souffle

Soufflé Chocolate Cheese Cake

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Way  back when I was a chef and young cooks asked me for suggestions and advise what to cook during competitions or job-interviews, the most difficult suggestion was usually the dessert course.
Most young cooks (and many old chefs) are not very skilled in pastry, so a quick, easy, foolproof, yet impressing and delicious dessert is usually a problem.
(When I was judging applicants both for sous chef positions and for chef instructor positions, 99 out of 100 desserts presented was  crème brûlée) 😦
As for myself, although during my 3.5 year apprentice ship I was schooled for 6 months in classic french pastry, preparing the stuff was never something I enjoyed a lot.
(On the other hand, eating it is a whole different story) 🙂
The following little gem – Soufflé Chocolate Cheese Cake is a wonderful solution to the dilemma and it helped many of the cooks I mentored to be able to serve a dessert that could stand up to the rest of their presentation. It is so simple and quick to prepare that to this day I prepare it often for myself at home. Besides being easy to prepare, it also lends itself to variations, such as adding fruit, dark chocolate instead of white, or eliminating the chocolate altogether and replacing it with condensed milk. You can also use a spring mold instead of muffin cups to make it into a super-light, regular-sized cake. Because I had a bit of leftover chocolate pudding in the fridge from yesterday, I added it to 3 of the 6 mini-cakes.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Souffle Chocolate Cheese Cake

Souffle Chocolate Cheese Cake

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Souffle Chocolate Cheese Cake

Souffle Chocolate Cheese Cake

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Souffle Chocolate Cheese Cake

Souffle Chocolate Cheese Cake

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Roast Fresh Ham With Caraway Jus (Gebratene Schweinekeule Mit Kümmelsoße)

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Like  last year, this year again I celebrated Christmas eve with my dear friends Dieter and Chacha, who were gracious enough to invite me to their family celebration. As usual, the food was out of this world. This years star of the dinner was a wonderful, tasty and succulent  standing rib roast  with all the trimmings and for dessert we all enjoyed Dieters traditional, perfect  soufflé.
After everybody ate, there was one leftover soufflé, which I bravely volunteered to put out of it’s lonely misery.
(All this great food plus two soufflé’s  on one evening – no wonder my belly looks so muscular). 😦
Earlier, just before I left my home to go to dinner, my  friend Curtis showed up with Christmas gifts. Among the goodies was a fresh ham of generous size, about enough to feed 7 people with a healthy appetite. In other words, enough for Bella and I to pig-out for two days 🙂 So, before I took off to Chacha’s and Dieter’s dinner, I scored the skin of the ham, salted it very generously with kosher salt and put it in the fridge to be cooked the next day. (This helps to draw the moisture from the skin and gives you a superior crackling). The next day, Thursday, I cooked the ham by starting it off at 420F for 20 minutes, then turning down the temperature to 325F for 4 hours and finishing the last twenty minutes at 420F again to crisp up the cracklings.
On this occasion I have forgone more traditional sidings such as vegetables, beans, rice, pasta or potatoes in favor of a simple guacamole, seeded rye bread, the pork jus, the onions which cooked together with the ham, grey poupon mustard and horseradish.
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Bon Appetit !   Life Is Good !
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Click here for  Guacamole Recipe
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P.S.
I will post a follow-up on the dishes I prepared with the leftovers.
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P.P.S.
I believe it is time to live a bit more “light” for at least the next few months, so starting January, I will change my food  (and therefore my post’s) to a bit of a lighter fare 5 days a week, while the weekend will feature the same type of food as usual, just smaller portions – and, sad to say, a drastic cutback on sweets.
Look for   ” Hans’ Lighter Comfort Food “  in upcoming post’s. See you there 🙂

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Roast Fresh Ham

Roast Fresh Ham

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Roast Fresh Ham

Roast Fresh Ham

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Preparation :
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To read instructions, hover over picture
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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