Warm Sticky Figgy Pudding

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This holiday season we wanted to recreate a classic (and normally unfavorable) dessert into modern and delicious dish, so we are bringing you some figgy pudding! Dating back to 16th century England, figgy pudding is traditionally a cake filled with raisins, currants, and brandy! To give this dessert a modern twist, the raisins are substituted with figs and a warm sticky caramel sauce is poured over the cake to make it resemble a (bread) pudding by today's standards. This dessert is sweet, savory, and most importantly delightful!


WARM STICKY FIGGY PUDDING


Total Time: 2 hours

Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients:

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 14 tbsp. unsalted butter

For the Pudding:

  • 1 ½ cups dried & pitted dates, chopped
  • ½ cup dried figs, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 7 tbsp. Unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups self rising flour
  • 2 ½ oz. dark chocolate, grated
  • Butter for coating ramekins
  • Ice cream or whipped cream for garnish
  • Fresh figs, quartered for garnish
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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Add dates, dried figs, and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat and stir in baking soda. Let cool for 5 minutes, then puree in a blender.

Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat well. Fold in the four, chocolate, and pureed date mixture.

Put the mixture into  buttered ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Put in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Prepare the sauce by stirring sugar and heavy cream in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated.

Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. They may be served in the ramekins or unmolded onto a serving plate. With a paring knife cut a cross into the top of the puddings for the sauce.

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Pour sauce into the cross in the center of the puddings, then pour more sauce over the puddings and allow to soak in slightly. Garnish with fresh figs, vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Notes & Tips:

Create your own superfine sugar by placing granulated sugar in a food processor and pulsing until sugar becomes fine.

Create your own self rising flour: for each cup of flour add 1 ½ tsp. baking powder and ¼ tsp. salt and whisk until combined. For this recipe add 3 ¾ tsp. baking powder and ¾ tsp. salt to the 2 ½ cups of AP flour.

If you don’t have ramekins, you can make the puddings in a greased Bundt or muffin pan!

To add a little adult flair to your figgy pudding, add 1-2 tbsp. rum extract to your batter in the same step as adding your eggs.


Recipe courtesy of Food Network

National Hot Chocolate Day: Chai Hot Chocolate

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Happy National Hot Chocolate Day! To celebrate we’ve decided to share this amazing Chai Hot Chocolate recipe from Now, Forager! Although this recipe takes a little time and finesse, don’t feel daunted! It is easy and definitely worth it! And be sure to read our personal notes and tips at the end to help ease some of your initial hesitations!


FROTHY CHAI HOT CHOCOLATE WITH MILK CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Total Time: 8+ hours (includes ganache cooling & firming time)

Makes: 2 (7 ounce) hot chocolates

 

FOR THE CHAI MILK CHOCOLATE GANACHE:

In a small saucepan bring ½ cup heavy cream, 6 cardamom pods (lightly crushed), ⅛ tsp. black peppercorns (lightly crushed), 6 whole cloves, 1 star anise, ¼ of a vanilla bean's seeds and scraped pod, a pinch of fleur de sel, and 2 tbsp. loose leaf Assam tea to a strong boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, melt 6 oz. of 38%-46% milk chocolate over a double boiler stirring occasionally. Set aside once melted.

Strain steeped cream into a clean bowl and discard spices. Measure amount of cream and transfer back into the saucepan. Add more heavy cream (about ¼ cup)until there is again ½ cup of total cream. Bring to a simmer and then pour over melted milk chocolate.

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Gently stir the hot cream into the chocolate with slow small circular motions in the center of the bowl. As it emulsifies, make your circles bigger and mix until the ganache is fully combined and smooth. Let the ganache cool at room temperature until firm (about 8 hours or overnight). To speed up the firming process, you can allow your room temperature ganache to firm up in the refrigerator.

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FOR THE FROTHY CHAI HOT CHOCOLATE:

Place the ganache into a high speed blender and set aside.

In a small saucepan bring ¾ cup whole milk and a pinch of fleur de sel to a boil. Pour over the ganache in the blender and let sit for 1 minute before placing on blender lid.

Blend on high for 15-20 seconds until frothy. Pour hot chocolate into a mug and add a star anise and light dusting of cinnamon for garnishes.

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NOTES & TIPS:

All of these spices can be found in the spice aisle of your grocery store. To help save on cost, most of these spices can be found for considerably less at local Asian grocery stores!

Fleur de sel can be substituted for any course sea salt, although it will not be as crunchy or flavorful. Fleur de sel can be ordered on Amazon if it’s not available at your grocery store.

Don’t skimp on the quality of your milk chocolate! The chocolate ganache is the star of the drink and you want its sweetness to be balanced! Cheap chocolates will make your hot chocolate overly sweet. We used Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips.

If you don’t have a heat resistant bowl to create a double boiler, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave 30 seconds at a time and mixing between each interval.

Any remaining ganache can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. This is especially great if you want to make this recipe last a few days!

For extra frothy chai hot chocolate, make each serving separately in the blender! (That is, place only ⅓ of the ganache and ¼ cup of the hot whole milk into the blender at a time.)


MAPLE BOURBON BACON CHOCOLATE DOUGHNUTS

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Maple syrup and bourbon is the fall flavor combination you will be adding to your must have list this season. Bourbon has natural notes of cinnamon, pecans, and maple syrup, so it pairs perfectly with autumn flavors. The addition of bourbon to this maple syrup glaze gives the doughnuts a warm bite of character any fall dessert should constitute, and the candied bacon garnish satisfies the salty and sweet craving we all yearn for. These doughnuts are easy to make and are the perfect addition to any party.

Yields: 16 donuts            Total Time: approx 1 hour

Ingredients:

Candied Bacon:
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. pure maple syrup (use the real stuff!)
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
½  lb. thick cut sliced bacon

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Doughnuts:
½  cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 cup AP flour
½  cup dark brown sugar
⅓  cup cocoa powder
½  tsp. baking soda
¼  tsp. salt
½  cup milk
¼ cup sour cream
1 large egg
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2-3 tbsp. Bourbon

Instructions:
Candied Bacon:
Preheat oven to 350ºF and lay a sheet of aluminum foil over a large jelly roll pan*. Place a wire rack on top; set aside. (Pan should be ½-1 in. deep to catch the bacon drippings)
In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, syrup, and salt until sugar is completely dissolved.
Dip each slice of bacon into the syrup mixture; run your index finger and thumb down over the sliced bacon to remove excess.
Lay each coated slice on the wire rack and bake for 20 minutes or until desired crispness is achieved. Chop bacon into small pieces and set aside to prepare doughnuts.
Doughnuts:
In a small microwaveable bowl, melt chocolate chips in microwave and let cool.
Spray a doughnut baking pan* with nonstick cooking spray with flour; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low to medium speed, mix milk, sour cream, egg, butter, vinegar and vanilla until just combined. Gradually add the flour mixture and continue mixing until batter is just combined.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in cooled melted chocolate until there are no visible streaks in the batter. Spoon batter into each doughnut cavity ½ to ⅔  full.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Allow doughnuts to rest in pan for 5 minutes before inverting doughnuts over onto a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat baking process until the entire doughnut batter is used.
Glaze:
In a deep bowl, mix confectioners’ sugar, syrup and 2 tbsp. of bourbon until no visible dry pockets remain. Add another tbsp. of bourbon if glaze is too thick or if a stronger taste is desired. (You can substitute extra bourbon with water if the glaze is too thick)
Assembly:
Dip each doughnut about halfway deep into the glaze. Shake excess glaze off and rest doughnuts glaze-side-up over a wire rack.
Cover glazed side of doughnut with candied bacon bits.

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*Notes:
If you don’t have a jellyroll pan you can use a disposable aluminum foil pan available in any grocery store.
Not everyone has a doughnut baking pan, but it’s one baking staple you won’t regret purchasing. We recommend this affordable pan found on amazon.
You can make many other things in a doughnut pan such as dog treats, marshmallows, ice rings, gumdrop rings, baked eggs, muffin tops, breads/biscuits. Check out Corner Blog’s website for 101 inspirational ways to use your doughnut pan!

National Chocolate Mousse Day

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Attention all chocolate lovers! Today is National Chocolate Mousse Day, and what better way to recognize one of the tastiest foods than to share one of our favorite mousse recipes with you! With just a few ingredients, you'll be on your way to chocolate heaven!

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8 ounces Milk Chocolate Chips

6 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons vanilla

2 cups heavy whipping cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

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1.     Melt the milk chocolate chips and water in a saucepan (double boiler)

2.     Whisk the vanilla in the chocolate and let it cool to room temperature

3.     Whip the cream until it makes soft peaks, and then add the powdered sugar

4.     Fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the whip cream mixture until it is well combined

5.     Top with extra whipped cream or chocolate drizzle and enjoy!