Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tiramisu - Two Ways

I had been holding it off long enough- attempting my first tiramisu. It’s about time! But with so many recipes out there, which to choose from? So I decided to start with the face of Italian elegance- Giada De Laurentiis. I made both of her recipes at the same time to taste them side by side and see which one I like better.  

Giada's Chocolate Tiramisu has five stars and 118 reviews. It has a light chocolate flavor. The filling was lighter and fluffier than the proceeding recipe, and a lighter coffee flavor. Basically, it was a lighter version, and didn’t really taste like your classic tiramisu you’d eat at a fancy restaurant. Then again, I omitted the Marsala but I don’t think that would have helped the texture.

Giada's Tiramisu has four stars and 199 reviews. This one tasted more authentic. I loved how you could still taste the sweetened mascarpone because it wasn’t flavored with chocolate. Instead of rum, I used a combination of vanilla and almond extract. It had great flavor. This tiramisu was a little denser.

Here’s what the recipes did not tell me: they both taste 200 times better after 48 hours. In fact, I didn’t like them at all when trying them for the first time. They had chilled for probably about 8 hours. The next day, the flavors melded more and it tasted better. Finally, the next day, when there was only one little piece left to try- yum.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Box calls this recipe Chocolate and Vanilla Creams. That’s fine, but what does that mean? Its not whipped cream. And it’s not exactly mousse either because it’s not light and airy like mousse. But it deserves a suave name like mousse.

It looks like pudding but it’s much more decadent. It's heavier, dreamier, and more intense in flavor. Don’t expect it to be the same if you use vanilla extract. You must use a vanilla bean.

Chocolate and Vanilla Creams

2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
¾ cup sour cream
2 tsp powdered gelatin
3 tbsp water
2 oz. semisweet chocolate

Place the cream and sugar in a saucepan, then add the vanilla bean. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and take out the vanilla bean. Stir in the sour cream.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small heatproof bowl and let it get absorbed, this takes about one minute. Then microwave the gelatin for 30 seconds on high heat. It should come out dissolved in liquid. Cool. Stir into the cream mixture. Pour half of this mixture into another mixing bowl.

Put the semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water until melted. Stir the melted chocolate into half the cream mixture. Pour the chocolate mixture into four individual glass serving dishes and let chill for 20-30 minutes, until just set. While it is chilling, keep the vanilla mixture at room temperature.

Spoon the vanilla mixture on top of the chocolate mixture and let chill until the vanilla is set. Decorate with chocolate shavings.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Deep Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake + Chocolate Whipped Cream + Chocolate Ganache

Do it now.

The recipe on the Better Homes and Gardens website is not the same as the one I have in my magazine. So look at this website, because it has the correct one. So, I adapted this recipe because I have never been fond of malt. It was a sad day when your mom came home with Ovaltine instead of Nesquick. Just omit the malt.

Also, for the cake, instead of 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate- just use sweetened chocolate. You know you want to. Semi-sweet or even milk chocolate will do. For the frosting, set aside a cup of it before you start whipping with your electric mixer. This will be our ganache for the top.

This cake was dense with a bittersweet chocolate taste. It wasn’t rich and fudgy, but not dry either. I assume it would go great with coffee- if you drink that stuff.  

For Asiya and Shanada <3

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