Chocolate Mousse

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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).

Tom Colicchio’s Sandwich Tips from ‘wichcraft

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

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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.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Recipe & Photo credit: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/pumpkin-spice-latte-3363265

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup hot espresso or strong brewed coffee
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Directions

Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a medium microwave safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole. Microwave until the milk is hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk vigorously until the milk mixture is foamy, about 30 seconds.

Pour the espresso or coffee into a large mug and add the foamed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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Photo and recipe credit: http://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/recipes/a1870/homemade-chicken-noodle-soup-3996/

INGREDIENTS:
1 Whole Chicken
3 qt. low-sodium chicken broth
6 carrots
4 stalk celery
3 medium onions
5 black peppercorns
1 clove garlic
10 sprig parsley
2 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 leeks
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh-ground pepper
3 c. medium egg noodles
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Make the stock: Place the chicken and chicken broth in a large stockpot and set it over medium heat. Roughly chop 2 carrots, 2 celery ribs, and 1 onion and add to the broth. Add the peppercorns, garlic, 2 sprigs of parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and enough water to just cover the chicken. Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is very tender—about 1 1/4 hours—skimming the surface periodically. Remove the chicken and place in a large bowl. Strain the broth through a very fine sieve into a large, clean bowl or stockpot. Discard the vegetables.
  2. Make the soup: Skim any fat off the top of the strained broth and discard. Slice the remaining carrots, celery, onions, and leeks into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and set aside. Remove and discard the skin and bones from the chicken, cut meat into 1/2-inch pieces, and set aside. Chop the remaining parsley leaves and set aside. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the vegetables and cook until the onions are translucent—about 7 minutes. Add the chicken, the reserved broth, salt, and pepper. Simmer the soup until the vegetables are tender—about 1 hour. Stir in the egg noodles and parsley and cook until the noodles are tender—about 10 more minutes. Serve hot.

Honey-Bourbon Toddy

honey-bourbon-toddy
Recipe and photo credit: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/honey-bourbon-toddy

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 6 tablespoons bourbon or Apple Bourbon (see below for recipe)
  • 2 3×1/2′ strips lemon peel
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Stir honey and water in a 2-cup measuring cup until honey dissolves. Add bourbon (or better yet, Apple Bourbon, in which case you’ll use 1 Tbsp. honey). Divide between 2 Toddy glasses. Twist a strip of lemon peel over each drink, then add to glass. Stir each with a cinnamon stick and serve.

  • To make Apple Bourbon, combine a 750-ml bottle of bourbon, 4 cored, sliced Fuji apples, and 4 cinnamon sticks in a pitcher. Cover; chill for 3 days. Strain and sip of use in recipe above.

Fresh Pea Soup with Ham

pea soup

Recipe & Photo Credit: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/fresh-pea-soup-with-ham

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 small fennel bulb—thick stalk discarded, bulb thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen peas (1 pound), thawed
  • 1/2 cup diced smoked ham hock (from one 11-ounce ham hock) or smoky ham
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • Pea tendrils or baby arugula, for garnish

How to Make It

Step 1

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the fennel, onion and garlic and season with salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are tender but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the milk and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the peas and simmer until tender, 7 to 8 minutes.

Step 2

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. Strain it through a fine sieve set over a large bowl. Season with salt.

Step 3

In a small bowl, combine the ham with the shallot, chives, olive oil and sherry vinegar. Spoon the ham salad into the center of 4 bowls. Ladle the warm soup into the bowls, garnish with the pea tendrils and serve immediately.

Classic Cream Puffs

cream puff martha

Recipe & Photo credit: https://www.marthastewart.com/1113097/classic-cream-puffs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • No-Fuss Pastry Cream

DIRECTIONS

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2.  In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter, sugar, salt and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and quickly stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until a film forms on the bottom of the pan.
  3.  Remove from heat and transfer contents to a bowl to cool slightly, about 3 minutes. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously to entirely incorporate egg after each addition.
  4.  For the egg wash, whisk together the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.
  5.  Transfer the pate a choux to a large pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch plain tip. Pipe 1-1/2-inch rounds onto each prepared pan. Gently smooth the pointed peaks with a moistened finger, rounding tops to ensure even rising. Brush tops with reserved egg wash. Bake until puffs rise and are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Puffs can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.
  6.  Transfer pastry cream to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8-inch plain round tip. Insert the tip into the opening of each pastry, and pipe to fill with pastry cream. Serve immediately.

Krembo: A Passover Dessert from Breads Bakery

krembo_recipe_header-cover

Recipe & Photo Credit: http://bobbyflay.com/recipes/recipes/164/krembo-a-passover-dessert-from-breads-bakery

Coconut Macaroons (for the base)
120g egg whites (from 4 medium eggs)
230g granulated sugar (1 cup + 2 tablespoons)
210g finely shredded unsweetened coconut (2½ cups, packed)
30g apricot jam (2 tablespoons)

1. Whisk the sugar and egg whites together in a medium-sized bowl. Set the bowl on top of a pot of water over medium heat to create a Bain Marie. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove bowl from heat.

2. Fold the coconut and apricot jam into the egg white mixture until fully combined. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Using your hands, roll the coconut batter into 50 small balls, approximately 1 heaping teaspoon (about 12 grams) in size, and arrange them on a sheet pan 2 inches apart. Wet your fingers slightly and flatten each ball to create a disk approximately 1¾” in diameter and ¼”thick.

4. Bake the macaroons at 380 degrees F for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown.

5. Allow the macaroons to cool. Freeze for 30 minutes. The macaroon bases can be made up to three days in advance.

Italian Meringue (for the filling)
150g egg whites (from 5 medium eggs)
1 pinch of salt
260g granulated sugar (1 1/3 cups)
80mL water
120g glucose (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon)

1. Combine the sugar, water and glucose in a very clean pot and place over medium heat. Monitor the temperature with a candy thermometer.

2. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and set aside.

3. When the syrup reaches 220 degrees F, start to whip the egg whites and salt on medium speed until they form stiff peaks.

4. When the syrup reaches 243 degrees F, keep the mixer on medium speed and slowly pour the hot syrup down the side of the mixing bowl into the egg whites, being careful not to hit the whisk.Turn the mixer to high speed and whisk until the bowl no longer feels warm to the touch.

5. Divide the meringue evenly into 3 bowls, one for each flavor. Follow the recipes below to make each flavor meringue. Fold the additions into the meringue just enough that they are evenly incorporated. Don’t overmix.

8. Spoon the meringues into a piping bag fitted with a 1” round tip.

breads_krembo

Flavors:
Raspberry White Chocolate Pistachio
Fold into Meringue:
15 grams freeze-dried raspberries, crumbled
Glaze:
250g white chocolate
20g sunflower/grapeseed oil
Garnish:
Freeze-dried raspberries and ground pistachios

Vanilla
Fold into Meringue:
Seeds from half of a vanilla bean (cut bean lengthwise and scrape seeds out with knife)
Glaze:
250g dark chocolate
15g sunflower/grapeseed oil
Garnish:
Gold leaf

Mocha
Fold into Meringue:
2g (20 pieces) coffee beans, roasted and ground finely
10g dark chocolate (bittersweet), chopped
Glaze:
250g milk chocolate
10g sunflower/grapeseed oil
Garnish:
Chopped roasted coffee beans and chocolate

Assembly
For the Glazes:
1. Put the chocolate in a high, narrow microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Take out and stir; microwave for 10 more seconds.
2. Repeat 4-5 times until the chocolate is melted (do not overheat).
3. Add the oil and mix until combined.

To Assemble:
1. Pipe the meringue on top of the macaroons in three mounds, descending in size. The bottom (and largest) mound should be even with the sides of the macaroon (see first image below). Place the macaroons in the freezer for five minutes so that the meringue sets.

2. Holding the cookie from the macaroon base, dip the meringue into its corresponding flavor of chocolate, making sure the chocolate covers the meringue completely (see second image below).

3. Before the chocolate sets, garnish with the above items.

breads_pipingbreads_dipping

Shortbread Cookies

shortbread cookies
Recipe and Photo: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/shortbread-cookies-recipe-1945855

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions

Watch how to make this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. (Don’t trust your microwave timer; time it with your watch.) Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it’s completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

Drizzle 1/2 of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it.