SANDY’S CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
3 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups sour cream
1-1/3 cups boiling water
FROSTING:
1/2 cup butter, cubed
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
5 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 9-in. round baking pans.
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Stir in water until blended.
Transfer to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
For frosting, in a metal bowl over simmering water, melt butter and chocolates; stir until smooth. Cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Add chocolate mixture; beat until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 16 servings.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Just like the name says, this is the chocolate chip cookie extraordinaire! Definitely one of Betty’s favorites!
Ingredients.
3/4
cup granulated sugar.
3/4
cup packed brown sugar.
1
cup butter or margarine, softened.
1
teaspoon vanilla.
1
egg.
2 1/4
cups Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour.
1
teaspoon baking soda.
1/2
teaspoon salt.
1
cup coarsely chopped nuts.
1
package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups).

Steps
1. Heat oven to 375ºF.

2. Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

3. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft). Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

Expert Tips

  • To ensure recipe success if using a vegetable oil spread, use a spread with at least 65% vegetable oil.
  • You can form these cookies more quickly if you use a #16 cookie/ice-cream scoop. Level off the dough on the edge of the bowl for perfectly round cookies.
  • If you didn’t think these cookies could get any better, try them with 1/2 cup each of semisweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, milk chocolate chips and butterscotch chips instead of the 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips. Incredibly, even more incredible!

Nutrition Information
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories / 135
Calories from Fat / 70
Total Fat / 8 g
Saturated Fat / 2 g
Cholesterol / 5 mg
Sodium / 100 mg
Potassium / 60 mg
Total Carbohydrate / 16 g
Dietary Fiber / 1 g
Protein / 1 g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A /4%
Vitamin C / 0%
Calcium / 0%
Iron / 4%
Exchanges:
1/2 Starch; 1/2 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat;
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
More About This Recipe
If there’s anything we’re willing to experiment with, it’s finding just the right kind of chocolate chip cookie that suits our tastes. After baking, testing and tasting over and over again, we landed on the ultimate crowd-pleaser of a chocolate chip cookie—and that’s why we named this recipe “Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies!” What makes it the best? A texture that balances tender and crunchy, just the right amount of chips and a cup of nuts for a little extra something special. Even better, this recipe is reliable enough that you can use it as a base for a little experimentation—try different kinds of chips and nuts for easy flavor twists.

Raspberry Puff Pastry Flower

Ingredients
for 9 pastries
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg wash
9 raspberries
2 tablespoons chocolate hazelnut spread
1 powdered sugar, to taste
Preparation
Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
Cut the puff pastry into 9 equal squares.
Taking one of the squares, cut in the middle of each corner making sure your cuts do not touch in the center.
Place ½ teaspoon of hazelnut spread in the center.
Fold each corner to the center and press down until the pastry sticks. Brush each side of the fold with egg wash.
Brush each side of the fold with egg wash.
Pinch the corners of each fold together to create a petal shape, creating 4 petals.
Place a raspberry in the center.
Repeat with the remaining pastry squares.
Bake for 15–20 minutes, until pastry is golden brown and puffed.
Serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
Enjoy!

Double Chocolate and Fruit Breakfast Pastry

Ingredients
for 4 pastries.
1 sheet ready-made puff pastry.
4 tablespoons chocolate spread.
2 tablespoons grated cholocate.
1 banana.
4 strawberries.
1 tablespoon flaked almond.
1 egg yolk.
dark chocolate, melted, to serve,
icing sugar, to serve.
Preparation
Roll out the sheet of puff pastry. Using a sharp knife, cut in half diagonally and then again horizontally to make 4 squares. Then cut each square diagonally to make 8 triangles.
Layer the triangles on a lined baking tray to make a star shape. In each triangle, spread on the chocolate spread (about ½ tablespoon per triangle will be enough).
Then, in the middle, scatter on the grated chocolate, banana, strawberries, and flaked almonds in a circle shape.
Fold over the triangles to meet in the middle. Glaze with some egg wash.
Bake in the oven at 180°C (350°F) for 25 minutes.
Cut out each triangle to make a serving.
Drizzle on some dark melted chocolate, icing sugar or with leftover strawberries and banana. Enjoy!

Birthday Cake Puff Pastry Muffin

Ingredients
for 8 servings

2 sheets puff pastry
½ cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup white chocolate, melted
½ cup fruit cereal
½ cup sprinkle, assorted
Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Cut puff pastry sheets in half, then use a rolling pin to roll each half out to 24-inches (60-cm) long x 8-inches (20-cm) wide.
Brush the puff pastry with the softened butter, then carefully roll them up into a tight log. Cut the log in half lengthwise.
Take each half and fold the smooth part of the dough inward to create a spiral shape.
Place spirals in a cupcake pan and brush the tops with egg wash.
Bake for 15 minutes on the top rack, then transfer to the bottom rack and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Once cool, dip the tops into the melted white chocolate then the cereal and sprinkles.
Enjoy!

Giant Molten Chocolate Box Cake

Ingredients
for 8 servings
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 cup water
⅓ cup oil
3 eggs
2 cups heavy cream
16 oz dark chocolate
cocoa powder, to serve
Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix with the water, oil, and eggs, and stir until well combined.
Transfer the mixture to a well-greased bundt pan.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until just boiling.
Transfer to a medium mixing bowl with the dark chocolate and mix until well combined.
Invert the bundt cake onto a serving dish.
Pour the chocolate ganache in the center hole, allowing it to overflow and cover all of the cake.
Dust the cake with cocoa powder and allow ganache to rest for 30 minutes.
Enjoy!

GIANT CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE

Hi Bold Bakers!
When I think of seriously decadent chocolate desserts I think of a Chocolate Lava Cake! The trouble with lava cake is that you just get one little one! Well why can’t you make a Big and Bold Lava cake enough to share with an hungry army?

Let’s face it when it comes to dessert, size does matter. That’s why we are going Big with this Giant Chocolate Lava Cake. This cake is an oldie but a goodie as I have used this recipe for more than 10 years. I worked in a 5 star resort in Wexford, Ireland as a pastry chef and I was smart enough to take this recipe with me when I left. Hands down it was the most popular dessert on the menu. Now all these years later and I’m still using it so that is a true testament to it.

I love serving this Chocolate Lava Cake because the batter can be made up to 4 days in advance and kept in the fridge. Then, when you have a dinner party or friends over all you have to do is bake and serve.

When making this Lava Cake, do me a favor and please, please, please use good quality 72% chocolate. It will make the world of difference.

So what’s the secret to the perfect Lava center? It’s knowing how to tell it’s perfectly baked by just looking at it. With a Chocolate Lava Cake you don’t stick a knife in the middle like other cakes, you have to look for the telltale signs of doneness.

Depending on how much ‘Lava’ you like there are minutes in the difference so don’t stray far away while baking. I suggest checking the oven after 40 minutes. Just a note: Take care not to over bake as it will dry out all that gooey Lava you are going for.

You know those times when you eat dessert and you rate how good it is by how hard you’re finding it to breath? That’s this Lava Cake .

Ingredients
1 ½ cup (8½oz/240g) Dark Chocolate (72% cocoa solids)
¾ cup (6oz/170g) butter
½ cup (4 oz/115g) sugar
4 eggs (at room temperature)
4 yolks.
½ cup (2 ½ oz/75g) all purpose flour, sifted
Instructions
First step, melt the butter and chocolate together over a ban marie or in the microwave gently
In a stand mixer (or hand beater) beat the eggs and sugar on high until really thick and pale in color. This takes around 4 minutes.
When the eggs are thick and they hold ribbons, turn the machine on slow and drizzle in the cooled chocolate mix. Turn off the machine and run a spatula around the bowl to make sure all the chocolate is mixed in
Sift the flour over the chocolate mix and gently fold in until dispersed. Take care not to over mix the flour. It will toughen your cake.
Butter a large pudding bowl or any oven safe deep bowl (around 2 litres). Pour the Lava cake mix into the pudding bowl. If not baking off straight away, store in the fridge for up to 4 days. It will be happy in there.
Here’s the tricky part: Set a timer and bake the Lava cake on a baking tray at 350oF (180oC) for roughly 50-60 minutes. Watch carefully because if you overcook it it can dry out and you loose that gooey Lava center. Depending on how much ‘Lava’ you like there are minutes in the difference so check after 40 minutes. Mine took 55 exactly
Once baked you can let it sit for 5-10 minutes to set and then serve straight away with my No Machine Ice Cream!

Joe’s “Say Cheese” Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce

Ingredients
Crust:

Cooking spray
1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
Filling:
32 ounces (Four 8-ounce packages) cream cheese
2 cups sour cream
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Strawberry Sauce:
1 to 1 1/4 cups halved fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 lime, zested

Directions

Watch how to make this recipe.
For the crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray; line the bottom with a round of parchment paper; and spray the paper with cooking spray. Place the pan on a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and bring the foil up around the sides to enclose the seam between the bottom and the sides of the pan (this will prevent water from leaking in).
Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the melted butter and mix until the crumbs are coated. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Set aside.
For the filling: In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese together with the sour cream. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the sugar, cornstarch and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Set the foil-wrapped pan inside a larger pan, and carefully pour 1/2 inch of warm water into the larger pan to create a water bath. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven, open the oven door and let the cheesecake stand in the opened oven for 1 hour. Refrigerate the cheesecake for 2 hours or overnight before removing it from the pan.
For the sauce: Process the strawberries, sugar and lime zest in a food processor or blender until smooth. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. (The sauce is best served cold from the refrigerator.)

Cherry Cheesecake Shooters

Ingredients
12 graham cracker rectangles
One 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can cherry pie filling
2 tablespoons flaked almonds, chopped.

Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.

Special equipment: zip lock bag, rolling pin, small wine glasses, pastry bag

Put the graham crackers into a resealable bag and bash with a rolling pin into fine crumbs. Spoon the crumbs into the bottoms of small wine glasses.

Add the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk to the bowl of an electric mixer and whip together until light and fluffy. Spoon into a pastry bag and pipe a big helping over the crumbs in each of the glasses.

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Squares

Ingredients
Crust:

Cooking spray, for spraying the foil
2 sleeves (10 ounces) graham crackers
1/2 cup pecans
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Filling:
Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
Caramel Topping:
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Flaky sea salt, for garnish

Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.

Special equipment: a candy thermometer

For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-by-13-inch rectangular baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Place the graham crackers and pecans into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes crumbs. Add the butter and vanilla and pulse again until combined. Pour into the prepared pan and press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. If they come up the sides, that’s okay!

For the filling: Beat the cream cheese, granulated sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add the sour cream and mix again.

Pour the mixture into the crust, smooth the top and bake for 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the door, leaving the cheesecake to sit in the oven with the door open for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool for an hour.

For the caramel topping: Add the brown sugar and butter to a pan, set over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Add the condensed milk, corn syrup and vanilla and bring to a boil, stirring continuously.

Place a candy thermometer in the caramel mixture and continue to boil until the caramel reaches 225 degrees F. Turn off the heat and let the caramel cool for about 5 minutes before pouring over the cheesecake.

Allow to set for 2 hours, then cut into squares with a sharp knife. Arrange on a plate and garnish each square with a pinch of sea salt.