Chocolate Mousse

1

Photo & recipe credit: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chocolate-Mousse-107437

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
  • Garnish: lightly sweetened whipped cream

Special Equipment

  • an instant-read thermometer

PREPARATION

    1. Heat 3/4 cup cream in a 1-quart heavy saucepan until hot. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a metal bowl until combined well, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 160°F on thermometer. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla.
    2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a glass bowl in a microwave at 50 percent power 3 to 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Whisk custard into chocolate until smooth, then cool.
    3. Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk one fourth of cream into chocolate custard to lighten, then fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly.
    4. Spoon mousse into 8 (6-ounce) stemmed glasses or ramekins and chill, covered, at least 6 hours. Let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving.
Cooks’ notes:
• Mousse can be chilled up to 1 day. • To vary the flavor, you can replace the 1 teaspoon vanilla with 2 teaspoons instant-espresso powder (dissolve it in the hot cream) or 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or 2 tablespoons Cognac (either one whisked into strained custard).
Advertisements

Double-Chocolate Layer Cake

How to Make It

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment; butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
Step 2: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.
Step 3: Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool. Peel off the parchment.
Step 4: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted, then set aside to cool.
Step 6: Set a cake layer on a plate with the flat side facing up. Evenly spread one-third of the frosting over the cake to the edge. Top with the second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and side of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Make Ahead

The frosted cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. Let stand for 1 hour before serving.

HEARTH BREAD

1

Photo credit: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/hearth-bread-recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 packet active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups lukewarm water (not over 110°F)
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour, cornmeal or semolina, for sprinkling on the pan

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together, using the smaller amount of flour. Mix thoroughly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding more of the flour if necessary. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface to knead. (This may be a little messy, but don’t give up!)
  2. To knead: Fold the far edge of the dough back over on itself towards you. Press into the dough with the heels of your hands and push away. After each push, rotate the dough 90°. Repeat this process in a rhythmic, rocking motion for 5 minutes, sprinkling only enough flour on your kneading surface to prevent sticking. Let the dough rest while you scrape out and grease the mixing bowl. Knead the dough again for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Return the dough to the bowl and turn it over once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place (your turned-off oven works well) until the dough doubles in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Gently deflate the dough. Cut it in half and shape into two oval Italian- or longer, thinner French-style loaves. Place the loaves on a baking sheet generously sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina. Let the loaves rise, gently covered in greased plastic wrap, for 45 minutes, until they’re noticeably puffy. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  5. Lightly slash the tops of the loaves three or more times diagonally and brush or spray them generously with lukewarm water. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven.
  6. Bake the bread for 25 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and sounds hollow to the touch. The interior temperature of the bread should register at least 190°F on a digital thermometer.
  7. Remove the loaves from the oven, take them off the pan, and return them to the oven, placing them right on the rack. Turn the oven off and crack the door open several inches. Let the loaves cool in the cooling oven; this will make them extra-crusty.
  8. Store completely cool bread in a paper bag at room temperature for a couple of days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.

Handmade Cappuccino

Recipe & Photo Credit: https://www.marthastewart.com/349180/handmade-cappuccino

1d

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces water
  • 1/4 cup espresso ground coffee (preferably Illy espresso coffee, fine grind)
  • 8 ounces milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pour the water into the bottom chamber of the stovetop espresso pot. Fill the filter basket that fits over the water with the coffee, tamping down gently. Place on the stovetop burner over medium-low heat. Watch carefully and remove from the heat as soon as the intense boiling has stopped, about 2 minutes. It is complete when all the water has boiled through the filter into the top part of the pot.
  2. Meanwhile place the milk in a 16-ounce coffee mug. Heat in the microwave until hot but not starting to bubble on the sides. (Alternatively, you may heat the milk on the stovetop in a small pan, then transfer to a mug.)
  3. Hold the handle of a small 4-inch whisk between the palms of both hands. Put the whisk in the hot milk and twirl rapidly back and forth until foam appears on the top, about 20 seconds. Pour the coffee into the mug. Sweeten if desired and serve immediately.

Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy Full English Breakfast

Recipe & Photo Credit: https://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/gordon-ramsay-s-healthy-full-english-breakfast

1c

Ingredients

  • olive oil, to brush and drizzle
  • 4 portabello mushrooms, cleaned
  • 300g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 16 rashers of smoked back bacon
  • 8 large eggs
  • dash of white wine vinegar
  • 8 slices of rye bread, toasted

Method

  • Preheat the grill to the highest setting. Half-fill a wide, shallow pan with water and bring to a simmer. Line a large (or two small) baking sheet(s) with foil, then brush over with a little olive oil.
  • Trim the mushrooms, removing their stalks, then lay, cap side down, on the baking sheet. Place the vine tomatoes alongside. Drizzle over a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Lay the bacon rashers in a single layer on the baking sheet (the second one if using two). Place under the grill for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the bacon is golden brown around the edges.
  • To poach the eggs, break each one into a cup or ramekin. Add a dash of vinegar to the pan of simmering water. Whisk the water in a circular motion to create a whirlpool effect. Gently slide the eggs into the centre of the whirlpool, one at a time, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Poach for 1 1/2 minutes if the eggs were at room temperature, or 2 minutes if they were straight from the fridge. The whites will have set but the yolks should still be runny in the middle.
  • Divide the bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and rye toasts between warm serving plates. Carefully lift out each poached egg with a slotted spoon, dab the bottom of the spoon with kitchen paper to absorb any excess water and slide onto a rye toast. Grind some pepper over the eggs and serve at once.

Tom Colicchio’s Sandwich Tips from ‘wichcraft

Photo and content credit: https://www.delish.com/restaurants/a1141/tom-colicchio-sandwich-recipes/

1

Tom Colicchio’s Top Three Sandwich-Making Tips

1. “Always use good ingredients, including the bread. Quality artisan bread keeps well in the freezer. Just thaw it and toast it and you have bread that is as good as fresh from the bakery. But beware: Once thawed and toasted it won’t last as long as freshly baked bread.”

2. “Think of balancing flavors. If all the ingredients you are using are rich or heavy, consider using a little vinegar or some spicy peppers as a flavor accent.”

3. “Build them well. If you aren’t going to eat the sandwich for a few hours (like when you are brown-bagging your lunch or packing a picnic), use bread that will hold up well even after it soaks up some of the juices from the ingredients. Try a crusty baguette or ciabatta.”

Boston Creme Pie by Trisha Yearwood

Photo and recipe: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/boston-cream-pie-3623273

boston creme pir

Ingredients

Filling:

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg plus 3 egg yolks, at room temperature

2 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake:

Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the pan

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

 

Directions

  1. For the filling: In a medium saucepan off-heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the whole egg and the 3 yolks, and then stir in the milk. Turn the heat on to medium high and cook the mixture, uncovered, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the cake. Be sure to place the plastic wrap directly onto the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
  2. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and mix until completely combined. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  5. For the topping: To make the chocolate ganache, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Add the chocolate chips to the cream and stir until completely melted.
  6. To assemble, slice the cake layer in half horizontally. Spread the custard filling onto one layer, then top with the second layer of cake. Spread the ganache over the top of the cake using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Store covered in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Cook’s Note

If you don’t have cornstarch, substitute all-purpose flour. One tablespoon cornstarch equals 2 tablespoons flour.