Espresso Granita con Panna

Espresso Granita con Panna

I’ve just had two servings of this for breakfast and I feel so happy, not to mention – energized! This is a truly wonderful summer treat for coffeeholics like me. But be aware that each portion contains a serious doze of caffeine. So, if you don’t want to be held responsible for any fatalities, make sure people you are serving it to don’t suffer from elevated blood pressure, or use decaffeinated espresso instead.

Espresso Granita con Panna

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Chocolate Zabaione Torta with Grappa-Soaked Cherries

Chocolate  Zabaglione Torta with Grappa-Soaked Cherries

This torta is an adaptation of Lidia Bastianich’s recipe. Although, the only thing almost unchanged was the filling. It seemed like a shame to use canned cherries when the fresh ones are in season. I soaked the fresh cherries in grappa, which is not the cheapest drink here, but feel free to substitute brandy instead; it will still produce a great result. The recipe for the cake layers is Alice Medrich’s wonderful chocolate génoise – light, moist and flavorful. The filling is lightly set creamy chocolate zabaione, with recognizable Marsala taste and undetectable gelatin presence.

We all loved the cake. And what’s not to love?

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Sweet Ricotta Pudding with Roasted Grapes

Sweet Ricotta Pudding with Roasted Grapes Warm

This is a kind of dessert I’m the most fond of – rustic, homey, full of flavors, and incredibly easy to prepare. Don’t try to serve the pudding on its own, serve it with roasted grapes as intended. They are meant for each other providing so desirable contrast of sweet and sour, smooth and crunchy. For Russian readers of my blog (I know for sure there are at least two) – the texture of the pudding is similar to Russian “zapekanka”, but it’s sweeter since the ricotta cheese is way less tangy compared to tvorog (Russian curd cheese).

This is an adaptation of the latest “Gourmet” recipe. I prepared and served the pudding in individual shallow pans, each is about 4-inch wide and near ¾ -cup capacity. You can bake the pudding in a 9-inch pie-plate and serve it cut into wedges as it was suggested in the magazine.

Sweet Ricotta Pudding with Roasted Grapes Inside Warm

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Stracciatella Gelato

Stracciatella Gelato

According to Sherry Yard, this is the most popular ice cream among calorie-counting movie stars at “Spago”. No wonder, it’s a guilt-free treat – the ice cream doesn’t contain any egg yolks or cream, it’s basically frozen milk. But, it still tastes good and clean. It’s not lack of ice cream common refreshing purpose. And it crackles so nicely in the mouth because of the generous amount of tiny frozen chocolate specks. There is another benefit to be considered – no need to cook a custard what, during the hot whether, can be a painful experience.

I’m submitting this photo to the You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Frozen Desserts event.

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Chocolate Rice Crispies, Refined and Rounded…

Chocolate Rice Crispies

…by François Payard. I love French chefs’ approach to traditional American desserts. They usually transform them into something quite stylish. I made these rice crispy balls to take to my son’s kindergarten year-end picnic. I wanted something relatively weather-resistant and this recipe seemed appropriate. Besides, haven’t you ever experienced a painful disappointment from bringing a stunning dessert to the youngsters’ class, and later taking it back almost intact because someone brought the lollypops preferred by everyone, and the teeth-rotting candies occupied the kids’ mouths the whole party. I’ve smarten up over time. Now I make things to suit the sophisticated palates of regular kids, who’ve grown on store-bought cupcakes generously covered with fluorescent frosting screaming: “I’m so artificial!”. The balls were very popular, none had been left. Though, it was not because they resembled these cupcakes mentioned above. They were simple and looked familiar: that’s what had caused the success.

Chocolate Rice Crispies Cut

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