Recipes

Perfect Shrimp Pad Thai

Seventy-five years ago, when Phibun decided to give Thailand’s culture a makeover by decree, pad Thai was a recipe that had yet to be introduced into the country’s cuisine. Rice with chili paste, leaves, and salt were the staple, subsistence food at the time, and Thai people bought meals from Chinese food vendors.

The exact origins of pad Thai remain disputed to this day. According to some, Plaek Phibunsongkhram announced a competition to create a new, national dish. Phibun’s son, however, went on record to say that his family prepared the dish well before Phibun ever actually made it government policy, but could not recall who specifically was responsible for its initial creation.

The dish’s roots are Chinese, and its full name is kway teow phat Thai. Translated from a Chinese dialect called Hokkein, kway teow means rice noodles. The entire name means stir-fried rice noodles Thai-style. Noodles and stir-frying are predominantly Chinese, and it was likely immigration that introduced the practice to Siam. Flavors like tamarind, palm sugar, and chilies were the Thai’s subsequent influence on the dish over time.

By publicizing the pad Thai recipe, Phibun turned one potential take on stir-fried noodles into a national dish. It was his belief that by doing so, pad Thai would improve the diet of a people who primarily lived off of rice, and that cooking pad Thai in clean pans would improve national hygiene.

More than anything, it was Phibun’s hope to unify the country by promoting a uniquely Thai dish. Despite its Chinese origins, pad Thai stood out greatly from the variety of wet or dry noodle dishes sold by Chinese vendors. It was part of Phibun’s nation-building strategy to develop “Thai-ness” and impose a “Thai Great Tradition.”

Within several years, vendors selling pad Thai filled Thailand’s streets. Phibun’s son called it “Thailand’s first fast food.”

In summary, the popularization of pad Thai was the work of a military dictator who survived multiple coups, World War II, and who believed that his political future, as well as the future of his country, were both at stake.

And now, without further ado, I give you this American’s take on a Chinese influenced Thai tradition. I put a lot of thought into this recipe, and took special care to ensure that I kept its ingredients as authentic as possible (no peanut butter or ketchup). I hope that you enjoy the final product as much as I did!


Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 23 minutes, approximately

Total Time: 1 hour, approximately

Serves: 4


Ingredients

  • 14 ounces stir-fry rice noodles (I used the Thai Kitchen brand located in the “International Foods” section of the grocery store)

  • 2 beaten eggs

  • ¼ cup fish sauce

  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce

  • ¼ cup coconut milk

  • 5 ½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • 12 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1 cup diced firm tofu

  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms

  • 1 cup bean sprouts

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • ¼ cup diced shallots

  • 4 fresh jalapenos, seeded and diced

  • ¼ cup unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped (I actually used walnuts)

  • ½ cup diagonally sliced green onions

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Directions

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Place noodles in a large pot or bowl and cover with the boiling water. Allow noodles to soak for 8 to 10 minutes or until noodles are soft but firm. Drain and rinse under cold, running water for 30 seconds. Drain well and set aside.

rice noodles

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, sriracha, and coconut milk, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

pad thai sauce

In a wok, heat ½ tablespoon of sesame oil over medium-high heat. Just before the oil is smoking, add the egg, stirring constantly until set. Set aside in small bowl.

Next, heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Just before the oil is smoking, add the garlic, shallots, and jalapeno and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the shallots and jalapeno are tender, stirring frequently.

shallot mixture

In the wok, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons of sesame oil over medium-high heat. Just before the oil is smoking, add the shrimp and cook until pink, stirring constantly. Add the cooked shallot mixture, tofu, mushrooms, and bean sprouts and cook for 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms and sprouts are tender.

shrimp

Add the reserved noodles and egg and stir until all ingredients are combined. Pour the sauce mixture into the wok and toss until well distributed. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to steam and simmer. Add the peanuts and green onions and cook an additional minute.

Remove the wok from the heat and season with the lime juice and cilantro. Serve hot.

Enjoy!

Shrimp Pad Thai

Perfect Shrimp Pad Thai

Hot and Fiery Lamb Masala

Masala is a word of Indian origin, meaning mixture of spices. For instance, the term “garam masala” literally means a “hot mixture of spices”, and is a combination of ground roasted cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom, cloves, and other spices.


Prep: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 40 Minutes

Yield: 4 Servings


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of ghee* or 1 tablespoon of sunflower oilSunflower Oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped

Onion

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

Coriander

  • 2 bay leaves

Bay Leaves

  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns, lightly crushed

Whole Black Peppercorns

  • 3 teaspoons mild paprika

Paprika

  • 1-2 teaspoons hot chili powder

Chili Powder

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Minced Garlic Cloves

  • 2 inch (5cm) piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped

Ginger

  • 1 x 26-28oz (750g) jar or can of crushed tomatoes or tomato purée

Crushed Tomato

  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Heavy Cream

  • 1/2 cup cashews, ground

Ground Cashews

  • 10oz (300g) leftover roast lamb, coarsely shredded or sliced

Roasted Lamb

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sea Salt and Pepper


1. Heat the ghee in a large, deep frying pan over low heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Now add the cumin, coriander, bay leaves, peppercorns, paprika, and chili powder while stirring. Cook for a couple of minutes longer until fragrant.

2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a few more seconds while stirring. Pour in the crushed or puréed tomatoes, cream and nuts. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and add the lamb. Simmer for 25-30 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Masala

3. Serve hot over basmati rice with a crisp green salad on the side.

Masala Over Basmati

Variation: Stir in some fresh spinach or 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed, for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.


*Ghee is clarified butter that is used in Indian cooking. You will find it in specialty Asian markets and it will give your masala an authentic touch.

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary


Prep: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 2 Hours 40 Minutes

Yield: 8 Servings


Ingredients

  • 1 (7-pound) semi-boneless leg of lamb
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Additional Items

  • Roasting Pan
  • Meat Thermometer
    unnamed


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Pat the lamb dry and score fat by making shallow cuts all over with the tip of a sharp, small knife.
  3. Pound garlic cloves into a paste with the sea salt using a mortar and pestle or meat tenderizer. Stir together with rosemary and pepper.
  4. Put the lamb in a lightly oiled roasting pan and rub your paste all over it (top and bottom). Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.IMG_0954
  5. Roast the lamb in the middle of your oven for 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours until a meat thermometer inserted two (2) inches into the thickest part of the meat (be mindful not to touch the bone) registers 130°F. unnamed
  6. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 15 – 25 minutes before carving. For medium-rare, the internal temperature will rise to about 140°F.

* Enjoy!*

Want to know what to do with those leftovers? Take a look at my new recipe for Hot and Fiery Lamb Masala!

Double Chocolate Malted Milk Biscotti

A big favorite amongst chocolate lovers, people of all ages will go for this candy-infused version of the biscotti. 


Prep: 30 minutes

Bake: 25 minutes at 325°F + 16 minutes at 325°F

Cool: 1 hour

Makes: 36 cookies


Ingredients:

For the biscotti

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup malted milk powder (I used Nestle Ovaltine Chocolate Malt Flavored Milk Additive for this recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped malted milk balls (Whoppers)
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate pieces

For the dipping chocolate

  • 8 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter

For the biscotti:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F . Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture; stir until dough starts to form a ball. Stir in malted milk balls and chocolate pieces (dough will be crumbly). Knead the dough until it comes together.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 10 inch log and place about 3 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet; flatten slightly to about 2 inches wide.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. Biscotti 2 - The Cosmic Kitchen
  5. Transfer logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut each log diagonally into 1 inch slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes. Turn slices over; bake for 8 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack; cool. (Cookies will crisp as they cool.)

For the dipping chocolate:

  1. In a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water, stir and melt the chocolate and butter together until combined.
  2. When the biscotti have cooled, dip the bottoms in the melted chocolate, then allow to set, lying on their sides on baking paper.

Biscotti - The Cosmic Kitchen

Two-Way Salted Caramel Apple Pie

I really do love this time of year. The crisp, cool weather, cable knit sweaters and scarves, the breathtaking array of colors visible only during peak foliage season, and, of course, the holidays looming just around the corner (which means LOTS of baking!). Among the many things I love about this time of year is a dessert that has not only withstood the test of time, but has also become, in my opinion, the embodiment of homemade goodness at its very best.

The first apple pie recipe was printed by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1381 in England (see the picture below). The ingredients in the recipe included gode (good) applys (apples), spycis (spices), figys (figs), reyfons (raisins), perys (pears), saffron (used to color the pie filling), and cofyn (a casing of pastry). Dutch apple pie recipes date back to the late 15th century.

Tartys in Applis circa 1381

Apple pie is a dish with abiding popularity. Wonderfully versatile, this palatable pleasure can be eaten hot or cold, on its own or served with ice cream, double cream, or custard.


So I suppose it really is true what they say about classics: they never go out of style. This classic lattice-topped American beauty isn’t the same apple pie you’ve come to know over the years. Bubbling salted caramel and gooey, cinnamon apples, come together not only to capture the flavors of fall but also to put a modern spin on a traditional fall favorite. For a great, easy to serve alternative to this dessert, I’ve also included a bonus recipe for Individual Sized Salted Caramel Apple Pies! They’re great get togethers of any kind and takes the serving process out of the process.


Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Ingredients:

For a Single-Crust Pie:

This butter pie crust recipe is the unbelievably delicious basis for almost every pie from Brooklyn’s beloved Four & Twenty Blackbirds. The secret, according to proprietors and sisters Emily and Melissa Elsen: “A hint of cider vinegar for tang and tenderness.”

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 cup ice
(*Makes dough for one single-crust 9- to 10-inch pie or tart*)

For a Double-Crust Pie:
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup ice
(*Makes dough for one double-crust 9- to 10-inch pie or tart*)


1. Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.

2. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula.

3. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to overblend).

4. Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl.

5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated.

6. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining.

7. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine.

8. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow.

9. If making the double-crust version, divide the dough in half before shaping each portion into flat discs.

10. Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.


Now for the filling! For optimum results, use an even combination of sweet and tart apples (like Granny Smith and Golden Delicious).


Ingredients:

For the filling:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 lemons
6 to 7 baking apples (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
One grind fresh black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon flake sea salt, plus more for finishing
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
Demerara sugar, for finishing


1. Have ready and refrigerated one pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan and lattice strips to top.pie crust

2. Whisk together 1 cup of the granulated sugar and the water in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar is just dissolved.

3. Add the butter and bring to a slow boil.

4. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, almost copper.

5. Remove from the heat and immediately but slowly add the heavy cream—be careful, the mixture will bubble rapidly and steam.

6. Whisk the final mixture together well and set aside to cool while you prepare the apple filling.

7. Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl, removing any seeds.

8. Prepare the apples using an apple-peeling machine, or core, peel, and thinly slice them with a sharp knife or on a mandoline.

9. Dredge the apple slices in the lemon juice.

10. Sprinkle lightly with the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

11. Set aside to soften slightly and release some of the juices, 20 to 30 minutes.

12. In a small bowl, sprinkle the Angostura bitters over the raw sugar.

13. Add the cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, black pepper, kosher salt, and flour, and mix well.

14. Add the prepared apples to the sugar-spice mixture, leaving behind any excess liquids.

15. Gently turn the apples to evenly distribute the spice mix.coated apples

16. Tightly layer the apples in the prepared pie shell so that there are minimal gaps, mounding the apples slightly higher in the center.

17. Pour a generous 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce evenly over the apples (use the larger quantity of sauce if you’d like a sweeter pie).

18. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the flake sea salt.

19. Assemble the lattice on top of the pie and crimp the edges as desired.

20. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry.

21. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

22. Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat, being careful not to drag the caramel onto the pastry (it will burn), and sprinkle with the desired amount of demerara sugar and flake sea salt.

23. Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown.

24. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes longer.

25. Test the apples for doneness with a skewer or sharp knife; they should be tender and should offer just the slightest resistance.

26. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

27. The pie will keep refrigerated for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.

pie


IMG_0102.JPG

Spicy Pepperoni Sauce with Penne

Coming from a traditionally Italian family, you can imagine how seriously we always took mealtime. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of my beautiful mother cooking and baking away in the kitchen. To unwind at night, she would, and still does to this very day, sit in her comfy chair thumbing through various food and gossip magazines with her handy pen nearby in case she should happen across a dish that really catches her eye. She is always on the hunt for something new and exciting, a recipe that is really going to shake things up at dinnertime, and she has never been afraid of a challenge. She truly is an amazing women, to say the least.

Spicy Pepperoni Sauce with Penne

This recipe is proof of how the simplest things in life can be the best. As quick and easy as it may be, it quickly became a mutual favorite of ours (and has remained so for many years now). Its simplicity makes it a perfect weeknight meal, but its unbeatable flavor has always made it a huge success at gatherings. Of the many variations of this dish that are out there, none are quite like my mother’s, and none have ever tasted nearly as good (things always have a tendency of tasting better when she makes them). Let’s see what you think!


Preparation time: 1 minute

Total time: approximates 30 minutes

Yields: 4 servings


IngredientsPepperoni

  • 1 lb. (1 box) penne, rigatoni, or cavatelli Pasta (I personally love this sauce with fresh cavatelli)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 small red chili’s, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. pepperoni, sliced (I use Hormel or Margherita brand)
  • 1-2 4 oz. cans sliced mushrooms *you can determine the amount you want to use based on personal preference. If you’re not really a fungi fan, feel free to leave them out red-pepper-flakesaltogether; the sauce will still taste amazing regardless.
  • 2 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup (50 g.) Pearls’ Infusions brand jalapeno sliced California ripe olives (while optional, these make an exceptionally delicious addition to this sauce)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed *I’m a garlic lover, so feel free to add more based on your own personal tastes
  • ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

  1. PearlsIn a medium nonstick sauté pan, heat the olive oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic over medium heat until garlic is golden (about 5 minutes)
  2. Add the pepperoni and mushrooms and sauté until pepperoni is crisp and the mushroom have softened.
  3. Next, add the tomato sauce and black olives and allow the sauce to simmer for about 20 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
  5. Add your pasta of choice and cook according to package directions, until al dente. *For dry cavatelli you will want to cook it for 8 minutes. If using fresh cavatelli, cook about 4-5 minutes or until al dente.
  6. Strain the pasta and return to the pot.
  7. Cover with sauce, garnish with chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese.
  8. ENJOY!

For the Love of Chocolate: Milk, Dark and White Chocolate Verrines

They say you never forget your first love. I suppose that’s why my ratio of chocolate to” everything else” recipes is so off balance! In addition to being heart-healthy, eating chocolate also comes with a variety of other sweet benefits! Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have concluded that, in addition to being significantly more filling and satisfying than its lighter-colored varieties, dark chocolate also decreases a person’s cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods, making it a surprisingly helpful addition to your diet if you are trying to shed a few pounds. 

Studies have also indicated that mothers who consume chocolate during their pregnancy were better able to deal with stress. What’s more, a separate study from Finland also found that children carried by mothers that ate chocolate throughout their pregnancy were also more happy (duh, it’s chocolate!). That’s right. Their babies were happier and smiled more.

This next benefit seems more like an oxymoron, but apparently a small Italian study has found that its participants, all of whom agreed to consume one dark chocolate candy bar a day for a total of 15 days, saw their potential insulin resistance drop by nearly half. Lead researcher Claudio Ferri, M.D. says that this happens because the flavanols increase nitric oxide production, which, in turn, help keep insulin sensitivity under control.

This next one probably won’t comes as much of a surprise to most of you, but your little stress-induced chocolate binges are actually good for you (tell that to my fat pants!). Scientists in Switzerland observed significantly reduced stress-related hormone levels, in addition to moderately diminished relative metabolic effects, in anxious people that ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks. Oh, Switzerland!

The flavanols found in chocolate have also been known to help protect our skin from the sun. Researchers in London say that after three months of consuming chocolate rich in flavanols, their study subjects’ skin took twice as long to develop the early warning signs of an imminent burn. Sadly, this benefit can’t be garners by eating all-to-typical low-flavanol chocolates. You can usually differentiate between the two by keeping your eyes peeled for brands that state their product has high levels of healthy compounds in them.

And just when you thought chocolate couldn’t  get any better, a new study suggests that a natural compound found in cocoa can reverse age-related memory loss. The findings suggest that the flavanols increase connectivity and, as a result, blood flow in a particular region of the brain that is critical to its memory function. Complimenting these findings, a University of Nottingham researcher also found that drinking cocoa rich in flavanols boosts blood flow to some of the most crucial parts of our brains for up to 2-3 hours, which subsequently could improve performance and alertness on a short term basis.

Surprisingly, a professor of respiratory medicine and pharmacology at the National Heart and Lung Institute in London found that chocolate actually quieted coughs almost as well as codeine. The chemical  theobromine, which is responsible for chocolate’s “feel-good” effect, may also suppress activity in a part of the brain called the vagus nerve. All the benefits of codeine and none of the nasty side effects (not to mention that horrid taste!), I’ll take it!

I’ve never been much for discussing the finer points of the bathroom, especially while I am discussing food items lol, but both South American and European cultures have actually used cocoa medicinally to treat diarrhea. Scientists at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute found that the flavanols in cocoa bind with a protein in our bodies that regulates fluid secretion in the small intestines, possibly lessening the severity of the patient’s symptoms.

Sex and chocolate have always seemed like an ideal pairing, right? Well, science tells us there is actually a reason for that! The consumption of chocolate has been shown to lead to higher levels of lust, excitability and arousal, and overall sexual satisfaction, according to researchers at an Italian university. Women who consumed at least one cube of chocolate a day experienced more active libidos and better sexual function as a whole than those who didn’t partake (who doesn’t love chocolate!?). Phenylethylamine, a compound found in chocolate, releases the same mood-altering endorphins that flood a person’s body during sex and intensify feelings of attraction between two people.


In case you didn’t know and were wondering, a verrine  is a small thick-glass container with no base, which is used to hold a solid or liquid dish (in this case a dessert), rather than a drink. By way of metonymy, a “verinne” is a dish served IN a verrine, in a vertical manner, which allows a different aesthetic and gustatory experience from a dish served on traditional plates.

Philippe Conticini was the first to conceptualize a dessert served in a verrine. In 1994, he introduced more than just a simple evolution of its form by debuting what would go on to be described as a notable evolution in taste experience.

It’s verticality and transparency allows the verrine to be immediately read by sight, allowing the diner to construct a taste profile on the dish they are about to enjoy. The completion of the gustatory balance in the mouth rather than in the verrine also allows for the strengthening and betterment of sensations, specifically those of intensity and finish, which is controlled by the diners.

According to the original concept, verrines are composed of three superimposed layers, each conveying specific characteristics in terms of taste:

  • The lower, thin layer is made of acidulous preparations to trigger salivation and prepare the taste buds to receive other tastes;
  • The intermediate, thicker layer consists of a preparation bringing the main taste structure ;
  • And the upper layer consists of a third, smooth and silky preparation aimed at coating the taste buds and providing a full-bodied, pleasant finish.

The French word verinne is usually left untranslated in English.


Milk, Dark and White Chocolate Verrines
Alright, now that I have delivered my spiel in promotion of chocolate and all of it’s wonders, here is a irresistible recipe that incorporates white, milk, and dark chocolate into it. Talk about hitting the trifecta! 

Decadent, delicious, and oh so sweet! It’s always difficult for me to serve this creamy dessert to any of my guests when I host gatherings of any kind. I find myself always torn between serving it or listening to that little voice in the back of my head that tells me to hoard it all to myself! lol. Try it for yourself  and you’ll understand why!


For the dark chocolate layer

  • 75 g. (2 3/4 oz.) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated

For the milk chocolate layer

  • 75 g. (2 3/4 oz.) milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ½ Tbsp. golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated

For the white chocolate layer

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp. cold water
  • 5 1/2 oz. (150 g.) white chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 9 oz. (250 ml.) heavy whipping cream

  1. Start with the dark chocolate layer. Melt the chocolate and sugar together in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolks.
  3. In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks, then fold into the chocolate mixture.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between glasses or shot glasses. Leave to set in the fridge.
  5. Next, make the milk chocolate layer as above. Carefully pour it over the set layer in the glasses and return to the fridge.
  6. For the white chocolate layer, mix the egg yolks, sugar and water in a heatproof bowl.
  7. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk until the mixture is thick and creamy.
  8. Melt the white chocolate in separate heatproof bowl over the simmering water, then cool.
  9. Lightly whip the cream to soft peaks. Stir the chocolate into the egg mixture, then fold in the whipped cream.
  10. Carefully pour the mixture over the set layers in the glasses and chill for at least 6 hours until set.
  11. Serve decorated with grated chocolate.