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A Perfect Pair
The Secret Blend for Unforgettable Entertaining

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Molten Chocolate Cake With Pomegranate Granita
Peanut Butter Toffee Cake
Baked Pears With Vanilla Yogurt and Granola
Autumn Pumpkin Soufflé

(Family Features) - What trend is brewing in the kitchens of entertaining experts right now? For those who want to impress their guests, culinary insiders know it starts with selecting the perfect coffee to pair with that delectable dessert.

You can find sweet inspiration in "The Colors of Dessert," a colorful coffee table and recipe book that features 84 delectable desserts from well-known chefs across the country - and the ideal coffee pairing as recommended by the coffee experts at Starbucks.

"One of the most extraordinary food and beverage pairings in the world has to be that perfect cup of coffee with dessert," said Scott McMartin, director of Coffee and Tea Education at Starbucks. "Try pairing different coffee blends with various desserts and you'll notice that the flavors of each sip are enhanced with every bite - and vice versa."

"The Colors of Dessert" is available in bookstores nationwide in late September and a portion of the book's proceeds will be donated to The Children's Storefront, a tuition-free school in Harlem, N.Y.

Coffee and Dessert:
Two of a Kind

Brewing coffees at home and pairing with different foods can make for memorable taste sensations. Select a whole bean coffee, grind at home and prepare tableside in a coffee press for delicious taste and elegant presentation. To create your own pairings for your favorite desserts, Starbucks recommends using geography as a guide:

  • Latin American coffees offer rich flavors of nuts and cocoa. Coffees from this region (Breakfast Blend, House Blend, and Guatemala Antigua) pair well with desserts that feature nuts and caramel, as well as apples, blueberries and lemons.
  • African/Arabian coffees feature floral aromas and flavors of berries and citrus. Coffees from this region (Kenya, Ethiopia Sidamo®) pair well with dried fruits, lemons and grapefruit, plus dishes featuring savory herbs and spices.
  • Asian/Pacific coffees are full-bodied, herbal and earthy, and pair well with cheese as well as rich, buttery dishes that feature toffee and caramel. Spicy flavors like cinnamon also go well with these coffees (Sumatra and Komodo Dragon Blend®).

To find the coffee that's perfect for you, visit www.starbuckscoffeeathome.com.

Molten Chocolate Cake With Pomegranate Granita

By Chef Cat Cora from "The Colors of Dessert"
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Pomegranate Granita
  • Juice of 6 pomegranates, about 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Pama Liqueur
  • 1/3 cup sugar, or more, to taste
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
Molten Chocolate Cake
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 ounces quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Edible fresh red flowers

    1. Granita - Cut pomegranates in half. Scoop and squeeze out seeds. Reserve small amount of seeds for garnish. Place seeds in blender and blend until they have just broken and have released juice. Press seeds and liquid through sieve.
    2. In a bowl, combine pomegranate juice, liqueur, sugar and orange juice. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Add remaining sugar to taste. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze. Once completely frozen, break granita into small chunks or scrape surface with a fork. Reserve in freezer.
    3. Cake - Preheat oven to 350°F. Use one tablespoon butter to coat inside of 6 1-cup soufflé cups or ramekins. In double boiler or mixing bowl placed over simmering water, combine remaining butter and chocolate. Stir butter and chocolate until melted and well combined. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, combining well after each addition. Add cocoa powder and salt, mixing until just combined.
    4. Pour batter into ramekins. Place on cookie sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a crust has formed on cakes. The cakes will remain liquid in the center if they are not overcooked. Remove cakes from oven and cool for 5 minutes. They can be served in the ramekins, or you can unmold the cakes by inverting them onto serving plates.
    5. Assembly - Serve with a scoop of pomegranate granita on the side or on top of the cake. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and edible fresh red flowers.
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Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Recommended pairing: Starbucks Caffè Verona, one of Starbucks most popular coffees. This versatile, complex blend combines Latin American and Asia Pacific coffees with a touch of Italian Roast for added depth and sweetness.
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Peanut Butter Toffee Cake

By Jacqueline Zion of Odeon New York City from "The Colors of Dessert"
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  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces soft butter
  • 8 ounces smooth peanut butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Toffee (see recipe)

    1. Toffee - In a pot, place the cream, butter and then the sugar. Cook over medium heat until it becomes a dark caramel. Do not stir. Pour the caramel onto a Silpat or a sheet tray that has been greased with non-flavored oil. Once the toffee has cooled, break into pea size pieces and set aside.
    2. Cake - Heat oven to 325°F. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and peanut butter together. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition. Add flour and milk alternately in several additions. Turn off mixer and fold in toffee. Pour into greased 9-inch round baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. Insert a wooden skewer into the middle of the cake. The skewer will come out clean if the cake is ready.

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Recommended pairing: Starbucks Espresso Roast, a blend of Latin American and Asia/Pacific coffees that offers a dense, smooth and satisfying finish. Versatile because of its delicious flavor, smooth texture and balance, Espresso Roast is a bold coffee that imparts a subtle caramelly sweetness.
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Baked Pears With Vanilla Yogurt and Granola

Courtesy of 3-A-Day(™) of Dairy

  • 2 medium pears (Bartlett or Anjou pears)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 6-ounce containers low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat granola
  • Mint leaves, optional

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    2. Cut pears in half lengthwise and remove core with a melon baller or small spoon. Place pears, cut side down, in shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them. Pour apple juice and water over pears; drizzle with honey. Cover pan loosely with foil and bake about 35 minutes or until tender.
    3. While pears are baking, place granola in shallow baking pan or pie plate and toast in oven 10 minutes; set aside. When pears are done, pour baking liquid into a small saucepan and reduce over medium heat until about 1/4 cup of syrup remains; set aside to cool.
    4. Line colander with paper towels and place over bowl to catch drips. Pour yogurt into colander and allow to drain about 30 minutes. Divide yogurt among 4 shallow bowls. Place warm pear half, cut side up, over yogurt. Top with toasted granola and drizzle with syrup. Garnish with a mint leaf, if desired.

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Recommended pairing: Starbucks Guatemala Antigua, an elegant and complex coffee that has a subtle cocoa powder texture and soft spice flavor with light acidity.

Autumn Pumpkin Soufflé

Courtesy of the American Egg Board
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  • Cooking spray or butter
  • Sugar
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Crushed ginger snaps, optional
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    1. Spray 4 (8-ounce) soufflé dishes. Dust with sugar. Set aside.
    2. In large bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, beating constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks. Set aside.
    3. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Thoroughly fold in pumpkin and spice. Gently fold yolk mixture into beaten whites.
    4. Spoon into prepared dishes. Place cups in baking pan. Fill pan with very hot water to within 1/2 inch of top of dishes.
    5. Bake in preheated 375°F oven until puffy and delicately browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired.

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Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Recommended pairing: Starbucks Komodo Dragon Blend, a deep, full-bodied blend with a complex flavor that is bold and unanticipated. This earthy coffee from Indonesia offers a lively flavor with herbal undertones.

SOURCE: Starbucks

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