Chocolate Stout Cup Cakes

Chocolate Stout Cup Cakes

8 oz Chocolate Stout ( I used Brooklyn Brewery Bkl Chc Stout) room temperature

1 stick melted butter

2/3 cup cocoa

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

1 T brandy or whiskey

2 cups cake flour

2 1/2 tsp baking soda

Cooking or baking spray


1 stick softened butter

4 cups confectioners sugar

1 espresso (1 shot=1 ounce)

pinch of salt

Set oven to 350˚

Combine beer with butter, cocoa, sugar in a large ss bowl. In a separate bowl, combine eggs and sour cream and add to beer mixture. Combine flour with baking soda and add to beer mixture.

Spray muffin tins and fill with batter 3/4 the way. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick test show they are ready. Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting.

Here I used souffle cups baking in the combi-steam with 30% moisture

A nice touch is to pipe some frosting into the center before you top with some frosting.

This is a bulk batch baked in aluminum tins.


Oven Self Cleaning

Self Cleaning does involve – yourself.

Most people never use the clean cycle in their oven. A few bad apples back in the day caused a fire in their kitchen, rumors spread and since then everyone is petrified that they need to update the Home Insurance rider.

Look at it this way, if you cooked on your outside grill and a few days later fired up the grill again, there appears to be some residual smell from the previous culinary excursion, is there not?

The same holds true when you have several spills in the oven that you leave unattended. Eventually this primordial ooze begins to smolder, emitting a fine fragrance of burnt grease that flavors your pies like apple wood in a smoker.

I suggest that every year on the morning of your birthday, after you get out of bed, set the self-cleaning cycle on your oven. Simple enough!

In every oven you have to remove the racks. I can hear your scream :                                                 “NO WAY, THE SELF CLEANING CYCLING DOESN’T CLEAN THOSE?”

No the Robotic-oven-rack-cleaning-cycle has not been invented yet. If you leave those bad boys in your oven they will warp from the extremely high heat and never slide easily again.

Treat your oven with a little water on some heavy spills or use a cleaner such as Bon Ami or Barkeeper’s Friend.

In this series of photos of my Gaggenau, I have the side Convection Fan Cover removed so I could clean some seriously burnt on residue on the sides of the oven. Once I put the cleaned cover and fan screen back on, I replaced the side rack guides and TA-DA!

Ok it wasn’t my birthday cleaning celebration, it was my post Thanksgiving cleaning requirement so that I don’t have a smoked turkey grease flavor in my chocolate souffle.

Greatest feature of a Steam Oven

Whether you currently own a steam oven or thinking of specifying one for your kitchen, a daily routine pays dividens.

Re-heating leftovers. Sounds like no big deal but it is. When you use a microwave, the moisture is removed from the food resulting in toughness. When you steam reheat it looks and tastes like it was just prepared. In the photo I have a roast turkey breast and mashed potato. These are typical food items that take on a ‘refrigerator flavor’ once they have been packed and stored in the fridge. When re-heating in the steam oven there if virtually no flavor loss & no refrigerator flavor.

This saves you money in the fact that usually you may end up throwing away those leftovers because you thought that they wouldn’t taste good. This is not the case if you Steam reheat.

In my Gaggenau steam oven there are adjustments to moisture level and temperature. Many steam ovens may not have that versatility but you still have the benefit of re-heating with a refreshing benefit. It is a kitchen must have.

Baked Blueberry French Toast

This time of year we have graduations, weddings, weekend getaways and most likely lazy Sundays.

This is an easy recipe to whip together that will feed a crowd.

I used my Gaggenau combi steam oven with 60% moisture. This allows the egg mixture to rise slightly like a souffle. If you want to make a similar effect in your oven, put a pan of hot water on the first rack level when you turn your oven on.

5 eggs

2-1/2 cups milk

1/4 cup Maple Syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 Cups Dry French Bread

1 cup Blueberries

1 jar of Blueberry Jam

8 oz Cream Cheese cut in small cubes

2 tablespoons butter

Set oven on Convection Bake** at 350˚

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, syrup, salt, nutmeg, and vanilla.

Use the Butter to glaze a casserole pan.

Evenly distribute bread, cream cheese, jam and blueberries throughout the pan.

Cover with egg mixture.

Place in oven on second rack level.  Cook for 25-30 minutes or until firm. Slightly shake the pan to see if center is set before removing from oven. Remove then allow to cool in pan before serving.

Great with maple syrup, whip cream, ice cream or just a dash of powdered sugar.



This can be prepared the night before and kept in refrigerator until ready to bake.

Day old bread is great for this. Alternative breads are Challah, Portuguese, potato bread or cinnamon raisin.

*Use any fresh berries and jam for a variety of flavors

** If you don’t have a convection oven, use same temperature just increase the cooking time by 25%.

Steaming Shrimp

Here is a simple shellfish preparation. Great for lobster, mussels and clams.

1 pound Key West Prawns 10-12/lb. Set on 215˚ moisture level at 100% for 5 minutes. The preheat was about 6 minutes. Once removed, I shocked the shrimp in an ice bath to serve these cocktail style. Although served hot with a pasta, saffron rice, potato gratin etc. fantastic!

The oven comes with a perforated and solid pan. I placed the solid below to capture the broth (I froze it for a base for another time). This makes cleanup easy. Although this oven is plumbed and juices can go down the drain, but why waste them?

For a sauce I just used a mix of the following:

3 tbls Mayo

juice from 1/2 orange

1 tbls chili sauce

1 tsp prepared horseradish

dash sea salt

Combi-Steam Oven

One of my favorite appliances in my kitchen, is the Gaggenau Combi-Steam Oven.

By the title you can decipher that it steams. Duh!

When you think of steaming food, first thought are vegetables or shellfish. Not too exciting. Although it is a healthier option than frying or even boiling those nutrients out of your veggies. The results are amazing. More flavorful and you can control the texture to your preference.

Steaming to reheat is a weekly task in our kitchen. To reheat with water is better than re-heating with microwave. The microwave can remove moisture, this oven uses moisture to heat the oven with some flexibility at your finger tips. You can control moisture levels and temperature. This can allow you to keep the crispy items from getting soggy and the moist items from drying out.

Convection with or without moisture depends on the food that you are cooking. Roasts, breads, casseroles all are fantastic.

I will keep this category updated with what come out of my oven. Stay Tuned!