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Cherry & Plum Crumbles With Goat Cheese Ice Cream

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!


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.

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Sarah July 24, 2010 um 10:59 pm

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

Helene July 24, 2010 um 11:34 pm

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

Shannon July 24, 2010 um 11:42 pm

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.

Kate M July 25, 2010 um 12:47 am

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 July 25, 2010 um 12:58 am

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 🙂

Unknown July 25, 2010 um 1:22 am

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


Lia July 25, 2010 um 1:25 am

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 🙂

Jessica @ How Sweet July 25, 2010 um 2:04 am

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

♥peachkins♥ July 25, 2010 um 3:04 am

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

Unknown July 25, 2010 um 7:57 am

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.

notyet100 July 25, 2010 um 9:02 am

uuummm thnks for the virtual treat

Pam July 25, 2010 um 11:15 am

This looks delicious! Your photos are perfect!

mycookinghut July 25, 2010 um 12:03 pm

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

Y July 25, 2010 um 1:37 pm

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.

Carla July 25, 2010 um 2:41 pm

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

ella July 25, 2010 um 3:02 pm

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 July 25, 2010 um 3:58 pm

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

Have a nice time!

Dawn July 25, 2010 um 4:21 pm

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
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….

The Urban Baker July 25, 2010 um 7:07 pm

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!

Chavi July 25, 2010 um 8:07 pm

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!

Margaret July 25, 2010 um 8:50 pm

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!

Rachael Hutchings July 25, 2010 um 9:02 pm

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 July 25, 2010 um 9:07 pm

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 July 25, 2010 um 9:11 pm

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

Thanks for all your ideas! Keep them coming 🙂

LimeCake July 25, 2010 um 10:40 pm

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.

Nicole@The Dirty Oven via twitter @ovenloving July 26, 2010 um 1:52 am

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 July 26, 2010 um 2:52 am

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

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 July 26, 2010 um 3:00 am

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 July 26, 2010 um 3:02 am

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

Anonymous July 26, 2010 um 3:17 am

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


Marilyn July 26, 2010 um 3:50 am

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 July 26, 2010 um 3:56 am

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.

brigette July 26, 2010 um 5:27 am

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.


3 cups chocolate wafer crumbs

½ cup melted butter


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.


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

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


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.

Chocolate Cat July 26, 2010 um 8:56 am

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.

Crumbs N Crust July 26, 2010 um 9:45 am


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.

Stephanie July 26, 2010 um 1:18 pm

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

shubha July 26, 2010 um 1:46 pm

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 🙁

Patricia Scarpin July 26, 2010 um 2:06 pm

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!

Unknown July 26, 2010 um 2:33 pm

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 July 26, 2010 um 2:35 pm

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!

KristenF July 26, 2010 um 4:47 pm

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 🙂

Mel July 26, 2010 um 6:45 pm

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 Fisher July 26, 2010 um 6:50 pm

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 if you're interested!

Anonymous July 26, 2010 um 7:27 pm


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.. 😀

A big hug from Chile!

Meg Martin July 26, 2010 um 7:43 pm

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

Steven July 26, 2010 um 10:02 pm

It's currently a tie in my most requested and lauded recipes, and both are easily found on (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!

beth July 26, 2010 um 11:15 pm

I made something amazing for a solstice party last year:

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


Kari July 27, 2010 um 12:52 am

A flourless chocolate cake topped with fresh raspberries!

Happy birthday to your husband!

itscameron July 27, 2010 um 12:56 am

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.

Unknown July 27, 2010 um 1:01 am

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

Amanda Darvill July 27, 2010 um 1:07 am

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: [email protected]

Leah S July 27, 2010 um 1:13 am

This comment has been removed by the author.

mixette July 27, 2010 um 1:39 am

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

Coco July 27, 2010 um 2:10 am

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!!!

Unknown July 27, 2010 um 3:13 am

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.

annsleyw July 27, 2010 um 4:13 am

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 July 27, 2010 um 4:21 am

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 July 27, 2010 um 4:52 am

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.

Saudamini Deo July 27, 2010 um 6:54 am

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

Your photos are just beautiful.

Macu -Tengo un horno y sé cómo usarlo July 27, 2010 um 9:00 am

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:
(so far my blog is only in Spanish).

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

Nicolette July 27, 2010 um 4:49 pm

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.

[email protected] July 27, 2010 um 5:20 pm

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

fotographiafoodie July 27, 2010 um 9:34 pm

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 July 28, 2010 um 12:32 am

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 July 28, 2010 um 1:36 pm

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.


Deeba PAB July 28, 2010 um 3:52 pm

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

Sophie Sportende Foodie August 30, 2010 um 3:26 pm

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

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

Peggy July 10, 2011 um 9:21 pm

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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