Just Desserts

May 10, 2008

One of my favorite bloggers, Evil Chef Mom has declared this day a day to paaaaarty! That means all of us out in this lovely world of blogging are preparing incredible dishes for our virtual pot luck!

Three guesses what I made…..yup, you guessed it, CHOCOLATE! It’s a little early for dessert, of course, but who says you have to save the chocolate till after dinner? hehe

Aaaand to make things even better for all of you out there joining our party, I came home to a wonderful treat last night. You see, Blake, of Blake Makes does wonderful food givaways for his faithful followers, and this last one gave every single one of us…yup, you guessed it…CHOCOLATE! Free Amano chocolate 🙂

I cannot tell you how great this chocolate is. I used the Ocumare for this recipe, but I had to of course eat some of it straight. For that I chose the Cuyagua, a limited edition chocolate and I gotta tell you, this stuff is amazing. It has such full flavor and body, like a fine wine. You should really check out the site and order some yourself.

But enough of that for now, you guys want the good stuff don’t you? Well how does this sound? Pudding, Chocolate Whipped Cream and Brownie crumbs, all with a little (okay, a LOT) of godiva dark chocolate liqueur? Hehe.

This stuff is perfect for any party, because not only is it easy and tasty, but it’s really easy to make it pretty, too 🙂

Triple Chocolate Pudding Parfait
Adapted from recipe on Epicurious

pudding
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetended cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk
4 oz chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
generous splash of chocolate liqueur

whipped cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chocolate liqueur

about 1 cup of brownies, crumbled
more chocolate liqueur

Mix all of the ingredients for the whipped cream in a bowl, but do not whip yet. Put in the fridge with your beaters/whisk to chill.

Whisk cornstarch, sugar, cocoa and salt in a saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk.

Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Allow to boil until it’s nice and thick. Do not stop whisking while it’s cooking. Remove from heath and whisk in chopped chocolate and butter until melted.

Transfer pudding to a metal bowl and quick-chill by setting in an ice bath, stirring constantly. Allow to sit until you’re ready.

Take out the bowl with the whipped cream ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form.

Now comes the fun part. Sprinkle some of the brownie crumbs into the glasses/serving bowl/ dish you wish to use. drizzle on some of the liqueur, then layer the pudding and whipped cream. Repeat as many times as you can. Garnish as desired. Enjoy 🙂

I really had fun making this. If you’re gonna be sharing with kids you can take out the chocolate liqueur completely, and just replace it with vanilla for the whipped cream.  The Amano chocolate really made a difference with this. I have one more bar left, and already have a great idea for it 🙂

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Even Treats Grow Up Sometimes

April 12, 2008

 

So my friend Kim, (the fiancee of my dear friend Dean, whom I have mentioned before) finally turned 21 last month! We were all very excited about it, and of course I just had to make something special for her.

It took me quite a while to come up with a great gift. I thought up, and shot down a few ideas before coming up with something I liked, but I don’t think I wavered once on this treat.

You see, Kim is a chocoholic like me. Which makes it easy to come up with ideas, and to top it off when she and Dean came to my place for a season finale party, she couldn’t resist the brownies I had made. Granted, being such a good friend I kept moving the plate right in front of her, but still, they seemed to make her really happy so I was already leaning that way when I saw a recipe on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody for liqueured brownies!

Yes, my dear friends, brownies, like the hot chocolate I made last month, have finally grown up 🙂

Because I really like the brownie recipe I made back in February, I decided just to take the concept from Peabody and use my own recipes. I’ve used that same brownie recipe here, added a little liqueur (okay, a lot of liqueur) and instead of her buttercream frosting I used a powdered sugar glaze. With liqueur instead of water, of course 🙂

Can you imagine anything better than these after a long hard day? You get tons of rich fudgy chocolate AND just enough alchohol to make the stresses of the day melt away.

Boozy Brownies

source: CookingClub.com

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup creme de cacao

Glaze
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon creme de cacao

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 8-inch square pan. In large bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Whisk in eggs until well-combined.

2. In medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Gradually stir flour mixture into egg mixture until well-combined. Stir in chocolate chips then spread in pan.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean but with some crumbs attached (brownies may sink in center). While brownies are still hot, generously brush liqueur over the top then allow to completely on wire rack.

4. Once cool, cut brownies, place them on wire rack with a little space between them. Mix the ingredients for the glaze, adding a little more liqueur if needed. Pour into a zip lock bag, cut off the tip and drizzle over brownies.

As you can probably tell, adding so much liqueur after they were baked made them a little gooey, almost like they were underbaked (even though they weren’t!) If you try it yourself, you might want to overbaked them a little. Then again, gooey chocolaty, boozy brownies are always good.

I am really happy with how these things turned out. They are rather potent, so make sure little hands don’t stray to the wrong plate, but they really are great.

Update: I sent some of these home with Kim, and brought some into work. Dean dove into the home ones immediately and loved them, and at work they were gone almost instantly, so this is definitely a winner 🙂


Taste & Create VII: (Kahlua) Hot Chocolate

March 23, 2008

 

I realize I’ve already done two other blogging events this month, and even without all of them it’s been a busy one, but this is always fun stuff. Especially this one, which I have really been looking forward to. The Taste & Create Event is a monthly blogging event by our wonderful host of For the Love of Food in which you get paired up with another food blogger, pick a recipe from their posts, make it and blog about it. There were 52 participants this month, and this is my entry.

My partner…actually partners, as it is a blogging couple, have a blog entitled We [Heart] Food. It’s a pretty great blog with healthy recipes, many that are healthy twists on old favorites and playful banter between the two.

There were so many recipes to choose from, and I am sure it will surprise no one that the two I was most drawn to were the (Almost)-Good-For-You Chocolate-Chip Cookies and their Kahlua Hot Chocolate.

I want to slowly easy into using wheat flours, so this time around I chose the hot chocolate. I’ve kept it pretty much the same so it’s just as healthy as they had it, with only a change the type of liqueur as that’s what I happened to have.

I gotta say, it’s hard to believe this thing os so non-fat/low-fat. It’s an easy recipe and perfect to relax with after a stressful day, or simply a cold, rainy spring day. And now it’s mostly guilt free too! 🙂

I actually made it twice, because I wanted to keep it as true to the original recipe as possible for the first time, but I really wanted to try it with white chocolate as well.

(Kahlua) Hot Chocolate
Source: We [Heart] Food

5 ounces dark chocolate, cut into small pieces, plus extra for mug rims
chopped mixed nuts (peanuts and hazelnuts)
3 cups 1% milk
1 cups fat-free half-and-half cream
sugar

1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Kahlua
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
grated chocolate

To prepare the mugs, heat extra chocolate in a double-boiler until melted and smooth. Dip the rims of each mug into the chocolate, and then roll in chopped nuts. Refrigerate until ready to fill with the hot chocolate.

 

Heat the chocolate, milk and half and half cream over medium heat in a heavy saucepan, stirring until the chocolate has melted.
Whisk until the mixture is hot and frothy. Add in sugar if desired. Add in the Kahlua and vanilla; contine to whisk until the mixture is hot. Remove from heat.

Pour into prepared mugs and top with whipped cream. Garnish with shaved chocolate.

I have a pretty strong sweet tooth, and didn’t think this needed any sugar so you might want to taste it yourself before adding any. For the liqueur I used Dark Chocolate Liqueur for the dark chcolate and creme de cacao with the white chocolate. I imagine you can use anything you want with this and it’ll still come out great. I also used dark chocolate nestle’s crunch for the rims 🙂

Whatever you do with yours, enjoy 🙂