2014-05-09 / Columns

Cooking on Purpose

Mothers love chocolate … hint, hint
By Connie Wendell
Special to the Post

Which of these recipes will your mother love?

The Mocha Gems that are like individual tarts and a nice blend of chocolate and coffee? Or the Chocolate Peppermint Torte that is as beautiful as it is delicious with rich layers of chocolate and delightful peppermint filling? Or the Chocolate Mousse with the rich creamy chocolate?

Try one or all three. I’m sure your mother will love it.

Mocha gems

½ cup butter; 1 package cream cheese (3 ounces) softened; 1 cup flour; 2 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar; mocha filling; and confectioners’ sugar (optional).

In small mixing bowl cream butter and cream cheese. Stir in flour and confectioners’ sugar.

Cover and chill for one hour. Shape dough into 24 balls. Place in ungreased miniature muffin tins; press dough evenly on bottom and up side of each cup. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare mocha filling; divide mixture evenly among pastry lined muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until filling is set. Cool; remove from pans. Sprinkle confectioners sugar over top, if desired.

Makes 24 cookies.

Mocha filling

6 tablespoons baking cocoa; ¼ cup butter, melted; ½ cup sugar; 1 egg, slightly beaten; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; ½ teaspoon powdered instant coffee; and 2 teaspoons hot water.

Stir cocoa into melted butter. Add sugar, egg and vanilla. Dissolve instant coffee in hot water; blend into chocolate mixture.

Chocolate peppermint torte

1¾ cups flour; 2 cups sugar; ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa; 1½ teaspoons baking soda; 1½ teaspoons baking powder; 1 teaspoon salt; 2 eggs; 1 cup milk; ½ cup vegetable oil; 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; 1 cup boiling water; peppermint filling; and cocoa glaze.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three round pans, 9 inches by 1½ inches. (Don’t buy a third pan just to bake this torte. Remaining batter can be refrigerated while first two layers bake.) In large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat at medium speed for two minutes.

Remove from mixer; stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely.

Peppermint filling

1½ cups chilled whipping cream; 2/3 cup finely crushed hard peppermint candy or ½ teaspoon mint extract and ½ cup confectioners’ sugar; ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract. A few drops of red food coloring

Beat whipping cream in small bowl until stiff. Fold in crushed peppermint candies or mint extract and confectioners’ sugar. Add vanilla extract and food coloring and gently stir until evenly blended.

Makes about three cups filling.

Cocoa glaze

2 tablespoons butter; 2 tablespoons baking cocoa; 2 tablespoons water; 1 cup confectioners’ sugar; ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.

In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter; add cocoa and water, stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Gradually add confectioners sugar and vanilla, beating with wire whisk until smooth and spreading consistency. Add additional water, ½ teaspoon at a time, if needed.

Makes about ¾ cup glaze.

Spread peppermint filling on top of first and second layer. Spread cocoa glaze on top layer. Add a decorative swirl on top with the peppermint filling.

Chocolate mousse

4 (1 ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate; ½ cups super fine sugar; 2 teaspoons vanilla; and 2 cups heavy cream.

In top of double boiler over hot water, place sugar, chocolate, and ¼ cup of the cream. Stir constantly until smooth and melted. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.

Cool to room temperature. Whip remaining cream until stiff. Fold gently into chocolate mixture. Spoon into serving dishes. Chill at least two hours. Serve topped with additional sweetened whipped cream.

Serves four.

Now you have three delightful treats to try. Happy Mother’s Day. Until next time keep Cooking on Purpose.

Connie Wendell can be reached at conniewendell27@gmail.com.

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