Desserts

Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramel

December 12, 2013
Thumbnail image for Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramel

Sweet and salty. That combination gets me every time.

Chocolate covered pretzels? You bet! Salted caramel ice cream? My favorite. Even peanut M&Ms have me reaching into the office candy jar.

But chocolate and salted caramel? That’s a long time favorite and if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might recognize the topping on the tart above as the same on this popular Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel. There’s also this Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust and Salted Caramel (which has been pinned on Pinterest over 216,000 times!). I’ve also done chocolate tarts in the past with strawberries and with lemon curd.

Call it “recipe recycling” if you want, but why not take the best of several recipes to make something equally delicious? The two caramel desserts above were something I made for previous Thanksgiving dinners (in addition to the Pumpkin Chiffon Pie I make …

Read the full article →

Lemon Curd and Chocolate Ganache Tart

April 22, 2013
Thumbnail image for Lemon Curd and Chocolate Ganache Tart

Curd.
It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue does it? How can something with a name so funky, taste so luscious? It’s the magic of chemistry that turns basic ingredients like sugar, eggs, butter and lemon, with a little heat, into a silky, sweet, and tangy spread that you would swear should not have a name like curd.

The pairing of lemon and chocolate is one of my favorites and goes all the way back to my college years when I had the opportunity to go with my boyfriend’s family to Europe for a summer. This was my first time traveling out of North America and I was so determined to go, I sold my car to be able to afford the trip. It was an eye-opening journey in so many ways, and when we got to Italy, it was there that my boyfriend introduced me to the …

Read the full article →

Ginger Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

January 21, 2013
Thumbnail image for Ginger Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Has everyone just about given up on their New Year’s resolutions to eat healthy yet? It’s about that time now when people start making exceptions in their new diet and take “just a day off” from going to the gym, isn’t it?

Well, here’s one more thing to tempt you (she said with a devilish lilt in her voice), Ginger Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream. I originally created this recipe a couple of years ago for my mother for her birthday dinner. I asked her what flavor she wanted and she told me about this ice cream she’d had in a restaurant. When she tasted it I could tell from the look on her face that I’d nailed it.

You may not think of ice cream as a winter dessert, but I think any time is ok for ice cream. Plus the flavors in this one feel more winter …

Read the full article →

Chocolate Budino With Espresso Cream

October 22, 2012
Thumbnail image for Chocolate Budino With Espresso Cream

Budino.
It’s like pudding, only better.

Why? Because it’s richer, denser and well, Italian, which automatically makes it better, right?

This is no ordinary pudding. There is no comparison with anything J-E-L-L-O. The stuff that comes out of those little boxes is like comparing salmon eggs to Beluga caviar, like chopped liver to foie gras, like cubic zirconia to diamonds. This is the real deal.

See those pretty glasses with the silver rim? They’re tea glasses I bought in Turkey, and while I’ve yet to drink tea out of them, I thought they’d also be great for this dessert because frankly, no one should eat more than what’s in that glass of sinful richness. Trust me.

I like this recipe because it only has three ingredients, yet it can be a show stopper for a dinner party or simple comfort dessert to eat alone (you know what …

Read the full article →

Cannoli Ice Cream

July 31, 2012
Thumbnail image for Cannoli Ice Cream

My very first restaurant job was in part, by accident. I was in college and was interested in becoming a chef instead of the psychologist I was studying to be. Ever practical (having 3 jobs to put yourself through college will do that to a person), I decided to try working in a restaurant before spending even more money on a culinary education.

I found myself in a local Italian place which was hiring for a prep cook. Unfortunately, the chef took one look at me, 21 years old and female, and said “no.” I don’t remember what else he said but it was along the lines of “I don’t have anything for you” which wasn’t exactly the truth.

Suddenly, he reconsidered and said, “Can you bake? My pastry chef is leaving and I need someone for that position.” I said “Sure, I can bake!” This may have been …

Read the full article →

Cherry Clafoutis

July 23, 2012
Thumbnail image for Cherry Clafoutis

I’ve always wanted to make a clafoutis, but never had until recently. Something about the name sounds so romantic to me (maybe because it’s French?), which is odd considering this is really quite an easy, homestyle dessert.

What is a clafoutis, you ask? Think of a cross between a dense custard and a thick pancake, baked with fruit. Some recipes call more more or less flour or fewer eggs which will, of course, change the texture on direction or the other. My version, based on one I found in Saveur, has quite a few eggs, so it leans more toward custard with a nice crust. I think it’s a perfect summer dessert, but it could also work on a brunch or breakfast menu.

Apparently the French tend to make this without pitting the cherries first. It’s thought that the cherry pits impart an almond flavor, but frankly, …

Read the full article →