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Feb 28, 2007 05:47 PM

Leite's Culinaria: Desserts

March 2007 Cook"book" of the Month: Leite's Culinaria. Please post your full-length reviews of recipes from the sections on desserts here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

Leite's Culinaria:

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

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  1. Made Mary's Butterballs (cookies), or attempted to. No matter how long I refrigerated or froze the dough, the darn things spread out and looked nothing like the enticing photo. If anyone tries this recipe and gets a good result, please post how you did it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      Pikawicca--you're the seond person who has said this. We're yanking the recipe from the site and putting it back into testing. Perhaps something didn't translate when it was posted.

      1. re: David Leite

        David, Thank you for your prompt action. Please let us know when you've posted a fix -- I'll try again.

        1. re: pikawicca

          Sure will. It's in triage testing now!

    2. Of all the desserts I've made from the site, Ultimate Chocolate Marquise by Lori Longbotham
      would be my recommendation. It's little work up front and stores in the freezer beautifully if well wrapped, perfect for last minute dinner guests or for shaving off here and there for a "taste".

      I know it's everywhere, but those icebox cakes made from Nabisco Famous Wafers are easy, cute, and tasty. The cookies really do soften up into thin layers of "cake" and the recipe on Leite's uses a coffee cream instead of just whipped cream.

      And, Super-Moist Apple Cake by Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier:
      Although, I don't know if I classify this as dessert or breakfast... I've certainly eated it more often as breakfast than at night! It's definitely a moist cake, but the very edges has a crispiness to them (probably from all that butter) and it's just so tasty. Easy to prepare - mix in one bowl, pour into pan, top with apples and milk, bake. When you peel the apples, don't peel the third until you're arranging them on the cake. If you run short of apple slices, then peel the last one. If you don't need the third apple, then you can put it back in the fruit drawer and not worry about apple slices going brown. I'm curious if you could successfully make this subbing in applesauce for half the butter... Going from whole milk to skim won't cut the fat TOO much but I think some flavor will be lost, so just buy one of those small individual bottles of whole milk and splurge. =)

      2 Replies
      1. re: leanneabe

        I'm so glad somebody posted (and so early!) on the supermoist apple cake. That was the recipe that made me really want to cook from this site. I'm forever searching for the perfect apple cake, and have never found one that I've been really happy with. I'm definitely going to give this a try.

        1. re: Smokey

          I would caution you that it's really a tasty moist cake with apples on top. I don't know if that's what you want from an "apple cake". My mom makes an apple cake that has chopped apples within the cake batter (and also one with apples running through the middle of a bundt).

          However! I think you'll like this apple cake. It sure was tasty!

      2. I've made the Date Cake by May Bsisu with great success. It's quite similar to a sticky toffee pudding, but (in my opinion) a little better. I have only tried it using fresh, high-quality dates, and it is excellent.

        I also really like Dorrie Greenspan's Korova Cookies, which I think have been discussed on the thread for her recent cookbook. In addition to eating on their own, these cookies work wonderfully as a substitution for 'Famous Chocolate Wafers' when making a pie crust. I haven't made any changes to this recipe, and have always used a good-quality chocolate and cocoa such as Callebaut or Valhrona. I prefer the fleur de sel in this recipe to the sea salt alternative. This dough freezes very well, as do the cookies.

        1. Just remembered a couple more favorite desserts:

          Pastéis de Coco (Portuguese Coconut-Custard Tarts) by David Leite. These are hard to describe, but are sort of like a cross between a coconut custard and cupcake. They are extremely easy to make, and the results are excellent. My sister asks for them constantly! My only substitution is to add 1 tsp. vanilla and bake them in silicon rather than paper muffin cups.

          The other dessert recipe I recommend is the Arroz Doce (Rice Pudding) by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. This is my all-time favorite rice pudding recipe, and is also simple to prepare, as well as being very forgiving. This pudding is made like a risotto, on the stovetop, rather than baked. I add a little vanilla to this recipe as well. Everyone seems to like the fact that the pudding isn't too sweet, and is actually just slightly salty (the recipe calls for 1/2 tsp. salt).

          1 Reply
          1. re: TerriL

            Yeah, I love their rice pudding. Hadn't seen it on LC, but haven't explored much yet. Plan to do so this coming week.

          2. I'm a little confused on this recipe for Cocoa Caramel Panna Cotta: I *think* that maybe the custard sauce is just misnamed caramel sauce, but I'm not sure... it's a little unclear. It sounds really good though, so I was thinking about trying it out, like I need any more desserts in my house!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Katie Nell

              I agree, where they say caramel sauce it should read custard sauce. And I wish you hadn't pointed out that recipe it looks yummy.

              1. re: ali patts

                ok, so I made the panna cotta over the weekend. I made the mixture and the custard on Saturday morning, set the panna cottas on Sunday morning and ate on Sunday night. Firstly, I am in the UK so I mixed cream and milk to get the approx US fat %ages - this was fine (I've had to do it before and so long as you double check your figures it's fine!). The panna cotta mixture had a really good hot chocolate flavour but I thought the 'caramel' flavour was lost in the cocoa flavour. Next time I think I will halve the amount of cocoa in order to maintain the caramel a bit more. I also cooked my caramel for longer than suggested (in terms of time). When I made the panna cotta a small amount of cocoa separated and sank to the bottom of the moulds, not a problem but it did mean the top was slightly different to look at than the sides and did look like something hadn't been fully incorporated. I think the quantity makes 6 panna cottas and 8-10 servings of custard. I made the custard in a slightly different way (as I always make creme anglaise) but in reality it makes no difference to the taste and added a splash of kahlua which changed the colour slightly which helped to make it look right against the hot chocolate coloured panna cotta. All in all, it was good but I'd tweak it next time to ramp up the caramel flavour and ramp down the cocoa flavour, I'd also serve the custard warm (not hot, but not cold as the recipe seems to suggest) as you would then pick up on more of the custard flavours and have the cold panna cotta to give the overall cool creamy balance.