Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil.
Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix well. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake 30 to 35 minute or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles.
Cool brownies, then cut* them into 3/4- to 1-inch squares for use in the cheesecake. You will have more than the two cups of cubes, loosely measured, than you will need, and I’m sorry, you’re just going to have to decide for yourself what to do with the extra. Add cubes to cake batter as directed below.
* I find that brownies are fantastically easy to cut once they’ve been refrigerated–you end up with nice clean lines, and in this case, a sharp pizza wheel was especially helpful. Also, brownies taste better cold. I’m just saying.
I like a doubled crumb crust. I can’t get enough cookie. Below are proportions for one crust with the amounts to double the recipe in parentheses. You know you wanna.
Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.
Make crumb crust as directed above for 24-centimeter cheesecake. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Make filling and bake cake: Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.
Fold brownie cubes in very gently and pour mixture into prepared pan. Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken.
When completely cool, top with following glaze.
Grind the chocolate into powder in the food processor, scald the butter and cream in a saucepan (or in a Pyrex cup in the microwave). With the machine running, pour the hot cream/butter mixture slowly through the feed tube onto the chocolate. Blend until completely smooth, stopping machine to scrape down sides once or twice. Add the extract and sugar and process until smooth. Spread over cheesecake while ganache is still warm. Chill until ready to serve.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Clearly I've been on a S'more kick lately. My friend Ed had his annual BBQ over the weekend and I was summoned (by choice) to make the desserts. This S'more pie was a recipe I've wanted to make for a long time. Deb from Smitten Kitchen made this a while back and I tagged it immediately! I knew a BBQ would be the perfect excuse to make it. So I was on a mission...
5 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for greasing
1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (10 graham crackers or 24 small gingersnaps; about 6 oz, pulsed in a food processor until finely ground)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt (omitted if you use salted butter)
For chocolate cream filling
7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not more than 70% cacao; not unsweetened), finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, at room temperature for 30 minutes
For marshmallow topping (the recipe I used found here)
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz package)
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Vegetable oil for greasing
Special equipment: a candy thermometer
Make graham cracker crust:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter pie 9- to 9 1/2-inch pie plate.
Stir together all ingredients in a bowl and press evenly on bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes, then cool on a rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes.
Make chocolate cream filling:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put chocolate in a large bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, then pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then gently whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Gently whisk in egg and a pinch of salt until combined and pour into graham cracker crumb crust (crust will be about half full).
Cover edge of pie with a pie shield or foil and bake until filling is softly set and trembles slightly in center when gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool pie to room temperature on a rack (filling will firm as it cools), about 1 hour.
Make marshmallow topping:
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water in a large deep heatproof bowl and let stand until softened, about 1 minute.
Stir together sugar, corn syrup, a pinch of salt, and remaining 1/4 cup water in cleaned 1- to 1 1/4-quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then boil until thermometer registers 260°F, about 6 minutes.
Begin beating water and gelatin mixture with an electric mixer at medium speed, then carefully pour in hot syrup in a slow stream, beating (avoid beaters and side of bowl). When all of syrup is added, increase speed to high and continue beating until mixture is tripled in volume and very thick, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combined, then immediately spoon topping onto center of pie filling; it will slowly spread to cover top of pie. Chill, uncovered, 1 hour, then cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap (oiled side down) and chill 3 hours more.
Transfer pie to a baking sheet. Cover edge of pie with pie shield or foil and broil 3 to 4 inches from heat, rotating pie as necessary, until marshmallow topping is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Cool pie on a rack 10 minutes. Slice pie with a large heavy knife dipped in hot water and then dried with a towel before cutting each slice.
You can also use a kitchen blow torch rather than the broiler. That's what I did.
Note: Pie (before browning topping) can be chilled up to 1 day.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Melissa from It's Melissa's Kitchen (no, not my kitchen) picked this week's TWD recipe. She went with chocolate pudding which is definitely a feat I've been trying to master. After 3 failed attempts with this pudding, I finally got it right and when it's right, it's right. I used all semi-sweet chocolate rather than the suggested darker bittersweet which is why my pudding looks lighter and milkier than the other TWD'ers. It was a creamy, chocolaty, silky pudding that could be paired with just about anything. Throw in some sliced bananas, chopped chocolate candy, fruit of any kind, chocolate chips, heath bar, or even just a dollop of whipped cream. There are endless opportunities to spice up this chocolate pudding but the best part is that it is just as delicious plain. Dorie Greenspan has done it, yet again! All of her recipes have proven to not only work, but taste as delicious as the enticing photographs make them out to be. Check out the other TWD blogroll, here!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Success!! Everyone loved the cake. I finally got to try it and it was beyond delicious. I think this was the best cake I've ever made. I loved the combination of the sweet sugary buttercream in between the layers with the smooth silky chocolate almond Nutella SMBC around the sides and top. They complimented each other perfectly. I will most definitely make this cake again using different varieties, i.e. chocolate cake with fudge buttercream, etc. Julia Stiles, who I absolutely love, was at the show last night. I wonder if she had any cake...
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
2 cups Butter Flavored Crisco ( you can use regular shortening) 1 cup Crisco
8 cups confectioner's sugar 4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 tsp Salt
2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract 1 tsp Vanilla
6 fluid ounces heavy cream 3 oz heavy cream
1. Cream shortening until fluffy. Add confectioner's sugar and continue creaming until well blended.
2. Add salt, vanilla, and whipping cream blend on low speed until moistened. Add additional whipping cream if necessary (up to 2 ounces).
3. Beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy
Makes about 4 cups (enough to generously frost 24 cupcakes or, in my case, 2-9inch rounds)
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), softened, cut into tablespoons
1/2 jar of Nutella (about 1/2 - 2/3 cup)
Put egg whites and sugar into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees). Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add Nutella a few tablespoons at a time and continue beating until incorporated.