Kit Kat Cheesecake Bars

/ Saturday, November 14, 2015

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So, has we get closer and closer to the holiday season, the baking cookbooks start to appear. There are already Christmas decorations in stores, and Thanksgiving meals being planned. However, if you go into your pantry you may notice the old Halloween candy is still there... and you have no idea what to do with it.

Well, look no further because I have the solution: Kit Kat Cheesecake Bars. These impressive little bites are very easy to make and can take less than an hour to prep. They are, however, 100% addicting, so be careful!

Kit Kat Cheesecake Bars

Adapted from:  Baker's Royale

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
7 tablespoons of butter

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Place graham cracker crust and sugar in a bowl and toss to combine. Add in melted butter and mix to combine. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while making cheesecake portion.

For the Chocolate Cheesecake:
12 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
6 Kit Kat packages

Place all ingredients in a bowl and beat until fully combined and smooth; set aside. Place Kit Kat bars on top of crust. Pour cheesecake mixture over Kit Kat bars and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. 

For the Ganache:

10oz. chocolate
8 tablespoons butter
4 oz white chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream 

Place chocolate and butter in a heat proof bowl over simmering water, gently stir until chocolate is melted and butter is fully combined. Pour chocolate over baked cheesecake.

Place white chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Boil heavy cream. Pour boiled heavy cream over chocolate and let sit. Do not stir for 3-4 minutes. Then using a sturdy spatula gently stir and fold chocolate, continuing until chocolate is completely melted. Chocolate may appear lumpy for the first few stirs, but will melt into smoothness. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a number 2 round tip or a place mixture in a Ziploc bag and cut a small hole in one corner.
Pipe white chocolate horizontally across from top to bottom. Use a toothpick and starting at the top drag the toothpick vertically through horizontal lines. Starting from the bottom drag the toothpick to the top. Continue to alternate starting points with toothpick.

 So that is it! It seems like a lot of work because of all of the layers, but it goes by quickly!
Until next week!

Pumpkin Panna Cotta

/ Sunday, October 25, 2015

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Another panna cotta recipe today! If you haven't been following this blog recently you might not know how much I love panna cotta. If you haven't tried it yet it is absolutely amazing and very easy to make at home! It's also very easy to customize, so you can substitute, change, and experiment with the ingredients.

If you want to check out my earlier panna cotta posts here they are!
Tea Panna Cotta -- I recommend the chai flavor
Salted Carmel Panna Cotta

So here is another one to add to the list!

 Pumpkin Panna Cotta

Yields approx 8 servings
Adapted from: Pastry Affair

For the Panna Cotta:
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp allspice

Place milk in medium saucepan and sprinkle gelatin on top. Let sit for 5 minutes to soften gelatin.

Whisk together, combine heavy cream, sugar, pumpkin puree, and spices. Blend until smooth. Whisk together pumpkin mixture with milk. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to steam , stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and ladle mixture into containers of your choice. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before serving.

Pumpkin White Chocolate Snickerdoodles

/ Sunday, October 11, 2015

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Ift's that time of year again when you walk into a store and start to wonder if the next holiday isn't Halloween but Christmas. I had to do a bit of shopping this weekend and a few stores already had lights strung up on plastic evergreens, and inflatable santas poking out between the isles.
So when I decided to make something pumpkin this weekend I thought it would be super easy to find the pumpkin puree, as fall is now upon us and pumpkin spice is pretty much a staple. I spend twenty minutes walking around the store finding it absolutely no where. Eventually I wound my way to the baking section for the fourth time and found it on the bottom shelf. It's mid-October and the pumpkin puree is on the bottom shelf while the santa cookies greeted me when I walked through the door.

But enough of my complaining, lets get to the good stuff! This week I made Pumpkin White Chocolate Snickerdoodles and they were amazing. Also for an added bonus, the dough had no egg in it so go ahead and eat all you want!

Pumpkin White Chocolate Snickerdoodles

From (with edits): Sallys Baking Addiction

For the Cookies:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 Tablespoons
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice.
1/2 cup white chocolate chips or chunks

Melt the butter in the microwave. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, toss together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, nutmeg, ground clove, and allspice. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. Stir in white chocolate chips. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Roll the dough into balls, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough each. Mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Roll each of the dough balls generously in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and arrange on 2 baking sheets. Slightly flatten the dough balls because the cookies will only slightly spread in the oven.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and under baked. Keeping them in the oven for longer may dry them out. Remove from the oven and press a few more white chocolate chips onto the tops, if desired.
Allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a wire rack.

So hopefully you have better luck finding pumpkin puree than I did, but believe me these cookies are worth whatever trouble they put you through! 

Until next week!

Coconut Steam Buns

/ Sunday, October 4, 2015

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There's something about cold weather that makes you want fresh warm bread and Chinese take out. Just saying, I have more than one white takeout box in my fridge right now. So, along with the Japanese water cakes, I whipped up a batch or two of steamed coconut buns! I haven't used a steamer to bake in a while (over a year...?) so I thought I'd give it another go.

These buns are super simple with a 1:2 ratio of coconut milk to self rising flour. Just throw it all in a food processor with a bit of salt and you're good to go. (More in depth recipe follows of course.)

I thought the buns turned out nicely. They just have a hint of coconut that really gives them a different, but great, flavor. I would definitely eat them as dinner or breakfast rolls with honey or butter, as they are pretty bland by themselves.

Steamed Coconut Buns

Yields: 12
From: The Little Things

For the Buns:
1 14oz can of full fat coconut milk
2 empty coconut tins of self-raising flour
pinch of salt

Pour the coconut milk into a food processor. Use the empty tin to measure out the self-raising flour. Add the flour and salt to the food processor and process until a smooth dough.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and form into a large roll. Cut out 12 equal parts  and place these balls into double paper muffin cases. (I used silicone muffin liners.)
Place muffin cases in a single layer into a steamer over a large pot of simmering water. Cover and let steam for 12 minutes.
Best served warm.

That's it for this week! Until next!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Brownie Batter Chili Frosting

/ Monday, September 21, 2015

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Hey again! How long has it been... 2 months? ... or something like that at least. My summer got crazy and when school began I was kepts super busy. But things have gotten back in the swing of things so I'm exctied to start blogging again.

Prostart Culinary has started up agian, and I'm happy to announce I'll be working on perfecting a Japanese Water Cake made with tea and mint extract! I'm going to have to do A LOT of experimentation though because my first attempt at the recipe was a complete failure. Once I start working on it again I'll be creating a post about it so stay tuned!

This week however I have a bit of a different cupcake recipie, the frosting is made from brownie batter... need I say more?

Chocolate Cupcakes with Brownie Batter Chili Frosting

For the cupcakes:
1/2 cup Guinness extra stout beer
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg
5 tbsp sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Combine the Guinness and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and sour cream. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture and continue to beat until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup brownie mix
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
chocolate chips (optional)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the dry brownie mix and cocoa powder and continue to beat for another 2 minutes until smooth. Add the vanilla and milk and beat again. Add the powdered sugar slowly, then beat on medium speed for another 5 minutes. If the batter appears too thick, add another tablespoon of milk, and if it's not thick enough, add powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments until you get your desired consistency.

Load the frosting into a piping bag with a large star tip. Pipe swirls of frosting on each cupcake and sprinkle on some chocolate chips.

The Sunday Pastry. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.