Executive Chef Bernard Guillas and Chef de Cuisine Ron Oliver, both at The Marine Room restaurant in La Jolla, shared their tips and ideas at a recent cooking demonstration at Sharp Grossmont Hospital. This dessert - from their book, Flying Pans: Two Chefs, One World - will bring some pizzazz to your next dinner party.
Mildura Caramelized Apricot Cake with Clover Honey Fromage Blanc
Redefine the traditional fruitcake with this sure-fire hit.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon water
Add the sugar, butter and water to a 10-inch, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until golden brown. Remove from heat. Cool for 5 minutes or until caramel hardens.
12 apricots, halved and pitted
1 orange, zested
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup apricot brandy
24 whole almonds
Combine apricots, orange zest, allspice and brandy in a large mixing bowl. Place 1 almond in the center of each apricot half. Arrange apricots onto caramel in skillet, almond side down. Reserve remaining brandy mixture for the batter.
4 large eggs, separated
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup cake flour, sifted
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, 2 tablespoons sugar and reserved brandy mixture until thick and ribbony. Stir in flour. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites to form soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into yolks using a rubber spatula. Pour batter evenly over apricots in the skillet.
Bake 30 minutes or until skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Place skillet over high heat for 15 seconds or until caramel loosens and cake moves freely in the pan. Place large serving platter on top of skillet. Carefully and quickly invert cake onto a serving platter. Cut into 8 wedges.
Fromage Blanc Ingredients
1/2 cup fromage blanc or ricotta cheese
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon flaky sea salt
2 tablespoons clover honey
Whisk the cheese, pepper and salt until well-combined. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle honey on top.