Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lunch Today

...I cooked adobo for lunch today. But I wanted to put a twist so I used lamb loin instead of pork or chicken. Mom bought the meats from Shopwise. I actually cooked the adobo last night because I wasn't sure if I'd have time today. I was just planning to reheat it this morning. When I woke up I saw that the fat (from the lamb) had coagulated and become solid. Every household in the Philippines, or every Filipino who cooks has his/her own version of this dish. It can be very salty or sometimes sweet-ish, others are swimming in the sauce while others have been dried until they become flaky. I prefer mine salty and almost dry. So I reheated my adobo and reduced the liquid (more fat than sauce) until it was almost dry. I cooked this last night in cane vinegar, calamansi juice (this tip I got from another Filipino food blogger), garlic, cracked peppercorn, bay leaf, soysauce and bird's eye chili peppers that we picked from our potted plant. While it was boiling away, my brother and sisters kept on asking "What smells wonderful??" it was past 11 pm already and we've had dinner. My brother hovered around the pan and kept on dropping hints...I guess he wanted to taste test it... haha.
We're having this for lunch....looks really yummy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Guess What I Made for Lunch?

Mommy asked me to cook lunch today. I woke up early and had them buy shrimps for my shrimp in coconut cream recipe. I got prawns instead, which was really a pleasant surprise. I made my own coconut cream by hand (poured hot water on grated coconut, left it for a few minutes and squeezed). I marinated the prawns in vinegar, garlic, fish sauce (patis) then cooked it with my fresh cocnut cream.
I made nilagang baka (boiled beef) and used short ribs. Instead of the usual green vegetables, I used carrots, potatoes and corn, which gave the nilaga a slightly sweet broth. I cooked the shortribs in the pressure cooker first, until the flesh was falling off the bone.
It was a very filling lunch. My brother J stayed for lunch and Mom wasn't disappointed. She asked me before I left for work "...so what's for lunch tomorrow?"

Saturday, September 27, 2008

September Daring Bakers' Challenge--LAVASH

...Oh hey, it's time for the Daring Bakers' Challenge again!! And I'm excited because (one) this is my first time to make lavash and (two) because it's a yeast dough product. I love making breads. And we were given the freedom to make our own dips as long as they're vegan and gluten-free. So i experimented on a local Philippine vegetable known locally as malunggay. I made it into a pesto sauce using almonds and garlic. It came out a little too bitter for my liking, then I made the other dip from grilled eggplants, sort of like a baba ganoush but without the sesame paste. It was a hit with my brother, we loved the smell of the eggplant in the dip and it tasted great with the lavash.

Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers

* 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) unbleached bread flour or gluten free flour blend (If you use a blend without xanthan gum, add 1 tsp xanthan or guar gum to the recipe)
* 1/2 tsp (.13 oz) salt
* 1/2 tsp (.055 oz) instant yeast
* 1 Tb (.75 oz) agave syrup or sugar
* 1 Tb (.5 oz) vegetable oil
* 1/3 to 1/2 cup + 2 Tb (3 to 4 oz) water, at room temperature
* Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, or kosher salt for toppings

1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt yeast, agave, oil, and just enough water to bring everything together into a ball. You may not need the full 1/2 cup + 2 Tb of water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.

2. For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Sprinkle some flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly distributed. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 degrees to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. The dough should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough (what I call medium-firm dough), satiny to the touch, not tacky, and supple enough to stretch when pulled. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. (You can also retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator immediately after kneading or mixing).

4. For Non Gluten Free Cracker Dough: Mist the counter lightly with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Press the dough into a square with your hand and dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Roll it out with a rolling pin into a paper thin sheet about 15 inches by 12 inches. You may have to stop from time to time so that the gluten can relax. At these times, lift the dough from the counter and wave it a little, and then lay it back down. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap while it relaxes. When it is the desired thinness, let the dough relax for 5 minutes. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment. Carefully lift the sheet of dough and lay it on the parchment. If it overlaps the edge of the pan, snip off the excess with scissors.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Mist the top of the dough with water and sprinkle a covering of seeds or spices on the dough (such as alternating rows of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, kosher or pretzel salt, etc.) Be careful with spices and salt - a little goes a long way. If you want to precut the cracker, use a pizza cutter (rolling blade) and cut diamonds or rectangles in the dough. You do not need to separate the pieces, as they will snap apart after baking. If you want to make shards, bake the sheet of dough without cutting it first. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crackers begin to brown evenly across the top (the time will depend on how thinly and evenly you rolled the dough).

6. When the crackers are baked, remove the pan from the oven and let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. You can then snap them apart or snap off shards and serve.
RECIPES - ToppingsYou may use your choice of topping/dip/salsa/relish/spread for your lavash crackers as long as it is vegan and gluten free


1 cup Malunggay leaves (remove carefully)
5 cloves Garlic, peeled
1/4 cup Almonds
1/3 cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Wash malunggay leaves, place ingredients in food processor and puree until broken down but not completely smooth.


2 pieces Eggplants, medium sized
2 cloves Garlic, peeled
Salt and Pepper to taste
pinch Cayenne pepper

Grill eggplants until skin is charred. Take off heat and cool, peel, cut off stems place in food processor with the rest of the ingredients and puree.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Tasty Mess--Brazo de Mercedes

I adapted this recipe from http://www.recipezaar.com/ My finished product didn't quite turn out how i wanted it to...but it tasted great. Next time I'm going to follow my own recipe for custard because this one turned out very runny :(

Fresh Milk 5 cups
Granulated Sugar 1 cup
Butter 2 tablespoons
Vanilla Extract 1 tablespoon
Egg Yolks 8 pieces
Cashew (I used almonds), finely ground 1/4 cup

Egg whites 8 pieces
Granulated Sugar 1 cup
Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon

In a saucepan, simmer milk over low heat until reduced to 2 cups. Add sugar, butter, and vanilla extract stirri ng constantly. Remove from heat and add in a thin stream to beaten egg yolks, stir well to prevent curdling. Add nuts and continue cooking mixture over low heat, until it comes to the consistency of a paste. Set aside to cool to spreading consistency.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Beat eggwhites until stiff, gradually add 1 cup sugar beating continuously, stir in vanilla. Line jelly roll pan with parchment paper, grease with butter. Spread meinue evenly. Bake for 20 minutes. Spread filling on top and carefully roll into a tight log/ Brush with butter and brown in oven again. Remove to rack and cool.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Almond Sansrival Birthday Cake

It's my brother J's 26th birthday today. From a scrawny stick-figure little boy he has now grown up into one of his GI JOE figures--big and muscular. He's one of my reliable taste-testers, eating anything and everything I bake and cook. But I know he loooovees sansrival, so for his birthday, I looked up a recipe from http://www.allrecipes.com/ and found this one which I thought looked easy. I modified the recipe by using almonds instead of cashews and halved the recipe.
Egg whites 6 pieces
Granulated Sugar 1 cup
Cream of Tartar 1/2 teaspoon
Almonds 1 cup

Butter 1 bar
Egg yolks 6 pieces
Granulated Sugar 1 cup
Water 1/2 cup
Rum 1 T

Preheat oven to 300 degrees farenheit. Line pans with parchment paper. Trace 3-8 inch round shapes on parchment paper, this may take 2 pans. Set aside.

Beat eggwhites until foamy, sprinkle Cream of Tartar. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks. Fold in nuts (I processed my almonds). Follow the shape of the rounds on parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes.

Beat butter until light and fluffy. In another bowl, whip eggyolks until thick and lemon-colored. Combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil to 270 degrees. Add hot syrup to egg yolks while beating at high speed. Beat in whipped butter. Spread 1/4 of filling on bottom meringue layer, top with another and spread buttercream, continue until all layers are done and frost whole cake with remaining buttercream. Sprinkle with nuts. Freeze cake

Note:Let me just say the 30 minutes baking time for the meringue!! I added an extra 30 minutes bringing the baking time to 1 hour. Then I put off the oven and left the meringue to dry out inside for another 1 hour. I didn't find this easy to make, but I did it for J.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Brunch--Longganisa and Cheese Calzone

What to serve for another Sunday brunch?? With my ongoing fascination of using local Filipino ingredients for western recipes (longganisa quiche, calamansi bars...) I decided to make a calzone which according to my favorite reference (Food Lover's Companion) is a stuffed pizza that resembles a large turnover. I found a very good calzone dough recipe and modified the filling to make it more Filipino in taste:
SALT 1 3/4 teaspoon
INSTANT YEAST 1 teaspoon
WATER 1 3/4 cups
In large mixing bowl combine all-purpose flour and yeast, mix well. In a measuring glass, measure out water and dissolve salt. Pour water-salt mixture into flour and yeast and mix well until water has been incorporated. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Round dough and place in bowl, cover with towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
SPINACH 2 cups
GROUND BEEF 500 grams
Blanch spinach in boiling water, take out of heat and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking, set aside. Remove longganisa from casing, place in pan over medium heat and cook until fat is rendered, add in ground beef and conmtinue cooking until beef is no longer pink. Drain off excess oil. Grate cheese and set aside.
Punch down dough and knead for 2 minutes. Divide into 2 equal rounds. Roll out one to about 1/4" thickness. Spread cooked meat, top with spinach and cheese on half of round. Fold over and seal the edges (it should look like a giant turnover) seal edges with tines of fork. Do the same for the other one. Place on a parchment paper-lined tray, brush with beaten egg and bake in a preheated 350 degrees farenheit oven for 1 hour. Slice and serve

Friday, September 12, 2008

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

In keeping with my banana theme for my friend, I decided to make another banana recipe, and found this excellent cookie recipe. This is the first time I'll be using bananas for a cookie recipe and it turned out great. I can't wait to bring this to I's house tomorrow.

BUTTER 1 cup
EGG WHITES 2 pieces
BAKING SODA 1 teaspoon
CINNAMON, ground 1 teaspoon
BANANAS, mashed 3 pieces
SALT 1/8 teaspoon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit. In mixing bowl of Kitchenaid mixer, cream sugars, butter, vanilla and egg whites with paddle attachment until light and fluffy. In another bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add flour mixture and mix. Add in mashed bananas, and rolled oats. Take off from mixer and fold in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 1 inch apart on lined cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Store in airtight containers.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

I got a really big scare the other day. I had to rush my friend I to the hospital because she had palpitations. We had to brave strong rains and flooded areas (thank goodness, we were in an SUV) to get to the emergency room. She was confined that night for further tests. Two days after...the final diagnosis is atrial fibrillation secondary to electrolyte imbalance. I dont really understand it that much but she given a maintenance medicine for her heart and was told to eat 3 bananas a day. Knowing her, it wouldn't hurt to disguise the bananas in a sweet dessert. So I baked her this chunky chocolate banana bread (from an old recipe booklet) and used skim milk to make it a bit healthier.


EGGS, lightly beaten 2 pieces
BANANAS, mashed 2 pieces
SKIM MILK 1/4 cup
SUGAR 1 cup
BAKING POWDER 2 teaspoons
SALT 1/4 teaspoon
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE, chopped 120 grams

Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Stir eggs, bananas (I got really lazy and processed this in my mini food processor), oil and milk until well blended. In another bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder, mix well. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir unil just blended (do not overmix!) Stir in chocolate and pour into greased and lined 9 x 5 ( I used 2 smaller ones) loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Greece on my Mind (Moussaka)

It's been raining here in Manila...and the perrenial blue skies have turned gray. And lately I find myself pining for blue seas and blue skies, and I found a beautiful picture on the internet of Mykonos in Greece. I find myself wishing that I was there, but alas, I am here in Manila working and can't really afford a Greek vacation at the moment. So I did the next best thing, cooked a dish that would transport me to sunny Greece--Moussaka. Moussaka is made of layers of eggplant and ground beef topped with cheesy bechamel. I used a recipe I found also in the internet and it turned out real well. So now here I am, enjoying my mini-Greek vacation on a plate.

(Moussaka with Eggplants)
EGGPLANTS, long 4 pieces
ONIONS, minced 1 piece
TOMATO SAUCE 1 pack (200 grams)
GARLIC, minced 1 tablespoon
CINNAMON 1/4 teaspoon
BAYLEAVES, dried 2 pieces
CHEESE, grated 1 bar
DRY RED WINE 1/2 cup
PEPPER, ground

Wash and slice eggplants legthwise, place on tray and sprinkle with salt, leave for 30 minutes. In pan, preheat oil, add minced onions., garlic and bayleaves. Add ground beef. Cook until meat is no longer pink, season with salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce and cook for 5 minutes until dry. Take off heat amd add 1 cup breadcrumbs, mix well. Set aside. Rinse eggplant and dry with paper towels. Put on baking tray and spray with oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.In pyrex dish sprinkle remaining 1 cup of breadcrumbs. Lay eggplant on bottom. Top with meat mixture then sprinkle with cheese. Continue layering until done. Pour bechamel over and bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degrees farenheit oven.



OIL 1/4

MILK 2 cups

EGGS, beaten 3 pieces


Heat oil in pot, add flour, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Add milk and add to flour-oil mixture while whisking. Continue cooking until thick and smooth. Take off heat and add beaten eggs and grated cheese. Whisk until smooth and use.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008



All-purpose flour 1 1/3 cup
Baking Soda 1/4 teaspoon
Baking Powder 2 teaspoons
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 3/4 cup
Salt 1/8 teaspoon
Butter, softened 3 Tablespoons
Granulated Sugar 1 1 /2 cups
Eggs 2 pieces
Vanilla Extract 3/4 teaspoons
Milk 3/4 cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Line muffin pans with paper cups. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with milk. Beat well, fill cups 1/2 full and bake 10 minutes. Decorate when cool.

* After making the batter, i deposited broken pieces of Andes dark chocolate mint thins in the middle before baking. So one batch was plain, and the other one was mint-chocolate.

Butter, softened 1 bar
Egg white 1 piece
Powdered Sugar 1 1/2 cups

Cream butter and sifted powdered sugar, add egg white and continue beating until fluffy. Add desired flavoring and/or food color.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jelly Roll Cake with Chocolate Pastry Cream

5 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and line with wax paper 15" x 10"
jelly-roll pan .
With the whip attachment of your mixer, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, it should be stiff and shiny. In a separate bowl,
beat egg yolks, vanilla extract and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Continue beating until thick and fluffy. Mix in all-purpose flour just until blended. Gently fold egg yolk mixture into beaten egg whites. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for about 12 minutes or until cake top springs back when lightly touched.

To remove cake from pan and cool, sift confectioner's sugar over a clean kitchen towel. Loosen the edges of the cake from the sides of the pan with a small knife. Invert cake onto the prepared towel and carefully peel off the wax paper. Starting from one short edge, roll up the cake and the towel together. Cool completely. After cooling, unroll cake and use as desired.


2 pieces EGG YOLKS
22.5 grams CORNSTARCH
15 grams BUTTER

Pour milk into stainless steel pot and cook over low heat. In another bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and corstarch until smooth. Add cocoa powder and whisk well. Pour half of hot milk in a steady stream over egg yolk mixture continuously whisking. Add mixture back into pot and continue whisking over low fire. Mixture will thicken. When done, transfer pastry cream into stainless steel bowl and place over bowl with ice and water to cool. When cool spread over jelly roll cake evenly. Roll cake tightly and slice.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tokyo Cafe (Mall of Asia)

After going around the Asia Food Expo at the World Trade Center in Roxas Boulevard, Manila we decided to have lunch at the Tokyo Cafe at the Mall of Asia which is about 5-10 minutes away. My sister L is so smitten with this place that she always insists on eating there whenever we are in the area.
A tall glass of Iced Green Tea, which was too bitter (maybe it was steeped too long) for my taste that I had to dump all the sugar syrup :(
Chicken ala Pobre, boneless chicken with garlic and a creamy sauce on top. Too rich for me but the chicken was tender
My sister L's order Wafu Beef, she had a side order of rice with this. The beef was tender and tasted very good (not too salty)
I like the little glass with the sugar syrup--looks really cute. The glass looked nice too :)
My order, boneless herbed chicken. Lots of rosemary just like how I want it, I ordered rice with this and it was gone in less than 10 minutes.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Coulis

This flourless chocolate cake tastes heavenly and so smooth it almost melts in the mouth. The raspberry coulis is a good contrast, both in taste and in color.

water 160 ml
granulated sugar 115 grams
butter, unsalted 85 grams
bittersweet chocolate (cut into squares) 340 grams
rum 15 ml
eggs 6 pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees farenheit. Line a 9-inch round pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Combine water and sugar over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and continue cooking until butter melts. Remove from heat and add chocolate, whisk smooth. Add in rum and then the eggs, two at a time. Continue whisking until mixture is smooth and even. Pour into pan. Bake in a water bath for 40 minutes. Cool cake and unmold.

sugar 40 grams
water 45 ml
frozen raspberries 250 grams
frozen strawberries 250 grams
kirsch (cherry-flavored liqueur) 15 ml
Heat sugar and water in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Pour into blender and add fruits. Blend until fruit is pureed but not totally smooth. Strain and stir in kirsch.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Little Asia

Had lunch at Little Asia in Morato with my family. This restaurant has a diverse menu--from all over Asia, hence the name. It's always been a favorite of our family but it's been a while since we had a meal there. Last Sunday, we were so hungry and the nearest restaurant was Little Asia. Little sister ordered her favorite prawns. Another sister ordered frogs' legs (this was the first time I had it there and it's good). Of course I couldn't not order my favorite Crispy Chicken. After pigging out on lunch, we had room for dessert and had Banana Tower (with vanilla ice cream). I definitely have to start my diet this week.


Crispy Chicken

Salt and Pepper Frogs' Legs

Fried Green Beans

Beef with Broccoli

Monday, September 1, 2008

August Daring Bakers' Challenge--Eclairs with Coffee Pastry Cream

It's time for another Daring Bakers' Challenge posting. I was very excited when I found out that August's challenge would be a recipe from Pierre Herme. I followed the recipe to the letter , but I was taken aback when my pate a choux dough was too runny. I've worked with other pate a choux recipes before and they weren't as runny as this one. I baked the first batch, but they came out deflated. So I decided to add more flour to my batter to make it more stable. I was happy with the results of the second batch. I also made a coffee pastry creme rather than chocolate. The result was heavenly! Thank you to Meeta K and Tony for this month's challenge

Pierre Hermé’s Cream Puff Dough

Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé(makes 20-24 Éclairs)

• ½ cup (125g) whole milk

• ½ cup (125g) water

• 1 stick (4 ounces; 115g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

• ¼ teaspoon sugar

• ¼ teaspoon salt

• 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour

• 5 large eggs, at room temperature

1) In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, bring the milk, water, butter, sugar and salt to theboil.

2) Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, add all of the flour at once, reduce the heat to mediumand start to stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon. The dough comes together veryquickly. Do not worry if a slight crust forms at the bottom of the pan, it’s supposed to. Youneed to carry on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes to dry the dough. After this time the doughwill be very soft and smooth.

3) Transfer the dough into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using yourhandmixer or if you still have the energy, continue by hand. Add the eggs one at a time,beating after each egg has been added to incorporate it into the dough.You will notice that after you have added the first egg, the dough will separate, once again donot worry. As you keep working the dough, it will come back all together again by the time youhave added the third egg. In the end the dough should be thick and shiny and when lifted itshould fall back into the bowl in a ribbon.

4) The dough should be still warm. It is now ready to be used for the éclairs as directed above.

Notes:1) Once the dough is made you need to shape it immediately.

2) You can pipe the dough and the freeze it. Simply pipe the dough onto parchment-lined bakingsheets and slide the sheets into the freezer. Once the dough is completely frozen, transfer thepiped shapes into freezer bags. They can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.

Chocolate Pastry Cream Recipe

from Chocolate Desserts by PierreHermé

• 2 cups (500g) whole milk

• 4 large egg yolks

• 6 tbsp (75g) sugar

• 3 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted

• 1 teaspoon instant coffee

• 2½ tbsp (1¼ oz: 40g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1) In a small saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. In the meantime, combine the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together and whisk in a heavy‐bottomed saucepan.

2) Once the milk has reached a boil, temper the yolks by whisking a couple spoonfuls of the hot milk into the yolk mixture.Continue whisking and slowly pour the rest of the milk into the tempered yolk mixture.

3) Strain the mixture back into the saucepan to remove any egg that may have scrambled. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk vigorously (without stop) until the mixture returns to a boil. Keep whisking vigorously for 1 to 2 more minutes (still over medium heat).Stir in the melted chocolate and then remove the pan from the heat.

4) Scrape the pastry cream into a small bowl and set it in an ice‐water bath to stop the cooking process. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture at this point so that it remains smooth.

5) Once the cream has reached a temperature of 140 F remove from the ice‐water bath and stir in the butter in three or four installments. Return the cream to the ice‐water bath to continue cooling, stirring occasionally, until it has completely cooled. The cream is now ready to use or store in the fridge.


1) The pastry cream can be made 2‐3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

2) In order to avoid a skin forming on the pastry cream, cover with plastic wrap pressed onto the cream.

3) Tempering the eggs raises the temperature of the eggs slowly so that they do not scramble.

Chocolate Glaze

Recipe from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé(makes 1 cup or 300g)

• 1/3 cup (80g) heavy cream

• 3½ oz (100g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

• 4 tsp (20 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature

• 7 tbsp (110 g) Chocolate Sauce (recipe below), warm or at room temperature

1)In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly begin to add the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula.

2) Stirring gently, stir in the butter, piece by piece followed by the chocolate sauce.

Notes: 1) If the chocolate glaze is too cool (i.e. not liquid enough) you may heat it briefly
 in the microwave or over a double boiler. A double boiler is basically a bowl sitting over (not touching) simmering water.

2) It is best to glaze the eclairs after the glaze is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can make the glaze a couple days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and bring it up to the proper temperature (95 to 104 F) when ready to glaze.

Chocolate SauceRecipe

from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé (makes 1½ cups or 525 g)

• 4½ oz (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

• 1 cup (250 g) water

• ½ cup (125 g) crème fraîche, or heavy cream

• 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar

1) Place all the ingredients into a heavy‐bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil, making sure to stir constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens.

2) It may take 10‐15 minutes for the sauce to thicken, but you will know when it is done when it coats the back of your spoon.

Notes: 1) You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for two weeks. Reheat the sauce in a microwave oven or a double boiler before using.2) This sauce is also great for cakes, ice-cream and tarts.