Vegan Mango Mousse

Vegan Mango Mousse | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I made the delicious Mango Pudding and Passion Fruit Caramel recipes from Hetty McKinnon’s newest book, To Asia, With Love! I layered them together and wanted a little something light and airy on top, like meringue or whipped cream, but her recipes are vegan, so I needed it to be plant-based. I have always read about whipping aquafaba into a frothy topping for desserts, but had never tried it myself, until now. What’s aquafaba, you ask? Well, I know this is going to sound odd to anyone who isn’t familiar with vegan baking, but it is made with the water from a can of garbanzo beans. Yep, you drain off the water from chickpeas and it whips into a frothy topping that looks just like whipped egg whites. I promise you, sweetened and folded into pureed mango, you will never know its origins are so humble. I fooled my husband and his reaction was “this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted! That’s a high bar too!” Then I told him what it was and he couldn’t take back what he’d said! Hahahahaha Read More

Blueberry Galette

Blueberry Galette Recipe | Zoe Bakes by Zoë François

Blueberry Galette! This is really a rustic blueberry pie, made without a tin and given a more romantic name. It’s simple, delicious, easy and contains little more than plump, sweet-tart blueberries.

A galette need not be complicated, you can use fresh and/or frozen blueberries (which I always have in my freezer) with just a touch of sweetener (you decide how sweet you like it). The galette goes together fast with my perfect pie dough that holds in the berries. The blueberries have a deep purple color when they are baked, which is just the natural drama I like in a dessert.

This blueberry galette is beautiful enough to serve at a party with a scoop of ice cream. But, don’t forget, blueberries have vitamin C, fiber and are heart-healthy, so this is also the best breakfast pastry ever! The pie dough makes two disks, so you can freeze one for later or make two galettes and double the filling. My boys were home when I made this and they ate the first one in a sitting, so I quickly made a second. 

You can watch me make the galette in my instagram highlight video. This recipe is also posted on the Blueberries website, along with many other blueberry recipes for you to gather inspiration from. Read More

Swirled Apple Tarte Tatin

Swirled Apple Tarte Tatin | ZoëBakes photo by Zoë François

Swirled Apple Tarte Tatin is a modern take on a French classic dessert. Apples baked in buttery caramel, until the apple absorbs the caramel and turn amber. The original dessert is rustic and beautifully humble, just apples cut, placed in a pan with caramel, then baked with the curst on top and inverted. Not much to look at, but one of the most revered desserts for the rich caramelized apples and flaky pastry. On instagram I saw a version that was so elegant, but still looked equally as delicious. Perfect spirals of apples, baked in caramel and turned out onto puff pastry. HOW did they get those even continuous slices of apples. I have most pastry equipment available to home bakers, but nothing in my pantry could create this shape. A little sleuthing and I found it, my new favorite kitchen tool. 

You can see me create this tart in my Instagram video and watch the apple slicer create the delicate ribbons. 

Swirled Apple Tarte Tatin | ZoëBakes photo by Zoë François Read More

Raspberry Cheesecake Streusel Bars

When my best friend delivered the most perfect raspberries, she just hand picked, along with homemade raspberry preserves to my front porch and the mail woman brought me Edd Kimber’s newest book, One Tin Bakes, that’s kismet. I opened the book to the page with the Raspberry Cheesecake Streusel Bars and that evening my family was devouring them. That’s the hidden secret of bars, they’re rustic in their beauty, but magnificent in flavor. and super simple to make. After eating way too many of them, my family declared they are just a little TOO GOOD! Seriously folks, this will become a favorite recipe. One you’ll bring to every school function, picnic, family gathering and the treat you snuggle on the couch with while binge watching the GBBO. There are so many simple and delicious looking recipes in Edd’s book, I’ll be baking from it a lot. 

I shared some of the bars with Jen (the raspberry picker) and her family. They confirmed that these bars a bit dangerous to have around. I like living on the edge, so I’ll be making them again and again and again! Read More

Blood-Orange Creamsicle Semifreddo

Blood-Orange Creamsicle Semifreddo | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

This Blood Orange Creamsicle Semifreddo was inspired by one of my first pastry mentors, Claudia Flemming. Her book, The Last Course, was a collection of desserts she created for the venerable restaurant, Gramercy Tavern, in New York. It is an understatement to say her book was a steady guide to me when I was a pastry chef, fresh out of culinary school and trying to find my voice as a chef. She was combining flavors in ways that no one else was doing at the time. She used herbs in desserts and she had an exquisite balance of sweetness, sour, bitter, and salty. Her palate was informed by the savory side of the kitchen and it made all of her desserts profoundly more interesting and exciting to me. My copy of her book was written in, dog eared and splattered with cake batter, the truest sign of respect to a cookbook and its author. That seminal book went out of print for a while, but there was a cult following that just never let it be forgotten. So, when her publisher decided to celebrate it with another printing, I was thrilled. Other than the cover there are no changes to the book and it didn’t need any, that’s how good it was and is. The desserts still hold up nearly a decade later and I was just as excited by the Frozen Orange-Blossom Honey Mousse today as I was the first time I made it in 2001. I topped it with Blood Orange Sorbet to create my idea of the perfect creamsicle and then topped it with a Rosemary and Orange Meringue. I think Claudia would approve of the combination.

You will find my Instagram video tutorial on how to make this dessert.

Find the recipe below…

Blood-Orange Creamsicle Semifreddo | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François Read More

Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry Cobbler | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

When my son was heading back to college after winter break I asked him what he’d like for his last homemade dessert before our long drive. He opened up Pastry Love by Joanne Change and pointed to her cobbler. The perfect choice. Perhaps nothing says comfort food as well and succinctly as a blueberry cobbler.  Bubbling sweet fruit covered with tender, flaky biscuits is exactly the image I hope he recalls of being home for the holidays. Joanne is a phenomenal pastry chef and owns, Flour, one of my all-time favorite bakeries in Boston, so I knew her recipe would satisfy this lofty request from my son. It did not disappoint and I have a feeling this will be an often requested treat in my house. Her book is filled with so many fantastic recipes from this quintessential comfort food to more refined pastries. A pastry book for every home!

Blueberry Cobbler | ZoeBakes photo by Zoë François

You can watch me make the biscuits and assemble the blueberry cobbler in my Instagram video and Joanne generously gave me permission to share the recipe with you below: Read More