Tag Archives: dessert
12/4/13

Pear Cobbler with Almond Whipped Cream

Pear Cobbler with Almond Whipped Cream

My mom was a semi-home cook. We’d bake brownies from the box, and make homemade pie filling for our frozen roll-out pie crust. But one thing she always made from scratch was whipped cream. And it spoiled me. You know what they say. Once you have fresh whipped cream… or something like that.

And speaking of whipped cream,  I finally had my first cobbler this summer – slightly late in the game, I know. It was a peach cobbler, to be exact, and it rocked my world. And I’ve been dreaming of it ever since. Problem is, peach season is far from over. So I had to mix things up and substitute what I could get my hands: pears. Naturally I whipped up some homemade whipped cream to smother the cobbler with. Continue reading

11/18/13

Hawaiian Bark with Kona Coffee, Macadamia Nuts & Coconut Flakes

Hawaiian Bark with Kona Coffee, Macadamia Nuts and Coconut Flakes

Chocolate Bark is a sneaky treat. See, it sounds fancy. But in reality it’s so easy to make that I’m almost embarrassed to share this Hawaiian Bark recipe with you. Almost

Chocolate bark is basically a homemade candy bar – topped with all your favorite ingredients. Pretty great, right? There are lots of great bark combinations using nuts, dried fruit, cereal, cookies and more. But I’m pretty predictable, and couldn’t help but top my latest creation with some of my favorite Hawaiian treats: Kona Coffee grounds, toasted macadamia nuts, and of course, coconut. 

In case you were wondering – yes, these are all cupboard staples in my house. Continue reading

9/2/13

Decadent Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake

Let me tell you about what a great wife I am.

I found a delicious-looking Coconut Cake recipe in Bon Appetit, just in time for Sam’s birthday. I purchased all the ingredients (which required going to THREE groceries stores due to poor planning on my end). I made the cake. I frosted the sucker. And then? I remembered that my husband, who is not allowed to eat dairy or gluten, wouldn’t be able to eat this dairy-covered-gluten-filled cake. Epic fail.

With hours left until his birthday party, I whipped together some vegan and gluten-free cupcakes from a box of cake mix, frosted with whipped coconut milk. I was pleased with my quick fix, but felt horrible about the beautiful cake that sat on our counter, taunting him.

All I can say is – at least one of us was able to enjoy this decadent treat! The cake recipe is great, but the frosting is killer. The combination of cream cheese, lime and rum blend together really well. Let’s just say that I ate about half of it out of the bowl while the cake was cooling. And will probably be making it again soon… this time, not for Sam.

{Happy birthday, sweetie!}

Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake Continue reading

6/3/13

Baked Coconut Donuts with Chocolate Almond Glaze

Baked Coconut Donuts with Chocolate Almond Glaze

Baked donuts do not taste as good as traditional fried donuts.

There. I said it.

Buuuut they are a great healthier alternative for donut lovers, like myself. I’ve been experimenting like a mad scientist with my donut pan to find a baked donut that’s up to par. And let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy. I’ve thrown away more batches of donuts than I care to admit. My Baked Margarita Donuts were a win, but a girl can only have tequila at breakfast every so often. Thankfully, I found another recipe keeper: Baked Coconut Donuts with Chocolate Almond Glaze.

These donuts aren’t just good; they are insanely good. You literally wouldn’t know they are baked. They are extravagant and rich. And the roasted almond chunks deliver the necessary crunch of traditional donuts that baked donuts seem to be missing.

Baked Coconut Donuts with Chocolate Almond Glaze

And the coconut-chocolate-almond combination is totally reminiscent of Almond Joys – which happen to be my favorite candy bar. I don’t eat them often, but then again, you can’t eat Almond Joys for breakfast.
 
5/28/13

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Have I ever told you guys how Sam and I got together? I know I’ve told you about our engagement and showed you pictures of the weddingBut our second date is another story. Because… it almost didn’t happen. 

We had a great first date (dinner and a concert) on a Tuesday night five summers ago. And Sam called me the next day to ask me out on a Friday-night date. I declined. Because, you guys, I already had plans on Saturday morning. I was meeting a friend for an early morning berry picking session. So naturally, I had to go to bed early on Friday night. Sam assumed that I was uninterested. The truth was, I just take my berry picking very seriously.

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Luckily Sam ended up calling the following week for “one last try.” And because his second date night attempt fell on a non-berry-picking-eve, I agreed to going out. And that’s really the end of the beginning, as they say. It literally wasn’t until the following summer that he realized I wasn’t actually making excuses to avoid the date. I actually am obsessed with berry picking.

Needless to say, berries hold a … special place in our hearts. And now that berry season is starting up again for the year, Sam knows not to bother me on Friday nights. 

But wait – before you end up feeling sorry for the guy, just know that he totally reaps the benefits. Take these Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting, for instance. Is there such a thing as too much strawberry? I think not. They are an explosion of strawberry goodness with every bite. And Sam got first dibs before we handed them out to friends.

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Once the strawberries start appearing, we know summer is close. And I can definitely taste it in these strawberry cupcakes. Here’s to summer, berry picking, and second dates!

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting


 

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

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Cupcake Ingredients
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour, (not self-rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups finely chopped strawberries, plus small strawberries for garnish

Frosting Ingredients
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, pureed

Cake Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper
liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a
mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each
addition.
Reduce speed to low. Mix remaining wet ingredients in a bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter
mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Stir chopped strawberries into batter. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each
full.
Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Once cupcakes are cool, frost tops with strawberry buttercream.

Frosting Directions
Place whites and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add butter, 1 piece at a time, whisking well after each addition. Switch to a paddle attachment. With mixer on low, add strawberry puree, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Use immediately, or cover, and refrigerate. Frosted cupcakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days. Top with a strawberry slice just before serving.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

5/20/13

Melting Hot Chocolate Souffles

chocolate soufflesThere is a fancy schmancy restaurant chain in Hawaii called Roys. Growing up, it was reserved for super special occasions, like my 21st birthday dinner, and our engagement celebration. Roys is known for its fabulous seafood and tropical cocktails, but the item I most look forward to is their Chocolate Souffle.

Have y’all had one of these warm, goey bowls of chocolate overload? It’s kinda like the best brownie you’ve ever had, warmed up and filled with chocolate sauce. In the restaurant, you have to order the souffle at the same time you order your dinner to allow the chef time to whip one up. So, naturally, you spend dinner thinking about dessert. But, it’s so incredibly worth it.

chocolate souffle 2Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon THE Roys Chocolate Souffle recipe. I thought about throwing it away to save my future waistline, but instead am posting it here to live on forever. Mwahaha. There are still a few months before bathing suit season, right? Oi.

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4/24/13

Bacon Caramels

Here’s my new rule:

Food blogging is not allowed while I’m hungry. Like, for instance, when I think I’m too busy to eat lunch but not too busy to make batches of homemade caramel. Topped with crispy bacon.

Um, yes. This is a true story.

bacon caramels

The problem isn’t so much the crazy combinations…. because, surprisingly, they normal work out well. The problem is that I’m left with things like, platters of bacon-covered caramel. All to myself. These are honestly the perfect combination of sweet and savory, and they’re semi-addicting.

So help a girl out… make some bacon caramels for yourself. I promise you won’t regret it. 

bacon caramels
 
bacon caramels

Bacon Caramels

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Ingredients
10 strips of bacon
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla

Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay bacon strips on sheet. Bake for around 25 minutes, until bacon is crispy. Move bacon to paper towel-lined plate to cool and absorb oil.
Add sugar, water, and corn syrup to a medium sized pot over medium-high heat. Let mixture bubble and stir occasionally. Sugar will begin to caramelize and mixture will turn amber. Use a candy thermometer to monitor. It will take a while, but when it reaches 320 degrees and is golden brown in color, slowly whisk in cream, butter and vanilla. When caramel reaches 243 degrees, remove from heat and pour into lined baking sheet. Cool for 15 minutes, and add bacon strips. Cool in refrigerator for at least an hour.
When caramel is hardened, remove from refrigerator and turn baking sheet upside down to remove caramel. Slowly peel off parchment paper, and cut caramel into desired sizes. Serve as is, or wrap individually in extra parchment paper to preserve. Store in refrigerator.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

3/21/13

Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut

Coconut Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut

If you’re not familiar with haupia, it’s a traditional Hawaiian coconut dessert; like pudding but slightly thicker. It’s usually served at luaus, so odds are you’ve tried it if you’ve ever been to one. Most people love it – including myself. But really, what’s not to love about coconut pudding?

Coconut Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut

It’s no surprise that I love tropical flavors – and cook with them often. But for some strange reason, I had never made haupia, up until recently. And I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. The most difficult part of the process is waiting to let the hot pudding set in the fridge.

Coconut Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut

Traditionally this dessert sets in a large baking dish and is cut into squares. But (since my baking dish was dirty) I decided to make individual cups. And I’m always looking for an excuse to use toasted coconut, so of course I made some to top it with.

So ono.

Coconut Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut
 
Haupia Cups with Toasted Coconut
Serves 8

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Ingredients
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 T unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
1 heaping cup of coconut flakes

Instructions
In a large pot, bring the coconut milk, water, sugar and butter to a boil. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. When the coconut milk mixture comes to a boil, whisk in the starch mixture. Whisk until smooth. Cook on low heat until it boils. Immediately pour into cups. Chill for at least 3 hours.
While pudding is chilling, spread coconut flakes over baking sheet and broil for several minutes, mixing often, until browned. Scoop onto pudding cups when ready.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

Adapted from Sam Choy’s Haupia Recipe

 

2/25/13

Girl Scout Cookie Lemon Trifle with Vanilla Rum Pudding

 
Girl Scout Cookie Lemon Trifle with Vanilla Rum Pudding

Does anyone have a trick for saying “no” to Girl Scouts?

Seriously guys, it’s a problem for me every February. I’m a total sucker. From thin mints to tagalong, we’ve already purchased about a dozen boxes. And I’ve probably eaten about 11 of them. Bad news. 

Girl Scout Cookie Lemon Trifle with Vanilla Rum Pudding

But here’s the silver lining. I discovered a pretty scrumptious new recipe to make use of the cookies. You see, I figure the quicker we can eat all the boxes, the quicker they’ll be out of the house. Logical, yes?

Girl Scout Cookie Lemon Trifle with Vanilla Rum Pudding
Girl Scout Cookie Lemon Trifle with Vanilla Rum Pudding

So here it is: lemon cookie trifle with vanilla rum pudding using the Savannah Smiles lemon cookies. On their own, these cookies are just a tad too zesty for me. So the rich vanilla rum pudding is the perfect combination to balance the citrus. Plus, I love the texture combination of the crunchy cookie and the creamy pudding. 

Take that, Girl Scouts.

 
Girl Scout Cookie Lemon Trifle with Vanilla Rum Pudding
Serves 2

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Ingredients
1 box Girl Scout lemon cookies (“Savannah Smiles”)
2 2/3 cups 2% milk, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tsp dark rum
1 large egg

Instructions
Bring 2 cups of the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. While it is heating, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in the bottom of a medium, heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2/3 cup whole milk, a little at a time so lumps do not form, then whisk in the egg. Once milk is boiling, very gradually add it to the cornstarch mixture in the bowl, whisking the whole time. Return the mixture back to the saucepan, stirring constantly with a silicon spatula or wooden spoon. Once it comes to a simmer, cook it for one minute longer (which will cook the cornstarch and egg fully). Stir in vanilla extract and rum, and pour into a bowl. Cover to avoid skin, and chill for approximately an hour in the refrigerator.
While pudding is chilling, crush 3/4 of the cookies in food processor or by hand. Save the remaining 1/4 for garnishes. Then layer pudding and crumbled cookies in individual dishes or one large pie pan. Top with garnish cookies. Enjoy immediately.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

 

2/6/13

his n’ hers | beer floats

Lindemans Frambroise beer float

We spent Saturday night making ice cream floats. But not just any old floats. BEER ice cream floats! Who would have thought you could make something so delicious – and messy – with two ingredients?

Rogue Chocolate Stout and Coffee Ice Cream Float

Here’s the thing. Sam and I don’t see eye-to-eye on everything. Like…. what to watch on Thursday nights (30 Rock vs. Grays Anatomy), how to use our spending money (pedicures vs. DVDs), where to eat on date nights (sushi vs. tacos)… and now, which beer float flavor is better: Lindemans Frambroise (raspberry) with Vanilla Ice Cream, or Rogue Chocolate Stout with Coffee Ice Cream.

Beer floats

You can’t go wrong with a raspberries and cream boozy, creamy concoction.

Lindemans Frambroise beer float

But then again, chocolate and coffee is also a killer combination.

Rogue Chocolate Stout and Coffee Ice Cream Float

Can you guess which one is mine vs. his?[The pink one is mine.]But in reality, both float varieties are pretty killer. And a dessert this good – and this easy – deserves to be shared. So take your pick, or share one of each, like we do.

Lindemans Frambroise beer float
Beer Floats | Raspberry Ale + Vanilla Ice Cream and/or Chocolate Stout and Coffee Ice Cream
Serves 2

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Ingredients
20 oz bottle of beer (Framboise Ale, Chocolate Stout or other)
4 scoops ice cream (Vanilla, Chocolate or other)

Instructions
Place 2 scoops of ice cream in each cup. Fill cup with beer. Enjoy while cold and foamy!

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/