Monthly Archives: March 2014

Chocolate-Topped Crispy Bars

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After an amazing weekend reacquainting myself with good friends and family, I think chocolate is required. These Chocolate-Topped Crispy Bars are a light and easy to make dessert for any time or share as a packaged gift. #ChocolatefriendsofTenaciousM enjoy!!

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Serves 24| Hands-On Time: 15m| Total Time: 1hr 00m

Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
6 cups rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
12 ounces chocolate

Directions
1.In a large saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt the butter and marshmallows, stirring until smooth, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the cereal and stir until coated and combined. Press into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
2.Roughly chop the chocolate and place it in a heatproof bowl set over (but not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Spread the chocolate evenly over the rice mixture.
3.Cover and refrigerate 45 minutes. Cut into 24 squares.

Sunday Reflections

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Proverbs 18:21

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

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Triple Chocolate Cookies

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Triple Chocolate Cookies 1

Chocolate lovers will be delighted over Triple Chocolate Cookies with chopped semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate chips inside the cookies and melted white chocolate on the outside.

Ingredients

10 tablespoon (1 stick plus 2 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 cups white chocolate chips
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Triple Chocolate Cookies 2

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. In a heavy medium saucepan over low heat, melt 2 Tbsp. butter with semisweet chocolate, stirring until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly.
2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt onto a sheet of parchment. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat remaining 8 Tbsp. butter with sugar until light, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and add eggs 1 at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. (Batter will look curdled.) Beat in melted chocolate mixture and vanilla until smooth. On lowest mixer speed, stir in flour mixture and then milk chocolate chips.
3. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart on baking sheets and bake until edges are firm, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through. Let cool on sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes, then remove cookies to racks to cool completely.
4. In a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let water boil), melt white chocolate chips with shortening, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from pan and let mixture cool slightly. Dip half of each cookie in white chocolate mixture, letting excess drip off. Place on waxed paper or parchment and let stand until chocolate has set.

Over The Hump Old School Sound Check-Heatwave

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Happy Thursday #musicfriendsofTenaciousM!

Heatwave is an international funk/disco band featuring Americans Johnnie Wilder, Jr. and Keith Wilder of Dayton, Ohio, Englishman Rod Temperton, Swiss Mario Mantese, Czechoslovak Ernest “Bilbo” Berger, Jamaican Eric Johns and Briton Roy Carter. They were known for their successful songs “Boogie Nights”, “Always and Forever”, and “The Groove Line”.Credit: Wikipedia

Chocolate-Chip Cookies with Red Miso Buttercream

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Get that classic sugar-salt combination by spreading these crisp-chewy chocolate-chip cookies with a rich, sweet-savory miso buttercream that’s flecked with minced lemon verbena.

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Yields: 3 1/2 dozen cookies
Total Time: 1 hr 30 min
Cook Time: 30 min

Ingredients

2 stick(s) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup(s) granulated sugar
1 cup(s) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
2 teaspoon(s) hot water
3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
2 cup(s) chopped bittersweet chocolate
Red Miso Buttercream — Red Miso Buttercream

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a standing electric mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter until creamy, 1 minute. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water and stir into batter. At low speed, beat in the flour and salt until incorporated. Add chocolate and beat just to distribute evenly.

2. Scoop 1 1/2-inch balls of dough onto lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake in center of oven, one baking sheet at a time, for 16 minutes, until golden; shift baking sheet from front to back halfway through. Let cookies cool. Serve with Red Miso Buttercream.

ODE TO T.Z.

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Standards High!

This is a poem for sad women.
It belongs to that ubiquitous, yet peculiar sect of
women who are destined to lack necessary
qualities which reap lives of gaiety and
terminal bliss.

Those who nurtured us should have warned
that women of talent encounter
ice walls which melt only for coquettish smiles.
At best, we could have known to conceal
our natural resources.

Dream Treat – Chocolate-Bourbon Tart

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This rich tart is like a dark-chocolate truffle in a crisp, flaky cocoa crust. Bourbon adds a wonderful smokiness; be sure to heat it carefully with the sugar so it doesn’t ignite.

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Yields: One 10-inch tart
Total Time: 4 hr 40 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Oven Temp: 350

Ingredients

Pastry
1 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
2 stick(s) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup(s) sugar
1/2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract

Filling
12 ounce(s) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1/2 cup(s) bourbon
1 cup(s) sugar
2 stick(s) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature
5 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions

1. Prepare the Pastry: In a small bowl, sift the flour with the cocoa powder and salt. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until it is well blended. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed until just combined. Add the vanilla extract and beat just until a soft dough forms, about 5 seconds. Press the pastry into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. On a floured work surface, working quickly, roll out the pastry to an 11-inch round, about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer the pastry to a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the pastry over the bottom and up the side of the pan. Trim off any excess pastry. Refrigerate the shell for about 20 minutes, until firm.

3. Line the pastry with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for about 30 minutes, until almost cooked. Remove the tart shell from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes, then gently remove the foil and weights. Return the shell to the oven and bake for about 12 minutes longer, until dry. Transfer to a wire rack and let the tart shell cool to room temperature. Just before filling, refrigerate the tart shell for a few minutes until slightly chilled.

4. Prepare the Filling: Put the chocolate and salt in the bowl of the standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. In a small saucepan, heat the bourbon with the sugar over moderate heat, stirring a few times, just until the sugar is dissolved; try not to let the bourbon boil. Pour the warm bourbon mixture over the chocolate. Add the pieces of butter and the eggs, and beat at moderate speed until the mixture is creamy and shiny.

5. Set the tart shell on a large baking sheet and pour in the filling. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling has risen and the top is cracked in places. Transfer the tart to a rack and let it cool completely. Unmold the tart and refrigerate it overnight. Using a sharp knife, cut the tart into thin wedges and serve.

Chocolate Blackout Cake

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This is a high-rising cake with an intensely chocolaty custard and coated with cake crumbs. #chocolatefriendsofTenaciousM enjoy!

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Yields: 8 to 10 servings
Total Time: 2 hr 30 min
Cook Time: 25 min

Ingredients

Cake
1 stick(s) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
2 1/4 cup(s) cake flour
Cake flour, for dusting
1/4 cup(s) solid vegetable shortening
2 cup(s) sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup(s) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, (See Note)
1 teaspoon(s) baking powder
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1 cup(s) milk

Filling
3 cup(s) water
2 1/2 cup(s) sugar
1 tablespoon(s) light corn syrup
1 1/2 cup(s) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, (See Note)
2/3 cup(s) cornstarch
6 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
1 pinch(s) salt

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and coat lightly with flour. Line bottoms with parchment paper. In a standing electric mixer fitted with whisk, beat 1 stick of butter with shortening until creamy. Add sugar and beat at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Add vanilla. At lowest speed, beat in cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add 2 1/4 cups of cake flour and milk in 3 separate alternating batches, scraping down side and bottom of bowl occasionally.

2. Divide cake batter between prepared pans and smooth tops. Bake in center of oven for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cakes cool for 15 minutes, then invert them onto a rack and let cool completely.

3. In a large saucepan, combine 2 1/2 cups of water with sugar, corn syrup, and cocoa powder and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. In a bowl, whisk cornstarch with remaining 1/2 cup of water until smooth; whisk into cocoa mixture. Cook over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, until very thick, 3 minutes. Turn off heat, whisk in butter, vanilla and salt. Scrape filling into a bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap onto surface of filling. Let cool, then refrigerate until firm, 45 minutes.

4. Using a serrated knife, halve each cake layer horizontally. Break up less attractive top cake layer and transfer to a food processor; pulse into crumbs. Reserve two cake bottoms and one smoother top.

5. Set one cake bottom on a cake plate and spread with 1 1/2 cups of filling. Top with second bottom layer and another 1 1/2 cups of filling. Cover with cake top and spread remaining filling over top and side. Pat crumbs all over the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Tips & Techniques

Natural cocoa powder is one of two types of unsweetened cocoa. It’s bitter and adds intense chocolate flavor to the cake. Don’t use Dutch-process or other alkalized cocoa; when combined with baking soda, it can make a cake taste soapy.

NINA’S PEDICURE

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I let the nails grow and petrify
over the toes of an old lady.
Nina, whom I love to care for
says it takes podiatry now.
Using water will clean the tool
but cannot sharpen.
That takes metal-hard strength.
Water seams weak to me,
yet it is strong enough to soften and
make a file unneeded.
Her skin has wrinkled so it must be ready.
The water proves itself and
erodes neglect that stiffens nature.
Smoothes aging lines that go deep
like basement rock
Boars through without fizz or drill
And lets me trim and buff and
Polish eight – blood red.
I leave the big toes clean to see my work
And gain some balance.