It's been well documented here that I love love love my sweets, so it's no surprise that the best part of the cooking cousins weekend was the desserts. Yeah, everything we made here was super super awesome, but the desserts were the standouts. Oooooohed and awwwwed over. Eyes-rolled-back-in-the-head they were that good. Some even cooed. Ok, I cooed, but couldn't help it. I was eating a strawberry chocolate springroll. You would coo too!!!
When Leanne and I were texting back and forth over the menu, as soon as she said, "I'm going to make chocolate springrolls", I thought, holy smoke, this is going to be one helluva weekend! I COULD NOT WAIT to see how these were made. Leanne and Brian, like many of you I'm sure, religiously watch The Food Network (I don't have cable, so I almost never see it. If I did have The Food Network I'm not sure I would ever leave my house.) and some dude was making these springrolls, and well, they were hooked. Simple process really, make a chocolate and strawberry filling, add some nuts, if you like, freeze it. Then chop the frozen filling into bar shapes, wrap in egg roll wrappers, and deep fry. Heavens, yes. We served them with Leanne's homemade chocolate sauce, and if you like caramel, try this amazing sauce to go with the springrolls too. Delicious.
Leanne's Strawberry Chocolate Springrolls
Melt: 3 100g Dark Chocolate Bars (Lindt 85% Cocoa was used in the recipe) plus
4 1 oz. semi-sweet baking squares.
To this melted chocolate, add 2 cups sliced strawberries and a handful of nuts. Leanne used peanuts, but use whatever you like. Press in a parchment lined 9x13 baking dish, and freeze. Great to make a day or two ahead. While it's frozen, chop into bar-shaped chunks.
Using egg roll wrappers, (Leanne used 1.5 packages), place one chunk in the middle of the wrapper. Dampen the edges, and fold corners in around the chocolate. Set aside. When all are wrapped, heat vegetable oil in a large pot on stove. I'm not very scientific about deep frying, so I'm just going to tell you that when the oil is hot, start deep frying a few at a time, until golden. Set aside, and keep frying until all are done. Serve with chocolate and caramel sauces, and why not add some whipped cream too? But I say that about almost all the desserts!
Lately I'm all about the rhubarb. There are so many great recipes abounding, I have to try them all! Well not quite, but I'm trying. I made this cake here, and I'm brainstorming another incredible rhubarb dessert to serve this weekend, but you have to hang onto your hat for that one. This Rhubarb Tart with Brown Butter Streusel was no slouch either. The Epicurious people described it as "a country tart meets city topping..." and me being a city girl heading to the country for the weekend, well it seemed somehow apropos. I'm a farm girl at heart, after all.
When you make the streusel with brown butter, you'll wonder why you haven't done it sooner! It adds a lovely nutty flavour to an already buttery, crumbly almond topping. The crust is one of those straightforward shortbread types you press into your tart pan, and par bake. (Can I just give a shout out to IKEA, and how much I loved baking this tart in their $6.95 tart pan? Deal of the day!) And the fresh rhubarb shines through all of the butter and sugar, more and more delicious with every bite. Again, a side of whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream would put this over the edge. There were leftovers in the fridge and I almost snuck down from my attic guest room to have a slice in the middle of the night. But I didn't want to be rude because I'm hoping for another invitation to their wonderful farm. Maybe I'll even get a chance to drive a tractor!
Rhubarb Tart With Brown Butter Streusel
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
4 tbsp chilled whipping cream
9 tbsp (135g) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup golden brown sugar, packed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup all purpose flour
5 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp grated lemon peel
To make the crust: In a food processor, or with a pastry blender, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, and cut in the butter until coarse meal forms. Add egg yolk, and 3 tbsp of cream. Blend until moist clumps form, adding more cream if dough is dry. Gather dough into a ball, and press it into a 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom, to make 1/4 inch crust. Pierce crust all over with fork, and chill for at least 2 hours.
To make streusel: Cook butter in large skillet over medium heat, until golden, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add nuts, sugar and cinnamon. Add flour and stir until moist clumps form. Cool completely. (Crust and streusel can be made one day ahead.)
For filling: Preheat oven to 375*F. Toss all filling ingredients in a bowl, let stand until filling looks moist, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Bake cold crust until golden, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, reduce oven temp to 350*F.
Spoon filling into warm crust. Crumble streusel over filling. Bake until filling is bubbling and streusel is crisp and brown, about 1 hour. Cool tart on rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm, or room temp. Serves 8-10. Adapted from Bon Appetit.
I slept like a baby in the cozy attic, not even banging my head once!