Sweets Recipes

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Asian-Style Strawberry Napoleon Recipe (Mille-feuille Fraise Noix de Coco Dessert) Recipe

Mille-feuille, called "Napoleon" in the U.S., is a very popular French dessert. Traditionally [according to Wikipedia], a mille-feuille is made up of three layers of puff pastry, alternating with two layers of cream pâtissière, but sometimes whipped cream or jam. The top is usually glazed with icing or fondant in alternating white (icing) and brown (chocolate) strips, and combed.

I’ve made traditional mille-feuilles many times before, and I was in the mood for a change. I assembled a gluten-free version using layers of Vietnamese coconut paper called bánh phông sữa. They are paper-thin sheets made of coconut milk, sugar, cassava and condensed milk. I flavored the dessert with fresh strawberries and a coulis de fraise, which is a strawberry sauce. This dessert is bake-free and so easy to create, that I had the girls do the assembly. They had so much fun putting them together and even more making them disappear!


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Halwa Dessert Empanada Recipe (International Desserts) Recipe

My father-in-law loves Indian sweets, so we make gajar halwa (carrot Indian sweets) very often at home. There was still leftover by the end of the day, and you know my motto: "waste not, want not!". I've made a carrot cheesecake recently using halwa. This time, I was inspired by the pistachio galettes des Rois I made earlier this year. I addded ground pistachios and kewra to keep the Indian-themed ingredients and folded the halwa mixture as if I was making a tarte amandine, using a different type of nut cream. I finally wrapped the carrot cream in puff pastry, empanada-style and  can be served with powdered sugar or drizzled with kewra syrup.

These little puff pastries pair perfectly with hot mint tea. Next time you have friends over for tea, this is the perfect treats that are both so unique and reminiscent of oriental sweets. Enjoy!

Dessert Empanada Recipe with Picture
Set of dough presses.


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Loquat and Strawberry Pate de Fruits Recipe (French Fruit Jelly Candies) Recipe

These ancient sweets are called pâte de fruits "maison". "Maison" means house in French. The candies are very easy and require only a few ingredients: fruit pulp, pectin and sugar. The flavor is similar to fruit leather, but with a softer texture.

I made strawberry fruit purée and added fresh loquats as well. The key is to use freshly picked, extremely ripe, naturally sweet fruits to ensure optimum flavor. Once the fruit pulp is cooked, you'll need to air-dry the candies for at least 12 hours, cut them and roll them in sugar. The texture should be soft and the taste should be fruity, without being overly sweet.

I usually make these candies when I have very ripe fruits in the garden. You could make them from any fruit purée, such as blackberries, quince, blueberries, cherries, lemon, gooseberries, cantaloupe, peach or plum. Let your imagination run wild! I've always found making homemade candies so much fun because of how flexible the recipes are.

These "mignardises" (pretty, delicate sweets in French) are delicious to take to a picnic or as homemade gifts. That is, if you don’t finish them off first!


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Agar Agar Cherry Panna Cotta Recipe Recipe

Agar agar panna cotta is my way of making a light dessert suitable for a strict vegetarian diet. Agar agar powder is a good gelatin substitute for vegetarians. It's derived from seaweed and is cooked the same way you would gelatin. It's widely used in Asia, especially for making rau câu (Vietnamese jello cake).

This time around I decided to flavor the panna cotta with cherries. I incorporated fresh fruit, cherry extract and a little red food coloring to make the dessert more appealing. We have some very pretty verrines which I used as the molds. It’s a tasty summer dessert with definite visual appeal!

 


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Mango Carrot Mousse Recipe (Verrines de Mousse de Carottes) Recipe

This mango carrot mousse recipe is a refreshing escape from everyday ingredients. It has an Asian flair to it because of the use of mango, ginger and cinnamon. To the mango mousse, I added shredded carrots cooked in milk and agave nectar. I purposely didn't blend the carrots with the mascarpone cheese  in a food processor so there would still be a slightly coarse texture to the mousse, which I find very pleasant.

Whenever I'm on a quest to make a new dessert, I always keep in mind that most people appreciate  a little decadence. Serving the mousse in small verrines is a great way to keep rich desserts from becoming excessive, and it also makes the desserts more elegant. It will keep the dessert fans in your life coming back for more!


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