Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chocolate Mousse Raspberry Cheesecake

I hadn't made something pretty in a while.

I just tried Cheesecake Factory's Chocolate Raspberry Truffle cheesecake and I'd say this is a pretty good replica! I didn't make the chocolate ganache though. Homemade mousse and raspberry sauce is decadent enough!

I have good recipes for chocolate cheesecake but I wanted to stick to my rule of always making something new. I made Taste of Home's Fabulous Fudge Cheesecake. I knew it looked familiar, and when digging out my cluttered recipe binder, I found it's the same exact recipe as my Hershey's Fudge Truffle Cheesecake. Oh well, not new, but not broken. Still the perfect chocolate cheesecake, as long as you don't over bake.

Though they annoy me, I made the Neelys' chocolate mousse. It was smooth and kept it's shape nice, even when sitting out of the fridge for a couple of hours. The only thing I did different is to strain the egg yolks before adding the chocolate. Next time I would use higher quality chocolate. I used Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips. The flavor needs improvement so use the best chocolate you can find. I would try Lindt milk chocolate or maybe Godiva. I topped the mousse dollops with chocolate covered pomegranates. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Knock you Naked Dark Chocolate Brownies

We tried making these for you Farheen, but failed to remember that unlike other brownies, they need to completely cool before you can eat them.

When they came out of the oven we thought they were still under baked because after cooling for 10 minutes, they were still gooey, so we put it back in the oven. When they came out again, they were still runny, and I couldn't cut a piece without it squishing all over the place, so we just left them at home.

When they were cooled, we could see they were baked. It was just that gooey caramel and the chocolate chips that were hot and messy.

So this recipe needs to cool before you can handle and serve them.

This time we tried it with a box of chocolate fudge cake from duncan hines, but the chocolate flavor tasted a bit like oreos. I would go with a different box next time. The german chocolate is wonderful but just wanted to try it slightly different.

I had said that the next time we try it, I wanted to add salt to the caramel. Of course I forgot and the salt didn't make it in.    

My dad is still out of town with our camera so I took these pictures with my phone. They came out horrible! I don't have a smartphone.

Anyways, thank you for the fun night Farheen!

Knock You Naked Dark Chocolate Caramel Brownies

1 box (18.5 Ounce) Dark Chocolate or Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix (I Used Duncan Hines)
1 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
1/3 cup Evaporated Milk
1/2 cup Evaporated Milk (additional)
1/2 cup Butter, Melted
60 whole Caramels, Unwrapped
1/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, chopped pecans, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and melted butter. Stir together until totally combined. Mixture will be very thick.

Press half the mixture into a well-greased 9 x 9 inch square baking pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set aside.

In a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water) melt caramels with additional 1/2 cup evaporated milk. When melted and combined, pour over brownie base. Sprinkle chocolate chips as evenly as you can over the caramel.

Turn out remaining brownie dough on work surface. Use your hands to press it into a large square a little smaller than the pan. Use a spatula to remove it from the surface, then set it on top of the caramel and chocolate chips.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for several hours. When ready to serve, generously sift powdered sugar over the surface of the brownies. Cut into either nine or twelve helpings, and carefully remove from the pan.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pear Crunch Pie

I don't know why Maryam likes The Chew. That show is so awkward. Clinton shared this pie and Maryam began to nag.

We tried it. We won't be trying it again. 

The pear filling was really tasty and I added even more delicious pears on top, but I didn't like the crust at all. 

I know the crust is supposed to be crunchy, but I didn't like it because it didn't taste like sugary-crunch goodness. It just tasted like you did something wrong, like you don't know how to make a crust. Sandy, gritty, ate it on the beach crust. 

The plain pears on top combined with whipped cream just doesn't go together. Something's missing. Maybe I can use the pear filling for a cake one day.

I know its not that great when I ignore it in the fridge for two days. That's the last time we try something Maryam wants.

Pear Crunch Pie
Adapted from: Clinton Kelly

1 stick of butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sweetened coconut

Combine all ingredients and bake at 350°F on cookie sheet until golden brown (about 40-45 minutes).  Check frequently to prevent edges from burning.  Allow to cool then press into a pie plate, covering the bottom and sides evenly.  Crust should be crumbly when complete.

Pear filling
1/2 light brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
hearty pinch of salt
3/4 cup pear juice (not pear nectar)
3/4 cup whole milk
2 Eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butters
Canned pears

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  In large bowl, beat 2 eggs.  Add heated mixture to eggs, little by little to temper the eggs. Once eggs are tempered, transfer mixture back to saucepan.  Add 2 tablespoons of butter and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and return to a boil (approximately 1 minute). Pour warm mixture into prepared pie shell and chill in the refrigerator.

Whipped Cream
8 ounces heavy cream
2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
dash of vanilla extract

Before serving, whip heavy cream with a teaspoon of confectioner's sugar until medium stiff peaks form. Whip in the vanilla extract. Dollop onto sliced pie when ready to serve. Top with 6 pear slices and dust with cinnamon.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made Zignat's wonderful toffee cookie recipe, with a few changes according to what I had in the pantry at the time. I kept over baking each batch until finally getting the last few cookies right. They taste much better alittle under done when cooled. 

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup oats
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup margarine (apparently this is important if you want them to be more chewy than crisp)
3/4 cups of sugar 
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 c. Heath toffee bits
3/4 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups Hershey's milk chocolate bar, cut into chunks
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375. Combine first four ingredients into small bowl and set aside.

Combine both sugars, butter, margarine, and vanilla in another bowl until blended. Add in eggs and beat well. Add in flour mixture alittle at a time until it's all combined. Add in last four ingredients until just combined. Drop dough onto the cookie sheets and bake 8-10 minutes until the cookies are lightly brown.

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