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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Grand Marnier

Warm Chocolate Pots with Grand Marnier & Cherries

Marc J. Sievers

Warm Chocolate Pots with Grand Marnier & Cherries from the desserts chapter of my cookbook Table for Two: Cooking and Entertaining for You and Your +1.

When it comes to making desserts at home, I try to keep the recipe easy and elegant – and always with a twist!  My Warm Chocolate Pots with Grand Marnier & Cherries is the perfect dessert for the finale of a casual weeknight meal, yet special enough for a weekend soirée with a glass of Port or Champagne!

The twist comes from (first) a generous “splash” of Grand Marnier, which is an orange liqueur that adds a bit of warmth and depth of flavor to chocolate, and (second) the dried cherries add some sweetness and give it fabulous texture.  My Warm Chocolate Pots require zero (and I mean zero!) special kitchen equipment, and is easier than pie (I mean it!) to prepare.  The recipe uses simple ingredients from your local grocery store (in fact, you probably already have everything on hand!), and from start to finish it takes less than 20 minutes – making this the ultimate dessert to easily have at the ready when entertaining! 


Ingredients (serves 2)  

  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate – 3 ½ ounces, roughly chopped

  • Butter – 4 tablespoons, unsalted, plus more for preparing ramekins

  • Grand Marnier® – 2 tablespoons

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Powdered Sugar – ½ cup

  • Cocoa Powder – 1 tablespoon, plus more for dusting

  • Vanilla – 1 teaspoon, pure extract

  • Eggs – 1 extra-large, AND 1 extra-large egg yolk

  • Dried Cherries – ½ cup

  • Flour – 3 tablespoons

  • Candied Orange Peel – for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Start by pre-heating the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Butter the interior of two ramekins (6 to 8 ounces each) and place on a baking dish. Set aside.

  3. In a heat proof bowl, over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until just melted. Remove from heat.

  4. Next, to the chocolate, add the Grand Mariner®, salt, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Whisk until blended.

  5. Slowly whisk in the eggs.

  6. Toss the cherries with the flour, then stir into the chocolate mixture.

  7. Lastly, evenly divide the batter into the prepared ramekins. Bake for exactly 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 2 minutes. Garnish with cocoa powder and candied orange peel. Serve warm.

Tip: You can actually make these ahead of time!  Bake and allow to cool completely.  Then, wrap each one tightly with foil and place in the refrigerator.  When it's time to serve, remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior.  Discard the foil and warm in a microwave for 45 seconds.  Dust with cocoa powder and serve immediately.

Idea: You can also swap out the Grand Mariner for Cabernet Sauvignon.  I like to add 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon to give it a little extra zing! 

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Cheers! The Tuscan

Marc J. Sievers

On of my favorite movies is Under the Tuscan Sun!  I love watching  it and imagining myself cooking, eating, and drinking luscious food and wine on a blanket under a big tree. In this blissful Italian daydream I would need a cocktail.  And what better way to capture the essence of the countryside than with oranges, lemons, rosemary, and Amaretto, my creation The Tuscan!  This total crowd pleaser can be mixed in advance, stored in the refrigerator, and poured over ice to get the party started.  Cheers!


The Tuscan

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • Amaretto – ¾ cup

  • Vodka – ¾ cup

  • Grand Marnier® – Splash to taste

  • Rosemary – 3 sprigs

  • Lemonade – 2¼ cups

  • Orange – 3 large slices

Directions

  1. First, fill 6 double old fashioned glasses with ice. Zest 6 large peels of orange.

  2. In a large cocktail shaker, muddle the leaves of 3 sprigs of rosemary and all the orange slices to a rough pulp. Add ice to the cocktail shaker.

  3. Pour in the Amaretto, vodka, Grand Marnier®, and lemonade. Top the shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Remove the top and pour through a fine strainer evenly into each glass.

  4. Garnish each glass with ½ of a fresh rosemary sprig and one large orange peel. Serve immediately.

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Orange Petits Fours

Marc J. Sievers

I was so excited to have my fabulous friend Holly over the other day to finalize testing my recipe for Orange Petits Fours!  She loves food, wine, and life as much as I do.  We both agree, these are little cakes filled with the perfect amount of sweetness and decadence.  The cakes are beaming with citrus flavor, while the ganache has just the right amount of edge from the Grand Marnier.  After we baked and decorated almost 100 of these little cakes, Holly took over and shot this amazing photo!  I opened a bottle of Côtes du Rhone, poured two rather-full glasses, and we toasted to a job well done!  Thank you Holly for all the fun in the kitchen!

These are the perfect little sweet-treats for any soirée!


Ingredients

Batter Ingredients (makes 55 individual cakes)

  • Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, at room temperature

  • Sugar – 1 cup, granulated

  • Eggs – 2 extra-large, at room temperature

  • Orange Zest – ¼ cup, freshly grated, plus more for garnish

  • Orange Juice – ¼ cup, freshly squeezed

  • Flour – 1 ½ cups, all-purpose flour

  • Baking Powder – ¼ teaspoon

  • Baking Soda – ¼ teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Buttermilk – ¼ cup PLUS 2 tablespoons, at room temperature

  • Vanilla – 1 teaspoon, pure extract

  • Honey – 2 tablespoons

Orange Syrup Ingredients

  • Sugar – ¾ cup, granulated

  • Orange Juice – ¾ cup, freshly squeezed

Dark Chocolate Ganache Ingredients

  • Dark Chocolate – 1 pound, finely chopped

  • Heavy Cream – 1 ½ cups

  • Grand Marnier – 4 tablespoons

  • Honey – 4 tablespoons

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

Directions

Batter

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 24 count mini cupcake pan.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the eggs, 1 at a time allowing each to fully incorporate. Then add the orange zest.

  4. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  5. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, honey, and vanilla.

  6. With the mixer set to low speed, add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.

  7. Using a 1 ¼ inch metal scoop, fill the wells with a level scoop of the batter.

  8. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

Orange Syrup  

  1. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar and orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

  2. After 10 minutes remove the cakes from the pan, place them on a wire rack set over a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap, and spoon 1 teaspoon of orange syrup over each little cake. Allow the cakes to cool completely. TIP: Spooning the warm syrup over warm cakes will allow it to be absorbed better.

  3. Next, Wash, dry, butter and flour the mini muffin pan and repeat the same steps above until all the batter and orange syrup is used.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. In a heat-proof bowl set over barely simmering water, heat the heavy cream, honey, dark chocolate, and salt until just melted, stirring occasionally.

  2. Remove from the heat and add the Grand Marnier. Stir to combine.

  3. With the little cakes still set on a wire rack over a sheet pan lined with new plastic wrap, drizzle the top and sides of all the cakes with the warm ganache. Garnish with more freshly grated orange zest and insert a party pick into each cupcake for easy serving. Allow the ganache to set completely. Do not refrigerate.

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Warm Chocolate Pots with Grand Mariner & Cherries

Marc J. Sievers

"I love you!"

It can be said in many ways and take many forms and styles.  One of the more thoughtful (and much appreciated) ways of doing so is with the assistance of chocolate!  With Valentine's Day just around the corner I wanted to create a recipe that would be full of love and at least a little something decedent!  How does chocolate, Grand Marnier®, and dried cherries sound?  That's exactly what I thought too:  fabulous!

Fresh from the oven and dusted with confectioner's sugar!

Not only are these individual warm chocolate pots completely irresistible, they are also something that can be made in under 30 minutes.  Perfect for this Valentine's Day that falls on a Thursday.  This can be your "special touch," that would even make take-out or delivery romantic!  You only need a few ingredients, and best of all, they are all at your local grocer:


Warm Chocolate Pots with Grand Marnier & Cherries

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – 5 ounces

  • Butter – 1 stick, unsalted, plus more for preparing ramekins

  • Vanilla – 2 teaspoons, pure extract

  • Flour – 6 tablespoons, all-purpose

  • Eggs – 2 extra-large eggs, and 1 extra-large egg yolk

  • Kosher Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Powdered Sugar – 1 cup, plus more for dusting

  • Grand Marnier® – 4 tablespoons

  • Dried Cherries – ½ cup

 Directions

  1. Start by pre-heating the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Butter the interior of four 6 to 8 ounce ramekins and place on a baking dish. Set aside.

  3. In a heat proof bowl , over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until just melted. Remove from heat.

  4. Next, add the Grand Mariner®, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Whisk until blended.

  5. Slowly whisk in the eggs.

  6. Toss the cherries with the flour, then stir them into the chocolate mixture using a spatula.

  7. Lastly, evenly divide the batter into the prepared ramekins. Bake for exactly 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, dust with powdered sugar. Allow to stand for 2 minutes before serving.


Tip: To give this dessert a little love-day punch, place a small paper doily with a heart cut from the center over eachramekin and dust with powdered sugar.  Carefully remove the doily and excess powdered sugar before serving.

Trick:  You can actually make these ahead of time!  Bake and dust with powdered sugar. Allow to cool completely, then wrap tightly with foil and place in the refrigerator.  When it's time to serve, remove from the refrigerator 15 minutes prior.  Discard the foil and warm in a microwave for 45 seconds.  Serve immediately.

Entertaining with love has never been so chic and delicious!

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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Cheers: The Ricky!

Marc J. Sievers

Say cheers with this Italian stallion of a drink!

So much of what I create in the kitchen is sparked from memories, both adult and childhood. I remember my dad (Ricky) always loved amaretto! As a child in the 80's, I remember the amaretto came in a black velvet box with a shiny lid that had a big red rose on the top. I actually still have some of those boxes that my dad gave me because I thought they were so incredibly fancy! My dad has since passed and those boxes now hold cards, letters, pictures, his cologne, and other small mementos of his life. It's a bitter-sweet feeling to look inside those velvet boxes, but when I do, the aroma of his cologne makes me feel like he is right there with me!

I share this story with you because I want you to make this cocktail often, enjoy it for celebrations, and toast with love! I also hope that this inspires you to invent your own recipe for someone special! It's never too late to commemorate a loved one, whether passed or present! Love is the best ingredient, so use it generously!

Share your story of inspiration in the comments below, I would love to learn what who has touched your life, and why.  You never know when your words will inspire others!


Ingredients (serves 6)

  • Amaretto - 3 cups, divided, Disaronno® recommended

  • Grand Marnier® - 6 tablespoons. Divided

  • Orange Zest - For garnish

  • Orange Wedge - For garnish

Directions

  1. Fill 6 double old fashioned glasses with ice. Pour ½ cup of amaretto into each glass.

  2. Splash with 1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier®.

  3. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of orange zest and garnish with a fresh orange wedge.

Cheers!

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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