Cover image for Desserts : Mediterranean flavors, California style
Desserts : Mediterranean flavors, California style
Mushet, Cindy, 1960-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scribner, [2000]

Physical Description:
347 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX773 .M933 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Includes dessert recipes from Italy, France, Greece, North Africa, Spain, Turkey, and the Middle East.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

If there's a complaint to lodge against this cookbookÄwhich is full of outstanding, fresh ideas for all kinds of dessertsÄit's Mushet's overly broad interpretation of her subtitle. For example, Coconut Rice Pudding Br–l‚e with Mango in Lime Caramel Sauce sounds fabulousÄbut does it really qualify as Mediterranean? However, many of these desserts do rework old-world classics with great style and wonderful results. Chocolate, Hazelnut and Orange Torte gives a new take on Italian gianduia. And while purists may consider it something of a travesty to transform Gelato Affogato (simply gelato doused with a shot of hot espresso) into an American-style sundae with whipped cream, liqueur and chocolate curls, the travesty is a delicious one. A chapter on fruit desserts makes use of California's bounty with such dishes as Figs with Espresso-Sambuca Sabayon and Shaved Chocolate and Citrus Compote in Spiced Champagne Broth. An entire chapter on phyllo creations includes Snake Pastry with Fig, Almond Paste and Lemon (inspired by a North African dessert), Sour Cherry and Almond Baklava and a Konafa with Tangerine-Lime Syrup. Supplementary materials are excellent throughoutÄthe phyllo chapter benefits from several pages of tips on working with the tricky dough as well as instructions for chopping nuts (better done by hand for baklava, but so much easier in the processor) and using a candy thermometer for the most accurate results. Mushet (former publisher of the quarterly Baking with the American Harvest) may not create the most traditional desserts, but she does come up with some of the tastiest. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Despite its somewhat gimmicky-sounding title, this is actually a wonderfully appealing collection of mouthwatering desserts from a knowledgeable and thoroughly professional pastry chef. Mushet, a consultant and author of a baking journal, started out at Chez Panisse and went on to become pastry chef at Oliveto Restaurant in Oakland. She has translated her favorite Mediterranean flavors and flavoringsDfragrant spices and herbs; fruits of all sorts, dried, crystallized, or fresh; pastis and other aromatic liqueurs; almonds, pistachios, and other nutsDinto American-style desserts that are often imaginative but never contrived or bizarre. There are Grilled [Slices of] Coconut Cake with Double-Lime Ice Cream, Raspberry Mascarpone Tart, Dried Sour Cherry, and Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Biscotti, and other delectable treats, along with boxes on techniques, ingredients, culinary history, and more. Instructions are painstakingly detailed but unintimidating, and make-ahead notes and serving suggestions are included throughout. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter One CAKES List of Recipes Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Orange Torte Chocolate, Walnut, and Orange Torte Chocolate, Almond, and Orange Torte Pistachio Layer Cake with Nougat Cream California Fruitcake with Dates, Apricots, and Walnuts Strawberry Mascarpone Layer Cake Nectarine Mascarpone Layer Cake Fregolotta with Almonds and Jam Chocolate Soufflé Roll with Rum Mascarpone Cream Orange Flower and Pine Nut Armadillos with Apricot Sauce Grilled Coconut Cake with Double-Lime Ice Cream Skillet-Grilled Coconut Cake Caramelized Apple Cake with Rosemary Almond Brown Butter Cakes with Raspberries Hazelnut Brown Butter Cakes with Raspberries Mocha Chiffon Cake with Cinnamon and Orange Pomegranate Dacquoise Plum and Hazelnut Tart with Port Wine Glaze Goat Cheese and Ricotta Tart Peach and Cornmeal Tart with Crème Fraîche Ice Cream Raspberry Mascarpone Tart with Chocolate Crust Double-Raspberry Mascarpone Tart Cherry, Red Wine, and Lavender Tart with Crème Fraîche Lime Brûlée Tartlets with Coconut Macadamia Crust Apricot Tart with Shredded Filo and Pistachios Caramel, Date, and Sesame Tart with Orange Pear Brown Butter Tart with Vanilla Bean Marbleized Chocolate Velvet Tart Siena Tart with Almonds, Cherries, Honey, and Spices Siena Tart with Hazelnuts, Almonds, Cherries, Honey, and Spices Flaky Tart Dough Shortcrust Dough Cornmeal Shortcrust Dough Chocolate Shortcrust Dough Roasted Pears with Spiced Sabayon Cold Sabayon Poached Quinces with Fromage Blanc Mascarpone-Stuffed Dates with Spiced Blood Orange Caramel Sauce and Seeded Praline Figs with Espresso-Sambuca Sabayon with Shaved Chocolate Citrus Compote in Spiced Champagne Broth Caramelized Apricots with Pistachio Ice Cream Figs Stuffed with Goat Cheese Served with Raspberry and Caramel Sauces Plums in Port with Clove Cream Raspberry and Cannoli Cream Parfaits Cherries Poached in Red Wine with Rose Geranium and Blackberries Summer Peaches and Raspberries with Essencia Sabayon Crema Catalana Mint and Chocolate Pots de Crème Chocolate Espresso Pots de Crème Bonet Pumpkin Flan with Spiced Pecans Chestnut Honey Flan Black and White Mascarpone Parfait Tuscan Bread Pudding Coconut Rice Pudding Brñlée with Mango in Lime Caramel Sauce Apricot Fool with Almond Cream Champagne Jelly with Raspberries Tiny Bubbles Antibes Baklava with Almonds, Hazelnuts, Cinnamon, and Cloves Walnut Baklava Pistachio and Apricot Baklava with Orange Cardamom Syrup Almond and Apricot Baklava with Orange Cardamom Syrup Quince and Walnut Baklava Sour Cherry and Almond Baklava Hazelnut and Chocolate Baklava Almond and Chocolate Baklava Walnut and Chocolate Baklava Galataboureko with Spiced Blood Orange Caramel Sauce Snake Pastry with Fig, Almond Paste, and Lemon Snake Pastry with Apricots, Almond Paste, and Orange Konafa with Tangerine Lime Syrup Fresh Cherries and Sweet Cheese in Shredded Filo Cinnamon Apple and Sweet Cheese in Shredded Filo Tiropetes with Chocolate and Apricot Filling Almond and Hazelnut Chip Macaroons Double-Almond Macaroons Almond and Pine Nut Macaroons Nonna's Rugelach Lemon and Rose Madeleines Orange Madeleines with Orange Flower Water Bitter Chocolate Wafers Orange Cornmeal Rosettes with Apricot Jam Orange Cornmeal Wafers Lacy Sesame Crisps Dried Sour Cherry and Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Biscotti Hazelnut, Orange, and Chocolate Chip Biscotti Toasted Almond and Dried Sour Cherry Biscotti Pistachio, Apricot, and Cardamom Biscotti Pistachio, Sultana, and Anise Biscotti Spanish Olive Oil and Spice Biscotti Double-Chocolate Toffee Biscotti Brown Sugar and Almond Biscotti with Cinnamon and Orange Pear and Walnut Whole Wheat Biscotti Pistachio Ice Cream Hazelnut Ice Cream Almond Ice Cream Gelato Affogato Crème Fraîche Ice Cream Vanilla Bean Crème Fraîche Ice Cream Lavender and Almond Praline Ice Cream Double-Lemon Ice Cream Double-Lime Ice Cream Lemon and Almond Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwiches Pomegranate Ice Cream Tangerine Sorbet Blood Orange Sorbet Raspberry or Blackberry Sorbet Lemon Verbena Sorbet Quince Sorbet with Lemon Pomegranate Granita with Rose Water Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Orange Torte serves 10 to 12 In Italy the combination of chocolate and hazelnuts is so popular that it has its own name, gianduia. This duo can be found in all manner of sweets, from gelato to candies to cakes, and with good reason -- it is a flavor match made in heaven. This dense, moist torte, fragrant with hazelnuts and speckled with bittersweet chocolate chips, was created by my friend Joanne Fusco while working at a bakery in Italy. The addition of orange zest to the cake offers a bright counterpoint and intensifies the earthy richness of hazelnuts and chocolate. Over the years I have served this cake hundreds of times, in dozens of guises, and it's a real crowd pleaser. But my favorite way to eat it is the simplest and just as I present it here -- topped with a silken cloud of bittersweet chocolate frosting. The frosting is so easy -- a combination of melted butter and chocolate -- and so good, you'll want to use it again and again in your baking. EQUIPMENT AND ADVANCE PREPARATION: One 9-inch springform pan · Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper or wax paper. Alternatively, brush the sides and bottom of the pan with a thin, even coat of melted butter, then dust the pan with flour, tapping out any excess. FOR THE CAKE 1 1/4 cups (6 ounces) hazelnuts, toasted and skinned (227) 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) sugar 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened 2 tablespoons finely chopped orange zest (145), about 2 large oranges 2 large eggs 4 large eggs, separated 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder 4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) miniature bittersweet chocolate chips (274) FOR THE CHOCOLATE FROSTING 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted butter FOR SERVING Softly whipped cream (54) flavored with Frangelico Miniature chocolate curls (106), optional Preheat the oven to 350°F. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. To make the cake, place the hazelnuts and 3/4 cup sugar in a food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground, about 20 to 30 seconds. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (a handheld mixer is fine; just allow a little extra time to reach each stage in the recipe), cream the butter until light in color, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the ground hazelnut-sugar mixture and beat on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes, or until the mixture looks very light and fluffy. Beat in the orange zest. In a small bowl, combine the whole eggs and egg yolks and whisk just until blended. With the mixer running, dribble the eggs into the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time, allowing each addition to blend in fully (about 15 to 20 seconds) before adding the next. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times during this process. In a separate small bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder to blend. Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix thoroughly on medium speed, about 20 to 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides, then add the chocolate chips and blend well. The batter will be very stiff. In a clean mixing bowl, using a clean whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, tablespoon by tablespoon, and continue beating just until the whites hold firm peaks and are glossy, another 1 to 2 minutes. To check the whites, dip a spoon into the bowl and scoop out some beaten whites -- the whites should sit firmly on the spoon, and the peaks that formed in the bowl when the spoon was lifted should hold their shape (the very tips of the peaks may bend slightly -- this is okay). Be careful not to overbeat the whites, or they will begin to clump and separate. Use a rubber spatula to stir one-third of the beaten whites into the cake batter to loosen and lighten the mixture, then gently fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the batter into the cake pan, level the top, and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the center of the cake springs back when gently touched with a fingertip or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool completely. To make the frosting, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the butter until it is completely melted and has just come to a boil. Immediately pour the butter over the chocolate, then let the mixture sit for 2 minutes. Gently whisk the frosting until it is blended and smooth (if the chocolate still has lumps, place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water and stir constantly until the lumps have melted). Place the bowl of frosting in the refrigerator. Every 5 minutes or so, remove the bowl and whisk the frosting to blend in any patches that have cooled and are beginning to harden on the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue until it reaches a spreadable consistency, about 30 minutes. If the frosting gets too hard, simply place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the desired consistency is reached (this will happen quickly, so don't walk away). To unmold the cake, run a thin, sharp knife around the edges of the cake to loosen any areas that may have stuck to the pan. As you do this, gently press the knife into the side of the pan to avoid gouging the cake. Then pop the sides off the springform pan and set aside. Gently set a plate or cake cardboard on top of the cake, then flip it over and remove the bottom of the pan and the parchment paper. Place your serving dish or a cake cardboard on the bottom of the cake, then turn the cake right side up. To frost the cake, scrape the frosting from the bowl onto the center of the cake and use an icing spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it evenly over the top, just to the edges -- do not spread any frosting down the sides. Use the tip of the spatula or spoon to make swirls in the frosting. SERVING AND STORAGE NOTES: Serve at room temperature accompanied by a spoonful of softly whipped cream. I like to flavor the cream with a bit of Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur). If you like, garnish each plate by sprinkling it with some miniature chocolate curls. Store the cake at room temperature. There is no need to wrap the entire cake with plastic; instead, simply press a piece of plastic wrap against the cut surfaces. Though the cake is at its best the same day it is baked, it keeps well for 3 to 5 days. VARIATIONS Chocolate, Walnut, and Orange Torte: Substitute 1 3/4 cups (6 ounces) walnuts for the hazelnuts above. Toast the walnuts according to the instructions for toasting almonds (254). Chocolate, Almond, and Orange Torte: Substitute 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (6 ounces) whole, natural, toasted (254) almonds for the hazelnuts above. GIANDUIA Gianduia is a sensuous blend of chocolate and hazelnuts that originated in the Piedmont area in northern Italy. Like many inventions, its creation was a serendipitous meeting of necessity and ingenuity. In the early 1800s, the chocolate makers of Piedmont were faced with a shortage of cacao beans. As part of the war effort against Napoleon, the English navy was preventing trade ships bringing the beans from South America from arriving at their final destinations in Europe. In an effort to augment what little chocolate they could obtain, Piedmont chocolate makers added ground hazelnuts to their chocolate, and a taste sensation was born. It received an official name when it was introduced at the carnival of Turin and given the same name as one of the popular festival masks -- gianduia. Though gianduia is technically a paste, or butter, of chocolate and hazelnuts, the term is applied to all manner of sweets that contain this uniquely satisfying combination of nuts and chocolate. (Continues...) Copyright © 2000 Cindy Mushet. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Cakes Tarts Fruit Desserts Custards and Puddings
Baklava and Filo Desserts Cookies
Ice Creams and Sorbets Mail-Order Sources