Tag Archives: chocolate

I Wanna Marry You

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

 choco_caramel_cheesecake

Welcome to #15Cheesecakes – an anniversary celebration for Camilla and her husband.  Like Joe and I, Camilla and her husband also celebrated their vows with a delicious cheesecake in place of the standard wedding fare.  So when I saw her call for 15 bloggers to make a cheesecake to help them celebrate I KNEW I had to be involved.  My first plan was to recreate our wedding cake, a fantastic Dulce de Leche creation but that didn’t exactly work out due to poor dulce de leche making skills on my side – thankfully I had back-up ingredients.  One of the biggest take-aways from doing all these blog challenges is to always, always, always have a back-up plan in place.  Sometimes the recipe just won’t cooperate while other times it will be life in general.   Thankfully my back-up cheesecake worked out perfectly!  The real trick is to gradually lower the temperature of the cake to prevent it from cracking – or at least that’s what I heard many moons ago and so far the “trick” works.

I Wanna Marry You

Ingredients

  • 2 cups honey graham crackers (or honey Teddy Grahams in a pinch)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp caramel syrup, divided (I use Monin)
  • 2 oz blocks of cream cheese, one reduced and one regular
  • 1 8oz tub of plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp grated dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, blend together the melted butter. 1/2 tsp of caramel, and graham crackers. Pulse until pieces are pea sized. Remove from processor and gently press in to an 8 inch springform pan - working from the middle and up the sides. Set Aside
  2. Cream together the sugar and cream cheese for 6 minutes. Then add the eggs one at a time, continue to cream then add the yogurt and caramel and cream for a final 6 minutes, or until mixture is creamy. Fold in half of the grated chocolate
  3. Preheat oven to 375
  4. Pour the cream cheese mixture in to the crust and spread out evenly, then top with the remaining chocolate. Bake for 35 minutes, then turn oven to 250 and bake for a final 15 minutes. Turn the oven off but keep cheesecake inside with the door slightly propped open. Once cool cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/03/i-wanna-marry-you.html

Happy 15th Anniversary Camilla and!  May you have dozens and dozens and dozens of more cheesecakes together!  Also a happy early anniversary to my husband – 5 years together tomorrow and 3 years married (!!!) next month :-)

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Little Shop

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

choco_thumbprint_cookies

Bonus Secret Recipe Club Post!!!!  I love it when timing works out and I’m able to adopt a blog, especially when they are from a different group and thus one that I would never be assigned.  Today’s bonus post comes from Group D of the Secret Recipe Club and the awesomely named Feed Me Seymour – which has resulted in Little Shop of Horrors being stuck in my head for the last week! Feed Me Seymour is the product of Kim, who is the product of a pastry chef – which is why I had to pick a baked good.   There are so many tasty looking pastries on Kim’s blog, including her Blueberry Scones, but in the end I couldn’t resist giving her Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies a whirl.   I wound up making three varieties: one as written, one with nutella frosting (I blame these), and one with raspberry jam.

Little Shop

Serves: Makes 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • Cookies:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Frosting:
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup light cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat until fluffy.
  2. Blend in eggs one at a time then slowly mix in the cocoa powder.
  3. Add in flour, salt and baking powder and mix until completely incorporated.
  4. Roll dough into 1 ½ inch balls. Place them on the cookie sheet and flatten them slightly.
  5. Bake for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and gently press with the back of a spoon (or thumb!) to form an indent before removing to cooling rack.
  6. To make frosting, stir melted butter into cocoa. Add powdered sugar and mix well.
  7. Add in vanilla then cream and stir well until it is spreadable.
  8. Use a spoon spread icing onto the indent of each cookie, repeat for another other topping desired.
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/little_shop.html

My gaming group LOVED these cookies!  It was insane to watch them disappear, I couldn’t fill the plate fast enough!!  While I preferred the raspberry version, the chocolate ganache and nutella ones were the first to disappear – tho not sure which one went first.   I’m sort of glad Kim’s original partner bailed, as this cookies were insanely good and by far the easiest thumbprint cookies I’ve ever tried!   Another win for the SRC and as a bonus I’m sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their “two way” challenge tho technically I made these cookies three ways.

By the way this is only one of three posts today, so make sure to check out the others as well!


If You Got

Chocolate Chip Banana Cakechoco_banana_cake

Welcome to Group A’s first posting session for 2015!  I’m so excited to be participating in the Secret Recipe Club for another year – and can’t wait to see how many awesome things I’ll get to make this year.  My first assigned blog of the year is Claire K Creations which is run by the fantastic Claire C.  Her bog is packed with all sorts of goodies running from the savory to sweet and healthy to decadent.  I decided to pick something in the middle, going with her Chocolate Banana Cake, figuring that the addition of bananas made it a “healthier” dessert option – I mean that’s how this all works, right???  I love that the recipe is inspired by one from a book and while I haven’t read that Jane Green novel, I have enjoyed a few of her works.   I did screw up a bit with the recipe as I totally missed that the chocolate was to be melted, and I totally had already folded in my chocolate chips by that point.  However it still turned out fantastic!

If You Got

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed

Instructions

  1. Preheat to 325 and lightly grease a 9 inch tart or spingform pan.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar for 10 minutes or until fluffy, continue to beat the mixture while slowly adding the eggs.
  3. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and sift in the dry ingredients, folding them in to the batter.
  4. Stir in the mashed banana until the batter is even and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Bake the cake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the cake.
  6. Let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes before flipping it onto a cooling rack.
  7. Serve the cake warm topped with powdered sugar.
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/if-you-got.html

Oh, did I mention Claire is also an Aussie?  Another awesome part of her blog was finding out about all the local treats which my little sister will be exploring in just a few months when she heads south for her 6 month (or 18month) adventure in the Land of Oz.

Quick heads up – this is only 1 of 3 blog posts that I have going up today, so be sure to check all of them out!


Could Cry

Hi everyone!  I wrote this post back in April for Jane of The Heritage Cook.  Things have been a bit rough over here so sharing this now while we attempt to get back on our feet :-) Huge thanks to our family and friends who have helped us out during this not so pleasant adventure.  Will most likely write something up about that soon as well but not quite there yet.  
Hi!  I’m Amanda E and I can normally be found blogging about vegetarian dishes over at DancingVeggies.  I’m in the Secret Recipe Club with Jane, and with that have been following her for a few years now – which is why I jumped at the opportunity to write a guest post.  While I normally stick to the healthier recipes, the crazy weather here in the mid-Atlantic has driven me to the sweeter side of life.
S'More Pie
This past weekend we watched as the weather went from 60 and rainy to below freezing and snowing in a matter of hours – typical for February but not the tale end of March.  Since we weren’t exactly expecting snow at the end of March, all of our firewood was outside which resulted in a minor panic.  See, I’m not a fan of snow and the only positive I can find about winter weather is the excuse to build a fire indoors and make S’mores!  I needed my chocolate marshmallow fix but had no way to safely prepare the marshmallows since we are currently living microwave-free.  In my panic I started rummaging thru the pantry before finding a box of pudding tucked away behind my backup flour.  I then realized what needed to be done – I needed to prepare a S’more pie.  So I got out all my ingredients and set to assembling all my goodies, with the added excitement of being able to show this pie off to the company joining us for dinner.
 
Guest Post

Serves: Yields 1 10inch Pie

6-8

Ingredients

  • 10 full size graham crackers
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or earth balance, melted
  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk (dairy or coconut - almond milk will not set!)
  • 1/2 bag marshmallows (I used Dandies), cut in half

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Break the graham crackers in quarters and place in blender along with melted butter. Blend until the crackers form small (pencil eraser) sized crumbs. Press the crumbs in to the bottom of an 10inch pie or tart pan.
  3. Blind bake for 15 minutes, crust will solidify and turn a rich caramel shade. Set aside to cool
  4. Once crust has reached room temperature begin preparing the pudding per instructions. After whisking for 2 minutes quickly pour the mixture in to the pre-baked crust before it fully set. Place in fridge for one hour.
  5. Gently press the marshmallows in to the partially set pie crust then place in fridge for a final hour.
  6. Remove pie from the fridge. Carefully use a brulee torch to brown (or blacken) the marshmallows to your desired "doneness".
  7. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/08/could_cry.html
In the future I would hunt down a creme brulee torch (or blow-torch) in order to fully char the marshmallows but we had to work with what we had and it worked out.  I made sure to char a few for my hubby while leaving the rest just slightly cooked per guests’ requests.  In the end, we had the awesome combination of s’mores without the hassle of drying out wood.  Even better is this pie insures that the goodness of s’mores can continue in to the summer months – which is as it should be.
Thanks Jane for letting me do a guest post on your amazing blog!

The Past Unspoken

Chocolate Stuffed Muffins

Chocolate Stuffed Muffin

Oh, chocolate – you are amazing.  Which is why I was rather thrilled to see that Random Recipes – hosted by the fantastic Dom of Belleau Kitchen along with the Chocolate Log Blog (cuz chocolate!!!) –  was going chocolate this month, in addition to the normal rules.  I only have two dedicated dessert books, but found that a number of my books had at least one chocolate recipe tucked away.  In the end a non-dessert book won out, and with that these delicious chocolate filled muffins from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes.  I did make a slight adjustment to the recipe, as the basic muffin directions called for zest which is something I avoid due to an allergy.  I also decided to go with milk chocolate chips, while the original recipe didn’t say one way or another.

The Past Unspoken

Serves: Yields 12 Standard Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line or grease 12 standard sized muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set Aside
  3. Beat the egg in a small bowl, then mix in the buttermilk followed by the melted butter. Quickly mix in to the dry ingredients, mixing until just wet.
  4. Spoon 1 full tbsp of batter into muffin tin, then place 4-5 chips in the middle and top with another full tbsp of batter.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until muffins are brown. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to the cooling rack. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/02/the-past-unspoken.html

The best thing about this recipe is that the technique can be used for making other types of filled/stuffed muffins.  I could see pieces of fruit, jam, or caramel (!) doing rather nicely in this delicious muffin – or being really naughty and putting brownie or cookie dough in the middle!  If I was to do chocolate again I would probably use something more like a chocolate nugget as the chips didn’t really give it as much chocolate as I was expecting – or use a chocolate spread like Nutella!