Mini Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Trifle

You know how you keep pinning food recipes on Pinterest with the desire to try it asap….and then you never do it….That has been story of my life :( With work and crazy routine, it has been hard to try new recipes! Last dessert pin of mine was a recipe for Raspberry Trifle that I saw on My Baking Addiction’s facebook page. It looked soo delicious. It is a creation made for Ghirardelli’s Small Bite Campaign. The campaign is about using Ghirardelli Chocolates to create small desserts…. There are many mini dessert recipes on their website.

So even though I am not a raspberry person, I wanted to try this recipe….So I did…..

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Trifle

 

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Trifle

Recipe from Ghirardelli

Ingredients: (Makes 9 Cups)

For the Brownies
1 cup Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup granulated sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
9 Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry Filled SQUARES™

For the Ganache
6 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips

For the Garnish
2 cups freshly whipped cream or whipped topping (I made my own whipped cream- Use 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 tbsp of sugar and whip till it forms stiff peaks)
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Microwave Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips and butter in a large bowl microwave-safe bowl at medium (50%)power. Stir every 30 seconds until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth.
  3. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt to the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Gradually add in flour; stir until just combined.
  4. Spread half the brownie batter into prepared pan. Evenly place the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry Filled SQUARES™ and cover with remaining batter. Spread batter evenly over the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry Squares and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove pan to cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Once brownies are completely cooled, remove them from the pan and use a small glass or round biscuit cutter to cut the brownies into 8-9 circular shapes. Once you have 8-9 brownie circles, slice each brownie in half horizontally, directly through the centers of the brownies, so each brownie is now two thinner circular brownies.
  6. When ready to serve, make the ganache. Place Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips in a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Pour hot cream over Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips and let stand for 3-5 minutes. Whisk ganache until smooth. Allow ganache to cool at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before assembling the trifles.
  7. To assemble the trifles: Place a brownie at the bottom of each trifle dish or small glass. Evenly pipe or spoon a layer of ganache onto each brownie. Add a layer of whipped cream and then a layer of fresh raspberries. Repeats layers. Serve immediately.

It is one delicious dessert…. The brownie, the ganache and the cream…perfection…. just minus the raspberry for me!! I made this and took to my friends home….everyone liked it…. just us non raspberry lovers took our fruit out! While we ate our desserts, we discussed of variations that could be made… maybe used the Ghirardelli Dark and Sea Salt Caramel Squares and some bananas???? Or Some Dark and Truffles and strawberries?????

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Trifle

So I did miss reading in Step 5 about splitting the circles in 2….so u see thick layer of brownie in the cups… Splitting definitely is better so that when you scoop you get equal amount of brownie, ganache, cream and fruit. I used plastic beverage cups (9oz clear cups) to make this individual desserts. The best part was that inspite of the Bittersweet baking chips and Dark Squares, it did not have any bitter taste (the dark chocolate taste.) I also used less sugar then asked in the recipe as we love our dessert with just enough sugar. Another thing, I whipped up my own whipped cream…. it makes a huge difference compared to from can or cool whip (no offense to cool whip…I love that thing!!)

 It was a very easy dessert to make….. and definitely a good one if you love raspberries. Do try it!!
Until next time,
Cheers =)

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry is my favorite fruit… In India growing up it was rare to find it…now one can find them easily. Here you will find strawberries in my refrigerator most of the time. So when “Miss H” (friend) made this cake and shared pic on Instagram, getting the recipe and making it was necessary :)) Few ingredients, quick and easy, this cake is yum. When she shared the recipe…I was like ooh this is easy… just like her Black Russian Cake -which is a gem of a recipe, super hit in my house and with other friends!

StrawberryCake

Strawberry Cake

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1 box White Cake Mix

1 pkg Frozen Sweetened Strawberries (I used 16 oz pkg)- Reserve 1/2 cup for Icing

3 oz box Strawberry Jell-O

1/2 cup Water,

1 cup oil

4 eggs

 

For the Icing:

1 stick margarine (I used 1 stick butter)

1 box powdered sugar (I used 1-1/3cup)

1/2 cup Frozen Sweetened Strawberries

 

Method:

1. Mix the cake mix, strawberry Jell-O, Water, Oil and Eggs in a food processor or using hand mixer. Then add frozen strawberries (don’t forget to reserve 1/2 cup for icing.)

2. Grease and flour cake pan. You could do 1 round pan and cut the layers after the cake cools or you could cook in 2-3 different same sized pans. Pour the batter in cake pan and bake at 325 degree F for 20-25 minutes or until done. Cool completely on a rack. (I let it cool for almost 1 hr)

3. Meanwhile combine the icing ingredients and mix well.

4. Once the cake is cooled, cut if you made 1 big cake, spread the icing between layers and on top and sides.

Cut a slice and enjoy!!

So I threw some of my old round pans with intention of buying new ones and still haven’t bought em :( So I used 2 corningware bowls to bake my cakes… so my cake took almost 55 mins to cook…the top and bottom were nice and brown while the inside was pink and moist!! Yes I am going to buy cake pans ASAP!!! I had 2 cakes that I cut in halves and iced, ending up with 2 cakes. Luckily I was having dinner with friends and family so it worked out well.

The cake was yum…. inspite of adding just 1-1/3 cup of sugar in the icing, it was sweet for my taste testers. But everyone loved the cake part..it tastes good and is very moist!! The icing is a little liquid-y due to the frozen strawberry… but it should not be runny… just thick enough for it to stick, while it trickles down a little too. But again, we prefer just enough sweetness in our desserts. So adjust the sugar as per your taste. I also substituted margarine with butter, just because I forgot to get some margarine and did not realize until started to take ingredients out for the cake :P

Suggestions my taste tester’s gave me:

* How about using fresh strawberries and cooking it using some sugar….like making compote or jelly like berries and using that.

* What about not using the icing at all or just maybe in the middle??

* How about Bundt pan?

So next time I make this cake, I am going to be using one of these ideas :D

However, inspite of the sweetness, everyone enjoyed the cake. Another keeper recipe :)) Thank you Miss H for the wonderful recipe :))

Try it out and let me know how you like it.

Until next time,

Enjooy!!

 

Kale Chickpea Salad

“KALE IS SUPERFOOD” — haven’t we heard that a lot :)) well I think it taste nice…. whether cooked or raw. My husband on the other hand, does not think the same :( so I try and make Kale recipes when he is not home or eats something else ;) So I found this Salad recipe on Pinterest.  It is from Wishful Chef   –there are some yum looking recipes there!

I cut down the recipe to make 1-2 servings and changed up 2 ingredients.

KCS1a

Kale Chickpea Salad

Makes 1-2 serving.

Ingredients:

1/2 can Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, rinsed (I buy low sodium)

1-2 leaves of Kale, finely chopped

1-2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1-2 tsp Lemon Balsamic White

Salt and Pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese, grated.

Procedure:

In a bowl, mix the chickpea, kale, cilantro, garlic, olive oil and lemon balsamic. Add salt, pepper and cheese to taste. Toss it together, cover and refrigerate for 15-30 mins at least. Enjoy!

I just let it sit for 15 minutes on the counter and the flavors marinated well. However I can see letting it sit longer will make it even more delicious. Overall… yum recipe… a good Lunch Box Salad and very quick and easy!!! I did substitute the lemon juice with Lemon Balsamic …. with my Balsamic craze lately ;) and I am not a parsley fan, but love cilantro so I added that. So I am not sure if these 2 changes will bring about much flavor changes however I was happy with it. For the original recipe Click HERE

This is all for today, hopefully you will try and enjoy this quick, easy and yum salad!!

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Avacado-Onion-Tomato Sandwich

Today I have easy and quick lunch recipe! A friend of mine introduced this sandwich few years ago… and it has been my favorite ever since. It is sort of eating guacamole between 2 slices of bread…just that all the ingredients are sliced ;) Serve this with some tomato soup, chips, fries, chilli sauce or eat it just plain… this simple sandwich is yumm!!

AOTS

Avacado-Onion-Tomato Sandwich

Serving: 1

Ingredients:

2 slices of Bread of your choice.

1/2 Avocado

1/2 Tomato

few slices of Onion

Cilantro, finely chopped

green chillies, sliced (optional)

salt and pepper

butter for roasting

Method:

Butter the slices of bread. Turn them so the buttered side is on the outside. Layer  one slice with avocado and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Next, layer the tomatoes, and onions, sprinkle some more salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cilantro and green chillies (if using). Top it with the other slice. Heat a skillet (or you could do this on a Panini grill). Put the prepared sandwich in the skillet and press down using a spatula. Let it brown and turn to brown the other side. Cut in 2 and serve.

Easy-peasy :))

This sandwich is better eaten warm…. however, I have eaten it room temperature too and it taste just as delicious. You could practically use any bread of your choice-I have tried it on White, Sourdough, Italian, Hoagie Roll, and  Mexican bread, (pictured, can’t remember the name) that I found at the local farmers market. The simplicity of the ingredients and seasonings make this a nice and light sandwich.

Until next time,

Cheers =)

 

 

 

Asparagus-Kale Quinoa Salad

Finally Summer is here :)) 2 months of vacation to rest up, get crafty and experiment in the kitchen :D I wil be honest, first day being home after 10 months of routine schedule is weird ;) But I am looking forward to experimenting some yum foods and desserts in the 2 months!

Since my vaca just started, I am scarce of fresh veggies in my fridge (been lazy) but I did find some Asparagus, Kale, Scallions, and Red Pepper. I know the combination sounds a little crazy….but I promise, the end result turned out yum!! I decided to use Quinoa for grain…. Gluten free, Vegan friendly (if you do not put Parmesan cheese).

ASPARAGUS, KALE QUINOA SALADAKQSalad

Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dry Quinoa

1 bundle of Asparagus

2 cups packed chopped Kale

3 Scallion Sprigs, chopped

1/2 cup peas

1/2 red pepper, chopped

8-10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar (available at Olive Oil Specialty stores and online)

Olive Oil Spray, Salt, Pepper, Red Chili Flakes, as per taste.

Parmesan Cheese, grated (Optional)

 

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Cut Asparagus in bite size pieces. Spray with some olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 7-10 mins depending on the thickness. (Mine were done in 7 mins).

2. Meanwhile cook Quinoa as per package direction. 1/2 cup dry should make 2 servings of Quinoa.

3. In a pan, spray some olive oil and add the Kale with some salt and pepper. It will wilt. Saute till almost cooked. This will take 7-10 mins as Kale is a tough green. When kale is almost done add peppers, scallions, tomatoes and peas. Add chilli flakes as per your taste and add some salt and pepper (if needed).

4. Mix in the cooked Quinoa and add 1-2 tsp of the Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar. Top it with some grated parmesan. Serve Warm.

AKQSalad1

The colorful combination of vegetables make it an inviting meal. Asparagus and Kale go perfect with Lemon, hence this white balsamic is the perfect flavor for this mix, making it a nice summer salad. It could also be a yum side dish for any Chicken or Fish. If you do not have Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar, you could just add good amount of lemon juice. I would not add any vinegar in such case as the White Balsamic has a smooth and sweet taste compared to any other vinegar (Distilled, Red or regular Balsamic) It was easy fairly quick to make and even quicker to gobble it all down ;)

Until next time,

Cheers =)

 

 

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait

There is nothing like finding an easy cheesecake recipe to make….and eggless too :) Works for people (family and friends) I know who do not eat eggs ;) Parfait form makes it a perfect size dessert ….I’m liking these small cup desserts (just like found at PF Changs, Chillis etc) A while ago I made No Bake Nutella Cheesecake in plastic cups …they were a hit…. so I am hoping these are a hit too.

I found this recipe via Youtube, it is from Show Me the Curry and can be found HERE. They made 12 of 2 oz cups. I used bigger cups and doubled up the ingredients.

StrawberryCheesecakeparfait1

Strawberry Cheescake Parfaits

Makes 12 9 0z cups (filled 3/4way)

Ingredients

Graham Crackers (Chocolate)– 15 whole pieces
Butter – 7 Tbsp, melted
Sugar – 1 Tbsp
Strawberries – 1 lb, chopped
Sugar – 3/4Tbsp
Cream Cheese –16 oz, softened
Sour Cream – 2/3 cup
Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
Powdered Sugar – 3/4 cup
Whipped Cream – 3 cup (I used Cool Whip)

Method:

1. Place Graham Crackers in a food processor and pulse to make crumbs. Add melted Butter and 1 Tbsp Sugar and mix well. Keep aside.
2. Mix 3/4 Tbsp Sugar with chopped Strawberries and keep aside.
3. In a bowl, combine softened Cream Cheese, Sour Cream and Vanilla. Mix in Powdered Sugar and mix until no lumps are present. Fold in Whipped Cream.
4. To assemble parfaits, layer a small amount of Graham Cracker crumbs at the bottom of a parfait cup or mini shot glass. Press down to form a crust. Using a pastry bag or zipper bag, pipe in cream cheese mixture half way up the glass. Add a layer of Strawberries. Finish with an additional layer of Cream Cheese mixture.
5. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours to set.

You could decorate it some whipped cream or some more berries.

My husband, I and our friends eat less sugar…. so I did not double on sugar amounts. I started with adding the amount in the original recipe (video link above) and added a little at a time to bring it to our taste level. So adjust the sugar levels as per your taste. I could not find 2 oz glasses like in the video. I used 9 oz cups (found in my local grocery store). So if you want to make big cups and fill them up to the top, you could make 2 layers of berries and 3 layers of cheesecake filling.

Strawberries are fresh and naturally sweet right now. So this is the perfect dessert to try… a nice summer dessert I think or like suggested in the original recipe…a good Mother’s Day Treat :D

Happy Mother’s day to all the moms out there….. Moms make the world Awesome!

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Cheesy Spinach Oatmeal

Breakfast is always a daunting meal… especially when you do not want to eat eggs everyday or are not fan of sweet start to the day with pancakes or waffles. Although my weekday breakfasts happen in the car driving to work…so I always end up making this egg sandwhich…. toasted Ezekiel Bread with one sliced boiled egg, spinach, brown mustard and little mayo- easy to eat in car.

However, on days home… I want to eat non egg things. We have some breakfast recipes in our Indian food too. But still at times there is a desire to eat something different. I have been wanting to add more protein in the mornings, to have more energy….Oatmeal is a filler….but again….can’t eat the sweet stuff!! So I decided to research on Savory Oatmeal dishes. I have made Oatmeal Khichdi (indian term for mix of rice, lentils and veggies–gonna have to be another post!!) But somehow never thought of Savory Oats breakfast…until I came across Girl Makes Food. She has Cheesy oatmeal recipe….which looked delish….So I decided to give it a try while we have been snowed/iced in for 4 days now ;)

CheesySpinachOatmeal

Cheesy Spinach Oatmeal

Adapted form Girl Makes Food Recipe

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oatmeal (I used Extra Thick Rolled oats, Girl Makes food used Steel cut Oats)

1- 1/4 cup water

1-2 cups spinach

1/4 cup shredded mild cheddar (or any cheese of your choice)

Salt, Pepper to taste

Method:

1. Cook oatmeal as per package direction with little bit of salt in it (Let water boil, add the oats, bring the flame down and cook covered). My package suggested 1 cup water for 1/2 cup oatmeal. However, I like mine slightly loose/runny so I used 1-1/4 cup. My oats took 10 mins to cook.

2. Once the oats are cooked, add the spinach, cheese, and pepper. Stir. Adjust seasonings as per taste.

3. Enjoy while hot/warm!!

Conclusion: Yummeeee!!! It is delicious. After tasting it, my brains started sprinting on ideas of all the seasonings I could add or all the veggies I could add or all the desi spices I could add to give it an Indian twist. It is definitely a keeper…. I think a perfect breakfast for Saturdays when my husband and I go do our long walks!!

Something worth trying!!

Until next time

Enjoy!!