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Archive for Desserts

TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Egg Yolks

Here’s what to do with the yolk if you’re only
using the white. Photo courtesy Eight Turn Crepe.


When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When it gives you egg yolks, make mayonnaise, hollandaise or dessert.

Certain recipes—angel food cake, egg white omelets, macaroons, marshmallows, meringues/pavlovas, seven-minute frosting, white cake and some soufflés—use only the egg whites. Here’s what to do with the extra yolks:


  • Béarnaise sauce. Béarnaise is a more complex form of hollandaise. The key difference is in the flavoring: Hollandaise is seasoned with lemon juice while béarnaise includes shallot and tarragon with vinegar instead of lemon juice.
  • Hollandaise sauce. A great way to use up three egg yolks. Use it to sauce asparagus, broccoli, green beans, fish/seafood or Eggs Benedict (recipe).

  • Mayonnaise or aïoli (garlic mayonnaise). It’s easy to make mayonnaise, and the taste is so much better than commercial varieties that use cheaper oils. Check out Julia Childs’ mayonnaise recipe. And yes, before it became America’s favorite sandwich spread, mayonnaise was (and is) a French sauce.

  • Custard. There are numerous types of custard, from baked custard and crème brûlée to flan and custard sauce/zabaglione. All are made with yolks. See our Custard Glossary and take your pick.
  • French custard ice cream. Add egg yolks for a much richer ice cream. That‘s the recipe Häagen-Dazs uses.

  • Lemon meringue pie or lemon tart. Lemon meringue pie is so much more delicious when it’s homemade. Here’s the recipe. Lemon tart is one of our favorite desserts: simpler (no meringue) and yet sophisticated.
  • Lemon curd (or lime, raspberry or other curd). It’s similar to the filling of lemon meringue pie, and can be eaten as dessert or spread on breakfast breads. Recipe.
  • Pastry cream (crème pâtissiére). This is the filling for éclairs and napoleons; you can also make fruit tarts by filling tart shells with it and topping with fruit.
  • Pots de crème. You can make French style pudding, thickened with egg yolks, or American-style butterscotch, chocolate or vanilla pudding. “Pots” refer to the individual, lidded dessert dishes traditionally used to serve the pudding.

    Photo courtesy My Most Favorite Food.



  • Avgolemono soup or egg drop soup. Add the extra yolks into the standard recipe.
  • Eggnog. It doesn’t have to be the season to be jolly in order to enjoy a cup. Eggnog recipe.
  • Omelets and scrambles. If you’re not counting your cholesterol, simply add the extra yolks to an omelet, scramble or frittata.

    Egg yolks tend to dry out after a few days in the fridge, and especially in the freezer. The gelatin in the yolk causes it to thicken when frozen. Store yolks in the fridge in an airtight container with a few tablespoons of water. Plan to use them quickly.

    If you have too many to use, you can beat and freeze the egg yolks. Follow these instructions from the American Egg Board, which offers detailed information on storing eggs in every form.


    Egg whites can be stored, covered, in the fridge for a few days; but if you’re not going to use them immediately, freeze them. Place each egg white into an individual compartment of an ice cube tray. Freeze and transfer to a freezer bag. Then, just defrost what you need at room temperature.

    Yes, we’ll be publishing an article on what to do with those leftover whites!


    Check out the different types of eggs in our Egg Glossary. You’ll be surprised!



    RECIPE: Ice Cream & Grilled Fruit

    Grill your dessert: grilled fruit topped with
    ice cream or sorbet. Photo courtesy
    Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.


    With the end of grilling season in sight, make every meal count. Here, an easy dessert favorite: grilled fruit with ice cream or sorbet.

    The fun begins when you decide which fruit to pair with which flavor of ice cream or sorbet. So stroll through the market aisles and get your creative juices flowing.


    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (Key lime if possible)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • Fresh fruit: 4 peaches, 10 apricots, 1 pineapple,
    2 mangoes, 2 bananas, etc.
  • 4 large scoops ice cream or sorbet
  • Optional garnish: caramel sauce, chocolate sauce,
    crème fraîche, mascarpone, whipped cream
  • Preparation

    1. PEEL and slice fruit.

    2. COMBINE lime juice and brown sugar in shallow dish; mix well. Add fruit, stir to coat; cover and marinate 30 minutes or longer. Meanwhile…

    3. PREPARE indoor or outdoor grill by brushing grill rack with oil and heating. Place fruit on grill rack, and grill 2 to 3 minutes per side.

    4. DIVIDE fruit evenly among four plates; top with a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with chocolate sauce or other garnish, as desired.



    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Japanese Cone Crepes

    Pick your crepes. Photo courtesy Eight Turn


    If you get excited by the thought of crepes, take a look at Eight Turn Crepe and get out your crepe pan.

    The take-out restaurant concept, which originated in Tokyo, has just opened in New York City. The gluten-free, rice flour crepes are packed with fresh ingredients and rolled into a cone shape.

    The varieties, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, are all so exciting that we want to have every one.

    Read the full review.

    If you’re in New York City, head to 55 Spring Street in Soho. Here’s the company website.

    Be sure to have yuzulade—yuzu lemonade. (The recipe is in the review.)

    Then, hope that an Eight Turn Crepe opens near you.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Berry-Custard Dessert Cocktail

    More berries and less custard lower the
    calories in this delicious dessert. Photo
    courtesy Ruth’s Chris Steak House.


    Since it’s National Vanilla Custard Day, today’s tip is a way to enjoy custard with fewer calories. Just “pad out” the custard with low-calorie berries.



  • Mixed berries
  • Vanilla custard (substitute vanilla pudding)
  • Optional: orange liqueur
  • Optional garnish: mint sprig


    1. PLACE 3 tablespoons of custard in the bottom of a Martini glass.


    2. TOP with berries. Drizzle an optional tablespoon of orange liqueur—Grand Gala, Grand Marnier, triple sec, etc.—over the berries.

    3. GARNISH with optional mint sprig and serve.

    Custard is semisoft preparation of milk or cream and eggs, thickened with heat. It can be cooked on top of the stove or baked in the oven.

    Custards can be sweet or savory, spanning desserts and dessert sauces to quiche and savory custard tarts.

    Check out the different types of custard in our Custard Glossary.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Sorbet Dessert Cocktails

    Drinking your dessert is especially delightful on a warm summer night.

    Start with a scoop of your favorite sorbet in a wine glass or stemmed dessert dish; top with sparkling wine and an optional garnish.

    You can have a higher proportion of wine to sorbet, as in the photo at right—a glass of sparkling wine with a scoop of sorbet.

    Or, take the other approach: A dish of sorbet with a sparkling wine pour-over, as in the photo below.

    Either way, you’ve got something light and luscious, with no more effort than scooping sorbet and pouring Champagne. That’s a win-win in our book.

    Beyond the simplicity of sparkling wine and sorbet, you can add a scoop of sorbet to a conventional cocktail:

  • Peach sorbet in a Bellini (Bellini Cocktail Recipe)
  • Orange sorbet in a Mimosa or grapefruit sorbet in a Grapefruit Mimosa (Grapefruit Mimosa Cocktail Recipe—substitute orange juice for the grapefruit juice in the recipe)

    A glass of Prosecco with strawberry sorbet. Photo © Auremar | Fotolia.


    You can also add the sorbet to non-sparkling cocktails, for example:

  • Lemon or lime sorbet in a Margarita
  • Raspberry sorbet (cranberry, if you can find it) in a Cosmopolitan
  • Pineapple sorbet in a Piña Colada
    Seek inspiration by looking at the flavors of sorbet in your market. Don’t be scared off by exotic flavors. One of our favorite creations is a French 77 (Champagne and St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur) with lychee sorbet that we found in an Asian market. (Elderflower tastes a lot like lychee.)

    And then, there’s the ice cream cocktail. Two of our favorites:

  • Coffee ice cream in a Black Russian or White Russian (recipe)
  • Godiva chocolate liqueur with chocolate and vanilla ice cream

    Lemon sorbet with a Prosecco pour-over.
    Photo © Auremar | Fotolia.



    Asti or Asti Spumante, from the Asti region of Italy, is a sweeter style of sparkler made from Muscat grapes. The sweetness is perfect for dessert pairings, and the lighter body and low alcohol content (about 8%) help.

    Cava, from Spain, is available in white or pink. As with Champagne, it is made in different levels of dryness/sweetness.

    Champagne, the world’s most famous and costliest sparkler, is produced in the Champagne region of France. Although even the least expensive bottles are pricey, you can find something in the $25 range. Unless you’re a rock star, don’t pour Dom Perignon into a sorbet cocktail: The sweet sorbet will overwhelm the complexity and finesse of a great Champagne.

    Cremant, from France, is a sparkler that can be produced in any region. It has lower effervescence than Champagne, giving it a creamy mouth feel.


    Espumate, from Portugal, is light-bodied and very affordable sparkling option ($6-$8).

    Prosecco is an Italian version of Asti (using the same production method), but it is dryer due to the grapes used. Light in body, it is available in lightly sparkling and fully sparkling varieties.

    Other sparklers, less frequently found in the U.S., include Methode Cap Classique from South Africa, Sekt from Germany, Sovetskoye Shampanskoye from Russia, Sparkling Shiraz from Australia and Trento Doc from Italy.

    When you’ve created your signature sorbet cocktail, please share the recipe with us!



    TIP OF THE DAY: Grilled Chocolate Sandwich

    Move over, pain au chocolat and chocolate croissant. We don’t have to go searching for you anymore. We can make the American version of a chocolate sandwich at home—in five minutes.

    A few days ago we suggested different uses for grilled bread. We saved the dessert version, grilled bread with chocolate, for today.

    As with grilled cheese sandwiches, you can toast the bread on the grill, under the broiler or in a frying pan. Here are two recipes, including a quick variation, courtesy of King Arthur Flour—an exceptional resource for the finest flours and other baking ingredients.

    Also as with grilled cheese, grilled chocolate sandwiches are cooked until the bread is toasty and the chocolate is chocolate melted. Make them as a snack or a fun dessert. We enjoy them with a glass of cold milk.

    You can also use croissants and sweet rolls, although grilling the uneven tops is challenging. It’s better to microwave them until the chocolate melts.

    What chocolate should you use?


    The dessert sandwich on pound cake or bread. Photo courtesy King Arthur Flour.

    Whatever you like. Some people favor Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate. We personally prefer prestige-grade chocolate and use any of the gourmet chocolate bars we have on hand. You can use flavored chocolate bars and bars with inclusions (e.g. nuts), and even chocolate chips. For fun, you can mix dark and white chocolate, or any variation that inspires you.


    Ingredients For 20 Sandwich Triangles

  • 10 slices brioche, challah or pound cake*
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces (about 1 cup) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (not unsweetened baking chocolate), broken or chopped into small pieces
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Optional: 1/4 cup sparkling white sugar (sanding sugar)
  • Optional garnish (adults): crème fraîche, mascarpone, sour cream, whipped cream
  • Optional garnish (kids): whipped cream, vanilla ice cream
    *In a pinch, you can use firm-textured white bread.


    Quick version: butter toast or brioche, add chocolate, grill. Photo courtesy King Arthur Flour.



    1. BRING the cream to a simmer and stir in the chocolate. Continue to stir until the mixture is shiny and smooth, heating briefly if necessary to melt the chocolate completely. Let cool until thickened.

    2. BUTTER one side of each piece of bread. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the chocolate onto the unbuttered side of 5 of the slices, leaving an uncoated rim around the edges.

    3. TOP with the remaining bread. Sprinkle the buttered sides of the bread with the optional sparkling sugar.

    4. GRILL the sandwiches over medium heat until they’re golden brown on both sides. Be careful if you’re using the sparkling sugar: The sugar tends to burn if the heat is too high. Be sure to wipe the pan between sandwiches. Cut the sandwiches into triangles and serve warm.


    NOTE: Any extra filling may be stored in the fridge, tightly covered, for later use. You can warm it and use it as a dessert topping.


  • 2 slices pound cake or brioche per serving
  • Unsalted butter, softened
  • Chocolate, broken or chopped

    1. SLICE the cake into pieces about 3/8” thick. If desired, further cut the slices into more manageable individual pieces (e.g. for children). Butter one side of each slice.

    2. SPACE the chocolate on the unbuttered side of the cake slices. Top with another slice of cake, buttered side up. Grill over medium heat, turning once, till both sides are golden, and the chocolate is melting.

    3. SERVE plain or with one of the garnishes above.



    TIP OF THE DAY & TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Spoonable Caramel Sauce

    What‘s the first thing you think of when you hear the words “caramel sauce?”

    If you’re like most people, you’d say “ice cream” or “sundae.”

    But beyond an ice cream topping, caramel is a pretty universal dessert sauce.

  • Dip fresh fruit in it—a caramel fondue
  • Drizzle it over baked apples, sautéed bananas or poached pears
  • Shake it up with popcorn for delicious caramel corn
  • Use it as a topping for brownies, cheesecake, chocolate cake, crêpes, pound cake or pudding
  • Drizzle it over apple pie
  • Make caramel-swirl brownies or semifreddo
  • Add it to s’mores or spread onto shortbread for a gourmet twist
  • Eat it right from the jar
    Have other suggestions? Let us know.


    A classic: brownie sundae with caramel sauce. Photo courtesy Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties.


    How would you use this luscious caramel,
    made in six different flavors? Photo courtesy
    Chef June Pagan | Spoonable.



    Our Top Pick Of The Week is Spoonable Caramel, an artisan producer in Brooklyn, New York, that makes luscious, buttery caramel sauce in six flavors:

  • Brooklyn Butterscotch (an old-fashioned style made with molasses)
  • Chewy Sesame Caramel
  • Flowery Lavender Caramel
  • Peppered Orange Caramel
  • Salty Caramel
  • Spicy Chili Caramel
    They’ll be a hit at home and a memorable gift.

    Read the full review.


    Check out the different types of dessert sauces in our Dessert Sauce Glossary.

    Find more of our favorite gourmet dessert sauces.



    FOOD FUN: Fork, Knife & Spoon Cookies With Crème Caramel

    At the Chocolate Lab restaurant in San Francisco, crème caramel is served with a surprise: streusel crumbs and cookie utensils. Make it yourself!

    If you don’t want to go into baking overdrive, you can surprise your guests with just a spoon or a fork. You can buy the cookie cutters online:

  • Spoon cookie cutter
  • Fork cookie cutter
  • Knife cookie cutter
    You can make the cookies to serve with anything, from ice cream to oversize cups of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. The cookies are five inches long.


  • 1 cup turbinado sugar (you can use regular sugar, but turbinado sugar heightens the flavor of the caramel)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Optional streusel topping recipe
  • 8 six-ounce ramekins

    Photo courtesy Chocolate Lab | San Francisco.


    1. PREHEAT oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle. Place ramekins in a roasting pan and set aside.

    2. COMBINE the turbinado sugar in a stainless steel sauce pan with the water. Swirl pan to blend; heat over medium until a clear syrup forms. When the sugar is completely dissolved, raise the heat until the caramel darkens slightly to an amber color. Remove from the heat and immediately divide the caramel evenly among the ramekins. Spoon carefully so that the caramel is on the bottom of the ramekins and not on the sides. Set aside.

    3. WHISK the eggs, granulated sugar and salt in a bowl. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, bring the milk to a gentle simmer. Add the vanilla and pour it slowly over the egg-sugar mixture, whisking to blend. Distribute the custard evenly among ramekins.

    4. ADD at least 1-1/2 inches of water to the bottom of the roasting pan (this creates a water bath or bain-marie). Place the roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until they are firm in the center, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    5. RUN run a knife around the top edge of each ramekin and turn the ramekin upside down on a plate. When you unmold, the caramel at the bottom of the ramekin becomes the sauce on top of the custard, running down the sides and pooling on the plate.

    NOTE: The pastry chef at the Chocolate Lab did not use ramekins with the caramel at the bottom. Instead, as you can see in the photo above, the crème caramel was baked in bowls with the caramel on top, and was served in the bowl in which it was baked. You can do the same.


    Flan is the Spanish name for crème caramel, the lightest of the classic French custards. Caramel syrup is poured into the mold or ramekin before adding the custard base. After the custard is baked, it is unmolded, leaving the caramel sauce on top and pooling around it. In caramel custard, caramelized sugar is mixed into the custard prior to baking.

    See all the types of custard in our Custard Glossary.



    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Blueberry Muffin Day

    Homemade blueberry muffins. Photo © Klikk
    | Fotolia.


    July 11th is National Blueberry Muffin Day. If you’ve never made blueberry muffins from scratch, today‘s thee day. Use seasonal fresh blueberries. Most commercial blueberry muffins use frozen blueberries, which can get watery. There‘s nothing like the real deal.

    The creator of this recipe is unknown, but it appeared in early versions of the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. The name evokes Twin Mountain, New Hampshire, a pair of mountain peaks called North Twin and South Twin. The recipe is not in the current edition, but you can purchase a reprint of the Fannie Farmer 1896 Cook Book.



  • 2 cups pastry flour*
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup blueberries
    *You can substitute 1-7/8 cups of all-purpose flour, but pastry flour creates more tender muffins.


    1.PREHEAT oven to 400°F. COMBINE 1-1/2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. In a second bowl combine eggs, milk and butter. In a third bowl, sprinkle 1/2 cup flour over the blueberries.

    2. POUR the egg mixture over the flour mixture. Stir only enough to dampen the flour; the batter should not be smooth. Gently stir in blueberries.

    3. SPOON into buttered muffin tins. The batter should fill the each muffin cup two-thirds high. Bake for 15 minutes.


    Muffins are often referred to as “small cake-like breads” and quick breads, but this explanation needs to be rethought. As recipes have evolved over time, the sugar and butter content of many muffins put them into the cake category—more precisely, the cupcake category. Many of them can pass as un-iced cupcakes.

    That’s why you can serve them for dessert. Cut the muffin in half, toast it lightly if you wish, and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or mascarpone.
    See all of the July food holidays.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Pavlova, An Easy Dessert Recipe

    An easy Pavlova. Photo by Irina Kupenska |


    A quick-assembly dessert that’s impressive and low-calorie? Count us in!

    The Pavlova consists of a meringue base topped with fresh fruits. Most people buy the meringue shells at bakeries, but ambitious bakers can make their own.

    In addition to individual meringue shells, the meringue can be shaped into cake layers that are alternated with fruit, for a spectacular effect (just check out “Pavlova meringue” in Google Images).

  • Then, all you have to do is cut up your favorite fruits and add them to the shell.
  • If you want to exert more effort, you can marinate the fruits in wine or liqueur.
  • Add an optional topping: crème fraîche, mascarpone, raspberry purée, whipped cream.
  • Garnish with chocolate curls or candied orange peel, or something as simple as a mint leaf.
    The Pavlova is one of the most popular desserts in Australia, where it’s commonly known as a Pav. The dessert is named after the legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926 and 1929. Both countries claim to have invented this dessert, and have made it their national dessert. New Zealand may have the edge: Published recipes of fruit-filled meringue shells existed there without the name Pavlova.

    According to chef Herbert Sachse of the Hotel Esplanade in Perth, Australia, the “Pavlova” was born at the Hotel 1935. According to Hotel legend, it was named at a meeting at which Sachse presented the cake: either the licensee, the manager, or Sachse remarked, “It is as light as Pavlova,” who had been a guest of the hotel during her 1929 tour. Years later, Sachse stated in an interview that he sought to improve the Meringue Cake recipe that he found in the Women’s Mirror Magazine, which was contributed by a New Zealand resident. (Source: Linda Stradley, What’s Cooking America.)

    While the desert is light and airy for summer, it can be tailored to every season:

  • Fall: Assorted nuts (raw or candied), dried fruits garnish on the plate
  • Christmas: Brandied fruits, candied fruits, crushed peppermint plate garnish
  • Valentine’s Day: Strawberries and cream, candied rose petals plate garnish
  • Spring: Apricots, nectarines, figs; edible flowers to garnish
  • Summer: Seasonal fruits garnished with shaved coconut, lemon mint, lemon verbena or spearmint



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