CAKES

Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):

  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) white granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F (95º C) degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment and set aside.
  2. Put the egg whites in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar about 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form. (The whites should be firm but moist.)
  3. Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white. (This looks like it will not happen. Fold gently and it will eventually come together.)
  4. Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into whatever shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could just free form your shapes and level them a bit with the back of a spoon. (Class made rounds, hearts, diamonds and an attempt at a clover was made!)
  1. Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe 2: Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base):

  • 1 ½ cups (355 mls) heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)
  • grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
  • 9 ounces (255 grams) 72% chocolate, chopped
  • 1 2/3 cups (390 mls) mascarpone (don’t forget we made this a few months ago – get the printable .pdf HERE)
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier (or orange juice)

 Directions:

  1. Put ½ cup (120 mls) of the heavy cream and the lemon zest in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once warm, add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let sit at room temperature until cool.
  2. Place the mascarpone, the remaining cup of cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add the Grand Marnier and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks. (DO NOT OVERBEAT AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)
  3. Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in the remaining mascarpone until well incorporated. Fill a pastry bag with the mousse. Again, you could just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.

Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):

  • 1 recipe crème anglaise
  • ½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)
  • ½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Sambucca and let the mixture cool. Put the cream in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until very soft peaks are formed. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.

Recipe 4: Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream above):

  • 1 cup (235 mls) whole milk
  • 1 cup (235 mls) heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp (75 grams) sugar

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
  2. Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.
  1. Pour about ½ cup of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep from making scrambled eggs. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and put the heat back on medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  2. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.

Assembly:

Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

Ingredients:

For the Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer cookie crumbs
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Peanut Butter Mousse

  • 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream

For the Chocolate Mousse

  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Glaze

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

 

For the Crust

  1. Lightly grease or spray a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs and melted butter until well combined and crumbs are completely coated.
  3. Press the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of the prepared springform pan.
  4. Place the crust in the refrigerator while you make the peanut butter mousse.

For the Peanut Butter Mousse

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, on medium low speed, cream together the cream cheese and butter, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and beat until well combined.
  3. Add the peanut butter and salt, beat until well mixed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
  4. Remove bowl from mixer and set aside.
  5. In a separate, clean, metal mixing bowl, using the whisk attachment, on high speed, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form.
  6. Gently fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until almost combined.
  7. Fold in another 1 1/2 cups of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until well blended (cover and refrigerate remaining whipped cream).
  8. Scrape the mousse into the prepared pan, over the crust, in an even layer.
  9. Place in the refrigerator while you make the chocolate mousse.

For the Chocolate Mousse

  1. Place both chocolates in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Leave the chocolate in the processor.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the half and half and sugar. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves.
  3. With the food processor running, put the hot milk through the feed tube and process until chocolate is completely melted.
  4. Scrape down sides of bowl and add the vanilla. Process until blended then scrape mixture into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold 1/3 of the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
  6. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the mousse until well blended.
  7. Scrape mousse into an even layer over the peanut butter mousse layer.
  8. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and freeze for about an hour, until firm.

For the Chocolate Glaze

  1. Place chocolate into a heat proof bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, bring the cream to a boil.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate in the bowl and let sit about 30 to 60 seconds.
  4. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Stir in vanilla.
  6. Cover the surface of the glaze with plastic wrap and let stand for about 10 minutes.
  7. Pour glaze over the chocolate mousse layer and spread almost to the edges of the cake.
  8. Allow cake to sit in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
  9. Run a paring knife along the edges of the cake to release from the pan. Remove the sides of the springform pan.
  10. Garnish with peanuts. Slice, serve, and enjoy!!

Apple Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Apple Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped (1/3 inch pieces) Granny Smith apples (about 2 apples)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • Maple cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 inch square baking pan with baking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until light, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until light and well blended, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk in 2 additions. Beat until just blended.
  8. Stir in the apples and walnuts by hand.
  9. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth with a rubber spatula.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a  tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  11. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  12. Frost with maple frosting, cut into squares, serve and enjoy!

Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup spiced rum
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Whisk together brown sugar and cinnamon in ceramic baking dish.
  2. Whisk in rum until sugar dissolves, whisk in vanilla extract.
  3. Add milk and cream and whisk vigorously or use hand mixer until fluffy and bubbly. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until edges start to harden, about 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from freezer and whisk vigorously or mix with a hand mixer until smooth. Cover and return to freezer.
  5. Repeat every 30 minutes for 2-3 hours then transfer to freezer safe plastic container. Cover tightly and freeze overnight.

Brown Butter Pound Cake

19 tablespoons unsalted (sweet) butter

  • 2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and put a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan.
  2. Place the butter in a 10” (25cm) skillet over medium heat. Brown the butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty. (Don’t take your eyes off the butter in case it burns.) Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes.
  3. Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Beat the brown butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla extract.
  5. Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.
  6. Scrape the batter into the greased and floured 9”x9” (23cmx23cm) square pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes
  7. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Bean Meringue

Ingredients:

  • 8 large egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean

Directions:

  1. Cut vanilla bean into small pieces. Place sugar and cut vanilla bean in food processor; process until vanilla bean is mixed with sugar.
  2. Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on high speed in an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  3. Beat in the sugar gradually in a slow stream until stiff peaks form.

Baked Alaska Assembly

Line four 4” (10cm) diameter tea cups with plastic wrap, so that plastic wrap covers all the sides and hangs over the edge. Fill to the top with ice cream. Cover the top with the overhanging plastic wrap and freeze for several hours, or until solid.

  1. Level the top of the brown butter pound cake with a serrated knife or with a cake leveler. Cut out four 4” (10cm) diameter circles from the cake. Discard the scraps or use for another purpose.
  2. Make the meringue (see above.)
  3. Unwrap the ice cream “cups” and invert on top of a cake round. Trim any extra cake if necessary.
  4. Pipe the meringue over the ice cream and cake, or smooth it over with a spatula, so that none of the ice cream or cake is exposed. Freeze for one hour or up to a day.
  5. Burn the tips of the meringue with a cooking blow torch. Or, bake the meringue-topped Baked Alaskas on a rimmed baking sheet in a 500°F/260°C oven for 5 minutes until lightly golden. Serve immediately.

Bourbon Pecan Pound Cake with Bourbon Glaze

Bourbon Pecan Pound Cake with Bourbon Glaze

Ingredients:

For the cake

  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 9 large eggs, separated
  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 cups chopped pecans, divided, plus more for garnish

For the glaze

  • 2 cups powdered
  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon
  • 7 Tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 10-12 cup bundt pan with baking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, on medium high speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the egg yolks and beat until well incorporated.
  4. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, the butter flavoring, and the bourbon.
  5. Mix in the flour a half cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. In a separate, medium metal mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff.
  7. Fold half a cup of egg whites into the batter to lighten. Then gently fold in the rest of the egg whites until well incorporated.
  8. Stir in 1 cup of the pecans.
  9. Sprinkle 1/2 a cup of the pecans in the bottom of the bundt pan. Pour the batter over the pecans and smooth out with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of pecans evenly over the batter.
  10. Bake for 1 1/2-2 hours or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  11. Allow cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.
  12. Make the glaze: stir powdered sugar, bourbon, and cream together until well incorporated.
  13. Pour glaze over the top of the cake allowing it to fall down the sides. Sprinkle a bit more of the pecans on top of the glaze. Let stand 10 minutes or until set.
  14. Slice, serve, and enjoy!!

Brooklyn Blackout Cake

Brooklyn Blackout Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee

For the Pudding Filling

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • 4 ounces unsweetened or semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. MAKE THE CAKE: Position rack to the center of the oven. Preheat to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round baking pans with baking spray.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar until blended.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients in a slow, steady stream.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula then mix on medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute.
  6. Add the hot coffee and mix until just blended.
  7. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and, using a rubber spatula, stir the batter up from the bottom of the bowl a few times to thoroughly blend. (The batter will be quite runny by now).
  8. Evenly distribute the batter into the cake pans and smooth tops if needed.
  9. Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  10. Cool cakes in the pans for 10 minutes then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
  11. MAKE THE PUDDING FILLING: In the clean bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, on medium speed, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until pale, about 1 minute.
  12. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water and cream, bring to a boil.
  13. Remove pan from heat and whisk about half the mixture into the yolk mixture then whisk the yolk and cream mixture back into the saucepan and the remaining cream mixture.
  14. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture reaches a boil. Continue to whisk constantly and boil for 1 minute.
  15. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until completely melted.
  16. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a small bowl then stir in the vanilla extract.
  17. Cover with plastic wrap making sure the surface of the pudding mixture is well covered.
  18. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  19. MAKE THE FROSTING: Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Microwave chocolate, stopping to stir every 10-15 seconds, until fully melted. Set aside.
  20. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, on medium speed, cream the butter about 1 minute.
  21. With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar until just blended, increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
  22. Beat in the vanilla and chocolate until well blended and creamy, about 1 minute more.
  23. ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Using a long, serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Set one layer aside.
  24. Place one cake layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Stir the chilled filling until smooth then spread half of the filling over the cake layer.
  25. Top with another cake layer and spread the remaining filling over it. Top that with the final cake layer, smooth side up.
  26. Take the fourth cake layer and break it in half. Place half of this layer into a food processor and process until it becomes crumbs (go ahead and eat the other half of that layer, you know you want to).
  27. Using a small, offset metal spatula, frost the top and sides of the cake with frosting.
  28. Pat a generous amount of cake crumbs along the side of the cake, pressing the crumbs lightly into the frosting. Then sprinkle and pat the crumbs onto the top of the cake.

Chocolate Marquise on Meringue

Chocolate Marquise on Meringue

Ingredients:

  • 6 large egg yolks at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons water
  • Chocolate Base, barely warm (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (for rolling)
  • Torched meringue(recipe follows)
  • Caramel (recipe follows)

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg yolks and whole eggs. Whip on high speed until very thick and pale, about 10 – 15 minutes. When the eggs are getting close to finishing, make a sugar syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring the syrup to a boil and then cook to softball stage (235F).
  2. With the mixer running on low speed, drizzle the sugar syrup into the fluffy eggs, trying to hit that magic spot between the mixing bowl and the whisk.
  3. When all of the syrup has been added (do it fairly quickly), turn the mixer back on high and whip until the bowl is cool to the touch. This will take at least 10 minutes.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Set aside.
  5. When the egg mixture has cooled, add the chocolate base to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Try to get it as consistent as possible without losing all of the air you’ve whipped into the eggs. We used the stand mixer for this, and it took about 1 minute.
  6. Fold 1/3 of the reserved whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream.
  7. Pour into the prepared pans and cover with plastic wrap (directly touching the mixture so it doesn’t allow in any air).
  8. Freeze until very firm, at least 2 – 4 hours (preferably 6 – 8 hours).
  9. When you’re ready to plate, remove the marquise from the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving. While it’s still hard, remove it from the pan by pulling on the parchment ‘handles’ or by flipping it over onto another piece of parchment.
  10. Cut it into cubes and roll the cubes in cocoa powder. These will start to melt almost immediately, so don’t do this step until all of your other plating components (meringue, caramel, spiced nuts, cocoa nibs) are ready. The cubes need to sit in the fridge to slowly thaw so plating components can be done during that time. They don’t need to be ready before the cubes are rolled in the cocoa powder.
  11. Plate with the torched meringue and drizzled caramel sauce, and toss spiced almonds and cocoa nibs around for garnish. You want to handle the cubes as little as possible because they get messy quickly and are difficult to move. However, you want to wait to serve them until they’ve softened completely. The soft pillows of chocolate are what make this dessert so unusual and when combined with the other elements, you’ll get creamy and crunchy textures with cool, spicy, salty, bitter, and sweet sensations on your palate.

 

Chocolate Base

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz (3/4 cup) bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/8 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 oz unsalted butter (1 tablespoon/15 grams), softened

 

Directions:

 

  1. Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl.
  2. In a double-boiler, warm the cream until it is hot to the touch (but is not boiling). Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.
  3. Allow it to sit for a minute or two before stirring. Stir until the chocolate is melted completely and is smooth throughout.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. Set aside until cooled to room temperature. Do not refrigerate, as the base needs to be soft when added to the marquise mixture. If you make it the day before, you may need to warm it slightly. Whisk it until it is smooth again before using it in the marquise recipe.

 

Torched Meringue

Ingredients:

 

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Combine the egg whites, sugar and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using your (clean, washed) hand, reach in the bowl and stir the three together, making sure the sugar is moistened evenly by the egg whites and they make a homogeneous liquid.
  2. Over a saucepan of simmering water, warm the egg white mixture. Use one hand to stir the mixture continuously, feeling for grains of sugar in the egg whites. As the liquid heats up, the sugar will slowly dissolve and the egg whites will thicken. This step is complete when you don’t feel any more sugar crystals in the liquid and it is uniformly warm, nearly hot.
  3. Remove the mixing bowl from the saucepan and return it to the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk until you reach soft peaks. In the last 10 seconds of mixing, add the vanilla to the meringue and mix thoroughly.
  4. When you’re ready to plate the dessert, spoon the meringue onto a plate (or use a piping bag) and use a blowtorch to broil.

Caramel
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water on medium-high heat. Boil until the water completely evaporates and the sugar caramelizes to a dark mahogany color.
  2. Working quickly, add the cream to the darkened caramel. It will bubble and pop vigorously, so add only as much cream as you can without overflowing the pot.
  3. Return the pot to the stove on low heat and whisk gently to break up any hardened sugar. Add any remaining cream and continue stirring. Gradually, the hard sugar will dissolve and the caramel sauce will continue to darken. When the caramel has darkened to the point you want it, remove it from the heat.
  4. Add the salt and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cake

Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1 scant cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Marshmallow Fluff

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8 or 9 inch square cake pan with grease and flour or baking spray.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  4. With mixer on low speed, add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla; beat until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. With the mixer still on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the milk, stirring until combined. Repeat with remaining flour and milk, ending with the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top with rubber spatula.
  8. Bake about 30 minutes for a 9 inch pan or 35 minutes for an 8 inch pan, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in pan about 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Make the frosting: Place butter in medium mixing bowl and beat until creamy. With mixer on low, slowly add sugar, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Stir in vanilla and Marshmallow Fluff and beat until smooth. Use immediately or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  11. Cut cake into squares.
  12. Serve each square with a dollop of frosting on top (bring to room temperature if needed.

Lemon Pie Bars

Lemon Pie Bars

Ingredients:

For the Crust

  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 24 crackers)
  • 12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar

For the Filling

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 large egg yolks

Directions:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking pan and line with parchment, allowing the ends of the paper to hang over two opposite sides of the pan.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar with a fork until evenly moistened.
  3. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan until level.
  4. Bake the crust for 8 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool while preparing the filling.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks until well combined.
  7. Pour filling over the cooled crust and level with a plastic spatula.
  8. Place the baking dish into a larger pan and pour water into the larger pan until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the smaller pan.
  9. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes or until the center no longer jiggles and the edges are puffed.
  10. Remove pan from water bath and let cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate until cold.
  11. Cut bars into squares, top with whipped cream if desired.

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Pie Bars with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with baking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, on medium speed, mix together the pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, and oil until combined.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Scrape batter into baking dish and spread into an even layer using a rubber spatula.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the middle no longer jiggles and a tester inserted in the center comes out almost clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before frosting**.
  8. Slice, serve, and enjoy!!

Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake

 

Ingredients

  • 6 medium sized eggs
  • 1 C / 225 gms caster sugar /8 oz+ extra for rolling
  • 6 tblsp / 45gms/ a pinch over 1.5 oz of all purpose (plain) flour + 5 tblsp/40gm /a pinch under 1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together
  • 2 tblsp /30ml / 1 fl oz of boiling water
  • a little oil for brushing the pans

For the filling

  • 2C / 500 mls/ 16 fl oz of whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, cut into small pieces of about ½ cm (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 5 tblsp / 70gms/2.5oz of caster sugar

Directions

  1. Pre heat the oven at 200 deg C /400 deg F approximately. Brush the baking pans ( 11 inches by 9 inches ) with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper. If you have just one pan, bake one cake and then let the pan cool completely before using it for the next cake.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar and beat till very thick; when the beaters are lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.
  3. Add the flour mixture, in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water.
  4. Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans.
  5. Place a pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch.
  6. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it.
  7. Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.
  8. Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Cool the wrapped roll on a rack, seam side down.
  9. Repeat the same for the next cake as well.
  10. Grind together the vanilla pieces and sugar in a food processer till nicely mixed together. If you are using vanilla extract, just grind the sugar on its own and then add the sugar and extract to the cream.
  11. In a large bowl, add the cream and vanilla-sugar mixture and beat till very thick.
  12. Divide the cream mixture between the completely cooled cakes.
  13. Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of ½ an inch should be fine).
  14. Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge till needed, seam side down.

 

The vanilla ice cream-

 

Preparation time-5 minutes+freezing

 

I have made the ice cream without an ice cream maker.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 and ½ C / 625 ml / 20 fl oz of whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, minced or 1 tsp/ 5 ml/ .15 fl oz vanilla extract
  • ½ C / 115gms/ 4 oz of granulated sugar

Directions

  1. Grind together the sugar and vanilla in a food processor. In a mixing bowl, add the cream and vanilla –sugar mixture and whisk lightly till everything is mixed together. If you are using the vanilla extract, grind the sugar on its own and then and the sugar along with the vanilla extract to the cream.
  2. Pour into a freezer friendly container and freeze till firm around the edges. Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.

 

The Hot fudge sauce-

 

Preparation time-2 minutes

Cooking time-2 minutes

 

Ingredients-

  • 1 C / 230gms/ 8 oz of caster sugar
  • 3 tblsp / 24gms/1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tblsp /15gms/ 1 oz of cornflour/cornstarch
  • 1 and ½ C /355ml /12 fl oz of water
  • 1 tblsp /14gms/ 1 oz butter
  • 1 tsp/5 ml / .15 fl oz vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornflour and water.
  2. Place the pan over heat, and stir constantly, till it begins to thicken and is smooth (for about 2 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat and mix in the butter and vanilla. Keep aside to cool .

 

The chocolate ice cream-

 

Preparation time- 5 minutes + freezing

 

Ingredients

  • 2C/ 500 ml whipping cream
  • 1 C/230gms/8 oz caster sugar
  • 3 tblsp/ 24 gms/1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions

  1. Grind together the sugar and the cocoa powder in a food processor .
  2. In a saucepan, add all the ingredients and whisk lightly.
  3. Place the pan over heat and keep stirring till it begins to bubble around the edges.
  4. Remove from heat and cool completely before transferring to a freezer friendly container till firm around the edges. If you are using an ice cream maker, churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instruction, after the mixture has cooled completely.
  5. Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.

Assembly-

 

  1. Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices ( approximately 2 cms each ).
  2. Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap.
  3. Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes).
  4. Soften the vanilla ice cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till firm ( at least 1 hour)
  5. Add the fudge sauce over the vanilla ice cream, cover and freeze till firm . ( at least an hour)
  6. Soften the chocolate ice cream and spread it over the fudge sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set .
  7. Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water. The bowl will come away easily.
  8. Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing, depending on how hot your region is. Slice with a sharp knife, dipped in hot water.

Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake

Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake

Ingredients:

 

For the crust

  • 32 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely processed into crumbs
  • 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Small pinch of salt

For the ganache

  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 20 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

For the filling

  • 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 3 large eggs

For the topping

  • 1½ cups sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the cookie dough layer

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract\
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons water (I used 4)

Directions:

 

For the crust

  1. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs.
  3. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides). I did this using a smooth glass to press crumbs into place.

 

For the ganache

 

  1. Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
  2. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.
  3. Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes.
  4. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed.
  5. Pour 1.5-2 cups of the ganache over the bottom of the crust.
  6. Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes.
  7. Reserve the remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature for later decorating.

For the filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended.
  3. Beat in the flour.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the coffee granules, vanilla and molasses, stirring until the coffee dissolves.
  5. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  6. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition.
  7. Pour the filling over the cold ganache in the crust.
  8. Enclose the bottom of the springform pan in tightly wrapped foil and place it in a baking dish. Fill the baking dish with hot water about halfway up the cheesecake pan, careful not to let the moisture touch the cheesecake.
  9. Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken, about 1 hour.
  10. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool 15 minutes while preparing the topping (maintaining the oven temperature.)

For the topping

  1. Whisk together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl.
  2. Pour the topping over the hot cheesecake, spreading to cover the filling completely.
  3. Bake until the topping is set, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Return to the cooling rack and let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Transfer to the refrigerator and let cool at least 3 hours, until completely chilled and set.

For the cookie dough layer

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in the flour, salt, vanilla and chips.
  3. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, until you have reached a cookie dough consistency.
  4. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  5. Spoon the cookie dough into the pan and flatten to an even layer. Freeze the cookie dough layer until ready to use (at least 30 minutes).

Final assembly

  1. Wrap a warm towel around the outside of the springform pan to help loosen the crust from the sides.
  2. Carefully remove the springform. Transfer the cake to a serving platter.
  3. Turn cookie dough out of cake pan and place layer on top of cheesecake, pressing it gently into place.
  4. Place the reserved ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and use to garnish the top of the cake as desired.
  5. Chill until the ganache is completely firm, at least 6 hours.
  6. Slice, serve and enjoy!!

Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Pineapple Vanilla Compote

Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Pineapple Vanilla Compote

Ingredients:
Crust:

·         2 cups gingersnap crumbs (about 40 cookies)

·         6 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra butter for pan

·         1/4 cup sugar

·         Pinch salt

Filling:

·         2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

·         12 ounce log goat cheese

·         12 ounces sour cream

·         4 eggs

·         1 cup sugar

·         2 teaspoons vanilla extract

·         Pineapple Vanilla Compote*

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust:

  1. Stir together gingersnap crumbs, melted butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the pan.

To make the filling:

  1. Beat the cream and goat cheeses in the bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the sour cream and beat to combine.
  3. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each egg is added, until thoroughly combined.
  4. Beat in the sugar and vanilla until just combined.
  5. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.
  6. Put on a baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through the cooking process. If the cheesecake starts to color, tent the springform pan with aluminum foil.
  7. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool completely before serving, as it continues to set as it cools. It is best to refrigerate overnight before serving.
  8. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with Pineapple Vanilla Compote.

 

Pineapple Vanilla Compote:

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup spiced rum
  • 2 vanilla beans, split, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 ripe pineapple, top, skin and core removed, cut into bite-size wedges

Directions:

  1. Combine the brown sugar, water, rum, and seeds from vanilla beans in a saucepan over medium heat. Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and stir to combine.
  2. Bring to a simmer, add the pineapple and stir until well mixed.
  3. Simmer until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency and the pineapple is soft.
  4. Let cool and serve over goat cheese cheesecake!

Double Chocolate Brown Butter Brownies

Double Chocolate Brown Butter Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare and 8×8 inch square baking pan with baking spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot).
  4. Add eggs to hot mixture one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition.
  5. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Spread into prepared baking pan.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (with a few moist crumbs attached).
  9. Cool on a wire rack.
  10. Cut into 16 even squares.