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Decadent Desserts Made From
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Decadent Desserts Made From


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When my husband and I moved to South America almost 20 years ago, processed or packaged foods were expensive and hard to find. I quickly learned to make our favorites with simple, whole ingredients. I´ve developed hundreds of recipes for my food blog. This cookbook contains 15 of our favorites, with detailed but easy to follow instructions.

Desserts made from scratch are tastier than anything you can buy and don´t contain the chemical additives found in packaged foods. Since we serve as missionaries in Peru, profits from the sale of this cookbook will help pay for a trip to visit family and friends in the U.S.

When my husband and I moved to South America almost 20 years ago, processed or packaged foods were expensive and hard to find. I quickly learned to make our favorites with simple, whole ingredients. I´ve developed hundreds of recipes for my food blog. This cookbook contains 15 of our favorites, with detailed but easy to follow instructions.

Desserts made from scratch are tastier than anything you can buy and don´t contain the chemical additives found in packaged foods. Since we serve as missionaries in Peru, profits from the sale of this cookbook will help pay for a trip to visit family and friends in the U.S.
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Cookbook Recipes
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Cookbook Recipe
Moist Chocolate-Cherry Ganache Layer Cake
 
Cookbook Recipe
Favorite Chocolate-Fudge Cupcakes
 
Cookbook Recipe
Homemade Butter Caramels with Pink Sea Salt
 
Cookbook Recipe
Chewy & Gooey Blondies With Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel
 
Cookbook Recipe
Dark Chocolate Bark With Carmelized Nuts & Pink Salt
 
Cookbook Recipe
Cream Cheese Frosting
 
Cookbook Recipe
Blackberry Lemon Mini-Bundt Cakes
 
Cookbook Recipe
Creamy Mango Cheesecake
 
Cookbook Recipe
XXXtra Rummy Rum Cake
 
Cookbook Recipe
Quick Microwave Brownies-in-a-Mug
 
Cookbook Recipe
Carrot Cake For a Crowd
 
Cookbook Recipe
Lighter Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
 
Cookbook Recipe
Espresso Ice Cream
 
Cookbook Recipe
Toasty Horchata Ice Cream
 
Cookbook Recipe
Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
 



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Cookbook Recipe
Moist Chocolate-Cherry Ganache Layer Cake
Who doesn't love cherries? I created this cake recipe for National Cherry Day, which falls on July 16. Whether scattered over ice cream, wrapped in a pie crust or savored with a tall glass of milk, cherries are irresistible. What's special about this cake recipe? Brandied cherries folded into a ganache filling take this cake to the next level. Skip the cream cheese frosting for a less-sweet dessert and serve the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar. For special occasions, add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream for extra elegance. Accompanied by brandy-spiked coffee or a stout beer such as Guinness, you'll have an outstanding finale to any meal.

Cookbook Recipe
Favorite Chocolate-Fudge Cupcakes
I had just paid for our lattes at the historic coffee house in Belfast when I spotted the cupcakes, shining like jewels under a glass dome. I'd painstakingly chosen two of them when my husband drew my attention to a disturbing sight: a photo gallery detailing the building's restoration. Dozens of human skeletons had been found in the basement, victims of Ireland's civil war. As I contemplated the untold suffering man has inflicted upon man, I absent-mindedly bit into the confection. Moist, spongy cake and silky frosting melted in my mouth. Intrigued, I raised the cupcake to eye level. It wore a glorious crown of piped frosting with a whisper of silver, like the proverbial cloud's lining. If sweets could fill us with inner peace, I knew this cupcake could accomplish it. Although I have experimented with many cupcake recipes, Hershey's is my favorite. Quick, easy and nearly foolproof, it produces a moist cake substantial enough to stand up to heavy frosting. You can smoothly frost the cupcake tops, but why not try piping them? Pastry bags can be purchased for a few dollars at many craft and grocery stores, and you can easily learn to pipe frosting with these step-by-step instructions. Piped cupcakes add an elegant touch to any occasion. Why not bake a batch today?

Cookbook Recipe
Homemade Butter Caramels with Pink Sea Salt
My love of caramel stretches back to my childhood. One of my fondest memories is of my mother standing patiently at her stove, stirring the contents of a copper pot with her wooden spoon. I wait, feet bare on the linoleum floor as a sweet, buttery fragrance wafts provocatively across the room. Finally, after my mother shuffles around the kitchen for what seems like hours, she steps back with a sigh of contentment. Standing on my tiptoes, I peek over the counter and admire her latest creation: tiny, golden lumps of caramel lined up like a marching band at Halftime. Unfortunately, I am banished to my bedroom after abruptly stuffing a fistful of candies into my mouth, where they melt on my tongue like ice cream on a summer sidewalk. I never forgot those butter caramels, and I never stopped begging my mother for more. At a young age I learned to appreciate the artisanal quality of homemade candy. Since then, I've frequented old-fashioned candy shops with their marble counter tops and rows of fudge, English toffees, caramels and chocolates, just waiting to be wrapped up in brown paper and twine. Usually, though, I devour my finds long before I reach the comfort of my home. Although candy making may seem like the culinary equivalent of climbing Mount Everest, don't despair! With proper preparation and technique anyone can turn a pot of molten, lava-hot syrup into an impressive dessert or gift. Just set aside an afternoon or evening, pour a glass of wine and rely on the following step-by-step instructions as your guide. After successfully completing a couple of batches you, too, will become a candy-making expert and the talk of your family and friends. It's important to use fresh, high-quality ingredients for unforgettable caramels.

Cookbook Recipe
Chewy & Gooey Blondies With Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel
Frustrated with all the dry, tasteless blondie recipes out there, I set out to create chewy, decadent blondies that would keep us coming back for more. It´s important to use real butter and high quality chocolate chips for this recipe. We prefer Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips, but any good quality chocolate will work well. Be careful not to over-bake blondies. If you like nuts, feel free to experiment with different add-ins such as cashews or pecans.

Cookbook Recipe
Dark Chocolate Bark With Carmelized Nuts & Pink Salt
Which dessert can you offer a friend who keeps a strictly gluten-free diet? Chocolate is naturally gluten-free, as are raw nuts and dried fruits. So why not make chocolate bark? Both sophisticated and delicious, this dark chocolate bark is encrusted with glazed nuts for extra crunch and a flourish of sea salt for a burst of mild saltiness. Your friends will think you've slaved for hours in the kitchen when in reality, you can whip up chocolate bark in less than an hour. Allow a couple more hours for cooling. When choosing chocolate, make sure there are no messages on the label such as "processed in a wheat-processing facility" to ensure it is truly gluten-free. If you're giving chocolate bark as a gift, wrap in colorful paper or stack it in a simple, organic paper box. At home, store in an airtight storage container, preferably a glass container, for several days.

Cookbook Recipe
Cream Cheese Frosting
This is a delicious cream cheese frosting for cakes. Cream cheese has a pleasantly tart flavor that complements anything from chocolate to carrot cake. Try substituting Crisco vegetable shortening for the butter for a frosting that develops crusty edges as it sits.

Cookbook Recipe
Blackberry Lemon Mini-Bundt Cakes
Are you looking for the perfect homemade gift? Mini bundt cakes make a great hostess gift and are also a real crowd pleaser at summer luncheons or baby showers. A one bowl recipe, mini bundt cakes are practically foolproof and so quick and easy to make. You can have them in the oven in 15 minutes and out in 20 minutes more, giving you plenty of time to attend to other details of the party. Moist, light and delicately scented with berries and lemon zest, these bundt cakes will make your guests think you've slaved in the kitchen for hours! Decorate individual cakes with whole berries and lemon rind curls for an elegant touch. Enjoy!

Cookbook Recipe
Creamy Mango Cheesecake
Although cream cheese is expensive in Peru, I wanted a special occasion dessert that everyone would love. It was mango season and we had an abundance of inexpensive mangoes. This creamy, exotic cheesecake was the result. Once you have added the eggs, avoid over-beating the cream cheese filling. You can substitute 1/3 cup of sour cream and 1/3 cup milk for the yogurt, if desired.

Cookbook Recipe
XXXtra Rummy Rum Cake
I was barely old enough to sit at the dinner table without a booster seat when I first heard of rum balls. My grandmother had filled a tin full of them and Mother was raving. When I found out they were cake-like, I knew I had to try them. "You're too little," explained my mother, "There's jello for you." Jello! We'd have to see about this! No way would I settle for jiggly, artificially-colored gelatin while the adults ate delectable, sugar-covered cake balls. I calmly finished dinner and retired to my bedroom. Sometime in the middle of the night I awoke with a jerk. Rum balls! How could I forget? I sneaked down in the cover of winter darkness, floor boards creaking gently under my stocking feet. Once in the living room, I popped open the tin and peeked inside: Grandma's snowball puffs awaited. Without hesitation I popped one in my mouth then shuddered as the rum ball burned a trail down my throat. Phew! I spit out the remainder in the trashcan and then carefully covered the evidence of my mischief with some crumpled newspaper. Nevertheless, my obsession with liqueur-spiked sweets stayed with me. And as an adult, my tastes changed considerably. Unlike the rum balls I sampled as a child, this rum cake is meltingly moist and cloyingly sweet. Say goodbye to boring rum cake: dry, heavy and flavorless with only a hint of rum flavor. Say "yes" to cake that is incredibly moist, tender and packed with real rum flavor. You have to taste it to believe us...this is the best rum cake you'll ever sink your teeth into.

Cookbook Recipe
Quick Microwave Brownies-in-a-Mug
Picture this: You arrive home after an exhausting day at work, hankering for a sweet quick-fix. You don't have the time or energy to make much ado of it, but you want something now and you need it to be quick and easy. Or another scenario: a friend pops in for a surprise visit. You'd love to offer her a snack, but the cupboards are bare...well, almost. You usually have a few kitchen staples and chocolates around the house. So why not whip up a 3 minute batch of microwave mug brownies?? Mug cakes and brownies were invented for just these scenarios. And who doesn't have a few stray Hershey's chocolate kisses or chocolate chips on hand? Or substitute a 2 tablespoons of cocoa and 1 tablespoon of water for less rich brownies. Another benefit of mug cakes: they yield just 1-2 servings which makes it hard to over-indulge and break your diet. Be warned, though: these brownies are sinfully rich! Now all you need is a 12 ounce coffee mug or two and a microwave oven. Your sweet tooth will thank you!

Cookbook Recipe
Carrot Cake For a Crowd
Carrot cake is my husband´s favorite. This recipe makes a sheet-style cake big enough for a crowd, or you can bake 24 cupcakes. I prefer to leave out the raisins and reserve nuts to garnish the frosted cake, but you can certainly add them to the batter if you´d like. Finely grate the carrots for a tender crumb; use a larger grate for more texture. Squeeze out any excess moisture before folding carrots into the batter. Enjoy!

Cookbook Recipe
Lighter Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
Panna Cotta will be the quickest, easiest dessert in your arsenal. Italian in origin, its name literally means "cooked cream". It is simple and elegant and easy to personalize with flavorings such as vanilla or orange liqueur. Although we love full-fat panna cotta, I´ve learned that replacing half the cream with kefir, plain yogurt or buttermilk not only cuts the fat and calorie content in half, but it also makes for a lighter dessert.

Cookbook Recipe
Espresso Ice Cream
If you are an ice cream lover I highly recommend buying your own ice cream maker, such as the Cuisinart Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. Ice cream machines have come a long way from the old rock salt, hand-cranked models of my childhood. Not only are modern ice cream makers affordable, they are also easy to use. And best of all, you can offer the ice cream to your family with confidence, knowing it is free of harmful chemicals and preservatives found in many commercial brands. This is our favorite ice cream flavor. Slightly bitter, robust and rich, it is especially delicious when paired with dark chocolate sauce. As always buy the freshest, highest quality ingredients available and preferably organic milk and cream. Don´t forget to freeze the ice cream container 24 hours before use.

Cookbook Recipe
Toasty Horchata Ice Cream
I'll never forget my introduction to horchata. I was enjoying a plateful of authentic green enchiladas, courtesy of my friend Juana, when I unwittingly bit into a jalapeno pepper. Seeing my crimson face and the tears streaming down it, Juana came to my rescue with a tall glass of cool horchata. Surprisingly, not only did it douse the fire in my mouth but it soothed my palate with cinnamon and vanilla. Popular in many parts of the world, horchata seems to have originated during the Middle Ages in Europe and is made of almonds, sesame seeds, tigernuts or barley. Mexican horchata is rice-based and sweetened with brown sugar. Horchata ice cream owes its silky texture to the naturally occurring starches in rice. This delicate, custard-like treat pairs well with sauteed bananas and salted caramel sauce. Think of it as a Mexican-inspired ice cream sundae: the perfect ending to a spicy feast.

Cookbook Recipe
Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
As a child, a trip to Baskin Robbins was a journey to paradise. I'd stand at the glass shield on tip-toes, scuttling back and forth before the tubs of ice cream like a delirious crab. After sampling several flavors from little pink spoons, I usually settled on my favorite: Bubblegum. I couldn't resist the creamy vanilla ice cream flecked with multi-colored bubblegum chunks. As I matured, though, my flavor preferences matured with me. I moved on to favorites like Pralines 'n Cream, Strawberry Cheesecake and Rocky Road. But one flavor remained a constant through the years: Chocolate Peanut Butter. At the age of ten, I preferred an ice cream flavor more akin to Reese's peanut butter cups. Now I relish a dark chocolate base laced with ribbons of slightly salty peanut butter. The following recipe can be adapted to either taste and will win rave reviews from everyone in the family. As always, I draw my inspiration from David Lebovitz, the ice cream guru.

When my husband and I moved to South America almost 20 years ago, processed or packaged foods were expensive and hard to find. I quickly learned to make our favorites with simple, whole ingredients. I´ve developed hundreds of recipes for my food blog. This cookbook contains 15 of our favorites, with detailed but easy to follow instructions. Desserts made from scratch are tastier than anything you can buy and don´t contain the chemical additives found in packaged foods. Since we serve as missionaries in Peru, profits from the sale of this cookbook will help pay for a trip to visit family and friends in the U.S.

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Cookbook Recipe
Decadent Desserts Made From

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When my husband and I moved to South America almost 20 years ago, processed or packaged foods were expensive and hard to find. I quickly learned to make our favorites with simple, whole ingredients. I´ve developed hundreds of recipes for my food blog. This cookbook contains 15 of our favorites, with detailed but easy to follow instructions. Desserts made from scratch are tastier than anything you can buy and don´t contain the chemical additives found in packaged foods. Since we serve as missionaries in Peru, profits from the sale of this cookbook will help pay for a trip to visit family and friends in the U.S.


 
 
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