Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

Everyone loves a good brownie. After making last week’s knockout Olive Oil Cake with the Limoncello Mascarpone Cream, I had a bit of mascarpone cheese left over. Being that mascarpone is not cheap, I wanted to make sure it was put to good use. I was torn between these brownies, and a tiramisu panna cotta, but Paul voted for the brownies, so here we are!

These brownies are so easy to make! It’s a one-bowl recipe, which is always nice for clean up at the end. Everything is mixed into one large bowl, poured into the pan, and baked. Maybe 10 minutes of work went into these brownies.

I love easy recipes with high-yield results. It makes life so much better, knowing that there are some recipes out there specifically designed to get you dessert with minimal effort. And whoooo boy! These brownies!

Brownies are so good. I’m a center-piece lover, but you also can’t go wrong with an edge piece.

These brownies are rich and decadent, and not too sweet. They go well with a huge glass of milk. The inside is a little fudgy, but this is a winning variation on a classic brownie.

Ingredients

Yield: 1 8×8 inch pan of brownies

For the brownies:

1 c. butter
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 c. sugar
½ c. cocoa powder
½ c. mascarpone cheese, softened
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
½ c. flour
¼ tsp. salt

For the ganache:

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 tbsp. heavy cream
3 tbsp. butter

To make the brownies, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8 inch baking dish with butter, or parchment paper.

In a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl, heat the chocolate and butter on 30 second increments, stirring after each heating. Continue until both are melted and smooth.

Sift in the sugar and cocoa powder, and whisk together. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese, eggs, and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Fold in the flour and salt.

Pour batter into prepared baking dish, smoothing out top. Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.

Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

To make the ganache, place chocolate in a small, heat-proof mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and butter until almost boiling, and pour over chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds, then whisk together into a smooth, thick ganache.

Pour ganache over cooled brownies, allow to set up and cool, then slice and serve.

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Olive Oil Cake with Limoncello Mascarpone Cream

I have to be honest. I didn’t come up with this combination.

I was visiting a friend of mine in Lethbridge, and we went on a dinner date to a new Italian restaurant in town. We split one of their desserts: an olive oil cake with a limoncello mascarpone cream sauce. It was absolutely heavenly.

Well, my friend Jericka told me I HAD to try and recreate the cake at home, and I was up for the challenge. I mean, it was just an olive oil cake. The cream part was a little more complicated. I wasn’t sure about all of the meshing of the flavours, but then sure enough, Jericka found a recipe for just the cream we were looking for.

The original recipe for the cake was found here, and the recipe for the cream was here. Not going to lie, I made a few changes that I have reflected below in the recipe. Looking at the comments for the cake, I reduced the amount of olive oil ever so slightly, and switched out the orange flavourings for lemon. For the cream, I just used the cream part of the recipe, and whipped it by hand for about 5 minutes. I didn’t want a full-on whipped cream, so I stopped when it was thicker, at just barely soft peaks.

The cake and the cream paired perfectly together, and reminded me exactly of the cake I was attempting to recreate. I call that a success!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 inch round cake or 1 10 inch Bundt with cream

For the cake:

2 c. flour
1¾ c. sugar
1½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
1 c. olive oil
1¼ c. milk
3 eggs
1½ tbsp. grated lemon zest (or ½ tsp. lemon extract)
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. limoncello liqueur

For the cream:

¾ c. chilled whipping cream
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. limoncello liqueur

To make the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Liberally grease a 9 inch cake pan that is at least two inches tall. If you don’t have a pan that tall, use a springform pan or a Bundt pan. Make sure every corner is sprayed down with oil. If using a circular pan, line the bottom with parchment. If using a Bundt pan, use A LOT of oil to make sure that the cake comes out. (Mine stuck a bit… just warning you.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, milk, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest (or extract), and limoncello. Add in the dry ingredients, and whisk together until just combined.

Transfer batter to cake pan, and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven, and cool in pan for 30 minutes. Remove from cake pan, and allow to cool completely.

To make the limoncello cream, in a medium bowl, whisk together the cream, sugar, limoncello, and cheese. Whisk vigorously until mixture thickens to soft peaks, about 5-7 minutes.

To serve, slice cake, and top with cream.

Champagne Pound Cake

Happy New Year!

It’s officially 2019, and what’s a better way to ring in the New Year than with a dessert that involves champagne! (And by champagne, I mean sparkling wine, because real champagne is expensive!)

Paul and I had a few people for New Years, and the next day, we found ourselves with two full bottles of leftover champagne. I decided that the best way to use this leftover champagne was with baking, and boy, was I right!

I found a bunch of recipes for champagne cakes and cupcakes, but the day I made this, I really didn’t want something too complicated. This recipe was perfect. Everything mixes up in the bowl of a mixer, it’s easy, doesn’t have too many ingredients, and cleanup was minimal. Win-win!

The only thing I changed was to reduce the rest of the champagne with a little bit of sugar to make a potent champagne reduction to use as a soaking syrup. Trust me, this recipe seems like a lot of ingredients, but it’s totally worth it.

Pop a bottle, celebrate the New Year, and eat cake!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 10-inch Bundt cake

For the cake:

1¼ c. butter, softened
2½ c. sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
¼ tsp. salt
3¼ c. flour
1 c. champagne

For the champagne soaking syrup:

1½ c. champagne
1/3 c. sugar

For the icing:

¼ c. champagne
1-2 c. icing sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan generously.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream the butter 1-2 minutes, until light and creamy. With the mixer on the slowest speed, slowly add in the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.

Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition so that each egg is fully incorporated before you add the next one.

Add in the flour, a cup at a time, and the salt, beating until just combined.

Take off of mixer, and add in the champagne, and fold in with a rubber spatula until batter is smooth.

Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 and a half hours, until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean. Start checking at 45 minutes.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

As the cake is baking, combine the champagne and sugar for the soaking syrup in a small saucepan, and reduce on medium heat until about a quarter of the mixture remains.

Brush the syrup over the warm cake, top and bottom, to help it absorb.

When cake is cool, whisk together the champagne and the icing sugar to a thick, yet pourable consistency and drizzle over top of cake.