Monthly Archives: February 2016

Sunday Reflections

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Wishing you all an amazing, glorious Sunday!

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Milk-Chocolate Tart with Pretzel Crust

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This dessert is a tribute to the chocolate-covered pretzel and hits just the right salty-sweet note. Mix crushed pretzels with flour, butter, sugar and egg to make a crunchy crust. Pours in a luxurious milk-chocolate filling, then sprinkle on more crushed pretzels as a garnish. Delish!

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Ingredients

CRUST
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups coarsely crushed thin pretzels (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
FILLING
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 pound milk chocolate, chopped
Maldon sea salt, crushed pretzels and crème fraîche, for serving

Directions

1. In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter with 3/4 cup of the pretzels and the confectioners’ sugar at low speed until creamy. Beat in the flour and egg. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of pretzels, being sure to leave some pretzel pieces intact. Flatten the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out the dough between the sheets of plastic wrap to a 12-inch round. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough over a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough into the corners and patch any tears. Trim the overhanging dough and refrigerate the shell for 30 minutes or until firm.

3. Line the shell with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for about 30 minutes, until nearly set. Remove the parchment and weights and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until the tart shell is firm; cover the edge with foil if it darkens too much. Let the shell cool completely. Brush the melted chocolate over the bottom and up the side and refrigerate for 10 minutes, until set.

4. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Off the heat, add the milk chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Transfer the filling to a bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

5. Pour the filling into the shell and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and crushed pretzels. Cut into wedges, top with crème fraîche; serve.

Dark Chocolate-Bourbon Torte

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This torte infuses luscious dark chocolate with a splash of bourbon. It’s an elegant, Southern-style treat to die for!

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Ingredients

Vegetable cooking spray
1/2 cup dark chocolate morsels
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup thawed reduced-fat whipped topping
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 300°. Coat bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

2. Microwave chocolate morsels in a small microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) for 1 minute or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals.

3. Beat butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat 1 minute. Add milk and, if desired, bourbon; beat 1 minute. (Mixture will look curdled.) Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended. Gradually add cocoa and flour, beating at low speed just until blended.

4. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold one-fourth of egg white mixture into batter; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

5. Bake at 300° for 45 minutes or until set. (A wooden pick inserted in center will come out with just a few crumbs on it.) Remove torte from oven; immediately run tip of a small knife around edge of torte. Let cool on wire rack 30 minutes. (Torte will rise to top of pan while baking but will sink while it cools.) Remove sides of springform pan.

6. Spoon whipped topping into a zip-top plastic freezer bag. (Do not seal.) Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe dollops of whipped topping around base of torte. Sprinkle torte with powdered sugar and cocoa.

Chocolate S’mores Cake

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Ingredients

CAKE
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

TOPPING
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
3 large egg whites
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
6 whole graham crackers, broken
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter two 8-inch square baking pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the 2 cups of flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk with the vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and whisk just until smooth.

3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out with a few crumbs attached. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack, then turn out to cool completely. Peel off the parchment. Turn the cakes right side up onto 2 baking sheets.

4. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.

5. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar with the corn syrup and stir over moderate heat until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Bring the corn syrup mixture to a boil, wiping down any sugar crystals that may form on the side of the pan with a moistened pastry brush. Cook over moderate heat, without stirring, until the corn syrup mixture reaches 250° on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the softened gelatin; the mixture will foam up.

6. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the egg whites and vanilla seeds at medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well between additions. Beat until the whites are stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes.

7. With the mixer at medium speed, carefully pour the hot corn syrup mixture in a thin stream into the egg whites, aiming for the area between the whisk and side of the bowl. Beat the topping until very thick and opaque, about 8 minutes.

8. Preheat the broiler and position a rack 8 inches from the heat. Using an offset spatula, spread the marshmallow topping over the tops of the cakes. Let stand for about 1 minute, until slightly set. Broil the cakes one at a time, shifting the pan as necessary for even browning, about 5 minutes. Insert the broken graham crackers into the marshmallow and drizzle with the melted chocolate. Serve while the marshmallow is still warm.

Sunday Reflections

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Have an amazing Sunday #friendsofTenaciousM! The best is yet to come!

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Chocolate Dipped Bacon Shot Glasses

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While the shot glasses are a little time intensive to make, they actually seem pretty simple. All you need to do is create your molds, wrap bacon around them, and then bake. Once your bacon shot glasses are out of the oven, you simply dip them in chocolate – the chocolate being delicious as well as functionary, sealing any holes to allow the bacon shot to actually hold your preferred spirit. After that, the sky’s the limit as to what you choose to fill your glasses with. Enjoy!

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