Pine Nut Brittle (Crocante)

Pine Nut Brittle (Crocante)

The most descriptive word for this would be “addictive”. I made the crocante planning to serve it with not-yet-made ice cream in a couple of days (the crocante can be kept for up to 2 weeks – theoretically speaking). But it was all eaten the same day and I ended up making another batch of the crocante for my project…

The crocante is not teeth-breaking hard; it’s very porcelain crowns-friendly :).

Adapted from “Dolce Italiano”

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Tiramisu Affogato

Tiramisu Affogato

There’s another, summer-influenced way to consume espresso. Well, yes, the dessert is not made from scratch (if the grinding of the espresso beans doesn’t count), and can be put together within a couple of minutes or so – the time required by the espresso machine to finish its job. But who cares if the dessert is good; and this one is. The ingredients below are just for the reference. You really don’t have to measure the ice cream before transferring it into the glasses. Please, eyeball everything, don’t waste the energy on absolutely unnecessary steps. The dessert will turn out just fine.

Adapted from the latest “Gourmet”

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Ring of Saturn Peach “Doughnuts” with Vanilla Ice Cream

Ring of Saturn Peach “Doughnuts” with Vanilla Ice Cream

The recipe caught my eye while I was browsing through the “Desserts by the Yard”. The peaches called “Saturn rings” were so cute and the way of cooking them and serving was very promising. But honestly I thought I’d never be able to find them here; even Sherry described them as unique and not-so-easy-available. She had to persuade a farmer to sell the peaches to her (she wanted all three available cases at once). And only after revealing her recipe to the farmer (must be good, right?), she got what she wanted.

I was so pleasantly surprised when I spotted exactly the same peaches in my local farm market. They were offered under less impressive name – “Fancy Doughnut Peaches”, but there were no doubts – these were The Peaches from the book. The peaches themselves were so good – sweet and juicy, so, I was asking myself why I was doing all this (described a moment later) to them when we could eat them as is… But, macerated in lemon verbena syrup, coated with anise and pistachio biscotti crumbs, then baked and served warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream (the peaches shape was perfect for holding the ice cream well), they made a terrific dessert everyone enjoyed. I bet a pistachio ice cream would be wonderful here, too.

I used half of the biscotti made earlier for coating 6 about 3-inch wide peaches. Sherry in her recipe used the same amount for coating 12. But my intuition told me it’s not gonna be enough (yes, I developed a useful habit – listening to my inner voice :). The half batch of biscotti was just the right amount (smart me :). I also added more pistachios to the crushed biscotti, well… because there’s no such thing as too much of pistachios, and it gave the crumbs brighter (greener) look.

Another thing I wanted to mention. If the same peaches are not available in your area, you can substitute them to regular ones. Just peel them, cut in half vertically, remove their stones, bake them cut side up, and later on fill a stone holes with ice cream. It should work. If you can’t get the lemon verbena, you can add grated lemon zest to the marinating syrup instead. Either way, the recipe is worth a try. It’s delicious.

Peaches

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Anise Pistachio Biscotti

Anise Pistachio Biscotti

These poor things were baked to be crushed into biscotti crumbs needed for executing another dessert (getting ahead of the story: which is delicious and being posted later :). But I liked the outcome enough to give them their own life, they do deserve it. The biscotti are better the next day (yes, I don’t like this fact as, probably, most of you, but it is what it is…). The flavor ripens and becomes more interesting, anise gets more pronounced.

Adapted from Sherry Yard

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Tuiles

Tuiles

These are the cookies I served with the Café Glacé. They are also nice with ice creams, or mousses, basically – anything creamy, for adding the texture contrast. If you are really seeking the crispiness in the cookies, don’t make them in advance (I mean – well in advance, like a day before). No matter how tight is your container where you’re storing them, the cookies will lose at least some of their crunch, or even worse – they will acquire unpleasant rubbery chewiness. I recommend baking them a couple of hours before the serving time; the process is not complicated at all.

The recipe is from the “Desserts by the Yard”.

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