DDD #154 – Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake

2 Comments

IMG_4780All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2020

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

IMG_4777

IMG_4797

Click the image below to watch the video.

IMG_4790

Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups good quality olive oil

3 vegan eggs

1 1/3 cups vegan milk

2 TBS orange zest

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1/4 cup Grand Marnier (optional)

IMG_4785

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 325 degrees & put the top shelf in the middle of the oven.

Combine all the ingredients & pour into a greased 9″ spring form pan.

Bake for 55-70 minutes or until it is golden on top & a toothpick comes out clean (maybe a few crumbs but not wet).

Allow to cool.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar & maybe more orange zest.

Enjoy!

IMG_4793IMG_4788IMG_4782

DDD Ep. #153 – Vegan Strawberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

1 Comment

IMG_4718All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2020

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

IMG_4705

IMG_4734

Click the image below to watch the video.

Vegan Strawberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS

3 cups fresh strawberries (stems removed & chopped) – or frozen strawberries (thawed)

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

1 TBS lemon juice

2 cans coconut CREAM (not coconut milk)

2 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

1 cup vegan chocolate chips

IMG_4733IMG_4720

DIRECTIONS

Put the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer – at least overnight – or longer.  If you have room – it should just live there when it is empty so you can be more spontaneous about making ice cream.

Heat the strawberries with the sugar, cornstarch & lemon juice until dry ingredients dissolve.  Bring to a boil to thicken a bit then set aside to cool completely.

Mix in the coconut cream, vanilla & salt & make ice cream according to your machine’s directions.

Add the chocolate chips in the last 5-10 minutes.

Eat immediately or put in a loaf pan, cover with wax paper & then foil & keep in the freezer.

IMG_4735IMG_4723

DDD #150 – Vegan Blueberry Apple Pie with Rosemary

3 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2020

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

Click the image below to watch the video.

 

Vegan Blueberry Apple Pie with Rosemary

INGREDIENTS

4 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

2 apples – sliced very thinly

1 lemon

1 cup sugar

1-2 tsp of fresh rosemary chopped VERY finely (use less for a more subtle flavor)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 TBS cornstarch

1 package of two pie crusts or the recipe below.

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375 degrees with a cooking sheet in there on the middle rack.

Core & slice the apples – slice them very thinly – and squeeze the juice of half a lemon on them.

In a sauce pan over medium heat – combine the berries, apple slices, juice from the other half of the lemon, sugar, rosemary, vanilla & cornstarch.  Warm until sugar dissolves & cornstarch is incorporated.  Allow to cool while you prepare the crust.

Divide the dough in two and roll out each half until they are both large enough to line your pie dish.  Layer on crust in the dish & fill with the fruit mix.

Cut the other crust into 1/2- 3/4 inch strips, twist them & coil the strips on top if the pie – starting from the center & working outward until the top is covered.  Put any extra dough in the spots where fruit shows.  (Watch the video if this seems confusing.)

Cover with foil.  Place on the hot cooking sheet & bake at 375 for 20 minutes.  Remove foil & bake another 20-25 minutes or until your crust is golden & the fruit is bubbling.

Cool & serve.

Vegan Buttery Pie Crust

3 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup VERY COLD vegan butter

8-10 TBS VERY COLD water

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl or food processor, mix the flour & salt.  Slice the butter up & work it into the flour.  I did this in my food processor by pulsing it until it was all crumbly. Little chunks of butter in the dough are okay.  Add the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together.  Don’t add so much that it gets sticky or gooey. Wrap in plastic wrap & chill in the fridge while the pie filling cools.

 

DDD #104 – Vegan Burnt Sugar Salted Caramel Sauce

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~


Click the image above to watch the video.

Vegan Burnt Sugar Salted Caramel Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 cup white sugar

3 oz vegan butter

5.6 oz full fat coconut milk or vegan heavy cream

Pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS

Over med-low heat, heat the sugar – whisking constantly so it does not burn.  It will start to clump up then eventually melt & start to brown.  Whisk in the butter until it melts then add the milk.  Boil a bit until it thickens.  Add the salt & remove from heat.  Allow to cool.  Store in the fridge.  It should be good for several weeks.

DDD #103 – Vegan Apple Pecan Bread Pudding

4 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

Click the link above to watch the video.

Vegan Apple Pecan Bread Pudding

INGREDIENTS

5 packed cups leftover bread – broken up (I used hamburger buns)

1 cup chopped pecans or other nut

1-2 apples – cored & diced

1 heaping tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup sugar

1 TBS vanilla

2 cups non dairy milk

DIRECTIONS

Mix it all together. Treat a casserole pan with cooking spray & put the wet pudding in there & bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

Top with powdered sugar or ice cream or whipped topping or salted caramel sauce (recipe for that coming soon!)

 

 

DDD #69 – Vegan 4-Layer Pumpkin – Cheesecake – Chocolate – Pecan Pie

5 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

 

Click the image below to watch the video.


You can easily eliminate any of the layers without any great loss to the overall deliciousness of this pie – so – give it a try – why don’t you!

 

Please note – this pie needs AT LEAST 6 hours in the fridge (overnight being ideal) before you cut it so making it the day before is best.

INGREDIENTS

Vegan Buttery Pie Crust

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup VERY COLD vegan butter

4-6 TBS VERY COLD water

Chocolate Layer

1/4 cup vegan heavy cream (see heavy cream replacement idea below)

1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips

Cheesecake Layer
8 oz vegan cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 vegan egg (see my egg replacer note below)

Pumpkin Pie Layer
1 2/3 cups unsweetened fresh or canned pumpkin puree
1 cup vegan heavy cream (see heavy cream replacement idea below)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 vegan eggs (See my egg replacer note below)

Pecan Pie Layer
1 cup mix of whole and coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup light or dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 vegan eggs (See my egg replacer note below)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted vegan butter

Egg Replacer

I pureed 14 ounces of silken tofu & used 1/4 cup of it for each “egg” in the recipe.  You can do this or use your favorite egg replacer.

Heavy Cream Replacer

I used 1 can of full fat coconut milk blended with one can coconut creme.  You can do this or use your own favorite heavy cream.

 

Image

 

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl or food processor, mix the flour & salt.  Slice the butter up & work it into the flour.  I did this in my food processor by pulsing it until it was all crumbly. Little chunks of butter in the dough are okay.  Add the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together.  Don’t add so much that it gets sticky or gooey. Wrap in plastic wrap & chill in the fridge while you prepare the pie filling layers.

PECAN – Combine the eggs (see replacer idea above), sugars, melted butter, corn syrup, vanilla extract and salt in a bowl.  Stir in pecans.  Set aside.

CHEESECAKE – In a medium bowl or food processor, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar, then add vanilla and 1 “egg.” Beat mixture until smooth.  Set aside.

PUMPKIN – In a large bowl or food processor, combine pumpkin puree, heavy cream (replacer idea above), the 2 “eggs,” vanilla extract, sugar, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and salt. Mix thoroughly until uniform.

CHOCOLATE – Melt the chocolate & “heavy cream” in a pan.  Set aside.

 

Roll the dough out on a heavily floured surface.  Flour the top of the crust if it begins to stick to your rolling pin.  Roll it out a few inches larger than your DEEP pie dish. Carefully fold the crust in half twice so it looks like a pie wedge.  Put it in your pie dish & unfold.  Trim the edges if you like & crimp the rim with your fingers.

When oven temperature is at 400 F, line the pie crust with a large sheet of lightly oiled/buttered aluminum foil, buttered side down, covering the edge of the crust so that it doesn’t get too brown. Fill the lined crust with pie weights, dried beans, or raw rice. Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Prick the bottom of the crust well with a fork and bake the crust for another 7 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden, but the crust is not fully baked. Cool the pie crust on a wire rack.  Turn oven up to 425 degrees.

 

When the crust is ready, pour the chocolate layer in & freeze for 20 minutes.

Next, pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the chilled chocolate layer, spread evenly, then freeze for about 15 -20 minutes.

Image

When the oven is 425 degrees, remove the pie shell with cream cheese from the freezer and pour the pumpkin mixture on top of it.  Cover the crust edges with foil & bake the pie for 10 minutes.  Lower heat to 350 & bake another 25-35 minutes or until the pumpkin is beginning to set but is still soft in the center.

Image

Remove pie from oven and carefully spoon the pecan layer over the pumpkin layer.

Image

Keeping the edges covered in foil, bake another 60-75 minutes or until the pecan layer is bubbling & set at the edges.  The center can still be soft.

Let it cool & then refrigerate for AT LEAST 6 hours – overnight being ideal.

 

 

 

DDD #29 – Vegan Black Bean Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl

1 Comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

Black bean brownies?  Am I to believe my eyes?  Yes & yes!  These babies are amazing & nobody would ever guess that they are flourless & made of canned beans.  Rich & delicious & packed with protein – even the fussiest kids will chow these babies down.

Click the image below for the video & please subscribe to my channel.

Vegan Black Bean Brownies with Peanut Butter Swirl

INGREDIENTS

1 (15 oz) can black beans – drained & rinsed

2 vegan eggs (use your favorite egg replacer)

3 TBS coconut oil

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips plus extra for topping

1/8 – 1/4 cup peanut butter

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, blend all the ingredients except the chocolate chips & peanut butter.

Mix in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

Grease an 8×8 baking pan.  Spread the mix in there.  Drop some peanut butter on top and – with a skewer or the tip of a knife – swirl the peanut butter.  Top with some extra chips & then bake for 20-30 minutes or until the top is dry & the edges are separated from the pan.  Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before cutting them.  Refrigerating them will facilitate cutting them up.

Serve & wow the villagers!

 

2-Ingredient Vegan Persimmon Ice Cream – Made in the Blender

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

11-26-15 (56)

11-26-15 (23)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

11-26-15 (54)

11-26-15 (17)

11-26-15 (19)

11-26-15 (51)

I bought persimmons because they are in season & they are beautiful & I wanted to create something amazing from them.  Then – they sat on my counter, judging me, for several days and then began to pass their peak of ripeness.  Not wanting to just let them rot – I Googled for recipes & saw this picture – below – from Snapguide.

320x480

The recipe boasted only two ingredients and, better yet, required the persimmons be frozen.  Freezing them allowed me to store them indefinitely & stop their ripening process – so I could use them whenever I was ready.  I was ready today.

So – I busted them out of the freezer – peeled & cubed them – and blended them with a can of full-fat coconut milk.  I was certain I was going to need sugar – but I didn’t!  And this stuff IS INSANELY DELICIOUS!  It took ten minutes to make & only a blender!   Just incredible!  I cannot recommend it highly enough!  And look how gorgeous!

11-26-15 (30)

11-26-15 (44)

11-26-15 (61)

2-Ingredient Vegan Persimmon Ice Cream – Made in the Blender

Makes a pint or so…

INGREDIENTS

5 persimmons – frozen solid (you can peel & cube them before or after they are frozen but it is easier before – then just put the cubes in a freezer bag & use when ready)

1 (15 oz) can of coconut milk

Garnish: pomegranate seeds (optional)

11-26-15 (15)

11-26-15 (16)

11-26-15 (28)

11-26-15 (42)

11-26-15 (57)

DIRECTIONS

Blend until smooth.  Serve immediately with pomegranate seeds or store in the freezer.

11-26-15 (26)

11-26-15 (34)

11-26-15 (47)

11-26-15 (49)

Chocolate, Cheesecake, Pumpkin & Pecan Layered Pie with a Shortening-free Pie Crust

1 Comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

Image

(Photo of the slice of pie above is from Parsley, Sage & Sweet)

I am not much of a baker.  I almost never eat sweets & I live alone so – making a pie or a cake just means 1) I get fatter and 2) lots of whatever I made gets thrown away.  The exceptions to this rule are birthdays & holidays.

Last Christmas, I made a Chocolate Cinnamon Cannoli Tart but if you click that link there you will find out how that tart met a violent & untimely end.

ImageImage

This year, I worked all day on this barely tweaked adaptation of Parsley, Sage & Sweet‘s multi-layered pie & was petrified it would meet a similar fate or that I would drop it getting out of the car or tripping on steps.  I am happy to report that the pie made it all the way to the dessert table but before that happened – this happened:

ImageImage

That is to say, we ate a LOT of food & consumed even more wine so that, by the time we were cutting into the pie, I was holding one eye closed to keep from seeing two of them.  Two pies, that is.  I was pie-eyed when it was pie time and, thus, took exactly zero photos of the pie once it got sliced up.  So, I have no lush portraits of the interior of this baby but I can tell you – it was delicious.

I can also tell you it took a long time to make but that was due to a number of factors.  1) I made the crust from scratch.  You need not do that.  You could use a ready made crust.  2) I roasted my Halloween pumpkin & made the pumpkin pie layer with fresh pumpkin puree.  This is a very easy step to skip.  Just use some unsweetened, canned pumpkin.  Easier still, use canned pumpkin pie mix.  3) each layer needs to chill, even freeze, before the next layer can be added or it will all blend together.  It will all get blended in your mouth when you eat it so taste is not the concern.  But, if the layers blend, it won’t look like what Parsley, Sage & Sweet achieved up there.

You can easily eliminate any of the layers without any great loss to the overall deliciousness of this pie – so – give it a try – why don’t you!

Image

Shortening-free Pie Crust

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup VERY COLD butter

4-6 TBS VERY COLD water

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, mix the flour & salt.  Slice the butter up & work it into the flour.  I did this in my food processor by pulsing it until it was all crumbly.  Little chunks of butter in the dough are okay.  Add the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together.  Don’t add so much that it gets sticky or gooey.  Wrap in plastic wrap & chill while you prepare the pie layers.

When you are ready to assemble the pie, roll the dough out on a heavily floured surface.  Flour the top of the crust if it begins to stick to your rolling pin.  Roll it out a few inches larger than your DEEP pie dish.  Carefully fold the crust in half twice so it looks like a pie wedge.  Put it in your pie dish & unfold.  Trim the edges if you like & crimp the rim with your fingers.  Put this in the freezer & heat your oven to 400 degrees.  From Parsley, Sage & Sweets:

When oven temperature is at 400 F, remove the pie shell from the freezer and line the pie crust with a large sheet of lightly buttered aluminum foil, buttered side down, covering the edge of the crust so that it doesn’t get too brown. Fill the lined crust with pie weights, dried beans, or raw rice. Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Prick the bottom of the crust well with a fork and bake the crust for another 7 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden, but the crust is not fully baked. Cool the pie crust on a wire rack while you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

ImageImageImageImage

Chocolate, Cheesecake, Pumpkin & Pecan Layered Pie

Chocolate Layer

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup heavy cream

Cheesecake Layer
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg

Pumpkin Pie Layer
1 2/3 cups unsweetened fresh or canned pumpkin puree (If using fresh – simply cut up & seed a pumpkin.  Roast at 350 for about 45 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender to a fork.  Puree with just as much water as you need to get it blended smooth.)
1 cup heavy cream (you can use evaporated milk, if you prefer)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Pecan Pie Topping
1 cup mix of whole and coarsely chopped pecans
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup light or dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the crust or use a pre-made one.  My crust was a tad under-cooked – as you see in these photos but it cooked up fine when all was said & done.

If making fresh pumpkin puree – follow directions HERE.  Set aside.

Melt the chocolate & heavy cream in a double boiler (or a smaller pan set in a larger pan with boiling water in it).  When blended & smooth – pour this into the par baked pie crust.  Put this in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

ImageImage

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar, then add vanilla and 1 egg. Beat mixture until smooth.

Next, pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the chilled chocolate layer, spread evenly, then freeze for about 15 -20 minutes.

Image

In the mean time, in a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, heavy cream, the 2 lightly beaten eggs, vanilla extract, sugar, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and salt. Mix thoroughly until uniform.

Remove the pie shell with cream cheese from the freezer and pour the pumpkin mixture on top of it. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes.

Image

Combine the eggs, sugars, melted butter, corn syrup, vanilla extract and salt in a bowl.  Stir in pecans.  Remove pie from freezer and carefully spoon the pecan layer over the pumpkin layer.

Image

Place pie on the middle rack of your preheated oven.  Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil or a pie crust shield if browning too quickly, but you will eventually have to cover it  to prevent excess browning some time toward the end.  Keep checking every 20 minutes.

Bake in 350 degree F oven for about 60 to 75 minutes.  It really depends on your oven.  The the pecan pie topping should be dark and bubbling a bit.

And – once you’ve done all this work – be sure to get some good photographs of the results before succumbing to your alcoholic desires!  You will want to remember this baby!

Image

Spicy Chili Chocolate Cake & Fine Dining in Montecito, California

1 Comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

11-3-13 (17)

OK – I will apologize up front for the lame photos of the chili chocolate cake.  I hope the photos of my Montecito trip make up for it a tiny bit.

This chili chocolate cake is just stupid easy & really dense – like a flourless cake – despite the fact that it is flour-based.  I stole the recipe from Bake-aholic.com (their version & photo below)

Image

and just used my Fireball frosting from the Fireball Whiskey Cupcakes I made the same day I made this cake.

ImageImage

My cake seemed far more dense than their appears but it was rather yummy.

ImageImage

Here is their recipe for

Chili & Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you know I never plan ahead…1 T of vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup…add milk to the 1 cup mark.  let sit 5 minutes to curdle)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup hot hot water

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray a 13″x9″ baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, sugar, soda, cinnamon and cayenne (start with 1/4 tsp cayenne…you can adjust when the batter is all combined). Add in oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Stir gently. Add hot water. Pour into pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-6 T milk

Beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar gradually, add vanilla and cinnamon. Add milk and beat until you attain your desired consistency (I generally start with 4 T [1/4 cup] then add 1 T at a time).  Frost cooled cake. (This frosting is also delicious on graham crackers.)

Image

This weekend marked my second anniversary with the badass, Miles Miller.  I had an available dog sitter so we took the opportunity & escaped for a night to Montecito.  Montecito is the wealthy town just south of Santa Barbara.  I used to go there all the time & have a few favorite spots but I hadn’t been in over a decade – so – returning to those old favorite haunts had a distinct element of risk.  Not every restaurant can maintain its quality for twenty years.  Since I chose the destinations – all the responsibility was on my shoulders and I was a bit nervous.  But one place I was fairly certain would have maintained its allure is the Four Seasons Biltmore up there on the beach.  Unable to afford to actually stay there – I decided we could certainly afford to lunch there – so that was our first stop.

We sauntered into the hotel around noon & went to their restaurant there – Bella Vista.

“Are you joining us for brunch?”

I looked at Miles who shrugged and then answered, “I don’t see why not.”

But I could see why not.  I am not a brunch fan & I am especially not a brunch buffet fan.  Omelette bars & tables of pastries are of no interest to me – not to mention that most buffets are excessively littered with meat options.  Not only am I not a meat eater but, recently, I decided to stop eating seafood (because of the radiation they are finding in it from Fukishima – read HERE).  WTF else is there on a buffet for me?

But, we committed & I decided to make the best of it.  The bottomless champagne promised to take the edge off whatever disappointment lay ahead for me.  And look how pretty the joynt is.

Image

ImageImage

I tried to console myself with the thought that a high end buffet would, at least, have lots of options that would please my nearly purely carnivorous boyfriend.  I sipped champagne.  I looked around.  I thought, “This does not suck.”  Because it didn’t – no matter what I ended up eating.  And look at how cute Miles is!

Image

Then I wandered into the buffet room.  It was truly a wonderland of options.  The Biltmore does not fuck around & this buffet proved to be the finest I had ever seen.  Sure, there was bacon & sausage & homemade hash & rare lamb chops & prime rib & steak salad & chicken salad and, really, every meat option you can imagine and there was a wall lined with every variety of sweet thing on Earth.  There was the requisite omelette bar & the bagels & lox & all the other things you might expect.  Initially, I loaded a pile of mashed potatoes on my plate, still determined to go vegetarian – until I lifted the lid on the shrimp & grits.  Oh fuck.  I adore grits & radiation cancer or not – I was going to have some of that shrimpy goodness.  As I spooned a bit on my plate – I spied huge hunks of lobster in the grits, too.  It was about then that I apparently went into some kind of seafood-frenzy black-out.  Photos of my first plate reveal these selections:

Image

Mashed potatoes, seafood grits, CAVIAR (I could live on caviar) with all the traditional accoutrements, two oysters & a shrimp.

My return to the buffet resulted in this selection:

ImageImage

That, if you cannot tell, is a small selection of sushi, a tiny piece of smoked salmon, oysters, a shrimp & a SCANDALOUS portion of caviar that, as you might observe, I tried to obscure beneath the little bowl of soy sauce & wasabi.  There are eight blini there so that gives you some idea of the greed I exhibited.  I could have just stood there at the buffet & smeared it all over my face as I scraped the entire quantity offered into my mouth with a cupped palm – whilst growling at anybody unwise enough to approach me.  But that seemed rather classless so I just took about an entire ounce of the black gold and the desired extras (egg & creme fraiche etc) and rejoined Miles at our table & grunted, “This does NOT SUCK” repeatedly as I swilled the free-flowing champagne & licked caviar from my fingers.

Sometimes I’m not safe in public.  God bless Miles for loving me.

Properly sated – we braced for the bill.  Miles guessed the cost would be high & guessed $50 each.  I feared it would be closer to $125 each.  Or more.  After all – there was BOTTOMLESS CAVIAR & the champagne was not sweet & gross and it, too, was bottomless.  I think Miles threw up in his mouth a bit when the bill turned out to be just under $200 with tip but I knew we had dodged a bullet.  And I still had caviar running down my chin like a goatee – so I was good with it all.

So – I dragged him across the street to the beach.  Here is a peek at that loveliness.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

So – we checked into the hotel – the Montecito Inn – and clicked on the fireplace.

Image

Ah, romance.  A bubble bath in the jacuzzi tub & a stint watching Crib’s Most Expensive Homes & it was time to get back to the eating & drinking.

A single cocktail next door at Lucky’s

Image

and it was time to go to one of my favorite restaurants anywhere – Pane e Vino.  The pressure was kind of off me by the time we got there because lunch had been such a success but I still sweated it out a bit until Miles declared his bolognese with spinach noodles to be delightful.  He hadn’t been as pleased with a similar dish the night before at LA’s Bottega Louie – so I really was worried.  My homemade pasta with mushrooms was insane.  Hard to photograph but not hard to shovel into my face.

Image

The ride back & forth, by the way, was provided by the AWESOME Uber service.  Uber is a car service that you summon with an app on your phone.  You simply provide a credit card to them when you sign up & all the fees & tips etc are handled that way.  No cash.  And the drivers (for UberX – the least expensive of their three car options) drive their own car.  Cheaper & easier than a taxi service & you can request a fare estimate before pulling the trigger & calling for an Uber pick up.  I recommend it VERY highly.  And here is a little discount for your first ride.

Use my Uber promo code, 4hmyy, and get $10 off your first Uber ride.

Before we went to bed, I received this pathetic image of my two sons – huddled in despair because of my absence.  They can really work up a pity party when they are motivated.  Silly kids.

Image

The next day before we headed home to reunited with the doggies – we stopped at Cava in Montecito.  It was a gorgeous day & we sat outside on the patio.  We nibbled on chips & salsa.

Image

Miles ordered a beer & fajitas.

Image

I got a huge portion of guacamole, a Bloody Mary & (back on the seafood wagon) – the chile relleno.

ImageImageImage

All were delicious though the chile relleno, as you can see, was served as almost a soup.  I have never seen it served that way before but it was very tasty.

And that, as they say, was that.

Try both the Chili Chocolate cake & try Montecito when you can.  And save up for that GD brunch buffet.  You could not possibly regret it!

If Los Angeles is your destination – the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills has a great dining spot, too.  Culina!  Check out my CRAZY experience there – HERE.

Grown-up Fireball Whiskey Cupcakes

28 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

LARGE BathingandthesinglegirlOrangeV52

My debut novel is out!  Check it out!  I think it is HILARIOUS!  I hope you will, too!

www.BathingBook.com

~

Image

These guys are as easy as can be.  You could make them with your favorite “from scratch” cupcake recipe or just buy a box of cake mix.  Same with the frosting.  I had to make a dinner for 12 the other day and, as it was a dual birthday celebration – desserts were a must.  I just didn’t have time to get all fancified with these.  Or even to photograph them properly – so – pardon the bare bones effort here.

If you haven’t tried Fireball whiskey but you like a cocktail & you like to pretend you aren’t really having one – this Fireball is for you.  I cannot stomach any brown liquors or whiskey, in general, but this stuff is candy in a bottle & I promise you will NOT taste whiskey.  At all.  My badass boyfriend Miles is in town for our anniversary (today!) and he has a weakness for this Fireball elixir and I thought I’d experiment with it in cupcakes.  It worked & they were colorful & tasty & reminiscent of those fireball jawbreakers.  Try them!

Image

Grown-up Fireball Whiskey Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

1 box of white cake mix (and the ingredients – eggs & oil – that the box outlines)

Fireball whiskey

Sprinkles of your choice

Red food coloring

Cupcake liners

For the icing

White frosting

DIRECTIONS

See?  EASY!

Make the cake mix as directed but replace the water required with Fireball whiskey & then add a tablespoon or two of red food coloring.

ImageImage

ImageImage

Bake as directed.  Cool the cupcakes.

Image

Add a TBS or two (or more if you like) of Fireball whiskey to the frosting.

Frost & decorate as you like.  Voila!

Image

Image

Image

Reese’s Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting & Salted Caramel and Brownie Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache, Raspberries & Cream

1 Comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

vromans front

vromans back

~

Image

OK, kiddies, it was my friend Alyse’s birthday this week & I hosted a little dinner for her.  And I made CUPCAKES!  I seldom eat dessert foods myself – mainly because I prefer to get my sugar from a wine glass – so I have posted precious few dessert recipes.   But a birthday certainly called for a dessert item so I seized the opportunity.  Please know, I am not part of this whole cupcake craze but cupcakes really are a superior choice for birthdays (in my opinion) as they are a reasonable serving size & you can kinda mix up the flavors a bit more than one can with a cake.  And they travel easily.

For these guys, I had a huge, industrial-sized box of brownie mix:

Image

Then I went to store & bought everything I could think of that I might want to use for brownies including eggs & powdered sugar & cream cheese & pudding & jimmies & sprinkles & raspberries & marshmallows & marshmallow fluff & Reese’s Cups & two kinds of frosting etc etc.   Then I realized I was only feeding four people so there was no need to make 4372 cupcakes.  After some consideration, I elected to make the cupcakes from the brownie mix – and chose to top some with peanut butter frosting & drizzle caramel sauce on them & salt them.  Others – I filled with a marshmallow fluff center & a raspberry inside & atop the chocolate ganache frosting.   Unfortunately – the one cupcake I cut into for the photos had an anemic amount of cream – or maybe the cream was inserted off-center so it is hiding in the photo.

Image

But know – I sent the bulk of these cupcakes home with my friend Rose for her teenage sons & I saw a photo she took of one & the center was creamy, indeed.   Here is that photo:

20130920_211303

All I know is, I injected a bunch of cream in them & then they settled – leaving a gap in their volcano openings – so I rammed a raspberry inside each of them.  Indelicate but delicious!

Image

Reese’s Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting & Salted Caramel

INGREDIENTS

Brownie mix (be sure to have the eggs & oil you need as per the box)

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (I used full-sized)

Caramel sauce (from the ice cream aisle)

Course salt

Peanuts – for garnish

For the peanut butter frosting

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)

1/2 cup butter (or lard or shortening)

2 TBS milk

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 cups powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS

Make the brownie mix as per box.

For the frosting – blend all but the powdered sugar ( I did this in my food processor).  Then I added the sugar.  Start with 2 cups & test for sweetness.  Add more – if you think it should be sweeter.

ImageImage

To assemble, I lined a cupcake pan with liners, put a tiny dollop of brownie batter to just cover the bottoms, put a Reese’s Cup in each & then topped with more brownie batter.  Bake them according to box instructions.  Then, frost them with the peanut butter frosting.  Drizzle the caramel on them, lightly salt them & top with a peanut.  Put them on the ground and roll around on them naked.

Or serve them to your friends.  Your call.

Image

ImageImage

Image

Brownie Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache, Raspberries & Cream

INGREDIENTS

Brownie mix (be sure to have the eggs & oil you need as per the box)

Raspberries

7 ounce jar of marshmallow fluff

4 TBS butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp water

1/4 tsp salt

For the ganache

1 cup chocolate chips (dark chocolate is nicer but I used semi-sweet milk chocolate)

3/4 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS

Make the brownie mix as per box.  Bake them as directed.

To make the cream filling, dissolve the salt in 1 tsp hot water.  Blend the fluff, butter, powdered sugar, salted water, and vanilla.  I did this in my food processor.  I then put this in a Ziplock bag & cut a corner out.  I used this as a make-shift pastry bag.  A real pastry bag would be great, too.

When the brownies are done & cooled a bit, use a paring knife & create little cavities in their centers.

Image

Squeeze some cream filling into each.  Fill to the top & let rest a bit.  If the cream settles – either add more cream or shove a raspberry in there like the killer on Twin Peaks used to shove a tiny letter under the fingernail of his/her victims (remember that?).

ImageImageImage

Over low heat, melt the chocolate chips.  A double boiler is best for this but I was lazy.  I melted them a bit & then just added the heavy cream & whisked it all together.

Dip the cupcakes into the ganache & then top with another raspberry.  Voila!

These are also good to roll around on nude but that can get awkward at a birthday party.  Maybe just stick them all on a tray & serve them the traditional way.

Image

Image

Homemade Roasted Beet Ice Cream

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

8-15-13 (33)

Every time I go to the amazing Super King I come out with about ten big bags of produce.  That puts a lot of pressure on me to get creative with big chunks of it (produce) every day so that I use it all before it spoils.   Hence, this beet ice cream which I can freeze!

I also come out of there sometimes with things I’ve never seen before – like this layering of nuts soaking in honey.

ImageImage

It was far more densely packed in there than I expected and didn’t make a very pretty presentation on my brie – but it sure tasted good!

Image

Anyway, this bet ice cream makes more than you will likely need so you might want to cut it in half.  Unlike my Avocado Ice Cream:

Image

the flavor of the beets didn’t get as lost in the cream & sugar as the avocado flavor did.  Plus, it had a less creamy texture.  I think it would be best served in tiny ramekins or sake glasses & used as a between-course palate cleanser.   It is gorgeous & quite tasty but just not the kind of thing you would serve yourself a huge bowl of & then sit back & shovel it into your face whilst watching Silver Linings Playbook or some such.  And it dyes your tongue (and even teeth, a bit) a neon magenta color.   I definitely recommend it but in smaller portions.  But you would be hard pressed to find a more striking bowl of ice cream.

Image

Homemade Roasted Beet Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS

2 large red beets

2 cups Greek yogurt

1 TBS vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup heavy cream

Image

DIRECTIONS

Put the canister of your ice cream maker in the freezer empty.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wrap the unpeeled beets in foil & roast for about an hour or until tender all the way through.  erring on the side of cooking too much is better than not enough because a hard beet will be harder to puree.

Cool the beets in ice water & rub or peel the skins off.  Cube the beets.  Blend all the ingredients in your food processor until as smooth as possible.  Chill the mix in the fridge (or freezer) until very cold but not getting solid.

ImageImageImage

Then – simply chill it according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.  It will come out of there in a soft serve consistency so chill it in a shallow container in your freezer if you like it harder.  Cover it with wax paper before putting the lid on the container.  You will stave off the freezer burn longer that way.

Image

ImageImage

Phil Miller’s Famous Cheesecake

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

Phil Miller is my boyfriend, Miles’, dad.  Miles is a finicky eater – often a great source of frustration for me.  Here recently for his birthday, I wanted to provide a birthday cake situation that would make him happy.  He had long bragged about how awesome his dad’s cheesecake is – so – we opted to make that.

Here is a picture of Phil Miller:

Image

That is Phil channeling Burt Reynolds in the back.  Miles is that teensy peanut in the second row on the far right.  Notice that, standing, he is barely taller than the boys kneeling in front of him.  Put at such a size disadvantage, it is no surprise that Miles outgrew (or didn’t sufficiently grow into) his taste for sports.  One of my favorite details about Miles Miller is his absolute & total disinterest in professional sports.  It makes me swoon.

So – anyway – we went out & bought the ingredients for this cheesecake.  There are three levels to it: the crust, the cheesecake itself & the sour cream topping.  It takes a few steps but none of them are difficult.

My oven must need calibration because I overcooked the cheesecake level a bit & it had browned spots that showed through the topping – so I added sliced, fresh lemon in a partially successful attempt hide them.  Miles felt I had overcooked the crust, too, but, even if I did, it still tasted delicious to me!

For some reason – I couldn’t get a decent shot of this cake – so pardon the underwhelming imagery.  In no way does it reflect upon the lemony deliciousness that is Phil’s Famous Cheesecake!

Image

NOTE!! – Phil suggests cooling this cheesecake in the fridge overnight!

PRINT THIS RECIPE

PHIL’S FAMOUS CHEESECAKE

INGREDIENTS

For the crust

1/4 cup pecans – crushed

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup self-rising flour

1/4 stick butter

Image

For the cheesecake

12 oz cream cheese – softened

4 TBS lemon juice

1 TBS vanilla

1 cup sugar

2 whole eggs

1 egg yolk

For the sour cream topping

8 oz sour cream

4 TBS sugar

2 TBS lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

For the crust

Mix the ingredients well, press into a buttered 8″ cheesecake (spring form) pan.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes – being careful not to overcook.  Let cool for 20 minutes.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Image

ImageImage

For the cheesecake

Beat the ingredients well & pour on top of the cooled crust.  Bake at 400 for 35 minutes – being careful not to brown the top.  Let cool for 20 minutes.

For the sour cream topping

Mix ingredients & spread on cooled cheesecake.  Bake at 400 for 5 minutes.

Image

Chill in the fridge overnight.  Run a wet blade around the edge of the cake & gently remove the spring form pan.  Slice with a sharp, wet knife.  Or just eat the whole thing!

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Image

Peppermint Bark ~ Almond Bark & Peppermint Brownies

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

Follow @celisemccarthy

Image

This hardly counts as a recipe but I am posting it anyway.  I made this stuff to bring as gifts to the various folks that hosted me over the holidays.  Among those I had the great pleasure to see this season was the always outrageously warm Mahoney family.  Mark Mahoney is a fellow Boston transplant and, quite possibly, the single coolest person on Earth.  The hospitality this entire family extends feels like a bear hug & I have been lucky enough to be embraced this way on several major holidays – including this Christmas eve.  Here is a peek into the kindness & cool Mark offers at his tattoo shop up on the Sunset Strip.

Anyway – to make the brownies – I just used a boxed Ghiradelli mix.  I then tried to top them with white chocolate (simply white chocolate chips melted down in a double boiler with a drop or two of peppermint extract added and maybe a tablespoon of oil).

ImageImage

ImageImage

Unfortunately – I attempted this before the brownies had cooled sufficiently & the white chocolate sorta just ripped the tops off the brownies & made a bit of a mess.  This was exacerbated by the fact that I had deliberately under-cooked the brownies so that they’d be extra moist.  Some finagling got a decent portion of brownie topped with white chocolate & I then pressed peppermint candy (that I had crushed in a zip lock bag with my rolling pin) into the chocolate.  In the future – I recommend using a white frosting blended with a drop or two of peppermint.  The white chocolate was a hassle.

Image

As to the almond & peppermint bark – all I did was toast up some almonds in a dry pan & then crushed them a bit in a bag using my rolling pin.

ImageImage

I melted chocolate chips (like 3 pounds!) in a double boiler with a little (a TBS?) of oil.

ImageImageImage

I mixed some of the chocolate with the toasted almonds & used a spatula to spread it on a nonstick pizza pan & put it in the fridge until it set.  Then I simply lifted it from the pan & broke it up – or cut it – into chunks.

ImageImage

For the peppermint bark – I set out some wax paper & then spread melted chocolate on it.

ImageImage

I don’t like white chocolate so I pressed some crushed mints into a portion of the chocolate & let that set.  When this was cooled & set, I layered melted white chocolate (with peppermint extract) on the portion I had not put crushed candy on & then pressed crushed mints into that portion.  I let that cool completely & then either broke or cut it all up into pieces. That’s all there is to it.  You could add other nuts or marshmallows or whatever to your chocolate.  Easy peasy!

12-24-12 (47)

Image

Image

Chocolate Cinnamon Cannoli Tart

3 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

Follow @celisemccarthy

I had a really brutal holiday season.  Very isolated (right down to a three day stint with no internet or cable) where the only people I saw for days on end were the AT&T techs that came to my house a few times a day for a few days.  I used this as an excuse to drink champagne before noon & cook myself foolish and I ate enough for a small family.

Christmas night – I accidentally locked myself into a storage closet that is little more than a bunker because I had no idea that the door locked at all – let alone from the outside.  Me & three dogs locked in a windowless room in the deepest recess of my house – a room most of my friends do not even know exists.  A series of UNBELIEVABLY LUCKY breaks is all that stands between me typing this now & me, officially missing, locked in a small room with three pooping & peeing dogs & a case of wine with no wine opener.  The luck came in these forms:

1) I had recently (like – last week) installed a light in there that could be turned on from INSIDE the room.

2) I had my cell phone with me.

3) My phone MIRACULOUSLY got cell service – despite the fact that it hardly gets service anywhere in my house.

4) I had a little tool box in there with a hammer, screwdriver & pliers.

5) The door is hinged on the inside.

So – I called my mother in Boston (at 1:30am her time) and my boyfriend in Arkansas to tell them I was trapped.  I called a local friend, my friend Dave, and told him how to break into my house.  My plan was to just sleep in there & have him bust me out in the AM.  I think it was my mother who asked if I had tools & when I confirmed that I did – she told me to take the door off the hinges which, feeling VERY McGyver-esque – I did.

So – I am not a week of no food thinner, nor are my hands & throat bloodied from efforts to escape or draw someone’s attention to my predicament.  A week long fast might not have been the worst thing – but a week in the dark with three hungry dogs and lots of poop would have REALLY warped my mind.

Anyway – so on December 31, I decided to make a decadent dessert to bring as an offering to the party I was to attend that night.  It would be the first time I did ANYTHING remotely social since Christmas eve and I was desperate for a way to shed the self pity & negativity I had wallowed in for a week.  I had almond bark in the fridge that I had made on Xmas eve.  I decided to break some of that up & use it in a cannoli tart.  I also decided to make the ricotta cheese required from scratch, too.   You can just use store bought ricotta & chocolate chips, though.

After I made the ricotta cheese & the made (and chilled) the cinnamon crust & then the cannoli filling – I assembled and baked this gorgeous tart.  Because the ricotta was homemade – I expected a lighter, fluffier result.  The smells of cinnamon & chocolate filled my house.

I took the tart out of the oven & went to sprinkle it with powdered sugar.  Alas – I had none – so I used some Ghiradelli ground chocolate & cocoa.

Image

Image

White would be prettier but whatever.  I photographed this guy extensively because I never post desserts & I wanted to get this first effort just right.  I reached into the cabinet overhead for a plate I could transport the tart on.  I selected one & closed the cabinets.  As I popped off a few final shots, lamenting the fact that I couldn’t get a shot of it SLICED, I heard a rumble.  Suddenly, the cabinet doors I had just closed burst open & the cabinet began vomiting a torrent of dishes, both plastic & ceramic, all over my counter & floor.  It was so loud & sudden it nearly gave me a heart attack.  When it was over – I calmed myself & assessed the damage.  Several broken plates, glass everywhere and one DOA assassinated Chocolate Cinnamon Cannoli Tart.

ImageImageImageImage

I almost cried.  The dishes didn’t matter.  The tart!!!  I had worked so lovingly on it.  And there wasn’t time to make another – even from store bought ricotta.  I would have to go to my party empty-handed.  😦

So – at a loss as to what else I could do –  I cut out a nice slice from an unmarred section & took these photos.

ImageImage

I tasted it, too.  It was incredible.  Just as light & subtle (not too sweet) as I’d hoped.  I kept this slice in the fridge & sampled it last night after a day of chilling.  It took on a more dense, cheesecake-like quality & remained delicious!  So – while nobody else got to taste this baby, I recommend you try it.  With store-bought ricotta & chocolate chips (and powdered sugar) – you could do this fairly easily & it should look as lovely as it tastes.

Image

Image

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Chocolate Cannoli Tart

INGREDIENTS

FILLING

2 1/2 cups ricotta (instructions on EASY homemade ricotta HERE.  It will net you just under 2 cups – so I added 1/2 cup of store-bought. If you are making ricotta you need: 9 cups whole milk, 1 cup buttermilk, salt & white vinegar.)

1 egg

1 TBS sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips – more for melting if you want to garnish with a chocolate drizzle

powdered sugar as a topping – or cocoa – or shave a candy bar (dark or white chocolate) over the tart as garnish – or drizzle melted chocolate chips

CRUST

2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 heaping tsp cinnamon

6 TBS cold butter – cubed

1 egg

1-3 TBS milk – or more

DIRECTIONS

Make the ricotta – directions HERE.  Or use store-bought.

Make the crust in a food processor.  Blend the flour, sugar, salt & cinnamon.  Add the butter in pieces & pulse to incorporate.  Add the egg & the milk (one TBS at a time) & pulse until a ball forms that travels around the bowl.  You might need less than 3 TBS of milk – maybe more.

ImageImageImageImage

Roll the ball of dough round & press into a circle.  Place it between two pieces of parchment paper & roll it out until it is big enough for your tart pan.  I made mine kinda too big but I like a rustic look.  Grease your tart pan (or spring form pan) & press your crust into the pan.  Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Image

Image

For the filling – use your food processor to blend the ricotta, sugar, egg & vanilla.  Do not over process this.  Add the chocolate chips & pulse to mix them in.

Image

Pour this into your chilled crust.  Know that the filling will rise up a bit to do not over-fill your crust.  Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.  Mine was done in 30.

Let the tart cool completely.  Then – sprinkle powdered sugar or cocoa over the tart or melt some extra chocolate chips & drizzle them over it or shave a dark or white chocolate bar over the tart.

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Image