TWD: Peanut Butter Torte

May 7, 2008 at 12:27 am | Posted in Blog Event, Chocolate, Dessert, Peanut Butter, Tuesdays with Dorie | 14 Comments

I feel like I’m going cross-eyed with how busy I’ve been.  Have I mentioned how much I hate being busy?  Ok, I did go out to dinner last night and that was fun even though it added to my overstuffed schedule it was an enjoyable break from the craziness and drunkenness of the last week.  I got to see blog-a-phobe KT and fellow TWD-er Beth (if CB would just move her butt to MA I would have seen her too).  Then today at work my boss was whining that in the last week since I got my new work comp I haven’t been able to get 2 weeks of work re-input in addition to my regular workload.  Ya, that’s 3 weeks worth of work in one week.  I’m sick of him whining so I had to bring work home tonight and waste 3 hours re-doing work I’ve already done.  Damn you Quickbooks and your stupid backup failure the day before my comp died and fried my poor hard drive.

In the middle of doing work I took a break to do the one thing that relaxes me most.  I baked!  Well, that’s kinda a lie.  Sleeping relaxes me more, but we’re talking about non sleep related things.  In case you’re wondering what my #3 most relaxing thing is, I’ll tell you.  It’s chopping veggies.  Oh I love it, I could do it all day.  I’m tired and rambling can you tell?

On to the torte goodness … I love pureeing Oreos.  I did it with the TWD marshmallows and they’re just so much fun and the powder is so yummy.  You know you tasted it too.  I was a little worried that my oreo crust needed more butter, but as always Dorie knows best and after it baked it was perfect.   Then came the PB moose (hehe Moose is the best way to spell it who cares if it’s wrong).  I’ll be honest here, Dorie didn’t know best.  I tasted the mousse before adding the cream and I liked it better.  I’m all about the PB.  I skipped the ganache because my buddy Beth mentioned last night that she thought it was too much.  I think I would have to agree more chocolate would have been good for G and bad for me.  Since I’m the baker what I say goes.

My only real complaint is the waiting time.  Of course I fixed that by cooling all the steps in the freezer, which went just fine until the very end when I went to release my springform pan.  The PB filling was a wee bit frozen to the sides so there was a bit of split-age on one part (you can see it in the picture).  I’m a thinker though so I fixed that lickity split.  I just got a warm cloth and rubbed it around the edge of the pan.  Volia!  Perfect loosening.

Gooey Cakes – Take two

April 1, 2008 at 11:42 pm | Posted in Blog Event, Chocolate, Tuesdays with Dorie | 14 Comments

What I love most about these gooey cakes is that they not only taste amazing when you don’t forget about them, but they literally take 15 minutes to make.  Heat the chocolate and butter then mix everything up quickly by hand.  There isn’t much more you could ask for in a dessert.  Fast, easy, delicious!

I pulled these ones out a few mins early to ensure extra gooeyness and they were good.  G had a lot to say about them

“Now that’s some decadent chocolate”

“These things would kill in Hells Kitchen” (I made him watch with me)

And he called them “Deliciously dangerous”

There were a few others I can’t remember now, but pretty much we both loved them.  Go make these now!

TWD: Gooey Chocolate Cakes

April 1, 2008 at 1:50 pm | Posted in Blog Event, Chocolate, Tuesdays with Dorie | 12 Comments

Well, my lovlies you are going to miss out on seeing a picture of my cakes this week because well … I kinda got involved in the drama of the post below and forgot they were in the oven. While they were only in for 14.5 minutes it was still enough to leave the outside of my poor little cakes slightly charred oops The insides weren’t gooey, but they were really tasty. My pictures, on the other hand, were UGG-O so you can just go visit all the other wonderful cakes to get your mouth watering. They’re so easy you may just get to see take two later this week.

Well apparently everyone wants to see ugly gooey cakes 🙂 so  … here you go

Continue Reading TWD: Gooey Chocolate Cakes…

TWD: Brioche Snails

March 18, 2008 at 10:59 pm | Posted in Breads, Chocolate, Tuesdays with Dorie | 17 Comments

Whew, my snails crawled in right at the last minute.

You may be wondering why raisins aren’t in the title … well, I’m a little raisined out and I’m tired of having to remember to keep baked goods away from the dog. As bad as chocolate is, I know my pooch needs a lot of chocolate before it hurts her, whereas a handful of raisins could kill her. So, I replaced one doggie deadly delight with another. I made Chocolate chip Brioche Snails.

Other than my dough not wanting to stop rising, which may be my own fault, I think there’s a slight possibility that I grabbed the rapid yeast instead of the active, everything went smoothly. I loved loved loved the pastry cream, at first I wasn’t sure about it, but a few tastes later, I was in love.

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Once I tried my chocolate chip snails I realized I wanted a topping, but the glaze wasn’t sounding as good as drizzling some of the TCHO chocolate that came in the mail from Blake Makes on it. Boy oh boy is that chocolate yummy. Both my hubs and I loved the chocolate and I was itching to use it and it was a fantastic idea. MMmmm MMmmm good.

TWD: Snickery Squares aka grown up Snickers

March 3, 2008 at 11:28 pm | Posted in Bars, Chocolate, Tuesdays with Dorie | 30 Comments

I’m knee deep in Master Baker baking, but it’s time for TWD aka a nice and much needed break from all things cinnamon! This week’s recipe is Snickery Squares picked by Erin of Dinner and Dessert. They’re basically a grown up version of snickers bars, which are one of the few candy bars I enjoy. I think it’s the massive amounts of nuggat that repulse me when it comes to candy bars, I’m just not a fan.

So yesterday I was talking to my favoritest, CB and she mentioned the dulce de leche that we needed to buy or make. Rut roh I don’t think they have it at my grocery store. She then informed me that the recipe she was trying takes 4 hours. Lovely.

Well her boil in the can in a water bath didn’t go so well (in the end it did, but it took 5.5hrs ugh). So, it was time to find another, hopefully faster recipe. Wondering around I saw on chow.com that I could just heat sweetened condensed milk on the stove in a sauce pan. It would go faster and seemed like a good idea. I don’t have my new stove yet and my current stove doesn’t understand low so I ended up with some “burnt bits,” but you couldn’t taste them so maybe it wasn’t really burnt. Did I mention that I’ve never tried Dulce de Leche and the post office ate my Blake Makes dulce that I was expecting. In the process of asking fellow TWDer Lemon Tartlet how I know when it’s done and discussing such things as how Dulce is nerdy, needs an inhaler and can’t play dodge ball I think I cooked it too long. It was a little more on the thick caramel side than it was supposed to be, but it tasted good so all was well.

After that, everything went just swimmingly until it came time for the chocolate. Heating chocolate is easy right? Yes, it is, but my wonderful husband decided to purchase some completely unsweetened chocolate. I love dark chocolate, but unsweetened takes it to a whole new level of bitter … also know as the narsty level.   As usual I didn’t pay attention to what I was doing, opened it up and started melting the chocolate.  Luckily, I like to taste test everything as I go (hehe it’s the best part of baking) and the second the smooth, yummy looking chocolate hit my palate I knew something was very wrong.  Remember the yuck faces you made when you were a kid, oh ya I had my grown up yuck face on after tasting the unsweetened chocolate.   As horrible as it was, it would have ruined my delicious dessert if I didn’t try it, so in the end it was worth it!

All in all a fun recipe to put together. G loved them and I thought they were pretty good. I liked the individual parts alone better than the whole thing put together, but that’s easy enough to work around.

Recipe after the break

Continue Reading TWD: Snickery Squares aka grown up Snickers…

TWD: Almost Fudge Gateau

February 19, 2008 at 10:48 am | Posted in Blog Event, Cake, Chocolate, Tuesdays with Dorie | 33 Comments

Our little group isn’t quite so little anymore. I was the 5th member to join this wonderful group and now, here we are, a mere 4 weeks later with close to 50 members. We’re growing like weeds! Lucky for me I joined the group just in time. If I had waiting any longer my chances of ever picking a recipe would be years away, but because I hopped on the TWD train early, I actually get to choose a recipe in my life time and this week was my turn!

Because G is a baked goods fiend and I’m the nicest wife there is I let him choose the recipe for the week. Almost Fudge Gateau. He even went as far as helping, by making the glaze and plating the final dish. Notice the beautiful Ferrer Rocher plopped on top, that was G’s doing, he insisted that it needed a garnish and who was I to stop him?

I had heard a few warnings about using 70% chocolate. Lucky for me I’m a slacker and I was able learn from other people’s mistakes. I went for 60% and it was amazing! It tasted like a decadent super fudgy brownie. MMmm MMmm Good!

Even better is the fact that this was such an easy recipe. It took almost no time to mix everything up and get it in the oven. I love recipes like this, they’re delightfully satisfying, but you don’t have to spend all day making them!

Recipe after the break

Continue Reading TWD: Almost Fudge Gateau…

TWD: Black and White Cake

February 5, 2008 at 12:47 am | Posted in Cake, Chocolate, Tuesdays with Dorie | 14 Comments

What a DISASTER. Between the boob issues last week that kept me down for a few days and the Superbowl madness I ended up making my cake just as my hangover was starting to wear off Monday night. At the beginning everything seemed to go according to plan. I made the whipped white chocolate filling with zero problems. I had been a wee bit worried because other people had problems with it, but no problems there. Then I made the chocolate filling, no problems again. At this point I was feeling pretty good, the worst thing that had happened so far was was dropping the corn starch all over the dog when I was getting my cake flour. Since flour is always all over the place and I get a cheap thrill out of covering the dog with flour and flour like substances I was doing good and I only had the cake left to make. I’ve made enough cakes in my day that I was 100% confident. Then the problems started.

When I went to put the cake pans in the oven it was reading a perfect 350 degrees so I tossed the cake pans in and wondered off. I smelled the cakes a little early, so off to check on them I went. Ut oh, the stove had gone crazy and was now at 400 degrees. I suspect that a portion of the problem is the fault of the heater in our apartment. It’s ghetto and comes out of the stove. Heats the apartment cheap and well, but I have an inkling that it went on high while my cakes were in the oven. They weren’t burnt, but the edges were a little, well a lot, darker than I wanted them. Easy fix, I just did a little surgery on the cakes and they looked beautiful again.

Then came the part I was sure I was going to screw up, cutting each of the cakes in half. It’s been awhile since I’ve done it and I was nervous, but surprisingly enough all went flawlessly. I was in the home stretch now, all I needed to do was frost the bad boys and I was golden.

Here is when things go horribly wrong. I frosted a THIN layer of white chocolate on two of the layers and thought to myself there is no way the rest of this is going to frost the rest of the cake. Damit. As we like to say at work, RTFM (read the farking manual!) or look at the pictures. I needed two layers of dark chocolate and one layer of white. Well it was too late to do anything about it now, I had already heaped on a massive layer of dark chocolate because I had so much.

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So I assembled my cake and was only able to frost the top with the white chocolate. I then had what I thought was a brilliant idea. I’ll just decorate the sides with the can o’ whipped cream G got at some point. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but just in case I took my potential mess to the floor. I have no counter space so I often do things like this on the stove and whipped cream all over the stove seemed like a bad idea. I was right!

Remember how I mentioned that my stove is the heater for the apt, well I ended up with melted mess of whipped cream. I did have a blast with it though because it quickly went from using the can to seeing it melt off the side off the cake to me using my hands to try to fix it. I wish I had pictures of me covered in whipped cream because it was pretty funny, I did make sure to get pictures of the mess on the floor and the far from beautiful cake. In the end though I wiped off all the whipped cream and served G a slice. G actually really liked it, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I don’t love white chocolate and there was too much of it for my taste.

Lesson learned: Pictures and directions are your friend

Recipe after the break

Continue Reading TWD: Black and White Cake…

Peanut Butter Kisses aka Peanut Butter Blossoms

January 23, 2008 at 4:37 pm | Posted in Chocolate, Cookies, Peanut Butter | 4 Comments

::singing:: Peanuttttt … Peanut Butter and kisses.

For the December SBGEX (yes I was that late … love you for not hating me KT) I could not decide what to make. The wonderful elfster let me ask questions, but what else do you need to know when based on the pervious questions your pick has been asked you know that they have the same baked goods philosophy you do. I’ll give you some examples of areas where we agree.

1. No Nuts, but PB, Chocolate and Cream Cheese are all good.

2. We love snickerdoodles Really though, who doesn’t? If you are crazy enough to not like them please let me know why

3. The quote that says it all and truly makes her a woman after my own heart is “I just don’t like anything that would be considered good for me in my baked goods.”

I had nothing left to ask her. I pretty much figured anything I liked there was a pretty good chance she would like too and unless she lied to me, she liked my cookies.

This is one of the many wonderful recipes at One Tiny Pink Kitchen. My cookies were probably more than 2 points each because my wonderful hubby helped shape them and made them bigger than they were supposed to be, but I used butter instead of shortening so that makes up for it. Right?

Peanut Butter Blossoms
From: Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and adapted by One Tiny Pink Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup shortening (or butter)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup eggbeaters (or 1 egg)
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Milk chocolate kisses or stars

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.

2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in the 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie’s center. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Makes 54.

3. To store: Place in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

POINTS Per Cookie: 2 POINTS

Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes

January 21, 2008 at 11:27 pm | Posted in Chocolate, cupcakes, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

 

I’m a little behind with my posts, but last weekend I was craving vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting. We were on our way over to my ILs. I had my vanilla cupcake recipe and all my supplies. I had even mixed up my dry ingredients because I knew there was no chance my MIL had cake flour even if she had restocked her regular flour supply after using every last drop during her Christmas Baking Extravaganza.

G and I were in the car and then it hit me. I wanted chocolate frosting, but what kind? Ut oh. Luckily, my trusty CB was at her computer and my Mom had just bought me my trusty iphone. I’m going to copy CB here and post our conversation.

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Nikki: Do u have a fave chocolate frosting. I’m making cuppys tonight and forgot to find a frosting recipe.
Sent from my iPhone

———————————

CB: here’s 2 of them! don’t you wub me?? 🙂

CHOCOLATE FROSTING
6 tbsp butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powder sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk

Cream butter and vanilla with mixer on low/med speed. In separate bowl combine powder sugar and cocoa powder. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture. Slowly add milk until you reach desired consistency (may not use all of milk). Beat until creamy.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE
1 cup white or dark chocolate
3/4 cup whipping cream

Place chocolate in bowl. In saucepan bring whipping cream to boil over high heat. Pour hot whipping cream over chocolate and stir until choco melted.

———————————

Nikki: You’re wonderful!!!!
Sent from my iPhone

————————————–

CB: I know 😉

Picture courtesy of bearygr8buys

Now that I had my recipe I was ready to bake. Now this is the coolest part of my baking experience. My MIL has her mothers old Kitchenaid mixer. Based on the little bit of research I’ve done, I believe it’s a 3-C and was produced sometime in the 1950’s. Now that means the mixer is somewhere around 60 years old and it still works like a champ. I will say that it can’t mash up my almost room temperature butter quite as well as my current KA, but it’s so cute with it’s glass bowl and dainty whip. I love it and it was tons of fun to get to play with a piece of cooking history.

In the end my cuppys were yummy as can be, but frosting with a butter knife wasn’t the ideal too for beautiful frosting, but who cares, they tasted good and that’s all that matters.

Billy’s Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes (aka my current go to vanilla cuppy recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Mix the dry ingredients.

Add butter

Whisk eggs, milk and vanilla.

Add wet ingredients 1/3 at a time to the dry ingredients

Bake for 17-22 minutes at 325 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean

For the frosting I choose the standard Chocolate Frosting above. Thanks CB

Flourless Chocolate Cake

December 15, 2007 at 6:08 pm | Posted in Cake, Chocolate | 3 Comments

OMG this cake is a chocolate lovers heaven. It is pure chocolate decadence!

Dieters leave now, because this is pure chocolate heaven, but with a massive amount of chocolate and three sticks of butter it’s about as far from good for you as it gets.  But, if you’re looking to splurge, this is where to do it.  Soft, silky, melt in your mouth chocolaty goodness.

I was at the grocery store last night and wandered into the magazine aisle surprise surprise. While I was looking at all the wonderful cooking magazines I stumbled across Chocolatier. Now I had see the subscription for it on amazon.com a while ago and would have got a subscription because Greg is a chocoholic (he seriously needs to go to meetings), but there were a lot of bad reviews with regards to delivery and some said there weren’t enough recipes. This was the first time I had seen an actual copy of the magainze. I flipped it open and saw the recipe for Chocolate Decadence, a flourless chocolate cake and knew I had to buy the magazine and would be making the cake.

Overall the cake was very easy to make. The only problem I had was when I mixed the chocolate into the egg mixture. The recipe said to mix on low, but that left all the chocolate on the bottom and it never got mixed in. I thought it looked funny, but it wasn’t until I started to pour it out that I realized how much chocolate had yet to be mixed it so it all got dumped back in the bowl and I mixed it on medium speed.

This cake is pure chocolate heaven. So chocolatey, smooth and mmm good.

Chocolate Decadence – Chocolatier Magazine – recipe from Metro Marche in New York

Ingredients

8 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

24 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter

3 1/2 TBSP Brandy (I didn’t have it at home so I didn’t use it)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, wrap the outside of a 9″ (I used 8″) springform pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and find a regular cake pan or a roasting pan that the springform pan will sit inside. Grease springform pan

Heat the chocolate and butter in a double broiler then let cool while you prepare the egg mixture

Mix eggs and sugar on high until light and airy (about 6 minutes)

While eggs are mixing boil enough water to fill the outter pan half way

Once eggs are mixed slowly add the chocolate and mix on slow speed for 2 minutes (I needed to mix on medium)

Pour into springform pan and put boiling water in outer pan

Cook for approximately 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

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