully aromatic with lemon zest. Because this cake is quite spongy and dry, is perfect to dunk in your icy horchata, coffee or hot chocolate, or use a base for a Tres Leches Cake. In El Salvador, this is also another favorite at special gatherings and religious occasions, such as First Communions and Baptisms.
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1½ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated white sugar
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Combine the cup of sifted flour with the baking powder and salt, re-sift everything, and set aside.
Grease a 9-inch round, or 9 x 7-inch rectangular pan, or an 8-inch square pan.
Beat the yolks in a small bowl, with a whisk or fork, for about 2 minutes until very light and pale in color. After beating, add in the lemon zest and lemon juice and mix or whisk for 10 seconds. Set aside.
Whip the egg whites in a large bowl, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until stiff but not dry.
Into the whipped egg whites, gradually fold in ⅓ of the sifted flour mixture, ⅓ of the yolk mixture, and ⅓ of the sugar, and mix for 20 seconds. Repeat this process until all ingredients are incorporated, then continue mixing for 2 more minutes.
Pour evenly into the greased pan. Bake at 350ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until firm and the top is golden. Remove immediately and carefully from pan, place on a rack to cool.
Blood Orange Reduction
This blood orange reduction and rum will brighten and add a kick to cakes or on top of ice cream.
1 ½ cups Blood Orange juice
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
In a small pot and over medium to high fire, mix well the orange juice and sugar, bring to a full boil, reduce the flame to medium low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until it has been reduced to about half. Remove from fire and let it cool before using.
Pineapple and mango compote
This pineapple and mango compote makes a delicious cookie filling too, and also taste divine on top of pancakes.
3 cups fresh chopped pineapple
2 cups fresh chopped ripe mango
1 ¼ cups white granulated sugar
1 small cinnamon stick
Place all the ingredients in a medium skillet or pot, combine well and bring to a full boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated and has a syrupy consistency. Remove the cinnamon and cloves before use. Enjoy.
Basic Chocolate Ganache
The ganache…well you know…it makes everything better.
1 ½ cups bittersweet chocolate chips
¾ cups heavy cream
Place chocolate on a heatproof bowl.
In a small pot, heat the cream and bring to a boil, immediately add it to the top of the chocolate, let it rest for a minute. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon stir the chocolate on a circular motion, until all the chocolate has melted and looks smooth and shiny.
Vanilla Custard (Leche Poleada)
In El Salvador this vanilla custard is considered a sweet snack, but it also makes a great filling for cakes.
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons cornstarch
¾ cup granulated white sugar
3 cups cold milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a small bowl beat the egg yolks well and set aside.
In a medium saucepan off the heat, combine the cornstarch and sugar with a whisk. Slowly add in the milk and mix until smooth.
Heat the mixture over a medium flame, whisking continuously until it thickens. Once it reaches a boil, take 2 tablespoons of the custard mixture and quickly whisk into the egg yolks; this will temper the egg yolks to avoid curding when they come in contact with the boiling custard.
Now, briskly whisk the egg yolks into the custard. Reduce heat to medium low, continue cooking, and constantly whisk for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat, add the vanilla, and continue whisking for another 2 minutes to release the steam.
Serve warm for a creamy texture. If serving cold the custard will set and harden a bit. Sprinkle each serving with cinnamon.
½ cup of white granulated sugar
2 cups whipping cream
In a medium mixing bowl add the sugar and pour the cream on top. Whip until stiff. Let it chill for about 10 minutes before using.
Toasted coconut flakes
1 cup uncooked coconut flakes
In a small skillet and over low flame toast the coconut flakes until golden, be careful not to burn them. Use for desserts, salads, soups and more…
Here is the link too. https://goo.gl/b8nDrD
Ganache-frosted brownies with pistachios, walnuts and candied ginger by Faye Levy
To make these brownies, I used the ganache-frosted brownies from my book, Chocolate Sensations, as the base. In addition to the nuts and ginger, I added dried apricots; their tangy flavor complemented the sweet brownie. You can keep the brownies up to five days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
■ 170 gr. (6 oz.) bittersweet chocolate (70 to 75% cacao), chopped
■ 140 gr. (5 oz. or ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, cut in pieces
■ ¾ cup all-purpose flour
■ ½ tsp. baking powder ■ ¼ tsp. salt
■ 3 large eggs
■ 1 cup sugar
■ 1 tsp. vanilla extract
■ ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
■ ¼ cup chopped raw pistachios
■ ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
■ ¼ cup chopped candied (crystallized) ginger (see Note 1 below)
Ganache and garnish:
■ 185 gr. (6½ oz.) bitter sweet chocolate (70 to 75% cacao), very finely chopped ■ ½ cup whipping cream ■ About ¼ cup finely chopped raw pistachios (for garnish)
Brownies: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350ºF (175ºC). Line base and sides of a 23- to 24-cm. (9- to 9½-inch) square baking pan with a single piece of waxed paper or foil; butter paper or foil.
Combine chocolate and butter in a double boiler or heatproof medium bowl over hot, not simmering, water over low heat. Leave until melted, stirring occasionally. Stir until smooth. Remove from water; cool five minutes.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl.
Beat eggs lightly. Add sugar; whip at high speed about five minutes or until thick and light. Beat in vanilla. Add chocolate mixture in three batches, beating at low speed until blended after each addition.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture, then apricots, nuts and ginger.
Transfer batter to prepared pan; carefully spread to corners of pan in an even layer. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted 1.25 cm (½ inch) from center of mixture comes out nearly clean.
Cool in pan on a rack to room temperature. Turn out onto a tray; remove paper or foil. Turn back over onto another tray.
Ganache: Put chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring cream to a full boil in a small heavy saucepan. Pour over chocolate all at once. Stir with a whisk until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth.
On a hot day, refrigerate about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally with whisk, until cold and thick enough to spread but not set. If weather is cold, cool at room temperature. (See Note 2).
Spread ganache over top of brownies. Refrigerate an hour or until set.
Carefully cut in 16 to 20 squares, using a sharp knife. Serve cold, cool or at room temperature.
Note 1: To chop the candied ginger more easily, sprinkle it with two teaspoons of the sugar; this helps prevent the ginger from sticking to the knife.
Note 2: For extra-shiny glaze, cool ganache at room temperature and let glazed brownies set at cool room temperature about two hours.