Tuesday, October 20, 2020

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 Tbsp 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.

Monday, October 19, 2020

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES: National Chocolate Cupcake Day

Yesterday was Chocolate Cupcake Day. How did I miss it? Well, making up for it today with this recipe for Triple Chocolate Cupcakes. I like to fill my cupcakes with chocolate ganache. If you find ganache is too thick, just thin the ganache with a bit of cream. I also use the ganache for the icing. Saves a step.

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Cupcakes

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
3/4 cup Dark cocoa powder  (Read about Natural vs. Dutch Process cocoa)
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla
2/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Directions
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
In small bowl, place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder and combine.
Add milk and vanilla and stir.
Add 1/3 dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
Add half milk/vanilla mixture and beat to combine.
Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with dry ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into cupcake cups between 1/2 & 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

To make cupcakes flat on top: Bake in paper cups and flip onto flat surface when finished baking.  Leave pan sitting on top to make them flat. Allow to cool.
Freeze cupcakes and then use an apple corer to make the hole for the filling.

Ganache

Ingredients
12 ounces good quality chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter


Directions
Place chocolate in medium sized bowl. 
Heat cream over medium low heat until barely begins to boil. Remove from heat immediately. Do not over-heat! 
Pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for minute. 
Stir mixture (gently) until chocolate is melted and blended with cream. 
Add butter and combine. 
Do not beat the mixture.
Cool before filling or spreading. (use pastry bag to fill and frost) 

Sprinkle with jimmies, chocolate curls, silver balls, or other decorations.

Friday, October 16, 2020

HOW TO 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 flavor of 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!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

PINWHEEL CAKE: 1950s Retro Ad & Recipe

I love Retro Ads with Recipes. Here's one from Baker's Chocolate and Carnation Milk from the 1950s for Pinwheel Cake. The following recipe references products from the 50s, many of which are still available. Feel free to substitute your favorites! 

PINWHEEL CAKE 

Cake 
 4 squares Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate 
1-3/4 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour 
1-1/2 cups sugar 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 teaspoons Calumet baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon soda 
1/2 cup shortening 
1-1/4 cups Carnation Evaporated Milk, undiluted 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 eggs 
1 square Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled 
1/3 cup Carnation Evaporated Milk, undiluted 
2/3 cup vegetable shortening 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 tablespoon water 

 
For Cake
Melt 2 squares chocolate. Sift dry ingredients. Stir shortening to soften. Add sifted ingredients, 1 cup milk, vanilla. Blend. Beat 2 minutes at low mixer speed or 300 strokes by hand. Add eggs, remaining milk, melted chocolate. Beat 1 minute. Pour into two 9-inch layer pans lined on bottoms with paper. 

For Topping 
Melt remaining 2 squares chocolate and pour into circles on top of layers. (Remember — only Baker’s gives you the superb chocolate flavor that makes this cake and topping so rich, so delicious!) Make swirls on top with rubber spatula to form pattern. Bake about 30 minutes in moderate oven (350 F.). While cake cools, combine ingredients for delicious filling, Whip 10 minutes, or until very fluffy. Split layers to form 4 layers. 
Spread 2/3 cup filling between each layer. A spectacular cake — rich and luscious because you use Baker’s Chocolate and Carnation Milk. Extra-delicious when chilled!



Sunday, October 11, 2020

CHOCOLATE CHERRY BISCOTTI: Columbus Day

Columbus Day is a huge deal in San Francisco, and even Covid19 and politics have not put the kibosh on celebrations. There won't be a parade this year, but there are several events taking place over the weekend, sponsored by the Italian American Heritage Association. Columbus Day originated as a celebration of Italian-American heritage and was first held in San Francisco on October 12, 1869. In 1892 President Benjamin Harrison, 400 years after Columbus' first journey, gave a public statement in memory of the 'New World' being 'discovered.' In 1905 Colorado was the first State to recognize an official 'Columbus Day'. From 1921 Columbus Day was observed each year. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1937 declared October 12 as 'Columbus Day', but in 1971, Congress proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday the 2nd Monday of October.

For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus’ achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage. But throughout its history, Columbus Day and the man who inspired it have generated controversy, and many alternatives to the holiday have proposed since the 1970s including Indigenous Peoples' Day, now celebrated in a handful of U.S. states. 

Of course, there's a Columbus Chocolate Connection. Although people tend to associate chocolate with European culture, the confection’s roots are actually a whole lot deeper in the Americas. The trees that grow the cacao beans actually originated in the tropical regions of the Americas. Chocolate didn’t find its way to Europe until Christopher Columbus brought the cacao bean back to Spain from his “New World” adventure. 

So today for Columbus Day, an Italian-American celebration, I'm posting one of my favorite recipes for Chocolate Cherry Biscotti.
 
CHOCOLATE CHERRY BISCOTTI


I originally found this recipe on the Internet in several places, but I've adapted it a bit. I don't like candied cherries, so I use dried cherries. My favorite are from Chukar Cherries. You can't go wrong with Biscotti on Columbus Day or any day. No time to cook? Pick up some Biscotti at your local Italian Bakery or Nonni's White Cherry Chocolate Biscotti.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries (original recipe uses candied cherries, but I prefer Chukar Cherries)
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease large cookie sheet.
In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in almond extract.
Combine flour and baking powder; stir into creamed mixture until just blended.
Fold in dried cherries and mini chocolate chips.
With lightly floured hands, shape dough into two 10 inch long loaves.
Place rolls 5 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet; flatten each to 3 inch width.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set and light golden brown.
Cool 10 minutes.
Using serrated knife, cut loaves diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.
Arrange slices cut side down on un-greased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown.
Turn, and bake additional 5 minutes, or until browned and crisp.
Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container. 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

WHITE CHOCOLATE ANGEL FOOD CAKE: National Angel Food Cake Day

Today is Angel Food Cake Day. I'm more of a Devil's Food Cake person, but here's a White Chocolate recipe for White Chocolate Angel Food Cake from Godiva Chocolate.  Although I am posting a Retro Ad for Angel Food Cake, the recipe below is all from scratch!

White Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries

Ingredients

Cake
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’sugar
1 cup sifted cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups egg whites, room temperature (about 11 to 12 large eggs)
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Ivory Chocolate, grated or finely chopped

Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Berries:
1 cup fresh red raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
White chocolate curls 

Directions

Cake
Position oven rack in lower third of oven. Heat oven to 350°F.
Sift together confectioners’ sugar, cake flour, and salt onto sheet of waxed paper.
Put egg whites in clean, dry bowl of electric mixer. Beat egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar in steady stream, beating just until whites are thick and form slightly stiff peaks. (Do not over-beat)
Gently fold in 1/3 of sifted dry ingredients over whites just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in remaining dry ingredients with vanilla and grated white chocolate in two additional batches.
Gently pour batter into ungreased 10" angel food or tube pan, spreading evenly. Tap gently on counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake 35 minutes or until top is firm and springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan on a large bottle (such as wine bottle or olive oil bottle) and cool completely.
To remove cake from pan, run long knife or thin metal spatula around outside edge of cake and gently remove side portion of pan. Then run knife around inside of center tube, loosen bottom of cake with long knife or thin metal spatula and remove cake from remaining portion of pan. 

Place on cake plate; cover with plastic wrap if not serving immediately.

Whipped Cream:
Combine heavy cream and granulated sugar in a medium, chilled bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until soft peaks form; whisk in vanilla.
Place sweetened whipping cream in refrigerator until ready to serve cake, up to 2 hours.
Combine berries in a medium bowl and toss lightly.

Assembly:
Cut cake with serrated knife using a sawing motion. Serve with sweetened whipped cream and berry mixture. Garnish with white chocolate curls.

Friday, October 9, 2020

BLUE CHEESE TRUFFLES: National Moldy Cheese Day

October 9 is Moldy Cheese Day. Don't you just love the name
Moldy Cheese Day
? Perfect for October! For me, Moldy Cheese means Blue Cheese. O.K. I know there are a lot of other moldy cheeses out there, but give me a good Stilton or Gorgonzola any day. So in honor of Moldy Cheese Day, I'm making Blue Cheese Truffles. Simple and delicious.

Scroll down for an easy recipe for Blue Cheese Truffles (I'd call them Moldy Cheese Truffles, but I fear no one will eat them).

No time or inclination to make your own? There are several Chocolate companies that offer fabulous Smokey Blue Cheese Truffles. I really like Lillie Belle Farms from Southern Oregon. I've tasted them at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon, and they're delicious. Organic milk chocolate, Rogue Creamery's smoked blue cheese and toasted almonds. It's an awesome combination.

My other favorite blue cheese truffles are Bissinger's Chocolate-Covered Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese Wine Grape. They're a great combination of sweet and savory. I'm a sucker for chocolate and cheese, and local Point Reyes Original Blue is one of my favorite blues. Add a wine grape to that, and I'm in heaven.
 
But, of course, you can make your own Blue Cheese (Moldy Cheese) Truffles! This recipe is adapted from Harold McGee's Cookbook On Food and Cooking. Remember that the taste will change depending on the chocolate and cheese you choose! Choose a mild blue cheese to start.


BLUE CHEESE TRUFFLES

FILLING
2 ounces Blue Cheese, room temperature
1 Tbsp superfine sugar
2 ounces Dark chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped

COATING
6 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped

Make sure the cheese is at room temperature.

In mixing bowl, combine cheese and sugar and mix until sugar dissolves.
Melt filling chocolate in top of a double boiler (or saucepan over saucepan) over simmering water.

Use 2 ounces for blue cheese fillings. Make sure cheese is at room temperature and very soft. If it is too firm, microwave very briefly to soften.

Combine melted chocolate, superfine sugar, and cheese and work together with a wooden spoon or flexible spatula until the mixture is homogeneous. (This may be easier if you add a few drops of water or a little butter.) If mixture is too soft to shape, refrigerate 15 to 20 minutes.

Roll portions of mixture into 1/2-inch balls and refrigerate 15 to 20 minutes.
Melt and temper coating chocolate. Dip cheese balls in tempered chocolate, letting excess drain off. Allow to set at room temperature. Keep in cool place and serve on same day.

Note: Cheese will resume fermentation if left at room temperature, so this is one case where truffles should be refrigerated if kept for more than a day. Place on a sheet or tray and wrap snugly in waxed paper, then plastic wrap, before refrigerating. Allow to warm to room temperature before unwrapping.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

CHOCOLATE FLUFFERNUTTER SANDWICH: National Fluffernutter Day!

Today is National Fluffernutter DayFluffernutter sandwiches must contain Marshmallow Fluff. I always have a jar in my pantry.

Marshmallow Fluff is not just any marshmallow crème. Fluff has been manufactured by Durkee-Mower of Lynn, Massachusetts since 1920, and is the preferred brand of the northeast.

This gooey, spreadable, marshmallow-infused confection is used in countless recipes and found in a variety of baked goods—from whoopie pies and Rice Krispies Treats to chocolate fudge and beyond.

And in the beyond lies the best concoction of all: the Fluffernutter sandwich—a classic New England treat made with white bread, peanut butter, and, Fluff.

History of Marshmallow Fluff:

A sweet marshmallow-like spread called Marshmallow Creme was invented in 1917 by Archibald Query in Somerville, Massachusetts. In 1913 during World War I, Emma and Amory Curtis of Melrose, Massachusetts invented Snowflake Marshmallow Creme and published a recipe for a peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwich, which is the earliest known example of a Fluffernutter. Query sold his recipe for Marshmallow Creme to Durkee-Mower, Inc in 1920, who renamed it Marshmallow Fluff. Over 100 years later they continue to sell it under that name today.

It was in 1960 that the term Fluffernutter was created by an advertising agency for Durkee-Mower in an attempt to effectively market the peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich. See the 1960s ad and jingle explaining the recipe below. How Retro!

So if the Fluffernutter sandwich is a classic New England treat made with white bread, peanut butter, and Marshmallow Fluff, it can only be better if you add chocolate. And, for me, press the sandwich in a panini press!

Chocolate Fluffernutter Sandwich:

Chopped dark chocolate, Marshmallow Fluff, Chunky peanut butter, soft good white bread - pressed hot in a panini press!

Have a Chocolate Fluffernutter Sandwich today!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

STARBUCKS OREO FRAPPUCCINO: National Frappé Day

Today is Frappé Day. Most of us have a frappé of one kind or another in our lifetime.

A frappé is an iced beverage that has been shaken, blended, or beaten to produce a foamy cold blended drink, often with whipped cream and toppings. Ice can be added before or after beating the coffee and adding other ingredients such as sugar, milk, vanilla, and sweet sauces. It really depends on what you are shaking or blending it in - a shaker, frappe maker, or blender. According to one source, an ice-crushing blender is better than a shaker for blending a frappe. Traditionally frappés are made with coffee, but you can make other frappé drinks with tea, juice, or hot chocolate.

The word Frappé comes from the French word Frapper - which means to slap, knock, or beat. Cold coffee drinks named "café frappé" go back to the 19th century.

Which leads me to the Italian term: Frappuccino. In the last few years, I've had numerous types of Frappuccinos at Starbucks, most with chocolate. Unfortunately because of Covid19, I no longer go to restaurants or Starbucks, even for take-out. So here's a recipe for Starbucks' Oreo Frappuccino I found on StarbucksSecretMenu.net There are several 'Starbucks" secret menu recipes that you can order at Starbucks (you may need to know the recipe), but you can also make this at home. As always use the very best chocolate.

Starbucks Oreo Frappucino

Ingredients
8 ounces whole milk
1 cup ice
2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
2 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp mocha syrup or chocolate syrup
1 Oreo
Whipped cream, for garnish
Crushed Oreos, for garnish

Directions
In a blender add milk, ice, vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate chips, mocha syrup, and an Oreo.
Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass, and garnish with whipped cream and crushed Oreos.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

CHOCOLATE CHIP NOODLE PUDDING aka KUGEL: National Noodle Day


Today is National Noodle Day, and it's also National Pasta Month. Noodles are pasta, but for some reason I always think of 'noodles' as flat wide pasta. So celebrate both holidays with this  Lokshen (Egg Noodle) Kugel aka Noddle Pudding with Chocolate Chips. It's a sweet Kugel anyway, so why not add chocolate chips?

A bit of Kugel history:   

Kugel is a traditional Ashkenazic Jewish dessert or side dish. Kugel is Yiddish for ball, but it is sometimes translated as pudding or casserole, and related to the German Gugelhupf. The first Kugel were plain -- made from bread and flour, and salty rather than sweet. About 800 years ago, their flavor and popularity changed when cooks in Germany replaced bread mixtures with noodles or farfel. Eventually eggs were incorporated. The addition of cottage cheese and milk created a custard-like consistency which is common for today's dishes. In the 17th century, sugar was introduced, which gave the option of serving kugel as a side dish or dessert. In Poland, Jewish women sprinkled raisins and cinnamon into recipes. Hungarians took the dessert concept further with a hefty helping of sugar and some sour cream.

I like Kugel with sour cream, cottage cheese, and sugar--and chocolate chips. Many people add corn flakes, graham cracker crumbs, ground gingersnaps or caramelized sugar on top. Some people layer the dish with sliced pineapples or apricot jam. Traditionally, raisins, both dark and golden are added. Kugel is such a versatile dish. Happy Noodle Day! Enjoy this today or any time! It's such an easy dessert....and so fabulous!

Chocolate Chip Noodle Kugel

Ingredients:
12 oz pkg medium wide noodles boiled & drained
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
8 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint (16 oz) cottage cheese (large curd)
2 cups sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla
3/4 cup DARK chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter sides and bottom of 9 x 13 Pyrex or another Pan.
Beat together eggs and sugar. Add cottage cheese, sour cream, melted butter, and vanilla and mix with wooden spoon.
Fold in noodles and chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into buttered pan.
Bake at 350°F for 40-60 minutes until just set.

Monday, October 5, 2020

NO-COOK DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE: Guest post by Kim Davis

I love when my mystery and chocolate worlds cross. Today I welcome Kim Davis, author of the Cupcake Catering Mystery Series.

*** 

Kim Davis:

No-Cook Dark Chocolate Mousse 

While most mousse recipes rely on heavy, calorie rich cream and egg yolks, this is a healthier vegan alternative that will still satisfy any chocoholic sweet tooth! Best of all, it whips up quickly with no cooking. 

Ingredients 

Mousse 

1/2 cup granulated sugar 

7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Chambord 

1/4 teaspoon orange extract or raspberry flavoring 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/8 teaspoon salt 

1 (12.3 ounce) package silken tofu, drained 

1 (12.3 ounce) package reduced-fat silken tofu drained 

3 ounces dark chocolate chopped 

Garnish

Whipped cream or dairy-free whipped dessert topping

1 small can mandarin oranges or fresh raspberries rinsed and patted dry 

Chocolate curls


Instructions 

Place the chopped dark chocolate in a small microwave-safe heatproof bowl. Heat for 30 seconds at 80% power. Remove and stir. Repeat for another 30 seconds, remove and stir. If chocolate isn’t melted, heat in 10 second intervals, stirring until melted. Set aside. 

Place sugar, cocoa powder, Grand Marnier or Chambord, extract, vanilla extract, salt, and tofu in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process or blend until completely smooth. 

Add the melted chocolate to the pudding mixture and process until completely incorporated. 

Divide the pudding between 6 serving dishes and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

Just before serving garnish with whipped cream, mandarin orange wedges or fresh raspberries, and chocolate curls.

*** 

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband. When not chasing her two granddaughters, she can be found at her computer writing the Cupcake Catering Mystery series (Sprinkles of Suspicion and Cake Popped Off), or blogging at Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder, or in the kitchen baking up new treats to share. Kim Davis is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

NINE CHOCOLATE VODKA RECIPES: National Vodka Day!

1966 Retro Smirnoff Ad
October 4 is National Vodka Day. In honor of the holiday, I've put together Nine Chocolate Vodka Drink Recipes. There are several good quality chocolate vodkas out there. Try them all. Celebrate!

Chocolate Raspberry Martini 
(A Drink of the Week Original Cocktail)
1 1/2 ounce Stoli Raspberry Vodka
1/2  ounce  Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
Splash Soda

Combine Vodka and Liqueur in a shaker with ice. Shaken and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with a splash of soda. Garnish with a fresh raspberry.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Daiquiri
3 ounces chocolate Goldenbarr chocolate vodka
1 cup fresh strawberries

Combine ingredients in a blender, and blend well. Pour into chilled daiquiri/margarita glass, garnish with a chocolate covered strawberry, and serve.

Cherry Cordial Recipe
Chocolate Vodka
Cherry Liqueur

Pour in Shot Glass

Chocolate to Die For
6 ounce cream soda
1 1/2 ounce Chocolate Vodka

Pour the chocolate vodka over ice in an old-fashioned glass. Add cream soda and serve.

Fudge Slide
1 ounce Goldenbarr Chocolate Vodka
1 ounce  Kahlua coffee liqueur
1 ounce Bailey's Irish cream

Pour each ingredient into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

Chocolate Chocolate Martini
1 1/2 ounce Vincent Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
1/2 ounce Creme de Cacao

Pour both ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into cocktail glass and serve. Garnish with grated chocolate. You can also rim the chilled glass with cocoa powder but pour slowly. Even better: Rim chilled glass with chocolate sauce and put in freezer until you're ready to serve the drink!

Desperate Housewife
1 1/2 ounce Players Extreme caramel-infused vodka
1 1/2 ounce white chocolate liqueur

Shake with ice. Strain into cocktail glass. Drizzle with chocolate sauce, and serve.

Starry Night Martini
1 1/2 ounce chocolate Vodka
1 1/2 ounce vanilla Vodka
1 ounce Bailey's Irish cream
1 ounce Kahlua coffee liqueur
1 splash cream

Fill shaker-strainer with ice. Pour chocolate and vanilla vodka into shaker simultaneously for three counts. Pour Bailey's and Kahlua into shaker for two counts. Add splash of cream. Cover shaker, shake, and strain into cocktail glass.

Tootsie Roll Shooter
 (recipe from Three Olives Chocolate Vodka)
2/3 ounce Three Olives Chocolate Vodka
1/3 ounce amaretto
Chocolate Syrup

Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into shot glass.

Raise a glass to National Vodka Day!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES for Fall

I love scones, and they're so easy to make, and these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones are perfect for this Fall Weekend. Mix up a batch today! 

Tips: 

Do not overwork the dough! Use frozen butter!

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup salted butter frozen (frozen butter is key to a good scone!)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Coarse sugar

Directions
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in bowl.
Add cold butter to flour mixture and combine with pastry cutter, two knives, or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal.
In bowl whisk together egg and pumpkin puree.
Add wet ingredients to flour and butter mixture and stir with rubber spatula until just combined. Be careful to not over mix!
Carefully fold in mini chocolate chips.
On floured surface, shape dough into disk about 3/4 inch thick.
Place dough on prepared pan and slice dough (like a pizza to create 8 scones)
Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Put baking sheet in freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
When scones are chilled, bake for 14-16 minutes until very light golden brown.
Serve warm with clotted cream!

Friday, October 2, 2020

CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN SPICE QUICK BREAD: National Pumpkin Spice Day

Yesterday was National Pumpkin Spice Day. Pumpkin Spice is definitely a flavor associated with Fall, and sometimes overused, but this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread is an easy and great way to celebrate the day--and the season! Pumpkin spice (sometimes called pumpkin pie spice) is available in the market, but you can also make your own (scroll down for recipe). If you do, remember to use the freshest spices to create your Pumpkin Spice.

The following recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread is from the Land O Lakes website. Want to 'spice' up the look of this pumpkin quick bread? Use a NordicWare Pumpkin Loaf Pan.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin (or 1 cup canned pumpkin)
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large Eggs
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice**
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9x5-inch loaf pan; set aside.
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
Stir in chocolate chips so evenly distributed.
Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake 45-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan.
Cool completely.

**Make your own Pumpkin Spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Thursday, October 1, 2020

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE COOKIES WITH SEA SALT: National Homemade Cookie Day


Today is Homemade Cookie Day. Here's an easy recipe for Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Sea Salt that you can make to celebrate! This recipe is from local San Francisco chocolate company Ghirardelli. Ghirardelli has some great recipes online and in their new Cookbook.

Ghirardelli: In 1849, during the California Gold Rush, Italian-born Domingo Ghirardelli moved to America and opened a store in a mining camp. After discovering the miners were starved for luxuries and needed something to spend their gold dust on, he starting stocking chocolate delicacies. In 1852, the enterprising immigrant founded a confectionery shop in San Francisco, which eventually became the modern-day Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.

Today, Ghirardelli is America’s oldest continuously operating chocolate maker. Their products are sold in stores everywhere and online, and they also have their own chocolate and ice cream shops across the country.

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE COOKIES WITH SEA SALT

Ingredients
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chips, for melting into the cookie dough
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chips, for mixing into the prepared cookie dough
2 to 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt

Directions
In heatproof bowl over double boiler, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Turn off stove and let chocolate sit over warm water.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt and mix to combine.
In another bowl, mix together sugar and eggs, combine thoroughly with whisk and slowly add warm chocolate mixture. Stir to combine. Add vanilla extract and mix. Stir in flour mixture.
Cool for a few minutes (if batter is warm, chocolate chips will melt). Stir in chocolate chips. Chill for 10-15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Scoop rounded tablespoons of batter and place on baking tray. Sprinkle each cookie lightly with a pinch of sea salt.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 7-8 minutes until the outside looks slightly cracked. Be very careful not to over bake cookies because they will continue to bake as they cool once removed from the oven. Cookies should be soft and gooey in the center.

For a chunky and different twist add one of the following: 3/4 cup toasted pecans or pistachios, 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger, or 1/3 cup sweetened coconut