My first plan was tiramisu. The Pioneer Woman has a pretty straight forward looking recipe for this, but my plans were dashed when I went to Safeway with an ingredient list, and realized that our little town doesn't carry mascarpone cheese - the assistant manager didn't even know what it was. :/
Ryder accompanied me to pick up our Bountiful Basket and swing by Safeway on Friday night. It's incredible how freeing just managing one child is after having two from just a few months. Plus, it doesn't hurt that the Safeway bakery just so happens to give free cookies to children - best marketing move ever!
It looked simple enough. Besides heavy whipping cream for the ganache, I had everything on hand already. The only tricky aspect was that it required 9 hours to make - with chilling each different layer.
First I made the chocolate crust. I think if I were to do it again though, I'd change it up and add more crushed nuts for texture. The recipe ends up tasting more like a chocolate pie crust.
This was my first time making caramel from scratch - also known as sugar, water, butter, and cream. Well, first and second. The first time I tried making the caramel, I got nervous and didn't let it simmer long enough. The result was a very creamy looking soup that didn't have any distant caramel flavour. The second time I cranked the heat and just let it work its own magic. Yum - no more store bought caramel sauce for me!
I added the caramel sauce to the cooled crust and let it chill for about 4 hours. By the time I pulled it out to add the ganache, the caramel was nice and hard.
I cheated on the chocolate ganache. The actual recipe called for bittersweet chocolate whipped with warm cream, but I didn't have just plain chocolate. What I did have was my favourite brand of chocolate EVER. Have you heard of Theo? It's based out of Seattle. I should warn you, it's ridiculously good. If you're ever in Seattle, call ahead and schedule a tour of their factory. It's well worth the $7 - and you'll sample all the chocolate a soul could want.
Anyhow, I just ended up using 2 bars of Sea Salt 70% Dark Chocolate with the cream - so I skipped the coarse salt garnish. It was salty enough.
Sorry, the lighting here isn't awesome. Nevertheless, it turned out. I'll warn you that it's very rich. I think most of it can be blamed on the extremely dark chocolate I used. A milker substitute would take care of that. But, with a nice steaming cup of black coffee, I'd say it turned out just about perfect.
Oh, and here are the boys all matchy-matchy heading out for our dinner party in their pjs. Those were fun shower gifts!
Here's my latest Baby Lynden picture. He sure does love his sock monkey pjs from Mimi & Pop. What a joy this little guy is. <3
And did anyone else notice that GAP is trying to market culottes?
Sorry, but some things are better left dead. :P