Archive for Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Jayni serves up sweet ideas

February 11, 2004

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Join "Jayni's Kitchen" this week for "Valentine Chocolate Buffet with Marilyn Pollack Naron."

Host Jayni Carey and her guest will prepare the following recipes.

A new show debuts at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday on Sunflower Broadband Channel 6. The show also is broadcast at 8:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

Chocolate Ganache

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12 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (Ghirardelli bars preferred)

13.5 ounces heavy cream

1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

Using a large knife, chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Pour the cream into saucepan. Over medium heat, heat the cream just to the boiling point, removing from the heat just as the cream begins to boil up.

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate in the bowl and add the butter. Using a whisk, stir the mixture slowly and evenly until it is completely combined. The ganache will be dark, smooth and shiny. Do not over beat. Makes 2 3/4 to 3 cups of ganache.

Chocolate Toffee Cheesecake-Filled Strawberries

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16 extra-large, firm strawberries

1 10-ounce bag English toffee bits

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup Chocolate Ganache, room temperature

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

6 ounces white chocolate

Line a baking sheet or a 9-by-13-inch pan with waxed paper.

Clean the strawberries by wiping them gently with a damp paper towel. Using a paring knife, slice off the strawberry tops and discard.

Hold a strawberry in one hand, and using the small scoop end of a melon baller, press directly into the center "meat" of the strawberry, scooping and hollowing out the berry with one motion. Scoop gently and do not hollow completely, leaving some "walls" to the berry. Repeat with all berries and set aside.

Chocolate Toffee Cheesecake Filling: Place 1/2 bag (5 ounces) of toffee bits and the almonds in the food processor bowl. (Save remainder for another use.) Pulse the processor until the toffee bits and almonds are just crushed and combined, about 5 pulses. Do not grind into powder. Remove the mixture and place in a shallow bowl.

Place 1/4 cup of the toffee mixture back into the processor bowl and add the ganache (room temperature) and cream cheese. Process until smooth.

Scrape the filling out of the processor bowl and into a plastic storage bag. Seal the bag and snip off one small corner of the bag, creating a pastry bag.

Fill each hollowed strawberry with the filling, mounding it just over the top of each berry. After filling, press each berry into the bowl of ground toffee and almond mixture to coat. Set filled berries aside.

Place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 15-second intervals, stopping to stir chocolate, until fully melted.

Dip the end of each filled strawberry into the white chocolate to coat, gently shaking off the excess chocolate. Place the strawberries on the waxed paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 16 filled strawberries.

Tip: Round out chocolate offerings with a selection of fresh fruit, purchased European butter cookies and Champagne.

Mocha Fudge Brownie Hearts

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1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 1/2 cups golden brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon instant espresso or coffee

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

approximately 2 cups Chocolate Ganache for glaze

1 package Bogdon's Reception Stick Candy, any flavor

Cut parchment or waxed paper to fit the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Butter or cooking spray the bottom of the pan. Press the parchment or waxed paper into the pan to fit and butter or spray again.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, instant espresso or coffee and chocolate. Microwave on high for 1 minute, then stir. If chocolate is not softened, continue to microwave at 20-second intervals, removing before completely melted. Whisk the melted mixture to combine.

Beat the eggs and vanilla into the melted chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon. Beat in the flour and salt. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spoon or spatula. Bake in a 325-degree oven from 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool.

When cooled, run a knife around the edges of the pan. Turn the brownie sheet out onto a baking sheet, then invert again onto a work surface. Using a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out brownie hearts, approximately 18 hearts.

Cover the brownie hearts with plastic wrap and store at room temperature until glazed. Make Chocolate Ganache to glaze the brownies.

To glaze and decorate Mocha Fudge Brownie Hearts: Open the candy reception sticks. Insert 1 candy stick down into the center of each brownie heart, pressing slowly, keeping the stick intact.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Set a bowl of warm liquid ganache next to the baking sheet.

Pick up a brownie heart using the candy stick as a handle. Slowly dunk it into the warm ganache just long enough to coat the heart with the glaze. Pull the heart slowly out of the glaze and gently over the rim of the bowl removing any excess glaze. Set the heart on the paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all brownie hearts.

Leave the hearts at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours to set; then chill in refrigerator. Remove from the paper carefully, running a thin knife blade or metal spatula under each heart to loosen. Allow the hearts to sit at room temperature about 1 to 2 hours before serving.

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