Tag Archives: Fahrenheit

Nutella Scones

I gave you a sneak peak of these babies the other day. Now have a longer look. You’ll want to.

 And guess what?! These are breakfast food! Yes, that’s right, you can eat them for breakfast without guilt! They really are not too sweet at all either…rather, they’re perfect. Yum. I’m craving them now.

Make these, please. You won’t regret it. And if you haven’t given in to me yet, please buy at least one of the Baked cookbooks!

Nutella Scones

from Baked: Explorations

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)

1 tablespoon baking powder (yes, one tablespoon!)

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 large egg

 ½ cup heavy cream

¾ cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

½ cup Nutella (divided in recipe)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the rack in the middle of the oven.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt until combined (you really want a large bowl because you’ll be adding the wet ingredients to it later).

Add the butter to the dry ingredients. Use your fingertips to work it into the flour until the butter is pea size and the mixture is coarse. You want the butter to stay cold for the best possible texture of the scones once baked.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and cream together. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until the dough just comes together. Gently and briefly knead the dough with your hands. Please do not over-knead! Please!

Add the hazelnuts and knead gently to incorporate.

Flatten the dough into a rectangle about 6 by 12 inches (don’t worry about being precise). Spread ¼ cup of the Nutella on top in a crisscross pattern (try to cover most of the surface). Roll the dough up to make a cylinder about 6 inches long (the Nutella will be in the inside). Then, turn it on its end (so it’s standing tall), and gently flatten it into a disk about 1 ¾ inches high. Again, please don’t overwork the dough!

Cut the dough into 6 or more evenly sized wedges and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake them for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Do not overbake!

Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool completely.

Heat the remaining ¼ cup Nutella in a microwave until pourable, about 10 seconds or so. *Drizzle the warm Nutella over the cooled scones in a zigzag pattern. Then, transfer the scones to the fridge for about 5 minutes to set. Serve immediately.

Scones are usually best on their first day, but these will taste good the next day as well. Just be sure to wrap them tightly and store them at room temperature if you intend to do so!

*You may use a fork to pierce the top of the scones a few times before drizzling. This is designed to let some of the Nutella to seep into the scone. I didn’t do this…it’s up to you whether you want to try this. I don’t know if it’ll work, and it will make the scones a tad less pretty, but the end results might be worth it?!

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Baked: Mississippi Mud Cake (i.e. a treat you MUST make)

Ever since I told you about my latest obsession, Baked, I haven’t been able to get either of the cookbooks off of my mind. Naturally, I’ve already made four recipes, and plan on making two more this weekend alone. And trust me, I really wish I could have documented what I’ve baked so far better, but the items have been just too good to not gobble up before getting a good photo. Luckily for you, I did manage to photograph one treat, and boy is it a good one. Actually, it probably just so happens to be the favorite thing I’ve made from the cookbooks so far…although, really, I truly have adored them all.

And what have I made so far? The very first day I bought the books, I made the Sweet & Salty Brownies (i.e. fudgy brownie, thin drizzle of decadent, scrumptious, heavenly caramel, then more fudgy brownie layered on, with fleur de sel sprinkled on top). Then, I made the Cowboy Cookies, which are a divine play on chocolate chip cookies: chocolate chunks and pieces of pretzels. These were gone. in. a. flash. And the dough? Don’t even get me started. Next, I made a vanilla cake with a white chocolate frosting. It was so airy and moist, and I kid you not: it can convert hard-core chocoholics to being white chocolate fans.

So while I’m going to share this next recipe with you, and I’ll probably share more with you in the future, I really want need you to get at least one of the two cookbooks, although I highly recommend both.

Okay, seriously, these pictures do not do justice to this masterpiece. Let me talk you through it: Oreo cookie crust, then flourless chocolate cake, then homemade chocolate pudding, and finally, a homemade whipped cream layer. Yes, it’s absolute heaven. And while it may seem like it would be a really heavy dessert, it’s actually really light and airy.

A few quick notes about the process:

  • This may seem like a daunting recipe with its many components. Truth be told, it does take a bit of time to prepare. If you want you can split up the work into different days. I did, however, make it in one day (a weekend, mind you). My suggestion for making it in one day: make the crust and while it’s cooling, mix up the cake; while cake is baking, make the pudding; then, refrigerate the baked cake and pudding (separately, not combined yet!) for at least 3 hours; after chilling, put the pudding on top of the cake, and while that’s chilling for 30 minutes, make the whipped cream. After you top it with whipped cream, you can serve it immediately, or chill it (you store the cake in the fridge).
  • If you taste the cake batter, you may find it has a strong coffee flavor. Don’t let this worry you though (if you’re not a coffee fan), because the flavor will mellow out a lot during baking, and as the cake sits in the fridge for a day or so.
  • The cake calls for espresso powder…if you get either of the Baked cookbooks, this is a worthy ingredient to invest in, as it’s used quite often. It may be a bit tricky to find, but trust me, it’s worth it. (Fleur de Sel is another investment ingredient if you buy the books, although it’s not used in this recipe).
  • If you wanted, the flourless chocolate cake and pudding would both be divine on their own. Seriously, I might make them separately sometime too!

And now, for the recipe:

Mississippi Mud Cake

from Baked: Explorations

Chocolate Cookie Crust:

16 ounces chocolate sandwich cookies (about 35-40 Oreos…just enough in one package to leave a few over for munching on!)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Flourless Chocolate Cake:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-70%), chopped

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

¼ cup strong coffee, at room temperature

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

Chocolate Pudding:

¾ cup  sugar

½ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (use the good stuff…something like Valrhona!)

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

4 large egg yolks

2 ½ cups whole milk

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-70%), chopped

Whipped Cream:

1 ¼ cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the crust:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray at 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with a cut out round piece of parchment paper and spray the parchment paper and sides of pan again (lightly spray, of course!).

Grind the cookies in a food processor. Put the crumbs in a bowl and pour in the melted butter. Mix, and then turn the crumb mixture into the prepared pan, pressing into the bottom and up the sides (leave about ½ inch between the top of the crust and the top of the pan). Make sure the crust is spread out evenly, and then put the pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

Bake the crust until it is dry to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.

For the cake:

Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Using a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate together. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the espresso powder, coffee, salt, and vanilla. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with ½ cup of the sugar until the mixture is light and has pretty much doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides, and then beat for 5 seconds. Add the coffee mixture and eat until combined. Scrape down the sides and beat for 5 more seconds.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Increase the speed to high and add the remaining ½ cup sugar. Beat until soft peaks form.

Scoop 1 cup fo the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, and using a rubber spatula, fold gently in. After about 30 seconds, add the remaining egg white and continue folding until almost completely combined. Do not rush the process, and work gently. You don’t want to overmix.

Pour the batter into the cooled crust and bake for 38-42 minutes, un til the cake is set but jiggles slightly. It might not appear to be completely cooked, but that’s okay.

Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. The center will deflate, but don’t worry – that’s just the way it works, and in the end, you won’t be able to tell!

Tightly wrap the cake and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, but possibly overnight.

For the pudding:

In a saucepan, whisk the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Add the egg yolks, whisking until combined. The mixture will appear to be a thick paste. Slowly then pour in the milk, constantly whisking.

Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, constantly whisking. You don’t want any burning on the bottom. Boil for about 30 seconds, and then transfer to a medium bowl. You will think that the mixture isn’t thickening, but then, almost like magic, it will thicken!

Transfer the contents to a medium bowl and add the butter, vanilla, and chocolate. Whisk until combined, and whisk for a few more minutes to cool the mixture slightly. Let the pudding stand for 15 minutes at room temperature, and then press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming as you chill it for at least 3 hours.

For the whipped cream:

Pour the cream into a chilled metal bowl and beat with chilled beaters  until soft peaks form. Sprinkle sugar on, and beat until stiff peaks form.

To assemble:

Pour the pudding on cake, but don’t let it go over the crust. Spread it evenly on. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Spread the whipped cream on, unmold the cake, and enjoy this delicacy!

My final advice: Make this cake! Buy the books (head on over to a Borders, where you can get a discount, or to Amazon, where you can buy both books for a discounted price as well!)

Super-Duper Yummy Conversion-Worthy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know I’ve mentioned before how I’m just not a big chocolate person. I know, GASP! I guess I shouldn’t mention then how I’m also not a big frosting person (DOUBLE GASP!). But before you lose total faith in me, can I tell you something that will soothe your pain?

I think I’m being converted.

I mean, I’m still not a chocoholic, and I’m even less a frosting person (although cream cheese frosting is. the. best.), but baby steps, right?

And these cookies certainly are helping with the chocolate conversion. They’re not one bit light on the chocolate flavor, but man, I kind of love them.

Tell me they don’t look delicious. I dare you. Okay, admittedly maybe they aren’t going to win a prize for world’s most appealing cookie, but can you still admit they look superb?! And they taste divine. Bonus!

What was that? You want even more incentive to make these? How about the fact that they’re pretty darn easy. Don’t you love cookies because of that?!

Go! Make these for the people in your life who you’re trying to convert to chocoholics. And when you, yourself, gobble them up, I won’t tell anyone. ‘Cause really, they’re that good.

Super-Duper Yummy Conversion-Worthy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes about 20 cookies…so you’ll probably want to double it!

(recipe highly altered from Picky Palette)

Cookies:

½ cup butter
½ cup white sugar
3/8 cup brown sugar
1 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla
5/8 cups all-purpose flour

2/8 cups bread flour*
5/8 cups cocoa powder (I had a special extra dark on hand, but any kind will do!)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups chocolate chips

sea salt for sprinkling

Drizzle Topping (optional, but highly encouraged):

¼ cup chocolate chips (doesn’t have to be exact)

about ¼-½ teaspoon vegetable oil

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly add egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.

In another, small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Carefully add to the wet ingredients. Stir in chips.

Roll the dough into balls and place on cookie sheets. Sprinkle the tops with a bit of sea salt (don’t overdo it!). Bake in 350 degree (Fahrenheit) oven for about 10 minutes, until cookies look firm, but not overdone.

As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, put chocolate chips and oil in small, microwave-proof bowl. Melt in microwave until chocolate is just melted.

Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. Make it as artistic as you wish!

Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely, and then enjoy the chocolate bliss of these cookies!

*If you don’t have bread flour, don’t sweat it…just substitute by using entirely all-purpose (so 7/8 cup flour total).