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dessert trio

May 5, 2011

Remember how I mentioned in the last post that the men were the servers at the auction dinner?  Look how great they look!

The ladies plated everything absolutely perfectly — like at a gourmet restaurant.  Each course looked fabulous but I think the desserts really stood out!  Wouldn’t you be so excited if this came to your table?!

On the left is a dark chocolate and orange tart, in the middle is a crème brûlèe martini, and on the right is a bananas foster bread pudding.

Dark Chocolate And Orange Tart With Toasted Almonds
(recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)

Candied Orange Peel
1 orange
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons water

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup all purpose flour

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

For Candied Orange Peel: Using vegetable peeler, remove peel (orange part only) from orange in snips.  Cut snips into matchstick-size pieces and place in small saucepan.  Cover with cold water; bring to boil.  Cook 30 seconds; rain.  Rinse saucepan; add ½ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons water, and peel.  Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.  Simmer until peel is translucent and syrup is thick, about 20 minutes. Using tines of fork, transfer peel to plate and cool. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature)

For Crust: Using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl until smooth.  Beat in cocoa powder.  Add flour and beat until dough comes together in moist clumps.  Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk.  Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, at least 1 hour up to 1 day.

Roll out dough between sheets of waxed paper to 11 inch round.  Peel off top sheet of paper.  Invert dough over 9-inch diameter tan pan with removable bottom; peel off paper.  Gently press dough into pan.  Press dough overhang in to form double-thick sides.  Pierce dough all over with fork.  Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Bake crust until sides look dry and bottom looks bubbly, about 14 minutes.  Transfer crust to rack.  Using back of spoon, press up sides of dough if falling. Cool completely

For Filling: Toss almonds, sugar, and cinnamon in small bowl.  Chop all but 2 snips of peel.  Sprinkle chopped orange peel, then almond mixture over bottom of prepared crust.  Place cream in heavy medium saucepan.  Bring to simmer.  Remove from heat.  Add chocolate and whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth; mix in Grand Marnier.  Pour into crust.  Refrigerate until filling is firm, at least 3 hours.  Garnish with remaining 2 orange peel strips. (Can be made 1day ahead.  Cover loosely with foil and keep refrigerated.) 

Using sharp knife, gently loosen crust from pan sides.  Remove pan sides.  Cut tart into wedges; serve cold.

Serves 12 – 16.

Crème Brûlèe Martini

1 oz vanilla vodka
1 oz Kahlua
3 oz heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp caramel (such as Hershey’s caramel topping)
crushed toffee

Combine vodka, Kahlua and heavy cream in a martini shaker with ice.  Shake and pour into martini glass rimmed with caramel and toffee bits.

Serves 1

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding
(recipe adapted from Galatoire’s cookbook)

11 large eggs
11/3 cups granulated sugar
1 quart while milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
24 – 4” slices of French bread baguettes, torn into pieces
1 pound salted butter
1 pound light brown sugar
4 bananas
½ cup praline liqueur

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.

Put the torn pieces of French bread in a large bowl.  In another large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and whisk until well blended.  Pour egg mixture over French bread and let it sit until all is absorbed up by the bread.

Bake the pudding mixture for 35 minutes, or until the pudding has turned golden and set in the pan.

While the pudding is in the oven, melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the light brown sugar and whisk over the heat until smooth. Slice the bananas, stir them into the sauce, and add the praline liqueur. Reduce the heat to low to keep the sauce warm.

When the pudding is baked, remove from the oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes to cool. Invert the muffin pan to remove the puddings and expose the custard. Place each on the center of a plate and ladle the sauce onto the pudding. Serve immediately.

Serves 12

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