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A. Medrich Pure Dessert

knitpik's picture

Biscuit, where are you?

Alice Medrich has a new book 'Pure Dessert' coming out in August:)

RuthWells's picture

(post #62835, reply #1 of 43)

Nooooooooooooooo! (Must pretend I didn't hear this.........)

Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

Biscuit's picture

(post #62835, reply #2 of 43)

You are just mean.  Pure mean.


I can't afford another book.  Seriously.  Unless it's under $20.  The last HP book is due out in July, I am finally getting a new KA, and today I'm spending my tax return on something really sexy - a new garage door and garage door opener!  Yay for me. :-(.  Dammit.


What is with these people?  


Ah, well.  I guess we'll see.  I'll want to see if it's anything new first.  How many dessert books can one person have, I want to know???


I'm not mean - you're just a sissy.

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

Jean's picture

(post #62835, reply #3 of 43)

I only have about eleven. For reading and drooling only, you understand. We don't 'do' desserts here very much. :/



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plantlust's picture

(post #62835, reply #4 of 43)

Akkkkkk!  I soooo didn't want to know this.  sigh 


I guess I've have to put it in my cart for a future purchase.


Dandelions in bloom, spring is here!! Well, if it would get above freezing at night, spring would be here. sigh

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with parsley sauce, goat cheese garlic mashed potatoes, Galena Cellars Niagra grape wine & Pie Boss's apple crumble topped with Ruth & Phil's sour cream/cinnamon ice cream.

knitpik's picture

(post #62835, reply #5 of 43)

I'm not mean - you're just a sissy. ROFL

Don't worry there's lots of time for you to save a few $:)

nexus's picture

(post #62835, reply #6 of 43)

Groan.....Yum.

RheaS's picture

(post #62835, reply #7 of 43)

I get to meet Alice Medrich tomorrow night!!! Can you tell I'm excited? I wasn't planning to go at first, but a recent conversation with shywoodlandcreature made me change my mind. Here's the blurb for the event:


Alice Medrich will instruct tonight's guests in her purist dessert ideology and divine recipes. If you rely on great ingredients, Alice suggests, you don't need to blur their flavours. Her delicious and beautiful creations speak for themselves.

Holly's picture

(post #62835, reply #8 of 43)

Rhea you lucky duck!!! I am soooo envious...A.M. is my chocolate hero! Cocolat was my first "fancy" desert cookbook and I have baked my way through it...if you learn any fabulous new tips PLEASE report back :)

plantlust's picture

(post #62835, reply #9 of 43)

We DEFINITELY need a report back. Oh & don't forget to have her sign a book!

"The red-cherryish impression of Cantine Argiolas's Costera (2004-15USD) is spiced with notes of black pepper and terra-cotta." How the hell does someone know what terra-cotta tastes like?!?!

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with parsley sauce, goat cheese garlic mashed potatoes, Galena Cellars Niagra grape wine & Pie Boss's apple crumble topped with Ruth & Phil's sour cream/cinnamon ice cream.

RheaS's picture

(post #62835, reply #11 of 43)

I'll have to remember to bring a little notebook and write notes. I'm sure that I'll be so awestruck that I'll forget everything. Her new book comes with the class. I was thinking of bringing my copy of Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts, but I don't know if she would be offended or amused. It's in very bad shape. Splattered, sticky pages plus one of the dogs bit off a corner of the binding. My copies of Bittersweet and Cookies and Brownies are in much better shape, but they both have sticky pages. All have been well-used.

Biscuit's picture

(post #62835, reply #12 of 43)

Take them.  She'll probably be flattered! (G) 


Edited to say:  and please remember to tell her that she has a little Fan Club here, and we love her!  I'm actually going to make her Marjolene from Cocolat for my birthday cake this year.  I love that cake.



If you're afraid of butter - use cream.    Julia Child


Edited 10/16/2007 8:03 pm ET by Biscuit

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #62835, reply #13 of 43)

Yes, you have to report back.
She is one of my heroes.

RuthWells's picture

(post #62835, reply #14 of 43)

Bring your splattered books -- I brought my splattered copy of "Baking from My Home to Yours" to a signing and Dorie G was so tickled that I had been using it already! She really was pleased to sign a used copy of the book, and I'm sure Alice M. will feel the same. Color me jealous!

Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw


www.cookiesforacure.blogspot.com

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

RheaS's picture

(post #62835, reply #15 of 43)

Just got back and thought I'd post before I forget. I enjoyed the whole evening and I was pleasantly surprised to see Glenys. I also met dessertlady for the first time. Below is the menu for the evening:


Smoky Bean Soup - Glenys made a vegetarian and healthy yet rich-tasting and delicious soup. This was served with a Gruner Vertliner.


Saffron and Cardamom Panna Cotta paired with Scrapona Moscato D'Asti - inspired by a Madhur Jaffrey Indian rice dish. The panna cotta is very soft set. Saffron completely dominated the cardamom. I prefer cardamom over saffron, so I was a little disappointed. I still ate the entire serving. This smelled wonderful especially with the freshly grated cinnamon on top.


Olive Oil and Sherry Pound Cake - the suggested pairing for this is an oloroso sherry, but I don't think what we had was an oloroso. This is a very nice cake -- moist and not very sweet. I liked the cake plain, but when I tasted some of the cake with the sherry, the cake had a more nutty and almost mushroom taste. Nice surprise


Dried Fruit and Nut Cake - also paired with the same sherry as above and served with a piece of manchego cheese. This was my favourite. It's pretty much dried fruit and nuts held together with very little batter. There's a couple of versions of this in two of Alice's other books.


Italian Chocolate-Almond Torte - I can't remember the suggested pairing for this torte. We tasted this while still warm, so it was very soft and the chocolate oozed a little. I've made something like this before and I definitely prefer room temperature. It's a freckled-looking cake, but it tasted very chocolatey.


Gingersnaps - Glenys made these for the tv show that she and Alice were on this morning. Three kinds of ginger in these cookies and these were my 2nd favourite of the night. They're crisp but still have chewiness.


Random tips/comments:
- Alice found that some infusions (eg. fresh mint, jasmine tea) worked better if done with cold liquid and left in refrigerator overnight. Fish out the flavouring agent before heating the liquid.
- She prefers crisp cookies, so she likes baking on unlined pans except when the cookies have lots of chocolate or other bits that may burn. The layer of parchment provides just enough insulation in those cases.
- Texture of panna cotta is improved by cooling the panna cotta mixture in an ice water bath with occassional stirring during the cooling process.
- Every baker should be using a scale! Pure Dessert has weight measures for the flour.
- Alice seems nice with a spunky edge. I got the impression that she is definitely not a pushover (in the best way). Nonetheless, Glenys is way more fun.


I had never been to that location of Books to Cooks. My eyes were larger than a child's at a candy store. Too many cookbooks that I want. However, I resisted and only bought one other book: Pichet Ong's The Sweet Spot. I've tried a few of his recipes before and enjoyed them all. Plus, I don't have any baking books that are Asian-influenced.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #62835, reply #16 of 43)

How col. Thanks for the report. Mmmm panna cotta. I love saffron.

Marcia's picture

(post #62835, reply #17 of 43)

Nice report - you leave me envious, and interested in the book, even as a non-baker.


I do bake, but not with enthusiasm.

Glenys's picture

(post #62835, reply #19 of 43)

At this point I have to set make sure that in spite of what was said, it had nothing to do with me. It's true, Shoechick and I had dinner in NYC on Sunday night. I flew home Tuesday and she Wednesday but she sent regrets on the class because she was too tired after the flight. She mentioned our dinner but did not mention a party with a bunch of Aussies on Monday night. You do the math.

shoechick's picture

(post #62835, reply #20 of 43)

You talkin about me??? :)  I was so exhausted yesterday.... up at 4:30 am est as the car was coming at 5:15 am.... then the 5 1/2 hour flight.  By about 2:00 pm I couldn't keep my eyes open, never mind drive downtown for a 6:30 pm class....I was actually in bed by 7:00...I was really sorry to have missed the class.  Aussie dinner was actually quite tame...back in my room by 11:30 pm

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine

thedessertlady's picture

(post #62835, reply #21 of 43)

The class was fun. I was glad to meet RheaS. I hope I can join the next get together. Glenys's soup was very yummy. I wish I had the recipe.

I thought I got a few good tips. I liked the idea of grating fresh cinnamon on top of chocolate brownies. I tried this yesterday and it added a warming new level to the brownie.

I wasn't crazy about the Panna Cotta. I'm not crazy about saffron in deserts.

The idea of the Fruit and Nut bars becoming my new Christmas cakes (with a few twists, like brushing with brandy and changing some if the fruits)intersts me. I will be trying this for sure.

What class are you guys going to next?

Glenys's picture

(post #62835, reply #22 of 43)

That Panna cotta is a good example of something sooo simple but it could easily make it a few times before it was just right, meaning to one's own taste.  I agree with Rhea, it needed a more cardamom front for me, which would mean splitting the pods.  The batch we made in class was superior after pressing the saffron and letting it set a day, which is usually true anyway. 


She was quite surprised when I told her about U.S. versus Canadian protein %'s in flour; she is after all a chocolate person.  As noted, she could see the difference, even in the feel of the mixing.

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #62835, reply #25 of 43)

I made the saffron cardamon panna cotta a couple of days ago.
I misremembered you guys as having said that the cardamon was too strong, so I cut it back by a pod. Bad idea. The saffron really, really dominated the cardamon. DH and I discovered that a heavy hand with the cinnamon brings the flavors back into reasonable balance.

I do like the combination of spices, though. Next time I'll split the cardamon pods and cut back on the saffron. I may also substitute coconut milk for part of teh liquid.

Risottogirl's picture

(post #62835, reply #26 of 43)

That sounds like my kind of dessert. So leave the cardomon as is?

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #62835, reply #27 of 43)

Yes, but split the pods before you steep it, and reduce the saffron a bit, I'll bet you could go down to as little as half, unless you really love it.

RheaS's picture

(post #62835, reply #28 of 43)

Tried another winner from this book: Nibby Buckwheat Butter Cookies. Simple recipe, few ingredients, fast to put together even with chilling team (I cheated and put in the freezer, 1 hour from start to finish) and addictive! It's a crisp but melt-in-your-mouth kind of cookie and the flavour keeps you wanting to eat more. This is the first recipe I've tried where cacao nibs shine and aren't just there for crunch. Here's a link from blogger Orangette about this recipe: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2007/12/cookie-baking-part.html

RuthWells's picture

(post #62835, reply #29 of 43)

Santa brought me this book for Christmas, and I can't decide where to start!

Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw


www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

sarahendipity's picture

(post #62835, reply #30 of 43)

I've made the caramelized crepes with fromage blanc twice. I just love them.

I spilled my GORP on Mt. Baldy.

I spilled my GORP on Mt. Baldy.

sarahendipity's picture

(post #62835, reply #31 of 43)

Did the gianduja souffles last night, really yummy.


 


I spilled my GORP on Mt. Baldy.

I spilled my GORP on Mt. Baldy.

Heather's picture

(post #62835, reply #32 of 43)

I made the Italian chocolate-almond torte for dinner tonight. It is lovely--simple to make, delicious, and looks like you fussed more than you did. I'll be making this again, and I'm not even a fan of chocolate.
I made the gingersnaps recently--they aren't my favorite ginger cookie but my DH loves them.

Heather's picture

(post #62835, reply #33 of 43)

I just found the Italian chocolate cake recipe online. Try it, you'll love it! Just be sure to chop the chocolate very, very fine--I took her "very finely chopped but not completely pulverized" too seriously and stopped a little before I should have. Getting a teeny nugget of unsweetened chocolate isn't good.
It's not too sweet, has a delightful slightly chewy texture. I served it with a little dab of softly whipped cream and it was really well received.

RuthWells's picture

(post #62835, reply #34 of 43)

I finally inaugurated this book this weekend, in conjunction with testing my new factory-refurb Cuisinart ice cream maker (woo hoo!). I made the honey ice cream in the new maker, and at the last minute decided to pull out my old Salton hand-crank machine and made Medrich's bittersweet chocolate gelato (from "Bittersweet") at the same time.

The honey ice cream is delicious -- very floral and redolent of honey. I'm eating it with sugared, toasted almond slices on top (leftover from making the old Fine Cooking chiffon cake with almond crunch topping) and it is a stellar combination. The one quibble I have is that after having stored the ice cream in the freezer for a few days, it has a more pronounced fattiness to the mouth feel -- a slick of butterfat is left behind on the spoon, and on my lips, which I find unpleasant. Interestingly, this was not an issue right after it was churned.

I'm quite curious whether anyone else notices this butterfat issue with cream-based home made ice cream, as I've noticed it once before (interestingly, with another Medrich recipe).

The chocolate gelato is a clear winner. Made with no cream and no eggs, the flavor of the chocolate is very prominent and clear. It's lighter than the ice cream, obviously, and I am already scheming on how to make gelato somewhat diabetic-friendly by subbing Splenda for some of the sugar. After getting parked in the freezer it has frozen pretty solid, as there is a minimum of added sugar in the product.

I am in looooove with the new ice cream maker. What a pleasure it is to turn the switch and go back to folding laundry or cleaning the kitchen! Comparing textures post-churn, the machine-cranked ice cream was much smoother and more homogenous than the hand-cranked, unsurprisingly. I think I'll be making the household ice cream much more often in future.

Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw


www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...