Eau de brownie is the perfume, which can be deceived by the pale beige shade of the outer shell — yet inside; it is luscious like a truffle with the completion and texture that makes a perfect combination.
You’ll Need :
For the Meringue
6 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
A couple of pinches of sea salt
1 teaspoon good quality balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
2 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
For the Topping
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups fresh blueberries
1/4-1/2 cup organic good quality blueberry jam
1-2 Tablespoons hot water
1 ounce shaved semi-or bittersweet chocolate, to finish
Preheat the oven to 350′ F Degrees. Line the backside of a baking sheet or the top of a 12′ inch round pizza pan. Draw a 9-inch circle on the parchment with a pencil and flip the paper over so that you can see the line, but it won’t touch the Pavlova. The meringue will spread while baking.
In a chilled mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until satiny soft peaks form begin to beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
Sprinkle in the salt, cocoa, vinegar. Then the chopped chocolate over and very gently fold everything together with a rubber spatula taking great caution not to deflate the egg whites.
Shape the Pavlova:
Secure the parchment to the baking sheet or pizza round with a dab of meringue underneath. Mound the meringue into the 9-inch circle, smoothing the sides in upward strokes and slightly plateau the top to hold the berries. Swirl the back of a palette knife against the egg whites for swirl like decoration.
Place the meringue in the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300’F Degrees. Bake the Pavlova for 60 to 90 minutes, should be slightly moist in the center. It’s ready when a crisp, dry crust forms on the outside, but the center feels sponge-like beneath your fingers. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and allow the meringue cool completely. You can leave it overnight if needed.
When you’re ready to serve, peel off the parchment and slide the cooled Pavlova onto a big plate. Whip the cream with sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
Combine the blueberry jam with a little warm water and mix until pourable.
Pile the whipped cream up high onto the meringue. Scatter with blueberries and shave chocolate, drizzle with blueberry jam and serve in wedges.
For us… the ” Grown-ups”- the holidays are a festive time. We travel to the homes of family and friends, or invite them into ours. We show off our children and indulge in recipes from our own childhoods. While we like to think the kids are enjoying themselves, that’s often not the case.
Unfortunately, for some children this is a time of crazy chaos, uncomfortable clothes that need to stay neat, sitting still for photographs, lengthy car rides and of course, getting kissed and hugged on by family members they may only see once or a twice a year. To them, – strangers. Children’s physical appearance and academic growth are usually in judgment during these annual meetings. Height, weight, age — grades, social standings. All these factors are what many people talk about when they don’t really know the child well enough to talk about anything else. To kids, it’s placing them in the hot seat.
Let’s face it – children would rather be grounded to their rooms for life than endure these holiday horrors. It’s not hard to imagine how all of this can cause the holidays to be a hassle and bring out the worst in them. This time of year should be fun for all! Grown-ups and children alike. Manners can be taught in a relaxed and fun way that offer up much better results than high expectations and awkward questioning.
Grandparents, parents and friends can help ease the “agony” of holiday gatherings by following some of these helpful hints on teaching children proper etiquette and good manners in a way that is beneficial to all.
1. The Menu- Face it, we would like them to try all the different and sometimes foreign dishes on the table- but having a few “kid friendly” and familiar dishes like homemade mac & cheese will bring a smile to their face. This also assures that they eat something that’s a little better for them than cake and without ensuing an argument with force feeding tactics.
2. The Attire – Allow them to bring a change of clothes along. Try to get picture-taking out of way as soon as possible and always before food is served. They’ll be much more comfortable and you’ll know for sure that there won’t be any punch on the front of that dress shirt.
3. Participation- Encourage children to participate in some of the meal preparation. This can become messy and slow things down a bit, but the pride they show when that dish comes to the table is worth it. Cooking together is a great way to enjoy spending time with your child. It allows you to teach them a valuable life skill – and even get a jump-start on passing down family cooking traditions.
4. Education – Teach them an etiquette rule for the day. A fun example would be how to make a toast. Explain to them that a toast should last only a few seconds and is meant to make others feel good. They can make a toast to welcome the family, to show special appreciation to a particular family member, or tell what they are grateful for. Remind them that the person being toasted should never drink to themselves.
5. Decorations – Let them be a part of decorating the holiday table. Send them on a scavenger hunt for holiday decorations to accessorize the table with. Go along with what they choose, it won’t be the perfect table but it will show creative holiday character and your family’s ability to work together.
6. Relaxation – Try to keep things light-hearted. Your children want to enjoy the holiday, so let them! If you’re hosting the get together- don’t use linens or tableware that will cause you to go into a panic when sticky fingers stain it or drop food on it. Before correcting your child for any behavior make sure that it’s truly warranted. Punish in private, praise in public. Expecting them to exude the same decorum as an adult is probably not very realistic. If you feel something must be addressed do so quietly and quickly. There’s no reason to go into a 20 minute lecture over placing elbows on the table in the middle of the meal and in the presence of your guests.
7. Indulgence – The holidays are special occasions. Will having a piece of pie, and a candy cane with hot chocolate really matter in the grand scheme of things? Maybe not but try to continue to practice healthy eating habits the majority of the time. Go ahead and let your kids be kids and sample annual gooey goodies.
8. Compliments- Show praise and compliment each child equally for all the considerate deeds they did that day. Let them know how grateful you are for them. Be sure to show the children how to compliment your hosts if your family is dining away from home.
9. Clean Up- Encourage them to be involved in the clean up, especially if you’re the host! There are lots of things they can help with. It will make things easier for you, and assure the littles will feel involved.
10. Activity – I don’t think I need to remind you what idle hands or idle minds can do. Prepare holiday crafts, choose family games appropriate for all ages. Have conversations at the dinner table that EVERYONE has the ability to participate. Ask related questions of the children when having a discussion at the dinner table — this will assure your children learn great social skills while feeling accepted.
All these activities will help to create positive holiday memories.
Place the butter in a pan over low heat and melt until brown and bubbly.
Swirl the pan over the heat until the butter begins to bubble, brown and start to smell nutty. Carefully not allowing the butter solids to burn. The fat will turn brown fast, so don’t walk away from this one. Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl to stop the cooking process, making sure to scrape up the brown bits for maximum flavor if it burns, discard and start over.
For the Cupcakes:
Heat the oven to 350F’ Degrees. Line 2 dozen medium-sized muffin tins with liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: the flour, spices, instant coffee, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the sugars, and then the melted butter on top. Add the eggs and beat well about 1-2 minutes. Drizzle in the stout and molasses on medium-low speed until combined.
Add dry mixture to wet mixture until the batter is lump-free about 2-4 additional minutes.
With a medium-sized ice cream scoop or portion control cup, evenly distribute the batter in the muffin tins. Bake until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed in the center, about 15-18 minutes.
Cool, frost and garnish with flakes of Maldon Salt, or Cocoa powder, drizzled chocolate or caramel. They are also delicious plain.
For the Frosting:
In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy about 2 minutes. Occasionally scraping the sides.
Turn off the mixer and add in one 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, change your setting to low-speed and beat until just combined. Increase the speed to high when most of the powdered sugar is absorbed. Add nut milk, vanilla extract, and brown butter and beat until creamy.
Add additional tablespoons of milk as needed if frosting is too stiff.
Make the frosting ahead of time, so it has time to chill. If chilled overnight or longer, remove from cooler and re-whip until the consistency becomes creamy and favorable for icing.
For a darker frosting, add sifted cocoa powder, and a pinch of instant coffee for a rich flavor but remember to increase the liquid to speadable consistancy.
Try this homemade marshmallow recipe as a base formula. You can make additions of essential oils or flavored extracts along with organic food colors to create a variety of fun flavors.
So easy, you won’t believe it. You will never want eat a store bought marshmallow again!
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to dissolve while you make the syrup.
Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240’F degrees on a candy thermometer.
With the mixer on low speed, very slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin running a small stream while increasing the speed of the mixer onto high. Whip until the mixture is very thick and cooling, about 15 minutes. Once the volume has increased by 1/2, add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
With a sieve, generously dust an 8 by 12-inch glass baking dish with confectioners’ sugar. Or spray generously with cooking spray. ( Avoid using any metal pans for this recipe)
Quickly pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth the top with wet, clean hands. ( move fast because it sets quickly) Dust more confectioners’ sugar on top. Allow to sit uncovered overnight or until set ( a few hours) if you can’t stand the suspense. The longer it sits the more successful your final cuts will be.
Turn the marshmallows onto a powered sugar dusted board and cut them in large squares. ( Use my cut technique with non-flavored dental floss )
Toss to dust all sides with more confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy!
Variations : Add 1 teaspoon of your favorite essential oils or extracts for flavors and 8-10 drops of organic food coloring for nice swirls or complete a solid pastel color.
A true prime rib that is labeled USDA Certified Prime, is heavily marbled with a generous amount of fat. These cuts are usually reserved for top restaurants and are hard to come by. It may be better to seek out a fine aged prime rib. Aged beef is similarly hard to find in the supermarket, but you’ll find aged prime rib and other cuts for sale online that come right to your door. But ask your butcher first!
The typical prime rib serving size is around 10 ounces per person; a roast weighing 7-7½ pounds should serve 11 or 12 people.
8 ribs – prime rib of beef. Center cut, chine bone removed. (make sure to give your butcher a friendly reminder to remove the chine bone) 1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves plus 1 large bunch 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves 1/8 cup fresh rosemary leaves 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves 1/4 cup fresh marjoram leaves 1/4 cup good quality olive oil 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and root removed 3 whole heads garlic, 1/4 cut off the top exposing cloves, skin and root left intact. 3 large shallots, cleaned roots removed 1 large onion, cleaned, cut into quarters 1 carrot, cleaned and sliced lengthwise 2 ribs of celery, cleaned cut in half 1/2 pound of unsalted butter, cut into pieces and kept cold 2 cups good quality Pinot Noir wine Preferably Maldon salt or large flat crystal salt Fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 475’F degrees. Clean and pick the leaves of the fresh herbs, reserving the stems. Except the extra bundle of parsley.
Prepare a large roasting pan with organic non-stick cooking spray. Check to make sure the roast will fit. Spray a cookie cooling rack with non-stick cooking spray, and lower into the roasting pan. Build a bed for the roast to lay on with the bundle of parsley, and all the stems left over from the herbs on top of the cookie rack. Add the carrot, onions quarters, the 3 whole heads of garlic on the side, and the celery ribs. Spritz everything with a good drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside.
Pat the roast dry with paper towel. Season the roast generously with salt and fresh ground pepper by hand massaging it in ; on all sides. Set aside. In the bowl of your food processor, add 4 cloves of garlic, all the fresh herbs except the extra bundle of parsley, add 2 shallots and pulse to small mince.
Add salt and pepper and cold butter, pulse to combine well- make a paste.
Place roast, horizontally with the fat side up, in the roasting pan. Smother the roast with the butter mixture paying extra attention to the sides of the roast. Add 1 cup of beef stock to the bottom of the roasting and roast for 1 1/2-2 hours (20 minutes per pound), for rare –or until internal temperature reaches your desired temp ranges. ( see roasting notes below ) Bathing with juices from the bottom of the roasting pan every twenty minutes, without fail!
Start with high heat oven of 425’F Degrees and reduce temperature to 325’F Degrees after about 15 minutes of oven time.
When roast reaches your desired internal temperature, remove from the oven and allow to rest a minimum 10-20 minutes.
Keep in mind the internal portion of the roast will continue to cook, make sure to remove it from the oven ten minutes prior to your desired internal temperature. See below for important roasting notes.
Variation: To serve roast without bone, use a sharp knife and cut between the bone and the flesh. With your slightly angled knife, saw towards the bone, carving slowly–keep following the bone to the bottom where it can be completely removed.
Use your meat thermometer about a half hour before the expected end of the roasting time. Make sure to insert it in the thickest part of the meat, not touching the fat or the bone.
When the internal temperature reaches 120° F Degrees pull it out of the oven, and cover with foil.
Allow the roast sit for twenty minutes.
While resting the roast will continue to cook, reaching a temperature of about 125° F Degrees to 130° F Degrees. This is called the endo-thermic reaction. Cooking from the inside out.
A nice resting period allows the juices and flavors to permeate back into the roast instead of all over the cutting board!
Rare measures in at 120° to 125° with a bright red center that grows slightly pinkish towards the exterior.
Medium rare measures between 130° F Degrees to 135° F Degrees and are characterized by the extremely pink center portion that grows brown towards the exterior.
Medium meats have a light pink center, brown outer portions and readings of about 140°F Degrees to 145°F Degrees.
Medium well is not pink at all, and is achieved at 150° F Degrees to 155° F Degrees.
Well done is at 160° F Degrees and above and is characterized by a uniform brown color.
Cover any exposed bones with a little oil and foil.
Red Wine Reduction
While roast is resting, strain drippings from the pan. Defat and add the remaining juices into a medium saucepan with wine, remaining garlic cloves, remaining chopped shallot.
Bring to a boil, and cook stirring occasionally until the liquid is reduced to 2/3’s of a cup, about 10 -15 minutes. Adjust heat as necessary to avoid boiling over or burning.
When liquid is reduced, remove from heat and whisk in remaining cold butter, 2 or 3 pieces at a time, waiting until pieces are melted before adding more. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover to keep warm and set aside. To serve beef cut between rib bones and serve bone in.
Who doesn’t want to wakeup holiday morning to the smell and taste of hot chocolate and roasting hazelnuts?
1 loaf Brioche or and Egg enriched bread, cut into 1 inch thick slices
3 cups heavy cream
6 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
9 large eggs, beaten
2 cups nut milk
1 cup of sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
Cinnamon spiked whipped cream
Generously butter a 13×9 baking dish. Arrange the bread slices in overlapping rows inside the baking dish.
Over low heat, slowing warm the cream, milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Whisk until chocolate is melted, about 5-8 minutes. Once the chocolate is completely melted, remove 1 cup mixture to an airtight container, set aside to cool. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
In the bowl of your standing mixer, whisk eggs, milk, sugar, and salt in on high speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Slowing begin tempering the egg mixture by introducing the hot chocolate and cream mixture in a slow, steady stream; this will help to avoid the eggs heating too quickly and scrambling.
Once combine, pour evenly over and between each layer of bread. Push down with your hands to soak the top — cover the dish tightly with foil and chill at least 2 hours.
Chef’s Note: If eggs do scramble, don’t worry, strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
When ready, remove from the refrigerator and allow it to sit about 20 minutes to bring a little closer to room temperature — Preheat oven to 350°F Degrees.
Bake foil-covered casserole until warmed through, and a knife inserted into the center feels warm to the touch, about 35 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until the bread is browned, 35–40 minutes longer.
Remove and allow to cool about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast hazelnuts in a small skillet over medium heat, occasionally tossing, until golden-brown and fragrant, 3–5 minutes.
Heat the reserved chocolate mixture until warm.
Serve French toast with chocolate sauce, top with toasted hazelnuts and add optional cinnamon-spiked whipped cream.
Assemble one day ahead before baking; cover tightly with foil and chill.
In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and water. Stir to dissolve and allow to rest for a few minutes or until it is foamy. Once foamy, whisk in the oil, yogurt, and egg until evenly combined.
In a separate medium bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour with the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. With your fingers shaped into a claw, stir until well combined. With your clean hand, continue adding flour, a half-cup at a time, until you can form a dough ball.
Turn the dough out onto a clean surface, dusted with flour. Continue to knead for about 3 minutes, adding small amounts of flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. The dough should be smooth and very soft but not sticky. Avoid adding excessive amounts of flour as you knead, as this can make the mixture too dry and stiff.
Loosely cover the dough and allow to rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
After it has doubled in size rises, gently flatten the dough into a disc and cut it into eight equal pieces. Shape each piece into a small ball.
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Working with one ball at a time, roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick or approximately 6-8 inches in diameter. Place the rolled out dough onto the hot skillet and cook until the bottom is golden brown, and large bubbles have formed on the surface.
Flip and cook the other side until golden brown. Stack the flatbread on a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm as you cook the remaining pieces.
In a small bowl, combine the hot chili paste, vinegar, and honey. Set aside.
For the Egg Naan:
Place Greek yogurt in another small bowl; season with salt. Set aside.
Heat oil and butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high, crack eggs into pan and cook, shaking pan occasionally to keep eggs from sticking to each other until edges are golden brown, about 2 minutes; season with salt.
Carefully tilt skillet toward you so oil pools at the front edge of the pan. Spoon the hot oil over egg whites, especially where they are still translucent, avoiding yolks, until set, about 1-2 minutes.
Warm Naan in a large cast-iron pan seasoned with a little oil. Remove to a warmed plate.
Divide the thick, tangy yogurt among the Naan, and top each with a fried egg, chili jam, scallions, microgreens, paprika, and fresh black pepper.
Molten chocolate lava cakes were developed by one of the worlds most famous chefs- Jean-Georges Vongerichten! He says more than a thousand of these cakes are made in his restaurants everyday.
The ingredient list is simple –butter, chocolate, eggs, sugar and flour which makes this recipe easy for busy people! Below is my adapted recipe.
6 ounces of unsalted butter plus melted butter for brushing the ramekin
Dutch processed Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
4 ounces good quality bittersweet (70% ) chocolate, chopped
2 large egg yolks
2 large whole eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 450’F Degrees. Brush 4 – 6 to 8 ounce ramekins with melted butter, and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside in a high sided roasting pan.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the the butter in 30-second intervals stirring in between each zap. If you don’t have a microwave melt on the stove top very low heat–melting the butter first then adding the chocolate. Whisk until smooth.
In a medium sized bowl, with a hand whisk, whip the egg yolks with the sugar until creamy about a minute. Add the chocolate mixture while continually stirring. Combine until completely incorporated. Add the flour and mix to combine.
Divide the batter among the buttered and dusted ramekins, filling them two-thirds full. Place pan on oven rack. Add 1/2-1 inch of hot water to the pan.
Bake the cakes in the center of the oven until the tops and sides are set but the centers are still soft, 7-9 minutes. You will notice the centers will still wiggle.
Let stand for 30 seconds, then run the tip of a knife around the rims and invert the cakes onto serving plates. Remove the ramekin just before serving. Waiting will help hold it’s shape.
Dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar and serve with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream!
Ahhhh, bourbon and brioche. Two of my favorite things!
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup currants
1-1/2 pound loaf of Brioche, torn into 1-2 inch chunks, or cut into cubes – allowed to stale overnight
1 1/2 cups whole milk or substitute
1/2 cup heavy cream or substitute
4 large eggs or substitute
1 cup pure organic cane sugar, or coconut sugar
1 Tablespoon good quality pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
4-6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce, see recipe below
Heat bourbon in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until warm. Pour the warmed bourbon over currants in a small bowl. Allow currants to reconstitute and plump. Minimum 1 hour, or overnight.
Cut brioche into large 1-2 inch chunks and let sit out overnight uncovered to stale– or if you didn’t have time –slightly toast in a warm 375’F oven on a cookie sheet until dry.
Begin by Preheat oven to 350’F degrees. With the butter, generously prepare an 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass casserole dish by rubbing it into the pan using your hands — set aside.
Add stale brioche pieces to a large mixing bowl and set aside. In an additional medium sized bowl, combine cream, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and allspice. With a wire whisk– beat well to combine.
Pour into bread mixture. Add reconstituted currents and any remaining soaking liquid. Add the nuts. Combine well and mix into the bread well without compromising the shape of the cubes.
Place the bread and egg mixture into the buttered baking dish and cover with plastic wrap.
Allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator for best results –or a minimum of an hour on the counter.
Bring to room temperature and bake until bread is browned around edges and custard is cooked, about 35 -40 minutes.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream and warm bourbon butterscotch sauce.
Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup organic corn syrup
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, cut open and scraped of seeds
2 Tablespoons good quality bourbon
pinch of salt
In a very small saucepan, heat the cream with the vanilla bean and the pod. Bring to a simmer for 1-2 minutes. Allow to cool. Set aside.
In a large, high sided, heavy bottomed saucepan, add the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt together and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
Let the mixture simmer for about 5-8 minutes, or until it’s reached a maple syrup type consistency. Remove from heat, whisk in the heavy cream into the sugar mixture discarding vanilla bean pod.
Add bourbon and stir until smooth. ( the mixture will bubble up after adding the cream take special precaution not to let it bubble over)
Note: The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Allow to cool completely and store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.