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Sugar High Friday #43: Citrus! The Round Up Part One

You guys….Wow! 130 entries!! 130 recipes to try and people to thank for coming strong to make this edition of SHF such a success. Thank you!
I am whipped!! Seriously, things started slow and nice and Bang! I turn around, enjoy a few boat rides with the family and just like that my tastebuds are overwhelmed with a delicious flow of creative, funny, fun, amazing entries! I don’t have much to add..really…pictures speak a thousand words they say! Well, it’s been a few all nighters here at Tartelette’s to bring all these to you so if I forgot your entry or messed up a link…go easy on me and we’ll fix this together over the weekend.

Before we start, I need to mention that Jennifer herself will be hosting the next Sugar High Friday! The theme is "How Sweet does Canada Taste to You" and she is asking not necessarily for favourite recipes but specifically for your favourite foods… Participants will be asked to bestow their favourite sweet treat that is made in Canada; home-made OR store bought (or both!). You don’t have to be Canadian or live in Canada, you just have to have a fondness for a Canadian-favourite.

And now the round up!!

Let’s start off this round up with SHF creator, Jennifer from Domestic Goddess who made a Lemon Cloud Cheesecake, (recipe here) which she says started out as a mess but ended up as a masterpiece. Aren’t most masterpieces and discoveries made that way?!!

Susan from Food Blogga pays tribute to her dad’s limoncello in these Mini Custards With Limoncello-Spiked Rasberry Sauce. Refreshing, sweet and healthy…I think I will have to eat two just to make sure! Gorgeous!

Kristen from Something Sweet finds the time to join us while in the middle of a big move and makes these puckery good and fluffy Lime Cheesecake Squares. I’d say they are the perfect companion to share while moving and boxing!

Sihan from Fundamentaly Flawed shares a wonderful Orange and Lemon Souffle with her family and friends. What a great finale to a gorgeous table and good times spent together!! A tower of citrus goodness indeed!

Lynne from And Then I do The Dishes starts a double birthday celebration on a perfet note with these Cranberry Orange Scones! I love that breakfast can be good and good for you too. Thank you!

Ambrosia from Brozy’s Baking participates for the first time to SHF and with such a yummy creation I hope it won’t be the last! She combines two of my favorite desserts: creme brulees and cheesecake in these Lemon Brulee Cheesecakes. Brilliant!

Patricia from Patricia Furtado-Recipe Book pairs limes and caramel in a Creamy Lime Mousse with Lime Caramel Sauce. Simple ingredients and preparation but a mouth watering result.

Lysy from Munchkin Mail gets inspired by lemons and makes the cutest star shaped Lemon Mousse Cheesecakes. We still need to help her use some limes….any ideas anyone?! Just kidding!

Cathy of Aficionado made a Trio of Ice Creams that had my eyes rolling in all directions with sugar desire: Sheep’s milk yogurt sorbet, crushed raspberry ice and white pepper ice cream, all enhanced by a good dose of lovely lemon.

Shari from Whisk: A Food Blog, makes the most tempting combination of velvety smooth and sugar crunch in her Pecan Coconut Pavlova with Lemon Cream. Hands off people! They are mine!

Rachel from Fairy Cake Heaven puts a very creative spin on some favorite recipe and delivers a tempting, no scratch that, mashing display of flavors. Check out her Pomelo and Lime Curd, Orange Mousse and Lemon Lavender Butterflies Tuiles.

Candice from Mmm, Tasty! makes a batch of flavorful Orange Date Walnut Buns based on a cinnamon buns recipe that she loves. Filled with orange juice and orange zest, I already wish it were morning, don’t you?

Michelle from Thursday Night Smackdown participates in her first SHF, calling it a "personal blogging milestone" ( I know that both Jennifer and I are flattered by that line) with a smackingly good Fuzzy Navel Upside Down Cake. How creative is that?!!

Julie from A Mingling Of Tastes makes the most mouth watering Lemon Bars with more filing than crust (yeah!) and gives us her secret ingredient: lemon sugar…So good…

Kristen from Sweet Pea Patisserie recreated her mother in law’s favorite cake and does a wonderful job in this scrumptious Lemon Cream Cake. That had to score major points on the mother-in-law scale!

Liz from VeggieGirl shows ingenuity with these Lemon Gem Cupcakes by turning a runny lemn glaze into a lovely lemon filling. Great thinking, they look delicious! Is the knife to protect the last muffin from lemon cupcake lover snatchers?!!!

Oom from Vanilla Orchid makes the cutest White Chocolate Almond Cupcakes with an orange icing. The marzipan butterflies are a wonderful and whimsical touch to her dessert!

I tend to think like Ranji from Ranji’s Kitchen Corner that lemon and blueberries go perfect together and I love that she paired them in mouth watering Blueberry Muffins for the event. Those would be great for breakfast and snack time…or lunch and dinner too!

Deeba from Passionate About Baking is also passionate about citrus (yeah!) and makes this gorgeous Tangy Fresh Lime Cake with as you guessed lime in the cake and in the syrup/glaze. Yum!!

Ulrike from Kuchenlatein in Germany makes a delicious sounding Lemon Yogurt Ice Cream that is a cinch to make and will refresh the whole family in under an hour. Perfect for summer!

Rachel from The Essential Rhubarb Pie decides to come out and play with us and relax in the kitchen as well by creating some delicious Ginger Creamsicle Muffins with cardamom, cinnamon, mascarpone and plenty of orange to go around! Yum!

Ayin from Flower In The Kitchen made the most delicious souding Lemon Swiss Roll With Lemon Curd. Thank you for persevering with this one because it turned out superb!

Super sweet Steph from A Whisk And A Spoon in Australia knows how to tempt me with two delicious entries! She first made one of my childhood (ok, all around time) favorites, Lemon Yogurt Cake. She added an extra delicious ingredient with a sweet orange marmelade glaze on top. Then, she added for extra sweetness Meyer Lemon Ice Cream Bombes, filled with a caramel orange sauce, similar to Baked Alaskas. Wooza!!

Marianna from Swirl & Scramble in France, remembers Italy and shakes things up a bit with this outstanding Limoncello Tiramisu. Great take on a classic! Thanks for participating!

Joanna from Salute To Sanity chose the less traveled road with her Grapefruit Curd Cups and I could not be any more pleased to get another curd recipe! Thank you!

Abby from Eat The Right Stuff made this outstanding Lemon and Rosewater Frosted Pistachio And Orange Cake…but wait… there is also a hint of cardamom in there. Brilliant combination!

Chriesi from Almond Corner took her love for lemon sorbet to the next level by making it herslef and pairing it up with crepes in this Orange Crepes With Lemon Sorbet. Sounds decadent and refreshing at the same time!

Emily from The Sweet Gourmand makes a comeback to SHF with a wonderful and flavorful Lavender Lemon Pound Cake. Glad the theme inspired this beauty!

Minko from Couture Cupcakes put on her creative hat and came up with these Hazelnut, Lime and Cracked Black Pepper Cupcakes! I am looking forward to trying them myself!

Sweet Abby from Confabulation In The Kitchen tried to please all the women present at her Mother’s Day table by making this Almost Fat Free, Almost Sugar Free Cheesecake. I think that everyone watching those calories will be happy with it!

Mindy from Mindy’s Deli in Venezuela brings us these ubber cute Lemon Cupcakes With Lemon Buttercream. Love the candied peel and leaves. What a way to celebrate a birthday!

First time participant to SHF, Gauri from Guj Food Guide created a wonderful interpretation of the classic lemon yogurt cake with this delightful Lemon Cake.

Magali from In The Night Kitchen made good use of leftover limes and created a perfect Lime Flan to help her friend unwind. Now, that’s one cool blogger!

Zita from Simplicious made a dessert that I know I will make very soon: Lemon Sponge Pudding with Cardamom Caramel Syrup….just the title makes me swoon!

Lori from Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness made great use of an abundance of oranges in this Orange Cake with Curacao Strawberries . Going with the flow was a great idea!

There are days I wish states were smaller around here so I could be over at Aran’s Cannelle Et Vanille in Florida and have some of her Lemon, Orange and Almond Savarin Cakes with Grapefruit Sorbet that she made while remembering her wonderful grandfather. Eskerrik asko !

Marija from Palachinka in Serbia made this exquisite Mojito Dessert: a cake filled with a wonderful mint and lime yogurt mousse. Very refreshing!

Smita from Smita Serves You Right in Rochester, New York made this inspired Olive Oil Pound Cake flavored with sherry and orange! I am putting the tea kettle on right now! Thank you for participating!

George from Culinary Travels Of A Kitchen Goddess made a wonderful Lemon Oil Cheesecake with a sweet pastry base and a pana cotta-like frosting. Now, doesn’t that scream yummy or what?

Judy from Judy Gross Eats in California reminisce of a favorite Baskin-Robbins flavor and create one which I think is to times better with this Chocolate Tangerine Sorbet.

Johanna from The Passionate Cook in the UK found some time during her move to make those scrumptious Mojito Cheesecakes. Thanks for participating and being such a pillar of SHF!

Psychgrad from Equal Opportunity Kitchen made a moist and comforting Orange Crumb Cake. Don’t wait for cooler days to crank up the oven!

Scrumptious from In My Box is a first timer to SHF and made some tasty and flavorful Candied Pomelo Peels With Bittersweet Chocolate.

Farida from Farida Azerbaijani 's Cookbook made a delicious Cheese and Yogurt Cake with lemon zest. Almost a cheesecake and a wonderful light snack at the same time!

Elizabeth from Stawberries In Paris made scrumtious Key Lime Tartlets that were devoured in no time on Mother’s Day. I believe that!

Tommi from Brown Interior made one of the most tempting treats out there: Grapefruit Tart With Candied Grapefruit Peel paired up with some beautiful lyrics and prose.

Thip from the delicious blog Bonbini made this beautiful Orange Sabayon in a tuile cup with fresh fruits. Crunchy and smooth all in one bite!

Elizabeth from Spice Girl gets her bloggin groove back for SHF and makes this delicious Lemon Olive Oil Cake. I think I could snack on it all day long!

Steph from CIA-Cooking In An Apron made some wonderful Iced Lemon Cookies. How can you go wrong with lemon on lemon, right?!! Thanks for participating!

Arfi from HomeMades reminded me with this fabulous Lemon Posset of all the possibilites of cream, sugar and lemon mixed together. Thank you for such a stylish dessert!

Basma from the yummy blog Bakerette is somebody I relate too as she can’t decide which one of her entries she likes best for the event and I thought "why not have both?". She first made the silkiest Rich Chocolate and Orange Mousse. Just give me the bowl will you?!! Best remedy to a tough day for sure! Then she tempts us with the cutest Mini Lemon Cheesecakes. Double yum!

Medena from Cafe Chocolada combined citrus and chocolate in the perfect Orange Infused Chocolate Buttercream Roll and even made marzipan type citrus fruits. Way to go Medena!

Brittany from The Pie Lady knows how to make me blush and swoon with this wonderful Citrus Creme Brulee Tart. All my favorites wrapped into one: crust, citrus, caramel crunch…yum!

Sugar High Friday #43 Citrus! The Round Up Part Two…Click here.

Sugar High Friday #43 – Citrus: Round up Part Two

Michelle from Big Black Dogs bakes out of her usual flavor comfort zone and picks tangerine and chocolate in a perfect Tangerine And Chocolate Cupcakes with Tangerine Frosting. Great pick!

Gluten Free super blogger Nathalie from Gluten A Go Go creates a gorgeous Kumquat Lychee Preserve to go along some perfectly puffed choux. Once again my hat’s off to you for making a classic available to all.

JZ from Tasty Treats goes mini with these orange flavored Petite Orange Cakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting. Everything is precious in this dessert, from the presentation to the taste. Well Done!

Alexandra from Addicted Sweet Tooth finds the time and energy after surgery to make these delightful Honey Parfait with Blood Orange Gratin. She kind of had me scared there with the blow torch action while on meds but everything turned out gorgeous!

Monica from Nervous Chef decides to take the plunge and post her first SHF entry! She made a fabulous Lemon Mousse Cake…and for a non citrus person that is a lot to do! I guess the subliminal messages I have been sending did work!

Meeta from What’s For Lunch, Honey? knows how to mix the classic and the sexy in a perfectly executed Lime Creme Brulee. Tap,tap,tap…that’s me cracking the top (or tapping on my screen pretending!). Thank you for joining the event!

Mansi from Fun And Food uses what was right at her fingertips to create this superb little morsels: Orange and Pistachio Cheesecakes. Not only are the flavors great but the cheesecakes are mini and no bake to boot!

Super sweet mom Holly from PheMomenon brings out two culinary giants and creates this superb Orange Mousse Creme Brulee. Everything, from the presentation to the taste looks fantastic! Thanks for baking with us!

Elizabeth from The Red KitchenAid finds inspiration in a new cookbook and makes this gorgeous Orange Cake, light and fluffy and with a touch of orange liqueur in the glaze. Perfection with a cup of tea..or for anytime of the day really!

Rita from Clumbsy Cookie may be a newbie to SHF but she sure makes a grand debut with these lovely chocolate bonbons, Orange Curd Pyramides, filled with orange curd ganache and orange curd. Bravo!!

Francois from FXCuisine makes an exquisite Sicilian Tangerine Sorbet perfect to cool us off this summer. He also included a lengthy explanatory post so you have no reason not to try your hand at making them.

Dee from ChoosandChews bakes a wonderful Asian inspired Kaffir Lime and Coconut Creme Brulee for the event. I can only imagine how fragrant this must be under the crackling crust!

Bunny from Bunny’s Warm Oven creates a local classic with this Lemon Sponge Pie, "cake like top with a nice smooth lemon flavor bottom. […] the best of both worlds". Great first participation to SHF and cheers to many more!

Koy from Pepsakoy participates for the first time in a blogging event with these Crunchy Crusted Citrus Scones. Full of lemon and tender with cream cheese, they are also light and crunch from a little sugar sprinkle. I am thrilled that the theme inpired you to dive in and post!

Future SHF host Susan, from The Well Seasoned Cook brings us a bright and tangy Lemon Fudge, bringing together the sweetness of white chocolate and the tang of citrus. Well done!

Bakenista and friend Ivonne from Cream Puffs In Venice brings us the cutest little morsels, Pistachio Lemon Bites, similar to Mexican Wedding Cookies….Ivonne, first you try to seduce me and now you make me wedding cookies…One Mr.Tartelette is going to get jealous!!

Cassandra from 202 tasks in 1001 days is a woman after my own heart as she uses lemons on almost everything from sweets and desserts to savory dishes. She brings us a batch of freshly made Lemon, raisin & yoghurt muffins. Tender, moist and full of healthy and good for you ingredients.

First time SHF participant and friend Rachael from La Fuji Mama uses another favorite recipes of mine with madeleines but adds a definite Japanese touch by turning them into Yuzu Madeleines….Glad you decided to join us!

Ali from Things We Ate For Dinner brings back memory of vacations in North Africa with this wonderfully fresh Citrus Salad spiced with cinnamon and ginger.

Jenny from All Things Edible gets inspired by this month theme and creates beautiful towering Individual Lime Souffles. Glad you joined…sneaky you!

Busy gal Peabody from Culinary Concotions by Peabody finds the time to participate in this month SHF and creates the most adorable Coconut Lemon-Lime Tassies: cream cheese pastry lemon and lime through and through a some coconut. Back on a sugar high indeed!

Robert from Amicus Cupcakes departs from beloved flavors and choses Grapefruit Curd filled cupcakes with Champagne Meringue Frosting to participate this time. Oh! How I wish I had been among his testers! Thank you for a great looking cupcake!

Natashya from Living In The Kitchen With Puppies brings us Cranberry Lemon Cupcakes With Lemon Glaze as the perfect afternoon snack on a summer day. I have to admit that I’d pass a chocolate one for one of these any day lately!

Bakenista Kelly from Sass & Veracity prepares for an Italian this summer and gets inspired to make these gorgeous Orange Rosemary Muffins With Pinenuts. Check out the cute little clay pots she used. Now that’s what I call "baking chic"!

Lori from The Recipe Girl makes the perfect after school treat, Lemon Almond Cookie Brittle. Since Jennifer is our headmaster for this SHF field trip, I’d say we all qualify for this break apart cookie with a shortbread texture…now I wish I had the whole pan!!

Priya from Live2Cook returns to blogging after a short hiatus and brings us a batch of Orange Poppy Seed Muffins. It’s like sharing breakfast with an old time friend you have not seen in a while. Welcome back!

Patricia from Technicolor Kitchen joins this edition of SHF and I could not be happier as she likes citrus as much as I do. In case we needed proof, she made Chocolate Discs With Orange Cream and Marinated Oranges. Stunning, simple and full of wonderful flavors.

Gretchen Noelle from Canela&Camino in Peru trades her favorite coffee and lemon muffin treat for a delightful Queque De Limon, a Peruvian Lime Bread topped with a dainty lime glaze. I am excited to be able to duplicate it soon in the kitchen!

Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella presents a fun alternative to the wedding tradition of the tossing of the bouquet: a "Catch The Bouquet!" Bridesmaid’s Citrus Bundt cake. No crazy hair pulling or shoving aside!

Sandy from Eat Real made me think that the warmer/hot days are already upon us and we are going to need something to cool us off and her Ginger Grapefruit Sorbet would be perfect for that.

A. from Life Is Too Short For Mediocre Chocolate has the brilliant idea to cool us off with a cocktail cake…Her Daiquiri Snack Cake combines the flavors of rum and lime in just the perfet bite.

Reading Jasmine from Confessions Of A Cardamom Addict makes me hungry. Reading Jasmine’s desserts makes me hungrier. Reading Jasmine Chilled Lemon Souffle late at night makes me hurt my head on the screen I am so hungry! Light and creamy, I agree that it is the perfect summer dessert!

Petra from Food Freak brings us a gorgeous Lemon Sorbet, Sorbetto di Limone, inspired by cutie Jamie Oliver. Look how creamy and perfectly smooth this looks! Thank you!

Susan from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy makes my heart sing and my head cool off by also combining herbs and citrus: Blood Orange Basil Mint Sorbet. Perfect color and fragrance and perfect timing given the hot days coming up!

Lisa from Spicy Ice Scream is another first timer to SHF and goes all out (yippee!) with this lucious concoctions of herbs and fruit. Check her amazing Lemon Flan with Strawberry and Lemon Thyme Compote. Now that I got your attention….wouldn’t you say she did a fabulous job for a first time?!

Rock Star blogger Jen from Use Real Butter makes what I consider "the dessert that makes me melt": Crystal Almond Pound Cake. That’s ok that it did not turn out as the recipe said, to me it means more concentrated lemon goodness!

Denise from Chez Us makes a tempting treat to end the perfect outdoor dinner: Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pudding Cake, served with fresh blackberries. Like her I often wonder why I wait for warmer days to make it since it is perfect for all seasons.

Bron from Bron Marshall, Classic and Creative Cuisine is my (now not so) secret anymore girl crush….just because of all the beautiful foods she dishes out not to mention that I got weak in the knees reading her post…For SHF this month she made the cutest and most delectable Meyer Lemon Kisses. I think they just called my name 🙂

Adopted blogger Evelin from Bouteous Bites stays true to her blog name by combining different textures and heat sources in the most interesting little bites: Lemon Truffles With A Pepper Warm Coating. It is true: opposites do attract!

Elsye from Dari Dapur Saya has a great eye for photograpy but also a wonderful palate wen it comes to sweets and her Baked Lemon Pudding is the perfect touch to enjoy a little sweetness after a hard day’s work!

Sefa from Food Is Love recreates a familiar dessert and brings a touch of light and color to it. Her Semolina Pudding With Orange Sauce is perfect for all seasons…comforting, light and fragrant!

I envy the scenery over at Butter&Beans written by Daniel and Angelica, deep in the heart of Bavaria…and I am thrilled about their creation: Citrus and Spruce Sorbet….that is the only way I can tolerate gin it seems! I bet eating this sorbet is like getting a giant breath of fresh air!

Heather from Diary Of A Fanatic Foodie makes a perfect holiday dessert…I am tempted to say that everyday is a holiday just so I can have a bite of this scrumptious Blackberry Lime Cobbler with Lime Basil Cream. Now you tell me if today has not just become a holiday?!!

Paula from Half Baked made me blush and laugh at the same time when she baked a favorite recipe of mine: Key Lime Squares with the added bonus of ginger. Glad she made them because I never got around to this month!!

Latifa from Flavours creates two wonderful citrus desserts for her family to share: Lemon Curd Cake and Lavender Lemon Cupcakes. They both look scrumptious and light!

Linda from Make Life Sweeter combines the tartness of rhubarb and the fragrance of bergamot in a wonderful Rhubarb and Bergamot Cream Tart. Thank you for taking the time to participate while in the middle of birthday celebrations. The pie has to be the most intoxicating one so far!

Sara from Cupcake Muffin dishes out another scrumptious and fragrant tart inspired from Martha Stewart while her sister was visiting: Lemon Chamomille Cream Tart. I have the tea kettle on and I am ready to dive into this one!

What better way to refresh after a hot day than with this scrumptious Citrus Berry Salad with Agave Mint Dressing made by Lauren of I’ll Eat You?! She paired it with ice cream but says that it would also be great on its own or with cake. Agreed!

Courtney from The Dough Ball departs from her love of all things chocolate and pairs classical flavors in an absolute finger licking good Raspberry With Lemon Cream Tart. Love it!

Katya from Second Dinner gets inspired by the works of Sir Conan Doyle and the famous Baker Street and creates a tantalizing old faashioned Lemon Cake With Lemon Frosting. Happy to see a fellow bookworm (thereis something wrong with this word in a deesert round up but anyways…) get creative while reading. Great choice!

This is why I love blogging: to see first timer SHF new bloggers like Kelly from The Pink Apron get out of her comfort zone and bake something…delicious! Thank you for this wonderful Coconut Lime Pudding Cake! Yes, you read right: put da' lime in the coconut and pudding and cake!

For Nicisme from Cherrapeno, SHF started as petits fours, morphed into a lemon Swiss roll, got threatened by a teenager with a blow torch and ended up in the most mouth watering St Clement’s Cake (!): orange cake, brushed with a Cointreau syrup, filled with lemon cream and topped off with an orange/blueberry sauce. When life gets crazy, make cake!

Tessa from Dizzee Cake makes outstanding creations and created this wonderful Cherry Blossom Citrus Bliss Cake to wish her grandmother to get well soon. I hope things are better now and I am sure she enjoyed your creativity and skills!

Isabel from Isa’s Cooking misses her vacation due to a fallen bridge in Chile but get here in the nick of time for SHF with one of my favorites (yes! Again…you guys are just spoiling me!): French Lemon Cream Tart. For me, the tart is a vacation in itself…

I am thrilled that Mimi from Mimi On The Move found time in her busy school schedule to participate this month! Her No Quite Cannoli filled with Key Lime cream would be the perfect bite with a cup of tea for a little snack in the afternoon!

Cakelaw from Laws Of The Kitchen uses the best of both worlds with citrus and almonds in this Marzipan And Lemon Cake. I know it won’t be long before it appears on my table…imagine that for breakfast…wicked!

Melody from Fruittart creates a favorite of mine pairing citrus and berries in these Lemon Meringue Cups With Strawberries. But wait, there is a bonus tart filled with gorgeous orange cream too!

First timer to SHF, Jackie from Gasterea’s Table chooses flavors dear to my heart and makes a delightful Lemon and Fromage Blanc Custardy Ice Cream. It is like having the creamiest lemon custard tart without the fuss of making the pastry base. Perfect for spending time playing outside this summer and still have time for dessert!

Allison from Sushi Day makes one of my favorites Asian treats Japanese rice cakes with a serious dose of orange flavor. Check out her recipe for Orange Mochi to get on your way to making your own!

I love that Inne from Vanille & Chocolat dropped the DIY renovations at home long enough to come out and play with us because that is something she knows to do with great success. Her Coconut Lime Cake With Mango and Mascarpone Lime Mousse marries favorite flavors (have I said that before somewhere else?!!) and different texture beautifully!

I am happy to have Deborah from Taste And Tell join us in time after her little escapade in New York! Her small batch baking is just perfect for a small household but I would ask her to make me a double batch of that frosting! Check her Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Frosting for more goodness!

Lynn from Cookie Baker Lynn makes these wonderfully intoxicating Lime Cooler Cookies as a peace offering after a little quarrel with her husband over….lime coolers! What a way to kiss and pucker up!

France based Pamela from The Cooking Ninja bakes herself a delightful Orange Almond Cake for Mother’s Day. Topped with chocolate frosting this has got to be a great end to a perfect bbq with loved ones!

I am always impressed with Toontz’s baking creations at Okara Mountain made with okara (by-product of soy milk making), and her Okara Thumbelinas With Tangerine Ginger Curd do not disappoint me a bit! I can taste the tangerine from here!

Real life neighbor Kim from A Yankee In A Southern Kitchen finds herself trapped shopping online and finds a way out by concocting this lip smacking Lemon Buttermilk Sorbet topped with caramel sauce. Maybe if I leave now there will be some left…maybe not!

Madam Chow from Madam Chow’s Kitchen took luscious strawberry to another level by adding a good dose of lemon in this Luscious Strawberry and Lemon Cobbler. Citrus can definitely add some zing and life to a dessert of bright red berries!

Astra Libris from Food For Laughter recreates a childhood favorites adding a wonderful citrus twist: Cinnamon-Spice Hamantashen with Lemon Raspberry and Lemon Raisin Filling. Combining citrus and family favorites are a sure way to make for a wonderful cookie!

Suganya from Tasty Palettes discovers how to use the Buddha’s hand citron she recently purchased and creates tasty and low fat Buddha’s Hand Creme Brulee. I bet the flavor was quite wonderful!

Astrid from La Cerise in Zurich makes the most fabulous Lemon Millefeuille, inspired by the Sugar Daddy himself, Pierre Herme: caramelized puff pastry filled with a luscious lemon cream. A wonderful creation and a wonderful baking journey all at once!

Suzana from Home Gourmets in Portugal makes the perfect dessert to chase away the rain and welcome Spring: Lemon Curd Frozen Yoghurt. Tangy, refreshing, healthy and easy to share with friends during a dinner al fresco.

Catherine from Clever Monkey Studio creates her own delightful ode to citrus with these Spicy Grapefruit Blondies. Full of grapefruit marmelade, cardamom and white chocolate…Delicious!

Lisa from Confessions Of An Apron Queen makes great use of leftover margaritas and creates this amazing Margarita Cheesecake. Now that is a great ay to refresh a citrus sweet tooth on a hot summer day!

Zorra from 1x umruehren aka kochtopf makes the best use of her homegrown bitter oranges in this perfect marbled Bitter Choc-Orange Cake. Anything baked or made with the fruits of your garden is top notch in my book!

Dhanggit from Dhanggit’s Kitchen creates a most mouth watering Orange Souffle to get high on citrus with us. Aboslutely gorgeous…quick, quick..they are going fast!

Former SHF host Rachel from Vampituity, An Improvised Perspective, gathers a bunch of girlfriends for a great dinner and creates this wonderful Sorbetto Ghiacciato Arancia Sanguigna, Iced Blood Orange Sorbet. Perfect dessert to cool off during hot hot evening in!

Y from Lemonpi uses simple techniques and fresh ingredients to create this amazingly refreshing Chilled Oranges in Rum Caramel Syrup. With a touch of lavender, this is the perfect dessert to boost up your vitamin C intake and finish a dinner with fuss-free style.

Maybelles Mom from Feeding Maybelle makes great use of what is available on hand to put together Kumquat Madeleine, Citrus Curd, Condensed Milk Cream Trifles. Chock full of oranges, lemon and creay goodness, this one is sure to please the most demanding palate.

Citrus And Cardamom Rum Babas

Citrus Babas-Copyright©Tartelette I have been under a shower of SHF citrus entries this past week and although I need to (happily) bathe in over 100 entries in the coming days, nothing would make me happier. Thank you in advance to all of you who participated and remember I will accept a few stragglers if you come to the party with an extra box of lemon sour candies! Before I proceed with these lovely Rum Babas, I need to announce the winner of the Cherry Blossom Extract: Congratulations to Suzana of Home Gourmets ! Please email me with your mailing address so both Rachael and I can get the 2 bottles on your way.
When I was little, I loved going with my mom to the bakery in town after church on Sundays, helping her select the little mini pastries that would end up on a dessert tray after lunch at my grandparent’s. There always was a selection of different flavored eclairs and cream puffs, a couple of mini fruit tarts and Napoleons and a couple of mini rum babas. I used to repeat that name on the way there and on the way back to the house: "baba au rum…baba au rum…baba au rum…" I just found its resonance funny and comforting, thoughts of roundness and "plentiness" and exotic places. Except for one thing: even though I was already allowed to drink a little wine drowned with a lot of water on Sundays, I was not allowed more than one bite of the rum babas because they were drenched in alcohol…and drenched they were (no wonder our baker was a happy man!).

As soon as I started working in bakeries and put in charge of babas production, I figured I was old enough to eat them too. I had my share of this traditional pastry: a yeast based cake, with a very spongy and delicate texture all bathed in a orange and rum flavored syrup. Nothing else…no gilding the lilies with whipped cream or fruit. Although it is a little more on the bready side than a cake, there is nothing heavy about it….pure rum air….try not to inhale half a dozen minis at once! It had been a long while since I had made some but the arrival of a lovely birthday present prompted me to change that situation.

Last year, my buddy Inne and I started to discuss the pastry work of Hidemi Sugino, Japanese pastry virtuoso. I have loved and admired his creations for years and when she mentioned she had a friend who could get the book in Japan and bring it back to her so she could then send it to me, I know I let out a loud "Yes!". Lucky me, it came in the mail for my birthday along with some plates I used here and here. Thank you Inne! I don’t read Japanese but thankfully in this book, the recipes are translated in English. Allright, so translated may not be the right word as the English used is really wrong in some sentences but you get the gist of it fairly quickly. I was relieved to see that the original measures in grams had been kept although there are equivalences given in spoons and cups. I can’t tell you if this part is accurate because I had no time to double check and I must add that I used the grams, my personal preference in baking.

His Citrus Babas caught my eye the first couple of minutes I started looking at the mouth watering desserts put together for the book. The dough was mixed with a citrus puree, the baked babas soaked with an orange syrup and topped with an orange liqueur flavored pastry cream. The citrus puree called for whole citrus to be poached and puree, skin, pulp and rind. Where it might work beautifully for the kumquat recipe used, I thought not so much if I did a mix of grapefruit, lemons, lime and oranges since kumquats are out of season here now. I kept the rinds of the lemon and limes and used all the citrus fruit pulp. I changed the syrup to incorporate some rum and since I had half a batch of Lime and Mascarpone Mousse left, I topped the finished babas with a dollop of these.

Citrus Babas-Copyright©Tartelette 2008 Citrus Babas:

Printable Recipe

Makes 8 small (I used square silicone molds)

For the babas:
3 gr. instant dry yeast
20 gr. lukewarm water
5 gr. sugar
100 gr. all purpose flour
2 gr. salt
1 large egg
60 gr. milk
40 g. butter, melted and cooled
50 gr. Citrus Compote, pureed

For the Citrus Compote:
100 gr. of mixed citrus fruit of your choice (I used a mixture of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit and some of the lemon and lime rinds)
100 gr. sugar
100 gr. water
6 whole cardamom pods

Use the flesh and some of the rinds of the fruits, add the sugar and water and put all in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Let cool. Remove the cardamom pods. Puree until completely smooth.

For the syrup:
100 gr. orange juice
100 gr. rum
70 gr. sugar

Bring all the ingredients to a simmer and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer the syrup to a wide, shallow pan.

For the mousse filling:
Half a recipe Lime and Mascarpone Mousse

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and sugar and let stand until foamy. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and the milk together.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the yeast mixture, flour, salt, add the egg mixture and butter. Mix until all the ingredients are combined and you get a soft dough. Let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume.
Punch the dough down and add the citrus compote. Mix until well combined.
Drop the dough by tablespoons full in babas molds or muffin tins or whatever you have available. Let rise until nearly doubled. Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes. Let cool on wire racks. Unmold the babas.
Soak the babas into the syrup, upside down first and then flip them over. Let them soak a minute and transfer to a wire rack to drain the syrup. Reserve the syrup. You can keep the babas in the fridge until plating time, well covered.
To plate: top each babas with a dollop of mousse, drizzle with the reserved syrup and add some mint and lemon rind or zest if desired.


Mother's Day-Copyright©Tartelette 2008
I thought that adding one more citrus post to this month of May could not hurt and wish to dedicate these Citrus Babas to my mother for Mother’s Day. I know I am a day late but I thought that she would forgive me if I made one of our favorites, a baba…all pretty and citrusy. Plus, she was spending the day with my dad, brother and her granddaughters. Mom, I love you! Everyday, you show me the importance of giving of oneself, giving love and friendship, lending an ear and a welcoming hand and I can only hope to be half as good as you are. You radiate love and laughter to all around you and I strive to make you proud although I make you worry sometimes and sometimes I make you laugh. I know I make you scratch your head and I know I make you raise your hands or roll your eyes…but I know that you and you only understands me when I sing you Sinatra or Singing In The Rain. Mom, you are my lucky star….I love you!

Sugar High Friday – Citrus : Reminder

Yes, I know, it seems like the 25th is weeks away and there is still plenty of time to make something for the event….and you are right…but you know what they say: time flies. I was happy to see from your comments and the wonderful entries I have already received that you dig the theme this month, but I am difficult and I want more. Pleeeeeaaaase!!! Don’t forget to send the entry at sugarhighfridaycitrus AT gmail DOT com. For all the rules, see this post.

I have been baking a lot for home and work these past few days and there will be another SHF-Citrus entry tomorrow for a special someone and a celebration but in the meantime I thought I’d give you something from the archives to entice you and maybe inspire you for this round.

Citrons Givres : one of my favorite treats as a child and still has an adult, although now I like to add a little vodka to the lemon sorbet. Funny story is that in most French restaurant a lemon sorbet with a touch of vodka is called a Colonel…interesting isn’t it? Even my dad the Army guy can’t figure out why…and he knows everything (of course, he is a dad and that’s his job!)

Full post and recipe can be found here and I have already made a couple batches this week to cool us off with this crazy humid and hot week we have had. By the way, don’t you just love the fingerprints on the lemons?….Not!!

Lemon And Honey Tangerine Gratins

Everyday I wake up I count my blessings. Everynight I go to bed I think about the things I need to improve and realize that both my blessings and my shortcomings are numerous which makes me a standard-normal human being, and I am ok with that. What I am not ok with is being helpless when faced with death or diseases and wish I were a rocket scientist or super duper doctor working on some cure to help people. There are days I want to kick for not being a brainie and there are days I am fulfilled to focus on the things I know how to do, we all have to find our strong points and should stick to them. Being envious is a waste of time: maybe a rocket scientist can’t make as good a pie as my grandma’s?!!

Last Monday we had a couple friends of ours over for dinner, and as usual they came early in the evening so we could sit on the back porch and watch the sunset over the water (one of those blessings I am counting). We like to open a bottle of wine and get dinner ready together. He is an excellent cook and she has a personality to keep you entertained all evening. The evening started as usual until she announced she had pancreatic cancer, advanced stage. Silence fell upon us and B. went over her and just hugged her for a while, then him and finally said "Anything you guys need, anytime, day or night". I was not so quite vocal for the first couple of minutes. Flashbacks of my grandma and my brother dealing with chemo and radiation came rushing back and I kept starring at my feet. Clearly, you can’t say "it’s all going to work out", and "I’m sorry" seems so little.

She poured me another glass of wine and they started talking about their medical plans of attack. Invasive, long, painful…She talked about losing grip on the future, not knowing who she was anymore, that none of this fit in with being with their kids and grand kids. I finally broke my silence and said "Sometimes you don’t have to know the bigger picture or know for sure where you are heading. Sometimes it’s enough to know what’s next". She looked at me like I had become the Dalai Lama in the blink of an eye, then she said "So, what’s next?". The only words that came out were "Peeling tangerines for dessert". Silence again. "Oh crap, I have offended her" I thought. Everybody turned to me and bursted out laughing and she added "You have a funny and lovely way to put things in perspective"…Ah well, always count on me to put my foot in it!

I am kicking off this month Sugar High Friday with these light and refreshing Lemon tangerine Gratins. Honey tangerines are super juicy and quite flavorful and if you can’t find them where you are, feel free to substitute regular tangerines, clementines or even mandarins. We peeled the fruit and got most of the white membranes out and cut them in segments for the dish. The gratin part is sort of a cross between a custard and a creme brulee with its touch of flour and cream cheese. The original recipe called for mascarpone but the tub was being used for another purpose so cream cheese was the perfect substitute. For the top "gratin" part, I used half part brown sugar and half part white sugar and the blow torch to caramelize them but you could just as well put them under the broiler for a few minutes (keep your eyes on them though, they burn fast).

Lemon And Honey Tangerine Gratins:

Printable Recipe

Serves 4

1 1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup finely grated lemon zest
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
3 Tb fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
4 honey tangerines (or 8 clementines or mandarins) peeled and cut into segments
14 cup brown sugar mixed with 1/4 cup white sugar for the top.

– Bring the milk and the zest to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let stand to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.
– Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow in a large mixing bowl. This can be done totally by hand. Add the flour and salt and whisk until just blended. Slowly add the warm milk to the egg mixture, whisking as you go along to prevent the eggs from curdling. Return the mixture on the stove and cook, stirring constantly over medium high heat until it becomes thick. Remove from the heat as soon as you see the first boiling bubbles on the surface. Pour the custard into a bowl, stir in the lemon juice and let cool to room temperature, whisking from time to time.
– Beat the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, add the cream cheese and whisk until both are well combines. Add the whipped cream mixture to the cooled custard and fold gently to bring both masses together.
– Divide the tangerine segment among 4 dishes. Divide the custard mixture over each gratin dish. Sprinkle all evenly with the brown sugar/white sugar mixture and use a blow torch to caramelize the tops.
– If using the oven: preheat the oven to 425F and broil the custards 2 to 4 minutes depending on the strength of your oven.

Finally I would like to dedicate this post to another wonderful lady, Bri from the wonderful blog Figs With Bri who is right now fighting for a life trying to beat cancer. Though we have never met, Bri, from the moment I started reading, you made me laugh, you made me think, we visited and cheered each other and I just want to send your way a gazillion hugs and good vibes. I keep your family and husband in my daily thoughts, counting my blessings in the morning and trying to improve on my faults at night.

Announcing Sugar High Friday #43: Citrus!

I love reading the archives of Sugar High Friday, the monthly event created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess . Imagine recipe upon recipe dedicated to sweets, months after months, year after year….all at the click of button. While browsing one night last February, I noticed that the blog hosting SHF citrus way back when three years ago did no longer exist. It must have been really late in the night because I found myself emailing Jennifer telling her that if she was interested in a citrus theme again, that I’d love hosting it. I had heard that the list of future hosts was close to a year long so I put that thought to rest until she emailed back later that week and offered that I host in May…this year! Yippeee!

Why "Citrus"? The simplest answer I have is that after chocolate (or right alongside), citruses are my favorite flavors. Lemons, lime, oranges, tangerines, clementines, mandarines, grapefruits, kumquats,…you name it, I dig it. I know that this does not apply to everybody and without putting citrus as the star of the show, even a touch of lemon juice or grated zest can enhance a dessert tremendously. The bright colors of the fruits and the desserts they are prepared with cannot but make you happy and ready for summer. Let’s get all zesty and let’s pucker up with citrus in May!

To participate all you have to do is make a dessert featuring any sort (or all if you feel ambitious!) of citrus. Post something that you create something specifically for the event, not from your archives. Use it as the main ingredient of a dessert or as an accent if you are somewhat "citrus hesitant". The possibilities are endless: mousses, cakes, ice creams, custards, brownies, blondies, sauces, candies,….Let your imagination and your creativity run loose!

Life is wild around here in May (I am turning a year older next week and I have lots of cakes to eat!) with celebrations and visitors so here a few guidelines I would like participants to follow to make sure I do not misplace anybody’s entry while on a work or sugar coma 🙂

– The deadline for this month SHF is May 25th. Late bloggers will have to send me a care package of sour lemon candies 🙂

– In your post, please include a link to Jennifer’s blog and mine so it is easy to track back posts that might have fallen through our careful eyes.

– Once you have posted, send me an email at sugarhighfridaycitrus AT gmail DOT com. We are all busy and I sometimes don’t check my links back for days and I might miss that you posted for the event. Please, pretty please, let’s make it hassle free by sending me an email with the following information:

  • your name
  • your blog name
  • your blog URL
  • your post title and short description is you wish
  • your post URL
  • a picture of your dessert resized to be 200 pixels wide with your blog name as your picture file name

– If you do not have a blog and wish to participate (Yes, I am looking at you Bina), send me an email at the above address with a description and picture of your creation. If you wish to provide a recipe, and I encourage you to as we can never have too many (!) I will put it on a separate page of this blog.

Now this being said: no excuse people….I want to see your citrus 🙂

Feel free to use this badge in your blog post or side bar.

Strawberry Lime Tartelettes And A New Boyfriend

Remember a while back when I was going to give Pierre Herme some rest because I was all busy with another man? Well, meet my new boyfriend Christophe Michalak. Edible wouldn’t you say? Well, like a new boyfriend he is giving me "du fil a retordre"… Yep, he is giving me a hard time. Not that he is playing the three day rule without any phone call, but rather the three time recipe rule I have in the kitchen. You know the kind of boyfriend I am talking about. He looks good, presents well, he is popular, funny. You are attracted by a certain mysterious quality. The first date leaves you confident that there could be something there and subsequent ones leave you with a strange feeling, you don’t know "sur quel pied danser" (which foot to dance with). By the third date you are either giving up on the guy or you are pestered enough that you want to "break the code", get inside his head one more time because he is too darn genius for you to give up. Well, Christophe you make it very hard for me to like you!

Basically, when I pick up a new cookbook and try something from it, if it tastes yuck or fails after three times, I dump it or send it back. His marshmallow recipe left me confused just like after a first date…I was happy to try an egg white based recipe but decided after the first fiasco to stick to my trusted one. Don’t believe me? You should have a conversation with my mother when I handed her the KA bowl and beaters all glued with hot sugar syrup, egg whites and gelatin. Puzzled again when I tried his almond dough recipe which calls for one egg, then in the directions it reads "add the eggs"…"Hey honey! I have my glasses over my nose right?", then the pictures show what looks like a few egg yolks…Hmmm "Hey Michel, did you really proof-read your book?". I was starting to wonder if I was suffering from pastry amnesia.

Yes you look mysterious, mischievious and cute but Christophe your recipe and the book writing has me completely frustrated and mad…at you! I get that you are the World Champion of Pastry, I get that you are in charge of a prestigious pastry kitchen and I can understand the ego boost of publishing your favorite and gorgeously executed and photographed recipes. Oh yes, the book is a true feast for the eyes, however it is not written for the novice baker. You have to constantly read between the lines and think three step ahead…not a problem I am used to it…with recipes that are chemistry coherent.

I foresee a love and hate relationship with Christophe…not the cozy and fuzzy feelings that Pierre Herme or Richard Leach bring me when I settle on the couch with their creations. I love the concept of the book: one master recipe -5 variations. I fell in love with his tartelettes concept and was really excited to get going: his crust base is a 2 part almond short dough filled with frangipane (almond cream), after that the variations can be created. With experience you can read between the lines, but I hate that others might have difficulty doing so…and that would still be ok if the writing -recipes-pictures of step by step were all coherent. I don’t always bake from cookbooks, but new approaches, new methods, new chefs, not to mention pretty pictures always give me inspiration to make a recipe my own according to my palate and the practicality of a home kitchen.

In that regard, I am sure you won’t mind that I have reworked the recipe that inspired these Strawberry Lime Tartelettes. For example, instead of a pistachio paste in the whipped cream, I made a simple lime curd. Although you can’t tell from the pictures but half the tarts had the strawberries rest on a small pool of lime curd while the others on strawberry jam (pictures). While both versions were excellent, they were also very different. The recipe called for mascarpone which I kept but you could easily substitute cream cheese, ricotta cheese or a fresh young goat cheese. The recipe is on the format of the ones I am fond of: multi-step, yes, but which allow you to make the elements over a couple of days, at your own leisure and assembled at the last minute for maximum freshness. Very nice option when you are making 40 like I did, but also when you have guests over for dinner as fresh is always best with berries. Stay tuned for further installments of my nights with Christophe!

We love them so much that I am sending them off to Rachel who is hosting this month Sugar High FridayPie That Evoke Your Dreams (and for a good cause: read at the end of this post)These Strawberry Lime Tartelettes evoked dreams of spring, fuzzy cuddles on the couch and beautiful easy going relationships…like strawberries and lime.

Strawberry Lime Tartelettes.
Makes 8

Tartelettes Elements:
Almond Short Dough
Almond Cream
Lime Curd Whipped Cream
2-3 cups fresh hulled strawberries, cut in half
3/4 cup strawberry jam

For the Almond Short Dough:
190 gr. flour
20 gr. cornstarch (makes for a lighter crumb)
90 gr. powdered sugar
130 gr. butter
35 gr. almond powder
pinch of salt
1 egg

Special equipment: 8 pastry rounds 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch tall (available here)

Sift the flour with the cornstarch, powdered sugar. Add the almond powder and cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or your fingertips until you get small coarse crumbs. Add the egg and the salt. Mix with your hands until just combined. Roll into a ball onto a plastic sheet, cover with another plastic sheet and flatten to a smal disk. Refrigerate one hour or overnight. You can do the whole thing in a food processor. When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between the sheets of plastic. You will need half the amount of dough to make the tartelettes. The other half can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen, well wrapped for up to 3 months.
Cut out rounds with a 3 inch pastry ring. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

For the Almond Cream:
100 gr. butter softened
100 gr. sugar
100 gr. almond powder
2 eggs
5 cl heavy cream

Place the butter, sugar, almond powder and the eggs in a large bowl and whisk until smooth (can also be done in a food processor). Add the cream but stir in it instead of whisking so as not to emulsify it or it will rise while baking. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Place 8 baked rounds of dough in 8 pastry rings, divide the cream evenly among the rings and bake 20 minutes at 350F. Let cool.

For the Lime Curd Whipped Cream:
grated zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup strained lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
200 gr. mascarpone, softened
2000 gr. (20cl)heavy cream

Combine the zest, sugar, juice in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, beat the egg until light. Beat some of the lime mixture into the eggs to temper. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and cook stirring constantly until it thickens up, about 5 minutes. Remove the curd from the heat, let cool completely.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the mascarpone and cooled lime curd until incorporated, add the heavy cream and whisk until firm and medium stiff peaks form.

To assemble the tartelettes:
Divide the jam evenly over the bottom of each tart crust, arrange the strawberry halves decoratively on top.With a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe the whipped cream in the middle and decorate with grated lime zest if desired.

Printable version of the recipe here.

Check Rachel’s site for the round up on the 29th. In the meantime, if this sounds delicious, make a contribution to a non-profit helping to transform the world of food through pie- Pie Ranch. Please specify "Pie Ranch/Green Oaks Fund” in the "Designation" field of the online donation form (Pie Ranch is fiscally sponsored by the Rudolph Steiner Foundation) here.

White Chocolate Pudding – Sugar High Friday!

I already wish it were Friday… any Friday for that matter. The week is always better that day don’t you think? Well, I am anticipating a very sweet one by virtually sending these to Zorra who is hosted Sugar High Friday for December, dedicated to puddings : "baked, steamed and boiled puddings or the creamy ones".

I have to admit, I did not jump up and down when I read the theme since I will take tarts,cookies,cakes over puddings any day of the week. Although, come to think of it, I like panna cottas and creme brulees, which are also forms of puddings. Ah! Who am I kidding?! I had the chance to stir some sugar, eggs and cream together, and that is enough to make me happy!

B. on other hand, as a good Southern boy, loves his custards and puddings, so he started bugging me early on last week: "Have you decided which one you will make?" – hugh…no. "What about my mom’s banana pudding?" – hugh…no again."What about steamed pudding like the ones I used to eat in England?" – hugh …still no. Nothing against steamed pudding, which I like, but not my fancy at the present time since it is around 80 outside and close to 85-90 with the oven on. How far is Australia again? Because right now, it might as well be in my backyard!!

So…..after searching for something refreshing and on the lighter side (if eaten with moderation) during this trying time of holiday parties and cookie making, I settled on two of my favorite tastes: white chocolate and pomegranate.
I loved this one: the creamy satin mouth feel of the white chocolate is really accentuated by the juicy and tart explosion of the pomegranate seeds in your mouth. (sounds good right?!) I made just enough for four, but I wish I had enough for 10 more…for me! I searched books and Internet sources for white chocolate pudding recipes but was never satisfied so I adapted the one I have come up with over the years for a vanilla based one. I will always remember the two lessons my grandmother taught me in the pastry kitchen: If you fail your creme anglaise, add cornstarch and make it a pudding. If you fail a cake, turn it into bread pudding…. I guess, puddings do make the world go round!!

A lot of you have asked me about the different dishes and cups I use. The small dishes are purchased at stores like Tuesday Mornings( like these), Pier1, or at restaurant when I am wowed by the presentation (like these). The square glasses, lantern glasses and the small ones (about 1/2 cup capacity) today are actually….votive candle holders… Tada!! You know one of my secrets. Allright I am in a particularly nice mood tonight (Pay It Forward Winner below) so I will give you my other secret: my best sources are the Dollar Store and the sales rack of Kmart or Lowes, in the garden and candle sections. Always look beyond the expected and you will be rewarded…all right so all that wisdom has left me hungry for some pudding…

White Chocolate Pudding :

Makes 4 servings

2 1/2 cups milk, divided
Pinch salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 oz (1/2 cup) white chocolate chips or chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Heat 2 cups of milk, but do not boil. In a bowl, whisk the sugar and the egg yolks together until pale. In a separate dish, dissolve the cornstarch with the remaining 1/2 cup milk. Add to the egg yolks mixture and mix well. When the milk is hot,slowly pour it over the eggs,a little it at a time so the eggs don’t start curdling on you. Return the whole thing over the stove and cook on medium low heat until it starts to thicken up. Add the white chocolate and stir until it is completely smooth. Strain if necessary. Pour the mixture into a clean bowl and let cool to room temperature, covered with plastic wrap punctured with small holes so the pudding does not form a skin while cooling. Pour into dishes and decorate with the pomegranate seeds or eat it straight from the bowl.

Now….one more fun thing to do: announce the Pay It Forward winner. Congratulations to Sara from Ms. Adventures In Italy. So, a litte of France via South Carolina is going to find its way to Italy…pretty cool eh?!! You guys came in mass and I wish I could send you all a little something, I really do, but alas I am not married to Santa!

Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake

I often post about the most important women in my life, my mother and grandmother but I rarely post about my dad. Why? Because if I did, I would not have many secret left to you…we are very much alike…very much. Sometimes, I find that disturbing because it’s like looking at your personality in a mirror, with all your faults and cracks. See, my dad talks a lot but he never really reveals much about himself. He’s private, he does not ask questions. He’s discreet, he does not want to make you uncomfortable.

All these apply except when it comes to cheesecake….Oh he will be a true gentleman and wait patiently for dessert but then only two words will be uttered by this General: "cheesecake please!" and then I dare you to try to get a bite from his plate. If you have never been met with a cold grey stare, (yep, his eyes are grey, for real), wait until you try to sneak a nibble from his plate. You have guessed it, I am the same…

When I was growing up in France, we did not know cheesecakes. I had vaguely heard of "gateau de fromage blanc" or "tarte au fromage blanc", there were not traditional of my family so it was not until I moved to the US that I had the pleasure of trying the cream cheese based cheesecakes (which can easily substituted with Kiri in France). When I became in charge of the pastry kitchen at the restaurant, I kept the cheesecake on the menu and gave myself a little playroom by changing it every time I had to make a new one which was probably every other day (creme brulee being the most popular, go figure…). I loved the traditional flavor of vanilla, chocolate and berries but I also loved to stray a little with Earl Grey cheesecake, Apple Tatin, and Pineapple Upside Down. It helped that I had an awesome waitstaff to tell me frankly if it was going to fly or not, but one that was sure to hit the spot in November – December was always the Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake. What was best is that I could use up all those giant cans/vats (Libby’s multiplied by 20) of pumpkin puree….useful but not my favorite color at 4am! I could not turn enough of these and every time a friend would ask me to bring cheesecake for dessert, I would *always* bring something else…enough of that thing (and I am not the only pastry cook in this case!).

However, with the years going by, I am slowly making cheesecakes again for fun…and my father…and Sugar High Friday this month. Leslie, from Definitely Not Martha has chosen Beta Carotene as the theme this month and that includes "gourds and roots – pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, etc…" So there you have it, I decided to make a yummy cheesecake and pretend it was healthi-er because loaded with good for you pumpkin and topped with even better for you fresh pomegranate. For the crust I just crushed some locally made pecan pralines, and scattered them at the bottom. The recipe makes one large cheesecake but in traditional Tartelette fashion I made four small ones and eight two-bite ones. I wish I could send a couple to my father but he is just going to have to lick his screen…sorry dad!

Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake:

1 cup pecan pralines, crushed
1 1/2 cups solid pack pumpkin
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
whipped cream and pomegranate seeds to decorate

Scatter the praline crumbs at the bottom of one 10 inch springform pan, lined with parchment paper and coated with cooking spray (or several pans if you decided to go minis).
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a bowl whisk together the pumpkin, the egg, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the ginger, the salt, and the brown sugar. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and the granulated sugar, beat in the cornstarch, the vanilla, and the pumpkin mixture, and beat the filling until it is smooth.
Pour the filling into the crust, bake the cheesecake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the center is just set. Let the cheesecake cool in the pan on a rack and chill it, covered, overnight.
When ready to serve, spoon some whipped cream and pomegranate seeds on top.

Apple Beignets And Cheesecake Ice Cream

Waking up this morning after getting in town late last night I really wished I had saved a couple of these beignets to pan fry and have along with my coffee….But no I was too greedy as they were made last week and eaten right before I went to spend the weekend at Lisa’s house with Mary. My original intention was to post them for Sugar High Friday, hosted this month by Andrew. I believe I am a day late but I will send him my entry nonetheless and see if he accepts it.

It is good to be home, sleep next to my husband and waking up with my dog curling with me on the bed. I have a lot to tell you about this past weekend. So many emotions, laughs, good times, foods and desserts to think over and straighten in my head before I can write more about it all. What can I say…there was cheese, wine, markets, ethnic foods, homemade bread, benne seed wafers, pecan sandies, a giant German chocolate cake, Trader Joes, Sur La Table (aka "On The Table") and Crate and Barrel. We did a lot, drank a lot, baked a lot. My heart, eyes and head are still full of all the precious time I have had with Lisa and Mary. So stay tuned for a more detailed account….one more guest arriving tomorrow and then I regain my sanity back (we hope!)

Back to the apple beignets…Ever since I was a child, I have been in love with them convincing myself that the frying oil effects were completely negated by the healthy aspect of the fruit..hummhumm. I went for a more grown up version this time, using the same method I had tried before (here) adapting it for apples. The fruit is first dipped in a light batter then coated with Panko breadcrumbs and then fried. You could deep fry the beignets but I did mine in a cast iron pan with about 2 inches of oil heated to 350F. The ice cream is once again nothing new, but a flavor I try to keep around as much as possible because we seem to go through it like crazy.
The result exactly what I had hoped for, a childhood favorite adapted for my grown up palate as there is alcohol in the batter. Serve as soon as they come out of the frying pan, with a glass of cider and you’re set!

Apple Beignets, adapted from Richard Leach:

2 Tb light brown sugar mixed with 2 Tb. granulated sugar
1/2 cup + 2 Tb flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup cider (the alcohol based one)
4 apples
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
vegetable oil for frying

Preheat oven to 275F.Core the apples (do not peel) and cut them in half. Sprinkle with the sugar mix and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool.
Heat oil to 350F.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder add water in a bowl until smooth. Dip apple halves in beignet batter. Roll in breadcrumbs. Deep fry until golden brown.

Cheesecake Ice Cream, adapted from this post:

2 cups milk (50 cl)
1/3 cup heavy cream (10 cl)
3/4 cup sugar (170 gr)2 egg yolks
3 oz cream cheese (90gr)

Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar. In a saucepan set on medium heat, bring the milk and the cream to boiling point, 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. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream 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.