There’s no better excuse to indulge in something sweet than National Dessert Day. This Friday, in honor of the tasty holiday, treat yourself to one of these dessert recipes from Kansas City chefs and bakers:
Crêpes with Chocolate and Walnuts by Tanya Bastianich Manuali
2 cups water
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
8 tablespoons melted butter or more
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
10 ounces excellent bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (12 ounces, or more, for extreme chocolate lovers)
1½ cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream, chilled (plus sugar to taste)
To make the batter, whisk together the eggs, water, rum, vanilla, sugar and salt in a large bowl, until well blended. Sift the flour on top, a bit at a time, whisking each addition until smooth. Drizzle in half the melted butter, whisking until the batter has slightly thickened, with the consistency of melted ice cream. Finally, whisk in the lemon zest. Put the remaining butter in a small cup and keep it warm.
Break or chop the chocolate into small pieces and put them a bowl set in a pan of hot (not boiling) water. When the chocolate begins to melt, stir until completely smooth, and keep it warm, in the water, off the heat.
Set the crepe pan or skillet over moderate-high heat until quite hot. Pour in a couple tablespoons of butter, quickly swirl it all over the pan bottom, then pour excess butter back into the cup, leaving the bottom lightly coated with sizzling butter. (If the butter doesn’t sizzle, heat the pan longer before adding the batter). Immediately ladle in a scant 1/3 cup of batter, tilt and swirl so it coats the bottom, and set the pan on the burner.
Lower the heat to medium and cook the palacinka for a little less than a minute, until the underside is lightly browned in a lacy pattern. Flip it over with a spatula and fry for a half minute or longer, until the second side is lightly browned, then remove it to a warm platter. Heat the empty pan briefly, then rapidly coat it with butter, fill it with batter and cook another palacinka. Repeat the sequence, stacking up the finished palacinke on the platter, until all the batter is used up.
Fill and serve the palacinke as soon as possible, while fresh and warm. Keep the platter in a warm spot and cover the stack with a tent of foil or a large bowl turned upside down. Whip the heavy cream, unsweetened or with sugar to taste, to soft peaks. Stir the melted chocolate and reheat it if necessary so it is smooth and warm.
Take one palacinke off the stack and place it with its lacy-patterned side down. Spoon a generous tablespoon (or more) warm chocolate in the center of the pancake and spread it over the palacinke, leaving an inch wide border uncoated. Scatter a spoonful of chopped walnuts on the chocolate layer then fold the round in half, hiding the fillings, and fold again into a plump quarter-round.
Fill and fold all the palacinke the same way. For each serving, place two rounds, overlapping, on a dessert plate, heap some cream on top, scatter some nuts on top of the cream and drizzle warm chocolate in streaks and squiggles over the palacinke and the plate.
Coffee ice cream
Vanilla ice cream
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup of heavy cream
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a light boil, stirring often. Add butter and whisk until melted. Add cinnamon and whisk in cream.
Build the sundaes by putting one scoop of coffee ice cream and one scoop of vanilla ice cream in a parfait dish. Top with the cinnamon caramel sauce and a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.
French Bee Bakery Chocolate Mousse Cake by Tracy Torres Wurzer
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter sides and bottom of a springform pan, then line the bottom of the pan with parchment and dust with cocoa. Slowly melt chocolate and butter together in a heavy pan over low heat, then cool. Whisk egg yolks with ½ cup of the sugar over a double boiler until it reaches 145 degrees on a candy thermometer. Transfer to a mixer and whip until cooled. The yolks will be at a ribbon stage, meaning that when you lift the whisk over the mixture the batter should fall slowly forming a ribbon that will hold its shape for a few minutes. Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the egg yolks and sugar mixture and blend thoroughly.
Whisk egg whites with remaining ½ cup sugar until temperature reaches 145 degrees. Transfer to a mixer and whip until it forms medium peaks. Fold whites into chocolate/egg yolk/sugar mixture. Remove 1/3 of the batter, cover and refrigerate. Pour remaining batter into prepared springform pan and bake 20-25 minutes. Allow to completely cool, then top with remaining batter. Refrigerate until firm. Unmold from pan and decorate with whipped cream or powdered sugar and fruit, as desired.
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 cups whole milk
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
10 ounce bag of Ghirardelli 60 percent semisweet chocolate chips
Combine cream and milk in a heavy sauce pot and steep until it just begins to simmer. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine yolks, sugar and salt and whisk to combine.
Slowly add hot cream/milk mixture to eggs, whisking constantly to combine. Reserve large bowl for later.
Return pudding base back to the sauce pot and place on the stove top over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Cook for about 5 minutes or until pudding begins to thicken. Return pudding to reserved large bowl. Add chocolate chips and whisk to combine.
Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming on the top. Refrigerate pudding for eight hours or overnight.
Serve with whipped cream.
2-1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 cups regular semisweet chocolate chunks
1 cup large bittersweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Mix together chocolate chips, chunks and chopped nuts. Set aside.
All medium speed unless otherwise noted: In a standing mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until well mixed and light. Scrape down the sides. Add one egg. Mix for 5 seconds. Scrape down the sides., then add second egg. Mix for 5 seconds. Scrape down the side and add vanilla. Mix for 5 seconds. Scrape down the sides.
You’re going to add the sifted flour mixture in four batches, stopping before adding the final batch. For the first three batches, mix at low speed just to combine, scraping down the sides between each addition. When you get to the final batch of flour, add the chocolate chip/nut mixture. They will get a bit crushed. Mix until there’s barely a trace of flour visible. Don’t over-mix. Sometimes, it’s better to be safe and do the final bit of mixing by hand.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Bake one tray at a time. The cookie size is up to you. (I find the bigger they are, the better ratio you have between gooey interior and crisp exterior. Two ounces is about right for that.)
Leave a few inches between the raw cookies. Place sheet pan in the oven. They’re done when they’re brown and crispy on the outer border and raw in the very middle (8 to 10 minutes). Remove sheet pan. Allow to cool for a few minutes; transfer cookies to a cookie rack to cool.
If you are working a few days ahead, portion them out with an ice cream scoop, place them on a sheet pan, and freeze. Once firm, store them in a Ziploc bag.