Fudgy Brownie

The type of brownies you dream about. The ones you hope show up at the potluck because you want to stuff all of them in your face. Also the ones you have to plan to have a sharing option because you will eat the entire pan by yourself otherwise.

The recipe also works gloriously well in a gluten-free option, just swap the flour one for one with your gluten-free all purpose mic (no adding xantham or guar gum). The first time I tasted those they were done with quinoa flour and I am immensely sad that quinoa flour went up in price. It added a little something that I miss.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup butter (3 sticks)
1 1/4 cup cocoa, sifted
2 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tea spoon salt
5 eggs
2 tea spoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup flour
1 cup good dark chocolate
ingredients

***

1. Line a 9×13 baking mold with aluminum foil. Spray with Pam (or grease with butter) and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 325F.
pan

2. In a medium to large pot, melt the butter.
butter

3. Once the butter is melted, turn the heat off. Add the cocoa.
cocoa

4. Whisk until smooth.
cocoa2

5. Add the sugar and the salt.
sugar

6. Whisk together. It will turn into a gritty mess. Don’t panic. If it’s still hot, set aside. You need it warm, not hot,
sugar2

7. Add two eggs and whisk them in.
eggs

8. It should smooth out as soon as the eggs get incorporated. Add the remaining 3 eggs and whisk well.
eggs2

9. Add the vanilla extract. The batter should be smooth and shiny by now.
vanilla

10. Sprinkle the flour on top.
flour

11. Switch to a spatula and fold the flour in until just incorporated.
folded

12. Add the dark chocolate and mix until distributed.
chocolate

13. Transfer to the prepared foil lined pan. Bake for 35 minutes.
pour

14. Remove from the oven and let cool fully in the pan, on a cooling rack. This will take a minimum of 3 hours.
cool

15. Once cooled, turn over on a cutting board, using the foil sling to help things along.
turn

16. Cut into small squares.
cut

17. Serve room temperature. Can keep 3 days or so in a sealed container. If you have sufficient will power.
brownies

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Oatmeal cookies with cranberries and chocolate

I wanted oatmeal cookies, but I didn’t want to make banana cookies. And I dislike raisins…

So a bit of poking around in my pantry made me reach for leftover cranberries (from making the cranberry sauce) that I had frozen and a bag of mini chocolate chips. The resulting cookies are a bit crunchy, a bit chewy, with bright burst of cranberry and just a hint of dark chocolate. Craving satisfied 🙂

Ingredients :
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 tea spoon baking soda
1 tea spoon cinnamon
1/2 tea spoon nutmeg
Seeds of 3 green cardamon pods
3 cups oats
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 mini dark chocolate chips
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the over to 350F.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, oats, spices, baking soda)
dry

2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the sugar, brown sugar and butter.
butter1

3. Cream together until lighter and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at the time, mixing well between additions.
butter2

4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
combine

5. Add the chocolate chips and cranberries.
add

6. Fold into the batter.
fold

7. Spoon unto cookie trays lined with parchment paper.
balls

8. Bake for 12 minutes. They will be very soft coming out of the oven and will firm up as they cool.
baked

9. Allow to cool fully and transfer to a air thigh box.
box

Irish Carbomb Cupcakes

Delicious boozy cupcakes, super moist. Essentially a very slight variation from this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I ended up buying a melon baller spoon just for making these. I highly recommend it, makes the process much easier.

I didn’t use the whiskey pictured in the end, the chocolate I use is very present and it was getting lost. I ended up using some of this one instead.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Ingredients for the cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tea spoon baking soda
1/2 tea spoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ingredients for the ganache center:
8 oz 70% dark chocolate
2/3 cup cream
2 table spoon salted butter, room temperature
3 table spoon whiskey (I didn’t use the one picture)

Ingredients for the icing:
8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
4 table spoon Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/2 cup icing sugar

ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
In a medium sauce pot, combine the unsalted butter and the Guiness. using low heat melt the butter into the beer (you don’t want this to boil).
butter-beer1

2. Meanwhile, combine together the flour, sugar, baking soda and sat.
dry

3. Once the butter is melted give it a good whisk to emulsify the liquid.
butter-beer2

4. Add the cocoa powder.
cocoa1

5. Whisk until smooth. Then set aside to cool slightly.
cocoa2

6. In the bowl of a mixer combine the sour cream and eggs.
wet1

7. Beat until smooth.
wet2

8. While the mixer is running on low, slowly drizzle in the butter, beer and cocoa mix. Don’t go too fast, you want to temper the eggs, not curdle them.
wet3

9. Add the dry ingredients in two batches. Stir until just combined.
add-dry

10. Line muffin trays with liners and fill with the batter (aiming for 3/4 full). The batter will be very loose and liquidy.
fill

11. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
bake

12. Remove from the trays and allow to cool fully.
cool

13. Using the magical melon baller spoon, scoop out a cavity in the middle of each cupcake (keep the scraps, they are delicious).
carve

14. In a small sauce pot warm the cream until just below a boil.
cream

15. Weight the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the cream over it.
ganache1

16. Working fast while the cream is warm, stir until the chocolate is nice and smooth. Add the room temperature butter and the whiskey. Stir until smooth and shiny.
ganache2

17. Transfer the ganache to a piping bag (in my case the classical ziploc bag held up in a mason jar).
bag

18. Pipe the still warm (but not hot!) ganache into the cavities you carved out earlier. Allow to cool fully; the ganache will set at room temperature.
ganache3

19. Once the ganache is set, combine the icing ingredients in the bowl of a mixer.
icing

20. And beat until smooth.
icing---donc

21. If you have talent pipe over the cupcakes. I tend to just use an offset spatula and smear the icing over them.
cupcakes

22. These keep well in the fridge for a couple of days but are best eaten room temperature. So take them out a least an hour before serving to let them warm up. Enjoy!
cupcake

Crinkle Cookies

Moist and dense but maybe skirting a little close to the overly sweet side. Excellent to satisfy a chocolate craving however.

Ingredients:
125g 70% dark chocolate
4 table spoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tea spoon baking powder
1/4 tea spoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup icing sugar
ingredients

***

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
dry

2. In a double boiler, melt the 70% chocolate and butter. Stir to combine.
melt1

3. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a mixer.
eggs

4. Beat the eggs until light and thick.
eggs2

5. Your chocolate should be melted now. Take off the heat to cool for a minute.
melt2

6. Once the chocolate is no longer scalding, pour it into the eggs with the mixer running on low.
eggs3

7. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
add-dry

8. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
Then stick the whole bowl in the fridge for 2 hours.
chips

9. Once your dough has chilled, pre-heat the oven to 325F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Spoon out dough and roll between your palms (aim for roughly golf ball sized). Put the powdered sugar in a shallow bowl and Roll in powdered sugar and roll the dough in it. Roll between your palms again to remove the excess.
roll

10. Bake for 13-14 minutes. They will be very soft and look a bit underdone, this is normal.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to a cooling rack. This should be just about enough time to prepare the next batch.
bake

11. Keep in an airtight box (they dry fast). Yields about 30 cookies.
boxed

Coconut Macaroon with dark chocolate

A delicate, delicious little bite of a cookie. And most importantly when hosting a large group with dietary restrictions, they are both gluten-free and dairy-free.

Ingredients :
200g shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup sugar
2 table spoon cornstarch
1/3 cup liquid egg whites
90g of dark chocolate
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Combine the sugar, cornstarch and coconut in a bowl.
dry

2. Add the egg whites.
add-eggs

3. It will look like it’s not enough liquid, but just keep mixing, it will coat everything.
mix

4. Form balls about the size of a golf ball. Press firmly so the mixture sticks to itself. Put on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Aim for 16-18 macaroons per recipe.
balls

5. Bake for 15 minutes. The coconut should just be turning golden on top.
cook

6. Allow the macaroons to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, melt some chocolate (temper it for a shinier final result).
chocolate

7. Dip the bottom third of the macaroons into the chocolate. Return to the parchment paper lined tray and allow to set, at room temperature, for 1 hour.
dip

8. Plate and serve.
DSCF6041

Dark chocolate fudge with pistachioes

Dark, decadent, very chocolaty. By using the evaporated milk rather then the more usual sweetened condensed milk these have a softer texture, midway between a mousse and a ganache. It also allows the chocolate to shine, as it’s not fighting the sugar. If you’d rather have the thick and chewy texture, use sweetened condensed milk.

Ingredients :
350g good dark chocolate
1 tin evaporated milk (unsweetened condensed milk)
150g (shelled) pistachios
30g unsalted butter
a good pinch of fleur de sel

ingredients

***

1. Butter an 8×8 inch dish and line with parchment paper leaving two sides sticking out.
pan

2. Shell the pistachios and remove most of the papery skins.
pistachio-shell

3. Put the pistachios into a ziploc bag. Smash with a rolling pin, the bottom of a pan or a meat tenderizer to break into shards.Set aside.
pistachios-crush

4.  In a heat proof bowl, weight your chocolate.
choco

5. Add the evaporated milk.
combine1

6.   Set the bowl over a pot of boiling water (double boiler). Stir to get the chocolate to start melting then add the butter.
melt

7. When everything is melted and smooth add the fleur de sel.
salt

8. Stir in the splintered pistachios.
pistachios

9. Pour the whole thing into the prepared pan. Smooth the top as best you can. Allow to cool some, then stick in the fridge (fold the parchment paper flaps to cover)
pour

10. Once cold, use the parchment paper flaps to remove from the pan unto a cutting board and discard the parchment paper.
Cut into small cubes (aiming for a 7×7 grid pattern). They will keep in the freezer beautifully until ready to be eaten.
cubes1

Chocolate Bread Pudding

I had people over for dinner and ended up with an extra baguette. I also had whole milk left from making a batch of rice pudding. So this served as a fridge/pantry cleaning decadent dessert.

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup cream
235g dark chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tea spoon salt
1 tea spoon vanilla
6 eggs
butter
1 baguette (1 or 2 day old. you don’t want fresh bread)
1 cup blueberries
ingredients

***

1. Butter a souffle dish (this one fits about 1 1/2 quart). Cut the bread into small cubes and fill the dish (about 6 cups).
cut-bread

2.  In a large pot, combine the milk, cream, sugar and salt. Heat until simmering but avoid boiling.
heat-milk

3. In the mean time, whisk the eggs in a large heat resistant bowl. You want them slightly lighter.
beat-eggs

4. Put the chocolate in the milk and remove from heat. Allow to stand for a minute.
add-choco

5. Then whisk until smooth.
whisk

6. Gently, while whisking continually, pour the chocolate cream into the eggs.Stir in the vanilla.
custard

7. Put the souffle dish in a large roasting tray. Pour over the bread. Allow to soak for 1 hour. If all the custard doesn’t “fit”, leave it alone for about 20 minutes. The bread will soak it up and you will be able to pour more.
This is why you don’t want fresh bread, it doesn’t soak up enough. And really, do give it at least 1 hour to soak up.
absorb

8. Add the berries. You could also mix them in with the bread at step 1. Don’t worry if any of the custard spilled during the previous step, that’s what that roasting tray is for, in part.
add-berries

9. Add about 1 tablespoon of butter in small dots on top of the whole thing. It will help the exposed bread caramelize.
berries

10. Turn the oven on to 325F. Add boiling water to the roasting pan. Put the waterbath in the oven for 45-50 minutes. The edges should be set while the middle should be still liquidy.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. The cooler it gets the more set the custard will be. The pieces on top and near the edges will be slightly crispy and everything else very soft and creamy.

Eating it warm however, allows you to use the custard like a decadent chocolate cause, spooning it all over your serving. I’ll leave that difficult decision to you.
remove