The holidays are over and I’m back from my self-imposed hiatus from blogging. I knew that with all of the holiday preparations and spending time with family and friends, I wouldn’t have enough to blog, so rather than feeling guilty about it, I decided to just take the time off. I was feeling burnt out anyway, and the time away from the blog has really helped. I’m excited to be back and I have lots of simple, easy-to-make recipes to share this coming year, including this Chocolate Almond Upside-Down Cake I adapted from pastry chef Gale Gand.
Archives For chocolate
Rugelach (literally meaning “little twists” in Yiddish) is a cross between a cookie and a pastry. This crescent-shaped cookie is made by rolling a triangular piece of dough around a sweet filling such as preserves, chocolate, dried fruits, nuts, or cinnamon sugar. Rugelach is easy to make and it is a perfect addition to a holiday cookie platter!
It seems that I inherited my sweet tooth from my Dad. Like me, he favors quick breads, cookies, and candies, and, like me, he also loves chocolate. When I saw this recipe for Chocolate Almond Toffee Bars, I knew it was the perfect treat to make for him. I got my opportunity last weekend when we had a family gathering. I made sure there would be some extra pieces for my Dad to take home. What I didn’t expect was that he would have some competition for the leftovers…from my nephew, who proclaimed that all the leftover bars were his. I had to be the peacemaker and divide up the remaining pieces equally. It appears that a sweet tooth runs in my family. Note to self: Make a double batch for Christmas morning so Dad and little nephew could have as much as they want.
I prefer moist, fudgy brownies and this recipe is my new favorite! Three types of chocolates are used in these decadent brownies — cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate chips in the brownie batter . . . dark chocolate in the ganache. Dried cherries are added to give the brownies a tart and fruity taste. Port (a Portuguese fortified wine) is used to macerate the dried cherries and to boost the flavor of the ganache topping. Serve the brownie with a scoop of ice cream for the ultimate indulgence.
I like algebra, and, in fact, it was one of my favorite subjects in school. How about you? Do you like algebra? Do you like solving equations? How about solving this simple algebraic equation for me? Don’t worry, it’s petty easy!
Solve for X in the following equation:
A = peanut butter
B = banana
C = chocolate
Until now, all the ice creams I’ve featured here have been made in the French-style, meaning that it is made from a custard base that includes eggs. This method relies on egg yolks to give richness to the ice cream. However, today’s recipe is a Philadelphia- or American-style ice cream that is made without eggs. It is an adaptation from Jeni Britton Bauer’s recipe for The Milkiest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World featured in her book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Traditionally, Philadephia-style ice cream is made from an uncooked base, but Jeni’s technique requires boiling the liquids to remove as much of the water in the mixture as possible. This step, as well as adding cornstarch to absorb any remaining water, eliminates ice crystals and keeps the ice cream smooth. A big thanks to Jeni for figuring this out and for sharing it with all of us!
The inspiration for these home-made chocolates came from the caramels I found at Fran’s Chocolates in Seattle. I discovered Fran Bigelow’s shop when I lived there years ago. Her Smoked Sea Salt Caramels, soft and chewy caramels covered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with smoked sea salt, have been a favorite of mine ever since. Continue Reading…
The Banana Split is a classic ice cream dessert and one of the most popular in the United States. Traditionally, it consists of three scoops of ice cream, each with its own toppings – vanilla ice cream with crushed pineapple, chocolate ice cream with hot fudge sauce or chocolate syrup, and strawberry ice cream with strawberry sauce – on top of a banana sliced in half lengthwise. The whole concoction is further topped with marshmallows, whipped cream, nuts, and maraschino cherries. This dessert is definitely over-the-top!
Don’t you just I love it when something homemade turns out just as good and cheaper than the store-bought kind. In this case, it’s bye-bye, Hersheys and hello Chris’ homemade chocolate syrup! This do-it-yourself syrup has a rich chocolate flavor and has a nice smooth texture. It is fat-free and does not contain any high-fructose corn syrup. It does contain a couple of tablespoons of corn syrup to prevent the crystallization of the sugar. So not only does it taste great, but it’s also healthier, too! If only I could think of healthy items to drizzle it on, but I digress…. Continue Reading…
Are you looking for an easy Valentine’s Day treat that your whole family will love? Then, give this Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcake with Peanut Butter Frosting a try. Not only is it quite good, it is also easy to bake since all of the ingredients, except for the egg, are combined directly into the bowl of the stand mixer. There’s no big mess to clean up and you’ll have cupcakes in no time flat! I admit I was a little hesitant to just throw all the ingredients together, but the recipe worked, without having to cream the butter first. The best part is that these cupcakes are moist and light, and thanks to the extra semi-sweet chocolate chips that are folded into the batter, the centers have a little gooey surprise. The peanut butter frosting recipe gives these cupcakes a devilishly rich and sweet topping. A little of which goes a long way. Continue Reading…
Chocolate symbolizes, as does no other food, luxury, comfort, sensuality, gratification, and love.
― Karl Petzke and Sara Slavin
Today is my husband’s birthday, and to mark the occasion, I chose to bake something chocolatey. I came across this recipe that I knew he would love, so move over birthday cake, and make room for birthday brownies! I wanted to bake a special treat and these certainly are!! These made-from-scratch brownies are utterly decadent, intensely rich and dense and are best eaten with a glass of ice-cold milk. I added a little bit of ground cinnamon since I know Chris loves a touch of it with chocolate. Continue Reading…
After resisting for so long, I’ve finally succumbed to making microwave “cup” cakes after watching Iron Chef Michael Symon prepare them on his new Cooking Channel show, Symon’s Suppers. Over the years, I’ve seen various recipes from food bloggers, many of them with mixed reviews. The chief complaint I’ve read about microwaved cup cakes is that they can be too dense and dry. Well not these! They turned out surprisingly well, considering it only took about 5 minutes and minimal effort on my part. To top it off, clean up was easy with only one bowl to wash. Continue Reading…
I’ve been feeling pretty lousy since Thursday with flu-like symptoms. Yesterday was to be my first day back to work after the holiday break, but I kept coughing so I did my co-workers a favor by staying home. (Sidebar: I wish more people would stay home when sick so as not to infect everyone else.) As I laid in bed, coughing and generally feeling miserable, I read entries from my blogroll. Lo and behold, I came upon Joanne’s post on her blog, Fifteen Spatulas, featuring the Cinnamon Pullapart Bread. After seeing the photo and reading the recipe, a miracle happened! Suddenly, I found the energy and strength to get out of bed and check the pantry for the ingredients I needed to make this bread. Luckily my pantry is pretty well-stocked. Although it felt like I was moving in slow motion, I managed to bake this beautiful and absolutely delicious bread. Continue Reading…