Thursday, February 28, 2008

Chocolate Nest Cake

6 oz. Soft Margarine
6 oz. Caster Sugar
3 Eggs, Beaten
6 oz. Self-Raising Flour
Grated Rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 oz. Plain Chocolate

The Decoration:
4 oz. Slightly Salted Butter
8 oz. Icing sugar, Sifted
4 oz. Plain chocolate
3 T. Apricot Jam
4 lg. Cadbury's Flake Bars
8 oz. Cadbury's Mini-eggs

Preheat oven to 375° F. Put margarine, caster sugar, eggs and self-raising flour in a bowl. Combine ingredients, then beat well until mixture is light in color and texture. Stir in orange rind and half of the juice.

Break up chocolate for cake. Place on a plate over a pan of simmering water until completely melted. Stir chocolate through cake mixture so that it is streaked. turn mixture into a greased 9 inch ring tin and spread level.

Bake cake in preheated oven for 30 minutes until spongy to touch. Turn on to a wire tray and leave to cool. Beat butter until soft, then gradually beat in icing sugar and remaining orange juice.

Melt chocolate for decoration, as before, and beat into buttercream to make a smooth mixture. Split cake in half. Spread both halves with jam and sandwich back together.

Place cake on a plate and, using a small palette knife, spread chocolate buttercream over surface, leaving it rough in appearance.

Using a sharp knife, cut flake bars into long pieces and arrange over cake to give a nest effect. Fill center of cake with Mini-eggs.

White Chocolate Easter Cake

3/4 cup half and half
3 ounces white chocolate; chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted pistachio nuts
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 teaspoons unsalted butter; room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
5 large egg whites
3 (1 pint baskets) strawberries

Buttercream Frosting
1 (7 ounce) package marzipan
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup
powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides.

Bring half and half to simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and vanilla and stir until smooth; cool to room temperature.

Finely grind pistachios with flour and baking powder in processor.

Using electric mixer, beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Add yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in flour mixture alternately with white chocolate mixture in two additions each.

Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peak form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in two additions. Divide batter between prepared pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center come out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Cut around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn out cakes onto racks; cool completely.

Hull and slice two baskets strawberries.

Place one cake layer on platter. Spread one cup buttercream over second cake layer and place cake, buttercream side down, atop berries. Press gently to adhere.

Spread remaining buttercream over top and sides of cake.

Chill cake until buttercream is firm, about one hour.

Knead marzipan in medium bowl to soften. Shape marzipan into disk. Dust work surface with two tablespoons powdered sugar. Roll out marzipan disk on powdered sugar to 9 1/2 inch round. Place on cake; press to adhere to top and gently press overhang onto sides of cake.

Beat whipping cream and remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar in large bowl to firm cakes. Transfer to large pastry bag fitted medium star tip. Pipe cream in side-by-side columns up sides of cake. Pipe border of rosettes around top edge of cake.

Refrigerate cake until cold, at least two hours.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

White Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake

Bake this at least one day ahead.

1 9 ounce package chocolate wafer cookies, broken into pieces
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 pound good quality white chocolate such as Lindt or Baker's, finely chopped
4 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 1 pint baskets strawberries, hulled, halved
1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons brandy

For crust: Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325F. Butter 10 inch diameter springform pan. Wrap outside of pan with foil. Finely grind cookies in processor. Add melted butter; process until crumbs are moist. Press crumbs onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling: Stir white chocolate in top of double boiler set over barely simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar, then salt; beat until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla; beat until well blended. Gradually add melted white chocolate, beating until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into crust.

Bake cake until top begins to brown but center still moves slightly when pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Open oven door slightly; turn off oven. Leave cake in oven 30 minutes. Chill cake uncovered overnight. Run small knife between pan sides and cake. Release pan sides.

Starting at outer edge of top of cake, arrange strawberry halves in slightly overlapping concentric circles, covering top completely. Stir preserves and brandy in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until mixture boils. Strain preserves. Brush glaze generously over strawberries, allowing some glaze to drip between berries.

Chocolate Decadence Tart

6 ounces semi sweet chocolate
2 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream

2 packages chocolate graham crackers
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg white

Blend graham crackers, melted butter and egg white in food processor until dough forms a ball. Press into a fluted tart shell and bake at 350F for 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler. Whisk eggs and heavy cream until smooth. Pour into cooled tart shell and refrigerate. Garnish with chocolate whipped cream.

Chocolate Whipped Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Whip ingredients till stiff peaks form.

Chocolate Fondue

3 (3-ounce) bars Toblerone
1/2 cup light or heavy cream
2 tablespoons Kirsch brandy or Cointreau

Break the Toblerone into separate triangular pieces. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan or small chafing dish. Stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Serve in a chafing dish over low heat.

For dunkables, serve each person a plate with one, or a combination, of the following:

Angelfood cake or ladyfingers, cut in chunks
Orange or tangerine sections
Sliced strawberries or bananas
Profiteroles or puff pastry

Yield: 4 servings

Chocolate Cherry Puffs

Puff pastry
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 can bing cherries
chocolate sauce

Cut puffy pastry sheets into six 4 inch triangles, bake until golden. Beat heavy cream in cold mixer until whipped, fold in powdered sugar and cocoa, chill. Combine remaining ingredients in sauce pan, cook until thickened, let cool. To assemble cut pastry in half, fill with cherry mixture and top with chocolate cream. Place top back on, sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Serve immediately.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

White Chocolate Berry Pie

Category: Holiday Foods / Valentines Day
Filled with fresh ingredients and delightfully decadent, this rich pie is so easy you could even have it on a weeknight! Your family will rave.
Serving: 8 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes

5 squares (1 oz. each) white baking chocolate, divided
2 tablespoons milk
1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel (zest)
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
1 9-inch graham cracker crust
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1. In a microwave or double boiler, melt four squares of chocolate with milk. Cool to room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth. Beat in orange peel and melted chocolate. Fold in whipped cream. Spread into crust. Arrange strawberries on top. Melt remaining chocolate; drizzle over berries.

3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Keep refrigerated.

Triple Chocolate Rum Cake

Category: Holiday Foods / Valentines Day
Serves 10 to 12

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 2.8 oz box chocolate flavored instant pudding
1/2 cup rum
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening (melted)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


4 TB butter
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

Optional Toppings

powdered sugar
fresh raspberries
whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray and flour a bunt pan. Mix all cake ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 2 minutes.Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with chocolate
chips and gently swirl them into the batter. Bake the cake for 45 minutes or until done when tested with a toothpick. Pull cake from oven and set it aside on a wire rack. Immediately make the glaze by bringing butter, rum, and sugar, to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.Using a toothpick, poke holes all over the bottom of the hot cake. Slowly pour glaze over the bottom of the cake and let soak in and cool completely. Remove cake from pan, dust with powdered sugar and serve, if desired, with raspberries and whipped cream.

Chocolate Drizzled Berry Parfaits

Category: Special Diets / Diabetic
Yield: 6 servings

1 pk (4-serving size) JELL-O
1/2 c Thawed COOL WHIP LITE
-Brand Strawberry Flavor -Whipped Topping
-Sugar Free Gelatin 6 Whole strawberries
3/4 c Boiling water
1 oz BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 c Cold orange juice -melted
Ice cubes

Completely dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Pour into blender
container. Combine orange juice and ice cubes to make 1 1/4 cups. Add to
gelatin; stir until ice is partially melted; cover. Blend on high speed 10
seconds. Add whipped topping; cover. Blend 15 seconds.
Pour 1/2 of the mixture into 6 straight-sided dessert glasses; let stand
1 minute. Fill glasses with remaining mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour or until
Garnish with strawberries and drizzle with melted chocolate just before
serving. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: calories- 50, protein - 2 gm., fat
~ 2 gm., carbohydrates - 7 gm., cholesterol - 0 mg., sodium - 40 mg.
Diabetic Exchanges: Fruit - 1/2 *, Fat - 1/2.
* A fruit exchange is used to describe this recipe since most of its
carbohydrate value comes from simple sugars. However, this recipe is not
the nutritional equivalent of a fruit.

Chris Agostarola

Chocolate Cream Mousse

Category: Special Diets / Diabetic
Yield: 1 servings

1 pk (1-oz) Low cal
1/2 ts Butter flavoring -chocolate pudding
1 Egg white
1 1/2 c Skim milk
2 ts Fructose
1/2 ts Grand mariner
4 Tb Prepared low calorie topping

In small bowl, combine pudding mix and milk. Microwave at HIGH 5-7
minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring 2-3 times. Stir in
Grand Mariner and butter flavoring. Cover top of pudding with wax
paper. Let cool. In small bowl combine egg white and fructose. Whip
until egg whites form stiff peaks. Fold in pudding. Spoon in serving
dishes, chill. Serve with low-calorie whipped topping.

Chris Agostarola

Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

Category: Special Diets / Diabetic
1/4 c Semisweet chocolate chips;
1 ts Chocolate flavoring;
2 Large egg whites; (optional)
1/4 ts Cream of tartar;
1/8 ts Salt;
1 ts Vanilla;
2 1/2 c Flaked coconut;

Melt chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler or in a micowave
oven. Set aside and cool to room temperature. Place egg whites and
cream of tartar in a mixer bowl and beat at high speed, using a whip,
until peaks are formed. Add sugar gradually while continuing to beat
at high speed. Add flavorings and salt to meringue, beating at low
speed. Add melted clocolate, continuing to beat at slow speed. Remove
the whip and stir the coconut into the margingue with a spoon. Drop
by heaping tablespoon onto a cookie sheet that have been sprayed with
pan spray or lined with aluminum foil. Bake at 325 for about 20
minutes, or until marcroons are not quite firm. Remove loosly
cpvered container in a dry place at room temperature. Keep in a
loosely covered container in a dry place at room temperature, or
freeze until needed. Do not cover tightly if storing at room
temperature. Yield: 20 servings

Food Exchanges per serving: 2/3 STARCH/BREAD EXCHANGE + 1 FAT EXCHANGE
Calories: 86, Cho: 10g, PRO: 1g, FAT: 5g, NA:22mg, Cholesterol:0

Chris Agostarola

Brownies Divine

Category: Special Diets / Diabetic

Yield: 16 servings

1/2 c Diet margarine
2 Eggs
1 1/4 c Sugar replacement
3/4 c Flour
1 Square unsweetened chocolate
1 ts Baking powder
1 ts Vanilla extract
1/2 c Nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream margarine and sugar replacement
until light and fluffy. Place chocolate in aluminum foil; melt over
boiling water. Stir chocolate into margarine mixture; beat until smooth.
Beat in vanilla and eggs. Sift and stir together flour and baking powder;
add nuts; stir this mixture into chocolate mixture until smooth. Grease an
8" square pan; pour in batter; bake until brownies are shiny, about 30
minutes. Cool in pan; cut into 16 pieces. Serve cool.

Nutritional information per brownie: calories - 100 Diabetic exchanges
per brownie: 1/2 Bread, 1 1/2 Fat