Yes, another (and last for the year) baking class at Zingerman’s Bakehouse (I will eventually post some more recipes from these great classes).What a fun 2-1/2 hours on a Sunday morning – nothing but sweets to nibble on.
Our instructor, Malika Ameen, is a trained pastry chef with a South Asian heritage which sparked her interest in using both sweet and savory spices in her desserts. Her cooking journey has taken her from restaurants coast to coast; a TV personality appearing on shows such as Martha Stewart and NBC’s Today Show; featured in publications such as The New York Times and Food & Wine.
Malika made 4 different desserts from her cookbook: “Sweet Sugar, Sultry Spice: Exotic Flavors to Wake up Your Baking”. Below are pictures of three of the “sweets” Malika made.
I think I need a new cell phone for pictures as I did not get a good picture of the bread or of Malika. I had trouble taking a picture of the bread and pictures of Malika were all blurry. Oh well…
Earl Gray Pavlova with Silky Chocolate Cream was so flavorful with the layers of meringue, chocolate cream and whipped cream. Finished with pomegranate seeds and a segmented orange was a stunning finish. Gold leaf or different fruits could be used. I could have eaten two pieces without a problem! She recommends only buying organic tea as regular tea is not rinsed. Good point!
The Apricot-Rosemary coins were small, delicate and perfect to serve on a cheese plate. Thyme could replace the rosemary and dried cherries for the apricots. Don’t use anything but fine ground cornmeal – not stone ground which is what I have always used in my baking. Never thought about a difference! With these cookies you could taste the texture of a coarser grind. There is also a self-rising cornmeal available – ingredients can make a difference in the end result of a recipe!
Gingerbread Cream and Pear Ribbon Bread was so good and is a pull-apart bread – very impressive with the spiced gingerbread cream and pears. Malika mentioned using only whole nutmeg which I frequently do. I have to admit I do pull out the pre-ground every now and then. No more though…
The Bittersweet Chile and Cinnamon Bark was full of chocolate, nuts and dried cherries. For a photo shoot Malika accidentally added too much spice mixture of ancho chile, star anise, fennel, cloves and cinnamon but everyone loved the extra spice. It became her new recipe. Oh, and a touch of espresso powder and fleur de sel to finish. Just delightful!