Holy Cow, I have a new favorite cookbook! Well, dessert book! Recently, while searching for inspiration, I went to my local library and checked out a few of the cookbooks. I have been looking for books that will not just give me recipes, but teach me how to bake. Why baking powder and not soda? Why eggs or just the yolks or only the whites? Paddle attachment versus whisking balloon? Though I LOVE to bake and can reproduce pretty much any recipe, admittedly, I have no idea how these people came up with this stuff. I am tired of reproducing recipes and ready to start creating my own. Why re-invent the wheel? I don’t know…a new sense of ownership in what I am working so hard on all the time? As you can see, I have a lot of questions when it comes to baking.
Well, now a LOT of them are being answered. By Sherry Yard. Although I do not know anything about this woman except what the biography in the book says and the little I have looked at online, I can tell you she is most certainly good at what she does. Just Google her name and see what you find. Her book,
is phenomenal. Not only does it provide wonderful recipes, but for me, the main attraction is the fact that she gives you wonderful details about how to do things, why you are doing them, what you can do differently, and how you can personalize it to make it your own. I enjoy the way she has the cookbook organized. One recipe leads to the other with a great fluidity. For instance, the ganaches are all grouped together, then categorized by soft, medium and firm. All the recipes that are similar to ganache, or use ganache as a base to build on, are also put in these categories. She recommends which recipes you can combine and how. It is simply fantastic!
This is no new book, in fact, it was published 8 years ago. But it is new to me and I am in love! I will be trying a great deal of recipes from it and checking it out from the library over and over again.
I will go ahead and post the first recipe I made from the book, but I think after this one, I will just continue posting a link to places you can purchase the book. So go buy it, or go look for it at your local library!
Baked Whiskey Tortes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (or Pam)
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I purchased the Ghirardelli chips)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons whiskey (I used Johnny Walker Black Label)
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- Whipped crème fraîche for serving
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Adjust the rack to the center of the oven. Brush the inside of four 6 – ounce (medium) ramekins with melted butter (I used Pam and it did just fine).
- Using a serrated knife, finely chop the chocolate into 1/4 inch pieces and place it in a medium heatproof bowl (I didn’t do this since I purchased the bittersweet chips).
- Bring the cream and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Immediately pour the cream over the chopped chocolate. Tap the bowl on the counter to settle the chocolate into the cream, then let it sit for one minute. Using a rubber spatula, stir in a circular motion, starting from the center of the bowl and working out to the sides. Stir until all the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes.
- Combine the whiskey and eggs in a bowl. Whisk them together then gently stir them into the ganache. When the eggs are thoroughly incorporated, pour the mixture into the ramekins, filling them three-quarters full.
- Place the filled ramekins in a large baking pan. Carefully pour hot water into the large pan until it comes halfway up the ramekins. Bake the tortes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they feel firm to the touch (mine took right around 30 minutes I think. I started watching them at 20 and my finger was still sinking into the torte when I touched them. I waited until it barely gave at all and didn’t stick to my finger when touched). Allow the tortes to cool slightly before serving. The tortes can be made up to one day in advance and rewarmed before serving in a 325 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with a small dollop of whipped crème fraîche (I used vanilla ice cream and it was lovely!).
This recipe was VERY easy to make, even if you don’t know what you are doing. The chocolate was so smooth going down and blended very well with the ice cream. Prep and bake time took no more than an hour. Any company you have will most certainly call you a gourmet baker if you prepare this for them! Though, it should be noted that this is NOT a low calorie dessert!!! The recipe makes 4 servings and each one is over 675 calories! YIKES! Glad I looked that up so I could plan my whole daily caloric intake around eating one of these tonight!