Edible Berkshires



Preheat oven to 450°F.

1 cup water
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup of flour
4 eggs

In medium saucepan, combine water, butter, salt and sugar.

Bring to a full boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla and flour all at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to form a ball. Place dough in a bowl of a stand mixer and set aside.

In a small bowl lightly beat 3 eggs. Separate 4th egg and place the white in a small dish and beat lightly; reserve yolk for filling. With the mixer on low, gradually add egg mixture with flour mixture. Once all in, increase speed to medium, until combined and you have smooth dough. Stop mixer, test dough—make sure it is supple enough to hold its shape but not pasty. If it is too stiff, … Read the rest

Chocolate Espresso Mousse Torte


Recipe by husband-and-wife chefs Franck Tessier and Rachel Portnoy

Enjoy this ultimate Chocolate Espresso Mousse Torte as the perfect make-ahead holiday dessert. It’s even better with a spoonful of Salty Caramel Sauce: All of the flavors explode in your mouth! The cake itself has lightness to it; it literally disappears on your tongue. It’s remarkable that something so richly flavored can have such a lovely, light texture.

For an extra touch, and a little crunch, you can make the garnish to go with it. When I originally looked around for something in my baking repertoire that was crunchy and gluten-free I came up empty-handed. The crunch in the photo, and what we serve at the restaurant, is a simple and delicious mix of our wonderful 65% bittersweet chocolate, melted, and Perky’s gluten-free crunchy flax cereal that we buy at the supermarket. Spread thin on a piece of parchment paper, let … Read the rest

Pear and Goat Cheese Pumpkin Crepes



Yields 12

1 cup flour
1¾ cup milk
2 egg, beaten
¼ cup pumpkin purée, canned is acceptable
6 tablespoons melted butter

1/8 teaspoon or pinch each cinnamon, grated fresh ginger and nutmeg
½ cup sugar
Butter for coating the pan

Combine all ingredients in bowl of a food processor equipped with dough blade; pulse until blended. Remove to covered bowl.

Allow to rest in refrigerator 30 minutes before using; can be kept for a day under refrigeration.

Heat a medium nonstick pan. Brush lightly with butter. Pour 1 to 1½ ounces of batter, depending on the pan size, in the center of the pan. Swirl to a thin coat, spreading evenly. Cook for 30 seconds, flip and cook for 10 seconds. Remove to rack or cutting board to cool. Continue until all batter is gone.

After cooling, stack in sealable bag. Will keep for several days in refrigerator.… Read the rest

Beet Bread


By Chef Nathan Yaple

This is bread I like to make at home when I can go outside and pull fresh beets right out of the ground. It has a beautiful golden crumb flecked with bright red, and is delicious with a tangy goat cheese or thick yogurt.

Yield: 1–2 loaves

3¼ cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
1¼ cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1½ cups water, 95°F
2¼ cups grated raw beets, small or medium, scrub skin, trim top and bottom
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, stir together the flours, yeast and salt.

Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer; add the beets, butter and then the dry ingredients. Use the dough hook attachment and mix on low speed for about a minute, until the ingredients come together in a shaggy … Read the rest

Decadent Chocolate Beet Cake


This cake will knock your socks off—it’s delicious, moist and sinfully good! The beets not only add moisture, but a bit of a healthy kick, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t have a minimum of two pieces, or three, or four… Since the cake is so rich, I love to top it with a thin ganache, almost like a chocolate sauce.

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup canola oil
1 cup puréed beets*
1 (13½-ounce) can coconut milk
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

* To make puréed beets: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 3 cups of peeled beets that have been sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Lower the heat and simmer … Read the rest

Mexican Chocolate Pot de Creme


By Chef Christophe Jalbert of Route 7 Grill

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 egg yolks
16 ounces heavy cream
½ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 ounces rum
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chipotle (smoked jalapeños) powder*
or smoked (hot) Hungarian or Spanish paprika**

* available at Berkshire Co-op, Great Barrington, or whole for grinding at the Co-op and Guido’s, Great Barrington & Pittsfield

** available at both Guido’s and Wild Oats, Williamstown

Preheat oven to 350°.

Prepare a water bath, placing 6 (6–ounce) ramekins in a roasting pan with warm water halfway up the side of ramekins.

Place the chocolate in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

Place the egg yolks in a separate mixing bowl; set aside. Combine the heavy cream, sugar, rum, cinnamon and chipotle powder in a saucepan. Bring to a boil (watching carefully) then immediately turn off and pour over the chocolate.

Once … Read the rest

Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


By Jean Yves, Chef and owner,
Lenox and Great Barrington

Jean Yves, a classically trained pastry chef, started at age 14 in Paris, graduated from Ecole Jean Ferrandi and settled with his wife, Yulia, in 2010 in the Berkshires by way of Long Island. He owned and ran five pastry shops in Long Island and produced desserts for outgoing flights from the JFK airport, including Air France. They are pleased to have left city life for the Berkshires, where they can enjoy all we have to offer.

1½ cups pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 Berkshire apples, peeled and diced
½ cup … Read the rest

Six Depot Chocolate-Hazelnut and Sea Salt Cookies


By Principal Baker Sascha Woolfe
West Stockbridge

1 egg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1–2 tablespoons Six Depot espresso, finely ground, to taste
½ cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup Nutella (hazelnut/chocolate spread)
Six Depot sea salt, coarsely ground

Yields 1½ to 2 dozen cookies

Combine egg, brown sugar, espresso and flour.

Add Nutella and stir until well incorporated.

Refrigerate mixture for 10 minutes, then spoon about 1-teaspoon-sized balls onto oiled parchment/baking sheet.

Bake at 325° for 8–10 minutes; remove even if centers look a bit underdone. This will result in the chewiest, loveliest texture.

Sprinkle generously with sea salt while still hot.

Wait until cool, then devour.

The Miller


Compliments of Gregg Charbonneau
Lee, Lenox and Boston

This is an old favorite that we learned from chef Michelle Miller 20 years ago when she had the Boiler Room Café in Great Barrington. (These days, she’s founder and owner of Bola Granola.) We call it The Miller in her honor.

Place 1 or 2 scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream* in a small bowl or coffee cup. Pour a shot of single-malt Scotch or a great bourbon over the top and dust with coarsely ground Barrington Coffee Italian Roast. You won’t be sorry.

* There’s no shortage of wonderful local ice cream available in the Berkshires: Bart’s Homemade, Golden Organics, Highlawn Farm, Maple Valley, Soco Creamery—all available at Guido’s. Gould Farm, available at their farm store in Monterey.

Wheat-Free Morning Glory Muffin

Haven’s Café & Bakery, Lenox


Yield: 12 muffins

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup rice bran oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
  • 1 cup golden raisins 1 apple, grated
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease or line a standard muffin tin with paper baking cups. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, mix together all of the other ingredients. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture. Mix until batter is evenly moistened. Fill muffin cups ¾ of the way. Bake 20 to 24 minutes.

Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.