S’more Creme Brulee

s'more creme brulee

I found this recipe on Pinterest and just had to try it.  Who doesn’t like s’mores and any chance to use my kitchen blow torch is always welcome.  Of course, you’ll have to find some gluten-free graham crackers or make your own to make this dish completely gluten free.

CHOCOLATE CRÈME BRÛLÉE

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 4 oz  semisweet or bittersweet chocolate , finely chopped (I used good quality semi sweet mini chips)

MARSHMALLOW MERINGUE

  • 4  large egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

TO FINISH

  • extra sugar for bruleeing
  • gluten free graham crackers if you can find them (or a similiar flavor gluten free cookie)

FOR THE CRÈME BRÛLÉE:

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Set out six ramekins and a roasting pan that will fit all the ramekins comfortably.
  • Combine cream and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil on the stove.
  • Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and remaining tablespoon of sugar together in a medium bowl.
  • When the cream has just come to a boil, add chocolate to the saucepan and stir until chocolate is fully melted and combined with the cream.
  • Slowly pour the hot chocolate mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent eggs from cooking. Strain mixture into a bowl or measuring cup.
  • Divide custard mixture evenly among prepared ramekins. The mixture should come up just a little shy of the rim of the ramekins. Tap the ramekins lightly on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles.
  • Place ramekins in roasting pan so they are not touching the sides. Fill the pan with hot water about halfway up the height of the ramekins.
  • Carefully place roasting pan in oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the custard appears set but still jiggly. If you are using wide, shallow ramekins (like the ones in my photos), it will take closer to 25 minutes. If you are using smaller, deeper ramekins, it may take a little longer to set.
  • Remove from oven and carefully take out ramekins from roasting pan. Let cool until you can touch the ramekins, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

FOR THE MERINGUE:

  • Combine the sugar and egg whites in a medium metal bowl and place over a pan of simmering water.
  • Whisk the sugar mixture constantly over heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture looks smooth and shiny, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove mixture from heat and pour into a stand mixer bowl. Whisk on medium speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture has cooled.
  • Beat on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form, about another 5 to 10 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to combine.
  • You can now scrape the meringue into a piping bag to pipe, or if you want to keep it simple you can just dollop it on top of your dessert.

TO ASSEMBLE:

  • Sprinkle top of each ramekin with about a tablespoon of sugar. Use a kitchen torch or broiler to caramelize the sugar.
  • Pipe or spoon the meringue over the top of the ramekin. Use a kitchen torch or broiler to lightly toast the meringue.
  • Insert a few graham cracker pieces or cookie pieces into the brûlée and serve immediately.

Ode to Elvis – Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding with Bananas

Choc Peanut

This is a simple homemade pudding that even the King himself would be proud of.  I used a Hershey bar for the chopped chocolate and garnished with some fresh sliced bananas.  As you let the pudding cool in the pan before you put in serving dishes cover the pudding with plastic wrap sitting right on top of the pudding to avoid the dreaded “pudding skin” from forming.  Once it was cool enough I divided mine among four serving dishes and let it chill for about an hour. Now, Don’t Be Cruel and make yourself a batch. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 2 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

Preparation

  1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa in a medium saucepan; stir with a whisk. Whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 1 minute or until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and peanut butter, stirring until smooth. Spoon about 1/3 cup pudding into each of 6 bowls. Top each serving with 1/2 teaspoon peanuts.

 

Quick Gluten-Free Brownies

Guys have never understood the yearning women have for chocolate.  We don’t just crave it.  There are sometimes that we MUST have chocolate.  The gravitational pull that we feel to this sweet wonder cannot fully be explained, but once that craving hits we must satisfy it.  Today I give you a simple brownie recipe that I tried courtesy of the Gluten Free Goddess.  These brownies can be served warm if you don’t mind them gooey and falling apart or you can chill them for an hour before cutting.  If the craving hits you sometimes there is no time for letting things cool down.

Ingredients:

5 oz semi sweet chocolate chips or high quality 70% cocoa dark chocolate plus another 2 T for sprinkling on the top if desired)

1/2 c coconut oil

1 c light brown sugar (not packed)

3/4 c gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 tsp fine salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 eggs lightly beaten

1 T vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line an 8X8 baking pan with aluminum foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.  Melt your chocolate and coconut  oil in a saucepan over low heat stirring gently.  In a separate bowl whisk brown sugar, flour, salt and baking soda.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the beaten eggs and vanilla and melted chocolate.  Beat on low-medium for two minutes.  The batter should thicken and become smooth and glossy.  Spread batter in pan and top with chocolate chips (pressing them in slightly).  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until set.  The top will crack.

These totally rock!

Easy Peppermint Bark (or so I thought)

This little treat just tastes like Christmas.  What can go wrong with peppermint and chocolate?  I’ll tell you what can go wrong……chocolate seizing.  Apparently it is critical to make sure there is absolutely no water in the bowl you are using to melt your chocolate in the microwave.  I was golden when melting the milk chocolate, but I made the mistake of washing out the same bowl to melt my white chocolate and I guess I didn’t dry it completely so my white chocolate seized on me.  I thought I had heard that you can salvage it by adding some honey so I tried that.  Maybe I didn’t add enough, but the honey didn’t do the trick so I added a little corn syrup and it helped the consistency enough to spread on top of the milk chocolate.  Don’t make my mistake when melting your chocolate…..I sure won’t do that again!

Ingredients:

12 oz milk or semi sweet chocolate chips

12 oz white chocolate chips

8 large candy canes (crushed)

non-stick cooking spray

Cover a sheet pan with wax paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Melt your milk or semi sweet chocolate in a DRY bowl in the microwave.  Start with 25 seconds and then continue adding 20 seconds until you get the desired consistency.  Spread this chocolate on your sheet pan to 1/8 inch thickness and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Next melt your white chocolate in the microwave in the same manner and spread over your other chocolate mixture.  Add your crushed candy canes and gently press them into the white chocolate.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes more or until hardened.  Break your bark into pieces and enjoy!

Double Chocolate Fudge Tart

Last Christmas I got a one year subscription to the Rachel Ray Magazine and I was so excited.  It is full of great kitchen gadgets and recipes which is right up my alley.  The December holiday edition arrived in the mail last week and after finding this recipe I had to try it.  I modified it to make it a gluten-free and I took one shortcut, but it was absolutely divine.  My Mom couldn’t stop raving about it and she’s a tough critic.

Ingredients:

1 bag of Pamela’s chocolate cookies like these (grind them in food processor)

6T melted unsalted butter and 8T unsalted butter cut into pieces

10.5 oz semisweet chocolate chips or chocolate bar

2 eggs

1c heavy cream

1/2 c granulated sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

1 pinch of salt

2T confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.  After cookies have been ground in food processor drizzle melted butter and pulse until combined.  Press into fluted tart pan (I used a springform pan and it worked fine).

Bake in oven for 10 minutes and then cool.  Grate several chocolate chips or 1/2 oz bar to sprinkle over the top.  In a saucepan melt remaining butter and chocolate stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.  In a large bowl whisk eggs, cream, granulated sugar, vanilla and salt.  Whisk the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture until well combined.  Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 20 minutes if using a fluted tart pan (it took me about 26 minutes using the springform pan).  The tart should be set, but the center should still be slightly jiggly.    Let tart cool completely and then sprinkle with confectioners sugar. 

I served mine with a dollop of Cool Whip Seasons Delight French Vanilla with chocolate sprinkles on top.

If you want to make the topping Rachel Ray used take 1c of heavy cream and 2T confectioners sugar and 1T orange liquer and beat with an electric mixer until thick and billowy.

I’ve already been asked to serve this dessert again at Thanksgiving 🙂

Chocolate Pots De Creme

I watched an episode of 5 Ingredient Fix recently and saw Claire Robinson make this easy chocolate dessert topped with a cherry whipped cream.  I had to try it for myself and it was fabulous!  If you don’t like the taste of dark chocolate try making this with milk chocolate instead.

Ingredients

4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Kroger’s Private Selection brand)

2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided

1/4 c granulated sugar plus 1 tsp

2 large egg yolks (put them in a separate bowl)

1/4 c cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 350F and bring 6c of water to a boil on the stove.  Put the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.  In a medium saucepan over medium low heat bring 1 1/2 c heavy cream and sugar to a low simmer making sure sugar has dissolved.  Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and whisk until all the chocolate has melted and it is smooth.  Add a small amount of the hot chocolate mixture to your egg yolk bowl and whisk to temper them.  Transfer the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk to thorughly combine.  Transfer the mixture to a liquid measuring cup and pour into 4 small ramekins filling evenly.

Put ramekins in a high sided baking pan and fill the pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake about 301 minutes.  The custard should be slightly jiggly when you remove it from the oven.  Cool the custards to room temperature and then refrigerate them for 2 hours or overnight.

Whip the remaining 1/2 c heavy cream with 1tsp of sugar until stiff peaks form.  Whisk the cherry jam until loosened adding 1-2 T of water to thin it out.  Fold the jam into the whipped cream and top the custards.

You’ll thank me later!

Got Milk?

Several weeks ago when my colitis was acting up I started looking into foods that can aggravate it.  It seems that there can be many triggers that can cause your tummy trouble like caffeine, chocolate and dairy.  Since I don’t really ingest much caffeine and there was NO way in hades that I was giving up chocolate I decided to cut cow milk out of my diet.  I had become accustomed to having a glass of the cow juice every morning with my breakfast either in a bowl with cereal or in a glass by itself.  I had tasted soy milk before and I gotta say…..NOT a fan!  I decided to try some of this almond milk that I had been hearing so much about.  The “original” flavor did not impress me.  The smell and lack of flavor did nothing to win my taste buds over so I tried the “vanilla” flavor next.  YUM-O!  Okay….I can deal with this!  It was creamy and I loved the hint of vanilla flavor.  I have been drinking this brand now for a couple of weeks and I am happy to say my stomach has not had any bad reactions.  As a matter of fact, my colitis hasn’t acted up in a while now…..YIPPEE!

I’m not sure if I have found the solution to all of my stomach issues, but for now I am loving the almond milk.  I buy the Blue Diamond brand because it goes on sale quite frequently at Publix and Kroger and coupons are usually very easy to find.  If you haven’t tried it yet check it out and let me know your thoughts.

I just have one question though…..do those little nuts have udders?  I don’t know how they get the milk out of them, but my stomach is thankful!

Making Whoopie!

I decided to try out the Land O Lakes gluten-free Whoopie Pie recipe this weekend.  I used the Betty Croker gluten-free devils food cake mix and the cookies turned out great.  I decided to make a homemade caramel sauce, but didn’t have any cream so I tried substituting vanilla almond milk.  Either I cooked the caramel too long or the almond milk substitution did not work because there was a strange taste to it.  We opted instead to just fill the whoopie pies with the vanilla icing mixture.  They were very sweet, but quite delicious.

I saved some of the cookies and filled them with mint chocolate chip ice cream and that was a really yummy treat too. 

All in all I think this recipe was a success even with our caramel issues.  Next time I’ll try adding the caramel and see how that enhances the flavor.

Whoopie Pie Ingredients:

1 (21-ounce) gluten and wheatfree chocolate cake mix

1/2 cup LAND O LAKES butter melted

1/2 cup water

3 eggs

1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt

Filling Ingredients:

1 cup LAND O LAKES butter, softened

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup prepared caramel sauce

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla

Combine cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter, water and eggs in large bowl; stir gently to combine. Let batter rest for 30 minutes.  Heat oven to 400°F. Drop batter by slightly rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto parchment-lined or lightly greased cookie sheets. Sprinkle each cookie with sea salt.   Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer to wire cooling rack.

Place 1 cup butter in medium bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; gradually add powdered sugar. Beat until well mixed. Add caramel sauce, 1 teaspoon sea salt and gluten-free vanilla. Beat until well mixed.  Pipe or spread rounded teaspoonful filling onto bottom of 1 cookie; place second cookie, bottom-side down over filling. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling. TIP: Letting batter rest allows batter to rise and increase volume of whoopie pies.

 

Fiery candy

On a recent trip to Whole Foods I couldn’t resist passing by the candy section.  My eyes immediately turned to the chocolate bars that sat on the shelf.  Each decadent bar seemed to be calling my name, but one seduced me more than the others.  The Chocolove Chilies & Cherries in Dark Chocolate peaked my curiosity. 

I’ve never been one of those people who enjoys intense heat in their food, but I have always been curious to try chilies and chocolate.  After carefully reviewing the ingredients to make sure the bar was gluten-free I tossed it into my basket.  I took the bar back to my office and waited like a good girl until after I had eaten all of my lunch.  I peeled off the wrapper and noticed there was a poem inside from Romeo and Juliet.

“My life were better ended by their hate,

Than death prorugued, wanting of they love.”

The seduction of this bar was blatent!  I broke off one small square and was greeted by the smooth rich dark chocolate….and then….it hit me!  The chilies made their prescence known, but not in an abusive way.  My tongue danced on the heat and then tasted the tangy sweetness from the cherries.  I took a small sip of my water, but the heat in my mouth was not overpowering.  I took another square and then a third as my taste buds became alive with the sensation of the heat.   This bar was bold, intense and when she was done with me I was totally satisfied.  Wham, Bam and Thank you ma’am!

Chocolate Please!

The other day I was dying for a chocolate pie so I decided to make one gluten-free style of course.  I started by pulsing some gluten-free Arrowroot cookies in a food processor to make the crust.  Mix your crushed cookies with 1/2 cup of melted butter or margarine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press your crust mixture into individual ramekins and bake in a 350F oven for 15-20 minutes or until your crust starts to turn golden brown around the edges. 

While your crusts are cooling beat 4 egg yolks in a bowl and set aside.  Next, make some chocolate pudding by heating 1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder, 3/4 c sugar, 2 2/3 c skim milk and 2T of cornstarch in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Heat this mixture until is has thickened and become bubbly.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and add 1C of the chocolate mixture to your 4 egg yolks to temper them.  Add all of the egg mixture back to the pan and bring it back to a boil.  Reduce the heat and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and pour pudding into a bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap that is touching the surface of the pudding so you won’t get the dreaded pudding skin. 

Chill for 1-2 hours and then fill ramekin with some of your pudding mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Top with some fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings to satisfy your chocolate

   cravings!