Cream horn. This little pastry gem falls under the category simple but tasty. So simple to make. Sure you can buy them at the store, but when you make them at home you can also know that they are fresh and have not been sitting there for God knows how long. Growing up my Mom used to buy cream horns at the store all the time. We weren’t really a twinkie kind of household. Explains a lot, no? When I was in pastry school and we learned how to make fresh puff pastry this little pastry treat was one of the recipes we made. You can make a million things with puff pastry and it’s handy to have a box in your freezer when the mood strikes you to make something tasty and easy. Our teacher in pastry school; the amazing pastry chef Nancy Pitta taught us to put a spin on the recipe and add a piped stripe of raspberry jam on the inside belly of the horn before piping in the cream. I will never make a plain cream horn ever again since that day. The raspberry jam totally makes this simple treat even better.
Raspberry and Cream Horns
yield: about 12 cream horns
1 box puff pastry
metal “horns” for wrapping puff pastry on (note; if you do not have the metal horns you can create your own by using tinfoil to shape a horn shape) cannoli tubes also work if you happen to have them
coarse sanding sugar
seedless raspberry jam
stabilized whipped cream (recipe below)
Stabilized whipped cream:
4 tsp. cold water
2 tsp. gelatin
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Chill mixing bowl and whisk attachment for at least 15 minutes before using. Place cold water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soften 5 minutes.
2. Dissolve gelatin by microwaving for about 20-30 seconds. Remove from microwave and place the bowl in the fridge; you want the gelatin to be liquid but not warm when added to cream.
3. Remove bowl and whisk from refrigerator and pour in cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat together just until beater marks begin to show distinctly; about 1 minute. Remove the gelatin from the fridge, with the mixer still running, pour the gelatin mixture in a fine stream into cream, pouring in a steady stream while beating constantly. Beat until stiff peaks form. Chill until ready to use.
1. Thaw puff pastry according to package directions. Roll over the pastry a few times with a rolling pin to secure any seams in the pastry. With a pastry wheel or sharp knife cut strips of the puff about 3/4 inch in diameter. Lightly grease the metal horns with nonstick baking spray. Wrap the puff strips around the metal horn starting at the tapered end and overlapping 1/2 half of each strip as you make your way up the horn. Add strips as you need to so you have a continuous wrap up the metal horn. Secure and pinch any loose seams to keep the wrap tight as you go.
2. Once the horns are completely wrapped brush each horn on one side with water and press into coarse sugar. Place the pastry horns on a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet with the sugar side facing up and chill for at least 30 minutes.
3. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely on the tray.
4. Pipe each bottom floor of the pastry horn with raspberry jam. Fill the remaining pastry horn with stabilized whipped cream. These are best served the same day, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
I must admit, growing up I was never into rice pudding, but as a lot of things go with getting older we develop a liking for different desserts. This is a dessert you can whip up with items you have in the pantry. I always keep coconut milk on hand, and I always have rice. If I run out of rice you know something is seriously wrong with the world; perhaps a catastrophic event of some sort. I am married to an Asian; ergo I am Asian by proxy ;-). We simply do not run out of rice. We buy rice in 25 lb. bags, exactly how I buy my flour and sugar. This is why Costco has extra-large flat carts. If 3 days go by without the rice cooker being fired up The Husband and my little one get a bit cranky. I think for me, the real reason for making rice pudding is just finding a valid excuse to soak raisins in rum. You know I’m a rum girl…Plan ahead when you make the pudding because the raisins should soak for a good long while in the rum. A long soak in rum=yum.
Coconut Rice Pudding With Rum Raisins
1 1/2 Cups Jasmine* rice cooked, cooled (Rinse the rice 3 times before cooking)
*[I prefer Jasmine rice, but you can also use any long grain rice]
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk (1 can equals ~ 1 2/3 Cup)
2 Cups whole milk
1/3 Cup sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or 3/4 tsp. vanilla)
1/2 Cup raisins (soaked in dark rum for 2-4 hours, strained)
Optional Garnish: toasted sweetened coconut, lime zest
1. Prepare ahead and soak your raisins in 1/4 Cup dark rum for ~ 2 hours at least; preferably 4 hours if you can.
2. In a 3 qt. heavy saucepan add the milk mixture, rice, sugar, and salt. Simmer uncovered over medium heat, stirring frequently until thickened, about 40 minutes. Stir in vanilla bean paste and strained raisins. Garnish with toasted coconut and fresh lime zest if desired. Serve warm.
3. Leftover pudding can be stored in fridge for up to one week. Pudding can be served warm or cold.
Rich Chocolate Pudding
When I was growing up, my Mother used to put me in charge of making the pudding. I’m not really sure how it happened, that I became the “Jello de Master”, but I loved doing it. I remember feeling so grown up making that Jello brand pudding. It was a treat that we shared as a family. Many a Saturday or Sunday night we would all sit around and watch “Family TV” and eat warm pudding. Always warm, never cold. Something about watching “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” and giant squids paired perfectly while tucking into warm chocolate pudding. 🙂
It seemed so magical watching the transformation of this mysterious brown powder that came in such a tiny box. Who knew that brown powder and milk would eventually yield into something so chocolatey, warm, and luscious. Times have changed, and I still like to make pudding from time to time but now I like it HOMEMADE. It doesn’t take much more effort to pull together items from the cupboard and fridge to create a really good pudding. I alway keep 60 % cacao baking bars in my cupboard for such an occasion as well as a number of things. This recipe is from a tried and true website online that you can find a multitude of sins from, be it chocolate pudding or apple pie. The website is www.epicurious.com
1 C Sugar
1/4 C cornstarch
pinch of salt
8 0z. Ghirardelli (60 % cacao) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 2/3 C whole milk
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
In a heavy saucepan; whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and pinch of salt. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Set aside with the burn off for now.
In a medium bowl whisk together the milk and the egg yolks until smooth and combined.
Place the saucepan with the chocolate mixture, and with the heat on medium, gradually whisk the milk/egg mixture into the chocolate mixture. Whisking constantly; heat the mixture over medium heat until the pudding comes to a boil. Still whisking; Let the pudding boil for one minute. Take off the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Pour the pudding into four 8 oz. serving cups. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Let the pudding cool enough so it is still warm, but not hot enough to burn your tongue. Enjoy!