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Warm Desserts For Cool Weather

The cooler weather in some parts of the country can be a good excuse to eat a little more heavily and add a little heft to help protect against the elements.

So, it's the perfect time to eat richer desserts with more dimensions in flavor.

Chef Rocco Dispirito visited The Early Show to share his favorite recipes for desserts: Oozin' Chocolate Cake and Banana Nutella Triple Decker.

Chef Dispirito also demonstrated some beautiful plates of parfait, carpacci and Pavlova.


Parfait: In the United States, this dessert consists of ice cream layered with flavored syrup or fruit and whipped cream. It's often topped with whipped cream, nuts and sometimes a maraschino cherry. A French parfait is a frozen custard dessert made with egg yolks, sugar, whipped cream and a flavoring such as a fruit puree. In French, "parfait" means "perfect." Both American and French parfaits are served in tall, narrow, footed parfait glasses.

Pavlova: Hailing from Australia, this famous dessert is named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavolva. It consists of a crisp meringue base topped with whipped cream and fruit such as strawberries, passion fruit, and kiwi. A Pavlova is usually served with fruit sauce or additional whipped cream.

Carpaccio: Italian in origin, carpaccio consists of thin shavings of raw beef fillet, which may be drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice or served with mayonnaise or mustard sauce. The dish is often topped with capers and sometimes onions. It's generally served as an appetizer.

Oozing Chocolate Cake
Yields: 4 individual cakes

Chocolate is considered an essential ingredient by many chefs when it comes to desserts. Chef Dispirito says one key element to a good cake is to never use chocolate that is unevenly melted. He says to check by stirring until it is uniformly smooth.

The second essential factor to good chocolate cake is the baking. The moisture in the batter becomes steam, which rises and escapes through the foam. The heat also causes the air in these bubbles to expand and contributes to the rise.


4 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt the chocolate and butter together, whisking to blend. When fully melted, remove from stove and allow to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and the yolks together. Add in the flour and sugar and mix until just well blended; as little air as possible to be incorporated. When chocolate mixture has cooled, add it to the egg mixture with a whisk, again being careful not to overmix or incorporate excess air.
  4. Butter and flour 4 individual 1/2 cup ramekins or 4 ounce aluminum soufflé cups, tapping afterwards to remove excess flour. Pour the chocolate batter into the ramekins.
  5. Place ramekins in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 9 to 11 minutes. At 9 minutes, test for doneness: cakes are perfectly cooked when surface appears set, cakes jiggle when shaken, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out coated with thick liquid. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer if necessary. Remove ramekins from the oven and let stand 1 minute. To unmold, run a knife along the inner wall of each ramekin, cover with a small plate, quickly invert, and tap the bottom of the ramekin several times with a heavy knife blade if the cake does not fall out by itself. Serve with a spoon.
Banana Nutella Triple Decker

Chef Dispirito believes the fall is the perfect time to taste fruits at their most delicious and the Banana Nutella Triple Decker will make mouths water in anticipation.


4 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 slices brioche
2 tbsp. butter
1 ripe banana, cut in half lengthwise and then into slices
1/2 cup Nutella
fleur de sel for garnish


  1. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a shallow dish.
  2. Dip the brioche in the egg wash on both sides and allow it to absorb.
  3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the butter. When it is foaming, add the brioche to the pan and cook, turning once or twice, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Remove from pan.
  4. Put a piece of brioche on a plate. Top with half of the Nutella and half of the banana slices and sprinkle with salt. Cover with a second piece of brioche. Repeat the Nutella and bananas layer, then top with bread.
  5. Sprinkle salt on top and serve warm.