Walnut Fudge Brownies

20180520_030512When a chocolate craving screams out for your attention, nothing is easier or more comforting than a brownie. Even if the craving hits at night, just a quick raid of the pantry will likely provide all the ingredients needed to create the perfect pan. Without a doubt, brownies are my go to sweet when I need a delicious treat but don’t have the energy or time to make something more elaborate.

20180520_110531Whether made as a post-dinner treat or after school snack, brownies are highly customizable to satisfy any and all tastes. They can be void of add-ins to keep them simply fudgy or they can be filled and topped with a multitude of different flavor and texture profiles to suit any occasion or craving. Even though there’s much fun to be had creatively with brownies, I elected to stick to a classic, the fudgy walnut. One, if not THE most popular brownie variation, this recipe takes the intense richness even further with high-quality cocoa, melted chocolate, and chocolate chips.

20180520_030629If you decide to give these fudgy treats studded with crunchy walnuts a try, they will take you about 15 minutes to prep and about 30 minutes in the oven. Once cooked, store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, you have the option of cutting the brownies into a traditional size or into smaller, bite-size portions. A traditional size will yield you approximately 9 large brownies while the bite-size portions will yield approximately 20 servings. The bite-size portions are perfect for those needing to serve a large crowd or those who live a healthy lifestyle and want to indulge without growing a bulge. If you elect to cut the brownies into small portions, each serving will contain approximately 186 calories, 4 g. saturated fat, 4 g. protein, 24 g. carbs, 3 grams fiber, 30 mg cholesterol, 1 mg iron, 74 mg sodium, and 23 mg calcium. I used white whole-wheat flour to make these healthier for my lifestyle, however you can substitute all-purpose flour if you do not mind a change in the above nutrition facts. No matter how, why, or when you choose to enjoy these brownies, I know you will not be disappointed by this revived and healthier take on a classic!

20180520_110737

Walnut Fudge Brownies

 

Ingredients:

  • 3.4 ounces White Whole-Wheat Flour (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ½ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips; divided
  • 1/3 cup Fat-Free Milk
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; melted
  • 1 tsp. pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Eggs; lightly beaten
  • ½ cup Chopped Walnuts; divided
  • Cooking Spray

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9 inch square metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine ½ cup of the chocolate chips and milk. Microwave the mixture on high for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir in the butter, vanilla, and eggs.
  4. Add the milk mixture, remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips, and ½ cup of walnuts to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of walnuts. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MAUREEN CALLAHAN
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2018

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Fudge-Almond Brownie Tart

3If you are a chocoholic, it is likely that you often search for quick and easy chocolate fixes beyond the candy bar. Anyone with a weakness to chocolate knows it is really hard to stop at just one piece of chocolate, hence the search for more substance. This search usually includes chocolate infused into cakes, cookies, or brownies. If you easily tire from the same old box chocolate cake or bakery cookies, then this weakness can become a very big problem. Therefore, I bring you the Fudge-Almond Brownie Tart.

1I simply adore this brownie tart for several reasons. The main reason is its rich, intense chocolate flavor that makes your indulgent side squeal with delight. The other reason is how simple it is to put together. This tart looks elegant and time-consuming but it is really simple and comes together quickly. Another plus is the richness keeps you from eating way too much. Sure it clocks in at way more calories and fat then most recipes I like to prepare but it is meant to be an indulgent treat. It is not something you keep around all the time to munch on but it serves great for when chocolate cravings peak and you need to keep them in check with something more satisfying. Even though the numbers of this appear very high, I guarantee when the chocolate cravings hit, you will consume way more calories and fat if you munch on a chocolate bar versus this tart. One slice will easily satisfy any and all chocolate/dessert cravings, whereas it will take several pieces of chocolate to get the same result. I assure you, several pieces of chocolate will easily turn into way more calories and fat (coming from experience).

2Now if you are not stressing out on a diet or are serving this for guests I suggest pairing it with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. It adds just an extra bit of indulgence and the smooth texture complements the richness and crunch of the tart. The tart will serve up to 10 guests. If you need to accommodate a larger crowd the recipe can easily be doubled. Enjoy!!!

Fudge-Almond Brownie Tart

Ingredients:

  • Cooking Spray
  • ½ cup Sliced Almonds; toasted
  • 4 oz. Dark Chocolate Baking Chips (such as Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 2.25 oz. All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tbsp. Dutch Processed Cocoa; sifted
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 2 Eggs (large)
  • 6 tbsp. Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Preparation:

  1. Move oven rack to lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch round removable-bottom tart pan with cooking spray. Arrange the sliced almonds evenly in the bottom of the greased pan. Set aside.
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter together. Microwave approximately 30 to 60 seconds, stirring at 15 second intervals, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl add the flour, cocoa, and salt. Stir mixture with a whisk until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs. Mix with a hand or stand mixer on medium speed until the mixture is pale and thick (approximately 2 minutes). Continue beating on medium speed and gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar dissolves (approximately 2 minutes). On low speed add the corn syrup and vanilla, beating until combined. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until well blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter in the prepared pan, spreading evenly over the sliced almonds. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the tart comes out with a few crumbs. Cool the tart in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Invert tart onto a serving platter and enjoy! Can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days if not serving immediately.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Wedge)

Fudge Almond Brownie Tart NutritionLabel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weight Watchers: 10 Smart Points, 7 Points Plus, or 5 Traditional Points

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: CAROLE WALTER
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

 

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cakes

Happy Hump Day Everyone!!! Boy has it been a rough couple of weeks but have no fear I am still around and today I will be bringing you a regional favorite that you may not be aware of if you have never been to the Midwest. Although I haven’t visited my hometown of Dubuque, Iowa in a while, I still remember some of the regions favorites… Taco pizza from Happy Joe’s, Maid Rite Sandwiches, Chicago Style Coney Dogs, and for dessert the Gooey Butter Cake of St. Louis, Missouri. This quirky dessert is a favorite of St. Louisans  and according to the area bakeries it is an acquired taste of the locals. I gave it a shot and I must say was surprised at how delicious it is. Now there are two different types of Gooey Butter Cake. The first is one with a cake batter/cake mix bottom with the gooey layer up top. This is often found in St. Louis supermarkets, restaurants, and made by the home baker as it is easier than the original. However that type of Gooey Butter Cake is more like a chewy and messy bar cookie rather than a delicious cake. The original formula for Gooey Butter Cake resembles an old-fashioned coffee cake base made up of yeast dough and topped with a gooey custard. The second type of Gooey Butter Cake is the one you see in the photos and is worthy of regional recognition. As popular as the Gooey Butter Cake is it comes as no surprise that there are many claims to its fame in St. Louis. Several bakeries were making it years and years ago but two particular families have their own stories claiming they made the original and all the other bakeries followed suit after it’s popularity peaked. The most accepted origin of the cake is that it occurred by accident in the 1930’s by a German-American St. Louis baker who was attempting to make a regular cake but reversed the proportions of certain ingredients. The bakery owner, John Hoffman, had hired a new baker who certainly messed up the formula and created this concoction. Being that it was during the Great Depression, a little screw up was a big deal and so rather than throw out the large amount of screwed up cake, they decided to sell it. Surprisingly it became a huge hit at the bakery and so then they were forced to try to duplicate it. Once it was duplicated they began selling the Gooey Butter Cake as a staple item of their bakery and other bakeries nearby followed suit, creating St. Louis’ most popular ethnic treat. I have chosen two produce two flavors of Gooey Butter Cake, Butterscotch and Chocolate, although there are several more flavors you could experiment with and try. The classic flavor is vanilla and that formula I will provide below. I will also provide the alterations to the original formula so that you can also produce the Butterscotch and Chocolate varieties seen in the photographs. A few quick notes before I leave you… Be sure to remove the cake from the oven when the perimeter is golden brown and the center jiggles when gently shaken. The topping will continue to set up with residual heat as the cake cools. The secret ingredients in this formula that are not exactly traditional but allow ease for the home baker to recreate the original in a snap are light corn syrup and Instant Pudding mixes. These two ingredients quality are crucial. The corn syrup aids in the gooey topping and the instant pudding adds flavor, sweetness, and structure to the gooey topping that would otherwise be much harder to achieve. I suggest using Karo brand corn syrup and Jell-O brand Instant Pudding for best results.

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

Ingredients: (Original Vanilla Version)

Dough:

  • ¼ cup Milk, heated to 110°
  • 1 ½ tsp. Rapid-Rise or Instant Yeast
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 ½ cups Bread Flour
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, softened & cut into pieces

Topping:

  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp. Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tbsp. Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 2 tbsp. Confectioner’s Sugar (Powdered Sugar)

Formula:

  1. For Dough: Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 200°. When the oven is preheated to 200°, turn it off. Line an 8-in. square baking pan with foil. Grease the foil and a medium sized bowl. 
  2. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix milk and yeast on low speed until the yeast dissolves. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour and mix until combined. Increase the speed to medium-low and add butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated, then continue mixing for 5 minutes. Transfer batter prepared bowl, cover with plastic, and place in the warmed oven. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Spread the dough into the prepared pan. Heat oven to 350°.
  3. For Topping: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter, and cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add corn syrup, egg, and vanilla until combined. Add flour and pudding mix and continue mixing until just incorporated. Portion dollops of topping evenly over batter, then spread into an even layer.
  4. Once oven is fully heated, bake until exterior is golden and center of topping is just beginning to color. The center will still jiggle slightly when you shake the pan, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan at least 3 hours. Use the foil overhang to lift the cake out of the pan. Dust the cake with some confectioner’s sugar. Serve. If the entire cake is not completely consumed at once the cake can be refrigerated for 2 days. 
 

Alternate Versions:

Chocolate Fudge Gooey Butter Cake

Following the formula above make the following adjustments. For the dough, replace 3 tbsp. flour with an equal amount of Dutch-Processed Cocoa powder. For the topping, substitute 3 tbsp. instant Chocolate Fudge pudding mix for the vanilla pudding mix.

Butterscotch Gooey Butter Cake

Following the formula above make the following adjustments. For the dough, substitute ¼ cup packed light brown sugar for the granulated sugar. For the topping, substitute 3 tbsp. instant Butterscotch pudding mix for the vanilla pudding mix.

Special Thanks To:


Cali Rich

Peter Mendoros – Photography

Jello Brand Pudding © 2012 Kraft Foods

Karo Brand Syrup © 2012 ACH Food Companies, Inc.


All remaining content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012


Creamy Walnut Fudge

Ahhh candy making… the most delightful idea to the home baker because we all know how yummy candy is and how great it would be to make it whenever you crave it and make it exactly how you want it without having to conform to the candy aisle options at the local supermarket. Sadly, candy making adventures for most end up a sticky scorched mess rather than that dreamy homemade snickers bar or in this case… fudge. Of course there are always some tricks of the trade out there which can make things a heck of a lot easier.

 The most obvious but often overlooked is the simple task of stirring the fudge constantly to prevent scorching. I know how easy it is to give in to that female desire to multitask but it never ends well. You stir the pot and walk away for what seems like two seconds only to return to a scorched sticky mess glued to the bottom of the pan and smoking up the kitchen. No matter how tempted…DON’T let the fudge leave your sight while it is over the heat. Second trick is in the filling. Many recipes will call for heavy cream but the problem with heavy cream is its susceptibility to heat. In the matter of seconds, if the cream becomes too hot, it will separate and then there is no going back and waste is never delightful in this day and age. The trick is to use evaporated milk, which is more stable over heat and it especially caters to the home baker who isn’t exactly sure of the warning signs when cream is too hot, well until it is too late and already separated… we all know how it goes. It has happened to us all, professional or hobby enthusiast.

The final problematic aspect to fudge is achieving the fluffy, light texture. For most, fudge either finishes too loosely or is to dry and flaky…never just right. The secret, believe it or not, is Marshmallow Fluff. Marshmallow Fluff is cheap, provides the necessary light and fluffy texture without having to beat the fudge into submission and cause a sore arm for the rest of the day. Another added perk of the fluffy white stuff is its prevention of the sugar crystallizing, which if allowed to happen, would turn that dreamy smooth texture into a gritty mess reminiscent of a day at the beach. Grit is never good even at the beach, and especially not in your fudge! To ensure that all of this cautiousness results perfect fudge far better than store-bought… I suggest you invest in an instant read candy thermometer. Much of the problems involving fudge and its wide range of bad results really begins with the question of when to remove the confection from the heat. Many home bakers judge by eye because they either don’t own a thermometer or  the formula is vague and never mentions a proper temperature. With any candy making venture, I always prefer to leave ego aside and grab that trusty thermometer for good measure. The candy thermometer is like another pair of eyes. When you’re not sure the thermometer is there to monitor the situation and give you the go ahead for the proper time to remove the fudge from heat. If undercooked, the fudge will never solidify. If overcooked, the fudge will turn crumbly. There is a very small window between the two extremes and the happy number to look for is 234°-235°. When the mixture hits that number, pull it off the heat as fast as you can then let it cool slightly before adding the chocolate. If you don’t wait to add the chocolate until it has at least cooled to about 200°, you run the risk of separating the chocolate.  Despite all of fudge’s possible complications, nothing is sweeter than producing your own favorite flavored fudge. Although the following formula adds walnuts, don’t limit yourself to the possible flavorings you could add. You could try other nuts, such as pecans if you don’t prefer walnuts or maybe you’re a oreo fanatic. Fudge doesn’t discriminate…so play with your favorite flavors and enjoy!!!

Creamy Walnut Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 (12 oz.) can Evaporated Milk
  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter
  • 2 cups Walnuts, toasted & coarsely chopped
  • 1 (8 oz.) jar Marshmallow Fluff
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 12 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
  • 8 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped

Formula:

  1.  Line a 13×9 in. pan with aluminum foil. Bring the sugar, milk, and butter to a boil in a large pan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is light tan in color and registers 234°-235° on an instant read thermometer.
  2. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the walnuts, Marshmallow Fluff, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Allow the mixture to cool to 200°.
  3. Once slightly cooled, mix in the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and refrigerate, uncovered, until firm, at least 4 hours.
  4. Once set, remove the fudge from the pan and cut into uniforms squares or desired shapes. Fudge can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one month.

Special Thanks to: Marshmallow Fluff ® & Diane Unger-Mahoney

(Mentions of Marshmallow Fluff® are ©2011 Durkee-Mower Inc.)

All remaining content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012