The Olives Dessert Table: Extraordinary Restaurant Desserts You Can Make at Home

The Olives Dessert Table: Extraordinary Restaurant Desserts You Can Make at Home

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by Todd English, Paige Retus, Sally Sampson
     
 

Todd English soared to stardom in the culinary world with his distinctive style of layering flavors and textures, a style that has made his restaurants, and the cookbooks that feature his dishes, so popular. The philosophy for the desserts served at Olives is the same as that for the entrées: "We like to pull things out of the country and dress them up," says… See more details below

Overview

Todd English soared to stardom in the culinary world with his distinctive style of layering flavors and textures, a style that has made his restaurants, and the cookbooks that feature his dishes, so popular. The philosophy for the desserts served at Olives is the same as that for the entrées: "We like to pull things out of the country and dress them up," says Todd. "We take very simple things and layer them together to compose a more complex dish." The result? Desserts that are always more than the sum of their parts, combining familiar and comfortable flavors in unique and unexpected ways. Extravagant creations such as Mango Tarte Tatin with Pastry Cream and Chocolate Pastry; Apple-Topped Gingerbread with Hot Applesauce and Cinnamon Ice Cream; Butterscotch Pudding in a Chocolate Crumb Crust with Fudge-Topped Toffee Cookies and Chocolate Lace Cigarettes; Blue Cheese Danish with Port-Poached Pears; Cranberry-Lime Sorbet with Walnut Rugelach; Double Chocolate Soufflé with Deep, Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Chocolate Anglaise. Best of all, each of the 43 spectacular desserts featured is made up of building block recipes (more than 145 in all), many of which can be prepared ahead of time, and many that taste great on their own. So you can wow your guests with White Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding with Caramel Semi-Freddo and Boozy Caramel Sauce. Or simply serve your family the best banana bread they'll ever have. No matter which option you choose, the results will be extraordinary.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The dessert names alone can run almost as long as the average list of ingredients for those traditional "country" recipes that English either enhances or overdoes, depending on your palate. The chef-owner of Figs and Olives, two Boston-area restaurants, English isn't shy about piling on the flavors or textures--whether he's taking on custards, souffl s, tarts, ice cream or cakes. Sometimes it seems as if all categories are present and accounted for in a single concoction (e.g., Double Chocolate Souffl with Deep, Dark Chocolate Ice Cream and Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Anglaise), but not all the 43 desserts presented here are as involved. Nectarine-Blueberry Crisp with Oatmeal Crumble and Buttermilk "Ice Cream" sounds positively low-key, while Apricot and Goat Cheese Tart in a Pistachio Shell brings a continental luster to the table. The food is sumptuously described, while the recipes themselves are given somewhat briskly (perhaps too briskly for the casual baker). Best of all, however, is the compartmentalized approach the authors (Retus is the Olives pastry chef; Sampson co-authored The Olives Table) have taken to dessert making, where certain simpler components of more elaborate concoctions, such as the oatmeal shortbread shell in the Silky Chocolate Cream Pie, can stand alone, in this instance as a delectable cookie. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684823355
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
11/28/2000
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

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Recipes from The Olives Dessert Table

Pumpkin Pie Soufflé with Honey Lace, Cinammon Anglaise, and Hazelnut-Raspberry Rugelach

Todd wanted an intensely flavored, light, and fluffy pumpkin soufflé, a seemingly impossible task. Our solution was to roast the pumpkin in order to reduce moisture and volume while intensifying the flavor. Still, it was too heavy for our regular soufflé method, so instead we use a more stable, rouxlike base. Eventually, we used the recipe in the Libby's recipe booklet (which you can order using the information on the can itself) for inspiration and enlightenment and went from there. It's been critiqued, mutated, and modified, but we think pumpkin lovers will be happy with the outcome.

Spiced Pumpkin Purée

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon ground cinammon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the pumpkin puré on a greased baking sheet or shallow baking pan. Transfer to the oven and roast, stirring and smoothing every 15 to 20 minutes, until it loses most of its moisture but is not quite dry and has not crusted, about 30 to 40 minutes. Add the spices, salt, and vanilla and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Hazelnut-Cranberry Rugelach

Rugelach is a classic and revered horn-shaped Jewish cookie made with a rich and tender cream cheese dough. Here we've enriched it further by substituting hazelnuts for the walnuts and dried cranberries for the raisins.

Dough:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinammon
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped

To make the dough: Place the butter and cream cheese in a bowl and mix, by hand or machine, until just combined. Add the salt and flour, scrape down the bowl, and mix until just combined. (It will be gloppy and soft.) Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To make the filling: Place the sugars, butter, salt, cinnamon, hazelnuts, and cranberries in a bowl and mix to combine, making sure the cranberries are well coated.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

To assemble: divide the dough and the filling into four portions each, keep only one portion out to work on at a time. On a lightly sugared board, roll out one portion to a 7-inch circle, and spread/sprinkly filling over round. Using a large knife or pizza wheel, cut circle into 8 pie portion. Roll each cut starting at the outside edge and roll up croissant-style. Don't pull too much or it will become too soft to work with; if it does soften too much, refrigerate for 4 to 5 minutes. Place each rugelah on the prepared sheet with the tip tucked underneath the whole cookie. If desired, tuck the "tails" into a crescent shape. Transfer to the oven and bake until the bottoms are colored, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container, up to 2 days.

Makes about 32 cookies.

Honey Lace Cookies

7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup honey
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinammon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Chopped zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until it has melted. Add the sugar and honey and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.

Off heat, add the flour, cinnamon, ginger, lemon zest, and vanilla and mix to combine. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Spoon by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. These will spread a great deal so do not cook more than 3 to 4 at a time. Bake until the edges are browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on the sheet until cool enough to remove with a wide metal spatula without tearing, about 2 minutes. Drape over a rolling pin and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 16 to 24 cookies.

Cinnamon Anglaise

2/3 cup milk
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 to 2 cinammon sticks
1/3 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the milk, cream, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and steep for 1 hour.

Remove the cinnamon from the cream mixture, add half of the sugar, and mix well.

Place the remaining half of the sugar, the egg yolks, and salt in a large bowl and combine well. Bring the cream back to a boil and, very quickly, pour it into the egg yolk mixture in a steady stream, whisking all the while. Set aside for 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and pour through the strainer. Discard the solids. Place the mixture in an ice bath and stir occasionally until completely chilled, about 20 to 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use and up to 2 days.

Makes about 3 cups.

Spiced Hazelnuts

When she was pregnant with their son Simon, Olivia, Todd's wide, was addicted to these.

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinammon
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch salt
1 large egg white
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups whole hazelnuts, very coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the cinammon, sugar, cloves, and salt in a bowl and stir well. Add the egg white and vanilla and gently whisk to combine. Add the nuts and coat thoroughly.

Spread evenly on the prepared sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, tossing nuts every 5 minutes using a metal spatula (like a pancake turner). Set aside to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 3 cups.

Pumpkin Pie Soufflé Base

2 cups milk
1/4 cup fresh gingerroot, chopped
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 batch Spiced Pumpkin Purée (see above)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
9 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter and sugar six 8-ounce molds.

Place the milk and gingerroot in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Off heat, steep for at least 30 minutes.

While the ginger is steeping, make a roux: Place the butter, flour, and salt in a saucepan and mix to combine. Gradually add the milk and cook until thick, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices and mix to combine. Add the egg yolks. Place in an ice bath and place plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate.

Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk and mix until stiff but not dry. Fold the whites into the pumpkin mixture in three stages.

Pour into the prepared molds and transfer to the oven. Bake until the tops are colored and dry to the touch, about 22 to 26 minutes.

Serve immediately.

To finish and assemble:

1. Place the Pumpkin Pie Soufflé in the center of the dessert plate.

2. Spoon Cinnamon Anglaise over the top.

3. Garnish with Honey Lace Cookies and Hazelnut-Cranberry Rugelah.

4. Sprinkle the Spiced Hazelnuts generously over the plate.

Serves 6

Espresso Torte

This is a popular birthday cake at Olives and one of our favorites. The cake is moist and sweet: The espresso is bold enough to stand up to the most assertive chocoholics, the espresso syrup adds another layer of flavor, and the bitter chocolate shortbread adds a nice texture change and whimsy to the outside of the cake.

Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

7 ounces semisweet chocolate
3/8 pound (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sour cream or full-fat plain yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups hot water or prepared coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Place the chocolate and butter in a double boiler and cook over medium heat until melted. Set aside.

Place the sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl, mix to combine, and set aside.

Place the sugar, vanilla, salt, and chocolate-butter mixture in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and mix until just combined. Scrape down the bowl. Add the sour cream mixture and mix until just combined. Scrape down the bowl.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined. Scrape down the bowl. Add 1 cup of the flour, 1/2 cup of the hot water or prepared coffee, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup water, and the remaining 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water, scraping down the bowl and stirring well after each addition. Do not overmix. Pour into the prepared pans and transfer to the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake center springs back when pressed gently, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately or wrap and store at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 weeks.

Espresso Syrup

1 cup brewed espresso
1 cup sugar

Place the coffee and sugar in a small pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Set aside to cool, cover, and refrigerate at least 20 minutes and up to 1 week.

Makes 1 cup.

Espresso Buttercream

Basic buttercream with espresso flavoring. To make this a chocolate buttercream, omit the coffee and add 6 ounces cooled, melted semisweet or bittersweet chocolate after the vanilla is added.

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup prepared coffee
Pinch salt
4 large egg whites
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon coffee paste (dissolve 2 tablespoons espresso powder in 1 tablespoon hot coffee)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place 3/4 cup of the sugar, the coffee, and salt in a small pot and cook until it has reached the soft ball stage, about 236 to 240 degrees. Unless you are very experienced, use a candy thermometer.

While the coffee mixture is cooking, place the egg whites and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk and whip until they have formed stiff peaks but are not dry. Gently pour the sugar syrup down the inside of the bowl with the egg whites, all the while whipping on high speed. Continue whipping until the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch, about 7 minutes.

While the mixer is still running, add the butter, in tablespoons, and mix until it is completely incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and add the coffee paste and vanilla. Use immediately or freeze up to 2 months.

Bitter Chocolate Shortbread

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and heat until creamy. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Add the salt, flour, and cocoa and mix until well incorporated. Place the dough between sheets of parchment paper and roll out until 1/4 inch thick. Cut out 1 1/2-inch circles or shapes, such as hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs. Transfer to the oven and bake until the centers are dry when touched, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the sheets. Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Makes 36 to 48 cookies.

Semisweet Chocolate Ganache

8 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

Method One (to be used when you want to spread immediately): Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler and cook until melted. Add the cream and stir until smooth.

Method Two (to be used if you want to pour immediately): Place the cream in a pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour the hot cream over it. Cover for 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth.

Both can be covered and refrigerated up to 1 week.

Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

To finish and assemble:

1. Trim the top of the Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Chocolate Cakes.

2. Slice each layer in half horizontally.

3. Lay one layer, bottom-side down, on a cake plate.

4. Brush with Espresso Syrup.

5. Spread on Semisweet Chocolate Ganache.

6. Spread on Espresso Buttercream.

7. Repeat steps 3 to 6.

8. Repeat steps 3 to 6.

9. Turn the fourth cake layer bottom-side up and place on Espresso Buttercream.

10. Brush with Espresso Syrup.

11. Spread Espresso Buttercream on top and sides of cake.

12. Randomly drizzle Semisweet Chocolate Ganache on top of cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.

13. Stick the Bitter Chocolate Shortbreads randomly over the cake.

14. Refrigerate until the buttercream sets, about 1/2 hour.

Serves 12 to 14

Recipes from The Olives Dessert Table by Todd English, Paige Retus, and Sally Sampson. Copyright © 2000 by Todd English, Paige Retus, and Sally Sampson.

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