Monday, March 7, 2011
One of my most favorite sweets is a brownie. Nothing beats it’s fudgey, gooey, and chocolatey perfection. With that being said, this Sweet & Salty Brownie is to die for! The combination of caramel sauce, sea salt, and chocolate has made this brownie one of my all time favorite recipes. Just a note: You will end up with more than enough caramel sauce, so if you’re feeling like some extra sweetness you can drizzle it on the brownie before serving/devouring it. Or even use it for a topping over some ice cream.
Sweet & Salty Brownie
Yield: 12 Large Brownies or 24 Small Brownies
For the filling:
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1/4 cup sour cream
For the brownie:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the assembly:
1 1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel
1 teaspoon coarse sugar
Make The Caramel:
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup with 1/4 cup water, stirring them together carefully so you don't splash the sides of the pan. Cook over high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 350 degrees F, or until the mixture is dark amber in color (keep a close eye on the caramel at all times, as it goes from golden brown to black and burnt very quickly), 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and slowly add the cream (careful, it will bubble up) and then the fleur de sel. Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside to cool.
Make The Brownie:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9-by-13-inch pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper, and butter the parchment.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl of the double boiler set over a pan of simmering water, and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler, and add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.
Add three eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Don not overbeat the batter at this stage, or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there is just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible.
Assemble The Sweet & Salty Brownie:
Pour half of the brownie mixture into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Drizzle about 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce over the brownie layer in a zigzag patter, taking care to make sure the caramel does not come in contact with the edges of the pan or it will burn. Use your offset spatula to spread the caramel evenly across the brownie layer. In heaping spoonfuls, scoop the rest of the brownie batter over the caramel layer. Smooth the brownie batter gently to cover the caramel layer.
Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Remove the brownies from the oven and sprinkle with the fleur de sel and coarse sugar.
Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.
The brownies can be stored, tightly wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days.
Recipe by Baked Explorations
Thursday, February 24, 2011
This pie, at this moment in time, is my most prized possession. This picture does not do it justice. My Mr. Wonderful gave it a 9.5 out of 10 and the boys at work gave it a 10! It sure took some patience to make it, especially since I burned the caramel sauce on the first two tries. Oh, and I also burned the custard on the first try. But four hours later I triumphed! And let me tell you, it was worth it all! I didn’t make the whipped topping this time, because I flat out just ran out of steam. If you have some time on your hands this little banana bliss is worth a try. Let me know if I can help, I sure learned a few tricks along the way. I guarantee this pie will knock your socks off!!
Banana Caramel Cream Pie
Yield: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hour 15 minutes
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, chilled or frozen
6 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Gray sea salt or kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
3 bananas sliced
1 cup fresh whipped cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make pie dough:
Preheat the over to 425 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour and the salt; cut or work the butter into the flour with your fingers or a pastry blender until you have large pea sized chunks scattered throughout. Or mix in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed.
Add the ice water slowly while stirring with a fork or while in the mixer until just combined. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Divide the dough into two discs, flatten and refrigerate each for at least 15 minutes.
Roll out one chilled pie dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Reserve the second pie dough disc for another use. Transfer dough to pie plate, pressing the dough lightly into the plate; trim the edges. Dock the dough with the prongs of a fork evenly over the bottom of the pie plate. Line the docked dough with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.
Bake the pie crust until the edges are brown and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove weights and foil. Return crust to the oven to finish baking for another 5 minutes.
To make the salted caramel sauce:
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat a little and bring to a boil without stirring. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt, to taste. Transfer the caramel to a dish and cool.
To make the pie filling:
In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, mix together the sugar, salt, cornstarch, and flour. Over medium-low heat slowly whisk in the milk.
In a separate mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks. Once the pastry cream starts to boil, transfer 1/2 cup of the pastry cream to the egg yolks and whisk to temper. Put the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Continue whisking until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and is smooth and thick. Strain.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, and vanilla. Stir in 1 cup sliced bananas. Allow the mixture to cool.
To make the topping:
In a medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form.
Assemble the pie:
Stir the custard to loosen, if necessary. Cover the bottom of the prepared crust with more sliced bananas and drizzle with 1/4 cup Caramel Sauce. Top with half of the sliced bananas, the 1 cup custard, covering the bananas completely. Repeat layering with the remaining bananas and custard. Chill the banana cream pie until the filling is set, about 2 hours. Top the chilled pie with fresh whipped cream. Drizzle additional caramel sauce just before serving.
Recipe by Kelsey Nixon
The Cooking Channel
Monday, February 21, 2011
Saturday was my little brother’s birthday. The big 2-2! Can’t even believe it. I let him pick what kind of birthday cake he wanted, and when he said something with chocolate and raspberry I about jumped for joy! I finally had a reason to make this cake that my mom made a not-nice face at a couple of months ago. Lo and behold it was amazing! She sure was surprised by it’s amazing-ness. The ganache was a bit of a pain, just because you had to find freezer space to allow it to set a couple of times, but none the less, I would definitely make it again. Happy Birthday Daniel!
Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake
Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
Chocolate ganache and raspberry topping:
18 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam, stirred to loosen, divided
2 6-ounce containers fresh raspberries
Special equipment: 2 9-inch diameter cake pans with 2-inch high sides
Position rakes in top and bottom third of oven; preheat to 350 F degrees. Coat two 9-inch diameter cake pans with 2-inch high sides with nonstick spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper rounds; spray rounds. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into large bowl; whisk to blend and form well in center. Whisk 1 cup water, buttermilk, oil, and eggs in medium bowl to blend. Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients; whisk just to blend. Divide cake batter between prepared pans (about 3 cups each).
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. (If cakes form domes, place kitchen towel atop hot cakes, then press gently with the palm of hand to level.) Cool completely in pans on cooling racks.
For chocolate ganache and raspberry filling:
Place chopped chocolate in medium bowl. Bring cream just to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until ganache is melted and smooth. Transfer 1 1/4 cups ganache to small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ganache is thick enough to spread, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Let remaining ganache stand at room temperature to cool until barely lukewarm.
Place rack inside rimmed baking sheet. Carefully run knife around pan edges to release cakes. Invert 1 cake layer onto cardboard round or bottom of 9 inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Peel off parchment paper. Place cake layer on round of prepared rack. Spread 3 tablespoons jam over top. Spoon dollops of chilled ganache over, then spread evenly. Invert second layer onto another cardboard round. Peel off parchment paper. Carefully slide cake off round and onto frosted cake layer. Spread remaining 3 tablespoons raspberry jam over top of second cake layer. Pour half of barely lukewarm ganache over cake, spreading over sides to cover. Freeze until the ganache sets, about 30 minutes. Pour remaining ganache over cake, allowing to drip down sides and spread over sides if needed for even coverage to smooth edges. Freeze to set ganache, about 30 minutes.
Arrange raspberries on top and sift powdered sugar lightly over raspberries and serve.
Bon Appetit June 2010
by Cindy Mushet
Just a quick thank you to the man I love for putting up with me and my crazy hormonal mood swings. YOU. ARE. AMAZING! I couldn’t ask for more. Love you.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Let me just say that these are seriously without a doubt in my mind, a little piece of heaven!! Not. Kidding. You have to make them! Peanut butter cups, chocolate, and marshmallow in one.
They were so fast and easy to make, I promise you won’t regret it.;)
Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treat
Yield: 24 Squares (or cut into smaller bar for a yield of 48)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
6 Cup Rice Krispies
1 bag (10.5 oz) miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 bag (12 oz) miniature peanut butter cups (about 40), quartered
1 cup milk chocolate chips (or 6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped)
1. Butter a 9x13 inch pan and set aside.
2. Measure the cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside. Melt the marshmallows and butter together in a medium saucepan over medium heat (or in the microwave for about 3 minutes, but keep watch so the marshmallows don't over puff the sides of the bowl!). Pour the melted marshmallow mixture over the cereal and mix well so the cereal is coated. Pour into the prepared pan and use a buttered piece of wax paper to press evenly into pan.
3. In the microwave, melt the peanut butter until thin, about 1 minute. Gently stir in the quartered peanut butter cups and then pour over the treats. Using the back of the spoon, gently spread the peanut butter mixture evenly across the top.
4. Again in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips. Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolate across the top. Place the pan in the refrigerator to set before cutting and serving. Store in an airtight container.
found on Brown Eyed Baker
recipe adapted from Picky Palate
|Happy Friday!!! Daisies always make it a happy day!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Mr. Wonderful & I are moving in together!! Yep, it’s that time, and I cannot be even more excited. Which means…drum roll please…I am going to finally have my very own kitchen to bake and make humongous messes in! Which also means that there is going to be a heck of a lot more baking going on. Be prepared for the immense increase of recipes coming your way. Oh, and I finally get to be the domestic goddess I have always dreamt of being! It will soon be my time to shine. Mr. Wonderful & I have already made the deal that if I make something for dinner that just isn’t even close to being edible he will be A-ok with a pb & honey. LOVE him.
Also keep your eye out for the changes I am going to be making in the near future to the structure and life behind this blog of mine. It’s only going to get better and better. A new-found love has begun and many ideas have formed that I am so very much excited about!!!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Mixing things up over here and have decided to share with you an amazing dish my Mr. Wonderful and I cooked up Friday night. You know it was a good one once you’ve heard these magic words spoken during some late night pillow talk, “I can’t stop thinking about those meatballs”. Seriously, they were that good and super EASY! It calls for Italian hot sausage, but we decided to combine chicken hot sausage with chicken sweet Italian sausage. Perfection.
Stuffed Hot Sausage Meatball Subs
2 pounds bulk Italian hot sausage
1/2 pound smoked mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 cubes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) plus more for drizzling
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
One 28-ounce can Italian crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup oil-cured sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
Salt & pepper
Four 7-8 inch long crusty sub rolls
1/3 cup basil leaves, torn or shredded
Freshly grated pecorino-romano cheese, for topping
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a bowl of warm water on a work surface. Arrange a rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the sausage into 4 equal portions. Form 3 balls from each portion, nestling 1 mozzarella cube into the center of each meatball and sealing the meat around it. Coat the meatballs with a drizzle of EVOO, place on the rack on the baking sheet and roast until firm, about 18 minutes.
2. While the meatballs are cooking, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and olives: season with salt and pepper and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 7 minutes.
3. Remove the meatballs from the oven, turn off the heat, add the rolls and bake until crisp, 3 minutes. Split the rolls: top each with 3 meatballs and some sauce, basil and pecorino.
From: 30 Minute Meals
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I have found an adorable little boutique online that I am so in love with, Ruche. I discovered it through Miss Sydney @ The Daybook. Check her out! She’s a little ray of sunshine if you are into reading blogs. I’m already obsessed with Ruche and looking forward to my first couple of tops that are already on their way to me in the mail! Reminds me of Anthropologie, but half the price. I love finding new hidden gems like this! Like I need another place to explore in my online shopping habit, but it’s just so dang cute that I can’t resist.
I’ll be back in the kitchen tonight, not quite sure what I am going to bake, maybe some sort of fun kind of brownie. Followed by ‘Breakfast @ Tiffany’s’. I’ve had that Netflix laying around forever and it’s about time to spend some quality time with the one and only Audrey Hepburn.
This cuteness happened a couple of weekends ago. My two boys sleeping together. Makes me smile.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Last night I finally found made an opportunity to make my lemon bars that I have been craving for ages! I own it to the fact that I am finally incorporating working out back into my life. It has taken the simple trick of just telling myself over and over again that it is a must, a priority, a do or die part of my life. As my Mr. Wonderful says, it is vital to make me healthy and happy all the time. Simply said, and I must admit I do agree with him. After a quick two mile run, I was ready to whip up my lemon bars. Definitely another do or die moment in my life! Seriously. I had to have them. A hot shower later, a glass of cheap cab and the fresh scent of lemons made for a relaxing evening.
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light yellow in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.
The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook 1999
|Oliver caught red-handed trying to sneak a bite!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I’m finally making my lemon bars tonight! Yippee! I was in a very deep funk for awhile, but here I am, back in action. I can’t wait to whip these lemon bars tonight after dinner with my friend PJ. Did I mention that I am a groomsman in his wedding on Feb 28th? How adorable is that? I hope you’re jealous.
So while I was away Christmas and New Years passed as well as….drum roll please….driving all the way up to Santa Rosa to pick up my new baby, Oliver. He has already stolen my heart! The 14 hour round trip, which my Mr. Wonderful drove the entire time, was totally worth it!! The crazy cat lady lectured me on leaving him in the carrier for the entire drive home. I nodded my head yes and assured her that I wouldn’t even dream on letting him out. Seriously? He was out, in my lap the second we rounded the corner from her house. We slept and cuddled all the way home. Back to Christmas and the New Year. Christmas was Christmas, fun with family and felt like it flew by before it had even arrived. But New Years was absolutely amazing!! Mr. Wonderful’s birthday was on the 30th. We celebrated his bday and the NY in SAN FRAN! It was our first trip together that was longer than one night in a hotel and we survived. We saw Shrek at the Orpheum Theatre, and I recommend seeing it if you have the chance to at the Pantages when in comes to town in the next couple of months. We rented bikes and rode across the Golden Gate Bridge, sushi and fireworks for NYE, and went to the California Academy of Science. The CAS museum is now one of my favorite museums. It had a fascinating aquarium, a planetarium, and even a rain forest exhibit with beautiful butterflies and birds flying around. It’s a must see! It really was a memorable trip and I just love San Fran.
Lemon bar recipe will be up tomorrow.
|San Fran for NYE with my hunny
Friday, December 10, 2010
As a way of distracting myself yesterday from crying and missing my Simba I finally whipped up the banana bread. I halved the recipe because I only had 3 beyond ripe bananas. On a scale of 1 to 10 (because 1 out of 10 is WAY more exciting than 1 out of 5) I would give it a 7. It definitely needs to be reheated before eating. Oh, and I left out the walnuts because I didn’t have any and a trip to the market was just not going to happen because I looked like death itself. I also substituted the creme friache for plain Greek yogurt.
Yield: Makes 2 loaves
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups coarsely mashed very ripe bananas (6 large)
1/4 creme fraiche
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/3 cups walnuts (4 ounces), toasted and chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 (9 by 5 by 3 inch) metal loaf pans, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.
Sift together 3 1/4 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl.
Beat together eggs and sugar in bowl of electric mixer at medium high speed until very thick and pale and mixture forms a ribbon when beater is lifted, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream, mixing, then mix in bananas, creme fraiche, and vanilla. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture and walnuts gently but thoroughly.
Divide batter between loaf pans, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Cool loaves in pans on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Turn loaves right side up and cool completely. Banana bread keeps, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature 2 days or frozen 1 month.
-adapted from Gourmet by Flour Bakery & Cafe, Boston MA
Next came the remake of the Angel Frosting. I decided to make the Devil’s Food Cake again because everyone loved it. This time my frosting turned out! I followed the recipe (no milk substitute by my Mr. Wonderful) and I used my brand spankin new candy thermometer.
|What can I say? I like messes.
|See my new blue bowls?!
|Sugar & butter…
|Now that’s FROSTING!
|So the verdict is that it was better with the chocolate frosting. But the cake really is so delish. One I’m sure to whip up often.