Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

Chocolate Sorbet

 

If there was ever a recipe to sum up a great discovery in the 1980’s, chocolate sorbet was it. Adored for its smooth texture and thin-like silhouette, it was often the choice for restaurant menus with the greats of Le Cirque, or Lutece. Remember those days?

Who did I turn to? Pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini has a great recipe; Revealing in the light taste of summer, this sorbet is very smooth and not too sweet. Keep some in the freezer for a quick chocolate fix.

 

Chocolate Sorbet

Adapted from Johnny Iuzinni’s cookbook Dessert Fourplay.

Makes 1 quart

 

3 cups less 2 tablespoons(690g) water

¼ cup (20g) nonfat milk powder

1 ½ (45g) invert sugar (or corn syrup)

¾ cup (150g) sugar

¼ cup (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder

3 ¼ oz (110g) unsweetened chocolate

  • Set up an ice bath in a large bowl.
  • Whisk the water and powder milk together in a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until it starts to boil. Whisk in the corn syrup and sugar and continue cooking until it’s all dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the cocoa powder and chocolate and cook, whisking until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Mix well with an immersion blender. Pour into a bowl and set over the prepared ice bath. Chill completely stirring often
  • Freeze in an ice cream maker. This can take a long time in a home-style ice cream maker. Pack into a plastic container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

 

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Kale Chips

Kale Chips

Because the human brain is a hungry beast!

Crispy Kale Chips

Serves 4 people

 

1 bunch curly Kale (about 1 ½ pounds), well washed and well dried

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350˚F.
  • Remove the stems from the kale and cut the leaves into large chunks. Place them in a bowl, drizzle olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss well.
  • Spread the kale on a baking sheet (or more than one baking sheet; if you put too much kale, it will steam rather than crisp, so it’s very important to spread the leaves well on the baking sheet) and bake in the oven until crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool at room temperature and serve.

 

Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

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Leticia

 

 

French Cheese Puffs

French Cheese Puffs

I’ve been making French Cheese Puffs, aka GOUGERES for years, and there is always a conflict in me because this is a delicious French version of cheese bread. As a Brazilian, how can I possibly opt for the French Cheese Puffs when my country is the king of cheese bread? So I went to therapy, debated my food conflicts, and decided that I love both, and will bake both. Just not at the same time. There is time for Brazilian cheese bread, and there is time for French Cheese Bread! Viva!

In honor of Bastille day, shall we bake some Gougeres? Feel free to bake these wonders any other time of the year—they are evergreen.

Most recipes for cheese puffs call for milk instead of water. Some call for a mixture of milk and water. Over the years, I realized that milk actually makes the cheese puffs less crunchy on the outside; so I’m leaving milk out of the recipe, and the recipe is still so moist inside. Take a bite of this open cheese puff through the screen! Hope you’ll bring it to life in your own kitchen!

French Cheese Puffs

 

French Cheese Puffs (Gougeres)

Makes 40 Gougeres

 

1 cup (235ml) water

1 stick + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (125g)

1 teaspoon (5g) Kosher salt

1 teaspoon (5g) sugar

Freshly ground pepper

Freshly ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon paprika

1 cup + 1 tablespoon (175g) all-purpose flour

3 to 4 eggs

2 cups (250g) finely grated Gruyere cheese

  • Center a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 375˚F.
  • In a medium saucepan, pour the water, butter, salt and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Add the flour in one stroke, and cook with a wooden spoon, now over low heat, until it all comes together as a ball.
  • Add the fresh pepper, nutmeg and paprika and continue mixing, until the dough leaves a light crust on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. You are looking for a smooth dough, nice and tender.
  • Transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and turn the mixer on low speed. Beat slowly for a minute to let the steam out. By the way, you CAN do this part manually, using a bowl and a wooden spoon, but the machine makes it easier and faster.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time. Now, here is the tricky part: depending on the humidity and temperature, you might need only 3 ½ eggs, or 4, or 4 ½ eggs. Be sure to add one egg at a time and beat well after each egg. How do you know if the dough needs another egg? You need at least 3 eggs (still adding one at a time). If you run your finger through the center of the dough, the dough should close slowly.If it doesn’t, then add another ½ egg (beat an egg with a fork in a small bowl), beat the dough, and check with your finger again.
  • Add the grated cheese and continue to beat slowly until it’s well mixed.
  • Prepare a sheet pan lined with silpat.
  • Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, form little balls of the dough, spacing them about an inch apart.
  • Bake in the oven until it’s firm, puffed and gorgeously golden, about 18 minutes, rotating once between baking time.
  • Serve warm or transfer the pan to cool. If you want to prepare them ahead of time, they re-heat very well; let them cool completely, place them in a zip lock bag and keep them in the fridge. Reheat in the oven for 5 minute, and serve.

 

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Leticia

 

 

 

Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp

Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp

The Taste of Darkness

Why can’t we resist black colored food?  Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp is such a case. Tinted with the ink of cuttlefish, this dark food became a favorite of my family. it goes really well with shrimp and tomato sauce. You can find the ink available in some Italian, Spanish and Japanese stores. Some fish mongers will also sell it. Or you can buy black pasta just like I did. I found it at Arthur’s Ave in New York, one of my favorite places to shop. There is absolutely nothing different than cooking this pasta from the other regular pasta that you already know.

Squid Ink Pasta

The Shrimp Stock:

In my opinion, it’s easy to discount’s the shrimp stock’s importance in this dish, especially when you have pasta water. But it’s an essential element, and it affects the flavor and texture of this Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp. Simply cook the shrimp shells in a hot pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, add cold water and bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 20 minutes.

Shrimp Stock

My kids stay with me over the range, half cooking, half talking every time we make this dish. Then we sit and enjoy a delicious dinner. The result is incredible as anything a restaurant can provide. There is that moment of silence when we close our eyes and take the first bite, before the familiar laughter, which is the best part of dinner.

Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp

Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp

Serves 4

1 lb black squid ink pasta (spaguitti is my preference but other shape will work)

Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 lb (454g) raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 large shallot, finely minced (about 4 tablespoons)

¼ cup white wine

1 cup shrimp stock from the shells, or chicken stock, plus more for tossing pasta (optional)

2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

 

  • Fill a pot with 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add a large pinch of salt. Add the pasta and stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is 2 minutes away from being al dente according to package instructions. Drain the pasta while saving some of the pasta water, just in case.
  • In a 12-inch skillet warm the olive oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and sauté over medium heat until they just start to turn orange, about 1 minute per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a bowl and cover with foil. Using the oil that is left in the pan, add the garlic and cook it just starts to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the shallots and cook over low heat, scraping the juices from the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the white wine and continue to scrape the pan until every precious bit is released from the pan and flavoring the shallots and garlic. Add the shrimp stock and bring to full boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the pasta and shrimp, tossing vigorously to distribute the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and finish with tomatoes and parsley. Transfer to warm bowls and serve hot.

 

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Leticia

 

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

It’s snowing outside. You’re wearing flannel shirts and velvet blankets. You are cozy in a soft couch and craving for the memories of your childhood hot chocolate. I got you! This Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon and Cocoa Nibs will satisfy your cravings and make you want to stay under the covers! Enjoy!

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate with Cocoa Nibs

Makes 4 small hot chocolates

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons organic cane sugar

1 cinnamon stick, more sticks to serve as garnish

4 ounces (115g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 teaspoons cocoa nibs for serving

 

1- Bring the milk, sugar, and cinnamon to a boil over medium heat.

2- Add the chocolate, reduce the heat to low, and whisk constantly until it becomes thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Yes, this is the secret to a good hot chocolate, you have to whisk non-stop until all of the water in the milk has evaporated and it becomes creamy.

3- Let it cool for 5 minutes.

4- Strain through a fine sieve and serve in small cups.

5- Garnish with cocoa nibs and a cinnamon stick.

 

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Leticia

Veal Scaloppine

Veal Scaloppine for Dinner

So, you need to feed a family of 4? I got you! The moment I started preparing for this delicious Veal Scaloppine, I knew it was a keeper. I usually buy the veal already cut into thin slices, but you can easily do it yourself but cutting a thin piece from the eye round and then pounding between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Beef or chicken are just as good. Have fun!

Veal Scaloppine

Serves 4

1 ½ lbs veal cutlets

½ cup all-purpose flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

3 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 ½ cups chicken stock

1 stick butter

1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley

 

  • Prepare the Veal Scaloppine: Season the veal on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a small bowl, and season with salt, pepper, paprika and nutmeg and mix well. Spread the flour on a sheet pan. Dredge each piece of veal in flour on both sides, shaking off the excess.

  • Pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a large skillet over medium heat, and swirl the oil to cover the pan. Working in batches (very important! You only want to add one layer of veal at a time. It takes me 3 batches to cook the veal), add 3-4 pieces of veal to the pan and cook until it just starts to turn very lightly golden on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat the procedure with all of the veal, and as they get cooked, place them on a shallow dish covered with aluminum foil to keep moist. Add more olive oil to each batch as you cook the veal.
  • Prepare the Sauce: Add shallots to the pan (if your pan is dry, add another tablespoon or so of olive oil to the pan) and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until it just cooked through, about 2 minutes.

  • Add the chicken stock and let it come to a full boil, then reduce the heat and let the stock concentrate and reduce by half, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the butter in pieces (make sure heat is at a bare minimum, as the heat can break the butter. If you don’t feel sure, turn the heat completely off— the butter will still melt, but keep whisking). When the butter is completely melted, the sauce should have some consistency to it, and remember, do not boil a butter sauce, so maintain heat at minimum. Add the lemon juice, and the veal pieces to the sauce. Cover the pan and warm everything together for 5 minutes, allowing the veal to braise gently in the sauce and become nice and tender. Distribute veal scaloppine onto 4 warm plates and spoon warm sauce on top. Garnish with parsley.

 

I’m so happy that you visited today! Thanks for reading and browsing my site!

If you like what you read, tell your friends about it,

I’d love to connect with you! Please do send comments and suggestions,

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And remember always,

Cook at home! Body Up! Health up! Wise up!

See you next time!

Leticia

low res cake

Tiramisu Birthday Cake

Tiramisu Cake

There are things in life that have a simple majesty.

A cake, for example is how we mark a special occasion. This January, I’m celebrating the new year; I’m also celebrating my birthday, but most importantly, I’m celebrating 15 years of cooking with my newly designed web site and a new cookbook on the way! After a decade of Brazilian oriented cooking, a new era of recipes seethes with the needs of our current times.

Tirami- who? Tiramisu Birthday Cake! if you’d like to celebrate anything in your life, I highly recommend this recipe! Inspired by Dorie Greenspan’s Baking book (love her!), this cake is absolutely delicious; a detour from the classic Tiramisu, but with all the authentic flavors of the beloved Italian dessert. Go ahead cake! This is your moment to be beautiful! Make a wish Leticia! The possibility of my wish coming true is actually very exciting!

Tiramisu Cake

Tiramisu Birthday Cake

Adapted by Dorie Greenspan’s Baking, From My Home to Yours

Makes 12 servings

For the Cake:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
1 ¼ sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup buttermilk

For the Expresso Extract:
2 tablespoons instant expresso powder
2 tablespoons boiling water
For the expresso syrup:
½ cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoons amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy

For the Filling and Frosting:

one 8-oz mascarpone cheese
½ cup confectioner’s sugar sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon amaretto, kahlua, or brandy
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 ½ oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter two 9 X 2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.

1- Make the Cake: Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and baking soda and salt.
2- Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternatively with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with an off-set spatula.

3- Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
4- Make the Extract: stir the expresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended. Set aside.
5- Make the Syrup: Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in 1 tablespoons of the expresso extract and the liqueur or brandy. Set aside.
6- To make the Filling and Frosting: Put the mascarpone, sugar vanilla and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth. Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a light touch.
7- Assemble the Cake: of the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long, serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. Place one layer right side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected with strips of parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, soak the layer with about one third of the expresso syrup. Smooth some of the mascarpone cream over the layer- use about 1 ¼ cups, and gently press and chopped chocolate into the filling. Put the second cake layer on the counter and soak the top of it with half the remaining expresso syrup, then turn the layer over and position it, soaked side down, over the filling. Soak the top of the cake with the remaining syrup.
8- For the frosting, whisk 1 tablespoons of the remaining expresso extract into the remaining mascarpone filling. Taste the frosting as you go to decide how much extract you want to add. If the frosting looks a bit too soft to spread over the cake, refrigerate it for 15 minutes or so. Refrigerate the cake too.
9- With a long metal icing spatula, smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake and over the top. I decorated my cake with chocolate shavings; but you can choose expresso beans, cocoa nibs, chocolate sprinkles, or just about any kind of pastry decoration you wish. Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours, or up to 2 days, before serving.
10- Remove the cake from the fridge 30 minutes to take out the chill; serve and enjoy!

 

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avocado toast

Avocado Toast With Eggs

Kids Eating Breakfast

My kids Bianca and Thomas, on a typical day, eating Avocado Toast with Eggs.

 

“Mom, can you make breakfast?” How about Avocado Toast with Eggs? At the turn of the year, this daily question made me think that pretty soon, my growing children will be going off to college. Like many professional urbanites, life gets too crazy, and it’s always a rush in the mornings. But over the years, I came to appreciate breakfast with them and for them. When I’m traveling for work, or leave the house before the crack of dawn, my kids get a breakfast sandwich at the deli. This experience, effortless and pleasurable in anticipation, is usually expensive, even when it’s at a theoretically inexpensive restaurant, like the local deli. And according to my kids, not always satisfying. So, we’ve incorporated this daily habit to our lives: breakfast at home. It takes all of 10 minutes to assemble this Avocado Toast at home. It would cost almost $12 at a restaurant or deli. The time we spend in the morning is precious; we talk about the agenda, our schedules and our immense to-do lists. In time, I came to recognize that preparing breakfast for my children is huge privilege, one that I’ll miss tremendously when they go off the college.

 

Avocado Toast With Egg

 

Avocado Toast With Eggs

 

Serves 2

2 ripe avocados, at room temperature

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 slices multi-grain bread

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

2 teaspoons chia seeds

4 eggs

 

Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Peel and place the avocado in a bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork or a masher. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Pour the olive oil into a medium non-stick skillet, over medium heat. Working with two eggs at a time, crack each egg directly into the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining 2 eggs.

While the eggs are cooking, toast the bread to a light golden color.

Spread each bread slice with the avocado mash; as soon as the eggs are done, place them on the avocado toast (cut to separate the eggs). Garnish with parsley and chia seeds. Serve Immediately.

Chocolate Peanut Cake

Chocolate Peanut Cake

When it comes to matters of food and cooking for the holidays, I have high standards, which makes this recipe a perfect feature for the festivities.

Not all recipes are easy. Just so you know. Composed of 4 different steps, this cake comes together in a sheet pan and can be frozen up to 3 months ahead of time. Look at the photo again: stay here!

This is truly fancy restaurant style dessert, adapted from Johnny Iuzzini ‘s cookbook Dessert Fourplay. He is a rock star pastry chef who worked for many years at Jean George’s restaurant in NYC. I love his work.

This recipe is a true gem. Godsent. It makes any home cook appear to be better than he or she really is, elevating average baking skills into something that approaches alchemy. Tell no one how many steps this takes though. Make it sound like a breeze, especially since you’ll forget about all the work after freezing the cake. I promise.

If you feel intimidated by it, don’t. I’m here with you, and I’ll be with you every step of the recipe, holding your hand in the kitchen while you make this recipe, and you’ll hear my voice in the procedure.

I’ve made this recipe a few times, so by now, I made my own adaptations and I’ll share a few tricks (like using parchment paper for the sponge; add the peanut butter at the ganache after it is done).

About the feuilletine: this is really the secret of this dessert. If you buy it in a pastry supply store, you are bound to buy a 5lb bag. So, I found these cookies that are made of feuilletine; just crunch them up with your hands (be careful not to over crush them).

ingredients

Hunting for praline paste is also a little time consuming, so if you want to make life easier, just use almond butter and call that your praline paste.

Chocolate Peanut Cake
Serves 8

Chocolate Peanut Praline

1 cup (250g) smooth peanut butter

1 cup (250g) hazelnut praline paste

4 oz (105g) white chocolate

8 oz (230g) feuilletine

Hazelnut Peanut Sponge

½ cup (50g) hazelnut flour

½ cup (50g) peanut flour

8 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 cup + 4 tablespoons (250g) sugar

8 egg whites

Pinch of cream of tartare

8 tablespoons chopped peanuts and hazelnuts

Chocolate Peanut Ganache

10 oz (324g) milk chocolate, chopped

1 ½ cups heavy cream

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup (250g) smooth peanut butter

Caramel Chocolate Mousse

2 cups + 3 tablespoons heavy cream

6 oz (170g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 tablespoon (50g) sugar

pinch salt

4 egg yolks

Cocoa powder to dust over the cake

  • Prepare the Chocolate Peanut Praline: Line a 12 X 18-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the peanut butter and praline paste in the food processor and pulse to combine, scraping the bowl.
  • Melt the chocolate over low heat in double boiler (without touching the water). At this point you can’t go anywhere or your chocolate will overheat. Use a rubber spatula and as soon as your chocolate is just melted, take it off the heat. Add to the food processor. Pulse to combine. Scrape into a bowl. Fold in the feuilletine and mix thoroughly, being careful not to break the pieces too much.
  • Feuiettine

    Feuiettine all crunched up

  • Pour the mixture into the prepared baking sheet and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly into the pan. It’s not super easy as the feuilletine will present some force against spreading, but just have patience and it will spread. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and freezer until needed.
  • Prepare the Hazelnut Peanut Sponge: Center a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat it to 350˚F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with grease, line with parchment paper, then spray grease again. (Warning: a silpat will not work well).
  • In a bowl, whisk the hazelnut flour, peanut flour, and all-purpose flour until is well mixed and light in texture.
  • Put the egg whites and a tine pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start beating the egg whites on low speed, slowly and gradually increasing the speed to medium and slowly adding one third of the sugar. Continue beating on medium until the whites develop more body. Add another one third of sugar and continue beating. Gradually increase the high speed as you add the remaining sugar and beat the whites at full speed until they are completely structured and looing shiny and glossy and at soft peaks. Remove from the mixer.
  • Carefully sprinkle the dry ingredients over the whites, and fold them with a rubber spatula. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and smooth it out with an off-set spatula. Scatter the nuts on top.
  • Bake in the oven until it just starts to get golden, about 8 minutes. Be very careful here. You are looking for a sponge that is completely malleable after baking. If you over bake, even by a few minutes, the sponge might get too hard and become more like a meringue than a sponge—you don’t want that.
  • Remove the pan from the oven, let it cool for 3 minutes, then careful peel off the parchment paper off of the sponge. Let cool on a rack, then transfer to a clean baking sheet—this is the first layer of your cake.
  • Now we are going to start assembling the cake: on the bottom, the sponge. Then, take the praline from the freezer, and invert on top of the sponge, pressing down firmly to make sure you don’t have any air bubbles between the layers. Peel off the parchment paper from the praline layer, and chill in the fridge while you prepare the Ganache and Mousse.
  • Prepare the Chocolate Peanut Ganache: Put the chocolate in a medium bowl (glass or stainless steel). Place the cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour over the chocolate (be sure it is finely chopped) and let it sit for one minute, to allow the heat of the cream to melt the chocolate. Using a rubber spatula, start mixing slowly, from the center to the edges, until the ganache comes together beautifully. When it’s nice and smooth, add the peanut butter, and continue mixing, until it’s smooth again. Let it cool completely to room temperature. But not that long that the ganache is set. 20 minutes should do, and only then, spread over the praline layer, using an off-set spatula to make sure it’s nice and smooth. Every time you add another layer to the cake, place it back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Prepare the Chocolate Mousse: Place 4 tablespoons of the heavy cream in a small bowl to be used in the caramel. Place the remaining heavy cream in the mixer of an electric mixer and whip to soft peaks. Transfer whipped cream to a bowl and reserve in the fridge for just a few minutes. Warning: remove from the fridge a few minutes before mixing in the mousse as you don’t want the whipped cream to be icy cold when mixing with the chocolate.
  • Melt the chocolate over the top of a double boiler on low heat, without touching the water, until the chocolate is just melted, mixing with a rubber spatula. Remove from the heat and let it sit at room temperature.
  • Put the sugar in a small pan and moisten with a few drops of water to make it moist. You’re looking for the consistency of wet sand, so about 1 tablespoon of water should be fine. Cook the sugar over medium heat, swirling the pan as it begins to color, until it riches a golden amber color. Pour in the cream from the bowl and mix well. Let it cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start beating on low speed and gradually increasing speed. When the yolks have developed some structure (if the yolks are too little on your bowl, feel free to whisk by hand), carefully pour the caramel (should not be too hot) into the yolks, and beat now at high speed until it’s higher in volume, thicker, fuller and completely cool.
  • Fold the melted chocolate into the yolks, mixing well.
  • Then fold in the whipped cream, using a rubber spatula, and making sure the mixture is homogeneous. This mousse is easy to break; work fast as you are dealing with temperature sensitive components here.
  • Spread the mousse evenly over the ganache layer on the baking sheet. Freeze overnight.
  • Remove the cake from the freezer and dust it lightly with cocoa powder. Use a knife dipped in hot water to cut the cake, cleaning the knife between each cut. You want to cut the cake while it’s still frozen, but you don’t want to serve it frozen. Keep the cake in the fridge until ready to serve. Cake can be served by itself, or, if you want to dress it up a little, serve with some chocolate sauce, or gold leaves, or some chocolate décor, or a caramel sorbet, or a chocolate sorbet… or anything that you might desire. You don’t need too much with this cake. It’s a lot of work, but worth it! Enjoy!
turkey salad recipe

Leftover Turkey Salad

Turkey leftovers? This unpretentious salad is simple, classic and makes a delicious lunch the day after. You can also use chicken instead of turkey.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 lb cooked turkey meat (preferably breast), cut into small cubes

½ cup diced Honeycrisp or Fuji apples, about ½ an apple

¾ cup diced celery, about 3 stalks (save some leaves for garnish)

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots

1/3 cup light Mayonnaise

1/3 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

½ cup almonds (or walnuts), lightly toasted

4 slices multi-grain bread

Procedure

  • In a bowl, place the turkey, apples, celery and shallots.
  • In a different bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard and lemon juice. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the sauce into the salad and fold everything with a rubber spatula.
  • Add the parsley and almonds and fold again.
  • Toast a slice of multigrain bread and pour the salad on top. Garnish with some celery leaves.

 

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