chocolate chip, coffee, and walnut muffins

Most mornings, I don’t have time to eat breakfast at home, so I like to grab something convenient I can take to work. Once I get to my office, I usually buy a mocha to go with whatever pastry or muffin I brought from home. So, with my rushed morning routine, I’m always looking for quick, portable, yet delicious breakfast item, and these muffins fit the bill perfectly. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and what better way to start the day than with chocolate and coffee! Continue reading

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tres leches cake


Tres Leches Cake, is aptly named for the three types of milk – evaporated, condensed, and whole milk or cream (or in this recipe, half-and-half) - that are poured over a cake to create this very indulgent dessert.  There is some debate to its origins.  Recipes for this cake can be found in Mexican, Cuban, Nicaraguan, Costa Rican, and Puerto Rican cuisines.   Nowadays, this dessert is not only popular in Latin and Central America, but is gaining popularity in the United States as well. Continue reading

microwave mocha “cup” cake

After resisting for so long, I’ve finally succumbed to making  microwave “cup” cakes after watching Iron Chef Michael Symon prepare them on his new Cooking Channel show, Symon’s Suppers.  Over the years, I’ve seen various recipes from food bloggers, many of them with mixed reviews.  The chief complaint I’ve read about microwaved cup cakes is that they can be too dense and dry.  Well not these!  They turned out surprisingly well, considering it only took about 5 minutes and minimal effort on my part.   To top it off, clean up was easy with only one bowl to wash. Continue reading

baked banana wontons


I bought a small jar of  Babbi hazelnut cream  on sale at a gourmet Italian grocery store a couple of weeks ago and I finally got a chance to use it. It is a spread, like Nutella, except that it does not contain any cocoa.  I used a small bit of it to make these banana wontons.  They’re super easy to make and no “recipe” is needed.  Let your creativity flow and make your own filling.  You may substitute Nutella, chocolate, peanut butter for the hazelnut cream or give the combination of cream cheese and strawberry preserves a try.  Better yet, how about pairing mascarpone and roasted figs with a drizzle of orange honey? Oh, the possibilities…..
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molten espresso cake with kahlua buttercream


It always amazes me how four ingredients – butter, eggs, sugar, and chocolate could be combined to make a wonderful dessert. This deliciously soft and “oozey” chocolate molten cake was invented by celebrity chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The story is that he pulled a tray of individual cakes from the oven before they were completely baked through. As he cut through one, the warm, liquid chocolate center oozed out instead of the dense cake he expected, and just like that, a classic dessert was born. Every restaurant in America now has their own version of this ubiquitous cake, but I am a loyal fan of the original version for not only for its simplicity, but also for its intense chocolate flavor. I am also an ardent admirer of Jean-Georges.

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