I have the great pleasure of preparing a meal for Thanksgiving 2015, for my family. There are few greater honors than opening my home and honoring long held traditions on this special day. Let’s give thanks for our abundance, creativity, our health, well-being, and our hopes for the future.
I am thankful to be in the position to celebrate this day with my loved ones. In safety, in luxury, and in fondness.
Perrier Jouët Brut Champagne
La Tur Hillaire Triple Cream
Cantine Gallura Vermentino
Roasted Squash, Cipollini Onions, and Baby Beets, on a bed of sautéed Baby Spinach, Arugula and Kale
Smoked Rocky Mountain Trout blended with Crème Fraiche and Fresh Herbs
Enrico Serafino Barbaresco
Roasted Turkey with Herbs and Caramelized Sage Butter
One of my all-time favorite recipes that I have ever created is a chocolate cupcake that is at once reminiscent of a soufflé and a rich brownie. The cupcakes are very simple, quick to prepare, and require only a few superb ingredients. They are deliciously rich with complex, spiced, nut and floral flavors. Yet they are delicately textured and very light. I only make these cupcakes for Christmas, birthdays, and Valentine’s Day, because they are impossible not to eat every one.
Give them a try, you won’t be sorry!
Preheat your oven to 375’ F.
You will need two standard sized cupcake / muffin tins with 12 cupcake slots each. Line the pans with 18 paper liners. You may need a few more.
1 ½ cup dark chocolate, I use XOXO 70%, broken into tiny squares
1 cup unsalted, fresh cream, European style butter
Melt in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir constantly so the chocolate doesn’t burn. Remove from double boiler and heat to cool slightly.
4 egg yolks
½ cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
½ teaspoon real almond extract
½ teaspoon real hazelnut extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Blend for 2 minutes with a hand mixer or stationary mixer.
With the mixer running on low: drizzle several spoonfuls of the chocolate very slowly into the sugar and egg mixture to temper the eggs. If you rush this step the eggs will cook and clump together, ruining the entire batch of cupcakes. Once the eggs are tempered, slowly pour the remaining chocolate into the eggs with the mixer on low. Make sure to scrape the double boiler pan of the remaining chocolate. The mixture will quickly thicken.
2 tablespoons sifted cocoa
Fold the cocoa into the batter very gently. The cocoa acts as a binder giving the soufflé more of a cupcake structure. Spoon the thick batter into the cupcake liners, filling each 2/3’s full. There should be enough batter for 18 cupcakes.
Bake for 17 to 20 minutes max, just until the surface springs when touched. If the cupcakes over bake, they will become a bit dry. Remove from the baking tins and cool on a rack.
Blend and sift these ingredients together. Sprinkle on top of each cupcake. You may choose to add a simple frosting but I never do. I feel that frosting would be too heavy for the feather light texture of these cupcakes.
Serve warm with espresso or a cappuccino or pair with vanilla bean ice cream and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts. Delicious!