Tag Archives: Bake

Chocolate Pots de Créme

I’ve been wanting to try these for quite a while, so I took the opportunity on a rainy afternoon to ask my daughter if she wanted to help me make a chocolate dessert- I had the Chocolate Pots de Créme in mind. I killed some time, kept her busy and ended up with this very rich chocolate dish. I sent some out to Mariano’s friends the next day, for his weekly get together with the boys.  I’m glad to report the boys were happy.

This is very easy to make, although it does take a while to bake. 50 min in a 325 F oven. It’s a great option for a dinner party, or afternoon coffee. You can divide it up into smaller cups to make even smaller portions. For me, one ramekin is a bit too much for this dessert. It’s too rich. If you can get bake ware smaller than a ramekin, use it. Or, fill up normal ramekins halfway up.  You can always decorate them with whipped cream and berries to make them look nice.

Now, to describe the taste: Pure chocolate creaminess. This is definitely a sinful dessert for a special occasion.

Note: I didn’t use the tea towel in step 5 and it worked out fine. Also, for presentation’s sake, fill the ramekins 3/4 full. I filled mine to the rim and they must have puffed up a bit during baking and stuck to the foil. I only got 2 completely smooth tops out the 6 portions. (the 2 smooth ones were filled a little bit under the rim).

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 Chocolate Pots de Créme

Recipe adapted from Stefano Faita
Yield: 6 servings.

Ingredients:
2 cups (8 ounces) finely chopped chocolate (60%)
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup whipping cream (35%)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 egg yolks
Whipped cream, for garnishing (optional)
Shaved chocolate, for garnishing (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Add chopped chocolate to a bowl. Set aside.  Add egg yolks in another bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, combine milk, 1 1/2 cups cream and sugar. Heat over medium heat just to a gentle boil. Add to bowl of chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth and chocolate is melted.
  4. Whisk egg yolks until pale. Slowly, whisk chocolate mixture into egg yolks until thoroughly combined. Strain the custard mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Pour evenly into 6 (1 cup) ramekins or custard cups.
  5. Place ramekins in roasting pan lined with tea towel. (The tea towel will prevent the ramekins from sliding.) Pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Cover pan with foil.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until custard is set around the edges but still jiggles in the center, about 50 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  7. Garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate, or berries.

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Chocolate Cake with Roasted Strawberry-Balsamic Swiss Buttercream

I spotted a recipe for Roasted strawberry-balsamic Swiss buttercream (that’s a mouthful!) and  I knew the time had come. It was time to conquer buttercream. I had tried to make it once before… it was unfortunate.  See my Mother’s Day post  for the horror.  I did succeed after, when I made my World Cup Cupcakes, but I made Italian Meringue buttercream that time, and honestly… I do prefer to try the Swiss technique so I don’t have to deal with temperatures and sugar crystallization. To be honest with you, the whole sugar crystallization thing is still a gamble with me, sometimes I get the syrup right and sometimes the thing crystallizes on me and sends me on a cursing and stomping rage.  Then, I try again.

I called Kitty up, I needed backup. (She can make buttercream) We got together for a Foodies’ day of baking.  Glad to say, I think I have the Swiss buttercream technique down. The trick is the butter temperature. It has to be at room temperature, but still firm enough that you can slice it and still get neatly shaped squares, do you know what I mean?  I am so pleased with the results, I will try to make it again, tweaking a few things here and there. I would like to get more “merenguiness” (I don’t think that word exists, but you get me ) and less butter flavor. I already have my eye on a few recipes that I will try soon.

Now, about this specific recipe with the roasted strawberries.Oh… my…God.  You have to try it. Balsamic vinegar and strawberries love each other, and you can really taste the natural strawberry flavor in this.   For the batter, we used Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe.  You can’t go wrong there.

I’ll walk you through the cake recipe first, and then below you will find the buttercream recipe.

You can also see more pictures of the procedure over at our Flickr stream! http://bit.ly/GTOVom

Helga

Chocolate Cake & Cupcakes with Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Buttercream

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Beer Bread

This Beer Bread is a very easy (and yeast free) recipe. You can have this bread ready for dinner in less than an hour! It’s been long overdue for me to post it, as this is the second or third time I’ve prepared this recipe. The first time I made it was in Upstate NY, and we enjoyed it not only freshly baked, but also warming it up in the oven for a bit for breakfast the next morning. This is a very heavy bread, you can still taste the beer in the back… And this would be probably a great bread to sprinkle some cheese on top before baking. A little detail I seem to forget, but I still enjoy this bread quite a lot!

Beer Bread

Beer Bread
Adapted from the recipe by Three Many Cooks
Serves 12

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 bottle or can (12 ounces) beer
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon of heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Add beer (no sips!) and stir with a fork until just combined.
  4. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead quickly to form a ball.
  5. Place bread on a baking sheet and confidently slit an X on top with a serrated or very sharp knife.
  6. Beat egg and heavy cream together. Brush loaf with egg wash.
  7. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve!

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Beer Bread

Beer Bread