Cherry & Plum Crumbles With Goat Cheese Ice Cream

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cherry & Plum Crumble With Goat Cheese Ice Cream

You have no idea how good it feels to finally take time in this crazy schedule to come here and write a little, share a recipe and possibly a good laugh or two. Although now that I am here I am drawing a super "ugh" kind of a blank. Yes, even that brilliant paragraph I wrote in my head this morning in the shower. Pouf! Gone. I am seriously thinking of designing a waterproof notepad or carrying a waterproof in there.

Oh yes...it just came back to me: Bill's birthday is next week, the 27th to be exact, and I do need your help. I can't decide what to make him for his birthday dessert this year and I thought I would ask you for some suggestions. In order to make this a bit more fun for everyone, I thought about pairing it with a little giveaway. So here it is folks:

- Tell me what is the most raved about dessert you have made (please provide link to recipe or as many details as you wish) in the comment section of this post. No need to have a blog, just the main idea of the recipe. (No anonymous without a name will be approved).
- On Monday night, I'll pick one I know my better half would love for his birthday, make it and post about it, (with full credits to you and the recipe of course).
- But that's not all, the person whose dessert was picked will be sent a copy of "Artisan Breads - At Home With The Culinary Institute of America" (I'll ship worldwide)

Hope ya'll can hit me with some major sweetness! And anything goes: the man likes everything, ahaha!

Plums

And I am ok with losing my mind over this... it's the season after all and I admit I absolutely love it. Well, apart from not being able to cook and post as much, answer emails on time, and piling up clean laundry instead of folding it. Why am I telling you this? It all relates to these Cherry And Plum Crumbles and how I need a mini "brain check" before bedtime lately.

I was all set to make cherry and plum sorbet the other day when I realized I may not have picked up enough of each at the farmers' market and I was about to head out the door for more, B. shouted from the garage that his mom was stopping by with extras from her market trip "she thought you might like more plums and cherries". What did I hear instead? The tiny influx of rush and stress of my own mental notes but not a word he said.

Cherry & Plum Crumbles

I started thinking I should pick some flowers for his mom as a thank you. That I'd better not lolligag while at the store, get my stuff and jet. My mind drifted and wondered if I'd have time to churn that batch of ice cream before bedtime. I thought about the vet, the delivery guy, the dentist every one in between! It felt crammed up inside my head. Have no fear, I am not driving while under the influence of the voices. The car seems to be a free zone.

I got home right on time to invite my mother in law inside for a very cold glass of lemonade and a few cookies. We unloaded our bags together and busted out laughing right away. I was staring at enough cherries and plums to feed the whole neighborhood. I've always considered this kind of happening a joyous opportunity to poach extra fruit and freeze them for when I crave cherries in January, plums in November, or ripe and juicy pears in June.

Cherry & Plum Crumbles

Poaching fruit in a concoction of lemon juice, water and spices is something I learned from my mom and grandmother very early on. It used to generates suspicious looks from my husband when we were newlyweds and he'd come home to find me elbow deep skinning and pitting a box of bruised peaches for poaching and freezing. Why not can you might ask? I make jams regularly so I am running out of room already in the pantry and I go through the frozen fruit faster than the jams.

I had enough fruit this time around to make cherry and plum sorbets, poach and freeze some and make Cherry Plum Crumbles with the rest. That's a lot. Even if it's summer and it is bloody hot outside, I still went ahead and made crumbles. I needed to plan comforting treats for the busy day ahead. The mix of crunchy bits of dough and soft fruit all warm out of the oven topped with a generous scoop of ice cream is my idea of the ultimate comfort.

Cherry & Plum Crumbles


I am too ticklish to get a massage. I am too claustrophobic to enjoy a facial. Not girly enough to go for mani-pedis. So crumbles it is. Curled up on the couch, passed midnight, the pups next to me. Preferably with a side of summer rain but without is alright too.

Cherry & Plum Crumbles


Cherry and Plum Crumbles With Goat Cheese Ice Cream:

Seres 4-6

For the fruits:
4 plums, pitted and chopped into small dices (about 1 cup)
1 cup fresh cherries, halved and pitted
1/4 cup honey
zest of one lemon
2 Tb lemon juice
2 Tb cornstarch

For the crumble:
1/2 cup light brown sugar (I used sucanat)
1/3 cup millet flour
1 teaspoon cardamom
6 tablespoons butter, cold

Prepare the fruits:
Preheat your oven to 350F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the fruits with the honey, lemon zest and juice and cornstarch. Toss with your hands to coat the fruits evenly. Divide between 4 to 6 ramequins and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil as the fruits are most likely to release their juice, causing a spill. Set them aside while your prepare the topping.

Prepare the crumble:
In a medium bowl, toss together the sugar, millet flour and cardamom. Add the butter cut in small pieces and mix with your fingertips until you get a mixture that resembles coarse crumbs. Divide th topping evenly on top of the dishes. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

Goat Cheese Ice Cream:
3/4 cup sugar (170 gr)
2 egg yolks
2 cups milk (500 ml)
1/3 cup heavy cream (100 ml)
1/2 vanilla bean, seeded
4 oz goat cheese (120gr), at room temperature

In a large bowl whisk the sugar and egg yolks until pale. In a saucepan set on medium heat, bring the milk, cream and vanilla bean to a simmer, slowly pour a small amount on the egg yolks to temper. Pour the remaining over the yolks and sugar. Stir well then pour back in the saucepan and cook over medium low heat until the cream thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the goat cheese until completely melted and incorporated.
Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Process in an ice cream maker according to your machine's manufacturer's instruction. Freeze until firm.

141 comments:

Sarah said...

cream cheese cupcakes with raspberry buttercream, it was actually a recipe inspired by you! :)

Jennifer said...

You certainly made lots of goodies with all of your fruit! We too love poaching fruits and preserving them for later delight! I LOVE the sounds of this crumble and goat cheese ice cream is new to me but I know I would fall in love, Im already dying to make it!

I always seem to get asked to make my Chocolate Fudge Cake with Peanut Butter Mousse Frosting for birthdays, events and really any reason someone can come up with. http://maplencornbread.blogspot.com/2009/09/chocolate-fudge-cake-with-peanut-butter.html

Im sure whatever you make your son will be wonderful! and lovely giveaway!!

P.S the waterproof notepad would be genius!

DessertForTwo said...

Of course I have to suggest a dessert for two! It's so romantic!

The recipes I hear the most praise for are my pineapple upside down cake (a great Southern classic that just screams birthday with the cherries in the middle of the cakes!) Or what about chocolate cream pie for two? Ok, that's my favorite so far.

All of these recipes have been cowboy approved :)

Good luck! I can't wait to see what you make :)

http://www.dessertfortwo.com/2010/04/pineapple-upside-down-cakes/


http://www.dessertfortwo.com/2010/03/chocolate-cream-pie-2/

Helene said...

Jennifer: I love your idea. I must rectify that Bill is my husband though, we can't/don't have children.

Shannon said...

My husband LOVES the raspberry blackout cake from vegan with a vengeance. I've only fed it to omnivores, and everyone requests it again and again.

Michelle said...

I'm so intrigued by the goat cheese ice cream! Most recently, the most raved about item I've made is David Lebovitz's Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/04/salted_butter_c.html.

The raves were totally worth the little bit of fuss for a custard based ice cream. We've been rationing it bit by bit:)

Kate M said...

Hi Helene!

Glad your spirits are up finally. I also celebrate birthday next week but a day earlier. So I would like to share an idea I am going to put to life myself. And borrow your goat cheese ice-cream idea.

This is a cold dessert and it can be called Russian panna cotta with the exception that you use sour cream instead of cream and, as you understand, there is no need to boil it. This dessert comes from my childhood by the way. I remember having it regularly in a "Snowflake" cafe after my mum took me from the children day care centre after work. It is creamy, rich and slightly tart and good for hot days. We call it krem-smetanka (krem = cream, smetanka = diminutive for 'sour cream'). I cannot give accurate amounts of ingredients because I am only trying to reproduce it myself some 25 years later. Yesterday I tried making a test batch and found out that 2 teaspoons of gelatine per one cup of dessert is way too much. It should be just barely set so for a 30% fat sour cream maybe you need only half teaspoon? I am going to repeat it with less gelatine and make it layered with chocolate in verrines or top with puréed fruit mousse - everything I learned from you. Alternatively, I think of making chocolate moulds and topping the krem-smetanka with fresh berries. There is room for imagination!

I can't wait to see what you will make for your husband. Happy birthday to your SPOC! ;)

Helene said...

Kate: that sounds delicious! I am afraid there is a slight misunderstanding: my spirits were always high just slammed with work which made me unable to come post which is usually my "me time". But nothing makes me as alive and well as being busy and working :)

Lara said...

A friend came over and brought dessert the other day - mini chocolate pavlovas (with chunks of chocolate), served with cream and fresh berries.

Sublime.

Katie @ goodLife {eats} said...

My Cannoli Sandwich Cookies are probably my most raved by friends: http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2009/05/cannoli-cookie-sandwiches.html

But my favorites of late are:

Lemon Cloud Tart with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2010/05/lemon-cloud-tart-with-strawberry.html

Apricot Thyme Galette
http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2010/06/apricot-thyme-galette.html

Lia said...

Make a black forest cake!!! Maybe you can use all this fresh cherries to make a compote to go with the filling. Do a Mascarpone cream (whipped with some icing sugar and vanilla extract), and a chocolate praline mousse for the filling. The rich Mascarpone with a luscious crunchy chocolate praline sounds very indulgent to me.
Also you can pour some chocolate ganache on the top layer and some fresh cherries...
Well, my husbands birthday is on the 29th and that's what I'm planning to do for his birthday :)

Prerna said...

Waterproof notepad?? That's exactly what I want 'cos I suffer with short tem memory and ideas fly off my head before they're even complete :-)
I love Chocolate Sformato. I posted the recipe on my blog a while back here's the link to it.http://www.indiansimmer.com/2010/03/steal.html
Hope you guys enjoy the birthday.

Hayley Daen said...

Hi Helene,
I'm so happy to see you posting, and I'm even happier that you've been so busy working. I recently made a marvelous shortbread that would be even better accompanied by butterscotch ice cream. Here are the recipes:

http://bakingthebook.blogspot.com/2010/07/almond-brown-sugar-shortbread.html

http://bakingthebook.blogspot.com/2010/01/butterscotch-ice-cream.html

I hope to hear from you soon

sarahe said...

those look wonderful! i love fresh cherries!

one of my most praised desserts has been a peanut butter chocolate cheesecake--yum!

http://sarahe5484.blogspot.com/search/label/peanut%20butter

whisk-kid said...

I am all over this. I need to make a crumble - and fast! I have been craving one so badly, but I just haven't done it. Yours look delicious :)

I've never thought of poaching and freezing fruit... What a great idea! I am bad about buying more than I can eat. It always looks so good... It's so hard not to!

I made a chocolate and peanut butter cake a few days ago that my family went nuts for. I posted the recipe here.

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

Goat cheese ice cream sounds so intriguing! I would absolutely love to try that as I have tons of goat cheese in my fridge.

foodies at home said...

If he is a chocolate freak like some of my friends...I would make a nice big chocolate cobbler. Serve it with a big scoop of french vanilla ice cream and you will have happy guests! Good luck with your big decision!

http://www.foodiesathome.com/search/label/Chocolate%20Cobbler

Steph (Desserts for Breakfast) said...

I think they did invent a waterproof whiteboard for the shower, and I totally need one, too. I used to take a sharpie and plastic bag into the shower with me so that I didn't forget anything. ;-P

I hope you don't mind if I provide you two recipes, because I'm so torn as to which one is my favorite! My most raved about cake ever is my blackest forest cake (recipe here), which has layers black cocoa chocolate cake, dark chocolate ganache, dark cherry filling, and mascarpone whipped cream. But, for my own birthday recently, I went with something more summery: a lemon and raspberry-lime layer cake (recipe here), with raspberry-studded lemon cake, lemon and raspberry-lime curds, and raspberry-lime buttercream. I'm still hearing about that one even though my birthday was a month ago!

Happy advanced b-day to Bill!

Dragana said...

This one is fantastic! I made it before I started my blog so I don't have any good pictures of it. It's worth the trouble, trust me. Happy Birthday!
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Triple-Chocolate-Celebration-Cake-105184

♥peachkins♥ said...

I'd love to get my hands on that goat cheese ice cream!

Edana said...

Ooh! I haven't gotten around to posting this on my blog yet, but I made it for my dad's Father's Day dessert and it was very well-received. Panna Cotta with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar (link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Panna-Cotta-with-Strawberries-and-Balsamic-Vinegar-106433 )

I used greek yogurt and it was wonderful, and I would suggest that if you decide to make these and plan to unmold them that you use a bit more gelatin than they suggest, especially if you don't plan to refrigerate overnight.

My boyfriend's birthday is coming up and he refuses to give me any ideas...I think I'll be looking over your comments here! Thanks :P

Michelle Davies said...

Hi there,

I'd recommend a strawberry and mascarpone cake (more like a dessert). It has layers of chewy meringue with coconut, then a mascarpone mix, then strawberries and repeat. The top is devine, another meringue disk, sprinkled with icing sugar which it then blow torched, like a creme brulee.

Always wins many compliments! Here is my most recent effort from a work bake-off competition!

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=6490618&id=550225618

Below are links to two different recipes - compliments to the two Australian chefs Neil Perry and Lorraine Godsmark for the two recipes. I use Godsmark's for the ingredients and Perry's for the technique (with the exception of the blow torching which is from Godsmark's recipe).

http://www.mawarra.net/recipes_db/recipes/Strawberry%20Marscapone%20Cake.pdf


http://books.google.com.au/books?id=NcJp8G2XVMIC&pg=PA408&lpg=PA408&dq=Neil+Perry+strawberry+and+mascarpone+cake&source=bl&ots=I9vG5wet9h&sig=8SAuXu1lxZibj3o3e17d6fL58Mk&hl=en&ei=mchLTLuvG8uHcZ3xhMkM&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

Gemma said...

It's actually not my recipe, so alas I cannot take credit/prizes for it (But I'm sure the creator would! lol). I've made it many, many times and each time I fall more and more in love with it. I think at one stage I made it almost every night for one week straight. The recipe in question is Bake Like A Ninja's easist dessert in the world 'Strawberries in Brown Sugar Balsamic Vinegar'. So simple, yet so delicious. http://bakelikeaninja.com/easiest-dessert-in-the-world/

Stacy (Little Blue Hen) said...

Mmm, I love me a fruit crisp. When I found pluots at the market a few weeks ago, I assured the vendor that I would just top them with crumble and bake them for my husband to gobble them up; I was right.

My most raved about dessert was my birthday cake last year -- a 4 layer lemon chiffon cake with caramel and lemon cream fillings slathered with Swiss meringue and then torched before serving. It was pretty epic: http://littlebluehen.com/?p=744

Selina said...

I too have a summer birthday and have always hankered after the amazing sounding Scandinavian Cloudberry Cake, but as I've not been lucky enough to come across a cloudberry in England, it remains a tantalizing mystery yet to be discovered. Nevertheless berry cakes are one of the perks of a summer birthday and I recently concocted a raspberry and white chocolate cake with macadamia streusel topping for myself. (I think these are known as crumb cakes in the US.) And, even though it's summer, I like to eat it warm, accompanied by cold, cold crème fraîche.

postJazz said...

The thing that gets the most comments from my friends when I make them are my Mexican spiced chocolate brownies (recipe here (at the end)). Everyone is expecting an innocent little chocolate bite, but what they get is a deeply chocolatey flavour with the warmth of chilli, cinnamon and nutmeg. Wonderful warm with vanilla ice cream. I have on occasion added in some fresh raspberries - I love their flavour with good chocolate. That particularly brownie recipe also features virtually no flour at all, so I'm sure would be pretty simple for you to convert to being gluten free.

Happy birthday to your husband! I have a birthday cake to make for a friend next week too, and am dithering about what to make - the brownies are out because I have a girl allergic to chocolate staying with me. Oh noes! We're still in the middle of a brilliant summer fruit season down in the far south west of England though, so I'm sure I'll find something! My parents have a prolific worcester berry (a cross between a blackcurrant and a gooseberry) bush in their garden, so I'm going to make a cheesecake. Debating whether to make something else as well though!

notyet100 said...

uuummm thnks for the virtual treat

Chantal Butcher said...

Tiramisu
Stephanie Alexander & Maggie Beer's Tuscan Cookbook

This tiramisu is a real crowd pleaser. i think the brandy in the zabaglione instead of marsala.

375g sponge finger biscuits (about 24)
2 cups of cold strong black espresso coffee
200g grated bittersweet chocolate
500g marscapone
Dutch cocoa
extra grated bittersweet chocolate

For the zabaglione:
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup brandy

To make the zabaglione, you need to whisk the egg yolks, sugar and brandy in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until thick, then remove from the heat. Keep whisking even after you remove the bowl from the heat. You can stop once it cools down, otherwise it will start to 'cook' and go clumpy.

In another bowl, whisk the mascarpone until it's soft and then fold in the cooled zabaglione mixture.

You will need a deep round (preferably glass, to see the pretty layers) bowl to serve it in. Arrange half the sponge finger biscuits over the base, then sprinkle half the coffee and half the chocolate over the biscuits. Spoon in up to half of the zabaglione/marscapone mixture and spread it evenly over the biscuit layer, then repeat until you fill the bowl. Sift cocoa over the final layer and sprinkle with the remaining grated chocolate.

For best results, refrigerate this at least 2 hours before serving.

If you prefer a creamier tiramisu you can fold some whipped cream thru the zabaglione.


Chantal Butcher
contact@minigaga.com
http://minigaga.com

Mel said...

One of the finest desserts I served a friend and myself this year was baked peaches sprinkled with oat biscuit crumbs (original recipe called for amaretti biscuits), spiced gold & kahlua - and served with mascarpone cream. Absolutely delicious and not overly rich or cumbersome. I am pretty sure it will work with another fruit that is in season for you now. Posted a little about it on http://treehousekitchen.net/2010/01/03/summer-winter-dinner/

Most of all enjoy your time together!! :-) :-)

Pam said...

This looks delicious! Your photos are perfect!

Serena said...

http://the-carrot-stick.blogspot.com/2010/06/leilas-heavenly-cheesecake.html

THIS cheesecake :) do it!

Susan said...

Hi Helene,
How about a Birthday Pie!
This Original Shoo Fly Pie is fabulous. It's something a little different...and with a dollop of a great vanilla bean ice cream! WOW!
Love the goat cheese ice cream idea. I just posted goat cheese brownies. Yum!
http://thecookiescoop.blogspot.com/2010/05/original-shoofly-pie.html
Love your blog and your beautiful photos!

mycookinghut said...

I love stone fruits!! Cherries and plums are always great for dessert! Goat cheese ice cream sounds fantastic!

angela@spinachtiger said...

This is hard. My most requested dessert are coconut cupcakes from Lisa Yockelson. These aren't ordinary. I've made them at least 20 times in past two years. We are so obsessed with them, a few are always sitting in freezer. I've put them on my blog twice (something I never do).

The link is:http://bit.ly/bNGWrC

And, for the chocolate lover, a salty, chocolate caramel cupcake. This is my husband's favorite and made for his birthday. http://bit.ly/brLPSr

EP said...

i've made this several times to rave reviews: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/chocolate-and-hazelnut-meringue-cake

it's a flourless chocolate cake with a hazelnut meringue on top. it's a hit every time, altho it is a several step process to get to the finished product!

have fun!

Poires au Chocolat said...

I made the best dessert I have ever made yesterday - my mum said it was the best thing she's ever eaten. Maybe it will tempt you too!

It's a vanilla baked custard base (like creme brulee) topped with strawberry syrup with a hint of lemon and foraged wild strawberries - see http://www.poiresauchocolat.net/2010/07/une-douce-pour-lete.html.

As wild strawberries are hard to come by, I think cherries or blueberries would be a good replacement.

Annie said...

The most popular dessert on my blog is caramel apple cheesecake pie, and for good reason. It's awesome in a lot of different ways, all contained in one pie. And I'm sure it would look beautiful made in mini-springforms or something else to make it "Tartlette" style :)

I must admit though that the cheater caramel sauce included in the recipe is not always reliable for me. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm going to replace it with one that always works soon. But I'm sure that won't stop you since you make lovely things with caramel all the time!

http://annies-eats.com/2009/10/26/caramel-apple-cheescake-pie/

Y said...

Happy Birthday to Bill! I always bake Barry something chocolate. Although these days his second favourite thing to request is a toffee nut tart (Engadinger Nusstorte). I can't wait to see what you end up making.

Cookin' Canuck said...

These crumbles truly do evoke a feeling of comfort. I can imagine curling up on the couch, with a bowl of this warming my hands. I like the pair of cherries in the first photo - they look like a little heart.

As for Bill's birthday, I have a couple of ideas to add.

Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars with Gingersnap Crust (would be really nice with cherries in place of rhubarb)
http://cookincanuck.blogspot.com/2010/04/rhubarb-cheesecake-bars-with-gingersnap.html

Brie Cheese & Strawberry Puff Pastry "Ravioli" with Chocolate Sauce (again, you could substitute a different fruit)
http://cookincanuck.blogspot.com/2010/05/brie-cheese-strawberry-puff-pastry.html

Cherry Garcia Profiteroles (Cream Puffs)
http://cookincanuck.blogspot.com/2009/08/cherry-garcia-profiteroles-cream-puffs.html

Have fun with whatever your creation is and wish Bill a very Happy Birthday.

Carla said...

THe strawberry layer cake from Cooks Illustrated is to die for. Very beautiful and delicious. Love your pics and blog.

Jen said...

I love to bake, and by far the overwhelming favorite has been St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake posted by Deb @ Smitten Kitchen (gotta love her!)

http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/03/st-louis-gooey-butter-cake/

Topped with fresh raspberries or blackberries.....SOOOO delicious! I had never heard of such a thing before, but everyone I have served it to (including my children) have said it's the best cake they ever had!

Thanks Helene, for the giveaway and such an inspiring and beautiful site!

Jen B.

ella said...

Hi,
A very popular cake in my family is a Lemon cake from the Australian Women's Weekly Cookbook.
It has yoghurt which makes it nice and moist, and you use the zest in a delicious syrup poured over the hot cake, which takes it from afternoon tea to special dessert.
The cookbook's at my folks' place, but I could always post more details...
Have fun deciding!

Paula said...

I just can`t stop see at these pics! Looks so delicious!

Have a nice time!
Paula

Stephane said...

Hi! One of my favorite crowd pleasers is vanilla cupcakes filled with a spoonful of Michele Anna Jordan's raspberry curd, topped with a generous dollop of lemon buttercream frosting, with a sprinkling of coarse sugar on top!

Here's a link for MAJ's raspbery curd:

http://www.astray.com/recipes/?show=Raspberry%20curd%20%231

Dawn said...

Oh gosh, Helene, are you sure you are ready for all these suggestions?
Do you want to make a dessert or a birthday cake? I'm asking, because in my family, we have both....
For the birthday cake, in Norway, we traditionally make a "Bløtkake", a sponge (biscuit) base with whipped cream and berries (the Norwegians prefer Norwegian strawberries), then topped with first a layer of whipped cream, then cover the whole cake with rolled marzipan.
For dessert, I would make Nigella Lawsons Quivering with Passion Fruit Jelly:
For 2 persons you need:
Pulp and seeds from 5 passion fruits, about 250 ml
175 ml white wine
50g sugar
2 sheets gelatine
plus
pulp and seeds from 2 passion fruits
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1 tablespoon white wine
80 ml cream

Bring the wine and seeds and pulp of the passion fruit to a boil in a saucepan, then take off the heat and stir in the sugar. Pour through a sieve into a glass measuring cup to strain, discarding the seeds and pulp.

Soak the gelatin in cold water until soft, then wring it out and whisk into the strained liquid. Pour the mixture two glasses (I usually use smaller glasses and make about 4 out of this recipe) and put in the fridge to set.
For the cream, put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until fluffy. Dollop onto each jelly.

Enjoy, and good luck reading all the recipes....

shornrapunzel said...

A "Tiramisu" Chocolate Cake: rich dense chocolate cake soaked with Khlua (or rum and espresso, if you like), filled with sweetened mascarpone cheese, and frosted with lightly sweetened, Amaretto spiked whipped cream! Recipe here: http://shornrapunzel.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/in-which-i-attempt-an-extravagant-apology/

Joanie said...

Hi!
I have a decadent dessert idea for your hubby...it's a recipe my husband's nephew served at his wedding instead of the traditional wedding cake! It's a warm walnut sundae cake served with vanilla ice cream and a luscious maple creme sauce drizzled over the top. Sprinkled with chopped walnuts, I get requests for this recipe quite often...

http://www.blossomedge.com/2010/06/25/walnut-sundae-cake-with-maple-creme-sauce/

I hope he has a wonderful birthday...I'm sure he'll enjoy anything you make for him!

tlo7 said...

Hello,
I would like to suggest a pie. It isn't exactly in the "birthday cake" category but it is buttery and rich and I think it is a perfect birthday treat. This is a link to my recipe http://www.foodista.com/recipe/22RNG52B/macadamia-or-any-other-nut-pie
I submitted it for a contest that the Foodista website was having for a cook book. You can substitute any nut or make any crust that you like. I hope you will try this even though it may not be for your hubby's birthday!
Best of luck,
Tania

kethrim said...

Everyone loved these date nut bars when I made them, and I was threatened with bad things if I didn't share the recipe! (I did, of course- it's too good to keep to myself!)

http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/desserts/food-for-the-gods/

Another favorite is this chocolate cobbler, which is sort of like a lava cake. I replace some of the cocoa with coffee to make it a mocha dessert, and top with vanilla or coffee ice cream.

http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/desserts/my-grannye28099s-chocolate-cobbler/

The Urban Baker said...

my starter went out on my fridge (the tech guy thought it was something else-therefore too late to save everything). thus, frantically making everything i can to save the provisions! i have some fresh-frozen cherries. think i am going to have whip this up for tonight. thanks for the inspiration!

Allie said...

I'm not sure if they're really birthday-worthy, but Deb's car bomb cupcakes are incredible. I made them for St. Paddy's and people are still talking about them this weekend, four months later!

http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/01/car-bomb-cupcakes/

Carrie said...

Chocolate Praline Layer Cake. Oh, mama. It is to die for...it is to live for! The recipe calls for a box mix but you could use your favorite chocolate scratch cake recipe.

http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/showrecipe.aspx?rid=11231

Andrew's Mom said...

My most raved dessert was the 40 layer hazelnut cream crepe cake covered with chocolate ganache - that Martha Stewart made on her show - here is the link for the recipe - it was labor intensive but incredible: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/darkest-chocolate-crepe-cake

I would love that book!

Lars Kiilerich said...

Vanilla ice cream with pear/apple caviar and syrup of liquorice root.

http://grydeskeen.dk/texturas-eksperiment-03-vaniljeis-med-%C3%A6blep%C3%A6re-kaviar-og-lakridsrod-sirup/menu/desert/

Recipe is in Danish, but Google translate should do an okay job.

If not, let me know, and I will translate it for you.

karoLina said...

I just can't resist to join. I have two ideas, the first one is my own creation, Black Forest panna cotta: first layer is made of biscuits and chocolate, the second one is panna cotta layer and the topping is made of cherry juice jelly and some more cherries for topping, you can see it here: http://jakbulkazmaslem.blogspot.com/2010/03/na-przekor-i-do-gory-dnem.html

My second idea is this tart: http://jakbulkazmaslem.blogspot.com/2010/02/posturodzinowo.html I made it for my own birthday, but actually I took the recipe from lottei&doof, so I am not sure if that counts.

Chavi said...

Happy Birthday, Bill.

I would have to say a white white chocolate tart-- that being a white ganache inside a (white sweet pastry dough). Served with a sour cherry jam or compote, it's a light and delicious summer dessert.

Whatever you make, hope you both enjoy it!

Kathryn Ramirez said...

This is our favorite! It's so,so simple, but SO delicious! Every time I serve it (over vanilla ice cream), people LOVE it! It's from Barefoot Contessa's Family Style book.
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/stewed-fresh-berries-recipe/index.html
Yummy, yum, yum! (Great reheated next day, too!)

Margaret said...

Simple but absolutely yummy - chocolate crepes (room temp)folded in half and then in half again, slice some fresh fruit (in December, pears are amazing) and then drizzle on some warm caramel sauce. This has been a huge hit in my family for years!

Fuji Mama said...

Chocolate Truffle Tarte! I make a chocolate pecan crust (ground pecans, flour, sugar, cocoa, & butter) and fill it with a dark chocolate truffle filling. I top the tart with lots of fresh raspberries and white chocolate curls.

Cookie Girl said...

Dear Helene,

the best dessert I have ever made and tasted comes from your website. It's the pistachio and strawberry mousse mille feuilles. I didn't get the mille feuilles as well as yours but the marscapone cream were amazing. Most of the desserts I make were good, but that was unforgettably good. Thanks for your generosity in sharing all your carefully written recipes with us.

Helene said...

Andrew's Mom: yep, know that one...one of the first Daring Bakers challenges actually!

Thanks for all your ideas! Keep them coming :)

LimeCake said...

i've never gotten as many raves as my dark chocolate and caramel cheesecake with a chocolate cookie crust. brings plain ol' chocolate cheesecake to another level.

Jenn B said...

My absolute favorite cake to make (especially for birthdays) has to be Chocolate Guinness Cake. Nigella Lawson's recipe is simply irresistible. The cake resembles a pint of Guinness with it's dark, chocolatey color and smooth cream cheese frosting that's piled on top!

http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/recipe-nigella-lawsons-chocolate-guinness-cake-079475

Stephanie @ 52 Kitchen Adventures said...

I must suggest this decadent s'mores pie I made for Pi Day.

The crust is buttery and salty, topped with a rich chocolate and stout beer filling and then a homemade marshmallow topping. Just before serving, toast the marshmallow with a creme brulee torch. It's an indulgent and rich version of the campfire classic.

http://www.52kitchenadventures.com/2010/03/11/grown-up-smores-pie-with-guiness-beer/

Beverly Lynn said...

Everyone loves this one and I get requests for it all the time! I have not made it this summer yet, other wise I would use fresh raspberries rather than preserves. I have been meaning to blog this recipe a while, but for now, here is a simple tasty kitchen recipe without even a photo.

This is really easy to make gluten free as well, especially since I am fairly certain that you already have a gluten-free puff pastry recipe!

Yum! Even if you dont choose this for B's birthday, I think you will really like it, and it is easily customizable with any fruit that you want! Enjoy, and Happy Birthday to B! July is a great month! http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/breads/dark-chocolate-and-raspberry-croissants/

Audrey said...

I am a sucker for the classics. This yellow cake with chocolate fudge icing haunts my dreams.

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Yellow-Cake-with-Fudge-Icing

Could be a dreamy birthday dessert!

Nancy said...

Helene, I have a great idea...it is called a Zebra cake, it is a family favorite and truly melts in your mouth! The real plus is that it is sooooo easy to make, looks extravagant and is very unique. I use the receipe on the box with one minor adjustment, I put the cake once it is made in the frig for two hours then put it in the freezer covered with wax paper for at least 4 hours and I don't let it thaw before serving!
http://www.nabiscoworld.com/recipes/recipe.aspx?recipe_id=53331

Hope you and your Hubby have a great celebration!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think since it's summer over there, something cool and refreshing might be the answer, without having to start up the oven. I've always made konnyaku jellies (Japanese jellies) with all sorts of fruit fillings. I like to use dried kiwi seeds to give it a bit of texture as well. Here is a link and picture of the jellies I'm speaking about: http://food-4tots.com/2010/07/08/konnyaku-jelly/

Have fun!

Love,
Jayne
jayne [dot] leepj [at] gmail [dot] com

Nicole@ The Dirty Oven said...

Love the idea of using goat cheese. I am so excited to try this one out. Your photos are amazing. Thanks for the inspriation.

Coco said...

I liked your coconut ice cream so much I thought I share with you my favorite homemade ice cream, fresh mint ice cream with chocolate chips.

Fresh Mint Ice Cream

1 quart half & half
1 quart whole milk
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups fresh mint leaves
8 oz. mini chocolate chips

Bring milk to a simmer with the mint leaves; muddle the leaves,
steep overnight in the fridge; strain out leaves.

Next day, combine eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted
with paddle attachment. Beat at medium-high speed until very thick and pale
yellow, 3 to 5 minutes. Return milk to a simmer.

Add half of the warm milk to egg mixture; whisk until blended. Return new
mixture to saucepan with remaining cream. Cook over low heat, stirring
constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden
spoon.

Have ready an ice-water bath. Remove saucepan from heat; immediately stir
in heavy cream. Pass mixture through a sieve set over a medium bowl. Place
bowl in ice-water bath; chill. Stir in chocolate chips.

Freeze in ice-cream maker according to instructions. Finely chop 2 sprigs
mint; mix in machine until combined, approximately 30 seconds. Store in an
airtight container.
Makes 1/2 gallon

delicieux said...

I love the combination of cherries and plums in this crumble. It looks so delicious.

I've never had goats cheese ice cream before. It would definitely be interesting to try!!

Shannon said...

I made a strawberry rhubarb galette with balsamic and pepper last week that had everyone raving for days.

Anonymous said...

I would go for something French, like a fraisier or framboisier, or some choux a la creme.

Agnes

Marilyn said...

How about some passion for B on his birthday? My favourite sweet treat is a passionfruit marshmallow slice - it has a pastry/biscuit base with a topping made with passionfruit pulp, white marshmallows, lightly whipped cream and some lemon juice to provide some tartness and is truely orgasmic!

Courtney said...

I make a dessert called Hot Fudge Spoon Cake, which is both humble and lazy, but my husband can't live without it. You spread chocolate cake batter into a greased crock-pot, pour a mixture of sugar, cocoa, and boiling water on top, and then plug it in and forget about it for two hours. The cake rises to the top, the sauce sinks to the bottom, and you serve it with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

keri wong said...

i am always so amazed and inspired by what YOU make, so i don't know how anything i make will inspire you lol. but here's a cake i always make that people LOVE: http://auntyyochana.blogspot.com/2007/03/japanese-strawberry-shortcake.html

it's a japanese strawberry shortcake, so instead of a biscuit, the dessert uses a sponge cake. also, instead of kirsch, i use triple sec (so i think any alcohol will do). this cake is SO popular in japan because it's so light from the sponge cake and whipped cream but you still get the sweetness from the strawberries! but whichever recipe you go with, good luck and happy birthday to your husband!

Kaci said...

You need these:

http://www.amazon.com/Crayola-Bathtub-Markers/dp/B0012PYREW

As for dessert recipes, I haven't a clue. I'm so not a baker, which is why I come to view your guiltless desserts! (Guiltless because I'm not eating them!)

brigette said...

I'm pretty sure I married my husband because he made this incredible chocolate mousse in a spring form pan, with a chocolate crust and whipped cream on top with chocolate curls and fresh raspberries atop....
i've never made it for anyone that didn't loooooovvvveee it.

And it's not really a pie... since it's huge and in a spring form, but here you go!
(and if i don't win, please make it some time anyway, because it's just WONDERFUL!!! You're going to have a crush on me when you do, i just know it!)


Chocolate Mousse Pie.

Crust

3 cups chocolate wafer crumbs

½ cup melted butter

Filling

12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate

2 eggs

4 egg yolks

2 cups cream

6 T. pd. sugar

4 egg whites at room temp.

Topping

1 pint whipping cream

1 t. vanilla

½ cup powdered sugar

Fresh fruit if desired
extra chocolate bar for making chocolate curls on top of dessert
Crust

combine crumbs and butter, line bottom and sides of 9"spring form pan. and refrigerate for 30 mins

Filling

melt chocolate in double boiler and let cool to room temperature.

whip cream with pd. sugar until soft peaks form.

beat egg whites until stiff but not dry.

add whole eggs to chocolate mixture and mix well. add egg yolks and blend.

stir a little whipped cream and a little whipped egg white into chocolate mixture. fold remaining whites and cream into mixture until completely incorporated.

turn into crust and chill at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Top with one pint of whipped cream, sweetened with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 t. vanilla. add fresh fruit to garnish if desired. Take chocolate bar and then *peel* it with your potato peeler to make choc. curls for the top of your dessert.

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

There are 2 things on my blog that my hubby really loves and everybody who has tried it before definately raves about it.

1. Longan tofu, which is a soy milk based jelly set with agar powder, and flavoured with canned longans,but you can definately switch the fruit. Very cooling to eat on a hot summer's day.
http://wendyinkk.blogspot.com/2009/06/longan-tofu.html

2. Strawberry Mirror Cake, a Daring Baker's thing way back during the early times, I'm sure you must have tried it too.
http://wendyinkk.blogspot.com/2008/02/strawberry-mirror-cake.html

fragolina said...

Beautiful pictures.I find a tiramisu the best gift for any birthday. I like the original recipe but I once tried it with strawberry and it was so delicious.
This is the link to the original recipe.
http://fragoleefarfalle.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/my-favorite-tiramisu-2/

Hope you find the perfect "gift" that suits your husband's birhtday.

Chocolate Cat said...

I don't think I have just one special dessert - rocky road cheesecake, cream brulee, creme caramel, baked banana cheesecake but probably the one I make the most is a pavlova! I look forward to seeing what you decide.

Christine said...

HI

The birthday cake to make - Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cake ! A good marriage - Chocolate & Raspberry.

I use 55% dark chocolate.

I will give you the recipe if you happen to choose me =)

I have made this cake for my husband's birthday and he asked for the same cake again the following year = )

It's a rich, chocolaty to die for cake and the raspberry puree cuts the richness at the right place.

My husband's birthday is in Oct and I wonder whether he will ask for the same cake 3 years in a row !

Happy Birthday to your husband and Many Blessings to both of you.
Christine

Stephanie said...

I love some kind of frozen pound cake with layers of goat cheese ice cream, and fruit. Yummy.

Jordan said...

I always get rave reviews for Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake, which is originally from the back of a Nordicware bundt cake pan. http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/desserts/chocolate-sour-cream-bundt-cake/

The cake is moist, decadent and overwhelming, but in a very good way!

shubha said...

Wishing B. a wonderful birthday and many more to come... I was wondering if you could tell me more about the poaching and freezing cherries; And maybe your recipe for jams/preserves too ... Have bags of cherries and I cant seem to eat hem fast enough :(

Sunshine said...

Last year for my birthday I made a Guinness Chocolate Cheesecake with Bailey's Whipped Cream (yes, I made my own birthday cake). it got rave reviews, and I think you might actually get some lovely pictures out of it. Here's a link to the post I did on it.

http://eatingontulsatime.blogspot.com/2009/09/happy-birthday-to-me.html

Patricia Scarpin said...

I've been dreaming about all the gorgeous cherry recipes around my favorite blogs and have been saving them for later on this year, when cherries are available. I'll be giving the crumble a try, Helen! Gorgeous!

Fatima said...

Try this peanut butter chocolate cake from Smitten Kitchen

http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/08/chocolate-peanut-butter-cake/

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I get requests for the recipe every single time I make it. And you can halve it and make it in a loaf pan too (if it's just for 2).

Paola said...

Helene, a significant other's Bday calls for something rich and decadent, something you may not want to eat or make for just a dinner dessert. What I envision is a warm individual chocolate cake, topped with a chocolate mousse, fresh berries, a warm vanilla sauce dripping over the whole thing and a little chantilly on the side. I like the mix of warm components and cold components together. Anyhow.....good luck picking the perfect dessert, I am sure whatever it is, it will be fabulous, can't wait to see the pictures.

DonnaD said...

Helene, thank you for your blog-I love it! We too live in a pretty warm part of the country--it's 7:27am and 101 degrees as I write--and our latest favorite hot-weather dessert is coeur a la creme, slightly adapted from Anne Willan's recipe-- 2 cups homemade creme fraiche lightened with Italian meringue, based on 2 egg whites and 3oz sugar, with fresh berries. I'm a little nervous about raw eggs in this weather, hence the change. Best wishes for the special day!

Dani said...

Have you ever made Giada's Nutella Ravioli? YUM!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chocolate-hazelnut-ravioli-recipe/index.html

Rachael said...

One of my family's favorites is the chocolate banana cake. It's basically layers of chocolate sponge cake and light chocolate mousse stuffed with banana slices and the whole cake is covered with chocolate ganache. It truly is one of a kind! We used to get it from a bakery back when we lived in Asia but we have yet to see it in bakeries in the U.S. I have tried to replicate it but I haven't got it quite right yet. However, I'm sure you could create a wonderful version of it for your husbands birthday! Here's a link to a picture of the cake in case you didn't understand my description :P.
http://www.secretrecipe.com.ph/cakes/chocolate_banana.jpg

krispy kreme said...

Chocolate Genoise Raspberry Bavarian Creme Torte. I made it for a dinner party and my guests thought I bought it at a bakery. It's a bit labor intensive, but seriously one of the best cakes I've ever made. I've always thought swapping orange for the raspberry would be a really yummy variation. I'll send the recipe if selected :-)

ds said...

Lemon Verbena Sorbet

This is the simplest of recipes. It won't sound all that interesting, I know. It's strictly a summer thing and works brilliantly with a complimentary dessert partner (like a lemon curd tart, or a simple panna cotta) or as a palate cleanser or even as a sort of slushy apertif when dressed with a little limoncello or hendricks gin or just clean vodka and served in a little dessert dish with a spoon. There is some sort of beautiful herbal alchemy going on that is so refreshing and enchanting.

I found it first in Jerry Traunfeld's The Herbfarm Cookbook. That recipe is published
here:



I make this quite often in the summer when I find lemon verbena in the farmers market. It's so simple -- you can make it in minutes. And my friends are always delighted.

Veronika said...

Last year I made coconut avocado ice cream. I know it sounds weird since it has avocado, but its quite delicious. I have had a lot of compliments on the dessert. But I ususally let people eat it before I tell them what it is. Ha!
http://thehorttshearawho.blogspot.com/2009/09/coconut-avocado-ice-cream.html

By the way, I love the utensils you use in your shots. Where did you find the while spoon? And it the plastic spoon a baby spoon?

Mollie said...

Mocha Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake

http://eatrunread.blogspot.com/2010/05/cake-of-week-cookie-dough-fudge.html

Need I say more?

Kris Mulkey said...

My favorite cake to make in the summer is Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake Roll. I made it about a month ago for my husbands birthday. It is so light and creamy. Mmm mmm mmm. I wish I had a piece now to eat now for breakfast. Enjoy!

http://whatscookingkris.blogspot.com/2010/06/strawberries-and-cream-sponge-cake-roll.html

the VA foodie said...

Hands down my favorite cake of all time---Nathan's Lemon Cake by Cooking Light. The combination of the moist lemony cake with the lemon frosting is AWESOME. I'm trying to get my nerve up to try macarons!!

Here is the recipe:
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1734321

bunkycooks said...

Chef John Fleer's Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Strawberry-Champagne Soup was absolutely delicious! I would suggest making that for your hubby's birthday. http://www.bunkycooks.com/2010/07/interview-with-chef-john-fleer-canyon-kitchen-in-cashiers-north-carolina/

Have fun choosing the winner! I am sure there will be some great recipes.

Lucy said...

Well, with the love of all things mini, I adore making cake pops! My friends and family loves them too, and you can decorate them however you want. They're basically miniature cakes on a stick! Here's just one example, but decorations can obviously be however you want it to be:

http://www.bakerella.com/hope-these-put-a-smile-on-your-face/

You can also make a cupcake pop, which is the same idea, but in the shape of a cupcake: http://www.bakerella.com/make-your-cupcakes-pop/

Or, for a more elegant look, you can opt out of the lollipop sticks and just make cake balls: http://www.bakerella.com/red-velvet-cake-balls/

Mel said...

I'm crazy for dessert making, so I get a lot of raves because I put a lot of practice in ;) but the one that got the best response, out of all of them, is my brother's recipe: beer pie. Its a chocolate refrigerator pie in a graham cracker crust-marshmallows and chocolate chips go in the blender. heavy cream and stout or porter are heated separately and poured in the blender. Everything is whirled together until homogeneous, then add bourbon to taste and blend again before filling the crust and refrigerating for at least 4 hours.

Brenda and James Fisher said...

I make a blackberry lemon triffle that is comprised of fresh blackberries, sour cream pound cake and lemon curd mousse. Its light, sweet, lemony and oh so good when its hot. I'd love to share my recipe with you, even if I don't win! Leave me a message on www.fabfisherfamily.blogspot.com if you're interested!

elizabeyta said...

Apple Raspberry Crisp:

http://www.panaminthandmade.com/blog/2010/6/14/happy-apple-raspberry-crisp-tummies.html

or Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies:

http://www.panaminthandmade.com/blog/2010/7/19/all-the-testers-agree-this-is-it.html

It just depends on the mood you are in :)

Alissa said...

The best dessert I've made lately was from Sprinkle Bakes - no-bake white chocolate cheesecake. I made mine into individual servings in nice glasses (no individual springforms), didn't color any of it with the red food coloring, and topped it with a barely-cooked fruit topping. Blueberries, raspberries - whatever you've got. Cherries would be excellent! My 6-yr-old son doesn't like "cheesecake", though, so we had to call them "parfaits". He gobbled it down!!

Here's a link: http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2010/06/white-chocolate-no-bake-cheesecake.html

Good luck finding an excellent dessert!! Lots to choose from!

brubyfantosodico said...

Hi!

I don't have a recipe.. I just want to say that I love your blog!
Your recipes are great and the pictures are beautiful!

Thanks to share your talent with the world.. :D

A big hug from Chile!
Tamara.

Lisa said...

My most raved about dessert is your caramel cake.
http://www.mytartelette.com/2008/11/daring-bakers-caramel-cake-and-soft.html

Meg Martin said...

The dessert I make that everyone raves about is Chocolate Angel Food cake from the Cake Bible by Rose Levy Bernbaum.

DB Mundy said...

Dorie Greenspan's Devil's Food White-out Cake is always a hit at our house. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6504932

Carissa said...

I wanted to say thank you so much for the wonderful recipes you keep sharing on your website. I made my first ever macarons using your recipe, and they were a hit!
One of my favourite dessert recipes is Figs with Mascarpone and dark chocolate: http://www.cuisine.co.nz/index.cfm?pageId=33234
Served chilled, these are perfect for a midsummer night's dessert!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

This is the best dessert I've made this year - I rustled up 6 verrines and ate them all....by myself! Something about the amazing bouquet of lime, with crispy almonds, cool whipped cream, blackerry mush and jelly that makes this a taste of heaven!Happy birthday to Bill. http://www.kitchenbutterfly.com/2010/05/30/blackberry-cheesecake-jelly-verrines/

Jessica said...

Hmm...as far as everyone at work has told me, my most sought after was a chocolate milk irish cream cake:

http://www.deliciousthingsbakery.com/cake/magical-chocolate-irish-cream-cake

Any buttercream works. For the one in the pictures I used an Italian buttercream. And use as much irish cream as you can get away with!

Steven said...

It's currently a tie in my most requested and lauded recipes, and both are easily found on epicurious.com (I can't link them since I'm at work, shhh.)

The first is lemon-swirl cheesecake, a classic creamy cheesecake with tons of lemon curd swirls in it, and served with sugared strawberries. I make it for a friend of mine who has severe food allergies (the only fruit he can have are citruses and strawberries.) My best friend, who is a huge foodie and my cooking idol, after tasting it told me, "You make a damn good cheesecake."

The second is a vanilla-bean cardamom pound cake. The original recipe was tweaked to make the cake a bit moister, but I've have had a number of requests for this cake after bringing it to a potluck. I serve it with whipped cream (with brandy, of course) and that became a huge deal after other grad students I work with learned that whipped cream doesn't actually come out of a can!

IngridGrace said...

I don't know if your husband likes coffee or beer, but I made these for father's day and shared the extras with my husband's friends. I got rave reviews:

Chocolate Coffee Stout Cupcakes with Coffee Ganache

http://practicalepicure.blogspot.com/2010/06/happy-fathers-day-days-late-i-made.html

beth said...

I made something amazing for a solstice party last year:

rosemary-cream scones
with:
strawberry-basil-mascarpone (the strawberry/basil was cribbed from chocolate & zucchini, but the addition of mascarpone was my own touch)
and:
strawberries that had been macerating in sugar & balsamic vinegar.

YUM.

La mancelle said...

A flourless chocolate cake topped with fresh raspberries!

Happy birthday to your husband!

Claudia Varleta said...

The dessert that everybody raves about is a light passion fruit mousse, with caramel, orange and passion fruit sauce. My recipe is in Spanish, but I can gladly translate it for you.
the link is:
http://mundodedulcinea.blogspot.com/2009/10/mousse-de-maracuya.html
regards
Dulcinea

itscameron said...

Goat cheese is such an amazing flavour in desserts!

I once made a batch of Beetroot and Goat Cheese macarons that were beautiful and delicious which my friends loved, he may like those?

But the dessert my family loved the most was definitely sticky date and dried apricot pudding with walnut crumble, white chocolate ice cream, creme fraiche and honey caramel. And it was gluten free!! Amazing.

Jane said...

My husband's choice for his birthday is always Blackbottom Banana Cream Pie. The recipe is on my blog

jane-adventuresindinner.blogspot.com

Amanda McLafferty said...

One of my husband's favorite desserts that I've made is a chocolate-espresso lava cake with fresh espresso whip cream. It has since turned out to be a favorite of our entire family and is often requested :) It's a moist and rich chocolate cake with a gooey melted chocolate center intensified by the espresso powder and topped with cool espresso whipped cream - dreamy! I haven't blogged about this and it's a bit long to paste within the comment, so please contact me if you're interested: awmclafferty@comcast.net

LeahSavitsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mixette said...

Jessica's Tart from Sunday Suppers at Lucques is my go-to dessert!

Coco said...

Helene, this is one of my favorite posts that you have done. The plating, tones, and composition are just perfect!

This is one of my husband's favorite desserts.....

Gâteau au Citron with Lavender Créme

What a great giveaway!!!

Laura said...

my all-time most popular dessert is a nearly flourless chocolate cake. I find flourless chocolate cakes too rich, but the bit of flour in this one makes it less dense, but still completely decadent. Mine isn't as beautiful as your photos, but I'd love to see how you would do it! The recipe is on my blog here: http://onecaketwocake.com/2009/10/15/a-grown-up-dinner-party/

Melody said...

Perhaps you could try a flan cake? (Flan is a traditional Mexican dessert.) Last time I made this, I served it w/a fruit salad of strawberries and mangoes and a bit of lime juice.

For the flan:

Melt ½ cup of sugar w/1tsp of cinnamon. Pour into a glass pan (~2 quart capacity) and swirl to coat bottom. Set aside.

Beat 6 eggs, one at a time, into 8oz of room temp cream cheese. Add 12oz of evaporated milk, 14oz of sweetened condensed milk, and 1tsp of vanilla (or coconut/almond/etc.) extract. Strain mixture through a sieve and into the glass pan w/the caramelized sugar/cinnamon.

For the cake: Sift together a cup of flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp of salt. Add 3 egg yolks, 5 Tbsp of oil, and 1 Tbsp of vanilla. In a separate bowl, beat three egg whites w/1/4tsp of cream of tartar until foamy. Add ¼ cup of sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold this mixture into the egg white mixture and carefully float it on top of the flan mixture.
Place the flan dish in a larger dish and put enough hot water in the larger dish so that it comes halfway up the side of the flan dish. Bake at 325F for ~1.25 hours. Let cool in the fridge overnight (IMPORTANT!!) To serve, invert the flan cake and scrape any remaining caramel sauce over it.

facades.of.emotions said...

What about a croquembouche? Choux puffs (original or flavoured), toffee, a variety of creme patissiere (choose Bill's favourite flavour(s)), and a decoration of some sort. It's festive, looks good, tastes good, and the individual components are easy to make. Though putting them together is pain-staking, I think your husband will appreciate your efforts in making it.

Helene said...

facades.of.emotions: could have worked except it's not the right time for us with 115F and 100% humidity.
I'm steering away from caramel.

Thanks all for your suggestions!

As a ("retired") pastry chef I don't have a problem with the degree of difficulty but as a working woman I have to keep the timing on the short side and given the heat and humidity this week (over 100F and 100%) - I am afraid caramel work has to be vetoed or I will end up gluing my dogs and everything around in a great caramel meltdown :)

Thanks to everyone for taking the time - if there is a recipe you really want me to read, email it to me (see about page for email address) - I promise to read it!

Anda said...

Happy birthday to Bill!
Just made a wonderful cake, not posted yet: an italian almons chocolate torte (from Alice Medrich, recently posted by Y), topped with a thin layer of caramel bittersweet chocolate mousse, a layer of yogurt white chocolate pana cotta with vanilla and plum pits roasted plums and another thin layer of caramel chocolate mousse.
Hope you will find the best dessert for Bill.

Coco said...

me again :) sorry my link doesnt seem to work so here is the actual url....

http://roostblog.com/roost/gateau-au-citron-with-lavender-creme.html

Saudamini Deo said...

Umm...I would definitely suggest semolina pudding with fresh plums paired with red wine ice-cream. :)

Your photos are just beautiful.

Gabi said...

I always start posts in my head in the shower and then forget! I have to stop myself once I start thinking of one or I know it will be gone forever.

All of your recipes tempt me so, but my fiance is completely obsessed with plums and cherries, so we constantly have them in the house. I am definitely intrigued by the goat cheese ice cream too - how long does it usually keep?

For the birthday treat, I have been making devil's food cake from bon appetit with a layer of chocolate pudding on top for the past five or six birthdays and it's always a hit.

But you make the most delicious cake, pies, tarts, and cookies, so my suggestion is something a little different: gulab jamen. I don't have a recipe up myself, but they are balls of dough that you fry and then soak in simple syrup. They are a-m-a-z-i-n-g, but I am not sure if you can make them gluten free.

I'm not sure if you are making something gluten-free for this occasion, but rasmalai is my favorite Indian dessert, and I think that can be made gluten free.

Tengo un horno y sé cómo usarlo said...

I am not sure if I still can participate, but my suggestion is

Yogourt ice-cream with cherry sauce:
Refreshing, creammy, and gourgeous with the cherry sauce.

You can have a look at the recipe here:
www.tengounhornoysecomousarlo.blogspot.com
(so far my blog is only in Spanish).

Happy birthday, Bill and have a great day both of you.

Nicolette said...

Goat cheese ice cream? Where has it been all my life?! As for the dessert, this time of year I would probably make a simple cherry pie with flaky crust and vanilla bean ice cream. I might even serve it with stracciatella and coffee from the local gelatria.

marla@familyfreshcooking.com said...

I'll take the mani's, pedi's, facials, massage and these blissful comfort food crumbles. All of it screams happiness from the hill tops :) Happy B'day to B. xxoo

Nina Timm said...

Oh my word, dare I make a dessert for this site.....ok, I will

These lemon possets where the talk of my family for squite some time....

http://www.my-easy-cooking.com/2009/02/love-your-heart-this-valentines-day.html

fotographiafoodie said...

Beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. Look at those colours!

Hm, goat cheese ice cream. Sounds. . .creamy, I never envisioned goat cheese in ice cream, but I can see how it would offset the cherries perfectly. Good job!

Andrea from NC said...

How about a moist carrot cake with pecans and raisins and rich cream cheese frosting? Karina Allrich (gluten-free goddess blog) has a delicious recipe that has all that plus coconut. I hope Bill has a great birthday!

Cooking in Mexico said...

I always ask my sweet husband what he wants baked for his birthday. And it is always the same answer: my whole wheat fruit cake, made with dried fruit. So I bake a fruitcake every June, as strange as it seems to me! And I bake it again in December for Christmas.
Thanks for the lovely photos.

Kathleen

Deeba PAB said...

Stone fruit verrines ...sorry this is late, but I just made them from yr blog! They were excellent!!

fresh365 said...

Love the idea of goat cheese ice cream. I made Dana's Salted caramel Cake for my husbands bday and it was such a worthy project! http://danatreat.com/2009/12/my-favorite-cake/

Sophie said...

Delightful summer's crumbles & that goat's ice cream looks the best!!

MMMMMMMMMM,..An over the top dessert! Waw!

Peggy said...

Being that it is both cherry and plum season and our plum tree is laden with luscious fruit, I decided to make this last night. The combination of the goat cheese ice cream with the crumble is divine. Both are extremely easy to make and so delicious. The ice cream is going to be a new favorite of mine. Everyone loved the dessert. Thank you.

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