Entries Tagged as 'desserts'

recipe: chocolate sea salt molten cakes

January 12th, 2011 · 44 Comments

I am obsessed with these cakes. 

In fact, when I posted a preview picture to Twitter yesterday, my hashtag was #thebestthingihaveevermade.

And I wasn’t even exaggerating.  Not one bit.

Three of our good friends have birthdays really close to each other (including my fabulous sometimes-photographer, Kristen), and they always throw a joint party, right after the holidays in January.  I volunteered to bring some goodies, so I had to come up with something seriously delicious. 

And…. yowza.  I’ve solidly decided to cover every dessert I make from now on with a light dusting of sea salt.  Something about that little bit of saltiness is so incredibly delicious in a dessert, and pair it with a super-rich, melted chocolate layer, and you’ve just created something that borders on perfection.  I was happy that I’d already volunteered these for the party, because I would have totally blown that New Year’s resolution of not eating entire batches of dessert.  Instead, I ate a very reasonable… um… three. 

And they were delicious.

Chocolate Sea Salt Molten Cakes

INGREDIENTS
9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
6 tbsp butter, softened
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp Kahlua
1/8 tsp sea salt, plus additional for the tops of the cakes

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two six-muffin tins, and dust the insides with sugar. 

On a double-boiler, melt chocolate until smooth, stirring to ensure everything melts.  Set aside to cool. 

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, and Kahlua.  Add the eggs, one at a time, until all of them are incorporated.  Beat in the chocolate and flour and pour the batter into the muffin tins, about 3/4 full.  Sprinkle sea salt over the tops of the muffins.  Bake for 9-10 minutes, allow to cool, and turn cakes out onto serving plates.  Serve. 

Makes twelve mini cakes.

Tags: desserts · food

video: maple pumpkin tart

December 20th, 2010 · 10 Comments

If you guys have been reading this blog for a while, you know that every once in a while, I love to post videos of how to make certain dishes!  I thought this Maple Pumpkin Tart was the perfect fit, because it was easy enough to fit into a four-minute video clip, but at the same time, unique and holiday-themed enough that it would be a great recipe for this time of year.  Also, at about six different points in this video, my dogs appear and disappear at will — if you’re not impressed by that, I don’t know what’s going to do it for you…

I love traditional holiday dishes, but at the same time, sometimes I feel like you need a new flavor to freshen them up.  The maple and rum in this recipe are pretty subtle, but they unmistakeably add some dimension to what would otherwise be a traditional pumpkin pie recipe. 

I used a store-bought pie crust for this recipe, but if you want to make your own, you could use the recipe in this post or this one.  Then set it out on your holiday table and enjoy!

Maple Pumpkin Tart

INGREDIENTS
1/2 of a 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
1/2 of a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup
1 egg
2 tbsp spiced rum
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of sea salt
Store bought or homemade pie crust

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Press the pie crust into a fluted tart shell with a removable bottom and trim the excess edges.

In a medium bowl, mix the pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, maple syrup, egg, salt and spices.  Mix until blended.  Pour the filling into the cooled tart shell and bake 30 minutes, or until the filling is set but still wobbly. Allow to cool, and serve.

Tags: desserts · food

recipe: nutella peanut butter bars

December 15th, 2010 · 37 Comments

So, I’ve now thoroughly documented my chocolate and peanut butter obsession.  But last weekend, in my quest for the perfect holiday baking treats, I decided to go a little bit further.

If you haven’t seen it already, this Nutella recipe is one of the most popular on this whole site, and I’m pretty sure that the key to an incredible recipe is to take something simple and easy and add Nutella.  So when I was thinking about ways to update a classic peanut butter bar recipe, Nutella was the obvious choice.

And yowzers, were these good.  Between Chad and me, we ate the entire batch in about seventy two hours (um, I wish I were exaggerating).  Usually peanut butter bars taste like a homemade peanut butter cup, but these were even better — a deeper, more intense flavor that’s perfect for any holiday party you’d like to bring a special treat to in the next few weeks!

Last but not least, thank you guys so much for all your support with the new boutique!  We had a couple of technical issues on Monday, but everything is up and running smoothly now.  And if you have your eye on something special, take 10% off any purchase with the coupon code HOLIDAYS until January 1st!

Nutella and Peanut Butter Bar Recipe

INGREDIENTS

1 cup butter, softened
12 sheets of graham crackers (one package), crumbled in a food processor
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup Nutella, divided into 1/4 cup and 3/4 cups

DIRECTIONS

Mix together the butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners sugar, vanilla and peanut butter until blended and smooth.  Pour the mixture into a 9″by9″ square pan with a removable bottom (or line a standard pan with parchment paper).  Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until firm.

In a metal bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of Nutella, stirring until smooth.  Spread over the prepared crust, and refrigerate for another hour, until firm.  Spread the additional 3/4 cup of Nutella over the chocolate layer, and refrigerate again.  When the bars are firm, cut into squares. 

Makes about 16 bars.

Tags: desserts · food

recipe: chocolate soufflé

November 19th, 2010 · 35 Comments

Oh, goodness. 

So, are there any of you guys out there who haven’t planned your Thanksgiving dessert yet?  I mean, pumpkin pie is all well and good, but can you really beat a chocolate soufflé for sheer holiday decadence?  As far as desserts go, I’m all for the ‘wow’ factor — which you can sometimes get without a lot of effort!  People are so impressed with soufflés, so much that it’s easy to forget that the bulk of the technique just involves whipping some egg whites. 

I participated in a chocolate tasting for Green & Blacks this week, and when it was over, I found myself with six almost-full chocolate bars, so I tried to think of recipes to use them in.  Soufflés are always a go-to for me, because they don’t require too many ingredients, and they’re a great way to make a little chocolate into something special.

You know what’s even better?  Making these at 10 a.m. for late breakfast.  Because, um, I had to get all the kinks out in this recipe.  For you guys.  I swear.

Chocolate Soufflé

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup sugar
4 ounces semi-sweet, chopped
2 ounces 70% dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs, separated

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Butter and sugar four ramekins, as desired.  Beat egg whites with the sugar at medium speed, until they just hold stiff peaks.

Mix chocolate and heavy cream and microwave for 30 seconds.  Let sit for another 30 seconds and stir until combined (if chocolate is not fully melted, microwave for an additional 15 seconds).  Allow to cool for a minute and then stir in the egg yolks. 

Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites.  Fill 4 ramekins almost to the top.  Bake approximately 12-12 minutes, or until the soufflés are puffed and just set.  Serve.

Tags: desserts · food

godiva and top chef

November 17th, 2010 · 10 Comments

Have you guys been watching Top Chef Just Desserts?  When I was invited to this event last week, I was sort of embarrassed to admit that I’d actually never seen an episode!  It’s particularly ridiculous because I *love* Top Chef, and I love desserts even more — and yet somehow, I’d never even realized that this show had started!

Godiva threw this event to celebrate their Quickfire challenge on last week’s episode of the show, where the contestants each created a selection of chocolates that symbolized different turning points in their lives.  Morgan (below) was my favorite pretty early on into the episode (passionfruit!  bittersweet chocolate!  top chef crushing his soul!  good stuff!) and I wasn’t surprised at all that he won.  Even more exciting, after the win, he walked into the room, along with platters of the chocolates he’d created, which are part of Godiva’s holiday lineup.  Absolutely delicious — I brought home a box for Chad, and it was empty within about 24 hours.

The other judges, including zomg Gail Simmons love her, also put in an appearance, and the whole room was filled with incredibly decadent chocolate goodies.  Their walnut caramel brownie may literally be the best thing I’ve ever tasted, and I’m going to try desperately to recreate it on Sugarlaws for the holidays!


Gail Simmons, talking with Top Chef contestant Morgan

Table of chocolate goodies, pre-screening (drool.)

Me, trying to pick which chocolates to try!

Everyone watching the screening of the episode (no commercials!)

Dannielle Kyrillos, Alison Brod, and Gail Simmons, posing for a photo

Tags: desserts · food