Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thirteen Favorite Ingredients For Desserts

In France, thirteen is a very lucky number. People will buy lottery tickets, especially on a Friday the thirteenth!! So, I have no fear or phobia about the carnival. If you don't either, go visit Thursday 13 and their participants.

  1. Vanilla; especially the beans. They come from beautiful orchids too. When using extract, these days we need to be careful that there isn't any corn syrup added. I was very upset to find out last time I bought "Pure Vanilla Extract" that it had corn syrup in the fine print and in the bottle. Now what's PURE about that?
  2. Honey; I've already posted about some of honey's benefits. Be sure to follow the link if you missed it.
  3. Coffee; In France, we love coffee and add it to chocolate to intensify the chocolate flavor. Coffee flavored cakes -- not coffee cake -- are favorites in bakeries.
  4. Hazelnuts; Probably my mom's all-time favorite. We don't use it enough here in the States in my opinion;
  5. Chestnuts; I remember eating chestnut desserts with whipped cream as a child. They came in little cups like we would buy pudding or yogurt here. Each Christmas, my relatives send me sugar glazed chestnuts: "Marrons Glaces."
  6. Almonds; Frangipane is a buttery almond paste and so good. I love Galette des Rois each January. It's a French tradition like the Three Kings Cake in New Orleans and surrounding areas. I also love slivered almonds on cakes and pies, or almonds in chocolate candies and cookies.
  7. Maraschino Cherries; On top of ice cream or I'll even take them all by themselves; they are so good. Beware again of the corn syrup.
  8. Rum; Rum goes great with desserts. Have you ever had a Baba au Rhum?
  9. Pistachios; I love nuts and these little green ones also make great ice cream.
  10. Raisins; Raisins in bread, pudding, ice cream, cakes, danishes, the list just goes on and on as these little dried grapes complement so many desserts.
  11. Orange extract; It's a great flavor to add to crepes.
  12. Lemon juice; Can be added to most fruits and will keep apple and bananas from yellowing.
  13. Rose water; Not too many people still use rose water, but it adds a very delicate yet intense flavor. If used in small amounts, you will receive numerous compliments, yet most people will not be able to tell what it is that makes them like your desert so much.
I know I've missed plenty of flavors and ingredients, but there's only room for 13 today, so go ahead and tell me which ones I've missed or which are your favorites. Be sure to leave your link so we can all visit you too. ;-)

T H U R S D A Y !!!


  1. I'm hungry now!

    Thanks for posting such a fun list!

  2. Now I'm starving!

    I don't care for rose water, but vanilla bean paste is divine.

  3. Love your new blog! You tempt me - oh how you tempt me... It all looks fabulous!

  4. mmmmm...yummy :o) thanks for the tips too!!!

  5. I can SMELL your post.
    Now, I want to make dessert using some of those!

  6. Sorry I missed you yesterday .... grrr.... I love dessert! And am so happy to have met you! :)

  7. I certainly agree on many points; on vanilla extract--I resorted to making my own to avoid the added corn syrup/sugar. Even the best brands had one or the other... so now I have my own, which is fantastic!

  8. Mrs. W.: Making your own is the best and becoming required considering how many additives and/or chemicals they keep adding to our foods. I had never been one to be paranoid about it, but they are overdoing it so much and with everything that I am now checking my labels very carefully. You are so right about "even the best brands." We can no long rely on brand name.

  9. Great ingredients! Today's theme at Scrumptious Sunday is cookies-a dessert-hehe! Hope to see you there!

  10. Mmmmm! These sound so good!

    Here is a blog you might enjoy:

    I don't remember how or where I came across it, but I love looking at the food!

  11. Mrs. B.: Thanks for letting me know about that blog. I'm going to take a look right now.


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