15 April 2009

Top Chef's Chocolate And Vanilla Recipes

White Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes with Bitt...Image by Bev (Sugarbloom Cupcakes) via Flickr

Top Chef's Chocolate and Vanilla Recipes – check out chocolate cake baked in a glass jar so you can travel with it!!!

From Denny: From Food Network’s top pastry chef Gale Gand are some wonderful recipes depicting how she says she thinks: “Some people think in black and white. I think in chocolate or vanilla and thought it would be fun to do a cookbook dedicated to America’s favorite flavors.”

My favorites are the Chocolate-Praline Cake baked in a jar so it can travel, Baked Ricotta Custards and Boston Cream Cupcakes.

CBS won’t allow embedding this video so here is the link just for the video, go here.

Here’s the link to the print story, recipes with the video, go here.

All recipes are from CBS.


8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup sifted cake flour

2/3 cup sour cream

2/3 cup brewed coffee

For the praline topping

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 10 to 12 half pint glass canning jars on a rimmed baking sheet, evenly arranged with space between them.

To make the cakes, in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter until smooth. Add the brown sugar and eggs and mix until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and mix until combined. Add the half of the flour, then half of the sour cream, and mix until combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and sour cream. Drizzle in the coffee and mix until smooth. The batter will be thin, like heavy cream.

Pour the batter into the jars, filling them halfway. Bake until the tops of the cakes are firm to the touch, about 25 minutes.

To make the topping, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add the brown sugar and 1/2 cup water and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the nuts.

Pour the praline topping over the cakes to cover, working quickly, because the praline hardens as quickly as it cools. Let the cakes cool completely if they aren't already, before screwing on lid jars.



8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, chopped

1/4 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts

For the Filling

3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

To make the cookies, in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar and vanilla and mix on medium low speed. Mix in the flour and salt, then add the milk and chocolate chips and mix until combined.

Using your hands, roll pieces of dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and dip the top of the balls in the chopped peanuts. Place peanut side up 1 1/2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Push your thumb into the middle of each cookie to make a deep impression.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they're light golden brown. Let cool on the cookie sheet while you make the filling

To make the filling, melt the chocolate chips in a medium bowl set over, but not touching, a sauce pan of simmering water. Stir in the peanut butter, corn syrup, 1 tablespoon water, and the vanilla until well combined. Let cool for 5 minutes. Using a spoon, fill the centers of the cookies with the filling. Let sit for 30 minutes to set.



4 1/4 cup powdered sugar 2 cups creamy peanut butter

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

3 cups crisped rice cereal

12 ounces semi sweet chocolate

12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, or by hand, mix the powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter on low speed until well combined. Mix in the puffed rice cereal.

Using your hands, form the mixture into walnut-size balls and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Stir the chocolates together in a heat-proof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolates are melted and smooth. Stir in the vegetable oil.

Using a fork, dip the peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate, rolling them around so they are entirely coated, then fish them out with a fork, shake them off a bit, and set the coated ball on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Set aside for at least 2 hours to cool and set up.



1/2 cup large egg whites, at room temperature

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar

1/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably dutch processed, sifted

1 cup heavy cream

10 ripe strawberries, or 1/2 cup raspberries, blueberries or blackberries

2 to 3 ripe kiwis, peeled and thinly sliced

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt on medium high speed until foamy. Add 1 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, vanilla and vinegar, and continue whipping until the whites form stiff peaks and are smooth and shiny, about 5 minutes more. Add the cocoa powder and stir on low speed until just blended.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Fit a pastry bag with a large plain tip and fill the bag with the meringue. Pipe twelve 4- to 5-inch disks of meringue about 1 inch apart onto the parchment.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the pavlovas are crisp on the outside but still moist on the inside. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the pan.

To serve, whip the cream with the remaining two tablespoons sugar. Place a dollop of cream on each meringue, spreading it to the edge, and arrange the fruit on top.



10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

1 large egg white

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

For the Raspberry Mint Salad

2 (1/2) pint containers of raspberries

2 tablespoons sugar

2 mint leaves, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Bring a tea kettle or medium sauce pan of water to a boil. Have ready ten to twelve 4-ounce ramekins in a baking dish or roasting pan that's large enough to hold them all.

To make the custard, using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it's light, smooth and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ricotta and mix until combined. Mix in the eggs and egg white at one at a time until combined, then mix in the vanilla sugar, and cream.

Pour the batter into the ramekins, filling almost full and pour the boiling water around them to come halfway up the sides. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the custards are set but not colored. Remove from the oven and let cool in the water bath to room temperature. Remove from the water, cover, and put in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.

For the raspberry mint salad, using a fork, mash a quarter of the berries in a bowl with the sugar until pureed. Fold in the whole berries along with the mint.



For the Cupcakes

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

1 1/2 cup teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 recipe éclair custard filling

For the Chocolate Glaze

1 cup heavy cream

8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners

In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light a fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to whip. Add the vanilla and gradually mix in the eggs, one by one until well combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the milk and ending with the dry ingredients.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, filling each slot three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cupcakes are puffed firm in the center, and light golden brown on top. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack.

To fill the cupcakes, use a small paring knife to remove a plug of cake from the top center of each cake and set the plugs aside. With pastry bag fitted with a large (1/2 inch) plain tip, pipe or spoon the custard into the cavities. Trim each plug so that it is a flat coin. Top the filled cupcakes cavities with the coins and chill for 30 minutes while you make the glaze.

To make the chocolate glaze, heat the cream in a saucepan or in the microwave until almost boiling. Meanwhile place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and whisk until melted.

Dip the chilled cupcakes in the warm chocolate glaze to coat the top. Refrigerate until serving.

To serve, spoon the raspberry mint salad over the top of the chilled custards.



1 package ladyfingers, store bought

2 (1/2) pint containers raspberries

4 cups whole milk

1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise

1 tablespoon powdered gelatin

2 tablespoons cold water

12 large egg yolks

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar

white chocolate curls

powdered sugar

Have a large bowl ready near your cooktop. Fill the bowl three-quarters, full with ice and cover the ice with water.

Bring the milk and vanilla bean to a boil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and let vanilla steep in the milk for 10 minutes.

Gradually sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small bowl and set aside for the gelatin to soften.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar for about 1 minute to combine and then gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the saucepan and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook over medium heat until the sauce has thickened and is 180 degrees on an instant read thermometer, being careful not to over cook it or it will break.

Immediately stir the softened gelatin into the custard until it's dissolved and then strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Put the bowl of custard into the bowl of ice water and stir frequently until the custard starts to cool and thicken.

Fold in the less than perfect berries and then pour the custard into the pan lined with ladyfingers. Spread the top of the custard to smooth it. Cover the charlotte with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.

To serve, trim the ladyfingers even with the top of the custard. Put a serving platter upside down over the pan and quickly invert it. Remove the old and parchment. Arrange the reserved raspberries around the edge of the charlotte and pile white chocolate curls in the center. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into wedges for serving.



1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup raspberry jam or ganache

2 cups vanilla sugar for rolling

In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it's light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in the granulated sugar and when the mixture is blended add the flour and mix until it forms a dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 3 hours to make it easier to handle. This also helps prevent balls from flattening out too much when they're baked.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Taking off pieces of dough with your hands, roll small (3/4 inch) balls of dough (about the size of a hazelnut in the shell). Chill them for 30 minutes in the freezer, then place them 2 inches apart on cookie sheets to allow for some spreading. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or just until the cookies are firm but not browned. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pans.

Spread the flat face of half of the cooled cookies with the jam or ganache and top with a second cookie to form a little sandwiched ball. The filling will not show very much. Once you've sandwiched them all together, but them in vanilla sugar to coat the entire outside.

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