Monthly Archives: November 2015

Sunday Reflections


Have an amazing Sunday #friendsofTenaciousM! Enjoy your day and lead with your heart.



Happy Thanksgiving 2015!


Adoring my #friendsofTenaciousM today and always! Give Thanks for a little and you will find a lot…Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Texas Chillin’


As much as I love to travel, there’s nothing more special than visiting my hometown in Texas for a few hours. And the icing on the cake… getting to catch up with my sister and fellow “Dreamer”.

Lavender-Honey Dark Chocolate Tart with a Cardamom-Lemon Crust (and Lavender-Honey Ice Cream with Cardamom-Almond Tuiles)


So here it is– the perfect dessert duo! A lavender-honey dark chocolate tart with a cardamom-lemon crust and lavender-honey ice cream with cardamom-almond tuiles. Yes, I know, the names of the desserts are quite a mouthful to say, but trust me, they’re quite a mouthful of yumminess to eat, too! 🙂

When making dessert duos or trios, I’m all about considering balance. And I really loved how this pair of desserts turned out. The spice of the cardamom and the floral scent of the lavender add a layer of interest to the tart, ice cream, and tuiles. And the bitter, deep dark chocolate of the tart goes so perfectly with the sweetness of the honey-flavored ice cream. You have the crunch of the tuiles against the smooth ice cream and the flakiness of the tart crust against the dense chocolate ganache as textural contrasts, and the lemons in the tart and almonds in the tuiles add a color of brightness and nuttiness to the overall dessert. Finally–and this is my favorite part–a generous sprinkling of coarse lavender sea salt over the dark chocolate tart will make your tastebuds unbelievably happy, I promise you.


Lavender Honey Ice Cream
(Makes ~one quart)

1/4 cup dried lavender flowers
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup honey (I used wildflower)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
2 Tbspn sugar
pinch of salt

1. In a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the lavender and milk. Bring to just a simmer, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for at least ten minutes.
2. Stir together the honey and heavy cream in a bowl and prepare a fine mesh strainer on top. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until light. Set aside.
4. Strain the lavender from the milk, making sure to press all of the liquid possible out of the lavender buds. Discard the lavender buds. Return the milk to the stove and add the sugar and salt. Bring to a bare simmer.
5. Whisking constantly, pour a small but steady stream of the heated milk into the egg yolks to temper. Do this slowly while whisking quickly. Once the milk and egg yolks are combined, return to the saucepan and to the stove.
6. Heat the egg yolk and milk mixture while stirring constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so that nothing burns or sticks. Slowly cook the mixture until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat immediately once it thickens.
7. Pour the hot creme anglaise through the strainer into the honey and cream. Stir to cool.
8. Chill the mixture thoroughly.
9. Freeze the ice cream bas in your ice cream maker of choice. (Here’s mine, which works like a dream, and I also have this one.)


Cardamom-Almond Tuile
(Makes ~30-50 cookies, depending on size)

1 1/2 oz sliced almonds
5 Tbspn unsalted butter, very soft
2 egg whites
1/8 tspn salt
1/3 cup + 1 Tbspn sugar
1/2 tspn ground cardamom
1/4 tspn vanilla
1/3 cup AP flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Bake the sliced almonds for 5-10 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and chop very finely.
3. Prepare at least two baking sheets lined with silpats or non-stick parchment paper. (You may want to lightly grease the parchment paper, but you won’t need to grease the silpats.) Also have ready a very thin and wide spatula and a rolling pin (or something similar) over which to drape the tuiles while they cool.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the butter, egg whites, salt, sugar, cardamom, and vanilla until well combined. Add the finely chopped almonds and flour and mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Using an off-set spatula or the back of a spoon, spread very, very thin discs of batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Make sure to allow plenty of space between each tuile–they will spread.
6. Bake for 7-9 minutes, depending on the size of the tuiles, rotating the pan half-way through to facilitate even browning.
7. Remove from oven and immediately use the thin spatula to drape the tuiles over the prepared rolling pin. Let cool completely.

Note: Tuile batter may be made and stored, tightly-covered, in the refrigerator for a few days, if you’d like to make it ahead of time.
Note: Store tuiles in an airtight container if not using immediately. They are best used the day of.

Lavender-Honey-Cardamom-Lemon Dark Chocolate Tart
(Makes one 9″ round tart, or the equivalent rectangular or square sizes)

for pastry:
260 gr AP flour
1 (heaping) tspn ground cardamom
1 Tbspn freshly ground meyer lemon zest
1/4 cup sugar
7 Tbspn butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
1 Tbspn freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbspn water, cold

1. Using a food processor or pastry cutter, mix the flour, cardamom, lemon zest, and sugar until combined. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the size of small peas.
2. Add the egg yolk and gradually add the lemon juice and water just until a dough begins to form when you press it between two fingers. Do not overmix.
3. Form the pastry into a ball and refrigerate for at least one hour. (or stick it in the freezer for a shorter amount of time.)
4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
5. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge and press the dough into the tart pan. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork, cover with parchment paper, and weigh down using dry beans or pie weights. Return to freezer for a few minutes if the dough has softened.
6. Bake for ~13-15 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden. Remove the beans and parchment paper and continue to bake for 3-5 minutes more, until the crust has completely turned golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

for chocolate ganache filling:

10 oz. heavy cream
1/4 cup dried lavender buds
12 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
3 Tbspn honey
2 Tbspn butter
coarse salt
dried lavender buds

1. In a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the cream and lavender buds until just barely a simmer. Cover and remove from heat. Let steep for at least ten minutes.
2. Place the chocolate and honey in a heat-proof bowl, place a fine mesh strainer on top, and set aside.
3. Add the butter to the cream and lavender bud mixture and return to a simmer. Once the cream simmers, remove from heat and pour the hot cream through the sieve onto the prepared chocolate, making sure to press all of the liquid from the lavender buds. Discard the lavender buds. Let the chocolate sit for 2-3 minutes.
4. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and evenly distributed.
5. Immediately pour into the prepared tart crust.
6. Using your fingers (or a mortar and pestle), rub together an equal but small amount of coarse salt and dried lavender buds. Sprinkle liberally over the top of the chocolate. Let the tart set at room temperature until completely cool, about 1-2 hours. Serve at room temperature.

Sunday Reflections


Happy Sunday #friendsofTenaciousM! I hope it is beautiful in your part of the world. Have an amazing week!


Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake


This is the best chocolate pound cake ever with deep rich flavor. And just in time for Thanksgiving.



2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups butter, softened at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons instant espresso
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate morsels

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 Tbsp. buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract



Hands-on: 45 Minutes
Total: 4 Hours, 25 Minutes

1. Prepare Cake: Preheat oven to 325°. Whisk together flour and next 3 ingredients. Beat 1 1/2 cups butter in a medium bowl at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yolk disappears. Combine 1 1/4 cups buttermilk and next 2 ingredients. Add flour mixture to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed after each addition. Fold in bittersweet chocolate morsels. Pour batter into a well-greased (with shortening) and floured 12-cup Bundt pan. Sharply tap pan on counter to remove air bubbles.

2. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on rack.

3. Prepare Chocolate Glaze: Combine semisweet chocolate morsels, 3 Tbsp. butter, and 1 Tbsp. corn syrup in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50% power) 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until morsels begin to melt, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

4. Prepare Buttermilk Glaze: Whisk together powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. buttermilk, and 1/4 tsp. vanilla in a small bowl until smooth. Add up to 1 Tbsp. buttermilk, if desired. Drizzle warm glazes over cooled cake.

Mini Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cakes: Prepare recipe as directed through Step 1, pouring batter into 2 lightly greased (with vegetable cooking spray) 12-cup Bundt brownie pans, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake at 325° for 26 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely. Proceed with recipe as directed in Steps 3 and 4. Makes 2 dozen. Hands-on 45 min.; Total 1 hour, 25 min.

My Santa Fe Chocolate Find


I found a new chocolatier on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexkco. Chocolate de Santa Fe!! The taste is as amazing as the look and texture of the chocolate.


Sunday Reflections


Happy Sunday #friendsofTenaciousM! If you are in the United States, remember to sign up for health insurance. Open Enrollment is from November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016.


Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Pie


You guys, I cannot get over this pie. This is seriously one of the easiest, most impressive desserts ever. I mean, have mercy! Just look at it! It’s the perfect amount of decadence without being too rich or overpowering. And the best part is there are only FIVE ingredients. It’s so easy to make!


There are three layers of decadent lusciousness here: The first is a bliss-inducing dark chocolate ganache, which tastes like the inside of an expensive French truffle. Second, a homemade, fool-proof salted caramel sauce you won’t have to worry about burning. And finally, an extra thick Oreo cookie crust. Because we all know the crust is the best part. Did I mention you only need 5 ingredients to make this? 🙂



1 package (about 36) whole Oreos
1 cup (16 tablespoons) butter, divided
⅔ cup packed brown sugar
1¼ cup heavy whipping cream, divided
1 (12 oz) bag dark chocolate chips


1. Finely crush the Oreos with a food processor or blender. Stir crumbs together with 8 tablespoons melted butter until well combined. Press into the bottom and sides of a pie pan. Freeze crust for 10 minutes until set.

2. Combine remaining 8 tablespoons butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup heavy whipping cream until smooth. Cool caramel about 15 minutes. Pour the caramel over the Oreo crust, then return to freezer for about 30-45 minutes until just chilled and set. (You don’t want the caramel to fully freeze.)

3. Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup heavy whipping cream to a simmer over medium-high heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until completely smooth. Pour the chocolate over the caramel and freeze for a final 30 minutes, until just chilled and set. OR refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Before serving, sprinkle the top with a flaky sea salt like kosher salt or Fleur De Sel.