by Hedy Goldsmith in Recipes, July 10th, 2015
by Hedy Goldsmith in How-to, Recipes, June 5th, 2015
Throughout our culinary history, people have baked fruit in one form of vessel or another. Lots of versions, many contestants and several commonalities: fresh or frozen fruit; some sort of sugar, whether it’s light brown, dark brown, muscovado sugar or molasses, or even honey. Add butter plus some sort of flour and there you have it.
Start with the most common of all baked desserts, the classic cobbler. Many say the cobbler is simply a pie without the crust. Well, that is partially correct. A true cobbler is topped off with individually dropped biscuits. The biscuits are made with heavy cream, adding a real rich flavor and tenderness to the biscuit. Did you know the baked biscuits on top of the cobblers were said to look similar to the cobblestone streets of Boston or Philadelphia? Philly girl here, don’t forget.
Now for the variations:
by Hedy Goldsmith in How-to, Recipes, April 15th, 2015
I am always up for a challenge. That’s exactly why I chose corn as a focus. Baking with something other than fruit, chocolate or the usual sweet ingredients may be new to some and old hat to others.
Let’s talk about corn. It contains natural sweetener, has a buttery and sometimes creamy texture, and is seasonal and local for many of us, even just picked! Sounds like the perfect dessert ingredient.
My love for bread pudding gave me the perfect starting point. Here is a way to make a simple and totally unique corn flavor. Strip away all the husks and silks (give that job to the kids), and toss the kernels and cobs in cream with sugar, salt and vanilla. Simmer until all the sugar is melted and the corn is tender. Steep for 2 1/2 hours to infuse. Remove the cobs and the vanilla bean. In a blender or using a hand immersion blender, puree at high speed and then strain through a fine-mesh screen. Ta-da! You have just made delicious corn cream. Read more
by Hedy Goldsmith in How-to, Recipes, March 25th, 2015
Leaving a trail of crumbs helps you find your way.
I joked as a kid that I would need to leave a trail of crumbs into the kitchen so my mom could find her way. She would swear she couldn’t find it. After all, she wanted to turn our kitchen into a library. No one in my family baked. We all had a passion for sweets. The only sweet things baked in my house were brownies from my Easy-Bake Oven. I had zero kitchen training.
My first real attempt at baking started with a classic coffee cake. Read more
by Hedy Goldsmith in How-to, Recipes, February 27th, 2015
Pastries cut into bar-shaped pieces never really go out of style. When one food magazine writes a story about bars, every other food magazine fires back with its own take on these simple-yet-delicious bites of happiness. With a handful of recipes for crusts and toppings, you can easily make bar cookies completely interchangeable.
If you find a crust that you like, let’s say a shortbread crust, play around with the topping. Perhaps make a pecan, Key lime or lemon filling, or even a fudgy brownie bar, with an oatmeal brown butter crust.
by Hedy Goldsmith in Recipes, January 16th, 2015
Have you ever given any thought to taking your desserts into another zone? The below-32-degrees zone?
Almost nothing is off-limits when I bake. I let my mind go in many places and see where it lands. Often, it’s in the freezer.
by Hedy Goldsmith in Holidays, December 19th, 2013
Why are the sweets at most airports dry, flavorless, high in fat and sugar, and oddly very appealing? Is it the cinnamon-sugar smell that drifts down the terminal corridor, reeling you in with the sweet smell of home? What about the smell of freshly baked soft pretzels or sugared nuts? Intoxicating, especially while traveling, when planning meals is sometimes too overwhelming.
Let’s talk cinnamon buns. I love my cinnamon bun recipe so much, and it’s pretty easy. I keep baked cinnamon buns in the freezer, individually wrapped and ready to go for mornings on the run. Just pop one of these bad boys in the microwave and it’s off to the airport (or work or school). You’ll be completely satisfied and never tempted again (maybe) by overly sweet airport buns. Check out this step-by-step how-to for my Bacon, Bourbon and Hazelnut Cinnamon Buns.
by Hedy Goldsmith in Holidays, December 3rd, 2013
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts, my first taste of baked perfection.
I still remember those Saturday mornings and the faint scent of cinnamon drifting into my bedroom, waking me out of a deep sleep – the delicious smell of pastry being caramelized and the exotic scent of spice.
My mom, a die-hard coffee cake eater, would, on occasion, crave the breakfast treat of my generation. Sneaking into the kitchen before the sun came up, my mom would drop a Pop-Tart into the toaster and – voila! – fresh-“baked” perfection.
by Maria Russo in How-to, March 20th, 2013
Chocolate chips, toffee pieces, raisins, walnuts — all very traditional cookie add-ins. I grew up slicing and baking cookies from logs of premade dough bought from the refrigerated case in my grocery store. You know, the “Dough-boy” brand.
Thinking outside the cookie log will set you apart from other cookie bakers. Have you ever thought about adding chai tea, potato chips, pretzel chunks, licorice or even bacon bits? Keep your mind open and read on.
In my Chocolate Chip Gingersnap Chai Cookie recipe, I use ground chai tea leaves along with Indian spices such as cloves, cardamom, mace and freshly grated ginger. Think of a classic gingersnap with a modern spin (or your favorite coffeehouse beverage).
Get more mix-in ideas
by Hedy Goldsmith in How-to, January 15th, 2013
As the executive pastry chef at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami, Fla., the author of Baking Out Loud, a frequent guest on Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets and FN Dish’s own resident dessert extraordinaire, Hedy Goldsmith isn’t your average sweet tooth. She’s been known to put a homemade red-velvet twist on traditional Twinkies and even bake pies in jars, so when FN Dish visited Hedy at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival last month, we knew we’d be in for a treat — and it turns out that we were greeted with an entire plateful of treats.
Speaking to a packed room at the Shelborne South Beach Hotel, Hedy along with Josh Wesson, a New York City-based sommelier and the co-founder of Best Cellars, offered guests an interactive seminar on the pairings of desserts and beverages, both wines and liqueurs. They agreed that the key to blending any food and drink is finding among them elements that are similar and contrasting, an idea that’s similar to what Hedy follows when making her confections.
Known for expertly bridging the gap between sweetness and saltiness — the combination of which she describes as “the story of my life” — her signature creations are not typical desserts in that they’re not overly sweet, and they utilize seemingly eccentric and out-of-place ingredients. To Hedy, baking is all about “checks and balances,” not just between the amount of sugar and salt in a recipe, but also the flavors of the other ingredients she uses.
Home bakers often ask, “Why can’t I use salted butter in a recipe that calls for unsalted butter, especially when salt is listed as a separate ingredient?” Right? I totally get the question. Why wouldn’t you just use salted butter and call it a day?
First, let me say that I never use salted butter. Not to bake with, on my toast in the morning or for any recipe that calls for butter.
Call me a control freak; however, the reason is that the salt added to salted butter varies depending on the brand you buy. All salted butters are not created equal. So why take your chances when baking? Just buy unsalted butter and start with a clean slate.
This leads me to the next most-asked question:
“Why can’t I use self-rising flour for all baking?” I totally comprehend this question too. It sure would eliminate buying a variety of flours, right?