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Dark and White Chocolate Cherry Bars Recipe

A pair of cherries from the same stalk. Prunus...

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The count down is here! Only two more days until spring break. Boy, am I ready. As I count down the days, I become more and more anxious for the sun, it’s warmth and, most of all, at least a short break from school. There are a lot of really great things about school, but after the last month, which has been charging ahead like a bull chasing a bull fighter, my brain is feeling a bit fried… and while some things, like beignets, doughnuts, and french fries are better fried, my brain is not. This will be a much needed week of rejuvenation.

We are starting the celebrating early in this house hold with these little gems: Dark and White Chocolate Chip Cherry bars. Every cherry is like a little spot of sunshine! These pictures are of the few remaining bars left- anything with cherry, or chocolate, not to mention both, will have a very short life span in this house. (Self control? What’s that?)

I know this spring break is going to be a good one. How could it not be? I’ve got chocolate and cherries on my team (in a bar!!).

Happy Spring! (Can you believe it’s here already? Where is 2011 going?!)

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup dried cherries (cranberries also work and are easier to find- look for cranberries that have been dehydrated with cherry juice to maintain the cherry flavor)

 

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer.

Add in the vanilla.

Mix in the salt, flour, and oats. The dough will have a consistency similar to shortbread dough.

Mix in the chocolate and cherries. Press the dough into a 9 x 9.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool.

Cut into bars.

 

Source: http://lacasitainspirada.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/dark-and-white-chocolate-cherry-bars-key-to-a-happy-spring/

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Chocolate, Dessert, Fruit, Sweets

 

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Chocolate Cupbread Recipe

White chocolate is marketed by confectioners a...

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So while everyone needs no introduction to the universally celebrated cupcakes, i shall present cupbreads!

Here in Indonesia, these breads are known as “bloeder”, or sometimes spelt as “bluder”. And I am guessing, from its name, it is probably western influenced. These breads are very much like French Brioche, without small head of a dough on top of it.

Similar to the brioche, the bloeders is very high in both butter and egg content, they are indeed very rich and tender crumbed. I don’t even think you need to chew on these. Besides butter and egg, these bread are also very high in sugar content, which makes it pleasantly sweet tasting even when eaten on its own. But having said that, still, i have decided to fill them up with a generous chunk of milk chocolate. Because really, since i am already eating something sinfully delicious, why not go all the way? LOL

The proofing time for this bread takes a wee bit longer than usual. I suspect it might be because of all that butter and sugar, which might dampen the yeast activities. The total proofing time for this bread was about three hours, and in my tropical weather, that’s considered very, very long.

The dough for these bloeders are also quite different from the dough i am used to. Being high in butter content, these breads are very slimy. My hands kept sliding off the dough as i tried to knead it. Sealing the chocolate chunks within the dough was also not easy with the grease coating all over the dough.

As for the texture of the final product, these breads are so fluffy that you tear a huge chunk off these bread, thinking you will get full after a few mouthful, but in reality, being voluminous looking because of air, these bites just dissolve into nothingness.And you risk looking like a glutton when u reach for your second piece.

I also think i might have overbaked this dough as it turned out quite dry and crusty at the sides, and i must definitely keep closer watch over these next time!

Chocolate Filled Cup Breads

Recipe from an Indonesian cookbook “Roti sisir & Roti Sobek” by Lanny Soechan

15 egg yolks

250 gr granulated sugar

1 kg bread flour

20 gr instant yeast

50 gr milk powder

300 ml fresh milk

250 gr butter

1 tbs salt

some chocolate chunks

some evaporated milk

some chocolate chips

1. Beat egg yolks and sugar till it thickens and turns pale yellow

2. Combine flour, yeast, and milk powder. Add in the egg yolk mixture gradually and stir till well combined.

3. Add in the fresh milk, salt, and butter. Knead till elastic

4. Leave to proof till double in size

5. Punch down dough, cut and weigh each dough to be about 60 gr. Wrap the chocolate chunks within each dough and drop them into papercups. Let it proof a second time till double in size.

6. Brush the surfaces with evaporated milk and sprinkle some chocolate chips.

7. Bake at 160 degree celcius till the surfaces turn a nice golden brown.

 

Source: http://crustabakes.wordpress.com/2011/03/19/chocolate-cupbread/

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Bread, Chocolate, Dessert, Sweets

 

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THYME ROASTED BABY BEETS WITH MINT VINAIGRETTE RECIPE

Mangelwurzel

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It started simply enough.  Innocently enough.

Somehow, someway, somebody snuck not one, not two, but three bunches of baby beets into our home.  Given the fact that I’m a lifelong, card carrying member of the N.A.B.A., otherwise known as the National Anti-Beet Association, I knew the ‘somebody’, was certainly not me.

Growing up, I believed beets were served and eaten one, and only one way:  out of an aluminum can packed by the folks who lived in a town called Del Monte. Those fine folks made fruit cocktail, too.  Even as a little girl, beets were horribly off-putting to me.  To be honest, they scared the bejesus out of me. The gelatinous texture, the pungent smell, the unnameable taste, and an alien color which didn’t match any in my sacred box of 64-Crayola Crayons, the bible of all things pigmented and pretty.

Since then, I’ve had a rather turbulent on-again, off-again relationship with beets.  Every time I think I can commit to a bigger bite, I back off.  And RUN.  With 3 bunches of beets at my mercy, I was in a conundrum.  “Take one more chance on us”, I hear them say. “We promise this time it’ll be different”.  How many times had I heard that before?  Reluctantly, I put them back in the fridge (instead of in a bag on my neighbor’s doorstep) and with no other N.A.B.A. members in sight to commiserate with, I head to the bookstore for an afternoon distraction.

Lo and behold, THE beet recipe of all beet recipes lands in my lap.  Thyme Roasted Baby Beets with Mint Vinaigrette.  THE beet recipe which, in an insanely delicious, hocus-pocus, abracadabra instant, converts me from beet basher to beet worshipper.  Just like magic.  Just like that.  Yes, roasted beets are a now a weekly staple and somebody is very happy about it.

Make sure to use an assortment of beets, not just the old familiar red ones.  Not only are golden and chioggia beets gorgeous to look at, they add a subtle nuance of sweetness to the final dish.  If I can’t make to the farmer’s market, I like buying my beets in the loose bulk bin at Whole Foods.  I can pick and choose the exact mix I want and get only as much as I need for that evening (plus, it costs less than buying them in full bundles).  If you have trouble finding baby beets, medium ones are dandy.  Slice them in half before cooking.  For larger beets, slice into quarters.  Just make sure all pieces are more or less the same size to ensure even cooking.

And whatever you do, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT leave out the fresh mint.  This dish without the mint is like a crème brûlée without its heart-stopping crackly top.  It just wouldn’t be the same without it.

Adapted from Harvest to Heat

 

Source: http://kissmyspatula.com/2011/02/09/thyme-roasted-baby-beets-with-mint-vinaigrette/


 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Vegetables

 

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Bourbon Chicken Recipe

 

  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
  • garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  •  

    Bourbon Chicken. Photo by Caroline Cooks

    Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/bourbon-chicken-45809#ixzz1HPTXIQ6z

    Directions:

    Prep Time: 15 mins

    Total Time: 35 mins

    1. 1 Heat oil in a large skillet.
    2. 2 Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.
    3. 3 Remove chicken.
    4. 4 Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium Heat until well mixed and dissolved.
    5. 5 Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.
    6. 6 Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
    7. 7 Serve over hot rice and ENJOY.

    Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/bourbon-chicken-45809#ixzz1HPTc01pq

     

     
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    Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Chicken

     

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    Raspberry Trifle Cake Recipe

    Ten days ago (that would be 8 March 2011) was a very auspicious day.  It was the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (go us!), and it was also Pancake Tuesday/Mardi Gras.  AND.  And.  It was my birthday.  I turned TWENTY-NINE.  Holy smokes.  That’s a prime number.

    In honour of the occasion (and because I need to perfect my fondant for Chel‘s wedding cake in June), I made my own birthday cake.

    This is very loosely based on a cupcake the Pie and I made for our ownwedding back in August 2009.  The cupcake itself came from Susannah Blake’s Cupcake Heaven, but I think I’ve sufficiently changed this so I can call this recipe all my own.

    Some of this stuff you can do ahead of time, like the fondant and the buttercream icing, and just put them in the fridge until you need them.

    For the Cake:

    Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter two 8″ round baking pans.  Line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper and butter those too.
    Beat together 1 cup butter, softened, and 1 cup granulated sugar, until pale and fluffy.
    Add in 4 eggs, one at a time, and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
    Sift in 2 cups self-rising flour (or 2 cups all-purpose flour and 3 teaspoons baking powder) and fold it in.
    Fold in 2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed and drained.  Save about half a cup of the juice you’ve drained off for your icing.  You could use fresh raspberries if you’ve got them but it seems kind of a waste if you’re just squishing them into batter. 
    Spoon the batter into your prepared pans and bake for 15 minutes, until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

    Remove the pans to racks to cool completely.

    For the Fondant:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip together 3 teaspoons vanilla1 cup butter, softened but not melted, and 1 cup corn syrup.  If you want your fondant to be white, use the light corn syrup, as the dark stuff I used gave the fondant a creamy complexion.

    When the mixture is creamy and fluffy, reduce the speed to low and add 1kg icing sugar, a bit at a time.  If you do it all at once, or if you do it on high, you will get a mushroom cloud of icing sugar everywhere.

    And it might even get on your dog.

    When it is all incorporated, you will have a large doughy mass. 

    Tip it out onto some waxed paper and knead it into a ball. If your dough is too tacky you might find that you want to add more icing sugar.  To do this simply dust a work surface with icing sugar and knead it in.

    When the dough has reached the consistency that you are happy with (i.e., not sticky, but not so dry that it cracks), then you can colour it.   It helps to wear gloves for this part.

    Spread a few drops of food colouring over your dough and knead them in until the colour is uniform. 

    It will take a while to get it the colour you want it.

    I was aiming for a pale pink but because of the yellowish tinge due to the dark corn syrup it came out more flesh coloured.  Or at least, MY flesh colour.

    I pulled off an extra bit of the newly coloured dough here and added extra food colouring so it was a darker pink than the rest. 

    I will use this for the decoration part.

    When you have kneaded to your satisfaction, wrap the dough tightly in waxed paper and seal it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you need it.

    For the Buttercream Icing:

    In a stand mixer, whip 2 cups softened butter until pale and fluffy.  

    Beat in 2 cups icing sugar until you get soft peaks.

    Add in 4 tablespoons raspberry jam.

    And that 1/2 cup reserved raspberry juice

    Mix well.  It may be slightly grainy, but that’s okay for our purposes.

    Plop the icing in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

    To Decorate:

    Remove the icing and the fondant from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature.

    Tip out the cakes and peel off the parchment paper.

    Slice off the round top of each cake, if you care about such things.  I didn’t, because I wanted the top to be rounded slightly, and so I flipped one cake upside down and put the two flat sides together.  Cut each cake in half horizontally.

    I am spreading raspberry jam here in the centre, with custard on the bottom and top-most layers.  I did not make the jam or the custard myself.  I suppose you could create some form of preserve with fresh raspberries, but at this point I think I’ve done enough. I tried to make custard by hand, but I messed it up twice and that’s my limit on egg-wasting.  I suppose you could use pudding if you like, but I didn’t have any on hand.
    So here’s the custard.
    And here’s the jam.
    Then there’s another custard layer.
    Don’t go all the way to the edges, because the cake’s weight will force the filling out and down the sides.

    Spread a crumb coat of buttercream on your cake (just a thin layer to trap the crumbs) and place the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutesuntil the icing has set.  Remove the cake from the refrigerator and use the remaining buttercream to smooth out the surface.  Chuck it in the refrigerator again until the second layer of icing is set.

    While the cake is chilling, roll out your fondant on a surface dusted with icing sugar or corn starch.  You will want to roll it to about 1/4″ thick.  Any thinner and you will be able to see the flaws in the cake through it.  Any thicker and you will have trouble stretching it properly.  Make sure to take off your rings and watches while you do this so you don’t mar the fondant surface.

    To determine the surface area you will be covering, measure the height and width of your cake.  You will need to create a round surface of fondant that is a diameter of twice the height plus the width of your cake.

    Gently lift the flattened fondant over your rolling pin and use it as a lever to help you lay the fondant over your chilled cake.  I found that approach didn’t work for me, and I had to try several different methods before I found one that worked.  I rolled it out over waxed paper and used the waxed paper to do the transfer.  The only problem is that my waxed paper was too narrow and I had to double it, which resulted in it leaving a line on the fondant.  I will have to find some industrial-width waxed paper for next time.

    Using your hands, gently lift and press the fondant into the sides of your cake after smoothing the top.  Don’t pull on the fondant or it will crack — lift instead and flatten out the wrinkles with the palm of your hand.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but you’ll see what I mean when you do it.  Notice the strong colour resemblance between my hand hand the fondant?  Yes, I am pale and pasty and spring can’t come soon enough.

    Trim off excess fondant at the base of the cake.  Otherwise you will have a cake that resembles a demented jellyfish.  Or some bizarre prehistoric alien life form that may slowly yet inexorably expand, engulfing your family, your house, and then the entire planet.  THE THING THAT TIME FORGOT.

    So yeah, you want to trim that sucker.

    There are such things as fondant smoothers that you can use to even out the fondant surface.  I didn’t have one, so I used a flat-sided plastic cup.  And that excess icing sugar or corn starch on the surface?  Don’t worry about it.  It will either come off by itself in the course of you smoothing and shaping, or you can wipe it off with a wet finger.It’s far from perfect, but quite impressive for a first attempt, if I do say so myself.

    Here I have rolled out the darker fondant onto a sheet of waxed paper and traced on it a design.

    Cut out the design with a sharp knife and pull off the excess, leaving the design on the waxed paper.

    Lightly brush the top of the fondant pieces with water.

    Carefully roll the design on the paper face down on top of the cake and press down lightly.

    I took a deep breath after I’d done this.

    Even more carefully, peel off the waxed paper, leaving your design on the cake.  Smooth the sharp edges with your fingers.

    You can also freehand other elements out of the leftover fondant, as you see I did here.  You can also store the scraps in the fridge in an airtight container, just in case you want them for something else later.

    Chill the cake to harden the fondant before serving.  Then eat as much of it as you can handle.

    I would definitely recommend storing this cake in the refrigerator and eating it within a few days of making it.

     

     
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    Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Dessert, Fruit, Sweets

     

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    Cappuccino Vanilla Cake Recipe

    Dry ingredients for a Wacky Cake - ingredients...

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    I am starting to think this food blog idea may not have been such a good idea. After all, I’m making all kinds of cakes, cupcakes, chocolates, and amazing meals that are too tempting to resist. I don’t think I thought this through thoroughly. Who is going to eat all this?! Yikes!

    I’ve been sending the desserts to work with P which helps out a lot. It’s nice to share and also not to have the dessert calling to me from the fridge: ‘Eat me!”.  But to add to my recent array of baking sins, I recently made a Cappuccino Vanilla cake. Yes. I know. How could I do such a horrible thing!?

    Well, I did it and it was delicious. Of course I overdid it on the liqueurs and even added Crème de Cacao to the icing.

    I am so bad.

    **Warning: This cake is truly a temptress.**

    Here is what you will need:

    Vanilla Cake

    1- 8 inch baking pan

    1 ½ cup of flour

    ¾ cup of sugar

    ½ tbsp of baking powder

    1 ½ tsp of salt

    ½ cup of unsalted butter (equals 1 stick of butter), at room temperature

    ½ cup of milk (I used skim)

    2 eggs

    ¾ tsp of vanilla extract

    Coffee Buttercream

    2/3 cup of heavy cream

    1 ¼ cup of white chocolate buttons

    1 2/3 cup of unsalted butter (at room temperature)

    2/3 cup of icing sugar

    1 tbsp of instant coffee powder

    1 tbsp of Crème de Cacao

    Finishing Touches

    1/3 cup of roasted and roughly chopped or blended hazelnuts

    5 Ferrero Rocher chocolates

    Cocoa Powder, to dust

    Crème de Cacao

    1 tbsp of instant coffee powder

    Here is what to do:

    Let your butter come to room temperature.

    Set the oven to 325F and grease your pan with butter.

    Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Place all the wet ingredients in another bowl: eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Wisk and set aside.

    Using a mixer, slowly add the soft butter in chunks to the dry ingredients until the butter is fully incorporated. Then begin adding the wet ingredients in 3 parts until the dry and wet ingredients are well mixed. Fill your 8-inch baking pan ¾ of the way and level off at the top.

    Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 325F. To check if it’s ready, insert a skewer into the centre and if it comes out lean – it’s ready to come out of the oven.

    Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.  Remove from the pan and let cool off completely.

    Cut the cake in half and put in the freezer while you prepare the buttercream icing. Freezing your cake will prevent crumbs coming up when you are icing it.

    Dissolve the instant coffee in heated Crème de Cacao (or you can use hot water instead). Stir and set to the side (or refrigerate it) to cool off.

    Bring water to a simmer and using a double boiler heat the cream and chocolate until melted. In a separate bowl, beat the butter using a hand mixer until it is light and creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar, and then beat in the melted chocolate and cream mixture. Beat the dissolved instant coffee into the buttercream.

    Remove the cake from the freezer and place the top of the cake on the bottom. Mix 2 oz of Crème de Cacao and dissolved instant coffee and using a brush, gently pat both sides of the cake layers and allow the mixture to be absorbed by the cake. This will make the cake more flavorful and moist.

    Place the top of the cake on the bottom and set up your layers so that the top of the cake is the most level. Then spread a quarter of the coffee buttercream on the first layer, level it with a spatula and then sandwich with the other layer. Cover the top with more buttercream icing and cover the sides with the rest. Press the hazelnuts into the sides of the cake.

    Pile the Ferrero Roche chocolates on top of the cake and dust the cake with cocoa powder. You can tie a bow around the cake for a more refined finishing touch.

    I’m sure by now your kitchen smells of coffee, melted chocolate and Crème de Cacao. Make sure you share this cake! It will be worth it.

    Happy Baking!

    Marynika

    source: http://foodtoheart.com/2011/02/22/cappuccino-vanilla-cake/

     

     
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    Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Chocolate, Dessert, Sweets

     

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    Betty’s Holiday Table Butter Pecan Spoon Rolls Recipe

    Betty's Midwest Kitchen in Aman Suria

    In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Holiday Table Butter Pecan Spoon Rolls. These are yeast rolls that you do not have to wait on to rise. Also, the addition of butter and pecans make them festive for your holiday table.

    Ingredients:

    3 tablespoons butter
    ½ cup chopped pecans
    2 cups warm water
    1 package dry yeast
    ¼ cup sugar
    ¾ cup vegetable oil
    4 cups self-rising flour
    cooking oil spray for muffin tins

    In a small saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add ½ cup chopped pecans. Toast over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, tending constantly. Drain any excess butter, and set aside to cool completely. In a measuring cup or small bowl, mix 2 cups warm water with 1 package dry yeast. Let sit, until ready to add to roll batter. In a large bowl, place ¼ cup sugar. Add yeast/water mixture. Stir together. Add ¾ cup vegetable oil and mix thoroughly. Stir in 4 cups self-rising flour. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon batter into muffin tins that have been sprayed with cooking oil spray, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 12 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Serve immediately with fresh butter. This dough will keep in the refrigerator easily for a week or more, making them really convenient for serving with large dinners. If you prefer to have plain spoon rolls, just leave out the buttered pecans. I hope you enjoy this recipe! –Betty 

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    Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Baking, Betty's Kitchen

     

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