Ferrero indulgence sundae – Chocolate Spoon by Icebergs

Ferrero indulgence sundae - Chocolate Spoon by Icebergs
Vanilla and cookies ‘n cream ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolates, cherry. 185 PHP
Chocolate Spoon by Icebergs, Manila PHILIPPINES

After a long day exploring Robinsons Place Manila, we needed a little treat to keep us going. This sundae did just the trick. I don’t think the ice cream was all that great, but I liked the overall flavor of the sundae.

Relief map of the Philippines
Relief map of the Philippines, Rizal Park.

Hazelnut twist – Cafe Besalu

Hazelnut twist - Cafe Besalu
I’m a big fan of hazelnut flavors for breakfast and so are millions of others (Nutella anyone?). This hazelnut twist was surprisingly hearty for a treat that only cost two fifty. I loved the texture of the crushed hazelnuts and the sweet glazed dough. Mmm! $2.50
Cafe Besalu, Seattle WA

International Fountain, Seattle Center
International Fountain, Seattle Center.

Breakfast plate – Dolce Sitges

Breakfast plate - Dolce Sitges
Spanish tortilla, Iberico ham, sausage, scrambled eggs, hazelnuts, cheese, toast, orange juice, coffee.
Dolce Sitges, Sitges ES

The breakfast buffet at Dolce Sitges was pretty kick-ass! This was only one plate I ate, but they definitely had much more to offer. We were unapologetic about loading up on breakfast before heading out for a day of sightseeing, hehe. We paid for it, right? And I felt like we would burn off the calories anyway. One downside to eating SO much breakfast was that I missed out on some food opportunities while touring simply because was still full. #touristproblems ūüôā

Iberico ham legs
Iberico ham legs. This was a first! I’d never seen carving stations like this before where you can order as much ham as you want and the attendant will carve it directly off the leg. Now that’s what I call “cut-to-order”!

Pan roasted U-10 scallops – Workshop Kitchen + Bar

Pan roasted U-10 scallops - Workshop Kitchen + Bar
Green apple emulsion, braised leeks, hazelnuts. With extra scallop $40
Workshop Kitchen + Bar, Palm Springs CA

Mmm, this was SO delicious! The green apple emulsion went perfectly with the scallops. The whole dish tasted fresh and new. BUT I think $40 is pretty steep even with an extra scallop added. This restaurant was good overall, but they’re on the border of being overpriced. Just sayin’.

Wood-charred brussels sprouts - Workshop Kitchen + Bar
Wood-charred brussels sprouts, aged balsamico, herbes de provence. $9

Bread and olive oil - Workshop Kitchen + Bar
Bread and olive oil. Complimentary

Boomers Palm Springs
Boomers Palm Springs. This park is fairly small, but it’s Palm Springs so that’s expected.

Grilled mackerel – Staple & Fancy

Grilled mackerel - Staple & Fancy
Hazelnut, cherry tomato, salsa verde, pesto and shallots. Family style supper $46 per person
Staple and Fancy, Seattle WA

This tasted good, but I wasn’t a fan of the fish texture. It was an odd combination of flaky and mushy. I loved the sauces and garnishes though, hehe.

Eye Benches III
Eye Benches III, Louise Bourgeois, black Zimbabwe granite, Olympic Sculpture Park.

Fresh fig salad – Trio Restaurant

Fresh fig salad - Trio Restaurant
Figs, arugula, fresh ricotta, chopped hazelnuts, honey and white wine vinaigrette. $9
Trio Restaurant, Palm Springs CA

Ew, this salad was sweeter than dessert! The honey and white wine vinaigrette was WAY too sweet and the fresh ricotta and pulverized hazelnuts added a weird texture to this sad, overly dressed salad.

California fan palm tree (Washingtonia filifera, Arecaceae)
Fronds of a young California fan palm tree (Washingtonia filifera, Arecaceae) in the PS house backyard.

Chocolate covered hazelnuts – LaSalette Restaurant

Chocolate covered hazelnuts - LaSalette Restaurant
These little treats came after our meal. They were a delicious ending to a fabulous dinner! Complimentary
LaSalette Restaurant, Sonoma CA

Southbound on the Golden Gate Bridge

Southbound on the Golden Gate Bridge. And that brings us to the end of our little Sonoma trip. We had a blast and should really make it up to wine country more often since it’s SO close to The City!

Bostock – Four Barrel Coffee

Bostock Four Barrel Coffee

Citrus, hazelnut and almond flavors all in one amazing pastry!¬† I didn’t even know what this what when I bought it (they didn’t have the labels up yet that morning), but¬†it sure tasted great.¬† I later learned that it’s called ¬†a “bostock” on a return visit.¬† Upon researching this delicious treat, I found out that it’s traditionally made from a day-old brioche that’s soaked in an almond and orange simple syrup and topped with almond cream and sliced almonds.¬† After it’s baked, the edges become crisp and get an amazing caramelly flavor.¬† The center stays moist and buttery and the almondy top gets beautifully toasted.¬† The version at Four Barrel¬†has hazelnuts instead of sliced almonds and they sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar.¬† NOMS!
Four Barrel Coffee, San Francisco

Bostock Four Barrel Coffee

The beautiful, moist interior.

Four Barrel Coffee

Pastries always taste better with coffee!

The Rumisu Cake – A new boozy creation!

rumisu cake and slice

Rum Cake + Tiramisu = RUMISU CAKE!

After getting multiple requests from friends to bake more cherpumples, I decided to create a quicker, lighter (weight-wise), and boozier alternative.  I decided to fill a delicious, boozy rum cake with a silky, boozy tiramisu dessert and voilà, the Rumisu Cake was born!  How can you go wrong with a dessert mash-up packed with enough sugar and alcohol to instantly make you the (messy) life of the party, right?!?

rumisu cake

To gussy up the Rumisu Cake a bit, I covered it with a bittersweet chocolate ganache and sprinkled some toasted hazelnuts on top. Lemme tell you, this over-sized booze Twinkie is sinfully addictive and a single slice certainly packs a punch!  A word of caution, you might want some Binaca spray to cover up your Barney Gumble breath on your drive home.

ingredients

Here are some of the ingredients used to make this guilty treat.  Most of them are things you should already have in your pantry like rum, Marsala wine, Kahlua, and instant espresso.  You might have to make a trip to the store for eggs and butter (I prefer the organic options).

ingredients 2

I had to make a return trip to the store for these tiramisu necessities!  I put the cocoa powder in my handy-dandy shaker.

The rum cake is super easy to make and doesn’t require anything special.¬† To save time and energy, use a packaged yellow cake mix and add pudding mix to make it extra moist.¬† Mmm, moist…

Rum Cake Recipe

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup dark rum

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 10 inch bundt pan with baking spray (I used PAM).

In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix.  Mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup water, oil and 1/2 cup rum.  Blend well.  Pour batter into pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Let sit until cool.

For glaze:  In a saucepan, combine butter, 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes until sugar has completely dissolved, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup rum.

cake batter in pan

Remember to spray your bundt pan with some baking spray, but you can also grease and flour the pan as an alternative.

baked cake

After baking, my cake looked like it had an unsightly tumor growing on top, but it didn’t matter since this side would end up being the bottom anyway.

rum glaze in pan

To ensure that the glaze soaked evenly through the entire cake, I removed the cake from the bundt pan after it had cooled.  Then I poured half the glaze in to the pan.

pouring glaze on rum cake

I replaced the cake and poured the rest of the glazed on top.¬† After it has cooled a little, cover the cake with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out and let the glazed cake cool completely.
I found a Tiramisu recipe on Epicurious.com that I altered to use for this Rumisu cake.  I halved most of the recipe and substituted Kahlua for the coffee liqueur.  I thought Kahlua worked better for this dessert because it has coffee and rum flavors.

Tiramisu Recipe

1 cup boiling hot water
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon sugar, divided
2 tablespoons Kahlua
2 large egg yolks
1/6 cup dry Marsala
1/2 pound mascarpone
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
4+ savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers)
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

Stir together water, espresso powder, 1/2 tablespoon sugar, and Kahlua in a shallow bowl until sugar has dissolved, then cool.

Beat egg yolks, Marsala, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water using a whisk or handheld electric mixer until tripled in volume, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove bowl from heat. Beat in mascarpone until just combined.

Beat cream in a large bowl until it holds stiff peaks.

Fold mascarpone mixture into whipped cream gently but thoroughly.

cutting rum cake in half

After the rum cake has cooled completely, remove it from the bundt pan and cut the bottom off.  I used the natural baking line where it puffed up to guide the cut.

hollowed out rum cake

I used a paring knife and a spoon to hollow out the inside of the bundt cake.

hollowed rum cake with cocoa powder

Sprinkle the hollowed inside with cocoa powder.

rum cake with tiramisu filling

Then spoon in a layer of tiramisu filling.

soaking lady fingers

Soak both sides of the ladyfingers in the espresso/Kahlua liquid.¬† Do this quickly because those suckers soak up the liquid really quickly (don’t pause to take a photo like I did)!

filled interior

Arrange the soaked ladyfingers on top of the tiramisu filling, then spoon in additional filling to make it flush with the top of the cake.  Recover with the bottom of the cake.

IMPORTANT STEP:  Put the filled cake back into the bundt pan, cover with plastic wrap, and put in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours to set the tiramisu filling!

filled unglazed rum cake

After the cake has set, it’s time to decorate!¬† I used a simple ganache recipe from “The Best of Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library: Baking”, 2005.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe

1 cup heavy cream
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used a bag of chocolate chips)

In a small saucepan over medium heat, gently warm the cream until bubbles appear at the edges.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the chocolate until it has melted and the mixture is smooth.  Do not stir so vigorously that bubbles form.

Alternatively, place the chocolate in a food processor.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 15 seconds.  With the lid in place to prevent splattering, process until smooth.

If there are any visible lumps, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve.

Toasted Hazelnuts

Using a frying pan over medium heat, toast a 2.25 ounce bag of chopped hazelnuts until golden, stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn the hazelnuts, duh!

glazing rum cake

Pour the ganache evenly over the rum cake.

rumisu cake

Top with the toasted hazelnuts.

slicing rumisu cake

Now cut, enjoy, and be merry!  F- yeah!

rumisu cake cross section
As you can see I prolly could have done a neater job hollowing out the inside, but it’s not really about how it looks.¬† It’s about the sugary booze, baby!

For more step-by-step photos on how to make this Rumisu Cake, visit my Rumisu Flickr Set!

Chocolate hazelnut croissant – La Boulange de Noe

Chocolate hazelnut croissant La Boulange de Noe

I’ve been on a chocolate and hazelnut kick lately, which isn’t a bad thing.¬† These flavors are delicious and simply amazing together.¬† This is my favorite croissant at La Boulange and I get it often – I’m a pig, I know!¬† My only gripe is that the sliver of chocolate inside is kinda small and is always pushed off to one side.¬† I wish there was more of it and evenly distributed.¬† Other than that, this croissant always makes me smile.¬† $2.75
La Boulange de Noe, San Francisco

Chocolate hazelnut croissant La Boulange de Noe