Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chocolate for your Sweetheart

Valentine's Day comes every year, and every year you want to make it special for your loved ones.  What better way to make someone happy than with homemade chocolate!  Here are 3 fantastic, decadent recipes from a recent cooking class called Chocolate for your Sweetheart taught by Heather, one of our cooking school instructors.

Making homemade treats for your Valentine adds such a special touch to the day so we have created a recipe for everyone.  Each recipe is a little more in depth than the previous, depending how much time you have to put into your homemade treats.  Or, if you have no time, you can sign up for one of our Valentine's Day Classes and let our chefs do the cooking for you!

Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles
Makes 24 Truffles
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Bittersweet-Chocolate-Truffles
Truffles can be simple to make at home. 
And making them yourself is sure to earn you some brownie points!
Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Assorted coatings such as toasted coconut, finely chopped nuts and cocoa powder (shown in above photo)
Directions:
  1. Place chocolate in a medium bowl.  Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and then pour over chocolate.
  2. Let sit (without stirring) 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
  3. Refrigerate (uncovered) until somewhat firm, about 1 hour.
  4. Spoon mounds (2 level teaspoons each) of chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper.  Return to refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  5. With your hands, roll mounds into balls.  Place desired coatings in shallow bowls.  Roll balls in coatings, pressing in and covering completely.
  6. Return to baking sheet; chill until set, about 30 minutes

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Serves 10-12
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Flourless-Chocolate-Torte-w-SWK-Cherry-Cognac-Sauce
Top this fudgey cake with vanilla ice cream or one of our Dessert Toppings

Ingredients:

  • 8oz quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. Godiva chocolate liquor
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Butter bottom & sides of 10" spring form pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter in a metal bowl of a pot of barely simmering water.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups sugar.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well.  Sift cocoa over mixture and whisk until just combined.
  5. Pour batter into pan.  Bake until tip has formed crust and a toothpick comes out clean (30-40 minutes).  Cool for 10 minutes then remove sides of the pan.
  6. Whisk cream, chocolate liquor and 1 Tbsp sugar until stiff
  7. Garnish cake with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
    TIP:  Try warming one of our Dessert Toppings such as Black Cherry Cognac Sauce (shown above), Chocolate Raspberry Liquor Hot Fudge or Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Sauce for an extra kick of flavor.


Chocolate Macadamia Caramel Tarts
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Macadamia-Caramel-Ganache-Tartelette-w-Homemade-Vanilla-Bean-Ice-Cream

Ingredients:
Crust:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. ice water
Ganache:
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cocoa), chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted macadamia nuts (about 7 1/2 ounces), toasted, coarsely chopped.
Caramel Filling:
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Directions:
For Crust:
  1. Blend flour, powdered sugar and salt in food processor.  Add butter and cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp. ice water and blend just until moist clumps form, add more ice water by the teaspoonful if needed.
  3. Transfer dough into individual tart pans, or one 9" pan with removable bottom.
  4. Using lightly floured fingers, press dough firmly and evenly onto bottom and up sides of pan.  Chill for 1 hour.
  5. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.  Line crust with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake until pale golden around edges and sides are set, about 20 minutes.  Remove foil and beans; bake until crust is golden and cooked through, about 14 minutes.  Transfer to rack and cool crust completely in pan.
For Ganache:
  1. Bring cream to simmer in heavy small saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Add chocolate, stir until smooth.
  2. Spoon 3 Tbsp. ganache into 1 corner of small resealable plastic bag and salt; set aside at room temperature for piping.
  3. Spread remaining ganache evenly over bottom of crust.  Sprinkle chopped macadamia nuts evenly over ganache layer in crust.  Freeze crust while preparing caramel filling
For Caramel Filling:
  1. Combine sugar and 1/3 cup water in heavy medium saucepan.  Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and boil without stirring until syrup is golden amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling the pan, about 8 minutes.
  2. Remove pan from heat.  Add cream and butter; stir until any caramel bits dissolve and mixture is smooth.  Attach candy thermometer to side of pan and bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat.  Boil without stirring until thermometer registers 240 degrees F, about 2 1/2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla and salt.
  4. Remove crust from freezer.  Working quickly, pour caramel filling into crust.  Gently shake tart pan to allow filling to settle evenly in crust.  Cool completely at room temperature, about 3 hours.
  5. Place reserved resealable bag with chocolate ganache in microwave and heat in 5-second intervals just until smooth and pourable.  Using scissors, cut off very small tip from corner of bag with ganace.  Pipe ganache decoratively over caramel filling in crosshatch pattern.
  6. Chill until chocolate is set, about 20 minutes.
  7. Remove sides from tart pan.  Place tart on platter, cut into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream.

2 comments:

  1. These all sound so, so good, but your Chocolate Macadamia Caramel Tarts sound simply awesome! I will definitely need to try them. Thanks for sharing your great recipes.

    Looking forward to the next time I'm in York, Maine so I can test my willpower at your dessert case! On previous visits, I've had zero!

    Liz
    ...from www.Great-Maine-Vacations.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. These recipes were featured in yesterday's chocolate class with Heather, who was great. All the recipes were wonderful and not difficult. Most were really easy.

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