Chocolate Espresso Icebox Cake

Monday, May 30, 2011

With a name like that how could it be anything but divine?  Oh, and its super easy.  No bake, 15 minute prep....and a hefty payoff.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Espresso Icebox Cake

2 cups heavy cream
12 oz Mascarpone Cheese (sweet cream cheese)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Kahlua liqueur
2 tbsp unsweet cocoa powder
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 packages (8 oz) chocolate chip cookies (thin, crisp cookies)
Shaved semisweet chocolate

Whip first 7 ingredients together in electrix mixer, or with a hand mixer until the mixture forms stiff peaks.  Set aside.

In an 8-9" springform pan, arrange cookies flat, covering the bottom of the pan.  Then spread a thin layer of chocolate espresso cream.  Repeat the process until you have 5 layers, ending with cream on top.

Cover the pan with saran wrap and refridgerate for 24 hours (alternately, freeze for 3-4) and then pull out 20 minutes before serving.

Just before serving, use a warm kitchen knife and room temperature chocolate, gently shave chocolate into swirls, and dress top of cake.

I did not have a single complaint about this easy, decadent cake.  I will be repeating this one!!

French Lentils

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I got this recipe from a Williams-Sonoma cookbook that I have had for years.  It is the first lentil recipe that I've found that doesn't end up with "beat up" lentils afterwards.  I think it is the combination of boiling and sauteing that helps keep the integrity of the little lentils intact.

I made a few slight modifications to this recipe.  The original includes carrots as well, but I did not have those on hand, so I omitted.  Also, the receipe called for fresh thyme, but I used dried. 

French Lentils

1/3 cup fine diced red onion
1/3 cup fine diced celery
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup lentils
3 cups water
1 tsp dried thyme

In a mesh colander, rinse lentils.  Set lentils, thyme and water in a small saucepan on med-high heat until simmering.  Lower to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile in a medium saute pan, add olive oil, onion and celery.  Saute until tender, then add butter and allow to melt.

Add cooked lentils to saute pan, and stir to incorporate, simmering for another 10 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Simple Strawberry Sauce (or Sundae!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I always "knew" how to make a strawberry, or other fruit compote.  You cut up some fruit, add a little sugar, and simmer for a little while.  I think I forgot just how good it is...and how ridiculously simple it is to make.

This same recipe can be used for blueberries, apples, pears, you name it....and its sooo yummy over some vanilla ice cream.  Can you say summer time??

Simple Strawberry Sauce

1 crate (about 1 lb) of strawberries, stemmed, cored and cubed 1/4"
1-2 tsp splenda (sugar, stevia or other sweetener also works)

Simply add cubed strawberries to a small saucepan, and over medium heat, sprinkle with splenda.  Allow to simmer and thicken for 15-20 minutes.  Cool and serve over ice cream, cake, etc.  This also keeps very well in the fridge, so leftovers can be enjoyed for a week or so and are just as yummy cold...

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