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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Lemon Squares

Chef Karen: A few weeks ago, Chef Jonathan made these for an event. I was so impressed, I asked him if we could make it for our blog. He’s so agreeable! 🙂 because here it is! I found this so easy to make! I had only a short window of time to whip these up and I was very pleased at how easy they came together. In the recipe, Paula suggests to mix the butter and flour with your hands. I found I didn’t like this. I’d use a pastry cutter next time. My “arthritic feeling” hands didn’t work as well as a cutter would. I’d also add some lemon zest next time.

We two chefs hung out with each other on the weekend so we were able to have people compare our two recipes. (Pretty unfair, huh?) Everyone was very gracious in saying that they liked both of them but had preferences about each one. I actually preferred Chef Jonathan’s. Hopefully, I can become an excellent pastry chef like him, someday 🙂

Chef Jonathan: Before I made this recipe, I had never made lemon squares before (I know, gasp!), and much to my delight they turned out wonderfully. I love all of Paula Deen’s recipes, especially her desserts, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Since I had made this recipe before, I added a touch more lemon juice than previously, and Chef Karen and I mutually decided that adding lemon zest would be beneficial next time. I would also reduce the amount of crust in this recipe to almost half, as it seemed a bit thick. This is a great recipe for a quick summer lemon square, and I’ll definitely be making it again soon!

Chef Jonathan's are the two top ones. Chef Karen's are the two bottom ones.

Chef Jonathan’s are the two top ones. Chef Karen’s are the two bottom ones.

Here is the recipe. Thank-you, Paula Deen! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/lemon-bars-recipe/index.html

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Creme Brulee

Chef Karen: One of my favourite desserts that Chef Jonathan creates is Creme Brulee. It’s rich, creamy and I LOVE the crunchy sugar-top. I asked him if we could use it for our blog this week. Thankfully, he agreed! I believe he used a different recipe than his usual one. (He may address this himself). I was very surprised at how easy this recipe was to make. I have the conception of anything that is French being hard to make. Wrong-o! I did substitute 1C of whole milk and 1C of 1% milk for 2C of the heavy cream. It was probably the wrong thing to do because even though I was very happy with the taste of the end product, I wasn’t very happy that it was runny. Chef Jonathan thought that maybe I should have cooked it longer. It seemed set when I took them out of the oven but upon presentation and eating, they were runny. My other issue is that I don’t have a torch. I’m proof of the fact that you really don’t need one. I put them under the broiler for a few minutes – watching them oh, so carefully – and that browned them and created the crunchy sugar-top. All-in-all a great dessert and one that even though perceived to be difficult to make, is quite easy.

Ramekins in the oven ready to bake. Notice the hot water bath.

Ramekins in the oven ready to bake. Notice the hot water bath.

Ready to serve with the crunchy sugary-top!

Ready to serve with the crunchy sugary-top!

Chef Jonathan: Creme Brûlée is one of my favourite custard desserts to make. It’s fairly easy too, if you use the proper methods. This recipe is a new one, that I’ve never used before, so the Creme turned out a bit runny, but my little trick is to just throw it in the freezer one hour prior to consumption, and it thickens up nicely. What I like about Creme Brûlée, is the contrasts: first you have a nice smooth, creamy custard with a crunchy almost burnt brown sugar topping. Second, I love the contrast between the cold custard and the flaming hot (literally) topping. There are many variations on a Creme Brûlée ( ie., Chocolate, Fruit, etc.) but I love this timeless, classic version the best. Hope you enjoy this amazing custard as much as we do.
 

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Here is the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/creme-brulee-recipe/index.html