Monday, February 2, 2015

Why Skip Dessert? - Special Guest Post!

We are thrilled to present a guest post by Alyssa Gangeri, an NYC chef and author of the brand new children's book Mimi's Adventures in Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies. As a child, Chef Alyssa loved baking and everything that came with it. As an adult and food lover she realized there was something missing when she frequented bookstores: an interactive children's cookbook. And we are not talking about a boring old cookbook for kids with lots and lots of recipes and some pictures. Children these days have just as much interest in the kitchen as their parents do, but the ordinary cookbook is just not going to cut it. She created Mimi's Adventures in Baking to give children and adults a way to get into the kitchen and allow the child to become the chef and the adult the assistant. Each book has one recipe and an interactive story line the child can read, and at the end go into the kitchen and do what Mimi did! And for the "non-baking" parent, these elite pastry chef recipes are tested and ready for even the most inexperienced baker!

Why Skip Dessert? 

That is the question? Why would you ever skip dessert? As a pastry chef and now children’s book author, I encounter a lot of people that spend countless hours preparing a wonderful dinner and skip dessert! The horror! Maybe it’s the pastry chef in me, or the inner child in me but come on who doesn't love dessert?

One thing I have learned is that desserts and pastries are very intimidating to prepare and most cooks are completely frightened by the baking process. It’s a science; everything thing needs to be exact down to the correct measurements, to the perfect bake time. Which, understandably, is very intimidating. While on my road to being published I started working with my recipes to make them kid-friendly and most importantly mom-friendly. Baking is something you can enjoy doing together. It’s an experience that can last a lifetime and shape your children into who they become. Learning discipline, counting, measuring, following directions and safety are very important. We all need dessert to survive… I mean, food to survive.

Okay, so let me get to my point. If I said you can make one of the best classic desserts but in a whole new way and it is fool-proof, would you believe me? If I told you that you could make a dessert that will make your whole family happy in less than 30 minutes, would you believe me? Well, believe it because it’s true!

I love recreating classic children’s desserts in a whole new form that even your dinner party guests will "oooh" and "ahhh" over. I think classic children's desserts are nostalgic and immediately bring back memories. Desserts are supposed to be fun and make people happy… hence, why would you ever skip dessert? It’s worth the calories and we all know it. Don’t deny it. No judgment here!

I am going to show you a nostalgic dessert that will wow guests or your family.

Meet the No Bake S’mores Pot de Crème… oh that’s right you heard me! I like to do them in little coffee mugs; I think it gives them a cute look and any dessert in a cup people love. Who wouldn't love to pick up their cup and go to town on a chocolate s’mores pot de crème? And let’s be honest -just the name sounds impressive!

Chocolate Pot de Crème

(makes 4-6 servings depending upon the size of your mug. I like to use smaller mugs because it’s so rich)

  • 1 1/3 cups Half and Half
  • 2 whole large Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • Marshmallows to top with
  • Graham Crackers for décor


This is a no bake product so what you are going to do is: start off by bringing your half and half to a boil. Once boiled, combine your eggs and sugar together and whisk until fully incorporated and eggs are scrambled. Place the bowl with your egg mixture on a dish towel to ensure while whisking it won’t move around on you.

Slowly pour your hot half and half over your eggs while whisking at the same time to ensure you do not scramble your egg.

Once you have add all of your half and half to the egg mixture and it is fully incorporated, you can then add in your chocolate. Whisk until fully melted and incorporated. If you still have some little chunks, feel free to place your bowl in the microwave to warm your mixture. Stir every 30 seconds.

Once your mixture is fully combined, time to pour into your cups. (Yes that’s it! Nothing else!)

Place your filled cups in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes or until set. You can always pop them in the freezer if you’re in a rush as well. They just need to cool completely to set.

Next and final step… Top with those lovely marshmallows. For you dessert lovers that have a mini blow torch break it out and fire away! For all of you regular people that don’t but everything you see in Williams Sonoma feel free to use your broiler for this step. I like to put my broiler on high, and place your cups on a sheet pan and stay close! Watch as your marshmallow caramelizes. Pull them once they have reached the desired toasted color. (This will not take long so DO NOT leave the oven. Keep the door open and watch them.) Once finished, place a piece of graham cracker in and serve! It’s that easy! So now you have no reason to skip dessert and everyone is going to be talking about your S’more Pot de Crème for days! Be prepared to have to make them again… just forewarning you!

Happy Baking Everyone!

Follow the entire Mimi’s Adventures in Baking Tour HERE

Chef Alyssa's Website / Twitter / Facebook

Mimi’s Adventures in Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies releases
in March 2015!

Pre-Order now:

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