Gruyère and Thyme Gougères

GougeresI love making gougères as appetizers for my dinner parties. They’re pretty easy to prepare and are always a hit. When my friends ask, “What are these?” and I usually just respond, “Cheese puffs!” Gougères seems to be such a formal name for something so fun and easy to eat.

My recipe is based on an old flyer that was meant to entice you to subscribe to Saveur Magazine. I still have the original copygrease stained and tornin a plastic sleeve, the kind you use to put in a three ring binder. Oddly, it features a portrait of a french writer holding a cat from the 1920s and two sentences about her as an introduction to these baked treats. The flyer never did succeed in selling me a subscription, but, I think the cute cat must’ve sold me on trying the recipe.

I’ve experimented a lot with this base recipe over the years. Below is my favorite variation. What I’ve learned from trial and error is NEVER open the oven while your gougères are baking. They will not bake up as big as they should. I like to bake mine one cookie sheet at time, since I can’t open the oven to rotate them and my oven won’t fit 2 sheets side-by-side. Better to slightly overbake than underbake, which will cause your puffs to deflate soon after they leave the oven and be a little gooey in the middle. Though even when these mistakes were made, no one seemed to notice and they were gobbled up anyway.

I like mine plain with thyme and gruyère, but have piped savory fillings into them as you would a cream puff or cut them in half to make little sandwiches. I’ve never been able to eat just one, and I bet you won’t be able to either.

Gruyère and Thyme Gourgères
Makes about 3 dozen

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
5 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup grated gruyère cheese
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
4 eggs

Egg wash
1 egg
1 Tbsp. water

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high, combine water, milk, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir to melt butter.
  4. As soon as butter is melted, add flour and stir vigorously  with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute to combine mixture and cook until dough pulls away from the side of the the pan.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and thyme. Keep mixing for 2 minutes or so to cool dough slightly before adding eggs. You can also move the dough to a stand mixer with a paddle for ease at this point.
  6. Incorporate eggs, one at a time into batter, making sure that each egg is incorporated completely before adding another.
  7. Spoon about a 1 1/2″ rounds of the dough onto your cookie sheet, setting them 2″ apart.
  8. In a small bowl beat egg and water together for egg wash.
  9. Brush the top of each gougère generously with egg wash. This will add shine and color to your puffs. Optionally, you can sprinkle a little grated cheese or a few thyme leaves on top before baking.
  10. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until gougères are golden brown.

Bacon + Chicken + Cream = Goodness

Tarragon ChickenMy early childhood was spent in Grenoble, France, where dinner at my parents’ friends house happened weekly. Our friend Marie-France’s specialty was Poulet a l’Estragon (Tarragon Chicken): a whole cut up chicken, braised in a mixture of bacon, crème fraiche, white wine and tarragon. It was a childhood favorite of mine. Who can resist creamy, bacon-ey chicken?

Last week, my cousin, Michelle, asked me for a new way to cook chicken thighs. I modified the original tarragon chicken recipe to be less fatty and yet retain the strong chicken flavor that you get from braising a whole bird.

If you’d like to cook a whole cut-up chicken the way Marie-France used to make it, modify the recipe below by adding 3 slices of bacon, adjusting the wine to 1 1/2 cup, changing the crème fraiche/cream to 2 cups and no chicken broth. Since there’s so much cream in the whole chicken version of the recipe, making a roux to thicken the sauce is unnecessary.

I reduce my chicken broth to about 2/3. I like my tarragon chicken with a little rice one the side and french bread. Bon appétit!

Poulet a l’Estragon/Tarragon Chicken with Bacon

3 slices thick smoked bacon (I use applewood), cut into 1/2″ pieces
6 chicken thighs
2 tsp. fresh chopped tarragon or 1 tsp. dried
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups reduced chicken broth
1/4 cup crème fraiche or heavy cream
salt and pepper
Champagne vinegar

Roux
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. flour

  1. In Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Transfer bacon to paper towel lined plate to absorb fat.
  2. Brown chicken (no salt and pepper, bacon will add salt to dish) in bacon fat over medium-high heat.
  3. Remove chicken from pot and discard all fat.
  4. Deglaze pan with white wine.
  5. Add cream, tarragon, chicken broth, chicken and bacon to pot, braise covered at a low simmer for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, turning chicken halfway through cooking.
  6. Remove thighs from pot and pour sauce into a heat safe dish.
  7. Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir to combine.
  8. Cook roux, stirring the entire time until it is lightly colored, 2-5 minutes.
  9. Add reserved sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until sauce is thickened.
  10. Re-season with salt and pepper and a dash or two of Champagne vinegar as needed.
  11. Add chicken back to pot to reheat.

A Comforting Bowl of Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bo Kho)

stewWinter inspires stews. This dish is one that I grew up with. An Asian beef stew with lemongrass, star anise, cinnamon and even a little curry for seasoning. Every Vietnamese family I know has their own version of it. Some like the sauce almost broth-like and served over rice noodles, garnished with cilantro, Thai basil and jalapeño slices. Others like it plain, with a side of baguette. Try the combination that suits your palate best.

I prefer my sauce thicker and a little more intense. After it’s cooked, I let my stew sit overnight in the refrigerator. This allows the flavors to meld into the tender beef and veggies and for the fat to separate and harden. I discard the latter before I reheat it. I find that it the fat doesn’t really add anything and dilutes the flavor. I serve mine in a shallow bowl, with a few Thai basil leaves and french bread for dipping.

Half a dozen years ago, a craving for Bo Kho struck me and I called my mom long distance to Vietnam for instructions. It was dictated to me in our traditional family way, with ingredients being approximated—a little of this, a dash of that— and, of course, I was told to taste and re-taste. Over the years, I dialed in the ingredients and proportions and kept notes of my changes and the result is the recipe below.

Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bo Kho)
Serves 4-6

2 whole star anise
2 1.5” pieces of whole cinnamon
2 Tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
3 medium shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks lemongrass, 2″ pieces, bruised
2 to 2 ½ lbs. beef chuck roast or pot roast cut into 2” cubes
2 tsp. curry powder (Vietnamese style preferable)
4 bay leaves
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
3-5 Tbsp. hoisin Sauce (according to taste)
4 medium carrots, cut into 1” pieces
2 medium turnips, cut into 1.5” pieces
Beef broth
Salt, pepper, white wine vinegar and honey to taste
Thai Basil to garnish

  1. Toast cinnamon and star anise. I do it directly on my flat top electric on high heat, very carefully, until darkened. It takes less than 2 minutes. You can also use a hot pan over high heat. Set aside when done.
  2. In large pot (I use a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat, add oil, shallots, garlic and lemongrass, cook for 1-2 minutes until shallots are transparent.
  3. Reserve one piece of lemongrass, you’ll use at the very end to freshen up the lemony flavor of the stew.
  4. Add beef to pot, season with salt, pepper and half of curry powder. Cook, stirring intermittently, until beef is browned.
  5. Add just enough broth to cover beef. Stir in ¾ of tomato paste and 3 Tbsp. of hoisin sauce. Add bay leaves, 1 star anise and 1 cinnamon stick (you’ll add the remaining anise and cinnamon at the end to give the flavor a pop).
  6. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and let simmer for 1 ½ hours.
  7. You can check flavor and re-season according to taste after the first 30 minutes. Sparingly add salt, pepper, hoisin sauce, honey (1 tsp at a time), vinegar (a dash at a time for acidity) tomato paste and curry powder as needed. If you’re re-seasoning throughout the simmering process, let flavors develop for 15 minutes before re-tasting.
  8. Check beef for tenderness. Beef should be close to desired tenderness before vegetables are added. If beef is not as tender as wanted, cover and simmer for an additional 15-30 minutes.
  9. Add carrots, turnips and additional broth if liquid does not cover veggies. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables tender.
  10. Let stew cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight.
  11. About half an hour before serving, remove as much coagulate fat from the top of the stew as you can (or leave it – up to you).
  12. Add reserve cinnamon, star anise and lemongrass and bring to a low simmer over medium heat. Let simmer for at between 15-30 minutes to warm through and to steep the newly added spices. Remove the cinnamon and anise after a few minutes if you feel the flavors are getting too intense for your taste.
  13. Serve topped with basil and with fresh baguette slices.

Slow-Poached Eggs

DSC_0090This is a pretty straightforward process that I learned from the Momofuku cookbook. The result is an egg that is evenly soft poached all the way through. From whites to yolk. The texture is creamy, almost gelatinous.

They are great in a bowl of ramen, but, also wonderful for breakfast on top of grits, ham and sautéed kale. Or eat them soft boiled style.

The idea is to cook the eggs in their shell for 45 minutes in water that is at a consistent 140-145 degrees. So, keep a bowl of ice nearby in case you need to cool the water. And the eggs should never touch the bottom of the pot, where the temperature is high, so, I use a steamer basket. For more details or just for fun check out the Momofuku cookbook.

Tools and ingredients

6 eggs
steamer basket
4 quart pot
cooking thermometer
water
ice

  1. Place open steamer basket in pot.
  2. Bring water to 140-145 degrees.
  3. Add eggs.
  4. Cook for 45 minutes. Checking the temperature frequently, lowering with ice as needed.
  5. Serve immediately or store up to 24 hours
  6. To serve, just crack egg into a small saucer and tip over to discard the loosest parts of the whites.

A Bowl of Tonkotsu Miso Ramen

ramen3

David Chang is out to torture us! We were glued to the screen as Chef Chang heartily slurped away through bowl after bowl of ramen on Mind of a Chef (season 1). His unabashed enthusiasm and his bliss inspired envy in our bellies and watered our mouths. With each episode featuring this hot, delicious Japanese noodle soup, our craving grew stronger. Having no ramen joint in Tucson, I was left with no choice but to concoct my own bowl. I drove myself to the local Asian market to buy ingredients to make a pot of my own.

My intention was to make the Momofuku broth, but, on this particular grocery run, they had run out of chicken backs. So, I improvised the recipe below based on what was available: pig feet and pork necks. Miso was added for umami and bacon at the very end for a distinct smokiness. I used kombu and dried shiitake to layer the flavors and a combination vegetables to deepen the broth. I waited until the end to taste, season, add to and refine the broth with what I had on hand. Goodness ensued. This is our favorite homemade broth thus far.

Fresh ramen noodles are non-existent at Asian grocers in Tucson, so made my own (see link for recipe). I’ve tried substituting Chinese wonton style noodles before. They’re too thin and soft and don’t quite have that bite. If you can find it, a suitable substitute for homemade are the noodles from refrigerated ramen packages. They usually come with their own broth seasoning. Just toss the seasoning and boil the noodles according to package directions and use with your broth.

Making ramen is a time consuming process, but, a satisfying one. So, if you haven’t watched Mind of a Chef, I recommend watching it on Netflix while your broth is stewing away. It’s inspiring, funny and entertaining.

Tonkotsu Miso Ramen
Makes 4 large bowls

1 recipe of Serious Eats’ Chashu Pork, reserve all liquid
1 recipe Ramen Noodles from norecipes.com
Slow-poached eggs

Suggestions for Ramen garnishes
Thinly sliced greens of green onions
Julienned ginger, very thin
Thin slices of fresh shitake
Enokitake mushrooms
Thin slices of Japanese fish cake
Sweet corn, cooked
Butter
Nori
Slices of bok choy or other Asian greens
Thinly sized Charshu Pork
Slow cooked eggs

Tonkatsu Miso Broth
2.5 lb pork feet
2.5 lbs. pork neck bones
1-4”x5” sheet of kombu seaweed
1 ½ cup of dried shiitake mushrooms
2 carrots, peeled, trimmed and halved
2 small onion, halved
1 leek, trimmed of greens split length-wise and washed
1 dozen whites of green onions (save greens for garnish)
2 slices of bacon (I use Nueske’s Applewood smoked)
2-5 Tbsp. white miso
¼ to 1 cup of braising liquid from Chashu

Before starting broth, do steps 1 in ramen noodle recipe, so your dough has time to rest. Let it rest at least 4 hours, preferably overnight before rolling out and cutting. I also start cooking the Charshu pork while the broth is simmering (step 10 below).

Cooking the broth

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a rimmed cookie sheet, place pork bones in one layer. Roast for 30 minutes.
  3. While bones are roasting, fill 10 quart pot ¾ of the way full with water. Add kombu and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn off heat and let flavor steep for 10 minutes. Remove and discard kombu.
  5. Add dried shiitake mushrooms to pot, bring back to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Strain and discard mushrooms.
  7. Add bones and fond from cookie sheet to pot and bring to a simmer. I deglaze fond with a couple ladles of the hot cooking liquid.
  8. Add carrots and cover.
  9. Roast onions, leek and scallion in pan or over stove until lightly charred and add to broth.
  10. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  11. Remove vegetables and strain liquids into a bowl by pressing pieces through a strainer. Pour liquid back into pot. Discard vegetables.
  12. Cover and simmer for additional 4-6 hours.
  13. Add bacon, boil for 30 minutes, uncovered.
  14. Season with ¼ to 1 cup of liquid from Chashu Pork and 2-5 Tbsp. of miso according to taste. Add a little of each at a time, let the flavors blend for a minute or 2, then taste.

Assembling a bowl of ramen

  1. Boil ramen noodles for 1-2 minutes until al-dente, strain and add to bowl.
  2. Layer your choice of garnishes.
  3. Pour boiling broth over and serve.

Banh Mi Tacos

Banh Mi in Vietnamese translates to bread. Just bread. But, we’ve all come to associate it with Vietnamese sandwiches. A concoction of your choice of meat with pickled daikon and carrots, crispy cucumber and fresh cilantro. So, Banh Mi Tacos (Bread Taco) should really be called Banh Tacos. Potato, po-ta-toh. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s delicious!

This recipe came out of a happy accident. We were making regular Banh Mis and ran out of baguette, but, had a bag of small tortillas. I’m sure someone, somewhere must’ve of thought of this before, however, this was a revelation to us. And it turns out we prefer the taco versions to the standard Banh Mis. There’s a higher filling to starch ratio which makes for a more satisfying, chock-full-of flavor bite.

The Char siu (Chinese BBQ pork) in this recipe will not be red as you would expect from your Chinese restaurant. That hot pink color comes from red dye which I’ve chosen to omit.  It taste yummy just the same! The pork does need to marinate overnight, so plan ahead. And the pickling of the vegetables should be done the night before as well. Though I’ve done it 3 hours before serving with success.

Use a sharp blade when it comes to julienning the veggies, it makes a difference in the texture. If daikon is not available, substitute with five thinly sliced radishes.

Chinese BBQ Pork
1 pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons honey

Pork Marinade
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine/sake
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Pickled Vietnamese Vegetables
2 medium carrots, thinly julienned
1 small daikon, thinly julienne
Salt
Pickling juice
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
½ tsp salt

Tortillas, toppings and condiments
1 dozen small good quality flour tortillas (I used Alejandro’s)
1 peeled, seeded and thinly sliced cucumber
cilantro, washed, leaves only
mayonnaise
Siracha or thinly sliced jalapeno peppers (optional)
Maggi seasoning sauce
Fresh cracked pepper

Pork and pickled vegetables

  1. Mix pork marinade ingredients.
  2. Trim tenderloin of any silverskin. Add to marinade and refrigerate overnight.
  3. In a bowl, mix carrots and daikon with 1-2 Tbsp. salt. Let sit for 10 minutes, this will draw out their liquid.
  4. In a container with an airtight lid mix pickling juice ingredients until all is dissolved.
  5. Rinse carrots and daikon to remove salt. Dry with paper towels.
  6. Add vegetables to pickling juice and refrigerate. Pickles should keep for at least a month.
  7. When you are ready to cook pork, remove tenderloin from marinade and set aside, reserving marinade.
  8. Mix honey with 2 Tbsp of pork marinade and brush tenderloin with mixture.
  9. Pork can be grill or roasted. To grill, turn grill to high. Grill tenderloin, turning every 3 minutes (covering in between turns) until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. To roast. Turn oven to high broil (500 degrees), broil in oven proof dish for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5-10 minutes until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.
  10. Let tenderloin rest for 20 minutes before slicing for sandwiches.

Assembling Banh Mi Tacos

  1. Warm tortillas on stove, in a pan. 30 seconds each side over high heat. Wrap warmed shells aside in a clean towel until ready to use.
  2. On each tortilla, run a bead of mayo and Siracha (optional) down the center.
  3. Top with slices of pork.
  4. Sprinkle pork with Maggi seasoning.
  5. Add a layer of sliced cucumber.
  6. Top with a little pickled vegetable.
  7. Layer with cilantro leaves.
  8. Pepper and top with jalapeno (optional).

Rhubarb & Co. Galette

Rhubard and Co. GaletteI’ve been trying to get in the habit of using up fresh foods in my kitchen before they go bad. A self-inflicted Iron Chef challenge. “Allez cuisine!” I found that it’s been a great way to challenge and expand my culinary skills. Today, my ‘secret’ ingredients were one ripe peach and a stalk of rhubarb. Really not enough fruit to make much of anything. But, luckily, I had a partial bag of frozen organic blueberries leftover from our Saturday morning pancakes too.

Taking inspiration from my friend, new mother and pastry chef, Sarah and a couple of blogs about galettes, I came up with the recipe below. Sarah was sweet enough to give me some pointers (that I noted in my recipe) after I tasted and became enamored with her ginger peach galette. Her pastry was a perfectly flaky, tender crust filled with slightly sweetened, spiced slices of peach with subtle bits of candied ginger interspersed throughout. The ginger and pepper elements in the recipe below are a take on her version as is finishing with the tart with turbinado sugar (aka sugar in the raw) to give it a little spark.

Lining the bottom of the galette with the almond meal mixture was influenced by the Rhubarb Galette recipe at Tasting Table. I liked the idea of bringing a nutty flavor in and keeping the bottom of the galette from getting soggy. I chose to incorporate the ginger in this layer of the pie as well. It’s less sticky to chop candied ginger into a flour/almond meal mixture than by itself.

The crust/pate brisée is an adaptation of several recipes and their techniques. I’ve struggled with making the perfect pie/tart crust for years and am finally coming close to mastering it. The Cook’s Illustrated recipe in the The Science of Good Cooking, The Food Lab’s post about the Science of Pie Dough and having Sarah video Skype with me while I was making this challenging dough, (Sarah directing, “No, not wet enough!”) has helped me come a long way. I doubt that Sarah is available for the masses via video chat, but, I’d highly suggest you check out the other sources. And I’ve convinced Sarah to let me video her techniques soon. I will share her wisdom!

Thankfully, this impromptu galette turned out delicious. Otherwise, this post would’ve been about the galette that might have been. The tart rhubarb was a compliment to the mellow berry flavor of the blueberry and peach. The ginger added a nice spice and the almond meal a subtle nuttiness. I’ll be making it this new recipe again soon. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.

Crust
8 oz. (1 1/2 cups) flour
4 oz. (8 Tbsp./1 stick) butter
2 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
½ tsp. salt
Equal parts cold water/vodka
1 beaten egg for brushing
Turbinado/Raw sugar

Almond layer
3 Tbsp. almond flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. candied ginger

Filling
1 cup rhubarb, sliced
1 cup peach, cubed
2 cups blueberry, frozen
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. corn starch
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
A couple cracks of fresh pepper
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. Chambord or other raspberry liquor
1 tsp. lemon juice

Preparing the crust
Plan this part ahead as the dough will at minimum need to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Preferably 2 or more for a tender crust. Sarah rests hers overnight for optimal tenderness. Also, all your fats and liquids should be ice cold. Freeze you butter and shortening as well your vodka. Though the vodka sounds like an odd choice. It’s tasteless and will cook off, but it will not encourage gluten development (like water), so it’s a great way to make the dough more pliable while avoiding the peril of a leathery shell. And the word on the street is work your dough as little as possible for a tender, flaky crust.

  1. In your food processor, pulse ½ (4 oz./1 cup) of flour and salt together.
  2. Add cold shortening, cubed butter and pulse for a few seconds until only lentil size pieces of fat remain.
  3. Add the rest of flour and pulse a couple of times to incorporate.
  4. Turn dough over into a large bowl.
  5. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. of ice-cold water and 2 Tbsp. of cold vodka over mixture and fold in with a spatula. If dough is still dry and crumbly, alternately add water and vodka, 1 Tbsp. at a time, gently folding until dough has just come together. Dough should form into a ball easily, but, not be sticky.
  6. Shape dough into a round disc, about 1” thick and let rest in fridge for 1-2 hour or overnight.
  7. Flour your counter generously and turn out cold dough.
  8. A tip from Sarah for unfrayed edges: with the palm of your hand pound the edges of your dough disc. Forcefully pound then turn dough to a new section and work your way 2 to 3 times around.
  9. Another Sarah bit of wisdom regarding rolling the dough: roll only in one direction. Going back and forth will overwork your pastry.  It’s best to roll gently, turn the dough 1/8 to ¼ turn and repeat until desired thickness and size is achieved. The goal is to gently but quickly roll out dough without too much pressure. This should keep your dough flaky and tender and ensure a rounder shape.
  10. When dough is approximately a 13” plus round, trim excess to make a nice circle. I used a 13” pizza pan over my dough and trace around it with a knife.
  11. Check and repair any holes or broken edges so that filling doesn’t leak.
  12. Place your dough round on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Let rest in fridge while you’re putting together the filling.

Assembling the galette

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree with one rack on the bottom and one in the middle. If using a Breville Smart Oven, which I did, use bottom rack and bake on the parchment-lined pizza pan provided with oven.
  2. On a large cutting board, combine all the ingredients for the almond layer (almond flour, sugar, flour and candied ginger). With a large kitchen knife, chop ginger finely into mixture. Set aside.
  3. Place blueberries, peach and rhubarb in a large bowl.
  4. Sprinkle the rest of the filing ingredients (sugar, corn starch, salt, cinnamon, fresh pepper, vanilla extract, Chambord and lemon juice) over the fruit and with a spatula gently fold in, so that mixture is evenly incorporated, being careful not to bruise blueberries.
  5. Remove crust from fridge. Sprinkle almond mixture evenly on the bottom center of the shell, leaving a 3” edge.
  6. Top almond layer with fruit mixture, spreading evenly.
  7. To fold in edges of crust: fold, turn 1/8 of the way, and repeat until a nice pleat is achieved or roughly gather edges in for a more rustic look.
  8. Generously brush edges with beaten egg, getting wash into folded creases (this will help folds to stay put).
  9. Sprinkle exposed galette crust with raw sugar.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes on the lower shelf of your oven to ensure a crispy bottom.
  11. Turn oven down to 350, move galette to center rack and bake for an additional 30-45 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
  12. If fruit looks dry on top, use a pastry brush to spread liquid part of filling.
  13. Let galette rest for an hour on baking sheet or gently slide pastry over onto to a cooling rack and cool for a crisper bottom.
  14. Serve by itself, with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.