Salted Brown Butter S’more Tart

I think we can all agree that s’mores are one of the best parts of summer? Sweet, chocolatey and toasty, it taps into the highlight reel of summer, from cottage trips to roasting marshmallows on the stove. Just me? Ok.

I thought up this tart yesterday morning, wanting to put all the things I love about s’mores into a simple yet elevated tart.  The addition of brown butter to the graham crust enhances the toastiness of the torched meringue, the sea salt cuts the sweetness and adds a delicious salty crunch, and the torched meringue tops everything off on a light note.

The lightness of this tart is what stands out I think. Despite the rich ganache and buttery crust, the ganache and meringue together have a chiffon like texture, so you don’t feel heavy after eating.

I am obsessed.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6-7 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of cream of tartar 
  • Flaky sea salt

Steps

Preheat oven to 350F.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, 3 tbsp sugar and 1/4-1/2 tsp of sea salt. 

In a medium pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Allow it to bubble and foam, stirring frequently until it turns golden brown and smells nutty.  Remove from heat and pour over graham cracker mixture, stirring until the mixture has the texture of wet sand.


Press mixture evenly into a 13×4 inch rectangular tart pan or 9 inch circular tart pan. Bake for 10 minutes until golden and allow to cool.


Meanwhile, to make the ganache, scald cream over medium heat and pour over milk and dark chocolate in a bowl. Whisk until smooth and sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt. Spread ganache into cooled crust (about 3/4 full) and place in fridge to chill for 1 hour.


To make meringue topping, beat together egg whites, 1 tbsp of sugar and cream of tartar until foamy. Add 2-3 tbsp sugar (depending on how sweet you like, I used 3tbsp) and beat until meringue is shiny and stiff peaks form.


To assemble, sprinkle flaky sea salt over ganache filled tart. Spread meringue over ganache, sealing to the edges of the crust and creating any design as desired. Using a kitchen torch, toast the top of the meringue until golden brown. I recommend testing a small corner area to start in order to get a feel for the torch and how quickly the meringue will brown.


If you don’t have a torch, place tart under the broiler and remove when meringue begins to brown.

Sprinkle with a bit more flaky salt and serve immediately.

The ~Baked~ Brownie

I like my brownies fudgy.

I like them dark, chewy and gooey,

I don’t think I’m the only one either.

If you agree – this recipe is for you.  The Baked Bakery really got it down pat here, because this brownie is everything I listed above and more.  The fact that it’s super simple to make is just the cherry on top.

I don’t want to say this brownie will get you a boyfriend/girlfriend or anything… But I made these with my boyfriend on our third date and we’ve been dating awhile now…  So make your own assumptions.  They’re THAT good.

If you want to put a little twist on these, I would sprinkle the top with a bit of flaked sea salt halfway through baking.  These brownies are super rich and salt would definitely cut the richness in the best way.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 11oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (you can also use high quality chocolate chips!)
  • 1 cup salted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Steps

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper (trust me, these would be sticky otherwise!).

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sea salt and cocoa until combined.

Set a large, heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water.  Place butter and chocolate in the bowl and stir occasionally until completely melted and smooth.  Turn off heat and add sugars to chocolate mixture, whisking until completely combined.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Add 3 eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.  Add the remaining eggs and stir until incorporated.  Add vanilla and stir until just incorporated, careful to not overmix (will otherwise be cakey texture).

Sprinkle flour mixture over the batter and fold flour into the batter using a spatula until there are very slight streaks of flour remaining.  Again, the key is to ~just~ mix so you keep a fudge texture in the end.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes (turn the pan 180 degrees halfway through baking).

Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, then lift them out with the parchment as a handle to cut.

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Adapted from Baked

Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate Glaze

A few weeks ago, I had an aggressive amount of leftover egg whites.  After about 5 minutes of Googling “leftover egg whites”, it became clear there was only one solution.  Coconut macaroons.

While I’ve enjoyed many a macaroon, I had never made them or honestly even known what really went into them.  I’ve gotta say, it was a pleasant surprise – one may even call them “healthy”.  They’re basically coconut, egg whites and sugar (and not even an aggressive amount).

They’re also ridiculously easy to make.  10/10 will make again next time I have leftover egg whites.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups shredded coconut (I used unsweetened and I liked that they weren’t too sweet but you can definitely use sweetened)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Optional: 1/2 cup melted chocolate

Steps

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spread coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes (or until just starting to brown) to add additional colour and flavour.  Mix around to colour evenly if you have to.  Cool slightly.

Mix egg whites, sugar, vanilla and salt with the whisk attachment of a mixer until completely combined and frothy.  Pour the coconut over the egg white mixer and stir until combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment.  With wet hands (prevents sticking), shape mixture into balls about 1.5 inches in diameter and place on the prepared sheet one inch apart.

Bake until golden, 15-20 minutes.  Cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

If you are using chocolate, place parchment paper under wire rack to avoid a mess.  Dip spoon in melted chocolate and drizzle macaroons with chocolate or dip the tops into the melted chocolate.  The design is up to you!

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Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

Do you have a go-to dessert for potlucks?  One that is quick/easy/delicious/impressive all at once?

This is mine.

I’ve been making it for years and keep coming back to it.  It’s obviously delicious, y’all know I’m a sucker for sea salt – but it doesn’t even require an oven and comes together in under an hour, most of which is chilling time.

I ended up making it this weekend after a disappointing funfetti adventure in donuts (too much nutmeg, potentially wrong sprinkles) – but that’s another story.  I scrapped the donut idea and whipped this up real quick to bring to a friend’s party and needless to say, it was a success.

Or you could eat it by yourself on a Saturday night and have a REAL party! Woo!

Note: I use an 8-inch pan for this and have enough leftovers for a mini-tart, like the photo.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Oreos
  • 1 cup salted butter, divided
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup whipping cream, divided
  • 12oz (one bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Sea salt, flaky if possible

Steps

Blend the Oreos in a blender or food processor until they’re fine crumbs.  Stir together with 1/2 cup of melted butter until it has the texture of wet sand.  Press into a 8-9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom and place in freezer for 10 minutes, until set.

Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/2 cup of butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat and whisk constantly until it begins bubbling (make sure you use a whisk as it incorporates air into the caramel, giving it the right texture).  Continue cooking while whisking constantly for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and slowly whisk in 1/4 cup heavy cream until fully incorporated.

Cool the caramel for 15 minutes, then pour into Oreo crust.  Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the top.  Place in freezer for 30-45 minutes until just chilled and set.

Scald remaining 1 cup of cream in a saucepan and pour over chocolate chips in a separate bowl.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.  Pour chocolate over caramel and freeze for 30 minutes or place in fridge until ready to serve.

Before serving, sprinkle on a generous amount of sea salt (flaky is best, but any will work!).

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Recipe adapted from Kevin and Amanda blog

Texas Sized Chocolate Chunk Cookies

For a long time, I was adamant that there was only one recipe for chocolate chip cookies that mattered (see Chocolate Chip Cookies).  I was under the impression that they should be relatively flat and chewy with a crisp exterior.

But when you have a baking blog, sometimes you need to try new things.  I tried the amazing chocolate chunk cookie recipe from my stay at the Inn on First in Napa (side note: highly recommend this place) and the Le Gourmand chocolate chunk cookie made me think that maybe there is a place in the world for a big tall cookie with puddles of chocolate.

This leads me to Levain.  In my Instagram adventures, I came across these monster cookies that people obsessed over.  I had been thinking about freshly baked chocolate chip cookies all week so thought it may be the perfect opportunity to give a copycat recipe a try (given I had never tried one, I adapted Broma Bakery’s).  Needless to say, it did not disappoint.

I think the most important part of this recipe is the chocolate. Instead of chocolate chips, use chocolate discs (I used Valrhona semi-sweet chocolate discs cut in half).  They make these big puddles of chocolate that ensures the cookie isn’t too cakey and are also a puddle of chocolate which is always amazing.

Hooray for trying new things!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • ¾ cup + 4 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate discs, roughly chopped in half (I used Valrhona – see note above)

Steps

Beat butter with a paddle attachment until smooth.  Add brown and granulated sugar and beat until fluffy and incorporated, then beat in eggs and vanilla until mixed (the batter should be lumpy).

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt.  Gradually add this to dough until small streaks of flour remain. Mix in chocolate discs until just incorporated.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Divide the dough into 12 cookies, roughly shaping each into a ball (do not roll dough into balls, just roughly shape).  Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes – 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375F.  Arrange chilled dough balls on parchment lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart (I had to bake in two batches).  Bake for 15-17 minutes, until lightly golden.  Do not overbake as the cookie will be too dry and cakey – “rare” cookies are best!  Allow to cool on a wire rack.

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Salted Espresso Chocolate Donuts

I am a sucker for salt.

It brings brightness of flavour to any baked good.  Cookies tasting a bit flat? Salt. Making a caramel tart? Salt. Chocolate? Salt.

I’m not kidding.

When I was in Napa, I came across Whole Spice at the Oxbow Public Market.  I could have spent the day there – they had all sorts of unique spices and ENDLESS types of salt, sourced from various places and some were flavoured with citrus or other spices.  I saw their espresso salt and with one smell I knew I had to try it.

I brainstormed how to use this salt, knowing it would go hand in hand with chocolate and thought I would keep on my donut train and give chocolate espresso donuts a whirl.  I ended up using my Guinness chocolate donut recipe as a base as Guinness has such lovely coffee notes I knew it would be a great compliment.

If you can’t find espresso salt, don’t fret.  Regular sea salt will work fine, you may just have to tweak the coffee proportion in your glaze if you want a more intense coffee flavour.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch of espresso salt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 7 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup Guinness
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Glaze Ingredients

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp espresso or cold brew coffee
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Espresso salt or sea salt, for sprinkling

Steps

Preheat oven to 425F and grease a donut tin with butter.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir with a whisk until uniform and set aside.  In a small bowl, whisk together Guinness, sour cream, egg and vanilla and set aside.

Whisk together butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Add half the dry ingredients and whisk until incorporated.  Add wet ingredients, then remaining dry ingredients, whisking until just incorporated after each addition.

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IMG_4259Spoon batter into donut pan until 1/2-3/4 full.  Bake 7-8 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.IMG_4260

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Whisk together icing sugar, milk, coffee and vanilla until smooth.  Dip donuts in glaze, wiggling around to cover the sides.  Sprinkle with a bit of salt and allow to set on a rack with aluminum foil underneath to catch drips (trust me, it saves you lots of mess).

Guinness Chocolate Donuts

Last St Patrick’s Day I made Guinness chocolate cupcakes and proclaimed that all my future chocolate cakes would include Guinness.  I’m glad I decided to do the same with these donuts.

Guinness adds a richness and “je ne sais quoi” that makes any chocolate cake or donut unbeatable.  This is the first time I’ve attempted chocolate donuts and they turned out perfectly moist and flavourful.  You also end up with a can of Guinness that’s still pretty full, and you can have a nice afternoon beverage (although I’ve been known to enhance my Friday/Saturday night baking sessions with a glass of wine, who’s with me?)

I upped the St Patrick’s Day factor on these with a green glaze, but feel free to go with any colour.  You could up the chocolate factor by replacing the 1 cup of icing sugar with 3/4 cup icing sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa.  You could also up the celebration factor by replacing the milk with Bailey’s.

Happy St Patrick’s Day – where everyone is at least 1/8th Irish for the day!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup Guinness
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk (or Bailey’s)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Green food colouring, to your preference

Steps

Preheat oven to 425F and grease a donut tin with butter.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir with a whisk until uniform and set aside.  In a small bowl, whisk together Guinness, sour cream, egg and vanilla and set aside.

Whisk together butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Add half the dry ingredients and whisk until incorporated.  Add wet ingredients, then remaining dry ingredients, whisking until just incorporated after each addition.

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Spoon batter into donut pan until 1/2-3/4 full.  Bake 7-8 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.

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Whisk together icing sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.  Stir in food colouring a little at a time until you get your desired colour.  Dip donuts in glaze, wiggling around to cover the sides.  Allow to set on a rack with aluminum foil underneath to catch drips (trust me, it saves you lots of mess).

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