Tag Archives: semi sweet chocolate

hazelnut buttercrunch toffee brittle

26 Oct

I have finally settled back into my kitchen after being away from it for over two months. Since I’ve landed back onto Canadian soil, I have made the following: marble cake, key lime pie, lemon cheesecake tart, mini pecan pie, mini carrot cakes, hazelnut shortbread, buttercrunch toffee brittle and coconut bars. Sadly, I wasn’t able to take photos of any of these delightful goodies until I made the buttercrunch toffee because the charger of my beloved SLR is currently on its way in a FedEx package from Vietnam. Yes, the idiot that I am, I forgot the chargers for both my SLR and my point&shoot in Vietnam – although it is because of very mean and bitter and unfair customs officials in Vietnam who were very very very corrupt. But that’s a story for another day.

Let me now introduce you to this super easy yet oh-so-delicious, you-can’t-eat-just-one-or-four-or-five buttercrunch toffee brittle.  I found this recipe on Joy of Baking while I was supposed to be “interning” and being a good reporter, so shhhh, don’t tell anyone, okay? I found hazelnuts on sale the day after Thanksgiving, so I decided to slightly change the recipe by substituting the almonds with the hazelnuts. The layer of toasted hazelnuts at the bottom, followed by the buttercrunch toffee, and the chocolate and hazelnut sprinkles on top…it tastes fantastic! Also, I think this makes a really good gift idea – especially since Christmas is slowly creeping up on us now. Brittle is sold in stores in very pretty cellophane and fancy ribbons for a ridiculous price, and you can make your own (many!!!!) variations at the fraction of the price. Plus, you can then awe your friends with how amazing and talented you are at making these very pretty and yummy goodies.

The brittle is pretty sinful on its own with a nice cold cup of milk, or a hot cup of coffee, but if you’re feeling like living life on the edge, eat the brittle with a homemade sundae or just a couple of scoops of your favourite ice cream. I’ve been eating ice cream like crazy as of late – mostly due to the fact of finding the CUTEST ice cream scoop on the face of the world. So really, the cow tells me to eat ice cream – and I’m not crazy, I promise! Anyhow, enough of my ramblings. Here is what you’re really waiting =)

a plate full of deliciousness

a plate full of deliciousness

crunchy brittle paired with ice cream - scooped with the coolest ice cream scoop ever

crunchy brittle paired with ice cream - scooped with the coolest ice cream scoop ever

crunchy layer of hazelnuts topped with buttercrunch toffee layer, smothered in milk chocolate and sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts

crunchy layer of hazelnuts topped with buttercrunch toffee layer, smothered in milk chocolate and sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts

notice the earring that the Cool Cow Scoop is wearing?

notice the earring that the Cool Cow Scoop is wearing?

okay, at this point, I was just having too much fun =)

okay, at this point, I was just having too much fun =)


Recipe

Tips (from Joy of Baking):

  • do not make the brittle on a humid day
  • use a wooden spoon to stir, since it is easier to clean than a metal spoon
  • have all your ingredients ready to go, especially the baking soda and vanilla
  • the vanilla adds flavour, while the baking soda aids in browning and allows for a lighter texture
  • store in an airtight container to prevent the brittle from softening
  • this recipe makes one pound of brittle (which is barely enough for you to enjoy AND to share with others =P)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups slivered almonds or chopped hazelnuts (or both!)
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 6 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

How-to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place almonds/hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Once the nuts are cooled, you should now chop them. The recipe calls for a food processor, but I found that it pulverized them too fine. I found it was easier and tastier when you just gave them a rough chop with a knife.
  3. Sprinkle half of the nuts into a 8×10 inch buttered baking sheet. Set aside.
  4. In a heavy saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar and water
  5. Have the baking soda and vanilla ready to go at this point.
  6. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil, avoiding over-stirring, until the mixture reaches 285F on a candy thermometer (soft-crack stage).
  7. Immediately remove the pan from heat, and add the baking soda and vanilla all at once.
  8. Immediately pour the mixture evenly onto your baking sheet over the almonds/hazelnuts.
  9. Sprinkle the chocolate over top. The hot caramel mixture will soften and melt the chocolate. Using an off-set spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the caramel mixture.
  10. Sprinkle with the remaining nuts and refrigerate until completely cooled.
  11. Once cooled, you can break or cut the brittle into your desired sizes and shapes.
  12. Mangia ❤

xo dessertchick

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lazy wednesdays marble chocolate ganache cake

20 Jun

I finally activated my Twitter account! I signed up for it ages and ages ago, but never got around to using it. Until Shannon & Erin doubleteamed me and showed me the wonder and magic that is Twitter. So, now you can follow my not-always-intriguing-or-interesting rambles at http://twitter.com/chocolatefool. The blog is linked to my twitter account, so the tweets should show up here on the side bar =) Oh, the wonders of wordpress!

Speaking of Shannon and Erin, we had a lovely lunch the other day that Erin cooked for us. Shannon made corn, Erin made burgers, and I brought a modified version of the pecan praline caramel crack(er) bars. We sipped iced tea while catching up, and watching the dreary weather through Shannon’s kitchen window. This summer is taking it’s sweet time arriving in Toronto. Last summer was filled with lots of laughter, picnics, ice cream and sangria for my best friends and myself. This year, sadly, everyone is busy making lots of money for various things such as rent, school and internships. We don’t get to see each other as often, or even get a chance to talk endlessly on the phone, but I’m fairly certain that we each know that we can count on each other. I love my soulmates, Opie & Savo, and wish every day could be a sangria-by-the-harbour-front kind of day.

By some fluke, Savo and I had a day off and all to ourselves, so after some sleeping in, we decided we’d bake a cake. The recipe was going to produce a pretty, velvety smooth and rich chocolate vanilla zebra cake, but although we followed instructions, our cake did not come out with zebra stripes =( It ended up being very chocolate-heavy which probably distorted the stripes and resulted in a marble cake instead. Hey, I’m not complaining though – chocolate is chocolate is chocolate. I think I’d probably leave out the lemon zest that was called for, but keep everything else the same. We were also going to drizzle the semi-sweet chocolate ganache with melted white chocolate for a dramatic effect, but had a little mishap….and thereby kept the cake classy and simple. The chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream made everything better, though. After an adventure with Savo’s devil mixer from hell (it looked/sounded/worked like a chainsaw rather than a handmixer), and making a huge mess in the kitchen, these pictures make it all worth it. Savo is a photographer, and these photos are all his. Thanks to him and his kitchen with awesome windows (and natural light! something that my kitchen doesn’t have) we ended up with these amazing photos – which he emailed to me and allowed me to use. Now that is love!

vanilla & lemon

vanilla & lemon

mixing in the sink to avoid making a huge mess with savo's mixer from hell

mixing in the sink to avoid making a huge mess with savo's mixer from hell

black & white yumminess

black & white yummines

we thought we did it right...

we thought we did it right...

it looked like the zebra cake would work out!

...it looked like the zebra cake would work out!

covering the cake in simple ganache

covering the cake in simple ganache

action shot!

action shot!

simple & delicious chocolate cake

a simple & elegant exterior....

...with a turbulent yet tasty inside

....and yet, no zebra stripes =(

IMG_3996

thank goodness ice cream and chocolate ease disappointments

IMG_3997

even though there are no zebra stripes, it's still pretty!

in the end, it still tasted good

in the end, it still tasted good

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream

How-to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, with a hand mixer or stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and creamy.
  3. Add in the oil and milk and continue beating until well blended. Add the vanilla extract.
  4. In a second bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet batter. Don’t overbeat the mixture.
  5. Divide the batter into two equal parts. Add the cocoa powder to one bowl, and mix well.
  6. Grease a 9-inch pan with oil or butter, and line bottom with parchment paper.
  7. Now, taking turns, scoop a ladle-full of yellow batter and cocoa batter into the pan. Pour a ladle-full of yellow batter into the centre of the pan, and then pour a ladle-full of the cocoa batter right on top of the yellow batter. Continue alternating the two batters until you’ve finished both bowls.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife arounf the inside of the pan to loosen the sides, and gently invert onto a cooling rack. Let cake cool for another 20 minutes.
  10. In the meantime, melt the chocolate and heavy cream in the microwave or over a double boiler. Once it has reached a smooth consistency, spread it all over the cake and try to make it look pretty. If you like drizzle white chocolate over top for a dramatic (and yummy) effect. Enjoy by itself or with vanilla ice cream!

xo dessertchick

quadruple chocolatey melting moments cookie sandwiches

3 May

Move over, triple chocolate chip cookie! Move over! A new cookie has come to town, and it’s going to own y’all old-fashioned, traditional cookies! Well, at least that’s my opinion on how this showdown would go down between these melting moments (with a new twist) and any other ordinary chocolate cookie. Yes, tradition and simplicity has its time, but tonight was not it. My kitchen senses demanded that I attempt these melting moment cookies after a failed attempt that I did not dare blog about. Let’s just say that rocks would have been tastier than those cookies. Anyhow, this time, they were indeed MELTING and not shattering my teeth, which is always an indicator of success! These cookies are taken from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2 (I’m currently in love with her book!) but with a twist! Since I still had almond meal left over, I substituted 1/2 cup of flour for 1/2 cup almond meal. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon for some added depth, and then of course the major changes: dark chocolate shavings inside the batter (because shavings melt easier in your mouth!), semi sweet chocolate dipping for one half of the cookies, white chocolate dipping for the other half of the cookie, and a rich chocolate ganache that is probably in sandwich heaven between two melting moment cookies.

Bon appetit & you’re welcome =) Also, I do not take responsibility regarding the breaking of diet vows and such!

melting moments: naked and simple

melting moments: naked and simple

do dip in chocolate! the chocolatier, the merrier!

do dip in chocolate! the chocolatier, the merrier!

For some....this may be adventurous enough...

For some....this may be adventurous enough...

....but for others, this is the holy grail!

....but for others, this is the holy grail!

Behold the ultimate melting moment cookie sandwich!

Behold the ultimate melting moment cookie sandwich!

hmmm the money shot!

hmmm the money shot!

Recipe

Meltin Moments Ingredients (adapted from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2)

  • 6 oz butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chocolate shavings (or mini chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate for dipping
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate for dipping
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine butter, icing sugar, and vanilla in bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Stir in flour, almond meal, cornstarch and cinnamon until combined.
  4. Place the mixture into a piping bag, and pipe 1inch rounds onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silpad. Allow some room for spreading.
  5. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe can be found here.

Final Assembly

  1. Melt semi sweet chocolate and white chocolate in separate bowls. Use double boiler or microwave.
  2. Dip half the cookies in the semi sweet chocolate, and the other half in white chocolate. Lay on parchment paper until cooled and dry.
  3. Spread the chocolate ganache onto one side of the melting moments, and top off with another, making sure it’s always white & semi sweet chocolate covered melting moments together.
  4. Eat, eat, eat!

xo dessertchick