Thursday, February 25, 2010

Trivia From Rudy's

And again, this trivia information from Rudy's. Enjoy and by all means, pay Rudy's a visit!!

This Week in the History of Food & Drink

February 22, 1630: Quadequina, an American Indian, introduced English colonists to popcorn. He had brought some to their first Thanksgiving dinner. (Some sources say 1631).

February 23, 1896: Leo Hirshfield introduced the Tootsie Roll at his small store in New York City. It was supposedly named after his 5 year old daughter, whose nickname was 'Tootsie.'

February 24, 1938: DuPont begins production of nylon toothbrush bristles. A patent had been granted in 1937. The nylon bristles replaced hog bristles. No more brushing your teeth with hog hair.

February 25, 1922: Donald McLean was born. McLean was a Scottish potato expert who supposedly had the world's largest private collection of potatoes, with 367 varieties.

February 26: National Pistachio Day

February 27, 1827: The first Mardi Gras celebration was held in New Orleans.

February 28: National Chocolate Soufflé Day


Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake

One of our Rudy's picks this week is France's prized Valrhona chocolate. It's the star of the richly delicious dessert. For a very runny center, undercook the cake a little bit and serve immediately. The cake can be held raw in the soufflé cup uncovered and refrigerated up to eight hours before baking.

Yield: 4 servings

6 ½ ounces Valrhona Caribe Chocolate with 66% Cocao Mass, chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
5 teaspoons Valrhona cocoa powder
3 eggs, separated
¼ cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 450º. Lightly coat the inside of four, 4-ounce oven-proof soufflé cups with butter. Heat 2 inches of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. In the top half, place the chocolate and butter. Melt the chocolate mixture for 5 minutes, then remove it from the heat and stir it until it is smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large stainless-steel bowl and whisk in the cocoa and all the egg yolks. Set the chocolate mixture aside. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is stiff and shiny but not dry, forming a meringue. Lightly fold the meringue into the chocolate until completely combined. Divide the soufflé batter equally among the prepared soufflé cups. Place cups on a sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes, until puffy and slightly browned on top. Serve immediately by inverting each cup (with an oven mitt) onto a plate until the cake is released. Cut carefully around edges of the cakes to loosen them if they do not come out. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Recipe Notes:
Be sure to not overheat the butter; overheated butter will separate and result in a greasy, crumbly cake.

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