Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

easy chocolate cake

It’s always a good idea to have an easy and basic chocolate cake recipe in your back pocket. Ya just never know when you’ll need to bake one…

– last minute birthday with friends or at work
– dinner gathering
– picnic

The reasons are endless and sometimes you don’t even need a reason to bake a cake! The intoxicating smell of baked chocolaty goodness is good enough for me.

I found a recipe for a carob cake, but preferred to use chocolate instead. This cake is so light, sweet and pillowy. Please add to your recipe box. It won’t disappoint!

p.s. I didn’t add any embellishments or frosting on this cake. I just wanted to share it’s simplicity.

Easy Chocolate Cake
Inspired from this recipe

Print Recipe

3/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour. Plus 6 tablespoons
3 tablespoons baking cocoa
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch of sea salt
1 egg
1/2 cup 1% or nonfat milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a (9-inch) baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a second large bowl, whisk together egg, milk, oil and vanilla.

Add egg-milk mixture to flour mixture and beat for 2 minutes. Whisk in water and then pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Set aside to let cool for 15 minutes, then serve warm or remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.


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My goodness! Has it really been over two weeks since I shared a recipe with you all? The time is flying and here I am…I’m emerging from a two (or three?) week baking hiatus. Baking is good for my soul, so hopefully I don’t take a hiatus that long moving forward. Well….unless it’s over 95 degrees outside and I don’t want to melt alive in my house.

I recently found the most simplest of baking recipes and here is what I love about it: (a) it contains eight simple ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen, (2) it’s a crowd pleaser and (3) it’s incredibly versatile. For example, you can add nuts or seeds, dried fruit, real fruit, white chocolate chips, caramel and more.

The original recipe is for a chocolate chip cookie cake, however, I wanted to be playful and use chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds in place of the chocolate chips. I was looking for that chocolaty, sweet and tart flavor profile and I achieved it. Oh, did I achieve it. Moreover, when you bite into a slice of this cookie cake, you’ll enjoy the sweet and tart punch of melty chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds. I know, right?! Don’t forget, pomegranate seeds contain antioxidants, which are good for you. More reason to enjoy this cookie cake.

Cookie Cake with Dark Chocolate-Covered Pomegranate Seeds
Inspired from a recipe in this book. Pg 54

Print Recipe

– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
– 1 cup all-purpose whole wheat flour
– 11/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/4 tsp sea salt
– 1 cup packed light brown sugar
– 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
– 1/2 tsp organic almond extract
– 1 large egg
– 1 cup dark chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch spring form cake pan.

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

In a separate bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the vanilla and almond extracts, and egg until light and creamy. Incorporate the dry ingredients until just blended. Fold-in the dark chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and use a rubber spatula or butter knife to even-out the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy warmed, room temperature, dunked in cold milk or a la mode!

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puff pastry men & pillows

I am such an advocate for homemade gifts, whether it’s homemade earrings, mittens, a painting or something from the kitchen. I don’t know how to make jewelry – except for friendship bracelets from string – or knit, so gifts from the kitchen is my jive! These puff pastry men make great gifts. Stick ’em in a box with tissue paper or an adorable holiday bag.

I stumbled on the idea to make puff pastry men in an online UK magazine, Delicious Magazine. This online magazine so cute! I think I’ll frequent it more often.

Puff pastry men is my spin on the iconic gingerbread men. I’m getting flirty with it! I had extra puff pastry and used a biscuit cutter to make additional square shapes. I call them pillows. Pillows for those cute and crispy puff pastry men…why not, right?

Dipping Ideas:
Melted dark chocolate
Melted white chocolate
Dolce de Leche
Creme Fraiche
Whipped cream

Is your mouth watering yet?

Puff Pastry Men and Pillows
Inspired from this recipe

Print Recipe

– Puff pastry, thawed
– Granulated sugar
– Cinnamon glaze for dipping or drizzling on top

To make the cinnamon glaze
– 1 cup confectioners sugar
– 2 Tbls 1% milk
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine all three ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined and thick. If the glaze is too thin, add more confectioners sugar. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk.

To make the puff pastry men
Preheat oven to 430 degrees.

Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter in your chosen shape(s). Place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the shapes with the granulated sugar.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, cool slightly and drizzle on the cinnamon glaze, sprinkle with confectioners sugar or both! Enjoy with a cup of hot cocoa!

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neapolitan rice krispie treat cake

Ok friends, I have another nostalgic blog entry for you. I’m not sure what my deal is but lately I’ve been into nostalgic recipes. Last week I was all about stovetop macaroni-n-cheese and now…rice krispie treats! Remember when moms would make them for class parties, picnics, after school snacks, slumber parties?? Oh, the memories…

I saw a commercial for Rice Krispie cereal and I immediatley became inspired to make rice krispie treats but not just the rice krispie treats we know and love…how about an avante garde three-layer rice krispie treat cake? Neapolitan style. My favorite flavors!

I like to modify recipes to be more nutritious and to highlight the key ingredients that make it so, nevertheless, there is nothing nutritious about this recipe. It’s butter, fiberless cereal and marshmallow. Oh well! It’s tasty and I would love to share this with you anyway. 🙂

Neapolitan Rice Krispie Treat Cake

Print Recipe

Each cereal layer requires:
– 1 Tbls unsalted butter
– 2 cups mini marshmallows
– 21/2 cups cereal

I used regular Rice Krispie cereal, a chocolate flavored Rice Krispie-type cereal and a berry flavored kid cereal.

Spray a spring form cake pan with nonstick cooking spray or a square baking dish.

Process for each layer:
In a large sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the marshmallow and melt until the marshmallow becomes soft and goopey. Stir-in the cereal and make sure the melted marshmallow is well incorporated with the cereal.

Pour into the spring form cake pan and press down. Place in the fridge and allow to harden. This takes about 15 minutes. While it’s hardening in the fridge, begin making the second cereal layer.

Repeat this process until you reach the third cereal layer.

Allow to harden in the fridge before removing from spring form cake pan or square baking dish.

Slice and enjoy! For some extra oomph, melt some chocolate and drizzle on top.

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I am particularly excited about this entry! Why you may ask? Because it’s my first submission to the Beet ‘n Squash YOU monthly food fight “wherein the stupendous virtues of vegetables are extolled.” Beet ‘n Squash YOU is co-hosted by the creative gals behind She Simmers and Gourmet Fury. Each month a vegetable is chosen and all participants must submit a recipe using the ingredient. March summoned the fiber-rich, brilliant and tasty, sweet potato.

Can I tell you how much I love sweet potatoes?! I can eat sweet potato is all forms but my favorite ways to consume the sweet potato is baked, sliced open with a sprinkle of cinnamon, oven-roasted with ketchup for dipping and sweet potato pie. In all honesty, my heart flutters for sweet potato. I heart it. . . . alot.

For the Beet ‘n Squash YOU recipe submission I wanted to push the envelope. I wanted a challenge. I wanted chaos. Thus, the Sweet Potato Lamingtons emerged from my kitchen.

Screeeetch! What’s a lamington? A lamington is a small dessert found in Australian and New Zealand cafes and lunch counters. Lamingtons are a two-inch, cube-shaped dessert. A sponge cake, covered in chocolate and rolled in flaked coconut. The lemon sponge cake variety are popular in Aussie, whereas the New Zealanders prefer the strawberry sponge cake variety.

My Sweet Potato Lamington is where the American South meets the South Pacific! Even though this is a dessert, there are nutritional perks involved, such as the addition of sweet potato and the use of agave nectar rather than refined sugar, which was used in the original recipe. I also used whole wheat flour for additional fiber.

sweet potato lamingtons

Nutritional perks –

    Sweet potato – rich in complex carbohydrates and beta carotene. low in cholesterol. good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin B6 and potassium. a very good source of Vitamin A.
    Agave nectar – a natural sweetener. contains a low glycemic index, which provides sweetness without the unpleasant “sugar rush.”
    Whole wheat flour – good source of dietary fiber. a very good source of manganese and selenium.

Making the Sweet Potato Lamingtons
What you will need: sweet potato cake, semi-sweet chocolate for melting, grated coconut (sweetened)

Sweet Potato Cake adapted from cooks.com
– 1 1/2 cup oil. I used canola oil for it’s low flavor profile.
– 2 cups agave nectar. The original recipe suggested regular white sugar
– 4 eggs separated
– 1/4 cup water
– 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
– 3 tsp. baking powder
– 1/4 tsp sea salt
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp ground nutmeg
– 1 1/2 cup grated raw sweet potato
– 1 tsp vanilla

The original recipe added nuts, but I decided to omit them for the sake of having just a simple sponge cake for the lamingtons.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a sheet cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Beat the oil with agave nectar. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.

grated raw sweet potato

Stir in remaining ingredients in the order listed above. Mix until well blended. Pour into the sheet cake pan. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

stir stir stir

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 2 hours. Move the cake to the refrigerator so that slicing the cubes is easier and less crumbly.

When the cake is completely cooled in the refrigerator, remove it from the pan and place on a cutting board or sheet pan so that slicing the cubes can commence!

Since the cubes must be flat on all sides you will need to slice off the rounded top of the cake. It’s simple! Run a long knife right along the underside of the rounded top so that the cake now has a flat top and you can see inside of the cake. Admire how orange it is! Ahh, sweet potato!

Slice two-inch cubes. You can eyeball it. There are no lamington police around.

Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a double-boiler or microwave. Which ever is most convenient.

assembling these beauties

Coat five sides of the cake sponge in the melted semi-sweet chocolate, leaving the bottom of it chocolate-free. Roll the shiny and delectable chocolate-covered cake in the grated coconut. Place it on a wire rack to hang-out!

enjoy these two bite gems over and over!

When the lamingtons are complete being bedazzled in chocolate and coconut, let them set and either enjoy the two-bite gem or store in an airtight container.

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The Beatles, Elvis, Tina Turner, Journey…all oldies but goodies; all classics! To me, “oldies but goodies” are the types of things that make you feel warm inside, make you blush a little and take you back in time to a specific moment or series of time. How about this as a classic: chocolate-covered strawberries! Chocolate-covered strawberries have been enjoyed by generations and across the globe. They’ve even taken on a life of their own. You can now find chocolate-covered strawberries dressed up in little tuxedos or wedding gowns, donning strips and multi-colored spots, or playing dress-up as ghosts for Halloween. I’ll vouch to say that the famous chocolate-covered strawberry is a classic! A good one too!

Well, I’ve decided to take a spin on the classic! Don’t get me wrong, I love love love chocolate-covered strawberries but sometimes a variation on a classic produces something quite extraordinary and incredibly different. So different that enjoying the variation doesn’t count as “cheating” on the classic!

Time to become friends with my strawberry and chocolate pudding! This pudding is surprisingly light and offers a number of textures such as the soft strawberries, gooey batter and morsels of chocolate chips that keep shape but collapse once it hits your tongue.

Nutritional perks on this delicious spin! –

    Strawberry – good source of folate, potassium, dietary fiber and Vitamin C.
    Dark chocolate – contains antioxidants, which are eight times higher than in strawberries. Flavanoids, which help relax blood pressure, reduces LDL cholesterol and stimulates endorphin production.

Strawberry and Chocolate Pudding – adapted from “oneordinaryday” on Tasty Kitchen.
2 individual servings in 6 oz ramekins

– 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice sugar, divided. Plus 1 Tbs sugar (evaporated cane juice sugar does not undergo the same degree of processing as refined sugar)
– 1 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
– 1/2 whole-wheat flour (original recipe suggested all-purpose flour)
– 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa power (added this for a more chocolaty taste in the batter)
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/4 tsp sea salt or Kosher salt
– 1/4 cup nonfat milk (original recipe suggested whole milk)
– 1/2 cup sliced strawberries (original recipe used blackberries)
– 1 Tbs dark chocolate chips or more if you wish
– 1/2 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter or spray two ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.

To get the simple syrup ready, boil the 1/2 cup water and add 1/4 cup of sugar. Remove from heat once sugar is dissolved.

Cream 1/4 cup sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the flour, cocoa powder, 1 Tbs sugar, salt, baking powder and milk into the sugar and butter mixture and mix well.

Add batter to bottom of ramekins. Layer sliced strawberries on top of batter. Sprinkle dark chocolate chips on top of strawberries. Pour the simple syrup evenly between the two ramekins.

Bake 50 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy warm a la mode or at room temperature!

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