February is halfway over, Valentine’s Day is in 2 days, so we’re asking, why not prepare this delicious, decadent dessert for your sweetie? It’s got chocolate and caramel, so it can’t be all bad. Read the recipe carefully, don’t let the ingredients and many steps scare you. They really aren’t that hard to make. You will come out smelling like a rose!
- 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cacao), melted, slightly cooled
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream, divided
Popovers and Assembly
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup grated white cheddar
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup sugar
Chocolate Mousse: Place chocolate and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Cook egg yolks, sugar and 1/2 cup cream in medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes. Pour over chocolate mixture and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool. Do ahead: mousse can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
Popovers and Assembly: Preheat oven to 425 degreesº. Lightly butter 10 cups of standard 12-cup muffin tin or two 6-cup popover pans. Whisk eggs in medium bowl to blend. Bring cream, milk, salt and pepper to a simmer in a medium saucepan; whisking constantly, gradually add to eggs. Whisk in flour, then cheese (no lumps should remain).
Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, fill remaining cups halfway with water, and bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake until popovers are puffed, golden brown and crusty, 20-25 minutes longer. Turn out onto a wire rack and let cool.
Just before serving, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring sugar and 3 Tbsp. water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, brushing down sides with a damp brush and swirling pan occasionally until mixture turns deep amber. Set the bottom of saucepan in ice water to stop the cooking process and firm caramel slightly (this will make it easier to work with when dipping popovers).
Working quickly and with 1 popover at a time, dip bottoms into caramel and set, caramel side down, on prepared baking sheet; let cool. (If caramel becomes too hard while dipping, reheat over medium-low heat to a workable consistency).
Once the caramel has set, mix mousse with a rubber spatula to loosen. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4″ pastry tip. Working 1 at a time, poke holes in tops of popovers with pastry tip and fill popovers with mousse.
The Academy Center of the Arts, a historic theatre in Lynchburg, Virginia is hosting an evening of the best-loved Broadway and Billboard hits on Saturday, February 16, 2019. Between the hours of 7:30 until 9:00 pm the Jefferson Choral Society will sing songs known and loved by all. A trip down memory lane, the repertoire includes You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban, What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong, Happy, Pharrell Williams and Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon and Garfunkle, among others.
The Jefferson Choral Society is Central Virginia’s oldest and largest adult choir. It was chartered in 1990 and is composed of more than 85 members. The Jefferson Choral Society has performed throughout Virginia, Washington, DC and at Carnegie Hall in New York City. They have traveled to Germany, Austria, France, Italy, England and Scotland.
Tickets can be purchased at the Academy Center of the Arts’ Theatre box office at 434.846.8499. General admission tickets are $20.00. Box Seats are $35.00. You can view the seating map for the theatre at www.academycenter.org. Parking is available on-site and throughout downtown Lynchburg.
The Academy of Music, as it was originally known as, first opened its doors on February 1, 1905. Approximately 800 people attended the grand opening, which included the musical comedy “The Show Girl.” Those who attended were reasonably affluent, as the tickets cost $10 a seat, or $280 today!
The theater closed its doors in 1958. In the early 2000s, a restoration effort started. Local community leaders, philanthropists, business owners, and concerned citizens banded together and committed to restoring this historic, cultural icon in downtown Lynchburg. In December 2018 the theater came alive once again, as part of the Academy Center of the Arts. Various performances, theatrical and choral events are scheduled throughout the year. Visit their website www.academycenter.org for a calendar of upcoming events.
The Academy, as the locals call it, is located just blocks from The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast and all the wonderful downtown restaurants so you can leave your car here and enjoy a great dinner, fantastic show and get a little exercise as a bonus.
Did you know that Lynchburg, Virginia has it’s own, authentic British Tea Room? Serving a unique British menu the Ploughcroft Tea Room serves lunch and afternoon tea Monday through Saturday. Located at 1215 Commerce Street, in downtown Lynchburg, the tea room is open between 11:00 until 5:00. Lunch is served between 11:00 until 2:00, with afternoon tea served from 2:15 until 5:00.
What is Afternoon Tea? You are probably picturing an English tea ceremony. In the mid-1800’s the Duchess of Bedford started having a tray of tea with bread and butter served to her in the mid-afternoon. Lunch was served at noon and dinner not until 8:00 or 9:00 so she found herself hungry in the afternoon. She began to invite other high society ladies to join her, thus having Afternoon Tea became the “in thing” for upper-class women. The tea was served with small pastries, dainty sandwiches, clotted cream, preserves and scones.
High Tea is different from Afternoon Tea. It is served about 6:00 and consists of a full meal, usually for the common people. Tea is served along with meats, fish, eggs, cheese, bread and butter plus cake.
The Ploughcroft Tea Room has a selection of appetizers, soups and entrees, including fresh seasonal dishes. A variety of delicious desserts are also available each day. Lunch selections include: chicken salads, scotch eggs, fisherman’s pie, cottage pie and Cornish pastry. Desserts may include: gingerbread, fruit crumble and sticky toffee pudding.
Afternoon Tea, served between 2:15 until 5:00, can be served a la carte or as an individual tea service for one. Selections start with the Ploughcroft’s Afternoon Cream Tea- -2 warm scones with Devon cream, preserves and fruit garnish, plus an endless pot of tea. The Windsor Tea includes a scone with Devon cream, preserves and fruit garnish plus a sampling of English Sweet Treats, a selection of open face sandwiches and an endless pot of tea. Prices start at $8.50 per guest.
The Ploughcroft Tea Room has hosted private events and parties, such as engagement parties, baby showers, birthday parties, retirement parties and many others. Private events usually are held on Sundays or after hours. The can accommodate approximately 30 guests.
Visit their web site www.ploughcrofttearoom.com or call 434.832.7467. A good pot of tea is welcome at any time, especially during our cold winters in Lynchburg!
Are you a cat lover? Do you enjoy seeing cats of all colors, sizes and breeds? The Cat Fanciers’ Association Cat Show in Roanoke, VA might entertain you for a weekend. This year’s event is January 26 & 27, 2019, between 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Valley View in Roanoke, 3315 Ordway Drive. 540.362.4500. Admission is $5.00 per person plus a pet food donation for orphaned cats at the local humane society.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association was founded in 1906. The CFA is currently the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats. It is known as the most prestigious pedigreed cat registry in North America. They host cat shows around the country.
What happens at the Cat Show? Exhibitors compete is a variety of classes and rankings. Exhibitors show “household” cats and “pedigreed” cats. Cats are judged based upon their breed, color and sex. Awards are given for First, Second and Third places overall, by color, best of breed, champion of breed and merit awards. It is anticipated that approximately 200 cats will be exhibited this year. Each judge chooses a top cat in the Kitten, Championship, Premiership and Household Pet classes. Judging takes place simultaneously in various rings.
In addition to the judging rings attendees can visit the benching area where the cats and exhibitors relax between judging events. There you might see grooming taking place and have the opportunity to talk with an exhibitor. A vendor area is available with items for sale for both cats and cat lovers.
As those of you who follow our blog know, we alternate savory and sweet main dishes when serving our guests their four-course breakfasts at The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast. This month’s recipe is a great, hearty dish that would make a fabulous Christmas morning treat, or even for a New Year’s Day brunch. This savory French Toast is a twist on bacon and eggs with a touch of a unique French Toast added.
- 8 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese, about 4 ounces
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (8-12 slices)
- 8 3/4-inch-thick slices country white bread
- 6 cups baby arugula
- 1-2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
- Put a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, in the oven and preheat to 250°. Whisk 4 eggs, the milk, 1/4 cup cheese, the parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper in a baking dish; set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, flipping, until crisp, 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels, reserve the drippings in the skillet.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in another large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bread to the egg mixture and let soak, turning once, about 1 minute. Add 4 of the bread slices to the skillet and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon cheese. Cook until golden on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip again and cook until the cheese melts, about 1 more minute. Transfer to the baking sheet to keep warm and repeat with the remaining bread and cheese.
- Heat the skillet with the pancetta drippings over medium heat. Crack the remaining eggs into the skillet and cook until the whites are set, about 3 minutes.
- Divide the French toast among the plates and top with the fried eggs. Toss the arugula in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add to the plates. Plate the pancetta. Drizzle eggs with the balsamic vinegar.
Downtown Lynchburg, Virginia has a new bakery. And is it ever good! Located at 1344 Main Street this bakery is a unique addition to downtown’s delicious dining options. Owned and operated by Alex Richardson it serves breakfast treats, while R*A Bistro does not. Alex has been a supporter of downtown and opened R*A Bistro before many could see downtown’s potential.
His new endeavor features over-the-top cinnamon bun and beignet creations that will have you returning again and again. Afterall, there are so many different home-made frostings, almost 30 toppings and 12 sauces you’ll need to return just to try them all. And who doesn’t enjoy customizing their own cinnamon treats? In addition to the sweet treats there is a line of coffee and espresso products that complement the cinnamon buns or beignets.
The dough is mixed, risen, rolled and baked, then served fresh and hot from the oven. You top it with your choice of chef-crafted, infused frostings and a huge assortment of fresh fruits, crumbles, candies, cookies and more. You also choose one frosting, one frosting and two toppings plus one drizzle or really make it your own with your frosting choice.
The beignets are hand-cut, sugar dusted doughnut delights that match perfectly with the many house-made fruit toppings, chocolate sauces, caramels and frostings made for dipping. You can buy them by the piece or by the basket. Sometimes there are just too many choices.
Toppings include the old standbys: various nuts, chocolate chips, marshmallows and caramel chips. Frostings include cream cheese, maple, hazelnut and vanilla. Drizzles and sauces run the gamut between vanilla cream, chocolate, raspberry or strawberry to lemon zest, cinnamon or honey.
If you’re hungry at lunchtime for a savory, scratch-made dough roll you are now in luck. Savory buns are filled with fresh garlic, olive oil and herbs. Then you can add Boursin cream cheese, gourmet sauces, sautéed veggies or a variety of meats.
In addition to a nice selection of coffees and espressos you can choose café au lait, hot chocolate or a signature hot drink. Does a s’more, choc-raspberry, minty Irishman or banana foster drink sound appealing? Or, try a float, smoothie or milk shake.
Open Sunday through Thursday between 7:00 until 7:00 and Friday and Saturday between 7:00 until 9:00. If you’d like further information visit their website www.cinncity.com or call 434.219.3957.
My hint to you is, if you don’t want to get up early to prepare and bake your own cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, visit Cinn City the day before to select some delicious breakfast treats. And consider the same for New Year’s morning. They have such a selection of goodies that you will be bale to choose from your favorites or be adventurous and choose something different. You will be glad you did!
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From The Blog RSS
- Caramel-Dipped Popovers with Chocolate Mousse February 12, 2019
- At the Academy Center of the Arts, Chart Toppers of the Past February 5, 2019
- Ploughcroft Tea Room January 29, 2019