Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chocolate Pancakes

Good morning! I thought I would start the day out with chocolate for breakfast, not a huge departure from a normal day where I start out with a huge cup of steaming French drinking chocolate. But today I was craving pancakes so I tried out a recipe that I found in Southern Living at Christmas. The pancakes were everything I thought they would be and more!  Delicious, fluffy and chocolaty. 

Chocolate Pancakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 (4-oz.) dark chocolate baking  bar, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together milk and next 4 ingredients in another bowl. Gradually stir milk mixture into flour mixture just until moistened. Pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto a hot buttered griddle or large nonstick skillet. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look dry and cooked. Turn and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until done. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and keep warm in a 200° oven up to 30 minutes.

I personally like this recipe with just powdered sugar sprinkled on top, it is just sweet enough and still not over the top. The actual recipe from Southern Living is for German chocolate pancakes with German chocolate syrup. When I made these I used a little OK, maybe a lot of homemade chocolate topping; they were delicious but probably more of a dessert than a warm hearty breakfast. 

Linking to:

I Should be Mopping The Floor

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

3rd Annual Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

Image from City Food

Oh my goodness, dreams really do come true! Can you imagine 27 days of hot chocolate made by 23 different venues, in 60 different flavors? 

Hot Chocolate is my FAVORITE thing to drink, EVER. I have it 356 days a year not matter the weather, 7 below or 107. It is my beverage of choice, like coffee and tea to others. 

I hope that if you are close to Vancouver and you are lucky enough to attend the 3rd Annual Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival that you come back and tell me all about your impressions of this seemingly wonderful festival!

Have a great day and stay warm!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hot Chocolate Master Blend

I know that many are experiencing unseasonable weather, either cold where it is normally warm or hot where it is normally snowy and cold. Either way, what could make you feel better on a winter day than a good book and of course a good cup of cocoa.

I make hot chocolate everyday 365 days a year, it is my beverage of choice and I love trying new recipes of standard hot chocolate.

In the December issue of Traditional Home Chicago Chef Mindy Segal  of the restaurant Hot Chocolate, shared her recipe for Hot Chocolate Master Blend.

This blend can be for a delicious cup of hot chocolate as well as several other delicious chocolate desserts, such as chocolate sauce, ganache, chocolate marshmallow cake and more.

Hot Chocolate Master Blend Recipe
From Chef Mindy Segal

21/2 lbs of high quality milk chocolate finely chopped
12 oz. high quality bittersweet chocolate finely chopped

On large cooking sheets combine both ingredients, freeze for one hour. Then process the mixture in a food processor to make fine granules. Do not process to long or the chocolate will melt. Transfer to a storage container. MAKES 9 cups.

One Perfect Cup of Hot Chocolate

1/3 cup of milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup of The Master Blend (from above)

Combine milk and cream in small saucepan and heat mixture until just boiling. Remove saucepan from heat, and add The Master Blend, DO NOT STIR. Let stand for 5 minutes. Then whisk until smooth.

I hope you have a great week! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bakery Cakes: Yes or No?

Good morning, I hope your New Year is starting off with a bang. I feel like I have been on an extended vacation and frankly with all of the stuff going on in my life I cannot get back on track. 

This past weekend we had a rather large party for my sister and while we had many homemade desserts, we opted out of baking the cakes. We simply had to much else to do. Off we went to a bakery that came highly recommended and I have to say I was a wee bit disappointed.

Do you ever have that happen? You follow a "great" recommendation and then it doesn't work out. I think the cakes were cute and they tasted fine but I was expecting WOW! 

Not to mention that I personally make really great chocolate cakes so perhaps that was my measure.

Oh well, lesson learned, make sure that you always leave room if you are having a party to "make dessert first."

Have a great day!