Last night, I participated in "Talking With Our Mouths Full", an amazing program of readings about food, featuring Seattle area writers. All of the readings were wonderful, and to pick favorites almost feels like I'm casting aspersions on the others. I'm not doing so at all. I enjoyed them all.
Still, two just had me smiling so hard, I had to give "props" to Jess Thomson's "Waiterly Conduct" and Nicole Aloni's "Everything But The Wool". I truly enjoyed all the readings, but those two pieces are ones I hope the writers will someday post online so I can read them again and share them with friends and family.
But the subject line of this post is "Did Someone Say Dessert?"
This morning, while having a late breakfast in front of a TV tuned to Food Network, I heard the phrase "trans-ethnic desserts". My mind immediately went into overdrive and created two desserts combining old world and new world flavors. Now these are not tried and tested recipes. They're just concepts. But they had my mouth watering enough that I felt I had to share.
Take a regular cannoli shell. Make the traditional filling of sweetened ricotta, but infuse it with chocolate, cinnamon, and a smidge of chile powder or some cayenne pepper to give it the flavor of Mexican hot chocolate. Fill the shell, then drizzle with Mexican "dulce de leche" caramel.
Spicy Crepe Cake
This one includes a recipe, and that's for a Chipotle Apple Sauce.
2 oz. lemon juice
3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large chipotle chile, washed, seeded, and finely chopped
Start softening the apples in the lemon juice to begin breaking them down and releasing their juices (maybe 5 minutes), then throw in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a low boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Hit it with a stick blender to smooth it out and let it cool.
Now... Make 10 crepes. Layer them on top of each other, spreading a thin coat of the chipotle apple sauce between each layer. When done, use a cookie cutter to cut out small round "layer cakes". Coat the cakes with a tamarind infused frosting and very lightly dust the top with some crumbled dried chiles (just a few flakes).
As I have a toddler with an egg allergy... well, you just can't do an eggless crepe. And if you could, why would you want to? That's like trying to do an eggless quiche. Some things just can't be done eggless without becoming an entirely different animal, thus the crepe cake is just a dream for now.
But cannoli is basically eggless, and is now a contender for the dessert course on my Thanksgiving Extravaganza menu. But I don't serve anything on Thanksgiving that I haven't tested first. My wife has "reluctantly" agreed to let me use her as a guinea pig for a cannoli trial run on Sunday. If it works well, I'll post the final recipe.
Wish me luck! And if any of you try the crepe cake, let me know how it turns out.