Friday, March 29, 2013

Chocolate Dessert Pasta with Chocolate Cream Cheese Raspberry Sauce

Easter is upon us...and there's just something remarkably traditional about chocolate for this holiday right? I don't know why my thoughts have turned to chocolate pasta. Maybe it is the eggs and the chocolate in the noodles that made me think of Easter. Maybe I'm just a little bit of a freak-o-nature when it comes to chocolate in general.  If I was absolutely honest, I'd say that I don't really need a holiday for the advent of a chocolate dessert but I do love that I have a Upcoming Class on Tuesday with my darling friend Matthew Grunwald here in Arizona. Matt is making some crazy-delicious homemade ravioli and I'm covering dessert. 

That being said, I can't help but share this great recipe using food storage ingredients from my friends down at Honeyville Farms to celebrate the class and give those of you who are out of town the chance to share in the happiness! I'm their company chef if you're wondering how I'm connected to Honeyville Farms. I couldn't be happier with them as a company and as dear friends. As far as's your little piece of happiness right here darlings!

Tess' Chocolate-Hazelnut Dessert Pasta
For the pasta: Sift together the flour, cocoa, cocoa mix, egg crystals and salt and mound the flour mixture in a large bowl or on a clean work surface. Hollow out the center and add water, oil and emulsion. Gently mix together with a fork. Gradually start incorporating the flour by pulling in the flour from the sides of the well. As you incorporate more of the flour, the dough will start to take shape. Once it gets thick, you can use a spatula to incorporate the rest of the flour.

If the dough is too dry, add a little water. If the dough is too wet or sticky, add a little flour. Once the dough comes together, knead the dough on a clean work surface until it becomes smooth, about 8 minutes. Shape into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge, 20 to 30 minutes. 

Divide your rested dough into quarters and work with one piece at a time, covering your other pieces to keep them moist. Flour each piece lightly, shape it into a rectangular shape and put it through a pasta sheeter attachment, starting at the widest setting. Run the dough once through the largest setting, fold it into thirds and run it through one more time. Then run the pasta through the sheeting attachment once on every number, stopping at 5 or 6, depending on how thick you would like it. Lightly flour the rolled out pasta sheet and fold in half. Take your chef knife and cut ribbons about a 1/2-inch thick, then unravel the pasta ribbons and place on a floured baking sheet to keep from sticking. 

Cook the chocolate pasta in a large pot of boiling water, 3 minutes. Immediately remove the pasta from the water and toss gently with the sauce (below) and a little of the pasta cooking water to help with the consistency. 
Cream Cheese Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce:
8 oz dark chocolate (chopped), 6 oz heavy cream, ¼ cup cream cheese, ¼ cup  Hazelnut Hot Cocoa Mix, ¼ cup freeze-dried raspberries, ¼ tsp orange brandy or hazelnut LorAnn flavored oil, ½ cup toasted hazelnuts for garnish.
Directions: Place the chocolate in a metal bowl. Simmer the cream, cream cheese, coco mix raspberries and flavored oil together until cream cheese is melted and mixture begins to boil. Pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth. Pour warm over chocolate pasta. Toss. Garnish with toasted hazelnuts and fresh berries if desired.

There you go my darlings! Make some delightful chocolate pasta. It's a really remarkable dessert!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Popcorn(ball) Cake from the Mega Mom

 This is a  great idea from my mother. I love her (not just because she sends me happy boxes full of sugar popcorn). We've lived in AZ for the last 18 years and every year since I've had kids, my mom has sent a fun Easter package to us. Without fail, there's always one of these easy traveling desserts. She calls them... popcornball cake. Hail the mother. Thank you mom! I felt the love yesterday opening your box of goodies!

Here's my version of the recipe:

Chef Tess Bakeresse'
Honey-Fruity-Cutie-Gelatin Popcorn Balls Cake

1/2 cups uncooked Popcorn (or 9 cups popped corn)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup  honey
 Jello (1 3 oz box, any flavor)
½ tsp Real Salt
3 qt. cooking pot or hot air popper
Large bowl
Lucero Chocolate Infused EVOO   for popping and coating your hands

1. Gather all ingredients and supplies together.
2. Pop the unpopped kernels. Over high heat, pour enough oil into the saucepot to cover the bottom of the pan and be about 1/4 inches deep. Place three kernels into the pan and then cover. Once the three kernels have popped, add the remaining kernels. Listen closely to the pan. Once you hear the popping slow substantially, the popcorn is done. Remove from the burner and pour the popped corn into your bowl. Season the popcorn with Real Salt.
3. Combine granulated sugar, honey and  gelatin in a heavy saucepan. Stir slightly and bring to a full rolling boil over medium high heat.
4. Remove gelatin mixture from stove top and pour over popped corn. Blend well, until all of the popcorn is coated. Allow to cool a few minutes before shaping into popcorn cake {Note: you can add up to 1 cup of nuts, candy corns, jelly beans, Boston Baked Bean candies, red hots...etc. at this point.}

5. Shape popcorn into cake using lightly oiled hands and pressing into a well oiled 10 inch round by 5 inch deep cake pan (lined with parchment if possible). 

Get the printable popcorn ball recipe Here

There you go my darlings! A simple and fun idea for Easter!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Chef Tess on Fox 10 for Easter Segment Link

If you missed our segment: Chef Tess on Fox 10 it was a lot of fun! You can see it here

For all the recipes and ideas, see the post! Xoxo!

Have fun my darlings!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Egg Basket Buns and Andrea's Almond Cookies

I don't know what I love more, being able to be with friends on Easter or getting to eat some things I don't get every week! Today I was blessed to see my friends Syleste Rodrigez and Andrea Robinson down at Fox 10! Here are the recipes from the show! Easter bread baskets, naturally colored Easter eggs, and of course, Andrea Robinson's favorite new cookies!

Easter bread is an institution in many countries around the world and I for one am not going to let this holiday go by without an egg bread post. Today I'm sharing an idea inspired by my darling Jan D'Atri! She sent over an adorable picture of a bread like this and I couldn't stop my bread-making self from making them!

Tess' Easter Egg Bread Baskets

Adapted from an Originally published recipe as Easter Egg Bread in Taste of Home April/May 2003, p41
Prep: 35 min. + rising Bake: 30 min. + cooling

Yield: 16 Servings
6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
6 eggs (for dough)
6 hard-cooked eggs (and egg dye if desired)
Canola oil
2 tablespoons water
Colored decorative sugar


  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom and salt. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add 5 eggs; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Dye hard-cooked eggs; lightly rub with oil. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into 6 pieces. Shape each portion into a 12-in. rope. Twist into a snail on  a sheet pan, about 3 inched apart. 
     For naturally colored Golden Easter Eggs:
    Combine 1/2 cup vinegar with 1-2T crushed Annatto seeds (Annatto is commonly used in Latin American and Caribbean cuisines as both a coloring and flavoring agent.) and 4 cups water. Add 6 eggs and simmer on low heat 20-25 minutes. Remove eggs from the annatto water and place on a dry towel. Allow to cool.

  •  Tuck dyed eggs into center of bun. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes.
  • Beat water and remaining egg; gently brush over dough. Sprinkle with decorative colored sugar. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 6 large nests.

Andrea Robinson is on a gluten-free, grain-free diet. These cookies were just what the doctor ordered! She loved them "especially the chewiness" and I think you'll love them as well!

Andrea's Almond-Raspberry Speckled Egg cookies
3 cups almond flour almond flour
½ cup agave nectar
½ cup organic granular erythritol(natural sweetener)
½ cup organic coconut oil
½ tsp baking powder
2 T powdered egg whites (Ova-easy brand)*
¼ tsp salt
1T natural vanilla bean paste

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients well. Roll into 2 dozen 1 inch balls and lightly flatten and pinch into an egg shape, 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake 7-10 minutes until golden brown. Yield 2 dozen cookies.* if you do not have egg white powder, you can use 2 egg whites and reduce the agave nectar to 1/4 cup. The cookies won't be as sweet, but it will work.

There you go my darlings! Some great ideas for Easter! Enjoy.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Treats, Centerpieces and Bread Ideas... Segment on Fox 10 AZ AM

 Tomorrow morning on our local Fox 10 Arizona Morning I'll be sharing some great ideas for Easter breads, treats and centerpieces to help celebrate the holiday season! I'm excited!

We'll be talking about Bunny bark (white chocolate mango and toasted walnut bark)..
 Hazelnut mousse pots...

 Turning those into a stunning centerpiece for the dessert table...
 Along with some fun cupcake ideas...

 Plus some great new decorative edible breads!
If I don't cover it all in the 4 minutes I have to talk...why of course we'll share all the details here!

In the meantime, I'm working away on the post for tomorrow! I can't wait to share the goodness with you!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Time Mother's Day Bread Class with Lin Sue Cooney

Remember all the fun we've had with the amazing, remarkable, talented and fun Lin Sue Cooney and her bakery Sweet-Stops?!! Well I've got something awesome to share with you!
 It is a month away, but I can't stop myself from telling you what I've been baking today! Mother's Day braids and Forget-Me-Knots (glorious dinner rolls)! What do you think? Aren't they just fantastic?!!
 The pearls and lace one turned out really pretty! 
 All that being said, I get to visit my friend Lin Sue Cooney from NBC 12 here in Phoenix for a wonderful joint class in May out at Honeyville! We're teaching Mother's Day Breads like this on May 3rd!  If you're interested in joining us, contact the number below:

There you go!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cooking hard-boiled Easter eggs without water...Yes. It can be done.

It has been a solar cooking week! You have got to try this! I thought I'd share a quick post today on how to cook eggs without boiling water using a cardboard egg tray! I did them this weekend just by popping them into the  All American Sun Oven right next to my supper pot! In a regular oven, it won't work. They'll explode because of the uneven heating of the egg. In a sun oven, you get remarkable even cooking that mimics the even cooking temperature of boiling water enveloping the eggs...but all dry!

Here's what you do:

Visit my guest post...Honeyville Farms Cookin' Cousins

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Peaches and cream sourdough vanilla-bean bread pudding with rose petal and chocolate truffle baked

It has been an amazing week full of sun-cooked meals and today I have to share one of my favorite comfort desserts! It is a tender custard with deep flavor that lingers on your tongue and settles like a wave of love in your soul. Yes. It is that good. The secret of course is using a really remarkable full-flavored sourdough bread. I'm not talking about a regular bread dough with a little vinegar, I'm talking about a long, slow-fermented, full-throttle loaf of bread. Apple Sourdough is my favorite. If you don't have an Apple Sour Starter (yeah I just gave you the link to the starter) and a homemade sourdough loaf, then by all means, find a good baker who will make one for you. 

Here's my recipe:

  • 4 cups  Apple Sourdough bread cubes, about 1/3 the loaf
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk (I don't know why I prefer this but I do!)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar or natural sugar alternative
  • 1 tsp  LorAnn Madagascar Vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp crushed dehydrated rose petal (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Saigon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dry freeze dried peaches (fresh peaches use 1 cup chopped. Reduce water by 1/2 cup)

Directions: Find your coolest whisk. Flick all the ingredients except the bread in a medium sized bowl and crank the whisk around until everything is mixed really well. It also helps to wear some kind of ceremonial batter-whisking garb...I'm not showing you what I was wearing. Use your imagination. The hat alone, complete with hot-pink rick-rack and google-eyed troll dolls is worth seeing. No. I'm still not showing you my secret hat... I digress. 
Place the bread cubes in a 3 quart casserole.
Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Pause. Sniff the pan and notice how delightful it smells. Giggle with glee. Try not to look like an idiot. 
Cover and place in a pre-heated solar oven (regular oven you'll need to increase the water by 1/3 cup).
Bake at 350 degrees for 2-3 hours solar (1 1/2 hour regular oven).   Remove from oven. Use a hot-pad. Seriously. Don't hurt yourself Tiger. 
Now. Drizzle with some rum ganache...aka...chocolate truffle sauce.
Evil Truffle sauce
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp LorAnn Rum Bakery emulsion
Sauce directions: In a small pot, bring whipping cream and rum emulsion to a boil. Place chocolate in a 1/2 quart metal mixing bowl. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and mix well with a wire whisk until smooth. Dip your face in the bowl and suck the sauce down like a freak-of-nature. Optional. Yeah. When sauce has chilled slightly, it will thicken like a chocolate truffle. Feel free to just put the glorious wad of chocolate right on top of the warm bread pudding...

In a minute or two, it will cascade down the mountain of fluffy custard like a waterfall of glory. At this point, a spoon to eat the confection is recommended, but I never enforce that rule.  Just remember to wipe your face and nostrils before you open the front door and your bishop and his wife are standing there with a welcome-wagon pie...that's embarrassing. Of course, you could invite them in for some custard...and a spoon. 
There you go my darlings! A delightful and completely remarkable dessert. It is comforting, classic, and just down-right pretty!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

Monday, March 18, 2013

2 Sun Cooked Meals baked at once!

 I switched out my regular corned beef and cabbage with a braised lamb and 5 grain stew for St. Patrick's Day. In addition, I made a new food storage recipe for turkey and stuffing casserole. I decided, "what the hey-diddly-dooo"...and stacked the pots to cook all at once in my New All American Sun Oven  from Honeyville! It had been a while since I did a lot of new stuff in my solar oven but cooking with the owner of Sun Oven International, Paul Munsen,  inspired me! As a random side note, on St. Patrick's day I decided wearing a kilt to church wasn't going to happen, so stacking pans while I was away would have to do it. Then of course that is when my son got sick and I had to stay home anyway. No. I didn't wear a kilt. I know you were curious.

The best part of doing two meals, was I didn't have to cook dinner the next day. I simply cooled the stuffing meal and put it in the fridge for re-heating later. It was ready to go. Two meals at a time is an awesome way to do dinner! I'm hooked!

Food Storage Turkey Stuffing Casserole
Thank you to for the specialty ingredients!

2 1/2 cups Honeyville Freeze dried turkey (about 1 1/2 lbs fresh chopped turkey equivalent)
1 cup Honeyville freeze dried mushroom
1/2 cup Honeyville  freeze dried bell pepper
1/2 cup Honeyville freeze dried celery
1/4  cup Honeyville dehydrated onion
1/2 cup Honeyville milk powder
1/2 cup Honeyville cheese sauce powder
1 tsp Chef Tess French Provencal essential seasoning

4 cups Chef Tess Homemade Stove Cook Stuffing

It is possible to make this a shelf stable meal (up to 6 months) if you use a PET container with a metal lid and ring. I like using this one...a lot. My son Face asks for it weekly! To do so, place the turkey mixture in the bottom of a half-gallon jar and place the stuffing mix in a bag on top.  Remember it is important that the stuffing be very very dry for storage! 

To prepare: Combine the turkey mixture with 4 cups warm water. Allow to hydrate about 10 minutes. Top with dry stuffing mix and lightly push the stuffing down into the turkey mixture. Cover and bake in the solar oven at 300 degrees for least 35 minutes ( up to 6 hours covered if you are out and about) 

Now for the stew...

Tess' Lamb and Oat 5 Grain Sun-Cooked Stew
1 lb fresh cubed lamb, boneless
3T olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup baby carrots
2T tomato paste
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup whole oat groats
2T Whole rye
2T Whole red wheat
2T whole white wheat
2T Pearl barley
2 1/2 cups water or stock

Directions: Place the sun oven pan on the stove and bring olive oil to a very hot temperature. Sear the lamb in the pan until brown. Remove from the heat. Add remaining ingredients and cover with a tight fitting lid.
Place in a solar oven and bake until cooked through, about 3 hours. It can be kept in the solar oven up to 6 hours without any loss of quality. 

I simply stacked the two pans, put the lid on the top and put the solar oven facing south toward the sun in my yard. I walked away for 4 hours and when I came back, we had a delightful dinner waiting! 

There you go! Two new meals to make in a solar oven!

Always My Very Best, 
Your Friend Chef Tess