Tag Archives: healthy desserts

Cherry Clafoutis:
Classically French, Elegantly Easy

I remember the first time I had clafoutis (KLA-foo-tee). I must have been around thirteen, and the bakery where I worked had just received a shipment of plump, deep, burgundy cherries from the Okanagan, in British Columbia. My mentor Pascal immediately exclaimed that I simply had to try clafoutis, so he got to work whipping […]

Creamy Coconut-Key Lime Pie (Grain and Sugar Free):
A Slice of Summer

Even though the bright beauty and flavor of citrus brightens up the bleakest months of winter, when citrus is at its peak, I’ve always felt that these lively, juicy fruits are much better-suited as a welcome respite from the heat of the summer months. Lemons are a constant in our house, with their neutral flavor […]

Luscious Lemon Curd Cheesecake

I’ve written many times about my years as a pastry chef, my first dip into the professional culinary world, and how those years molded the chef I am today. This was an incredibly formative time, provoking in me a profound love of food in general, and allowing me an ideal outlet to feed both my […]

Lemon Egg Yolk Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Drizzle:
A Sweet Treat to Celebrate Spring

It’s my birthday today; and it’s a big one. Or at least that’s what everyone seems to be telling me…. Me? I’m kind of feeling somewhat neutral about it all. Not that I’m uninterested in celebrating the occasion, but I don’t really feel an urge to commemorate this one in any sort of over-the-top and […]

Chocolate Sea Salt Nut Squares or Clusters

Ask Chef Phyllis: It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and although this is supposed to be a holiday for sweethearts, I always celebrate it with the children and some lady friends too. I send little heart candies and homemade chocolates or treats with a cute little Valentine’s card. I know when I get something like this, I […]

Zabaglione Custard for Two: An Italian Classic Gets an Inositol Makeover

Even though I’ve never been a staunch Valentine’s Day enthusiast—believing instead in exhibiting my adoration for those I care for every day of the year—I have still always relished sharing the love with others by preparing the most heavenly little desserts for two, going all the way back to my days as a pastry chef. […]

Celebration Torta di Ricotta with Warm Browned-Butter Caramel Apples

An original take on a traditional Italian cheesecake. I’ve always been a fan of cheesecake—at least, the more familiar American-style, made with cream cheese and a graham cracker crust. The richness, the dense texture, the combination of tart and sweet… I’m really not sure what took me so long to get with the program, but […]

Perfect Pumpkin Pie: A Healthier Version of a Thanksgiving Classic

I’ve been writing this blog for years now, and it recently dawned on me that I’ve never shared my recipe for one of the most quintessential dishes of Thanksgiving: pumpkin pie.  Maybe I wanted to be unique and opt for more exotic desserts (Chocolate, Pumpkin, and Peanut Butter Cheesecake, I’m looking at you). Or maybe […]

Creamy Spiced Brown Rice Pudding: A Warming Autumnal Treat

Rice pudding will always hold a special place in my heart. I loved to prepare it as a child. I’d always ask my mum to make extra basmati rice for dinner just so I could make dessert with the leftovers. The creamy, custard-like texture, the aroma of the spices and vanilla, and the chew of […]

Flourless Chocolate Cake: A Sinfully Simple Chocoholic’s Dream

Over the summer, I spent some time up in Canada visiting my family, an annual tradition of relaxing beach days, big, boisterous family affairs, and long hikes through the forests and along the coastlines. This year, we also had the fortune to visit just in time for my stepfather’s sixty-first birthday—an occasion that, obviously, needs a cake of some sort, and that I, of course, volunteered/was ordained to oversee.  My […]

Fruit Galette: Pie’s Free-form (and Much Less Fussy) Cousin

I’ve always been a pie person, ever since I was a kid. In fact, when I was growing up, much of my family preferred pie over cake, and it was not uncommon to have “birthday pie” in honor of someone’s special day. I always ate mine with milk poured over it, an unusual custom I […]

Chocolate Chiffon Cake with French Buttercream: A Foundational Recipe for Every Cook’s Repertoire

Nothing quite beats a chocolate cake, especially when that cake is rich, moist, and full of deep chocolate flavor. Yum. I don’t frequently eat cake, or sweets in general for that matter, so when I do indulge, I want it to be outstanding. I want it to be worth it. Unfortunately, too often I’m met […]

Paris-Brest with Fresh Berries and Crème Suisse: A Classic French Dessert Just in time for Mother’s Day

I was eleven when I began training under a French pastry chef named Pascal. He graciously took me under his wing because he recognized my passion for food and art and my eagerness to learn and create. Every Saturday morning, I absorbed Pascal’s vast knowledge in the art of patisserie, preparing fruit tartelettes, croissants, napoleons, […]

Creamy Lemon Cheesecake with Fresh Berries: Sugar and Gluten Free!

In my former life as a pastry chef at the bakery where I honed my craft, Easter weekend was one of our busiest times of the year. We carefully mapped out our prep work for the week to maximize production and minimize a nervous breakdown come Good Friday. We started our “day” around midnight, pumping […]

Strawberry-Peach Custard Tart: Sugar-Free but Oh-So-Sweet

It’s been years since I made a commitment to take back my health and alight from the sugar train. I’ll be honest: eliminating all added sweeteners from my diet has never been the easy for me, and it still isn’t to this day. But the enormous benefits I’ve reaped as a result have made it […]

Berry and Vanilla Cream Trifle

I grew up with a very British grandmother who felt no meal was ever complete without something sweet at the end (I assume this view was likely from both generational and regional influences). To her, dessert could be as simple as sliced fruit or as decadent as a dense chocolate mousse. But I always remember […]