Fudge Pie

March 10, 2008

A wonderfully indulgent dessert that makes its own crust. SAM

2 squares unsweetened baker’s chocolate
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or cognac
Whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In the top of a double boiler over hot water or in a microwave, melt the chocolate and butter. Add the sugar, flour and salt. Temper the eggs with a small amount of melted chocolate; then add the eggs to the chocolate mixture. Add the nuts and vanilla or cognac. Pour into a 9-inch pie plate and bake for 30 minutes. Serve with whipped cream.
Makes 8 servings.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook All-American Comfort Food.

Blueberry Ice

February 29, 2008

The frozen blueberries turn this simple dessert into an elegant and icy treat. HARRY

1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, divided
1 quart frozen blueberries

With an electric mixer on high speed, whip the cream until just foamy. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa and sugar and beat into the whipped cream until soft peaks form. Layer in parfait glasses with the blueberries.
Makes 4 servings.

Chocolate Raspberry Napoleons With Raspberry Mascarpone Cream

February 22, 2008

The Viking Dinner Yurt in Park City, Utah

Yurts are portable, tent-like structures used for centuries by Mongolian nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. Yurts are also a God-send for cross-country skiers in the mountainous American West, providing trail-side lodging (and some include full catering!) for hikers or — in winter– cross country skiers. In most cases, this means one only has to carry one’s clothing from yurt to yurt, and sometimes even this service can be provided. 

There is beautiful skiing this time of year in the Minnesota Boundary Waters, if Sam and Harry don’t mind doing some of the cooking.  Après ski, Sam would be fully justified in using as much butter as she’d like!  For a considerable step up in luxury, the Blue Moon Yurt in McCall, Idaho offers a 5-course gourmet dinner, while at the Viking Dinner Yurt in Utah (elevation: 8000 feet!), Sam and Harry could feast on an elegant, Scandanavian-style dinner.  The Viking’s award-winning menu often features a scrumptious soft-berry dessert, and the whole deal (including the chef) arrives via snowmobile! – Almostgotit


Chocolate Layers:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Raspberry Mascarpone Cream:
1 – 8 ounce container mascarpone cheese* or 8 ounce package cream cheese (room temp)
¼ cup sugar
2 Tablespoons Framboise (or other raspberry liqueur)
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

Red Raspberry Puree:
2 cups whole frozen raspberries (about 8 ounces) thawed
2 Tablespoons Framboise (or other raspberry liqueur), may add more to taste
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch


For Chocolate Layers: 
Cover the bottom of a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with foil, tucking ends under, making sure foil is tight.  Mark 15 x 9-inch rectangle on foil.  In top of double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt chocolate (do not allow bottom of pan to touch water) stirring until smooth, approximately 5-7 minutes.  Pour onto foil and spread quickly and evenly to the same thickness to cover rectangle; a pastry chef’s knife works best.  Chill in refrigerator until set but not hard, about 7 minutes.  With a sharp knife, cut chocolate rectangle lengthwise into three equal strips, each about three inches wide.  Cut each strip into six equal pieces, each about two and one-half inches wide.  Chill one hour.  (Can be made one week ahead.  Cover; keep refrigerated).

For Raspberry Mascarpone Cream: 
Beat mascarpone cheese, sugar and Framboise together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer.  Add half the cream and beat until soft peaks form.  Add the rest of the cream and beat until thick and stiff.  Cover and chill for one hour.

For Raspberry Puree: 
Place thawed raspberries in food processor or blender.  Strain through a fine sieve to remove seeds and place in small saucepan.  Stir sugar and cornstarch together and add to puree, along with the Framboise.  Heat, stirring until thickened and glossy.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  (Note: if puree is too cold it may be too thick to create decorative hearts—microwave for 30-40 seconds before use).

To Assemble Napoleons: 
Place one chocolate square on each of the six plates.  Spread with three tablespoons of the raspberry mascarpone cream mixture. Use a toothpick to dot edges of mascarpone cream with the raspberry puree.  Draw the toothpick through the center of each dot to slightly below center, to create a heart shape.  Top with another chocolate piece, spread mascarpone over, repeat with raspberry puree dots/hearts.  Top with last chocolate piece and finish with a dollop of mascarpone cream and garnish with fresh raspberries and/or puree and shaved chocolate.

May be plated with a pool of additional raspberry puree.  Approximate preparation time: 40 minutes plus chilling time .  SERVES 6

Italian mascarpone cheese is available at Italian markets and many supermarkets.

Recipe provided by the Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission

Chocolate Pudding Cake

February 15, 2008

This recipe comes from a dear friend of Emily’s in Paris. It’s an old French recipe and it’s unbelievably dark and rich and good! SAM

Unsalted butter & flour for preparing cake pan
10 ounces bitter chocolate (not unsweetened)
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
1 cup very strong coffee
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
Whipped Cream or vanilla ice cream for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and lightly flour a 7-inch stem pan and set aside. (A 9-inch stem pan is okay. The cake will be a little thinner.)

Break the chocolate into 1-inch pieces and place in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Add the sugar, if you want a sweeter cake, plus the coffee and butter and heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, keeping the chocolate mixture over the hot water.

With an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whisk, beat the eggs at medium-high speed until they are quadrupled in volume, light yellow, and airy, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and, beating constantly, pour in the warm chocolate mixture in a thin stream. Do not add it too quickly or the eggs will curdle. Mix until just blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the center of the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top cracks. The cake will be very moist. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. It will settle some in the pan. Turn out onto a serving plate, as the cake is not easy to move once out of the pan. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Store tightly wrapped in the fridge. It’s even better the next day.
Makes 8 to 10 very rich servings.

Chocolate Cream Vol-au-Vent

February 10, 2008

‘Vol-au-vent’ is French for ‘windblown.’ This light, round, open puff pastry shell is almost always filled with savory meat and/or vegetables. With these Chocolate Cream Vol-au-Vents, you’ll be breaking the mold—and you’ll be awfully glad you did. SAM

1 (8-ounce) package frozen vol-au-vent puff pastry shells
2 cups milk
4 cups heavy cream
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup butter, softened (1/2 stick)
1/2 pint whipping cream, whipped

Bake the vol-au-vent shells according to the directions on the package and set aside to cool. In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, heat the milk and cream. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Add the butter. Beat steadily with a wooden spoon until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into the cooled pastry shells and chill for 3 or 4 hours until set. Garnish with whipped cream.
Makes 8 servings.

Mocha Mousse

February 9, 2008

A light and elegant chocolate mousse that packs a powerful punch. SAM

4 (1-ounce) squares semi-sweet baking chocolate plus more for garnish
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon instant expresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons crème de cacao liqueur
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar

In the top of a double boiler over hot water, melt the chocolate. Mix together the water and expresso powder and add to the chocolate. Add the crème de cacao, stirring until blended. With an electric mixer on high speed, whip the cream, gradually adding the sugar until stiff. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Spoon the mousse into 8 dessert cups and chill for several hours or overnight. Garnish with chocolate shavings.
Makes 8 servings.

German Chocolate Glaze

February 7, 2008

When you don’t want to ice a cake, glaze it. SAM

4 ounces German sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon shortening
1/4 cup water
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt the chocolate and shortening. Add the water. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and salt and gradually stir into the chocolate mixture, blending well. Stir in the vanilla and walnuts. Pour over the cooled German Chocolate Pound Cake.
Makes 1 1/2 cups or enough for one 9-inch stem cake.