Capuccino Cupcakes


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Any excuse to play in my kitchen is a great excuse. A few days ago, someone asked me how to bake perfectly round cups using sugar cookies or regular cookies. I had used them many times to make fun treats, but had never really tried to use them and bake them empty so I thought to give it another try. Well, as a result I was left with an array of empty shells to work with. Being a fan of chocolate, and coffee I decided to make those cute yummy treats. I hope that you will enjoy them. Plus, they are a fun treat to make with children. Easy, Mess free and Yummy!!!

Ingredients for 24 mini cupcakes:

  • 1 pre-baked sugar cookie dough ( i don’t have any preference, I used Pillsbury)
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 4 oz. of bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp of sugar ( optional – i don’t because i like dark chocolate but those of you who may like  sweet desserts, i would)
  • 1 tbsp of coffee granule
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream for the whipped cream
  • 2 tbsp of mascarpone or cream cheese at room temperature.
  • a few coffee beans for decoration.
  1. Turn the oven to 400. Place the mini cupcake tray on the medium perforated sheet and place a cookie square in each hole.photo 2
  2. Cook the cookies 10 minutes.photo 3
  3. Remove the pan from the oven, and with a shot glass ( i hope that you have one, or the back of a large spoon), press the dough down to make a well.photo 4
  4. Place the cookies back in the oven and cook for another 3-5 minutes ( it will depend on your oven).photo 5
  5. Let them cool completely and prepare the filling.photo 2
  6. Place the chocolate chips, sugar and coffee in a bowl and set aside.
  7. Place 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a small bowl and cook for 1 minute or until it is hot.
  8. Pour the cream over the chocolate mixture and let it set for 1 minute to let the chips  melt.
  9. Stir until you have a very liquid mixture free of lumps. Place it in the fridge to cool.
  10. Meanwhile prepare the whipped cream. We are adding the mascarpone cheese so that the whipped cream will not fall.
  11. Place the cream and the cheese into a small bowl and whip until you have stiff peaks.
  12. Remove the chocolate mixture from  the fridge, place it in a kitchen mixer and whip it until you have  a fluffy mousse.
  13. Place the chocolate whipped ganache into a ziploc bag, or pastry bag and fill each cup to half.photo 3
  14. Then, fill another ziploc bag with whipped cream and pipe the cream on top of the chocolate.photo 4
  15. Decorate with coffee beans. C’est tout!!!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Blood Orange Flavored Whipped Chocolate Ganache tartlets


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When I entertain, I like to offer a large array of food. I like to cook so spending time in the kitchen is not an issue, and I like that my guests have choices. My buffet or tables will often present various meats, seafood, starches, vegetables and of course desserts. As far as desserts, i always like to try to fix a couple of them because not everyone like the same thing and I love variety myself. I often like to present something chocolatey, something fruity and something else.

Well because I always, always do too much, I inevitably run out of time in my preparation. I will tell you that tartlets are great for that reason:

1. you don’t have to make the dough if you don’t have time which take considerably time off.

2. you can prepare and cook the tartlets many days earlier so that all you have to do on the day of the party is to fill them up.

3. Some fillings are really easy and fast to make.

Today, i will share with you one of my favorite filling. It is a Orange flavored Whipped Ganache.

Ingredients for about 45 tartlets:

  • 1 pack of pie crust 
  • 1 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1-2 tbsp of Blood Orange Olive Oil from Demarle
  1. Place the chocolate chips into a medium size bowl.
  2. Pour the cream into a microwavable bowl and cook the cream in the microwave for 2 minutes or until bubbling hot.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chips. Leave it alone for a few minutes so that the cream will slowly melt the chips.
  4. With a small whisk, mix slowly the cream until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Add the olive oil and mix well.
  5. Place the mixture into the fridge or the freezer so that it will cool and congeal.
  6. Meanwhile prepare the tartlets.
  7. Turn the oven to 400.
  8. Place the mini tartlet on top of a perforated sheet ( it will cook more evenly).
  9. Unroll your roul’pat on your counter and roll out the pie crust.
  10. With a pie crust cutter of 2 1/4″, cut the crust into small pie shells.
  11. Place the pie shells onto the mini tartlet pan and with a shaper, press the pie crust down so that it will take the form of the pan.photo
  12. With a fork, puncture the pie crust so that a ” bubble” will not form at the bottom when it is baking. Set aside.photo 1
  13.  Place some porcelain beads, or dry pinto beans in each pie shell so that they will stay flat and you will be able to fill more filling.photo 3
  14. Cook the shells for 13-15 minutes or until they are a golden brown.
  15. Let them cool completely.photo 2
  16.  Place the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips into a bowl and melt in the microwave for 60 sec. or until the mixture is very liquid and free of lumps. You may cook for another 30 sec if needed, stir and cook again for 30 sec. again.
  17. With a pastry brush, brush the inside of each tartlets. ( this step is not necessary of the tartlets will be eaten within a few hours). If not, you will need to brush the tartlets with the chocolate so that it will act as a “barrier” against the moisture of the ganache and the tartlets will stay crisp and crunchy.photo
  18. Place the chocolate mixture into a kitchen mixer and mix until the mixture is very fluffy.
  19. Place the star tip at the end of the pastry bag and fill the  bag with the whipped ganache.
  20. photoPipe the ganache into the tartlets and decorate with an orange fruit paste. Et voila!photo
  21. Easy, yummy and impressive;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Les Tendresses… or Chocolate Darlings


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Two weeks ago I went to the Demarle Convention in Santa Ana. As a consultant for the company I always get energized by going to such event. I connect with other consultant and we share tips and ideas on becoming more successful.photo 2

They are so many meetings,  workshops and speakers that I always learn so so much. The event usually last 4 days. Even though it is meetings and workshops for 4 days, it is much fun because it is a bit of ” me time”;-), no husband to answer to, or children to take care of. Nice!!!

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photo 3Four days in between girls would have been nice on itself, but to top it off the company  hired a World Known Chef of the name of Stephane Glacier to do several cooking workshops during the event. What a treat! We learned so much!!!

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Today i would like to share with you  one of the recipe he was so courteous to share. It is a quick recipe, very easy to make, to adapt and to dress up. In my eyes, a winner.

Ingredients for 12 mini desserts:

  • 190 gr. or 6.7 oz. of almond powder ( 3/4 cup)
  • 190 gr. or about 6.7 oz of sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 190 gr. or about 3 eggs 
  • 100 gr. or about 7 tbsp. of butter 
  • 25 gr. or about 1 oz. of flour (1 tbsp + 2 tsp)

For the chocolate Ganache:

  • 100 gr. or about 7 oz. of heavy cream
  • 15 gr. or about 0.5 oz. of honey
  • 100 gr. or about 7 oz. of chocolate chips ( preferably European or Ghiradhelli)
  • 15 gr. or about 0.5 oz of butter

Soaking Syrup:

  • 200 gr. or about 7 oz. of water
  • 100 gr. or about 3.5 oz of sugar
  1. Turn the oven to 400.
  2. In a regular-sized bowl, mix the almond and the sugar.
  3. Then add the eggs a bit at a time. Add the flour and the melted butter. Don’t over beat!photo 1
  4. Pour the content of the bowl into a large ziploc bag. Cut the corner of the bag with scissors and fill in the flexipan of your choice. photo 2I used the doughnut tray.photo 5
  5. Place a silpat flat to cover the flexipan. ( it will prevent the cake from rising too much).photo 3
  6. Place the flexipan onto a medium perforated sheet and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Then turn the flexipan around to even out the baking and cook for another 10-12 minutes.
  7. While the darlings are cooking, prepare the ganache and the syrup.
  8. In a small saucepan, cook the water and the sugar until the sugar has dissolved. ( if you want to add a yummy orange flavor, add a tablespoon of the Blood orange olive oil in the syrup if you do not have orange extract).Set aside.
  9. Place the chocolate chips into a small bowl. Then microwave the cream and the honey for 1 minute and pour the hot cream over the chips. ( Add 1 tablespoon of orange flavored olive oil again in the ganache to flavor it).Let it sit a while.
  10. With a small whisk, mix the cream slowly to make the ganache. Add the soft butter and let the mixture cool at room temperature.
  11.  When baked, remove the flexipan from the oven and let it cool before removing the silpat and unmolding the cakes.photo 1
  12. Dip the warm cakes into the syrup and place them onto a cooling rack to drain and cool.
  13. Pour the ganache into a piping bag and pipe rosette on top of the litlle cake. Et voila!!! Un vrai Delice;-)

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes


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This past Sunday, I opened my home to a group of beautiful young ladies for a cooking class. They were no specifications as what they wanted to cook so I had carte Blanche. Since I wanted to be a hands-on cooking class, I decided to teach them appetizers. I thought that it would be something that they would enjoy and benefit for their entire life if they hosted parties, showers and luncheons. I did not know any of them. All i knew that they were all seniors in high school , and they were very excited to come. They stayed for 2 hours during which we prepared a variety of appetizers and desserts. I had divided my kitchen in 3 stations  so the girls could rotate every fifteen minutes to different stations and learn to make a different dish.
They learned to make wonton purses, Brie phillo cups with raspberry chipotle, lasagna cupcakes, Mozzarella and tomato skewers, Chocolate Cookie Cupcake with Bittersweet chocolate Ganache, Chocolate strawberries and lime tartlets. Lots of food as you see. Once they cooked it, they were given some time to enjoy what they made. It was priceless to see them place the food on trays and taste what they had made. You really could see pride in their smile.

They left the cooking class happily and thanked me a million times before leaving. The next day Lisa saw a few of those ladies again at school and they  thanked her again for a wonderful time. I am so glad they did;-) What an honor to have left a little mark in the lives of those young ladies;-)

Today I will share with you a variation of the chocolate cookie cupcake that I made for them. I t was excellent, but resembled  the “Little Pot Of Gold” that i posted a few weeks ago. So here is a new recipe, equally decadent and easy. I hope that you will try them;-)

Chocolate Surprise Cups with Chocolate Ganache:
 
Ingredients for 24 mini Cupcakes:
  • 1 pack of vanilla cookie dough from Nestle ( 24 mini cookies)
  • 24 Reese cups/ or dove milk chocolate/ or even caramel
  • 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips such as bittersweet Ghiradhelli chocolate.
  • 1/2 cup of hot heavy cream.
  • colorful sprinkles.
  1. Refrigerate the dough before using so it is will much easier to use.
  2. Turn the oven to 350.
  3. Warm up the heavy cream in the microwave for 2 minutes and when it is hot, pour it over the chocolate chips. Stir vigorously so as to melt the chocolate chips and create a fluid chocolate ganache. Make sure it is free of lumps. If you still see lumps, microwave the mixture for another 30 seconds.
  4. When it is completely free of lumps, pour this ganache inside a pastry bag  with a dented tip and place it in the fridge to cool. 
  5. Place a roulpat on your counter. Detach a cookie from the cookie log and with the palm of your hand, press down  on it to make it flat.
  6. Place this flattened cookie inside the opening of a mini cupcake mold that you would have placed on top of a perforated sheet.
  7. Repeat this process with all the sugar cookies.
  8. Place a reese cup or a dove chocolate inside the cups.photo 2
  9. Place the mini muffin tray into the oven and cook the cookie cups of 11-13 minutes ( 9 to keep them soft, 11 to have firmer cups).
  10. When the cups are cooked, remove the tray from the oven and cool completely.photo 4
  11. Take the ganache from the fridge and pipe the chocolate over the chocolate cups to make a beautiful topping. Decorate with sprinkles. photo 1

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chocolate Ganache Cupcake


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What are you guys doing for Valentine’s?

I am going to stay home and prepared a wonderful meal for my sweet family.

If you are looking for a quick dessert that is easy to make but it is so very yummy, try those cupcakes!

Those cupcakes are so yummy that they are hard to resist even right out of the oven. I had to make two bunches because my children and I could not keep our hands of them, and I had nothing left to make picture with;-)

The ingredients are about the same as a cake I posted a year ago. https://cecilecuisine.com/2011/09/29/fudge-cake/

Ingredients for about 20 mini cupcakes:

  • 1 cup of al purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup and 2 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp of table salt
  • 1/2 cup of butter melted and warm
  • 1 1/4 cups f brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • Sprinkles of all colors.
  1. Turn your oven to 375.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl mix the melted butter and the brown sugar.
  4. Then add the vanilla and the eggs.
  5. Dump the flour mixture in the egg and butter mixture and stir. Empty the batter into a plastic bag, or a pastry bag and pipe the cake into the opening of the mini cupcake mold.
  6. Cook the cakes for 13-15 minutes until the top is puffed up and a it crunchy ( but the center will still be gouey).
  7. Let the cakes cool in the pan for a few minutes, before removing them. You may eat them warm, they are really yummy!!!
  8. If you wish to eat them as a cupcake, wait until they are completely cooled before piping the ganache as the frosting.

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Ingredients for the ganache:

  • 2 cups of Giradhelli Bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup of heavy cream.
  1. In a large bowl, place the chocolate.
  2. Place the heavy cream in a microwave proof container and warm up the cream for 2 minutes until it is starting to boil.
  3. Add the hot cream to the chocolate.
  4. Let it rest for a minute or 2, then mix well until all the chocolate has melted and the ganache is becoming smooth.
  5. Pipe the ganache onto the cake.
  6. Decorate as you wish. Et voila!!!

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Happy Valentine’s;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Out of This World Chocolate Eclairs


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Saturday evening I had guests for dinner. What to fix for desserts??? The choices are endless…but it had been a while since I had eaten eclairs and I really did not want to make a cake. What I knew that it needed to be chocolate so I made chocolate eclairs:

Ingredients for 8 normal-size eclairs or 16 small ones:

For the choux pastry:

  • 8 cl  or 1/4 cup,1 tbsp and 1 tsp of milk,
  • 8 cl or 1/4 cup,1 tbsp and 1 tsp of water,
  • 1/16 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of sugar,
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp of butter,
  • 1/2 cup of flour,
  • 1 pinch of salt, 
  • 2 large eggs.
  1. In a saucepan, heat up the milk, water, salt, and sugar.
  2. Add the butter cut up in pieces.
  3. When the butter has completely melted, bring the mixture to boil.
  4. Remove the pan from the stove and add the flour by stirring very well.
  5. Place the pan back on the stove ( it must be turned off, but will still be warm), and stir and stir with a heat-resistant spatula until the dough starts becoming a ball and will no longer stick to the rims of the pan.
  6. Remove the pan from the stove, empty the dough into a cold bowl and add the eggs to the dough one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
  7. Place the dough in a pastry bag, with the large circular opening make long sticks of about 5 inches or 2 inches for small ones on a large silpat that you would have previously lay on a large perforated sheet.
  8. Place the perforated sheet in a warm oven of 350 and cook the eclairs for 15 minutes for the small ones or about 25 minutes for the large ones. The dough should be brown and dry on all sides. If the dough is a little bit soft, continue cooking the eclairs for 1-3 more minutes. Take them out to cool.
  9. When they are cold, or cool enough, cut the top off at about 2/3 high of the eclairs. Set aside.

Ingredients for the Pastry Cream:  

  • 325 gr or 1 1/3 cup of whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks,  
  • 65 gr or 4.5 tbsp of sugar,
  • 15 gr. or 3 tsp of flour,
  • 15 gr. or 3 tsp of corn starch,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • 200 gr. of bittersweet chocolate chips ( Ghiradhelli Preferably)
  • 80 gr. of butter
  1. In  large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish.
  2. Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix.
  3. Warm up the milk over the stove, or in the microwave for 2 minutes,
  4. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir. Place the milk/ egg mixture back onto the stove and cook until the mixture is bubbling and is becoming really thick. Remove the pastry cream from the stove, and place it into a bowl. Set aside.
  5. Pour the pastry cream in the flexipan.
  6. Cover the pastry cream with some plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to cool.
  7. Place the chocolate chips and the butter into a microwable bowl and microwave for 2 minutes or until the chocolate is completely melted.
  8. With a small whisk, mix the butter and the chocolate until you have a homogeneous mixture.
  9. Pour this mixture into the bowl.
  10. Pour the pastry cream into the same bowl, mix well.
  11. Pour this mixture into a pastry bag and fill each eclairs as shown below.

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Now let’s prepare the ganache for the glacage of the eclairs. This recipe yields more than you will need but you can freeze the rest for later use.

Ganache:

  • 100 gr. of chocolate chips
  • 100 gr. of heavy cream
  • 40 gr. of butter
  • 32 gr. of honey
  1. Place the chocolate and the butter in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the cream and the honey in a microwable container and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate and butter and mix well until the chocolate and butter have become a smooth ganache. If the chocolate is not completely melted, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and free of lumps.
  4. Take each top and dip them into the ganache.
  5. Place each top on the roulpat in case of any drippings and leave them there until the ganache is cured.
  6. Place the top on each eclairs.

Et voila!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Luscious Chocolate Eclairs


I know, I know.. I said that I needed to take some of those winter layers off, but comes the weekend, I love to make yummy desserts and preferably chocolate. I had been eying that recipe of chocolate eclairs ever since I made the ones for the Titanic party, but the lack of time kept me from making them until this past Sunday. Those chocolate are a bit different from the “normal” ones. Instead of being filled with a chocolate pastry cream, they are actually filled with a chocolate mousse. HEAVEN!!!

This recipe was adapted from a French cookbook called Eclairs By Marabout.

Ingredients for 15 +eclairs:

Ingredients for about 15+ eclairs or  about 30 mini eclairs:

For the choux pastry: 8 cl  or 1/4 cup, 1 tbsp of 1 tsp of milk, 8 cl or 1/4 cup, 1 tbsp and 1 tsp of water, 1/16 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of sugar, 3 1/2 Tbsp of butter, 1/2 cup of flour, 2 large eggs.

In the saucepan, heat up the milk, salt, and sugar. Add the butter cut up in pieces. When the butter has completely melted, bring the mixture to boil. Remove the pan from the stove and add the flour by stirring very well. Place the pan back on the stove ( it must be turned off, but will still be warm), and stir and stir with a heat-resistant spatula until the dough starts becoming a ball and will no longer stick to the rims of the pan. Remove the pan from the stove and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg. Place the dough in a pastry bag, with the large circular opening make long sticks of about 5 inches or 2 inches for small ones on a large silpat that you would have previously lay on a large perforated sheet. Sprinkle the eclairs with some confectioner’s sugar and cook them in a warm oven at 350 for 15 minutes for the small ones or about 25 minutes for the large ones. The dough should become brown and dry on all sides. If the dough is a little bit soft, continue cooking the eclairs for 1-3 more minutes. Take them out to cool.

While the choux are cooking, prepare the sinful filling:

250 gr of dark chocolate ( I used bittersweet Ghiradhelli), 100 gr of butter, 4 egg yolks, 6 egg whites, 40 gr of granulated sugar, 1 pinch of salt.

Melt the butter and the chocolate in a double boiler OR place the chocolate and the butter in a microwavable dish and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the chocolate from the microwave and stir well until the mixture is homogeneous. Place the egg whites in a kitchen mixer and beat the whites until hard peaks are forming. Slowly add the chocolate mixture. Do not overbeat so as to not deflate the egg whites. PLace the “chocolate mousse in  large bowl and refrigerate for several hours.

When the mousse has rested and has solidified, start assembling the eclairs. Slice the eclairs in half from one side, open  them up,  fill the eclairs with the chocolate mousse, and close them back up. PLace the eclairs in the fridge so that the mousse will not melt.

Prepare the icing: For this recipe, I used a different icing. Normally you would use an icing made out fondant or a glacage, but I used a ganache.

Ingredients: 125 gr of bittersweet chocolate, 125 gr of cream, 40 gr of honey, 50 gr of butter.

Place the cream, honey and the chocolate in a bowl, and microwave for 90 sec. When it is melted, add the butter and mix well. Mic well until the ganache is nice and shiny. Let it rest a few minutes for it to cool off before spreading it on each eclairs.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!