Dessert Recipes

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Pumpkin French Toast (Pain Perdu Recipe) Recipe

It’s that time of the year again! Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. The time for fall flavors has definitely arrived. Pumpkin is one of the most versatile ingredients of the season, and today I used it to put a twist on French toast. I prepared a simple custard batter flavored with pumpkin purée and saffron and soaked day-old stale bread. I paired it with a saffron-sweetened heavy whipping cream. The dish is fragrant and flavorful without being overly sweet. It’s definitely a departure from your average pain perdu (literally "stolen bread").

This would be a wonderful treat for Sunday brunch, or for the day after Thanksgiving. I’m making it today for Lulu as a reward for volunteering to take the girls trick-or-treating last night. The girls’ feet started hurting, so he cut the outing short and took them to the supermarket to buy bags of chocolates and candies. That still counts though, right?


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Madeleine Cookie Recipe (Halloween Dessert) Recipe

My husband Lulu loves madeleines. It always reminds him of our trips to Paris. I haven't made any in so long, I thought it was time to surprise him with a fresh batch. I made the madeleines Halloween-friendly by giving them a green color and decorating them with Halloween-themed designs. Pandan is my green food color of choice, and I've flavored and colored a lot of French desserts with it in the past.

Most of the madeleines I've had in America are flat, dry and not very tasty, so I wouldn't be surprised if you're not a fan. The authentic French version must have "the bump" (follow the recipe and you'll find out the secret for fool-proof madeleines) to be truly fluffy and tasty. It creates a light and delicate gourmet cookie that is so pleasant with a hot cup of tea. Not to forget the kid-friendly part, I decorated the madeleines with sprinkles and chocolate chips and wrote spooky messages that for sure will satisfy both big and little kids! And Lulu is most definitely a big kid. He still loves taking his kid sisters trick-or-treating so that he can raid their bags of candy later on. Maybe with these madeleines in the house, he'll stop stealing their sweet treats!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Madeleine Cookies Recipe with Picture


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Halloween Cookies: Dried Fruit Cookie Recipe Recipe

I read this morning in the news that the White House held a pre-Halloween party that included cookies and dried fruit today. It inspired me to make a batch of dried fruit cookies for our own festivities. I mixed raisins, dried cherries, dried kiwis, dried apricots, honey and pecans into a basic sugar cookie dough. I made a fair number that I kept in an airtight tin so the kids can enjoy them all the way through to Monday evening.

The cookies are decorated with very cute renditions of Dracula and a spooky witch. The designs are in the form of peel-&-press edible frosting stickers, which were very convenient, given my utter lack of drawing skills. If you'd like to get similar designs, you can find them at Ticings®. They come in thin sheets of edible icing using food-grade inks that easy apply to almost any soft-frosted dessert.

Our team at PhamFatale.com has worked hard and has prepared almost $1,000-worth of giveaways for the month of December just for you. Ticings® will be part of it, so you can add holiday art to your classic baking. Stay tuned!


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Halloween Cookies: Mint Sugar Cookie Recipe Recipe

Last year, children wouldn't touch my Halloween-themed witch finger shortbread cookies and ghost cupcakes. They were just too scary! With Halloween right around the corner, I’m determined not to make the same mistake again. I can’t think of anything as innocent sounding as sugar cookies, but this time I made them with the appropriate level of spookiness: I shaped them as little pumpkins.

I made the cookie dough with both butter and oil in addition to fromage blanc (you could use sour cream). This made the cookies oh-so-moist and chewy with a sparkly crust (I sprinkled them with green and orange-tinted sanding sugar). Instead of making plain vanilla sugar cookies, I flavored the cookie dough with mint julep sugar from Bourbon Barrel. You could substitute your favorite flavorings.


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Pistachio Dessert: Pistachio Creme Brulee Recipe (+Giveaway) Recipe

If you've been following my culinary adventures, you've probably noticed how much I love pistachios! Daddy (my father-in-law) went to visit one of his friends in Sacramento who grows orchards of pistachios. Daddy brought bags filled with fresh pistachios back for me to have fun with. I had never seen or tasted the raw product and it was amazing. The color is richer and greener. Daddy said raw pistachios are very common in India and picking the pistachios brought him back in time. There were so many pistachios that I had to come up with creative ways to make use of them. I immediately thought of making pistachio paste by grinding and blending them raw with a little Bourbon Barrel Vanilla Sugar. I also added pistachio oil to make the paste smooth and creamy because pistachios contain very little natural oil compared to other nuts. I also added a touch of almond extract to give the pistachio paste a nice aroma.

I didn't stop there. I used the paste to flavor a typical French dessert: crème brûlée. I've made crèmes brûlées so many times (lavender, banana, cherry, masala chai, matcha green tea, lemon, chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, even a savory garlic flavored-one!) that after checking back on PhamFatale.com, I was surprised to see that I never posted this particular version! The pistachios were so fresh that it was almost guaranteed that the crèmes brûlées would be divine. To accentuate the dessert, I used vanilla sugar from Bourbon Barrel in the pistachio paste, the custard mixture and the brûlé part itself. It’s just more evidence that a few exquisite ingredients can transform the simplest foods (eggs, milk, cream and sugar) into something extraordinary.

In addition to tasting incredible, this naturally green-colored dessert can be part of your Halloween table. The kids can have their Snickers and Twix; I’d rather have one (or three) of these pistachio crèmes brûlées!

Fresh Pistachio Recipe with Picture


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