desserts

Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramel

December 12, 2013
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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 …

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Lemon Curd and Chocolate Ganache Tart

April 22, 2013
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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 …

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Cherry Clafoutis

July 23, 2012
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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, …

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Candied Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

June 4, 2012
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It’s safe to say that just about everyone likes ice cream, right? What’s not to like? Good ice cream has all the qualities of the perfect husband; sweet, rich and satisfying. Ok, just kidding. Maybe. A little.

But once again, I’ve had my assumptions challenged, this time by a fifteen year old boy who told me at dinner the other night he just “doesn’t like ice cream“.

What? Really?

No amount of encouragement by his parents, or even the allure of “homemade”, could entice him to give this ice cream a try. And I honestly didn’t try too hard to convince him, because I think people should be allowed to eat what they like. Plus, inside I was thinking “more for the rest of us!”

Everyone else at the table loved this ice cream and described the flavor to be akin to lemon meringue pie, or even  lemon curd

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Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust and Salted Caramel

February 6, 2012
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I’m frugal, I’ll admit it. I don’t mind spending money when I feel there is good bang for the buck (example, I’ll spend more for hotel room with a great view), but if I can make it myself, better and cheaper, then I will. That’s just a bonus, isn’t it?

When I decided I wanted to make a cheesecake with a chocolate crust for Thanksgiving (and then again  for Christmas Eve) I discovered that one could not just go to the store and buy chocolate cookie crumbs. I knew that graham cracker crumbs were available, but chocolate cookie crumbs only seem to be sold to restaurants. I could have cheated and bought some from work, but that wouldn’t work for you, would it? The only other option was to buy the Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, but at $4 a package (and I thought I’d need two or maybe three), …

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Meyer Lemon Vanilla Bean Creme Caramel

July 19, 2011
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What, another lemon dessert?

Shhhh…yes, another one, and don’t give me any flack about it. I love my little ancient lemon tree and it loves me back. It’s my own personal “Giving Tree” providing me with luscious, sweet, Meyer lemons almost year round. Of the 22 desserts in my “Dessert” category, 6 are made with Meyer lemons, but only 9 of the 150+ recipes on the blog are tagged with “lemon.” And what’s not to love about lemons? The flavor is bright, fresh and clean so how can you go wrong incorporating it where ever possible? In summer we drink lemonade, so why not make a light lemon dessert?

This is the perfect do-ahead dinner party dessert. You can make them up to the day before and then just invert them onto plates (or eat them right out of the ramekins!) right before serving.

Lemon Creme Caramel Recipe

For

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