chocolate

How to kill a chocolate craving

Have you ever been sitting at home and suddenly had the urge to eat a smallish piece of cake? Specifically chocolate cake. I was craving some chocolatey goodness but I had no cake and it was almost midnight and I wasn’t about to bake an entire cake to satisfy a craving. I looked up mug cakes and found this recipe. Well, I found many recipes but this one sounded the best to me and I had all the ingredients on hand.

The results were delicious and I was very impressed. I love to bake and I do plenty of it but this is the cake recipe you want when you’re in a pinch. I would recommend using a mug larger than you think you will need. You don’t want to lose any precious batter to spillage.

I have made this mug cake twice now. Once with peanut butter and a leftover chocolate easter egg in the center the other with almond butter instead of peanut butter. Both times I added a generous squirt of Hershey’s chocolate syrup to the batter. The cake was moist, with a runny sauce in the middle.

Try it!

signature.blog

Advertisements

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

The zucchinis in the fridge had to be eaten. In the interest of not wasting food I decided to look up recipes and was pleased to find this recipe on The Idea Room for Chocolate Zucchini Cake. I was immediately sold on it and decided I would try it out the next day. I ended up altering the recipe and making cupcakes instead of a cake but the results were nothing short of amazing. If you check out the original recipe you will notice that I substituted the lemon juice for white vinegar and I omitted the nuts and ground cloves. The reason is simple, I didn’t have these ingredients on hand! Lemon juice is acidic and is often added to milk in order to sour it and turn it into a buttermilk substitute. I am guessing you could substitute the milk and vinegar with buttermilk.

The only oil I had in the house was olive oil so I used that. I would probably use coconut oil the next time around but I can attest that the olive oil worked beautifully. The cupcakes were moist, rich and chocolatey. My husband had no idea they had zucchini in them. They are by far the most delicious chocolate cupcakes I have had in a long time.

If you would like to give them a try here is what you will need:

Ingredients

  • 1 and 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup oil (you can use any flavorless oil of your choice)
  • 2 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk with 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the full recipe visit The Idea Room!

These cupcakes do not need any frosting! If you want you could dust them with some powdered sugar but in my opinion they are perfect as is.

IMG_6519 IMG_6520 signature.blog

Cookie Thursday

There are few things better than a cookie. I find cookies to be such lovely treats. They’re single servings of deliciousness. I asked my cousin to pick out a cookie recipe for me to make and send to her and she picked a real winner! When she showed me the recipe she had picked I was excited as I had never made any type of sandwich cookie before.

This recipe from Joy of Baking.com is delicious. I have mentioned before that this is my favorite recipe site as the recipes are always easy to follow and often have videos to go with them. These cookies are similar to Oreo cookies. The cookies have a rich semi-sweet chocolate flavor and the cream is sweet and smooth. I used less sugar than the cookies called for because I wanted the cream to compliment the cookies not simply add to the sweetness. I like my chocolate to taste like chocolate not sugar, but that’s a personal preference. Cutting back the amount of sugar is optional and it’s an option I exercise in almost every recipe.

For the cookies:

1 cup (240 ml) semi sweet chocolate chips or 6 ounces (170 grams) semi sweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup (226 grams) unsaltedbutter, room temperature

3/4 cup (150 grams) white granulated sugar (I used about 1/2 a cup)

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purposeflour

3/4 cup (70 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch processed)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

image

What the dough should look like once it has come together.

Be sure to check out Joy of Baking.com for the complete recipe (including the cream filling) and detailed instructions as well as a video of this recipe!

I personally, could eat these cookies on their own without the cream BUT the cream is such a great addition. I did not bother to make my logs perfect when I rolled up the dough so the cookies did not turn out perfectly round. You could spend more time on that, but like I have always said about home made: I want it to look as such. To me, that’s the best part.

As a side note, whenever I bake I try to use the best ingredients available to me. They really do make a difference. However, when baking we need to also keep in mind our bottom line. I have found that chocolate is an ingredient I will always splurge on as long as I can afford to, as well as vanilla extract. I refuse to use the imitation stuff. It’s just not the same. In my kitchen I tend to favor the following brands in my baking:

  • Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract
  • King Arthur Flour (unbleached, all purpose)
  • Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet chocolate (either chips or in bar form)
  • Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

I hope you found this post helpful.

signature.blog

 

peanut butter cups

A couple of weeks ago I was happily watching television when I decided that I wanted a peanut butter cup. I didn’t want just any peanut butter cup. I wanted one I had made myself. As I made a mental calculation of what I had in the pantry (peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and semi-sweet chocolate chips) I became increasingly excited about making them.

I headed into the kitchen with nothing but my hunger. I did not use a recipe. The first thing I did was whip about a cup of peanut butter with about a tablespoon of powdered sugar. I used my stand mixer for this. I let it get nice and fluffy and light in color. Once this was done I set it aside.

I then set up a double boiler in order to melt the chocolate. I am not sure how much chocolate I used but I would say it was probably about a cup and a half of chocolate chips. I also added a tablespoon of butter and a splash of vanilla extract. I also added a teaspoon of cooking oil. Once this was melted I set it aside.

I did not have any cupcake liners around so I lined a silicone mini cupcake pan with wax paper. I then spooned in some chocolate into the bottom of each well and left to cook for a couple of minutes in the freezer. I then piped in the peanut butter using a zip top bag. Because the peanut butter was so light and fluffy I found this the easiest way to do this. Spooning it in, although doable, seemed too messy and time consuming.

Once again, I put them in the freezer to set a bit then topped them off with a chocolate later. The result is a solid chocolate outside, with some peanut butter peaking out here and there. When you bite into the cup the peanut butter oozes out as it doesn’t set into a solid.

I absolutely loved them and plan to make them again soon.

I hope you will give these a try.

signature.blog

photo 1-7 photo 3-7