Summer S’mores Pie

Smores Pie

I love nothing more than a good, gooey S’more on a summers day. Unfortunately, due to the drought in California, most campsites have banned campfires in fear of it causing a forrest fire. Last year, I made my Ultimate S’mores Brownies which were an absolute crowd pleaser. This year, I am preparing for the summer with my Summer S’mores Pie. It is served cold, which is perfect for a hot summers day! This recipe is the same as the Double Chocolate Pudding Pie recipe, with the addition of the topping. The marshmallow topping is perfectly goopey and the graham cracker crust has the perfect crunch.

Smores Pie

To start out, make the graham cracker crust. Simply place the graham crackers into a freezer ziplock bag and crush it with a rolling pin. Pour in the sugar and melted butter and toss until fully combined. Press the contents into a well buttered pie dish and bake. Remember to butter the pie dish! I have had so many instances where I forgot and the crust would be stuck to the dish.

Graham cracker crust

Once the pie crust is ready, the filling is quite simple to make. Dissolve the gelatin in a small bowl of water and set aside for it to bloom. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, measure out the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt.

Smores Pie

Add in the milk and whisk the mixture together until there are no more lumps. Turn the heat onto medium high heat and continue to whisk until it begins to thicken. This will take about 10 minutes of constant stirring. If it is left by itself without any whisking, the pudding will become lumpy.

Smores Pie

When the mixture is bubbly and has thickened in consistency, turn the heat off.

Smores Pie

Add in the chocolate chips, vanilla, and the bloomed gelatin.

Smores Pie

Whisk until the gelatin and chocolate has melted into the pudding and pour the mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust. Refrigerate for at least three hours for the pie to cool down and set.

When the pie has set, take it out of the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. I know this sounds counterintuitive but it is to make sure the marshmallow topping can actually stick to the pie. Otherwise, it will just slide around the top. To make the marshmallow topping. Simply measure out all of the ingredients into a glass bowl.

Smores Pie

Set it over a double boiler and with a hand held mixer, whip the fluff until it thickens.

Take a paper towel and dab the top of the pie to remove any condensation or moisture. Pour the marshmallow fluff onto the pie and spread it out. With a fork or a spoon, make some peaks and swirls into the fluff.

If you have a kitchen torch, use it to caramelize the top. If not, simply place the pie under an oven broiler to brown. Place it back into the fridge until it is ready to be served.

Note that the topping is very gooey so serving the pie will be messy, but is worth it! 

Smores Pie

Smores Pie

Summer S'mores Pie

recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger, Food Network

Graham Cracker Crust

9 full sheets of graham crackers

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted (plus more if needed)

4 Tbsp sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9in pie pan.
  2. In a gallon size ziplock bag, crush the graham crackers until finely ground using a rolling pin.
  3. Open and pour in sugar and make sure it evenly disperses.
  4. Pour in the melted butter and mix so that all of the crumbs have absorbed some butter. When you take a handful of graham crackers and squeeze, it should hold its shape. If it comes loose, melt some more butter 1 Tbsp at a time until it holds.
  5. Pour the graham crackers inside the pie pan. Firmly press the graham crackers in place using the bottom of a measuring cup or small cup.
  6. Bake for 10-12 min, or until it is at a toasted golden brown, and then let it cool.

Chocolate Pudding Filling

1 pack unflavored gelatin

1/3 c cold water

2/3 c sugar

1/3 c cocoa

1/3 c cornstarch

pinch salt

3 c whole milk

2 oz bittersweet chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla

  1. Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt.
  3. Turn the heat onto medium high and gradually pour in all of the milk.
  4. Whisk constantly; never leave or stop whisking otherwise it will turn lumpy. Make sure you whisk the bottom of the pot well as some may remain on the bottom and burn.
  5. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens to a pudding consistency. It may take about 5-10 min, then remove from heat.
  6. Add in chocolate, vanilla, and reserved gelatin.
  7. Pour mixture into pie crust and set for at least 3 hours (overnight recommended).

Marshmallow Topping

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

pinch salt

3 Tbsp corn syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 teaspoon water

1 egg white

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a glass bowl and place over a double boiler.
  2. With a hand held mixer, whip the contents on medium high speed until it forms white, medium soft peaks.
  3. Leave the pie out to come to room temperature. Take a paper towel and dab the top of the pie to remove any moisture or condensation. (This will prevent the marshmallow topping from sliding right off the pie)
  4. Pour the marshmallow fluff onto the pie and with a fork or spoon, form swirls and peaks.
  5. Using a kitchen torch or oven broiler, caramelize the fluff until golden brown.
  6. Place it back into the refrigerator until the pie is cold. Once cold, it is ready to be served!

Smores Pie

 

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Profiteroles. As opposed to Cream Puffs which are filled with whipped cream and the occasional fruit, profiteroles are often filled with ice cream or pastry cream. I had some Earl Grey Pastry Cream left over from a previous baking project, and decided to use it as a filling for these profiteroles!

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

When I was a senior in high school, I used to work at a cream puff bakery every weekend. Some of my friends would ask me about if I ever became tired of the glorious whiff of fresh puffs baking in the oven. Yes, most definitely yes. Smelling the same smell for eight hours takes a toll. But after finishing my work there at the end of high school, I have come to love the smell once more. These puffs are inspired by my Earl Grey Pie, using both chocolate ganache and pistachios to complement the Earl Grey flavor. It’s easy to make, full of flavor, with a slight crunch on the outside while decadent on the inside.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

In a medium saucepan (it is best not to use a non-stick pan), mix together the butter, milk, water, salt, and sugar. Some recipes only call for milk, which enhances its decadence, while others only call for water, which enhances the texture. I use both to bring a little of each to the table. Turn the heat on medium and bring it to a boil.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

As soon as it reaches a boil, take the pan off the heat.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Dump the flour in, and with a wooden spoon, begin to mix to form a dough.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Once it has formed a dough ball, return it onto medium heat to cook the flour. Continue to stir it around to release any steam. Too much steam inside of the pastry may cause it to be too moist on the inside.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

You will know when the flour is cooked when a thin layer of dough begins to coat the bottom of the pan.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Turn off the heat and allow it to slightly cool. You can spread it out into a thin layer in the pan to let it cool faster. Form a well.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Once the dough is cool enough to touch, crack one egg into the well, then begin to stir vigorously. You do not want to cook the egg and make scrambled eggs. That’s why its important to allow it to slightly cool and use room temperature eggs.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

At first it may seem lumpy and gooey, but continue to beat the two together with the wooden spoon. Once it becomes one smooth mixture, form another well, crack the second egg in, and mix once more.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

By now, the dough should be a smooth, shiny yellow blob. The dough should be able to drop off the spoon when it is lifted out.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Take a pastry bag and fit it with a large round piping tip. I am using the Wilton 1A. To prevent the top from getting messy, fold the bag inside out over your hand.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Transfer the dough into the bag. You may want to use a rubber spatula to help make the transfer easier.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

On a silicon mat or parchment paper, pipe straight down, while slowly pulling up. Some people make swirls, but that will create lopsided puffs.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

As there are points, dab your finger in water and press all the peaks down.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

These golden blobs are ready for the oven! Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until it is golden brown all over.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

They came out so beautiful! Perfectly puffed, nicely golden, and the kitchen smells incredible! Transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. While it’s cooling, you can get the filling and topping ready.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

This was the Earl Grey Pastry Cream I had left. It is absolutely decadent, not too sweet, but still full of flavor. For a full step by step tutorial, click on the link.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Transfer it to a pastry bag. I had it fitted with a Wilton 10 tip, but any medium round tip will do. Refrigerate until you are ready to use it.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Give the pistachios a rough chop.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Then, make the chocolate ganache sauce. Simply pour the cream into a glass bowl and microwave until it begins to bubble. Add in the chocolate chips and gently mix until it forms a smooth mixture.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Once the puffs have cooled, they may be filled. Find an area on the puff that is soft and poke the piping tip in. Fill the puff with pastry cream.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

After they have all been filled, take a fork, and drizzle the chocolate ganache sauce over the top of the puffs. If the ganache has cooled down and thickened, place it back in the microwave to heat it up.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Move the puffs to a serving platter and sprinkle pistachios all over before the chocolate cools.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Each puff is beautifully filled. The chocolate ganache drizzle is just enough to complement the flavor of the Earl Grey, as the crunch from the pastry and pistachios complement the smoothness from the cream. Hope you give it a try!

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup milk

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp flour

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 c pistachios, chopped

Chocolate Ganache Sauce, recipe below

1 1/2 cup Earl Grey Pastry Cream, recipe below (**must be made several hours in advance**)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium sauce pan (not a non-stick), over medium heat, add the butter, milk, water, salt, and sugar, and bring it to a boil.
  3. Once it begins to boil, remove the pan from the heat and add all of the flour.
  4. With a wooden spoon, mix the flour into the liquid to form a dough ball.
  5. Return the pan to medium heat and cook the dough. You will know it is cooked when a thin layer of dough begins to coat the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat.
  6. Allow the dough to slightly cool. When it is cool enough to touch, form a well in the dough.
  7. Crack one egg into the well and quickly beat the egg into the dough. Be sure not to let the egg cook on any hot surface. The mixture will seem gooey at first but it will eventually form a smooth mixture. Then, add in the second egg and mix until the mixture is smooth and shiny.
  8. Transfer the dough into a piping bag with a Wilton 1A, or any other large round tip. Pipe the dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
  9. Once it has all been piped, wet your finger with water then push down all of the pointy peaks of each puff.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until it is golden brown.
  11. Transfer them to cooling racks and allow them to completely cool. Meanwhile, prepare the ganache, pistachios, and transfer the pastry cream into a piping bag with a round tip.
  12. Once it is cooled, find a soft spot on the side of the puff and poke the pastry cream tip inside. Fill with pastry cream. Repeat for all of the puffs.
  13. Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate ganache sauce over the tops, and sprinkle with pistachios.

Chocolate Ganache Sauce

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

3 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a small glass bowl, heat the heavy whipping cream in a microwave for 20-30 seconds, until it just starts to bubble. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until it is one smooth mixture. It will firm up as it cools. It may be refrigerated and stored for a week. To bring it back to its sauce consistency, simply place it back into the microwave for 15 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval until it is completely melted again.

Earl Grey Pastry Cream

adapted from Tartine Bakery’s Pastry Cream

2 cups milk

5 bags Earl Grey Tea Bags (Twinings Earl Grey)

1/4 tsp salt

5 Tbsp cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

Heat the milk, tea bags, and salt in a sauce pan on low for 5-10 minutes, constantly stirring until the color turns a medium-light grey color. If some tea leaves fall out, it is okay, you will strain it out later. Once it has reached the desired color, bring the milk to a gentle boil. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, sugar, and eggs in a medium bowl until thick and smooth. When the milk is at a boil, take it off the heat. Place a strainer over the egg mixture. Pour half of the boiling milk through the strainer into the egg mixture to temper the eggs, making sure to whisk vigorously to prevent the eggs from cooking.  Once all of the milk has been mixed in, return this mixture into the saucepan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until the cornstarch cooks and the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and add butter and whisk until smooth and completely incorporated. Pour into a heatproof bowl and place plastic wrap on the surface of the cream to cool to avoid the creation of a “skin” layer. Allow to cool completely before using, about 3-4 hours. The cooled earl grey pastry cream should be very firm, needing to be lightened with whipped cream before using.

Earl Grey and Pistachio Profiteroles

 

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

The marriage of bacon and maple. I’ve always seen bacon and maple donuts as well as bacon and maple cupcakes, but haven’t seen very much of them on a cookie. For work this week, we are hosting an event in which two chefs will be teaching a cooking demonstration as the audience learns and eats. The theme for the night is bacon and when I was asked to make a small treat to put into their gift bags, the first thing that came to mind were the marriage of bacon and maple.

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

At first, I wanted to do a cupcake, but it would have been harder to gift wrap and put in a box as the frosting makes it more fragile. Maybe in the future I’ll come up with something bacon and cupcake related but for this, I ended up meshing the flavors of bacon and maple with my beloved chocolate chip cookie recipe that has been tried and true since I was in seventh grade. To it, I simply added chopped bacon and drizzled on a maple icing on top. While the actual taste of bacon very subtle, it adds a hint of salt and savory flavor that pairs well with the chocolate!

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

To begin, you need bacon. For this event, I had to make 160 cookies and ended up using 6 pounds of bacon. Yes, that is SIX POUNDS. But keep in mind that I double fried the bacon, rendering off as much of the fat as possible. So really, it came out to about 2-3 pounds that I actually used. The recipe that is put below is for a standard batch of 2 dozen cookies.

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

The above bacon is only half of what I used. Fry up the bacon until it has a beautiful golden color on both sides and remove from the heat, draining off as much of the fat as possible.

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Next, you want to get it into small pieces. You can use a knife to chop it up, but I find scissors are much sharper and faster at getting the job done.

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now, we go back for the second fry. This removes any of the excess bacon fat…trust me, you’ll be surprised at how much fat will still come off the bacon meat! Once you think it has reached its peak and has removed as much fat as possible, place the bacon bits through a fine mesh strainer and drain out any of the extra oil. Place it in a bowl to cool down.

Now that you have your bacon, it’s time to make the classic chocolate chip cookies. To begin, cream together the butter and shortening. Slowly add the granulated sugar, then the brown sugar. Beat until well combined and scrape down the bowl.

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Next, add in the eggs, one at a time and make sure it is fully mixed in before adding in the next! It’ll start to really get nice and fluffy at this point! Then, add in the vanilla.

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

After this stage, most recipes will have you add in the dry ingredients, but lucky for you, you have come to the right place as this recipe is not like most recipes. Add in the two bags of chocolate chips. The mixer will get a little bumpy so you might want to lock it in place. I like adding in the chocolate at this point as opposed to folding it in after as it sweetens and deepens the flavor of the actual cookie as bits of chocolate get pressed into the dough. Also, adding it in now will prevent any over mixing of the batter once the flour is added in.

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Beautiful. Now, sift in the dry ingredients. It’s very important to sift as it will allow your dough to not only be lump free, but to be light and airy. As soon as the dry ingredients have been mixed in, the dough is ready to be baconed up. Depending on how much you love bacon, you can either add more or less. I added two cups of bacon per batch of cookies. Just remember to save some bacon to the side so you have something to garnish the cookies with!

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fold the bacon into the dough and use an ice cream scoop to drop the cookie dough batter onto parchment paper. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Allow them to cool completely before icing them. To make the icing, simply combine the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and heavy whipping cream and whisk in a bowl until smooth and lump free. The quantities of how much whipping cream you use will vary depending on the consistency of you maple syrup. Some syrups are thicker than others, so if it is thicker, use more whipping cream. If it is a thinner consistency, use less and adjust accordingly.

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Use a fork and dip it into the icing and shake it back and forth on top of the cookies. This will give it a messy but chic design. Garnish the tops with bacon bits before the icing sets!

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

An insane amount of cookies makes me dizzy just looking at it.

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bacon & Maple Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 2 dozen cookies
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1 lb applewood bacon

1 stick unsalted butter, room temp

1/4 c shortening

1/3 c sugar

1 c packed light brown sugar

2 Tbsp molasses

2 medium eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 c all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 c semisweet chocolate chips

Maple Icing (recipe below)

Remove the bacon from its packaging and fry until both sides are golden and crispy. Drain the pan from any bacon fat. Chop the bacon up into small pieces with either scissors or a knife. Return to the skillet and fry one more time to render off any of the fat that is still existing. Once the majority of the fat has rendered off, scoop the bacon bits into a fine mesh strainer and drain the left over oil off. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until fully combined. Slowly add in the granulated sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the brown sugar and continue to mix until fully incorporated. Add the molasses, eggs, and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix on low speed.

Sift in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in all but 1/4 cup of the bacon, saving that portion to garnish. Using an ice cream scoop, drop the cookie dough onto parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown and slightly browned on the edges. Allow them to completely cool before transferring to a cooling rack.

Maple Icing

1 1/2 c powdered sugar

1/3 c maple syrup

1/4 c heavy whipping cream

In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, syrup, and cream until it is lump free and smooth. Depending on the thickness of both the syrup and creams, you may have to adjust the recipe as you go to get the right consistency.

Once the cookies have been baked and cooled, use a fork and dip it into the icing. Shake the fork back and forth across the top of the cookies, then garnish with the reserved 1/4 cup of bacon.

Cakey Brownies

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This has been an absolute whirlwind of a week! School has begun once more, and with that comes the long 6 hour drive down, the moving in, unpacking, and getting everything settled. Class has already started and it has been very bittersweet for me as this is also my final semester before graduating in December. In the midst of this, I was asked by a couple to bake for their adoption fundraiser they were having this weekend. I have known them since I could remember and they are now adopting their second child!! To learn more about their adoption process, head over to their own blog page, One More Blessing, to find out more about their journey!

Cakey Brownies

I was very honored to have been asked to bake for their fundraise! To help their efforts, I baked a Chocolatey Chocolate Sprinkles Cake, a Carrot Cake, my red velvet whoopie pies, chocolate chip cookies, and a pan of brownies for their bake sale.  These are all of my classic recipe that I have made well over ten times each and is always a crowd pleaser. In the past, I have made my Classic Brownies which are brownies with more of a fudge consistency, but since we already have an intense chocolate cake, I decided to make a cakey brownie instead, which is more gentle with the chocolate flavor. This version takes almost the same ingredients and concept as the Classic brownies, but by substituting half of the chocolate chips for cocoa powder, it creates a much lighter and cakier brownie!

Over a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate chips. Remove from the heat, then, add the sugar and whisk until fully incorporated. The mixture will be grainy, but that is okay. Quickly whisk the eggs in one at a time, as you do not want the hot chocolate mixture to cook the eggs.

Cakey Brownies

Once that is completely mixed through, sift in the dry ingredients.

Cakey Brownies

Whisk until just combined. Pour into a 9×13 inch pan that is lined with parchment paper, and smooth out the top. LOOK AT THAT BEAUTY!!

Cakey Brownies

Bake for 25-30 minutes in a oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. The top will be shiny and gorgeously crackly.

Cakey Brownies

Allow it to completely cool before slicing in. You could eat it while it is still warm, but then some of the steam will escape and cause the brownies to be dry. Waiting until it is completely cooled will allow the moisture to remain inside.

Cakey Brownies

By just changing one ingredient, you can turn a brownie from a fudge to a cake consistency!!

Cakey Brownies

Cakey Brownies

  • Servings: 12 brownies
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recipe adapted from Classic Brownies

2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 c unsalted butter (1 stick)

1 c sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 c all purpose flour

1/4 c cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper.

Over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and butter until completely melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar. Add the eggs in one at a time, whisking completely to incorporate. Add the vanilla, whisk, then sift in the dry ingredients. Whisk until just combined, then pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to completely cool before serving!

Chocolate Sponge Roll

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Sponge rolls, also known as swiss rolls, have long been a favorite cake of mine! It is very light in texture without being too overpoweringly heavy with sweetness. I’ve posted about the Chinese Sponge Cake a while back and even added fresh cream and strawberries to it. This time, I decided to switch things up and made a chocolate flavored one with a fresh cream filling.

To begin, you want to separate your yolks from your whites. You will have an extra egg white which you can save for another use.

Chocolate Sponge Rolls

Add the sugar to your yolks and whisk vigorously until the color has lightened and thickened. If you are smarter than I was, you would either use a hand or the stand mixer to use. Unfortunately I was too lazy to wash the bowl and whisk attachment and thus, painfully whisked it by hand.

Chocolate Sponge Rolls

Next, sift in the cake flour and cocoa powder. You want this mixture to be as lump free as possible!

Chocolate Sponge Rolls

Whisk, until the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and the mixture is thick.

After your yolk mixture is complete, it’s time to work on the egg whites! Whip up your whites until it reaches a stiff peak. Don’t over mix them otherwise your cake will bake out to be very dry.

Chocolate Sponge Rolls

Add half of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate yolk mixture and whisk until it has lightened. Then, add in the rest of the egg whites and mix until smooth. Then, add in the milk and oil and whisk until combined. Towards the end, I switched to a rubber spatula to make sure the bottom of the bowl was also mixed in.

Pour the batter into a 9 x 13 inch pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Spread the mixture out evenly and drop the pan onto the counter several times to release any air bubbles that may be trapped inside.

Chocolate Sponge Rolls

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until the cake springs back when a finger is gently pushed into it. Remove from the pan and allow it to slightly cool for about 5 minutes.

Chocolate Sponge Rolls

Take a new sheet of parchment paper, lay it on top of the cake, and flip it upside down so that the the top of the cake becomes the bottom. Slowly, peel off the old parchment paper.

Chocolate Sponge Rolls

There are different ways people roll their sponge rolls. Some people wait for them to cool completely before rolling, but I actually like to roll mine while it is still hot, as the cake is more flexible and less prone to cracking. To do so, take a tea towel and cover the cake, exposing only about an inch of cake.

Chocolate Sponge Rolls

Fold the exposed portion over the tea towel and begin to gently roll the cake and parchment paper into a log.

Chocolate Sponge Rolls

Once it is completely rolled, allow it to cool to room temperature.

Chocolate Sponge Rolls

As the cake is cooling, whip the cream. When the cake is completely cooled, gently unroll the cake from the towel and spread a thin layer of cream across the top. As you roll it back up, use the parchment paper to help keep it very tight and evenly round.

Refrigerate the entire roll for 10 minutes to allow it to set, then when ready to eat, remove the parchment paper, slice the cake up into one inch slices, and feast! Careful not to get too carried away! I told myself I would only “taste test” one slice but that quickly turned into two slices before I even cut the rest of the cake!

Chocolate Sponge Rolls

Chocolate Sponge Roll

  • Servings: 13 mini rolls
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4 egg yolks

1 Tbsp + 2 tsp granulated sugar

1/4 c cake flour

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cocoa powder

3 egg whites

3 Tbsp granulated sugar

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 Tbsp half and half

1/3 c heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9 by 13 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 1 Tbsp + 2 tsp granualted sugar. You can either hand whisk it, use a stand mixer, or hand mixer. Mix until it has thickened and pales in color. Sift in the cake flour and cocoa powder and with a and held whisk, gently combine both mixtures until thoroughly incorporated and lump free. The mixture will be thick. Set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, whip up the egg whites and 3 Tbsp sugar using a hand mixer or stand mixer until stiff peaks are reached. Add half into the chocolate yolk mixture and gently whisk together until the chocolate mixture has lightened and is not as thick. Add in the rest of the egg whites and whisk until it is a homogeneous mixture and no streaks of white or chocolate remain. Pour in the oil and half and half and whisk in completely. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom to ensure every bit is mixed in. Pour into the prepared pan, spread it out evenly, then drop the pan onto the counter top to release any air bubbles. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cake springs back when it is gently pushed down with a finger.

To Assemble

Slide the cake out from the pan and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Using a new piece of parchment, cover the top of the cake and flip the cake upside down. The top of the cake is now the bottom, resting on the new parchment and the bottom is now the top, with the old parchment. Gently peel off the old parchment paper. To roll, place a tea towel on top where the old parchment was, exposing about one inch of cake on it’s long side. Fold the exposed portion of the cake over the tea towel, then begin to roll, using the parchment paper to help. Try to keep even pressure so it is evenly round throughout. Once completely rolled, allow it to cool to room temperature.

As it is cooling, whip the cream until it is stiff. Once the cake is cooled, you can gently unroll it out of the tea towel and parchment paper. Spread the whipped cream into a thin layer across the inside and tightly roll the cake back up. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to allow it to set and when ready to serve, slice into 1 inch slices and enjoy!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

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I would like to start off by apologizing to you, as I am about to introduce you to a product that may add 10 pounds or 5 extra cavities to your body. Thanks to the Pioneer Woman, I have discovered this:

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It’s CARAMEL IN A CAN. Absolutely genius. I forgot which episode I saw her use this on, but Ree Drummond, I thank you. I could eat this by the spoonful and this is always going to be stocked in my pantry from now on. With that, I had the inspiration to use this can to make salted caramel chocolate cupcakes.

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If you know me and the recipes I use, you would know that my absolute favorite and most used recipe is the Chocolate Cake recipe by Ina Garten. I have used it on countless occasions and it never fails me. With that, I turned her cake into a cupcake.

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Though the measurements may be slightly different, the process is entirely the same. Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.

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In a pyrex measuring cup, measure out the wet ingredients.

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Combine the dry and the wet, whisking until just combined. Next, add the hot coffee. The mixture will thin out and become watery. Using a large ice cream scoop, ladle the batter evenly into the cupcake tins.

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As it is baking, prepare the buttercream. Whisk the butter and powder sugar until combined. Add the whipping cream and beat until light and fluffy. Then, add in 3/4 of the can of caramel and salt. Whip until it is thoroughly combined.

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Once the cupcakes are cooled, you can frost them however you’d like! To drizzle the caramel, transfer the caramel to a glass container and heat for 15-20 seconds.

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Drizzle on the chocolate ganache and sprinkle on some sea salt flakes.

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Chocolate Cupcakes

recipe adapted from Ina Garten, Food Network

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup good cocoa powder

1 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Scoop the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)

4 cups powdered sugar

3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

3/4 can of Nestle La Lechura Dulce de Leche (or any other caramel will do)

2 tsp salt

Whip together the butter and slowly add in the powdered sugar until combined. Slowly, add in the heavy whipping cream and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add in the caramel and salt and beat until fully combined.

To frost the cupcakes, you can use any kind of tip you would like. I used a 1A Wilton Piping tip to pipe a giant dollop of frosting on the cupcake, then went back with a straight spatula and hallowed out the centers. Transfer the remaining 1/4 cup of caramel in a glass bowl for 20 seconds and drizzle across the tops of the cupcakes.

Chocolate Ganache

1/4 c heavy whipping cream

1/4 c chocolate morsels

In a glass bowl, heat up the heavy whipping cream in a microwave until bubbly. Pour in the chocolate chips and stir until completely glossy and combined. Drizzle onto the cupcakes. Then, use sea salt flakes to sprinkle onto the tops and serve!

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Ultimate S’mores Brownie

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I have been craving brownies for goodness knows how long. It’s been probably a month or so? Now when I finally had a chance to make them, I decided, why go classic when you can go ultimate with s’mores brownies?! After all, it is summer and camping season and even though California no longer allows fire pits in fear of forrest fires due to the drought, s’mores SCREAM summer! It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the graham cracker-chocolate-marshmallow combination; I’ve made s’mores cupcakes, s’mores cake, chocolate chip s’mores cookies, and so it was about time to make them into brownies. I used the same graham cracker recipe that I use for my cheesecakes and pudding pies and the same homemade marshmallow recipe. The only thing new is the brownie batter, which I have changed from my previous Classic Brownies. I decided to change this recipe because I wanted my brownie to be gooey-er in texture to go with the whole s’mores theme.

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First, you want to melt the butter and chocolate over a double boiler.

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While that’s going, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a separate bowl and set aside.

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Once the chocolate and butter has all melted to form this silky texture, remove from heat and set aside to slightly cool.

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As it is cooling, prepare your graham cracker crust and bake until the top is golden brown.

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Now while the graham crackers are baking and the chocolate has slightly cooled, whisk together the egg mixture with the chocolate mixture.

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I didn’t realize how much batter I would be making! Should have used a larger bowl….

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Next, sift in the dry ingredients and fold it together until just incorporated!

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Lumps are okay!!

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Pour into your baked graham cracker crust and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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As that is baking, make the marshmallows. Details of this can be found on a video in my post on S’mores Cookies.

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What was supposed to be a 30 minute bake turned into 1 hr 20 minutes. Can you see all the times I tested it for completion? I didn’t worry about the holes since I was going to cover it with my marshmallows anyways.

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Pour on the marshmallow fluff and allow it to set for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Then, set it in the oven under a broiler for it to turn golden brown. Make sure you watch it at all times as it will quickly burn!

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Take a sharp knife and cut large squares of this glorious s’mores brownies! I mean, LOOK AT IT! Oober gooey, oober chocolatey, and oober delish. Craving definitely satisfied!

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Ultimate S’mores Brownies

makes 12 large brownie squares

Butter and flour a 9X13 inch pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, set aside.

Graham Cracker crust:

18 full graham cracker sheets

1/3 c sugar

3/4 c melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place graham crackers into a large gallon freezer ziplock bag. Finely grind and crush them with a rolling pin until almost powder consistency. Add sugar and melted butter and toss around in sealed bag until fully incorporated. Pour out into prepared pan and using the bottom of a measuring cup, firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the pan, creating an even layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes until it is golden brown and toasted.

Brownie:

recipe adapted from, From the Kitchen Table

***The conversion from metric grams to US cups are the closest approximation. If possible, use the metric gram unit for more precision**

375 g (1 1/2 c + 3 Tbsp) unsalted butter

345 g (1 3/4 c) semisweet chocolate

500 g (2 1/3 c) sugar

60 g (1/2 c) Unsweetened cocoa powder

6 large eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

225 g (1 1/2 c + 2 Tbsp) flour

1 tsp salt

Melt the butter and the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water, this melts the chocolate and butter slowly to ensure it stays smooth. When the chocolate and butter is completely melted take it off the heat and put to the side to cool a little

Put the sugar in a separate bowl and beat together with the eggs and the vanilla extract. Slowly mix in the melted chocolate and butter.

Sift in the flour, cocoa and salt and then fold together until just incorporated.

Pour into the prepared baking tin and spread it into an even layer.

Bake for 1 hr to 1 hr 20 minutes until the surface is flaky and cracked. Leave to cool before adding the marshmallow.

Marshmallow Fluff 

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup light corn syrup

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons powdered gelatin

2 tablespoons cold water

2 egg whites, room temp

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and slowly pour the syrup as the whites continue to beat. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until it has thickened.

**Tip: To see if the sugar syrup has reached a soft ball stage, fill a ramekin or small tea cup with room temperature water. Take a small spoonful of the syrup and drizzle some in. With your finger, you should be able to pick up and form a small, soft, malleable sugar ball in the water. If it dissolves into the water, it is still too soft. If the ball formed is not malleable and too rock solid, it has become a “hard ball” stage and cannot be used.

Spread onto the slightly cooked brownie, then allow it to set for 10-20 minutes. Place it under a broiler in the oven and allow it to brown on the top. Make sure to keep watch as it can easily burn!