banana nutella eggrolls

Surprises can be sweet.  I’ve talked a bit about surprises before — about how I’m kind of in the middle, loving to surprise other people but enjoy being “in the know” myself.

I realized that the reason I had this outlook was because I had never really, truly been
surprised before. When I was little, I would always plan my little
birthday parties down to the napkins.  I peeked behind the teacher’s
desk on the last day of 2nd grade, so I knew that she had bought us all
popsicles for the last day of school.  And, as I told you before, I have
a different ringtone for all of my contacts so I know who’s calling me
before I pick up the phone.
 

Well, it’s that time of year again — prom season.  After Spring break, I look forward for my entire school going on hold for all of the brief interruptions that break up the otherwise monotonous day.

For a girl with a limited attention span, having marshmallows, posters, and an ever-growing number of rose petals
littering the floor of the forum is a wonderful thing.  A Cappella groups bursting into song in the middle of a math quiz? Yes.  Boys flying in the air holding prom posters? Double yes.

A lot has changed since my mom was in high school.  Most boys don’t just call a girl up and ask her to prom like they used to.  It has grown into a big production, and as the years go by it gets harder and harder to think of something that hasn’t been done before.  Some boys will even go so far as to wear gold sparkly booty shorts and twerk on their high school crush until she says yes.   For those of you who need a refresher on what “twerking” is, look no further than the link above.

Anyways, I’m somewhat glad that I’m not a boy who has to worry about thinking of something clever, funny, entertaining, and original every year. 

Sometimes, it’s nice to let yourself be surprised.  Which brings me to this recipe.  Banana Nutella Eggrolls.  Deep-fried Asian cuisine on the outside, and sweet, classic crepe fillings on the inside.  You think you’re in for some shredded cabbage, pork, and eggs (classic egg roll fillings), but then BAM, you bite through the crunchy deep-fried crust to discover nothing but caramelized banana covered with oozing, melty Nutella.  Mindblown.  This is what happens when I’m at home alone for too long with leftover wonton wrappers.  Maybe that should happen more often.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients 

1 package refrigerated spring roll/egg roll wrappers
6 bananas, halved
1 cup Nutella
Oil for frying
Slice all of the bananas in half.

Lay out a wonton wrapper like a diamond.  Spread a spoonful of Nutella lengthwise (see image).  Place a banana half on top.  Roll burrito-style.  Seal with water. 

Heat 2″ of oil to 375 degrees and place about 3 egg rolls into
the oil at a time, cooking for about 2 minutes or until they are nice
and golden.
Carefully, use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the egg rolls from the oil. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Serve warm with ice
cream!

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

sex in a pan

Did I catch your attention? Good.
This is a sinfully decadent, sinfully easy dessert with a sinfully rewarding response.

It’s not the daintiest, nor the prettiest. As a matter of fact, it’s basically a hot mess in a pan.
But you know what? Despite it’s frightening appearance, people just can’t keep their hands off of it.
I made this for the first time for my school’s Winter Sports Banquet.  In the morning, I put it in the fridge, all wrapped up in foil with a big sign saying DO NOT EAT…

When I came back to get it for the banquet, some sneaky little devil had eaten half the pan.  I wonder who it was…
Was it the P.E. teacher, trying to get his chocolate fix before he had to teach another period of freshman Health?
Was it the librarian, trying to drown her sorrows due to the fact that no one checks out anything but textbooks anymore?
Was it that “innocent” little freshman boy from Baking club?
I’ll never know…

However, what I do know is that sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
I served this hot little (half-eaten) mess at the sports banquet and it was a hit.  I love telling people what it’s called — talk about a conversation starter 😉 Plus, the intrigue gets people jumping at the chance to try this naughty little dessert without even knowing what it is!

Speaking of going with the flow, I did a little bit of improvisation while making this.  My chocolate pudding was a gummy mess, so I left it out and added a layer of my favorite chocolate-hazelnut cookies instead.  There’s nothing that two tubs of Cool Whip can’t fix ;).

You could make homemade whipped cream and pudding if that floats your boat — but personally, this is one of the few instances where I prefer instant.  It just adds to the naughty, decadent nature of this recipe.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 cup pecans, chopped

3 tbsp white sugar

1/2 cup butter (melted)
1 cup flour

Cream cheese layer

1 8 oz package cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar (use 1/2 cup for less sweetness)

1 cup whipped cream or cool whip

Vanilla Cream Layer
1 package of instant vanilla pudding (5.1 oz or 144 g)

3 cups milk (use 2 cups if you want a firmer pudding)

Chocolate Hazelnut Pirouette Cookies (crushed)
2 cups whipped cream or cool whip
Cocoa Powder

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a mixer mix all the crust ingredients together and press the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake it for about 20 minutes.
  5. Prepare the vanilla pudding as per the instructions on the package.
  6. In a mixer add the cream cheese, powdered sugar and the cup of whipped cream. Mix until light and fluffy.
  7. Let
    the crust cool. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust evenly.
    Spread the vanilla pudding over the bottom crust. Sprinkle with crushed pirouette cookies Top with the whipped cream and sprinkle with cocoa powder.
  8. Refrigerate for a couple hours so that it sets.

Adapted from Jo Cooks

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

peppermint mocha affogato

Affogato is the ingenius dessert that melds creamy gelato with warm espresso.  The contrast between the hot and cold and the bitter espresso and the sweet cream makes affogato otherworldly. In my opinion, the best part of this dessert is the little, creamy puddle of coffee milk that forms in the bottom of the bowl.  It reminds me of the coffee cabinets that my dad always gets in Rhode Island.

I put my hot chocolate in an empty kikkoman bottle #resourceful

I have to admit the first time I heard of affogato was at Starbucks, when they offered to make my mocha coconut frappucino “affogato style” (with a shot of espresso poured over top).  However, the first time I had real affogato was this past summer at the Sunflower Cafe in Sonoma, CA.  It was perfection. 

“affogato” means drowned… this is why

The basic recipe is as simple as it gets: pour some espresso on ice cream — however, the possibilities for variations are endless.  Different drinks, different ice creams, different ratios, different toppings… you get the idea.

I was skimming Bon Appetit and came across a recipe for Hot Chocolate Peppermint Affogato… um yes please!  I made a batch of homemade peppermint ice cream, a batch of my favorite hot chocolate, whipped up some fresh cream, and finished my concoction with a sprinkling of espresso powder and a festive candy cane.  I served this along with some homemade croissants for a very festive Christmas breakfast.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients


  • Peppermint ice cream, either store-bought or homemade (recipe here)
  • 1 recipe hot chocolate (recipes here: dairy free / regular)
  • Fresh whipped cream
  • Espresso powder (for garnish)
  • Candy canes (for serving)

Make or buy peppermint ice cream.
Prepare hot chocolate according to recipe.
Whip cream until firm peaks form.
Scoop ice cream into teacups;
pour hot cocoa into cups, dividing evenly. Top each with a small dollop
of whipped cream. Dust with espresso powder and garnish with a candy cane, if desired.

salted butterscotch pots de creme

My favorite restaurant that we ate at in San Francisco was Claudine. It is
tucked away in the French Quarter, right behind the famous Cafe Claude. It’s a
tiny restaurant with a charming, green, outdoor seating area– an alluring
oasis away from the busy streets of San Francisco. The cuisine is a fusino
between Californian (think avocados and citrus) and traditoinal French cuisine.
Claudine refers to it as “an intersection where slow food concepts meet
global inspiration.”

The best part of our meal was dessert (of course!). My dad ordered the
salted butterscotch pot de creme. A light sprinkling of sea salt really adds a
whole new dimension to the familiar flavor of caramel. It turns this from a
butterscotch pudding into an elegant pot de creme au caramel — oozing
with extraordinary butterscotch flavor.

This no-bake recipe is the easiest one out there, no egg yolks, no heavy
cream — just really good caramel and milk whisked together to
pudding-perfection! The hardest part is waiting for it to set in the
fridge. 

These desserts can be kept chilled in the fridge for a few days — making
them perfect for a simple yet sophisticated make-ahead dessert. I made mine in
my new mini Weck jars that I couldn’t wait to use.  If you don’t have
clear small pots, you can always use ramekins.

With love,
Erica

Butterscotch Pudding

Adapted from Ripe For Dessert

Ingredients 
 

  • 4 tablespoons (60g) butter, salted or unsalted
  • 1 cup (180g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2½ (625ml) cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sea salt and whipped cream for garnish

Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the dark brown
sugar and salt, then stir until the sugar is well-moistened. Remove from
heat.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup
(60ml) of the milk until smooth (there should be no visible pills of
cornstarch), then whisk in the eggs.
Gradually pour the remaining milk into the melted brown sugar,
whisking constantly, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture as well.
Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a boil,
whisking frequently. Once it begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low
simmer and continue to cook for one minute, whisking non-stop, until the
pudding thickens to the consistency of hot fudge sauce.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Pour into 4-6 serving glasses or custard cups and chill thoroughly, at least four hours, before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and fresh sea salt before serving.