Perfect meringues depend on totally yolk-free whites. The seemingly fussy step of separating each egg into a small bowl before combining them guarantees yolk-free whites for bakeshop-quality meringues every time. These crispy little morsels travel well and make great gifts too.
Queen of Sheba Cake
This Queen of Sheba cake, a French classic, gets a minor update with less sugar and butter and a whisper of flaky sea salt on top--all of which lets the flavor of a special chocolate shine. Whipping a greater portion of the sugar into the egg whites makes them less easy to overbeat and creates a pleasing crust on top that contrasts with the moist and creamy interior.
The Best Vanilla Custard
Calling this “the best” custard recipe may seem like a bold statement, but it's true. In this healthy dessert recipe, the rich eggy custard is silky-smooth and infused with loads of vanilla, making it worthy of its name.
Originally from the Limousin region of France, clafouti is sort of a cross between a flan and a fruit-filled pancake. This one embraces apricots instead of the traditional cherries, but any fruit can be used, including apples, pears, peaches and plums. It will puff up dramatically during baking, then collapse; let it cool slightly before serving so you can truly enjoy the flavors. Leftovers make a delicious breakfast treat.
Rustic Berry Tart
The secret to this free-form tart is the layer of ground almonds under the berries: it thickens the juices, prevents a soggy crust and delivers an exquisite background flavor for the intense berries.
The oaky taste of Armagnac, a French brandy made in Gascony, has long been paired with prunes. While Armagnac is available in vintage bottlings, nothing so extravagant is needed for this recipe. Use waterproof markers to decorate the outside of glass jars with flowers, abstract designs or a favorite line from a poem.
Raspberry Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate mousse for 115 calories? Yes, please! This healthy dessert recipe is perfect for a special occasion or if you just need a sweet treat. For the fluffiest mousse, make as few gentle strokes with your spatula as possible to fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture in Step 5.
Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes with Mocha Sauce
Some molten-cake recipes call for simply underbaking the batter so the middles stay lava-like, but mini cakes get done so quickly it's best to give them a filling that won't set up. These rich, mocha-flavored morsels are guaranteed to stay moist and gooey, owing to a simple mocha ganache in the middle. Serve the cakes with a scoop of low-fat coffee ice cream and garnish with a chocolate-covered espresso bean, if desired. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
Rustic Pear Tart
Who says you can't have your tart and eat it, too? This deceptively simple fall dessert is made for special celebrations. Look for a fragrant pear that's nonetheless firm to the touch.
Thick & Rich Drinking Chocolate
Rich, creamy and thick enough that you may want to scoop it with a spoon, this European-style drinking chocolate is something different from the usual hot cocoa. Serve it in a demitasse or espresso cup for an elegant treat.
Vanilla Creme Anglaise
This light vanilla custard sauce recipe is perfect served on top of bread pudding or in lieu of whipped cream on pie. Jazz it up with your favorite spices, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, or add a touch of your favorite booze, such as bourbon or rum.