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!



Monday, September 21, 2015

Beatty's Chocolate Cake by Ina Garten





I am a huge fan of the Barefoot Contessa otherwise known as Ina Garten and in fact bake from her books a lot.  I have scrolled through the pages often and have seen a fabulous chocolate cake with shiny chocolate that looks delectable but for whatever reason have never made it, until today! And I am so happy that I did because this cake is light, moist, sweet, and has a rich chocolate flavor.





Beatty's Chocolate Cake

13/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup butter milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two 8 inch round baking pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, then spray with baking spray or butter and flour.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until combined.

In a separate bowl add eggs, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla, mix to combine. With the mixer on low speed slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, add the coffee until just combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a spatula.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, the. Turn out onto wore rack, remove parchment and cool completely.


Chocolate Frosting

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, Not chocolate chips
2 sticks of unsalted  butter, softened
1 large egg yolk at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
11/4 sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water


Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl over simmering water. Stir until just melted the set aside to cool to rom temperature.

In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment beat the butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eg yolk and the vanilla and beat an additional 3 minutes. Turntable he mixer on low and add the powdered sugar then beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Turn mixer to low speed and add the coffee and the melted chocolate, mix until just blended. Don't whip. Spared the frosting on the cooled cake.

Note: The egg yolk makes the frosting shiny, you can omit it and just whip the frosting a bit more. Also, I used 2 9" square pans although the recipe calls for round. I cut one in half and made this cake.



I hope that you try this fabulous cake! Have a great day.





Linking to:
Rooted in Thyme
Coastal Charm
Inspiration Monday
Savvy Souther Style
Katherine's Corner-Thursday
Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Choctal Ice Cream Review

Did you know that ice cream is the preferred dessert of most people? Aparantly in a recent poll 40% of the participants said they would choose ice cream over cake, cookies, brownies and more. I have to be honest I was a little surprised by that. But I have to tell you that if they were eating any of the rich, decadent  ice cream from Choctal than I can see why.






Choctal if you are not familiar is "the new kid on the block" as far as premium ice cream is concerned. Currently, they make vanilla and chocolate ice cream and thats it! What makes their ice cream not only unique but special, is that they make four kinds of vanilla and four kinds of chocolate and each one is a single-origin ice cream. Meaning that a single plant from a single region is used in each different ice cream, a single variety of cocoa or vanilla bean used is in each flavor.





Now that might sound like a marketing ploy, chocolate is chocolate right? I am here to tell you that all chocolate is not created equal nor does it taste the same. The cocoa beans from each area taste different because of the soil, the climate, etc. Just like wine or coffee. In the case of Chocotal ice cream, each kind is unique, from the color to the texture and of course in the taste.

The four varieties of chocolate are, Coasta Rican Chocolate, Ghana Chocolate, Dominican Chocolate, and Kalimantan Chocolate and the tastes are as different as night and day.





For instance in the Costa Rican has hints of coffee, sweet buttery caramel and chocolate, where as the     Ghana is the lightest in color and more milk chocolate like, it is light, fruity and refreshing. The Kalimantan which is the darkest of the four has a hint of caramel and a bit of a smokey taste. The Dominican is my absolute favorite because it is like eating a spicy hot chocolate, it has hints of coffee, cloves, nutmeg and licorice all rolled into one dark ice cream. I think it is the perfect flavor for Fall!

Choctal is available at 200 stores across the U. S. including Whole Foods and Bristol Farms. Check their website for more locations or purchase directly from their web-page HERE.

NOTE: I also tasted all four flavors of the vanilla and they are all delicious!

Disclosure: I was supplied with samples of Choctal ice cream to try and review. I received no compensation in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cookies and Cream Brownies






Brownies, Oreos, fluffy frosting and fudge drizzle, combine to make the most scrumptious moist, chocolaty brownies. These brownies are served at a cafe near my house and I LOVE them!





In fact I love them so much I have been known to just skip lunch and have these instead. After searching for the recipe or something similar I finally found the recipe in Extreme Brownies by Connie Weis




Cookies and Cream Brownies
Recipe from Connies Weis

Brownies:
2 sticks unsalted butter
11/3 cups 60% bittersweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
11/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 + 1 Tablespoon cake flour
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
15 Oreo cookies

Fluffy White Frosting:
8 Tablespoons vegetable shorting (Crisco)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup marshmallow creme (Fluff)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
11/4 cups powdered sugar

Fudge Topping:
11/4 cups Oreo Mini Cookies
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons very hot water


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13" pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.  Cut the butter into small chances and place in a small sauce pan, melt over low heat and then add the chocolate chips, stir until smooth and chocolate is melted. 

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then add the sugar and whisk until fully incorporated. Gradually add in the cooled chocolate and mix well. Add the vanilla and mix.

Measure the flour and cocoa and place in a strainer or sifter and sift the mixture directly into the chocolate batter. Stir until just mixed. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place 15 large Oreos evenly on the top, press down lightly. 

Bake brownies for 28-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool brownies to room temperature and then let sit overnight. 

Frosting:

Beat the shortening and butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix in marshmallow cream and vanilla. Slowly mix in powdered sugar. Spread the frosting over the brownies. Then top with mini-oreos. 

Fudge Topping:

Melt the butter and corn syrup in a pan over low heat. Turn off the heat and stir in the chocolate ships, mix well then add the hot water. Drizzle the fudge topping over the frosting. Chill the finished brownies for 1 hour or until the frosting and the topping sets. Remove from pan and slice into bars.