Monday, November 28, 2011

Nutella Brownie Pie, revisited

Since my initial post about Nutella Brownie pie, I've made it again twice. Once for a church pie auction (it sold for $85!), and recently for a friend's birthday party.

Ding dang delicious.

The previous recipe I had was fine. However, I've made some changes that I think might improve your pie making experience.

Nutella Brownie Pie (revised)
1 pie crust, 9 inches (Whatever pie crust you use is fine. I recently used a store bought graham cracker crust that saved time, and tasted great with the filling)
2 batches of Nutella brownie recipe by Abby Dodge (3 batches took a longer cooking time, and the edges of the pie tended to overcook. Still delicious, but 2 batch maximum is best.)
Top with whipped cream, whipped topping, or Dream Whip. Lots of it.
  1. If making your own, prepare the crust ahead of time.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Make the batter by whisking eggs and Nutella in a bowl until smooth.
  4. Add flour, and whisk until blended.
  5. Pour batter into your pie crust. Bake for 20-30 min. You don't want to thoroughly cook this pie, so that it gets soft, gooey, and fudgy in the middle. Place on cooling rack.
  6. After pie has cooled for about 2 hours, top with whipped cream. (Just make sure the pie is not warm so that the cream doesn't melt!)
  7. You can also melt a tbsp of Nutella with 1/4 of chocolate chips in a Ziploc sandwich bag, snip a small corner of the bag, and then drizzle melted chocolate on top of the whipped cream. 
  8. Note: To make this even more chocolate-y, add chocolate chips to the batter.
 The holidays are here, so that provides a good excuse for you to make this pie...Not that you really need an excuse to try this!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Update on Thanksgiving Recipes

A few days ago, I posted about these pumpkin cakes for Thanksgiving. Since we're having a potluck at church on Sunday, I decided to try them both. Here are the results: I definitely recommend the pumpkin gooey cake. It's got great flavor and texture. If you like a super moist, very dense pumpkin bread, then you'll also enjoy the pumpkin spice cake. 

Makeover Pumpkin Gooey Cake      

I hate pumpkin pie, and don't usually like pumpkin flavored things, but this pumpkin gooey cake is delicious. It's baked just until the middle sets a bit, or the edges brown, and then you're done. It has a buttery, almost custard-like pumpkin layer, but it's not dense. It's light and fluffy, even though it's soft. The cream cheese is a nice counterpoint to the pumpkin flavor. Also, make sure to use cinnamon AND nutmeg

Things I did differently from the recipe: 
  • store was out of reduced fat cream cheese, so I used regular
  • regular butter instead of 1/2 fat butter
  • 2 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar seems plenty (remember that the 2nd cake layer is also sweet)
  • I didn't have yellow cake mix, so I used carrot cake mix. The spices in it went well with the pumpkin layer!
  • 3 whole eggs instead of 2 whole + 2 egg whites
  • If you're using an aluminum pan, reduce oven temp to 325 degrees F
Pumpkin Spice Cake
I thought that I would enjoy this pumpkin spice cake more than the pumpkin gooey cake, but compared to the other cake, it's a bit underwhelming. The flavor is good...there's a nice balance of cocoa, cinnamon, and nutmeg. However, when I cut into the cake, it was super dense. Chocolate chips provide texture variation compared to the density of the cake, though I think the addition of walnuts would have helped more.

Things I did differently from the recipe:
  • instead of 1 1/2 cups sugar, add 1 c. white sugar + 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 3 whole eggs instead of 2 eggs + 2 egg whites
  • omitted allspice and cloves (don't have it!), added more cinnamon and sugar
  • omit 1/2 cup raisins
  • added 1/2 cup chocolate chips instead of 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (be sure to coat chips in flour so they don't sink in the batter)
  • substituted 1/2 buttermilk with 1/2 sour milk
  • substituted 1/3 cup water with 1/3 cup sour milk
 Reading the reviews of the recipe, it seems that I'm not the only one whose cake was dense. So maybe it's supposed to be that way? It could be under-baked, but I'm afraid of how brown the outside might look had I baked it longer. Anyway, it has wonderful flavor, but I wouldn't call it a cake. It might make more sense to call it a dense pumpkin bread...But what's worse? Super dense or super dry cake?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Thanksgiving Recipe

Hello everyone! You may remember from my series of posts last year that Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday. I basically make the same thing every year, but I do have a few new recipes that I'll be trying out.

Photo source: Taste of Home
Makeover Pumpkin Gooey Cake by Taste of Home may not seem as healthy as advertised. However, check out Paula Deen's version which uses a BOX OF POWDERED SUGAR, and you'll see the improvements of the Taste of Home recipe.

Photo source: Taste of Home
This Pumpkin Spice Cake has the addition of cocoa and chocolate chips. So it appeals to those (like me) who want Fall flavor of pumpkin and spices, but outside of a pumpkin pie. Also, I just bought a beautiful Nordicware Bundt cake pan from Goodwill, and want to use it!

Chau's Thanksgiving Turkey, 2010
That's the turkey that I made last year using a brining method. For those who prefer smaller portioned chicken for their meal, I recommend the following recipe. It was sent to me by my sister Kim. I've copied and pasted her recipe so that I don't leave out any ingredients. It certainly sounds interesting...


Here is a chicken recipe that also includes the use of
popcorn as a stuffing -- imagine that. When I found this recipe, I
thought it was perfect for people like me, who just are not sure
how to tell when poultry is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out.
Give this a try.

4 - 5 lb. Chicken
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is Good.)
1 cup uncooked popcorn (Orville Redenbacher's Low Fat
   is good here)
Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush chicken well with
melted butter, salt, and pepper. Fill cavity with stuffing
and popcorn. Place in baking pan with the neck end toward
the back of the oven. Listen for the popping sounds.....

When the chicken's ass blows the oven door open and the
chicken flies across the room and lands on the table,
it's done and ready to eat.

Thanksgiving posts you might enjoy:
Preparing for Thanksgiving
More Turkey Talk
Sweet Talk
One More Thing About Dessert...