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….
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like a brownie. For those who claim they don’t like chocolate (I find this nearly impossible to fathom and figure deep, down inside they’re really closet chocoholics), there are blondies, a cousin of the brownie. These brownies have a rich chocolate flavor enhanced with a touch of espresso. What pushes them over the top is the marriage of chocolate and raspberry jam, raspberry extract and big chunks of white chocolate. The scent of baking chocolate and raspberry wafting through the kitchen is euphoric, trumped only by the moist, fudge-like texture, crispy crust and insanely rich flavor. Being uber easy to prepare and nearly impossible to mess up, makes this one of our most cherished ‘go to’ recipes that never needs an excuse for making. Served with homemade vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream or crème fraîche, makes this a dessert that can hold its own after any meal. Dressed up or down, this recipe never disappoints….
Winter’s harvest brings a barrage of root vegetables, their odd, earthy shapes giving us a glimpse into what goes on in the plant kingdom just below the earth’s surface. Although beets are a familiar root vegetable, many have a hard time remembering what they taste like. Really? I happen to love beets, not only for their sweet taste and texture, but just as much for their extraordinary color. My family does not share this passion, so I am always looking for creative ways to work beets into our diet. Dark chocolate is the perfect partner, not too sweet, but with intense flavor and color. Beets give this single layer cake a rich, moist crumb and an earthy sweetness….
A trip down memory lane
Reminiscing on some of our travels South of the Border, got me thinking about the foods and flavors we love the most. Everyone in our household is a full fledged heat lover and the bold flavors of the many chiles indigenous to Mexico and Central America are always hovering at the top of our favorites lists. Flashback to our time living in Costa Rica and the day my BFF’s grandfather, Miguel, taught us about making hot cocoa, rustic style, from the locally grown cacao beans.
After spending several hours roasting, crushing and working the cocoa nibs that would eventually become clumps of deliciously rustic chocolate, he wrapped it in a tattered cloth and proudly handed it over to his wife. …