Mocha Frosted Brownies

I love the combination of coffee and chocolate and I think you will too! The frosting on these are incredible!

Mocha Frosted Brownies

For the brownies…
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the frosting…
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons brewed coffee, cooled
4 cups powdered sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl combine the large eggs with the white granulated sugar and pure vanilla extract. Once combined, add in the melted unsalted butter and stir well.

Add in the white all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, instant coffee granules, baking powder and salt all at once and stir until everything is just combined.

Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake in preheated oven for 33 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before frosting.

To make the frosting combine the melted unsalted butter with the unsweetened cocoa powder and pure vanilla extract. Add in the salt and brewed coffee. Beat in the powdered sugar. If the frosting needs to thin a little bit, add in slightly more brewed coffee until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. This frosting should be thick but still spreadable.

Once the cooled brownies are frosted, chill them in the refrigerator for the brownies and frosting to slightly firm up and therefore will be easier to cut.

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CHEW THIS! Magical Chocolate Cake

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, August 17th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A Magical Experience at The Cake Bake Shop
Blaise Doubman

If you have not been to one of The Cake Bake Shop locations, one in Broadripple and the newer one in Carmel, I highly recommend you make reservations and go! It is an experience like no other experience you can get anywhere in the United States! This is not just my opinion either because just recently USA Today voted The Cake Bake Shop as one of the most unique places in the United States as well as voted it one of the most popular Instagram worthy locations! I have known about The Cake Bake Shop from the minute the Broadripple location opened for business. Gwendolyn Rogers, mastermind, owner, creator, decorator, recipe developer and genius behind The Cake Bake Shop started a social media campaign that I followed closely. Skip ahead several months and I was standing in the creation that I watched her design! The Cake Bake Shop is unreal in the magic that fills every space. Before you even walk up to the door, you can smell the freshly baked cakes, pies and cookies. Seasonal flowers and twinkling lights welcome you inside and continue to welcome you throughout the restaurant. The décor, the menu and the color scheme all change each season and one season is just as fabulous as the others. Christmas time is an especially magical time to visit The Cake Bake Shop!

This past July 4th weekend, Gwendolyn announced that her new Carmel location was taking reservations. I logged on and the soonest I could get in was the end of July. I took it. Skip ahead several weeks and my family and I were walking though yet another Cake Bake Shop location that, dare I say, is even more magical than the first location in Broadripple! Their expanded menu is filled with Parisian inspired food, while their dessert bar is filled with their signature cakes, pies, cookies and brownies, all sprinkled with Gwendolyn’s famous glitter fairy dust. Also expanding in this location is their made fresh daily ice creams, candy counter and loads of fabulously designed products in their gift shop. My Mom, Darla, decided she wanted to celebrate my Aunt Myra’s latest personal achievements and take her and her daughter, Jacqueline with us on our adventure. It was a wonderful time and we were all in awe of Gwendolyn’s latest creation. Then what happened? We got to meet Gwendolyn in person! She was there, making sure things were running smoothly and took the time to talk with us and even have a picture taken. The first thing she said was that she had remembered me from our earlier conversations, that story is for another time, and said it was so glad to finally meet me in person! Then she said I was cute and even offered me a job. I was, and still am, so thankful and grateful for the experience. When developing the recipe for this column I knew that it had to be inspired by our magical adventure. This chocolate cake is unlike anything you have ever had before! So delicious and so much flavor. Not to mention easy! Try it and feel magical!

Magical Chocolate Cake with Dreamy Chocolate Frosting

This cake will keep for 2 days, wrapped tightly and kept chilled in the refrigerator.

For the cake…
1 package Devil’s Food cake mix
1 small package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup warm water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the frosting…
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, for adornment
¼ cup chocolate syrup

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl beat together the Devil’s Food cake mix with the instant chocolate pudding mix, sour cream, lightly beaten large eggs, vegetable oil, warm water and pure vanilla extract. Beat for several minutes until the batter is light, smooth and glossy.

Pour the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bang lightly each cake pan on the counter to remove and air bubbles or pockets of air that might have developed when pouring.

Bake in preheated oven for 43 minutes. When baked, remove and allow to cool in their pans.

While the cakes cool, make the frosting by melting the semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl on high power until smooth and glossy, stirring every 30 seconds. Once melted and smooth, set aside to cool completely before finishing the frosting.

Once the melted chocolate has cooled, place the softened unsalted butter in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add a cup of the powdered sugar, beat, then add the remaining powdered sugar, beating until super smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes total.

Add in the pure vanilla extract and the cooled melted chocolate and beat for 3 more minutes until the frosting is light in color, smooth and slightly thicker than melted ice cream.

When ready to assemble the cake, flip out both cooled cakes. Place one cake down on your serving platter and take about 1/3 cup of the frosting and smear it all over the top of the cake. Sprinkle on a few chocolate chips, and drizzle with the chocolate syrup. Top that with the other cake and add all the frosting to the top of the cake, working down and frosting the sides as you go along, smoothing and frosting the cake.

Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips all over the top and dust with powdered sugar.

Ask and Answer: Lots of you have been wondering if my recipes for cupcakes, muffins, coffeecakes, shortcakes, etc. can be made in smaller cupcake or muffin tins. The answer is, of course, yes! Bake at the same temperature as the recipe suggests but please be sure to adjust your baking time! A regular size cupcake that takes 24 minutes, when switched to a smaller cupcake pan, will only take about 9 minutes, depending on the size of the pan! So, my advice would be to keep the oven temperature the same but watch carefully the bake time!

Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting

This moist cake reminds me of a classic spice cake without all the overwhelming spice flavors of some. Delicate and delicious, even better topped with homemade caramel frosting!

Applesauce Cake with Caramel Frosting

For the cake…
1 stick unsalted butter, soft
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup chilled applesauce
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour

For the frosting…
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.

In a large bowl, cream together the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar. Add in the chilled applesauce and combine. Will look curdled but that is desirable. Keep working.

Beat in the baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt. Beat in the white all-purpose flour.

Pour into prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake in preheated for 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

To make the frosting combine the unsalted butter, light brown sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow this mixture to melt and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add in the whole milk and pure vanilla extract. Cook another 40 seconds and remove from heat. Gently whisk in the confectioner’s sugar.

Evenly pour and spread over cooled cake.

Cut and serve.

Caramel Frosting

This is my favorite caramel frosting!

Caramel Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large pot over medium high heat melt together the unsalted butter, lightly packed light brown sugar and salt. Once melted together, stir and cook for 2 minutes until lightly brown and bubbly.

Add in the whole milk and pure vanilla extract. Stir together. Remove from heat.

Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.

Use immediately.

CHEW THIS! Chocolate Chip Wafer Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

Chocolate Chip Wafer Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, January 6th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

A whole new type of cookie rings in the New Year!
Blaise Doubman

Happy New Year! Can anyone else believe that it is 2019? Where has the time gone? Let us all hope that this year brings good health and happiness to one and all! 2018 had good moments for me, personally and professionally, as well as some darker moments, those too both personally and professionally. Let me also say, thank you all for your continued dedication and support. I really appreciate each and every one of you! If you are a new reader, a loyal reader, or even just an occasional reader, I really appreciate your time. There is nothing I love more than hearing from my readers about how much they enjoy my columns and recipes. Speaking of, drop me a line on my new website, http://trailblaise.com Click on the “contact” tab and leave me a comment or even a question! I read and respond to all comments that I get.

In celebrating the new year, I wanted to create a new and unique cookie that was easy to make, flavorful and simple. I am so excited to share this newest recipe with everyone! The recipe is actually a recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough frosting, that you divide in half, bake half then frost the cookies with the remaining frosting! I have made these several times and every time I make them, people go wild! No, there are no eggs in this recipe, so you do not have to worry about eating raw egg, however, there is white all-purpose flour. If you are concerned about that, simply take the flour and lightly toast it either on a sheet pan in the oven, or skillet. Just be aware that doing this does slightly change the flavors. This frosting, dough, is best made the day it is made. I would not recommend making it in advance. I love this recipe and I really think that you will find this new and unique cookie something sweet to ring in the new year!

Chocolate Chip Wafer Cookies with Cookie Dough Frosting

This recipe is for the cookies and the frosting. Feel free to double this recipe, or even triple, if desired.

2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
¼ cup white granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons white all-purpose flour
¾ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl cream together the soft unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar and light brown sugar until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the pure vanilla extract, salt and baking soda.

Fold in the white all-purpose flour, then fold in the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Divide the frosting in half.

Shape tablespoon size balls of the frosting and place onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven, one baking sheet at a time, for 12 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool. Carefully use the other half of the frosting to frost the wafer cookies. Work carefully because the baked cookies will be very fragile.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting a few questions about what, if anything, can be used as a substitute for cream of tartar. Substitute fresh lemon juice or white vinegar for the cream of tartar. For every ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar, use 1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar.