Verrines Recipes

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Deconstructed S'mores Recipe (Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert Cups) Recipe

S'mores are a classic campfire dessert. Generally, only chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers are necessary for this American treat. As a French person, nothing symbolizes American desserts more than peanut butter, so I had to add some to the dish.

This summer we decided to make use of a little outdoor fireplace on our property (we've been in this home for 6 years; I know we're pretty slow). We spent so many evenings roasting marshmallows and telling scary stories.

I noticed the girls would smear chocolate everywhere, which makes the laundry not so fun. So I served these desserts in verrines (dessert cups). I don't know if making deconstructed s'mores reduced our laundry chores, but it tasted amazing!

*The dessert was inspired by Chef Catherine Schimenti (Chef Michael Mina's pastry chef), which was served during the Sugar Party at SFChefs 2010.

S'mores Recipe with Picture


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Mango Carrot Mousse Recipe (Verrines de Mousse de Carottes) Recipe

This mango carrot mousse recipe is a refreshing escape from everyday ingredients. It has an Asian flair to it because of the use of mango, ginger and cinnamon. To the mango mousse, I added shredded carrots cooked in milk and agave nectar. I purposely didn't blend the carrots with the mascarpone cheese  in a food processor so there would still be a slightly coarse texture to the mousse, which I find very pleasant.

Whenever I'm on a quest to make a new dessert, I always keep in mind that most people appreciate  a little decadence. Serving the mousse in small verrines is a great way to keep rich desserts from becoming excessive, and it also makes the desserts more elegant. It will keep the dessert fans in your life coming back for more!


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Chocolate Macadamia Brownies with Pumpkin Cream Recipe

The base of the dessert is a layer of chocolate macadamia brownie. I filled the rest of the bowl with a pumpkin cream made with mascarpone cheese. It has a light and creamy texture that is the perfect backdrop for the decadence of the brownie. To top off the dessert, I added some whipped cream dusted with cinnamon. A few brownie crumbs make a nice final touch, as well as sign of what's to come as your spoon cuts through the pumpkin cream.

We love brownies and make them more often than we probably should, but until now I've never served them to guests. This was my attempt to dress up a brownie into a dessert that could be served at the end of a nice dinner party. I'm happy to report that the dessert went over very well. Brownies have an incredible ability to turn anyone who even looks at them into a kid again, and it was a wonderful way to end an elegant meal.

Brownie with Pumpkin Cream Recipe with Picture


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Punjabi-Style Chaat (Layers of Tomatoes, Raita, Ginger Garbanzo beans, Mint Sauce and Tamarind Chutney) Recipe

Chaat is an Indian snack. There are many varieties but they all use similar ingredients. If you think of it as in Mexican food where you see salsa, guacamole, sour cream, refried beans and cheese, repeated in many different dishes, similarly chaat is made up of a crispy fried bread called puri and garbanzo beans, tomatoes, yogurt, taramind, mint sauce and spices.

This particular version of chaat is one Lulu's aunt makes whenever she has a family get-together at her house. Since it's more constructed than many of the other chaats, it's got distinct layers. She usually serves it with potatoes as well, which I didn't have on hand; I'm going to post my personal favorite later on, which is called dahi papdi chaat.

For those of you who think Indian food is mostly butter chicken, tandoori chicken or palak paneer, there is a whole world of cuisine that I've been introduced to since I got married I never knew existed. I love South Indian food in particular and I'll try to put up some recipes from that region.


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Savory Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Beluga Lentil Relish (Panna Cotta au Chevre et sa Macedoine de Legumes) Recipe

Panna cotta de chèvre frais et sa macédoine de légumes is a summery dish. It was such a sunny day today in the Bay Area, so I decided to make something refreshing and light.

In case you don't know, panna cotta is a firm jelly. It can be either be savory or sweet. Instead of using gelatin, I used agar for the vegetarians in the house. I paired the panna cottas with mixed vegetables and lentils to get a balanced meal with proteins, dairy and veggies.  

I served them in little verrines. Verrine is just a fancy word for glasses but they are the latest trend in French cooking. If you host a buffet-style dinner, it's the ideal way to run a stress free party as this dish can be prepared in advance.

savory panna cotta


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