Brownies are so good all on their own, but top them with some Nutella espresso whipped cream and you take those brownies to a whole new level of deliciousness. Yes, these brownies are very, very good indeed. They are a great dessert to wow dinner guests, especially since they are deceptively easy to make. You can top them with chocolate curls to get extra fancy, or keep it simple with chocolate shavings like I did. Either way, you will enjoy every bite of these Nutella espresso mousse brownies. I promise.
Nutella Espresso Mousse Brownies
Makes 1 8-inch square pan
For the brownie layer:
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ cup (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. instant espresso powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the mousse layer:
- 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
- 1 tbsp. hot water
- ¼ cup Nutella
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Chocolate shavings, curls, or sprinkles, for serving
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish and line with parchment paper, leaving several inches of overhang on two sides. Butter the bottom and sides of the parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan, transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in the espresso powder until it dissolves completely, then whisk in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Whisk in the dry ingredients until just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool completely before topping with the mousse.
- To make the mousse, combine the espresso powder and hot water in a small bowl. Whisk in the Nutella. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until it just forms stiff peaks. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the Nutella mixture. Spread the mousse evenly over the top of the cooled brownies. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight.
- Using the parchment/foil handles, lift the brownies from the pan. Cut into squares and top with chocolate shavings/curls as desired. Serve immediately.
Source: very slightly adapted from Cook Like a Champion
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Salted caramel sauce has been on my list of things I wanted to make for quite a while. I just needed a good reason to make some. I know, I know, having salted caramel sauce in the refrigerator should be reason enough, shouldn’t it?
The caramel is delicious on top of ice cream, especially if you have homemade brownies to make brownie sundaes (which we did!). I’m looking forward to making another batch of this caramel sauce soon to enjoy with some homemade vanilla ice cream. It’s true, the sweet and salty combination is irresistible!
One year ago: Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling
Salted Caramel Sauce
Makes about 1 cup
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp. fleur de sel
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Add the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a medium saucepan (I used my Dutch oven) and stir to combine. Set the pan over medium-high heat and cook until the mixture registers 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer. (If you don’t have a candy thermometer, cook until it is amber in color.)
- Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream, being careful as the caramel will bubble up quite a bit. Stir in the fleur de sel and then the sour cream until the mixture is smooth. Let cool and then store in the refrigerator.
Source: Baked Explorations, via Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
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I’ve been making a lot of homemade ice cream lately, mostly this easy vanilla bean ice cream. I have so many other flavors bookmarked to try, though, and I decided to go with this raspberry ice cream first. It’s deliciously creamy, and especially good with a few dark chocolate chips sprinkled over the top.
I used frozen raspberries to make the raspberry puree, which I recommend because it’s more cost-effective than using fresh since you’ll need to start with about 6 cups of raspberries. Just be sure to thaw them completely before pureeing to make the process of straining out the seeds a little easier. This raspberry ice cream is a smooth, creamy, and refreshing summer treat!
One year ago: Blueberry Muffins
Raspberry Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups strained raspberry puree*
- 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Warm the half-and-half and sugar in a medium saucepan. Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm half-and-half into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (the temperature should register 170-175 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Mix in the raspberry puree and lemon juice, then stir until cool over and ice bath.
- Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, and then churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. To preserve the fresh raspberry taste, churn the ice cream within 4 hours after making the mixture.
*To make raspberry puree, start with about 6 cups (750 grams) of fresh or frozen raspberries. Puree until smooth in a food processor, then press through a mesh strainer with a flexible rubber spatula to remove the seeds.
Source: The Perfect Scoop.
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Posted in Desserts, Pies, Tarts, Crisps, and Crumbles, tagged dessert, lemon, Mother's Day, spring, tart on May 24, 2012 |
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Citrus desserts like this lemon tart are just right for enjoying in the springtime. I offered to bring dessert to my family’s Mother’s Day dinner, and since both my mom and I were craving something along the lines of lemon cream pie, I had an easy time deciding on this lemon tart. This was the first time I’ve made this recipe, but it surely will not be the last. A sweet pastry shell is filled with a tart lemon curd filling and topped with sweet, freshly whipped cream. What more is there to say? It was love at first bite.
One year ago: Restaurant Style Salsa
For the Sweet Tart Pastry Shell:
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tbsp. heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
- 2/3 cup (2 2/3 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 8 tbsp. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
For the tart filling:
- 7 large egg yolks, plus 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar (7 7/8 ounces)
- 2/3 cup juice plus 1/4 cup finely grated zest from 4 to 5 medium lemons
- Pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 3 tbsp. heavy cream
- Prepare and bake the tart shell: Whisk together the egg yolk, cream, and vanilla in a small bowl; set aside. Place the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable). Unwrap and roll out between 2 lightly floured sheets of parchment paper to a 13-inch round. (If the dough is soft and sticky, slip it onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until workable, 20 to 30 minutes.) Transfer the dough to a tart pan by rolling the dough loosely around the rolling pin and unrolling over a 9- to 9 1/2-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Working around the edge of the pan, ease the dough onto the pan corners by gently lifting the edge with one hand while pressing it into the corners with the other hand. Press the dough against the fluted sides of the pan. (If some sections of the edge are too thin, reinforce them by folding the excess dough back on itself.) Run the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to remove the excess dough. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze 30 minutes. (The dough-lined tart pan can be sealed in a gallon-size ziploc bag and frozen up to 1 month.)
- Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a 12-inch square of foil into the frozen tart shell and over the edge, and fill with metal or ceramic pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and pie weights. Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes more. Set the baking sheet with the tart shell on a wire rack.
- Prepare the tart filling: Keep the oven temperature at 375 degrees F. In a medium nonreactive bowl*, whisk together the yolks and whole eggs until combined, about 5 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk until just combined, about 5 seconds. Add the lemon juice, zest, and salt; whisk until combined, about 5 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a medium non-reactive saucepan, add the butter pieces, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, until the curd thickens to a thin sauce-like consistency and registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Immediately pour the curd through a fine-mesh stainless steel strainer set over a clean nonreactive bowl. Stir in the heavy cream; immediately pour the curd into the warm tart shell.
- Return the baking sheet with the filled tart shell to the middle rack of the oven. (If the crust is already browned, be sure to cover it with foil or a pie crust shield to prevent over-browning.) Bake until the filling is shiny and opaque and the center 3 inches jiggle slightly when shaken, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove the outer ring, slide a thin metal spatula between the bottom crust and the tart pan bottom to release, then slide the tart onto a serving plate. Serve the tart within several hours, with freshly whipped cream.
*To prevent the lemon curd from having a metallic taste, only use nonreactive stainless steel or glass utensils when preparing the lemon curd.
Source: Baking Illustrated
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As their name suggests, these brownies are deliciously rich and fudgy. They are quick and easy to mix up, and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand, making them an ideal treat to whip up when a sudden chocolate craving hits. I added in some dark chocolate chips because, well, why not? I like the extra bits of chocolate that the chips add, especially when the brownies are slightly warm so the chocolate chips are nice and melty.
There are many, many brownie recipes out there, and if you haven’t found your favorite yet (or even if you have), I encourage you to try these. I know I’ll make them again and again.
One year ago: Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Cappuccino Cookies
Rich, Fudgy Brownies
Makes one 9-inch square pan of brownies
- 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, plus more softened for the pan
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 3 oz. (2/3 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour; plus more for the pan
- 2 1/2 oz. (3/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch-square metal baking pan with foil, and then butter and flour the foil, tapping out the excess flour.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the butter to a large bowl. Whisk or stir in the sugar, followed by all four of the eggs and the vanilla. Stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, starting slowly to keep the ingredients from flying out of the pan and stirring more vigorously as you go. Stir until the batter is smooth and uniform, about 1 minute. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing it so it fills the pan evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 35-40 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a rack.
- Use the foil lining to remove the brownies from the pan. Cut into 16 squares. Keep brownies at room temperature, well wrapped.
Source: adapted from Fine Cooking.
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This pound cake was my first baking project after William was born. I could not wait to get back into the kitchen, especially since I wasn’t able to enjoy sweets while pregnant (and therefore didn’t bake much). The other day, William was fed and napping and I was feeling up to it, so I made this ricotta orange pound cake.
I’ve enjoyed a couple of slices of this cake with a morning cup of coffee, but it’s actually more of a dessert treat than a breakfast treat. It’s incredibly rich and buttery, with a delicious orange flavor. The cake would make a great dessert topped with some fresh strawberries. I’d recommend macerating the strawberries to bring out their juices, by sprinkling them with a little sugar and then letting them sit for a few hours so that they become sweet and syrupy. Or do what I’ve been doing the past few days and just grab a small slice here and there to snack on.
One year ago: Blueberry Smoothie
Ricotta Orange Pound Cake
Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf
For the pound cake:
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract or 2 tbsp. Amaretto
- Zest of 1 orange
For the orange syrup:
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter bottom and sides of a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still running, beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla, almond extract (or Amaretto), and orange zest and mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack. Place a sheet of parchment paper below the rack.
- While the loaf is cooling, make the orange syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together the orange juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Use a toothpick to poke holes in the top and sides of the warm loaf. Brush the top and sides of the loaf with orange syrup. Let the syrup soak into the cake and brush again. Let the cake cool completely.
Source: Sweet Pea’s Kitchen, originally adapted from Food Network.
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