Dreamy Chocolate Hazelnut Creams

Chocolate Hazelnut Creams

Choux Paste:

1 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup flour

4 eggs

 

Hazelnut Cream:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2-3/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread

Ganache:

4 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate

4 oz. heavy cream

Toasted skinned, chopped Hazelnuts

 

Choux Paste:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a sauce pan, combine the milk and butter over medium heat and cook until butter is melted. Dump the flour into the milk mixture and stir with wooden spoon until mixture comes together as a dough and flour begins to coat the bottom of the pan. Place hot dough into a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the eggs and process until dough is incorporated and thick. Place the dough into a pastry bag or using spoon spoon onto parchment lined sheets to desired size. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Turn off oven.  Pierce the side with a knife and allow them to rest in oven for 10 minutes or until they sound hollow when thumped. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Hazelnut Cream:

Combine ingredients and beat until thick. Add additional chocolate hazelnut spread to taste. Pipe into sliced puffs.

Ganache:

Place ingredients in small bowl and microwave at 15 second intervals until chocolate is barely softened. Stir until the chocolate is melted and fully combined.

Dip the tops of the puffs into the ganache and sprinkle with the toasted chopped hazelnuts.

Trifle Many Ways

Trifle is where you can let your imagination run wild. Pick and choose the flavors of layers that you want, using the fruit you like. These are just examples of just some layers you can use. Traditional trifles have layers of fruit, pound cake and pastry cream.

Pound cake, any flavor which compliments the fruit your using

Fruit puree: Any fruit

Mango

Strawberry

Sweetened whipped cream for topping and can use as a layer

Fresh fruit

Nuts

Chocolate Sauce

Liqueurs such as Orange , Berry

Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 cups half-and-half

1 vanilla bean, split and seeded

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons flour

In a saucepan combine the half-and-half along with split vanilla bean and seeds; bring the mixture to a simmer. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until light and combined, then whisk in flour. Temper the egg mixture with the hot half-and-half. Remove the vanilla pod. Pour tempered egg yolk mixture into the hot half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Run the pastry cream through a sieve and cover top with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Store in refrigerator.

Lemon Curd:

1 cup lemon juice

zest from 2 lemons

2 1/2 cups sugar

8 eggs

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup butter

Combine first 5 ingredients in a heat proof bowl and whisk to combine. Place bowl over saucepan with simmering water. Do not allow water to touch bottom of bowl . Stir until mixture is thick , remove from heat and stir in butter which has been cut into pieces. Allow to cool in refrigerated in airtight container until well chilled.

Fruit puree:

Use fruit such as berries, mango, peaches; peel and slice; process in a food processor until smooth. Sweetened as needed.

Apples, pears, firmer fruit can be cooked until soft and pureed.

Assembly:

Start with a layer of pound cake cut into slices or pieces depending on what they are being served in and place in the bottom. Sprinkle with a complimentary flavored liqueur, if desired. Sprinkle fresh fruit (sweetened the fruit and slice if needed) over to pound cake. Layer alternately with whatever layers you prefer and compliment the fruit or chocolate being used. Once the serving dish being used is layered to almost the top store in the refrigerator to allow the layers of pound cake to absorb the liquids. Top with sweetened whipped cream and more fruit if desired.

Delicious Apple Cake with Creme Anglaise

Apple Cake

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1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. vanilla

3 cups, peeled, diced apples

Topping:

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.

Cream the butter and sugars together. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the dry ingredients, buttermilk and vanilla; beat until combined well. Stir in apples. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Combine the topping ingredients well. Sprinkle top evenly with topping. Bake 50-55 minutes until done. Allow to cool. Serve with whipped cream or creme anglaise sauce.

Creme Anglaise

2 cups half-and-half

1 vanilla bean, split

1/2 cup sugar

4 egg yolks, room temperature

In a large saucepan, combine the half-and-half with the vanilla bean; heat until small bubbles begin to form around the edge. In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar just until well combined.  Temper the egg mixture with a small amount of hot milk whisked in, then add the tempered egg mixture to the remaining hot milk mixture. Stir constantly until mixture thickens. Strain mixture through sieve. Serve right away or store in refrigerator.

Comforting dinner of Chicken and Leek Pie.

Chicken and Leek Pie

Pie dough for a double crust

2-2 1/2 lbs. cooked,  cubed chicken

4 thick slices of smoked bacon, diced

4 large leeks, white part only, sliced

1 onion, diced

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 tablespoon flour

salt and pepper; to taste

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

 

Preheat oven to 424 degrees.

Line a 9 inch deep dish pie plate; set aside. In a large pot cook bacon until crisp. Add the onions and leeks and cook until softened. Stir in the flour. Pour in the heavy cream and the chicken stock, add the nutmeg. Bring to boil reduce to simmer until thickened. Pour the filling into the line pie plate. Top with top crust and crimp edges. Brush top with heavy cream and sprinkle a small amount of freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Nothing like warm Sticky Honey Buns for breakfast.

Sticky Honey Buns

Honey Base:

3/4 cup butter

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup water

1/4 tsp. salt

 

Dough:

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

4 1/2 cups flour

4 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter , room temperature

 

Filling:

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup toasted, chopped pecans

 

Honey Base:

In a saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in the brown sugar until it’s dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in the honey, cream, water and salt. Allow to cool to room temperature. You should have 2 cups. Only use 2 cups, if there is extra.

 

To make the dough, in a bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle yeast over the water, allow to bloom for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm spot for 30 minutes.

Add the eggs, sugar, salt and the remaining flour to the yeast mixture. Fit the mixer with dough hook and knead for 3-4 minutes at medium speed. Add the butter and continue to knead, adding a little flour to reduce stickiness if needed, until dough is smooth. Cover and let rise until double, about 2 hours.

Butter a 9×13 baking dish. Pour honey base into the baking dish. Transfer dough to a floured surface and roll out to a 15×10-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the  dough. Sprinkle the half the chopped pecans evenly over the dough. Using a rolling pin , gently roll over the top of the dough sprinkled with sugar and nuts. Starting at the long side cover with sugar and nuts, roll up rectangle snugly and pinch seam together. With seam facing down , cut into 10 equal pieces. Place the pieces cut side up in prepared dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove from refrigerator and let rise until half as high, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until golden brown , about 30 minutes. Let rest about 20 minutes before turning out onto a serving dish.

Fruit Tacos welcome in Spring and Summer.

Fruit Tacos

Taco Shells:

1/3 cup almond flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

3 eggs

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp orange blossom water

2 tablespoons superfine sugar

1/2 cup flour, sifted

2 tablespoons butter, melted

 

Assorted in season soft fruit

Sweetened whipped cream

Mint for garnish

sweetened fruit puree, strained for the sauce

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Mix the almond flour and powdered sugar in a bowl. Add 1 egg.

Separate the remaining 2 eggs and add the yolks to the almond flour mixture. Beat until pale yellow and thick. Stir in vanilla and orange blossom water.

Whisk the egg white to stiff. Gradually add the superfine sugar beating whites until stiff and glossy. Fold in a third of the meringue into the almond flour mixture, then fold in half of the flour. Repeat again with a third and the rest of the flour; then remaining meringue. Pour melted butter around the outside edge and fold in.

Drop about 3 tablespoons of batter for each taco shell on the lined baking sheets. Only have 3 taco shells well spaced per sheet. The recipe makes 6 shells.Even out the batter with the back of a spoon but don’t spread out. The batter will spread while baking.

Place in preheated oven and bake for about 6 minutes or until the shells are set and pale golden.

Remove from oven . Using a thin flat wide spatula, loosen the shell and gently fold in half to form a taco shell. Allow to cool in slightly in your hand and place on wire rack. You must work quickly while shells are still warm enough to form.

Once shells are cool, spread fruit preserves if desired and pipe whipped cream inside top with berries. Serve with fruit puree sauce.

Pasta with Peas and Ham in Cream Sauce is a great way to utilize leftover ham. No one would know that you used leftovers.

Pasta with Peas and Ham in a Cream Sauce

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, small diced

1 clove garlic, minced

3 oz. Ham cut into julienned strips

3/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups thawed frozen peas

1 lb. pasta, cooked al dente in salted boiling water

In a skillet, add butter and melt over low heat. Add the diced onions and garlic and saute until onions are translucent and not browned. Add the ham and cream . Simmer until slightly thickened. Stir in the Parmesan and peas. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss. Cook the mixture tossing for a couple of minutes and serve immediately.