Tag Archives: chocolate

TWD: Marquise au Chocolat

Marquise au Chocolat

My husband and I don’t generally do much for Valentine’s Day. We consider it a made-up, commercial holiday, and we don’t need a special day of the year to express our love for each other. However, this year my two Dorie groups presented the perfect excuse to make a fancy dinner to “celebrate” the holiday. I will tell you about the main dish on Friday.  Today we will discuss the dessert I made: Marquise au Chocolat. This was the Tuesdays with Dorie dessert for last week (I’m posting a week late since I saved it for Valentine’s Day).

Marquise au Chocolat can be described in three words: frozen chocolate mousse. It truly is chocolate mousse packed into a loaf pan and frozen.  It is sliced just before serving.  The end result is a dense, almost fudgy, chocolatey treat.

Marquise au Chocolat

I loved pretty much everything about Marquise au Chocolat.  The flavor and texture are wonderful.  I love that you can make it ahead – perfect for a dinner party.

This dessert was a big hit with my husband.  All of his favorite desserts include the words “chocolate” and “mousse”, so I think this will go down as being one of his favorites from Baking Chez Moi.

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Top-Secret Chocolate Mousse

My husband loves chocolate.  Really loves it.  He doesn’t consider something a real dessert if it doesn’t feature chocolate.  So when I told him that this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe was Chocolate Mousse he said, “Finally!”.

Chocolate mousse is the quintessential French dessert.  The “top-secret” part of this recipe is that it took Dorie years to discover that the wonderful chocolate mousse all her friends made came from a recipe on the back of a Nestle chocolate bar.  The French equivalent to Nestle Toll House Cookies?

This mousse is really quick to “whip” together.  Start to finish in maybe 20 minutes (as long as the eggs are room temperature).  Dorie suggests adding a flavor while mixing in the egg yolks, and I chose to add vanilla.

We loved this chocolate mousse.  I served it with lightly sweetened whipped cream, and we felt it was essential to the dish.

My husband declared this his favorite French Fridays recipe.  When I reminded him of all the other dishes he has really liked, he said that if they were all lined up in front of him, he would eat the chocolate mousse first.  I made the mistake of telling him how quick and easy it was to make, and he requested it again the next night (unfortunately for him, we did not have all the ingredients on hand, though he offered to go get them).  I have a feeling I will be making this one often!

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Hot Cocoa Mix

For teacher/aide/bus driver/therapist gifts this year I made homemade hot cocoa mix and marshmallows.

The hot cocoa mix was fun and easy to make!  The hardest part was finding all the ingredients.  The key to making good cocoa mix is to use whole milk powder.  That was the hardest ingredient for me to find.  I ended up with Nido Fortificada, which I found in the Hispanic food section at Walmart.  It is also available on Amazon.com: Nestle Nido Instant Dry Whole Milk Powder.

The flavor of the hot cocoa is delicious!  Very smooth and chocolatey and not too sweet.  Usually when I drink hot cocoa I end up with a sickly, sweet taste in my mouth and that did not happen with this cocoa mix.

Making the marshmallows was quite an adventure!  It took me three tries to get it right (I would not have made a fourth attempt).  The problem was my candy thermometer.  Apparently if the liquids are not deep enough, it does not read accurately.  I ended up burning my sugar-syrup badly!

I packaged the hot cocoa mix and marshmallows in little bags, with enough of each to make about 4 servings.

Hot Cocoa Mix

Adapted from Alton Brown of The Food Network

(click here to print)

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa (preferably Dutch-process)
  • 2½ cups powdered whole milk (I used Nido brand)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly.  Can be stored indefinitely in an air-tight container.

 To Serve:

Fill a mug about a third full with the hot cocoa mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine.

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Profiteroles

This is the final installment of French Pastry Week, and I’m going to keep it short and sweet!

As I mentioned when I made Eclairs last week, I froze some of the pâte â choux to make profiteroles.

First, I removed the frozen, unbaked puffs of dough and baked them:

Puff!

Next I filled them with ice cream.  I chose to use strawberry ice cream because it seemed Spring-y.  Use your favorite!

Filled with ice cream

The beauty of these is you can stick the filled profiteroles into the freezer until ready to serve!

Place the profiteroles on a plate (if they’ve been in the freezer it’s a good idea to let them sit out for a few minutes to warm up slightly) and cover generously with chocolate sauce.  I made the Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table, but you can use your own favorite recipe or even store bought.

Ready to eat!

Enjoy!

Yum!

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A French Table Feast

My mother-in-law was out of town for Christmas and well into the new year, so we did not get a chance to celebrate Christmas with her.  This past weekend we had her over for dinner for a mini post-Christmas celebration.

Tapenade Batons

Tapenade Batons

I decided to make the entire meal from Around My French Table.   My mother-in-law spent a good couple of hours pouring through it last week, so I knew she would be up for a French feast.  Also, I am still excited about my new cookbook and there are so many recipes I want to try.

We started off with Tapenade Bâtons, a variation of Mustard Bâtons.  Delicious and so easy to make!  I had leftover puff pastry in the freezer and tapenade in the fridge, so this one was a no-brainer.

Roast Chicken

Just Out of the Oven

For the main course, I made Roast Chicken for les Paresseux (Roast Chicken for Lazy People) and Brown-Sugar Squash and Brussels Sprouts en Papillote.  The chicken was fabulous with crispy brown skin and tender meat.  My husband especially loved the garlic that roasted along with the chicken.  My mother-in-law and I both enjoyed “the bread trick” (the chicken is roasted on top of a piece of bread which soaks up the cooking juices and gets wonderfully carmelized).  The squash and Brussels spr0uts were also a big hit – even my seven year old daughter ate her share.

The grand finale was also this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe: Michael Rostang’s Double Chocolate Mousse Cake.

Mouse Cake

Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

I had a few issues making this cake.  The biggest issue was that I did not have the right size pan.  The recipe calls for an 8-inch springform pan.  The pan I used measured 9½ inches.  I also have a 6-inch springform pan.  In retrospect I wish I had used the smaller pan and put the extra batter in a ramekin or two.  There was also a problem with the egg whites that are folded into the mousse.  I’m not sure if I over-whipped them or if I folded them in too vigorously, but the resulting batter did not seem “light” enough and kind-of seemed to “liquidy”.  When baked, the cake did not rise as much as the recipe described.  Finally, the recipe has you place the pan without its bottom on a baking mat or parchment paper.  I noticed some pretty big gaps under my pan, and my batter was fairly thin, so I decided to use the pan bottom to prevent seeping.  The cake would have been difficult to move to a serving platter, but luckily I did not care about that.

Despite the few issues, the cake was delicious!  It was met with rave reviews.  The recipe provides three ways to serve this dish.  The first night we went with the warm option: part of the batter is baked and then cooled, then the rest of the batter is poured onto the chilled base and baked again, then served warm.  The next night we had the baked and chilled option.  While I enjoyed both versions, I preferred the texture of the chilled one.

I will certainly be making this one again.  I’d love to resolve my egg white issues and I like to track down an 8-inch springform pan or try it with my smaller pan.  This cake is definitely worth perfecting!

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