Posts Tagged 'chocolate'

Banana Cake with Chocolate Glaze

There are lots of different things you can make using overripe bananas.  Some of my favorite breakfast recipes using bananas are green smoothies, fruity smoothies, banana cinnamon muffins, and blueberry banana muffins.  Bananas are also great in desserts too – like in this delicious banana cake with chocolate glaze.  The cake itself tastes very similar to banana bread, but the addition of a silky chocolate glaze makes this cake extra rich and delicious.  This cake is extremely moist, and the chocolate complements the banana flavor very well.  Like most desserts I’ve been making lately, this cake is super easy to make.  The batter takes just a few minutes to mix up, and frosting the cake couldn’t be any easier – you just simply pour the warm chocolate glaze over the top of the cake and it will seep to the sides of the pan, thus covering the whole cake.  I recommend serving this yummy cake with a cold glass of milk.  Enjoy!

Banana Cake with Chocolate Glaze

(print recipe)

Banana Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup buttermilk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the bananas and vanilla extract.
  4. Alternatively add and beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk in 5 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

Yield: One 13 x 9 inch cake

Source: slightly adapted from The Pastry Affair

Semisweet Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup

Directions

  1. Combine the chocolate, cream, butter and corn syrup in a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over simmering water.
  2. Heat until the chocolate has melted, and then whisk the ingredients together until completely smooth.  Pour the glaze over the top of the chilled cake, allowing it to run to the sides of the pan.

Note: The cake should be stored in the refrigerator.  You can serve it cold, or let it come to room temperature for 30-45 minutes before serving.

Source: Cooking with Karen; Originally adapted from Annie’s Eats

One Year Ago: Amaretto Madeleines

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Twix Caramel Brownies

When I first saw the recipe for these Twix Caramel Brownies on the blog ‘Two Peas and Their Pod’, I could not get them out of my mind.  I mean, how can you resist brownies made out of chocolate, caramel, and Twix bars??  I absolutely love the combination of chocolate and caramel, so I knew I would love these brownies.  After a few days went by and I still couldn’t stop thinking about these brownies, I finally decided it was time to give into my craving, so I picked up some Twix bars and caramel sauce at the grocery store, and then got to work in my kitchen.

And all I can say is wow.  These brownies are amazing!  They are definitely some of the best brownies I have ever had.  They are so fudgy, rich, and chocolaty.  And the addition of caramel and Twix bars takes them over the top – I love the extra little bit of crunch and sweetness that the Twix bars impart.  If you are in the mood for a fancier variation of classic brownies, try these Twix caramel brownies!

Twix Caramel Brownies

(print recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups chopped Twix candy bars
  • 1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Place butter in a medium saucepan on the stove. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and stir in sugar and vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well with spoon after each addition. Add cocoa; stir until well blended. Add flour, baking powder and salt; stir until combined. Stir in Twix candy bar chunks. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. Drizzle caramel evenly over the brownies. Using a toothpick, swirl caramel into brownies. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool brownies completely in pan on a wire rack. Once cool, cut into squares and serve.

Yield: 24 brownies

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

One Year Ago: White Wine Sangria


S’mores Cake

When I saw this cake featured on Annie’s Eats, I just knew I had to make it ASAP so it went straight to the top of my list of recipes to try.  This cake was truly exceptional.  I expected it to be good and all, but it wasn’t just good; it was really really good.  It’s a two-layer graham cracker flavored cake that is super moist, flavorful, and buttery.  It made my house smell amazing as it was baking in the oven.  It’s the kind of aroma that you just want to bottle up and turn into a scented candle so that you can enjoy it all the time.  Marshmallow fluff is sandwiched between the two cake layers and then the entire cake is covered in a silky milk chocolate glaze.  The top of the cake is garnished with even more marshmallow fluff as well as graham crackers and chocolate bars.  This cake is the perfect thing to make to kick off the summer season!  And it really does taste like a giant s’more.  Try it, you will definitely want to eat s’more of it!  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist! :)  )  Enjoy!

S’mores Cake

(print recipe)

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (to make the crumbs, pulse graham crackers in a food processor until they are finely ground)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk

For the filling:

  • Marshmallow fluff

For the milk chocolate glaze:

  • 8 oz. milk chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup

For decoration:

  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup marshmallow fluff
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 tsp. milk
  • Small rectangles of graham cracker and milk chocolate, for garnish

Directions

  1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 375° F.  Line the bottom of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper.  Grease and flour the sides of the pans; set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; stir together and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.  Transfer the egg whites to a separate bowl and set aside.  Replace the mixer bowl and fit it with the paddle attachment.  Cream together the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Mix in the egg yolks until well combined.  Stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Add in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternately with the milk (in 2 additions) on low speed, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in about a third of the egg whites to lighten the batter.  Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until completely incorporated.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.  Bake the cakes for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 5-10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack, remove the parchment paper and let cool completely.
  5. Once the cake has cooled completely, transfer one of the cake layers to a foil-covered cardboard cake circle and place on a serving platter.  Carefully spread a layer of marshmallow fluff over the cake.  Top with the remaining cake layer and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour.
  6. To make the milk chocolate glaze, combine the chocolate, cream, butter and corn syrup in a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over simmering water.  Heat until the chocolate has melted, and then whisk the ingredients together until completely smooth.  Pour the glaze over the top of the chilled cake, allowing it to run down the sides of the cake in some places.  Return the cake to the refrigerator to chill until set.
  7. To make the marshmallow frosting for decoration, combine the butter and marshmallow fluff in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until well combined.  Stir in the milk to smooth the frosting out a bit, adding a tiny bit more liquid if necessary.
  8. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.  Pipe dollops of frosting around the edges of the chilled cake and decorate with small rectangles of graham cracker and milk chocolate.  Store the cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve, and allow it to sit at room temperature about 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Source: slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats; Originally adapted from Baking Bites

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Lately I have been making lots of cupcakes!  They are so much fun to make and the flavor possibilities are endless.  One flavor combination I absolutely love is chocolate and raspberry.  Of all the cupcakes I’ve made recently, I think these double chocolate raspberry cupcakes are my favorite.  (Eric agrees).  These cupcakes are fluffy, moist, light and airy.  And they are super rich because they contain both melted chocolate and cocoa powder, and in addition to that, the chocolate flavor is further enhanced by coffee.  The centers of these cupcakes are injected with a delicious raspberry filling, and the cupcakes are topped with a rich and creamy chocolate ganache.  As a final sweet touch, the cupcakes are garnished with chocolate ganache-filled raspberries (whoever thought of filling raspberries with chocolate is a genius!)  These cupcakes do take some time to make, but the end result is well worth the time and effort.

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

(print recipe)

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 3 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • 1¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • ¾ tsp. vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 1 (12 oz.) bag frozen raspberries, thawed
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch

For the frosting:

  • 12 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1½ tbsp. sugar
  • 1½ tbsp. corn syrup
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions

  1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl; add the hot coffee and let stand a minute or two, then whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the eggs on medium-high speed until slightly thickened and pale yellow.  Slowly add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to the eggs, mixing until well blended.  Add the dry ingredients and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ of the way full.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.   Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the raspberry filling, puree the raspberries in a blender or food processor.  Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan to remove the seeds.  Whisk in the sugar and cornstarch, and heat, stirring frequently until the mixture boils.  Once it has thickened, remove the pan from the heat.  Chill before using.
  5. Meanwhile, make the ganache.  Add the chopped chocolate to a medium heatproof bowl.  In a saucepan combine the cream, corn syrup and sugar.  Heat until just boiling.  Immediately pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate and let stand a few minutes to melt.  Whisk in small circular motions until the mixture is smooth and blended, then whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until completely incorporated.  Let the mixture stand at room temperature to thicken slightly, so it can be piped or spread.
  6. To assemble the cupcakes, place the raspberry filling in a pastry bag.  (I used a tip specifically for injecting fillings, but a plain tip is fine too.  This cake is soft enough that you can just stick the tip into the top of the cupcake and pipe away.)  Pipe a few teaspoons of filling into each cupcake.  Spread the ganache over the tops of the cupcakes.  If desired, pipe excess ganache inside fresh raspberries and place on top of the frosted cupcakes (be sure to do this before the frosting sets.)  Allow to set completely before serving.

Note: These cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator.  Let them come to room temperature for about 45 minutes before serving.

Yield: 24-28 cupcakes

Source: Annie’s Eats; originally adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Gourmet, March 1999

Coffee ‘n’ Cream Brownies

This recipe for Coffee and Cream brownies comes from the cookbook ‘Taste of Home Cookies’, which I picked up on sale at Costco a few years ago.  This book has tons of recipes for cookies and cookie-type desserts in it, including these delicious brownies.  These 3-layer brownies are comprised of a brownie layer, topped with an espresso buttercream layer, followed by a layer of chocolate ganache.  The espresso layer tastes very similar to my favorite mocha buttercream frosting.  You really cannot go wrong when you top brownies with frosting and chocolate ganache!  These brownies are so rich and chocolaty.  I love the creamy topping on the chewy brownie base.  They are the perfect thing to bake to satisfy any chocolate craving!

Coffee ‘n’ Cream Brownies

(print recipe)

Ingredients:

For the Brownie Layer:

  • ½ cup butter, cubed
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

For the Espresso Buttercream Layer:

  • 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

For the Chocolate Ganache Layer:

  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

  1. In a microwave, melt the butter and chocolate; stir until smooth.  Cool slightly.  In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla; then stir in the chocolate mixture.  In a separate small bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.  Gradually add the flour/baking soda mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir until fully incorporated.
  2. Spread the brownie batter into a greased 8-in. square baking dish.  Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake).  Cool on a wire rack.
  3. To make the espresso buttercream filling:  Combine the cream and espresso powder in a small bowl; stir until the espresso powder is dissolved.  Using a mixer (my hand held mixer worked well for this), cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar together until light and fluffy.  Beat in the coffee mixture until light and fluffy, and then spread the filling over the cooled brownies.  Place the brownies in the refrigerator while you make the chocolate ganache layer.
  4. To make the chocolate ganache layer:  In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream.  Cook and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is thickened.  Cool slightly.  Carefully spread over the buttercream filling (I just poured the ganache over the filling and then gently tilted the pan from side to side until it had completely spread to cover the filling).  Place the brownies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the glaze is set.  Cut into squares and serve.  Store the brownies in the refrigerator. 

Source: Adapted from Taste of Home Cookies

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

If you like chocolate, then you will love this decadent dessert.  The cake is comprised of three distinct layers of chocolate, each one progressively lighter in color and flavor, all topped with a sprinkling of delicate dark chocolate curls.  To elaborate, the bottom layer is a rich, flourless dark chocolate cake.  This is topped with a rich and creamy dark chocolate mousse, and the top layer is a sweet and silky white chocolate mousse.

I first saw this recipe featured on an episode of America’s Test Kitchen, and I was totally smitten with it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to making it until last weekend (about a year after seeing the episode.)  Do not make the same mistake I did and set this recipe aside only to be forgotten – I highly recommend making this cake as soon as possible.  In fact, I’m already planning to make it again very soon!

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

(print recipe)

Ingredients:

For the bottom layer:

  • 6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar (2 ½ ounces), crumbled with your fingers to remove lumps

For the middle layer:

  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed
  • 5 tbsp. hot water
  • 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt

For the top layer:

  • ¾ tsp. powdered gelatin
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 6 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped (or white chocolate chips)
  • 1½ cups cold heavy cream

For the garnish: shaved chocolate curls or cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. For the bottom layer: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 ½ -inch springform pan (the sides of the pan should be at least 3 inches high).  Melt the butter, chocolate, and espresso powder in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth.  Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in the vanilla extract and egg yolks; set aside.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until foamy, about 30 seconds.  Add half of the brown sugar into the mixing bowl and beat until combined, about 15 seconds.  Add the remaining brown sugar and continue to beat at high speed until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, about 1 minute longer.  Using a whisk, mix one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain.  Carefully pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and gently smooth the top with an offset spatula.
  3. Bake until the cake has risen, is firm around the edges, and the center has just set but is still soft (the center of the cake should spring back after pressing gently with a finger), about 13-18 minutes.  Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour.  Do not remove the cake from the pan.
  4. For the middle layer:  Combine the cocoa powder and hot water in a small bowl and set aside.  Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan filled with 1 inch of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.  Once the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat and cool slightly, about 2-5 minutes.  (Alternatively you can melt the chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl in the microwave.)
  5. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, granulated sugar and salt at medium speed until the mixture begins to thicken, about 30 seconds.  Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, about 15-60 seconds.
  6. Whisk the cocoa powder mixture into the melted chocolate until smooth.  Using a whisk, fold one-third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it.  With a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain.  Pour the mousse into the springform pan over the cooled cake and gently tap the pan on the counter 3 times to remove any air bubbles.  Then carefully smooth the top with a spatula and wipe the inside edge of the pan with a damp paper towel to remove any drips.  Refrigerate the cake for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the top layer.
  7. For the top layer:  In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let it stand at least 5 minutes.  Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl.  Bring ½ cup of the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Remove the pan from the heat, add the gelatin mixture, and stir until dissolved.  Pour the cream mixture over the white chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.  Cool the mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 5-8 minutes.  (The mixture should thicken slightly).
  8. In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the remaining one cup of cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken, approximately 30 seconds.  Increase the speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 15-60 seconds.  Using a whisk, fold one-third of the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture to lighten it.  With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain.  Spoon the white chocolate mousse into the pan over the middle layer, and then smooth the top with an offset spatula.  Return the cake to the refrigerator and chill until set, at least 2½ hours.
  9. To serve:  Garnish the top of the cake with chocolate curls or dust the cake with cocoa powder.  Carefully remove the sides of the springform pan from the cake.  Cut the cake into slices and serve.

Serves: 12-16

Note:  I don’t have a 9 ½ inch springform pan.  Instead I used my 7-inch springform pan and halved the above recipe.  This worked perfectly, and yielded a smaller cake that serves 6-8 people.

Source: Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated magazine, November & December 2009 issue

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

If you like chocolate and peanut butter, then you will love these peanut butter chocolate chip bars.  They taste like peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, but because they are in bar form, they only take a few minutes to mix up.  And while they bake, they will make your house smell amazing!  They are the perfect thing to make for dessert or a snack.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter (I use Skippy Natural)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8 x 8″ pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter together until smooth.  Beat in the sugars until combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.  Stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture.  Add the chocolate chips, stirring until combined.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30- 32 minutes.  Cool completely before cutting.

Source: slightly adapted from Bake at 350; originally adapted from The King Arthur Flour’s Cookie Companion


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