Fudgy Mascarpone Brownies

The lovely Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery + Cafe sent me her cookbook "Baking With Less Sugar" filled with recipe for desserts using natural sweeteners and little-to-no white sugar. I decided to bake the Fudgy Mascarpone Brownies, but decided to add a little twist with espresso. The finished brownies were so indulgent and chocolate-y. Try it for yourself- you won't regret it!

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Ingredients:

  • 175 g/ 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 390 g/14 oz bittersweet chocolate, or at least 68 percent cacao content or higher
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 3-4 pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 115 g/ 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 140 g/ 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup favorite brewed coffee/espresso 

Directions:

  1. Place a rack in the center of the over and preheat to 325F (165 C). Butter or spray a 9-by-13-in [23-by-33-cm] baking pan. 
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. 
  3. Bring a sauce filled partway with water to a very gentle simmer over medium heat. Place the chocolate and butter in a metal or glass bowl. Place the bowl over (not touching) the barely simmering water in the saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Alternatively, microwave the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each internal until melted and smooth. 
  4. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with an electric hand mixer; if using a hand mixer, use a large bowl to accommodate all ingredients), beat the eggs and mascarpone on medium speed until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the sugar and beat for about 1 minute, or until the sugar is mixed in. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate mixture. 
  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg-chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined. Add the coffee/espresso to the mixture and mix well. 
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes (but check every few minutes after 15 minutes to make sure the brownies don't over-bake), or until a knife slipped into the center of the pan comes out with a few wet crumbs on it. If the knife comes out with liquid batter on it, the brownies need more time in the oven; if the knife comes out with nothing on it, the brownies are probably a bit over-baked and no longer fudgy, but they will still be delicious. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, or until completely cool. (Because they are so moist, they need time to cool and firm up enough to cut). Cut into 12 pieces. 
  7. The brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or store in the freezer, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 weeks; thaw at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours. 

Get the book here

Apple Pie

Apple picking is easily the best part of fall. This past weekend, my friend Haewon and I headed off to a local Ithacan orchard, and literally frolicked through the fields. The act of picking apples was just as fun as eating the pounds of it that we brought home. Apple picking was concluded with some hot apple cider doughnuts (YUMM), and then it was time to get creative in the kitchen. After our successful day of apple picking, Haewon and I gathered our bright red apples, cinnamon and spice, and set off to bake a mouth-watering pie of heaven. 

 
 
When it came to the orchards, you'd always find me near the apple trees. 

When it came to the orchards, you'd always find me near the apple trees. 

 
 
And here's the final product! Photo Creds to  Haewon  

And here's the final product! Photo Creds to Haewon 

The wonderful  Haewon Hwang

The wonderful Haewon Hwang

And well.. that's me. You wouldn't believe how wonderful the house smelled while the pie was baking. Out. Of. This. World. 

And well.. that's me. You wouldn't believe how wonderful the house smelled while the pie was baking. Out. Of. This. World. 

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Yield: 1 pie

Ingredients:

1 sheet refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
4-5 apples of your choice (I used Cameo and Fuji) 
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup packed brown sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
1/2 tablespoon ground nutmeg

1 egg, beaten

Directions:

  1. Dice the apples. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Toss to coat and set aside.
  3. Butter/Oil a 9-in. pie plate and line the bottom with the pie crust
  4. Preheat the oven to 375F
  5. Melt butter in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat. 
  6. Add the apple mixture to the pan and stir to coat fruit with butter and cook, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Once the apples begin to soften, after 3-5 minutes, sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg, and cook another 5 minutes. 
  8. Fill with pie crust rimmed pan with the apple mixture and the juices that were released during cooking. 
  9. Roll out the puff pastry and cut into 7 even strips about 1/2-in to 3/4-in. wide 
  10. For a lattice design, lay out 5 parallel strips of the puff pastry dough on top of the filling, with 1/2-in to 3/4-inch space between them. Fold back every other strip. 
  11. Place one long strip of dough perpendicular to the parallel strips. Unfold the folded strips over the perpendicular strip. 
  12. Now take the parallel strips that are underneath the perpendicular strip and fold them back over the perpendicular strip. Lay a second perpendicular strip of dough next to the first strip. Unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip. Continue this process until the weave is complete. (for a video tutorial, click here)
  13. Press the edges together, trim the excess. 
  14. Lightly brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
  15. Place pie in oven and bake for 45-55 minutes. Continue to cook until the interior is bubbling and the crust is golden brown. Remove and allow to cool. 
  16. Slice and serve warm (and with ice cream). Enjoy!

 

Haewon Hwang is a student at Cornell University, and freelance works in photography, web design, and brand identity. Her portfolio can be viewed here: http://www.haewonhwang.me

 

Avocado Ice Pops

Blend only five ingredients, and you've got yourself a healthy and refreshing treat!

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Yield: 4 Ice Pops

Ingredients: 
1/2 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon pure honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
a pinch of salt

Garnish:
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or melting chips)
1/8 cup shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. Blend avocado, honey, milk, lime juice, and salt until creamy and smooth.
  2. Pour into popsicle stick molds and insert popsicle sticks. (I used my Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker
  3. Melt chocolate over a double boiler until smooth. Dip frozen ice pops and coat with chocolate. Top with shredded coconut.

Note* If you do not have popsicle stick molds, you can pour avocado mixture into an ice cube tray. Cover tray with wax paper, Press N' Seal, or plastic wrap. Insert popsicle sticks in each ice cube slot. The wrap should hold the stick in place. Freeze until firm. 

 

Chocolate Tart

Description:
Indulge in this tart with a creamy chocolate filling and a crunchy chocolately crust. Yummmmy!

Preparation Time:
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: approx. 4 hours

Servings :
12 slices

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
½ stick butter at room temperature
10 chocolate graham crackers
3 tablespoons almonds

For the Filling:
¾ cup of heavy cream
1/3 cup honey
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups (12 ounces) of chocolate morsels/chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Break the graham crackers into little chunks and place into a food processor along with the almonds and butter. Process until the mixture forms into fine crumbs or like powder crumbs.
Butter the bottom of a spring-foam pan. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the buttered pan until it forms an even layer for the bottom of the tart crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes and then keep aside and cool.

In a small saucepan, whisk the heavy cream, honey and vanilla until everything has been well mixed. Bring the mixture to just below a boil.

Place the chocolate morsels/chips into a medium bowl and pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate becomes smooth. The heat of the cream will help melt the chocolate into a creamy smooth chocolate sauce. Pour the chocolate filling over the prepared crust and refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours or until the chocolate has set and become firm.

Cut the tart into wedges and serve! Enjoy!

Raspberry Sorbet

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Description:
Enjoy this fresh raspberry sorbet on a hot summer day. This sorbet is easy to make, healthy, and delicious!

Preparation Time:
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Inactive Prep: 1 hour

Servings:
2 – 4

Ingredients:

12 ounces frozen raspberries
2 ½ tablespoons sugar
½ cup cold water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
mint leaves for garnish

Directions:

Put the frozen raspberries, sugar, water, and lemon juice in a blender and blend until everything has been mixed well and the raspberries have been crushed. Pour the sorbet puree into a container/box and store in the freezer until sorbet has turned firm but not into hard ice.
Scoop and garnish with mint leaves.
Enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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Description:
Take a bite into creamy thick chocolate and juicy strawberries. Yummy!

Preparation Time:
30 minutes

Servings:
15-20 strawberries

Ingredients:

1-1 ½ cups (6-9 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
½ cup (3 ounces) white chocolate morsels
1 pound strawberries (about 20) with stems
1 teaspoon heavy cream

Directions:

Put the semisweet chocolate morsels and the white chocolate morsels into 2 separate heatproof bowls. Fill 2 saucepans with water and bring to a simmer/low boil over medium heat. Put the bowls of chocolate over the water to melt the chocolate making sure that the bottom of the bowl is making contact with the water. Stir until chocolate melts and becomes smooth.
An alternative way is to first put the morsels into microwave safe bowls and microwave at half power for 1 minute. Then stir and microwave again until chocolate melts.

Pour the heavy cream into the white chocolate morsels to help melt the white chocolate until smooth and creamy. Stir until white chocolate melts and becomes smooth.

Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Wash and dry the strawberries well. Dip a strawberry while holding the stem into the semisweet chocolate, lift and twist slightly, and set on the sheet pan. Repeat until all strawberries have been dipped into the semisweet chocolate.

Dip a fork into the white chocolate and drizzle on top of the dipped strawberries. Set aside in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes until chocolate sets and becomes firm. Serve cold. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

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Description :

Create bite sized treats filled with moist cookie dough and chocolate! Great for treats and fun to eat! Yummmmy!

Preparation Time :

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 45 minutes

Servings :

makes about 30 truffles

Ingredients :

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2-cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) milk

1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the coating

1 cup of chocolate morsels to melt
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening (optional)

Directions :

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Mix in the milk and vanilla. Add the flour and salt and mix on low until combined. Remove from the electric mixer and fold in chocolate chips with a rubber spatula. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes until firm enough to roll into balls. Roll balls by taking some and rolling between your hands. Place the rolled balls on a wax paper lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes till the balls become firm.

In the meantime melt chocolate following instructions on the package. (I used the double boiler method) Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable shortening. Mix until chocolate is smooth. Remove a couple of balls from the freezer and dip in the melted chocolate and let any excess fall off back into the bowl.

Add small sprinkles or nonpareils on top and place on wax paper to set.

Place in the freezer for 5 minutes or leave aside for 10 minutes until chocolate cools and hardens.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Strawberry Ravioli

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Description :

Take a bite into crunchy, fried dough and warm, oozing chocolate with sweet strawberries just as it melts into your mouth. Enjoy a super easy and quick dessert! Can it get any better?

Preparation Time :

15 minutes

Servings :

10 raviolis

Ingredients :

10 wonton wrappers
10 teaspoons chocolate hazelnut spread (recommended Nutella)
5-7 strawberries
3 tablespoons lukewarm water
Vegetable oil for frying
Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions :

Fill oil in a deep saucepan and heat over medium-high heat.

Chop strawberries into small pieces.

Place wonton wrapper on work surface and place 1 teaspoon of the chocolate hazelnut spread. Top with 1-2 teaspoons of the strawberry pieces. Do not overfill wonton, as ravioli will break.

Lightly brush the edges with the water. Fold one corner of the wonton over the filling to form a triangle with the opposite corner. Close the ravioli using your fingers to press down and seal.

Fry ravioli in the hot oil, 3-4 at a time, once golden, for about 45 to 60 seconds. Turn ravioli occasionally in oil when frying.

Place on a plate covered with a paper towel to drain off excess oil. Dust with powdered sugar and serve while still warm.

Optional (drizzle with melted chocolate and serve with vanilla ice-cream)

Enjoy!

Mango Mousse

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Description :

This delicious creamy mango mousse is a great and easy dessert to impress your family and friends! Enjoy with fruits and savor the sweet tropical mango taste!

Preparation Time :

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep: 4-5 hours

Servings :

10 – 12

Ingredients :

½ cup boiling water
3 ounce orange jell-o pack
30 ounce can sweetened mango pulp
12 ounce can evaporated milk
8 ounce tub cool whip
fruits for garnish (for example, strawberries, kiwis, and grapes)

Directions :

Boil the ½ cup of water.
Take the orange jell-o mix and stir with the ½ cup of boiling water until dissolved and keep aside until it sets to room temperature.

Now take the orange jell-o liquid and pour into a mixing bowl. Add the can of mango pulp and the can of evaporated milk. Mix together.

Add the cool whip to the jell-o mix, mango pulp and evaporated milk. Fold well until the entire cool whip has been blended well into the pulp, milk, and jell-o. The mango mousse mixture should be smooth without any lumps.

Pour the mango mousse mixture into a nice bowl and store in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours or until the mango mousse has become firm.

Garnish with fruits after it becomes firm.
For example, kiwis, strawberries, and grapes are great fruits. 
Arrange the fruits beautifully, and serve! (Put the mango mousse back in the refrigerator if not serving immediately).

Pumpkin Spice Bread with Cranberries and Walnuts

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Description :

Enjoy this simple easy-to-make pumpkin spice bread with a hint of sweetness from cranberries and an extra crunch from walnuts. Top the bread with a glaze and take a bite out of a holiday delight!

Preparation Time :

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: approx. 1 hour

Servings :

Yields 1 loaf

Ingredients :

Batter:
1- 16 oz package pumpkin spice bread mix
-eggs
-water
-vegetable oil
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped walnuts

Glaze:
½ cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder
2 tablespoons milk

Directions :

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a mixing bowl, prepare pumpkin spice bread batter according to packaged instructions. To the batter add the cranberries and walnuts. Fold until all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour the batter into a greased or non-stick loaf pan (9 in X 5 in X 3 in).

Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

For the glaze, stir the sugar, cinnamon, and milk until desired consistency glaze forms.

Once bread has cooled, drizzle glaze on top and set for 5 minutes. Serve.

Enjoy!

Banana Bread

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Description :

Take ripe bananas and turn them into tasty banana bread. Who knew that instead of throwing away bananas, wonderful banana bread would be created? Take a bite into the bread with a side of ice cream and get ready to indulge in heaven.

Preparation Time :

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep: 1 hour

Servings :

1 Loaf

Ingredients :

3 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon milk plus 2 teaspoons more
1 teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions :

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mash the 3 bananas with a fork. Add the 1 tablespoon milk and cinnamon. Mix together and keep aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix with a blender and add the eggs one at a time so it can be well blended.

In another bowl mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Add the banana mixture to the butter, sugar and eggs mixture and stir until combined. Add the dry ingredients blending until the flour disappears.

After batter has been mixed, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and the 2 teaspoons of milk. Now blend again. After the batter has been well mixed, add the chopped walnuts. Remember to fold and mix, not blend.

Spray a loaf baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and add a pinch of flour so the bread will not stick to the pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 1 hour until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes. Cut the bread into slices and serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

Yummmm! Enjoy!