Annette & Vernette
Give your dessert a clever name – and tell us about your recipe.
Editor’s note: Annette and Vernette’s baking story is unique. Annette submits two entries each week: one for her, and one for her 94-year-old mother, Vernette. Vernette’s arthritis prevents her from baking herself; Annette bakes to Vernette's specifications.
From Annette: This week I wanted to try the creme caramel and my mom, ever a Schaum Torte enthusiast, wanted to make the four-layer dessert.
What was the biggest surprise during your baking journey? Did you use any unconventional approaches? What did you learn along the way? Tell us about it!
I had trouble with both desserts. When it came to the creme caramel, I have never melted sugar before and wanted to try doing it. The first time I ever saw anyone melt sugar was Julia Child when I was a kid. My mom and I were both devotees of her show; she always did something fascinating. I followed the directions for melting the sugar and thought it was the right color. For an extra Wisconsin twist, I added a tablespoon of maple syrup. I removed it from the heat and put in the cups right after adding the syrup. I decided to cut the custard recipe in half and make only four desserts because I'm not that big of a fan of egg custard – well, it was a hot day and I decided that since I had the oven on I would bake three different things at once, so I had three different recipes going on. I forgot to cut the egg amount in half. Needless to say, the custard was firm and a little eggy, but what surprised me most was that the caramel tasted a little burnt. I liked the custard more than the caramel.
The pavlova was troublesome, too. I followed the recipe for meringue and the circles I made turned brown and tasted overcooked. The recipe said to bake the meringue in a 300 degree oven, and that clearly was too hot. So I found a different recipe and baked the meringue at 250 degrees, and as you can see from the pictures it turned out much better. My mother insisted that I use canned milk when making the pudding, so I made a cooked pudding with half canned milk.
How did you add a Wisconsin twist to your flavors or decoration?
For our Wisconsin twists, the creme caramel had lots of milk and cream, eggs and the maple syrup. The four-layer dessert, again, has lots of milk in the pudding, eggs, and the toffee topping is from Gail Ambrosius. What could be more Wisconsin than that?
How did you do?