Tag Archives: chocolate

Daily Cravings: Holy Layer Cake

12 Feb

Photo Credit: Bakerella

Let’s talk layers. Fourteen layers to be exact.

I found this delectable delight over at Bakerella‘s sight and haven’t been able to stop staring at its beauty. Layer upon layer, this cake looks so moist with lip-smacking chocolatey goodness in between. You know, just a little something special you could whip up for your valentine.

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Daily Cravings: Chocolate Cake

8 Feb

Last week was quite a stressful week, so please forgive me for the lack of posting. You see, we woke up last Sunday to an overflowing toilet which flooded a room full of our stuff! As we are currently in a rental house, our landlord decided he didn’t want to pay the weekend fees for the plumber.

Long story short, by Monday night the toilet (which we had learned at this point wasn’t plumbing issues in the house but sewage from the city pipes) was still flooding one of our rooms. It was finally fixed that night by 11 p.m. This was just the start of the week and it didn’t get any smoother. So, here we are one week later and life has FINALLY settled back to normal.

Lets just say that the countdown to the move has become a more important part to each day leading up to February 25. So close!!

Photo Credit: Drool Factor

Now for the cake. What stressed out pregnant lady doesn’t want cake? Wait, what woman in general doesn’t want cake. And the fact that it’s chocolate cake just makes it that much better.

Photo Credit: Drool Factor

I would love nothing more than for someone to deliver this cake to me. Here’s to hoping this week continues to be better than the last.

Fauxstess Cupcakes: The Best EVER

12 Jan

I’ve been looking around for inventive cupcake ideas when I came across this miraculous recipe. Faux Hostess Cupcakes.

All I have to say after making these is, Thank you, Google. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

First of all, the chocolate cupcakes for this recipe will now officially be my “go-to” chocolate cupcake. It’s light and moist and not overly chocolatey. Moving on to the cream filling. Oh the cream filling. Also another recipe I’ll be reusing. It could easily be used as frosting for a S’mores cupcake, which is an exciting prospect. Sweet and creamy, what more do you need? Lastly, chocolate ganache needs no explanation. I mean it’s chocolate.

All of these components combined made for a cupcake that was heaven-sent. The entire batch has been gobbled up over the past few days, and that was with us even trying to pace ourselves!

One little warning in assembling these little cakes: do not pipe in the filling from the top. The blogs I read said “don’t worry the ganache will cover the filling.” Well, it didn’t. I’d recommend either piping it in from the bottom or cutting out a little crater in your cupcake and recovering. Also, I realize my piping swirls aren’t perfect. I’ve never really done much detail piping. For a first time, it’s acceptable though.

Take my word, you MUST try these cupcakes. It will change your world.

Recipe adapted from Bake at 350 and Family Kitchen:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup hot coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl sift together sugar, Dutch process cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla and then add into the dry ingredients. Whisk in the hot coffee.

Fill lined muffin cups 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the filling:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla exrtact
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme

Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Beat in the marshmallow creme; set aside or refrigerate.

Inject each cooled cupcake with 1-2 tablespoons of the filling with a piping bag.

For the ganache:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 7 ounces chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat stirring frequently until the cream is hot and just starts to boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Spread warm but slightly cooled ganache over the tops of the filled cupcakes. Level off ganche with knife or spatula and let cool for 15 minutes.

Christmas Dessert Almost Didn’t Happen

3 Jan

I decided to bake a cake to bring to my Grandmother’s for Christmas. It really wasn’t needed, there would be other goodies there, but I took the opportunity to bake a little something anyway. Rather than re-tackling the Vermont Spice Cake as my hubby requested I thought I’d test out my unused bundt pan. It was a wedding gift that has sat unloved for over two years, and Tina from My Life as a Mrs. had a recipe I just couldn’t resist.

Chocolate Chip Cake. Did I mention it has chocolate ganache drenched over the top? Tell me you could say no this because I know you can’t.

Because I love you readers, I cannot lie to you, I had a few issues with this cake. Don’t get me wrong the flavor here was AMAZING! Very moist while still being sweet and the ganache (I used Ghiradelli chocolate chips) was perfection.

However, the instructions said to let the cake cool completely before flipping it to the plate. Here’s where I hit a snafu. I began this cake a little too late and just had to go to sleep before it could cool completely. I covered the cake and left it to do in the morning. Upon going to flip the cake to the platter the next morning it didn’t budge, not one centimeter.

I thought this was the end of my Chocolate Chip Cake attempt. Then, with a little help from my mom I got it out, but some of the top stuck to the pan. No worries, I pieced it back together and figured my ganache would cover the trouble spots (which it did).

My other issue with this cake is that the wonderful little chocolate chip all sunk to the bottom (er well top) of the cake. After eating a few too many pieces of this cake, I’ve decided next time I’ll only sprinkle the chocolate chip on the top of the batter once in the pan. The ganache on top was plenty sweet for the rest of the cake. I’ll either try  that, or whip my badder a little more to see if I can’t get a thicker consistency to hold the chips in place.

Like I said, even with these minuscule mess-ups this cake was a big hit and one I’ll definitely be making again.

Recipe

(Printable Version)

Ingredients

For the Cake:
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (She used Duncan Heinz, as did I)
1 Large Box of Instant Vanilla Pudding
4 Large Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Oil
2 tsps Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Chocolate Chips

For the Ganache:
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

For the cake:

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees.

Mix together the first 6 ingredients in a stand mixer until combined. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula. Spray a Bundt Pan with non-stick cooking spray (don’t be afraid to be generous with the spray). Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake for one hour.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Do not leave it overnight as I did. Once cool, invert to cake pan.

For the Ganache:

Once the cake is cool prepare the ganache.

Melt all ingredients over medium-low heat in a small saucepan. Stir constantly until smooth then let set for 10-12 minutes. Slowly drizzle over the cake when ready, if you do it too early it will all slide off of the cake. (As you can see I could have let mine set a minute or two longer).

Once on the cake allow it to cool further then cut yourself a slice and enjoy!

New Year’s Resolutions

3 Jan

Photo Credit: The Cupcake Blog

This year is going to be a big year. In just seven days I start my third trimester! In all honesty last year was not the best, it did however lead me to baking and this blog, which I love. While I’ve got my personal resolutions for the year, I’ve also got special resolutions just for this lovely site.

1. Post, at minimum, every other day. I have no excuse not to, it’s not like I’m not on the computer everyday anyway.

2. Bake more cupcakes. I strayed from my original love and am ready to jump back into the cupcake world.

3. Incorporate more “Stork Stories”. As I get closer to the big day (April 3) I’ve got so much to share! And expect stories and photos of the little one once he arrives.

4. Share my sweets. I know I’ve got a growing baby in me right now, but the weight gain this month was a little more than I’d have liked. While I’d love to completely blame the baby, I think the cookies and cakes had a lot to do with it. So, I will be taking more of my sweet treats to the office so I’m not the only one looking pudgy.

5. Branch out from chocolate. Yes, it’s my favorite, but I’ve been told there are other flavors out there.

Whew, this should be a good year!

Cookie Quest Part One: Chocolate Chip Cookies

26 Dec

While reading through all of my favorite baking blogs I’ve noticed more than a few have cookie fetishes and who can blame them. There’s nothing like a warm gooey cookie fresh from the oven with a cold glass of milk. I’m not talking about just any type of cookie, but the all time favorite and classic Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Of course, once I’ve begun to click open a few tabs of cookie recipes I’m hooked. I’ve got to find the ultimate chocolate chip cookie. Over at Two Peas and Their Pod it seems they’ve been on the search and have found their “Best Ever” chocolate chip recipe. So I decided to start here. I mean why not start my search for “best ever chocolate chip cookie” with someone elses favorite, it’s got to be a good shot, right? And so our cookie adventure has begun! I’m excited!

This cookie was good, no I’ll do you one better, it was great. The edges were a perfect crispness without being crunchy and the centers stayed nice and chewy. I used Ghiradelli chocolate chips which added to the near perfection of this cookie.

That’s right near perfection. This may very well be the best chocolate chip cookie ever. However, I think our search will forge on, not only because I like the challenge of finding the best cookie recipe ever but  also because I love the challenge of having to taste them all!

Recipe

(Printable Version)

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups (12 oz) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. smallish-medium coarse sea salt (I used table salt, kind of wish I would’ve tried the sea salt!)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups/16 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate, just a personal preference)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until it is “nice and fluffy.” Two Peas recommend creaming the mixture for 5 minutes, so I did. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to beat for two minutes.

Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour until cookie batter is fully incorporated.  Finally add chocolate chips until well distributed. The batter is thick so mixing in the chocolate chips was a little frustrating, but definitely doable.

Drop about 2 tablespoons of dough and “plop” the batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-14 minutes. My oven cooked them around 11 minutes, so just check on the cookies around the ten minute mark. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to sit on the tray for two minutes. Then pick up the parchment paper (with the cookies still on top) and transfer to a cool non-porous surface.  Cool on the paper for at least 3 minutes before serving.

Made around 45 deliciously chewy goodies for a couple of wonderful cookie filled days!

Daily Cravings: Chocolate Jingle Bars

15 Dec

Photo Credit: Very Best Baking

Today has been one of those days where I would’ve taken chocolate at any point of the day. Morning, afternoon or even right now (tonight), I would love to sink my teeth into these delights.

Daily Cravings: Cream Puffs with Ice Cream

6 Dec

Photo Credit: Good Housekeeping

Photo Credit: Epicurious

Photo Credit: Baking Bites

I have no words about this craving. Honestly, I’m speechless.

If you aren’t craving these cream puffs with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce you are not human.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

4 Dec

What’s better than chocolate and peanut butter? Nothing, that’s what. Ok well maybe cheesecake, but that’s just my pregnant mind jumping in. Anyway, back to this whole chocolate peanut butter thing. I’ve been craving pie. While browsing the Jamie Cooks It Up blog, my eyes wandered across more than a few tasty looking pies. And these days once I get my mind set on something there’s just no changing it.

So, here we are. Not only have I made a pie, this is my very own recipe. I love getting recipes to try from fellow bloggers, but it’s nice to concoct one of your own every now and then. I was concerned the peanut butter would be too rich, but it was surprisingly just right. The texture was nice and creamy, and the crust made for the perfect balance of flavors. Oh and this time I cheated a little. Rather than make my own pie crust a purchased one of the pre-mades from the grocery. I won’t tell if you don’t.

Here’s the only catch, I’m knew to this whole make your own recipe thing, so this recipe made a little more than a pie’s worth. Stay tuned for what I’ve done with the extra filling, it should be just as yummy as the pie itself!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

adapted by Jamie Cooks It Up!

1 Package Chocolate Instant pudding

1 1/2 cups Milk

8 oz. Package Cream Cheese

1 cup Peanut Butter

1 1/4 cups Powdered Sugar

4 oz. Cool Whip (thawed)

1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust

  1. Beat the peanut butter and cream cheese in standing mixer until smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar to mixture, beat until smooth.
  3. Add Cool Whip, beat. Make sure all ingredients have combined well.
  4. In separate bowl whisk pudding mixture with milk and add to peanut butter mixture.
  5. Now put the filling in your crust and let set in the refrigerator for at least one hour. I suggest serving with a glass of milk.

Daily Cravings

1 Aug

Photo Credit: Ashley Jenkins

What better to join a plate of scrumptious desserts and fruit than a pot of melted chocolate?

Photo Credit: Southern Living

Reservations for fondue have been booked for tomorrow night, and I’m quite excited. Of course we’ll be having other courses than dessert, but let’s be honest this is the course we all really look forward to.