Archive for Dessert – Page 2

Truffle Cake with Raspberry Sauce & Port

If you love chocolate, then this dessert is for you!  Rich and decadent chocolate truffle cake with port, ganache glaze, drizzled with raspberry sauce…. This indulgence is definitely worth it!

For a gluten free option, substitute 1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder for the flour.

I love pairing chocolate with port but you can substitute with any red wine, liqueur or vanilla extract. I used bittersweet chocolate for the cake and semisweet chocolate for the ganache, but feel free to use any type of chocolate you prefer.

 

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 4 eggs ( room temperature)
  • 16 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder or coffee
  • 2 Tablespoons Port (or any liqueor or vanilla extract)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour ( or cocoa powder for gluten free option)

Ganache:

  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (or use chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Raspberry Sauce:

  • 1 (10 oz) bag of frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons port ( or any liqueur or vanilla extract)

Optional garnish: fresh raspberries

 

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Separate yolks and egg whites. Grease and flour an 8 inch springform pan and set aside. In a saucepan, stir chocolate & butter until melted. Add espresso powder and port and remove from heat. Stir in sugar, flour and egg yolks.

 

 

Using a mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold into chocolate mixture. Pour into the springform pan and bake for 25 minutes or until done.

 

 

Cool and remove sides of springform pan.

To make ganache:

Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until just boiling. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for a few minutes to allow chocolate to melt, then whisk until smooth. Allow to cool slightly before glazing the cake.

To make raspberry sauce:

Puree raspberries in a blender. Strain the puree into a saucepan through a wire mesh strainer and discard the seeds. (You may need to use a spoon or spatula to push the puree through the strainer). Add sugar and cornstarch to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Mix in port or vanilla. The sauce can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator.

 

 

To assemble: Spread ganache on top of the cake. Garnish with fresh raspberries (optional). The cake can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator in an air tight container. If making ahead,  wait to drizzle the raspberry sauce until ready to serve.

Since I had some ganache left over, I served the dessert with some vanilla ice cream and drizzled the ganache on top. You can also serve the dessert with port.

 

 

Chocolate Truffles

Truffles are the easiest and one of the most decadent desserts to make and it requires very few ingredients. Serve these goodies at your next holiday party in mini cupcake liners or chocolate liners sold in craft stores.  These will also be perfect for gifts or hostess gifts  by packaging in cute dessert containers also sold in craft stores.

You can also substitute the vanilla with any liqueur. For this recipe, I used port as I love the combination of chocolate and port!

 

Yields 3-4 dozen

Ingredients

  • 16 oz semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract  (I substituted with port wine)
  • Coatings such as: grated chocolate, coconut, powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa, nuts, etc

Directions

Place chocolate in a  heat proof  bowl.

Heat heavy cream and butter in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering.  Pour cream into chocolate bowl and let sit for a few minutes to allow the chocolate to melt.  Slowly stir with rubber spatula until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and creamy.

Add vanilla and stir. Place chocolate in the refrigerator until firm, approximately 1-2 hours.

Using a small spoon or melon baller, form small balls of chocolate mixture (called ganache) with your hands and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper.  You will need to roll quickly as it will melt from the heat of your hands.

Roll chocolate in various coatings such as powered sugar, coconut, nuts, etc.   Store in a airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s best to serve these at room temperature.

How to Decorate Snowman Cupcakes

Make these cute snowman cupcakes for your next holiday party or your kids school party. Since this is to show how to decorate, we will start with cupcakes already baked and cooled. I listed the ingredients I used to make the cupcakes but be creative and use other candies or decorations!

This is a fun project for your kids.  Here is my grand daughter decorating her own snowman cupcakes 🙂

Ingredients  Used:

  • Cupcakes – any flavor you prefer
  • White frosting – I prefer using store bought frosting as the cupcake and decorations hold up better than homemade frosting.
  • Coconut flakes (snow)
  • Jumbo marshmallows (body)
  • Regular marshmallows (body)
  • Pretzel sticks (arms)
  • Various candies (use other candies if you prefer)
    • mini chocolate chips (eyes)
    • mini m&ms (nose and buttons)
    • tootsie rolls (hat)
    • gum drops (hat)
    • licorice (scarf or buttons)
    • gummy worms (scarf)

Jumbo marshmallows can be found in your local grocery store. I used 1 jumbo and 1 regular size to create the body but you can use just the regular size if you prefer. If you are using the jumbo, I found that it’s too big to fit on a regular size cupcake so I cut it about 3/4 of the way and it held up better.

To decorate: Frost cupcake and place jumbo marshmallow on top of frosting. If you’re using 2 different size marshmallows,  spread frosting on top of jumbo marshmallow  and place regular marshmallow on top of jumbo.  The frosting will hold the marshmallows in place but if it’s not holding up well, you can also insert a pretzel stick in between the marshmallows or between the jumbo marshmallow and cupcake to help support.  Add coconut flakes on top of the frosting,  around the marshmallow.

To decorate cupcake: use frosting to hold the candies in place:

  • Eyes: mini chocolate chips
  • Nose: cut the mini m&ms in half
  • Hat: shape tootsie rolls or gum drops with your hands
  • Buttons: mini m&ms or licorice pieces
  • Scarf: licorice, gum drops or gummy worms
  • Arms: insert pretzel sticks into marshmallow or cupcake

It’s fun making different sizes and using different candies or items. For presentation, I added green sprinkles (grass) and coconut flakes (snow) and added gum drops and candy for color.

 

Strawberries with Red Wine and Balsamic Reduction

Strawberries and balsamic vinegar are a great combination and even better when you add red wine!  There are many varieties of balsamic vinegar to choose from but for a reduction, you don’t need to choose an expensive brand but don’t buy the cheapest either.

Reduce the vinegar and wine in half by simmering and the end result is an amazing sauce that will compliment well with fruit, salads, meat or cheese. Served with strawberries or any berries, this makes an easy and healthy dessert.

No refrigeration is needed and you can store the sauce in a jar or squeeze bottle and have it ready when ever you need it!

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar ( brown or white)
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint strawberries, stemmed and halved ( or quartered)  lengthwise
  • Mint for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Simmer wine, balsamic vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan until reduced to half, approximately 15 minutes (stir or whisk occasionally). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool. The sauce will thicken further upon cooling.

Place strawberries in a glass, bowl or plate and drizzle sauce over top. Garnish with mint, if desired.

Since berries can become mushy, you can make the sauce ahead but don’t leave the sauce in the berries for more than 3-4 hours.

 

 

 

Oreo Chocolate Bites

This is one of the easiest chocolate desserts to make as it only requires 3 ingredients and there is no baking involved! This is also fun for kids to help out.  You can dress it up for the holidays by drizzling  melted white chocolate and adding sprinkles or crushed candy canes on top.

Makes 3-4 dozen ( depending on size)

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16oz)  Oreo cookies, finely crushed ( approximately 4 cups)
  • 1 package ( 8oz)  cream cheese, softened  
  • Semi- sweet chocolate chips or baking chocolate, melted ( 16 oz)

 Directions

Crush oreo cookies by using a food processor or by placing cookies in a ziplog bag and use a rolling pin. Mix cream cheese and 3 cups of cookie crumbs in a large bowl until blended. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a microwave for approximately 3 minutes or until melted stirring every minute or so. (Can also use the double boiler method: place chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat until melted, making sure water does not touch the bowl).

Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop mixture and shape into 1 – 1 1/2 inch balls with your hands   Dip mixture into the melted chocolate using 2 forks and placing on a baking sheet covered with parchment or wax paper. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs and refrigerate until firm, approximately 1 hour. 

 

 

 

 

Macaron Pops

You’ve  heard of cake pops. How about trying macaron pops for your next party?  Use any containers you have at home or you can purchase at craft stores. These can be reused in the future with the change of ribbons or color themes.

Makes 12 pops  (24 macarons)

Ingredients:

Macarons:

  • 1 cup almond flour (can grind blanched slivered almonds)
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Orange food coloring ( see note below if you can’t find orange)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Filling:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Supplies Used (optional):

  • Small container
  • Shred
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Ribbons
  • Styrofoam to fit inside the container

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form. Add vanilla extract.  Then add the food coloring, 1 drop at a time, stirring until you get the color desired.

(Since I couldn’t find orange food coloring, I added few drops of red food coloring to yellow food coloring).

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the ground almonds and powdered sugar until combined. Put the filling into a piping bag fitted with round tip (you can also use a ziplog bag) and drop small circles of batter onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 12-15 minutes and cool for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place chocolate and cream in a bowl and set over a pan of simmering water until chocolate is melted, stirring often.  You can also use a microwave to melt chocolate. Refrigerate until thick, about 30 minutes.

To assemble: add chocolate filling to flat side of 12 macarons.  Place popsicle sticks in the middle of the filling  and press remaining 12 macarons on top, flat side down. Make sure to  match similar sizes together. Let filling set for about an hour.

To assemble in containers:

Tie or glue ribbon around the containers.  Place styrofoam inside the container and add shred on top.  Place the popsicle sticks into and around the styrofoam to hold in place.