Browse Category by Desserts
Cookies and Brownies, Desserts, Dorothy Lamalie

Outrageous Brownies

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
14 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (divided into 8 ounces & 6 ounces)
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon powdered instant espresso
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour a 13″X 9″ baking sheet.

Melt together the butter, 8 ounces of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler. Remove from heat and let cool to almost room temperature.

In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, powdered espresso, vanilla, and sugar. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in the walnuts and remaining 6 ounces of chocolate chips. Pour into the baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, then open the oven, lift the backing sheet and rap it against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Turn the pan around and rap the other side. (This stops the rising process and will give the brownies their deliciously dense texture.) Bake another 15 or so minutes, just until a toothpick comes out clean – do not overbake.

Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into squares.

Note: This recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook but her version was double in size and used a 12×18 jelly roll pan, which Mom did. So the baking time of 30 minutes for a halved recipe and 13×9 pan is approximate. Also note that these are very rich.

Cake, Desserts, Elaine Walker

3-Layer Salted Caramel Apple Cake

Cake Ingredients:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, at room temperature
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
4 cups unsweetened applesauce

Frosting Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened but still cool, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup salted caramel sauce

salted caramel sauce
chopped peanuts

Cake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with a round of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the pans, tapping out any excess.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice and cloves.
  4. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until creamy, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the eggs and beat until combined.
  7. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl in three parts, alternating with the applesauce, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix on low for an additional 30 seconds to combine.
  8. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and smooth the tops.
  9. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.
  10. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.
  11. Turn the cakes out onto the rack, remove the parchment, and allow to cool completely.

Frosting Directions:

  1. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together.
  2. Add the milk and cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixtures comes to a boil and has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool, about 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter and vanilla; mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. (It might seem like it won’t get to the fluffy point, but stick with it, it’ll get there!)
  6. Add the salted caramel sauce and continue mixing until combined and fluffy. (If the frosting is too soft, put the bowl in the refrigerator to chill slightly, then beat again until it reaches a fluffy consistency.)

Assemble the Cake: If any of the cake layers are domed on top, trim the top off to create flat surfaces. Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread 1¼ cups of the frosting on top. Add the next layer and top with 1¼ cups of the frosting. Add the third layer on top and spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, until firm. Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce on top and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Return to the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes prior to serving.

Store the cake in the refrigerator. Allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving.

Cake, Desserts, Elaine Walker

3-Layer Pistachio Cake

1-1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup cream
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup shelled roasted and salted pistachios
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 whole egg
1 tablespoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups milk
3 eggs whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

Frosting Directions, Part 1:

  1. Mix sugar and flour together in a sauce pan and then whisk in milk and cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick and begins to boil (about 15 minutes start to finish, should be considerably thick).
  2. Pour into a bowl or Tupperware, cover with plastic wrap pressing it against the mixture, and then place in the fridge until no longer warm (if you leave it in overnight, let it come to room temperature).

Cake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if using a dark colored pan, preheat to 325 degrees F).
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of 3 (8-inch) cake pans with shortening and then dust with flour.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Puree pistachios in a food processor or blender until coarsely chopped and then take 2 tablespoons and add it to the dry ingredients.
  5. Continue to puree the rest of the nuts until it becomes a powder. Mix into the dry ingredients.
  6. In the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, whip the butter for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Mix in the whole egg and the vanilla until just combined.
  7. In 3 batches, alternate mixing the dry ingredients and milk into the butter. Mix completely before adding each additional batch. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  8. In a separate mixing bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until it reaches soft peaks.
  9. Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter until combined.
  10. Pour batter into 3 cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.

Frosting Directions, Part 2:

  1. Place cold frosting mixture in the bowl of a standing mixer and beat on low speed using the paddle attachment.
  2. Add butter a tablespoon at a time and then cream cheese an ounce at a time.
    Turn up the speed and beat until smooth.
  3. Mix in the honey and vanilla until combined.

Assembling the Cake:

  1. Using a large serrated knife, cut off the tops of cakes to make them evenly flat.
  2. Place one cake round on a plate or cake platter and then frost the top of it.
  3. Top with another cake round and frost again.
  4. Add the last cake round and then add a thin layer of frosting (crumb coat) to the top and sides of the cake.
  5. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes and then frost the cake with the remaining frosting (save some of the frosting in a piping bag if you wish to decorate with frosting).
  6. Garnish with extra frosting, pistachios, and/or berries as desired.
  7. Store cake in the fridge until ready to serve.
Cake, Desserts, Elaine Walker

Strawberry Cake

2-1/2 cups sifted cake flour (Do not use all-purpose flour.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 pound fresh strawberries (to make 1/2 cup reduced strawberry puree. See directions below.)

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup freeze-dried strawberries (in the grocery store dried fruit aisle. Do not use the chewy/gummy dried strawberries. You need FREEZE-dried strawberries which grind into a powder.)
one 8-ounce block full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
salt, to taste

Strawberry Puree Directions:

  1. In a blender, puree 1 pound of strawberries. You should have a little over 1 cup.
  2. Stirring occasionally, simmer the puree over low-medium heat for 25-30 minutes until you’re left with 1/2 cup or a little over 1/2 cup.
  3. Allow to cool completely before using in cake batter. I always make the reduced puree the day before so it has plenty of time to cool down. I cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Use 1/2 cup in the cake. Discard any leftovers or spoon on ice cream/yogurt/add to smoothie.

Cake Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch cake pans.
  3. Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamed, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the egg whites on high speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Then beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated.
  6. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk just until combined. Do not overmix.
  7. Whisk in 1/2 cup of reduced strawberry puree, making sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick.
  8. Pour batter evenly into cake pans. Bake for around 24-25 minutes or until the cakes are baked through. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it is done. Allow cakes to cool completely in the pans set on a wire rack. The cakes must be completely cool before frosting and assembling.

Frosting Directions:

  1. Using a blender or food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a powdery crumb. You should have around 1/2 cup. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Beat in the butter until combined.
  3. Add the confectioners’ sugar, strawberry powder, 1 Tablespoon milk, and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until combined and creamy. Add 1 more Tablespoon of milk to slightly thin out, if desired. Taste, then add a pinch of salt if needed.

Assemble and frost: First, using a large serrated knife, slice a thin layer off the tops of the cakes to create a flat surface. Discard (or crumble over ice cream!). Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd layer and spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before slicing. This helps the cake keep its shape when cutting– it could slightly fall apart without time in the fridge.

Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Make ahead tip: The cake layers can be baked, cooled, and covered tightly at room temperature overnight. Likewise, the frosting can be prepared then covered and refrigerated overnight. Light it sit at room temperature to slightly soften for 10 minutes before assembling and frosting. Frosted cake can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Sheet cake: Pour the batter into a greased and lightly floured 9×13 pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cupcakes: Fill cupcake pans 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Makes 2 and 1/2 dozen cupcakes.

Candy, Elaine Walker

Peanut Butter Fondant Parfait Cups

2 cups smooth natural peanut butter (like Stonewall Kitchen. You can substitute cashew butter or almond butter, if you prefer.)
1/2 cup coconut oil, organic
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (not imitation)

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the nut butter with the coconut oil. Stir in the pure maple syrup until smooth and well blended.

Spoon into mini muffin tins (paper lined) or baby food jars (Gerber 2.5 oz size). If using baby food jars, fill 1/3 full. Makes about 20.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

If desired, top with cream fondant and then chocolate glaze.

Cream Fondant:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
pinch of salt

Add all ingredients to a medium sauce pan. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Clip on a candy thermometer and cook the syrup to 238F or soft-ball stage. Remove from heat and, without stirring or scraping, pour into a baking dish or pie plate. Without excess movement, place in refrigerator (with pot holder or towel underneath) and let cool.

When the bottom of the pan no longer feels warm to the touch, remove it from the refrigerator and stir the fondant by hand with the wooden spoon. (If you don’t wait long enough and the fondant is still warm when you start stirring, it will taste grainy. If you wait too long and the fondant is cold when you start stirring, it will be too hard to stir.) Continue stirring for 15 to 30 minutes, until the fondant becomes very thick. Spoon into muffin tins or baby food jars, creating a layer on top of peanut butter fudge. Fondant is very sweet, so this layer should be thinner than the peanut butter layer. (You may have some leftover.) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Chocolate Glaze:
7 ounces dark chocolate, melted (use high quality chocolate like Lindt)
1/4 cup butter
1-1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a double boiler over hot, but not boiling water, combine chocolate, butter, and corn syrup. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, then add vanilla. Spoon into muffin tins or baby food jars, creating a layer on top of the fondant. This layer should be about the same size as the fondant. Baby food jars will not be full.

Serve immediately or keep in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. Can be served chilled (chocolate glaze will be hard) or, for a softer dessert, at room temperature (remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving).

Desserts, Elaine Walker, Ice Cream

Chocolate Ice Cream

1-1/2 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder, approximately 1/2 cup
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place the cocoa powder along with 1 cup of the half-and-half into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Add the remaining half-and-half and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine.

Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about 1/3 of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.

Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place plastic wrap on top to prevent a film from forming. Then place the mixture into the refrigerator and let cool for 4 to 24 hours.

Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Variation: use only 7 egg yolks. Use 2-1/2 c. heavy cream and 1-1/2 c. International Delight Vanilla Coffee Creamer. Decrease sugar to 1/2 c. Eliminate vanilla.

Desserts, Elaine Walker, Ice Cream

Strawberry Sorbet

6 cups hulled strawberries (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Puree strawberries in a food processor until smooth.
Combine water, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat.
Stir in the vanilla.
Pour the syrup into the fruit puree and stir until well mixed.
Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until cold, about 4 hours.
Pour the sorbet mixture into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions.

Desserts, Elaine Walker, Ice Cream

Candy Cane Ice Cream

2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/2 cup crushed candy canes or hard peppermint candy

Warm the cream, milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Make sure the sugar and salt completely dissolve. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour some of the the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden or heatproof rubber spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir until cool. Chill mixture in the refrigerator for 3 to 24 hours.

Add 1 t. peppermint extract, mix well, then taste. Add more as needed until you reach the desired level of peppermintiness. (Different peppermint extracts vary in strength. I used 2 teaspoons of McCormick peppermint extract, which was just the right amount for our taste.)

Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (For the Cuisinart, put the blade in so that the circle is at the top. Turn the machine on first and then pour in the ice cream.)

Fold in the crushed peppermint candy. Put in an airtight plastic container and place in the freezer for at least an hour, preferably several hours.

Desserts, Elaine Walker, Ice Cream

Java Chip Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups 2% milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules (I used Starbucks Colombian Instant Coffee, VIA, 4 packets = 2 T., and it gives a strong coffee flavor.)
1 tablespoons vodka (I used Pinnacle brand, Whipped flavor)
6 egg yolks
10 Lindt Cappuccino truffles, chilled in the refrigerator and cut into small pieces

Combine the cream, milk, sugar, and coffee in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

Beat the egg yolks with the vodka in a medium bowl.

Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks. Gradually add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, to the hot cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. (Do not allow the mixture to boil, and don’t overcook or the eggs will curdle.) Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and let cool. Then cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to keep a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 24 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine. (For the Cuisinart, put the blade in so that the circle is at the top. Turn the machine on first and then pour in the ice cream.) Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

When done, fold in the truffle pieces.

Desserts, Elaine Walker, Ice Cream

Coconut Ice Cream

1 cup whole milk
1 (15 ounce) can cream of coconut*
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

* Use Coco Lopez brand, in the alcohol mixers aisle of the grocery store. Do not use Coco Real. When at the store, turn the can of Coco Lopez upside down. If it feels or sounds like something thumped inside the can, go to another store. Cream of coconut congeals into a gel when it isn’t fresh. It’s still edible but not as good. It’s best when it’s a thick liquid.

Pour the milk and cream of coconut in a blender and mix thoroughly. Blend in the heavy cream and flaked coconut.

Pour into the container of an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (For the Cuisinart, put the blade in so that the circle is at the top. Turn the machine on first and then pour in the ice cream.)