Pinterest Test Kitchen #100 ~ Flourless Chocolate Cake

I’ve been sitting on this recipe for just the right time to share it and I think posting my 100th Pinterest Test Kitchen qualifies, don’t you?

It’s rich.

It’s decadent.

It’s a chocolate lover’s dream.

It even gets points for being naturally gluten free.

It’s also versatile. I’ve made it as a single layer cake in a torte pan and I’ve made little minis too.

And unless you are having a no good very bad day like the one I was having here while making it, it is super simple and you probably have everything you need on hand to make it and that is a big bonus right there.

What you’ll need for the cake:
 1 cup chocolate chips (I’ve used semi sweet and dark chocolate, either is fine)
1 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder (again I have used regular cocoa powder and dark chocolate)
2 tsp espresso powder or instant coffee (made it with and without and it’s tasty either way)
For the ganache:
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
What you’ll do:
Preheat over to 375 degrees
Melt chocolate chips and butter until combined
Pour into a bowl and add the sugar and espresso powder if you’re using it, stirring until thoroughly mixed
Add eggs and whisk until batter is smooth
Add in cocoa powder and stir
Pour into a well greased cake pan (you may want to use parchment paper but I’ve not had any problems just using Baker’s Joy)
Bake for 20 minutes (I’ve started cooking mine for 18 minutes because I noticed my edges getting too done at the full 20 minutes.)
While the cake is baking make your ganache by heating your heavy whipping cream and chocolate chips until smooth and well blended (be careful not to allow your cream to get too hot and keep stirring as the chocolate melts)
Let the cake cool for ten minutes and them flip it onto a plate
Pour ganache over the top and allow it to drizzle over the sides
Let the cake sit out for about 30 minutes before refrigerating for at least an hour before serving
Top with a dollop of whipped topping and garnish with raspberries

Grab a fork and bite into that deliciously chocolate dream and sigh with utter satisfaction.

I realize that a one layer cake doesn’t seem like much but this dessert is really rich so a little slice will do ya. Also, to make the mini cakes I’ve used the silicone pan and I’ve also used just a regular mini muffin pan. I think once I got really crazy and used the mini bunt cake pan I have but decided that was a wee bit more work than I wanted to put into it with not much return.

I’ve also learned that while you do need to refrigerate it so the ganache can set you want to take it out and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

So yeah, this is my 100th post that I’ve tagged (or tried to remember to tag) as either Pinterest Test Kitchen or simply Test Kitchen. You can enter either of those into the search bar near the bottom of the blog to pull up all the post in the series or you can go here to where I have most of them saved onto a pinterest board.

I’d love to know what you have found on pinterest and tried!

Test Kitchen #96 ~ Lemon Tart

I think this has become my absolute favorite dessert right now. For reals. It’s cool and smooth and tart and with just enough summer tanginess. It comes from a Taste of Home cookbook my mother gave us and my youngest daughter actually picked it out (along with about ten more but this is the only one we’ve tried so far.)

I have found that opinions can run pretty strong on the matter of lemon flavored desserts but I am solidly in the go for it camp. I think it taste like summer and is so yummy.

This tart is delicious and bonus…you get a great arm workout.

What you’ll need:
1 pastry shell, baked
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup milk
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter
1 TBS grated lemon peel
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
What you’ll do:
Combine sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan.
Gradually stir in milk until smooth.
Cook, constantly stirring, over medium-high heat until it thickens.
Reduce heat and continue to cook and stir for two more minutes.
Remove from heat.
Take a spoonful of the hot mixture and stir it into the eggs yolks.
Return all of it to the sauce pan and return to burner.

Bring back to a gentle boil, stirring the whole time.
Cook for two more minutes.

Remove from heat.
Stir in butter and lemon peel.
Gently add in lemon juice.
Cover and cool completely.
Fold in sour cream.
Pour into pastry shell.
Refrigerate for at least two hours before cutting. 
Garnish with whipped topping.
Enjoy!

It really is the perfect dessert for these hot summer days.

Pinterest Test Kitchen #94 ~ Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Pie

In the very beginning of my Pinterest Test Kitchen posts I merely linked to the recipe and shared any changes I made and what our overall reaction was to the recipe. Then for some reason I started typing them completely out and only linking to the original source. Actually I think the reason was because I hate clicking on a link expecting a recipe but then having to click through to another site just to get to it. Terribly lazy of me I know and somewhat hypercritical because I am going to probably start including more of those kinds of posts again.  Why reinvent the wheel, right? I’m sure that upon occasion I will still type out the whole thing but for today I am going to link to a delicious homemade pie from Pioneer Woman.

The only real thing I would change would be not using my large pie plate. As you can see it made for a thinner pie and pie should never be thin.

That homemade chocolate pudding filling?

So.Good.

I’ve actually bought the stuff to make a white chocolate version. Doesn’t that sound just delicious with raspberries on top? I’ll let you know how it turns out when I make it!

Pinterest Test Kitchen #91 ~ Nanny’s Oatmeal Pie

It has been over two months since I shared a recipe?! To make up for it I have a really scrumptious pie recipe for you and it’s just in time for the holidays!

A pie confession…I’ve never been a huge fan of pecan pie which I know can get me kicked out of the South but there you have it. It always made my teeth feel weird. The thing is though that I love the center non-pecanny part. But it’s rude to scrape off all of the pecan topping so it’s always just been off my menu.

But then I came across this recipe and oh my goodness, it is just like a whole pie that is made up of only the inside of a pecan pie and it is the best thing ever! It’s got just the right amount of chewiness and crunchiness. It was a big hit at my church (our weekly fellowship meals are my testing ground for new recipes) and will definitely get made again.

oatmeal_pie_homemade_goodness_pie_recipe
What you’ll need:
1 9 inch uncooked pie crust 
6 TBS butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cups regular corn syrup
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup regular oats
What you’ll do:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Cream together the sugar and butter.
Mix in the corn syrup, eggs, and vanilla.
Stir in oats.
Pour into pie shell.
Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the center is only slightly jiggly.

Serve plain (it is seriously so very, very good!) or I guess you could throw in a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you like.

recipe_oatmeal_pie_homemade

What kind of pies and desserts do you have during the holidays?

Pinterest Test Kitchen #82 ~ S’more Pie

I have a weird relationship with s’mores.

I love the idea of them. How could I not?

I like the crisp crunch of graham crackers.

Melted chocolate? Love some, thanks!

Ooey gooey marshmallow? Absolutely!

But the three come together and I am just…sorta…kinda…underwhelmed maybe?

I think, for me at least, the three good things come together and cancel each other out.

Shocking, I know. And my camping enthusiast friends are probably second guessing their relationship with a crazy person but there you have it.

The truly funny thing is that I am fascinated by them. And apparently a lot of people are because if you type in “s’more” on Pinterest a lot of pins come up. And I mean a lot. And also a lot of categories…in a jar, gourmet, treat, camping, buffet, kit and, I kid you not, one labeled healthy.

Since Rob and I are the only ones to have this weird indifference to s’mores I decided to give this s’more pie a try one Sunday for our fellowship meal. The pie plate came home empty so I guess it was a success.

s'more_pie_recipe_Hershey_candy_bars

The only complaint I have is that it didn’t cut into nice slices…we ended up doing more of a scooping thing. This could totally be my fault though so who knows? If you try it let me know how your’s slices up.

What you’ll need:
1 stick butter, softened 
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup Graham Cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
7 oz marshmallow cream
2 Hershey bars, unwrapped and separated*
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Hershy_candy_bar_s'more_pie_recipe

*The original recipe calls for way more candy bars than I needed…a tragic event that left me with a surplus of chocolate to hide share with the kids another day 😉

What you’ll do:
In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar together.
Add in the egg and vanilla.
Stir in the flour, graham cracker crumbs, and baking powder.
Divide the dough in half, pressing one half of the dough along the bottom and sides of a lightly greased  9 inch pie plate.
Spread the marshmallow cream evenly on the bottom crust.
Place the separated chocolate squares on top of the marshmallow cream.
Sprinkle the marshmallows on next.
Pat sections of the remaining dough on top of  and all around the marshmallows.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a nice golden brown.
Allow to cool completely before cutting.
Enjoy!

Hershey_candy_bar_s'more_pie_recipe

Test Kitchen # 80 ~ Oreo Bars

Pinterest is flooded, I mean flood-ed, with gobs of recipes of every imaginable kind of rice krispie treat combination…milky way rice krispie treats, peanut butter cup rice krispie treats, salted caramel, cake batter, cookie butter and even a red velvet version.

And I am just not even tempted because…well, I don’t like rice krispie treats. I don’t enjoy the flavor or the texture. So normally I just scroll by those recipes if they pop up on my pinterest page.

But then I saw this recipe for a rebooted version that uses oreo cookies instead of rice krispies and suddenly my aversion disappeared. I made some slight changes based on what I had on hand (I used mini marshmallows and did not top mine with additional Oreos. I also don’t have a microwave so I made mine on the stove top)

Oreo_dessert_cookie_bars

Because I am me I was trying it out for the first when friends were coming over and instead of doubling the recipe I made two batches, one with regular oreos and one with golden oreos. I preferred the golden ones but the chocolate ones went fast.

What you’ll need:
1 package of Oreos, crumbled
1/2 stick of butter
5 cups of marshmallows
What you’ll do:
Melt the butter in a large stock pot.
Stir in marshmallows and continue stirring until completely melted.
Add in crushed cookies and mix completely.
Spread into a parchment paper lined 8×8 dish and press into an even layer.
Allow them to cool completely before cutting into squares.

They’re pretty tasty and keep well if you store them in an air tight container…if you have any left.

Oreo_cookie_bar_treats

This recipe came from one of my new favorite blogs so click on over and check out the tasty goodness from Kleinworth & Co.

Pinterest Test Kitchen #78 ~ Snicker Caramel Apple Pie

I’ve never shied away from sharing a recipe that flopped or went wrong. And while this one wasn’t an actual flop per se, it just didn’t live up to the expectations I had for it.

Have you ever had the Snicker caramel apple salad? I don’t make it often but I love it so when I saw this recipe for it basically in pie form I got pretty excited. (Plus her pictures are lovely and I’m a sucker for good food photography.) But I found mine to be underwhelming, and it didn’t really set and sloppy pies just aren’t my thing. I’m totally copping to user error and personal preference though since I heard no complaints and my pie plate came home empty. But I think my Snicker salad is going to stay in a bowl from now on.


    
What you’ll need:
1 graham cracker pie crust
3 granny smith apples, chopped
15- 20 mini Snicker candy bars, chopped
1/4 caramel ice cream topping
2 1/2 cups Cool Whip
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
4 oz cream cheese, softened

Snickers_candy_chocolate_pie_dessert

What you’ll do:
Place chopped apples into pie crust and top with Snicker pieces.
Drizzle the caramel topping on top.
In a mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth.
Gently fold in  cool whip and sweetened condensed milk, stirring just until combined. *
Spread over the apple and Snicker mixture in pie plate.
Sprinkle a few more Snickers pieces on top and drizzle with caramel sauce.
Refrigerate for at least four hours before serving.

dessert_apple_pie_Snickers_candy_chocolate

*It’s been a few weeks since I made this so my memory is unclear, but I am wondering if I used the mixer the whole time and that is why my pie never set? Maybe I caused it to be too thin. Like I said, I can’t recall exactly but that would make sense.

So, you know, don’t do that and yours will probably turn out fine 🙂

Pintrest Test Kitchen # 77 ~ White Sour Cream Cake with Butter Cream Icing

So, I knew it had been a while since I shared a recipe but I had no idea it had been since December.

I mean it’s March already! Can you believe that? Where does the time go?

(Totally unrelated to the recipe but last week we took our oldest daughter to visit MSU and I had the most surreal experience on the drive over. Sarah was sitting in the back seat and said something and Rob turned his head to answer her and I had the craziest flashback. Seriously, it was like something out of the movies…I could see her as a little girl on our first road trip, little curls all over her head and feet swinging and bouncing. The echo of her laughter was as clear as day. I cried a little.)

While we may not be able to stop time from flying by and our children from growing up too fast we can slow it down a little and enjoy a piece of cake every now and then with a cup of coffee.

That was a really smooth transition to the recipe wasn’t it? Yep, that’s why everybody reads my blog 🙂

This cake is kind of a mash up of box and homemade. You begin with a cake mix but jazz it up a bit for a nice dense cake. Also, I am not normally a huge fan of butter cream icing but I made this the morning and kept it refrigerated until after lunch and it was quite tasty all nice and chilled. Here is a link to the original pin but I changed a few things. Mainly because you need two cake mixes to get the amounts required and I didn’t so I added an extra cup of flour. I also reduce the amount of sugar added.

For the cake ~ What you’ll need:
1 box white cake mix
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 TBS oil (I use canola) 
1 1/3 cup water
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
What you’ll do:
Mix together all dry ingredients with a whisk.
Add liquid ingredients and beat on low until well combined.
Pour into prepared cake pans. 
Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes. (Time will depend on size of pans so check after 30 minutes.)

The cake is pretty dense and heavy and pairs well with the butter cream frosting. This is the strangest icing recipe to me. Other than the Hershey icing I’ve never made one that required cooking.

For the icing ~ What you’ll need:
5 TBS flour
1 cup of milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 sticks of butter, at room temperature  
1 cup granulated sugar
confectioner’s sugar to taste*
What you’ll do:
Whisk together the flour and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. 
Stir constantly until it thickens being careful not to burn it.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Allow it to completely cool before finishing or it will not work.
(I emptied mine out of the hot saucepan and into a small bowl to help it cool quicker.)
Cream together the butter and sugar until well blended and fluffy.
Add in the cooled flour mixture.
Keep beating it until it has the consistency of whipped cream.

white_cake, butter cream_frosting_dessert

*I mentioned that I am not a fan of butter cream frosting. The taste is a little sharp to me so I added just a wee bit of confectioners sugar until I liked the flavor. You may be fine without it so suit yourself.

The cake iced well although it was a little plain looking so I covered the top with some lovely gold sprinkles. In my opinion taste is only part of it…pretty counts for something.

Would I make it again? Yes and no. It tasted good and everyone seemed to enjoy it but I am solidly a cream cheese icing gal. But I don’t think I will ever make a cake any differently other than to tweak the amount of flour depending on how stout I want the cake. It has a great texture and flavor and it seems rather versatile. I’ve made it using a cup less flour and a yellow cake mix with almond extract and it went together nicely with some strawberries and whipped topping. I’m trying to figure out some kind of chocolate and mint combination now…maybe in time to celebrate the luck o’ the Irish!

I’d love to know if you try it as is or if you tweak it.

dessert_recipe_food_cake

Titus 2 Tuesday

Pinterest Test Kitchen # 75 ~ Snickerdoodle Caramel Apple Something

Catchy title, isn’t it?

It came about like this. I saw the recipe and pinned it of course. Then last week while I was making my grocery list I wrote down the ingredients, knowing I was changing out oatmeal raisin cookie for snickerdoodle, and then while at the store decided to swap out the regular boring caramels for the cute little round ones. The point being that I was thinking through the recipe several times.

I felt comfortable with the recipe. Felt like I understood it…like I got the essence of it.

Turns out I missed a few key parts to actually making this recipe. Like you are supposed to use the giant cookie squares but that really wouldn’t have made much difference since I only eat raisins in trail mix. But the biggie I missed was that I should have melted the caramel and drizzled it over the cooked cookie bar.

Still, I came home with an empty dish and everyone delighted in the snickerdoodle caramel apple something I made…not cake like at all but not really a bar either. (I still cut it in squares but you definitely had to eat it with a fork.)

What you’ll need:
2 packs Snickerdoodle break apart cookies
1 can apple pie filling (I used my scissors to cut the apples up into smaller pieces)
1 bag of caramel bits (These are the sole reason I was drawn to this recipe…not gonna lie.)

What you’ll do:
Take one package of break apart cookies plus three rows of the other pack and press into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
Top with the pie filling.
Break apart the remaining cookies and tear into little pieces, scattering them over the pie filling.
Sprinkle with caramel bits.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until the cookie is a golden brown and the edges are bubbly.
Allow to cool completely before cutting.

As I said, this was well received but I will probably give the original recipe another shot. You know…actually follow it. Except for the snickerdoodle cookie part. Because frankly, snickerdoodle is much more fun to say that oatmeal raisin.

cookie bar, snickerdoodle, caramel apple

Test Kitchen #74 ~ Amazing Coconut Pie

I don’t know about you but I rarely get a recipe from the back of a package with the possible exception of maybe cookies.

If I am buying Bisquick it’s usually because I have already found a recipe that calls for it. Same with chocolate chips, and coconut, etc.

But then a few weeks ago I was with a delightful group of pastor’s wives and one of them mentioned the recipe on the back of the Baker’s Angel Flake Sweetened Coconut. She said it was super easy and really delicious and she was right on both counts.

Or at least I am assuming she was since I have made it twice now and have yet to even get a bite!

Amazing Coconut Pie…you mix everything together in a blender and pour it into a pie shell. A lovely creamy almost custardy pie is the result.

What you’ll need:
2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose baking mix (I used Bisquick)
4 eggs 
4 TBS butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla 
1 1/3 cup coconut
dessert, pie, coconut
What you’ll do:
Add everything into the blender except for the coconut and blend for three minutes.
Pour into a greased pie plate.
Sprinkle with coconut.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until the center of the pie is set and the top is golden brown.

Can be served warm right out of the oven or let it cool first.

dessert, pie, coconut