This gooey bread pudding made with caramel-like dulce de leche from Latin America is so much more than the sum of its five parts. To add even more flavor, throw in a handful of fresh or frozen raspberries or blueberries before baking.
Pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith created this stupendous dessert, in which fudgy peanut butter brownies get topped with bananas caramelized in dulce de leche and served with scoops of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and her house-made peanut brittle.
This sweet and gooey pudding cake with crisp candied edges, a Maine favorite borrowed from neighboring Quebec, is known as pouding aux chômeurs—the unemployed guy’s pudding. Sam Hayward doesn’t know how this dessert got its name, but the lavish use of maple syrup (a Maine staple) probably helped make it popular.
The brownies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for 1 month. Cut the brownies while frozen and let thaw at room temperature. If desired, rewarm the brownies in a 300° oven for 15 minutes.
This light, silky panna cotta tastes a lot like hot cocoa in custard form. The brittle is easy to make; heat sugar and water on the stove, swirl in butter and spiced pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), then let cool.
“I love the simple elegance of chocolate soufflés,” Grace Parisi says. She uses top-quality chocolate from brands like Valrhona or Callebaut, which lends a deep, almost smoky flavor to the airy dessert. Tahitian vanilla beans—some of the world’s best—add a floral sweetness to the crème anglaise.
These pillowy, vitamin C-packed cakelets are adapted from The Greyston Bakery Cookbook. “When you overwhelm dry ingredients with wet ones, an amazing texture separation happens,” Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan says. “These cakes are rich without being too heavy.”
With its delightful contrasts of warm spicy pudding and cold vanilla ice cream, this version of an American classic is the ultimate comfort dessert. Homey as it is, though, it looks elegant when served in stemmed bowls. While Indian pudding is frequently stodgy, our version is soft and light and altogether tempting.
Baked Alaska is a layer of cake covered with ice cream and meringue and broiled. In this version, Grace Parisi skips the cake: Instead, she tops ice cream (preferably coconut) with pineapple chunks that have been sautéed with store-bought dulce de leche, then spoons a quick meringue over the fruit and broils until golden.