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Monday, September 7, 2015

Big Blowout Summer Desserts - One Last Time!

Happy Monday and Happy Labor Day to all my wonderful readers! Never let anyone tell you there isn't time for one last dessert recipe because there is ALWAYS room for dessert. So get out to the store one last time, and whip up a batch of any of these end-of-summer/Labor Day/one last heat wave desserts.

Easy bars...
Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies
Joy Wilson

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, divided, plus more
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided, plus more
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350° with rack in upper third. Grease an 8" x 8" pan with butter, line with parchment paper, and grease and flour parchment paper.
  2. Put chocolate and 4 Tbsp butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of 2" simmering water. Melt, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.
  3. In a small bowl, beat 2 eggs. Whisk eggs into chocolate mixture. Add 3/4 cup sugar and beat until combined. Add 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir well. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  4. For the cream cheese layer: In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese and remaining 2 tbsp butter until smooth and thoroughly combined. Add remaining 2 tbsp sugar, remaining egg, and jam and mix well. Stir in remaining 1 tbsp flour and remaining 1/2 tsp vanilla. Dollop mixture onto batter in pan. Use a butter knife to swirl cream cheese mixture into brownies. Press fresh raspberries into the top.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out with only a few moist crumbs, 35-40 minutes (check after 30 minutes). Let cool completely before slicing and serving.
Notes: The brownies will keep, wrapped individually and stored in the refrigerator, up to 4 days.

For the ice cream lovers at the party...
Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches
Joanne Chang


  • 11 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (2 3⁄4 cup chopped)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1⁄2 cup packed fresh spearmint or peppermint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Unsalted butter, for greasing
  • 1⁄4 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

  1. Place 3 oz. chocolate (3⁄4 cup chopped) in a bowl and set aside. In a 2-qt. saucepan, bring cream and chopped mint to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and return to the saucepan, discarding the mint leaves. Bring the cream back to a boil and pour hot cream over top of chocolate. Add 1⁄4 tsp. salt and whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Cool, then cover ice cream base; refrigerate overnight.
  2. Heat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with greased parchment paper. Pour enough water into a 4-quart saucepan that it reaches a depth of 1". Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Place remaining chocolate in a medium bowl; set bowl over saucepan. Cook, stirring, until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk the coffee, egg yolks, and the remaining salt into the melted chocolate. Using an electric hand mixer, beat egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks are held. With a rubber spatula, fold in 1⁄3 of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in remaining egg whites, followed by the flour. Pour batter onto prepared baking sheet and, using an offset spatula, spread to cover the entire surface. Bake until cake is firm to the touch, 10-12 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
  3. The next day, remove the cake from the freezer and run a pairing knife along the edges. Invert the cake onto another sheet of parchment and peel off the bottom parchment that is now on top. Cut the cake in half widthwise, cutting through the parchment. Place half the cake on a baking sheet.
  4. Using an electric hand mixer, beat ice cream base in a medium bowl until it stiff peaks form. With an offset spatula, spread into an even layer over the half piece of cake sitting on the baking sheet. Invert the other half of cake on top and press down lightly until flat and even. Freeze entire cake for at least 6 hours, and up to overnight. When ready to serve, remove the top and bottom layers of parchment, and trim into 8"x 12" rectangle. Cut into eight- 3"x 4" sandwiches and serve immediately. Alternatively, wrap well in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to three weeks.

Super easy, fast, and delicious...
Raspberry Spuma
David Tanis

  • 12 ounces (about 1 pint or 2 cups)raspberries, plus 6 ounces more (1/2 pint or 1 cup) for garnish
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  1. Put raspberries in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat. Mash berries with a wooden spoon and simmer for 2 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed wire sieve, pushing against berries to extract all juices. Discard seeds and solids. You should have 1 cup raspberry syrup. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar. Set bowl over a pan of boiling water and, using a wire whisk, beat egg whites and sugar just enough to dissolve sugar and until whites are warm to the touch, about 1 minute.
  3. Remove bowl from heat. Beat egg whites vigorously until you have a fluffy meringue with shiny stiff peaks, about 3 minutes. (You may use electric beaters or stand mixer.)
  4. Using a rubber spatula, quickly fold raspberry syrup into meringue. Transfer to a serving dish, cover and freeze for at least 2 hours. (You may freeze mixture up to 3 days in advance.)
  5. To serve, garnish with berries and spoon raspberry spuma into small bowls.

Happy baking!

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