Sweet Recipes

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Strawberries with Balsamic Syrup Recipe Recipe

At first, it might sound unusual to pair balsamic vinegar with fruit, but you'll be pleasantly surprised when it's reduced and sweetened with a little sugar. The intense, complex flavor really enhances the fruit. I made a sweet balsamic syrup and drizzled it over fresh strawberries that I had previously mixed with pure balsamic vinegar.

It's a great dessert to serve on hot days and as a bonus, it's healthy! Of course, the sweet balsamic reduction could be used on different sweets such as, frozen yogurt, ice cream or any fruit tart. When other varieties of fruit are in season, such as peaches, try grilling them and then adding the balsamic syrup. They're delicious!


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Carrot Halwa Cheesecake Recipe Recipe

Carrot Halwa Cheesecake Recipe

06.01.10 by Jackie

I just received a huge package of Walkers shortbread cookies (thanks so much Iza), and before my little munchkin goes through the entire package (she's already had 24 individual packets!), I wanted to prepare a sweet treat with them. I also had leftover carrot (gajar) halwa from a batch I made over Memorial Day weekend, so it made sense to combine the two items. After much deliberation, I decided to make an Indian-inspired cheesecake using the shortbread rounds. I mixed the halwa with cream cheese and cardamom syrup, then softened it with whipped cream and used the mixture as the filling. For the crust, I crushed several shortbread cookies and mixed them with butter.

The Indian flavors weren't overpowering at all. In fact they were actually quite subtle, and paired perfectly with the buttery flavor and mild sweetness of the shortbread crust. The dessert was a big hit,and has inspired me to try using both Indian sweets and shortbread in creative ways. Stay tuned!


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Coffee Cardamom Creme Anglaise Recipe Recipe

As a child, I remember being so crazy about crème anglaise that I would lick the plate clean whenever I drizzled the sauce over a quatre-quart ("pound cake" in French). When I first met my husband Lulu, I knew from the very beginning that he had a sweet tooth but I was shocked when he told me he found crème anglaise to be too eggy to his taste. I was determined to prove him wrong. To do this, I dressed it up with strong flavors; I made Vietnamese-style coffee using condensed milk and cardamom-flavored cream. I poured the sauce over salted caramel swirl ice cream.

Lulu loved it, unsurprisingly. Seriously, who can resist anything with half and half and condensed milk in it?


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Lemon Balm Tea Recipe (Herbal Iced Tea) Recipe

Lemon balm is known by many names, such as balm mint, bee balm, blue balm, cure-all, garden balm, honey plant, melissa, sweet balm or even sweet Mary. These names describe the properties of the herb very well. Lemon balm was dedicated to the goddess Diana, and used medicinally by the Greeks. It is believed that lemon balm tea is a tension reliever and enhances relaxation, especially in expectant women.

My husband Lulu planted lemon balm in our garden a couple of years ago. Like mint, lemon balm grows easily and requires very little maintenance. The first crop of leaves was ready to be used this week, and we were all looking forward to a tall pitcher of lemon balm iced tea. For optimum fragrance, I waited for a sunny day to pick the leaves. First, I bruised the leaves and infused them in hot water. I added simple syrup and lemon juice to balance the flavor. I then added ice cubes to bring down the temperature of the tea. After a little time in the fridge, it was ready to serve.

The tea is incredibly soothing. When you swirl it, you can see the reflection of the essential oils from the lemon balm on the surface of the drink. It definitely sets the mood for a lazy summer day.

Lemon Balm Tea Recipe with Picture


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Coconut Milk Ice Cream Recipe with Chestnut Swirl Recipe

This recipe proves that vegan doesn't always mean healthy. Coconut cream, coconut milk, sugar, pure vanilla extract, chestnut purée and stabilizers combine to make a vegan ice cream recipe that tips the scales at about 3000 calories per quart (that's 375 calories per serving). But there aren’t any eggs or dairy products!

I recently received a request for a vegan ice cream recipe from Leslie. It was the first time I tried making a vegan dessert. I made use of the same combination of stabilizers I use in other egg-free recipes, namely soy lecithin and xanthan gum. I increased the quantity to improve mouth-feel though. Xanthan gum in particular inhibits the formation of ice crystals, which create a more pleasing texture.

After tasting the final product, everyone in the house agreed that the ice cream strongly resembled chè, a very popular Vietnamese dessert. I hadn't anticipated that at all. Since I swirled the ice cream with chestnut purée, I thought it would have a more French flavor to it, but that was not the case. That's one of the things I love about cooking. I really enjoy experimenting, and the results of these culinary adventures can add completely new recipes to my repertoire.

My husband Lulu has decided to leave the ice cream maker on the kitchen counter until the end of summer to encourage us to make ice cream more often this year. I’ll post our concoctions on here all summer, so at least some good can come out of my impending weight gain. Stay tuned!


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