Tag Archives: Sweets

French Fridays with Dorie: Baked Apples filled with Fruits and Almonds

baked apples stuffed with fruits and almonds

I like a good apple.  I love a great apple.  A bad apple could almost ruin my day.

My hopes weren’t too high for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, baked apples filled with fruits and nuts.  It had nothing to do with the recipe and everything to do with the apples.  By this time of the year, many of the apples in the supermarkets in Puerto Rico have been sitting out for a while.  The odds of finding a good one amidst the mealy ones are definitely stacked against us! Read More…

GF360° Top 5 Posts of 2013

GF360° Top 5 Posts of 2013

I am a statistics nerd… putting together this recap of the most viewed posts of 2013 was fun and eye-opening.  Puerto Rican flavors, both and and out of my kitchen, keep bringing friends, family and the curious into Great Food 360°!  Without further ado, here are GF360­° Top 5 Posts of 2013.

Gracias, gracias, gracias!

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Orange Cinnamon Oatmeal

Orange Cinnamon Oatmeal

Roll call: Sweets that dwelled together in my refrigerator during the last week of the year.

  • Chocolate/mint cupcakes
  • Mallorca bread pudding
  • My sister’s INSANE amaretto cheese flan
  • Arroz con dulce
  • Banana cake made out of overripe banana guilt
  • A big bottle of Tita’s coquito
  • Coquito popsicles (Failed experiment, I’m sorry to report.  Need higher creme anglaise to coquito proportion)

By the time 2014 rolled in, there are only two of these list left over.  But you can imagine I’m going through quite the hangover.  Sugar hangover.  And with four more days of Puerto Rican Christmas indulgences to go, I’m trying my best to keep a reduced stash of homemade treats around. Read More…

Arborio Rice Pudding with Guava Sauce

Arborio Rice Pudding with Guava Sauce

Guava season is here!  A couple of weeks ago, I stopped at Freshmart, the local health food/market chain to pick up a few items on the way back home.  Once I stepped into the store, the smell of ripe guavas stopped me on my tracks. It’s no coincidence these sweet, fragrant fruits were placed right by the entrance… and that I fell prey to the supermarket’s logistics game.
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French Fridays with Dorie: Pastry Blues and Almond Pastry Cream

Pull up a chair and grab a drink.  I hope you are in the mood for the blues… the pastry blues.

Cracked Tart Shell and toppings for Almond Pastry Cream

Lady placed a tart ’round her French table.
Another tried the same but wasn’t able.
One more messed up tart shell…
Nothing you haven’t heard before.
But I’m skipping pie recipes
’til I find good crust at the store

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Coconut Mango Bars (Panetela de Mango)

Coconut Mango Bars

Some things need time to come on their own.
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White Chocolate Strawberry Popsicles

White Chocolate Strawberry Popsicles

White Chocolate Strawberry Popsicles

As summers go, I don’t think I can complain too much about this one.  Sure, we’ve had our share of rain, but it has not been as unbearably hot as other years.  Hurricane season has also gotten a slow start.  Usually by this time of the year we’ve had a storm scare or two, but things are kind of quiet in the Atlantic ocean.  I try to keep the contents of my freezer to a minimum during hurricane season, which is easier said than done.  One of the upsides of having extra freezer space is that there is room now for popsicle molds.  I finally got around buying a set of pop molds after years of oohing over so many pretty and tasty recipes on the internet.  Freezing pops is a great way to use overripe fruit, leftover desserts, and even that last bit of silken tofu.  Some experiments were more successful than others (coconut pops from leftover creme anglaise!), and these white chocolate strawberry popsicles were definitely my favorite from the bunch. Read More…

Mallorca Bread Pudding

Mallorca Bread Pudding

When I visited En Boga Gastrobar for Puerto Rico Restaurant Week, one of their featured desserts was a bread pudding made with mallorcas (ensaimadas) – a sweet enriched bread.  I didn’t get to try it but my sister did and gave it rave reviews.  It became an item in my  unofficial to-cook list until last Sunday.  I made a stop on a whim on my way back from the farmers market to our friendly neighborhood panadería, Moncho Pan.  They bake the largest mallorcas I had ever seen.  It’s impossible for these pastries not to catch your eye – they are right by the register and they are just so big when compared to the other mallorcas in the area. Read More…

Devil’s Food Cake

Devil's Food Cake

My siblings and I are all doted with very different artistic talents.  My brother is musically inclined.  He was selected at a very young age to sing in a prestigious choir in Puerto Rico and later learned to play guitar on his own.  My sister always excelled in all different type of visual art.  She could sketch, paint, and sculpt.  I was the bookish one, either reading and writing poems and stories that would now make me blush on how lame they were.  If there was ever a weekend when I needed to channel my sister’s ability to make pretty things, it should have been this one. Read More…

Apple Five-Spice Pancakes


I liked the Instagramed picture of the apple five-spice pancakes better than the regular shots.

The weekend is here!  The weekend is almost here!

Who am I kidding?  Although tomorrow I’ll have a chance to sleep in a little, I’ll still have to trek to the office to wrap up a pile or two of work that needs to get done by Monday.   However, sleeping won’t be the only way I’ll get to differentiate tomorrow from the rest of the work week.  Saturdays and Sundays call for longer runs and and enjoying breakfast beyond the usual cereal/juice/coffee combo.   Last week I made these apple five-spice pancakes that are begging for an encore. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Orange Blossom Financiers

I know, I know… this is not this week’s intended French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Ispahan Loaf Cake.  While I love to read about recipes with backgrounds as rich as this one – the Pierre Hermé cachet and the Persian rose connection – procuring all the ingredients and actually getting around baking it seemed a little daunting.  It didn’t help to see that the opinion was split between the group on this recipe’s success.   To keep the “desserts with floral notes” and Middle Eastern twists, I chose to swap the rose syrup and essence for an orange blossom syrup.  I also scaled back the recipe and the loaf cake turned into mini bundts, hence the orange blossom financiers name.  Financiers, like the Ispahan loaf cake, are made with ground almonds, sugar, eggs, flour and butter. Read More…

Recipe Matchup: Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate pudding is the most comforting dessert I can think of.  Could it be the “ah, mine!” factor of the individual portions? The “feel good” chemical components in the chocolate? The silky texture?  While visiting Charleston last fall, E got to try Hominy Grill’s famous chocolate pudding.  I bought the restaurant’s recipe booklet, and after we returned home every other week I would hear “when are you making the pudding?”.  Last Sunday we had dinner over at our friends’ house and since it was my turn to bring dessert, I got around it.  I even splurged on “good” chocolate for them. Read More…

FFwD Valentine’s Day Cookie Swap: Cowboy Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I hope your day is filled with sweet surprises.  I certainly got one this week!  After the success of the French Fridays with Dorie holiday card exchange, the sweet and fearless Doristas stepped up a notch and organized a cookie swap for Valentine’s Day.  Like all good friends, IRL and online, my blogging friends overlooked my dwindling participation on our weekly assignments and allowed me to be someone’s secret cupid.  That’s how I found myself waiting patiently for a special delivery earlier this week.  I got wonderful cowboy cookies made from scratch.  Yes, by Karen P, our From Scratch girl. Read More…

French Fridays with Dorie: Apple Tartes Fines

Mealy apples… blegh.  Few things are more disappointing than biting into an apple expecting a crisp, juicy mouthful only to find you got a sandy, tasteless one.  Even though I try very hard to pick good apples by smelling them and tapping to check for hollowness, they can’t all be perfect.  If there’s an element that redeems even the saddest apple, it is heat.  Instead of tossing mealy ones out, baking them until they are thoroughly warm turns inedible fruit into a comforting treat.  I bought earlier this week three Gala apples and struck out – that is, until I baked the bonne idée for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie selected recipe, Apple Tartes Fines.  These little tarts were so easy to pull off, it almost feels like cheating. Read More…

Ketembilla Juice

Every other Sunday – the first and third of the month – local farmers pitch their tents at la Placita Roosevelt, on the Hato Rey neighborhood of San Juan.  I’ve tried to showcase their produce and baked goods on several posts, focusing on new (for me) items.  This time around, I would like to highlight one of those items that I’ve bought over and over again but never showed you before.  When in season, I usually grab a cup of “cranberry” juice to enjoy while browsing the tables and buy the fruits to add to smoothies or juice at home.  These “Puerto Rican cranberries” are actually ketembillas, a native Ceylon gooseberry that was brought to the UPR Experimental Station in 1930. Read More…