Habeas Brulee » Chocolate http://habeasbrulee.com Sun, 17 Mar 2013 03:04:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.21 Double Ginger Chocolate Chunk Scones http://habeasbrulee.com/2010/02/23/double-ginger-chocolate-chunk-scones/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2010/02/23/double-ginger-chocolate-chunk-scones/#comments Tue, 23 Feb 2010 15:21:06 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=443

My honorary aunt and dear friend recently gave me a copy of Enlightened Chocolate by Camilla V. Saulsbury. It’s a collection of ‘healthy’(-ish) chocolate recipes. My concept of healthy-ish cooking is to bake infrequently and give away most of my cookies, not fret over ingredients, but some of the recipes here actually look pretty tasty.

These scones are just wonderful. Dave has slowly introduced me to enjoying baked goods made with whole wheat flour over the past few years – he started by sneaking a little bit into his breads, and then increasing the percentage slowly over time. It’s pretty amazing, but now I love that touch of whole wheat flour flavor mixed with the ginger in this recipe. Next time I might even go so far as to make it with half whole wheat flour, half cake flour! (“I’ve really learned how to manipulate your brain,” says he.)

I added extra chocolate and extra ginger, messed with the flour percentages, and used whole milk instead of fat-free. I also like cutting smaller scones, because they’re so much easier to share. And oh, they’re absolutely perfect with a big mug of genma chai for breakfast in the morning.

2008: Quick-Pickled Cucumbers with Chili Bean Sauce
2007: Chicken and Rice, Curry Banana, Roots and Rhizomes Stew
2006: Aztec Marshmallows

Double Ginger Chocolate Chunk Scones
(adapted from Enlightened Chocolate by Camilla V. Saulsbury)
2/3 C whole wheat flour
1/3 C all-purpose flour
1 C cake flour
1/4 C packed dark brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp butter, cut into chunks
1/2 C plus 2 tsp milk (I used whole milk, but fat-free would be fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg white
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks
4 tbsp chopped crystallized ginger (or Ginger People ginger chips – yum!) (Dave prefers trading half of the ginger for an equal quantity of chopped dried strawberries)
2 tsp raw/turbinado sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 450 F.

2. In a food processor, blend together the flours, brown sugar, ground ginger, baking powder, salt, and butter until the mix resembles coarse meal.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the 1/2 C milk, egg white, and vanilla.

4. Blend the milk mixture into the flour mixture just until it starts to come together.

5. Pour the fairly liquidy dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and separate into two parts. Flatten a bit by hand.

6. Press half the chocolate chunks and half the crystallized ginger into the top of each mound of dough.

7. Knead each mound of dough about 4 times, sprinkling a bit more flour on it as needed. Don’t be afraid of it – it will stay gooey, and the chocolate and ginger will try to escape. Just squish it together as best you can, don’t overwork it in an attempt to solidify it, and don’t panic. It’ll all work out just fine. Honest.

8. Press each mound of dough into a 4″ diameter circle on a parchment lined baking sheet.

9. Cut each mound into 8 wedges, but don’t separate or worry about really cutting the lines all the way through.

10. Brush with the extra milk and sprinkle on the turbinado sugar.

11. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until golden, rotating from top to bottom and front to back halfway through.

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Chevre Truffles http://habeasbrulee.com/2009/12/04/chevre-truffles/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2009/12/04/chevre-truffles/#comments Fri, 04 Dec 2009 16:38:09 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/?p=325

These truffles were inspired by Goat Lady Dairy, which I encountered at the farmers market in Greensboro, North Carolina last winter. Her chevre truffles were a blended ganache, about 60% chocolate to 40% chevre, with a bit of vanilla and salt as well – and they were fantastic! Of course, I had to come back home to NYC eventually, so I had to figure out how to make my own replacement instead of just relying on Goat Lady Dairy for my fix.

The Greensboro farmers market was just amazing. It turns out that Goat Lady Dairy does an occasional restaurant sort of like ours (sigh), excepts theirs takes place in their barn. I also met Ross Flynn of Cane Creek Farm, who chatted with me about tasty cow hearts, Ossabaw pigs (apparently more like historical Iberico than the Iberico available today!), and other meaty topics along those lines.

After getting home and going through some experimentation, I came to the conclusion that I liked simple salted chocolate-dipped chevre even better than blended chevre truffles. They look nicer to me, and I love the texture contrast as you bite through the chocolate shell and and the cold, creamy chevre bursts out into your mouth.

I’m a bit fussy, and I only like very mild cheeses. I always buy my chevre at the Union Square or Grand Army Plaza greenmarkets from Lynnhaven Farm, which has the mildest, sweetest, creamiest chevre around. It has just the right level of tanginess for my taste, and it works perfectly in these truffles.

I’ve also included cheat to get you out of having to temper the chocolate. It turns out that if you melt a bit of neutral oil in with your chocolate, it will help stabilize the crystal structure and keep your chocolate from blooming or otherwise appearing to be out of temper. It’s a great trick for dipping things in chocolate when you just don’t have the time or inclination to go through the whole process of actually tempering the chocolate properly. Seems too easy to work, but it does.

2008: Home-Cured Salmon with Black Pepper and Coriander
2007: Forbidden Rice with Persimmon and Coconut
2006: Truffled Gruyere Risotto

Chevre Truffles
4 oz chevre
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
2 tsp safflower (or other neutral) oil
Maldon (or other crunchy) sea salt

Roll the chevre into small spheres and spread them out on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Put them in the freezer and allow them to freeze.

The oil lets you cheat on tempering the chocolate. It helps stabilize the crystal structure, and keeps the chocolate from blooming even when it hasn’t been tempered.

Gently melt the chocolate with the oil, stirring it until all lumps are gone. Let it cool a bit.

Dip the chevre spheres into the chocolate and put them back onto the parchment paper to set. Sprinkle a bit of crunchy salt on top of each one after it is dipped – act fast, though, because the chocolate will set very quickly!

Store in the fridge. Serve cold but not frozen.

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Cinnamon Marzipan Sichuan Peppercorn Truffles http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/11/01/cinnamon-marzipan-sichuan-peppercorn-truffles/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/11/01/cinnamon-marzipan-sichuan-peppercorn-truffles/#comments Sat, 01 Nov 2008 13:32:07 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/11/01/cinnamon-marzipan-sichuan-peppercorn-truffles/

While I’m playing catch-up and trying to get back into the habit of blogging, here’s another set of truffles I made over the summer. I have a great love of the tingliness of Sichuan peppercorns in sweets as well as in savory dishes, and the flavor of them always makes me think of libraries and crinkling yellow pages of gorgeous old books. In a delicious way, I mean. If books were made of candy, this is what they’d taste like.

A few publicity announcements:

Our occasional restaurant, Jack, is mentioned in the Fall 2008 issue of Edible Brooklyn. You can see a scan of the cover and the page 11 article about us here.

And if you’re of a mind to stop by a bookstore or order a book to read about business and leadership, we were also mentioned on page 21 of Seth Godin‘s latest book, Tribes.

Incidentally, we went apple-picking last weekend.

We found that apple already bitten but still on the tree like that when we walked by. My youngest brother added the eyes.

Several apple pies later, we’re down to only about 30 pounds of apples left! Well. It’s time to get more creative with them.

2007: Pumpkin Seed Cocoa Nib Brittle
2006: Rosemary Currant Shortbread with Cumin Ginger Apples

Cinnamon Marzipan Sichuan Peppercorn Truffles
(adapted from Chocolates & Confections by Peter P. Greweling)
4 tsp ground cinnamon
60 g (2 oz) corn syrup
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
980 g (34 oz) 62% semisweet chocolate, tempered, chopped
490 g (17 oz) heavy cream
Ground sichuan peppercorns to taste
300 g (5 oz) marzipan
More chocolate for dipping

Set the chocolate aside in a bowl.

Stir together the glucose, cinnamon, and heavy cream in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans into the cream, then throw the beans in, too. Bring to a boil, whisking to break up the cinnamon, then remove from the heat and pour the cream mixture over the chocolate.

Stir the chocolate into the cream as it melts from the heat of the cream, creating a ganache/emulsion.

Make sure all the chocolate has melted. If it hasn’t, melt it very very gently over a warm water bath as needed.

Pour onto a baking sheet in a thin layer, and cover with plastic wrap directly touching the ganache. Set it aside until it reaches a “slightly firm, plastic consistency,” which should take about an hour.

In the meantime, roll the marzipan out into a square of about 10″x10″ and about 1/16″ thick. Trim the edges to make them nice and straight. Eat the trimmings.

Temper at least some of the chocolate you have for dipping. The best guidelines I’ve ever found on how to temper chocolate are by David Lebovitz, and you can read them here. The details he explains that made it finally make sense for me were using big chunks of seed chocolate instead of smaller chopped pieces, and removing what’s left of them once your chocolate is tempered instead of worrying about melting them in completely.

Coat one side of the marzipan square in chocolate.

Once it sets, flip the marzipan chocolate side down. Cut it into strips 1/2″ wide.

Stir the ganache and fill it into a pastry bag with a small plain round tip. Pipe two cylinders side by side and then a third cylinder atop and between the other two on each marzipan strip. Sprinkle some ground sichuan peppercorn on top to taste.

Leave them alone to set until they’re firm enough to handle. I did this by sticking them in the fridge for a few minutes.

Cut them into pieces about 1″ long.

Temper your dipping chocolate and dip the pieces. Put them on parchment paper until they set.

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Zambian Honey and Rumquat Truffles http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/09/24/zambian-honey-and-rumquat-truffles/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/09/24/zambian-honey-and-rumquat-truffles/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2008 13:46:20 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/09/24/zambian-honey-and-rumquat-truffles/

You can make the honey truffles with any honey you like, but I used Zambian honey from Zambezi. I met the woman who imports it at the Fancy Food Show this year, and loved her story. She was in Zambia with the Peace Corps and loved the honey there, and started up the import business of it when she moved back to the U.S. I have a carboy full of mead made with it brewing up right now, half of which will go straight to her as soon as it is ready.

In the meantime, I’ve been making these honey truffles nonstop, and they have been a hit with everyone who tried them, including everyone wandered into the VIP Suite at SalonCon, which we catered earlier this month.

Also, Dave finally put together a craft blog for me to post the inedible things I make when my fingers start itching and my brain starts sizzling. He named it Rumquat after the rum ganache and kumquat marmalade filled truffles I was making the night he put the site together.

I’m in the airport on my way to the California (mostly Berkeley, Mountain View, and San Francisco) for a week, my second trip off to visit Mike Develin (mostly named here because someday I’m going to get a wacky email from someone saying, “Hey, I know Mike! You know him, too? Let’s chat and cause wacky hijinks to occur!”). We entirely failed to make reservations for any exciting restaurants, but I’m mostly interested in time spent with friends wandering by the beach, in any event. Still, if you can think of any good foodie spots thereabouts that don’t require reservations made way in advance, please let me know!

2007: Chewy Cherry Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
2006: Dave’s Sour Cherry Barbecue Sauce and Baby Back Ribs

Zambian Honey Truffles
(adapted from Chocolates & Confections by Peter P. Greweling)
70 g Zambian honey
20 g butter, soft
450 g dark chocolate, tempered, chopped (for the ganache)
225 g heavy cream
More chocolate for dipping and making bases
More Zambian honey for filling the truffles

Chop the ganache chocolate and set it aside in a bowl.

Stir together the honey and heavy cream together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and pour the cream mixture over the chocolate.

Stir the chocolate into the cream as it melts from the heat of the cream, creating a ganache/emulsion. Make sure all the chocolate has melted. If it hasn’t, melt it very very gently over a warm water bath as needed.

Stir in the butter next, making sure that it is entirely incorporated.

Pour onto a baking sheet in a thin layer, and cover with plastic wrap directly touching the ganache. Set it aside until it reaches a “slightly firm, plastic consistency,” which should take about an hour.

In the meantime, temper at least some of the chocolate you have for dipping. The best guidelines I’ve ever found on how to temper chocolate are by David Lebovitz, and you can read them here. The details he explains that made it finally make sense for me were using big chunks of seed chocolate instead of smaller chopped pieces, and removing what’s left of them once your chocolate is tempered instead of worrying about melting them in completely.

Spread it out about 2 mm thick over parchment paper on two normal (half sheet) size baking sheets. When it is about 90% set, use a round cookie cutter to cut out disks about 1″ diameter. I actually use a large pastry tip, because my cookie cutters are all too big at the moment.

Let the chocolate finish setting. Do not remove it from the parchment paper.

Stir the ganache and fill it into a pastry bag with a small plain round tip. Pipe a circle of ganache around the perimeter of each chocolate disk. Fill the center of each ganache circle with more Zambian honey. Then pipe increasingly smaller concentric circles on top of the first to create a sort of beehive shape.

Leave them alone to set until they’re firm enough to handle. I did this by sticking them in the fridge for a few minutes (or overnight, when it got too late to finish the project in a single day).

Temper your dipping chocolate and dip the pieces. Put them on parchment paper until they set.

Rumquat Truffles
Same as above, but use rum ganache (recipe below) instead of honey ganache and kumquat marmalade (my recipe is available here) instead of extra honey for filling.

Rum Ganache
(adapted from Chocolates & Confections by Peter P. Greweling)
430 g dark chocolate, tempered, chopped (for the ganache)
180 g heavy cream
60 g glucose or light corn syrup
20 g butter, soft
30 g dark rum

Chop the chocolate and set it aside in a bowl.

Stir together the glucose/corn syrup and heavy cream together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and pour the cream mixture over the chocolate.

Stir the chocolate into the cream as it melts from the heat of the cream, creating a ganache/emulsion. Make sure all the chocolate has melted. If it hasn’t, melt it very very gently over a warm water bath as needed.

Stir in the butter next, making sure that it is entirely incorporated.

Add the rum in steady stream, stirring constantly until it is also entirely incorporated.

Pour onto a baking sheet in a thin layer, and cover with plastic wrap directly touching the ganache. Set it aside until it reaches a “slightly firm, plastic consistency,” which should take about an hour.

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Chocolate-Whiskey Pudding Cake http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/06/12/chocolate-whiskey-pudding-cake/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/06/12/chocolate-whiskey-pudding-cake/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2008 14:33:46 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/06/12/chocolate-whiskey-pudding-cake/

This cake is light and luscious, like a barely cooked chocolate mousse. It’s best served with strawberries, which are coming in gorgeous from New Jersey to the Greenmarkets right about now.

Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting Pille of nami-nami while she was visiting New York. She brought us some wonderful gifts, including grated rye bread from Estonia. Dave immediately jumped up when she showed us what she had brought and made her caramelized rye bread with whipped cream for us as a late-night snack.

I don’t usually like rye bread. I’m boring – I like challah and english muffins and ciabatta and other simple, plain white breads. I don’t like the sourness of sourdough or the complexity of wholegrain loafs. Rye is not my thing. That said, the caramelized grated rye bread with whipped cream was spectacular! I never expected to like it, but when I tasted it, I loved it. I ate a small bowlful even despite the sore throat I had at the time.

I mention this because we’re thinking of serving them together at the restaurant one of these days, chocolate and whiskey and rye and cream and fruit and a few other things to pull it all together. Sounds good, doesn’t it? If you can’t join us when we serve it, you should give it a try at home.

I haven’t really posted about my life much, lately. Dave and Katya and I are all doing well. It’s gotten too hot for glassblowing, so we’ve put that on hold for the summer. That said, it’s finally hot enough to open up the window and get enough airflow for lampworking, so I should be back to making glass beads pretty soon.

On the wedding planning front (August 2009, so we have plenty of time), we stuck our heads in the sand for a while, and I told Dave that he has to be the bride. I’ll look pretty and show up, but don’t really want to be the primary wedding planner in the meantime. We are leaning strongly towards doing it out at my parents’ house in the Hamptons, but are just looking around for an indoor space out there that we could reserve as emergency back-up in case there’s a hurricane. And apparently we need to figure out who our vendors will be before we can apply for an event permit from the Village of North Haven. Then we can worry about the fun stuff, like what I should wear and how we can entertain people without renting a dance floor.

On the law firm front, I’ve gotten more into will drafting and estate planning. This summer is stuffed with depositions for a few employment discrimination cases I’m working on. And I have the usual allotment of other cases, criminal, matrimonial, and more. Two of my legal clients had dinner at my restaurant the other night, and we went through the will signing there for their convenience. It’s not every day your chef comes out of the kitchen with legal documents and notary stamp in hand, but that’s my life and it works.

2007: Rum-Drenched Cocoa-Nana Bread
2006: Onion Jam Thumbprint Cookies; Saffron Dill Cappelletti Stuffed With Leeks

Chocolate-Whiskey Pudding Cake
(adapted from Desserts by the Yard by Sherry Yard)
2 sticks (1 C, 8 oz) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
12 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
5 large eggs
1 C plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 C bourbon
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour

Preheat your oven to 350 F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Set up a deep baking pan with sixteen 4 oz ramekins set in it. Butter and flour the ramekins.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler and stir together until smooth.

Beat the eggs with 1 C sugar until light and fluffy – they will expand drastically in size and become far paler than you might expect, a light cream color, almost. It’ll take about 5 minutes on high speed in a Kitchenaid stand mixer.

Whisk in the chocolate mixture and the bourbon.

Stir the flour and 2 tbsp sugar together in a separate bowl. Whisk that into the batter as well.

Fill the ramekins to about 1/4″ from the top with the batter.

Pour boiling water into the baking sheet around the ramekins, such that it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until fully set. Remove from the oven and set to cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm with fruit and perhaps whipped cream (Yard suggests whipped creme fraiche).

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Rakott Palacsinta (Hungarian Pancake Cake) http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/02/02/rakott-palacsinta-hungarian-pancake-cake/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/02/02/rakott-palacsinta-hungarian-pancake-cake/#comments Sat, 02 Feb 2008 23:16:48 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/02/02/rakott-palacsinta-hungarian-pancake-cake/

First things first. I would really appreciate it if you would go vote for me in Culinate’s Death By Chocolate contest.

Also, I heard today is crepe day, so we made a Hungarian crepe cake!

My grandmother says that she used to make this with a different filling in each layer – jam, ground walnuts, chocolate cream, cottage cheese, poppy seeds, whatever she was in the mood for. When I told her that I made mine with just a walnut filling and chocolate on top, she huffed a bit, then said, “It’s okay, I make it with walnuts sometimes too.”

If you trust Ima more than you trust me (probably wise, when we’re talking about Hungarian food), you should make a smaller portion of the walnut filling I describe below, and use layers of jam, chocolate, and cottage cheese as well as walnut layers between the pancakes.

But if you trust me, well, believe that my way of making Rakott Palacsinta (which Ima tells me translates to ‘Raising Palacsinta’) is very delicious, too.

Rakott Palacsinta (Hungarian Pancake Cake)

Layer palacsinta (recipe below) with walnut filling (recipe below), then cover with chocolate rum sauce (recipe below).

2 C milk
2 C all-purpose flour
6 eggs
A splash of seltzer or ginger ale
Butter for frying

Blend or whisk together all ingredients except the seltzer until you have a homogenous batter. Add a splash of seltzer or, if you prefer, ginger ale, until the batter reaches your desired consistency. A thinner batter means that it is easier to create very thin and delicate pancakes, but may be harder for them to retain structural integrity. I suggest thinning the batter more as you grow more confident in your ability to maneuver the pancakes.

You want a light pan, a pan you can easily lift and move around with one hand. I keep the batter in a blender with a good spout, and a stick of butter with the wrapper pulled back halfway in a small bowl near the stove.

Heat the pan, then just run the butter stick across it to coat it with sizzling butter. Coat the sides as well as the bottom. Hold the pan away from the stove, and pour in a dollop of batter – how much will depend on how well and how quickly you can move the pan. You want to start swirling the batter around in the pan immediately, before it has time to cook and set.

The motion is all in the wrist. You want to keep the pan moving in a sort of circular motion so that the batter runs around that central dollop in a spiral, creating the [connected] concentric rings of an ever-widening circle. This gets much easier with practice. Once that’s done, return the pan to the heat.

As soon as the pancake looks entirely dry, it is ready to be flipped. After the pancake is flipped, it is just a few moments before it is completely done – wait to see the surface begin to bubble, then flip it out of the pan and onto the plate.

Do butter the pan before each and every pancake. It is not healthy, but you can really tell the difference in flavor.

Walnut Filling
(adapted from The Cuisine of Hungary by George Lang)
1 1/3 C heavy cream
2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C rum
2 lbs. walnuts, ground
1 C chopped raisins
4 tsp fresh grated lemon zest
Milk to taste

Bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Stir in the other ingredients (except for the milk) and continue to simmer for a minute. Stir in milk to thin it for spreading if necessary.

Chocolate Rum Sauce
(adapted from The Cuisine of Hungary by George Lang)
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 C milk
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp rum

Melt the chocolate into the milk in a small saucepan. Whisk in the egg yolks. Remove from heat and whisk in the other ingredients.

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Chewy Cherry Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/09/25/chewy-cherry-almond-chocolate-chip-cookies/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/09/25/chewy-cherry-almond-chocolate-chip-cookies/#comments Tue, 25 Sep 2007 16:03:05 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/09/25/chewy-cherry-almond-chocolate-chip-cookies/

I’d been craving chocolate chip cookies for weeks before I made these. But I was always too busy, or occasionally, trying to take a day now and then without eating any desserts. (This is difficult for me. I don’t tend to eat huge quantities of dessert, but I like a little bit of sweetness at the end of my meals.)

Then my mother handed me a bag of dried cherries. She’d bought them for herself, but after tasting one, she decided that they weren’t actually for eating. They were for baking! And since she doesn’t bake, that meant that they were for me! Oh happy day.

I made these cookies to keep a carful of friends happy during the 2 hour drive out to the orchard where we went apple-picking a few weeks ago. When my friend’s pre-diabetic boyfriend kept eating them to the point where his hands started shaking, I figured they were a success – a dangerous success, sure, but a success nonetheless.

They’re a bit almondy, but mostly it’s that fabulous one-two hit combo of chocolate and cherries that makes them so very satisfying.

Be warned, though – they’re so soft and chewy that they tend to just fall apart. I suggest serving them to friends at home, where everyone is happy just grabbing pieces of cookie off the pile on the plate and sharing the joy together.

Chewy Cherry Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion)
3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2/3 C packed dark brown sugar
2/3 C granulated sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
2 C chocolate chips
1 C dried cherries, cut into thirds

Preheat your oven to 375°.

Beat together the butter, sugars, corn syrup, and vinegar until nice and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat or stir in the flower until just barely incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and dried cherries. Relax, your work is nearly done.

Place tablespoons of dough on parchment paper covered baking sheets, about 2″ apart. Bake for about 10 minutes or until done, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through.

Let them cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, until you can safely transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

These cookies have a tendency to fall apart, but so be it. They’re still really tasty.

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Chocolate Raspberry Napoleons http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/09/11/chocolate-raspberry-napoleons/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/09/11/chocolate-raspberry-napoleons/#comments Tue, 11 Sep 2007 15:21:26 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/09/11/chocolate-raspberry-napoleons/

Not everything has to be complicated. These napoleons are dead simple and utterly delicious. The chocolate layers are made of an easy-schmeasy faux chocolate mousse, made by melting chocolate into heavy cream, chilling it, and whipping it like whipped cream. Phyllo is purchased, layered, and baked with minimal effort. And raspberries, oh, luscious, seasonal raspberries!

This came about because I found raspberries for sale at the greenmarket for half the price I’m used to, so I bought a bunch and came home looking for an excuse to play with them. They are more expensive and, honestly, tastier earlier in the season, but so be it. I wanted to take advantage of those last lovely berries trickling in before they were completely gone for the year.

Anyways, I am short on time lately, so it had to be a simple, fast recipe. A bit of brainstorming later, this is what Dave and I came up with.

(You know what our brainstorming is like by now, right? First he says that it has to involve chocolate. Then I say that there are other options. Then he says, if there’s no chocolate it doesn’t even count as dessert. Then I say, I want rose petal jelly with my raspberries! &c.)

I want to have a dinner party, just so I can serve all the easy food we’ve been making lately. Mango served with a dipping mix of sugar, salt, and cayenne. Some sort of straightforward fish dish. These napoleons. All of the accolades, none of the sweat.

Chocolate Raspberry Napoleons
Phyllo dough
Granulated sugar
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 C heavy cream
Fresh raspberries
Rose petal jelly (optional)

Create the pastry layers.

Preheat your oven to 375°.

Lay out a sheet of phyllo. Brush it with melted butter, sprinkle on some sugar, and lay another sheet on top of it. Keep going like that until it is 8 layers deep. Cut the phyllo into napoleon-sized pieces with a pizza roller and place them on a baking sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Create the easy-schmeasy faux chocolate mousse.

Chop the chocolate up fairly finely. Heat the heavy cream until it steams, then pour it over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts in and is incorporated. Chill, then whip as you would whipped cream.

Put everything together.

Build the napoleons: a layer of phyllo, a layer of chocolate, a layer of fresh raspberries, another layer of chocolate, another layer of phyllo. Melt the rose petal jelly in the microwave and then spoon or brush it on top.

I actually preferred these after they chilled in the fridge overnight, because it let the chocolate layers stiffen up some until they were more mousse-like.

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Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/06/19/chocolate-malted-whopper-drops/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/06/19/chocolate-malted-whopper-drops/#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2007 11:59:36 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/06/19/chocolate-malted-whopper-drops/

I love malt. A good vanilla malted is one of my favorite things in the world, and I adore those Banana Malt Brûlée Spoonfuls I made last summer.

So for this recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, I was up for questing all over to find a big carton of Whoppers so I could make it happen. I made these cookies for a NYC food blogger gathering last week, and brought it to the bar where we all met up. The cookies were half gone by the time I snuck out early, and people thanked me for leaving the rest behind when I left.

After I posted the Rum-Drenched Cocoa-Nana Bread, a mash-up of two Dorie recipes, and took the photo of these cookies, I started thinking about whether I should post about them at all. I had dinner with Dorie last night, and it occurred to me that it would be a wonderful opportunity to ask if she minded my posting her recipes occasionally.

My stance is that while I think that it is good advertising and can only help sales, and I know that is legal because recipes cannot be copyrighted, I still prefer to respect the wishes of cookbook authors who have given of themselves to create books that bring such joy into my life.

I am very grateful to Dorie for giving me the green light on sharing this recipe from her book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

It’s been a wonderfully food-filled social week for me. The NYC food blogger gathering was a great way to meet a lot of local foodies, who all share such enthusiasm and friendly energy that I feel like I’ve known them for ages. If you want to be notified of the next gathering join the NYC food blogger mailing list. And meeting Dorie and her husband over dinner last night was also such a comfortable, warm experience! They were both so friendly that we were comfortably chatting together from the moment we met.

I do so love the warmth of the foodie community. It’s a grand life we share.

Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops
(from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 C malted milk powder (or Ovaltine, says Dorie)
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder (again I’ll note, I don’t like Dutch process)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 stick plus 3 tbsp butter, at room temperature
2/3 C granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C whole milk
2 C Whoppers, coarsely chopped
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat your oven to 350º. Set up a few baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.

Beat the sugar with the butter until creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then the vanilla.

Beat in half the flour mix, just until incorporated. Then the milk. Then the rest of the flour mix.

Stir in the whoppers and chocolate chunks.

Place heaping tablespoons of the dough on the baking sheets, about 2″ apart. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through.

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Rum-Drenched Cocoa-Nana Bread http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/06/11/rum-drenched-cocoa-nana-bread/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/06/11/rum-drenched-cocoa-nana-bread/#comments Mon, 11 Jun 2007 11:51:30 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2007/06/11/rum-drenched-cocoa-nana-bread/

This is a combination of two recipes from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, one of the smartest and friendliest cookbook authors and food bloggers I know.

It remained moist and delicious almost a week later, and got rave reviews from my mother and Dave’s coworkers. (We bake a lot, so we have to give away most of what we make or suffer the weighty consequences.)

This really is just about perfect in every way. I intend to make it again and again, it was so good, and so easy.

Rum-Drenched Cocoa-Nana Bread
(mismatched bits of two recipes by Dorie Greenspan)
For the bread

2 C all-purpose flour
1 C unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 C granulated sugar
1/2 C packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 very ripe bananas
3/4 C buttermilk
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
For the rum syrup
1/3 C water
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/4 C rum

Preheat your oven to 350º.

Butter and flour a 9″x5″ loaf pan, and place it on top of two baking sheets (to keep the bottom from overcooking, says Dorie).

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.

Beat the butter until nice and creamy, then beat in the sugars. Add the eggs one at a time, beating a minute or so after each. Do not fear the appearance of the batter at this time. Mix in the bananas. (Dorie says to mash them first, but I prefer to just throw them into my mixer whole, which mostly mashes them but leaves a bit of texture.)

Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, each time mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Mix in the buttermilk. Then stir in the chopped up chocolate bits.

Scrape the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Tent some tinfoil over it to keep the top from overcooking, and cook for another 40-45 minutes, or until done.

Transfer the pan to a rack and cool a bit before inverting it (twice!) and letting it continue to cool right-side up.

Make the rum syrup by stirring the sugar and water together in a small saucepan until the sugar is totally dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the rum.

Poke holes in the bread all over with your cake testing or a thin-bladed knife or other poky device. Brush the rum syrup on slowly, trying to get the bread to absorb as much as possible.

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