Friday fun thread: Dessert evangelism

by Ted on January 13, 2006

I made this last week, from Jacques Pepin: Fast Food My Way, and it was more crazy delicious than Mr. Pibb + Red Vines. The sweet-tart raspberries and the melted chocolate go together beautifully. The recipe is very fast, very easy, and it doesn’t get much of your stuff dirty. You do, however, need little oven-safe ramekins or custard cups. They’re not hard to find, though; I bought a pack of four 10-ounce Pyrex dessert cups at the supermarket for $8.

Commenters, have you got a dessert for which you’d like to testify?

Chocolate-Raspberry Gratin

Serves 2

1 cup frozen raspberries
4 store-bought chocolate chip cookies
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter
Sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries into each cup. Hand-crumble two chocolate chip-cookies over each cup. Sift 1 T sugar over the cookies. Cut up the butter and dot it over the top.

Bake for 16-18 minutes; the raspberries should be gently bubbling and the top should be a little browned. Let cool until warm, then serve with a dollop of sour cream if you have it.

UNRELATED UPDATE: As long as I’m Fun Threading, please enjoy: A Selection From George W. Bush’s Eavesdropping Tapes: Matthew Barney and Björk Place an Ikea Phone Order.



polyglot conspiracy 01.13.06 at 2:12 pm

I really thought this post was going to be about Pat Robertson’s recipe for age-defying pancakes. But, I’m happy to see instead delicious dessert recipes that bring me to salvation in a different way (sadly I don’t have any to share, as I mostly cook entrees). Yum!


sunship 01.13.06 at 3:09 pm

Here’s one I like, easy, fast, and so tasty. Definitely more affordable when strawberries are “in season” and you can get 2 lbs for 5 or 6 dollars at the grocery store:

1. Fresh strawberries (as many as you want) cut in halves, quarters, or whole even. you can substitute any other fresh berries that you like.

2. Balsamic vinegar…as much as you want, this will be drizzled over your berries later.

3. Sugar. I haven’t tried sugar substitutes, something you might want to experiment with. You’ll be adding sugar to taste, so again, there isn’t a set amount.

4. Fresh or dried mint leaves, finely chopped.


1. Cut strawberries in desired shapes and sizes. Chill.

2. Mix sugar and balsamic vinegar to taste with a wisk or fork. I prefer using a fork since I then use it later to eat and have less to wash :P Don’t worry too much about how much sugar you use, just add until it tastes tart/sweet in whatever proportion you desire. I sometimes like it less sweet, but most of the time I get it to a warm syrup consistency (not thick, but not as liquidy as the vinegar was to start).

3. Pour mixture over berries. Add mint or whatever other garnish you prefer. I like to chill them a bit and let the strawberries marinade for up to 30 minutes. Usually I can’t wait.


ArC 01.13.06 at 3:21 pm

A chocolate truffle tart is delicious, though it’s beyond me to make my own.

I’m also in the middle of producing my own knockoff versions of the delicious desserts at Hong Kong’s HLS desset chain. So far I’ve got the tapioca, fruit juice, fruit, and fruit ice cream down. Next: adding some extra sugar to the juice, maybe freezing half of it to turn into ice shavings, and determining how much sugar to add to the coconut milk which goes on top.


Steve 01.13.06 at 3:27 pm

I’ve read Belle Waring, and you’re no Belle Waring.



Jared Woodard 01.13.06 at 3:52 pm

I never understand why Jacques Pepin insists on pairing all his desserts with sour cream. Even if it weren’t gross, sour is inferior to ice cream in every dessert situation I can think of.


Ted 01.13.06 at 4:29 pm


The standards to which you hold me are most unfair.



Kieran Healy 01.13.06 at 4:49 pm

Next up, Belle talks about life in Houston.


Jackmormon 01.13.06 at 5:26 pm

Pepin might be thinking “creme fraiche” when he writes “sour cream.”


Steve Bainbridge 01.13.06 at 7:27 pm

And here’s some wines to go with your dessert.


Henry 01.13.06 at 8:16 pm

The dessert recipe that any fool can make to wild applause


The recipe gives you two desserts in one dish: intensely lemony custard at the bottom, topped by a light sweet sponge. If that description doesn’t appeal to you, then make it and try it for yourself.

Preheat to 350º

Cream together

3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp butter (room temperature)
2 tsp grated lemon peel

until you get a light yellow batter just short of frothy. Add, one at a time, the

Yolks of 3 eggs, separated, naturally,

which will give you a more intensely yellow batter. Add, alternating, in one third installments,

3 tbsp flour
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup light cream or milk.

Now whip the egg whites with

1/8 tsp salt

until they are stiff but not dry. Fold the beaten whites into the mixture, then pour it into a

7″ oven proof dish

which you should rest in a larger dish containing one inch of hot water. Bake for an hour or so, or until done. The dish is delicious whether the custard is cooked until it is solid, which makes it a little harder to distinguish from the sponge above, or remains slightly runny.

Serve it hot or cold, with whipped cream (wretched excess) or without.

Stolen from the NY Times International Cookbook (1962), which Craig Claiborne no doubt stole from somewhere else if the Greek section is any guide.


Bro. Bartleby 01.14.06 at 2:11 pm

This is a favorite at the monastery:

Bro. Juniper’s Grand Waffles

mini waffles
banana slices
peanut butter
jelly (grape)

Toast waffle, then top with peanut butter, jelly and banana slice.


jmcq 01.14.06 at 5:25 pm

The key to this, which can be prepared as either a mousse or a soufflé, is very, very good chocolate. I use Scharffenberger bittersweet (70%).

Chocolate Mousse/Soufflé

6 eggs (room temp)
9-10 oz. chocolate (one Scharffenberger baker’s bar is 9.7 oz.)
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
fine granulated sugar
Melt the chocolate over very low heat; a double boiler is best. Set aside to cool.

Separate the eggs and gently stir the yolks into the chocolate. Beat the whites until foamy, add lemon juice, and continue beating until soft peaks begin to form.

Add maybe a quarter of the whites to the cool chocolate, mix gently, then add the chocolate mixture to the whites and very gently fold the whites into the chocolate.

For mousse, spoon the mixture into a serving dish and refrigerate (for at least a few hours). For soufflé, butter ramekins and dust with sugar, then spoon in the mixture. Wipe the inside rim clean; this helps the crust to move inward as it forms. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the crust is dry and just firm.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but gentle mixing and not over-beating the eggs is key to acheiving light, even texture. Otherwise, as you can see, it’s dead simple. In the summer I like to serve it with blackberry syrup (just the juice from crushing fresh berries in a chinoise; poke a hole in the soufflé crust and pour it in) with a small glass of Bonny Doon Framboise on the side. Intensely, outrageously delicious.

This is basically Jean-George Vongerichten’s recipe.

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