Archive for Dessert

Petit Pots de Crème Vanille

Delicate, creamy pots of loveliness. Don’t try to make these with synthetic vanilla, it won’t work.

The original recipe asks you to whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale and thick, but if you do that, the pots will deflate a lot during the baking. I think it is best to either don’t whisk the eggs until pale and thick, but just to incorporate everything. Or beating them till pale and thick, but setting aside the mixture to let the bubbles settle before baking. The photo shows the pots before baking, you can see the foaminess on top.

Petit Pots de Crème Vanille2

Petit Pots de Crème Vanille (makes 2-4 servings)
Adapted from “Ripailles – Stéphane Reynaud”

125 ml cream
150 ml milk
1/2 vanilla pod
2 eggs
40 g sugar

Whisk the eggs with the sugar.
Heat the milk and cream. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod, add these and add the pod too.
Take the vanilla pod from the boiling milk and pour over the egg mixture while whisking.
Pour into ramekins and bake for 20 minutes au bain marie in a 180C oven, making sure the water comes high enough up the sides of the ramekin. You can cover the ramekins with tinfoil to prevent browning.
Serve at room temperature or cold.

Espresso Mousse

The perfect dessert for coffee lovers. It is light and airy, not too sweet, and has a very good coffee flavour.

Espresso Mousse (8 servings)
Slightly adapted from “De Banketbakker – Cees Holtkamp”

400 g espresso, still hot
10 g gelatin (leafs, not powder)
150 g sugar
400 g whipping cream

Soak the gelatin in cold water.
Squeeze the excess moisture from the gelatin and add it to the hot espresso, stir to dissolve. Add the sugar. Leave to cool to room temperature.
Whip the cream. Fold the cream through the coffee. Pour into a large, wet pudding form or into individual cups or glasses.
Put in the fridge for several hours.
Serve the individual portions in their forms, or dip the large form in hot water and turn it out onto a plate.

Nice to serve with vanilla sauce, but it’s not necessary.

Leche Frita

Leche frita, literally meaning fried milk, is a thick vanilla custard coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried, and sometimes coated with cinnamon sugar. The crispy outside contrasts lovely with the oozy soft inside, it is as much about the texture as about the flavour. It is rather indulgent, so I only make it as a special treat. It is a dessert, but you could also serve it as a snack with coffee, or something like that. As with all deep-fried things, serve them straight away after frying.


Leche Frita (serves 6)
Adapted from “Rick Stein’s Spain”

500 ml full fat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla pod)
4 egg yolks
100 g sugar
30 g flour
40 g cornflour
oil for deep-frying
flour, egg and breadcrumbs for crumbing
Optional: cinnamon sugar to serve

Grease a shallow 19 cm square baking tin with a little oil (or use a silicon form instead).
Mix sugar, flour and cornflour in a large bowl. Add the egg yolks and a splash of milk, and mix it to a smooth paste. Bring the rest of the milk to the boil. Pour slowly onto the egg mixture, while whisking. Pour back into the pan, on medium heat, and cook for about 5 minutes while stirring continuous, until you have a very thick custard. Pour the mixture in the prepared tin, press a sheet of clingfilm on the surface, and cool for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
Turn the set custard out on a board and cut into small triangles (or another shape that you fancy). Put flour, egg and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow dishes. Dip a triangle in flour, then in the egg, and then in the breadcrumbs. Lower in the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Leave to drain on some kitchen paper, then serve (dusted with cinnamon sugar if you like).

Plain Vanilla Pudding

A simple, plain pudding. Tasty warm, but also nice cold from the fridge. Even when cold, it has a nice, soft texture. Top with fruit, caramel sauce, bits of chocolate or cookie crumbles as variation.


Plain Vanilla Pudding (4 ramekins)
Adapted from Food Network Magazine

100 g sugar
20 g cornstarch (or unsweetened custard powder)
pinch of salt
500 ml milk
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract (use less when using custard powder)
15 g butter

Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large, heatproof bowl. Gradually add half of the milk, while whisking. Then whisk in the egg. Bring the other half of the milk to the boil and gradually add to the mix, while whisking constantly. Pour into the pan, and cook on medium heat until it thickens, while stirring continuously. Take from the heat and pour back into the bowl, then mix in the vanilla extract and butter. Divide over ramekins and eat hot, or place at least 2 hours in the fridge (covered with clingfilm).

Bread and butter pudding

When we returned from France, we had 2 baguettes leftover. As you may know, French bread is best on the day it is baked; it turns stale very quickly. And these baguettes were already 2 days old. I hate to throw away food, so I decided to make them into bread and butter pudding. A classic oven-baked British dessert, in which the bread is smeared with butter, scattered with raisins and soaked with custard. Officially it is dessert, but I rather have it as a (luxurious) weekend breakfast, since it is quite heavy. The recipe below is a mix of ones I found in several of my cookbooks, tweaked to my liking.

Pretty classic bread and butter pudding (serves 6-8)
2 stale baguettes, sliced, ends used for something else
25 g butter, melted
75 g sugar
100 g raisins

250 ml cream
350 ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
2 eggs
2 egg yolks

2 tbsp sugar, to sprinkle on top.

Grease a large, deep ovenproof dish (18×23 cm) with a little of the butter.
Cover the base of the dish with about 1/3 of the slices of bread. Brush with 1/3 of the butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 the sugar and 1/2 the raisins. Layer the 2nd 1/3 of bread on top, brush again with butter and sprinkle the other half of the sugar and raisins over. Cover with the remaining portion of bread.
Mix cream, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, eggs and yolks. Pour over the pudding and leave to stand for 1 hour (can be kept overnight covered in the fridge).
Preheat the oven to 180C. Brush the top of the pudding with the remaining butter, then sprinkle over the sugar.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, crisp and slightly puffy. Serve immediately, don’t let it get cold.

Variation: you can used (white/brown) sliced bread with the crusts removed, or use brioche/croissants to make it extra luxurious.

Strawberry Pavlova

The meringue is soft and marshmallowy on the inside and crisp on the outside. Together with the creaminess of the cream and the freshness of the strawberries, this make a lovely dessert. You can use any fruit you like instead of the strawberries.


Strawberry Pavlova (serves 6)
Slightly adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”

4 egg whites
225 g caster sugar or fine sugar (no icing sugar)
2 tsp corn starch
2 tsp white wine vinegar

300 ml cream, whipped with 2 tbsp sugar and if you like, a drop of vanilla extract
350 g strawberries, de-hulled and halved/quartered

Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Put the egg whites in a large bowl and whip to soft peaks. Then add the sugar spoon by spoon, while whisking. Keep whisking until the sugar is completely dissolved. Test this by rubbing a little of the mix between your fingers: if it feels sandy/grainy, the sugar has not yet dissolved completely. Blend the corn starch with the vinegar, add to the meringue and mix well.
Dollop the meringue on the baking tray, into a circle of about 23 cm, with higher sides than the middle. It should look quite rough, peaky and rustic. Place in the oven and bake for about 1 hour. Leave to cool in the oven (that you turned off!) with the door closed.
Place the pavlova on a serving plate. Top with the whipped cream and strawberries, then serve. Can be kept for 1 hour in the fridge before serving.

Raspberry Bread Pudding

Bread pudding contains breakfast-y ingredients like bread, fruit, eggs and milk. So if you don’t go overboard with cream, butter and other things like that, and don’t make it too sweet, it is perfectly acceptable to eat bread pudding for breakfast. Although it would be delicious as dessert too. The original recipe suggested to use cinnamon swirl whole grain bread, but since you can’t buy that over here I chose a slightly more indulgent bread: brioche. But I’ll try it with normal whole wheat bread in the future, I expect that would be nice too. As variation you could use other kinds of fruit. You can remove the crusts from the bread, but I don’t think it is necessary/worth the work and waste.
The result is like bread-pudding, soft and slightly wet, not too sweet, with a nice tartness from the raspberries, and a crispy, slightly caramelized top.

Raspberry Bread Pudding

Raspberry Bread Pudding (serves 2)
Adapted from Naturally Ella

4 slices bread
3/4 cup raspberries
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp maple syrup (or use honey instead)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar

Overnight or at least one hour before wanting to bake, cut bread slices in half on the diagonal and place in a baking pan that is roughly 15×20 cm. Squash raspberries in between the slices.
Whisk together eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Pour over the bread and push bread into the mixture so that all the bread is covered with the mixture. Cover and let sit until ready to bake, place in the fridge if leaving overnight.
Preheat the oven to 190C and sprinkle the bread pudding with the sugar. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden and puffy. Leave to settle for a few minutes, then serve.

Pots de crème – café

These custard pots have a lovely creamy and smooth texture, are not too sweet and have an intense coffee flavour. Because no cream is used, they are not as heavy as other recipes. And I like it that the whole eggs are used, so you don’t have excess egg whites left. Instead of rum you can use whisky, coffee liquor, hazelnut liquor, or maybe even something like baileys or liquor 43.
Officially the recipe makes 6 ramekins, but I found that it makes a lot more. Next time I’ll probably make half the recipe for 6 ramekins.

Petits pots de crème – café
Adapted from “Ripailles – Stéphane Reynaud”

6 eggs
200 g sugar
800 ml full fat milk
3 espresso coffees
50 ml rum

Whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and thick in a bowl (choose a size taking in account that the egg-mixture will expand quite a bit, and the milk will be added as well).
Heat the milk with the coffee and rum.
Off the heat, pour the scalded liquid over the egg mixture.
Pour into ramekins and cook au bain marie in a 180C oven for 20 minutes, or until they have a slight wobble.
Serve at room temperature. Can be made 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge covered with cling film.

Vanilla ice-cream with toffee swirl

It was much too hot to bake something, so I made ice-cream. It is a really nice and easy ice-cream, but in my ice-cream maker it did form some crystals. I think this would be less in a custard-based ice-cream, which would probably taste creamier as well. But I’ll have to test that.

The toffee sauce is really a sauce, it is nicely pourable and not too sticky. It is also quite fast and easy to make. You could also serve it as a sauce with the ice-cream instead of swirling it in, or serve it with something else.

Toffee Swirl Ice-cream

Vanilla ice-cream with toffee swirl (600 ml)
From “500 ijsrecepten – Alex Barker”

75 g sugar
475 ml cold milk (preferably full fat)
2 tsp vanilla extract
240 ml cold cream, whipped
toffee sauce

Heat half of the milk with the sugar on low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the rest of the milk and the vanilla extract and leave to cool.
Fold the whipped cream in and pour into an ice-cream maker. Follow the manual of your ice-cream maker on how to churn the ice-cream, but it will probably take 30-40 minutes to freeze. After churning, add some toffee sauce and stir a little to form swirls. Place 15 minutes in the freezer to harden, then serve with some extra toffee sauce.
The ice-cream can be kept (well covered) in the freezer for 3 months, but it will gradually will crystallize more, fresh it is tastiest. Take the ice-cream out of the freezer 15 minutes before serving to get it to soften a bit.

Toffee sauce (400 ml)
From “500 ijsrecepten – Alex Barker”

115 g butter
115 g brown sugar
120 ml golden syrup
120 ml cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Melt the butter, brown sugar and golden syrup together in a saucepan on low heat. Turn up the heat and cook 3-4 minutes. Take from the heat and stir in the cream and vanilla extract. Leave to cool completely. Can be kept in the fridge for 8 days.

Chocolate Mousse

Everyone loves a good chocolate mousse. Well, there are some people that don’t like chocolate, but it’s a minority. This version is really indulgent, the small portions are perfect to satisfy your need for chocolate but not feel to heavy after eating it. It is a grown-up version, using dark sugar, only a small amount of sugar and a hint of coffee.

Chcoolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse (4 glasses/ramekins)
Adapted from “Leon – Ingredients & Recipes”

100 g chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
30 g butter
2 egg yolks
1 shot dark, strong espresso
2 egg whites
1.5 tbsp sugar

Melt the butter and chocolate.
Beat the egg yolks until nearly white and thick.
Gently stir the beaten yolks into the butter and chocolate, then stir in the coffee.
Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then gradually add the sugar while whipping, keep whipping until the sugar has dissolved.
Add 1/3 of the egg white to the chocolate mixture and mix well. Add the next third, fold in. Then add the last third and fold in very carefully. Keep mixing until the white streaks have disappeared, but not longer than that, or you will loose all the air.
Put the mousse in glasses, cups or ramekins and place in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.