Cakes (1) Cookies (2) Loaves (1) Muffins (1)

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Port-Ganache Glazed Brownies with Dried Cherries

We celebrated my mother's birthday on Saturday, and one thing is for sure - my mother LOVES chocolate! So I thought that I would make my friend M's brownie recipe. The port soaked cherries and port ganache make this a bit fancier than the average brownie (and so delicious!).

Port Soaked Cherries
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, very coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup tawny port
In a small saucepan, bring the cherries and port to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 2 minutes. Let the cherries and port cool to room temperature.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9x9in baking pan.

Melt the butter, and whisk in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Keep stirring until the batter is smooth and uniform. Add the port soaked cherries, including any remaining liquid from the saucepan (don't want to let any of this go to waste!).

Spread the batter into the pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out with just a few moist clumps clinging to it (about 40 minutes). Let the brownies cool completely.

  • 1/2 cup tawny port
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the port to a boil. Boil until the port is reduced to 2 tbsp (3 to 6 minutes). Pour into a small cup or bowl. In a clean saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolates and reduced port until the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is melted.

Pour the ganache into a bowl to cool to room temperature. Make sure to cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Once cool, spread evenly over brownies and let set for about an hour.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Cranberry Almond Biscotti

It was rainy and dark here in Montreal yesterday evening, and so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to curl up on the couch with a good book, a cup of tea, and some tasty biscotti. This recipe was given to me by my friends A&J from Edmonton - thanks guys!

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cups almonds
  • 3/4 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cups butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • Grated orange rind
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
In a large bowl, combine flour and backing powder. Add almonds and cranberries.

Whisk together eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and orange rind until creamy.

Combine wet and dry ingredients until a soft dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface, and form into two 12-inch long logs. Brush logs with lightly beaten egg. Transfer to baking sheet and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes (or until dough becomes firm).

Remove from oven and let cool for about ten minutes. Transfer the logs to a cutting board, and with a sharp knife (you'll need patience and a sharp knife to get through those almonds!) cut diagonally into 1-inch thick slices.

Stand the cookies up on the baking sheet, and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and delicious looking.

Once the biscotti has cooled, grab your book and a warm drink, and head for your most comfortable chair...