Nutella is awesome. Alcohol is awesome. Combine the two, and you have one of the greatest combinations anyone has ever come up with. Really, I’m surprised Nutella hasn’t done something like this yet. But hey, means more awesomeness for me.

You can do this recipe up in a half hour, plus a bit of chilling time in the fridge. I had the small glass as a night cap last night, and let me tell you, it is pretty fantastic. This is going down to Chicago with me for my con time this year, and I’m quite looking forward to it. 

Nutella Cream Liquor
Makes 1 750 ml bottle, plus a little extra

Ingredients

  • .75 c Nutella
  • .5 c sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1.25 c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 c vodka

Take your Nutella, sugar, and vanilla extract, and heat over medium heat. Whisk the ingredients together, and slowly add your whipping cream in (at about a half a cup at a time I found gave me the best control over the mixture), whisking until smooth and creamy. Heat until it starts to simmer, and then remove from heat and cool to room temperature. 

Once cooled, whisk in your vodka, and stir until combined. Take a sip. See if you’d like to add more vodka or not. (Two cups is just enough to be nicely boozy, but not overwhelmingly so.)

And then, pour into a bottle using a funnel, and chill in your fridge!

On my continuing citrus kick, I decided to make limoncello earlier this week. This is where all my leftover lemons came for the various other recipes I’ve been making.   I went for the shorter end of infusing this time around, as I wanted a quick turn around time for using this in other recipes, but would be interested to see what a longer infusion time would do to this.

Limoncello
Makes 1 750 ml bottle

Ingredients

  • 10 Meyer lemons, washed and dried
  • 1 750 ml bottle of vodka (I used closer to 2 c, New Amsterdam vodka)
  • 1.5 c sugar
  • 1.5 c water

Take your Meyer lemons, and peel them so that the outer peels, and as little of the pith as possible, are removed. Take the peels, put them in a quart jar (or in a 750 bottle like I did), pour your vodka over them, and then seal the jar. Place the jar in a dark place, and let sit for four days at minimum, up to a month. The difference between pics two and three is what the vodka will look like after four days infusing.

After your four days, run the vodka through a mesh strainer (and additionally through a coffee filter if you have one) into a bowl.

Meanwhile, combine equal amounts sugar and water and heat over medium high heat, simmer until the sugar is dissolved, and then remove from heat to cool.  Once cooled, mix with the vodka, and taste to decide whether or not you would like more sugar syrup in your limoncello. The recipe suggests starting out with 1 cup, and going from there to decide if you like the taste enough before adding more; I did this, and ended up adding a half cup more.

Once you’re at your ideal taste, run the limoncello through a funnel into your bottle, seal, and put in the freezer to chill. (You can put it in the fridge, but it will keep longer in the freezer, and will bring out the flavors better as it rests.) 

This cake is my crowning glory. mithingthepoint​ originally made this back in the days of yore as a FFXII dessert for Balthier, and it pretty much had me from the initial list of ingredients. I’ve made it three times in my life, and none of them has been perfect, but this is pretty damn close. Time one, I didn’t have a springform and I’m 99% sure I screwed up the second layer pretty badly. Time two, I had the springform, but opened it too early, and it got all over everything.

And now, time 3. I got pretty much everything right this time around, except for the second layer – that still ended up a bit on the liquid side, likely because I didn’t beat the merengue/whipped cream bit of it for long enough.  The result is still amazing.  

This will take you several days to make. This has been sitting in my fridge for about a week now due to needing to pick up extra whipping cream and Kahlua for the final stage.  It is worth every minute you put into it.

Kahlua Mousse Cake
Lasts 2 weeks worth of desserts

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1.5 c flour
  • 1 c white sugar
  • .25 c special dark cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 c hot brewed coffee (I used a leftover Pumpkin Spice Via I had from last year’s batch, this year’s is shit)
  • 1/3 c hot melted butter
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • liberal amounts of Kahlua

Mousse Layer

  • 16 oz white baking chocolate
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • pinch salt
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 8 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
  • 4 T white sugar
  • 1.5 c heavy whipping cream

Kahlua Whipped Cream

  • 2 c heavy whipping cream
  • .75 c powdered sugar
  • .5 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T Kahlua

Kahlua Glaze

  • 1.5 c powdered sugar
  • 6 T Kahlua

Preheat your oven to 350. If your springform pan is not nonstick, grease and flour it, or put parchment paper in.  In a large bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt), and form a small well in the middle. Add the hot brewed coffee directly in the center of the well, followed by the melted butter, vanilla extract, and egg, like so:

image

 Mix together, and pour into your springform.  Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Then, take your Kahlua, and pour it all over the cake. Trust me. Just do it.  The amount in picture two was about a quarter of a 750 ml bottle.  Chill for at minimum an hour in the fridge.  Longer is better here.

To make the mousse layer, melt together your stick of butter and your white chocolate over medium heat.  (I started with the butter, and added the chocolate in small chunks, and that was honestly the best way to get it to the lovely smoothness in picture 3.)  Then stir in the salt and vanilla, and whisk in the egg yolks (see picture 4 for what that looks like), and remove from heat. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy (see picture five), and slowly add the sugar in, beating until you get stiff peaks and the sugar is disolved, giving you a nice merengue.  I probably didn’t do the eggs long enough here to get that.  Fold into the white chocolate mixture.  Then beat your heavy whipping cream until thick and firm, and then fold that into the mixture as well.  

Pour the resulting confection over the soaked cake, and let it sit for one to two days. Mine sat for about five. 

On the day you’re ready to serve the cake, make the Kahlua whipped cream and the glaze.  For the whipped cream, work with all ingredients except the sugar cold, and start by using an electric mixer to beat the cream.  Slowly add the sugar, followed by the vanilla, and finally the Kahlua, and beat until thick (see pictures 7 and 8 for what that should look like).  If you properly did the confection layer, you will be able to safely open the springform and pour the whipped cream over the cake. If not, no worries, you can still pour the whipped cream on top of the cake in the springform and it’ll still work well.

For the glaze, work with the Kahlua cold, and mix it together with the powdered sugar (see picture 9).  Pipe it over the edges of the cake and/or in an abstract fashion. If you’re like me and using this as an exercise in spite baking, you might, say write this:

image

Before glazing it over to be a bit more socially acceptable (see final picture).

Either way? Enjoy your ridiculously boozy decadent ass cake.  You deserve it. Yes, you.

Sometimes, you just need a fun way to consume your booze (and to celebrate making it through yet another year). This nicely fills these criteria, and is cheap besides!  

Strawberry Champagne Jello Shots
Makes 1 large container of shots

Ingredients

  • 3 c chilled pink champagne (I used Martini sparkling rose)
  • 1 c boiling water
  • 3 envelopes Knox gelatine (they come in packages of 4)
  • 1 3 oz package strawberry Jello

Mix your Jello and Knox powder in whatever you will be setting the Jello shots in (a 8×8 glass pan is recommended, I used a Glad container of about similar size), and pour in one cup of boiling water.  Mix until the powder has dissolved. 

Slowly pour in 3 c of champagne, stir gently, and allow the bubbles to pop until they’re almost all gone. Cover, and chill in the fridge for a minimum of four hours to set.

And then, cut into them and enjoy your jello shots!

So, my friend paintboxsoapworks has been talking about this apple butter a lot recently this fall, and I finally got her to write the recipe down. Because, seriously, apple butter plus bourbon and a vanilla bean? World of yes, there. Right about the time she posted it over on her blog Butter and Eggs, one of the jam stalls at the farmer’s market offered a 6 or so pound bag of Cortland apples for $6, so the stars aligned pretty perfectly on the timing for this. And what I got out of this recipe is gonna last me a while – that’s one quart jar and two 10 oz jars on that final picture. 

The only alteration I will note on this recipe is that I did this entirely in my crockpot, as opposed to in the stove, and started the crockpot about halfway through peeling all the apples (which took about an hour total). 

Vanilla Bourbon Apple Butter
Makes at least 1 qt jar plus 2 10 oz jars apple butter

Ingredients

  • appx 5 lbs medium to large apples, peeled and chopped (I got a six pound bag of Cortlands)
  • .5 c water
  • .5 to 1 c dark brown sugar (I used 1 c, adjust based on your tastes)
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • ground nutmeg and cinnamon to taste
  • pinch salt
  • .25 to .5 c bourbon or whiskey (I used half a cup of Bulleit)

Combine all of your ingredients in a crockpot set to high, cover, and cook for approximately two and a half to three hours.  Stir fairly frequently; the apples are ready when you can take them and smush them against the side of the pot with a spoon. The difference between pictures 1 and 2 is after approximately two hours of cooking on high. 

Turn off the heat, remove your vanilla bean, and then take a stick blender (best gift I’ve ever gotten, seriously) and blend, until you get a silky sauce similar to picture 3. Give it a few extra passes, as there might be a chunk of apple or two that it misses. (If you don’t have one, a normal blender will probably work fine, but you’ll need to do it in batches, and it will be messier.)  

Turn your crockpot back on to low, and cook for another half hour. Do a quick taste test at this point, and determine if you’d like to add more lemon, sugar, or spices. Hayley reminds you that hot apple butter is going to taste sweeter/stronger than after you’ve chilled it, but that the spices will continue to bloom once it’s chilling in the fridge.

You’ll know the butter is done once you’ve got a thick sauce that stands up in peaks when you drop it back into the pot (see: picture 3 for the beginnings of that).  Do one last taste test, spoon into jars, and let cool before putting on the lids, and refrigerate/freeze as you so choose!  

I’ll be using this on this morning’s midmorning snack – apple cherry bread from the farmer’s market. 

So, this summer I’ve been trying my hand at infusing liquors, and I just made one of my all time favorites over the last two months. If you can get farmers market plums and blueberries for this, do so, it makes the resulting liquor taste amazing. This was supposed to be in one jar, but I only had the two quart jars, so I changed the recipe around a bit. Either way, the resulting liquor was the hit of the bachelorette party this weekend.

Blueberry Plum Vanilla Liquor
Makes 2 qt jars

Ingredients

  • 2 c blueberries (split between the two jars)
  • 1 lb (about 4) plums, quartered (split between the two jars)
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved (I ended up splitting two vanilla beans and putting one in each jar)
  • 1 c sugar (split between the two jars)
  • 2 c vodka (I basically just filled the jars with vodka, so it was likely closer to 3 c total)

Combine all ingredients in your jars, and screw on the lids tightly. Store in a dark place. For the first week, shake the jar daily to ensure that the sugar fully dissolves. After that, let it sit for a minimum of two months. Then, strain some off and enjoy!

I made this as a reward for getting through a damn long week, and let me tell you – it was absolutely worth it.  The coffee was probably not the best in the world, as I do not have a dedicated coffee maker at home (I only usually get lattes out in the wild, and any use of coffee is either in making Kahlua, Bailey’s, or as a part of ice cream).  I also didn’t use espresso, as I didn’t have it on me, but would probably change things a bit again. 

However, I did have Ben and Jerry’s Bonaroo Buzz, good local coffee (Steep and Brew’s Highlander Grog), and pumpkin spice Kahlua (yes it is a thing and it is amaaaaazing). This would probably work if you needed to add a bit of milk to it too for your own personal tastes. 

Either way, good drink. Good way to end a week.

Kahlua Crunch Affogato
Makes 1

Ingredients

  • 1 large scoop Ben and Jerry’s Bonaroo Buzz (or similar coffee/alcohol crunch flavored ice cream of choice)
  • 4 oz fresh brewed coffee (or espresso, or latte, really, whatever works best for your tastes)
  • 3 oz Kahlua (I used the pumpkin spice version I was able to find, best decision ever)
  • 1.5 oz vodka

Scoop your ice cream into a bowl, pour the coffee over it, and then add your Kahlua and vodka. And then enjoy your caffieney alcoholic ice creamy goodness. Maybe while attempting not to set things on fire.

This was the recipe I used to break in my fancy new gas oven, and man, I cannot describe how fucking perfect it is (both the recipe and the stovetop, lol). Farmers market cherries, a sweet vanilla chilled cream, and a wonderful syrup of Kahlua, red wine, and sugar makes this all incredibly decadent. Be warned, though, this is incredibly alcoholic; you’re cooking the pint of cherries in an equal amount of Kahlua, red wine, and sugars. The end resulting cherries are some of the sexiest things I’ve ever had, though.  Like, if you’re looking for a way to get someone in bed, make these. 

The sweet cream recipe is originally from the Feast of Ice and Fire cookbook; however, with help from my baby sister, I did make some alteration to the directions, as my first attempt got me a severely overcooked custard rather than a smooth pourable cream. The second version is still a bit on the overly thick/cooked side, but it’s a lot closer to what it should be. It’ll take you multiple times to get it right; don’t be afraid if you fuck it up the first few times. 

You could also probably safely double the recipe for the sweet cream and the amount of cherries used.

Kahlua Cherries and Sweet Cream
Lasts 3 to 4 lunches as a dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 pint fresh sweet cherries, pitted (see cherry almond dutch baby recipe for pitting tips)
  • 1 c Kahlua
  • .5 c red wine (I used Cupcake Winery’s Red Velvet)
  • .5 c dark brown sugar
  • .5 c sugar

Sweet Cream

  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • .5 c sugar, divided
  • 5 egg yolks
  • vanilla extract to taste

Bring the Kahlua, red wine, brown and white sugar to a boil over medium high heat, and then reduce to a simmer for three minutes. Then, add your pitted cherries and simmer for an additional ten minutes, stirring here and there.

To make your sweet cream, take your heavy whipping cream and half of your sugar, and bring to a light simmer.  While you bring it to a simmer, whisk together your egg yolk, the rest of your sugar, and however much vanilla extract you want. Once the sugar cream mixture is simmering, remove it from the heat and slowly drizzle it into the egg yolk vanilla mixture, whisking constantly to blend. 

Now, you can do this one of two ways: cook it in the pot over medium heat, while stirring constantly in figure 8s in all directions.  This is the method I used (thanks to some pointers from my baby sister, and some trial and error) both times, and it will usually thicken to the point of coating the back of the spoon within five minutes using the direct heat method; anything longer and it will overcook. Look at the difference between pictures 5 and 6 for a good example of what it’ll look like once done. The original also recommends putting it in a double boiler or putting an ovenproof glass bowl over a pot of simmering water; I haven’t tried it this way, but it will likely take closer to 8 to 10 minutes that way.

Once both are done, chill separately in the fridge, and then combine, and enjoy the alcoholic decadence. 

venneh:

justaweekendchef:

So, I went to the farmers market this morning, not in the least because my garden has been abjectly failing because of the heat – only the garlic, basil, ginger, and mint are holding on, and just barely at that.  And lo, one of the stalls a) took cards, and b) had strawberries at a pretty reasonable price – $4.50/qt.

So, entirely reasonably, I got three quarts of strawberries.

So, you must be wondering what the hell I’m going to be doing with that much strawberries, and how the hell they’re going to stay good long enough for me to be able to do anything with them.

Well, you’re gonna be seeing a hell of a lot of strawberry recipes in the near future, that much is for sure.  Including further down in this post.

But how they’ll stay good enough for me to be able to do anything with them for about a week ago is a little trick I learned last year.

What you do is combine one part apple cider, or white, vinegar, to 4 parts or so water.  In my case, what I did was fill up most of a storage container with water, and then top it off with apple cider and white vinegar (see the first pic).  The wash keeps the berries in the fridge for at LEAST a week, if not more.  I ran it on my tomatoes (cherry and full sized) that I picked up today, too, cause I want to see if it’ll work on them, too.  Odds are high it will.

And today began my strawberry odyssey – with strawberry infused vodka.  Which, in my experience, can only end in the best of ways.

Here’s how you make it – take two cups of strawberries, hulled and halved.  Put them in a quart jar (or in two smaller jars, whatever works best, just so long as it seals).  Pour two and a half cups vodka over them.   Put in a dark place to infuse.

And then check on them in a week, and drink.  😉

So, now you have your strawberry vodka.  Surely you’re wondering what to do with it next.  Well, here’s your answer:

Strawberry vodka lemonade with mint.

Doubt me? Here’s a testimonial from a friend about the awesomeness of this drink.  She’s not kidding about how deadly this is, though; me and some friends went through my first jar of vodka with this recipe in a night and we all had killer hangovers the next morning.

How do you make it? Muddle the mint at the bottom of the glass, pour about a third to a half of whatever cup you’re putting this in with the strawberry vodka, then fill it up with your lemonade.

As the weather takes it’s sweet ass time turning to spring, and as fresh fruit starts to come back into season, I cannot recommend this enough.  With fresh strawberries, and a good riesling (I used Pacific Rim this time, but Cupcake Winery and Kung Fu Girl have been past awesome rieslings to use with this), this is a wonderfully boozy taste of spring and a nice way to cool off besides.

Riesling Strawberry Slushies
Makes one blender’s worth of slushies, or enough to fill 3 pint glasses

Ingredients

  • one bottle Riesling wine (used the ‘10 Pacific Rim sweet riesling this time, have used Barefoot, Cupcake Winery, and Kung Fu Girl rieslings in the past and they’ve all worked wonderfully)
  • 2.5 c (appx 1 qt) strawberries, hulled
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 2.5 T sugar

Reserve one cup of your wine and put it in the fridge to chill.  Take all of our other ingredients and puree them together in your blender, until combined.  Pour the mixture into ice trays (I used two, one was Companion Cubes, the other was a normal sized ice tray), and freeze (this will usually take about 4 hours’ time, depending on your freezer’s setting).   

Once your strawberry riesling ice cubes are frozen, put them back in the blender with the reserved wine, and puree until you have a good, thick slushie. And then sip on it while watching Hannibal, to feel fancy and also to have something to scream into.