February 2nd, 2012

Moelleux au Chocolat

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Ah oui, le moelleux au chocolat… The perfect chocolate cake that oozes melted chocolate when you cut into it.  I used a new tin (on sale from Williams Sonoma - FTW) that made my extra-large cupcake-sized cakes into perfect cups for toppings like strawberries and whipped cream…

The recipe I followed as from an amazing Lyonnaise, Marion Chapsal, but it’s very similar to others you can find online.  The trick is not to put in too much flour or to bake it too long… If it still looks wet, it’s perfect. :)

Bon appetit!

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**PS, these ones, believe it or not, are gluten-free!  I found an awesome GF patisserie mix at a bio store in town.  They didn’t taste GF at all.  Love!**

April 23rd, 2011

Homemade Nutella

Yes, you read that title correctly.  Last night, with the help of three equally eager sous chefs, I made the King of Chocolatey Amazingness, Nutella.  I found the recipe for la pâte à tartiner on David Lebovitz’s website after learning last month that I had tragically just missed World Nutella Day (add February 5th to your calendar ASAP!) I’ve been waiting since then for an excuse to make it.  The recipe makes over two cups of heavenly spread that store for only a week (and everyone knows that abundance with an expiration date is a dangerous combination) so I knew I had to whip it up and (a) give someone who lives elsewhere the first jar and (b) have guests en route with whom I could spread the second jarful on some brioche or baguette.

A Friday night babysitting gig was the perfect solution.   I typically watch these kids (super cute and French – ages 5, 9, and 13) for a couple of hours after school once or twice a week.  They have their goûter and do their homework, which leaves us with only an hour or so to play.  A Friday evening, though, with no school in the morning turned out to be the perfect time to try it out.

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February 2nd, 2011

A Fête of Desserts, Part I: Decadent Truffles

Beyond the occasional overnight guest or two, my boyfriend and I haven’t had a real get-together chez nous since the fall, and lacking any real reason to have a party, the invitation for our Rose et Chocolat party asked our friends to join us for celebrating winter, possibly impending snow, and the pink-and-chocolate fanaticism that surrounds February.

The idea was born from a party I threw last year in D.C. during an insufferable snowstorm (55+ inches!) that featured drinks made with homemade raspberry vodka, Martha Stewart cupcakes (pat on back!), and other yummy treats, and I decided to continue the tradition in our new French home.  This year’s menu included:

  • Chocolate Stout Cupcakes (they were such a treat when I made them for our beer-fan friends and so thematically-appropriate – who cares if we have them twice in one month?)
  • Decadent Chocolate Truffles (because they seemed easy and tasty – and why not give homemade candy a go?)
  • A Crepe Cake (I’ll be posting the recipe for this monsterpiece later this week!)
  • Kir royales (easy peazy: crème de cassis + champagne)

Guests were told to bring just themselves or to contribute anything pink or chocolate-y, and we ended up with beaucoup de bottles of rosé, elaborate cakes from fancy Lyon patisseries, and an abundance of fruity mousses.

The cupcakes were of course a hit, because let’s face it – how ingenious is it to pack Guinness into a cupcake?  Pretty solidly ingenious.  The BF was left with the responsibility to recreate the magic and, guided by the cupcake version of Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, he did quite a phenomenal job:

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The truffles, though, were my biggest point of pride.   I displayed them in little paper cups on two plates and, until the BF pointed out to our guests that I had made them myself, everyone assumed that they were store-bought.  I knew they tasted good (“poison tests” at every step in the process guaranteed that), but the fact that the chocolate was sufficiently tempered to look store-bought was the best compliment.

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January 22nd, 2011

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

As I’ve tried to document, French food is fabulous.  However, that said, sometimes you get a craving for something else.  Knowing that our two houseguests would be here for a while, and are avid beer fans, the BF and I wanted to take them to a local brewery for dinner.  In keeping with the new theme (“beer”tastic instead of “French”tastic), I wanted to make a tasty dessert.  Smitten Kitchen has a great-sounding recipe for chocolate cake made with Guinness and, based on the comments, I knew it was the right choice for this crowd.

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March 7th, 2010

I made these with my brother yesterday afternoon.  He dislocated his knee Friday night, so I figured what better way to cheer him up over it then to head over the parents’ house armed with baking supplies.  He’s recently gone gluten-free, too, so these proved to be a success.  Tip: We chopped up chocolate chips and mixed them in at the end.  Also, I don’t know how easy it’d be to mix it all by hand but my mom’s KitchenAid did the trick (Note to self: Add KitchenAid to birthday wish list).