Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Intense Chocolate with Strawberries and Cream

I'm starting to create the Valentines menu and found a flourless chocolate cake that is amazing and had to be shared with everyone. The cake is easy to make and then it's showcased by adding some vanilla bean ice cream and amaretto soaked strawberries. The cake is started by bringing coffee, butter, and sugar to a boil and pouring over bittersweet chocolate shavings. The hot chocolate mixture is added to whipped eggs, salt, and vanilla until tempered. Strain the mixture into a cake pan and bake in a water bath at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting and dusting with confectioners sugar. The strawberries are soaked in amaretto and sugar for 3 hours before serving. The vanilla bean ice cream is freshly churned and topped right before going out. This will be the dessert course for our valentines menu in the restaurant after a multi course wine dinner.
Enjoy the recipe:
1 cup Bittersweet Chocolate
12 oz Unsalted Butter
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Coffee
6 Large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Salt

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ice Fishing

A few of the guys at work managed to talk me into ice fishing with them this week and I ended up going to try it out and say that I've done it. We drove up the mountain early in the morning to about 10,000 ft and ended up at Antero Lake. The snow wasn't blowing too hard but the thermometer read -6 degrees when we pulled up to the frozen lake. After unloading all the equipment, tents, and gear we started our journey onto the center of the lake to set up and start fishing. You can bet that I was bundled up with multiple layers of clothing to stay warm and even wrapped my 3 pairs of socks with plastic bags to keep warm, none of that helped by the way. After setting up the tents, we drilled holes into the lake and set up the fishing poles. Now I'm a city kid and have never even considered walking onto a frozen lake, let alone to cut out holes and then sit down to start fishing, pure madness. Within the first 10 minutes, I had caught my first rainbow trout and was ready to go home but they laughed and said we were just getting started. After a few hours of my toes being numb and both hands shivering nonstop I had caught 7 trout and kept two of the larger ones. The only negative besides standing on a frozen lake was the snow storm that hit us on the way out. The wind was blowing profusely and we had to trudge through almost a foot of snow with all the gear uphill. It was a complete white out and it took over an hour to get back to the truck, a true workout that had me sore the next day. Overall, I had fun and as a chef, really enjoyed the fresh fish but don't plan on ever ice fishing again, I have enough sense and patience to wait for spring. Here are some pictures from the trip....