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Save Room for Dessert with Jansen Chan of ICC

Save Room for Dessert with Jansen Chan of ICC

Check out our photos of the International Culinary Center's head of pastry at work

Jane Bruce

Chef Jansen Chan runs the pastry, cake, and bread programs at the International Culinary Center.

While it may seem surprising that chef Jansen Chan is a trained architect, when you see the precision put into his pastries, it seems like a natural fit. Not long after chef Chan switched from designing buildings to designing desserts, he was working for Alain Ducasse in Las Vegas, then New York. His first position as executive pastry chef was at the Michelin-starred Oceana. After six years there, he was approached by the International Culinary Center to run their pastry, cake, and bread programs, where he has been ever since.

There’s a scientific aspect to the way he approaches his craft, which comes from his history as an architect. The order and structure of pastry made it a natural transition for chef Chan.

Chef Chan finds inspiration for his desserts in “the natural flavors of seasonal ingredients, especially when they are paired together,” and then by “looking at traditional compositions to see why they succeed and then altering them in an interesting, fresh way.”

Click through our slideshow to see chef Chan working on his creations in an ICC classroom.

Jane Bruce is the Photo Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @janeebruce.

Swap Your Usual Dessert for One of These 10 Creamy Panna Cotta Recipes

Panna cotta traditionally hails from Italy, but our version is decidedly Middle Eastern. Heady saffron imparts a sunny color toasted almonds, honey, and lemon zest round out the exotic flavor.

Sweet almond flavors this cool Italian custard, which is topped with vibrant red berries tossed in almond liqueur for an extra layer of nutty flavor.

Using sweet corn in a creamy, silky panna cotta makes for an unexpected and delicious summer dessert.

The light tang of buttermilk gives these individual-sized custards a complex flavor that stands up to the brandy-spiked citrus sauce.

This simple dessert is elegant enough to serve to guests, but easy enough to whip up on a weeknight. Chill the mixture in a variety of small, pretty unmatched glasses for a rustic look.

Sweet blackberries are the perfect addition to tangy buttermilk panna cotta. You can use frozen blackberries, but if you can get some fresh berries, we highly suggest taking advantage.

Simple custard gets a holiday makeover thanks to the warm flavors of eggnog, toasted walnuts, and a sweet toffee topping.

Yes, it's pure, but this panna cotta heart is hardly innocent. Made with half-and-half, vanilla, and sugar &mdash and not much else &mdash it's stained with a splash of blackberry sauce, and perfect for sharing.

Panna cotta is always an impressive dessert &mdash adding roasted grapes gives the dish a hint of fruity flavor and makes for an appealing presentation.

Jansen Chan, the pastry chef at Manhattan's Oceana, toys with the classic panna cotta, creating a version with Greek yogurt and nonfat sour cream that is luxuriously creamy, yet still low in fat and calories.

Lime Pound Cake

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The richness of this pound cake, buttery and indulgent, is balanced by the addition of lime zest and a tart lime glaze. It’s great to nibble on any time of day, but we particularly like it after dinner, paired with icy sorbet.

Game plan: Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before beginning.

Special equipment: We used our hefty stand mixer to make this cake, but you can easily do it with a regular hand mixer too.

Espresso Mud Pie

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Mud pie—not to be confused with Mississippi mud pie, which is a chocolate pie—needs only a chocolate cookie crust, coffee ice cream, and fudge sauce, according to its creator, Joanna Droeger. Here we’ve stayed true to the original with an intense espresso gelato and chocolate ganache, but added a little sweetened whipped cream on top. This easy-to-make pie can be assembled in advance for parties. Note: Unless you want your kids jumping off the walls, we recommend not serving this caffeinated treat to the little ones.

Game plan: Make sure you have enough room in your freezer before you begin. You’ll need a flat area at least 10 by 10 inches to accommodate the pie comfortably.

You’ll need to make the Espresso Gelato before you begin.

To slice the frozen pie, warm a sharp knife in hot water for about 30 seconds, then use a kitchen or paper towel to dry the knife. Slice the pie while the knife is still warm, pushing the knife down into the pie and slowly removing it. Clean the knife off and repeat warming, drying, slicing, and cleaning with each cut. If the pie is still too frozen to easily slice, let it sit for another 5 minutes.

This recipe was featured as part of our Make Your Own Ice Cream Treats project.

Chocolate Mousse Pie

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An unbelievably rich and exuberant pie proving that three simple components can come together to make a dessert equally worthy of serving at an elegant dinner party as it is a casual potluck. You begin by pressing an easy chocolate cookie crust into a pie plate and baking until just set. When it’s cool, pile in an intensely flavored, lightly textured chocolate mousse. Final step: layering sweetened whipped cream on top. If you’re feeling fancy, sprinkle on some chocolate shavings.

Ingredient note: The best cookies for the crust are Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (you might have to source them online, like we did). In a pinch you can use Oreos with the creme filling scraped off and discarded.

Jansen Chan is not Resting on His Laurels

Armed with a degree in architecture from Berkeley, he began his career and then realized he wanted to go back to his true passion: baking. He got himself a couple of restaurant jobs, and then headed to Paris to study pâtisserie.

After working in some of San Francisco’s finest restaurants, he took a job with Chef Alain Ducasse, where he refined his experience and took his skills to the next level in fine dining. Next, he became the executive pastry chef at Oceana, with the restaurant earning a Michelin star every year he was there. In the meantime – since grueling restaurant hours clearly weren’t enough to keep him busy – he appeared on Food Network shows like “Halloween Wars” and “Food Network Challenge,” the latter for which he created a scale model of the Eiffel Tower, all in chocolate, building the entire structure in only eight hours.

Since 2012, Chan has been the director of pastry arts at the International Culinary Center (formerly the French Culinary Institute). The school boasts deans like Jacques Pépin, Jacques Torres, José Andrés, and André Soltner, and some graduates you may have heard of: Bobby Flay, Wylie Dufresne, and David Chang, to name a few.

Like everyone else I’ve met on the ICC staff, Chan is deeply passionate about, and committed to, creating the ultimate culinary school experience: living up to the school’s tradition but still bringing in new, fresh ideas to keep students and teachers inspired.

Pastry students at the International Culinary Center

Chefs Connection (CC): So tell me about the students here.

“We have a huge age range that attends this school. In the daytime program, we have people straight out of high school. We have career changers, and people who are maybe close to retirement who have always wanted to go to cooking school. They’re all equal, but they all have different approaches to this program, and they also have different needs from it, but we have to accommodate all of them.”

CC: That’s the sense I get, that the school is very focused on making it the best possible experience.

“After 30 years of doing this, we’ve figured things out, we’ve improved. That’s one good thing about the school: it’s not afraid to evolve and keep changing. That comes a lot from Dorothy [Cann Hamilton, Founder and CEO]. She has a vision, and a spirit of being better than we can be, so it definitely trickles down.”

CC: There’s competition now, too, because it’s become such a celebrity-driven thing, all these TV shows going on too, and people probably think that it’s —

“It’s tricky. You want decorated chefs but you want them representing the school, and being associated with the school for positive reasons and not just because of fame. It’s fine to be famous, as long as you have the chops behind you, which is one of the great things about Bobby Flay attending here. He is definitely one of the bigger food celebrities, but he definitely is a chef. He came with cooking roots.”

CC: And he worked his butt off.

“He worked his ass off, and he still does, but he manages to be a food celebrity, also.”

CC: We were just watching him on “Food Network Star” last night, and I kept saying ‘Look at him!’ because the guy’s just in amazing shape. I know he works out like a crazy person, and he says he eats everything. but he eats small.

“Well, you have to eat everything, as a chef. That’s one of the worst things. People always ask me, ‘How do you not eat everything?’ I say, ‘I DO eat everything!’”

CC: I would think you have to.

CC: So do you have a crazy workout routine?

“Actually, I do. I do classes in kickboxing, I work out all the time. So that’s my trade off to eating whatever I want.”

CC: And you’re not around healthy food.

“It is worse in pastry, it’s true. Especially here. An instructor’s like, ‘Oh, I tried this version of pâte à choux this week or I made this version of a croissant, try it.’ It’s always, ‘Just try it, try it, try it.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay!’ Consume, consume, and I’m not the type of person to take one bite. I usually will finish something if you hand it to me. I’m not wasteful. [Laughs]”

Choux for a croquembouche being assembled by ICC students for an event.

CC: So you were in the middle of this wonderful career, very highly regarded, really well-known, highly respected, Michelin-starred. What made you want to make this switch? How did this happen for you?

“Um … I call it the glass ceiling of a restaurant pastry chef. After a certain point you’re not the executive chef, and that’s fine and we all know that, but there’s only so much growth. Every pastry chef in every fine dining restaurant in New York City, they all come to the point where they decide: either A, you go to another restaurant, which is kind of a lateral move, unless you’re going to a more fine dining restaurant, or B, you go into your own business. Or you move out of New York! [Laughs.]

“So there’s not that many options. And when this presented itself to me, to come over and be the director of the pastry program here, it wasn’t an opportunity I had considered, because there’s not a lot of jobs out there like this. This is a very unique position.”

CC: It’s a very different role.

“It’s funny, though, because my father was an amateur baker, and he wanted to bake and I wanted to be a pastry chef, just by coincidence I think. I mean, he probably influenced me, but it’s my mother who was the teacher. Education was something that I thought I was never going into.”

CC: It looks like you plucked the best of each parent and fused it into something new.

“I kinda did! But I’ve only been here a little less than two years. For me this is still something very new. I was in the restaurant business, in pastry, for 13 years, so I feel much more akin to that than my new role.”

Director of Pastry Arts Jansen Chan in his office

CC: You’re director of the program. Are you also directly teaching students, are you there in classes instructing at all?

“No. I don’t teach any direct classes. I oversee the instructors who do the teaching.

“We’ve had instructors who have been here for—most of them have been here for more than five years, some of them as long as 15, 17 years. And they love to teach. And that’s really a tricky thing about a chef-instructor. A chef-instructor needs to have had a chef background, and needs to have evolved into a teacher role with that knowledge. Not every chef can do that role.

“I mean, chefs are forced to teach all the time, but it’s always on their own terms. You’re in my restaurant, you’ll learn it this way, at my pace, you either do it this way or you don’t, get out. As a school we can’t be like that. We recreate it in a very professional atmosphere but we also want to make sure that it’s a very nurturing environment, that you feel that you can succeed.”

CC: Have you had anyone come in, and then you realized things weren’t working out?

CC: So what’s gone wrong?

“Um … we’re looking for long term commitments. Not looking for someone who is just looking for a job, because they haven’t found that restaurant or they’re looking for a job [and want to] teach for a while. They really take the teaching lightly, like, ‘I can teach. Why not? I can teach. I don’t have a job and it looks interesting right now, I can teach.’

Or, the other version is, they do want to do it, but their ability to convey instruction isn’t dynamic enough to make [them] a compelling instructor. If you talk too fast, or you just rush through something, or you don’t engage your audience—most students, especially at a culinary school or a vocational school, don’t respond to just lecture.”

CC: I always wonder who thought that was an effective way to teach people things.

“Lecture? Yeah. Lecture is the driest form of communication. It’s the most efficient way to get the most amount of information across, but it’s the least [effective] way to absorb it.”

CC: Right! It gets it out there, but it doesn’t get it in there.

“Right. So we ask that instructors teach to a panel of judges. And everyone has to evaluate them, that’s one of the final stages. And it’s difficult! Most people, this is where they might be a great candidate on paper and in an interview, but the moment they have to start teaching something, it starts showing quickly. ‘Cause that’s the difficulty for a chef, really, translating that from chef to instructor.”

CC: Especially considering that the environment in a lot of restaurant kitchens, from what I’ve been told is – not as much now, but still – is intense, and hardcore. People yelling, maybe throwing things.

“[Laughs] It’s probably not that bad these days. I mean, definitely back in the day when I started working, but nowadays it’s a little softer. I don’t think people can get away with abuse in the restaurants, but it’s definitely a tough environment, and we try to simulate that to a certain extent. More so with organization, cleanliness, attendance – those are things we are very strict and firm on. But if someone couldn’t get their chocolate tempered and their project collapses, we’re not going to yell at them or throw them out of the room, we’re going to teach them how to recuperate and recover. There are certain black and white standards that we do uphold, because this is where you’re supposed to learn those non-negotiable standards.”

CC: Professional discipline.

“Professional discipline. It’s hard because, you go to college and you don’t have that, and in the restaurant industry, it’s expected of you to know that kind of thing. To show up in your uniform, perfectly clean, on time, when the clock starts. Even a few minutes early.”

CC: You went to Cordon Bleu, in Paris?

“After I worked, I still went in at foundation level, in pastry. Because there’s so much knowledge, especially in pastry, even more than culinary. You’re knowing croissants, you’re knowing chocolate tempering, how to pull sugar, all these things are very important to a pastry chef and I knew that even working in a restaurant for a year, I would never get all that experience.

“I went to Paris, partially because I wanted to get engrossed in French culture, really learn about French pastry. So I considered it more than just going to school at Cordon Bleu, I considered going to Paris and being enriched by a culture that I didn’t know a lot about.”

CC: You originally were studying architecture. Can you talk to me about the parallels between the two fields?

“I’ve always been driven to design. And I think that’s why I was drawn to baking, because it’s very tactile, and I could build something from it, and I could take ingredients and put them together and make something out of it.

“In the 90s, being a pastry chef wasn’t a desirable career. I mean, I didn’t know any pastry chefs, there wasn’t food TV yet, so it wasn’t a profession I really understood. Architecture seemed like a very natural career for me because it had that detail and organization and design, all kind of merged together, which is what I liked a lot.

“So I went to architecture school and I loved it. I went to Berkeley and I really really loved architecture. More so because it was Berkeley, you know, it was a little bit less technical. It was a lot more theory-based, and how you organize your space, and how function and form come together into a single design. And again, to me, it’s related a lot to pastry. Design and form. You can’t hold a piece of pudding in your hand. [Laughs] But if you came up with a pastry that was the texture of pudding that you could hold, that would be an amazing pastry. It’s that form and function coming together into an entity, but it has to be edible.

“And what’s even more interesting, it has to be within edible parameters. In architecture, it’s all about engineering parameters. To me, they’re very similar in the sense that it’s understanding your materials, and the medium, and being able to express whatever you need to express, whether that be just something really tasty, or something really beautiful, or both.

“But the other aspect, too, of architecture – which is really parallel to pastry for me, which I think we’re trying to enforce in the program more and more – is the sense of steps and organization that leads to a final product. You know, the architect has several phases: the design phase, and then the construction phase, and our pastry’s kind of the same way, whether it be a wedding cake, a plated dessert, or even something like a croissant, right? You have to plan it, know what ingredients you need, and you have to think about your timeline.”

Pages from one of Jansen Chan’s notebooks

Another page from Jansen Chan’s notebook-sketchbook

Not all of Chan’s notebooks have survived the kitchen!

CC: So how did your parents react to your shift in career?

“Surprisingly supportive. My father passed away when I was young, so it was just my mother. I think she just wanted her children to be happy. She was kind of progressive. Unusual for a Chinese-American mother. Originally she wanted me to be a doctor, of course. Who doesn’t want their child to be a doctor, right? Save lives.

“But surprisingly she was okay with me being doing the cooking thing. I don’t think she was proud to tell her friends, ‘He wants to be a pastry chef.’ Now it’s a great thing to be a pastry chef and now she has no problems telling her friends, ‘Oh, he’s a pastry chef in New York City.’ But you know, in 1998 there wasn’t that kind of, ‘What does a pastry chef in New York City do?’ You know? What is that profession?

“I think she knew my personality and she knew what made me tick. Parents always know their children best, so ultimately she wanted to see me happy. And you know, every job turned out to be a better job, leading to a better job. So I think she was probably most upset when I moved to New York.”

CC: Far away.

“Yes. You know, parents are like that. But New York is still the culinary capital of America, and there’s a lot more opportunities for pastry chefs, especially at that time. Less now, I feel like there are more pastry chefs everywhere across the country. But back then, New York was the place for pastry and chefs, and still, some of the top pastry chefs all work side by side in New York City. And there was like a small pastry chef community, that’s nice.”

CC: Do you get together and hang out?

“Sometimes, but everyone’s working. It’s very difficult to meet up. Especially pastry chefs, because some work early and some work late, depending on the job in the restaurant that you have, but you wind up seeing each other at events a lot, ’cause everyone is very charitable.”

CC: I’ve noticed that in the chefs’ community, broadly, there’s a lot of charity work.

“I think it’s why we cook. And it’s going back to making something that someone receives, and seeing that appreciation. And food is just something that we all need, and it’s one of the few things I think chefs can do. We’re not poets, we’re not fighters, but we cook. And so if the world came to an end, I think all of us would just start cooking for the population that’s left. Because that’s our role in society, right? To feed people and to nourish them. And I think that’s why so many of them participate in so many of these charities that involve cooking and giving back, because I think it feeds into our nurturing side, which I think cooks and chefs kind of are, at their core.”

CC: It seems to provide such a contrast, especially from fine dining. There’s fine dining where you’re charging so much and you’re making intricate food, and then you have very basic poor people who just need — they deserve good food just like everybody else.

“That’s true. I think there is that, definitely that. I mean, definitely there’s a joy with—I’m sure you’re familiar with family meal. I think there’s a joy working in fine dining restaurants when you make maybe what we call lower-brow food, there’s such a joy in it, ’cause everyone’s like, ‘We make foie gras and brioche all the time, but I just want a grilled cheese that’s really amazing.’ That’s what we all grew up on, and we respond well to it. Plus, fine dining food can be very unhealthy. Not that lowbrow food can’t be either, but you know.”

CC: Yeah, there’s not a lot of thought into health considerations in fine dining.

“Right. But you know, this isn’t everyday eating. This is splurge eating. You shouldn’t be eating at Per Se every day. No one should. I mean, A, it’s expensive, but it’s food that’s very rich. But it’s supposed to be an indulgent experience. It’s supposed to be very memorable. And I think it would get diluted if you go every day. So it should be a little bit opulent. And this is why pastry chefs succeed so well in fine dining establishments. Because so much of what we do is so luxurious and, you know, beyond what most people can imagine.”

CC: Has your mom come to New York? Did she come to Oceana when you were there?

“Of course. She comes to every restaurant. She loves it a lot when I’m on television, though, because she can brag to the world that her son’s on TV. Which I think is funny, because I don’t think in that way, but when I get another show, to her it’s just the biggest thing.”

CC: You were on “Sweet Genius,” right? Did you win?

“I didn’t win that one. I’m always my worst enemy with TV, because I’m overly ambitious. Time is always my enemy and I’m always taking a risk of like, ‘If I can do this, this, this, and this, and then I can try to get it set on time. …’ Time constraints are always very difficult with pastry on TV, because we’re not used to that in a restaurant. Usually desserts are made in stages, so you make a cake or a mousse that needs to set overnight. And you do that the night before, and then the next day. Proper technique is, you let ice cream bases age 24 hours before you spin it. There’s all these techniques that have to be abandoned for television, and cooking for TV is completely different. It’s all for the show.”

CC: Yeah, all the “Chopped” people are like, ‘Yes, you have no idea what it’s like!’

“Yes. You really don’t have an idea. I mean, I did this other show that was called “Halloween Wars.” That was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, because I think the shooting was 19 days, I slept like two hours a night, and sometimes I skipped nights of sleeping. And you just wound up doing so much work off camera, and then the cameras come on and everyone’s exhausted, and so they just want reactions. So, it was one of the hardest things ever, but it almost had very little to do with being a pastry chef, quite honestly. You’re working with food and sugar, yes. You want to be dramatic, you want to create these pieces, but at the same time there’s so many ways around the rules, and they let you use so many things that you normally would never use in a food setting.”

“Oh, just non-edible products. There’s a lot of armature, there’s a lot of little things here and there that they’re more than happy to see you use, because it makes for a better show. And at the end of the day, no one’s eating it. It’s all for television. And once the cameras are off they’re like, ‘Throw it away.’ We had these beautiful show pieces: throw it away. Cameras are down, we need space. Trash. Trash.”

CC: That’s brutal.

“Yeah. But food TV is very different than working in the restaurant industry. They’re two different creatures. And I feel like certain people will succeed in that industry better than the restaurant industry. It’s a lot harder to make the perfect crème brûlée every day for a year than do it once on television in 30 minutes.

“I think the first TV competition I did was actually my best. It was when I had to build the chocolate Eiffel Tower. That one was amazing, because I never thought I could make something like that.”

CC: What a great combination of your two backgrounds, though.

“Yeah, originally I wanted to make a chocolate Brooklyn Bridge. They actually didn’t let me because they wanted to keep it to scale. The original drawings weren’t to scale because the real bridge is really long, and they wanted the height requirement of four feet. So to make a four-foot-tall Brooklyn Bridge tower, the tower would be like 30 feet long, which is impossible. So they were like, ‘You have to make something more vertical than wide.’ So then I chose the Eiffel Tower.

“One of the great things I learned on food TV is when you don’t want to get aired doing something that’s going wrong, I used to sing the “f**k” song. I would continuously swear. ‘f**k f**k f**k f**k f**k f**k f**k.’ They can’t use any of it, ’cause then they’ll have to bleep the entire thing, which is expensive and looks weird.”

CC: Do they get mad when you do that?

“They’re just like, ‘Don’t do that.’ and I’m like, ‘The chocolate’s burning, it just looks awful, it’s not tempering. ‘F**k f**k f**k f**k f**k.’ And if you’re saying it, they’re not going to use any of it.”

“There are ways, if you’re smart enough, to get around the cameras, and avoid the drama that they really are seeking. Then they definitely ask provoking questions. ‘Did you know that so-and-so said that you might be like this?’ And you’re like, ‘I didn’t hear it, so I won’t believe it until I hear it.’ That’s what I would say.”

CC: Right, which is not what they want.

“They want you to say something back that then will be used on THAT person, and then you’ll have this great little banter, so I mean, it’s a game.

“I think ultimately, if a real pastry chef was to be filmed on television doing what we do it would be kind of boring. [Laughs] Even with time lapse. So yeah, food TV is definitely a different creature. But you know, I think it’s good for the profession overall.”

Jansen Chan with Guest Master Pastry Chef Ron Ben-Israel getting lunch prepared by ICC students

Wall of Culinary Fame at ICC

CC: Okay, now a random question: What’s your favorite kitchen tool? What could you not do without?

“Probably the baby offset spatula. I used to carry them everywhere in the restaurant. I don’t need to carry it now because I’m not working with food as much, but that was the one tool I used to have in my back pocket all the time. It’s like an extension of your finger. You can transfer one thing to another, clean off something, dip it in hot water. It was so handy in so many ways you didn’t really think about. So I used to always carry that, because you know, you want to have as little contact with food as possible for many reasons. Having that tool was very important.

“I have three at home which I thought the other day is excessive because I don’t really bake as much at home. So I was like, ‘What am I going to do with three at home?’ I rarely ever bake at home, to be honest, so what am I doing with three in the drawer? I have some here too. I don’t know why I have so many now.

“Pastry chefs love tools, but for me that was across the board, a useful tool that—transferring chocolate from one place to another, just pick it up, hold the chocolate, move it on, better than your finger because your finger’s warm. Just these little things. Something’s got an edge that’s leaking a little bit, just take the little spatula and scrape the sides. The better finger. If I worked in a restaurant, maybe if I lost a finger, and I could get a new finger, I would maybe ask if one could be a spatula.

“I don’t know if I really would do that. I think I’d actually ask for a finger.” [Laughs]

CC: It would be hard to wear gloves, and use your phone.

“It would be hard everywhere. Like how would you go swimming? How would I go to the gym? How would I box? How would I put contacts on?”

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This fall dessert has plenty of wow factor without a lot of fuss. To make the caramel, melt butter with brown sugar and crystallized ginger in a cast-iron skillet. Arrange some pear halves in the caramel, then top with a cake batter full of warm spices. Bake and cool the cake, then invert it onto a serving platter to reveal the oozy caramel and baked pears. Serve with other seasonal favorites like pumpkin and apple pie for the holidays, or simply after a weeknight dinner of roasted pork tenderloin.

Tips for Christmas and Eggs

Eggs should keep a consistent and low temperature. This is best achieved by placing their carton in the center of your fridge. The eggs should also remain in their original packaging to avoid the absorption of strong odors.

It is wise to follow the “best by” date to determine overall freshness, but eggs can be tested by simply dropping them into a bowl of water. Older eggs will float while fresh eggs will sink. This is due to the size of their air cells, which gradually increase over time.

Cooked eggs have a refrigerator shelf life of no more than four days, while hard-boiled eggs, peeled or unpeeled, are safe to consume up to one week after they’re prepared.

The beauty of an egg is its versatility. Eggs can be cooked in a variety of ways. Here are some tips in accomplishing the four most common preparations.

Scrambled: Whip your eggs in a bowl. The consistency of your scrambled eggs is a personal preference, though it seems like the majority of breakfast connoisseurs enjoy a more runny and fluffy option. In this case, add about ¼ cup of milk for every four eggs. This will help to thin the mix. Feel free to also season with salt and pepper (or stir in cream cheese for added decadence). Grease a skillet with butter over medium heat and pour in the egg mixture. As the eggs begin to cook, begin to pull and fold the eggs with a spatula until it forms curds. Do not stir constantly. Once the egg is cooked to your liking, remove from heat and serve.

Hard-boiled: Fill a pot that covers your eggs by about two inches. Remove the eggs and bring the water to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, carefully drop in the eggs and leave them for 10-12 minutes. For easy peeling, give the eggs an immediate ice bath after the cooking time is completed. For soft-boiled eggs, follow the same process, but cut the cooking time in half.

Poached: Add a dash of vinegar to a pan filled with steadily simmering water. Crack eggs individually into a dish or small cup. With a spatula, create a gentle whirlpool in the pan. Slowly add the egg, whites first, into the water and allow to cook for three minutes. Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and immediately transfer to kitchen paper to drain the water.

Sunny Side Up/Over Easy/Medium/Hard: For each of these preparations, you are cracking an egg directly into a greased frying pan. For sunny side up, no flipping is involved. Simply allow the edges to fry until they’re golden brown. To achieve an over easy egg, flip a sunny side up egg and cook until a thin film appears over the yolk. The yolk should still be runny upon serving. An over medium egg is flipped, fried, and cooked longer until the yolk is still slightly runny. An over hard is cooked until the yolk is hard.

Eggs can easily be frozen, but instructions vary based on the egg’s physical state. As a general rule, uncooked eggs in their shells should not be frozen. They must be cracked first and have their contents frozen.

Uncooked whole eggs: The eggs must be removed from their shells, blended, and poured into containers that can seal tightly.

Uncooked egg whites: The same process as whole eggs, but you can freeze whites in ice cube trays before transferring them to an airtight container. This speeds up the thawing process and can help with measuring.

Uncooked yolks: Egg yolks alone can turn extremely gelatinous if frozen. For use in savory dishes, add ⅛ teaspoon of salt per four egg yolks. Substitute the salt for sugar for use in sweet dishes and/or desserts.

Cooked eggs: Scrambled eggs are fine to freeze, but it is advised to not freeze cooked egg whites. They become too watery and rubbery if not mixed with the yolk.

Hard-boiled eggs: As mentioned above, it is best to not freeze hard-boiled eggs because cooked whites become watery and rubbery when frozen.


  1. 1 Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. 2 Melt 1 stick of the butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and chopped ginger and cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is bubbling, about 4 minutes. Place the pears cut-side down in the skillet, arranging them in a circle with the stem ends pointing toward the center.
    Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. 3 Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger in a large bowl to aerate and break up any lumps set aside.
  4. 4 Place the remaining stick of butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. 5 Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula.
  6. 6 Add a third of the reserved flour mixture, turn the mixer to low, and mix until the flour is just incorporated. Add half of the milk and mix until just incorporated. Continue with the remaining flour mixture and milk, alternating between each and ending with the flour, until all of the ingredients are incorporated and smooth. Stop the mixer, remove the bowl, and stir in any remaining flour streaks by hand, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
  7. 7 Dollop the batter over the pears and smooth it into an even layer, leaving about a 1/2-inch border from the edges of the pan (the batter may not totally cover the pears).
    Bake until the top and edges of the cake are golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (test several spots because you may hit a pear), about 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. 8 Transfer the skillet to a wire rack and let it cool for 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around the perimeter of the skillet and invert the cake onto a large serving platter (if any pears fall out, just arrange them back into the cake). Cut into wedges and serve.

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This is the signature flavor at Detroit bakery Sister Pie, and it’s a true standout. Inspired by both Christina Tosi’s lauded Crack Pie from Momofuku Milk Bar and Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ Salty Honey Pie (because those were the bakeries where Lisa Ludwinski honed her own formidable skills), it’s similar to a chess pie but so much better. The creamy, caramelly filling is made from robust dark amber maple syrup, heavy cream, eggs, light brown sugar, and a touch of cornmeal, and it’s topped off with sparkling flakes of sea salt for a perfect sweet-salty synergy. Try Sister Pie’s Toasted Coconut Sweet Potato Pie recipe too.

Note: The cookbook has great, detailed instructions for making, rolling out, crimping, and blind baking Sister Pie’s signature All-Butter Pie Dough, but if you don’t have the book on hand, you can also use our Easy Pie Dough recipe. After letting the crust chill in the fridge for at least a couple hours, if not overnight, roll it out, transfer it to your pie plate, crimp the edges, and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes (this ensures the butter bits are cold and helps it reach its flakiest full potential). Then, you’ll be ready to blind bake the crust per the recipe instructions.

Get The Cookbook

Butterscotch Sea Salt Ice Cream

Sometimes I’ll find myself fiending for something sweet, but once I have something sweet, I’ll want something salty — and I’ll keep going back and forth until I’m just too full. One of the best ways that I’ve found to keep this impulse at bay is by combining salty and sweet into one keto dessert. My favorite way to do this? Butterscotch Sea Salt Ice Cream.

The butterscotch flavoring, flaked sea salt, and sweetness creates an ice cream that tastes very much like sea salt caramel ice cream.

This recipe also calls for three different types of high-fat dairy and coconut milk, which means you’ll be getting plenty of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals — but this isn’t the only exciting thing about this keto ice cream from a health perspective.

This ice cream relies on stevia instead of sugar or erythritol to give it some sweetness. Not only is stevia super sweet, but it may lower blood sugar, improve blood sugar levels, decrease inflammation, and optimize cholesterol levels as well.

In other words, with this keto ice cream, you will get salty with the sweet, and many health benefits with the healthy fats.

The ICC Sued by Its Former Students

The International Culinary Center, formerly known as the French Culinary Institute, in Manhattan is getting sued for an "ongoing fraudulent scheme" to mislead prospective students, according to Eater. Plaintiffs accused the ICC, regarded as a top culinary school, of deceptively implying to applicants that a six-month program at the school would lead them to "walk straight into a top culinary job" with a possible salary of $60,000 annually. The plaintiffs, former students Larry Grabovan and Daniel Oglander, both claim that these expectations were not met, and that the students' expectations that investment into such a culinary education was a sound financial decision has left them with debt they are now unable to repay.

The lawsuit continues that the school, "knowingly, willfully, intentionally, maliciously, oppressively, and fraudulently" took the students' money with the "intention of defrauding them," very much aware that the educational investment would not better position the graduates to obtain high-paying positions.

Do you think a low-paying job post-graduation is a valid reason to sue?

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Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ cups almond paste
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 egg white, beaten

In a large bowl, cut cold butter or margarine into flour until the mixture has a crumb-like texture. Make a well in the center, add cold water. Mix together until the mixture forms a ball. Do not overmix. Chill dough.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (225 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

In a medium bowl, blend together almond paste, eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, almond extract and salt.

Divide dough in 4 parts, and roll into 15 inch strips. Place filling along the center of each long strip of dough. Roll up, and pinch the ends to seal. Place strips 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Brush with egg white, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

Watch the video: Μαεριά. Παρδοσιακές συνταγές. Νηστίσιμο Γλυκό (September 2021).