Monday, November 30, 2020

OLIVE OIL CHOCOLATE MOUSSE: National Mousse Day

Today is National Mousse Day, and for me, that means Chocolate Mousse. I often substitute olive oil for cream or butter in recipes. Also, because many DyingforChocolate readers keep kosher, olive oil dessert recipes are great to serve with meat meals. Using olive oil is a new take on an old recipe.

This recipe for Olive Oil Chocolate Mousse is relatively simple, and absolutely delicious. It comes from Chef Tony Maws at Craigie on Main (Cambridge, MA). The original recipe calls for brandy, but I use Kahlua. Try whatever liqueur you like. Make sure your olive oil is fresh. There is nothing worse than making a terrific dessert ruined because of rancid olive oil.

OLIVE OIL CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Ingredients
11 ounces chocolate
9 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp Kahlua
salt
9 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar

Directions
Finely chop the chocolate, and then melt over simmering water in a double boiler.
While the chocolate is melting, whisk together the yolks and ½ cup sugar until the mixture is thick in texture and a pale, lemony yellow.
Gently fold the warm (not hot--the eggs will curdle) chocolate into the yolks.
Stir in the Kahlua, olive oil, and a pinch of salt.
In another bowl, whisk the whites until they are frothy and then whisk in the sugar. Keep whisking until they are at medium peaks. Fold the whipped egg whites into the chocolate, 1/2 at a time.
Pour into glasses and allow mousse to set for at least four hours before serving.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

STUFFED CHOCOLATE FRENCH TOAST: National French Toast Day

Today is National French Toast Day. Here's a great recipe for Stuffed Chocolate French Toast that tastes like a French Toast Chocolate Croissant! Using Challah or Brioche is great because they're egg breads, so they're richer. Adds to the flavor!

Stuffed Chocolate French Toast

Ingredients:
3 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
dash of salt
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices brioche or challah
4+ ounces dark chocolate, 55-70% cacao,  finely chopped

Preparation:
Whisk together eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, sugar, and salt in large shallow dish until mixture is combined.
Melt 1-1/2 tablespoons butter in large heavy nonstick skillet or griddle over moderately high heat.
Dip 2 bread slices in egg mixture until lightly soaked, turning once.
Transfer to skillet and reduce heat to moderate.
Sprinkle each slice with a fourth of chocolate and top with 2 more slices of egg-dipped bread.
Press sandwiches gently with a spatula to help slices stick together.
Cook, turning sandwiches over once, until chocolate is melted and French toast is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes total.
Transfer to a plate and keep warm, covered.
Wipe out skillet and make 2 more sandwiches in same manner.
Cut French Toast in half and sprinkle with powdered sugar or a bit more chopped chocolate.

Friday, November 27, 2020

CHOCOLATE MAYONNAISE CAKE: Three Recipes for National Cake Day!

Today is National Cake Day! To celebrate the holiday I thought I'd post three great recipes for Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. I've posted about chocolate mayonnaise cake before. You'd be surprised how many recipes there are. Seems like everyone's Aunt Sadie had a recipe. But it shouldn't be a surprise to you that mayonnaise was used so often in past generations. Do you remember mayonnaise in jello molds? That used to be a staple at special occasions all over the U.S. If you don't remember, be glad! But in cake, it really works!

As I said there are many recipes for Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake. Here are two Retro recipes for Hellmann's Chocolate Mayo Cake and a newer recipe for a Chocolate Mayonnaise Bundt Cake. I have found several of these ads over the years--some recipes use eggs and some don't. I think the earlier recipes must be from the 30s and early 40s. 

Mayonnaise Cakes are really moist, so it's hard to go wrong on any of these recipes.





Want to try a variation of the recipes above? Use Miracle Whip instead of Mayonnaise. Totally different flavor. Most people are particular when it comes to the choice between Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip. I still think it's worth trying Miracle Whip in this chocolate cake recipe... or for that matter, in the bundt cake recipe below. Word to the wise: don't taste the batter before it's baked. It will seem a bit odd, but the final results will be delicious.

And, just for good measure, here's a third recipe for Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake!

Chocolate Mayonnaise Bundt Cake

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
6 Tbsp dark cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla (or whatever you have)
1 cup mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip)
1 egg, whipped
1 cup lukewarm water
1 cup chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate 70% or higher cacao
powdered sugar

Directions
Blend dry ingredients.
Mix in vanilla, mayonnaise, egg, and water-- just enough to get all ingredients blended.
Fold in chocolate chips (broken up chocolate)
Pour into greased Bundt pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool cake.
Dust with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN BREAD PUDDING: Thanksgiving

I love Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Pudding. It's perfect for Thanksgiving or any time! As an extra bonus it's dairy and egg free, so you'll feel you've indulged, but you won't have...at least not all that much. Recipe is from Chloe Coscarelli and appeared in the NYT in 2010. I have posted other Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Pudding recipes, all of which include a thick sauce. This recipe is much lighter.

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Ingredients 
1 cup coconut milk
1 15-ounce can organic pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
10 cups cubed day-old bread of your choice (about 10 to 12 slices of sandwich bread, depending on the thickness of slices)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Guittard and Ghirardelli are nondairy)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 14 4-ounce ramekins (single-serving ceramic dishes) or a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish.
In blender, process coconut milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, and spices until smooth.
In large bowl, toss bread cubes with pumpkin mixture and chocolate chips until each bread cube is coated.

If using ramekins:
Evenly sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar into the bottom of each greased ramekin. Fill each ramekin to the top with the mixture and lightly press it down with the back of a spoon.

If using 9-by-13 baking dish:
Fill baking dish with mixture and lightly press down with back of spoon. Evenly sprinkle about 2 tablespoons brown sugar over the top of the bread pudding. The brown sugar will help the pudding to caramelize on the edges.
(Steps 1 through 3 can be done up to three days in advance; store covered in the refrigerator.)
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until top is lightly browned.

If using ramekins:
Let pudding cool a few minutes, then carve around edges with knife to loosen and unmold.
Garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm.

If using  9-by-13 baking dish:
Let pudding cool a few minutes before serving. Cut into portions, then garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm.

The pudding can be baked right before serving or earlier that day and then reheated for 8 to 10 more minutes right before serving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE TRUFFLES

Don't want to make a Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving? Make these instead -- Pecan Pie Truffles. This recipe is adapted from a 2012 issue of Southern Living for Kentucky Derby Truffles! As always, use the very best ingredients for the best flavor!

CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE TRUFFLES

Ingredients
12 ounces dark chocolate (70-85% cacao), chopped
1 -1/2 Tbsp unsalted cold butter, cubed
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
9 Tbsp heavy cream
1/4 cup good Kentucky Bourbon
1 (5.3 ounce) package pure butter shortbread cookies, crushed (I use Walker's)
2 cups finely chopped roasted, salted pecans

Directions
Combine first 3 ingredients in large glass bowl. Cook cream and bourbon in small saucepan over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture is hot but not boiling. (Mixture will steam, and bubbles will form around edge of pan.) Pour cream mixture over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute.

Stir chocolate mixture until melted and smooth. (If mixture doesn't melt completely, microwave on HIGH 30 seconds.) Stir in crushed cookies. Cover and chill 3 hours or until firm.

Shape into 1-inch balls (about 2 tsp per ball). Roll in chopped pecans. Place on wax or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Chill 1 hour. Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 5 days.

Monday, November 23, 2020

ESPRESSO TRUFFLES: National Espresso Day

Today is National Espresso Day. I'm always looking for an easy way to combine the food of the day with chocolate, and what could be easier than Chocolate Espresso Truffles. Following are two recipes. The first is a very simple recipe. The second is from RealSimple.com. (which is not as simple- LOL). The results are different, so you might want to try both and compare.

Espresso Truffles I

For Ganache:
8.5 ounces of Dark Chocolate (65% or so)
1/2 cup heavy Cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp finely ground Espresso beans

For Coating:
Cocoa powder

Directions
Grate or chop chocolate
Heat cream just until boiling. Add espresso and mix well.
Pour cream over chocolate and using double-boiler method, melt chocolate. (Place pan with chocolate and cream over simmering water,  stirring until  chocolate is melted).
Add vanilla extract to melted chocolate and mix well until smooth. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight.
Remove from refrigerator. Place cocoa on plate.
Using small cookie scooper or two spoons scoop chocolate. Roll into a ball using hands.
Roll chocolate balls in cocoa, thoroughly coating truffle. Place truffle on parchment lined tray.
Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for later use.

From Real Simple:

Espresso Truffles II

Ingredients
20 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces (or semisweet chocolate chips)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp finely ground espresso coffee
1 cup confectioners' sugar or shredded coconut

Directions
Make filling:
Place 8 ounces chocolate pieces and butter in large bowl. In small saucepan over low heat, bring cream to simmer. Remove from heat and pour half cream into bowl. As chocolate melts, slowly whisk mixture together until smooth. Then gradually add remaining cream until completely incorporated and  ganache is thick and shiny. Whisk in coffee.

Form truffles:
Pour ganache into 2-inch-deep baking pan, spread evenly, and place in freezer for 30 minutes or until set ( should have consistency of fudge). Using  melonballer or small spoon, form rounds and place on baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Let truffles harden in freezer for about 15 minutes. After removing from freezer, roll truffles between hands into marble-size spheres, squeezing slightly (try to do this quickly, otherwise they'll become too soft).

Make coating: 
Let truffles rest in freezer while you make chocolate glaze. Place remaining chocolate pieces in large bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir occasionally, until chocolate is completely melted. Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until chocolate starts to set at edge of bowl. Drop truffles into melted chocolate and retrieve with fork, allowing any excess chocolate to drip off. Garnish immediately or leave truffles plain and proceed to next step.

Garnish:
For coconut garnish, roll freshly coated truffles in shallow dish of shredded coconut. For confectioners' sugar garnish, set freshly coated truffles on plate and sift sugar over them. Turn truffles and sift again to cover completely.

Storage: 
Place truffles on lined baking sheet and allow to set in refrigerator for 5 minutes. Truffles will keep for about 2 weeks, chilled or at room temperature, when stored in tightly sealed container.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

CHOCOLATE COVERED CRANBERRIES: National Cranberry Day!

Today is National Cranberry Day. I love cranberries--in muffins, in bread, in brownies, and cookies--and, of course, cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving. I like both fresh and dried cranberries. You can buy Chocolate Covered Cranberries from lots of chocolatiers and stores (Trader Joe's) or you can make your own. It's really easy! 

History of Cranberries (from the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers' Association)

The cranberry, along with the blueberry and Concord grape, is one of North America's three native fruits that are commercially grown. Cranberries were first used by Native Americans, who discovered the wild berry's versatility as a food, fabric dye and healing agent. Today, cranberries are commercially grown throughout the northern part of the United States and are available in both fresh and processed forms.

The name "cranberry" derives from the Pilgrim name for the fruit, "craneberry", so called because the small, pink blossoms that appear in the spring resemble the head and bill of a Sandhill crane. European settlers adopted the Native American uses for the fruit and found the berry a valuable bartering tool.

American whalers and mariners carried cranberries on their voyages to prevent scurvy. In 1816, Captain Henry Hall became the first to successfully cultivate cranberries. By 1871, the first association of cranberry growers in the United States had formed, and now, U.S. farmers harvest approximately 40,000 acres of cranberries each year.

Here are two recipes for Chocolate Covered Cranberries: One uses fresh cranberries and one uses dried cranberries. You'll love the tart and sweet together! Perfect for Thanksgiving or any time!

1. CHOCOLATE COVERED CRANBERRIES (dried)

Ingredients
4 ounces Dark or Milk Chocolate
1/2 cup dried, sweetened Cranberries

Directions
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt chocolate in double boiler or in glass bowl in microwave. Once melted, remove from heat.
Add cranberries to chocolate. Stir until coated. Remove coated cranberries with two forks or slotted spoon (this works very well), shaking off excess chocolate on side of bowl. Transfer to lined baking sheet.
Put baking sheet in refrigerator until chocolate hardens, about 20 minutes.
Store in refrigerator.

Want to make Chocolate Covered Cranberries with Fresh Cranberries? Here's another great and easy recipe. 


2. CHOCOLATE COVERED CRANBERRIES (fresh)
Recipe adapted from Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association.

Ingredients
1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate-if very dark, add a little sugar when melting the chocolate with shortening)
2 tablespoons shortening (butter)

Directions
Melt chocolate and butter (and sugar if you're using dark chocolate) over low heat, stirring frequently until melted.
Dip cranberries in chocolate until coated (remove from mixture with slotted spoon or two forks).
Place on wax paper (or parchment paper on a cookie sheet).
Refrigerate until firm.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD TRUFFLES: National Gingerbread Day!

Today is Gingerbread Day. That means the following recipes for Gingerbread Truffles will be great for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Be sure and bookmark this page! The three recipes are very different. As always, adapt the recipes to your needs or to what you have on hand. I always have different types and brands of chocolate at the ready. The secret--well, it's not really a secret--is to use the very best ingredients.

These three recipes for Gingerbread Truffles will reproduce the taste of Gingerbread Dough enrobed in chocolate! Be creative in your decorations--from sprinkles to sugars to candied ginger... it's up to you! Perfect for the upcoming holiday!

The First Recipe for White Chocolate Gingerbread Truffles is from Elizabeth LaBau at About.com 
The Second Recipe for Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Recipe is from Epicurious.
The Third Recipe is for White Chocolate Gingerbread Truffles from Organic Authority.

Do you have a family favorite?

WHITE CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD TRUFFLES

Ingredients:
1 cup white chocolate chips or wafers or chopped bar (Guittard)
3 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped nuts
2.5 cups gingersnap crumbs (about one 12-oz box)
1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling

Directions:
Place white chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring after every 45 seconds to prevent overheating.
Once white chocolate is melted, add corn syrup, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract. If it seems to be separating, stir gently with whisk until it comes back together. Stir in gingersnap crumbs, powdered sugar, all spices, salt, and chopped nuts. Place mixture in refrigerator until firm enough to shape, about 1 hour.
Using teaspoon or small scoop, make balls by rolling between palms.
Place granulated sugar in small bowl, and roll balls in the sugar--or roll in powdered sugar.
Want to get fancy? Roll the balls in colored sugars (red or green or gold?) or dip them in dark chocolate!
Keep truffles in refrigerator until you're ready to serve them, and then let them warm bit to room temperature.

DARK CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD TRUFFLES


Ingredients
3/4 cup whipping cream
10 whole allspice
10 whole cloves
1 Tbsp mild-flavored (light) molasses
1 1/2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
7 ounces plus 12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
7 ounces plus 12 ounces high-quality white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger plus additional for garnish

Preparation
Bring first 7 ingredients just to boil in heavy medium saucepan; remove from heat and let steep 1 hour.
Combine 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate and 7 ounces white chocolate in large metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water; stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Strain cream mixture into chocolate; stir to blend. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger. Chill filling until firm, at least 3 hours.
Line baking sheet with parchment. Using melon baller or small scoop, scoop filling and roll between palms to form balls. Place on parchment. Chill truffles at least 2 hours.
Line another sheet with parchment. Place 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water; stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Cool until thermometer inserted into chocolate registers 115°F. Quickly submerge 1 truffle in chocolate. Using fork, lift out truffle and tap fork against side of bowl so excess coating drips off. Using knife, slide truffle off fork and onto prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining truffles. Chill until set.
Line another baking sheet with parchment. Place 12 ounces white chocolate in another medium metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Cool until thermometer inserted into chocolate registers 100°F. Hold 1 truffle between thumb and index finger; dip halfway into white chocolate. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining truffles. If desired, press small pieces of crystallized ginger atop truffles. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
You can also dip in colored sprinkles!

WHITE & BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE GINGERBREAD TRUFFLES

Ingredients
3/4 cup organic whipping cream
10 whole allspice
10 whole cloves
1 Tbsp organic light molasses
1 1/2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
18 to 20 ounces chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (choose organic and fair trade)
14 to 16 ounces organic, fair trade white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger, plus extra for garnish

Preparation:
In heavy medium-sized saucepan, bring first seven ingredients to a boil. Remove pan from heat and let steep for an hour.
Chop 7 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and 7 ounces of white chocolate into large metal bowl. Place bowl in saucepan of simmering water and stir chocolate until melted and smooth. Strain cream mixture into chocolate and stir in 1/2 cup of crystallized ginger (make sure it is minced fine). Chill filling at least 3 hours; it should be firm but not hard.
Line baking sheet with parchment. Take small spoonful of filling and roll quickly between hands until it forms a ball of one inch or less. If filling gets too sticky, return it to bowl and take another spoonful. Place each truffle on parchment. It's okay if they're imperfect! They're not finished. Chill truffles another 2 hours.
Line another sheet with parchment. Chop remaining bittersweet chocolate into another metal bowl and melt as before. Remove bowl from water and let cool to 115 degrees. Drop one truffle in chocolate and immediately lift it out with fork. Tap fork gently against side of bowl to remove excess chocolate, then use a knife to slide the truffle off the fork and onto parchment. Repeat. Chill your truffles until chocolate sets.

Line another sheet with parchment, and melt white chocolate in another bowl. Let cool to 100 degrees. Hold truffle in your fingers and dip top half into white chocolate. Place it on the parchment and press a bit of crystallized ginger into the top. Repeat. Chill again, at least 30 minutes.

Friday, November 20, 2020

EXTRA NUTTY PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE BROWNIES: National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

Today is National Peanut Butter Fudge Day! I've posted recipes for Peanut Butter Fudge, but today I'd like to change it up a bit with this recipe for Extra Nutty Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies adapted from a Pillsbury. I don't usually use boxed mixes, but this is a good recipe. Of course you can make your own brownies and just add the layer of peanut butter fudge and the layer of 1/2 cup chopped peanuts. I really like the clean salty taste of plain roasted peanuts, rather than the recommended honey-roasted peanuts in the original recipe. I also add chocolate chips to the recipe and cut down on the peanut butter chips. You can never have enough chocolate!

Have a great Peanut Butter Fudge Day!

EXTRA NUTTY PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE BROWNIES!

Ingredients
2 (15.8 oz) pkg. fudge brownie mix with chocolate syrup
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
 2 eggs
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
7 ounces peanut butter chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray with nonstick cooking spray or grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan.
In large bowl, combine brownie mixes, chocolate pouches from mixes, oil, water and eggs; beat 50 strokes with spoon. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour about half of batter into sprayed pan.
In large saucepan, combine condensed milk, peanut butter chips and peanut butter; cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until chips and peanut butter are melted, stirring constantly.
Spoon and spread peanut butter mixture over batter. Drop remaining half of batter over peanut butter layer.
Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
Bake at 350°F. for 35 to 40 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan.
DO NOT OVERBAKE. 
Cool 2 hours.
Refrigerate 1-1/2 hours or until completely cooled before serving.
Cut into bars.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

PUMPKIN PATCH CAKE ROLL: Thanksgiving

Here's a great Retro Thanksgiving dessert recipe for Pumpkin Patch Cake Roll. It's a pumpkin spice cake roll with cream cheese filling and frosted with chocolate! This would look and taste great on your Thanksgiving table.

PUMPKIN PATCH CAKE ROLL

Ingredients
3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chocolate buttercream frosting
Candied leaves or candied pumpkins for decoration

Directions

FOR THE CAKE
Preheat oven to 350 F. In small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until thick, about 5 minutes. Gradually add sugar; beat well. Stir in pumpkin.
Sift together dry ingredients; fold into egg mixture. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
Spread evenly into greased and floured waxed paper-lined 15-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 1-inch jelly roll pan. Bake 14 to 18 minutes.
Immediately loosen sides of cake. Invert onto towel lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Remove waxed paper.
Starting from narrow end, roll cake in towel. Cool on wire rack.
Unroll cake; spread with cream cheese filling.

FOR THE CAKE ROLL FILLING & FROSTING
Combine cream cheese and butter. Cream until fluffy.
Gradually add sugar and vanilla; beat until well-blended. Spread over cool, unrolled cake.
Roll; frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.
Decorate cake roll with large or small orange gumdrops or leaf candies. Use your imagination. Treat this like a Thanksgiving Buche!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

DOUBLE LAYER CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN MOUSSE PIE: Thanksgiving

Double Layer Chocolate Pumpkin Mousse Pie is one of my favorite Thanksgiving pies. Recipe is from the Dairy Farmers of Canada website Dairy Goodness. You will love it!

Double Layer Chocolate Pumpkin Mousse Pie

Ingredients

Crust:
1-1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (chocolate wafers that have been crushed)
1/4 cup sweet butter, melted

Chocolate Ganache Layer:
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup whipping cream

Pumpkin Layer:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup thick whipping cream
Whipped cream, to garnish
Freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

Crust:
In bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter until moistened and pat evenly into bottom and up side of 10-inch deep pie plate. Bake in preheated 350 °F oven for about 10 minutes or until firm. Let cool.

Chocolate Ganache Layer:
Place chocolate and butter in bowl. In small saucepan bring cream to boil. Pour over chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. Slowly whisk chocolate until melted and smooth. Gently pour into cooled crust. Place in refrigerator for about 1 hour or until set.

Pumpkin Layer:
Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ginger and cloves until smooth.

Whip cream. Fold half of cream into pumpkin mixture until light. Fold in remaining whipped cream until well combined. Spread over top of chocolate layer and smooth top. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until set and firm. (If you make ahead: you can cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)

Garnish with whipped cream and nutmeg before serving.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

DARK CHOCOLATE TART CHERRY LEVAIN: National Homemade Bread Day

If you're like me, you've been making a lot of homemade bread since the Pandemic began. I love that I've gotten back into baking bread. It's so easy and such a treat. So in honor of National Homemade Bread Day here's an updated post that includes a great recipe for Dark Chocolate Tart Cherry Levain as well as links to recipes for other Chocolate Bread!
 
One bread that I used to bake that is especially appropriate to this blog is Chocolate Cherry Sourdough. I still haven't been able to locate my recipe, but I have found several recipes on The Fresh Loaf, a great site for "News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts."

JMonkey's Blog February 11, 2007 had a great recipe for Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Bread. Terrific photos and instructions. This recipe seems very close to the one I used to use. There are a few comments I'm unclear on, so my recommendation is to do what you usually do. I bake in a gas oven. I have three ovens: convection, gas, and electric, but for baking, I like the gas oven. I have an old O'Keefe & Merritt that I've refurbished, and it's pretty accurate on temperature. Nevertheless, I hang an old oven thermometer inside.

The recipe for Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Bread elicited a lot of discussion on The Fresh Loaf, and I found another recipe, this time for a Dark Chocolate Tart Cherry Levain posted by unbreadman, December 2, 2007. These recipes complement each other, so have a look at both before you decide to try one.

Dark Chocolate Tart Cherry Levain

Ingredients 
1 1/2 lbs Bread Flour
1 lb 2 ounces water
1/2 ounce salt
Small amount of refreshed sourdough culture (adjust depending on taste/rising time preference)
8 ounces dark chocolate, broken into small bits
12 ounces dried tart cherries (I've used both Chukars and Trader Joe's)

Directions
Soak cherries for at least 30 minutes to remove any added sugar and prevent burning
Mix flour, salt, and water until fully hydrated, let sit for 30 minutes (can do while cherries soak)
Cut up levain, add to dough with cherries, mix until fully distributed, knead to develop gluten, but be gentle so as not to destroy cherry integrity.
Bulk ferment until approx 1.5x volume increase, folding once* halfway through.
*During fold, add chocolate bits in between each fold over. JMonkey's blog illustrates this well.
Very gently shape loaf, trying not to puncture future crust. While it's not tragic if it does happen, if there's a leak, chocolate can leak out and burn, and it might make you a little sad. But you'll be fine! It's okay!
Bake on preheated stone with steam at 400-425F.
LET COOL BEFORE CUTTING. Molten Chocolate is very hot! It will burn, so it is imperative that you resist the nearly irresistible urge to eat this bread. 

What Chocolate Bread have you made lately? Make a comment below.

Monday, November 16, 2020

CRANBERRY FUDGE PIE for Thanksgiving

Cranberry Fudge Pie is a perfect alternative (or addition) to your Thanksgiving table.

I'm a big fan of King Arthur Flour, not just the flour, but all the food products, pans, videos, and recipes. Great gluten-free help for the holidays, too! I'm signed up for email updates, and you might want to do that, too. If I hadn't, I might have missed this incredible Recipe for Cranberry Fudge Pie a few years ago.

For the crust, you can always use a prepared graham cracker crust, but it's so easy to make one yourself. As always use the very best chocolate and other ingredients! I've kept the link to glazing sugar. Definitely great to have in your pantry. I'm all about easy, and this recipe is simple!

CRANBERRY FUDGE PIE

Crust
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (One cellophane-wrapped packet of graham crackers (11 whole crackers) will yield this amount of crumbs)
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar or glazing sugar
6 Tbsp melted unsalted butter

Filling
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate (Don't use bittersweet chocolate; with the acidic tang of the cranberries, it's just too much. You want a dark chocolate that's sweet; most chocolate chips will be fine)
2/3 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup diced walnuts or pecans

Topping
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
1 cup dried cranberries (I use Trader Joe's-they're always in my pantry)
12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries, a generous 3 cups
You'll need about 15 ounces (a scant 1-1/2 cups) topping for the pie.

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F.

To Make Crust: 
Process graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter in food processor until crumbly and well combined.
Press into bottom and up sides of 9" pie pan.
Bake crust for about 7 to 8 minutes, until set, but not brown. Remove from oven and cool.

To Make Filling: 
Put chips (or chopped chocolate) and cream in  microwave-safe container, and heat for about 90 seconds.
Remove from microwave, and stir until mixture becomes smooth and dark brown; you're simply making a basic ganache.  (I usually do this in a pot over a pot over simmering water on the stovetop)
Spoon hot ganache into cooled crust, and sprinkle nuts on top.
Refrigerate pie for at 2 hours, until ganache firms up.
While pie is chilling, make topping.

To Make Topping:
Bring sugar, salt, and cranberry juice to a boil.
Stir in dried cranberries, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add fresh or frozen cranberries, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until some of berries have burst.
Remove the cranberries from heat, spoon into bowl, and chill.

To Finish Assembling Pie: 
Spoon 1-1/2 cups cranberry sauce on top of fudge/nut filling.
Chill until ready to serve.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN MARBLE BUNDT CAKE: National Bundt Day

Today is National Bundt Day

 According to Nordic Ware, the original makers of the Bundt Pan, "if there is a kitchen in the home, there is a Bundt pan." Even if there's not one in your pantry, I think my kitchen makes up the difference. I have all kinds of bundt pans. I find the shapes so versatile and fun. I'm always buying unique bundt pans at the Flea Market or the White Elephant Sale. Because of the popularity of the Bundt pan, Nordic Ware designated November 15 as National Bundt Day several years ago.

Want to make this for Thanksgiving? Here are some great Nordic Ware Pumpkin Bundt Pans!




And in keeping with the National Bundt Day Holiday Spirit, here's a recipe from Sunset Magazine (Charity Ferreira: 2003) for Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Bundt Cake. This marbled bundt cake features two separate batters: chocolate and pumpkin. The original recipe calls for a chocolate glaze, but that's optional. The cake is rich enough as it is.

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN MARBLE BUNDT CAKE

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups (3/4 lb.) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (I use an all natural canned pumpkin-But Libby's works well, too)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup buttermilk

Directions
In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Scrape half mixture into another bowl.

To make pumpkin batter: Beat pumpkin into half the butter mixture until well blended. In another bowl, stir together 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed or fold in with flexible spatula just until blended.

To make chocolate batter: In another bowl, mix remaining 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cocoa. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the other half of the butter mixture (starting and ending with flour mixture), beating after each addition just until blended.

Spoon half pumpkin batter into a buttered and floured 12-cup bundt-cake pan. Drop half chocolate batter by spoonfuls over (but not entirely covering) the pumpkin batter. Repeat to spoon remaining pumpkin and chocolate batters into pan. Gently run the blade of a butter knife around the center of the pan several times, then draw the knife across the width of the pan in 10 to 12 places to swirl batters.

Bake in 350° regular or 325° convection oven until wood skewer inserted into center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cake cool 10 minutes in pan, then invert onto rack, lift off pan, and cool cake completely.
Nordic Ware: Turkey Bundt Pan

Saturday, November 14, 2020

TURKEY CAKE PANS: Perfect "Turkey" Cakes for Thanksgiving

I've made a lot of Birthday and Holiday cakes in odd shapes, mostly without the use of wonderfully 'shaped' cake pans. Yes, Jonas, you might remember the Crab you wanted for your birthday one year, although I'm not sure why you wanted a crab. Wish I could find the photo. Lots of cutting up and piecing together with icing, but also lots of fun.

Thought it might  be fun to post some more specialty cake pans. Most of these are readily available at local shops and on Amazon and eBay.

So with Thanksgiving coming up next week, I thought I'd post some Turkey Cake Pans! If you don't want to use a Turkey Cake Pan, you can always make your own cake and cut it and shape it and frost it to resemble a turkey! See the links below to some fabulous photos of "Turkey Cakes" with directions and recipes. Who says you can't have cake for dessert at your Thanksgiving meal?

TURKEY CAKE PANS

NordicWare Platinum Collection 3D Turkey Cake Pan

Check out Baking Bites finished Turkey Cake using the Nordicware 3-D Turkey Cake Pan 

CK Products Turkey Pantastic Plastic Cake Pan
Chicago Metallic Silicone Turkey Cakelet Pan with stencils
You can also make muffins in this pan and use them for place settings!



Wilton Thanksgiving Turkey Cake Pan 
(1979/Retired-but available on Amazon and eBay)


Want to make your own Turkey Cake? Chocolate, of course! Scroll down to see the Coolest Homemade Thanksgiving Cake Ideas on Coolest-Birthday-Cakes.com


Disney Family Fun has a great recipe for Turkey Cake and how to make it. The Body of the Cake is yellow cake with the 'drumsticks' a spice cake. I would do the drumsticks in chocolate cake for the dark meat, but then I'm all about chocolate.  Here's a link to this Turkey Cake Recipe.

Friday, November 13, 2020

MINI GERMAN CHOCOLATE BROWNIE PECAN TARTS: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Due to the pandemic, you're probably not expecting a crowd, so here's a great Retro recipe for Mini German Chocolate Brownie Pecan Tarts. Single servings work well this year. This recipe originally appeared in Woman's Day in 1965. Use the very best chocolate and other ingredients for updated flavors!

Mini German Chocolate Brownie Pecan Tarts

Ingredients
2 refrigerated rolled pie crusts (or make your own)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate  (I use very dark chocolate and cut down on the sugar)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
8 tart pans with removable bottoms

Directions 
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place tart pan upside down on piece of paper and draw circle 1 inch larger than the pan; cut out.
Roll each pie crust into 12 1/2-inch circle. Using stencil, cut 4 rounds from each crust, chilling and re-rolling scraps as necessary. Fit rounds into bottom and up sides of tart pans. Cut away any overhanging dough and place pans on baking sheet. Using fork, prick bottoms of crusts, and bake until just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Cut 6 tablespoons butter into small pieces and place in microwave-safe bowl. Add chocolate and microwave on high for 1 minute, then stir. Repeat at 30-second intervals until melted and smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Using electric mixer, beat sugar, 2 eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla on high in large bowl until pale, about 3 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture. Reduce speed to medium and add flour mixture, mixing just to combine.

Divide mixture among the tart shells. In medium microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining tablespoon butter. Whisk in corn syrup, brown sugar, salt, remaining 2 eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in  pecans and coconut. Spoon mixture over brownie batter and bake until brownie is cooked and pecan filling is just set, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let tarts cool 10 minutes, then remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

HOT FUDGE SUNDAE CAKE: National Sundae Day

Yesterday was National Sundae Day! For me, there is only one sundae--a hot fudge sundae!

The classic Hot Fudge Sundae is a creation of vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate sauce ("hot fudge"), whipped cream, nuts, and a single maraschino cherry on top. A Hot Fudge Sundae can be made with any flavor of ice cream, but vanilla is preferred!

There are many variations about the origins of the Hot Fudge Sundae. According to Wikipedia, a frequent theme is that the dish arose in contravention to so-called blue laws against Sunday consumption of either ice cream or ice cream soda (the latter invented by Robert M. Green in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1874). The religious laws are said to have led druggists to produce a substitute for these popular treats for consumption on Sunday. According to this theory of the name's origin, the spelling was changed to sundae to avoid offending religious conventions. Since I grew up in Philadelphia, I remember the Blue Laws, although at that time they pertained mostly to alcohol and not ice cream, although the food markets were closed.

In support of this idea, Peter Bird wrote in The First Food Empire: A History of J. Lyons and Co. (2000) that the name 'sundae' was adopted as a result of Illinois state's early prohibition of ice cream consumption on Sundays, because ice cream with a topping that obscured the main product was not deemed to be ice cream. However, according to documentation published by the Evanston, Illinois Public Library, it was the drinking of soda, not the eating of ice cream, that was outlawed on Sundays in Illinois.

Other origin stories for the sundae focus on the novelty or inventiveness of the treat or the name of the originator, and make no mention of legal pressures.

You don't really need a recipe for a hot fudge sundae. I gave the ingredients above. However, like anything else, it's all about the quality of the ingredients. 

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake is a great variation on this traditional treat, and it can be made in a pan in the oven or in a Slow Cooker. See recipe HERE.

Following is a recipe adapted from Betty Crocker for Hot Fudge Sundae Cake in a pan. It's an easy one bowl/pan recipe. What's especially delicious about this cake is that as the cake bakes it separates into a chocolate cake and a dark fudgy sauce. Now that's what Hot Fudge Sundaes are all about! Add the ice cream and you're all set.

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons DARK unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa
1 3/4 cups very hot water

Vanilla Ice cream

Directions
Heat oven to 350ºF.
Mix flour, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt in ungreased square pan, 9x9x2 inches. Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla with fork until smooth. Stir in nuts. Spread in pan.
Sprinkle brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa over batter. Pour water over batter.
Bake about 40 minutes or until top is dry.
Spoon warm cake into dessert dishes. Top with ice cream. Spoon sauce from pan onto each serving.

Rather have Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes? Check out Joy the Baker's recipe and photos.

Want Hot Fudge Sundae Macarons? Barbara Bakes has the perfect recipe!


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

WARTIME CHOCOLATE CAKE: Veterans Day

Tomorrow is Veterans Day (aka Remembrance Day, Armistice Day). My father was a decorated Veteran of WWII, so today I'm posting a recipe from that era. Times were hard during the War, on the battlefield, and on the Homefront. This recipe is for Wartime Chocolate Cake. I think it was slightly easier to get sugar and cocoa in the U.S. than other countries, although I've seen several versions of War Time Chocolate Cake in various British war time cookbooks. Milk and eggs were rationed, too, so this cake, which is quite spongy, does without.

During the Second World War, you couldn't just walk into a store and buy as much sugar or butter as you wanted. You were only allowed to buy a small amount (even if you could afford more) because these items were rationed. The government introduced rationing because certain items were in short supply.

Some things were scarce because they were needed to supply the military - gas, oil, metal, meat and other foods. Some things were scarce because they normally were imported from countries with whom we were at war or because they had to be brought in by ship from foreign places. Sugar and coffee were very scarce. Coca-Cola even stopped production during the war because sugar in great quantities was not available.

Everyone was given a ration book that contained ration stamps for different items. Grocers and other business people would post what your ration stamps could buy that week, but it was up to the individual to decide how to spend the stamps and possibly save up the items for a cake like this.

Support our Veterans!

WARTIME CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon white vinegar
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

Directions:
In large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda, and salt.
Make three wells in the flour mixture. In one put vanilla; in another the vinegar, and in the third the oil. Pour the cold water over the mixture and stir until moistened.
Pour into 8 x 8-inch pan.
Bake at 350°F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it springs back when touched lightly.

Monday, November 9, 2020

GREEK YOGURT CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE: Greek Yogurt Day!

Today is Greek Yogurt Day. Greek Yogurt is great in baking because it gives a bit of a tangy flavor to cakes, muffins, and breads. I often substitute Greek Yogurt for sour cream in recipes. You'll love this Greek Yogurt Chocolate Bundt Cake.

Greek Yogurt is not necessarily from Greece. Greek yogurt refers to a yogurt making process. It differs from regular yogurt in that the whey is strained off in the process. Consequently it contains less sugar, fewer carbs, and a lot more protein. Real old fashioned Greek yogurt is made with goat's milk, while much American Greek-style yogurt is made from cow's milk. You can try either in the following recipe. As always, choose a good quality Greek yogurt, as you would a good cocoa.

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Bundt Cake

Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for bundt pan
1 cup water
1/3 cup DARK cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1  3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Optional: Confectioners Sugar for sprinkling

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 10- or 12-cup Bundt pan.
Put butter, water, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until butter has just melted and mixture is combined. Set aside.
Whisk together flour, sugar, and baking soda in large mixing bowl. Add half butter mixture and whisk to combine. Add remaining butter mixture, and whisk until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in Greek yogurt and vanilla.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes.
Invert cake onto wire rack and cool completely.
Optional: Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

CAPPUCCINO CHOCOLATE CHUNK MUFFINS: National Cappuccino Day

Today is National Cappuccino Day! A cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed-milk froth. The name cappuccino comes from the Capuchin friars, referring to the color of their habits. All this being said, I always look for a way to add chocolate to every 'food' holiday, and this is a great recipe for National Cappuccino Day!

Because I utilize a lot of Wilton products in my baking from pans to coloring, I came across this great recipe for Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins on the Wilton Website, and I adapted it just a bit. I like to have chocolate chunks rather than chips in my muffins! I use Wilton's Jumbo Muffin Pans, because if I'm going to have a muffin on National Cappuccino Day, it may as well be a big one!

CAPPUCCINO CHOCOLATE CHUNK MUFFINS

Tools:
Jumbo Muffin Pan
Jumbo Baking Cups

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided (or 65-75% dark chocolate, chopped into chunks)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped and divided
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup instant coffee granules
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg

Instructions
Makes: about 6 jumbo muffins

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line jumbo muffin pan with jumbo baking cups.
In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, 1/2 cup broken chocolate chunks,  1/4 cup chopped pecans, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
In small bowl, combine milk and coffee granules; stir until completely dissolved. Add melted butter and egg; mix well.
Add coffee mixture to flour mixture; mix until just moistened (Do not overmix).
Distribute mixture evenly into baking cups.
Sprinkle top of each muffin with reserved chocolate chunks and pecans.
Bake 25 to 28 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center of muffin is clean when removed. Remove from oven; cool muffins in pan 8 minutes.
Remove muffins from pan; cool completely on cooling grid.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE-ALMOND CAKE: National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day


Dorie Greenspan
is a Chocolate Goddess. But you knew that, right? I was looking around for a recipe for National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day and what should cross my desk but an article in the NYT by Dorie Greenspan for her Bittersweet Chocolate-Almond Cake with Amaretti Cookie Crumbs. This is an amazingly delicious cake that's easy to make and is very forgiving. The original recipe appeared in her debut cookbook, Sweet Times, in 1991. I have made it several times, but not with with the crushed amaretti cookies, and I think that will add great taste and texture when I make it again.

Here's a link to her article and the recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate-Almond Cake with Amaretti Cookie Crumbs! Have a great Chocolate with Almonds Day.


Friday, November 6, 2020

CHOCOLATE CINNAMON NACHOS: National Nachos Day!

Today is National Nachos Day. Nachos is a Tex-Mex dish from northern Mexico. Nachos is usually comprised of tortilla chips covered with melted cheese and jalapeno peppers and served as a snack. Sometimes Nachos would be served with salsa or guacamole. But this is a Chocolate Blog, so to celebrate today's holiday, make
Chocolate Cinnamon Nachos! This recipe is very slightly adapted from Taste of Home. So easy, too.

Chocolate Cinnamon Nachos

Ingredients
6 flour tortillas (8 inches)
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, divided
6 Tbsp sugar, divided
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (or very dark chocolate), chopped
1/2 tsp Mexican vanilla extract
(Optional)1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions
Brush both sides of tortillas with 4 Tbsp butter. Combine 2 Tbsp sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over one side of each tortilla.
Stack tortillas, sugared side up; cut into 12 wedges.
Arrange in single layer on baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes or until crisp.
Meanwhile, in heavy saucepan, combine cream, brown sugar, and remaining butter and sugar. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Remove from heat; stir in chocolate and vanilla. Cool slightly.
Arrange half of tortilla wedges on large serving platter.
Drizzle with half of chocolate sauce.
Optional:  Sprinkle with half of the pecans.  (I don't)
Repeat layers.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

HOMEMADE OH HENRY! BARS: 3 Recipes for National Candy Day!

Today is National Candy Day, and an Oh Henry! Bars is one of my favorites. Of course you can buy one to celebrate the day, but why not make your own?

So what exactly is an Oh Henry! Bar?  

From Wikipedia:

Oh Henry! is a chocolate bar containing peanuts, caramel, and fudge coated in chocolate. It was first introduced in 1920, by the Williamson Candy Company of Chicago, Illinois. According to legend, Oh Henry! was originally named after a boy who frequented the Williamson company, flirting with the girls who made the candy. The name is also said to be a homage to American writer, O. Henry. However, there is no definitive explanation as to the exact origin of the name.

Another theory is that the candy bar was invented by a man named Tom Henry of Arkansas City, Kansas. Tom Henry ran a candy company called the Peerless candy factory, and in 1919 he started making the Tom Henry candy bar. He sold the candy bar to Williamson Candy Company in 1920 where they later changed the name to "Oh Henry!". Henry's family now runs a candy factory in Dexter, Kansas that sells "momma henry" bars, which are nearly identical to the original candy bar.

In 1923, an employee of Williamson, John Glossinger, announced that he was going to make the Oh Henry! bar a national best seller. Company officials said it was impossible and denied him the funds for an advertising campaign. Glossinger went into the streets and pasted stickers saying merely "Oh Henry!" on automobile bumpers. People became curious as to what an Oh Henry! was and sales for the bar rose quickly.

1926 Oh Henry! Advertisement
Nestlé acquired the United States rights to the brand in 1984, and continues to produce the bar. In Canada, the bar is currently sold by The Hershey Company and manufactured at their Smiths Falls, Ontario facilities. Because of Canada's different chocolate standards, the Canadian "Oh Henry!" is not considered a "chocolate bar" and is labelled instead as a "candy bar." In fact, unlike the American version, which labels the bar as "milk chocolate," the Canadian version makes no mention of chocolate on the front of the wrapper. Hershey sells Oh Henry! bars made in Canada on a very limited basis in the United States as Rally bars, using the trademark of a Hershey product introduced in the 1970s and later discontinued.

Want to make your own Oh Henry! Bars? Here are three different recipes. Funny, but several of them include oats. I'm partial to #3 because it doesn't include oatmeal, but that's just me. The first two recipes really capture the flavor. Why not try all three?

1. Oh Henry! Candy Bars

Ingredients
4 cups oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup butter (melted)
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter

Directions
Mix together oatmeal, brown sugar, white sugar, and melted butter.
Press into greased 9 x 13 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter.
Spread over baked bars.
Put in fridge so frosting hardens completely.

2. Oh Henry! Candy Bars 

Ingredients
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup white Karo syrup
2 cups oatmeal

Directions
Melt butter, sugar ,and syrup.
Add oatmeal.
Press in well buttered 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Melt:
1 c. crunchy peanut butter
1 (6 oz.) chocolate chips

Cool bottom layer and spread mixture over the top.
Refrigerate.
Cut in squares.

3. Oh Henry! Candy Bars (my favorite recipe)

Part One
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
3/4 cup peanut butter

Directions:
Combine over heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Cook until it reaches the hard boil stage (265 degrees).
Let cool
Add peanut butter.
Stir, then shape into rolls 3/4 inch thick and 1 inch long.
Set aside.

Part Two
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 pounds peanuts, chopped fine
8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

Directions:
Cook corn syrup and sugar together until it reaches the hard boil stage (265 degrees).
Dip candy from first mixture into second mixture, then roll in peanuts while still hot.
Melt dark chocolate and dip rolls into melted chocolate
Place on parchment paper.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

CHOCOLATE MAYO BLT: National Sandwich Day

November 3 is National Sandwich Day, as opposed to National Sandwich Month which takes place throughout the Month of August. According to Gone-ta-pott.com this is a day to honor and enjoy sandwiches. A sandwich is defined as a food item made of two or more slices of leavened bread with one or more layers of filling, typically meat or cheese, with the addition sometimes of vegetables or salad. Sometimes mustard, mayonnaise, or butter is used.

I've posted may recipes for Chocolate Panini and Grilled Chocolate Cheese Sandwiches and the like, but I love this recipe that appeared in 2009 in the Recchiuti Chocolate newsletter. Michael has a dynamite Recipe for Brioche and Chocolate Mayo BLT. I love bacon and chocolate, and this is a subtle pairing. There's a Recipe for brioche that looks fairly easy, but if you can't wait, go out and buy a nice artisan brioche to use in this special BLT.

At the Cheese & Chocolate Taste Project, Recchiuti assembled his BLTs with his homemade brioche, applewood smoked bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, fresh butter lettuce, a thick slice of heirloom tomato and this great Chocolat-y mayonnaise.

CHOCOLATE MAYONNAISE

Ingredients
6 extra-large egg yolks
1/4 pound unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (I love Recchiuti chocolate!)
3 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper

Directions
Place yolks in a stainless steel mixing bowl.
Combine unsweetened chocolate and olive oil in double boiler and heat mixture to 115°F.
Begin beating egg yolks on medium speed for 1 minute, then increase speed to high and whip until doubled in volume.

Reduce speed to medium and add chocolate mixture to the yolks carefully, in fine stream. The yolks will start to emulsify and thicken. If mixture becomes too thick you may add a small amount of oil to loosen the mixture. Season to taste.

Note: This mayonnaise is meant for immediate use and will not keep well in the refrigerator.

Celebrate National Sandwich Day with this fabulous BLT!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

DAY OF THE DEAD DARK CHOCOLATE SKULL CAKES

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 Day of the Dead. You can also decorate with flowers and sugar candies.

DAY OF THE DEAD DARK CHOCOLATE SKULL 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 pure 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.