Tag Archives: semisweet_chocolate

Chocolate Pâté

This recipe was featured in the 2009 Napa Rose Cooking School at the Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland Resort.

 

Yield: 18 half-inch slices

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce unsalted butter, cut into pieces and let soften to room temperature
  • 1 pound good quality semi-sweet chocolate (I use Ghirardelli)
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon hazelnut liqueur (I use Frangelico)
  • Mint sprigs for garnish

Recipe

  1. Chop chocolate into small pieces and put into a medium metal bowl with butter.
  2. Bring cream to a simmer, pour over the butter and chocolate and stir until everything is melted and smooth.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine hazelnut liqueur and cream. Whip to soft peaks and fold into the chocolate mixture.
  4. Line a loaf pan with plastic and pour in the mixture.
  5. Refrigerate overnight. Invert the loaf pan and use the plastic to remove the chocolate pâté. Slice into half inch slices and serve with a sprig of mint.

 

Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

These cookies are more like miniature cakes that you can pop into your mouth. Continue reading

Rainbow Cookies (also called Italian Wedding Cookies)

These were my favorite bakery cookies when I was growing up and they are still my favorites. This recipe makes cookies that rival those in a bakery at a fraction of the cost.

Rainbow (Italian Wedding) Cookies

Rainbow (Italian Wedding) Cookies

Ingredients

  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • Green food coloring
  • Red food coloring
  • 1 cup raspberry jam, divided into ½ cup portions
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Grate almond paste into small pieces and blend with sugar in a food processor until there are no lumps.
  3. Put almond paste mixture, butter, almond extract and egg yolks in a bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. With mixer on low speed add flour until thick dough forms.
  4. In a clean bowl beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Stir one third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten (the batter will still be rather stiff). Fold in remaining egg whites until thoroughly combined.
  5. Divide dough into thirds. Stir green food coloring into one and red food coloring into another (leave the third one uncolored).
  6. Line the bottom of three 13×9 inch rimmed baking pans with parchment paper. Spread each batch of dough into a separate pan (the layers will be thin).
  7. Bake each layer in the oven until; the edges begin to turn golden (10 – 12 minutes). When done and still hot, run a knife along the edges to ensure the layer is loose from the pan. Invert a cooling rack over the pan and turn the layer over onto the rack. Remove the parchment paper and cool completely.
  8. Place the green layer on a piece of plastic wrap large enough to wrap all three layers. Spread ½ cup of raspberry jam evenly over the green layer. Place the uncolored layer on the jam and spread the remaining ½ cup of jam over it. Place the red layer on the top of the jam and enclose with plastic wrap. Invert a baking sheet over the top to weigh it down and chill for at least eight hours and up to 24 hours.
  9. Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over barely simmering water. Remove baking pan and plastic wrap and spread melted chocolate evenly over the top of the pink layer. Let stand until set (about one hour) and cut into 2-inch by 1-inch cookies.

Chocolate Caramel Layer Cake

Although the cake looks dense each layer is very light and so is the filling. I hate frosting cakes and the ganache frosting in this recipe is easy to apply. The recipe is based on the Fine Cooking Cinnamon-Caramel-Ganache Layer Cake.

Makes 1 cake (about 12 servings).

Ingredients

Filling

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons + ¼ cups water
  • 4 ½ ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup sugar

Frosting

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 6 tablespoons cool water

Cake

  • 1 ½ ounces unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup lukewarm + ½ cup cool water
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 6 ounces cake flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten

Recipe

Filling

  1. Bring the cream, salt and 2 tablespoons of water to a simmer.
  2. Put the chocolate in a medium bowl and set a strainer over it.
  3. Pour ¼ cup water in a 3-quart saucepan. Pour the sugar in the center of the pan and pat it down until it is evenly moistened. Cover pan and cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves (2 – 4 minutes). Uncover and cook without stirring until the syrup begins to color (about 1 minute). Reduce heat to medium and cook until the caramel turns red-amber (about 1 – 2 minutes). If the syrup colors unevenly swirl the pan gently. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the cream mixture. Return to low heat and simmer stirring constantly until the caramel is completely dissolved (1 – 3 minutes).
  4. Pour the caramel cream through the strainer. Whisk until the chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Scrape into a wide shallow bowl, cover loosely, cool and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (at least 4 hours and up to three days).

Frosting

  1. Put the chocolate, butter, corn syrup and salt in a metal bowl set over barely simmering water. Stir gently until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
  2. Take the bowl off the water and stir in water. Let cool and thicken without stirring at room temperature for at least three hours (the consistency should be like chocolate pudding).

Cake

  1. Line the bottom of three 9×2-inch round cake pans with parchment. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a bowl whisk cocoa powder and lukewarm water. In another bowl mix buttermilk and cool water. In a third bowl whisk flour, baking soda and salt and sift them three times.
  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat the butter on medium speed until creamy (15 seconds). Add the white and brown sugars gradually while beating until the mixture lightens in color and appears sandy but fluffy (5 minutes). Add the eggs slowly over the course of one minute. Continue to beat for a few more seconds until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Stop the mixer and add the cocoa mixture. Beat on medium speed until just combined. Stop the mixer and add one-quarter of the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until just incorporated. Stop the mixer and add one-third of the buttermilk. Repeat, scraping the bowl as needed, until all the flour and buttermilk have been added.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the three pans. Bake 17 – 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes for five minutes and then turn on to racks, remove the parchment and cool completely.

Assemble Cake

  1. Beat the chilled filling in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment at medium speed until very thick and stiff enough to hold it’s shape but still spreadable (1 – 2 minutes). Put a cake layer upside down on a cake circle and spread half the filling evenly all the way to the edge of the layer. Top with a second upside down layer and gently press in place. Spread the remaining filling on the second layer. Top with the third layer, also upside down. Smooth any filling that protrudes from the sides.
  2. With an offset spatula spread a thin crumb-coat layer of frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Put cake in refrigerator for 10 minutes to set the crumb-coat. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
  3. Garnish as desired.