Now, you all know Andy is super excited to have me writing about our Valentine’s Day dinner. Mainly I want to show off the gorgeous bouquet he gave me, hence he will be embarrassed, hence the prelude to this post. But he also created the glaze for the salmon and suffered through my not so creamy creamy mac n’ cheese and then thoroughly enjoyed the piece of Chocolate Stout cake. I’m actually including recipes in this post because I have all of them together, so listen carefully…
Creamy Wisconsin Mac & Cheese
Ingredients: For the breadcrumbs: 1 cup freshly made bread crumbs 1 teaspoon parsley 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon mustard powder 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon paprika 2 cups milk 1 cup grated Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese 1 cup shredded Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese 1 pound small or medium sized pasta, cooked and drained
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the breadcrumb ingredients. Set aside.
In a medium pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour along with the spices and stir until smooth. Add the milk and whisk together until slightly thickened. Whisk in the Parmesan and Cheddar until smooth.
Place the cooked pasta in a large bowl; pour cheese sauce over the top and mix well. Pour into lightly oiled baking dish. Top with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs. Bake covered about 15 minutes, then uncover and cook until hot and bubbly, about 10-15 additional minutes.
Andy’s Salmon Glaze
- maple syrup
- balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
Sprinkle salt and pepper over salmon. Combine syrup and vinegar in small dish, spoon over salmon.
Chocolate Stout Cake (from epicurious.com)
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup chocolate stout, regular stout, or porter
- 2/3 cup freshly brewed strong coffee
- 1 pound bittersweet chocolate (54% to 60% cacao), chopped
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of each cake pan with parchment paper round; butter and flour parchment. Place chopped chocolate in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water and set aside.
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and 11/4 cups sugar in large bowl until fluffy and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in lukewarm melted chocolate, then stout and coffee. Beat flour mixture into chocolate mixture in 2 additions just until incorporated.
Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of egg whites into cake batter to lighten, then fold in remaining egg whites in 2 additions. Divide batter between prepared cake pans (about 3 cups for each); smooth tops.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer cakes to racks and cool in pans 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks; remove parchment paper and cool completely. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.
Place chopped chocolate in medium heatproof bowl. Combine whipping cream and espresso powder in medium saucepan. Bring cream mixture to simmer over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Pour cream mixture over chopped chocolate; let stand 1 minute, then whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Chill chocolate frosting until slightly thickened and spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours (or for quick chilling, place frosting in freezer until thickened and spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes).
Using serrated knife, trim rounded tops from both cake layers so that tops are flat. Place 1 cake layer, trimmed side up, on 9-inch-diameter tart pan bottom or cardboard round, then place on rack set over baking sheet. Drop 1 1/4 cups frosting by large spoonfuls over top of cake layer; spread frosting evenly to edges with offset spatula or butter knife. Top with second cake layer, trimmed side down. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. DO AHEAD: Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate. Let cake stand at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours before serving.