Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cooking With The Ones You Love Part 2: Dessert and Cocktail

My sweet tooth sister joined me this week to create the perfect Valentine's Day or Love Day as we call it, dessert and cocktail.  Melissa and I have been cooking together ever since we learned how to use the microwave and old enough to use the oven.  As kids our summer days were often spent just the two of us while our parents were working.  This gave us time to "bond" and be creative with our lunches.  Fortunately for us and everyone else we have come a long way from microwaving hot dogs, frozen chicken nuggets and using unnecessary amounts of mayonnaise as the "glue" to our sandwiches.  

With an extra special love for sweets my sister has become an amazing baker.  She is known for her incredible Christmas cookies, delicious pies, and beautifully decorated cakes.  Her endless creativity in her baking helped her create the perfect dessert for me.  Knowing that she had to satisfy my savory side as well, she mixed just the right amount of sweet and salt to make this Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce.  Oh, and don't worry we created a Chocolate Infused Bourbon Cocktail to compliment this delectable dessert.

Although we live 3,000 miles away from each other, our countless phone calls, FaceTime chats and emails keep us close and give us this opportunity to share our love with you.  Happy Love Day!

Dark Chocolate Truffle Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce

1 cup pretzels, crushed
1 cup pecans, crushed
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
Course sea salt to taste
16 ounces Baker's semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1-10 ounce jar caramel sauce (I use Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the pretzels, pecans, melted butter and raw sugar in a medium mixing bowl.  Press the pretzel mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes to set the crust.

In a medium saucepan, cook the chocolate and heavy whipping cream on low heat until the chocolate has melted, constantly stirring.  Set aside to cool.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, flour and granulated sugar for about 5 minutes until thick and lemon colored.  Slowly beat in the chocolate mixture to combine.

Pour batter onto the prepared pretzel crust.  Bake for 40-45 minutes until the center is almost set.  Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack.  Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes then carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen.  Cool for 1 hour more on the wire rack and then refrigerate overnight in the springform pan.  

Remove the cake from the springform pan and serve with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce per slice covering the cake. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and enjoy!

Chocolate Infused Bourbon Cocktail

Chocolate Infused Bourbon
6 ounces bourbon
6 squares of Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Candy Bar

Place the chocolate and bourbon into an airtight container.  Allow to infuse for 3-6 days.

2 ounces Chocolate Infused Bourbon
1/2 ounce Frangelico
1 square Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Candy Bar

In a rocks glass pour the Chocolate Infused Bourbon and Frangelico over ice.  Stir to combine and garnish with dark chocolate square.