Tres Leches Cake

500BestSquare Tres leches cake will come to you for the first time in some kind of Hispanic restaurant. With luck, it will be in a Central American or Cuban place. For some reason, they seem to understand the concept better. It consists of a layer or two of very moist (almost wet) yellow cake. Between the layers is a fluffy filling made with three kinds of milk: fresh, condensed and evaporated. Read entire article.

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Creme Anglaise (Custard Sauce)
Desserts: Bread Pudding, Custards

Creme Anglaise (Custard Sauce)

Creme Anglaise (Custard Sauce) This sauce is served with many kinds of desserts, but I like it best with bread pudding and intense chocolate tortes–particularly those with raspberries. You can add a little rum or brandy to this at the end to spike it up a little. But do this strictly to taste–don’t guess. No matter how you wind up using the sauce, it will add a certain classy quality to whatever’s underneath. 1 cup whipping cream 3 Tbs. sugar 4 egg yolks 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract 1. Combine the…

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Mexican Creme Brulee
Desserts: Bread Pudding, Custards

Mexican Creme Brulee

Mexican Creme Brulee Creme brulee appeared in New Orleans in the early 1980s (Arnaud’s served the first one), and over the years it supplanted the once-universal caramel custard. It’s now on almost every non-Asian menu. The difference between creme brulee and caramel custard is that the former is made with cream and has the sugar crusted on top; the latter is made with milk and has sugar caramelized into a syrup at the bottom of the baking cup. Creme brulee must be baked very carefully and slowly, or it will…

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Riz au Lait (Rice Pudding)
Desserts: Bread Pudding, Custards

Riz au Lait (Rice Pudding)

Riz au Lait (Rice Pudding) This is a dessert found throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in New Orleans (where it’s known by the French name riz au lait). It’s always better than you think it’s going to be. I recommend using short-grain rice, which will absorb more of the sweet liquid and attain a more pudding-like texture. This stuff is pretty good for breakfast, especially with some berries on top. 3/4 cup short grain rice 1 quart whole milk (or half-and-half for a very rich pudding)…

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Biscuit Tortoni

Biscuit Tortoni The misleading half-French, Half-Italian name disguises a delightful dessert, made popular in New Orleans by Angelo Brocato’s ice cream parlor. A biscuit tortoni is a frozen soufflee with an almond flavor it gets from several directions at once. It was created by an Italian restaurateur in Paris in the 1800s and became famous. It’s more often seen in Italy now. 4 oz. slivered almonds 6 Amaretto di Saronno cookies, or almond macaroons 2/3 cup milk 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 tsp. almond extract 2 Tbs. sweet Marsala (or port,…

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Cheesecake Bread Pudding

RecipeSquare-150x150 This came about when I was preparing to have a book signing at Octavia Books, and was asked to bring along something delicious to serve the customers. I hadn’t decided what that would be when the idea came to me in the shower that morning. It’s simple enough: the usual custard in which the stale French bread is soaked has some aspects (cream cheese, mostly) of a cheesecake filling. The second time around, I used Creole cream cheese, too, and that made it even better. Everything else is like a standard New Orleans bread pudding.

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Masson’s Almond Torte

RecipeSquare-150x150 The memory of Masson’s at West End is fading, but some of its famous dishes live on. In particular, I’m often asked about a rather strange dessert for which they were famous. It was essentially a ball of butter cream, frozen and sliced. A similar dessert was served at Christian’s, covered with chocolate sauce and referred to as the “Skip,” after a waiter who devised it. Of course, Christian’s is gone now, too. Here’s the Masson’s recipe for those who like it. I am not one of you, but enjoy!

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Light & Rich Bread Pudding

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RecipeSquare-150x150 Light and rich? At the same time? Yes. The texture is light, but the flavor is rich. This recipe differs from most that you’ve used in having more eggs and being baked longer and slower than any other bread pudding you’ve had. It’s great as it is, but if you want to duplicate the bread pudding soufflee created by Commander’s Palace, this is the starting point.

My mother’s unique touch was to top the finished (and cooled) bread pudding with meringue, and then put the whole thing back into the oven for a few minutes to brown the meringue. Or you can stir the meringue into the pudding and bake it for that soufflee effect.

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Bread Pudding Soufflee @ Commander’s Palace

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500BestSquare Premiered at the 100th-anniversary celebration of Commander’s in 1980, this brilliant approach to New Orleans’s favorite dessert blew minds of then (I was there) and now. An unusually light but otherwise classic Creole bread pudding to start with, it’s mixed with meringue, baked in a soufflee dish, and brought with its whiskey sauce to the table in a grand flourish. Even though it is now known that Commander’s didn’t turn 100 until 1993, the bread pudding soufflee lives on as not only a memorial but as one of the two or three best desserts served in any New Orleans restaurant. Read entire article.

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English Trifle or Zuppa Inglese

RecipeSquare-150x150 An English trifle is so colorful, light, and delicious that it seems frivolous–hence the name. But a lot of work goes into making a good one, so the maker is within his or her rights to take great pride in its making. The most challenging part is making pastry cream, a recipe for which follows. But you do that in advance. The rest is easy. This is the same dessert that Italians misleadingly call zuppa Inglese (“English soup”). It should not be soupy, however. This is best made in a glass bowl, because the colorful fruits make it very pretty. Don’t hesitate to substitute other fruits. A trifle is also a great use for leftover cake, even if it’s a little stale. Finally, this makes a good summer dessert because it’s usually served a little bit chilled.

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Blueberry Cornbread Pudding

RecipeSquare-150x150 The association of blueberry growers sent me this receipe along time ago. Only recently did I find it in my files, fortuituously at time when I had three-fourths of a pan of dried-out leftover cornbread in the refrigerator. And–believe it or not–a container of blueberries going south in the same reefer. I was home alone with nobody to bake cookies or brownies for me. The next thing I knew, all of these conditions came together in a wonderful dessert. It is also delightful as a breakfast. You know how good blueberries are for you. Read entire article.

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Sauce Anglaise

RecipeSquare-150x150 This is essentially a liquid custard. It’s is a wonderful sauce for a wide range of desserts. It almost doesn’t matter what’s under creme Anglaise. It always makes the dessert better. Read entire article.

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Creme Caramel (Caramel Custard)

RecipeSquare-150x150 The custard part is easy. The caramel sauce is only a little harder. The most important matter of all is to bake the custards gently, in a water bath, so as not to overbake them. Read entire article.

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Creme Brulee

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RecipeSquare-150x150 Creme brulee appeared in New Orleans in the early 1980s (Arnaud’s served the first one), and over the years it supplanted the once-universal caramel custard. It’s now on almost every non-Asian menu. The difference between creme brulee and caramel custard is that the former is made with cream and has the sugar crusted on top; the latter is made with milk and has sugar caramelized into a syrup at the bottom of the baking cup.

Creme brulee must be baked very carefully and slowly, or it will not reach its proper perfect semi-flowing state. You can’t do it in standard custard cups; much better are shallow (an inch or so deep) glass or ceramic ramekins or au gratin dishes. They also have to be straight-sided, so there’s no thin rim of custard to burn when you blast the sugar topping. Read entire article.

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Pumpkin and Pecan Bread Pudding

RecipeSquare-150x150 This is no ordinary bread pudding. Not only does it have the fall flavors of pumpkin and pecan, but it’s quite rich and is best served not by scooping into bowls, but by slicing like a cake and serving elegantly on plates. Recipe details. . .

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