Monday, April 28, 2014

Decadent Desserts

by Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.
Kentucky Derby Desserts
These are good desserts to enjoy while watching the Kentucky Derby on TV Saturday  and wearing a fancy hat. 

Kentucky produces over 90% of the nation's bourbon. It is not surprising there are a plethora of dessert recipes that use bourbon as an ingredient.  
Chocolate Pecan Bourbon Pie
Adapted from Michele Stuart’s "Perfect Pies"
Cook's notes: Make your own pie crust or use a prepared refrigerated pie crust 
  • prepared pie crust or homemade
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 brown sugar
  • 1 cup  dark corn syrup
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 2 TB. bourbon
  • 5 TB. melted butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 
  • Prepare pie shell and place in a 9-inch pie plate so the edges of the circle drop over the rim.
  • Using your thumb and index finger, crimp the edges of the pie shell.
  • Blind bake crust for 5 minutes (overlap 2 pieces of foil in center of pie shell-edges of foil will hang over the pan edge )
  • Remove foil and bake 2 minutes longer-set aside 
  • Reduce temperature to 325 degrees
  • For the filling: Use a mixer ans mix the eggs, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and bourbon. (Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl at least twice while mixing.)
  • Add in the warm melted butter and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the pecans and chocolate. Sprinkle the mixture over the bottom of the pie shell. Pour the filling over the nuts and chips.
  • Use strips of foil on outside edge of pie crust to prevent over browning 
  • Place the pie plate on a baking sheet, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the pie is firm. (The middle will remain a little loose but firm up after the pie is removed from the oven.)
  • Transfer the pie to a wire cooling rack, and let it cool for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
  • Serve with a drizzle of Bourbon Sauce or ice cream.
Note: This pie is best served at room temperature or warmed at 325 degree F for about 10 minutes. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 2 weeks.

Chocolate Bourbon Sauce
  • 3 TBS flour
  • 2 TBS cocoa
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 4 TBS butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup half n half
  • 2 TBS bourbon
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Thoroughly mix together the flour, cocoa, and salt. Add to melted butter, stirring until well incorporated.
  • Stir in cream, half and half, bourbon and sugar, whisking until smooth.
  • Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened on medium low.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Serve sauce warm over bread pudding, pancakes, ice cream, fruit, or whatever else sounds good.

Dark Chocolate Bourbon Torte
Cook's notes: The best part of this dessert is that it tastes decadent  but is not loaded with a lot of calories.
recipe from Southern Living 2008
  • 1/2 cup Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate morsels
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk 
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon 
  • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 egg whites 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup thawed reduced-fat whipped topping
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • Preheat oven to 300°. Coat bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  • Microwave chocolate morsels 50% power for 1 minute or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals.
  • Beat butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat 1 minute. Add milk and, if desired, bourbon; beat 1 minute. (Mixture will look curdled.) Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended. Gradually add cocoa and flour, beating at low speed just until blended.
  • Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold one-fourth of egg white mixture into batter; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 300° for 45 minutes or until set. (A wooden pick inserted in center will come out with just a few crumbs on it.) Remove torte from oven; immediately run tip of a small knife around edge of torte. Let cool on wire rack 30 minutes. (Torte will rise to top of pan while baking but will sink while it cools.) Remove sides of springform pan.
  • Spoon whipped topping into a zip-top plastic freezer bag. (Do not seal.) Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe dollops of whipped topping around base of torte. Sprinkle torte with powdered sugar and cocoa.

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