Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Espresso-Chocolate Cheesecake

It's a hit. Espresso-Chocolate Cheesecake (Page 177) is easy to make and even easier to please palates. The balance of sweet and savory makes cheesecake one of my favorite desserts.

The toasted, ground almonds in the crust of this cheesecake adds a nice nutty flavor and robust texture.

Dissolved instant espresso and melted semi-sweet chocolate balance the sour-savory creams (cream cheese and sour cream). The espresso and chocolate also give the cake its soft brown color and little speckles of coffee granule--an attractive finished appearance.
A caution to the caffeine-sensitive: you may not want to eat your slice right before bed. Try it for breakfast instead--it has a kick!

You might serve this with a Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur. Garnished with whipped cream and a coffee bean would be cute too!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Spinach-Cashew-Raisin Salad

Spinach-Cashew-Raisin Salad (Page 46) is a very healthy and tasty salad. It's not sweet, which is a refreshing characteristic in a salad with dried fruit. It's also great when you've got a Costco-sized bag of spinach. Buying that bag is a like accepting a man v. food challenge. There's no way one person living alone can eat 2.5 pounds before it goes bad. It's not over yet, but this salad (and quiche, sandwiches, and vegetable dish) help me towards that end.

I'm getting the hang of roasting nuts. Ten minutes at 350!

This salad is good. Cashews are so rich and creamy and roasting them draws out their flavor. I bought a cup of raw cashews in bulk at Freddy's. Remember to slice the red onion thin so it's edible. It also would be nice pickled a while in a bit of the same red vinegar that you use in the vinaigrette. That Fiddlehead vinaigrette is a nice thing to have on hand. And quick to make with things you always have in your cupboard. Enjoy!

Colorful-Delicious-Healthy. Spinach-Cashew-Raisin.

Strawberries Romanoff

The Strawberries Romanoff (Page 200) is highly decadent and indulgent. It is so good and yet not so difficult. The double-boiling step requires some attention. Be sure to get a foam going with half the sherry, and then add the rest of the sherry. Using a whisk makes it nice and light, where a wooden spoon doesn't give it the desired consistency. Be sure to allow time for cooling--we put it in the freezer while the main course was being served; 30 minutes was about perfect. It's a very summery dessert.

Double-boil the sherry, cream, egg yolks & sugar

Fold into whipped cream

Glasses chilled in the freezer--they warm up quick!

Layer cream with strawberries. Garnish with a whole strawberry!

Strawberries Romanoff is a crowd-pleaser. Your guests will love it (unless they're lactose intolerant). Be sure to save room. It would be very good with other fruit as well--raspberries, or thimble berries, perhaps? Enjoy!

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