orange mocha mousse

Orange Mocha Mousse

Brint: You know what would help you sort through these important issues? 

Derek: What?

Ridiculously Good-Looking Male Models, in unison: ORANGE MOCHA FRAPPUCINO!!!

– quote from Zoolander, one of my favorite movies

Ok, so this isn’t a frappucino, because who needs the brain freeze in this weather? But, maybe Derek, Brint, and the rest of the ridicously good-looking male models were on to something. If you’re pondering a big decision or are conflicted about something, don’t you think having an orange mocha treat would help you think more clearly?  Well, I think this Orange Mocha Mousse definitely would.  Not only because of the yummy combination of flavors, but did I tell you there’s also booze in here?  Well, just a couple of tablespoons of orange liqueur, but  you’re making it, so nobody will know if your hand slips while pouring the booze in and you “accidentally” put more in than the recipe calls for.

Anyway….on to the ridiculously delicious-tasting mousse!

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caffè shakerato

Caffè Shakerato

When I was a little girl, I would lurk around the breakfast table in the mornings, pestering my parents or my aunt to let me dunk my pan de sal (Filipino rolls) in their coffee. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to drink it, which made me want it even more. However, once in a while, my mom would nod her head and allow me to dip my bread in one of the cups and watch it soak up the coffee like a sponge. I would quickly put the soggy bread in my mouth so the coffee wouldn’t drip down my arm and all over the table. I particularly coveted my aunt’s coffee, which was a couple shades lighter in color than my dad’s, as she preferred her coffee with a generous amount of milk (and sugar, for that matter).

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vietnamese coffee ice cream in a cardamom, almond, and orange tuile

Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream

I guess I picked the wrong week to give up ice cream (see my last post).  My intentions were good, having recently acquired chef and cookbook author, David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, I told myself I would explore the somewhat lighter offerings from his granitas and sorbets sections. Blood Orange Granita…Champagne-Cassis Granita…Nectarine Granita…Tangerine Sorbet…Cherry Sorbet.  So many choices!  I settled on Pink Grapefruit Granita (again, see my last post).  It was light, zingy and refreshing.  I loved it and felt very satisfied with myself for avoiding most of the fat and some of the calories of full blown ice cream.  I was off to a good start.

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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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PSL

 It’s baaaaaack!

Thank you, Starbucks!  PSL, barista-speak for the Pumpkin Spice Latte, is my favorite espresso drink at Starbucks.  However, it is a seasonal drink, available only from late August to January.  The reemergence of PSL signals the arrival of the fall season.  Forget that we are still experiencing beautiful beach weather here in Southern California and that my tomatoes are producing like it’s the middle of August.  When Starbucks says it’s fall, it’s fall, darn it!

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