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Posts tagged ‘white chocolate’

White Chocolate Mousse Cake

I don’t like using the term copy cat, I prefer to say that is an homage to my favorite cake, actually one of the best cakes I have ever had. I first got this cake many years ago at the Watergate Pastry Shop in Washington DC. I was smitten and it was love at first bite. The softest, lightest and most tender vanilla cake, a creamy white Chocolate mousse filling, frosted in whipped cream. At the time I didn’t know what the subtle flavor was that made it so distinct, after some research I found out it was Grand Marnier or Cointreau.

I have been thinking about this cake and wishing I could make a trip to DC for the express purpose of buying it, well that’s not practical and instead I decided to try my hand at making it. The recipe I always use for a yellow or vanilla cake Tender Yellow Cake,  I have posted many times, its super light, a cross between a chiffon and a yellow or vanilla cake, I knew this would work well. Years ago I posted a recipe for white chocolate mousse filling, when I made it then it was pretty seamless, this time not so much, but after some MacGyver like moves it actually came out pretty perfect. I recently received some vanilla beans and powdered vanilla seeds from a company called Native Vanilla and I have to say the beans are far superior to any vanilla beans I have ever used. They are so fresh, plump, loaded with vanilla seeds and so so fragrant. The vanilla seeds made this mousse incredible, additionally it is flavored with Cointreau. The cake is frosted with my go to stabilized whipped cream also flavored with Cointreau and vanilla.

It has been a few years since I had the Watergate cake but I think that this is pretty darn close to my recollection of the flavors and textures.

White Chocolate Mousse

1 1/2 C heavy cream divided

2 scant tsp unflavored gelatin

6 oz white chocolate (chips or bar cut into small pieces)

1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped (highly recommend Native Vanilla)

1 tbs Cointreau or Grand Marnier

Bloom the gelatin by placing in a small bowl and add 2 tbs cold water, stir and let sit. Heat 1/2 cup heavy cream to scalding. Put the white chocolate into your food processor and pulse to break into very fine pieces, mix the gelatin in the hot cream scrape in the vanilla seeds pour over the chocolate and process until smooth. Scrape into a bowl and let cool. While cooling whip the remaining 1 cup cream until stiff. Whisk into the white chocolate and liquor, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The mixture was thick and a little lumpy so I spooned it into the food processor and pulsed until smooth.

NOTE:The mousse was really thick so before filling the cake I whipped 1/2 cup heavy cream and folded it in. Judge for yourself how it is. You could decrease the gelatin but I wanted it to have structure so it would hold up in between the cake layers. It was the perfect texture and consistency after folding in the additional whipped cream.

After frosting the cake I decorated the top with shaved white chocolate curls.

Happy Valentines Day- Caramelized White Chocolate Ice Cream, Chocolate Madeleines And Chocolate Caramel Sauce

Valentines Day

Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day everyone, I felt I must make something chocolate for today, but didn’t want anything too heavy. This has 3 components, a chocolate madeleine, caramelized white chocolate ice cream and a chocolate caramel sauce. I built this around the caramelized white chocolate that I made, at first I was going to do a mousse but decided on ice cream, after searching the internet I found David Lebovitz recipe and saw that he took a chocolate course that Valhrona offered and made this very same thing. I am therefore crediting the great Mr, Lebovitz for the ice cream recipe. The chocolate caramel sauce is my own creation and is amazing, I sort of winged it having only made caramel sauce for the first time a few weeks ago.  I used the same recipe and simply added dark chocolate to the cream, it worked out perfectly.  I hope everyone has a wonderful day!



Chocolate Madeleines:

A recipe by Gale Gand

Makes 2 dozen

  • 1/2 cup, plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, for buttering madeleine molds
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brush madeleine pans well with 4 tablespoons softened butter; refrigerate 5 minutes.
  2. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt remaining 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. Continue to cook until butter turns golden brown, being careful not to let the butter burn. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip eggs with granulated and brown sugars until light and thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, and stir on low speed until combined. Add vanilla and reserved browned butter; mix just until blended.
  4. Insert a 1/2-inch plain tip into a pastry bag and fill with batter. Pipe mounds of batter into prepared pans until each mold is full, mounding batter in the center of the molds but not filling to the edge. Alternatively, you can use a teaspoon to fill the molds with batter (which is what I did). Bake until madeleines are firm and a little mound is puffed up in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes. Madeleines are best eaten the same day they are baked.

Chocolate Caramel Sauce:

1 cup granulated sugar

6 tbs salted butter (yes salted) cut into tbs size pieces

2 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped (I used scharffen berger 62%)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

Put the heavy cream in a glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 45 seconds, add chocolate and microwave another 30 seconds Stir until its smooth, set aside so that it will cool before adding to the caramel.

In large saucepan add the sugar, turn heat to med/high and let sit until it starts to liquify. Start stirring with a heat proof spatula, the sugar will crystalize but thats alright keep stirring until its all liquid. Stop stirring and let it cook until it turns amber in color, now add the butter, stir to combine. Remove from heat and add the chocolate cream. Stir until its incorporated in the caramel. Store in container at room temperature until ready to use. Note: If you make this ahead of time, simply place the bottle or jar in hot water to warm the caramel so it’s pourable.

Ice Cream

Ice Cream

Caramelized White Chocolate Ice Cream:

A Recipe by David Lebovitz

Makes about 1 quart (1l)

Make sure the caramelized white chocolate is warm when you mix it with the cream. You can reheat it in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in a microwave on low power, stirring until smooth.

8 ounces (240g) caramelized white chocolate

1 cup (250ml) heavy cream

2 cups (500ml) whole milk

1/2 cup (100g) sugar

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

5 large egg yolks

1. Mix the warm caramelized white chocolate in a large bowl with the heavy cream, and set a mesh strainer over the top.

2. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the milk, sugar, and salt.

3. Whisk together the egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in half of the warm milk, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.

4. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof utensil, until the mixture thickens and coats the utensil.

5. Immediately pour the custard through the strainer into the white chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Put the bowl in an ice bath, and stir until cool.

6. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

This is the best ice cream I think I have ever had, it’s so creamy and the perfect consistency, thank you Mr, Lebovitz for a wonderful recipe.

Note: In step one I deviated slightly, I heated the cream in the microwave to warm it for 30 seconds, I then added the chocolate and put it back in the microwave for another 20 seconds. It melted the chocolate and made a ganache. It was easier to combine with the custard when it was already melted.

Dessert is served

Dessert is served


Caramelized White Chocolate-Food52 Genius Recipe

Caramelized White Chocolate

Caramelized White Chocolate

I am a frequent, well I guess daily visitor to the Food52 site. I have been active there for almost 2 years now. In case you don’t know about Food52 it the brainchild of Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Home cooks as well as professionals are all welcomed to the site and it is a treasure trove of recipes from the community as well as the founders. One of the features is Genius Recipes and last week they posted a recipe for caramelized white chocolate. I am a die hard dark or milk chocolate lover, I always keep white chocolate in my pantry but it sadly sits there waiting for the occasional recipe that I might dream up. I like it but honestly, I don’t love it. When I saw this post I was intrigued, it seemed as though a bland and lonely piece of the white stuff had been transformed into something complex and delicious, and I knew that I had to try it.

Last night, before Downton Abbey I took all the white chocolate that I had and started the process. It’s labor intensive, not in a wear you out sort of way, but you do have to watch and stir for about 45 minutes. You bake your chocolate in a low oven (266 degrees) stirring every 7-10 minutes until your white chocolate becomes a molten mass of amber colored goodness.

Here is the link to the post on Food52. After I finished I poured it into a small loaf pan to set and voila, a bar of caramelized white chocolate. It’s incredibly delicious and fair warning this could be addictive!

I already know what I am going to do with it, you’ll see on Valentines Day!

Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Rose Scented Pot de Creme #Bake Together

Pot de Creme

Pot de Creme

I have to say that I was so excited about this months Bake Together with Abby Dodge, she challenged us to put our own twist on one of my favorite desserts, Pot de Creme. I have to confess, up until now I only had chocolate never vanilla so this was a bit of a departure for me but I am up for a challenge. This recipe was inspired by a dear friend of mine, a chef in Montana, Cynthia who has a lovely blog “The Solitary Cook”. she created this recipe for a contest on Food52 and I loved the flavors so much I thought it would make a wonderful pot de creme. Her creation was rose petal ice cream scooped into balls and covered in white chocolate. Delicious right? I took Abby’s brilliant recipe for Vanilla Bean Pot de Creme and tweaked it a bit, adding white chocolate and a hint of rosewater. It is delicious, you can’t really go wrong when your base recipe is genius and I am thankful for that. The rosewater is barely there, just a hint and paired with the white chocolate in a creamy dessert its heavenly. I topped with raspberry whipped cream. NOTE: I used a dropper for the rose water, I put 3 drops in, starting with 2, I am cautious and flavor it gingerly so it doesn’t get soapy. You determine how strong or weak you want it to be depending on your personal taste.

For the pots of heaven:
1 vanilla bean split
1 3/4 cup half & half
5 large egg yolks
2 Tbs granulated sugar(I used vanilla sugar)
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 tsp vanilla paste
2-4 drops Rose Water
2 oz white chocolate chopped

To make the pots:

1.Measure the half and half in a 2-cup glass measure.

2. Position the vanilla bean on a cutting board and, using the tip of a sharp knife, split the bean lengthwise down the middle. Slide the edge of the knife down the cut side of each piece of the bean to release the seeds. Add the seeds and vanilla bean pieces to the half & half. Heat the mixture in the microwave until very hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Let steep for up to 2 hours to intensify the vanilla flavor.

3. Position the oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 325°F. Arrange four 6-ounce ramekins in a baking pan with 2-inch high sides. I use my 8-inch square baking pan.

4. In a small saucepan, whisk the yolks, sugar and salt until well blended.(Don’t let them sit or the eggs will begin to break down.)  Uncover the half & half and, whisking, slowly pour the half and half (with the vanilla bean pieces) into the yolk mixture. Whisk until well blended. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a spoon or heat-proof spatula, until thickened and coats the back of a spoon or spatula (170-172°F on an instant read or candy thermometer), about 4 to 5 minutes. Place white chocolate in the 2 cup measuring cup, pour hot custard over white chocolate, let sit for approximately 2 minutes or until chocolate is melted and very smooth.

5. Fish out the vanilla bean and scrape any custard from the pod back into the custard. Stir in vanilla paste and rosewater stir to combine. You can pour into a sieve if you like to remove any errant pieces and  ensure that it’s totally smooth (I recommend you do). Pour the custard into the ramekins  Carefully fill the baking pan with hot tap water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins and cover the pan loosely with foil.

6. Bake until the pot de crèmes wiggle like jello when nudged, 35 to 45 minutes depending on thickness of the ramekin walls. Transfer the baking pan to a rack let cool completely. Remove ramekins from baking pan and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 2 days before serving.

Raspberry Whipped Cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream very cold
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1-2 tbs powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In cold bowl with cold whisk or beaters whip the cream  and sugar until it becomes thick and billowy, fold in crushed raspberries. Place a dollop on each pot de creme. If using frozen raspberries drain well before adding to the whipped cream.


Spiced White Hot Chocolate

Spice White Hot Chocolate

Spiced White Hot Chocolate

When I lived abroad one of my friends made a very simple drink on cold days before bed, it was treacle and hot milk. I grew to really love it, dark treacle has a similar flavor to molasses, I took this drink and changed it a bit, I used white chocolate, molasses, ginger and nutmeg. It is delicious, a little spicy, sweet and creamy. I topped it with some unsweetened whipped cream with a sprinkle of nutmeg. You can add a nip of brandy or cognac to make it a bit more joyful!

Serves 2 cups

  • 16 ounces whole milk
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate cut into small chunks
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • unsweetened whipped cream
  • sprinkles of nutmeg

Add milk, molasses, ginger and nutmeg to small saucepan. Heat to scalding but don’t bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the white chocolate, whisk until chocolate is melted. Whip your cream. Pour into mugs, top each with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg