Tag: chocolate

Perfect Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Perfect Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I don’t throw that word around lightly- especially where chocolate chip cookies are concerned. See, I love me a good chewy chocolate chip cookie. And in the 4 years that I’ve been cooking, and the 26 years my mama has been cooking, chocolate chip cookies […]

Cupcakes 4 Ways

Cupcakes 4 Ways

This here is your basic batter. Take this, and you can make cupcakes, cakes, donuts, cookies (if you added more flour), and more- in every flavor imaginable. Recently, I made 24 cupcakes, and I loved every minute of it. I’ve never been the best baker, […]

Microwave Chocolate Chip Cookies

Microwave Chocolate Chip Cookies

It started with regular chocolate chip cookies. I wanted cookies. I like cookies. But my oven is broken. So, I thought I’d make cookies on the stovetop! Back in my wild youth, we used to buy chocolate chip cookie pies- giant chocolate chip cookies covered in chocolate sauce and chocolate chunks. 8 year old me couldn’t imagine anything better. I haven’t had one in years- I’ve scoured every grocery store in the tri state area, and can’t find them! So I thought I’d make a skillet cookie, and recreate my favorite dessert. That didn’t go so well. It was burnt on the outside and raw on the inside. Carcinogens and salmonella don’t really scream nostalgia and comfort food. And then I microwaved the dough. And it was soft. And cooked through. And chewy. And crispy. And it took 60 seconds.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

1 cup sugar

1 ½ cups packed brown sugar

2 sticks butter (salted)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon instant coffee

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 cups chocolate chunks (I chopped up a chocolate bar and some truffles)

 

Start by melting the butter, and pouring the sugar into a bowl.

If you want crispier cookies, melt the butter. If you want chewy cookies, soften the butter. If you want nutty-tasting cookies, brown the butter. If you want to be sad, don’t use any butter.

Stir it together until it’s nice and fluffy,

and then crack in the eggs.

Add the vanilla, and stir it together.

Now, in two batches, sift in the dry ingredients. If you don’t like coffee, never fear! You can’t taste it, it just adds a nice depth and color to the cookies.

Stir it all together, and then chop up the chocolate if you need to. I like using my own chocolate- I can use a mix of dark and milk, and I get to clean out all the stray, half finished chocolate in my fridge. You can even add caramel or orange chocolate. Mix it in, and try not to eat any.

Think of the salmonella! I tried something new with the dough this time- I chilled it. I’ve never chilled it before, and my cookies always turned out terribly. I chilled it for about 4 hours- it made a difference! But I microwave my cookies, so don’t listen to me. Whenever you’re ready to make it, scoop some dough into a ramekin,

and microwave it for 60 seconds.

This was one of the best cookies I’ve ever made! I put the dough in the freezer, so now whenever I want a cookie, I can have it in 1 minute. I’m getting a little drunk on power.

Truffle Hot Chocolate

Truffle Hot Chocolate

Oh, this was good. This was really good. Really, really good. You get my drift. I thought that little cups of hot chocolate would be the perfect way to end Christmas tea- I wanted shot glasses, originally, but none of our shot glasses can have […]

Cake Mix Cake (But Don’t Tell Anyone)

Cake Mix Cake (But Don’t Tell Anyone)

Right. Here’s how it went down. I, the ultimate food snob, made a cake mix cake. It wasn’t on purpose. It was going to go bad! And I wanted cake without putting any real effort into it. Holiday stress is getting to me. Well, my […]

Fudge

Fudge

We all like fudge round here. I mean, it’s sticky, it’s chewy, it’s rich, it’s, well, fudgy. The ingredients of classic fudge are pretty straightforward- chocolate and condensed milk. I like to add some vanilla and cocoa powder. Some fine folks add cinnamon. Some monsters add dried fruit. But there’s a secret ingredient to fudge that just puts the cherry on top. The metaphorical cherry. Don’t put cherries in fudge. Or on them. This ingredient isn’t one that can be measured, oh no no- this ingredient is Panic. You can add it whenever you want! You can add it when you realize you forgot to use a double boiler. You can add it when you don’t have any containers for the fudge. You can add it when you forgot to stir in the ingredients before you put the fudge in the pan, and now have to smush them in as best you can. But panic makes the fudge so much sweeter, without adding extra calories! It gives a great aftertaste- when the fudge is not only edible, but delicious, and you are still standing. The more panic you add, the stronger the aftertaste is! This 200 word intro is a cry for help. 19 days to Christmas and I’m steadily losing it.

INGREDIENTS

1 14 oz can of condensed milk

2 cups Hershey’s kisses

OPTIONAL

¼ cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Walnuts

Peanut butter chips

Instant coffee granules

Start by unwrapping the Hershey’s kisses. It was my parents’ 25th anniversary shindig a couple of weeks ago, and I got the bright idea to put Hershey’s kisses everywhere. Get it? Silver candy? Silver anniversary? Validation? Anyone? Please? People didn’t eat as many of them as I thought (it may have been my fault for roasting two chickens and a salmon), so I was stuck with all of them. They made great fudge, but unwrapping this many can be tedious, so if you have any midgets lying around, put them to work to earn their keep.
If you’re using them, throw in the vanilla and cocoa powder with the kisses,
then pour in the condensed milk. As it starts to melt, you’ll realize you’re not using a double border, and add the first dose of panic. It turned out fine. Don’t listen to those double boiler using elitists!
Take it off the heat as soon as it starts to bubble, or else it’ll stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. I speak from experience. Ever tried to scrub a layer of burnt fudge off a steel pot? I haven’t, but my mom has, and I’ve heard about it so much I feel as though I have too. I’m kidding, ma.
Find some containers for the fudge- I was making two small batches of peanut butter and walnut, respectively, and a big mocha batch so I divided it between two pans. I love these little paper loaf pans. They’re adorable. Line them with wax paper, and then pour in the fudge and whatever mix ins you want.
I loved using the instant coffee- mochas were my gateway into the magical world of caffeine, so I’ll always have a soft spot for coffee and chocolate. I remember my first mocha- last year in October, we were in New York, and my mom and I walked the length and breadth of midtown Manhattan looking for a coffee shop. We passed about seven Starbucks, but we were in New York, and we were going to a local artisanal coffee shop, dammit! Long story short, we walked and looked until we were half carrying each other, and finally surrendered and went to the nearest Starbucks. There, I had my first mocha. Extra whipped cream, obviously. I’ve been in love with coffee and chocolate since then! Put the fudge in the fridge to set for about 4 hours, and then slice it up and enjoy!

Give it as a present, hoard it- it’ll stay good in the fridge for a month, if you have self control. I’m putting self control on my Christmas list this year. No I’m not. That’s a lie. I want glitter and a chinchilla.

Peppermint Fudge

Peppermint Fudge

This isn’t how it was supposed to turn out. I wanted peppermint bark, even though everyone this year is saying it’s overrated. What did I get? A fudgy mess. But it still tasted good! And once I froze it, it turned out quite nice. So […]

English Coffee Toffee

English Coffee Toffee

That’s right, people. I’ve expanded to confectionary. I bought a candy thermometer. Now my path to world domination is finally clear! Well, apart from the not being able to drive and lacking a puppy part. But, armed with this English coffee toffee, anything is possible! […]

Mexican Chocolate Caramel Cake

Mexican Chocolate Caramel Cake

In a cookbook I read a little while ago, there was a cake called “The winning hearts and minds cake”, so called because it, well, won hearts and minds. This cake is like that- except more. I’m talking 10,000 times more. Normally, I attempt to hide my narcissism, but I’m not even going to try. This cake is amazing. This cake will change your life. Want to make a good impression on your boss? Make this cake. Want to show off to relatives? Make this cake. Trying not to get deported for refusing to be brainwashed by a Twitter-happy, unstable, fake tan obsessed psycho? Make. This. Cake. It’s a little lengthy, but you won’t care once you taste it. You won’t care how many calories it has. You’ll never be the same. You’ll be everyone’s favorite. People will never leave your house! Which could be a bad thing, but that’s your business.

There are three parts to the recipe: The cake, frosting, and caramel.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

Cake:

 

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

¼ cup cocoa powder

3 oz dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups

⅓ cup brown sugar

1 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have any, just add a splash of vinegar to a cup of milk)

2 ½ teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Chocolate buttercream

 

7 tablespoons butter, softened

1 ¼ cup powdered sugar

⅓ cup melted chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla

Caramel Sauce

 

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup brown sugar

¾ cup heavy cream (You can use half and half too. Use whole milk, though, and a little elf will show up out of nowhere and throw pesto in your caramel. Not that there’s anything wrong with pesto, it just doesn’t belong in caramel)

2 teaspoons vanilla

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¾ teaspoon salt

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 F

 

Right! First things first, the cake. The base. The heart, if you will. This is amazing on it’s own, by the way! You don’t even need frosting- which is usually blasphemy in my house, but rules don’t apply to this cake. You’ll need a few bowls. Three, to be exact. A big one, a medium one, and a little one. Reminds you of Goldilocks and the three bears, eh? I always had so many questions about that story. I still do! First of all, did they have three versions of everything in their house? Where did they get their stuff? Did everything match? What happened when the little bear grew up, and moved on to bigger chairs, beds, and bowls of porridge? Did the mom and dad bear change their stuff too? Did they have bear friends? Was there a whole bear community? Did they ever press charges against Goldilocks? What was Goldilocks doing in the woods, anyways? What kind of child just wanders into someone’s house? And, WHAT KIND OF CHILD TAKES A NAP IN A STRANGER’S HOUSE?! Was she going to visit her grandmother? I bet that was it. Why are there so many grandmothers-in-the-woods in children’s stories? Is it safe for elderly women to live alone in woods full of wolves and bears? Is there a wood somewhere in FairyTale land (you know it exists) just filled with grandmothers? Is there a grandmothers-in-the-woods community? They should unionize, and demand better representation! The time is gone where they are portrayed as weak and helpless! By this time, you’re probably feeling a bit betrayed. You came to this blog, and bless you for it. You read the intro. You saw how much I hyped up this recipe. You expected a stunning cake, decadent and legendary. And then you got sucked into a debate beginning at Goldilocks and ending with fairytale grandmothers (not to be confused with fairy godmothers) unionizing.

 

 

Let’s get back to the recipe- I promise it’s worth all the tangents! Pour the flour, ½ the white sugar, and all the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon into the bigger bowl.

Mix that up with a wooden spoon,

 

and break the chocolate into the smallest, microwave safe bowl.

Fleck a bit of water onto the chocolate,

and microwave it at 30 second intervals, stirring in between to melt it completely. 

 

Set that aside,

 

while you get cracking on the medium bowl. Throw in the brown sugar, the other half of the white sugar,

and the eggs.

Now grab an electric mixer, and start beating. You need to beat this for 3 minutes- and it’s 3 minutes on the highest setting, it’ll take longer the lower you set the mixer. I’m impatient, in case you couldn’t tell. Once it’s nicely thickened,

pour in the oil.

Beat that in for 2 minutes,

then pour in the vanilla, and beat that in for another minute. If you can get your hands on some good Mexican vanilla, use that! I love the stuff. It is now the most important time of all. It’s chocolate time. Other than free time and bedtime, it’s my favorite time. Pour the chocolate in,

and beat it! You need to move fast, otherwise the hot chocolate will cook the eggs. You don’t want that. Trust me. Once that’s mixed in,

pour in the vanilla, and beat that in for another minute. If you can get your hands on some good Mexican vanilla, use that! I love the stuff.

Once that’s mixed in, grab the buttermilk, and pour that in. Buttermilk makes chocoolate cake delightfully spongy and delicious!

Beat that in,

then pour this lovely mess

into the dry ingredients

Use a wooden spoon to mix it all together. It’s okay if it has a few lumps, you just want to get everything incorporated.

Now grab a baking pan- in hindsight, I’d recommend a sheet pan. Also, in more recent hindsight, don’t grease the pan, use parchment paper. I realized as soon as I greased it. It’s fine. It’s all good. Just keep telling yourself that.

Pour the cake batter in,

and bake it for 25 minutes. This is how it looked after it came out of the oven (And after I poked it with a fork to see if it was done. I didn’t have any toothpicks on hand). Let it cool while you make the next thing- the caramel!

Melt the butter in a saucepan.

Pour in the sugar, and start whisking!

At first it’ll look all lumpy and weird, but then it’ll start to bubble like mad. That’s the reason I have no picture of me pouring the heavy cream in. Once you mix that in, it’ll start looking a lot like caramel.

Pour in the vanilla, salt, and cayenne, and then let it come to a bubble.

et it go crazy for about a minute,

then turn off the heat and mix it. It’ll reduce and thicken as it cools, so just let it live it’s life while you make the buttercream.

Throw the butter into a bowl

and mix in the sugar. 

Use a wooden spoon, not a whisk. I ended up with so many failed, runny buttercreams due to whisking them. And the last thing I want is for that to happen to you. Unless you’re part of the sicko carrot administration. Then I wish many failed buttercreams on you. A pox of runny frosting on your house! You have to be patient with the buttercream, it’ll take a while, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Once it’s all nice and thick and creamy,

pour in the vanilla,

and then chocolate.

Mix that up, and give it a taste. If it’s so amazing you nearly faint, it’s ready.

Now you have the cake, the frosting, and the caramel.

You might be curious as to how I make a layer cake out of a rectangular cake. I just cut circles out! To ensure all the circles are uniform, I put the first circle on top of where I’m cutting, and slice around it. Plus, the leftover cake I cut circles out of makes for great snacking! Once you’ve extracted all the circles you can,

smear a bit of buttercream on whatever plate you’re putting the cake on, just to anchor the cake.

 

 

epeat as many times as is necessary.

Once the layers are stacked, spread the final bit of buttercream on top.

 

And then pour the caramel all over it. I wouldn’t recommend simply upending the pot,

use a ladle to drizzle it all over the place. And you’re done! Stand back and gaze in awe at what you have created. And then cut yourself a slice- you deserve it! I may be melodramatic, but this is the best cake ever, honest!

Moosehunters- Canada

Moosehunters- Canada

Before you flip out, no meese were harmed in the production of these. No moosehunters were harmed, either. And the plural of moose is TOTALLY meese. And all you grammar nazis (sorry, alt-grammar enthusiasts), can just deal with it. Moosehunters are, contrary to popular belief, […]