Read Baking with Less Sugar Online

Authors: Joanne Chang

Baking with Less Sugar (20 page)

BOOK: Baking with Less Sugar
7.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING WITH MAPLE SAUCE

We make an incredible sticky toffee pudding at Myers+Chang that we heap with whipped cream and douse with warm maple sauce to order. It's super sweet with sticky dates and loads of brown sugar and is the perfect dessert to eat in the snowy, cold winter months. Here, I've taken out the sugar and added maple syrup instead, and I've also tamed the sweetness so you can really taste the deep, fruity flavors of the dates. This cake is moist and full of flavor, and you'd never guess there was no sugar. You'll adore the sauce and end up putting it on everything—it goes great on pancakes and ice cream, too. The name “pudding” is deceptive if you haven't had this dessert before; it hails from England where they often call steamed cakes “pudding.”

MAKES
ONE
8-IN [20-CM] CAKE

  • 240 g/1 cup pitted and chopped Medjool dates
  • 120 g/
    1
    /
    2
    cup hot water
  • 1
    /
    2
    tsp baking soda
  • 175 g/1
    1
    /
    4
    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1
    /
    2
    tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp grade B maple syrup
  • 55 g/4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs

MAPLE SAUCE

  • 80 g/
    1
    /
    4
    cup grade B maple syrup
  • 115 g/
    1
    /
    2
    cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 60 g/
    1
    /
    4
    cup heavy cream, at room temperature or warmed (if it is cold, it could cause the butter to lump when mixed)

1.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F [175°C]. Butter and flour an 8-in [20-cm] round cake pan, or butter and line the bottom with parchment paper.

2.
Put the dates in a small bowl and add the hot water. Add the baking soda and stir to dissolve; the baking soda will soften the skins of the dates. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

3.
With a food processor or a blender, combine the dates and soaking water and process until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, and maple syrup and process until well mixed. Add the butter and eggs and process until well mixed.

4.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and springs back when you press it in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack.

5. Meanwhile, make the sauce:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup and butter until blended. Slowly whisk in the cream. The mixture should be somewhat soupy. Let the sauce sit at room temperature as the cake bakes.

6.
Line a plate with parchment paper. When the cake is out of the oven, pour about one-third of the sauce evenly over the top of the cake while it cools. When the cake is completely cool, invert it onto the lined plate and then quickly invert it again onto a serving plate so that it is right-side up. Serve slices of the cake warm or at room temperature with extra sauce generously ladled on top. The cake can be stored, well wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 3 days. The sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week; warm it in a small saucepan over medium-low heat before serving.

OLD-FASHIONED INDIAN PUDDING

If you're not a native New Englander, you may have never had Indian pudding before or even heard of it. I grew up in Texas, so my introduction to this creamy, mellow dessert wasn't until I had been in Boston for quite some time and was learning to bake at my first pastry job. Rick Katz, my pastry chef at Bentonwood Bakery, offered it at the holidays and after my first taste, it became one of my favorite desserts that I learned to make from Rick.

I'm on a mission to bring it back with this recipe. Many people are quite nostalgic for this pudding, especially if they grew up in the Northeast. It has a lovely smooth texture similar to flan with a bit more heft from the cornmeal. It is easy to make, smells incredible as it's baking, and the flavor is terrific—not too sweet, rich, comforting. People are always excited to eat this, and it is a huge hit with friends and family.

SERVES
10
TO
12

  • 960 g/4 cups whole milk
  • 100 g/
    1
    /
    2
    cup medium-coarse yellow or white cornmeal
  • 55 g/4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 215 g/
    2
    /
    3
    cup mild unsulphured molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3
    /
    4
    tsp kosher salt
  • 1
    /
    2
    tsp ground ginger
  • 1
    /
    2
    tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • Unsweetened heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks, for garnish

1.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 250°F [120°C]. Butter a 9-by-13-in [23-by-33-cm] baking pan or a 9-in [23-cm] round cake pan.

2.
Bring 840 g/3
1
/
2
cups of the milk just to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly pour in the cornmeal while whisking constantly. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the mixture is very thick. Remove from the heat, whisk in the butter, and set aside.

3.
In a small bowl, whisk together the molasses, vanilla, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and eggs. Pour the molasses mixture into the cornmeal mixture while whisking constantly. Scrape into the prepared pan and carefully pour the remaining 120 g/
1
/
2
cup milk on top in a spiral pattern. The milk will slowly sink to the bottom.

4.
Bake for 2 hours, or until the top of the custard is barely set and when you press it in the center with your finger, it no longer feels liquid underneath. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

5.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or with an electric hand mixer or by hand with a whisk), whip the cream on medium speed until it holds soft peaks that droop a little when the whisk is lifted. Serve the pudding at room temperature or chilled with whipped cream as garnish. The pudding can be stored, well wrapped with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

MAPLE CRÈME CARAMEL

I adore simple custards. The fewer ingredients, the better. This crème caramel is a step up from plain standard vanilla in that it uses maple syrup both as the caramel for the sauce and to sweeten the custard itself. Each serving has three tablespoons of maple syrup, which is not a small amount, but the reward is a truly sensational and deeply flavored dessert made without any white sugar.

MAKES
8
CUSTARDS

  • 480 g/1
    1
    /
    2
    cups grade B maple syrup
  • 480 g/2 cups heavy cream
  • 240 g/1 cup whole milk
  • 4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1
    /
    4
    tsp kosher salt
  • 1
    /
    4
    tsp vanilla extract

1.
Place 320 g/1 cup of the maple syrup in a medium or large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until thickened, dark, and reduced to about
1
/
2
cup [120 ml]. (It foams up in the pan, so be sure to use a large enough pan so it doesn't boil over. Once it foams, turn down the heat so it simply simmers—if it keeps foaming, it will start to burn. Watch it carefully!)

2.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F [175°C].

3.
Place eight 4-oz [120-ml] ramekins in a roasting pan with high sides and carefully pour the reduced maple syrup into the bottom of the ramekins, about 1 Tbsp in each one.

4.
In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 160 g/
1
/
2
cup maple syrup, the cream, milk, eggs, egg yolk, salt, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Pour the custard into the ramekins, filling each evenly. Carefully carry the roasting pan with the ramekins to the oven and place on the middle rack. Pour hot water into the roasting pan so it comes at least halfway up the sides of the ramekins. (This is a water bath and will protect your custards from over-baking.)

5.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the custards jiggle very slowly like Jell-O when you wiggle them around. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the custards cool in the pan until they are cool enough to handle. Store in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for at least overnight, or up to 4 days before serving.

6.
To serve, run a small paring knife around the edge of each ramekin and quickly invert the custard onto a serving plate. Tap the bottom of the ramekin until the custard slides out. The maple syrup will have created a sauce that pours out on top of the custard.

MAPLE PECAN ICE CREAM

Growing up in Texas, I only read about snow. We certainly didn't see it during our mild winters in Houston. When I was around eight, we moved temporarily to Denver for one year for my dad's job. Boy, did I get introduced to snow! I'd read about making maple snow—drizzling fresh snow with maple syrup and eating it by the bowlful—so the very first snowfall, that's exactly what I did. I made maple snow for the whole family, even our dog. It's one of my earliest memories of trying to follow a recipe.

Ever since, I've had a soft spot for frozen maple-y treats. This ice cream is many steps up from simple maple snow and is one of my favorite winter desserts. I often make a double batch of nuts when making this recipe, once for the ice cream and once for snacking.

MAKES ABOUT
1
1
/
2
QUARTS [1.4 L]

  • 480 g/2 cups whole milk
  • 480 g/2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 240 g/
    3
    /
    4
    cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1
    /
    4
    tsp kosher salt
  • 1 recipe Maple Pecans (recipe follows)

1.
Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large container.

2.
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and cream and heat over medium-high heat until it is scalded—that is, small bubbles form on the edges of the mixture and it almost, but not quite, comes to a boil. Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl and slowly whisk in the maple syrup until well combined. Slowly ladle a little of the hot cream into the egg-syrup mixture and whisk to combine. Continue slowly adding the hot cream to the yolks, whisking all the while, until all of the cream is mixed in. (Adding the hot liquid slowly is called tempering, which allows you to introduce the hot liquid to the cold egg yolks slowly and gently so that you combine them without scrambling the yolks.)

3.
Return the whole mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. The mixture will seem thin at first, then it will start to steam, and then it will start to develop a little body and get thicker. Remove from the heat and immediately strain the mixture through the fine-mesh strainer into the container. Whisk in the vanilla and salt.

4.
Place the ice cream base, covered, in the refrigerator until completely cold, at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. When the ice cream has finished churning, add in the pecans and mix well with a wooden spoon to evenly distribute the nuts. Transfer the ice cream to a storage container and freeze for at least 3 hours to allow it to ripen. During the ripening process, the ice cream becomes harder and smoother and the flavors develop more fully.

5.
Store the ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

MAPLE PECANS

MAKES ABOUT 215 G/1
1
/
2
CUPS

  • 150 g/1
    1
    /
    2
    cups pecan pieces
  • 80 g/
    1
    /
    4
    cup grade B maple syrup

1.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F [175°C]. Put the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.

2.
In a small saucepan, mix together the maple syrup and pecans. With a wooden spoon, stir over medium heat until the syrup is mixed well into the nuts. After 2 to 3 minutes, or when the nuts are completely coated with syrup, the syrup is starting to caramelize on the bottom of the pan, and the bottom of the pan is dry, remove from the heat and pour out onto a plate. Let cool and then chop up before using. The nuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

BOOK: Baking with Less Sugar
7.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Last Letter by Fritz Leiber
Washy and the Crocodile by James Maguire
Branded by Cindy Stark
Bound By Temptation by Lavinia Kent
Getting Rough by Parker, C.L.
Home Land: A Novel by Sam Lipsyte
When I Find Her by Bridges, Kate