Friday, June 28, 2024

Warm Molten Lava Cakes

 Warm Molten Lava Cakes


















Molten chocolate lava cakes were created by a master quite by accident, when he pulled a chocolate cake out of the oven before it was done and discovered the center to be enticingly warm and pudding-like.  I love these cakes.  They are easy to make and can be stored ahead of time and baked later.  The key is to serve them right out of the oven the centers will bake and you won’t have your pudding in the middle.

Warm Molten Lava Cakes


1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the ramekins

6 ounces Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Set your oven rack in the middle position. 

























Generously butter six 6-ounce ramekins with lots of butter. Do not substitute non-stick cooking spray. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet. 





















Melt the butter in a medium bowl in the microwave.  Immediately add the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely smooth and melted. If a few chunks remain, place the bowl back in the microwave for 20 seconds, then stir again. Repeat if necessary. Set aside.


Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla and salt at high speed until thickened and pale, about 4 minutes. 


Add the melted chocolate mixture and flour to the egg mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until just combined (the chocolate sinks to the bottom so be sure to scrape it up into the batter).


























Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared ramekins and bake for 10 minutes, until the cakes are set and puffed up over the edges of the ramekins. 




























Let the cakes cool in the ramekins for 1 to 2 minutes; then, holding the hot ramekins with a dish towel, carefully invert the cakes onto dessert plates. They should pop right out, but you can run a thin-bladed knife around the edges if necessary. 



























Serve immediately. (It's important not to let the cakes sit after baking, as the centers will continue to cook.) 











     Dust with powdered sugar or top with whipped cream or ice cream! 
























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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Homemade Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Roll Ups

Homemade Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Roll Ups

There's nothing better than a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I make my soup thick and rich and full of flavor  and to change things up a little, I make my own little grilled cheese roll ups to serve alongside my soup. Fun to make and so good!  Perfect little tomato soup dippers!   

Homemade Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Roll Ups

 Butter for frying
8 slices of white bread, crust removed
8 slices of cheddar cheese, or your favorite

Make your soup following the recipe below. While the soup is simmering, make the grilled cheese roll-ups. 

Roll crustless bread into flat, 1/4-inch thick squares, using a rolling pin. Place a cheese slice on each slice of bread and roll up tightly. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. 


Working in batches, add the roll ups to the skillet, seam side-down. Cook, turning often, until all sides are golden and the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. 

Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel and add more butter before adding more roll-ups. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with grilled cheese roll-ups. 


Homemade Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Roll Ups

3 (14.5 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ounces bacon, diced small
1 quart chicken stock, divided
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
About 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Drain the diced tomatoes, reserve the juices. Spread the tomatoes, garlic, onion on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil – about 1/4 cup. Roast for about 20 minutes until caramelized.

Next, heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the bacon and saute until golden brown and crispy. Reserve about 3 tablespoons of fat but drain the rest.


Add the roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion. Add in the reserved tomato juice and 2/3 of the chicken stock and stir. Then add the bay leaf and butter to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes.


Next add the fresh basil leaves. Next pour soup into blender or use an immersion blender and puree the soup until smooth. If you want the soup to be thinner, add more chicken stock. Taste and adjust seasoning. Last, stir in cream and make a grilled cheese sandwich and enjoy! 

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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze


Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

Store bought scones always seem to be so dry and heavy.  But not when you make them at home and eat them warm right out of the oven.  I love a good scone with my coffee, especially on a cold winter morning as I sit in front of the fire. These scones are just perfect with just the right combination of blueberries and lemon. Perfect for a busy Christmas morning.

Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones

Lemon Glaze

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lemon, zest finely grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Roll dough out and cut into biscuit size rounds. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.

You can make the lemon glaze in a double boiler, or for a simpler alternative, you can zap it in the microwave. Mix the lemon juice with the confectioners' until dissolved in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water for the double-boiler method, or in a microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in the butter and lemon zest. Either microwave the glaze for 30 seconds or continue whisking in the double boiler. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.

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Very Berry Cheesecake

 Very Berry Cheesecake

Here's a pretty dessert for your July 4th get together.  Creamy cheesecake topped with a trio of delicious, patriotic toppings including strawberries, blueberries, and sweetened whipped cream! 

Very Berry Cheesecake 

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs 
5 tablespoons butter, melted 
3 tablespoons sugar 
3/4 cup sugar 
3 (8 oz.) blocks cream cheese, room temperature. 
2 eggs 
1 teaspoon  pure vanilla 
1 teaspoon lemon juice 
pinch of salt 
2 cups sour cream 
1/2 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla 
1/3 cup of apricot jam 
2 teaspoons water 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine crust ingredients together until well combined and press into a 9″ spring form pan, pressing crumbs into bottom and about 1/2 to 1 inch up sides of pan. 

Combine the sugar and softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat together until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition. Add the vanilla, lemon juice and salt and beat until smooth and creamy. Pour into crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.  Mix together sour cream, sugar and vanilla and set aside. 

When cheesecake is finished baking, remove it from the oven and turn down the heat to 325 degrees. Pour topping over hot cheesecake, gently spreading to edges. Return cheesecake to oven and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes.  Allow to cool to room temperature while still in pan.  Then refrigerate cheese cake for two to three hours before removing from pan.  Top cake with blueberries and strawberries.  

Heat jam and water together. Whisk. Add more water if necessary to get a consistency of thin honey which you can easily brush on fruit with a pastry brush.  Pour glaze over fruit and cake and brush on extra glaze if necessary. 

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Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins 














Not just any blueberry muffin…. Cream cheese and lemon blueberry muffins that are simply wonderful! Soft and tender muffins with tons of blueberries and a warm cream cheese center with the hint of lemon!  Can’t wait for you to try these!  

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins


1/2 cup room temperature butter 

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg + 2 egg whites, beaten 

1 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup milk

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups blueberries

















Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz cream cheese softened, 1 brick

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Zest of one small lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper baking cups. If you want your muffins taller, line with taller cups or muffin paper liners.
















In medium bowl, combine butter, sugar, and vanilla. Stir well with wooden spoon or spatula. Add in egg whites and egg, being sure to mix the eggs in well. Add in the milk and stir until blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gently fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Fold ingredients until blended, do not over mix. 

Fold in your blueberries until blended.  Pour batter into muffin cups, filling only half way full.  Set aside while you make your filling.












Cream together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the lemon zest.  

Add about a dollop of the cream cheese mixture on top of each unbaked muffin. Then fill with more batter until about ¾ full.  Add another dollup on top of each muffin.











Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.  Enjoy!

NOTE:   You can use fresh or frozen blueberries.  If you’re using frozen berries, make sure to let them defrost and drain well before adding them to the muffins. 














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