Caramelized Pear Ice Cream with Toasted Pecans

My seasonal pear obsession continues to dictate my desserts. This week’s spin on pears: caramelized pear ice cream with toasted pecans.

Caramelized Pear Ice Cream

Armed with my fancy new toy from Santa (with the appropriate attachments, of course!), I knew this week’s dessert simply had to be ice cream of some sort (despite the fact that its winter and below freezing. Hey, the fruit is seasonal, even if the dessert isn’t!). To be honest, my original plan was persimmons, but as luck would have it, this was the first week I couldn’t find any at the grocery store (foiled again!). Without so much as giving that a second thought though, it was on to my next fruit heart-throb as of late: pears. The last click to read more…

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Molten Chocolate Cake

This is one of those desserts surely everybody has had at least once before: a warm, flourless chocolate cake with the surprise of gooey, warm, fudgey chocolate oozing out of the center. Classic, rich, decadent, and most importantly, chocolate.

Molten Chocolate Cake

This particular recipe is from The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Dessert, which continues to be good to me. This recipe was a hit: 2 batches in one week! Batch one: I didn’t want big (well, normal-sized) cakes, so I thought it might be good to try a cupcake pan instead. I also wanted to add a little something different to the recipe, and I thought I had a simple, clever idea to make it better: why not add more texture contrast by coating the outside of the cake with praline (its not like my recent desserts show an odd obsession with hazelnuts or anything)? I’ve had this stuck in my head after seeing… click to read more…

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Upside-down Cardamom Praline Pear Cake

This is the time of year where pears are at their best, so what’s a fruit-based dessert junkie to do? This was a delicious, sweet and nutty upside-down cake, topped off with some caramelized pears.

Upside-down Cardamom Praline Pear Cake

Cardamom is one of those spices that you’ll find featured a lot in Indian cooking, but outside of that, it seems to be a pretty rare thing. If you’re not sure if you’ve ever had cardamom before, I’d recommend you try to pick some up with next week’s groceries–its interesting and you’ll find some good uses for it. I try to experiment with it a lot in other dishes, and I was delighted to have it featured in this dessert. The cake batter has three really strong flavors at play: cardamom, hazelnut, and almond, and having them all together at once is a really nice combination. No one flavor overpowers the other, but rather, they all just provide a well-rounded sweet/spicy/nuttiness to the batter… click to read more…

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Egg Nog

I went overboard with Thanksgiving dishes, but haven’t given the winter holidays a fair shot. So today, a festive drink with Christmas and the new year right around the corner: egg nog.

Egg Nog

There’s about as many egg nog recipes out there as there are drinkers of egg nog. Fundamentally though, the core of the drink is the same: eggs, cream, spice, and alcohol. I, being a salmonella sissy, opted to partially cook mine (there are many recipes which entirely raw). Even though the egg white is still raw in the drink, it gives me the peace of mind that I need to just enjoy it, even if it isn’t well founded (I mean, I do enjoy other “dangerous” raw foods like sushi…). Cooking egg nog is very similar to the preparation of any other custard–its quick, easy, but requires your full attention or else you’ll just have a… click to read more…

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Rugelach

Living in a more rural part of Florida, there isn’t exactly much in the way of good Jewish food down here–no fresh bagels, no matzo ball soup, no latkes, and more importantly, no rugelach.

Rugelach

Now I’ve discovered that even though I take it as a given, not everyone has had or heard of rugelach before, so just in case: rugelach is essentially a Jewish pastry/cookie with some sort of sweet (usually fruity) filling. Whenever I’ve had rugelach before, I never had just one kind–there was always a selection. So in keeping with both that and my inability to make up my mind (committing to one flavor and being tied down?), I made three different kinds of rugelach. The first is a fairly traditional filling of apricot, golden raisins, and walnuts. The second is a bit sweeter, with honey, dates, and pecans. Finally, the third: chocolate hazelnut. I was inspired to make rugelach after seeing click to read more…

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Poached Pear Bourbon Bread Pudding w/Candied Hazelnuts

I have always loved bread pudding, but I’ve found a new twist on an old favorite: bourbon bread pudding, meet poached pears.

Poached Pear Bourbon Bread Pudding w/Candied Hazelnut Topping

So first off, I’ll be honest: when I made poached pears, I didn’t do it for just that. Sorry pears, I was using you–just a rebound dessert, an in between sweet to get me to something better. Forgive me.

With that heavy confession off my chest, I had high hopes for this dessert, but even with high expectations, I was still pretty impressed with the result. Everybody loves bread pudding (just agree), but bread pudding by itself can be one of those desserts that is kind of…predictable? The poached pears really brought something new and exciting to a familiar favorite of mine. The pudding itself was tasty and moist, with a sweet hint of bourbon and the wonderful flavor of fresh vanilla (beans are so much better than extract).… click to read more…

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