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.
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!
A yummy, savory breakfast that hits all of the right notes–crunchy, salty, gooey and just plain yummy! Do you want to impress your Thanksgiving house guests or a special someone on New Year’s morning or Valentine’s Day with a new dish? What about on Easter morning when you have neighbors and friends over for brunch? Try our loaded potato-Parmesan Waffles with Eggs and you will be the star of the gathering.
- 1 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes
- 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 large shallot, grated
- 4 fried eggs
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips and cooked
- chopped parsley
- Peel and grate potatoes; squeeze dry in a clean dish towel.
- In a bowl, mix potatoes with cheese, butter and shallot; season with salt and pepper.
- Coat waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray.
- Using a quarter of the potato mixture for each waffle, cook over high until golden and crispy, about 6-8 minutes.
- Top with an egg, bacon and parsley. Season to taste.
- I used a large box grater for grating the potatoes, but you could use frozen hash brown potatoes.
- The shallot was grated using a fine microplane.
- We always cook our bacon in the oven using a wire rack placed over a cookie sheet. This allows it to cook through, stay flat and the fat drips onto the pan. Spray the wire rack with Pam or a similar product. We put a paper towel in the bottom of the cookie sheet to absorb most of the bacon fat.
- We placed the egg into a cookie cutter to make a fried egg shaped like a star for a fun presentation.
Asian Pear Salad. Have you heard of Asian Pears? Have you tried an Asian Pear? As you know by now The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast serves a fruit course each morning and when serving a savory entrée we sometimes serve a salad. This month’s recipe is just one of those salads. Pictured above is the Asian Pear Salad served with Canadian bacon and our wamlet (an omelet made in our Belgium waffle maker.
But first, let me tell you about the Asian Pear. It is also known as the “apple pear” as it is crunchy, juicy and round like an apple, but it has an unmistakable pear flavor. Even when ripe they’re crunchy so hold up well in a salad or when baking. Originally from East Asia, they are now grown in California, Oregon, and Washington in the United States.
When purchasing an Asian Pear choose one that is the most fragrant and with little to no brown spots. When ripe they are hard and do not soften (unlike a traditional pear.) They are ready to eat when purchased. You can store them for up to a week at room temperature or up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
Now let’s get cooking!
- 3/4 cups pecan halves, cut into thirds lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small head radicchio, cored, leaves separated and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 4 lightly packed cups)
- 3 oz. frisée, trimmed and torn into bite-sized pieces (about 4 lightly packed cups)
- 1 medium Asian Pear, quartered lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise ( about 1 cup)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees.
Put the pecans on a small, rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant and pale golden on the cut sides, 6-8 minutes. Add the butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss with 2 heatproof spatulas until the butter is melted and absorbed by the nuts. Set the nuts aside (they can be added to the salad warm or at room temperature.)
In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oils until well combined.
Combine the radicchio, frisée and pear in a large bowl and toss with just enough vinaigrette to coat. Add the nuts, toss and serve.
It’s September again and you know what that means in Lynchburg and Central Virginia? Apples are found in abundance at farm stands, in the Community Market in downtown Lynchburg and in the local grocery stores. It’s one of the times of year we can buy local fruits in our grocery stores. This months recipe is one we serve as a fruit dish during September and October at The Carriage House Inn Bed & Breakfast. I have also made this as a dessert for a family dinner or when having friends over for just coffee and dessert. Anyway, you serve it, it is delicious!
- 1 refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 pounds McIntosh or Empire apples
- 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, diced
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.
- For the filling, peel, core and cut the apples into 8 wedges, which are then cut into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. Cover the crostata dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to partially enclose the dough and apples, pleating it to make a circle.
- Bake the crostata for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- You can use a blender to make the crumb topping, just watch carefully not to pulse it too finely.
- We serve this with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream when serving as a dessert.
A smoothie is a great way to get some needed nutrients at breakfast, lunch or as a snack during the day. At The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast we oftentimes serve a “smoothie shot” as our first course when serving a sweet breakfast entreé. Guests love them and it’s a nice way to begin your breakfast.
- 1 cup chopped ripe strawberries (about 5 large)
- 1 cup chopped seeded watermelon
- 1 cup chopped peach
- 1 cup raspberry sorbet
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Place the strawberries, watermelon, peach, sorbet and orange juice in a blender. Puree until smooth and creamy. Add more orange juice if you like it a little less thick. Serve immediately in tall glasses with straws.
Makes 2 servings.
**we serve our smoothies in shot glasses, so we dilute the mixture a bit to make it easier to get out of a small glass.
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