Sweets / Desserts

Tilly’s Eierlikör (My Mom’s Eggnog)

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Eggnog Serving Suggestion

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Eggnog is the first alcoholic beverage I ever tasted in my life.
(When I was a kid growing up in the 50’s, there was no “alcohol free” eggnog in our neck of the woods (why bother ???)  🙂
Most kids got their first  sip !!!  at around age four (first sip of red wine at around age seven). 🙂
Every family had their own eggnog recipe, some using more or less sugar, different quantities and types of alcoholic spirits, fresh vanilla beans or extract, nutmeg or not, cream or condensed milk, etc, etc. There were also different textures, from very thick to less thick (but never as watery as some of the crap you get sold as “Eggnog” here in the States)  😦
In Europe, eggnog is mostly consumed during the Winter months, up to Easter and slightly beyond.
The following recipe is the recipe my Mom Mathilde (Tilly) wrote down so many decades ago for the folks who asked her for her wildly popular eggnog recipe. She also used our own plum- or raspberry spirit.
My Mom NEVER used measurements, so these here are to be viewed as guidelines – adjust them to your personal liking as you see fit. 🙂

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Cheers !    Life is Good !
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Ingredients :
6-8  egg yolks  (absolutely super fresh) !!!!!!  (If possible, use pasteurized egg yolks)
200 gr castor sugar
100 gr vanilla sugar
300 ml evaporated milk
1 pinch salt
250 ml Zwetschgen Wasser (plum spirit) or high proof White Rum / Vodka / Raspberry Spirit / Brandy
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Method :
1) Separate 6-8 egg yolks from their whites,(depending on egg-size and thickness of eggnog you want to achieve; use whites for other recipes.

2) Add the salt

3) Slice the vanilla pod open with a knife and scrape the vanilla seeds out with the back of the blade, add the seeds to the egg yolks.

4)  Add 125 ml of alcohol to the mixture

5) Sieve the castor sugar into the egg-mixture while constantly whisking to prevent lumps in the Eierlikör, the liquid will thicken as you whisk. If it becomes too thick, add more spirit, too thin, add more sugar and/or egg yolk

6) Fill into sterilized bottles, Refrigerate the Eierlikör overnight. Ideally, serve in shot glasses made of chocolate.

7) Consume within two days !!!

PLEASE REMEMBER :
Consuming raw eggs can be dangerous !!!
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Chocolate Shot “Glasses”

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Eggnog Serving Suggestion

 

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Eggnog Serving Suggestion

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Eggnog Serving Suggestion

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Eggnog Serving Suggestion

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Eggnog Serving Suggestion

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The Complete Idiot’s Guide To The Very Best Blueberry Cake

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The Very Best Blueberry Cake

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As my regular readers know, I love sweets, desserts and cakes, but I do not like to prepare them, so when I do prepare a sweet dish, it must be quick , simple and easy.
This cake batter definitely fits into that category. No machines needed, no mess in the kitchen and the whole preparation does not take more than 10 minutes at most.
Yet, the result is absolute culinary delight 🙂
Use any fruit you might like and have available, such as any berries, stone fruit, halved grapes, even bananas, etc. Just make sure you don’t overcook the cake. Unfortunately, the old toothpick test does not work for this type of cake, so you must rely on your touch. If you are still not sure, remove a small piece from the center to check, then replace it right away and let the cake cool down to room temperature. (Don’t worry, the castor sugar will hide this little sin 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Cake  on  ChefsOpinion
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The Very Best Blueberry Cake

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The Very Best Blueberry Cake

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The Very Best Blueberry Cake

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The Very Best Blueberry Cake

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Black Plum Torte With Caramelized Black Plum-Compote (Schwarze-Pflaumen Kuchen Mit Karamelisiertem Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott)

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Black Plum Torte With Caramelized Black Plum-Compote (Schwarze-Pflaumen Kuchen Mit Karamelisiertem Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott)

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Of all fruit cakes my Mom used to bake, Plum cake was the one she baked most often. We owned some land with plum trees and apple trees on them, so these two fruits, and dishes made of them, (and liquor, “Apfel Schnaps” and “Zwetschken Geist”) were the most common in our home when I grew up. While as a kid I did not appreciate them as much, now I am a big fan, especially of plums. The one issue with fruit cakes I always have is that there is never enough fruit to the amount of cake. Here I solved the problem and even made the whole dish far better by adding plum compote to the cake, to be spooned over the cake while eating. Good Stuff !
Of course, the compote is equally delicious by itself, or served with ice cream, crepes, pancakes or with cereals. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Plum Recipes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Cake Recipes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Black Plum Torte With Caramelized Black Plum-Compote (Schwarze-Pflaumen Kuchen Mit Karamelisiertem Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott)

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Black Plum Torte With Caramelized Black Plum-Compote (Schwarze-Pflaumen Kuchen Mit Karamelisiertem Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott)

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Black Plum Torte With Caramelized Black Plum-Compote (Schwarze-Pflaumen Kuchen Mit Karamelisiertem Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott)

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Black Plum Torte With Caramelized Black Plum-Compote (Schwarze-Pflaumen Kuchen Mit Karamelisiertem Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott)

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Karamelisierte Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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I am a big fan of chocolate mousse, but usually it is served a bit too sweet for my taste. On the other hand, the mousse featured on this page is quicker and easier to make than the more traditional French version, while every bit as delicious – serious lovers of dark chocolate may find themselves liking it even more (I sure do). 🙂
The tart yogurt and total absence of cream and eggs let the fruity side of good dark chocolate really break free, for a bright and tangy mousse that won’t make you want to crawl into bed after a few spoonfuls.
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Greek Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse Recipe :
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Ingredients:
6 oz good-quality dark chocolate with 70% cacao, finely chopped
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tblsp Grand Marnier
cup whole Greek yogurt
2 tblsp orange marmalade
1 tblsp organic honey
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Method:
Place the chocolate into a medium heatproof bowl. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk just to a boil over medium heat. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and leave it to sit for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir with a spatula or a wooden spoon until you have a smooth ganache.
In a small bowl, beat the Greek yogurt with a small whisk or a fork until smooth.
Fold the yogurt into the chocolate mixture using a spatula until thoroughly combined, then stir in the honey, Grand Marnier, marmalade and 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds.
Spoon the mousse into four small or three slightly larger serving cups and chill until firm,covered with plastic wrap.
To serve, add a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with topping of your choice, such as fresh fruits and/or nuts. Serves 3-4.

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Yogurt/Chocolate Mousse

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Easy Does It # 36 – Oreo And Yogurt Pie With Honey & Fresh Berries

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Oreo And Yogurt Pie With Honey & Fresh Berries

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Dear  Friend’s,
Although most of the followers of ChefsOpinion are culinary professionals who visit here and are subscribed via LinkedIn, there is also a large segment of direct subscribers via wordpress who are just starting to enjoy cooking on a basic or slightly higher than basic level.
I have therefore decided to publish, under the moniker “Easy Does It“,  from time to time some very basic recipe variations of dishes (and even partially pre-cooked dishes) which otherwise might seem too complicated to some beginners.
I will break them down to the easiest, most simple instructions, so that those of you who are intimidated by elaborate recipes will be able to prepare these dishes properly, adjusted to your taste and liking, right from the get-go.
After all, just because you are not (yet ?) a professional chef should not prevent you from enjoying great food at home. 🙂
Enjoy !

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The header of this post could also be  “One For The Kid’s” – Oreo And Yogurt Pie With Honey & Fresh Berries,  because most kid’s with a knack to help in the kitchen could do this delicious pie all by themself, especially with a pre-baked orio crust as I have used here (or with any pre-baked pie crust for that matter).  🙂
Although as simple and easy to prepare as can be, the flavor of this pie is exquisite, not too sweet and a bit tart at the same time, and the yogurt filling is as light, smooth and creamy as no other.
Very special indeed.

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  “Easy Does It”  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for “One For The Kids”  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Pie  on  ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
See the full recipe at the bottom of this page…..
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Oreo And Yogurt Pie With Honey & Fresh Berries

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Oreo And Yogurt Pie With Honey & Fresh Berries

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Oreo And Yogurt Pie With Honey & Fresh Berries

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Oreo And Yogurt Pie With Honey & Fresh Berries

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Oreo And Yogurt Pie With Honey & Fresh Berries

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Oreo And Yogurt Pie With Honey & Fresh Berries Recipe :
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Crust
Store-bought orio crust
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Filling
3 large eggs
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2cups full fat Greek yogurt
1 egg yolk, whisked with a tiny pinch of salt
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Garnish
Honey, to taste
Whipped cream
Berries or other fruit of your choice
Chocolate powder to dust
Castor sugar to dust
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Prep
First – whisk the eggs and vanilla.
Then – whisk in the yogurt.
Brush the bottom of the crust thinly with a beaten egg yolk (moisture-proofing)
Bake the crust 3 minutes ( setting the egg for moisture proofing)
Add the filling to the crust
Place the pie into a pre-heated 375F oven and bake until the filling is set around the edges, but, when the pan is nudged, still quivers like soft Jell-O in the center, 15 to 20 minutes.
Check often in the last few minutes, as over-baking will destroy the silky-smooth texture of the filling.
Cool the tart on a rack.
Garnish as pictured or use your own imagination and/or personal preference 😊

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Mango, Pineapple And Chocolate Chip Cake

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Mango, Pineapple And Chocolate Chip Cake

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A couple of days ago, one of my neighbors asked me if I could make “something sweet” to add to the offerings at their kid’s birthday party. (A usual request from my neighbors) 🙂 As I had some fresh fruit at hand, (gifts from other neighbors) in the form of a pineapple and a few very sweet mangos, and because I  am not a very passionate baker/pastry cook, I came up with this simple yet stunning and absolutely delicious “cake”. It uses a foolproof and easy to prepare batter, store-bought chocolate chip cookies and the aforementioned fruits.
When it came out of the oven, I tried some, (as did Bella, of course,) but even if the craving nearly drives me nuts, I still can’t eat stuff like that. (Too much acid in the fruit and the chocolate, a nasty aftermath of chemo and radiation which still badly affects my throat and my taste buds) 🙂  
Bella on the other hand, couldn’t get enough 
I will definitely keep this as one of my “go-to” recipes in the future, when my ability to eat everything will be back, to be used with a variety of fruit and /or berries, accompanied by mountains of whipped cream, vanilla sauce, ice cream…………… (I am salivating as I write this) 🙂 

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Serve this cake by itself or with vanilla sauce,vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or, better yet, with all three 🙂 
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Mango, Pineapple And Chocolate Chip Cake

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Mango, Pineapple And Chocolate Chip Cake

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Mango, Pineapple And Chocolate Chip Cake

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Mango, Pineapple And Chocolate Chip Cake

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Mango, Pineapple And Chocolate Chip Cake

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Mango, Pineapple And Chocolate Chip Cake

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Agua De Sandia

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Agua De Sandia

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Last  Friday, the only “solid” food I was still able to eat was watermelon, so yesterday I bought some seedless watermelon (Sandia) to enjoy today. Well it did not work out that way. I almost choked to death from the first piece I tried to swallow. After about 20 minutes of trying to breathe normal again, my first reaction was to throw the fruit away. Then I remembered one of my favorite drinks when I was living in Mexico – “Agua De Sandia” with vodka 🙂
Obviously, no vodka for me now, but the “Agua Fresca” was a great change from my regular, room temperature plain water I have to drink nowadays.
(And Bella enjoyed the pulp).
So, when life gives you melons,……………. 
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Cheers !   Life Is Good !
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Agua De Sandia Recipe :
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Wash one large seedless watermelon thoroughly, peel, remove any seeds  (Sometimes there are a few seeds, even if you specifically buy “Seedless”).
Cut fruit into cubes, add 3 tablespoon organic honey and the juice of 2 limes. Blend until very smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, chill. If you like to add ice to your drink, freeze some of the Agua Fresca in an ice cube tray, so when it melts in your drink, it adds juice, not water.
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Agua De Sandia


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Agua De Sandia


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Agua De Sandia


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Agua De Sandia


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Agua De Sandia


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Agua De Sandia


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Banana And Cranberry Salad With Homemade Sugar-Free Banana Ice Cream

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Banana And Cranberry Salad With Homemade Sugar-Free Banana Ice Cream

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If you are prepared, life (cooking) is easy ! 🙂
I usually have some sort of frozen dessert in my freezer for my (too frequently happening) sweets-craving-attacks.
More often than not, it’s some sort of frozen banana dessert, as it was this afternoon. I always have fresh bananas and dried cranberries in my cupboard, so this dish was an easy decision, and thanks to the ice cream in the freezer, a matter of a few minutes to execute 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
Obviously, there is natural fruit sugar in the ice cream and the banana/cranberry salad, but, besides the organic honey, there is no added sugar.
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P.P.S.
The ratios of fructose and glucose are pretty much the same in both fruit and table sugar.
Generally, there’s no advantage to substituting honey for sugar in a diabetes eating plan. Both honey and sugar will affect your blood sugar level. Honey is sweeter than granulated sugar, so you might use  a smaller amount of honey  for sugar in some recipes.
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Click here for  Sugar Free Banana Ice Cream Recipe   on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Lighter, Healthier Food  on  ChefsOpinion
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Banana And Cranberry Salad With Homemade Sugar-Free Banana Ice Cream

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Banana And Cranberry Salad With Homemade Sugar-Free Banana Ice Cream

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Banana And Cranberry Salad With Homemade Sugar-Free Banana Ice Cream

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Buttermilk Pancake With Merlot-Poached Pears And Merlot Cream

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Buttermilk Pancake With Merlot-Poached Pears And Merlot Cream

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While I have used the traditional ingredients for this pancake, I have changed the ratio of eggs to flour considerably. This resulted in what I think is a “real” pancake, by which I mean it is a cake, baked in a pan 🙂 If you look at the close-up of the cut pancake, you can clearly see the texture of a cake, not a traditional pancake, which is much lighter and fluffier in texture and therefore tends to deflate very quickly after being removed from the heat. This one you see here did not deflate and maintained the same light texture after it had cooled down and spent the night (half-eaten) in the fridge.
Makes you wonder why one goes through the trouble of making a complicated cake………. 🙂 ?
I know, I know, many folks enjoy baking and love to prepare cake in any form, shape, and taste – but if you don’t, (me), this easy recipe might just be the solution you’ve been looking for to have your pancake cake and eat it too 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more savory and sweet  Pancakes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Buttermilk Pancake With Merlot-Poached Pears And Merlot Cream

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Buttermilk Pancake With Merlot-Poached Pears And Merlot Cream

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Buttermilk Pancake With Merlot-Poached Pears And Merlot Cream

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Buttermilk Pancake With Merlot-Poached Pears And Merlot Cream

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Buttermilk Pancake With Merlot-Poached Pears And Merlot Cream

Buttermilk Pancake With Merlot-Poached Pears And Merlot Cream

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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See you again in 2018……….

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Dear Friends,
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.I am spending the next three weeks in Argentina, visiting friends, eating (mostly) parilla and drinking (mostly) red wine.
Since I am living with friends who keep me busy 24/7 🙂 , I will not post my usual three or four posts per week during this time.
However, I have a surplus of about 50 dishes/post’s I have cooked and photographed in the past few months, which I will post as soon as I’ll return to Florida in mid- January, together with the new stuff I’ll produce when I will be back in my own kitchen.
Until then, here is a preview of a small selection of dishes waiting to be published. Hope to see you all again in 2018 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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