This recipe may be my new favorite (and as the coworkers say, my new best). It’s simple since it uses no power tools, i.e. the Kitchenaid, and just fun to whip up with a little elbow grease.

Warning: if you hate chocolate goodness that melts in your mouth like pudding, this isn’t your recipe.

Flourless Chocolate Cake (Chocolate Torte)

9 ounces butter, melted (I used Kerrygold.)

9 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

1 1/2 cup sugar

7 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon almond

Melt the butter and chocolate together and whisk until smooth. Add the sugar and combine fully. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then add the eggs one at a time mixing each in. Add the extracts. Pour into a well-greased and parchment lined springform pan. Tap out the air bubbles. Place pan on a cookie sheet to prevent any mess, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Watch closely at the end. You want the center to still giggle when you take it out.

 

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So, this went better than expected. I played with a recipe I had on hand for a cheesecake and doctored it into a key lime version for another Country Roads office lunch. It was a hit! One particular co-worker was cleaning the excess from the spatula I used to serve everyone. Good to the last drop!

Now, instead of serving with whipped cream or a sour cream topping, I sugared down fresh Ponchatoula strawberries. That really made it.

Key Lime Cheesecake

1 graham cracker crust

4 limes, juiced and zested

16-ounces cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

In a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Once combined, add the lime juice and zest. Once incorporated, pour filling into pie crust. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 45 minutes or until the center is set. Watch closely since the top of the pie will brown. Allow to cool completely and then refrigerate before serving.

 

Lately, I think you are aware that I’ve been baking like a mad woman since my best friend, Kitchen Aid, entered my life. She is shiny and bright, always works to her best abilities, and keeps me sane. However, this recipe I whipped up a couple of weeks ago for a Country Roads staff lunch didn’t require anything more than a good old-fashioned dose of elbow grease and patience. The original recipe was found on inspiredtaste.net, and all I did differently was leave out the almond extract.

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Fresh Strawberry Pie

Chilled pie dough

5 cups strawberries, chopped

1/4 cup cornstarch

2/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Juice of lemon

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon cream

Whipped cream, optional topping

Roll out pie dough to fit pie dish. Gently press dough down into dish so that it lines the bottom and sides of the dish. Fold edges of dough underneath itself, creating a thicker, 1/4-inch border that rests on the lip of the dish. Then, crimp edges.

Heat oven to 425 degrees, and place a baking sheet on a middle oven rack. Pierce bottom of the crust with a fork. Line the crust with two sheets of aluminum foil.  Then, fill foil with dried rice, dried beans, or pie weights. Refrigerate 30 minutes, freeze for 10 minutes, or until firm to the touch.

Place pie crust onto preheated baking sheet and reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden. Make egg wash by whisking egg yolk and cream in a small bowl. Then, remove rice, beans, or weights and foil from pie crust. Brush bottom and sides of crust with egg wash. Bake until egg wash is dry and shiny, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool crust completely before filling.

Add 2 cups of strawberries to a small saucepan. Mash strawberries until chunky. Add sugar, corn starch, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and glaze has thickened. Cool completely. Combine remaining 3 cups of strawberries with cooled strawberry glaze. Stir until strawberries are well coated. Spoon strawberry filling into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate overnight and top with whipped cream before serving.

 

Remember that Supper Club event I talked about a couple of weeks ago? I thought I’d share a couple shots from that amazing night on the bluff.

Anyone need plans for Sunday afternoon? Country Roads is hosting our 35th Anniversary shindig at The Myrtles in St. Francisville, and the tickets are flying. What better way to bring in the upcoming holiday season than with a little cheer, merriment, and an adventure close to home?

This weekend is the be-all and end-all for weekends to come to Natchez, be out and about in Natchez, and strongly consider becoming a Natchezian in your spare time. With the hot air balloons already floating around to excite the locals, we’ve got our fingers crossed for a weekend of calm and cool weather. So, come see us.

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But, we would also like to see you stay for dinner on Sunday night. Country Roads will play host after a long weekend for us locals and set out of spread that showcases the best views, tours, and dining in town in the second event of the Fall Supper Club Series. How do you become a member of the club? All you need is your golden ticket that can be purchase right here. Want to know what’s on the menu? Read a scrumptious overview here.

There are only a few tickets left, so hurry and grab yours now.