Today we have an entrant for the final course of the Diced! competition. Contestants were instructed to create or find a recipe for a dessert containing the following ingredients: mini white powdered doughnuts, white chocolate and Fresh blueberries. They were instructed to make their dish and create a blog post about it, including pictures. You can help determine who advances to the next round. On Friday, after the last post, I will post a poll where you can vote for up to two of the contestants to move on. Vote for the post you like the best. You can vote because of the inventiveness, the yummyness, the use of ingredients, the quality of the writing and pictures or for any other reason. The poll will be active for one week only. Check back and vote. In the event of a tie, the Ranting Chef will choose who advances. More information about Diced! can be found here.
We started with five contestants and have two remaining (in alphabetical order): Ajax and Maggie. Ellie had the fewest amount of votes after the first round, Jenna had the fewest after the second round and Mikaela had to drop out of the competition.
Today’s contestant, AJAX is a F-16 pilot and blogger over at Like A Fighter Pilot. His posts, as demonstrated below, contain entries for mind, body and spirit. Check out his blog and his Diced! entry below…
Out of your element
Tail 90-0768 My Aircraft
Mind – The final round of Diced is here, and unfortunately for me, The Ranting Chef threw a curve ball. If you have followed LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT.com you know we really don’t do desserts. We work on the mind, body, and spirit, and when it comes to eating, our focus is making tasty, expedient, dinners. You have to know when you are out of your element in order to be able to operate in it. But one thing about flying fighter aircraft, you can’t shy away from things that are tough, or situations that make you uncomfortable. The only way to get better at difficult tasks is to dive in and practice. I can distinctly remember learning how to fly with nigh vision goggles. Imagine greatly reducing your natural field of view and taking away all your depth-perception and then flying in close proximity to other aircraft. Then imagine flying low altitude at 510 knots (600 mph) under the same conditions…sucking up seat cushions is how some describe the experience. Practice is important, but so is bringing in the right people on your team. For this task I brought on the team my secret dessert weapon, my wife Lisa. So fights on Maggie, I think you will all love the dessert.
Body – Sports Day
30 minutes of boxing bag work
- 15 on the heavy bag
- 15 on the speed bag
Weapons Instructor Course
30 minutes of sparring
Recipe of the Day
Lemon Tart with White Chocolate Mascarpone Cream and Macerated Brandied Blueberry Sauce
The Lemon Tart by Marcella Rosene
The White Chocolate Mascarpone is Lisa’s
The Blueberry Brandy sauce is by AJAX’s
Photo by AJAX
Serves – 8
Prep time – A lot, this is not a quick prep item.
Nutrition – Calories…a lot, its dessert the gym
For the Tart Shells
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups flour
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced lemon peel
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
First the Lemon Tarts
1. To prepare the tart shells: Place the powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process just long enough to remove any lumps. Add the butter in small pieces and process until the mixture is almost fluffy. Gradually add the flour and continue processing until the mixture forms a firm dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a large piece of plastic wrap. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap. Chill just until the dough is no longer warm from processing, no longer than 30 minutes. (The dough needs to be at room temperature to form the shells.)
2. Spray eight 3-inch tart tins with a nonstick cooking spray. Separate the dough into 8 equal pieces. Place a ball of dough in the center of each tin and press in the bottom and up the sides. The dough should be spread very thin. Refrigerate the shells at least 20 minutes before baking. (The shells can also be frozen.) Prick the bottoms before baking.
3. Place the shells on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 325-degree oven 15 minutes. Rotate the shells and continue baking an additional 15 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes. Loosen the shells from the pans with the tip of a knife if necessary and remove. (The unfilled shells can be held at room temperature in a tin for a week.)
4. To prepare the filling: In a food processor place the whole eggs, yolks and lemon juice. Process until the eggs are well beaten. With the machine running gradually add the sugar, arrowroot and lemon peel. Add the cream cheese a chunk at a time and puree until specks of cream cheese are no longer visible.
5. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture coats a spoon but is still thin enough to pour. When the filling has begun to thicken pour into a measuring cup. If the filling has thickened so that it is no longer pourable, stir in a teaspoon or two of warm water.
6. Place the pastry shells on a cookie sheet and carefully pour the hot filling into the shells. Place the tarts in the oven and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 6 minutes or until the filling does not jiggle when the tarts are moved. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cover loosely and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
White Chocolate Mascarpone
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
9 oz Mascarpone cheese (room temperature)
4-6 Tablespoons brandy
4 oz good quality white chocolate such as Lindt
1. In a small bowl combine the Mascarpone and the brandy.
2. Break the white chocolate into small pieces and melt in a double boiler. Allow to cool, then stir into the Mascarpone and brandy bowl.
3. Combine sugar and water in a small non-stick pan over high heat, bring to a boil.
4. In a standing mixer with whisk attachment lightly beat egg yolks until blended, increase speed and beat until light yellow and frothy.
4. Using a candy thermometer cook sugar syrup until 240 degrees Fahrenheit/soft ball stage.
5. With mixer on high, slowly pour sugar syrup down the sides of the bowl and incorporate.
6. Whisk egg yolk on high speed until cool, up to 10 minutes, add one half teaspoon of vanilla and combine for 1 more minute.
7. Stir the egg yolk sugar mixture into the Mascarpone brandy and white chocolate bowl, combine well and refrigerate for two hours. Set aside.
Macerated Brandied Blueberry Sauce
1 1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup brandy
1. Combine blueberries and brandy, simmer on medium heat until reduced. While simmering crush blueberries slightly with a fork. Let cool slightly before topping tart.
1. Cover lemon tart with large dollop of Mascarpone White Chocolate, drizzle with brandied blueberry sauce, then sprinkle lightly with crumbled white powdered donut.
MackNBee taste rating 4 out of 4
AJAX ease of prep rating 1 out of 4,
Spirit – Sometime you just need to rest your body and your mind. Sit back relax, consider all your blessings and have a tasty dessert after working hard.
The views of LIKEAFIGHTERPILOT are those of the author alone and should not be considered any official DoD, Government, or USAF position.
Remember – check back after the last post to vote on who advances in the Diced! competition.