Hot fudge sauce is the tall dark and handsome of the liquid toppings family. If it were at a bar, it would be the Hitch watching every other pick up line attempt fail while smirking into its G&T. If it were an athlete, it would be captain of the basketball team and quarterback of the football team.
Chocolate sauce begins with chocolate (cacao beans to be precise). Cacao beans have a very long and rich history beginning with ancient South American cultures. Aztec cultures were said to have ground the beans into a paste and created a rich drink similar to modern day hot chocolate. The bitterness of the drink was said to turn off the conquistador. In order to temper the bitter flavor of the chocolate, the conquistador’s added honey and/or sugar.
Homemade Chocolate Cherry Soufflé
By now many of you know that I was a chef for many years, a pastry chef to be exact. I loved the fast-paced, creative outlet that working as a chef provided. What I did not like was the 14-hour days, odd hours and lack of time I had to spend with my family and friends. You definitely form a camaraderie, a bond with your kitchen staff, they essentially become your family. Continue reading
Winter Storm Bella will bring the first, heavy accumulating snow of the season for us here in Michigan and across the Midwest this weekend. Cold temperatures will be setting in with single-digit windchill values.
As we prepare for the winter storm this weekend, many of us will bundle up and hunker down by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate. Let's welcome this winter storm with something other than plain hot chocolate to warm us up. How about a caramel hot chocolate with homemade caramel corn instead? Now we're talking!
Strawberry and chocolate is often associated with the very simple dessert known as a chocolate covered strawberry. Pure and simple, this combination of flavors is often associated with love and decadence. I have definitely fallen in love with our strawberry chocolate mini layer cakes. Miniature cakes are the perfect way to serve guests a personal serving at any event or dinner party. Perfectly suited for weddings, baby showers or even engagement parties. There is no need for cake cutting or even running out of cake to serve your guests. Typically I will create cakes from scratch but this cake is moist, delicious and super easy to make when you are lacking in time and energy.
I know it's cold and I am sharing an ice cream recipe. It's pumpkin season and although I am a huge fan of all things pumpkin, I can only eat so many pumpkin bread slices and muffins. Pumpkin ice cream is the perfect way to get your fill of pumpkin flavor without the overly filling denseness of a muffin or bread. Smooth and creamy with just a hint of spice, pumpkin chocolate chunk ice cream is the perfect accompaniment to pecan pie or simply enjoyed on its own.
A pastry chef that doesn’t really eat sweets, that’s me! Don’t worry, I test everything I create but I simply do not crave sweets. It may stem from the years I spent in commercial kitchens and fine dining restaurants. Hundreds of plated desserts and homemade sweets came out those kitchens over the years, which may explain my lack of desire for the sweet treats. I will let you in on a little secret; I do still have one craving. It has never receded or lessened over the years. Oreos or more specifically, Trader Joe’s Chocolate Jo Jo’s. Just the thought of them makes my stomach growl.
What does dark chocolate ganache, sweet pate sucre crust and Himalayan pink salt need to complete this sweet and savory tart? A robust cinnamon and coconut beer from Perrin Brewing Company! No Rules is a porter produced by Perrin utilizing Beanilla extracts and flavorings. Beanilla coconut and cinnamon extracts mingle with a robust porter to create a truly amazing product. Not only is it a pleasure to drink, it is a delight to bake with. If you find yourself venturing into the Grand Rapids area and feel the need to have a truly amazing beer and great brewery cuisine, check out their restaurant and brewery.
Kahlua; a simple concoction of vodka, water, coffee and sugar cane. If you made some homemade Kahlua using our delicious recipe, you know that the addition of a Beanilla vanilla bean made this liquor even more delicious!!! Kahlua is definitely a popular liquor to pour over ice and leisurely sip on after dinner. Did you know that you can utilize this liquor in a variety of desserts and baked goods?! One of my very favorite pairings is with chocolate. Simply add a small amount to chocolate ice cream bases, drizzle into your favorite mousse recipe or make a batch of chocolate Kahlua cookies!
Chocolate, cherries, oatmeal, coconut, smoked almonds; all delicious ingredients on their own. Combine and bake all of these individual ingredients with a touch of butter, a bit of locally produced fresh honey and something magical happens! Store bought granola is delicious but nothing can compare to freshly baked granola.
We all know that homemade granola is the perfect addition to our morning routine, but why does it just have to be limited to a breakfast staple? Bittersweet chocolate, melted and spread into a thin layer then sprinkled with a handful of homemade granola is the perfect mid afternoon pick me up snack. Portable and packed with protein, chocolate cherry granola bark will keep you going through the toughest part of your day.
From time to time, even professional Pastry Chef’s utilize store bought cake mixes! I have a recipe from my childhood that is the perfect example of this. The recipe is already multi-stepped without the addition of making a homemade batter; just like my mother used to make.
The first boxed cake mixes graced the store shelves in the early 1930’s by the Duff Company who even offered gingerbread and molasses cake mixes. The mixes required only water and were not as big of a success as the company had hope for…
As the 1940’s and 1950’s approached, Pillsbury and Duncan Hines emerged with mixes that required the addition of eggs. Eggs not only made the cake moist and rich but gave the average housewife (of the time) more of a feeling that they made the cake from scratch. Cake mixes are now on every shelf and I can guarantee from time to time we will all utilize this time saver in our recipes!
The origin of the crisp is decidedly an American invention. When it came to recipes, early settlers were often forced to use what was readily available and on hand. Early American settlers often improvised; they had limited access to ingredients or the ability to run to the store when needed. Quite often, each creation varied from the last; oats may not have been available so ground nuts were often substituted, or flour was used in its place. There are many variations of the crisp and many have different and interesting names given to them such as: grunt, cobbler, buckle, slump, pandowdy or even a sonker. Each recipe varies from region to region. The crisp or the cobbler is what many of us in the United States are familiar with. The cobbler has more of a biscuit or cake like crust while the crisp is traditionally made with oatmeal and ground nuts as a base.
Berry Chocolate crisp adds one more layer of flavor to a very simple and comforting dessert. Chocolate and Ugandan Vanilla beans! The addition of dark cocoa powder to the crisp topping adds a depth of flavor not often found in traditional crisps. Have you ever had chocolate covered strawberries? This dessert will satisfy your desire for chocolate, berries and a crisp topping all in one delicious bite!
Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes are the perfect addition to any dessert table or as a gift for someone special.
Every chocolate cupcake I have ever had has had a certain level of denseness or ended up being dry and tasteless. That is not the case with this recipe. The deep chocolate flavor is brought out with the addition of coffee extract and the crumb is moist and delicious. The only thing that could possibly make this cake even better is the addition of a creamy and rich peppermint buttercream.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner--are you ready? We at Beanilla are so excited for the holiday season! Not only is it our busiest time of the year, but also our favorite. Cookies, pies, candies or just about any baked good or pastry you can create is our forte. The addition of our high quality vanilla beans, extracts, vanilla sugar and vanilla salt can bring your desserts to a whole new level of deliciousness!
Speaking of delicious, who doesn’t love pumpkin pie?! Although this pie only seems to hang around for a brief time during the holiday season, it is almost always a staple on the holiday dinner table. Traditionally baked in a flaky rolled pie crust and garnished with a dollop of creamy whipped cream, the creamy custard-like texture is unique and quintessentially Thanksgiving!
If you have never experienced the taste of a fresh fig now is the time to try one! Green Kadota figs have a very short growing season, typically late July to early September. The small green fruit produces a bright green exterior and a beautiful pink interior. The fruit is less sweet than its black counterpart, the mission fig. Green figs are the perfect accompaniment to a crisp glass of white wine or a delicious variety of gourmet cheeses. One of my favorite ways to serve this small fruit is dipped in rich dark chocolate sauce and rolled in chopped hazelnuts. Simple and elegant, this dessert is the perfect way to satisfy those sweet cravings without feeling too guilty.
There is a distinct difference in both flavor and texture between a macaron and a macaroon! One little "o" separates the cookies in the dictionary, but the two confections are worlds apart in flavor, texture and appearance. The macaron is an utterly French creation; crisp on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside. Butter cream graces the center of one of the two cookies. One bite and your mind wanders to quaint Parisian patisseries. I have made it known that French macarons are one of my favorite desserts, but macaroons are a close second. Macaroons are a classic American creation, vastly different from the French macar2on. The macaroon is essentially a coconut cookie, reminiscent of the center of a Mounds candy bar, but lighter and more airy. The addition of dark chocolate pushes this simple and delicious treat over the edge of decadence.