In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures. ~ Gibran

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Make and Take, June 11, 2010

Make and Take ~ June 2010, Happy Chocolate Puddles!

What a fun Make and Take!  Jean provided a playground for us to express our inner chocolate fantasies.  Over 10 different toppings to combine in clever ways on top our chocolate puddles!  I suggest you DO try this at home!

 Happy Chocolate Puddles
We used the Trader Joe's large dark and milk chocolate bars.  Melted them in glass bowls in the microwave and then ladled them onto parchment paper.  Jean cut a disc to guide making the shape so that the puddle would fill the CD envelope window.  Once the puddles are formed decorate the tops to your liking.  Jean had many to choose from.

Candied Orange
From Food Network Kitchens

Makes approx. 2 cups of peel slices 

  • 6 thick-skinned Valencia or navel oranges
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 1/2 cups water
Cut tops and bottoms off of the orange and score the orange into quarters, cutting down only into the peel and not into the fruit. Peel the skin and pith of the orange in large pieces, use the orange for another recipe. Cut the peel into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Put the orange peel in a large saucepan with cold water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat. Then pour off the water. Repeat 1 or 2 more times depending up how assertive you want the orange peels to be. (Test kitchen liked the texture of a 3 time blanch best, it also mellowed the bitterness. But it is a matter of preference.) Remove the orange peels from the pan.
Whisk the sugar with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 9 minutes (If you took the sugar's temperature with a candy thermometer it would be at the soft thread stage, 230 to 234 degrees F.) Add the peels and simmer gently, reducing heat to retain a simmer. Cook until the peels get translucent, about 45 minutes. Resist the urge to stir the peels or you may introduce sugar crystals into the syrup. If necessary, swirl the pan to move the peels around. Drain the peels, (save the syrup for ice tea.) Roll the peels in sugar and dry on a rack, for 4 to 5 hours. Return to the sugar to store.

Cook's Note: One way to use orange peels is to stuff a dried date with a piece of orange peel and almond, then dip the entire thing into dark chocolate.
Sugared Flowers

Paint petals with whipped egg whites.  Dust with extra fine sugar.
 Jean prepared an amazing pasta salad with a wide variety of veggies.  With that we enjoyed Rosemary skewers with mozzarella cheese and salami.  Delicioso!  Dessert, well let's just say SCHAMWOWZA!

 Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with Limoncello Frosting

By Giada



  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • Orange juice (instead of water in cake mix)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup diced candied orange peel (about 8 ounces) 

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened (1/2 stick)
  • 2 tablespoons limoncello (you can substitute with 2 tablespoons lemon juice for minors)
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1/4 cup finely diced candied orange peel, for garnish
  • Special equipment: cupcake liners, 2 muffins pans


First make the cupcakes: mix the chocolate cake mix according to package instructions, substituting orange juice for the water. Toss the chocolate chips with the flour. Fold the chocolate chips and the candied orange peel into the chocolate mixture. Line the muffin pan with the cupcake liners. Fill and bake the cupcakes according to package instructions. Let the cupcakes cool for 1 hour on a wire rack before frosting.
To make the frosting: combine all the ingredients except the candied orange peel in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Using a small spatula, place about 1 tablespoon of frosting on top of each cupcake. Top with a small sprinkle of candied orange peel.

Thank you Jean! 

~ MJ
Copyright 2010 MJ's Table Talk

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