Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bailey's Marbled Cheesecake

For those incompetent cheesecake lovers, I have come up with a somewhat idiot proof cheesecake recipe that even the dumbest of cooks can make.


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 package graham crackers, ground to crumbs in food processor

Combine butter, sugar and cocoa powder. Stir in crumbs. Press evenly over bottom of greased 9-inch springform pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool pan and grease sides.

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream(or Caramel)
2 squares (2 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate, melted

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Blend in Bailey's. Pour about 1/3 mixture into a bowl and stir in melted chocolate.
Pour half of plain mixture into prepared pan. Drizzle with half the chocolate mixture. Repeat layers. Make a marbled design by gently swirling batter with a knife.

Bake 10 minutes at 450°F, then 55 minutes at 250°F or until cake tests done.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Red Velvet Cake

If you ever made a Red Velvet Cake, you know how righteously awesome they are. A little love and a few choice words, and you have your very own Red Velvet masterpiece.

You Will Need:

2 1/2 cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons (15 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk

2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring

1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 1/2 (360 ml) cups heavy whipping cream

1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) tub of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted

Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven. Butter two - 9 inch (23 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.

In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until soft (about 1-2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

In a measuring cup whisk the buttermilk with the red food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.

In a small cup combine the vinegar and baking soda. Allow the mixture to fizz and then quickly fold into the cake batter.

Working quickly, divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and smooth the tops with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, lifting off the pan. Once the cakes have completely cooled, wrap in plastic and place the cake layers in the freezer for at least an hour. (This is done to make filling and frosting the cakes easier.)

Cream Cheese Frosting: In your food processor, or with a hand mixer, process the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and process until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Then, in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. With a large spatula, gently but quickly fold a little of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream, in two stages. If the frosting is not thick enough to spread, cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour, or until it is firm enough to spread.

Assemble: With a serrated knife, cut each cake layer in half, horizontally. You will now have four cake layers. Place one of the cake layers, top of the cake facing down, onto your serving platter. Spread the cake layer with a layer of frosting. Place another layer of cake on top of the frosting and continue to frost and stack the cake layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Can garnish the cake with sweetened or unsweetened coconut

Makes one - 9 inch four layer cake.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Iced Chocolate Cognac or Rum

In Light of this past week's drunken slush activities, I decided to share a not-so-guilty pleasure with you. Iced Chocolate Rum(or Cognac, whichever your preference)
This little gem needs no introduction, so without further delay....

You Will Need:

3 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate
1 cup whole milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons Half and Half (or 1 1/2 Tablespoons cream)
1/2 cup cold coffee
Pinch of salt (optional)
2-3 tbsps (I tend to use waay more than this. Adjust to your liking!) Cognac or Rum


Over a double boiler, or very carefully over low heat, melt the chocolate, sugar, and milk together, stirring constantly. Add the cream, stir.
Stir in the coffee, then taste, and add the pinch of salt only if needed.
Remove from heat, and use a wire whisk to really incorporate the ingredients.
Pour over ice or chill and serve cold.
Add the Cognac or Rum to the top of the glass, and stir.
It's beguiling, so sip with the utmost caution, and to savor it. :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Gordon Ramsay's Apple Tart

One of my favorite Gordon Ramsay recipes, The Glazed Apple Tart. If you ever watch his show The F Word, you know what I'm referring to. This was too divine to not make. So I did, and it was amazing. So I'm sharing it with everyone. So easy, and tastes great with Ice cream!

You Will Need:

250g puff pastry
3-4 Braeburn apples
20g unsalted butter, melted
1-2 tbsp golden caster sugar
Icing sugar to dust


1.Heat the oven to 200˚C/Gas 6. Roll out the puff pastry thinly on a lightly floured surface to a 2mm thickness. Using a 13cm plate or saucer as a guide, cut out 4 rounds and place on two large baking sheets. Prick the pastry all over with a fork to stop it from puffing up.

2. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples.

3.Arrange the apple slices in a circle on top of the pastry discs, overlapping them slightly, placing 2 rings in the middle to finish. Brush them with melted butter and sprinkle with a fine layer of caster sugar.

4.Bake the tarts for 10 -15 minutes until the pastry is cooked. Dust with icing sugar and glaze with a blow torch.

5.Serve the tarts warm, with a scoop of caramel ice cream.

Here's a video of Gordon preparing the Apple Tart to show how easy it really is...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lemon Layered Cake!

Just in time for Spring, nothing tastes of summer like Lemon does. So in celebration of BBQ season, here is a great recipe for Lemon Layered Cake. Not too difficult for the novice baker. Have fun with this and don't be afraid to try different flavors.

The filling can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, but it will become quite stiff; fold it with a rubber spatula to loosen it before spreading onto the cake. For neater slices, dip a knife into hot water before cutting the cake. Leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator, with the cut side of the cake covered tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

You Will Need:

Lemon Curd Filling

1 cup fresh lemon juice from about 6 lemons
1 teaspoon gelatin (powdered)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
1/8 teaspoon table salt
4 large eggs
6 large egg yolks (reserve egg whites for cake)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen


2 1/4 cups cake flour (9 ounces), plus extra for pans
1 cup whole milk , room temperature
6 large egg whites , room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar (12 1/4 ounces)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 12 pieces, softened but still cool

Fluffy White Icing

2 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon corn syrup


1. FOR THE FILLING: Measure 1 tablespoon lemon juice into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over top. Heat remaining lemon juice, sugar, and salt in medium nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot but not boiling. Whisk eggs and yolks in large nonreactive bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot lemon-sugar mixture into eggs, then return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with heatproof spatula, until mixture registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer and is thick enough to leave trail when spatula is scraped along pan bottom, 4 to 6 minutes. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Stir in frozen butter until incorporated. Pour filling through fine-mesh strainer into nonreactive bowl (you should have 3 cups). Cover surface directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm enough to spread, at least 4 hours.

2. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch-wide by 2-inch-high round cake pans and line with parchment paper. In 2-cup liquid measure or medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg whites, and vanilla.

3. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt at low speed. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs with no visible butter chunks. Add all but 1/2 cup milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. With mixer running at low speed, add remaining 1/2 cup milk mixture; increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds more. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl. Return mixer to medium speed and beat 20 seconds longer. Divide batter evenly between cake pans; using rubber spatula, spread batter to pan walls and smooth tops.

4. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cakes comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Loosen cakes from sides of pans with small knife, cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto greased wire rack; peel off parchment. Invert cakes again; cool completely on rack, about 1 1/2 hours.

5. TO ASSEMBLE: Following illustrations below, use serrated knife to cut each cake into 2 even layers. Place bottom layer of 1 cake on cardboard round or cake plate. Using icing spatula, spread 1 cup lemon filling evenly on cake, leaving 1/2-inch border around edge; using cardboard round, gently replace top layer. Spread 1 cup filling on top. Using cardboard round, gently slide bottom half of second cake into place. Spread remaining cup filling on top. Using cardboard round, place top layer of second cake. Smooth out any filling that has leaked from sides of cake; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while making icing.

6. FOR THE ICING: Combine all ingredients in bowl of standing mixer or large heatproof bowl and set over medium saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water (do not let bowl touch water). Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and transfer mixture to standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to beat until mixture has cooled to room temperature and stiff peaks form, 5 minutes longer. Using icing spatula, spread frosting on cake. Serve. (Cake can be refrigerated for up to 1 day before serving.)

Serves 10-12!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Marguerita Slush

To go with the rainbow cupcakes, here's Marguerita Slush. (Also great on it's own)..

You will need:

2 cans limeade, frozen concentrate, thawed
6 cups water
1 cup tequila (or full flask)
1 cup triple sec (add according to taste)
4 litres 7-Up®


Combine all ingredients except 7-Up in bucket.

Cover and freeze for at least 8 hours.

Stir twice during freezing process.

To serve, rub cut lime around glass rim, tip glass upside down and dip in sugar,
spoon slush into glasses and pour 7-Up over.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Rainbow Cupcakes!

You can use these directions for any type of basic cake or cupcake recipe. They are really fun to make on a rainy day. I'll be making these after supper tonight along with some much needed Marguerita Slush!! XD They go hand in hand over easter break so why not? You don't even need to ice them. They're perfect on their own.

Here's what you'll need:

125.0 gram Butter
125.0 gram Self-Raising Flour
125.0 gram Caster Sugar
2.0 Egg(s)
Vanilla Extract
3.0 tbsp Milk
4.0 Food Coloring
12.0 Cupcake Baking Case(s)


Preheat oven to 350

Round up your ingredients

Beat the sugar and butter together, until fluffy and light coloured

Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour each time, until you've added it all.

Ad the vanilla essence, mix

one tbsp milk, mix

one tbsp milk, mix

one tbsp milk, mix

Divide between 6 bowls

Bowl 1- Add half a cap full of red colouring

Bowl 2- Add half a cap full of red and half a cap full of yellow

Bowl 3- Half a cap of yellow

Bowl 4- Half a cap full of green

Bowl 5- Half a cap full of Blue

Bowl 6- Half a cap full of Blue, half a cap full of Red.

Obviously, mix after youve added the colourings

Divide the purple bowl between the 12 cases. smooth to form bottom layer.

Repeat with the other bowls in this order:

Put in the oven for 10-15 mins

skewer to find out if it's ready, if it comes out gunky, put it back in the oven! if clean, then pop on a cooling rack


go crazy!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Crème Brûlée a l'Orange for any late night dessert!

I LOVE My Cafe torch. It's my best friend. Even when I'm not cooking, I like to play with it. It makes me feel like the Kitchen Mistress(or Master for all you sexist mongrels). It makes me feel safe, knowing I have a nice little weapon tucked away for any intruder into my kitchen. So in tribute to my Cafe Torch and to those of you who also own one, here is my favorite crème brûlée recipe.

Begin preparing the custards a day ahead so that they can chill overnight.

You Will Need:

6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 6 teaspoons sugar
1 1/3 cups whipping cream
2/3 cup whole milk
2 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 1/2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur


Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter six 3/4-cup soufflé dishes or custard cups. Beat egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in medium bowl to blend. Bring cream, milk and orange peel to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture.

Stir in Grand Marnier.

Divide custard among prepared dishes. Set dishes in large baking pan. Add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of dishes. Bake custards until just set in center, about 40 minutes. Remove from water. Cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar over each dish. Torch until sugar browns, 1-3 seconds.
Refrigerate 1 hour.

For those who do not own a torch, here is the broiler method:

Preheat broiler. Arrange soufflé dishes on baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar over each. Broil until sugar browns, rotating baking sheet for even browning and watching closely to avoid burning, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate 1 hour. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

And THAT my friends is one of the most glorious desserts you will ever taste. Hope you enjoyed it and continue to make it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

CRÊPE CAKE!!!!! With Caramelized Apples & Wild Blueberries!

So I've spent the entire day cooking Easter supper. All By myself! Deboned turkey, with vegetables, blueberry pudding, yorkshire puddings, and of course, Graaaaavy. Mmm MMm Mmmmmm. It was great! I've impressed myself, but my feet are saying "I hate you". So the menu from yesterday to tomorrow is as follows: Friday/Fried cod fillets, hashbrown casserole, ceasar salad, potato roasters. Saturday(Today)/Turkey(deboned), vegetables(potato,carrot,cabbage,turnip), blueberry pudding, yorkshire pudding, salt meat & Bunny cake. Sunday/ Prime rib and all the trimmings. Monday/Sleep....

Since it's been a long day, I feel like a treat. Crepes are possibly one of my absolute favorite things to make. SO EASY and SO GOOD. So Versatile.
So for the crepe lovers out there, heres to you...

You Will Need:
1 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
2 cups Milk
2 Eggs
1 tbsp Granulated sugar
1 cup 35% whipping cream
2 tbsp Icing sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
1 tbsp Butter
2 Organic Gala Apples, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch (1 cm) slices
3 tbsp Unsalted butter
3 tbsp Honey
1/2 cup Chopped Pecans
1/2 cup Frozen Wild Blueberries

In a bowl, whisk flour and milk until smooth. Add eggs and sugar and whisk until smooth, about 10 seconds. Let stand 10 min.

Meanwhile, beat whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla until firm. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and oil together in microwave for 30 seconds; stir to blend. With a heat-resistant brush, brush pan lightly with some of the butter and oil mixture. When pan is hot, pour 1/3 cup batter in pan and swirl pan to coat thinly. Cook until bottom is golden and edges start to curl, about 1 min.

Flip over and cook other side, about 30 seconds. Remove to a platter. Repeat with remaining batter to make 8 crêpes.

Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, Add apples and cook until lightly browned, about 3 min. Add honey and simmer 1 min. Add pecans and blueberries and simmer 1 min. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 min.

To assemble, lay one crepe on a serving platter. Spread evenly with 1/4 cup whipped cream. Repeat, using all the crepes and whipped cream. Top with apple-blueberry mixture. Cut into eight wedges and serve with additional whipped cream, if desired.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Health Shakes are for quitters. Here's a Smoothie which won't go directly to your thighs....

So I've tried just about everything to keep active. It never works. Always too busy to work out or go for a walk or run or what have you. Even Wiifit. I absolutely LOVE the Wiifit when I'm on it, but I tuck my board away on the tv unit shelf. Even though it takes about 3 seconds to pull out the board and place it on the floor in front of me, I try to justify why it's such a pain in the ass to take it out. But it really isn't. I'm just so busy during the day and all I want to do when I'm home is relax. I'm sure I'm not the only one. So I've put a plan together that might just work. I've come up with a healthy SMOOTHIE that tastes just awesome and is even GOOD FOR YOU. I'm not one to preach about losing weight and being healthy. But this is a great start for all you stressed-and-no-time-to-work-out-just-want-to-relax people. You can even make a larger mixture of the smoothie and keep it in your fridge for a couple of days. So here goes...

You will need:

1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/2 frozen banana, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons powdered protein supplement
1 1/2 tablespoons flax seed
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup frozen strawberries

What you do with all of that is:

Throw it all in the blender and puree until smooth. THATS IT!

I keep mine in Mason Jars and just drink it from those. Of course, I like to save on dishwashing as well. So you can feel free to use a cup. :P

This One's For The Kids: Maple Syrup Taffy Pops

Unfortunately, this recipe requires SNOW. So those of you who can still easily go outside and get a bucket of snow, this one`s for you. (Unless of course you`d like to freeze a bucket of ice and chip it into snow, by all means, go right ahead.)

That being said, If you've ever been to a sugar shack where they turn sap into maple syrup, you've seen and tasted maple syrup taffy pops.
Kids, don't try this project on your own. A grown-up needs to boil the sugar because it gets VERY HOT!

1. Gather your equipment. You will need:

a) A small pot from the kitchen
b) A candy thermometer
c) A baking sheet
d) About 12 popsicle sticks

2. Gather your ingredients. You will need:

a) 2 cups of real maple syrup
b) Clean, untouched snow. Make sure your snow is clean because you're going to eat it!


Scoop the snow onto the baking sheet.

Pack the snow down onto the sheet.

In your small pot, boil the maple syrup to "soft ball" stage on your candy thermometer (235˚F). See this picture? It's VERY HOT! Make sure a grown-up boils the syrup for you. (and grown-ups, be careful too!)

After the syrup has boiled to "soft ball" stage (235˚F), have a grown-up transfer the syrup into a Pyrex measuring cup for pouring.

Pour the maple syrup in a line on your snow.

Wait 30 seconds

Roll your maple syrup taffy around a popsicle stick.

Eat your maple syrup pops right away - they won't last!!
And THAT Ladies, Gents, Boils and Ghouls, is how you make Maple Syrup Taffy Pops.
This would make a great treat for the easter holidays.
Disclaimer: All cavities and teeth holes received due to eating this sweet treat will have to be brought to your toothbrush or dentist. Not me. I am not responsible. I just provide the sweets to the sweet. :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cream Cheese Brownies!! MMM MMM MMM

The trick to making a dense and fudgy brownie, besides reducing the amount of flour and using no artificial leavener (baking powder/baking soda), is to incorporate as little air as possible when mixing the batter. So, instead of pulling out the electric mixer we are just going to mix the ingredients together in one bowl with a wooden spoon. The result is a nicely compact brownie with a dense and fudgy texture. Once the brownie batter is in the pan (we do keep some brownie batter for later) we top it with a cheesecake filling. The main component in a cheesecake is cream cheese, that white, soft and spreadable cheese with a slightly tangy flavor. It has a 33% butterfat content so its texture is wonderfully smooth and creamy. The one thing you do need to keep in mind is that cream cheese needs to be at room temperature before it is beaten so it will be nice and smooth with no lumps. Then we add a little sugar, an egg, and some vanilla extract for texture and flavor and after gently spreading it over the brownie layer, there is only one thing left to do. And that is to place small dollops of that leftover brownie batter over the cream cheese filling and then running a knife or wooden skewer through it all to give a nice marbleized effect. You can eat these squares the same day as you make them, but I prefer refrigerating them overnight as this gives the flavors time to soften and mingle.
These are quite possibly my favorite brownie. Soft & Chewy, nobody can resist them!

Brownie Layer:

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

4 ounces (114 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Layer:

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Have ready a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) square baking pan that has been lined with aluminum foil across the bottom and up two opposite sides of the pan. Set aside.

In a stainless steel (heatproof) bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water(Bain Marie), melt the butter and chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (with a wooden spoon) after each addition. Stir in the flour and salt and beat, with a wooden spoon, until the batter is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan (about one minute). Remove 1/2 cup of the brownie batter and set aside. Place the remainder of the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Then in the bowl of your food processor (or with a hand mixer), whip the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and egg and process until creamy and smooth. Spread the cream cheese filling over the brownie layer. Spoon small dollops of the reserved brownie batter evenly on top of the cream cheese filling. Then with a table knife or wooden skewer, swirl the two batters without mixing them.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the edges of the brownies are just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate the brownies until they are firm enough to cut into squares (at least two hours). Once chilled, remove the brownies from the pan by lifting with the ends of the foil and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into 16 squares. It is a good idea to have a damp cloth nearby to wipe your knife between cuts. These brownies can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Makes about 16 - 2 inch squares.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chocolate Truffles: The Most Sinful Chocolate of them all

This is my favorite dessert of all time. Rich, velvety, creamy, and SO MANY VARIETIES. The possibilities are endless. The best kinds are the ones with liqueurs. (Of course!) Try different variations of coatings. Crushed nuts, candy, shaved chocolate, white ganache, coconut, cocoa powder, nutmeg, chiles, etc etc etc... Go Apeshit! I know I will! ;P


8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons alcohol (Cognac, brandy, Grand Marnier, kirsch, rum, bourbon, or Kahlua to name a few) (optional)

Different Coatings for Truffles:

Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder

Confectioners Sugar (Icing or Powdered)

Toasted and Chopped Nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)

Toasted Coconut

Shaved Chocolate

For Chocolate Cups:

1 - 3 ounce (85 grams) bar of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

1/2 teaspoon shortening (like Crisco)

2 - Empty Styrofoam Egg Cartons


For Truffles: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. If desired, add the liqueur. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture is firm (this will take several hours or overnight). Note: Orange flavored truffles can be made by adding about 1 tablespoon of orange zest to the hot cream. Let the cream steep for about 10 - 15 minutes and then strain out the zest. Then add Grand Marnier to the truffle mixture. *Drool* (Try to resist taking mid-prep sips of the Grand Marnier. It's hard, but hey, everybody needs a little lifting. :P. Or if you would like your truffles to have a coffee flavor stir about one tablespoon of espresso powder into the hot cream and then add Kahlua or Tia Maria to the truffle mixture. For fruit flavored truffles use 2 tablespoons of fruit puree or jam (raspberry or blackberry) in place of the alcohol.

Place your coatings for the truffles on a plate. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator. With your hands, or else a melon baller or small spoon form the chocolate into round or mis-shaped bite-sized balls. Immediately roll the truffle in the coating and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 30 small truffles.

To Toast Nuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and bake nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds) about 8 - 10 minutes or until brown and fragrant. For hazelnuts toast about 15 minutes or until the skins start to blister. Remove from oven and roll in a clean dish towel. Let the nuts 'steam' for about 5 minutes and then remove the skins. Once the nuts have cooled, chop coarsely.

For Chocolate Cups: It is easier to make the chocolate cups if you first cut each egg carton into the 12 individual egg cups (as in picture). Altogether you will need 24 individual cups. Melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Dip the bottoms of the egg carton cups into the melted chocolate. Turn the cups upside down so the chocolate coating is facing up (like in the picture).
Place the remainder of the melted chocolate into a parchment paper cone with a small opening. Pipe loops around each cup, piping down from the chocolate base and back up. Refrigerate the egg carton cups until the chocolate has completely set. Once the chocolate has set, gently remove the chocolate cups from the egg carton cups. Be careful as the chocolate cups can easily break. Place a truffle into each chocolate cup and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes about 2 dozen chocolate cups.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Banana Bites!!

This recipe is so much fun to do. And so versatile. You can use whatever additional toppings your little heart desires. Peanut Butter is a good substitution if you don't want to get into the tricky task of melting chocolate. Enjoy!

yield: Makes about 36
active time: 45 minutes
total time: 3 hours 45 minutes (includes freezing time)
Use your favorite nuts, candies, or cookies to coat the bananas.

2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons canola oil
Assorted toppings for coating bananas (such as crushed chocolate sandwich cookies, toffee bits, chopped Butterfinger candy bars, chopped salted peanuts, or toasted shredded sweetened coconut)
3 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Stir chocolate and oil in heavy small saucepan over low heat just until smooth. Let stand 15 minutes to cool.
Place each topping in separate shallow dish. Line baking sheet with foil. Arrange banana slices on foil. Using fingers, dip 1 banana slice in chocolate, coating completely. Shake off excess chocolate. Drop dipped banana in 1 topping. Using clean hand, sprinkle more topping over banana to coat; transfer to foil-lined sheet. Repeat with remaining bananas, chocolate, and toppings. Freeze until firm, about 3 hours, then serve.

Dr. Chudd Wolfman

Dr. Chudd is my little boy. He's 3 years old and he is a tabby. His sister Wendy is jealous because she's not nearly as adorable as Chudd. That being said, I entered Chudd in a photo contest. I tortured him into wearing a santa jacket for christmas and he sat and posed for a photo op. And now he's in a contest. Voting starts April 1st and ends April 30th. There are 6 prizes of $800. SO, that's your cue to start voting on Thursday. You can only vote once per day PER COMPUTER. So if you have more than one computer, you know what you have to do. Chudd will love you forever, because if he wins, he's getting one of those self-cleaning litter boxes!!
You can click on the Voting link under my frequented places to see his gorgeous mug and to vote on Thursday.

Beginning of a bloglife

So this is my first. Hopefully not my last. Maybe I can stick with this. Keep it going, and NOT be the serial protagonist that I am known to be. Maybe I'll do it a couple of times and forget I even started it. "Blog" has always been such a dirty word to me. It means evilness and insecurities. Celebrity nonsense and garbage that means nothing to your average person. (or everything depending on what type of person you are).
So I have reasoning for my blog. RECIPES & YUMMY GOODNESS!!!!!
Along with the mandatory daily life blabberings that will include new Spider Valentine info/news and anything else I feel like sharing with the black void that is the internet world.
Feel free to comment with suggestions or recipes of similar nature that have worked for you.