Saturday, March 20, 2010

Guinness Brownies

My co-workers have become accustomed to me bringing treats to work for practically any occasion, mainly because I need people to test out my recipes! I made these brownies in honor of St. Patrick's day and the Guinness brings out the intense flavor of chocolate. But watch out, these brownies are really rich! I took this recipe from bitchincamero's blog . My changes are marked with an *.

1 cup flour*
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
8 oz dark bittersweet chocolate chopped (I used 60% cocoa)
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar*
1 1/4 Guinness Extra Stout beer, room temperature and foam skimmed off
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment . Whisk flour, cocoa powder and salt and set aside.

Using a double boiler, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and butter together until fully melted.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together until frothy. Very slowly, pour in chocolate mixture while whisking the eggs.

When your chocolate mixture and eggs are combined, whisk in the Guinness. Fold in flour mixture. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and top with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove baking dish and let cool completely.

Cut into squares and then diagonally. Dust with powdered sugar (optional).

Red Velvet Cake

Even though I have not posted in two weeks, I have been baking up a storm! This week has been super busy with work, Birthday's St. Patrick's day and a Blizzard!

I started off the week with a Red Velvet Cake made for my friend who grew up in Georgia. This super moist cake is topped with cream cheese frosting. While I would have spent more time decorating this cake, but after frosting it I like the "no frills" look and so did the Birthday boy!


3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted, plus more for pans
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 tsp salt
2 one-oz bottles liquid red food coloring
3 tbsp lukewarm water
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8x2 inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper and butter again. Dust with flour, and tap out the excess; set aside. In a medium, sift together cake flour, cocoa, and baking powder; set aside.

In a bowl of an electric mixer combine butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, salt, food coloring and water; beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until well combined. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk; beat on low speed until well combined.

In a small bowl stir together baking soda and vinegar; add to batter. Beat on medium speed for 10 seconds. Be sure not to over beat! Divide batter between prepared pans, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove pans from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack: let stand until completely cook.

To make frosting cream butter using an electric mixer, add cream cheese and mix until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and whip until thick and creamy.

Place a later n a cake stand or plate and spread about 1/3 of the frosting over top. Place the second cake on top and spread with the remaining frosting over the tops and sides of assembled cake. Transfer to refrigerator and chill until ready to serve. (Adapted from Martha Stewart)
Happy Birthday Chris!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Edamame Dumplings

I originally had this dish at Buddakan in Philadelphia. After discovering Chef Michael Schulson's recipe online, I found his recipe to be richer than I remembered. The original recipe had cream and truffle oil, but with my adjustments it turned out great.

Edamame Filling
3 cups edamame
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup truffle oil
Kosher Salt
16 oz vegetable broth

Dumpling Dough
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp boiling water

Shallot and Sauternes Broth
16 oz shallots, thinly sliced
3 cups Sauternes (can use a Riesling or a sweet white wine if you cannot find Sauternes)
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
pinch of rosemary
salt and pepper
1 green onion, chopped

Place flour in a large bowl; make well in center. Add boiling water and stir until mixture forms dough. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover dough and let rest for 30 minutes.

Bring vegetable broth to a boil and cook edamame until tender, about 8 minutes. Strain and puree with other ingredients. Let filling set in fridge overnight or until firm.

Divide dough into two equal portions; cover one portion with a towel while working with other portion. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8- inch thickness. Cut out 3-inch circles with a round cookie cutter or top of a glass.

Place 1 tsp of filling in the center of each dough circle. To shape each dumpling, lightly moisten edges of dough and fold in half.

Starting at one end, pinch curled edges together making four pleats along edge, set dumpling down firmly, seam side up.

Caramelize the shallots, and deglaze with wine. Reduce and then add chicken stock. Simmer with rosemary for ten minutes and season with salt and pepper if needed.

While sauternes sauce is reducing, steam dumplings until tender (about 5 minutes). To steam, place bamboo steamer on top of a large pot of boiling water.

Place 5 dumplings in a shallow bowl and add 3/4 cup of Sauternes broth over dumplings and garnish with green onions.

I was hesitant at first to use Sauternes in this broth because it is a sweet wine, but with the combination of the caramelized shallots and chicken stock it paired well with the richness of the dumplings.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fleur De Sel Caramels

These caramels have the perfect contrast of sweet and salty, but watch out! They are addicting!

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp fleur de del, plus extra for sprinkling (fine grain sea salt is also good)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper, then brush the paper lightly with oil, allowing the paper to drape over 2 sides

In a deep saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until the caramel is a warm golden brown color. Don't stir - just swirl the pan to mix. Watch carefully, as it will burn quickly at the end!

In the meantime, bring the cream, butter and 1 tsp fleur de sel to a simmer in a small pan over medium heat. Remove from the heat, set aside and keep warm.

When the caramelized sugar is the right color, slowly add the cream mixture to the caramel - it will boil up violently. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 248 degrees F (firm ball) on a candy thermometer. Very carefully (it's hot!) pour the caramel into the prepared pan and refrigerate until firm.

When the caramels are cool, use the parchment paper to pry the sheet from the pan onto a cutting board. Cut the caramels into 3 logs and lightly sprinkle with fleur de sel. Cut into 1 inch squares.

Cut parchment papers in 6 by 4 1/2-inch squares and wrap each caramel in a paper, twisting the ends. Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature. (Adapted from Ida Garten)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dark Chocolate Truffles

These truffles melt in your mouth and are so rich its hard to finish one!

8oz good bittersweet chocolate (Ghiradelli or Lindt)
8 oz good semisweet chocolate (Ghiradelli)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp prepared coffee
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Cocoa powder

Chop the chocolates finely with a sharp knife. Place them in a heat-proof mixing bowl.

Heat cream in a small saucepan until it just boils. Turn off the heat and allow cream to sit for 20 seconds. Pour cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the bowl with chocolate.
With a wire whisk, slowly stir the cream and chocolates together until the chocolate is completely melted.

Whisk in coffee and vanilla. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour, or until chocolate is firm.

With 2 teaspoons, spoon round balls of the chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll each ball of chocolate in your hands to roughly make it round. It doesn't have to be a perfect round ball, real truffles are never smooth and perfectly round!Roll in cocoa powder.

These will keep refrigerated for weeks, but serve them at room temperature. Makes about 50 truffles. Recipe adapted from Ina Garten