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Snowy Chocolate Cupcakes

Home-made chocolate cupcakes Self-raising flou...

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Source: chefpriyanka.wordpress.com

Did you ever want to make just a few cupcakes for maybe you and your immediate family or some friends? Isn’t it annoying when recipes are written to serve like 24 cupcakes- does anyone reallyneed to eat 24 cupcakes? No. Aside from the fact that it’s not healthy, it’s just completely unnecessary if you’re not having a party or get-together. So, I decided to make these cupcakes in a small batch, therefore nothing goes to waste and no one is compelled to eat more (even though they’re so delicious you’re going to want to eat like 5 of them at one sitting :) ).

Scrumptious chocolate cupcakes topped with lucisious dark chocolate frosting and snow! And by snow I mean sweetened coconut flakes- yummy! They’re easy to make and even easier to eat! And the cake is unbelievably moist because I used homemade buttermilk of course! Oh, if you’re wondering what kind of cupcake liner I used, they’re Reynolds Wrap! I did not use mybabycakes machine with this recipe- I know surprise surprise! I was in the mood for a regular sized cupcake :) .

Snowy Chocolate Cupcakes:

1. PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 cup cupcake sheet with PAM and place liners in each cup. Set aside.

2. Melt the chocolate squares in the microwave and set aside to cool a bit. Meanwhile in large bowl beat together softened butter, brown and white sugar until creamy. Add the egg and beat until combined well about 2 minutes. Using a spatula stir in the melted chocolate.

3. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa. In a small bowl combine buttermilk and vanilla- set aside.

4. With the mixer on low, add in about 1/3 of the flour mixture and blend well. Then add about 1/3 of the buttermilk mixture and blend well. Continue adding the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, alternating and mixing well between each addition. Scrape sides of bowl with the spatula. DO NOT OVER MIX.

5. Pour about 2 hefty tbsp of mixture into each cup. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove and cool before frosting.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Frosting:

  • 4 tbsp Melted Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2  cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I used Ghiradelli Brand)
  • 1 oz bittersweet chocolate melted (I used Ghiradelli 70% Cacao Bar)
  • 3 cups Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp Milk (I used skim plus)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1. In a large bowl combine melted butter and cocoa. Add the melted chocolate. Mix well until lumps are smooth. Using a hand mixer beat in confectioner’s sugar and 2-3 tbsp of milk. Beat until thick and creamy- I like my frosting really thick because it’s easier to pipe that way. However, you can add more or less milk depending on your desired consistency.

2. Place frosting into a piping bag with a medium round tip, or cut off a small corner of a big ziplock bag. Pipe into swirls on the cooled cupcakes. Top with a generous amount of sweetened coconut and serve!

Makes about 2 cups

Like Cupcakes? Try These!

Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes

Vanilla-Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberries

 

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St. Patrick’s Day and Chocolate Stout Cake

Baileys Irish Cream

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Holidays (any holiday) are the perfect excuse to make festive treats and desserts. And I completely enjoy when friends and readers recommend recipes and dishes for me! So for this holiday, I took some recommendations and on top of the Irish cream bundt cake with Baileys glaze, I made a chocolate stout cake (the recipe can be found here) and some holiday themed dark chocolate cake truffles. The chocolate stout cake was especially fun to make because I’ve never worked with beer in a cake (although I have made beer bread), and I also got to use sour cream in a cake for the first time as well! The cake turned out very moist and a little more dense than normal cakes. I topped it off with someBaileys cream cheese frosting, a light dusting of cocoa powder, and it was ready to go!

And I can’t forget about the cake truffles. This recipe is so incredibly easy to make and alter if needed, plus it is perfect if you need to feed a lot of people. I brought a huge container to work for my colleagues with plenty to spare for my weekend with friends. They turned out to be great snacks for everyone, and it was just so much fun making these themed treats! I was able to enjoy them while hanging out in the Bay Area with some of the best ladies I know–what a great way to end the holiday. I hope everyone’s holiday weekend was filled with fun and great food as well!

 

Dark chocolate center with a milk chocolate coating

Source: http://lifetasteslikefood.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/st-patricks-day-and-chocolate-stout-cake/

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Chocolate, Sweets

 

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Chocolate and Almond Biscotti

A bowl of cocoa powder.

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Chocolate BiscottiChocolate Biscotti

A work colleague once asked me if I order in restaurants the same way that I order coffee.  I thought his comment was pretty funny, especially since the weekend before my husband had said I was a waiter’s worst nightmare.

“What do you mean?” I asked my husband.

“Well, you like to change everything in the dish.  You want to order the steamed fish but have them fry it instead, and have the sauce on the side instead of pouring it over the fish – and if it comes with potatoes, you want rice instead!”  He said.

Surely he was exaggerating!

But I did have to concede to my work colleague that being finicky with my coffee never earned me any brownie points with the baristas.  One day I’m having a cappuccino with one sugar then the next I’m having it with one and a half sugars.  Then I learned that you get more milk with a latte so I switched to that (with one sugar).  Then I went off coffee and started having chai lattes – then soy chai lattes, then I missed my coffees and got back on to the lattes – but I wanted a weak latte, one and a half sugars and chocolate sprinkles on top…. oh and extra creamy.

And then I switched to tea – but that’s a whole different story altogether!

 

The one thing that remains constant though, is my love for a great biscotti.  Regardless of what drink I’m having, a perfectly made biscotti always goes well.  I simply love biscotti as it makes the perfect snack with tea (or coffee), especially since you can store it and bring it out when you have unexpected visitors.  This recipe keeps for up to a week in an airtight container.

I’m especially partial to this Chocolate and Almond Biscotti recipe.

When making this remember the dough is quite soft – so I used some cling wrap to shape the dough and then chilled it in the refrigerator which made handling much easier.

You’ll also want to make sure to have a sharp serrated knife so that when you cut the biscotti.  Remember, aim to cut the biscotti in one go – avoid a back and forth motion so you don’t shatter the loaf.

Chocolate BiscottiChocolate Biscotti

Chocolate and Almond Biscotti

  • 140 grams flour
  • 25 grams Lindt Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 60 grams butter
  • 50 grams Lindt Excellence 70% Chocolate, cut into pieces
  • 60 grams almond slivers
  1. In a bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, using a hand held whisk, beat the egg, egg yolk, salt and sugar. Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly. In a bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave for around 30 seconds (this will depend on the strength of your microwave)
  3. Add the butter and chocolate to the egg mixture and then add the flour mixture. Fold the mixture until smooth.
  4. Add the almond slivers evenly throughout the batter. The dough should be quite soft.
  5. Line a baking sheet with some cling wrap and place the dough onto the cling wrap and shape into a loaf, around 6 cm wide. Use the cling wrap to shape the loaf. Smooth and even the sides and cover with the cling wrap. Place the baking sheet with the biscotti load in the refrigerator and allow to chill for around 2 hours.
  6. Once chilled, remove the cling wrap and place the loaf in the center of a baking sheet. Pre-heat the oven to 175c (fan forced)
  7. Bake the biscotti for around 30 minutes until the loaf has spread and risen. The loaf should feel firm when pressed.
  8. Cool the load on the pan on a wire rack. When cooled, use a sharp serrated knife to slice the baked loaf, around 1 cm thick.
  9. Return the slices to the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Then turn the slices over and bake for another 8 minutes. Cool the biscotti completely.

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Chocolate

 

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Brownie Pudding (lava poop) recipe

White chocolate is marketed by confectioners a...

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Source: http://nummynumnum.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/brownie-pudding-lava-poop/

This recipe is incredible easy, sweet and tasty.   It should be served alongside some ice cream (perhaps Peppermint Ice Cream). It is adapted from Ina Garten’s with a couple tweaks.  I wonder how many Ina recipes I can actually post on this blog.  I am also surprised by all of the sweet recipes we have seeing as most of us are all about the savory.  –ts

2 sticks unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the dish
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pinch of salt
Ice cream, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 by 12 by 2-inch) oval baking dish. Melt the 1/2 pound of butter and set aside to cool.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder, salt and flour together and set aside.
  3. When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla and the dry sifted ingredients. Mix only until combined. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.  Lightly mix in chocolate chips until combined.
  4. Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish and bake for about 30-40 minutes. Center will appear very under-baked, and the top will be toasted; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.
  5. Allow to cool and serve with ice cream

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Chocolate, Sweets

 

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Thick & Rich Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Dry ingredients for a Wacky Cake - ingredients...

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We are guilty as charged: “TheshoeboxKitchen doesn’t do enough chocolate!”

Well, we hope that the velvety chocolaty richness left in your mouth after trying this pudding will be enough to post our bail until we can backfill the chocolate deficiency in our recipe archives with some of your own suggestions.

Okay, on to the pudding!  What is a pudding, anyway?  How is it different from a custard?  What differentiates a pudding from a mousse?  If you’re asking similar questions, then we’re right there with you.  So many pudding recipes call for cornstarch as a thickening agent, other recipes look more like a custard, relying on the proteins in egg yolks to cause the pudding to set.  Still others use both egg yolks and cornstarch.  And then there’s mousse – let’s not even go there right now.

We were going for a rich pudding, so we knew we wanted to use egg yolks.  But some recipes we found that depended solely on egg proteins to thicken the pudding were accompanied by comments suggesting that the pudding ended up runny or that folks had difficulty getting it to set.  So we decided to throw in some corn starch as well, just to be safe.

What we ended up with is some combination of a David Lebovitz custard-based chocolate ice cream recipe and a Food52 finalist’s pudding recipe.

Thick and Rich Chocolate Pudding

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch (less if you don’t want it as thick)
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate

Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds into a bowl with the sugar.  ”Chop” up the seeds so they are as distributed as possible (not clumped together) throughout the sugar.

Measure out the cocoa powder as well.

And go ahead and set aside your 5 ounces of chocolate.  We used chips because they melt efficiently.  If you buy bars of chocolate, cut them up into small pieces.

Now pour into a medium saucepan the heavy cream and half & half (or milk, if you’d like a lighter pudding).  Add to this liquid the vanilla seed & sugar mixture as well as the cocoa powder.  Throw the vanilla bean husk in there too, just for good measure.  Whisk everything together and then warm over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally.

While the cream mixture is heating on the stove, whisk together the egg yolks until they are pale yellow, then add the corn starch and whisk until the yolks and starch are well-combined.

When the cream mixture starts to steam slightly and form little bubbles (about 175 degrees), remove it from the heat and remove a ladle-full of the warm liquid.  Slowly pour the warm liquid from the ladle into the egg yolks, whisking the yolks continuously.  Then, transfer the now-warmed egg yolk mixture back into the original saucepan, whisking the contents of the saucepan continuously.  Continue to whisk the custard mixture (yes, this is essentially a custard with cornstarch added) until the mixture reaches about 180 degrees.  Do not let the mixture boil or you’ll have scrambled egg pudding.

When your mixture hits 180 degrees, remove it from the heat and pour it through a strainer into a separate bowl.  Now dump in the chocolate and continue to whisk until all of the chocolate is melted, leaving you with smooth, velvety perfection.

Now, if you want to get fancy,  dump that velvety perfection into your food processor and process for about a minute.  This tip comes from Dorrie Greenspan, and results in a silkier, slightly airier pudding (i.e., more perfect than before).  We thought this step made the texture a bit closer to mousse (not as airy as mousse, but silky like mousse), which we were very happy to discover.

Pour the pudding directly from the food processor into small bowls or ramekins.  Be timid with the portions – this stuff is rich!

Oh, and if you’re not a fan of pudding skin, immediately place plastic wrap over and on the surface of the pudding.  Let the pudding cool in the fridge for at least three hours, or overnight. (Editor’s note: We’ve actually found that we prefer this pudding just slightly chilled; so, if you have refrigerated it, take it out and let it sit on the counter for at least half an hour before digging in – if you can wait!)

This pudding is very smooth and stick-to-a-spoon thick.  It is rich, but not too sweet, has just the right amount of chocolate flavor, and the vanilla undertones from the fresh vanilla seeds add an extra layer of depth.  If you love chocolate, well, this one is a no-brainer.

What other chocolate dessert should we try?  Before you close this window, add a comment below and tell us what we should make next!

 

Source: http://theshoeboxkitchen.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/chocolate-pudding/

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Chocolate, Sweets

 

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Cappuccino Vanilla Cake Recipe

Dry ingredients for a Wacky Cake - ingredients...

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I am starting to think this food blog idea may not have been such a good idea. After all, I’m making all kinds of cakes, cupcakes, chocolates, and amazing meals that are too tempting to resist. I don’t think I thought this through thoroughly. Who is going to eat all this?! Yikes!

I’ve been sending the desserts to work with P which helps out a lot. It’s nice to share and also not to have the dessert calling to me from the fridge: ‘Eat me!”.  But to add to my recent array of baking sins, I recently made a Cappuccino Vanilla cake. Yes. I know. How could I do such a horrible thing!?

Well, I did it and it was delicious. Of course I overdid it on the liqueurs and even added Crème de Cacao to the icing.

I am so bad.

**Warning: This cake is truly a temptress.**

Here is what you will need:

Vanilla Cake

1- 8 inch baking pan

1 ½ cup of flour

¾ cup of sugar

½ tbsp of baking powder

1 ½ tsp of salt

½ cup of unsalted butter (equals 1 stick of butter), at room temperature

½ cup of milk (I used skim)

2 eggs

¾ tsp of vanilla extract

Coffee Buttercream

2/3 cup of heavy cream

1 ¼ cup of white chocolate buttons

1 2/3 cup of unsalted butter (at room temperature)

2/3 cup of icing sugar

1 tbsp of instant coffee powder

1 tbsp of Crème de Cacao

Finishing Touches

1/3 cup of roasted and roughly chopped or blended hazelnuts

5 Ferrero Rocher chocolates

Cocoa Powder, to dust

Crème de Cacao

1 tbsp of instant coffee powder

Here is what to do:

Let your butter come to room temperature.

Set the oven to 325F and grease your pan with butter.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Place all the wet ingredients in another bowl: eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Wisk and set aside.

Using a mixer, slowly add the soft butter in chunks to the dry ingredients until the butter is fully incorporated. Then begin adding the wet ingredients in 3 parts until the dry and wet ingredients are well mixed. Fill your 8-inch baking pan ¾ of the way and level off at the top.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 325F. To check if it’s ready, insert a skewer into the centre and if it comes out lean – it’s ready to come out of the oven.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.  Remove from the pan and let cool off completely.

Cut the cake in half and put in the freezer while you prepare the buttercream icing. Freezing your cake will prevent crumbs coming up when you are icing it.

Dissolve the instant coffee in heated Crème de Cacao (or you can use hot water instead). Stir and set to the side (or refrigerate it) to cool off.

Bring water to a simmer and using a double boiler heat the cream and chocolate until melted. In a separate bowl, beat the butter using a hand mixer until it is light and creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar, and then beat in the melted chocolate and cream mixture. Beat the dissolved instant coffee into the buttercream.

Remove the cake from the freezer and place the top of the cake on the bottom. Mix 2 oz of Crème de Cacao and dissolved instant coffee and using a brush, gently pat both sides of the cake layers and allow the mixture to be absorbed by the cake. This will make the cake more flavorful and moist.

Place the top of the cake on the bottom and set up your layers so that the top of the cake is the most level. Then spread a quarter of the coffee buttercream on the first layer, level it with a spatula and then sandwich with the other layer. Cover the top with more buttercream icing and cover the sides with the rest. Press the hazelnuts into the sides of the cake.

Pile the Ferrero Roche chocolates on top of the cake and dust the cake with cocoa powder. You can tie a bow around the cake for a more refined finishing touch.

I’m sure by now your kitchen smells of coffee, melted chocolate and Crème de Cacao. Make sure you share this cake! It will be worth it.

Happy Baking!

Marynika

source: http://foodtoheart.com/2011/02/22/cappuccino-vanilla-cake/

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Chocolate, Dessert, Sweets

 

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