Follow Me on Pinterest

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Desserts for Labor Day

Happy Thursday everyone! Since I've got my weeks all jumbled up, I keep thinking Labor Day is sooner than it actually is (I keep forgetting it's not this weekend). But even though I've still got over a week to plan, it never hurts to get a heads start. With the humidity about to head back up this weekend, I think it's safe to say we can keep our cool down recipes in mind for the holiday. Here are a few unique recipes to keep you cool while enjoying the last dregs of summer's rays.

Two-Tone Fudgesicles 
Merrill Stubbs

Makes 6-8 pops.

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Large pinch ground cinnamon
  • Large pinch cayenne
  • 3 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
  1. Combine the cream and milk in a heavy saucepan and set over low heat.
  2. Combine the bittersweet chocolate, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, cinnamon and cayenne in a medium heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine the milk chocolate, remaining brown sugar and the vanilla seeds in another medium heatproof bowl.
  4. When the milk is just about to boil, carefully pour half of it into each of the two bowls with the two different chocolates, whisking well to melt the chocolate and dissolve the sugar.
  5. Pour the bittersweet chocolate mixture about halfway up the sides of 6 to 8 popsicle molds (you may have extra -- it's great stirred into coffee!). Put the molds in the freezer until just beginning to set, about an hour to an hour and a half. (In the meantime, cover and refrigerate the milk chocolate mixture.)
  6. When the surface of the bittersweet mixture has firmed up, but the rest is still soft enough to insert a popsicle stick, give the milk chocolate mixture a quick whisk and divide it evenly among the molds (you know what to do with the leftovers!). Gently insert popsicle sticks, stabilizing them by pushing them a little bit into the bottom layer. Freeze the fudgesicles for several hours, until completely hard. To serve, dip the popsicle molds into a bowl of very hot water for a few seconds -- the fudgesicles should slip out easily.

Mojito-Watermelon Pops
Patricia Richards

Serves 8.

Mojito Layer
  • 5 ounces Simple Syrup (see Note)
  • 4 ounces water
  • 2 1/4 ounces light rum
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons packed mint leaves
  • 1/4 ounce lime cordial
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (see Note)
Watermelon Layer
  • 10 ounces watermelon juice
  • 2 ounces light agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 ounces citron vodka
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce lime cordial
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (see Note)

  1. MAKE THE MOJITO LAYER: In a blender, puree all of the ingredients except the xanthan gum on high speed until smooth and bright green, about 30 seconds. Pour into a bowl. Slowly sprinkle the xanthan gum over while quickly whisking, until slightly thickened and foamy. Let rest for 15 minutes, then skim any foam. Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mojito layer into eight 3-ounce popsicle molds or paper cups. Freeze until almost firm, 1 hour. Poke a popsicle stick into the center of each.
  2. MAKE THE WATERMELON LAYER: In another bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the xanthan gum. Slowly sprinkle the xanthan gum over while quickly whisking, until slightly thickened. Let rest, then skim.
  3. MAKE THE WATERMELON LAYER: Carefully add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the watermelon layer to the mojito layer in the molds. Freeze until almost firm, 1 hour. Pour the remaining mojito mixture on top and freeze until almost firm, 1 hour. Top with the remaining watermelon layer and freeze until firm, 2 hours. Unmold and serve.
NOTES: The thickening agent xanthan gum is available at many supermarkets and on Simple Syrup: In a saucepan, simmer 4 ounces of water with 1/2 cup of sugar over moderate heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes; let cool. Refrigerate for up to 1 month. Makes about 6 ounces.

Tropical Watermelon Fruit Salad
Tasting Table Test Kitchen

For the Pickled Watermelon Rind:
  • ½ seedless baby watermelon (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2⅓ cups water, divided
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf

For the Aleppo-Sumac Salt:
  • 3 teaspoons flaky sea salt
  • 1½ teaspoons Aleppo pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons sumac
For the Fruit Salad:
  • 4 cups watermelon pieces (from the baby watermelon above)
  • 2 cups bite-size mango pieces (2 mangos)
  • 1 cup pickled watermelon rind
  • 1 cup sliced kiwi rounds (2 kiwis, peeled)
  • 3 teaspoons Aleppo-sumac salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1½ cups bite-size avocado pieces (2 avocados)
  • ½ cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ⅓ cup toasted and roughly chopped macadamia nuts
  1. Make the pickled watermelon rind: Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the watermelon skin. Slice off the green flesh, leaving ¼ inch of the red flesh attached. Reserve the rest of the red watermelon for the salad.
  2. Cut enough of the green watermelon into ¼-inch pieces until you have about 2 cups, and combine with the salt and 2 cups of the water. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or up to 24 hours in the fridge.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining ⅓ cup of the water, both vinegars, the cinnamon stick, cloves and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat.
  4. Rinse the watermelon rind well and add it to the pickle brine saucepan. Bring to a boil, cooking for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a quart jar. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hour before using.
  5. Make the salt: In a small bowl, combine the flaky sea salt, Aleppo pepper and sumac.
  6. Assemble the salad: In a large serving bowl, combine the watermelon, mango, watermelon rind and kiwi. Season with the Aleppo-sumac salt, agave and lime juice, tossing gently to mix. Fold in the avocado pieces. Garnish with the coconut flakes, macadamia nuts and a pinch more of the Aleppo-sumac salt. Serve in a watermelon shark's head (optional).

Happy baking!

No comments:

Post a Comment