So, as it turns out, butterscotch hot cocoa is pretty goddamn amazing, especially as the nights here are just starting to turn towards fall. Put this on the stove, get it boiling and then leave it on low throughout the evening and just enjoy the smell (but be sure to watch it when it boils, it can spill over real quick). 

Butterscotch Hot Cocoa

Ingredients

  • 3 c milk
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • .75 c butterscotch chips
  • .25 c butterscotch sauce
  • 3 T cocoa powder (honestly I just used what was left of my Godiva milk hot chocolate mix)
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 t butter flavor (optional)

If you so choose, warm your milk and cream. If not, just put everything in a pot, and stir frequently as you bring it to a light boil medium high heat, so that everything melts together. Be sure you watch it closely; I stepped away for a few moments, and it boiled over. (Still tasted great, just something to be aware of.)  As soon as you’ve got it to that light boil, remove from heat, and pour out your cups. If you’re like me and you’re splitting it with your boyfriend, keep it on low heat to keep it warm throughout the evening and also make the place smell real nice. 

If you’re looking for an awesome dessert, this is it.  This babka is fantastic and rich, and as Deb points out, even if you think it looks not that pretty, that syrup makes everything look fantastic.  And plus, it gives you two loaves – one to share with friends, because you’re nice like that, and one to keep and eat for you.  Or maybe use for things like french toast.

(Better) Chocolate Babka
Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

Dough

  • 4.5 c flour
  • .5 c sugar
  • 1 packet instant yeast (2 t)
  • (zest of lemon or orange; didn’t add this this time)
  • 3 large eggs
  • .75 t sea salt
  • 2/3 c unsalted butter (just take 2 1/3 sections of a stick of butter)
  • (optional oil to grease)

Filling

  • 4 oz dark chocolate (equivalent to one baking bar)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • .5 c powdered sugar
  • 1/3 c special dark cocoa powder
  • cinnamon to taste

Syrup

  • 1/3 c water
  • 6 T sugar

Combine all your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, yeast, zest) in a bowl, and mix together with your eggs and water until the dough comes together.  If you have a stand mixer to do this, great!  If not, you’re gonna be using a plastic spoon.  It might be a bit dry – if it doesn’t quite come together, don’t be scared to use some extra water.  Add in your salt and butter, and mix together until the dough is completely smooth (see picture 3).  This took about ten minutes of working the dough with my hands to have it come together perfectly – the dough should start pulling away from the sides of the bowl once it’s ready.  

Coat a bowl with oil, transfer the dough to the bowl, cover, and put in a fridge overnight (or half a day if you’re doing it same day).  The dough won’t quite double, but it will grow by at least half.

When you’re ready to assemble the babka, take your dough, let it warm up slightly, and split it in half and then roll one half out into a 12 by 10 rectangle.  After rolling out the dough, make your filling.  Melt your butter and dark chocolate over medium high heat (put your butter in first, and break the bar down into small chunks), and then stir in the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and cinnamon until you have a nice paste, and remove from heat.  Take half the filling, scoop it out onto the rolled out dough, and use a rubber spatula to spread it out all over the dough, leaving a half inch border, like so:

image

To assemble the loaves, brush the furthest end from you with water (in this case the right end) and then roll into a long tight cigar, like so:

image

Seal the water dampened end onto the dough.  Cut off a half inch off each end of the log and then slice each loaf in half length wise, so that it looks like picture 6.  Lay them so that they’re laying long ways with the cut sides laying up, and pinch the two top ends together.  Lift one side over the other to form a nice twist so that the cut sides face up and fan out, making a nice S shape (see picture 7).  Repeat this with your other dough, and feel free to make a small little baby babka like I did with the dough ends.  Transfer into greased loaf pans (or a rectangular cake pan in my case), cover with a damp hand/tea towel, and let rise for an hour and a half.  Preaheat your oven to 375.

Once the hour and a half is up, put the loaves in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes.  You’ll know it’s done when you’re able to stick a fork or skewer into the middle of a loaf with no restistance (instead of it feeling rubbery/bouncy).

While the babka bakes, make your syrup by simmering together your water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.  As soon as the babka is ready, take it out of the oven, drizzle the sugar syrup over the two loaves, and enjoy the fantastic.  The final pic is how your babka will look after you drizzle the syrup on it.  This was what was left of the babka less than twenty minutes later:

image

It’s good shit.

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.

These were the last of the cookie balls I made.  Still pretty damn good, but I don’t think the base recipe was quite as good as the pumpkin spice ones. Either way? More rum and chocolate is always a good thing. (I might need to make my own version of Jeni’s Rum Ball ice cream now. Because reasons. And science.  Let’s get ready to rum ball, etc etc etc.)

Rum Balls
Makes about 15 balls

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz box vanilla wafers, crushed
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 2 T corn syrup
  • 2/3 c rum (I again used Bacardi Superior)
  • white sugar (for rolling)

Again, for the vanilla wafers, if you’ve got a food processor, lucky you. Otherwise, again, just take a rolling pin, a bag, and your wafers, and go to town. 

Combine your crushed wafers, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder, and then add the corn syrup, and after, very slowly, the rum, until you have a barely combined mix. You can do all of this with a food processor on pulse too, which, again, if you have it, bully for you. If you don’t, roll your sleeves up, take a rubber spatula, and go. 

Take small chunks of your dough, roll them into small balls, and then toss in white sugar to coat. Chilling here is noted as optional, but it does make the flavor even better, in my opinion. Again, serve chilled or at room temp, as you prefer.