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Oh, Fudge! Dark Chocolate and Zinfandel Fudge

December 18, 2016 Dessert, Menu No Comments

I once had a friend tell me that wine plus dark chocolate equals heaven. Being a fan of both, I have no problem agreeing with this statement. There is something magical about the pairing of a crisp, fruity, complex wine with the creamy, lush texture of dark chocolate. And according to an interesting article in the Huffington Post, there are also health benefits to this decadent combination!

If you are looking for some last minute ideas for home made goodie gifts for the holidays, and if your family and friends are fans of wine and chocolate, give this fudge recipe a try. The recipe is very simple and doesn’t take much time to make, yet your family and friends will be impressed! You can add nuts or maraschino cherries for additional texture and flavor. Just be sure to keep this sweet treat out of the children’s reach, because the alcohol does not fully cook down. To make a kid-friendly version, simply eliminate the wine.

Cheers to you and yours!


Dark Chocolate and Zinfandel Fudge

1 20-oz package of dark chocolate morsels
7-oz sweetened condensed milk (1/2 can)
1/2 cup Red Zinfandel

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Stir often until the chocolate morsels are almost melted. Remove from heat, continue to stir until completely melted. Carefully pour the batter into an 8″x8″ pan lined with parchment paper and lightly sprayed. Smooth out the batter to evenly fill the tray. Let cool in the fridge until the fudge sets completely. Cut into small squares to share.

Be sure to wrap the fudge in wax paper, then store the fudge in an air-tight package or container. The fudge will have longer shelf life if stored in the fridge, just be sure to let it return to room temperature before serving.


Grilled S’mores Sandwiches

June 22, 2012 Dessert, Menu No Comments

Now that we are officially into the summer season, and the warm temperatures are quickly kicking in, it’s hard to not think about food that is prepared outdoors on a grill. For this post, my daughter Julianna and I will show you how to grill up one of our favorite summer desserts….grilled s’mores sandwiches! This is a very quick and easy alternative to the popular autumn fire roasted treat, using the same three classic ingredients (chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers).

Instead of the traditional cooking method of roasting the marshmallows on a stick over an open fire, we are first going to stack all of the ingredients as a sandwich: one piece of chocolate and one marshmallow, sandwiched between two graham crackers. Next, you’ll want to wrap the sandwiches in aluminum foil, so they look like little tin bricks.

All that’s left is to carefully place the wrapped sandwiches on a heated grill for about 3 minutes. Carefully remove the wrapped sandwiches, and let them sit for a minute. Then remove the foil, being careful not to burn yourself with the melted marshmallow or chocolate. You’ll then have the gooiest, tastiest grilled dessert sandwich imaginable.

This works well on either a gas or charcoal grill. You can also do this in the oven any time of the year!


Chocolate Cherry Bread

December 4, 2011 Dessert, Menu No Comments

This weekend we spent the day with some of our oldest and best friends at their new house. It was the perfect opportunity to try out a recipe that I came across as part of their housewarming gift – chocolate cherry bread. As I’ve said many times before on this blog, I am not a baker. However, I have been wanting to dabble in bread baking for a while and this recipe was one that sounded like a unique winner. The cherry and chocolate add just the perfect amount of sweetness and tartness, without going overboard. I would say that it is a perfect breakfast or dessert bread, topped with just a bit of butter.  It’s also a very simple recipe to follow, and it easy to make…as long as you have a Kitchen Aid mixer and dough hook. And I’m glad to say that it got thumbs up from everone who tasted it. Glad you enjoyed it, Jackie and Dan…and all the best in your new house!

Originally printed in the cook book Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman

20 ounces bread flour (approx. 4 cups)
12 ounces water
2 tspn salt
1 tspn active yeast
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 450˚ approximately 45 minutes before you are ready to bake the bread.

Place flour in mixing bowl. Add water and salt. Add yeast over the surface of the water to let it dissolve. Using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed to combine all ingredients. Switch over to the dough hook and blend on medium speed, until dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). About mid-way through mixing, add the chocolate and cherries.

Remove bowl from machine, cover with plastic wrap and let rise to twice its size. Push a finger into the dough. It should give some resistance, but not bounce back. If it springs back, let it rise longer.

Turn dough on a floured surface and knead to expel  excess gas and redistribute yeast. Shape into a ball, cover with a towel, let sit for 15 minutes.

Shape dough by pushing it back and forth in a circular motion on floured surface into shape of a round, smooth ball. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise for about an hour. When ready to bake, slice an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf to help it expand. Bake at 450˚ for 10 minutes. Lower the temperate to 375˚ and bake for another 45 minutes.

Wrapping courtesy of my wife!


Chocolate Guinness Tarts

September 21, 2010 Dessert 3 Comments

I came across this recipe while I was doing some reading on a beer web site. My first thought was ‘beer, chocolate, pastry…everybody wins!’ I made them this past weekend, and they didn’t disappoint. The Guinness taste didn’t really come through as much as I expected, but dark chocolate has a very powerful taste of its own, and you’re only using 1/2 a cup of the beer. However, stout and chocolate compliment each other very well, so this combination makes total sense. What I would suggest for future servings, and I will be making these again, is to serve at a party, place the tarts on a big plate, and have a small cups of Guinness sitting next to it, so your friends can help themselves to a rich and tasty dessert.




45 mini sweet fillo shells (found in the frozen food section)
Two 3.5oz good quality dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids)
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Guinness

Bring a pan of water to a gentle simmer and sit a heatproof bowl over the top – not allowing the water to come into contact with the bottom of the bowl. Break the chocolate into the bowl and add the butter and the beer. While the chocolate mixture is melting, whisk the eggs and the sugar until pale and smooth. When the chocolate has melted, stir the bowl to amalgamate the other ingredients, and then pour into the egg and sugar mixture. Stir well and pour into the shells. Bake in a pre-heated 425ºF oven for 4 minutes. Refrigerate overnight and serve.


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