Fillingood Bakery shares their recipes for their favorite seasonal desserts!
Claudia Hurt, the baker and owner of Fillingood, greets you with her warm voice as you sit down at a European-inspired table for two. She offers samples of freshly baked bread, elegant desserts, and her infectious smile. Hurt has the glow of one who spends her time doing what she loves.
A native of Mexico, Hurt relocated to the Coastal Bend fifteen years ago. She immersed herself in the culinary arts and traveled extensively to study under some of the best bakers in the world. She began teaching baking and pastry classes full time at Del Mar College and opened Fillingood in December 2014.
We asked Hurt to share her expertise with The Bend by making her favorite holiday desserts. She gave us four incredible recipes that will impress even the most discriminating sweet tooth.
Hurt finds inspiration in nature, seasonal ingredients, and her love of Europe. She tops her melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies with an elegant sugar lace snowflake that she meticulously renders by hand. Of her food art, Hurt said, “It’s an art that’s getting lost. I want to preserve it.”
The underutilized persimmon finally gets its due as the main ingredient in Fillingood’s persimmon cake. This spongy, moist cake soaking in Bourbon sauce is generously topped with rich vanilla cream and crunchy pecan praline. The delicate persimmon flavor adds a bright note to this decadent treat.
Claudia also made us her favorite – a panna cotta infused with Madagascar vanilla beans. This velvety custard is so light, you will struggle to remember the flan of yesteryear.
“I would love for people to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life: spend time with their family, stop and smell the bread, connect with friends,” Claudia said. And she does, every day at Fillingood.
SHORTBREAD COOKIES WITH ROYAL ICING
4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla
4 cups pastry flour (may substitute all-purpose flour)
With a hand or standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add salt and egg. Beat until absorbed. Scrape bowl using a rubber spatula. Add vanilla and flour until just combined. Do not over mix. Chill dough.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll out the dough and cut out shapes.
Bake in ungreased pan for about 10 min or until light golden in color.
Cool down before decorating.
4 c powder sugar
3 tbsp meringue powder
5 tbsp water
Mix until fluffy.
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp gelatin
1 whole Madagascar vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half, whipped
Tart shells, baked and cooled
Soften gelatin with some of the milk.
Scrape vanilla bean and mix with sugar, distributing completely. Reserve pod for a future use.
When custard is almost set (thick), fold in whipped cream in 3 stages, taking care not to deflate.
Fill pastry bag with custard and use to fill tart shells.
1 cup sugar
3-4 drops, lemon juice, freshly-squeezed
Water, as necessary
Heat sugar on medium high heat. Add enough water until mixture resembles wet sand. Add lemon drops. Let melt. Stir and make sure the color is all the same across the pan. When it reaches light gold color, add figs and cook slightly. Do not overcook figs or they will break.
Strain, cool down, and add as topping for tarts.
PERSIMMON CAKE WITH BOURBON SAUCE AND CARAMELIZED PECANS
1 1/2 cup persimmon purèe
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
If persimmon purèe is from fresh fruit make sure it is completely blended and smooth before using for cake.
Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk milk, cream, pure and sugar on medium speed. Add egg and beat on low and mix until combined. Mix in butter. Fold in flour mixture by hand.
Butter and flour 5” cake pans.
Fill 2/3-3/4 and bake on 350°F about 20 minutes, or until the center is set.
While cake is still warm, add the bourbon sauce.
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup bourbon
Cook all ingredients, stirring constantly, for 5-8 minutes, or until mixture reaches 160°F on a candy thermometer.
1 cup pecan pieces
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
In a skillet, add 1 tbsp butter and nuts, cooking over medium heat until it releases some oils. Add sugar and stir until caramelized.