Ina Garten is a force in the culinary world. Millions tune into her Food Network cooking show, Barefoot Contessa, and her cookbooks are beloved by novices and experts alike. The latest addition to her library is Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks, and it features a slew of helpful hints and delicious ideas including plenty of chocolate-infused recipes. For anyone curious about some of Ina’s go-to ingredients, such as her chocolate of choice when she’s baking, she recently shared that Lindt is her favourite. In fact, she talked about her affinity for Lindt chocolate with the team at Bon Appétit during a visit to the BA Test Kitchen. “I’ve used Lindt chocolate for a long time,” she told the magazine’s food director, Carla Lalli Music. Even after blind testing six different types of chocolate with her team for some tasting research, Lindt came out the winner every time. “Chocolate’s really important to me,” she says. No wonder you can find stacks of Lindt in her pantry. Thanks, Ina. We’re pretty flattered.

To celebrate the launch of her new cookbook, Ina has shared two recipes with us that are featured in its pages: Chocolate Pecan Scones, which are the perfect thing to serve at brunch, and a decadent Chocolate Pecan Meringue Torte.

In the words of Ina, how fun is that?

Chocolate Pecan Scones

“Okay, I have a thing about scones. When they’re good, they’re light and flaky and full of flavour. Be sure to use really good chocolate that you dice by hand so there are puddles of melted chocolate when you bite into them. And trust me, four teaspoons of kosher salt may sound like a lot but it makes all the difference.” – Ina Garten

Editor’s note: In Ina’s ingredient lists for the recipes below, when she mentions “bittersweet chocolate such as Lindt,” we recommend Lindt Excellence 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate.

Servings: 14 to 16 large scones

Ingredients

Lindt Excellence 70% Cacao

  • 3 tablespoons plus 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1½ cups medium-diced bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ pound cold unsalted butter, ½-inch diced
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or cream for egg wash

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ºF. Arrange two racks evenly spaced in the oven. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons flour with the chocolate and pecans and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 4 cups flour, the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and, with the mixer on low speed, blend until the butter is the size of peas. Measure the cream in a 2-cup glass measuring cup, add the eggs, and beat until combined. With the mixer still on low, pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and combine just until blended. Add the chocolate and pecan mixture and mix just until combined. The dough will be very sticky.
  4. Dump the dough out onto a very well-floured surface and knead it a few times to be sure the chocolate and pecans are well distributed, adding a little flour so the dough doesn’t stick to the board. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough ¾ to 1 inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut the dough with a 3-inch plain round cutter and place the scones on the prepared sheet pans. Reroll the scraps and cut out more scones.
  5. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 minutes, switching the pans halfway through, until the tops are lightly browned and the insides are fully baked. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Ina’s Tip: Cold bits of butter in the dough ensure flaky scones. When the heat hits the bits of butter, the water in the butter turns to steam and makes the dough rise.


Chocolate Pecan Meringue Torte

“When my late friend Anna Pump came to the United States from Germany, she started a cooking school in New Jersey, where she lived. This is one of the recipes she taught her students. It’s two disks of crisp and soft meringue, layered with a creamy chocolate pecan filling. Your guests will be very impressed that you served such a professional-looking dessert!”
– Ina Garten

Editor’s note: In Ina’s ingredient lists for the recipes below, when she mentions “bittersweet chocolate such as Lindt,” we recommend Lindt Excellence 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate.

Servings: 8

Ingredients

Lindt Excellence 70% Cacao

  • 7 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2⅓ cups (plus 2 tablespoons) sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
  • Chocolate Pecan Filling (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • Dark chocolate shavings, for decorating (see tip)

Chocolate Pecan Filling

  • ½ cup pecans
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt, broken in pieces
  • 2 tablespoons brewed espresso
  • 1 teaspoon Kahlúa
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (see tip)

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 ºF . Draw two 8-inch circles on a sheet of parchment paper and place it on a sheet pan, pencil side down.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on high speed for one minute, until frothy. With the mixer on high, slowly add the 2⅓ cups sugar and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and beat on high for 2 minutes, until it makes firm, glossy peaks.
  3. Divide the meringue between the two circles and spread into two flat 8-inch disks with a rubber spatula. Bake the meringues for 1 hour, turn the heat off, and leave the meringues in the oven for 2 hours. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature on the sheet pan.
  4. With a large flat spatula, carefully transfer one disk, rounded side up, to a totally flat serving plate. (It’s okay if the top cracks a little.) Spread the chocolate pecan filling evenly on top. Place the second meringue, rounded side up, on top.
  5. Combine the heavy cream, the 2 tablespoons sugar, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until it forms firm peaks. Spread the whipped cream on top of the torte. Decorate with the shaved chocolate and refrigerate for 2 hours or for up to a day and serve cold.

Ina’s Tip: To make chocolate curls, place a bar of chocolate in the microwave for 15 seconds before shaving it with a vegetable peeler.

Chocolate Pecan Filling

  1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the pecans until finely ground. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisk the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch together, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk the mixture almost constantly, until it is 130 ºF to 140 ºF, and thickened like custard. Set aside to cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally.
  3. Set another bowl over the pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Put the chocolate and espresso in the bowl and heat just until the chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Stir in the Kahlúa and vanilla and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. Whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, then whisk in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, whisking until smooth. Stir in the pecans. The filling can sit at room temperature for up to 4 hours.

Ina’s Tip: Be sure the butter is completely at room temperature or the filling will be lumpy.

Recipes reprinted from Cook Like a Pro © 2018 by Ina Garten. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.