I received a Pizzelle oven for my birthday from my super sister, needless to say that I have been on a Pizzelle-athon ever since.  I love a good Tiramisu, so why not substitute the lady fingers for a round crispy almond flavored pizzelle and layer it like a napoleon!  Here we go!

Amaretto Pizzelle (you will have extra pizzelles, but I had no problem chomping them, just make sure to save 16 for 4 Pizzelle Tiramisu)

  • 1 3/4 Cup Cake Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Butter, melted than cooled
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. Almond Extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Amaretto

Sift the flour and baking powder together.  In a bowl whisk sugar and eggs until well combined.  Pour in melted butter and flavorings, whisk until incorporated.  Using a rubber spatula mix in the dry ingredients.

Heat up your pizelle oven until it is hot.  I have learned to keep a bowl of veggie oil with a pastry brush nearby, because I had to oil the griddle each time I made a new pizzelle.  This is time consuming and if you aren’t in the mood, just buy some Almond flavored pizzelles at the store, you will need sixteen total to make four Pizzelle Tiramisus. (plural?)

As you are baking off the pizzelles, you can make your fillings.

  • 8 oz Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla

Beat whipped cream until soft, then slowly add sugar until the cream is stiff, add in vanilla. Don’t overbeat or it will turn into butter!

Divide the whipped cream into 2 bowls.

Amaretto Cream

With the one half of the whipped cream  mix in 1 Tblsp. of Amaretto, this is not for the kiddos, because we will not be cooking out the liquor. A small sample bottle of Amaretto is plenty for this recipe and also a little extra for the baker!

Espresso Marscapone Cream

With the other half of the whipped cream mix in 4 oz Marscapone Cheese and 1 1/2 tsp. Instant Espresso Coffee

Put both creams into the frig to stay cold.

Take a 6 oz bag of Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips and pulse them in the Cuisinart until finely chopped, set aside 1/2 cup into a small bowl and plop in 1 1/2 tsp Crisco, microwave until melted at 30 second intervals, stir, this will take 1 minute total.

Set up your assembly station, let the fun begin!

On a platter lay one pizzelle, then either using a spoon or a pastry bag with no tip, put a layer of Espresso Marscapone Cream, a generous sprinkle of finely chopped chocolate then a pizzelle, then a layer of Amaretto Cream, generous sprinkle of finely chopped chocolate, pizzelle, Espresso Marscapone Cream, the last sprinkle of finely chopped chocolate, then a topper of the pizzelle (approximately  2 Tblsp. of creams in between each layer.)  On the top pizzelle I drizzled 1 Tblsp. of Amaretto, for an extra almond punch.  When assembling the next  Pizzelle Tiramisu start with the Amaretto cream first, so you don’t run out of either flavor.  Use the melted chocolate and zig zag it over the top pizzelle.

If you have some cocoa powder, or you can even use a packet of Swiss Miss Cocoa, dust the top using a fine mesh strainer.

I like this look, you can decorate with a strawberry fan or fresh raspberries on the side.  Go crazy with the sifted cocoa, even on the plate surrounding the dessert.

You can serve it now, while the pizzelles are still crisp, I wrapped them up in saran wrap overnight so the flavors have a chance to mingle and the pizzelles could slightly soften.

If you are not a fan of caffeine you can find decaf instant espresso.  This is what I should of used, I was quite awake after eating one.  This is very rich, but it sure will put a “zing” into your Spring!

Easter Chocolate Malted Trifle

I came up with another goodie for Easter.  But this time with my favorite ingredient: Chocolate.  I made this in a Trifle bowl, but if you don’t have one use any large clear glass bowl, or individual fancy glasses, like a martini glass.  You would have to cut the cake pieces smaller if using individual glasses.

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake

  • 2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Hershey Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Veg Oil
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Boiling water

Heat Oven to 350 degrees, grease and sprinkle with cocoa powder, either a 3/4 sheet pan, or two jelly roll pans. Combine all dry ingredients.  Then add eggs, milk, veg oil and vanilla.  Mix until combined.  Add in boiling water, mix thoroughly.  Batter will be quite thin. Bake for 30 minutes, may be less if using two jelly roll pans.  Cool and put into freezer.  I freeze the cake because it makes it much easier to cut into small squares.  After about an hour or two cut into approximately 2″x 2″ squares, remember we are not looking for perfection.

While cake is freezing make Chocolate Pudding.

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup + 3 Tblsp Cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Cup Milk
  • 4 Egg Yolks (beaten in a bowl)
  • 2 Tblsp Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 6 0z Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan.  Add milk. Cook and stir until thickened and boiling, about 10 minutes.  Take off heat and pour a small amount into beaten egg yolks.  This is to temper the egg yolks so they do not curdle.  Pour tempered egg yolks into the rest of the mixture in the saucepan and wire whisk back onto the flame.  Boil and stir for 1 minute.  Take off the stove and add butter, vanilla and chips.  Whisk until butter and chips are melted.  Pour into a shallow dish and cover with saran wrap.  Refrigerate for 2 hours, until cool.

Additional ingredients needed:

  • 1 13.75 oz bag Large Robin Eggs (Easter Egg Malt Balls)
  • 1 16 oz container Cool Whip

Pulse Robin eggs a handful at a time in cuisinart, keep them in small pieces for texture (not dust!)

Divide Cool Whip into 4 parts, approximately 1 cup for folding into cooled chocolate pudding. This will make the pudding easier to spread in layers, also makes it mousse-like.  The other 3 parts of Cool Whip dye pastel shades and put into pastry bags.

Now is time for the assembling:  Start with cake cubes on bottom of Trifle bowl, or martini glasses.  We will be building 3 layers of each item.  Next is the pudding, spread pudding to edge of glass so you can see it from the sides, then a third of the crushed Robin eggs, lastly the tinted Cool Whip, I piped 3 dollops of each color up against glass Trifle bowl, this is so you can see the colors on the side of the bowl.  Continue layering, cake cubes, pudding, crushed Robin eggs and the tinted pastel Cool Whip.  The top will have the crushed Robin eggs, use the extra Cool Whip to decorate a border on top and use extra whole Robin eggs and even a marshmallow bunny to make it fun.  Use your imagination!You can see how pretty this looks from the side of the Trifle Bowl.  Very simple to make, but it looks quite elegant! The taste is ohh so chocolately, with the dark, moist and rich cake,the crushed malted Robin eggs for crunch and the silkiness of the chocolate pudding.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours before dinner, even better the day after.

Easter Jelly Bean Cake

I made this recipe up many years ago, I thought of it as I was noshing on some jelly beans. This is a very simple recipe to throw together for a lovely Easter dessert.

The day or two before buy a 11.25 Ounce bag of Brach’s fruit flavored jelly beans, take out the black licorice beans, these are too strong of a flavor.  Lay the beans on a tray or rectangle pan and freeze for at least 24 hours.  Why freeze them?  Because we are going to pulse them in a food processor. Take a handful at a time and give them a good couple of minutes whirl in your food processor (cuisinart) this is the most time consuming step.  This will be rather loud, don’t be alarmed it will not break your blade.

Pour the jelly bean powder, you will still have some pieces of the beans, into a fine mesh strainer, continue with the rest of the frozen beaners. Sift out the jelly bean powder, this is what we will use in the frosting.

Easy Easter Cake

  • 2 boxes of White Cake Mix, prepared as directed
  • 3 teaspoons Orange Extract
  • 2 teaspoons Orange Zest

Mix together. Pour half of the batter evenly into four greased 9″ springform pans, or cake pans. With the other half of the batter, divide it into 3 small bowls and using food coloring gel, dye them some pretty spring colors.  I used violet, orange and pink. This is what I had in the cupboard. Now using a soup spoon dollop each color over your white cake batter, I used three spoonfuls of each color.It is looking like a Picasso!  Now take a knife and cut through the colors to swirl them together, looks like Easter egg dye!  Make sure to swirl the colors almost to the bottom of the cake pans.Bake as directed on the cake box mix. Let cool until lukewarm, if you don’t have a cooling rack remember to use an extra oven rack, make sure it’s not a hot one. Invert cakes onto wax paper, it will make it easier to stack when we put it together. At this point you can wrap and freeze the layers if you like then pull them out when you want to assemble the cake.

“Jelly Bean Dust” Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 1  16 ounce Cool Whip (thawed)
  • 1 8 ounce Cool Whip (thawed)
  • 1 Cup Jelly Bean Powder (aka Jelly Bean Dust)
  • 2 teaspoons Orange Extract

Fold all the ingredients together. How easy is this! The frosting will be soft, if you would like it a little thicker just put it into the freezer for about 15 minutes.  Place one cake layer onto a cake board or cake plate, use about 1/4 cup of frosting between each layer and proceed with the other three layers of cake.  Now ice top and sides of cake.  I used a plain cut disposable pastry bag for decorating the top and bottom border.  I like the spike look, kind of looks like meringue. Decorate with Jelly Beans and marshmallow peeps.  

This cake must be refrigerated because of the whipped cream, very fruity, light and you will be amazed how the Cool Whip tastes just like jelly beans.

When you cut the cake the colors will have your guests oohing and aahing at the Easter table. You can add more colors if you like, this seems to be a trend to color your cake batter I think it does make a great presentation. Happy Easter!

Buttery Brioche in Muffin Tins

I didn’t plan on a French recipe again, but I made some Chicken Noodle Soup and I wanted a buttery bun to go with it. Because Brioche has eggs and butter in the recipe this is the bun I am after, soft, tender and buttery inside.

I don’t have a special Brioche pan, so I use my Jumbo muffin pan, if you only have a regular size muffin pan then this recipe will make 24, compared to 12 for the Jumbo pan.

Flaky Butter Brioches

  • 4 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 pkg Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Butter (one stick)
  • 3 eggs (2 for dough, 1 for egg wash)

Butter your Jumbo muffin tin, or 2 regular muffin tins (24 total)

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast into a mixing bowl.  Heat up the milk and butter until the butter melts.  Don’t let it come to a boil, you can test the temperature of the milk on your wrist, like checking the temperature of a baby bottle.(120 degree)  Pour warmed milk and butter into the flour mixture, blend on low speed, add the 2 eggs and mix together on medium speed for 3 minutes. By hand, mix in an additional 2 Cups of flour. On a floured table knead in another 1/4 Cup of flour for about 3 minutes.  This is the only knead time for this dough.

If you are making 24 buns, cut the dough into 4 equal parts,  set one part to the side, cut the remaining 3 big parts into 8 pieces each, giving you 24 pieces.  You can eyeball the size while cutting.  With the one part that is unused, cut into 24 small pieces. Now roll the 24 larger pieces into balls and place them into the greased muffin tins.  With the 24 smaller pieces roll them into balls, with your pointer finger make a deep indentation into the balls in the tin and top each with a small ball.  Press down on the smaller ball to make sure it is secured.

If using the Jumbo muffin tin, as I did, then you will cut the dough into 4 equal parts, then take 3 parts and cut them into 4 each, making a total of 12 pieces.  Proceed as above, roll them and put them into the muffin tins.  With the last part of dough cut that into 12 pieces and roll into little balls.  Topping the larger balls with the smaller ones.

Cover, let rise 45 minutes.  I usually let them rise in the oven, away from any drafts when it is cold in my kitchen.  If I don’t need both oven racks I take out one and use it as a cooling rack.  I never bought a cooling rack because this works the same.

Uncover the Brioches, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees,  Brush them with the remaining beaten egg.  This will give them a nice golden sheen. Bake for 22 minutes, odd amount I know, but any longer they tend to be dry.  They will be a nice golden brown.  Take out of tins and put on a cooling rack, don’t use top ball to pull them out of tins, use a spatula, I tried pulling with the top ball and of course the ball pop off. (now a brioche without its’ traditional shape)I prefer to eat them warm, pull them apart and put a pat of butter on them. Just like an oreo cookie some people save the middle for last, with a Brioche I save the top ball for last! The texture is tender and moist inside, with the outside somewhat crisp.  They were something different to serve with soup, rather than the usual crackers. Another easy French inspired recipe.  I especially like the short kneading time.  If you think the toppers are too big, you can always make the top balls smaller.  Just an afterthought as I looked at these Brioches, they could easily look like a peep for Easter dinner, after they cool use a skewer to put three holes into the top ball, two for eyes, one for the beak and fill the eyes with a raisin that has been cut in half, then use a whole raisin for the beak!