My fondness for panna cotta is that it is truly a rustic dessert in that it is simplicity exemplified, requiring only a few basic ingredients. It is the quality of these ingredients that can propel it to a ‘salt of the earth’ perfection, so each ingredient must be the freshest and best you can get. Purists feel panna cotta should be savored solely in its naked splendor, yet it’s delicate flavor and texture are the perfect medium for infusing or pairing with an endless array of flavors (as we have done in this recipe). Although there is no written reference to this dessert prior to the 1960’s, it has since attained the status of a traditional Italian dessert, leaving one only to imagine the legend and lore of this recipe to be that of an immaculate conception or closely guarded tradition, passed down orally, from one generation to the next. …
When the cherry season rolls around, I never seem to tire of making this quintessential French dessert of cherries baked in a cream and egg base. Truth be told, I also make it with bottled or frozen cherries, plums and other stone fruits, but there is something reminiscent, something deja vu for me, when making it with fresh cherries. Ridiculously easy to prepare and very forgiving, a bonus for the inexperienced baker, clafoutis was one of my first forays into baking solo as a pre-teen. The resulting baked dish is a beautifully rustic yet notably elegant dessert, a feat the French seem to pull off so well. The perfect dinner party dessert, clafoutis is a win-win dish, leaving your guests gratified and duly impressed with your culinary prowess and you feeling accomplished and content. Older than you, me or any living person, it is as modern today as it was in Limousin, France some 200-300 years ago when it was first created. Truly a “keeper”, this is my “go to” recipe for seasonal stone fruits, a dinner party dessert or something quick and easy that is still special enough for guests. …
It isn’t too often that I use ‘pre-made’ ingredients in the desserts we make, as I like making most everything from scratch. This dessert includes not one, but two ‘pre-made’ ingredients, Nutella and Biscoff cookies, both delightfully delicious on their own. Paired with an espresso mousse, this dessert becomes shamefully sublime and a top contender in the surreptitious world of guilty pleasures….
The heat is on, as in blistering 90+ °F (32 °C) days, each bead of sweat resonating loud and clear that summer has arrived. We adore our quaint 90 year old house, the only drawback being that my favorite space, the kitchen, is not air-conditioned. During the weeks when the kitchen’s average temperature hovers in the 80’s at night, only to push into the high 90’s during the day, use of the oven transforms this beloved space into a blazing inferno, making it even more unbearable. Going without sweets is not an option in my household, so ice cream, frozen and unbaked desserts reign supreme during the summer months.
A family favorite, this custard base ice cream is deliriously rich from an abundance of egg yolks and has a smooth, creamy texture that is flavored with freshly scraped vanilla bean seeds. Topping it off is a chocolate magic shell coating, stirring up memories of soft serve cones dipped in a chocolate coating, that magically hardens upon contact….
Tasting the creamy, fresh flavors of homemade ricotta cheese for the first time stirs up feelings of ‘where have you been all of my life?’ Ridiculously easy to prepare makes it a no brainer when deciding whether or not there is enough time or energy to prepare it. With such a mild flavor, texture is everything and the remarkable difference in taste and texture between store bought and homemade more than seals the deal. Ricotta is widely used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes, making it a valuable ‘secret ingredient’ in a home cook’s repertoire….
Also known as Potatoes (Pommes) Anna, the original potato gratin is a classic French dish. Said to be created by Chef Adolfe Duglere in the 19th century and named after grande cocotte Anna Deslions, the dish became so revered that a specialty copper pan like this was designed specifically for ensuring a professional outcome when making it. Traditionally, it is prepared with clarified butter and seasonings (how could it not be delicious?) and then baked until the center is soft and buttery and the exterior, deliciously crispy. With its quick and easy, no-nonsense prep and enticing presentation, it is a quintessential holiday party dish, capable of holding its own amidst any holiday spread. Wanting to switch it up a bit for a slightly creamier texture, I swapped out the butter for heavy cream and added a few herbs. I was delighted that the fat in the cream helped form a slightly crispy crust with a creamy center….