Does it ever happen to you that you crave for something to eat and don’t know what it is? sweet? savory? home cooked meal or just that something to satisfy your desire? it happens to me a lot maybe because I simply want to try a lot of things at one time. So it’s a new day and a new day calls for new something. Something sweet and comforting that reminds me my childhood home…or my sisters’ homes (they baked a lot when their kids were young). Do I have a treat for you.
I was in a mood for a dark, deep, rich color with smooth texture. How did I come about it? While I rearranged my living room today (which happens quite often) and I laid my new rug on the floor, it came in these beautiful deep silky earthy hues of browns that the colors naturally triggered my cravings to – you guesses it – chocolate.
But not just chocolate. I craved warm, silky, melting chocolate with just the right amount of crunch. Petite in size zapped with a touch of sour red berry. Oh, my juice buds are exploding as I write this.
Don’t you feel the same now? than go ahead and make this super simple yet light and so tasty chocolate melting crunchy berry cupcakes. It requires minimum effort – if you have nutella chocolate spread – then you have almost everything you need.
you can serve it like this
or like this
or eat it straight out of the paper…like me.
Serve it to guests and I promise they will think you worked very hard on it. I just can’t promise how many will satisfy you or them: three…five…
about 6-8 medium size cupcakes:
3/4 c. nutella spread
1 whole egg
1 egg white
4 tbsp white flour, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
handful of any kind of berries
1/2 c. chocolate chip (optional – fun for kids)
medium size paper muffin cup
In a large bowl combine whole egg, egg white, vanilla extract and nutella. Whisk until smooth. Add the flour and whisk gently until well combined. Set a side.
Heat oven to 350°. Meanwhile cut the berries to small pieces.
Insert paper muffin cups into a tin muffin pan (if you have one, it simply helps with support). Spoon the nutella batter into the paper muffin cups about 3/4 full. Top with chopped pecans, or chocolate chips or both. Insert a few pieces of berries into the batter filled cups. Bake for about 12-14 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out soft and sticky. For a drier consistency bake 5 minutes longer. Let cool in paper cups for 10 min. Serve warm and enjoy this delectable treat.
This is the best Kahlua banana cocktail you will ever make. Once you start using Kahlua in your drinks you can begin your own drinks collection. Kahlua is so versatile and can be used in many ways – if you love coffee liquor.
So what do you do when you’re stuck with ripe bananas? Most people I know throw them away. I usually have one or two left that I tend to trash because no one, even if I pay them, will eat it in my house.
I wasn’t even going to consider a search for any recipe that calls for over ripen bananas. Seriously? I looked at my poor looking bananas and promised that I will find something creative to do with them and trashing it wasn’t an option. Now I’m not talking about over ripen bananas that lose color, taste or smell bad no. I’m not that desperate. I’m talking about bananas that once they show their first tiny sign of aging they are dismissed completely by everyone in my family. How sad.
What to do what to do? Ah…I love Kahlua liquor. Don’t you? I always have it in my pantry. So…ripe bananas…Kahlua…heavy cream (which I happened to have)…cardamon seeds (I’m always looking to spice things up). Bingo! Kahlua/banana cocktail. It’s like a shake that brings the kid out of me…but with a twist.
This cocktail is different than others because of a little tiny devil – cardamon. It’s scent is warm and aromatic and the taste is sharp so you need only a few to add this unique flavor.
Combine Kahlua, sugar and bananas in a small sauce pan. Medium heat. Cook while stirring for about 10 min., until syrup starts to develop. Don’t worry about how the bananas look like.
At this time things start to sell AMAZING.
Remove from heat. Let cool for a few minutes. In the meantime combine milk, heavy cream, cardamon and ice in a blender. Slowly add the banana mixture. Blend while breaking the ice turning the mixture into a light shake.
Pour into tall glass goblets, dust with cocoa powder and it’s mmm…enjoy.
It’s gorgeous, its sexy and shockingly delicious thanks to the aged balsamic vinegar that adds a unique zap to this dish.
Deep in color and transparency the glaze is gently poured over the pears drips from top to bottom, creating this perfect little puddle on the plate – a perfect warm blanket for a scoop of vanilla ice cream – it will awaken all your senses!
It’s a favorite in my family and among friends and one of the easiest to make. The idea is to use an aged balsamic vinegar – the best you can efford.
4 firm pears, peeled and left whole (Bosc work well)
2 cups of water
½ cup of a good quality aged balsamic vinegar – the best you can efford.
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp cardamon seeds, crashed
vanilla ice cream (optional)
From the bottom of the pears cut a small slice so pears can stand upright.
In a medium heavy sauce pan combine water, balsamic vinegar, sugar and spices. Lay the pears in liquid and bring to a gentle boil on a medium/high heat. Cover the pot half way with a lid (so not to cause an over-spill), reduce to simmer. Cook pears for about 30 min or until tender, making sure you turn pears at least once.
Remove pears from the pot and set a side to cool. Continue to cook the balsamic glaze on a medium/high heat until thickens and sauce reduced to about half a cup. At this time the sauce turns into a beautiful transparent dark glaze. Remove from heat and let cool. The sauce thickens a little bit more while cooling. Remove bits of spices if you want. I usually leave it.
On a beautiful dessert dish place pears, or a single pear, upright. Gently spoon the warm balsamic glaze over the pear. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired and garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Serve it to yourself of course, and guests – you don’t have to say a word. They will.