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Archive for June, 2011

Father’s Day was postponed around here, so in an attempt to make up for a challenging Sunday I figured that I would cater to my dad’s wishes and whip up an amazing dessert on Monday night.

I love my dad with all my heart. I can’t imagine life without him and am so thankful for all of the life lessons that I have learned from him. From playing soccer and baseball together at the park, to sharing our love of horses, to road tripping down to the States to watch the Seahawks play, I had it pretty good growing up. So blessed.

Supporting our Seahawks as the 12th man!

But sometimes he makes me wonder. I mean, how many other men on a Friday or Saturday night would grab the remote and flip the tv onto the W network? Chick flick central. I kid you not, the other day when I interrupted his Saturday night and asked what he’d been up to the response was, “I was watching that J. Lo movie, the Wedding Planner. I missed the beginning but still managed to see the best part, the scene where the horse runs away.” Only my dad. So classic.

A love of chick flicks can only be paired with a sweet tooth and chocolate is what my dad always orders for dessert. So what to make for him? Molten lava chocolate cakes. Definitely a fave of mine and apparently my father’s. Hey, I’m not complaining. While on a family roadtrip to Portland, Oregon we discovered Chili’s version of this dessert. We became obsessed and quickly catapolted this cake into our top all time favorite desserts.

This particular recipe tastes similar to Chili’s, is extremely quick and easy to make and takes little time in the oven. Just make sure that you don’t overbake it, the shorter you cook the cake the more “lava” you will end up with. And obviously remember to serve with ice cream (as if I had to remind you!)

A delicious girls night treat, or in my case a sure fire way to please dad!

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Adapted from Company’s Coming

1 tbsp + 3/4 cup cocoa  

1 cup butter

2 eggs          

2 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups icing sugar    

1/2 cup flour

Sprinkle 1 tbsp cocoa into a greased ramekin. Tilt ramekin to coat bottom and sides with cocoa. Tap excess cocoa into another greased ramekin. Repeat for a total of 6 ramekins. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 450F.

Heat butter and cocoa in small saucepan on low heat, stirring often until melted.

Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Cool slightly.

Beat egg yolks and whole eggs in a medium bowl for 2 minutes or until frothy.

Beat in icing sugar on low. Add chocolate mixture and flour. Beat well until thick and glossy.

Spoon batter into prepared ramekins.

Bake for about 12 minutes until batter rises evenly, edges appear set and middle is almost set (I baked mine for 12 minutes and wished that I had taken them out earlier).

Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes.

Run knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Cover with individual plates and invert to remove from ramekins.

Serve warm with ice cream.

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Please don’t mind the pictures.

This doesn’t look appetizing. But I promise it is.

See that part where the ice cream has melted a little bit and lightly clings to the dumplings? That’s my weakness. That’s when I hear voices that say “eat me, you know you want to…” Well yes, of course I want to, warm dessert fresh out of the oven with ice cream on top, the best. Without a doubt when I get to heaven I’ll be eating this 24/7.

When I was a little girl I asked my mom if there was corn in heaven. Legit question. Think about it. Heaven is going to be amazing, corn is my favorite vegetable, ergo there will be corn in heaven. Corn on the cob to be more specific. With lots of butter and salt. Feel free to join me, I’m sure there will be enough to go around…remember the 2 fish and 5 loaves?

Fresh rhubarb from the garden stewed up and then paired with strawberries, dumplings and ice cream. Delicious. I’m not fond of the name of this though. I’ve heard that it comes from the fact that while the fruit inside cooks, the pot releases grunting sounds. Gross, add the word grunt to my list of least favorite words (mmmmoist anyone? grrrunt? really?). Just turn up the iTunes and don’t worry about it. Then enjoy every bite of this heavenly dessert…

Strawberry Rhubarb Grunt

Adapted from Saltscapes Magazine

Sauce

2 cups sliced strawberries        2 cups cubed rhubarb

1/2 cup sugar                           1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup water                           1/4 cup orange juice

1 tbsp quick cooking tapioca

Combine above ingredients in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Dumplings

1 cup flour                       2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder       1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp butter                   1/2 cup milk

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Cut in the butter.

Add milk and stir lightly, until just moistened.

Drop by spoonfuls into hot fruit mixture, allowing space for dumplings to double in size.

Cover saucepan tightly and simmer for about 15 minutes.

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Zebra Cake

Because this blog hasn’t been flooded with enough chocolate lately, here’s some more.

Have you heard of Pinterest before? It’s my new obsession. Basically it’s a website where people post pictures of things they love. Food, clothing, crafts, quotes, you name it, it’s probably there somewhere. I just like looking at all of the pictures and dreaming of being crafty and creative…which I’m not. C+ in grade 4 art. I still haven’t gotten over it.

I saw a picture of this particular cake one day while flitting my time away. Instant reaction: make this. And so I did. Something that looks that good and is a cake has to be made immediately.

While in Africa I had the opportunity to see a  number of different animals on a safari. Lions, elephants, giraffes, rhino’s, hippos, the list goes on. This was all well and good except that I never got to see the animal that I so desperately wanted to…the zebra! Guess that means I’ll have to go back to Africa. In the meantime, zebra cake will have to do.

A few things to make note of if you are going to make this cake. #1: patience is required. Don’t do this if you’re in a rush or a bad mood, bad words might fly out of your mouth. #2: This cake looks good. #3: That being said, don’t make this cake if you are craving a delicious cake. A little on the bland side, I tried to spice things up with mint extract, icing and ice cream. It worked, but just barely. Don’t believe the other people that tell you that this cake is perfect with just a light dusting of icing sugar. It won’t be perfect.

I’m glad I made this cake. But would I make it again? Good question.

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I’ve been really stressed out lately. Like stressed out to the max. And all because of a boy…

Okay so maybe it isn’t about 1 boy, it’s more than 1 boy that is stressing me out, in fact it’s a team of boys. The Vancouver Canucks.

In case you’ve been living under a rock check this out. Yes I still believe that we are the best team in the league and that we are going to pull this off. I definitely don’t want a repeat of my 7 year old self in 1994 sitting on the floor of the living room crying my eyes out because my Canucks lost the cup to the New York Rangers. Not a pretty picture.

My point? When I’m stressed out I like to do one of two things. One being go for a run and two being bake. Clearly this post is about the latter. Remember the half pan of brownies that I had left over from making this? Well, I decided to dress those brownies up, make them a little bit more interesting shall we say. In order to this I called in the big guns…peanut butter, rice krispies and marshmallows. Epic. Brownies that have marshmallows melted on top of them and then smothered in a chocolate peanut rice krispie layer. Delicious. As in everyone will compliment you on these and want to be your best friend delicious.

Stressed out? This will cure that. Just don’t eat the whole pan.

 

And most importantly, bring that cup home boys, GO CANUCKS GO!!!

 

Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Brown Eyed Baker

Part One: One Bowl Brownies
3/4 cup cocoa      1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup butter     1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs                 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt          1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line 9×13 baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil.

Melt chocolate and butter in large saucepan until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Stir in sugar, 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.) 

Part Two: The Toppings
1 bag (10½ ounces) miniature marshmallows
1½ cups chocolate chips     1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp butter                       1½ cups Rice Krispies cereal

After cooking and removing the brownies from the oven, immediately sprinkle the marshmallows over them. Return the pan to the oven for 3 more minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the milk chocolate chips, peanut butter, and tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until completely melted.

Remove from heat, add the Rice Krispies and mix well. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.

Spread the mixture evenly over the marshmallow layer. Refrigerate until chilled before cutting.

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All that seems to be coming out of the oven these days is chocolate and rhubarb. Might as well keep this chocolate train going with this amazing amazing dessert.

It was my mom’s 60th birthday last week. Sixty! Oh man. I figured that a) a surprise party was needed and b) an extra delicious dessert was a must. The surprise party was a huge success, she didn’t have a clue. You should have seen the look on her face when we entered the restaurant and a bunch of her friends were there to celebrate her. Priceless. And so worth all of the planning. So many incredible women all in one place. Love it.

On a more serious note…this dessert. Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake. We all know that I’m obsessed with the Cheesecake Factory’s 30th Anniversary cheesecake so any chance I get to make something similar I quickly grab. This recipe is to die for. It will definitely be made many more times to come.

This recipe does take a while to make so preparations began the night before as I made the pan of brownies. I made a full 9 x 13 pan and only ended up using half of it for the cheesecake. Fear not, I put those extra brownies to good use. More on that another day. The following day, with my brownies in the fridge ready to go I began work on the next layers.

Instead of using the regular Oreo cookie crumbs the crust is made with chocolate Teddy Grams, and, rather than having a single layer of crust, the recipe doubles the crust. Genius. Once this is done the cheesecake layer is quickly completed and the brownies are cut up and stirred into the batter. Rather than pouring a chocolate ganache on top of the finished product I went for a “lighter” feel and topped everything with whipping cream. Light. Yeah right.

A major cake for a major birthday. The best.

Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

Part One: One Bowl Brownies
3/4 cup cocoa      1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup butter     1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs                 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt          1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line 9×13 baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil.

Melt chocolate and butter in large saucepan until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Stir in sugar, 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 and refrigerate until needed. Cut into 1-inch squares for use in the cheesecake. Add cubes to cake batter as directed below.

Part Two: Crumb Crust
2 1/2 cups Chocolate Teddy Grahams    

9 tbsp butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar   1/4 tsp salt

Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Part Three: Cheesecake
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs       1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sugar     2 cups brownie cubes (from recipe above)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed. Be sure to scrape down bowl between additions.

Fold brownie cubes in very gently and pour mixture into prepared pan.

Place prepared pan on a cookie sheet to catch any drippings.

Bake 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, then refrigerate. Serve with whipping cream.

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Texas Brownies

Do you have a “go to” recipe? This is mine when I need to bake for others.

Totally different from other brownies, this one is more on the cakey side and even has an icing poured over it straight out of the oven. Delicious.

I started baking these back in high school for the grade 7 orientation that my friends and I organized. See, I’m kind of competitive. If others are bringing baked goods I want mine to be gone first, I want people to love them. This recipe = a sure victory. Guaranteed that those grade 7s left their orientation excited to come to a school that had great brownies. Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit…

Last year when I was completing my practicum as a student teacher I made a bet with my grade 11 students that I would bake for them if Canada’s mens and womens hockey teams both won the gold. Nothing says Canada like hockey and I can proudly say that I won the bet. Again the brownies were demolished.

My favorite part…sometimes I like to undercook the brownies a bit so that the middle pieces are a bit gooier, but yes, undercooked. When I gave a piece to my sponsor teacher she told me that she had heard about these molten brownies before and couldn’t wait to try one. I didn’t correct her mistake. Molten brownies, I like the sound of that!

Gooey brownies. Make these. They are my for real favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Brownies

2 cups flour           2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter       1/2 cup shortening

1 cup water           1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 eggs                   1/2 cup buttermilk (I use 1/2 cup milk and 2 tsp vinegar)

1 tsp baking soda  1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl.

Combine butter, shortening, water and cocoa in a saucepan. Stir and heat to boiling.

Pour boiling mixture over the flour and sugar in the bowl. Add the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Mix well. (You may want to use an electric mixer to get out all of the lumps)

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until brownies test done in the center.

Frosting

1/2 cup butter   2 tbsp cocoa

1/4 cup milk       3 1/2 cups icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla

While the brownies bake, prepare the frosting.

Combine the butter, cocoa and milk in a saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring.

Mix in the icing sugar and vanilla until frosting is smooth.

Pour warm frosting over brownies as soon as you take them out of the oven. Cool.

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