Peppermint Mocha Buttercreams

Peppermint Mocha ButtercreamsDo you listen to the Stuff You Should Know podcast? My sister turned me onto it a few months ago and it was love at first listen. As my job is very solitary, I spend my days listening to Josh and Chuck talk about all sorts of things I have never given a passing thought. Imagine my surprise to find that yesterday’s episode was about something that I know all about: cake!

Yes, I spend many waking hours thinking about cake. Really. At any given moment, I am thinking about baking, layering, decorating, or eating cake. If you listen to the podcast (which you should!), it sounds like Josh, Chuck, and I may have that in common…the eating part anyway 😉

Peppermint Mocha ButtercreamsOne thing we definitely agree on though is that we all occasionally eat cake solely as a vehicle for frosting. For some *unknown* reason, it’s socially unacceptable to eat a bowl of frosting, so we eat cake to get our fix 😉 Until now, anyway…

Peppermint Mocha ButtercreamsEnter buttercream candies: literally frosting coated in chocolate.

Peppermint Mocha ButtercreamsFrosting. coated. in. chocolate.

Peppermint Mocha ButtercreamsFrosting for frosting’s sake.

Peppermint Mocha ButtercreamsIf you’re anything like me (or Josh and Chuck, apparently), this is basically the best news ever. These are the no-bake treat of my dreams.

Peppermint Mocha ButtercreamsYou can make buttercreams using any flavor of frosting you can imagine–if it can be whipped into buttercream frosting, it can be rolled into candy. As we’re just a few weeks out from Christmas, I’ve decided to go with Peppermint Mocha Buttercreams today 😊

The frosting base of these candies is a classic American chocolate buttercream that I’ve souped up with 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract and some instant espresso. It comes together in just a few minutes and is super fluffy and luxurious.

Peppermint Mocha ButtercreamsChill the peppermint mocha frosting before scooping it by the teaspoon and rolling it into balls. This is not a glamorous process, but it is helped greatly by coating your hands in confectioner’s sugar.

After another chill, it’s time for a dip in melted chocolate…

Peppermint Mocha Buttercreamsand a smattering of crushed peppermints, or perhaps some holiday sprinkles.

Peppermint Mocha ButtercreamsPeppermint Mocha ButtercreamsOne more quick chill later, the Peppermint Mocha Buttercreams are ready to eat. And oh, are they good. I mean, how could the combination of a chocolate shell and a melty espresso-mint center be anything but delicious?!

Peppermint Mocha ButtercreamsThey’re basically holiday perfection in a mouthful.

Peppermint Mocha ButtercreamsLooking for more Peppermint Mocha? Try my Peppermint Mocha Cookies ❤️💚❤️💚

Peppermint Mocha ButtercreamsPeppermint Mocha Buttercreams
inspired by and heavily adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
makes about 4 dozen candies

1 tablespoon instant espresso granules
2 teaspoons warm tap water
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract (NOT mint extract)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
16 ounces dark chocolate (not chocolate chips)
crushed peppermints, for decorating (optional)
sprinkles, for decorating (optional)

In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together espresso granules and warm water. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Beat in confectioner’s sugar, followed by cocoa powder and salt, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add in vanilla and peppermint extracts, followed by espresso mixture. Add heavy cream. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes, until very fluffy. Press plastic wrap to the surface of the frosting. Chill one hour in the refrigerator.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Remove chilled frosting from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap. Scoop frosting by the teaspoon, roll into balls, and place on prepared pan. Coating your palms in confectioner’s sugar may help the rolling process. Chill rolled frosting uncovered for one hour.

Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to chop chocolate. Place in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring between, until smooth. Alternatively, melt chocolate in a double boiler. Let cool five minutes.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Remove buttercreams from the refrigerator.

To dip, drop one ball of buttercream into the melted chocolate. Use a fork to coat buttercream in chocolate. Drain briefly by scraping the tines of the fork on the edge of the bowl. Use the fork to gently lay the buttercream on the prepared pan. Immediately top with crushed peppermints or sprinkles. Continue until all buttercreams have been coated and topped.

Chill buttercreams for at least fifteen minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Key Lime Pie Popsicles

Key Lime Pie PopsiclesAre y’all as worn out as I am? I spent Memorial Day weekend in Texas with my family, my best friend from college is in town, and I am turning 32 on Monday!

Key Lime Pie PopsiclesThirty two. Thirty. Two. How am I possibly that old? I graduated from college ten years ago. I have been in New York for almost that long. I have a real job and responsibilities and a very busy life, but I sure don’t feel like a 32 year old. I still remember thinking that 23 was old. Oh, how times have changed.

Key Lime Pie PopsiclesKey Lime Pie PopsiclesI don’t know about you, but as a bonafide adult, I don’t always have time to make the desserts that I want. Lately, I have been dreaming about Key Lime Pie. It’s remarkably easy to make, but as we all know, pie takes time. This week, I have no time. In fact, it feels like I have negative time. But after breakfast yesterday, I did find a quick half hour to make a batch of Key Lime Pie Popsicles. When got home from work last night, I coated one in graham cracker crumbs and ate it in bed (because I’m an adult and I can). That’s what living the dream looks like this week–eating dessert in bed.

Please don’t judge me too harshly.

Key Lime Pie PopsiclesKey Lime Pie PopsiclesThese Key Lime Pie Popsicles are just as good as their namesake dessert and half the work! They have just six ingredients: key lime juice and zest, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, heavy cream, and graham cracker crumbs. The process is similar to making no-churn ice cream–mix together the juice, zest, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla, whip the cream, and fold everything together. Pour it all into popsicle moulds and freeze. A few hours later, release them from their moulds and coat them in graham cracker crumbs before serving. They really couldn’t be easier…

Key Lime Pie Popsicles…except that you can also layer the mixture into a freezer-safe container, swirl in some graham cracker crumbs, and have No-Churn Key Lime Pie Ice Cream. I love a two-fer.

Key Lime Pie PopsiclesKey Lime Pie Popsicles are a citrus-lover’s dream dessert! They have all the tart, tangy, creamy flavor of the classic pie, but with a frozen twist. Who needs a birthday cake when they have these popsicles? Not me!Key Lime Pie Popsicles

Key Lime Pie Popsicles
makes 10-12 popsicles

3/4-1 cup key lime juice (or regular lime juice), depending how much tartness you prefer
2 teaspoons key lime zest (or regular lime zest)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk (not fat free)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, for coating (about 8 whole graham crackers)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together key lime juice, key lime zest, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Do not over-whip.

Use a silicone spatula to fold half the whipped cream into the key lime mixture. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Divide mixture among popsicle moulds. Freeze for at least 4 hours.

When ready to eat, pour graham cracker crumbs into a shallow dish. Run popsicles (in their moulds) under warm water for a few seconds before releasing. Coat popsicles in graham crumbs, and enjoy!

Key Lime Pie Popsicles

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Chocolate Biscuit CakeConfession: I know almost nothing about Irish baking. I can make an Irish Chocolate Potato Cake, but beyond that, I’m lost.

Today though, that’s okay. I don’t need to know a single thing about Irish baking to make this Chocolate Biscuit Cake…because it’s no-bake 🎉🎉🎉

Chocolate Biscuit CakeThis cake is not a cake at all, really. It amounts to wheat-based tea cookies (aka biscuits) enrobed in a block of chocolate ganache, basically making it one big truffle. It’s very rich and is just…wow. I don’t know why this isn’t more popular in America. It’s the ultimate icebox cake, and heaven knows we Americans love an icebox cake.

Chocolate Biscuit CakeThe classic cake is just the chocolate and biscuits, but I’ve taken the liberty of making it a little more cake-like (well cheesecake-like) by adding a buttery crust. What can I say? I love a classic, but I also can’t leave well enough alone. This extra step just takes a minute–literally, it happens in the food processor–but I love the textural difference between the big chunks of cookie in the cake and the fine, buttery crumb of the crust.

Press the crust into the pan and freeze it while you make the filling. Chop up a pound of dark chocolate. Yes, a pound. Bring heavy cream, a stick of butter, and a bit of honey to a simmer and then pour it over the top of the chocolate. Leave it to melt for a few minutes before stirring it together to make a sort of souped-up ganache. Fold in a pound of biscuits that have been broken into shards, and then spread it all over the crust. Refrigerate the cake for a few hours before dusting with confectioners sugar and serving in small slices.

Chocolate Biscuit CakeNow you may be wondering, is this big truffle of a cake actually Irish? It was popular a few years ago when Prince William had it for his groom’s cake at the Royal Wedding, so it may be considered more of an English thing. I, however, am deciding it’s appropriate for St. Patrick’s Day because my first-ever Chocolate Biscuit Cake recipe came from the Irish mother of a friend. This is not her recipe, but I now associate this dessert with our emails back and forth about metric vs. empirical measurements 😊 I’ve done a little research to back this up, and it appears Chocolate Biscuit Cake is just as popular in Ireland as it is in England.

Thank goodness for that. It means you can have Chocolate Biscuit Cake tomorrow 🍀Chocolate Biscuit Cake

Chocolate Biscuit Cake
makes one 9- or 10-inch cake

Crust:
6 ounces digestive biscuits* (about 12 biscuits)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
16 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons mild honey (or Lyle’s Golden Syrup)
16 ounces digestive biscuits (about 32 biscuits), broken into pieces
1-2 tablespoons confectioners sugar, for topping (optional)

Butter the inside of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.

Make the crust. In a food processor, pulverize digestive biscuits until they are fine crumbs. Pulse in sugar and salt. Add melted butter and process until combined. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press into an even layer on the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan. Freeze for 1 hour to set.

Make the filling. Place chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, butter, and honey. Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently until it comes to a simmer. Remove from heat. Be careful–cream expands rapidly when it reaches a boil.

Pour cream mixture over chocolate and allow it to sit until chocolate melts, about 8-10 minutes. Whisk together until smooth. Fold in broken digestive biscuits. Pour mixture over the top of the crust. Smooth the top as well as you can. Tap pan on the counter ten times to distribute everything evenly. Smooth again. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3 hours, or until set.

Remove cake from refrigerator and discard plastic wrap. Run a small, flexible knife around the edge of the pan. Release the springform. Sift confectioners sugar over the top, if desired. Slice into small pieces and serve.

Cake will keep covered in the refrigerator for several days.

Note:

If you cannot find digestive biscuits in the cookie or international aisles of your grocery store, crisp butter cookies or graham crackers will work here.

Friday Favorites: No-Bake Recipes

I have not forgotten you, I promise.

My oven died an untimely death last Wednesday, so I have not baked a thing in over a week. The stove still works, but the one day I was planning to make a batch of doughnuts for this blog, we had an electrical surge and were left without power for fourteen hours. The universe just did not want me to bake this week. Ah, well.

It’s odd not being able to do something I’ve done nearly everyday for four years, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t enjoyed having a little forced break from baking. I have gone to bed earlier, washed fewer dishes, and spent a little more time outside (but also watched most of Girls). I also bought myself a bunch of new clothes and went a little nuts and booked a trip to Maine with my little sister. I clearly need my oven back so I can do more than browse AirBNB to fill my time.

As I sit here waiting for a technician to arrive and replace the oven’s heating element, I’m ready to get back to work. He’s been here twice already, so let’s hope the third time’s the charm. In the meantime, here are a few recipes from my archives that don’t require a functioning oven!

Oreo Peanut Butter

Friday Favorites: No-Bake RecipesOreos and peanut butter are a match made in heaven! Here the chocolatey cookies and salty peanuts are blitzed together in the bowl of a food processor until nice and creamy. This stuff is excellent by itself on toast, but I highly recommend pairing it with marshmallow fluff for the best Fluffernutter sandwich of your life.

Funfetti Cookie Dough Truffles

Friday Favorites: No-Bake RecipesYou can’t bake cookies without an oven, but when you have truffles filled with sprinkle-studded cookie dough, who cares? These easy no-bake treats are made with an edible, eggless cookie dough that is formulated specifically to be eaten raw!

No-Churn Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Friday Favorites: No-Bake RecipesWhile we’re on the subject of edible, eggless cookie dough, let me introduce you to your new favorite ice cream. As you might have guessed, it’s a combination of mint chocolate chip and chocolate chip cookie dough, and it doesn’t require an ice cream machine–the best of all worlds.

Ultimate Chocolate-Peanut Butter Snack Mix

Friday Favorites: No-Bake RecipesThis stuff gets me into trouble. There’s chocolate, peanut butter, cereal, candy, a delectable confectioner’s sugar coating…let’s just say that when I start, I can’t stop.

Brownie Mix

Friday Favorites: No-Bake RecipesJust because you can’t actually bake my Cocoa Brownies yourself doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them to someone else! Just layer the dry ingredients in a jar, attach a card with instructions, and give it to someone you love. If you’re lucky, they’ll invite you over to share 😊

Have you made any of these recipes? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram @e2bakesbrooklyn.

Cross your fingers for my oven!

No-Churn Cookies & Coffee Ice Cream

 It was hot in Brooklyn this past weekend! Being from Texas, I’m conditioned to think that 90 degree days between May and September are borderline-comfortable, but with the humidity here, they’re absolutely brutal. And with that, I suppose that I’m officially a New Yorker now.

I’ve been keeping cool, thanks to my trusty air conditioning unit and a more-than-reasonable amount of homemade ice cream. As you might have noticed, I’ve gotten really into making ice cream lately. This is my third ice cream recipe since February, and not one of them requires a bulky machine or a frozen insert. No, this ice cream comes together with just a few ingredients, two bowls, an electric mixer, and a silicone spatula. With minimal effort (and eight hours of freezing), you’re rewarded with a seriously delicious way to cool down this summer. 

So far, I’ve posted recipes for Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Banana Pudding ice creams made with a vanilla base, but I went for something different today: a smooth coffee ice cream base filled with crushed Oreos. This No-Churn Cookies & Coffee Ice Cream is the perfect combination of two of my favorite flavors! It has a rich coffee flavor and tons of texture from the crushed cookies. 

So, how did I get all sorts of coffee goodness into the ice cream? Well, it was an adventure. I started with briefly simmering heavy cream with whole coffee beans, cooling it down, and trying to whip it–the keyword being “trying.” It resulted in a gluey, unusable mess. The second try wasn’t much better. I tried steeping barely warmed heavy cream with ground coffee before chilling and whipping, but the flavored cream didn’t whip up to much and made for a small amount of overwhelmingly bitter ice cream. 

As they say, the third time’s the charm. I repeated the process from the second attempt, but when it came time to whip, I added 1 1/2 cups of plain heavy cream to the steeped cream. This evened out the overwhelming flavor of the previous batch and, when combined with the crushed Oreos, resulted in eight cups of frozen cookie and coffee magic.

Oh, is this ice cream good. The base is smooth and creamy with just the right amount of coffee flavor, and the cookies soften slightly and give the ice cream a ton of texture. I don’t know about you, but I plan to keep this No-Churn Cookies & Coffee Ice Cream on-hand all summer long 😊 

 No-Churn Cookies & Coffee Ice Cream
makes about 8 cups

1 cup coarsely ground coffee beans (I used decaf)
3 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
18 Oreos, crushed

Combine ground coffee and 2 cups of heavy cream in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, just until bubbles start to form at the edges of the pan. Remove pan from heat, cover, and allow to steep for one hour.

Line a fine sieve with four layers of cheesecloth. Set sieve over a small mixing bowl. Pour cream-ground coffee through the line sieve. Dispose of ground coffee. Chill steeped cream until cold.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Set aside.

Combine steeped cream and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream in a separate large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to whip until stiff peaks form. Using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, fold whipped cream into sweetened condensed milk mixture. Gently fold in crushed Oreos.

Transfer mixture to a 9×5″ loaf pan or other 8-cup vessel. Press plastic wrap onto the top of the ice cream mixture to keep ice crystals from forming. Cover with aluminum foil. Freeze for at least 8 hours before serving.

Ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to two weeks.