Chocolate Frangelico Mousse

Chocolate Frangelico Mousse
Chocolate Frangelico Mousse

In the spirit of the holidays, we’ve decided to publish one of our favorite recipes, Chocolate Frangelico Mousse, from our new cookbook, Cork and Knife

It’s around this time of year that we load up at the grocery stores on cartloads of high-quality semi-sweet chocolate, cream, Frangelico hazelnut liquor and shelled hazelnuts. And that’s just our normal shopping list, it’s nothing to do with Christmas. But seriously though, this year we really are stocking up, because  Cork and Knife was published this summer, and we’ve been overwhelmed with the positive responses to it! We’ve seen your wonderful Instagram posts and stories about recipes you’ve made from the book, and you’ve sent us so many wonderful emails. Thank you so much!

If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, now is the perfect time. Are you searching for a Christmas gift for that special foodie in your life? Is there a family member whose sock drawer is STILL bursting with all the socks you’ve bought them as gifts over the years? Are you looking for an unusual cookbook that combines the best of the food world AND the liquor cabinet? Well, here you go! Click on the book cover below to hurry over to Amazon and order your copy while you still have Christmas mailing days left!

Cork and Knife cookbook

(If you prefer to get your books elsewhere, no problem! Just head over to our cookbook page to find other places you can buy it! Or ask your local bookstore.)

As a holiday treat and a sneak peek at the book, we’re sharing just one of the recipes you’ll find in the book: Chocolate Frangelico Mousse. Think of it as an amuse bouche to get you in the holiday mood.

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Stuffing with Apples, Sausage and Fennel

Stuffing with Apples

Stuffing with Apples, Sausage and Fennel

Our Stuffing with Apples, Sausage and Fennel is so good, we make it for (our friends and family demand it for) Thanksgiving every year. Like a savory bread pudding, it’s moist and flavorful in the middle, with crispy brown sides and top. The flavor combination of rich breakfast sausages, sweet apples and fennel make this the Thanksgiving side dish we just can’t do without. 

Yes, we call this Thanksgiving “stuffing”, but several years ago we realized that actually stuffing a turkey is a losing battle. First, it causes the turkey to take longer to cook. This means the white meat will definitely dry out before the stuffing reaches a safe temperature. Not only that, but all the delicious drippings that we want to go into the gravy get soaked up by the bread (which just gets soggy). But don’t fret, you lovely Nerdlings, we’ll show you how to make stuffing so moist and flavor-packed, it doesn’t even need gravy. (You should drizzle gravy on the stuffing anyway because gravy is delicious and you deserve it.) 

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Half-Baked / No-Bake Blackberry-Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake

Blackberry and Vanilla Marbled Cheesecake

Blackberry and Vanilla Marbled CheesecakeWe call this “half-baked” instead of “no-bake” cheesecake, because the Graham cracker crust gets a few minutes in the oven, but the filling is the real prize: whipped vanilla and blackberry batters swirled into a beautiful pattern. Using freeze-dried berries lends stability and turns this into a year-round treat — though we love to top it with fresh berries to celebrate berry harvest season.

Even though we have a food blog (this. This what you’re reading now is a food blog. Honest to goodness it is.) we’re not great at keeping up with the regular “National FOOD THING Day” celebrations. Everything has a National Day. There’s a National Peanut Butter Day (March 1). A National Pickle Day (November 14). There’s even a day (August 16) which is simultaneously National Bratwurst Day and National Rum Day (if only someone would write a book which combines food and alcohol OH WAIT THEY DID). And last week, July 30, was National Cheesecake Day.

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Summer Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

Summer Berry Tart with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

[We’ve been running around this week literally spinning plates and juggling knives, so here’s a repost from a few years back. It’s one of our absolute favorites from the blog, and is an absolute crowd-pleaser whenever we make it. It’s super-easy, and, other than the crust, doesn’t need baking. We just planted our own redcurrant bushes this year, so we’re hopeful that within a couple of seasons, we’ll have enough gorgeous berries to decorate a tart entirely from our garden.]

Besides being nerdy about movies, television and all things culinary, Matt and I both share a dorky fascination with etymology (the history of words). I’ve written about my most hated words in a previous post (which had to be titled Asian Cabbage and Fennel Salad because Matt despises the word ‘slaw’). Now I thought we’d list some of our favorites (join us and write yours in the comments!).

Emily: Luminescent, gloaming, nixed, defenestration

Matt: Ramble, button, spandrel, pickle

“Great,” you mumble. “But can I have the recipe for that tart now?”

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Aviation Cocktail with Homemade Violet Syrup

Aviation Cocoktail with Violet Syrup

Pretty violet syrup made from our spring flowers creates a tasty Aviation cocktail.

One thing we should mention, if you haven’t gleaned it from our disorganized garden posts, is that we’re not “lawn people”. We do have a stretch of grassy yard, but it’s sloped, it’s public, it does nothing for biodiversity, and we hate mowing it. In short, it gets a little neglected. And because of that benign neglect, we have areas that sprout whatever the hell they want to, and luckily for us, in early spring, that’s violets. Lots, and lots, of tiny, pretty, violets.

Violets for Syrup

So in our ongoing quest to rid our garden of weeds — by eating them — we bring you homemade Violet Syrup, possibly the prettiest concoction ever. And we’re using that syrup to create a version of the classic Aviation cocktail. Perfect for a celebratory Mother’s Day brunch!

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Ultimate English Toffee

We couldn’t let Christmas come and go without reposting this. It’s one of our earliest posts, but one of our very favorite recipes and something we make every single year for family parties. It just may be the toffee of your (my) dreams and while I may be indulging in a tiny bit of hyperbole, once you try it, you’ll know that I might be dramatic, but I am not a liar. In the past, I proclaimed this Salted Caramel Sauce the best thing ever and I stand by that. It’s just that there’s room on the pedestal for that sauce’s cousin from across the pond, real English toffee.  

FACT: This toffee is so good, it caused this face from Loki, this one from Arya, and best of all, this one from Matt. Okay, nerd business done.

While other toffee types are available, this toffee is hard and brittle, and thin enough that you won’t need a tiny hammer to break it up.

Why This Toffee Works

I’ve made a lot of toffee recipes over the years and this one is by far the tastiest and the easiest. It not only has a really nice balance of sweet and salty but a clever secret. The addition of a very small amount of corn syrup pretty much eliminates the danger of the sugar crystallizing (this has happened to us a few times, and can be a real bummer). This problem is caused when the sugar crystals start a chain reaction of crystallization (the process of sugar particles clinging together) which makes the mixture grainy. Once it happens there’s not much you can do about it, but there are a few things that will help prevent it from starting.

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