Mango-Banana-Pistachio Strudel with Raspberry Sauce and Dried Mango Chips

From A Taste of Excellence Cookbook, Rudi Sodamin

Mango-Banana-Pistachi-Strudel-600x450

Chase away the wintertime blues with this exciting combination of creamy tropical fruit in crisp phyllo.  You can make the mango chips and raspberry sauce up to two days in advance.


YIELD: 6 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

Strudel

  • ½ cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 4 sheets phyllo dough (18 inches X 14 inches)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup yellow or white cake crumbs
  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled, and split lengthwise
  • 1 large mango, peeled, pitted, and chopped into ¼-inch dice
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling

Mango Chips

  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 mango, unpeeled and well washed

Raspberry Sauce

  • 2 (12-ounce) packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 table spoon kirsch or framboise liqueur (optional)

Cooking Instructions:

For the Strudel

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pistachios on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 7 minutes.  Let cool, chop, and set aside.  Increase oven temperature to 375°F.  Lightly coat baking sheet with butter.

Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on a work surface (keep remaining phyllo covered with a damp kitchen towel and plastic wrap).  With a pastry brush, brush phyllo sheet lightly with some melted butter.  Sprinkle with one-fourth of sugar and one-fourth of cake crumbs.  Lay another sheet of phyllo on top.  Lightly brush with more butter and sprinkle with more sugar and cake crumbs.  Repeat with remaining 2 sheets of phyllo.

Arrange some sliced bananas and diced mango along 1 long edge of phyllo so that bananas cover an 18-inch x 3-inch area.  Sprinkle fruit with some pistachios.  Top fruit with remaining bananas, mango, and pistachios.

Starting from the fruit-lined edge, roll up phyllo into a cylinder.  Place strudel on prepared baking sheet and brush with melted butter.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until pastry is golden crisp on the outside and warm on the inside.

For the Mango Chips

Preheat oven to 200°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, nonstick foil, or a nonstick baking pad.  Sift 1½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar evenly onto lined baking sheet.  Use your palm to hold down a whole mango as you make slices around the pit with a mandolin or other manual slicer.  Keep fingers clear.  Arrange a single layer of the best-looking slices on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar.  Bake slices in middle of oven until beginning to crisp, about 2 hours.  Immediately peel chips off parchment and cool on a rack.

For the Raspberry Sauce

In a heavy medium saucepan, stir berries, sugar, and water over medium heat until mixture just comes to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Transfer mixture to food processor and puree.  Scrape into a wire mesh strainer set over bowl; press on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer.  Mix liqueur into sauce, if desired.  Thin with water if necessary.


To Serve

Transfer strudel to a cutting board and slice into 6 diagonal slices.  Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and transfer to plates.  Garnish with fruit sauce and mango chips.

 

Bon Appétit!

Chocolat Macarons

Chocolat Macarons

Written by Mardi Michels

Classic French macaron shells delicately flavoured with cocoa powder sandwiching a creamy ganache of your choice. With some practice and patience, this recipe will wow your friends time and time again!

Ingredients

  • 120g powdered almonds
  • 220g powdered sugar
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 100g egg whites, room temperature
  • 30g sugar
  • 7 drops red food colouring
  • 7 drops black food colouring
  • 1 drop blue food colouring
  • 25 drops yellow food colouring (note: it is not necessary to use colouring but it will help the macarons bake a gorgeous chocolately colour. Cocoa will bake grey otherwise)

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 320˚F.
  2. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  3. Prepare a 14” piping bag with a plain tip (I use Ateco 803), twist the bag at the tip end and place inside a glass to facilitate filling the bag.
  4. Combine almonds, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor, pulsing about ten times for a few seconds, until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Sift dry ingredients twice using a fine sieve and pressing the mixture through with your hands and set aside.
  6. Using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites, sugar and food colouring at a low speed for two minutes, medium speed for two minutes and a high speed for three minutes. The egg whites will be a large mass at this point; don’t worry!
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the egg whites. Fold the mixture, at the same time pressing it against the sides of the bowl to deflate the mixture. Fold this mixture about 40 times (counting single strokes).
  8. Transfer the mixture to the piping bag, sealing the open end with a twist and holding firmly with the hand that will not be actively piping. Pipe four tiny dots of mixture under the corners of the parchment paper to make sure it stays put.
  9. Pipe your macarons, holding the piping tip at an angle to the baking sheet, about 3cm in diameter (they will spread during cooking), and quickly removing the tip when you have finished piping, making a shape like a comma.
  10. Place the tray of macarons on an empty baking tray and bake for 12 minutes at 320˚F, turning the tray from back to front halfway through.
  11. Remove from oven and let the tray sit for a few minutes.
  12. Gently pour water into the baking tray under the parchment paper and leave for a minute or so.
  13. Remove the parchment from the tray and remove macaron shells to a cooling rack.
  14. Once completely cool, fill with ganache or cream filling of your choice.
  15. Best enjoyed 24 hours after filling.

Bon Appétit!

Check Out Paris Sweets and Desserts featuring macarons

Paris: A Guide for the Sweet Tooth

Paris

Ah Paris. City of Light.  Also, a city of amazing sweets.  But to really experience the sweet side Paris, get off the beaten path and seek out some of the more unusual “sweet things” she has to offer.  From pink pralines to exquisite marshmallows, you’ll be surprised at the range of tasty sweets that expends far beyond macarons!

When you’re tired of the run of the mill viennoiserie (croissants, pains au chocolat, pains au raisins) for breakfast, head to Lisbon. Well, not the one in Portugal but the next best thing – Comme à Lisbonne.  Specialising in “Pasteis de Nata” (custard tarts) this tiny storefront in the Marais offers the authentic taste of Portugal right in the heart of Paris.

Right around the corner, get your fix of “praslines/ pralines” (roasted then caramelized almonds in various flavours) at Mazet.   Founded in 1913 by Léon Mazet, the Maison recently opened their gorgeous Marais boutique in the rue des Archives.  With exquisite décor and sublime packaging, these make lovely gifts.

If it’s “pralines” you are interested in, you can’t visit the Marais without stopping in at Maison Pralus, the home of the praluline – a brioche studded with gorgeous pink pralines.  Unusual, unexpected, unmissable!

Ah Paris. City of Light.  Also, a city of amazing food, just like Lyon, and sweets.  But to really experience the sweet side Paris, get off the beaten path and seek out some of the more unusual “sweet things” she has to offer.  From pink pralines to exquisite marshmallows, you’ll be surprised at the range of tasty sweets that expends far beyond macarons!

When you’re tired of the run of the mill viennoiserie (croissants, pains au chocolat, pains au raisins) for breakfast, head to Lisbon. Well, not the one in Portugal but the next best thing – Comme à Lisbonne.  Specialising in “Pasteis de Nata” (custard tarts) this tiny storefront in the Marais offers the authentic taste of Portugal right in the heart of Paris.

Right around the corner, get your fix of “praslines/ pralines” (roasted then caramelized almonds in various flavours) at Mazet.   Founded in 1913 by Léon Mazet, the Maison recently opened their gorgeous Marais boutique in the rue des Archives.  With exquisite décor and sublime packaging, these make lovely gifts.

If it’s “pralines” you are interested in, you can’t visit the Marais without stopping in at Maison Pralus, the home of the praluline – a brioche studded with gorgeous pink pralines.  Unusual, unexpected, unmissable!

BottomHero

Addresses and More Information can be found here:

Comme à Lisbonne
37 Rue du Roi de Sicile
75004 Paris, France
Tel: + 33 7 61 23 42 30
Open: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 7pm
http://www.commealisbonne.com/

Les Confiseries Praslines Mazet
37 Rue des Archives
75004 Paris, France
Tel: +33 1 44 05 18 08
http://www.mazetconfiseur.com/index.php/les-confiseries-mazet.html

Debauve & Gallais
Various locations: http://debauve-et-gallais.fr/content/26-les-boutiques

Gérard Mulot
Various locations: http://www.gerard-mulot.com/paris/evenement-gerard-mulot.php

By: Mardi Michels

Chocoholics Rejoice! Stir it Up- Delicious Chocolate Concoctions Aboard Seabourn Ships


I LOVE chocolate.  At times, it’s hard for me to describe how much I enjoy eating rich, smooth, chocolaty goodness.  Some might call it a weakness, but to them I say- you don’t know what you’re missing!

When I first heard that the Seabourn chefs had created a new chocolate treat in their test kitchens, I immediately became excited and decided to look into it further. And let me tell you, I’m so glad that I did! Corporate Travelling Chef Rak Adhikary, is a chocolate genius. He has combined world famous Belgium chocolate truffles with hot milk, to create a new hot chocolate concept.

The chocolates are speared on a handy little stick, and are placed in a steamy cup of milk. The chocolates are stirred in, and voila! A delicious new spin on hot chocolate is created. It’s creamy, and oh so delightful. Even better, you’re not limited to one specific flavour! Some of the decadent choices include a classic milk chocolate, a wonderful dark, and my personal favourite- a caramel chocolate combination.  This new creation has proved to be very popular, and guests have taken to it like a kid in a candy store.

To Seabourn: on behalf of myself, and chocolate lovers everywhere- we thank you for this fantastic new twist on a classic that everyone loves!

By: Ruby Reis

 

The Original Belgian Waffle- Etablissement Max

To visit Ghent and not stop in at Etablissement Max, would be a culinary conundrum. In 1839, Max-Consael created two Flemish classics that even today, are considered some of the world’s best sweet treats. In fact, the Lonely Planet guide suggests that when you’re in Ghent, stop by Etablissement Max for a Belgian Waffle, as you might stop for gelato in Florence or Turkish Delight in Istanbul.

Max-at-stoveEDFive generations after the creation of the Belgian waffle and the appelbeignet or apple fritters, Yves Van Maldeghem, whose family started making these from a humble stall at local fairs, prepares the classics with attention to detail.  Take a peek at this black and white silent video that recalls the family’s history and ongoing love affair with the Belgian waffle.

Enter today’s Etablissement Max, with its soft sage hued walls, beautiful art nouveau décor replete with gold leaf and old-world charm, and you know you’re in for something special. If the other-era ambience doesn’t transport you, the scent of hot, fresh waffles being made on the family’s original cast-iron moulds will. These use to be heated over a coal fire, now they’ve been “updated” to gas to produce golden, twenty-pocket perfect specimens of not-too-sweet, crisp shelled and soft interior waffled.

Traditionally served with a pat of butter and icing sugar, you can go local, or opt for a more fanciful creation including scoops of decadent ice cream, fruit slices and whipped cream; a dead giveaway that you’re not from Flanders. But that’s alright because a sweet indulgence is in everyone’s cultural vocabulary. Locals stick to the straight forward butter and sugar variety, with perhaps some fruit to accompany their cup of coffee or tea, while visitors enjoy the whipped cream, chocolate sauce and other tempting options.

Max’s also offers diners a Flemish café menu including the famous Flemish Stew and eels in a green sauce for those looking for a meal before dessert. And if you’d like to recreate the sweet flavours of Flanders at home, pick up a copy of Jan Gheysens’ book Belgian Waffles and other treats (2006) at the cafe, which contains Yves’ family recipes.

By: Mary Luz Mejia