Elegant Dessert Recipes

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Frangipane Petit Four with Raspberry Mascarpone Frosting Recipe

We hosted another tea party yesterday and I made some polenta tartlets and individual apricot pies. I had some leftover dough and almond cream from each, so I combined the two and baked them until they became dry. The result was similar to a "petit four sec". I had made eggplant rollups for dinner as well, so I used the leftover mascarpone to make a butter cream frosting which I then smeared onto each petit four. It worked like magic.

If an almond cream tart and a polenta tartlet had a baby, my frangipane petit four would probably be the result. Improvising with leftovers is a lot of fun. Sometimes it doesn't work out, but when it does, the result is true culinary innovation.  If you have no other use for the leftovers, it's the perfect time to experiment and be creative.


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Throwing an Elegant Dinner Party? Try Miniature Sweets Recipe
I don't know about you, but to me the best way to end a meal is with something sweet. Nobody ever says no to dessert. I think that's probably what my guests remember the most when they come over for dinner. I recently made my blackberry polenta tartlet again for a dinner party but this time, I made bite-sized versions.
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Coffee and Cardamom Flavored Creme Caramel Recipe

Crème caramel is one of my favorite desserts. It's basically a rich custard with a layer of soft caramel. I dressed this one up with a little espresso powder and cardamom.

Making these desserts reminded me of my childhood. My mom would tell me every day not to eat anything before dinner, but after coming home from school, I would always make a beeline to the refrigerator when she wasn't looking. I would get one crème caramel, flip it onto a plate, and let the delicious caramel flow in every direction. It didn't last very long; I would inhale the dessert and lick all the caramel off the plate before I got caught. You would think that I wouldn't really have enjoyed the dessert because I ate it so fast, but there was something thrilling (and delicious) about sneaking a bite without anyone knowing.  Maybe that's why I named my site Pham Fatale.  I've been in the (food) espionage business for a long time!

These covert operations inevitably would make me too full for dinner. I know I was a terrible child! My parents always wondered why I never ate, and have probably been unaware of my antics until now. Sorry Mom!

I think, in America, crème caramel and flan can be used interchangeably.


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Sweet Mascarpone and Berries with Lemon Ganache Recipe

If you're looking for a fast and easy yet elegant dessert recipe, this one is for you. I usually make this dessert to please my little 9-year-old sister-in-law who is allergic to eggs.

The rich cinnamon-flavored mascarpone mixture with the refreshing combination of blackberries and blueberries makes a very festive sweet treat for little kids and big kids as well.

To give more body to the dessert, I sprinkle a layer of coarsely-crumbled Italian puff pastry and top with a layer of lemon ganache. The result is to die for!


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Blackberry Polenta Tart with a Kaffir Lime Ginger Glaze Recipe

I was very frustrated yesterday after the memory card of my camera crashed and I wasn't able to show off my beautiful crostata with pecan and blueberry pie filling. All I could rescue was only one photo of the crostata before it went into the oven. So to redeem myself, I'm offering you un cadeau de consolation, a consolation prize with a blackberry polenta tart.

The sweet dough is made with polenta which gives a very crumbly texture. I filled the tart with blackberry preserves, topped them with fresh blackberries and finished them with a kaffir lime ginger glaze. Everything was gone, it was delicious. Mission accomplished!


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