Archives for posts with tag: Chocolate

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Mexican Chocolate Cake

2 tablespoons butter, for two 9” round pans
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder, plus more for pans
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter the cake pans and line bottoms with parchment, butter again and dust with cocoa.

Sift the following ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment: cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl combine eggs, 1 1/2 cups warm water, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla and almond extracts and vinegar. With the mixer on low slowly pour into dry ingredients until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide batter into the pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean about 45 minutes.

Let the cakes cool completely before removing from the pans and frosting.

Mexican Chocolate Frosting
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brandy

Beat the butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer with a paddle on medium speed until smooth. Sift together the cocoa powder, sugar and salt and add to the mixer. On slow speed add the extracts, brandy and chocolate slowly. Finally add the sour cream and mix until combined.

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Warning: These cookies have more chocolate and nuts then they do dough!

Chunky Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Cookies

1-pound bittersweet chocolate, cut into small chunks

2 cup pecans, roasted lightly and chopped coarsely

2 sticks butter, softened

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1-teaspoon salt

2-cups all-purpose flour

Maldon’s Sea Salt

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This dough is similar to a shortbread cookie.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Position rack in the middle of the oven.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. In a medium bowl sift together the flour and salt, then add them to butter / flour mixture. Add the pecans and chocolate and mix on low speed until the dough sort of comes together.

Chill the dough in a refrigerator for at least an hour.

Start scooping the dough into small golf ball sized balls with your hands. When making the cookie balls I’ve found that the dough sometime starts to stick to your hands when you are working with it. If this happens, run your hands under cold water. Then continue to make the cookie dough balls. Firmly shape the cookies into 2 ½ inch rounds and place on a parchment lined backing sheet. Sprinkle sea salt on top before baking.

Bake approximately 18 minutes. Rotate cookie pans if baking more than one sheet at a time.

Remove cookies to a rack and cool completely. Though, they will be tempting to eat. I find it is better to allow the chocolate to become firm again.

Makes 18 – 20 cookies

Thanks to both Ina Garten and Martha Stewart for the help in making this cake. It’s the cake Elvis would have buried his face in.

Chocolate Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups mashed overripe bananas (6 to 8)
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour a two 9-inch can pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl as needed. Beat in bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture and chocolate on medium. Pour batter into pans. Bake until a skewer inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting
Chopped salted peanuts, to decorate, optional
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

I am a diehard chocolate lover – always have been. Gone are the days when one of the original See’s Candy stores was located just around the corner from me. I bought a pound a week – no joke.  Now I buy a variety of small specialty chocolate bars and hide them in my kitchen cupboards for that moment when a chocolate craving hits and there isn’t a layer cake in the house. Most times a small piece of dark chocolate brightens any day. But if I’m having guests for dinner and in the mood to bake  – Lindsey’s Chocolate Cake from the Chez Panisse – Cafe Cookbook is the first one I turn too. Lindsey is the founding pastry chef at Chez Panisse and has created many desserts that I have continued to love. My guests always comment that the cake is so light. But, it’s richness is deceiving. Lindsey suggests serving it with lightly sweetened cream, flavored with vanilla or Chartreuse or her recipe for a Sicilian sabayon. During the winter I love to pair it with an orange or tangerine sabayon.

Serves 10

Cake

1/2 pound plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) salted butter

7 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

6 eggs, separated, at room temperature

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons cake flour

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Chocolate

Butter a 9-inch cake pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment or waxed paper. Butter the paper and dust the pan with flour, shaking out the excess. Preheat the over to 350*F.

Chopped chocolate

Place the butter in a mixing bowl and heat over barely simmering water. While the butter melts, chop the chocolate into small pieces. Add the chocolate to the butter and stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is very smooth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Whisk the egg yolks with a wire whisk until just blended and beat in the sugar until just mixed. Whisk the yolks into the warm chocolate mixture, and fold in the flour.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar (if you are not using a copper bowl) and continue beating until soft, round peaks form. Fold the egg whites quickly into the chocolate mixture, taking care not to deflate them.

Egg whites and chocolate.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake is done when the sides are set but the center if the cake is still soft. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan. The cake will develop cracks in the top as it bakes, and more will appear as it cools, but this is normal. When the cake has cooled to room temperature, you may cover the pan tightly with foil if you are not serving it right away. It will keep for a day or two.

Lindsey's Chocolate Cake

Lindsey’s Chocolate Cake

To serve, unmold the cake, peel off the paper, and place the cake on a plate, the more presentable side up. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with your choice of topping.