Tag Archives: Love

An Old Favorite

3 Feb

West 10th Street Brownies

In 2011, I took a baking class at The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) at 50 West 23rd Street in New York City (Amazing class! I would recommend any of the classes offered at ICE. Check them out at ICE). The class was called “The Best Brownie Workshop” and was a collection of Nick Malgieri’s brownie recipes. Nick is the former Executive Pastry Chef at Windows on the World, is a 1996 inductee into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. His twelfth and latest book is NICK MALGIERI’S PASTRY: FOOLPROOF RECIPES FOR THE HOME COOK. He was voted one of the ten best pastry chefs in America by Chocolatier and Pastry Art and Design magazines in 1998 and 1999, and he is the director the baking program at ICE. Check him out at Nick Malgieri.

Of course, I keep all the folders and pamphlets from past classes I take and these brownies have been a ‘go to’ for me for years now. I haven’t made them in quite some time, but it was a colleague’s birthday and these brownies were the perfect solution.

Story behind the West 10th Street Brownies:

“The name of this recipe is because I found it in Greenwich Villiage a few blocks from where I live. As I walked east on Tenth Street, I saw a yellowed index card lying on the sidewalk. When I picked it up and saw written in spidery hand in blue fountain pen ink a recipe for ‘The Best Brownies in the World.’ Well, I put it aside in a miscellaneous recipe file, and a few months later tried it. They turned out to be sensational and certainly a contender for the title.” – Nick Malgieri

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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Prep Time          Cook Time          Total Time
15 Minutes          30 Minutes          45 Minutes
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Yields: ~24 2-inch Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 16 tbs (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tsp of Cinnamon (*my personal addition the the recipe*)
  • 1 cup (6 ounce bag) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 19 x 13 x 2-inch pan

Instructions:

  1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven, preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and butter the pan well
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add the 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. Let it sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. *If not all the chocolate has melted, add back to very low heat and stir constantly. Chocolate can burn rather quickly, so make sure to remove from heat  just before it is fully melted*
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, salt & vanilla until just mixed.
  4. Whisk in the sugar in a constant stream
  5. Whisk in the chocolate butter mixture
  6. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and cinnamon, switch to a rubber spatula and fold into the chocolate/egg mixture.** Fold technique: The reason the flour is folded into this recipe rather than just mixed is to keep the air inside. This is what creates the airiness and volume in cakes and brownies. To fold in the flour make horizontal sweeping motions, like you’re folding what’s already in the bowl over the flour that you’ve added. Each time I do one sweeping motion I rotate the bowl slightly so that I’m folding from different angles and making sure I haven’t missed any of the flour. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as well.** Careful: One of the biggest mistakes people (including myself sometimes) make when it comes to brownies is over mixing. **
  7. The batter may still be warm from the melted butter and chocolate. If so, set it aside until it has cooled to room temperature (test it with your fingertip). Once cooled, fold in the chocolate chips until just combined.
  8. Pour into the prepared baking dish and level with an offset spatula
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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  10. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let them cool completely, roughly 1 – 2 hours.
  11. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight is best.
  12. Once cold, transfer to a cutting board, measure two-inch squares and cut into pieces and eat them!

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Enjoy!

Kristin

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A Special Day to Celebrate!

6 Jan

Happy Birthday Mom!

I couldn’t be happier that my first cake of the new year is for my fabulous mom! Another year at 29 and I can’t wait to celebrate tonight!

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I have to say, I’m pretty lucky to have grown up with my mom at my side and even luckier to have her as my friend as an adult. Things like: “clean up your room before the cleaning lady comes” and “I’m going to make chicken tonight for dinner” all seem to make sense now when I look back, but I have to admit, when I was younger I thought she was crazy!

I really struggled to come up with an idea for my mom’s birthday cake. I mean, what do you make for one of the most important women in your life? It has to be fantastic! I wanted it to be elegant, but fun with a bit of flair. She mentioned a while back that she thought the cakes that look like presents are really cute, so I started with that and expanded from there.

As you know from my previous New Years post, I love the contrast of black and gold with a pop of color. I knew I would cover the cake with black fondant, but then had to work out the details from there.

The cake is my ‘go to’ vanilla cake recipe which you can find Here with chocolate buttercream filling. Needless to day, I cannot WAIT to devour this cake tonight!

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And So It Begins…

4 Jan

The Start of a New Year

We have another year in the books we’re celebrating a fresh new path for 2016. What better way to start it off then with CAKE? Obviously!

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After 2 weeks in Antigua (heavenly) for our honeymoon, running around NY for Christmas and hosting our friends for New Years, my husband and I are now back to the grind of our day to day. I have to admit, it was a whirlwind, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Just to reminisce a little (because I’m not ready to give up the island mindset for the NYC aggression):

Christmas

Rob and I returned from our honeymoon on 12/23 and flew right into the Christmas spirit. As wonderful as 85 and sunny was, Jingle Bells just isn’t the same on the steel drums and I need my Michael Bublé Christmas! So, on Christmas Eve, went shopping, bought a tree, decorated the apartment, wrapped all of our gifts and last but definitely not least, made a Christmas Cake!

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My intention on this one was to keep it simple. I didn’t have a lot of extra time, it’ll be cute, won’t take too long, but it’ll be great. Then, I got carried away! This was such a fun little cake to make, but with all the details in the igloo, the snowman, the trees and presents I was finishing it up in the car ride out to Long Island!

igloo

I did keep it simple with the cake however. It’s my “go to” vanilla cake with buttercream frosting from my Just Because post. While the buttercream was still setting, I coated the outside with coconut shavings to have the appearance of snow. For the trees, I rolled green gum-paste into cones and snipped the edges with scissors as I went around from the top down and sprinkled with powdered sugar. A little tedious, but worth it! Needless to say, it was a successful Christmas!!

New Years

I knew I wanted to make a fun cake for new years and found some inspiration through various pictures on Instagram (follow me!! : @KristinsCravings) and Pinterest, but none were quite what I was looking for. I saw a photo from The Icing Artist that really stuck out to me, but I put my own twist on it (A video of her actual cake is HERE). I’ve always like the dramatic contrast of black with gold and even more so when I can add some pops of color.

I was slightly pressed for time this year (seems to be a trend!) since I decided I would also cook a full dinner of Chicken Cordon Bleu, baked potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts with pancetta, but it all came together fabulously!

Here’s a couple pictures of the process:

I wish everyone a wonderful, happy and healthy 2016 from Kristin’s Cravings!!

P.S. have I mentioned how much I LOVE my new apron!? (Thank you Uncle Tom and Aunt Eileen!!)

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-Kristin

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