Let’s face it, there’s nothing like taking a bite into a home-made brownie. The guilty indulgence after the first bite, it’s so good that it’s almost sinful. You finish the first brownie and deep down you know that you really shouldn’t have a second piece, but you reach for another anyway making a promise to yourself that tomorrow you will run an extra mile (but of course you don’t, who are we kidding?).
Brownies, like the Chocolate Chip Cookie is a staple in North American households. It never disappoints, only comforts. It’s versatile batter, you can add nuts, peanutbutter, cream cheese or like I did, dulce de leche. Why not make something that is tooth achingly good event better?
I had a small container of dulce de leche in the fridge that I didn’t know what to do with and a craving for brownies, put them together and you have one kick-ass brownie. Want to make this brownie even more kick-ass, accompany it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I prefer downing my brownie with a cold class of milk.
For the brownies I used my go to recipe. In fact, it’s the only recipe I have ever used, the Fry’s Cocoa recipe found on the back of the can.
Last month I finally got the courage to join The Daring Kitchen. The main reason why I hadn’t joined before was simple…I was scared of the commitment…kind of like a relationship. Well I’m glad I did, my first challenge was a dessert dear and close to my native land, Cannoli.
The irony is that I actually bought the Cannoli forms a few months back and they just sat in my cupboard unopened. So if this challenge had not come along they may have very well sat there much longer.
The challenge for November was brought to us by Lisa Michele from, Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. The recipe was a combination from various cookbooks; Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.
I followed the dough recipe as was written. We had the option of using white wine, Marsala or grape juice….trying to keep the recipe as authentic as possible I went with the Marsala. The dough itself was very simple to make. I made it the day before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. At first I was a bit put off by the amount of Marsala in the dough, but once fried it turned out just fine.
The dough was simple to work with; I used a pasta machine to roll out the dough…it cut down on the elbow grease and the time significantly.
For the filling I went with a Ricotta sweetened with sugar and flavored with vanilla. I also made Pierre Hermé’s Chocolate Crème Patisserie, which by the way is out of this world! Again to save some time I made the fillings the day before.
Ok, so far so good. I got up on Saturday morning and started rolling out my dough and heating up the oil ready to fry. I really despise frying and not for the reasons you may think, I despise it because it just stinks up the house…and did it ever. The stench stuck around for days, and I swear when I walk into my house I can still smell it!
Nevertheless, the end result was just unbelievably delicious. My husband devoured the Cannoli and actually said, “I don’t think I could ever eat another bakery Cannoli after having these”…I would say that’s a success because my husband takes his Cannoli very seriously.
Would I ever make these again? Sure I will, but it will have to be warm enough to fry outside..and considering it’s almost December in Toronto I probably wont be making these for at least another 6 months.
So if you love Cannoli, I urge you, I beg you to try to make them at home, you will not regret it.