Double-Chocolate Layer Cake

How to Make It

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans and line them with parchment; butter the paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
Step 2: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt at low speed. In a bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee until fully incorporated.
Step 3: Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool. Peel off the parchment.
Step 4: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second intervals, stirring, until most of the chocolate is melted. Stir until completely melted, then set aside to cool.
Step 6: Set a cake layer on a plate with the flat side facing up. Evenly spread one-third of the frosting over the cake to the edge. Top with the second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and side of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Make Ahead

The frosted cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. Let stand for 1 hour before serving.
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Handmade Cappuccino

Recipe & Photo Credit: https://www.marthastewart.com/349180/handmade-cappuccino

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INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces water
  • 1/4 cup espresso ground coffee (preferably Illy espresso coffee, fine grind)
  • 8 ounces milk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pour the water into the bottom chamber of the stovetop espresso pot. Fill the filter basket that fits over the water with the coffee, tamping down gently. Place on the stovetop burner over medium-low heat. Watch carefully and remove from the heat as soon as the intense boiling has stopped, about 2 minutes. It is complete when all the water has boiled through the filter into the top part of the pot.
  2. Meanwhile place the milk in a 16-ounce coffee mug. Heat in the microwave until hot but not starting to bubble on the sides. (Alternatively, you may heat the milk on the stovetop in a small pan, then transfer to a mug.)
  3. Hold the handle of a small 4-inch whisk between the palms of both hands. Put the whisk in the hot milk and twirl rapidly back and forth until foam appears on the top, about 20 seconds. Pour the coffee into the mug. Sweeten if desired and serve immediately.

Boston Creme Pie by Trisha Yearwood

Photo and recipe: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/boston-cream-pie-3623273

boston creme pir

Ingredients

Filling:

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg plus 3 egg yolks, at room temperature

2 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake:

Nonstick cooking spray, for spraying the pan

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

 

Directions

  1. For the filling: In a medium saucepan off-heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the whole egg and the 3 yolks, and then stir in the milk. Turn the heat on to medium high and cook the mixture, uncovered, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the cake. Be sure to place the plastic wrap directly onto the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
  2. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and mix until completely combined. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  5. For the topping: To make the chocolate ganache, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Add the chocolate chips to the cream and stir until completely melted.
  6. To assemble, slice the cake layer in half horizontally. Spread the custard filling onto one layer, then top with the second layer of cake. Spread the ganache over the top of the cake using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Store covered in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Cook’s Note

If you don’t have cornstarch, substitute all-purpose flour. One tablespoon cornstarch equals 2 tablespoons flour.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Recipe & Photo credit: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/pumpkin-spice-latte-3363265

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup hot espresso or strong brewed coffee
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Directions

Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a medium microwave safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole. Microwave until the milk is hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk vigorously until the milk mixture is foamy, about 30 seconds.

Pour the espresso or coffee into a large mug and add the foamed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Classic Cream Puffs

cream puff martha

Recipe & Photo credit: https://www.marthastewart.com/1113097/classic-cream-puffs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs
  • No-Fuss Pastry Cream

DIRECTIONS

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2.  In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter, sugar, salt and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and quickly stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until a film forms on the bottom of the pan.
  3.  Remove from heat and transfer contents to a bowl to cool slightly, about 3 minutes. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously to entirely incorporate egg after each addition.
  4.  For the egg wash, whisk together the remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Set aside.
  5.  Transfer the pate a choux to a large pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch plain tip. Pipe 1-1/2-inch rounds onto each prepared pan. Gently smooth the pointed peaks with a moistened finger, rounding tops to ensure even rising. Brush tops with reserved egg wash. Bake until puffs rise and are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Puffs can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.
  6.  Transfer pastry cream to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8-inch plain round tip. Insert the tip into the opening of each pastry, and pipe to fill with pastry cream. Serve immediately.

Krembo: A Passover Dessert from Breads Bakery

krembo_recipe_header-cover

Recipe & Photo Credit: http://bobbyflay.com/recipes/recipes/164/krembo-a-passover-dessert-from-breads-bakery

Coconut Macaroons (for the base)
120g egg whites (from 4 medium eggs)
230g granulated sugar (1 cup + 2 tablespoons)
210g finely shredded unsweetened coconut (2½ cups, packed)
30g apricot jam (2 tablespoons)

1. Whisk the sugar and egg whites together in a medium-sized bowl. Set the bowl on top of a pot of water over medium heat to create a Bain Marie. Heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove bowl from heat.

2. Fold the coconut and apricot jam into the egg white mixture until fully combined. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Using your hands, roll the coconut batter into 50 small balls, approximately 1 heaping teaspoon (about 12 grams) in size, and arrange them on a sheet pan 2 inches apart. Wet your fingers slightly and flatten each ball to create a disk approximately 1¾” in diameter and ¼”thick.

4. Bake the macaroons at 380 degrees F for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown.

5. Allow the macaroons to cool. Freeze for 30 minutes. The macaroon bases can be made up to three days in advance.

Italian Meringue (for the filling)
150g egg whites (from 5 medium eggs)
1 pinch of salt
260g granulated sugar (1 1/3 cups)
80mL water
120g glucose (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon)

1. Combine the sugar, water and glucose in a very clean pot and place over medium heat. Monitor the temperature with a candy thermometer.

2. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and set aside.

3. When the syrup reaches 220 degrees F, start to whip the egg whites and salt on medium speed until they form stiff peaks.

4. When the syrup reaches 243 degrees F, keep the mixer on medium speed and slowly pour the hot syrup down the side of the mixing bowl into the egg whites, being careful not to hit the whisk.Turn the mixer to high speed and whisk until the bowl no longer feels warm to the touch.

5. Divide the meringue evenly into 3 bowls, one for each flavor. Follow the recipes below to make each flavor meringue. Fold the additions into the meringue just enough that they are evenly incorporated. Don’t overmix.

8. Spoon the meringues into a piping bag fitted with a 1” round tip.

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Flavors:
Raspberry White Chocolate Pistachio
Fold into Meringue:
15 grams freeze-dried raspberries, crumbled
Glaze:
250g white chocolate
20g sunflower/grapeseed oil
Garnish:
Freeze-dried raspberries and ground pistachios

Vanilla
Fold into Meringue:
Seeds from half of a vanilla bean (cut bean lengthwise and scrape seeds out with knife)
Glaze:
250g dark chocolate
15g sunflower/grapeseed oil
Garnish:
Gold leaf

Mocha
Fold into Meringue:
2g (20 pieces) coffee beans, roasted and ground finely
10g dark chocolate (bittersweet), chopped
Glaze:
250g milk chocolate
10g sunflower/grapeseed oil
Garnish:
Chopped roasted coffee beans and chocolate

Assembly
For the Glazes:
1. Put the chocolate in a high, narrow microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. Take out and stir; microwave for 10 more seconds.
2. Repeat 4-5 times until the chocolate is melted (do not overheat).
3. Add the oil and mix until combined.

To Assemble:
1. Pipe the meringue on top of the macaroons in three mounds, descending in size. The bottom (and largest) mound should be even with the sides of the macaroon (see first image below). Place the macaroons in the freezer for five minutes so that the meringue sets.

2. Holding the cookie from the macaroon base, dip the meringue into its corresponding flavor of chocolate, making sure the chocolate covers the meringue completely (see second image below).

3. Before the chocolate sets, garnish with the above items.

breads_pipingbreads_dipping

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Recipe and Photo Credit: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls-2644133

Ingredients

Dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast 
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree 
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring, sprinkling and rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1/2 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Melted butter, for buttering pans
Filling:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans 
Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups to 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted 
  • Dash of salt 

Directions:

For the dough: In a large saucepan, combine the milk, vegetable oil and granulated sugar. Heat until hot but not boiling, then remove the pan from the stove and allow it to cool until the mixture is warm to the touch but not too hot. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the liquid and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree until combined.

Combine 4 cups of the flour with the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Sprinkle it into the saucepan and stir until it just comes together. Cover the saucepan with a dish towel and set in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, the mixture should be very puffy and at least doubled in size. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining 1/2 cup flour until totally combined.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Drizzle butter into 3 pie pans (or a larger baking dish) and smear it all over the bottom of the pans.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and press it into a rectangular shape. If it is overly sticky, sprinkle generously with flour until easier to handle. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle about 18 inches by 24 inches.

For the filling: Drizzle the melted butter over the dough and smear it all over the surface with your fingers. Mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Sprinkle this mixture all over the surface of the dough, covering all the melted butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup chopped pecans.

Starting at the top, roll the dough toward you into a large log, moving back and forth down the line of dough (in a “typewriter” motion) and always rolling toward you. Roll it tightly as you go so the rolls with be nice and neat. When it’s all rolled, pinch the seam closed and turn the roll over so that the seam is facing down. Slice into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices and place the slices in the buttered pan(s). Allow to rise for 20 minutes.

Bake until the rolls are nice and golden brown around the edges, 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting: While the rolls are baking, make the frosting by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, butter and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until fluffy, adding more milk if you’d like a thinner frosting.

Frost the rolls the second they come out of the oven. Sprinkle the extra pecans over the frosting, then allow them to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Delicious!