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Tag Archives: chocolate

Warm and Crusty Date Pudding

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

YUMMMM!  What more can I say?!  I made this dessert for a dinner party that I hosted and it was unanimously a hit!  It’s a fairly easy dessert that will warm people’s tummies and satisfy their chocolate craving.  You can make this in one large soufflé dish or in individual ramekins like I did.

SERVES 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pitted dates (6 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 heavy cream
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 large egg whites
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375ªF and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.  Coat a 1 1/2 quart soufflé dish or eight 6-ounce ramekins with nonstick spray.

Place the dates in a saucepan and add 3/4 cup water.  Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the dates are very soft and the water is mostly evaporated.  Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.  Add the granulated sugar and vanilla and process until well blended.  Scrape into a large mixing bowl.

Rinse out the saucepan and add the cream.  Bring to a simmer, then remove the pan from the heat, add the chocolate, and stir until melted.  Pour the chocolate into the date mixture and stir until smooth.  Sift together the cocoa powder and flour.  Fold into the chocolate-date mixture with a rubber spatula until well mixed.  In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.  Gently fold them into the date mixture until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared dish or ramekins and smooth the top with a spatula.  If using ramekins, set them on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake the ramekins for 20 to 25 minutes, the soufflé dish for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the outside of the pudding is set and crusty looking.  Cool until the pudding is just warm, and serve with confectioners’ sugar sifted on top.

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The Coterie Room – Seattle, WA

In the former Restaurant Zoe space, The Coterie Room is a breath of fresh air.  I love everything about it.  From the white subway tiled open kitchen to the distressed wood floors and lone yet stunning chandelier, everything is perfectly balanced here including the food.  Chef Brian McCracken (a fellow Seattle Prep alum alongside my husband) has outdone himself yet again!  A nominee by Food & Wine for ‘People’s Best New Chef’ he’s proving that he’s deserving of the attention.

Our meal was outstanding from start to finish.  I would order everything I had again in a heartbeat.  My fish was a special of the night so chances are it won’t be on the menu next time but it was outstanding.  I am now a huge fan of Turbot…a fish I didn’t know much about before this dinner.  And my husband’s duck leg confit was seriously the best duck confit I’ve ever had…absolutely amazing!!!

The only thing I wish I had done differently is order the “six pack of beer for the kitchen crew” for a mere $10…totally worth it.  Having worked in a kitchen myself I can tell you the first thing you do once your shift is done and the kitchen is clean is crack open a cold one by the walk in and dish about the night’s events.  It’s the perfect cap to the evening…and then you wake up the next morning and it’s a brand new day.  Next time!

Endive Salad dressed in a tarragon mustard vinaigrette with candied walnuts and aged gouda (I held the gouda although I’m sure it’s great)

Poutine – braised pork shoulder gravy, fried Beecher’s cheese curds and tender herbs

Market Fish of the Day – Turbot over a parsnip puree and roasted brussels sprouts

Duck Leg Confit – crispy pan seared duck leg with buttered farro, arugula and a mission fig conserve

Chocolate Caramel Tort – covered in an orange ganache with candied hazelnuts

Brilliant!

Amanpuri – Phuket, Thailand

On the first leg of our honeymoon we had the pleasure of spending 3 full days in Phuket, Thailand at the beautiful Amanpuri Resort.  Unfortunately for us the one thing you can’t control in life is the weather and we got rain…three days of it…torrential downpour to be exact.  So what do you do when it’s raining and you can’t be outside?  You eat:)  And that we did!

Being that we were in Thailand it only seemed most appropriate to stick to the native cuisine which we did.  Every morning we started the day with a gorgeous platter of fresh fruit followed by either eggs or yogurt and granola.  My favorite was by far the passionfruit.  Holy cow it has a lot of flavor!

Lunch and dinner mostly consisted of curried noodle dishes, seafood and some sort of rice dish.  All very flavorful and delicious!

If you’re ever planning a trip to Phuket, Thailand I highly recommend the resort for your accommodation and/or food.  Everything at Amanpuri is quite impressive!  The attention to detail is unbelievable and will have you oooh-ing and ahhh-ing at it all.

My husband’s breakfast bruschetta which was layered with arugula, avocado, roasted tomatoes, crispy pancetta, poached eggs and finished with a balsamic reduction…lots of punch for a morning meal but very good!

Poq Pia Sot – Shrimp, chicken and vegetables, rolling in a Thai crepe with a spicy dipping sauce

Pow Pia Thod – Tradition deep fried spring rolls.  Always a tasty choice even though they’re not healthy.

The Thai take on the classic Balinese dish Mie Goreng – Chicken and crab meat, fried noodles with chili sambal, shrimp crackers & satay, topped with a fried egg

Kao Soi Gai – Chiang Mai style red curry of chicken with crispy noodles and traditional accompaniments

Who knew chocolate ice cream could be so beautiful?!

Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro – Santa Barbara, CA

We were recently in Santa Barbara for my good high school friend Hana’s (of Wak in Closet) wedding. We went a few days early and had some time to explore on the beach cruisers we borrowed from our hotel. Cruising up and down State St. we came upon Pierre Lafond Wine Bistro for some afternoon wine which then turned into a mid-afternoon treat. Boy was that a good decision. I, being the one with the sweet tooth that day, decided on the Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart. Accompanying it was Chantilly Cream and Caramel Oreo Popcorn. The popcorn was like crack! Seriously…once you tried one piece you were doomed. If you’re ever in SB I high recommend this place if for nothing else the dessert!

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