Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gorgonzola Cheese Ball and Chocolate!!

No I am really not recommending that you eat the two together!  But they were served in one within a few hours of each other, which I am sure makes the title more palatable!

This cheese ball is a hit whenever I bring share it with friends or family and it is SO easy to make.  The original recipe calls for toasted pecans which add a delicate nutty flavor, but since I had guests that were not crazy about a nut coating, I used chopped chives, straight from the garden.  I love being able to pick fresh herbs as I need them.

So this is how the evening began...... I cannot even find the words to tell you how tantalizing (and somewhat addicting!) this is.

Disclaimer:  Yes I blew it. I was so intent on getting everything done that I totally forgot to take pics of the ingredients and all of the steps for both recipes.. So feel free to use your most vivid imagination!



Almost ready to be served....

GORGONZOLA CHEESE BALL

adapted from Best of the Best Fast And Fabulous Party Foods and Appetizers

1/2 stick butter, softened
1 - 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened (I used the low fat variety)
1 - 8 oz. pkg. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 - 8 oz. can chopped ripe olives
1/2 cup. fresh coarsely chopped chives OR
1/2 cup  coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

With an electric mixer, beat the butter, cream cheese and gorgonzola cheese on low speed until very smooth. Stir in olives and chives and chill.

When firm, shape the mixture into a ball and chill until ready to serve (this can be done the day before).

Before serving, roll in either the chopped chives or toasted chopped pecans.  Because I had company who did not like nuts, I used the chives and it was delicious. It is equally delicious with the toasted pecans.

Serve with an array of crackers and apple slices.


Honeycrisp apples and multigrain crackers adorn the cheese ball. YUM!

After dinner we came  home to celebrate some special occasions.  I neglected to get photos as we cut into these delicacies because I think we were all too engrossed in watching the stream of chocolate 
flow out of these little indulgent cakes.  O.......M........G!!!

So forgive me for not including the luscious chocolate river..... but just use your imagination!






Delicious blend of ingredients.....


WARM CHOCOLATE BROWNIE CUPS

adapted from Best of the Best Recipe Hall of Fame Guilty Pleasures

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Ghirardeli - easy to find)
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 eggs, room temperature
3 egg yolks, room temperature
6 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. flour
Garnish with fresh raspberries and créme fraiche

Preheat oven to 375.  Butter and flour 6 - 6 oz. custard cups. Set aside.  In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate with butter over low  heat.  Let cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, combine eggs, egg yolks and sugar.  Beat until mixture is pale and a ribbon dissolves quickly when the beaters are lifted, about 10-12 minutes of med. high beating.  Add vanilla and salt.  Beat in flour.  Add chocolate mixture and beat until thick adn glossy, about 5 minutes.  Pour batter equally into the cups. (At this point the cups can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight or frozen for a short time.)

When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator or freezer, place on a baking sheet, and immediately in the preheated oven.  Bake until each cake is set around the edges, but moves slightly in center, about 10 minutes,, or 15 minutes if frozen; don't over-bake.  Let cool slightly.

Run a knife around the edges and invert onto dessert plates.  Garnish each with a spoonful of créme fraiche and fresh raspberries.

A Note...... at first bite we were all sort of disappointed. Our taste buds were expecting something sweet and fudgy and over the top rich. But instead we got a gentler, less sweet chocolate. It was almost disappointing at first.  It took a minute for the struggle between expectation and reality to settle down - and then bite after bite it just got better and better! Had it been a darker sweeter chocolate, it would have been too over the top and hard to eat. This was a happy surprise!



The perfect ending to any evening!


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I am a mother to three and Grammy to two beautiful granddaughters and one very handsome little grandson.  Was born and raised in southern California and am happy to call it home.  I fill my days with volunteer work, paper crafting, needlework of all kinds and cooking and baking.   I am blessed with wonderful family and friends who fill my heart on a daily basis.