Sweets Recipes

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

The idea of a gluten-free chocolate cupcake came up during a dinner with friends. Laura's husband has a gluten allergy and was telling me the challenges she faces. I found out that she often uses chickpea flour as a replacement for all-purpose flour.

Chickpea flour is common in savory dishes in Indian cuisine and is the main ingredient in paratha, a flat Indian bread. I was concerned that its heavy, grainy flavor would be too prominent and overwhelming for a dessert. I added a wide variety of flavorings like fresh ginger, cinnamon, rum, Medjool dates and of course chocolate to cover this up. The result was a dense chocolaty cake that has the internal consistency of fudge. The addition of cherry cream frosting is a nice complement to the fudgy cupcake and adds a bit of moisture to cover up any remaining grainy texture of the chickpea flour in the cupcake.


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Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta with Mint Jelly Recipe

I think I'm getting addicted to panna cottas. This dish is so easy to make. I still have a bunch of Meyer lemons from my garden and my herb box is already full of mint. As I was pulling the weeds out while gardening, it occurred to me that I could make a Meyer lemon panna cotta with a mint jelly. 

My husband loved it.  The lemon and mint go suprisingly well together, and the contrast in textures between the jelly and panna cotta brings another dimension to the dessert.


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Rose Panna Cotta with Grenadine Syrup and Crunchy French Pralines  Recipe

Panna cotta is a very easy recipe. It is as versatile as crème brulée or pot de crème. The base is just a dairy with a gelling agent like agar or gelatin. You can create your own signature version by adding your own twist to it. You can use different flavors like rose, strawberry, pandan, peppermint, mocha or any other savory flavor that you can imagine. It is a true culinary chameleon.  


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Date, Hazelnut and Chocolate filled Croissant-Shaped Rugelach Recipe

Lulu, my husband, has been asking for Rugelach for a while. He has fond memories of the rugelach that his best friend'smom would make when Lulu was a child. Rugelach which means little twists in Yiddish is rolled, filled pastries. It is not overly sweet. The filling can range from chocolate, to fruits, to nuts, and any combination of the three. I picked dates, hazelnuts and chocolate and I think the marriage is pretty successful as it tastes very similar to a Nutella-filled baklava.

I've never made it before and so when through some of my cookbook and found several recipes for the dish. In particular, I liked Martha Stewart's preparation from her cookbook Martha Stewart's cookies p. 288. I adapted it to my taste and to what I had available in my pantry.

I think that it's still kosher but I'm not sure if it's "kosher for Passover". I could have use brandy, extracts or date syrup but I chose not to, to respect the tradition.


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Mini Madeleine Muffins with Meyer Lemon Icing Recipe

The title is a mouthful, and so are these mini-muffins!  I used a base of a madeleine batter to create these bite-size treats for Easter.  The madeleine batter imparts a much richer, more buttery flavor than a traditional muffin mix.  I had a ton of Meyer lemons in my garden, and so I used the zest to brighten up both the batter and the icing.

The girls are on spring break, so I had lots of little hands helping out.  Everyone wanted to be in charge of sprinkles, but I was able to get them to do the measuring, pouring and spreading as well.  If you have children home on break and don't know what to do with them, cook!  You'll get to spend time with them, they'll have fun, and they will learn skills that will be valuable to them for their whole lives.

Madeleine Muffins with Meyer Lemon Frosting
Can you see the pink bunnies?


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