Monday, April 27, 2015

Chocolate Tapioca Pudding

Pudding of any kind is a favorite and easy dessert of mine. It is a great comfort food warm or cold. Lately I have been making a lot of tapioca pudding and decided to change it up a bit by making it chocolate. Both versions taste great, but it is nice to have a smooth, creamy, rich chocolate version. 

Vanilla Bean Tapioca Pudding

1/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons instant Tapioca
23/4 cups of milk
1 egg, well beaten
11/2 Teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 generous hand full 60% chocolate Ghiradelli chocolate chips

Berries and or whipped cream for garnish

Mix the sugar, tapioca, milk and egg in a medium sauce pan and let stand for 5 minutes. 
After 5 minutes, cook over medium heat, string constantly until mixture comes to a full boil. Then remove from heat and stir in vanilla bean paste. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. 
Cool for 20 minutes and then stir. You can serve warm of chilled. If you would like creamier pudding be sure the put plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding while it is cooling. 

Garnish with berries and whipped cream if you wish then sit back and enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Decadent Dark Chocolate Torte

To say that I make a lot of desserts would be an understatement. On this blog, as well as, on my other blog Pine Cones and Acorns I only post the ones I really like. This dessert is in a category all by itself because it is SPECTACULAR! It is the richest, most decadent chocolate dessert I have ever made. In fact it is the only dessert I have ever made that I stop after two or three bites, that is how rich and delicious it is.

If you like truffles or flour less chocolate cakes then I think you will like this torte. I think the only thing that would make this better is a few berries and a glass of champagne. 

Decadent Dark Chocolate Torte

15 oz. dark chocolate 60% or higher, chopped
11/2 cups butter softened
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of coffee, espresso, or flavored liquor
5 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt

Whipped cream
Fresh berries

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan, wrap the bottom in aluminum foil and set into a large roasting pan. 

In a medium sauce pan, over medium-low heat combine the chopped chocolate, butter and sugar. Stir constantly until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Watch carefully of this or it will burn. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add the coffee or liqueur and stir.
Add the egg yolk and the whole eggs to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 2 minutes on medium. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and mix until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Fill roasting pan with hot water about 1/4 of the way up the spring form pan. Carefully place into a preheated 350 oven. Bake until the edges are set and the center is slightly soft, about 25-30 minutes. 
Carefully remove the spring form pan from the water bath and place on a cooling rack, cool completely then remove foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. 

Garnish with berries and cream. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Best Chocolate Chip Cookie EVER

I grew up on Toll-House cookies, and remember many happy days arriving home to a batch fresh from the oven. I still like them but I am always looking for the "next best" cookie. That may be obvious because I frequently feature cookie recipes here, like the Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie, Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies or The Ritz Carleton Chocolate Chip Cookie among a few. 

I like my cookies filled with chocolate and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and I do not like them flat!

These cookies fit that criteria and more. They are simply the best cookies I have ever made!

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 cup salted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspnns coarse sea salt
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
7 ounces of 65% dark chocolate chips chopped into pieces
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips


In a bowl whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder, set aside. Cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated. Stop mixer and use a spatula to get the stuff off the bottom of the bowl. 

Turn mixer to low and slowly add the flour mixture, mix on low until incorporated. 

Add the chopped chocolate and chocolate chips and store until evenly distributed.

Cover dough and refrigerate overnight. 

When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Using an ice cream scoop, portion out cookies onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silphat. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until brown on the edges and a light brown on top. They will look a little underdone. Let sit on pan to cool as they will bake a little more while cooling. Then remove to a rack to cool a bit more. Or eat while still warm. 

I found that when the dough is very cold they take at least 12 minutes in my oven. 

Note: People like their cookies at different levels of "doneness".  Bake your cookies to the way that you like them. 

I hope you try these cookies! I think you will love them!