Now that the Chrsitmas countdown is in the final stretch, we’ve got one thing and one thing only on our minds: dessert! Celebrate the holiday season with a handful of our favorite festive cakes from across the Web.
Nothing embodies the sweet taste of summer better than peaches. This week we’re rounding up a few of our favorite and innovative recipes starring the sweet and tangy stone fruit.
I’ll admit it. I’m not the best at making decisions, especially when it comes to matters of food. And when faced with a veritable buffet of ice cream flavors, I’m usually the annoying customer who greedily asks for her scoop in both a cup … and with a cone on top. Although I’ll remain forever loyal to my favorite flavors, the summer months present me with an opportunity to whip out my ice cream maker and get a bit eccentric.
When the heat is on, I keep it zen with a scoop of herb-infused Basil or Lemongrass Ice Cream. For something a bit heartier, leftover bacon does the trick when crumbled into a rich and smoky Bacon and Egg Ice Cream . Or if I’m really feeling extra daring, I’ll try earthy Porcini and Honey Ice Cream made with porcini power and thick drizzles of honey.
What’s the wackiest ice cream you’ve ever tried?
Sticky Toffee Pudding is one dessert that must be served steaming hot, otherwise you’re missing the full potential of what this British classic has to offer. The delicate, cake-like pudding is traditionally steamed and then glazed with a deep, caramel-colored toffee sauce. My Cooking Hut uses large Medjool dates with lots of soft, tender “meat” providing moisture and subtle prune-like sweetness. Top it off with warm custard or a scoop of your favorite ice cream.
Nothing welcomes in springtime like the slightly sweet floral notes of lavender infused into baked goods and desserts. Just a hint of this bluish-purple flower in a rich chocolate pie or in dense olive oil cupcakes will offer fresh flavors and fragrant opulence.
Photo: Romulo Yanes
One of my go-to suppers is a spicy Southeast Asian–inspired soup with chicken (or fish balls, if I’ve recently been to Bangkok Center Grocery in New York’s Chinatown), chiles, lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, and galangal. It’s not unlike this Thai-Style Chicken Soup with Basil, except I usually add noodles to make it a complete meal. You’re probably wondering what the comely dessert pictured above has to do with a Thai-style soup, so I’ll tell you—it’s nearly tasteless yet transformative tapioca. Tapioca is made from the cassava root and finds its way into puddings like the Orange Tapioca Pudding seen here, the pearls in Taiwanese bubble tea, as a thickener in pie fillings, and, in the case of my soup, tapioca noodles that release starch and give the dish a hearty, stew-like body.
Are you a tapioca fan? How do you use it?
Peanut butter lovers rejoice this week with seven of our favorite ways to incorporate with savory spread into classic and creative desserts. From cookies to caramel corn and donuts to pizza, satisfy your sweet and salty cravings with peanut butter-inspired desserts.
Why wait for Thanksgiving to start baking pumpkin pies? Take the mess out of baking with Back to her Roots’ portable version of this delicious fall dessert that you can cook directly in its serving jar. These Pumpkin Pie Pots use a thick, crumbly graham cracker crust in place of the traditional flaky bottom. Top the creamy confections with homemade maple whipped cream and cinnamon-flavored graham cracker sticks.
Photo: Kemp Minifie
Food foams are the first thing that pop into my head when the topic of molecular gastronomy comes up. Gastronaut chefs use nitrous oxide-fueled whipped cream canisters to generate their wild and wacky bubbles of flavor. But you don’t need a fancy gadget with laughing gas chargers to create foams at home. All it takes is a package of plain gelatin and a blender.
Aerating food into spume is nothing new. I know because I grew up with two desserts—coffee whip and lemon snow pudding—that were classics for my grandmother, but seem downright cutting-edge now. Continue reading
: Alejandra Ramos
Blog: Always Order Dessert
Location: New York City
What is your all-time favorite recipe from your blog?
I’m going to share two since I can’t pick between a sweet or a savory. My favorite sweet recipe is my Saffron Almond Cake with Peaches and Plums and my favorite savory recipe is my Chestnut, Bacon & Green Apple Soup.
If you had to blog about one ingredient every day for a year, what food it be?
Bread in all its many incarnations. And I would finish out the year happy and zaftig.
This week’s roundup transforms the sandwich into an indulgent, sweet and satisfying treat that will have you lingering around the dessert table all night long. Swap out the bread for cakes and cookies, and slather on the frosting to make these delectably sweet sammies.
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