Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mystery Dessert!

Hello again! Today I have a dance/dessert post. . .

Yesterday evening, I attended DanceMoves at The Merc (part of the Old Town Temecula Community Theatre) in Temecula, Ca. A piece I choreographed for Avocado Dance Theatre (of which I am a company member) was performed there. The other performers were the instructors who teach at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Temecula. They were beautiful and skilled ballroom dancers! There was also the apprentice company of Eveoke Dance Theatre from San Diego, Ca. They were very expressive modern dancers! My fellow Avocado dancers performed my piece superbly and that would have been enough to make it a great night. . . but it kept getting better!

At intermission, my Mom (who was my date for the evening) and I bought raffle tickets to win some prizes. Well, my Mom was just concerned about supporting the theatre and the dancers/choreographers in attendance, but I had a particular prize in mind. There was a mystery dessert being raffled and I had to have it. . . and as fate would have it, I won it. . . along with three other prizes!!! We won tickets to see Oregon Ballet Theatre perform at the Old Town Temecula Community Theatre, a gift certificate to take ballroom dance classes at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Temecula and a basket full of avocados. Luck was definitely on my side! I actually started to feel bad stealing the prizes out from under all the other raffle ticket buyers!

After I got home I was able to enjoy the mystery dessert - I heard it may be called a "Bionica," but I am not sure. I was quite surprised to discover that it was a dessert. . . when I first got it, it looked like a parfait with fruit, yogurt and granola - basically a breakfast item. You would probably think the same after seeing just this image. . .

But this thing was nowhere near a breakfast item! It is a dessert in the truest sense of the word! Strawberries, apples, bananas, mango, cantaloupe, coconut, almonds, oats, and whipped cream. . . this was the most sweet, refreshing dessert I have had in a long time! My ingredient list may not be completely accurate - for instance it may not be whipped cream, but cool whip, or a cream mixture of some sort. And it very well could be a pre-mixed granola as opposed to the separate parts I mentioned. Also, I have no idea where this dessert comes from! I imagine it is somewhere in Old Town Temecula, and it may or may not be called a Bionica. . . but I think I kind of like not knowing. . . for me it may always be the mystery dessert!

I think this would be a pretty easy dessert to recreate at home. Just cut up your favorite fruits, add coconut, almonds, granola and cool whip and you're good to go. And it is a fairly healthy dessert, which is an added bonus! I have a feeling I will be attempting to recreate this soon. . . 8 out of 10 for this mystery dessert that I won at DanceMoves!

*If you are interested in attending DanceMoves, here is the link with information about it. It is a wonderful intimate evening where you get the opportunity to see local choreographers/companies and the works they are creating!

Monday, April 2, 2012

{-Red Bean Ice Cream-}

Red bean ice cream. . . hmmm. . . so good! I discovered this dessert item when I met my husband. He was working at a sushi restaurant when we met in high school and he took me out for my first sushi experience. I wasn't crazy about the sushi at first, but I fell in love with red bean ice cream. . . and my future husband :-) Now whenever we go to an Asian restaurant that has it on the menu, I always order it! This picture of red bean ice cream comes from a restaurant called Curry House in Irvine, Ca (which serves tasty curry as well!):

Creamy deliciousness! Usually made with Azuki beans, this ice cream has a taste I feel is a little similar to strawberry, it's just as sweet, but a bit more earthy. There are actual bean pieces in it and that adds an interesting grainy texture. It really is a hard dessert to describe, it is just so good! It has to be experienced! I give red bean ice cream a 9 out of 10. The next time you are out at an Asian restaurant, check to see if they have red bean ice cream and if they do give it a try! It's amazing!!!!

In Irvine you can get red bean ice cream here:
Curry House -

In San Luis Obispo you can find red bean ice cream here:
Golden Gong -
Goshi's (Brandon, my husband, worked here!) -

In Murrieta you can find red bean ice cream here:
Woomi Sushi (where I first tasted this delicious treat!) -

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pinterest Treat

Pinterest has become quite a big thing and for a minute there I got pretty into it. When I first visited the site I was probably on it for a good hour just looking and admiring! I clicked that I wanted an invite to Pinterest, but was informed that I would be emailed with information for joining when space opened up. . . or something along those lines! Since then I haven't been going on Pinterest as much. When I am not able to be actively participating, but am just watching from the sidelines, I get a bit disinterested. Hopefully they send me an invite soon, because I would love to get to pinning!

While on Pinterest, I came across a dessert that I just had to try. It is a variation of one of my most favorite go-to desserts, a hot fudge brownie sundae. This creation was a combination of chocolate chip cookie dough, Oreo's and brownies. I was pretty sure that this was going to be the best thing ever! I made the Nestle Tollhouse recipe for chocolate cookies and spread that in the bottom of my glass pan, then layered Oreo's on top, and finally poured the brownie batter over it all. This sounds like it should be absolutely amazing, right? Well, my experience of this dessert was not as wonderful as I had hoped.

I knew this dessert had to be tasted in it's full glory, so I topped it with vanilla bean ice cream and chocolate and caramel syrup. It was tasty, and not 'bad' in any way, but I just felt that I could just stick with my regular brownie and be more than satisfied. In this Brownie Cookie Oreo Sundae, the cookie layer at the bottom was really thick. I decided that I would rather enjoy the Tollhouse cookies by themselves in their normal cookie state, because in their thick layer in this dessert I felt like it was too much cookie at one time. Then the Oreo's may as well have not even been in there, because I couldn't taste it really at all compared with everything else going on. The brownie on top was delicious though, and I really wished it was just a brownie the whole way through.

I give this dessert a 7 out of 10. . . Of course I ate the entire dessert, because it was tasty. It just wasn't as good as a traditional hot fudge brownie sundae. Sometimes the classics just don't need to be changed!

So when viewing Pinterest, remember, looks can be deceiving!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Best Chocolate Cake Ever!

My life is complete. . . I have tasted the best chocolate cake in the whole entire world! Well, maybe that's a little over dramatic, but that was how I felt when I had my first bite of this dessert!

From March 12 - 17 I was in Salt Lake City, Utah for the American College Dance Festival. I got to take some amazing dance classes such as Afro-Carribbean, Advanced Modern, Experiential Anatomy, Contemporary African, and Improvisation. I also performed in a piece that was adjudicated and a piece I choreographed was performed at an informal concert. All in all, it was an amazing experience!

One evening our whole group went to eat at a place called Desert Edge, which is located in Trolley Square for anyone who knows the SLC area. The food everyone ordered was pretty tasty, but then came my dessert - Chocolate Decadence - A rich, flourless chocolate cake covered in a bittersweet chocolate glaze with toasted almonds on a chocolate crumb crust. . .

This cake was utterly divine! Under the shavings of white and dark chocolate was the top of the cake; a crisp, thin layer that almost immediately melted in your mouth. The cake itself was hardly like a cake at all, but more like a chocolate truffle that was smooth and luxurious. It was bold, rich, sweet, incredible! I cannot say enough about how wonderful this cake was. Just to give you a better idea of it's caliber, after the first bite I realized I needed to savor it for as long as possible. I therefore took two bites initially, took another three bites later that night, and finished the rest the following evening. I normally never have this great of self control, but I knew that this dessert was worth it! I had to enjoy it for as long as possible, knowing my chances of ever having it again are slim.

I rate this dessert a 10 out of 10!!! If you ever visit Salt Lake City, go find this restaurant and try this dessert. . . believe me, it is worth your while! Oh, and bring me back a piece, would you? :-)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dark Chocolate Almonds

After saying that Hershey's kisses are a great snack in my last post, I thought I would share another of my favorite dessert snacks aka 'snasserts'. This time we are on a better snack track with something a little bit healthier. . . I said a bit. . . :)
This week I am rating Trader Joe's Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds! If you haven't tried these, you must. They are delightful! The sea salt balances so well with the dark chocolate and it makes for an addicting snack. And it isn't too bad of an addiction, because, like I said earlier, they are healthy (okay slightly healthy)! Really, though, from the dark chocolate you get antioxidants and from the almonds you get the benefits of fiber, protein, and monounsaturated fat, which may help lower LDL cholesterol. Not too shabby!
The outside coating of these almonds has a bit of a powdery cocoa taste. Once you bite into it you get the initial crunch of chocolate and almond, then the combination of coarse chocolate and sea salt, and finally the smooth chocolate finish combined with the hearty almonds. If you are out and about, you may need some floss with you as the almonds may get stuck in your teeth, but don't worry, this aspect never deters me from a craving for these bite sized treats!
Trader Joe's Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar Dark Chocolate Almonds are a win-win because the taste is perfect for snacking - a combination of sweet and salty - and you don't feel guilty after eating them as you can think of all the healthy aspects of your overindulgence! I give these Dark Chocolate Almonds an 8 out of 10 as a snassert!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chocolate Bouquet

I have stated that I want to make this blog about desserts as well as my dance endeavors, but as of yet I have not posted anything about dance. . . well last night I found the perfect segue to begin talking about my dancing through dessert. . .

I am a Dance Instructor, as well as Director, for a company called Rhythm Motion (visit our website: I was teaching a hip hop dance class for special needs students and last night was our final class of the session. We prepared a little 15 minute performance for the students' family and friends to come see and we showed our warm up, one of our creative movement games, a dance routine, and then played freeze dance with everyone who came to watch the performance. It was so much fun and the students were wonderful! After the performance, one of the parents came up and presented me with a chocolate rose bouquet to show their appreciation of me teaching this class. I was so touched! And I couldn't believe they got me chocolate flowers instead of real flowers (I had never mentioned my obsession with desserts to them . . . I must have 'chocolate lover' written across my forehead or something)!!

Here's the bouquet:

And it is hand made! The mom who gave it to me made it herself with Hershey's kisses and a variety of other items such as fabric, cellophane, ribbon, etc. to put it together. Isn't it lovely? I really am so blown away by the gesture!

Now, however, I have to be honest and stay true to my rating of desserts. . . Hershey's kisses count as more of a snack to me, not a dessert. If I asked for dessert and someone handed me Hershey's kisses I would be very confused. That would be like expecting roast beef for dinner, but instead getting beef jerky. But, don't get me wrong, as a little pick me up treat during the day, those little kisses definitely do the trick. The other side of this rating is the presentation. This bouquet is beautifully done and you can tell a lot of time and effort went into it. So my overall rating is an 8 out of 10. The generosity and craftiness of the gift outweighs the taste of the chocolate :-)

Has anyone made these chocolate bouquets before or knows of a link to how to make them? If so feel free to post it in the comments section. These make a wonderful gift and I would love to be able to make chocolate bouquets to present as gifts to others in the future!

Until next time. . .

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Harry Potter, Anyone?

This post is for all of the Harry Potter fans out there. . . The series may be over, but Harry, Hermione, and Ron will live forever in our hearts :-)

Last week my brother, sister, and I (all devout HP fans) made Butterbeer!!!! We actually made three different varieties of Butterbeer. You can find the recipes here:

Don't worry, there isn't any actual beer in these beverages, so they're safe for the kiddos!

The first one we made was the original cold butterbeer.

This drink, made of cream soda and artificial butter flavor, was oddly satisfying. I thought the butter taste would throw me off, but it was a mild butter taste that was comforting . . . kind of like eating comfort food (and definitely not like drinking Polyjuice Potion!) However, difficulty in drinking this arose in getting through the dollop of creamy foam on top (which was delicious by the way - we were stealing spoonfuls from the bowl while we were making it)! I would give this drink 6 out of 10 chocolate frogs. Tasty, but not enough umph to get your Patronus working. . . Expecto Patronum!!! ;)

The next one we made was a frosted version of butterbeer.

This was my sister's favorite of the three. We made it in the blender and added some butterscotch to the cream soda. Again, it's tough getting through the foam, but once you get to the cool liquid it is so refreshing! This would be perfect on a summer's day when you are perfecting your Wingardium Leviosa charm. 7 out of 10 sugar quills for this one.

Last, but not least, was my favorite of the three: Hot butterbeer!

This was delicious! It just made me feel all of the wonders of a crisp Autumn day: siting on the couch, reading a book, watching leaves fall outside and enjoying the sweet taste of butterscotch and warm milk, topped with buttery goodness! You may be tempted to use the Crucio curse to get this beverage from someone. But as delectable as this hot butterbeer is, it's not worth landing yourself in Azkaban! I'd give this drink 8 out of 10 cauldron cakes.

So, are you tempted to concoct your own Butterbeer? Let me know how yours turns out!

I'll leave you with some Dumbledore wisdom:
"Ah Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans! I was unfortunate enough in my youth to come across a vomit-flavored one, and since then I'm afraid I've rather lost my liking for them-but I think I'll be safe with a nice toffee, don't you? Alas! Ear wax!"

Just kidding! Here's my favorite quote from Albus Dumbledore:
“It does not do to dwell on dreams, Harry, and forget to live.”

Until next time . . .

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

~Cake Batter Truffles~

It seems to me that February is the month with the most Birthdays. . . every week there are more and more people celebrating their Birthday! Maybe February really is the month with the highest birth rate. . . or maybe I am just naturally drawn to people who are either an Aquarius or Pisces and so have many friends with Birthdays in February!

So, to celebrate all of these birthdays, my husband's included, I made cake batter truffles! You can find the recipe here:

Here's a picture of how mine turned out:

These little bites are super sweet! I could only eat one at the most in one sitting because they were so decadent. It actually took me a couple days to decide whether I liked them or not, because they were so sweet. I brought them over to my family's house and my family loved them. Especially my brother and uncle. They too could only eat one or two at a time, but even so the truffles disappeared pretty quick. Here is what I liked and didn't like about these cake batter truffles:

- The almond bark coating with sprinkles (it gave a nice crunch when you bite into it than contrasts with the soft center)
- That I could only eat one. This took care of my normally very difficult self discipline issues with portion control!
- How fun they were to make and how simple they were to make!

Didn't like (at first):
- The idea of eating cake batter (even though there were no eggs). When making cake or cookies or brownies, I am okay with licking the spoon or taking a few little taste tests of the dough/batter, but to think of eating an entire 1 inch ball of batter threw me off at first. I got over that after eating the first one though :-) They won me over!
- That's actually the only thing I didn't like!

I would rate these sweet treats a 7 out of 10 - only because I wasn't crazy about them at first!

Let me know if you end up making them and what your thoughts are!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Denny's Delights!

Alright, now I know that Denny's probably doesn't rank very high on anyone's go to dessert place, however, if you're looking for something to satisfy a craving, that emulates a fancy dessert, and won't break your budget, Denny's desserts are a perfect fix!

Brandon (my husband) and I were looking for a little late night treat and decided that Denny's was the answer. My husband is not a dessert fan so I was so surprised when he decided to forego getting his usual breakfast items and order a dessert along with me to help with my blog! Here are the items we chose: Hot Fudge Brownie A La Mode and Caramel Apple Crisp.

The best parts of the Hot Fudge Brownie were the fudge and the ice cream. They were both super rich, and the combination of the warm fudge and cool ice cream tickled my taste buds! The brownie itself was more cake like and not as dense as I had hoped it to be. It had more of a store bought and microwaved quality as opposed to a baked in house, right out of the oven taste. But, hey, for around three dollars I am not complaining! The brownie also had chopped nuts in it, but I actually barely remember that detail! They kind of got lost in the mix with all the other things going on in the dessert. I'd give this dessert a 5 out of 10.

The best parts of the Caramel Apple Crisp were the crispy topping, the ice cream and caramel sauce. I almost didn't even need the apples! The apples were a bit bland and not seasoned enough in my opinion. And there was an unbalanced proportion of apples to topping (too many apples, not enough topping). The "crisp" had a brown sugar and cinnamon taste and was so delicious mixed with the ice cream and caramel. It added a nice crunch to mix in with the smooth ice cream. I'd give this dessert a 6 out of 10.

Overall, I was satisfied with these desserts. They served their purpose of providing a sense of decadence without paying a high price. They weren't the best thing I have ever eaten, but definitely hit the spot for a comforting late night treat!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Girl Scouts Cookie Season!

The time for girl scouts cookie madness has arrived and, wouldn't you know it, there is not a girl scout anywhere in sight for me to buy cookies from! Since I do not know a girl scout or someone who knows a girl scout I felt discouraged, like I would go through the entire girl scouts cookie season without even one taste of their delicious cookies! Well, I was shopping at Target and came across a solution to this dilemma. . . Dreyer's Limited Edition Girl Scouts Thin Mint Cookie Ice Cream! My mouth watered, my heart sang . . . I think I even did a jete for joy in the aisle. . . I had to have this ice cream! And so, here it is, my first dessert review!

I was quite ecstatic about my luck in finding this wonderful treat, so my first taste was pure heaven. But after that I got down to business to seriously rate this frozen dairy dessert. Here are my thoughts:

- Subtle mint flavor is not overwhelming. It adds a cool (as in temperature) and refreshing taste.

- The ice cream itself (which is chocolate) is light and fluffy, almost comparable to soft serve, but not quite that soft. Definitely not dense, which is how I actually prefer ice cream to be.

- The thin mint cookie crumbles have a texture that is similar to a brownie. A soft, melt in your mouth kind of texture.

- The chocolate around the cookies, adds a slight initial crunch and leaves a rich chocolaty after taste. The chocolate gets stuck in your teeth, which I liked, because I got to enjoy the dessert for a minute longer after I scraped up my last spoonful. However, if you are not in the comfort of your own home and are with company, you may need to do a teeth check after partaking in this dessert.

Overall I give this ice cream an 8 out of 10! I thoroughly enjoyed it! The only thing I wish is that the ice cream itself was a little more dense.

Until next time . . .

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Hello and welcome to Chocolate Pirouettes! My name is Alex and this is my first ever blog combining my love for dance and my love for desserts! With this blog I hope to share reviews of my favorite sweet treats, be they store bought delights or decadent dishes from local restaurants! I also hope to share some of my dancing experiences. I am currently a Director for a company that provides after school dance and cheer classes for kids, I am a student choreographer at a college, and am a dancer in a modern dance company. In between all of my dancing endeavors I am enjoying the desserts that bring a taste of heaven to my lips and a touch of joy to my heart! Stay tuned for my first dessert review!