Tag Archives: brownie

Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

It’s the week-end everybody!  And I can’t believe I’m saying this already, but we woke this morning to just a light dusting of snow on the deck.  Even though I find the first few snowfalls kind of exciting, I do feel that we seemed to have skipped fall entirely.  I’m hopeful that this was just a blip on Mother Natures part, and this week we will be back to crisp, windy, sunny fall days.

Yesterday I was sorting through my old bakery recipe book, looking for some inspiration, when I came across this recipe.  For those of you who might be new followers, I used to own a little bake shop and let that go so I could focus on my real love.  Which is you.  And blogging.  And creating.

And I’m so glad I did, because it’s given me so many new opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  And not waking up at 3 am on Saturday mornings anymore is a major bonus.  I can tell you, your local baker is seriously sleep deprived friends.

mini cheesecakes, sweetrevelations

These Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes were one of my most popular items in the fall and winter.  Still, when I run into some of my loyal customers, they bring up these cheesecakes and tell me how they miss them so.  They are a decadent treat that can easily be customized.  The brownie bottom is just the right amount of rich chocolate, paired with the creamy cheesecake topping and of course, the cherries on top.  This is also an amazing treat when you swap out the cherries for whole pecans and a good drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.

As you know, I love a dessert that can be made ahead and these are no exception.  Cheesecakes freeze very well, so can be prepared a week or two ahead of time if needed.   Just thaw, garnish with toppings and serve.

Reminiscing through my old book sure did make my heart skip a beat.  It was such a busy and exciting time in my life.  Even though I do miss the bake shop sometimes, I’m so happy that I get to share these recipes with you.  I’m exactly where I was meant to be.

Enjoy the fall weather friends,

Renee

xo

Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

Brownie Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

 

Cheesecake Layer

  • 2 pkg (250 gr each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • cherry pie filling for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° and line 16 muffin cups with liners

  1.  For the brownie layer, mix the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  Place a small glass or stainless bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the chocolate and butter.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well incorporated.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula, just until incorporated.
  2. Spoon the brownie mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.   Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.  Once baked, reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
  3. While the brownie layer is baking, prepare the cheesecake layer.  Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl for at least 4 minutes, or until smooth and well combined.  Add salt and vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, only mixing until the eggs are combined.  Be careful not to over mix and add too much air.
  4. Top each brownie layer with the cream cheese mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn the oven off, prop the oven door open just slightly with a wooden spoon and leave the cheesecakes inside until the oven cools (I just found the texture was a little nicer this way and the cheesecakes were less prone to cracking).  Put room temperature cheesecakes in the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours before topping and serving.
  5. Top chilled cheesecakes with cherry pie filling and serve.

Notes:

  1. You can bake the cheesecakes without leaving them in the oven to cool.  Bake at 325° for approx. 25 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and chill.
  2. Once the cheesecakes have come to room temperature, they can be easily frozen for later use.  Place them in containers, in a single layer and wrap with plastic wrap.   Defrost and garnish with cherries just before serving.

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Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake

Happy Monday friends!  Today was the first day back to work after our March Break.  Nine days off to sleep in, read great novels, recipe test and repeat!  While we didn’t take off to anywhere for the holidays it was certainly nice to catch up with friends and not have the morning rush out the door!

Speaking of being rushed, I’m always thinking of ways that I can satisfy my family’s love of dessert while enjoying the holidays. Easter is fast approaching and with that comes some menu planning.  My goal is to do as much work ahead as possible so I can enjoy my time with those around me.  This Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake, or BBSEEICC for short, seems to be just the ticket.

cake

If there’s one thing this whole house can agree on it’s ice cream.  Remember this Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cake?   I’m still dreaming about it.  It was pure ice cream decadence with very little prep.   This Speckled Easter Cake is too, the only difficult part is deciding what flavours to use.  Honestly, I’m not EGGS- aggerating, the sky’s the limit here with flavour possibilities!

cake top

I used just a simple brownie base with layers of chocolate, chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream. I’ve come to love the simplicity of this lightly tinted whipped cream icing along with some gorgeous spring blue speckled eggs on top.  It’s a small 6″ cake, just enough for us for dinner without all of the crazy leftovers ~ not that anyone would be complaining.  If you’ve been following me for a while you know that my favourite family cake size is a 6″ pan.  It’s the perfect size for this family of five along with the few extra friends that are often at the dinner table.

slice

I know I’ve said this before but ice cream certainly doesn’t only need to be a summer treat.  It’s a favourite in this house all year-long.  So much so that I’ve been known to hide the containers at the very bottom of the deep freeze in the hopes that teenage hands won’t find them and they’ll stick around for a while.   You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

 

Happy Easter everyone and have a blessed spring.

Renee

xo

 

Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake

Brownie Layer

*this makes 2 6″ layers – I used one and froze the other for later

*from Kraft Foods

  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup  milk
  • 1 tsp.  vanilla
  • 1 cup  flour
  • 1/2 tsp.  salt

PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

1.  Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl for 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.   Add the sugar and mix well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until blended.  Add the milk and the vanilla and mix well. Combine flour and salt.  Add to chocolate mixture, mixing just until blended. Spread evenly into two greased and floured 6″ springform pans.  Bake 20 minutes and set aside to cool.

 

Chocolate Ganache

In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup heavy cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Put 6 oz  bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl and pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Let it sit until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir the mixture with a spatula until the ganache is smooth.  Allow to cool.

Whipped Cream Icing

* don’t make this until you are ready to ice your cake

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • few drops of teal gel colour

1.  .   In a medium bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Add in sugar and mix well.  Add in teal tint.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cake Assembly

*need two cups of premium vanilla and two cups of premium chocolate ice cream (or flavours of your choice), slightly softened.

1.  Cover the cooled brownie layer with a layer (approx. 2 cups) of ice cream, using a piece of saran on top to evenly distribute the layer with your hands.  Cover and freeze until ice cream is firm.  Spread the ganache on top of the firm ice cream layer and return to the freezer until firm.  Spread the remaining 2 cups of ice cream on top of the ganache and return the cake to the freezer for 6 hours or more to harden.

2.  Remove the cake from the freezer and use the Whipped Cream Icing to ice the entire cake.  Mix a 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract with a few drops of water.  Use a small paintbrush to flick drops of the vanilla on to the cake and make a speckled look.  Top with some chocolate speckled eggs.  Return the whole cake to the freezer until needed.  The cake should sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving (to soften the cake slightly but not long enough to melt the ice cream).

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Brownie Bottom Frozen Vanilla Mousse

Remember last week when I told you my vanilla extract was celebrating it’s birthday?

frozenmousse2

 

I used some of that intense vanilla to make a Frozen Mousse dessert that was out of this world!  It’s a combination of two of my favourite things: a sweet frozen mousse and a rich brownie layer.  This is a fancier version of an ice cream sandwich, an indulgent, airy version of an old classic all dressed up for a party.  Literally, I’ve left off the top layer and added some farm fresh berries and shaved dark chocolate.

frozenmousse4

 

The beauty of this dessert is that it can be made in a large 11 x 15 pan to serve a big crowd.  I made it in the morning and left it in the freezer until our company arrived later in the day.  It was the perfect surprise to bring out on a hot July day, everyone eager for a cold treat.  For the toppings use whatever fruit is in season and some premium chocolate or toasted nuts.

frozenmousse1

 

The brownie layer is a recipe taken from here, the Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches I made a few years ago for my twin boys birthday.  Now both towering well above me, they are still ice cream, mousse loving guys over a layered birthday cake any day.  It’s a small but mighty chocolate-y layer that gives each bite rich brownie flavor.

frozenmousse3

The mousse layer is smooth and light.  It’s full of vanilla bean seeds, fresh whipped cream and whipped egg whites.  All of the whipping creates a mousse that is airy and fluffy.  Even when frozen, the mousse is still light and creamy.

Have you got a favourite cold and sweet frozen summer treat?  Tell me what it is!

Happy summer everyone!  Enjoy!

Renee

Brownie Bottom Frozen Vanilla Bean Mousse

  • 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 84 g  unsweetened chocolate, about 3 squares,  coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp  salt
  • 1/4 tsp  vanilla
  • 2   eggs
  • 1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • whole vanilla bean, split and seeded
  • grated premium dark chocolate and fresh raspberries for serving

Brownie Layer:

1.  Spray an 11 × 15 in. pan with non-stick spray then line with parchment paper. Place chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium until chocolate melted, about 2 min. Stir halfway through.

2.  Stir sugar, salt and vanilla into warm chocolate mixture. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Stir in flour just until mixed. Scrape into prepared pan. Spread batter over parchment using an offset spatula to create a smooth, even, very thin layer.

3.  Bake in centre of oven until brownie appears shiny and is firm but slightly undercooked, no more than 8 min. Remove from oven and cool completely in pan, about 30 min.

Mousse Layer:

*adapted from the Food Network

1.  Set a stainless steel mixing bowl set over a pot of simmering water (do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl, about an inch of water), whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Continue to whisk gently until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (there should be no sugar grit left when rubbed between your fingers). Remove from the heat and, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the mixture with the whip attachment until white and fluffy and completely cool.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the cream, vanilla and vanilla seeds, and whip until soft peaks form.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the beaten egg whites until completely mixed in. Spread the mousse over the cooled brownie layer and freeze for at least 3 hours.  Cut  and serve with grated chocolate and fresh berries.

 

 

 

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Deep-Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes and a Special Birthday

See this little angel?

This is my oldest child when she was a year and a half.  Look at those big blue eyes staring so innocently at me.  Time goes by too fast when you’re a parent.  I remember cuddling at bedtime with this little girl and reading her favourite stories over and over and over…..  She turns 13 today and I wanted the day to be special for her.  You only officially become a teenager once!

At lunch I took her out to have her hair done and for a bite to eat.  Just me and her.  It was awesome to spend time with her like that.  When we came home all of her friends and family were waiting to surprise her.

We always write the kids a poem for their birthday.  They moan and groan when it comes out, but you can tell that they love reading the things we have written about them.  We poke fun at some of their idiosyncrasies and tell them how proud we are of some of their accomplishments.  She’s a good girl with a big heart and I’m proud of the lady she is becoming.

She wanted Criminal Minds cupcakes for her birthday because she loves that show.  I had these cute paper toppers made by Angie over at Etsy.  So cute once glued on to popsicle sticks!  Then I made some other toppers out of Marshmallow Fondant.   The cakes are Deep-Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes.  I iced them with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream and I used Chocolate Ganache as a ripple in the icing.   I also made a few with Dulce de Leche rippled through the icing.

I could quite simply just eat a bowl of icing and not think twice about it.  Amazing.

Sorry about the bad photos, but the light was terrible in that room!

It is very difficult to make crime scene cupcakes look pretty!  Thank goodness the taste makes up for it!

Deep-Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

*from Food and Drink

  • 4 ounces (120 g) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chips
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350°

  1. Line 18 standard muffin cups with papers . Over low heat, melt chocolate and butter together in a large saucepan, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, then eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla.
  2. Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Stir into chocolate mixture along with chocolate and nuts.  Divide among cups. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or just until cupcake centre is raised and feels slightly firm when touched. Do not over-bake. Cool
    completely on rack.

Chocolate Ganache

*this makes enough to frost all of the cupcakes.  I only made 1/2 of this recipe to use as a ripple in the icing.

  • 1 cup chopped-into-bits semi-sweet chocolate or chips, about 175 g (6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Melt chocolate and whipping cream over very low heat in a small saucepan.  When almost smooth, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature and dip or frost cupcakes.  Icing will set in an hour at room temperature.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites

1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar

3 sticks unsalted butter, very soft

1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with a few inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites, sugar and salt just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 140 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch.

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

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Filed under Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches and a Birthday (or two!)

Yesterday my boys turned 11.  Hard to believe that 11 years ago they were so tiny (just a little over 4 pounds when we brought them home!) and now I wear their shoes when I need to go outside for a quick second.  They are both very different personalities (one’s neat and tidy and one’s a whirling dervish!) but also so similar in some ways.  Both have a great sense of humour and both are sporty social guys who are really loyal to their friends.  They’re good boys.   I can’t really take credit because I think they were just born that way…perfect to me.

I have to say though, something happened, maybe ‘in utero’ as they say….

I don’t know what I did….

I don’t know how it happened…I question it all the time…..

My boys don’t really like cake.  They don’t really have a sweet tooth which probably in the long-term is fantastic for them, however for me it continues to be a puzzle.

So, for birthday dessert one of my sons requested Homemade Brownie Ice-Cream Sandwiches.  Pretty easy to do, but a little tough to decorate with candles….

I found the recipe in Chatelaine Magazine and have made it many times over the summer.   There are so many options for flavours!  The sandwich part is a brownie baked on a cookie sheet.  Easy easy!  And so rich and yummy.

I did make some cupcakes too (I can’t help myself…) just for blowing out candles.  Some were a yummy Milk Dud flavour and some were Devils Food Chocolate with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream which I’ll be sure to share in a later post!

Brownie Ice-Cream Sandwiches

  • 84 g  unsweetened chocolate, about 3 squares,  coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup  granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp  salt
  • 1/4 tsp  vanilla
  • 2   eggs
  • 1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2 L  vanilla ice cream or flavour of choice, in rectangular box

Preheat oven to 350°.

1.  Oil a rimmed baking sheet measuring about 11 × 17 in., then line with parchment paper. Place chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium until chocolate is almost melted, about 2 min. Stir halfway through.

2.  Stir sugar, salt and vanilla into warm chocolate mixture. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Stir in flour just until mixed. Scrape onto prepared sheet. Spread batter over parchment using an offset spatula to create a smooth, even, very thin layer.

3.  Bake in centre of oven until brownie appears shiny and is firm but slightly undercooked, about 8 min. Remove from oven and cool in pan, about 30 min. Run a knife along edges of pan. Cut brownie in half, making two long rectangles. Place pan in the freezer for 5 min. Remove from freezer. Gently lift brownie and, using scissors, cut the parchment, separating the rectangles.

4.  Place 1 brownie top-side down on a cutting board. Peel off parchment. Open box of ice cream. Slice off 5 1-in. slices and arrange on top of brownie on board until it’s completely covered. Peel parchment from bottom of remaining brownie and place on top of ice cream. Pat down firmly. With a sharp knife, score top of brownie into 16 rectangular pieces.

Freeze for at least 3 hours, until very firm. Remove from freezer and, using a serrated knife, cut into 16 sandwiches, using the scored lines as a guide. Individually wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap. Sandwiches will keep well in the freezer up to 1 month.

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