Sunday, August 31, 2014

5 Minute S'mores Cake in a Mug


O.K. I know this is Labor Day weekend, the 'last' weekend to enjoy S'mores on the Grill, but if for some reason you're not at an end of summer barbecue, you don't need to miss out on S'mores! Here's a fab recipe that is a bit of a twist on the 5 minute Mug cake. You will love this!!! It's adapted from a recipe on The Food Network and How Sweet It is. As always, the final product and taste will only be as good as your ingredients--but it's all about your personal palette, isn't it? This recipe is a bit more complicated than the traditional 5 Minute Mug Cake, but I think you'll enjoy the results so much more! This is sooo fudgy. This doesn't have to be reserved for the Labor Day holiday. This 5 Minute S'mores in a Mug is fabulous any time.

5 Minute S'mores Cake in a Mug

Ingredients
2-3 Tbsp graham cracker crumbs
3 1/2 Tbsp sweet butter, melted
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (you can substitute all purpose flour but not regular whole wheat flour--too heavy)
2 Tbsp unsweetened DARK cocoa powder (but any cocoa will work) 
1/8 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1-1/2 ounces chopped milk chocolate or chocolate chips
marshmallow fluff, marshmallow cream or marshmallows

Directions
Combine 3 Tbsp butter and 1 ounce of chocolate in small bowl, then melt in microwave for 20-30 seconds. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine remaining melted butter with 2-3 Tbsp graham cracker crumbs and stir until moistened. Press graham crumbs into bottom of mug.
In bowl. whisk egg, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa, stir until thick batter forms. Pour in melted butter and chocolate, mixing to combine. Fold in remaining chocolate chunks or chips.
Add half of mixture on top of graham crust, then add scoop of marshmallow fluff/cream or a few marshmallows.
Add remaining batter on top, then put in the microwave for 1 minute and 20 seconds to almost 2 minutes.
Remove and top with additional marshmallows (if you want).
You can pop it back in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to melt them, or torch with small flame, or pop them under the broiler for 10 seconds to toast. Sprinkle with graham crumbs! 


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Labor Day Blackberry Chocolate Chip Pie

Labor Day Weekend. When I was growing up that meant the last weekend before school started. We'd go down the shore or up to the mountains, or just kick back at a neighborhood barbecue. Sometimes we'd go to the country and pick blackberries for jam and pies. When I moved to California, I found blackberries everywhere at this time of year--by the roadside and later in my own backyard! They were a bit of a bramble. Prickly bushes, but the blackberries were oh so sweet and plentiful!

I used to make an awesome Blackberry Apple Pie, but since this is a Chocolate blog, and this is Labor Day Weekend, I'm recommending this easy and delicious Blackberry Chocolate Chip Pie. I adapted the recipe  I found at Allrecipes. com, and there was a caveat with the original: "Adjust the ratio of berries and chocolate chips to suit your preferences." Well, that's wise, so you might have to make it several times, just so get it right. LOL!

BLACKBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP PIE

Ingredients
1 (15 ounce) package pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie (I use Trader Joe's pie crusts if I don't make my own)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups blackberries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Place one pie crust in bottom of 9 inch pie plate.
In bowl, mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Gently stir in blackberries and chocolate chips. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Transfer to pie crust in pie plate.
Put second pie crust on top, and secure to bottom crust by pressing with fork, or fluting with fingers. Bake 35 minutes in preheated oven, until top is golden brown. Cool slightly before slicing.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT YOUR CANDLES, TOO!

Who doesn't want to have a totally edible cake, complete with edible candles? I do!! That's why I was thrilled to hear about these scrumptious candles that Lorree Sandler has created! Thanks to my friend and mystery author Sharon Fiffer for the tip! Love when my mystery and chocolate worlds collide!

LOREE SANDLER:
HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT YOUR CANDLES, TOO! 
A Short Story About a Long Journey:
Bringing Let Them Eat Candles to Life

Making a wish and blowing out a candle seals the birthday deal. Even in a crowd, we get a teeny tiny spotlight, and the rest of the world disappears while we hold our breath, close our eyes, dream.

Of course, a killer dessert is a must as well. Maybe a cake covered in roses for grabby little hands, or a single cookie to be broken into bits by friends who are all on diets.

No matter the celebration, these elements are non-negotiable:

1. A candle

2. A sweet

With Let Them Eat Candles, the putrid wax middleman has been eliminated. So 21st century – save a step, cut to the chase. Slender sticks of premium chocolate, affixed with a wick, offer an additional treat for grabby little hands, or an elegant escape from the cookie conundrum.

Edible candles – so obvious, right? Why haven’t we seen them before? 

I can offer only my own experience, a journey of 2 1/2 + years from idea to market.

Loving chocolate is a far cry from working with it. At The French Pastry School and the Chocolate Academy (both in Chicago) I learned about tempering, moulding, packaging. I was introduced to enrobing machines, raplettes, guitars for cutting ganache. I learned about cocoa butter finishes, mouth feel, transfer sheets.

Without existing chocolate candle moulds on the market, I had to design mine and get them built. My finished product couldn’t be shoved into simple boxes like their waxy cousins, they needed to be separated and seen – custom packaging. There was patent research, filing a patent application. I needed food safety certification, rentable commercial kitchen space (where ovens weren’t a-blazing). I needed graphics, a website, supplies.

There was a lot of experimentation, tiny victories, major setbacks. There were chocolate varieties to be tasted and tested, trade shows to attend, contracts to sign.

“You should go on Shark Tank,” I hear again and again.

“Your candles should be taller, they should be numbers, they should be sold in boxes of 6.”

“They should be sparkly, they should be brighter colors, why don’t you sell them online?”

I’d love to, I know, I will!

Believing in chocolate candles, and in my ability to bring them to life, has been a lot of blind faith, some lucky breaks, and more than a few crying spells. Even though thousands of these beautiful babies will have to be sold before I begin to recoup my investment, I do believe I’m onto something.

Let Them Eat Candles belong in a bakery (or a restaurant, or a big box) near you! Visit www.marthastewart.com/americanmade and look for Let Them Eat Candles in the Sweets & Baked Goods subcategory of the FOOD section. If you vote between September 15 and October 13th, then at my (BIG) birthday, on October 15th, I could wish for more moulds, a dedicated production facility, and more hands on deck, and I might have a prayer of it coming true! Wouldn’t you like to wish on premium chocolate candles at your next celebration?

Thank you, Janet Rudolph, for giving me space to share my story. And thank you, Dying for Chocolate readers, for your desire for the delicious.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

CHUNKY MONKEY ICE CREAM BREAD


Today is National Banana Lovers' Day. My grandmother never ate a banana in her entire life. She was from Eastern Europe and never saw a banana until she set foot on American soil. She didn't like the looks or smell, so she never even tried one! That's pretty odd, especially since I love bananas. I like bananas in cereal, in breads and cakes, in ice cream sundaes--just about anywhere. So in celebration of the day, here's a fun two ingredient recipe for Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Bread!

Not familiar with ice cream bread? It's so easy and delicious. The ice cream replaces the fat and sugar. Only two steps and two ingredients. Be sure to use self-rising flour. Just add softened ice cream and bake!

You can use different flavors of ice cream, just be sure not to use sugar free or low fat. Go for the full fat ice cream. It's more flavorful, anyway! I've made this awesome loaf with Chocolate Ice Cream, Rocky Road, as well as Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia, but for today's Banana Lovers' Day holiday, I'm making it with Chunky Monkey. You can always use plain banana ice cream or chocolate ice cream recipe, too, and add extra bits. Chunky Monkey already has extra bits in it, but you can always add more. No need, if you're in a hurray! Experiment and have fun with this recipe!
 

CHUNKY MONKEY ICE CREAM BREAD
Makes a large loaf or two smaller loafs


Ingredients

2 pints Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey, softened or melted
3 cups self-rising flour
1 very ripe banana, chopped
1 dark chocolate bar, chopped
Walnuts, chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour large bread pan or two small bread pans, or line with parchment paper. 
Mix melted ice cream and flour until very well combined. 
Fold in chopped chocolate, banana and nuts. 
Pour into prepared bread pan. 
Bake 45 minutes per loaf or 60-90 minutes for big double loaf. If top starts to brown too much, cover it with aluminum foil and continue to bake. 

Photo: Junkfood Cinema