Morning

Holiday treats: Chef Donna prepares eggnog pound cake and chocolate ganache

Two Great Recipes to get you through the Holidays!

Who doesn’t need a new cookie idea for that next cookie swap, or a delicious dessert to take somewhere or give someone?  Who isn’t looking for a great way to have those little hands help out with the cookie decorating???  Well, with these two easy recipes, help is at hand.  First, the super easy Eggnog Pound Cake made by adding a little eggnog to a box mix!  Once cooled, that pound cake becomes the base for delicious elegant Petit Fours and the leftover scraps?  Why not make some cake bites!  Everything comes together with a delicious chocolate ganache that can be drizzled over your cake, is a pool of chocolate to coat your petit fours in, and that delicious coating for your cake bites.  Want to do it one better?  The leftover ganache can be chilled and then formed into chocolate truffles!  Still looking for more reasons to love this now?  These confections can be frozen for about 2 months… think, Valentines Day!

Recipe:  Eggnog Pound Cake

Makes 4 small mini loafs or 1 large loaf

 

Ingredients

1 box (16-ounce) pound cake mix

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/8 cups eggnog

2 tablespoons bourbon

1 teaspoon orange zest

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly spray a large or 4 mini loaf pans with a baking non-stick spray.  Using an electric mixer beat all ingredients together at low speed for 30 seconds.  Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes.  Pour batter into prepared pan(s).

Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 5 minutes for a large loaf pan or 45 minutes for the mini pans, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (at least 1 hour).

Slice and serve, dusted with Confectioner’s sugar

VARIATIONS:

Make a petit four:  Cut pound cake into 1-inch x 1-inch cubes, slice horizontally in thirds, ice each third with vanilla icing, then dip or glaze in ganache and decorate; let harden at room temperature for at least 4 hours or in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

 

 

 

Recipe: Chocolate Ganache

In ganache recipes, the proportions of chocolate to cream vary depending on whether it will be a coating, filling, or truffle. This recipe is a standard 1-to-1 ratio of chocolate to cream, which is good for a glaze for a cake or pie.  It will never harden, but will become firm.  When firm, you can whip it with an electric mixer and use as a filling for pastry or roll into truffles.

 

Some uses:

CUT THE AMOUNT OF CREAM IN RECIPE and keep ganache over simmering water.  Use as a candy coating/outer shell for Petit Fours, or other confections.

COOL GANACHE TO ROOM TEMP and beat with electric mixer to a frosting-like consistency, but don’t refrigerate or it gets crusty and hard.

COOL GANACHE TO ROOM TEMP OR REFRIGERATE AND REMIX, shape into truffles roll in nuts or powdered cocoa.

Ingredients

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

1/2 cup dark chocolate morsels

1/2- to 1- cup heavy cream (depending on intended use)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon instant espresso granules

Preparation

Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and add heavy cream, butter and espresso granules.  Set over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the chocolate is melted and glossy and fluid.  If desired whisk in additional heavy cream to desired consistency.

Turn off heat before using (though I recommend to keep the ganache fluid and easy to use that you keep the bowl set over the water).

VARIATION

Make cake-pops:  Use leftover trimmings from the Petit Fours to make cake bites (also known as cake pops).  Combine the trimmings with store bought icing (add a tablespoon at a time and really mix the trimmings up, adding only as much icing as needed to moisten and fully combine the cake trimmings.  Roll mixture into balls and place on a waxed-paper lined sheet.  Place in freezer about 2 hours, then dip in ganache to coat.

For more information, and to see Chef Donna’s other recipes, head to her website.

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