Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Chocolate Truffles

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Box of trufflesAt the bakery, we were known for our chocolate.  Among the favorites were the Chocolate Chocolate Truffles.  We only offered these from October to May when the weather was cooler.  We had one client who was so funny.  I could count on her to be the first call to get these truffles.  She used to hide them in a purple box in the back of her refrigerator – until her boys got old enough to figure there was something special in the box.  Then she had to start sharing the truffles. She would tell me she ate truffles all over the world but these were the best.  I have always remembered her kind words.

The secret to these truffles is to freeze the centers before coating.  We had a chocolate tempering machine and I really miss it.  But there is a way to approximate the finish.  The truffles themselves are really easy to make and finish.  A bit of practice will make you an expert.  The first coat almost always goes out of temper, meaning they will be really dull with white streaks.   After dipping the first coat, let them come to room temperature. Continue reading

Triple Chocolate Heart Tarts

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Triple Chocolate Heart TartTriple Chocolate Heart Tarts – gorgeous, sophisticated, stunningly flavorful and easy – what more could you want in a Valentines dessert?  When I had my bakery, we made so many of these both for Valentines day in these adorable tart shells and during the year when we made them in 12” European tarts it was amazing.  What’s “so many” you ask.  What about 1500 pieces which amounted to 125 tarts for banquet desserts usually with only a few days notice?  If you can’t find 4 1/4” heart shaped tart pans, use 4 1/4” round ones – the dessert will be just as gorgeous, sophisticated, stunningly flavorful and easy!

Because these tarts are very short, there is only a small amount of “crust” on the bottom to anchor the filling.  The majority of the filling is poured over the bottoms and allowed to set up in the cooler.  The remainder is heated just to loosen it and combined with whipped cream for a third layer of chocolate.  The finish I have used here is the one we used at the shop.  The rosette is piped on with a bit of buttercream which we always had around.  I have included a chocolate ganache if buttercream is not to be had. Continue reading

Amaretto Truffle Torte

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished SliceThe Amaretto Truffle Torte is one of the most intense, decadent tortes you will find.  Comprised of a Riene de Saba base, caramel, roasted hazelnuts and a chocolate ganache infused with Amaretto it is as sleek and sophisticated as a torte can be.

The  Riene de Saba base is one we used for several desserts at the bakery.  I used it in my first post for this blog, the Chocolate Strawberry Mousse Torte.  I like it because of its depth of fudgey chocolate flavor.  It is about 1/2 inch tall, perfect to hold whatever tops it and it freezes well which allows it to be made ahead. The only caveat is it shouldn’t be overbooked or it will dry out.

The caramel  for the Amaretto Truffle Torte has to be made at least the day before but can be made a week before if desired.  It should be stored in the refrigerator if it is made more than a day ahead.  To make it spreadable, microwave it briefly just to the point of spreadability.  Do not stir it vigorously as it may granulate if you do.

The filling is a simple but intense chocolate ganache.  Amaretto liqueur is fortified with almond and vanilla extracts. Continue reading

Chocolate Cranberry Curd Tart

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Chocolate Cranberry Curd TartChocolate Cranberry Curd had become an absolute favorite for the holidays at the bakery. Besides its vibrant color, the taste and texture are outstanding. We used it in tarts, cakes and petit fours. Room permitting, we would freeze cases of cranberries at the end of the season in order to get a head start the following season and test new recipes during the year.

I love cranberries so much that the staff would have to make me take some of the cranberry desserts off the menu so we could put other seasonal items on.  There is nothing like the sweet tart taste and the intense red color enclosed in a deep chocolate brown glaze.

The tart itself is easy to make with its press in crust which means no rolling.  The cranberry curd itself has one extra step as you have to cook the cranberries and puree them before actually making the curd.  The glaze is a simple matter two ingredients which make the perfect finish. Continue reading

Snickers Brownies

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Snickers BrowniesAlthough really easy, these fudgy Snickers Brownies, are sure to become a favorite. They are great for getting kids into the kitchen. When my grandson was five he made these and still does. After all a whisk, a bowl, a few measuring utensils yields a bonanza of brownies. If you don’t have a food processor, don’t freeze the candy, just chop the snicker bars by hand.  Make these Snickers Brownies once and see if they don’t become an instant favorite.

(This recipe appeared on KMOV’s Great Day St. Louis and as such has no how-to photos)

Brownies
1/2 cup butter (1 stick or 114 grams or 4 ounces)
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (114 grams)
1 cup sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour (70 grams or 2 1/3 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees or if the pan is dark or glass, reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and spray the paper and the pan.

Melt butter and chocolate over hot water or microwave about 2 minutes. Whisk to combine the butter and chocolate. Whisk in sugar, vanilla and salt. Add eggs and whisk in. Add flour and stir to mix completely. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until set and a few crumbs cling to a tester.

Glaze
10 to 12 fun size snicker bars
1/2 cup 40% cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate

Cut each snickers into 6 to 8 pieces and freeze until hard. Place in a food processor and process until chopped. You want big and little pieces. Set aside.

Heat the cream until it steams, but does not boil. Remove from the heat. Add the semisweet chocolate and submerge it under the cream. Let sit for several minutes; then whisk gently until smooth.

Pour the glaze over the brownies and spread to the edges. Sprinkle with snickers pieces. Refrigerate to set chocolate. Cut into desired size squares. The brownies can be stored at room temperature after the glaze has set.