Friday, June 23, 2017

Chocolate Pecan Sandies: National Pecan Sandies Day

Today is National Pecan Sandies Day. Pecan sandies are special shortbread cookies, and I've added chocolate to make them all that much better. If you're a purist, check out the BrownEyedBaker's recipe for "non-chocolate" pecan sandies. It's great.

Pecan Sandies: A shortbread cookie with ground pecans added to the flour. The cookies are easy to make -- flour, butter, sugar salt, and vanilla--and the pecans. The name Sandie might have something to do with the color--or not. Urban myth?

I have two suggestions for Chocolate Pecan Sandies. The first is the full recipe for  Chocolate Pecan Sandie Cookies. The second would be to use a 'regular' pecan sandie recipe and add chocolate chips.

Pecan Sandies are simple to make and taste delicious. They're not too sweet. Some people like to chop the pecans coursely, and that works, but you can also pulverize the pecans. To form the cookies, I use the drop method, but some people like to make logs and then slice them. Either way, they'll taste great!

Chocolate Pecan Sandies

Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) ground pecans, divided use
1/2 cup unsweetened good quality DARK cocoa powder
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Grease cookie sheet or line with parchment.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla until well blended.
Mix together flour, 1 cup ground pecans, and cocoa powder, then beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
Chill dough for 30 minutes.
Combine remaining 1/2 cup ground pecans and 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar in a bowl.
Form dough into 1-inch balls.
Roll in pecan sugar mixture (reserve any leftover sugar mix) and place on baking sheets.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool, then dip pecan sandy cookie tops in any remaining pecan sugar.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mini Chocolate Eclairs: National Eclair Day!

Today is National Eclair Day. My favorite eclairs are not the long thin "traditional" hotdog shaped eclairs (although I like them), but rather, the mini-eclairs. They're easy to make using a basic Pâte à choux.. puff pastry. I've been making them for years.

I've posted this recipe before, but it's always worthy of a re-post. These eclairs are so easy and yet look so beautiful and taste fabulous! Hope you enjoy making these as much as I do!

I've adapted this recipe for Mini Chocolate Eclairs from Paula Deen. This is one of my favorite recipes because it's simple and delicious! I never use margarine, so I've dropped that alternative from the recipe. Real butter is always best. As always, I use the very best dark chocolate for the topping. I've changed a few measurements and directions in the recipe for the Novice Eclair Chef. If you're a purist, just click on Paula Deen's recipe above.

Because these eclairs are so small, feel free to have 3 or 4. :-) Yield depends on how small you make them, but I usually get about 40 small eclairs from this recipe. They're great for a crowd!

Want to make these even more chocolate-y? Add a handful of chocolate chips to the egg cream filling or fill with chocolate cream instead: just add 1/4 cup dark cocoa to the dry ingredients. To fill the eclairs, I use a pastry bag, but if you don't have one, you can always fill a Ziploc bag and cut the tip off to pipe the filling into the eclair.

You will probably have some extra icing. Half the recipe if you ice sparingly. I'm for more chocolate, so there's never much left.

MINI CHOCOLATE ECLAIRS

Pastry:
1 cup water
8 Tbsp butter
1 cup sifted flour
3 eggs

Filling:
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla

Icing:
3 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions
Preheat oven to 400F.
Heat water and butter to boiling point. Add flour and stir constantly until mixture is smooth and forms a ball when tested in cold water. Remove from heat and let cool. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time. Drop dough from teaspoon, elongate slightly to form small eclairs (or drop in 'puffs'), onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until light brown. Set aside to cool.
Prepare filling by mixing all dry ingredients. Very slowly add milk over low heat and cook until mixture thickens (don't let heat get too high), so you don't have any lumps. Then pour this custard  into beaten eggs, stirring quickly (so eggs don't cook). Cool and add vanilla.
With serrated knife, slice pastry puffs lengthwise (or if you have puffs make a hole), but not all the way through. Pipe custard mixture into center.
Melt chocolate for icing, add sugar, and cream. Cook over medium heat until soft ball stage. Let cool and beat until smooth. Ice tops of eclairs.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Peaches and Cream

Today is National Peaches and Cream Day. Perfect for this time of year when there are so many peaches in the market. Who doesn't love a bowl of peaches with cream? Of course since this is a Chocolate Blog, this is a recipe for Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Peaches and Cream. Recipe is from The Green Card Gardener via Food 52.  And, it's Gluten-Free!! You'll love it.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Peaches and Cream

Ingredients
7 ounces whole hazelnuts with skins
5 eggs
2/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (75-80%)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-5 ripe peaches
1/2 cup apricot preserves

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line bottom of 10-inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease sides.
Chop hazelnuts coarsely in food processor using pulse. Set aside. Separate eggs. Beat yolks with 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy.
In separate bowl beat egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks.
Melt the chocolate over very low heat on stove. Add to egg yolk mixture in slow steady stream and mix well.
Fold in chopped nuts, then fold in egg whites.
Pour batter into prepared pan and even out with a spatula.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Loosen sides and unmold upside down onto cake rack and let cool slightly. Carefully remove parchment.
Let cool completely.
Whip cream until it stands in stiff peaks adding 2 teapoons sugar and vanilla extract.
Place cake with the flat side up on cake plate. Evenly spread whipped cream over cake.
If peaches are very ripe, remove peel with small pointy knife. Otherwise, make "X" on bottom of each peach and blanch for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove skin.
Cut peaches into thick even slices.
Strain apricot preserves and warm them over very low heat in small saucepan.
Dip each peach slice in the preserves, then arrange slices on cake.
Refrigerate until serving.

Summer Solstice Retro Cool Chocolate Drink Ad

Since today is the Summer Solstice, the first 'official' day of summer, and the temperatures are soaring in the San Francisco Bay Area. This Retro Baker's Ad for Cooling, frosted Chocolate Drinks "whenever you like--at home" is perfect!

So mix up some cool cocoa today! Nothing beats Chocolate! 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Ben & Jerry's S'mores Ice Cream Cake: Perfect for the Summer Solstice

Today is the Summer Solstice, and the temperature is hitting triple digits here, so it's the perfect day to make this S'mores Ice Cream Cake. I love Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, and I love S'mores. Use the recipe below, and be sure and watch the video. This is a no-brainer and can be made at the drop of a hat. If you're like me, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry and freezer! The finished cake looks and tastes amazing! I dropped the extra fudge sauce at the end from the original recipe, because I think the S'mores Ice Cream Cake is rich enough as is. Thanks, Ben & Jerry's!

 

BEN & JERRY'S S'MORES ICE CREAM CAKE

Directions
Prepare the crust (see below)
Prepare the filling (see below)
Top the crust with Ice Cream filling
Spread 2 cups of marshmallow fluff over the top of the ice cream (this can be done directly after filling with ice cream, or you can chill ice cream layer first)
Freeze cake for a minimum of two hours

To serve: 
Remove cake from freezer, let cake sit for 10 minutes, top with mini marshmallows and torch to golden brown
Run a knife around the edge of pan and remove side of spring-form
Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Crust: 
16 (8 ounces) whole graham crackers, crushed 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 stick butter, melted
Combine graham crackers and sugar, add melted butter, and stir to sandy, buttery consistency. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of 9” spring-form pan, using fingers or flat bottomed measuring cup. Chill for 10 minutes while you prepare ice cream.

Filling:
3 Pints Ben & Jerry’s S’mores Ice Cream (or any Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Ice Cream)
Remove Ice Cream from containers and place in bowl to soften, about 10 minutes.
Stir to combine and top prepared and chilled graham crust with ice cream.
Follow directions above for marshmallow topping!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Cherry Tart Day: Cherry Tart Ice Cream Retro Ad

Today is Cherry Tart Day! Here's a Retro Ad for the day from Elsie the Cow. Celebrate Cherry Tart Day with this Retro Ad for Cherry Tart Ice Cream from Borden's.  
"Steal a heart with new Borden's Cherry Tart Ice Cream!"



Add Chocolate Sauce to keep with the theme of this blog! :-)

Want to make your own "Tart" Cherry Ice Cream? Try this recipe from King Arthur's Flour. Fab!



Cartoon of the Day; Father's Day Chocolates for Men!


Friday, June 16, 2017

S'mores Fudge: 2 Recipes for National Fudge Day!

I just love S'mores! I did a recipe round-up of Smores on National S'mores Day a few years ago, but I think S'mores Fudge deserves its own post for National Fudge Day.

The first printed S’mores recipe appeared in 1927 in the Girl Scout handbook called, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. Folklore tells us the name “S’mores” came about because everyone who tasted one asked for “some more.”

There are so many great ways to eat --and drink--your S'mores, so for today's National Fudge Day holiday make some S'mores Fudge. The first recipe actually has three distinct layers...and it sure tastes like fudge. One caveat: This fudge is sweet, but then we're talking S'mores, aren't we? The second recipe is quicker to make (and eat) and the ingredients are all mixed together. Whichever you make, you won't be disappointed!

Have a great weekend!

1. S'MORES FUDGE

Ingredients
Graham Cracker Crust
4 sheets of graham crackers
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp melted unsalted butter

Chocolate Fudge Layer
1-1/2 cups milk chocolate, chopped (or milk chocolate chips)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk

Marshmallow Layer
1 cup 'real' white chocolate chips
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Line 8 by 8 square pan with aluminum foil, with extra foil hanging over (to help lift out later).
Crush graham crackers and mix in melted butter and sugar.
Pour into aluminum foil lined pan and push down with glass cup to make even layer.
Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
Melt chocolate in small saucepan over medium low heat.
Remove from heat and add half can of sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.
When smooth, pour immediately over graham cracker crust.
Melt white chocolate in small saucepan over medium low heat and add in marshmallow fluff and rest of sweetened condensed milk. Stir until smooth and consistent. Pour over chocolate layer.
Refrigerate overnight.
Next day, lift fudge out of pan using aluminum foil.
Carefully remove foil and carefully cut into squares.

2. EASY S'MORES FUDGE

Ingredients
1-12 ounce bag milk chocolate chips or 12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
5 regular sized graham crackers, broken into small pieces
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup mini-marshmallows

Directions
In small saucepan, melt chocolate. Remove from heat.
Add graham crackers until combined.
Fold in marshmallows.
Pour into greased 8x8 inch baking pan.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Cut into squares

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake & Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cocktail

Today is National Strawberry Shortcake Day. There's something about strawberries and whipped cream with a little shortcake that says Summer and America!

There are several different types of shortcake, or pastries known as shortcake. First there are scones and biscuits -- perfect for Strawberry Shortcake. And, then there are sponge cakes like those little spongy cups you get at the supermarket, also good, just different. And, of course, there's just plain cake which can be chocolate! All these 'cakes' are quick to make and taste great with strawberries and whipping cream. Of course, for me, the shortcake should always be chocolate. As always, your cakes are only as good as the chocolate you use!

No one really knows  exactly when the first strawberry shortcake was made. Shortcake, itself, is a European invention that goes back at least to the late 1500s. Strawberries have been around for over 2000 years. But putting strawberries and shortcake together is an American tradition. Strawberry Shortcake parties became popular in the United States around 1850 with the earliest recipe in 1847. Strawberries were so popular that people talked about strawberry fever. Advertisements and articles about strawberry shortcake, caused more and more demand. Harpers Magazine in 1893 said, "They give you good eating, strawberries and short-cake-- Ohh My!"

Several years ago on National Strawberry Shortcake Day I posted a recipe for Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake. This recipe is a combination of individual chocolate biscuits, fresh strawberries and sweet whipping cream. I also linked to Annmarie Kostyk's Double Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake. Fabulous!

Here's another recipe for Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake because you can't have enough of a good thing. Recipe adapted from Rhoda Peacher at Hobbyfarms.com

A tip from Lynda King at Hobbyfarms: one of the best ways to prepare berries for shortcake is to bruise them with a potato masher. You don’t want all the berries mashed, but you want most of them bruised sufficiently to yield their juice into the mixture. If needed, add sugar or honey to taste, depending on your preference, and chill for a few hours before serving.

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

Ingredients

Shortcake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sweet butter
1 cup + up to 2 Tbsp milk

Filling
4 to 5 cups fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease two 8-inch round cake pans.
In large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
Using pastry blender, cut butter into mixture until consistency resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in 1 cup milk with fork until mixture is just moistened (you may need to add extra milk for the mixture to blend evenly).
Using your fingers, spread into prepared pans.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until cake begins to pull away from sides of pans.
Cool 15 minutes; remove cakes from pans. Cool completely.
Reserve five whole strawberries for garnish.
Wash, hull and halve remaining strawberries.
In large bowl, combine halved strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar.
Place 1 shortcake bottom-side up on serving plate.
Top with half of strawberries and half of whipped cream.
Drizzle with a few tablespoons of chocolate sauce, to taste.
Place the other shortcake on top of this, right-side up.
Top with remaining prepared strawberries and whipped cream.
Garnish with reserved whole strawberries.

So there you have it: Three fabulous recipes for Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake!
***

Want to drink your Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake?

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE COCKTAIL


1 shot amaretto
1 shot creme de cacao
2 double shots of fresh strawberry puree
2 double shots of cream

Add several ice cubes, 2 double shots of fresh strawberry puree, 2 double shots of cream, add one shot of amaretto and one shot of creme de cacao. Blend for 1 min until mixture is thick. Pour into a martini glass.

Garnish with a whole strawberry or rim the glass with crushed chocolate--or both!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lemon Curd Brownies

I love this recipe for Lemon Curd Brownies. A few years ago after my Mother passed away, while going through her correspondence, I came across a note and recipe from an English friend of hers who wrote, "As promised here's the recipe and a little supply of my lemon curd for you." Unfortunately, the lemon curd was not in the cupboard or refrigerator. My mother loved lemon, and I do, too, especially with chocolate.

Since then I've been making brownies using "Elaine's Lemon Curd" recipe. I have several lemon trees, including three prolific Meyer lemon trees that are perfect for making lemon curd. Here's the recipe from "Elaine's" note. Be sure and scroll down for the Lemon Curd Brownie Recipe! Of course, you can always use store bought Lemon Curd, but try making your own. It's easy and yummy, and you can adjust the recipe as you see fit!

LEMON CURD


LEMON CURD BROWNIES

This recipe is very loosely adapted from Coffee & Quinoa. Go there for fabulous photos!

Ingredients 
4 ounces dark chocolate
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups dark chocolate, chopped into chunks  (or chocolate chips)
1 cup lemon curd

Directions
Preheat oven to 350.
Line 9x9 baking pan with parchment and grease with cooking spray or butter.
Melt chocolate and butter in top of double boiler, or in a saucepan over another saucepan over simmering water. Take off stove. Stir in sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt. Fold in chocolate chunks.
Spread 2/3 of batter into baking pan. Spread lemon curd on top. Put remaining batter on top, spreading to cover lemon curd completely.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with crumbs.

Cartoon of the Day: Chocolate


Monday, June 12, 2017

National Cachaça Day: Caipirinha Truffles!

Today is National Cachaça Day. Cachaça, a Brazilian white rum made from sugar cane, is the main ingredient in the Caipirinha, the national cocktail! How can you go wrong with sugar, cachaça, and lime? You can enjoy a caipirinha at home, but if you add chocolate, you can make Caipirinha Truffles! Perfect to celebrate National Cachaça Day!

CAIPIRINHA TRUFFLES

Ingredients
14 ounces white chocolate, chopped
Grated zest of one lime
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp Cachaça
cocoa powder

Directions
Combine chocolate, lime zest, and cream in metal bowl; place it over saucepan over simmering water. Stir until chocolate is melted.
Remove from heat, add cachaça, and stir until smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-3 hours --or until firm enough to form balls.
Using a scoop or teaspoon, scoop out chocolate mixture (while cold and firm) and form balls. They don't need to be perfectly round.
Roll balls in cocoa powder.
Keep refrigerated.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

German Chocolate Cake Truffles

Today is National German Chocolate Cake Day. I've done several posts about German Chocolate Cake, a cake that is not German at all, but for today I thought I'd post a recipe for German Chocolate Cake Truffles. Officially these could also be called Cake Balls, especially if you put them on a stick. They're made of cake, after all.

I'm not sure where I found this recipe, so I did a search and found the same recipe popped up in lots of places on the Internet. One source was Southern Living 2011 Christmas Edition, but a similar recipe is everywhere. I use the Duncan Hines German Chocolate Cake Mix, but Betty Crocker or whatever you have will work too. And, remember, it's all about the quality of the chocolate..and fresh toasted pecans --that makes it special. This recipe is great and easy and delicious!

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE TRUFFLES

Ingredients
1 (18.25 ounce) box German Chocolate Cake mix
1 (16 oz) can German Chocolate cake frosting
2 cups toasted coconut, divided
Melted Milk Chocolate
1 3/4 cups toasted chopped pecans, divided
24-28 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

Directions
Mix and bake cake as directed on box. Cool.
Put cake in bowl and crumble with fork.
Mix in half (or more) of can of frosting.
Sprinkle with 1 cup of coconut and 1 cup of pecans.
Stir gently.
Roll into balls or use cookie scoop.
Place balls on cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Cover and chill balls up to 2 hours.

Combine remaining cup of coconut and 3/4 cup pecans. Stir.
Melt milk chocolate.. in small amounts.
Dip balls in melted chocolate with two fork method or dipping fork. Let excess drip off.
Put coated truffles on wax paper lined cookie sheet and sprinkle tops with coconut pecan mixture.
Chill 30 minutes.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Black Cow Day

Today is Black Cow Day. You can go out and give Bossy a pat, but really this holiday is about a different type of black cow. A black cow aka a root beer float is made with root beer, chocolate syrup, and vanilla ice cream. Have one at your favorite Ice Cream Fountain or make one today. So easy!

The history of the Black Cow From Leites Culinaria:
The first true black cow day seems to have occurred on August 19, 1893. That’s when the notion of combining root beer and ice cream into a frothy concoction is rumored to have occurred to Frank Wisner, owner of a soda fountain as well as a mining company in Cripple Creek, CO. Although soda fountains were rampant at this point in our country’s culinary evolution, iced cream sodas didn’t yet contain ice cream. Instead, they were commonly made from either syrups combined with cream and cold soda water or cream mixed with flavored syrup. As the story goes, on that particular moonlit night, Wisner was gazing at the dark Cow Mountain when its snow-capped peak inspired him to float a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of his Myers Avenue Red root beer. Sure enough, he swapped root bear for cola, and ice cream for cream, and called the sweet creation “Black Cow Mountain.” It proved immensely popular, not just with the town’s children, but their mothers and the miners whom one might expect to find elsewhere—say, in a saloon or worse. Regulars promptly shortened the title to “Black Cow,” and since then, the term has been used interchangeably to describe root beer floats both with and without a dose of chocolate sauce. Consider trying it both ways before passing judgment.

BLACK COW

Ingredients
10 ounces root beer
2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 Tbsp chocolate syrup
1 1⁄2 ounces whipped cream
 maraschino cherry

Directions
Pour root beer over ice cream and chocolate syrup in a large glass.
Top with whipped cream and maraschino cherry.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Strawberry Fields Forever Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Everything this summer is about celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love! Since tomorrow is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day, I thought I'd post my favorite recipe for Strawberry Fields Forever Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, and it has a Chocolate Cookie Crust!

A little info on rhubarb: In culinary use, fresh raw petioles (leaf stalks) are crisp (similar to celery) with a strong, tart taste. Most commonly, the plant's leaf stalks are cooked with sugar and used in pies and other desserts. Rhubarb is usually considered a vegetable. In the United States, however, a New York court decided in 1947 that since it was used in the United States as a fruit, it counted as a fruit for the purposes of regulations and duties. And, a warning: Do not eat or use the leaves.

The following recipe is easy and great. Most people do a two crust pie.. the top crust being a lattice; however, I don't think this works with a chocolate crust. You can always do a crumble on top! Or make a traditional pie crust and add a lattice crust on top. As always, it's your choice! Enjoy and celebrate the day!

STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE WITH CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUST

Chocolate Cookie Crust

Ingredients 
2 cups chocolate wafers
6 Tbsp unsalted butter (or salted if you're inclined), melted

Directions 
Melt butter. Put chocolate wafers in plastic bag and crush with spoon or rolling pin. Should be pea-size. Combine melted butter and ground chocolate wafers. Press ingredients into 9 inch buttered pie pan--bottom and up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes at 325. Let cool.  

Filling

Ingredients
3-1/2 cups rhubarb stalks, in 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup cornstarch
Dash of salt
3 1/2 cups strawberries, cleaned, hulled, quartered  (or thinly sliced)

Directions
Combine filling ingredients in bowl and toss well. Spread into prepared crust and bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees or until rhubarb is tender and filling is bubbly.

So easy! Make this today -- or tomorrow! And here's something to listen to while you bake this pie!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Cake: National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Today is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day! So to celebrate, here's a recipe adapted from Silvana Nardone's recipe on Rachael Ray Everyday for Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Cake.

Whatever you do, you won't go wrong if you use chocolate ice cream! I adapted the following recipe by using Ben & Jerry's Brownie Batter & Chocolate Fudge Brownie, mainly because you can never have enough chocolate. Another possibility is to make your own Chocolate Pound Cake. Here's a link to a favorite chocolate poundcake recipe. Marble pound cake works, too!

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM CAKE

Ingredients
1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream
12 ounces dark chocolate --60-75% cacao, chopped
1 12-ounce marble pound cake, such as Entenmann's brand, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (or your own chocolate pound cake)
1 pint Ben & Jerry's Chocolate ice cream, softened
20 chocolate wafers, plus 4 crushed wafers
1 pint Ben & Jerry's Brownie Batter or Chocolate Fudge Brownie, softened

Directions:
In small saucepan, bring heavy cream to boil over medium-high heat. Put chopped chocolate pieces in heatproof medium bowl and pour boiling cream over chocolate. Let sit until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir mixture with fork until ganache is smooth.
Line nonstick 9 x 5 x 3-3/4 inch loaf pan with 2 overlapping sheets of plastic wrap, allowing 4-inch overhang on all sides.
Pour half of ganache (1 cup) evenly into lined pan and spread to cover base. Cover ganache with single layer of tightly packed cake slices; be sure layer is flat and even. Working quickly, spread first chocolate ice cream evenly over pound cake. Cover ice cream with layer made of half chocolate wafers. Spread remaining ganache evenly over wafers, then top ganache with another layer, using all of remaining wafers, and place cake in freezer for about 30 minutes to chill and firm up.
Remove cake from freezer and spread second chocolate ice cream over wafers. Top with another flat, single layer of tightly packed slices of pound cake, trimming 1 or 2 slices to fill in gaps (there might be a few slices left over--eat them). Cake may be slightly higher than pan. Cover cake completely with plastic overhang and freeze until firm, at least 5 hours or overnight.
To loosen ice cream cake from pan, open plastic wrap and invert pan over flat serving platter. Remove plastic wrap. Scatter crushed chocolate wafers over ice cream cake, slice and serve immediately.

Too much work? Eat some chocolate ice cream!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Chocolate Applesauce Bundt Cake

Today is Applesauce Day, and I have a favorite recipe for Applesauce Cake. It's a Chocolate Applesauce Cake, of course. This recipe is from Kristin Donnelly and was in Food and Wine in 2007. I love it because it's a one bowl cake, and when it's made in a bundt pan, it's pretty, as well as easy. Applesauce cakes are usually spice cakes, so this recipe may remind you of the holidays. Nevertheless, it's great all year round, and today on Applesauce Day, you can make it to celebrate!

I used to make my own applesauce from my Gravenstein apple trees, but over the last few years, Topper and Rosie, my golden retrievers, have 'retrieved' the apples before they were quite ripe. Some years, I've picked up a flat or bushel along the road in Sebastopol in Sonoma county, famous for its Gravenstein Apples. But lately I've been buying my applesauce from Trader Joe's. They sell First Press Gravenstein applesauce. How great is that?

In this recipe I use chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips, but use what you have and what you like. I always have good chocolate around, so I tend to chop it up and use it in cakes and cookies. It changes things up in terms of taste! Also, always make sure your spices are fresh.

CHOCOLATE APPLESAUCE BUNDT CAKE

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 cups unsweetened applesauce  (applesauce from Gravenstein apples- my favorite!)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped, or a 12-ounce bag semisweet-chocolate chips
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Optional: Crème fraîche or whipped cream, for serving

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour 12-cup Bundt pan.
In large bowl, whisk flour with granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, cloves, and pepper. Whisk in applesauce, eggs, oil and melted butter. Fold in chocolate chunks or chips.
Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs attached.
Transfer pan to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely, about 20 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over cake, slice and serve with crème fraîche or whipped cream--or plain.
This cake also tastes great toasted for breakfast with unsalted butter or cream cheese!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Bombe Alaska: Retro Ad & Recipe

I love Retro Ads & Recipe. This 1950s recipe for Bombe Alaska is still great. It's "A direct hit on summer appetites!" You can always substitute your favorite ice cream. I suggest you be very careful with the fire. The woman in the ad is pretty close to the flames.



Saturday, June 3, 2017

Rocky Road Ice Cream Pie: National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day

Yesterday was National Rocky Road ICE CREAM Day, and I meant to post. It was also National Donut Day, so very busy for chocoholics.

But it's never too late to sing the praises of Rocky Road ice cream. Rocky Road Ice Cream was 'invented' in Oakland,  CA, which makes it pretty special to me, since I live in the Oakland/Berkeley area.

One story purports that the Rocky Road ice cream flavor was created in March 1929 by William Dreyer in Oakland, CA. He cut up walnuts and marshmallows with his wife's sewing scissors and added them to his chocolate ice cream that reflected his partner Joseph Edy's chocolate candy that used walnuts and marshmallow pieces. Later the walnuts were replaced by toasted almonds.

Fenton's Creamery in Oakland claims that William Dreyer based his recipe on a Rocky-Road style ice cream flavor invented by his friend, Fentons' George Farren, who blended his own Rocky Road-style candy bar into ice cream. I still love going to Fenton's Creamery. It's an old fashioned ice-cream parlor.

However Rocky Road Ice Cream came into existence, be sure and have a scoop of Rocky Road Ice Cream today... or make a Rocky Road Ice Cream Pie! Here's an easy recipe.

ROCKY ROAD ICE CREAM PIE

Ingredients
2 cups vanilla fudge swirl ice cream, softened
2 cups chocolate ice cream, softened
2/3 cup miniature marshmallows
3/4 cup dark chocolate (45-70% cacao), chopped and divided
1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped (or lightly salted peanuts)

*Chocolate Pie Crust (see recipe below) Prepare first**

Directions
In large bowl stir together ice cream, marshmallows, 1/2 cup chopped chocolate, and toasted almonds or peanuts. Spoon into crust. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chopped chocolate.
Cover and freeze at least 2 hours or until firm.
Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting.

*Chocolate Pie Crust
(good for lots of pies)
2 cups chocolate wafers (in a pinch use Oreos)
6 Tbsp butter

Melt butter.
Put chocolate wafers in plastic bag. Close bag and crush with spoon or rolling pin until you have tiny pea-sized chocolate bits.
Combine melted butter with chocolate bits.
Press ingredients into 9-inch buttered pie pan. Be sure and go up sides.
Bake 10 minutes at 325°F.
Cool completely before adding ice-cream.

2. Another even easier 'recipe' is to make a chocolate crust and fill it with softened Rocky Road Ice Cream!! Cover and freeze. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

National Donut Day: Retro Ads & Chocolate Doughnut Recipe

Today is National Doughnut Day aka Donut Day. I do appreciate a good donut, so in honor of the holiday, I'm posting several Retro Ads from the 40s, 50s and 60s for Donuts! Scroll down for a Crisco Sugar Donut recipe from the Crisco Cookbook and a great Chocolate Doughnut Recipe.




CHOCOLATE CAKE DONUTS

Ingredients
1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

Directions
All ingredients should be room temperature (70 degrees F).
Beat sugar and eggs together until creamy and lemon colored.
Melt butter and chocolate together in small saucepan over low heat.
Beat into sugar and egg mixture.
In separate bowl combine vanilla and buttermilk. Stir into sugar mixture.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Stir into liquid mixture.
Chill dough slightly to make easier to handle. Roll out half dough on lightly floured board to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into doughnuts. Allow the cut doughnuts to dry for 10 minutes.
Heat 2 inches of oil to 370 degrees F in large skillet. Dough should be at room temperature before frying. Dip metal pancake turner into hot oil each time before using to move or turn a doughnut. Transfer doughnuts to skillet, one every 15 seconds.
Fry each doughnut about 90 seconds per side. Remove doughnuts and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough.

To make icing:
Beat sugar, egg white, and vanilla together until smooth.
Drizzle onto the doughnuts after they have cooled.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Today is Hazelnut Cake Day! Hazelnuts are a staple in European baked goods. Did you know that hazelnuts are also known as filberts?

I'm always looking for a good flourless chocolate cake recipe, and this one for Flourless Chocolate-Hazelnut Cake adapted slightly from Epicurious is fabulous. Both Hazelnuts and Chocolate are heart-healthy. One caveat, hazelnuts are high in calories, but you're making a chocolate cake, so...what the hey! Don't have time to make this today? Bookmark this Gluten-free Recipe!

Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Ingredients 
12 ounces 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
6 large eggs
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup Frangelico or other hazelnut liqueur, divided
1 cup (about 5 ounces) finely ground hazelnuts (ground in food processor)
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
Chopped toasted hazelnuts

Directions:
Put rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
Butter 9-inch springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper round. Wrap outside of pan tightly with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil.
Combine chocolate and butter in medium metal bowl; set bowl over saucepan of simmering water. Whisk until mixture is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water.
Whisk eggs, golden brown sugar, and 1/4 cup Frangelico in large bowl to blend. Add chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Stir in ground hazelnuts and 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Place in oven and tent springform pan loosely with foil.
Bake until cake is set in center and top is dry to touch, about 1 1/2 hours (top of cake will remain shiny).
Remove cake from roasting pan; remove foil from top and outside of pan.
Cool cake in pan on rack.
Chill cake until cold, about 3 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

Whipping Cream:
Using electric mixer, beat whipping cream and remaining 1/4 cup Frangelico in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides.
Cut cake into wedges. Transfer to plates. Top with whipped cream; sprinkle with chopped toasted hazelnuts.

Photo: Epicurious