Café Glacé

Café Glacé

This one belongs to an instant-type dessert category. Homemade vanilla bean ice cream certainly adds some charm to the dish but, honestly speaking, it can be replaced with a good quality store-bought ice cream with a wonderful result. Tuiles cookies are good as a crunchy accompaniment, but again, any crispy cookie will do just fine.

Adapted from “Desserts by the Yard”

This is an entry for the Click: July 2008 (Coffee and Tea) event.

Café Glacé

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Hazelnut Gateau with Praliné Buttercream and Fleur de Sel Brittle

Hazelnut Gateau with Praliné Buttercream and Fleur de Sel Brittle

Hazelnut gateau by Carol Walter was this month Daring Bakers’ challenge. I have to admit I changed it quite a bit preserving the whole idea in general. I used a different method for making the nut génoise – the one that never failed me before. For a soaking syrup I went with Frangelico liqueur. I didn’t make a Swiss buttercream but made a crème anglaise-based one. First, because I like it better, and second – I’ve recently made the Swiss buttercream to fill my Opera. As for chocolate glaze, I covered the cake with Alice Medrich’s glaze designed for the cakes being refrigerated. It does really stay beautiful even after prolong refrigeration time. I decorated the cake with crushed thin, and delicate hazelnut fleur de sel brittle. I wish we had more freedom in choosing the way to decorate the cake (the buttercream piping had to be present). Personally, I don’t like the idea of piping the buttercream over the chocolate glaze. Not that I don’t like the buttercream, I just think it’s too much of a good thing. That’s why there’s no elaborate buttercream design on the top of my cake. Overall, the cake was delicious. And I do see myself making it (or some variation of) again, somewhere in the autumn or winter. It is not a summer time treat. I’d rather stick to the fresh fruit and crème chantilly.

Hazelnut Gateau with Praliné Buttercream and Fleur de Sel Brittle

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Raspberry Tiramisu with Cinnamon Cream

Raspberry Tiramisu with Cinnamon Cream

I’ve made a berry variation of this Italian dessert before. Usually I used berry puree with an addition of a matching liqueur for dipping the ladyfingers. But this tiramisu is different from what I used to make. Last weekend we were invited to our friends’ house for dinner, and after a terrific meal we were served the raspberry tiramisu for dessert. Somehow it had never occurred to me until then that Martini Bianco was perfectly suitable for dipping the ladyfingers. It makes such a wonderful and easy dessert base. An addition of cinnamon to the mascarpone cream and a lot of fresh raspberries (whole and intact, not pureed) tie nicely with the martini flavor. I’m very much obliged to my friend Olya for this neat idea. Below is my version of Olya’s dessert, tweaked just a little bit.

I used a 3 ½ -cups capacity Rehrücken mold for assembling, any loaf pan of similar size will work, or adjust the ingredients to fit into 8-inch square pan.

I’m submitting this dessert as my entry for this month Sugar High Friday, the theme of which is “Berries”.

Raspberries and Tim

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Rice Pudding Cake

Rice Pudding Cake

Here’s a cross between a rice pudding and flan. Don’t make it if you don’t like either from the aforementioned above. But if you are a fan of both, you might find this cake interesting. I served it with very ripe peaches and whipped cream, but almost any fruit or berries will go nicely.

The recipe adapted from Lori Longbotham “Luscious creamy desserts”.

Rice Pudding Cake

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Belgian Waffles with Blueberry Sauce and Sour Cream Ice Cream

Belgian Waffles with Blueberry Sauce and Sour Cream Ice Cream

This is just one of dozens possible ways to serve the waffles. But this one is very delicious, as well as the waffles themselves. The fresh hot waffle, crisp on the outside and tender within, topped with a scoop (or two) of immediately starting melting tangy ice cream and thick homemade blueberry sauce make a really nice combo, I can assure you.

All preparation is done the night before. Only the eggs are added right before the baking. The waffles are wonderful fresh, right from the grids. The leftover batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. That is, make as many waffles as you plan to serve at once: reheated waffles are, frankly, not enjoyable at all.

Belgian Waffles with Blueberry Sauce and Sour Cream Ice Cream

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Schiacciata all’Uva (Sweet Grape Focaccia)

Schiacciata all’ Uva (Sweet Grape Focaccia)

I didn’t follow any particular recipe here, just a general concept of traditional Italian, Tuscany originated dessert. Since the end product turned out mighty tasty, below is the recipe. Maybe someone would give it a try. And this is worth trying – fragrant and juicy with all these succulent grapes, and buttery pine nuts – there’s something to remember.

Schiacciata all’ Uva (Sweet Grape Focaccia) slice

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