Tag Archives: international

It’s In The Slice

Written by Chris -

Dulche de Leche Cheesecake Kit

At Nestlé, we receive and respond to questions all the time about simple ingredient substitutions, how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie and where to find our products. Fortunately, we have an excellent Consumer Services team who responds to each and every question.

So what food or recipe question do I personally get asked all the time? Crazy enough, it’s about how to get the perfect slice (think cheesecakes, layered cakes and brownies). Even a beautifully frosted cake or a silky-smooth cheesecake can turn ugly after the first slice. We’ve all seen this happen, and most of us like to blame the recipe. Sadly, it’s typically not the recipe’s fault. Rather, we just haven’t mastered this simple technique:

Slicing Tips 101

In the video, I used our NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Baking Kit  (pictured above) for illustration purposes. It cuts beautifully especially when you clean your knife between each slice. Side note: If you are pinched for time yet want to make a grand entrance with a dessert, I highly recommend this Baking Kit! You can find it at Walmart, Safeway, and other retailers during the Holiday Season. And if you have any questions or want further cheesecake tips, like using jars to bake the cheesecakes in, using lighter cream cheese or even how to drizzle the dulce de leche, please leave a comment and I will get right back to you!

Additional tips for slicing success:

When making brownies, line your baking pan with heavy-duty foil and leave enough overhang so that you can easily lift the brownies out of the pan. I like to freeze the baked brownies for about 30 minutes so that they don’t bend as I’m lifting them from the pan. They cut a lot better when they are cold too! Once you cut the brownies (remember to clean the knife after each cut by dipping it into hot water, then drying it off between slices), gently remove the foil. If the brownies are super cold, you can peel away the foil before slicing if you’d like.

Latte Machiatto Cheesecake

When it comes to cheesecakes, I’ve found that the freezer is my friend. I like to freeze cheesecakes for 15-30 minutes before slicing. It helps to make an extra clean cut. In the cheesecake image above, I did just that.  And if you are making cheesecake bars, line your baking pan as described above. It is so much easier to cut a cheesecake when it’s outside of the pan or dish. In the photo at the very top (cheesecake bars), I lined the baking pan and froze the cheesecake before cutting. The dulce de leche was drizzled after cutting, but you can drizzle first then cut. It’s just as beautiful this way!
Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

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Adding Sabor to Your Thanksgiving: Latin-Inspired Stuffing Recipes

Written by Natalie -

Stuffing is my favorite of all the Thanksgiving side dishes. This year I’ve come up with a few Latin-inspired recipes that are so good and definitely unique. I invite anyone who is looking to shake up their traditional stuffing repertoire to add some sabor!

Mexican Chorizo Stuffing

This Mexican Chorizo Stuffing will definitely be a hit. The chorizo (Mexican sausage) and jalapeño add a little kick. The olives and cilantro create a blend of savory and fresh. And for the first time, I used NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk to moisten it which I find really gives it a creamy texture that water alone can’t achieve.

Puerto Rican Stuffing

Now if you’re a little concerned about the spicy factor from the Mexican Chorizo Stuffing but still want to make a delicious and original stuffing this Puerto Rican Stuffing is for you! It’s inspired by many typical flavors of the island: sofrito (combination of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions), pork and coffee. I know what you’re thinking, “Coffee?”  Yes, browning the pork with the NESCAFÉ® CLÁSICO™ Pure Instant Coffee Granules gives it a very rich flavor that is fantastic.

Guatemalan Stuffing

And last, but certainly not least there is a Guatemalan Stuffing. This is the Latin version of cornbread stuffing. Roasted corn and cornbread stuffing are added to the mix, along with jalapeños and cilantro. It’s a real treat for your family holiday meal.

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Day of the Dead – Día de los Muertos: A Tradition to Embrace

Written by Natalie – 

Day of the Dead Event

Día de los Muertos is a unique holiday that is mostly celebrated in Mexico but also known throughout the world. On this day, people honor and remember their loved ones that have passed away. It coincides with the Catholic holiday of All Soul’s day on November 2.

People set up altars featuring some of the deceased’s favorite food, beverages and objects as a means to encourage their soul to visit the living on this date. They eat a traditional bread called “Pan de Muerto” or “Bread of the Dead”. These sweet breads are filled with so much meaning!

I recently created a recipe for Pan de Muerto that incorporated NESTLÉ® LA LECHERA® Sweetened Condensed Milk. My heritage is Peruvian and we don’t observe Día de los Muertos, so I set off to do some research. What I found warmed my heart and got me very excited to create something so meaningful.

Pan de Muerto is a simple yeast bread, lightly sweetened with the LA LECHERA sweetened condensed milk, made fragrant by the addition of anise seeds and then sprinkled with sugar on top. It is usually shaped like a bun and many say that this is to portray the circle of life or a tomb. The top of the bread is decorated with pieces of dough shaped to represent the skull and bones of loved ones.

I absolutely fell in love with this holiday! The idea of celebrating those you have lost every year on the same day and eating a sweet bread that you only eat for that occasion really touched me. My children were born after their grandfathers passed away and I find this holiday will be a wonderful way to further integrate their memories into our family. If you are looking to create traditions for your family I highly encourage you to try this one. I will be!

Day of the Dead Bread Recipe

La Lechera Day of the Dead Bread

Ingredients for 2 loaves, 10 servings per loaf:

Directions:

STIR yeast and warm water in a large glass bowl; allow to rest 10 minutes. Heat La Lechera and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Add anise seeds, salt and La Lechera mixture to yeast mixture and stir to combine.

ADD eggs and 1 cup flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. Continue adding remaining flour, cup by cup, stirring well until dough comes together. Knead dough gently for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic and no longer sticky. Place in large greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

LINE a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

PUNCH dough down and divide in half. Cut 3 small (about 1 tablespoonful) balls from each half. Roll out 4 small dough balls to form the “bones.” Shape each of larger dough pieces into round loaves. Gently press the bones on top of the loaves crossing each other to make an “X”. Roll the remaining 2 small dough balls to form the “skulls”. Put skulls in middle of each “X” and gently press down. Place loaves on the prepared baking sheet and allow to rise in warm place for about 30 minutes.

PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Brush tops of each loaf with egg wash.

BAKE for 20 minutes; remove loaves from oven and brush again with egg wash and sprinkle each with half of the granulated sugar. Return to oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Serve warm or cool completely. Bread is best eaten the same day it’s prepared.

We recently hosted several Latina bloggers and writers for our second annual Dia de los Muertos Media Immersion Event. It took place at our Nestlé US Headquarters in Glendale, CA. The attendees were treated to all things Día de los Muertos. They heard speakers, made their own altars, ate delicious food and, of course, they got to make their very own loaves of Pan de Muerto with yours truly and Chris Garboski! The energy and passion these people have is contagious.

Here are some pictures from the event:

DayofDead1

DayofDead2

DayofDead3

DayofDead4

Day of the Dead Event

All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

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La Lechera and Cheesecakes

Written by Natalie – 

No Bake Mango Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Recipe

I got this very cool request from the La Lechera team to create two cheesecakes for the brand. I haven’t made too many cheesecakes in my career, mostly because I had this irrational fear of springform pans. And I thought they HAD to be made in springform pans. Well, it turns out they don’t. And it also turns out, springform pans aren’t that scary at all.

Since I was given free rein on flavors I really contemplated what went well with LA LECHERA® Fat-Free Sweetened Condensed Milk (other than eating it straight out of the can with a spoon) and LA LECHERA® Dulce de Leche (same issue as with the condensed milk). There were many answers of course, but what I liked the best was a No-Bake Mango Dulce de Leche Cheesecake and Banana Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars. Both turned out delicious. And let me tell you, I am a lover of cheesecake making now! What I love about the mango one is that it is no bake and beautiful with its layers of graham, mango cream, mango gelatin and then fresh mangos – and yet it’s not too mango-ey. This would be fantastic at an end-of-summer dinner party. I credit this cheesecake with curing me of my fear of springforms.

Banana Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars Recipe

The Banana Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars will become a crowd favorite. The banana adds additional creaminess and seems like it was meant to be paired with sweetened condensed milk and dulce de leche. Maybe I’ll swap out using a spoon to eat straight from the can with a banana. Yeah, it’s like that.

Some tips from my many go-rounds developing these cheesecakes:

For the No-Bake Mango Dulce de Leche Cheesecake:

  • In order to make it no-bake you need to use gelatin for it to set. Gelatin clumps very easily. So be sure you use boiling hot water and stir vigorously (VIGOROUSLY!) until it is completely dissolved. Then use it immediately.

For the Banana Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars:

  • Make sure you use completely ripe bananas. We’re talking black bananas here. It really enhances the flavor and the creaminess factor I mentioned above.

No-Bake Mango Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Ingredients for 12 servings:

Directions:

GREASE 9-inch springform pan.

COMBINE graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

BEAT sweetened condensed milk, dulce de leche and cream cheese in large mixer bowl until smooth. Vigorously mix 1 envelope gelatin and ¼ cup boiling water in small bowl with a fork until gelatin is completely dissolved (about 3-4 minutes). Immediately beat into cream cheese mixture with hand held electric mixer until combined. Pour over crust; gently smooth top. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.

MIX vigorously the remaining envelope gelatin with remaining 2 tablespoons boiling water in small bowl with a fork until gelatin is completely dissolved (about 3-4 minutes). Immediately blend into mango puree with hand held electric mixer until combined. Pour over set cheesecake; gently smooth top. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.

SERVE with sliced mangoes on top, if desired.

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Dessert? Breakfast? Both! La Lechera Strawberry Parfaits

Written by Natalie – 

La Lechera Strawberry Parfaits Recipe

Summer is here and I try to keep things simple and easy. I developed this recipe with the idea that most people probably already have all of the ingredients at home. So, no running to the store! And then there is the added simplicity of no cooking! I love when things work out like that.

This parfait can do double duty as a sweet breakfast treat or a pretty dessert. It has tanginess from the Greek yogurt, sweetness from the La Lechera and strawberry jam and crunchiness from the corn flakes. A great blend of flavor and textures. And did I mention this is done in 10 minutes?

To recap: readily available ingredients, no cooking required, very fast preparation and delicious to boot. Winner! I recommend you serve this immediately after making it so the corn flakes don’t get mushy. But that won’t be hard. It’s super good.

La Lechera Strawberry Parfaits Recipe

La Lechera Strawberry Parfaits

Ingredients for 4 servings:

Directions:

COMBINE 1 cup yogurt and jam in a small bowl; mix until well blended. Combine sweetened condensed milk, remaining ½ cup yogurt and lemon peel in separate small bowl.

DIVIDE yogurt-jam mixture evenly into 4 champagne flutes (or narrow glasses). Top each with ¼ cup crushed corn flakes. Top each with ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk mixture.

TOP each parfait with remaining crushed corn flakes and a sliced strawberry. Serve immediately.

Here’s a fun serving suggestion: Sprinkle each parfait with about 1 teaspoon NESTLÉ ABUELITA Granulated Chocolate Drink Mix or grated NESTLÉ ABUELITA Chocolate tablet.

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A Simple Guacamole for Father’s Day

Written by Chris – 

Guacamole Recipe

Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday of June, which also coincides with the U.S. Open. It’s been a standing tradition in my family to celebrate Dad while watching this major golf championship together. My husband actually dabbled in professional golf early on, but once the triplets arrived, he put his golf aspirations on hold (he has his eye on the Champions Tour!). Our kids are now in a Junior Golf League, so golf is just part of our life. As is good food!

We usually keep it simple (as in little time spent in the kitchen) when it comes to food. So in the spirit of keeping it simple, I wanted to share a new Guacamole recipe with you! Whether you are entertaining or lounging, this appetizer is sure to please!

A few weeks ago I tested Natalie’s guacamole recipe – Natalie is a culinary professional in our test kitchen. If you haven’t met her, you can check her out here. She’s awesome, trust me! I noticed the guacamole used Maggi Seasoning Sauce. I’ve been splashing Maggi Seasoning over my avocado and scrambled eggs for years – it’s full of umami-rich flavor and adds depth to stir-fries, gravies, soups, stews and such. A little goes a long way, so go easy! This guacamole uses classic ingredients like avocado, tomato, peppers, cilantro and lemon, then adds a little cream for a smooth and creamy texture. The cream is really optional.

Here’s a few avocado and guacamole tips…

Avocados are best ripened at room temperature. You will know they are ripe if they give to gentle pressure. You can speed the ripening process by putting the avocado in a paper bag in a warm place (like on top of the refrigerator) or in a bowl with other fruit; the ethylene gas they emit will ripen the avocados. It’s best to not refrigerate avocados after they are ripe as this weakens their flavor.

Guacamole Recipe

To dice the avocado, I find it easiest to make cross-hatch incisions in flesh with a knife, cutting down to but not through skin. With a spoon, scoop out the cubes.

You really can’t keep guacamole from turning brown, but you can slow down the process. Use Hass avocados and add citrus (lemon or lime) to your guacamole, cover with plastic directly on its surface, and keep it cold. That’s the best advice I can give.

Ok, here’s Natalie’s delicious recipe…

Guacamole Recipe

Guacamole

Ingredients for 3 ½ to 4 cups of guacamole:

  • 1/4 cup NESTLÉ Media Crema Ligera Lite Table Cream or light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon MAGGI Seasoning Sauce
  • 4 medium ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 jalapeño, deveined and seeded, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • Baked tortilla chips

Directions:

MIX media crema, seasoning sauce and avocados gently in a medium bowl. Add tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro and lemon juice; mix until incorporated. Serve with tortilla chips.

It’s best to serve guacamole right after it’s made. If you want to make it in advance, place plastic wrap directly over the surface of the guacamole and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

If you are looking for a last-minute gift for Dad, I highly recommend this cookbook, Absolutely Avocados by Gaby Dalkin. I’ve made several of Gaby’s recipes and all are outstanding!

Happy Father’s Day!

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