Desserts Recipes

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Matcha Green Tea Agar Agar with Sweet Black Sesame Sauce Recipe

When I think of Asian sweets, the flavor that comes to mind after mango, litchi and durian  is matcha green tea. I love pairing matcha with black sesame; I think the flavors go perfectly together.

Lulu and the girls made a beautiful rau câu birthday cake for my birthday several weeks ago, based on a recipe I posted. Rau câu means agar agar in Vietnamese.

I made a matcha agar agar jello cake paired with black sesame sauce and garnished it with fresh diced mangoes for color. The dessert tastes like a sweeten matcha green tea with a soft jelly texture.


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Grilled Pineapple with Coconut Syrup and Mascarpone Cream Dessert Recipe

We hosted a dinner party at home this evening. I wanted to make a "summery" tiramisu parfait, as opposed to the "wintry" coffee tiramisu I made in the past. I found some beautiful sweet Maui Gold pineapple and decided to add a refreshing twist to the classic Italian dessert. I added some fresh mint from the garden, some coconut, mascarpone and crème fraîche.

I served a wide variety of sweet petit fours and other desserts along with the pineapple mascarpone desserts. I know it was a hit because there wasn't a bit left. When everyone went home, I gathered 14 empty parfait glasses. It looked like the guests washed the dishes themselves. I'm definitely going to make this again!


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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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