Bourbon Banana Cakes

Bourbon Banana Cakes

These delicious moist individual Bourbon Banana Cakes are topped with a luxurious bourbon toffee sauce and freshly sliced bananas.

Bourbon Sauce
1 cup whipping cream
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
½ stick butter
¼ cup bourbon
Pinch of salt

Banana Cakes
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature plus more for the baking cups
2 /3 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1 tablespoon bourbon
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Sliced fresh bananas

Bourbon Sauce
Bring the cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, bourbon and pinch of salt in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk to boiling and the sugar dissolves completely. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook at gentle simmer until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon thickly. Remove from heat and set aside and cover to keep warm.

Banana Cakes
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 6-nonstick silcone baking cups. Place them on a baking tray.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl. Using an electric mixer fitted with the beater blade, beat the butter and sugar until fluffly. Beat in the eggs one at a time then beat in the mashed bananas, bourbon, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in three additions, beating just to blend after each addition. Spread the batter evenly in prepared baking cups filling them about 2/3-3/4 full.
Place in the oven and bake the cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 33 minutes. Spread one tablespoon of the toffee sauce evenly over each cake and cool in the cups on a rack 30 minutes. Remove from the cups and trim the tops evenly to make a flat surface. Place cut side down on each plate. Top with fresh banana slices. Whisk the bourbon sauce and pour over the banana to serve. Makes six servings.

Chocolate Coconut Brownies

Chocolate Coconut Brownies

The yummy combination of chocolate and coconut is the real star in these deep chocolate brownies topped with a chewy coconut layer.

Brownie layer
¾ cup unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon instant espresso granules
¾ cup flour
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Coconut Layer
3 large egg whites
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut

Line a 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving overhang on all sides. Lightly grease the parchment with butter. Set a small metal bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water and add the chopped dark chocolate and butter to bowl. Melt together, whisking occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and espresso granules until smooth. Slowly, in three batches, add in the warm chocolate mixture whisking each time until smooth. Add the flour and fold in until just combined. Then add the chocolate chips mixing until just combined. Spread the batter in the prepared pan to an even layer. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy, about 1 minute. With mixer running on medium speed, slowly add granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt. Increasing speed to high, and beat until stiff peaks form.
Add the coconut and combine on low speed until just mixed in. Carefully spread coconut mixture evenly over the cold brownie batter. Smooth the top.
Bake in preheated oven until brownies are just set and top is golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack. Remove from pan and parchment, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. When ready to serve, set out for 15-20 minutes then cut into 16 brownies. Serve at room temperature.

Lemon Cheesecake Birds’ Nests

Lemon Cheesecake Birds’ Nests

These cute individual trifles are perfect for your upcoming holiday dessert. We used cinnamon and sugar phyllo dough strips for the “nest” and Williams-Sonoma seasonal candy eggs over a lemon cheesecake filling with a shortbread cookie base. Need to cut some time? Simply use high-quality store-purchased shortbread cookies instead of baking your own.

Phyllo Dough Nest
6 sheets of phyllo dough
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet tray. Cut 6 sheets of phyllo dough in half to make 12 shorter sheets. Roll together tightly and very thinly slice into long thin pieces then transfer to a baking sheet carefully separating the layers.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle with butter, then with cinnamon sugar. Bake until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely. Best used on the day they are made, but you can store in an air-tight container overnight. Re-crisp if needed in the oven for on 300˚F for 10 minutes, cool to room temp before using.

Shortbread Crumbs
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for the pan
½ cup plus two tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
6 glass serving cups

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Butter an 8×8” pan. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes. Fold in flour and vanilla and blend until a soft dough forms. Press into the 8” x 8” pan and bake until light brown, about 40 minutes; remove and cool completely. Crumble then divide equally among the cups and press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the cups. Or store in an air tight container over night and add the cups when ready to use.

Lemon Cream Cheese Layers
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
2½ cups cold heavy cream
1 cup homemade or store-bought lemon curd

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat mascarpone, powdered sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the cream. When combined, increase the speed to medium and beat until medium peaks form.
Transfer half of mascarpone mixture to another bowl. Add the lemon curd to the remaining half and beat in until combined.
Dividing the mixtures evenly, layer the lemon curd mixture over the shortbread crumbs in each cup followed by the plain mascarpone /cream mixture. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours and up until 24.

When ready to serve
Candy bird eggs

Form a nest in the top of each cup using the shorter pieces of cinnamon phyllo in the center and longer on the outside. Add the candy eggs into the center of the nest and serve immediately.

Banana Bread With Caramelized Banana Topping

Banana Bread With Caramelized Banana Topping

With its moist texture and super-soft crumb, our Banana Bread is dripping with a deliciously
dark caramel sauce and topped with whole bananas sliced in half. Definitely a bread worth
going bananas over that you’ll make again and again.

For the caramel

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark moscovado sugar
4 small bananas, peeled, sliced lengthwise

For the banana bread
¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dark moscovado sugar
⅓ sour cream
2 large eggs
4 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup chopped toasted* walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat the sides of a 9” springform pan with butter and line
the bottom with a parchment paper round. Lightly butter the parchment.

Make the caramel:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the moscovado sugar and cook
until the sugar has melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and pour into
the parchment lined springform pan. Press the bananas, flat side down with the
rounded side up into the caramel. Set aside while you make the bread.

Make the banana bread:
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Using a mixer on medium-high speed, beat the softened butter, muscovado sugar, and
sour cream, in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a
time, beating to blend after each addition and scraping down sides and bottom of the
bowl as needed. Add mashed bananas and mix just until combined.

Reduce speed to low, and slowly add flour mixture, then mix until just combined. Stir
the walnuts into the batter. Gently, and carefully, spoon the batter over the bananas
and caramel, smoothing the top. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and then in the
oven.Bake for 65 minutes until a cake tester comes out with a moist crumb or two.
Let cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes to set the caramel, then remove the ring and
carefully invert the bread onto another cooling rack. Carefully remove the parchment

Let cool to room temperature. Makes 12 wedge servings.

*Place the nuts on a sheet tray in a preheated 325˚F oven and bake for 10 minutes or
until toasted slightly brown.

Bourbon Chocolate Mousse Cups With Candied Fresh Mint Leaves

Bourbon Chocolate Mousse Cups With Candied Fresh Mint Leaves

February is the month of chocolate love and we are all in with these tasty little Bourbon bites – Dark Chocolate Bourbon Mousse in a crunchy delicious dark chocolate cup topped with Candied Fresh Mint Leaves.

Bourbon Chocolate Mousse
½ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped, preferably Scharffen-Berger chocolate
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
24 chocolate dessert cups, 64% dark Belgian Chocolate such as ChocoMaker
24 candied mint leaves, recipe below

Put the heavy cream and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, immediately remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Add the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes without stirring. Whisk the chocolate and cream until smooth and transfer to a large bowl.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a mixer on high speed until they form stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula, fold about one-third of the beaten whites into the chocolate to lighten it. Then gently fold in the remaining whites, in two batches until the white streaks just disappear, being careful to not deflate the egg whites. Place the mousse in the refrigerator for at 30 minutes. When cooled, in small amounts add the mousse to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe the mousse into the chocolate cups and refrigerate in one layer in an airtight container until ready to serve. Top each with a candied mint leaf right before serving.

Candied Mint Leaves
¼ cup sugar
24 fresh mint leaves, washed, patted dry
1 large egg white, at room temperature, beaten until foamy

Place the sugar in small shallow bowl. Take one mint leaf at a time and using a pastry brush,
apply lightly with egg white to each side, then dredge in the sugar. Transfer the mint leaf to a parchment lined sheet tray. Repeat with remaining mint leaves. Let stand at room temperature until dry, about 3 hours. Can be made one day ahead and store in airtight container at room temperature.

Chocolate Whipped Cream & Strawberry Cups

Chocolate Whipped Cream & Strawberry Cups

Celebrate the season with this easy no-bake holiday dessert. Using only five ingredients, it
comes together quickly and taste delicious.

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Strawberry jam, homemade or high quality
24 Chocolate cups

Sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa together. With an electric hand mixer, start whipping
the cream. Slowly add the sugar-cocoa mixture. Whip to the consistency of soft whipped
cream, about 4 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of strawberry jam teaspoon to the chocolate cups,
top with the whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate. Serve immediately.