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  • Walnut Fudge Brownies

    How to make Walnut Fudge Brownies

    Yield: 9 large or 16 small brownies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter
    4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
    1/3 cup (67 grams) packed light brown sugar
    2/3 cup (66 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
    2/3 cup (85 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup (80 grams) chopped California walnuts

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate for about 45 seconds on high power. Stir and continue heating in 20-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

    Stir in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. If still very hot, let cool slightly before adding in the vanilla, eggs, and egg yolk. Stir until very well combined. Add in the flour, cornstarch, and salt and stir until just combined. Fold in the walnuts. Batter will be thick.

    Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.

    Let cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares and serving. The brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 days, or in the fridge for 1 week.

  • Strawberry Banana Bread

    How to make Strawberry Banana Bread

    Yield: 12 servings

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    Ingredients

    For the bread:

    2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 cup (200 grams) light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    2 overripe bananas, mashed
    2 large eggs
    10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup (130 grams) chopped strawberries

    For the strawberry buttercream:

    1 1/2 cups (188 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    Pinch fine salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 tablespoons seedless strawberry preserves
    Red food coloring, if desired
    Halved or quartered strawberries, to decorate

    Directions

    For the bread:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan or line with a sheet of parchment.

    In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the bananas, eggs, butter, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the into the flour mixture and gently stir until just combined. Fold in the strawberries.

    Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 1 hour, or until golden brown on top and the center springs back when gently pressed. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before removing from loaf pan to cool completely.

    Banana bread can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic for up to 3 days at room temperature or 2 weeks frozen (thaw overnight at room temperature before serving).

    For the buttercream:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the salt, vanilla, and preserves and beat on medium for 1 minute. Add in food coloring, if using.

    Spread the buttercream over the top of the bread. Top with strawberries. Serve, or cover and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.

  • Chocolate Strawberry Mini Cheesecakes

    How to make Chocolate Strawberry Mini Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 cookies, 137 grams) graham crackers
    3 tablespoons (43 grams) REAL Seal® unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    12 ounces (340 grams) REAL Seal® cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (140 grams) seedless strawberry preserves
    Red gel food coloring, if desired
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 large egg

    For the topping:

    1/2 cup (85 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1/4 cup REAL Seal® heavy cream
    12 small strawberries

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press the crumbs into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    Make the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the strawberry preserves, food coloring (if using), vanilla, and salt and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

    Make the topping:

    Place the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream just until simmering. Pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth. Allow to cool and thicken.

    Top each cheesecake with the ganache, then press a strawberry into the ganache. Serve or cover and store in the fridge for up to 1 day.

  • Chocolate Soufflés for Two

    How to make Chocolate Soufflés for Two

    Yield: 2 soufflés

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    Chocolate Soufflés:

    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
    2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    3 ounces (85 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 large egg yolks
    2 large egg whites
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    Pinch salt
    Pinch cream of tartar

    Raspberry Sauce:

    5 ounces (142 grams) fresh or thawed frozen raspberries
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar

    Powdered sugar, for garnish

    Directions

    Chocolate Souffles:

    Preheat the oven to 375°F. Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease two 8-ounce ramekins. Coat the ramekins with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess.

    In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time.

    In a clean bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar just until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate. Spoon into the prepared ramekins. Soufflés can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated at this point for up to 1 day.

    Bake until puffed and set, about 20 minutes (about 25 minutes if baking directly from the refrigerator).

    Raspberry Sauce:

    While the souffles are baking, purée the raspberries and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender, until smooth. Press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

    Garnish the chocolate souffles with powdered sugar and serve immediately with raspberry sauce.

  • Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

    How to make Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cupcakes:

    4 ounces (113 grams) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1/3 cup (33 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
    3/4 cup hot coffee
    3/4 cup (95 grams) bread flour
    3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    6 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 large eggs
    2 teaspoons white vinegar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/3 cup Nutella

    For the buttercream:

    2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 cups (375 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves

    Red food coloring, if desired

    Directions

    For the cupcakes:

    Place the chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour hot coffee over the mixture. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth then set aside to cool completely.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with foil or paper liners.

    In a small bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together.

    Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth. Using a spring-loaded scoop or a large spoon, divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.

    Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, about 17 to 19 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely. Using an apple corer or pairing knife, slice a small section of the center of the cupcake for the Nutella, being careful not to slice through the bottom. Fill each hole with 1 heaping teaspoon of Nutella.

    For the buttercream:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla. Gradually add the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Add the raspberry preserves and beat until light and fluffy. For a more saturated color, add a few drops of red food coloring, if desired.

    Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag fit with a decorative piping tip. Pipe frosting directly onto the stuffed cupcakes. Serve or store at room temperature for a day or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  • Best Recipes of 2016
  • Black Forest Cheesecake

    How to make Black Forest Cheesecake

    Yield: One 9 inch cake

    Prep Time: 45 minutes

    Cook: 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    Cookie crust

    30 Oreo cookies (300 grams)
    1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter

    Chocolate cheesecake

    2 and 1/2 cups (500 grams) full fat cream cheese, room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) caster or granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 large eggs, room temperature
    1/2 cup (120 ml) full fat sour cream, room temperature
    1 cup (150 grams) dark or semi-sweet chocolate

    Cherries and chocolate cream

    1 cup (150 grams) dark or semi-sweet chocolate
    2 cups (250 grams) fresh cherries with stem
    1 cup (240 ml) thickened or heavy cream
    2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    2 tablespoons icing or powdered sugar

    Directions

    Preheat your oven to 320 F (160 C).  Lightly grease a 9 inch (23 cm) springform baking tin with a little butter and set aside. Add your Oreo biscuits (cream and all) to a food processor and blend until they resemble fine crumbs. Melt your butter in the microwave and then pour over your crushed Oreos and whiz again until the mixture resembles wet sand. Pour your Oreo crumbs into your prepared tin and press down gently using the back of a spoon to form an even layer. Pop in the fridge.

    Add your cream cheese to a large mixing bowl and beat well until smooth and creamy. Add your sugar and beat again. Melt your chocolate in the microwave and set aside to cool slightly. Then add your eggs to your cream cheese mixture, one at a time, until incorporated. Add vanilla extract and gently beat. Then stir in your sour cream and your melted chocolate. Stir until smooth but try not to over mix.

    Pour your cheesecake filling over your crust and smooth over the top. Bake in the oven for approximately 40-45 minutes or until it no longer wobbles in the middle. Try not to over bake it as it will continue to cook as it cools. Leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door ajar for at least one hour. Then remove and leave to cool slightly on a cooling rack before transferring to the fridge. The cheesecake is best left in the fridge for 3-4 hours (or overnight) until it cools completely and becomes nice and firm before slicing.

    To decorate, melt your chocolate in the microwave, stirring in-between 15 second bursts. Place a sheet of baking or parchment paper on a plate. Then dip your cherries using the stem and place them onto your prepared plate. Once you have done all the cherries, pop them into the fridge for at least 15 minutes to set.

    To make your chocolate cream, beat your cream until whipped, sift in the cocoa powder and sugar and stir until smooth. Add your chocolate cream to a piping bag with a large round tip and pipe clouds of cream around the edge of your cheesecake. Place the chocolate-dipped cherries in the middle. Enjoy!

  • Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes with Candied Walnuts

    How to make Mini Gingerbread Cheesecakes with Candied Walnuts

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    If you can’t find Speculoos cookies, feel free to use 20 gingersnap cookies or 9 whole graham crackers.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    17 (133 grams) Speculoos cookies
    1/4 cup (20 grams) California walnuts
    3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    12 ounces (340 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
    2 tablespoons heavy cream
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 large egg

    For the candied walnuts:

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 cup (115 grams) California walnut pieces
    1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    Melted white chocolate, for drizzling

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    Place the graham crackers and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    Make the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla, molasses, cream, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. At this point the cheesecakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    Make the candied walnuts:

    Heat the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon. Heat over medium for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved and the nuts are evenly coated.

    Transfer immediately to a parchment lined baking sheet and separate the walnuts with two spatulas. Allow to cool and harden for 10 minutes, then divide among the top of each cheesecake. Drizzle with melted white chocolate. Allow to set before serving.

  • Red Velvet Cheesecake Bites

    How to make Red Velvet Cheesecake Bites

    Yield: 36 bites

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 50 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    12 (185 grams) whole chocolate graham crackers
    1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    16 ounces (454 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1/4 cup (57 grams) sour cream
    2 large eggs
    2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon red gel food coloring
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

    For the chocolate coating:

    16 ounces (453 grams) white chocolate
    3 tablespoons coconut oil or shortening

    Directions

    To make crust:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch square baking dish with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

    In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until light golden and fragrant. Reduce heat to 325°F.

    To make filling:

    Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, add in the sour cream, eggs, cocoa powder, food coloring, vanilla, flour, and salt and beat until just combined. Be careful not to overmix. Pour the batter over the crust and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cheesecake is slightly puffed and center is set. If the center is slightly jiggly, that’s fine.

    Let cool completely on a wire rack. Freeze for 3 hours, or until very cold and firm, or overnight.

    To coat in chocolate:

    Once frozen, lift cheesecake out of pan and gently peel away foil. Using a sharp knife, cut cheesecake into 36 bite-size squares. If squares become too soft, freeze until chilled again.

    Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.

    Place parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet. Dip cheesecake squares, one at a time, in the melted chocolate. Let the excess drip off and place on prepared sheet. Immediately garnish with sprinkles, if using.

    Repeat for all the squares then refrigerate until the chocolate is set. Serve or store the squares in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

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