Cakes, Pies & Tarts

Caramelized Peach Chess Pie

Whole Caramelized Peach Chess Pie - The Duo Dishes

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Oh, how I love pie. I think I like it more than cake. That’s a toss up when it comes to someone like me who admittedly has a penchant for sweets. I really do try to balance an adoration for sugar with fruits, vegetables and grains, which makes every dessert indulgence worth the rush. In late June, I made a couple of pies for my grandmother, and my crust recipe yielded three balls of dough, not just two. With an extra homemade crust in the freezer, I decided to make a pie for July 4th weekend. It’s summer, and a fruit pie is always welcome at the table. With a bag of frozen peaches on hand as well, I knew exactly what to do with this one.

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Cakes, Pies & Tarts · Uncategorized

Glazed Lemon Almond Cranberry Cake

Glazed Lemon Almond Cranberry Cake 1 - The Duo Dishes

Be sure to “like” this blog’s Facebook page, and follow the photo trail on Twitter and Instagram.I didn’t know this cake was going to be so good. I had a nice feeling about it, but sometimes baking experiments can go awry. Even with the best of intentions and a reliable set of ingredients, measurements and method. Quick breads and loaf-style cakes are one of my favorite desserts. What I loved most about this cake the fact that it reminded me of the Southern lemon pound cakes made my family members during the holidays. When a cake makes you feel that good, you definitely want to share with others.

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Other Sweet Treats · Uncategorized

Chocolate Coconut Hawaiian Bread Pudding

Chocolate Coconut Hawaiian Bread Pudding 1 - The Duo Dishes

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As much as I desperately want slightly cooler weather and very distinct signs of winter, Los Angeles refuses to cooperate. We’re supposed to be under the raging grip of El Niño, but if you ask me, it’s been quite anti-climatic. At least in my part of town. There have definitely been issues in regions of California–eroding coastlines,flooded highways, heavy snowstorms–but this past weekend, in my hood, the temp was in the low 80s. That’s not winter if you ask me. But it’s what we have, so what can you do? All I can do is keep eating all of my favorite winter foods, even when the mercury is high. So bread pudding is here to save the day. Because with bread pudding, it can feel like winter no matter what’s going on outdoors.
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Cakes, Pies & Tarts · Uncategorized

Brûléed Marshmallow and Caramel Custard Tart

Brûléed Marshmallow and Caramel Custard Tart OH - The Duo Dishes

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The holidays are long gone and over, but that doesn’t mean some of the dishes from those days aren’t just as delicious on an ordinary evening. I go back and forth between wanting to eat all of the cookies or all of the salad. That’s life.I did nothing but cook between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. In November, I was able to serve up a little balance for the holiday, but once Christmas hit, it was all about sugar, butter and flour, including a tart that is one of my new favorite creations. Here’s a quick look at what was on the table.

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Cakes, Pies & Tarts · Uncategorized

Sweet Potato and Mango Cake

Sweet Potato Mango Cake Slice CU - The Duo Dishes

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Happiest New Year to one and all! It’s Monday, so most of you are probably back on the grind with work, school or whatever else claims your day. During the holidays, we all enjoyed the festivities with food, drink, family and friends. The return to normalcy is never easy, especially if you’re adding a pile of resolutions on top of everything. No major resolutions here. I’m not even going to feel bad about the cake I’m sharing on the blog today. It was actually part of the 2015 Kwanzaa Culinarians series highlighting stories and recipes from a number of bloggers. The cake is a slightly revision of Chef Pierre Thiam’s Sweet Potato and Mango Cake from his new cookbook, Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl. Head over to the site for the complete recipe, as well as a bit about the influences and flavors of Senegalese food. If there’s any resolution I suggest to add to the list, it’s try new things. Starting with this spiced fruit and vegetable-laced cake.

Other Sweet Treats · Uncategorized

Salted Herbes de Provence Pine Nut and Almond Brittle

Toasted Butttered Nuts Brittle - The Duo Dishes

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‘Tis the season for all things sweet. It’s definitely one of my favorite times of the year, although admittedly, I have been cooking and baking less than one would think. I won’t lament being busy with work, but one consequence of “handling business” is having less time to do some of the things I enjoy. Playing around in the kitchen is one of them. Luckily, a few catering jobs have given me the opportunity to be creative or just have fun with food in my own way. This brittle is an example of that. Hardened sugar and buttered, toasted nuts dusted with floral, dried herbs and salt. It’s a dream treat for the holidays.

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Other Sweet Treats · Uncategorized

Buttermilk Ice Cream with Blackberry Tarragon Compote

Buttermilk Ice Cream 1 - The Duo Dishes

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My torturous relationship with dessert continues with this batch of ice cream and a fruit topping to go with it. I didn’t plan for these two to go together, but I’m happy they were a match. The ice cream is rich and, well, creamy. Super thick–almost like a custard. The compote on top is also rich, from the natural sugars in the fruit, but it also has a light tang that echoes the characteristic flavor of buttermilk. So when you put the two together…it’s just the right combo. Continue reading “Buttermilk Ice Cream with Blackberry Tarragon Compote”