Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Budino

PuddingThis week’s recipe is for Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Budino. If you’re like me, you might be unfamiliar with the term ‘budino’. A quick google search reveals that a “Budino is a sweet Italian dish, usually rich and creamy like a custard or pudding.” Well that sounds delicious. It is also very easy. Corn starch and eggs are used to thicken milk and cream, and then cooked at boiling temperatures for a few minutes. Then the hot mixture can be added to whatever flavorings strike your fancy, in this case, half a chocolate bar, vanilla and whiskey. It doesn’t take long at all to make, but it does it require a 2 hour chill. It would be a great make ahead dessert for a get together. IMG_2164 1The vanilla and chocolate are layered prettily on top of each other. I remembered how little I liked the “milk chocolate pots de creme” from a couple of months ago, so I decided to try dark chocolate instead of the milk called for in this recipe.  I really liked the change. The chocolate layer tasted very rich, like mousse. IMG_2162 1If I were to make this again, I think that I would go all chocolate. One layer with dark chocolate, one with milk chocolate. Chocolate shavings or some crushed up cookies would also be really tasty on top.  My husband and I have both been under the weather all week, so this was just the recipe to revive our appetites.

Have a great week!

Lacy Panty Cakes

PancakeWhen I first got Baked Elements, “Lacy Panty Cakes” was the very first recipe that I saw when I opened the book. I burst out laughing. It’s the kind of recipe name that is campy and weird, but also really interesting. When I invited some friends over last night, I told them that I was making “boozy pancakes.”  I thought if I opened with “Come over to my place, I’m making Lacy Panty Cakes…” they would have thought I was a crazy person. Luckily I didn’t tell them what the recipe was called until later in the evening, and we all had a good laugh.

These pancakes are delicious.  They caramelized in the pan a bit, making for a tasty crunchy exterior. They also don’t taste overpoweringly of alcohol which is nice. And the sauce! I have a lot of it left over, and I am planning on putting it on everything in the near future. I might even put a little bit on breakfast oatmeal.

These were also very easy to make. It’s not that different than a standard pancake recipe, except there is a lot more sugar and some crushed up graham crackers. Oh and the extra special ingredient, whiskey.

Pancake Cooking

Baked Sunday Mornings

Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies

cookie

This week’s recipe was for Chocolate Ginger Molasses Cookies.  Since starting this blog I have come to the realization that I really don’t like molasses, so I almost skipped this week entirely.   Even the smell of molasses makes me wince, so when I see a recipe that features it I hesitate. With that in mind, I decided to forge ahead with a few changes. I googled “molasses substitutions”  and found that you can just as easily use honey, corn syrup, or maple syrup. So I cut the amount of molasses in half, replacing the rest with honey. The batter seemed a bit dry when it was finished, so I actually added a small amount of water until it seemed to hold together. I also added some chocolate chips to the batter. I left the dough chilling in my fridge for a few days, and decided to roll them out and bake them early Thursday before I had to leave for work. I put the dough in the microwave on defrost for about a minute, and they were very easy to roll out and cut. Since my cookie cutters were a bit smaller than the 4-5 inches called for, I baked for 1 minute less than recommended. Finally,  since I was in a chocolate chocolate chocolate kind of mood (which is pretty much every day), I skipped the called for frosting and simply drizzled a bit of melted chocolate over top. Though I don’t usually do much baking at 7am, I must say that I highly recommend it. I was in a fantastic mood for the rest of the day. It might also have been the chocolate cookie breakfast that had such an wonderful impact on my mood. 
IMG_2137 1

And I LOVED these cookies. The texture is great, very moist, and I highly recommend added chocolate chips or some finely chopped chocolate.  I wish I had upped the amount of ginger, but otherwise I would make these again with my changes. In fact I might make more for Valentine’s day next week.

Cookies.

I took most of the cookies to a “No Boys Allowed” Magic Mike viewing party my friend called Galentine’s Day. Everyone seemed to really like them. And if you don’t know what Magic Mike is, it’s…well, it’s a lot of this-

It made for an excellent girl’s night movie. While I am tempted to leave an in depth review of the plot here, let me just say that if that gif strikes your fancy you will probably enjoy the movie.

Have a great week everybody!

Baked Sunday Mornings

Cheesy Focaccia with Caramelized Onions and Sautéed Spinach

Cheesy Well, this was amazing. I do a fair amount of bread baking, and Sunday night pizza is a frequent occurrence at our house. I find it’s a really great dish to make when you’re trying to accommodate a vegetarian and an omnivorous diner. I can load mine up with veggies, and the husband can add as much pepperoni as he likes. So I was really excited about this week’s recipe-Cheesy Focaccia with Caramelized Onions and Sautéed SpinachYum.

This was fairly easy, though it did require committing to a few hours of being near the kitchen for occasional tending to your dough’s wants and needs. That attention is part of why I love making bread, there is something really cozy about planning a whole afternoon around what you’re making for dinner. Flour, water, salt and yeast are kneaded together for a short amount of time, until the dough starts to pull away from the side of the mixing bowl. For a good idea of what that looks like, check out this King Arthur Flour Focaccia recipe. Their post has some great step by step photos. I did add a few extra tablespoons of flour as suggested in the recipe, and it seemed to be ready after about 8 minutes. After kneading, I did some dough origami, and then let it rest for half an hour. More origami, and rest, for a total of three iterations, before I pressed the dough into a pan. Meanwhile I started preparing the toppings, letting some onions cook in a dutch oven for about a half hour, followed by wilting some spinach. When the dough was ready it was brushed with herbs and olive oil, and then baked for ten minutes at 450. In my case it needed to cook for a bit longer, to allow the crust to reach a nice golden color. Then I layered on the cheese and vegetables, and let it cook for another 7 minutes until melted. The only change I made was to add a touch of garlic salt. We also ate it with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.

Yum.

This made for a fantastic dinner. Though the recipe encouraged playing around with the toppings, I think this would be amazing plain with a dusting of sea salt, sliced into rectangles to dip in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  This made a very large focaccia,  my husband came in when it was done and asked “So how many people are we feeding?” It would be a great dinner party recipe, especially if your guests can hang out with you in your kitchen. The toppings could easily be made ahead of time. I would love to make this one again. Have a great week!
Baked Sunday Mornings