Displaying items by tag: desserts

White chocolate can be temperamental. Be cautious about overheating it or overbeating because it will curdle. You can use any type of grapes for this dish, but dark blue wine or concord grapes are especially delicious if you can find them.


1 bunch grapes, frozen

3/4 cup whipping cream

¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

½ teaspoon kosher salt

8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped pistachios


Place grapes in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

Combine cream, butter and salt in a heavy pot over medium heat and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until melted and uniform. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for about 4 hours, or until chocolate has set and mixture has thickened.

Beat with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds, or until soft peaks form.

Spoon mousse into glass dishes and top with frozen grapes and pistachios. Serves 4. 

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You can buy white chocolate ice cream, or make this simple recipe.

¼ cup whipping cream

100 grams white chocolate

500 grams softened vanilla ice cream

Bring whipping cream to a boil and pour over white chocolate. Stir until liquid.

Stir in softened ice cream. If the cream becomes chunky, don't worry, it still tastes great. Refreeze.

Sprinkle a little liqueur of your choice on some blueberries and spoon over ice cream. Serves 4.

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A kid’s delight. A bit like a Rice Krispies square only much better. This is also great with either dark or milk chocolate.


Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ready time: 2.5 hours (including cooling time)

Servings: Serves 4, with lots of leftovers for lunch boxes and snacks



1 cup blanched almonds

1 cup dried apricots, chopped

2 cups Rice Krispies

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

500 grams (1 pound) white chocolate

1/2 cup whipping cream



1/2 cup dark chocolate chips



Preheat oven to 375 F.

Roast almonds on a baking tray for 10 minutes, tossing almonds half way until golden brown and fragrant. Coarsely chop.


Line an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the sides.

Combine almonds, apricots, Rice Krispies, ground ginger and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Melt white chocolate over low heat in a heavy bottom pan with cream. When it is liquid and smooth, stir into dry mixture. Pour into tray. Melt dark chocolate chips over low heat in a heavy pot. When melted, use the tines of a fork to streak chocolate over the dessert. Refrigerate to set for 2 hours or until you need it. Remove from fridge half an hour before needed and cut into squares.

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Always the finest way to serve chocolate, this is often called chocolate volcano because of its rich, solid exterior and oozing saucy interior. Serve with whipped cream. The mixture can be made ahead and refrigerated. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before baking to allow it to come to room temperature. Make sure the muffin tins are well greased for easy removal of the cakes. This makes more than 2 cakes, so if you can restrain yourself from eating them all, they make a decadent breakfast.

225 grams (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate

1/3 cup unsalted butter

3 tablespoons sugar

3 egg yolks

2 egg whites

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Butter 5 deep, non-stick large muffin cups and set aside.

Melt chocolate and butter together in a heavy pot over low heat. Cool slightly.

Beat together sugar and egg yolks with an electric mixer until thick and creamy, about 3 minutes.

Pour in chocolate-butter mixture and beat together for 5 minutes or until chocolate lightens in colour and thickens.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Fold into egg yolk mixture along with flour.

Divide batter between muffin cups. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until edges are just cooked and centre is still liquid.

Cool for 5 minutes in tins. Carefully remove to serving dishes. Serve with lightly whipped cream. Serves 2 with leftovers.

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A deeply satisfying chocolate cake without butter, eggs or milk. Use the best bittersweet chocolate you can find and read the ingredient list carefully to make sure it doesn't contain any milk solids.


3/4 cup water

4 ounces (125 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


4 ounces (125 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line the base of a 9-inch round spring form pan with parchment paper.

Place water and chocolate in a small heavy pot over medium-low heat and stir until chocolate is almost fully melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is well combined. Stir in oil and vanilla and set aside.

Combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl and stir with a fork until uniform. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Pour vinegar on top of batter and use a fork to incorporate it into the batter as quickly as possible. There will be pale swirls in the batter from the baking soda and vinegar reacting. Stir just until vinegar is evenly distributed. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let cake cool fully in pan, then run a knife around the edge to loosen it from the sides. Remove sides of pan, carefully invert cake onto a plate, remove bottom of pan and peel off parchment paper. Use another plate to turn cake right side up.

Place cake on serving plate and make glaze. Place chocolate, water and maple syrup in a small heavy pot over medium-low heat and stir until chocolate is almost fully melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is shiny. Allow to cool for 5 minutes or until it has thickened slightly, and then spread glaze evenly over top of cake. Serves 8 to 10.

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If you like, yogurt can be substituted for the whipping cream. To contrast with the richness of the cream, I have added peppery apricots to the mix. Use plump dried apricots for the best flavour.

Prep time: 1 hour, including cooling time 

Ready in: 65 minutes 

Serves: 4



2 teaspoons peppercorns

3/4 cup ice wine or other sweet wine
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
16 dried apricots
1 cup mascarpone
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup whipping cream
Place peppercorns in a tea ball or wrap in cheesecloth.
Combine ice wine, orange juice and ginger in a pot over medium heat. Add tea ball or wrapped peppercorns, then add dried apricots and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until apricots plump up and liquid has reduced, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool in liquid and reserve.
Chop apricots, reserving 4 for garnish. Strain liquid, reserving the peppercorns for garnish and the liquid for a glaze. Whip cream until it holds soft peaks. Blend together mascarpone, whipped cream and vanilla in a bowl.
Place a couple of tablespoons of mascarpone mixture in a wine or parfait glass. Add a spoonful of apricots and some reserved liquid, top with more mascarpone and liquid, garnish with a whole apricot. Repeat with remaining 3 glasses. Sprinkle a few peppercorns over for garnish.
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1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon anisette liqueur

1 tablespoon orange flower water

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoon lemon juice

4 tart apples, peeled, cored and diced in 1-inch pieces



Melt butter with brown sugar, anisette liqueur, orange flower water and salt in a medium skillet over high heat. When mixture liquefies, reduce heat to low and let it bubble until it begins to thicken and turn deep golden, about two minutes. Add apples and simmer for five minutes or until softened and coated with caramel sauce. Cool in sauce and serve warm with cake.

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This tasty tart tastes similar to cheese cake, but the texture is more pudding-like. Serve with caramelized apples. Corn flour is available at health-food stores.


Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ready time: 3 hours including cooling time



1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons corn flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

250 grams (8 ounces) good-quality cream cheese

6 eggs

2 teaspoons anisette liqueur

1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water, optional



Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a nine-inch cake pan and line bottom with parchment.

Stir cornstarch with corn flour and all-purpose flour. Set aside.

Beat butter with sugar and cream cheese until smooth, about one minute. Beat in eggs one at a time, and then add anisette liqueur and orange blossom water. Beat in flour mixture. The mixture will be thin.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn out cake and cool fully. Serve sliced with caramelized apples or fresh fruit.

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The fifth taste, umami, has much to do with glutamate, an amino acid found in such foods as prosciutto, soy sauce and a number of cheeses. Umami can show up in your glass, too (fermentation is glutamate’s old friend).


Preparation time: 1 hour (including chilling time for pastry)

Ready time: 2 hours

Servings: 6 to 8



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut in cubes

1 cup white cheddar, shredded

6 to 8 tablespoons cold water

10 cups sliced cored, peeled mixed apples (about 6 to 7 large apples such as Honeycrisp, Gala, McIntosh and Pink Lady)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

3 tablespoons tapioca flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon milk



To make the pastry, combine flour, salt, butter and cheese in a food processor. Pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle with cold water and toss with your fingertips or a rubber spatula, adding more water if needed until pastry holds its shape when squeezed between the fingers. Gather pastry together and divide it into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten each into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.


Preheat oven to 425 F.

Roll out the larger portion of the pastry on a lightly floured surface, making the piece wide enough to fit an 8-inch pie plate and leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Chill until needed. Roll out the second piece to be used for the top of the pie. Place on a piece of plastic wrap and chill.

For the filling, combine apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and allspice in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently for 5 minutes or until apples just begin to soften. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes to absorb more of the syrup that will have formed in the pan. Stir in tapioca flour.

Remove pie plate from fridge and heap the contents of the skillet into the pie shell, mounding apples in the middle. Dot with butter. Cover with top layer of pastry, seal edges and crimp. Brush with egg wash. Cut small steam vents in the top of the pastry. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350 F and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden, apples are tender and juice is bubbling. If pastry begins to brown too quickly, cover with a sheet of parchment paper.



Coteaux du Layon: How about honey, apricot and lemon to go with your pie? The sweet wines of Coteaux du Layon in the Loire Valley, based on chenin blanc, add a splash of magic to baked apple desserts.


(Photo by Ryan Szulc)

Excerpted from The Flavour Principle © 2013 by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol. Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Cooked plums are under appreciated, but these squares will have you on the bandwagon. Small Italian prune plums work best for this recipe.


Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ready time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Servings: 4 with leftovers that keep 3 days refrigerated



11/2 cups flour

1/3 cup icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

500 grams (1 pound) prune plums, about 12

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1/4 cup chopped pistachios (optional)



Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line an 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang.

Mix together flour, icing sugar, salt, cinnamon and butter in a food processor or by hand until well blended. The mixture will look like fine breadcrumbs. Place 2 cups in a bowl and gently combine. Gently pat into an 8 x 8 greased pan. Prick with a fork. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is a creamy gold.

Slice the plums into quarters lengthwise. Remove pits and stems. Toss gently with brown sugar and lime zest. Arrange plums on the crust skin-side up. Squeeze them in to fit. Add chopped pistachios to remaining crumbly dough (if desired), and sprinkle on top of fruit.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until top is golden, mixture is bubbling and fruit is tender. Remove from oven and cool in pan on a wire rack until room temperature. Lift from pan and cut into squares.

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