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Desserts

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Recipes:

KRISTIN'S TRIFLE: A WHITE CHOCOLATE NET DREAM
1 recipe
White Chocolate Custard
16 oz. ready made pound cake
1 (10 oz.) can black cherry fruit spread
1/2 c. sloe gin
14 oz. pkg. frozen dark sweet cherries
1 (11 oz.) can lychees, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. whipping cream
    Stir together well fruit spread and sloe gin. Cut pound cake into small chunks; put half of them into trifle dish.  Spoon half the fruit spread mixture over them. Cut the lychees into quarters and layer on half of them, along with half the cherries. Spoon half the custard over all. Repeat layers. Refrigerate at least six hours. Before serving, whip the cream with the vanilla and smooth it over the top. Makes enough for a party.
White Chocolate Custard:
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
4 c. milk
4 egg
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped
2 tsp. vanilla
    Sift together sugar, cornstarch and salt; gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until mixture thickens and boils, about one minute. Remove from heat. Stir about 1/2 cup of hot mixture into beaten egg yolks; slowly stir this back in to the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly, so it doesn't lump. Cook, stirring constantly, until custard boils.
    Remove from heat and stir in white chocolate and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Cool completely before using. (Plastic wrap, placed directly on the surface, will prevent a skin from forming.)

TIRAMISU WITHOUT REMORSE
1 c. nonfat cottage cheese
1 c. nonfat sour cream
8 oz. nonfat vanilla yogurt
8 oz. nonfat cream cheese
c. sugar
2 T rum
1 c. very strong hot coffee
1 recipe BISCOTTI (below)
    Beat together first six ingredients until smooth.
Dip biscotti slices into hot coffee and place in the bottom of a 9" dish. Spread half the cheese mixture over the biscotti; repeat the layers.
    If your dish doesn't have a lid, place toothpicks about the perimeter and center, then cover carefully with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
BISCOTTI:
c. sugar
3 T canola oil
1 egg
1 egg white
2 tsp. orange peel
1 tsp. almond extract
1 -- 2 c. flour
tsp. baking powder
Combine first six ingredients and beat until well blended. Combine cup flour and baking powder; beat into egg mixture, adding enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.
    Turn out onto a floured board, divide in half, and shape into two 12" rolls. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam, arrange the two rolls on it, and flatten them to 1 inches high.
    Bake at 325F for 25 minutes, or until they test done. Cool on a rack, then slice " thick. Makes 40.

PUMPKIN ICE CREAM PIE
Crust:
1 stick butter
1 c. flour
1/4 c. chopped nuts
    Mix and press in bottom of 9 x 9" pan.  Bake at 300F for 25 minutes.  Cool completely.
Filling:
1 pt. vanilla ice cream   
1 (1 lb.) can pumpkin   
1 3/4 c. sugar   
1/2 tsp. salt   
1 tsp. cinnamon   
1/2 tsp. ginger   
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. whipping cream
Sweetened whipped cream
1 c. slivered almonds
    Spread softened ice cream over cooled crust.  Freeze until firm.  Mix pumpkin with 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, salt, spices, and vanilla. Whip cream until stiff and fold into pumpkin mixture.  Spoon mixture over ice cream.  Cover with foil and freeze until firm ( 4 - 5 hours).  Meanwhile, combine almonds with remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small skillet.  Stir over low heat until sugar begins to color.  Remove from heat as soon as almonds are caramel colored.  Spread on wax paper to cool.  Crush almonds with rolling pin between sheets of wax paper.  When ready to serve, top pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with crushed caramelized almonds.

BIG, BEAUTIFUL APRICOPT TRIFLE PARFAITS
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

6 oz cream cheese, softened

c nonfat sour cream

c plain yogurt
c apricot preserves
3 T lemon juice
4 c coarsely crumbled cake or cookies
4 c fresh fruit, cut up
chopped nuts, for garnish

    Beat the cream cheese until fluffy, then add the condensed milk, beating until smooth. On low speed, mix in the sour cream, yogurt, preserves and lemon juice, beating just until smooth. Refrigerate several hours until thickened. You will need eight parfait or other tall, clear glasses for the best effect. In the bottom of each, put about cup crumbled cake. Put cup fruit over this, then cup of the cream cheese mixture. Repeat the layers. Top with chopped nuts and a piece of fruit.

RED & WHITE SWIRL CHEESECAKE

CRUST:
1 (9 oz) pkg plain wafer cookies

c sliced almonds, toasted
4 T butter; melted
2 T sugar

    Whirl the wafers and the nuts in the food processor until fine crumbs form (you should have about 1 c crumbs). Mix in the sugar, and dump into a 9" springform pan, and work in the butter by hand, pressing the mixture onto the bottom of the pan.
FILLING:
1 (12 oz) pkg frozen raspberries, thawed

4 tsp cornstarch
6 oz white chocolate, chopped
32 oz cream cheese, softened
c sugar
4 eggs
tsp almond extract

2 T raspberry liqueur
whipped cream, lemon slices and raspberries for garnish
    Puree the raspberries and press through a fine sieve to remove seeds. Stir the cornstarch into the pureed raspberries; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens; boil 1 minute; cool. Heat the white chocolate in a double boiler until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Beat the cream cheese and sugar just until smooth; add melted white chocolate, eggs and almond extract, beating only until blended. Remove 1 cup of the cream-cheese mixture to a small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pureed raspberry mixture, and stir the rest, along with the raspberry liqueur, into the cheese mixture in the  small bowl. Pour half of the plain cream-cheese mixture into the springform pan; drop half of the raspberry cheese mixture by spoonfuls on top. Swirl a knife through this to get a marbled effect. Repeat this operation with the remaining mixtures. Bake 10 minutes at 450F, then reduce heat to 250F; bake 30 to 35 minutes longer, until the center is just barely firm. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Remove the pan sides; spread the reserved raspberry mixture around the side of the cheesecake, and press the remaining almonds onto it. Garnish with whipped cream, lemon slices and raspberries. Makes 16 servings


SACKS OF GOLD

FILLING:
1/3 c sugar
2 T cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1 c hot milk
2 T Grand Marnier
1/2 tsp almond extract

    Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch; whisk in the egg yolks until smooth. Slowly whisk in the hot milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until very thick and smooth, 6 - 8 minutes; do not let the mixture boil. Remove from heat and stir in the flavorings. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until cold, about 2 hours.

CASINGS

12 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions

c butter, melted
c sugar

    Stack the phyllo sheets on top of each other, long sides facing you. Cut in thirds vertically and in half crosswise, cutting through all 12 sheets. Cover with a slightly damp towel to prevent drying out. Place 1 rectangle of phyllo on your work surface with short side facing you.  Brush lightly with melted butter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar.  Place another rectangle on top diagonally, so centers line up. Brush with butter; sprinkle with sugar. Place a third rectangle on the second, centered, but diagonally facing the opposite direction. Brush with butter. Place 2 level teaspoons of filling in center. Gather phyllo together to enclose the filling completely; pinch excess dough together to form a sack. Brush bottom and sides of sack with butter. Repeat to make 24 purses. Place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Freeze completely, about 3 hours. Bake frozen, on the bottom oven rack: 375F, r 12 minutes or until golden brown and heated through. Let cool 5 minutes.

STRAWBERRY SAUCE:

2 (10 oz) pkgs frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed

1 tsp grated orange rind
c orange juice

orange slices, for garnish
    Drain 1 package of the strawberries, discarding liquid. Put the strawberries, drained and undrained, in the food processor and whirl until smooth. Add the orange rind and juice. Whirl to combine. Refrigerate until serving.
To serve, puddle some sauce on each dessert plate, place 3 sacks on each plate, and garnish with orange slices Makes 8 servings.


Where to Eat in Galveston
    Before the devastating 'Great Storm' of 1900, Galveston seemed destined to become a major port city, and to surpass nearby Houston in population and importance. Now, it is an amiable little backwater of a city, home to a half-dozen fine old Victorian mansions (most of them open for tours); Moody Gardens, with its giant aquarium and 'rain forest pyramid'; assorted shops and small museums - and one of the best restaurants on the Gulf coast.
Gaido's, 3700 Seawall Boulevard, has been a Galveston landmark since 1911. It retains its air of quiet formality and impeccable service while bowing without a trace of disdain to the new tourist-town reality of shorts and t-shirts among the diners.
The menu, as befits a restaurant directly across the street from the Gulf of Mexico - and with a fine picture-window view of same - features seafood. (Though they will offer up a few other entrees for the non-piscatorially inclined.) They have all sorts of seafood, and they prepare it in all sorts of ways, most involving breading, stuffing, butter and/or cream sauce. There are 'health-conscious' alternatives (which omit most of the good stuff), but at upwards of $15.00 a pop, this is not recommended.
One of the most popular selections is fried shrimp. They come out in herculean portions: plump, carefully breaded, and sitting proudly on neat little toast points. The accompanying choices of potatoes and vegetables are served with no less diligence and attention to detail.
Ironically, perhaps the best item on the menu is the vegetarian tortilla soup. It is cream-and-tomato-based, seasoned with rich understatement (it does not scream 'MEXICAN SPICES!') and enhanced with corn kernels and a little chopped onion. Thin strips of fried tortilla, artfully arranged on top, complete the dish. A bowl of this, a glass of Merlot, and some of Gaido's fresh-baked bread comprise a wonderfully satisfying meal. And one will still be mobile enough to explore the rain forest pyramid afterward.


For pottage, and puddings, and custards and pies,
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies.
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon;
If it were not for pumpkins, we should soon be undoon.
       -- Plymouth Colony ballad, circa 1640s

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