Sweets for the sweet

Perhaps one of the best gifts you can give your amour on Valentine’s Day is a well-thought-out culinary presentation. One that ends on a sweet note. Read our story in today’s LENS about incorporating liqueurs into recipes, then try out these below.


Chocolate Chambord Souffle


• 3 large egg yolks

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 2 tablespoons water

• 2 tablespoons Chambord

• 2 cups heavy cream

• 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar


Place egg yolks in large mixing bowl. Combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil for one minute on stovetop. Pour the sugar mixture over egg yolks, and then mix well. Add Chambord to mix. Set aside.

In separate bowl, whip 1 cup of heavy cream to medium peaks. Using a mixer, whisk the egg and Chambord mixture until thick and pale, about two to three minutes. Melt chocolate and butter in a bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time. Remove bowl from the heat and let cool until tepid.

Fold the egg mixture and whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Spoon into favorite stemware, or serving bowl. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Can be made a day ahead. Before serving, whip remaining heavy cream with confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form. Garnish mousse with whipped cream and fresh mint sprigs.


Cointreau’s Prosecco Zepolas


• 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

• 1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped

• 2 tablespoons heavy cream

• 1/4 cup Cointreau

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 2 tablespoons each of freshly squeezed lemon and lime juices

• 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

• Zest of 1 orange

• Canola oil for frying

• 2 cups boxed beignet or doughnut mix

• Prosecco, about 7 ounces, to be used as a leavening

• All-purpose flour for rolling dough

• 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted


Make a thick ganache by stirring together chocolate, hazelnuts and cream over a double boiler on medium-low heat. Fill pastry bag with chocolate and attach a small round tip.

For the syrup, reduce Cointreau, sugar, juices and zest.

Heat oil to about 370 degrees. Make dough according to package directions, substituting Prosecco for water. Form 2-by-1-inch shapes of dough and fry about eight to 10 seconds or until lightly browned on each side.

When cooled, pipe chocolate mixture into center of zepolas. Drizzle top with syrup. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.


Cointreau Souffle


• 3 1/4 ounces granulated sugar

• 1 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, chilled

• 3 ounces bread flour

• 7 1/2 ounces (just shy of a cup) whole milk

• 2 small egg yolks

• 1 tablespoon Cointreau

• 1 tablespoon grated navel orange zest

• 4 1/2 ounces egg whites

• 1 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

• 1/2 ounce cornstarch

• Confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 380 degrees. Butter and sugar six small souffle bowls; reserve. Combine 3 1/4 ounces sugar, butter and bread flour in mixing bowl and beat until mealy. Bring milk to boil in saucepan; stir in flour mix, and then transfer to mixing bowl. Whisk yolks, Cointreau and orange zest; reserve.

Place egg whites in mixing bowl; beat at medium speed to soft peaks; add 1 1/2 ounces sugar and cornstarch; beat until stiff. Fold in egg white. Fill in souffle bowls to one-quarter below rims. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with ice cream.

Makes six servings.


Grand Marnier Creme Brulee


• Zest of 1 orange

• 3/4 ounce Grand Marnier

• 5 ounces milk

• 5 ounces whipping cream

• 1 vanilla bean

• 1 1/2 ounces granulated sugar

• 5 egg yolks

• 5 ounces brown sugar


Finely grate the orange zest and let it macerate in the Grand Marnier for an hour. Bring the milk and cream to a boil. Add the vanilla bean, the Grand Marnier-macerated orange zest mixture, and the sugar and let infuse for an hour. Strain to remove the vanilla bean and the orange zest. Add the egg yolks, mixing gently so that the mixture does not froth.

Pour into ramekins and cook in the oven following two possible methods:

At 230 degrees in a traditional oven (heated from both top and bottom) in a double boiler for approximately 50 minutes; or at 175 degrees in a convection or forced convection oven without the double boiler (more difficult) for approximately 30 minutes.

The creme brulee is cooked when it is set in the middle and “trembles“ when the ramekin is tapped.

Remove the creme brulees from the oven and allow to cool. Place them in the refrigerator.

Just before serving, sprinkle with a thin layer of brown sugar and caramelize with a blow torch or under the broiler (more difficult).

If the custard cooks too quickly it will be slightly granular, not creamy as it should be. If moisture has formed on the surface of the creme brulee when it is taken from the refrigerator, soak it up with some paper towels before sprinkling with sugar. Serve with a snifter of Grand Marnier or Grand Marnier Louis-Alexandre.

Makes five ramekins.


Grand Marnier Frozen Souffle

NOTE: The egg and sugar mixture should be thoroughly warmed and is the key to the souffle’s lightness. Don’t over-whip the cream, as it will give the souffle a greasy texture (stop beating as soon as the cream holds peaks).


• 5 ladyfinger biscuits or 5 slices of French gingerbread (pain d’ipices)

For the souffle:

• 2 tablespoons candied orange peel

• 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier

• 3 eggs

• 6 egg yolks

• 1 1/4 cups sugar

• 1 1/2 cups whipping cream

For the meringue:

• 2 egg whites

• 4 tablespoons sugar

• Pinch of salt

For the syrup:

• 10 tablespoons orange juice

• 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier


Two hours ahead of time, macerate the candied orange peel with 50 milliliters of Grand Marnier. In a double boiler, beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is warm. Remove from heat and continue beating until the mixture has completely cooled down. Add the whipped cream and the orange peel-Grand Marnier maceration.

Garnish the glasses with this mixture. Divide the ladyfinger biscuits which have been previously soaked in the orange juice and 50 milliliters of Grand Marnier liqueur evenly between the glasses. Freeze for at least four hours.

Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff while gradually adding the sugar. Spoon this meringue over top of the souffles and keep cold. Just before serving, place the glasses under the oven broiler to color the meringue slightly. Serve with a snifter of Grand Marnier.

Serves five; use clear glasses for aesthetic effects.

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    Kory Hansen

    Kory Hansen, a graduate of California State University, Fresno, began work at The Record in 2004 as a page designer and Graphics Editor. Kory currently lives in Brentwood with his wife and two sons, and spends entirely too much time chasing peacocks ... Read Full
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