desserts

  • Weight Watchers mini cherry cheesecakes
    Weight Watchers mini cherry cheesecakes Weight Watchers mini cherry cheesecakes

    Weight Watchers mini cherry cheesecakes

Weight Watchers mini cherry cheesecakes

This might come as a shock to some of you considering my love for all things sweet but I’m on Weight Watchers. The first time I joined Weight Watchers, it helped me lose the weight from baby number 1. In fact, after giving birth in 2009, I lost a total of nearly 70 pounds thanks to the program and exercise. A few months after having baby number 2 in November of 2012, I was eager to join Weight Watchers again to get myself in shape. And now, I’m just a few pounds from my goal weight. I’m a real believer in the program…I love it because I can still fulfill my sweet tooth – but within reason. And this works for me. Sometimes, however, I do try a lighter version of a classic just to give me my sugar fix. I made this recipe a few months ago when we […]

  • Marie-Helene’s apple cake Marie-Helene’s apple cake

    Marie-Helene’s apple cake

Marie-Helene’s apple cake

  It’s been nearly a year since I made this cake for my father’s birthday and I’ll admit part of the reason why I haven’t written about it until now is because I’m disappointed in the photo. But this cake was so simply delicious I’d be remiss in my duty to my blog readers if I skipped it entirely. I made this cake around the time Dorie Greenspan’s “Around the French Table” came out, a book that has not once disappointed me. A book you must purchase if you haven’t already. I’ve written about Dorie Greenspan several times already and there’s good reason for that. She’s a true francophile who writes recipes for the everyday person but works with the top professionals. Her recipes turn out. Every time. How many times can you say that about someone else? In any case, the reason why I baked this cake for my […]

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  • Midnight madness meringue cake Midnight madness meringue cake

    Midnight madness meringue cake

Midnight madness meringue cake

  There’s nothing I like more than alliteration and this is why I made this cake. OK, I’m lying but I must admit I like the name of this cake. Now that I have my Grammar Geek confession out of the way …. To be honest, I don’t really see it as a cake. It’s much more airy and light than a traditional cake. And this is why it’s the perfect dessert for a Canada Day barbecue, which is where this made its appearance. (I told you I was catching up with old posts). Tiers of hazelnut meringue (which I have finally conquered) sandwiched between berries and whipped cream make this an easy dessert to create in steps. And a dramatic-looking one at that. Imagine displaying this on a beautiful cake plattered in candlelight. Sensual, no? I dog-eared a page in a special recipe-only magazine put out by Chatelaine, which has not […]

  • Dark chocolate and hazelnut mousse Dark chocolate and hazelnut mousse

    Dark chocolate and hazelnut mousse

Dark chocolate and hazelnut mousse

  On my ever-growing list of items I need to get to on my white board in my office: Cleaning and organizing my drawers. I’ve been staring at those words for months. My bathroom drawers. My kitchen drawers. My en suite bathroom drawers. Don’t even get me started. No, I’m not going to tell you I got around to doing that. Instead, I’m going to alleviate some of my guilt by cleaning out my virtual drawers. I’m getting around to blog posts I’ve been meaning to get to for a long time. I first made this at a French bistro cooking class more than two years ago but then made it again more recently when I had some francophile friends over for dinner. I’ve made chocolate mousse before, and blogged about it but this recipe tops the other one, easily. When it comes to creme brulee, I’m a puritan. I don’t like any […]

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  • Dorie Greenspan’s coffee eclairs Dorie Greenspan’s coffee eclairs

    Dorie Greenspan’s coffee eclairs

Dorie Greenspan’s coffee eclairs

  I never really liked eclairs until recently, when I discovered coffee eclairs (aka eclairs au cafe) at my local tea shop. They were a revelation. Until then, I always equated eclairs with those whipped cream-filled spongy concoctions you can find slowly drying out behind your nearest donut shop counter. You know the type. You take a bite and get a mouthful of too-sweet cream and cake. I gag slightly just thinking about it and I have a serious sweet tooth. But the real thing, authentic Parisian eclairs, are airy eclairs filled with the lightest of light custard or pastry cream. With eclairs au cafe, both the glaze and pastry cream is accentuated by the inclusion of espresso, introducing just the right amount of sharpness to mellow out the high sugar content.I know what you’re thinking. I haven’t yet addressed the rather interesting shape of these eclairs. I have no idea why but […]

  • Espresso chip meringues Espresso chip meringues

    Espresso chip meringues

Espresso chip meringues

  My past attempts at making meringues have fallen flat. So I was amazed, and thrilled when I came home from work one Friday and whipped up a batch of these meringues in no time at all. Maybe it’s because this time I properly let the egg whites reach room temperature. Maybe the air was dry enough in my kitchen that day. Maybe I didn’t overwhip the meringue. Maybe buying superfine sugar rather than trying to make my own by grinding granulated sugar made the difference. Who knows. The point is that these whipped up in no time, and the peaks stayed stiff. Halle-whipping-lujah.Thank you Giada. Once again, your Cordon Bleu background comes shining through. If you want to try her recipe, you can find it here. A lot of over-used cliches came to mind as I began writing this: Cloud, puff, heaven, delight,. You get the picture. All you […]

  • Chocolate & Zucchini’s Canelés Chocolate & Zucchini’s Canelés

    Chocolate & Zucchini’s Canelés

Chocolate & Zucchini’s Canelés

  It was love at first bite. Sorry I can’t resist a cheesy play on words. Back to the batter at hand (tee hee). I first made canelés, if you might remember, at Bonnie Gordon’s School of Confectionary Arts. I signed up for the two-day course mainly to learn how to make macarons. And I did, and they were delicious, and I had rave reviews. But. As soon as I had learned how to make the macarons, all I could think about was how delicious these unassuming canelés are. Sure enough, they are near-impossible to find in Toronto (only at Nadege Patisserie I believe – that’s Nah-dej, not Nah-deh-jeh). So I had been craving them ever since. Even the stash I brought home didn’t  last very long because these are best eaten hot, on the same day. You should know however, that the crepe-like batter is forgiving and will stay in the […]

  • Hazelnut-almond financiers redux Hazelnut-almond financiers redux

    Hazelnut-almond financiers redux

Hazelnut-almond financiers redux

  I am a micromanager at the best of times and one of the ways that manifests itself is my obsessive checking of my blog stats. I can’t help but wonder – who keeps misspelling my surname as Nercessian to come to this blog? And who are the readers in Afghanistan? Also, are financiers molds really that hard to find that so many people find my blog by Googling those keywords? (Please, for the love of all things chocolate, reveal yourselves!) In fact, they are hard to find and I bought my silicone financiers molds at eBay from a purveyor in New York City. And after many, many, many months I used them.Many moons ago I used the recipe from Clotilde Dusoulier’s book to make financiers and blogged about it. I followed the recipe almost exactly last time, and they were delicious and impossibly moist, but I couldn’t help but think […]

  • Dorie Greenspan’s Nutella Tartine Dorie Greenspan’s Nutella Tartine

    Dorie Greenspan’s Nutella Tartine

Dorie Greenspan’s Nutella Tartine

  Where a North American after-school snack might be a glass of milk and cookies, the French goûter is often a pain au chocolat. Sometimes, Dorie Greenspan says in her new cookbook “Around My French Table” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) it might even be an open-faced chocolate sandwich. This may seem ridiculous to Canadians, and Americans, but it’s not unusual in Europe where Nutella is as popular as peanut butter is here. Even in the Netherlands, my good friend Elsbeth served me chocolate shavings on toast for breakfast when I stayed with her in Utrecht. This recipe is French pastry chef Pierre Hermé’s interpretation of the after-school treat (you may know him as the master of macarons).I still need to review Greenspan’s book, which came to me via the good people at Thomas Allen, but in the meantime I am imploring you to make this, eat this, even if you make nothing else off […]

  • Mini chocolate-dipped bananas Mini chocolate-dipped bananas

    Mini chocolate-dipped bananas

Mini chocolate-dipped bananas

  We go through a lot of bananas in our house. Not only does my husband eat one every morning, but it’s the only food my sometimes-picky baby boy can’t resist, and the only one that has him smacking his lips. And so this next recipe was an obvious choice for me – mini chocolate-dipped bananas from Joy the Baker. I always have bananas, chocolate, and nuts in my pantry. (Follow the link above for the recipe.) I made a whole batch of these when I had some company for dinner and there were several left over in the days that followed. I pulled them out any time someone dropped by, and they were just as fresh and delicious as the day I made them. Letting them defrost a few minutes is key to the yummy factor, otherwise you may be liable to pay for your friend’s broken crown. Substitutions: […]

desserts|Comments Off on Mini chocolate-dipped bananas