Tag Archive for 'Chai Tea-Spiced Chocolate Cake'

Valentine’s Day Dinner – Menu D’Amore


If you’ve got love and romance on your noggin and are looking for a quiet night in, a special dinner should be the prelude to the evening ahead. (What? No love in your life well then, love the one(s) you are with. Why not spoil a friend or family member?) Keeping things delicious and simple is the way to go. Besides so many restaurants are so terribly overbooked on February 14th that I’ve been a long time fan of staying home and enjoying the evening in.

Valentine’s Day Menu D’Amore

* CocktailMandarin Beastie

* AppetizersHot Mess Spiced Bar Nuts & Pesto Parmesan Chips

* Main CourseOrange Marinaded Pork Tenderloin, Carrot Dijon Salad & Potato and Onion Au Gratin

* DessertPassion Fruit Cake or Chunky Krispie Chocolate Cherry Treats

Aside from the adult beverage, a lot of this meal can be done ahead of time. Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year so if you are like me and running in a few too many directions it’s important to be prepared. Here’s my Valentine’s Day Meal Count Down to prepare this Menu D’Amore.

February 11 (Tuesday) organize the shopping list.

February 12 (Wednesday) prepare hot messed spiced nuts and store in an airtight container.

February 13 (Thursday) marinade the meat, prepare the carrot salad and dessert (if making the cake it can be frosted on Friday). Then set the table before heading off to bed.

February 14 (Friday) bring the meat to room temperature while preparing the au gratin potatoes and frosting the cake. Prepare the Pesto Parmesan Crackers and while they are in the oven start to mix up a batch of Mandarin Beasties.

Note: All of these recipes appear throughout the Bowl Licker blog but to help you get your grocery list organized I’ve also listed the ingredients on this page. For the full instructions click on the names of each recipe in the list above.

mandarin beastie

Mandarin Beastie

Cocktail Ingredients


3 oz Mandarin orange vodka

1 oz lemonade or fresh lime juice

1 oz club soda

hot mess nuts-in-the-mix

Hot Messed Spiced Nuts

Nut Ingredients

2 3/4 cups assorted nuts (whole almonds, Brazilian nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans)

2 TBS rosemary, coarsely chopped

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 TBS dark brown sugar

2 tsps sea salt (if using salted nuts then reduce salt by 1 tsp)

1 TBS unsalted butter, melted

Parmesan crisps

Pesto Parmesan Chips

Chip Ingredients

12-16 wonton wrappers (3-inch squares)

1 TBS olive oil

1 TBS Parmesan cheese

Paprika, dash

2-3 TBS pesto

pork orange marinade

Orange Marinaded Pork Tenderloin

Tenderloin Ingredients

1 cup orange juice

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 TBS fresh rosemary, chopped

3 tsps, garlic, minced

2 (3/4 pound) whole pork tenderloins

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

carrot slaw

Carrot Salad Dressing with Dijon Dressing

Salad & Dressing Ingredients

1 TBS lemon juice

2 tsps Dijon mustard

3 TBS olive oil

1 lb carrots, peeled and shredded

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp fresh chives, chopped

2 TBS pine nuts, toasted

au gratin

Potato and Onion Au Gratin

Potato Ingredients

2 tsps garlic, minced

2 lbs russet potatoes (approximately 4), peeled

dash Nutmeg, ground

salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup Emmentaler, grated

1 white onion, sliced

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy (double) cream

passion fruit cake

Passion Fruit Chiffon Cake

Passion Fruit Filling Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 cup passion fruit nectar or puree

4 egg yolks

1 vanilla bean—split, seeds scraped

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into TBS

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature

8 oz cream cheese (I like whipped), room temperature

2 – 3 cups powdered sugar

2 tsps passion fruit nectar or puree (often found in frozen fruit section of Latin markets)

food coloring (optional)

chocolate cherry krispie treats

Chunky Krispie Chocolate Cherry Treats

Krispie Ingredients

3 TBS salted butter

1 (10 oz) bag of large marshmallows

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

5 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1 cup dried cherries, chopped

1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Scharffen Berger Chai Tea-Spiced Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache Glaze (#YigitYummy)

If you are not drooling from this picture then you must not be a chocolate lover. I’ll confess, when I watched Yigit (pronounced Yeet) Pura, executive pastry chef at San Francisco’s Taste Catering Co. (and winner of the 2010 Top Chef: Just Desserts), whip this treat up I had every inclination that it would be good — but I had no idea that after taking my first bite that I would want to unhinge my jaw and push the entire dessert into my mouth. It was seriously – THAT GOOD!

In typical Scharffen Berger fashion, the day long event and bakery hop received rave reviews. The day culminated at the Ferry Building and left everyone licking their digits as globs of ganache glaze dripped off of spoons. What’s all the hub-bub about? Well it was the official 2011/2012 kick-off to the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Contest. The theme: Elevate a Classic Dessert. >and the wheels are turning<

The following is Chef Yigit Pura’s recipe – and I sincerely hope that you enjoy it as much as I did! >Sidebar: at the event Yigit made this cake recipe into cup cakes and added a little extra filling in the middle, which demonstrates how much fun you can having augmenting this recipe.<

(Note: Be sure to read over the entire recipe as there are two ingredients lists and two sets of directions.)

Scharffen Berger Chai Tea-Spiced Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache Glaze

Serves 8

Chai Tea-Spiced Chocolate Cake Ingredients

1 tsp baking powder

5 TBS Scharffen Berger Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 1/4 cups flour

3/5 oz creme fraiche

3/4 cup plus 4 tsp whole milk

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/3 cups sugar

7 TBS grapeseed oil

4 tsp Ceylon tea, chopped

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground clove

1 tsp ground green cardamom

1/4 tsp ground star anise

Chai Tea-Spiced Chocolate Cake Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the baking powder, cocoa powder and flour; set aside. In a bowl, mix the creme fraiche and milk and set aside.

Place the eggs, sugar, grapeseed oil, tea and spices in an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip until the mixture has a thick, fluffy consistency.

In two steps, alternately mix the creme fraiche mixure and the flour mixture into the eggs using a spatula. Be gentle not to overwork the batter or deflate it.

Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and lightly dust with flour. Pour the batter into the pan, about 1 inch from the top.

Bake until the cake has a rise and peak, rotate gently, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, and lightly bounces back to the touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes and then loosen with a spatula on each side, and gently unmold and cool on a cake rack.

Ganache Glaze Ingredients

7 oz Scharffen Berger 70% Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped

1 1/3 (10.5 oz) cups heavy cream

5 1/3 TBS corn syrup

cinnamon stick, for garnish

star anise, for garnish

candied orange strips for garnish

Ganache Glaze Directions

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Bring cream and the syrup to a boil, and pour over the chocolate. Mix using a spatula, and in the end finish mixing using an emersion blender to emulsify the mixture, taking care not to add too many air bubbles. Use the glaze while it remains warm.

To assemble, place the chocolate cake on a cooling rack with a pan lined with plastic underneath to catch the glaze drippings.

Put the chocolate glaze in the container with a spout, and gently yet quickly pour evenly over the chocolate cake, covering the entire top. Garnish the cinnamon stick, whole star anise and candied orange strips.