Archives for posts with tag: dessert

Pinterest dreams do come true! I came across a Rice Krispie treat cake awhile ago and knew I had to make it for my good friend Michelle. She’s gluten free and loves her some rice krispie treats! So I held onto that idea for her birthday and after lots of not so patient waiting I finally got to make it.

Not my normal cake making ingredients

Not my normal cake making ingredients

Cocoa krispie rice krispie treats patted into a springform pan.

Cocoa krispie rice krispie treats patted into a springform pan.

Two layers sitting out to dry

Two layers sitting out to dry

Time to stack the cake with Marshmallow Fluff frosting.

Time to stack the cake with Marshmallow Fluff frosting.

Hmmm... turns out that frosting makes a better filling. The cake spent the night in the fridge to try to keep some of it from sliding off.

Hmmm… turns out that frosting makes a better filling. The cake spent the night in the fridge to try to keep some of it from sliding off.

Time for sprinkles. It's a lumpy bumpy cake, but sprinkles help.

Time for sprinkles. It’s a lumpy bumpy cake, but sprinkles help.

Maybe the sweetest dessert I've ever made. Tasty and fun, and we already have lots of combo ideas for future versions!

Maybe the sweetest dessert I’ve ever made. Tasty and fun, and we already have lots of combo ideas for future versions!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year we thought we ruined the chocolates and they were perfect. This year we got lazy and paid the price…

We were both over whelmed, feeling the stress of the holidays and decided to try and be nice to ourselves during the chocolate making process. We sat on the couch and talked now and then, we ate three meals of real food and there may have been wine. And there may also have been chocolate that wasn’t well tempered. The problem is, you don’t know how the tempering process went until you’re 10 hours in and there’s no going back. It was time to take the chocolates out of the molds and well, they didn’t come out. There was mild panic as we tried again and then as the realization sunk in that they might not come out at all the real panic began. After some freezer sessions and some serious banging of the molds outside where we could make more noise, we finally got (almost) all of the chocolates out of the molds. They weren’t perfect, but at that point at least they existed and we new that our friends & family would appreciate the story, appreciate that we tried to enjoy the process and most of all appreciate the fact that they still tasted amazing!

The adventure begin early this year - testing various combinations for the centers. Here are two versions using Apple Cider Syrup. One was apple cider caramel and the other an apple cider, vanilla and white chocolate ganache. We went with the ganache - aka Apple Pie Alamode (although I forgot to add the cinnamon to the final batch).

The adventure begin early this year – testing various combinations for the centers. Here are two versions using Apple Cider Syrup. One was apple cider caramel and the other an apple cider, vanilla and white chocolate ganache. We went with the ganache – aka Apple Pie A la mode (although I forgot to add the cinnamon to the final batch).

Next up - my favorite chocolate combination - Passion Fruit! I tried four, passion fruit gelato jell and the most incredible passion fruit jam. Each with white and milk chocolate. The passionfruit jam with milk chocolate was the clear winner (and I think the overall chocolate winner of the year, but I'm biased)

Next up – my favorite chocolate combination – Passion Fruit! I tried four: passion fruit gelato jell and the most incredible passion fruit jam, each with white and milk chocolate. The passion fruit jam with milk chocolate was the clear winner (and I think the overall chocolate winner of the year, but I’m biased)

The four centers: Apple Pie A la Mode, Passion Fruit, Burnt (really burnt - oops) Caramel, and a Dark Milk Chocolate to pair with the Honey Roasted Peanut Butter

The four centers: Apple Pie A la Mode, Passion Fruit, Burnt (really burnt – oops) Caramel, and a Dark Milk Chocolate to pair with the Honey Roasted Peanut Butter

Five pounds of beautiful bittersweet chocolate.

Five pounds of beautiful bittersweet chocolate.

Four molds at the ready.

Four molds at the ready.

Getting there - Shells have been set, fillings are in, sealing them and then futile attempts to release them are still to come.

Getting there – Shells have been set, fillings are in, sealing them and then futile attempts to release them are still to come.

While the chocolates set, we used the extra to dip Swedish Fish (addictive!), pretzels and apricots. And to make bark: peppermint candy, dried nuts & fruit, and cashew, toffee & sea salt.

While the chocolates set, we used the extra to dip Swedish Fish (addictive!), pretzels and apricots. And to make bark: peppermint candy, dried nuts & fruit, and cashew, toffee & sea salt.

We blame the wine, for this year's not so perfectly tempered chocolates.

We blame the wine, for this year’s not so perfectly tempered chocolates.

My other favorite part - packaging them up!

My other favorite part – packaging them up!

To continue the chocolate theme, I had a Hot Chocolate Bar set-up for friends as they came to pick-up their chocolates.

To continue the chocolate theme, I had a Hot Chocolate Bar set-up for friends as they came to pick-up their chocolates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I realized I’ve had a string of sewing/crafting posts so it seemed like well past time to share some baking delights. And this morning provided a couple tasty subjects.

We had a baby shower for a good friend today and I’d been trying to think of what sweet things to make for her. She loves salted caramel, so this recipe from Smitten Kitchen was a no-brainer since I know I can trust that her recipes will turn out even on the first try.  So what to pair with it? Something non-chocolate? Then it hit me… this baby made her mama extra nauseous early in the pregnancy and one of the only things that sounded good were pop-tarts (and hot chocolate, but now that the sun is out that didn’t seem as appealing). Yup, time to try homemade pop-tarts. And this recipe for strawberry nutella pop-tarts seemed like the perfect place to start.

Happily both turned out – especially the brownies, those will be a new go-to favorite I’m sure!

Ready for a morning of baking

Ready for a morning of baking

As much as I bake, my little secret is that I pretty much avoid any dough that has to be rolled out – it scares me. But I was too excited about the pop-tart idea and besides, my friend is worth it. I also had a duh moment when I realized that just because I have a baby food processor that doesn’t mean I can’t use it. I needed two balls of dough anyway, so I just mixed it up in two batches and just like that – pastry dough! I just might be able to add a whole new category of baking into my repertoire.

I know it's not an exciting photo, but I was so proud of these two little balls of dough that I'm sharing anyway.

I know it’s not an exciting photo, but I was so proud of these two little balls of dough that I’m sharing anyway.

Then came the rolling and cutting and filling stages of the pop-tarts; not so bad. And more importantly I got a complement on the flaky pastry dough!

Pastry with nutella and strawberry jam.

Pastry with nutella and strawberry jam.

They're starting to look like pop-tarts!

They’re starting to look like pop-tarts!

Ta da! Homemade pop-tarts.

Ta da! Homemade pop-tarts.

Next up… the brownies. Which started with homemade caramel (getting over that fear really opened up a whole new world of goodness).

Caramel bits ready for the brownies.

Caramel bits ready for the brownies.

Gooey chocolate with caramel bits? yes please.

Gooey chocolate with caramel bits? yes please.

Salted caramel brownies. These were a chewy, gooey, decadent treat that I'll be making again for sure!

Salted caramel brownies. These were a chewy, gooey, decadent treat that I’ll be making again for sure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s that time of year, early summer and the end of strawberry & rhubarb season. Thanks to my CSA I had a bit of both on hand. I like the flavor of rhubarb, but really don’t like the texture and have never cooked with it before. Some kind of strawberry rhubarb crisp or pie was the obvious choice, but I didn’t want to make something with pieces of rhubarb in it.

So… I ignored the rhubarb and made this strawberry cake from smitten kitchen:

Then this morning I went strawberry picking with a friend. The bushes were pretty much picked out, but we managed a couple pounds each. Since my freezer is already pretty well stocked with frozen berries I decided these should be jam. I had just enough for a batch of fresh strawberry jam! Summer stored away in jars to last all year long, yum!

So… two rounds of strawberries and that rhubarb was still mocking me.

I’d recently been thinking that I wanted to experiment more with new flavors of ganache for truffles… why not rhubarb? I do like fruit (or in this case tart veggies) with my chocolate… I hunted around a bit online and found a couple recipes that at least gave me a starting point. I used this one for the base of the rhubarb puree (though I added less sugar and on a whim a bit of grated ginger). Since I was already playing with a couple new things why not make them vegan? I used almond milk instead of cream (and left out the corn syrup and butter – those don’t belong in ganache!). The puree is super tasty and I’m happy to have extra to use for something else. I don’t know that you’d guess the truffles are rhubarb, but it’s a nice tart fruity contrast to the dark chocolate. I’ll call them a success.

I’m thinking the perfect dessert would be a tart crust and a layer of the rhubarb ganache topped with the rest of the rhubarb puree. Maybe next rhubarb season…