Coffee Recipes

View All | View Summaries
Coffee and Cardamom Flavored Creme Caramel Recipe

Crème caramel is one of my favorite desserts. It's basically a rich custard with a layer of soft caramel. I dressed this one up with a little espresso powder and cardamom.

Making these desserts reminded me of my childhood. My mom would tell me every day not to eat anything before dinner, but after coming home from school, I would always make a beeline to the refrigerator when she wasn't looking. I would get one crème caramel, flip it onto a plate, and let the delicious caramel flow in every direction. It didn't last very long; I would inhale the dessert and lick all the caramel off the plate before I got caught. You would think that I wouldn't really have enjoyed the dessert because I ate it so fast, but there was something thrilling (and delicious) about sneaking a bite without anyone knowing.  Maybe that's why I named my site Pham Fatale.  I've been in the (food) espionage business for a long time!

These covert operations inevitably would make me too full for dinner. I know I was a terrible child! My parents always wondered why I never ate, and have probably been unaware of my antics until now. Sorry Mom!

I think, in America, crème caramel and flan can be used interchangeably.


Full Recipe...
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.


Full Recipe...
Sable Cookies (French Buttery Shortbread) Recipe

Sablé cookies are very famous in Brittany on the West Coast of France. They are very similar to shortbread, except they are made with egg yolks. They also have a characteristic sandy outside edge and they are very rich in butter. Sablés have a mild sweetness that is a perfect complement for sweet mousses or parfaits.

These cookies take me back in time to my childhood. I remember coming back from school and inhaling them with a huge glass of milk.

many sable


Full Recipe...
Coffee Tiramisu Parfait with Chocolate Raspberry Sauce Recipe

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. The combination of the mascarpone cheese filling with the strong flavor of the coffee syrup is to die for. Traditional tiramisu calls for ladyfinger cookies, but I used amaretti cookies because they are small and fit in the parfait glasses without having to break them.  I think amaretti cookies are delicious on their own or when paired with an espresso cappucino, but they take on a whole new life when used in this velvety Italian dessert. 

I prefer making tiramisu parfaits rather than the regular "family style" tray of tiramisu. The parfaits are easy to serve if you have a lot of mouths to feed, and they look very elegant whenever served at a formal dinner at home. The small portions will make your guests feel less guilty.


Full Recipe...
Ca Phe Sua Nong (Vietnamese-Style Coffee) Recipe

A while ago a guest brought us some Fair Trade coffee beans and it's been sitting in our pantry ever since.  We're not big coffee drinkers. The only coffee I ever make at home is Vietnamese coffee, and I only make it when we have guests over. To make cà phê sữa nóng (literally Hot Milk Coffee in Vietnamese) you need a strong coffee, and the dark, extra bold French roast blend from Africa that our guest gave us was perfect for the job. My husband's friend Andrew came over today and he is addicted to Vietnamese coffee, so I made him several cups. Somehow the caffeine does not seem to stop him even late in the evening...

Making the coffee took me back in time. It reminds me of the coffee I used to make for my dad when I was a little girl growing up in Paris. He still lives there today. I would fall into a trance-like state watching the coffee drip, drop by drop into the tall glass of luscious condensed milk. Later on, we got an espresso machine but I was still making coffee for my papa every morning. I think about you, Papounet. I miss you dearly.


Full Recipe...