Noble Horizons Hosts Acclaimed Baker and Author Jessie Sheehan

Guests of acclaimed baker and cookbook author, Jessie Sheehan enjoyed tips and treats on Saturday, February 1 when Noble Horizons hosted Jessie for a live baking demonstration.  Chocolate lovers were wowed by the ‘easy peasy’ preparation of three tantalizing recipes sure to win the heart of any Valentine!  In less than an hour, and using just one bowl for each recipe,  Jessie whipped up three glorious and utterly decadent desserts: a light and creamy Nutella pie nestled in an Oreo crust, chewy and extra-chocolaty brownies sprinkled with sea salt, and a mouth-watering chocolate snack cake whose secret ingredient surprised everyone.

Jessie enjoys giving live demonstrations and the opportunity to connect with fellow bakers, “I love interacting with the participants and hearing their questions and baking stories. Their questions help me understand how I can be clearer in my teaching (and in my recipe writing - if the questions is about a recipe).  I love their stories because I am always game to chat baking - whether it is a baking success or a baking fail: I love them all.” Jessie’s natural affinity for baking is driven in part by her intuitive understanding of the bonding experiences fostered by baking for friends and families, “I think there is nostalgia in baking-and really in all recipes - but in those for sweets and treats in particular. They remind folks of a different time - often when they were younger - and usually the memories are comforting - and often delicious. I think all of those feelings are worth sharing and when we do, our baking experiences take on a very communal feeling.”

After indulging in Jessie’s delectable chocolate goodies, her well-fed guests lined up for autographed copies of her acclaimed cookbooks Icebox Cakes and The Vintage Baker, named by The Washington Post as a Best Cookbook of 2018.   Of The Vintage Baker, Rachel Ray Every Day wrote, "our favorite baking book...Sweeten up any day with this adorable book…full of great recipes,” and  Nigella Lawson raved, "Just reading The Vintage Bakerputs me in a very happy place.”  Ms. Sheehan’s first cook book was Icebox Cakes, featured in The New York Times and Vanity Fair among many other publication.   Jessie’s fans can find more of her recipes monthly in the locally distributed Main Street Magazine.

Please find three of Jessie’s ‘easy peasy’ one bowl chocolate recipes below:

 

One-Bowl No-Bake Nutella Pie by Jessie Sheehan

Ingredients:

For the crust

9 ounces Oreo Cookies (about 22), finely ground

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

 

For the filling

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 3/4 cups Nutella, or other hazelnut-chocolate spread

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

For the topping

2 cups heavy cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped, for sprinkling

Steps to Make It:

01) Gather the ingredients.

02) Place the wafers in the bowl of a food processer and process cookies until finely ground, running the processor for longer than you might think necessary.

03) Add the melted butter to the food processor and process to combine, scraping the bowl as needed.

04) Transfer the crumbs to the pie plate and press the crumbs into the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides. Place in freezer while you make the filling and topping.

05) Wipe the processer bowl and blade with a paper towel or quickly rinse and add the cream cheese. Process until creamy.

06) Add the Nutella and salt and process until smooth.

07) Add the heavy cream and vanilla and process until smooth.

08) Transfer the filling to the crust, spreading evenly with a small offset spatula, and being sure to scrape the processer bowl well.

9) To make the topping, wipe the processer bowl with a paper towel, or rinse quickly with water, and add the the cream and vanilla. Process until stiff peaks form, about 1 -2 minutes.

10) Decoratively spread the whipped cream over the pie, sprinkle with hazelnuts and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

One-Bowl Cocoa Brownies by Jessie Sheehan

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons oil, preferably light olive oil

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups Dutch process cocoa powder

2 tsp espresso powder

1 3/4 cups light brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp table salt

 

Flaky Sea Salt for sprinkling, optional

Steps to Make It:

01) Gather the ingredients and preheat the oven to 325 F.

02) Grease a 13x9x2-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray or softened butter and line with parchment.

03) Place the oil and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 30-second bursts until the butter melts.

04) Add the cocoa and espresso powders and whisk to combine.

05) Add the sugars and whisk to combine. The mixture will be quite thick.

06) Add the eggs and vanilla, all at once, and very gently whisk until combined.

07) Sprinkle the flour and then the salt over the batter, and using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry into the wet, until no visible flour remains.

08) Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, spread with an offset spatula and sprinkle with the flaky sea salt, if using.

09) Bake for about 20-22 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway point. The brownies are ready when a cake tester comes out with some moist crumbs.

10) Let the brownies cool on a rack until room temperature. Freeze them briefly before cutting, as this makes for cleaner squares.

11) Serve with glasses of cold whole milk.

Chocolate Mayo Snacking Cake with Pink American Buttercream by Jessie Sheehan

For the cake:

1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp espresso powder

1 cup boiling water

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

A scant 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

3/4 cup mayonnaise, full-fat, preferably Helman’s

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 large yolk

1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp

4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted if lumpy

1/3 to 2/3 cup of heavy cream, room temperature

3/4 tsp pure-vanilla extract

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

A few drops of red food coloring

Pink sparkling sugar or sprinkles for decorating

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8x2-inch pan with cooking spray or softened butter and line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.

In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, espresso powder and boiling water and whisk until smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the mayonnaise and two sugars until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the egg and the yolk, whisking after each. Add the vanilla and whisk again until just combined.

Add the dry ingredients in three additions, whisking after each and alternating with the chocolate mixture.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway mark. The cake is ready when a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out with a moist crumb or two.

Let cool to room temperature before frosting.

To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low to medium-low until smooth, about 2 minutes. Begin slowly adding the sugar, about a cup at a time, alternating with the heavy cream, and keeping the mixer at the same low-ish speed.

Continue slowly mixing in this fashion (adding sugar and cream, scraping with a spatula periodically, and taking time to let the mixer run between additions), until most of the sugar and cream has been incorporated. Add the vanilla, vinegar and salt and mix again.

Add the remaining sugar and cream and continue mixing on medium-low (at the highest) for at least 5 to 10 minutes, if not longer, adding the food coloring halfway through the mixing time. The frosting will be quite light, creamy, and fluffy when it is done.

Generously frost the cake, either right in the pan, or remove it before doing so. Decorate with pink sprinkles or sprakling sugar, before serving.

 

Go back

Recent Blog Posts View All

Noble Horizons has worked hard to keep families close throughout pandemic. We are proud to announce that the visitation center designed and constructed by members of the Noble team to allow safe family visits during the pandemic will be featured in the Best Practices section of the State of Connecticut's Department of Aging and Disability Services Silver Panther summer newsletter.  

For 15 years,  Linda Castaldi has been welcoming people to Noble Horizons. “I’m the first voice people hear when they call Noble,” Linda describes, “I’m always in contact with residents’ families, helping them feel at ease and providing them with information.”

When you ask Laurie Frey what she does at Noble Horizons you quickly realize there is very little she doesn’t do. From personnel to housekeeping, laundry to the reception desk, Laurie Frey does it all ... with boundless energy, an infectious smile and a deep fondness for Noble residents and their families. “I like to do different things, and I love to do anything that brings me in contact with the residents. I enjoy having a bond with them.”

Today’s birding blog brings me back to Massachusetts, more specifically the town of Sheffield. The location is Bartholomew’s Cobble, a property owned by the Trustees of the Reservation (the same organization that maintains Field Farm), a location that was chock full of birds and one of the most beautiful locations that I have visited for this blog series.