Thursday, March 22, 2012

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie (adapted from Bon Appetit)

1 ½ cups Graham cracker crumbs (see recipe above)
¼ cup sugar (optional)
75g butter, melted
2 large egg whites
4 large egg yolks
1 x 400g can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup lime juice (from about 3 limes)
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
To serve
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted
Coconut chips, optional
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar (if using). Drizzle with the melted butter and stir until well combined. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake until set and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Leave the oven on.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or alarge mixing bowl with a whisk or hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk. Add the lime juice and zest and whisk until combined.

Gently fold in about 1/3 of the egg whites to lighten the mixture thenadd the remaining egg whites and fold until just evenly combined. Spread themixture in the pre-baked crust and bake until just set in the center, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely then refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. The pie can be baked and stored, covered, in therefrigerator, up to 3 days.

To serve, combine the heavy cream and sugar in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Cut the pie into slices and top each with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of coconut chips.

Graham Crackers (from Citrus and Candy)
1 ¼ cups plain flour
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
50g unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes and frozen
40ml mild-flavoured honey
40ml whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steelblade, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse on low to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with sweetrice flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.

Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will bequite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions andpreheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows. Bake for 25 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure evenbaking. When cooled completely, place biscuits in the bowl of a food processorand pulse until they’re crumbs and no lumps remain.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Salted Fudge Brownies

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-inch square metal cake pan with foil, draping the foil over the edges. Lightly butter the foil.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Whisking them in one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, add the cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the batter. Using a butter knife, swirl the salt into the batter.
Bake the fudge brownies in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, until the edge is set but the center is still a bit soft and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out coated with a little of the batter. Let the brownies cool at room temperature in the pan for 1 hour, then refrigerate just until they are firm, about 1 hour. Lift the brownies from the pan and peel off the foil. Cut the brownies into 16 squares. Serve at room temperature.

MAKE AHEAD The salted fudge brownies can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, and frozen for up to 1 month.


Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffin

Knock-Offs of Whole Food’s 6 Dollar per 4 Chocolate Chunk VitaTop Muffins

1 3/4 c oats
3 egg whites
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or regular plain low fat yogurt)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (or 1-1/2 Tbsp. vinegar)
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup hot water
1 cup sugar substitute (like Splenda granular) OR 1/4 cup + 2 tbs stevia
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or use white chocolate or peanut butter chips!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with foil cupcake liners, or spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a blender, (or food processor), mix all of the ingredients together, except for the chocolate chips. Blend until oats are ground and mixture is smooth.

Place mixture in a bowl and gently stir in 1/2 of the chocolate chips (set the rest aside). Scoop mixture into prepared muffin pans.

Place muffins tins in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove muffins from the oven (but don’t shut oven off), and distribute the other half of the chocolate chips on top of each muffin.

Place the muffins back into the oven and bake for an additional 2-5 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. *Note, you could skip this step by putting all of the chips in the batter, and baking the muffins for 12-15 min straight, but this method gives the muffins the traditional ‘VitaTop Muffin’ look with the chocolate chips on top!

Cool muffins before removing from pan. ENJOY!!!

Servings: 12 Big Muffins or 24 Smaller Muffins
Calories: 116 Calories Per Muffin or 58 Calories Per Muffin

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Little Bit Salty, A Little Bit Sweet

I always get asked the same question over and over again - "what do you with all your baking?" Well, I usually bake on Saturdays so my husband and I have something for dessert that night. Anything we don't eat either goes to friends on Sundays, or my co-workers on Mondays. But not this week. Not with these Salted Caramel Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars!

Why? Because my husband wouldn't let me give them away that's why! They were THAT good! Seriously.
There's nothing better than the sweet and slightly salty taste of these delicious little bars. With a graham cracker base, dulce de leche cheesecake middle and a gooey caramel glaze with a light sprinkling of fleur de sel, these bars will satisfy any craving you throw at it. Even the kind where you want to eat everything in sight because you've had a really crap day and nothing you do seems to make it any better. These will! Ok - I can't make any guarantees, but if you have enough will power not to eat the whole pan and decide to share them instead, you can definitely make some new friends that will help cheer you up!

These cheesecake bars couldn't be easier to make. And as they say here in the UK "they're a doddle." (I had to hear that a few times before I understood what the heck people were talking about. I didn't know if it was good thing or a bad thing!)

Salted Caramel Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars


2 1/4 cups graham cracker or digestive biscuit crumbs (from about 17 whole graham crackers)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
10 tablespoons (142g) butter, melted


3 8-ounce packages Philadelphia-brand cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (225g) sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup dulce de leche
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


2/3 cup dulce de leche
2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
10 caramel chews
Fleur de sel*

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Coat 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon in medium bowl. Add melted butter; stir until coated. Transfer crumb mixture to pan. Press evenly onto bottom of pan. Bake until crust is light golden, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on rack.

2. Blend the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs 1 at a time, blending for 3 to 5 seconds each time until incorporated. Add in the dulce de leche and vanilla and blend until just mixed - about 10 seconds. Spread the batter evenly over the cooled crust and bake until the cheesecake mixture is just set in center and the edges are puffed and slightly cracked, about 38 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

3. Once the cheesecake bar is cooled, pour 2/3 cup dulce de leche sauce and a the 3 tablespoons of whipping cream in a glass measuring cup. Microwave at 10 second intervals stirring between each interval. Do this until the mixture is smooth and combined. Next, take about 10 caramel chews and heat them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds until just melted. Quickly dump the melted caramel chews into the dulce de leche mixture and stir continuously until combined. The consistency should be pourable, but not too liquid. You want the caramel topping to be soft and gooey, but not too runny that is pours down the side of your bar once you cut it. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

4. Lastly - (and this is the best part!) when you're ready to serve the bars sprinkle the caramel glaze lightly with some fleur de sel.

*Fleur de sel is a light and flaky sea salt, with a less salty and bitter taste than regular table or sea salt.
The sweetness of the caramel along with the tang from the cream cheese and the saltiness from the fleur de sel make this bar a little slice of heaven. But don't take my word for it. Go make your own!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Need a chocolate fix? This is your dessert! Enjoy!

Smooth and creamy dark chocolate cheesecake covered in white and milk chocolate toppings….yum.


9 oz. chocolate wafer cookies (I use chocolate animal crackers)
1/4 c. margarine (melted)

2 (8oz.) packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
1/2c. sugar
3 eggs
2 c. Nestle Dark Chocolate Morsels (melted)
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp. margarine (melted)
3 tsp. vanilla

1 c. heavy whipping cream (divided)
1/4 c. white chocolate chips
1/4 c. milk chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Crush cookies into fine crumbs and add melted margarine. Combine well and press into the bottom of a 9-Inch Springform Pan
Beat softened cream cheese with sugar until smooth.
Add eggs one at a time, beating in between each one.
Add remaining cheesecake ingredients, beating until smooth.
Pour into crust and allow to sit at room temp for 30 minutes.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 60 minutes,
Turn off oven, open oven door a little and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and run knife around edge of pan. Remove edge of pan.
Allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature before adding toppings.

Put 1/2c. whipping cream into saucepan and heat just until bubbling at edges. Turn heat off, add white chocolate chips, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, stir until smooth.
Repeat this process in another saucepan with the milk chocolate chips.
Pour white chocolate over cheesecake and then drizzle with milk chocolate until entire cheesecake is covered.
Chill overnight before serving.