Category Archives: Bon Appetit

Toffee Crunch Cheesecake

Aside from being gorgeous, this cheesecake is fabulous. I have made this cheesecake four or five times and it always turns out beautifully. The gingersnap crust is a lovely combination with the Heath bar topping. The caramel sauce takes a very watchful eye. You don’t want to take it too far (dark) because it will burn.I think the term ‘dark amber’ is a bit misleading. If I waited for it to turn dark amber, it would have burned and hardened, which I did the first time I made the cheesecake.  You will have left over caramel sauce. The recipe makes about twice the amount you need for the top of the cake. I have no problem with this because I usually decorate the plate with extra sauce.

Toffee Crunch Cheesecake

Toffee Crunch Caramel Cheesecake
Bon Appétit | January 2005

Zoom; Park City, UT
“Each year we receive hundreds of reader requests for recipes from restaurants around the world. And this past year there was a clear favorite — cheesecake. One of the best we tested is from Zoom in Park City, Utah. Here’s their delicious version. — The Editors

At the restaurant, this is served with roasted pears. The cake needs time to set up in the refrigerator overnight, so begin making it at least one day ahead.

Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings

Gingersnap crust:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 cups ground gingersnap cookies (about 7 1/4 ounces)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar

Cheesecake:
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel topping
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream

4 1.4-ounce English toffee candy bars (such as Heath or Skor), chopped

For gingersnap crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 9-inch springform pan with 2 1/2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Stir ground cookies, butter, and sugar in medium bowl until moist clumps form. Press cookie mixture firmly onto bottom of prepared pan. Wrap outside of pan with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil. Bake crust until firm and beginning to darken, about 14 minutes. Cool crust. Maintain oven temperature.

For cheesecake:
Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in butter, then eggs, 1 at a time, until just blended. Beat in vanilla. Pour batter over crust in pan. Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake cake uncovered until filling is puffed around edges and moves slightly in center when pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove pan from water; remove foil. Place hot cheesecake uncovered in refrigerator overnight.

For caramel topping:
Stir sugar, water, and lemon juice in large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until mixture turns deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 9 minutes. Add cream (mixture will bubble). Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Chill until thickened but still pourable, about 15 minutes.

Spoon caramel over top of cake just to edges (do not allow caramel to drip down sides). Garnish top edges with chopped English toffee. Chill at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.

Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release pan sides.

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Filed under Bon Appetit, Caramel, Cheesecake, Desserts

Devil’s Food Layer Cake with Peppermint Frosting

Devil’s Food Layer Cake with Peppermint Frosting
Originally uploaded by jenianddean.

I would like to whisk everyone a very Merry Christmas, and apologize for the five month hiatus.

Back in November, I made this delicious, dreamy, decadent cake for Susan’s birthday. If you love Andes mints, then this is the cake for you. The white chocolate cream and dark chocolate ganache combination is to die for! And the fluffy, marshmallow-y frosting is like heaven. The taste of this cake outweighs the couple of difficulties I had making it.

Some of the mistakes were mine, some were in the recipe. The first problem I had was completely my fault. I didn’t fully read the directions. I used 9″ x 1″ round pans. As I was cleaning up the kitchen I smelled burnt chocolate so I opened the oven to see chocolate overflowing all over the oven. So I had a do over.

The second issue was the cakes stuck to the pans even though I buttered and floured the pans. The cakes ended up being pieced together. Thankfully the dark chocolate ganache held the cakes together. The way I fixed this was to use four 9″X1″ pans to make the four layers instead of making two 2″ layers cutting them in half. I also would parchment paper in the bottom of the pans.

The third issue was the frosting. You are supposed to “whisk constantly with hand whisk until mixture resembles marshmallow creme and ribbons form when whisk is lifted, 8 to 9 minutes.” The first problem is my arm felt like it was going to fall off after 10 minutes of whisking. And the second problem was after 15 minutes the frosting wasn’t even close to being finished. I added some cream of tartar like when I make 7-minute frosting. Boy did that help – within 2 minutes is was ready to go. The next time I make it I will probably use a hand mixer instead of whisk.

The forth issue is the recipe says to chill the dark chocolate ganache until firm. If you make it the day before make sure to let it set out for a couple of hours before you try to spread it. The chocolate ganache turns into a big brick of chocolate when refrigerated.

And just a little hint – after you have built the layers with the ganache and white chocolate cream, put the cake in the refrigerator before frosting the cake. This will help stabilize the cake so the layers don’t slide.

Devil’s Food Layer Cake with Peppermint Frosting
This showstopping cake is layered with dark chocolate ganache and white chocolate cream, then topped with marshmallowy peppermint frosting. To give the final product pastry-shop flair, set a pile of chocolate curls in the center. Or lean chocolate shards against each other, teepee style.

10 to 12 servings

By Claudia Fleming
December 2008

Cake

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups ice water

Dark Chocolate Ganache

1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
14 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

White Chocolate Cream

12 oz high-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina), finely chopped
3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract

Peppermint Frosting

2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Bittersweet chocolate curls

Cake

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Dust pans with flour; tap out excess. Whisk first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in yolk. Add cocoa and beat until well blended. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with ice water in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating until just blended and smooth after each addition. Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth tops.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks and cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in foil; store at room temperature.

Dark Chocolate ganache

Bring cream and corn syrup to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Chill until firm enough to spread, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Before using, let stand at room temperature until soft enough to spread, about 30 minutes.

White Chocolate Cream

Place white chocolate in large heatproof bowl. Bring 1 cup cream to simmer in saucepan. Pour hot cream over white chocolate. Let stand 1 minute; whisk until smooth. Whisk in extract. Cover; chill until mixture thickens and is cold, at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.

Add 2 cups chilled cream to white chocolate cream and beat until smooth and peaks form. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewhisk to thicken, if necessary, before using.

Using long serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place 1 cake layer on platter, cut side up. Spread 1/3 of dark chocolate ganache over cake. Spoon 2 cups white chocolate cream in dollops over cake; spread evenly to edges. Top with second cake layer, cut side down; spread 1/3 of ganache over, then 2 cups white chocolate cream. Repeat with third cake layer, cut side up, remaining ganache, and remaining cream. Cover with fourth cake layer, cut side down. Chill while preparing frosting.

Peppermint Frosting

Combine sugar, 1/2 cup water, egg whites, and corn syrup in large bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer. Whisk by hand to blend well. Set bowl with mixture over saucepan of gently simmering water; whisk constantly with hand whisk until mixture resembles marshmallow creme and ribbons form when whisk is lifted, 8 to 9 minutes. Whisk in peppermint extract. Remove bowl from over water and attach bowl to heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until mixture is barely warm to touch and very thick, 7 to 8 minutes.

Using offset spatula and working quickly, spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle chocolate curls over top and sides. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; chill.

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Filed under Bon Appetit, Cake, Chocolate, Desserts, Frosting/Icing

Zinfandel Sangria with Brandy and Orange

At the end of the summer, Dean and I hosted a party for the staff at his office. I made tons of barbecued ribs, pulled pork and chicken and all the fixings. We have always have beer and wine, but this year I decided to make sangria. I found this recipe in Bon Appetit (July 07) and wanted to make it all summer. It turned out wonderfully and was very refreshing. Several people asked me for the recipe, so here it is. Enjoy!

This makes a big batch of sangria so I mixed all the ingredient (except the orange juice) together and let it sit overnight. The next day I added the orange juice and ice. I didn’t have a container large enough to make this in and that would fit in my refrigerator.

Zinfandel Sangria with Brandy and Orange
(serves 20 to 24)

3 cups simple syrup*
6 (750 ml) bottles Zinfandel
2 1/4 cups brandy
1 1/2 cups triple sec or other orange liqueur
1 1/2 cups orange juice
6 apples (cored and thinly sliced)
4 nectarines or peaches (pitted and thinly sliced)
4 lemons (cut into thin rounds)

Combine Zinfandel, brandy, triple sec, orange juice, and simple syrup in a very large container. Add apples, nectarines or peaches, and lemons. Refrigerate sangria until cold, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day. Ladle sangria and fruit into pitchers and serve over ice.

*How to make Simple syrup

Stir 2 1/4 cups water and 2 1/4 cups sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Cool simple syrup before adding it to the sangria.

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Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms


Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
Originally uploaded by jenianddean.

Dean and I hosted a going-away this weekend for our friend Rachel. Rachel is one of the few people who was working at Dean’s office when he first started working there four years ago. I can’t thank Rachel enough for helping to keep Dean sane during some of the crazy times at the office. Dean and I are going to miss her like crazy, but her move is a good move. She is moving back to Florida to be close to her family and we wish her the best!

Now to the mushrooms — I normally make artichoke-stuffed mushroom, but I wanted to try and make some different appetizers for the party. I found this recipe on Epicurious. These mushrooms were so simple and full of flavor. Everyone loved them! When they were gone, people were asking if I have more to bake. One of the best features to this recipe is you can make these mushrooms ahead of time. The morning of the party, I made the filling, stuffed the mushrooms, covered them with foil, and put them in the refrigerator. About 30 minutes before people were to arrive, I put them in the oven, and they were hot and ready to go when the guests arrived.

The only change I made to the recipe was I added 1 garlic clove to the sausage while it was cooking instead of the garlic powder. The next time I make these, and I will be making these again, I might add chopped shallot along with the garlic. The recipe says it makes 24, but I ended up with about 36 mushrooms.

Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms
Bon Appétit | November 2002

3 Italian hot sausages, casings removed
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg yolk

Olive oil
24 large (about 2-inch-diameter) mushrooms, stemmed
1/3 cup dry white wine

Sauté sausage and oregano in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage is cooked through and brown, breaking into small pieces with back of fork, about 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage mixture to large bowl and cool. Mix in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder, then cream cheese. Season filling with salt and pepper; mix in egg yolk.

Brush 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish with olive oil to coat. Brush cavity of each mushroom cap with white wine; fill with scant 1 tablespoon filling and sprinkle with some of remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange mushrooms, filling side up, in prepared dish. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake uncovered until mushrooms are tender and filling is brown on top, about 25 minutes. Makes 24

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Filed under Appetizers, Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Garlic, Hot Italian Sausage, Mushrooms, Parmesan

Cauliflower Soup with Truffle Oil

Cauliflower Soup with Truffle Oil
Originally uploaded by jenianddean.

Since it’s getting cold again, I thought I would put a wonderful soup recipe up on the blog. It is another transfer over from Serendipitous Reflections (October 18, 2005)

When I was out in Iowa visiting my friends Tracey and Clay, Clay and I talked about a ton of recipes. So one night he fixed this cauliflower soup. I loved it. I’m a huge fan of cauliflower. When I got home I decided I needed to make it for Dean, so last week I did. It was awesome!

I did use the truffle oil on top – but here are a couple of tips about truffle oil. Truffle oil is for flavoring, it’s not for cooking like olive oil. It is sort of expense (1.2 ozs = $13.00) but you only use a little, and I mean little bit of it. It is very pungent and “a little dab will do ya.” In the picture above I actually used a little too much, so be very careful when flavoring with it.

The recipe came for one of Clay’s favorite websites – Epicurious.com.

CAULIFLOWER SOUP WITH WHITE TRUFFLE OIL

The truffle oil is not essential, but it’s a nice indulgent touch. Since the oil’s flavor dissipates with heat, add the oil to this first-course soup just before serving.

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 pound cauliflower florets (about 5 cups)
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans low-salt chicken broth
1 teaspoon white truffle oil* or extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives

*White truffle oil is available at Italian markets, many specialty foods stores and some supermarkets.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add cauliflower and sauté 2 minutes. Add broth. Cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 25 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer soup to blender and purée until smooth. Return soup to pot. (Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.) Bring soup to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle truffle oil over. Garnish with chives.

Serves 6 as a first-course.
Bon Appétit
February 1999

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Filed under Bon Appetit, Cauliflower, Chives, Epicurious, Soup, Truffle Oil

Roast Turkey with Herb Butter and Caramelized Onion-Balsamic Gravy

Thanksgiving
Originally uploaded by jenianddean.

Clay and I started planning the Thanksgiving menu several weeks in advance. He sent me about 10 different turkey recipes and we finally settled on this one. Clay was the master behind the turkey and he did a fantastic job! The bird turned out beautifully and the gravy was to die for. The gravy was hands down the best gravy I have ever had.

A couple of changes we made: We used homemade turkey stock instead of chicken stock. Also we made the gravy in a separate pan instead of the roasting pan. And lastly the onions took longer than 20 minutes to caramelize. It was closer to 30 minutes.

(In the foreground of the picture is the Cranberry Jezebel Sauce. I will post that recipe tomorrow.)

Roast Turkey with Herb Butter and Caramelized Onion-Balsamic Gravy
Bon Appétit | November 1998

The gravy can be started while the turkey roasts. When the turkey is through cooking, finish the gravy with balsamic vinegar and the pan juices.

Serves 8 to 10.

For turkey
1 16- to 18-pound turkey, neck and giblets reserved for gravy
Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
Fresh sage sprigs (optional)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
4 teaspoons salt

For gravy
5 1/2 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
1 onion, quartered
1 bay leaf

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
2 large onions, halved, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Make turkey:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry. Place on rack in roasting pan. Sprinkle cavities with salt and pepper. If not stuffing turkey, place rosemary and sage sprigs in main cavity. If stuffing turkey, spoon stuffing loosely into main cavity. Melt butter in saucepan. Mix in chopped rosemary, sage, orange peel, pepper and salt. Brush herb butter over turkey. Tuck wing tips under turkey; tie legs together to hold shape. Roast turkey 1 hour. Baste with pan juices.

Continue roasting turkey until thermometer inserted into thigh registers 180°F, basting every 20 minutes, about 2 3/4 hours longer if unstuffed or about 3 1/4 hours longer if stuffed.

Meanwhile, prepare gravy:
Combine turkey neck and giblets, 5 1/2 cups broth, quartered onion and bay leaf in saucepan.

Simmer until reduced to 3 cups liquid, skimming occasionally, about 1 hour. Strain turkey stock.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions; sauté 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon rosemary and 1 tablespoon sage and sauté until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in turkey stock. Boil until gravy thickens, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon each rosemary and sage.

Transfer turkey to platter.
Tent with foil. Pour juices from pan into large glass measuring cup; spoon off fat. Add juices to gravy. Add vinegar to roasting pan. Bring vinegar to simmer over medium heat, scraping up browned bits. Pour mixture into heavy small saucepan. Boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes; add to gravy. Rewarm gravy; thin with more chicken broth, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.

Continue roasting turkey until thermometer inserted into thigh registers 180°F, basting every 20 minutes, about 2 3/4 hours longer if unstuffed or about 3 1/4 hours longer if stuffed.

Meanwhile, prepare gravy:
Combine turkey neck and giblets, 5 1/2 cups broth, quartered onion and bay leaf in saucepan.

Simmer until reduced to 3 cups liquid, skimming occasionally, about 1 hour. Strain turkey stock.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions; sauté 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon rosemary and 1 tablespoon sage and sauté until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Gradually whisk in turkey stock. Boil until gravy thickens, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon each rosemary and sage.

Transfer turkey to platter.
Tent with foil. Pour juices from pan into large glass measuring cup; spoon off fat. Add juices to gravy. Add vinegar to roasting pan. Bring vinegar to simmer over medium heat, scraping up browned bits. Pour mixture into heavy small saucepan. Boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes; add to gravy. Rewarm gravy; thin with more chicken broth, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.

Epicurious.com © CondéNet, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Bon Appetit, Entrees, Gravy, Herbs, Onions, Rosemary, Sage, Turkey

Brown sugar and chocolate chip pound cake with maple-espresso glaze

Brown sugar and chocolate chip pound cake
Originally uploaded by jenianddean.

I was so excited when I found this recipe in this month’s Bon Appetit. I had been look for a fall-ish dessert recipe to take to the mountains for the weekend and as soon as I saw the maple-espresso glaze I knew I had found it.

The cake was moist and dense and glaze was just sweet enough to not over power the chocolate chips in the cake. The recipe is not at all complicated. If you have a dinner party or an office party, this is a great cake to take.

The only change I made to the recipe was I used pure maple syrup in the cake instead of maple extract.

Brown sugar and chocolate chip pound cake with maple-espresso glaze
Bon Appétit | October 2007

Makes 12 servings

Cake:
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 cups all purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons (or more) whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

For cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F.

Butter 12-cup Bundt pan. Spray pan generously with nonstick spray. Dustpan lightly with flour. Mix chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons flour in medium bowl. Sift remaining flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt into another medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract and maple extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chip mixture. Transfer batter to prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan,about 1 hour. Cool cake in pan on rack 30 minutes. Invert cake onto rack and cool completely.

GOOD TO KNOW:
Mixing the chocolate chips with a little flour before adding them to the batter helps the chips stay evenly suspended in the batter and evenly distributed throughout the baked cake (otherwise,they may sink to the bottom).

For glaze:
Combine powdered sugar,maple syrup, 2 tablespoons cream,and espresso powder in medium bowl.Whisk until smooth, adding more cream by 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to drizzle. Spoon glaze decoratively over top of cake; let stand at room temperature until glaze is firm, about1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.

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Filed under Bon Appetit, Cake, Chocolate, Desserts, Pound Cake