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    Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Homemade Bourbon Marshmallows

    Move over pumpkin pie! Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Homemade Bourbon Marshmallows are ready to be the star of your Thanksgiving feast.

    It’s not too hard to figure out where the inspiration for these cupcakes came from. When Thanksgiving rolls around my mom always makes a big pan of buttered sweet potatoes topped with golden toasted marshmallows. It’s nearly dessert, but somehow we all accept that it belongs on the plate next to the turkey and dressing.
    Browned butter is what makes the cake extra-special. The toasty flavor harmonizes so well with warm spices and sweet potato.

    Brown that butter.
    Browning butter is easy, but it requires your undivided attention. And it’s the first step of this recipe, so let’s get into it.
    Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Use a light-colored metal saucepan so you can easily see the color of the butter change. It’s much harder to judge the doneness in a dark nonstick pan. Cook until the butter foams and steams. Swirl the pan occasionally as the foam subsides and watch closely as the butter turns golden brown and the milk solids drop to the bottom of the pan. Pour the browned butter and butter solids into a small bowl and let stand until cool but not solidified.

    Mixing the batter.
    Oh, the spices! They will fill your home and give you all the warm and fuzzies. Whisk cinnamon, ginger and allspice into the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients, which includes unsweet mashed sweet potato. You could boil sweet potatoes on the stovetop in water and then mash them. Or save yourself some trouble. Buy a can of organic sweet potato puree (such as this).

    Combine the wet and dry ingredients until smooth. Then add the browned butter along with the solids. Beat it in with an electric mixer, and you should have a thick, fluffy, perfect-looking cake batter.

    Portion it into cupcake liners using an ice cream scoop. If you don’t have a scoop, then aim for about 2/3 full.

    Look at these beauties! They rise and brown evenly, and have a soft, moist crumb.

    Marshmallow time!
    I would understand if you wanted to plop a toasted ready-made marshmallow right on top of those cupcakes for an easy version of this recipe. However. I adore the bouncy softness of a homemade marshmallow. Ever since I topped this hot cocoa cake with homemade marshmallows. Well. I’m a changed woman.
    They’re not all that difficult to make, but they will need some time to cure. You may want to make them ahead of the cake portion. I’ve added a grace note of bourbon to these marshmallows, which makes my southern heart a little happier, and it tastes divine with the sweet potato sponge.

    After the marshmallow cures in the pan for two hours, slice the slab of marshmallow into 25 squares.

    Simple cinnamon American buttercream is quick to whip up, and the perfect adhesive to hold onto the bourbon marshmallows. You’ll just need a little bit on top of each cupcake. (I used a Sultan tube, which pipes the perfect little ring of frosting.) Lightly toast the marshmallows using a chef’s torch, if you have one. Homemade marshmallows are extremely meltable, so use a light touch.

    There’s a lot of love that goes into these cupcakes, from the browned butter to the homemade marshmallows. And if you’re feeling generous, drizzle a little caramel sauce over the tops of the marshmallows and sprinkle on some pecans. I call these toppings optional because there’s already quite a bit going on, but those finishing touches are nice when serving to a crowd.
    One more thing – not everyone will have a chef’s torch to toast the marshmallows. There are oven instructions for this in the recipe notes.

    Brown Butter Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Homemade Bourbon Marshmallows

    Heather Baird

    These sweet potato cupcakes were inspired by my mom’s Thanksgiving side dish of sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows. There are several steps to this recipe, but I think they are well worth the effort. And especially for the upcoming holidays! You can buy unsweet sweet potato puree canned at most grocery stores, and that’s what I used in this recipe. However, you can also make your own by peeling sweet potatoes, cutting them into 1/2 inch chunks, and boiling them until tender (about 15 minutes). Then mash them until fine, or stick them in a blender to puree.

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    Prep Time 1 hrCook Time 45 minsTotal Time 1 hr 45 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 25 cupcakes

    Equipmentchef’s torch8×8 baking pan2 cupcake panspaper cupcake liners
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Sweet potato cupcakes3/4 cup unsalted butter2 cups all-purpose flour1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda3 teaspoons ground cinnamon1 teaspoon ground ginger1/4 teaspoon allspice1 teaspoon salt1 1/2 cups granulated sugar1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree3 large eggs1/2 cup sour creamBourbon marshmallows4 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin1/2 cup bourbon3/4 cup sugar1/2 cup light corn syrup divided1/4 cup water1/8 teaspoon salt2 tablespoons bourbon2/3 cup cornstarch1/2 cup confectioners’ sugarCinnamon buttercream1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature4 cups confectioners’ sugar1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamonMilk or cream to thinOptional toppings1/2 cup prepared caramel sauce1/2 cup chopped pecans
    Instructions Sweet potato cupcakesPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with papers.Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Use a light-colored metal saucepan so you can easily see the color of the butter change. It’s much harder to judge the doneness in a dark nonstick pan. Cook until the butter foams and steams. Swirl the pan occasionally as the foam subsides and watch closely as the butter turns golden brown and the milk solids drop to the bottom of the pan. Pour the browned butter and butter solids into a small bowl and let stand until cool but not solidified.In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt. Set aside.In a large bowl, whisk the sweet potato puree with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and sour cream until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture and combine until only a few streaks of flour remain. Whisk in the browned butter until well combined.Divide the batter between the cupcake liners using a trigger ice cream scoop. If you don’t have a scoop, fill them about approximately 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes or until they spring back when pressed in the middle. Remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.Bourbon marshmallowsLightly spray an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and wipe away any excess with a paper towel.Let the gelatin dissolve in bourbon 5 minutes, or until well bloomed and thickened.In a medium saucepan with a candy thermometer clipped to the side, stir together the sugar, 1/4 cup corn syrup, 1/4 cup water and salt and place over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240°F. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.Microwave the gelatin on high until it is completely melted, about 10-20 seconds. Pour it into the corn syrup. Set the mixer to low, and keep the mixer running while you check the sugar syrup.Once the syrup reaches 240°F, remove it from the heat. Keeping the mixer on low, slowly pour the syrup into the gelatin mixture in a steady stream, aiming for the space between the beater and the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 5 more minutes. Beat on the highest setting for 1 to 2 minutes more and beat in the 2 tablespoons bourbon; the finished marshmallow will be opaque white, fluffy, and roughly tripled in volume.Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top. Combine cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl to make the coating. Sift coating evenly and generously over the top. Let the marshmallow set for at least 2 hours. When the marshmallow has set, use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan. Invert the marshmallow slab onto a coating-dusted work surface and dust it with more coating. Cut into 25 large squares and dip the sticky edges of the marshmallows in more coating, patting off the excess. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature while you prepare the buttercream.Cinnamon buttercreamCombine the butter and confectioners in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high speed until well combined, about 4 minutes. Add in the cinnamon. Add milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time with the mixer running until the frosting comes to piping consistency. Transfer the frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a large sultan decorator piping tip (see blog post for link). Alternatively, you can use any large fluted piping tip. AssemblyPipe a small ring of buttercream on a cupcake and immediately top with a marshmallow. Repeat the process of piping and topping until all of the cupcakes are topped. Use a chef’s torch to lightly toast the marshmallows. Homemade marshmallows are extremely meltable, so use a light touch. Garnish each cupcake with a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of chopped pecans.Store the cupcakes airtight for up to 2 days at room temperature.
    NotesIf you don’t have a chef’s torch, place the marshmallows on a baking sheet and broil them for 2 minutes in the oven. As I stated before, homemade marshmallows are very meltable. When lightly toasted remove them from the oven and place them in the refrigerator to firm. When firm enough to move, transfer them with a spatula to the frosted cupcakes.
    To shortcut this recipe, you could use ready-made jumbo marshmallows instead of making the homemade bourbon marshmallows.

    Keyword brown butter cupcakes, homemade marshmallows, sweet potato cupcakes, Thanksgiving dessert

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    The Best Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

    Embrace the flavors of the season with the Best Pumpkin Recipes for Fall! I’m sharing some of my favorite pumpkin treats, from pumpkin cakes and cookies to pumpkin bread, and more. All easy to make and brimming with the festive flavors of warm, savory-spiced pumpkin!

    Pumpkin Dump Cake
    Table of Contents

    Bring On The Fall Vibes with These Cozy Pumpkin Recipes

    Who else has waited all year for pumpkin season? Because, same. For pumpkin lovers like yours truly, I consider fall our Superbowl.  
    With the most pumpkin-full time of the year rolling around soon enough, today I’m sharing my favorite treats featuring the fall season’s star ingredient.
    I’m dishing some of my all-time best pumpkin recipes. From cozy pumpkin cookies to pumpkin loaves, muffins, and even a pumpkin cake or two for good measure. Get ready for your kitchen to smell like a sweet and toasty pumpkin spice dream!
    What Makes These Recipes the Best?
    Everyone loves a good pumpkin recipe, but what makes these ones better than good? These pumpkin baking ideas are:
    Easy. As always, it’s my mission to share the best baking recipes that any home baker can whip up when a craving hits! These pumpkin recipes are easy AND delicious.Full of pumpkin flavor. Warm and cozy, sweet and spicy – my pumpkin recipes don’t fall short on all the classic flavors we know and love. Perfect for the season. Fall means the festive season is just around the corner! I’m sharing goodies that are great for everyday baking, but also just as perfect for sharing with friends and family come the holidays. 
    Tips for Cooking with Pumpkin
    Some added guidance when turning pumpkin into the best fall treats:
    You Can Use Canned or Homemade – Sort Of. Most pumpkin recipes will turn out just as great with fresh pumpkin puree made from scratch as they would with canned pumpkin. However, the flavor and texture of fresh pumpkin can vary, so that’s something to keep in mind when baking. Pumpkin pies, for example, usually come out the best when made with trusty, canned pumpkin.Speaking of Canned Pumpkin… Pumpkin puree in a can isn’t the same as canned pumpkin pie filling. If your recipe calls for canned pumpkin, make sure you’re using the right ingredient!Swapping Pumpkin for Eggs, Oil, or Butter: You can swap 1/4 cup pumpkin puree for one egg in most baking recipes. You can also substitute pumpkin puree tablespoon for tablespoon in place of oil/butter.Bake Thoroughly. Because pumpkin is so moist, it’s important to keep an eye on the baked goods while they’re in the oven, and after they come out. Make sure the centers aren’t still raw/gummy after baking.Pumpkin Puree Substitutes: Run out of pumpkin puree? Or maybe you forgot to add it to your shopping list, or you’re just after something different. Good alternatives to pumpkin are mashed/pureed sweet potatoes, canned yams, or butternut squash. These can be substituted 1:1 for pumpkin puree in most recipes!
    14 Recipes You Have to Try
    Have your pumpkin puree at the ready for these festive recipes that are perfect for fall baking!
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    Pumpkin Cookies
    Let’s start with a true classic: rich and tender, delicious and spiced pumpkin cookies. I’ve frosted these with a decadent melt-in-your-mouth brown sugar icing. A bite out of one of these is the definition of bliss!

    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
    A soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie with a fun fall twist. These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are loaded with rich pumpkin spice flavor, made extra moist and tender thanks to real pumpkin puree.

    Perfect Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting
    Light and fluffy pumpkin cake is layered with the flavors of fall in this easy pumpkin dessert. Filled with buttery frosting enriched with browned butter plus a touch of pure maple syrup.

    Pumpkin Apple Muffins
    Two autumn favorites come together in these easy pumpkin apple muffins! Soft and pillowy pumpkin muffins are filled with sweet apple chunks and cinnamon spice. This recipe instantly puts everyone in a fall mood!

    Salted Honey Chewy Pumpkin Cookies
    These chewy pumpkin cookies are just the best, with all their buttery, spicy deliciousness and whatnot. Just TRY to resist having a second or third. Perfect for a Thanksgiving or Halloween cookie platter!

    Pumpkin Dump Cake
    This pumpkin dump cake might just be one of my all-time favorite fall desserts. I always come back to this moist cake recipe that’s choc full of real pumpkin flavor, prepared with a boxed yellow cake mix and a crunchy, nutty graham cracker topping.

    The Best Easy Pumpkin Bread
    The perfect quick bread loaf to bake this fall! You’re going to love this classic pumpkin bread recipe as much as I do, I just know it. I can’t think of many people who can resist a soft and tender slice of this pumpkin-spiced loaf.

    Easy Pumpkin Blondies
    Serve these easy pumpkin blondies at all your fall gatherings and watch them vanish from the plate! This blondies recipe is packed with pumpkin flavor (not to mention, melty white chocolate chips!) and is super simple to make.

    Pumpkin Scones
    These flaky and moist pumpkin scones are exactly what I’ll be having with my morning coffee all season long. Drizzled with brown sugar icing and so buttery!

    Easy Pumpkin Roll
    Roll up all the scrumptious flavors of pumpkin and spice into an impressive yet easy dessert. This pumpkin roll is creamy, it’s tender, and just an all-around winner.

    Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake
    This breakfast dessert starts with a store-bought cake mix and ends with the most incredible pumpkin cinnamon roll cake. This easy cake recipe is a go-to treat for fall mornings, made from moist cake swirled with cinnamon and drizzled with glaze.

    Pumpkin Molasses Cookies
    If there was ever a recipe to make you feel like a frolic through your local pumpkin patch, this is it! These pumpkin molasses cookies are so soft, sweet, and tender, and taste just like they came from a bakery.

    Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
    Creamy cheesecake with tons of pumpkin flair! My pumpkin cheesecake recipe is the best for fall entertaining as it never fails to wow. The texture is divine and the flavors are a pumpkin lover’s dream come true.

    Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (Starbucks Copycat Recipe)
    If you love those soft pumpkin cream cheese muffins from Starbucks, wait until you’ve tried this homemade version. This copycat recipe inspired by the classic coffee shop treat tastes a million times better when it’s fresh from the oven!

    PIN for later: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Peanut Butter Cup Poke Cake

    This Peanut Butter Cup Poke Cake is the ultimate dessert mashup. Rich and decadent with classic peanut butter and chocolate flavor, it’s made for sharing. Make it for your next party or potluck.

    This Peanut Butter Cup Poke Cake is simple enough for a beginner baker, but impressive enough for company. And what’s better? It bakes up in a 13×9 dish so it will serve a dozen or more hungry guests. If you’re making it for a smaller group, such as your immediate household, then leftovers keep well. In fact, this cake improves upon standing 24 hours.

    What’s old is new again!
    There’s nothing better than a creamed butter cake, if you ask me. In my search for a butter-based 13×9 chocolate cake, I found they were few and far between. Nearly every cookbook scoured and website visited used the same oil-based formula. While I know that will make a tender cake, it does not have the flavor or texture that butter cake has. My search ended with a family recipe from 1946. This old fashioned chocolate cake has the perfect texture that stands up to a heavy dose of chocolate syrup. It is moist and a wonderful base for just about any frosting or topping.
    Set a timer for 5 minutes, then cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. This is important, and will give the cake velvety texture.

    Any unsweet cocoa will do.
    Stir the dry ingredients together. I use and recommend unsweet dark cocoa powder for this recipe. However, you can use whatever unsweet cocoa powder you have on hand. The original recipe calls for standard unsweet cocoa, but the dark chocolate cocoa gives the cake a chocolaty boost!

    Alternate the dry ingredients with whole milk (at room temperature). End with the flour mixture and beat together until just combined. Scrape down the bowl and fold together any pockets of flour that might be hiding out.

    13×9 love.
    Who doesn’t love the ease of a 13×9 casserole-style cake? Pour the billowy batter evenly into a greased 13×9 dish. Bake until puffed and well set. A toothpick tester inserted near the center of the cake should come out clean when done.

    True to its name.
    Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the cake, well spaced. I can’t brag enough about this cake’s texture for this specific technique. It holds up so well and soaks in all the syrup without becoming soggy.

    Use about 1 cup of chocolate syrup to pour over this cake and into the holes. This makes for a very moist, rich, flavorful cake. I think I’m its biggest fan!

    Fluffy peanut butter buttercream.
    The frosting is little more than butter, creamy peanut butter, and confectioners’ sugar whipped to oblivion. Coarsely chop up some mini Reese’s cups and toss them on. Or you can use large Reese’s cups and chop them a little finer.

    Drizzle a little more chocolate syrup over the frosting and Reese’s cups, and you’re good to go! When I say this is a crowd-pleaser, I absolutely mean it. Grown-ups and kids alike will love this!
    Related recipe: Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Torte
    This blog post is sponsored by Go Bold With Butter! View their other recipes right here.

    Peanut Butter Cup Poke Cake

    Heather Baird

    This Peanut Butter Cup Poke Cake is the ultimate dessert mashup. Rich and decadent with classic peanut butter and chocolate flavor, it’s made for sharing. Make it for your next party or potluck. Butter gives this chocolate cake rich flavor and a velvety crumb. Cream the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes with a timer set. This will give the batter volume and the baked cake will have light, airy texture.

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 15 minsCook Time 40 minsTotal Time 55 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 12

    Equipment13×9 baking dishwooden spoon
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Chocolate cake2/3 cup unsalted butter softened1 2/3 cups granulated sugar3 large eggs2 cups all-purpose flour2/3 cup unsweet dark cocoa powder1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda1 teaspoon fine grain salt1 1/3 cups whole milk at room temperature1 cup chocolate syrupWhipped peanut butter frosting and toppings1/2 cup unsalted butter softened1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter2 cups confectioners’ sugarMilk or cream to thin20 whole mini peanut butter cups coarsely chopped1/4 cup chocolate syrup
    Instructions Chocolate cakePreheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 13×9 inch baking pan with flour-based baking spray (or grease and flour pan).In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat until light and fluffy on medium high speed (5 minutes with a timer set).Add the eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition.In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Begin and end with the flour. Beat until just combined and then fold in any remaining streaks of dry ingredients with a rubber spatula.Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes.Use the handle end of a wooden spoon to poke holes in the cake about 2 inches apart. Pour the chocolate syrup over the cake and into the holes. Let the cake cool completely.Whipped peanut butter frosting and toppingsIn the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine the butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Cream together on medium-high speed until a thick consistent frosting is achieved. Add milk or cream 1 tablespoon at a time to thin the mixture to spreading consistency, if needed.Spoon the frosting on top of the cooled cake and spread evenly. Top with the chopped peanut butter cups. To finish, drizzle the chocolate syrup over the peanut butter cups and frosting.Store cake covered with plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.
    NotesIf you’re in a big hurry, you can substitute a box of chocolate cake mix (or even yellow cake mix) for the homemade version, but the buttery flavor of this scratch made cake is unmatched. The texture is also perfect for standing up to a cup of syrup poured over it, whereas the boxed cake mix tends to fall apart when cut.
    Reese’s peanut butter is sold in jars in the peanut butter section -feel free to pick up a jar for this cake if you wish! Otherwise any shelf stable creamy peanut butter will work.
    For a salty-sweet version of this cake, toss on 1/4 cup of chopped roasted, salted peanuts along with the chopped peanut butter cups.
    Use your favorite brand of chocolate syrup for this cake. Hershey’s syrup is widely available and usually with the drink mixes and near the ice cream toppings at the grocery store.

    Keyword chocolate butter cake, chocolate cake, creamy peanut butter, peanut butter dessert, peanut butter lover cake, poke cake, reese’s cake, reese’s peanut butter, reese’s peanut butter cups, reese’s poke cake

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    Hamburger Cake

    Make your next gathering extra-cute with this fun Hamburger Cake! Layers of French savarin cake are stacked with ganache-glazed chocolate cakes for a cheeseburger lookalike.

    It’s been a while since I’ve made a fun cake, and since it’s still cookout season I decided to make a hamburger cake. I wanted it to be truly delicious, and something that doesn’t require a lot of frosting or complicated decorating. The ‘bun’ needed to look naturally hamburger bun-shaped straight from the pan. However, unfrosted cakes dry out quickly. So I really had to put my thinking cap on. I found the answer in a classic pastries book. The French savarin cake – which is yeast-risen, syrup soaked delicacy. And something with yeast in it makes sense for a ‘burger bun’ cake, right? The citrusy simple syrup keeps it tender and moist.

    A classic French cake.
    It’s true that anything described as ‘French’ in baking or pastry could also be described as complex. But this savarin cake is not hard to make. Because it has a little yeast in the batter, it must rise for about an hour. Then you’ll bake it to golden brown. After the cake is done, drench the cakes with citrusy simple syrup right in their pans.
    Speaking of pans, you’ll need an 8-inch half ball pan for the top burger bun. And an 8×3 inch round cake pan (or two 8×2 inch cake pans).

    Faux finishing.
    Next, work on the ‘hamburger patties’. This is a simple one bowl chocolate cake recipe that makes two 8-inch rounds. Glaze them with a simple ganache with chopped almonds mixed in. This is a delicious combination and the end result looks bumpy like a fried meat patty. Make room in your refrigerator, because these layers need to set up before you layer up the cakes.

    Double decker with cheese.
    Cut the round 8-inch cake into two layers. Use one for the bottom ‘bun’ layer. Then add a ‘hamburger patty’ layer on top.

    Continue to build the cake, adding slices of fondant ‘cheese’ buttercream ‘lettuce’ and some fondant tomato slices. Now, I know I’m not fooling anyone with that ‘lettuce’, but it makes the cake really cute and almost cartoon-y! Use a large rose petal tip (#128) with the small end pointed toward the edge of the cake. Then pipe an undulating ribbon of buttercream around the top edge.

    Add on more layers of savarin, chocolate cake, more buttercream, and some fondant ‘tomatoes’. If you absolutely can’t abide fondant on your cake, then use tinted marzipan or modeling chocolate.

    Place the bowl-shaped savarin on top and dowel all the layers together with a 12″ skewer. Add some red gift tissue with tape on top and you’ll have an extra-large fancy-looking ‘toothpick’.

    Toss on some toasted sesame seeds for a cute finishing touch. They stick naturally because of the savarin syrup. The only thing left to do is slice and enjoy. Wouldn’t this be a fun birthday cake? Just add candles!
    Related recipe: Triple Stack Donut Cake

    Hamburger Cake

    Heather Baird

    Order up! This hamburger party cake is fun to make and doesn’t require lots of frosting or intensive decorating. However, it is a lengthy recipe. Spread the work out over the course of two days. Bake and glaze all of the cake layers on the first day. Make the buttercream and fondant decors, then assemble it on the second day. Also, add a dozen eggs to your grocery list. Savarin is an egg-heavy cake, so you’ll need 12 large eggs for just the savarin layers. Make room in your refrigerator for all of the cake layers. They’ll be sturdier for assembly when chilled. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 40 minsCook Time 1 hr 40 minsTotal Time 2 hrs 20 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 24

    Equipment8 inch round half ball cake pan for savarin cake8×3 inch round cake pan (two 8×2 inch pans) for savarin cake8×2 inch cake pans (2) for chocolate cake layersLarge rose petal decorator piping tip #128Disposable rubber gloves
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Savarin cakes (Hamburger bun)Flour-based baking spray for pans5 cups all-purpose flour1/2 cup granulated sugar2 teaspoons instant yeast1 teaspoon salt1/2 cup whole milk12 large eggsZest of one orange1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperatureSavarin syrup3 cups granulated sugar2 cups water1 cup lemon juice1/4 cup orange liqueur or orange juiceChocolate cakes (meat patties)2 cups granulated sugar1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour3/4 cup unsweet dark cocoa powder1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda1 teaspoon salt2 large eggs1 cup whole milk at room temperature1/2 cup vegetable oil I like sunflower seed oil1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 cup hot water or hot coffeeChocolate ganache glaze2 cups semisweet chocolate chips1 cup heavy cream1 tablespoon clear corn syrup for shiny finish1 cup whole almonds coarsely choppedGarnishes (lettuce, tomato, cheese)3 oz. red fondant ready made3 oz. white fondant ready madeOrange gel food colorNeon yellow gel food color1 1/2 cups American buttercreamNeon green gel food color2-3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
    Instructions Savarin cakesMix the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the milk, eggs, and zest. Beat until a thick batter forms, about 5 minutes.With the mixer running, add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until the batter is smooth.Coat an 8 inch half ball cake pan with flour-based baking spray. Also coat one 8×3 inch round cake pan (or two 8×2 inch pans). Divide the batter evenly between the pans. Spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the cake is puffed to fill the pan about 2/3 full, 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how warm your kitchen is.Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350°F. When the cakes are raised, bake them until well set and golden brown. About 40 minutes for the 8×3 inch pan, and 50 minutes for the ball pan. Rest the cakes in the pans while you prepare the syrup.Savarin syrupIn a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice. Stir to combine.Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove and pour in the orange liqueur or orange juice. Remove to cool slightly.Turn the savarin cakes out of their pans onto a wire cooling rack. Level the cakes with a serrated knife if they have crowned. Place 1 cup of syrup into each of the pans and return the cakes to the pans. Let stand 5 minutes. Pour the remaining syrup over each cake. Cover and let rest until the syrup has absorbed. Cover the cake pans and refrigerate overnight.Chocolate cakes (meat patties)Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat two 8-inch cake pans with flour-based baking spray and lined the bottoms with parchment rounds (or grease and flour and line).In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk well to combine. Add the eggs milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in the hot water or coffee. Mix well; batter will be thin. Divide the batter evenly between the pans.Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, and then turn them out to a wire rack to cool completely.Chocolate ganache glazePlace the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat the mixture in the microwave for 1 minute at 100% power. Let the mixture stand for 1 minute. Use a whisk to stir the two ingredients together until a thick consistent chocolate ganache forms. Stir in the corn syrup. Fold in the almonds with a rubber spatula.Place the chocolate cakes on the wire rack over a large baking sheet. Pour the glaze over the cakes, allowing the chocolate ganache to spill over the sides of the cake. Use an offset spatula to place chocolate in bare spots. Refrigerate the cakes on the rack until the ganache is set, about 1 hour.Assemble and decorateKnead the red fondant well on a lightly confectioners’ sugar-dusted work surface. Roll into a ball and cut into 6 wedges. Flatten wedges to half-moon shapes; transfer to a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.Knead the white fondant well on a lightly confectioners’ sugar dusted work surface. Add a drop of orange food color and two drops of the yellow food color on the fondant. With gloved hands, knead the color into the fondant. Add more food color as needed to achieve the hue of sliced American cheese. Roll the fondant flat to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into two 4-inch squares. Cut each square in half to create two triangle shaped pieces of ‘cheese”. You should have a total of four ‘cheese’ triangles. Transfer to a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside.Mix the buttercream frosting as directed in the linked recipe. Tint the buttercream with neon green food color to create a bright green hue. Transfer to a disposable piping bag fitted with the large petal tip. Set aside.Carefully cut (torte) the 8-inch round savarin cake horizontally in two. Do this while the cake is chilled so the cake is firm and holds together well. These two pieces will be the bottom and middle buns. Place one piece on an 8-inch cake board. Run a small sharp knife around the bottom edges of the chocolate glazed cakes. Lift one from the wire rack and onto the first layer of savarin. Place two ‘cheese’ triangles overhanging the edges of the chocolate cake to the front and back of the cake. Pipe a thick undulating ribbon of green buttercream around the top edge of the chocolate cake and over the ‘cheese’. Do this with the small end of the piping tip pointed toward you, with the large open end pointing toward the middle of the cake. Top the chocolate cake ‘meat patty’ with the second savarin round.Place the remaining two cheese slices to the left and right side of the chocolate cake, overhanging the edges as before. Pipe two rows of ‘lettuce around the top edge of the cake. Place ‘tomato’ wedges well-spaced, over the lettuce.Finally, place the dome savarin on top. Sprinkle on toasted sesame seeds. Dowell the cake all the way through the top middle down to the bottom with the 12” skewer.Refrigerate the cake until about one hour before serving. Bring to room temperature or serve slightly chilled.
    NotesThe corn syrup in the chocolate ganache gives it a shine. It can be optional, but it’s such a small amount I’d recommend using it for the best effect.
    If you’re not a fan of fondant, ready-made marzipan or modeling chocolate will work in its place. 
    Sesame seeds can be purchased pre-toasted, or you can toast them in a saucepan over medium heat for about 3 minutes until golden brown.

    Keyword american buttercream, bbq cake, dark chocolate cake layers, hamburger cake, savarin pan, savarin syrup, summer cake, white chocolate ganache

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    Photo Journal: Summer Silver Linings

    Hello, hello! Today I’m sharing a few personal updates, along with some recipes I’ve been working on that are featured elsewhere on the web. I hope you enjoy reading about what I’ve been up to this summer!

    I’ve surprised myself, making time for another personal update here. Our summer so far has been hot and muggy (and buggy!) as it usually is in the southern US. Swarms of June bugs are flying aimlessly across the lawn like they are drunk on the humidity. It’s kind of miserable outside. But July is my birthday month. To celebrate, I might visit a gem and fossil shop and add another rock to my collection. And maybe get myself a donut while I’m in that neck of the woods.

    As you can see from the lead photo, I’ve been painting again. Before baking became my life, I’d planned to be a fine artist of some sort. I haven’t made a piece of art on canvas in more than a decade. But lately, my soul has needed the kind of therapy that can only be had by putting brush to canvas. I’ve been missing my Churro so much. So I decided to paint his portrait. He loved bananas and the teddy he came with from the rescue. So I included them in the composition.
    Although I’ve taken Churro’s passing pretty hard, it has made me rediscover my love for painting. A silver lining if ever there was one.

    A new face.
    Now, this seems like an opportune time to tell you about my new helper. Chico is a little black jelly bean of a dog. Cute as a button with a tail that never stops wagging, except when it thunders. My husband fell in love with him at the shelter, and although I didn’t think I was ready for a new dog, it turns out that I needed Chico very much. And he needed us. too.
    He’s an older dog. It seems that’s what we’re drawn to rescue. So I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I’m running an old folks home for dogs. All the while following my rescue heroes with more experience than I have, Steve Greig and Peabody Johanson (of Sweet ReciPEAs).

    You can read a little bit more about Chico in this Instagram post.

    My work elsewhere.
    A couple of months ago I whipped up some Spicy Mango-Tamarind Ice Pops to help promote Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race on social media. You can watch me make them right here on Facebook or on Inspired by artisanal Mexican paletas, these treats embrace sweet and spicy with a sprinkle of chile-lime seasoning on each ice pop.

    This is another chilly treat I made for Food Network – Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwich Cake! You can find the recipe right here. It’s a lot like my Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches Cake, but with a strawberry crunch spin. I love recipes like this for summer. Some assembly required, but no cooking or baking!

    Kitchen storage.
    I shared this on social media a while back, but some of you may not have seen it yet. Check out this article I wrote for HGTV: Create a Chef-Worthy Kitchen With Our Storage Secrets. All of these photos are from my workshop, and are my storage methods that are easy to employ in your own kitchen. While browsing through you’ll find a couple of recipes. Don’t miss my Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Caramel and Peanuts! They taste like a Snicker’s bar in cookie form.

    Southern summers force me into a slower pace. One that makes me want to recharge by spending time alone thinking, baking, taking pictures, and now painting. And so I will.
    I hope summer has been kind to you so far. Onward and upward!

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Strawberry Crunch Ice Cream Cake

    Strawberry Crunch Ice Cream Cake combines fluffy yellow cake, strawberry ice cream, and whipped cream for a nostalgic treat. Coated with strawberry cookie crumble for that signature crunch!

    We have many summer birthdays in our family. That means I’m always looking for chilly desserts that are worthy of sticking some candles into. Cake and ice cream are birthday essentials, and this Strawberry Crunch Ice Cream Cake combines the best of both worlds! It’s a super easy fix that can be made ahead and kept frozen until party time.

    13×9 convenience.
    Mix up the yellow cake batter and spread it into a greased 13×9-inch baking dish. I’ve scaled down my yellow cake recipe to fill the pan halfway when it’s baked. This leaves just enough room for the creamy/crunchy toppings.
    Use your favorite store-bought strawberry ice cream. You’ll need a standard 1.75 quart container. Let it stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, then stir it until it has the spreading consistency of buttercream frosting. For easier work, you can paddle it in your stand mixer for about 1 minute until the texture is just right.

    Plan ahead, because the ice cream will need to refreeze until solid, about 4 hours. When the ice cream is firmed, spread on some homemade unsweet vanilla whipped cream. The other components of this recipe are pretty sweet so this layer really doesn’t need any sugar.

    Strawberry Crunchies.
    The crumble is super easy to whip up, especially if you use a food processor. Pulse together vanilla wafers, freeze-dried strawberries, a touch of powdered strawberry Jello, and a smidge of melted butter. If you don’t have a food processor, crush the dry toppings together in a bag with a rolling pin, then stir in the butter.

    This dessert was inspired by the Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Bars, which is a nostalgic favorite for many. It has bold strawberry flavor, and that crumbly topping… well. I could eat it by the spoonful.

    This is such an easy cake to make, and if you cut it into ‘party size’ pieces (wedding cake-size pieces) you can serve up to 24 people! My serving size is generous, so I ended up with about 16 servings.
    Enjoy this cake on a hot summer’s day. It’s like a slice of air conditioning.
    Related recipe: Strawberry Delight

    Strawberry Crunch Ice Cream Cake

    Heather Baird

    Inspired by the nostalgic flavors of Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake Bars, this cake delivers a sweet, creamy bite with a cookie crumble topping. Plan ahead because this cake needs to freeze 4 hours, or overnight. It’s a lovely summertime treat that you can make ahead and store in the freeze until time to serve.

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 15 minsCook Time 22 mins4 hours chill time 4 hrsTotal Time 4 hrs 37 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 16

    Equipment13×9 inch pan
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Yellow cake1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature1 cup granulated sugar2 large eggs room temperature1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 tablespoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt1/2 cup whole milk room temperatureIce cream fillings and whipped topping1.75 quart container strawberry ice cream1 1/2 cups heavy cream whipped to stiff peaks1 teaspoon vanilla extractCrunch toppings5 oz. mini vanilla wafers 1/2 package, such as Nilla1/2 oz. freeze dried strawberries 1/2 package1/2 tablespoon strawberry gelatin powder such as Jell-O3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
    Instructions Yellow cakePreheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.Beat the butter and granulated sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. When the butter is lightened and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time. Mix until incorporated and smooth. Add in the vanilla and beat to combine.In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour and milk alternately to the creamed butter mixture, mixing until just combined with each addition. Begin and end with flour.Pour the batter into prepared baking sheet and spread evenly.Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a toothpick tester comes out clean. Cool completely.Ice cream filling and whipped creamAllow the ice cream to soften at room temperature 20 minutes. Stir it in the carton with a large spoon until the ice cream has the consistency of thick buttercream frosting. The ice cream will lose a little volume – this is normal. Alternatively, you can beat the ice cream in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle for 1 minute on low speed, or until it comes to spreading consistency.Pour the ice cream over the cooled yellow cake. Spread evenly. Freeze until solid, 2-4 hours.Whip the heavy cream with the vanilla extract to stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Spread the whipped cream over the frozen strawberry ice cream layer.Crunch toppingsTo prepare the strawberry crunch, place the vanilla wafers and freeze-dried strawberries in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until just combined. Add the strawberry gelatin powder. Pulse to fine crumbs. Pour the butter through the feeding tube as you pulse 3-5 more times, or until crumbs clump and cling together. (See note for doing this by hand.)Sprinkle the strawberry crunch mixture generously over the whipped cream. Freeze, covered, until firm, 4 hours or overnight. Remove cake from freezer. Serve slices from the dish.
    NotesThe strawberry ice cream color can be intensified with a few drops of red food color. Mix it in a you stir it to spreading consistency.
    The crunchy topping can be made by hand by placing the cookies, freeze-dried strawberries, and Jell-O powder in a large zip top bag. Use a rolling pin to smash and crush the contents. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the melted butter. Use this mixture to top the cake.
    I used Nilla Wafers in this recipe, but most any butter cookie will work. 15-20 Golden Oreos may also be substituted for the vanilla wafers. This version of the crumble will be slightly sweeter because of the cream filling.
    If you can’t find freeze-dried strawberries at your grocery store, increase the strawberry Jell-O powder to 2 tablespoons. This will give the crumble more strawberry flavor without using the actual strawberries.

    Keyword ice cream cake, strawberry crunch topping, strawberry ice cream, summer dessert, yellow cake

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    Chocolate Fortissimo Cake

    Chocolate Fortissimo Cake holds a symphony of bold flavors. It’s music for your taste buds! Coffee liqueur turns up the volume on its chocolate notes.

    Quite a long time ago, when I was a little kid taking music lessons, I first learned the meaning of the word fortissimo. In music, it means to play loudly. While browsing one of my European cake books I was surprised to see the word describe a chocolate cake. I just had to know – exactly how ‘loud’ is this chocolate cake?
    Turns out, Chocolate Fortissimo Cake is loud, yet refined. It has balance just like any good piece of music. Coffee liqueur such as Tia Maria (or Kahlua) is the ingredient that intensifies all of its chocolate components without making it heavy or too sweet. The genoise is light, the mocha buttercream silky. The barely sweet chantilly filling gives harmony to the score.

    Genoise, the foundation.
    Start by making a genoise sponge. The recipe in the cake book was so similar to my own chocolate genoise, I opted for my tried and true recipe. Never made genoise? You’re in luck! There’s a video at the end of this post that will show you how to properly whip the eggs to ribbon stage. Also, you can see the batter-folding technique in action, which is essential to making a well-risen sponge.

    Truffles for cake toppers.
    While the genoise cools, make the truffles. Yes, this cake is topped with rich, deeply chocolaty cocoa-dusted orbs of deliciousness. In my opinion, this is the ‘loudest’ part of the cake. The mixture stirs up quickly and requires 40 minutes to chill.

    Crème Chantilly.
    In the meantime, whip up the chantilly. This barely sweet whipped cream has just 2 teaspoons of powdered sugar added. Pour in a tablespoon of coffee liqueur and beat to stiff peaks. Cover and chill this 3 ingredient wonder while you prepare the remaining components.

    Mocha buttercream.
    This European style of buttercream was a bit of a revelation for me. Its base is heavy on the extra-creamy salted butter (82% milkfat) to just just 1 cup of powdered sugar. Beaten to its lightest, fluffiest texture, its silkiness rivals any meringue-based buttercream. Melted chocolate and espresso impart the mocha flavors.

    The construction.
    Torte the cooled genoise into three layers. They don’t necessarily have to be even, and the top layer can be on the thin side. Coat each layer with a little coffee simple syrup. Fill the first layer with 1/2 inch of the mocha buttercream, and the second with all of the chantilly. Next you’ll cover the cake with more of the mocha buttercream.

    Remember those truffles? Place the in a ring on top of the cake. These buttery, creamy gems could be a stand-alone dessert. They are rich and totally gift worthy in a pretty tin.

    A special garnish.
    Long-time readers will recognize this as one of my favorite decorating techniques. I figured it out on my own a long time ago when I made these Poured Fondant Honey Cupcakes. You can find a video tutorial for the technique in that blog post. I thought this cake deserved a garnish worthy of its name.

    Place the remaining mocha buttercream in a piping bag and pipe stars between the truffles. Then, stand the chocolate seals upright into each star.

    This cake is pretty special. It reminds me a little of another music-inspired confection – Classic Opera Cake. But this version is lighter with a genoise sponge.

    This cake offers bold grown-up flavors, yet still retains lightness. It’s so special occasion-worthy. Don’t hesitate to give it a try! And check out my video of the entire process, if you have questions. It’s more than 3 minutes long (which, the internet tells me is too long to hold your attention). I’m sure some may find it a bit tedious to watch. But I made it for beginners that would appreciate some visual instruction.

    Chocolate Fortissimo Cake

    Heather Baird

    In music terminology fortissimo means to play a passage of music loudly. True to its namesake, this cake has bold chocolate flavor, yet it retains lightness with its sponge base, silky buttercream and chantilly fillings. Overall, a symphony of really beautiful flavors and textures. This cake has several components and steps, but each is pretty straight forward. It is of intermediate skill level, and bakers with knowledge of making genoise sponge will have no trouble. If you’re a beginner baker, use the genoise recipe along with the video provided in the blog post for success. This cake hinges on a well-risen sponge because it is torted in three layers and must be tall enough after baking to do so.Tia Maria is the suggested coffee liqueur to use in this recipe, but Kahlua is a fine substitute. For the buttercream, use salted (yes, salted!) butter with 82% milkfat. This is sometimes labeled as ‘extra-creamy’ or ‘European-style’. Imported French butters are among those with higher milkfat.

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    Prep Time 45 minsCook Time 30 mins40 minutes chill time 40 minsTotal Time 3 hrs 15 mins

    Course DessertCuisine European

    Servings 12

    Equipment8×3 inch round cake pan, or springform panparchment paperwax seal stamp with music motif, such as treble clef or music notes
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Chocolate genoise3 large eggs3 large egg yolks3/4 cup granulated sugar1/8 teaspoon salt1/3 cup cake flour1/3 cup cornstarch1/4 cup dark unsweet cocoa powderTruffles2 teaspoons instant espresso powder2 tablespoons coffee liqueur4 oz. semisweet chocolate chopped you can also use chips4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar sifted1 tablespoon heavy cream1/4 cup unsweet cocoa powder not darkCrème Chantilly2/3 cup heavy cream2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar1 tablespoon coffee liqueurMocha buttercream2 teaspoons instant espresso powder2 teaspoons unsweet cocoa powder4 oz. semisweet chocolate chopped fine (can use mini chips)3 tablespoons boiling water2 cups european style salted butter with 82% milkfat such as Land-O-Lakes extra creamy1 cup confectioners’ sugarCoffee syrup6 tablespoons water3 tablespoons sugar3 tablespoons coffee liqueurChocolate seals2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chipsCrushed ice
    Instructions Chocolate GenoisePreheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch round baking pan. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.Set a medium saucepan filled 1/3 with water over medium heat.In a heat-proof bowl, preferably stainless, beat together the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, and salt, using an electric hand mixer at high speed. Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water and continue beating with the hand mixer until the mixture reaches ribbon stage, about 5 minutes. Ribbon stage is when the batter increases in volume, lightens, and the batter leaves a thick trail or ribbon when the beaters are lifted from the bowl. To get this right, set a timer for 5 minutes once you start mixing over the simmering water.Remove the bowl from the water. Sift the cake flour, cornstarch, and cocoa over the egg mixture. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Do this carefully as to not deflate the batter too much. This may take about 5-7 minutes of careful mixing. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched with a finger. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the wire rack and peel away the parchment paper. Let cool while you make the truffles.TrufflesDissolve the instant espresso in the coffee liqueur. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the dissolved coffee in the microwave, about 1 minute at 100% power. Stir well until smooth. Let cool slightly.In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar (I did this with a whisk, but you could use a hand mixer). Beat in the chocolate mixture and the cream. Whisk vigorously to combine. Chill for 40 minutes. Shape the mixture into 8 even-sized balls (use a small cookie scoop 4 teaspoon capacity). Dust in the cocoa powder and chill while you prepare the remaining cake components.Crème ChantillyIn a large bowl, whip together the cream and sugar with an electric hand mixer. Beat in the coffee liqueur. Beat on high speed to stiff peaks. Cover and chill.Mocha buttercreamStir together the instant espresso powder and cocoa powder in a small microwave-safe bowl. Pour in the chopped chocolate. Add 3 tablespoons boiling water and let stand 1 minute. Whisk together until smooth. If lumps of chocolate remain after whisking well, microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Let cool until thickened but not set, about 5-7 minutes.In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar together for 5 minutes until fluffy and lightened in color. Add the chocolate mixture and beat again until well combined. Scrape down the bowl and beat again until lightened, thick and fluffy. Cover bowl with a damp towel and set aside at room temperature.Coffee syrupIn a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the water and sugar. Heat in the microwave at 100% power for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Stir until the sugar is melted. Stir in the coffee liqueur. Let cool.Chocolate sealsGently heat chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave at 30 second intervals; be careful to not over heat. Stir smooth.Transfer chocolate to a clean bowl. Let it stand 3-5 minutes or until it’s barely warm to the touch. It’s important the chocolate is not too hot when you make an impression with the stamp. The heat from the chocolate will warm the metal stamp and it will cause the chocolate to smear.Place metal wax seal stamps in the cup filled with crushed ice. The stamp bottoms need to be thoroughly chilled.Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop dime-size amounts of chocolate onto the parchment paper. Remove a stamp from the ice and quickly wipe it free of water droplets with a towel. Place the stamp onto a mound of chocolate. Let the stamp stand pressed in the chocolate for 3-5 seconds, or until the edges of the chocolate turn matte. Press down very gently but firmly and lift the stamp (see instructional video for clear visual). You should be left with a clear impression in the chocolate. Replace metal wax stamp into the crushed ice until it is thoroughly chilled and repeat with remaining melted chocolate. You’ll need 8 seals for this cake’s décor. Make more than you need, and pick out the best 8. Refrigerate finished chocolate seals until firm.AssembleSlice the genoise cake into 3 layers using a wire cake leveler or a serrated knife. Sprinkle or brush on the coffee syrup onto each cake layer. Place one cake layer on a plate or cake board. Fill with about 1/2 inch thickness of the mocha buttercream. Spread evenly. Top with another cake layer. Fill with all of the Chantilly cream. Spread evenly. Cover with the remaining cake layer.Remove about 1/2 cup of the mocha buttercream frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip. Set aside. Cover the entire cake with a thick layer of the remaining mocha buttercream. Place the chilled truffles on top of the cake, well-spaced. Pipe stars of buttercream between each truffle. Stand chocolate seals into the buttercream stars upright.Serve cake slightly chilled or at room temperature. This cake improves over 24 hours, as the flavors marry and syrup brushed crumb settles. Leftovers keep for 1 week in the refrigerator.
    NotesOrigins: This is an abbreviated version of Chocolate Fortissimo from the book Ultimate Cake by Barbara Maher. The original has the same components but is made with two genoise cakes. I developed this single layer genoise version to save a little time on an even lengthier recipe.
    Longevity: Improves over 24 hours in the refrigerator. Keeps for 1 week refrigerated. Freezes for 1-2 months, undecorated.
    Make ahead: The truffles and coffee syrup can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. The genoise can be made and frozen for future assembly.

    Keyword chantilly cream, chocolate buttercream, chocolate genoise, chocolate truffles, european desserts

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    Slow Cooker Cheesecake in a Jar

    This Slow Cooker Cheesecake in a Jar recipe makes perfectly portable single servings of cheesecake. Make them ahead for convenience and get creative with the toppings!

    I often host big family dinners, and I’m always looking for new ways to make the meal special. Especially the finale. Individual desserts feel special to me. While sorting the mail a few weeks ago, I spotted little jarred cheesecakes in a mail order catalogue that specializes in shipping fancy foods. Boy, were they cute. And expensive. I started researching, and it turns out, these little pots of creamy sweetness are not hard to make at home for much less.
    I’m finding the slow cooker baking method especially nice in these hot months when you don’t want to turn on your oven. A slow cooker won’t heat up your whole house like a range or wall oven will!

    Simple ingredients, simple prep.
    Mix up the simplest 3 ingredient crust: graham crumbs, sugar, and a smidge of butter. Divide this mixture between nine 4 oz. canning jars. You can find the jars at most grocery stores in the canning section for much less than you’d pay online. So look there first if you don’t already have a stash.
    Next, beat the cream cheese batter ingredients together. This can be managed just fine with a hand mixer, just make sure all the cold ingredients are at room temperature. We’re looking for a smooth, lump-free batter.

    Use a piping bag.
    Transfer the cheesecake batter to a large piping bag, or even a large zip-top bag with the corner snipped. This makes for the easiest portioning of the batter into the jars. Fill the jars up to the line, which is within about 1/2 inch of the rim.

    The easiest water bath.
    Place the jars in the slow cooker and very carefully (very. carefully.) pour tap water into the crock. Fill it until the water comes about halfway up the jars. Be careful not to splash water into the cheesecakes. If you’re worried that you might, you can temporarily lid them before this step. Then remove the lids before cooking them. Cook on high for about 1 hour.

    The cooldown.
    When done, the cheesecakes will be slightly puffed around the edges, with a wobble in the center. Remove the cheesecakes from the crockpot using a canning jar lifter. Or, let them cool down for 20 minutes inside the crock, until they are cool enough to handle. Cool at room temperature for about 10 more minutes, then refrigerate until firm – about 2 hours. The once puffed cheesecakes will deflate a little and have slightly concave tops. This makes room for toppings!

    Create your own cheesecake sampler!
    Jarred, canned, ready-made jams and sauces make the easiest toppers. Lemon curd and dulce de leche are two of my favorite toppers. Or, if you have more time for homemade toppings, my Spiked Hot Fudge Sauce is an excellent choice.

    I’ll have one of each, please! (Actually, I did have one of each. So good!)

    The texture of the cheesecake is similar to dense New York-style cheesecakes, so these little jars pack a big punch. They’re easy to lid and tote away to your favorite picnic spot.
    Watch me make Slow Cooker Cheesecake in a Jar in the video below!

    Slow Cooker Cheesecake in a Jar

    Heather Baird

    This is such an easy way to prepare individual servings of cheesecake. Make them ahead and they’ll keep for a week, or freeze them for up to 3 months. This is a great recipe for hot summer months when you don’t want to turn on your oven – your slow cooker won’t heat up your kitchen like a large range oven will!I use a large 8-quart slow cooker, which will hold all 9 jars. If your slow cooker is smaller, you can refrigerate half of the jars while the other half bake. The jars are easy to lid and tote to a BBQ, potluck, or picnic. See the recipe notes for topping ideas.

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    Prep Time 15 minsCook Time 1 hr2 hours chill time 2 hrsTotal Time 3 hrs 15 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 9

    Equipment8-quart slow cooker9 canning jars with lids and rings 4 oz. capacity 1 disposable piping bag or large zip top bag1 Canning jar lifter optional
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Crust1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon graham cracker crumbs1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter meltedCheesecake filling16 oz. cream cheese 2 packages softenedZest of 1 lemon3/4 cup granulated sugar2 tablespoons cornstarch1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 large egg at room temperature½ cup heavy cream at room temperature
    Instructions CrustHave nine 4 oz. jars washed and dried ahead of time. Place them on a baking sheet and set aside.Place the crumbs and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the melted butter and mix together using a rubber spatula. Mash the crumbs into the butter and turn them over repeatedly until the mixture resembles wet sand.Place about 1 tablespoon of the crumb mixture into each of the 9 jars. Tamp down the crust using the bottom of a small glass (I used a shot glass). Set aside while you prepare the filling.Cheesecake fillingIn a large mixing bowl, place the cream cheese and beat on high speed with a hand mixer for 2-3 minutes until creamy and no lumps remain.Scrape down the bowl and add the lemon zest. Mix until combined.Add the sugar and cornstarch. Beat until well blended. Scraped down the bowl as needed.Add the vanilla, egg, and heavy cream. Beat until smooth.Transfer the cheesecake batter to a large piping bag or a large zip top bag with a corner snipped. Pipe the cheesecake batter over the crust in the jars within about 1/2 inch of the jar tops (to the first line).Place the jars, uncovered, in the slow cooker and very carefully pour in tepid tap water using a container with a pour spout (a teakettle works well). Pour the water about halfway up the jars.Place the cover on the slow cooker and cook on high for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. The cheesecakes will puff slightly. They’ll be set around the edges and have just a slight wobble in the center when they’re done.Remove the jars using a canning jar lifter, or allow the jars to cool inside the crock until the top edges are cool enough to handle. Remove to a countertop and let them cool slightly at room temperature. Transfer them to a baking sheet and refrigerate them until set, about 2 hours. The cheesecake will sink down a little bit and become concave with refrigeration. This makes a little more room for any toppings you’d like to add before lidding.The un-topped cheesecakes will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. Or, freeze them for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
    NotesWhat to expect: This version of cheesecake is much like dense New York style cheesecake. A little lemon zest in the batter enhances the flavor without giving it overt lemon flavor. Serve with small dessert spoons.
    Toppings: The video in the blog post will give you some ideas for toppings, but the sky’s the limit! If you’re short on time, use prepared jarred jams and sauces that require no extra prep. Strawberry jam, dulce de leche, and lemon curd are all excellent toppers. If you have more time, my spiked chocolate sauce makes a delicious topper, or make a quick compote (this cranberry-orange sauce would be great around the holidays!). Fresh berries and whipped cream are also really great toppers.

    Keyword cream cheese, crockpot, easy cheesecake, graham cracker crust, individual servings, slow cooker

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