Sweets Recipes

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Tuiles Aux Amandes (Almond Tuiles) Recipe

Today we made some ginger ice cream in the ice cream machine we got Daddy, my father-in-law, last Father's day. The machine requires no pre-freezing, which is very convenient. I got the recipe for this frozen treat from PastryPal, which is written by Irina. We made half of the volume since it was the first time we were trying this recipe out. Irina's recipe calls for 4 egg yolks, but I wasn't about to throw away the 4 egg whites so I decide to make some almond tuiles.

Tuiles aux amandes are crisp thin cookies topped with slivered almonds. It's a great garnish for ice cream because of the texture contrast between the crispy cookie and the creamy frozen treat.

 


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Mint and Chocolate Filled Rose Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Thumbprint cookies are similar to sablé cookies. They both have the texture of shortbread. The characteristic thumbprint shape is created by pressing down on the cookie with a spoon half-way through the baking process. A sweet filling is placed in the resulting cavity. The cookie itself has a mild sweetness that goes very well with the sweeter filling. The filling can be jam, preserves, caramel or even chocolate.

I chose a pink mint filling because of my little five-year-old sister-in-law. She came to me with the cutest request. She adores Cookie Monster, and often shares her cookies with the Cookie Monster doll we got her. Today, she came to me, hid her face with the stuffed animal and said in her best Cookie Monster impersonation, "Cookie Monster is hungry, I want pink cookies." My heart melted; I can't say no to my little munchkin.

All the girls gathered in the kitchen and pink cookies it was. I looked in the pantry and found several choices for a pink-colored cookie. Some pink-colored mint chocolate chips from Guittard, raspberry and strawberry extracts or rose paste. The girls voted and we went for a rose-flavored cookie dough with pink mint chocolate filling. Sunny, my 13-year-old eldest sister-in-law wanted to create some fun design in the filling, so we melted some bittersweet chocolate and vanilla chips as well. This has to be some fun designs.

We were all very happy with our unique cookies and needless to say, Cookie Monster also enjoyed our creation.

Cookie monster wants pink cookies


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Gajar Halva (Indian Carrot Halwa Dessert) Recipe

Halva means sweet in Arabic. India is home to many varieties of halva, and it can be found at almost all of our family gatherings.

This particular type is made with carrots. Lulu's aunt taught me how to make it. The base is a dense, sweet confection made of flour such as cream of wheat or garbanzo flour, nut butter such as tahini, or lentils like mung beans. My friend Carole, who is by the way the editor of the site, told me she loves this kind. Here's her feedback about carrot halva:

"Your halva was smoother [than the one I get at the restaurant], and at the same time more flavorful but more subtle, too. We loved it. I can't wait to see the recipe and what's involved. I have a sneaky feeling there's going to be more butter than I want to know about!"

I told Carole: "Well, don't be afraid, there are only two tablespoons of ghee". I prefer making it at home because the gajar halva found at restaurants tends to be too thin and cloyingly sweet. I suspect that the extra sweetness is used to conceal the lack of richness that one would expect from real gajar halva.

Gajar halva, like some Vietnamese desserts, is not always the most glamourous-looking sweet, but it is delicious. If you've never had it before, try making some at home. You will love it.


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Clafouti aux Cerises (Cherry French Flan) Recipe

I think clafouti is one of the most commonly found desserts in France after crème brulée.

Clafouti is traditionally made with cherries; the fruit is baked in a custard, flan-like batter. Contrary to crème caramel (which is somewhat like a flan), clafouti is made with flour. Just sprinkle on little powdered sugar before serving and you'll get oohs and ahhs from your guests.

This dessert is my finishing touch to my 4-course "French meal" in honor of the opening of the movie called "Julie and Julia".


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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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