Sunday, January 25, 2015

Irish Coffee Chocolate Mousse

Today is National Irish Coffee Day! Irish Coffee was invented at the Buena Vista Cafe, right here in San Francisco.

On my first day in California I was lucky to hitch a ride with a visiting dignitary. The day's tour of San Francisco included the hills of San Francisco, beautiful Sonoma County, the Renaissance Fair, Sausalito, Fisherman's Wharf, the Palace of Fine Arts, Cliff House, the Golden Gate Bridge, and a stop at the Buena Vista Cafe for an Irish Coffee. I saw more of the San Francisco Bay Area on that one day than I did over the next ten years.

Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe is a very San Francisco tradition. The drink was invented there in 1952. The recipe was a collaborative effort between Jack Koeppler, the Buena Vista’s owner, and Stanton Delaplane, a well-known international travel writer and San Francisco Chronicle columnist.

The official story of Irish Coffee tells of the perseverance and repeated attempts of Koeppler & Delaplane and even a trip to Shannon Airport, where a forerunner of Koeppler’s vision was served. The whipped cream posed a problem, but the input of a prominent dairy farmer turned Mayor of San Francisco, solved the problem: Age the cream for 48 hours and froth it to a precise consistency so it would float on top of the hot coffee, to Koeppler’s specifications.


So if you're in San Francisco today, it's a big day at the Buena Vista. Stop by and raise a glass!

But this is a Chocolate Blog, so once again I'm posting a recipe that includes Chocolate and the day's 'food' holiday.

Irish Coffee Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
4 tsp Irish whiskey
2 eggs
2 Tbsp plus 4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp  Madagascar vanilla extract

Directions
Put Chocolate, 1/3 cup of cream, and 1/4 teaspoon of espresso powder in heatproof bowl. Put bowl in skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove bowl from skillet, stir in whiskey, and set aside.
In heatproof medium bowl, whisk eggs with 1 Tbsp water and 2 Tsp sugar until well blended.
Put bowl in skillet and whisk eggs constantly (to prevent from scrambling) over barely simmering water until they register 160 degrees F. on instant-read thermometer.
Remove bowl from skillet and beat at high speed with electric mixer until eggs have texture like softly whipped cream, 3 to 4 minutes.
Fold one quarter of eggs into chocolate.
Scrape chocolate mixture over remaining whipped eggs and continue to fold just until evenly incorporated.
Divide mousse into ramekins. Chill at least 1 hour, or until set, before serving.

Serve with Bailey's Irish Cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp Baileys Irish Cream

Whip heavy cream to soft peaks. Add Baileys Irish Cream and whisk until combined.
Spoon small amount of whipped cream onto the top of each mousse ramekin.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

Photo: Kraft Foods
Today is National Peanut Butter Day, and lately I've been focused on Pie in the Sky lately! On Thursday I posted a recipe for Winnie the Pooh's Honey Chocolate Pie. Yesterday was Pie Day, and I posted a recipe for Guinness Chocolate Pie. So for today's holiday, here's a recipe for a decadent Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie. It doesn't get much better than that. This recipe is from Kraft Foods. You can always substitute your own ingredients. Scroll down for links to recipes for creating a similar Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie from scratch.

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BANANA CREAM PIE

Ingredients
35 NILLA Wafers, finely crushed (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided  (or a high quality dark chocolate)
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 bananas, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into quarters
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
2 Tbsp. PLANTERS Salted Peanuts, coarsely chopped

Directions
1. HEAT oven to 350ºF.
2. MIX wafer crumbs and butter until well blended; press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake 5 to 8 min. or until golden brown. Cool completely. Meanwhile, make chocolate curls from 1/2 chocolate square. Refrigerate.
3. MICROWAVE remaining 1-1/2 chocolate squares and peanut butter in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min.; stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Place bananas in crust; drizzle with melted chocolate.
4. BEAT pudding mixes and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1 cup COOL WHIP. Spread over bananas; top with remaining COOL WHIP.
5. REFRIGERATE 3 hours. Top with chocolate curls and nuts just before serving.

Want to make your Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie from scratch? Try one of these recipes from Joy the Baker or EzraPoundCake's Hunk-a Hunk-a Peanut Butter and Banana Cream Pie.

Photo: Kraft

Friday, January 23, 2015

We Want Pie!: Retro Ad & Recipes

Happy Pie Day! Here's a great Retro Crisco Pie Ad. "We Want Pie!" Sing it!


Guinness Chocolate Silk Pie: National Pie Day

Today is National Pie Day, and I've gone back into my archives for a favorite Chocolate Pie--Guinness Chocolate Silk Pie, to be precise. It's a beautiful Friday at the Beach with temps in the low 70s. I can't think of a better pie to celebrate the day!  Here's a recipe for Guinness Chocolate Silk Pie. You can use any stout, of course, but Guinness is easily available! I make a chocolate cookie crust, but you can use a graham cracker crust or a vanilla wafer crust. I think the stout brings out the chocolate. Bookmark this recipe and make for St. Patrick's Day, too!

GUINNESS CHOCOLATE SILK PIE

Chocolate Cookie Crust

Ingredients
30 chocolate wafers (Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
5 Tbsp sweet butter, melted and slightly cooled
Dash of Salt
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract

1. Whirl cookies in food processor until finely ground.
2. Put crumbs in mixing bowl; combine crumbs, butter, salt, and vanilla; stir until crumbs are moistened.
3. Press mixture evenly across bottom of 9-inch pie plate and up sides of pan; pack tightly so crust is even and compacted.
4. Bake in 350° oven for 6 minutes until crisp.
Cool before filling.

Filling:
12 ounces dark chocolate (70-75% cacao), broken up
24 large marshmallows
Pinch of salt
2/3 cups Guinness
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1 Tbsp creme de cacao or Kahlua

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Make crust (see above)

1. Place chocolate, marshmallows and salt in blender or food processor. Blend until well mixed and chocolate is finely ground.
2. In two separate pans, heat Guinness and evaporated milk until very hot, but not boiling.
3. Slowly pour hot Guinness over marshmallows and chocolate in blender. Add hot cream. Cover and blend for one minute.
4. Add vanilla and creme de cacao or Kahlua. Blend for one minute.
5. Pour into cooled crust and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Top with Whipped Cream or Guinness Ice Cream