Hello, I'm Julia Child.
Welcome to my house.
What fun we're going to have
baking all kinds of incredible cakes, pies and breads
right here in my own kitchen.
Author of Death By Chocolate
Chef Marcel Desaulniers indulges our passion
with these sensuous chocolate mint nightcaps
then teases our palate with these oven-roasted plum cakes.
Join us on...
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We have two charming desserts
that are going to be made for us by Marcel Desaulniers.
We have a little plum tart here.
It's easy to make and perfectly delicious to eat it warm.
And, here, this is for the true chocolate lover.
That's a chocolate mint nightcap.
Which are we starting with?
We're going to start out
with the plum, the oven-roasted plums.
The warm plum tart.
I'll put these away and you start in.
So, we've got a rather unusual batter that we're doing with it
and we start out with...
I've got a quarter of a pound of butter
and then a half a cup of white sugar
and then two tablespoons of tightly packed light brown sugar.
That's a nice way of doing it...
just pack it down.
And that's light brown?
I wouldn't use dark brown-- you'd end up with...
the finished tart would be a little too dark.
So now we're going to beat this for about three minutes on medium speed.
So now I'm going to scrape it down here.
It really needs it, doesn't it?
Yeah, it does-- that's a lot of sugar
and we need to get it dissolved
a little better than we have it here.
So I think about another...
Are we trying to make it fluffy?
About another three minutes.
I'm not sure if it will get fluffy
but it's going to, hopefully, dissolve all the sugar.
Three more minutes on medium...
You missed some right there.
Oh, sure did... there we go.
And that's a good point and these rubber spatulas
are great as far as getting around in there
and getting right back in.
Okay, I think we're there.
So now we'll give it another scrape.
And this really is important.
Sometimes you read a recipe
and you think, my gosh, it's going to take me forever to do it.
Well, it's better to do it right
and make sure these products
do the good work they're supposed to.
We're going to add a couple of eggs--
one at a time, large eggs.
U.S. large eggs.
Yes, and about 30 seconds on medium.
And be sure to go on medium speed
otherwise you and I will need a shower.
If you get it going too fast we'll have that egg.
That looks good there
and, once again, it doesn't hurt
give it a little scrape.
And get it off the paddle also.
Okay, one more egg...
30 more seconds.
Okay, I think that looks good there.
Now we've got a few more ingredients to add in.
Um, we've got some orange zest
and, um, I've used the vegetable peeler here
to take the zest off the orange.
And you could use a grater
but if you're putting too much pressure on it
you might pick up some of that white pith.
And that's bitter, too.
It is very bitter-- the bitter pith.
So, about a teaspoon in there
and then we also have a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract.
We'll mix that for about ten seconds.
And I think we're getting some pretty nice aromas right now
coming from that vanilla and the orange zest.
That smell is wonderful.
Now we have to add...
That's the buttermilk and that's going to go in.
The buttermilk is there because we're using baking soda
and we need to kick that baking soda.
It doesn't have any acid in it
so we need the acidity from the buttermilk
to get the leavening action from the baking soda.
One cup of all-purpose flour.
Why do you use baking soda rather than baking powder?
Well, essentially, baking powder has cream of tarter in it
and also has a bit of cornstarch
and it... it's ready to go.
In other words, you don't need any additional acidity to it
and it really... it's a cook's preference.
I have some recipes where I use
a little bit of baking soda and powder
in conjunction together
and it's one of those things
that through experimenting with your recipes
that you find that you get a little bit better control
using baking soda in some cases.
With this particular batter here
I like the way that this batter rises
but if we get too much punch going, too much leavening action
then it rises up out of the soufflé dish, and this is not...
Although we're baking them in soufflé dishes
we're not trying to create a soufflé.
So, we're going to mix this now
and we've got three-quarters of a teaspoon of the soda...
there we go.
Then we'll incorporate that just very quickly.
And we want to do that
on low speed just to start it.
We got the flour in there.
And now we're going to add the buttermilk.
And once we add the buttermilk
that's time to sort of limit the conversation
because the action starts immediately
with baking soda, so we want to get it mixed.
That was a quarter of a cup of buttermilk.
Okay, that's fine there
and I'm actually going to finish mixing it with my rubber spatula
and now we'll get all the batter off the paddle.
It is remarkable, I think, just how much aroma
we're getting from that little bit of zest and vanilla.
Now we got to mix it up a little bit.
Now you have to.
Yep, finish doing it using a rubber spatula.
And sometimes people say, "Why did you talk me into buying
"this table model electric mixer
only to finish up with a rubber spatula?"
Well, you really need to
because you can't get in all those little curves here.
Doesn't that look nice?
That looks very nice.
There's a little bit right there.
So I think now we're ready to put the batter in the soufflé dishes.
It's about two tablespoons of batter per dish.
And then the fun part, I think
is that we anchor... two heaping tablespoons.
Two heaping tablespoons
with impeccably clean fingers.
Yes, I know, and I cut my nails this morning.
About a quarter of a cup, I guess.
Two heaping tablespoons.
Two heaping tablespoons.
Then we're going to put the plum right in there-- right in the center
and push down on it.
This is going to be fascinating.
These are beautiful plums.
Are they supposed to be really ripe?
They shouldn't be overly ripe, actually.
When you buy them at the market
they should have a certain firmness to it
and then I always go for the, ah...
perhaps it's because of my rather substantial nose...
I always go for the smell test.
And now we want to put
a tablespoonful of the light brown sugar
directly over the top
and that's it.
Then it goes in the oven.
I can see that you don't want dark brown sugar
because it would make it awfully dark in the oven, wouldn't it?
It might not taste bad but I think, aesthetically
this is going to look a little bit better.
We're ready to pop these in the oven.
We've actually set up four
but there's plenty of batter to make an additional four.
But I think it's time to get them in the oven.
That's quick to make-- it's not a complicated batter.
That's one of the things I love about it.
So we've got a 350 oven
and we'll put these right in the center
and it's going to take about 24 to 26 minutes.
While those are baking, you're going to make a sauce, aren't you?
Bittersweet chocolate sauce.
So if you wouldn't mind keeping an eye on the cream.
We have two cups of heavy cream
and half a cup of granulated sugar
and we bring that to a boil
and it's just about that point.
And if it does start getting a little too excited in there
you can knock it down with the stainless steel spoon
because if it comes over the side...
We got a big mess to clean up.
I'll start chopping the chocolate here.
And I like the sauce because it's a little alchemy going.
We've got so many different ingredients, and all of them
really reinforcing the chocolate flavor.
So I've got four ounces of semisweet chocolate
and four ounces of unsweetened chocolate.
And I like to chop that in about an eighth of an inch piece
and I've just got a good...
You don't use a machine to chop it?
No, I don't-- always by hand.
Now it's all chopped
so we'll put it in the bowl.
I'll slide the board over here, just like that
and use my knife to make sure
I get all the chocolate where it belongs.
So now I've got to sift four tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa.
It's one of those sauces
that I've played around with for a while
and the cocoa gives it a nice finish
and also, actually, gives it a little texture
that you wouldn't get using the regular chocolate.
So we sift that, and as you see
there's lots of little pieces there
that need to be broken up.
Okay, so that's ready to go
and how's that cream looking?
It looks... it looks fine.
It's not boiling but it's very hot.
Yeah, I think it will be fine
and I'm going to lose this ladle here.
And then we'll add... and that's the nice thing
about doing it on wax paper or parchment paper.
That's a very good habit to get into.
It takes some of the mess away
and it's good handling.
And then we'll vigorously whisk at this point
and if I get chatting too much
we will end up with a lumpy sauce.
You really have to whisk to get into it.
Yes, you do.
And I think that's looking good now.
And more flavor to come...
Creme de Cacao-- and, you know, that's the name of the tree
that the cocoa beans grow on-- it's the Cacao tree.
And the Greek botanical name
is Theobroma cacao
and the means "foods of the gods"
where I come from.
So we'll put a little Creme de Cacao in there.
So about a good tablespoon, I guess.
Ah, a couple of tablespoons you can.
And then we've got just one teaspoon of vanilla extract
and now, without further ado
I've got to pour this over the chocolate because it just won't come together.
And that will melt it.
It's a bit like making ganache, actually.
But this is a very nice sauce that you can keep this warm if you like...
if you want to serve it warm or you can serve it at room temperature.
Is it going to thicken up?
Well, it will thicken if it stays at room temperature for any length of time.
I guess we'll have to taste it, won't we?
So that's it... that's our bittersweet chocolate sauce.
Oh, that's beautiful... smooth.
I wouldn't have thought that would be so easy.
You see some... a little bit of variegation in there from the cocoa
but, ah, I don't mind that.
Well, that's so easy and no boiling or cooking.
Okay, so that's our sauce.
So I wonder if, uh
our plum tarts are ready.
Let's take a look.
Oven-roasted plum tarts.
Well, I think our oven- roasted plums are ready.
Oh, look at them.
Look at that coloration-- that brown sugar.
So, next step, unfortunately
we have to wait about eight or ten minutes
for these to cool off
so that you can remove them
from the soufflé dish.
But we actually have some that we've already cooled down.
So we can get right to it.
And so, they're still a little bit warm
and that's how...
I think they're nice that way.
Ooh, ooh, yes.
And then, you need a little spatula like this.
And a good idea to loosen...
the baked batter.
And then get...
It's a little tricky to do it
but, you got to... get in there.
And just like that.
You just push them together again?
( chuckling ): Yeah, we'll hide that little...
itinerant piece under there.
Well, let's not forget the chocolate.
And I think I'll drizzle a little chocolate...
Well, let's forget about drizzling.
Why don't I put a nice pool of chocolate
on the base of this plate.
I think the recipe says
"drizzle a bit of chocolate on the plate."
I think "a pool."
"Pool" a lot.
I like that concept with chocolate:
"pools" of it.
And, uh, I've got another little spatula here
which I hope helps me to get this one out
so it looks beautiful.
Yeah, that one looks nice.
Then you can drizzle chocolate on the other one.
Well, we can, yeah.
I've got some in a little squirt bottle here.
Well, that's a good idea.
And we can do it like that.
Lovely, that's very pretty.
And then, we've got a little whipped cream
a little unsweetened whipped cream.
Yeah, and guess where I'm going to put that?
( chuckling ): It'll cover up my handiwork right here.
That's the way to do it!
We can, uh, put a little piece of mint there, if we like.
Then also, if you'd like to slice up some plums...
and these were beautiful plums.
These were just the right size.
So how's that look?
You have impeccably clean fingers, always.
Well, now, I think it's time
to taste some impeccably delicious chocolate
and oven-roasted plums.
I think so, too.
It looks like it's...
it's as tender as it should be.
Oh, and I love how... that plum in the center.
Looks like we haven't had dessert in a while.
I like the way the plum juice...
is going into the...
into the cake batter.
Not too bad...
even though it only has a little chocolate.
Thank you very much.
Look at these wonderful little chocolate cookies...
Marcel is going to do these now
and I can't wait to eat them.
Well, first of all, we're going to make ganache.
And, uh, I love making ganache.
So, we need to heat the heavy cream.
And, uh, we have one and a half cups.
You can put that on about medium high.
And then, uh, we have 12 ounces of semisweet chocolate.
And then I'm going to chop up a little fresh mint...
You can use peppermint.
Peppermint will have a tendency to be, probably
a little bit more pronounced in flavor
a little stronger mint flavor.
But I think mint goes awfully well with chocolate.
So, we'll just chop this up a bit.
putting the fresh mint in the chocolate
That's a nice idea.
We'll strain it out.
It'll just come to the boil with the heavy cream
and then it gets strained out.
Let's see, I need a tablespoon full of that.
That should do it.
And I think it's great how...
just in that short amount of time
that it takes for the cream to come to boil
that the mint really infuses a very nice flavor.
Just like that.
And that's all there is to it?
What we have to do with this now
is in order to be able to pipe out the ganache
onto our little cookies...
Chill it down, putting it on a sheet pan--
a clean sheet pan--
and, uh, we put it in the refrigerator, actually.
And, I love the look of this.
Oh, that's a good idea.
Because that'll cool it much faster.
Yeah, it does.
It'll be evenly in the refrigerator.
So, if you wouldn't mind dispatching that to the fridge.
And, uh, we'll get going on the cookie batter.
Oh, this is the cookie dough you're doing.
The little cocoa cookies.
( with silly voice ): Coco-cookie...
So, we're going to do some cake flour.
And I need a cup and a half.
So, I'll level that out.
And we're going to sift that.
I'm going to start this, just a little bit
because there's an awful lot in there.
And then, we need four tablespoons of cocoa.
That's unsweetened cocoa.
And, uh, we don't have to be quite so precise there
but, uh, close enough.
As long as you get plenty of chocolate flavor in there.
( chuckling ): That's right.
It's actually a nice, delicate flavor in the cookie
from using cocoa.
And then, we need three- quarters of a teaspoon
of the baking powder.
We're using powder this time.
Double-action baking powder.
And then we need a quarter of a teaspoon of salt.
So, we'll just...
just a wee bit of salt there.
And that kind of brings out
the chocolate flavor, too, doesn't it?
I know, it's so unusual-- when you think about baking--
adding salt, but salt definitely heightens flavor.
So, we'll just use our hands here to get this last bit.
Probably could have been a little bit more generous
with my piece of parchment paper here, but I think it'll work.
I think you're just going to get it.
I guess you can see how sieving is very important.
I'll get rid of that for you.
Well, we're aerating the flour, so that the...
it absorbs the moisture in the way that it should.
And, uh, very good distribution
of all those ingredients that we have going here.
So let's get going with the mixer.
I've got a half a pound of unsalted butter.
That's two sticks... softened.
Then we also have some sugar.
That's a half a cup there.
And a quarter of a cup here.
And then we'll get that going on the mixer.
And medium speed.
And takes about two to three minutes.
Need to dissolve that sugar, once again.
Now we're going to put it up on high for about a minute.
Okay, now I drop the speed down to medium
and we add the eggs-- we've got four eggs--
about one egg at a time.
I think we should discuss volume
because it's so important, isn't it?
Four eggs is exactly...
three-quarters of a cup.
I think I was mentioning...
we were talking about doing it in a restaurant.
And at our restaurant, we do use volumetric measurements
when we're doing large batches with eggs
because we're actually buying medium eggs
because they're a bit more economical.
So, if you know what the standard is
and four eggs-- four large eggs--
are three quarters of a cup.
So, if you want to buy extra large, if they're on sale
or get the mediums, or even the pullets.
Measure them out.
Take a lot of cracking
to put that many pullets in there
but anyway, it's... that's a good way to do it.
So, the mixer will stay on about medium
while we add the eggs.
And just incorporate about one at a time.
And now we'll add one teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Okay, now we have our sifted dry ingredients.
And I think I'll...
It's such a good idea having it on that, yeah.
And let's see...
as I mentioned, I cut it a little short here
but I think I'll be able to get it.
And we'll add that slowly.
There we go.
And we'll boost that up just a little bit...
for a second.
And you can see how nicely that's come together.
And that'll do it.
And we're going to finish that off
with a rubber spatula, of course.
And we're going to have to lick this paddle...
I'm afraid we're going to have to, yeah.
( chuckling ): You're going to let me get away with...
You could do this by hand
but it would be a lot more difficult.
Pretty good stuff.
And then we'll use the spatula here...
You don't even need to cook it.
to give it a turn or two.
Okay, so now we need baking sheets.
And we're actually getting 48 cookies
out of this batch.
And we're dropping one teaspoon at a time.
They're going to spread in the oven
so we don't have to do anything else.
Okay, now I think we're ready to pop these in the oven.
Takes about six to eight minutes
in a 300-degree oven.
And then what we like to do
is about halfway through the cooking time
is to rotate from top to bottom.
These cookies, they've cooled down enough
so you can now do them.
I think so.
I think we're ready to...
They look wonderful.
ganache the cookies.
( laughing ): I like the sound of that, don't you?
So we've got a little pastry bag here.
Anyway, we'll put some ganache
that we've cooled down
to the proper texture.
If it's really stiff-- which is fine--
then you can just bring it up to room temperature
let it set on the counter for about a half hour
and it should be just the right texture.
So, I've made a little sleeve here
out of the pastry bag.
And we'll put lots of ganache in the bag.
And so, we're going to...
squirt about a tablespoonful
on the bottom cookie.
And then we put another cookie on top.
So we make a little nightcap on top.
And that's all there is to it.
About a tablespoon on the bottom.
And then a teaspoon on the top.
So how's that?
I think they look great.
Well, I'm just about ready to try one of these.
How about you?
I am, very definitely.
( chuckling )
Now do you...
eat them with knife and fork, or just...
Well, it's actually the type of thing
that you can pick up and eat like this
and, uh, at that texture
the ganache, is going to squish out just a wee bit, but...
Pretty nice stuff, there.
That's real, real chocolate feast, isn't it?
And you can refrigerate these
and they'll firm up and...
The interesting thing, I think, about chocolate--
and really so many foods--
that at different temperatures you get different flavors.
And the intensity of the chocolate
will still be there
but the mouth perceives, actually--
when it's cold right from the refrigerator--
almost a fudge-like texture
rather than this icing-like texture that we have here.
I like it more at room temperature.
The flavor is very heightened at this point.
Marcel, this has been wonderful.
Well, thanks so much.
Come again for a decadent chocolate day.
Thank you, Julia.
This is lovely, thank you.
Back to the chocolate.
Julia: Bon appétit!