17-15: Cream Puffs

17-15: Cream Puffs

Looking to impress? Or maybe you’ve been watching a lot of those baking shows while on lockdown and you’re think you’re ready for some of the “tougher” stuff. Well, here’s a good one for you to test your skills.

I made 17-15: Cream Puffs for Thanksgiving last year (2019), but haven’t written about it until now. Cream puffs feature pâte à choux, which is the puffy, airy dough that you also find in éclairs. We made profiteroles when I worked at a restaurant a few years ago, and it’s essentially the same thing.

Simply Delicious suggests you can fill your cream puffs with vanilla or whipped cream–the most traditional ones also feature pastry cream (crème pâtissière).

The ones we served at the restaurant I worked at were filled with house-made, hand-scooped ice cream that were (sometimes) baked and (often) assembled by yours truly and then drizzled with a chocolate glaze like these. It was one of those trendy gastro-brew pubs that made the beer onsite and had many beardy/tattooed gentlemen working there, so you can imagine the rest of the menu and atmosphere. At least we served most of it on a normal plate. #wewantplates


Read more

15-23: Kiwi Mousse in Chocolate Cups

15-23: Kiwi Mousse in Chocolate Cups

15-23: Kiwi Mousse in Chocolate Cups is the final recipe from last year’s Mother’s Day (MD2019) AND the final recipe from this kitchen, which was the backdrop for this project for 5 of its 6 years (at the time of this writing) of existence. I made this in tandem with 15-10: Frozen Raspberry Desserts, since they both make use of chocolate cups and frozen fillings.

These ones didn’t turn out quite as well as their raspberry counterparts, but they made a nice contrast and provided some variety. Along with these two chocolate cup desserts, I also made 15-17: Summery Cantaloupe as part of my dessert offerings for Mother’s Day.


Read more

15-10: Frozen Raspberry Desserts

15-10: Frozen Raspberry Desserts

I’ve finally caught up to Mother’s Day…2019. I made 15-10: Frozen Raspberry Desserts along with a few other desserts from Simply Delicious, which has essentially become a tradition at this point. Considering I got these books from my mother, she has no one to blame but herself.

Mother’s Day is a bit ahead of summertime, but the fruit is usually already out and plentiful by then. The hardest part of making these desserts is the chocolate cups, which I also used for 15-23: Kiwi Mousse with Chocolate Cups. If I have to go through the trouble of making them, I’m getting as much bang for my buck as possible.


Read more

15-37: Elegant Strawberries

15-37: Elegant Strawberries

Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s the final dish from Mother’s Day this year–only 6 months after the fact. Better later than never, I suppose. 

You can find the other dishes I made for this year’s Mother’s Day under the tag MD2018 (there’s also last year’s MD2017). If you’re interested in a Simply Delicious Thanksgiving feast I did a few years ago, check out TGV 2016

My mom always loves dipped strawberries, so I thought these would be a nice alternative to the mail-order/delivery ones you see all over the place around the holidays. Since I was also making 16-10: Strawberry Shortcake, it ended up being a very strawberry-heavy Mother’s Day. 🍓🍓


Read more

5-8: Royal Crêpes

5-8: Royal Crêpes

More queue-cleaning–add 5-8: Royal Crêpes to the pile of other crêpe recipes that I’ve done over the course of this project. When I first started making crêpes for this project about 4 years ago now, I had never made crêpes before. Now I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on the concept, so let’s kick it up a notch with a “royal” version. 👑

Oh no–my mortal enemy: Hollandaise sauce. I’ve struggled with it in the past–will this be my redemption? Jump behind the cut and find out!


Read more

20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces

20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces

Consider 20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces to be the advanced version of 20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces. There’s probably something that bridges the two better (whatever 20-14 is, but I don’t have that card in my collection), so 5-4: Eggs Benedict will have to do. This set of recipes is part of the Cooking School, the back section of Simply Delicious that provides instructions in basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes that any skilled cook should be familiar with.

20-15 Vary the Butter Sauces

Like I said in 20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces, Hollandaise and its variations comprise one  of the five mother sauces, a big part of French cuisine. Mastering it (and the others) is one of the marks of an accomplished and talented chef. I’ve always appreciated a well-made butter sauce, and these variations are intriguing–I’d be interested in eventually trying each one out.


Read more

5-4: Eggs Benedict

5-4: Eggs Benedict

I believe in a couple of things–nobody’s perfect, and all things eventually balance out. My experience with this recipe, 5-4: Eggs Benedict, especially relative to how the rest of the meal went, encapsulates both of those ideas.

In the days leading up to making this Mother’s Day brunch (MD2017), I knew I needed to practice two things before the big day: poaching eggs and hollandaise sauce–I’ve had trouble with both in the past. Guess what I didn’t do?

I procrastinated on practicing both my egg poaching and my hollandaise, and those were my exact failure points on this recipe. After the jump, you can read about what went really well (my homemade English muffins) and what didn’t (my broken hollandaise sauce, for one).


Read more

20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces

20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces

It took over 3 years and almost 300 entries, but I’ve finally cracked the final untouched category of Simply Delicious–the very last one, Group 20: Basic Recipes. These are part of the Cooking School segment in the back of the book, teaching you basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes that you’ll need to be an experienced cook. This recipe, 20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces covers the basics of butter sauces, which you can expand upon with 20-15: Vary the Butter Sauces.

20-13 Bearnaise and Hollandaise Sauces

Hollandaise is one of the five mother sauces, a big part of French cuisine. Mastering it (and the others) is one of the marks of an accomplished and talented chef. I’ve been cooking for a long time and I’m still working on mastering this one.


Read more

16-24: French Chocolate Cake

16-24: French Chocolate Cake

I recently attended a baby shower for a former co-worker and took it as an opportunity to knock out two more Simply Delicious desserts: 16-39: Apricot Tart and this one, 16-24: French Chocolate Cake. I wanted to bring something fruit/nut and something just plain chocolate, since some people there had nut allergies and others might just want something simple and chocolate.

16-24 French Chocolate Cake

This was a combination birthday party/baby shower (same person being honored for both), which will hopefully explain the odd decorations on my version of the cake. I’ve spared you pictures of the worst of my decoration choices, but let’s just say I made liberal use of all 4 colors of a grocery store icing kit. I kept meaning to hit a craft store for better cake decorations (or even Amazon), but time got away from me. ⏳


Read more

16-14: Orange-Almond Cake

16-14: Orange-Almond Cake

No, this isn’t a repeat of 16-47: Orange-Almond Pie–at least, not exactly. 16-14: Orange-Almond Cake uses almond paste while the pie version used almond meal (flour). This one also includes dark chocolate, which ALWAYS goes well with almond and orange flavors. 🍫

In the interest of not eating the whole cake at once (which is possible with something like this), I’m going to bake 12 individual cakes instead with a mini-Bundt pan that I have. That way, I can make them all, wrap and freeze them so that we can pull out a portioned piece for dessert without the temptation of eating the whole thing.


Read more