CATEGORIES: Baking, Breakfast, Beef, Chicken, Fish, Lamb, Pasta, Pork, Ramen, Vegetarian

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Dessert

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Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cake

For the Chocolate frosting:

  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped

  • 2 cups heavy cream

For the Salted Caramel Filling:

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 3 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel

For the cake:

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup hot water

For the chocolate frosting: Place chocolate in a large bowl. Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan and pour the h cream over the chocolate. Stir until it’s a smooth cream; cool.

Next, make the salted caramel filling: Place sugar, water and corn syrup in a large saucepan on low heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.

turn the heat up to medium and allow mixture to cook without stirring until the sugar turns a dark amber (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and pour in the cream. (It will bubble as you do so.) Stir well. Stir in butter and fleur de sel. let cool in the refrigerator.

time for the cake: Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until the batter is smooth. Divide batter into two greased 9-inch cake pans.

Bake at 350˚F for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Place one cake on a platter or a cake stand and spread the caramel cream over the cake. add the second layer of cake and finish off with a layer of the chocolate cream. Sprinkle with a little fleur de sel.

Keep the cake refrigerated until ready to serve. (Keeps for at least four days if well covered.)

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Coffee and Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients

  • 340g/12oz unrefined sugar

  • 570ml/1 pint water

  • 40 coffee beans

  • 180g/6oz cocoa powder

  • pinch of salt

  • 60g/2oz of the best quality bitter chocolate you can find

Method

Place the sugar in a pan over a medium heat. Brush the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in a mug of cold water. Continue this process until the sugar caramelises. (You will probably end up using a third of the water).

Add the rest of the water, coffee beans, cocoa powder, salt and chocolate.

Bring to the boil.

Pass through a very fine sieve and allow to cool.

Serve cold.

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Clafoutis

  • 2 Cups whole Milk

  • 3/4 Sugar

  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean

  • pinch Salt

  • 3 Large whole eggs

  • 1/3 + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour

  • 2 cups cherries

  • 1/4 C Confectioner’s sugar for top

Preheat oven to 425F. Butter a 9-10 inch pie pan or quiche dish

In a small sauce pan, combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean (open and scrape out the vanilla too), and salt. Keep over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar, to just under a boil. While the mixture is heating, break 1 egg into a heatproof mixing bowl, add the flour, and whisk until it is free of lumps. Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk until smooth.

Remove the saucepan from the heat. Slowly ladle the hot milk mixture in to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture into the prepared mold and add the fruit, making sure that the fruit is evenly distributed.

Bake until just set in the center and slightly puffed and browned around the outside, 20-35 minutes. Remove the custard from the oven and turn the oven temperature to 500F. Evenly sprinkle the confectioners sugar over the top of the clafoutis. Return the custard to the oven for 5-10 minutes to carmelize the sugar. Watch carefully, since it will darken quickly.

Let the custard cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Double Chocolate Bread

INGREDIENTS:

One 9-by-5-inch loaf

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup dark-chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream and vanilla, then mix with a whisk until well combined.

3. Gently fold in the chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. It should fill the pan a little more than halfway.

5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

6. Let the bread cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then remove it from the pan while it is still warm by inverting it onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing and serving. 


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Sticky Toffee Pudding

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Sticky Toffee Pudding

Ingredients:

Pudding

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour plus more for pan

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates (about 6 ounces)

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 large eggs

Sauce

  • 10 1/2 ounces dark muscovado sugar

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 tbsp black treacle

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


RECIPE PREPARATION

Pudding

  • Preheat oven to 350 °. Butter and flour Bundt pan. Bring dates and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan with tall sides. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda (mixture will become foamy). Set aside; let cool.

  • Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat 1/4 cup butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend (mixture will be grainy). Add 1 egg; beat to blend. Add half of flour mixture and half of date mixture; beat to blend. Repeat with remaining 1 egg, flour mixture, and date mixture. Pour batter into mold.

  • Bake until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 40 –45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert pudding onto rack. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.

Sauce

  • Melt the butter, muscovado sugar and treacle over a very low heat in a heavy-based saucepan. Once the butter’s melted, stir gently until everything else is melted too. Now stir in the cream, then turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm gently before using.

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Kitchen Sink Cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 225 g (16 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 150 g (2⁄3 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 tbl corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 225 g (1 1⁄3 cups) flour
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) baking powder
  • 1.5 g (1/4 tsp) baking soda
  • 4 g (1 tsp) kosher salt
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) mini chocolate chips
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) mini butterscotch chips
  • 1/4 recipe (1/2 cup) graham crust (recipe below)
  • 40 g (1⁄3 cup) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 5 g (2 1/2 tsp) fresh ground coffee
  • 50 g (2 cups) potato chips
  • 50 g (1 cup) mini pretzels

DIRECTIONS

1.       combine the butter, sugars, and corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.

2.       reduce the speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk over mixing the dough.) scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

3.       still on low speed, add the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, graham crust, oats, and coffee and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds. add the potato chips and pretzels and paddle, still on low speed, until just incorporated. be careful not to over mix or break too many of the pretzels or potato chips.

4.       using a 2 3/4 oz ice cream scoop (or a 1/3 cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. do not bake your cookies from room temperature— they will not bake properly.

5.       heat the oven to 375°f.

6.       arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment-lined sheet pans. bake for 18 minutes. the cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. after 18 minutes, they should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center. give them an extra minute or so if that’s not the case.

7.       cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or an airtight container for storage. at room temp, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

GRAHAM CRUST
makes about 340 g (2 cups)

INGREDIENTS

  • 190 g (1 1/2 cups) graham cracker crumbs
  • 20 g (1/4 cup) milk powder
  • 25 g (2 tbs) sugar
  • 3 g (3/4 tsp) kosher salt
  • 55 g (4 tbs) butter, melted, or as needed
  • 55 g (1/4 cup) heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

1.       toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.

2.       whisk the butter and heavy cream together. add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. the butter will act as glue, adhering to the dry ingredients and turning the mixture into a bunch of small clusters. the mixture should hold its shape if squeezed tightly in the palm of your hand. if it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional 14 to 25 g (1 to 1½ tablespoons) butter and mix it in.

3.       eat immediately, or deploy as directed in a recipe. the crust is easiest to mold just after mixing. stored in an airtight container, graham crust will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or for 1 month in the fridge or freezer.

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Crispy Crunch Oatmeal Cookies

MAKES ABOUT 3 DOZEN COOKIES

  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 14 tablespoons (200g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups (225g) old-fashioned rolled oats

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat the oven to 350 ° F (175 ° C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2 In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

3 In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and do the same with the vanilla.

4 On low speed, add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined. Fold in the oats by hand. mixing just until there are no more pockets of flour or oats.

5 Form tablespoon-size lumps of dough into balls and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake in batches until crisp and lightly golden, about 15 minutes, rotating once so the cookies bake evenly. Let them cool completely on the baking sheets for maxiumum crispness. The cookies will stay crunchy all week in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Blueberry Dumplings

Dumplings

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening

  • 6-8 tablespoons milk

Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gently mix in milk until it becomes a very soft dough

Stewed Blueberries

  • 2 cups blueberries

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • Heavy cream

Bring the blueberries, water and sugar to a boil in a wide pan.

Divide the dough into about five dumplings and drop on top of the blueberries. Lower heat to a simmer and cover the pan tightly. Steam for 12 minutes. Serve warm, drizzled with cold heavy cream.

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Bourbon-Brown Butter Pecan Pie

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Bourbon-Brown Butter Pecan Pie

Ingredients

SERVINGS: 10

Crust

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup vegetable shortening

Assembly

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup pure cane syrup (such as Steen’s) or dark corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped

Preparation

Crust

  • Whisk 1½ cups flour and salt in a medium bowl. Using a fork, work in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Mix in 2 Tbsp. cold water and knead until dough just comes together.

  • Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until about ¼” thick. Fold in half, then in half again (so that it’s folded into quarters); roll out to a 12” round. Transfer to a 9” pie dish. Lift up edges and let dough slump down into dish. Trim, leaving about 1” overhang. Fold edges under and crimp. Freeze while you make the filling.

Assembly

  • Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat oven to 425°. Cook butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it foams, then browns, 5–8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool slightly. Whisk in eggs, brown sugar, honey, cane syrup, bourbon, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon until smooth; fold in pecans. Scrape filling into pie crust.

  • Bake pie 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375° and continue to bake until crust is golden brown and filling jiggles only slightly in the center, 40–45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours.

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Tahini Cookies

Ingredients

SERVINGS: MAKES ABOUT 15

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (½ stick), room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons demerara sugar

Preparation

ACTIVE: 20 MIN  TOTAL: 45 MIN

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse flour, pine nuts, powdered sugar, tahini, butter, and salt in a food processor until dough forms a ball around blade.

  • Mix black sesame seeds and demerara sugar in a small bowl. Form dough into 1” balls and roll in sesame seed mixture. Place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, spacing 2” apart, and flatten slightly. Bake cookies until lightly golden, 20–25 minutes.

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Pecan Monkey Bread

Ingredients: Serves 6

Crème Anglaise

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Monkey Bread And Assembly

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • ½ cup pecans
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 package puff pastry, thawed
  • All-purpose flour (for surface)

Special Equipment

  • 1 jumbo 6-cup muffin pan

Preparation

Crème Anglaise

  • Place cream in a small saucepan and scrape in vanilla seeds. Heat over medium until just simmering, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Whisk yolks and granulated sugar in a medium bowl until pale and light, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk half of cream into yolk mixture. Then whisk mixture in bowl back into cream in saucepan. Cook over medium-low, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until sauce is thickened and coats spoon, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; let cool.

  • Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Monkey Bread And Assembly

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Coat muffin cups with nonstick spray. Toast pecans on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until slightly darkened and fragrant, 8–10 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.

  • Stir granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside. Bring brown sugar, butter, and ½ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Pour syrup into muffin cups. Top with pecans and raisins.

  • Gently roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface just to smooth. For a 14-oz. package, fold sheet in half. For a 17.3-oz. package, stack sheets. Cut pastry into an 8x6 grid to make 48 squares. Roll into balls; toss in cinnamon sugar. Fill muffin cups with balls; press lightly to compact.

  • Bake until pastry is golden brown and puffed, 25–30 minutes. Let cool slightly, but unmold before caramel hardens.

  • Serve monkey bread, caramel side up, on a pool of crème anglaise.

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Southern Peach Crumble

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 stick of cold butter, cut into pea-sized chunks
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 6 to 8 sliced ripe peaches
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With your hands, mix the flour, cinnamon, sugar, butter, and pecans until crumbly.

Mix all the other ingredients together, and pour into a baking dish.

Top the peach mixture with the topping and bake for about 25 to 30 mins. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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Vanilla Custard

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Have eggs ready in a bowl, and set aside where it will be within reach.

  2. Using a whisk, combine milk, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat on stovetop. Allow milk to scald (heat to the point when tiny bubbles form around edges of pan). Whisk occasionally to prevent cornstarch from clumping on bottom edges of pan.

  3. Remove milk mixture from heat, preferably to a burner that's turned off.

  4. Mix about 2 tablespoons of scalded milk mixture into eggs using whisk, then introduce eggs into milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking milk mixture constantly.

  5. Immediately return pan to heat and whisk gently until custard thickens, another two or three minutes. Do not allow to boil. (If you find that you have egg white strands in custard, feel free to pass it through a fine-mesh sieve into a different bowl now.)

  6. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.

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Laphroaig & Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

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Laphroaig & Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 stick of butter (4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup Laphroaig whiskey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or strong coffee
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

For the Ganache:

  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp Laphroaig whiskey

Instructions:

  1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate, butter, whiskey and cocoa. Stir until smooth, then remove the bowl and let it cool until barely warm.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  3. Beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk together dry ingredients in a smaller bowl.
  5. When chocolate mixture has cooled, scrape into the egg mixture and beat together.
  6. Add half the flour mix to the egg/chocolate mix - stir gently - add sour cream - stir gently - add remaining flour mix - stir gently
  7. Scoop batter evenly into the lined muffin tin.
  8. Bake for 17 minutes, or just before a cake tester comes out clean from the center of the cupcakes. Underbake, don't overbake.
  9. Let cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then remove cupcakes and place them on a cooling rack. Ice with ganache when completely cool.

To make the ganache:

  1. Chop the chocolate, and transfer to a heat-proof bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering, and then pour over the chocolate.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 1 minute, then stir until smooth.
  4. Add the butter and whiskey, stir until combined.
  5. Let the ganache cool until thick, but soft enough to pour.
  6. Pour on completely cooled cupcakes, push it around with a spoon.

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Nectarine and Blueberry Cobbler

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Nectarine and Blueberry Cobbler

Ingredients:

1-3/4 cup flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup half & half
5 nectarines, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup blueberries
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons flour

Directions:

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and butter together in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed until the butter is mostly incorporated into the flour.  Pour in the half & half and mix just until a dough forms.  Roll the dough on a well-floured surface to about 1/2-inch thickness.  Cut into 2-inch shapes (I did squares, but anything will do, or even just tear the pieces by hand into random shapes) and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Mix the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl, then pour into a baking dish just big enough to comfortably hold all the fruit.  I used a 10-inch round, 1-inch deep ceramic dish, but anything else will do.  Arrange the cut biscuit dough on the top of the fruit, leaving a few small spots uncovered.  Put the dish on a baking sheet (it will most likely bubble over) and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden and the fruit is bubbling.  Let cool a bit before serving.

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Chocolate (not so) Salty Balls

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pack Arnott's Milk Arrowroot Biscuits
  • 1 tin Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum (or any other dark spirit. Sweeter works better)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dutch cocoa
  • 1 cup unsweetened dessicated (shredded) coconut + 1/2 cup for rolling

DESTRUCTIONS

  1. Grind the biscuits into a fine powder. Add the cocoa and 1 cup coconut. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Add sweetened condensed milk and booze. Mix well either by hand or in a stand mixer on low. Keep mixing until the mixture no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the remaining coconut. If mixture is too soft, place in fridge for a few minutes to harden. When hardened, scoop out small amounts of mixture at a time and roll into a ball. Roll around in coconut to coat.
  4. Throw the balls int he fridge for as long as you can ignore the temptation to eat them.

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Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes, revised

Ingredients

1 cup stout
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Topping:
10 oz cream cheese
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


Method
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put cupcake liners into molds.

In a large saucepan place the beer and butter. Cook over medium-high heat until the butter has melted. Add the cocoa powder and sugars and whisk together. Take off heat and allow to come to room temperature.

In another bowl beat together the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract until very, very well combined. Add to the butter-beer mixture and whisk together.

In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the beer-butter mixture and whisk together until it just comes together. Pour the cake batter into the cupcake holders and give the pan a few short drops onto the countertop to shake the air pockets in the batter to the surface and out of the cake. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

When the cupcakes have cooled completely make the icing. Lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, sieve over the confectioner’s sugar and then beat them both together. Or do this in a processor, putting the unsieved confectioner’s sugar in first and blitz to remove lumps before adding the cheese.

Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency. Ice the top of the black cupcakes so that they resemble the frothy top of the famous pint.

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Red Wine Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese German Buttercream

Cream Cheese German Buttercream 
Makes about 5 cups

INGREDIENTS
8 ounces whole milk
1 vanilla beans split and scraped, seeds reserved for cake
5 ounces sugar
3/4 ounces cornstarch (6 tablespoons by volume)
1 egg
1 egg yolk
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

 

INSTRUCTIONS
Bring the milk with the vanilla bean pod (not the seeds; save those for the cake) to a simmer in a medium pot. Turn off the heat and set aside to steep for at least one hour, or as long as time allows.

After steeping, remove the vanilla bean pod, using a rubber spatula to extract the thick vanilla milk from inside each. Return the milk to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, eggs, and yolks in a medium bowl.

Whisk about a half cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture—it will be thick at first but will loosen as the milk incorporates. Whisk in more hot milk until the egg mixture is fluid and warm. Next, whisk the tempered egg/milk mixture back into the pot of hot milk, putting on medium heat whisking all the while. Once the mixture starts to thicken and bubble sluggishly, continue whisking and cooking for a full minute more, then remove from heat and pour into a bowl.

The custard may be cooled quickly by mixing it continuously in a stand mixer. If time isn’t an issue, press a layer of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate until cool.

In either case, once the custard has cooled, use a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to whip it until creamy. Begin whipping in the cream cheese, one tablespoon at a time, until it has fully incorporated. Then repeat with the butter. Add the salt and whip a minute more.

Refrigerate until needed. When ready to use, whip until creamy and proceed.


Red (Wine) Velvet Cupcakes
Makes about 21 cupcakes

 

INGREDIENTS
6 ounces all purpose flour 
1 ounce natural cocoa
8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ounce safflower oil or other neutral flavored oil
9 ounces brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Half of 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably freshly ground
scrapings from 1 vanilla bean pod
3 eggs, room temperature
6 ounces red wine (Zinfandels work especially well)
3/4 ounces vanilla extract
1 batch cream cheese German buttercream

To finish:
2 1/2 ounces white chocolate, preferably in a block or bar
1/4 ounce cocoa nibs


INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Put cupcake liners into molds.

Sift together the flour and cocoa, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, oil, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and vanilla bean seeds. Use a hand or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to cream the ingredients for 10 minutes on medium speed. Periodically, stop mixing to scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula.

Turn the mixer to medium low and add the eggs, one at a time. Continue mixing after each addition until the egg has fully incorporated before adding the next.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour/cocoa mixture alternately with the red wine in about three additions. Add the vanilla at the end. Shut off the mixer and give the batter a few turns with a rubber spatula to ensure a homogenous mix.

Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans (25 ounces each).

Bake for 20 minutes. The oil in the batter makes the cakes slightly more forgiving of over-baking, but try not to let it come to that. Bake until the cakes have puffed but will still retain a slight impression if touched gently with a fingertip. A toothpick inserted into the center should have a few moist crumbs still attached.

Cool the cakes on a wire rack. At first, they will have pronounced domes and a slightly gray-brown color, but as they cool the domes will settle down somewhat and the color will deepen. When they have cooled, run a knife around the sides of the pan and invert onto a parchment lined tray or cooling rack. Continue cooling until no trace of warmth remains.

Before frosting, use a serrated knife to level the cakes. If you have found this step difficult in the past, refrigerate the cakes for 30 minutes beforehand, making them easier to handle and cut.

Assemble the cake on a platter or cake stand, topping each layer with a generous amount of buttercream. Crumb coat by spreading a thin, smooth layer of buttercream over the tops and sides of the cake; this will prevent stray crumbs from flecking the finished layer. Refrigerate the crumb-coated cake for 30 minutes before applying the final coating of buttercream to the top and sides.

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Red Wine Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese German Buttercream

Cream Cheese German Buttercream 
Makes about 10 cups, enough to generously finish a 3-layer, 8-inch cake

I highly recommend making the buttercream before making the cake itself; the frosting will benefit significantly from a little refrigeration before use. The average buttercream is 50 percent butter (or more!) but German buttercream, with its custard base, clocks in around 25 percent, making it rich (but dangerously consumable). And it’s not dissimilar to Red Velvet’s traditional cooked flour frostings (also known as ermine or boiled milk frosting), making it something that even our great grandparents would love.

INGREDIENTS
16 ounces whole milk
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped, seeds reserved for cake
10 ounces sugar (1¼ cups, by volume)
1½ ounces cornstarch (6 tablespoons by volume)
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
16 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
Bring the milk with the vanilla bean pods (not the seeds; save those for the cake) to a simmer in a medium pot. Turn off the heat and set aside to steep for at least one hour, or as long as time allows.

After steeping, remove the vanilla bean pods, using a rubber spatula to extract the thick vanilla milk from inside each. Return the milk to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, eggs, and yolks in a medium bowl.

Whisk about a half cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture—it will be thick at first but will loosen as the milk incorporates. Whisk in more hot milk until the egg mixture is fluid and warm. Next, whisk the tempered egg/milk mixture back into the pot of hot milk, putting on medium heat whisking all the while. Once the mixture starts to thicken and bubble sluggishly, continue whisking and cooking for a full minute more, then remove from heat and pour into a bowl.

The custard may be cooled quickly by mixing it continuously in a stand mixer. If time isn’t an issue, press a layer of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate until cool.

In either case, once the custard has cooled, use a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to whip it until creamy. Begin whipping in the cream cheese, one tablespoon at a time, until it has fully incorporated. Then repeat with the butter. Add the salt and whip a minute more.

Refrigerate until needed. When ready to use, whip until creamy and proceed.


Red (Wine) Velvet Cake
Makes three 8-inch layers or about 42 cupcakes

Despite containing both “red sugar” and red wine, your batter will look purple-gray. Don’t worry! It bakes into a chocolaty brown cake.

INGREDIENTS
12 ounces all purpose flour (about 2¾ cups if by volume)
2 ounces natural cocoa (½ cup if by volume)
16 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ounces safflower oil or other neutral flavored oil
18 ounces brown sugar (3 cups, moderately packed, if by volume)
1 teaspoon salt
2¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably freshly ground
scrapings from two vanilla bean pods or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
6 eggs, room temperature
12 ounces red wine (Zinfandels work especially well)
1½ ounces vanilla extract
1 batch cream cheese German buttercream (See above)

To finish:
5 ounces white chocolate, preferably in a block or bar
½ ounce cocoa nibs

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350° F and line three 8” by 2” cake pans with parchment rounds. Grease lightly with nonstick spray.

Sift together the flour and cocoa, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, oil, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and vanilla bean seeds. Use a hand or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to cream the ingredients for 10 minutes on medium speed. Periodically, stop mixing to scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula.

Turn the mixer to medium low and add the eggs, one at a time. Continue mixing after each addition until the egg has fully incorporated before adding the next.

Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour/cocoa mixture alternately with the red wine in about three additions. Add the vanilla at the end. Shut off the mixer and give the batter a few turns with a rubber spatula to ensure a homogenous mix.

Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans (25 ounces each).

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The oil in the batter makes the cakes slightly more forgiving of over-baking, but try not to let it come to that. Bake until the cakes have puffed but will still retain a slight impression if touched gently with a fingertip. A toothpick inserted into the center should have a few moist crumbs still attached.

Cool the cakes on a wire rack. At first, they will have pronounced domes and a slightly gray-brown color, but as they cool the domes will settle down somewhat and the color will deepen. When they have cooled, run a knife around the sides of the pan and invert onto a parchment lined tray or cooling rack. Continue cooling until no trace of warmth remains.

Before frosting, use a serrated knife to level the cakes. If you have found this step difficult in the past, refrigerate the cakes for 30 minutes beforehand, making them easier to handle and cut.

Assemble the cake on a platter or cake stand, topping each layer with a generous amount of buttercream. Crumb coat by spreading a thin, smooth layer of buttercream over the tops and sides of the cake; this will prevent stray crumbs from flecking the finished layer. Refrigerate the crumb-coated cake for 30 minutes before applying the final coating of buttercream to the top and sides.


To finish the cake:
When I learned that Red Velvet’s traditional accompaniment was a boiled milk frosting, I suddenly had visions of royalty. You see, boiled milk frosting is also known as ermine, a name meant to evoke the fluffy softness of fur. Of course, ermine and red velvet are the traditional trappings of English royalty, and even today the Pope himself wears a cape of red velvet and ermine. I couldn’t resist the sumptuous connotations and created a finish for the cake that would give Red Velvet its proper ermine robes.

To do this, I dust the cake with copious amounts of white chocolate shavings and cocoa nib “spots.” The white chocolate shavings are so fine that the heat of your mouth melts them completely before they hit the tongue, leaving only a sweet whisper of flavor and no discernible texture.

To create this finish, grate 5 ounces of white chocolate with a Microplane or Parmesan grater and dust the top and sides of the cake until completely coated. It’s easiest to use a folded piece of parchment paper as a “scoop” to distribute the white chocolate as the warmth of your hands will melt the chocolate.

Scatter the cocoa nibs over the cake in a haphazard manner to mimic ermine spots. To make the nibs stick to the side, you truly have to fling the nibs at the cake; it’s incredibly fun. Try it.

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Cardamom Coffee Cake

Serves 18

1 lb (4 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 ¼ cups light brown sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
2 ½ tsps baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp cardamom
2 cups sour cream
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ cup walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10” tube or bundt pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with 2 cups brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Stir in the vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom in a separate bowl.

Add the flour mixture, 1/3 of it at a time, to the butter mixture, alternating with the sour cream. Stir just enough to blend after each addition. Don’t beat or otherwise overmix.

Combine ¼ cup brown sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts in a separate small bowl.

Spoon approximately 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half the nut mixture, then add another third of the batter. Cover with remaining nut mixture, then top with remaining batter. Lightly spread into place.

Bake approximately 1¼ hours or until a knife inserted all the way in comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a plate. Cool at least 30 minutes more before cutting into it.

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