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Candy Bar Topped Brownies (from Bon Appetit)

This is a decadent brownie, and really rich so you might need a tall glass of milk when you dive into these babies.  We made these twice: once for my department Thanksgiving potluck and a second time for a potluck dinner at a friend’s place.  Both times people raved about how pretty and good they were; who doesn’t love a good brownie?  Yes, there we dressed the plate up with a couple of orchid flowers from the garden, both of which are edible.  The weirdest phenomenon happened when we brought the plate with the flowers: people would only eat the pieces around the flower.  This is a lesson learned for me:  if you decorate your food with flowers, you may, at some point, have to remove the flowers so that people would eat the food!  P.S., The brownies has espresso which adds a depth of flavor, but if you don’t like the coffee taste, just omit it.

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 3.5- to 4.5-ounce caramel-filled milk chocolate bars (such as Ghirardelli) or cappuccino-filled milk chocolate bars (such as Perugina), squares separated

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with foil. Butter foil. Combine 3/4 cup butter, chocolate, and espresso powder in heavy large saucepan; stir over medium-low heat until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove chocolate mixture from heat. Add sugar and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Add eggs and whisk until well blended. Whisk in flour. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  2. Press milk chocolate squares lightly into batter (do not submerge), evenly spacing 24 chocolate squares (4 across the short side and 6 across the long side). Reserve remaining chocolates for another use.
  3. Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 27 minutes. Cool slightly in pan on rack, about 30 minutes. Cut so that each brownie has 1 chocolate square and serve.
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Cherry Clafoutis-The Revenge!!

Ok, so this is an update to the cherry clafoutis that we made in July of 2014.  We had left-over cherries and wanted to make another sinfully delicious clafloutis, but I was disappointed by the over-done-ness of the one we made earlier.   I insisted that we cook the new one in our cast iron skillet, take the temperature down to 375 degrees and cook it only 45 minutes; this time around we had some extra plums so we pitted those, sliced them up and added them in with the cherries.  The result of which was spectacular!! If we make it one more time I may cook it an additional 10 minutes to brown the top a bit more, but otherwise it was even more delicious than the first time!

 

Here’s a link to the previous post but make the changes I mentioned.

https://scrapingthebowl.com/2014/07/13/kla-foo-whaaaa-cherry-clafoutis-limousin-from-saveur/

 

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Kla-Foo-Whaaaa….?!! Cherry Clafoutis Limousin (from Saveur)

 

That was my reaction the first time I heard of this dish a long time ago, it is pronounced “Kla-Foo-Tee” and is this wonderful French dessert that is eggy, custardy and heavenly; the taste is akin to a very fluffy soufflé with a flan taste!  We were on Twitter when some followers of ours, @motoridersd and @brandiego mentioned it and it triggered some memory and intrigue for us.  We were really excited to try out a new recipe and take advantage of cherry season!!  We didn’t have a cherry pit remover so we left the pits in, which I found makes it a Limousin clafoutis.  According to Wikipedia, “A traditional Limousin clafoutis contains pits of the cherries.  The pits contain amygdalin, the active chemical in almond extract, so during baking a small amount of amygdalin from the pits is released into the clafoutis, adding a complementary note to its flavor.”  We would love to say we did it because of this background knowledge, but in truth we were too lazy to remove the cherry pits with a knife (we didn’t notice a flavor difference with the pits left in).

When Kevin made it he omitted the Kirsch (a cherry flavored liquor) as well as dusting the final product with the powdered sugar, we were just too excited to do that step and the picture suffered.  In our oven, the dish wouldn’t set in the time allotted so we added a few more minutes, which caused the top to possibly over-brown, but this didn’t affect the taste at all.  When we make this dish again, we will include the kirsch and do a follow-up post on whether it would have made for a better dessert.  On a side note, we found that a drizzle of a good honey on top seemed to enhance the flavors of this dish!!  Overall, it is a delicious dish that is actually relatively low in calories due to the low amount of flour so you won’t feel so bad when you go get seconds!

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INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp. unsalted butter,softened
1 ¼ cups milk
6 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. kirsch
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
6 eggs
Kosher salt, to taste
¾ cup flour
3 cups black cherries, pitted or unpitted
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

 

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INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 425°. Grease a 9″ cast-iron skillet or baking dish with butter; set aside. Combine milk, sugar, kirsch, vanilla, eggs, and salt in a blender. Blend for a few seconds to mix ingredients, then add flour and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.

2. Pour batter into buttered skillet, then distribute cherries evenly over top. Bake until a skewer inserted into batter comes out clean and a golden brown crust has formed on top and bottom of clafoutis, about 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Serves 8.

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