Some things are just meant for each other, like coffee and dessert. That's why this month we're spotlighting our Wolfgang Puck Reserve blend, the perfect companion for those after dinner treats.
With a namesake like Chef Puck, it's no wonder this easy drinking blend is a crowd pleaser. Chocolate notes pair wonderfully with decadent desserts, and a medium roast and full body are the perfect after dinner companions.
Not a fan of caffeine after dinner? Worry not! This classic blend is available in decaf as well, all the more reason to indulge.
With the heavenly aroma of coffee in mind, let's move on to the desserts...
#1 - Wolfgang's Pecan Tart
Serves 6 to 8
- 1/2 recipe Sugar Dough (recipe follows), or 1 round refrigerated and rolled-out pie pastry
- 1-1/2 cups shelled pecan halves
- 1-1/2 cups light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 large cage-free eggs
- 2 large cage-free egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. The day before, prepare the Sugar Dough. Start making the pie at least several hours before serving, and up to a day ahead.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, toast the pecans, shaking frequently to prevent scorching, until fragrant and a rich golden color, about 7 minutes.
4. Put the corn syrup, granulated and brown sugars, eggs, and yolks in a mixing bowl. With a hand-held electric mixer, beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined and the sugars have dissolved completely. Set aside.
5. Put the butter in a small skillet. Melt over medium heat and continue cooking just until the butter turns brown and smells nutty. Immediately remove from the heat and stir into the syrup mixture.
6. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the Sugar Dough into an even circle about 12 inches in diameter. Loosely roll up the dough around the rolling pin, then unroll over a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Gently press the dough into the bottom and sides, neatly folding any overhang back into the rim and pressing it into the side.
7. Arrange the pecan halves in the bottom of the shell. Ladle the filling over the pecans.
8. Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted into the filling near the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
9. To serve, set the bottom of the pan on top of a bowl smaller than its diameter. Carefully ease off the ring. Transfer the tart to a serving platter and cut into wedges.
- Makes 2-1/2 pounds
- 1 pound unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 12 ounces pastry flour, about 3-1/3 cups
- 12 ounces all-purpose flour, about 3-1/3 cups
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Pinch salt
- 3 large cage-free egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1. Cut the butter into large pieces and place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle or dough hook. Add the flours, sugar, and salt. Mix on low speed until the butter is evenly distributed throughout the flour.
2. Add the yolks and cream. Continue mixing on low speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
3. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide into 2 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a 6-inch round. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Use as needed. The dough will remain fresh in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days; it can also be wrapped securely in plastic wrap and then in foil and stored in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. (Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before use.)
#2 - Wolfgang's Favorite Chocolate Cake
Recipe courtesy of chef Wolfgang Puck via Delish.com.
Serves 8 to 12
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup sugar
- Pinch salt
- Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
- Unsweetened whipped cream, for garnish
- Fresh berries, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan and line bottom with a piece of parchment paper, using pan as a guide to cut out paper.
2. Bring a pan of water or bottom of double boiler to boil. Reduce heat to maintain a fair simmer. In top half of double boiler, or in a heatproof bowl set over but not touching water, melt chocolate and butter together, stirring occasionally. Set chocolate-butter mixture aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, put egg yolks and all but 3 tablespoons sugar. Whisk until sugar has dissolved and yolks are smooth. Whisking continuously, slowly pour in melted chocolate until thoroughly combined.
4. Put egg whites and salt in a clean bowl. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted out. Gradually sprinkle and beat in remaining sugar, and continue to beat until egg whites form stiff but not dry-looking peaks when beaters are lifted out.
5. Stir a dollop of egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten. Then, 1/3 at a time, gently fold chocolate mixture into egg whites just until thoroughly combined. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan.
6. Bake cake until looks firm and set but a wooden toothpick inserted into center still comes out slightly moist, about 45 minutes. Immediately turn cake out onto cooling rack by using pot holders or oven gloves to hold rack securely on top of pan, and then invert them together and lift off pan. Peel off parchment paper. As cake cools, its center will sink and crack, but do not worry.
7. Before serving, put some confectioners' sugar in a fine-meshed sieve held over cake, and tap sieve to dust cake with sugar. Cut cake into wedges and serve with unsweetened whipped cream or berries.
#3 - Key Lime Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie
1 frozen store-bought single-crust pastry shell for a 9-inch pie, defrosted
4 eggs, preferably organic
4 egg yolks, preferably organic
2/3 cup sugar, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons for caramelizing
1 cup Key lime juice
3 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
With the defrosted pastry round, line a 9-inch fluted tart tin with a removable bottom. Line the pastry shell with coffee filters or parchment paper, then fill it with pie weights or dry beans. Bake the shell until it turns golden brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature, then remove the pie weights or beans and the paper.
In a large stainless-steel bowl, combine the eggs and egg yolks. With a wire whisk, thoroughly whisk in the 2/3 cup sugar, then the lime juice.
In a saucepan large enough to hold the stainless-steel bowl resting securely on its rim, bring to a boil 2 to 3 inches of water, checking first to make sure that the water level is low enough so that it will not touch the bottom of the bowl when it is placed on top of the pan. Reduce the heat to as low a level as possible, so that the water remains hot but only barely simmers. Place the bowl on top of the pan and immediately start whisking vigorously until the egg mixture turns light colored and thick enough to mound on itself when a little bit of it is dropped from the whisk. Be very careful to whisk continuously and not to let the mixture get too hot, so that the mixture stays creamy and the eggs do not curdle.
Remove the bowl from the heat and scatter the butter pieces evenly over the top of the mixture. When the butter has melted, fold it into the mixture.
Pour the filling into the tart shell. Smooth the top evenly with a long metal spatula. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly for several hours.
Before serving, preheat the broiler or light a small butane kitchen torch. Remove the pie from the refrigerator and evenly sprinkle the sugar over the filling. Put the pie under the broiler or heat the sugar by waving the butane torch over it until the sugar melts and turns a deep caramel brown. Watch carefully, as this will happen very quickly, to avoid burning the sugar.
Remove the pie from its ring and carefully transfer the pie to a flat serving dish. With a sharp knife, cut the pie into wedges and serve immediately.