{twd} Tiramisù Delizioso


Happy Cinco de Mayo! In honor of today, I bring you the classic Mexican, er yeah, Italian dessert–Tiramisù. Traditionally, tiramisù is made with lady fingers dipped in espresso and layered with a whipped mixture of mascarpone, egg yolks, and sugar.

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection is a Tiramisù Cake.  Instead of lady fingers, Dorie Greenspan‘s version uses a layer cake approach.  Tiramisù means  “pick me up” in Italian and I definitely needed a yummy jolt this week. Work has been crazy. I’ve been working almost every day and some days I’ve been working 12 hours. I’ve had to come in early, 7 am (oh my–I normally start work at 9 am).  Things seem to have calmed down and I had my first day off in 2 weeks on Sunday.


Let’s just say, I’ve been drinking lots and lots of coffee this week. And I’ve just discovered the joy that is coffee with a shot of espresso. That’s my new morning drink.  I don’t know what took me so long to discover it.

Anyways, back to the cake. The cake layers are soaked with  espresso syrup, then layered with a mascarpone-whipped cream filling. The filling is topped with chopped chocolate–I used Green & Black’s Espresso Chocolate Bar (Up the espresso flavor! I love coffee and all it’s forms)–and then the second espresso soaked layer is placed on top of the filling.


The rest of the mascarpone-whipped cream filling is mixed with left over espresso extract and spread over the cake. I topped the cake with chocolate covered coffee beans (yay! more coffee flavor) and sprinkled it with Essential Cane’s Espresso Sugar (you get the theme?).

I’m so glad I made the full cake because this is now my #1 TWD recipe (sorry, Coconut Butter Thins you had your moment).

Oh, and because you must know me by now–I made Tiramisù Ice Cream. The recipe comes from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. It uses mascarpone, half & half, Kahlúa, rum, and a mocha ripple. It’s very boozy, but I like things like that. Very, very delicious. Almost dangerously delicious. You can find the recipe HERE.

Tiramisu Ice Cream

Thank you to Megan of My Baking Adventures who chose this wonderfully delicious dessert as we bake our way through Baking…From My Home to Yours.  For the recipe, visit her blog (It’s one of my favorites!).


{sms} strawberry shortcake, four-ways

This week I’m playing host for Sweet Melissa Sundays, the online group that is baking our way through The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.  I wanted to pick something that was seasonal and strawberries have been wonderfully sweet and delicious from the farmers’ market.  The minute I saw the Strawberry Shortcake, I knew it was THE ONE.

Los Angeles Times was also thinking the same way because they also profiled shortcakes in their food section this week: A Short Path to Shortcake Nirvana.

This is my very first time selecting a recipe for a group. And because of that I may have, possibly, gone a wee-bit overboard with my variations.

#1 Strawberry Shortcake, Original

Strawberry Shortcake

#2 Chocolate Chip-Espresso Variation

Chocolate Chip Espresso Shortcake

#3 Ginger-Lime Variation

Ginger-Lime Strawberry Shortcake

#4  Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream

I sprinkled both, #1 and #2 with Essential Cane flavored sugars, raspberry and espresso flavors. I found them at sur la table. They are cool and come in a bunch of flavors, all with only two ingredients: sugar + natural flavor.

So which variation did I like the best? This is like asking a mother (I imagine) to pick her favorite child. I loved each of them for different reasons. The original version was great because it was the classic strawberry shortcake with a twist from the lemon zest. The chocolate chip-espresso variation was wonderful, because, come on, chocolate and espresso. YUM. The ginger-lime variation was outstanding because I love the spiciness ginger lends to sweets and the ginger/lime flavor combo is classic.  And last,  but definitely not least,  the ice cream. I’m an ice cream lover at heart. I can eat ice cream everyday. It’s my dessert. So yes, I loved the ice cream.

Go HERE to see all the other Sweet Melissa Sunday bakers and their shortcakes.

Strawberry Shortcakes

From  The Sweet Melissa Baking Book: Recipes from the Beloved Bakery for Everyone’s Favorite Treats


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar plus 1 tablespoon for glazing
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream, for glazing


  • 1 dry quart fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (or more to your taste)


  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar


Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and the zest. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it resembles a course meal. Little by little, stir in heavy cream until the dough starts to hold together (you may use a bit more cream if need be).
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat together to form a rectangle 5 inches wide by 7 1/2 inches long that is about 1 inch thick. Cut the long side of the dough into thirds, and the width in half to form six 2 1/2-inch squares. Place the shortcakes 3 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
  3. Brush the tops of the shortcakes with the milk or heavy cream and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

While the shortcakes are cooling, prepare the strawberries. In a medium bowl, combine the sliced strawberries with the sugar. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes to macerate.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the heavy cream and vanilla on medium speed. In a slow steady stream, add the sugar and beat until the mixture forms medium-stiff peaks.

The whipped cream is best used when just made, but can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight and beaten again before serving.


Fork split each shortcake in half horizontally. Place one half on each of six plates. Spoon 2 tablespoons of berries  on each with a large dollop of whipped cream. Spoon more berries on top. Place each of the remaining halves on top of the berries. Garnish with more cream and berries, if desired. Add a sprig of mint for garnish, if you’d like.

PRO TIP: When whipping cream, the colder the cream the better. If the bowl, the whisk or beaters, and the heavy cream are all well-chilled, you will achieve the most volume.

Prepare the strawberries and whipped cream no more than 30 minutes before serving. The shortcakes are best eaten the day they are made, but they can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and frozen for up to 3 weeks. Do not unwrap before defrosting.

Chocolate Chip Espresso Variation

Omit lemon zest and use 2 teaspoons espresso powder and add 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips into dry ingredients. Optional: Top shortcakes with espresso sugar.

Ginger Lime Variation

Omit lemon zest and use lime zest instead and add 1/2 of chopped crystallized ginger into dry ingredients. Optional: Top shortcakes with chopped crystallized ginger

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream

My go-to base vanilla ice cream recipe is David Lebovitz’s Philadelphia-style vanilla ice cream.  This recipe uses his base and strawberry shortcake mix-ins.

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 shortcake
  • 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of whipped cream

Pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the saucepan and add the pod to the pot. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups cream and the vanilla extract.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.

While mixture is chilling, chop up shortcake into 1/2-inch pieces. Place shortcake pieces and strawberries on a dinner plate, separating pieces and forming a single layer. Scoop rounded teaspoons of whipped cream on to plate. Place plate in freezer to chill mix-ins.

When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As you scoop churned ice cream into container, layer with mix-ins.

Pomegranate Frozen Yogurt


I wanted to make a homemade version of the Pomegranate Frozen Yogurt that you can buy at trendy chain frozen yogurt places.  Doesn’t it look delicious? Well, it was. It tastes like frozen yogurt should–like yogurt, not ice cream.

Recently, David Lebovitz wrote an article on unusual ice cream flavors in the Los Angeles Times Food Section. One of the three recipes he shared in the the article was for Tangy Frozen Lemon Yogurt. The secret to getting it tangy, he said, was to use citric acid. Citric acid is what make Sour Patch Kids “sour”.  I found it at my local health food store. I also saw some at the cake decorating store.

I used his recipe as a base, omitting the lemon juice and adding POM Wonderful Pomegrante Juice.  Frozen yogurt is easy to make. You just throw everything in a blender, give it a whirl, and then chill it in the refrigerator for a couple hours.

Pomegrante Frozen Yogurt

Adapted from David Lebovitz
  • 3 cups plain whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek-style
  • 2 teaspoons chopped lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup POM Wonderful pomegranate  juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon citric acid, plus a sprinkle more, if desired
  • Pinch of salt

1. Puree the yogurt, lemon zest , pomegranate juice, sugar, nectar, citric acid and salt in a blender until smooth. Taste, and add a sprinkle more citric acid if you want it extra tangy.

2. Chill for one hour, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

{TWD} 15 Minute Magic


The title of this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie15 Minute Magic: Chocolate Amaretti Torte–reminds me of the junior high school game called 7 Minutes in Heaven. But instead of two giggling kids and a closet, this torte involves chocolate, almonds, and amaretti. What more could a girl want?


This cake truly is heavenly and is a very simple recipe, but the name is a bit of a misnomer. It really is quick and you do get it in the oven in 15 minutes, but it doesn’t take into account the time it takes to find amaretti. Amaretti are Italian almond macaroons. Apparently the only place in my town that sells them is a Starbucks and I found them there after checking World Market, the health food store, 2 regular grocery stores, the gourmet grocery, and the Trader Joes. I don’t know the exact time I spent looking for these things, but it was definitely more than 15 minutes.


Because I love ice cream, I paired the cake with homemade White Chocolate Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop. The key to this ice cream is to use good quality white chocolate.  I mixed most of this batch of ice cream with dark chocolate truffles, but for the torte I thought plain was the best.

In her playing around section for this recipe, Dorie Greenspan suggests making an ice cream sundae. So I did. I topped a square of the cake with two mini-scoops of white chocolate ice cream, crushed strawberry sauce, whipped cream, and sliced almonds.


As good as this cake was at room temperature, it was awesome just out of the freezer. Thank you to Holly of Phe/Mom/enon for selecting this torte. We loved it! Please visit her blog for the recipe.

White Chocolate Ice Cream

From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
  • 8 ounces white chocolate
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Place the white chocolate  in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer over the white chocolate.  Stir until the white chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then stir in the cream.  Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

{TWD} Coco Loco

coconut butter thins

This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection was the oh so delectable Coconut Butter Thins. These cookies are so delicate that Dorie Greenspan almost didn’t include them in her book Baking…From My Home to Yours. That would have been a tragedy. These cookies are so buttery with a great crispy texture. These are the kind of cookies you can eat and eat until you are only left with crumbs.

Coconut Butter Thins are a shortbread cookie flavored with coconut, lime, and lots of butter. There is also a hint of coriander which knocks these cookies out of the stratosphere. I don’t recall ever baking with coriander. Now I’m going to add it to my baking repertoire. It paired well with the other flavors and brought them all to the next level.

coconut cookie scraps coconut butter thins ready to bake

Instead of squares, I used my round cookie cutters and made little circles. Because of the circle shape, I had dough scraps which I reshaped and made more round cookies until I didn’t have any more scraps. Although these scrappy cookies didn’t hold their shape too well {even after refrigeration} and were a little “ugly”, they were still mighty tasty.

ice cream sandwich

This week I also  made Toasted Coconut Ice Cream from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop and created little ice cream sandwiches. No surprises, the ice cream was great. It’s a custard-based ice cream in which the cream is infused with the flavor of toasted coconut and a scraped vanilla bean {from Tahiti–my supply is getting low, oh no} with a hint of rum. You can find the ice cream recipe HERE.

toasted coconut ice cream

Thank you to Jayne of The Barefoot Kitchen Witch for selecting this recipe. It’s another winner! Please visit her blog for the recipe.