All posts filed under: Desserts

Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake with White Chocolate + Pecans

I’ve learned a lot about food, wine, and cooking from my parents.  My father has been making cheesecakes for well over a decade.  At one point, he even sold them to restaurants for resale.  Lemon, cherry, chocolate, you name it–he’s made them all, and every single one of them has been a hit for all that were lucky enough to get a precious bite.  Because they were so relatively common, I’m not sure why I found the idea of making one so intimidating.  I think the fear of an under-cooked gooey center or a faulty spring-form pan might have been two potential reasons. My husband Nick had never had the opportunity to try one of my dad’s cheesecakes, so for Thanksgiving this year, cheesecake was the simple dessert choice.  I mean, you have to have a dessert for Thanksgiving, and Nick HAD to try one of my dad’s cheesecakes eventually.  That whole two birds, one stone thing… yeah, it’s an expression for a reason.  So we went for it–together.  I figured if I watched my …

Chocolate Mousse

One of my father’s favorite dishes is chocolate mousse.  When it’s on a menu in a restaurant, he almost always has to order it.  For a dish that seems so simple–it can be quite complicated to make.  Working with egg whites, the whipped mass that makes mousse what it should be: light, airy, creamy, can be quite difficult if you’re not used to it.  When I first attempted to make chocolate mousse, I have to admit, the original recipe I was following failed.  I really don’t know where my error was… perhaps because I thought I could skip the espresso part.  Maybe my whites weren’t properly whipped.  Nevertheless, I wanted to be sure that my second attempt was fool-proof.  So I looked to a pro: Alton Brown.  Instead of relying on egg whites, the recipe cheats by including gelatin.  Genius!  This time around, I followed every step exactly as he explained and included every ingredient (I used really strong coffee.)  The flavor was wonderful–and my father devoured every bite. Chocolate Mousse Recipe courtesy of FoodNetwork.com, …

Pumpkin Spice Bars

I love all-things-pumpkin.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin ravioli, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin in salads, and even just staring at hundreds of pumpkins displayed on a farm for picking.  (Why do I feel like Bubba from Forrest Gump right now?  “shrimp salad… shrimp creole… shrimp scampi… ) They just smile Fall and cute and cozy to me.  I had a small group for Thanksgiving this year, and I wanted to do something different for dessert, and pumpkin pie was just too conventional.  So I turned to the Food Network for ideas: Voila.  Paula Deen.  The queen.  And she didn’t disappoint.  (Does she ever?)  With over 630 positive reviews, I had to check it out.  This recipe has tons of pumpkiny moist goodness, then topped with that awesome tang from cream cheese icing.  A pumpkin recipe match made in heaven.  So moist, a hint of spice.  It took me immediately to my dreamy pumpkin patch. Pumpkin Bars Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen, FoodNetwork.com Ingredients Bars: 4 eggs 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar 1 cup vegetable oil 15-ounce can pumpkin …