Monday, January 31, 2011

Oreo-Crusted White Chocolate Mousse Torte

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Will you forgive me if I post two chocolate recipes in a row?  I just had to get this one in before we move in a couple of weeks and things get crazy around here.  We had some dinner guests recently and my wonderful husband was the one making the main dish.  He lived in the Dominican Republic and makes the most amazing Domincan meal.  Since he was doing all the work for that I was able to focus all of my attention on dessert.  I've had my eye on this for a while and it turned out to be a "wow" dessert.  My kids absolutely loved it and they are hard to please with new desserts.  If you love Oreos you can't help but love this too!  It's also no-bake which is definitely a plus!  


Makes one 9-inch cake; 12 servings

For the crust and garnish:

Butter for preparing the pan
24 Oreo cookies, roughly broken in thirds
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
For the filling:

10 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups (16 ounces) heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin

Coat the interior of a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Place a circle of parchment in the bottom and butter it as well (I omitted this step and it didn’t stick).

Place the bowl of an electric mixer and wire whip attachment or the beaters in the freezer to chill.

To make the crust, place the broken cookies in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until medium-size crumbs are formed. They won’t be uniform but don’t process long enough to make mush- just to grind the cookies into uneven crumbs. Leave the crumbs in the food processor. Place the semisweet chocolate in a medium metal bowl. Pour the 1/2 cup heavy cream into a small saucepan; set over medium heat and bring the cream to a very gentle simmer. Pour it over the chocolate and stir until the mixture is smooth. Add two-thirds of the cookie crumbs; reserve the remaining crumbs. Stir the crumbs to coat them with the chocolate. Spoon and scrape the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Press the chocolate-coated crumbs evenly over the bottom all the way to the edge of the pan, but not up the sides. Set aside.

To prepare the filling, place the white chocolate and 2/3 cup of the heavy cream in a metal bowl placed over, but not touching, a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally as the chocolate melts. When the mixture is smooth, remove it from over the water and set aside to cool.

In a chilled bowl using the chilled beaters, whip the remaining 1 1/3 cups of heavy cream and the vanilla until soft peaks form.

Pour 3 tablespoons of water into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over it. When the gelatin has softened, place the saucepan over very low heat and stir the mixture just until the gelatin has dissolved and liquefied. Immediately scrape the gelatin mixture into the white chocolate mixture, and fold gently until well combined. Fold the white chocolate-gelatin mixture into the whipped cream until the mixture is uniform. Scrape the filling into the prepared crust.

Refrigerate the torte until the gelatin has set, at least 4 hours or overnight (I refrigerated mine overnight). To serve, loosen the edges of the torte from the sides of the pan with a small knife. Remove the sides of the pan and run a wide metal spatula between the bottom of the torte and the parchment liner, then lift the torte onto a flat serving plate. Just before serving, sprinkle the torte with the reserved cookie crumbs.

This torte can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 4 days.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chocolate Banana Bread

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I love banana bread and when I saw this recipe in Tyler's Ultimate cookbook I knew I had to try it.  I love Tyler Florence!  He is my favorite Food Network chef because his recipes are so great.  No other reasons, though, and especially not because he's cute ;)  This was so good fresh from the oven with butter and is also good toasted.  Don't expect it to be overly sweet because it's more just a cocoa flavor to enhance the banana bread.  Does that make sense?  Save your bananas and try this soon! 

Tyler's Ultimate Cookbook

Makes 1 loaf

1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
2 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 large eggs
3 very ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Butter a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.  Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  In another bowl, cream the butter until lightened, then beat in the chocolate, eggs, bananas, and vanilla.  Stir in the dry ingredients just until combined; do not overbeat.
Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake until a toothpick stuck into the center of the bread comes out almost clean, 50-60 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for at least 15 minutes before unmolding.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.  It looks pretty that way! 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thai Turkey Tacos

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Happy New Year!  I can't believe another year has come and gone.  I don't know about any of you but I just feel icky after all the sweets and rich foods I've been eating the last few weeks.  I am going to start posting healthier recipes (not all of them of course!) for you all to enjoy. 
Ok, so raise your hand if you're scared of ground turkey?  I know lots of people who are but I'm here to tell you that it is so good.  I used to be skeptical and the kids hated it at first but now I substitute it for any recipe that calls for ground beef.  Most of the time the kids can't tell a difference!  This recipe has to be my favorite way to have ground turkey.  It's so flavorful, low fat and low carb!  


1 pound lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons grated ginger or 1/2 tsp dry ginger
1-3 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cups coleslaw mix with carrots
½ C lightly salted peanuts, roughly chopped
Cilantro for garnish
Lettuce (iceberg and romaine work well)

Thai Cooking Sauce

4 tsp sesame oil
8 Tablespoons of soy sauce (I use low sodium)
4 Tablespoons of lime juice
4 Tablespoon of honey
1 tsp of crushed red pepper (I use a little less for the kids’ sake)

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add turkey; cook, crumble and stir until meat is no longer pink. Add ginger, garlic, onion, pepper, and slaw mix; stir-fry with meat for 2-3 minutes until vegetables are wilted. Add ½ of the Thai cooking sauce, stirring constantly to blend all ingredients, about one minute. Wrap in lettuce leaves and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Use extra sauce for dipping.