chocolate pots de crème

A grown-up French cousin of chocolate pudding, Chocolate Pots de Crème, are a custard baked at a low-temperature and served chilled. These little pots (you really want to stay small; this is a rich dessert) of chocolate heaven created a hellish mess in my kitchen.

Usually there is a direct correlation between recipe length/simplicity and the number of dirty dishes produced. Maybe it’s me who is the devil and it’s my S.O.P. to create chaos, but for such a short recipe (less than one page), after all was said and done,  there seemed to be an unnatural amount of whisks and pans and glass measuring cups and silicone spatulas covered in melted chocolate and tempered egg yolks. And I’m not counting the sundry ceramic pots used to bake the custard.

They were worth the mess, the chaos, the drama (okay, there was no drama unless you count Nani dog begging for chocolate he can’t have and Paul being told he has to wait until they are properly chilled).

The Tuesdays with Dorie bakers made Chocolate Pots de Crème as group last March, soon after I started my blogging sabbatical. With the completion of this recipe, I have 53 recipes left to bake out of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. Christine of Cats in the Kitchen (formerly Black Cats Cooking) was the host. You can find the recipe on her blog or in the book.

Basic Marbled Loaf Cake

The swirl reminds me of a tulip. I wonder what that says about my psyche. Seeing patterns in marbled baked goods may make a great parlor game. On the other hand, it may not last long enough. This tasty treat was baked by the Tuesdays with Dorie group back in May 2011. I’m slowly working my way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours–catching up on recipes I missed during my blogging sabbatical (plus a few I missed for whatever reason).

Carol from The Bake More was the host for the week and selected the Basic Marbled Loaf Cake. Visit her blog or buy the book for the recipe.

Photo by Paulrus

Dairy Milk and Wispa Cupcakes

I’m on  a quest to perfect a cupcake recipe using English chocolate. I’ve mentioned Paul’s love of Wispa Bars before. And although he ranks Wispas #1, his love is not exclusive. He likes all Cadbury chocolate, including Dairy Milks. A Dairy Milk bar is Cadbury’s version of a milk chocolate bar.

My inspiration for the recipe came from Cadbury’s UK recipe website: Chocolate Cup Cakes. The cupcake I baked is an adaptation of King Arthur’s Flour Milk Chocolate Layer Cake.  The frosting is great; a simple whipped chocolate ganache. I’ll use it again. The cake is tasty. Not perfect; it’s a bit dry. My quest for perfection continues…

Dairy Milk Chocolate and Wispa Cupcakes

You can find English chocolate at World Market or at your local gourmet grocer.

Ganache Frosting

Cupcakes

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 3 ounces Cadbury Dairy Milk, chopped (about 1/2 cup) and melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Cadbury Drinking Chocolate
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Topping

Directions

1) For the ganache: Place the chopped Dairy Milk in a medium-sized bowl. Heat the cream until just boiling and pour over the chocolate. Slowly stir until completely melted and lump-free. Set the bowl in the fridge to chill while you make the cupcakes.
2) Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a standard 12 cupcake tin with liners.
3) In a medium bowl stir together: salt, flour, baking soda, and Cadbury Drinking Chocolate Set aside.
4) Place the oil, butter, sugar, and eggs in the bowl of your mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.Add the melted Dairy Milk and vanilla. Mix for 1 minute.
5) Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear. Scrape down the bowl and add the buttermilk, mixing until incorporated, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients.
6) Pour the batter into the tins, and bake 15 to 17 minutes. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, with just a few moist crumbs.
7) Rest the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
8) To prepare the ganache: The chilled ganache should now be the consistency of chocolate pudding. Place it in the bowl of your mixer and whip with the whisk attachment until thick, light, and fluffy. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to fully incorporate all of the chocolate.
9)Place a dollop of frosting on each cupcake and top with chopped Wispa.
Yield: 12 cupcakes.
Photos by Paulrus

Paul’s Special Occasion Ice Cream and Cookies

Today is a special day. Not only is it the 29th of February, a day only occurring once every 4 years. It’s 2/29/2012, a day that will occur only once; a day filled with peace,  love and happiness. To that end, I present Paul’s Special Occasion Ice Cream. What’s the special occasion? Eating this ice cream, of course.

Paul loves white chocolate. I often find him in the pantry eating my white chocolate chips. True story! I know white chocolate brings out strong emotion in people and divides people into different camps. You love it, you hate it, or you like it okay. I’m in the third group but I find myself baking with it more and more. You’re welcome, Paul. 😉

I churned up a batch of David Lebovitz’s White Chocolate Ice Cream from his book The Perfect Scoop. Since white chocolate is the main attraction, I used my block of Callebaut. No chips here. This is a repeat recipe. I’ve made it once before. Again, you’re welcome Paul. My repeat list is very short.   This time I swirled in some biscoff spread because it’s oh so good and since we discovered it we’ve been using it in everything.

White Chocolate Ice Cream

From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
  • 8 ounces white chocolate
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Place the white chocolate  in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer over the white chocolate.  Stir until the white chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then stir in the cream.  Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I baked up a batch of Alice Medrich’s Macadamia and White Chocolate Chunk  Cookies from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy to go with the ice cream. These are  a little different than other versions because you grind up rolled oats and add them to the batter. It makes them taste a bit nuttier and heartier than the traditional version. Very tasty. You can find the recipe HERE.

Photos by Paulrus

Tarte Noire

I did not intend to make Dorie Greenspan’s Torte Noire from Baking…From My Home to Yours. True, it’s one of the original Tuesdays with Dorie recipes I still needed to make. True, it’s very delicious–a chocolate ganache tart with a chocolate crust.
It didn’t strong arm me nor show up at my office begging me with a raspy voice like an old-school femme fatale. It simply was a matter of convenience. I had leftover chocolate dough from chocolate truffle tarts. I wanted to use it to make a tart or something similar out of TWD v1.0 to cross another recipe off the list.

I made two mini 4″ tarts–one for Paul, one for me–and made 1/4 of the recipe for the filling. The filling is a simple ganache with nothing simple about the taste. Because of the rainy day and rushedness (new word!) of the photo shoot, we didn’t get any good shots. Paul’s solution? “You’ll just have to make these again.” And we will. It’s the little black dress of chocolate tarts. Not fussy, perfectly simple, and with great taste.

The TWD bakers made the tarte back in July 2010 when I was still baking with the group and I don’t recall (other than my life was a mess) why I didn’t make it then. Dharmagirl of Bliss: Towards a Delicious Life hosted the TARTE NOIRE RECIPE.

Photo by Paulrus