Valentine's Day Chocolate Pudding with Raspberry Whipped Cream

I love chocolate pudding. As a child, I enjoyed eating the creamy stuff with a tiny spoon that would otherwise be used for stirring espresso. Now, overcome by nostalgia, I tend to do the same, savoring each swirl and slurp. But when my bowl is empty, I go back for more. This past year, I have made a few versions of this creamy dessert. For Cinco de Mayo a spicy semi sweet chocolate made with cayenne and cinnamon and topped with a vanilla whipped cream, a mild version with a layer of butternut squash pudding for a Latkefest potluck, and for Valentine's Day, a bittersweet chocolate pudding layered with a raspberry whipped cream.

Raspberries and chocolate are a perfect combination. This dessert is splendid for that special someone or for a larger crowd. Either way, this sweet treat will knock your valentines boxers off and have your family and friends begging for more. 

Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding


  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons of tapioca starch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 24 ounces of semi bittersweet chocolate


  1. Place egg yolks and tapioca flour in a bowl and whisk until creamy.
  2. Combine the sugar, cream, milk, salt, and vanilla in a saucepan set over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat.
  3. Add the egg mixture slowly into the milk mixture and whisk. You are tempering the eggs from scrambling.  
  4. Once mixture thickens add the bittersweet chocolate and whisk until incorporated.

Set-aside pudding in refrigerator to cool for assembly. 

Raspberry Whipped Cream


  • 2 cups of raspberries
  • 3 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract


  1. Place 1 cup of raspberries in the bowl of a food processor; process until smooth. Press raspberries through a strainer and discard seeds.
  2. Add the heavy cream, raspberry puree, powdered sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk together until soft peaks form.
  3. Gently fold in to the whipped cream the remainder of the raspberries




Once the chocolate pudding is cooled, whisk again to loosen up the mixture. Place one layer of chocolate pudding in a large trifle bowl. Then top with the raspberry whipped cream. Repeat both steps again. Top with fresh raspberries, chopped chocolate or nuts. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Serves 12

Note: You can half the recipe for a smaller crowd or for individual servings in parfait glasses. 

Gluten-Free Heirloom Tomato Focaccia

My gluten-intelligence has been on the rise since my first ever gluten-free strawberry shortcake. What started as testing recipes for friends who are gluten intolerant has now become my personal quest. I do not have Celiac disease, but have determined my sinus issues are linked to a gluten sensitivity. The flour our ancestors ate is not the same modern grain we are consuming today, sad but true. Nowadays, the best way to get wholesome flour is to buy a countertop grain mill, source organic heritage wheat, and mill it yourself, just like my friend Kim Dyla in Southold, NY. She grows and makes everything by scratch, a true inspiration. Here is a small video of her grain mill. This is on my kitchen gadget bucket list.

My herb garden is bustling in this first week of fall, and the end of summer heirloom tomatoes are still flowing from Stephanie Gaylor of Invincible Summer Farms. This week, I turned her tomatoes into a sauce, dehydrated as a condiment, whizzed up some gazpacho, and even created an heirloom tomato focaccia. There are still tomatoes to be had, however, it will soon be over. I tried my hand at making a gluten-free focaccia. This recipe is based on Aran Goyoaga's focaccia, featured in her book: Small Plates and Sweet Treats. If you have not turned all your tomatoes into a sauce, consider making this gluten-free focaccia, you will not miss the gluten.

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Focaccia


  • 1 cup of potato starch
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup of millet flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of ground chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2.5 cups of small heirloom tomatoes (or any other small variety) cut in half
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Pinch of chunky sea salt


  • Fresh oregano
heirloom tomatoes.jpg


  1. In a small bowl whisk the yeast, warm water and sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes until it gets foamy.
  2. In a small bowl whisk the chai seeds and 3 tablespoons of boiling water. Stir and set-aside the paste like mixture.
  3. In a bowl for a stand mixer combine the potato starch, sorghum flour, millet flour, sea salt, pepper, egg, olive oil, yeast mixture, chia paste and honey.

    note: it is best to measure the olive oil first before the honey as the oil helps the honey to completely spill out.
  4. Mix for 1 minute with the paddle attachment. Pour the mixture into an
    8 x 11 baking pan or dish that is well oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until the dough has double in size, about an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375° .
  6. Once dough is ready gently place the tomato halves into the dough. Drizzle olive oil over the top and a pinch or two of chunky sea salt.

Bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown. Garnish with oregano.