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Category Archives: sweets

Quick and Easy Chocolate Mousse


This is a super fast and easy method for a pure chocolate dessert! It’s a recipe from Food52.com which is a fabulous source for all things food!

3/4 cup water

4 oz chocolate you love! I like the chili pepper flavor dark chocolate. Any style that has 70% cacao is good

  • In a small saucepan heat the water
  • Whisk in the chocolate and mix until smooth
  • Place saucepan over a larger bowl of ice
  • Beat with a hand whisk, hand mixer or an immersion/stick blender until thick for a minute or less.
  • Pour into small serving bowls
  • Serves 4 small rich portions
  • Top with whipping cream
  • When melting the chocolate you may add other flavors such as vanilla, spices, rose water or liquor.
  • Don’t refrigerate it, just keep it at room temperature until you’re ready to eat it.

Whisk the chocolate and water over medium heat until smooth


Place the saucepan over a bowl of ice and beat with a stick blender


Beat just until thick. Do not over do it!

Voila! I hope you love this as much as we do!

Bananas Foster

 
Perfect for Mardi Gras season! Bananas Foster is a dessert created in New Orleans in 1951 at Brennan’s Restaurant. It is named after Richard Foster, a friend of the restaurant owner. 

Here’s what you need, plus vanilla ice creamūüėČ

  
This recipe is from Cooks Illustrated.

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt:

1 stick butter

  • Whisk in:

1 cup packed dark brown sugar (7 ounces)

  • Stir in:

Lemon zest from 1 large lemon

2 cinnamon sticks

  • Simmer 1-2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Make sure the heat is not too high or the butter and sugar will separate and won’t form a sauce.
  • Add:

4 bananas peeled, cut in half crosswise and lengthwise.

  • Spoon some sauce over the bananas and cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned and glistening on the bottom. Flip bananas over and cook another 1 minute until soft on the outside, but not mushy. Bananas should keep their shape and not break or fall apart.

  

  • Remove pan from heat and Add:

1 cup dark rum

  • Tilt the pan to distribute the rum and allow to heat up a few seconds.
  • Ignite rum with a match. 
  • Swirl and shake the pan to distribute the flame.
  • Allow the flame to subside (about 15-30 seconds)

  

  • Divide the bananas onto 8 serving dishes
  • Add:

1 scoop ice cream to each dish

  • Pour sauce over ice cream and bananas
  • Serve with spoons

Classic Delish!

Aunt Lois’ Carrot Cake

  

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A very generous piece of carrot cake!

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A mid-century cake on a mid-century platter

Carrots, pineapple and nuts folding into the cake batter

Carrots, pineapple and nuts folding into the cake batter

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Carrot Cake batter ready to pour into 3 round prepared cake pans

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Softened raisins and chopped walnuts sprinkled over the first and 2nd layers of cake that have been thinly spread with the Cream Cheese Frosting

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Raisins softened in boiling water, now draining extra water on paper towels waiting next to chopped walnuts

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The first layer thinly spread with Cream Cheese Frosting

The favorite cake of my mom, Sonia Sanders, and my husband, Dave Frurip. Mom and I have been making this since 1970. This is recipe is from my dad’s sister, Lois Zuro. Since Dave has diabetes now, he asked that I make the cake so he and I can each eat one piece and then he would share the rest with his co-workers. That was a good plan that worked out well.

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

4 eggs, beaten well

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups flour

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

3 cups grated carrot, do not pack, but lightly spoon into measuring cups, abut 1 pound

1 15-ounce can unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained well, OPTIONAL

  • Butter and flour three 8 or 9-inch round baking pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixer bowl blend sugar and oil. Add well beaten eggs and blend well.
  • In a large bowl combine dry ingredients and whisk together thoroughly. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and stir till just blended.
  • Stir in nuts and carrots. Add pineapple if desired.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans and bake 25-35 minutes.
  • Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Also check to see that the cake has slightly pulled away from the sides of the baking pan.
  • Let cool 20 minutes or so on cooling racks.
  • When cakes are cool enough to handle, remove from baking pans by inverting onto racks.
  • Cool completely. Cover with Saran if you do no plan to frost them the same day.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 Tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 pound or 4 cups powdered sugar

8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-3 teaspoons lemon juice, to your taste of tartness

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 cup raisins which have been softened in boiling water and drained well

  • In a mixing bowl combine butter and cream cheese and beat well.
  • Add powdered sugar and beat well. Add vanilla and lemon juice and blend.
  • If icing appears too thin, add more powdered sugar.
  • Spread a thin coat of icing on the top of the first layer of cake. Sprinkle with half the nuts and raisins.
  • Spread a thin layer on both sides of the 2nd layer of cake.
  • Sprinkle the remaining nuts and raising on the 2nd layer of cake.
  • Spread a thin layer on the bottom side of the 3rd layer of cake.
  • Using a narrow metal spatula or knife, ice the side of the cake and finally the top of the cake.

Guinness Stout Chocolate Cake

This 14.9 ounce can of Guinness is an almost perfect size. I added 2 tablespoons of water to make the 16 oz.

  

A beautiful rich moist black color cake!

The finished product! Bellisima!

My fitness center friend, Norma Brooks, shared this recipe with me and it has become our favorite family cake. All three of my daughters bake it for their celebrations! It is a beautiful firm rich cake and is worth purchasing 3 large 9 inch x 2 1/2 inch high round baking pans. Using the traditional 9 inch x 1 1/2 inch baking pans works, but you’ll need 5 and decreased baking time. You can make a very tall cake, or freeze 2 or 3 of these smaller layers for a later time. I prefer the 3 larger pans.

2 cups (16 oz) Guinness Stout

1 lb. butter

1 1/2 cups unsweeted cocoa powder (Hersheys Extra Dark)

4 cups all purpose flour

4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 large eggs

1 1/3 cups sour cream
FROSTING

2 cups (16 oz) heavy whipping cream

16 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli 60% cacao)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the large 1 1/2 inch tall x 9 inch across baking pans. Line buttered pans with parchment paper by drawing a circle using the bottom of the pans as patterns and place circles into the buttered pans. Now butter the parchment.
  • In a heavy saucepan, bring Guinness and butter just to a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Cool
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer/Kitchen Aid, beat eggs and sour cream just until blended.
  • Add the stout-butter mixture to the egg mixture and beat briefly at low speed till combined.
  • Add flour mixture to batter and mix at low speed just till blended. Use a rubber spatula to thoroughly mix.
  • Divide batter into the 3 large baking pans.
  • Bake 40-45 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Do not overbake.
  • Place cakes on cooling racks for 10-20 minutes. Then turn cakes out of pans onto these racks. Remove parchment paper.
  • Cool completely. If you leave them overnight, wrap in plastic wrap when cool.

Frosting takes a few hours because this involves cooling, so don’t wait to the last minute to make the frosting.

  • In a medium size heavy saucepan bring the cream just to a simmer.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until melted and smooth.
  • It will not be stiff at this point. I use one of two different methods for cooling the icing. Pour the icing in a bowl and whisk it within another bowl of ice water until cooled and spreadable. OR: Pour the icing into a bowl and place in the refrigerator with the whisk sitting in the bowl.
  • Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Whisk it every once in a while. The frosting along the surface of the bowl with chill first. Blend this well to keep an even temperature. Do not let the frosting refrigerate too long. It will become a solid unspreadable mass of chocolate!
  • When frosting is thick and spreadable, choose your serving platter and place the bottom layer of cake on it. Place a thin, but not too thin layer of icing over this cake. Top this with the 2nd cake and frost it’s top.  Now layer on the 3rd cake.  Frost the sides of this 3 layer giant and finally frost the top of your cake. Voila!
  • I find it is best to place thinner layers in between the cakes and reserve plenty of frosting for the sides and top.
  • This is a very moist cake that does not need ice cream.  To cut slices, I cut the cake in half. Use one half at a time and cut perpendicular thin slices (but thick enough to maintain it’s shape.) Bon Apetit!

Apple-Cranberry Pie

A fabulous Thanksgiving pie from CooksIllustrated.com. It has a similiar sweet sour flavor to a sour cherry pie! I doubled the recipe to make 2 pies. To further accentuate the delicious fruit flavor, I roll my pie dough very thin. I also use fresh cranberries!

Makes one 9-inch pie

Use sweet, crisp apples, such as Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Fuji, or Braeburn. The two fillings can be made ahead, cooled, and stored separately in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

 

Ingredients

  • 2cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/4cup orange juice
  • 1cup granulated sugar (7 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon for top of pie
  • 1/2teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4cup water
  • 1tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 1/2pounds sweet apples (6 to 7 medium), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (see note above)
  • 1recipe pie dough (see related recipe)
  • 1 egg white , beaten lightly

Instructions

  1. 1. Bring cranberries, juice, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally and pressing berries against side of pot, until berries have completely broken down and juices have thickened to jamlike consistency (wooden spoon scraped across bottom should leave clear trail that doesn’t fill in), 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in water, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, mix 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cornstarch in large microwave-safe bowl; add apples and toss to combine. Microwave on high power, stirring with rubber spatula every 3 minutes, until apples are just starting to turn translucent around edges and liquid is thick and glossy, 10 to 14 minutes. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  3. 3. While fillings cool, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang. Ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. 4. Transfer cooled cranberry mixture to dough-lined pie plate and spread into even layer. Place apple mixture on top of cranberries, mounding slightly in center; push down any sharp apple edges.
  5. 5. Roll second disk of dough on generously floured work surface (up to 1/4 cup) to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll over pie, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side.
  6. 6. Using kitchen shears, cut evenly through both layers of overhanging dough, leaving 1/2-inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with tines of fork to seal. Brush top and edges of pie with egg white and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Using sharp paring knife, cut four 1 1/2-inch slits in top of dough in cross pattern.
  7. 7. Place pie on preheated baking sheet and bake until top is light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, rotate baking sheet, and continue to bake until crust is deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack to cool at least 2 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.

Prosecco and Fruit Terrine

I have made this for friends many times. They always love it! Fresh fruit and clear sweet sparkling wine make beautiful terrines. This is very easy and quick. No baking, only cooling time in the frig. Recipe is originally from Gourmet Magazine, August 2002. Reminds me of the mid-century Jello Salads, but without the food coloring and with the added kick of Prosecco. You can also call it Solid Sangria!

3 cups fresh fruit, anything except pineapple, mango or papaya works with gelatin. Choose a variety of color. Peel the thicker skinned fruits. I like blueberries, blackberries, white grapes, and raspberries.

4 Р1/4 oz envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin (other brands may clump)

1 – bottle Proseco, Italian white sparkling wine

1 cup sugar

4 tsp fresh lemon juice 

10  Р6oz ceramic or glass cups

  • In a medium sauce pan combine 2 cups Prosecco and sugar.¬†Heat and stir till sugar is dissolved.
  • Remove pan from heat.
  • In a medium bowl place gelatin. Slowly whisk in¬†Proseco¬†until dissolved and let sit 1 minute till softened.
  • Add gelatin mixture to heated Prosecco mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Stir in remaining¬† Prosecco and lemon juice.
  • Cool mixture and stir occasionally, just to room temp.
  • Once gelatin is at room temperature, spoon¬†2 tablespoons into each mold.
  • Chill 1 hour to set. (keep remaining gelatin at room temperature)
  • Arrange fruit in each mold. Molds will be inverted, so keep that in mind.
  • Divide remaining gelatin mixture among molds.
  • Chill at least 6 hours.
  • To unmold, dip¬†molds individually¬†in a pan of hot water 3 to 5 seconds to soften. Loosen from sides with a sharp¬†knife.
  • Invert each¬†terrine onto it’s serving plate and shake¬†to unmold.
  • Voila!

Toasted Barley and Berry Granola

Granola & Milk, a take along breakfast

Granola, Vanilla Yogurt & Fresh Fruit Parfait shown here with Granola ready for snacking

The crunch in the Banana Crunch Muffin & the Parfait comes from this granola

The granola recipe is below. To make the parfaits layer Dannon Vanilla Yogurt (do not use the Lite variety! It tastes bad & has a brown like color), Toasted Barley & Berry Granola, more yogurt and then top with a mixture of fresh berries. Serve right away or it becomes soggy.

  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups unsalted pumpkinseed kernels
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups unsalted sunflower seed kernels
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups pure maple syrup (thank you to Peachie Martin for her¬†Michigan UP¬†maple syrup!)
  • ¬Ĺ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¬Ĺ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon¬† (my favorite is Penzey’s Ceylon Cinnamon; I also added their Vietnamese Extra Fancy Cinnamon)
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cardamon¬†(this is essential for a delicious flavor & fragrance!!!)
  • 8 cups rolled barley flakes
  • 1 cup toasted wheat germ or wheat bran
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups dried blueberries (do not use the cranberries infused/flavored with other juices!!)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dried cherries

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Place pumpkin and sunflower kernels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool.
3. In a mediuim bowl combine syrup through cardamon with a whisk.
4. Pour barley, toasted kernels and wheat germ into a large mixing bowl. Stir in syrup mixture.
5. Spread barley mixture on 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until slightly light brown, stirring every 15 minutes. Works well to use a large pancake turner to flip sections of the mixture to toast it all.
6. Cool baked granola. Stir in dried fruit. Store in airtight containers. Makes 16 cups.

Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, March 2010

NSF 2/2011