For the past three years we have featured a chocolate waffle recipe in February and this year’s recipe is our best yet. We have cut back on the sugar and substituted a healthier olive oil for the melted butter. This year we used buttermilk over whole milk and finally we used a heart healthy chocolate that was 70% cacao. All of these changes make this a healthier alternative to our other chocolate waffles. Okay, I’m not insinuating this is health food, but it is a better option than the previous years recipes. The waffle isn’t as sweet as in years past but after you add syrup there is a great balance. We topped the chocolate waffle with a couple slices of strawberries. Unfortunately they weren’t fresh from our garden (but we will have them in the May-June time frame). For the olive olive oil, use a mild flavored oil that is not too peppery. While attending an innkeepers conference in Charleston SC in January we found The Crescent Olive company that has numerous blends of olive oil that are infused with different herbs and fruits. You need to check them out! For this recipe we used their Blood Orange Olive Oil. Chocolate and orange is a great combination!
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 2 cups buttermilk
- Zest of one orange
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao), finely chopped
Preheat oven to 250°. This will allow you to hold your cooked chocolate waffles hot so that you can serve everyone a warm waffle. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, chocolate and salt in a large bowl. Make sure you break up the “packed” brown sugar so there aren’t large hunks of sugar. Ideally, all wet ingredients should be at room temperature but who has the time to let everything sit out for an hour or two before you start cooking! In a separate bowl blend together the egg yolks, buttermilk, olive oil, orange zest and vanilla. Making a well in the dry ingredients gradually incorporate the wet ingredients, mixing just until combined. DO NOT OVER MIX. In this case, less mixing is better! If you want to get a head start on breakfast you can do this much the night before, just cover and chill (you will still need to add the egg whites the following morning).
Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat egg whites in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Working in 2 batches, fold egg whites into batter just until combined.
Heat a waffle iron until very hot; lightly coat with nonstick spray. Don’t forget this step otherwise you will be picking pieces of waffle out of your waffle iron–no fun. Working in batches, cook waffles until cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet, cover loosely with foil and keep warm in oven until ready to serve.
Serve with butter and syrup or strawberry sauce. We served this February 2014 breakfast with a homemade strawberry sauce and sliced strawberries. You could dust this with confectioners sugar an/or put a dollop of whip creme on the waffle if you really want to indulge.
I like to think of chocolate as the dark side of breakfast! I know, I will use any excuse to add chocolate to any meal but in this case, these chocolate waffles rock! If you wanted to make one more tweak to make them healthier use one cup all-purpose flour and one cup whole wheat flour. Okay, I lied, one more tweak, add 1/4 cup chia seeds to dry ingredients. You won’t see them because they blend in with the chocolate, but they will give you a whole grain,fiber and antioxidants!
We hope you enjoy this recipe. We have fun at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast creating our breakfasts and playing with different recipes. Many of our followers wait for our monthly recipe to appear on our blog which is then transmitted to our Facebook and Google+ page. If you haven’t Liked or +1 our page yet, please do so as we have some great surprises in store for you. Also, check back next week for a new page created for anyone who loves food!
Heads up! This year is the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion and there will be many great programs at the D-Day Memorial the week of June 6. Don’t wait until the last moment, book your rooms for the event now! Also, this year is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Lynchburg (June 17-18). If you are a Civil War buff you will want to come to these festivities to hear about this little known battle. Again, rooms will book up so call now and book your room. Finally, next year will the the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War (April 9-12) when General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse (about 20 minutes from here). They are expecting over 7,000 visitors from around the world to visit that week. It is NOT too early to make your reservations. Call us at 434-846-1388 or book your room on-line.
These lemon ricotta pancakes are light and airy with a little tang from the lemon. Normally I would use buttermilk to make pancakes, but when you mix lemon juice with milk you end up with buttermilk so for this recipe, skip the buttermilk and use whole milk. It is always a good idea to have your ingredients at room temperature so that everything mixes together and the batter doesn’t break. Remove the eggs, ricotta and milk out of the refrigerator about an hour before you start making the pancakes. I would suggest putting the ricotta in a strainer, to allow it to drain, while it is warming up.
- 2 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 4 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cup fresh Ricotta (strained)
- 1 1/2 cup whole milk (you could substitute skim or 1-2% if that is all you have on hand)
- 6 tablespoons Butter (melted plus more for greasing pan)
- 6 tablespoons Lemon Oil (see recipe below)
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Powdered sugar for garnish
For the Lemon Oil:
- 1 cup Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon (washed and cut into small pieces)
- Pinch of Salt
Directions for making the Lemon Oil:
Place ingredients in a blender (the whole lemon that has been cut into about 8 small pieces, skin and fruit but make sure the lemons were washed before you sliced it into pieces) and puree. Strain into a bowl, reserving pulp.
Directions for making the lemon ricotta pancakes:
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.
- In a second bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients (milk, eggs, ricotta, melted butter, lemon oil and vanilla).
- Whisk the wet into the dry mix until fully incorporated. The batter is very light so you don’t have to whip it too much. There should be a few lumps.
- Let the batter sit for about 8-10 minutes while griddle is preheating.
- Add some butter to grease the preheated griddle. Pour a few tablespoons of batter (for silver dollar sized pancakes) or ladle about 1/4 cup (for regular sized pancakes) onto the hot griddle and cook until bubbles appear and a few pop.
- Flip with a spatula and continue to cook on the second side until golden. You can keep these pancakes warm by placing them on the rack in the oven that has been preheated to 200 degrees or serve immediately.
- Serve with maple syrup or a fruit syrup such as raspberry, strawberry or blueberry. If you have fresh blueberries on hand you can add cup of them to the batter. They will provide a burst of sweetness that works well with the tang of the lemon.
- You can use the remaining pulp from the strained lemon oil is on chicken or fish so you won’t want to throw it out.
We hope you enjoy this recipe for lemon Ricotta Pancakes as much as the guests of The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in historic Lynchburg, Virginia. Of course it is much easier to have us do the cooking so feel free to call us at 434.846.1388 and book your next visit. We look forward to seeing you in the near future.
A simple yet elegant dish that can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or a midnight snack with Prosecco on New Year’s Eve. At The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Lynchburg, VA, we have served this as our fruit course, during our legendary 4-course breakfast. This recipe only takes minutes to make and is delicious. The other nice thing about this recipe is there is NO cooking and minimal cleanup. A couple years ago we planted pomegranate trees and we now serve our own pomegranates. Here is a link for step by step instructions on how to get the seeds, also know as arils out of the fruit. The nice thing about the arils is you can freeze them and enjoy them for months. You still might be able to find some pomegranates in the produce section at your grocery store.
Once you have de-seeded your pomegranate, make sure the seeds are dry. Arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place in freezer for 2 hours or until frozen. Once frozen, put them into a freezer bag or container and store them in the freezer.
- 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, about 1/2 cup
- 4 firm-ripe pears, Bartlett or Bosc, halved lengthwise
- honey, for drizzling
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, from 1/2 of a large pomegranate
Stir goat cheese in a small bowl until smooth. Core pear halves with a melon baller and fill each cavity with 1 Tablespoon cheese. (Pears can then be sliced again into smaller wedges.) Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
Of course if you can find local honey that is a big bonus as local honey helps you with allergies you might have from local sources. The Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg has several beehives and they sell their honey. It is appropriately called, Died and gone to heaven honey.
We hope you enjoy Pomegranate with Pears and Goat Cheese as much as our guests did!
The nice thing about this breakfast casserole is that it is simple to make and feeds a crowd. Unlike cooking pancakes, waffles or omelets which takes a lot of time if you have a large family, other than a little prep-work, you stick it in the oven and in about 30 minutes you have a delicious meal. The other great thing about this breakfast casserole is that you can double the recipe and serve one today and save the other one for up to three months in the freezer.
The above was served with lightly sauteed vine ripened tomatoes and zucchini and hash-brown potatoes. A fresh basil leaf was cut up and put on top of the breakfast casserole. Our guests loved this recipe and so did we because of its simplicity.
- 1/2 lb of fresh mushrooms
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- dash of pepper and salt
- 2 Cups of grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup diced ham
- 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
- 12 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large sauce pan melt the butter, rough cut the mushrooms and saute them until tender add the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper the mushrooms. After cooking the combined ingredients let cool for a couple of minutes. In a greased 13X9 baking dish spread the mushrooms evenly over the pan.
- In a large bowl, add the cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, cubed ham and flour. Mix ingredients well then spread evenly over the mushrooms. Note: The flour helps keep the ham and cheese from sticking together. If you are on a gluten free diet you can skip this ingredient.
- In another large bowl mix the eggs, cream, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Once mixed pour over the ham and cheese mixture.
- Bake the breakfast casserole in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
Freezing a breakfast casserole:
If you double the recipe and elect to freeze one, cover with a tight fitting plastic wrap the uncooked mixture (make sure it sits flat in the freezer until frozen. Before cooking, remove from freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw it). Remove the plastic wrap and cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, Uncover and bake for and additional 15-20 minutes. Let stand before cutting and serving.
This would be a great dish to serve on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning when the entire family is visiting. Also, it is a great way to use some of the left over ham. If you want to serve a warm fruit dish consider the hot fruit compote that we wrote about earlier this month.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner I thought I would share our hot fruit compote recipe which is an easy to make fruit dish that works well when you have a large party to feed. I’m thinking about Thanksgiving or Christmas morning when you have a million other things to do and you don’t have a lot of extra time in the kitchen to think about cooking breakfast for the family that has gathered for the holidays. What makes the hot fruit compote a great dish (other than being super easy) is it is served warm on those cool fall/winter mornings. Obviously this time of year you don’t have many fresh fruit options so this one relies on canned fruit. The optional ingredient, fresh cranberries, are available this time of year and add a little bit of tartness to the dish, plus it ties it into the season. (Tip: You can buy a bag of fresh cranberries and what you don’t use you can freeze so that you will have fresh cranberries throughout the year.)
- 2 cans (15 1/4 ounces each) sliced pears–drained
- 1 can (29 ounces) sliced peaches–drained
- 1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained
- 1 jar (16 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
- 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- optional–two cups fresh whole cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the pears, peaches, pineapple applesauce and cranberries.
- Spray a 9X13 baking dish with a cooking spray and then pour the mixed ingredients (above) into the baking dish.
- Spread the pie filling over the fruit and sprinkle with the brown sugar.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly.
- Serve warm.
We had a full house at the bed and breakfast last weekend and served this. The guests loved it. This can be cooked with an egg casserole at the same time in the oven so you can serve your family a filling warm breakfast that will satisfy them until Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Another option for this hot fruit compote is to sprinkle a light streusel topping on it and turn this into a healthy desert.
I hope you and your family/guests enjoy this recipe. Kathy and I hope each of you have a great holiday season and that next year will bring you peace and happiness.
Fall is upon us, the nights are cooler, leaves are turning colors, pumpkins decorate many front porches, and Halloween is right around the corner so to celebrate this time of year we are baking our spicy chocolate pumpkin muffins. We chose this recipe because it had pumpkin and chocolate in them, two of my favorite foods. Speaking of pumpkin, if you missed our pumpkin waffle recipe a couple years ago you may want to check it out as well!
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs-room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup of canned pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla then mix in the pumpkin.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt,nutmeg and cloves. Mix into creamed mixture. By had stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake for about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
This makes a dozen standard muffins or about 6 giant muffins. (If making giant muffins you will need to increase cooking time.)
These chocolate pumpkin muffins are very versatile. We serve them when we have a savory breakfast. They are also great snacks and can be served for dinner, especially at Thanksgiving. They are sweet and moist and can also be served for desert or as a midnight snack. Of course if you have a nut allergy you can eliminate the nuts. If you are watching your weight you can eliminate the chocolate chips and substitute applesauce for half the butter. If you want these to be healthier you can substitute half the flour with whole wheat flour. Finally you can cut down on the calories by using a mini-muffin pan rather than the standard or giant muffin pans. Remember to reduce the cook time if you use a mini-muffin pan.
Remember, The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast posts a recipe once a month so you want to check back often so you don’t miss one of our monthly recipes!
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