Monday, January 27, 2014

National Chocolate Cake Day

I love a holiday and if it includes chocolate even more so. Today is National Chocolate Cake Day, yes there is such a day as well as National Cream Puff Day, National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and more.

To celebrate National Chocolate Cake Day I made a scrumptious Chocolate Banana Cake with Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting. 

Recipe from The Joy of Baking

2 cups of white sugar
13/4 cup flour
3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
11/2 tsp. baking powder
11/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana( about 2-3 bananas)
1 cup of warm water
1/2 cup of milk 
1/2 cup of oil(canola, safflower, corn)
1/12 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder. Set aside. In another bowl whisk the eggs, bananas, water, milk, oil and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisked until combined. Pour batter into prepared 9 x 13 inch prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. 

Let cool and then frost

From the Savory Sweet Life

2 sticks of unsalted butter softened
31/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt 
2 tsp. vanilla
4 tablespoons of heavy cream

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream the butter for a few minutes. Add the powdered sugar, salt  and the cocoa powder and mix on LOW until incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium high and add vanilla and heavy cream until desired spreading consistency.

Did you make anything for National Chocolate Cake Day? If so please share you recipe I would love to try it. 

Have a great week. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Winter is typically one of my favorite times of the year. I love the snow, snow shoeing, long days and lots of time to relax and read by the fire. But this year the bone chilling cold is getting me down.

To combat the winter blues I have been drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate and this morning is no different. After all what could be better after shoveling than a piping hot cup of chocolaty goodness?

Homemade Hot Chocolate
Serves 4

3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 oz. 60% dark chocolate
3 oz. 70% dark chocolate
2 oz. milk chocolate
3 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

In a small saucepan bring milk and cream to a low simmer, over a medium to high heat. Do not scald the milk. Chop chocolate into small pieces. Once milk is warm add the sugar and salt and whisk to combine. Add the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Mix until combined and then serve. You can add whipped cream, marshmallows or whatever else you like as a garnish or serve it plain.

This is my standard recipe, the only variation is the percentage of chocolate depending on what is in my cabinet. Sometimes I have more dark that milk, other times I use all dark and just add a touch more sugar. 

Do you have a favorite hot chocolate recipe? I would love for you to share a like if you do or just write it in the comment section. 

I hope that you stay warm and have a fabulous weekend!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunk Magic Bars

Magic Bars are one of my favorite desserts to make, they are perfect right out of the oven, or paired with vanilla ice cream and fudge topping. 

They are also one of the most versatile bars that you can make because you can basically add any kinds of chips, candy bars, nuts, fruits, or toppings and have the perfect dessert.

After the holidays I ended up with a few bags of mini candy bars, Kit-Kat's, and Peanut Butter cups among them; and as chocolate and peanut butter are one of my favorite combinations I thought they would make the  the perfect Magic Bar. I was correct, they are perfect. These bars are chocolaty, with a hint of peanut butter, a little crunchy and buttery sweet from the graham crackers and condensed milk. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chunk Magic Bars

1/2 cup melted butter

11/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs

1 can of Eagle brand condensed milk

3 cups if chopped candy bars, Kit-Kats, Peanut Butter Cups

Heat oven to 350. Melt butter and pour into a 9 x 13 pan. Mix in graham cracker crumbs. Pour condensed milk over the crumbs and then layer the remaining ingredients evenly. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool.

Tell me, do you have a Magic Bar combination that you enjoy? Are you a traditionalist or do you experiment with different combinations of chocolate, coconut and nuts? Please share your favorite and if you try this one come back and let me know what you thought of it. 

Linking to:
Stone Gable

Friday, January 3, 2014

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

Oatmeal is the perfect way to start the day, especially a cold winter morning. Normally I like it with cinnamon and brown sugar but I thought it might be a nice treat to try it chocolate flavored. Boy am I glad that I did, it is so, so easy and even more delicious. In fact it is so good that this may become my "go to" weekend treat. 

Chocolate Oatmeal
serves 1

1 cup of water or milk
1/2 cup of oats
1/8-1/4 cup of chocolate chips

Place water and oats in a small saucepan on the stove and bring to a boil, continue cooking for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/8 cup of chocolate chips. Garnish with additional chips if you feel like it. 

As I said, it does not get any easier, five minutes and you have a rich, healthy, chocolaty breakfast or afternoon treat! Both oats and chocolate are good for your health and good for your heart so surely combined they are doubly healthy. Whatever the case, everything is fine in moderation.