dessert

Get Your Munch on with Pistachios

“Get Crackin’” has become a familiar tagline in TV commercials for the wonderful pistachio – but this little nut is more than just a pop culture phenomenon. Listed as a super food, nuts, and pistachios in particular, have a wide range of health benefits to top off their delicious flavor. From heart-healthy fats to high protein content, pistachios are the perfect snack or as a lovely accent to many d’lish dishes!

Sprinkle pistachios over Greek yogurt with dried cherries for a nutritious treat. Mix them in with dark chocolate, mini pretzels and dried cranberries for an indulgent trail mix. Or use them to finish off my Roasted Beets with Orange Honey Vinaigrette and Pistachios for tasty texture.

One of my favorite recipes featuring pistachios is my Warm Orange & Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Cake. Baked right in little mason jars and topped with a pouf of orange cream, these mini cakes are so cute and perfect for weekend entertaining!

So get crackin’ on some new ways to enjoy this healthful and flavorful nut! -Kathy

Roasted Beets with Orange Honey Vinaigrette and Pistachios
You can prepare this recipe part way in advance: After roasting beets, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, drain beets again if necessary, and proceed with the recipe, sauteing beets in the syrupy vinaigrette until heated through.

Makes about 6 servings

6 large beets (about 3 pounds)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, undiluted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel beets and cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss beets with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and place in a 9- x 13-inch baking pan, then cover pan with foil. Roast beets in preheated oven about 40 minutes, then remove foil and continue roasting about 15 – 20 minutes more until beets are tender. Remove beets from oven and drain off any excess liquid.

Meanwhile, in a saute pan, whisk together remaining olive oil, OJ concentrate, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper, and place over medium-high heat. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until syrupy. Add beets and saute to coat evenly.

Sprinkle nuts on top to garnish. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Warm Orange & Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Cakes “in a Jar” with Orange Cream
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Warm Orange & Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Cakes “in a Jar” with Orange Cream
You can also make the cake batter up the day before, then just assemble in the jars, bake and serve warm! If baking ahead, you can chill down the baked cakes and just give a quick reheat in a hot oven or microwave to warm them.

Makes 6 cakes

Cakes
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter
5 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fine fresh orange zest
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
2 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Mariner liqueur
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

Orange Cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate

Garnish: fine fresh orange zest

To make the cake batter: In a double boiler or medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine the chocolate and butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until the butter and chocolate are just barely melted. Remove from the heat and stir until completely melted.

In another bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, zest, flour, orange juice concentrate and liqueur. Stir in the melted chocolate mixture and the pistachios. Refrigerate batter for 2 hours or up to overnight.

To bake the cakes: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Stir the batter to distribute the nuts. Divide the batter evenly, scooping 1/2 cup batter into each of 6 half-pint, wide-mouth canning jars (or you can substitute glass custard cups). Place the jars on a baking sheet and bake for about 22 to 28 minutes, or until the cakes are set but the centers are still very, very soft. (See chef’s note.) Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes and serve warm.

To make the orange cream: While the cakes are cooking, whisk the cream and powdered sugar together in a medium bowl until lightly peaking. Add the sour cream and orange juice concentrate. Whisk in until nicely peaking.

Top each cake with a dollop of cream and sprinkle with orange zest.

Chef’s note: Ovens differ, so bake the cakes for about 22 minutes for very soft center or 24 to 28 minutes for somewhat firmer centers. When removed from the oven, the centers of the cakes should still be gooey. If using cold batter from the refrigerator the cakes will take longer to cook.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on February 1st, 2013  |  Comments Off on Get Your Munch on with Pistachios |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides, Snacks

Marvelous Maple Syrup

Maple Syrup! Doesn’t the mere mention of it just conjure up warm food memories? Griddled tall stacks of pancakes drizzled with sweet syrup. Hot, crispy strips of maple-cured bacon… Yum!

But it’s not just for breakfast foods! Maple’s unique flavor is great in all kinds of recipes and different grades of syrup are preferred for different uses. Dark to medium amber grades are perfect for use in cooking and baking; their stronger flavor holds up great. Light and “Fancy” grades are best used where the syrup’s subtle flavor can be appreciated, such as drizzled over yogurt.

MapleSyrupGrades
The Different Maple Syrup Grades
(Photo courtesy of TheNibble.com)

On the savory side of things, maple syrup is perfect in a marinade for pork; added to a pot of baked beans; or even in a dressing, such as in my recipe for Maple Vinaigrette. It is great tossed with your favorite greens, fresh sliced pears and toasted pecans. It works wonderfully on chicken breasts, too!

For those with a sweet tooth, try my Maple Panna Cotta—a no-bake custard-style dessert! It is simple to make and truly is delectable; and pretty with a pouf of whipped cream and garnished with a maple sugar candy leaf!

So make a resolution to branch out and try this sweet syrup “in” instead of “on” something different this year! -Kathy

Maple Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 cup

6 tablespoons real maple syrup, preferably grade B
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, vinegar, mustard and shallots. Combine the two oils and then, while whisking continuously, drizzle the oil into the syrup mixture. The dressing should be well mixed and emulsified. Whisk in the seasonings.
Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Rewhisk before using.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Maple Panna Cotta
Makes 6 servings

2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (this will be less than 1 envelope)
2 tablespoons warm water
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup mascarpone
1 cup real maple syrup, preferably grade B

For garnishing: lightly sweetened whipped cream and maple sugar candy leaves if desired

To make the panna cotta, sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a large heatproof bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Whisk in the cream, mascarpone, and maple syrup and set the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture until smooth and warmed.

Divide the mixture evenly among 6 martini glasses. Cover each one with plastic wrap. Be sure that the wrap does not touch the tops of the panna cotta. Refrigerate overnight, or for a minimum of 12 hours, before serving.

Top with a tiny pouf of whipped cream and a maple candy if desired.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on January 11th, 2013  |  Comments Off on Marvelous Maple Syrup |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes, salads

Warm Up With Hot Drinks

There’s no better time than right now to start enjoying some “winter warmers” – spirited drinks that warm you up during these cooler months. These are perfect after a day of shopping or zipping down the slopes…or just hanging out with friends and family.

What comes to mind? How about some hot toddies, spiced wines and spiked cocoas? Don’t forget about Irish coffees and hot buttered rums; yes please!

Instead of the traditional eggnog, try my silky oh-so-smooth Hot Buttered Egg Nog with Rum – or maybe even cognac! It combines two great holiday favorites in one drink.

I like to set out a Hot Buttered “DIY Drink Station”—some hot buttered mix, a kettle of water, a selection of rums, whisky and brandies. Stack up some mugs and have some fresh nutmeg for grating over the top. Great for holiday entertaining!

My Winter-Spiced White Wine is another fun drink to make, incorporating seasonal spices and fruits (and will make your home smell lovely!). This steamy white wine infusion is flavored with pears, apples, oranges, cloves, allspice and cinnamon and slightly sweetened with brown sugar.

So now that I’ve given you a few ideas – go on and enjoy the chilly weather and spice things up with some winter warmers. -Kathy


My Hot Buttered Egg Nog with Rum!
For more inspired sipping, check out www.LiquidKitchen.tv

Hot Buttered Egg Nog with Rum
Combining two holiday favorites! Add more or less to taste; rum and Spiced Eggnog Mix.

Makes 1 drink

3 – 4 Tbsp Buttered Eggnog Mix (recipe follows)
1 – 1 1/2 oz Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
4 – 5 oz boiling water
Garnish: fresh grated nutmeg, long piece of orange or Clementine

Place Eggnog Buttered Brandy Mix and rum in coffee glass or mug. Stir in boiling water until batter is dissolved. Grate fresh nutmeg over the top. Garnish with orange zest.

Buttered Eggnog Mix
Makes about 7 cups (about 30 – 36 servings)

1/2 pound salted butter (2 sticks), softened
1 Tbsp. finely minced orange zest
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 pint very high-quality vanilla ice cream
1 cup high-quality eggnog
1 Tbsp. real vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon rum extract

Be sure butter is softened. With an electric mixer; cream butter, orange zest and sugars together in a mixing bowl until totally smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.

Recipe by Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen™

Winter Spiced White Wine
This recipe can easily be pre-made and made into large batches before parties. Just make sure to gently keep the mixture warm in a crock pot on low heat or in a deep, pretty chaffing dish. For a kid friendly version, replace the white wine with apple cider and omit the brown sugar and liqueur.

Makes 7 cups, or about 8 servings

2 (750 ml) bottles light, dry white wine, such as chenin blanc
1 pear, cut crosswise in 1/4-inch slices
1 apple, cut crosswise in 1/4-inch slices
1 orange, poked with 12 whole cloves, then cut in 1/4-inch slices
5 allspice berries
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 ounces (1/2 cup) Grand Marnier
Orange peel twists for garnish

Place all the ingredients in a stainless steel or flameproof glass pan and stir well to incorporate the brown sugar. Place over low heat and warm. Do not boil! Let the flavors steep for at least 30 minutes before serving.

At this point you can keep warm and serve, or chill it for later. To reheat, warm each portion in a microwave until just hot but not boiling. Garnish each serving with a twist of orange peel.

Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 6th, 2012  |  Comments Off on Warm Up With Hot Drinks |  Posted in appetizers, Cocktails, dessert, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Small Screen Network, videos

Apple of my Eye

CRUNCH – that’s the sound of a crisp apple! There’s really nothing so yummy as biting into a juicy, flavor-packed Washington apple, no matter which variety you like. With so many exciting varieties of local apples, it’s fun to do an apple tasting with friends and family.

We love them au naturel, dipped into peanut butter or yogurt, or drizzled with honey. But they’re also great to cook with, lending themselves to both sweet and savory dishes.

How about a serving of my Slow-Braised Pork Pot Roast with Apples & Onions, so great for a warming winter meal… or how about a generous helping of luscious apple butter smoothed over cinnamon toast for a wonderful wake-me-up in the morning?

I think my absolute favorite thing other than crunching one fresh from the tree is a homemade apple pie. Nothing scents a house better than baking a fresh pie…. hungry now?

They say an apple a day can keep the doctor away – and that may be true – especially because they are a high fiber, low calorie snack rich in vitamins and antioxidants.


Washington Apple-Cranberry Tart with Walnut Crust & Cranberry Semifreddo
(Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table)

So check out the amazing varieties of apples and try some of my tasty recipes like Washington Apple Cranberry Tart with Walnut Crust and Cranberry Semifreddo – just perfect for a holiday dessert. – Kathy

Slow-Braised Pork Pot Roast with Apples & Onions
Gala apples are used in this recipe for their superior, firm texture when cooking. If Gala apples are not available, try to find Fujis, which also work well.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 (2 1/2-pound) boneless pork shoulder or butt roast
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Gala apples, each cut in 8 chunks
1 large onion, cut in 16 chunks
2 large sprigs fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
1/3 cup raspberry or white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Pat dry the pork roast and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place apples, onion, thyme, and garlic in a small roasting pan and set the pork roast on top. Sprinkle with the caraway seeds.

Mix together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, then pour it around the pork.

Place the pork in the oven and roast, uncovered, for 1 hour. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and continue roasting for about 1 1/2 hours more, until the pork is fork-tender. The total roasting time will be about 2 1/2 hours.

Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey.

Posted by Kathy Casey on November 30th, 2012  |  Comments Off on Apple of my Eye |  Posted in dessert, Fruit, KOMO Radio, meats, Recent Posts, Recipes

Kroger Family of Stores + MyMagazine Extras

Kroger Family of Stores has just made holiday entertaining that much more easier with their MyMagazine Extras Holiday 2012 edition! This go-to  guide features a plethora of ideas from gifting gift cards, homemade treats, some of my cocktail recipes for your next festive cocktail party, and so much more.

MyMagazine Extras is free to download and available for iPad, Android and Kindle tablets! You can also view their online edition here!

Here’s a sneak peak:

Holiday Manhattan with Spiked Cherries

Here’s to a Happy Holidays! -Kathy

Print
Kroger_familyofstores_logo

Posted by Kathy Casey on November 30th, 2012  |  Comments Off on Kroger Family of Stores + MyMagazine Extras |  Posted in Cocktails, dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, Lifestyle, other, Recent Posts, Recipes, Snacks

This Ain’t Your Mama’s Fruitcake!

I know that not everyone loves fruitcake. Every holiday season, I hear the fruitcake stories about “re-gifting” it or…. saving it for 10 years and using it as a doorstop. That’s because the fruitcake that became the poster child were covered with florescent cherries, rock hard and had nothing really going for it. Well my fruitcake will certainly change your mind and surely make you a fruit cake lover!

Get ready for my “Over 21″ Real Fruit Cake made with Maker’s Mark! This isn’t your paperweight brick fruitcake!

My real fruit cakes are chock full of bourbon-soaked dried fruits (including apricots, cranberries, cherries, and golden raisins to name a few) and loads of nuts like toasted hazelnuts and exotic pistachios! Yum!

Fruit Cake
My “Over 21″ Real Fruit Cake made with Maker’s Mark!

All those fruits and nuts are then folded into a spiced batter then baked off and brushed directly hot-out-the-oven with a bourbon and brown sugar glaze. You’ll never loath fruitcake again!

Every year my team and I bake off a limited amount of these delicious babies! Check out this YouTube video of my team making a fresh batch.

Our 1-pound loaves are priced at $10.95 this season and are available for purchase starting November 26th until December 14th or while supplies last. You can purchase them on my website and at my Food Studios (open Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm). These cakes fly out the door so make sure to place your order soon!

And if you’re in the baking mood try another of my favorite holiday sweets – Unbelievable Apple Cake with Cider Crème Anglaise and Cranberry Compote. Friend and culinary historian and researcher Judy Amster gave me this recipe awhile back, touting its unique method and “interesting” ingredients—including Worcestershire! Quite simply, this is one of the most d’lish cakes that I have ever made! I hope it will be one of yours too.  Happy holidays! -Kathy

Unbelievable Apple Cake with Cider Crème Anglaise and Cranberry Compote
Makes 1 cake, serving 8 to 10

2 cups (about 10 ounces) unpeeled, diced Granny Smith apples
2 cups (about 10 ounces) unpeeled, diced red-skinned apples, such as Braeburn, Winesap, or Jonathan
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dark raisins
Cider Crème Anglaise (recipe follows)
Cranberry Compote (recipe follows)

Preheat an oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or a large Bundt pan and set aside.

Combine the apples and sugar in a large bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Stir in the oil, eggs, and Worcestershire. Add this mixture to the apple mixture all at once and mix well. Fold in the walnuts and raisins.

Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan. Rap the pan on the counter to release any bubbles.

Bake for about 1 1/4 hours, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when poked into cake. Cool the cake in the pan, then turn it out onto a cake plate.

To serve: Slice the cake into desired number of servings. Pool a little Cider Crème Anglaise on individual dessert plates, then place a cake slice on top. Spoon a little Cranberry Compote over each cake slice. Pass additional Crème Anglaise and Cranberry Compote at the table.

Cider Crème Anglaise
Makes 2 cups

4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons apple juice concentrate, undiluted

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined.

In a double boiler or medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water, heat the half-and-half until hot but not simmering. Whisk half of it into the egg mixture to temper the eggs. Add the tempered egg mixture back into the hot half-and-half, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook slowly until the sauce just begins to thicken and become slightly shiny, about 5 minutes. (Do not overcook or it will turn into scrambled eggs!)

Immediately remove the bowl from over the hot water. Stir in the apple juice concentrate and place the bowl in another bowl of iced water to cool quickly. Stir often during cooling. Refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days.

Cranberry Compote
While cranberries are in season, buy a bag and stick them in the freezer. Then, at any time during the year, you can enjoy the cranberry compote. Try it over vanilla ice cream or plain cheesecake for a scrumptious treat!

Makes 1 heaping cup

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple juice

Place all ingredients in a medium-sized, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the cranberries pop and the mixture has a thick compote consistency, 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

Refrigerate until needed, up to 3 days.

Recipe from Dishing with Kathy Casey cookbook.

Posted by Kathy Casey on November 21st, 2012  |  Comments (1) |  Posted in dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, videos

Unique, Hand Crafted & Sweet

Seattle loves its decadent desserts, treats, and bites. There’s no mistaking that!

For those that love a hot, gooey, cake, there’s a new place in the Ballard ‘hood to indulge that sweet tooth.  Autumn Martin’s Hot Cakes: Molten Chocolate Cakery is the sweet spot!

Autumn has been selling her molten cakes at the Ballard Market where they gained a huge cult-like following. When demand got super-high, she decided it was time to open up a brick and mortar operation of her own.

Hot Cakes is every dessert lover’s dream, described as “part soda fountain, part dessert café, and part bakery.”

Aside from her molten cakes, Autumn serves up delectable cookies like Bacon and Oatmeal to Smoked Chocolate Chip. Then there are her sweet and savory pocket pies – my favorite is the Cherry Fig Fennel – yum! Need something to wash them down? No worries – you can sip on one of their boozy milkshakes – cool combos include extra dark caramel, espresso and rye whiskey as well as smoked chocolate and scotch.

You can also try making your own gooey cake at home. My Oozy Chocolate Grand Marnier Cakes combines bittersweet chocolate chunks with Grand Marnier liqueur for a truly decadent and oozy cake. A truly decadent dish to finish off a great dinner.

So next time you’re in Ballard, check out Hot Cakes for a sweet bite! -Kathy

Oozy Chocolate Grand Marnier Cakes with Glazed Blood Oranges
Photo from Dishing with Kathy Casey

Oozy Chocolate Grand Marnier Cakes with Glazed Blood Oranges
You can make the cake batter up to two days in advance and portion into custard cups or a baking dish. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Makes 6 servings

Glazed Blood Oranges (recipe follows)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter
5 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Make the Glazed Blood Oranges up to 1 day in advance and chill.

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Spray 6 small glass custard dishes or ramekins very lightly with nonstick vegetable spray and set aside.

To make the cakes: In a double boiler or medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine the chocolate and butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring often, until the butter and chocolate are just barely melted. Remove from the heat and stir until completely melted.

In another bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, flour, and Grand Marnier. Fold in the melted chocolate mixture. Refrigerate batter for 2 hours or up to overnight.

To serve: Divide the batter evenly among the custard dishes. Place the dishes on a baking sheet and bake for about 18 minutes, or until the cakes are set but the centers are still very, very soft. Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes and serve immediately. Run a knife blade around the rims of each of the custard cups, turn the cakes out onto individual plates top side up, and spoon Glazed Blood Oranges over and around the cakes.

Glazed Blood Oranges
3 very large or 4 small blood oranges, or substitute regular oranges
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur, optional
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup sugar

Cut a thin slice off the ends of each orange. Holding an orange with a cut end resting on a cutting board, cut the rind off the orange all the way around, using downward cutting motions. Repeat with remaining oranges. After you have cut away all the rind and white pith from the oranges, slice them in 1/4-inch slices and flick out any seeds. Place the orange slices in a large, shallow glass or stainless bowl or baking dish. Sprinkle with the Grand Marnier.

In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil 1 minute. Let cool, then pour the lemon syrup over the sliced oranges. Cover the oranges with plastic wrap and let them marinate, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on October 4th, 2012  |  Comments Off on Unique, Hand Crafted & Sweet |  Posted in Restaurants, dessert, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes

Satisfy that Sweet Tooth with the Northwest Chocolate Festival

If you love chocolate, this blog is for you – it’s all about chocolate! The Northwest Chocolate Festival is almost here! Taking place Saturday, September 29th and Sunday the 30th at the Washington State Convention Center, it is sure to be a d’lish time for all!

Make sure you check out this tasty event!

There’ll be two-days’ worth of demos, tastings and vendors abound each centered on the delectable treat – chocolate! Learn about where chocolate comes from, how it is made, the social issues surrounding its production – and even how the differences percentages of cacao (ka – cow) differ in taste.

Whether you’re a die-hard chocolate lover or a casual nibbler, make sure you buy your tickets in advanced. Yum!

And if you just can’t wait to get there  – try my recipe for Chocolate-Cherry Pound Cake! I love to top it with a scoop of chocolate cherry ice cream, and drunken cherries. Chocolates and cherries are such a classic combo. And dried Northwest cherries are available in both dark sweet and tart red varieties. I like to use the tare ones in this cake to contrast with the richness of the chocolate. Check out the Chukar Cherry Company – they have been producing all-natural choice dried cherries since 1988!

I’d love to hear what some of your favorite chocolate recipes are. – Kathy

Chocolate-Cherry Pound Cake à la mode with Drunken Tart Cherries
Makes 8 servings

Cake
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (regular, not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
1 cup (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks

Glaze
1/2 cup (3 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/4 cup heavy cream

Chocolate cherry ice cream or other ice cream of your choice
Drunken Tart Cherries (recipe follows)

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 5-by-9 1/4-inch nonstick loaf pan and set aside.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until very fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Beat in the vanilla.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, in three parts, to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until well combined; do not overmix.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the cherries and chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, filling evenly. Rap the pan sharply on a counter several times to release any air bubbles, then smooth the surface of the batter.

Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 30 minutes of baking.

Unmold the cake and turn it right side up. Let cool thoroughly on a wire rack before glazing.

To make the glaze, in a small saucepan or in a microwave oven, gently heat the chocolate and cream until the chocolate is just melting. Remove from the heat and stir until the chocolate is thoroughly melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool to almost room temperature but still liquid. Pour over the cooled cake. Let the glaze set for 15 minutes before serving.

To serve, slice the cake into 16 slices and serve 2 slices, shingled, per serving. Top with a scoop of ice cream and a spoonful of cherries with their syrup.

Drunken Tart Cherries
Makes 1 cup

1 cup pitted dried tart cherries
1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup boiling water

Mix the cherries, amaretto, and sugar in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the cherries and stir well. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours before using. Store, refrigerated, for up to 2 months.

Recipe from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books

Posted by Kathy Casey on September 20th, 2012  |  Comments Off on Satisfy that Sweet Tooth with the Northwest Chocolate Festival |  Posted in Books to Cook, dessert, Foodie News, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes
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