Sunday, January 4, 2015

Brunch for the Chocolate Lover

I am married to a chocoholic.

I am not a huge fan of chocolate, not even a big one. I merely like it and only on occasion, too much is just too much.

So it was a really romantic gesture when I planned this chocolate themed brunch as a surprise for the hubby. ;) He absolutely loved it and I was so excited to share it with ya'll.

Gift this to the chocoholic in your life and I'm sure they'll love it too.

Here's what was on the menu- chocolate crepes served with whipped cream and bananas, chocolate dipped heart strawberries, hot chocolate as drinks, and chocolate "croissants." To balance off the sweet, chocolate-y items, I included two savory items, mini asparagus and mushroom tarts and mini heart shaped tomato tarts.

Brunch for the Chocolate Lover
(Serves 4; or 2 with lots of leftovers)

You can make the crepe batter and dip the chocolate strawberries the night before so there are less things for you to do in the morning. This is the recipe I used to make the crepes. Make sure to half it if its just two of you! Make the crepes morning of while your tarts and pastries are in the oven.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

To dip the strawberries, wash and dry 10-15 strawberries completely. Melt 1/3 cup of chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli's milk chocolate chips) in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Line a baking pan with parchment paper to set the dipped strawberries on. Instead of dipping the strawberry once, dip it on each side slightly at an angle to achieve a heart shape. Decorate using sprinkles or melt white chocolate chips and drizzle it across the strawberries. I used a ziploc bag with a snipped corner to make it easy and mess free. Leave it in the fridge to set overnight.

Tarts and Pastries 

These tarts are absolutely delicious! My favorite were the mini tomato tarts. They tasted like little pizzas but were more elegant somehow. And the presentation was fabulous. 

You'll need:
1 box puff pastry, defrosted overnight in the fridge
1-2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 asparagus bunch 
4-5 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
Swiss or gruyere cheese block
grated Parmesan cheese
fresh basil chiffonade, for topping
1/4-1/2 cup milk chocolate chips 
1 egg beaten
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
You will use both puff pastry sheets to make all of the pastries so divide it as you like. I made 5 chocolate pastries, 4 asparagus tarts, and finished off the rest of the puff pastry with 8 tomato hearts. 

Tomato Tarts- 

Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out medium sized hearts from the pastry dough. Brush the dough with olive oil and add grated swiss cheese to the center. Put a slice of tomato on top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top it off with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. The tomatoes may slide off as the pastries back so keep an eye on them, you may have to slide them back on halfway through, no worries. Sprinkle some basil chiffonade on before serving.

Asparagus and Mushroom Tarts-

Optional (Leave this step if you don't want mushrooms on your tarts)- Sautee mushrooms in olive oil until fully wilted. Season with salt and pepper and any other seasonings you like.

Cut 4 rectangles of puff pastry dough and use your fingers to flatten and spread it out a little. Using the flat side of a knife, make a groove 1/4 inch along the edges of the tart. This will from the crust. Poke holes in the tart using a fork and brush with beaten egg for an egg wash. Place sliced swiss cheese in a single layer in the center of the tart. Trim asparagus to the size of the tart and line them in a row on the cheese. Arrange sautéed mushrooms on the asparagus. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20-25 min or until golden brown. Serve with basil.

Chocolate "Crossaints"-

Cut equal sized rectangles from the puff pastry dough. With the rectangle in hamburger orientation, place 2 strips of chocolate chips on the third and two third lines. Do not over fill. 

Fold the right side over to the center and lightly press to secure. Fold the left side over to the right side and press to secure. Carefully turn pastry over so seams are on the bottom and place on a parchment lined baking tray. Give it an egg wash and b
ake for 14-16 minutes, until tops of pastries just start to turn golden. Let them cool till just slightly warm before serving.

Make hot cocoa to top it off (or any other chocolate drink, chocolate milk, milkshake).

Don't forget to set the mood with some beautiful roses and a clean home! :) Enjoy and good luck in the kitchen!
Mehwish said...

I want to eat all of it!!! I really want to try those chocolate filled pastries-they look super easy and delish. Yo hubby is one lucky man, mashallah :)

Unknown said...

Wow that is a very awesome recipe. I will definitely try this at home.Pakistani Cooking Recipes are the best. I love all Pakistani Recipes and indian recipes and mostly the appetizers by zarnak sidhwa recipes

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