Saturday, February 9, 2013

Caramelized Onion Dip

Part of the Super Bowl spread this year was a caramelized onion dip with a dash of sass, as a previous blogger said. I really enjoyed this dip, so did Stuart. He got mad at me when I ate the last of it. You snooze you loose, buddy. :P
I hope you enjoy it too. It takes a little bit of time because caramelizing onions is a process, but it is worth it.

Caramelized Onion Dip
2 large yellow onions
2 large shallots
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (stems removed)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces light cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
2/3 cup light mayonnaise

* This recipe calls for shallots. I didn't have any, so I just used onions instead and it turned out great.

1. Cut the onions and shallots in quarters and slice into thin strips.
2. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Combine butter and olive oil in pan.
3. Add the onions, shallots, cayenne, salt and pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes, until softened. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue sauteing for another 30 minutes, stiring frequently, until the onions are browned and caramelized. About 10 minutes before they are done add the thyme.
4. Remove onions from pan and let cool.
5. Place cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Using a electric mixer, beat until fully combined and smooth.
6. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Serve at room temperature with chips (or a spoon!).

Adapted from A Dash of Sass

Chocolate Mint Cake

OK, so it's been a while since I last posted and I was hoping my next post would be something out of the ordinary, but I felt like making a cake. Nothing too crazy, but a different take on the regular chocolate cake. I enjoyed it and so did my husband. I hope you do too. It's rich and tasty.  We ended up finishing it by taking 2 bites at a time, (Probably too many times per day.) but it was quickly devoured. 

Chocolate Mint Cake 


for the cake
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (or 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped andes mints (about 16 mints)

for the buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
1/4 cup milk 
green food coloring

This recipe makes a four layer 6" cake or a two layer 8" cake. I made the 8". 
  1. preheat your oven to 350F. grease and flour - or line with parchment - two 6 inch cake pans. set aside.
  2. to make the cake, bring the water to a boil. while the water is heating, mix the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. add the egg, milk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until combined. mix in the boiling water and the andes mints.
  3. divide the batter equally between the two pans. bake for about 23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. cook in the pan for a few minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. while the cake cools, make the buttercream. combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, and mint and mix until combined. slowly add the milk, a tablespoon at a time, until your buttercream is the consistency you want. beat for about a minute. add green food coloring, if you like, and be sure to mix well to ensure the color is evenly distributed.
  5. to make a four layer cake, cut each of the layers in half. place bottom layer on serving plate, top with about a third of a cup of icing, top with the next layer. repeat until the cake is built. spread a thin layer of icing over the cake and refrigerate for 15 minutes. ice with the remaining frosting. top with more chopped andes mints or nuts.
I will say that this recipe will likely cause your cake to sag, not fall, but sag at higher elevations. So just don't be surprised if that happens. Cover the sagging with a little extra frosting and you are good to go. Plus it'll be a nice little surprise when you get that big bite of buttercream frosting, my favorite. 
Adapted from Kitchen Trial and Error