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Posts tagged as dessert

Coconut Milk Panna Cotta With Maple Syrup

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Sep 3, 2013 at 12:18pm

Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Maple SyrupSo long Minnesota State Fair! It was a wild ride this year, loads of food fun despite soul-sucking heat followed by mercifully cool breezes…which in turn drew the largest crowds I’ve ever experienced.


I tend to indulge in savory foods when I’m out there, mostly in the form of pork (this year I enjoyed pig wings, porketta sausage, pork chop on a stick, and bacon) and of course, my fair favorite french fries. After the salt and sweat, dragging a cooler full of cooking demo ingredients back to my car, and sitting in a sea of traffic, I would put my feet up and cackle with delight to indulge in the cool, creamy panna cottas I alluded to in my last post. I made a big batch a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed them all fair long, threatening to end up photo-less because I seemed to find plenty of time to eat the panna cottas and no time to photograph them.Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Maple SyrupSometimes I ate them with fresh blueberries, which have been spectacular this season, and are a match made in heaven with a hint of cardamom warming the creaminess. Mostly I ate them plain because I wanted to marvel at the complexity of tropical coconut milk sweetened with cold-climate maple syrup. Was I over-tired with a blown out palate? Utterly. And yet even on a normal eating day, coconut milk and maple syrup are two of my favorite ingredients, each with so many layers of essence, delicious in both savory and sweet dishes. On paper they don’t belong together but trust me, it’s a beautiful pairing.Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Maple SyrupI should add that panna cottas are the perfect party dessert. They are as easy as a sneeze to prepare yet somehow feel fancy enough for guests, especially if you serve them from pretty demitasse cups (my favorite way; less fussy than inverting them). Keep the garnish simple for a light and refreshing effect; in this case, a scattering of fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup. Done.

If you missed last Friday’s Foodie Roundtable on Minnesota Public Radio’s Daily Circuit show, have a listen here as Andrew Zimmern, James Norton, and I were put on the spot answering host Kerri Miller’s (and the live audience’s) fair food trivia questions. Hot seats! Tough questions! But so much fun. I’ll take this opportunity to say that I would love to see more gluten-free treats at the fair. Foxy Falafel’s cheese curds with honey dipping sauce? Fair-goers would go crazy for them!Amanda Paa, Stephanie Meyer, Minnesota Wine Country

Amanda Paa, Stephanie Meyer, Minnesota Wine CountryThat said, there are plenty of naturally gluten-free goodies to be had. Bookmark for next year the fantastic write-up Amanda Paa of Healthy Life, Happy Cook blog did of our presentation pairing gluten-free fair foods to Minnesota wines at the Minnesota Wine Country exhibit. We had a blast! As did chef Scott Pampuch and I pairing and sharing grilled sausages and pickled cabbage with the crowd.

If you’re a panna cotta fiend like I am, see also:
Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Honey & Berries and Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Bacon & Blue Cheese
Sweet Corn Panna Cotta with Fried Sage

Recipe for Coconut Milk Panna Cotta with Maple Syrup at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Pavlovas with Lime Curd

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Feb 19, 2012 at 7:31am

zoe francois lime curd pavlovas

This pretty recipe is via my friend Zoe Francois, she of Zoe Bakes and Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day. Not only is Zoe one of the coolest, funniest chicks on the planet, she’s a total rock star these days, traveling the country with her co-author Jeff Hertzberg, MD, promoting their latest book, Artisan Pizza in 5 Minutes a Day (see the book’s insanely delicious pizza party video, which I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in, below) as well as taping an appearance on The Cooking Channel, probably as I write this sentence.

Zoe posted a pavlova recipe on The Cooking Channel site last week, in fact, and I was so smitten with her beautiful photographs – and the promise of a gluten-free dessert! – that right away I asked if we could do a version for here. Zoe graciously agreed and suggested lime curd with white chocolate and tropical fruit. OK! Oh my goodness, tender meringues the color of the snow we don’t have, filled with zingy lime pudding…a perfect mid-February treat in my book.

I made them for a post-Super Bowl treat yesterday and made our guests very happy. You could serve them as a Valentine’s Day treat and make your true love very happy. Everyone is happy when Zoe’s pastries are in the mix!

Recipe for Pavlovas with Lime Curd at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

Artisan Pizza in 5 Minutes A Day Pizza Party, filmed/produced by the AMAZINGLY talented White On Rice Couple:

Yet Even More In Progress…

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Dec 24, 2010 at 11:43am

The table is set.

The Alice Medrich chocolate souffles – not too rich, nicely chocolatey – are ready for the oven.  They’re both gluten-free and do-ahead.  If they washed dishes, they’d be perfect.  (That giant one in the back is for John!)

Cauliflower is blanched.  It still needs a coating of breadcrumbs, then it will be ready for the fryer we fondly call “fondue.”  (Recipes for fondues and sauces are here.)

It’s kind of crazy how perfectly Christmas-y all this snow is!  After Christmas, it’s just…a lot of snow.  But for now, it’s lovely.


Hint-of-Sweet Pumpkin Custard

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Nov 14, 2010 at 7:00pm

As I’ve mentioned, I’m trying to eat as little sugar as possible.  So far, so good, although I absolutely love pumpkin pie and didn’t want to miss out this holiday season.  Since pumpkin itself is quite nutritious, I decided to experiment with a classic, cream-based pumpkin filling (the best kind, in my opinion) and see how low I could take the sugar and still enjoy it.  (I’ve already been baking the filling without crust for years, since it’s the custard I really enjoy.)

Three tablespoons of brown sugar turned out to be the sweet spot, nicely complimenting the naturally sweet pumpkin.  I added just a pinch of sugar to the softly whipped cream for the full effect, et voila, a lovely pumpkin custard that will definitely fill a craving for those of you trying to keep holiday sweets to a dull roar.

And in case you’re wanting the real deal?  No problem!  The original recipe (with a delicious gingersnap crust enhancement) is here at Joy of Baking.  It’s all good.

PS If you’re shopping around for a turkey and ideas for roasting it, check my post last week on Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly for Herb-Roasted Turkey and Gravy, and don’t miss Chef Scott Pampuch’s excellent Star Tribune video on how to carve it!

Hint-of-Sweet Pumpkin Custard
Adapted from
Serves 8-10

Note: The custard can also be baked in 4-oz. ramekins.

soft butter
3 large eggs
2 c. fresh pumpkin puree or 1 – 15 oz. can pure pumpkin
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
few gratings of fresh nutmeg

softly whipped cream sweetened with a pinch of sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Butter a pie plate.  In a large bowl lightly whisk the eggs.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate.  Bake custard for 45 minutes or until the filling is just set (center will look wet; a knife inserted about 1 inch from side of pan will come out almost clean.)  Cool custard to room temperature and serve, or cover cooled custard and chill.

Berry Baking Bonanza! Summer Berry Crumbles

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 19, 2010 at 9:56am

Every time I go to the farmer’s market, I come home with more berries – yesterday I found strawberries still poking around, and raspberries and blueberries out in force.

Man do I love this time of year!

If you, like I, get a little carried away and buy far more berries than your family can eat in a day or two, then this crumble is for you.

And if you, like I, get a little carried away and buy peaches, cherries, rhubarb, apricots, and plums too, then this crumble is definitely for you.

For that’s the wonderful thing about crumbles – you can layer any ripe summer fruit under a crisp lid of streusel and it will be unforgettably delicious.  Tart and sweet, soft and crunchy, lightly buttery with a hint of cinnamon.  For about 15 minutes of effort.  How great is that?

Man do I love this time of year!

Note: Blueberries are particularly perfect right now, so after you make this crumble, grab a few pints of the blues and make my friend Susie’s blueberry kuchen.  I did just that last weekend, and entered a couple of pans in the Kingfield Market’s Berry Bake-Off for fun…and won the Critics’ Choice Award!  Just like this crumble recipe, blueberry kuchen is so easy to pull together and keeps the spotlight on the berries.  I posted the recipe last week at Dara & Co./Minnesota Monthly Magazine’s blog, check it out.  And get berry baking!

Summer Berry Crumbles
Adapted from
Serves 6

I like the berries a little tart, a nice contrast with the sweet streusel topping and ice cream.  If you add rhubarb, however, you’ll likely need to add more sugar.  I bake these in 4 oz. ramekins to keep the serving size in check, but you could bake this in one large quiche/tart pan as well (add 5-10 minutes to overall baking time).

1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch salt
1/3 c. oats
4 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into small pieces
3 c. mixed berries (can include diced peaches, apricots, plums, rhubarb, cherries…)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 c. sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set 6 4-oz. ramekins on the baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. sugar, cinnamon, salt, and oats.  Use your fingers to work butter into dry ingredients.  Chill.

In a medium bowl, combine fruit, cornstarch, and 1/3 c. sugar; toss to coat.  Evenly divide the fruit mixture between the 6 ramekins.  Top with the crumble topping.  Bake until tops are golden and fruit is bubbly (it will bubble out of the ramekins), about 35 minutes.  Cool for 20 minutes.

Serve warm with ice cream.

Let’s Celebrate with Killer Chocolate Cupcakes!

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Apr 7, 2010 at 7:28pm

What do you bake a 17-year old with perfectly clear skin for her birthday?  Chocolate cake with killer chocolate icing, of course.  Or cupcakes, in this case, because they’re so damn cute (and because you can easily send the leftovers far, far away, like to your husband’s office).  Yes, my stepdaughter Sasha is 17, an unbelievable number.  Nathan is about to be 14, John’s about to be 50, and I’ve got one foot in the grave myself.  Good Lord.

But wait…we’re celebrating!  Spring birthdays and Spring itself and this cool news… I’m going to be blogging weekly – in addition to this blog – over at Minnesota Monthly magazine’s website for Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl’s new venture, Dara & Company.  I’ll be joining fellow local writers:


Yeah, that’s a seriously talented group of people to be associated with and I am over-the-moon excited and honored, sheesh.  There will be five posts each week, one from each of us, mine on Tuesdays about…cooking at home.  Check us out!

And oh, the cake!  This is a classic recipe, moist and easy, straight out of my Grandma Meyer’s Bethany Reformed Church cookbook from Clara City, Minnesota.  Yes ma’am it is!  The icing is my killer chocolate sauce recipe, posted several times before, just a little chocolate and butter and cream.  Mmmm hmmm.

Bethany Reformed Chocolate Cake

This makes two, full 9-inch cakes, or 24 cupcakes.  I’ve halved the recipe successfully.  You could bake the full recipe in a bundt or 9×13 pan (adjust baking time accordingly).

1 3/4 c. sugar

1 3/4 c. flour

3/4 c. cocoa powder (use the good stuff, it works well)

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 c. milk

1/2 c. vegetable oil

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 c. boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.  In the bowl of a mixer, stir together the dry ingredients.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.  With the mixer on low, add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients until just combined – scrape down the bowl.  Turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes.  Turn the mixer to its lowest speed and slowly add the boiling water.  Turn off the mixer and stir by hand until the batter is just combined; it will be quite thin.  Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool cakes in their pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto racks and cool completely.  Frost with your favorite icing.

Killer Chocolate Sauce

Makes about 2 cups

Good on everything!  Especially as a poured icing for chocolate (or any) cake, or warm over ice cream or cream puffs.  Stirred into hot milk to taste, it makes incredible cocoa.

1/2 c. sugar

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (worth buying good chocolate)

1 c. whipping cream

3 Tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine all but vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Bring to a simmer, stirring several times, cook for 5 minutes, stirring several times.  Remove from heat, carefully stir in vanilla.  Cool to just-warm before pouring over cake or serving over ice cream or cream puffs.

Can be cooled completely and reheated later.  Keeps well for up to one week in the refrigerator.