An International Dessert: Rum Balls

Rum balls are a truffle-like confection of sweet, dense cake or biscuit material flavoured rum-ballswith chocolate and rum. They are roughly the size of a golf ball and often coated in chocolate sprinkles, desiccated coconut, or cocoa. As their name implies, these cookies contain rum. Because they are not baked, the alcohol flavour and kick are not lost during preparation. This cookie is especially popular during the holiday season.

Typical Danish rum balls with different kinds of sprinkles

Rum balls are a popular Christmas treat in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Denmark (where they are called romkugler and enjoyed all the year round).

There are many different ways to make rum balls, as recipes vary from region to region and family to family. All rum balls must include chocolate and rum, but the rest of the ingredients vary in kind, form, and amount.

To make rum balls, the cake (or biscuit) material is crushed and mixed with cocoa and a moist binding ingredient, such as jam or condensed milk. Other optional ingredients can also be added, such as nuts. When the mixture holds together firmly, it is rolled into balls and then coated.

Click to See Rum Ball Recipe

Van Leewen Ice Cream: NY & LA

van-leweun-ice-cream-truck

If any thing truly positive has happened culinary-wise in the last decade, it is the advent of gourmet ice cream.  No more of the boring few flavors of my childhood which made always rather blah about ice cream   Now, thanks to companies like Van Leewen we have flavors like Earl Grey Tea, Ginger Small Kettle Candied Ginger,  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk and more.

me-eating-ice-cream

Enjoy Ginger Ice Cream with chunks of Ginger

Van Leewen has more locations in New York than Los Angeles.  However, both cities offer Food Trucks.

Visit the website for locations: http://www.vanleeuwenicecream.com/wbtyqmpq1t3s02f84b97vtf8wb2s7s

Salt & Straw Ice Cream Shop: A Portland and Los Angeles Delight

Roasted Strawberry & Toasted White Chocolate, Honey Lavendar,  Black Olive Brittle & Goat Cheese, and  Freckled Woodblock Chocolate are just of the gourmet flavors you can experience at Salt & Straw Ice Cream shops.

Take 1

16711660_10154599507151865_7873097271494984940_n1

To the Left (MCCN Editor having Honey lavender)

My friend who lived in the Portland Area recently moved to LA and asked I wanted to get ice cream.    Now, I don’t love ice cream.  I like it.  I crave it more when it is hot but gourmet ice can change your mind about what you know to be ice cream.  Nothing boring on the menu like plain old chocolate, ice cream or strawberry.  And the title of each flavor at this shop is likely to be more than one word.  Like popular yogurt shops they let you endlessly sample flavors.   Considering that the flavors are so different, it is best than you can before walking on the wild side.

Take 2

group-shot-having-icecream

The proof is in the putting when you can bring friends back to enjoy the experience with you.   We’re not selfish like Eddie Murphy’s famous comedy skit, ” I got some ice cream and you ain’t gone none. ”  No, the more the merrier when it comes to sharing in masterful taste experience.

Visit the website for locations:  http://saltandstraw.com/

Taste Of The Caribbean: Cola Couronne, Haiti’s #1 Soft Drink

Dinner in Haiti.JPG

On Visit in Haiti.  See our Drinks

The soda dates all the way back to 1924, and everyone here seems to love it. Literally 200px-cola_couronne_bottleeveryone I asked confirmed that Couronne is the #1 soda in Haiti. There was no second place brand; no honorable mention mentioned. In Haiti, it seems, it’s Cola Couronne or nothing… and that’s not really such a bad thing.

Electric-orange in color, Couronne bears a sweetly-carbonated aroma that takes me right back to my childhood in St. Croix when my parents would buy us cases of Fanta in assorted flavors. They always came in tall glass bottles, which we took great care in returning to our local gas station.

In Haiti, you’ll almost always find Cola Couronne in tall glass bottles as well. My friend Jonathan, who used to work in the Coca-Cola plant where they make Couronne, explained to me that there is no aluminum in Haiti.  READ MORE

Ice Cream Sandwiches Concoctions

A simple treat you can serve to kids and adults alike. Make your statement. This is almond custard poppy seed sandwiched between Oatmeal raisin cookies and Chocolate Mint sandwiched between chocolate chip cookies.  Whether you make your ice cream from scratch or benefit from wide variety of flavors out there, this can be a big hit a your dinner party.

  • Imagine a dark chocolate cookie with coffee ice cream in between.
  • Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie filled with vanilla.  Roll sandwich on side and sprinkle oreo cookie crumbs, chocolate chips or sprinkles.
  • Macaron with Green tea Ice Cream
  • Ginger or Molasses Cookies with Egg Nog Ice Cream or a Custard

Imagine the possibilities.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Los Angeles Restaurants: Enjoy National Dessert Day on Oct 14, 2015

Check out places in LA to satisfy your sweet tooth!

BierBiesl Imbiss

Sachertorte $5

One of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties, the cake consists of a dense chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot jam, coated in dark chocolate icing

Chocolate brownies

 

Esterhazy $6.50

A spiced buttercream, sandwiched between four to five layers of almond meringue dough. The torte is iced with a fondant glaze and decorated with a characteristic chocolate striped pattern

napolean cake

 

Messhall Kitchen

Banana Cream Jar Pie $9

Banana Cream Pie Dessert

Banana Cream Pie DessertVanilla wafer, whipped cream, toasted almond & Banana brûlée

Vanilla wafer, whipped cream, toasted almond & Banana brûlée 

Ocean Prime

Ten Layer Carrot Cake $12

carrot cake

Ten Layer Carrot Mexico

Cream Cheese Icing and Pineapple Syrup

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie $11

Peanut Butter Mousse, Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

Baked Alaska $12

primed baked alaska

Primed Baked Alaska

Pound cake with Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry Ice Cream, Toasted Meringue & Fresh Raspberries 

Carbon Beach Restaurant

Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie $19

The Deep Dish Chocolate Chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate sauce is a Carbon Beach Club favorite. 

 

Dessert Table Ideas

Photo by Crystal Johnson

Photo by Crystal Johnson

Petite treats are a great way to go for a dessert table. Your guest will not feel like they gained five pounds just looking at the food.  If you find a bakery that does mini-donuts it will be a fun touch.  I especially like this concert for a brunch feel because of the donuts.  Wild flowers on the table help to provide a rustic feel but different types of flowers, table clothes and even the color of plates can change the feel of your dessert table dramatically.

by Crystal A. Johnson, Editor

Photo by Veronica Hererra for MCCN

Photo by Veronica Hererra for MCCN

Review of Ciao Bella Sorbet and Gelatos

Just took my first taste and definitely not my last of the Mango Sorbet made by Ciao Bella.  I decided to treat a friend to Gelato and she picked Mango.  I was hoping she would pick their offering of Pear Hibiscus.  They have other flavors such as Caramel Chocolate,Blood Orange, Fig Honey Toasted Almond(Seasonal)images, Sicilian Pistachio.  No need for your mouth to water too long.  It is available in common supermarkets such as Ralphs, Albertons and Gelsons in Los Angeles and Mariano’s in Chicago.

Visit their website:

https://ciaobellagelato.com/

Key Lime Pie Recipe by Chef Jay Jones

Tart, sweet and OH so good. Make sure you let it sit in the fridge at least 2 hours to set up. Overnight if you can wait that long.

Ingredients
1 9″pie crust
1 package unflavored gelatin
1 cup Sugar
½ cup fresh key lime juice
¼ cup water
4 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
2 drops green food color
1 cup heavy cream

Equipment
9” pie pan
Stand Mixer
2 Large Bowls
Large Sauce Pot

Preheating 450°F

Preparation
Bake crust until brown then set aside to cool
Heat pot
Slowly add gelatin, sugar, lime juice, water and egg yolks
Reduce heat to medium
Cook for 6 minutes stirring constantly until mixture slightly thick
Remove from heat
Add food color and lime zest
Transfer mixture to large bowl
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour
In mixing bowl with whip attachment add egg whites
Whip until soft peaks form
Scrape down sides of bowl
Continue to beat until stiff peaks form
Add heavy cream to large bowl
Whip until stiff peaks form
Fold egg whites, cream and cooled lime mixture together
Add to pie shell
Put in refrigerator for 2 hours
Garnish with slices of lime

For Service
Slice and enjoy

MCCN visits Dessert Fantasies in Baltimore

While on a trip to my old college town of Baltimore  which has as changed  in 20 years, my friend took me to Dessert Fantasies owned by Tosha.  You can’t miss this striking row house with the bright .pink wall accent  wall.   Once inside I caught a glimpse of  a photo locall news anchor Karen Parks on the wall. Tosha admitted that Karen has patronized several times.  I got a chance to interview her about her humble beginnings and current success.

imageMCCN(CRYSTAL):   What made you decide to open a cupcake business?

Tosha: I was baking at home I was not intending this as a business but it happened and I grew out of my space. I waned to expand my clientele so I decided to look for a shop.

MCCN(CRYSTAL): what were you doing previously vocationally?

Tosha:  I’ve worked for Macy’s in merchandising.

MCCN(CRYSTAL):  your favorites what is your signature?

Tosha:  The salted caramel cupcake.

MCCN(CRYSTAL): salted caramel is that the one you started at home?

Tosha:  Actually no, I didn’t even make cupcakes.  thanks I did not like cupcakes at all.  I started to grow and customers started to ask for smaller cakes to their take orders everything was customized.  anything special to you at the time I do not have specialty flavors until I actually open the shop.

MCCN(CRYSTAL): How was the transition from cake to cupcake? I feel like I can taste the difference in cakes and cupcakes.

Tosha:  Actually wasn’t much of a difference for me .  I use the same recipe for my cakes for the cupcakes.  it was a bit of a challenge when I started making cupcakes I started trying different flavors just to sample them out to see if I even like them at all as a cupcake versus a cake.

MCCN(CRYSTAL):  If some was to narrow it down to try three of your cupcakes, I know it is hard to choose but what should they try?

Tosha:  I would say chocolate, salted caramel, and strawberry cheesecake.

MCCN(CRYSTAL): Thank you
for taking the time to do this unexpected interview.

Website: dessertfantasies.com

Location:  1433 E. Fort Ave Baltimore MD 21230

Dessert Fantasies on Urbanspoon