All of our prep took place in our hotel room that had a full kitchen. Here are dessert plates ready to go on the extra bed:
Behind the scenes with the cocoa powder stencil:
Here we are lined up for service:
Dessert included a chocolate-dipped "North Beach Cannoli", a Nutella Mousse Parfait garnished with Hazelnut Crunch, a Triple Layer Cookie Bar with toffee shortbread, caramel, Ghiardelli chocolate, and sprayed edible gold, and a red heart chocolate IN San Francisco!
Dessert was served with Lou and Jane's Buena Vista Irish Coffee:
Nutella Mousse Parfaits: Palma
8 oz. mascarpone cheese (room temp)
1 c. Nutella
1/2 cup Nutella for melting
1 1/2 c. cold heavy whipping cream
1/2 t. espresso powder
1 T. Frangelico Liquore or hazelnut extract
Place 1 cup Nutella and espresso powder in a bowl in microwave, and heat in 10 second intervals, stirring until smooth. Beat with mascarpone cheese until smooth. Melt
remaining 1/2 c. Nutella and set aside.
Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add Frangelico, and beat a few seconds longer until Frangelico is incorporated. Fold Nutella-mascarpone mixture into whipped cream and spoon into small cups or glasses. Alternate layers of mousse and melted Nutella.
Praline Chocolate Crunch: Elizabeth Falkner
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups blanched hazelnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon hazelnut or vegetable oil
4 ounces dark chocolate (do not exceed 72% cacao), chopped
4 ounces high-quality milk chocolate (such as Lindt or Scharffen Berger), chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cup puffed rice cereal or crushed cornflakes
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and cook without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until amber in color, 7–8 minutes. Stir in hazelnuts, then pour onto 1 prepared sheet, separating nuts. Let cool.
Transfer candied nuts to a food processor. Add hazelnut oil and purée until smooth to make praline paste.
Combine both chocolates and 3 T. praline paste in a medium metal bowl (reserve remaining praline paste for praline mousse layer). Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in salt, then cereal. Spread out in a thin layer (about 1/8") on second pre-pared baking sheet. Chill until set, about 30 minutes
Chocolate-dipped Cannoli with Orange-Ricotta Filling: Tyler Florence
12 mini cannoli shells
12 oz. chocolate
1 lb. good-quality ricotta cheese
8 oz powdered sugar
1 tsp fresh orange zest
3 oz. chopped citron (candied orange peel)
2 t. vanilla
Melt chocolate over a double boiler and dip half of each cannoli shell in the chocolate. Allow any excess chocolate to drip off then lay shells out on a waxed paper-lined tray to set while you prepare the filling.
For the filling:
Line a colander with muslin, add the ricotta and let drain until very dry. Squeeze out any excess moisture in muslin. Place the ricotta into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high for 5 to 7 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add sugar, orange zest, chopped candied orange peel and vanilla, then mix on medium until just combined. Place the filling into a piping bag and fill chocolate dipped cannoli with the mixture. Serve as soon as possible.
Ghiardelli-Toffee-Caramel Bars: Palma
For the shortbread:
1 pound (4 sticks) butter
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup Rice flour (found in Asian section of any market)
One package Heath Toffee Chips
Cream butter and sugar. Stir together 2 kinds of flour and add half at a time. Add toffee chips. Form six balls of dough and spread in a jelly roll pan. Flatten evenly with hands. Prick all over with fork. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let cool thoroughly on a wire rack.
For the caramel layer:
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups packed brown sugar
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the chocolate layer:
12 ounces Ghiardelli semisweet chocolate chips
For the caramel layer:
In a medium saucepan, add condensed milk, brown sugar, butter, syrup and salt. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves.
Bring mixture to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture darkens and reaches 237 degrees F. on a candy thermometer.
Remove from the heat, and whisk in vanilla. Pour mixture evenly over the cooled shortbread crust.
Immediately sprinkle chocolate over hot caramel layer, and spread. Cool. Cut into bars.
Keep in fridge. Optional: Spray with edible gold
Buena Vista Irish Coffee (recipe copied from Buena Vista brochure, 1950's)
"Irish Coffee...the drink of music and magic...was conceived by Joe Sheridan at Shannon Airport. Stan Delaplane brought it back to San Francisco with him. The Buena Vista serves it, just as it is served in Shannon and using the perfect 7-year old, pot still, Irish whiskey. Try it and taste for yourself." (Buena Vista, 2765 Hyde St., San Francisco)
1. Pre-heat glass with very hot water. Fill and let stand a few seconds, then empty.
2. Fill glass three-fourths full of hot, black coffee before glass has cooled. Drop three cocktail cubes of sugar into coffee.
3. Stir until dissolved completely.
4. Add full jigger of Irish whiskey for correct taste and body.
5. By pouring over a spoon, top with a head of lightly whipped whipping cream.
6. .....your Irish coffee is ready to enjoy-serve to your guests while piping hot.