Archive for Recipes: Sweet

Instant Pot Brownies

The more I use my Instant Pot, the more impressed I am. Oh sure, at the beginning, I used it in all the traditional ways; soups, stews, beans, oatmeal, eggs. Basically savoury dishes, which I’m sure, is what most people think about when they think about the Instant Pot. 

But I’ve been experimenting more and more with sweeter dishes, and it turns out, they work great in the IP. I never would have thought that the Instant Pot could have oven-like capabilities, but you can easily make baked goods in there. I’ve been experimenting with cheesecakes, muffins and I even make pancakes in my pot last week. 

Instant Pot Brownies

One thing to note when it comes to cooking in the Instant Pot: you’re never going to get any golden brown edges or caramelization. So if you think you might really miss crispy brown edges, then Instant Pot desserts are not for you. 

But the advantage of pressure-cooking your dessert is that the end result is often more evenly cooked through. I made pancake bites last weekend, and they were perfectly cooked all the way through, whereas sometimes regular pancakes can be a bit raw in the centre, even though the outsides are perfectly cooked. 

These bad boys? Rich, dense, super chocolatey. 

Have you tried making desserts or baking in your Instant Pot? Let me know your successes/failures in the comments below! 

Brownies made in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot Brownies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup best quality cocoa powder 
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips

Method

  1. Grease a 7″ springform pan and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment add the butter and sugar and cream well together, then add the eggs and vanilla, and cream again. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. You may need to sift the cocoa powder if it has lumps. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients into the mix, and then continue to combine until incorporated, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides. 
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the chocolate, folding it in last. 
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and cover loosely with foil. 
  6. Place the trivet in the bottom of the pot insert, and then add a couple cups of water. Place the pan on top of the trivet, then seal the lid. Set the Instant Pot on manual for 50 minutes. 
  7. After the time is up, allow the pot to release the pressure naturally for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure and remove the lid. Carefully remove the pan from the pot set aside to cool at least slightly before removing the brownies from the pan and eating. 

Millionaire’s Shortbread (or homemade Twix Bars)

No apologies for this one. Yes, most of the time the recipes I post here are vegan, clean, healthy and sourced from whole ingredients. Today’s is not. So much not. Like, all the not. So if you are here for the clean vegan stuff, you might wanna skip this recipe and head into the archives, because you won’t be getting your needs met today. 

I recently got interviewed by a magazine about my food philosophy. I said something like I try to eat seasonal, local, sustainable and mostly whole foods. This is true. But guys, let’s be real, sometimes I have a junky itch to scratch, and so I do. 

Millionaire's Shortbread

I am unapologetic of my love for donuts (though if they can be amazing and vegan I’ll be happier), and yeah, sometimes I eat junk. Because, simply put: life is too short. 

Of course I want to be healthy and live a long life. I have a lot to live for. But I also take such pleasure in food that I find it wrong to deny myself if I have a craving for french fries. 

Ah, but here’s the thing: when I do crave junk, I’ll often buy the best form of that junk possible. Like, when I crave chocolate, I don’t deny myself. I just buy good, crave-worthy chocolate. When I want french fries, I’m much more likely to get Belgian fries that are properly made, fried twice, and come with fancy ketchup (or truffle aioli!). 

And that’s why we pretty much always have homemade cookies or brownies in our house. I don’t mind my kid eating sweets, but I want to know he’s eating decent sweets, not junk from the store. So I guess I see junk food on a scale, and when I make junk food, it doesn’t seem as terrible to me. 

Having said that, there are few redeeming qualities to this recipe other than the fact that it is delicious and it will make you happy. Shouldn’t that be enough? 

Pleasure is pleasure is pleasure. Let’s grab as much of it as we can. 

This is a very old recipe. I remember my mom making it. It’s very simple, but it seems more complex than it actually is. Millionaire’s Shortbread consists of 3 layers: a bottom, shortbread cookie, a layer of oozing caramel, and finally, a layer of chocolate ganache. 

No one seems to know where the name Millionaire’s Shortbread came from, or where this recipe originated. Perhaps because ingredients like butter and sugar and chocolate were so scarce and rationed during the war, meaning, only millionaires could afford to make them. Maybe it’s because they have a million calories. Who knows? They are delicious. 

I might try to veganize them next… 

Millionaire's Shortbread (homemade Twix Bars)

Millionaire’s Shortbread 

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 can (300 mls) dulce de leche 
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup regular evaporated milk 
  • fleur de sel

Method

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the flour and icing sugar in a large bowl, and give a quick stir. Chop the softened butter into chunks and drop them into the flour/sugar mixture. With a beater (I actually made mine using the paddle attachment on my Kitchen Aid) or a spoon, mix everything together until it takes on a dry, sandy consistency, but holds in a ball when you press some together in your hand. 
  2. Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan well with butter, or line with parchment. Dump the shortbread into the bottom of the pan, then press it into the pan with a spoon or the back of your hand until it’s even and well-packed. Prick the shortbread with a fork. Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the shortbread is golden on the edges. 
  3. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. 
  4. Dump the dulce de leche into a pan on top of the stove over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and then allow to cook for about 5 minutes until it thickens, whisking to keep it from coagulating. Remove from the stove and pour over the shortbread layer. 
  5. Place a small pot with a couple inches of water over medium heat, and bring to a low boil. Over that, place a heat-proof bowl (meal or pyrex) and put both chocolates in the bowl. Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Add a little of the milk at a time (you may not need all of it) until the chocolate is a smooth, runny consistency. You want it to be able to flow onto your caramel layer, but not be so thin that it won’t set up upon cooling. Sprinkle the top with a little fleur de sel. 
  6. Place the entire pan of bars in the fridge to set for several hours. 
  7. To serve, remove from the pan, and cut into squares. 
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