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Masala Chai Creme Brulee Recipe

Masala Chai Creme Brulee

02.05.10 by Jackie

This version of crème brulée is flavored with the spices that are used in masala chai. Cloves, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon give the dessert the distinct flavor of masala chai combined with the richness of a French custard. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but after the first bite it has become my favorite flavor. Don't get me wrong; lemon, butterscotch and green tea are great flavors, but the masala spices are absolutely intoxicating.

I'm not a big tea drinker, but whenever we have a party and serve masala chai, I end up drinking all the leftovers. What can I say, I'm addicted. Even though the flavors of this drink are fabulous, it's probably good that I don't drink this particular tea that often because of its high caffeine content. Masala chai crème brulée has as much caffeine as a cup of masala chai, along with all the fat that is found in a crème brulée. Something else to keep me awake at night!

Chai Tea Creme Brulee Recipe with Picture


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Pineapple and Persimmon Compote Recipe

Pineapple and Persimmon Compote

02.05.10 by Jackie

Pineapple persimmon compote is a nice way to end a winter meal. The warmth of the compote contrasts well with ice cream or crème fraîche (although I didn't add it). 

Persimmons are an obvious choice for a winter compote, but I know what you're thinking: pineapples? My sister-in-law Sunny got the pineapple from a friend as a combination birthday present / commemorative gift for the season premiere of "Psych". In case you're not familiar with it, "Psych" is a comedy / mystery show on USA TV. There's a running gag on the TV show where they hide a pineapple somewhere in each episode.


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Crepe Party: La Chandeleur Recipe

Crepe Party: La Chandeleur

02.02.10 by Jackie
Today (February 2nd) is La Chandeleur and crêpes are part of the French celebration. For those who don't know, a crêpe is a very thin pancake. The legend says that if you catch the crêpe flat (without it being wrinkled) with a pan after tossing it in the air with your left hand while holding a coin in your right hand, you will have a prosperous year until the next Chandeleur.



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Crepe Cake with Butterscotch Cream Recipe

Mille Crêpe, also known as Gâteau de Crêpe, is a multi-layered cake made out of crêpes. I spread layers of butterscotch buttercream in between each crêpe and topped the cake with thinly-sliced candied apples. This is quite time-consuming to make in miniature versions, but you can always make large crêpes and cut the cake into slices as you would with regular buttercream cakes.

I made the cake in honor of La chandeleur (Candlemas), which is celebrated on February 2nd. It's originally a Christian tradition that celebrates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple and also marks the end of the Epiphany season (Kings' galettes are made). I don't exactly know how crêpes became part of the French celebration of La Chandeleur, but I do know that they are an integral part of the festivities. There is a legend that says that on the day of La Chandeleur, if you're able to flip a crêpe and make it land properly (without it being wrinkled) in the pan without dropping it on the floor, you'll have a prosperous year. Originally,  prosperity referred to a bumper crop of grain, but with fewer and fewer people farming for a living, over time it's come to imply general wealth. In a way it's an enduring testament to the agrarian culture of yore. That culture has survived in other ways too; in fact the saying avoir beaucoup de blé, which literally means "To have a lot of wheat", is slang for "being wealthy".

If you want to practice, prepare the crêpe batter a couple of days in advance, cook a few, and try to flip them. It may not fill your pocketbook, but it's a great way to fill your tummy.


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Strawberry Mint Milano Cookies (Chocolate Sandwich Cookies) Recipe

February 14th is nearly on its way, and the color of these delicious strawberry-mint thin, crisp butter cookies is reminiscent of Valentine's Day. I'm planning a super romantic dinner for Lulu. I was home alone today, so I took the opportunity to start testing out some of the dishes to make a perfect Valentine's Day dinner.

Pink was the theme color I was looking for. I couldn't find strawberry-flavored white chocolate at the store, so I substituted pink-colored mint chocolate apeels and bought some strawberry extract. The sandwich cookies freeze well, so I stacked and stored them for Valentine's Day.

Unfortunately, after taste-testing the cookies I realized I forgot to make them heart-shaped! I was a little bummed out. If you're planning on making these cookies for your sweetie, draw hearts on the other side of the parchment paper with a pencil, and pipe the cookie batter along the line of the heart. Oh well, I'm sure Lulu won't mind!

** Note: The strawberry mint Milanos are pictured with tuile cookies.


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