Dessert, Bread

Saffron Scented Popovers

Makes 6 large popovers.

Piping hot popovers usually elicit oohs and ahhs of excitement. The truth is they could hardly be easier to make. If you don’t own a popover pan, you can use a standard-size muffin pan or custard cups. Saffron popovers are delicious with either savory fillings or butter and jam.

1 cup milk
Saffron, large pinch
2 eggs
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Thoroughly grease each cup of the popover pan (or muffin tin). Set aside. Crumble the saffron into the milk and let stand for 10 minutes.

In a mixing bowl,* whisk together the eggs, saffron-milk, and butter. Add the flour and salt and whisk (gently) until the batter is smooth.

Fill each of the pan’s cups just over half full. Bake at 450 degrees until the popovers have puffed up and the tops have some golden spots, about 15–20 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until the popover tops are completely golden brown, about another 15–20 minutes.

Removing the popovers from the pan and use a paring knife to poke a slit into the

bottom of each one, which will allow some steam to escape and prevent the interior from becoming gummy. Serve right away.

* A bowl with a pour spout is ideal!


Rose Sweetheart Chocolate Bark

Makes about 3/4 of a pound.

A sweet and savory chocolate bark that’s visually stunning and a cinch to make. Use a good quality milk chocolate for best results.

8 ounces milk chocolate
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup dried Montmorency or other sour cherries
5 dried Moroccan rosebuds
1/2 teaspoon Madagascar Vanilla Salt

Lay a piece of baking parchment on a cookie sheet and set aside. Roughly chop the pistachios and cherries, set aside. Crumble the petals from the rose buds (discard the stems and leaves), set aside.

Melt the milk chocolate (broken into small chunks) and the chocolate chips in a double boiler set over simmering water or in the microwave. Gently stir the chocolate to be sure that it’s completely melted and blended.

Scoop the chocolate onto the parchment and spread it into an approximately 8” x 12” oblong. Sprinkle the pistachios, cherries, and rose petals over the chocolate, one after the other, then sprinkle on the Madagascar Vanilla Salt. Gently press the toppings into the chocolate. Let cool for 10 minutes, then chill for 30 minutes, before breaking the bark into chunks. Stash the bark in a tightly covered container and store it in a cool spot.


Lightly grease an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate.

Callibaut and Valrhona are readily available brands of good-quality chocolate.

The bark looks pretty packed in cellophane bags, which have been tied with ribbon.


Coconut-Rose Rice Pudding

Serves 4–6.

This recipe proves that a dish can be simultaneously exotic and familiar, enchanting and comforting.

1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
3/4 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons rose syrup, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups day-old, cooked Basmati rice*
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch saffron threads, well crumbled
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Put all the ingredients, except for 1 tablespoon of the rose syrup, into a heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat. Stir and heat until the mixture is boiling nicely, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 20 minutes — the pudding will thicken further as it cools. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of rose syrup.

Pour into a serving dish (or dishes) and let the pudding cool. Serve warm or chilled, garnished with almonds, rose petals, and lemon zest.

Well covered, the pudding will keep for several days in the fridge.

*Freshly cooked rice won’t work properly but leftover take-out white rice will.


Kozani Spice Olive Oil Cake

Makes one 9” cake.

This tender, not-too-sweet cake is perfect for afternoon tea or try a slice for breakfast with a steaming cup of coffee.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar *
3 large eggs
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Kozani Spice blend
Zest from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons slice almonds, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a heavy, 9-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with baking parchment and grease that too. Coat the greased cake pan with flour, tapping out any excess. Set aside.

Mix the flours, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. Measure the milk, add the Kozani spice, and lemon juice. Stir together and set aside.

Use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and eggs together until they are satiny smooth, thick, and a light butter color, about 2 minutes. With the beaters running, drizzle in the oil, incorporating it completely.

Add the milk mixture and lemon zest to the egg mixture, stir to mix, then fold in the flour mixture, using strong, quick strokes. Don’t over mix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Top with almonds, if using. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is domed and golden. A cake tester should come out close-to-clean when poked into the top center.

Cool for 10–15 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate and allow to cool completely before slicing the cake.

* We like the slightly caramel-y flavor of organic cane sugar in this recipe, but any granulated sugar will work just fine.

Top it off!

Generously dust the cake with powdered sugar and strew fresh flowers over it (rose petals, violets, pansies, nasturtium, apple blossoms, geranium petals are all edible). Also nice with a dollop of crème fraîche.


Our Kozani Spice blend takes its name from the Northern Greek region where saffron is grown.

The blend is wonderful in savory dishes, but its sunny flavor is also at home in simple desserts, such as this olive oil cake.


Kandy Spiced Pumpkin Cookies with Orange Glaze

Makes 30 cookies.

These soft and chewy cookies are a favorite from Claire’s childhood. We’ve updated the recipe to include our Kandy Spice blend, which pairs perfectly with pumpkin.

4 cups all purpose flour*
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon Kandy Spice blend
1 teaspoon salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can pumpkin (15 or 16 ounces)

For glaze

2 cups powdered sugar, more if needed
Juice & zest of 1 orange

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two cookie sheets. Set aside.

Mix the flours, oats, baking soda, and salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

Stir about a third of the dry ingredient mixture into the butter mixture, then add about a third of the pumpkin and stir it in. Repeat these alternating additions two more times. Drop the dough in quarter-cupfuls onto the baking sheets. Flatten the dough very slightly.

Bake for 20– 25 minutes. The cookies will be cake-y without much browning around the edges. Transfer to cooling racks.

While the cookies cool, make the glaze by stirring the orange juice and zest into the powdered sugar. The glaze should be thick-but-runny (like caramel). Drizzle the glaze on the cookies while they are still slightly warm. We suggest grating a light dusting of nutmeg over the glaze for an extra layer of deliciousness!

Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to three days.


Optional add-ins:

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup plump raisins

Grated orange zest


Da Lat Spice Cookies

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Our Da Lat Spice blend is inspired by the romantic Vietnamese city of the same name.

The blend was created for savory dishes but it works well in sweet ones, too.

Here’s our Vietnamese “take” on the familiar Mexican wedding cakes or Russian tea cakes — the chocolate, coffee, ginger, and pepper of our Da Lat Spice blend adds an exotic touch to these buttery cookies.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
1 stick each salted and unsalted butter, at room temperature.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extract, optional
1 tablespoon De Lat Spice blend
1 cup powdered sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons of Da Lat Spice blend, for rolling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with baking parchment. Set aside.

Beat the butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and Da Lat Spice together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and orange extracts, blend briefly. Add the nuts and flour, blend until a dough starts to come together. Use your hands or a spatula to “clump” the dough into a ball. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.

Pinch off a bit of dough (about 1.5 tablespoons) and roll it into a ball. Set it on the cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining dough. Chill the balls for at least 30 minutes, then bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies’ bottoms are lightly golden. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes.

While the cookies are still warm, gently roll them in the powdered sugar and Da Lat Spice mixture. Roll them in the sugar-spice mixture again after they are completely cool.

Bread, Dessert

Da Lat Spice Banana Bread

Makes one 9”x 4” loaf.

Our Da Lat Spice blend is inspired by the romantic Vietnamese city of the same
name. The blend was created as a rub for roasted or grilled meats and vegetables, but
we’ve found that it can be equally enchanting in sweet settings. This banana bread is like a favorite, older cousin who has come home from a year away at college — familiar and friendly, but just a little more sophisticated. Our Da Lat Spice adds the warm richness of coffee and chocolate, plus the unexpected spark of ginger and black pepper, to this cozy tea bread. It’s even tastier after an overnight rest, which lets the flavors meld perfectly.

1 2/3 cup all purpose flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar *
11/2 cup mashed, very ripe bananas
2 teaspoons Da Lat Spice blend
1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a metal loaf pan, line its bottom with baking parchment, and set aside. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt to combine and fluff. Set aside. In a clean mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is thick, satiny-smooth, and a light buttery color, about 7 minutes with an electric mixer. Add the Da Lat Spice and, with the beaters running, slowly drizzle in the oil, incorporating it completely. 

Gently fold in the mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla followed by the flour-mixture and the nuts using quick, strong strokes. Don’t over-mix the batter — you don’t want to deflate it.

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until a cake tester comes out clean when stuck into the top-center of the loaf. Let the bread cool in the pan for 15–20 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack.

* We like the slightly caramel-y flavor of organic cane sugar in this recipe, but any granulated sugar will work just fine.

Top it off! 

Serve the bread with honey-sweetened cream cheese that’s scented with orange-flower water. To make it, add 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons orange flower water, and the zest of half an orange to an 8-ounce tub of whipped cream cheese. Whisk or stir to blend well.

Adapted from Joanne Chang’s recipe for Flour Bakery’s banana bread.


Da Lat Spiced Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Da Lat Spiced Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart.

The custard is cooked entirely in the Vitamix – no stove time, no straining.

For the custard:

1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1 ½ cup whole milk
½ cup Dutch processed cocoa (Valrhona is good)
1 cup sugar
5 egg yolks (from large eggs)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (tapioca starch would probably work, too)
1 tablespoon Da Lat Spice
¼ teaspoon salt

Post-cooking additions:

3 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1½ tablespoons whiskey or other spirit

Put the chopped chocolate into a mixing bowl, set aside.

Put all the custard ingredients into the jar of the Vitamix (8-cup jar), cover with the long mixing stick inserted into the hole in the lid.

Start the Vitamix on low speed and quickly increase all the way to high-speed. Let the machine run until the custard heats up to about 170˚ F on an instant-read thermometer. This should take between 5 and 7 minutes. If you need to re-start the machine to continue heating custard, start on low- and re-ramp quickly to high-speed. The custard will not be as thick as pudding, it’s more like crème anglaise. It will thicken further as it chills.

Pour the hot custard over the chocolate in the mixing bowl. Stir to melt chocolate and blend. Stir in the whiskey.

Set the bowl into an ice bath and let it cool for about 20 minutes. Then cover and transfer the bowl the fridge. Chill for a minimum of 4 hours, or better, overnight. Cold custard works much better in your ice cream machine.

Transfer the chilled custard to the bowl of an ice cream maker. Follow the maker’s instructions to freeze the custard to thick soft-serve consistency. Transfer the ice cream to a quart container and then to the freezer to “harden off,” which takes at least a few hours.


• If you don’t have a Vitamix or Blentech, I’m sure that you can make the custard in a bain marie on the stove. I haven’t tested that, but imagine that you’d cook the custard, strain it into the bowl of chopped chocolate, then whisk in the alcohol before cooling it in an ice bath.


Dosha Cheat-Sheet for Ojas Milk

Tobin Hack, Intro to Ayurveda & Spices, class teacher.


Base Whole milk; grass-fed, non-homogenized
Sweetener Maple syrup
Base spice blend Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric
Vata-specific spices Black pepper, nutmeg, clove, dash of cayenne, pinch sea salt


Base Whole milk; grass-fed, non-homogenized
Sweetener Soaked dates
Base spice blend Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric
Pitta-specific spices Long pepper (pippali), cardamom


Base Almond milk (soak almonds overnight, blend & strain)
Sweetener Touch raw honey, added after milk is taken off stove
Base spice blend Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric
Kapha-specific spices Black pepper, nutmeg, clove, dash cayenne, pinch sea salt


Turmeric Spiced Shortcakes

Makes a dozen.

These shortcakes are lovely served with spiced, macerated berries and whipped cream. They’ll also happily stand-in as breakfast “scones” and taste great with berry jam.

2 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
11⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold or frozen
1⁄4 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 cup buttermilk
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a cookie sheet with baking parchment. Set aside.

Put the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Grate the butter into the same bowl (use the large holes of a grater). Cut the butter into the dry ingredients, using a pastry cutter or two dinner knives. Separately, whisk together the cream, buttermilk, and egg, then add that to dry mixture.

Working quickly, mix until a shaggy dough forms (it will barely hold together). Use a scoop to portion the dough onto the prepared baking sheet — the mounded dough will be a little craggy, which is just what you want.

Bake at 375° for 10 minutes, then lower the oven heat to 350° and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until they have golden brown edges.