Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kitchen Conquests

Of any place in my house, my kitchen in my sanctuary. I pick the knives, the dishes, the food. As much as I seek submission in the rest of my life, I am in control in my kitchen. It is a vessel for my love, for my submission. I love to cook for other, to serve people. It makes me happy.

So I created this blog to further my kitchen conquests. Largely recipes that I have used, I will also post about my kitchen witchery as it presents itself, cleaning techniques and random kitchen related thoughts here...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Combine the chocolate and butter in a small heavy saucepan and melt over very low heat.Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the milk and vanilla, and transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.Add the sugar gradually, beating with an electric mixer. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth--it will be runny.Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour, beating every 15 minutes. (The icing will stiffen.).

Classic Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
  • 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.

Cold War Brownies

Adapted from David Lebowitz
Makes a 9″ pan
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • Rounded 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp Nutella
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9″ pan with foil, allowing it to hang over the edges. Lightly grease.
In a saucepan, melt the butter and bittersweet chocolate together. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, then the eggs. Add the flour, cocoa, chili powder, cinnamon, and salt and mix in. Finally, stir in the vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
In a mixer, beat together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, and cinnamon. Drop dollops of the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownies. Drop dollops of nutella, too. Use a dull knife to swirl the whole thing. (Alternatively, mix the nutella into half of the cream cheese mixture and swirl. Or leave the nutella out.)
Bake 35 minutes, or until just set. Let cool completely before lifting out and cutting into bars. Store in the fridge.

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk   
PREHEAT oven to 350°F Paper-line 20 muffin cups.
COMBINE flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture alternately with milk. Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each prepared muffin cup.
BAKE for 18 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Frost with Milk Chocolate Frosting.

    Banana Bread


    • 4 or 5 ripe bananas, smashed
    • 1/3 cup melted butter
    • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
    • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon *optional*


    Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.
    Yield: Makes one loaf.

    Cream Chese Frosting


    • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
    • 8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
    • 2 - 3 cups of powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


    1 With an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes on medium speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
    2 Add the vanilla extract and mix. Slowly add the powdered sugar. Keep adding until you get to desired sweetness and thickness.
    3 Either spread on with a blunt knife or spatula, or spoon into a piping bag to decorate your cake or cupcake.
    • Melted chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips.
    • Adding freshly ground ginger helps spice up a carrot cake.
    • Freshly grated or dried, flaked coconut mixed in makes it perfect for a coconut cake.