Raspberry Coulis

This delicious easy-to-make sauce pairs very well with many dessert dishes. I like using fresh raspberries that clean and freeze for a day before making this sauce. I don’t know the science behind it, but I get the best flavor and color that way. I like serving it with molten chocolate lava cakes. You can also serve it with ice cream or a sponge cake. Any other ideas? Post your tips below!

1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice or water with a teaspoon of lemon juice
optional: 1 oz. Chambord and/or Triple Sec

Combine sugar and juice or lemon water and heat it gently in a saucepan until it melts and forms a syrup. Add the raspberries to the syrup and heat while stirring. You don’t want to let it boil, but get close to a simmer. After a it heats up, take it off the stove and puree it in a blender or food processor until it becomes smooth. Strain the seeds from the mixture with a fine-mesh strainer. You may need to work the mixture and press it against the strainer to get the juice out. Add the Chambord or Triple Sec to the sauce and it is ready to serve. You can also let it chill in the fridge for a bit before serving it if you want to make it in advance or serve it cold.

Baked Pear with Almond Cream & Brandy Caramel Sauce

This became an instant favorite when I made it the first time. It can be done very simply if you use pre-made ingredients, but require a little more work if you want to do everything from scratch. Nothing about it is difficult, though!

3-5 Pears (depending on size)
2 tbsp Brown sugar
2 tbsp Butter (unsalted)
2 tbsp Almond paste*
¼ tsp Cardamom seeds (crushed)
1/8 tsp Anise seeds (crushed)
1/8 tsp Cinnamon
¼ cup Sliced almonds
1 ½ oz. Brandy
Caramel Sauce*

Mix the sugar, butter, almond paste, and a little more than 1 oz. brandy in a bowl. Add the anise and cinnamon after crushing them with pestle and mortar or other method.
Cut the pears in half length-wise and scoop out the center with a melon-baller or spoon. Cut a thin slice off the bottom to create a flat surface. Place the pears in a deep dish with the centers facing up.
Distribute the mixture to the center holes of the pears and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Last, add the sliced almonds on top of it all. Put a half tbsp of butter at the bottom of the dish.
Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serve with almond infused whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

*These items can easily be made at home (recipes below) or purchased pre-made.

Almond Paste Recipe:
4 oz. almonds
2 bitter almonds or 2 drops of bitter almond extract
3 oz. powdered sugar
1/2 egg white (optional)

Blanch the almonds by putting them in boiling water for about 1-2 minutes. Let them dry on a paper towel and then remove the skins.
Grind the almonds finely and mix with the other ingredients until you have a smooth paste and then roll it up in some wax paper. Store in the refrigerator.

Caramel Sauce Recipe:
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Butter (unsalted, room temperature)
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
Splash of Brandy

Place the sugar in a thick-bottomed sauce pan

and heat over medium heat while stirring. When it starts becoming clear and amber-like in color, add the butter and stir until melted. Then add the cream and allow it to boil for 2 minutes. Add a splash of brandy and stir again. Let sit and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Just thinking about this dessert reminds me of orgasms in my mouth. When it comes out just right, there is simply no other way of describing it. What’s even better is that it is so easy to make and can be prepped in advance. This is another item where you pretty much mix it up and toss it in the oven!

½ cup unsalted butter
4 oz. dark (unsweetened or semisweet) chocolate
4 eggs
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder

1. Melt the butter in a bowl. Using a microwave works great.
2. Chop up the chocolate and stir into the butter. Microwave for a few extra seconds if needed
3. In a separate bowl, crack 2 eggs and add 2 additional egg yolks (save the extra egg whites for an omelet or scramble!). Add the sugar and beat it until it becomes a light, thick, fluffy foam.
4. Add the egg mixture to the chocolate-butter mix with the flour and beat until smooth.
5. Grease up 4 ramekinsBellemain Porcelain Ramekins, set of 6 (4 oz, White)""“> with butter, making sure you cover the surface completely. Dust the cocoa powder on top. (You can mix it with a little flour if needed or substitute flour altogether for the cocoa.)
6. Pour the batter into the ramekins. At this point you can just cover them and place them in the fridge until you are ready to bake them.
7. When you are ready to bake them, heat the over to 450°F. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet. (I like to cover them with aluminum foil as I put them in the fridge beforehand and then I use that foil to place underneath the ramekins to catch any potential overflow. Bake for about 8 minutes, making sure you don’t overbake them. It is fine for them to be a bit loose and jiggly!
8. After you take them out of the oven, let them sit for about a minute. Then place the plate that you are going to serve them on upside down on top of the ramekin and flip them over. Wait a few seconds before removing the ramekin so that the cake settles a little bit. Serve immediately!

I like adding some whipped cream with this. A few drops of vanilla extract in the cream makes it even yummier! I also like to serve it with a raspberry coulis, but you may have even more ideas. I would love to hear about them.
Enjoy and please post your results below!

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Lemon Cake

Simple, quick, and easy! And delicious!! Whipping up a lemon cake is something anyone can do, even without much baking skills. You can make all sorts of variations on it as well. For example, you can make into a chocolate cake or a coconut cake. Feel free to experiment with this recipe and post your results below!

Sprinkle some lemon zest on top as a quick and easy decoration!

2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
3 Eggs
6 oz. Butter
Zest from one Lemon (Approx. 2 tbsp)
Juice from one large lemon (¼ – ½ cup)
½ cup Sour Cream
½ cup Milk
1 tbsp Poppy Seeds
½ tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp Salt
½ tsp Ginger
1 tbsp Bread Crumbs or Pank

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Rub some softened butter to cover a bundt pan in a thin layer of butter and sprinkle the panko or bread crumbs on top. Spin it around until even distributed and the whole pan is covered. Turn it over quickly to release any extra crumbs.
3. Mix the sugar, butter and eggs with the lemon zest, until light and fluffy.
4. Add lemon juice, vanilla, milk, sour cream, poppy seeds, and ginger and mix it in well.
5. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl before adding it gradually to the mix while stirring it on a low setting. Once it is all mixed together, pour it into the bundt pan and place in the oven for about 50 minutes until a test skewer comes out dry.


Lemon Blueberry Cake

In this version I held back on adding the lemon juice and zest. Once everything else was mixed, I split the batter into two batches and put the lemon flavors in one, while adding a cup of blueberries to the other along with a tablespoon of red wine. I then poured the lemon flavored batter first and then the blueberry batter on top. I added an extra tablespoon of flour to the blueberry mix as well as the blueberries appeared to provide a little more liquid than the lemons did.

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Mango-Cherry Crisp

While cherries and mangoes are still in season, I love making this delicious dessert for a summer night dinner. It’s easy and simple to make! You can of course make variations using different fruits, but I find that this flavor combination works quite well. You don’t need to use both red and rainier cherries. It works well using one or the other. I have not tried this using frozen fruit, but there is no reason why that would not work well also.
Try it out and let me know how yours turned out in the comments below!

Some pistachios on top and it will be ready to serve

Here is the recipe. It makes 4 servings.

1 mango (sweet yellow is best, but any mango works)
12-15 sweet red cherries
4-8 Rainier cherries
3 oz. Aperol liquor
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sugar
½ tsp corn starch
½ cup rolled oats
¼ cup butter (Don’t skimp on this!)
1 tbsp all purpose flour
3 tbsp shelled roasted pistachios (unsalted)
¼ tsp cinnamon

1. Peel and cut the mango into cubes. Remove the pits from the cherries and place it all in a bowl with 2 oz. Aperol and stir before letting it sit for about an hour.
2. Mix oats, butter, flour, honey, 1 tbsp pistachios, and sugar into a paste.
3. Mix 1 oz of Aperol with ¼ – ½ tsp corn starch. Heat the fruit mixture in a sauce pan on medium heat with the Aperol corn starch mix while simmering until you get a slightly creamy consistency. About 4-5 min. Add 1 tbsp pistachios and the maple syrup to the mix and stir.
4. Rub a thin layer of butter on the bottom and sides of four 6 oz. ramekins (or a larger bowl if you prefer making one big dish). Portion the fruit mix into the ramekins, making sure there is some space at the top. Roll the oatmeal/butter paste into small chunks/balls and place on top of the fruit mix in a thin layer, allowing some space for the fruit to “breathe”. Bake for about 15 minutes in 350 degrees until the top looks crispy. If you are making a larger dish, let it bake for 20-25 minutes to get the right crispiness.
5. Let cool for 5 minutes and then add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and decorate with pitted Rainier cherries. You can also add some whipped cream on top of the ice cream or just substitute it for the ice cream. Drizzle Aperol and the remaining pistachios on top. (Tip: You can boil the Aperol to remove the alcohol before adding it. Just make sure it cools off before serving it.)

– Add some pineapple chunks to the fruit mix for a sweeter flavor!

Cherry Clafoutis

July is a great time for cherries. As I was popping some cherries this afternoon, I started thinking: what yummy thing could I make with cherries? A classic French cherry clafoutis seemed like a great idea so that’s what I decided to make! It’s a simple and easy dessert to make, but it tastes divinely good. My dinner guests (and myself) went for immediate second servings without hesitation!
Please try the recipe below and let me know what you think. I would love to see some pictures of your creation as well!

1 pound of red cherries (450 g) (Less if pitted in advance)
1 cup whole milk (or 2% with a splash of cream) (2 ½ dl)
3 eggs
½ cup granulated sugar (1 dl+)
2 tbsp butter (unsalted is better)
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
½ cup all-purpose flour (1 dl+)
a pinch of salt

1. Pit the cherries and soak them in an ounce of cognac or brandy with a tablespoon of granulated sugar mixed in. Let it sit for about an hour while stirring occasionally.
2. Heat the oven to 325-350 degrees. (My oven tends to run hot, so I set it at 325, but 350 should work well for most ovens. That’s 175 degrees Celsius.) Cover a baking dish (about 1 ½- 2 inches (4-5 cm) tall at least) with softened butter. Then place the fruit at the bottom of the dish, pretty much covering it completely. Melt the rest of the butter.
3. Mix the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and melted butter in a blender or bowl. Mix using a mixer and then add the flour. Mix it some more and then pour it all over the baking dish covering the fruit.
4. Put it in the oven for 45-55 minutes until it is set and a test stick in the center comes out only slightly wet. Be careful to not let it cook too long. You want to look for a consistency that is similar to a flan.
5. Serve with whipped cream or as is with some powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

– Instead of cherries, add 2 tbsp cocoa powder to the batter and use banana and chocolate chunks as filling.
– Reduce the amount of cherries by about 40% and add 50g of chopped dark chocolate (unsweetened if possible) and half a cup of coarsely chopped blanched almonds. Serve with whipped cream with a dash of Kahlua in it.
– Soak blueberries in red wine and some sugar and use instead of cherries.
– Zest one orange and add the zest to the batter.
– Add a few drops of Grand Marnier or Kahlua to the whipping cream.
– Serve with ice cream instead of whipped cream.
– Make individual portions in 6-8 oz ramekins (Bake for 15-20 minutes in this case)