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Rockwall chef has what it takes to make holidays sweet

Chocolate? Check! Mint? Check! Walnuts? Check! 

(ROCKWALL, TX – Dec. 15, 2015) Many around the Rockwall area know Vicki Hoarty as a professional artist and former art curator at the Hilton. But Vicki went back to school to earn a degree in the culinary arts field to become a chef, baker, blogger, and instructor of all things culinary.

“Chef V,” as she has become known, attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, and had the opportunity to apprentice and become a Chef’s Assistant to Andre Bedouret, a Master Chef fromFrance. Together they taught gourmet cooking classes to the public.

Chef V says Le Cordon Bleu gave her the basics and all that goes with a culinary degree, but Chef Andre gave her the experience and the desire to teach and help others expand their culinary aspirations. She has taken her grandmother’s and mother’s recipes from farm countryUSAand incorporated Chef Andre’s French influence…and she shares her passion for baking and love for healthy cooking on her food blog, FrenchGingerbread.com – where her tagline is, “If it’s not worth the calories, spit it out!”

Chef V shares one her favorite holiday recipes with Blue Ribbon News: 

Chocolate Mint Brownie Tart 

6 tablespoons butter, unsalted

2 cups, Andes Creme De Menthe Baking Chips, divided

6 ounces Semi-Sweet Ghirardelli Chocolate, Premium Baking Bar

3 eggs, large

1 cup organic cane sugar

1 tablespoon espresso powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt, Kosher

1 cup chopped walnuts

4 to 5 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11-inch tart pan with softened butter and flour with cocoa, sifting through a mesh strainer.

For the brownie batter: Melt butter, Ghirardelli Chocolate, and 1 cup Andes Baking Chips, in a glass bowl over a simmering pot of water, stirring often. Remove the bowl from the pan of water, stir and let cool to room temp.

With paddle attachment, beat eggs, sugar, espresso and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in cooled chocolate and blend on low speed.

Sift together in a medium bowl, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients with mixer on low speed just until blended. Add walnuts and fold to incorporate. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes clean when piercing the brownie midway from outside to the middle. The middle will still be somewhat soft. The top may or may not puff and the sides begin to pull away from the pan. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

To serve, melt remaining 1 cup Andes Creme De Menthe Baking Chips and 4 to 5 tablespoons heavy cream in a glass bowl over simmering water, stirring as it melts. Using half of melted Andes, drizzle over tart.

To serve: Reheat remaining Andes Chocolate left from drizzling. (Microwave 20 to 30 seconds.) Spoon a circle of melted chocolate on a warmed dessert plate and place a wedge of brownie on top. Serve immediately. Of course, you can always add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you like. Enjoy! ​

Serves 8

Time: 30 – 45 minutes plus baking time

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