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Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse

Chocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse_Vegan-dessert_Merry-Christmas_Svetia_Yes,-more-please!

Chocolate, who can’t resist chocolate specially at this time of the year?…Dreaming of luscious chocolate desserts, this Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse recipe it’s the ticket for a simple crowd pleaser dessert. You would not believe how free of everything this mousse is. It should be called “Chocolate Freedom”. The truth is, If you want to make a dessert suited for all guests, taste good for all palates, and diverse diets you are at the right place.

For me, Chocolate Mousse is the perfect ending dessert for a dinner party. You can prepare it ahead, its no fuss, looks gorgeous, and suits all crowds. This recipe, especially suits guests with diverse diets: dairy-free, gluten-free,  sugar-free, nut-free, grain-free, egg-free, all free diet situations. I feel people with food sensitivities are often neglected, or end up with fruit as a dessert, why not go the extra mile? On the other hand for the cooks at home its always a little stressful to think or trying to cook or bake with un-familiar ingredients, well I got you covered, this recipe is also easy on the Cook. Simple ingredients, a few simple steps and your guests will appreciate you going the extra mile. Its is always nice to make the effort to make a happy ending dessert for everyone especially during the holiday season.

Read the recipe very carefully, and please, do not make faces; yes I can see you from here frowning about avocado and chocolate. I was one of those people as well. Now I’m converted. To be honest, once you try this combination I know you’ll be converted too. Let’s talk a little about it.

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Fig Honey Kefir Tart with Pecan Date Crust

Summer-Fig-Tart_Yes,-more-please!

Figs…an  inverted flower fruit, sweet, with a sexy shape. I often crave their flowery delicate sweetness and incredible texture. I remember the first time I had a fig I was at a little orchard on a “Family Sunday Comida” in a little town out side the city. My Grandpa Alfredo had a cousin with a great house, a ridiculously oversized pool, and a fruit orchard. You can imagine that for a kid this combination was heaven. I had a place to run, to swim, discover fruits, plants while the adults were too busy playing dominos, cards, laughing out loud, and macerating their happy Sunday souls in Tequila. Hehehe… no worries Mexican mothers were always around watching over us.  Moms, aunts, great-aunts were in the kitchen serving food plates, and every so often screamed at us “Be careful!, get down from that tree!, No more!, A comer!… you get the family situation.

Trino, was my Grandpa’s cousin’s name. I remember he gathered all the kids and told us we could cut every fruit we want, as long we ate it. Then he cut a handful of figs and handed one fig to each kid, whiled he explained what we needed to look for on a ripe fig; “Look for a dark purple color and a honey smell”. With that little said, we all kids had a mission, but first we tried the figs he handed us. At first I did not know what to do, how to eat it, or what to think about this strange looking black-purpled fruit, but when I decided to bite into it, my eyes opened wide and my taste buds went crazy.  After one fig bite, I wondered where have figs  been all my short life and why don’t all fruits taste like figs. Soft and warm from the sun, utterly sweet and floral, all in one cosmic bite; it made me think that the bees around the area could start chasing me if I kept eating the figs from the tree.

Summer-Fig-Tart_Fresh-figs,-Kefir-Cheese,-Dates,-Pecans-Gluten-free-crust,-free-bake-tart_

Since then figs have stolen my heart. I look for them when in season, if possible. Black Mission figs are my favorite because of their flavor, texture, color and because it brings back these memories. Figs are one of the few things I like in purple. Texas has a brief fig season June-July mostly. It is August I know but I ran into these California Mission figs and I could not say no to them.

This tart is a no-bake fresh dessert. It combines all what I love in a Summer dessert; fresh fruit, something light, creamy, and cold with out being overly sweet. The crust its a combination of Pecans and Walnuts, dates cardamom and orange blossom water. A breeze to make with the help of a food processor. Despite the use of dates, this crust is just sweet enough. For the creamy component I chose Kefir Cheese and a drizzle of honey mixed into it. This makes a silky and tangy cloud for the fig slices to snuggle.  Two layers of fresh fig slices, chopped, toasted pecans, salt flakes, a drizzle of honey or Balsamic, make this irresistible. Besides it is a really good source of delicious healthy treat. Despite the figs and the dates, this little tart is made with 8-10 dates which amounts around one date per person, A good handful of nuts and good oils, and the tastiest creamy, dreamy, probiotic Kefir cheese its a must! sorry I would not dare to suggest a substitution on this one, trust me.

An incredible dessert and simple to make this Summer, this Fig Tart is truly love at first bite.

Summer-Fig-Tart_ingredients_easy-dessert

Just make it its delicious!, for the recipe you will need….

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Devil’s Chocolate and Ganache Cake…get happy!

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_close up delight

Chocolate, One of the most beautiful words in the world!… Just to say the word makes me happy, and reminds me of the Judy Garland song… when I’m making this Devil’s Chocolate and Ganache Cake. I always think positive thoughts. When it comes out of the oven, Hallelujah!.. get happy… forget your troubles…you better chase all you cares away… Oh yeah! That’s how happy this chocolate cake makes me. And well what else is there to say about the comfort that brings you when you bake your own cake?. The whole house smells like warm endorphins that activate your happy brain cells.
It’s a simple batter. You’ll need one bowl or two, and the best quality butter and cocoa powder you can get. The better your ingredients, the better results you will get.
That’s one of the keys when you are baking: always use good quality ingredients (from the eggs to the vanilla extract). If you care about them, it will be fantastic!. All ingredients when you are baking MUST be at room temperature. Read the recipe twice. Measure everything correctly using measuring cups for dry ingredients and a larger liquid measuring cup for wet ingredients. Get in the baking groove, nice music, enjoy yourself…
Here is some music link that will set your baking mood…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGk3tY4yP7k

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_Coseup slice

Devil’s Dark Chocolate Cake… get happy!

Makes 1 -12 cup bundt cake

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped *
½ cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ – ¾ cup dutch Process cocoa Powder (Valrhona, Cocoa Barry)
1 tablespoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup strong-brewed coffee -not hot just warm.(I used Medaglia D’Oro instant espresso powder)
1 cup of butter milk ( or 1 cup of whole milk + 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice)
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat the oven 350F / 176C
Butter and dust with cocoa a 12 cup bundt pan.
Melt the bitter sweet chocolate, using a double boiler on low heat, stirring constantly. Scrape the melted chocolate into a medium size bowl and let cool slightly.
Whisk in the melted butter, oil, and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and mix.
In a small bowl, Mix the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt.
Start by combining half of the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture along with ½ cup of the coffee and ½ a cup of the butter milk. Whisk until smooth. Add the remaining dry ingredients, coffee and butter milk and whisk. until smooth.
Poor the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for about 10-15 minutes, then turn it out and let it cool completely.

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_baking chocolate

* My favorites: 70% Cacao Bittersweet Scharffen Berger, 72% bitter-sweet Michael Cluizel, El Rey Venezuelan chocolate, 70%- 80% Callebaut.

Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup heavy cream
10 oz. Semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate finely chopped.
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
1 tablespoon of brandy or cognac or any liquor of your preference. ( omit this ingredient if cooking for kids)

Method:

In a small pot heat the heavy cream until small bubbles form around the pan ( do not let it boil)
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium size bowl, pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate let it stand for 3-4 minutes so the chocolate warms through. Whisk gently until the mixture is smooth, add butter mix until is melted, add the liquor mix. Add the agave nectar for a shiny finish.

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_How to make Ganache

Spoon the Ganache over the cake… save extra for plating.. for when you want a little more …

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_spreading ganache
Sprinkle cayenne pepper or cinnamon for a little  accent on the cake…

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_Cayenne

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_ with cayenne

Get happy, Chocolate cake!

Music Pairing:Judy Garland “Get Happy”

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Peach & Cinnamon Trifle

Peach & Cinnamon Trifle_fresh Texas Peaches ~ Yes, more please!

Peach & Cinnamon Trifle_beautifull and smells amazing!~ Yes, more please!

Let me count the ways to summer dessert submission… I’ve had many Trifles in my life. Usually, a Trifle is a cold dessert that consists of multiple layers of sponge or pound cake cut into cubes, soaked in liquor, rum or syrup, thick custard, fresh fruit and whipped cream. All the layers are arranged beautifully on the glass so you can see the beautiful colors. From this premise, everything can go deadly wrong or you can orchestrate a sinful chaos. For example, using store-bought cake, instant pudding from a little box, frozen fruit, conspicuous jellies with brilliant colors and the abominable “whipped topping”.

And then there are the ones prepared with a little more effort that includes brioche bread, fruit liquors, crème anglaise, heavy cream whipped with vanilla bean, and delectable fresh fruits…No matter what they are made of trifles end up appealing to the eye and are most often all soft and mushy, with uniform texture. This is not good at all… I want and I seek the contrast in textures and flavor spectrum in my palette from beginning to end. Why not reconfigure the construction a bit?… Creamy, crunchy, juicy; that sounds better already!… This Trifle by any means has fancy written on it. In fact, it is the antithesis of fancy dessert. It is the greatest collaboration of the right ingredients, in the right place and at the right time. It mimics it’s Italian cousin the Tiramisu.

Let’s call it the Texan Tiramisu. I start my recipe with a craving for crunch: almonds, and ladyfingers (Savoiardi). For Creamy: no whipped toppings for me! I want light and sweet almost feathery silky mascarpone cheese. For juicy: Texas peaches. And a little acidity from the orange juice, orange liquor, and great aromatic touch of cinnamon is a simple sinfulness. In the hot summer months, you will find it difficult to avoid coming back for an extra serving of this fresh and light delicious dessert.

Peach & Cinnamon Trifle_scrumptious summer dessert ~ Yes, more please!

Peach & Cinnamon Trifle_bite me! ~ Yes, more please!

Peach and Cinnamon Trifle

Serves 6-8

The juice of 2 oranges and the zest of one

2 shots of Orange Liquor (2-3 ounces)

12 pieces of ladyfingers (Savoiardi)

8 oz of Mascarpone Cheese

¼ cup of heavy cream

¼ cup powder sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or Vanilla bean paste

½ teaspoon of almond extract

¼ cup chopped roasted almonds

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

Powder sugar for final dusting.

Basil if you like to garnish with.

 

 Method:

In a 2”- 3”shallow dish, Whisk the Orange juice, the orange zest, 2 shots of orange liquor, one pinch of cinnamon, and 1-2 tablespoons of agave nectar or powder sugar. Taste the mixture adjust for sweetness if necessary. Arrange the ladyfingers on the bottom of the dish in a single layer ( see picture below).

In a separate bowl, with a rubber spatula, mix the Mascarpone, the heavy cream, vanilla bean or extract with some orange zest until smooth. Proceed to spread this mixture over the layer of ladyfingers. Slice the peaches thinly, and add some orange juice, almond extract, and cinnamon. Toss the macerated peaches well in a bowl and place them over the mascarpone layer. For the topping, sprinkle the chopped roasted almonds and some cinnamon. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Dust with powder sugar at serving time.

Peach & Cinnamon Trifle_step by step ~ Yes, more please!Peach & Cinnamon Trifle_almonds t, the final touch~ Yes, more please!

~ Fresh peaches, the ideal summer dessert ~

Peach & Cinnamon Trifle_the ultimate summer dessert ~ Yes, more please!

Peach and Cinnamon Trifle

Serves 6-8
Course Dessert
Cuisine Americana
Prep Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • The juice of 2 oranges and the zest of one
  • 2 shots of Orange Liquor 2-3 ounces
  • 12 pieces of ladyfingers Savoiardi
  • 8 oz of Mascarpone Cheese
  • ¼ cup of heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powder sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or Vanilla bean paste
  • ½ teaspoon of almond extract
  • ¼ cup of chopped roasted almonds
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Powder sugar for final dusting.
  • Basil if you like to garnish with.

Instructions

  1. In a 2”- 3”shallow dish, Whisk the Orange juice, the orange zest, 2 shots of orange liquor, one pinch of cinnamon, and 1-2 tablespoons of agave nectar or powder sugar. Taste the mixture adjust for sweetness if necessary.
  2. Arrange the ladyfingers on the bottom of the dish on a single layer.
  3. In a separate bowl, with a rubber spatula, mix the mascarpone, heavy cream, vanilla bean paste or extract with some orange zest whip until smooth.
  4. Proceed to spread this mixture over the layer of ladyfingers.
  5. Slice the peaches thinly, and add some orange juice, almond extract, and cinnamon. Toss the macerated peaches well in a bowl and place them over the mascarpone layer. If desired, make 2. or even 3 layers if you want!

  6. For the topping, sprinkle the chopped roasted almonds or pecans, dust with cinnamon. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Dust with powder sugar at serving time. Enjoy!

Music paring: SEnd me a Peach – Over the Garden Wall Soundtrack

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