Chocolate Volcanoes with Raspberry Coulis

 A guaranteed hit – easy and absolutely decadent! Prepare and freeze these serving-sized desserts ahead of the time, then cook them while you enjoy your dinner. 

Chocolate Volcanoes with Raspberry Coulis
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 Tbsp. instant espresso granules (or instant coffee granules)
  2. 1 Tbsp. boiling water
  3. 1/2 cup flour
  4. 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  5. 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  6. 6 – 1 oz. squares semisweet chocolate
  7. 2/3 cup butter, softened
  8. 1/2 cup sugar
  9. 3 large eggs
Raspberry Coulis
  1. 10 1/2 oz. pkg. frozen raspberries, thawed
  2. 1/3 cup sugar
  3. 1 – 2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier liqueur (orange juice is a good substitute)
Instructions
  1. To Make Volcanoes: Dissolve coffee granules in boiling water. Set aside to cool. Grease 6 – 4 oz. ramekins. Using a whisk, combine flour, cocoa and baking powder in a small bowl. Reserve. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Add butter and sugar and stir until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Using as electric mixer, beat in eggs 1 at a time on medium speed. Add dissolved coffee and flour mixture and continue beating until fully mixed. Raise mixer speed to high and beat for 6 more minutes (there must be something good on TV!). Pour batter into ramekins and tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Freeze overnight or up to 2 weeks..
  2. To make raspberry coulis: Combine raspberries and sugar in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a sieve (or a clean j-cloth) to remove seeds. Add liqueur and store in refrigerator.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Take ramekins out of freezer and remove plastic wrap. Bake volcanoes for 18 minutes – no longer! Cool on rack for 5 minutes. The outsides will be crusty and the centers will be gooey – sort of like your average volcano. To serve, drizzle individual plates with raspberry coulis. Invert each ramekin onto a plate and add a small scoop of ice cream.
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Midlife crisis: when the only thing you retain is water.

Fresh Strawberry Sherbet

Definitely a frozen asset!

Fresh Strawberry Sherbet
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Ingredients
  1. 2/ 3 cup Granulated Sugar 150 ml
  2. 1/ 3 cup Water 150 ml
  3. 5 cups Strawberries, Pureed and Chilled 1.25 L
  4. 2 TBSP Grand Marnier Liqueur 30 ML
  5. Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
  6. 2 TBSP Lemon Juice
Instructions
  1. Combine sugar and water in saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool and chill. Combine pureed strawberries, Grand Marnier, lemon juice and lemon zest and blend well. Add sugar syrup to strawberry mixture. Freeze in an 8-inch (20 cm) square metal pan. After mixture is frozen, about 3 hours, partially thaw and beat in a food processor. This breaks down the ice crystals and gives it a fluffy texture. Refreeze for at least 3 hours.
  2. Serves 4.
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Fantastic Fudge Brownies

BROWNIES
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Ingredients
  1. BROWNIES
  2. 1 CUP BUTTER 250 mL
  3. 2 CUPS SUGAR 500 mL
  4. 1⁄4 CUP COCOA POWDER 50 mL
  5. 4 EGGS, BEATEN 4
  6. 1 TSP VANILLA 5 mL
  7. 1 CUP FLOUR 250 mL
  8. 1 CUP CHOPPED WALNUTS OR PECANS 250 mL
  9. ICING
  10. 2 CUPS ICING SUGAR 500 mL
  11. 2 TBSP BUTTER 25 mL
  12. 2 TBSP COCOA POWDER 25 mL
  13. 2 TBSP BOILING WATER 25 mL
  14. 2 TSP VANILLA 10 mL
Instructions
  1. TO MAKE BROWNIES: CREAM TOGETHER BUTTER, SUGAR AND COCOA POWDER. MIX IN BEATEN EGGS AND VANILLA.
  2. ADD FLOUR AND STIR. FOLD IN NUTS. BAKE IN A GREASED13- x 9-inch (3 L) PAN AT 350°F (180°C) FOR 40 to 45 MiNUTES. TOP WILL APPEAR TO BE UNDERDONE (FALLS IN MiDDLE) BUT DON'T OVERCOOK. SHOULD BE MOIST AND CHEWY.
  3. TO MAKE ICING: BEAT ALL INGREDIENTS TOGETHER WHILE BROWNIES ARE BAKING. POUR ON TOP AS SOON AS BROWNIES COME OUT OF THE OVEN. IT WILL MELT INTO A SHINY GLAZE.
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Best-Ever Banana Bread

Day-O! Hey, Mister Tallyman, tally this one!

Best-Ever Banana Bread
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Ingredients
  1. Makes 2 loaves.
  2. 1 cup butter 250 mL
  3. 2 cups granulated sugar 500 mL
  4. 2 1⁄2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 5) 625 mL
  5. 4 eggs, well beaten 4
  6. 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour 625 mL
  7. 2 tsp baking soda 10 mL
  8. 1 tsp salt 5 mL
  9. 1 tsp ground nutmeg 5 mL
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add bananas and eggs and beat until well mixed. Mix dry ingredients and blend with banana mixture, but do not overmix. Pour into two lightly greased loaf pans or a 10-inch (25 cm) Bundt pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes; test for doneness (toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean) and cool on rack for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Freezes beautifully.
Notes
  1. Tip: Freeze overripe bananas in their skins in a plastic bag.
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There are three types of people: those that make it happen, those that watch it happen and those who sit around and say “What the heck’s happening?”

God Made Chocolate and the Devil Threw the Calories In!

 

Chocolate Raspberry Torte
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Ingredients
  1. Cake
  2. 2 cups all-purpose flour 500 mL
  3. 2 tsp baking soda 10 mL
  4. 1⁄2 tsp salt 2 mL
  5. 1⁄2 tsp baking powder 2 mL
  6. 3 squares (each 1 oz/30 g) 3
  7. unsweetened chocolate
  8. 1⁄2 cup butter 125 mL
  9. 2 cups brown sugar, packed 500 mL
  10. 3 eggs 3
  11. 11⁄2 tsp vanilla extract 7 mL
  12. 3⁄4 cup sour cream 175 mL
  13. 1⁄2 cup strong coffee 125 mL
  14. 1⁄2 cup coffee-flavored liqueur (Kahlúa) 125 mL
  15. Filling
  16. 1 cup whipping (35%) cream 250 mL
  17. 2 tbsp icing sugar 30 mL
  18. 1 jar (12 oz/341 mL) raspberry or 1 strawberry jam
  19. Frosting
  20. 11⁄2 cups chocolate chips 375 mL
  21. 3⁄4 cup sour cream 175 mL
  22. Pinch salt Pinch
  23. Chocolate curls
  24. Raspberries or strawberries
Instructions
  1. Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch (23 cm) cake pans. Mix flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Melt chocolate and let cool. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and eggs at high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in melted chocolate and vanilla. At low speed, beat in flour mixture (in fourths), alternating with sour cream (in thirds). Add coffee and liqueur, blending until smooth. Pour batter into pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until surface springs back. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
  2. Filling: Beat cream until it begins to thicken. Sprinkle in icing sugar and beat until stiff. Refrigerate. Slice cake layers in half horizontally to make four layers (cake layers cut more easily if frozen first). Place one layer, cut side up, on cake plate. Spread with 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) raspberry jam and 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) whipped cream. Repeat with remaining layers, ending with top layer cut side down.
  3. Frosting: Melt chocolate chips in top of double boiler. Add sour cream and salt and beat until frosting is creamy and smooth. Frost top and sides of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls and fresh berries. Serves 10 to 12.
  4. Tip: To make chocolate curls, warm a good-quality chocolate bar to room temperature, then use a vegetable peeler to shave off curls.
  5. From the Complete Best of Bridge Cookbooks, Volume 2 (page 318)
Notes
  1. From the Complete Best of Bridge Cookbooks, Volume 2 (page 318)
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Pecan Shortbread Squares

Pecan Shortbread Squares
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Ingredients
  1. CRUST
  2. 1 CUP BUTTER 250 mL
  3. 1⁄3 CUP FIRMLY PACKED BROWN SUGAR 75 mL
  4. 1 EGG 1
  5. 1 TSP. LEMON JUICE 5 mL
  6. 3 CUPS FLOUR 750 mL
  7. 21⁄2 CUPS PECAN HALVES 625 mL
  8. HONEY BUTTER FILLING
  9. 3⁄4 CUP BUTTER 175 mL
  10. 1⁄2 CUP HONEY 125 mL
  11. 3⁄4 CUP BROWN SUGAR 175 mL
  12. 3 TBSP. CREAM 45 mL
Instructions
  1. TO MAKE CRUST: PREHEAT OVEN TO 350°F (180°C). THOROUGHLY MIX BUTTER, SUGAR, EGG, LEMON JUICE AND FLOUR AND PRESS INTO A 10 x 15″ (25 X 38 cm) EDGED COOKIE SHEET. PRICK WITH A FORK AND BAKE FOR 20 MINUTES. COVER CRUST WITH PECAN HALVES.
  2. TO MAKE FILLING: IN A HEAVY SAUCEPAN, MELT BUTTER AND HONEY. ADD BROWN SUGAR AND BRING TO A BOIL, WHISKING CONTINUOUSLY, UNTIL DARK BROWN, 5–7 MINUTES. REMOVE FROM HEAT AND ADD CREAM. MIX AND POUR OVER CRUST. RETURN TO OVEN FOR
  3. 20 MINUTES. COOL BEFORE CUTTING.
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A KNIFE THAT CUTS FOUR LOAVES OF BREAD SIMULTANEOUSLY — A FOUR LOAF CLEAVER.