Cognac Raspberry Chocolate Lava Cakes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Cognac
It’s been a busy couple of months around the Kitchen, with the holidays and wedding planning taking up much of our time. This past week was my birthday, and Mr. Kitchen got me an awesome present — a gift certificate for a workshop with DessertTruck here in NYC, where I will be learning to make macaroons!
Since it’s Super Bowl Sunday, I wanted to pass along a new recipe for these fantastic brownies — with three types of chocolate (baker’s unsweetened, dark, and semi-sweet) and a generous heaping of peanut butter, they’re not too sweet but incredibly rich.
They don’t take long to make, so if you’re planning to head to a party for this evening’s 6:30 kick off, you’ve still got time!
Adapted from a Martha Stewart Recipe
1 stick butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for buttering baking pan
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (Baker’s provides 1 oz squares, if you’re using a bar, chop the chocolate into chunks)
1 ounce dark chocolate
4 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels, plus an extra 2 ounces for chocolate chunks in the brownies
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Mixture
1/2 stick of butter (melted)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan.
Put butter in a double-boiler (set a heatproof over a pan of simmering water). Stir until melted and add chocolate (unsweetened, dark and 4 ounces of the semi sweet morsels), mixing until the chocolate is fully melted and incorporated into the butter. Let cool slightly.
Whisk granulated sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder and add flour mixture to chocolate mixture. Stir until well incorporated (about 3-4 minutes). Stir in the remaining chocolate morsels.
To make the peanut butter swirl mixture, stir together butter, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. I’ve found that melting the butter in a double boiler, adding the sugar and then the peanut butter and whisking together works well. Just be sure to let the butter cool slightly before adding everything else.
When pouring the batter and peanut butter filling, you’ll have to work quickly. Pour one-half the batter into the buttered pan and spread it evenly with a rubber spatula. Drop heaps of peanut butter filling (about 2 tablespoons each) on the batter, spacing about 1 inch apart. This should amount to about half the peanut butter filling. Pour the remaining batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan. Drop heaps of remaining peanut butter filling on top. Gently swirl peanut butter filling into batter with a butter knife, running the knife lengthwise and crosswise, with the tip of the knife hitting the bottom of the pan.
Bake about 45-50 minutes in center rack of oven, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into brownies comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan, slice and remove and let cool completely on a rack.
A trick for cutting brownies: Use a plastic knife! I don’t know why, but it stops the brownies from crumbling/cracking/falling apart while cutting.
As the size of my butt can attest, I love food. Some of my fondest memories of when I first began dating Mr. Kitchen, my almost-husband, involve cooking for him. He swears the first thing I made for him was Empanadas, but I think it was sausage and peppers. In either case, I do remember he always asked for seconds. He still does. I think I did, in some way, cook my way into his heart. He says that my cooking showed him I cared for him — that I wanted to take care of him. I think that’s likely true for a lot of people, but let’s face it — the cliche “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” exists for a reason. I know lots of women who agonize over cooking for their would-be boyfriend for the first-time. They want to bring their A-game, to somehow make their guy all weak-kneed in their domestic goddess presence. For any of you who might be searching for that perfect, but not terribly hard “wow” recipe, I present “You’re Gonna Remember Me Berry Brown Bettys.”
This recipe is great for two reasons: you can prep much of this beforehand; and it’s super fast to make. I can’t imagine any man who would turn this down, when served warm with fresh whipped cream. It’s got a magical mixture of Challah bread, berries, butter, sugar…. really could anything be better? Plus, that leftover Challah? Well I’ve got another recipe for you in case the date goes really well and he’s there for breakfast.
Adapted from Gourmet and Smitten Kitchen
Makes six individual desserts
3/4 stick salted butter
1/8 cup light brown sugar
4 tbsp All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Japanese bread crumbs (Panko)
1/2 cup blueberries, rinsed
1 cup strawberries, rinsed, stemmed and sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Whipped cream (this can be refrigerated for a couple of hours beforehand if you’re making it fresh)
A muffin tin (preferably holding six muffins, but 12 will do)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat until golden. Remove from heat. Use a brush to coat the muffin tin. (Note: If you’re using a 12-muffin tin, only coat six of the spaces unless you are doubling this recipe.) Slice six pieces off Challah loaf and gently cut crusts off. Roll the bread with a rolling pin until flattened. Brush both sides of the bread with butter and gently press slices into muffin tin (one slice in each space). Stir together brown sugar, flour and Panko. If using zest, incorporate into dry ingredients, otherwise, incorporate lemon juice into strawberries and blueberries. Add remaining butter to mixture. Toss ingredients gently to coat berries in flour/Panko/sugar mixture. Spoon heaping spoonfuls into muffin tin, pressing down gently to pack mixture in.
Note: If you are using a 12 muffin tin and are only making six Brown Bettys, be sure to fill the empty spaces about halfway full with water. This will prevent scorching in the pan and burning your Bettys!
Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes, then remove foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until strawberries are tender. (Some of the blueberries may burst — don’t worry, they taste better that way!) Let stand for 5-7 minutes and top with whipped cream. These are best when served warm.