The Dessertations

Two unfinished dissertations and the baking in between

Month: June, 2012

by margarkolb


Salad days


Granola bars

by margarkolb

For summer adventures. 



Game night ‘zas

by margarkolb




and Serena’s…


But still dreaming of the proper pizza that you’re about to witness. Happy Chi-town deep dish, and happy, happy Italy. 

A burger from abroad

by Jessica

In my absence from game nights 4-6, I send you a delicious burger from exotic Evanston, Illinois, on the eve of my brother’s graduation.

(Nick might enjoy this return to his former hometown)

Five Guys!

Pre-burger peanuts galore!

A liberal serving of fries — well done.

Two patties — two! Welcome to college.

More meals to come. Miss you guys (and Californian produce).

Triple threat

by margarkolb

So I picked ginger to make something savory and appease Nick’s proddings over butter, sugar, etc….but couldn’t resist this recipe ( for triple ginger biscotti. After all, it’s at a blog entitled Eat, Live, Run, which seems about right.

Triple ginger it is — fresh grated, powdered, and crystallized.  I made my own crystallized — far easier than anticipated. Boil cubed ginger for 20+ minutes, then drain, reserving a quarter cup of liquid. Add sugar (roughly equivalent to the amount of ginger) and water, and boil another twenty minutes, paying attention to your ginger as it cooks down and becomes golden. When the water is gone, and the ginger has turned golden, you’re done. Let it cool down somewhere…and don’t lose any of the extra sugar that will inevitably crumble off your now-crystallized gems….you could put it in coffee, save it for other baked goods, or indulge right away (like I did) by spooning it up.


Then, on to the full recipe. I pretty much followed Eat, Live, Run’s guidance, save for using entirely wheat flour, which turned out beautifully.

The finished biscotti were crumbly, still-a-little soft, and oh-so-gingery. The perfect ginger cookie.


And the crystallized ginger really popped through, flavor-wise.


3/4 cup sliced toasted almonds

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tbsp molasses

2 eggs

2 1/4 cup wheat flour

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp ground ginger

2/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one by one, beating after each egg, and then drizzle in the molasses. Beat well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and powdered ginger. Add to wet ingredients and then stir in the fresh ginger, crystallized ginger and almonds.

Form two logs of dough (each log should be about 14 oz, 8 inches long and 2 inches wide) on a lined sheet tray. Bake logs for 30 minutes then let cool for 5 minutes.

Carefully slice logs into biscotti (dough might still be a little crumbly), then turn each biscotti over on it’s side and continue to bake for another 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely.

I iced mine with melted white chocolate…delicious indulgence.


Homemade Ginger Ale

by Jessica

I had mixed feelings about this head of ginger (which was, by the way, larger than this photo suggests).

It topped out at about 1 1/2 pounds and, from the right angle, looked vaguely humanoid.


Ground finely…

Distilled into syrup of questionable appearance…

Mixed and promptly drunk. (Drank? Damn those tenses! I am an insult to my profession).

There was something macabre in the whole affair.

Homemade Ginger Ale

1 c sugar

3 c water

The largest knob of ginger you can find, finely chopped into 1 c


squeeze of lemon

Boil ginger, sugar and water. Simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Strain with fine sieve or cheesecloth.

Mix 2 T syrup with 1/2 c seltzer. Top with ice and lemon.

The goods

by Jessica

You know, just in case you wanted to relive hot-pot night. Ginger pictures coming soon.

by margarkolb


This week's task

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

by margarkolb

Delicious, easy, and oh-so-rhubarby. Adapted from Moosewood Cookbook’s recipe. Eaten before there was time (or, perhaps more accurately, thought) to photograph it properly. 


And with mindblowingly good ice cream? Unbelievable. 


To make the crumble, clean and chop 4-5 large stalks of rhubarb and 3+ cups strawberries. Mix the two fruits together in a 9 x 9 baking dish, and sprinkle with sugar. To make the crumb topping, mix together 1 and 1/4 cups oats, a cup of flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of ginger, and a teaspoon of salt. Using a fork, slice into the flour-oat mixture 1/3 cup of butter until it’s evenly dispersed in the mixture, making tiny crumbs of delicious butterballs.  

Bake at 350 for 35 – 40 minutes. Eat it warm, eat it cold, eat it with a spoon when it’s two days old. 

Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk Ice Cream

by Jessica

No one ever tells you how long it takes to make ice cream.

The roasting.

The swirling.

The freezing. Seventeen hours. Seventeen!

But oh man, is that good.

Roasted Strawberry & Buttermilk Ice Cream (from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams)

1 pt strawberries

1/2 c sugar

3 T lemon juice

1 1/2 c whole milk

2 T corn starch

2 oz cream cheese

1/8 t salt

1 1/4 c heavy cream

2/3 c sugar

2 T corn syrup

1/4 c buttermilk

  1. Roast sliced berries with 1/2 c sugar at 375º for 8-10 mins, until softened. Let cool and purée with lemon juice.
  2. Mix 2 T milk with the corn starch; mix to create a slurry.
  3. Heat the rest of the milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in saucepan. Boil for 4 mins, remove from heat and mix in the cornstarch slurry. Boil again for 1 minute, remove from heat.
  4. Place cream cheese & salt into large bowl. Whisk the heated milk mixture into cream cheese until smooth. Add buttermilk & 1/2 c strawberry purée.
  5. Pour into ziploc bag & cool in ice bath for 30 mins.
  6. Churn in ice cream maker, and freeze for 4 hours. Serve topped with extra strawberry purée.