Sweets Recipes

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Pear and Chocolate Lava Cake Recipe Recipe

Yesterday morning I picked a basketful of ripe pears from our garden. I think there are probably about 60 more pears I can gather by the end of the season. Everyday, I give my little baby Aria fresh fruit and vegetables, and at already 10 months old, she clearly adores pears. I made a lot of compote de poire ("pear sauce" in English) and after Aria finished her portion, I used the remainder and made chocolate lava cakes. The molten chocolate center paired with chilled pear sauce is absolutely fabulous.

If you're looking to impress guests with an elegant chocolate dessert, search no more. I served this dish last evening for our special guest, a monk who came to visit all the way from 'Đà Lạt, Vietnam. He assured me he had never tasted something so good!

 


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Chocolate Almond Drink Recipe Recipe

Chocolate Almond Drink Recipe

08.29.12 by Jackie

Since I started working out intensely, I sometimes feel a little low on energy especially after my early morning workout before my infant daughter Aria wakes up. I've tried some of the commercially available protein drinks, and a few are ok, but when I have the time I make an almond chocolate drink. It's made of homemade toasted red rice powder (I've mentioned it in the past), ground almonds, almond milk, unsweetened cocoa powder and a natural sweetener. I usually pour it in a travel mug and enjoy it in the car later in the morning.  It's thick, nutritious and extremely filling. I'm usually less hungry at lunch time so a light salad is more than enough to stay satisfied until dinner.

I'll share more of the flavors I've developed soon. These drinks have become my grab-and-go "breakfast," once my little Aria wakes up and keeps me busy for the rest of the day. I'm no dietitian or medical expert, but I've noticed a boost of energy and I eat a lot less when lunch time comes.


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Peach Macadamia Tart Recipe Recipe

Peach Macadamia Tart Recipe

08.24.12 by Jackie

Since making the Hawaiian-inspired granola bars (by the way, don't forget to enter this week's Nuts About Granola giveaway that ends on Monday; fill in the box below ), I've been cooking with macadamias, which I love. Macadamia nuts have a rich, creamy taste and I thought they would pair incredibly well with the very last white peaches from our garden. 

I improvised on my standard tart recipe and created a creamy tart composed of a macadamia nut crust and macadamia and peach custard. I sweetened the dessert with smoked sugar from our friends at Bourbon Barrel. When served slightly warm with Häagen-Dazs macadamia nut brittle ice cream, seriously, who could resist? 

Whenever we have guests over, which we do frequently, I like to serve sweets. People can always make room for dessert and it's usually the thing people remember the most. This one will definitely make an impression!


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Marshmallow Dessert with Raspberry Coulis Recipe

If like me, you sometimes run out of time but still want to serve quick and easy dessert, give this marshmallow treat a try. I melted marshmallows into a creamy fluff and mixed with mascarpone cheese. This recipe utilizes a great shortcut: a blend of lecithin, xanthan gum and lemon extract as a binder, but of course you could firm up the cream with a regular egg custard.

I also made a delicious coulis de framboises ("raspberry sauce" in English) to brighten both the flavor and presentation of the dessert. The raspberries I used tasted great but weren't that visually appealing anymore. Sauces are always a great way to make use of the fruits in your kitchen that may have lost some of their sex appeal.

The main reason I made this dessert is that I have been feeling bad for my husband Lulu, who's whining a bit about how healthy our meals have become. It took me probably 20 minutes tops to assemble this beautiful dessert, so we both win! He's got it tough, hasn't he?


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Cherry Almond Tart Recipe Recipe

Cherry Almond Tart Recipe

06.15.12 by Jackie

I mentioned recently that my husband Lulu surprised me with a celebratory trip to the Napa Valley. We felt it was well deserved after completing the manuscript of my first cookbook (available for pre-order). We stayed at the Vintage Inn. We've been there  before and we've never been disappointed. The hotel is located in the heart of Yountville, within 3 blocks of what seems like the highest concentration of Michelin Star Restaurants in the world. The service was exquisite as usual with complimentary champagne breakfast buffet daily and a lovely afternoon tea service to boot. It's by far the best hotel breakfast I've ever had, ranging from petite pastries, freshly-made omelets, goat cheese walnut puffs and chocolate tartlets. What truly caught my attention was the delicious almond tart with seasonal fruit. I couldn't resist making the same dessert today to remind us of our trip, and as a huge thank you to Lulu for such a fabulous, memorable vacation. Of course, the restaurants were out of this world and the scenery was beautiful; but the highlight of the trip was relaxing with my husband and baby at this lovely hotel. If you visit Yountville, without a doubt, stay at the Vintage Inn!

The tart is made with a dense, almond filling and a large quantity of fresh cherries and blueberries. I made the crust with powdered sugar, toasted rice flour and regular all-purpose flour. The result is a wonderful fruit tart oozing with sweet fruits and a crunchy crust.


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