{Party worthy recipes: Vanilla Bean Grapefruit Cocktails and Cinnamon Chili Chocolate Pudding Pie}

A week in review..

I’m in the final two weeks of marathon training before I start to taper. Real talk? I’m NOT looking forward to my solo three-hour run tomorrow. Hopefully downloading a new playlist will motivate me.

It’s quite scary to think I’m gonna be one of those tiny dots in this picture below on April 15th!!! Geez louise I hope I don’t get crushed!

I’ve been brushing up on my conversational French and reading a bunch of books in preparation for my Paris trip. Like finding out all the best insider shopping spots and even the best public toilet in Paris..Interesting..

I haven’t been sleeping as much as I should be lately (and this daylight savings time business is NOT helping). That’s when the occasional Manjari Mocha from Phil and Sebastian can come in handy to get me through the day 🙂

On Thursday, me and some girls at work enjoyed a Big Taste lunch with a view from the Sky 360 dining room.

Which ended with this beautiful carrot spice cake layered with orange creme fraiche mousse and carrot caramel. Garnished on either side with a sheet of white chocolate and topped off with crunchy carrot ribbons.

On Friday night, I invited over a few friends for a dinner party. I prepped a bunch of appies which included these puff pastry bundles filled with creamy melty brie and raspberry preserves adapted from this recipe here. Baked up crisp and golden and served warm from the oven. So easy to make and always a crowd pleaser.

I whipped up Vanilla Bean Grapefruit Cocktails. The combination of refreshing winter citrus and the aromatic vanilla is an intriguing combination.

And garnished the rims with a citrus sugar.

Makes 2 cocktails (adapted from Whole Foods recipe)

  • 4 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 lemon zest spirals for garnish (optional)
  1. Combine grapefruit juice, vodka, vanilla bean seeds, and lemon juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for a minute or so to break up and infuse the vanilla bean seeds into the cocktail.
  2. Combine the lemon zest with the granulated sugar in a small plate or shallow bowl. Wet your finger with juice and run it around the rim of each cocktail glass. Dip the rims into the lemon zest sugar to create a sugared rim.
  3. Pour the shaken cocktail over ice and serve. Garnish with a spiral lemon zest spiral.


I also made a Cinnamon Chili Chocolate Pudding Pie. Which started with a crust made of crushed Puffins peanut butter cereal and rolled oats.

Side note: For those of you who haven’t tried this cereal, it kinda reminds me of a peanut butter flavoured corn pops. I have to make sure I don’t buy it too often cause I can easily inhale half a box in one sitting. Guilty pleasure..

The crust is binded together with melted butter…Hey, I didn’t say this was a healthy recipe..

And mixed together with a fork till evenly distributed.

Press the mixture into a tart pan and bake for 12 minutes at 350F till slightly golden.

Then fill the cooled tart with heaping spoonfuls of the decadant chocolate pudding. Made with red chili spiced Lindt dark chocolate and a generous sprinkling of Vietnamese Saigon cinnamon (my spice of the moment).

And finish it off with a light dusting of Valrhona dark cocoa.

Chill in the fridge to set, and slice it up when ready to serve (making sure to clean the knife between each cut). It’s like biting into a silky chocolate cloud with a hint of peanut butter crunch.

Cinnamon Chili Chocolate Pudding Pie

Chocolate pudding (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 6 ounces 62% semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used a bar of Lindt red chili chocolate and some dark chocolate chips)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Combine the cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and pour into a large bowl.

3. If you like pudding skin, pull plastic wrap over the top of the serving dish(es) before refrigerating. If you dislike pudding skin, place plastic wrap on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days (ahem, good luck with that).

Cereal oat crust

  • 1.5 cups of crushed Peanut Butter Puffins cereal (or your favourite cereal or graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter melted and slightly cooled
Put the cereal and oats into a food processor to a medium-fine grind. In a medium bowl, mix together the cereal oat mixture with the sugar and add the melted butter. Mix together with a fork making sure to evenly moisten all the dry ingredients. Pour into a 9″ tart pan and use your fingers to press the crust into the pan. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes until slightly browned and cool for 10-15 minutes before filling with the pudding.
Spread the pudding evenly into the crust and dust with dark cocoa powder. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
5 Responses to “{Party worthy recipes: Vanilla Bean Grapefruit Cocktails and Cinnamon Chili Chocolate Pudding Pie}”
  1. prairiesummers says:

    You are killing me= Paris and this chocolate tart! I bought Saigon cinnamon a while back and will never go back to the boring stuff you get at the supermarket. It smells like heaven 🙂

  2. dereid99 says:

    Awesome good luck with the marathon… and maybe a grapefruit cocktail at the end? in Paris?

    • Thanks so much, I’m really excited! Actually I heard they serve beer, wine, cider and oysters along the course. ALthough I’m not sure my stomach could finish it. Even a foot massage station! 🙂

      I’m sure i’ll be noshing on a couple of my favourite croissants after the race

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] that citrus sugar I made to rim my glasses for my grapefruit cocktail? Not wanting to waste the leftovers, I mixed it with some turbinado, dried lavender all melted […]

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