I've been collecting some pictures of my food creations for a few months now, but there has never been enough to make a full blog out of any one of them individually. So today I present you with Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Cake Martinis, and Graveyard Brownies.
I used to hate asparagus, but it has slowly grown on me. And really, when you wrap anything in prosciutto it gets 1000 times better! Here we have prosciutto wrapped asparagus. To make, simply blanch your asparagus in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry. I like to chill mine in the fridge for about 30 minutes before working with it again. Next gather a cluster of 3 and wrap them together with a slice of prosciutto. Don't worry if the prosciutto rips, it never stays together for me. I garnished mine with a chive tie and some 18 year aged balsamic vinaigrette. I served these at a Christmas Eve dinner party and although my friends were adversed to asparagus, they enjoyed them quite a bit.
Well enough about healthy stuff, lets move onto the desserts!
I found a chocolate hazelnut icebox cake recipe on Pampered Chef a few months back. I really loved their idea for the hazelnut filling, however I wasn't too excited about their "cake." So I decided to modify a bit. Instead of using their recipe for cake I decided to put together a standard devil's food chocolate cake. I made 4 layers and filled between each layer with the hazelnut filling recipe attached. It was awesome! To make the sides all nice and straight, I froze the cake for a few hours then cut the sides with a bread knife. With the extra cake and filling I also put together some chocolate hazelnut cake martinis. Love the presentation of these!
My third food entry in this blog is something that I made just last week. Graveyard Brownies. I got this idea last halloween, but between the wedding and honeymoon I just didn't have time to make them. So a few weeks back I made up the lime green chocolate candies using a halloween mold and stuck them in the pantry. This is such a great time saver. Make the candies when you have a chance, then when you are ready to make the brownies you don't have to set aside such a large chunk of time. Now is where I confess my brownie making secret. I don't make brownies. Well, I don't make brownies from scratch. Nope, not this girl. I've never had a knack for it. What I use is the Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix. They are wonderful. And make sure you follow the note on the box that tells you not to over bake them! Mine came out all chewy and delicious. After they cooled I added my chocolate pieces and then crumbled up some brownie leftovers to make it look like dirt on top of the brownie. Perfect for any halloween or just your typical Tuesday in March.
Speaking of brownies. About a year ago I was at a pampered chef party in Austin and the host kept going on and on about this nylon knife that they sold which was "perfect" for cutting brownies. I've heard the story before that the best knife to cut brownies with is a plastic knife because the brownie 'gu' won't stick to it. So I though I'd give this nylon knife a try. Before I used it on brownies I used it on other desserts like butterscotch bars, and it worked great. Especially if you make your desserts in a pan that you don't want all scratched up with knife marks. So after my brownies were cooled, I thought this would be the perfect time to try out my nylon knife on brownies, you know, the whole reason I bought it.
I made my first cut, not too bad, second, eh, a little messy, and then by the third, forget it. I guess you could argue that it was less 'guey' than a metal butter knife, but I'm not sure I would say it was much better. So I grabbed my little green knife from Williams Sonoma and gave it a slice. Amazing. No mess, no 'gu', just a perfect cut. See ya nylon knife, I may bring you out for bars, but for brownies, I'm all about my little green WS knife.