Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chocolate - Orange Pot de Crème

Rich and creamy, with a faint hint of orange, they are perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Yields: 4 desserts


1 ½ cups heavy cream
4 oz. 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate (we use Ghirardelli's) broken into pieces
4 large egg yolks
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
the zest of one well scrubbed orange
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a kettle bring water to a boil.

In a large sauce pan whisk together heavy cream and orange zest. 
Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. 
Turn heat off and add chocolate pieces. 
Let stand a couple of minutes until chocolate has melted. Whisk to blend.
In a stand-up mixer add egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla extract.  Whisk on low until mixture is well blended and creamy. 
Set speed to low and gently pour cream/chocolate mixture over eggs until just incorporated. Don't go fast or you will cook the egg yolks. 
Distribute evenly into 4  6-oz. ramekin dishes and set into a 9 x 13 ovenproof baking dish. 
Add boiling water to the pan making sure the water comes half way up the sides of the ramekin dishes. Place in oven and bake for 25 min. until custard is almost set. 
The centers should still be a wiggly. They will set as they cool.
Remove ramekins from baking dish and set on a rack to cool. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, strawberries or raspberries.

Brampton Bed and Breakfast Inn

Danielle Hanscom
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chocolate Madeleines

Proust's famous cookie, this time with a chocolate twist.

Yield:  2 dozen


½ cup plus about 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened, for buttering madeleine molds
3 large eggs
½   cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs. packed brown sugar
1 cup cake flour
¼   cup cocoa powder
1   tsp.  baking powder
¼ tsp.  salt
¼ tsp.  pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Brush madeleine pans well with softened 4Tbs. of butter. Set aside in a cool spot.
In a medium bowl sift together pastry flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
Melt remaining ½ cup butter. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand-up mixer whip eggs, granulated sugar and the brown sugar until light and fluffy. About 5 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer. Add flour and cocoa mixture and with a large rubber spatula gently mix until combined. Add vanilla and melted butter. Gently fold together until just blended.
Using a spoon fill the madeleine molds with batter. Bake madeleines for 10 to 12 minutes until they are springy to the touch and a little mound is
puffed up in the middle.
Cool on a cookie rack. They taste best on the same day they were made.

Brampton Bed and Breakfast Inn
Danielle Hanscom

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Sharing A Passion for Chocolate and Coffee

 February is Chocolate Passion Month but isn't that true of every month? And if you love the way chocolate and coffee are perfect for each other, you'll want to add this recipe to your repertoire.New York soul food!

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I said this was delicious but I didn't say cheap!)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons cream
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup double-stength espresso (you can usually find excellent instant espresso in the supermarket)
1/4 cup dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.
With your fingers, blend the graham cracker crumbs with the butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar.
Press the mixture firmly and smoothly in to the bottom of an ungreased 8 or 9-inch spring form pan
Melt the chocolate over low heat or in a microwave at 15-20 second intervals. Stir the cream into the chocolate.
In the bowl of an electric mixer add the cream cheese and the cup of sugar. Add the eggs and start beating the mixture on low speed. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and well-blended, increasing the speed cautiously to prevent spattering.
Add the chocolate mixture and the sour cream to the cream cheese mixture.
Pour in the cooled espresso and rum.
Add the vanilla and beat until well-blended.
Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 45-60 minutes until the cake is puffed at the edges. The center will remain somewhat soft but it will firm up as the cake cools.
Let the cake cool on a rack for several hours.
Remove the sides of the pan.
Garnish with a blend of confectioners' sugar and cocoa, 1 tablespoon of each, and chocolate curls.

Birchwood Inn
Ellen Gutman Chenaux
Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Trying something New........and Caramel Sauce

So as we have discussed before here, I come new to this whole cooking thing, and rely on my fellow broads to challenge me a bit and encourage me to try new things and step beyond my comfort zone in the kitchen.  So...I love caramel sauce, I have bought it, I have melted store bought caramel down and added cream (which was not too bad)  but something about the taste still eluded me.  I had just always heard how hard it was to make and that you had to be oh so careful or it would burn, frankly I was too scared to try.

So after seeing (and eating) this too cute for words breakfast fruit at Kristie's inn in Hot Springs, Arkansas I decided to take the plunge.  Surely it could not be so hard to make my own sauce to draw on the plate with.  I went to the computer, read about 20 recipes for caramel sauce, and landed on this one.  I'd tell you where it was from but...I took another plunge and changed it a bit.   Seriously, it was not that hard, and seriously it tastes REALLY Good.  Tomorrow I am putting in on top of bananas and I can hardly wait.  go ahead, remember, if I can make it, well then so can you!
OK, my drawing needs some work......... but you get the idea and the sauce was divine.

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon salted butter (if you use unsalted then add a pinch of salt)

 Combine sugar, 1/2 cup water, and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and boil without stirring until mixture turns a deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Carefully add cream (you may want to stand back the mixture will bubble a bit and makes a sizzling sound).  Stir sauce over low heat until any caramel bits dissolve and sauce is smooth.  OK at this point I had a big glump of caramel and I thought I had blown it....keep stirring, it will get smooth.
You can prepare it a day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.  Rewarm over medium heat or in the microwave but heat just until it is pourable then let the sauce cool to room temperature.  Pour over something and enjoy.  Or use it to draw on the plate like I did. 

Chambered Nautilus Bed and Breakfast Inn
Joyce Schulte
Bed and Breakfast Foodie, 8 Broads in the Kitchen
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