Posts Tagged ‘Recipe’
Thursday, July 21st, 2016
Julia Child’s brought her famous Almond Cake to the taping of The Food Show one Saturday morning for our crew to enjoy. So thoughtful of her—we always loved having Miss Julia as a guest. It was a great cake, but something was missing. What could it be? Maybe a little chocolate? In this recipe I have enhanced Julia’s masterpiece with a little bit of own—Choclatique Chocolate—well, maybe a lot of Choclatique Chocolate.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 30-35 minutes
Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled, plus more for greasing the pan
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee crystals
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons sanding sugar
- Preheat an oven to 350°F.
- Butter and flour 9-inch pie plate or loose bottom tart pan.
- Whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, almond extract and salt in a large bowl until frothy and pale; about 2 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup flour and cocoa powder and stir until incorporated.
- Pour into prepared pie plate or pan. Top with the almonds and sanding sugar.
- Bake the cake until top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Be careful not to overbake.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool slightly before serving.
Store: This cake can be made one day ahead wrapped (un-iced) in food film and stored at room temperature. About an hour before serving, ice it up and let it set before cutting.
ChefSecret: Fancy it up. Yes, everything tastes better with chocolate. You can make the perfect icing as a topper for this perfect cake in either Dark or White Chocolate.
For the chocolate icing:
4 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped (for a white chocolate icing use Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate)
4 tablespoons rum (for white chocolate icing substitute orange liquor, like Grand Marnier)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
To make the icing:
- Combine the chopped chocolate and liquor in a small bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir continuously as the chocolate melts and remove from heat as soon as it’s smooth.
- Add the butter a tablespoon at a time and use a whisk to beat it into the chocolate. Whisk until creamy and smooth.
- Let the icing cool to a drizzling consistency, stirring it every 5 minutes or so. It should take about 10-15 minutes.
- Drizzle the icing on top of the cooled cake and spread it to cover.
Friday, July 15th, 2016
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Chill Time: 3 hours (or overnight)
Total Time: 4+ hours
Yield: 10 bars
For the base:
Butter, for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
9 graham crackers
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup orange marmalade
For the filling:
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons of vanilla or vanilla flavored yogurt
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup granulate sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate ganache (or store-bought chocolate sauce)
For the dark chocolate ganache (makes about 2 pounds—reserve the rest for other uses):
1-1/4 cups water
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/4 pounds Choclatique Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped
For the topping:
1-1/4 cups fresh blueberries
1-1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted for dusting
For the base:
- Preheat oven to 325° F.
- Grease the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter. Then place a layer of aluminum foil over the top, pressing down at the corners allowing enough foil to facilitate easy lifting of the finished bars. Lightly butter the foil as well.
- In a food processor, process the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until you have the texture of bread crumbs.
- Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate.
- Pour the crumbs into the lined baking pan and gently pat down with the base of a glass.
- Bake in the oven for 12 minutes until golden. When done, set aside to cool.
- Evenly spread the orange marmalade over the baked crust.
For the filling:
- Add cream cheese, eggs, orange zest, orange juice and sugar to the food processor and mix until well combined. It should have a smooth consistency.
- Divide the filling in half and add the warmed dark chocolate ganache to half, blending thoroughly.
- Pour the chocolate filling onto the cooled base and then add the blueberries that have been lightly dusted with flour to prevent the blueberries from bleeding.
- Top with the white base.
- Using the tines of a fork run it through the mixed fillings to create a marble effect.
- The blueberries will rise slightly so they may still be half exposed.
- Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours.
- Once set, remove from pan using the foil lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
For the ganache:
- In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the water, corn syrup, cocoa powder, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Whisk until blended. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Pour the heated mixture over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set aside for about 1 hour to cool completely, whisking every 15 minutes or so to keep the ganache emulsified.
- When cool, transfer the ganache to a rigid plastic or glass container, cover, date, and refrigerate for up to 3 months.
Friday, June 24th, 2016
This cake was originally made at the Palm Grill in Burlingame, California and was one of my favorite recipes reserved for brunch only. It was a recipe I shared in my first cookbook, Stolen Secrets. I tried to squeeze it in to Choclatique, but it wound up on the cutting room floor.
If you are looking for dessert drama without all the drama of making what appears to be a professional pastry chef’s labor of love, then try this Mille-Feuille Aux Chocolat. It’s just cocoa crepes and chocolate cream cheese frosting. A little bit of patience is required to stack the crepes and frost the layers. You do need to let it chill for at least 6 hours before attempting to cut it, but the results are well worth the modest effort. Hint: Most of the flavor is in the frosting.
Prep Time: 40 to 50 minutes
Chilling Time: 8 hours (2 hours for crepes plus 6 hours for the completed cake)
Yield: One 8-inch cake (serves 60 to 8 people)
For the cocoa crepes:
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Choclatique Unsweetened Natura Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 large eggs
5 large egg yolks
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2-1/4 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Butter for the pan
For the filling:
1-1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 cups cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons Choclatique Unsweetened Natura Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/3 cup Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, melted
1/3 cup orange liqueur (or 3 tablespoons of frozen orange juice concentrate)
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon cold strong coffee
1/4 cup Choclatique Chocolate Curls (for decorating)
To make the crepe batter:
- In a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk in the salt.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until smooth and webby (it will be very thick).
- In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the butter, then the milk and the vanilla and almond extracts, until the batter is smooth (if there are any lumps, strain the batter through a fine-mesh sieve and into a medium bowl).
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (the batter can be made a day ahead and held refrigerated).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Set an 8-inch nonstick skillet or crepe pan over medium-high heat. Lightly brush a little butter on the pan for the flavor, browning and texture.
- Gently stir the crêpe batter, then pour 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet. Holding the skillet by the handle, tilt and turn the skillet to quickly disperse the batter; pour off any access batter back into the bowl.
- Cook the crepe until the underside pulling away from the sides, about 1-1/2 minutes. Lightly jerk the skillet to loosen the crepe, then flip the crepe over using a spatula, a more vigorous jerking motion or your fingers.
- Cook on the other side for about 30 seconds, then slide the crepe onto the parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.
- Repeat until all of the batter is used (you’ll end up with about 20 crepes total, and will need 18 for the cake). Refrigerate the crepes on the baking sheet until completely chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
To make the cream cheese filling:
- In a fine-mesh sieve set over the bowl of a stand mixer, sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. Add the cream cheese, orange liquor, orange marmalde and the cold coffee. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer combine the mixture on low speed until well blended and smooth.
- Lightly butter the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan to make it easier to release.
- Remove the crepes from the refrigerator. Place 1 crepe in the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan so it lies flat. Add 1/4 cup of the filling to the center of the crepe and use a small offset spatula to evenly spread the filling over the crêpe. Repeat with the remaining filling and 17 more crêpes.
- Cover the springform pan with food film and chill the cake layers in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or, better yet overnight.
- Refrigerate the leftover filling this will be your final frosting to finish the cake.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator, undo the springform pan and set it on a cake plate or platter.
- Evenly spread the remaining filling on top and sides of the cake.
- Sprinkle chocolate curls over the top of the frosted cake.
- Slice and serve.
ChefSecret: Crepes are amazingly easy to make, but if you’re feeling a bit lazy and don’t want to bother making the cocoa crepes fresh you can find frozen plain crepes in your grocer’s freezer.
Friday, June 17th, 2016
Watch out Carnegie Deli, Choclatique is in the house (or at least in the bakery). Who doesn’t love a beautiful Babka… that’s a crumb-topped coffee cake?
This famous New York-style coffee cake recipe is derived from Eastern European Jewish bakeries and today is most often found in better delis and bakeries in New York City. While you may know it as a loaf cake, it is also luscious in the form of a muffin. You can devour this delectable hot-out-of-the-oven and consume every sweet, gooey, crumb faster than you can say, “What’s up?”
Prep and proof time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes (the internal temperature should be 190°to F 200°F)
Yield: 40 medium babka muffins
For the dough:
6 packets or 4-1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1-3/4 cup warm water
7-8 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1-1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons sea salt
For the chocolate filling:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
6 ounces box instant chocolate pudding (I’m not one to use boxed ingredients, but this one works)
1 large egg
1/2 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup water
For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
For the chocolate drizzle:
1-1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso granules
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoon warm milk (just to get the perfect drizzle consistency)
For the dough:
- Start by mixing the yeast, sugar and warm water. Let it sit until it begins to dissolve and foam.
- Add the remaining dough ingredients and mix well. The dough should have a smooth, springy consistency. If it’s a bit sticky, you can add a little more flour and knead until smooth. Don’t add too much or it will be tough and dry.
- Cover the dough with food film and let rise for one hour in a warm place in your kitchen.
For the chocolate filling:
- Combine all the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
For the crumb topping:
- In a medium-size bowl, use forks or your fingers to combine crumb topping ingredients to create large clumps of crumb topping. Set aside.
Preparing the muffins:
- Line two muffin tins with paper cupcake liners and coat with non-stick spray. Punch down the dough and divide into 4 equal pieces. Sprinkle a bit of flour on your work surface and on your rolling pin. Working with one piece at a time, roll into a large rectangle, working the dough until it’s very thin; about 1/4-inch.
- Spread 1/4 of the filling thinly over the dough, to about 1/2-inch from edge. Roll up lengthwise, fold in half, and then cut through at the fold to get two evenly sized ropes. Turn one rope around so that you have a thin end matched up with a thicker end of the rope. Pull on the dough robles gently to stretch.
- Twist both ropes together until they start cracking.
Forming the muffins:
- Pull gently on the twisted rope again to make it as long as possible. You will be slicing 10 pieces out of each rope. Cut rope in half, and then cut each half into five even slices. They will be very messy and gooey at this point, but you can just drop them into the muffin liners and not worry about placement—neatness doesn’t count.
- Repeat process with remaining the three (3) pieces of dough and remaining filling.
Baking the muffins:
- Pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
- Sprinkle muffins with crumb topping and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes or until muffins are set.
- Check bottoms for doneness, as this is a heavy dough and tops can look finished before inside is set. An instant read thermometer should read 190° to 200°F. Using an instant read thermometer is the best way to test all fresh-baked goods.
For the glaze:
- Combine the powdered sugar, cocoa, instant espresso granules and warm milk. Add more milk or more sugar as needed until the proper glaze consistency is achieved.
- Drizzle over babka muffins and allow to harden before handling or freezing.
ChefSecret: Babka is best served warm and fresh. Yeast-style cakes go stale quickly, so freeze them as soon as they are cool if they will not be eaten within 24 hours. Re-warm in an oven (not a microwave) to bring back that wonderful fresh-baked taste.
Thursday, May 26th, 2016
I must confess, I am a perpetual snacker. If there were a Snacker’s Anonymous, I would have to become a charter member. I’ll snack on just about anything that is sweet and crunchy. The crunch is my *trigger food and what I’m craving.
These Cocoa-Dusted, Honey-Coated, Roasted Almonds hit the mark on all attributes—sweet, crunchy, chocolatey and a little bit salty. They have a healthy side being low calorie, low carb and gluten-free. They are even a paleo-acceptable, better-for-you snack.
Cocoa-Dusted, Honey-Coated, Roasted Almonds are easy to make. It is a completely irresistible combination of sweet, crunch and chocolate. Store in an airtight container and the almonds will keep well for at least 4 weeks.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes
Rest time: 60 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
2 cups raw unsalted almonds
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
14 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons Choclatique Unsweetened Rouge Cocoa Powder, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line an edged baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon pad.
- Position the almonds in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 6-8 minutes or until fragrant. Shake them around a bit to make sure you get an even roast being careful not to burn them.
- Let the almonds cool completely to room temperature on the baking pan.
- When the almonds have cooled, combine the honey, water and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat resistant spatula. Continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture has reduced by half. Set the lined baking pan nearby so it is handy.
- Add the almonds and the extracts to the pot stirring until they’re completely coated. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the honey mixture has completely reduced, about 4-6 minutes.
- Transfer the almonds to the parchment-lined baking sheet, and spread them out in a thin, single layer. For best results, make sure the almonds aren’t touching one another or gloppy with honey.
- Let the almonds cool completely to room temperature; then let them set-up for an additional 30-60 minutes.
- Add the cocoa powder to a medium bowl. Carefully pull apart the almonds if they’re stuck together, drop them into the bowl a few at a time, and stir with a fork until they’re coated with cocoa powder.
- Store in an airtight container and the almonds will keep well for at least 4 weeks.
ChefSecret: Some people don’t like the taste of unsweetened cocoa powder. If so, you can easily add a tablespoon of sifted confectioner’s sugar to the cocoa powder for a sweeter taste profile. For a quick shortcut, roasted lightly salted almonds may be substituted for raw almonds and right to the liquid steps.
*A trigger food is what gets your motor going—eating one particular food until you nearly burst. My main trigger food is peanuts. Joan’s is Cheetos. I must say that these almonds could become my trigger food in a New York minute.
Friday, May 20th, 2016
“Nothing says ‘lovin’ like something from the oven” and hot, puffy cinnamon rolls say it best! What could go wrong when the first four ingredients are Butter, Chocolate, Sugar and Cinnamon? You’ll be blown away with this simple cinnamon roll recipe. It’s almost as fast as making those dreadful cinnamon rolls out of a tube. There is no waiting for a sweet yeasty dough to proof. You will still get the warm aroma and flavor of baked cinnamon and butter topped with a sweet white icing in mere minutes.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 20 to 25 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes (if you can wait that long)
Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls
For the cinnamon rolls:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed (store bought)
For the glaze:
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
To make the cinnamon rolls:
- Preheat an oven to 400° F.
- Using a pastry brush butter the cups of a 12-cup muffin tin with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine chocolate, sugar, and cinnamon.
- Unroll both sheets of thawed puff pastry on a clean smooth work service.
- Brush the top service or each with remaining melted butter.
- Evenly spread the chocolate mixture into the sheets and lightly roll with a rolling pin.
- Lift an edge of first sheet and tightly roll. Slice each roll into six equal segments. Do the same steps again with the second sheet of puff pastry.
- Place a rolls into the 12 buttered muffin cups.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, or until cinnamon rolls are a rich golden brown and filling is bubbling. Let rolls cool for 30 minutes before eating. Now they are ready to glaze.
To glaze the cinnamon rolls:
- In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar milk and extracts, and stir until smooth.
- Remove the cooled muffins from muffin cups.
- Using the tines of a fork drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon rolls, and serve warm.
ChefSecret: If you don’t have a muffin tin you can bake them in a well-buttered pie pan of a square baking pan. Make sure they are touching the sides of one another.
Friday, May 13th, 2016
My friends in Lisbon at A Padaria Portuguesa (the Portuguese Baker) had never heard of Monkey Bread. Over and over again they kept dipping and pulling out another ball of bread. It was easy to see how when one monkey saw the others do it, he fell right in and did it over and over again—monkey see, monkey do.
Monkey Bread is like a giant addictive cinnamon roll on steroids. It is buttery, sticky, cinnamon-y and rich in pecans which is what makes it so delicious. If you don’t have time to make the sweet dough from scratch , try using refrigerated tube dough and tearing and rolling that dough into balls and baking to a golden brown.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Proof time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 55 to 60 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
1 cup pecans, chopped
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 batch Basic Sweet-Roll Dough, without nutmeg (see recipe below)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spread the pecans on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 8 minutes; set aside. (Set a timer as a reminder so the nuts don’t burn). You can shut the oven off until ready to bake.
- Melt 1 stick butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and heavy cream; boil until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in the vanilla, vinegar, rum, salt and the toasted pecans. Pour all but 1/2 cup of the pecan mixture into an 8-inch-round, 3-inch-deep cake pan. Refrigerate until almost set, about 15 minutes.
- Set the remaining pecan mixture aside at room temperature.
- Put the remaining 1/2 stick butter in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave until melted.
- Put the granulated sugar in another bowl. Pinch off tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Dip the balls in the melted butter, letting the excess drip off, then roll in the granulated sugar.
- Arrange in the prepared cake pan in 2 layers, leaving a bit of space between the balls.
- Let rise, uncovered, in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (325°F if using a dark or anodize cake pan.).
- Bake the bread until puffed and golden brown (a thermometer inserted into the center should register 175°F), about 55 minutes; tent with aluminum foil if the top is getting too dark.
- Remove the bread from the oven and immediately spread the reserved 1/2 cup pecan mixture on top. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a plate.
- Pull off pieces to serve.
Basic Chocolate Chip Sweet-Roll Dough
Prep time: 1 hour
Chill time: 4 hours or over overnight
Yield: 1 3/4 pounds dough
1/2 cup whole milk
3 1/4 -ounce packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for brushing
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
1 cup Choclatique Semisweet Chocolate Mini Chips
- Warm 1/2 cup water and the milk in a saucepan over low heat until a thermometer registers 100° to 110°F. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the yeast on top, then sprinkle with a pinch of the sugar; set aside, covered with a kitchen towel undisturbed, until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk the melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture until combined.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, the remaining sugar, the salt and nutmeg (if using).
- Make a well in the center, then add the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to make a thick and slightly sticky dough.
- Add the chocolate chips.
- Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 6 minutes. Shape into a ball.
- Brush a large bowl with butter. Add the dough, turning to coat lightly with the butter. Cover with food film and let rise at room temperature until the dough is doubled in size, about 1 hour, 15 minutes.
- Turn the dough out of the bowl, knock it down and knead briefly to release excess air; re-form into a ball and return to the bowl.
- Lightly butter a large piece of food film and lay it directly on the surface of the dough. Cover the bowl tightly with food film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
ChefSecret: If you choose to refrigerate the dough overnight make sure you take it out early enough to bring it back too warmer than room temperature. When touched you shouldn’t feel any chill to the dough.
Thursday, April 28th, 2016
We asked Chef Celestino Drago to cater a special dinner party for Steven Spielberg’s mom’s birthday and he did an amazing job. There was a great birthday cake, of course, but there was this—Sicilian Ricotta-Chocolate Chip Pie—hidden in the back of the kitchen.
Celestino has been a good friend and has played an important role in the ever-evolving Italian dining scene in Los Angeles for over 30 years. Originally from Sicily, Celestino and his band of brothers are regarded as the pioneers of truly great Italian Cuisine in California and Celestino has become one of Los Angeles’ most celebrated chefs.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 45 to 55 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus extra for garnish
3 large eggs
1 teaspoons Fiori di Sicilia (see ChefSecret below)
1 teaspoon orange zest, freshly grated
15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
9 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup cooked short-grained rice
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
6 sheets fresh phyllo sheets or frozen, thawed
3/4 stick (3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- Blend 3/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar, eggs, Fiori di Sicilia, orange zest, ricotta and mascarpone in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the rice, pine nuts and chocolate chips. Set the ricotta mixture aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Lightly butter a 9-inch deep, glass pie dish.
- Lay 1 phyllo sheet over the bottom and up the sides of the dish, allowing the phyllo to hang over the sides. Brush the phyllo with the melted butter. Top with a second sheet of phyllo dough, laying it in the opposite direction as the first phyllo sheet. Continue layering the remaining sheets of phyllo sheets, alternating after each layer and buttering each sheet.
- Spoon the ricotta mixture into the dish. Fold the overhanging phyllo dough over the top of the filling to enclose it completely. Brush the top completely with melted butter.
- Bake the pie until the top phyllo crust is golden brown and the filling is set, about 45 to 55 minutes.
- Transfer the pan to a rack and cool completely. Sift powdered sugar over the pie and serve. This pie is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.
Note: You will have to refrigerate any leftovers. The next day, take it out of the refrigerator about an hour before serving and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.
ChefSecret: Fiori di Sicilia is combination of citrus and vanilla with a pleasingly floral aroma. The smell reminds me of the small, old fashioned bake shops in Southern Italy. Fiori di Sicilia is the perfect marriage of flavors you taste when you combine vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet in the same bowl. I like using it in just about anything mild and sweet–anything where competing flavors, don’t interfere. It can be sourced through the Baker’s Catalogue. Remember to refrigerate Fiori di Sicilia after opening. And caution, don’t spill it on the counter–it stains.
If you don’t have any Fiori di Sicilia and just can’t wait for it to arrive then pure vanilla extract is a good substitute. Just add a half teaspoon more of the freshly grated orange zest to increase the citrus flavor. And while we’re talking about orange zest—that is just the orange part of the skin where the fragrant oil is. Don’t grate down to the white as it tends to get bitter.