Chocolatey Chocolate Mocha Brownies

mocha browniesFew coffee dessert recipes can be enjoyed by chocolate and coffee lovers alike but nothing says the best of both worlds like brownies. From my kitchen to yours here is the best mocha brownie recipe around.

Mocha Brownie Recipe

Mocha Brownie Recipe

Ingredients and Whatnot

    Brownie Batter
  • 1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 4 one ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Mocha Brownie Icing
  • 1/3 c. cocoa powder
  • 5 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. room temperature, brewed coffee

Instructions

  1. Spray an 8- inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Begin making brownie batter by placing chocolate squares in microwavable bowl and melt in short (20-30 second) increments being careful not to burn. Let cool.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs.
  4. Turn mixer to low and slowly mix in chocolate. Add flour and mix until just combined, being careful not to overdo it.
  5. Pour batter into greased pan.
  6. Spread mixture evenly in pan and bake for 45 minutes or until center is firm (for those of you who like brownies a little more "chewy" bake 38-40 minutes).
  7. Let brownies cool completely before applying icing.
  8. While brownies are cooling begin the icing by combining butter, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl.
  9. Mix until just combined then add coffee and whip until the icing resembles the consistency of any leading brand canned icing. If icing is too thick more coffee can be added in small increments until it is light and fluffy.
  10. Apply icing to cooled brownies in a thick layer and refrigerate until icing becomes firm.
  11. Cut brownies into squares and serve with or without coffee flavored ice cream and a little chocolate syrup. You now have the perfect combination of coffee and chocolate in one amazingly indulgent dessert.
http://www.caresbakery.com/chocolatey-chocolate-mocha-brownies/

This is the best recipe I have ever used for brownies and add the mocha icing to the mix and it simply a decadent dessert that has been transferred from friend to friend and tweaked and adjusted until it has reached a level of perfection you won’t believe. It is a complicated recipe but for the experienced baker it is an absolute delight to make and enjoy over conversation with good friends.

This was a guest post by http://www.becomeapastrychef.com/ a website dedicated to informing it’s readers on pastry education.

One Of The Fastest Puff Pastry Breadstick Recipes Around

puff pastry breadsticks This following recipe has really got to be one of the fastest puff pastry bread stick recipes around and it is absolutely perfect for those days when guests come around unexpectedly. Mix up a couple of mouth-watering dips while these are baking in the oven, and you have something really delicious to offer your guests soon after they arrive.

Fast Puff Pastry Breadstick Recipe

Fast Puff Pastry Breadstick Recipe

Ingredients and Whatnot

  • Baking sheet
  • Pastry brush
  • Knife Long
  • Shallow dish
  • Wire cooling racks
  • 1 17-1/13 ounce packet of frozen puff pastry (thawed)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, (freshly grated)
  • 1 tsp. Basil (dried)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. garlic (powder)
  • 1 1/4 cup butter (melted)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Grease the baking sheet lightly
  3. Gently unfold the pastry sheets, and place them onto a lightly floured surface to prevent them from sticking
  4. Using the knife, cut each sheet of pastry into strips about 10-inches long by 3/4-inch wide. Cutting the pastry this way should make about 13 strips
  5. Mix the grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and dried Basil in the long shallow dish
  6. Using the pastry brush, coat the strips of pastry with the melted butter
  7. Lightly coat each strip of pastry with the cheese mixture in the shallow dish, by placing them into the cheese mixture first on one side, and then the other
  8. Twist each of the coated strips carefully, and lay down on the greased baking sheet
  9. Place the strips in the oven, and allow them to bake for 12 minutes, until they are a beautiful golden brown
  10. Remove from the baking sheet, and place on wire cooling racks to cool.
http://www.caresbakery.com/one-of-the-fastest-puff-pastry-breadstick-recipes-around/

Place your crisp, freshly-baked bread sticks in a basket or onto a tray, and serve them together with a variety of delicious dips.

This particular recipe takes just about 25 minutes from start to finish before they are ready to serve to your unexpected guests. It might be a good idea though, to make an extra batch because your guests, as well as the members of your family are guaranteed to ask for more.

This was a guest post by http://www.becomeapastrychef.com/ which features a list of pastry chef schools to continue your culinary education found here:http://www.becomeapastrychef.com/pastry-chef-schools/.

How To Make Fondant

A Cake Covered in Fondant with a Pink Fondant Ribbon Learning how to make fondant can be a fun and delicious experiment. It actually takes a few tries to really perfect the process, however the “failed” attempts are usually worth nibbling on anyway. That’s why we love to experiment with cooking and learn new recipes – even if the results aren’t perfect, you still get a treat in the end, unless of course your attempt is a complete disaster. In that case, maybe the dog gets a treat. Fondant is no different, and hopefully you will use this how to guide to make the perfect fondant (eventually).

Okay, First, let’s talk about what fondant actually is. In its “filling” form, it’s a creamy confectionary paste that is used to fill pastries, and other dessert items. The more commonly sought after form though, is rolled fondant. This fondant icing has a more solid consistency, using gelatin to achieve this, and it’s what you see on cooking shows when they drape their cakes to make them appear smooth and give them shape. It’s also used in the making of the edible decorations that are placed on and around the cake. This article is going to be about how to make fondant for cakes, rather than the filling.

The easiest learn how to make fondant icing is to make a marshmallow fondant, which mainly consists of powdered sugar, and marshmallows (which are also sugar). That being said, fondant is considered very sweet, so be prepared for that when you go to bite into your delicious creation.

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

Ingredients and Whatnot

  • 1 16 oz bag of marshmallows
  • 2 lbs powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • and flavoring or color you’d like to add (some common flavoring additives include cocoa, vanilla, peppermint, orange, and lemon extracts, etc.)
  • shortening (Crisco)
  • Pyrex or similar heatproof bowl
  • sugar sifter
  • stirring spoon

Instructions

  1. Grease the bowl with Crisco, and then place the marshmallows in the bowl along with the 2 tablespoons of water.
  2. Set the bowl in the microwave and cook it for about 30 seconds.
  3. While it's in there, grease your stirring spoon with plenty of Crisco.
  4. Pull the bowl out and stir it, and then put it back in for another 30 seconds. Repeat this process until the marshmallows are fully melted and stirred. Careful here, as the bowl and mixture will get pretty hot.
  5. Once the marshmallow is melted and stirred, you add in your food coloring and flavor. This is where experimenting comes into play as you try to find the perfect flavor and color. Stir in your coloring and flavoring thoroughly before moving onto the next step.
  6. Once you've gotten the color and flavor you desire, begin adding in the powered sugar a little at a time while stirring. Eventually, the mixture will become doughy in appearance and consistency.
  7. At this point you can pull the marshmallow fondant out onto a greased kitchen board. Use the Crisco to thoroughly grease your hands and begin working the dough with your hands, adding bits of the powdered sugar at a time until the fondant feels more like bread dough, and has lost its stickiness. You won't use all of the sugar, and attempting to add all of it will make the dough too dry, which will make if difficult to work with, and cause it to crack more easily. Again, this is where experimentation will help you perfect the recipe.
  8. After you've gotten the dough to this pliable and doughy consistency, you're done. You can roll it and shape it as needed. If you don't plan to use it right away, it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks in a plastic bag. It's often a good idea to make the dough in advance in order to shorten prep time when you make your cake.
http://www.caresbakery.com/how-to-make-fondant/

Now that you know how to make cake fondant, the next step is learning how to make fondant flowers for decorations.  Again, experiment with this recipe, and have fun.  It seems simple, but it’s going to take a couple tries to find the perfect consistency and flavoring.  In the mean time, you’re eating slightly less-than-perfect fondant on your cakes; oh darn.

How To Make Fondant Flowers

Cupcake decorated with pink fondant flowers You have probably seen one of the 100 shows on TV where professionals make amazing cakes, and wondered about how to make fondant flowers but were intimidated by what seemed like an impossible task for an amateur. Well the process is actually not as difficult as one might expect, and it’s a great way to decorate cakes for any occasion. This article will only cover basic fondant flowers, not fondant roses.

First, you can either purchase fondant, or learn how to make fondant out of marshmallows (which is both cheap and easy!). You’re going to have to color it with whatever color you desire your flowers to be.

Learning how to make flowers out of fondant is quite easy, at least for these basic flowers. They are typically two-toned, with a ball center.

Making Fondant Flowers

Making Fondant Flowers

Ingredients and Whatnot

  • fondant
  • a rolling pin
  • a rolling mat
  • two different sized flower cookie cutters
  • sugar syrup
  • small paint brush
  • piece of foam

Instructions

  1. First, take the darker of your two colors, and roll small, 1/4 inch balls of dough (1 for each flower you want to make) and set them aside.
  2. Next, knead your darker colored fondant until it is pliable enough to roll it.
  3. Roll it flat, and then use the larger of the two cookie cutters to cut out as many flowers as you'd like.
  4. Repeat this process with the lighter of the two fondant colors, except this time use your smaller flower cookie cutter.
  5. Before you begin assembly, you might want to shape the flowers to give them a more conical look. You will use your piece of foam to do this. Simply place your flower cut-outs on the foam, and press down gently in the center until they pop-out a little bit. This step is optional, and you can leave the flowers flat if you'd like.
  6. Once your flowers are shaped to your liking, you can begin assembly of your fondant flowers. Use your small paint brush to spread a light layer of sugar syrup on the back of the small of your two flower cut-outs.
  7. Gently place this cut-out on top of your larger cut-out aligned however you'd like your petals to be aligned. There's no need to press down to "make them stick," the sugar syrup will take care of that.
  8. Finally, take one of your 1/4 balls of fondant, spread a small amount of the sugar syrup on the bottom, and place it in the center of your flower, and you're done with assembly.
http://www.caresbakery.com/how-to-make-fondant-flowers/

Now, let these flowers dry completely before attempting to stick them to your cake.  This can take up to 20 minutes.  After that, you’re free to configure them on your cake however you’d like, using the same sugar syrup to make them stick.  Also, much the same way that fondant can be made in advance, the flowers will also keep pretty well if stored in the refrigerator.  They can be made up to a week before actually being used for decoration.

Learning how to make fondant flowers is fun and easy.  The next step in your cake decorating adventures will be learning how to make fondant roses.  That’s when things get really interesting.