Tag Archives: dessert

Vanilla Rice Mousse with Strawberries

Never running out of options for summer desserts, I found this easy mousse recipe in La Cucina Italiana…  

Mousse di riso con fragole = vanilla rice mousse with strawberries.

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons rice flour (see note)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, seeds scraped out
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3/4 pound strawberries, cut into 1/8-inch cubes
  • Puffed rice cereal, for garnish


In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup milk and flour.


 In a small saucepan, combine remaining 3/4 cup milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds. Over medium heat, whisking frequently, bring mixture to a simmer, about 3 minutes. Immediately whisk in rice flour mixture, then, whisking constantly, allow mixture to come to a boil; cook, whisking, until thickened, about 2 minutes more. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; put bowl on a wire rack and let mixture cool, about 20 minutes.


 In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Remove and discard vanilla bean from cooled rice flour mixture; whisk in 1/4 of the whipped cream. Repeat once. In 2 additions, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in remaining cream. Refrigerate mousse until chilled, about 45 minutes or up to 4 hours.


 To serve, spoon mousse into serving bowls; top with strawberries and a sprinkle of cereal.


 NOTE: Rice flour can be found at some large supermarkets, specialty grocers and health food stores.
I didn’t have Puffed Rice so I garnished with mint leaves from the garden.

© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.  Recipe courtesy of La Cucina Italiana May/June 2011.


Chocolate-Nutella Semifreddo

The recent heat wave has made it impossible to turn on the oven, so I had to come up with alternatives for dessert.

The first semifreddo I made this summer can be found HERE.  Bon Appétit can have credit for the recipe, I’ll take credit for the daunting task of executing the final product.

This week I decided to try a Nutella-Chocolate semifreddo.  A little on the sweet side at first bite, but definitely a yummy treat!

** Chocolate Nutella Semifreddo**

4 large eggs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 13 ounce  jar Nutella 

1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

1 tablespoon liqueur (I used Frangelico)

2 oz. milk and white chocolate, shaved

1/2 cup roasted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped


Line a mold of your choice with plastic wrap, taking care to leave about a 3 inch length hanging over the edge.

Heat Nutella in the microwave for about 20-25 seconds to soften it up. Set aside.

Place eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the eggs are warm, about 2 minutes. 

Place the bowl in mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high-speed until pale and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes.  (At this point whip the whipped cream to the soft peak stage)

Add the Nutella and the chocolate liqueur to the egg mixture and mix on low-speed until blended. 

Gently fold in the whipped cream, shaved chocolate and 1/2 cup chopped nuts. 

Scrape mixture into the mold and spread evenly. Top with more shaved chocolate. Cover top of mold with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. 

If anyone knows where I got this recipe, please let me know so I can give you credit.  Good job by the way!

PS:  I used what I had on-hand – Amaretto, Almonds & chocolate chips.

© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Pistachio, Strawberry and Vanilla Semifreddo: Courtesy of Bon Appétit

The recent heat wave in New Jersey has thwarted my baking plans.  I mean really… who wants to put on the oven in this weather, even with the AC!

So ICE CREAM I say… but my husband has yet again buried my ice cream machine in the mess of a garage that would rival any hoarder on TV (no dead animals though).  So another plan was in order.

Leafing through my June 2011 issue of Bon Appétit Magazine, I stumbled upon a section called FREEZE! Right Where You Are where frozen desserts abound:  granitas, semifreddos & ice pops.

Since I had all the ingredients for the semifreddo, I figured let’s give it a try.  Needless to say that my husband, John, attacked it even before I unmolded it… it was gone in 2 days.

Although it was a lot of work, it was definitely worth it!  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Pistachio, Strawberry and Vanilla Semifreddo Bon Appétit | June 2011

by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez

Got eggs, sugar, and cream? Then you can make a striking Italian semifreddo. It’s the lushest and creamiest of frozen desserts—no ice cream maker required.

Yield: Makes 10 servings


1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios
4 tablespoons sugar, divided, plus 1/2 cup
1 cup whole milk, divided
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 cup fresh strawberries (about 4 ounces), hulled, halved
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream


Line a metal loaf pan (approximately 9x5x3″) with 2 layers of plastic wrap, leaving generous overhang on all sides.

Grind pistachios and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until very finely chopped. Transfer pistachio mixture to a small saucepan. Add 1/2 cup milk; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 20 minutes. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl; strain, discarding solids. Stir in almond extract; set pistachio mixture aside.

Place remaining 1/2 cup milk in a separate small saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Set a strainer over another medium bowl; strain, discarding solids, and chill vanilla mixture.

Purée strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until smooth. Set a fine-mesh strainer over another medium bowl; strain, pressing on solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard solids. Stir in vanilla extract and set strawberry mixture aside.

Whisk eggs, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a medium metal bowl. Set bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Beat egg mixture at high-speed until it triples in volume and an instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers 170°F, about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from over water and continue beating until thick and cool, about 3 minutes. Add one-third of egg mixture to each of the pistachio, strawberry, and vanilla mixtures; fold each just to blend.

Beat cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add one-third of cream to each of the pistachio, strawberry, and vanilla mixtures; fold each just to blend. Cover vanilla and strawberry mixtures separately; chill. Pour pistachio mixture into pan; smooth top. Cover; freeze until firm, about 45 minutes. Gently pour strawberry mixture over pistachio layer; smooth top. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes. Gently fold vanilla mixture to blend; pour over and smooth top. Freeze until firm, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Fold plastic wrap over; seal tightly and keep frozen.

Uncover semifreddo. Using plastic wrap as an aid, lift from mold. Invert onto a chilled platter; peel off plastic. Slice crosswise.

Have you made any interesting desserts this summer?

© 2011 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Pop-Art Raspberry Icebox Cake: Courtesy of Epicurious

I can take no credit for this yummy dessert except in its execution.  I found this recipe on epicurious.com and decided to try it.  It was very simple to make and tasted great.

Pop-Art Raspberry Icebox Cake

  • 27 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer Cookies
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • One 12-ounce bag frozen raspberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons framboise (raspberry liqueur)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Line a 9 1/2 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap is tucked into all the corners and there is at least 1 inch overhanging the top of the pan on all sides. Working with one cookie at a time, spread the more rounded side of 9 of the wafer cookies with a thin layer of melted chocolate and place 3 of them, chocolate side down, on the bottom of the pan. Place another 3 cookies against each long side of the pan, chocolate-coated sides facing the pan. Place the pan in the freezer.

2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small bowl and let soften for 2 minutes.

3. Combine the raspberries and sugar in a medium-size heavy saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring a few times, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is warm to the touch. Stir in the gelatin mixture. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

4. Combine the heavy cream, framboise, and vanilla in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, whip until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the cooled raspberry mixture, taking care not to deflate the cream.

5. Remove the pan from the freezer. Pour all but one-fourth of the mousse into the pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Insert the remaining 18 wafers into the mousse, arranging them vertically in three rows of six so they are lined up with the chocolate wafers on the sides of the pan. Spread the remaining mousse over the wafers and smooth with the spatula. The pan should be full to the top. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until completely set, overnight and up to 1 week.

6. To unmold, gently tug the plastic wrap that lines the pan to loosen the cake. Place a serving platter over the pan and turn over. Gently tap to release. Carefully peel the plastic from the cake. Cut into slices and serve immediately.

Serves 6.

To see the original recipe from the box Icebox Desserts by Lauren Chattman, click on the link above.

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.

Mixed Berry Tiramisu

One of my favorite desserts is Tiramisu, whether it’s a traditional version, a toasted almond treat or a berry delight.  Every year I dazzle my holiday dinner guests with a Mixed Berry Tiramisu, a recipe that I cut out of a Bon Appétit Magazine ages ago.  I cannot take credit for this recipe but I will take credit for its execution.

  • 1 12-ounce package unsweetened frozen mixed berries
  • 12 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen raspberries in syrup, thawed
  • 1/4 cup raspberry liqueur
  • 3 4.40-ounce packages Champagne biscuits (4-inch-long ladyfinger-like biscuits)
  • 3 8-ounce containers mascarpone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1-pint basket strawberries, hulled
  • 2 1/2-pint baskets raspberries
  • 1 1/2-pint basket blueberries

Cook frozen mixed berries and 6 tablespoons sugar in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until mixture resembles jam and is reduced to 1 cup, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Cool jam mixture.

Strain syrup from thawed raspberries through sieve set over bowl, pressing gently on solids. Discard solids. Add raspberry liqueur to raspberry syrup in bowl. Using sharp knife, trim 1 biscuit to 3-inch (about) length. Quickly dip biscuit into syrup, turning to coat lightly. Place rounded end up and sugared side against side of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Repeat with as many biscuits as necessary to cover sides of pan. Dip more biscuits in syrup and arrange on bottom of pan, covering completely and trimming to fit.

In bowl, whisk mascarpone with 6 tablespoons sugar and vanilla to blend. Set aside. Thinly slice enough strawberries to measure 1/2 cup. Gently spread half of jam mixture over biscuits in bottom of pan. Spoon half of mascarpone mixture over; smooth top. Sprinkle with sliced strawberries, 1/2 cup fresh raspberries and 1/2 cup blueberries. Dip more biscuits into syrup; arrange over fruit in pan, covering completely and trimming to fit. Gently spread remaining jam mixture over biscuits. Spoon remaining mascarpone mixture over; smooth top. Cover; chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Release pan sides. Transfer cake to platter. Arrange remaining fresh berries decoratively atop cake and serve.

Serves 10.

I hope you’ll try it.  Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit, August 1993.

© 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010.