Plenty of New River Valley residents were depressed to hear that Backstreets Italian restaurant was closing after 28 years in business. Saturday was the restaurant’s last day; it stayed open until it ran out of food and closed at 4 p.m., according to the Backstreets Facebook page.
Over the past several days, the folks at Backstreets have used its Facebook page to respond to well-wishes from customers. But they’ve also done something else I think is incredibly cool: They posted several of the recipes from the restaurant.
Although the dough recipe was not posted because it makes 40 pounds of dough, they did share recipes for tiramisu, cheesecake, chocolate mousse and zabaglione. Because they also posted that the Facebook page would soon be unpublished, I retrieved those recipes from the page and will share them here.
These recipes are very long. So far, I have only been able to skim through them, so if you have any questions let me know and I’ll try to get in touch with the manager or answer them myself. Otherwise, they say this email will still be in use: firstname.lastname@example.org
Best wishes to all the folks at Backstreets and thank you for sharing your recipes with us.
1/2 quart heavy cream
18 oz mascarpone cheese
1/8 C granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
strong coffee—DO NOT DOUBLE BREW
1) Whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a small bowl, and set aside..
2) Combine the mascarpone cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla. It’s easiest to do this in a stand mixer. Beat them together until they are well combined and the mixture is smooth.
3) With the mixer running on low speed, add 1 Tablespoon of heavy cream, to thin the cheese mixture. Continue until cream is incorporated.
4) Fold the mascarpone mixture and the whipped cream together.
5) Get one of the shallow metal pans (a shallow ). Pour the coffee in to a shallow bowl, or line pan.
Dip the lady fingers into the coffee (don’t let them soak, because they’ll pick up moisture from the cheese, and they’ll get too soggy.)
6) Lay the lady fingers in the pan. Push them together tightly, to form a solid layer.
7) Spread approximately one half over the lady fingers in pan. Dust with cocoa powder.
8) Put a double layer of lady fingers over the cream. Be careful to not squish them into the cream, but to press them as close together as possible.
9) Put another layer of cream ( all remaining)over the lady fingers, and dust it with cocoa powder.
USE A 1/3 SIZE SHALLOW PAN , METAL
Backstreets Cheesecake (Plain)
2 whole eggs
2 C sugar
3 lb. cream cheese
2 heaping T sour cream
1 T vanilla.
2 heaping spoons mascarpone
2 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1/4 lb. butter melted (approximately)
2 C sugar
For the batter
1) In a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar together on low speed. When combined, add the cream cheese in small chunks, and beat on low speed until smooth.
2) Add remaining ingredients and beat on med speed until smooth. If cream cheese remains lumpy, beat on high speed for a few minutes. Taste and adjust flavorings as needed. The batter should be sweet, but not overly so. Avoid making it too sugary sweet; it should still taste a little like cream cheese.
For the crust:
3) Using a hand blender, mix well together graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
4) Add melted butter a little at a time until the crumbs/sugar mixture is moist, resembling wet sand. If you squeeze some in your hand it will hold its shape, but no excess butter will come out.
5) To assemble the crust, first smear a very little bit of melted butter in the bottom of a spring form pan, throw a couple of handfuls into the bottom of a spring form pan. To build up the sides, pick up a small amount in your fingers, and press it to the sides of the pan. When that has adhered, pick up another bit, and press it to the side so that it butts up against the first section. Continue going around until you have a solid crust around the whole pan. You can probably get it about a quarter of an inch thick.
When done with the sides, press the loose crumbs in the bottom to compact them. Make sure the bottom is evenly about a quarter of an inch thick, adding more crumbs as necessary.
6) Pour the batter into the crust, making sure to not leave any bubbles along the sides. The batter should fill the pan, and there may be a little left over. Don’t overfill the pan, or the cheesecake will break while it is baking. Smooth the top by using a plastic spatula and pulling from the middle. When you reach the edge, discard the excess you just pulled off. Don’t pull again until you wipe off that excess or you will get graham crumbs in the cheesecake itself. For plain cheesecakes only, sprinkle a very little bit of graham on top, and I mean a little bit.
7) Set the spring form pan on a 12” pizza pan, (this makes it easier to carry.) Bake in a preheated 250 F oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Turn around halfway through the cooking time.
8) Check for doneness by gently tapping the edge of the pan. The cheesecake is done when it doesn’t feel liquidy, or jiggle too much, but feels firm. At this point, turn off the oven and prop the door open, but leave the cheesecake in the oven. This makes it cool more slowly, which helps prevent cracking. Leave in the oven for an hour or so, and then let cool at room temperature. The cheesecake will probably risen a lot during baking, and will sink back down as it cools; this is normal. It will probably crack some, but this just proves that it’s homemade. Freeze the cake for at least 24 hours before cutting.
This is the basic recipe that you add to for flavored cheesecakes
Backstreets Chocolate Mousse
22 oz. dark chocolate
20 eggs, separated
1 quart heavy cream
approx. 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1) Set up a double boiler using a shallow bowl and a small (5 quart) sauce pot. Fill the pot 2/3rds of the way with tap water. Melt the chocolate in the top of it. Use med to low heat, making sure that the flames don’t reach up the side of the pot. If they do then the chocolate will tend to burn on that side. You want the water to be simmering, or just barely boiling. It helps to put plastic wrap over the top of the bowl, this traps heat inside the bowl and melts the chocolate faster.
2)While the chocolate is melting, whip the cream in one of the stand mixers. Add the powdered sugar to the cream when you begin whipping it. Whip the cream to stiff peaks. The bowl of the mixer must be very clean. The cream should be cold, and it helps for the bowl to be chilled as well. Just wash it out in cold water before you start whipping the cream; this will ensure that it is clean, and will chill it.
3) Put the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. It is helpful to beat the yolks slightly to break up any whole ones. You will be adding all the other ingredients to this bowl, so you do want one of the bigger ones.
4) When the heavy cream has been whipped, transfer it to a small bowl, and set it in a refrigeration unit.
5) Wash the bowl to the stand mixer, and the whip. Now, whip the egg whites in the stand mixer. Both the bowl and the whip must be completely clean for the whites to whip successfully. It helps for the whites to be at room temperature when you whip them, but this is not essential. Increase the speed of the mixer gradually, to help prevent the whites splattering all over the place. Whip the whites to very stiff peaks. All the liquid of the egg whites should be incorporated, and they shouldn’t slosh in the bowl.
6) Once everything is whipped, and the chocolate is melted, begin combining the ingredients. Add the melted chocolate to the egg yolks. Use a spatula to scrape all of it into them. Mix the yolks and chocolate thoroughly with a wire whisk. This needs to be done fairly quickly, before the chocolate cools and thickens. Also, whisk the mixture quickly so that the egg yolks don’t curdle or scramble before they are incorporated. The chocolate will stiffen considerably as you incorporate the yolks. Make sure they are completely mixed in, the mix should be a uniform color and should not have any obvious shiny areas. If you aren’t sure, mix it some more.
7) To this mixture add the whipped cream. Use a spatula to scrape it all in. Use the wire whisk to fold the cream into the chocolate mixture gently. The mixture will lighten in color, and loosen up quite a bit. Don’t beat the mixture too much, but scrape down from the bottom and fold the chocolate into the cream. Fold this completely, until it is a uniform color.
8) Now add the beaten egg whites. Fold these into the chocolate in the same manner as the cream. The mix will loosen up some more, but will stay roughly the same color. It may look a little grainy, but this is just because of the egg whites. Be sure to mix them in completely. Don’t leave any pockets or clumps of whites anywhere. You can break them up with the whisk so that they fold in more easily.
9) When it is completely mixed together, transfer the mousse to a large line pan, and label and date it. Put it in the dessert cooler. It will take about half an hour, to an hour to completely set up.
16 egg yolks
4 oz sweet marsala wine
4 oz granulated sugar
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar
4 oz cold water
1 teaspoon packets unflavored gelatin
1) Whip the cream and the powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Set in a refrigeration unit to keep it cold.
2) Set up a double boiler using a shallow bowl, and a small (5 quart) sauce pot. Fill the pot 2/3rds of the way with water. Put the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and sweet marsala in the shallow bowl. Whisk these slightly to combine.
3) Heat the water until it is barely simmering. The water should be steaming, but not really moving at all. If the water is too hot, then the eggs will scramble and the zabaglione will be ruined.
4) Place the egg mixture on the double boiler and begin whisking it. You must whisk the mixture constantly, to prevent the eggs’ scrambling. You can’t let the egg mixture rest on the bottom of the bowl, or it will scramble. If while you are whisking it you notice clumps on the bottom of the bowl, take it off the heat and whisk them until they have smoothed out and are incorporated back into the rest of the mix. Don’t walk away from the bowl while it is on the heat, or leave it unattended. Try to start the zabaglione at a time when you won’t get distracted, or interrupted. As you whisk, the mixture will become thicker and lighter in color. Keep whisking until the eggs and wine are completely combined, and the mixture has reached the ribbon stage. (It will appear to be about the same consistency as yellow cake batter. If you pull the whisk up then the mixture will come off of it in a continuous stream, and not immediately disappear back into the rest of the batter.)
5) Now prepare the gelatin according to package directions. Try to do this quickly, and keep the zabaglione moving in the bowl while you do so. When the gelatin is dissolved, pour it into the egg mixture. Whisk these together until well combined.
6) Take the bowl from the heat and whisk some more to cool it slightly. Now combine the egg mixture with the whipped cream. Fold these together gently. Pour into a line pan and label and date it. It will take up to an hour to set up.