Frozen Baci


As you can tell I love Baci chocolates. I cannot imagine what could be more delicious than sipping on a chocolate hazelnut flavored milkshake, topped with Baci chocolates.

Serves 2

Chocolatier magazine

1/2 cup vanilla

2 tbs Hazelnut Liqueur (such as Frangelico or Capella)

1 tsp unsweetened nonalkalized cocoa powder

Perugina Baci chocolates

Place all ingredients into the jar of a blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour mixture into 2 glasses and serve with Perugina Baci chocolates.

Gabriel’s Bar and restaurant Hot Chocolate


What a great way to end an evening out in New York City , especially if you have just visited Lincoln center for the performing arts. This Hot Chocolate can serve as after dinner drink or dessert and seriously so much better than those powder versions.

Makes 4 cups or 12 small servings

6 oz bittersweet chocolate

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

2 tbs sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1 tbs unsalted butter

Chop chocolate . In a 1 1/2 quart saucepan bring cream ,Milk ,sugar and salt just to a boil over moderate heat, stirring and add chocolate and butter.Reduce heat to low and cook mixture ,stirring, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Ladle hot chocolate into demi tasse cups and top with whipped cream and a few raspberries. (raspberries will sink to the bottom).

Eggless Buttermilk Waffles


The best meals,for me, are weekend brunches. Sadly ,for years ,I used a health food store bought eggless toaster waffle, often times they were rubbery and tasteless,the only saving grace was the real maple syrup and some real butter. Luckily Asha Khatau thought of this and contributed this amazing recipe for those not able to eat eggs for various reasons. Brunch just got better!!!

Makes 8 Waffles

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

11/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups buttermilk

6 tbs melted butter

Sieve the flour and salt , baking powder ,baking soda and sugar. Stir melted butter and buttermilk together. Stir dry and wet ingredients together to make a smooth batter. Cover and keep aside for half an hour.

Preheat waffle iron.

Grease iron with butter. Pour batter with a ladle to cover the iron plates. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown. Remove and serve immediately with hot syrup

Chocolate Almond Pate (eggless) With Marscapone cream


The description for this dessert is simply Sublime. Just a winner from The Culinary Institute Of America ,in Hyde Park ,NY. It is simple and elegant,and can be prepared up to 2 days ahead of time, refridgerated and sliced thinly just prior to serving and served with whipped cream. I am going to include my recipe for a simple Marscapone cream,that is an option and I love to serve fresh berries with it.

Serves 10

11/4 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1lb bittersweet or semisweet chocolate ,chopped

1 cup ground toasted almonds

1 teaspoon almond extract

Line 71/2 by 31/2 by 21/4 inch loaf pan with waxed paper. Bring cream and butter to simmer in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low . Add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in ground almonds and extract. Pour into prepared pan . Cover and chill overnight. (can be made 2 days ahead).

To unmold, invert loaf pan onto work serface. Peel off waxed paper. Cut pate into thin slices with warm thin bladed knife. Place pate slices on plate. Garnish with rosettes of whipped cream, whole almonds and mint.

Marscapone whipped cream

8 oz marscapone cheese ,at room temperature

1/2 cup very cold heavy cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons Amaretto liquor (Italian almond flavored liquor,optional)

Whip Marscapone cheese and heavy cream till light. Add all other ingredients and whip just till combined. Refridgerate till ready to use. Serve with Chocolate Almond Pate and berries.

Cranberry -Walnut Tart


Cranberry and walnuts are a beautiful marriage of flavors. This delicious tart is a super make ahead dessert,freeing you up on the day of that big dinner, simply refridgerate overnight and warm in a moderate over for 15 minutes prior to serving.

Source Food and Wine

Makes one 10 inch tart

PASTRY

12/3 cups all purpose flour

21/2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter,cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk

1/4 teaspoon ice water

FILLING

12 oz cranberries

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter

1/2 cup coarsley chopped walnuts

Vanilla icecream for serving

PASTRY

In a food processor ,combine the flour ,sugar, salt and cinnamon and pulse. Add butter and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Whisk the egg yolk with the ice water and add to the bowl;stir until an evenly moistened dough forms. transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Pat the dough into a 6 inch disk,wrap it in plastic and refridgerate for 30 minutes.

FILLING

In a medium saucepan,combine the cranberries with both sugars,citrus zests,orange juice and cinnamon and bring to a boil. lower the heat ,simmer till thickened, 8-10 minutes. stir in the butter.Leave to cool. Stir in the walnuts.

Preheat the oven to 375*F. Butter a 10 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12 inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to the tart pan and fit the dough to the sides. Trim. prick bottom of tart shell and refridgerate until chilled.

Blind bake the pastry shell with wax paper and dried beans for weights for 30 minutes until lightly golden around the edges. Remove paper and weights and bake 5 minutes longer or until dry on the bottom. Cool slightly.

Spread cranberry filling evenly in tart shell and bake for about 25 minutes or until edge of pastry is golden. Coll on a wire rack before unmolding. Serve at room temperature with vanilla icecream.

Pumpkin or Mango creme caramel.


This satiny smooth baked custard is ideal for the fall months,but, I must admit to having switched over wirh Mango pulp, available from Asian markets,for a change in the warmer months. This recipe is a real winner from Better homes and Gardens. However,in the event you may wish to try the Mango version (sorry Better Homes and Garden,I know you did not have this in mind), I would omit the pumpkin spice  completly and switch the orange peel to lime peel, for flavor.

2/3  cup sugar

6 eggs

1 15 oz can pumpkin or Mango puree

2  5 oz cans evaporated milk(1  1/3 cups)

2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel (lime peel for Mango)

2 teaspoons vanilla

11/2 teaspoons pumpkin spice (omit for mango)

Pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven 325*F

To caramelize sugar in a heavy large skillet melt the 2/3 cup sugar over medium -high heat ,shaking skillet occasionally to heat sugar evenly. When sugar starts to melt, reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until sugar is golden brown. Remove skillet from heat;immediately pour the caramelized sugar into eight ungreased 6 oz custard cups. Holding cups with pot holders,quickly tilt to coat cup bottoms. Place cups in two 2-quart square baking dishes.

In a large bowl,beat eggs until combined..Stir pumpkin ,evaporated milk,the half cup sugar,the orange peel,vanilla and pumpkin spice into eggs till combined. Pour into cups with caramelized sugar.place the baking dishes on oven rack.Pour boiling waterinto the baking dishes to a depth of 1 inch.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the centers comes out clean. Remove cups from water. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Cover and chill for 4-24 hours.

To serve loosen the edges of custards with a knife.. Invert a dessert olate over each custard,turn cup and plate over together. If desired garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Eggless Chocolate Mousse with Fresh Raspberries


This is my ideal dessert,Chocolate and Fresh Raspberries. Antioxidants and more Antioxidants!!!! I know it maybe idealist to think of it that way but it certainly helps . This fantastic recipe comes from the culinary guru,C.I.A.

serves 6

31/2 cups Heavy cream

1/4 cup dark rum (optional)

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract

8 oz semi sweet,chocolate ,chopped

1 cup fresh raspberries

Chocolate curls for garnish

In a deep bowl,lightly whip 3 cups of cream and flavor it with rum. In another deep bowl ,whip the remaining cream with sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Add 1 cup of the lightly whipped cream to the chocolate and whisk to combine the two. Stir the chocolate mixture gently until it becomes the same consistency as the remaining lightly whipped cream.

Fold the chocolate mixture into the remaining lightly whipped cream until they are a smooth,homogenous mixture (do not overmix).

Place a few berries at the bottom of each of six 6 oz wineglasses. Pipe or spoon the chocolate mousse into each glass to within  1 inch of the top. Divide the remaining raspberries evenly and place on top of the mousse in each glass.

Using a medium star tip ,pipe a rosette of the stiffly whipped cream on top of the berries. refridgerate the mousse for at least 3 hours. Garnish with chocolate curls just before serving.