Sunday, November 29, 2015

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce From David Lebovitz

The holidays are upon us, how they arrived so fast I have no idea! It seems like a few sorts weeks ago I was laying on the beach. I am currently trying to get into the holiday mode.

One of the things I like to do for family and friends at the holidays is give homemade gifts. Aside from the usual cookies, I like to make candy and ice cream toppings. Once of the easiest and tastiest is Homemade Hot Fudge.

You could make fudge, caramel, and a few other sauces, put it in a basket with some brownies and other ice cream topping and have the perfect gift for the sundae lovers in your family. Personally, I do not know anyone that would not like a jar or two of this fabulous fudge sauce perfect by the king of chocolate, David Lebovitz.

Homemade Hot Fudge
Recipe from David Lebovitz
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Melt the chocolate and the butter in a bowl set over simmering water, stir until smooth. In a medium saucepan, while the chocolate is melting, whisk together the sugars, cocoa, corn syrup, salt and heavy cream. Heat the mixture over low-medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken and comes to a low boil. Continue to cook for 45 seconds.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the melted chocolate.

Serve over ice cream, cake or whatever suits your fancy.

NOTE: The hot fudge can be stored for up to one week in the refrigerator. Rewarm gently and use a bit of cream to thin out if mixture is to thick.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Today is my birthday and what better way could there be to celebrate than with a chocolate cake? 

This isn't just any cake, it is a moist, chocolaty, buttermilk chocolate cake with whipped chocolate buttercream frosting. 

Buttermilk Cake

1 cup of butter, cubed
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare either a 13 x 9" pan or 2 8" round pans with cooking spray. In a small saucepan bring butter, water and cocoa to a boil. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add cocoa mixture. Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla, then add to the batter and mix well, beat in the eggs and then pour into prepared pans. Bake for 23-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 


3/4 cup of cocoa
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 stick softened butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whipping cream, plus extra

In a bowl which together the cocoa and the sugar and set aside. Then in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter until smooth. Add the cocoa mixture, alternating with the whipping cream until mixture is creamy and blended well, then add the vanilla. Gradually add cream until you have the desired spreading consistency. Do not add a lot at once or your frosting will get soupy. 

Note: For this cake I garnished with berries and I used about 1/4 cup of frosting which I heated in the microwave and drizzled over the top of the berries. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Best Salted Caramels EVER by Salt & Ayre

I love salted caramels! I could curl up with a box and a book and be happy for about 10 minutes...ok maybe 15 if I did not embarrass myself.

Recently I was given a box of these unbelievable salted caramels and frankly they are the best I have even eaten! They are called  Salt & Ayre and are made by Harbor Sweets.  These sweet creamy caramels are enrobed in dark chocolate and dusted with  sea salt, making the perfect sweet salty mouthful.  

Since then I may or may not have purchased another 6 boxes. In my defense I did give 1 box away to a friend.  In fact I will be ordering a lot more of these to give as Christmas gifts. 

If you are a salted caramel fan then you might want to give these a try! If you have suggestions for your favorite salted caramel then please share with me!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wellesley Chocolate Fudge Cake

I bake a lot of cakes and chocolate happens to be a particular favorite, go figure. Although I have quite a few in my repertoire there are several that I go back to again and again and again and this cake is one of them. 

What I love about it is that it is:

A. It's chocolate
B. It has a  fabulous chocolate fudge icing. 
C. Is moist and stays that way for days.
D. And it mails well, yes I have mailed this cake to several friends and it always arrives in one piece and is still fresh!

This recipe is one that I found while perusing Pinterest. What did we ever do without Pinterest by the way? The recipe is from Sifting Focus, it is a little long but worth it.

Wellesley Fudge Cake 

21/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
2 sticks of butter cut into 16 pieces, softened
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

31/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 stick of butter cut in half and softened
11/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake: Place oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 350. Prepare two 8" square pans with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. 
Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder and the hot water until smooth. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time and mix until incorporated. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix until combined. Reduce speed and slowly add the cocoa/water mixture and the vanilla, until incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans. Bake about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out to cool on a rack. 


Sift together the powdered sugar and the cocoa. Set aside. Heat 4 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, salt, and 1/2 cup of half and half in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until bubbles occur around the edges. About 4-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently until the mixture thickens and turns golden brown about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add 4 pieces of butter, stir well then add the remaining half and half with the other ingredients. Add the chopped chocolate and vanilla, then stir until smooth. Slowly whisk in the cocoa/powder sugar until incorporated. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Then refrigerate for 30-40 minutes until frosting reaches desired consistency.


Place 1 layer of cake on a platter, spread a cup of frosting over the surface. Add second layer and the frost the rest of the cake. Can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Serve and enjoy. 

What do you think? Doesn't this cake look fabulous? I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Connie's PMS Brownies

A few weeks ago I shared a recipe from Extreme Brownies my new favorite cookbook. I have been going from cover to cover baking each and every recipe. These "PMS" brownies are another rich, chewy, chocolaty brownie that I have made and shared several times now, they are quite popular in my house and will be in yours too I believe. 

Connie’s “PMS” Brownie

3 sticks unsalted butter

2 cups,60% bittersweet chocolate chips

6 large eggs, at room temperature

3 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups cake flour

1 cup and 2 tablespoons  Dutch-processed unsweetened 

     cocoa powder

Adjust the rack to the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 F.  Prepare a 9 x 13 inch  baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, spray foil with cooking spray or grease with vegetable shortening

Cut the butter into 1- inch chunks. In a small, heavy saucepan, melt the butter pieces over low heat; add the chocolate chips. Stir with a small whisk until combined and the chocolate is melted and smooth. Turn off the heat but leave the saucepan on the burner until ready to use.

Using a whisk, lightly beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Place the sugar and salt in a separate small mixing bowl, then whisk into eggs just until incorporated. Briefly whisk the melted chocolate mixture, then gradually whisk into the egg mixture until just combined, whisk in the vanilla.

Place the flour and cocoa powder in a small mixing bowl; whisk to combine. Sift through a strainer directly into the batter; stir into mixture with a spatula until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 34 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let cool at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, then refrigerate the pan for 7 or 8 hours, or overnight. 

Remove brownies from the pan then peel off and discard the foil. Place the slab of brownies on a cutting board. Cut brownies with a sharp knife that as been heated in hot water. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Chocolate for Breakfast

Just curious? Do you ever eat chocolate for breakfast? Aside from chocolate cake, or leftover brownies I mean chocolate cereal, pancakes, or even chocolate rice?

You maybe too young but I can remember as a child and I am now 48, my grandmother having chocolate rice for breakfast every morning! I don't know that she had a recipe for this heavenly concoction but as a child it seemed like a delicious and healthy morning treat.

What is your favorite chocolate breakfast?

Goodbye Summer Hello Fall

Hello Fall!