Baklava to Tarte Tatin: A World Tour in 110 Dessert Recipes, written by Bernard Laurance, highlights a variety of desserts from Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Oceania in 110 recipes. This cookbook comes just in time for the holiday baking season! The dishes range from the simple Craquants (Crunchy Drop Cookies), Shortbread, and Chocolate Chip Scones to the more difficult Rahat Lokum (Turkish Delight), Macaron, and Scofa (Caramel and Almond Meringue Cake). The easy-to-follow instructions and beautiful photography help demystify even the most advanced of the pastries and sweets. The book was originally published in French under the name Les Desserts de Bernard: Mon tour du mode en plus de 110 recettes in 2014. It was translated into English by Carmella Abramowitz Moreau.
Bernard Laurance is a food blogger and cooking show host based in France. He began working with recipes at the age of seven and now spends his time recreating his favorite dishes from around the world. He started his blog, La Cuisine de Bernard, five years ago as a way to share his passion for cooking and baking and is now one of the most popular bloggers in France. For English readers, Laurance started an English blog, Cooking with Bernard, in 2015.
Chapters are divided based on continent: Europe, The Americas, North Africa and the Middle East, and Asia and Oceania. Europe is the largest section with 55 recipes.
The European section includes desserts from France (a large concentration of the recipes), Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, United Kingdom, and Germany. The Americas include the United States, Canada, and Brazil. North Africa and the Middle East have desserts from Morocco, Lebanon, Algeria, Egypt, and Turkey. Asia and Oceania include Japan, India, Thailand, China, and Australia.
Every recipe has a headnote with background information, tips, and how Laurance came across it. Measurements are provided in US Customary and Metric. The title of each recipe is listed in English and its original language when available.
Amelie Roche provides the beautiful photography and the styling is by Audrey Cosson. Step-by-step photos accompany some of the more difficult to assemble desserts. Full page photos of the finished product are included for almost all of the recipes.
Macaron lovers will enjoy the highly detailed section devoted to the special cookie. Laurance includes both the Italian and French meringue methods with the advice of using the Italian method if you are a novice. Even though it takes longer, it is a bit less finicky. Flavor options include pistachio, praline, vanilla ganache, orange flower ganache, salted butter caramel, coconut, raspberry, and lemon.
The focus of this book is 100% on desserts, so it is best for those with a sweet tooth or just have a love of baking. The recipes range from incredibly simple to more advanced. Some take less than an hour while others like the Spanish Turrón de Jijona (Jijona-Style Nougat) require five days to set. Most of the ingredients are available in the average supermarket. Some (particularly in the Asian section) may require a trip to the international market such as mochiko (sticky rice flour), orange blossom water, water chestnuts, lotus seeds, and cardamom pods. Some specialty bakeware may be required for a few of the recipes such as Canelé molds, Savarin pan, Bundt pan, candy thermometer, and mini muffin pan. If special equipment is required, it is generally listed at the beginning of the recipe. Laurance also includes a list of sources in France, United Kingdom, United States, and online right before the index.
The recipe I am sharing with you today is from the Asia and Oceania section, Peanut Butter Daifuku Mochi. Mochi are Japanese rice balls made from sticky rice flour. Laurance includes a few different fillings, from plain to Peanut Butter, Adzuki Bean, and Sesame.
Step-by-step photos were included with the recipe to help for those unfamiliar with preparing Daifuku Mochi. The rice flour, sugar, and water is first cooked in the microwave with breaks for frequent mixings until malleable. While still hot, it is coated with potato starch and formed into small balls. Each ball is filled with a previously frozen ball of peanut butter. The mochi is formed around the peanut butter and smoothed into a ball.
I used natural red food coloring from beets to dye the mochi pink.
Mochiko is a sweet rice flour used in Japanese cuisine. This starchy, gluten-free flour is made from sticky sweet rice. It is known as galapong in the Philippines. I have been able to find Koda Farms Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour Pack of Two 16oz Per Pckin nearby grocery stores in the Asian food aisle.
Chad and Evan weren’t fans of the chewy texture, but I absolutely loved them.
I also made Swiss Caramelized Cream and Sugar Tart (Tarte flambé à la crème et au sucre), Crunchy Almond and Coffee Drop Cookies (Craquants aux amandes et cafe), Brazilian Flan (Pudim de Leite), and Moroccan Coconut Balls.
The Swiss Caramelized Cream and Sugar Tart (Tarte flambé à la crème et au sucre) is one of the more simple recipes to make. First, the pastry is developed and refrigerated for at least an hour to chill. The dough is thinly rolled into a circle, then topped with a cream sugar topping (you can also use double gruyere cream if available or substitute half the cream for mascarpone). The tart is baked at a very high temperature, 520 degrees F or as high as the oven will go, for just a few short minutes until the topping has caramelized. It is served in thin slices.
Laurance has a few variations of Craquants, Crunchy Drop Cookies. I made the Crunchy Almond and Coffee Drop Cookies (Craquants aux amandes et cafe), but the other flavors include Crunchy Pine Nut, Orange, and Chocolate Drop Cookies and Crunchy Caramel and Hazelnut Drop Cookies. Laurance recommends serving them with sorbet or ice cream, so I broke the cookies over some vanilla gelato. It was perfect and I loved the crisp texture.
As far as flans go, this Brazilian Flan (Pudim de Leite) was definitely on the easier side. Condensed milk, eggs, and milk are pureed until smooth in a blender then poured over the prepared caramel before baking in a water bath until set. The directions were well written to help with the more tricky parts of getting the caramel right and how long to cook the flan. This dessert was Chad’s favorite. I did not originally have a dish available to make the Pudim de Leite, but found this glass ring pan on Amazon that worked perfectly: Libbey Glass Baking Dish Ring Cake Pan.
The Moroccan Coconut Balls required a few steps, but the end result was well worth it. Egg rich cookies are sandwiched together with a thickened orange flower scented apricot jelly. More apricot jelly and orange blossom water are used as a coating for the sandwich cookies, then they are covered with shredded coconut. I absolutely loved the combination of flavors.
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Congratulations to Siegalpaula for comment #20: “I follow Tara on twitter”!
I received two copies of Baklava to Tarte Tatin: A World Tour in 110 Dessert Recipes from Rizzoli (Flammarion) and am giving one to a reader! Retail value is $34.95. Giveaway Entry Rules: Enter the giveaway below to win a free copy of Baklava to Tarte Tatin: A World Tour in 110 Dessert Recipes. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years or older and reside in the continental United States. The giveaway will open on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 and close on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST. One winner will be randomly chosen from the comments via Random.org and contacted via the email (so please give your email in the email section of the comment form- only I will see it) given and on this post. The number of eligible entries received determine the odds of winning. You will have 24 hours to respond via email or another comment will be randomly chosen. Void where prohibited by law. Mandatory Entry: Leave one comment on this post answering the following question- What is your favorite dessert? Bonus Entries: Leave a comment for each of the additional entries. If you already follow me, leave a comment to let me know you already follow me on each of the following: 1. Subscribe to Tara’s Multicultural Table via Email or RSS feed- link is on the right sidebar below the follow me buttons 3. Like Rizzoli on Facebook 4. Follow Tara’s Multicultural Table on Twitter 5. Retweet this giveaway- include @TaraMCTable 6. Follow Rizzoli on Twitter 7. Follow Tara’s Multicultural Table on Pinterest 8. Follow Tara’s Multicultural Table on Instagram 9. Visit Rizzoli’s Website
Disclaimer and Disclosure: I was given two copies of Baklava to Tarte Tatin by Rizzoli (Flammarion) in exchange for my review. All opinions stated here are my own.
Peanut Butter Daifuku Mochi
Adapted from Baklava to Tarte Tatin: A World Tour in 110 Dessert Recipes
1 medium jar crunchy peanut butter, refrigerated at least 12 hours
5 ounces (150 grams) sticky rice flour (Mochiko)
3 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces/40 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons (230 ml) water
4 drops red food coloring
Potato starch for rolling and dusting, sifted
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Use a melon baller or small cookie scoop to scoop out 12 rounded teaspoons of the refrigerated peanut butter. Lightly form into balls and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
In a medium microwave safe bowl, mix together the rice flour, sugar, and water. Add the red food coloring and stir to thoroughly mix.
Heat the mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well and heat another 30 seconds. Stir again. Repeat this process until the mixture swells, then deflates. It will have the consistency similar to chewing gum and will take 3-4 minutes in the microwave.
Liberally add sifted potato starch to a large surface and over a baking sheet. Add the dough and sprinkle the top with potato starch. Cover your hands in potato starch to protect them from the hot dough.
Working quickly, break off a ping-pong ball size piece of dough and form into a ball. While holding in your hand, press down in the center of the ball to make a cavity. Add a frozen peanut butter ball into the center and close the mochi dough around the top to fully enclose and seal the peanut butter. Roll with your palms to smooth out the exterior. Add more potato starch if needed. Place on potato starch dusted baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and peanut butter.
Serve immediately, same day, or store in an airtight container wrapped in plastic for another day.