The origins of chocolate are discussed in detail. Learn about how cacao beans are transformed into the chocolate we all know and love. How to determine the quality of the chocolate you eat will be explored. Discover the difference between natural cocoa powder and Dutch processed cocoa powder.
The flakiest of all doughs, laminated doughs are defined and discussed in detail. Learn the differences between the three types of laminated doughs: Danish, Croissant and Puff Pastry. Chef Sokol explains how each of the laminated doughs is created and the nuances of each.
Discover why cheesecake is really not a cake. Typical bottom crusts for cheesecakes are discussed along with other options. Find out how a traditional cheesecake filling can be embellished with different flavors. Chef Sokol teaches you how to attain the creamiest cheesecake. A simple vanilla cheesecake recipe is shared.
Makes a 1 9-inch cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350oF.
- In a medium bowl, blend together the crumbs, sugar, and butter. The mixture should look like wet sand.
- Press the mixture firmly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of a greased 9-inch diameter springform pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.
2 1/2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Grated zest from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
- Lower the oven temperature to 250°F. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese until it is creamy and smooth. Beat in the sugar, flour, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
- Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, followed by the heavy cream. Stop the machine several times and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to prevent any lumps.
- Pour the filling onto the crumb crust and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Pâte à Choux , the basic dough from which cream puffs are derived is discussed. Chef Sokol explains how cream puffs are a special type of dough that are steam leavened. Steam as a powerful leavening agent is discussed in detail. The versatility of this type of dough is reviewed, along with the many fillings with which each type can be filled.
Gluten is defined. How gluten develops, and its importance to baked goods is discussed. Some of the ingredients used in gluten-free baking are reviewed. A recipe for Chef Sokol’s favorite gluten-free flourless chocolate cake is shared.
The eastern European cookie known as rugalach is discussed. Chef Sokol gives the listener a standard rugalach dough recipe from which many varieties can be created. Two different methods of shaping rugalach, and both sweet and savory fillings are reviewed.