Chocolate and Cherry Clafoutis (Clafoutis chocolaté aux cerises)

Clafoutis is a famous French pie with cherries. You can find my rendition of the classical version here. Since cherries work well with chocolate, I thought there must also be a variation with chocolate. Some googling did indeed confirm that … Continue reading Chocolate and Cherry Clafoutis (Clafoutis chocolaté aux cerises)

Chocolate Pomegranate Tart

When I saw the chocolate pomegranate tart on REMCooks, I knew I was going to bake it as dessert for Christmas dinner. The pomegranate aryls are so photogenic and Christmaslike. I thought the combination of chocolate and pomegranate would work well, and it did! The pomegranate really helps to lighten the chocolate and it was delicious. So thanks to Richard McGary, I was whacking pomegranates to get those pesky seeds out on Christmas morning 😉 Continue reading “Chocolate Pomegranate Tart”

Ancho Chile with Chocolate Mousse and Amarena Cherries

Guess whose idea it was to use chile peppers for dessert? Who else but Richard McGary! I found his recipe for Cinnamon Candied Chile Relleno with Red Wine Chocolate Sauce very intriguing, and knew I had to try something similar. I thought it was very appropriate to use the ancho chiles that Richard had sent me to prepare this very unusual but very tasty dessert. The base of the dessert is a chile pepper stuffed with chocolate mousse. Richard soaks the chiles in cinnamon syrup and serves them with pecans and red wine chocolate sauce. I made my own version with an Italian twist by pairing the chocolate stuffed chile with tart amarena cherries and almonds. It was really good, and definitely something I’ll make again. Thanks Richard! Continue reading “Ancho Chile with Chocolate Mousse and Amarena Cherries”

Chocolate Mousse (Mousse au Chocolat)

Mousse au Chocolat is one of the standard desserts of France, along with the perhaps even more common Crème caramel. My first attempt to find a simple recipe failed miserably, as the mousse turned out way too dense. I found the solution in a recipe by Delia Smith, which is to use water. This makes for a nice light mousse. To make things a little more interesting I decided to substitute half of the water with amaretto liqueur, but that is not at all necessary for a great result. If you have a stand mixer or another way of whipping egg whites, this is relatively easy to prepare and oh so good if you like chocolate. And who doesn’t?! Here’s my version.
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Hot Smoked Duck Breast with Plum Chutney

The combination of duck and fruit is well known, with canard à l’orange as the most famous rendition. I got the idea to combine duck with a spiced plum chutney from Jamie Oliver and have been making this for years, ever since I’ve had a stove top smoker (that I use with separate burners since I have an induction hob and since it’s easier to use outside anyway). I love hot smoking since it’s so easy, very tasty, and always gives a lot of oohs and aahs when I serve something straight from the smoker to my friends. Some slices of … Continue reading Hot Smoked Duck Breast with Plum Chutney