From Cupcakes to Traditional Korean Food and Everything in Between

Microwave Brownies – Easy 5 Minute Brownies

Brownies

This past weekend was a whirlwind blur with our engagement party but, I’m happy to report that I spent a great deal of the time relishing the gifts of the season and the coast.  We enjoyed a low country boil that included 20 pounds of seafood, tapas with friends, cupcakes galore and not to be forgotten about, these brownies that me and baby brother had a blast making and eating together.

I think I swam in the ocean and caught up with friends while eating to my hearts content more than I actually slept and since my baby brother lives in the mountains and I live by the sea, we don’t get to enjoy each others company as much as we used to so needless to say, bedtime was around 4 am every “night.”  It was around the same time that we both exclaimed our sudden sweet craving but at such a late hour, the last thing we could fathom doing was waiting around for at least 30 minutes for something to be ready.  Cue these no-bake brownies.  We played around and tweaked my classic brownie recipe, crossing our fingers that it would magically emerge as the decadent chocolate bars we desired, despite utilizing the microwave.  What do you know?  Not only did these brownies take only 5 minutes to cook, they were melt in your mouth delicious with an intense chocolate flavor and gooey molten chocolate bits.  It satisfied our late night craving perfectly and allowed us to bond over chocolate.  Not too shabby if you ask me.

Though these brownies are no-bake and ridiculously fast and easy, they still maintain the bite of a brownie {be it a softer one}, and have all the delicious flavor of a brownie that spent 6 times longer to be ready.  In that time, me and baby brother were already comfortably tucked into our warm brownies licking off melted chocolate and greedily scooping up the ice cream soup that collected on our plates.  This is definitely a brownie recipe you should have in your repertoire.  You just never know when a vicious craving will strike.


Microwave Brownies - Easy 5 Minute Brownies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 x 8 pan
Ingredients
  • ½ c butter
  • ½ c bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 ts pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large, room temperature eggs
  • ¾ c granulated sugar
  • ¾ c unbleached flour
  • ¼ c unsweetened natural cocoa
  • ½ ts baking soda
  • ½ ts fine salt
  • ½ c bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Optional: ¼ ts instant espresso
Instructions
  1. In a large measuring cup, melt the butter and ½ c chocolate together. Heat until just melted then add the vanilla. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In your first bowl, mix the eggs and sugar until thick and homogenous.
  3. Add the cooled butter/chocolate to the first bowl.
  4. In your second bowl, sift/whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Scoop out a bit of the dry mixture from your second bowl and toss the second ½ cup of chocolate in it.
  6. Combine the first and second bowls together in batches. Take care not to over mix. Stir until just combined then fold in the rest of the chocolate {that's been dusted with the some of the dry mixture}.
  7. Pour the batter into a lined/greased microwave safe pan. In my 1.45 kw microwave, my brownies took about 5 minutes to cook. It helps to cook it in 1 minute bursts at a time. Each microwave is different but the edges will be set while the very center will still be a bit loose. It will continue to set as it cools. When in doubt, go low and slow and under cook versus over cooking.
  8. Cool, cut, and serve {dust with powdered sugar if desired}.

 

No Bake Eclair Cake

EclairCake2

The first time I had an icebox cake, it was actually at a fairly nice restaurant for tapas.  I’m talking about the $16 a plate for 4 meatballs type of joint.  They brought out a crazy embellished stack of chocolate and berries, complete with micro mint lavender strewn prettily all around the borders of the plate.  The verdict?  Good, but I think the bill tipped heavily in favor of presentation more so than anything else.  A couple weeks later, at one of my favorite diners, I polished off my meal with their version of an icebox cake.  Again, the verdict?  Good, but this time it didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

The great thing about ice box cakes is that they’re quick, easy, and no bake yet they’re impressive enough to serve guests.  While it sits in your fridge overnight, it morphs into cakey like layers that can be sliced up just like a traditional layer cake that has now fused with every flavor component, making it taste even better as it sits.  There’s good reason that for on-the-fly desserts for impromptu guests, I rotate this with my no bake chocolate peanut butter pie aka my “love me more pie.”  You just can’t beat a dessert you can assemble in 15 minutes from start to finish.

Since this cake is so easy, I always like to whip up my own pastry cream which is also called cream patisserie.  Fancy name, un-fancy preparation.  The homemade custard, especially when folded together with whipped cream, really lends a luxurious body and decadence to the finished product, really elevating the humble ice box cake.  Of course, the generous bath of chocolate ganache doesn’t hurt either.  Each bite possesses the qualities vanilla cake with fudge-y frosting with tangles of tiramisu and eclair flavors.

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
No Bake Eclair Cake
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 x 8 cake
Ingredients
Pastry Cream
  • 2 c whole milk
  • 3 tb cornstarch
  • ⅔ c sugar
  • 2 ts pure vanilla extract
  • 2 room temperature egg yolks
  • Optional: 1 c whipped cream
Chocolate Ganache
  • ½ c bittersweet {or semisweet} chocolate
  • ¼ c heavy cream
  • Optional: ¼ ts instant espresso powder + ¼ ts fine salt
2 sleeves of graham crackers
Instructions
  1. For the pastry cream, combine all of its ingredients into a bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
  2. Heat low and slow over the stovetop or microwave. In my 1.58 kw microwave, it took a total of 2-3 minutes when taken in short bursts with regular stirring. The pastry cream is ready when it coats the back of a spoon and is thick and glossy. Set aside/chill to cool.
  3. Optional: when cool, fold in whipped cream. Lay cling directly on the surface of the pastry cream so it doesn't develop a skin and refrigerate.
  4. In a cake pan lined with parchment, line the bottom with graham crackers. Spread the top with cooled pastry cream.
  5. Repeat and end with a layer of graham crackers. {I completed 3 thick layers in my pan}.
  6. For the chocolate ganache, combine everything into a microwave safe bowl and gently heat in short bursts. Stir and allow the residual heat the melt the remaining chocolate bits.
  7. Spread the ganache over the top layer of graham crackers.
  8. Chill overnight to set before serving.

Shamrock Farms Milk & Giveaway

Today, I wanted to share some fun and easy recipes using Shamrock Farms on-the-go milk.  They’re being offered at Walmart right now at a really affordable $1 for convenient single serve 12 oz bottles.  There are no added hormones or high fructose corn syrup and they come in regular, chocolate, and strawberry.  They even have an organic line that I adore.  To celebrate, they’re launching Roxie’s ultimate back to school sweepstakes and you could win $5,000 in gift cards by entering at http://shamrockfarms.net/walmart from June 25 to August 20.

To help celebrate, I recreated some of my own recipes by including some of their fresh milk.  First up, I revamped my Korean Melon Bars and swapped out cream for their regular milk and the results?  A lighter version that still tastes just as yummy but with less fat and calories.

KoreanMelonBars

I’ve also posted their original recipe.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Shamrock Farms
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Shamrock Farms Strawberry Reduced Fat mmmmilk
  • 1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
  • Your choice of fresh or frozen fruit (berries are our favorite!)
Instructions
  1. Combine Shamrock Farms Strawberry Reduced Fat Milk and Greek vanilla yogurt, pour into blender. Add desired fruit (about a handful of each), can be a mix of fresh and frozen fruit. Blend until smooth.
  2. Add the mixture to your favorite popsicle molds. Freeze for 3 to 4 hours & enjoy!

A yummy variation would be to combine Shamrock Farms strawberry milk and Greek yogurt with bananas for a strawberry banana smoothie flavor.

To help beat the heat, why not whip up your own blended coffee drink at home?  Frozen cubes of Shamrock Farms chocolate milk give my homemade S’mores Frappuccino a thick creamy mocha boost.  You can find coupons for their milk here.  You can even schedule a tour to visit with their happy cows.

Flavored_Milk1-landing-page

Whichever flavor you choose, you can’t go wrong.

Don’t forget to enter their giveaway.  You can also follow them on social media through Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter and find more recipe inspiration on their website.  Happy slurping!

 

Korean BBQ Bulgogi 3 Ways 불고기

1

Our affinity for grilled meat is great in our household.  Considering the grand affair that Koreans like to make of tabletop barbecue, it only makes sense.  Pork belly to ribs, we love it all. Todays video is all about Korean bulgogi which literally translates to fire meat.  It’s meant to be grilled over a hot open flame, making the natural sugars caramelize and create a spectacular meat candy crust.  Though traditionally enjoyed with a soup/stew, steamed rice and a variety of vegetable side dishes {like my soybean sprouts}, I wanted to share the variety of ways that me and J have been enjoying Korean bbq lately.  I’ll often pack him a Korean fusion lunch to take to work and they’ve now become staples that not only travel and keep well, they’re a great mix of east meets west in a familiar yet exciting package that he always looks forward to.

First up is the Korean BBQ flatbread pizza.  Light, chewy homemade flatbread serves as the base that gets slathered with a bright, slightly smoky pepper sauce with a kick.  You can opt for a classic pizza crust or use a store bought alternative instead but I like making my own flatbread because it takes literally 5 minutes to cook up tender and chewy bread with gorgeous golden bubbles. The final crowning of caramelized onions and grilled ribeye set this pizza off, making it truly one of a kind.

Next up is the Korean BBQ burrito.  The filling possibilities are endless, making this one a sure fire way to please everyone.  I chose mine to hold cheese, rice, kimchi, kale and of course, Korean BBQ.  I personally love the fresh zip that the deeply fermented kimchi brings to the table and the crunchy burst of green that the kale lends while the cheese holds everything together, but you could also add avocado, beans, peppers, sour cream, pico and so much more.

Finally, it’s the Korean BBQ slider which couldn’t be simpler.  Grilled Korean ribeye gets tucked into soft slider buns, making it the classic pairing for fries.  But wait, these aren’t just any ordinary fries.  These are crispy fries topped with gooey melting cheese, crunchy chopped kimchi, and salty buttery bacon.


5.0 from 3 reviews
Korean BBQ Bulgogi 3 Ways
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6 small/medium flatbread pizzas
Ingredients
Korean BBQ Marinade
  • 2 lbs grass fed ribeye
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ c soy sauce
  • 1 tb sesame oil
  • 1 tb sesame seeds
  • 2 tb brown sugar/honey
  • ½ grated Asian pear/apple
  • ½ onion/1 scallion
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 ts grated ginger
Korean BBQ Flatbread Pizza
Flatbread Crust
  • .25 oz dry active yeast
  • 1 c warm water
  • 3 tb sugar
  • 3 tb whole milk
  • 1 room temperature egg
  • 2 ts fine salt
  • 4½ c unbleached flour
Korean pepper paste sauce
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • ½ c Korean red pepper paste {gochujang}
  • ½ tb sesame oil
  • Optional {for less heat} 2 tb raw honey
  • Toppings: grilled/caramelized veggies, cheese and Korean BBQ
Korean BBQ Burrito
  • Corn/flour tortillas
  • Desired Fillings: cheese, veggies, rice and Korean BBQ
Korean BBQ Sliders
  • Slider buns
  • Korean BBQ
Kimchi Fries
  • French fries
  • Melting cheese {I used fontina}
  • Bacon bits
  • Chopped kimchi
Instructions
  1. For the marinade, whisk everything together and gently massage into the meat. For best results, marinate overnight.
  2. Grill over fast and hot heat for just a couple minutes. Do not overcook.
  3. For the pizza, assemble the flatbread {if using homemade} but combining the yeast and warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir the water/yeast with the sugar, milk, egg, salt and flour. Knead until smooth, cover, and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Tear off pieces {making them as big or as small as you'd like} and roll out as thinly as possible.
  6. Over a medium/hot pan, cook each side in butter/oil for 2-3 minutes.
  7. For the pepper sauce, combine everything together.
  8. Take each flatbread and spread with the sauce and top with meat, cheese and toppings.
  9. For the burrito, layer with Korean BBQ and other desired fillings.
  10. For the sliders, add chopped Korean BBQ into each bun and serve with hot fries with melted cheese, chopped kimchi, and bacon.

 

<< Previous Posts