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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sadie's Dessert

A week or so ago I posted a how-to on chocolate curls. This Sadie's dessert here, is one of my favorite desserts to top with these decadent chocolate curls. This dessert has been around for ages, and is known by several different titles (Robert Redford Dessert, Mississippi Mud Pie, Layered-Chocolate Pudding Dessert, Chocolate Torte, etc.). This recipe is one I got handed down from my mother, who got it from her mother. I am sure if you've lived in America all of your life you've come across this dessert at some point. It seems that a simple dessert couldn't be so good, but it is. And that must be why it's been around for so long.

I emailed Mel, from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, a few months ago telling her that I made this dessert with her homemade pudding recipes with amazing results. Since she is more on top of it than me, she posted her version of this recipe last week. The original recipe from my grandmother calls for boxed pudding mixes, which work, but the homemade pudding adds so much more! The boxed pudding doesn't set up as firm as the homemade pudding so when you cut a piece it kind of slops and droops. But this amazing recipe from Mel for homemade chocolate and vanilla pudding was a hit. I especially loved the chocolate pudding it was so thick and rich (you melt chocolate chips into it....ummm!). This pudding can be made a few days in advance if you are wanting to make less work the day you want to serve it. Or if you absolutely refuse to make homemade pudding then use the small boxes of pudding mix.

If you haven't had this dessert before you'd better Pin It, bookmark it, or print it and add it to your "to try recipe list"!

Sadies Dessert
Printable Version

½ cup butter, softened
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are best)

Place flour in a small mixing bowl and cut in butter with pastry blender or fork. When butter is distributed through stir in chopped nuts. Press crust mixture into a 9x13 size pan and bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes, until set. Let cool.

1st layer:
1 cup powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup whipped cream (or you can use cool whip as a substitute - I prefer whipped cream)

In a medium size bowl whip cream until stiff peaks. In a separate bowl whip cream cheese with powdered sugar until there are no lumps. Mix in whipped cream until smooth. Spread this mixture over the crust.

2nd Layer:
2 cups homemade chocolate pudding (or 1 small pkg of instant chocolate pudding - mixed with 2 cups milk)
2 cups homemade vanilla pudding (or 1 small pkg of instant vanilla pudding - mixed with 2 cups milk)
(Note: if you don’t feel like making 2 kinds of homemade pudding use 4 cups of just chocolate pudding.)

I like using the homemade pudding because it sets up more firm, resulting in a prettier served piece of dessert. Mix the chocolate and vanilla homemade pudding (at room temperature) together and spread over the cream cheese layer. (Or if you’d rather use instant pudding for a quicker process mix the chocolate and vanilla instant pudding packages with 4 cups milk and spread over cream cheese mixture).

Finally, top with more sweetened whipped cream, about 1 ½ cups is good. And top with chocolate curls for a more gourmet look (or chocolate sprinkles or just plain, it will taste great whichever way you pick)

Recipe Source: My grandmother, Rosella B.

Friday, January 20, 2012

{How to Make} Chocolate Curls

If you want to feel fancy, here is a one way to do so......make chocolate curls! These chocolate curls really add a lot to a dessert or they are just plain fun to eat. I love the way they melt in your mouth! So yummy! The best part about these curls it that they are so simple to make, you really can't mess up. Below I have a pretty thorough step-by-step (with pictures) instructions on how to make them. I hope you'll have fun fancying up your dessert dishes!

Chocolate Curls
Printable Version

I actually don't really follow a recipe for this, but in case you want one here it is:

3 ounces chocolate, (one baking square) or chocolate chips
2 teaspoons coconut oil (for better taste use coconut oil, if you don't have any you can use Crisco)

***I usually just throw some chocolate and coconut oil and melt it....I haven't messed it up without following a recipe.

First place a dinner sized plate in the fridge, you'll see why later on. Place chocolate and coconut oil/Crisco in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments until chocolate and coconut oil/Crisco are melted smooth.

Pour chocolate on a back-side of a metal cookie sheet (or a non-rimmed metal baking sheet) and smooth it out with a spatula or scraper, or knife, etc until it's very thin. Place the sheet in the freezer for a few minutes. To test for done-ness, use the finger print test, if you touch the chocolate with your finger and it leaves an indent of your fingerprint, wait a few more minutes.

With a metal or hard plastic spatula (I use a plastic Pampered Chef pan scraper - because I've got metal shavings in with my chocolate scraping a metal pan with a metal spatula.) start scraping the chocolate from the cookie sheet. If it's too frozen/hard then it will just crack and crumble, so wait a minute and try again, when it starts curling you have a few minutes before it will be too soft again, when it stops curling cause it's too soft then put in the freezer for a minute or so and go at it again.

When you have all your curls scraped from the cookie sheet, place them on a cold plate and refrigerate until hardened. Place curls in the fridge until use or you can freeze them in a freezer bag and use them whenever you'd like.

Garnish cakes, pies, and other desserts with these delectable and fancy curls!

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Spread the chocolate thin, I like using a Papered Chef pan scraper
Test it with your finger to see if it's done, if you have a wet chocolatey finger print stick in back in the freezer for a minute or two. You should only have the slightest indication of a fingerprint when you touch it.
If it's too hard, it will crack when you try to scrap the curls so
Still just barely too cold and hard
Ahhh, perfect, now they are curling just right.
Work quickly and if it stops curling nice,
just put it back in the freezer for a minute or two and try again.
Place all the curls on a cold plate and then refrigerate them until they are hard and you are ready to use them. If you want to save them for later stick them in a freezer bad after you've refrigerated them and they are nice and hard and then pull them out of the freezer to fancy up whatever dessert you are making.
Here is my evidence of the metal shavings on my chocolate curls. To avoid this use a metal pan and plastic scraper or the bottom of a plastic tray and a metal spatula. The metal on metal seems to always result in metal shavings on my curls, and I'm thinking that really is not healthy to ingest. :)
Featured Desserts:

Chocolate Fudge Cake with Chocolate Curls
Sadies' Dessert....will be posting this soon, it was featured today on Mel's Kitchen Cafe, one of my food blog heros, if you'd like to check it out.