Friday, December 9, 2016

The Best Chocolate Cheesecake





The holidays are a great time to try new things or to bring out your favorite recipes. I have been making this chocolate cheesecake for years and the reason is because it is the best recipe I have found. This cheesecake is rich and decadent and the perfect dessert to serve at the holidays! 






The Best Chocolate Cheesecake
18 Oreo cookies finely ground
2 tbsp. butter, melted
3 packages, 8oz. each. Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
8 oz semis-sweet chocolate. melted and cooled
3 eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 325. Place a 9 x 13 inch baking pan filled with water on the lower shelf. In a small bowl melt butter, then add the cookie crumbs and press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. Bake 10 minutes then remove from oven to cool. 

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Then add chocolate and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, mix on low until just blended. Then pour over the crust. 

Place pan on the shelf above the pan of water. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the center is almost done. Then turn off oven and open the door an inch. Let cheesecake cool for 1 house and then remove from oven and run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake. Cool completely before removing the rim. Refrigerate for 4 hours or over night. 






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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting


I don't know about you but I have my "go to" cake recipe and my "go to frosting" and I LOVE them both but sometimes I feel like trying something new. So when I discovered this Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting I couldn't wait to try it. 




This recipe is delicious, it is rich, creamy and tastes just like melted fudge. 

Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Recipe from Go go go Gourmet

12 tablespoons of butter
4.5 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
11/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
11/2 teaspoons vanilla
11/2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/2 cup whole milk

In a microwave safe bowl microwave chocolates and butter together in 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 increment until the mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla.
Add powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with a whisk attachment. Then slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the powdered sugar while the mixture is running. 
Add the milk a little at a time, add only as much as it needed to obtain a smooth and spreadable frosting. 




Enjoy!





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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Viennese Hot Chocolate

  • Good morning! The winds of change are swirling here, yesterday it was 74 and today it is 40! Time to settle and and get ready for winter. To me that means comfy blankets, piles of books and magazines and copious amours of hot chocolate. 



This morning I decided to try a little Viennese hot chocolate and I loved it, it takes me back to my time traveling in Vienna. It is rich and delicious and even better, it is so easy to make. 

  • Ingredients

  • 3 cups of low-fat milk
  • 7 oz premium dark chocolate, grated
  • 1 T granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 T confectioner's sugar



























Directions
In a sauce pan, gently heat 1 C of milk with grated chocolate. Simmer over low heat until all chocolate has dissolved. Combine remaining milk and granulated sugar in another saucepan and gently heat, whisking until all sugar has dissolved. Add chocolate mix to sugared milk and continue simmering over low. In a bowl, whisk heavy cream and vanilla together on high slowly adding confectioner's sugar until peaks form. Remove hot chocolate from heat and divide into cups. Place a generous dollop of whipped cream on top of each. Garnish with a pinch of cocoa powder or sprinkle with chocolate shavings and serve.
  • Makes 4-6 servings, depending on mug size.

  • Enjoy!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Pumpkin Patch Chocolate Cupcakes







I love pumpkins and this week I found a pin on Pinterest of the cutest pumpkin cupcakes from Just a Taste so I decided to make my own version. 






My version uses a tried and true favorite chocolate cake from Hershey's and simple white buttercream frosting that I colored orange and then sprinkled with sugar. Add a tootsie roll stem and a curly cue of green frosting and you have the cutest cupcakes. 







Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe from Hershey's Cocoa

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions


Heat oven to 350°F. Line baking pans with paper liners ad set aside. 

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.





Basic Butter Cream Frosting



3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 cup of softened butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-2 tablespoons heavy cream



Orange food coloring

Green food coloring

Orange sanding sugar

20 tootsie rolls



In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix the butter and powder sugar on low until blended, then mix on medium for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy. Then add vanilla and heavy cream and blend one more minute. Add more cream to get to desired consistency.



Place a small amount of frosting into a small bowl and add green food coloring until the frosting is the color that you want. Spoon into a baggie and set aside. 



Add orange food coloring to the remaining frosting until you get the orange color that you want. If you are combining red and yellow go slow with the colors because otherwise you could end up with a color that you do not like by adding too much of one color. 



Once you have the decided color frost each cupcake with the orange frosting, then sprinkle with the orange sugar. Snip the corner of the baggie of green frosting and make vines on the cupcakes. Stick an unwrapped tootsie roll into the side of the cupcake where you drew the vines. 









Enjoy

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies from Williams Sonoma

I love chocolate chip cookies, but I like them crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside with a lot of chocolate. These cookies from Williams Sonoma are perfect, exactly like the name of the recipe and exactly the way I like them!  They are slightly crunchy, soft and chocolatly. 





The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 1/4 cups  unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick ) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup  firmly packed light brown sugar
6 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silphat baking liner. 
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed until blended. Then slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. With a wooden spoon stir in the chocolate chips.
Using a small ice cream scoop drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the dough mounds 2 inches apart. 
Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, at 350 F until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned about, 10-13 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely. 




I love these cookies! I love the raw dough, I love them warm from the oven and even two days later! These just might be the perfect chocolate chip cookie, if not they are pretty close!

I hope that you try them!


Monday, October 17, 2016

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies






If you have read this blog more than once than you know that I am continually on the hunt for the "best" chocolate chip cookies, the most moist, chocolate cake and of course the fudgiest brownies. I think I may have discovered the best brownies I have ever made. These brownies almost never made it into the oven because I ate so much of the batter. 

The brownies are perfect just the way the original recipe from Cafe Delites is made, I just decided to frost them because I had leftover frosting from another project. I love them plain and frosted. 




The Best Fudgy Cocoa Brownies


1/2 cup unsalted butter. melted
1 tablespoon cooking oil
11/8 cup superfine sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Lighly grease an 8in square pan and then line with parchment paper. Set aside. 

Combine melted butter, oil and sugar together in a medium bowl and whish for about a minute. This will give the brownies a nice crust. Then add the eggs, and vanilla and whisk for another minute. 

Add the flour, cocoa powder and salt, stirring just until the ingredients are combined. Do not over beat or you will end up with cake brownies. 

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. If you test for doneness with a toothpick the pick will come out with thick fudge crumbs. The brownies will continue to bake while in the pan cooling. 

Cool to room temperature. 







Enjoy!