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Posts tagged dessert

5 notes &

Summer Parfait

Hope all my local Georgians survived Hothlanta*/SnowJam 2014. 

imageMy bf, with a shopping cart?—after 6+ hrs in the car he and his friend gave up, parked, and walked another hour to get home. Hot chocolate, tea, and biryani were shoved on them as soon as they made it through the door. 

Sorry, just had to mention that. On to the real post. Parfait.

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It’s summer parfait because this is what my bf essentially lived off of this past summer. I get that I’m kind of in the wrong season, but I didn’t post it before now because I wanted to have homemade granola and yogurt posts done to link to. It took a few months for me to realize that if I wait for everything to be perfect before I post, it just ain’t happening.

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Layers of honeyed yogurt, crunchy pecan granola, and sweet summer berries make this a really simple and fresh dessert. If you lightly honey plain yogurt and make sugar-free granola, it’s mostly healthy too.

We love strawberries+blueberries+raspberries, but ripe peach and blackberry are also great in it.

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Now that I’ve embraced the fact that my posts don’t have to have perfectly enumerated recipes, I’ll be spamming your dash more often.

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Summer Parfait

  • Yogurt+honey (will hopefully have a homemade yogurt post up soon)
  • Granola (and a granola post)
  • Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries (or whatever strikes your fancy)
  1. Chop strawberries and layer into a glass
  2. Spoon in some honey yogurt
  3. Sprinkle on granola
  4. Repeat with remaining berries
  5. Devour

*favorite new phrase. 

Filed under dessert healthy food hothlanta foodagraphy summer

4 notes &

I Got Feet!!!!

A billion egg whites later…

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Horrible little deformed feet, but feet! I was kind of giving up hope that it was possible to make ugly macarons with stevia.

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I’ve still got a long way to go, but at least I know I’m on the right track. Will post once I’ve got something that doesn’t require a bag over its head first.

Filed under food macaron french healthy dessert

15 notes &

Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

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I swear I don’t consume as much sugar as this blog seems to indicate. It just happens to be that when I do, it turns into a post….or diabetes.

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Salted caramel cheesecake with a chocolate praline crust and topped with MOAR CARAMEL!

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MOAR SUGAR!!! Diet starts…tomorrow. Cheesecake today.

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Mini Turtle Cheesecakes:
Makes roughly 1 dozen 

Caramel
(You’ll have some left over in case you want to pour on top of cheesecakes, or you know, eat from a spoon)

  • 2 cups Sugar (just don’t look while you pour it and it won’t seem so bad)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  1. In a small saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium-low heat. Swirl (not stir!) the mixture every now and then. It’ll become a clear liquid once the sugar all dissolves/melts and then slowly, very slowly, it’ll get some color and bubble up. Keep swirling.
  2. Once it’s a nice amber, turn the heat to low and add the butter in increments, swirling the pan to melt after each addition.
  3. Add the cream and swirl (you can stir some now) until it’s a homogeneous mixture. (If the sugar is sort of hardening and not incorporating the butter and cream, turn the heat back up to medium until it does.) 
  4. Salt to taste. Remove from heat and transfer to a glass jar and let cool at least to room temp (preferably chilled in the fridge).

Candied Pecans

  • 1 1/2 Cups Pecans
  • 2 tbs Butter, melted
  • 1 tsp Stevia
  • 1 tsp Salt
  1. Combined last 3 ingredients and then pour over pecans, mixing and coating well. Bake in a single layer in a 350 degree oven (or toaster oven) for 8 minutes or until they start to smell roasted. Be careful not to burn them. Let cool.

Base

  • 34 graham crackers (1 sleeve or about 2 1/2 cups ground)
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • Candied Pecans from above
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Caramel (I don’t remember how much, maybe a cup?)
  1. Grind the graham crackers to crumbs (I use my blender and just pulse in batches) and mix with the butter. Press crumb mixture into muffin tins or ramekins (or these wicked awesome silicone baking cups that I loooove), pushing crumb mix up the sides.
  2. Mix together candied pecans, chocolate chips, and enough caramel to lightly coat everything. Evenly spread this mix among the bottoms of the prepared crusts, set aside.

Cheesecake

  • 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup caramel
  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and then add the eggs, beating until sort of fluffy. Fold in the sour cream and caramel. Pour into prepared crusts. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until done. 
  2. Top with additional caramel and pecans. EAT!!!

Filed under food recipe cheesecake caramel chocolate sweet dessert pecan candied homemade caramel mini turtle praline

3 notes &

Dark Chocolate and Pecan Macaroon Bites

Remember my awesome boyfriend? He’s still awesome.

A couple of months ago, his teacher submitted one of his essays to something. Apparently that something was an undergraduate essay competition for the Women’s Studies Dept, and apparently he won. Wuh-wuh.

So, to thank the teacher for submitting his essay, I made macaroons. (Yep, that’s “macaroons” with the double “O,” because I’m not good enough for that single “O” culinary feat just yet.)

I grated my own coconut because unsweetened grated coconut is nearly impossible to find around here and death by sucrose isn’t my thing. Plus, cracking open a coconut, drinking the water, and grating the fresh meat—so worth it. If you’re not anti-sugar and don’t want to go through the 5 extra minutes of effort of grating your own, this recipe will work fine with flake sweetened coconut (just omit or decrease the stevia).

I’m not even sure if you would call these macaroons. It’s just something I started making a few years ago and figured that’s the closest thing to what they were. Tasty either way and they’re the perfect size to just pop 3 million into your mouth.

Lazy Man’s Dark Chocolate and Pecan Macaroons

Makes 1-2 Dozen (depending on how big you make them)

  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 tbs Whipping cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp stevia (to start with, add more to taste)
  • Meat from 1 large coconut, grated (or 3 cups grated/flake coconut)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks/pieces, chopped up if not already pea-sized
  1. Mix everything but the bottom three ingredients, then add them. Combine well.
  2. Form macaroons with hands (press tight) and drop onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until the coconut starts to toast up.

Filed under coconut macaroons chocolate food healthy sweet dessert stevia pecans dark chocolate recipe

13 notes &

Turtle Pretzel Cheesecake

Fact: I have the best boyfriend. Ever.
Doubt me? Bring it on. Come at me, bro. (Please don’t really, I would lose, badly—I have the physical prowess of an injured pygmy tarsier).

(Sorry for the absurdly long post. I got a little over-zealous with the camera.)

So, this awesome boyfriend of mine was recently nominated for and won a scholarship for outstanding work in anthropology. Wuh-Wuh.

I’m showing my pride in the best way I know how—cheesecake.

Specifically, a caramel cheesecake layered with candied pecans on top of a salty pretzel crust, and slathered with a semi-sweet chocolate ganache.

If I were pro, I’d top it with that supah fancy fleur de sel stuff. But I’m not, so this will have to cut it.

Oh and I finally mastered good caramel. When I’ve made it in the past it always turned out a little bitter. The ultimate trick? A little bit of water with the sugar. Picked that up from A Pastry Affair. I have no clue how the chemistry works but it seems to slow the cooking process so the sugar caramelizes more evenly and becomes a gorgeous amber without burning. Oh and butter. Lots of butter. But that goes without saying.

This cheesecake has a lot of parts to it. You could take shortcuts, but I guarantee it’ll be better if you don’t.

Is this cheesecake healthy? No. Is it vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free? No. Is it a “healthier” cheesecake and damn tasty? Yes.

Although I’m normally very anti-sugar, I don’t know of an alternative way to get to caramel. Plus, this is a once in a blue moon kind of thing. And aside from the caramel and the graham crackers and the pretzels and the chocolate there’s no added sugar, just stevia and a touch of some good ‘ole maple syrup.

Saturday night, he was so frustrated with me because I ditched him all day for work and then when I got home, I headed straight to the kitchen to cook up this surprise cheesecake. “It’s for the blog” was not a good enough excuse for not watching a movie with him. The next morning, when he woke up I told him to come downstairs because I needed help with something. Surprise cheesecake breakfast date ensued.

Pretzel Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups pretzels (I used mini) (about 3/4 cup ground)
  • 10 graham crackers (about 2/3 cup ground)
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • extra salt shaken from the bottom of the pretzel bag (you know what I’m talking about), to taste
  • generous pinch of stevia
  1. In batches, blend the pretzels and graham crackers into crumbs
  2. Mix crumbs with butter, salt, and stevia.
  3. Press into 9” springform pan (up the ingredients for a larger pan)

Candied Pecans   

  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  1. Combined top 4 ingredients and then pour over pecans, mixing and coating well. Bake in a single layer in a 350 degree oven (or toaster oven) for 8 or so minutes.

Caramel

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs water
  • 3/4 cup butter, cut into cubes or slices
  • 1/2 cup heavy (full) cream
  1. In a small saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium-low heat. Swirl the mixture every now and then. It’ll become a clear liquid once the sugar all dissolves/melts and then slowly it’ll get some color and bubble up. Keep swirling.
  2. Once it’s a nice amber, turn the heat to low and add the butter in increments, swirling the pan to melt after each addition.
  3. Add the cream and swirl/stir until it’s a homogeneous mixture. (If the sugar is sort of hardening and not incorporating the butter and cream, turn the heat back up to medium until it does.) Remove from heat and transfer to a glass jar and let cool at least to room temp (preferably chilled in the fridge).

Filling

  • 2 8 oz packages cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • Caramel
  • 1/2 the Candied Pecans
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and then add the eggs and stevia, beating until sort of fluffy. Fold in the sour cream, caramel, and 1/2 the pecans.

Ganache (make after the cheesecake is cooked and cooled)

  • 10 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  1. Melt the chocolate. Mix in the cream. Set aside.

Assembly

  1. Sprinkle the remaining half of the pecans over the pretzel crust.
  2. Pour the filling over that.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in a 350 degree oven over a pan of water. Turn off the oven when you think it’s about done (knife will not come out clean and it will still jiggle a little in the middle, like some other things in life—but that’s okay) and let it sit until the oven’s cooled.
  4. Refrigerate for a few hours at least, preferably overnight so the flavors have time to mate develop.
  5. Remove from springform pan. Top with warm ganache. Return to fridge so the ganache can harden a little. Eat copious amounts with a loved one.

PS: Did I mention how amazing my bf is?

Filed under caramel cheesecake chocolate dessert food pecans pretzel sweet turtle cheesecake bunting