dried cherry brownies with port ganache glaze

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. 

Continue reading

easy devil’s food chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting

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

molten espresso cake with kahlua buttercream


It always amazes me how four ingredients – butter, eggs, sugar, and chocolate could be combined to make a wonderful dessert. This deliciously soft and “oozey” chocolate molten cake was invented by celebrity chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The story is that he pulled a tray of individual cakes from the oven before they were completely baked through. As he cut through one, the warm, liquid chocolate center oozed out instead of the dense cake he expected, and just like that, a classic dessert was born. Every restaurant in America now has their own version of this ubiquitous cake, but I am a loyal fan of the original version for not only for its simplicity, but also for its intense chocolate flavor. I am also an ardent admirer of Jean-Georges.

Continue reading

mexican mocha ice cream


In Mexican hot chocolate, unsweetened cocoa  is usually laced with vanilla, cinnamon, and almond flavors to make a fragrant chocolate drink.  In this recipe, the espresso and cocoa combine to make a mocha ice cream with a cinnamon twist.  Follow this recipe from A Pastry Affair  to make your own Mexican cocoa or use a mix like Azteca D’Oro, which is readily available in grocery stores (at least in California). Continue reading