When I was little I lived in Philadelphia, just steps from an ice cream parlor. At the time I didn’t know what Philadelphia-Style ice cream was, nor would I have cared. All I knew was that the ice cream was cold, creamy and delicious.
Fast-forward 40 years and I am brought back to this memory by a desire for chocolate ice cream. I’d usually make my favorite “French” custard base, which results in a rich, creamy, luscious ice cream, but I wanted it fast and without fuss. The French-style requires making an egg custard and then adding flavors. But, this is by no means the only way to make fantastic ice creams. The eggless version is often referred to as Philadelphia-style, which is just cream, sugar and lots of flavor. The texture is a bit lighter but no less delicious, and it is so simple and fast to put together.
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Rhubarb is one of those ingredients that people either adore or avoid. I fall into the former, and use it as much as possible during its rather short growing season. I’ve made it into crisps, pies and even eaten it raw, dipped in sugar (which is admittedly hard core).
Combining the mouth puckering sour flavor of rhubarb with sweet, creamy honey ice cream base may just be the perfect marriage. I think this is going to turn even the most ardent rhubarb haters, into its biggest fans. For those of you who just can’t get enough of it, spoon some of the remaining ruby-red rhubarb sauce over the top.
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This Pot de Creme is like a turbo-charged version of butterscotch pudding. The texture is like silk and the taste is sweet, with just a slight bitter edge from the burnt sugar in the butterscotch. Cooking the butter and brown sugar together until it is smoking hot is the key to the flavor. If you don’t bring them to the brink of burning, the pudding will be way too sweet for my taste. The creme fraiche (young sour cream) is unsweetened and the perfect balance for the pudding.
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St. Patrick’s day is a time to turn everything green in honor of the Irish Saint. This creamy cheesecake with festive green stripes is perfect to serve after corned beef, cabbage and a Guinness. Using fresh mint makes the rich cake as bright in flavor as it is in appearance.
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One of my all-time favorite comfort foods is a fresh loaf of banana bread, still warm from the oven. To create a decadent dessert, I have combined that simple loaf with a velvety chocolate ganache. Top it with a spoon of crème fraiche or a scoop of chocolate ice cream, and the result is an elegant comfort food fit for any occasion — even breakfast.
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Roses are red, chocolate is divine and hearts are pure romance; all the essentials to the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert. These little gems are Devil’s food layers filled with raspberry cream and covered in glossy chocolate ganache.
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Craving a decadent dessert, but still want to keep it light? It isn’t an impossible request. Pavlova is a sweet pillow of crisp meringue, topped with tart lemon curd and fresh berries. This low fat treat is full of bright flavors, so you’ll never miss the calories. You can even add a touch of bittersweet chocolate without giving up on your New Year’s Resolution. It is as lovely and elegant as the Russian ballerina it was named after.
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Too often carrot cake seems like a throw back to the 70s, when they were dense and tasted ultimately too good for you. This version is moist, sweet and has a complex combination of spices and zest that all come through. Adding a bit of lemon to the icing brings out the bright flavors of the cake and the Lyle’s Golden Syrup kicks over the top. I think the creamy topping is key to the success of the carrot cake! In fact, I make a really large batch and always have a bit left over to spread on toast.
Continue Reading Holiday Desserts: Coconut-Frosted Carrot Cake
When planning the same holiday year after year, how do you keep your celebration fresh and interesting while maintaining a sense of tradition? We asked our favorite bloggers and food people to share what’s inspiring their Thanksgiving planning this year. From ancestor’s recipes and falling leaves, to beautiful piles of ingredients and thoughtful home decor, there was no shortage of imagination. See what motivates some of the most creative minds we know, and then start planning your annual feast.
Thanksgiving dinner isn’t really complete until dessert hits the table. Preferably there will be several to choose from, and at least one should be pumpkin. It is the time of year that this orange gourd graces our plates, and it deserves to be center stage. I adore traditional pumpkin pie, but by no means should you be limited to that alone. It is also fantastic mixed with apples and streusel in a cake, or baked with brandy into a cheesecake and adorned with candied cranberries. One of my all-time favorites is pumpkin bread pudding, which can also serve as breakfast the next morning. Next to all the pumpkin desserts there should be a caramel spice pear cake, and perhaps a spiky coconut meringue layered torte.
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Before I had two boys it would never have occurred to me to put spiders on a cake. Thank god for little boys! Of course, there are deeper things that I have learned since parenting, but seeing the world through their eyes has made me happier, younger and sillier, which is such a gift.
Spiders on a cake are just plain creepy and a whole lot of fun. The marble cake will satisfy your cravings for both vanilla and chocolate. Nutella buttercream and bittersweet ganache spiders are the perfect finishing touches.
Continue Reading A Creepy, Crawly Spider Cake Recipe for Halloween