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SNACKS AND THE CITY: Finally, The Inside Scoop On The TAK Room Creamsicle I’m Obsessed With



Orange Creamsicle dessert from Tak Room NYC

Now I finally know what goes behind the secret dessert I dream about.

Hidden within Hudson Yards is a new favorite of mine…Chef Thomas Keller’s TAK Room. I went to dinner there back in May, and honestly, it was not just some of the best food I’ve had, it was the service that was truly above and beyond expectation.

The restaurant is high end, to be sure, so I was wondering what I would be able to bring to the Snackist website that would be unique, tasty, and snackable.

Well, I found it – but it wasn’t on the menu! A creamsicle inspired dessert that looked – and tasted – scrumptious, but there was only the server’s verbal explanation of what went into it – it wasn’t described on the menu or the website.

Until now. Thanks to their twitter feed, a detailed look at what goes into this memorable treat that is as beautiful as it is sweet and delicious. And not surprisingly, there’s a lot of time and thought that went into this:

Vanilla Ice Cream, infused for 24 hours with orange zest, and Orange Sorbet made with Cara Cara, Valencia, and Navel Oranges, held together in a white chocolate and cocoa butter shell.


Take one bite of this dessert and you’ll know it was prepared with such care. It has a depth of flavor you’ll want to take your time with. I know people have a tendency to order desserts and share them, but honestly, don’t make me share this. I’m not capable of this level of kindness.

If you’re looking for a splurge worthy dinner, definitely head to Tak Room – check out their menu here! And definitely save room for THIS dessert!!!

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Carla Hall’s Mixed Berry Shortcake Mug-cake Is Exactly What You Need This 4th Of July



Perfect for making sure your celebration is a hootie-hoot.

The grill gets all the glory at 4th of July celebrations but what cookout would be complete without a little patriotic dessert? Well luckily for us the confectionary queen Carla Hall gave a virtual appearance on The Talk earlier this week and shared a recipe for her Mixed Berry Shortcake Mug Cake. And let me just say it looks good enough to stick a flag in.

In my opinion Carla can do no wrong. Her recipes match her cheery disposition so you know anything she makes is going to put a smile on your face. This recipe seems pretty straight forward even though it contains the word “macerate.” (Don’t worry though, that’s just a fancy way of saying the fruit will soften as you let it sit.) The best part about Carla’s celebratory confection is that eating the entire mug is much more calorie conscious than eating an entire sheet cake so you are really doing your body a favor here. It’s simple math really.

Here’s the recipe:

Mixed Berry Shortcake Mug Cake
(Makes 2 cakes and about 4 cups of macerated strawberries and blueberries)
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 pint blueberries
1/4 – 1/2 cup strawberry jam
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, if necessary
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Yellow Cake 
⅓ cup all purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
Whipped cream
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Prepare the strawberries:
1. Place the cut strawberries, blueberries, jam, sugar (if using), and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Toss to combine. Set aside to macerate.
Make the cakes:
1. Set aside two large mugs (12oz) or microwavable bowls.
2. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a medium bowl.
3. Combine the butter and oil. Stir into the dry ingredients.
4. In another small bowl, whisk the egg until light yellow; add in the milk and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture until combined. Do not over mix.
5. Divide batter between the two mugs. Cook on HIGH for 1½ -2 minutes or until the cake has risen and is set. Cool slightly.
Make the whipped cream:
1. While the cakes cool, prepare the whipped cream. In a metal bowl, combine the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla.
2. Whip until soft peaks form.

Then you just assemble the dessert with the cake on the bottom, berries in the middle and the whipped cream on top and voila the perfect Independence Day dessert is complete. If you want to see Carla make the dessert from start to finish check out the video below!

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Try Monica’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe From The Upcoming ‘Friends’ Cookbook



Could I be any more excited about these cookies?

Friends may have ended its initial run over 15 years ago but the impact it left on pop culture has withstood the test of time. Aren’t we all still pining for the Ross to our Rachel? Haven’t you spent years trying to come up with an alias as influential as Regina Phalange?  Don’t you and your roommate spend most nights trying to master the game of cups…ok that last one might just be me. In any event, the beloved sitcom has found yet another way to wiggle its way into our homes with the release of an upcoming cookbook, “Friends: The Official Cookbook,” expected to hit shelves this fall. Since it’s 2020 and the year is moving by at a glacial pace, news of an upcoming book simply won’t keep us satisfied. Luckily for us, a few pages of the book are available as a sneak peek and Yahoo has shared one with the recipe for “Chocolate Chip Cookies The French Way” from the episode “The One With Phoebe’s Cookies.”

In case you haven’t seen the episode recently in one of the many rerun marathons on various networks, in this episode Monica asks Phoebe for her grandmother’s secret chocolate chip cookie recipe so she can be the mom who makes the best cookies. After Phoebe reveals that the recipe was lost in her recent apartment fire, they try to recreate the recipe by tasting the last remaining cookie Phoebe had in her freezer. After 22 attempts at replicating the recipe it’s discovered that the “friend” from whom Phoebe’s grandmother learned the recipe was none other than Nestlé Tollhouse…aka the major Swiss food and beverage company. In Phoebe’s disappointment she looks down at the floor and screams to her dead grandmother “It’s because of stuff like this that you’re BURNING IN HELL! ” which only solidifies my theory that Phoebe Buffay is the best character ever.

Well instead of wasting 22 batches of cookie dough on an almost perfect cookie, although one batch did make Ross vomit, you can simply just follow the recipe listed in the upcoming book. The trick seems to be refrigerating the dough several times throughout the process but according the Yahoo, these will be the best cookies you ever make. Here’s the recipe:

Credit: YahooLife

Yum, sounds even better than Emma’s inappropriate, phallic-shaped 1st birthday cake.

The official cook book is expected to hit shelves on September 22nd. For more on Yahoo’s experience baking the cookies, click here.

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Royal Chef Dishes On Secret Ingredient Used In Queen’s Favorite Summer Pudding Recipe



A pudding fit for a queen…or anyone who likes British desserts.

I think I would like to be a member of the royal family for no other reason than to have full access to a premiere chef with an envoy of desserts in his arsenal ready to be whipped up at any given time. I’d want my royal title to be Prince of Desserts. I would want to sit a top my royal scone. And I would surely let my kingdom eat cake. But since this all sounds like a delusional daydream brought on by low blood sugar, perhaps I should just learn how make one of the Queen Elizabeth’s favorite desserts from her former chef, Darren McGrady. Luckily for me on the latest installment of his YouTube series, McGrady shares a dessert recipe fit for royalty.

According to the former royal chef, Summer Pudding is one of the Queen’s favorite desserts and is perfect to make this time of year. The pudding is dairy free showcasing mostly bread and berries and was a healthy alternative to some the heavier puddings Britain was famous for back in the 19th-century. The Buckingham Palace chefs nicknamed the pudding “Grease Pudding” as they would often insert its name into the lyrics from the hit musical; “Summer pudding, happened so fast…Summer pudding, had me a blast.” McGrady even sings a few bars before realizing that we are really just here for the desserts…Luckily he is an expert at making desserts and nice enough to share his secret ingredient too (spoiler alert: vanilla paste), making this tutorial totally worth watching!

Summer Pudding


2 lb mixed berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries)

1 ½ cups sugar (optional)

½ cup water

8 slices hearty white bread, several days old

1 tsp vanilla paste

sprigs of mint for garnish

  1. In a large pan add the cherries first, along with the sugar (optional)
  2. Once the cherries soften, add the strawberries, then the blackberries, and then the blueberries
  3. Let simmer
  4. Meanwhile, slice the bread. Create a circle to fit the bottom of a bowl. Piece the rest of the bread together at an angle to mold to the shape of the inside of the bowl.
  5. Add the raspberries to the berry mixture
  6. Drizzle fruit with McGrady’s “secret ingredient” aka vanilla paste
  7. Drain the juice from the fruit mixture
  8. Dip the circlular bread into the juice and lay on the bottom of the bowl
  9. Do the same thing with the rest of the bread until you create a mold
  10. Spoon the berries into the middle, adding some more bread on top
  11. Refrigerate for around six hours, saving some leftover juice for later
  12. After taking it out of the fridge, gently remove the pudding from the bowl by using a spatula to ease out the edges, then turn it upside down, giving it a little shake, and lift
  13. Drizzle the remaining juice and place the mint on top of the pudding for garnish.
  14. Voila! Your royal dessert is ready!

There you have it, a berry good dessert that would make any peasant feel like queen for a day…or at least a meal. You can check out more of McGrady’s royal creations here!

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