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Caramelized Peanut Coffee Cake

Whenever I’m looking through a new cookbook, what never fails to make me bookmark a recipe is when I come across something that has caramelized nuts on it, or in it. Whether it be Honey-Almond Squares or Swedish Almond Cake, you can be sure you’ll find me in my kitchen within the next 24 hours, and baking it. This Caramelized Peanut Cake that takes very…

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Coffee Caramel Panna Cotta

Two of my favorite flavors come together right here, in this Coffee Caramel Panna Cotta, which offers up the rich flavor of caramel with a few strong shots of espresso. I seem to have good caramel karma and when I baked professionally, the executive pastry chef at one restaurant told me that I was the one she wanted to make the caramel desserts since I…

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Chocoflan

A few desserts on this blog stick with me, often because I posted them a while back, but discovering that I’d like to tweak them a little to reflect my current tastes. As anyone who cooks or bakes knows, things change over time. New ingredients get introduced (such as bean-to-bar chocolates) and we learn better or faster ways to do things the more we make…

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Roast Chicken with Caramelized Shallots

I used to be one of those that was surprised when people said, “I don’t have time to cook.” To me, cooking and shopping for ingredients, which take the better parts of my days, has always been a pleasure for me rather than a burden. However, now I get it. Making dinner after a long day at work can be a challenge. In France, people…

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A Visit to Red Boat Fish Sauce in Vietnam

When I realized we were going to Vietnam, I decided not to start making lists of places to go or things to eat, like I often do. (I’m learning to say “Yes” to less-scheduled vacations.) Fortunately, a friend who lives with her family in Ho Chi Minh City planned almost our entire trip for us, and I was happy to relinquish the role to her….

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Creme Brulee

When it was on the cusp of popularity in the U.S., I sort of introduced crème brûlée to a restaurant where I was working at the time, and, predictably, they took off. So much so, that most of my nights were spent torching crème brûlée as fast as I could. Finally, I put an end to that (popularity is overrated), and that was that. There…

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Carnitas

What to do when people call you thirty minutes before you’ve invited them for dinner? It’s something I don’t understand. If you’re anything like me, during those precious few minutes before everyone arrives you’re racing around (probably not entirely dressed…) trying to get everything together so you can at least attempt to give the appearance that you’re relaxed when they arrive.  There are a couple…

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Rochoux’s Hazelnut Praline Paste

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I rarely go over to the Saint Germain des Près area much. I know, it’s a popular destination for many, but if I head over there, it’s usually for one thing, and one thing only: Chocolate. Most of the chocolatiers are clustered over there because, well, if you can afford to live over there, that’s where most of the…

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Pineapple-Coconut Macaroons

By now, just about everyone is familiar with Parisian macarons, those little almond meringue sandwiches pressed together with a creamy filling, which are now available far and wide. But if you go to neighborhood bakeries in Paris, you’ll find another kind of “macaroon” – Rochers à la noix de coco, which, because the French are fond of abbreviations, is often shortened to rochers coco. They’re…

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