Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice

Two local chefs divulge recipes for their most decadent holiday desserts.

Two desserts featuring the season’s yummiest flavors.

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Roasted Chestnut, Cranberry, and Golden-Raisin Bread Pudding with Maple Ice Cream
Courtesy of Chef Dan Petrilli of Frodo’s
(Serves 8)

“This is a very rich-tasting dessert,” Chef Petrilli says. “There are variations you can try—dried cherries or currants instead of cranberries, for instance. But whatever you mix in, it will always taste good the next day for breakfast.”

1½ cups whole milk
1½ cups heavy cream
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
12 cups diced Italian bread
1 cup roasted chestnuts, chopped
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (cover in sugar overnight)
1 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring milk and cream to a simmer. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, stir together the eggs, yolks, sugar, vanilla, salt, and spices until smooth. Slowly temper the hot milk-cream liquid into the egg mixture to complete custard.

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In a bowl, pour the custard mix over the diced bread and gently stir in the cranberries, chestnuts, and raisins. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Brush an ovenproof casserole dish (9” x 13”) with butter, vegetable oil, or a non-stick spray. Spoon the bread mixture into the dish and bake in a water bath for approximately 40 minutes or until set and top is lightly browned. Let cool for 20 minutes and serve with maple (or vanilla-bean) ice cream.

Frodo’s, 472 Bedford Rd., Pleasantville (914) 747-4646

D’epices Layer Cake with Butterscotch Sauce and Orange Glaze
Courtesy of Pastry Chef Remy Deyglun of Le Château
(Serves 8)

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“For the holidays, most people want traditional, basic flavors—it lends a feeling of home,” Chef Deyglun says. “This cake, which I do at the restaurant as a special winter dessert, has traditional elements such as chestnuts, oranges, and cinnamon. Plus, it utilizes fruit, and I’m a big fan of desserts with fruit.”


½ cup molasses
½ cup honey
1 tsp baking soda
1½ cups boiling water
4 oz butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together molasses, honey, and baking soda. Combine with boiling water. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, then the cooled water mixture.

Sift together the salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, flour, and baking powder. Add to the butter/water mixture.

Grease an 8-inch cake pan lined with a circle of parchment paper.

Pour mixture into pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife blade inserted in the center comes out clean.

When baked, unmold immediately and let cool.


8 oz mascarpone cheese
4 oz confectioners’ sugar
zest and juice of 1 orange
3 oz melted butter

In a mixer, beat the mascarpone, sugar, zest, and juice at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the cooled, melted butter.

Set aside at room temperature.


6 oz brown sugar
3 oz butter
2 cups heavy cream

In a saucepan, bring to a boil sugar, butter, and ½ cup of cream. Cook until it reaches an amber color. Lower heat and add the remaining cream. Cook until the sauce begins to boil.

Set aside at room temperature.


1 cup orange juice
1 lb confectioners’ sugar

Mix ingredients until thick but flowing. Add a little sugar if too liquid; add some juice if too thick. Set aside at room temperature.


8 clementines
2 cups of orange juice

Slice the pain d’epices in three equal parts horizontally.

Peel and take the pits out of the clementines. Separate wedges and slice in half. Line an 8-inch cake pan with plastic wrap. Place first layer of cake in pan and brush on some orange juice, then evenly spread on half of the mascarpone cream. Sprinkle half of clementine wedges.

Put on second layer of cake and repeat process.

Put on last layer of cake and refrigerate for 4 hours. Unmold cake and pour orange glaze on top, making sure it runs over sides. Let glaze dry for one hour. Cut and serve with butterscotch sauce. Le Château, 1410 Rte. 35, South Salem (914) 533-6631;

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