Wednesday, October 31, 2018

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFT-OVER HALLOWEEN CANDY

When I was growing up Halloween was my favorite holiday of the year. I'd choose what I'd want to be early and make sure my seamstress grandmother had time to complete it. I never wanted store-bought costumes. I had to have an original. I would design it, and my Bubby would sew it, and I'd be there every step of the way watching her and learning sewing techniques. Project Runway contestant in the making?

On Halloween night, all the children on my block were out. We had no safety worries. We knew every single house on the street would have a treat, almost always candy. There was always the disappointing small box of raisins, but that was o.k. After we moved to the suburbs, the ante went up, and we received whole candy bars and more expensive loot.

Needless to say, there was always a lot of candy left over. I mean, how much could one child eat? We weren't allowed to keep our stash in our rooms (the reason given by my mother -- to protect against bugs and mice), so all the candy was relegated to the kitchen. My sister and I noticed it being depleted, but usually too late. Most of it found its way into my doctor father's waiting room. Other kids who didn't walk those mean streets, knocking on doors, and yelling 'trick or treat' benefited from the fruit of our labors.

Now as an adult, I buy candy for trick or treaters. Every year that candy sits in a bowl by the door -- unloved, uncalled for. We don't get a lot of Trick or Treaters where I live. Maybe it's the times; maybe it's the hills. Several years ago, I started buying only candy that I liked. Who wants to be stuck with candy you'll never eat? So there's usually a lot of leftover candy at my house. I'm sure there is at yours, too, particularly if you have very few goblins and ghosts and superheroes who made the Halloween pilgrimage. Here are several ways to turn that left over candy into culinary delights or needed donations.


1. Use chopped Candy Corn or chopped Candy Bars in place of chocolate chips in cookies or brownies. (or use both as in this recipe for Candy Corn & Chocolate Chip Cookies from Christina Tosi at NYC's Momfuku)

2. Use Candy and Candy Bars as toppings for ice cream sundaes or over yoghurt.

3. Freeze the candy for another time when you get the munchies.

4. Make homemade flavored vodka. It needs some time to infuse, but experiment with different flavors.

5.  Make Trail Mix with chopped chocolate candy, raisins, peanuts and any other soft chewy candy.

6. Mix up a batch of biscuits and fold in some chopped Tootsie Tolls or Peanut Butter Cups.  

7. Add chopped candy corn to candied yams.

8. Make a Cookie Dough Pizza.  
Betty Crocker recipe: Mix 1 pouch of peanut butter cookie mix with 1/3 cup vegetable oil and an egg until soft dough forms. Press dough into ungreased 12-inch pizza pan. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings such as candy corn, candy bar pieces and nuts. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle 1 cup miniature marshmallows on top. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until marshmallows are lightly browned and cookie is set at edge. Cool completely in pan.

9. Pudding/Candy Parfait: Layer instant pudding with candy.

10. Use the candy to decorate your Holiday Gingerbread House.

11. Keep some in the car or your purse for emergencies (probably not chocolate which melts).

12. Donate: Nursing homes, doctor's offices, women and family shelters will take wrapped candy. Check first. There's a real need, especially after all the disasters this year.

13: Donate: Operation Gratitude ships candy to U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East for Christmas time. (chocolate is more perishable)

14. DonateRonald McDonald House will accept donations of wrapped Halloween Candy in many locations. Check first.

15. Make a Candy Massacre Pie (recipe from Cakespy).

16. Blend Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cups with soy and rice wine vinegar and serve as a Satay over rice and stir-fried veggies.

17. Here's a new one to me, and it's to die for. Almond Joy Candied Bacon.

And three more recipes in case you haven't baked enough for Halloween:

1. BUTTERFINGER CAKE

Ingredients
1 angel food cake, crumbled
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
16 ounces Cool Whip, thawed slightly
8 large Butterfinger candy bars

Directions
Freeze Butterfinger candy bars in wrappers for at least two hours.
Crush bars (while in wrappers) using rolling pin.
Cream butter, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla and add Cool Whip.
In a 9 x 13 inch pan layer half of angel food cake; layer half of Cool Whip mixture; then layer of half of crushed candy bars; repeat. Keep refrigerated.

IF YOU WANT TO OMIT EGG YOLKS, SUBSTITUTE A SMALL PACKAGE OF INSTANT VANILLA PUDDING MIXED ACCORDING TO DIRECTIONS.

II. MILKY WAY BAR CAKE
Adapted from M&M/MARS. You can substitute other candy in place of Milky Way Bars... depending on what you have left over.

Ingredients
1 to 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts
15 bite-size (mini) Milky Way bars
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, plain yogurt or sour cream, divided
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs

GLAZE
5 bite-size Milky Way bars
2 Tbsp sweet butter
2 tsp water

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup Bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan with shortening. Sprinkle coated pan with nuts; set aside.
In heavy medium saucepan over low heat, melt candy bars with 1/4 cup of buttermilk, stirring often until mixture is smooth.
In medium mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. In large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add flour mixture alternately with remaining 3/4 cup of buttermilk, mixing just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Then, blend in melted candy bar mixture until thoroughly incorporated.
Spoon  batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from toven and cool 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack and cool completely.

To Prepare Glaze: Melt candy bars with the butter and water until mixture is smooth. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake.

3. CRAZY HALLOWEEN BLONDIES
recipe from TasteofHome

Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped pecans, divided
2/3 cup milk chocolate M&M's, divided
2/3 cup chopped candy corn, divided
2/3 cup coarsely chopped miniature pretzels, divided
2/3 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2/3 cup butterscotch chips, divided
1 jar (12 ounces) hot caramel ice cream topping

Directions 
Preheat oven to 375°.
Line13 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting ends extend up sides; grease paper. In large bowl, beat melted butter and brown sugar until blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
In large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to brown sugar mixture, mixing well. Stir in half of pecans, M&M's, candy corn, pretzels, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
Spread caramel topping over bars; sprinkle with remaining pecans, M&M's, candy corn, pretzels, chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.
Lifting with parchment paper, remove from pan. Cut into bars.
***
Still want to make something? Cakespy suggests Deep Frying your Halloween Candy... be still my heart. Literally!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Halloween Canning


Vintage Halloween Chocolate Molds: Witches, Bats, Pumpkins, Skeletons & Cats

I love Vintage Chocolate Molds. Here are some very cool Halloween Chocolate Molds. After all, Halloween is all about chocolate! These are not my molds. I only have two! But I love these vintage metal chocolate molds and wonder about the chocolatiers, the children, and everyone else who enjoyed the chocolate that was shaped in them.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

WITCH CHOCOLATE MOLDS



BAT CHOCOLATE MOLDS

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE MOLDS





SKELETON CHOCOLATE MOLD


BLACK CAT CHOCOLATE MOLD



GRAVEYARD ICE CREAM PIE & GRAVEYARD CAKE: Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! There are many recipes for Graveyard Ice Cream Pie and Graveyard Cake for Halloween, but I have my favorites. This first recipe for Graveyard Ice Cream Pie is adapted from Martha Stewart. She calls it "I Scream" Graveyard Pie.  I use PEEPS' Marshmallow Tombstones, instead of the Milano Cookies and candy skulls Martha uses in the original recipe. Want to make this even more chocolatey? Make a Chocolate Cookie Crust instead of graham cracker crust. The second recipe is for Graveyard Cake, and the recipe is from Betty Crocker. It uses a cake mix, but if you're a purist, use your own favorite chocolate cake recipe. Once again, I use the PEEPS' Marshmallow Tombstones...and Ghosts. Gotta love PEEPS.

GRAVEYARD ICE CREAM PIE

Ingredients
16 graham crackers, broken into large pieces
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup roughly chopped chocolate flaky-crisp candy bars, such as Butterfinger "fun size" (about 8)
1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened
1 cup roughly chopped chocolate-coconut candy bars, such as Mounds "snack size" (about 8)
2 tablespoons chocolate chips, melted and cooled
20 chocolate wafers, such as Famous Chocolate Wafers

Directions 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In food processor, process graham crackers until finely ground (you should have about 2 cups). With motor running, add butter in slow, steady stream and pulse until combined. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up side of a 9 1/2-inch pie plate. Bake until crust is dry and set, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely in plate on a wire rack, 45 minutes.

In medium bowl, stir vanilla ice cream with wooden spoon until smooth. Fold in flaky-crisp candy bars. With small offset spatula, spread ice cream mixture evenly in crust. Freeze until firm, 1 hour 20 minutes.

Stir chocolate ice cream until smooth. Fold in coconut candy bars and spread evenly on top of vanilla ice cream layer. Freeze until firm, 1 hour.

In clean food processor, pulse wafers until finely ground (you should have about 1 1/4 cups). Spread crumbs on top of pie. With a knife, cut slits for "tombstones" and insert PEEPS Marshmallow Tombstones. 

GRAVEYARD CAKE

Ingredients
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist devil’s food cake mix
Water, oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 container Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting
4 PEEPS® brand marshmallow ghosts
4 PEEPS® brand marshmallow tombstones
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (10 cookies)

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
Make cake as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Cool in pan on cooling rack until completely cooled, about 1 hour.
Spread chocolate frosting on top of cake; place marshmallows around edges of cake.
Sprinkle cake cookie crumbs to look like dirt.
Cut into 5 rows by 4 rows.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CAKE: National Chocolate Day

Today is National Chocolate Day. To be honest there are several National Chocolate Days throughout the year, and, of course, every day is Chocolate Day at DyingforChocolate.com. So to celebrate, you can take a spin back over the past seven years of daily chocolate recipes on this site, or you can make this Triple Chocolate Cake from Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar. If you're in Midtown Manhattan, you can stop by Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar and have a slice without having to make it.

Triple Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
6 oz E. Guittard Cocoa Rouge cocoa powder
24 fl oz water
1 lb and 12 oz all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp iodized salt
2 1/2 Tbsp baking soda
2 1/2 lbs sugar
24 fl oz buttermilk
18 fl oz vegetable oil
7 whole eggs
1 Tbsp and 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache Frosting (see recipe below)
Chocolate Whipped Cream (see recipe below)

Directions: 
Bring water to boil, turn off heat, add cocoa powder, and stir until thick. Set aside to cool.
Mix dry ingredients in mixer with whip attachment on low-medium speed for 3 minutes. Mix all liquids at once, except the chocolate mixture, with the remaining dry ingredients for 2 minutes at medium speed. Scrape well. Add chocolate mixture and mix for about 1 minute on medium speed. Set the batter aside for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two 10” cake pans. Cut two circles, approximately 10” in diameter, out of parchment paper. Place them into greased pans. Spray parchment circles evenly with cooking spray. Pour half batter into each of the two pans.
Bake for 1 hour. (Insert toothpick into each cake after 1 hour; if comes out clean, cakes are done.) Cool cakes on wire rack.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE FROSTING

Ingredients: 
4.8 oz E. Guittard 61% Lever du Soleil semisweet chocolate wafers
28.8 oz powdered sugar
19.2 oz sour cream
19.2 oz butter, cubed
9.6 oz E. Guittard Oban unsweetened chocolate wafers

Directions: 
In double boiler, melt chocolate at 110-112°F until there are no lumps.
Slowly add butter.
In small mixer with whip attachment, add all of powdered sugar and sour cream at once. Whip on high speed until incorporated for about 2 minutes.
Add chocolate mixture to sour cream mixture and whip until the color turns light brown (like the color of milk chocolate) for about 3-4 minutes.
Refrigerate frosting for 20-30 minutes while cutting layers of cake so it firms up.
The temperature of the frosting should remain around 60°F while building the cakes.

CAKE ASSEMBLY 

Ingredients:
2 chocolate cakes, each sliced into two layers ¾” thick (for four total layers), top and sides trimmed 60 oz Chocolate Ganache frosting
3 cups chocolate cake crumbs

Directions: 
Take cooled cakes out of the pans. Invert them on cutting board, with the tops facing up.
With cake cutter, slice each cake into two layers, each 3/4” thick. Be very gentle when handling, as the cakes are very moist.
Trim all layers until they are same size.
Place all cake trimmings in food processor and pulse until coarse. Place the cake crumbs on a sheet pan and put into an oven to dry out. Reserve for later.
Evenly spread 12 oz of frosting across the top side of the bottom layer.
Repeat previous step with each remaining cake layers, stacking them as you go.
Evenly spread 12 oz of frosting over sides. Make sure frosting is smooth all over.
Remove dried-out cake crumbs from oven and sprinkle over top and sides.
Place entire cake in refrigerator.

CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM

Ingredients
1 quart heavy cream
2 Tbsp E. Guittard Cocoa Rouge cocoa powder
8 oz Swiss Chalet white chocolate mousse powder

Directions
Whisk all ingredients in mixing bowl.
Transfer mixture to mixer with whip attachment and whip until cream has stiff peaks.

PLATING
Instructions: Cut cake into 8 large pieces.
***

Thanks to Tommy Bahama for this recipe!

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar – New York
551 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10176
Open 11:30am Daily
Island Time Happy Hour: 4-6pm Daily

For reservations, please call 212.537.0960 or visit TommyBahama.com  

Saturday, October 27, 2018

EASY CANDY CORN BARK: Perfect for Halloween

Halloween is all about Candy Corn, and Candy Corn Bark is easy and terrific. Here's a simple 'recipe" from Ziploc. Great for Halloween and to make with the kids! Melt 16 ounces of dark chocolate and spread in pan. Sprinkle with Candy Corn. Fill a Ziploc bag with melted white chocolate (make sure it's good quality white chocolate), cut the corner and drizzle over the chocolate and candy corn. As always, use the very best chocolate. Once you've chilled the Bark, break it into pieces. Yum!


Friday, October 26, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Cat Halloween


PUMPKIN & CHOCOLATE RECIPE ROUND-UP: National Pumpkin Day

Photo Credit: Months of Edible Celebrations
I've posted many Pumpkin and Chocolate recipes, but since today is National Pumpkin Day, I thought I'd do an updated Recipe Round-Up from DyingforChocolate.com Have any favorites to add? Be sure to add a link in the comments below.

Cleo Coyle's Chocolate Fudge Pumpkin Cookies 

Double Layer Chocolate Pumpkin Mousse Pie

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate Pumpkin Bark

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Bundt Cake

Harvest Moon Pumpkin Brownies

Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Sea Salt Bark

Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Pumpkin Toffee Trifle

Pumpkin Seed Cocoa Nib Brittle

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
  
Pattie Tierney's Pumpkin Pie Cocoa  

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

Halloween Pumpkin S'mores 

Chocolate Pumpkin Cocktails

Black Bottom Pumpkin Pie

Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake 

 ****
And a few other Chocolate and Pumpkin Recipes from terrific food blogs: 

Full Moon Pumpkin Cheesecake from Months of Edible Celebrations! (photo)

Pumpkin Chocolate Spiderweb Tart from Handle the Heat.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles from Pimp My Menu

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Biscotti from Home Beccanomics.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies  from Two Peas and a Pod.

Any other Pumpkin Chocolate recipes you love? Leave a comment.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

HAUNTED SKULL DARK CHOCOLATE CAKES: HALLOWEEN

I love Nordicware pans. So creative in shapes and sizes. Not surprisingly the Skull Cakepans are favorites. I particularly like the Skull Cakelette Pan...and Nordicware has a great recipe for Haunted Skull Dark Chocolate Cakes on its website that works well with this pan! Dark Chocolate Skull Cakes are perfect for Halloween!

HAUNTED SKULL DARK CHOCOLATE CAKES

Ingredients 

For cakeletes: 
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 cup extra-dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicila
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon black food color, if desired

Chocolate Glaze:
3.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions
Preheat oven to 325°F. 
Prepare Skull Cakelet pan with baking spray or brush with butter and dust with cocoa.
Whisk flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together.
In separate bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix butter and sugars together until creamy and lightened, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add extracts. Put mixer on low speed and add buttermilk alternately with  dry ingredients in 4 additions. Mix until smooth. Add black food color to desired shade if using.
Fill pan no more than 3/4 full in each well. Tap pan on top of a cutting board covered with heavy kitchen towel to evenly distribute batter and eliminate air bubbles from batter.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Allow cakelets to cool in pan 5-8 minutes before inverting onto cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter.
***

Prepare glaze by adding chocolate to heat-proof bowl. Warm cream until just beginning to steam and pour over chocolate, stirring with spatula to incorporate while chocolate melts. When all chocolate has melted, pour over cooled cakeletes.
Garnish as desired with candy decorations or decorating sprinkles.
Makes 12 cakes.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Halloween


COCOCLECTIC: a Craft Bean-to-Bar Club

I grew up with "Harry and David" -- fresh fruit that arrived monthly. I loved the individually wrapped pears that would come in January. Such a rare treat in the dead of winter. My Dad was a doctor, and his patients would 'gift' him a subscription to the Fruit of the Month Club every year. It was always something to look forward to.

Well now there's a great subscription service that is all about great artisan chocolate bars, delivered to your door once a month. Cococlectic craft Bean-to-Bar club is an exciting new chocolate monthly subscription club. Cococlectic's mission is to melt the gap between chocolate makers and aficianados. The Cococlectic folks find unique single original, handmade dark chocolate and deliver it to you each month. It's all about the bars! How fun and delicious is that?

I was lucky enough to have the first box sent to me as a gift. I love the chocolate box it came in - not fancy but back to basics allowing the chocolate to shine. The box I received was filled with Cello Chocolates chocolate bars with beans sourced from four different countries--Fiji, Trinadad, Peru, and Costa Rica. I did a little chocolate tasting of the four bars, and each was unique, with different flavors and unique mouthfeel. I loved all four, but my favorite was the Trinadad soaked in bourbon. I had never hear of Cello, and I was so glad to be introduced to them through Cococlectic. My recommendation is that if you like surprises and chocolate, subscribe to Cococlectic. Each month you will receive different curated bean-to-bar selections. You'll love this!

Cococlectic is a chocolate-of-the-month subscription club. They think outside the box, by searching out "local craft artisan chocolate makers, creating the most sublime, melt-in-your-mouth chocolates." And, by supporting craft chocolate makers, Cococlectic supports and fosters the growing artisanal chocolate-loving community and movement. It's a win-win for everyone.

None of the chocolates in their chocolate boxes contain any GMO ingredients (non-GMO). They use only all-natural, vegan, fair trade products, and are soy free, gluten free, dairy free and tree-nut free. The chocolate makers use 5 ingredients or less to make their bars; namely cocoa beans, cocoa butter and sugar.

Be sure and check out the Cococlectic website and blog for information on their Bean to Bar Club, Chocolate Makers of the Month, and Chocolate Tasting Classes. 



 
Disclaimer: I did receive the first box for free, but I was not persuaded to write about or endorse the program.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Baby Ruth


BOSTON CREAM PIE POKE CAKE: National Boston Cream Pie Day

Today is National Boston Cream Pie Day. Boston Cream Pie, isn't exactly a pie, and it's not exactly a cake. A Boston Cream Pie is a round cake that is split and filled with a custard or cream filling and frosted with chocolate. Not exactly your standard pie, but it's been around since 1855 or 1856 (two different sources with different dates).

According to Wikipedia, Boston Cream Pies were created by French Chef M. Sanzian at Boston's Parker House Hotel, opened in 1855. This pudding/cake combination comprises two layers of sponge cake filled with vanilla custard or crème pâtissière. The cake is topped with a chocolate glaze (such as ganache) and sometimes confectioner's sugar or a cherry. The cherry and sugar topping is rarely used any more.

The real question is why this is called a pie? It's a cake, after all -- two layers of yellow cake filled with custard and topped with chocolate frosting. Suggestions on why it's called pie are welcome. And here's an esoteric fact: The Boston Cream Pie is the official dessert of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

I've posted traditional recipes for Boston Cream Pie--from scratch and from mixes--and I've posted Boston Cream Pie Cheesecake (a favorite!). So for today's holiday I thought I'd post a really easy recipe for Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake. What's a Poke Cake, you ask? A poke cake is usually made with a boxed cake mix and a pudding mix. You poke holes in the cake after it's been baked, but still warm, and you pour the pudding over it. How easy is that? And Boston Cream Pie lends itself to this easy cake. Very Retro!

Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake

Ingredients
1 (18 ounce) box yellow cake mix
2 (5.1-oz) packs of instant French vanilla pudding
4 cups cold milk
2 cups dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 9-x-13” pan and sprinkle with flour.
Prepare cake mix according to box instructions. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake until toothpick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cake.
When cake is cool-ish, poke big holes across entire surface of cake using rounded end of wooden spoon.
Combine pudding mix and milk in medium bowl and whisk until mixture just begins to thicken. Pour over cake and spread with spatula to make sure pudding pours into holes. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
After cake has been refrigerated for 2 hours, make ganache. Put chopped chocolate in medium glass bowl and set aside. Meanwhile, bring heavy cream to simmer in small saucepan. When bubbles start to break surface, pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and whisk until mixture is smooth. Pour ganache over the pudding layer of the cake and serve.

Monday, October 22, 2018

CHOCOLATE WALNUT CLUSTERS: Retro Ad & Recipe for National Nut Day!

Today is National Nut Day! Add chocolate! You know I love retro ads, and this 1950 Retro Ad & Recipe from Diamond Walnuts sure fits the bill. Love the graphics--and the recipes. I would substitute good quality very dark chocolate instead of unsweetened chocolate and butter instead of margarine, but it's up to you! Celebrate National Nut Day. Sometimes you feel like a Nut!



Sunday, October 21, 2018

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE BAKED IN A CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUST: National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day

Today is National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day: Add Chocolate...I love pumpkin and chocolate... and cheesecake is my thing, so here's a repost of an easy recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake! Celebrate.  

Great for Halloween and Thanksgiving!

The filling for this pumpkin cheesecake is adapted from a recipe from Hershey's Kitchens. I like this recipe because it has a Chocolate Cookie Crust and Mini-Chocolate Chips in the filling! I've posted the Hershey's chocolate crust recipe, but I also posted another simple Chocolate Cookie Crust using Chocolate Wafers. The second is my favorite.

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE WITH CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUST

Ingredients
1 Chocolate Cookie Crust (see two possible recipes below)
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup canned pumpkin
4 eggs
1-1/2 cups Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Directions
Prepare Chocolate Cookie Crust. Increase oven temperature to 400°F.
Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, and pumpkin pie spice in large bowl until well blended. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat until well blended. Stir in mini-chocolate chips; pour batter into prepared crust. Bake 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 250°F; continue baking 60 minutes or until almost set. Remove from oven to wire rack. With knife, loosen cake from side of pan.
Cool completely; remove side of pan. Refrigerate about 5 hours before serving.

I. CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUST

Stir together 1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs (about 30 wafers)
1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup melted butter.

Press mixture firmly onto bottom and 1/2-inch up side of 9-inch springform pan.
Bake  at 350 F for 8 minutes; cool slightly.

II. CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUST

30 chocolate wafers (Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers makes about 1 1/2 cups crumbs)
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Put cookies in container of food processor; process until finely ground.
Transfer crumbs to mixing bowl; combine crumbs, butter, salt, and vanilla; stir until crumbs are moistened.
Press mixture evenly across the bottom of 9-inch springform pan and all the way up sides of pan; pack tightly so crust is even and compacted.
Bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes or until crisp.
Let cool completely before filling.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH BRANDIED FRUIT: National Brandied Fruit Day

Today is National Brandied Fruit Day and adding brandied fruit to chocolate cake is easy and delicious. This recipe was adapted from a recipe for Passover Chocolate Cake with Brandied Fruit from Canadian Living. This is also a great cake to serve during the Christmas holidays or just about any time. It's not your grandmother's Fruit Cake! I've changed some of the ingredients--I never use margarine. No time to bake today? Have a glass of Brandy with some fruit and chocolate! Or take some Brandied Fruit and pour over chocolate ice cream.

Storing fruits in brandy is a simple way to preserve the harvest season without the hassle of canning. To make your own brandied fruit, all you need is ripened fruit, sugar, and brandy (the higher the quality, the better). Wash the fruit, peel off any skin, and slice if necessary. Fill half a container with brandy and add the fruit. For each cup of fruit you add, stir in 1/6 cup of sugar. Make sure all the fruit is submerged in the mixture, cover the container, and store it in a dark place. You can continue to add fruit at any time. Brandied fruit will be cured after a couple of months. Better get going if you want to make this for the holidays.

CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH BRANDIED FRUIT

Ingredients
1 cup finely chopped pitted prunes
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup Brandy
7 oz dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), chopped
1 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups finely ground almonds
pinch of salt
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Glaze:
4 oz dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tbsp Brandy

Garnish:
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preparation
Grease and line bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper; set aside.
In saucepan, bring prunes, raisins, and brandy to boil over medium heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until brandy is absorbed, 3 minutes. Let cool.
In heatproof bowl over saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate and butter. Let cool slightly.
In small bowl, whisk almonds with salt; set aside.
In large bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until pale and thickened. Beat in chocolate mixture. Fold in almond mixture then prune mixture.
In large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold half into batter; fold in remaining whites. Scrape into prepared pan. Bake in center of 375°F  oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until puffed and cake tester inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.
Let cool in pan on rack. Remove pan ring; invert onto rack. Remove paper and let cool completely.

Glaze: Meanwhile, in saucepan over simmering water, melt chocolate with butter. Remove from heat; stir in brandy. Let cool for about 10 minutes or until thick enough to spread. Spread all over cake.

Garnish: Press almonds onto side. Refrigerate until glaze is set, about 1 hour.

Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Cartoon of the Day: Recipe Book


Friday, October 19, 2018

Halloween Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge: Retro Ad & Recipe

In 2018, Fudge might not be your first choice to give to trick-or-treaters for Halloween, but it was done in another time in our history. My Aunt Annie always made her famous fudge to hand out to the children. I used to help her make the fudge, thus ensuring that I would get my fare share or more. But even if you don't plan to give out this fudge, it's perfect for your Halloween party, school lunchbox, or after school treat. This is a fun and easy Retro Recipe from Borden's for Halloween Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge.

It's no trick to make this treat...delicious peanut butter chocolate fudge. Your tricksters will love the delicious taste combination of rich chocolate and peanut butter.



Thursday, October 18, 2018

HALLOWEEN CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES: 100 + Ideas

Today is National Cupcake Day, and that means Chocolate Cupcakes. Since Halloween is right around the corner, I thought I'd focus on Halloween Cupcakes! Every party needs cupcakes, so why not decorate for Halloween?

Country Living has 43 fabulous Cupcake Ideas with Recipes. You won't want to miss this.

AllRecipes has links to multiple Inspirations, Ideas, and Recipes
Good Housekeeping has 31 Seriously Cute Halloween Cupcake Ideas that link back to some of your favorite bloggers' cupcake ideas.

 

Taste of Home has 21 Recipes for Halloween Cupcakes



I love these easy Bat Cupcakes from Betty Crocker.



And this is just a start. Check out your favorite bloggers and dessert sites for other Halloween Chocolate Cupcake Ideas.

Have a favorite? Post a comment below with the link! Boo!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cartoon of the Day: Pumpkin Spice


CANDY CORN BROWNIES: Happy Halloween!

I love Candy Corn. It just screams Halloween. According to the National Confectioners Association, 20 million pounds (9000 tons) of candy corn are sold annually. Want to try making your own Candy Corn? Jessie Oleson (aka Cakespy) has a great recipe for Homemade Candy Corn. You will definitely taste the difference.

There are so many ways to incorporate Candy Corn with Chocolate. Here's an easy recipe for Candy Corn Brownies. In a rush? Use a brownie mix and just when pulling brownies out of the oven, pour candies over the top. Push down lightly so they sink into the soft brownies.

CANDY CORN BROWNIES

Ingredients
1/2 lb unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1-1/2 cup Dark Cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks
Lots of Candy Corn

Directions 
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter 9 x 9 pan.
Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in bowl.
Stir in flour, cocoa, and salt.
Fold in chopped chocolate pieces.
Pour into prepared baking pan.
Sprinkle candy corn pieces evenly over top (alternatively, you can wait until brownies are baked and place candy corn pieces into top of baked brownies 2 minutes after taking out of oven).
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

MAKE YOUR OWN CHOCOLATE LIQUEUR: National Liqueur Day

Today is National Liqueur Day! I often make Chocolate Liqueur Truffles. They're so easy to make, and you can change the liqueurs whenever you'd like. But sometimes I make my own chocolate liqueur. It's simple, and you should try it. Of course you can always buy Chocolate Liqueur, and I'll have to admit that Godiva has an awesome dark Chocolate Liqueur. You might also want to try Mozart Black Chocolate.

But if you want to make your own, try one of the following two recipes for Making Your Own Chocolate Liqueur.

As always, use the best cacao nibs or cocoa, vodka, and vanilla. You won't have the results to taste today, but it will be worth the wait!

How to Make Your Own Chocolate Liqueur

1. Chocolate Liqueur
The recipe is from Serious Eats, one of my favorite sites.

Ingredients
 2/3 cup cacao nibs
1 1/3 cup vodka
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions
Combine cacao nibs and vodka in sealable glass jar. Shake and let steep for 8 days.
After initial steeping period, bring sugar and water to a boil. Let syrup cool, then add to jar along with vanilla extract. Let steep an additional day.
Strain out nibs through sieve and filter through a coffee filter into bottle or jar. Store in this jar.

II. Chocolate Liqueur
This Recipe from Creative Culinary uses Scharffen Berger Cocoa Powder. 

Ingredients
1/4 cup unsweetened good cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vodka

Directions
In bowl, dissolve cocoa powder in boiling water.
In saucepan, bring sugar and water to simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Add sugar syrup to cocoa syrup.
Strain through fine-mesh sieve into jar with lid.
Add vodka, cover and refrigerate for one week.
To serve, stir well and strain again through fine-mesh sieve.
 
These two recipes should get you started. Want to try some variations? Use less sugar and maybe add almond extract--or use rum instead of vodka. Experiment!

You can drink your Chocolate Liqueur straight, use it in truffles, or make a martini.

Have a wonderful National Liqueur Day. Make it Chocolate!

Monday, October 15, 2018

RED WINE BROWNIES: National Red Wine Day

Of course you can drink a glass of red wine today to celebrate National Red Wine Day, but why not accompany that wine with chocolate as in these fabulous Red Wine Brownies. I've posted lots of wine and port and liqueur brownies, but here's another. You can never have too many brownie recipes! And, you can always make Brownies from Scratch and add the red wine. Here's a recipe for Merlot Brownies from scratch, but if you don't have the time or the ingredients, here's a great easy recipe:

Red Wine Brownies

Ingredients
1 box Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie Mix
1/4 cup bold Red Wine
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg

Directons
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease 8″ x 8″ baking dish.
In large bowl, combine wine, oil, and egg. Mix well. Stir in brownie mix.
Spread batter in prepared pan.
Bake for 45 minutes. Cool completely.
Serve with red wine.