Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Nun soup and chocolate ganache

In Alhambra an awesome order of Carmelites holds a boutique before Christmas every year, and I bought some soup mix-- a jar of dry beans and a recipe-- and made it yesterday, adding ham hocks, garlic, tomatoes, onion, chili powder and other good things. Juice from a whole lemon brightened up the taste. I really like this soup but it would've been even better with bacon (but I didn't have time to make and add it) or more spices (but I have no idea which ones).

We consumed the results at dinner, along with some pumpkin bread bought by my friends at the Dominican cloister in Hollywood. Those nuns are situated on prime land, at the foot of the Hollywood Hills just below the famous sign, and I hear they've often been asked to sell for big bucks. But they have chosen to stay, figuring Hollywood needs their prayers.

If nuns provided the dinner it's obviously a Catholic dinner, so by definition dessert must have been... a Catholic dessert! I made the brownies I was drooling over in this post. They were easy and the best part was having two bowls to lick out, brownie mix and cookie mix. But honestly I've had better bar cookies than this. The brownie mix I used is great alone with white chocolate chips and instant coffee added, and the chocolate chip cookie mix I used was nothing to the chocolate chip cookies I can make from scratch. Yet this recipe did add an item of greatness to my repertoire: the chocolate ganache topping recommended by Bakerella. I'd never made ganache before and was delighted to find that in spite of its French name it's a snap to make, easier than regular frosting. You just heat up butter and cream, pour that over chocolate chips, wait 20 seconds, and stir. At first the chocolate stayed in a lump and didn't want to mix in, as if it had overheated, but with a whisk and a little time it all resolved into a smooth, thick, yummy ganache. I poured it on the brownies and spread it out a little and it set up very nicely in the fridge. You can see for yourself how ridiculously good it looks. :) A bit of mint or vanilla in there would be fun to try too...


adonela said...

Martha Stewart had this recipe posted. I thought about you.

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes for 2010.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for tins
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for tins
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vanilla Cream
Chocolate-Ganache Glaze

Mery Widjaja said...


Rachel Gray said...

Yeah, those look good! Who is she to tell me I have to wait a year?

adonela said...

you're right. Go ahead and bake to your heart's content. I just don't want to hurt your feelings when I don't indulge with the rest of you.