Monday, November 28, 2011

Ganache 101, Lessons from Martha Stewart

The holidays are a crazy time for everyone, trying to get the presents, wrap, cook, clean, bake, decorate and a myriad of other things. I myself am always looking for shortcuts or simple ideas to save time. In the December issue of Martha Stewart she has a fabulous article title Ganache 101.

Martha explains that with a little chocolate and some heavy whipping cream you have the makings for some delicious and easy but fancy desserts. From these two simple ingredients you can make a frosting, a filling, a glaze, and a truffle.

The Basic Recipe:

Take 8 ounces of quality chocolate and chop into uniform pieces with a serrated knife, place into a bowl. Then take one cup of heavy cream and heat to just a boil. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate pieces. Let stand for 10 minutes. DO NOT STIR!!!!
Whisk the mixture until smooth and shiny to break any lumps and to emulsify the chocolate and the cream.
Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl to be sure to get all of the mixture incorporated.

To use the ganache:

While its warm you can pour it over a cake as a glaze, you can fill tart shells and make a filling.

At room temperature you can beat the ganache until fluffy and use as a whipped filling or frosting.

And finally once chilled you can use it to make truffles!

All of these are easy and tasty additions to your holiday baking. Do you have any ideas for using ganache? Do you make your own truffles? I would love to hear some of your ideas, please if you would like to share leave your ideas in the comment section.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your family and friends during this special time of the year. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Chocolate pumpkin pie, yummy! Photo Pine Cones and Acorns
Thanksgiving Day
Over the river and through the wood
To Grandmother's house we go.
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring,
Hurrah forThanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground
Like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go
Extremely slow~
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood~
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

By Linda Maria Child

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chocolate Velvet cake with fudge filling and Coconut Pecan Frosting

Last weekend was my birthday and my sister made this cake for me! It is fabulous and very easy to make.

The cake is a chocolate velvet and the recipe is from Southern Living magazine. The recipe can be found here. If you do not have the time to make a cake from scratch than use a cake mix, there are some excellent ones out there.

The filling is one that I make all of the time, it is my go to recipe. I use it for the filling or to frost cupcakes and cakes too. The recipe is from the back of the Hershey's Cocoa Can. I have posted on this frosting here.

Hershey's Famous Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients and Directions for filling/Frosting:

1 stick of butter melted
2/3 cup of Hershey's cocoa
3 cups  powdered sugar
1/3 cup of milk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter and add cocoa, stir together until smooth. Alternately add milk and powdered sugar, mix on low with an electric mixer until smooth. Add vanilla and stir.

I like to add a little more milk so that is is more spreadable. Do what suits you.

Pecan Coconut Frosting.

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 beaten egg yolks mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup  coconut
1 cup chopped pecans toasted

Mix the following ingredients on medium heat for 12 minutes:
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 beaten egg yolks and tsp water
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Once this is thickened add the coconut and the pecans.

To make cake, slice the cakes in half, set aside. Place one layer of cake onto a cake plate or serving platter, spread with a layer of the chocolate frosting. Add second layer, frost with chocolate frosting and a layer of coconut pecan frosting. Add another layer of cake. Frost entire cake with chocolate frosting and then top the cake with coconut frosting.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Scotcheroo Cereal Treats

I love these treat! After all who doesn't like a good cereal treat? I made these last week and posted the recipe on my other blog Pine Cones and Acorns. Here is the recipe for the Scotcheroo cereal-treats.