Sunday, June 4, 2017

Weekend Round-Up

 A chocolate weekend splurge: Chocolate Tart with Cocoa Whipped Cream
Cook's Notes: It's delicious, indulgent and easy to put together. The recipe comes from Food Network Magazine with a few modifications. It called for using a 9 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom but since I did not have one at current location I used a springform pan which worked just fine. I skipped the step spreading topping over filling layer and just used a dollop for each serving. For suggested garnish chocolate sprinkles or chocolate covered espresso beans as shown in the photo. 
Crust Ingredients: 
  • 30 Original Oreo cookies (not Double-Stuffed) crumbled 
  • pinch of salt
  • 5-6 TB. melted butter
Filling and Topping Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 TB. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. espresso powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
  • 4 oz. dark or bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup) 
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 TB. Kahlua
  • 3 TB. confectioners' sugar
  • chocolate sprinkles/chocolate covered espresso beans
Crust Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Pulse cookies (do in two batches) with salt in food processor until finely ground. Add in melted butter (start with 5 tablespoons first) and pulse until mixture starts to clump. Transfer to fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and firmly press on bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake until crust is firm about 10-12 minutes.
  • While the crust is still warm use the back of the spoon to gently press any cracks together. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and cool completely.    
Filling Directions:
  • Heat one cup of milk in medium saucepan until hot but not boiling. In a bowl whisk egg yolks, granulated sugar, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, espresso powder, vanilla, salt and remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Gradually whisk hot milk into egg yolk mixture and mix well. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan ,whisking constantly on medium low heat, until comes to a boil and thick like pudding 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add in chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. 
  • Pour filling into cooled crust and smooth the surface with a spatula. Place a sheet of wax paper lightly over the top of the surface or plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. 
  • Refrigerate at least two hours.     
Topping Directions: 
  • Beat the heavy cream, confectioner's sugar and remaining 3 TB. cocoa powder. At the end of beating the whip cream add in Kahlua. Spread topping over the surface of the tart filling or serve a dollop of topping with each piece of chocolate tart. Top with a garnish.

Recently I attended a funeral for a man who was part of the Hackensack community and Northwoods Arts Council. I was quite taken with this poem by Carl Sandburg when referenced by pastor. It was a poem that the man who died had memorized for his wife during their courtship days. This couple wintered in Florida so I found a photo from the area I had taken long ago. I imagined them sitting beside the ocean watching the sun set.   

by Carl Sandburg

The monotone of the rain is beautiful,
And the sudden rise and slow relapse
Of the long multitudinous rain.

The sun on the hills is beautiful,
Or a captured sunset sea-flung,
Bannered with fire and gold.

A face I know is beautiful--
With fire and gold of sky and sea,
And the peace of long warm rain.

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