All posts filed under “Desserts

Simple Chocolate Mousse_Katherine Sacks
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Simple Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse has been a go-to dessert for years, but when I saw this version on Bon Appétit last week, I realized I hadn’t had it, or made it, in some time. When I worked in restaurants, it was often part of my daily prep routine, and the simple actions of whipping cream and egg whites instantly bring me back to those days. So after a long and busy weekend, I whipped up a batch as a sweet reward.

If I still had my pastry chef hat on today, I would make a rosemary-orange caramel to go underneath the mousse and maybe fry up some rosemary as a garnish. But since this mousse is just for me (and to share with friends, I promise!), I’ve kept it simple. I swapped in brown sugar for a slight caramelly flavor, and made it lighter and fluffier by doubling the egg whites; if you want a denser mousse only use two. I’ll probably top it with some of that Choco-Coco granola for texture and call it a day. No matter how you serve—with whipped cream, inside a tart shell, along with cake—it’s a simple way to share something sweet with your loved ones, perhaps this weekend. Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day to all! Read More

Almond-Coconut-Coffee Chocolate Bark_Katherine Sacks
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Almond-Coconut-Coffee Chocolate Bark

Someone recently asked me what inspires me to cook. I suppose for anyone who feels most at home in the kitchen, it’s a combination of things: the desire to recreate familiar flavors; a need to use ingredients up; and a wish to make something seen, whether it’s at a restaurant, in a cookbook, or a friend’s recent culinary project. I was invited to a holiday party Sunday and as soon as I saw these beautiful cookies (from one of my favorite San Francisco bakeries, Craftsman and Wolves), I knew I wanted to recreate them. I planned on making them with orange zest and using candied rosemary instead of edible flowers, to give them a sort-of realistic wreath look. I was so excited, but as I planned to prepare them, I realized a fatal flaw in my idea. I don’t have a mixer! Just one of the downsides of moving across the globe without all your belongings! And while there are plenty of things you can make and bake without a mixer, cookie dough is not one. (You need the butter and sugar to cream properly for the ideal texture.)

And so it was back to square one of inspiration. Luckily for me, I have tons of recipes on my to-do list, and this easy chocolate bark my friend Kimberly shared last week came to the rescue. As for the flavor additions: I had some coconut to use up, wanted to keep the orange zest I originally wanted for the cookies, and love the crunch of almonds with dark chocolate. The espresso powder is thrown in for good measure, adding a nice earthy bite. Of course this recipe can really be used with anything; other favorite flavor combinations include pistachio, cherry, and white chocolate and cinnamon, milk chocolate, hazelnuts. If you’re still looking for a treat to add to the holiday cookie plate, it’s an easy way to use up what’s in your cupboard. Hope you enjoy and happy holidays!
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Date-Persimmon Pudding_Katherine Sacks
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Persimmon-Date Pudding

If you’re interested in healthy recipes, then it’s likely you’ve come across some version of the avocado mousse pudding. My sister first made it for me last year when we were cooking together in Umbria, and I was blown away: creamy chocolate pudding with all the nutrition of avocado! I was thinking about that healthy sweetness this week, and how I could adapt the recipe for a seasonal treat. At first I thought to combine roasted pumpkin purée and cocoa, but then remembered one of my favorite fall fruits, persimmons, and how well they pair with dates.  As a plus, both are high in fiber and B vitamins.

This is a super simple recipe which can easily be adapted to include other spices and fruit flavors, and it’s perfect for a healthier snack during the holidays. The spice of the ginger, sweetness and earthy flavors of the dates and persimmons, and the cocoa combine to create a funky chocolatey mousse. Don’t get me wrong, this pudding won’t be replacing our pecan and pumpkin pies during next week’s Thanksgiving feast, but I am happy to have it up my sleeve when the sweet cravings hit. For more chocolate flavor, fold in 3 ounces of melted chocolate. Read More