Great American Baking Competition creates sweet treats for Valentine’s Day

Brian Emmett, recent winner of CBS’s “The Great American Baking Comptition” won $250,000, a book deal from Simon and Schuster and was named America’s Best Amateur Baker.

Brian Emmett’s Beef Wellington

4 individual beef tenderloins

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons minced shallots

3 cups assorted mixed mushrooms

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

1 teaspoon of beef demi-glace

1 cup red wine

1/3 cup chopped parsley

2 teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme

Salt and pepper


Puff pastry (recipe follows) or you can use store bought


1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Fresh ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil. When the oil is hot, sear the tenderloin for 2 to 3 minutes on all sides. Remove from the pan and cool. In a sauté pan heat the remaining olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté for 1 minute. In a food processor, add the mushrooms and pulse the mushrooms to finely chop. Add the mushrooms to the shallots, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes, swirl in demi-glace. Add the red wine and bring the liquid up to a simmer. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and thyme. Let cool.

To assemble; roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 14-inch square, and cut into 4 squares larger than the size of your tenderloins.


Lay the seared tenderloin in the center of the puff pastry. Smear the duxelle over the top of the tenderloins. Wrap the tenderloin in the puff pastry like a package and seal ends. Brush the tenderloins with the egg wash and cracked pepper and place on a baking sheet. Bake the tenderloin for about 30 to 35 or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove the tenderloin from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve the Wellingtons with peppercorn sauce!





Puff Pastry


4 cups of AP flour

1 teaspoon of sea salt

2 tablespoons of cold butter cut into pieces

1 cup of cold water


1 lb of butter

1/4 cup of flour


In a mixer with dough hook add 2 cups of flour and salt. Mix in the cold water until smooth batter forms. Scatter pieces of butter on top then on medium speed slowly add the rest of the flour until dough forms about 3 to 5 minutes. Turn dough on to floured surface and knead until no longer sticky about 30 seconds. Shape into rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.


Butter Package


Place the cold butter on to your work and cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Take your rolling pin beat the butter until it becomes pliable. Keep beating the butter and shape it into a 6 inch square about 1/2 inch thick. Note: If butter gets too warm stick it back into refrigerator just until firm again.


Laminate Dough


Take dough out of the refrigerator and place on lightly floured surface. Roll dough out into a 12 inch square. Place butter package in the center of the dough and take each corner of the dough to meet in the center completely covering the butter. Pat the dough with your hands to make a 6 – 8 inch square. Flip dough over so it is seam side down on the work surface. Roll dough out into a rectangle about 24 inches long to 8 inches wide. The short side should be facing you. Then fold like a letter by folding the top third down to the center then the bottom third over that. Rotate the dough clockwise so the fold is to your left. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Repeat 6 more turns, rolling the dough and folding. Make sure you refrigerate for 30 minutes and when start always start with seam to your left. After final turn wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator, 4 hour unto overnight before you use.


Brian Emmett’s Chive Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes


1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes

1/3 cup half and half

1/2 stick butter

1/3 cup of sour cream

1/2 cup reduced fat buttermilk

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



In a large pot bring water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Add potatoes to the boiling water. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender easily when pierced with a fork.


Drain potatoes in a colander. Place a food mill over the bowl you cooked the potatoes in. Pass the potatoes through the food mill, turning the handle back and forth. Then stir in the half and half, butter, sour cream and buttermilk. Salt and pepper to taste and then fold in chives, serve warm!


Brian Emmett’s Cognac Peppercorn Sauce


2 tablespoon of olive oil

1/4 cup of chopped shallot

1 teaspoon of minced garlic

2 tablespoons of fresh cracked pepper

1/3 cup of brandy

1/2 cup of white wine

1/3 cup of demi glace

2 cups of heavy cream


Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan then add shallots and sauté until translucent then add garlic and cracked pepper and sauté for 2 more minutes. Deglaze with brandy and wine and cook until almost dry. Add the demi glace and cream and heat until mixture thickens about 5 minutes.


Brian Emmett’s Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles


1 3/4 cups dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy cream

6 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces

2 tablespoons of Raspberry Liquor

1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup of crushed nuts

½ cup of mini chocolate chips




In saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the chocolate chips and stir until smooth then add liquor. Remove from the heat and pour into a shallow bowl.

Cool and refrigerate the mixture until firm at least 2 hours.

Using an ice cream scoop roll the mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the cocoa, nuts or chips. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.



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