Tag Archives: chocolate

Meringue Shells

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

Finished 4One of the easiest and most versatile dessert shell is the Meringue Shell. Only three ingredients, egg whites, sugar and an acid along with  a bit of time in a low oven transforms these simple components into feather light, melt in your mouth containers for almost anything you want to put in them.

From Schaum Tortes of Vienna filled with a lightened lemon curd to ice cream balls, and the national dessert of New Zealand and Australia, Pavolova, these Meringue Shells make the perfect do ahead dessert. I remember well when I was young my mother making Schaum Torte on special occasions. She would make a large nine or ten inch shell and fill it with the most delicious lemon filling. I was always first in line for a piece. Well, one year my uncle came to our house to help transfer the mountain of food my mother made including the Schaum Torte, croissant and other treats to our grandmothers where we al ate. As he stepped off the curb, he slipped and while he remained upright, alas, the lemon filled treat fell from his hands into the curb. I don’t think he ever got over it. I’m sure my mother didn’t. I know for sure I didn’t.

There are many types of meringue from the soft pillows that cover a lemon meringue pie to buttercreams based on various meringues to crisp cookies or shells. The type of meringue depends upon the amount of sugar used. For a crisp meringue a two to one proportion of egg whites to sugar is used. For these crisp shells a base formula of 1 egg white to 1/4 cup (50 grams or 1 2/3 ounces) of sugar is used. An acid such as 1/2 teaspon cream of tarter or 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar helps stabalize the meringue. Continue reading

No Bake Rocky Road Cheesecake

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

No Bake Rocky Road CheesecakeToday was KMOV TV Great Day St. Louis day and here’s the recipe for this easy to make no bake cheesecake.

Ummmm cheesecake – everyone’s favorite. But getting it to come out is another matter. Do you use a water bath or not? How do you prevent it from cracking? Or do you just give up and buy one? What if you could make a great cheesecake and not have to worry about the baking part? We’re not talking about just any cheesecake, but rocky road with chocolate, salted peanuts and marshmallows finished with a gravel top of peanuts and chocolate and caramel sauce? Now there’s no reason not to make one. Oh, and you can tell everyone you baked this perfect cheesecake and soak in all the compliments. No one will know this was a no bake cheesecake except you and me!! And I’m not tellin’!! Continue reading

Better Than Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

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

Peanut Butter CupsToday was TV day on KMOV TV’s Great Day St. Louis.  This was my 4 minute segment.

Every once in a while I get a hankering for a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. So recently I had one. I don’t know if it was me or if the formula was changed but it seemed gritty and not at all smooth like I remembered it.

So I set out to capture the taste I remembered and low and behold, I think it’s better! And not only better, but really, really easy. For ingredients for the peanut butter and two for the chocolate. So there’s no excuse for not making these.

The small paper liner cups can be found in grocery stores, party stores, and kitchen stores. They need to be small and just fit the cups. It is ok if they rise slightly above the cups. Continue reading

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