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Hot Chocolate Panna Cotta & Soft-Centered Chocolate Teacup Cakes

23 Feb

Yep, you read it right – it’s a two-fer posting! It seems that I’ve been out of town for the bulk of February (nothing like the shortest month to fly like the wind). A week in Las Vegas (for those of you unfamiliar – Vegas has more superbly fine dining in a three-square-mile area than anywhere else on earth) and then Disneyland! (OK, the whole superb dining thing from Vegas had to carry me over to Disneyland, but even their food has improved, somewhat.)

And because of that, I’m preparing both desserts for this Sunday dinner’s dessert(s)! (I only hope no one experiences a chocolate coma!)

Hot Choc panna cotta molten cakeThe panna cotta was delightfully easy to prepare – the toughest part was the clumping of the unsweetened cocoa powder – but that explains the two strainings. The teacup cakes was equally as easy in preparation. I made the cake in the morning and so, it had cooled and fallen (hence the dip in the center). Just before serving, however, I put it back in a hot oven for two minutes – and the center was just as ooey-gooey as I had expected – it merely lacked the puffiness it had freshly baked.

And, the taste? They both were extremely scrumptious! Chocolatey beyond definition! The panna cotta was particularly enjoyed by my eldest son, while the teacup cake was the favorite of my husband and our best friend. As for me? I think I liked the cake the best, but they were/are so rich, it’s hard to eat very much of either one of them.

Now, the big question…will I make either of them again? Oh, yeah, I will – both of them!

 

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Brown-Butter-and-Vanilla-Bean Gateau Weekend

27 Jan

Let me first say, that I love, love, love the idea that French home-bakers bake cakes in loaf pans. I know, all you cake¬†aficionados love a beautiful layer cake, but the truth be told, I’m just not any good at them. But a cake in a loaf pan? I am all over that!

My vanilla beans are a little old, so I made mine with the scraped vanilla bean and two-teaspoons of vanilla. My version of compromise! To brown the butter to the shade of honey, I placed my honey bear right beside my stove so I could compare. My butter came out just a slight shade darker, but not black – and I really can see how that could happen if you weren’t paying attention (“…the difference between brown and black is measured in seconds.”). And, I do love the smell of butter browning!

I served this with a little ice cream and raspberry sauce, just to fancy it up a little. And, I have to say, it was delicious!Gateau Voyages