Tag Archives: cocoa

bridal mania pt 1 – buttermilk chocolate vanilla buttercream cupcakes

12 Sep

My friend Shirley asked me to make truffles and such for her cousin’s wedding for the wedding favours. However, I was going to be in Vietnam at the time of the wedding. Instead, I ended up baking for the bridal shower! I made 30 chocolate cupcakes and 30 vanilla cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream icing. Simple and classy. And of course she wanted 40 mini strawberry oreo tarts as well as 75 oreo truffles. It was the first time I’ve baked such large quantities, and I would say that it was smooth sailing – except it wasn’t. I forgot how difficult it is to bake in the summer while your kitchen is swelteringly hot. Ridiculous. Anyhow, it was a race against time to keep everything from melting. For these buttermilk chocolate cupcakes, I found a really amazing recipe and only had to slightly modify it. The vanilla buttercream icing was easy to whip up, but not to easy to keep from drooping off my cupcakes after piping. And let’s not talk about the chocolate hearts – it took forever for them to set, and when I popped them on the icing, they started melting just from the heat of my fingers. Anyhow, all the sweat (and tears) paid off. Shirley, and her cousin, were happy. This is part one of what I baked for the bridal shower. Part two will come shortly!

so pretty and so simple. and of course, delicious.
so pretty and so simple. and of course, delicious.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 1/2 cups pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter. softened
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup milk

How-to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease your muffin tins.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, in 15 second intervals, making sure to stir in between. Set aside to cool down for a bit.
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes, until it is pale and thick.
  5. Add in the butter. Mix until combined.
  6. Add in the melted chocolate.
  7. Now, add in the buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until well incorporated.
  8. Add the flour mixture in 3 increments and beat until smooth.
  9. Divide batter into the cupcake tins. This batter made 20 cupcakes for me.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.
  11. In the meantime, with your electric beater, whip the butter until it is creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, making sure to scrape down the sides until fully combined.
  12. Add the vanilla bean paste. Slowly, add the milk and continue beating on medium speed until fully combined, for approx. 5 minutes.
  13. Put icing into piping bag and decorate to your heart’s delight.
  14. As for the chocolate hearts, I just took chocolate wafers, melted them, put the chocolate into a ziploc bag. Snip a small corner off and start drawing hearts onto wax paper. Let cool and set, peel them off and top the cupcakes off!

xo dessertchick

lazy wednesdays marble chocolate ganache cake

20 Jun

I finally activated my Twitter account! I signed up for it ages and ages ago, but never got around to using it. Until Shannon & Erin doubleteamed me and showed me the wonder and magic that is Twitter. So, now you can follow my not-always-intriguing-or-interesting rambles at http://twitter.com/chocolatefool. The blog is linked to my twitter account, so the tweets should show up here on the side bar =) Oh, the wonders of wordpress!

Speaking of Shannon and Erin, we had a lovely lunch the other day that Erin cooked for us. Shannon made corn, Erin made burgers, and I brought a modified version of the pecan praline caramel crack(er) bars. We sipped iced tea while catching up, and watching the dreary weather through Shannon’s kitchen window. This summer is taking it’s sweet time arriving in Toronto. Last summer was filled with lots of laughter, picnics, ice cream and sangria for my best friends and myself. This year, sadly, everyone is busy making lots of money for various things such as rent, school and internships. We don’t get to see each other as often, or even get a chance to talk endlessly on the phone, but I’m fairly certain that we each know that we can count on each other. I love my soulmates, Opie & Savo, and wish every day could be a sangria-by-the-harbour-front kind of day.

By some fluke, Savo and I had a day off and all to ourselves, so after some sleeping in, we decided we’d bake a cake. The recipe was going to produce a pretty, velvety smooth and rich chocolate vanilla zebra cake, but although we followed instructions, our cake did not come out with zebra stripes =( It ended up being very chocolate-heavy which probably distorted the stripes and resulted in a marble cake instead. Hey, I’m not complaining though – chocolate is chocolate is chocolate. I think I’d probably leave out the lemon zest that was called for, but keep everything else the same. We were also going to drizzle the semi-sweet chocolate ganache with melted white chocolate for a dramatic effect, but had a little mishap….and thereby kept the cake classy and simple. The chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream made everything better, though. After an adventure with Savo’s devil mixer from hell (it looked/sounded/worked like a chainsaw rather than a handmixer), and making a huge mess in the kitchen, these pictures make it all worth it. Savo is a photographer, and these photos are all his. Thanks to him and his kitchen with awesome windows (and natural light! something that my kitchen doesn’t have) we ended up with these amazing photos – which he emailed to me and allowed me to use. Now that is love!

vanilla & lemon

vanilla & lemon

mixing in the sink to avoid making a huge mess with savo's mixer from hell

mixing in the sink to avoid making a huge mess with savo's mixer from hell

black & white yumminess

black & white yummines

we thought we did it right...

we thought we did it right...

it looked like the zebra cake would work out!

...it looked like the zebra cake would work out!

covering the cake in simple ganache

covering the cake in simple ganache

action shot!

action shot!

simple & delicious chocolate cake

a simple & elegant exterior....

...with a turbulent yet tasty inside

....and yet, no zebra stripes =(

IMG_3996

thank goodness ice cream and chocolate ease disappointments

IMG_3997

even though there are no zebra stripes, it's still pretty!

in the end, it still tasted good

in the end, it still tasted good

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream

How-to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. In a large bowl, with a hand mixer or stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and creamy.
  3. Add in the oil and milk and continue beating until well blended. Add the vanilla extract.
  4. In a second bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet batter. Don’t overbeat the mixture.
  5. Divide the batter into two equal parts. Add the cocoa powder to one bowl, and mix well.
  6. Grease a 9-inch pan with oil or butter, and line bottom with parchment paper.
  7. Now, taking turns, scoop a ladle-full of yellow batter and cocoa batter into the pan. Pour a ladle-full of yellow batter into the centre of the pan, and then pour a ladle-full of the cocoa batter right on top of the yellow batter. Continue alternating the two batters until you’ve finished both bowls.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife arounf the inside of the pan to loosen the sides, and gently invert onto a cooling rack. Let cake cool for another 20 minutes.
  10. In the meantime, melt the chocolate and heavy cream in the microwave or over a double boiler. Once it has reached a smooth consistency, spread it all over the cake and try to make it look pretty. If you like drizzle white chocolate over top for a dramatic (and yummy) effect. Enjoy by itself or with vanilla ice cream!

xo dessertchick

what does Monet do without his canvas?

17 Feb

He paints on the walls. Which is what I did. Sorta.

Well, for those who don’t know: my oven broke. As in, it’s kaputt. As in, no more cookies, right? Well, that’s where you’re wrong. And thank goodness for that, because a house without cookies, especially when it’s mine, is a very very sad house.

So here I present you with my favourite no-bake peanut butter cocoa drop cookies. They are delicious, soft, chewy and chok-full of chocolate. Mmmm-yum! And the best part is that they are so easy! And good for you, to boot!

who needs an oven? well, I do, but in the meantime....

who needs an oven? well, I do, but in the meantime....

the most delicious no-bake cookie ever

the most delicious no-bake cookie ever

They look quite dark in these pictures because a)  I used pure cocoa and b) my lighting in my kitchen is the bane of my existence. So in the meantime, you get the idea that they look ten times better than how they do in these photos.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 cups oatmeal – use quick cook oats, NOT instant oatmeal. This way, it’s almost healthy and good for you!

How-to

  1. Combine sugar, cocoa, milk and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook until the mixture starts to boil and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add vanilla, salt, peanut butter and oatmeal and quickly stir until combined.
  4. Drop teaspoons onto parchment paper and let cool.
  5. Eat and eat and eat. Yes, that’s it: only 4 steps to chocolate delight!

xo dessertchick

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