Category Archives: desserts

Chocolate Mousse

chocolate-mousse

This is the best mousse I have ever tasted, hands down. The chocolate flavor and perfect smooth texture are absolutely divine! We used to make this mousse all the time with raw eggs, having gotten the recipe from a little old paperback book called ‘The Seven Chocolate Sins’.  They called this recipe “Mad about Mousse”.

Several years ago, I modified the recipe by cooking the eggs to reduce the risk of salmonella. Then, pasteurized eggs began to be available in some markets.  If you use the pasteurized eggs, you can just put everything into a big Kitchenaid mixer instead of whipping the eggs over heat.

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2-3 cups heavy cream
2 T. powdered sugar
4 large fresh eggs (preferably pasteurized)
4 large egg yolks
1/4 t. salt
2 T. Grand Marnier, Godiva liqueur, Tia Maria, cherry brandy, rum, vanilla or espresso

Place chocolate chips in 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl.
Melt at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, 1-2 minutes. Stir, cook 1-2 minutes more until melted. Stir until smooth.

Separate the egg yolks carefully, avoiding touching the eggs with the outside of the shells. Save 4 of the whites for another use.

If your eggs are not pasteurized:

Place 4 yolks and 4 whole eggs into the top of a double boiler or a bowl that sits over boiling water in a saucepan. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Add salt; beat briefly with a wire whisk until foamy and light, about 30 seconds. Set the bowl over the water and whip with an electric mixer or whisk, moving in a circular motion around the bowl, until the eggs get very fluffy and hot to the touch (160°), about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and continue beating on high speed until thick ribbons fall from the whisk when lifted out of the bowl, about 5 minutes more.

If the eggs are pasteurized, you can skip the whole hullabaloo in the paragraph above, and just whip up the eggs and salt in the mixer.
Fold about a quarter of the eggs into the chocolate to lighten it, then combine chocolate with the rest of the eggs. Allow egg-chocolate mixture to cool.

Whip cream in a mixer bowl with whisk. Add powdered sugar; continue to beat until cream holds soft peaks (do not allow to get stiff).
Stir in part of the whipped cream to lighten the chocolate-egg mixture, then fold in the rest of the whipped cream gently. Pour the mousse into 8 serving dishes,
teacups, ramekins or wine glasses. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Variations: Use bittersweet or milk chocolate instead of semisweet.
Increase cream to 3 cups for a lighter, less dense mousse.

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Chocolate Stuff (from the Sweet Potato Queens)

chocolate-stuffChocolate Stuff

I got this recipe from a book called ‘Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love’ which I read many years ago.  I loved the book and I love this recipe.  If you want to know more about the Sweet Potato Queens, start here: http://www.sweetpotatoqueens.com/

I made some adjustments to the recipe, which calls for loaf pans.  I didn’t have enough loaf pans, so I made it in round cake pans, set into bigger round pie pans for the hot water bath, and I think it’s very good that way. The main thing is to make sure it’s cooked enough to not be runny, but not cooked too long so it just becomes a dried-out boring cake.

Chocolate Stuff is really hard to photograph.  If you look at the picture above it looks like a ‘hot mess’. But this is the kind of recipe you don’t serve at a fancy dinner party.  You should probably make this in PJs with really close friends, or maybe your family, and eat it together on a couch or recliners.

Chocolate Stuff
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 stick butter, melted in a small bowl
1/4 t. salt
1 t. (running over) vanilla
2 heaping tablespoons Hershey’s Cocoa
Optional: A large handful of pecans (you can scatter these on just half of the recipe if you have purists in the house that do not eat nuts with their chocolate.)

Beat the ingredients together and use the part of the butter that sticks to the small bowl to butter a round cake pan. Set the cake pan in another pan which is larger (I use a 10″ pie plate) and pour some water into the bottom pan so you have a
water bath.
Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes. The top should have a crust much like a brownie. But the bottom should be mushy, like a thick sauce. In the morning the sauce will have hardened to a mooshy consistency. Do not overbake or you will lose the gooey bottom so crucial to the whole texture experience.

If you want to double this recipe, you will be most successful using two cake pans in water baths.

The recipe serves four generously, and six reasonably. Serves one if you’re having PMS or postpartum depression, or if you just broke up with your boyfriend.

Peanut Butter Krispy Treats

peanut-butter-crispy-treatsPeanut Butter Krispy Treats
1 cup sugar
1 cup white corn syrup

Melt together. Turn off heat. Stir in:

1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispies

Spread into a large buttered rectangular pan (11” X 15”).
Let cool slightly; smooth the top with buttered hands.
Melt together in the microwave (about 1-2 minutes):

6 oz. (1 cup) butterscotch chips
6 oz. (1 cup) chocolate chips

Spread over top of treats. Cool (refrigerate if necessary to speed cooling). Cut into small squares.

My scrapbooking buddy, Debbie, gave me this recipe. The combination of flavors is so addictive that it’s best to make these only when there is a big crowd to eat them. The treats are a favorite snack at scrapbooking ‘crops.’

Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons

chocolate-dipped-macaroons-2Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons
Nick made these in his TSD cooking class for a Valentine party.
It was love at first taste! The macaroons may be frozen before or after dipping.

14 oz. coconut flakes
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
4 egg whites
1 t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla extract
8 oz. chocolate bark

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix coconut, sugar and flour in a large bowl until blended. Mix in the egg whites and extracts. Drop by tablespoons 2” apart (scooper #60) on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges.
Chop chocolate bark; melt in a double boiler or microwave. Using a fondue fork, dip each macaroon halfway into the chocolate. Transfer to another sheet of parchment paper to cool. 3 dozen.

Per cookie: 100 calories, 6 g fat, 13 g carb, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein
Variations:
Add almonds or other nuts (halves, chopped, or sliced)
Use bittersweet chocolate, white chocolate, or butterscotch.
Drizzle the chocolate instead of dipping.

Fudgy Chocolate M&M cookies

valentine-mm-cookiesFudgy Chocolate M&M cookies

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 T. (1/2 stick) butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 t. baking powder
2 cups m&m’s

In a 2-cup glass measuring cup or bowl, melt  chocolate chips and the butter in the microwave. Time it for one minute, then stir. If necessary, 30 more seconds, then stir until smooth. Cool slightly.  In a mixing bowl, beat together 2 eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla until pale and creamy, for 3 to 5 minutes at medium speed. Blend in the melted chocolate and then the flour and baking powder.
Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
Using a medium scoop, drop cookie dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten with the heel of your hand to about 1/2 inch thick. Place m&m’s on top of the cookies. Use red and pink for Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s, red, white and green for Christmas, your favorite team colors. For these, I used some cherry-chocolate m&m’s.
Bake 14-16 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool on a wire rack.

Cinnamon Apples

cinnamon apples

Cinnamon Apples

Depending on the type of apple, you may need more or less sugar. Granny Smith (green, very tart) is my usual preference for cooking, but other apples (such as Macintosh) can be good, too. If you mix different types of apples, some may be soft when others are firm. You can also experiment with different sweeteners, such as honey or maple syrup. Vanilla ice cream would be wonderful with these apples.

6 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into eight wedges
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. grated lemon peel
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 T. flour
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
6 T. butter

Place apples in the crock-pot and drizzle with lemon juice. Sprinkle other ingredients over apples; stir gently to coat. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours or on high for 2, stirring occasionally if possible, until apples are done. Serve apples in a bowl, or over ice cream. Sprinkle with toasted nuts if desired.

Flat Bottom Fruit Pie

Flat-bottom fruit pie

This fruit pizza was so delicious at our family reunion in the mountains.  Perfect for summer fruits at their peak.

I even recommend the sugar-free version!  It was delicious!

Flat-bottom Fruit pie

Pie crust:

1 cup flour
1/3 cup shortening
1/4 t. salt

Cut shortening and salt into flour. Add enough water to gather dough into a ball. Roll out.

1-1/4 tsp. cinnamon sugar *

1 cup half-and-half or milk

1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding (May use sugar free pudding with wonderful results)

1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

1/2 large fresh peach, sliced

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

cup fresh raspberries or pitted cherries

Heat oven to 450 F.
Roll pie crust onto pizza pan or baking sheet; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake 8 to 10 min. or until lightly browned; cool completely.
Meanwhile, beat pudding mix and half-and-half in medium bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in COOL WHIP. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Spread pudding mixture onto crust just before serving; top with fruit.

*Note: If you don’t have cinnamon sugar, you can mix 3/4 tsp. sugar and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon instead.