Hearty Hosting Fare
holiday treats from Lyn Dacanay
Glögg is a tradiational Swedish holiday drink, made with red wine, almonds, raisins, and spices. I've heard that Ikea sells an instant mixture, but that couldn't compare to this homemade version that'll keep you warm and toasted.
Chestnut Cheesecake. Cheesecake is my favorite dessert and this one's a holiday treat ("chestnuts roasting in an open fire..." and all that). It also reminds me of buying chestnuts from street vendors in Paris in the winter.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Tenderloin and Cheesey-Mushroom-Potato Gratin is a good, cold-weather dinner party combo. It's totally rich. Makes your body fat so that you can stay warm in winter. You can then regret your gluttony when bikini season starts.
Walnut Petites. My cousin Josie used to make these when we were little. I never had a big sweet tooth, but these little pastries were always addicting. They are great for gift giving.
Dobos Torte is a fabulous recipe; this one is a bastardized version from Martha Stewart Living (Dec '02 edition) and a recipe found in a German-Austrian cookbook. This is labor intensive, but it is well worth it. I think this should be served with strong black coffee after a tree-trimming gathering with friends.
Glögg (Spicy Hot Red Wine) *
Makes about 8 drinks
zest of 1 orange (make sure there is no white rind)
1 bottle (750ml) of dry red wine
1/2 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cardamon pod
1 thin slice fresh ginger
1/2 cup aquavit
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 cup plump golden raisins
1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds
Heat half bottle of red wine, sugar, orange zest, spices, and ginger in a saucepan over moderate heat. Do not boil. Stir to dissolve sugar. Simmer 10 minutes.
Cool. Pour through a fine sieve into another saucepan.
Stir in remaining half bottle of red wine, aquavit, and vodka. Heat saucepan over moderate heat until warm.
Divide raisins and almonds among eight coffee cups or heatproof glasses and ladle in glögg.
Serve with small spoons for eating raisins and almonds.
*Note: The ingredients are variable according to taste. This combination is strong, so give your keys to a friend and don't drink and drive.
For crust, use graham cracker crust or any crust of your choice
10-ounce jar chestnuts in vanilla syrup (marrons glacés)
2 8-ounce cream cheese packages at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup whipping cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Drain chestnuts. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. You should have 2 cups of chopped chestnuts.
With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in small bowl until smooth.
Beat in eggs, one at a time.
Cover bottom of crust with 1 cup of chopped chestnuts. Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of the chopped chestnuts.
Bake cheesecake about 45 minutes.
Cool cheesecake about 30 minutes. Place in refrigerator for 3 hours to chill.
Once chilled, add topping. Can be kept overnight.
Whisk crème fraîche and whipping cream in a bowl until stiff. Pour on top of cheesecake.
Spoon remaining cup of chopped chestnuts on top when serving the sliced cheesecake.
Makes 12 servings
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for baking sheets
1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour, plus more for dusting baking sheets
1 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Hazelnut Simple Syrup
Caramel for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degree with rack at center.
Butter two 12x17 inch rimmed baking sheets. Line the bottom of baking sheets with parchment paper. Butter parchment and sprinkle with flour, tapping out excess flour. Set aside.
Set a pan over simmering water. Whisk together sugar, eggs, and salt until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
Beat egg mixture on high speed with an electric mixer until very thick and pale, about 7 minutes. Fold in gently 2/3 of the flour in two batches.
In another bowl, combine the melted butter and vanilla and almond extracts. Add to egg mixture. Fold in remaining flour. Divide the batter between the two prepared baking sheets. Smooth top with a spatula.
Bake the cakes about 12 minutes, until they are lightly golden brown and springy to the touch. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
When cooled, invert the cakes onto the rack and remove the parchment paper. Cut each cake into 3 rectangles to get 6 cake layers. This recipe only uses 5 cake layers so that the sixth layer can be used in another dessert recipe (e.g., cut in slices and topped with a berry compote and freshly whipped cream).
Lay one rectangle on a flat work surface. Using a pastry brush, soak with a little less than 1/4 cup Hazelnut Simple Syrup. Spread 1 cup Caramel Buttercream evenly over the top. Place another rectangle on top, and continue until you have 5 cake layers soaked with syrup and ending with buttercream. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
When ready to serve, sprinkle chopped caramel over top.
Makes about two quarts
2 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
9 large egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a heavy saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cup sugar and the water to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until caramel is dark amber in color. Remove from heat.
Pour heavy cream in a stream with a wooden spoon. Let cool.
In a bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until fluffy and pale in color. Set aside.
Set another bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Whisk together the remaining cup of sugar and the egg whites until mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
With an electric mixer set on medium speed, whisk the sugar and egg white mixture until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to low; add the creamed butter 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Add caramel mixture, beating until smooth.
Keep mixture at room temperature if using same day. Otherwise, cover in airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days.
Makes about 1 cup
Unsalted butter for baking sheet
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoon water
Butter a baking sheet.
In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until caramel is dark amber in color. Remove from heat.
Pour caramel onto prepared baking sheet. Let caramel sit until hardened and cooled.
Coarsely chop. Store the caramel in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 1 day.
Hazelnut Simple Syrup
Makes about 1 1/8 cups
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Frangelico (or other hazelnut liqueur)
In a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring sugar and the water to a boil, swirling until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, cover and cool completely. Stir in liqueur.
Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
more recipes from Lyn
spring fling menu
valentine's day for one
Lyn Dacanay graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in English literature. She thought she would be a writer, chef, or travel editor, but ended up in high tech instead. She's currently devising plans to take over Martha Stewart's empire.