Tag Archives: dessert

Blueberry Cobbler

Forbidden Rice Blog | Blueberry Cobbler (2 of 6)

Just like that, here we are, almost to the middle of February and it’s a whole new year since the last actual recipe I posted on this food blog. Though this space hasn’t been entirely vacant, and certainly I’ve been cooking frequently, my apologies for the lack of shared recipes.

After being “away” for so long, I wondered if I needed to explain myself. But… I don’t feel the need. There aren’t good excuses. Life is busy. There never seems to be enough hours to get everything I both need and want to get done in a day. Let’s be honest. I spend the majority of every day doing a multitude of tedious things that have to get done (though I try to make at least an hour to get outside — the puppy needs a good walk/play/run, after all). By the end of the day (which is usually somewhere between 11PM and 2AM for my nocturnal brain), I finally have time to myself and generally trying to think of words to describe a recipe in any detail sounds less than enjoyable.

That said, here we are. Blueberry cobbler. There are cobblers and then… there are COBBLERS. I’ve rarely heard of people agreeing on what exactly constitutes an authentic fruit “cobbler.” Bottomless-pie-pastry-crust-top? Thick, wet, cake batter smoothed over fruit then baked? Biscuit batter dropped haphazard and beautifully onto some fruit filling? I don’t know. Maybe YOU wouldn’t even call this cobbler. You can call it whatever you want, really, it’s still tasty!

Blueberry Cobbler


For the biscuit topping:
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter
2/3 cup cold buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg

For the filling:
2 pounds fresh blueberries, stems removed
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Additional ingredients:
fresh nutmeg
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons coarse sugar
zest from one lemon
2 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9″x13″ baking dish.

Prepare the biscuit topping: in a large bowl, combine the two cups of flour, 4 teaspoons baking powder, sugar, salt. Mix well. Cut the butter into your dry ingredients, until you form pea-sized crumbs.

Whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla and egg. Add this mixture to the butter/flour mixture, gently kneading until a soft ball of dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll until you form a rectangle approximately half an inch thick. Fold the bottom edge of the dough upwards, over the middle. Next for the top edge over the side you’ve just brought to the middle. (Basically creating 3 layers!) Roll this out until it’s a half inch thick again.

Use a knife or rectangular biscuit cutter to cut the dough into 12-15 pieces. Set on a baking sheet and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Prepare the blueberry filling: stir together the cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture over the blueberries and toss to evenly coat. Pour the blueberries into your buttered baking dish.

Prepare the cobbler:  place the biscuits on top of the blueberries, spacing them about one-inch apart from one another.

In a small dish, stir together the 1/4-cup buttermilk and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Brush over the top of each biscuit. Sprinkle the coarse sugar, lemon zest and a light pinch of fresh nutmeg.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the biscuits are lightly browned. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream if you’d like!

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (8 of 8)

Summer seems to be flying by. I could’ve sworn it was June just yesterday, that the kids were about to get out of school, not start back up again… Vincent’s going into his senior year of high school and Silas into his last year of elementary school. I’m not sure how that happened so quickly.

Regardless, summer produce is still in full swing (thank goodness!). Strawberries luckily make two robust appearances around here — late spring/early summer and then again in the late summer. (I prefer the latter, as the berries always seem a deeper red, sweeter and more delicious!) A good old-fashioned strawberry ice cream celebrates both the loveliness of summer and the wonderful abundance of these beautiful berries. While this recipe does require an ice cream maker, and just a little while to throw together between the chilling and churning, the strawberry ice cream that results is absolutely creamy and delightful (and totally worth your efforts)!

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (4 of 8)

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Makes a little more than a quart of ice cream.

4 egg yolks
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons half and half
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 pints fresh strawberries, hulled
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (7 of 8)


In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks.

Put the half and half plus half of the sugar in a medium sized pot. Heat over medium heat, being sure the mixture doesn’t boil, occasionally stirring until the sugar dissolves, (5 or so minutes). Set a fine-meshed sieve over a large heatproof bowl.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (1 of 8)

Once the half and half mixture is hot, whisk a little of it into the egg yolks to temper them. Whisk all of the warm egg yolks into the hot half and half. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula as you heat the mixture over medium heat (keep scraping the bottom and stirring until the mixture thickens and you can coat the back of a spoon). Again, make sure the mixture doesn’t come to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour through the mesh sieve over a large heatproof bowl. Add the heavy cream to the mixture and stir to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or until thoroughly chilled).

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (2 of 8)

Place the strawberries in a large bowl and mash them a bit with a potato masher. Add the remaining sugar. Let the strawberries macerate in their own juices, stirring occasionally until the sugar has disintegrated, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the berries to the chilled cream mixture. Add the vanilla and salt. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (but up to 2 days in advance).

Freeze the custard according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (3 of 8)

Forbidden Rice Blog | Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream (6 of 8)

White Chocolate Mousse

Forbidden Rice Blog | White Chocolate Mousse

Mousse can easily seem intimidating. There’s often the precision of whipping up egg whites into meringue, the whipping of cream, and the delicate folding together of these ingredients, ensuring a light, airy dessert. You can go haphazard. There may be denseness, overly thick pudding-like mousse.

You’d think that a recipe with so few ingredients would be less likely to come across as daunting… However, intimidating or not, I’m hard-headed. And my cooking philosophy still applies daily: don’t be afraid of making mistakes.

When I decided to make the following white chocolate mousse, it was mainly for my mother-in-law, whose favorite “chocolate” is white “chocolate.” I found a recipe that seemed approachable and dove in. This mousse doesn’t include a meringue, but the whipped cream still creates a light dessert. This mousse is incredibly rich and decadent. It’s not overly difficult and easily comes across as impressive. A win-win situation, especially when adding in the fact that it tastes good!

White Chocolate Mousse

White Chocolate Mousse

Serves 8 or so.


4 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
fresh raspberries
fresh mint leaves


Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, until they’re thick lightly yellow in color. Gradually beat in the sugar.

Heat 1 cup of whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat, just until hot. Temper the eggs by gradually stirring at least half of the cream into egg yolk mixture, then stir this mixture back into hot cream that remains in the saucepan. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (do not allow it to boil). Stir in the white chocolate until completely melted. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, just until chilled.

Beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream on high speed until stiff peaks can form. Fold the completely cooled, refrigerated white chocolate mixture into the whipped cream, being sure not to . Spoon mixture into parfait (of your preferred) glasses.

If you want, beat together 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until stiff peaks form. Garnish the top of each mousse cup with a dollop of the fresh vanilla whipped cream, a raspberry and mint leaf. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to be eaten.

White Chocolate Mousse

Rich Frosted Chocolate Sheet Cake

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Every year as my husband’s birthday approaches, I start to think about what his celebratory dinner and cake will consist of. By “approaches” I mean my crazy-brain begins thinking around early October, for his late November birthday. Usually I wait until the second week of November or so, before the craziness of Thanksgiving begins to creep in (which happens to typically fall within the same weekend of Craig’s birthday), to ask him what he’d like.

Often the request isn’t too crazy. Likely something involving dark chocolate, possibly peanut butter, and most always a “warm chocolatey sauce” to be served with the cake. As someone who isn’t a huge dessert fiend, sometimes the amount of chocolate involved can begin to feel a little overwhelming. But I guess birthday cakes are made to be an overindulgent once-a-year debacle.

This year’s request was the simplest yet. “A plain chocolate cake with hot fudge sauce. Please.” We discussed options — a layer cake? Some other flavored filling in a layered cake? A one-pan sheet cake thing? “Yes! A sheet cake! I don’t like a layered cake anyway because there’s always too much frosting…” This chocolate sheet cake is fluffy, moist, not overwhelmingly sweet (the frosting adds a nice balance of sweetness to the not overly sweet cake). The frosting on the top of the cake slightly hardens as it cools, making this cake a breeze to cut when serving. It isn’t overly thick or overwhelming.


Rich Frosted Chocolate Sheet Cake

Makes one 9×13-inch cake

For the cake
1 cup water
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, then lightly dust with flour, dumping out any excess.

In a large pot, combine the water and butter, cooking over medium-high heat until the butter completely melts. Stir in the half-cup of unsweetened cocoa powder. Continue stirring until completely combined and the cocoa powder has dissolved. Stir in the flour, sugar, and salt into the butter mixture and bring up to boiling for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, and baking soda. Stir this mixture into the chocolate/flour mixture until everything is well combined. Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, or with just minimal crumbs on it.

In the last 15 minutes while the cake is baking, prepare the frosting. Combine the 1/4-cup of butter, milk, cocoa powder and powdered sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring up to just under boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

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Once the cake has finished baking, let the whole pan sit on a wire cooling rack for about 5 minutes, then pour the chocolate frosting mixture over the still-warm cake. Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes. If you want to sprinkle the mini chocolate chips on top for added decoration/texture/CHOCOLATE! you can do so. Serve while warm or at room temperature.

Keep the cake covered for up to 3 days, although for best quality eat the day it’s made.

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Joy the Baker’s Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping

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As a kid, growing up in Hawaii, my thoughts on good pies often had to do with lilikoi or guava, perhaps coconut cream pies. My mom occasionally bought store-made apple or cherry pies. Pumpkin pie didn’t even hold any form of existence to me until well into my teens. Even when it did, it was the kind of pie that only made an periodic appearance — this time of year, really — holiday season.

I distinctly remember preferring pumpkin pie cold (and I still prefer it this way). More so, I remember the can of Redi-Whip or the homemade whipped cream my mom would sometimes indulge us in… and how when I was done topping my pie, there was no visible sign of pie, just whipped cream. When I first saw this recipe, my initial thought was: you don’t need whipped cream! Wait… You. Don’t. Need. Whipped. Cream.

That horror wears off quick, I promise. Especially when you realize you’re essentially getting pecan pie AND pumpkin pie, in ONE PIE. This pie is rich and decadent, certainly made for the holiday season, but equally delicious throughout the year!

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Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping

Makes one 9-inch pie


For the buttermilk pie crust:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold buttermilk

For the filling:
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the topping:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup very coarsely chopped pecans

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Make the Buttermilk Pie Crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and, using your fingers or a pastry cutter, quickly work the butter into the flour mixture until some butter pieces are the size of oat flakes and some are the size of peas.

Make a well in the mixture, pour in the buttermilk, and using a fork, stir until dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. It will be moist, somewhat shaggy… Gently knead it into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To roll out the pie crust, on a well-floured counter, roll the crust until it is 1/8 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. Occasionally move the crust around the floured counter during rolling to ensure that it’s not sticking to the counter. Transfer it to a pie dish and trim the edges. Fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 3 hours.

Make the filling: Combine the pumpkin puree, brown and granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cardamom, and salt in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture begins to bubble and become fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the heavy cream. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.

Transfer the filling to the prepared pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the pie no longer jiggles in the center, 40 to 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the pecan topping: In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine brown sugar, butter, cream, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and pecans.

Let the pie cool for 30 minutes before topping. The pie will settle and deflate slightly. This is entirely okay!

Check to see that the praline topping is still pourable. If it has hardened too much, heat it over low heat until just pourable, or microwave for 30 seconds. Pour the topping evenly over the pie. The topping may seem loose, but will thicken and harden as it cools.

Let cool completely before serving. At this point, if you prefer your pie cold, you can refrigerate it until serving time.

The pie will last, well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

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