Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Romantic Chocolate Bundles with Chantilly Cream

It feels like it's been quite some time since I posted anything at all, but that's only because exciting things are happening around The Cozy Little Kitchen!  We are very soon going to be moving, Yay.  In the next blog -- coming soon I promise!--I'll explain everything.  :)  We need to have a good catch up chat.  I've missed all of you guys here in my little "blog world".  Thank you so much for sticking with me even when my posts are few and far between!

I don't know if ya'll saw my post of these chocolate bundles whenever I featured them at Inspired By Family magazine, but if not....here they are!!!

It's a tradition for me to make them for my husband on Valentines Day, for chocolate bundles are truly one of his favorite things!  He lights up when I hand over a plate of this flaky, buttery pastry that's filled with chocolate, smothered in chocolate and finished with strawberries and homemade whipped cream!  This is how I show my love!

This dessert may appear fancy and difficult to make, but it's quite the opposite.  Thanks to the wonder of puff pastry, they're incredibly easy to make.  I think the chocolate and strawberries make this dessert romantic, especially when served on a lovely table with pretty china!  It's all in the details!

However you choose to eat chocolate bundles, make them with love; and they will be oh-so lovely, a little messy, and always delicious!!
Chocolate Bundles

For the bundles:
·         1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
·         2 eggs
·         1 teaspoon whipping cream
·         8 chocolate drops (Hershey's kisses)
·         8 miniature chocolate candy bars (Here I used Reeses Minis and Rolos)

For the chocolate ganache:
·         1/2 cup heavy cream
·         4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces

·         For the Chantilly cream:
·         3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
·         2 Tbsp. sugar
·         1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)

·         Fresh strawberries, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Allow the puff pastry to thaw, covered, for 30 minutes at room temperature. When it is pliable, unfold puff pastry and cut the sheet into 4 squares

Beat the eggs and cream together to create an egg wash. Brush the entire surface of each pastry square with egg wash.

In the center of each pastry square,
place 2 chocolate drops and 2 miniature candy bars. 

Pull the corners of each square up around the chocolate, and twist the top of the dough clockwise to complete the "bundle." Brush the exteriors of the chocolate bundles with more egg wash.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden brown.

In a small saucepan bring the heavy cream to a boil.
Place the chocolate pieces in a bowl and pour hot cream over the top. 

Whisk until the sauce is smooth and glossy.

Using a mixer, beat the whipping cream on high and add the sugar and vanilla when it begins to get thicker.

While keeping an eye on it, continue to whip the cream until it gets to a favorable "whipped cream" consistency and doubles in size.
Creamy and fluffy is what you want.

Puddle the chocolate ganache on each plate and place a bundle on top. Top with whipped cream and additional ganache, if desired. Serve the bundles garnished with strawberries.  (The strawberries are also decadent raked through the chocolate and cream goodness!)

Here, why don't you have a bite?!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Baked Brownie Pudding at Inspired By Family Magazine!

Good Morning, Lovelies!
 I'm excited to be able to share my recipe for Baked Brownie Pudding at Inspired By Family magazine today!  I feel honored that they have asked me to be a contributor at their family-oriented magazine, and I'm really excited to continue to share my food articles there!  This brownie dessert is scrumptious!!!  I really hope you'll go over and visit for a while to see my recipe and check out some of the other fun stuff that's happening at Inspired By Family.  

I hope everyone had as good of a weekend as I did.  After terribly tornadic weather last week, we had a beautiful weekend to enjoy!  

(I have to interject, that I thank the Lord for His protection on our family and friends when there were deadly tornadoes all around.  I pray for the grieving families in Illinois and Indiana!  I'm so sorry for your loss.) 

I don't know about you, but I can feel spring in the air, and I'm loving it already!  :)