Monday, August 22, 2011

A Sexy Sidecar and Spiced Pecans

I feel a cocktail time coming on…..Oh my! Nothing sexier than a classic cocktail and some spiced nuts.

The sidecar is a classic cocktail that was invented around the 1920’s in Europe. This was a popular and zingy drink in the 1940’s.  I love the fresh zesty citrus in this drink and mixes perfect with some spicy sweet nuts too much on. The perfect cocktail hour combination that will set people to dancing and having a grand old time. Mmmmm, I do believe I found a FOODGASM in my cocktail. Enjoy!

Sexy Sidecar

2 ½ oz. Cognac or brandy
1 ½ oz. Cointreau
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. fresh orange juice

For garnish
Superfine sugar (or regular sugar pulsed in food processor)
Slice of orange and lemon

Put the ice, cognac (or brandy), Cointreau and juices into a martini shaker (or into a martini stirrer) and shake till combined and chilled.

For rim/garnish super fine sugar and orange and lemon slices

Serve in a martini glass or classic champagne saucer glass.

Spiced Pecans

4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup dark-brown sugar
1/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle powder (or cayenne if you can’t find this)
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon  ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound pecan halves

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine the spices and sugars. Spread the pecans on a large, rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, until fragrant.

Transfer the pecans to a large bowl and toss with the butter. Add the spices and toss to coat. Return the pecans to the baking sheet and bake in over for 3 to 4 minutes longer, until fragrant. Let cool.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Triple Threat Brownies

Chocolate is one of the most sensual and pleasing food I know. It has the capacity to tempt even the most stubborn palate. Especially these super decadent fudge brownie bites. The three seductive threats in these brownies are from the coffee liqueur (YUM), instant coffee (YUM), and extra chocolate in the form of chocolate chips (YUM, YUM, YUM)! 

These brownies make your palate submit and come creeping back for more delicious edible pleasure. Once you take your first bite of these brownies, your epic FOODGASM is sure to follow!

First watch the video:


And now you can try this yourself!  Here's the recipe:

Triple Threat Brownies
Makes 24 -30 mini brownies

1.5 sticks unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur
2 tablespoon instant coffee
1 cup all-purpose flour
dash salt  (don’t if you used salted butter)
6 oz. chocolate chips

24-30 chocolate covered espresso beans (for on top of brownies)
Caramel sauce (see below)
Fresh raspberries, for garnish

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Melt butter and unsweetened chocolate on medium heat in saucepan. Melt slowly, stirring periodically until completely melted. Once melted, turn off and remove from heat. Stir in sugar. 
In separate bowl whisk eggs and then stir into chocolate mixture. Stir in the vanilla, coffee liqueur, instant coffee, salt and flour. Slowly mix in chocolate chips. Spray a mini-muffin sheet Add one scoop of dough to each, filling to ¾ full.
Top each with a chocolate covered espresso bean (optional). Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.


Caramel cream sauce 
Makes a little over 1 cup of sauce

1 cup sugar
Water (enough to cover the sugar)
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Put the sugar into a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan and put in enough water to just cover the sugar so it looks like wet sand. Before staring, take a wet paper towel and wipe the insides of the pot down to the water/sugar mixture. This is to ensure no sugar burns on the sides. Heat the sugar and water on moderately high heat. Don’t stir at all: you can lightly swirl the mixture in the pan. Be very careful at the heated cooked sugar reaches very high temperatures and can burn easily. 

Let the water boil off until the sugar starts to bubble and the mixture gets thicker and starts to turn color. As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. (When you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably.) Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan.

Ladle caramel sauce on top or beside the brownies and serve with fresh raspberries. Enjoy!