When visiting Los Angeles it's hard to decide which area to call home. Are you more Bellini's in Beverley Hills or happy hour in WeHo, the pavements in Downtown or the sand of Long Beach. And if you think area is difficult, the next step is choosing the right hotel. Los Angeles has something for everyone, and on my most recent trip, I discovered that there's no place quite like Farmer's Daughter.
Cheesecakes are a fantastic, easy dessert to rustle up when you're entertaining. Although not typically a Winter sweet, my version is perfect for the chilly winter months, combining the classic biscuit case and cream cheese topping with all of the delicious flavours of the Christmas season - red wine, cinnamon, orange and cloves.
There is nothing quite as satisfying as unwrapping a decadent macaron. They are the epitome of luxury, a pure indulgence and largely known as the beloved cookie of Parisian teahouses. But behind their pastel shades and beautiful textures the art of macarons is a technical science with inspiration taken from sweets, sensations, fragrances and encounters.
These clean eating desserts all take minimal time to throw together. They don't contain hundreds of ingredients, and they do have a nutritious value. They should satisfy a sweet urge without you hitting the local dessert bar for a double chocolate chip mega waffle with ice cream, peanut butter cups, syrup, and a side order of pancakes!
These peanut butter Raweos are, in my humble opinion, a squillion times better than their unhealthy counterparts. They only have SIX ingredients (that's 17 less than the PBOs' 23) and there's nothing genetically modified about them (if you check the back of a PBO packet you'll see that a number of their ingredients are GM - scary).
It's not often you get invited to judge a wine and dessert pairing championship, but when you do, it's difficult to say no. Obviously when I got just such an invitation recently, I jumped at the chance, particularly as the championship in question was in Lithuania - a part of the world I've never visited.
I've discovered some intriguing guilt-free desserts such as paleo brownies, vanilla cupcakes that actually contain cannellini beans, and a new variation on the traditional blueberry muffin. The greatest discovery, though, was a new flour that I now consider one of my very favourites. It's low GI (glycemic) and gluten-free: coconut flour.