Chocolate Coconut Wedges

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10 (5×2 1/2 inch) graham crackers

6 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

1/4 tsp. salt

12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 egg yolks

1 cup heavy cream

Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 inch round pan with removable bottom; set aside.

In a food processor fitted with a metal bade, process the graham crackers until they are finely ground. Place into a large bowl. Add the coconut,salt and melted butter; stir to combine. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden. Cool completely.

In a heat proof bowl, place the chopped chocolate. Place over a pan of simmering water,; don’t allow water to touch the bottom of the bowl. Melt the chocolate until smooth. Remove and allow to cool 15 minutes.

In a small bowl lightly whisk the egg yolks. In a saucepan add the heavy cream and heat until the cream just boils. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot cream into the yolks. Add mixture to remaining cream and whisk over medium heat until the custard reaches 160 degrees. Whisk the custard into the chocolate until smooth and pour evenly over the crust. Smooth top with offset spatula. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Loosen the side carefully with a knife and push bottom up to remove to a serving platter. Place a stencil  of your choice over the top and dust with the powdered sugar.

Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart

Tart pan lined with crust and blind baked

1/4 cup white chocolate, melted

Fresh strawberries

Pastry Cream:

1 1/4 cups half-and-half

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean , split and scraped of seeds

2 eggs

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon butter

seedless strawberry or raspberry jam

Line the unbaked tart crust with foil or parchment and weight with dried beans or pie weights. The dried beans can be reused over and over again as pie weights. Allow to cool and store the beans in a lidded jar. Blind bake the tart crust. Allow crust to completely cool.

Brush the baked tart shell lightly with the melted white chocolate. This allows your crust to remain crisp when it’s filled.

In a saucepan , combine the half-and-half, vanilla seeds and vanilla bean and bring to a boil and remove from heat; cover allow to set 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs , sugar and flour until light and combined. Remove  the vanilla pod, rinse it and set aside to dry. Bring milk back up to a simmer. Temper the egg mixture with some of the hot milk milk mixture, whisking a small amount into the eggs mixture. Pour back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Bring to a boil stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract and butter. Stir until combined. Place in a bowl and cover top of pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool completely.

Place cooled pastry cream in cooled tart shell and spread out evenly.

Cut the tops off the fresh strawberries and arrange decoratively over the top of the pastry cream.

Heat  some jam with a touch of water until the jam is melted. Lightly brush the tops of the berries.

Serve chilled.

*Reserved vanilla pod- once nice and dry add to a jar filled with granulated sugar, seal airtight and in a few weeks you’ll have vanilla sugar. Keep adding vanilla pods each time you have used one in a recipe.

Apple Butter Apple Tart

Apple Butter Apple Tart

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1 lined tart shell

cinnamon sugar

thinly sliced, peeled and cored Granny Smith Apples

Apple butter

Crumble:

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

4 tablespoon softened butter

Preheat oven to 375 degree. Spread a layer of apple butter on the bottom of the unbaked tart shell. Layer decoratively the thinly sliced apples. Sprinkle the tops of the apples with cinnamon sugar. Combine in a small bowl the crumble ingredients. Evenly crumble on top of the tart. Place tart on a baking sheet and bake until apples are tender.

The crumble recipe is enough for one 12 x 4 tart pan with removable bottom.

If you are making a larger tart , make additional crumble.

Cappuccino Cream Tart with Macadamia Nut Crust

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Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup toasted, ground macadamia nuts

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

4 tablespoon melted butter

Filling:

3 cups whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup flour

5 oz. chopped white chocolate

3 tablespoons instant espresso

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

chocolate covered espresso beans for garnish

Crust:

Combine all the ingredients for the crust and press into a 12 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Place tart shell in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes while the filling being made.

Filling:

Place the milk, flour and sugar in a saucepan. Whisk mixture until there are no lumps. Add the espresso and vanilla and whisk to combine. Place over medium heat and cook stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat. In a bowl whisk the egg yolks and temper them by adding some of the hot milk mixture to them; whisking constantly. Pour tempered egg yolks into the saucepan with remaining hot milk mixture. Place back over medium heat and cook until it comes to a boil and very thick; whisking constantly. Pour mixture into the tart shell. Place plastic wrap on top of filling to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until set.

Whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff. Place in piping bag and decorate top of tart. Garnish with chocolate covered espresso beans.

Strawberry-Banana Tart

Strawberry-Banana Tart

2 lined rectangular Tart pans with removable bottoms, blind baked

1 1/4 cups half-and-half

1 vanilla bean,split and seeded

2 egg yolks

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup strawberry jam

1/4 cup chopped white chocolate, melted

1 pint strawberries, hulled,sliced

2 bananas, sliced and tossed with small amount of lemon juice

Brush a thin layer of melted white chocolate on the inside of each baked tart shell and allow to set up. Divide the jam equally between tarts and spread evenly; slice 1/2 a banana very thin and place evenly over the jam; set aside.

In a small saucepan, add the milk,vanilla bean and scraped vanilla seeds; heat to a boil.  While milk is heating up , beat the egg yolks, sugar and flour together until well combined. Temper the egg mixture by whisking in some hot milk ,; whisking until well combined. Pour egg/milk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the hot milk. Remove the vanilla pod. Continue to cook until thickened. Allow to cool. Once cooled, divide equally among the tarts and spread evenly. Top with sliced strawberries and banana.

Peanut Butter Chiffon Pie

Peanut Butter Chiffon Pie

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin

2 cups water

6 Tbsp sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups marshmallow cream or fluff

2 cups smooth peanut butter

4 cups heavy whipping cream

1 chocolate bar

Chocolate Crumb Crust

20 Oreo cookies

6 Tbsp butter, melted

Crush cookies in food processor. Stir in melted butter. Press into deep dish 9 inch pie plate.

Chocolate Ganache

You will have extra of this. It can be stored and fridge and gently reheated for hot chocolate, sauce, great  in coffee or make into chocolate truffles

3 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate

3 1/2 oz. semi sweet chocolate

1/2 cup heavy cream

Chop chocolate and place in large bowl, set aside. Heat cream to just boiling. Remove from heat. Pour over chopped chocolate and stir until well combined. Pour about 3/4 cup into pie plate with finished crust and gently swirl around the crust , letting the excess puddle on bottom of crust. Refrigerate until ready to fill. Refrigerate remaining ganache and stored in air tight container for other uses.

Filling for pie

In medium saucepan, combine the gelatin and 1 cup of cold water. Let stand 1 minute. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat . Stir in the sugar, vanilla and remaining 1 cup water. Beat marshmallow cream/ fluff and peanut butter. Refrigerate until mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon.

In a mixing bowl, beat heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cram into the thickened gelatin mixture. Spoon the mixture onto the crust. Make decorative swirls and sprinkle shaved chocolate.

Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours or overnight.