Archive for the Dessert Category

Blueberry Tart with No Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake and Chocolate Glaze

Posted in Dessert on April 5, 2012 by Cooking For Mark

Found this gem saved in my drafts.  I must have forgotten to post! Enjoy!


Blueberry Tart

Blueberry Tart Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 large egg


  1. Combine flour and salt. Set aside
  2. Beat cold butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until creamed. Stir in egg just until combined
  3. Add flour mixture to butter and mix together until it forms into a ball
  4. Place dough in plastic bag and place in freezer for 15 minutes
  5. Roll out dough and place in tart shell. Remove excess dough and shape into tart
  6. Pre heat oven to 375
  7. Place blueberries with flour, sugar and lime zest in tart
  8. bake for about 20 minutes.


White Chocolate Cheesecake

White Chocolate Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 1 block good white chocolate
  • 1 1/2 packages cream cheese
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Orange zest
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped until fluffy
  • 2-3 tbsp powdered sugar


  1. Place mixing bowl on top of pot with boiling water. Add the white chocolate and cream cheese until the chocolate slowly melts. Stir frequently
  2. Add the vanilla and orange zest.
  3. While the chocolate is melting, whip the cream until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes by hand. Add powdered sugar.
  4. When chocolate and cream cheese are melted and creamy, add the mixture to the whipped cream. Gently incorporate the two by folding in the ingredients.
  5. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator for about an hour, until blueberry tart is baked and chilled.
  • 2 tbsp Orange juice
  • 1 tbsp Orange liquor
  • 1 package gelatin


  1. Place orange juice and orange liquor in saucepan and heat until it comes to a boil.
  2. Turn off heat and add gelatin. Stir until all lumps disappear.
  3. Take white chocolate mixture from fridge and whisk in gelatin mixture until fully incorporated.
  4. Place white chocolate and gelatin mixture in cooled blueberry tart. Place in fridge.
  5. Optional: You can also fold in some fresh blueberries into the white chocolate mixture (about 1/2-1 c.)


Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (or bittersweet)
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp orange liquor (optional)

Directions: Place all ingredients in saucepan and heat until hot (without letting it boil). Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for 3-5 minutes. Glaze the tart and place in freezer to set for about 1 hour.


White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake Tart with Chocolate Glaze


Foodbuzz 24X24: Primal Party

Posted in Appetizers, Dessert, Mexican with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2012 by Cooking For Mark

For the past three months i’ve been eating a primal diet.  Having eliminated all processed foods, grains, and legumes, I am left with whole and nutritious foods.  I am healthy, well nourished, and full of energy! I absolutely love this new way of eating.

A few friends of mine also eat primally.  I thought it would be fun to invite them over for tapas-style dinner and drinks, all of it being primal, of course.  It turns out this day fell on Foodbuzz’s 24X24 event, where 24 food bloggers are chosen to host a food-based event within the same 24 hour period. Foodbuzz chose my proposal, so here I am, happy to be a part of the lucky 24.  The primal menu consisted of the following:

 Carne Asada Bok Choy Wraps

Zucchini and Parmesan Fritters with Tzatziki Sauce

Deconstructed Tuna Roll with Wasabi Aoli

Mini Eggplant Moussakas 

Stuffed Chile Relleno in Spicy Sauce

Chorizo-Stuffed Chicken

Bacon-Wraped Dates stuffed with Honey Cinnamon Goat Cheese

Dark Chocolate Pots De Creme with Coconut Creme

Marscapone Avocado & Lime Partait with Raspberry Puree and Coconut Creme

~ And Lots of Wine! ~



  • Small Bok Choy leaves
  • Marinated Carne Asada
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Spicy Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Avocado


  • 2 medium sized zucchinis, grated and squeezed of excess moisture (I used a cheese cloth)
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Parsley
  • Lemon zest
  • Egg
  • Almond Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Tzatziki Sauce


  • 1 English Cucumber
  • Wasabi Aoli (mayo, sour cream, wasabi paste, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper)
  • Roasted Seaweed (Trader Joe’s)
  • Pan-Seared Tuna Steak
  • Avocado
  • Picked Ginger
  • Soy Sauce (optional)


  • 2 Carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 Celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small eggplants, insides removed (save shells)
Directions: Saute all veggies until soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. parmesan cheese
Directions: Brown ground beef with spices and herbs.  Add sautéed veggies. Mix Parmesan cheese.
  • Melting Cheese
Directions: Fill eggplant with ground beef mixture. Top with melting cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 375 degrees until cheese is melted.


  • Pasilla Chiles, grilled and chard on all sides. Skin & seeds removed.
  • Melting cheese (I used Edam)
Directions:  Take skinless and seedless chiles and stuff them with cheese. Secure with toothpick.
  • Enchilada Sauce (homemade or store bought)
Directions: In a baking pan, pour some enchilada sauce on the bottom. Place stuffed chile relleno and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 376 until cheese melts.


  • 1/2 lb chorizo, cooked
  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded flat and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • Serve with spicy enchilada sauce, cooked spinach, and sour cream.

Directions: place about 1/3 c. cooked chorizo down the middle of a flat chicken breast.  Roll the chicken and secure with toothpicks. Sear the chicken on all sides until brown. (Inside will not be cooked).  Pour enchilada sauce in a backing pan and place chicken on top of the sauce. Drench chicken with more sauce. Bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes.



  • 6 dates, half-sliced and pitted
  • Goat cheese with a bit of honey and cinnamon
  • 6 slices of bacon
Directions: Fill dates with goat cheese. Brown bacon until almost crisp.  Wrap bacon around dates and secure with toothpick.  Bake in oven at 375 until bacon is crisp to your liking and cheese is warm and gooey.


  • 7 oz good quality dark chocolate (I used 80%) – chopped into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp good vanilla
  • 1-2 tsp agave nectar (adjust sweetness to your own liking)
  • Pinch of sea salt
Directions: Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth.
  • 1/2 c. freshly made HOT coffee
Directions: pour hot coffee while blending. Blend until all of chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • 1/2 c. cream or coconut cream
  • 2 -4 tbsp cream cheese (optional)
Directions: add cream to blender last. Pour in small shot glasses and chill until set, about 3-4 hours. Top with Coconut cream or whipped cream.



  • 1 small avocado
  • 1/3 c. marscapone cheese
  • about 1 tsp lime (taste and adjust)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Agave nectar, to taste
Directions: whip everything together. Place in small shot glass.
  • Pureed raspberries with 1/2 tsp vanilla
Directions: add a spoonful of raspberry puree to shot glass
  • Whipped coconut creme
Directions: add whipped coconut creme when ready to serve

Trust me, it taste as good as it looks!

Wild Blackberry & Coconut Butter Cookies

Posted in Dessert on September 19, 2011 by Cooking For Mark

Intrigued? …..

They were utterly and completely delicious. Ina Garten never disappoints.

SO delicious, I sent my dad a box full of them for his B-day.  My mom has complained he refuses to share.

I sent him a total of 27 cookies.  A day and a half in he was down to 19.  My mom was forcefully limited to 3.

I also sent some chocolate-covered Alfajores (dulcet de leche filled cookies). Same buttery cookie – different filling – all out of this world.


  • 3 sticks (1.5 cups) unsalted good-quality butter, softened (since I am very impatient, I placed my cold butter in a mixing bowl, cut it up in small chunks, and placed it in the oven at 180 degrees for about 5 minutes.  Just don’t let it melt– you want it soft.)
  • 3.5 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp real vanilla extract
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Filling
  • 2 eggs
  • Coconut
    1. Preheat oven to 350
    2. Mix butter and sugar until creamy with a whisk. Add vanilla.
    3. In second bowl, mix flour and salt.
    4. Add butter mixture to flour.  Mix together with your hand (or with a fancy mixture if you have one)
    5. Roll into a disk, cover with parchment paper and freeze for 15 mins.
    6. Roll into little balls
    7. Dip in egg mixture
    8. Roll in coconut
    9. Indent middle of cookie with finger
    10. Fill with favorite jam
    11. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
    12. Bake for 11-17 minutes, depending on thickness.  Coconut should be brown.
    13. Enjoy!

I’m Back!

Posted in American, Dessert, French with tags , , , on September 13, 2011 by Cooking For Mark

Dear blog.  You may think I have deserted you, and I would not blame you if you did.  I left without an explanation, without a glimmer of hope that I would return.  But I am back – for good. I promise I will never leave you ever again. Will you take me back?

In my attempts to win you back,  here is a little sneaksy of what I have been up to. Regrettably, some of my favorite dishes I have made I did not take pictures of.  But fear not, I will make them again and will start posting soon.


For the cake I used Julia Child’s Chocolate Almond Cake.  I was very disappointed with the cake. It was dry and tasteless. But, the cherry filling made with red wine and oranges was fantastic, as well as the chocolate frosting.


Orgasm in your mouth! Buttery dough covered with mustard, parmesan, and herbs topped with sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes – topped with mozzarella and basil. Make this before tomato season ends!


Simple yet amazing.


First attempt at beef bourguignon. It was absolutely fantastic! The brandy with the bacon and red wine make the most delicious sauce to cover the perfectly tender beef.


Pan fried gnocchi with a bit of garlic, tossed with lemon pasta, cherry tomatoes with a bit of white wine and olive oil. Finish off with little mozzarella balls and fresh basil, and balsamic vinegar. The perfect summer pasta.


Perfectly cooked Northwest wild-caught salmon. Oven-baked tortilla bowl filled with southwest salad with a creamy cilantro dressing.

Alfajores – Cajeta Shortbread Cookies

Posted in Dessert with tags , , , , on March 26, 2011 by Cooking For Mark

May I present you with the most irresistible crumbly buttery cookie filled with gooey cajeta (dulce de leche).  Pair with a cup of coffee for a mid-afternoon snack.  Ahh, perfection!


  • 3 sticks (1.5 cups) unsalted good-quality butter, softened (since I am very impatient, I placed my cold butter in a mixing bowl, cut it up in small chunks, and placed it in the oven at 180 degrees for about 5 minutes.  Just don’t let it melt– you want it soft.)
  • 3.5 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp real vanilla extract
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Cajeta or dulce de leche


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix butter and sugar until creamy with a whisk. Add vanilla.
  3. In second bowl, mix flour and salt.
  4. Add butter mixture to flour.  Mix together with your hand (or with a fancy mixture if you have one)
  5. Roll into a log and cover with plastic wrap/parchment paper. Place in freezer for 30 mins.
  6. Cut log in thin circles. Place in cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 11-15 minutes, depending on thickness.  Cookies should barely be brown on the outside, white in the middle.
  8. Let cookies cook completely.  Place a teaspoon of cajeta in middle and top with another cookie.  Dust with powdered sugar.
  9. Try not to drool during the process.
  10. Enjoy!

Bourbon Cajeta

Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Mexican with tags , , on March 26, 2011 by Cooking For Mark

Cajeta, better known as “Dulce de Leche” in South America and Spain, is a rich caramel sauce and a staple in every Latin American home.  It is the Nutella of Europe and the peanut butter of the United States. We eat it for breakfast with a piece of toast and coffee, we use it as fillings in cookies and cakes, or, it is simply eaten by the spoonful.

It’s incredible how food or smells can bring back certain memories you would otherwise not recall.  Like my mom’s arroz con leche or avena.  The smell of the simmering sweet milk and cinnamon takes me back to our small home in Mexico.  I can see my mom standing over the stove stirring while I attentively watched every step impatiently waiting for my warm bowl.  Or Pozole, which instantly takes me to my grandmother’s ranch where she would ritually kill and feather a chicken while I hid in horror and proceeded to pretend my delicious chicken soup was vegetarian. The cajeta, however, reminds me of my grandpa.  Every time he came to visit us in Guadalajara he brought my mom and I a jar of homemade cajeta.  And as long as we had that jar, our mornings always started just a little bit sweeter.

I know they now sell “dulce de leche” in grocery stores, but it doesn’t come close to the real thing.  Although making it is time consuming, it is sooo worth it.  So grab a good book, make yourself a cup of coffee, and be prepared to stir (off and on) the entire afternoon.

I you don’t have the time, however, here is a little trick – and no, it does not consist of boiling a can of condensed  for 4 hours risking an explosion with cajeta all over you ceiling and walls (yes, I have seen it happen).  What you do is place the contents of a can of condensed milk into a baking dish and place it into a nice water bath.  Bake in the oven at 425 for about an hour until it is a nice caramel color.  You’re welcome.


  • 4 c. Goats Milk
  • 4 c. Whole Milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 small cans media crema (table cream), or 1 c. heavy cream
  • 3 c. Sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp  salt
  • 1/3 c. bourbon
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Place milk, cream and sugar on med heat in BIG saucepan (to prevent it from spilling over). Stir occasionally.
  2. When it starts to boil, add baking soda and salt, stir.
  3. Turn the heat down to low and stir every 30 mins or so.
  4. Cook until you get a deep caramel color. (Mine took about 4 hours on super low.  If you cook on med heat it should take about 1.5-2 hours).
  5. When the color is where you want it, add the bourbon and vanilla.
  6. Let cook for an extra 15 minutes. Take off heat.
  7. The cajeta will thicken as it cools.  Transfer the Cajeta into a jar let cool completely. Place in refrigerator.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

Posted in Breads, Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert with tags , , , , on October 31, 2010 by Cooking For Mark
Pair these warm cinnamon rolls with a cup of coffee and you have the perfect fall breakfast.  And no need to wake up early either.  If you make these the night before, all you do is wake up and place them in the oven.  The pumpkin cinnamon sent will soon fill your house and everyone will be waking up with mouth-watering curiosity. Also, these are a bit healthier than most cinnamon rolls. Go ahead, take a look at the ingredients..yup, no butter and still delicious!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients: (Bake at 350 Degrees for 20 minutes)
  • 1/3 c. buttermilk (or regular)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree (canned)
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 -3 c. flour

Directions: combine all ingredients except flour and mix thoroughly. Add flour 1/2 c. at a time until it forms into a ball without sticking to your fingers.  Knead for 7 minutes. Cover with damp cloth and let rise for 1 hour. Prepare filling.


  • 1/3-1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice (or nutmeg)
  • 1/3 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (or choc chips!)

Directions: After the dough has doubled in size, punch down and roll out to about the size of a cookie sheet. Spread a thin layer of pumpkin puree and then a layer of sugar/cinnamon mixture. Top with nuts (optional).  Roll lengthwise and cut 1 inch pieces. Place parchment paper on pizza pan and assemble the rolls around so that they are touching one another. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. Bake in preheated oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar and a bit of cinnamon. Decorate with cream cheese swirl.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 package cream cheese, @ room temp
  • 1 tbsp milk (approx.)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Approx 1/4 c. powdered sugar, to taste

Directions: mix ingredients together until smooth.  Use ziplock bag to decorate the rolls.

Note: These cinnamon rolls are not the overpowering, sugary drenched rolls you may be used to.  Personally, I don’t like that. But if you do, feel free to glaze it with a sugar frosting and then add the cream cheese on top.