{Beat The Heat} Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream Pie

My earliest memories of baking involve rolling endless amounts of Molasses Cookies with my mom.  Standing on a chair beside her, we rolled trays and trays and dipped them in sugar.  Years later, when I opened my first bake shop, that was the first item to go on the menu, and it’s still on there to this day.   Large, bakery style Molasses Cookies also make the very best s’mores.

Its something about the slightly bitter, intensely sweet, robust flavour that seems to go so well in baked goods .

molassespie

This week-end we had company over for an afternoon barbecue.  We are in the throes of an extreme heat warning, so we decided that the best place to be was right beside the pool.  If you’ve been following me for a while, you know my go-to desserts are generally make ahead items that allow me to spend more time with my guests than in the kitchen.

I decided a grown up, {Beat The Heat} Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream Pie was just the ticket.

molassespie

 

It’s a simple, throw together dessert that’s big on flavour.  Have I mentioned that no ice cream maker is required?  A creamy, Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream is piled high into a gingersnap crust and left overnight to chill in the freezer.  Just before serving, beautiful dollops of whipped topping and premium dark chocolate shavings are added.

It’s a cool summer treat, with all of the excitement and nostalgia ice cream brings, and a boozy adult kick.

molassespie

Molasses is often mistaken as a cool weather ingredient.  But you would be very surprised at the sweet, caramel flavour that this ice cream has.  The generous splash of bourbon just simply puts this over the top.  We were all completely over the moon with this flavour combination and the creamy texture is outstanding!

molassespie

 

Summer is here, and it’s time to combine cool friends and boozy frozen treats for the perfect duo.

Stay cool everyone,

Renee

xo

molassespie

{Beat The Heat} Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream Pie

  • 1 1/2 c fine gingersnap crumbs (about 20 cookies pulsed in a food processor)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp Fancy molasses, divided
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
  • dark chocolate shavings, for garnish
  • 2 cups whipped topping, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°

1.   Combine gingersnap crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl to combine. Press the crumbs into the bottom and 1″ up the sides of an 8″ springform pan or pie dish.  Bake for 8 minutes and allow to cool.

2.  Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form.  Set aside.   In another bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup of molasses.  Fold into the whipped cream.  Stir in the bourbon.   Spread into the cooled pie shell.  Take the remaining 1 tbsp of molasses and marble it throughout the top of the cream filling.  Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.  Top with whipped topping and chocolate shavings just before serving.

 

 

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt

Remember when I last showed you my recipe for DIY Homemade Yogurt?  I’ve been using it in everything.  My overnight oats, smoothies, dips.  It’s seriously the bees knees with just a teaspoon of raspberry jam stirred in.

Recently I made some homemade frozen yogurt with it.  Insanely good Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt.   Did you hear that my little peanut butter loving minions?

Honestly, its peanut butter insanity.

icecream2

 

With two cups of homemade yogurt and low-fat milk in the ingredients, my family is so busy high fiving me about it, they have no idea that it’s not really that bad for them.   Using healthier ingredients, has cut down on added sugars significantly, has added more proteins, and the taste is full on peanut butter and chocolate.  It’s a sweet, cool down treat, that we can all enjoy and not feel so guilty about.

icecreamsweetrevelations

 

Initially, when my yogurt making obsession began, my family kind of teased me about it.  There goes mom again, with a science experiment in the oven.  But they’ve seen the benefits from my yogurt persistence.  It’s creamy and smooth just like any premium store-bought brand.  I’m confidant my foray into homemade frozen yogurt has completely won them over.

And listen, I have a house full of teenagers, so winning them over can be very, very difficult.

icecreamsweetrevelations

 

It’s super fast to make and requires no special equipment.   The yogurt freezes in as little as 6 hours.  If you made this in the morning, you could easily be licking a double scoop by dinnertime.  It really is that simple.

 

icecreamsweetrevelations

I hope you are having a wonderful, double scoop frozen yogurt kinda summer wherever you are!

Renee

xo

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt

*adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (low fat)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups plain homemade yogurt or plain Greek style yogurt
  • 1 cup milk (low fat)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks, mini peanut butter cups or chocolate buttons (optional)

1.  In a large bowl with a mixer, beat the condensed milk, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add in yogurt, milk, and cocoa powder and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl to completely combine.  Stir in the chocolate chunks.  Leave the yogurt in the mixing bowl and freeze, removing from the freezer and beating once every hour (for about 30 seconds), for a total of 3 hours.  Transfer to a container and freeze until firm and scoopable, about 2 more hours.  If left for longer than 6 hours in the freezer, it will need a few minutes to soften on the counter before scooping.

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DIY Homemade Yogurt

I have made an insane amount of Homemade Yogurt in the last while.  I didn’t realize until recently just how simple the process really is and how amazing the results can be.   I’m pretty late to this party because people have been making this for years and years.  It honestly never occurred to me and now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t try it sooner. Much like making my own breads, the satisfaction that comes from making my own yogurt is the same.    It’s essentially 5 steps: scald, cool, starter, incubate, refrigerate.

The very best part of the process is that all of the work is done while we’re in bed, with no special equipment.  In the evening, I scald some cream and milk, add some organic natural yogurt as a “starter” and wake up to a full jar of creamy yogurt.  It’s left in the oven all night to incubate and become thick and creamy and tangy.  I’ve been enjoying it late in the morning for a snack with some homemade granola and a drizzle of Date Syrup that a student made for me.

homemadeyogurt

The Date Syrup is a coveted jar because she took the time to write down her mom’s recipe, which is fairly detailed, and includes soaking the dates and boiling them down into a thick syrup.  This girl is a wonderful young lady, who I know is going to change with world.  She told me it’s a Middle Eastern tradition to eat it for breakfast drizzled atop Tahini with some bread for dipping.  It makes a lovely sweetener substitute and tastes divine when stirred into some homemade yogurt in the morning.   It adds just enough sweetness, without hiding the rich, tang of the yogurt.

DIYyogurt

 

In the morning, I take the jar out of the oven and put it in the refrigerator to continue to firm up.  After an hour or two, I drain it in cheesecloth until nice and thick, which is exactly how Greek Yogurt is made.  Sometimes I can’t wait and choose to eat it warm and slightly thinner with some fresh fruit puree stirred in.   It’s absolutely heavenly.  If I drain it for quite a while I’m left with a tangy yogurt cheese (also called Labneh), which has the same consistency as cream cheese and is outstanding when spread on rye crisps.  Who knew there were so many options!

yogurtdraining

My first attempt to make it was a complete disaster, and it never set up properly.  But, I’m nothing if not persistent and I tried again until I was happy with the results.  Fresh dairy is key and I’m an advocate for using premium local dairy when I can.  It just tastes better and it’s better for my family and my community.  I use Organic Whole Milk and sometimes, when I have some left over, I use cream to make it just a little more decadent.

 

jarsofyogurt

The hands on prep time is about 30 minutes.   The longer it’s left to incubate, the tangier it is.   Be prepared because this doesn’t have the store-bought added sweetener taste that you might be used to.  It’s slightly tangy and any sweetness is added by you.  Try honey or agave.  Use fresh seasonal fruit.  Stir in some lemon curd (insanely good) or jam.  Make frozen yogurt.  Stay tuned because I made the most sensational Eton Mess with it that I’m going to share soon!

The possibilities are endless.  Just try it!   I urge you to try it.  If you’re a yogurt loving family like we are this is a win-win situation.

Happy Summer Everyone!

Renee

 

 

Homemade Yogurt

  • 4 cups Whole Organic Milk (or sometimes I sub in one cup of cream for the milk)
  • 1/4 cup Organic Plain Yogurt with Active Cultures (a MUST)

 

1.  Fill a quart sized mason jar half way with boiling water and cover lightly with the lid.  Set aside while you do the rest of the prep.  Turn the oven light on.

2.  In a large pan, heat the milk to 190° on medium heat.  This might take some time but avoids burnt milk at the bottom of the pot.  I find that if I take my time bringing the milk to temperature, my yogurt is not grainy.  Whisk often as the milk is heating.  Once to temperature, remove from heat and let milk rest until it comes down to 120°.   You can set the pot in a few inches of cold water in the sink and whisk continually to help the temp come down faster if you’re pressed for time.  Whisk in the yogurt.  Whisk well to spread all of those active cultures around.

3.  Empty the water from the mason jar and pour the milk mixture in.  Cover with the lid.  I like to wrap the jar in a towel at this point.  Place the jar in the oven with the oven light on.  Leave overnight- some have results in as little as five hours but I prefer the overnight method.  In the morning transfer the yogurt to smaller containers if desired and refrigerate.  It will firm up more in the refrigerator.  If you like really thick yogurt, strain it in some cheesecloth that is suspended from a deep bowl (in the refrigerator).  The yogurt will become thicker after an hour or so but leave it until it reaches your desired consistency.  Leave it overnight for some Yogurt Cheese.  Refrigerate the yogurt as you normally would.

Note:  1.  Keep a 1/4 of yogurt from your new batch to use as a starter for your next batch!

2.  No worries if there is a clear liquid on top.  That’s pure whey and is excellent when substituted for water in bread making.  Refrigerate it and use it in smoothies.   Some swear by watering their plants with it too.

3.  Sometimes I don’t even bother with the mason jar.   I have used the blue pottery bowl you see in the pictures with a smaller plate placed on top.  The results have always been excellent!

jarofcream

 

 

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Ultimate Salted Caramel and Pretzel Icebox Cake {NO Bake}

It’s hard to believe that the base of this cake is essentially made with two ingredients.  It’s a wafer cookie and whipped cream dream that is the perfect summer time treat because it’s a quick no bake dessert.

It’s kind of the perfect canvas for some over the top toppings.  A few salted pretzels, some Godiva Chocolate pieces and life changing Salted Caramel Sauce.   Perhaps even world-changing Salted Caramel Sauce.  It’s seriously that good.

icebox cake

Something kind of magical happens with this cake.  It goes into the fridge as a stack of layered cookies and whipped cream and comes out as a soft and sweet cake.  It takes merely minutes to assemble, is a make ahead dessert and looks like a million bucks.  All of this chocolate loving goodness and I didn’t spend a moment near the oven.  This seems too good to be true friends, but I assure you, you will be as gobsmacked as me the first time I made this, at the ease with which this cake is prepared.

Impress your guests with it and we’ll keep this information just between us.

ice box cake

There are so many possibilities with this confection that I had a hard time deciding on a flavor this time.  It’s the Salted Caramel Sauce that got me.   Drizzled atop fluffy whipped cream, chocolate chunks and salty pretzels? I’m in! I have to limit the times that I make this sauce because I absolutely obsess about it until every drop is gone.  Perhaps the caramel sauce drizzled on my breakfast toast was my first indication that I may have a problem.  Or the kids staring at me, mouth agape as I did so, that was a bit of an eye opener.  Oh but that sauce!

icebox cake

The cake can be layered individually as mini cakes, in a rectangular pan or on a platter as I’ve done here.  I simply layer cookies and cream, kind of eye-balling for level layers, until I run out of ingredients.  The whole cake can be iced, once chilled, with a layer of whipped cream but I usually choose to skip this step.   It is also equally as good with fresh seasonal fruit on top.  Think of digestive cookies with brown sugar whipped cream and fresh peaches.  Or vanilla wafers with mascarpone whipped cream and dark sweet cherries.   How about more chocolate layers with a mocha whipped cream and chocolate shavings? Ginger cookies with cinnamon whipped cream and pears?

Friends, I do believe I have an Icebox Cake book in me just dying to get out.

icebox cake

Happy summer everyone,

Renee

xo

 

Icebox Cake

  • 3 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • approx. 2 packages of chocolate wafer cookies
  • salted pretzels for garnish
  • Godiva Milk Chocolate Bar, 100 gr, broken into pieces
  • Salted Caramel Sauce for drizzle (recipe below)

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the whipping cream and whip until foamy.  Add the powdered sugar and whip until soft and billowy and soft peaks form.  Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

2.  On a platter, start with a thin layer of whipped cream.  Top with a layer of wafer cookies.  Continue to layer whipped cream and cookies, making sure to leave enough whipped cream for the top layer.  Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight for best results.   Before serving top with pretzels, chocolate pieces and caramel sauce.

 

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

*Cooking  Channel TV

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat to medium- high and bring to a boil, without stirring.  Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan if you need to.  Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 7 minutes.

2  Remove mixture from the heat and very carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble a lot but keep mixing. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Bring back to the stove on low heat and stir until you have a smooth sauce.  Allow the caramel to cool.   The salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Reheat for a few seconds before drizzling.

 

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Beer and Buttermilk Crêpe Cake

Strawberries are in season and I can’t tell you how excited this house is about that.  We eagerly await the arrival of local berries, that make their appearance in early summer.   It means that soon to follow are other local goodies that we are so fortunate to gather from passionate farmers in our area.  How lucky are we!

crepecake

Recently I made a Crêpe Cake to showcase some of the gorgeous juicy berries that I purchased at market.  This is a great make ahead dish that would be stunning served on any brunch table or as dessert with a cup of coffee.  It’s light and airy and full of paper-thin crêpes stacked up high to highlight all of that delicious fruit.

The crêpes couldn’t be easier to make, and the addition of a light, hoppy lager makes them even more delicate and airy (yes, beer for breakfast can be good).   Don’t worry, although they do have great flavor, they don’t taste like beer.  The batter also includes tangy buttermilk and is best when made ahead and left to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours.   The crêpes themselves can also be made ahead, up to 48 hours, and layered between sheets of parchment paper until ready to use.  I would recommend this step as a time saver!   The cake is just a simple process of layering the crêpes with the filling of your choice.  Hazelnut spread is an all time favourite, but to keep the cake nice and light I opted for a simple banana pudding and whipped topping filling.

crepe cake

I just happily layer and fill, layer and fill, until I run out of filling.  I’m pretty sure this time I was close to eighteen crêpes in all when I was finished the cake.  Assembly took about 20 minutes total and I left the cake in the refrigerator until dinner time.  Minus the slice I removed, and ate, to photograph for you.

Geez Louise the things I do for you.

crepe cake

Just the smell in the kitchen when making these, reminded me of a trip I took to Paris a few years ago.  My girlfriend took me to the Eiffel Tower for my birthday and immediate crêpe eating ensued.    I believe at one point I had a savory crêpe in one hand and a sweet one in the other.  Life is grand.

Happy Summer,

Renee

xo

fruit

 

Sweet Crêpe Batter

adapted from Jehnee’s Crêpe Recipe from http://www.thekitchn.com

*makes approximately 25 crepes

4 cups warm buttermilk
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons sugar
6 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cup light lager

Banana Filling

1 pkg instant banana pudding (or flavor of choice)

1 3/4 cups milk, cold

1 1/2 cups whipped topping

fruit for garnish

 

1.  Melt the butter and warm the milk in a microwave safe dish. Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer for a few seconds to combine.  Make a well in the flour mixture, pour eggs and oil into the well and beat on medium speed until combined. Slowly add the melted butter and milk mixture and mix until batter becomes uniform in texture.   Stir in beer, until just evenly incorporated (don’t overmix). Refrigerate the batter, covered with plastic, for 8 hours or overnight, if you can.

2.   Pour  1/3 cup batter onto a smoking-hot pan (my pan was about 8″ wide), swirling the batter to create an even surface.  Cook for approx. 2 minutes on the first side (look for a golden brown colour), then about 30 seconds on other side. Layer crêpes between sheets of parchment paper.  Refrigerate crêpes until needed (I put mine in a resealable bag).

3.  When ready to assemble, make the banana filling.  Mix milk and pudding for 2 minutes.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Layer crêpes on a cake platter, starting with a crêpe and spreading about 1 1/2 tbsp. of banana filling on top.  Layer with another crêpe and continue on until you run out of filling.  Left over crêpes can be frozen for later use.  Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours or more.  Top with whipped topping and fresh fruit just before serving.

 

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Dreamy Rhubarb Ice Cream Tarts

Summer is fast approaching friends, and I couldn’t be happier.   I’m sure I’m not alone when I say it’s by far, my favourite time of year.   It’s BBQ season and time for visiting with friends.  It’s beach time.  Pool time.  S’mores time.

Dreamy Rhubarb Ice Cream Tarts time.

rhubarbicecream

I want to make dishes to share with my friends and family, that don’t leave me stranded in the kitchen.   I love this recipe for Rhubarb Ice Cream because it requires no ice cream maker or custard base at all.  But it tastes churned people!  It tastes creamy and sweet just as it should, with only minutes to prepare.

Each bite is slightly tart and sugary sweet.   There are ribbons of roasted pink rhubarb throughout.  The addition of a graham tart shell, pistachios, whipped cream and strawberries just simply put this over the top.   But don’t stress, this is just as sublime and refreshing when scooped into a cone or bowl.

rhubarbicecream

Did I mention that this only takes moments to prepare?

Make it, and I have the feeling you might just break up with your ice cream maker for the summer.

Happy summer friends,

Renee, xo

rhubarbicecream

 Dreamy Rhubarb Ice Cream Tarts

*ice cream recipe adapted from Taste of Home

*makes 9 3″ tarts or about 4 cups of ice cream

Ingredients:

  •  3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 9- 3 inch graham tart shells
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios
  • strawberries for garnish
  • whipped cream or whipped topping for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°

1.  Mix the rhubarb and sugar and place in a shallow baking dish (lined with parchment for easy cleanup!).  Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Allow to cool slightly and then puree or mash. I prefer slightly chunky.  refrigerate until cool.  Stir lemon juice into rhubarb mixture.  Set aside.

2.  Beat the cream until stiff peaks form (I also added a drop of pink food gel colour here); fold into rhubarb mixture.  Freeze for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Pipe or spoon into ready-made tart shells.  Freeze overnight or until firm.  Garnish with whipped cream, strawberries and chopped pistachios Allow to sit for 5 minutes to soften slightly before serving.

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Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies {Loaded With Walnuts and Cranberries}

I bet if I polled every follower of SweetRevelations, you would all have your version of the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  Every home has one, that ultimate Chocolate Chip recipe that no one can beat.  It might be flat and crispy or thick and slightly chewy in the middle.   You may have a whole system down for how to produce the most amazing chocolatey bite; use only dark brown sugar, butter is a must, refrigerate a minimum of one hour before baking, stand on tip toes, tap heels three times and voila! The whole family is delighted and rejoicing in the joy that only this classic cookie can bring.

If you don’t have one, I wonder if you’ve made endless batches on a quest for the perfect recipe?

chocchip

I present to you my version of the Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookie that is loaded with walnuts and cranberries.  It’s my go-to, Sunday baking, soul soothing recipe, that’s super thick, crisp on the outside and slightly soft inside.  You might be questioning the cranberry but I urge you to give it a shot.  It just adds an extra chewy bit of sweetness that compliments the chocolate chunks so well.  Warm from the oven, these are the very definition of comfort food.

cookie

All kidding about the heel tapping aside, I do believe the addition of molasses and chilling the dough is what puts these bakery style cookies over the top.  I dare say I’ve found the perfect recipe.  The batter is on the larger side and will produce close to 40 big cookies.  You can bake what you need now and easily freeze dough balls to pop in the oven at a later date.

Life is simply just better with milk and cookies!

splash

Do you have the ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe?  I would love it if you would share your favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie secrets with me!

Happy baking!

Renee

xo

 

Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies

*adapted from Baking Illustrated

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1  1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1  1/2 cups chocolate chunks, semi sweet
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325°

1. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, combine the sugars and the butter and mix well.  Add eggs, yolks, vanilla and molasses.  Mix until well incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Stir in chocolate, walnuts and cranberries.

3.  Refrigerate the dough for an hour.  Using a cookie scoop (mine is 2″ in diameter), scoop chilled dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 18 mins. Let the cookies rest on the sheet for about 2 mins.  Store in an airtight container.

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Love Cookies

You know the saying, that as you get older, you open your mouth and your mother comes out?   I would’ve sworn on my life as a teen that this would never happen to me, that it couldn’t, wouldn’t be how I would parent.  Speed ahead 30 years later and lo and behold I was blessed with three amazing children of my own and I’ve seen my mother in a whole new light.

I should say to her, thank you for loving us as deeply as you did and I’m sorry for all the trouble I gave you.

Oh, and you were right.

top

Mom scratch baked for us every single week-end.  Tunes always blaring in the kitchen, she made the best meals and treats.   I have vivid memories of standing on a chair and helping her roll dozens of cookies in sugar.  These Love Cookies were a regular during our childhood.  They aren’t really cookies, they’re made in bar form, and I’ve never seen another recipe similar.  Waiting for the glaze to set while they were still warm was a killer but mom usually cut a little warm piece off for us.

When I make these now, I often eat a piece or two (sometimes a row!) right after it’s been glazed.   It takes me right back to that little kitchen of my childhood, and to mom, within minutes.

stack 2

These are full of walnuts, cinnamon and raisins.  They are baked on a sheet pan and topped with a sweet glaze while still warm.  When the glaze sets, it leaves a gorgeous crackly layer on top.

I have no idea where this recipe came from, but I’m pretty sure of the Love in the name.

Thanks mom. xo

loveslice

Do you have a recipe that takes you right back to your moms kitchen?  I would love to hear about it!

Happy Spring!

Renee

 

Love Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup+ 1 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp water, divided
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup cold milk
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

1.  In a medium saucepan combine sugar, cinnamon, 1/2 cup butter, raisins and 1 cup water.  Mix well.   Combine baking soda and remaining tbsp water and stir until soda dissolves.  Add to the raisin mixture and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, add the walnuts and set aside.

2.  Mix flour and baking powder and add to the raisin mixture.  Stir just until combined.  Spread onto 10 x 15 cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 25-27 mins until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Watch carefully at 25 minutes as these can over bake quickly.

3.  In a small bowl combine the milk, tbsp of melted butter, icing sugar and vanilla.  Whisk any lumps out and spread over cookies while still warm.

 

 

 

 

 

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Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake

Happy Monday friends!  Today was the first day back to work after our March Break.  Nine days off to sleep in, read great novels, recipe test and repeat!  While we didn’t take off to anywhere for the holidays it was certainly nice to catch up with friends and not have the morning rush out the door!

Speaking of being rushed, I’m always thinking of ways that I can satisfy my family’s love of dessert while enjoying the holidays. Easter is fast approaching and with that comes some menu planning.  My goal is to do as much work ahead as possible so I can enjoy my time with those around me.  This Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake, or BBSEEICC for short, seems to be just the ticket.

cake

If there’s one thing this whole house can agree on it’s ice cream.  Remember this Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cake?   I’m still dreaming about it.  It was pure ice cream decadence with very little prep.   This Speckled Easter Cake is too, the only difficult part is deciding what flavours to use.  Honestly, I’m not EGGS- aggerating, the sky’s the limit here with flavour possibilities!

cake top

I used just a simple brownie base with layers of chocolate, chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream. I’ve come to love the simplicity of this lightly tinted whipped cream icing along with some gorgeous spring blue speckled eggs on top.  It’s a small 6″ cake, just enough for us for dinner without all of the crazy leftovers ~ not that anyone would be complaining.  If you’ve been following me for a while you know that my favourite family cake size is a 6″ pan.  It’s the perfect size for this family of five along with the few extra friends that are often at the dinner table.

slice

I know I’ve said this before but ice cream certainly doesn’t only need to be a summer treat.  It’s a favourite in this house all year-long.  So much so that I’ve been known to hide the containers at the very bottom of the deep freeze in the hopes that teenage hands won’t find them and they’ll stick around for a while.   You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

 

Happy Easter everyone and have a blessed spring.

Renee

xo

 

Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake

Brownie Layer

*this makes 2 6″ layers – I used one and froze the other for later

*from Kraft Foods

  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup  milk
  • 1 tsp.  vanilla
  • 1 cup  flour
  • 1/2 tsp.  salt

PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

1.  Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl for 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.   Add the sugar and mix well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until blended.  Add the milk and the vanilla and mix well. Combine flour and salt.  Add to chocolate mixture, mixing just until blended. Spread evenly into two greased and floured 6″ springform pans.  Bake 20 minutes and set aside to cool.

 

Chocolate Ganache

In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup heavy cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Put 6 oz  bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl and pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Let it sit until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir the mixture with a spatula until the ganache is smooth.  Allow to cool.

Whipped Cream Icing

* don’t make this until you are ready to ice your cake

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • few drops of teal gel colour

1.  .   In a medium bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Add in sugar and mix well.  Add in teal tint.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cake Assembly

*need two cups of premium vanilla and two cups of premium chocolate ice cream (or flavours of your choice), slightly softened.

1.  Cover the cooled brownie layer with a layer (approx. 2 cups) of ice cream, using a piece of saran on top to evenly distribute the layer with your hands.  Cover and freeze until ice cream is firm.  Spread the ganache on top of the firm ice cream layer and return to the freezer until firm.  Spread the remaining 2 cups of ice cream on top of the ganache and return the cake to the freezer for 6 hours or more to harden.

2.  Remove the cake from the freezer and use the Whipped Cream Icing to ice the entire cake.  Mix a 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract with a few drops of water.  Use a small paintbrush to flick drops of the vanilla on to the cake and make a speckled look.  Top with some chocolate speckled eggs.  Return the whole cake to the freezer until needed.  The cake should sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving (to soften the cake slightly but not long enough to melt the ice cream).

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Apple Coffee Cake

This cake is kind of confusing….

It’s a coffee cake, made with a sweet buttery brioche dough, full of apple slices, and topped with an oat streusal topping.

It’s kind of like an apple crisp.

It’s kind of like a coffee cake.

It’s kind of like a sweet bread.

It’s kind of awesome!

cake

If you’ve been following me for a while you know about my love affair with bread (this is awkward because I believe I’m also having an affair with chocolate, cake and frosting…but let’s carry on).  I started making bread several years ago and it’s something I still love to do.  There’s nothing quite as gratifying.  Honestly, don’t let  yeast scare you.

I’ve made this several times and I’ve never made the same cake twice.  It’s made with Brioche Dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes.  These folks aren’t lying, they’ve really created some masterpiece yeasted doughs that literally take only five minutes prep.  This is one of my books that is completely dog-eared and never leaves the kitchen.   The dough can be made up to five days ahead and refrigerated.  At a moments notice you have a rich, buttery Brioche Dough ready for this Apple Coffee Cake, sticky buns or doughnuts.   The options are endless!

 

slice

I added pepitas, dried cranberries and walnuts along with the apple to the cake this time.  My last one had blueberries and pecans.  Both were sensational.   The cake is fully assembled and then left on the counter to rest for a little over an hour.  Then it’s into the oven and done in an hour.  Nothing to do after but wait for it to cool so you can cut it and enjoy it.

That’s my kinda cake.  Uh bread.  Umm Apple Crisp?!  You get the idea.

I’m sharing the link here to the BreadIn5 website,  for their Brioche Dough.   You will not find a simpler recipe for Brioche Dough anywhere.  Just mix it and leave it, literally.   The following is the recipe for the cake.

Apple Streusal Coffee Cake

*adapted from BreadIn5

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup large flake oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1.  To make the streusel, place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined.  Set aside.

For the Cake:

  • 1 pound of the chilled Brioche Dough
  • 2 1/2 small apples thinly sliced – I used honey crisp apples
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • streusel topping (above)

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350° and grease and flour an 8 x 3 inch cake pan or springform pan.

1.  Mix the apple slices, cranberries and brown sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

 

2. Split your pound of brioche dough into two equal pieces.   Roll out each piece to be a circle slightly larger than the cake pan.  Place one dough circle in the bottom of the pan.  Top with half of the apples and 3/4 cup of streusel.   Place the remaining dough circle on top and layer again with apples and the remaining streusel.

3.    Let the cake rest, uncovered, for an hour and 20 minutes.  Bake for approx. 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

4.  If you used a cake pan, invert the cake onto a plate and then quickly invert back to a cake plate.

 

Enjoy!

Renee

 

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Filed under Cake, Scones and Breads