I have quite a sweet tooth and am always looking for new deserts to try. I was recently given the opportunity to review a cookbook called Grace’s Sweet Life which focuses on homemade Italian deserts. I grew up an hour outside of NYC and there was a relatively large Italian population so I have come to LOVE good Italian deserts! Here is one that I found in the cookbook that was very simple to make. I made a few small changes which I noted in the recipe. My picture is nowhere near as pretty as the one in the cookbook but it tasted heavenly!
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Ingredients for the Vanilla Cream:
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean (split and seeded)
1 TBSP corn starch
Ingredients for the Raspberry Coulis
1/3 cup water
2 TBSP sugar
1 3/4 cup raspberries
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 TBSP creme de cassis (I omitted this)
1 tsp orange zest
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1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla bean and seeds just to a boil. Remove from heat and cover. Allow to steep for 20 minutes.
2. Return the pan to low heat.
3. Place the cornstarch in a pourable liquid measuring cup and add approximately 7 TBSP of the warm cream mixture. Stir with a fork until smooth and cornstarch is dissolved.
4. Pour the cornstarch mixture in a steady stream through a small fine meshed sieve into the cream mixture, stirring constantly. Bring the cream mixture back to a boil over low heat and cook until thickened (about 3 to 5 minutes)
5. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the cream to prevent a skin from forming while it cools (about 30 minutes) Occasionally remove the plastic wrap and stir gently.
6. Once cool, spoon it into 4 ounce serving cups (leaving room for the raspberry coulis) and chill one hour.
7. To make the raspberry coulis, add water, sugar, raspberries and vanilla to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook until raspberries have started to soften (about 4 minutes)
8. Remove saucepan from heat and add orange zest and creme de cassis. Cool slightly.
9. Pour the raspberry mixture into a blender and puree.
10. Strain the puree through a fine meshed sieve into a small bowl. Discard solids and place puree in fridge to chill.
11. To serve, top vanilla cream with raspberry coulis and fresh raspberries (if desired)
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.