I recently attended an amazing chocolate class at Eataly, taught by food historian, author and chocolate expert, Francine Segan. The class was hosted by Baci Perugina and the legendary Perugina Scuola del Cioccolato in Italy.
We had the opportunity to create our own Baci chocolate confections, including
and Chocolate Dessert Pasta
while sampling bubbly Italian Prosecco.
Baci, which means “kisses” in Italian, are still made from a coveted original recipe and consist of a dark, silky chocolate exterior that envelopes gianduia, a sensuous whipped chocolate filling blended with finely chopped hazelnuts, then topped with a whole hazelnut.
Baci was created by Luisa Spagnoli, co-founder of Perugina in 1922. Inspired by pure passion, she set out to create a unique confection as grand as her deep feelings of love for a special someone. Legend says that Luisa would lovingly wrap secret love messages around the Baci she created for her lover. Once introduced to the public, Baci became extremely popular, appealing to young lovers browsing sweet shops of Perugia, Italy. Nearly 100 years later, the original recipe remains unchanged, and each Baci remains ensconced in a love note that reflects the sentiments of love, affection and friendship – and is the Italian way to say “I Love You” worldwide.
Check out the great photos and recipes from the class below and keep scrolling to enter to win the Baci chocolate giveaway (2 lucky winners will receive a 15-piece box of Baci Dark Chocolates!)
- 2 ounces Gianduia chocolate
- 12 whole hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons ground hazelnuts
- 3 ounces Perugina 51% cocoa dark chocolate
- In a food processor, blend the Gianduia chocolate and ground hazelnuts together at low speed until they are well blended and a paste is created.
- Roll the paste into a rope about the width of a wine cork. Cut into 12 cylindrical pieces.
- Melt dark chocolate and heat to 104 degrees F. Drop 3/4 of the dark chocolate on to a marble or steel table. Temper the chocolate by melting it continuously with 2 spatulas until the temperature has reached 80.6 degrees F.
- Add the cooler tempered chocolate to the 1/4 tempered chocolate and mix well. The combined chocolate should have a temperature of 87.8 degrees F.
- Place a whole hazelnut on top of each cylinder of gianduia.
- With a fork, dip each confection into the dark chocolate twice before placing it on a piece of wax paper. Let it rest for about 5 minutes until the shininess has disappeared and the chocolate looks darker and crisp.
- 1 piecrust, store bought or home made
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup, 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup Italian hazelnut liquer (such as Frangelico)
- 18 Perugina Baci candies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a 10-inch pie pan with rolled out pie crust.
- Using an electric hand mixer beat the flour, sugar, eggs, butter and liqueur in a bowl.
- Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Place the Baci candies, nut side up, into the batter.
- Bake for about 45 minutes until the top crust is set.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting.
Coppe di Cioccolato (Chocolate Cups)
- 7 ounces + 9 ounces Perugina 51% cocoa dark chocolate
- 1.5 ounces fresh dairy cream
- 1 ounce butter
- 1 ounce Liquor - hazelnut (Frangelico) or lemon (Limoncello)
- 2 Baci Perugina candies, chopped
- Melt 7 ounces dark chocolate and cream together in a double boiler.
- Add the butter and gently mix to incorporate. When done, add the liquor and set chocolate "ganache" aside.
- Melt the remaining 9 ounces chocolate and temper by melting it continuously with 2 spatulas until the temperature has reached 80.6 degrees F.
- Drop in a mold for pralines to create the cups.
- Fill each cup with the cream and chocolate ganache.
- Sprinkle the chopped Baci over the filled cups.
Baci Chocolate Dessert Pasta
Baci are tossed with hot pasta, creating a rich, silky sauce, which pops with roasted hazelnut flavor. It's wonderful plain, but you can dress it up with a splash of hazelnut liqueur and a dollop of whipped cream.
- 1/2 pound spaghetti
- 12 Perugina Baci candies
- Whipped cream or mascarpone cheese; hazelnut liqueur such as Frangelico (optional)
- Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
- Put 1 whole Baci in each of 4 coffee cups, wine glasses or dessert bowls.
- Divide the hot pasta among them and top each with 2 more coarsely crushed Baci.
- Serve immediately, topped with a dollop of whipped cream or mascarpone cheese and splash with some hazelnut liqueur.
Baci Perugina Chocolate Giveaway!
*THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED – CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2 WINNERS, TROY AND SIMON!
I’m proud to host a giveaway for 2 lucky winners to receive a 15-piece box of Baci Perugina Dark Chocolates courtesy of Baci Perugina and Bender Hammerling Group! All you need to do is leave a comment below telling me why you love chocolate and your favorite chocolate recipe idea.
*For additional entries, follow Artful Gourmet on Facebook and Twitter and let me know you’ve done so.
**Follow Baci Perugina on Facebook and Pinterest for even more giveaway entries, leaving separate comments below that you have done so.
Make sure to enter your email address (not public) with your comments so I can contact the winners to receive their Baci chocolates.
***Giveaway begins on Saturday, October 20th and 2 winners will randomly be chosen from the comment entries below on Thursday, November 1st at 12 pm EST.
Good luck and enjoy the recipes!
Look for Perugina and Baci Chocolate at Eataly and other fine shops, or online at Colavitastore.com
La Tartine Cookbook Giveaway!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED FOR ENTRIES. CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER,
***(Check back for our next awesome cookbook giveaway in the next week!)***
Enter now for a chance to win a copy of La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook! Starting today (5/3/2012), I am running a giveaway for one (1) La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook, courtesy of Roost Books. The giveaway runs until 5/13/2012 at 12:00 AM EST.
To enter the giveaway (open to US/Canadian residents only):
*** VERY IMPORTANT! *** Leave a separate comment for EACH of your entries or only one entry will be counted. For example, leave your first comment about your Spring dish or ingredient and why you want to win the cookbook, then add another comment to say “I follow you on Twitter”, another to say “I follow you on Pinterest”, etc. If you already follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and/or Facebook let me know as well, since this counts as an entry.
*NOTE: Please make sure to provide your current email address (which won’t be visible on the blog) so I can reach you if you win.
I will randomly draw one lucky winner on Sunday, May 13 at 12AM EST. Good Luck and enjoy the recipes and video from La Tartine Gourmande below!
If you haven’t seen the food blog LaTartineGourmande.com or heard about the author Beatrice Peltre – Chef, Writer, Recipe Developer and Photographer, then you absolutely need to continue reading on! I recently purchased a copy of her new cookbook La Tartine Gourmande: Recipes for an Inspired Life, which is a delicious, full-color cookbook filled with beautiful, fresh, simple recipes and gorgeous food photography. She has been such an inspiration to me as a Chef, food writer and photographer, and I’ve been following her site for a few years now — I was so excited when her new cookbook came out that I wanted to do a review and giveaway to share her fabulous recipes and photos with my readers.
The cookbook is full of amazing recipes made with whole, fresh ingredients based on French-based techniques. The recipes are beautifully simple and easy enough to make at home or for entertaining friends and family. The book is written in an honest and down-to-earth voice, with stories and recipes based on Bea’s French background and other places she has lived or traveled to such as Denmark, New Zealand and Boston. Bea brings a creative twist to everyday recipes and uses only the freshest ingredients and gluten-free whole grains such as millet, quinoa, buckwheat, and nut flours. She shares stories of cooking with her daughter (Lulu) and takes you inside her kitchen with tales of culinary delight.
Her inspiring recipes are full of bright flavors and colorful fruits and vegetables and tantalizing baked goods. Organized by Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner and Desserts, she offers menus within each category for different occasions: The Picnic, Casual Lunch with Friends, The Party with Small Bites, Sophisticated and Elegant Dinners, etc. You’ll find mouthwatering recipes such as Cherry Tomato Tartlets Tatin, Saffron-flavored Crab and Watercress Souffle, and Tagliatelle with Zucchini, Lime and Parmesan. Her gorgeous desserts include Chocolate and Plum Almond Cake with Cinnamon and Apple and Pear Verrines with Millet Crumble and Vanilla Custard and many more luscious creations. Bea has been generous enough to share two of her recipes from the new cookbook below: her lovely Summer Vegetable Tian, and tantalizing dessert Cardamom Chocolate Creme Caramel. Enjoy!
Summer Vegetable Tian
Summer Vegetable Tian
Oh the joy of a melt-in-the-mouth vegetable tian! I have a true weakness for this dish. Originally from the South of France, a tian is a dish in which summer vegetables —similar to those used in a ratatouille — are layered and baked slowly in a low-heated oven. The result is melting layers of flavors and scents that transport you to the Mediterranean. During the summer, when I can get wonderfully aromatic vegetables at the farmers’ market, this is a meal we enjoy weekly. Also, to simplify dinner when you’re busy, prepare the dish ahead of time, or even the day before.
1 tablespoon chopped lemon thyme or regular thyme
¼ cup chopped basil
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 Italian eggplants (280 g; 10 oz), sliced into thin rounds
2 zucchini (400 g; 14 oz), thinly sliced (use a mandoline if you have one)
3 to 4 ripe tomatoes (550 g; 19 ½ oz), thinly sliced
2 fennel bulbs (280 g; 10 oz), thinly sliced (use a mandolin if you have one)
In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs and garlic. Place the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle them with sea salt. Let them rest for 30 minutes so the moisture releases. Pat dry with paper towels.
Preheat the oven to 320 degrees F (160 degrees C).
Brush a large oven dish with oil and layer your vegetables into it in this order: 1 layer of tomatoes, 2 layers of zucchini, 1 of eggplant, 1 of fennel; repeat this pattern until you run out of vegetables, adding some of the chopped herbs and garlic each time between layers. Season with sea salt and pepper and drizzle generously with oil.
Place the tian in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. Check regularly to make sure that they do not brown too quickly, covering the dish with a piece of foil paper if that’s the case. Serve warm with a green salad and grilled meat or fish.
Cardamom Chocolate Creme Caramel
Cardamom Chocolate Crème Caramel
This attractive dessert is made for people like me and Philip who cannot resist anything described with words like “dark chocolate” and “custard.” Maybe you are one of these people too? It offers a rich silky aromatic chocolate flan-like cream balanced by a light caramel sauce that you’ll want to dip your fingers into.
You will need:
Six 6-ounce ramekins
Canola oil, for the ramekins
For the caramel:
½ cup (100 g: 3 ½ oz) fine granulated white sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon hot water
For the chocolate custard:
2 ¼ cups (530 ml) whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out
5 green cardamom pods, crushed
3 oz (90 g) dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons blond cane sugar
Unsweetened cocoa powder, to dust
Oil six 6-ounce ramekins; set aside.
To prepare the caramel: Heat the sugar and cold water in a small pot. Swirl the pot in a circular movement so that the sugar absorbs the water. Bring to a boil, then simmer at a medium heat — do not stir the sugar at this point, although you can swirl the pot occasionally — and watch the caramel develop. It will be ready when it’s golden in color, which takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the hot water, and stir quickly. Pour the caramel into the oiled ramekins, making sure to coat the bottom and sides; set aside.
Preheat the oven to 300ºF (150ºC).
To prepare the custard: In a pot, combine the milk with the vanilla bean and seeds and cardamom pods and bring to a boil, making sure that it doesn’t overflow. When it boils, remove from the heat and add the chocolate, whisking quickly so that the chocolate melts evenly. Cover and let infuse for 20 minutes. Discard the vanilla bean and cardamom, and using a fine sieve or chinois, strain the chocolate milk.
In the meantime, using a stand mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar for 1 minute. Pour the chocolate milk in and stir quickly. With a spoon, remove any foam that might have formed at the surface. Divide the chocolate custard among the 6 caramel- filled ramekins and place them in a water bath (see Basic Cooking Techniques, page 27, for instructions). Place the custards in the oven and cook for about 50 minutes. To check if they are ready, jiggle the ramekins a little —the center of the cream should be almost set but not fully (they’ll finish setting once they cool down). Remove the ramekins from the oven and let cool completely. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight, until the custard is completely set.
To unmold the crème caramel easily, dip the ramekins in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, taking care to not let the water spill in. Run the blade of a knife between the custard and the edge of the ramekins. Turn onto a plate and serve with dusted cocoa on top.
La Tartine Gourmande from Unusually Fine on Vimeo.
Watch the premiere book trailer for the new La Tartine Gourmande cookbook. Music: “The Winter Song” by the band Au Revoir Simone: www.aurevoirsimone.com Video: Margaret Singer & Max Freeman of Unusually Fine: www.unusuallyfine.com
For more great recipes and inspiration, visit Bea’s website La Tartine Gourmande
Click here to order your copy of Bea’s Cookbook La Tartine Gourmande
This is a non-paid sponsored post and cookbook giveaway courtesy of Beatrice Peltre and Roost Books.
It’s that time of year again when love is in the air and we’re looking for a romantic dinner to make at home for Valentine’s Day. This is a luscious dinner menu that will surely impress your loved one – it’s fairly easy and quick to make too. After all, who wants to be slaving away in the kitchen when your sweetie’s in the other room? You’ll love this savory steak recipe – sauteed and served with a cognac, cream and mustard sauce with a side of roasted garlic and roasted potatoes with garlic and herbs. The mixed greens salad is topped with a creamy shallot vinaigrette dressing and for dessert I’ve included a recipe for a sinfully delicious Chocolate Souffle with Grand Marnier, which can also be made with a splash of dark rum or raspberry Frambois liqueur. Who needs to go out in the cold when you can make a yummy dinner at home? Simply LOVE-LY.
Steak with Cognac Mustard Cream Sauce
Sauteed Steak with Cognac Mustard Cream
Two 3/4 lb steaks (3/4 inch thick) – Delmonico, T-bone, Porterhouse, Sirloin, Strip
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 tbsp cognac
4 tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp plus 1 tsp Dijon mustard
Cut excess fat from the steaks and make small incisions around the outside where there is gristle to prevent steaks from curling.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, and season steak on both sides with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, add the steaks and saute 2-3 minutes per side (rare) or 4 minutes per side (medium) and remove steaks to a platter, tenting with foil to keep warm.
Remove pan from the heat and discard any fat. Add the cognac, stirring with the juices and scraping brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Return the pan to high heat and reduce the pan juices and cognac by half, about 3-5 minutes. Add the cream and continue to boil sauce until reduced by half again, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the mustard and remove from the heat. Slice the steak and pour the mustard cream sauce over the steak. Serve with roasted potatoes, garlic and mixed greens salad. A hearty bold red would be delicious to sip along with it!!
Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs
Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs
8-10 medium potatoes (Yukon Gold, Fingerlings or New Potatoes)
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tbsp chopped herbs (parsley, chervil, tarragon, chives or rosemary)
Cut potatoes in quarters or eighths and drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle them with chopped garlic and herbs and some kosher salt. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown about 45 minutes.
1-2 heads of garlic
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
If you want to roast some garlic along with the steak and potatoes, simply chop up the top of the garlic head to expose the cloves, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some salt over them. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast until soft, about 40 minutes. Squeeze the garlic from the skin and mix in with the roasted potatoes and sauteed steak (or rub over toasted crusty French bread as a creamy garlic topping – YUM!)
Mixed Greens Salad
Mixed Greens with Creamy Shallot Vinaigrette
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp wine vinegar (red, white or champagne)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp minced shallots
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
4-6 cups mixed greens (arugula, endive, escarole or chicory)
In a small bowl, beat 1 egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and minced shallot. Add olive oil in a slow and steady stream to the mixture and blend well with a whisk to emulsify into a vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add some fresh chopped herbs to the dressing if desired.
Note: Vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container. Makes 8 servings.
7 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tbsp Grand Marnier (can substitute Raspberry Framboise liqueur or Dark Rum)
4 egg yolks
1/4 c sugar
8 egg whites, room temp
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter 6 individual souffle molds and coat with sugar.
Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a medium saucepan and remove from the heat. Place chocolate and liqueur in a heatproof bowl and set it on top of the saucepan. Stir occassionally to melt the chocolate evenly. When the chocolate has melted, remove the pan and cool the chocolate mixture to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, beat the yolks to break up and add 2 tablespoons of the sugar gradually, and beat until the ribbon is formed. Add to the chocolate and blend. (Reserve some of the chocolate sauce for pouring into the center before serving).
Beat the egg whites with a whisk, adding the remaining sugar by tablespoons, to the stiff peak stage. Fold into the chocolate mixture and fill the molds 2/3 of the way full.
Place the molds on a baking sheet and bake until well puffed, 15 to 20 minutes. Crack the centers of the souffles and pour additional chocolate sauce into the center. Serve immediately while still warm.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipes from the Institute of Culinary Education, Techniques of Fine Cooking.
Recipes To Spice Up Your Valentine’s Day
“Aphrodisiac: any of various forms of stimulation thought to arouse sexual excitement. Aphrodisiacs may be classified in two principal groups: (1) psycho-physiological (visual, tactile, olfactory, aural) and (2) internal (stemming from food, alcoholic drinks, drugs, love potions, medical preparations)”.
We’ve all heard that there are certain foods that have aphrodisiac powers, but which ones and what effect do they have on romance? There are several foods that increase the passion and mood for love – Almonds, Arugula, Asparagus, Avocado, Bananas, Basil, Chilies, Chocolate, Coffee, Figs, Garlic, Ginger, Honey, Nutmeg, Oysters, Pinenuts, Raspberries, Strawberries, Black Truffles, Vanilla and Wine, just to name a few. Truffles are said to stimulate and sensitize the skin for touch. Vanilla’s scent and flavor is know to increase lust. Chilies increase blood flow and sex drive. The chemicals in Chocolate trigger neurochemicals in the brain that increases passion. Red Wine relaxes and stimulates the senses. For Valentine’s Day, I rounded up a few recipes featuring some of these sexy foods, guaranteed to spice up your night and make it a LOVELY one to remember!
Herbed Baked Oysters recipe
24 fresh oysters
¾ cup of breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of olive oil
½ teaspoon of fresh thyme, chopped
½ teaspoon of fresh basil, chopped
¼ teaspoon of fresh marjoram, chopped
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
Shuck the oysters and set aside on the half shell. Discard the remaining shells.
In a bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, garlic, mustard, olive oil, thyme, basil, marjoram, lemon zest and Parmesan.
Top each oyster with about 1 teaspoon of the breadcrumb mixture and place the oysters on a baking sheet. Cook under high broiler (grill) for about 6 minutes or until the oysters are crispy and golden brown.
Serve hot, with a wedge of lemon and your favorite hot pepper sauce on the side.
Recipe originated from www.oysterrecipes.org
Milk Soup with Truffles au Gratin
2 c. of chicken juice (gravy)
2 + 2/3 c. of milk cream
1 oz. of fresh truffle
2 lbs. of fresh bread
2/3 c. of truffle juice
1/3 c. of milk
2/3 c. of egg whites
Salt, white pepper
Reduce the chicken juice to half.
Add the milk, milk cream and reduce again.
Add the truffle juice and reduce until you get a nice texture.
Check on seasoning and put aside for the moment.
Preparation of the bread toasts:
Whisk 2/3 c. of cream, season with salt and pepper.
Cut the bread into 1 inch thick slices and cut them into circles (2 inch diameters)
Toast both sides of the bread pieces, dig one side on the piece and pour the wiped cream into it, bake it “au gratin”
under the broiler for a few minutes until lightly browned around the edges.
Recipe originated from French-Truffles.com
2 lbs. chicken, cut up — (2 to 2 1/2)
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil — (1 to 2)
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. anise seed
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
2 tsp. hot crushed red peppers
1/8 tsp. cayenne (or to taste)
Brown chicken in a medium skillet in hot oil. Remove to a large (13x9x2) cake pan or baking dish. Pour oil from skillet and add the stock. Simmer 5 minutes. Mix cocoa with vegetable oil to form a paste. Add cloves, cinnamon, anise seed, and blend. Stir spice mixture into simmering stock and simmer 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Pour mixture over the chicken parts. Cover and bake in preheated 350-degree oven until chicken is tender (around 1 to 1 1/2 hours). Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds over a bed of rice.
Spicy Scallops with Capellini
1 pound sea scallops, quartered if large
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 small dried chipotle chile with seeds, stemmed and chopped
Fine sea salt
1/2 pound capellini
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large shallow glass or ceramic baking dish, toss the scallops with the oil, wine, parsley, garlic and chipotle. Season with salt and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the oil is sizzling and the scallops are firm.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the capellini until just al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain; transfer to a serving bowl. Add the scallops and their juices, toss well and serve immediately.
Recipe originated from Food and Wine magazine.
Coffee and Chocolate Braised Short Ribs
Olive oil or lard
5 lbs beef short ribs
Salt and Pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
2 cups strong coffee
1.5 cups chopped tomatoes, with juice (or one 28 oz can)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup unsweetened chocolate (70% or higher cacao)
Cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
Remove the short ribs from their package and rinse them under cold water. Pat them dry. Season the short ribs liberally with salt and pepper. (Use more salt than you think you will need). Heat the olive oil or lard in a cast iron pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat.
Place two or three of the short ribs in the pan. Be careful not to crowd the short ribs. You want to brown them, not steam them. Brown the short ribs well on all sides. You want the outsides of meat just a tad under burnt. Transfer the browned meat to a plate and continue to brown the rest of the meat. When done, remove all of the meat to the plate.
Reduce the heat to medium. If you used a cast iron pan for the browning, heat more oil in a large oven safe covered casserole dish. If you’re using a Dutch oven, just keep on cooking.
Add the onions and peppers and cook until the onions are translucent, approximately 5-10 minutes. Next mix in the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the brown sugar and spices and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add the coffee, chopped tomatoes, and tomato paste and bring the whole mixture to a boil.
Return the short ribs to the pot and cover. Braise in the oven for 1.5 to 2 hours. Mix in the chocolate until melted. Season with the cilantro and salt and pepper.
Cook’s Notes: I cooked my ribs in a Dutch oven, but the next time I make this dish I’ll brown the ribs in the cast iron pan and then transfer them to the Dutch oven. I also think the chocolate makes a big difference. I received some Scharffenberger chocolate as part of a gift bag and I used that. However I think the Theo chocolate had a smoother taste, even though they were the same percentage cacao.
We served the short ribs over pasta, but I think rice would have been a better side kick to this dish. The sauce is very flavorful with the coffee, chocolate, and the peppers, and rice would just soak it all up. Cook the rice and plate a bed of it. Then serve the short ribs and sauce over the top. Mashed potatoes would also work well here and the addition of some sort of starch would make this a complete meal.
Recipe originated from www.cooklocal.com, adapted from the Washington Local and Seasonal Cookbook
Arugula and Avocado Salad With Shaved Parmesan and Toasted Pine Nuts
2 bunches arugula, washed and dried ( about 6 cups)
1 avocados, peeled and sliced
Shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
4 -5 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
To make the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and garlic. Slowly whisk in olive oil until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
Place arugula in a serving bowl and add dressing to taste. Mix well. Top with avocado slices, drizzle a bit more dressing over them and season with a pinch of salt. Using a vegetable peeler, shave slivers of Parmesan over the top.
Top off the salad with some toasted pine nuts for an extra crunch (and spice to your Valentine’s Day!)
Recipe originated from Food.com
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup banana liqueur
4 bananas, cut in half
lengthwise, then halved
¼ cup dark rum
4 scoops vanilla ice cream
Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet. Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.
Recipe originated from Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans.
Chocolate Honey Mousse
12 oz of dark crispy chocolate
5-6 dessert spoons of pure honey
3 cups of fresh cream
Mix together dark chocolate (should be crushed into pieces), 5 dessert spoons honey and ¾ cup of fresh cream. The ingredients
should be mixed over luke warm water. This mixture will need to be stirred constantly, till the dark chocolate stats to melt and combines itself with the honey and cream.
Once all three ingredients have blended into one another, keep it aside for it to cool.
While the chocolate mixture is kept aside to cool, start whipping the remaining cream (2 ¼ cups) but not very firm.
Once the cream is whipped and the chocolate mixture is cool, gradually and slowly fold the cream into it. Blend this mixture well.
Take a special serving dish and carefully pour the whole mixture into it and keep it to set in the refrigerator.
The chocolate honey mousse can also be poured into separate individual bowls as it does make a lavish amount.
If the mousse is poured into one whole serving dish, the chocolate honey mouse might take about 3 to 4 hours for it to set well.
Chocolate honey mousse can be served with creamy vanilla ice cream. Garnish with crushed nuts as a topping.
White Chocolate Raspberry Tart
1 ¼ cup of walnuts, finely chopped
¾ cup of unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 ½ cup of flour
1 teaspoon of freshly-grated orange zest
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 cups of fresh raspberries
12 oz of white chocolate, chopped
½ cup of heavy cream, warmed
½ cup of whipped cream, to garnish
In a bowl with an electric mixer, blend walnuts, ¾ of the butter, sugar, flour, orange zest and egg until thoroughly combined, and press into an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
Freeze the shell for 15 minutes.
While the shell is freezing, preheat your oven to 375°F.
Bake the shell in middle of your oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow the shell to cool on a rack.
Remove the side of pan and transfer the shell to a plate.
Fill shell with 2 ½ cups of raspberries.
In a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt the white chocolate.
Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the cream and the remaining butter, whisking until smooth.
Spread the white chocolate mixture over the raspberries, smoothing top and chill, covered, for 3 hours or overnight.
Garnish the tart with whipped cream and remaining ½ cup of raspberries.
Serve at room temperature.
Recipe originated from www.raspberryrecipes.net
Read more about Aphrodisiac Foods and History