heavy whipping cream

Nutella embodied in a Shot

It’s no secret… I’m a big fan of the Chocolate-Hazelnut flavor combination.

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Demystifying French Macarons

After too many takes and edits to mention, I finally finished my Project Food Blog entry for challenge #7 titled “Video 411”. Oh, and you do realize that I’ve only made it this far because of you, right? I just wanted to make sure that was clear. :)

Well, for this challenge we were asked to bring out our inner [insert your favorite TV celebrity chef here] and share one of our favorite recipes with you via video.

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Brownie Scones

Boy do I have a great recipe to share with you today. This recipe is adapted from Unplugged Baking by Nicole Rees.

As I was flipping through the pages of Baking Unplugged I came upon this specific recipe – Brownie Scones, as you probably guessed… the flipping immediately stopped and the reading began!

The first eight words on that page were all I needed to read before I started pulling ingredients out of the pantry.

This is my favorite recipe in the book.

Hungry for more Brownie Scones?

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525,600 minutes measured in sweets

Well everyone, today my little blog is 525,600 minutes old +/- depending on what time you read this post. 😉

So, I thought it would be the perfect day to share with you how I measured this year:

“In daylights, in sunsets,
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

How about love?

How about love?

How about love?

Measure in love.”

OK, enough with the mushy stuff… let’s celebrate!

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake
What better way to celebrate than with a slice of cake right? This cake was inspired by the little “TLC Cake Crew” image I proudly began displaying on my blog as of April.

Devil’s Food Cake
adapted from Baking Illustrated by the Editors Of Cook’s Illustrated

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa
1 1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup plain cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate covered cocoa nibs (optional garnish)
9 large strawberries (optional garnish)

Position racks in the bottom and top thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter three 9×2-inch round cake pans and line each with a parchment round. Butter the parchment, then dust with flour and knock out the excess or spray them with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine the chopped chocolate and cocoa in a medium bowl, pour the boiling water over it and whisk until smooth. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until combined for about 3 minutes.

Reduce the speed to medium; add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined, for about 10 seconds. On low speed start adding about 1/3 of the flour mixture then about 1/2 of the chocolate mixture, repeat and and with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined, about 15 seconds. Make sure you don’t over beat the batter.

Remove the bowl from the mixer; scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and stir gently to thoroughly combine.

Devils Food Cake Batter ready for the oven
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans and smooth the batter to the edges of each pan with a rubber spatula. Place 2 pans on the lower middle rack and 1 on the upper-middle rack. bake the cakes until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 18-21 minutes.

Devil's Food Cake right out of the oven
Cool the cakes on a wire rack 15-20 minutes. Run a knife around each pan perimeter to loosen. Make sure the cakes have cooled off completely before you assemble the cake.

Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-1/4 cups Nutella
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
milk

Cream together the butter and shortening. Whisk together the cocoa and sugar, and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Add one tablespoon of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. Finally add the hazelnut spread and vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy.

Chocolate Hazelnut Crumb Coat
Devil's Food Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Ganache

1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan heat up the heavy cream, make sure it doesn’t come to a boil. Stir in the chocolate chips and whisk to combine. It’s ready to use once it has cooled down to room temperature.

Devil's Food Chocolate Cake

To Assemble
Place a thick layer of Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting between each layer of devil’s food cake. Then coat the entire cake with a thin layer of the frosting and place in the refrigerator to harden. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and finish frosting the cake with a thick layer of frosting.

Place a ring of chocolate covered cocoa nibs on the base of the cake. Drizzle the cake with ganache starting from the center. Dip the strawberries in the ganache and place on top of the cake.

Snippit “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical Rent, written and composed by Jonathan Larson

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Doesn’t that look yummy?

As you may or may not know I absolutely love Ice Cream.

Today I wanted to share two things with you:

1. A yummy Ice Cream recipe
2. A chance to win an Ice Cream Maker of your own

CSN Stores which is a collection of over 200 stores that sell everything from home Bars to the latest in kitchen appliances and cookware, my personal favorite.

Well, they have paired up with me and generously offered to present one of my Dreamy Readers with this fabulous Ice Cream Maker:

Now for the yummy Ice Cream Recipe… I altered David’s recipe slightly, the original called for Oatmeal Praline pieces and Raisins.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I swapped out the raisins for mini chocolate chips so I wouldn’t end up being the only one eating this at home. (My boys don’t care much for raisins…)

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Oatmeal Praline

3/4 cup (75 g) rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
pinch of coarse salt

Preheat oven to 350 F

Line a baking sheet with foil, spread the oats evenly on the sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice while baking, until the oats are fragrant and nicely toasted. Remove from oven.

Spread the sugar in a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet and cook over medium heat, watching it carefully.

When it begins to liquefy and darken at the edges, use a heatproof spatula to stir it very gently, encouraging the heat of the liquefied sugar around the edges to moisten and melt the sugar crystals in the center. Tilt the pan and stir gently until all the sugar is melted and the caramel begins to smoke.

Once the mixture is deep golden, remove it from the heat and immediately add the oats to the skillet (lift the foil to guide them in quickly).

Return the foil to the baking sheet.

Stir the oats gently but quickly, coating them with the caramel. Scrape the oats onto the foil-lined baking sheet and spread them as well as possible. Sprinkle with the salt and let cool completely. Once firm, break the pralined oats into small pieces by pulsing them in a food processor or placing the pieces in a heavy-duty plastic bag and smacking them with a mallet or rolling pin.

Set aside, or can be stored for up to 1 week in an airtight container in the freezer or at room temperature.

Ice Cream

1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups (500 ml) heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup (70 g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 large eggs yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Warm the milk, granulated sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan.

Whisk the cream, brown sugar, and cinnamon together into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks 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.

Pour the custard through the trainer and stir it into the cream. Mix in the vanilla and stir until coll over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

During the last few minutes of churning, add the chocolate chips and oatmeal praline.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

To enter the contest:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite ice cream flavor. I personally have a problem picking just one…

2. This contest is open to all US or Canadian residents.

3. Don’t forget to leave me your email address in the comment form (it will not be published) so that I am able to contact you if you win.

For extra opportunities to win you can also do one or more of the following:

a) Follow me @DaydreamerDsrts on Twitter and leave me a comment saying you are a follower. If you were already a follower leave me a comment as well.

b) Become a Daydreamer Desserts Fan on Facebook and leave me a comment saying you are a fan. If you are already a fan let me know in a separate comment as well.

c) Tweet about my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker giveaway and leave me a comment with the link to your tweet.

d) Post about my giveaway on Facebook and leave me a comment with a link to your update.

e) Subscribe to Daydreamer Desserts via my RSS Feed And yep, you guess it… leave me a comment if you are now subscribed or if you already were subscribed to my feed.

Giveaway Details:

One (1) Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker to be given away.

One winner will be chosen at random for this giveaway.

Deadline to enter: Saturday April 10, 2010 11:59 PST

Winner announced: Sunday April 11, 2010

Good luck everyone!

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