“A Festive Miracle!”

Festivus Fudge 3 arrSweet mother of decadence:  when in doubt, fudge-it-out!  Traditional and full-proof, silent nights are guaranteed with bonbons made righteous.  And when made especially right ─ sans a candy thermometer ─ quiet consumption is the only indicator to echo volumes of successful homemade batches of soft and creamy goodness.  Fortunately, one need not live in a marshmallow world to whip up mouth-watering morsels of confectionery cheer.  Unrestricted to snowy seasons, the art of fudge-making is an incredibly effortless endeavour for anyone to take on many ‘wonderful’ times of year.Festivus Fudge 5 arr

Getting back to the basics, the starting process for this old-fashioned novelty involves a handful of ingredients and three simple steps:  melt, mix and chill.  Scoring brownie points ─ for closest in flavour ─ the combination of semi-sweet chocolate and walnuts remain a timeless classic.  Cookies and cream, maple, and peanut butter are quite common varieties as well.  Ultimately, adding tasty ‘extras’ or fragrant essences via vanilla, peppermint or other extracts will delightfully transform any fudgy creation.

Rocky Road Fudge 3 arrForgetting not the rest of us, feeling festive for fudge leads me to the making of an edible colour swatch up ─ elegant white chocolate, cranberry and pistachio fudge.  Both palatable yet palette-inspired, this show-stopping sugary delight is sure to fancy any sweet-tooth.  To make your own embellished block of ‘nuit blanche,’ simply get your hands on the “must-haves”:  chocolate, condensed milk, dried cranberries and shelled roasted pistachios.  Chocolate and condensed milk,  once melted, stir in the remaining coarsely chopped ‘friendlies’ until well combined, and proceed to pour the mixture into a parchment-lined refrigerator-proof dish.  With the magic of real-time ─ elapsing of two hours ─ cut the fudge into bite-sized pieces and enjoy.Rocky Road Fudge 1 arr

For a cocoa-rich alternative, fudge can equally be made using either dark or milk chocolate ─ essentially, real chocolate.  Repeating similar steps, rough chop and melt your preferred quality chocolate (750 grams) ─ chips work fine, too ─ with a can of condensed milk (300ml), then combine the mixture with candied fruit and/or toasted nuts.  Adding texture and taste, my interpretation of rocky road is decorated with ─ as expected ─ soft miniature marshmallows, in addition to nutty cascades of toasted almonds and hazelnuts.  Convenient and clearly exhaustion-free, thank goodness for this hectic-free treat.  Finally, a dessert recipe anyone can be proud to ─ intentionally ─ fudge-up.

© DISHFUL, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.


Peace, Love & Joyful Desserts

PanettoneBombe2 arrWhen Jamie and Chuck make dessert recipes seemingly easy-to-follow, a spark of hope is all I need to make this holiday season a festive one!  Tried, tested and rewarded with plausible results, here are a few of my favourite holiday ‘star’ treats courtesy of those in-the-know:  Jamie Oliver’s “Winter Pudding Bombe” and “Delicious Chocolate Mousse,” and Chuck Hughes’ – Chuckmas – “Carrot Cake.”

Like most fine dessert recipes, the art of making triumphant sweet-endings for any occasion requires patience and precision.  In the spirit of indulging guests, however, why not add more edible cheer to already scrumptious recipes?  ChocolateMousse1 arrFor the making of the ‘bombe’ of frozen desserts, my take incorporates the necessary Milanese sweet bread in addition to equal parts of holly and jolly – vanilla and pistachio ice creams.  Gloriously fragrant on its own, use of ready-made quality panettone instantly adds light and buttery texture while layers of other ‘must-haves’ heighten this frozen dessert:  sour cherries, pistachios, chocolate, raspberry preserve, Vin Santo and clementines.  Clearly simple to make, if not easier to enjoy, this palatably vibrant dessert lives true to its versatility.  Changing things up – ‘encore une fois’ – I replace the aforementioned glacé citrus with mandarins.  It’s still merry and bright in flavour – I figure – so, why not?

PanettoneBombe3 arr“Choco-más?”  Making for a decadent equalizer, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without more chocolate.  Needless to say, serving rich chocolate mousse cups to any chocophile is a bona fide way to make it on the nice list.  And thanks to Jamie, getting more of what ‘yule’ love is accomplished with heavenly spoonful’s of cocoa-induced semi-liquid velvet.  Before getting started, be aware that a conversion chart may prove useful as Jamie’s measurements are outlined in grams.  Eggs separated, chocolate shaved, sugar scooped and set aside, let the magic begin!  Again, this seasonal miracle of a nearly all-chocolate treat allows for alternative ingredients.  For a French twist, my spin on this creamy mousse omits the use of cherries or sesame snaps, and yields equal spike by replacing Amaretto with Grand Marnier – orange liqueur.  Less additions, in this case, means more pure chocolate taste worth celebrating.   CarrotCake1 arr

Last but not least, a banquet feast fit for a king would not be complete without the presentation of a substantial candied maple-walnut crowned carrot cake.  Step-by-step, follow Chuck’s instructions and be amazed by the pro-in-you.  End result:  a moist pineapple, cranberry and raisin embedded, beta-carotene saturated layered cream-cheese frosted – almost – piece of cake.  With a little elbow grease and a spirited mood, these three highlighted crowd-pleasers are sure to warm the first or twelfth day of Christmas with comfort and joy.  This winter, then, happy holidays to all and to all good eats!

© DISHFUL, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.