This Chocolate Chip Cookie Isn’t Crispy or Chewy—It’s Better

In The Kitchen Scientist, The Flavor Equation author Nik Sharma breaks down the science of good food, from rinsing rice to salting coffee. Today: your new favorite chocolate chip cookies.

I’m big on cookies, so much so that I consider them pantry st…

In The Kitchen Scientist, The Flavor Equation author Nik Sharma breaks down the science of good food, from rinsing rice to salting coffee. Today: your new favorite chocolate chip cookies.


I’m big on cookies, so much so that I consider them pantry staples. Can you even consider them pantry staples? That’s a debate for another day. But a cookie or three with afternoon tea is simply nonnegotiable.

Read More >>

Chocoflan

A few desserts on this blog stick with me, often because I posted them a while back, with a lingering feeling they could be improved upon. As anyone who cooks or bakes knows, things change over time. New ingredients get introduced (such as bean-to-bar chocolates) and we learn better or faster ways to do things the more we make our favorite recipes. Chocoflan has always…

A few desserts on this blog stick with me, often because I posted them a while back, with a lingering feeling they could be improved upon. As anyone who cooks or bakes knows, things change over time. New ingredients get introduced (such as bean-to-bar chocolates) and we learn better or faster ways to do things the more we make our favorite recipes.

Chocoflan has always fascinated me and over eleven years ago, I posted this recipe, based on one by my friend Fany Gerson in her terrific book My Sweet Mexico. When I got her book, I was wowed by it immediately. I was so taken with her book that I asked the same photographer, Ed Anderson, to shoot my next book, which was My Paris Kitchen. I’m happy the pastries of Mexico have been adequately explored in a whole book, with recipes from a notable pastry chef to boot.

Continue Reading Chocoflan...

Coffee Caramel Panna Cotta

Two of my favorite flavors come together right here, in this Coffee Caramel Panna Cotta, which offers up the rich flavor of caramel with a few strong shots of espresso. I seem to have good caramel karma and when I baked professionally, the executive pastry chef at one restaurant told me that I was the one she wanted to make the caramel desserts since I…

Two of my favorite flavors come together right here, in this Coffee Caramel Panna Cotta, which offers up the rich flavor of caramel with a few strong shots of espresso. I seem to have good caramel karma and when I baked professionally, the executive pastry chef at one restaurant told me that I was the one she wanted to make the caramel desserts since I had a knack for getting caramel just right.

Continue Reading Coffee Caramel Panna Cotta...

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is always a good choice when you’re in need of a comforting dessert. The custard-based pudding is rich in texture and flavor – and the fact that it can be served warm always seems to add another layer of indulgence to each serving. There is no time of year that …

The post Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding appeared first on Baking Bites.

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is always a good choice when you’re in need of a comforting dessert. The custard-based pudding is rich in texture and flavor – and the fact that it can be served warm always seems to add another layer of indulgence to each serving. There is no time of year that calls for comfort food more than the fall and winter holiday seasons, and that means that this Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding is a perfect option for dessert during that time of year.

The bread pudding is made with pumpkin puree and a generous amount of pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice, or pumpkin pie spice, is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger that is typically included in pumpkin pies and other pumpkin desserts. You have undoubtedly had it in a pumpkin spice latte, even if you weren’t familiar with the individual spices that went into the mix in the first place! The spices add a delicious warmth to the natural sweetness of pumpkin puree, which is further enhanced in this dessert with brown sugar and vanilla.

Bread puddings are usually soft and custardy, without much texture of their own. In this recipe, I add in a generous amount of toasted pecans. The flavor of the pecans works beautifully with the pumpkin spice elements, as well as adding a nice crunch to each serving of bread pudding. Toasted pecans will give you the best results in this recipe, as they will hold up to the custard without loosing their texture. Feel free to use pecans that are both roasted and salted if you like a little extra salty-sweetness in your desserts (I do!). I like to toss a few extra on top for garnish, to hint at the flavors that are inside the bread pudding.

This recipe makes a generous batch of bread pudding and you might not have a large enough gathering to serve it all at once. Fortunately, bread pudding keeps very well and the leftovers are just as delicious as the freshly baked dessert. If you do have leftovers, store them in the fridge. You can serve them cold or reheat individual portions in the microwave for a few minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding
2 3/4 cups milk (pref. whole)
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (1-15 oz can)
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
9-10 cups cubed bread (pref. white bread or brioche)
1 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
topping: 2 tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice until very smooth.
Place cubed bread in a large bowl, and pour pumpkin mixture over the top. Use a spatula to gently fold the bread cubes until they are well coated. Allow bread mixture to stand for 20 minutes to soak up the custard mixture.
Pour bread custard mixture into prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Combine sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top of the bread pudding.
Bake for 40 minutes, until the pudding springs back when lightly pressed and a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers should be cooled completely and stored in the refrigerator.

Serves 10-12

The post Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Bread Pudding appeared first on Baking Bites.

Honey Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

Honey Creme Brulee

Creme brulees never go out of style in my book – especially when you’re making them at home so that you can put a twist on this very classic dessert! This Honey Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee recipe is a new favorite of mine. The silky smooth custard is sweetened with honey and …

The post Honey Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee appeared first on Baking Bites.

Honey Creme Brulee

Creme brulees never go out of style in my book – especially when you’re making them at home so that you can put a twist on this very classic dessert! This Honey Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee recipe is a new favorite of mine. The silky smooth custard is sweetened with honey and vanilla bean, giving it a rich sweetness along with a wonderful floral vanilla flavor. The vanilla bean really pairs beautifully with the honey, making this dessert both delicious and decadent!

The custard is easy to make and uses heavy cream and whole milk as a base. The fat in the dairy is what makes this custard silky smooth and velvety, so this is one dessert where you don’t want to substitute lower fat dairy if you want to get the best possible results. The recipe starts by infusing the cream and milk mixture with vanilla bean. If you don’t have a vanilla bean on hand, you can use vanilla extract and stir it into the milk and egg mixture before dividing it into ramekins.

The custard is sweetened with both honey and sugar. Most of the flavor comes from the honey, and each honey has its own unique flavor, so be sure to choose a honey that you like. I like wildflower, orange and acacia for this recipe, but just give your honey a taste before you incorporate it into the custard to be on the safe side.

Honey Creme Brulee

Bake your custards in a water bath, allow them to cool and then chill them before bruleeing the tops. I find that the best way to serve these is when the caramel layer on top is still slightly warm and the custard is cold, an effect that I get by using a kitchen torch to brulee the custard just before serving. For a perfect crust, try to use superfine sugar to create a thick and even layer of sugar on the cold custard, then use the torch in small circles to caramelize it without burning. If you’re not serving all the custards at once, store the extras for up to 2 days in the fridge and brulee just before indulging.

Honey Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
1/2 vanilla bean
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
hot water, for water bath
sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 325F. Arrange six 6-oz ramekins in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Split vanilla bean and use the back of a knife or a spoon to scrape out the vanilla bean seeds. Add vanilla bean seeds and pod to heavy cream and milk. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Remove vanilla bean pod, then bring back to a simmer.
In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, eggs and egg yolks until well combined. Whisking constantly, very slowly stream the hot milk mixture in to temper the eggs. Strain mixture into a large measuring cup or a bowl with a pouring spout.
Divide mixture evenly into prepared ramekins. Place pan onto a rack in the oven, and pour boiling water into the pan around the ramekins so that water comes two thirds up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until custards are set and have only a slight jiggle to them. A very sharp knife inserted into the center of a custard should come out clean.
Carefully remove tray from oven and allow custards to cool in the water bath. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating, then cover with plastic wrap and chill completely before adding topping.
Custards can be prepared up to two days in advance.

For topping: Add about a tablespoon of sugar onto the top of each custard and spread into an even layer. Using a kitchen torch and moving it slowly, but constantly, caramelize the topping. Topping can also be caramelized under the broiler.
Allow caramel to set for a minute before serving.

Serves 6

The post Honey Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee appeared first on Baking Bites.

Riz au lait (French rice pudding)

Recently I was contacted by a film production company that was proposing to include me in a series. They were interested in what I do and mentioned they wanted to come over and film me in my office, along with all the people I work with. I hated to disappoint them, but I had to tell them that it’s just was me sitting in front…

Recently I was contacted by a film production company that was proposing to include me in a series. They were interested in what I do and mentioned they wanted to come over and film me in my office, along with all the people I work with. I hated to disappoint them, but I had to tell them that it’s just was me sitting in front of my computer, or hanging around my kitchen, wielding my camera while trying to balancing a spoon on the edge of a saucepan so it doesn’t fall in, or coaxing a quickly-melting scoop of ice cream into something that’ll look presentable when I publish the recipe for you.

Continue Reading Riz au lait (French rice pudding)...

Raspberry Custard Blondies

A fudgy vanilla blondie batter swirled with tart raspberries and creamy custard. I made these tasty numbers for a collaboration with Le Creuset I’m doing on instagram at the moment. I thought it would be a shame not to share the recipe on here too so it’s easily accessible for all! The batter comes together in a pinch, just melted and stirred together on the stove top. I use custard powder for a very quick (and nostalgic) custard which goes in the middle of the bars. If you want you can make custard from scratch or buy the pre-made stuff from the fridge section of the supermarket! The tangy raspberries really help to offset some of the sweetness from the batter and makes these casual bars feel a bit more dessert-y.

The post Raspberry Custard Blondies appeared first on Izy Hossack – Top With Cinnamon.

close up of raspberry custard blondies on baking paper

A fudgy vanilla blondie batter swirled with tart raspberries and creamy custard.

unbaked raspberry and custard blondies in a baking tray
cut raspberry and custard blondies on a dark background with a cup of tea

I made these tasty numbers for a collaboration with Le Creuset I’m doing on instagram at the moment. I thought it would be a shame not to share the recipe on here too so it’s easily accessible for all!

The batter comes together in a pinch, just melted and stirred together on the stove top. I use custard powder for a very quick (and nostalgic) custard which goes in the middle of the bars. If you want you can make custard from scratch or buy the pre-made stuff from the fridge section of the supermarket! The tangy raspberries really help to offset some of the sweetness from the batter and makes these casual bars feel a bit more dessert-y.

Raspberry & Custard Blondies

Raspberry & Custard Blondies

Yield: Makes 16 bars

Ingredients

Custard:

  • 200ml (3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp) whole milk
  • 3 tbsp custard powder

Batter:

  • 110g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 220g (1 cup) light brown sugar
  • 1 medium UK egg (large US egg)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 125g (1 cup) plain white flour
  • ¼ tsp fine table salt
  • 150g (5.3 ounces) raspberries

Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan/ gas mark 4 / 350°F and line your Le Creuset 23cm (9-inch) square cake tin with baking paper.

    Make the custard:
    Combine the milk and custard powder in a medium saucepan. Heat over a medium-low heat, whilst whisking to prevent lumps, until thickened. Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool.

    Make the batter:

    Rinse out the saucepan you were using for the custard and place back onto the stove. Add the butter to the saucepan and allow to melt over a low heat. Keep cooking until the butter foams up and smells nutty, then stir to prevent the milk solids from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. Once the foaming subsides, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

    As you wait for the butter to cool, combine the light brown sugar, egg and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together until smooth and slightly pale. Add in the cooled, melted butter and stir until combined. Add the flour and salt and stir in to make a thick batter.

    Assemble and bake:
    Pour most of the batter into the prepared tin, reserving a few tablespoons for topping later on. Spread the batter out into an even layer then pour the cooled custard over evenly. Sprinkle on the raspberries and randomly dot with spoonfuls of reserved batter on top.

    Bake for 25-35 minutes, until golden brown on top but still slightly squidgy (the custard will remain slightly gooey so a skewer test won’t work here). Allow to cool then slice into 16 squares and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Notes

Allergens: milk, wheat, gluten, eggs

Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to see how it went! Tag me on instagram @izyhossack and hashtag it #topwithcinnamon so I can have a look & reshare in my stories!

The post Raspberry Custard Blondies appeared first on Izy Hossack - Top With Cinnamon.

How to Make Mousse, According to an Expert

Mousse, for me, is the ultimate fancy-pants dessert—at least ever since someone explained to me the difference between moose and mousse (both are impressive, but one is decidedly more delicious).
There are lots of different kinds (including this of wo…

Mousse, for me, is the ultimate fancy-pants dessert—at least ever since someone explained to me the difference between moose and mousse (both are impressive, but one is decidedly more delicious).

There are lots of different kinds (including this of wonderfully easy chocolate mousse recipe, with only a few ingredients), but the traditional method is worth learning because it’s so versatile. Since the dish has so few ingredients, basic tweaks can yield dozens of different flavor combinations. The sky’s the limit for creating your own custom mousse recipe.

Read More >>