Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ooooo. Chocolate ravioli

To say that I like making ravioli would be an understatement.  I really do think that these special little packets of flavor are just the most interesting and unique things that a home cook can make to demonstrate ability, creativity and ingenuity.  And they taste good.  Yeah, sure, most people get their first taste of ravioli from a can of Chef Boyardee.  Pretty sad, and certainly not enough to promote a life long love of this unique food product.  When you taste some great home made ones, something where the stuffing is anything other than bland ground meat or Ricotta and parsley, then it certainly feeds the imagination.  I think that my real love for these little guys began on the occasion of my wedding to my first wife, the second time.  (You figure it out) And at the dinner that was thrown for us at this wonderful restaurant in Montrose CO, I had lobster ravioli.  I was in heaven.  Since then, I have made many varieties of ravioli, for myself personally, for classes that I have taught at my store in Austin, classes for individuals here in Arizona, and as commercial products for sale through the business I had previously, Gourmet Texas Pasta.  Some of the ones we made there for sale were Red Pepper pasta stuffed with Scallops, Bacon and Chives; Chili Cilantro pasta stuffed with Pork cooked in Beer with chilies; Tomato, Basil Garlic pasta stuffed with Fresh Italian Herbs with four cheeses; Mushroom pasta stuffed with portobello mushrooms sauteed with Sherry; and the big seller, chocolate pasta stuffed with chocolate ganache and pecans.  

Well I am doing a little catering for my sister's monthly meeting of her sorority next week and so I told her I would do something special for her.  I have to make it all on Sunday, and she can just reheat it all.  Whole wheat rolls, Caprese Salad, white mushroom lasagna, and of course, chocolate ravioli.  So, here is the recipe I will use to make them, I have made them plenty of times, but have just never taken any pictures.  I will Sunday though, I need to start taking more picts when I do stuff like this.  

Take a bag of mini chocolate chips and mix in a large bowl with a half cup cream and half cup chopped pecans.  Set aside.  In mixer of food processor, put in 2 cups organic unbleached unbromated all purpose flour, 3 eggs, a half cup bittersweet cocoa, and three or so tablespoons vanilla.  Now, comes the sweetener.  I prefer honey, or organic evaporated cane juice.  About a third cup.  If you aren't into the natural thing, then cane sugar.  Oh well.   Whizz or mix and add enough water so that with the machine on, it forms a ball.  Take the ball out and cut it into 4 pieces.  Using a pasta roller and lots of flour, roll the dough out into sheets down to the second to thinnest setting.  Make sure well dusted with flour and fold into small sections and put aside, covered with a damp towel.  Repeat for remaining three sections.  Place the sheet of dough onto the ravioli press and push the nipple section into the press.  Place a teaspoon of the chip mix into the dimple of the dough on the ravioli maker.  Brush the edges with water, then place another piece of dough on top.  Using a rolling pin, press down and cut and seal the edges.  Remove from the press and place on a rack in front of a fan.  Let them air dry for a while and then you can put into a bag and freeze the way they are, or cook right away in boiling water.  Cook for three minutes, then serve with the sauce.

Sauce, easy, melt 3 ounces in a cup and a half of half and half.  Add some vanilla, and pour over the cooked ravioli.  

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