RISE & SHINE KAUT43 OKC
So, if you’re looking for (another) great way to say “good morning” to your someone special on Valentine’s Day morning, take a tip from a chef. HOT CHOCOLATE!
Not just any hot chocolate, mind you, but something so rich and decadent, homemade and sweet, you’ll get bonus points the rest of the week. Now, keep in mind the beauty of a French hot chocolate is that it is not as fluid as the hot chocolate most of us are used to. French hot chocolate is thick and creamy, and almost pudding-like once it starts too cool. So one clue that your hot chocolate is “cold” is that its basically warmed pudding. That’s why it is essential to heat and keep warm.
Palmiers (Paul-Me-Ayyy) are an easy puff-pastry type cookie. They’re perfect with the hot chocolate, first thing in the morning, and “dunked” while you two stare at each other and profess your love… or whatever.
Scotty’s French Hot Chocolate: More than enough for 2
1 quart (4 cups) Whole Organic Milk
8 ounces premium Bittersweet Chocolate (60% Cacao)
4 ounces premium Semisweet Chocolate
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
2 teaspoons Instant Espresso Powder
1 vanilla bean, split (may substitute 2 teaspoons good vanilla extract)
1 tablespoon blade mace (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
15 Green Cardamom Pods, lightly crushed
Bowl of Fresh Sweetened Whipped Cream (you know what to do)
In 2-quart heavy bottom saucepan add the whole milk and begin heating gently. Milk will scorch (burn on the bottom), so you need to stir this often. To the milk add the sugar, pinch of salt, split vanilla bean, crushed cardamom pods (crush with the flat end of a chef knife), and mace. Stir and heat to a light simmer; then simmer 10 minutes.
While your milk is heating, flavoring, and reducing to a thicker consistency, rough chop your chocolates, and place into a large mixing bowl. If you’re using chocolate chips, just pour into a large mixing bowl.
Once your milk has simmered for 10 minutes and reduced in volume by 1/4, remove from the heat. Using a handheld fine mesh strainer, Strain the milk over the chocolate. Discard the cardamom pods and mace. Scrape out the vanilla “caviar” from the split bean with a paring knife. Add the caviar to the milk and chocolate.
Using a whisk, mix the hot milk and chocolate to a creamy smooth chocolate consistency. Pour the chocolate back into the same sauce pot and heat until thick and creamy.
Pour the hot chocolate into a ceramic or porcelain coffee pot to keep warm. Grab two of your best coffee cups, the bowl of fresh whipped cream, two spoons, and your Valentine’s Day card (you can't forget a card… and sign it!), and place it all on a tray along with the hot chocolate. Deliver it to wherever he or she is, and serve with a smile… or, whatever.
Ingredients: makes 1-2 dozen
1 package frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
1/2 cup roasted shelled pistachio, chopped fine
1/3 cup + extra Turbinado sugar (Sugar In The Raw)
1/2 teaspoon In The Kitchen With Scotty “More Than Pumpkin Pie Spice” or ground
1 large egg, beaten
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
All-Purpose flour for dusting
Start by grinding your pistachio nuts down to a coarse meal in a food processor. You may also hand chop…just don’t chop your hands.
In a bowl combine the chopped pistachio, turbinado sugar, and More Than Pumpkin Pie Spice (or ground cinnamon). Mix evenly and set aside. Beat your egg and have at the ready along with the melted butter and a pastry brush.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and line a baking pan (cookie sheet) with parchment paper or use a non oiled (dry) baking pan.
Dust your work surface lightly with the flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Lay out one sheet of the thawed puff pastry and dust the top lightly with the flour. With a rolling pin gently roll the dough out to a 12x18 inch rectangle. Always making sure the bottom is not sticking to the work surface. Add more flour if needed.
Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter. Coat the dough with the pistachio/sugar mixture making sure to get all the way to the edges.
Fold each long edge of dough over pistachio mixture so that they are halfway toward the center (1/4 way in). Fold the long sides over again so that they meet in the center and enclose the filling.
Brush down the center of dough with beaten egg. Fold dough together lengthwise so that one edge is stacked on top of the other. Repeat the entire process with the remaining puff pastry sheet or save it for another use in the freezer.
Cut the dough into 1/2” slices and place on the baking pan cut side down. Open up the top of slices slightly so that they are a heart shape. Sprinkle slices with the extra sugar.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove the cookie and allow to cool before serving. These may be baked and cooled ahead of time, just wrap in an airtight container and store up to 3 days. Enjoy!