A Lovely Ice Cream Cookie for Valentine’s Day

A Lovely Ice Cream Cookie for Valentine’s Day

Vanilla Ice Cream cookie with warm blueberries

I love the combination of blueberry, coconut and vanilla. You probably have seen this combination in my blueberry & vanilla soy milk oatmeal post. For this dessert I warmed up blueberries with cream of coconut and served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream served on a cookie.  The cookie’s ingredients support this dessert with flavors of coconut,  vanilla and chocolate chips. Topped with a thin slice of banana and chocolate shavings makes this dessert a very simple yet tasty treat for any occasion.

Ice cream cookie with blueberries

A Quick Journey into the History of Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s day is upon us we honor our spouses, partners or friends. We look to buy the biggest  and reddest roses, the best chocolate money can buy and send the  biggest cards out to our loved ones. It is truly a beautiful day to spend the evening together and celebrate a lovely friend ship or marriage. But where is this tradition originated and why are we celebrating Valentine’s day?

Did you know?

To make a long story short:  According to the history books and online archives. St. Valentine who lived around A.D. 270 was a priest from the Roman Catholic church who married  young soldiers before they went to war. The only problem was that the Emperor Claudius had forbidden soldiers to get married, because he thought these men are vulnerable and don’t make strong warriors compared to single men who have nothing to lose. St. Valentine ignored  these regulations and kept on marrying  soldiers in privacy. Once the Emperor Claudius heard of that he ordered St. Valentines to be killed. In his prison cell he was alleged visited by a maid to bring him food and drink. Before his death he wrote her a letter whith the ending words “from your Valentine”.  This is almost 2000 years ago. Tell me Culinary Traditions aren’t powerful? Of course there are other theories about St. Valentine, maybe you know a different one.

Chocolate Coconut Cookies

What will it be? Chocolate, Flowers or jewelry.

According to an online survey published on about flowers; men buy flowers, candies and chocolate to show their affection to a loved one, while women use this opportunity to honor their relation ships to mothers and female friends.  Chocolate is the most bought item for Valentine’s Day, followed by flowers and jewelry.  Valentine’s Day is the second busiest Holiday after Christmas. How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Jar of chocolate chip cookies


Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

Recipe Type: Dessert, Baked Goods
Cuisine: American
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie Dough
  • 6 oz / 175 g / 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8.5 oz / 240 g / 1 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp cream of coconut
  • 2 egg
  • 3.5 oz / 100 g / 1 1/4 cup organic quick cooking oats
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 12 oz / 345 g / 3 cups unbleached organic flour
  • 4.5 oz / 130 g / 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies
  1. Blend butter, sugar, eggs and cream of coconut until well incorporated.
  2. Add all other ingredients.
  3. Scoop 1 1/2 oz cookie dough onto a greased baking pan, or on a silicon mat.
  4. Flatten dough with fingers or spoon.
  5. Bake at 365 degrees Fahrenheit or 185 degrees Celsius for 7-9 minutes.
  6. Place baked cookies on rack to cool.
I used a confection oven, which speeds up cooking time. For regular ovens add about 2-3 minutes baking time.


Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies


Warm Blueberries

Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • Warm Blueberries
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cream of coconut
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 5 oz / 140 g / 1 cup organic blueberries
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Orange liquor
Warm Blueberries
  1. In a sauté pan melt all ingredients except berries and liquor over medium heat.
  2. Cook sugar mixture until it is reduced to half.
  3. Now add the blueberries.
  4. Once the blueberries come to a boil move pan away from fire and add the liquor.
  5. Bring blueberries one more time to a quick boil and serve immediately
Serve warm blueberries to your favorite ice creams or puddings. It also taste delicious with crepes, pancakes or French toast.


Cookies taste best after they have just cooled out. Although you can store them in a cookie jar and munch on them for days to come. For this dessert I served the cookies with vanilla ice cream and warm blueberries. Decorated with a slice of banana and chocolate shavings. You can create your own ice cream cookie with any type of berries and your favorite ice cream.

Happy Valentine’s Day


Lovely vanilla Ice cream cookie


What are your favorite cookies?

What is your favorite dessert using cookies or ice cream?

Do you like warm blueberries or do you prefer other berries?

Do you celebrate Valentine’s day?



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Caribbean Black Cake to Bring Prosperity and Luck

Caribbean Black Cake to Bring Prosperity and Luck

My cousin-in-law Roseanne was grateful enough to reveal her Guyanese black cake recipe to me. As you know by now I have acquired a passion and love for Caribbean food and have come to enjoy many of their culinary traditions. Mainly due to the fact that I have lived and worked in the Caribbean and second because of my beautiful wife Denise, whom I have met there, while, working as a chef. Now, 20 years later, I have two big sons who love our culinary traditions. We always wanted to make sure that our kids grow up knowing both cultures. So over the Holidays I usually cook popular German foods and my wife cooks Caribbean cuisine. That way my sons could appreciate different culinary traditions and indeed they love it. Thank God for that.

Guyanese Black Cake


Culinary Traditions over New Year to bring Prosperity and Luck

One of these traditions is the black Cake, which is usually baked at Christmas, New Years and for weddings. Black cake is home to the entire Caribbean and is offered throughout the year in gift stores and bakeries alike. When it comes to Christmas and New Year it is a must to bake black cake. As my cousin-in-law puts it; the New Year can’t find you without black cake, freshly baked bread, pepper pot and black eye peas & rice. According to Caribbean traditions these four food staples bring you luck and prosperity for the New Year.

Roseanne baking a Black Cake

The Difference Between Fruit Cake and Black cake

Black cake is essentially a fruit cake which is simply colored with molasses. However, there is a fundamental difference in preparation and taste of both cakes. The fruits for black cake are soaked in alcohol and spices for a few month, preferably up to a year. After the black cake is baked it is immediately soaked with more alcohol. I’ll get to the specifics of the alcohol a little later. Both cakes are being baked for weddings and other festivities.

Caribbean Black Cake


Planning and Preparing the Black Cake is Essential

In order to bake a perfect black cake one should plan for it way in advance. As I mentioned before, soaking the fruits in rum, brandy, port and other flavors is very important to make a flawless cake. The longer the fruits being soaked the better the outcome meaning flavor. However, I have baked a black cake with fruits soaked only a week and it worked out, too. But to get the real flavor and moisture into the cake, it’s better to soak it for a longer period of time. Then, when it comes to bake the cake having fun is equally important. Traditional a few friends come together and join the “baker” to help with simple procedures, talk about the old times and sip some port wine.

Piece of Black Cake


Guyanese Black Cake

Recipe Type: Dessert, Cakes,
Cuisine: Caribbean
Author: Kraemer’s Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 x 9″ cakes
  • Soaked Fruits
  • Prepare fruits early in advance (if possible) for better flavor.
  • 1/2 lb golden raisins
  • 1/2 lb currants
  • 1 lb prunes
  • 1/4 lb candied lemon peel
  • 1/4 lb candied Orange peel
  • 1/4 lb candied cherries
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp almond essence
  • Cover with 1/2 liter dark rum, 1/4 liter cherry brandy, 1/4 liter port wine
  • Keep an additional 1/4 liter of rum and port wine for later.
  • [url href=”http://verygoodrecipes.com/desserts” target=”_blank” title=”Caribbean Black Cake”]Black Cake[/url] Batter:
  • 1 lb / 454 grams unsalted butter, room temperature but not too warm
  • 3/4 lb / 340 grams dark brown sugar
  • 12 fl oz / 360 ml molasses
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • 1/4 tsp anise essence
  • 1 cup / 120 grams chopped walnuts
  • 11 Eggs, room temperature
  • 14 oz / 400 grams flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Soaked Fruits
  1. In a food processor chop <a class=”zem_slink” title=”Dried fruit” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dried_fruit” rel=”wikipedia” target=”_blank” data-mce-href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dried_fruit”>dried fruits</a> to about a quarter of its size.
  2. Soak dried fruits with alcohol until completely covered, then close with a tied lid or aluminum foil. Keep at a cool dry place for at least 2 month to up to a year.
Black Cake Batter:
  1. With an electric handheld mixer or KitchenAid mixer whip butter and sugar on high-speed until it doubles in volume.
  2. On medium speed slowly add molasses, all flavors and spices.
  3. Now add one egg at a time.
  4. By now the batter should have doubled again in volume.
  5. Add chopped walnuts.
  6. Mix baking powder with flour and slowly add to batter.
  7. Oil and flour two 9″ baking pans and divide batter among the two.
  8. In a 300 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven bake for about 1 hour and thirty-five minutes.
  9. As soon as the cake is removed from the oven pour about 1/4 liter of rum over it. Do not remove the black cake from its form. Let the cake absorb the alcohol. Once the cake is cooled out remove it from the form and wrap it with plastic wrap and foil. After about 4 hours pour 1/4 liter of port wine over it. Wrap cake again airtight.
Very often peanuts are being used in the black cake as specially in the Caribbean, since peanuts are always readily available at a lower price. I just happened to like walnuts over peanuts. [br]Warning: This cake should not be fed to children and young adults under the age of 21 due to its high alcohol content.


What are you cooking for the new year?

Do know of any dishes that suppose to bring you luck and prosperity?

Have you tried black cake before? Did you like it?




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Coffee Chocolate Mousse with a Very Berry Cherry Compote

Coffee Chocolate Mousse with a Very Berry Cherry Compote

I think chocolate – I eat chocolate – and – I crave chocolate all the time.  I don’t know what it is, but I think chocolate is addicting.  I have to admit I don’t care for the really cheap chocolate,  because they lack the cocoa that makes chocolate so good in the first place.  I know chocolate is not everyone’s favorite.  Like my wife doesn’t like  it at all. It’s really too bad because they say chocolate is an aphrodisiac. 🙂

Mousse au chocolate with berry compote

Chocolate Makes You Happy

Let’s be serious here – Chocolate has some great health benefits.  Whether it’s the flavonoids or the antioxidants,  chocolate has much more health benefits than any other candy.  Other benefits include reduced bad cholesterol, blood thinning properties, lower blood pressure,  it may even prevent diabetes.  And according to one study chocolate makes you feel good, what about that!  Did I mention it’s good for your skin, too. Though one thing is important here. To get all the health benefits of chocolate  one should stick to the dark one.  I know – milk  chocolate tastes sooo much better,  that’s because of the sugar.  So stick with dark chocolate.

Melting Chocolate

My First Love

Chocolate mousse was one of the first desserts I learned to make when I was in my apprentice ship more than twenty years ago.  Fond memories remind me when we created coffee chocolate mousse filled in homemade chocolate cups for 500 people.  It was then and still is my culinary passion that drove me through the gastronomic craziness (in a positive way).  With great excitement did me and my colleagues looked at our upcoming catering functions.  The more functions we had the more hyped we became.  Just before serving each course everyone was highly focused, one could hear a needle drop.  Once  the dinner is completed a feeling of relief and happiness as well as a sense of achievement kicks in. A great feeling it is – to serve our guest whether it’s in our own dining room or in a restaurant.

Molten Chocolate

I remember creating the chocolate cups from scratch,  which in today’s fast environment would be uneconomical.  It’s much easier and cheaper to buy them now. Nonetheless we blew up 500 balloons the size of a fist, a bit smaller maybe. We would than dip each balloon a little more than half way into tempered chocolate.  The balloon is than rested on a with wax paper fitted tray or marble table.  For certain customer request we would dip the still wet chocolate balloons into coconut flakes, caramelized almonds or pistachios.  Once the chocolate is completely cold and hardened,  the balloons would be popped and carefully pulled off.  Nowadays these chocolate cups are available at a very low price.  So there is no reason to spend hours to make your own chocolate cups even though it is very rewarding.  This particular coffee chocolate mousse recipe I made for my parents on their 75 birthday.  However as you can see I didn’t use chocolate cups for this Coffee chocolate mousse.

Whipping eggs in a double boiler

Egg whites whipped to a stiff peak

Why not make a White Coffee Chocolate Mousse?

I like this particular chocolate mousse because it is infused with real coffee beans.  The coffee beans are submerged in the heavy cream overnight or even better for 24 hours.  This process will give the heavy cream a full coffee flavor.  Later the cream is strained,  whipped and carefully incorporated into the chocolate mousse. This process works also fantastic with a white coffee chocolate mousse.  In case anyone cares for white chocolate mousse, it’s necessary to add 2 sheets of gelatine. Otherwise the mousse wouldn’t set properly.  That’s because white chocolate has by far less cocoa butter than milk or dark chocolate. I’ll be happy to post the recipe for white coffee chocolate mousse for anyone interested.

Assembling Chocolate Mousse

How to make coffe chocolate mousse

Coffee Chocolate Mousse Dessert is ideal for catering

Coffee Chocolate Mousse with a Very Berry Cherry Compote

Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 12-15
  • Coffee Chocolate Mousse
  • 10 oz / 300 g milk chocolate
  • 10 oz /300 g dark chocolate
  • 8 eggs divided
  • 3 oz / 85 g sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1.5 fl oz coffee liquor
  • ¾ qt heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole coffee beans
  • Cherry Berry Compote
  • 2 cups dark cherries
  • 2 cups assorted berries
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry juice (the juice that came with the cherries)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1.5 fl oz cherry liquor
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • sprigs of mint
Coffee Chocolate Mousse
  1. In the morning or the night before starting the mousse soak coffee beans in the heavy cream. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator.
  2. Break up both chocolates into small pieces. Pour chocolates in a bowl and place over a bowl with hot water (around 120 degrees Fahrenheit / 50 degrees Celsius. Stir often with a wooden spoon.
  3. Beat egg yolks, half of the sugar, and coffee liquor in a double boiler. This time the water should be almost simmering. Beat egg yolks until they become foamy like a Sabayon / Zabaione. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
  4. In a very clean bowl whisk the egg whites. Once egg whites are half way stiff add the remaining sugar. Continue to whisk until stiff peak is achieved and keep cool.
  5. Strain heavy cream from the coffee beans and whip with vanilla sugar until stiff, set aside in a cool place.
  6. Pour chocolate into the egg mixture and incorporate.
  7. Slowly fold in whipped cream with a whisk.
  8. Gently incorporate the egg whites with a spatula. It’s important to fold in the airy egg whites carefully so the mousse stays very light.
  9. Chill chocolate mousse for at least 4-6 hours or until set.
Cherry Berry Compote
  1. Heat cherry juice until simmering.
  2. Mix cornstarch with a little bit of water until a liquid paste develops.
  3. Add cornstarch to simmering cherry juice, keep whisking until the juice starts to thicken. Let it come to a boil once.
  4. Incorporate liquor, cinnamon, cherries and berries, let cool.
  1. Once the mousse is set it can be easily piped through a pastry bag into glasses or spooned onto a plate. Add the cherry berry compote and decorate to your heart’s content.

What was your first dessert you learned to cook?

Do you like chocolate?

Do you have a favorite way of making a chocolate mousse?



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Recovering from Hurricane with Coconut Rice Pudding

Recovering from Hurricane with Coconut Rice Pudding

Sandy – I’ll never forget you

I have to admit I have seen better days. Hurricane Sandy flexed her muscles and showed us that Mother Nature is still in charge. No one really wanted to believe that this storm would hit this community so bad. In the end, it was a 15-foot coastal flood wave which basically rolled over our sea town. It didn’t end there; the 36-hour tropical storm that followed the flood blasted with 95 miles per hour winds and finished the disaster for what is now known as the worst storm New York has ever seen.

Hurricane caos

Hurricane aftermath

What Bragging Rights and Hurricanes Have in Common?

Seeing disasters like this on TV is one thing; experience it first hand is another. I thank god my family and neighbors are fine.  Some neighbors, who actually laughed at me for evacuating to higher grounds, lost their cars and almost their lives. Of course, anyone stays behind has bragging rights?! But is it worth the risk?

Houses burned down and the fire departments couldn’t help since the roads were flooded with over 4 feet of water. Bragging rights?! – No thank you.

The hardest part, after returning to the house, was the cleanup progress. It felt like there is no end in side. Even worse, seeing memories such as childhood pictures floating away is heart ranching.

The good, the bad and the ugly

Hey, life goes on, but why should I burden you with my worries. Everyone got their own problems. However, there is a good side to this. Communities come together and help each other.  We all got a little closer – the good, the bad and the ugly neighbors. Differences were put aside and friendships were made or refreshed. And the moral of bragging rights and hurricanes are: Both can have dangerous consequences.

In my next post, you’ll find out how we made out without power, heat, and water and how wood stove cooking and candlelight dinners made our day a little sweeter.

Coconut Rice Pudding with Warm Dark Cherries

Coconut rice pudding is comfort food for me. This very simple rice pudding, which cooked with vanilla soy milk, is topped with warm dark cherries. You can serve it with any fruit you like, I find rice pudding taste just great with any fruits, canned or fresh. Try it with warm blueberries or raspberries.


Coconut Rice Pudding with Cherries & Cinnamom

Update: Hurricane Sandy is long gone but never forgotten. We have moved on, repaired and renovated what got destroyed. I actually must say this hurricane was a blessing in guise. However, not for everyone. We were able to repair our house to state better than it was before.

I have transitioned to a vegan lifestyle, that I really enjoy. Gone are the meat and dairy days. I have decided to change my blog and theme in the near future to Live of a vegan chef. Being a chef has given me ample opportunities to inspire my guests to eat healthy. I think it’s time to adapt this opportunity to inspire others to a vegan lifestyle that offers elegant vegan meals and a path to wellness.

Print Recipe
Coconut Milk Rice
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Warm Cherries
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Warm Cherries
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
Coconut Milk Rice
  1. On medium to high heat bring soy milk to a simmer.
  2. Add rice, sugar, salt, vanilla bean and coconut milk.
  3. Lower the temperature to medium to low and stir frequently with a wooden spoon. Cook rice until soft. The milk rice should now be semi thick.
Cherry sauce
  1. Bring cherry juice, sugar, orange peel and liquor to a boil.
  2. Mix water with cornstarch to a smooth slurry without clumps.
  3. Pour the cornstarch slurry into boiling cherry juice. Stir and keep simmering for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Serve cherry sauce over coconut rice pudding or as a side dish. Sprinkle with coconut flakes. Enjoy
Recipe Notes

It is important to use short grain rice or Arborio rice since this rice is ideal to absorb the soy milk. It also becomes softer and tastes just better than long grain rice. This is the reason why risotto is cooked with arborio rice.

If you are not a cherry fan feel free to use whatever you fruit you like, whether it's canned or fresh fruit. Everyone has their favorite. I also like to use fruit cocktail or orange mandarins over the coconut rice.

Don't forget to sprinkle a dash of cinnamon over the coconut milk rice. I like my rice pudding to be more on the liquid side. Enjoy

Orange Coconut Kaiserschmarrn

Orange Coconut Kaiserschmarrn

Kaiserschmarrn, I remember this dessert from the days I went skiing in Austria while on vacation. During the day I would bother my parents if I could have this dish for dessert after dinner. Every night – yep. I Couldn’t get enough of it. To me Kaiserschmarn is nothing different from a fluffy torn-apart pancake. Instead of using the original recipe I decided to add coconut flakes, coconut milk and Grand Manier. Kaiserschmarrn is served in Austria as a dessert – however – it works well for brunch, too.


Orange Coconut Kaiserschmarrn with Mint Ice Cream

Once the Kaiserschmarrn is cooked it leaves behind an aroma that is so addicting – at least to me – that I can’t resist munching.

Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Kraemer’s Culinary Blog
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 6-8
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 2.5 tbsp flour
  • 2 oz milk
  • 2 tbsp raisins soaked in Grand Marnier
  • 2 tbsp butter
  1. Beat egg withes until soft peaks develop and add half of the sugar. Continue beating until peaks are stiff – set aside.
  2. Combine egg yolks, vanilla, orange zest, remaining sugar, coconut milk, coconut flakes and beet until foamy (3-4 minutes).
  3. Slowly add milk and flour until well incorporated.
  4. Tap dry the raisins from the Grand Marnier and add to egg mixture.
  5. Fold egg yolk mixture under the egg whites and let rest for a few minutes. Do not over mix.
  6. Warm up a large stainless steel pan over medium heat.
  7. Add some butter.
  8. When butter is foaming pour some of the batter into the pan to the size of a large pancake.
  9. Once the kaiserschmarrn turns golden brown on one side start to tearing it apart as well as turning it over with two medal spatulas. Make sure every side is cooked properly, although it shouldn’t take longer that 1.5 minute on both sides.
  10. Sprinkle icing sugar on kaiserschmarrn and serve immediately.

There are obviously hundreds of different varieties to serve a kaiserschmarrn. I served it with warm strawberries and chocolate mint ice cream.




Let me know how you like this recipe or do you have your own version of kaiserschmarrn?

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