I came upon this recipe for the easiest, cheapest and most preservative-free chocolate syrup there is on Pinterest. It was a chance meeting; we were meant to be.
I've found many uses for it; I'll take any excuse to eat some of the stuff. It is a staple in the refrigerator. Really. Like milk and eggs.
-1/4 cup cocoa powder
-1/2 cup water
-1 cup sugar
-pinch of salt
-1/4 tsp. vanilla
1. Mix the water and cocoa powder in a small saucepan over medium heat and add sugar. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add salt.
2. Remove from heat and add vanilla, stir well and pour into heat proof jar to cool. Keep in the refrigerator.
Some days are quite simply made for brownies. I whipped up a pan from the Brownie Bible.
These are delicious fudge brownies that I adapted to make a bit more sophisticated. So give it a try and enjoy a brownie day of your own.
-2 ounces dark chocolate (60%)
-2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70+%)
-1 stick unsalted butter
-scant cup of sugar
-1 T. Grand Marnier
-2/3 cup flour
-1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/2 cup pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Melt chocolates and butter in a bowl over simmering water and cool slightly
3. In a large bowl, beat eggs with a whisk until frothy and lemon-colored. Add Grand Marnier and salt, beat in chocolate/butter mixture
4. Sift together flour and baking powder and add to wet ingredients with nuts. Mix until just incorporated and pour into a buttered and floured 8x8 square pan.
5. Bake 25-30 minutes until cake tester come out with crumbs
Now, for what I fondly call: Kitchen Sink Muffins.
I hate the fact that muffins are basically the most unhealthy breakfast on the face of the planet. Thankfully, Pinterest exists. I was able to find inspiration for a healthy and delicious muffin. I mean these really are delicious. The great thing is that you can make this recipe your own. I put everything I had extra of in here. And they came out wonderfully well.
-1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-3/4 cup sugar
-12 oz Greek yogurt (plain or your favorite fruit flavor)
-1/2 cup vegetable/canola oil
-1 1/4 cups blueberries or raspberries (fresh of drained frozen ones)
-2 T. your favorite jam
1. Mix ingredients together quickly until just incorporated
2. Spoon batter into lined muffins tins about 2/3 full
3. Bake at 375 F for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs
While it's still summer and the sun still shines, I figured I'd better get my summery desserts out of the way.
I used my favorite tart shell recipe - again - and made another tart.
My favorite part was the blueberry jam, which I made up on the spot!
Easy Blueberry Jam
-2.5 cups blueberries (if frozen, rinse in strainer)
-1.5 tsp. cornstarch
-1 T. water
-4 T. sugar
-1 tsp. honey
-juice from 1/2 lemon
1. Place blueberries in a medium saucepan with water. Cook over medium heat until blueberries soften, stirring with a heatproof spatula. Add cornstarch.
2. Sprinkle 1/2 of the sugar and all of the honey on top. Continue to cook, tasting as you go. Some blueberries may be sweeter than others. Add the remaining sugar if needed. Cook while stirring 1-2 minutes and add lemon juice. Cook 3-4 minutes more until mixture is thickened.
3. Pour into a bowl to cool. Keep in refrigerator.
I've gushed over Martha Stewart before, but this time I really mean it. That woman is a lifesaver. I've tried to make caramel sauce once before and failed so horribly that I was afraid to try it again. Martha's specific instructions gave me courage to try again. I can now live my life without shame--at least when it comes to caramel sauce.
-1 cup sugar
-5 T. cubed butter
-1/2 tsp. sea salt
-1/2 tsp. vanilla
-scant 1/2 cup of heavy cream
1. Heat the sugar over medium heat in a saucepan-no stirring yet! When the sugar at the edges of the pan start to look melted, use a spatula to pull the edges inward over slightly lower heat. Continue to use the spatula around the edges until all the sugar is melted and golden brown. Do not burn.
2. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt. Whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla. Pour into a container to cool.
Ever had one of those Earl Grey chocolates? Or perhaps an Earl Grey caramel?
For this decadent dessert I infused my ganache with Earl Grey. Try it. You'll like it.
For the shell I used Martha Stewart's recipe. You can use any old ganache recipe, just steep your tea bag in the heavy cream before pouring it over your chocolate. For an added sweetness pour some homemade caramel sauce on top.