Chocolate Truffle Sauce
I probably make Chocolate Truffle Sauce more often than any other recipe in this book. It can be used as a fudge sauce drizzled over a dish of ice cream or an ice cream pie, as a glaze to cover a cake, or even as a filling for a pie. When lightly whipped, the sauce becomes a creamy filling for a cake or tart. Now I, as much as anybody, like easy recipes, and preparing this truffle sauce, which is simply a matter of melting chopped chocolate in hot cream and butter, is about as easy as it gets.
I offer two truffle sauces. One is Thick Chocolate Truffle Sauce, my super thick, fudgy version made from whipping cream and plenty of chocolate. It forms a firm chocolate glaze for the Peanut Butter Pie with Fudge Topping (page 68) and adds a rich chocolate flavor to a Vanilla and Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake (page 150) or Chocolate Cream Pie (page 66). The other one, my Slightly Thinner Chocolate Truffle Sauce, uses half-and-half instead of cream and less chocolate, and it forms softer chunks when it freezes--as in the Dark Chocolate and Chunky Banana Ice Cream Pie (page 272). It combines smoothly with whipped cream for the frosting in Lisa's Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake (page 184) and flavors the Ribbon of Fudge Chocolate Cake (page 214). Cocoa powder darkens the thinner sauce and gives it a bittersweet flavor. Either sauce can be whipped to a creamy consistency or warmed to serve over ice cream.Thick Chocolate Truffle Sauce
Makes about 2 cups
3/4 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
12 ounces (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extractSlightly Thinner Chocolate Truffle Sauce
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder, such as Droste or Hershey's European Style, sifted
8 ounces (1 1/3 cups) semisweet chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Put the cream and butter or half-and-half and butter in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until the cream is hot and the butter is melted. The hot cream mixture will form tiny bubbles and measure about 175 F. on a food thermometer. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder, if using, and let it melt in the hot cream mixture for about 30 seconds to soften. Add the vanilla and whisk the sauce until it is smooth and all of the chocolate is melted and any cocoa powder is incorporated.Good Advice
Stir the chocolate gently into the hot cream so that it does not splash out of the pan.
Stir the sifted cocoa powder into the hot half-and-half with a whisk, and it will dissolve easily.Doubling the Recipe
Double or triple the ingredients.To Freeze
Pour the sauce into a plastic freezer container leaving 1 inch of space at the top of the container. Loosely cover and cool for an hour at room temperature. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the top of the sauce and cover the container tightly. Or divide each batch of sauce between two plastic containers. Label with date and contents. Freeze up to 2 months.To Serve
Remove as many containers of sauce from the freezer as needed. Defrost the sauce in the covered container overnight in the refrigerator. Warm the sauce in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Use the sauce warm as hot fudge sauce or as directed in the recipes in this book. If you need the sauce in a hurry and don't have time to defrost it, run hot water over the covered container and remove the frozen sauce from the container. Warm the sauce in a heatproof container placed over (not touching) barely simmering water, stirring often. Leftover sauce can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.Mocha Marble Mousse
Melted marshmallows play an unexpected role in this coffee and chocolate mousse. The fluffy marshmallows lighten the mousse mixture and the gelatin in them thickens the mousse as it chills.
Serves 6 to 8
7 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole milk
4 teaspoons instant decaffeinated coffee granules
4 cups miniature marshmallows (about 51/2 ounces)
2 cups cold whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 175 F. Put the chocolate in a heatproof container and melt it in the oven, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the chocolate from the oven as soon as it is melted and stir it smooth. Have ready a serving bowl with a 2- to 2 1/2-quart capacity.
2. Heat the milk and instant coffee in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the coffee dissolves. Add the marshmallows and cook, stirring constantly, until the marshmallows dissolve. The mixture will look foamy. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Put the bowl in the freezer until the mixture is cool, thick, and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Stir the mixture once to ensure that it cools evenly. The mixture should not set firm.
3. While the coffee mixture is chilling, put the cream and vanilla in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until firm peaks form. Whisk the cooled coffee mixture smooth and fold it into the whipped cream.
4. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the melted chocolate and transfer the remaining melted chocolate to a large bowl. Add 1 cup of the coffee cream mixture to the chocolate and whisk it smooth. Use a large rubber spatula to fold 1 cup of the coffee cream mixture into the chocolate mixture. Pour the remaining coffee cream mixture over the chocolate mixture. Use the rubber spatula to swirl the mixtures together slightly to marbleize them. Pour the mousse into the serving bowl. Dip the ends of a fork in the reserved melted chocolate and drizzle thin lines of chocolate over the top of the mousse. The mousse is ready to serve or it can be frozen.
Variation: Fill 8 stemmed glasses with mousse. Drizzle some melted chocolate over each mousse. To freeze, wrap each glass with plastic wrap, then heavy aluminum foil. Individual glasses of mousse will defrost in about 3 hours.Good Advice
Use miniature marshmallows for this recipe. They melt quickly in the warm liquid and eliminate the messy job of cutting large marshmallows into small pieces.
Melt all of the chocolate at the same time but reserve a portion to garnish the top of the mousse. To avoid turning on the oven just to melt the chocolate, you can put it in a heatproof container and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir the chocolate over the hot water until it melts.
A soufflÚ dish makes a nice serving bowl for the mousse.Doubling the Recipe
Double the ingredients and put the mousse in a 4- to 5-quart serving bowl or two 2- to 21/2-quart serving bowls.To Freeze
Freeze the mousse until the top is firm, about 1 hour. Press plastic wrap on the top of the mousse. Gently press heavy aluminum foil over the mousse. Label with date and contents. Freeze up to 1 month.To Serve
Defrost the wrapped mousse in the refrigerator, about 5 hours or overnight. Serve the mousse cold. Serve within 2 days. After 2 days some liquid may form on the bottom of the mousse.Pear and Chocolate Tea Loaf
When the fresh fruit pickings are slim, this tea loaf, made with dried and canned pears, offers a good fruit option. Prepared from a muffinlike batter, the loaf is liberally dosed with chopped chocolate and dried pears. The combination of the chopped dried pears and pureed canned pears produces a moist loaf that keeps well.
Makes 1 loaf
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 canned pear halves in light syrup, drained
2 large eggs
1/4 pound (1 stick) soft unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups chopped dried pears, in 1/4-inch pieces (about 7 ounces)
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a loaf pan with a 6- to 7-cup capacity.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. Put the canned pear halves in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process to a puree, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract and process until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. The mixture may look slightly curdled. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until the flour is evenly moistened. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the chopped dried pears. Gently stir the remaining dried pears and the chocolate into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the reserved dried pears over the top of the loaf, pressing them gently ...
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