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Retro Desserts: Totally Hip, Updated Classic Desserts From The '40s, '50s, '60s, And '70s
     

Retro Desserts: Totally Hip, Updated Classic Desserts From The '40s, '50s, '60s, And '70s

by Wayne Brachman
 

In Retro Dessets, Wayne Brachman, executive pastry chef at New York's Mesa Grill and Bolo, presents the desserts you loved as a kid—only better. It's time for a trip down to memory-lane bakery, where the old fashioned desserts of yesterday have been revamped for today's kitchen. Imagine homemade cream-filled chocolate cupcakes (you know, the ones with

Overview

In Retro Dessets, Wayne Brachman, executive pastry chef at New York's Mesa Grill and Bolo, presents the desserts you loved as a kid—only better. It's time for a trip down to memory-lane bakery, where the old fashioned desserts of yesterday have been revamped for today's kitchen. Imagine homemade cream-filled chocolate cupcakes (you know, the ones with white squiggles on top) or big, fluffy coconut layer cake that Mrs. Cleaver would be proud of. Or impress your guests with a totally hot and cool baked Alaska. They're all here in all their retro glory.

These desserts may be fun, but they have been created with a professional's eye and palate—they taste as good as they look and vice versa. Instead of the little packaged boxes of instant ingredients that were the start of many midcentury desserts, in Retro Desserts you'll find homemade gelatin salads (come on, admit you love them) made with real fruit juice and fresh fruit, comforting puddings, and marshmallows. Now you can fill your cookie jar with homemade versions of Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Vanilla-Cream Filling, Vanilla Wafers, and Animal Cookies. Wayne gives the best-ever recipes for classics such as Strawberry Chiffon Pie, Banana Pudding (made with your fresh-baked Vanilla Wafers), Chow Mein-Noodle Haystacks, and Diner-Style Strawberry Shortcake.

Retro Desserts is as much a cultural history of the American sweet tooth as it is an indispensable cookbook. It's a blast to read and jammed with outasight recipes.

Ever find yourself dreaming about a big fluffy coconut layer cake like the one Mom might make if you lived in Leave It to Beaver-land? Or Cream-Filled Devil's Food Cupcakes that don't taste like the plastic and cardboard they are wrapped in? Well, now you can bake these cakes and eat them, too.

Wayne Brachman, executive pastry chef for Bobby Flay's popular New York restaurants, presents this totally hip collection of recipes, Retro Desserts. Inspired by classics from the '40s, '50s, '60s, and '70s, these fabulous desserts look just as great as you remember, and taste even better. It's a trip down to memory lane bakery, where kitsch desserts of yesterday have been revamped for the sophisticated kitchen of today. Updated classics include Chocolate Blackout Cake, Checkerboard Cake, Baked Alaska, and Cherries Jubilee. Other recipes include wild creations based on old-fashioned flavors, like Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Banana Bon Bons, Rum and Cherry Cola Marble Cake, and Caramel Apple Chiffon Cupcakes.

Showcased by retro-style full-color photography and artwork, headlines and excerpts taken from vintage magazines and cookbooks, these are well-tested, seriously fun desserts that really work in your home kitchen, making Retro Desserts a valuable addition to every home baker's cookbook collection.Ever find yourself dreaming about a big fluffy coconut layer cake like the one Mom might make if you lived in Leave It to Beaver-land? Or Cream-Filled Devil's Food Cupcakes that don't taste like the plastic and cardboard they are wrapped in? Well, now you can bake these cakes and eat them, too.

Wayne Brachman, executive pastry chef for Bobby Flay's popular New York restaurants, presents this totally hip collection of recipes, Retro Desserts. Inspired by classics from the '40s, '50s, '60s, and '70s, these fabulous desserts look just as great as you remember, and taste even better. It's a trip down to memory lane bakery, where kitsch desserts of yesterday have been revamped for the sophisticated kitchen of today. Updated classics include Chocolate Blackout Cake, Checkerboard Cake, Baked Alaska, and Cherries Jubilee. Other recipes include wild creations based on old-fashioned flavors, like Chocolate-Dipped Frozen Banana Bon Bons, Rum and Cherry Cola Marble Cake, and Caramel Apple Chiffon Cupcakes.

Showcased by retro-style full-color photography and artwork, headlines and excerpts taken from vintage magazines and cookbooks, these are well-tested, seriously fun desserts that really work in your home kitchen, making Retro Desserts a valuable addition to every home baker's cookbook collection.

Editorial Reviews

Nick Malgieri
Even if you don't remember poodle skirts and '57 Chevys, you'll love Retro Desserts. Wayne has put together a collection of easy and tasty desserts that are more fun than a sock hop.
Sara Moulton
I absolutely love this book. It really does make me want to get baking!
Bobby Flay
After working alongside Wayne Harley Brachman for the last decade, I can't think of anyone else better qualified to reconstruct and re-create the retro desserts we all know and love.
Library Journal
Brachman's first cookbook was called Cakes and Cowpokes. Now he's combined his corny sense of humor and fondness for nostalgic desserts in this collection of recipes ranging from Chocolate Blackout Cake to Baked Alaska, grouped into chapters with such titles as "Cookie, Cookie, Lend Me Your Comb" and "For Whom the Ice Cream Bell Tolls." The recipes themselves, though, are straightforward and clearly written, and these desserts are sure to bring back memories for many readers. Recommended. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688164447
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/28/2000
Edition description:
1ST
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Fruit-Cocktail Gelatin Ring

Makes 8 servings

By far the most popular way to make a gelatin mold was to mix in a can of "fruit cocktail." Each can contained five "lovely" fruits: peaches, pears, pineapple, cherries, and grapes. You could use them in "100 fun ways," for example, as a salad with walnuts and marshmallows, served on lettuce and dressed with a "blend of mayonnaise and a little fruit cocktail syrup." Make your own cocktail by dicing and gently poaching fresh fruit.

Pick and choose your fruits from those listed. Your total should add up to approximately 3 cups.

1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
Pear (Bartlett and Anjou are best), peeled and cored, then cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick wedges
Peach, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Nectarine, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
Seedless grapes, split in half
Orange segments
Cherries, pitted
Mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 recipe for any of the gelatins (pages 104-107), cooked but not chilled (recipe for Orange Gelatin follows)

1. If using a vanilla bean, split it in half and scrape out the seeds. Reserve all. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, sugar, and vanilla bean pod and seeds or extract to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer.

2. Drop in the pear and pineapple, and poach for 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Drop in the peach and nectarine, and poach for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Drop in the grapes and orange segments, and poach for 1minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Drop in the cherries and poach for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Since they will discolor the syrup, always do them last.

When you have finished, put all of the fruit back in the syrup and set aside to cool down.

Mango may be added raw.

3. Prepare your favorite gelatin. Stir in the fruits and pour into a 7-cup mold. Chill for several hours until set.

4. To remove, dip the mold in hot water for a few seconds and invert onto a serving platter.

Note: To peel a peach, drop it into boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and plunge into a bath of ice water. Slice it in half around its crease, twist to separate halves, then pry out the pit with a spoon. The skin should slip off easily.

Gelatin was so popular that in 1957 gelatin envelopes were packaged in "modern, flip-top boxes," for easier access.


Orange Gelatin

Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 envelopes gelatin (5 teaspoons)
3/4 cup sugar
4 cups fresh orange juice, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, soften the gelatin by stirring it into 1/2 cup of the orange juice. Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of the orange juice and the sugar to a boil. Boil until the crystals have dissolved, about 1 minute. Pour it over the gelatin and stir to dissolve. Mix in the remaining 2 cups of orange juice and vanilla. Pour into individual serving glasses or a 4 1/2-cup mold. Chill for several hours until set.


Black & Whites

Makes a dozen BIG cookies

Hey, are these cookies or cakes? I have had some so moist that they fell apart when picked up. Others have been dry as crackers. The ideal should be light, moist, and buttery yet firm enough to handle. The pro bakers frosted with fondant, scooped and reworked out of giant buckets. We use a fondant-style glaze.

Black & Whites were sold at bakeries and delis all over the New York area but none could compare to the ones at Gotleib's in Brooklyn. Head baker Mernie Manheim was the kind of guy who could infuse magic into a cookie. We called his son, Larry, who let us in on the secret: "Hey, stick to the recipe and then add a lot of finesse."

Black & Whites had a resurgence when they were featured on an episode of Seinfeld. Will they, one day, achieve double retro status: "Can you remember back in the nineties, when Seinfeld used to reminisce about cookies from the sixties?"

For the Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1 1/2 cups milk

For the Frosting

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
2 tablespoons hot brewed coffee

1. Make the Cookies: Set 2 racks in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 F.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar for 15 seconds, until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts and continue beating until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4. With the mixer on its slowest setting, gradually beat in half of the flour mixture. Beat in the milk and then the remaining flour mixture.

5. On nonstick or parchment-lined cookie sheets, drop 1/2-cup mounds of dough at 4-inch intervals. Bake the cookies for about 11 minutes, turning the pans once, front to back, for even baking, until the cookies are lightly tanned. Set the cookie sheets on a rack to cool.

6. Make the Frosting: Fit a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a candy thermometer. Over high heat, cook the water, corn syrup, sugar, and cream of tartar until it registers 240 degrees F (soft ball).

7. Remove the pan from the heat. Vigorously whisk in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and hot water until creamy looking. Quickly spread half of the icing on one half of each cookie. Whisk the cocoa and hot coffee into the remaining icing. Spread it on the other halves of the cookies. Let set for 15 minutes.

Retro Desserts. Copyright © by Wayne Brachman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Wayne Harley Brachman is the pastry chef at Mesa Grill and Bolo and has recently been named on of the ten best pastry chefs in America by Pastry Art & Design and Chocolatier magazines. Wayne makes frequent appearances on the Food Network, has an enormous collection of vintage baking books and magazines, and lives in New York City.

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