International Desserts Recipes

Halwa Dessert Empanada Recipe (International Desserts) Recipe

Halwa Dessert Empanada Recipe (International Desserts)

07.16.10 by Jackie

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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Coconut Milk Ice Cream Recipe with Chestnut Swirl Recipe

Coconut Milk Ice Cream Recipe with Chestnut Swirl

05.14.10 by Jackie

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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Meyer Lemon Sorbet Recipe Recipe

Meyer Lemon Sorbet Recipe

04.23.10 by Jackie

Sorbet is a very easy sweet treat to make. All you need is the right equipment to create the frozen dessert. I gathered the last crop of Meyer lemons from the garden and thought it would be nice to make a gourmet sorbet, adding ginger. Because it doesn't contain any fat or custard, sorbet takes a lot longer to churn and it tends to melt very easily. Often alcohol is added to the mix because it lowers the freezing point and keeps the product softer. I wanted to make the dessert kid-friendly, so after experimenting with stabilizers in my new eggless ranch dressing recipe, I decided to use the same combination of xanthan gum and lecithin in the sorbet. The result is an incredibly velvety texture that coats your tongue in a way that ice by itself just can't.

To add a contrast of color and texture to the sorbet, I paired it with blueberries sweetened with agave nectar. This is a tasty, yet healthy way to end any meal. Enjoy!


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Tarte Tatin aux Pommes (Upside down Apple Pie) Recipe

Tarte Tatin aux Pommes (Upside down Apple Pie)

01.17.10 by Jackie

Tarte Tatin sounds like a fancy dessert, but really, it's just an upside down caramel apple tart. I made a simple tart shell using dough called pâte brisée. Instead of filling the shell though, I placed slices of apples that were cooked in a caramel sauce into the mold and then covered them with the tart shell. The tarts then went into the oven to cook the shell. 

You really should eat these treats almost as soon as they come out of the oven. To plate, just flip each mold and the apples will now be on top. If you wait too long, the caramel will harden and it will be difficult to unmold.  If you flip the tart out and let it sit, the crust will get soggy. This has never been a problem at my house because the smell of freshly baking apples always manages to gather the entire family in the kitchen.


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