Coconut and Muscovado Sugar Panna Cotta with Tropical Fruit Compote

I’ll better start with some explanations. I haven’t abandoned my blogging, although it might recently seem like that. I am sort of on a maternity leave taking care of my new baby girl – a 10 week old Doberman puppy. She is a handful, but also an amazing joy. There’s almost no sleep for me nowadays. As for the puppy, she naps briefly giving me very little time just to fix simple meals for my family and no time for baking at all. I apologize profusely for my absence here lately and for a delay in replying on your e-mails and answering the questions. I’m planning to dedicate an upcoming Saturday entirely for this purpose. And once our girl is housebroken and doesn’t require constant supervision, I’ll post way more often, that’s my promise.

Obviously, the recipe below would suit fine people in the situation like mine – who don’t have much time or/and energy for lengthy dessert preparations. The recipe makes more fruit compote than needed for a topping, but it keeps for a couple of days in the fridge and tastes great over plain yogurt for breakfast or just on its own.

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Chocolate Rice Pudding with Caramel Crème Chantilly

This kind of dessert is my comfort food during sometimes seemingly endless rainy Vancouver days. It’s creamy, chocolaty, sweet and soothing.

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Cinnamon Panna Cotta with Spicy Autumn Fruit Compote

The recipe for the cinnamon panna cotta is adapted from Camilla V. Saulsbury’s “Panna Cotta” book which was brought to my attention by a publisher. Despite my skepticism towards the unmolded panna cotta in general, I have to admit that this recipe successfully achieves both – creamy texture and free-standing presentation. I didn’t serve it with a sticky toffee sauce as per author’s suggestion, but with spicy autumn fruit compote to cut down the richness a bit.

The book has a lot of interesting ideas, delicious flavor combinations and not only sweet, but savory as well. Just for the tease in light of the upcoming holidays – Chestnut Caramel, Pumpkin, Molasses, Five-Spice and Honey, Gingerbread Spice, and much more.

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Lemon Honey Panna Cotta with Lemon Fennel Puff Pastry Straws

Even the last scraps of home made puff pastry taste great and puff perfectly. Never ever dispose these precious leftovers, always put them to some use. The flavor of the real butter and the texture of the finished product is far superior compared to store-bought puff pastry.

I’m crazy about lemon-licorice combo. But the key is not to overdo the last component. If you wish, you can use anise seeds instead of fennel, but since the anise is more potent, reduce its amount accordingly. A little bit too much and you can end up with a cough syrup flavor.

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Mango and Blueberry Fool with Coconut Meringue

As easy as it gets – lightened by whipped cream fresh mango puree with blueberries and crushed coconut meringue folded in. Without taking into the account the meringue cookies (which are good on their own, not just as an addition to the fool), the dessert takes about five minutes to assemble. It tastes light and fresh, just the thing needed when the whether is so crazy hot.

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Honey Cardamom Mousse with Mango Gelée and Pistachio Apricot Kernel Toasts

Desserts served in glasses (or any other vessels) are stress-free for entertaining hosts. All you have to do on the day you are having guests over is to transfer these glasses from the fridge onto the table. It is very nice not to slice or plate anything for a change, just try to relax and enjoy the company.

The toasts themselves, I suspect, originated from Australia (correct me, if I’m wrong). I saw similar cookies in Australian cooking books and magazines. The cookies are thinner and even leaner relatives of Italian biscotti; basically fat-free besides the fat contained in the nuts. If you are uncertain about using apricot kernels due to safety issues, substitute for whole almonds instead.

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