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I need to out-decadence someone at an upcoming dessert party

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:44 am    Post subject: I need to out-decadence someone at an upcoming dessert party Reply with quote

First, and foremost...thank you for this blog and this forum, and all things CfE provides. First time writer, long time reader. It's time for an annual dessert party one of my friends host, and last year, I was out-decadenced by a flourless chocolate cake. I'm looking for some type of unbeatable dessert. I'll entertain any and all ideas
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Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raspberry cheesecake bonbons are a winner.

You make a raspberry cheesecake in a cake pan and scoop it with a little ice cream scoop then dip in ganache (chocolate and cream, it the basic recipe for truffles). Dip the bottom in graham cracker crumbs before the ganache hardens. Beautiful with little drizzles of white chocolate tinted pink.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gateau St. Honore can be a really breathtaking dessert, especially if you top it with brittle webs of sugar. The one I've seen, nobody wanted to be the first to cut into it, and nobody wanted to miss out.

It's a puff-pastry base layered for height with whipped filling, topped with a circle of cream-puffs, basically speaking, but you have a completely free hand with creating the structure of it, and can get a little crazy or spectacular. Sugar lattices are good, or wafer cookies sticking out of the cream puffs, or multiple layers of puffs and pastry, etc. As long as it stays upright (perhaps assembly could be delayed until the last minutes), you've got a spectacle that everyone wants to eat and nobody wants to touch.

By the way, some recipes that one finds online (I'm looking at you, Martha Stewart), call for you to make your own puff pastry. There is really no need, and the rest of it can be hard enough, so just buy the stuff from your local store-- it freezes quite well enough.
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Joined: 05 Nov 2005
Posts: 5
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 9:42 pm    Post subject: A bit of work, but if ya really want decadence.... Reply with quote

This is so beautiful - be sure to use a deep serving plate - huge glass paella bowl worked well. credit - Food Down Under

Floating Island with Kahlua Custard Sauce and
Sesame Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Ingredients :

1 3/4 cup Sugar
6 large Egg whites
1/4 tsp Cream of tartar

Kahlua custard sauce & sesame pumpkin-seed brittle as accompaniments.

2 cup Half-and-half
1 x Vanilla bean, split lengthwise
6 lrg Egg yolks
1/2 cup Sugar
3 tbl Kahlua, or to taste
1 cup Sugar
3 tbl Pepitas, (hulled green pumpkin seeds, available at natural foods stores and some Hispanic markets), chopped
1 1/2 tsp Sesame seeds

Method :
In a dry heavy skillet cook 1 cup of the sugar over moderate heat until it begins to melt and continue cooking it, stirring with a fork, until it is melted completely and is a golden caramel. Pour the caramel into a 1 1/2-quart ring mold. Using potholders to hold the mold tilt and rotate the mold to coat the bottom and let the caramel cool.
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the salt until they are foamy, add the cream of tartar, and beat the whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat in the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, and beat the meringue until it holds stiff glossy peaks. Spoon the meringue into the ring mold, rapping the mold sharply on a hard surface to expel any air bubbles, and smooth the top.
(The meringue will fill the mold completely.) Transfer the mold to a deep baking pan, add enough hot water to the pan to reach 1 inch up the side of the mold, and bake the meringue in the middle of the oven for 1 hour. (The meringue will rise completely and will deflate as it cools.) Turn off the oven and let the meringue stand in the oven for 15 minutes. Transfer the mold to a rack and let it cool completely. Invert the meringue onto a deep serving plate, letting the melted caramel drip over the top and down the sides. Some of the caramel will remain, hardened, in the bottom of the mold. Put the mold in a skillet of simmering water and heat the caramel, stirring occasionally, until it has melted. Spoon the Kahlua custard sauce around the meringue, drizzle the meringue decoratively with the melted caramel, and crumble some of the sesame pumpkin-seed brittle over it. Serve the remaining custard sauce separately.
To make Kahlua custard sauce:
In a small heavy saucepan bring the half-and-half just to a boil with the vanilla bean and remove the pan from the heat. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until the mixture is combined well and add the half-and-half mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Transfer the mixture to a heavy saucepan and cook it over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it thickens slightly and registers 175F. on a candy thermometer. (The sauce will thicken as it cools.) Strain the custard sauce through a fine sieve into a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice and cold water, let it cool, stirring, and stir in the Kahlua. Chill the sauce, covered, for at least 2 hours, or until it is very cold. The sauce may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.
Makes about 2 cups.
To make sesame pumpkin-seed brittle:
In a dry heavy skillet cook the sugar over moderate heat until it begins to melt and continue cooking it, stirring with a fork, until it is melted completely and is a golden caramel. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the pepitas and the sesame seeds, and, working quickly, pour the mixture onto a sheet of foil. Let the brittle cool and break it into small pieces.
The brittle may be made 1 week in advance and kept in an airtight container.
Makes about 1/2 pound.
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Jay Francis

Joined: 14 Apr 2006
Posts: 11
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:06 pm    Post subject: German Chocolate Pie A La Mexicana Reply with quote

Darn. I was going to suggest this essentially flourless chocolate bourbon cake that I picked up from an issue of Fine Cooking, but since you were beaten by this last about a German Chocolate Pie? Nothing better than chocolate, coconut, and almonds.

I'm feeling a little lazy so I'm not going to post a recipe here. But, Ken Haedrich's book PIE, has a good one and the only change I make is that I use Abuelita brand Mexican chocolate reducing the chocolate amount by 1 ounce and adding a 1 ounce square of Baker's Unsweetened baking chocolate to add an extra note of chocolate depth.

You could make a whipped cream topping and flavor it with a little decaffeinated espresso or instant coffee, reconstituted in a little water or cream first.
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