Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Midweek Surprise: Cherry Chocolate Focaccia

My PLAN had been to NOT cook last weekend. Give myself an opportunity to do something else (clean, nap, get my hair done). But then I ran across this recipe. And there was no turning back. Another recipe containing all the things I love.

Perfect for Sunday breakfast. I whipped it together Saturday night (not difficult), left it on the counter overnight and it was ready for us to eat as soon as we rolled out of bed.


TGIP Rating--Cherry Chocolate Focaccia--KEEPER.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Chocolate Mousse Pie with Caramel Whipped Cream

This recipe is in progress. It was good, but too rich. Even for me. Which means it's certainly not for the faint-hearted or those who can't eat chocolate after 7 pm because it disturbs their sleep. I'm dialing back the chocolate, decreasing the amount of mousse, and increasing the amount of caramel whipped cream. Stay tuned. And if you live near me, prepare to be invited over to be a guinea pig. When I get the recipe right, I think it will have been well worth the testing.

TGIP Rating--Chocolate Mousse Pie with Caramel Whipped Cream--IN PROGRESS. I already have notes on the recipe about what to change.

Next up: I bought myself this dear little book. I'm doing it. I'm making handpies.

Friday, May 4, 2012

French Macarons (chocolate)

You probably won't believe me when I tell you these are easy to make. Those "crinkled feet" (that's what the book calls them--cute, huh!) on the flat side of each cookie--don't they look like there's some ancient and extremely difficult process involved?

Something that French people are raised knowing how to do, but that would be beyond our (my?) American abilities? THESE COOKIES ARE EASY TO MAKE. I don't even know how those crinkled feet happened. I followed the directions, and they appeared. So, I'm saying that's all you need to do too: follow the directions.

I used a recipe from this:

What I like in this book is that it starts with some basic recipes for both cookies and fillings, and then presents more exotic flavors with tons of suggestions for yummy-sounding cookie/filling flavor combinations. It makes it seem like there are ONE THOUSAND kinds of macaron I could make. Which I like. I like it when my dance card is filled with recipes I want to try. And these are so delightful they may end up my new obsession. Here's what I like about them:
  • easy to transport
  • small enough that a "serving" doesn't kill your diet (especially if you make chocolate cookies with chocolate filling, which I did--so rich and delicious that ONE is ENOUGH)
  • look fancy and pretty without much effort
  • kind of surprising--they're so lightweight you think they'll explode like a meringue when you bite into them, but they don't;  they collapse in on themselves and reveal a chewy center that is completely unexpected
Also, they are "trending" right now (yeah, I just said that), so there are a million and one books devoted to the mighty macaron out there. Full of pretty. Dessert porn. I don't think we'll see "Macaron Wars" on the Food Network anytime soon, since the batter should sit on the pan for at least 15 minutes (ideally, longer) before baking.

BUT. Maybe we'll start seeing bakeries devoted to them?

The food processor is my friend.  Regular sugar with a bit of a whizzing around becomes superfine sugar. Add cocoa and a few other ingredients=macaron batter.

TGIP Rating--Chocolate Macarons--KEEPER. Lots more to learn. Lots more options to try.

Next up: A rework of an old recipe. mr. wants Chocolate Mousse Pie for his birthday. So I'm going to throw together a little of this and a little of this and a little of this and see what happens.