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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Make This Now

6 Creamy, Delicious Pots de Crème

Tomorrow, pastry genius Dominique Ansel will debut his new garden dessert, inspired by the pot de crème. If you can't wait (or can't get to Ansel's Manhattan bakery), here are six fantastic versions of the classic French dessert to make at home.

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Make This Now

7 Irresistible Rhubarb Desserts

Bright red and deliciously tart, rhubarb is a fantastic spring fruit. Here, 7 delicious desserts to make featuring rhubarb.

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Dessert Alert

A Top Hotel's Super-Rich Souvenir

The Ritz-Carlton just introduced this super-fudgy Valrhona chocolate cake, soaked in Grand Marnier and studded with candied orange peel.

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Ultimate Holiday Guide

Bien Cuit's Beautiful, Brightly Flavored Bûche de Noël

Bien Cuit's Grapefruit Agave Buche de Noel.

Behold, the brilliant Grapefruit Agave Bûche de Noël from the bread and croissant masters at Brooklyn’s Bien Cuit bakery.

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Chefs Make Change

Peter Som's Custom Cronut Box

Peter Som's Cronut Box

Here's how to get tax-deductible cronuts. Read more >

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Expert Guide

7 Ways to Upgrade Pie

Pecan Pie with Candied Ginger and Rum

At Boston’s Eastern Standard, pastry chef Lauren Kroesser is updating homey desserts for fall, offering sweets like a butterscotch bread pudding with salted caramel, or her rich pumpkin crémeaux with maple, pomegranate and goat cheese. But she is a pie lady at heart: “It’s my favorite thing by far to make and eat,” says Kroesser. “I love fruit pies and grew up making them with my mom. We would go up to Goodale Orchards in Ipswich every fall and pick apples and get doughnuts. Then we’d make crisps and pies.” Read more >

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Blogger Spotlight

Not Without Dessert

Ashley Rodriguez, author of Not Without Salt

Not Without Salt blogger and former pastry chef Ashley Rodriguez writes about her healthy family dinners and crazy-indulgent desserts. Read more »

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Unsifted

A Pastry Chef's Ode to Paris

Belinda Leong

Photo © Leela Cyd

Belinda Leong of San Francisco’s new B. Patisserie shares simple recipes that re-create her life in France.

Pastry chef Belinda Leong is known for her pedigree (Gary Danko, Manresa, Noma, Pierre Hermé) and for her kouign amann—a buttery, caramelized pastry from France’s Brittany region that resembles a puck-shaped croissant. Now that she’s opened B. Patisserie in San Francisco, customers have a new place to get their kouign amann fix. But Leong also uses her formidable technique to reinvent homespun desserts, such as a salt-flecked crémeux that’s like an intense chocolate pudding. Recipes like these are French in style, but American in spirit. “I want to re-create the life I had in Paris, when I worked at Pierre Hermé, and bring it back here,” Leong says.

Recipes

Cherry Clafoutis
“In France, there’s almond flour in everything—except clafoutis,” Leong says about the fruit dessert baked in batter. Bucking tradition, she includes the flour in her clafoutis to add custardy texture.

Bittersweet-Chocolate Crémeux
Crémeux (French for “creamy”) is a dense, soft, classic pudding that’s the new darling of many American pastry chefs. Leong gives her super-chocolaty version a salty edge.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Brown Butter Crumble
Brown butter, made by warming unsalted butter in a skillet until it is deeply golden, adds a wonderful nutty flavor to a chunky, streusel-like crumble. Sprinkle it on vanilla ice cream with chocolate and caramel sauces for outrageously good sundaes.

Lemon and Fresh Sorrel Sherbet
Leong started to incorporate wild greens and herbs into her desserts in 2009, during a foraging internship at the renowned Noma restaurant in Copenhagen. When sorrel’s in season, she uses the tart, lemony green to flavor her tangy sherbet, but mint, thyme and basil are also terrific.

Related:
Best New Pastry Chefs 2013
Beautiful Art-Inspired Desserts
French Dessert Recipes
San Francisco Travel

The Thinker Series

Inside the Baker's Studio: Gorgeous Italian Desserts

Pastry Chef Caitlin Freeman's Food Art

Photo © Erin Kunkel

Caitlin Freeman, pastry chef at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, creates stunning desserts for F&W's April issue inspired by Italian paintings and sculpture.

"I love its simplicity,” says Caitlin Freeman, describing how a 1919 Modigliani portrait inspired her to create a nectarine Pavlova—a dessert she came up with specifically for F&W’s Italian issue. As head pastry chef at the Blue Bottle Coffee Bar at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Freeman is surrounded by 20th- and 21st-century masterpieces, all of which spark ideas for recipes. (The best appear in her book Modern Art Desserts, due out this month.) But creating desserts inspired by Italian art from any era posed a different challenge: How to narrow the choices? Freeman says she began the process by asking herself a basic question: What do I like to look at the most? Antonio Canova’s 1793 marble sculpture of Cupid and Psyche turned into a white eclair. An 1892 portrait by Juana Romani took new form as a macaron with lemon curd on a ruffled gold plate (“As you can see, I became obsessed with ruff collars!”). VIEW ART DESSERTS SLIDESHOW »

Expert Guide

Christina Tosi Dreams of Unsung Ways to Eat Chocolate

Christina Tosi Dreams of Chocolate

Photo © David Malosh/ Art © James Maikowski.

Boxed candies can be supremely delicious and sexy. But to impress the truly chocolate-obsessed Valentine on Thursday—and provide shopping alternatives for stumped procrastinators—Momofuku Milk Bar’s sugar mastermind, Christina Tosi, reveals some of the more creative ways to enjoy chocolate.

1. Pair with fruits and vegetables. “Chocolate is a great way to hide the ‘healthy’ in your next tomato cake, beet, celery root or potato concoction, or zucchini bread!”

2. Serve with cheese. “Dark chocolate is great with any grassy cheese, and a great surprise on a cheese platter. You can even make a killer fudge sauce/spread with some grassy goat milk, to sit on your next cheese platter.”

3. Burn it. “Did you know that burning white chocolate slowly makes the most delicious, sweet brown butter bits?” Now you do.

4. Eat it on toast. “Or in toast! With passion fruit curd and a cup of coffee.”

5. Smoke it. “My first run in with this was working as a pastry cook for Sam Mason and chef Wylie Dufresne at WD-50 in New York. We turned smoked chocolate into a killer ice cream.”

Follow writer Jasmin Sun on Twitter @jasminsun.

Related: Christina Tosi's 7 Craziest Cookie Ingredients
F&W Editor Picks: Best Chocolates
DIY Chocolates Candies

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