Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chocolate Cherry Charlottes (Page 819)

RECIPE #1203

  • Date: Sunday, August 15, 2010 -- 8pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our House
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

This was the last of the charlotte recipes in The Book so I figured I would finish off the charlottes by making it! I started by boiling a mixture of dried sour cherries, kirsch, and sugar. I let it stand for a bit, then stirred in some almond extract. I melted bittersweet chocolate with heavy cream and salt, added some butter, and stirred it into the cherries. I froze the filling until it was just firm. I then lined ramekins with strips and rounds of challah which were generously buttered. I divided the filling between the molds and topped the filling with another buttered challah round. I baked them until they were golden, inverted them onto plates, and topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream. Well as charlottes go these weren't bad! One of my usual complaints about charlottes is the soggy bread. In this case the filling wasn't very wet, and the charlottes were baked (which isn't often the case) so the bread was toasted and didn't absorb much of the filling -- big improvement! My special gentleman and I laughed that this was in the Fruit Desserts section, as it was mostly bread and chocolate. Toasted bread and melted chocolate are tasty together though, so we weren't complaining! I'm not sure this dessert was significantly better than just toasting some brioche and topping it with Nutella would have been. We both liked it but weren't tremendously wowed by it and I probably won't make it again.

The recipe is here.

Only 90 recipes left to go!

The semester starts tomorrow and I can't say I feel entirely ready. When I was growing up the first day of school always made me nervous. It turns out that remains true. My first few semesters teaching I got really stressed out right as the term started. I assumed then that in time I would be so used to it that my blood pressure would hardly rise with each new term beginning. This is my ninth semester teaching and I can definitely say that I haven't yet reached that point! As of yet I haven't had a semester exactly like a previous one -- each semester has brought some firsts. There was the first semester I taught at Stanford (which was also my first semester teaching, and my first and only semester teaching computer programming!). Then the first semester I taught at MIT. There was my first semester teaching at Indiana, which was also my first semester lecturing for my own courses. Then I had my first semester teaching a course I never took, followed by my first semester teaching two different courses. Then came the first semester I taught a graduate course. Last fall was the first semester I had more than 300 students. And this semester is my first semester at Michigan State! I am teaching calculus this term, which I have taught several times before -- this will be my eighth set of calculus students. But it being my first semester in a new place there is definitely some added anxiety. In a way it is nice that no two semesters have been the same. It is more work (and stress!) for things to keep changing, but I think the varied experiences have served me well and I am a better teacher because of them. Plus, having had 330 students the last term I taught certainly makes my class of 47 students this term seem nice and small!

Wish me luck tomorrow. Hopefully day one goes smoothly!

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