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Friday, March 16, 2012

Marsh Madness! Raspberry Cheesecake Marshmallows

A while back, I was invited to participate in "Marsh Madness" - an event organized in celebration of the new book, Marshmallow Madness.  Our job was to take their vanilla marshmallow recipe and make something new from it.  


I must have thought of one and a half million different ideas to do for this marshmallow creation, but didn't love any of them.    Any ideas I came up with just didn't seem right.  I didn't want to make a recipe with marshmallows in it, I wanted to make the marshmallows the STAR.  


Finally, I decided on Raspberry Cheesecake Marshmallows.  I began with their Classic Vanilla marshmallow recipe and added fresh raspberry sauce and chunks of cheesecake.  




Classic Vanilla Marshmallows

Ingredients:

For the Cheesecake:
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


Lightly grease an 8 x 8 pan.  Preheat to 350.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cheese and eggs and beat until combined. Add the vanilla.  With the mixer on, slowly pour in the sugar.  Pour into prepared pan and bake approximately 20-30 minutes.  Let cool then place in the refrigerator.

For the Raspberry Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

In a small saucepan, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together until well blended. Stir in cold water and add raspberries. Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until raspberries break down and sauce thickens (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and force through a fine strainer to remove seeds, set aside.

  
For the Marshmallows:


The Bloom:
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons : unflavored powdered gelatin
  • ½ cup cold water

The Syrup
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • ½ cup cup light corn syrup, divided
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1/8  teaspoon salt

The Mallowing
  • 2  teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup classic coating (page 8), plus more for dusting

Lightly coat an 8-by-8 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
-Whisk together the gelatin and cold water in a small bowl and let soften for 5 minutes.
-Stir together the sugar, ¼ cup of the corn syrup, water, and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240°F. Meanwhile, pour remaining ¼ cup corn syrup into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Microwave gelatin on high until completely melted, about 30 seconds. Pour it into the mixer bowl. Set the mixer speed to low and keep it running.
-When the syrup reaches 240°F, slowly pour it into the mixer bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Increase to medium-high and beat for 5 more minutes. Beat on the highest setting for 1 to 2 minutes more and beat in the vanilla; the finished marshmallow will be opaque white, fluffy, and tripled in volume. Add 1 - 2 tablespoons of raspberry sauce to the marshmallows and beat until combined.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan.  Drizzle raspberry sauce on top and swirl gently with a knife.  Using two spoons, break off small chunks of cheesecake and drop into the marshmallows.  Pour the remaining batter on top, and repeat with sauce and cheesecake.
Sift coating evenly and generously over the top. Let set for at least 6 hours in a cool, dry place.
Use a knife to loosen the marshmallow from the edges of the pan. Invert the slab onto a coating-dusted work surface and dust it with more coating. Cut into whatever size pieces you wish (a pizza cutter works great for squares). Dip the sticky edges of the marshmallows in more coating, patting off the excess.

One good thing?  There is raspberry sauce and cheesecake left over from this recipe... I didn't really have a problem coming up with an idea of what to do with it.  It was taken care of pretty quickly.  :) 


Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever is published by Quirk Books... if you've never tried a homemade marshmallow, I suggest you quickly pick up a copy of this book, throw away your store-bought mallows, and make up a batch.  Besides a little patience, they are relatively easy to do and they taste SO much better (nothing like it's store-bought counterpart!)

Make sure you visit the other bloggers' sites participating in Marsh Madness.  16 bloggers all over the country are whipping up their own versions of their Classic Vanilla Marshmallows.  Follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #MarshMadness.  At the end of this Mallow-a-thon, Shauna herself will select her favorite recipe!  



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Paninis without the mess

The Kitchn is one of my favorite blogs.  They're always posting genius ideas!  Here's their newest one...
Paninis without the mess.  Before putting your sandwich on the panini maker, wrap your sandwiches in Pre-Cut Parchment so that the oils and cheeses don't get all over the grill.  Simply toss the parchment and clean up is done.  Another great use for our Pre-Cut Parchment sheets.  Does it get any easier than that??

The Kitchn: Quick Sandwich Tip - Make Hot Panini Sandwiches without the mess

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rich Chocolate Espresso Bundt cake with Cappuccino Glaze

I think Bundt cakes are an under appreciated member of the dessert world.  Just listen to this: Rich, moist Chocolate Espresso Bundt cake with Cappuccino glaze.  Don't appreciate the bundt yet?  Bake this recipe up and you just might change your mind.

Chocolate Espresso Bundt Cake, adapted from A Delightful Dish
Ingredients:
8 oz butter (2 sticks/1 cup)
1/2 cup high quality Dutch process cocoa
1 heaping tablespoon instant espresso powder dissolved into 3/4 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt



Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 10-12 cup bundt pan (be care to get into all those little creases in the pan!)
Melt butter in the top of a double boiler set over medium-low heat.  Add cocoa and stir until smooth. Whisk in the espresso mixture and remove from heat. Add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and eggs to the warmed cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Add all at once to the first mixture, whisking just until combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until it feels firm to the touch and has slightly pulled away from the sides of the pan. Cool in pan on a rack for 20 minutes. Carefully loosen the cake with a knife and invert onto a large plate.

Glaze:
2 Tablespoons of Espresso or very strong brewed coffee
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 - 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup Powdered sugar

Gradually add the espresso and vanilla to the powdered sugar while whisking constantly, making sure to get any lumps out. Add the cream a bit at a time until you have the consistency you like (you may not use all of the cream). It should be thin enough to drizzle, but thick enough so that it does not all drip off the cake.
Once the cake has fully cooled, use a large spoon to drizzle on the glaze.  Allow the glaze to set before digging in.  I poured some glaze on, allowed it to set, and then poured more on top to make the glaze more visible.  






Saturday, March 10, 2012

Torta Caprese (Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake)

The "Torta Caprese," is a flourless chocolate almond (or walnut) cake name from isle of Capri.  According to legend, it came about when a baker forgot to add flour to their almond cake recipe.  As a result, it has been called, "uno dei pasticci piĆ¹ fortunati della storia" (one of the most fortunate mistakes/pies in history).  What I find so interesting about that little quote is that "pasticci" means both "pies" and "mess / to make a mess of".  Well, if it was in fact created by accident, it is definitely what Bob Ross would call "a happy little mistake" because this is a delicious cake.  Made of only a few ingredients and topped with only powdered sugar, it is quite a simple recipe which I think is what gives it most of its appeal.  Buon Appetito!


Torta Caprese, adapted from epicurious
Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 sticks (7/8 cup) unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces almonds (I used slivered because it is what I had on hand)
  • 1 ounce walnuts
  • 6 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened) 
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • powdered sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° F. 
Lightly butter a 10-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a The Smart Baker pre-cut 10" parchment paper round
Melt butter and cool. In a food processor finely grind together almonds, walnuts and chocolate. Separate eggs.
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat yolks with granulated sugar until very thick and pale.  Beat in nut/chocolate mixture and butter.
In another bowl with cleaned beaters beat whites with a pinch salt until they just hold stiff peaks and whisk one fourth into almond mixture. Fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly and spread batter evenly in pan.
Bake torte in middle of oven 40 - 50 minutes, or until it begins to pull away from side of pan and a tester comes out with moist crumbs adhering. Cool cake in the springform pan for 5 minutes, then, run a knife around the edge of the cake and open the springform.  Move to a cooling rack to cool completely. 
Dust torte with powdered sugar when cake comes to room temperature. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

We're on Shark Tank!

Just in case you missed it, we were on the March 2nd episode of Shark Tank!  Take a peak!  Check out your favorite "Smart Baker" - we're the 2nd pitch of the episode.  


Shark Tank episode 7 full episode - abc.go.com

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