Archive | ganache RSS feed for this section

Forgotten Sweets

27 Feb

I’m sitting at home, sick, well sick-ish. Sick enough that my throat is not allowing me to swallow and I sound like a freak, so definitely too sick to go talk on the radio for two hours today. But not sick enough to sleep all day or just be content watching movies in bed. Also I have no TV in my room.

Getting back on track here. I am well enough to realize that I never did my Christmas post and I’m very behind in dessert writing. Does it matter? No, but I like sharing my desserts, especially during lent when I can’t eat any. So this will be a slew of forgotten sweets. Whoops.

Let’s start with what I referred to as “Fake Christmas.” We celebrated Christmas with my immediate family – all 13 of us – on Michael’s birthday this year because when Christmas is on a Tuesday, things get messy. We were all busy on different days and couldn’t find the right time to exchange gifts, so we had fake Christmas and Michael’s birthday together on the 15th. It worked fine, but hopefully in the future, when Christmas is not on a dumb Tuesday, we will get it together.

I was extremely excited to make this three layer red velvet cake covered in chocolate! I saw it on Pinterest, which is where most of my dessert inspiration comes from these days. It was pretty easy and my nephews were mesmerized by the deep red color, and of course the puddle of chocolate ganache that covered everything. You should absolutely put this on your 2013 holiday baking list.

IMG_3763 IMG_3767IMG_3842

Since we were also celebrating my brother’s birthday, I threw together some minty brownies, his favorite flavor combination. I’m not 100% sure but I believe these are my famous Bailey’s brownies with added dark chocolate and mint chips.

IMG_3768IMG_3771

And, to top off the day, I made some Christmas punch. I honestly don’t remember the entire recipe. I think it was raspberry sorbet, orange juice and sprite zero. I left it kid friendly, with the choice to add in some white wine for the rest of us. Madeline and Michael loved it, Michael forgot to put the wine in.

IMG_3764

 

On to real Christmas! Sugar cookies are a staple for our family. Though my mom debates me on this, I always say that these cookies are the only holiday cookies I remember from my childhood. Whether I’m right or wrong, they are the most important cookie of the season, and the only cookie I can guarantee my mom will help me with, on our scheduled Sugar Cookie Day, of course. At this point, we are pros. We have a huge assortment of cookie cutters and know which ones make the best cookies, though we do attempt to make snowflakes each year despite the high percentage possibility that they will break.

 

 

 

IMG_3849 IMG_3853 IMG_3855

I slacked off a little this year. I think I only made about 12 different cookies, when I prefer making 18. I know that sounds crazy, but once I cover the handful of cookies that I feel like I have to make each year, I want to experiment with new ones. This December was a little crazy and flew by super fast, so 12 was all I could bake. We all survived.

IMG_3864

I referred to these as pop tart cookies, though the recipe called them french toast cookies. These guys actually really frustrated me because I was trying to do too many things at once and forgot to add cinnamon to the batter, and then we accidentally thought they were sugar cookie dough rolls for a while, but in the end they turned out cute and different, which is always my goal. They were also pretty delicious – and my dad attempted to help me frost them. They were a little big, so I think people were less likely to grab them from the dessert buffet, but I was happy to have them as leftovers. Now I want a pop tart.

IMG_3865

I apologize that I can’t figure out how to flip this mouth-watering coffee cake picture. Good thing you are probably reading this from a lap top or a phone, you can rotate your device. I made this for my mom’s Christmas brunch with her friends, it was also super yummy, pecan cinnamon coffee cake. I do recall this recipe being very strange. I think I ended up mixing more of the dry ingredients in with the wet ones, so be careful with these instructions.

IMG_3867

My FAVORITE christmas dessert is a cranberry bliss bar. These are amazing and were developed to copy a Starbucks dessert. A delicious combination of dried cranberries, white chocolate and cream cheese. I find it so weird that I love these because I’m not a white chocolate fan and I do not like cream cheese. Weird, right? But these are a huge exception to those rules. I love them, so will you, that is all.

IMG_3874

More Bailey’s Brownies. What can I say? They’re really good and everyone needs extra Bailey’s at Christmas.

IMG_3876

Here begins a selection of drop cookies. Traditional Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Raisin, Mint Oreo Chocolate Cookies, (amazing even though I totally messed up the recipe) Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Bark, and some sort of layer bar that I think I made from a few bags of leftover stuff. They were also really delicious and while I’m typing this I will try to find the recipes.

IMG_3877

I try to Pin all of the things I make so that I can find them later, success for this one. The bark was not supposed to be giant chunks. This is again what happens to me when I accidentally try to do nine million things at once. But you know what? This was the best tasting thing ever in life, so it’s ok. More odd shaped scraps for me and my dad.

IMG_3878

I adapted this recipe from the leftover things I had on hand: weird tasting chocolate marshmallows, super old coconut and chopped pecans. It was actually really really good. Kind of mushier than I think the crust was supposed to be, but another accidental taste of awesome.

IMG_3879

Dark Chocolate Mint Oreo Cookies. Growing up I never understood why Michael and my friend Stevie liked mint chocolate things so much. I hated them for about 16 years. Finally, I’ve come to my senses and realized the intense satisfaction that comes from mixing them together. Plus this recipe has crushed Oreos in it.

IMG_3880

Oatmeal cinnamon chip (an ingredient you must buy) raisin drop cookies can from the recipe on the cinnamon chip bag. Sometimes that is just the way to go.

IMG_3881

I used the “Mrs. Field’s” Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe I found for Septemberfest for these guys. I think they were better as a giant bar, but still pretty good.

IMG_3882

I made these because I really like Pretzel M&Ms. I didn’t like them as much as my drop cookie recipe, but you live, you eat and you learn.

IMG_3884

Fudge. This is actually another recipe my mom made every year for christmas and I make at least 5… ok 10 times a year. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably had it and you love it too.

IMG_3887

Is it a holiday without Oatberries? These were leftover from my unsuccessful attempt to be on the new CBS baking show. That was frustrating because the “taster” ate about 1/16 of one of these. At least I went to round two, that is my goal with most things in life.

 

 

IMG_4097

I was planning on adding my February desserts to this list but I’m too hungry now, plus it’s lent and I don’t know if I have the willpower to look at brownies any more. I still have 32 days left!

Hopefully you did not give up dessert for lent and since there is more snow on the ground than I’ve seen in two years, you can pretend it’s Christmas. Play some deck the halls and make one of these recipes – let me know how it goes!

IMG_4107

 

My life is busy, but at least it’s dessert-filled again!

5 May

So I have been a terrible blogger and dessert documenter, I’m sorry. Forgive me. Right now I’m trying to balance 100 things at once, but at least I can do it with a cookie in my hand again!

Lent is over! And although my jeans are tighter (whoops), my chocolate-levels are back to where they belong. As soon as the clock hit midnight on Easter morning I rushed home from work, gobbled up 5 frozen oatberry cookies and half my Easter basket. Delish.

(PS – the oatberries were frozen from when I was so nice enough to make them for all of my friends, family, co-workers and classmates – and my favorite Sweet Talk Live I’ve done so far!)

But more importantly I baked my substitute birthday cake for my family, complete with a ganache covering.

You see, this was my actual “birthday cake.”

A bowl of yogurt with berries. It was actually pretty delicious, but not a birthday cake by any means.

This was my Easter birthday cake.

Fabulous brownie circles with chocolate chips and m&ms running through them, filled with an Oreo buttercream frosting and topped with a milk chocolate ganache. It was exceptional death by chocolate and I wish I had all the ingredients in my house right now. Maybe I can just stare at these pictures and relive the wonderfulness.

There’s a Pie Inside!

19 Oct

I promised a video this post and it’s here!

After receiving a tempting email from my friend, Justine,  I knew I had to make these cupcakes for my sister’s birthday celebration. She loves pumpkin things and even though I used to be super anti-pumpkin, I’m coming around and figured it was worth a try. It definitely was. I got intense rave reviews on these from everyone, including my brother who “hates cake.”

These cupcakes were crazy, they’re filled with mini pumpkin pies. I accidentally bought pumpkin instead of pumpkin pie mix so I had to make my own, I used this recipe for that, and it was a pretty good one — food network usually is a good place to turn for a simple, delicious recipe.  So i baked up mini pumpkin pies using a refrigerated crust and that recipe. I let them cool as I mixed the cupcakes.

The cupcake recipe alone is a keeper. It produced a very rich and fluffy cake and I’m planning to experiment with it soon!

After the pies cooled, I plopped a heaping tablespoon of cupcake batter into my liners, followed by a mini pie and another serving of batter.

After that all that was left was the baking. It really was a simple concoction.

They baked up fantastically and then I had to freeze them for a few days until the night before her birthday when I frosted them. Instead of reading about the frosting, you get to watch it!

http://www.youtube.com/v/ZbjZYaOc7II?fs=1&hl=en_US

Everyone thought the inside of theirs was the best, I think Dan won!

father’s day frozen mousse cake

21 Jun

My dad loves cake and my dad loves ice cream. But I’m trying to broaden my baking horizon, so I took his loves and decided to make this, with a twist of course.

I made the cake part exactly how the recipe told me to, and my only issue was that I didn’t have time to completely cool it, so I had to use the fridge, which I think made it s a little crumbly, but it was just what it needed to be.

Next was the mousse, which takes a LOT of whipping. Whipping egg whites, whipping egg yolks, whipping cream and making sure things are the right temperature and then more whipping, it was a lot of work and made me super nervous. Also, my dad doesn’t like Kahlua desserts, so I swapped it for Bailey’s Irish Cream. But, I really don’t know if that was a suitable swap. In the end, flavor-wise, it was good, but consistency wise, I’m not sure that it functioned the same… and I was afraid that it wasn’t going to be as “mousse-y” and fluffy as it was supposed to be. I also took out the espresso powder and used cocoa powder instead, again to steer clear of the coffee flavors he didn’t really want.

Then I said a prayer to the mousse gods and went to work for 11 hours Saturday night and 5 hours Sunday morning. When I finally got home I took the frozen concoction out of the freezer and prepped the ganache, where I used Creme de Cacao instead of the Kahlua. I love using ganache so I’m always happy to find a new recipe for it – this one is a winner!

And so was the rest of the dessert, all about eaten in an hour, like always. Even my relatives that proclaim they didn’t want any dessert gobbled their share. But my dad did have to have some ice cream on the side, some things can’t be swapped 🙂 Happy Father’s Day!

my early birthday “cake”

12 Apr

I love cake. I love the different flavor possibilities of base, filling and frosting, and I love the batter. What I don’t love about cake is that it’s a planning process and storage needs. Although I ended up having a lot more time off this weekend then I expected, I still didn’t have the cake baking, planning time needed. I opted to make a cookie cake for my family birthday celebration. I love cookie cakes, they’re super easy and fun, plus the options for putting together and plating are endless. I began with the chocolate chip-oreo cookie base in my recipe section, this cookie was fantastic, and actually much more delicious in the thick cookie cake form. I really wanted to make chocolate chip cookies with Oreos after I read about them a few months ago and the result was really good. Next time I plan to use double stuffed or chocolate cream Oreos, this time I used bite size cookies.

The little Oreo chunks were a fantastic addition to the chocolate chip cookie, plus it was an interesting combo because instead of regular chocolate chips, I chose Hershey’s mini kisses for my cookies.

After I baked these rounds, I softened a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked and spread it in between two 6-inch cookie rounds.

Yum. I love softened ice cream. When you allowed the ice cream to melt for a few minutes, the flavors peak. I really think that is how ice cream is supposed to be eaten. When it’s right out of the freezer, it’s too cold to taste good.

After I “sandwiched” the ice cream in between the cookies, I made a quick ganache topping out of whipping cream and leftover chocolate bunnies from Easter. I let it solidify a bit and topped the creation with the ganache.

I probably could have let the ganache thicken up a little more, but I liked the chocolate and ice cream swirls that formed all over the “cake.” I love pairing the cookie with ice cream because it softens the cookie but still supports the ice cream. If you wanted to fill a regular cake with ice cream, it would have to be a very dense or frozen cake, which is why I’m not really a fan of traditional ice cream cakes. The cake loses it’s flavor and just tastes like “cold.”

But not this “cake,” it was fantastic.

Happy early birthday to me!

Happy Easter – cake balls!

6 Apr

I was so lucky to have Easter Sunday off of work and be able to spend the day with my family, including my fun little niece and nephew. So, to celebrate the holiday, and to thank my co-workers for dealing with my silliness all of the time, I thought it would be a great occasion for cake balls. If you’ve never heard of a cake ball, you are missing out. I first came across these last Mother’s Day, and made red velvet, of course, for my mom. They were amazing and I kept meaning to make another flavor sometime, but I guess I forgot about them.

Cake balls originiated from Bakerella, a great baker/blogger who is super creative. Check out her site to read up about all of the different cake balls and cake pops she’s created.

While I was making these I forgot how long the process actually takes – which might be one of the reasons that I haven’t made them since May. The entire baking/decorating process took from about 10am-2:30pm, but I did take a break to color Easter eggs with my dad. The end result was amazingly delicious, I got marriage proposals at work, our chef ate about four of them, and I was able to celebrate the end of lent at midnight by toasting with my co-worker, Jami, with a fantastic chocolate-covered cake ball! (I made it -all 40 days without giving in to my favorite food ever – chocolate!)

Let me share the cake ball process.

Step #1: Bake your favorite cake in a 9×13 pan. This can be done with a boxed mix, but I hate boxed cakes, I think they’re terribly airy and flavorless. I choose my all-time favorite graham cracker cake recipe for the Easter balls.

Step #2: Prepare one recipe of frosting. Again, you can use store bought, but again I don’t do that, and I used my favorite buttercream frosting recipe and added cocoa powder to make it slightly chocolate.

Step #3: After letting the cake cool, crumble it up and add to a big bowl, mix with entire buttercream recipe. Yep, pretty much ruin that cake you just baked and mix it all up with the frosting.

Step #4: Form the cake/frosting mixture into whatever shape you want, I used my cookie scoop to make the balls, and I actually used two different sizes because the batter made so many! (I ended up with 72!)

Step #5: Freeze the balls for an hour or so, and when that time has passed, melt the chocolate according to the bag/box’s instructions and cover the balls. Then you’re done! You’ll probably want to refrigerate the chocolate covered creations. I actually ended up playing around with the covering and switched between plain chocolate and ganache so I has some consistency differences, but they all tasted and looked delicious.

I hope everyone enjoyed the yummy day – Happy Easter!

Michael turns 25!

4 Jan

My brother turned 25 on Decemeber 15, which even though he is my older brother, made me feel old! Instead of a big, frosted layer-cake (which I miss making!) I decided to give him his favorite desserts in a mint chocolate creation.

I started with an Oreo crust in a pie plate, mixed up a box of instant chocolate pudding and heavy cream and covered it all in chocolate mint ganache – thanks to Nestles’ new holiday product, a bag of mint and dark chocolate morsels.

I whipped it all up before heading to work that night, and when I returned it was all gone, so everyone must have loved it! Happy Birthday Michael T!

%d bloggers like this: