Sunday, March 15, 2015

Best Ever Hot Fudge Sauce

Best Ever Hot Fudge Sauce

6 oz good quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (I used Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/4 C sugar
2 T butter
1 t vanilla
pinch of sea salt
1/2 C half and half

Place all ingredients except half and half into a blender.

Place half and half into a medium size bowl and heat in microwave on high for 75-90 seconds or until it's vigorously boiling. (Or on the stove stirring frequently.)

Immediately pour half and half over contents in the blender.  Blend on medium high for 1 minute. Scrape down sides and blend again for one more minute.  If you want to thin it down a bit, just add a little more half and half a teaspoon at a time.

Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.  Sauce will get thicker when chilled but will thin out when warmed up.  Reheat in microwave, stirring every 10 seconds.  Makes approx. 1 cup of chocolate sauce.

*Recipe from
*This picture is lame, but oh so accurate and truthful.  When hot fudge sauce is just as good cold at 10:00 at night, it needs to be's a delicious ganache, so smooth and creamy.
*Found it easier to make a double batch in the blender, 1 batch was a little small.
*Such a great addition to brownies and ice cream with Crunch Topping & whipped cream!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mixed Berry Pavlova

Mixed Berry Pavlova (mini's and large)

4 extra large egg whites, at room temp (I feel organic egg whites work best)
pinch kosher salt
1 C sugar
2 t cornstarch
1 t white wine vinegar
1/2 t pure vanilla ext (or vanilla bean paste...leaves the fun vanilla bean specks)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. (My oven only has a dial with small marks, so I erred on the side of hot, closer to 200 than 175).

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan.  Draw a 9 inch circle on the paper for a large and draw 5 smaller circles spaced as best you can (4 1/2 inch, but I think I'll go smaller next time and maybe get 6 out of it).  Turn the paper over so you don't get pencil on the meringue.

Place egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm shiny peaks, about 2 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula.  Pile the meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it with in the circle, making a rough disk.  For the smaller meringues, I divided it a spoonful at a time, trying to make it as even as possible between the 5 circles. Smooth out to create a flat top for the whipped cream and the fruit.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours for the large meringue and 45 minutes for the smaller ones.  Turn off the oven and let large meringue sit for another hour as the oven cools, and 30 minutes for the smaller ones. Bring out of oven and let cool completely.

Once it is cool, transfer to a serving platter, top with sweetened whipped cream and any fruit you like.  The mixed berry combo is divine.

Sweetened Whipped Cream

1 C heavy whipping cream
2-4 T powdered sugar
1 t pure vanilla ext

Place cream in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on high until cream starts to thicken.  Add vanilla and sugar to taste.  Continue to beat until really thick.

*Recipe for meringue is from Ina Garten via
*The meringue is so fragile, when putting cream on one, the whole thing collapsed from the weight of the cream.  Still tasted divine!
*Also, one of my ovens does NOT work for these. It's a wall oven and I wonder if it doesn't vent the moisture properly. I don't know, but the ones I cooked in it came out gooey and inedible until I put them back into the other oven and cooked them to death.  My free standing oven works best.
*Month 1 of Dessert of the Month Club, only posting the successes.

Flying Biscuits

Flying Biscuits

3 C flour
1 T plus 1 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
2 T plus 1 1/2 t sugar
6 T unsalted butter at room temp (consistency of shortening)
2/3 C heavy cream
2/3 C half and half
2 T half and half for brushing on top of biscuits
1 T sugar for sprinkling on top of biscuits

Preheat oven to 375. Line sheet pan with parchment or a silpat.

Place flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Cut butter into 1/2 T sized bits and add to the flour.  Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, work the batter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.

Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in all the heavy cream and half and half.  Stir the dry ingredients into the cream and mix with a wooden spoon until dough just begins to come together into a ball.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times to form a cohesive mass.  Do not overwork the dough.  Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to a 1-inch thickness.   (The correct thickness is the key to obtaining a stately biscuit.) Dip a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter (I use a 2 inch) in flour, then cut the dough.  Repeat until all the dough has been cut.  Scraps can be gathered together and rerolled one more time.  Place the biscuits on a the prepared sheet pan.  Leaving about 1 inch between them.  Brush the tops of the biscuits with the half and half and sprinkle with the sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes (Mine went about 18).  Biscuits will be lightly browned on top and flaky in the center when done.

Makes 8-12 biscuits depending on the size of the cutter.

*Over 12 years ago, Hans had business in Atlanta, Georgia so I went along to be able to spend time with one of my dearest friends, Christy Hood Vico (lifelong friend that I met in England at ACS). She was teaching kindergarten so I spent time in her classroom and on a farm field trip.  But on our Saturday morning, she took us to her favorite breakfast place...The Flying Biscuit.  So good.  So dang good.  I immediately bought the cookbook and have been making these biscuits ever since!  They rarely make an appearance at breakfast, but often accompany a great soup during the winter. They truly are so good.