Posts filed under ‘dessert’
One evening, I was sitting at home alone with the baby when the chocolate urge struck. The baby was already in her jammies and I didn’t want to drag her out of the house so I found myself searching through recipes that would satisfy. Brownies seemed like an obvious choice and since I hadn’t tried a new variation in quite some time I decided to give it a go. I must say, at first bite I wasn’t overly impressed with these brownies. I was expecting a chewy, fudgy brownie and it just wasn’t so. I was so disappointed I almost threw the whole pan in the garbage. Good thing I didn’t though, because after these brownies sat overnight they turned into just that. A perfectly chewy, fudgy, delicious brownie. These were a real treat and I’m glad I gave them a second chance.
Triple Chocolate Brownies
5 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 oz.) sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (5 oz.) all-purpose flour
Place an oven rack in lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt; whisk until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated. Then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until just combined. (It took me a while to get the flour evenly incorporated and I was worried it would affect the texture of the brownies, but they turned out fabulously – no need to worry.) Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread with a spatula to make an even layer. Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares as desired. Store in an air-tight container.
Source: Baking Illustrated
Ever since I can remember chocolate mousse has been one of my favorite desserts. There is something about it that just seems so fancy and indulgent isn’t there? Surprisingly though, I have never tried making it at home, until now. I was surprised by how easy it was and how perfect it turned out. This will definitely be something I make more often now.
Double Chocolate Mousse
7 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp of your favorite liqueur, or just water if desired
4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
Pinch of coarse salt
Combine the chocolate and water in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Heat until the chocolate is almost completely melted, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir until the mixture is smooth. Set aside and let cool to near room temperature.
In a clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and the salt. Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. They should be thick and smooth.
Stir the egg yolks into the cooled chocolate mixture. Add one third of the whipped egg whites to the bowl with the chocolate and fold gently to lighten up the mixture. Fold in the remaining egg whites gently with a spatula just until no visible streaks are left.
Portion the mixture into 4-6 individual serving dishes (or 2 larger serving dishes, for a romantic, share-friendly dessert). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Serve with freshly whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired.
Source: Smells Like Home
My Mother-in-law came to visit for a week recently and I wanted to have a nice dessert planned for while she was here. This dessert was discovered on a whim because I wanted to use up some apples. I must say, this was a huge success. It looks quite impressive, but is really quite easy to throw together. Everyone loved this dessert. Serve it with some homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to really bring it to the next level.
Apple Cake “Tatin”
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish
1 granny smith apple, peeled and sliced into 12 pieces
1 3/4 Cups granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 Cup sour cream
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Cup plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the apples in the dish, cut side down.
Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color, about 360 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Swirl the pan but don’t stir. Pour evenly over the apple slices.
Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.
Pour the cake batter evenly over the apple slices and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If an apple slice sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.
Source: Ina Garten via the Food Network
The other day there was quite a bit of pumpkin talk on the message boards I frequent. I immediately wanted pumpkin something and as soon as blondies were mentioned I had to have them! Luckily, I had all of the ingredients at home (except the white chocolate chips) and was able to whip these up fairly quickly. I used the 4oz of white chocolate chips I had left and added semi-sweet to make up the difference. I know lots of people are fond of the pumpkin/white chocolate combination, but I’m just not that crazy about white chocolate so it was a good substitution for me. I would recommend keeping some of the white chocolate though, because it does lend a nice sweetness. I was very happy with how these turnd out. They are absolutely delicious!
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 package (12 ounces) chocolate chips (white, semi-sweet, or a combination)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
Lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). Peel off foil, and cut into squares.
Source: Cate’s World Kitchen
This recipe was featured awhile ago by the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers. I thought the cheesecake looked divine back then, but I already had my favorite cheesecake recipe. So, I put it in the back of my mind and didn’t think about it again until last week.
My niece is visiting from Chicago and she has a very long list of all the things she wants to make with me. Cheesecake was the first thing she wanted to tackle. I immediately pulled out my favorite recipe, but decided we should try a new one. I must say I am so glad we decided to try a new recipe. This cheesecake is fantastic. The cheesecake itself is light and fluffy and much different than other cheesecakes I’ve tasted. So if you’re like me and think you already have your favorite cheesecake recipe give this one a try anyways. You will not be disappointed.
Tall and Creamy Cheesecake
For the crust:
1 3/4 Cups graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
2 lbs (four 8oz boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 Cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 Cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two.
To make the crust:
Butter a 9 inch springform pan and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminium foil. Stir the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and stir until all the dry ingredients are moist. Turn the ingredients into the springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs over the bottom and half way up the sides of the pan. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven. Center a rack in the oven, preheat to 350 degrees F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F.
To make the cheesecake batter:
Put a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Working with a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until soft and creamy; about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat for another 4 minutes, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition — this will create a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.
Put the foil wrapped springform pan into a roasting pan that is large enough to hold the pan with some space around it. Give the batter a few stirs with a spatula to make sure there is nothing left unmixed. Scrape the batter into the springform pan. The batter will reach the rim of the pan. Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into it to come halfway up the sides of the springorm. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top should be browned and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven and prop open the door. Allow the cheesecake to sit in its water bath for one hour.
After one hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the sprinform pan out of the roaster. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack. When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Source: Smells Like home
As strange as it may seem I don’t really care for chocolate ice cream. Sure, I like it, but I would choose vanilla ice cream over chocolate any day (cake, now that’s a different story). Anyways, I hadn’t made chocolate ice cream yet and decided on this one. David Lebovitz suggested adding some brownie pieces so I did just that. This chocolate ice cream is delicious and the brownie pieces put it over the top delicious. It’s very rich, but definitely good.
For this recipe I had leftover brownies from the brownie mosaic cheesecake I made. You could use any brownie recipe, but these one bowl brownies were tasty and easy.
Milk Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream
8 oz. milk chocolate with at least 30 percent cocoa solids, finely chopped
1 1/2 Cups heavy cream
1 1/2 Cups whole milk
3/4 Cups sugar
Bing pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
2 tsps cognac (I used rum)
1/4 Cup cocoa nibs or semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
2 cups brownie chunks
Combine the milk chocolate and cream i a large, heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted, then remove the bowl from the saucepan. Set it aside with a mesh strainer over the top.
Warm the milk, sugar, and salt until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer into the milk chocolate mixture, add the cognac, and mix together. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last few minutes of churning, add the cocoa nibs, if using. Fold in brownies.
Source: The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz
Recently, I was looking for a treat to bring to my internship to thank them for having me there all semester. To me, nothing says thank you like some homemade goodies. I went on a recipe search for something that wasn’t too unhealthy. I ended up deciding on these butterscotch bars.
There were a couple of things with this recipe. The first being that some of the topping fell off. You could add more butter to prevent that, but I honestly don’t think I will next time. Yes, the topping fell apart a bit, but the taste and texture were fine (plus, I’d rather save the extra calories!). The second issue is the serving size. Cooking light recommends cutting these into 36 squares — yeah right! I made them a little bit bigger. Finally, I omitted the nuts. I don’t like nuts and usually omit them from everything. I’m sure they would be delicious in these if you like them. Overall, I really enjoyed these and everyone at my internship raved about them!
1 Cup packed brown sugar
5 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
9 oz all-purpose flour (about 2 Cups)
2 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 Cups butterscotch morsels
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted (I omitted)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the sugar and butter in a large bowl. Stir in the vanilla and egg. Combine flour, oats, 1/2 tsp salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add oat mixture to sugar mixture and stir with a fork until combined (mixture will be crumbly). Place 3 cups oat mixture into the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking pan coated with cookig spray; press into bottom of pan. Set aside.
Place condensed milk, butterscotch chips, and 1/8 tsp salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at high 1 minute or until butterscotch morsels melt, stirring every 20 seconds. Stir in walnuts, if using. Scrape mixture into pan, spreading evenly over the crust. Sprinkle evenly with remaining oat mixture, gently pressing into butterscotch mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Place pan on a wire rack; run a knife around outside edge. Cool completely.
Source: Cooking Light
A couple weekends ago my grandparents headed home to Chicago. We miss them a lot and really enjoyed having them around for awhile. It became tradition during the time they were here that I would always make some type of dessert for the weekend. For their last weekend I wanted to make something extra special. I gave them a couple options and let them decide. This was the winner and I’m so glad they chose it. I have been wanting to try this recipe for quite some time. The cheesecake base is absolutely fabulous and would be wonderful by itself, but add the brownies into the mix and oh-my-gosh! It is over the top delicious. Everyone really enjoyed it! I can’t wait to use this cheesecake base again.
Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake
For the Brownies:
4 oz unsweetend chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 Cup butter
1 3/4 Cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 Cup flour
For the Crust:
1 1/2 Cups finely ground chocolate cookies (such as teddy grahams)
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 Cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
For the Cheesecake:
3 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Cup sugar
For the ganache:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 Cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter, cut into two pieces
To make the brownies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13″ baking pan with foil, leaving the ends overhanging the sides of the pan. Grease the foil and set aside.
Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl on high for 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the butter is melted. Stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add salt and flour. Mix well. spread into prepared pan.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool in a pan on a wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles. Cool brownies, then cut into 3/4-1″ squares for use in the cheesecake. Set aside 2 cups for the recipe, and will have many extra brownies left over (they freeze well!).
To prepare the crust, combine all crust ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Press onto the bottom and one inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.
For the cheesecake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating on low speed, scraping down the bowl between additions. Add vanilla and sugar and beat until well combined.
Fold in brownie cubes very gently and pour mixture into cookie crumb crust. Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes or until cake is set 3 inches from edge, but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken. Allow to cool completely.
To make the ganace, put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a boil, then pour half of the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds. Working with a whisk or rubber spatula, gently stir the chocolate and cream together in small circles, starting at the center of the bowl and working your way out. Pour in the remainder of the cream and blend it into the chocolate, using the same circular motions. When the ganache is smooth and shiny, stir in the butter piece by piece. Don’t stir the ganache any more than you must to blend the ingredients. Let sit until it thickens to desired consistency. Then pour on top of cooled cheesecake and spread evenly. Chill to set.
Yep, another recipe involving lemons. I had a bowl full of beautiful lemons a couple weeks ago and found lots of wonderful ways to use them. There are so many variations of lemon bars out there and I really tried to pick the perfect one. I ended up going with a Cook’s Illustrated recipe since they have yet to let me down. These were fantastic. We brought these over to my mom’s to share with my grandparents and everyone thoroughly enjoyed them. If you’re looking for a wonderful lemon bar recipe look no further because these are wonderful.
For the crust:
1 Cup all-purpose flour
2/3 Cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra to decorate
1/4 Cup cornstarch
3/4 tsp table salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, at very cool room temperature cut into 1- inch pieces, plus extra for greasing pan
For the filling:
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp grated lemon zest from 2 large lemons
2/3 Cup lemon juice from 3-4 large lemons
1/3 Cup whole milk
1/8 tsp table salt
For the crust: adjust the oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 13 by 9 inch baking dish and line with one sheet parchment or wax paper. Dot paper with butter, then lay second sheet crosswise over it.
Pulse flour, confectioners’ sugar, cornstarch, and salt in food processor workbowl fitted with steel blade. Add butter and process to blend, 8 to 10 seconds, then pulse until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse meal, about three 1 second bursts. Sprinkle mixture into lined pan and press firmly with fingers into an even 1/4 inch layer over entire pan bottom and about 1/2 inch up sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
For the filling: Meanwhile, whisk eggs, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl, then stir in lemon zest, juice, milk, and salt to blend well.
To finish the bars: Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Stir filling mixture to reblend and pour into warm crust. Bake until filling feels firm when touched lightly, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool to room temperature. Transfer the bars to a cutting board, fold paper down, and cut into bars. Sieve confectioners’ sugar over bars, if desired.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated
I have mentioned previously that tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. My love for all things coffee started at a very young age because of my paternal grandmother. When I was little (around 2 or 3) my Grandma would give me coffee. It was mostly milk and she would let me put my own sugar in which made me feel so special. This usually ended up being a disaster, but she never got mad. She would then pour it out and let me start all over. This is one of the few memories I have with my Grandma and I attribute this to my love for coffee.
Now, on to the tiramisu. I’ve never made tiramisu and thought it would be difficult. Boy was I wrong! I couldn’t believe how easy this was to throw together. I made this to end our Valentine’s day dinner. My husband cooks for me every year on Valentines and I provide the dessert and/or appetizers (Thanks honey, I really enjoyed it!).
I actually halved the recipe and made it in a 8×8 baking dish. I have posted the original recipe below.
2 1/2 Cups strong black coffee, room temperature
1 1/2 Tbsps instant espresso powder
9 Tbsp dark rum (I used tia maria, any coffee liqueur would work)
6 large egg yolks
2/3 Cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 pounds mascarpone cheese
3/4 heavy cream (cold)
14 ounces ladyfingers (42-60)
3 1/2 Tbsp cocoa, preferably dutch-processed
1/4 Cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, grated (optional)
Stir coffee, espresso, and 5 Tbsps rum (or coffee liqueur) in a wide bowl or baking dish until espresso dissolves; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat yolks at low speed until just combined. Add sugar and salt and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow, about 1-1 1/2 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Add remaining 4 Tbsps rum (or coffee liqueur) and beat at medium speed until just combined, 20-30 seconds; scrape bowl. Add mascarpone and beat at medium speed until no lumps remain, 30-45 seconds, scraping bowl down once or twice. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
In the now empty mixer bowl (no need to clean), beat cream at medium speed until frothy, 1- 1 1/2 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until cream holds stiff peaks, 1- 1 1/2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula fold one-third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Set mascarpone mixture aside.
Working one at a time, drop a ladyfinger cookie into coffee mixture, roll, remove, and transfer to a 13×9 ince glass or ceramic baking dish. Do not submerge ladyfingers in the coffee mixture, the entire process should take no longer than 2-3 seconds for each cookie. Arrange soaked cookings in a single layer in the baking dish, breaking or trimming to fit as needed.
Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers; use a rubber spatula to spread mixture into sides and corners of dish. Place 2 Tbsp cocoa in a fine-mesh strainer and dust cocoa over mascarpone.
Repeat dipping and arranging with remaining ladyfingers. Spread remaining mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers and dush with remaining cocoa. Wipe edges of dish dry with a paper towel. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6-24 hours. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if using. Cut into pieces and serve chilled.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated