Monthly Archives: April 2018


Honey Pear Vinaigrette

My wife fell in love with a pear, pecan and cranberry salad from a nearby restaurant and asked me to recreate the dressing. This is my close approximation.

  • 1/4 cup pear-infused balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together and serve.

Bonus: The salad she liked was mixed greens, sliced pears, pecans, cranberries and a bit of blue cheese crumbled on the top. It’s great with this dressing!

(Nearly) Sugar-Free Flourless Chocolate Torte

About a year ago, my beloved wife decided she was going to radically change her diet. She has some health challenges and one day decided she was going to stop eating any refined sugars and basically all refined carbs. No pasta, no white flour, no rice. I’m so proud of her for the determination and grit that she has shown, but it’s a bit of a challenge for me to cook without all of my favorite ingredients!  This torte is one of the success stories from me taking that challenge. The recipe that I adapted comes from Deb Perelman’s wonderful The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

Note: If you are totally sugar free, you’ll want to use unsweetened chocolate and probably increase the stevia (or sucralose or whatever) by another tablespoon or two. Also, I have substituted agave for the honey with fine results.

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 4 ounces 90% (or unsweetened, see notes) chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup of honey (see notes)
  • 4 tablespoons stevia
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Allow the butter to spit a little bit until small brown flecks start appearing at the bottom of the pan. The butter will be aromatic and smell like nuts. Once your butter browns, take it off the pan and stir in the chopped chocolate. Stir or whisk until it is well mixed and allow it to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease and/or line a 6″ springform or round pan and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs and sweeteners until it’s smooth and consistent.  Add in the cooled chocolate mixture (make sure to scrape the brown butter bits off the bottom of the pan) and keep beating until it becomes a rich brown color and all ingredients have been well incorporated. Add the vanilla and salt and mix some more.

In a larger bowl (or your stand mixer bowl) beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Stir about 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter. Then gently fold in the remaining 2/3 using as few strokes as possible.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the center of the cake puffs up (it will deflate shortly). Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes, then release the cake and allow to fully cool on a plate or a wire rack.