This recipe, courtesy of Viking River Cruises, comes to us from Reiner Marks, who prepared this drink aboard Viking River Cruises ships in Europe many times. Reiner has fond memories of how much our guests enjoyed the drink, which he says “tastes delicious.” Enjoy!
Ingredients: Seven ounces premium dark chocolate, grated Three cups of low-fat milk One tablespoon granulated sugar One cup heavy cream, chilled One-half teaspoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract, organic if possible) One tablespoon confectioners’ sugar Cocoa powder or chocolate shavings for garnish
Gently heat one cup milk with the grated chocolate. Simmer in a saucepan over low heat until all chocolate has dissolved. Combine the remaining milk and the granulated sugar in another saucepan and whisk until all sugar has dissolved. Gently heat while stirring. Add the chocolate mix to the sugared milk and continue simmering over low heat. Whisk heavy cream and vanilla together on high speed and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until peaks form. Remove hot chocolate from heat and divide into cups. Place a generous dollop of whipped cream on top of each. Garnish with a pinch of cocoa powder or sprinkle with chocolate shavings and serve.
Potstickers, or Chinese dumplings, consist of a meat or vegetable filling in a thin dough wrapper and can be steamed, boiled or fried. They are a traditional treat served during the Chinese New Year when families gather and make them together. You can double or triple the recipe below and freeze uncooked potstickers until ready to prepare and serve. Just one of the many treats you can enjoy on one of Viking River Cruises’ China itineraries.
One-half pound ground pork or ground turkey
Two green onions, minced
Two tablespoons minced bamboo shoots
One teaspoon minced ginger
One tablespoon cornstarch
Two teaspoons soy sauce
One-eighth teaspoon white pepper
Twenty-two round potsticker wrappers
Two tablespoons vegetable oil
Two-thirds cup water
One-third cup spicy soy dipping sauce
Spicy Soy Dipping Sauce:
Six tablespoons soy sauce
One-quarter cup Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
Two tablespoons sesame oil
Two teaspoons chili garlic sauce
Combine all filling ingredients; mix well. Put one tablespoon of filling in the center of a potsticker wrapper. Brush edges of wrapper with water, fold in half and press edges to seal. Place potsticker on work surface and press lightly to form a flat bottom. Repeat for all 22 potstickers.
Heat nonstick frying pan to medium high and add one tablespoon of oil; swirl around to coat bottom. Add half the potstickers seam side up and cook until the bottoms are golden brown (about 3 minutes). Add one-third cup of water, cover and reduce heat; cook until water is absorbed (about 3 minutes) and remove from pan. Repeat with remaining potstickers. Serve with dipping sauce.
Making strudel dough from scratch is notoriously difficult and time-consuming. Here, Viking River Cruises has simplified this recipe using widely available frozen puff pastry dough so you can create a similar treat easily in your own kitchen. Strudels are a well-known central and eastern European treat; enjoy them on our Rhine and Danube cruises.
One sheet (half box) frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
One-half cup sugar
One-quarter cup finely chopped walnuts
Five tablespoons raisins
One-half teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
One teaspoon cinnamon
Two or three Pippin or Granny Smith apples (approximately three cups chopped)
One tablespoon toasted plain dry bread crumbs
Two tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 400°F. On a very lightly floured, plain-weave kitchen towel, lay out puff pastry dough. Lightly flour top and gently roll out to a thin rectangle about 14″ x 17″, sealing any tears in the dough. Dough will be quite thin; do not over-handle. Set aside, keeping dough on towel.
Peel, core and chop apples into small chunks. Toss with sugar, walnuts, raisins, lemon peel and cinnamon.
Lightly brush dough with one-quarter of the melted butter. Sprinkle with dry bread crumbs. Add apple mixture in the center of dough, leaving a 1″ margin around the filling. Fold in 1″ along three sides of the dough, leaving one long side unfolded. Moisten all folded edges and remaining flat dough edge lightly with water. Using the towel to assist you, roll the dough toward the unfolded edge, enclosing the filling. Press gently but firmly on bottom seam and sides to seal.
Using the towel as a sling, transfer strudel seam-side down to a cookie sheet; gently remove towel. Brush lightly with the remaining melted butter, and prick sparingly along the top with a fork. Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Cut crosswise into 12 pieces and serve warm with vanilla ice cream or a vanilla custard sauce.
Here is one of the recipes Viking River Cruises has collected while traveling through France—the almond paste, an ingredient often used in French baking, gives this delicious dessert a Continental flavor. Serve alone or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy many apple-based pastries on a Paris & the Heart of Normandy cruise through a region famous for its apple orchards.
One unbaked, room-temperature 9-inch tart shell
One roll (about 7 ounces) almond paste
One cup fresh cranberries
Five medium-sized apples (preferably Macintosh), peeled and sliced to make approximately 5 cups
A quarter cup sugar
One teaspoon cinnamon
A half cup uncooked oats
A half cup all-purpose flour
A half cup brown sugar
Six tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold or frozen
A quarter cup sliced almonds
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 375°F. Flatten almond paste on a sheet of wax paper with a rolling pin, to form an 8-inch circle. Press almond circle into the bottom of the unbaked tart shell. In a bowl, combine cranberries, apples, sugar and a half teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour on top of almond circle, into tart shell. In a bowl, combine the remaining cinnamon, oats, flour and brown sugar. Cut butter into very small pieces and stir into cinnamon mixture until crumbs form. Spoon crumb mixture evenly over the top of the apple mixture. Bake 50–60 minutes. Sprinkle with sliced almonds during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
One of the best parts about going on a cruise has got to be the amazing onboard desserts. Don’t you just wish you could have desserts like that at home? Well now you can!
Our friends at Avalon Waterways would like to share these dessert recipes so you can enjoy them at home as well as onboard.
Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/2 cup sugar, divided
4 large egg yolks
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat mixture over medium heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil), stirring occasionally. Remove milk mixture from heat. Cover and steep 30 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into milk mixture; reserve bean for another use.
Preheat oven to 300°.
Combine 1/4 cup sugar, egg yolks, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids.
Divide the mixture evenly among 4 (4-ounce) ramekins, custard cups, or shallow baking dishes. Place ramekins in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch.
Bake at 300° for 25 minutes or until center barely moves when ramekin is touched. Remove ramekins from the pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
Sift 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over each custard. Holding a kitchen blow torch about 2 inches from the top of each custard, heat the sugar, moving the torch back and forth, until sugar is completely melted and caramelized (about 1 minute). Serve crème brûlée immediately or within 1 hour.
Note: If you don’t have a kitchen blow torch, you can make the sugar topping on the stovetop. Place 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat 5 to 8 minutes or until golden. (Resist the urge to stir, since doing so may cause the sugar to crystallize.) Immediately pour the sugar mixture evenly over cold custards, spreading to form a thin layer.
Note: To prevent skins from forming while the custards cool, gently press plastic wrap to the top of each. Continue reading →
After hearing our company vice-president go on and on about how great this cake was, I had to check it out. It looks amazing and I cannot wait to try it (onboard and at home). Now you too can have this Carnival Cruise Line must-have cake anytime.
8 oz semisweet chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter
7 eggs, divided use
6 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup flour
Powdered sugar to dust
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Melt the chocolate and butter and cool for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix four eggs with sugar. Whisk. Then add flour and whisk. Add the remaining three eggs and add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture. Pour this entire mixture into individual ramekins. Bake until just done, about 15-20 minutes (interior will be melting). Serve with vanilla ice cream.
This recipe is compliments of Viking River Cruises.
Gougères are among the most popular hors d’oeuvres in France. A traditional specialty of the Burgundy region, gougères are often made with gruyère cheese, but sometimes other cheeses (such as parmesan) are used to add an extra depth. Enjoy gougères with a glass (or two) of good French wine. Experience a little piece of France at home with this delicious recipe—or travel with Viking River Cruises on Portraits of Southern France and have food like this every day!
One and one-half cups water
One-half cup butter, cut into cubes
One and one-half cups flour (unbleached, all-purpose)
Six large eggs
One cup (packed) grated gruyère cheese
One-half cup (packed) good-quality parmesan
One-half teaspoon fresh ground pepper
One-half teaspoon salt
Place one rack in top third and a second in the bottom third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, lightly greased with non-stick cooking spray.
In a 3- to 4-quart pan over medium heat, bring the water, butter and salt to a simmer, stirring until the butter melts. Add flour all at once, and stir rapidly with a wooden spoon until mixture is a smooth, thick paste with no lumps. Remove pan from heat and allow mixture to cool. Using a hand-held mixer, beat in one egg at a time until all are incorporated. Stir in cheese and pepper.
Using a tablespoon, drop 48 equal mounds of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing each mound three inches apart. Bake until dough is puffed, and looks dry and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Halfway though cooking, reverse the positions of the baking pans.