…tasty bites to stimulate your taste buds..

Posts tagged ‘Raspberry’

Thomas Keller’s Bite Sized Brownies

After 15 days of work, I asked my boss for a day off to relax and catch up on my sleep.  When I woke up, I was craving for chocolate, a rather unusual feeling.  Maybe it was the residual chocolate craving after that dinner at Ruth’s Chris.  I wanted something simple and flipped through Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller when the recipe for brownies caught my eyes.  Brownies remind me of comfort food, something so simple yet likeable by everyone, from little kids to the grandparents.  Brownie is a perfect pick me up after a long day of work or a lazy Sunday morning, something you can pair with a glass of cold milk, rich vanilla ice cream, or by itself.  I adapted the brownies recipe from Ad Hoc at Home but substituted applesauce for two thirds of the butter, a much healthier alternative!  It was my first time baking with applesauce so I was a bit nervous.  I was pleasantly surprised when I had the first bite.  The brownie was rich and retained all of its goodness even with the applesauce!  My husband could not taste the difference either!  I am happy to report that it was a successful batch of brownies filled with gooey goodness!


¾ cup all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 stick of butter, melted (save half the stick for buttering the muffin pan)
1 ½ cup of applesauce
3 large eggs
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cup of chocolate chips
raspberries and powdered sugar for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Sift flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

Mix the eggs and sugar on medium speed, and then pour in the vanilla.  Add the applesauce and continue mixing.

On low speed, pour in half of the dry ingredients and mix well.  Add the butter and continue beating.  Mix in the remaining dry ingredients.

Add the chocolate chips and mix well.

Pour about 2 tbsps of batter into each buttered well of a mini muffing tray and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Let them cool at room temperature for 5 minutes and garnish with raspberries and powdered sugar.

Birthday Celebration at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

The past two weeks have been super busy for me.  In between celebrating my birthday, working, and attending the SCCM conference, I have not had time to relax or step foot into the kitchen.  I found out that a friend at work has the same birthday and Amy, my other friend, has her birthday exactly one week after mine so we all celebrated at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.  Fortunately, it was during San Diego Restaurant Week so we took advantage of their 3-course meal for $40.  I picked the seared ahi tuna for the appetizer.  It was very fresh, comparable to Sushi Ota’s.  For the main course, I went with the petite filet which I anticipated to be much smaller than the filet mignon, but was pleasantly surprised by the portion.  It was a bit dry for medium well but was still delicious!  Vu ordered mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat, and they were the best crabmeat stuffed mushrooms I have ever had.  Filled with real crabmeat and no filler, they were seasoned perfectly.  His 12 oz ribeye was even more delicious than my petite file.  Tender and buttery, it was the perfect piece of ribeye.  We ended the night with two heavenly desserts, chocolate sin cake and duo of cheesecake and sorbet.  The chocolate was light but decandent.  I could not stop eating even though my stomach was at max capacity.  I did not enjoy the cheesecake as much but the raspberry sorbet was fresh and delightful.  Overall, it was an excellent meal, perfect for a birthday celebration.

Seared ahi tuna

Mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat

Petite filet

12 oz ribeye

Chocolate sin cake

Raspberry Creme Brulee

Winter this year is a lot more cold and rainy compared to the usual San Diego sunshine.  I miss the summer weather and summer fruits like cherries and berries.  When I saw raspberries at Henry’s today, I grabbed them for my crème brulee.  I got my inspiration from an episode of Barefoot Contessa making raspberry crème brulee as a holiday dessert instead of the classic crème brulee.  Crème brulee is French for burnt crème, consisting of a rich custard base topped with caramelized sugar, but its origin is unknown.  The Brits claimed that the dish was invented in Trinity College in Cambridge while the earliest reference of crème brulee came from the 1691 release of Massialot’s cookbook in France.  I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten and it turned out wonderful, light, and creamy.  This recipe makes 4 servings but you can scale the ingredients to accommodate your guests.  The raspberries add a touch of red, making it a perfect dessert for your holiday dinner.


1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4-6 oz of raspberries


Preheat oven to 325°F.  Whisk sugar and egg yolks together.

In a saucepan, heat heavy cream and vanilla bean paste just to a boil. While cream heats, also begin heating a pot full of water for baking the crème brulee.

Gradually whisk hot cream into the egg mixture. Strain the egg mixture to remove any lumps.

Place a few raspberries in the ramekins and divide mixture evenly between them.

Pour enough water into the roasting pan to come half way up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully place the roasting pan in oven.

Bake until the custards are just set, about 30 minutes.  Remove the ramekins from oven and cool slightly at room temperature, then refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, sprinkle 1/2 tbsp of sugar evenly on the top of each ramekin and using a propane torch, hold it so the flame just touches the surface. Start at the center and spiral out toward the edges of the ramekins heat until the sugar caramelizes evenly.

Let the crème brulee cool for a few minutes before serving.

Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint.  Enjoy!

Poached Bartlett Pears with Raspberry Coulis

For my flight to San Jose over the weekend, I brought along Dessert by Williams-Sonoma to get ideas for Thanksgiving dinner.  As I flipped through the book, I saw an interesting recipe for poached pears with raspberry coulis.  Personally, I am not a huge fan of pears, let alone cooked pears.  The picture was so enticing that I decided to give it a try.  It was definitely a different type of dessert.


4 firm Bartlett pears, peeled leaving the stem intact
1/2 lemon
1 cup white wine (Riesling or Pinot Grigio)
2 cups fresh orange juice
1 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
3 orange zest strips
3 lemon zest strips
2 whole cloves
1 cup rasberries
1 tsps powdered sugar
1 tsp lemon juice


Peel the pears and generously rub with the lemon half to prevent discoloring.  Core the pears from the bottom using a melon scooper, leaving the stem intact.

In a deep sauce pan, combine the white wine, orange juice, water, sugar, lemon zests, orange zests, and clove and bring to a boil.  Reduce to low heat and add the peeled pears, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the pears are tender but not falling apart. Remove the pears and place in the refrigerator. Heat the saucepan to high heat and reduce the syrup to approximately 1 cup of liquid, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

For the raspberry coulis, combine the raspberries, powdered sugar, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until the berries are pureed.  Pass the puree through a fine mesh sieve to extract all the juice.

Serve the pears slightly chilled in a pool of raspberry coulis and drizzled with a little syrup.


Crepes with Mascarpone and Rhubarb Raspberry Filling

Crepe is one of my all time favorite desserts.  Crepes are very thin pancakes originating from Brittany, France.  Back in the old days, crepes are made with buckwheat flour.  Today, there are many adaptations making the possibilities endless.  You can prepare a savory variation by adding fresh vegetables and herbs, cheese, seafood, or meat as breakfast or even a main entrée. To satisfy your sweet tooth, you can prepare different fillings with seasonal fruits and sauces, and pair with ice cream, or not.  When we were in Paris, crepe stands were at every corner and we ended up having crepes daily, a much cheaper alternative to expensive bistros.  This is my first time making crepes so bear with me.


2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tbsps melted butter
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
butter for coating the pan


4 oz of mascarpone cheese
4 oz of rhubarb raspberry jam (or your favorite jam)
fresh raspberries, whip cream, and powdered sugar for garnish


Using a mixer, blend all the ingredients together.  Press the batter through a sieve to remove any lump.  Refrigerate for 1 hour to reduce the bubbles which prevents the crepes from tearing during cooking.

Heat a small non-stick pan on low heat with butter to coat.  Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly.

Cook for 30 seconds or until golden and flip.  These crepes are paper thin so be careful not to tear them.  Lay them out flat on paperlined plate to remove any excess butter.

Spread mascarpone cheese and jam on half of crepe.  Fold the crepe into a quarter.

Serve with fresh raspberries and whip cream.  Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.  Bon appetit!

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