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Create a Cold-Weather Solution

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In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) While it can be a challenge, there are several ways to pair food and wine appropriately during winter, despite bitter weather.

Just because it’s colder doesn’t mean it’s time to stop enjoying the lively and nuanced flavors of chilled wine. While once only sipped on warm days of summer, rosé, for example, has become a year-round wine to enjoy any time with its crisp and cool strawberry and rhubarb flavors

A warm, comforting dish, like this Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde from James Beard award-winning chef Jonathan Waxman, combines well with rosé during the cold season. As the chicken roasts in the oven, it warms the kitchen and fills the house with wonderful aromas, tempting any chef or home cook to steal a sip of wine.

One reasonably priced wine that matches chicken well is Angeline California Rosé of Pinot Noir. The crisp flavors of light red fruits combine with the herbs accompanying the chicken. It’ll also complement the many other flavors of winter, when an array of dishes hit the table and challenge hosts to find the right wine to serve.

For more wines that work well in wintertime, visit angelinewinery.com.

Chicken and Salsa Verde

Recipe courtesy of chef Jonathan Waxman13551
Chicken:

1    fresh free-range organic chicken (4 pounds)

sea salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4   cup extra-virgin olive oil

1       lemon

 

Salsa Verde:

1/4    cup capers in salt

4        anchovy filets

3        cloves garlic

1/2     cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2     cup chopped arugula

1/2      cup chopped fresh basil

1/2      cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4      cup chopped tarragon

1/4      cup chopped fresh chives

1/4      cup chopped fresh sage

1          cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4      teaspoon sea salt

 

To make chicken: Heat oven to 450 F.

Wash chicken in hot water. Dry with paper towels.

Using kitchen shears, cut out backbone of chicken and remove any fat (this can be added to chicken stock). Using heavy chef’s knife, cut out breastbone. Season halves with sea salt and black pepper.

Place chicken halves, skin side up, on two sizzle platters and dab with olive oil. Cut lemon in half and place 1 half, cut side down, next to chicken on each platter.

Roast chicken 35 minutes, basting every 10 minutes. When done, remove chicken to platter and pour off excess fat. Cut each breast in half and cut the thigh from the leg. Serve with salsa verde (recipe below) and garnish with roasted lemon.

To make salsa verde: Soak capers in cold water 1 hour then drain.

Soak anchovies in cold water 15 minutes then pat dry and remove bones.

Using mortar and pestle, smash capers, anchovies and garlic, until smooth, then transfer to large bowl.

Add all herbs and olive oi

Season with sea salt.

Pair each serving with Angeline California Rosé of Pinot Noir.

 

February 8, 2017 |

Bake a Batch of Bars for Dessert

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In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) With baking season here, it’s time to turn on the oven, bring out the recipes and enjoy the spicy aromas wafting from the kitchen – a promise of delicious treats ahead.

Bars, whether they are cookie, cake or even pie, are the easiest to make and serve, especially when there’s a crowd clamoring for dessert. You might have a pumpkin or sweet potato bar in your repertoire, but Aunt Nellie’s suggests Carrot Crumble Bars for a change of pace.

Grab a jar of glazed, sliced carrots, slightly sweet and spicy, and ready to enjoy in numerous ways. They are also a great time-saving step for this delicious dessert. They’re cooked and ready to eat, so just puree the entire jar of carrots and add the remaining four ingredients. That’s it for the tasty filling, which is nestled between a crunchy oat crust and topping. Start to finish in under an hour, most of the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen. Plus, they can be made a couple of days in advance and refrigerated until serving time.

The family can enjoy them for a yummy weeknight dessert or make them company-perfect topped with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, sprinkled lightly with pumpkin pie spice. Find this and other recipes from Aunt Nellie’s jarred vegetables at AuntNellies.com.

 

Carrot Crumble Bars13513

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Servings: 16

 

Crust/Topping:

1      cup all-purpose flour

1      cup old-fashioned oats

1/2  cup packed light brown sugar

6      tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

1      jar (15.5 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Glazed Small Sliced Carrots

1      egg, beaten

1/4   cup granulated sugar

1       teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon

1       teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 F.

In large bowl, combine flour, oats and brown sugar. Add butter; stir to coat. Reserve 1/3 cup for topping. Press remaining mixture evenly into bottom of 9-inch square baking pan lined with aluminum foil, if desired. Bake 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and set.

For filling, place carrots and liquid in food processor or blender container; puree until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl. Add egg, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla; stir until well combined. Pour over baked crust.

Sprinkle carrot mixture evenly with reserved crumbs. Bake 30 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate until firm.

Cut into 16 squares. Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 3 days.

Nutritional information per serving: 140 calories; 2 g protein; 22 g carbohydrate; 5 g fat; 70 mg sodium; 23 mg cholesterol; 1 g dietary fiber; 1 mg iron; .09 mg thiamin; 1,230 IU vitamin A; .4 mg vitamin C.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 1, 2017 |

Bring Balance to Family Dinners

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In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) A delicious and nutritious dinner seems like the last thing on everyone’s mind during busy weeks throughout the year. Between sports, school, extracurricular activities, work and everything else going on, sitting down together for dinner seems to be a rare occasion for many families.

Registered dietitian and cookbook author Carolyn O’Neil offers a few quick, simple tips to help bring the family together, one meal at a time.

  • Turn off the TV. When trying to bring everyone together, electronics of any kind – including cell phones – can be a big distraction.
  • Follow guidelines. Americans are only meeting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate recommendations for vegetables, fruit, proteins, dairy and grains seven days out of the year. By pairing frozen meals and pizzas with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy, you can build a family meal that meets the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Start with sides. When meal-planning, don’t forget to think about how you’ll round out your meal with vegetables, fruits, grains and low-fat dairy for a balanced diet. Nestle’s Balance Your Plate program focuses on simple solutions, offering a range of recipes and tips that allow you to choose the perfect pairings to help you build a nutritious and delicious meal.

Frozen entrees are easy to keep on hand for a meal that will be ready to go whenever you need it. O’Neil recommends using the freezer like “nature’s pause button” to save great flavors and good nutrition for when you’re ready to cook. One flavorful option is Stouffer’s Lasagna with Meat and Sauce, which contains ingredients you trust and recognize, with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, and just needs to be popped in the oven before serving.

For a balanced meal the whole family will enjoy, try pairing the lasagna with a Farmers’ Market Salad with Sweet and Spicy Dressing or Sweet Pea Hummus. A frozen meal coupled with a simple side can be the perfect way to balance out a nutritious family dinner.

For more recipes and tips to balance your plate, visit nestleusa.com/balance.

Farmer’s Market Salad with Sweet and Spicy Dressing 13494_A

Recipe courtesy of Carolyn O’Neil on behalf of Stouffer’s

Salad:

1          green apple, diced

1          red apple, diced

1/2       cup thinly sliced green onion

1          cup chopped baby kale

1          cup sliced Napa cabbage

1          cup sliced red cabbage

1/2       cup golden raisins

Dressing:

1/4       cup lemon juice

1/4       cup honey

2          tablespoons hot sauce

2          tablespoons canola oil

1          teaspoon celery salt

1/4       teaspoon black pepper

In small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Store in refrigerator in airtight container up to 3 days.

 

Sweet Pea Hummus

Recipe courtesy of Carolyn O’Neil on behalf of Stouffer’s

2          packages (9 ounces each) frozen sweet peas, thawed13494_B

3          garlic cloves, chopped

3          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2          tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/16     teaspoon table salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1          cucumber, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds.

Place peas and garlic in food processor; with processor running, pour oil through food chute in slow, steady stream, processing until smooth

Stir in lemon juice and salt; season with freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Cover and chill 2 hours.

Serve with cucumber slices.

 

January 25, 2017 |

Find Better Balance for Family Meals This Year

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In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) This New Year, set a realistic resolution to take time to sit down with your family and eat balanced meals together. A few simple solutions and a dash of inspiration are all you need to set the tone for a year of health and wellness.

Last year, Americans were only meeting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate recommendations for vegetables, fruit, protein, dairy and grain consumption one week out of the entire year. While many families try to cook nutritious meals at home, a balanced plate can be hard to achieve. Educational programs, such as Nestlé’s Balance Your Plate, make it simple to create delicious and balanced meals by pairing frozen prepared meals and pizzas with made-from-scratch side dishes, which makes meeting the dietary guidelines a more attainable goal.

Frozen entrees are a convenient starting point for a well-rounded meal.

“It’s so important to me that we sit down as a family and have a nutritious meal,” said Kim Stoegbauer, creative director and founder of The TomKat Studio, who created a few easy ways to add some special touches to your next family dinner.

By pairing Stouffer’s Lasagna with Meat & Sauce, made with ingredients you would find in your own kitchen cupboard, with a homemade Panzanella Salad and Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Balsamic, Stoegbauer demonstrates how easy it is to create a family-friendly meal without the hassle.

“It’s a frozen entree that you can feel good about feeding your family, especially paired with some delicious and easy-to-prepare sides,” Stoegbauer said.

Find more simple, delicious and well-balanced meal ideas to share with your family at nestleusa.com/nutrition/balance.

Panzanella Salad

Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog on behalf of Stouffer’s13583_A
Serves: 8-10

1          whole wheat baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
4          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2          cloves garlic, minced
1          tablespoon Dijon mustard
3          tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1          cup grape tomatoes, halved
1          hothouse cucumber, diced
3          assorted bell peppers, diced
1/2       red onion, diced
10        sprigs basil leaves, julienned

Heat oven to 350 F.

On baking sheet, spread bread in single layer and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

In bowl, whisk together garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper with remaining olive oil to make vinaigrette.

In large bowl, toss ingredients together, making sure to coat all ingredients with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Balsamic
Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog on behalf of Stouffer’s13583_B

Serves: 6

2          pounds asparagus, ends trimmed
1          pint cherry tomatoes
4          garlic cloves, minced
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
reduced balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 375 F.

On baking sheet, toss together all ingredients, except balsamic vinegar. Roast 15 minutes, or until asparagus is tender. Transfer asparagus and tomatoes to platter. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar to taste and serve.

Tip: Add some leftover fresh basil to the top of your lasagna for a pretty and flavorful garnish that complements your sides.

January 18, 2017 |

Bring Maple to Your Table

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In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flavorful food and beverage pairings for winter

(Family Features) Some foods just seem to evoke the smell, taste and feel of chilly weather months.13512

As a beloved fall and winter flavor, maple syrup can be much more than a breakfast condiment or pancake topping – it can be an impressive way to transform simple, seasonal snacks.

A delicious beverage or dessert can be enhanced with the flavor of maple. For example, chef Megan Miller, of Baker Miller in Chicago, recommends the crisp, fresh taste of Homemade Maple Cream Soda as a seasonal beverage that pairs perfectly with the smoky kick of Stacy’s® Fire Roasted Jalapeno Pita Chips – a pantry staple in her home.

For a sweet treat, chef Joanne Chang, of Flour in Boston, suggests New England Maple Apple Dip. This dip delivers the flavors of the season with maple syrup, fresh apples and cinnamon as another delectable accompaniment to pita chips.

By combining these seasonal ingredients, you can create delicious pairings and mouthwatering desserts for winter. Find more chef selections and featured pairings at stacyssnacks.com.

New England Maple Apple Dip
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

1     cup cream cheese

1/2  cup maple syrup

1/2  teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/4  cup Greek yogurt

2     apples, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch cubes

Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips or Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips

Using food processor, blend cream cheese with maple syrup, cinnamon and salt until smooth.

Fold Greek yogurt into cream cheese mixture; mix in apples.

Serve with pita chips.

Homemade Maple Cream Soda

Prep time: 1 minute
Servings: 1

1/2  ounce maple syrup

1      tablespoon warm water

ice cubes

6      ounces sparkling water

orange or lemon, for garnish

Stacy’s Fire Roasted Jalapeno Pita Chips

Stir maple syrup in warm water to dissolve.

Add ice and sparkling water; stir and garnish with orange or lemon.

Serve with pita chips.

 

 

January 11, 2017 |

Warm Up With Comfort Foods

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In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) Enjoying warm comfort foods during winter months can serve as an exceptional way to defeat that icy chill. As the frost sets in and winds howl, nothing beats the comforting taste of delicious foods like Roasted Sonoma Chicken with Wild Rice and Carrot Butter, Beef and Potato Tzimmes, or Pumpkin Butterscotch Bread Pudding.

For more comfort food recipes, visit culinary.net.

 

A Winning Comfort Combination

Almost nothing says comfort food quite like tender, slow-cooked beef and potatoes. Add in sweet honey for a twist on a timeless cold-weather classic and you’re in for a true delight. Find more honey-infused recipes at honey.com.

Beef and Potato Tzimmes13502_aPO

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board

Servings: 6

 

2          tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

2          pounds beef, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

2          cups chopped onion

2          cups carrots, sliced 1-inch thick

2          teaspoons garlic salt

4          cups water, plus 3 tablespoons (optional)

2          cups potatoes, cubed 1-inch thick

2          cups sweet potatoes, cubed 1-inch thick

1/3       cup honey

1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8       teaspoon ground pepper

4          ounces dried apricots

4          ounces pitted prunes

2          tablespoons flour (optional)

2          tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

 

In heavy 5-quart pot over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add beef and brown on all sides.

Remove beef from pan, add remaining oil, if necessary, and saute onion until tender. Return beef to pan; add carrots, garlic salt and 4 cups water to cover ingredients. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour

Add potatoes, sweet potatoes, honey, cinnamon and pepper; stir and return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes, or until potatoes are barely cooked.

Add apricots and prunes and simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until beef is tender. Liquid should be slightly thickened. If necessary, dissolve flour in 3 tablespoons water and stir into stew; return to simmer, stirring frequently.

Sprinkle with parsley before serving, if desired.

 

 

Cozy Up to Comfort Foods

 

(Family Features) Creating a comfort food masterpiece like Roasted Sonoma Chicken with Wild Rice and Carrot Butter is a no-brainer when hunger hits along with chilly winter air. The dish’s warm, captivating spices will help you forget about the frosty climate around you.

But to truly keep winter winds at bay, try pairing your tasty meal with a vibrant, fruit-forward wine, such as Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2014. The wine works well for nearly any occasion, but it’s the perfect complement to bring out the flavors of the roasted chicken thanks to its aromas of raspberry and red currant combining with spice notes of nutmeg and vanilla, which lead to a smooth, elegant finish.

For more wine pairing tips and recipes, visit KenwoodVineyards.com.

Roasted Sonoma Chicken with Wild Rice and Carrot Butter13502_bPO

Recipe courtesy of chef Ari Weiswasser

Serves: 4

4          bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

3/4       cup kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning

1/3       cup sugar

1          gallon water

1          cup carrot juice

4          tablespoons butter, diced

1 1/2    cups wild rice

3 1/3    cups chicken stock

2          large onions, diced

3-4       tablespoons olive oil

2          teaspoons curry spice

2          tablespoons apple cider vinegar

4          tablespoons sun-dried tomato, chopped finely

canola oil or olive oil

1/4       cup parsley, chopped

 

Brine chicken in 3/4 cup salt, sugar and water. Refrigerate 1 hour; pat dry and store overnight, uncovered, in fridge.

Add carrot juice to saucepan and reduce to thick consistency on high heat, 10-15 minutes. Whisk vigorously if juice separates. Whisk in butter. Set aside to cool.

In pot, cover wild rice with chicken stock. Bring to simmer and cook 45 minutes to 1 hour. Season with salt.

Heat oven to 400 F.

In frying pan on medium-high heat, sweat onions in olive oil until soft. Add curry spice and toast until aromatic, 1-2 minutes. Add vinegar and salt; stir well. Fold through sun-dried tomatoes.

Place chicken skin-side up on roasting pan fitted with rack. Brush chicken with canola or olive oil and season with salt. Roast about 25-35 minutes until golden brown; internal temperature should be 165 F. Drizzle with roasting juices; add salt and chopped parsley before plating.

To plate, add carrot butter to wild rice; scoop 1/2 cup onto each dish. Place chicken skin-side up on top of rice. Dollop with onion, curry and tomato mixture.

Pair each serving with a glass of Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2014.

 

Bread Pudding Pick-Me-Up

 

On cold winter nights, sometimes that one last bite to eat before turning in is the key to finishing your day on a happy note. A warm serving of Pumpkin Butterscotch Bread Pudding with a dollop of cool ice cream is sure to do the trick. Find more dessert options at verybestbaking.com.

 

Pumpkin Butterscotch Bread Pudding13502_cPO

Recipe courtesy of Nestlé

Servings: 12

Prep time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 55 minutes

 

1          loaf (14 ounces) cinnamon challah bread or cinnamon brioche, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

4          large eggs

2          cans (12 ounces each) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2 percent Milk

1          can (15 ounces) Libby’s 100 percent Pure Pumpkin

1          cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

1          teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4    teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

1/2       teaspoon salt

2          tablespoons packed brown sugar

1          cup Nestlé Toll House Butterscotch Flavored Morsels

Vanilla Dreyer’s or Edy’s Slow Churned Light Ice Cream

 

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

On rimmed baking sheets, spread bread cubes in single layer. Bake, tossing occasionally, 10 minutes, or until dry.

In large bowl, beat eggs; stir in evaporated milk, pumpkin, 1 cup granulated sugar, vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and salt. Add bread; toss gently to coat. Transfer mixture into prepared baking dish; let stand 30 minutes, or until bread is thoroughly saturated.

Combine brown sugar with remaining granulated sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle morsels over bread mixture; top with brown sugar mixture.

Bake 45-55 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 30 minutes to set. Serve warm with ice cream.

 

(beef stew photo)

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

 

January 4, 2017 |

Holiday Menu Magic

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In Good Taste

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Family Features) Planning ahead for family meals around the holidays can be a headache-inducing practice, but putting to work recipes that everyone can enjoy makes it a much more enjoyable process. By planning out an evening’s worth of courses, you can take care of hungry pre-dinner guests, knock a main dish out of the park and cap off everyone’s night with a spectacular dessert.

These recipes for Culinary Education Center House Fondue, Pan Chicken with Grapefruit Shallots and Mint Sauce, and Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake will help keep everybody satisfied throughout the party, from start to finish. Find more holiday recipes at culinary.net.

 

Fruit and Fowl for Family

Make your meal delightfully tasty with simple-to-create Pan Chicken with Grapefruit Shallots and Mint Sauce. This quick, easy recipe pairs succulent chicken with sweet Texas grapefruit juice, which provides a light flavor enhancement and a fat-free source of beneficial components such as vitamin A, vitamin C and lycopene. Find more recipes that take advantage of grapefruit’s quality and taste at Texasweet.com.

Pan Chicken with Grapefruit Shallots and Mint Sauce13392_aPO

Servings: 4

1/4       teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste

1/4       teaspoon coarse black pepper, plus additional, to taste

4          boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved

3          teaspoons olive oil, divided

1/4       cup shallots

1/4       teaspoon crushed red pepper

1          cup chicken broth

1/2       cup fresh Texas Rio Star Grapefruit juice

1          tablespoon minced mint, divided

2          teaspoons all-purpose flour

4          mint leaves

 

Salt and pepper chicken

In large skillet, heat half the oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sear until both sides are browned well, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to plate and tent with foil.

Reduce heat to medium and add remaining oil to pan. Add shallots and crushed red pepper. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

In small bowl, whisk together broth, grapefruit juice, half the minced mint and flour. Add to skillet. Cook, whisking until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

Return chicken to skillet with juices; reduce heat to low. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Serve chicken with sauce spooned over. Use remaining minced mint and mint leaves to garnish.

Melted and Amazing

From the presentation to the pairings, it’s easy to make an ordinary spread extraordinary this holiday season. Cheese is a good starting place for properly pairing food and wine to make flavors more vibrant. Take this year’s event to the next level with this Culinary Education Center House Fondue to bring the wow-factor to your gathering by combining three melted cheeses with light wine for an enjoyable appetizer. To find more ways to incorporate cheese into your holiday entertaining, visit rothcheese.com.

Culinary Education Center House Fonduex-default

Cook time: 45 minutes

Servings: 6

3/4       pound Grand Cru Original, shredded

3/4       pound Grand Cru Reserve, shredded

1/2       pound Roth Fontina, shredded

16        ounces Pinot Grigio or other light- to medium-bodied white wine

1          loaf crusty artisan bread

fresh apples, grapes and pears

black and white pepper (optional)

nutmeg (optional)

 

In ceramic fondue pot, combine cheeses and wine; stir to combine. Allow mixture to soak 15-30 minutes.

Heat mixture over low heat, approximately 7-10 minutes, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Do not allow mixture to boil. When cheese has melted completely, remove from heat and transfer to tabletop burner.

Serve fondue with chunks of bread and fruit. If desired, provide pepper and/or nutmeg guests can sprinkle onto a plate and use for dipping bread and cheese. Pair with chilled dry Riesling and a shot of authentic Swiss kirschwasser.

A Chocolatey Finishing Touch

There’s no better way to round out a holiday party than with a delicious dessert, especially one packed with everyone’s favorite ingredient – chocolate. This candy-coated Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake can put the finishing touch on your holiday celebration. Find more scrumptious dessert recipes at nestle.com.

 

Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake13392_cPO

Servings: 12

3/4       cup Nestlé Toll House Baking Cocoa, plus extra for coating pans

2 1/4    cups cake flour

2          teaspoons baking soda

1          teaspoon fine salt

1 1/4    cups buttermilk, at room temperature

1/2       cup brewed coffee or water

2          teaspoons vanilla extract

1          cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2          cups superfine sugar

4          large eggs, at room temperature

2-3       containers (16 ounces each) prepared chocolate frosting, or about 3 3/4-5 1/2 cups homemade

1-2       Nestlé Crunch Candy Bars, finely chopped

24-36   pieces Nestlé Butterfinger Bites Candy, finely chopped

 

Heat oven to 350 F.

Grease bottoms of three 8- or 9-inch-round cake pans; line with parchment or wax paper circle. Grease parchment then coat lightly with small amount of cocoa, tapping out excess.

In large bowl, sift together flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt. In small bowl, combine buttermilk, coffee and vanilla extract.

In large mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth. Beat in sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; beat again. Alternately add flour mixture in three additions with buttermilk mixture in two additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl; beat again. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.

Bake 20-25 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Invert each layer onto wire rack; remove parchment paper then invert right-side-up. Cool completely.

To assemble, level cakes (trim tops off), if desired, using serrated knife. Place dollop of frosting in center of cake pedestal or serving platter. Tear four strips of parchment paper and place in square around outer 3 inches of pedestal.

Place one cake layer over dollop of frosting. Spread about 1 cup frosting over top; sprinkle top evenly with about 1/4 cup chopped candy bar. Top with another cake layer; spread with about 1 cup frosting. Sprinkle with remaining chopped candy bar. Top with third cake layer. Cover top and sides with thin layer of frosting.

Refrigerate 15 minutes then cover with remaining frosting. With hands, press chopped candy pieces around sides of cake. After frosting has set, gently remove strips of parchment paper.

Cut cake into slices to serve.

December 21, 2016 |
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