Thursday, March 31, 2022

LEMON-ORANGE BUNDT CAKE: National Oranges and Lemons Day

Today is National Oranges and Lemons Day! Who doesn't love a holiday celebration for lemons and oranges? Citrus is so versatile in cakes. I'm lucky to have both lemon and orange trees in my garden. Here's a recipe from Southern Living  (originally from Stop and Smell the Rosemary, Junior League of Houston) to celebrate the holiday--and perfect for a Spring Tea.





2 cups granulated sugar 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing pan 

1/2 cup vegetable shortening 

6 large eggs 

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan 

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

1 cup whole buttermilk 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 teaspoon lemon extract 

Vanilla Icing 

2 cups powdered sugar 

3 tablespoons whole milk 

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Lemon-Orange Icing 

2 cups powdered sugar 

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice 

1 drop yellow food coloring gel 

Additional Ingredients 

Thin lemon or orange slices, optional 


Prepare the Cake: 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. 

Beat sugar, butter, and shortening in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 5 to 6 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. 

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture in 5 additions, beginning and ending with flour, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla and lemon extracts. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan, and cool completely on rack, 30 to 40 minutes. 

Prepare Vanilla Icing: 

Whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle icing over Cake, letting it drip down sides. Refrigerate 10 minutes to allow icing to set. 

Prepare the Lemon-Orange Icing: 

Whisk together powdered sugar, fresh lemon and orange juices, and yellow food coloring gel in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle Lemon-Orange Icing over Vanilla Icing, letting it drip down sides. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes. Garnish with thin lemon or orange slices, if desired.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022


Today's my Birthday, and I just had to post this decadent recipe from See's Candies! I love See's, not only because it's a local company, but because See's really makes fabulous candy. One of the main ingredients in their chocolate candies is Guittard Chocolate, another local company. I'm on See's email list, and See's sent me a birthday email this month for Scotchmallow & Bordeaux Decadent Chocolate Cake. OMG.. This is one rich and outstanding Birthday Cake. 

Here's the recipe and See's photo! I know what chocolate cake I'm making for my birthday!

Scotchmallow® & Bordeaux™ Decadent Chocolate Cake
Makes 1 Cake (810 Servings)

Chocolate Cake Ingredients

2 cups boiling water
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 ¼ cups white sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 lb See's Custom Mix filled with
See's Dark Scotchmallows/Milk Bordeaux™ (1/2 pound of each)

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients 

8 oz See’s Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Chocolate Cake Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease three 46 in. round cake pans. Line with parchment.

2. In a medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in room temperature
eggs one at time, then stir in vanilla.

4. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture into prepared pans. Spread batter
evenly between them.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 18-24 minutes. Allow cake to cool in pans for 10 minutes.

6. Remove onto cooling rack until it reaches room temperature.

Chocolate Ganache Instructions

1. Bring heavy cream to a simmer on the stove top, stirring occasionally. Just as soon as you
see a simmer, remove from heat and poor over chocolate chips, swirling the bowl to make sure
all chips are covered.

2. Place lid on chocolate chips to trap the heat and let sit undisturbed (no mixing) for 5

3. Remove lid and swirl the chocolate chips with a whisk starting in the center and working
outward until smooth.

4. Let ganache come to room temperature. The longer ganache sits, the thicker and more of a
frosting it becomes.


1. Assemble cooled cake with a thin layer of chocolate ganache between each layer and 2
chopped Dark Scotchmallows®/Milk Bordeaux™ pieces (or as many as you’d like).

2. Apply a thin “naked” frosting coat over entire assembled cake. (Optional: Slightly heat the
cooled ganache in 10-second intervals at half power in a microwave. A slightly warmed ganache
makes for a smooth frosting finish.)

3. Use whole, halved and quartered candy pieces to embellish top of cake. Candies can be
stacked on wooden bamboo skewers and placed into cake for added height and drama.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

LEMON CHIFFON TRUFFLES: National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day

Today is National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day, and there's nothing so light and wonderful as a lemon chiffon cake made right! However, there really isn't a Chocolate Lemon Chiffon Cake, so instead to celebrate the day, make Lemon Chiffon Truffles. The truffle recipe below is simple to make. There's no coating.. so they're really easy. I always use Meyer lemons, maybe because I have 4 Meyer lemon trees that never stop producing lemons.. or maybe because Meyer Lemons have the best flavor.  For the white chocolate I use Guittard. Whichever you choose, use 'real' white chocolate.

Want to read a great book related to Lemon Cake? Read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.

No time to make these? Michael's Chocolates makes a great Lemoncello Truffle.


1/4 cup unsalted butter
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 cup white chocolate, finely chopped (real white chocolate not disks-I use Guittard)
3/4 tsp lemon extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar or sparkling sugar for coating

Put white chocolate in mixing bowl, set aside. Melt butter with lemon zest in saucepan. Stir in cream and heat until bubbles form around edges but not boiling.
Pour hot cream mixture over white chocolate. Add extract then stir until smooth.
Cover mixture and refrigerate 2 hours (or overnight) -- until firm enough to handle.
Scoop mixture by heaping teaspoon fulls and form into balls. Roll in powdered sugar or sparkling sugar.
Freeze truffles 20 minutes or refrigerate for one hour then enjoy.
Keep truffles in refrigerator until ready to eat.

My Garden with Meyer Lemon Tree

Monday, March 28, 2022

BLACK FOREST BUNDT CAKE: National Black Forest Cake Day!

Today is Black Forest Cake Day. A traditional Black Forest cake has multiple (usually 4) layers of chocolate sponge cake, cherries, frosted with whipped cream, and covered with chocolate shavings and cherries for decoration. Kirschwasser (cherry schnapps) is used to flavor the whipped cream. The bottom layers of sponge cake are also brushed with Kirschwasser (cherry schnaps) to provide moisture and a little extra flavor.

Over the years, I've posted recipes for traditional Black Forest Cake, but here's a great and easy recipe from Challenge Butter for Black Forest Bundt Cake. Want to make this more traditional? Serve with Cherry Schnapps Whipped Cream (recipe below) 

As to how Black Forest Cake got its name, some historians say it's possible that the name came from the traditional costume worn by women in the Black Forest. The dress was black (just like the chocolate flakes), the blouse is white (like the cream), and the hat has red pom-poms that look just like cherries. Well, maybe??

Black Forest Bundt Cake

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
2 tsp almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling  (I use Chukar's)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Generously butter (1-1/2 Tablespoons) a 12-cup Bundt pan (or similar sized pan).
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in sour cream, eggs, and almond extract.
Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add dry mix to creamed mixture alternating with the milk. Mix until well blended.
Spread 1/2 of batter into prepared Bundt pan, spreading batter slightly up the sides to form a trough. Spoon pie filling on top of batter; avoid touching sides and center of pan. Cover filling with remaining batter.
Bake 60 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pan 10-15 minutes; turn out onto wire rack or serving plate to complete cooling.
Sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving.
Serve plain or with Cherry Schnapps Whipped Cream

Cherry Schnapps (Kirsch) Whipped Cream

1-1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Kirsch

Beat cream, sugar, and kirsch in large bowl until peaks form. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.


Sunday, March 27, 2022


March 27 is World Whisky Day! For today's holiday, I've chosen Scotch Whisky since I've been a judge at several Scotch and Chocolate pairings. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it.

It's often difficult to decide which chocolates pair best with which Scotch, but since today is World Whisky Day, I thought I'd post a recipe for Single Malt Scotch Peanut Chocolate Truffles. It's the ultimate pairing of not two but three distinct flavors. You can decide on your own chocolate and your own Scotch. Keep the chocolate semi-sweet, so you have some sugar in there. I tend to go very dark, but not in this recipe. Recipe adapted from one by Florence Fabricant that appeared in the New York Times in 2008.

I love truffles. They're easy to prepare and look and taste great!

Single Malt Scotch Peanut Chocolate Truffles

1 pound--12 ounces dark chocolate (55-65% cacao-needs to be semisweet to offset the salted peanuts & Scotch)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 tsp honey (original recipe calls for floral honey)
3 Tbsp Single Malt Scotch Whisky
6 Tbsp salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Break 8 ounces chocolate into small pieces and place in metal bowl. Heat cream to a simmer and pour over chocolate. Stir until chocolate has melted and is smooth. If necessary, place bowl briefly over low heat to finish melting.
Stir in honey, Scotch, peanuts, and vanilla. Chill until firm, 2 hours.
Use small ice cream scoop to scoop small amounts of chocolate mixture. Quickly roll into 1 inch balls. Place on platter or baking sheet lined with parchment. Put in freezer to firm up (about 30 minutes).
Break up remaining chocolate and place 16 ounces in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on full power 2 to 3 minutes, stirring a few times, until melted. Remove from oven. Stir in remaining chocolate until melted. With two forks hold truffles and gently dip in melted chocolate to coat. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet at room temperature 15 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Saturday, March 26, 2022


I love a good cream tea, don't you? And that means there will be Scones! Here's a great recipe for Triple Chocolate Scones. Of course you'll want to add a heaping helping of Clotted Cream.

Triple Chocolate Scones 

1-3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla
6 Tbsp unsalted butter  (cold)
7-8 Tbsp whole milk  (cold)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 Tbsp chopped dark chocolate
Sugar Crystals 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Sift together dry ingredients in large bowl (not the chocolatae chips or chocolate).
Add chocolate chips and chopped dark chocolate.
Cut butter into dry ingredients until size of peas.
Put vanilla into small bowl and add milk. Pour most of milk mixture into dry mix and stir to moisten. Dough should be moist enough to form a soft ball, but not sticky. If needed, additional milk can be added 1-2 teaspoons at time.
Turn dough onto lightly floured cutting board and press out with hand to approximately 1/2 inch thickness. (makes 10-12 scones or 8-12 wedges)
Do not over-knead dough. Use as little flour as possible to keep dough from sticking to  board.
Cut into desired shapes and place on lightly greased baking sheet.
Lightly brush tops with milk (or not).
Sprinkle with sugar crystals (you can get this at King Arthur Flour or in the market in the baking section).
(If using a biscuit cutter or glass, dip the cutting edge in flour first)
Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on size. Start checking at 9 minutes. Do not overbake!
Sprinkle again with large sugar crystals while scones are still hot for visual appeal.

Scones are like biscuits. To get a tender, flaky scone, dough should be handled as little as possible, and you should always use cold butter and cold milk.


PAINTING: Beryl Cook  (one of my favorite artists)

Friday, March 25, 2022


Today is International Waffle Day. If you're following my food holidays, you'll know that there are actually two Waffle Days (U.S. Waffle Day- August 24).  My waffle maker doesn't come out as often as it should, but when it does, I wonder why I don't make waffles more often. The new waffle makers are so easy to clean.

So for today's Waffle Holiday, I'm making Chocolate Chip Waffles with Chocolate Maple Syrup! 


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips   

Chocolate Maple Syrup (see recipe below)

Preheat waffle maker.
In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
In smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and butter until well combined.
Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, fold in chocolate chips and stir with wooden spoon until just combined.
Grease waffle maker and pour batter into preheated prepared waffle iron.
Cook until steaming stops and waffles are crisp and golden, about 3 minutes (time depends on waffle maker).
Top with Chocolate Maple Syrup! 


1-1/2 cups pure maple syrup
4 Tbsp unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chopped
Pinch of salt

Heat maple syrup in small sturdy saucepan over moderate heat until hot.
Whisk in cocoa powder, butter, and pinch of salt. Turn down to simmer and whisk for a minute.
Serve syrup warm.
Syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week

Thursday, March 24, 2022

CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISINS: National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day

Today is National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day. If you read this blog, you know I've posted about Chocolate Covered Raisins before because I love them.  

What to do with Chocolate Covered Raisins: Throw some chocolate covered raisins in your oatmeal or use in cookies, bread, muffins, or coffee cake--or just eat them as a snack!

Raisinets are one of my favorite movie treats. Raisinets were first made in 1927 by the Blumenthal Chocolate Company. Nestlé acquired the brand in 1984 and added the motto "Taste the Sunshine." Raisinets are made with California Raisins and milk chocolate. There is now a dark chocolate version, as well. Many confectioners make chocolate covered raisins, so check them out, along with those from your favorite chocolatier.

Raisinets are nostalgia food for me. but the real cook in me says make your own if you want to get a higher-end chocolate covered raisin. Here's a simple recipe, and you can change it up by using different types of chocolate.

Chocolate Covered Raisins

6 ounces Chocolate -- 60%-75% chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
2 cup organic raisins

Combine chocolate and corn syrup in saucepan on top of another saucepan (or double boiler). Bring water to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook until chocolate melts, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar, vanilla, and raisins.
Drop by half teaspoons onto waxed paper; chill.
Store in refrigerator.

Celebrate Chocolate Covered Raisins Day! 
California Raisins Ads ... Enjoy

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

CHOCOLATE TAMALES: National Tamales Day!

Today is National Tamales Day! Make it Chocolate!

From TheSpruceEats: 

Tamales are a unique Pre-Columbian dish that is believed to have originated in Mesoamerica, the land between North and South America. Mexican tamales are perhaps the best-known version, however, almost all of the Central and South American cultures have adopted the dish into their own style of cooking. 

Tamales are a complete meal in a portable form. In most versions, tamales are made from a mixture of corn dough (masa) and filling, wrapped in a banana leaf or corn husk, and then steamed. The corn masa becomes firmer when steamed, and the tamale can be unwrapped and eaten on the go. Archeological evidence points to tamales being consumed by the ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures. The earliest tamales were simple. They were made with beans and squash and roasted over a fire. When Europeans brought chicken, pork, olives, raisins, and other foods with them to the New World, then tamales became more elaborate. 

And, since this is a Chocolate Blog, here's a unique version: Chocolate Tamales. Mix up a batch to celebrate today's holiday--or save the recipe for Cinco de Mayo!


1 cup milk
1 pound DARK Mexican chocolate, 65-75% cacao, chopped
1 pound butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 pounds corn flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
24 corn husks

Preheat oven to 350.
Boil milk and add chocolate. Stir constantly until chocolate is completely melted. Add butter and sugar. Mix until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Mix corn flour and baking powder together in bowl. Slowly add chocolate mixture and mix by hand for 10 minutes.
Grease 2 (12 cup) muffin pans and line with corn husks. Fill with chocolate tamale mixture and bake for 20 minutes.


You might also want to try this recipe for Mexican Chocolate Sweet Tamales with Hot Honey from Hola Jalapeno.  

Or this recipe from Rick Bayless for Chocolate Tamales

 Or this delicious recipe from Mission Chocolate for Sweet Dark Chocolate Tamales

 Here's a recipe for Chocolate Stuffed Tamales from Deb Lindsey for the Washington Post.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Bavarian Crepes: Bavarian Crepe Day

Today is Bavarian Crepe Day, and it's a perfect day for these pancake-like desserts. A Bavarian crepe is made from buckwheat flour or wheat flour. It is usually filled with Bavarian cream and then topped with fruits, chocolate, and whipped cream.

Bavarian Crepes are popular in Central and Eastern Europe and are similar to French crepes (thin pancakes). The popularity of Bavarian crepes is that they were usually filled with rich Bavarian cream.

The following recipe doesn't include Bavarian Cream, but you can easily add it before you flip the crepes. These crepes are very versatile.



4 eggs, beaten 

2 cups milk 

1 1⁄2 cups flour 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 

1⁄2 teaspoon salt 

2 tablespoons sugar 

Chocolate Chips

Dark Chocolate Sauce 


Whipped Cream


Mix all ingredients; don't over beat. Mix may have some lumps. Heat skillet and melt butter. Pour about 1/2 cup mix in circle into skillet and fry until bubbly. Turn over and fry until light brown. Sprinkle with Chocolate Chips. Roll up and drizzle chocolate sauce. Top with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

Monday, March 21, 2022


Today is California Strawberry Day. I love California Strawberries. They're always great. Celebrate with an easy to make Strawberry Dutch Baby. A Dutch Baby is a cross between a souffle and an omelet. You make this in an iron skillet that bakes in the oven. So easy and so versatile.

Strawberry Chocolate Dutch Baby

1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup (6 ounces) dark chocolate (65-70%), chopped
1 pint basket fresh California strawberries, stemmed and sliced
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Melt butter in 10-inch ovenproof iron skillet.
In container of electric blender measure eggs, milk, and flour. Blend until smooth.
Pour into hot skillet.
Bake in oven for 2 minutes.
Remove from oven; sprinkle chocolate pieces over pancake and return to oven.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes until puffed and golden brown.
Top with strawberries and dust with sugar.
Serve immediately, cut into wedges.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL POKE CAKE: National Chocolate Caramel Day

I love Chocolate and Caramel and since today is National Caramel Day, here's an easy recipe for Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake adapted from my good friend Elsie the Cow!

There are all kinds of Poke Cake recipes, but basically a Poke Cake is a cake that's been poked with the bottom of a wooden spoon as soon as it's hot out of the oven. Then liquid--in this case caramel sauce--is poured over it, and the cake absorbs it in varying areas. Yum! This is a great Retro Recipe that you're going to love it!

Chocolate Caramel Poke Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix (Duncan Hines)
1-14 oz. can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1-14 oz. jar of caramel topping (Rechiutti Caramel sauce)
Container of Cool Whip  (or update this recipe with real whipped cream)
Toffee Bits or crumbled Heath Bars

Mix Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk and caramel together (warm up, if you need to).
Prepare cake as instructed on box. Bake in rectangular pan.
Remove cake from oven when done and poke holes in top of cake (I use the bottom of a wooden spoon) and pour caramel mixture evenly over cake while cake is still hot.
Refrigerate for at least two hours.
Spread with Cool Whip (or whipped cream)
Sprinkle with Toffee Bits or crumbled Heath Bars.

Friday, March 18, 2022


Welcome, Spring! Here's a "Springtime Fancy Cake" Advertisement from 1953. It's not chocolate, but it's so fun! Made with Dexo! Dexo was similar to Crisco.

"In the Spring, a young (5 to 95!) man's fancy really turns to thoughts of 'what's cookin?'

Wednesday, March 16, 2022


Happy St. Patrick's Day! It's a Lovely Day for a Guinness! Add Chocolate! Here's an easy and delicious recipe for Guinness Stout Brownies. The texture of these brownies is great: mousse, candy, fudge, cake. You won't actually taste the stout (although it will make these brownies moist - but you will in the buttercream frosting), so have a pitcher or mug of Guinness on hand to drink.


1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Scharffen Berger)
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted Irish butter, cut into cubes
8 ounces dark 60-75% chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup white chocolate (make sure it's real cocoa butter white chocolate), chopped
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup superfine or granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups (10 ounces) Guinness Extra Stout beer (see Note below)
1 cup 60 % chocolate, chopped into small pieces (or chocolate chips)
optional: 1/8 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line 9 x13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil.
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt until evenly combined. Set aside.
Melt butter, dark chocolate, and white chocolate in double-boiler over simmering water, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat.
In large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined.
Beat reserved flour mixture into melted chocolate mixture.
Whisk in Guinness stout beer. Batter will seem thin.
Drop chocolate smaller bits  (or chips) evenly on top of batter (some will sink in).
Pour into prepared baking pan.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes on center rack in the oven, until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean.
Let brownies cool, uncovered, to room temperature.
Optional: Frost with Guinness Buttercream Frosting (I like mine plain)

Note: Guinness should be at room temperature. This recipe uses a little less than a standard 12-ounce bottle of Guinness stout beer. Do not include foam in the measurement. Spoon off foam or let rest until foam subsides. 

Guinness Buttercream Frosting 

1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 whole scraped vanilla bean
1/2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup Guinness extra stout

In saucepan, simmer Guinness on low heat for 10-15 min, until stout becomes reduced and thicker in consistency--similar to syrup. *Tip: keep your eye on the store, so stout does not over cook. Let cool.
In stand mixer, cream butter 1 minute.
Slowly add powdered sugar in thirds, alternating with some milk each time till mixture is creamy.
Add scraped vanilla bean and vanilla extract.
Slowly add reduced Guinness a little at a time. Taste test to desired flavor. You may not use all the Guinness reduction.
Spread on cooled brownies.

Pour yourself a big mug of Guinness and drink while making ... or drink with Brownies. Your choice!


Here's one of my favorite recipes for St. Patrick's Day: Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake It's easy to make and decidedly Irish. Be sure and check out the Bailey's Irish Cream Whipped Cream recipe at the end. It's great on this cheesecake or in your coffee on St Patrick's Day!

Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake
(recipe adapted from AllRecipes)

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (whirl them in a food processor)
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened Ghirardelli or Scharffen Berger cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter (I used Kerrygold, an Irish butter)
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened Ghirardelli or Scharffen Berger Cocoa powder
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, confectioners' sugar, and 1/3 cup cocoa. Add melted butter and stir until well mixed. Pat into bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes; set aside. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

In large bowl, combine cream cheese, white sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, and flour. Beat at medium speed until well blended and smooth. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in sour cream and Bailey's; mixing on low speed. Pour filling over baked crust.
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F, and continue baking for 60 minutes.
With knife, loosen cake from rim of pan. Let cool, then remove rim of pan. Chill before serving.

Tip: If your cake cracks, dampen spatula and smooth top, then sprinkle with some chocolate wafer crumbs.

You can also top this Cheesecake with Bailey's Whipped Cream (or make some and add to your coffee!)

Bailey's Whipped Cream

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp Baileys Irish Cream

Whip heavy cream to soft peaks.
Add Baileys Irish Cream and whisk until combined.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022


The Jewish Holiday of Purim starts tonight, and that means it's time for Hamentaschen. Hamentaschen are three pointed pastries with delicious fillings. Traditionally that means mun (prune), but since this is a chocolate blog, and chocolate is my favorite, I suggest chocolate chip hamentaschen with a variety of chocolate and other sweet fillings!

Why does the pastry have three corners in the shape of a triangle? That would be because Hamentaschen are shaped like Hamen's Hat. Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Hamen, who planned to kill all the Jews. This took place in the ancient Achaemenid Perisan Empire and is recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther. It's a fun holiday with food, drink, gifts,  charity -- and costumes. Interesting to note, when I was a child I never dressed as Queen Esther as most of the other little girls did. No, I was a hamentaschen. I made my own costume out of a paperbag, painting in the filling. It was a surprise to my classmates and family, but certainly foretold my future career and interests in baking, art, and fashion design.

Here are two recipes for CHOCOLATE CHIP HAMENTASCHEN. The first is from MyJewishLearning. The second recipe is Paula Soyer's recipe and appeared in Hadassah Magazine. They're both great. Let me know which you prefer.

(from MyJewish Learning)


For the dough: 
½ cup butter (or margarine), at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk (or almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
 ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Filling suggestions: 
Chocolate hazelnut spread
Dulce de leche
Cookie butter
Chocolate chips + mini marshmallows

Beat butter and sugars together until smooth. Add egg, milk, and vanilla until mixed thoroughly.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in separate bowl.
Add dry mixture to wet mixture until incorporated.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Chill dough for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Dust work surface with flour to keep the dough from sticking. Cut dough in half and roll out in batches. Roll dough to about ¼ – ½ inch thick. Using round cookie cutter, cut dough and place onto cookie sheet. To keep dough from sticking to cookie cutter, dip cutter in flour before each cut. (In place of a cookie cutter, you can also use a regular drinking glass or mason jar top).
Fill cookies with scant 1/2 tsp of chocolate hazelnut spread, dulce de leche, cookie butter or a few chocolate chips + mini marshmallow in each round. Pinch circle into triangle.
Repeat with remaining dough, putting scraps back into dough 3-4 times until all dough has been used. Place cookies on baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper and place entire baking sheet into freezer for 5 minutes before baking (or put in fridge for 10-15 minutes). This will ensure the cookie don’t fall apart while baking.
Bake for 8 minutes.
Allow to cool before serving.

(recipe by Paula Shoyer-one of my favorite cookbook authors)

3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
Dash of salt
3 ozs semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces, no larger than 1/4 inch

6 1/2 ozs semisweet or bittersweet chocolate cut into 1/2-inch squares, or 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

In large bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix until dough comes together. Gently mix in chopped chocolate. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave in fridge for one hour to firm up.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Divide dough in half.
Take another two pieces of parchment paper and sprinkle flour on one, place one dough half on top, and then sprinkle a little more flour on top of dough. Place second piece of parchment on top of dough and roll on top of parchment until dough is about 1/4-inch thick. Every few rolls, peel back top parchment and sprinkle a little more flour on dough.
Use 2- to 3-inch drinking glass or round cookie cutter to cut  dough into circles. Use metal flat-blade spatula to lift up circle of dough and place on another part of flour-sprinkled parchment paper. Place one, 1/2-inch square of chocolate or 7 chocolate chips into the center and then fold three sides in toward middle to form a triangle, leaving small opening in center. Pinch three sides together tightly. Place on prepared cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining dough and roll and cut any dough scraps, making sure to sprinkle a little flour under and over dough before you roll.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned but tops are still light. Slide parchment paper onto wire racks to cool the cookies. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.


And, as with many baked goods such as bars and cookies, you can always dip your Hamentaschen in melted chocolate for that extra chocolate touch!

Monday, March 14, 2022


Today is Pi Day, and for this Chocolate Blog that means Pie Day! A few years ago I posted the recipe for Marshmallow Mermaid Pie from the movie Waitress. Waitress (2007) was written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly. Jenna, played by Keri Russell (The Americans), is a woman trapped in a life she dreams of escaping. Jenna bakes this pie--Falling in Love Chocolate Mousse Pie -- for a friend before a date, and the friend winds up marrying her date! This pie is easy to make and delicious. It's a great one to celebrate Pi(e) Day!

Falling in Love Chocolate Mousse Pie

9-inch baked pastry shell
1 1/4 ounce can condensed milk (not evaporated)
2/3 cups water
1 (4 serving) package chocolate pudding mix (not instant)
1 1-ounce square unsweetened chocolate
2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream, stiffly whipped

In large saucepan, combine condensed milk, water, and pudding mix; mix well. Add chocolate. Over medium heat, cook, and stir rapidly until chocolate melts and mixture thickens. Remove from heat; beat until smooth. Cool. Chill thoroughly; stir. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into prepared pastry shell. Chill 4 hours until set.

Sunday, March 13, 2022


Today is National Coconut Torte Day. Add chocolate! I really like this recipe for Coconut Almond Torte from Ghiradelli. It's easy and delicious. Make it today to celebrate!


1 1/3 cups Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 1/4 cups whole almonds
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
8 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar, or more to taste


Position rack in the lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch spring form pan.
In food processor, pulse almonds, salt, and 1/4 cup of the sugar to consistency of crumbs. Set aside. Beat egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tarter at high speed until they hold a soft shape. Gradually beat in remaining 1/2 cup sugar until eggs whites are stiff but not dry. Transfer to a large bowl.
Fold in almond mixture. Set aside 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to sprinkle on top of torte.
Fold remaining chocolate chips and coconut into batter.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with reserved chocolate chips.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until torte is puffed and golden, and  edges are starting to shrink from the sides of pan.
Cool on  rack.
To serve, whip cream with vanilla and sugar.
Remove sides of the pan and transfer torte to serving platter. Serve torte slices with whipped cream.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

MILKY WAY BROWNIES: National Milky Way Day!

Tomorrow is Milky Way Day. Although I've posted Milky Way recipes in the past, I didn't know there was a Milky Way Day until a few years ago. Milky Way Bars have been around for almost a 100 years, so I shouldn't be surprised. Lots of Milky Way Ads from WWII, but I chose to post this ad for Milky Way Bars from 1930 because the woman is reading a book and eating a Milky Way. Very cool!

My friend Donna always had Milky Way bars in her freezer, and I'd stop by her house on the way to school and have one. BTW, it wasn't really on the way, but worth the walk in the wrong direction through the park. I love frozen Milky Way Bars. When we were older, Donna and I got a ride to high school with a neighbor. While we waited for him, we availed ourselves of the Milky Way bars on his family's coffee table! Maybe this wasn't particularly healthy, but it was a delicious way to start the day. And, I must admit, my parents didn't know about candy in the morning. They would have been horrified.

Now, I buy miniature Milky Way bars to give out at Halloween. We don't get many kids where I live, so I put the 'extras' (that would be all of them) in the freezer. How to use them up? In Brownies, of course. And, these two recipes for Milky Way Brownies are great! One's for home, and the other's for a crowd!


Make your favorite Brownie Mix (I like Ghirardelli), following directions by adding the 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg, and 1/3 cup water. At 20 minutes into baking (350F), put about 7 ounces of chopped up miniature Milky Way Bars or Milky Way Bites on top. Bake another 20 minutes. Oh yum!


Have a crowd coming over? Want to make a batch of Milky Way Brownies from scratch? This recipe is the Bees Knees!

1 pound unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 pound dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (or very dark - 90%), chopped
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
7 large eggs
2 Tbsp pure vanilla
2 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 ounces miniature Milky Way bars, chopped
2 Milky Way Bars, sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 12x18x1-inch pan. Line with foil that hangs over sides (butter the parchment). This makes it easier to get brownies out.
In metal bowl or saucepan over saucepan of simmering water, heat butter and chocolate until melted and smooth; cool slightly.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs, espresso powder, vanilla, and sugar. Stir egg mixture into slightly cooled chocolate mixture. Cool to room temperature.
In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to batter. Stir chopped mini Milky Way bars into chocolate mixture. Then pour into prepared baking pan and smooth top with rubber spatula.
Place slices of full-size Milky Way Bar on top of brownie batter.
Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake!
Let cool completely, then cover tightly and chill overnight. These are very gooey, so be sure to chill if you want to cut them!

Friday, March 11, 2022

CHOCOLATE GUINNESS CAKE: 3 Recipes for St. Patrick's Day!

For St. Patrick's Day every year, I post a lot of Guinness recipes. No big surprise because when I think of Ireland, I think of shamrocks, rainbows, leprechauns...and Guinness.

Guinness Stout was founded in 1759 when Arthur Guinness signed a 9000 (!) year lease on a brewery in Dublin. That brewery is still the center of Guinness operations, and all the Guinness sold in the UK, Ireland, and North America is brewed there! FYI for those of you in the U.K., Guinness is served chilled in Ireland and the bottles read "Serve Extra Cold."

St. Patrick's Day calls for a Chocolate Guinness Cake! I've put together three recipes. One of my favorite Chocolate Guinness Cake Recipes is from the New York Times (12/8/04). There are several other recipes I like, including an "Easy" Chocolate Guinness Cake made from a cake mix and a whole bottle of Guinness. The final one on today's post is from Chef Brian Leth of Vinegar Hill House and appeared in People Magazine in 2012 (see below). My friend Loanne Heavey Slapar swears by it (see photo below). It's pretty similar to the one from the NYT, but I'll bet it all comes down to the cocoa .. and a bit of technique. Being Irish helps, too!

Recipe from NYT (see above)

Butter for pan
1 cup Guinness stout
10 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/8 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa
2 cups superfine sugar
3/8 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper.
In large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts, then remove from heat. Add cocoa and superfine sugar. Whisk to blend.
In small bowl, combine sour cream, eggs, and vanilla; mix well. Add to Guinness mixture. Add flour and baking soda, and whisk again until smooth. Pour into buttered pan, and bake until risen and firm, 45 minutes to one hour. Place pan on wire rack and cool completely in pan.
Remove cake from pan and place on platter or cake stand.
Ice the top with cream cheese icing.

The NYT recipe uses a white cream cheese icing. If you use a white cream cheese icing, you can ice the top of cake only, so that it resembles a frothy pint of Guinness. If you use chocolate, well.... you'll be eating more chocolate!


Don't have the time or inclination to make a cake from scratch? This Chocolate Guinness Cake is even easier and calls for more Guinness!!! This recipe is from Canela and CominoDon't worry about the taste or smell of the Guinness because you're using the whole bottle. You'll only have a tang from the Guinness and no yeasty smell, just great chocolate aroma!


1 box of dark chocolate cake mix (one with pudding in the mix)
1 bottle of Guinness Stout
Loanne Heavey Slapar with her Chocolate Guinness Cake
1/2 cup of Canola oil
3 eggs
4 ounces Bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine cake mix, Stout, oil, and eggs in mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed just until combined. Add bittersweet chocolate and gently stir in. Divide between two 8” cake pans, coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when stuck in middle.
Remove from oven and cool in pans for about 15 minutes, then transfer to  cooling rack. Once cooled, frost with a rich Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.  (see recipe above or use canned)


From People Magazine/Vinegar Hill House: