Profiteroles with Coffee Ice Cream

15 Apr


I saw this recipe on’s Facebook page last week and knew that I had to give it a try. There are some recipes that I wonder if I can pull off – this being one of them. Anything with a piping bag seems like a pain in my neck but surprisingly this was pretty simple. And, the rewards are big. You need a big crowd for this recipe. At least a hungry party of 6 to 8. The extra are now hidden in the freezer from me.

Nothing beats good coffee ice cream, except good coffee ice cream in a profiterole with chocolate sauce.

Profiteroles with Coffee Ice Cream, Gourmet Magazine 2008

For profiteroles:

  • 1 quart coffee ice cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs

For chocolate sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 7 ounce fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Cognac or brandy (optional)


  • Equipment: a small (about 1 1/2-inch) ice cream scoop; a large pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch plain tip

Make profiteroles:
Chill a small metal baking pan in freezer. Form 18 ice cream balls with scoop and freeze in chilled pan at least 1 hour (this will make serving faster).

Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in middle. Butter a large baking sheet.

Bring butter, water, and salt to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until butter is melted. Reduce heat to medium, then add flour all at once and cook, beating with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from side of pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cool slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well with an electric mixer after each addition.

Transfer warm mixture to pastry bag and pipe 18 mounds (about 1 1/4 inches wide and 1 inch high) 1 inch apart on baking sheet.

Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes total. Prick each profiterole once with a skewer, then return to oven to dry, propping oven door slightly ajar, 3 minutes. Cool on sheet on a rack.

Make chocolate sauce:
Heat sugar in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and cook, swirling pan occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is dark amber.

Remove from heat, then add cream and a pinch of salt (mixture will bubble and steam). Return to heat and cook, stirring, until caramel has dissolved.

Remove from heat and add chocolate, whisking until melted, then whisk in vanilla and Cognac (if using). Keep warm, covered.

Serve profiteroles:
Halve profiteroles horizontally, then fill each with a ball of ice cream. Put 3 profiteroles on each plate and drizzle generously with warm chocolate sauce.


Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cakes

10 Apr


No one will ever complain – or turn down – a mini cake. Especially one that is covered in chocolate ganache. Like all Ina recipes, this is over the top and delicious. I couldn’t resist making this recipe and was lucky enough to have folks to gift them to throughout the weekend. And for ladies who don’t love dessert, we each had TWO at Sunday Supper. These are perfect for holidays and special treats for friends and neighbors.

Ina’s Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cakes

1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/8 cup grated orange zest (2 large oranges)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 ounces buttermilk at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup good semisweet chocolate chunks

For the syrup:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

For the ganache:
4 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 6 individual serving baking molds (approximately 1 to 1½ cups), such as flexible non-stick 100% silicone molds.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the orange zest.
Sift together 1-1/2 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks with 1 tablespoon flour and add to the batter. Fill each mold with batter, smooth the top, and bake for 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the molds on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cakes from the molds, set on a rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of the cakes.

Spring Mustard and Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops with Goat Cheese Polenta and Port Raspberry Sauce

9 Apr



This recipe is PERFECT for a Spring dinner party, Easter or Passover celebration. It is shockingly good. My own mother said it was one of the best meals she’s ever had. And, she can cook! The combination of nutty pistachios, sweet raspberry sauce, delicate lamb and tangy goat cheese. You’ll say OMG the entire time you enjoy it. I promise.
This comes together very quickly. I wouldn’t serve it for a large crowd because the lamb requires attention to temperature but it’s the perfect meal for a small intimate gathering. Enjoy!
Spring Mustard and Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops with Goat Cheese Polenta and Port Raspberry Sauce
For the raspberry port sauce
  • 1 cup Port wine
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the goat cheese polenta
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
For the lamb chops
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted pistachios, shelled
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon dijion mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 rack of lamb, Frenched (about 1 pound)
  • Salt and Pepper
For the sauce

In a sauce pot over high heat, combine port, raspberries, vinegar, sea salt, and pepper; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by 3/4 and is thick enough to coat a spoon. Cover and set aside until needed.

For the polenta

In a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, bring water to a boil. Once boiling slowly pour in the cornmeal while whisking. Reduce heat to medium and continually whisk for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and add olive oil and goat cheese; stir. Taste and add any additional salt if necessary. Cover, reduce heat to the lowest setting, and set aside until needed.

For the lamb chops
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a food processor, pulse the pistachios, mustard, garlic, and rosemary until finely chopped. You can also do this by hand with a knife. Poor pistachio mixture onto a plate.
Season each lamb with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sear in a large cast iron skillet until brown on both sides. Smear the pistachio mixture on top of the rack. Put into the oven until the meat registers 130 degrees (rare). This will take less than 10 minutes. Watch it carefully!

Spring Menu with Mom!

7 Apr


This weekend, my Mom and her best friend Debbie came to visit Greensboro. They lucked out again with a beautiful weekend to spend digging in my yard. I’m always grateful for their time and energy. Not only do they seasonally spruce up my garden – they also bring laughter, great food and wine to Mendenhall. We had three great meals this weekend. But as a thank you to them, I prepared this fancy Sunday supper for them to celebrate Springtime on Mendenhall. I’ll post the recipes this week.

Spring Menu with Mom(s)!

  • Spring Mustard and Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops with Goat Cheese Polenta and Port Raspberry Sauce
  • Roasted Spring Carrots and Asparagus
  • Ina’s Mini Orange Chocolate Chunk Cakes



Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

2 Apr



Looking for an easy new side dish? This recipe is shockingly delicious. Just a couple ingredients and it pairs well with just about any protein or other roasted veggies. I served this with steaks for Sunday supper (see below)  this weekend as a substitute for potatoes. It was a huge hit.

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
Preheat oven to 425°. Cut 1 head cauliflower into florets; toss on a large rimmed baking sheet with 1 sliced medium onion, 4 thyme sprigs, 4 unpeeled garlic cloves, and 3 tablespoons olive oil; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until almost tender, 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, toss to combine, and roast until cauliflower is tender, 10-12 minutes longer.


Brown Butter Yeasted Waffles

31 Mar



Happy almost April! I’m so excited to have a week of sunshine and warm weather. I’m investing in grass seed, baseball tickets and long walks with Winston through the neighborhood. I hope you are as excited as I am to get outside and enjoy the change in season.

Last week, I missed National Waffle Day but got some inspiration for a Sunday morning waffle breakfast with strawberries, turkey bacon and espresso. These waffles are super rich and buttery. I enjoyed mine with pure Alaskan Birch Syrup! Open the windows this weekend and enjoy waffle making. Your neighbors will smell the brown butter all the way down the street.

Yeasted Brown-Butter Waffles

  •  3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  •  2 cups warm whole milk
  •  1/2 cup buttermilk
  •  2 tablespoons sugar
  •  1 1/4-ounce envelope active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoon)
  •  1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 large eggs
  •  1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  •  Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  •  Pure maple syrup (for serving)

Melt 3/4 cup butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns (do not burn), 5–8 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl; let cool.

Whisk milk, buttermilk, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in flour and brown butter; cover with plastic wrap and let batter sit at room temperature at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.

Heat waffle iron until very hot. Whisk eggs and baking soda into batter. Coat waffle iron with nonstick spray and pour batter onto waffle iron, spreading it to cover surface (amount of batter needed will vary according to machine). Cook waffles until golden brown and cooked through.

Serve immediately with maple syrup.

Super Chocolate Pots de Creme

24 Mar



This is weekend was full of so much fun. My first gig, running the Guilford Green Foundation, had their annual gala. And, they did it like never before. My friends, Nick and Melissa, really went overboard. Two evenings of delicious food, drinks and glamour. Going to their event each year feels like returning home. The GGF family was my first Greensboro family and I can’t thank them enough for their support throughout the years. It’s the least I can do to return each year for a fabulous party.

But between two wild nights, I experimented with the most delicious recipe below. It is surprisingly easy and so exceptionally decedent. I added extra chocolate and it is so rich you can basically eat only one spoonful. I surprised my friends last night with a cooler full of these treats after a casual Chinese dinner out. No one complained.

Chocolate Pots de Creme
2 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup whole milk

5 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped

6 large egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Bring cream and milk just to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk yolks and sugar in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot chocolate mixture. Strain mixture into another bowl. Cool 10 minutes, skimming any foam from surface.

Divide custard mixture among six 3/4-cup custard cups or soufflé dishes. Cover each with foil. Place cups in large baking pan. Add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake until custards are set but centers still move slightly when gently shaken, about 55 minutes. Remove from water. Remove foil. Chill custards until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)

Garlic and Rosemary Pork Roast

20 Mar


Today was beautiful. Yet, they are calling for snow on Tuesday. I can’t handle it. But, I’m surviving on freezer “iron chef” meals on these terrible weather days. I recommend stocking up on a couple roasts for the freezer to save for rainy days. This is the perfect recipe for a day when you don’t want to get dressed or leave the house. You will have to venture through the neighborhood for a rosemary plant. You won’t regret it and the pork is perfect for sandwiches (hello, Cuban sandwiches) the next day.

Garlic & Rosemary Pork Roast 

  • 4 pound pork loin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 475°F.
In a bowl, stir to combine garlic, rosemary, olive oil, salt, lemon zest, and pepper.
Evenly spread the mixture over the pork loin and place in a large baking dish or roasting pan.
Place it in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 425°F and continue to roast for 1 hour until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 155°F.
Allow to rest on a carving board for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Pear Walnut Coffee Cake

16 Mar



This is weekend left just enough time to breathe and catch up on life. After a relaxing night at hone with the dog on Friday night, I woke up in time for some baking while the sun came through the windows. I’ve been tempted by the idea of baked goods with whole pears for quite some time. This cake is nutty and sweet and has great pear surprises. It looks impressive enough to serve to weekend guests tpor to surprise coworkers at the office.

I hope you had as restful of a weekend as I did. Happy early St. Patricks Day – I’m thinking about some bangers and mash tomorrow night!

Pear Walnut Coffee Cake from Oh Sweet Day

  • 1 cup walnut, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 to 4 small to medium sized pears, peeled

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
Add 3/4 cup chopped walnut, flour, baking powder, salt in a food processor. Blend the mixture until smooth. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until well combined and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time until blended, followed by vanilla extract.

Add in flour mixture. Beat until well combined.
Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Gently push the pears in the batter to the bottom.

Mix the remaining 1/4 cup walnut with a teaspoon of sugar and sprinkle over the top of the cake. Bake the cake for 60 to 70 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before serving.

Double Dumpling Recipe

13 Mar


About a month ago, my friend and coworker Dabney, hosted an interactive dumpling class at The Greensboro Children’s Museum Edible Schoolyard. It was really fun and laid back. And it also reminded me how much fun making dumplings can be with friends and plenty of wine.

Here are two easy recipes for dumplings.

Make a night out of it! And don’t blame me for the mayhem.

Pork & Cabbage

  • 2 pounds ground pork, minced in a food processor
  • ½ small head Napa cabbage, cut into chunks
  • 1 large head garlic, separated and peeled, minced in a food processor 
  • 1 4” piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks the size of the garlic cloves, minced in a food processor 
  • 4-6 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2-4 Tbsp sesame oil

Mushroom & Tofu

  • 3 cups cabbage, shredded on large holes of box grater
  • 8 ounces tofu (any firmness), crumbled
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

For the dumplings, buy at least one package of dumpling wrappers per recipe.

Both recipes are simple. Using your hands, combine ingredients until well-mixed.Place filling in wrapper and pinch to form an octagonal dumpling or press in a dumpling maker. Pan fry over medium heat with a dash of oil or just steam to serve.


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