Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

Pinna Cotta

Posted: November 24, 2014 in Dessert

Panna Cotta literally translates as “cooked cream” in Italian. Panna Cotta is the perfect dessert, whether you’re throwing a fancy party or a small one! These softly set and creamy Italian puddings are so silky-smooth they slip down beautifully at the end of a meal. Perfect served with fresh berries or fruits according to the season. They are also perfect for dinner parties because they can be made a day or two in advance and kept refrigerated until ready to be served.

Panna Cotta

Recipe Type: Puddings, Creams, and Custards, Dessert, Gelatin
Panna Cotta Recipe – How To Make Panna Cotta:

Menu: Grilled Rack of Lamb Dinner, Christmas Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Prep time: 15 min
Chill time: 3 hours or overnight


2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin*
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups heavy cream**
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean (2-inches long and split lengthwise with a knife) or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh berries, gently washed, drained, and sweetened to taste***
6 sprigs fresh mint

* It is always best to measure the the amount of gelatin needed as the envelopes of gelatin can vary. When a recipe calls for an envelope of gelatin, it is expecting a quarter of an ounce which is precisely 2 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin.

** Half and half, buttermilk, whole milk, and/or sour cream may be substituted for part of the cream.

*** Any assortment of fresh, seasonal fruit may be served with panna cotta, but berries are especially nice. To use other ripe, soft fruits, such as cherries, peaches or apricots, just remove the stones and peels as necessary and cut them into thin slices or bite-size pieces.


In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup milk; let stand until the gelatin is softened, about 5 minutes.

In a large saucepan, combine heavy cream and sugar. Add vanilla extract or vanilla bean. If using a vanilla bean, slice the bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds into cream (add whole bean to cream for additional flavor). Bring cream just to a simmer (do not let it boil), whisking occasionally until sugar has completely dissolved; remove from heat and remove vanilla bean pod. Add the softened gelatin mixture and whisk to completely dissolve the gelatin.

Panna CottaStrain hot cream mixture into a large glass measuring cup with a pouring spout; pour into ramekins or custard cups. NOTE: Don’t skip the straining step as it removes any bits of un-dissolved gelatin and insures a nice smooth dessert. Also, don’t let the cream mixture cool before straining. If using a vanilla bean, lightly swirl the cream to distribute the seeds evenly. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

To unmold and serve, carefully dip bottom of each ramekin in a baking pan of hot water briefly. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin to loosen it from the inside of the bowl. Wipe the outside of the mold dry and place on individual chilled serving plate (topside down). Invert the custard onto the plate and carefully lift off ramekin (shake gently to release).

Garnish with berries or fruit of your choice. See Topping Variations below.

Makes 4 to 6 servings (depending on size of the custard cups).


1 prepared angel food cake, large sliced
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbl. sugar
2 Tbl. vegetable oil
Whip cream (as option)

Lightly toss the strawberries, balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Set aside to allow the flavors to blend.
Preheat the grill with a medium high flame. Lightly brush the grates with vegetable oil to prevent the angel food cake from sticking. Grill each side of the cake slices for 20 – 25 seconds, or until grill marks appear. Pour the strawberry mixture over the warm angel food cake slices. Sauce serves 6 – 8 people.

This recipe idea is to not actually taste the balsamic vinegar.  It that extra layer to bring out the strawberry flavor.  Best of all, there is no need to cook the sauce at all.

Meyer Lemon Skillet Cake (g-free)

Posted: January 31, 2013 in Dessert

Makes 8-10 servings
1 cup of sugar, plus more for sprinkling
Grated zest of 2 Meyer lemons, *1 regular lemon will do if you cannot find Meyer lemons
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. g-free vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. g-free almond extract
1 cup Better Batter g-free all purpose flour
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350° F. Butter a well-seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet or 9-inch cake pan. *If using a cake pan be sure to grease the pan very well or your cake will not release, trust my personal experience on this one.

In a medium sized bowl mix the sugar and the lemon zest, rubbing the zest into the sugar granules with your fingers, until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended, add the salt and the extracts and whisk well to mix. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour, then gently fold in the melted butter until completely incorporated.

Pour the batter into the skillet and smooth the top with your spatula. Sprinkle the sliced almonds and extra sugar over the top of the cake and place in the oven. *If using a cake pan, place the pan on a baking sheet in the oven instead of directly on the rack.

Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes, or until it is a beautiful golden color and slightly crisp on the outside. Remove the skillet from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and the bottom of the cake to loosen it. You can serve the cake warm or cooled, directly from the skillet or turned out onto a serving plate.

This cake stores really well, unlike some g-free baked goods. Wrap it well and it should keep for 3-5 days at room temperature.


Posted: January 11, 2013 in Dessert

Part 1:Crumble
3 tbsp. flour
4 c. blackberries, or other berries
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Part 2:
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. pecans, (optional)
Part 1: Mix berries, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in 9 inch square pan.Part 2: Cut butter into dry ingredients and put topping on berry mixture. Top with nuts. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned. Serves 8.



  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs ( I like to use only 1 egg to have a little more volume, try!)
  • 1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans) (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375* Grease a 15×10-inch jelly roll pan.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.

3. Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in large mixer bowl.

4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.

5. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture.

6. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

7. Spread into prepared pan.

8. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

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