Chocolate Espresso Dacquoise

Chocolate Espresso Dacquoise
 
Meringue
3/4 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Buttercream
3/4 cup whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup (2 1/3 ounces) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons amaretto or water
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Ganache

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons corn syrup
12 whole hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
1 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted

For the meringue:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Using ruler and pencil, draw 13 by 10 1/2-inch rectangle on piece of parchment paper. Grease baking sheet and place parchment on it, ink side down.
Process almonds, hazelnuts, cornstarch, and salt in food processor until nuts are finely ground, 15 to 20 seconds. Add 1/2 cup sugar and pulse to combine, 1 to 2 pulse.
Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip whites to soft, billowy mounds, about 1 minute. With mixer running at medium-high speed, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and continue to whip until glossy, stiff peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Fold nut mixture into egg whites in 2 batches.
With offset spatula, spread meringue evenly into 13 by 10 1/2-inch rectangle on parchment, using lines on parchment as guide. Using spray bottle, evenly mist surface of meringue with water until glistening. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off oven and allow meringue to cool in oven for 1 1/2 hours. (Do not open oven during baking and cooling.) Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes. (Cooled meringue can be kept at room temperature, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days.)

For the buttercream:
Heat milk in small saucepan over medium heat until just simmering.

Meanwhile, whisk yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in bowl until smooth. Remove milk from heat and, whisking constantly, add half of milk to yolk mixture to temper. Whisking constantly, return tempered yolk mixture to remaining milk in saucepan. Return saucepan to medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is bubbling and thickens to consistency of warm pudding, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer pastry cream to bowl. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Before using, warm gently to room temperature in microwave at 50 percent power, stirring every 10 seconds.

Stir together amaretto and espresso powder; set aside. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter at medium speed until smooth and light, 3 to 4 minutes. Add pastry cream in 3 batches, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Add amaretto mixture and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes longer, scraping down bowl thoroughly halfway through mixing.
For the ganache:
Place chocolate in heatproof bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Pour cream mixture over chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Stir mixture until smooth. Set aside to cool until chocolate mounds slightly when dripped from spoon, about 5 minutes.
Carefully invert meringue and peel off parchment. Reinvert meringue and place on cutting board. Using serrated knife and gentle, repeated scoring motion, trim edges of meringue to form 12 by 10-inch rectangle. Discard trimmings. With long side of rectangle parallel to counter, use ruler to mark both long edges of meringue at 3-inch intervals. Using serrated knife, score surface of meringue by drawing knife toward you from mark on top edge to corresponding mark on bottom edge. Repeat scoring until meringue is fully cut through. Repeat until you have four 10 by 3-inch rectangles. (If any meringues break during cutting, use them as middle layers.)
Place 3 rectangles on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Using offset spatula, spread 1/4 cup ganache evenly over surface of each meringue. Refrigerate until ganache is firm, about 15 minutes. Set aside remaining ganache.
Using offset spatula, spread top of remaining rectangle with 1/2 cup buttercream; place on wire rack with ganache-coated meringues. Invert 1 ganache-coated meringue, place on top of buttercream, and press gently to level. Repeat, spreading meringue with 1/2 cup buttercream and topping with inverted ganache-coated meringue. Spread top with buttercream. Invert final ganache-coated strip on top of cake. Use 1 hand to steady top of cake and spread half of remaining buttercream to lightly coat sides of cake, then use remaining buttercream to coat top of cake. Smooth until cake resembles box. Refrigerate until buttercream is firm, about 2 hours. (Once buttercream is firm, assembled cake may be wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
Warm remaining ganache in heatproof bowl set over barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very fluid but not hot. Keeping assembled cake on wire rack, pour ganache over top of cake. Using offset spatula, spread ganache in thin, even layer over top of cake, letting excess flow down sides. Spread ganache over sides in thin layer (top must be completely covered, but some small gaps on sides are OK).
Garnish top of cake with hazelnuts. Holding bottom of cake with 1 hand, gently press almonds onto sides with other hand. Chill on wire rack, uncovered, for at least 3 hours or up to 12 hours. Transfer to platter. Cut into slices with sharp knife that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry before each slice. Serve.
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Austrian Chocolate Cake

Cake:

2 c milk
1.5 c sugar
1/2 lb butter
1/2 lb unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs, separated
2 1/3 c sifted cake flour
2 tsp baking powder

Praline powder:

1 c sugar
1/2 c almonds, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 c filberts, toasted and finely chopped

Praline butter cream:

1 stick butter, softened
1 c praline powder (recipe above)
1/4 c confectioner’s sugar

Garnish:

toasted almond halves

Directions:

  1. Combine milk, sugar, butter and chocolate, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Let cool slightly and beat in egg yolks and  the flour sifted with the baking powder.
  3. Beat 5 min by hand or 2 min with electric beater at med speed.
  4. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, and fold into the chocolate mixture.
  5. Pour into well buttered 10 in ring mold.
  6. Bake in 325 F oven for 50 min.
  7. DO NOT bake until dry and too firm – cake should be moist in the center when it is removed from the oven.
  8. Let the cake cool in the mold for 15 min before turning out.

Praline powder:

  1. Melt sugar in heavy 10 in pan.
  2. When melted and lightly colored, add finely chopped nuts.
  3. Pour into buttered flat pan to cool.
  4. When cool and set, crush to a powder with a rolling pin or in the food processor.

Praline butter cream:

  1. Cream butter in electric mixer.
  2. Gradually add praline powder and sugar, beating until smooth and creamy.

Putting it together:

  1. Cut cake in half horizontally.
  2. Spread with butter cream.
  3. Put halves back together.
  4. Decorate the top of the cake with the toasted almond halves.

French Chocolate Cake

Texture: rich and gooey; center will look undercooked
Cake refrigerates and freezes perfectly, but it should be brought to room temperature before serving so the glaze will become shiny again. It is easier to cut if refrigerated prior to serving.

Cake:

1 stick butter, softened
1.5 c blanched almonds
3/4 c chocolate pieces OR 4 oz semi sweet chocolate
2/3 c sugar
3 eggs
grated rind of 1 large orange
1/4 c very fine breadcrumbs (about 1 slice firm white bread)

Glaze:

2 oz (squares) unsweetened chocolate
1/4 c butter, softened and cut up
2 tbsp honey

Garnish:

toasted slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Use some of the butter and butter the bottom and sides of an 8 in round cake pan. Line bottom with parchment paper or wax paper. If you use wax paper, butter it too.
  2. Grind nuts in blender or food processor.
  3. Melt chocolate for cake in double boiler over hot not boiling water.
  4. Cream butter in kitchenaid on high until soft and light.
  5. Add sugar to kitchenaid gradually, beating constantly.
  6. When sugar has been added, star adding eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. Now batter will look curdled. That’s okay. It all comes together in the end.
  8. Stir in melted chocolate, ground nuts, orange peel, and bread crumbs with a rubber spatula.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  10. Bake in preheated 375 F oven for 25 min.
  11. Cool cake for 25 min, then run spatula around edges and turn the cake out onto a cake rack. Remove and discard the paper. Cool completely before glazing.

Glaze:

  1. Combine chocolate, butter and honey in top of double boiler. Let mixture melt over hot water.
  2. Take the pan off the heat and beat the chocolate mixture until cold and beginning to thicken.
  3. Place the cooled cake on a rack over wax paper and pour the glaze over it.
  4. Tip the cake so the glaze runs evenly over the top and down the sides.
  5. Smooth the sides if necessary with a metal spatula.
  6. Garland the rim of the cake with the nuts placed fairly close together.

 

French Pot de Creme

Amended from Martha Stewart Recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups half-and-half
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (10 pieces Ghirardelli dark 60% cacao squares)
1/4 cup sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghirardelli cocoa powder)
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp Godiva chocolate liqueur (optional)
2 tbsp Disaronno amaretto liqueur (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Bring half-and-half just to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, stir together yolks, vanilla, cocoa, salt, and liqueur if desired. With a fork, stir chocolate mixture until smooth, then gradually stir into yolk mixture. Pour through a fine sieve into a glass measuring cup.

Place 4 custard cups or ramekins (3 to 4 ounces each) in a shallow roasting pan, and divide chocolate mixture among them. Pour hot water into the pan so it reaches halfway up the sides of cups.

Bake until custards are almost set in centers, about 30 minutes (custards will firm as they cool). Carefully remove cups from hot-water bath; let cool slightly.

Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate. Just before serving, dollop with vanilla ice cream, blueberry compote, and strawberry compote if desired.

NOTE: I think I might have made this wrong. There was a little chocolate film/shell covering (maybe like a pudding skin?) on the top of the pot de creme. I don’t think Martha Stewart intended this. Or whatever, maybe she did. I don’t know. ANYWAY, I’m writing to say, don’t mess about trying to avoid this by adding cling film to the top of the ramekin to prevent the skin from forming or whatever. The chocolate skin is AWESOME, tastes DELICIOUS, and looks quite cool. Future amendment: Add more liquor to the recipe. Maybe a shot or two of whisky would be good? Something good, like Maker’s Mark? Yum yum. Definitely this should be added to the family rotation of recipes. Any any type of company recipe. It’s super easy and looks super impressive. It can be made ahead like three days, so you can spread out your company cooking. And it stores in easy to store ramekins (the corning ware ones with lids are the best – find them on Amazon!)

Strawberry, Chocolate, and Caramel Toppings

This is to top the cheesecake, chocolate cake, and waffles.
And ice cream. And… anything, really.


CARAMEL SAUCE:

Caramel Sauce

Yield: 3/4 cup

1 packed cup brown sugar
1/2 cup half-and-half
4 tablespoons butter
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Mix the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until it gets thicker.

Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further.

Turn off the heat, cool slightly and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold.

VERDICT: Best caramel sauce IN THE WORLD. Stop searching for any other recipe. I’m deleting Emeril’s recipe off this blog. With this perfection, you’ll never need another caramel sauce in your life. Never never.


EMERIL’s CHOCOLATE SAUCE:

Emeril's Chocolate Sauce

Yield: 1.5 cups

1.5 cups half and half
2 tablespoons butter
2 c semisweet chocolate chips (= one 12 oz bag)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the half-and-half and butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.

Heat the mixture until a thin paperlike skin appears on the top. Do not boil.

Add the chocolate and vanilla and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

Remove from the heat and let cool.

VERDICT: This is weird. It has poor color, doesn’t thicken well. I don’t know. Maybe with a little time it’ll be better? It has no sugar, so it feels like the sweetness is off.


STRAWBERRY TOPPING, BLUEBERRY TOPPING:

Strawberry Sauce Blueberry Sauce

Yield: 1 cup

1 pound fresh and frozen strawberries, chopped roughly (can also use blueberries, or raspberries, or any fruit you particularly like or have on hand)
1/2 c white sugar
1/4 tsp lime zest

DIRECTIONS:

In medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine above ingredients.

Stir and gently mash some strawberries and not others. Takes about 15-20 minutes for the sauce to thicken. (The more frozen fruits you have, the longer the cooking time on the stove – closer to a half hour than 20 min).

Remove from heat. Let cool. Sauce thickens as it cools.

VERDICT: Excellent. No need for another fruit compote recipe. This is perfect. Don’t overcook, you’ll end up making jam.

Baker’s Wellesley Fudge Cake

INGREDIENTS

1 pkg. (4 oz.) BAKER’S Unsweetened Chocolate
1-3/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
1-2/3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 350°F.

Microwave chocolate, 1/2 cup sugar and water in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool.

Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter and remaining sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each until well blended. Beat in flour mixture alternately with milk. Add chocolate mixture and vanilla; mix well. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round pans.

Bake 30 to 35 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Fill and frost with Baker’s One Bowl Chocolate Frosting.


Baker’s One Bowl Chocolate Frosting

INGREDIENTS

4 squares Baker’s unsweetened baking chocolate
1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk

DIRECTIONS

Microwave chocolate in large microwaveable bowl on high 1-1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.

Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool 5 minutes or to room temperature.

Add sugar, butter and vanilla.

Gradually add milk, beating with electric mixer on low speed until well blended.

If frosting becomes too thick, beat in additional milk by teaspoonfuls until frosting is of spreading consistency.

Baker’s One Bowl Chocolate Chunk Cookies

INGREDIENTS

2 pkg. (225 g each) Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
2 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 350°F.

Chop half the chocolate; set aside. Coarsely chop remaining chocolate; place in large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM 3 to 4 min. or until almost melted; stir until completely melted. Add butter; mix well. Add sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs; mix well. Stir in nuts and remaining chopped chocolate.

Drop 2 tablespoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 12 to 13 min. or until cookies are soft to the touch but tops are still slightly shiny. Cool on baking sheets 1 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

VARIATION

Cookies can be prepared without the nuts. Increase the flour to 3/4 cup to prevent excessive spreading of the dough as the cookies bake.

HOW TO STORE

Store in tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 10 days.