Caramel Chocolate Mousse Torte

I recently had a slice or two (it was three slices, but not in one sitting) of the most delicious chocolate mousse cake from Citarella in New York City. I couldn’t stop dreaming of this dessert, so I set out to create my own. Each element of this caramel chocolate mousse torte is from former recipes I’ve posted on Project Pastry Love. I thought it should have a crunchy textured layer, so I made a chocolate cookie crust as the base from my chocolate peanut butter pie post. I used David Lebovitz’s caramel chocolate mousse as the featured star of this production, and brought it on home with a blanket of rich chocolate ganache. Last week I attended a cookie decorating party, and learned a cute trick of creating whimsical hearts using two types of icing and a toothpick (thanks Liz!). Using this technique I made 4 hearts, and like a well thought out tattoo, each one represents something special in my life (Aron, Cameron, Wesley, and this most delicious torte).  Continue reading →

Minny’s Chocolate Pie

I’ve always wanted to try Minny’s chocolate pie from Kathryn Stockett’s book The Help. Thanks to Lee Ann Flemming and Food & Wine Magazine I found the recipe. It is one of the most delicious pies I’ve ever eaten. Easy to make too! The filling is chocolatey and slightly fudgy, but also has a soft, billowy texture. I used 3/4 of my rough puff pastry as its vessel, which provided a nice buttery contrast to the chocolate flavor. I must confess that this particular version is missing one terrible awful ingredient. That’s a good thing. Continue reading →

Potato, Leek, and Gruyere Tart

My dining room table would be set with mismatched, vintage floral china placed on top of a soft, white table cloth. Daisies would be proudly sprouting from a large mason jar placed in the center of it all. A bottle of Vouvray would be chilling in an ice bucket with it’s cork out ready to be poured. I’d have Pink Martini’s Sympathique playing in the background. My guests would arrive just before the rain started, and while I filled their glasses with wine, someone would open the window so that we could hear it come down. We’d start off talking about the weather (thunderstorms ahead) and politics, but at some point, and I’m not sure why, we’d soon be divulging our funniest, most embarrassing moments. I’d pop open another bottle of wine, and worry that maybe I didn’t buy enough. We’d all sit around the table making toasts to each other–most would be silly, but one or two would tug at our hearts. Lunch starts with a spring salad dressed with a simple pine nut, white balsamic vinaigrette. Thunder would roll in the distance, and the table would get giddy. I’d take out the potato, leek, and Gruyere tart from the oven and the giddiness would turn to “oohs and ahhs”. Not much conversation would happen then, and the tart would disappear quickly.  I’d clear the plates, and turn on the coffee maker. However, the coffee pot would never be poured, but two more bottles of wine surely would. I’d fill bowls with homemade vanilla ice cream, and top them with the first berries of the season. We’d eat this in the living room with our feet propped up on the coffee table and couch. The sun makes his appearance “hooray!”, and so to delay the end of a special time we’d all go for a walk together around my neighborhood.  Continue reading →

Rough Puff Pastry

Put that store-bought, ready-made, frozen puff pastry down! I have a better idea.  Let’s make homemade, rough puff pastry. It’s buttery, flaky, and puffs up nicely. Best of all, it’s easy to make. You just need to be brave, and have the proper equipment. Continue reading →