Tag Archives: chocolate

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.

S’Mores Revisited

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

Finished photoReinterpreting S’Mores is one of the fun things about being a pastry chef.  This version of S’mores is a perfect example as it keeps the classic components but changes them up a bit.

Homemade graham crackers are topped with homemade marshmallow crème then topped off with hot fudge. Like I said, all the components of a really good S’more.

When my boys were little I made graham crackers for them. They are quite simple. The dough is a bit sticky but rolling it between sheets of waxed paper solves that problem. Both honey and brown sugar sweeten the whole wheat flour. Equal parts of whole wheat and all purpose flour are used in this recipe. Using a pizza cutter facilitates the cutting and the traditional holes are made with the back end of a wooden skewer for best results. It makes the perfect size hole when baked. Continue reading

Chocolate Cake

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

Finished photoA chocolate cake to die for is the only thing you can say about these deep, dark, delicious layers waiting for myriad fillings and finishes. These chocolate cake layers start moist and stay moist for days making them ideal whether you are producing one cake or 20 cakes.

I can’t remember how long ago I found the original recipe in a Good Housekeeping magazine.  Rose Levy Beranbaum was commissioned to make a celebration cake for the magazine and it was all chocolate (what else do you celebrate with?).   It was around the time I was first starting my bakery, Truffes.  When I first started I thought that every cake had to be made with butter  because I was upscale.  Big mistake!  What I actually found was that cakes made with butter have a shorter life span and stale quicker than cakes made with oil.  Since I was selling to restaurants and hotels which need a longer shelf life than caterers (to whom I also sold) a longer shelf life was necessary.  As much as you want to believe all of your hard work and deliciousness is selling out immediately, it generally isn’t – unless it’s a catered event.  So of ultimate importance is shelf life. Continue reading

Chocolate Cherry Bread

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

Chocolate Cherry BreadChocolate Cherry Bread combines two foods I love – chocolate and bread. So combining them seemed a natural. I can’t remember when I first tasted Chocolate Cherry Bread but it is among my favorite breads.  Besides how can cocoa, melted chocolate and chocolate chunks all in one bread be anything by super.

Cocoa is a natural and here I have combined it with melted chocolate and chocolate chunks for the greatet depth of chocolate flavor.

This Chocolate Cherry Bread freezes well and is great as a hostess gift. This bread, because of the chocolate in it, can be a slow riser and I often use my proofer to help it along. Try this once and I can assure you fear of bread baking will be in the past – at least I hope so. Continue reading