Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Java Chocolate Crunch Buns

This buns were made because my husband requested chocolate bread.  I didn't realize at the time that this wasn't a sweet bun recipe, instead it was a coffee and chocolate flavored buns.  Those two flavors were faint in taste, but it did color the bread brownish.  The pistachio nuts wasn't enough to satisfy the crunch factor in my opinion.  Maybe a bit more in quantity would be better next time.

There's this book that I just bought, which is called 300 Best Bread Machine Recipes and I've been making a variety of bread from it.  It's a bread machine book, but a lot of time, I converted it an oven-baked bread.  It's fairly simple to prepare it and our family likes it better.  I own another book of bread machine recipe but I get bored easily so I had to buy another one to play with :D

My husband did used it for making his sandwich for lunch and he was happy about it.  The texture was great, it was quite soft and fluffy.  Oh, the original recipe was a loaf but since I had a bit of time on my hand, I made them into rolls :)  The recipe will make about 12 buns.  Also, I added beaten egg glaze and a sprinkling of cocoa powder on the buns.  Honestly, I don't mind making it again actually with lots more pistachio, of course.

Well, it's a short post today; and here's the recipe!

Java Chocolate Crunch Loaf

Makes 1 loaf or about 12 small-sized buns

3/4 cup water
1/3 cup freshly brewed coffee (room temperature)
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons liquid honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 1/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/3 cup pistachio nuts--can increase to 1/2 cup if you want
1 1/2 teaspoon bread machine or instant yeast

Measure all ingredients into baking pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer.  Insert pan into the oven chamber.

Select Dough Cycle.

At the end of its cycle, remove the dough to a lightly floured surface.  Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.  Prepare a 9-x 5-inch loaf pan, spray it with nonstick cooking spray.  Or if making buns, lay a parchment paper on a large baking sheet.

Roll the dough into an 8-x 10-inch rectangle.  Working form the short side, roll jellyroll-style.  Seal the seam by pinching the dough between the thumb and forefinger.  Place the dough seam down in the pan.  Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubles in size.  Usually I preheat my oven to 150F for 15 minutes before I have to put my bread in.  I turn it off, wait for 5 minutes then put the bread in.  This will take about 1 hour for the loaf to double.

If you're interested in making small-sized buns, divide the dough into 12 balls.  Roll each ball on a floured surface until smooth.  Place them on baking sheet, cover with a towel and let rise until doubles.  Before baking, brush the tops with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with a tiny amount of water) and sprinkle with cocoa powder.

Bake the bread in a 350F oven for 35-40 minutes for loaf; about 20-25 minutes for buns, depending on the oven.  Remove the baked loaf or buns from the baking sheet immediately and set on a rack to cool.

Source:  300 Best Bread Machine Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Peanut Butter-Brownie Cheesecake

Since we had the no-bake cheesecake, my family wanted me to make another one right away.  When it's that good, there's no stopping the craving!

This one is obviously a baked cheesecake, which I haven't made for a long time I didn't think I would be successful.  I managed to bake it just right with only a sliver of crack.  That 2 minutes extra time I added at the end was unnecessary obviously.

The combo flavor is the one that everyone loves.  But don't be alarmed that I used up a small jar of peanut butter to make the filling!  I'm sure my PCP won't be too happy with the cholesterol-laden food I'm eating at home.

The brownie bottom has bits of bittersweet chocolate which I thought was nice.  The recipe calls for finely chopped, but I went with perhaps bigger pieces.  Brownie was chewy and chocolaty, a perfect vessel for the creamy and smooth peanut butter filling.

We didn't polish this off in one day, we couldn't anyway.  We ate sliver by sliver until it's no more.  I found out that I like eating cheesecake when it's really cold while my son likes it at room temperature.

Well, here is the recipe; give it a try!

Peanut-Butter Brownie Cheesecake

Serves 12 servings

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup sifted unbleached all-purpose flour (sifted, then measured)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

12 ounces Philadelphia-brand cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/3 cups creamy peanut butter

3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

To make the crust:  Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350F.  Butter 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides.  Dust pan lightly with flour; tap out excess.

Stir unsweetened chocolate and butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth.  Cool.  Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in small bowl to blend.  Using electric mixer, beat eggs and brown sugar in medium bowl until very thick, abut 4 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl.  Beat in melted chocolate mixture, vanilla, and chopped bittersweet chocolate.  Add flour mixture and beat until just blended.

Spread 1 cup brownie batter over bottom of prepared pan.  Bake until firm, about 17 minutes.  Cool bottom crust in pan in freezer 15 minutes.  Maintain oven temperature.

To make the filling:  Blend cream cheese and brown sugar in processor until smooth.  Add eggs and sour cream; using on/off turns, process until mixture is smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl.  Using on/off turns, blend in peanut butter.  Using small knife, spread remaining brownie batter evenly around sides of pan, sealing batter to bottom crust.  Pour in filling (filling will not be as high as brownie batter).

Bake until center of cheesecake is gently set and brownie sides have fallen to form 1-inch-wide ring around filling, about 30 minutes.

To make the topping:  Whisk sour cream and sugar in small bowl to blend.  Spread evenly atop hot cheesecake to within 3/4 inch of edge.  Bake cheesecake 1 minute longer.

Set cake on rack.  Cut around top edge of pan sides to loosen cake.  Cool cake completely.  Place peanut butter in pastry bag fitted with small (No.1) star tip.  Pipe tiny rosettes of peanut butter around edge of sour cream.  Chill cake until rosettes are firm, about 30 minutes.  Cover pan tightly with foil and chill cake overnight.

Cut around pan sides to loosen cake.  Remove pan sides.  Transfer cheesecake to platter.  Cut into wedges and serve.

Source:  adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts