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A Summer Dinner with SUNY: Desserts

Teak dining table set for dinner overlooking large lake or river.

Are we getting full yet? Be sure to save some room for everybody’s favorite course! To finish off our summer recipe series, we now present dessert recipes to top off your meal. These recipes take full advantage of in-season summer berries and range from simple to decadent. Before making these desserts, check out the rest of our dinner with our our cold appetizers, hot appetizers, and entrées to put together a delicious summer four-course meal.

In addition to this sweet conclusion to our meal, this week during SUNY Week had our Morrisville State College make special SUNY Blue ice cream, a delectable blueberry flavored, blue colored treat! The ice cream social where this flavor made its debut benefited the South End Children’s Café in Albany. We hope you enjoy something delicious this week just as we are with these recipes provided by SUNY culinary programs!

The dessert from SUNY Delhi in today’s offerings comes with prestige. This peanut butter and jelly-inspired mousse helped win the SUNY Delhi team their first international competition trophy from the Copa Culinaria Mundial Junior competition in Costa Rica this June. According to Parris Sewer, the team’s captain, the Delhi team spent a lot of time brainstorming about what would make this mousse special. The win was borne of hard work and dedication. “We practiced, practiced, and then practiced some more, until we made the dessert with our eyes closed,” Parris said.

Now back to the desserts: the recipes in this post have been provided by SUNY Delhi, SUNY Cobleskill, and Schenectady County Community College.



Peanut-Banana Mousse with Chocolate Glaze, Concord Grape Sorbet, Peanut Butter Financiers and Mixed Fruit

Recipe courtesy of Parris Sewer, Captain of SUNY Delhi’s Culinary Team

This sophisticated dessert is inspired by the classic PB&J. It will take some time and effort, but ambitious bakers can be sure they’ll impress guests with this award-winning recipe.

Note: We have converted measurements in this recipe from grams to more recognizable kitchen measurements for those who do not have a food scale, but they are not all 100% exact, so use the converted measurements at your discretion.

Parris Sewer, captain of SUNY Delhi's culinary team, with their award-winning dessert.

Parris Sewer, captain of SUNY Delhi’s culinary team, with their award-winning dessert.

Peanut Butter Cream Ingredients:

  • 112 grams (about 4 ounces) pastry cream
  • 56 g (about 3 ½ Tablespoons) unsalted peanut butter
  • 56 g (about ¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 112 g (about ⅓ cup plus 2 Tbsp) heavy cream
  • 3 gelatin sheets

Peanut Butter Cream Directions:

  1. Mix together pastry cream and peanut butter. Heat slightly over a double boiler. Add the rehydrated gelatin.
  2. Whip heavy cream to soft peaks while gradually adding sugar. Fold in cream to peanut mixture. Reserve the resulting mixture in a piping bag.

Banana Cream Ingredients:

  • 112 g (about 4 ounces) pastry cream
  • 56 g banana purée (one banana, puréed)
  • 56 g (about ¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 112 g (about ⅓ cup plus 2 Tbsp) heavy cream
  • 3 gelatin sheets

Banana Cream Directions:

  1. Mix together pastry cream and banana purée. Heat slightly over a double boiler. Add the rehydrated gelatin.
  2. Whip heavy cream to soft peaks while gradually adding sugar. Fold in cream to peanut mixture. Reserve the resulting mixture in a piping bag.

Feuilletine Ingredients:

  • 85 g dark chocolate (3 oz; about the weight of one chocolate bar)
  • 100 g (about ⅓ cup plus 1 ¼ Tbsp) peanut butter
  • 114 g (⅓ to ½ cup) feuilletine
  • 56 g (about ⅓ cup) crushed peanuts

Feuilletine Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate with peanut butter over a double boiler. Mix in the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Roll out mixture between sheets of parchment paper to ¼-inch thickness. Place in freezer to set.
  3. Once the mixture has set, use a round cutter to portion out the base. Place feuilletine discs into shallow cake molds.
  4. Pipe an even layer of peanut butter mousse on the bottom of the feuilletine disc. Place in freezer to set.
  5. Atop the set peanut butter mousse, pipe an even layer of banana mousse in the same manner. Place in freezer to set.
  6. Once the mousses are completely set, enrobe in thin chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:

  1. 282 g (about 1 ¼ cup) water
  2. 340 g (about 1 ¾ cup) granulated sugar
  3. 226 g (about 1 cup) heavy cream
  4. 114 g (about 1 ⅓ cup) cocoa powder
  5. 8 gelatin sheets

Chocolate Glaze Directions:

  1. Heat water and cocoa powder together until the cocoa powder completely dissolves.
  2. Add sugar and cream and let dissolve. Heat mixture to 100 degrees F, then add rehydrated gelatin and let dissolve.
  3. Slowly cool the mixture to 72 degrees F to glaze the mousse.

Peanut Financiers Ingredients:

  • 56 g (about ½ cup) flour
  • 112 g (about 1 cup) powdered sugar
  • 85 g (about ⅓ cup) unsalted peanut butter
  • 90 g egg whites (about 6 Tbsp; the whites of 2 eggs)
  • 90 g butter (about 3 oz; ¾ of a stick of butter)
  • Salt to taste

Peanut Financiers Directions:

  1. Whisk all ingredients in a large bowl. Place the mixture in a piping bag.
  2. Pipe the batter into molds and bake at 350F for 10 minutes or until financiers have risen and are firm to the touch.

Mixed Fruit Ingredients:

  • ½ a pineapple, peeled and cored
  • 10 red grapes, peeled
  • 10 raspberries
  • 3 bananas
  • 10 g (about 2 teaspoons) passion fruit purée
  • 70 g (about ⅓ cup) granulated sugar

Mixed Fruit Directions:

  1. Dice the pineapple and sauté with passion fruit purée and 10 g of the sugar until slightly caramelized.
  2. Slice bananas into small circles ¼ inch thick. Dust with sugar and brûlée.
  3. Quarter the grapes and raspberries and set aside.

Raspberry Sauce Ingredients:

  • 59 g (about ⅓ cup) raspberry purée
  • 50 g (¼ cup) granulated sugar

Raspberry Sauce Directions:

  1. Heat purée and sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Place in a small squeeze bottle and reserve for plating.

Croquant Ingredients:

Croquant Directions:

  1. Cook the isomalt in a small saucepan until melted and slightly golden.
  2. Pour hot isomalt onto a half sil-pat mat (a non-stick silicone mat) and set aside to cool and harden.
  3. Once set, place in a food processor and grind until a fine powder is achieved.
  4. Place powder in a fine mesh sifter and dust over desired molds. Sprinkle with peanuts and fleur de sel.
  5. Bake sugar at 350F for 1-2 minutes until melted together.

To finish, arrange the chocolate-glazed mousse on the plate with the financiers, croquant, and mixed fruit to your liking. Add the raspberry sauce to taste.

Summer Plum Crostata

Recipe courtesy of JoAnne Cloughly, Department Chair of Agriculture and Food Management at Cobleskill

This recipe makes 6-8 servings.


SUNY Cobleskill's plum crostata.

SUNY Cobleskill’s plum crostata.

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • ¼ cup ice water
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound firm-but-ripe plums, pitted and cut into eighths
  • 1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon of water


  1. In a food processor, add the 1 ¼ cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar and the salt and pulse to combine.
  2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Sprinkle on the ice water and pulse until the dough just barely comes together.
  4. Gather the dough and pat it into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 and position a rack in the lower third. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Working on a lightly floured surface, roll out the disk of dough to a 12-inch round; transfer to the baking sheet. Chill the dough until firm, 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar with the cornstarch and cinnamon.
  8. Add the plums and toss well. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is mostly dissolved, about 15 minutes.
  9. Arrange the fruit in the center of the dough, leaving a 1 ½-inch border all around. Fold the edge of the dough up and over the plums.
  10. Brush the rim with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  11. Bake the plum crostata for about 50 minutes, until the crust is golden and the fruit is tender and bubbling.
  12. Cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.

Lemon Curd

Recipe courtesy of David E. Brough, Dean of the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts & Tourism at SCCC

This refreshing dessert pairs very well with seasonal berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Additionally, both the shell and the curd can be made ahead of time and frozen for future use.

Lemon Curd Ingredients:

  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of 4 large lemons and finely grated zest
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

Lemon Curd Directions:

  1. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a heavy pan. Add the lemon zest and juice and cook over medium to low heat.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, while adding the butter a little at a time.
  3. Re move from heat when thickened and allow to cool.

Pate Sucré Tart Shells (sweet tart dough) Ingredients:

  • 8 oz sugar
  • 1 lb butter (slightly softened)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb, 8 oz pastry flour
  • pinch of salt

Pate Sucré Tart Shells Directions:

  1. Using the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, and salt until smooth.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and mix briefly.
  3. Add the flour and mix on low speed just until it is incorporated.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten to ½ inch and chill for at least 20-30 minutes.
  5. Working with ¼ of your dough at a time, roll it out on a floured bench to 1/8″.
  6. Cut circles of dough and fit them carefully into the tart tins. Press on the edges to remove excess dough.
  7. Dock the bottom of the shells with a fork
  8. Chill the shells in the freezer until dough is firm.
  9. Bake at 325⁰F in a convection oven for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Watch carefully as they will brown quickly. Remove from tart shells and set aside.

Lemon Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp gelatin
  • ¼ cup cold water

Lemon Cream Directions:

(Do not prepare the final filling until your shells are baked.)

  1. Soften the gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes, then melt over a pan of hot water.
  2. Begin beating the heavy cream and add the melted gelatin as the cream begins to thicken.
  3. Continue to whip just until the cream mounds and holds peaks
  4. Fold the whipped cream into the lemon curd and blend well.
  5. Place the cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe into the pre-baked tart shells.

Garnish with candied lemon peel, mint or basil sprigs, and fresh seasonal berries and/or berry sauce.

Written by Jenna Colozza

Jenna was a student assistant with the SUNY Office of New Media when an undergraduate student at SUNY Geneseo studying English literature.

August 4, 2016

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