cocoa powder

Always a big fan of the uber-talented David Lebovitz, I knew as soon as I read about these brownies I’d have to make them.  Typically I look at a recipe, via a photo of the finished product, before I attempt to make it, but in this case, is was the ingredients that caught my eye.

The Dulce de Leche (see recipe here) is basically caramelized sweetened condensed milk.  While available in the store, it’s so easy to make at home (and much cheaper), I’m not quite sure why anyone would actually buy this stuff instead of making it themselves.

Dulce de Leche Brownies

8 tbsp butter, cut into tbsp-size pieces
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (0.75oz) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 cup (7oz) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (5oz) flour
1 cup (3.5oz) toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup Dulce de Leche

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line the baking pan with two sheets of foil placed perpendicular, with the edges overhanging the sides, so that they make a cross.  These will be used as handles to lift the brownies out of the pan.  Spray foil-lined pan with cooking spray.
  3. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly over very low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, then the flour. Mix in the nuts.
  4. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Drop one-third of the Dulce de Leche, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly.
  6. Spread the remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining Dulce de Leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl the Dulce de Leche slightly.
  7. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The brownies are done when the center feels just-slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Storage:These brownies actually become better the second day, and will keep well for up to 3 days.

Makes 12 brownies



Banana chocolate peanut-butter ice cream

Banana chocolate peanut-butter ice cream

I usually eat a banana a day, so I end up buying a big bunch of them every week.  Unfortunately, sometimes my banana eating gets thrown off track, whether it’s life, they get put behind something, or as in this week, they get put in the fridge (!?) and I end up with a bunch of way-to-ripe bananas.  They usually get put in a freezer, waiting for me to make banana bread.  I make way to much banana bread to be honest, but hate throwing them out.  Well, now my to-ripe bananas have another use.

Three ingredients: bananas, Dutch-processed cocoa, and natural peanut butter are all that’s in this “ice cream”.  No heavy cream, whole milk, egg yolk, or even sugar.  Perfect for those trying to watch their weight, lactose-intolerant, or vegan.

Banana chocolate peanut-butter ice cream

4 bananas, slightly overripe
2 tbsp creamy natural peanut butter
2 tsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder

  • Peel bananas and cut into 1/2″ slices.  Place sliced bananas in the freezer for 1 hour.
  • Put banana slices in a food processor and pulse.  It resemble tiny rocks, but will eventually turn into a frozen mush.
  • Scrape down the sides of the food processor and add peanut butter and cocoa.
  • Pulse again, until the peanut butter and cocoa is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the food processor about about 15 seconds.
  • When done, it will resemble soft serve ice cream; when frozen, it will be pretty hard to scoop.  Let the container sit on the counter for a few minutes to thaw and it will scoop very easily.
  • Top with your favorite ice cream toppings (I used homemade strawberry syrup).

Makes 1 pint.

Source: single ingredient ice cream – use real butter


Swiss roll ice cream cake

Swiss roll ice cream cake

After a hiatus from taking part in the Daring Bakers challenges, I was able to complete the July challenge.

It was also a good excuse to break out the ice cream maker, so it was a win-win situation.

Think of this cake as a thin chocolate & whipped cream cake, with ice cream, fudge sauce, and more ice cream inside.  Yeah, it tasted as good as it sounds.

I would make this again, but next time I think I’d just buy the ice cream and fudge sauce.  While homemade ice cream definitely tastes better than store-bought, for the filling of a cake, store-bought would be good enough.  Not to mention cut down the time to make it to a few hours.

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