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The Celebratory Cake

20 Jul
“Ate” – pronounced “ah-tay,” basically means “older sister” in Tagalog. While I don’t actually have an older sister by blood, I do have amazing ladies in my life whom I call “ate.” I’ve known one of them, Liz, since college. I joined the Filipino Student Association, where everyone is paired with an older “brother” and “sister” (we were a lot like a sorority or fraternity). Many people end up unofficially “adopting” younger members whom they get along really well with, which is what happened with Liz and I. I’m happy to say, even years out of college, we’re still really great friends. I still call her Ate Liz.
Ate Liz was here for both work and play during the 4th of July weekend (yes I realize this post is a long time coming). She told me about this cake and since I was craving dessert after dinner with friends on the Sunday night she was here, she offered to show me how to make it. It’s not a complicated recipe at all, unless you decide to make the cake portion from scratch. Either way, the biggest thing you’ll need for this is patience. It’ll be awhile until you can dig in, as it requires quite a bit of refrigeration. But once it’s ready, it’s so worth it – it’s creamy, sweet but not cloying, and those toffee pieces add to the caramel flavor with a bit of crunch.
Apparently Liz only makes this cake when she’s celebrating something, thus the nickname “Celebratory Cake”. She said a friend of hers back in Orlando would be jealous to find out she was making the cake for me, without any big, celebratory intention. Though it was Independence Day weekend, there was a different occasion for making the cake. We ate it while watching movies and cracking inside jokes and reminiscing about college days. Isn’t rare quality time with old friends – “sisters” really – a reason to celebrate?
Liz’s Chocolate Tres Leches – a.k.a. The Celebratory Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 boxed cake mix, like devil’s food or chocolate OR a chocolate cake made from scratch
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 jar caramel topping (the kind you put on ice cream)
  • 1 tub of cold whipped topping (i.e. Cool Whip)
  • 1 bag of toffee pieces (i.e. Heath Bar toffee)
Directions (hopefully I remembered this all correctly…)
If you’re using a boxed mix, make the cake according to package directions. Otherwise make a chocolate-based cake using your own recipe. While the cake is baking, empty the contents of the evaporated milk can into a large bowl. Pour the entire jar of caramel into the bowl and mix thoroughly with the milk.
When the cake is finished baking, remove from the oven and using a knife, make slits into the cake. Pour the bowl of the evaporated milk-caramel mixture over the entire cake, allowing the liquid to seep into the slits so the cake can soak up the liquid. Stick the cake into the refrigerator and let it cool completely. This may take a few hours so if you’re in a hurry, you could stick it in the freezer for maybe 30 minutes or so. I wouldn’t keep it in long because I don’t know how the liquid would react in the freezer. Refrigerating it is best.
Once cooled, remove the cake and completely “frost” the top with the whipped topping/Cool Whip. Sprinkle toffee pieces throughout the top. You can enjoy this now or chilled further in the refrigerator. This tastes best when it’s cold and the cake has been completely soaked with the caramel milk.

Do you have a go-to recipe for when you’re celebrating something?

Sweet inspiration

11 Jul

Can I be totally honest with you guys? My desire to undertake new and/or daunting recipes in the kitchen has been small lately. I don’t know if it’s lack of time, or lack of energy when I do have the time, or something else, but I’ve only been willing to stick to recipes I know or things that I know won’t take more than 45 minutes to make.

My motivation has been coming in random spurts, however. It usually happens when my sister and I (we live together), end up having a surplus of some random ingredient, or something is sitting in the fridge or cupboard that threatens to expire soon. You know me and how I hate to waste anything. I’ll either eat it someway or another.

But what about 1 random ingredient, that isn’t very appetizing to eat alone but is perfectly useful not to throw away? When our mom was visiting, she stocked up on croissants at the Dupont Farmer’s Market on Sundays, but left us way too many of them when she went back to Orlando. We ended up with 1 plain croissant after all the almond and chocolate ones were finished. I’m not much of a plain croissant kind of gal, though, and by the time I realized it had been sitting in a tupperware on our counter for awhile, it was going stale.

But when I think of stale bread, I think of bread pudding. And while one croissant certainly isn’t enough for regular-sized pudding, it is plenty for at least a single serving. I found a great recipe as a starting off point and then tweaked some of the cooking process, knowing how a regular bread pudding is made. I exchanged and added some choice ingredients as well. After I had popped them in the oven, I actually waited nervously for about 30 minutes, checking the puddings after 20 minutes, every 5 minutes or so, for doneness. I dreaded having to throw away cups of inedible goo that could very possibly result. But I pulled the little puddings out, let them cool for a bit, and then took a bite out of one.

Success! The bread pudding was creamy, but had a nice, crisp crust on top, and the melted chocolate and peanut butter tasted wonderful with the buttery croissant. I felt completely satisfied but not too full after having just one, it was the perfect size.

I know I need to find my motivation more than just randomly, but at least I know that finding it brings good results!

Single- Serving Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding (makes 2)

  • 1 croissant (slightly stale works best)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (could use soy or regular milk if desired)
  • 1/8 cup white sugar (basically 1/2 of the 1/4 cup)
  • dark chocolate chips
  • about 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. (My oven seems to be hotter than most, plus I converted the Celsius temperature to Fahrenheit from the original recipe). Slice the croissant in half and spread peanut butter on the insides of both halves. Rip or cut the halves into smaller (about 1-inch) pieces. Place 1 layer of the pieces on the bottom of 2 ramekins or oven-safe jars. Add a few chocolate chips, then place another layer of croissant pieces. Add more chocolate chips to your liking, tucking them in whatever space available.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk and sugar. Carefully pour the mixture into both ramekins, filling close to the top. At this point, you can put these in the fridge and allow the the mixture to soak the bread for 30 minutes to an hour. But I’m impatient so I went ahead to the next step.

Place the ramekins in a small baking dish (I used a glass pie dish). Pull the middle wire shelf from the oven out and place the dish on it, and then fill the dish with hot water, until it reaches about half way up the ramekins. Push the shelf in and bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, although it may take a little more time (for me, it took closer to 30 minutes). To check for doneness, pull the shelf out and shake the dish to see if the pudding jiggles a little, or you can pierce one with a knife or toothpick. If it comes out clean (unless you poke a chocolate chip), it’s ready.

Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

 

What do you do when you’re running low in motivation or inspiration?

A little bit of new and old

22 Jun

I recently had brunch at Ba Bay, a modern-Vietnamese restaurant in Capitol Hill. Today, Washington Post released a story on a change in positions at the restaurant: it’s head chef, Nick Sharpe, is leaving for a stint in California, while it’s owner, Khoa Nguyen will be shifting into the kitchen as chef. Since the menu will be overhauled, save for some select dishes, the food I was going to write about may not still be on the menu from now on.

Even if these changes weren’t happening, I plan to visit Ba Bay again, because I enjoyed my food on both occasions that I went. The first time around, with The Bf (and sans camera), I had a wonderful pork belly dish with saucy rice noodles that I loved. The belly was a little dry, though thick and definitely a little rich, with its crispy skin. The noodles were soft, but balanced with the crunch from a peanut and cilantro garnish, and salty from the thin fish sauce.

The second time around, I went with my good friend Lisa. Yes, we share the same name, somehow that hasn’t become as confusing as you think it would be. Full disclosure: she happens to be a friend of Nguyen’s, but all thoughts on this post are my own, not solicited (even though we got free dessert).

On this occasion, we shared their autumn rolls, which were perfectly crispy on the outside, and the vegetables tasted fresh on the inside. It was even better with the creamy peanut dipping sauce. (I love getting spring rolls at Vietnamese restaurants and stores just for that sauce).

I had pho for my main dish, and while I would’ve liked a more flavorful broth, the soup as a whole was hearty and chock-full of plenty of meat, vegetables and noodles. I always add a ton of hot sauce and hoisin sauce to my pho, wherever I get it, so that upped the flavor a bit.

Lisa tried their take on the traditional bånh mî, except she opted for fried egg (you can also get it “classic,” with pork belly, or with meatballs). I didn’t try it, but she raved about it, and I had heard good things about this banh mi before. So they must be doing something right with that dish.


Being that Lisa is a friend, Nguyen insisted on treating us to dessert, so we shared his choices of their strawberry-basil popsicle and their sesame cake. They were both fitting for the warmth of the day. The sesame flavor was subtle in the cake, which was very light and spongy, but the coconut flavor in the ice cream and caramel made up for the subtleties.

The popsicle was inventive and refreshing. It was best eaten with a little bit of everything: a part of the strawberry side, a part of the basil side, and some of the accompanying cream. The combination of fruit and herb flavors mixed nicely, and I enjoyed the crumble sprinkled on top for a bit of added crunch.

There were small parts to our meal that I would tweak, but overall, the dishes seemed to successfully balance a modern approach to traditional Vietnamese flavors. So I’m curious as to whether the food will stay this way, or shift toward a more modern or a more traditional direction, now that Nguyen is going to be in the kitchen. I’m eager to go back soon to see how these changes look and taste.

I’m officially on the gelato diet.

9 Jun

If you read/watch the news at all, or check weather.com every day (like I do), you’ll know that the Eastern Seaboard has been, despite the fact that it isn’t even officially summer yet. Yup. It’s Sweat Season folks.

My ice cream and gelato consumption has jumped up at least 65% recently. While I normally go to local gelato shops for a fix, my sister recently introduced me to a very viable alternative; she spotted this gelato at the top of the ice cream freezer while grocery shopping and raved about the pistachio flavor. Pistachio wasn’t available but this  sea salt caramel was. I have good memories of salted caramel ice cream (I miss you, Bi-Rite), so I just had to splurge on this version.

 I don’t remember how much this was, but it was totally worth the price. Somehow the container lasted quite a few days. It was creamy, with a very rich caramel flavor and just a twinge of saltiness. Embedded throughout are tiny caramel-filled chocolates. I don’t think store-bought gelato gets more luxurious than this.

What’s your favorite ice cream or gelato flavor?

I got chocolate wasted at Serendipity.

8 Jun

Have any of you been to Serendipity in NYC? Serendipity 3 just opened up here in DC and after hearing all the hoopla about their frozen hot chocolate, I had to pay a visit. I told Mama Nosher about Serendipity and she became equally excited to try. So on Saturday, after lunch and a little shopping in Georgetown (I’m poor and I only go shopping when the parentals are in a giving mood), we opted for some dessert.

Unfortunately, we came right at a busy time – sometime after 2:30 – which I didn’t think would be busy, but I guess the post-lunch crowd wanted dessert like we did. After waiting probably 40 minutes, we finally got seated and Mom and I ended up sharing a frozen hot chocolate and their Red Velvet Sundae.


HELLO CRAZY BIG SUNDAE.

Yeah…I should’ve known that a sundae that includes a slice of red velvet cake was going to be a monster. Unfortunately, you can’t really see it under the mound of whipped cream in the photo above. I couldn’t even get through half of it and I honestly felt like a huge glutton after. You’d think that someone like me with a never-ending sugar craving would be able to demolish a sundae like that  (complete with hot fudge pool in the bowl – yum!).

The frozen hot chocolate was delicious, but I suppose with all the hype I was expecting something life-changing. I certainly enjoyed our desserts but they were so big, I felt a little like I didn’t eat my $12 worth…so I made a promise to myself that I could go again and order a sundae for myself only after I’ve run a half-marathon. I’d say if you’re going to go here, go on a weekday at an odd hour to avoid crowds, and come as hungry as possible.

On a food-related note, if you’re on Foodspotting, follow me!

And if you’re not on Foodspotting, and you enjoy eating out, giving restaurant recommendations, or just taking photos of your food, check out their site and join. As a food blogger, it’s only natural that I’m on a site that allows me to post photos of foods that I’ve recently enjoyed and would recommend, and I often use it to decide on a restaurant or a dish at whatever spot I’m eating.

And on a totally unrelated note, my friend Lindsey and I often talk about our experiences with traveling abroad. Homegirl has been to 40 countries – say what?? Yeah. No lie. Well, she just started a travel blog! It’s titled The Internationally Minded American, where she chronicles her traveling experience, gives awesome recommendations for different countries, and offers advice for anyone thinking of or about to travel (especially abroad). She has so many great stories to tell. So please check our her blog, leave a comment, subscribe, whatever – show her some love!

 

So tell me, what are some great places you’ve traveled to? Which one was your favorite?

My bakery obsession followed me to Orlando.

2 Jun

Hi again…:)

Yes, I know how long it’s been since I last posted, even though I’ve been back from Orlando for a week. Having a full-time job, plus side projects, plus family visiting, tends to shrink my free time. These Orlando posts have been a long time coming, so I apologize for that.

First off, Happy Running Day! I know it’s pretty late in the day (at least on the East Coast), but I consider myself a novice runner as well as a novice nosher/cook, so it’s only fitting that I wish everyone a happy running day.

Second, I give you one reason, of many, why I run: so I can eat baked goods like this without feeling (too) guilty after:

Oh yeah. This is Blue Bird Bakeshop‘s “Tuxedo” cupcake: a rich, chocolate cake with thick cream cheese frosting and mini chocolate chips. This was a good, solid cupcake. Not the best cupcake I ever had (that honor still goes to Baked & Wired), but this was well made.

One of my BFF’s Faye, whom I went to high school with in Orlando and have stayed friends with since then, introduced me to this place. We had stopped by this small strip mall in the Winter Park neighborhood to eat at Bikes, Beans and Bordeaux (which I’ll tell you about in my next post). Turns out, the cutest little bakery in Orlando, which she had discovered recently, was in the same strip mall.

Seriously, this place is tiny, but it’s adorable. They use all kinds of different, vintage-looking places and cups and they have a small table of obscure candy and gum you can buy.

This was The Bf’s “Sweet cake,” with vanilla buttercream and white sprinkles. Again, a good, solid cupcake with a fluffy cake and creamy, sweet-but-not-too-sweet frosting.

That thing to the left of the photo, which I unfortunately failed to snap a better photo of, is one of Blue Bird’s salted caramel brownies. That, my friends, took the cake (pun intended). The brownie was big – a relatively large disc of a brownie – with gooey caramel baked inside and I’m pretty sure that’s Fleur de Sel or some kind of fancy salt on top. It was just a really wonderful brownie, perfectly fudgy and thick and all.

It’s probably a good thing Blue Bird wasn’t around when I was growing up in Orlando because I would’ve made this a daily stop, and I would’ve been chubbier than I already was back in the day. But it’s great to see and hear about new small businesses popping up lately in a land that’s inundated with chains. Even the food truck trend has reached Orlando – while looking up lunch options, quite a few highly rated trucks popped up in my search. This is the hidden face of Orlando that I wanted to at least get a taste of, because I know there are a lot of very new but promising local restaurants, bakeries, and cafes. Blue Bird is one I’ll definitely come back to on my next visit.

A bit of Paris in Bethesda

15 Apr

It’s certainly no secret that I love, love, lurrrrve macarons. They’re just so pretty, light, and if done well, full of flavor. I have fond memories of biting into the best macarons I’ve ever had at the mecca of macarons, Ladurée, in Paris. (Actually, all of the desserts there are to die for). Back here in the states, I found my favorite macarons at Bouchon Bakery in Napa.

Here in DC, there are quite a few places that make macarons fairly well, but I was never totally floored by any of them. But earlier this year, while taking photography classes at the Washington School of Photography in Bethesda, I passed by a yet-to-open storefront with the name Tout de Sweet. Later on, I heard that it was going to be a small bakery selling all kinds of pastries and desserts, including macarons.

Of course I had to try them eventually. Once it had opened, I managed to swing by the store on a Sunday afternoon. Let me tell you, this place is small, but it’s adorable. It has that chic Parisian feel. They have lovely display jars and a simple counter showcasing all the goodies available, from pain au chocolat to mini Opera cakes. And prices are totally reasonable – I don’t remember seeing anything over $5, and the macarons are $1.50 each, which is pretty much standard for macarons.

I can’t say much about the other desserts, but the macarons I took home were wonderful! I shared these with The Boyfriend and he was equally impressed. We tried chocolate, vanilla bean, coconut and raspberry. Each was full of flavor and had a perfectly crisp cookie shell with soft, creamy filling. I’ve had macarons that were either too subtly flavored or the merengue was too crumbly and fell apart easily.

If you’re ever in the Bethesda area, or willing to make the trek, I recommend this spot to satisfy your sweet tooth. And there are lots of restaurants nearby for grabbing lunch or dinner and following up with pastries from Tout de Sweet. That’s definitely my plan for the near future!

Que dulce

1 Apr

I’ve been seeing dulce de leche pop up randomly in different desserts around the area – maybe they were always there and I just never noticed until now. Deep down, I’m a chocoholic, but after having a few very excellent treats with dulce de leche in or served with them, I’m officially hooked. I never managed to snap a photo of it, but the alfajores cookies at Dolcezza are just as good as their gelato – sweet, and a tad decadent, but small enough to satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard.

I am especially loving the whole dulce de leche-chocolate combination, like the “Tessita” cupcake I recently tried at Baked and Wired in Georgetown. (Yes, B&W is better than Georgetown cupcake. I like Georgetown cupcake, but I refuse to wait in an hour-long line for theirs).

I know this looks like just another totally awesome yellow cake cupcake with rich chocolate ganache frosting, but hidden inside (which I didn’t realize until after I ate through to the middle), is creamy dulce de leche. Wow. I think this, hands down, was the best cupcake I ever had. If you live in DC, try it. And if you’re coming to visit, just avoid the line at Georgetown cupcake. You won’t have to wait at Baked and Wired for much better baked goods.

What’s your favorite cupcake flavor?

Hits and misses

4 Mar

You’re going to hate me. Or at least think I’m full of crap. I swear I’m not!

So I saw Healthy Coconut’s decadent-looking recipe for chocolate bread pudding awhile back and had been set on trying it myself. But, I had been doing so well with cutting back on sweets that I was really hesitant to make something that would end up being full of temptation for me.

I made it anyways. Can you blame me? It really sounded delicious. But honestly, I was itching to just try a new baking recipe. Plus, I’ve been good about including more fruits and vegetables in my diet.

I had half a loaf of wheat French bread, plus 6 slices of multi-grain bread sitting in our cupboard. (My sister and I had decided to go with another brand without finishing that loaf. Dropped it like a hot potato!) And I had most of a carton of 2% milk left from when I decided to make macaroni & cheese from scratch. I know, mac & cheese is also not that healthy, but I figured making it from scratch is a step up from making the blue box. I don’t drink 2% otherwise. So I figured, “better to use up all these leftover ingredients than to just dump them.” At least I’m trying to not be wasteful! That counts for something, right?

I also had an elongated burst of energy on Sunday in between a 3-hour dance practice and my friend Amanda’s ballet show (she was featured in these posts here, here and here). I often dub Sundays as “Test Kitchen Sundays” since that’s usually when I have time to try new recipes and play around with ingredients. I probably should’ve devoted more time to making this, but I’m ambitious (sometimes to a fault), so I challenged myself to squeeze it in my schedule.

So I used Lea’s recipe as a guide while drawing from other recipes that I researched, subbing certain ingredients for others that I already had and working with the kind of bread available. I think because I used mostly 2% milk, as opposed to a thicker milk like heavy cream or coconut milk, the custard turned out a bit runnier than I expected – I’m wondering if I had had the time to leave it in the oven longer than 25 minutes, it would’ve thickened more. I did have heavy cream on hand, so in hindsight, I should’ve tried using that, or mixing it with the milk. If you guys know that my theory is totally wrong, let me know. I don’t think in any way it was undercooked – it tasted fine, and the next day it thickened from chilling in the freezer. Plus I’ve eaten like 1/3 of it already and I’m not dead, so I’m pretty sure it’s at least cooked properly.

I also should’ve immersed all the bread under the custard, instead of shingling the pieces as I had seen in other recipes. I would also scale back on the amount of coffee grinds I used – I drink bold, strong coffee and I could really notice the flavor in the finished product. It’s not a bad thing, for me at least, I actually like the taste. But Lil Sis was all, “DAMN this has lots of coffee.” So change according to your tastes.

Below I’m posting what I did, but including adjustments I would make in future iterations. If you would rather follow what is probably a better tried-and-true recipe, use Lea’s. But if you want to be  a taste tester for my leftovers, I’ve got 2/3 of a bread pudding in my fridge and I don’t want to end up eating it all myself. Any takers? 🙂

Chocolate Bread Pudding (slightly adapted from Healthy Coconut)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 10 slices and pieces of whole wheat bread (I used French loaf and sliced multi-grain – mixing the two actually didn’t take away from the taste or consistency)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups milk, plus ½ cup heavy cream (I used 2% but I would actually go thicker, or combine it in equal parts with half-and-half or heavy cream – or use coconut milk)
  • 3.5 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee (unless you really like coffee flavor, I would use just 1 teaspoon, at least if you’re using strong grinds)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Toppings: semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped hazelnuts – or whatever tickles your fancy and goes well with chocolate!

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush melted butter on both sides of each bread slice/piece and toast in the oven, about 5-7 minutes per side. In an ungreased 9-inch baking dish, layer slices (if you shingle them like I did, the custard won’t cover everything).Whisk the cocoa and salt in a medium saucepan, then gradually whisk in the milk (or milk mixture). Warm the mixture gradually on medium low heat. Remove from heat, add chocolate and whisk until it melts. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, maple sugar, instant coffee and vanilla. Gradually whisk the hot chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Pour the custard over the bread in the baking dish, allowing it to cover all pieces. Press down on the bread, if necessary. Let stand for 20 minutes, then add toppings. Meanwhile, boil water for the water bath.

Set baking dish in a roasting pan and place in the oven. Add boiling water to the roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of baking dish. (Don’t be an idiot like me and glaze over these directions and attempt to transfer the entire thing with hot water to the oven). Bake pudding until just set – for me it took at least 25 minutes, possibly could’ve used more. According to Lea, the middle will be slightly runny on top and jiggly, but the bread in mine was sticking out and the custard was more pudding-like.

Remove baking dish from roasting pan and cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. It can be frozen – just seal it tightly in a container. And trust me, it’s delicious for a few days after!

Party Pairing Monday: Valentine’s Day Edition

14 Feb

Hey lovebirds and bitter singletons! It’s that day of the year, where you’re either eyelid-fluttering in love with your special someone or you’re wearing all black and gagging at every flower display you pass. I did the latter for the majority of my life until I met The Bf and actually had a valentine for once. I don’t mind the holiday as much anymore (granted I am wearing black and gray today), but this year, we’re not bothering to go all out and book a fancy-schmancy dinner and feed each other chocolate-covered strawberries or something elaborate like that. I literally fixed a pot of slow cooker chili this morning, and for dessert, it will probably be this awesome Fudge Pie. PLUS, Stacy from Winobee has a wine pairing to go perfectly with it! See, even on Valentine’s Day, us food and wine bloggers don’t let you guys down. Especially if you’re desperate for a last-minute dessert-and-drinks idea. 😉

This pie may not be as pretty as boxed chocolates, it may not be as luxurious as cake, nor as sexy as melted chocolate with strawberries. But, this fudge pie is rich and delicious. Plus, it’s quick and easy to make, which leaves you time for, um, more romantic things. It can easily be made in the morning to be eaten in the evening after a dinner date, or can be enjoyed still warm from the oven.

I actually got this recipe from The Bf, who got it from his mom. So it has a special place in both my boyfriend’s and my hearts. It reminds me of the different kinds of love that exist: between girlfriend and boyfriend, mother and son, heck even mother and son’s girlfriend.

I don’t like to tweak much with The Bf’s Mom’s tried and true recipe, but I do like to add a little bit extra to give it my own touch. When I don’t have time to make a pie crust from scratch, I like to use a pre-made crust that can be found in the baking aisle. But I love to make a graham cracker crust that goes great with the chocolate in the filling. And to put on top of that fudge filling, I like homemade whipped cream, with a touch of vanilla. But Cool Whip can serve as an easy, time-saving and equally delicious creamy topping. I’ve included the recipes for the graham cracker crust and for the whipped cream, just in case you want to go that extra mile for your valentine.

Fudge Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of salted butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 unbaked pie crust (or 1 pre-baked graham cracker crust)

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of the ingredients except for the pie shell in a medium-sized bowl. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Graham Cracker Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • I box of graham crackers (at least 24 crackers)
  • 6 tblsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Optional: cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice

Directions

Melt the butter. Crush the graham crackers in a bag with a rolling pin until it’s in fine pieces. Measure 1 1/2 cups of the crumbs and pour into a medium-sized bowl. Add the sugar and the melted butter. Mix the ingredients together to blend, then transfer to a pie pan and press into it firmly.

To pre-bake, bake it in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 350F.

Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • Heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Whip the cream in a stand mixer until almost stiff. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until the cream holds peaks.

It’s Valentine’s Day so anything goes, especially anything thats sensual (as I’m sure you saw from our featured pairings in Redbook last week – winky, winky!) So why not tickle your tastebuds with some SEX. Yes, SEX!!

M. Lawrence SEX is a brut rose made in Michigan (can you believe that?) and I just discovered it last night while serving at @TishWine’s “Sexy Wines” tasting at VinoVino, but it was quite the hit. Made from 100% locally grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, you’ll get a beautiful salmon color on the eye, sensual raspberry and strawberries notes on the tongue and a crisp finish.
Team it up with this Fudge Pie and you’re guaranteeing the ultimate foodgasm!
Cost: $15/bottle