Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

pain au chocolatesccMy very favorite coffee shop has a delicious pastry, Pain au Chocolat, an out-of-reach recipe because ordering a special chocolate from Italy for baking seems exhausting. Then my very favorite Italian cooking show presented an awkward-for-me cookie recipe with a very simple ganache recipe filling.  Both left me feeling like a frustrated failure. Until inspiration finally dawned in my blue cotton mind. Sometimes inspiration is the collision of two very separate ideas impacting and exploding into something more . . . like  a delightful dream come to life.

I asked my little guy what we should call this recipe – he thought and thought, then said, “Chocolate Wrap” – and I wrapped his title around an idea “Wrap Me a Chocolate Dream” or you could call it “Chocolate Dream Wrap” if you must.  Since I absolutely cannot keep a secret, – never could, just follow me to where a chocolate dream comes true:

You will need:

14 ounces chocolate (I use Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips – one 12 ounce bag + 2 ounces from another)
2/3 cup cream (I use half and half, but heavy cream would definitely bump it up – You know how Paula Dean is about butter – well I’m that way about heavy whipping cream)

Warm the cream then add the chocolate stirring until melted, making a smooth, consistent mixture.  Let cool and refrigerate for a few hours until you can scoop it out with a small melon ball scoop)

1 Package Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (2 sheets)
2 Table Spoons Sugar
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Warm Water

Let the Puff Pastry thaw for 45 minutes according to package directions. Use one sheet at a time, cutting along the creases, diving into 6 even pieces.

Next, scoop 3/4 of a melon scoop of the chocolate ganache onto the pastry rectangle.

Start rolling the pastry like you would a rug, leaving the chocolate ganache wrapped firmly within.

Once they are rolled up, fold the sides over, pinching to seal.  I used a knife to smooth the seal on the edges and the end of the roll. If not firmly sealed, the chocolate will ooze out.

Beat the egg, adding 1 tablespoon warm water.  Then, using a pastry brush, brush the top of each wrap. Afterwards, sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400° for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

As you can see, some of my Chocolate Dream Wraps were not sealed. I could say that I planned it that way for you to see the necessity of a thorough seal, but I did not. Blue Cotton Mom is definitely not a perfectionist! Sigh!

They can be eaten straight off the platter or served individually with whipped cream! As I said, whipped cream truly bumps anything up – in this case into a dream-like trance! Maybe there should be a warning label on this!

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Pixie Dust is over-rated and available in tremendously limited quantities.  Plus, you have to deal with tween attitude mixed up with Neverland crime in the hood. But, Pecan Dust – now that is a magical dust with heavenly qualities – and in abundant quantities – no surly attitude, no vexing chunks – just the essence of pecans adding dimension to salads, crusts, stuffed pork tenderloin, but, especially, oh so especially, my Normandy Pie!

Just take a little Pecan Dust, like what you see below

Pecan Dust


Chocolate Chips


Delightful! Heavenly! The Normandy Pie!

Normandy Pie by Blue Cotton Memory

1 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup (1 stick) melted butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1-6 oz. pkg, semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Cup pecans, reduced to Pecan Dust consistency
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-9 inch unbaked pie shell

Mix sugar and flour. Add melted butter. Stir.  Then add 2 eggs and vanilla.  Stir.  Add chocolate chips and pecan dust, stirring until evenly distributed.  Bake in a 9-inch pie shell for 1 hour at 350°.

I always like to place pie in the oven just as I sit down to dinner with friends. By the time we finish, so then is the pie.  Top with homemade whipping cream.  If you need to make ahead of time, heating each piece up in the microwave is recommended for full flavor.  However, even served at room temperature, the Normandy Pie will disappear quickly.

Let the Magic of Pecan Dust Dazzle your Culinary Senses!

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