It’s been quite some time since I made something that wasn’t savory. Having some friends over for lunch and cards changed all that. Unlike my friends, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. But they do, and far be it from me not to be a good hostess and indulge their tastes.
I didn’t want to spend a lot of time making a dessert. I wanted to concentrate more on the meal and put together something quick but insanely good. I did just that. Let me warn you, this dessert is very rich but you’ll find yourself licking your fingers and wanting more. So let’s talk crispy chocolate butterscotch bars…
Lesson Learned 1: This is so much better than the traditional crispy rice cereal bars: All of us at one time or another have eaten rice cereal bars that were made with marshmallow cream. I never really liked them as I felt they were sickeningly sweet. The binder in this recipe is honey, a little sugar and crunchy peanut butter. It really changes the flavor profile of the bars, in my estimation, for the better.
Lesson Learned 2: Butterscotch morsels don’t melt as quickly as chocolate morsels: I started melting the morsels in the microwave, stirring them every 30 seconds. After a couple of minutes of doing this process I saw it was losing battle. I made a makeshift double boiler using a sauce pan and a glass bowl and melted the morsels that way. It still took a little time but the process moved much more quickly than in the microwave.
If you want a great dessert without a lot of work, this is the recipe for you. Try it and let me know what you think.
In a saucepan over medium high heat stir together the honey and sugar until it almost comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the peanut butter. Stir the mixture until the peanut butter has melted and is thoroughly combined.
Combine the honey mixture with the rice cereal. Thoroughly combine. (the mixture will be thick). Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
In a double boiler over heated water combine chocolate and butterscotch morsels. Stir until completely melted. Spread evenly over the cereal mixture.
Sprinkle the peanuts on top. Let cool until the chocolate hardens. Cut into bars and serve. Keep in a airtight container for up to three days.
What can I say – my husband loves chocolate. Whether it be truffles, cookies, pies, cheese cake or simply semi-sweet morsels right out of the bag, if something contains chocolate chances are he’ll love it. So that means I’m always looking for variations on chocolate sweets, especially cakes and sweet breads.
So here is another chocolate cake recipe. I like this recipe for a variety of reasons. First it’s very simple and quick to make. Second adding the semi sweet morsels sends the cake over the top. Third the frosting is not overly sweet and so it compliments the cake beautifully.
So let’s talk double chocolate sour cream cheese cake…
Lesson Learned 1 – Never stray from the basics on this: By that I mean a couple of things. First, make sure whenever you bake your eggs are at room temperature. The reason is simple. Room temperature eggs blend more completely in the batter which results in a better texture for the cake. Don’t have the time to do this? Oh yes, you do – just follow my simple tips and tricks. Second, coat the semi-sweet morsels with a teaspoon of flour. By that I mean put the morsels in a bowl, pour the flour on top and mix the flour into the morsels until they are all lightly coated. When you add chocolate morsels or fruit like blueberries to cake batter they all sink to the bottom of the cake when it is baking. This little trick will help you get your morsels more evenly distributed throughout the batter.
Lesson Learned 2 – Less is more when making the frosting: Always be aware that if you add too much liquid up front when making frosting it can become too runny. With this recipe I would add 1 Tbs. of milk at a time until you get the desired consistency. Be aware that you will really need to mix this frosting well after you add any liquid. I used a stiff whisk and at first I did not think the frosting would achieve the consistency I wanted. But as I kept whisking I found that it turned out great. I only used 2 Tbs. of milk but with frosting you never know. The main point here is to make sure you mix the frosting ingredients thoroughly before adding any additional milk.
Ready To Go Into The Oven
I wish I could say I had a ton of lessons learned about this recipe but bottom line it’s a very traditional method of making a sheet cake so other than following the basics as I’ve listed above the rest is just a matter for following the directions.
Out Of The Oven
This is a great cake to make when you need something quick. It’s easy but totally decadent. You can serve it with sliced strawberries or if you really want to take it over the top add a little whipped cream or ice cream. This is a great cake to make for a party or just simply for the family. If you’re like me and want a go-to cake recipe, this is the one for you. Try it and tell me what you think…
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the butter, cocoa and water into a medium size saucepan over medium heat and whisk until the cocoa is dissolved and the butter melted. Pour into a mixing bowl and let it cool slightly.
Once slightly cooled mix in the sugar, the eggs (one at a time) and the vanilla. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. With your mixer (you can use a hand mixer) on low beat in the flour mixture until combined. Do not over mix.
Fold in the sour cream and chocolate morsels by hand.
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray (the one with flour). Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes (check the cake at 30 minutes). The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Frosting: In a small saucepan melt together the cocoa powder and butter. Pour the mixture into a small bowl and let it cool slightly. Beat in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with a tablespoon of milk until the desired consistency is reached. Frost the cooled cake.