Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category
Friday, December 2nd, 2016
Chocolate Pâté was one of our favorite dark chocolate desserts from The West-End Bistro our restaurant in West Los Angeles, California. It is a show stopper, but still very easy to make. The hardest part of making this recipe is waiting for the pâté to chill when you want to eat it NOW.
You can use either Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%) or for a more intense, bitter-sweet chocolate flavor use Choclatique Ebony Dark Chocolate (72%). I always like to drizzle a little Crème Anglaise or chocolate ganache on the serving dish before plating. This is a very rich, intense chocolate dessert that will give even the most hard-core chocoholics a run for their money.
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours (or, better yet overnight)
Yield: 8 to 12 servings
16 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup filtered water
7 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup cognac or brandy
1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Prepare a 4-1/2 x 8-1/2 loaf pan by buttering the bottom and sides and lining with parchment or waxed paper.
- Melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl over simmering water. Remove from heat when melted.
- Beat the egg yolks until thickened, light yellow and creamy.
- Meanwhile, combine sugar and water and boil to 240 degrees Use a quick read or candy thermometer.
- While continuing to beat egg yolks at medium speed, slowly pour the hot syrup over yolks and continue to mix until cool.
- Add cognac or brandy. Mix.
- Whip cream until stiff. Fold cream into egg mixture.
- Add chocolate and fold thoroughly.
- Spoon in the prepared loaf pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight.
- When ready to serve place pan in hot water for about 30 seconds to release the sides of the pâté from the pan.
- Carefully invert the pan on a platter and using a warm carving knife slice pâté portions and place onto serving plates which have a pool of cream anglaise.
- At the restaurant, the pâté was displayed with a sheet of gold leaf artfully placed on the top, but you can decorate with fresh fruit, toasted hazelnuts or butter-sautéed blanched almonds or simply enjoy it just the way it is.
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
It’s time to be thankful and celebrate America’s favorite food holiday. We’re combining America’s favorite cheesecake-based dessert with America’s favorite holiday pie and white chocolate. There are a lot of ingredients to keep track of (well worth the effort), but the good news is it’s super-easy to do. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted, cinnamon pumpkin seeds. Happy Thanksgiving!
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cool down time: 1 hour
Chill time: 2 to 3 hours
Refrigerate time: at least 5 hours, preferably overnight
For the crust:
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg yolk
Non-stick cooking spray
For the cheesecake filling:
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 (15 ounce) cans pure pumpkin puree
1/4 cup Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon American bourbon whiskey
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup sour cream
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
For the sour cream topping:
1 pint sour cream, room temperature
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
For the crust:
- Move a rack to the center position in oven. Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Spray a 10-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Stir the gingersnap crumbs, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and melted butter together in a bowl until mixture resembles sand. Stir 1 egg yolk into crumbs until thoroughly combined until the crust mixture holds its shape when pressed.
- Evenly spread the crumbs into pan and press the crust mixture into a firm crust going about 1 inch or more up the sides of the pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes and cool on a rack.
- Place the pan on a heavy sheet of aluminum foil and bring the foil up the sides of the pan to the rim, crumpling it close to the pan and making a barrier to prevent water from leaking into the cheesecake.
- Place the foil-wrapped springform pan into a large roasting pan.
- Place the cream cheese, 1 cup brown sugar, and granulated sugar into the work bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment (do not use a whisk attachment); mix on low speed until smooth, about 3 minute. Raise speed to high and mix until light and silky, about 3 or 4 more minutes.
- Place the pumpkin puree in a separate large mixing bowl; stir in the melted white chocolate, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, salt, vanilla extract, and bourbon whiskey until combined.
- Whisk 1/4 cup of cornstarch into pumpkin mixture, followed by the sour cream, eggs and egg yolks.
- Whisk the cream cheese mixture into the pumpkin mixture until the filling is completely smooth and free of lumps.
- Pour the filling into the crust; use a spatula to lightly and rapidly jiggle the filling in the center of the cheesecake to smooth off the top and shake out any bubbles.
- Carefully place the filled springform pan in the roasting pan on the center rack of the oven and fill the roasting pan with enough very hot (almost boiling) water to reach halfway up the side of springform pan.
- Bake the cheesecake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the filling reads 160°F; about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check the temperature after 1-1/2 hours. The filling will still be slightly jiggly in the center.
- Open the oven door for a few seconds to let out most of the hot air. Use a thin knife to separate cheesecake edge from inside of pan to help prevent cracking.
- Pour the sour cream topping over the cheese cake and bake for another 8 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and leave the oven door a jar (about 1 inch) to release additional heat. Let the cheesecake cool down in the warm oven for 1 hour to finish setting.
- Carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and let it cool to room temperature on a rack for 2 to 3 hours.
- Cover the cheesecake with aluminum foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 5 hours but preferably overnight.
For the Sour Cream topping:
- Whisk together sour cream, granulated sugar, vanilla and almond extracts.
ChefSecret: Most spice companies make a reasonable pumpkin pie spice. You can substitute the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice with 2 to 2-1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
Use a folded paper towel to remove any moisture that has formed on top of the cheesecake before releasing and carefully lifting the springform pan from the cheesecake.
Thursday, November 10th, 2016
I used to love to eat Mrs. Fields’ White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut cookies fresh out of the oven. I loved the combination of the crunch of the toasted nuts and the creaminess of the warm white chocolate. The first time I made this cheesecake I used left over (slightly stale) cookies. Now that’s rare to every have leftover cookies in my house. But I digress… I thought these cookies would be great base for my White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake. And it is, but just in case you don’t have a Mrs; Fields’ nearby you can substitute it with the base crust below. And of course, as you will find out, everything goes just a little better with Choclatique White Chocolate.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 55 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours or overnight
Yield: 16 Servings
For the Crust:
1 cup pecans, toasted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
8 ounces Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate (33%)
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature and softened
1/2 cup + tablespoons granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup unflavored Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh raspberries
For the garnish:
1 pint fresh raspberries and raspberry coulis
For the Crust:
- Finely grind the toasted and cooled pecans and cracker crumbs in a food processor and add the butter, blending until combined.
- Press over bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan which has been wrapped with aluminum foil.
For the Filling:
- Preheat an oven to 350º F.
- Melt white chocolate in or glass bowl in a microwave oven in 15 to 20 seconds intervals stirring until smooth.
- Using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy.
- Add and beat in the sugar.
- Add the whole eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well at low speed and scraping down bowl after each addition.
- Beat in the Greek yogurt, corn starch and vanilla extract until just combined (do not over mix).
- Then drizzle in the melted chocolate in a slow stream, beating until filling is well combined.
- Arrange the raspberries in a single layer over crust and pour filling into crust.
- Place the springform pan in the middle a roasting pan and add boiling water so that it comes up one third of the way on the springform pan.
- Bake in middle of oven until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly when pan is gently shaken, about 55 minutes.
- Cool cheesecake completely in pan on a rack. The cake will continue to set as it cools.
- Run a thin knife around edge of cake to loosen, refrigerate for about 4 hours (or overnight).
- Garnish with fresh raspberries, raspberry coulis and whipped cream (and a mint leaf only if you must).
ChefSecret: I use a paddle attachment to my stand mixer to prevent a lot of air bubbles developing in the batter.
Friday, November 4th, 2016
I call this recipe my end-of-summer-dessert cake. That’s when the berries are coming close to the end of the season and I don’t want to miss out on the remaining seasonal flavors. You can use any berry or stone fruit (stone fruit is any plum, peach or nectarine) for this recipe in place of the blackberries. The Choclatique Chocolate Chips add a special chocolaty sweet accent. This is an easy and luscious cake to bake. You should already have all of the ingredients in your refrigerator or pantry. This is a great cake to bake for summer dinners, parties and picnics.
Now, because berries are a lot more fragile than pineapple rings you have to treat the berries with lots of tender-lovin’ care. Because of the procedure is a little bit different than a traditional pineapple upside down cake. Please read the directions carefully before you get started.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 30 to 35 minutes
Cool time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the topping:
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 cups fresh blackberries (or any other fresh berries or cherries)
For the cake:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup Choclatique Semisweet Chocolate Mini Chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 9-inch cake pan.
- In a small sauce pan, melt 1/3 cup of butter. When the butter has melted, add the brown sugar and stir vigorously until the mixture is completely incorporated.
- Pour the butter sugar mixture into the prepared cake pan. Place the berries around the edge of the pan, scatter the rest in the middle and set aside.
- Beat 1 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter together in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy about 4 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Alternately stir flour and milk into butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
- Mix vanilla and almond extracts into the batter.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour batter over blackberry mixture in the 9-inch cake pan.
- Bake cake in the preheated oven until cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the cake pan on a rack.
- Let the cake cool in the pan.
- While still warm (not completely cooled), about 30 minutes. Run a knife along the inside edge of the pan to separate cake from the sides.
- Place a cake plate over the top of the pan, and carefully flip the pan. Lift the pan slowly to release the cake from the pan.
ChefSecret: When getting ready to remove from the pan, use a cake plate that is wider than the cake. Some of the berries and berry juice run down the sides, but it is okay and adds to the look of the cake when done. I like to top this cake with a little fresh whipped cream or a scoop of French vanilla ice cream or vanilla frozen yogurt.
Thursday, October 13th, 2016
In the 12th century, Catalonia was brought under the same royal rule as the neighboring kingdom of Aragon, going on to become a major medieval sea power. Catalonia has been part of Spain since its genesis in the 15th century, when King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile married and united their realms.
Barcelona was the cultural hub of the Catalan people. Barcelona today is a food lover’s paradise. It’s not all about tapas, fresh-cured olives and wonderful hanging Spanish hams. The city is a mecca for sampling some of the best xocolata (chocolate) in the world. There is nothing better than fresh-lady fingers dipped in a cup of steamy, thick Barcelona-style hot chocolate first thing in the morning.
You can find chocolate of all sorts of chocolate products at Las Ramblas the busy tourist area where it’s hard to resist the cakes and pastries at some of the greatest bakeries in the world. Barcelona is filled with chocolate, with chocolate specialty shops galore and bakeries. There is even a chocolate museum. Museu de la Xocolata is a must see private museum in Barcelona owned by the Gremi de Pastisseria de Barcelona.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 20 to 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 6-8
3/4 cup unsalted butter (I use Plugra European-style butter, but you don’t have to)
5-1/2 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, rough chopped
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulate sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup black cherry preserves, for serving
Crème fraîche, for serving (see recipe below)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Lightly butter and dust with cocoa powder a 9-inch round cake pan.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl combine the butter and chocolate. Melt the mixture for about 2 minutes in 15 to 30 second increments, stirring frequently, until smooth.
- Set aside and let cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the eggs with the sugar at high speed until thick and pale, about 4 minutes.
- Add the flour and salt and mix at low speed until just until combined.
- Using a rubber spatula fold in one-third of the melted chocolate, then gently fold in the remaining chocolate. Do Not Over Mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Invert the cake onto a rack and let cool.
- In a saucepan, warm the cherry preserves over moderate heat.
- Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the cherry preserves topped crème fraiche or whipped cream.
ChefSecret: When flouring your cake pan use cocoa powder instead of white flour to prevent white streaks at the edges of the cake. For the Black Cherry Preserves I like to use Casa Giulia Amarene. There are also a few wonderful Italian brandied black cheery preserves. Can’t find these, any black cherry preserve will work, just not as well.
Want to make your own Crème fraîche? It’s easy.
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
- Combine 1 cup of whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of buttermilk in a glass container.
- Cover and let it stand at room temperature (about 70°F) for 8 to 24 hours or until very thick.
- Stir well before covering; refrigerate for up to 7 days.