Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Grandma’s Toffee


My mom and I had a candy making day on Sunday and decided to make 3 batches of this great tasting peanut brittle.  One batch we made especially for my dad, CAJUN PEANUT BRITTLE.  For this specialty we added 2 teaspoons of Penzey’s Cajun Seasoning.  It was pretty good, had a kick to it!  Anyhow, here is the original recipe! (Click to make larger!) ENJOY!  Oh, the “Syrup” on the recipe is corn syrup.  img008

DSC04181 DSC04196

Yes, we were beautiful and covered in chocolate and candy from head to toes!


Chocolate Saltine Toffee

I received some AWESOME candy this year and I knew that I wanted the recipe.  I have tried numerous times to make English Toffee and end up wasting 12 lbs of butter and an equal amount of sugar and almonds every year!  I decided that I needed to throw that recipe away and this recipe took its place!  It is so simple that even my kids were able to help out.DSC04173


1 Cup Butter

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1  1/2 Sleeves Saltine Cracker

1 Bag Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chip

Nuts for dusting the top (optional)

Directions:  Pre heat oven @ 350 degrees.  Line 15-in X 10-in x 1-in baking sheet with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.  Place crackers in rows on foil.  In a saucepan, melt butter; add the brown sugar and bring to a boil for about 1 minute.  Pour mixture over crackers and spread until completely covered. DSC04175

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (crackers may float). DSC04177

Remove from oven.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over crackers, wait a few minutes until melted and then spread evenly over crackers. DSC04204

Cool completely and then crack into small pieces! ENJOY!  DSC04206

CAUTION: Once you start eating, you may eat the entire batch!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yummy Pumpkin Bread


I found a great recipe for some pumpkin bread that with a few alterations in the recipe makes it super yummy! Try it out yourself!


3 cups canned pumpkin puree (1 large can)

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

4 cups white sugar

6 eggs

4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9x5 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice; stir into the pumpkin mixture until well blended. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September's Daring Bakers Challenge

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

Mandatory parts of the challenge: We must make Michel Richard’s recipe for puff pastry (as seen below), and form at least part of it into vols-au-vent.
Optional parts of the challenge: Make your vols-au-vent large or small, and may fill them with whatever you choose (savory or sweet).

Since I have used puff pastry before, I was excited for this month's challenge. After thinking about what filling I would want to make and fill the pastries with, I choose to make a cheesy spinach filling. I filled my circular pastry "cups" with the spinach and cheese filling and with the left over filling, I made it into a cream sauce by making a rue to start and then adding the filling and milk to thin the mixture. I then drizzled the spinach cream sauce on the plate and placed the puff pastry on top of it. It was very delicious and I plan to make it again when I am out to impress, but would possibly used the frozen premade phyylo instead of making my own.

Spinach Cheese Filling:
4 cups chopped fresh spinach ( I used 2 packages frozen spinach. drained)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1/2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened and cut up
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Sauté spinach and onion in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Remove from heat, and stir in cream cheese until blended. Stir in mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, cheddar cheese, egg yolk, flour, nutmeg and cumin. Set aside until your pastries are ready to be filled.

Michel Richard’s Puff Pastry Dough
From: Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan
Yield: 2-1/2 pounds dough
Ingredients:2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. salt (you can cut this by half for a less salty dough or for sweet preparations)
1-1/4 cups ice water
1 pound very cold unsalted butter
plus extra flour for dusting work surface
Mixing the Dough:
Check the capacity of your food processor before you start. If it cannot hold the full quantity of ingredients, make the dough into two batches and combine them.
Put the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse a couple of times just to mix. Add the water all at once, pulsing until the dough forms a ball on the blade. The dough will be very moist and pliable and will hold together when squeezed between your fingers. (Actually, it will feel like Play-Doh.)
Remove the dough from the machine, form it into a ball, with a small sharp knife, slash the top in a tic-tac-toe pattern. Wrap the dough in a damp towel and refrigerate for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the butter between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and beat it with a rolling pin until it flattens into a square that's about 1" thick. Take care that the butter remains cool and firm: if it has softened or become oily, chill it before continuing.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Harriet’s Stuffed Zucchini


My wonderful neighbor and good friend, Harriet, came over today and taught me how to make stuffed zucchini. I had no idea if my kids were even going to eat this, but it was worth a try and I thought we needed a new recipe. Harriet told my kids that she had prepared a special dinner for them and that they had to try it. They were skeptical at first but after a few bites G1 exclaimed that he “LOVED it” (INCLUDING THE ZUCCHINI!) and when could we have it again. G2 wasn’t so excited about the zucchini, but he quickly noticed the bowl of leftover stuffing and he chowed that down! DSC03231

Harriet’s Stuffed Zucchini

Sauté ½ large onion in olive oil then brown with 1 to 1 ½ pounds of ground turkey. After it is done browning, add one can (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce, Italian seasonings, ½ c. uncooked rice and 2 grated (or put in food processor) carrots. Simmer this and add more water as needed to cook the rice.

Take 4-6 small/medium size zucchini and remove seeds/pulp and hollow out so that you have a shell. Reserve seeds/pulp and cook in microwave for about 3-4 minutes, then allow it to drain off its liquid. Dispose the liquid from the cooked zucchini and then put the cooked pulp/seeds into a food processor until it is in tiny pieces. Now, add this cooked zucchini to the turkey burger mixture.

Fill zucchini boats with mixture and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cook for about 45 minutes/1 hour or until tender at 350 degrees.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

May Daring Bakers "Apple Strudel" ALMOST.....

Here we are and another month has gone by and this means that it is time for the Daring Bakers monthly baking challenge. The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers. They chose to make a Apple Strudel which I have NEVER made. I was excited about this challenge and of course left it to the last minute as usual!

The family and myself went to look for trees last weekend and visited one of my favorite markets/nurseries. I picked up about 8 pounds of granny smith apple anticipating this challenge. I got all the other ingredients that I was missing while we were out too! I was so excited to start this recipe!

I began by making the filling part of the strudel. I mixed up the rum and raisins and then mixed the cinnamon/sugar. I then started adding the ingredients to my Kitchen Aid to prepare the dough, I got that going and then I made the breadcrumbs on the stove and then decided to preheat the oven AFTER I had already peeled and cored A LOT of apples. I SUDDENLY SMELLED SOMETHING BAD.....GAS, gas from my GAS oven! I immediately turned it off and called Best Buy for a service man to come out. So, I didn't get to even finish my strudel. I plan on finishing it when my part, an ignitor comes in for the oven. Yeah, I am glad I didn't have an explosion! Here is the recipe:

Preparation Time
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes – 3 hours 30 minutes
15-20 min to make dough
30-90 min to let dough rest/to prepare the filling
20-30 min to roll out and stretch dough
10 min to fill and roll dough
30 min to bake
30 min to cool

Apple Strudel
From “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers
2 tablespoons golden rum
3 tablespoons raisins
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
strudel dough (recipe below)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 pounds tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ inch-thick slices (use apples that hold their shape during baking)

1. Mix the rum and raisins in a bowl. Mix the cinnamon and sugar in another bowl.
2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the breadcrumbs and cook whilst stirring until golden and toasted. This will take about 3 minutes. Let it cool completely.
3. Put the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper (parchment paper). Make the strudel dough as described below. Spread about 3 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter over the dough using your hands (a bristle brush could tear the dough, you could use a special feather pastry brush instead of your hands). Sprinkle the buttered dough with the bread crumbs. Spread the walnuts about 3 inches from the short edge of the dough in a 6-inch-wide strip. Mix the apples with the raisins (including the rum), and the cinnamon sugar. Spread the mixture over the walnuts.
4. Fold the short end of the dough onto the filling. Lift the tablecloth at the short end of the dough so that the strudel rolls onto itself. Transfer the strudel to the prepared baking sheet by lifting it. Curve it into a horseshoe to fit. Tuck the ends under the strudel. Brush the top with the remaining melted butter.
5. Bake the strudel for about 30 minutes or until it is deep golden brown. Cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Use a serrated knife and serve either warm or at room temperature. It is best on the day it is baked.
Strudel dough
From “Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers
1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons water, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

1. Combine the flour and salt in a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour with the mixer on low speed. You will get a soft dough. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary.Take the dough out of the mixer. Change to the dough hook. Put the dough ball back in the mixer. Let the dough knead on medium until you get a soft dough ball with a somewhat rough surface.
2. Take the dough out of the mixer and continue kneading by hand on an unfloured work surface. Knead for about 2 minutes. Pick up the dough and throw it down hard onto your working surface occasionally.Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30-90 minutes (longer is better).
3. It would be best if you have a work area that you can walk around on all sides like a 36 inch round table or a work surface of 23 x 38 inches. Cover your working area with table cloth, dust it with flour and rub it into the fabric. Put your dough ball in the middle and roll it out as much as you can.Pick the dough up by holding it by an edge. This way the weight of the dough and gravity can help stretching it as it hangs. Using the back of your hands to gently stretch and pull the dough. You can use your forearms to support it.
4. The dough will become too large to hold. Put it on your work surface. Leave the thicker edge of the dough to hang over the edge of the table. Place your hands underneath the dough and stretch and pull the dough thinner using the backs of your hands. Stretch and pull the dough until it's about 2 feet wide and 3 feet long, it will be tissue-thin by this time. Cut away the thick dough around the edges with scissors. The dough is now ready to be filled.

Tips- Ingredients are cheap so we would recommend making a double batch of the dough, that way you can practice the pulling and stretching of the dough with the first batch and if it doesn't come out like it should you can use the second batch to give it another try;- The tablecloth can be cotton or polyester;- Before pulling and stretching the dough, remove your jewelry from hands and wrists, and wear short-sleeves;- To make it easier to pull the dough, you can use your hip to secure the dough against the edge of the table;- Few small holes in the dough is not a problem as the dough will be rolled, making (most of) the holes invisible.
Both Courtney and I did a trial run on making the strudel. Below are our notes:
Courtney's notes- She couldn't get it to stretch to 2 feet by 3 feet, it turned out more like 2 feet by 2 feet. But the dough was tissue thin nevertheless;- She got some serious holes, but after rolling it wasn't noticeable;- She used a large cheese cloth which helped manipulate and stretch the dough more than a heavier cloth would have.
My notes- I made the dough by hand, just mixed the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Kneaded it for about 5 min like you would bread dough. This worked as well. Haven't tried using a stand mixer so I don't know how it compares.- Instead of cider vinegar I used red wine vinegar;- I used bread flour;- Picking up the dough to let it stretch didn't work well for me, holes appeared pretty much instantly. Instead I stretched the dough while it was lying on the tablecloth by putting my hands underneath and stretching it out further and further;

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Big Boy's Strawberry Pie (BUT BETTER)

This recipe is so easy but people will think that you spent the entire afternoon making it!! If you've ever been to Big Boy and had their Strawberry Pie, this is very similar, ONLY WAY BETTER!!!

First you start by taking off the tops of the berries and slicing them
Then layer into a graham cracker pie shell
Until it is stacked way HIGH!
Add 1 1/2 C. Water
2 Tbls. Cornstarch
2 Tbls. Sugar to a pot and cook until thickened
and clear, then remove from heat
Now add 2 Tbls. Lemon Juice
1 pkg (3 ounces) Strawberry Jello
Stir together and allow to cool a little
Pour cooled Jello mixture over strawberries and
put in refrigerator for a couple of hours prior to eating!
Top with Cool-Whip if desired!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie

With Strawberry and Rhubarb season coming up quickly, I thought that I would repost this recipe that I made last year around this same time frame! Enjoy and let me know if you make it! I have a Rhubarb Custart recipe coming from my cousin, Sandy, so watch for that!
Ever since I was a very small child, I have been intrigued by the taste of Rhubarb. My grandmother grew it in her backyard and every spring we would always break pieces off and laugh as the sour taste made us have what seemed like lock jaw. We never made anything fancy with it, just ate it raw (from what I can remember). So, when grandma sold her home a few years back, I inherited half of the plants for my home. Last year I found a Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp recipe that I thought wasn't worthy of my "heirloom" Rhubarb. I have been on a mission to find that perfect recipe and this Crumb Pie was given the thumbs up by everyone that was given given the privilege to have a piece. (Arrogant, huh? Yeah, we are talking about my precious rhubarb!) My brother-in-law actually hinted that he would like to see another full pie like that again soon! This recipe is very simple to make and everyone that is privileged enough to have a piece or your pie will think that you have slaved away for hours! Without further ado, here is the recipe that I found in my new recipe book, "Pie" by Ken Haedrich and tweaked a little by moi!

Skillet Crust:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a medium size bowl. Set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium to low heat. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry mixture and turn off the heat. Stir the flour and butter with a whisk (it worked GREAT). It will be a little clumpy, but just keep working it. Set the crumbs aside to cool for several minutes. When the crumbs are cool enough to handle, transfer about 2/3 of them to a buttered 9 1/2 inch deep-dish pie pan. Press them into the bottom and up the side of the pan.

4 cups (1 1/2 pounds) fresh rhubarb sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cups sliced strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
Juice & Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cardamom (if you have it, if not it is alright.)
In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice & zest, flour and cardamom. Set aside for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Turn the filling into the pie shell, smoothing the top with a spoon. Crumble the reserved crust mixture evenly over the pie, pressing down on it gently. Place the pie in the center of the oven rack and bake for 30 minutes @ 350 degrees. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and rotate the pie 180 degrees. Just in case of spills, slide a foil lined baking sheet below the pie to avoid a huge mess. Continue to bake until the top is golden brown and the juices bubble thickly around the edges, 40 to 50 minutes. If the top starts to get too dark, cover with loosely tented foil during the last 15 minutes. LET COOL FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS BEFORE SERVING, while cooling the pie will thicken.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pita Bread & Hummus

My kids love HUMMUS! I don't know where they get it from, but since it is a great source of protein for them, I buy it in bulk at Costco and Sam's Club. Both my husband and I grew up in the boon-docks and had no idea that all this Middle Eastern food even existed, but we both also enjoy it.

I went to a Middle Eastern Market last week with a friend of mine who makes her own Hummus. She showed me what I needed to make my own and I quickly snatched up the ingredients so that I could try to make a batch myself.

Today was the day that I finally found some time and felt lazy enough to stay at home to make my hummus. I got my food processor out and added the ingredients into it:

1 can chickpeas
1/3 C. FRESH Tahini
1/2-3/4 C. FRESH squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
4 Garlic Cloves
1/2 C. Canola Oil
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Cumin

In just a couple of minutes, I had my own hummus. I spooned it into a bowl and this sprinkled it with Paprika and into the fridge it went. Now, I wanted to try to recreate LaShish Pita's and found a pretty good recipe to follow on Recipezaar for Arabian Pita Bread.

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
6 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
Mix yeast, water and sugar.
Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, dried milk and salt.
Pour oil into water and mix well. Add dry mixture to liquids.
You might need to add more flour or water, depending on the absorbency of the flour.

Knead dough briefly, divide into 18 egg sized balls.
Place on a floured surface, cover and let rest for 15-30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes, I took parchment paper and cut it into small squares. I then put one ball onto each parchment square and covered with an additional square of paper. After covering the ball with paper, I rolled the ball flat, removed the top layer of paper and sprinkled with sesame seeds. I used a preheated 475 degree oven with my cooking stones inside the oven while preheating. I slid about 4-5 uncooked pitas onto the stone and cooked for 3 minutes on each side of the pita.I quickly removed them from the oven and placed onto a cooking sheet. I served the fresh pita with the fresh hummus and it was yummy!My oldest son will be home by the time the hummus is cooled in the fridge, so he will be very happy this afternoon!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake Daring Bakers April 2009

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge. When I saw that this was this months challenge, I was very excited! I LOVE CHEESECAKE, the husband, not so much! Meaning, I don't make cheesecake that often because I would eat the entire thing! The real challenge this month is to take this basic recipe and play with it. Make it unique. Make a showstopper of a dessert. Add flavor, sauces, decorations – dress it up and show it off. So, I thought of all the variations that I could do and jotted them down on paper. I decided that since I have freezer full of raspberries, I could do something with them. As I read the recipe it called for lemon juice and I then remembered just purchasing about6 lemons at the store about a week ago! So, Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake was what I was about to make. Here is the recipe that we were to follow.

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake


I used 2 cups of chocolate animal crackers instead of graham crackers

2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 Teaspoon fresh lemon zest

Raspberry sauce - I made this by boiling down some raspberries and then straining them from their seeds. I then again simmered them to make them thicker.
Omitted the liqueur

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside. I prepared the 8 inch spring form pan by lining the bottom with 2 layers of plastic wrap and bringing it up the sides of the pan then covered the plastic wrap with heavy duty aluminum foil and brought the foil to the top of the pan. This prevented the water bath from leaking into the pan and making the crust soggy!

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. This is when I swirled the raspberry syrup onto the top of the cheesecake. Next time I am going to pour half of the cheesecake mixture into the pan, spread raspberry syrup and then top with remaining cheesecake mixture. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

I then swirled my raspberry syrup on the top!

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done -I baked for 65 minutes and would probably bake for 70-75 minutes next time, this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve. Then dig in and enjoy! It was so yummy that I think that I will be making this for G1's First Communion this weekend!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Bakers February Challenge Chocolate Valentino *Flourless Chocolate Cake*

Here it is the end of another month, February, where has it gone? The kids seem to keep us very busy and the end of every month just creeps up on me. The end of the month means lots of things, for me, it means it is time to BAKE! The Daring Bakers challenges are one of the few things that I actually make sure that there is time to do.

For this month, The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

I originally wanted to make this recipe for the hubby for Valentine's Day, but didn't get around to it since we were on a long weekend in Northern Michigan visiting the Hubby's Father, my F-I-L or otherwise known as the "World's Smartest Man"! Since the "World's Smartest Man" doesn't care for chocolate, I didn't bother bringing the ingredients to make this recipe. So, with that said, I stopped at the Butcher Shoppe here in my town and picked up some Chicken Cordon Bleu and decided to surprise the hubby with a nice dinner and dessert.

This recipe comes together so quickly that it is going to be my go to recipe for a quick and delicious dessert. All you need is 12 ounces of chocolate, 1 stick (+ 2 TBLS) unsalted butter and 4 eggs. I had to roughly chuck the chocolate and use a double boiler to melt the butter and chocolate together and then let it cool. While I was letting it cool, I proceeded to whipping 4 egg whites until stiff peaks were formed. I transferred those to another bowl and then beat the egg yolks. I added the egg yolks to the chocolate/butter mixture and then folded in the egg whites. I quickly buttered my 8 inch round spring form pan and gently transferred the mixture to the pan. I baked for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. I set to cool on a wire rack and then took the sides off of my spring form pan. AND THAT WAS IT!!! It was like magic!

This cake is so rich that I served it with some vanilla ice cream. Ice cream was store bought, I did intend to make it, but with going on vacation early Saturday morning, I had to cheat and by some at the store!

Chocolate Valentino
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
16 ounces (1 pound) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While the chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter.
8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 140F.
Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.