Browned Butter Weekend Cake

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The recipe says the cake is best if it can sit after baking and be eaten the “next” day…even stretching it out over a weekend.  Well, it probably helps if you don’t have a lot of people wanting a slice but I can say it was eaten promptly with no leftovers. 🙂

The general consensus from my tasters was that everyone expected it to be a more typical pound cake but it just wasn’t.  It was a lot more moist and had more flavor.  Two people commented it seemed like a “vanilla wafer cake”.  Interesting analogy but I totally got it.

The best part about this cake, besides everyone loving it, was just how easy it was.  I think the only thing that was a little daunting was getting the “browned butter” right and not ending up as Dorie states on the other side with “blackened butter”  I watched it very closely and had no problem.  I would totally make this again…easy and delicious!

Granola Energy Bar Update…seeing as some people got crunchy and some people got chewy granola bars, I took the advice from fellow bakers and tried these again!  This time I used regular corn syrup instead of the brown rice syrup and got a much chewier bar….more of what I was expecting.   I also added the mini chocolate chips after the other mixture had cooled and they stayed whole!  They tasted much better…I am glad I tried these again, so thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

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Granola Energy Bars

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Since I am a granola/granola bar eater, I was looking forward to this recipe.  It is one of those recipes that you can alter any of the ingredients as long as you keep the amounts consistent.  I opted to keep it close to the original using almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkins seeds and dried cranberries.  The only thing I changed was to substitute mini chocolate chips for the coconut. 🙂  Dorrie had commented that using brown rice syrup is the key to binding all the ingredients together. I thought that would be hard to find but my local produce store carried it.

Super simple recipe; heat the syrup and butter and mix all ingredients together.  I don’t know what I was thinking but I had pictured my bars looking like the Quaker granola bars with the mini chocolate chips all intact.  Mine melted…

I was expecting a chewy bar with mini chocolate chips and it turned out more like a crunchy, chocolate looking granola bar.  Maybe they were over cooked but I followed the recipe.  I will be curious if others had a chewy or crunchy bar.  I was really hoping these would be great, but they fell short for me.  Such a bummer…but oh well, onto the next recipe!

Inside-out Upside-down Tirami Su

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The recipe describes this one: instead of a soft cake soaked in warm espresso syrup, this one is all crunch and chill; little “pillows” caramelized with sugar and ginger layered with a cappuccino granita and mascarpone sabayon.  What…you don’t know what granita or sabayon is???  Me either 😉

Granita: a semi frozen dessert, somewhere between a sorbet and a sno cone.  It is made from a sweetened liquid, placed in a shallow container in the fridge.  Using a fork or spoon you scrape it up to form the “granita”  In this case, the liquids are: cold brewed espresso, skim milk and a simple syrup

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Sabayon: an Italian dessert or beverage made with egg yolks and sugar.  It is a light custard whipped to incorporate a large amount of air.  It is customarily served with berries or peaches in a champagne glass.  It can be finished by adding whipped cream.  In our case we will be adding a whipped cream and mascarpone filling to the mixture.

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Always cool to learn something new!

Basically, this dessert seems really fancy and there is a few steps, but nothing is very hard.   I did make a couple of adjustments based on what ingredients I had at home: I substituted a strongly brewed coffee for the espresso and also used a puffed pastry bottom.  I had some phyllo dough in the freezer, I couldn’t have had it very long but as I was looking at the use by date, it said better if used by 12/13… I am sure it probably would have been fine, but me…when in doubt, throw it out.  So we had puffed pastry bottoms.  I actually think this might have been a great modification and you only need one on the bottom instead of a top and bottom of the phyllo.  Here they are with the caramelized sugar on top.

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Make the granita

Cook up the sabayon/add in the whipped cream and mascarpone

Cook your phyllo “pillows”

Assemble and Voila!

The only thing that was difficult for me was the timing to get this dessert out to my tasters! I didn’t want the granita to melt!!  My dad drove over, I assembled the two for my parents and he took off.  This is his text to me later:

“Got home in 10min.  Ate the dessert in 15 seconds.  Really good!  Definitely a keeper!”