Archive for the ‘chocolate’ Category

Back baby! Nutella Gelato – you know it was worth the wait…

December 3, 2011

Hello my dearest friends!  I’m sooo soooo sorry I’ve been gone so long!   Life simply got away from me… you know how things get.  I’m happy to report I’m back on the East coast, in the middle of my third year of medical school, and loving every minute of it!  Oregon, all the relaxation, the new perspective (and naturally all the food LMM and I indulged in together) have left me refreshed and ready to tackle this beast they call medschool again!

But then, you’re not here to read about medschool.  Let’s be honest.  You read the words “nutella gelato” and your jaw hit the floor and your salivary glands went into over-drive.  It’s ok, there’s nothing to be ashamed of.  It happened to me too…

Yes yes, I know – my last entry was about nutella too, but come on, who doesn’t love it?  Besides, this is a first for me.  Despite my deep love of kitchen gadgets (you should see my Christmas list…) this is the first time I’ve had my hands on an ice cream maker :) You see, it would appear I attract foodies where ever I go, and I’ve recently befriended the fabulous Stephanie – who is quite awesome for a myriad of reasons, only one of which is her possession of an ice cream maker.

I always get nervous when I strike out into a new area of deliciousness.  How could what I make possibly live up to expectations?  Well let me tell you, this slightly modified recipe from Giada De Laurentiis came through… deliciously rich and smooth, it’s enough to make a girl swoon :)  So enjoy, and I promise to come back soon with lots of tastiness!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)

Directions

In a saucepan combine the milk, cream, and 1/2 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture and stir. Add this mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Place a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the warm custard mixture through the strainer. Stir in the vanilla and hazelnut spread until it dissolves. Chill mixture completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions to freeze.

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Nutella Cookie Do Crumble

April 5, 2011

So I know I promised all of you my grandmother’s meat loaf recipe, and don’t worry, that’s coming too, but I can post that any time…  Today I have the unique pleasure of posting a new recipe of mine, dedicated to a very special someone.  A very special someone who has, up until today, been known to the world as Cookie Do.

One of my very best friends in the whole world is pregnant, and as her last name is Do, the little one inside’s nick name, has been “Cookie Do”… way way way too many cute puns to be had there.  Today she and her husband found out that it’s a boy!  This wonderfully gooey cookie bar is dedicated to one Mister James William Do, with all the love and adoration in my heart :)

 

Nutella Cookie Do Crumble

3/4 c. butter

1/2 c. granulated sugar

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1 egg

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

dash of salt

2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 c. nutella

1)  Heat oven to 350°F.

2)  In large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.

3)  Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff).

4)  Stir in chocolate chips.

5)  Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of an 8X8 baking dish.

6)  Spread with nutella.

7)  crumble the rest of the dough on top.

8) Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

9)  Coo over James William.

 


Easiest Chocolate Mousse Ever!

April 1, 2011

Hellooooo my dearest readers!  I’m so sorry I’ve been gone – I’ve been baking recently, but for some reason just not motivated to post here.  But never fear – I’m back :D  After a brief respite, Wednesday night dinners have returned, and with them my creative cooking juices.  Last night I had the pleasure of not only cooking for the family, but for a lovely guest as well (I just love cooking for people who like food :)).

The meatloaf I made (my grandmother’s recipe) which will be posted later this week was followed by, as the title of this post implies, the easiest chocolate mousse ever.

I stumbled across this recipe first as a filling for cream puffs, but it wasn’t long before I started making it for dessert all on its own!  Two ingredients – that’s right, only two, and done in less than five minutes, this stuff is dangerous.  In fact I’m sure the waistline police will be outside my house within moments of me posting this recipe, but it has to be done!  Enjoy!

Easiest Chocolate Mousse

1 small box chocolate flavored instant pudding mix

2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream

1)  Combine ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl and beat until mixture comes into stiff peaks.

2)  Serve with fresh fruit (strawberries are great this time of year) and enjoy :)

PS – for your viewing pleasure:

Super Bowl Cupcakes

February 9, 2011

 

These cupcakes are crowd pleasers.  Plain and simple.  Whip a batch up, and watch them disappear.  So moist and delicious, even non-beer drinkers will gobble these down. If you make them for a party like I did, you may get random people coming up to you offering to have your children… erm… just fair warning. I mean, what would you expect when mixing alcohol and chocolate? In the words of one of my favorite people ever: “Yes. Just yes.” There’s not much else to say about that :)

<3 Betty

*Original recipe found here:  http://www.instructables.com/id/Irish-Car-Bomb-Cupcakes/

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:
1/2 cup Guinness
1/2 cup butter
1/2  cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/3 cup sour cream
For the Frosting
1.5 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
2 tablespoons Baileys (or other liquor of your choice – all I had on hand was Kahlua and it turned out fabulously)
For the drizzle:
1/2 c. semisweet chocolat chips
1Tbsp good irish whiskey

1)  Preheat oven to 350 F.

2)  Set aside butter for frosting so it’s room temp when you’re ready to frost cupcakes.

3)  Grease muffin tin well or line with muffin cups.

4)  In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.

5)  Add sour cream and egg and mix well (don’t worry, it’ll still be dry).

6)  Melt butter for cupcakes and add cocoa and Guinness, stirring well.

7)  Add chocolate mixture to the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

8)  Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.

9)  Bake 17 minutes.

10)  Cool completely in muffin tins

11)  Mix all ingredients for frosting until smooth and creamy

12)  Frost liberally.

13)  Melt chocolate in microwave and stir in whiskey until smooth.  Use a piping bag or a sandwich bag with a whole cut into the corner to drizzle cupcakes.

14)  Devour.

Legal Super Power Pancakes

January 19, 2011

Most of last semester’s grades are in, and I am feeling pretty good.   For the next few weekends, I am free to dance around in pjs until noon, singing “Ooh La La,” and “Dog Days are Over.”  It doesn’t matter how ridiculous this looks because I officially conquered Constitutional Law and my transcript says so.  Since this law school thing seems to be working out, I will comment on my desired Legal Super Power.  My mentor, Alison, shared that if she had a legal super power, she would want the power of specific performance.  That is, whenever she had a client deserving of a certain court-ordered act, she would have the power to make it happen. ( e.g. *Boom* here’s your boat back.  Have a nice life.)  As for me, I would want the power of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure number 11– sanctions for harassing or frivolous litigation.  How great would it be to be able to lay down an instant smackdown on all the frivolous lawsuits? How many problems in the justice system could be solved by eliminating ridiculous civil suits in the federal system?  It’s a happy thought deserving of a really incredible brunch.  And what does every legal superheroine need?  Pancakes—lots and lots of pancakes.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

1 ½ cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 ¼ cup milk
1 egg
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ cup chocolate chips

1)      Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

2)      Add the butter, milk, egg, and vanilla.  Mix until just combined without large lumps.

3)      Heat a flat non-stick griddle to 350 degrees, or heat a large frying pan to medium.  (If using a frying pan, use a little extra butter to prevent sticking.) Scoop a scant ¼ cup batter for each pancake.  Sprinkle over with chocolate chips.

4)      Flip pancakes to cook each side evenly, until golden brown.

5)      Serve hot.  I like maple syrup.

 

Mentor Cake

December 20, 2010

Law students are encouraged to sign up for the mentoring program at the beginning of the year.  Our school connects students with local alumni.  This is how I met Alison, the nicest mentor one could hope for.  She has shared fantastic study tips, her stellar outlines, and a very positive perspective.  What could a first year student offer in exchange?  A baking lesson. Alison informed me that she has made some disaster cakes in the past.  She said that her past cakes came out “tough.”  I am not quite sure what this means, but cakes that share adjectives with tires simply won’t do.  And so Alison and I destroyed the kitchen together and made this cake, plus some snickerdoodle muffins (see “Special Visitor Muffins” for the recipe).   All in all, we used over seven cups of sugar, more than half a bag of flour, and an entire package of butter.    She attempted to sabotage this cake by only bringing one-fourth of the chocolate necessary for the recipe.  However, I happened to have plenty of chocolate on hand, and our baking efforts were saved.   I had a generous slice of cake for lunch; it’s worthwhile brain food, and my exams are halfway complete.

–Little Ms. Muffin

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake

2 cups plus a scant ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 oz of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ sticks butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 ¼ cups milk
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
3 large eggs

1)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour parchment paper to fit the inside of two round 9-inch cake pans.

2)  Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together with a whisk in a large bowl.

3)  In a separate bowl, cream the cream cheese, one stick of butter, and vanilla with a hand mixer, until light and fluffy.  Add the confections’ sugar and 1/3 cup milk, alternating, until it is gone (beginning and ending with the sugar).  Then beat in the melted chocolate.  Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix once more.

4)  Separate 2 ½ cups of the above mixture and put it in a sealable container.  Store it in the refrigerator—voila your frosting!

5)  Beat in half a stick of butter to the mixture.  Add the eggs, beating between each addition. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, alternating with 1 ¼ cups milk, beginning and ending with the flour.

6)  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake 35 minutes.  Allow the cakes to thoroughly cool before removing from the pans and frosting.

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family

Movie Theater Brownies

October 29, 2010

Last weekend, my cousin Katie convinced me to go see Paranormal Activity 2 at the movies with her.  After buying tickets we made our way to the concession stand and ordered drinks, candy, and popcorn.

Me:  One medium popcorn please.

Clerk:  Do you want to make it a large for only a quarter more?

Me:  Sure, why not?

I’m not sure why it is, but I’m a sucker for this move.  A quarter seems so trivial, and after all, what if I really did want more popcorn?  Well – as predicted I came out of the theater with a good amount of popcorn still in my bag – just about the difference between a medium and a large in fact…

I’m not sure why, but lately I’ve been on a “use every part you can find” kick.  At any rate – I was determined not to let my quarter go to waste.  at first I was tempted to make popcorn balls, but in the end my chocoholic heart won out.  So I present to you – movie theater brownies:

<3 Betty

Movie Theater Brownies

1 batch of your favorite brownie mix

left over popcorn from the movie theater

2 cups M&Ms (whatever other candy strikes your fancy.

1)  Make brownie batter as directed

2)  Add movie theater leftovers

3)  Bake according to recipe.

Chocolate “Scuffles”

October 19, 2010

My heart is beating fast as I type this.  In the oven with about nine minutes left, are six chocolate souffles – just waiting to rise or flop.  I consider myself a pretty adventurous cook.  I like trying new recipes and adventuring with new ingredients, but souffles have been the one item I’ve been too scared to try making until now.  There’s something about souffles that intimidate the heck out of me.

Often, friends who don’t cook much will admire my skills in the kitchen, but the way I see it – cooking is like a science lab.  Follow the directions and no one will get hurt.  Of course there’s creativity in coming up with new ingredient combinations too, but generally, I don’t see cooking as a “hard” thing to do.  Except for souffles.

The other night at dinner, my cousin Katie was looking at the dessert menu.  “What’s a chocolate scuffle?” she asked.  ”A chocolate scuffle?  What are you talking about,” we wondered.  Peeking over her shoulder, there it was – “chocolate scuffles” or to the more careful eye “chocolate souffles.”  We were laughing over it all the way home, and I just knew, with an event that silly to share, I had to face my fears and blog about it.  Oops – there’s the timer – wish me luck!

… katie was almost as nervous as I was…

katie was nervous

… TADA!!!!

 

Hooray!  These beauties rose perfectly and are melt-in-your-mouth good.

(Katie agrees)

mmmm good....

Here – I present to you fine ladies and gentlemen – chocolate scuffles!

PS  Any suggestions as to what to do with to left over egg yolks?

PPS  What recipes have you been too scared to try?  Which ones have you tried and confronted your fears with?

Chocolate “Scuffles”:

  • 7 ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus for preparing the molds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 8 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Confectioners’ sugar for garnish

1)  Brush 6 (6-ounce) ramekins with soft butter, then coat with sugar. Put the prepared ramekins in the freezer. (This can be done a day ahead.)

2)  Set an oven rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

3)  Put the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside.

4)  Combine the egg yolks and warm water in the bowl of a standing mixer or large bowl and beat until frothy. Gradually add 2 tablespoons sugar, and continue beating until ribbons form, about 5 minutes. Very lightly fold the yolks into the chocolate mixture. (Rinse the bowl well, if using for beating the egg whites.)

5)  Remove prepared ramekins from freezer. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer, or large non-reactive bowl, add the lemon juice. Beat on medium until frothy; then gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and increase speed to high. Beat until the whites hold a stiff but not dry peak.

6)  Working quickly, fold about a third of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten; then fold in remaining whites until blended. Gently ladle or spoon the souffle mixture into the ramekins, and place on a baking sheet. (Level off the surface with a straight edge, scraping any excess mixture back into the bowl.)

7)  Immediately bake until the souffle rises about 1 1/2 inches from the ramekins, and the tops are touched with brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.

original recipe

Applesauce Cake

September 29, 2010

applesauce cake

There’s a certain comfort in family recipes.  Even more so if they’re full of chocolaty goodness :)  This particular family recipe is one that has graced family get-togethers since before I can remember.  One taste of the homemade mocha frosting and you’ll realize why the heel of the loaf was always the most coveted piece of cake.

This delicious spiced cake is moist and fudgy (are you sensing a theme in my baked goods here? lol) and like a good lasagna, is even better aged a day or two (usually in the trunk of my Aunt Joanne’s car on the way to family reunions).

Even if you don’t like spiced cakes, please please PLEASE try this frosting.  Slap it on any good cake recipe and it will instantly turn a good cake into a great one :)

Here’s to old family recipes, coffee, and chocolate!

<3 Betty

applesauce cake

Applesauce cake

1/2 c. shortening (crisco)

1 c. sugar

1 egg

1 c. rasins (sometime I replace these with chocolate chips)

1 c. applesauce

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp hot water

2 c. flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease and flour a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, blend shortening, sugar and egg all together.   Add raisins and applesauce.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and spices.

Add 1/2 of mixture to the batter.

Dissolve  baking soda in hot water and add to batter.

Add remaining flour.

Pour into loaf pan and bake 1 hour.

Mocha frosting

4 Tbsp. butter

1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. Cocoa

3 or 4 Tbsp. hot coffee

2 c. powdered sugar

Blend butter, salt, cocoa, and 1/2 c. together.

Alternatively add hot coffee and powered sugar until combined, creamy, and delicious.

Spread icing on a cooled cake.

Can’t-live-with-out-them Brownies

September 28, 2010

In most of my cooking endeavours I try to make things new and different in some way or another.  Always deconstructing, miniaturizing, or adapting things, somehow making things my own makes them that much tastier.

There are a few times in life however, that something is perfect just the way it is.  No tweaking necessary.  So for brownies “that time of the month”, or any other time of the month for that matter – I defer to one of my foodie favs – Alton Brown – for brownies that you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) live without…  Ridiculously fudgy and as chocolaty as they come, these are definitely an all-time favorite.

<3 Betty

can't live without

  • Soft butter, for greasing the pan
  • Flour, for dusting the buttered pan
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, sifted
  • 8 ounces melted butter
  • 11/4 cups cocoa, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan and bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean. When it’s done, remove to a rack to cool. Resist the temptation to cut into it until it’s mostly cool.