Monthly Archives: May 2016

Chocolate Éclairs Recipe

Makes approximately 24 éclairs

Cream Puff Batter

1 cup water

½ cup unsalted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

Ganache

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil.
  3. Quickly add flour and stir with a wooden spoon.   A ball of dough will form.   Lower the heat and cook for about 1 minute while mixing constantly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for several minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing to incorporate with each addition. The dough should hold its shape and not be too loose.
  5. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large plain pastry tip half full of dough.
  6. Onto 2 parchment lined sheet pans, pipe about 3-4 inch lengths in rows leaving a 1 inch space between them.
  7. Place the éclairs into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.   Reduce the oven temperature to 350o and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until the eclairs are brown and puffed.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  9. Inject each cooled eclair with some vanilla pastry cream (recipe follows) using a pastry bag and a small plain tip.
  10. To make the ganache: In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in chocolate chips and corn syrup until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  11. Gently dip the tops of each éclair into some warm ganache and place ganache side up onto a wax paper lined sheet pan. Chill until ready to serve.

Vanilla Pastry Cream

Makes 2 ½ cups

1 cup whole milk removing 2 tablespoons and set aside

½ cup heavy cream

3 large egg yolks

½ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons + 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. In a heavy, medium non-aluminum saucepan bring the milk (minus the 2 tablespoons) and cream to the boil.
  2. In a heatproof stainless steel or tempered glass mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons of reserved milk until there are no lumps.
  3. Slowly drizzle the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until all the milk has been added. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place it over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, whisking all the time. The mixture will become thick. Boil and whisk for 1 minute. Do not allow the custard to burn.
  4. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour the custard into a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Place it in the refrigerator until cold, about 3-4 hours. The custard filling can be made 1 day in advance and should be kept chilled in the refrigerator.

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart Recipe

Makes 1 10-inch tart

Crumb Crust:

2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (any crème filled chocolate sandwich cookie will do, finely ground in a food processor)

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

 

  1. Place the cookie crumbs and melted butter into a medium mixing bowl. Using a spoon combine the mixture until it is the consistency of moist sand.
  2. Press the crumbs evenly onto the bottom and sides of a greased 10-inch false bottom tart pan. Place the tart pan on a sheet pan with sides and chill in the refrigerator until needed.

 

Filling (Peanut Butter Layer):

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons (1 ounce) cream cheese

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup creamy peanut butter

3/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

 

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, combine the butter, cream cheese, corn syrup, vanilla, and peanut butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. On low speed, add the confectioners’ sugar and blend until light and fluffy. Using an offset spatula, spread filling evenly over the bottom of the chilled crumb crust.
  3. Place the tart back into the refrigerator to set.

 

Chocolate Layer:

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

 

  1. Whisk together the heavy cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk in chocolate chips.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes and pour evenly over the peanut butter filling.
  4. Chill the tart for 2-3 hours or until the chocolate layer has firmed up.
  5. Remove from the tart pan and place onto a serving platter.

Raspberry Linzer Torte Recipe

Makes 1 10 inch torte

Linzer Dough

2 cups walnuts

1 cup cake scraps or other firm white cake

1 cup + 4 tablespoons granulated sugar

12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

  1. In a food processor, finely grind the walnuts and cake scraps with the sugar. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Add the softened butter to the ground nut and sugar mixture. Using the paddle attachment, blend the mixture on medium speed.
  3. Add the eggs and blend well.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  5. On low speed, add the dry ingredients into the butter and nut mixture. Blend well.
  6. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to firm up.

 

Assembling the Linzer

1-1 1/2 cups (approximately) seedless raspberry jam

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Crumble 1/3-1/2 of the firm dough into a 10-inch false bottom tart pan patting it evenly over the bottom and up the sides.
  3. Spread enough of the jam until the level of the jam is the same as the level of the sides of the tart dough.
  4. Roll out the remaining dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured work surface.
  5. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into long strips approximately 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Place 5 strips across the filling, spacing them out, and trimming the edges to be flush with the tart pan.
  7. Cut another 5 strips of dough and place them 45° across the other strips forming diamond-shaped openings as the strips crisscross each other. Trim the ends to be flush with the tart pan.
  8. Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes or until the crust is brown and the jam is bubbly.

Remove the Linzer from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with