Sunday, June 15, 2008

Le Jour at la Nuit Hotel de Crillon

This recipe is almost too good to share. Selfish, I know. It has become somewhat of a trademark dessert for me. But as much as I would like to take credit for this, it is not an original recipe. A friend in Rochester, NY first made this recipe for one of her many movie nights. Marc, being the chocolate lover the he his, thought he had died and gone to heaven. Seriously. Word of this recipe got out and it became quite a hot commodity. It sold at a ward auction for $75! I believe she got the recipe from Bon Appetite magazine, but it wasn't until we moved away that my begging finally resulted in her sharing the recipe with me.
This is quite an intense recipe, with many steps and days involved. I only make it once or twice a year--this year Marc gets it for Father's Day (hence, the tie design on top). If anyone actually makes this recipe, I would love to hear about it.
WARNING: This should only be eaten by those who consider themselves true chocolate lovers--this is NOT for the faint of heart!

Le Jour et la Nuit Hotel de Crillon (White and Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake)
(thanks to April Holmes, for changing our lives with this recipe!)

9 large egg yolks
1 c. sugar
6 Tblspn. cornstarch
3 c. milk, scalded
1 Tblspn. vanilla
14 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 c. well chilled heavy cream
14 oz. fine-quality white chocolate, chopped

6 oz. fine-quality white chocolate, grated
4 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, grated

In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until mixture is combined well, add the cornstarch (sifted) and whisk the mixture until it is just combined.
Whisk in the scalded milk in a slow stream, transfer the mixture to a heavy saucepan, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
Boil the pastry cream, whisking, for 1-2 minutes, or until it is very thick and smooth, strain it through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl and stir in the vanilla.
Lay piece of plastic wrap on the pastry cream for 1-2 hours, or until it is completely cooled.
In the top of a double boiler, melt the bittersweet chocolate, stirring occasionally, and let it cool until it is lukewarm.
Transfer half of the pastry cream to a large bowl, whisk in the chocolate and whisk the mixture until it is well combined.
In a chilled bowl, with an electric mixer, beat 2 cups heavy cream until it holds soft peaks, stir in ¼ of it into the chocolate mixture, and fold in the remaining whipped cream gently, but thoroughly.
Pour the dark chocolate mousse into a lightly oiled 10-inch springform pan, and spread evenly. Chill while making the white chocolate mousse.
Repeat the above process for the white chocolate (melting, mixing it in the pastry cream, adding the heavy cream, and then spreading it on top of the dark chocolate mousse)
Cover the cakes loosely with parchment paper or wax paper and chill overnight.
Run a thin knife around the edge of the cake, remove the side of the pan and smooth the side of the cake with a spatula.
Put the cake on a rack set in a shallow baking pan, press the grated white chocolate onto the side, gathering the excess in the pan and reapplying it until the side is completely coated evenly.
Transfer the cake to a serving platter. Mound the white chocolate carefully on half the cake and the dark chocolate on the other half of the cake. Chill again until ready to serve.

Old Fashioned Pot Roast

A few years back, a friend and neighbor in Boise, ID invited us over for Sunday dinner. She made a great pot roast. Seems like everyone should know how to do this, but I didn't. So she casually gave me a verbal recipe and I quickly took written notes on a scrap of paper. I just came across this scrap of paper in time to make this for Father's Day. Marc was in heaven! So for those of you who feel like you should know how to make a roast and are too embarrassed to admit it and ask someone for a recipe, I'll share mine via this blog......and noone will ever know!

Good Ol' Pot Roast
(a good neighbor whose name I have completely forgotten---now THAT is embarrassing!)

pot roast OR chuck roast
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. sugar
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. beef broth
dried thyme

Generously season meat with salt and pepper. Sear meat in oil for about 7 minutes on each side. Set aside. In the same pan, saute chopped onion, carrots and celery. Add sugar and garlic. Once all veggies are tender, add chicken and beef broth. Add roast back to pan and fill with water until comes halfway up meat (don't always need much water, depending on size of roast). Sprinkle top of roast with dried thyme. Cover and simmer. Then place in oven at 300 degrees for about 4 hours.
OPTIONAL: At 3 1/2 hours, you can add large pieces of potatos and carrots to cook with the roast for the last 1/2 hour.

YUMMY!!!! The roast just falls apart and is so tender--even my girls ate it!

Lemon Bundt Cake with Nut Topping

I went to Phoenix last weekend for a friends temple sealing. I stayed with an old family friend from when we used to live there almost 30 years ago. Joleen generously shared some of her great recipes with me. This is one of them (and I'm sure I'll be posting the rest as I make them)!

Lemon Bundt Cake with Nut Topping
(thanks to Joleen Hunt)

1 c. chopped pecans (I love the "cookie pieces" that you can buy, already chopped tiny)
1 lemon cake mix
1 small box of lemon instant pudding
4 eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. water
3 good dashes of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour your bundt pan. Sprinkle 1 c. nuts over the bottom of the pan. Mix all cake ingredients together and beat for 2 minutes. Pour batter over nuts.
Bake at 325 for 1 hour. Cool. Invert onto serving plate.

1 stick butter
1/2 c. water
1 c. sugar

Mix glaze ingredients on stovetop over medium heat, for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour glaze into bundt pan. Invert cake back into bundt pan. Let stand several minutes until glaze has been absorbed. Then invert one last time onto serving plate.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Baked Creamy Chicken Penne

This recipe came from Celia Fielding, via our ward email recipe swap. She calls it "Creamy Chicken Spaghetti," but when it came time to make it last night, I realized I was out of spaghetti, so I substituted mezze penne instead. Also, since you bake the pasta dish, I felt it needs to be included in the name since it takes on a "new idenitity" when baked. But however you make it and whatever you call it, it's good.

Baked Creamy Chicken Penne
(thanks for sharing Celia!)

8 oz mezze penne (or thin spaghetti, or any pasta, really)
Chicken broth made with water and bouillon or base (about 3 cups)
4 Tbsp butter
5 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (optional)
¾ cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 can (10-3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershirt sauce
2 Tbsp chopped pimiento
3 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
½ to 1 cup grated parmesan cheese or shredded cheddar cheese for topping.

Put enough chicken broth in a large saucepan to cook spaghetti; bring to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling chicken broth until tender.
In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter; add flour, stirring until smooth and bubbly. Gradually add milk; cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened. Add green pepper, 3/4 cup shredded cheese, the cream of mushroom soup, garlic powder, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and pimiento. Add chicken and cooked spaghetti; transfer to a lightly greased casserole. Top with Parmesan cheese or more shredded Cheddar cheese and bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

I have always said I didn't like ginger cookies--usually because they were "snaps" and more crunchy, which isn't my thing. However, I tasted these cookies at a friends house (who loves to bake more than me!) and fell in love. She got the recipe from

Big Soft Ginger Cookies
(thanks to Rachel Corbett, for re-introducing ginger cookies to me)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture.

Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Coconut-Pineapple Loaf Cake

Coconut-Pineapple Loaf Cake
(MS EveryDay Food, June 2008)

1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice, drained well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, tossing occasionally, 6 to 10 minutes; set aside. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch (8-cup) loaf pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low, and alternately add flour mixture in three parts and sour cream in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix).
Using a rubber spatula, fold pineapple and 1 cup coconut into batter. Spoon into prepared pan, and smooth top; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup coconut. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 65 to 70 minutes (cover pan with foil halfway through). Let cake cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.