When I first saw Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads I thought that this was a very cool idea but how would I fit it into the theme of my blog? Then as I thought about it I realized that I have several historical themed cookbooks – from the Newport Mansions, Old Sturbridge Village, and one that features recipes honoring First Lady Sarah Polk! A fun twist on the traditional historical blogging.
So here is my first post in this series – this should have technically been the second, however I was sick last weekend so that didn’t happen.
So as this is the first post, I want to introduce you to this awesome cookbook from the Newport Mansion – it’s called Entertaining Newport Style. The recipes in here require moderate skill but some are extremely simple. It is broken up into 8 sections – one for each of the major mansions and features 13 themes such as Wicker Picnic on a Boat, French Inspired Formal Dinner Party etc. The recipes are things representative of items/menus that may have been served at the Mansions. There are also some great tidbits like how to fold napkins and select wines. Useful recipes for basically all occasions.
The theme that I pulled these two recipes from is Holiday Open House at the Elms - very timely.
|The entryway of The Elms|
The first is very easy and didn’t take too much skill on my part. This was super easy. I made my own double boiler from the mixing bowl of my Kitchenaid over a pot of water and that worked great. I'm not a fan of peppermint so I haven't tried these but they will go out on Christmas at my family's house!
States 6 servings but I think it is more like 20!
25 small peppermint candies or 12 candy canes
32 oz good quality white chocolate, finely chopped (I used Ghirardelli)
1) Line a 10x15 inch pan with foil
2) Place the peppermint candy in a plastic bag and pound gently with a mallet until crushed.
3) Place the white chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Cook over low heat until the white chocolate is melted, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Stir in the peppermint candies.
4) Pour the mixture into the pan, spreading evenly with a spatula. Chill 1 hour or until set. Break brittle into pieces and serve.
Now how about something a little more challenging?!
Chocolate Kahlua Truffles
States makes 24 truffles, I would say closer to 16 if you make the size they say
½ cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoon (T) Kahlua (I used Mocha flavored)
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate pieces (I used Ghirardelli)
4 T butter, softened
½ cup powdered unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons (t) ground cinnamon
Powdered sugar for dusting
1) Bring cream to a boil in a small pan and reduce to 2 Tablespoons (constantly stir or it will burn!) Remove from heat and stir in Kahlua and chocolate. Stir over low heat until chocolate melts.
2) Whisk in softened butter until smooth (and shiny). Transfer to a shallow bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 45 mins to 1 hour.
3) Separately, combine cocoa and cinnamon in shallow bowl
4) Using a melonballer or teaspoon, scoop up chocolate and shape into 1-inch balls. Roll truffle balls in cocoa-cinnamon mixture and dust with powdered sugar.
5) Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve
This was a little more challenging. The key to step 1 is to constantly stir the cream and give it the time to thicken down to the 2 Tablespoons. It takes about 5 minutes. I didn’t find the dusting aspect easy – it didn’t stick to the cinnamon/cocoa mixture, so it looks splotchy and they are not perfectly round. But they taste SO good!! I’m not sure they had Kahlua back then, but I’m sure they had something like this!
Hope you all enjoyed this tasty treat and have a great Christmas tomorrow!
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