Posts Tagged ‘David Guas’

Recipe: King Cake

February 1, 2010

This recipe was taken from DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy You Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style (Taunton Press, 2009), by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel.
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum will feature a King Cake discussion and tasting on February 6, 2010.

For the cake:
1 (1-1/4-oz.) package dry-active yeast
1/4 cup warm milk (105°F–115°F or warm to the touch)
1 cup plus 6 Tbs. bread flour plus extra for rolling
1 Tbs. honey
3/4 cup cake flour
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp.ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. table salt
5 Tbs. unsalted butter,   at room temperature
1 plastic baby figurine (to hide in the cake), optional
For the egg wash:
1 large egg
1 Tbs. milk
For the icing and decoration:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 Tbs. light corn syrup
3 Tbs. milk
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 cups granulated sugar
Green food coloring
Gold or yellow food coloring
Purple or red and blue food  coloring

To make the cake:Whisk the yeast with the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer until dissolved. Add the 6 tablespoons of bread flour and the honey and, using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until fairly smooth (there will still be a few lumps), 30 seconds to 1 minute, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume, about 20 minutes.

Once the dough has doubled, add 3/4 cup of the remaining bread flour, the cake flour, eggs, egg yolk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt. Mix on low speed until combined, then switch to a dough hook, increase the speed to medium, and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and begin adding 4 Tbs. of the butter 1 Tbs. at a time, mixing well between additions. Continue to knead until the dough forms a slack ball (it will ride the dough hook, be tacky, and not slap the bottom of the bowl, but it should generally come together into a loose mass), 2 to 3 minutes. If the dough doesn’t come together, continue kneading while adding up to 1/4 cup of the reserved bread flour, until it does.

Grease a large bowl with 1/2 Tbs. of the remaining butter and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning it over in the bowl to coat with butter. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel and place the bowl in a draft-free spot until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper with the remaining butter. Generously flour your work surface using the remaining 1/4 cup of bread flour (if you used the bread flour in the dough, dust your work surface with more bread flour). Turn the dough out onto the work surface and sprinkle the top with some flour. Use your hands to press and flatten it into a rectangle. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 1/4-inch-thick strip that is about 24 inches long by about 6 inches wide. Starting with one of the long sides, roll the dough on top of itself, making a long, thin baguette-shaped length. Pinch the edge to the body of the dough to seal, turn the dough so it lies horizontally on your work surface, and gently roll it on your work surface to even out any bulges and create a somewhat consistent 1-1/2-inch-wide rope. Bring the two ends of the dough together and pinch them into one another to seal. Carefully transfer the dough oval or circle to the prepared sheet pan. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set in a warm, dry spot to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 375°F. To make the egg wash, whisk the egg and the milk together in a small bowl. Brush the egg wash over the top and sides of the dough, and bake the king cake until golden and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, make a small slit in the bottom of the cake and insert the baby figurine (if using). Set on a rack to cool completely.

To make the icing:While the cake cools, make the icing. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, milk, and vanilla together in the bowl of a stand mixer on low speed until smooth and completely incorporated. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel until you are ready to glaze the cake.

To make the colored sugar, measure 1 cup of the sugar into each of 3 resealable quart-size plastic bags. Add 4 drops of green food coloring to one bag, 4 drops of gold or yellow food coloring to another bag, and 4 drops of purple food coloringto the last bag (if you don’t have purple, make it yourself: measure 2 drops of red and 2 drops of blue food coloring onto a spoon and mix with a cake tester or toothpick until combined). Seal each bag and then vigorously shake to combine the sugar and food coloring.

Spoon the icing over the cooled cake. Immediately after icing, decorate with the tinted sugar. I like to alternate colors every 2-1/2 inches, but you can also divide the cake into 3 sections and apply one color to each section. Slice and serve immediately.


Around the Table: Photos of the DamGoodSweet Signing + Party with David Guas

December 15, 2009

On December 6, 2009, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum was honored to host the book release party and first signing of Chef David Guas’ Dam Good Sweet: Recipes to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style. For more information for events at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, visit our website, Visit the events page and sign up for our newsletter.

Little boxes of sweet treats and a bar full of Cava await guests

Guests Check out the New Book; (l to r) Virginia Medinilla, A. Murat Eren, Duygu Ozpolat Eren

Cane Syrup Snaps

Cava, Nectar Soda, and Coffee Accompany the Desserts; (in this photo) SoFAB Board Member Butler Burdine

Chocolate Pralines

Guests Arrived Early to Get Their Books Signed

David Guas (left) and SoFAB Director Liz Williams

Guests Enjoying DamGoodSweets

Simone Rathle (left)

Mini Red Velvet Cake Cupcakes

Liz Williams (left) and writer Anne Mirin Berry

Guests at the DamGoodSweet Release and Signing Party

Book Review: DamGoodSweet

November 10, 2009

Review by: Liz Williams

DamGoodSweet by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel

$25, The Taunton Press

I am one of those people born without a serious sweet tooth.  I enjoy a sweet treat, but given a choice between another piece of fried chicken or a piece of pie, I will probably choose the chicken.  Given this handicap, a sweets cookbook had better be damn good to get my attention.

Despite a reference to N’Awlins (one of my pet peeves) I was charmed by this personal book.  Guas manages to be traditional,  nostalgic, and modern.  And the book doesn’t dumb down recipes for the home cook.  For example, the éclair recipe instructs the cook to use a pastry bag.  It even allows the cook to use his or her own judgment in filling the éclairs.  I appreciate that.

The instructions are clear, but the writing is sassy and personal.  This is David’s experience of New Orleans, not the generic version.  And when he deviates from tradition, he owns it.

My favorite recipe is the Double Chocolate Bread Pudding with Salted Bourbon Caramel Sauce.  I love the idea of using leftover king cake in a bread pudding – why not?  The caramel sauce is easy to make and delicious.

His king cake recipe is traditional, as is the pecan pie.  His Chocolate Cupped Cakes with Coffee and Chicory are marvelous and modern.  For a person who isn’t naturally a sweets lover, this book is one from which I will actually cook.  Cane Syrup Snaps with hot sauce.  I love it!

Your Dessert Questions Answered. It’s DamGoodSweet!

November 10, 2009

by Simone Rathle

Washington, D.C. pastry chef David Guas has always brought his New Orleans southern charm to family, peers, admirers, and desserts, but now in his first cookbook –Dam Good Sweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth New Orleans Style, published by Taunton Press. With wonderful short, heartfelt memoirs of Guas’ childhood in New Orleans interweaves with homey favorites like the classic Beignet and Chocolate Pralines to the special-occasion treats like the King Cake and the true taste of the south-Red Velvet Cake [trick of his elders- mayonnaise for moistness]. After the neighborhoods Guas grew up in were nearly erased by Katrina, he knew he needed to record and preserve the traditions of his family and region.

STOP the Press! David Guas is setting up an ON-LINE LIVE CHAT for the holidays. Just as the cookbook reaches the bookstores November 1, 2009, Guas will be available every Sunday from 9:30 am until 10:30 am EST, but only for the months of November and December. “Sweet Swap with David Guas” invites everyone to chime in for those puzzling dessert questions or want suggestions for simple, easy, and seasonally entertaining sweets. Just go to his website,, and click on the red velvet cake and start asking away!

Our hope is for you to reach out to our faithful supporters on getting connected with Dam Good Sweet pastry chef David Guas and if you would like to have something fun and peak everyone’s interest with our Baker’s Dozen Quest– tell Guas your best memory of a New Orleans dessert, and he will pick the most noteworthy story teller each week of the first three weeks in November to receive an autographed copy of his cookbook. And the best story overall after the three weeks will win a private cooking session with David Guas in their home and with 5 other friends. Please send your short stories to

Join New Orleans native and Pastry Chef David Guas and all his friends at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum for a dessert sampling from his cookbook on Sunday, December 6, 2009 from 5-7 pm in the late afternoon. He will be signing cookbooks and what a great way to get a head start your Holiday Shopping!  Learn More…

Recipe: Buttermilk Beignets

November 10, 2009

davidguasThis recipe is taken from DamGoodSweet, the new New Orleans style cookbook for sweets by Chef David Guas.  David Guas’ book release party will be held at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum on December 6, 2009.  Learn more here…

Buttermilk Beignets  (from DamGoodSweet by David Guas)

3/4 cup whole milk

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

4 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

3 1/2 cups bread flour plus extra for flouring work surface

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Peanut oil for frying

Confectioners’ sugar for serving, as much as you think you’ll need – then double that!

Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until small bubbles form at the surface.  Remove from the heat, add the buttermilk, and then pour into a stand mixer bowl.  Whisk in the yeast and the sugar and set aside for 5 minutes.  Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed, using a dough hook, until the dry ingredients are moistened, 3-4 minutes.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue mixing until the dough forms a loose ball and is still quite wet and tacky, 1-2 minutes longer.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set the dough aside in a draft-free spot for one hour.

Pour enough peanut oil into a large pot and fill it to a depth of 3 inches and bring to a temperature of 375 degrees (F) over medium heat (this will take about 20 minutes).  Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.

Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out on it.  Dprinkle the top of the dough with flour, gently press to flatten, fold it in half, and gently tuck the ends under to create a rough-shaped round.  Dust again and roll the dough out into a 1/2-inch to 1/3-inch circle.  Let the dough rest for 1 minute before using a chef’s knife, a bench knife, or a pizza wheel to cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares (you should get about 48).

Gently stretch a beignet lengthwise and carefully drop it into the oil.  Add a few beignets (don’t overcrowd them, otherwise the oil will cool down and the beignets will soak up oil and be greasy) and fry until puffed and golden brown, turning them often with a slotted spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes.  Transfer to the prepared plate to drain while you cook the rest.  Serve while still warm, buried under a mound of confectioners’ sugar, with hot coffee on the side.

Makes about 4 dozen beignets

->MAKE AHEAD  The beignet dough can be made up to 8 hours in advance of frying.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking spray.  After cutting the dough, place the beignets on the paper and place another greased sheet of parchment paper, sprayed-down side, on top.  Wrap the entire baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  The beignets can be fried straight from the refrigerator.