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Archive for the ‘Afternoon Tea’ Category

Chocolate-Ricotta Icebox Cake

01 Jan

Brought to us by Jessica

Nonstick cooking spray
14 ounces semisweet chocolate (do not use chips)
2 containers (15 ounces each) part-skim ricotta cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 package (9 ounces) chocolate wafers (about 44 cookies)

1. Prepare pan: Remove sides from a 9-inch round springform pan (see note, below). Place a sheet of waxed paper over bottom, leaving an overhang; lock sides onto bottom, firmly securing paper. Spray inside of pan with cooking spray; line sides with a strip of waxed paper 28 inches long and 4 inches wide.

2. Make chocolate-ricotta mixture: Break 12 ounces of chocolate into pieces. Place in a heatproof medium bowl set over, not in, a pan of simmering water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. In a food processor, blend ricotta until very smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl. Add warm chocolate; blend until smooth. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in chocolate-ricotta mixture.

4. Assemble cake: Arrange half the cookies in an overlapping pattern to cover bottom of pan. Spoon half the chocolate-ricotta mixture on top of cookies; smooth top. Cover with remaining cookies; top with remaining chocolate-ricotta mixture, and smooth top. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.

5. Before serving, release sides of pan and remove waxed paper from sides. Using bottom piece of waxed paper, pull cake onto a platter; with a metal spatula, lift cake and remove waxed paper. Using a vegetable peeler, shave remaining 2 ounces chocolate over top of cake. With a knife dipped in hot water, cut cake into 10 slices (wipe off knife, and dip in hot water after each slice).

Serves 10

Source: Martha Stewart

 

Popovers

01 Jan

Brought to us by Jason

Have all ingredients at room temperature (68 – 70 degrees f)

Position a rack in the center of the over. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees f. Grease a popover tin or standard 12-muffin pan.

Whisk together thoroughly in a large bowl:

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

Whisk together in another bowl:

2 large eggs

1 and ¼ cups milk

1 tablespoon warm melted unsalted butter

Pour wet mixture over the flour mixture and fold just until blended. A few small lumps may remain. Fill the cups two-thirds to three-quarters full. Fill any unfilled cups one-third full with water so that the pan does not burn. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees f, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees f and bake for 20 minutes more, until well browned and crusty. Do not open the oven to check the popovers until the last 5 minutes to avoid deflating them. Remove from the oven, unmold onto a rack, and puncture the sides with a sharp knife to let steam escape. Serve immediately or return to a turned-off oven for up to 30 minutes for extra crispness.

Source: Joy of Cooking

 

Chilled Potato-Leek Soup with Fennel and Watercress (Vichyssoise)

01 Jan

Brought to us by John

3 Tbs. olive oil
2 leeks, including tender green portion, rinsed well and coarsely chopped
2 fennel bulbs, about 1 lb. total, thinly sliced, leaves reserved for garnish
2 baking potatoes, about 1 lb. total, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock or prepared broth
1 bunch watercress, stems removed
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

In a soup pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the fennel and potatoes and sauté, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook until the vegetables are completely softened, about 20 minutes. Add the watercress and cook until it is wilted but is still bright green, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a blender, food mill or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth and return the soup to the pot. Alternatively, process with a stick blender in the pot until smooth. Stir in the cream. Season with salt and white pepper, adding a bit of extra salt; flavors are less pronounced when a dish is served cold, so more salt is needed to bring out the taste of the food. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Ladle the soup into chilled bowls and garnish with fennel leaves.

Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Soup, by Diane Rossen Worthington (Simon & Schuster, 2001).