This light and fluffy Lemon Ricotta Mascarpone Cheesecake whipped together with luscious, creamy cheeses and yogurt, and then topped with strawberries and a rhubarb simple syrup.

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberry Rhubarb Topping

This light and fluffy Lemon Ricotta Mascarpone Cheesecake whipped together with luscious, creamy cheeses and yogurt, and then topped with strawberries and a rhubarb simple syrup.

Lemon Ricotta Mascarpone Cheesecake with Strawberry Rhubarb Topping

This light and fluffy Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake is whipped together with luscious, creamy ricotta and mascarpone cheeses, and then topped with strawberries and a rhubarb simple syrup.

Have you ever planned out a meal, made a (mental) list, gone shopping, only to realize as you begin to cook that you totally forgot to get at least one or two pretty important ingredients?  Desperation, however, leads to innovation.  That, my friends, is how this Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake was born!  I fully intended to make tiramisu, and had my fingers on some lady fingers and mascarpone, but totally forgot the wine and rum!!!  (No rum?!  No wine?! There will be no tiramisu!)

Instead, after scavenging my fridge and pantry– we had cheesecake!  This Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake is made from mascarpone, ricotta, yogurt, and lemon zest over a crust of lady fingers.  Top it all off with fresh strawberries and rhubarb syrup, and you’ve got a spring-tastic dessert!

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This easy Strawberry Raspberry Clafoutis is a light and delicious French cobbler, and the perfect way to show off your spring and summer berries! champagne-tastes.com

Strawberry Raspberry Clafoutis

This easy Strawberry Raspberry Clafoutis is a light and delicious French cobbler, and the perfect way to show off your spring and summer berries! champagne-tastes.com

Strawberry Raspberry Clafoutis

This easy Strawberry Raspberry Clafoutis is a light and delicious French cobbler, and the perfect way to show off your spring and summer berries!

One of my favorite desserts is the French fruit dish clafoutis.  Pronounced ‘cla-foo-tee,’ this fluffy deliciousness doesn’t know whether it’s a cobbler, custard, or cake.  It’s full of indecision.  It will confuse guests who haven’t had it before, but they’ll inevitably decide they don’t care what it’s supposed to be, because it is just so tasty.

Traditionally, clafoutis is made with whole sweet cherries.  However, sweet cherries tend to be fairly expensive where I live, and when I buy them I usually devour them all gluttonously before I could even imagine putting them inside a dessert.  When I make clafoutis, I tend to use whatever berries I have on hand, but one of my favorite combinations is Strawberry Raspberry Clafoutis.

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This vegan-friendly Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie is made with chocolate, cream (or coconut cream), bourbon, and sea salt, is simple to put together, and is perfect for parties!

Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie

This vegan-friendly Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie is made with chocolate, cream (or coconut cream), bourbon, and sea salt, is simple to put together, and is perfect for parties!

Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie

This vegan-friendly Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie is made with chocolate, cream (or coconut cream), bourbon, and sea salt, is simple to put together, and is perfect for parties!

Dear Chocoholics,

This Salted Bourbon Chocolate Pie will make you giggle, sigh with happiness, and is meant for sharing– so you’ll make new friends.  You’re welcome.

Sincerely, Cordially, With Love–

Sarah  …. (Did I sell that well enough?  Do you not believe me?  Keep reading…)

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These vegan friendly truffles are made with heavy cream (or coconut cream), rich semi-sweet chocolate, coffee liqueur, and cayenne.

Chile Mocha Truffles

These vegan friendly truffles are made with heavy cream (or coconut cream), rich semi-sweet chocolate, coffee liqueur, and cayenne.

Chile Mocha Truffles

These vegan friendly truffles are made with heavy cream (or coconut cream), rich semi-sweet chocolate, coffee liqueur, and cayenne pepper.  

Attention all chocolate lovers!  If you, like me, like a little ‘oomph’ in your chocolate, listen up!  Recently, while gleefully sipping a Chile Mocha coffee drink, it occurred to me that this spiced, earthy cocoa would be fabulous as a truffle (the chocolate, not the mushroom).  Suddenly, my chocolate obsessed brain was on a mission– a truffle mission.  If you, like me, prefer your cocoa rich, dark, and a little bit spicy– this chocolate is for you!  It’s delicious, it melts in your mouth, and is perfect for parties, date nights, or even groggy midnight snacks.  I present to you– the Chile Mocha Truffle.  These truffles are made from a spicy and decadent chocolate ganache, rolled into perfect little balls of happiness, and lightly dusted with spiced sugar, sweetened cocoa powder,  or sesame seeds.

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Easy Chocolate Crêpe Cake- Simple to Prepare and Delicious. No Baking!

Chocolate Crêpe Cake

Easy Chocolate Crêpe Cake- Simple to Prepare and Delicious. No Baking!

Chocolate Crêpe Cake

This decadent Chocolate Crêpe Cake is a delicious take on the classic French Gâteau Mille Crêpes, and has twenty layers of chocolate crêpes and homemade amaretto whipped cream.

Recently, I’ve been a little crêpe-crazed.  You’ve probably noticed– my apartment and my food blog have been overflowing with crêpe-tastic food.  Savory crêpes, sweet crêpes, and breakfast crêpes.  La vie en crêpe!!!  Well, my friends, there’s one crêpe recipe I haven’t shared yet.  Maybe you’ve been waiting for it.  Maybe you’ve dreamed about it (or is that just me?)  The crêpe cake is the pinnacle of all crêpes– the crowning glory of crêpe-dom.  This crêpe cake uses twenty 5″ crêpes, and is filled with fluffy, delicious amaretto whipped cream.

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Cooking 101: How to Make Chocolate Crêpes

Cooking 101: Chocolate Crêpes

Cooking 101: How to Make Chocolate Crêpes

How to Make Chocolate Crêpes

This easy how-to will help you make delicious, light Chocolate Crêpes with just a few steps.  Eat these on their own, or use them in decadent breakfasts and desserts.

What single ingredient makes almost everything better?  Stumped?!  No– you aren’t!  You know! Of course you know!  It’s brussels sprouts… (pause)… I’m just kidding, guys– it’s obviously chocolate.   You know it’s true– Cake is good.  Chocolate cake is excellent.  Coffee is a morning staple, but add in some chocolate for a mocha, and you have a steaming cup of delicious extravagance.  I could go on, but you don’t need to be convinced, do you?  It’s only natural, therefore, that when I found myself devouring crêpe after crêpe, that I couldn’t help wishing they were chocolate.  Well, dear reader, here at Champagne Tastes, I don’t just ‘wish’ something had chocolate– I make it chocolate!  These Chocolate Crêpes are simple to prepare, delicious, and perfect for both breakfast and dessert.

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This Pumpkin Tiramisu is a seasonal version of the classic Italian dessert.

Pumpkin Tiramisu

This Pumpkin Tiramisu is a seasonal version of the classic Italian dessert.

Pumpkin Tiramisu

This Pumpkin Tiramisu is a seasonal version of the classic Italian dessert, made with fluffy layers of mascarpone cheese and pumpkin purée between espresso-infused Italian lady fingers.  

Tomorrow is the official start of fall, and I’ve already got full-blown pumpkin fever.  I’ve been scouring my brain, my recipes, and my cabinets, wondering, “What else would be better with pumpkin?!”  The answer was obvious– everything is better with pumpkin!!!  However, when I found Italian lady fingers hiding in the back recesses of my pantry, I knew it was the beginning of something fantastical.  You already know, I’m sure, that pumpkin and espresso together are magically, wonderfully, delicious.   (Starbucks has been marketing that flavor explosion for years!)  With a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte in hand, giving me pumpkin-infused confidence, I whipped up another batch of pumpkin-coffee goodness.  This Pumpkin Tiramisu is made with layers of mascarpone and pumpkiny goodness between espresso-infused Italian lady fingers.

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This easy how-to is a step-by-step tutorial on making French Crêpes

Cooking 101: French Crêpes

This easy how-to is a step-by-step tutorial on making French Crêpes

How to Make French Crepes

Do you wish you could take a basic cooking class?  Do you find yourself buying lots of pre-made ingredients, but suspect your food would taste even better from scratch?  Periodically, Champagne Tastes will be featuring ‘Cooking 101’ recipes.  These cooking staples will take your food to the next level, and will help you make more ingredients from scratch.

If you find yourself impersonating the fabulous Julia Child while declaring, “Bon Appétit!” before a meal, you aren’t alone.  (Or maybe no one else does this?  I’m sure I can’t be the only one.  I also like to take selfies with cardboard Julia at the Smithsonian,* so maybe it really is just me.)   Whether or not you’re a Julia-fan, you should at least be aware that, if you’re looking for a basic, go-to, will-not-fail French recipe– she’s your gal.  Her recipes have never failed me, and are always delicious.  Her recipe for basic French Crêpes is easy to follow, and is sure to leave you with a stack of delicious, ultra-thin French pancakes.

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This Wild Berry Lavender Granita with Whipped Ricotta is a gourmet-level icy treat that can be made without any special ice cream equipment!

Wild Berry Lavender Granita with Whipped Ricotta

This Wild Berry Lavender Granita with Whipped Ricotta is a gourmet-level icy treat that can be made without any special ice cream equipment!

Wild Berry Lavender Granita with Whipped Ricotta

This Wild Berry Lavender Granita with Whipped Ricotta is a gourmet-level icy treat that can be made without any special ice cream equipment!

Last summer, I wandered aimlessly with the husband through the blistering heat of the Tuscan sun, eating as many cold things as possible.  I mostly ate gelato, because well, it’s gelato.  (I really don’t need to explain that one, right?)  Along the way, however, I also found myself devouring gelato-filled cannoli (what?! I didn’t even know that existed!), and of course, granita.  If you aren’t familiar with granita, it’s an icy frozen treat, traditionally made with water, sugar, and lemon juice.  It’s also used as a palate cleanser between meal courses. (File this factoid in your brain somewhere, just in case you someday have an especially fancy-schmancy dinner).  My favorite thing about granita is that it’s ridiculously easy to make at home– no ice cream maker required.  This Wild Berry Lavender Granita with Whipped Ricotta is the perfect way to cool down on a summer day.

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Vegan friendly Chocolate Truffle Pie- All the flavor of chocolate truffles, with much less effort!

Easy Chocolate Truffle Pie

Chocolate Truffle Pie- All the flavor of chocolate truffles, with much less effort!

This vegan-friendly Easy Chocolate Truffle Pie is made with a rich and decadent chocolate ganache.  No truffle rolling!!!

Let’s talk chocolate.  Dark, rich, decadent, melt in your mouth chocolate.  One of my favorite ways to eat chocolate is in a truffle– not the pre-made chocolate truffles you’ll find in the candy aisle– I want the fresh, silky chocolate truffles made from melting chocolate into cream at home.  Unfortunately, rolling out these tiny balls is time-consuming and tedious.  Plus, I always end up with chocolate all over myself and my kitchen.  This Chocolate Truffle Pie is the solution to my laziness.  It’s fast– with no truffle rolling at all– and is perfect for parties, because this extra rich pie needs to be served in small slices and feeds more people than a traditional pie.

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