Monday, June 11, 2007

RECIPE of the Day - 6/11/2007

These are rich and delicious dessert treats. They are perfect for formal gatherings, yet so delicious, you will want to serve them often.

Chocolate Raspberry Napoleons

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half or light cream
1 ounce semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 slightly beaten egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup whipping cream

2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons boiling water
1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
1 1/2 tablespoons melted semisweet chocolate

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or plain brown paper; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 10-inch square. Using a sharp knife, trim off about 1/2 inch from all 4 sides to make a 9-inch square. (Or, if using purchased puff pastry, unfold sheet and trim edges to a 9-inch square.)
Cut pastry into nine 3-inch squares. Transfer pastry squares to the prepared baking sheets; prick pastry. Bake in a preheated 425° oven for 18-23 minutes, or till golden. (Or bake according to package directions.) Carefully remove pastries from baking sheet. Cool on a rack.

FOR CREAM: In a heavy, medium saucepan stir together sugar, flour, and salt. Slowly stir in half-and-half or light cream; add chocolate. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Slowly stir about half of the hot mixture into beaten egg yolks. Return all
to saucepan. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap and cool just till warm without stirring. In a small mixing bowl beat whipping cream till soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into warm chocolate pastry cream.

FOR GLAZE: In a medium mixing bowl combine powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough boiling water to make a glaze of spreading consistency; set aside. To assemble, use the tines of a fork to separate each pastry square horizontally into 3 layers. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the raspberry preserves on each
bottom layer. Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the pastry cream over raspberry preserves. Top with middle pastry layers. Spread another 1 1/2 tablespoons of the pastry cream on each middle layer. Finally, top with remaining pastry layers. Spread glaze over top of napoleons, then drizzle with melted chocolate. Chill up to 1 hour.

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