stay gold

Let me just put this out there. I love Bailey’s Irish Cream.

No, this isn’t sponsored.

And, honestly, I usually forget just how much I love it.

Then, St. Paddy’s Day rolls around and … boom, it hits me like a ton of perfectly-marketed bricks (thanks, liquors storeees!).

All kidding aside —  it’s coffee-flavored, it’s creamy and it has a boozy kick. What’s not to love? It’s the grown-up version of the coffee milk I drank as a kid (yes, coffee milk… if you’re from New England … you know what I’m talking about!… maybe?). And, you know, a splash in your coffee is divine …. on weekends…..of course….

So okay, after I was seduced by the display (and sale pricing) at the liquor store, I started thinking about what I’d want to make to celebrate my roots (well, half of them) on March 17. So after a bit of searching, I stumbled on this recipe from Gourmet Kitchen Tales and her gorgeous photos.

A simple, rich cake with a mousse-like texture (gold-splatter-optional). Count. me. IN! Pair this beauty with an ice-cold glass of Bailey’s (yeeeahhh), some vanilla ice cream or some fresh whipped cream! 

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Nothing about this dessert is difficult, BUT you do need to follow the steps in order to incorporate a lot of air into the cake! If for some reason you don’t successfully incorporate the egg whites and it seems to be a bit flat… I’d say still go for it. I’m sure it’ll still be delicious — just a bit slimmer!

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If you don’t have an official double boiler, a sauce pan and a heat safe bowl (glass or metal is probably best) are equally as effective! Just make sure your water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl!

Flourless Dark Chocolate & Bailey's Torte

A simple, super-rich cake with a mousse-like texture.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.gourmetkitchentales.com/2013/04/flourless-baileys-chocolate-cake.html

Ingredients

    For torte:
  • 200g dark chocolate (I used 70% dark chocolate)
  • 80g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • pinch of salt
  • For ganache:
  • 3 oz dark chocolate (I used a combo of Ghirardelli 70% dark chocolate and Divine’s Dark Chocolate with Pink Himalayan Salt)
  • 2.5 oz heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Directions

    For torte:
  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and dust the tin with cocoa powder.
  • Using a double-boiler, melt the butter and chocolate together.
  • Once melted, move chocolate to a larger bowl and add Bailey’s. Stir until incorporated.
  • Once the mixture has cooled further, whisk in sugar and then egg yolks.
  • In a stand mixer or with electric beaters, beat egg whites to stiff peaks with the pinch of salt.
  • Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Once you’ve incorporated the whites (be sure to incorporate all the white you see, it will remain streaky if not full incorporated), pour the batter into the tin.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the torte comes out clean.
  • Let cool before removing.
  • For ganache:
  • Chop dark chocolate and place in bowl or other heat safe container that you can easily pour from).
  • Bring cream and butter to a simmer on the stove.
  • Pour hot cream mixture over the chocolate and whisk until all of the chocolate has melted.
  • Wait for ganache to cool slightly before pouring over the cake. If it’s too hot, it will just run off the cake!

If you want to add some gold (or any color splatter to your cake), you just need to get your hands on a some edible luster dust (I used Wilton-brand), a little bit of vodka and a food-use-only brush! Create a little slurry with the tiniest bit of vodka and luster dust, and splatter away. Beware, your kitchen might end up a little sparklier. haha 🙂

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comfort classic

So, okay… I know that’s not technically Spring until March 20 BUT… usually this time of year we start to see a bit of a thaw when it comes to the weather.

This year, Mother Nature has devised other plans. Nor’easter after nor’easter has been hammering New England and tomorrow, we’re expecting our THIRD in just a couple of weeks. Nuts! It’ll potentially add an extra foot of snow to the foot we received last weekend!

To combat a sequel of the winter blues, I whipped up this super easy, delicious and comforting (not-to-mention, no fuss!) version of tomato soup. Top with a dollop of sour cream and Parmesan crisps and whatever snow is outside your window will melt away…well, figuratively, at least.

Once you’ve roasted the tomatoes, this soup comes together in just a matter of minutes! A perfect pick-me-up when the weather outside really is frightful.

Creamy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Crisps

Perfect for a cold winter day.


Ingredients

    For the soup:
  • 8-10 fresh tomatoes, quartered (Use any tomato you’d like, I used 10 medium-sized tomatoes well but I also threw in a few smaller tomatoes I had lying around that were on the brink. If you use larger tomatoes, just reduce quantity)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced (roasting the garlic with the tomatoes tempers the bite of raw garlic, but if you’d like to reduce the quantity here, feel free to play with what works best for your taste buds!)
  • 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • For Parmesan crips:

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Black pepper

Directions

    For soup:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400*F and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Quarter your tomatoes (I used Roma) and toss in a large bowl with the minced garlic and olive oil. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Pour onto the lined the baking sheet, and roast in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until the tomatoes have given off some of their juices and the garlic has roasted.
  4. Pour roasted tomatoes, garlic, oil and the juices into a large pot and blend using an immersion blender. Once the tomatoes have reached a consistency you like ( I prefer them to have a little bit of texture still), add the broth and season with the salt and pepper.
  5. Simmer on low/medium-low (watch out for splatters!) for about 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes, take your soup off the heat. Heat your cream in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and then add to the soup along with the basil and serve!

Directions

    For the Parmesan crisps:
  1. Keep the oven heated to 400*F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and place Parmesan cheese in six, 1 tablespoon piles across the sheet, leaving a couple of inches between each pile. Sprinkle with black pepper.
  3. Place pan in the oven for 5-10 minutes — keep an eye on your crisps. Once they turn a light brown pull them out and let them cool on the sheet. They’ll get crunchier as they sit!