Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spiced Chocolate Ganache Fig Tart

D Ed

I hope that everyoneefd dcr had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had a glorious time, friends, family, neighbors, everyone united around two table put together to enjoy a magnificent feast that my father put together. My mother had us decorate the table with porcelain statues of turkey, oyster bowls full of grapes, and mismatched vintage table cloths. In true holiday spirit Michael and I helped out with the meal, but made our own personal contribution of dessert.

We are so accustomed to pumpkin pies or pecan pies this time of year, that we decided upon making a simple cold chocolate spiced dessert, in the form of a spiced chocolate ganache tart topped with caramelized figs. I don’t think it gets more decadent than this!  

*To cheat on the crust, you can also buy pie crust mix, and add one egg, and three table spoons brown sugar.

*Take about 2 and a half hours.

Pie Crust:

3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 to 8 Tablespoon ice water


12 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Caramelized Figs:
8 medium to small sized figs
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons honey

This tart is incredibly easy, and it is velvety and delicious. It is nothing short of decadent. You will make the tart in three steps; start with the pie crust, the ganache, and then caramelize the figs.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a food processor pulsing to mix. Next add cold butter and mix about 8 times until butter is broken down. Now add ice cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, then brown sugar, then egg. Take dough out of processor and flatten and then place in refrigerator for up to one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, remove dough from refrigerator, and roll out until it is about an 1/8 of an inch thick. Lay over a 9 inch round tart pan, and press down to fit the fold, piercing the bottom about 10 times with a fork to allow steam to release from underneath the dough. Place in oven and bake about 15-20 minutes or until the dough turns golden brown.  Once done, remove and let cool completely.

For the ganache, place cream in a medium sauce pan and chocolate in a large bowl. Boil the cream, once boiled pour the cream, through a sieve (or strainer) into the chocolate. Mix together until there are no lumps in the chocolate. Next add vanilla and cinnamon, and make sure to mix together completely. Next pour the chocolate into your cooled pie crust, and place in refrigerator and let set for about an hour.

For the figs, slice cut both ends of the figs off, and then split into quarters. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the figs, honey, and half of the brown sugar, making sure you coat all of the figs. Now lay the figs out on a baking sheet evenly, and sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar on top, and place in oven. Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the figs are soft to the touch. You can even taste one, and test for sweetness, and no bitterness. Once the figs are done, remove from oven and let cool completely.

To serve all you need to do is pile the figs up in the middle of the tart and take out of the tart mold. Enjoy! The mix of the chocolate, cinnamon, and figs is a combination that will be a crowd pleaser and hopefully will become a tradition for years to come!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Open Face Thanksgiving Melt

Some of the best parts of Thanksgiving are the leftovers! Yum! Instead of making your usual boring Turkey sandwich, or just reheating your food, try a diner lovers version of Thanksgiving, pack all the deliciousness in one, and eat this Thanksgiving open face diner melt. No need to follow our recipes for stuffing or any of that good stuff, the beauty is, you already have everything you need, your own stuffing, and turkey, and cranberry sauce etc…..
Happy Thanksgiving!


Sourdough bread
Swiss cheese
Cranberry sauce

This sandwich is so simple and damn is it an amazing dish! You can either buy slices of sourdough bread, or a loaf which we did. In that case slice the loaf with crust side down, so you get an allover good crunch. Take a heaping spoonful of cranberry sauce and spread over your bread, now layer your stuffing, and turkey on top. Take two slices of swiss cheese lay on top. Turn your broiler on in your oven, place the sandwich under the broiler flame and let the cheese melt, about 5 minutes.

Now it is ready to serve, if you like a sweet and savory you can add another small dollop of cranberry sauce, or make a savory one all the way, add some gravy, or eat the way we do, as is!!!


You won’t be bored with your Thanksgiving leftovers!

Happy Anniversary!

Though November is a food month, mostly due to Thanksgiving, Michael and I took a little time off from posting anything, we celebrated our anniversary (today actually) with a lovely day trip up to Santa Barbara where we dined on wonderful seafood from a place we now will go back and visit, called Brophy Brothers. We enjoyed some of our favorite Prosecco, Freixenet, and dined on a hot seafood platter, some chowder, salmon, and yummy seafood pasta. And for dessert, we headed down state street for some Café Mocha and pumpkin bread pudding! Delish!
We are so very in love and in love with food, so now back to the blogging and eating good food!!!

Look at those clams!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween

On the final night of Halloween Michael and I have made for you a devilishly delicious spiced black velvet cake oozing with a red strawberry cream cheese frosting. Make this if you dare, for you are doomed to eat the whole thing at once!!!


Vegetable oil for the pans
2 oz Black food coloring
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 oz black gel food coloring
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 oz red food coloring
1 cup macerated strawberries
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract

To start make your cream cheese frosting, because you want it to harden a bit in the refrigerator. We made two frostings, one to hold the cake together, and the other to create the eerie drips. In a large bowl whip together 2 cups of powdered sugar, ½ a cup of room temperature butter, 8 oz of cream cheese, 1 oz red food coloring, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Now macerate your strawberries and add them to the frosting, this will make it soupy, and this will be the frosting you use to make the drips.

In another bowl, beat the rest of your butter and powdered sugar together, adding about a cup of the soupy frosting mix, to make a thick frosting you can use to hold the layers of cake together. Refrigerate and use after you bake the cakes.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, spice, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.

Using a hand mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.

Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely, if you don’t, even your stiff frosting will be runny.

To assemble the cake, us the cake layers as is, cake layers are rounded and usually you cut them to perfection, but we left them as is to create this morbid beast of a looking cake. So place the first layer on your plate or cake stand, cover the first cake layer with the stiff frosting, then dollop a large spoonful of soupy frosting and spread around letting some drip down the sides. Place the second cake layer on top, smooshing it down a bit to stay, and repeat. Once you have the final layer, really lay on top that soupy frosting to get that gory effect. This cake without fail will be the spookiest thing in the room with the harsh black cake up against the oozing red frosting!

Happy Halloween!!!