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Save Room for Dessert with Michael Gabriel of The Sea Grill

Save Room for Dessert with Michael Gabriel of The Sea Grill


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Check out our photos of the New York City pastry chef at work

Pastry chef Michael Gabriel curates the menu for both The Sea Grill and Rock Center Cafe.

Right below the Rockefeller Plaza ice skating rink, chef Michael Gabriel creates pastries for The Sea Grill and Rock Center Café. His area of the kitchen is all the way in the back, and smells overwhelmingly of sugar.

Chef Gabriel got his start in pastry working underneath the late Charlie Trotter. He took over pastry at Aureole when he was 26, and remained with Charlie for nearly 10 years. From there, he moved on to Citarella as the head of production for all stores. After working at Capitale and teaching at The French Culinary Institute, he landed at Rock Center Café and The Sea Grille.

The dessert menus at Rock Center Café and The Sea Grill are quite different but both have chef Gabriel’s touch. The New York Cheesecake and Sea Grill Key Lime Pie (with Angostura bitters glaze and cream) are a must have at each, respectively. Chef doesn’t choose favorites though. “I like the change of the seasons, so I don't get too attached,” he says. Click through our slideshow to see chef Gabriel at work.

Jane Bruce is the Photo Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @janeebruce.


Save room for dessert: 15 of our favorite cheesecake recipes

Can you ever have too many great cheesecake recipes? We think not, which is why we have quite a number in our Recipe Database. Still, some stand out more than others. We’ve compiled 15 of our favorite recipes, from lemon cheesecake to chocolate cheesecake, savory options and more.

Get our weekly Tasting Notes newsletter for reviews, news and more.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.

More From the Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Bill Addison and food columnist Jenn Harris taste-test chicken sandwiches from Popeyes, Chick-fil-A, Carl’s Jr., Jollibee, Church’s Chicken, Burger King, McDonald’s, Arby’s and KFC and declare which is the best.

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Easy Fat Bomb Recipes

1. Chocolate Fat Bombs

Who says you have to stay away from the deliciousness of chocolate if you&rsquore on keto? If you love chocolate (and three-ingredient snacks), then these chocolate fat bombs are right up your alley. For this chocolate fat bomb recipe simply:

  1. Combine almond butter, coconut oil, and cacao powder (or keto chocolate chips) in a bowl
  2. Mix ingredients and pop in the microwave and heat until melted
  3. Scoop into balls once it has cooled
  4. For a boost of keto-friendly flavor, add a few drops of vanilla extract and stir before cooling

2. No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bombs

There are few things as classic as the always delicious and reliable combo of chocolate and peanut butter. Follow this delicious fat bomb recipe to satisfy your chocolate peanut butter cravings:

  1. Combine peanut butter, coconut oil, and butter in a bowl and heat until melted
  2. Add crushed peanuts for crunch
  3. Cool and roll into balls
  4. Dip into melted keto chocolate chips
  5. For a delicious (and unexpected) twist, we suggest adding a pinch or two of cinnamon and nutmeg to the peanut butter mix
  6. Feeling fancy? Sprinkle a dash of sea salt for a delicious sweet and salty combo!

3. Keto Cheesecake Balls

This one is definitely for all of the cheesecake lovers out there. Sweet, creamy, and completely customizable, all you need for these keto cheesecake balls recipe is:

  1. Mix cream cheese, butter, heavy cream, stevia (or any keto-approved sweetener), and vanilla extract in a bowl
  2. Combine, blend, and voilà &ndash cheesecake fat bombs that taste just like the real thing!
  3. For a tropical twist, use lime extract and sprinkle with unsweetened toasted coconut. It's a flavor vacation without the plane ticket!

4. Bacon and Cheese Fat Bombs

Craving a snack but looking for something savory? These bacon and cheese fat bombs come together in a cinch. Try our simple fat bomb recipe:

  1. Combine cream cheese, shredded Cheddar cheese, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt in a bowl
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two
  3. Roll into balls
  4. Top with chopped bacon and our Roasted Garlic and Bell Pepper Seasoning for a bold kick
  5. Looking for something more hearty? Pair with our 3-Ingredient Cloud Bread and make it a meal

5. Everything Bagel Fat Bombs

Savory and crunchy, we&rsquoll find a way to add Everything Bagel All Purpose Seasoning to well, everything &ndash and keto fat bombs are no exception. These keto bombs require just three ingredients: cream cheese, Cheddar cheese, and of course, the seasoning. They&rsquore a perfect savory addition for a keto breakfast that's creamy, packed with cheddar cheese, and with some serious crunch from sesame seeds.

  1. Simply add both cheddar cheese and cream cheese in a bowl
  2. Mix cheese and add in Everything Bagel All Purpose Seasoning
  3. Roll into balls for a quick on-the-go keto breakfast

Best Restaurants in Las Vegas

It shouldn’t be a gamble to decide where to eat in Sin City. Las Vegas has become a culinary destination, with prominent chefs and social media-ready dishes poised to help diners hit the flavor jackpot.

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Best Friend

At Best Friend, Roy Choi&rsquos whimsical concept within Park MGM, the fun starts at the bodega-inspired entrance, then continues into the dining room, with funky fusion eats made famous on the celebrated chef&rsquos food truck, Kogi. In a section cheekily titled "LA Sh*t" on the menu, short-rib tacos are pepped up with salsa roja and tangy shreds of chile-soy slaw A-Frame OG Ribs, named for his A-Frame restaurant, are glazed with a sticky hoisin-chile sauce and stopped with scallions. Groups should dive into the pots, like a funky-sweet tamarind black cod stew with glass noodles and ginger.

Shark

Seafood and sushi shine at Shark, Bobby Flay&rsquos latest concept within The Palms. The menu draws from ocean-inspired culinary regions around the world, including Japan, the Mediterranean, Mexico and South America. Hand and cut rolls and traditional pieces of sushi are expertly produced by Chef Kiyo Asano, formerly a major player at Nobu, while the rest of the menu boasts a festive Latin flair. Yellowtail ceviche, balanced with spicy chile de arbol and chunks of sweet charred pineapple, is presented in a hearty helping of its own juices meant to be slurped and savored.

Bazaar Meat by José Andrés

Eat with your eyes here &mdashplating is taken to the next level at the upscale Bazaar Meat by chef and humanitarian José Andrés at the SLS Hotel. The cotton candy foie gras &mdashpresented on sticks like the childhood treat &mdash makes a whimsical starter, as are the velvety béchamel- and jamon-filled croquets which are tucked into a glass sneaker. Steaks are exceptional, as is the suckling pig, which is served whole.

Honey Salt

Nestled in a corner of Rampart Commons near Summerlin, buzzy Honey Salt specializes in farm-to-table food in an attractive, down-home setting. Start with the sticky, savory monkey bread &mdash warm and fluffy with parmesan and olive oil. The sea scallops, lightly caramelized, are flavored with vanilla and a pungent truffle sauce.

Majordomo Meat & Fish

A spinoff of its Los Angeles counterpart, the expansive Majordomo Meat & Fish within the Palazzo tower at Venetian is a celebration of land and sea with a Korean kick. Bing bread, flaky and fluffy like naan, should be used to scoop healthy portions of nutty chickpea dip with uni. And for the meat lover, smoked prime rib is cured for a day in salt, then served with classic sides, including mashed potatoes and creamed spinach, with jus.

Giada

At Giada&rsquos inaugural restaurant concept within The Cromwell, Italian fare gets a West Coast twist, all paired with unsurpassed views of the Vegas Strip. Kick off a meal with plump, golden fried arancini served on a bed of pomodoro and generously stuffed with crab. The vegan-friendly eggplant stack comes neatly adorned with avocado slices drizzled in a sweet balsamic glaze. For non-vegans, the chianti-braised wagyu short rib offers a depth of flavor with creamy mascarpone polenta, sharp fennel and beads of deep ruby pomegranate.

Black Tap Las Vegas

This casual burger bar in the Venetian has earned Insta-glory for its sky-high desserts, appropriately coined CrazyShakes, made riotously excessive and extravagant with toppings galore. Milkshakes in traditional and outlandish flavors arrive in old-fashioned glassware under fluffy clouds of whip, bright puffs of cotton candy and full-size slices of cake for garnishes.

Mabel’s BBQ

In case Las Vegans needed a little encouragement to eat more meat, now there is a reason to do so with the addition of Michael Symon&rsquos Mabel&rsquos BBQ in the Palms, bedecked with a bright neon sign which reads &mdash you guessed it &mdash EAT MORE MEAT. The menu of Cleveland-style 'cue includes fatty pieces of chopped brisket, smoky kielbasa and maple-and-mustard-glazed pork belly.

La Monja

Off the strip, at the groovy Fergusons development downtown, La Monja showcases the robust flavors of Mexican coastal cuisine. Chef Dan Krohmer creates bold dishes like the habanero-spiced octopus aguachile and crisp tostadas layered with sea bass, avocado and macha salsa. If you can&rsquot handle the heat, cool your palate with a bunuelo, a churro- and waffle-inspired deep-fried pastry dusted heavily with cinnamon and sugar and finished off with a creamy scoop of vanilla.

Sparrow + Wolf

This Spring Mountain Road hideaway is worth a drive from the Strip. Artsy interiors include a mural of a sparrow and a wolf (natch) behind the bar, setting the stage for a creative and diverse menu of contemporary American dishes. The beef cheek and bone marrow dumplings are a vision, or at least will be once they're unveiled from their layer of foamy goodness. And for a feast of epic proportions, the miso-rubbed dry-aged porterhouse is wood-grilled and served in tender slices, banchan style &mdash meaning the meat arrives with a multitude of mini sides to enhance it, including carrots, cucumbers, sesame noodles, garlic, chimichurri and more.

Masso Osteria

Scott Conant earned raves when he opened Scarpetta and D.O.C.G. in Vegas, and today he continues to raise the bar with Italian eats at Masso Osteria at Red Rock Resort. Meals strike the right balance of homestyle and high-end, including cubed focaccia with an array of dips, and perfectly saucy pasta al Pomodoro, twisted and towering high on the plate. Conant also makes available a tasting menu here, which is prepared family-style for the table to share.

Pronto

This all-day fast-casual restaurant from Giada serves eye-catching Italian eats and pastries. Start the day with a vegetable frittata, morning muffin or a bowl of Giada&rsquos oatmeal, topped with jewels of sliced orange and extra virgin olive oil with almonds. Visit during weekend brunch to try the omelet station and bottomless cocktails.

Beauty & Essex

Similar to its funky NYC sister location, the ultra-trendy Beauty & Essex within the Cosmopolitan appears as a pawn shop upon first glance, then opens up to a grand restaurant with richly decorated interiors, plush seating and plenty of pretty people. The lengthy menu is fun and festive with diverse eats like the poblano-spiced chile relleno empanadas, and gochujang-glazed Korean fried chicken topped with cool cucumber kimchi. Mains are just as adventurous, with scallops resting atop a bed of white bean purée and finished off with charred jalapeno butter and pesto spaghettini topped with a sunny side up egg.

Hakkasan

Low lit and sultry, Hakkasan is a sexy destination to kick off a Sin City evening. Dive into veggie-friendly Shanghai dumplings or fried prawn dumplings with a traditional plum dipping sauce before moving on to full-flavored mains like the crispy roasted duck, made dynamic with the addition of juicy kumquat, or a heaping plate of Hakka noodles with chunky mushrooms.

Monta Ramen

A local favorite within Sin City&rsquos Chinatown, Monta Ramen is a solid place to slurp your supper. The rich milky tonkotsu broth is fortified by straight noodles, sliced pork chashu and black mushrooms. With the desert heat to consider, cold ramen bowls are also popular here. A heaping bowl of thick, wavy cold noodles is served broth-less, tossed with egg, chilled cucumber, tomato and bean sprouts and dressed in bright yuzu sauce.

Ghost Donkey

Hidden in plain sight, this secret bar within the Cosmopolitan, marked simply by a donkey on the door, is one of the city&rsquos best-kept secrets and proves that good things do indeed come in small packages. Like the Ghost Donkey in NYC, this cozy, eight-seat space, bedecked with strings of glowing red lights, offers an impressive menu of mezcal and bar bites like mushroom nachos, generously dusted with cotija cheese. For an Insta-worthy moment, opt for the almost-opaque mushroom marg, made with huitlacoche-infused mezcal and lava salt.

Locale

The twinkling lights and hustle-bustle of the Strip are a far cry from Locale, a hidden gem neatly tucked away in Mountain&rsquos Edge. Helmed by executive chef Nicole Brisson, formerly of Eataly, the restaurant puts the spotlight on meaty Italian dishes incorporating farm-fresh ingredients. Delicate pockets of house-made ravioli are gently stuffed with beef cheek, and loaded pizzas like the citrusy mortadella or pancetta and goat cheese are prepared on dough mixed with a touch of honey for a sweet and salty bready bite. Mains include saltimbocca and bone-in lamb chops, the gaminess cut with cumin yogurt.

Bavette’s

Few steakhouses bring the warmth and romance like Bavette&rsquos, located on the casino level of Park MGM. Richly decorated and intensely intimate &mdash like its Chicago counterpart &mdash the mahogany space is moodily lit with soft yellow globe fixture, transporting diners to a nostalgic mid-century era. On the menu, there are steakhouse classics like shrimp cocktail, raw oysters and a generously dressed wedge topped with gorgonzola, but steaks are the main attraction. Dry-aged for 42 days, the 22-ounce bone-in ribeye is a hefty portion but can &mdash and should &mdash be made extra-hearty with the accompaniment of roasted bone marrow.

La Strega

Tucked outside central Vegas in Summerlin, La Strega is a bright Italian escape, with exceptional pastas, including clam-studded linguine, and bright bucatini tossed with chunky potatoes and greens in fragrant dandelion pesto. Start with a prosciutto di parma pizza pie with horseradish cream and zesty balsamic.

Scotch 80 Prime

Though Sin City has plenty of steakhouses, Scotch 80 Prime at the Palms stands apart for its immersive dishes and attention to detail. Kick off the meal with a Manhattan or old-fashioned, each expertly crafted tableside to taste. Steaks can be amped up with sautéed foie gras, subtly sweet with a strawberry-red wine reduction. Come dessert, the fire and ice banana split, also prepared tableside, with a slew of colorful candy toppings.

Spago

Wolfgang Puck knows how to pair food and great ambience &mdash fabulous food and welcoming settings make Spago and his other restaurants into destinations in Beverly Hills, Maui and beside the Bellagio fountains in Vegas. The star chef helped reinvent California cuisine, with Austrian touches. Look for his signature schnitzel, along with smoked salmon pizza and fabulous house pastas.

Momofuku

From star chef David Chang, Momofuku brings the robust flavors of inspired Korean cuisine to the Cosmopolitan. Bring a crowd for family-style meals like bo ssam, fried chicken or five-spiced whole-roasted duck with accompaniments like chive pancakes, kimchi, ssam sauce and herbs. Save room for cereal milk soft serve from Milk Bar.

The Mayfair Supper Club

Waterfront, with first-class views of Bellagio&rsquos brilliant dancing fountains, The Mayfair prioritizes entertainment with its food. Glamorous, old Hollywood-inspired live performances are paired with fanciful dishes like gold leaf-garnished wagyu and caviar hand roll, and baked Alaska.

Catch

Seafood and sushi play starring roles at this aptly named Aria destination. The Catch ceviche is a healthy sampling of meaty crustaceans including Alaskan king crab, shrimp and Maine lobster tossed with chunky mango and a blood orange ponzu. Entrees include salmon a la plancha and a whole oven-roasted branzino. Come dessert, the "Hit Me" chocolate cake presents a tower of brownie and devil&rsquos food and dulce de leche ice cream treated to a generous pour of liquid Klondike. Just press record.

Bouchon

Up on the 10th floor of the Venetian, Bouchon by Thomas Keller serves classic French far, including salty escargot in parsley-garlic butter presented inside flaky, golden globes of Bouchon Bakery puff pastry, and, of course, steak frites with perfect bistro fries. Visit for brunch to best enjoy golden, flaky morning pastries like the savory cheese croissant or the heartier pain perdu, made extra decadent dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a sticky blueberry compote.

The Black Sheep

Humbly tucked in a Southwest Las Vegas-area retail strip mall, The Black Sheep is the brain child of chefs Jamie Tran, Andy Hooper and Jon Schwalb, who successfully fuse Vietnamese-American flavor profiles with comfort classics. Plates are pretty and plentiful. Take, for instance, bao sliders, which stand tall layered with a fried quail egg-topped pork sausage, mild crispy shallot, fragrant herbs and sharp jalapeno aioli on house baos. With the Black Sheep hot chicken, the spicy protein is kicked up a notch with the addition of honey mustard seed and pickled cucumber on a plate of honey toast. This restaurant may be "the black sheep" of the retail strip, but it&rsquos putting all the fun back into classic eats.

Cipriani

Harry&rsquos Bar in Venice, Italy, is one of the world&rsquos most-iconic culinary destinations, but Giuseppe Cipriani&rsquos touch extends to cities around the world, including at Cipriani inside the Wynn. A mixed salad of artichoke and avocado is tented with two thick cuts of sliced Parmesan, and the legendary baked tagliolini with ham, appears under a layer of bubbly cheese with browned edges. Prepare for a cheese pull extraordinaire.

Lotus of Siam

The hype is real at this famed off-strip restaurant, where true Northern Thai dishes like panang curry and deep-fried prawns pack a fiery punch. Playing it safe with a plate of pad Thai may sound tempting &mdash it is delicious here, and extra savory, generously tossed with bright scallions, finely chopped peanuts and crisp bean sprouts &mdash but opting for something less ubiquitous, like the Khao Soi is the way to go. A bowl of egg noodles serves as a bed for thick juicy cuts of crispy duck in a rich and silky coconut-based yellow curry. Spice levels are no joke at Lotus of Siam, so when asked, choose wisely.

Twist by Pierre Gagnaire

Set above the brightly lit Strip on the 23rd floor of the Waldorf Astoria, French chef Pierre Gagnaire&rsquos Twist is a bright, creative culinary journey through French flavors and techniques, including lobster fricassee, foie gras and a chocolate souffle.

Paid in Full

Trek to the Southwest side of Sin City for creative Japanese-inspired dishes at this izakaya-style hangout helmed by chefs Jason Olson and Michael Plourde, who change items on the menu often. Pair Japanese lager or a sparkling hibiscus tea with dishes like a tangled web of saucy udon fries or triple-garlic yakisoba tossed with chewy bits of glistening pork belly. Finish with miso-cookie-crumble-dusted shoyu-caramel panna cotta.

La Strega

Le Cirque

With vies of Bellagio&rsquos dancing fountains, French destination Le Cirque is a romantic choice for eyes and palate. Save room for the famed chocolate ball dessert here, a sphere which once melted with chocolate sauce reveals a delicious mess of praline mousse and white chocolate ice-cream.

Mr. Chow

Channeling the see-and-be-seen vibe of its original Beverly Hills location, Mr. Chow at Caesar&rsquos Palace brings style to the Strip. The famous hand-pulled noodles, which chefs live demonstrate in front of guests, are practically mandatory. Cocktails like the Chow-Lini crafted with house-made peach foam are festive, but choosing something off of the champagne cart as it makes its way through the dining room is not a bad way to celebrate something or nothing at all.

Other Mama

Venture out beyond the bright lights of the Vegas strip and discover this hidden gem in a strip mall. The oceanic-inspired dining room is welcoming and comfortable, but the best action is at the counter, with views into the open kitchen. The menu, though interesting and complex in its flavors, does not take itself too seriously &mdash try the French toast, served in individual squares and topped with a dollop of creme fraiche and caviar, and spicy deviled eggs topped with golden fried oysters and fresh jalapeno. Blue crab-stuffed hushpuppies are meant to be double dipped.

Picasso

Under the direction of executive chef Julian Serrano, Picasso fuses the distinct flavors of Spain and France, bringing upscale dining to the Bellagio. Dishes are gracefully executed, including golden seared scallops rest on a bed of stocky potato mousseline, and halibut fillets atop a row of hollandaise sauce-topped asparagus. The best spots are the lakeside tables with views of the Bellagio fountains.

Hatsumi

Dan Krohmer livens up off-the-strip dining with his bold concepts, including Hatsumi, a new yakitori bar located within mid-century-motel-turned-retail development Fergusons downtown. The vegetable okonomiyaki &mdash a popular Japanese street food which combines a savory pancake with Japanese mayo and tobiko flakes &mdash incorporates local honey in its sauce meat skewers are complemented by pork belly kimchi and miso vinaigrette-dressed cabbage salad.

Esther’s Kitchen

Situated in the heart of the Arts District in downtown Vegas, Esther&rsquos Kitchen is proof that some of the best dining can be found off-Strip. Locals pack in to the cozy open-kitchen space for heaping plates of house-made pasta and no-nonsense lunch combos like the double-cheese meatball sandwich accompanied with salad and ube chips. Pro tip: Stop in during the daily pasta happy hour for samplings of spaghetti pomodoro or creamy rigatoni carbonara for a carb fest at half the price.

Block 16 Urban Food Hall

This food court-style space in the Cosmopolitan brings together some of the best fast-casual concepts from across the country in one space. Hattie B.&rsquos serves Nashville&rsquos famed hot chicken in all of its fiery splendor. Portland&rsquos Lardo offers a menu of meaty pork sandos, and New Orleans-based District Donuts makes flavors like banana pudding and gooey oatmeal cream pie doughuts to pair with nitro cold brew and Vietnamese coffee. Visit the Tekka Bar for a hand roll &mdash this counter, under the direction of local restaurateur Takashi Segawa, is the only one unique to Vegas.

Juniper

Let the fun beGIN at this seductive cocktail bar at Park MGM. Located on the casino level, in the heart of the hotel, and boasting the largest collection of gin in the city, this is a watering hole for drinkers who truly appreciate the woodsy spirit. Fantastical glassware, as in the one presented with the sweet and tart The Little Birdie cocktail, and amusing elements like flaming finishes make it all the more a hip place to hang out.


Good Desserts at the Hub of it all

For the first time, Sweet Basil is participating in Boston Bakes! Starting immediately and through October 25th, you can order their delicious Date Cake. 100 % of the sales will support Bakes for Breast Cancer!

Search for your favorite restaurants, bakeries, chocolatiers, and sweet shops either alphabetically or by city. Check back often to see who is participating!

Visit a participating location and save room for their Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer Dessert! Order their dessert and know you are helping to raise money for breast cancer research. It is a sweet and simple way to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. This week, it is good to be bad!

With your help, we can raise so much more! So visit our participants and save room for dessert October 19-25. Shop the week of Boston Bakes 2020 and have desserts shipped to you or when you order for take in , you can select a Boston Bakes dessert from some of our establishments! Donate anytime you want to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer!

Search for your favorite restaurants, bakeries, on-line bakeries, chocolatiers and sweet shops either alphabetically or by city. Visit often, as the list of participating establishment grows!


Save Room For Dessert!

SELF scoured the country's top resorts for their most popular healthy dessert recipes and whittled down the list to the very best—six tasty treats that are sure to satisfy any craving (even for chocolate)! You can indulge in tarts, cakes, cookies and more, all for 250 calories or less. Grab your fork and get ready to dig in!

Photo Credit: Ann Stratton

SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

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50 Epic Desserts to Eat in Chicago Before You Die

Millennium Park and Willis Tower might be the top of your Chicago bucket list, but the Windy City has some pretty sweet desserts as well. You’ll definitely want to pencil in these treats for a post-dinner snack. Whether you’re just visiting or you’re a Chicago native, here’s your ultimate dessert bucket list:

1. Formento’s Chocolate Cake from Formento’s

Photo courtesy of @infatuation_chi

An Italian restaurant in Chicago’s West Loop, Formento’s chocolate cake is much more than meets the eye. The 10-layer cake is made up of chocolate cake and chocolate pudding.

2. The Giant Birthday Cake Donut from Firecakes

Photo courtesy of yelp.com

This place is known for its donut ice cream sandwiches, but a birthday cake-donut hybrid that’s as big as your face? Count me in.

3. Old Fashioned Hot Chocolate from Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

Photo courtesy of @helloelenaa on Instagram

Aptly nicknamed, Chicago can get pretty cold in the winter. Stop into Mindy’s for a cup of hot chocolate (much thicker than your average Swiss Miss) and a house-made pastry.

4. Marjolaine Cake from JR’s Dessert Bakery

Photo courtesy of JR Dessert Baker

Gluten intolerant? You can still treat yo’self with marjolaine cake. Layers of walnut meringue, white chocolate and dark chocolate mousse make up this gluten free dessert.

5. Vanilla Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting from Sweet Mandy B’s

Photo courtesy of @sweetmandybs on Instagram

Located in Lincoln Park, Mandy B’s specializes in old fashioned desserts. Grab a chocolate and vanilla cupcake to bring you back to childhood days of hopscotch.

6. Friday Night Flight from Hoosier Mama Pie Company

Photo courtesy of @hoosiermamapie on Instagram

The only thing better than one slice of pie? Three slices. Stop in at Hoosier Mama Pie Company on Friday nights to order a flight of their ever-changing menu of pies.

7. Churros from Xoco

Photo courtesy of theinfatuation.com

The place for all your favorite street foods in fancier forms, Xoco has churros that are too good to pass up. The restaurant shares a block with two of Rick Bayless’ other Chicago restaurants (Frontera Grill and Topolobampo), and it’s the most casual of the three.

8. The Turtle Split from Margie’s Candies

Photo courtesy of margiesfinecandies.com

Selling both house-made candy and ice cream, Margie’s is famous for their signature sundaes with a side of hot fudge. Their turtle split is a mashup of two classics, made with vanilla ice cream, bananas, whipped cream, nuts, cherries, caramel and fudge.

9. Peanut Butter Nutella Cupcake from Molly’s Cupcakes

Photo courtesy of mollyscupcakes.com

The only thing better than a cupcake is a Nutella filled cupcake. Peanut butter cake, Nutella filling and Nutella buttercream frosting make this cupcake irresistible. Learn how to make your own lava cake version here.

10. S’mores Pizza from Bar Toma

Photo courtesy of @bartomachicago on Instagram

In a city known for its deep dish pizza, why not try the dessert version? Bar Toma is the spot to go when you’re longing for the campfire favorite.

11. Smoked Pork and Toffee Crunch Shake from Little Goat Diner

Photo courtesy of foodies.artestiq.comI’d compa it to

I’d compare it to chocolate covered bacon – sounds suspicious but surprisingly incredible. Because a plain chocolate shake is just too basic.

12. Basque Cake from The Bristol

Photo courtesy of The Bristol

A traditionally French dessert, basque cake is so good you’ll want to bask in it. The Bristol makes their own with citron jam and candied almonds.

13. Tableside Smores from Prime & Provisions

Photo courtesy of @primprovisions on Instagram

Prime & Provisions is one of the most famous steakhouses in Chicago. If you save any room, top off an incredible meal with this surprising dessert.

14. Brambleberry Sorbet and Crisp from Jeni’s

Photo courtesy of @jenisicecreams on Instagram

Founded in Ohio, Jeni’s serves up homemade ice cream. They also have sorbets perfect for that dairy-free friend. Pair a few of their ever-changing flavors but be careful not to let the tower of ice cream fall!

15. Almond Croissant from Vanille

Photo courtesy of @vanillechicago

Save yourself the embarrassment and don’t try to pronounce it. You can’t go wrong with this French patisserie croissant.

16. Buttermilk Old Fashioned Donut from Do-Rite Donuts

Photo courtesy of @doritedonuts

Do something right for your self and try one of the best donut shops in Chicago. Do-Rite features changing specialties, but their buttermilk old fashioned donuts are hard to beat.

17. Hazelnut & Coffee from Boka

Photo courtesy of @bokachicago on Instagram

If you’re looking for a fancy dessert almost too pretty to eat, Boka’s the place to be.

18. Blueberry French Toast Gelato from Black Dog Gelato

Photo courtesy of @blackdoggelato on Instagram

Black Dog specializes in gourmet gelato and sorbets. Made fresh each day, the flavors are inventive – from Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel to Butterscotch Bourbon Pecan.

19. Lemon Sabayon Tart from Bittersweet

Photo courtesy of @bittersweetpastryshop on Instagram

It’s difficult to choose just one of Bittersweet’s pastries, but the lemon sabayon is perfectly sunny for summer. Pair it with a cup of their iced hot chocolate.

20. Elvis Concrete from Scooter’s Frozen Custard

Photo courtesy of @chicagofoodgasm on Instgram

Illinois’ proximity to the land of custard has definitely paid off. Their concretes are like DQ blizzards – only better, because custard. The Elvis is made with vanilla custard, Reese’s peanut butter cups and bananas.

21. Chocolate Chip Cookies from Summer House

Photo courtesy of @summerhousesm on Instagram

We could eat this leaning tower of chocolate chip cookies all summer long.

22. Chocolate Cake Stout Milkshake from Public House Chicago

Photo courtesy of @icecream on Instagram

Chicago’s own version of Black Tap’s crazy milkshakes. This drink is honestly a meal in itself.

23. Egg Waffle from J Smile 51

Photo courtesy of @jsmile51 on Instagram

Inspired by Hong Kong street food, the egg waffle can be topped with ice cream, fruit and, of course, chocolate sauce.

24. Chocolate Tostada from Cantina 1910

Photo courtesy of @infatuation_chi on Instagram

Though not as traditional as flan, this Chocolate tostada puts a twist on a classic Mexican dish.

25. Black Forest Chocolate Cake from Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House

Photo courtesy of @infatuation_chi on Instagram

At Hugo’s, one piece of cake bigger is bigger than your head (and then some). You won’t want to pass up this chocolate cherry cake.

26. Rainbow Cone from Original Rainbow Cone

Photo courtesy of @originalrainbow

Some trends may be getting old, but this chocolate, strawberry, palmer house, pistachio and orange sherbet cone has been around since 1926.

27. Flavored Ice from Maxwell Street Market

Photo courtesy of @chicagofoodauthority on Inra

Smooth scoops of shaved ice can be topped with tajín, a spice made of Mexican chilies, lime juice and sea salt.

28. Pot de Creme from Floriole

Photo courtesy of @floriole on Instagram

These were around way before the mason jar trend. They’re petite, so obviously you can have two.

29. Macadamia Turtle Pie from Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

Photo courtesy of @infatuation_chi on Instagram

Chicago really loves using knives for dramatic effect. Just try to finish this after a steak dinner. We dare you.

30. Maple Bacon Long John Donut from Glazed and Infused

Photo courtesy of @smallgirlbigbites on Instagram

Glazed and Infused has some wild donut flavors, but don’t be confused: you need to try the maple and bacon.

31. Fried Ice Cream from Citizen Bar

Photo courtesy of @citizenbar on Instagram

Just like the state fair’s fried foods, but way fancier and slightly more socially acceptable.

32. Grapefruit Baked Alaska from Salero

Photo courtesy of @neiljohnburger on Instagram

Baked Alaska isn’t as complicated as you think. Find out how to make it in a college kitchen here.

33. Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Johnny’s Grill

Photo courtesy of @thejohnnysgrill on Instagram

All that fruit makes it count as breakfast, right?

34. Green Tea Crepe Cake from Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

Photo courtesy of @jiazzss on Instagram

An exciting infusion of French and Japanese traditions. Crêpes can be savory, but we prefer them for dessert.

35. Snickers Stuffed French Toast from Whisk

Photo courtesy of @whiskchicago on Instagram

Two slices of Texas toast filled with Snickers chocolate then topped with a white chocolate sauce. Um, yes please.

36. Cookies & Cream Bombo from Bombo Bar

Photo courtesy of barsiena.com

Bombo, short for bombolone, is an Italian doughnut filled with jelly or cream. With their cookies and cream bombo, you get the best of both worlds.

37. Mille Feuille from Au Cheval

Photo courtesy of @auchevalchicago on Instagram

Known as the restaurant with one of the best burgers in the state, Au Cheval also serves dessert, so save room.

38. Peanut Butter and Jelly Soft Serve from bellyQ

Photo courtesy of @bellyqchicago

This is a serious upgrade from your grade school sandwich.

39. Carrot Cake from Lula Cafe

Photo courtesy of @creativelyswank on Instagram

Definitely counts as your daily serving of veggies (plus your serving of dairy if you count the cream cheese frosting).

40. Hand Pie from Hot Bar

Hand Pie Photo courtesy of @hbecker0944

Yeah, you read that correctly – handheld pie. Portable versions of any desserts are always a yes.

41. Shake of the Month from DMK Burger Bar

Photo courtesy of dmkburgerbar.com

A lucky charms shake in March, a donut one for national donut day – DMK Burger Bar’s shakes are always creative and tasty. Plus, you now have an excuse to go at least once a month.

42. Oh My! Caramel Pie from Beatrix

Photo courtesy of @beatrixchicago on Instagram

Serving dishes inspired by Lettuce Entertain You’s test kitchen, Beatrix’s caramel pie is a delicious departure from the classic apple or pecan pie.

43. Pot de Crème Au Chocolat from The Blanchard

Photo courtesy of @_instagramzy_ on Instagram

Tastes as delicious and fancy as it looks, but basically a pot of chocolate sauce. Yes, please.

44. Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée from The Signature Room

Photo courtesy of @signatureroom95 on Instagram

The Signature Room is located on the 95th floor of the Hancock building, so you’ll have to brave the height in order to enjoy this dessert.

45. Truffles from Chocolat Uzma Sharif

Photo courtesy of @chocolatuzma on Instagram

You can also take classes at Chocolat to learn how to make some of their delicious chocolates yourself.

46. Roasted Chili Churros from Dusek’s

Photo courtesy of @dusekschicago on Instagram

Dulce de leche cream, bittersweet chocolate sorbet, candied mango and sweet chili lime oil comprise this unusual but incredible dessert.

47. Chocolate Pecan Pie from Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

Photo courtesy of @filip_turowski on Instagram

An unlikely combo of flavors, this pecan pie is definitely not just for Thanksgiving.

48. Drinking Chocolate from Katherine Anne Confections

Photo courtesy of @bowerorganizing on Instagram

This isn’t your average, watery hot chocolate, this is drinking chocolate seasoned with spices and sugars. Another hot drink for a cold night – don’t go on a full stomach!

49. Caramel Popcorn from Garrett Popcorn

Photo courtesy of @garrettpopcorn on Instagram

A Chicago staple, Garrett’s popcorn always has a long line. It’s well-worth the wait, especially for these pieces of popcorn seasoned with butter, sweet brown sugar and a crème brûlée crunch.

50. Chocolate Cake Shake from Portillo’s

Photo courtesy of @portilloshotdogs on Instagram

An entire piece of chocolate cake spun into a shake pairs perfectly with a Portillo’s hot dog.


What better way to celebrate Stew Leonard’s roots as a dairy store than by serving a Tres Leches cake?

&ldquoAt Stew Leonard&rsquos, we follow a principle so important that we etched it into a three-ton granite rock! Rule 1: The customer is always right! Rule 2: If the customer is ever wrong, reread Rule 1!&rdquo


While this year's New Year's Eve festivities may look a little different due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are plenty of ways to make the evening feel special for you and your closest family members and friends. Whenever we dream of a celebration, it always involves lots of delicious food. From serving individual desserts such as Martha's Warm Chocolate Pudding Cakes to preparing an easy one-pot dinner with minimal clean-up, like the Baked Chicken Legs with Chickpeas, Olives, and Greens pictured here, we have 31 recipes that are perfect for an intimate and memorable night.

If you want to wow your guests without spending too much time in the kitchen, try our recipe for Chicken-and-Polenta Puttanesca Melts. Chicken cutlets and polenta are seared in a skillet, then nestled in marinara sauce made with pitted olives and capers everything is topped with mozzarella cheese and baked until bubbling and golden brown. While it's absolutely delicious, the best part of this recipe is that it takes only 25 minutes to prepare. Looking for a festive side dish to complete the meal? How about our recipe for Broccolini with Peperoncini? Italian red chile peppers and plenty of garlic gives the mild relative to broccoli a flavorful, spicy finish.

For dessert, go for something spectacularly chocolate-flavored. Everyone will save room for a slice of our Mile-High Triple-Chocolate-Espresso Mousse Pie, which features a delicious cookie crumb crust, double chocolate mousse filling, and luscious espresso cream smoothed over the top. Another, more humble, option is to serve bowls of old-fashioned rice pudding, but with a very modern twist&mdasha sea-salt caramel sauce drizzled over the top.

Ring in the New Year with 31 recipes that are perfect for a small celebration.


Save Room for Dessert. Cajun Cake

AKA, dump cake, which is a rather unattractive moniker for such a delicious, yet easy, cake. Growing up in largely Cajun town of LaPlace, La, I ate this cake often, and I've never tired of it. Nor will you, I dare say.

My version is an adaptation from an old cookbook of my mother's, Cajun Cooking. I pumped up the flavor using brown sugar for some of the granulated, as well as adding both vanilla and a pinch of salt, which rounds out the flavor. Also, because we're all about the icing, I doubled the icing recipe. The unattractive moniker of "dump cake" originates from the instructions - dump all recipes in a bowl and mix. Whatever name you prefer to use, be sure to save room for dessert when this delicious cake is on the table.

16-oz crushed pineapple with juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees butter or spray an 11x7 baking dish and set aside.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

While cake bakes, prepare Coconut Pecan Icing.

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups packed shredded, sweetened coconut

1 cups toasted and chopped pecans

Bring evaporated milk, butter and sugar to a boil, reduce heat and cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, and add coconut, pecans, vanilla, and salt.

Pour hot icing over warm cake allow cake to cool to room temperature before serving.


Watch the video: Full Episode: Great Chefs of America. Pascal Oudin, Gabriel Viti, and Grant MacPherson S3E2


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