Desserts Recipes

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Gulab Jamun (Indian Sweets) Recipe

Gulab Jamun (Indian Sweets)

03.26.10 by Jackie

Gulab jamun is my husband Lulu's favorite Indian dessert. The sweets are deep-fried balls of dough, bathed in rose (gulab) and cardamom syrup. The texture resembles the liquor syrup-saturated French cake Baba au Rhum.

I've just experienced making my own for the first time and it tasted pretty similar to the ones I've had in the past. I added a few saffron threads to impart a brighter yellow color to the syrup and I didn't add finely crushed pistachios as Lulu's great-aunt does, because of my little sister-in-law's nut allergy.

You can eat them cold, but our favorite way to enjoy gulab jamun is to warm them a bit before serving. It adds another dimension to the dish. Gulab jamun is a bit too rich to eat on a regular basis, but it's perfect for special occasions when you want something more exotic than cake.


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Banana Almond Butterscotch Cookies Recipe

Butterscotch, freeze-dried banana chips and sliced almonds may not be the first ingredients to come to mind when making cookies, but they work incredibly well together. The crunch of the almonds and bananas is a great foil to the soft and creamy butterscotch chips. To reinforce the flavors, I added banana extract to the brown sugar cookie dough. The cookies taste fantastic, right out of the oven.

If you have a little extra time on your hands, make an extra batch so you can freeze the cookie dough for later use. We had some surprise company for tea this weekend, so I needed to whip up a plate of cookies. I just pulled out a log from the freezer, cut it into discs and popped them in the oven. They taste so much better than store-bought cookies, and when you pull them out of the oven, ooey gooey and piping hot, you'll look like an absolute rockstar!


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Banana Coconut Creme Brulee Recipe

Banana Coconut Creme Brulee

03.19.10 by Jackie

A journalist contacted me this week and asked if she could use my crème brulée photos. Not that I need much prompting, but it got me thinking of crèmes brulées and I thought I could try out some new flavors.

I happened to have baby bananas in the house, along with some leftover shredded coconut from making lima bean curry. The mini bananas come from Guatemala. They are very sweet and flavorful. I caramelized them in sugar and used them as garnish. I flavored the custard with the shredded coconut, rum and banana extract. The result is a very pleasant dessert using ingredients that are available this season. Can't wait for spring to experiment with more flavors!


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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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Chestnut Crumb Coffee Cake Recipe

Chestnut Crumb Coffee Cake

03.07.10 by Jackie

For brunch, the girls and I made a crumb coffee cake flavored with chestnut purée, and a streusel topping made with cinnamon and brown sugar for a rich, caramel flavor. Buttermilk gives a moist texture to the coffee cake; the result was just divine. Chestnut may not be a common flavor for coffee cake, but I guarantee that after tasting it, you'll be hooked.

I served the coffee cake with a big pot of masala chai. We all enjoyed ourselves. Hope your weekend is as relaxing and peaceful as ours!


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