Chocolate 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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Chocolate Pistachio Cream Pie (Easy Dessert Recipe) Recipe

I love the combination of pistachio and chocolate. These mini pies are made with a filling of pistachio pudding nestled in a chocolate-flavored graham cracker crust. To accentuate the chocolate flavor, I added a thin layer of Nutella in between.

For the pistachio cream, I made a hassle-free pudding using pistachio-flavored Jell-O instant pie filling. I've made pistachio pudding in the past using corn starch, half and half and pâte de pistache but the pistachio flavor doesn't come as well. So why go through the headache when the Jell-O product tastes better?

You could top the mini pies with meringue or whipped cream but I thought it wasn't necessary, so I decorated them with crushed pistachios. Voilà!


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Lavender Creme Brulee Recipe Recipe

Lavender Creme Brulee Recipe

04.09.10 by Jackie

I've been waiting for the lavender in my garden to blossom to be able to make my own Herbes de Provence mix. I had so much extra lavender that I thought I'd make our family's favorite dessert. Yes, crème brulée strikes again! Lavender has a strong floral taste, so a little bit goes a long way. To enhance the lavender aroma, I added lavender extract that I bought at Sur La Table store in Palo Alto. I really thought that the unusual flavor would turn off the kids but my little munchkin loved the lavender dessert the most and kept saying "It tastes like a flower, I love it!"

It's the third season we're planting lavender in our garden and I've learned that the variety most commonly used for cooking is English lavender, not French! So be on the look-out English lavender the next time you stop at the nursery.

If you're searching for a fancy French dessert for your next dinner party, try this recipe! On the practical side, you can make the cup dessert 'way in advance and create the sugar crust at the last minute. That way you can focus on your guests instead of dessert while still serving something fabulous. Your guests will be in awe.

Fresh Lavender Picture


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Blackberry Creme Brulee Recipe

Blackberry Creme Brulee

03.11.10 by Jackie

Crèmes brulées are my mother-in-law's pêcher mignon, which literally translates to "cute fault" in French (which means guilty pleasure). I keep telling her that these custard desserts can be flavored with anything and she keeps challenging me. She brought home a whole case of blackberries from our local market and asked if I could make her favorite dessert cups with them.

So after flavoring crème brulée with lemon, cherry, butterscotch, matcha green tea and masala chai, I was able to prove to her that I still have a few tricks up my sleeve.  It has occurred to me though that maybe her "challenge" is just an excuse to get me to make more crèmes brulées. As long as I can come up with more flavors, I'll keep playing along. After that, she'll have to come up with a better reason!


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Cherry Creme Brulee with Stewed Cherries Recipe

I wanted to make a crème brulée that was absolutely packed with cherry flavor. No subtlety here. I'm talking full on, Witches of Eastwick levels of cherry flavor. To accomplish this, I added cherry extract to the custard, and placed a layer of stewed cherries at the bottom of each bowl. I finished each dessert by serving it with a maraschino cherry.

It's not cherry season yet, so I used frozen cherries. They are picked at the peak of ripeness, so they taste great. When thawed, frozen cherries can lose their form, but since I was stewing them, the shape of the cherries didn't matter so much. Cherries may not immediately come to mind when you think of winter desserts, but their ready availability in a variety of forms that are great for cooking make them an excellent choice.


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