While there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of recipe sites on the Internet, most of them don't have much for commentary or reviews. I'm going to start a new category of this blog dedicated to my recipe creations and reactions to the recipes themselves. This particular post is going to be dedicated to Thanksgiving themed recipes – if you made anything new for Thanksgiving, let me know how it went and I'll add it.
Here is my 2006 Thanksgiving Recipe
Chocolate Truffle Loaf with Raspberry Sauce
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 (8 ounce) packages Baker's Semi Sweet Chocolate
1/2 cup Karo Light or Dark corn Syrup
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Mix 1/2 cup of the cream with egg yolks.
In a 3-quart saucepan stir chocolate, corn syrup, and butter over medium heat until melted. Add egg mixture. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool to room temperature.
Beat remaining cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold into chocolate until no streaks remain. Pour into pan. Refrigerate overnight or chill in freezer 3 hours. Serve with sauce.
1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries, thawed and strained
1/3 cup Karo Corn syrup
In blender puree raspberries. Stir in corn syrup.
Now, just as a bit of background, I have a somewhat philisophical approach to cooking. One of my culinary philosophies is that a dish is only as good as it's ingredients. My mother has a fantastic Pecan Pie recipe, best I've EVER had, and it is made with Karo syrup and (of course) pecans. One year a relative wanted the recipe and at the next family function she brought a pie. She was dissappointed when it wasn't as well recieved as Mom's generally is. Later she confessed that instead of Karo she used maple syrup and instead of pecans she used walnuts. While substitution is a perfectly valid, and often creative, technique when cooking, one should never be surprised when use of substandard or incorrect ingredients results in a less than desired outcome.
In keeping with this philosphy I visited the local grocery store that I felt had the best selection for Gourmet type ingredients. I was in search of an excellent chocolate for my creation. Unfortunately, the story I chose didn't have any significant selection. The only chocolates in the baking supplies aisle were Bakers and Ghirardelli. Now there is nothing wrong with Ghirardelli, but it is a mainstream brand which I could have purchased in any local store. Dissappointed I continued to scour the store for the other ingredients (including a loaf pan which I strangely didn't own). During my search I also found a selection of Nestle baking chocolate. On a whim I decided to purchase semisweet Ghiradelli and a package of dark Nestle baking chocolate, which I later combined to give the loaf a bit more flavor.
Once all the ingredients were purchased I headed home to make the dessert. Unfortunately I didn't get this done as expidiciously as I would have liked and a prior commitment forced me to put the dessert making off until Thanksgiving morning.
I got up early yesterday morning and began my dessert construction. Everything went smoothly until I reached the raspberry sauce part. I didn't realize I needed light Karo syrup, and of course didn't have any in the house. I completed the loaf per instructions, stuck it in the freezer and headed off to the store, again. Thanksgiving morning grocery shopping was amusing. The store was full of men, most of whom were obviously not bachelors like me. Most of these guys were wandering around the store looking completely lost. I'm fairly confident that the only time these guys even see the inside of the supermarket is on holidays when they are ushered off to get last minute items and (more importantly) get themselves and the children out of Mom's way so she can finish getting ready. Finally, armed with my Karo and a strainer (which I also didn't have) I headed home.
The final step was to make the raspberry sauce. Blending the raspberries wasn't a problem, but straining them was largely unsuccessful. I don't know if there's a strategy to this, maybe cheesecloth would have worked better, but I didn't have that kind of time. Eventually I just called it good enough and headed out to celebrate Thanksgiving.
The Chocolate Truffle Loaf with Raspberry Sauce was generally well received. The sauce still had a few seeds in it, not sure what to do about this. The loaf itself had great flavor, but didn't ever seem to setup. It was almost runny. I'm not sure if I didn't beat the whipping cream long enough, or if the recipe just makes a kind of gooey desert. Perhaps if it had been in the freezer overnight there would have been an improvement.
Overall, I would recommend this recipe, but definitely don't wait until the last minute, beat the whipping cream untill it's pretty stiff and use a cheescloth if you want a nice smoothe raspberry sauce.