This is the perfect time for a giveaway, because it is the first anniversary of Yummy Workshop! Time passes by so fast, I have about 50 posts on my blog so that makes about one post per week? I actually don’t have a timeline for posting, I just write whenever I have time and feel like it — that is what I like about blogging.
For the first anniversary of my blog, I will be doing my first cookbook review + giveaway! *excited*
Grace’s Sweet Life was written by Grace Massa Langlois, a very talented and successful Canadian food blogger (I wish I can publish my cookbook one day too!). Her blog has a great number of dessert recipes with beautiful photos, you should check it out here. Coming from her Italian heritage, she recently published Grace’s Sweet Life featuring Italian desserts. The cookbook contains many authentic Italian dessert recipes, such as cannoli, tiramisu, amaretti cookies etc. and more innovative recipes like cannoli cupcakes. I wouldn’t say it is a simple dessert recipe collection, as some of the recipes require specific ingredients and procedure, but the end result is delicious and well presented desserts. I think it is a great book for the avid home bakers and are looking for something different or want to bake to impress.
One of the recipes I tried was the Butterscotch Cream. This is one of the easier recipes, it is like a crème brûlée except it is sweetened with demerara sugar and brown sugar so it gives a very deep cane sugar molasses flavour. They are then topped with a crunchy hazelnut praline that adds another layer of flavour and texture. Although it can be an optional element, I strongly recommend taking the time to make the praline because it is like “icing on a cake”. The custard tastes rich and creamy, it is quite the decadent dessert!
The recipe below was taken from Grace’s Sweet Life, by Grace Massa Langlois. Copyright © 2012 by Ulysses Press.
Click on a photo to view the gallery of the process:
(Makes 8 servings)
- 2½ cups (590 ml) heavy cream
- ½ cup (120 ml) whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
- ¾ cup (150 g) dark brown sugar or muscovado sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup plus ½ tablespoon (70 g) demerara sugar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) water
- 8 large egg yolks
- Pralinata di Nocciola (Hazelnut Praline), for garnish
- Sweetened Whipped Cream, for garnish (optional)
- 1–2/3 cups (250 g) hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and cooled (see page 20)
- 1 cup (225 g) superfine sugar
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) glucose (see note)
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) water
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a deep baking dish with a folded kitchen towel. Bring a teakettle of water almost to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds, brown or muscovado sugar, and salt to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
- In a heavy large saucepan, sprinkle the demerara sugar over the water in an even layer. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Continue cooking, without stirring, occasionally swirling the pan over the burner until it turns a light caramel color, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to wash down any crystals that form on the sides of the pan as the sugar cooks. Remove from the heat.
- Gradually add the warm cream mixture to the caramel (be careful—it will splatter and bubble up), whisking constantly until smooth and well combined. (If you can see any clumps of sugar, return to the heat and whisk until the sugar dissolves.)
- Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until pale in color. Gradually, in a slow, steady stream, add the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly until well combined.
- Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the mixture into an extra-large heatproof measuring cup. Skim off any foam with a spoon. Let stand for 15 minutes, allowing any air bubbles that may have formed to dissipate.
- Divide the custard evenly among 8 (4-ounce) ovenproof baking cups. Seal each cup with a piece of tin foil to prevent a tough skin from forming.
- Transfer the sealed baking cups to the prepared baking dish, spacing them a few inches apart (the cups should not touch each other). Open the oven door and pull out the middle rack halfway; transfer the baking dish to the rack. Carefully fill the baking dish with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Carefully push in the oven rack.
- Bake until the custard is set around edges but jiggles slightly in the center when the baking dish is gently shaken, about 40 minutes.
- Carefully remove the baking dish from oven. Using tongs, carefully remove the custard cups from the water bath. Discard the foil tops and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The custard will continue to set as it cools.
- Once cooled, refrigerate until firm, 2 to 3 hours. Remove from the refrigerator, allow the custard to come to room temperature, and serve garnished with hazelnut praline and a dollop of whipped cream, if using.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with vegetable spray, or use a silicone baking mat. Place an 8-inch ring mold (or the ring of an 8-inch springform pan) on the lined baking sheet. Place the hazelnuts in the mold in a single layer. Lift the mold up off the baking sheet.
- In a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar, glucose, and water to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar and glucose have dissolved. Continue to cook the syrup, without stirring, to a light amber color, about 320°F (160°C), occasionally swirling the pan over the heat and brushing down the sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water.
- Pour the sugar syrup directly over the hazelnuts, making sure all the hazelnuts are evenly coated. Set aside to cool, allowing the praline to set, about 1 hour.
- To process the praline into a paste, break the praline into small pieces. Transfer the praline pieces to a food processor and process to a thick smooth paste. (Depending on the size of your food processor you may want to process praline in 2 or 3 batches. Be patient through the process because it can take some time to obtain a smooth paste, 5 to 10 minutes.) Transfer the paste to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To process the praline into crumbs, break the praline into small pieces, transfer to a food processor, and pulse to fine or coarse crumbs. Or if you prefer, break praline into medium pieces and transfer to a resealable plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, crush to fine or coarse crumbs.
Note: I like to use a combination of glucose and superfine sugar because the glucose helps prevent crystallization while the sugar cooks, but if you don’t have any on hand, increase the sugar by 2 tablespoons (25 g).
Cookbook Giveaway: [Closed]
For a chance to win a copy of Grace’s Sweet Life by Grace Massa Langlois, do one OR more of the following:
- Comment on this blog post, stating what your favourite Italian dessert is.
- Tweet the following on Twitter:
I’ve entered to win an Italian dessert cookbook via @YummyWorkshop
Details here: http://yummyworkshop.com/2012/08/15/butterscotch-cream-graces-sweet-life-cookbook-review-giveaway/ #giveaway
- “LIKE” Yummy Workshop’s recipe photo on Facebook AND comment on why you want this cookbook.
You may do just one of the above OR all three, it will increase your chances of winning. Please do not repeat your comment or tweet.
The giveaway is open to all Canadian and US residents.
The deadline to enter is August 31, 2012, 12am PST. A winner will be selected randomly and will be announced on September 3, 2012.