Monday, February 15, 2010

Chocolate, Cherries, and Cheese

The latest assignment for Healthy Bread in Five was ½ recipe Red Beet Buns, pages 180-181, and ½ recipe Chocolate Espresso WW Bread, pages 304-305, for Chocolate Tangerine Bars in honor of Valentine's Day. The latter had me excited, since I'm a huge chocoholic, the former... not so much. Can we talk about how much I dislike beets? The smell of them, the palm staining prep, the amount of work that goes into cooking them... Ugh. And the taste? Well, to be honest, I don't really know what a beet tastes like. I haven't taken the tiniest bite of a beet since I was 8 and my mother forced me to try one at Easter dinner, where sliced beets were once religiously served along with the relish tray and mint jelly. Thankfully, I'm not the only member of my family who's culinary tastes have moved on. While many members of the baking group raved about the lovely onion flavor and subtlety of these beet buns, I just couldn't do it. On to the chocolate.

I made a full recipe of the Chocolate Espresso Whole Wheat dough. First I baked the Chocolate Tangerine Bars. The loaf came out oddly misshapen, but I sliced it into squares and dipped the ends of each bar into the leftover melted chocolate from my Brownie Bites Valentines. While I did love the texture (so light!) and the flavor of cranberry and citrus in the bars, I didn't feel the need for the extra chocolate chips. I decided to mix cranberries, orange zest, and chopped walnuts into another half pound of dough and baked muffins (minus the extra chocolate). In the book they call their version cupcakes, but who are we kidding here? Cupcakes are made with cake batter. Yeast doughs can yield muffins, certainly, but not cupcakes. But I digress...
I also baked a regular loaf, then rolled the remaining dough out to make little Chocolate Cherry Ricotta Tarts. The loaf was delicious with a smear of peanut butter and I cut it up for French Toast on Valentine's morning, too. So good with sweetened vanilla Greek yogurt and leftover cherry filling! Cutting out the hearts left me with a bunch of scrappy bits, which I tossed into the food processor and pulverized into crumbs. I included that in my dessert recipe for that night, but I'll save that one for tomorrow (I can only fit so many recipes in one post, you know!).

Chocolate Cherry Ricotta Tarts 
1/2 lb. Chocolate Espresso WW Dough
3/4 c. ricotta cheese
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbls. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cherry pie filling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease a muffin tin.

Lightly flour work surface, rolling pin, and the surface of dough. Roll out to an 1/8 inch thickness. Cut circles using a biscuit cutter. Press each circle gently into bottom of each cup of muffin tin. Set aside.

Mix vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon into ricotta until well combined. Spoon evenly into each cup of muffin tin. Top with a generous teaspoonful of cherry filling. Bake for 20 minutes or until set.

Don't forget to visit Michelle's Blog to see the latest creations on the Bread Braid!


Michelle said...

OH the mini tarts. I bet they were delicious with the ricotta cheese, I can almost taste them now!

Teresa Bjork said...

Mini tarts! Such a great idea! I feel the same way about beets. Don't like the taste of them, but I still wanted to give the buns a try. Great job!

Joanne said...

Those tarts look so good! I think the combination of cherry with the chocolate bread is quite ideal. I wish I had thought of it.

Judy's Bakery & Test Kitchen said...

LOLVE the tarts!! I told my hubby that I bet the chocolate bread would go great with cherries!

Danielle said...

Nuts!! Great addition. I have a bit more dough left...haven't decided what to do with it. Your tarts are awesome

Old Pop said...

Tarts are a great idea.

Cathy (breadexperience) said...

Oh my! All of that sounds delicious! I especially like the mini tarts with the cherries. Great combination!

Megan said...

I thought it was perfect for french toast but we ate all the bread before I could get that far. Love it with the yogurt and cherries.
Love the tarts too! I'll remember those next time I make this dough. Oh yes, there will be a next time! :)

Jenny said...

Oh, I bet French toast was yummy with this! I thought it was funny calling them cupcakes as well. Made it seem like they should have been sweeter.

Petra said...

great idea with the tarts. with this dough they should have tasted sort of like mini pies.