Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A friendly kitchen

Kitchen with a warm heart.
I'm usually drawn to more contemporary kitchens, but i just love the warmth of this kitchen.
I think it looks very "friendly".  I'd love to plan a brunch here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Prince William's Yummy Chocolate Crunch Bars

I couldn't help but read about this dessert since i adore just about anything having to do with Prince William and his bride.  These seem to be the Brits' version of our rice krispy treats.  Maybe that's why i insisted on adding marshmallow fluff!

I made and tested them at the office, figuring if they're a hit i would bring them to Beth & Richard's on the 4th.  Elliot, Rosa and Karen loved them (even with the raisins).  I never heard from Laurence and Jessica, so i'm thinking that it was too sweet for them, or Debbie forgot to bring them home and they're still in her car.  (Oh no!)

Ingredients --
  • 1 box of graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup of golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup of chopped nuts (i used peanuts)
  • 1 jar of marshmallow fluff (optional; this was not in the original recipe)
  • 5 ounces of milk chocolate
  • 5 ounces of dark chocolate
  • 1 stick of butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 14oz can of condensed milk
      For the topping --
  • 9 ounces of dark chocolate 
In a large bowl, mash all of the graham crackers.  I found it easiest to use the bottom of a small metal bowl.
Add marshmallow fluff, raisins and nuts.
Melt both chocolates, butter and condensed milk.  (I suggest doing this slowly so that the chocolate doesn't burn.)
Add it to the graham cracker mixture and stir.
Pour into a parchment-lined, 11x7" baking dish.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

The original recipe calls for melting 5 ounces of dark chocolate and pouring over the refrigerated mixture.  But i wanted to temper the chocolate so that it didn't melt in your hands.  Tempering is actually easy, but takes patience.  You'll see i have a cheat sheet i keep in my baking drawer.  You need to slowly heat the chocolate to 115° and then take it off the stove and let it cool to 84°.  It can take a while to cool down, so one trick is to add more finely chopped chocolate -- about 1/3 as much as you melted.  Once it cools to 84°, put it back on the stove and heat to 90°.  You can then remove and pour on top of the chilled pan of chocolate crunch cake.  You'll see the chocolate start to harden.

My cheat sheet

Buon appetito!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

One happy kitchen!

I find this to be one happy kitchen.

I'm guessing the pots and pans are this organized.