What is it that sets individuals apart from the masses, be it chef, writer, photographer or what have you? Is it their creativity? In part, yes. Is it their execution? Most definitely that is a large part of it. But there is a single factor that encompasses all these little attributions that make up what successful individuals possess, they have their own style, their own way of doing things that you can immediately relate to their work.
For the individual, it’s a combination of beliefs that they express in their work, whether it’s the precise cut of a carrot brunoise, the clean yet rustic styling of a photograph, or the phrasing of a passage in your story. It is these beliefs that help you define your style, your own way of doing things. What do you believe in? Can you see it expressed in your own work? If not, don’t worry, it takes time to develop, but be aware of it, look for those things that will help you stand out. If you can recognize it, then highlight it. It may not make you famous, it most likely won’t make you wealthy, but it will give you credibility.
I’ve noticed over the years my propensity to add cheese (part of my style) to many of my dishes, both sweet and savory, especially goat cheese. If you look back over all my posts, goat cheese is the most used main ingredient. I love goat cheese, fresh, soft, aged, grating, flavored and I use it whenever I want to add brightness to a dish. It’s a tart cheese, more so than cow’s milk cheeses, due to higher amounts of fatty acids like capric acid.
Here is a simple summer dessert most definitely enjoyed with friends on the patio.
3 ½ cups AP flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
¾ lbs butter
3 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp almond extract
¾ cup almonds, slivered or sliced, toasted
1. Sift together the flour cornstarch and salt.
2. Combine sugar and butter and whip on high speed till it becomes pale yellow, about 4 minutes.
3. Add eggs to the sugar and butter on low speed, one at a time.
4. Scrape bowl to remove and butter from sides or bottom.
5. On low speed, alternate add four and milk in 3 stages.
6. Add almonds and almond extract.
7. Fill greased pans by 2/3
8. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes, test with a toothpick.
9. Remove from oven and cool before removing from pan.
Cherry Goat Cheese Ice Cream
5 cups heavy cream
3 cups milk
Pinch of salt
3 cups sugar
2 cups cherries, pitted and rough chopped
7 oz mild goat cheese
12 large egg yolks
1. Combine cream, milk salt and half the sugar in a sauce pot.
2. Scald the cream mixture, meaning, remove from heat right before it comes to a boil.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining sugar and eggs yolks and whip hard for 60 seconds.
4. Add a 1/3 of the hot cream to egg yolks, stirring constantly.
5. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the remaining cream and place over a low heat.
6. Stirring constantly, allow cream to thicken until it coats the back of a spoon, taking care not to let the cream boil.
7. Strain through a chinois.
8. Add the goat cheese and cherries, stirring until the goat cheese has melted.
9. Place in an ice bath to cool as fast as possible.
10. Refrigerate the mixture for 6-8 hours before processing in your ice cream machine.
2 cup cherries, pitted and halved
2 Tbs butter
4 oz. whiskey
1/4 cup sugar
1. In a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
2. Add the cherries and sauté till soft, about 45 seconds.
3. Remove from heat and add the whiskey and sugar.
4. Return to heat and cook until a syrup has formed.
5. Pour warm over the poundcake and ice cream.
Note: You can use 4 cups of cake flour in place of the 3 1/2 cups of AP flour and 1/2 cup corn starch. This is just a common substitution for a lack of cake flour.