Quesadilla Salvadoreña (Sweet Cheese Bread)

This is not your Mexican grilled tortilla “sandwich.” In El Salvador, a quesadilla is a dessert. In this case, it is almost like a cheese-filled pound cake. You’re welcome.

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Sikami (Nepalese Yogurt Pudding)

This is an easy, strained yogurt dessert. You can also stir in or serve with fruits such as mango, orange, banana, or lychee. You do need to plan ahead because the yogurt needs to be strained at least 5 hours. I find overnight in the refrigerator to be the most convenient.

Sikami (Nepalese Yogurt Pudding)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Posted by threeovens.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups plain yogurt (Greek or regular, still needs to be strained)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (or equivalent sweetener)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced pistachios
  • 1 pinch saffron

Directions

  1. Once the yogurt has been strained it will nearly have the consistency of cream cheese. Place the yogurt in a mixing bowl and combine with the sugar, or other sweetener, until dissolved.
  2. Stir in the cinnamon and cardamom.
  3. Place in the refrigerator for an hour.
  4. To serve: Garnish with sliced almonds and pistachio and a sprinkling of saffron.

 

Classic Sachertorte

Classic Sachertorte

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Posted by threeovens. Serve with whipped cream if desired.

Ingredients

  • For the cake:
    • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (use good quality)
    • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 6 large eggs, separated (room temperature)
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup caster sugar
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Apricot glaze:
    • 1 1/4 cups apricot preserves
    • 2 tablespoons golden rum or 2 tablespoons water
  • Chocolate glaze:
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and position the rack to the center of the oven. Lightly butter a 7-inch springform pan and line with parchment: dust the sides with flour and tap out any excess.
  2. In a double-boiler, melt the chocolate over simmering water; remove from heat and stir until cooled.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter using medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Switch to low speed, beat in the powdered sugar, then return to medium-high, and beat until fluffy and lighter in color and texture, about 2 minutes.
  4. Beat in the egg yolks first, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl; beat in the chocolate and the vanilla.
  5. In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with the castor sugar, using high speed, until they form soft, shiny peaks.
  6. Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining, leaving some strips of white showing.
  7. Sift half the flour over the chocolate, then fold in; repeat with remaining flour.
  8. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
  9. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan and invert the cake onto the rack, remove the paper and re-invert to turn right side up and let cool completely.
  10. Meanwhile prepare the glazes. For the apricot glaze: In a small saucepan, bring the preserves and rum (or water) to a boil over medium heat, stirring often; cook, stirring, until very sticky and does not easily leave the spoon, 2 to 3 minutes. Strain through a wire sieve, pressing on the solids. Use warm.
  11. Use a serrated knife to trim the top of the cake to make it level; cut the cake horizontally to make two even layers.
  12. Place the bottom layer on an 8-inch cardboard cake round; brush the top of the layer with half the warm apricot glaze. Place the second layer on top, then brush with the remaining glaze; transfer the cake to a wire rack that has been set over a jellyroll pan (to catch drips) and let the glaze set.
  13. For the chocolate glaze: In another small saucepan, heat the sugar, water, and chocolate to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring, until it reaches 234 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes. Remover from heat and stir to cool for about 1 minute. Use immediately and do not scrape the pan (the chocolate that clings to the saucepan will not be a glaze, it is too thick).
  14. Pour the warm chocolate glaze over top and use an offset spatula to gently spread the glaze all over, including the sides, so that the cake is completely covered; use any glaze that drips to patch missed spots.
  15. Once glaze has begun to set, place cake on a serving platter and cool completely in the refrigerator at least an hour; let the cake stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
  16. If desired, serve with a saucer of unsweetened whipped cream for dipping.

Sachertorte

This dessert literally means Sacher’s cake. This cake was invented “on the fly” by Frantz Sacher, a sixteen-year-old apprentice in the kitchens of Prince Wenzel von Metternich in 1832. Apparently the head chef was taken ill and it fell upon the second year apprentice to create a fine dessert to serve distinguished guests.

Sachertorte

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy to intermediate
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by threeovens

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 4 ounces sweet chocolate
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons very fine white bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups apricot preserves

For the Frosting:

  • 2 ounces baking chocolate
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup coffee (prepared)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar

Directions

  1. For the Cake: Beat butter until soft. Gradually add sugar and beat until well blended.
  2. Put chocolate in warm place until it is as soft as butter. Mix it in, then beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in lemon peel, spices, and bread crumbs.
  3. Whip egg whites and salt until stiff. Fold gently into cake batter.
  4. Bake in two greased 8-inch pans at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes.
  5. Spread apricot jam between the layers and ice the cake with chocolate butter frosting.
  6. For the Frosting: Soften chocolate and butter, then mix in other ingredients.