Posts Tagged 'quantity'

Oreo Pudding, An Experiment

oreo pudding 1

I baked up a storm (literally) for my sister’s grad party this year. Here is a sneak peek of one of the desserts I made.

I first tried something like this pudding at a wedding I attended this year. It was like eating cookies n’ cream pudding frosting wonderfulness. I was intrigued and started looking up recipes, and came across a lot of these icebox cakes, which basically involve layering Oreos and whipped cream and letting them sit in the fridge overnight. The Oreos soften up from the cream and the cream thickens up, making a scoopable cake/pudding thing.

oreo pudding 4

oreo pudding 3

It seems incredible to me that you could make such a gloriously delicious dessert with only two main ingredients. I thought it couldn’t be so simple–there had to be something else–so I decided to mess with the original recipe a little. I used cream cheese/whipped cream mixture because I thought it might hold up better in the heat, but next time, I am going to stick with the straight whipped cream, just to see. I didn’t use enough of the cream mixture to really replicate the wedding pudding, so I have to give this a second shot sometime soon.

oreo pudding 2

Good thing it was so rainy that day–the party turnout was less than expected, so we have menny, menny Oreos still lying around. Incidentally, this is a great recipe for a crowd, or for any Fourth of July shenanigans you may have planned. Make ahead, mass quantity and Oreos are always a crowd-pleaser.

Less than pleased,


Oreo Pudding

Lots of Oreos

This stabilized whipped cream

Layer the Oreos with the cream cheese/whipped cream mixture in a serving dish of your choice. Refrigerate overnight. Garnish with crumbled Oreos and serve chilled.




Pipe Dream #130: To Savor a Rich Evening – Bumble Berry Napoleons

This dessert came to me at a well-timed moment. It was one of those rare, glowing summer evenings.

Picture it! It’s a balmy July dusk; the sun is nearly below the horizon. You’ve just had a meal full of grill marks and witty conversation. You’re not wearing any blue clothing, so there are no mosquitoes pestering you (double bonus). As you pour yourself a glass of sweet red wine by the fire, a delightful concoction of flaky pastry, jumbled berries and creamy filling is presented. The flavors and textures contrast and meld together in a  creamy symphony of flavor, fulfilling all of your wildest dreams about how life should be.

It was ideal. But because nights like these are few and far between, I do my utmost to appreciate them to the full.

Thus, this dessert has stuck with me. This is the reincarnated version of the dessert my mum made a few years ago. Frozen puff pastry makes it easy-schmeasy. Because we were feeding a crowd, we cut the pastry into 12 parts, rather than six. It went further, and really, it was a better portion size than the original recipe suggests, I think. Unless you are feeding tha men. Size at your discretion. We also used cream cheese this time around, because I was too lazy to run to the store and get mascarpone. It was still, great, but hey, if you wanna be cheesy and elegant, you go for it, man.

P.S. I hope I haven’t been overwhelming you with berries. I mean, there was The Trifle, not to mention the various lessons in fake frugality I have been obligated to share, all of which include berries, fresh or otherwise. I think this speaks to the fact that I have been somewhat overwhelmed with berries this summer. Not that I’m complaining. These bright bulbs of goodness are in season, after all.

Enjoy these Havana nightttts,


Bumble Berry Napoleons

Adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine

1 sheet  frozen puff pastry, thawed and cut into 6 equal rectangles (or 12)
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh raspberries
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons ruby port
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . Arrange the puff pastry on a baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 5 minutes; split each piece into 2 layers.
In a large bowl, combine the berries. In a large, nonreactive skillet, combine 3 cups berries, 1/4 cup sugar, the lemon juice and port over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cool.
Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, mascarpone, vanilla and the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar until stiff, about 2 minutes. Fold in 3/4 cup berry compote.
Spread the remaining berry compote on the pastry bottoms. Top them with some berry cream, the remaining fresh berries and the pastry tops. Dollop with the remaining berry cream before serving.

Pipe Dream #128: To Care About Trifling Details – Gluten Free Berry Trifle

In college I had a few friends who were gluten intolerant, and I know it was the worst not being able to eat the carbs that everyone else did. It was a bit shocking to put myself in their shoes. I could never eat a cupcake again, and since probably 1/3 of my nutrition in college came directly from baked goods made with wheat flour, I would probably have died, not because I wasn’t eating enough, but because killing my sugar addiction would have killed me. Probably.

Since that time, I have been really careful about including gluten-free recipes in my repertoire. It gives me more joy to feed gluten-intolerant people because I know that they are really getting a treat and they know that I care about them. Not everyone remembers to provide a gluten-free option, and many gluten-free recipes are highly average. Not that awareness of the issue in the past few years hasn’t increased the standard of gluten-free baked goods. It definitely has. But still, when you find a gluten free pound cake recipe as good as this one, you’ve gotta share it.

And trust me. This pound cake recipe is a good one. I may never make a regular pound cake again. the edges were delightfully crisp, but not dry. In fact, the thing didn’t dry out, even when the leftover slices sat in the sun for two days.

However, the real reason for making this cake was not so we could all eat cake, bright opportunity though it may be. No, the real reason was so that I could make this berry trifle which had been floating around in my brain. I wanted cake, but gluten-free. I wanted cream cheese, but not frosting. I wanted fresh fruit, not chocolate (wait, what?).

Enter easiest, most impressive party dessert of the century. Pretty, delicious and functional. Functional meaning it stood up to the 100 degree heat. Serious prop-age.

And since I was going for the trifling details on this one, I figured I would dress to match. Why the heck not?

For more gluten free recipes, you can check out my gluten-free dark chocolate cherry cupcakes, or the host of meringues that infest this site.

Infesting in the best,


Gluten-Free Berry Trifle

For the pound cake:

Check out gluten free easily for the recipe.

A couple of additional notes:

-My flour blend was six parts Asian rice flour to 2 parts potato starch to 1 part tapioca starch. You can use whatever blend your heart desires. There are a lot of premixed ones that will work just fine.

-gluten free easily suggests using coconut milk, but I just used whole milk, so you just go ahead and use whatever you want.

For the whipped filling:

8 ounces cream cheese

2 cups (16 ounces) heavy whipping cream

8 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat eight ounces of cream cheese until soft and workable. Add two cups of heavy whipping cream (I think I may have added a bit more than that), and beat until soft peaks form. Add two teaspoons vanilla extract and eight tablespoons of powdered sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form.

To make the trifle:

berry liqueur (I used some raspberry liqueur we had lying around)

berries (I used strawberries and blueberries)

Brush pound cake with berry liqueur and dice into 1 inch cubes. Wash berries. Slice strawberries vertically.

Cover the bottom of the trifle dish with a layer of the cream mixture. Add a single layer of pound cake cubes, followed by about 1/4 of the cream mixture. Add a layer of berries. Repeat these steps, continuing to layer with different berries, until the trifle dish is filled. Top with remaining cream mixture and decorate with berries.

Chill trifle for at least three hours before serving. It should last up to two days in the fridge before it begins to break down, but I didn’t test this theory, so if it breaks down, I’m really, really sorry. You can complain to me in the comments.

Pipe Dream #88: To Feel My Way Places – Swiss Meringue Buttercream

My dad is good at driving. He is less good with following directions while driving. We’ll get to talking about how the head gasket is breaking for the third time this year, and suddenly he’ll realize that we’ve missed our exit. The thing is, my dad never gets lost. He feels his way places. It annoys some people, but it’s really not such a bad way to live. You always end up where you’re supposed to be.

Some people are intimidated by bain-maries. I count myself as one of them. I don’t think this is because I am bad at using them necessarily, it’s just that all the things that require double-boiling are usually delicate and easily wrecked.

That being said, I’ve made this frosting three times with perfect results, even though this recipe is more of a feeler recipe than a lab recipe. It doesn’t require an exact temperature for the sugared egg whites and you just have to whip it ‘til it’s good. And by “perfect results,” I mean an extremely smooth, light and buttery frosting. It kind or reminds me of a boiled buttercream, but I would say that this is even more fine.

I flavored the frosting for the brownies with peppermint (because it is winter and I’m addicted) and flavored the frosting for the walnut blondies with vanilla.

With vanilla and feeling,


Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Adapted from smitten kitchen

For a 9-inch cake and filling:

1 cup sugar

4 large egg whites

26 tablespoons butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a big metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.

Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. Don’t get any water in the bowl, now.

Add the vanilla.

Finally, add the butter a stick at a time and whip it ’til it looks like frosting and not a curdled mess.

Pipe Dream #87: To Befriend People Who Don’t Like Chocolate – Walnut Blondies

This is a true pipe dream of mine. How close can we really be if you don’t like chocolate? Chocolate is a significant part of my life, and if it is not a significant part of yours, well…

Blondies are kind of the perfect dessert because they get people who don’t like chocolate. Although these interesting specimens are few and far between and barely deserve to be called human, I sometimes like to practice mercy and make non-chocolate desserts. With blondies, you get all the consistency of a brownie, and the absence of chocolate opens up the door to any number of interesting flavors. In this case, toasted walnuts.

The thing that attracted me to this recipe was that it didn’t include any baking powder or baking soda. This just speaks dense and rich to me. The opposite of angel food cake!


I added some frosting on the top not because I thought these needed it, but because I figured I might as well do as much as possible while I was in the kitchen. And bonus, frosting stars are cute. I’ll show you this frosting later because it is ultimately awesome.

And by ultimately awesome, I am for serious,



Adapted from How to Cook Everything

8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces or 113 grams) butter melted

1 cup (218 grams or 7 3/4 ounces for light; 238 grams or 8 3/8 ounces for dark) brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

pinch salt

1 cup (4 3/8 ounces or 125 grams) all-purpose flour

Butter an 8×8 pan (or line with parchment).

Mix melted butter with brown sugar – beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.

Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any additions, like toasted walnuts, or a 1/2-1 cup of anything that strikes your fancy.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. Underbake them a bit, duh, then let cool before cutting.

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