Party Menu – Artichoke Bruschetta, Toasted Ravioli, Turtle Brownies, and Amarula Chocolate Truffles

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WE HAVE SO MANY THINGS TO DISCUSS! This is going to be an extra special week because I am posting not one, not two, not three, BUT FOUR recipes, all of which are great party dishes. I made this at a party I hosted a few weeks back. No, not a party party with music and alcohol and strangers, I don’t flourish in those environments.

me at parties

It’s me, I’m the lemur here.

It was actually a party much more suited for my introverted personality and culinary pursuits; a small potluck dinner! “A potluck? I can’t cook and I have no money”, you think immediately.

perfect time for a potluck

Luckily, that’s why a potluck is so great! You can make things that are pretty simple and affordable. The nice thing is, everyone else brings food too (in theory) which means you are guaranteed a decent meal.

Due to my Jewish upbringing and subsequent inability to cook and appropriate amount of food for a set number of guests, I made quite a lot of food, probably more than I needed to. On to the notes;

photo 3 (28)

See the heavenly glow around these brownies? It’s there for a reason.

Brownie

This may have been the brownie in question. It was amazing. Probably one of the best brownies I’ve ever made.

photo 2 (25)

You’ve got two options here. The first one is that you can choose to keep the brownies refrigerated up until the moment you serve them, which makes the caramel filling a little firmer and closer to taffy consistency. Option two is to let the brownies thaw out a bit before serving, in which case they will be more gooey in consistency. I personally went with option 1 but both would be excellent.

photo 1 (28)

For the truffles; the particular recipe I have posted is set up to make 3 different flavours of truffles (as seen above). You could just as easily combine your quantities and make one flavour of truffles in a higher quantity. What’s fun about this recipe is that you can play around with it and all sorts of combinations. Also related to this picture, try to use a Tupperware that is just big enough to hold to truffle mixture in step 4. If it is larger it will be harder to scoop the truffles out.

photo 2 (24)

Make sure you shape the truffles into spheres as soon as possible. If you let them refrigerate for too long at any stage before coating them in chocolate they will be difficult to mold and will end up lopsided (like my dark chocolate truffles, which kind of look like mutants).

photo 3 (27)

Again, this recipe is perfect for creative people. When you are coating your truffles in chocolate you can do all sorts of fancy designs, flavour combinations, whatever. You could fold in nuts or dried fruits or whatever here (come to think of it you could do that in the initial step too…hmmm something for me to try in the future).

Alright guys, get ready for it; four recipes. I’ve posted them in (what I feel is) order of increasing difficulty.

ARTICHOKE BRUSCHETTA

Ingredients

1 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/3 cup Hellmann’s or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise
1/2 cup finely chopped drained sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 baguette cut into 1/2-inch slices
Olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet, and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.
3. In a shallow baking dish, combine artichokes, tomatoes, mayonnaise and Parmesan. (By prepping everything in the dish you will bake it in means you have fewer dishes to do later).
4. Place both bread and bruschetta into the oven. Remove the bread once it begins toasting, (~2 minutes) and the bruschetta once it is heated through (5-7 minutes).
5. Arrange toasts on a serving platter and spoon bruschetta over them.

Original – http://www.culinary.net/recipes/RecipeDetail.aspx?ID=3512&CourseName=Appetizers&CourseID=1

OVEN TOASTED RAVIOLI

Ingredients

36 frozen ravioli, thawed
3 eggs
3 Tbsp milk
2 cups panko bread crumbs (or any bread crumb, I just usually have Panko around the house)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Cooking spray

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Whisk together egg and milk in one shallow bowl. In another, combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.
3. Dip ravioli in egg mixture, followed by the bread crumb mixture.
4. Place ravioli on a baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray.
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Serve with marinara or pesto (no there is not enough time to make homemade versions of either of these, don’t even ask me).

Original – http://www.plainchicken.com/2012/06/oven-toasted-ravioli.html

TURTLE BROWNIES 

(Like the chocolate turtles…not the reptile.

Ingredients

2 sticks butter
12 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped
14 oz. vanilla caramels
1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.
2. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and grease the foil well with butter or cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl over a double boiler, combine the chopped chocolate and butter, stirring constantly.
4. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla until incorporated.
5. Stir in the flour and salt just until combined.
6. Spread about half of the brownie batter in the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 18 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven (keep the oven on!) and let the brownies cool for 20 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, add the chopped pecans to a skillet over medium heat. Toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and light golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
9. To make the caramel filling, combine the caramels and cream in bowl over a double boiler until melted and smooth.
10. Place the pecans on the cooled brownies, followed by the caramel mixture.
11. Scoop the remaining brownie batter in spoonfuls over the caramel layer and spread it evenly across the caramel layer (spooning the batter in piles over the caramel will help to get an even layer of batter over the caramel).
12. Bake for 20 minutes
13. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
14. Lift the brownies from the pan using the edges of the foil. Remove the foil and cut the brownies into individual squares. Store in an airtight container.

Original – http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2012/04/chocolate-caramel-brownies-recipe.html

CHOCOLATE AMARULA TRUFFLES

Ingredients

4 tbsp heavy cream
9 oz good white chocolate
9 oz good semi-sweet chocolate
9 oz good dark chocolate
4 tbsp Amarula (Baileys could work too, any cream based liqueur)
1 tsp good vanilla extract

Directions

1. Place 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cream in a heat-proof bowl on a double boiler and cook until heated through.
2. Using a wire whisk, slowly stir 5 oz. of the white chocolate into the warm cream until completely melted.
3. Whisk in 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp of the liqueur and 1/3 tsp of the vanilla.
4. Place in a sealed Tupperware and chill for 1 hour or until pliable but firm enough to scoop.
4. Meanwhile, repeat steps 1-4 using semi-sweet chocolate.
5. Meanwhile, repeat steps 1-4 using dark chocolate (could you use milk? Sure. I just didn’t)
6. Using a melon baller (or small spoons) make dollops of each the chocolate mixture and place in a larger Tupperware lined with parchment paper.
7. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes, until firm enough to roll into spheres.
8. Meanwhile melt remaining white chocolate in a double boiler and allow it to cool slightly.
9. Dip 1/3 of the truffles into the white chocolate mixture until coated, and place on parchment paper lined Tupperware. Refrigerate until chocolate has hardened.
10. Repeat steps 8-9 with remaining semi-sweet chocolate
11. Repeat steps 8-9 with remaining dark chocolate.
12. Use any leftover melted chocolate to decorate your truffles. Refrigerate one last time to ensure all the chocolate is hardened.

Original – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/white-truffles-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

TOGETHER

Totally doable for a weeknight party.

2 days before
Truffles 1-7
1 day before
Brownies 1-6
Truffles 8-11
Brownies 7-12
Truffles 12
Brownies 13-14
Day of
Ravioli/Artichoke 1
Ravioli 2-5
Artichoke 2-5
Ravioli 6

Easy peasy! Now go and watch the opener for the Tony Awards another 26,000 times.

tonys

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One thought on “Party Menu – Artichoke Bruschetta, Toasted Ravioli, Turtle Brownies, and Amarula Chocolate Truffles

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