Tag Archives: chocolate

TWD: still breathing….

Yup.  I am still around.  I have been lurking a bit but not baking much.  If I start relaying how crazy this summer was and how I never meant to take an extended break, I probably won’t stop for 37 pages and we still won’t have discussed TWD.  While lurking, it came to my attention that TWD will be finished by the end of the year.  I started baking along in April 2008.  That is a lifetime ago in some respects (and about two weeks ago in others).   The point is…it’s a long time to bake along and not finish.

so?

So, I am finishing.  I wish I could say that I had today’s flip over plum cake to report on but we ate all the plums in 2.6 seconds.   I will make it though, along with a few others I missed, and, if all goes according to plan (hollow laugh), I will even post about it.

For today, I can report that Colin (above – shiner courtesy of playground roughhousing) and Will enjoyed the classic brownies.  I tried a small bite but not enough to make a definitive conclusion about them.   They seemed dandy but Dorie has enough good brownie recipes that I probably won’t go back to these soon.

I also made the salt+pepper cocoa shortbreads.  Salt+pepper+sweet is exactly the kind of weird food I love.  I, therefore, could only make half a batch and immediately took all but one to work.  If they hadn’t been shortbread (eh), I probably would have devoured them in the car on the way.  What I tasted I did like and will probably crave until I breakdown and make a bowl of dough and eat it standing at the kitchen counter.

All pictures will be iphone photos now officially.  The incredible “hassle” of downloading photos has thwarted more than blog post in my past.  So, I officially give in to my laziness. 

I am really going to make an effort to be back next week and the week after that.  Get used to me folks.  I am sticking around for awhile.

TWD: Chocolate Oatmeal (??) Drops

A photo study of a Sunday night, chocolate oatmeal drops included.  Please note, I said NIGHT and it was January.  Draw your own conclusions about the quality.

Will playing basketball in the kitchen, trying to avoid the bags of clothes are giving away.  Notice that he is still in his uniform.  His game was at 2:00pm.  This was after dinner .

The rest of the pics were taken by Will.

Me mixing the dry ingredients.

The entire family (parents included) is banned from electronics until after dinner on Sundays.  Colin whips out the game controllers as soon as possible.

In case you were wondering what was on screen.

The finished chocolate oatmeal drops.  Hmmm…I didn’t “get” the addition of the oatmeal to these.   I wish I had left it out or substituted something else.  Colin, of course, was disappointed to discover the oats.  He wanted them removed from the next batch…

TWD: Chocolate Fluff Filled Mini Muffileines

What is a great snack after sledding?*  Mini muffileines.

What is a great ending to an otherwise super healthy meal of white bean stew?  Mini muffileines.

What will send your kids into a chocolate induced frenzy of gratitude?  Mini muffeilenes.

So, yeah, these were a big hit at our house. *best cupcakes ever, mom* .  We double dipped in the ganache because wasting?  It is soooo against our philosophy around here.  :)

Variations:  just the obvious.  I don’t own a madeleine pan.

Bottom Line:  fabulous.  and I am not even sure you need the fluff to enjoy the fabulousness.  Thanks to Margo of Effort to Deliciousness.  Full recipe there.

*these were taken at the first hint of snowfall.  Santa brought sleds for christmas and two young men were dying to try them out.  The real sledding came the next day…

TWD: Catch up Post

OK.  I am still here.  Life is moving at warp speed.  I have actually made the last three recipes but haven’t posted them.  I am not going to have time to mess with pictures today but I feel compelled to post my reviews of the last three before it turns into four.  So, here goes:

BRRROWNIES

I really wanted to make these with York pieces but I had a small window of time to make them on Sunday afternoon.  And there was a torrential downpour.  And I had Andes baking pieces in the cabinet.  You do the math.  I tried a small corner and declared them moist, chocolatey and minty.  Then I sent them to a friend who is serving overseas.  COMPLETELY forgot to take a picture.  I have made a similar recipe with whole york mini patties from Everyday Foods.  It has a row of patties in the middle of brownies.  Also very good.

Tarte Noire

I made this for my mom’s birthday and she declared it one of her favorite desserts.  This is one of those desserts that will fool your friends into thinking that you really know what you are doing.  AWESOME.

Rum Drenched Vanilla Cakes

I had no time and no rum.  I made one cake and used chocolate chips and coffee instead of rum.  Very nice simple cake.   I wish I had remembered to coat the chocolate chips with a little flour because they all sunk to the bottom.  Oh well.  I turned the cake over and it became a cake with a chocolate chip topping.  Probably not a repeat for me but that is mostly the result of my ambivalence towards poundcakes.

Whew.  Next week I hope to be back in the game.  with pictures even.

TWD: Dressy (for some) Chocolate Loaf Cake

So, even a lazy half-hearted blog can influence the way my family reacts to my baking.  I made the Dressy Loaf Cake on Saturday night (pre-father’s day since we were going to be gone on Father’s Day.  That is a disappointing story maybe best saved for another time).  I asked Will what he thought and this was his response, “I liked the cake but had some issues with the frosting.”  Issues?  Who says that?  More specifically, what 8 yr old boy says that?  I’ll tell you…an 8 yr old boy who can’t just eat his cake in peace because his mother must have reviews to report.  That’s who.

I do, however, have to agree with his “issues.”  The cake was good; loved the jam in middle (some Cherry, Pomegranate, Kiwi blend from Costco).  The frosting was a little too tangy for me.  I think I would substitute a fudgy frosting next time. 

PS  did you see the cake plate up top?  Sorry, even though I made this cake within about a hare’s breath of the longest day of the year, I still managed to finish it in the dark.  You’ll have to settle for the mangled version.  Anyhoo, the cake plate!  It is my fifth attempt at owning one.  My dear dad purchased it for me for $2 at a church garage sale.  Will it last long enough for me to get his money’s worth?  Jury is still out on that one.

Bottom Line:  good cake; meh frosting.  The full recipe is at Amy Ruth Bakes.

Next week:  rum drenched vanilla cakes.  We have a family reunion coming up this weekend.  Vanilla cakes are definitely in the wait and see how exhausted I am category.

TWD: Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Chunkers

I am the girl who cried wolf.  I wrote quite a dramatic post last week about how much I loved (love love love) the Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops.  The words crack and cocaine may have been thrown around.  Well, I am back again this week with a new lover, the Chocolate Chunkers.  If the Whopper Drops were like my own private crush on the quirky guy in study hall whose personality is particularly appealing to me than my love for the Chunkers is a crush on the captain of the football team or Brad Pitt.  If you don’t like these cookies, I am thinking we don’t bat for the same team (i.e. you are not a chocoholic).

We went with a semi-sweet/milk chocolate combo (white chocolate is not chocolate.  can we get a new word for that stuff?) and a mix of raisins and cranberries.  I would like to report that I used some amazing imported or artisanal chocolate to send these to new heights but I have a mortgage…and a car payment…and tuition and so on…so something has to give.  It was Ghirardelli from the grocery store for us. 

And it was just luscious and rich just the same.  Even the six year old was amazed at how little flour we were putting in.  He and the younger both came in for second helpings of the batter.  Man, oh man.  I could weigh three thousand pounds if the recipes keep coming like this.  I knew this one looked like trouble so I had to invoke my no fail over-eating insurance policy:

I did make a few without the peanuts so I could enjoy a couple warm from the oven (this is the real reason I bake after all) but others will be enjoying the rest.  I was already on a sugar high from the cake decorating class that Will and I took for kids at the Kansas City Culinary Institute (see below).

 

A big thank you to Claudia of Fool for Food for choosing this one.  The recipe is on her blog.  Next week:  Dimply Plum Cake.  I doubt this one will cause sweet tooth nirvana but I am looking forward to it nonetheless.  I love making breakfast cakes.  To see the other chocolate chunkers click here.

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Loaf

Every Friday at work we have “Breakfast Club.”  If you have worked in an office, you know the drill.  Basically, we take turns bringing breakfast for the floor.  Some people are strictly bagel and cream cheese bucket types.  Some forget and grab a box of granola bars and some even bring in a bag of McDonalds McMuffins.  For reasons I can’t fathom, this is a VERY popular option.  And there those few like me who make something when it is their turn.  My assistant, god love her, has been bringing the same egg and sausage casserole for years.  I, of course, am a nerd who likes to “shake it up” every month.

I was planning to make the Perfection Pound Cake out of Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  It is one of the recipes I missed before joining Tuesdays with Dorie.  BUT I didn’t have enough eggs.  On to plan B.  I was flipping through a Maida Heatter collection of cakes when I came across a zucchini loaf.  It satisfied the most important criteria–I had all of the ingredients on hand.  And – bonus – easily transportable.  Following my usual theory in life that everything goes better chocolate, I altered the recipe significantly to make a Triple Chocolate Zucchini Loaf. 

Bottom Line:  Very chocolatey.  Very good.  I am sure it could be perfected but did you read the first paragraph?  I work, people.  Perfection will have to wait.  I was hoping my notoriously picky second son would eat it.  It has vegetables, right?  I don’t know why I get my hopes up.  He didn’t like it.  Ohe well, there is always the first born…

Triple Chocolate Zucchini Loaf
Adapted from Maida Heatter’s Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 C. grated zucchini
  • 1.5 C all purpose flour
  • 1.25 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C. vegetable oil
  • 1 C. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (melted)
  • 3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350.  Prepare a ten cup loaf pan or two smaller pans.  I used a 9 by 5 by 3in. pan and a 6 in. cake pan.  Grate the zucchini so that you end up with two packed cups.  Set aside.  Sift together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs.  Mix in the oil, sugar, and vanilla.  Pour in the melted chocolate and blend well.  Add the sifted ingredients and mix just to incorporate.  Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.  The batter is very thick but the zucchini thins it somewhat. 

Spoon into pans and bake.  I baked the 6in. pan for 45 minutes and the 9in loaf pan for about 1 hour 15 minutes.  Cool in the pans for 15 minutes and then unmold.

Enjoy!