Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Soft-Centered Chocolate Teacup Cakes ~ Baking Chez Moi

Per Nana ~
This week's recipe from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking Chez Moi" is a soft-centered teacup
 cake that would be a chocolate lover's delight.  The batter came together easily and 
baked in only 10-12 minutes. Unfortunately, I over baked mine by about 2 minutes
 but they still had a soft center when I removed them from the oven.
I used the bittersweet chocolate, melted with butter, for the cake portion but since I ran 
out of chocolate I used some semi sweet chocolate chips for the centers instead. 

The only cups I could find that were small enough to use for these cakes were my Dansk 
coffee cups, which were still a bit too big. I decided to remove them from the cups after
 baking and served them on a platter with a dusting of sugar.
Having had two cakes leftover, the next day I found them to still be tasty but extremely chewy.
 In any event they were still quite good, almost like eating a brownie. (A very rich brownie....)
Per Tricia ~
This is my first time posting from an iPad as I am away on vacation in Vermont.
 The photos are from my iPhone so that is also a first. I hate it and want my Mac.
Luckily this week's recipe could not have been more of a breeze and while I am late
 to the whole "mug cake" party, it was a revelation to find out how quick and
delicious these little desserts are. Dangerous, in fact ;)
I typically have baking chocolates on hand, not to mention the other standard ingredients
 (confectioners sugar, bit of flour, butter and eggs) so it will be a cinch to knock this recipe
 out again on a cold winter's day when a chocolate fix is needed.
While the ingredients were not exotic, it was a special treat to use farm fresh 
eggs brought by our friends Bryan and Karen of nearby Two Mountain Farm.  
And that wooden spoon turns out to be quite exotic. 
Sourcing your ingredients locally always makes them taste better but having the farmers
 as friends - well that just adds a smile to your face as you taste the results. 
The beautiful spoon you see in the photo was also a gift, hand carved in Ghana and brought
 to us from Bryan who is an amazing volunteer and has set up a non-profit school
educational foundation. I will share more about that in a post when I am not fighting
 with "i-related" technology and just trying to get this published. (if curious, please
check out their site-, it's an amazing foundation).

This marks another Tuesday recipe testing as we cook along with the "Tuesdays with Dorie" online group.  Please note that we do not post the recipes, per the group rules, but we do encourage others to RUN out and buy their own copy of Dorie Greenspan's "Baking Chez Moi".  Better yet, buy the book and JOIN THE GROUP !

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hot Chocolate Panna Cotta ~ Baking Chez Moi

Per Nana
The first time I tasted a panna cotta was in July, 2015 when we made 
the vanilla mango version for this blog. I'm not fond of mango at all 
so I made two plain ones for myself, but Jim enjoyed the original recipe. 
But this week's panna cotta rendition, made with unsweetened
 cocoa and bittersweet chocolate is so delicious !  
My first taste made me think of chocolate mousse but as I continued 
eating it I realized that the gelatin really gave it a much thicker texture.
  I added a dollop of whipped cream but it really wasn't necessary. 
I think Dorie's idea of serving it with a cookie would be better. 
Per Tricia
I made the panna cotta this evening as the Tuesday deadline loomed. 
The weather has finally been wintery and we have gone from snow to more 
snow. As a result I have started way too many of those "save it for bad 
weather" projects (and finished too few). The "storm before the calm" scenario. 
I decided I would only knock out this week's recipe, prioritizing my projects 
instead, if I had all the ingredients on hand and no special trip to the 
store was needed. As it turned out, I had it all. Lucky for us :)
heavy, wet snow falling outside our front door as we waited for the panna cotta to set......
 The most unusual ingredient for this rich and company worthy 
dessert was a box of unflavored gelatin.  Chocolate, cream, sugar, 
unsweetened chocolate, milk - all present and accounted for.  
Average ingredients with minimal effort and above average results.  
While we typically enjoy "hot" hot chocolate as we watch the snow fall, 
this chilled hot chocolate panna cotta was a lovely change. And provided
 some wonderful inspiration and energy for getting back to those other projects.
 Tomorrow, that is ..........