Monday, July 31, 2023


I love Chocolate and Raspberries, especially when they're together in a cake. So here's an easy recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Cake for National Raspberry Cake Day! Recipe below from BUTTER with a side of BREAD. Main ingredients you need - a chocolate cake mix (I like Duncan Hines) and a bag of frozen raspberries. And, you can make this in a bundt pan, so it's also pretty. You can frost or not. Of course, if you're a purist, here's a link to my all time favorite 'from scratch' Chocolate Raspberry Cake from Martha Stewart. Not only does it use fresh raspberries, but there's a splash of of raspberry liqueur in the recipe! Two choices to celebrate the day!


1 chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup oil
1 (12 oz) bag frozen raspberries

Partially thaw raspberries  (set out for 20-30 minutes before making cake).
Mix cake mix, eggs, sour cream, and oil together with electric mixer.
Fold in frozen raspberries (Tip: Use electric mixer for about 5-10 seconds to chop up raspberries a bit but still have some larger pieces of raspberry in cake).
Pour into well-greased Bundt pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cool 10-15 minutes before inverting pan and placing the cake on plate.


5 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup milk
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
Add milk and sugar and bring to boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute and then remove from heat.
Stir in chocolate chips until completely melted and smooth.
Let set for minute or two to set up a little bit, making it the best consistency to pour/spread on cake.

And, as I mentioned above, you can always make a Chocolate Raspberry Cake from Scratch using fresh raspberries.

Sunday, July 30, 2023


TODAY is National Cheesecake Day. Here's a great and easy recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake from Hershey's.


1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 packages cream cheese (8 oz. each), softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) (14 oz.)
4 eggs
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

Prepare CHOCOLATE CRUMB CRUST (see below). Heat oven to 300°F.
Place butter in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 30 to 45 seconds or until melted. Stir in cocoa until smooth; set aside.
Beat cream cheese in large bowl. Add cocoa mixture; beat well. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes or until set. (Center will be soft.) Remove pan from oven to wire rack; loosen cake from side of pan. Cool completely; remove side of pan. To serve, garnish as desired. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake. Garnish as desired. Makes 12 servings.

Place 6 tablespoons butter in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 30 seconds or until melted. Stir in 1-1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (about 45 wafers, crushed), 6 tablespoons powdered sugar and 6 tablespoons HERSHEY'S Cocoa; blend well. Press mixture onto bottom and 1/2 inch to 1-inch up side of 9-inch springform pan.

Saturday, July 29, 2023


Today is National Friendship Day, so in honor of the holiday, I think a loaf of Triple Chocolate Friendship Bread is in order. Although this seems like a quick bread, it uses a yeast starter, so you'll need Amish Friendship Bread Starter. See recipe below. The Triple Chocolate Friendship Bread recipe is from Carroll Pellegrinelli at and appeared in 2010. I like that it adds cocoa and cinnamon and dark chocolate chips to a 'normal' Chocolate Friendship Bread. You'll love it!

If you don't already have an Amish Friendship Bread Starter, the recipe below will make enough for three. Then you'll be able to divide the starter and give to two friends and have some for yourself. And, isn't that what friendship is all about? Yes, it takes a lot of time since the starter needs to ferment, but it's fun. It's also a great project with kids!

Tip: Do not use any metal bowls or utensils with the starter.


2 cups flour 
1-1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 Tbsp DARK cocoa 
2 tsp cinnamon 
1 cup sugar 
1 (5 ounce) instant Chocolate pudding mix 
1 portion (approximately 1 cup) Friendship Bread Starter 
1 cup vegetable oil 
1/2 cup whole milk 
3 eggs 
1 cup chocolate chips (or dark chocolate, chopped) 
Turbinado sugar, optional
Preheat  oven to 325 degrees F.  
Grease and flour two 8x4-inch loaf pans. Optional, sprinkle entire pans with turbinado sugar after greasing and flouring.  (yummy)
Combine first set of ingredients in large bowl with wire whisk. 
In medium bowl, combine second set of ingredients. Mix well. 
To dry ingredients, add wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips (or the chopped chocolate chunks). 
Carefully, divide batter between the prepared pans. 
Optionally, sprinkle tops of batter with more turbinado sugar. 
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until done.

Original recipe makes 4 cups of starter

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3 cups white sugar, divided 3 cups milk

In small bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand 10 minutes.
In 2 quart container glass, plastic or ceramic container (never metal!--and no metal spoons), combine 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or flour will lump when milk is added. Slowly stir in 1 cup milk and dissolved yeast mixture.
Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly.
Consider this day 1 of the 10 day cycle. Leave loosely covered at room temperature.
On days 2 through 4; stir starter with a spoon.
Day 5; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk.
Days 6 through 9; stir only.
Day 10; stir in 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk.
Remove 1 cup to make your Triple Chocolate Amish Friendship Bread, give 2 cups (either in a small crock or Ziploc Bag!) to friends along with this recipe, and the Triple Chocolate Amish Bread recipe.
Store the remaining 1 cup starter in a container in the refrigerator, or begin the 10 day process over again (beginning with step 2).
If you used a ziploc bag, your friends can either keep it in the bag and 'perform' all the rituals or they can put it in a small crock or other non-metal container.

FROZEN S'MORES BARS on a Hot Summer Day!

What a brutal hot summer this has been. By the end of July I'm usually posting a lot of S'mores recipes to make around the campfire, but because of the heat, I think S'mores can no longer be relegated to summer campfires. Try making this Frozen treat at home! 

This is a variation ontraditional S'mores, and it's so easy and great on a hot day: FROZEN S'MORES BARS. You can glam these up by making your own graham crackers and using fabulous chocolate and making your own Marshmallow Fluff (recipe below). But, if you're in a hurry and just want a yummy treat, use store bought grahams, Marshmallow Fluff, and dark chocolate.

How to make these: 
Basically you're freezing marshmallow cream between two graham crackers, dipping the'sandwiches'  in melted dark chocolate and then freezing! How easy is that?

Want to be more precise?


Put graham crackers bottom side up on parchment lined cookie sheet. Pipe (use a ziplock with a corner cut out or piping bag) marshmallow cream onto graham crackers and top with graham crackers. Put in freezer to harden (30 minutes).
Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave. Let cool a bit (can't be too hot or will start to melt the cream).
Keep cookies in freezer until ready to use. Take a few out and dip halfway in chocolate. Put back in freezer. Continue to dip. Freeze until hard.

Want to make your own Marshmallow Fluff?

3 egg whites, room temp
2 cups lite corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp Madagascar vanilla

In bowl of stand mixer with whisk attachment, add egg whites, corn syrup, and salt.
On high speed whisk for 5 minutes, until thick and doubled.
On low speed, add powdered sugar. Mix until blended. Add vanilla and blend.

Want to make Chocolate Graham Crackers for triple the chocolate?
Here's a link to my recipe for Chocolate Graham Crackers!

Friday, July 28, 2023


Ice-cream has been on the menu every day at my house during this brutally hot July. What about you? 

So for today's Food holiday, National Chocolate Milk Day, have some Chocolate Milk & Cookies Ice Cream from Ben & Jerry's, one of my favorites. But if you want to take it up a notch, Chocolate Milk & Cookies Ice Cream Bark is fab. Recipe from the Ben & Jerry's. The fruit and nuts and Greek yogurt really add to this 'unique' bark! As with most recipes like this, you can 'shake it up' and add other fruits and ingredients. It's an incredibly versatile recipe. And, of course, you can always just have some Chocolate Milk & Cookies ice cream, straight from the pint to celebrate the day!

Chocolate Milk & Cookies Ice Cream Bark 


1 cup Greek yogurt
1 pint Topped Chocolate Milk & Cookies Ice Cream
1/4 cup halved raspberries
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup mixed nuts, chopped


Remove the Chocolate Milk & Cookies Ice Cream from the freezer and let soften. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Spread Greek yogurt into a thin layer measuring approximately 8’ x 11’ and freeze for at least 15 minutes.

Spread the softened Chocolate Milk & Cookies ice cream on top of the yogurt layer.

Prepare your toppings.

Sprinkle the raspberries, blueberries, and chopped nuts on top of the ice cream layer. Freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.

Remove from freezer, peel off parchment or wax paper, break into pieces, and serve immediately. 

Thursday, July 27, 2023


Today is National Scotch Day. Scotch goes well with many dark chocolates, and I've been to a few Scotch and Chocolate Tastings. Have a look at the Nibble for an Overview of Pairing Chocolate & Scotch.  You can have your own tasting at home.

If you'd rather have your Scotch and Chocolate together in one bite, try this Scotch Whisky Fudge.

No time to make this? Many Scots purveyors offer Whisky Fudge, including Glengoyne, Laphroaig, Old Pulteney,  and The Famous Grouse. 


12 ounce dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup Scotch Whisky
2 (1 lb) boxes powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or 1 cup chopped walnuts

Melt chocolate in microwave or double broiler, stirring frequently. As soon as chocolate is melted, mix Scotch with powdered sugar in large bowl and add to melted chocolate, stir well, add nuts.
Turn into 13x9x2-inch pan and cover with plastic wrap. This sets quickly, so cool it long enough to set but still warm enough to cut.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

BARBIE COOKBOOKS & Recipe for Granola Bars with White Chocolate Drizzle

The world seems to be swept up in Barbie Fever. Last weekend I posted about Barbie, the Chocoholic, with some wonderful See's Candies Barbie Dolls

But what was Barbie cooking? Although, I may not have a collection of Barbie Dolls, I do have several Barbie CookBooks in my "theme" cookbook collection. My favorite Barbie Cookbook is the first one (1964) Barbie's Easy-As-Pie Cookbook. There have been many more since, but this is the gold standard in my opinion.  Scroll down to see a few of the Cookbooks. Because this is a "chocolate' blog, I've also posted a recipe from one of the cookbooks for a 'healthier' choice of snack: Granola Bars with White Chocolate Drizzle.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

1-2-3 Fudge Sauce: Hot Fudge Sundae Day!

Today is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day! I really like Hot Fudge Sauce on cold vanilla ice cream.

This Retro Ad with Recipe for 1-2-3 Fudge Sauce is from Carnation Evaporated Milk, September 7, 1953. You can follow the recipe, or you can make your own. I just love these vintage ads, don't you? So here's a way to beat the heat! I would use 4 squares, of course. If you decide to substitute some excellent artisan chocolate with a lower cacao, be sure and cut down on the sugar!

Monday, July 24, 2023


Tequila is a versatile liquor that goes well in lots of beverages. It even goes well in truffles. See my recipe for Tequila Truffles HERE.

Since today is National Tequila Day, I thought I'd post some recipes using Tanteo Cocoa Tequila. Yes, you can make drinks with tequila and your own chocolate liqueur, but Tanteo Cocoa Tequila is a chocolate-infused Tequila that's delicious. It's made with 100% agave blanco tequila and infused with cocoa beans and jalapeño. I love the extra kick of the jalapeño, and the chocolate blends well with the natural agave. Tanteo Cocoa Tequila isn't overly sweet, either, so it's quite the grown-up chocolate drink! These Chocolate Tequila Cocktail recipes are from the Tanteo website.

1-1⁄4 oz Tanteo Cocoa Tequila
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
3/4 oz Campari
1 Drop Mole Bitters

Add ingredients into an ice filled mixing glass
Stir and strain into a Champagne coupe glass
Garnish with a flamed orange zest

1-1/2 oz Tanteo Cocoa Tequila
1/2 oz Kahlua
2 oz Club Soda
lime wedge for garnish

Combine the tequila and Kahlua in a cocktail shaker filled with ice
Shake well
Pour everything into a rocks glass
Top with club soda
Garnish with a lime wedge

Have a Great Tequila Day!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

BARBIE: I Left My Heart in San Francisco!

So much press about Barbie now with the premiere of the new Barbie movie! Everywhere you look, it's all about Barbie. So it's time for another Barbie post!

If truth be told, I fancied myself 'too old' for Barbie Dolls, so I never had any or played with anyone else's dolls. Nevertheless, I secretly admired the dolls for their clothes. I often designed clothes for my paperdolls, and I could easily have seen myself designing for Barbie. Alas, that was another career not fulfilled. (If you're looking for some really outstanding Barbie outfits with impeccable tailoring, design, and details, don't miss my friend Kathleen Taylor's Etsy shop - KathleenTaylorsStuff)

And, in case you don't know, Barbie is a chocolaholic. She is very partial to See's Candies, as am I. I finally got my first Barbie doll, the "I Left my Heart in San Francisco" Barbie, when I did a special event for the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau (now known as San Francisco Travel). I love this Barbie--so San Francisco! She's dressed in an early 60s outfit, with hat and gloves, out for a day of lunch and shopping, with a wonderful See's Candies shop in the background. I like to think she's a lady who lunches, probably in Union Square. 

The following See's Candies dolls use to sell at See's. No longer, but you can find them on eBay, and other sites.

Saturday, July 22, 2023


Today is Penuche Fudge Day. This tasty fudge is sometimes called Penuche Fudge, sometimes Brown Sugar Fudge, Creamy Praline Fudge, New England Fudge, and even Sucre a la Creme (in Canada)! Whatever you call it, it's fabulous.

Historically, Penuche Fudge has been attributed to New England (New England Fudge) as well as some places in the South (Creamy Praline), but there are many variations in nearly every part of the world. Milk is usually boiled down to thick fudge,  and then brown sugar is added to it to create the distinctive butterscotch taste. This fudge is very similar to Mexican Cajeta which is also a kind of sweetened thickened goat’s milk with the same dull brown color of penuche. There are also many East Indian versions of the same dish using thickened milk called as peda or milk fudge burfi. The only difference between the regional variations is the thickness of the eventual dish. Cajeta is liquidy and can be used a as a spread, while penuche is semi-soft like a fudge and pedas or milk burfis are stiffer. But the basic ingredients in the penuche fudge recipe and preparation process are the same. Dulce du leche is another very popular version where condensed milk is thickened with hours of cooking resulting in a thick paste. Different versions of this dish are very popular all over Latin America and France even though they are given different names.

O.K. I meant to mention that there's no chocolate in Penuche Fudge. So if you want Chocolate Fudge, check out my National Fudge Day Recipe Round-Up!

Penuche Fudge

4 cups brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups chopped pecans

Combine brown sugar, cream, and butter in medium saucepan. Stir until dissolved. Heat to between 234 and 240 degrees F.
Remove from heat and stir until mixture loses its gloss (or process in food processor 30 seconds) Quickly stir in vanilla and nuts and spread into 9 x 9 inch dish.
Chill before cutting into squares.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Chocolate Creme Brûlée: National Creme Brûlée Day!

Celebrate National Creme Brûlée Day, today's food holiday, with Chocolate Creme Brûlée. My favorite no fail Recipe for Chocolate Creme Brulee comes from Paula Deen. I love her recipe because it's easy, contains alcohol (Chocolate Liqueur), and tastes fantastic. Because this recipe calls for egg yolks only, use the extra egg whites to make Chocolate Meringues.

Chocolate Creme Brûlée

1 quart heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 ounce chocolate liqueur (recommended: Godiva Liqueur)
1/2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 ounces dark cocoa powder
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (remember the best quality makes a difference)
11 large egg yolks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add heavy cream, sugar, liqueur, and vanilla. When mixture is warm add cocoa powder and chocolate and whisk until blended.
Place egg yolks in large stainless steel bowl.
Slowly add warm chocolate mixture to eggs a little at time while whisking.
Strain and pour into individual porcelain ramekins.
Place ramekins in a large baking pan.
Pour enough hot water into pan to come half way up sides of ramekins.
Bake until firm in center, about 30 minutes.
Remove ramekins from water bath and let cool completely.
Place in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Dust with sugar and caramelize with propane torch. Serve immediately.

If you've never carmelized sugar with a torch, read about it at The Kitchn on Apartment Therapy. I use a small torch from the hardware store, but you can find torches at kitchen shops and online. It's a great little tool to have on hand. You can also use the torch to finish your s'mores!

Read 5 facts about Creme Brulee at Foodimentary.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

CHOCOLATE LOLLIPOPS: National Lollipop Day!

Today is National Lollipop Day! Lollipops are usually made of hardened, flavored sucrose and corn syrup on a stick, but lollipops come in all kinds of sizes, flavors and textures. The story goes that the first lollipops were invented during the Civil War, but others believe they were already around in the early 1800s. George Smith claimed to be he first to invent the modern style lollipop in 1909, and he trademarked the name in 1931. He named them after a racing horse: Lolly Pop! But actually the name was around since 1794 and referred to soft, rather than hard candy. That's great because my recipe today is for soft chocolate lollipops!

My favorite lollipop? Tootsie Roll Pops!  I posted about Tootsie Roll Pops, including recipes for Tootsie Roll Pop Cocktails two years ago! This year I'm posting about a less traditional lollipop--a Chocolate Lollipop that you can either lick or bite into!

This is an easy recipe to make with the kids, too! Adapted from Kraft Recipes, these are actually called Sweetheart Chocolate Lollipops! As always feel free to substitute the very best chocolate and other ingredients.


4 ounces very dark chocolate
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 cups flour
4 ounces white chocolate
Assorted sprinkles

1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted (or melt in a double boiler). Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Add sugar; mix well. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour; mix well. Cover. Refrigerate 1 hour or until dough is stiff.

2. SHAPE dough into 2-inch balls; insert lollipop stick into each ball. Place, 2 inches apart, on greased baking sheets.

3. BAKE 8 min. or just until set. (Do not overbake.) Let stand on baking sheet 1 min.; transfer to wire racks. Cool completely. Drizzle with white chocolate; decorate with sprinkles (if you feel like it). Let stand until chocolate is firm.

Makes about 30 Lollipops!

A Tip from Kraft: How to Melt and Drizzle Chocolate

Coarsely chop white chocolate; place in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM (50%) 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Dip fork into chocolate, then use to drizzle chocolate over pops. Let stand until chocolate is firm.

Photo: Kraft (with chocolate heart sprinkles)

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

DAIQUIRI DAY: 3 Chocolate Daiquiri Recipes

Today is National Daiquiri Day, and how better to celebrate than with Chocolate Daquiris! And, instead of one are three recipes with different fruits and flavors. Perfect for the summer.

FYI: A traditional Daiquiri is a cocktail that usually combines rum, citrus (usually lime), and sugar or another sweetener.

Chocolate Daiquiri 

4 parts Light Rum
2 Parts Dark Cacao Liqueur
2 parts lime juice
1 part simple syrup

Fill shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into chilled daiquiri glass.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Daiquiri

3 ounces chocolate vodka
1 cup fresh strawberries

Combine ingredients in blender. Blend well. Pour into chilled daiquiri glass. Garnish with chocolate covered strawberry!

Chocolate Banana Daiquiri

2 cups ice
1 banana, chopped in pieces
2 ounces golden (or white) rum
2 ounces creme de banane (this should be on your bar shelf!)
juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp chocolate syrup

Blend ice and banana and blend on high speed. Then add all other ingredients to blender. Pulse until everything evens out and then blend on high until smooth. Serve in daiquiri or high ball glasses.
OMG.. this is fabulous!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

BEAT THE HEAT: 7-Up Chocolate Cake

This "Beat the Heat! fresh up"with Seven-Up!" advertisement from July 5, 1948  "family days at the Beach are always fun" is on point for the brutal heat wave we're having! In the ad, Mom packs the picnic basket; Dad drives; and the kids fill the cooler with 7-Up. Seems like a lot of 7-Up from the photo. But they all look like they're having fun at the Beach--with 7-Up.

Another way of enjoying 7-Up, a very Retro carbonated beverage, is to use it as a leavening agent in a chocolate bundt cake. I posted 'soda' Chocolate Cake recipes for my Mad Men Marathon several years ago, but this is an easy 'from scratch" recipe. The 7-Up is the leavening agent. Camping or going to the Beach? This cake travels well!

7-Up Chocolate Cake

2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp pure vanilla
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup DARK cocoa
1 cup 7-Up
1 cup dark chocolate chips  (or a cup of dark chocolate, chopped)
Cream butter.
Add sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, beating well after each one.
Stir in salt, flour, and cocoa. Blend thoroughly.
Add 7-UP.
Fold in chocolate chips or chunks.
Bake in greased and floured Bundt pan for 60 minutes (or until tester comes clean).
Cool on wire rack. 

Optional: Glaze when cooled with dark chocolate Dobash Frosting. 

Dobash Frosting
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa
pinch of salt

Combine all in saucepan and bring to a boil.
Add 1/2 cup water to make a paste. Stir into cocoa mixture with whisk over heat until it thickens. Pour while hot over cake and spread.

Cartoon of the Day: Very Dark Chocolate

Bizarro by Dan Piraro is one of my favorite comics. Clearly Dan and Andy Cowan in this cartoon from 6/30/11 have their priorities straight. Dan writes in his blog, "If you don't like chocolate, you're a brain-eating zombie... If you like chocolate and black humor, this cartoon is made to order."

Monday, July 17, 2023


Today is National Peach Ice Cream Day. This recipe is so easy, and you won't need an ice cream maker! Also no eggs and no cooking! How easy is that? Add your favorite dark chocolate sauce, and you have an elegant dessert! So here's the recipe for a hot summer day! Enjoy!


  • Ingredients
  • 5 extra ripe peaches (before you ask--you don't have to peel them unless you want to)
  • 2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (chilled)


Wash peaches, quarter, and remove pits. Puree in food processor until smooth. Set aside.
Whip chilled whipping cream, vanilla, and salt until stiff peaks form. 
Add sweetened condensed milk and mix well to combine.
Add peach puree and mix well to combine. 
Pour into a chilled freezer safe container (a metal loaf pan works well) and freeze 3-6 hours.  
Tip, if it's too hard, leave out for a few minutes to soften. 

Drizzle your favorite dark chocolate sauce on the dished up peach ice cream.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream: National Ice Cream Day!

Today is National Ice Cream Day. Our temps are in the 100s, so it's the perfect food for today! My favorite ice cream when I was little was Banana Ice Cream. We used to stop at the Howard Johnson's on the Highway, and I was always thrilled that they had 28 flavors! As amazed as I was by all the flavors, I usually picked banana. Here's an unbelievably easy One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream recipe. It's healthier, too, since there's no cream, no sugar ... just bananas. And, since this is a chocolate blog, just pour some chocolate sauce over it when you're ready to eat! This pure banana 'ice cream' is really creamy, too, because bananas are high in pectin.

One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream 

Large ripe bananas.
Peel bananas and chop into evenly sized small pieces.
(Optional but good step) Put bananas in airtight container: freezer bag. Freeze banana pieces for at least 2 hours to overnight.
In small food processor, blend frozen banana pieces. Keep blending —  banana will look crumbly. Scrape down food processor. Keep blending —  banana will look gooey: like banana mush. Scrape down food processor. Keep blending — banana will look like oatmeal: It will get smoother but still have chunks of banana in it. Scrape down food processor. Suddenly, as the last bits of banana smooth out, you'll see mixture shift from blended banana to creamy, soft-serve ice cream texture. Blend for a few more seconds to aerate ice cream.
Transfer to airtight container and freeze until solid: You can eat the ice cream immediately, but it will be quite soft. You can also transfer it back into airtight container and freeze until solid, like traditional ice cream.

Food processor vs. blender: Food processor works best since it has enough room for the banana to get fully creamy and a little bit aerated. Some people do make it in a blender, but be careful; make sure your blender is powerful enough to process the frozen bananas. 

Making a bigger batch: Make sure your food processor is big enough (and powerful enough).

Saturday, July 15, 2023

CHOCOLATE TAPIOCA PUDDING: 2 Recipes for Tapioca Pudding Day!

Tapioca, along with junket and pudding, were standard desserts when I was growing up. I knew what pudding was, but never junket or tapioca. As a child that was fine, but as an adult interested in food and food derivations, this holiday--National Tapioca Pudding Day--got my attention.

According to Ask.Yahoo, tapioca is a root starch derived from the cassava, or yucca plant. It's often used to thicken soups and sweeten the flavor of baked goods, and it makes a great pudding. The cassava plant is native to South America and the West Indies, where its thick, fibrous roots are used in a variety of forms: bread flour, laundry starch, an alcoholic brew, and of course, tapioca pudding.

From Wikipedia: The pudding can be made from scratch using tapioca in a variety of forms: flakes, coarse meal, sticks, and pearls. Many commercial packaged mixes are also available. British schoolchildren have traditionally nicknamed the dish frog spawn, due to its appearance. American children often call it fish eyes and glue.

And here's a reason not to make tapioca at home -- cassava roots have traces of cyanide in them! The ever-resourceful Mayans, the first known to use tapioca, figured out how to extract this poison for their blow darts, leaving the uncontaminated roots free for eating. Perhaps this information would be better served on my other blog, Mystery Fanfare.

So a processed tapioca should be used in the following recipes. The first recipe for Dark Chocolate Tapioca Pudding recipe is adapted from Kraft recipes and uses instant tapioca. The second recipe uses tapioca that needs to be soaked overnight. I think the flavor is much better, but really for me, it's all about the chocolate.

1. Easy Dark Chocolate Tapioca Pudding

1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp MINUTE Tapioca
3-1/2 cups whole milk
3 ounces dark chocolate (60-75% cacao)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Beat egg lightly in medium saucepan with wire whisk.
Add sugar and tapioca; mix well.
Gradually add milk, beating well after each addition.
Let stand 5 minutes. Add chocolate.
Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until chocolate is completely melted, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla.
Cool 20 minutes; stir. (Pudding thickens as it cools.)
Serve warm or chilled.

2. Longer to make but worth it -- Dark Chocolate Tapioca Pudding
adapted only slightly from JamHands (a great site)  

1/2 cup Tapioca Pearls
2-1/2 cups whole milk
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
4-6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Soak tapioca in 2 cups of room temperature water overnight. Drain water in morning.
Heat milk over medium low heat in top of double boiler (for just a very short time, do not boil). Add salt and tapioca. Continue to heat until small bubbles appear. Cover, turn heat to very low and cook for one hour. Make sure the milk mixture does not simmer or boil.
Separate egg whites from yolks.
Beat egg yolks and sugar together until light yellow in color. Add a little of hot milk mixture to egg yolks and blend thoroughly.
Add egg yolk mixture into hot milk mixture, stirring constantly.
Place double boiler over medium heat and cook until tapioca mixture is very thick, from 15 – 30 minutes.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Slowly fold hot tapioca mixture into egg whites.
Stir in vanilla and chopped chocolate and combine thoroughly until smooth.
Serve warm or chilled.


Cartoon of the Day: The Neighborhood


Friday, July 14, 2023


Today is Bastille Day, so you'll want to make something "French." I have lots of 'French' recipes, but what could be more French than Crepes for Bastille Day? Just as the bricks came tumbling down when the French stormed the Bastille, ice cream and chocolate will tumble from your fork when you cut into these fabulous Triple Chocolate Crepes for the Bastille Day Holiday. Triple Chocolate Crepes a la Bastille!



2 cups whole milk
2 eggs
2-1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 ounce dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), melted
1-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup high quality DARK cocoa 

1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt

Making the Crepes
Melt butter & chocolate together, mixing to combine and smooth out chocolate. 

In large bowl, combine milk and eggs. 
In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Whisk together milk and eggs with dry ingredients, continue whisking incorporating butter and chocolate mixture.
Cover and refrigerate at least an hour, or overnight. 

Be sure to re-whisk batter before cooking the crepes.

Cooking the Crepes
Butter a hot frying pan (small or medium) or crepe pan, then wipe out excess butter with paper towel so it is sort of dry

Pour in small amount of crepe batter and tilt pan as needed so batter spreads and covers bottom of pan. As edges begin to turn up, flip crepe with spatula for few seconds to cook other side.

Chocolate Sauce

1/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp honey
3 ounces Dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), chopped

Combine cream and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 3 minutes or until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan, stirring frequently (do not boil).
Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until smooth.

Fill Crepes with Dark Chocolate Ice Cream or Chocolate Ganache and Drizzle with Chocolate Sauce.
Viva La France!


Today is Bastille Day, and it's also Grand Marnier Day, so I thought you might want to celebrate by baking this Grand Marnier Chocolate Cake. 

Grand Marnier is a remarkable combination of a premium blend of cognac and exotic oranges created in 1880 by Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle. Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle perfected the premium Grand Marnier blend in 1880 and at the time, his vision of combining the essence of wild tropical oranges from Haiti with premium cognac from France was seen as cutting edge and completely unexpected. The cognac found in Grand Marnier is made from Ugni Blanc grapes from five of the best crus within the Cognac region in France and is double-distilled in copper stills. The bitter, exotic orange called ‘Citrus Bigaradia’ sourced from the Caribbean, is a rare variety which offers an intense and unique flavor profile and aroma.

This recipe for Grand Marnier Chocolate Cake is adapted slightly from a recipe in Bon Appetit! Of course, if you don't have time to bake a cake, you can always drink a glass of Grand Marnier! Be sure and check out the great advertising video for Grand Marnier "La Vie Grand Marnier." Scroll down.

Grand Marnier Chocolate Cake


10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
6 large eggs, separated
2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
1 Tbsp finely grated orange peel
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, room temperature
2/3 cup whipping cream

Cake Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan; line bottom with parchment paper round.
Stir chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Cool slightly.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, Grand Marnier, orange peel, and vanilla. Stir in lukewarm chocolate. Add flour and salt; stir to blend.
Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions.
Transfer batter to prepared springform pan.
Bake cake until top is dry and cracked and tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 minutes.
Cool cake in pan on rack (top will fall slightly).
Can be made 1 day ahead.
Cool completely; cover and let stand at room temperature.

Icing Directions
Place chocolate and butter in medium metal bowl. Bring cream to boil in small saucepan. Pour hot cream over chocolate mixture; stir until mixture is melted and smooth.
Run thin knife around inside of cake pan; remove pan sides.
Invert cake onto 10-inch removable tart pan bottom or cardboard round.
Place on rack set in rimmed baking sheet.
Remove cake pan bottom and parchment.
Pour icing over cake and spread to cover top and sides (any icing that drips onto baking sheet can be reused).
Chill until glaze sets, about 30 minutes.
DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead.
Cover with cake dome and chill.
Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
Cut into wedges and serve.


Thursday, July 13, 2023


Since July is Blueberry Month, I thought I'd post another blueberry recipe. So for today's baking, I recommend making these easy Blueberry Chocolate Chip Scones. Scones are great for breakfast and tea!

I love blueberries and as a child I often thought I'd turn blue from eating so many. In the summers we used to pick wild blueberries in the New Jersey Woods or up in Maine. So delicious. I probably ate as many as I picked.

For this Blueberry Chocolate Chip Scone recipe, you can substitute frozen blueberries and and chocolate chunks, but I love fresh blueberries and dark chocolate chips!

Some Blueberry tips:

How to store Fresh Blueberries: Put them in the refrigerator unwashed. Rinse with cold water just before use.

Baking with Fresh Blueberries (or other berries): Toss them in flour before adding to batter. This prevents them from sinking to the bottom during baking!

Baking with frozen Blueberries: Keep them frozen when adding to batter so color won't bleed (or won't bleed too much).


3 cups flour
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar, divided
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp milk, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 cup blueberries
7 ounces chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.
Cut in butter using pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add 3/4 cup milk, egg, and lemon peel; stir just until mixture forms dough. Don't overwork.
Fold in floured fresh blueberries and chocolate chips (or chunks).
Divide dough in half. On lightly floured surface, pat each half into a round, 9 inches in diameter & 1 inch thick.
Cut each round into 8 wedges.
Place wedges on ungreased baking sheet.
Brush tops with remaining 2 Tbsp milk; sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp sugar.
Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

BORDEN'S ELSIE THE COW: History & Recipes for National Cow Day

Yesterday was National Cow Day, and my favorite cow is Borden's Elsie the Cow! 

The History of Elsie the Cow

In the 1930s, the dairy industry saw publicized price wars between farmers and dairy processors that caused larger dairies to be portrayed unfavorably. The cartoon Elsie was created by Borden’s advertising agency in 1936 to help make the brand more friendly and approachable to the public. The company first started advertising in medical journals, which featured a variety of cartoon cows with several different names, including Mrs. Blossom, Bessie, Clara and Elsie. A typical ad showed a cow and calf talking in a milk barn.

In the 1930s, milk was not the drink we know today. Much that was sold in the U.S. during the early part of the century was disease-laden. In 1907, the Department of Agriculture revealed that dairy cows frequently carried tuberculosis and that unsanitary conditions on farms meant other illnesses were carried in the milk supply as well. Most milk was shipped to stores without any form of processing.

The Borden Company was in the forefront of change. They had purchased a dairy in New Jersey that was among the first to install equipment for pasteurization.  However, the world changed slowly when it came to perceiving that “processed” (pasteurized) milk was better than regular cow’s milk.

Chicago was the first city to require pasteurizing of milk (1908) but the first state-level mandate did not occur until 1947 when Michigan passed such a law.

This meant that in 1930s dairy processors like Borden had their work cut out for them to convince the public that their milk was more worthy—and safer—than the dairy cow on a family farm.

Borden ad man Stuart Peabody knew his first approach to selling Borden milk needed to be through the medical establishment. If doctors understood that pasteurized milk wouldn’t make people sick, they would start recommending it to their patients.

Peabody felt the ads needed to be light in tone.  His first ads were in the form of Letters to Mama: “Dear Mama, I’m so excited I can hardly chew! We girls are sending our milk to Borden’s now. Love Elsie.” These ads were accompanied by artist Walter Early’s illustration of a perky, friendly cow. (The Advertising Age Encyclopedia of Advertising credits Walter Early; the Borden site attributes David Reid with having created the image of Elsie.

As early illustrations show, Elsie had a kindly face, huge brown eyes, and wore a chain of daisies around her neck. She generally wore an apron, and whatever she was doing, she had her calves around her. Husband Elmer, later the face of Elmer’s Glue, took orders from her, repairing things around the house.

In 1938, Peabody expanded Elsie ads into some consumer publications, and he began buying radio time for her as well.  Elsie took off quickly. A survey done in the 1940s found that 98 percent of the American public recognized the Borden cow.

So in honor of National Cow Day and Ice Cream Month, here's an August 8, 1941 Retro ad and recipe from Borden's Eagle Brand for Magic Chocolate Ice Cream. I love Elsie the Cow, and I'm definitely take her advice on bringing "homemade ice cream to the social." Luckily, I have an automatic refrigerator! Gotta love these 'story' ads. "If it's Borden's, it's got to be good."

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

BLUEBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS: 2 Recipes for National Blueberry Muffin Day!

Today is Blueberry Muffin Day, and this month is Blueberry Month, so celebrate! I'm a major blueberry person from way back, even before I knew they were healthy with antioxidants and flavonoids and vitamins. I grew up back East, and when we went to the 'country,' my Aunt Annie used to take all the children blueberry gathering in the woods. It was great fun. We would all come back with blue-stained hands and mouths. Those blueberries were small, juicy, and sweet just as wild blueberries should be. I still crave blueberries. Local blueberries are at the farmers' market right now, and for frozen blueberries the wild blueberries from Maine at Trader Joe's are very tasty.

For National Blueberry Muffin Day, use fresh blueberries in these muffin recipes. I am partial to plain muffins with blueberries and chocolate chips, so the first recipe is the one I use. But since this is a chocolate blog, I'm posting a recipe for chocolate blueberry muffins, too.

I like my muffins firm with a crusty top and soft inside -- and not too sweet. In the first recipe I use a 1/2 cup of sugar, but if you want them a little sweeter use 3/4 cup. Don't want your blueberries to sink to the bottom? Dust them with flour before putting them in the batter.

1. Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup whole milk
fresh blueberries (maybe a cup?)
chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400. Grease your muffin tin or use liners.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center.
Put oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg (already whipped), and enough milk to fill cup to brim. Pour into the well and mix with flour mixture. Do not overmix.
Stir in blueberries and as many of the chocolate chips as you'd like. I like a lot, but you want to also be able to taste the blueberries--and the muffin, itself.
Fill muffin cups right to top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in preheated oven-- or until done.

The one above is my favorite, but for those who want a chocolate muffin with blueberries, here's a recipe from Yankee Magazine.

2. Chocolate Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened or very dark chocolate
1 cup sugar (I'd probably use less)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In medium saucepan, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in sugar, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. In small bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Gently combine with liquid ingredients. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into well-greased muffin cups, filling to top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer muffins to wire rack to cool. Drizzle cooled muffins with semisweet chocolate.

Have a great Blueberry Muffin Day--make it Chocolate!