Archive for ‘Chocolate Lovers’

October 2, 2012

Chocolate Puffed Wheat Squares


These are my chocolatey alternative for rice crispy squares, and they are soooo easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden corn syurp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 heaping cups puffed wheat cereal

Directions:

  1. Scoop 8 heaping cups of puffed wheat cereal into a large bowl; set aside.
  2. Place margarine, cocoa, brown sugar, syrup, vanilla into a pot and stir over med/high heat until combined.
  3. Let mixture boil for 1-2 minutes. *DO NOT boil for too long or else the bars will become rock hard.
  4. Remove the pot and pour the hot mixture over the cereal.  Toss cereal until combined and press into a greased 8×8 dish.

Let cool and cut into squares. 🙂

Makes 9 – 12 good sized squares.

Enjoy,

Crystal

August 20, 2012

Chocolate Chunk Banana Loaf

I found this entry sitting in my drafts folder, I thought I posted it a long time ago…whoops!

I’ve had a few people say that this is not “true” banana bread, because there’s chocolate in this recipe – but trust me, it still has the full flavour of banana’s. The chocolate chunks just add more sweetness and texture to the already moist loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks.   *Don’t use ‘mini’ chips, or milk chocolate chips.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan, and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg,sour cream and mashed bananas, mix until combined evenly, be sure to scrape down sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, mix until combined.
  5. In a small bowl, toss the chocolate chips in a tablespoon of flour until they’re coated.  (This will help prevent them from all dropping to the bottom of the batter when baking.) Gently stir the chocolate chips into the batter and then pour it all into the prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake for approx 1 hour, but it could take an additional 15-20 minutes in some ovens.
  7. Loaf is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  8.  Remove from pan after 10 minutes and cool on a wire rack. Try…to wait until it’s cooled off before cutting it up into slices. 🙂

Enjoy!

Crystal

April 2, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes

A friend of mine ordered a couple dozen cupcakes for this weekend – her gorgeous daughter was turning 12 years old! She told me that her daughter’s current favourite colour was orange. My darn camera didn’t capture the true colour of orange icing because in these photo’s the orange looks more like brown/orange. My next investment…softboxes for better lighting and quality photo’s!

I made one dozen ‘Hostess’ style cupcakes with vanilla filling & chocolate ganache, and the other dozen were plain chocolate cupcakes and buttercream frosting.  The flowers are made with gumpaste, which I love because then your entire cupcake and decorations are edible!

Ingredients: (for the Chocolate Cupcakes, that didn’t have a filling)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted (I use sweetened)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp Torani Chocolate flavoured syrup
  • 3/4 cup coffee, brewed, warm or room temperature…NOT HOT COFFEE!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare cupcake tins with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. Gently combine the oil, eggs, milk and syrup in a small bowl and then add it to the flour mixture.
  4. Use an electric mixer to combine the ingredients just until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Now add the warm coffee, the batter will be runny. Note: Don’t use hot coffee or it will cook the batter before you get it scooped into the pans.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and place in a 350° oven, one cupcake tray at a time.
  7. Bake medium cupcakes for 15-18 minutes (17 was perfect for my oven), or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. For all you lovers of mini baked goods, Bake the mini cupcakes for 9-10 minutes
  9. Tip: The tops of the cupcakes are shiny so they may appear under-baked when in fact they are actually done, so check them at 15 minutes with a toothpick and then check them every 2 minutes after that. Keep the oven door closed as much as possible so you don’t let the hot air out, or the cupcakes will not rise properly.

Serves: This batch made enough for 2 dozen regular sized cupcakes and 2 dozen mini cupcakes.

  • Buttercream Frosting. (This time I used whipping cream instead of the milk that it calls for. I also added 1 tbsp french vanilla Torani beverage syrup and 1/2 cup more confectioners sugar.)
  • Hostess Style Cupcakes

Enjoy!

Crystal

March 6, 2011

Black Forest Dessert Cups

These little Black Forest Cakes in Chocolate Dessert Cups, have been lingering around in my mind lately. I couldn’t make them until I came across something to form the chocolate cups with. These silicone cupcake cups worked perfectly. They are SUPER easy and flexible, so when you’re ready to pop the chocolate out, you simply peel them off. Even better – no need to grease them if you’re using then to bake, because they’re non-stick!

  

**I have a few tips if you plan on making these dessert cups.  1) This is very important…keep these refrigerated at all times, between steps – if your kitchen is warm, the cups will melt quickly.  2) Refrigerate your bowl and beater before mixing the whipped cream. 3)  Pre-bake and cool the chocolate cake hours before beginning this recipe, so you have time to freeze or chill the cake.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chocolate cake, 9″, sliced thinly into approx 4 x 1cm thick layers.
  • 1 container of cherry filling, I used less than 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, or use 70% chocolate if you want something less sweet.
  • 1 tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup Kirsche, with 1 tbsp sugar or simple syrup mixed in for sweetening
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream, 1/2 cup chocolate chunks – (Half of a Chocolate Ganache recipe)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp chocolate shavings, for topping, optional.
  • 6 maraschino cherries, for topping, optional.

Gadjets:

  • 6 silicone cupcake baking cups (or any chocolate mould of your choice that are the same size as a cupcake liner.)
  • 5 1/2 cm cookie cutter
  • 6 1/2 cm cookie cutter
  • Piping Bag and Star Tip

 Directions:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Add the shortening, mix well.
  2. Using a pastry brush to coat the silicone cups with chocolate. Refrigerate, and when hardened, add a second coat, refrigerate again.
  3. Pre-bake a 9″ chocolate cake. (If you’re using a boxed cake, it usually makes two 8 or 9″ cakes. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate one and freeze the other.)
  4. Slice the cake into 4 layers, each layer should be no thicker than 1cm thick.
  5. Using a 5 1/2 cm and 6 1/2 cm round biscuit/cookie cutters, cut 6 circles of each size. (Each cup with need one of each size cake round.)
  6. Pour 1/4 cup of Kirsche into a small bowl, add 1 tbsp sugar or simple syrup and stir until dissolved. You don’t have to add the sugar, but I think it tastes better sweetened.
  7. Place the small chocolate cake circles into each chocolate cup and brush the Kirsche mixture onto them. Not too much, or they’ll be soggy.
  8. Use a cookie scoop or a 1 heaping tablespoon to add the next layer, cherry filling.
  9. Place the second layer of cake on top of the cherry layer and brush Kirsche mixture on this cake layer too.
  10. Place the chocolate cups back in the refrigerator or freezer while preparing the chocolate ganache.
  11. In a small saucepan, add the 1/3 cup whipping cream and bring it to a simmer on medium/high heat. Don’t let it come to a complete boil, you just want to steam it.
  12. Remove the cream from the stove and slowly add the chocolate to the cream, stirring well after each addition. Allow the mixture to cool to about room temperature or until slightly warm, and then you can start working with it.
  13. Scoop the ganace onto the dessert cups and use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly.
  14. Place the cups back in the refrigerator while you prepare the last topping, whipped cream!
  15. In a [cold] mixing bowl, add the whipping cream and beat until the cream thickens and forms soft peaks; add 2 tbsp sugar and whip until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure the sugar is incorporated.
  16. Scoop the cream into a piping bag and apply to the tops of the dessert cups, or use a spoon and add dollops.
  17. Sprinkle some chocolate shavings onto the whipped cream and finally top if all off with a maraschino cherry!

Serves: 6 cups.

Viola!

I had this chocolate cake in my freezer, waiting for an opportunity to use it. My new thing is to have cakes pre-baked, frozen and waiting on hand in case I need them. In this case, it was great that the cake was frozen, it was much easier to slice into layers with less crumbs making a mess on the counter.



Enjoy!

Crystal

February 18, 2011

My Take on Hostess Cupcakes

Here are some chocolatey treats I made for a friend’s birthday lunch this upcoming weekend. Hope they like them…my family did! I mean…we had to try them to make sure they were good, right?

Beautiful on the outside and glorious on the inside! These cupcakes may be harmful to certain New Year’s Resolutions.

 

Ingredients:

 

**For Christmas, my in-laws bought me this wonderful cupcake invention – The CupCake Genuis. The unique frame, with its silicon tips, form the spaces as the cupcakes bake. No more hollowing out a space, breaking them up, using injectors, or wasting baked cupcakes!  Plus, all the pieces are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup. To be honest, it had me at, “Dishwasher Safe”. 

This is my first time using this pan and I can honestly say that I LOVE IT!

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F  and prepare the pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Make a batch of Chocolate Cupcakes, I used this recipe.
  3. Scoop the batter evenly into the cupcake tray, filling the liner about 2/3 full. Place the top rack onto the cupcake pan, the silicone moulds will touch the batter a little bit.
  4. Bake for 15-17 minutes. After baking, gently remove the top piece of the Cupcake Genius, the silicone tips should remove nicely, with only a little bit of cake batter on them. Let cool for a minute before removing them from the pan and placing on a wire cooling rack. Re-fill the cupcake liners and fill another batch. The recipe I used made me exactly 33 cupcakes.
  5. Then, I whipped up a batch of  Frosting to fill the cupcake centers. I used Seven Minute Frosting, as my mom calls it. I call it boiled icing.
  6. Scoop half the filling into the piping bag and fill the centers of the cupcakes flush to the tops. Don’t overfill them or you will see a lump under the chocolate ganache topping. Refrigerate the remaining icing, I had about 1/4 of it leftover.
  7. Place the cupcakes into cupcake skirts or fancy wrappers before applying the next steps.
  8. Refrigerate the cupcakes while you’re preparing this Chocolate Ganache topping.
  9. Wait until the chocolate ganache cools down to room temperature, then dip the tops of the cupcakes in it, gently taping off the excess. Place them back in the refrigerate so the chocolate will settle.
  10. Prepare the same chocolate ganache recipe, but with white chocolate. Let it cool completely, fill a piping bag with a #2 tip and pipe on a design of your choice.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Enjoy!

Crystal

February 18, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from CupcakesTakeTheCake

Makes about 10 dozen mini cupcakes or about 33 regular cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups water, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the cupcake tins with paper liners.
  2. Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. After sifting, use a whisk to completely combine the dry ingredients. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk well to combine until they are incorporated. Gradually beat in the water, the batter will start to get very wet at this point. Add the vinegar and vanilla and continue whisking. Make sure you are getting everything well incorporated and there aren’t any lumps. Finally, whisk in eggs until combined.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the paper liners, filling each about 2/3 full and bake for 15-17 minutes for large cupcakes and 7-10 minutes for mini, (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.)
  4. Cool for about a minute in the pan before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. I recommend chilling these cupcakes before serving because they are incredibly moist and tend to stick to the wrapper until they have set a little bit.
February 18, 2011

Chocolate Ganache

 Ganache is a French term referring to a smooth mixture of chopped chocolate and heavy cream. It has many uses and can be used as a topping decoration, whipped as filling or icing to use between cake or cookie layers or just poured over whatever you like.  It is also used as the base for truffles, and can be softened to make a simple chocolate mousse. I used it recently to decorate the tops of my chocolate cupcakes.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks or 60-70% chocolate — use any chocolate you prefer
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream

Directions:

  1. Place the whipping cream in a pot and bring it to a simmer on medium/high heat. Don’t let it come to a complete boil, you just want to steam it.
  2. Remove the cream from the stove and slowly add the chocolate to the cream, stirring well after each addition.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool to about room temperature or until slightly warm, and then you can start working with it.
  4. At this point you can use it to cover a cake or dip your cupcakes and it will leave a smooth glossy topping.

OR

  1. If you want to create a frosting or filling, allow the chocolate ganache to cool for about 2-3 hours, then whip it with an electric mixer until fluffy. The colour will lighten and the mixture will become a frosting. Use it to pipe onto cupcakes or other desserts. It also makes a great filling and you can add any flavour to it, for example: coffee flavour, almond, mint, hazelnut, caramel, etc.

Enjoy!

Crystal

February 15, 2011

Chocolate Rum Ball Mice

These rum balls are great for seasonal treats –  I make them in the Winter.  But with the rum ball Mice, I find that they’re great for any season. Keep in mind, I’m using real rum – not extract, so they’re not treats for the kids…

Ingredients:

  • Half of a chocolate cake (boxed cake → baked, cooled, and crumbled)
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dark rum
  • plus 3 tbsp dark rum
  • 24 vanilla wafers, crushed into fine crumbs
  • 1 cup chocolate sprinkles (for balls – not needed if you’re only making mice)
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (for dipping mice)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable shortening

Directions:

  1. Bake the chocolate cake, as directed on the box. Let it cool. Cut in half and crumble the half that youwill be using. Wrap the remaining half cake and freeze it for possible future use.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the icing sugar, almonds, and cocoa powder.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and 1/3 cup rum to the large bowl; mix until combined.
  4. Slowly add the cake pieces, using an electric mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often.
  5. Alternate adding another 2 to 3 tbsp rum and the vanilla cookie crumbs and mix well. The consistence should be thick and somewhat sticky.
  6. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to help the dough become firm and easier to scoop.
  7. Use a cookie scoop and your hands to form round balls out of the dough, then place them on a lined cookie sheet or plate.
  8. Freeze or refrigerate the balls until they are firm.
  9. If making Rum Balls, roll them into a small dish with rum, then into the chocolate sprinkles.
  10. If making Mice, use your hands to gently pinch one end of the balls and form them into the shape of mice with your hands. This may take some practice to get them all looking uniform.
  11. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, for about 2-3 minutes. add the vegetable shortening and stir until smooth.
  12. Place a cold mouse into the chocolate and use a fork to gently scoop it out. Tap gently on the side of the bowl to knock off the excess chocolate. Then transfer the mouse to a wax lined parchment paper. Adhere the eyes and ears while the chocolate is wet.
  13. For the ears, I used slivers of almonds. For the eyes and nose I used small round sprinkles and drew black dots on the eyes with edible markers.
  14. For the tail, I scooped the leftover melted chocolate into a piping bag with a small tip and swirled a tail onto the [dry] chocolate mice.

Store in the refrigerator or freeze for a later use. By the way, these are great to munch on while frozen.

Serves: Approximately 40 balls.

Enjoy!

Crystal

February 9, 2011

Easy Chocolate Caramel Pretzels

Last Fall, I purchased a Chocolate Covered Pretzel at one of our local pumpkin patches. It was the best one I have ever tasted. These ones aren’t as good, because I didn’t make the caramel from scratch, but they are tasty, easy to make and definately satisfied my sweet tooth!

I didn’t want to fuss around with making caramel, so I purchased some caramel candies from the grocery store.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of pretzels rods
  • 1 bag of wrapped caramel candies (2 candies per pretzel)
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 1 tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup white melting chocolate & piping bag (optional)

Directions:

  1. Remove the caramels from the wrappers and microwave 2-4 caramels at a time in a small dish for 10 seconds. (Don’t melt them –just soften them up a bit.)
  2. Roll the caramels out into 4 inch lenghts and attach 2 lengths together.
  3. Twirl the caramels around the pretzels. If they’re not sticking, you can put a tiny drop of water on each end of the caramel and gently affix it to the pretzel end.
  4. Leave about 2 inches  plain at one end of the pretzel so you can hold onto it to dip it in the chocolate.
  5. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable shortnening to help thin down the chocolate and make it easier to dip the pretzels.  (I didn’t have a deep dish, so I just used a bowl and scooped chocolate onto the pretzels using a spatula.)
  6. Gently tap off the excess chocolate and place them on wax parchment paper to dry. Place in the refrigerator to help them firm up.
  7. Optional – Drizzle with white chocolate for extra tasty goodness!  I just placed 1/2 cup white chocolate chunks into a plastic piping bag and microwaved it until the chocolate melted and was a nice consistency to drizzle over the pretzels.

This is a big bag of pretzels. I only used 9 pretzel rods, plus I broke a few in the process…but that’s okay because if sealed well the remainder will last a while and I can make another batch sometime soon! These pretzels melt in your mouth!  When my husband went to work tonight, I sent a small batch with him to bring to the Firehall.

Enjoy!

Crystal

February 4, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 cups icing sugar, sifted (if you’re using crunchy peanut butter, don’t bother sifting the sugar)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For Dipping:

  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped peanuts, optional
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, optional

Directions:

  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients. Use a small melon baller to scoop dough. Use your hands to form smooth balls.
  2. Place the balls on a lined baking sheet and refrigerate for an hour.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or microwave, but watch carefully that it doesn’t burn!   Stir in the shortening.
  4. Take just a few balls out of the fridge at a time.
  5. Dip each ball into a deep cup of melted chocolate using forks or a dipping set and place them back in the fridge , on a lined baking sheet until you have finished dipping all of the balls. Be sure to gently tap off the excess chocolate so they look neat.
  6. You may need to reheat the chocolate halfway through because the coolness of the balls effects the chocolate’s consistency.

Optional: If you wish to use peanuts or coconut. After dipping the balls in chocolate, do your best to tap off all excess chocolate and then gently roll them into the treat of your choice.   *Be sure to dice the peanuts really small.  *Don’t put all of your coconut in a bowl at once…use a bit at a time so your chocolate doesn’t create a mess.

Store them in the fridge for a few weeks…but they never last more than a few days in my house!  These freeze well, but I suggest freezing the peanut butter balls plain, so that the chocolate doesn’t crack when you thaw them out.

Enjoy!

Crystal

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