butterscotch pots de crème with salted caramel tahini sauce & toasted kasha

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I first met Athena Calderone of Eye Swoon through my husband at The Heyward, a local Brooklyn restaurant where he was executive chef. Athena's passion for food and all things beautiful was clear from our first conversation, and I quickly became an avid fan and follower. Both Derek and I got the opportunity to be featured on her site- Derek as part of "The Chefs" series, and me as one of "The Tastemakers". Athena came over and we baked a chocolate and toasted coconut cake with salted caramel (that I highly recommend you try!), and it soon became clear that we had a lot in common, from food to fashion! Athena and I have gotten close over the last couple of years, and often see each other out & about at various fun events

I was so excited, and not all that surprised, when I heard that Athena was writing a cookbook. Her background in design gives her an eye to be able to create beautiful, artistic dishes, so I just knew the book would be absolutely swoon-worthy. Cook Beautiful is just that- Athena's offering of 100 seasonal recipes that are both gorgeous and delicious! After browsing through the entire book and drooling over practically every photo, I decided the first recipe I wanted to try would be a dessert (duh!). The butterscotch pots de crème with salted caramel tahini sauce & toasted kasha really spoke to me, as I've been having a love affair with tahini for as long as I can remember. Seriously though, whether it's sweet or savory- it can be stuffed into Medjool dates with dark chocolate, or mixed with lemon juice and herbs for a dressing, I'm obsessed.

Naturally then, I had high hopes for these babies, and they did not disappoint. The rich and smooth butterscotch crèmes were complemented perfectly by the slightly savory tahini caramel, as well as the crunchy toasted kasha & sesame seeds. Bonus points that they look super fancy, but are actually quite easy to make- these would be a great dessert to impress guests at your next dinner party. Get your copy of Cook Beautiful today, and start creating beautiful, swoon-worthy food pronto! 


superfood balls

 

If you ever need something sweet, but don't want to indulge in a full-on dessert, these are a tasty, but healthy alternative. Whether it's an afternoon pick-me-up or an after dinner treat, there are great to have on hand and contain many superfoods like maca, chia seeds & cacao! Even better, they're super easy to make- just throw everything in the food processor, and that's it! Enjoy!

Superfood Balls:

  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 10)
  • 1/4 cup dried unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Pulse all ingredients together in food processor until well combined. Roll into balls. Coat in extra coconut or cacao, if desired. Makes about 2 dozen balls. These store well in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days, or in the regrigerator for 7-10 days.

 

chocolate soufflés for 2

These chocolate soufflés for 2 are the perfect dessert for date night, Valentine's Day, or any day! They are served in Staub mini cocotte pots, which makes them look extra fancy too! Although soufflés seem daunting, they can be executed easily with a few staple ingredients, and are guaranteed to impress. Don't forget a sweet & creamy sauce (think créme anglaise or melty ice cream) to drizzle on top! PS- if you want to prep these ahead of time, you can also cover and refrigerate the soufflés overnight before baking!

Chocolate Soufflés:

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (or butter), softened
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • créme anglaise or salted caramel sauce (for serving)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Use 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to grease your cocottes. Coat them lightly with 2 tbsp cane sugar, tapping to remove any excess. Place cocottes on a baking dish and set aside. 

Melt chocolate with 2 tbsp coconut oil over a double boiler, whisking until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Whisk in the yolks one at a time until smooth. Set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a clean whisk, beat egg whites on medium speed until frothy, about two minutes. Increase the speed to high and slowly add cream of tartar and remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Take care not over beat. 

Add 1/3 of the meringue into chocolate mixture. Gently fold in. Add the remaining meringue and fold in until no streaks remain. Do not over mix. Spoon the mixture into prepared cocottes. Place in preheated oven and bake for 18-22 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately, topping with créme anglaise or salted caramel sauce.

*Adapted from Chocolate Soufflé by Real Simple.