Saturday, May 5, 2012

Mousse Filled Brownie Bites

Brownie Batter

You will need:
1/3 Cup of Unsalted Butter
1/3 Cup of Shortening
      (or 2/3 Cup of either)
1-1/2 Cups of Packed Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. of Strong Coffee
2 Eggs
1-1/2 Cups of Flour
1/3 Cup of Hershey's Cocoa
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Tsp. Baking Soda

Beat shortening (and/or butter), brown sugar, water and vanilla in mixing bowl (by hand or beaters) until blended. Add eggs and blend well.

Butter vs. Shortening:

In my recipe, I use both butter and shortening because the shortening brings fluffliness to the cookie while the butter adds the flavor that compliments the chocolate! If you want a lighter version of this, just use shortening.

In separate bowl, Stir together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Gradually add to sugar mixture by hand or low speed with hand beater. Chill in refridgerator for about 20-30 minutes.

Chocolate Mousse
You will need:
1-1/2 Cups of Heavy Cream
5 oz. of Semi-sweet Bakers Chocolate pieces
4 Egg Whites (medium-large sized eggs)
2 Tbsps. Sugar
Mini Chocolate Chips

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a near boil (stirring frequently) and turn off heat. Add Chocolate pieces to hot mixture and blend well with a whisk. Cover and place in fridge until cold. In the meantime, take

4 eggs whites and beat with mixer (on high) until soft peaks form. Add 2 Tbsps. sugar and continue mixing on high until stiff. Take Chocolate mixture from fridge and fold into (with a spatula) the egg white mixture gently until thoroughly incorporated. Cover and place in fridge.

Take a mini muffin pan sheet and fill each one with brownie batter to about 3/4 full (ungreased) and push your thumb in the middle to create a "cup" (this will allow it cook thoroughly) and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and remove from muffin pan.

Take a thin sharp knife and begin cutting a hole in the center of each muffin - you can use a small spoon to dig out the center. Remove the Mousse from the fridge and place mixture in a piping bag (or a large ziplock type bag and cut a small piece off the corner) and pipe Mousse into center of each brownie muffin. Top off with mini chocolate chips!

Bon Appetite!

Ultimate Italian Grilled Cibatta Cheese Sandwich


Cibatta Bread (sliced)
Fresh Mozzarella
Provolone Cheese (sliced thick)
Sliced Tomatoes
Parmesan Cheese
Asiago Cheese
Pesto (recipe follows)
Roasted Garlic

Lightly butter one side of the sliced Ciabatta bread. Grate about 1 cup of cheeses and blend together (Asiago & Parmesan) and sprinkle on top of buttered slices and pat down lightly. Turn bread slices over on a sheet of wax paper and spread slices with Pesto.

Pesto Recipe:

1 Cup of Fresh Basil
1/4 Cup of Pine Nuts
1/2 Cup of Parmesan & Asiago Cheese
1/2 Bulb of Roasted Garlic
1/4 Cup of Olive
Salt & Pepper
Using a food processor, add Basil, Pine Nuts and Parmesan Cheese. Blend until finely chopped. Add Garlic, S&P. With Processor on, slowly add olive oil until it becomes a spreadable consistency.

Begin layering the provolone cheese, then the prosciutto (you may opt to place prosciutto on cookie sheet and bake for a few minutes to "crisp" up before assembling), then thickly sliced fresh mozzarella, the sliced tomato and one more slice of provolone cheese.

Place the other half of the prepared bread on top (cheese side up). Place sandwiches in medium heated pan and fry until golden brown - pressing the sandwiches down when turning over.

(Optional) - You may finely chop sundried tomatoes and add them to the Pesto and eliminate the tomato

Bon Appetite!