Food Blogs


  • Click to Join the Foodie Blogroll

Blog powered by TypePad
Bookmark and Share

Dessert Recipes

23 June 2008

Chocolate Pasta? You've got to be kidding!


I kid you not: chocolate fettuccine. While some might balk at such a combination, I whole-heartedly welcomed the chance to try something so novel.

On a recent trip to Seattle's famed Pike Place Markets I spotted the extraordinary pasta when squeezing my way through the ravenous Saturday crowds. 

The dried chocolate pasta and a whole range of interesting artisan noodles are sold at Papparadelles Pasta stand.

I served the pasta at a dinner party for dessert but it was more like the main course of the meal. I served it with cream which I had whipped until it was frothy and then mixed with a freshly made raspberry sauce. I added a dash of cointreau to the cream for a subtle citrus aroma.

A pasta dish isn't ready until it's been topped with some cheese so I grated on some dark, semi-sweet chocolate.

The verdict: it was a hit. But honestly, it wasn't out-of-this-world mind-blowing. I think it was more a combination of the novelty of chocolate pasta and the heavenly raspberry cream sauce that had everyone so giddy. The pasta itself is not sweet and tastes like unsweetened cocoa.

I personally prefer fresh pasta and think that the end result is always better. One day when I have a pasta machine I'm going to try my hand at freshly made chocolate ravioli with an orange mousse centre.

Until that day comes, I'll keep buying dried chocolate pasta as it's lots of fun.


Continue reading "Chocolate Pasta? You've got to be kidding!" »

13 June 2008

Profiteroles with Dark Chocolate Orange Ice Cream


I made profiteroles for the first time a few days ago and here they are! The orange chocolate ice cream filling was actually an afterthought when I realised that the crème patisserie (pastry cream) was going to need three hours to chill.

I simply couldn't wait that long and luckily I had the ice cream sitting in my freezer. It was meant to be and it was perfect match. I've been meaning to make mini ice-cream sandwiches for a while using brioche and vanilla ice cream but these profiteroles were an excellent substitute.

The recipe I used for the choux pastry was from epicurious and like the reviews said, it was easy and they turned out perfectly. However, I wasn't so sure at the start if things were going well as the choux looked too runny and I wasn't sure how they were going to puff up, if at all. I used a pastry bag to squeeze out 'tall rounds' and as soon as I squeezed them out they promptly deflated and spread out. Not a good start.

Round two. I grumpily scooped all the miserable little chouxs back into a metal bowl and then put the bowl by the window to cool down. Incidentally, I'm in Vancouver where it's meant to be the start of summer and it's 10 degrees. So I cooled the choux  for about 15 minutes and let it firm up a bit and then spooned it back into the pastry bag and gave it another go.

The 'tall rounds' weren't exactly skyscrapers but they were keeping their tallish roundish shapes so I whisked them into the oven and then magically before my eager eyes, they rose.

Continue reading "Profiteroles with Dark Chocolate Orange Ice Cream" »

10 April 2008

Thai Sticky Rice with Mango


Thai Sticky Rice with Mango, or Kao Niew Mamuang, is undoubtedly my favourite Thai Dessert.

Its fragrant simplicity is timeless. I have loved it since I was a little girl living in Bangkok and will still try to eat it at least once a day when I am visiting Thailand. A bit much, I know, but nothing beats the Kao Niew Mamuang made by Bangkok street vendors.

Sticky rice is made using a long grain glutionus rice. It needs to be soaked overnight prior to cooking. I use my Thai sticky rice steamer to cook it.

The sticky rice is then mixed with coconut milk that's been boiled with sugar and salt and then topped with ripe mango and toasted sesame seeds.

To prepare the rice, I first wash and drain it after its been soaking. I then wrap it in cheese cloth and place it in the bamboo steamer basket. Next, I cover the rice parcel and steam it for 25 minutes or until the grains are chewy and pop in your mouth. This steaming process can also be done in a normal steamer if need be but the rice has to be wrapped in cheesecloth so it's easier to handle.

The next step will follow in the recipe, however, an important thing to remember which my dad told me, was not to follow the recipe too closely when preparing the coconut milk mixture. He advises to have 3/4 of a cup of sugar on standby but not to neccessarily throw it all in at once in case it's too sweet for your liking. Do it to taste and find the perfect balance for you.

Continue reading "Thai Sticky Rice with Mango" »

04 March 2008

Chocolate Banana Springrolls: fit for a King


If Elvis was still alive, I think that chocolate banana spring rolls would be his midnight snack of choice. They're sweet, extremely delicious and deep-fried (all prerequisites for Elvis' snacks ).

These ones were perhaps a little petite for The King: he'd have probably stuffed a bunch of bananas and a block of chocolate into entire sheets of the poor, bulging spring roll skins. He likely would have also tried to squeeze in a jar of peanut butter for good measure.  I, on the other hand, feeling guilty for my 4 o'clock deep-fried dessert, was a little more restrained.

You need not feel too guilty, though. Despite the deep-frying, these crunchy little treats aren't at all oily . The trick to this is to use sunflower oil at a really high temperature so that they're in and out in a less than a minute. Sunflower oil is also excellent when frying at high temperatures as it doesn't burn easily.


The snap-frying gives the rolls just enough time to melt the chocolate and warm the banana. The result is a wonderful combination of textures: little crispy cases of warm, soft 'banocolate' (my new word for banana & chocolate).

Continue reading "Chocolate Banana Springrolls: fit for a King" »

06 February 2008

Pandan Soufflé -- a soufflé with a Thai twist


Over the past few weeks I have been attempting to make a soufflé. Let’s just say that each time has been miserable in its own special way.

The first recipe I used omitted the flour resulting in a rocket of egg whites, at first so promising and then so demoralizing, when it grew as tall as a chef’s hat and then proceeded to fall from that great height.

In my second attempt, the soufflé failed to rise at all. In fact, it looked like a shriveled up little toad. I must admit though, it was a delicious little toad. But that’s not the point: because it looked awful and so I cried.

Anyway, I finally plucked up the courage to try my hand again, and, as the saying goes: third time lucky.

I decided to do something a little different – to give my soufflé a twist, a Thai twist. Some of the most common ingredients found in Thai desserts include coconut milk, palm sugar and the deliciously fragrant Pandanus leaves, known in Thai as Bai Toey.

Pandanus leaves are very versatile. They are used to not only flavour desserts but savory dishes as well. They are often folded like origami to make little containers for the desserts. They are used to flavour iced water and for their natural green food coloring. And, because they smell so good, they are even used as air fresheners in taxi cabs!

The combining of coconut milk with pandanus leaves is a perfect alchemy. Their combination adds a fragrant complexity whenever they appear together.


So, there you have it: a soufflé Thai-style. It was delicate, subtle and delicious. The only thing I would change next time would be to add a little more palm sugar. I used three tablespoons, next time I will use four. I also think this recipe would be even better with duck eggs but I can't seem to find them in Vancouver. Duck eggs, which also feature largely in Thai custard desserts, are much richer than chicken eggs.

I was lucky enough to buy a whole bunch of the fresh pandanus leaves from the South China Seas Trading Co however they always carry frozen packets as well.

Now that I know I have an endless supply of the leaves, I have been giddy with all the coconut-pandanus possibilities. Coconut-pandanus pie, coconut-pandanus crème brulee, coconut-pandanus cheese cake, coconut-pandanus gelato – it’s endless. If any of these should emerge from my kitchen, I shall be sure to let you know.

I am submitting this post to Weekend Herb Blogging which is being hosted this week by Ulrike from the blog Küchenlatein.

Weekend Herb Blogging 

Continue reading "Pandan Soufflé -- a soufflé with a Thai twist" »

18 December 2007

Bite-sized Banoffis


Bite-sized Banoffi pies are little mouthfuls of heaven. The fact that they are so small doesn't make you feel so bad about eating such wicked litlte treats. They are also far easier to serve rather than having to slice up a large and delicately assembled dessert.

Banoffi pies are filled with toffee (dulche de leche), freshly whipped cream and topped with slices of fresh banana. I made the toffee from sweetened condensed milk which I gave a kind of steam bath for 1.5 hours. Another way to cook the condensed milk is to boil it unopened in the can for several hours, however this method can lead to the can exploding. As exciting as that prospect is, I decided that a nice steam bath would be more relaxing for both me and the condensed milk.

The Banoffi Pie was invented by the Hungry Monk Restaurant in East Suzzex, England, in 1972. The original recipe, which can be found on their website, includes coffee and castor sugar, both of which I left out. I think the toffee is sweet enough as is.

The complete story about the Banoffi can be found on Chef Ian Dowding's Blog. Ian was the original head chef at the Hungry Monk who invented the marvellous pie. Bravo Ian.

My recipe differs slightly but I do believe that my bite-sized Banoffis are just as pleasing! I used fresh pastry dough from the A La Mode Pie Shop, which I buy at the Public Market on Granville Island, in Vancouver. Their pastry is always excellent and the slight saltiness of the crust really complimented well the sweet toffee.

I am submitting this post to Blog Party #29 which is being hosted by Stephanie of the Blog the Happy Sorceress. The challenge was to make 'just a bite of dessert' and so you have it...Bite-sized Banoffis.


Continue reading "Bite-sized Banoffis" »

14 December 2007

Black Sticky Rice Pudding


Kao Niew Dum is black Sticky rice which is eaten in Thailand and Southeast Asia as a sweet snack. The nutty wholegrain rice is encased in a deep purple husk which contains a type of antioxidant called an Anthocyanin. White sticky rice is a different strain from black sticky rice. You cannot polish the husk off the latter and expect to find a white grain. The grain is much lighter than the deep purple husk, but it's certainly not white.   

Kao Niew Dum is most often steamed and then mixed with sweetened and salted coconut milk. Because of its rich flavour, black sticky rice is not usually accompanied by fruit (unlike white sweet sticky rice). Instead, its flavour is enhanced by a garnish of toasted sesame seeds or shredded coconut.

I always make the Black Sticky Rice Pudding from Kasma Loha-Unchit's recipe.

I do also love to eat Kao Niew Dum when it is served with a Thai dessert called Lod Chong. This particular dessert, which I have only ever eaten in Thailand, does not look that appealing but it tastes fantastic. It consists of green rice flour noodles that are flavoured with pandan and served with black sticky rice, crushed ice and a delicious sweet syrup. The syrup is made from coconut milk that has been boiled with palm sugar. It is heavenly, especially after eating a particularly spicy Thai meal.


I am submitting this post to Sugar High Friday's The Proof is in the Pudding which is being hosted by Kochtopf.

Continue reading "Black Sticky Rice Pudding" »

25 November 2007

What a tart!


A tart indeed...a dark chocolate mousse tart with raspberries on top. This is my entry for this month's Waiter there's something in my...topless tart, being hosted by Cook Sister.

I got up at 8am today and started making this rather decadent dessert. I hadn't had any breakfast so I kind of ate bits and pieces of the ingredients. A raspberry here, a spoonful or three of chocolate mousse there...that sort of thing. Now, it's entirely justifiable to taste as you cook. It's the only responsible thing to do in the circumstances. However, as I am typing this out, I'm trembling from the early morning overload of sugar. Deep breaths.

The tart was pretty easy to prepare. I used my chocolate mousse recipe I made for Bastille Day a few months ago (minus the orange rind). The tart base was simply finely crushed biscotti mixed with a couple of tablespoons of melted butter. I could only seem to find biscotti with almonds or raisins in them so I opted for the latter. I just picked them out when I crushed the biscuits.


Continue reading "What a tart! " »

16 November 2007

The Humble Lamington


The humble Lamington: a squarish piece of sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing and then rolled in desiccated coconut. They can also come with a cream or strawberry jam filling.

The Lamington is a quintessential part of every Australian's childhood, because they are sold at tuck shops (canteens) around the country and they are the most popular treats to sell at school fairs.

Lamingtons are believed to have been named after Charles Cochrane-Baillie, 2nd Baron Lamington, Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901.

Governor Lamington is reputed to have been highly displeased with his name being lent to the little sponge cake due to his rude utterings about them. I won't repeat what he was alleged to have said but let's just say he would have preferred to have been remember for other things.

I found an excellent recipe for Lamingtons on the Joy of Baking website. The sponge cake, which I was a bit apprehensive about making, turned out perfectly. It was light, moist and delicious.

Continue reading "The Humble Lamington" »

01 November 2007

Upside Down Caramel Banana Cake


I saw the recipe for this cake in a Delicious magazine a few years ago and promised myself I would make it one day. Well that day came and last Sunday was my Caramel Banana cake day. The recipe was measured in metrics which drives me nuts.

I understand how neat the metric system is when you're converting cubic centimetres to litres and I far prefer Celsius to Fahrenheit (0°freezes, 100°degrees boils - Mr. Fahrenheit must be kicking himself: "Why didn't I think of that?"). I'm sure the metric system is very useful when you're building a house, but I have a very hard time trying to work out what 180 gms of flour is. Cooking lends itself to measurements in cups or teaspoons - we have cups and teaspoons just lying around... Why complicate matters?

So to aid me in my cooking conversion crisis, I use the site ConvertMe.com. It's pretty handy and will help you convert measurements from anything from butter to shelled walnuts.

Anyway, the Caramel Banana cake was a success. I added a touch of pure Mexican vanilla which gave the cake a deliciously rich aroma. Another addition was a big dollop of freshly whipped cream.   


Continue reading "Upside Down Caramel Banana Cake" »

My Photo


  • Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

Check out the buzz...


  • Foodbuzz

Recent Comments

BCSPCA - Vancouver