I tend to see recipes as a jumping block, a reference point for a transformation.
So it felt a little odd that when I was offered a promotional copy of Dorie Greenspan’s new Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere, and the challenge to “recreate Dorie’s Rugelach recipe or create my own” I was all over it. Backing up for a moment, rugelach are a traditional Jewish cookie; consisting of a flaky dough rolled with sweet filling. As you may know, Hanukkah is right around the corner, so it’s prime time to highlight this recipe. But the real reason I was so psyched? I’m Jewish and I’ve never made rugelach!
What really makes this recipe is the dough. It has just 4 simple ingredients (flour, cream cheese, butter and salt) but that combination makes for a dough that’s both easy to work with and impossibly tender and flakey. I gave it a shot as written and then thought – what else can I do with this? Remembering that years ago I had used a similar cream cheese -based dough for pastry cups, I decided to revisit that option and give it a low-carb, gluten-free spin. I needed to know if cream cheese would produce the same result with almond flour. The answer was YES!
I was also charged with using Driscoll’s raspberries in my concoction. I considered a few options – turning them into jam and spooning on top of brie cheese in my pastry cups, or just using them as a garnish on top of a chocolate mousse filling. But ultimately I went with that would brighten up a holiday dessert table or be light enough for a spring or summer shower menu: impeccably light and refreshing raspberry whipped cream mousse. And since I know it’s nice to have a non-traditional, yet delicious sweet on the table that anyone can enjoy, I kept up with the low-carb theme here (though you can easily substitute sugar if that’s not a concern.)
The baked goods in Baking Chez Moi are gorgeous and plentiful and I know I’ll be turning to this book on special occasions. This book covers everything from classic desserts to those you haven’t tried, and every possible adjective to describe the range of desserts I love: chocolatey, dense, fruity, light, creamy, cinnamon-y, flakey, crumbly, bittersweet, fluffy… I could go on more. And if there’s anything I’ve learned about Dorie, it’s that she absolutely does baking right. If there’s a baker on your list this year – budding to advanced – this is a must-have addition to their bookshelf.
Easy Low-Carb Raspberry Mousse Pastry Cups
Yield: 18-20 pastry cups
Tender, flakey, gluten-free pastry cups filled with deliciously light and fluffy raspberry mousse. An easy low-carb miniature dessert.
For the pastry:
3/4 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
4 oz cream cheese, cut into small cubes
For the mousse:
1 pint fresh Driscoll's raspberries
1 cup heavy cream, cold
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered erythritol (or substitute sugar)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Additional raspberries, for garnish
Combine almond flour, tapioca start and salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Scatter the butter and cream cheese over the flours and pulse again, several times, until the mixture resembles large curds.
Scoop the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and gather into a ball. Press into a disk and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Generously dust work surface and rolling pin with tapioca starch. Unwrap the dough and roll to an even thickness of about 1/8-1/4". Use a large round cutter (2 1/2 - 3") to cut circles. Press each circle into a mini muffin tin. Gather scraps of dough and re-roll and cut, adding more starch as needed.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until just beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven, cool, and remove pastry cups from muffin tins.
Place raspberries in a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Push the puree through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl.
Pour the cream into a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat on high speed until soft peaks form. If using a stand mixer, transfer the whipped cream to a separate bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
Add the cream cheese and eryhtritol to a stand mixer (or a new bowl) and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy. Add the lemon juice and strained raspberry puree and beat until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
Arrange pastry cups on a serving plate. Spoon or pip the mousse filling into the cups and garnish with a fresh raspberry.
These are best enjoyed on the day they are prepared.
Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com. Pastry cups adapted from Dorie Greenspan.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of Baking Chez Moi and grocery store coupons as compensation for this post.