Tag Archives: Chocolate

love in every bite…

With Valentine’s Day being on a Saturday this year, it was perfect to do something a bit different from years past… This meant making the entire experience a dual effort!
The day started by preparing our chocolatey dessert. Chocolate bowls were made, a chocolate sponge cake baked off, black cherries steeped in a sugary sauce and a creamy whipped topping all ready to be consumed later in the evening by the fireplace!
Our dinner was simple yet delicious; filet of beef wellingtons! It began by seasoning and searing the filets. Then red onions were sautéed in some luxurious European butter and cognac. This was then puréed into a slightly chunky ‘paste’. Each filet was then given a spread of dijon mustard, a nice dollop of the red onion paste, placed onto puff pastry and then covered over with a top layer of pastry. A brush of egg wash, tiny slit in the top and it was off to the oven for twenty-five minutes… When the wellingtons finally emerged, they were golden, puffy and full of lush flavors!
The day, as well as cooking/baking went off without a hitch… a day of romance, wonderful eats, champagne, snow and a fireplace! What more could we have wished for?

-R

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Reaching for the ‘clouds’ for the New Year!

Well hello to everyone… yes I realize it has been quite a while since my last posting, but there were many obstacles that prevented me from having the time to focus. Hopefully this will be a new blogging beginning for the New Year!
With 2015 finally upon us and an annual Holiday get-together with our friends approaching tonight, I felt this would be the best time to kickstart everything into motion.
Starting with ‘what can I bring’ to our amazing hostess, the words ‘how about dessert’ was music to my ears! After thinking about something out of the norm, I settled on a triple layered hazelnut mocha pavlova, with a hazelnut liquor cream filling…
It all started yesterday by roasting hazelnuts [the amount is your choice, but I went with six ounces] in the oven and also melting milk and dark chocolates [another six ounces] over simmering water. Both were set aside to cool…
While the nuts and melted chocolates cooled, six egg whites were whipped with a pinch of kosher salt until soft peaks formed, from there the sugar began to slowly get added until the whites became glossy and stiff. Once stiff peaks were evident, vanilla and almond extracts were added and the mixer then turned off. The chopped hazelnuts and a cup of chocolate chips were gently folded into the shiny pillowy mixture, as well as the cooled, melted chocolate to create a lovely marbled wonder.
Poured onto three parchment drawn discs and spread out, it was then into the 225*F oven for two and a half hours. Once cooked, the door was opened and the pavlova’s left to cool completely.
For the whipped filling, I beat cream and some hazelnut liquor until firm. This boozy filling was spread on each layer and stacked. The pavlova tier was popped into the refrigerator to ‘set-up’ overnight and then this edible beauty was dressed with some shaved dark chocolate on top before packing up and heading to the party!
The end result… crisp exterior with a slightly chewy center and a creamy delight to hold everything together… a total favorite!
What will I bake next???

-R

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we’re all entitled to some decadence…

To start the week off right, it was best to do it on a sweet note!
A whiskey chocolate tart topped off with luxurious, homemade whiskey whipped cream…
The tart was made using a cookbook I received as a Christmas present. I adapted it from one large tart into mini-personal sized ones.
The crust was made using shortbread cookies, sugar, salt and some melted butter. The cookies, sugar and salt are pulsed in a food processor, and then the melted butter stirred in until everything was incorporated. Pressed into the mini tart pans, the crust was cooked till just before browned…
While the crust cooled down, some milk and heavy cream were heated. Once hot, but not boiling, off the heat chopped milk and dark chocolates were whisked into the milky mixture until smooth.
In a separate bowl went some flour, an extra-large egg [plus an additional yolk] and some whiskey! Everything was beat together and then added into the chocolate mixture and whisked until combined.
The silky, chocolatey mixture was eased into the cooled shortbread crusts and popped into the oven and baked until slightly set, but wiggly in the center.
To finish this story, a hefty dollop of the homemade whipped cream and it was time to begin eating! Rich and decadent, full of chocolatey goodness… this was truly a spectacular dessert!

at a low simmer…
-R

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nothing wrong with being [or in this case eating] a tart!

Sometimes a sweet treat is in order… what better way to satisfy than with a decadent french chocolate tart dressed with shelled pistachios!
The buttery pastry shell was flakey and light, the dark chocolate slightly sweet and creamy, while the pistachios offset everything with a nice saltiness…
This was truly one of the best desserts I have had in quite sometime… hmmmm perhaps I should start having desserts more often…

at a low simmer…
-R

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Sinful and sweet…

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So on this day of love, I decided to whip [get it] up dinner, instead of going out and spending a special evening with strangers. My focus is not going to be on dinner, but rather dessert since it is of course a holiday known for chocolate-filled hearts and sinful chocolatey delights. I tossed around the idea of what to make and thought a flour-less cake could be nice, but thought I wanted something silky and luxurious. Then it hit me… a decadent homemade chocolate pudding! So I began the process of making pudding… But plain old pudding would be boring [at least in my opinion] so I thought what could I do to turn the volume up and make this dessert even more special? I looked through my pantry and found a box of graham crackers, as well as a bag of marshmallows… The obvious then came to mind… deconstructed s’mores!! That’s right I grabbed two jars [I use jars for many different things than just storage such as cocktails and herb planters to give some ideas] filled with a bit of the pudding, topped with some melted marshmallow and crushed graham crackers, another addition of graham cracker, marshmallow and lastly again pudding. I left just enough room to add some whole marshmallows that I torched for that true s’mores experience. Heaven in a jar!!

at a low simmer…
-R

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