Cocoa Puffed Chocolate Mousse

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In my first book, I told the story of the chocolate rose. In case you missed it: my mom once gave me a chocolate rose to give the girl across the street for Valentine’s Day. I nervously carried it over, rang the doorbell, and ended up giving the rose to her sister to pass on and never heard anything about it ever again. The girl didn’t acknowledge my chocolate rose. If she had, would I be married to a woman today? Judging by my recent Spotify Broadway mix, I’m thinking “no.” But I also think I would’ve been more successful with the girl across the street if I’d brought this Cocoa Puffed Chocolate Mousse instead.

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Vanilla Bean Pudding

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Let’s talk pudding.

It doesn’t sound sexy like “panna cotta” or sophisticated like “pot de crem.” It sounds like the kind of thing you eat out of a plastic container with an aluminum peel on top which, for many people who grew up with Billy Cosby shilling for it on TV, it very much is. Which is unfortunate because good pudding–the kind of pudding you make at home with whole milk, sugar, corn starch, and any flavor combination you want–can be a cozier and more comforting dessert than those fancier, European concoctions.

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Emily Wallendjack’s Pistachio Pudding (at Cookshop)

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Meet my friend Cara (screen-left, pink top). On October 9th, she’s getting married.

A few weeks ago, at her wedding shower, we were chatting and I was asking her about her wedding cake.

“We’re not having a wedding cake,” she said. “I’d rather have a dessert I really like,” she explained. But when it came to choosing that dessert she said, “The one dessert I most want is this pistachio pudding with chocolate cookies and salted whipped cream I once had at Cookshop. But I don’t think they’ll give me the recipe.”

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Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding

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Let’s say you have a loved one who doesn’t cook (ahem) and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (ahem) and you’re sick and tired of slaving over a hot stove, day in and day out, and wish that just once (ahem) they’d make you dessert.

Ok, my “ahems” are a bit unfair: that made it sound like I’m complaining about my own domestic situation. I’m not. I don’t want Craig to make me dessert–I like making my own dessert, thank you very much–but you, yes YOU, may wish your loved one to make you dessert this Valentine’s Day. It’s very understandable. Well here’s the solution: open up this post on their computer, leave it open, and maybe they’ll get the hint. This is a pretty foolproof beginner cook dessert option and it’s out-of-this-world good.

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Late Night Lemon Mousse

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After a long day on Tuesday of editing a video for Food2.com, I called Craig and told him to order a pizza. When I came home, he was editing a video with his friend Alena. There’s a lot of video editing going on in our lives. And so we all snarfed down that pizza, they returned to their editing, and I–like the sophisticated, highbrow person that I am–watched “The View” on Tivo. At around midnight, after Alena left, I got a hankering for dessert and decided, at 12:15, to make a lemon mousse.

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Easy Tiramisu

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Tiramisu is a dessert I’ve only eaten at restaurants–usually with my family. For some reason, the alchemy of its components always eluded me. It seemed like it might be very tricky to make. And then, for the Sopranos finale, I decided to give it a go. I pushed aside all the more complex recipes that involved egg yolks and heat, and used one right out of the Sopranos cookbook. It took less than ten minutes and the results were pretty dynamite. Here’s how to do it.

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