Posts tagged with chocolate

Howdy, partners in lazy food-blog trollin’ crime. It’s Sunday. There’s football on the tube and I’m curled up beside my fave human and canine men. Life’s good.

What else is good? Putting cream cheese in cake.

This doozy of a pounder is so comfy you just want to curl up inside it with a cup of tea. In reality, it goes much better aside a cuppa; you know what I’m saying though. The recipe is another one of Joy the Baker’s glorious creations! Her blog is everything a food blog is meant to be. Beautiful, friendly, funny, full of fantastic recipes and kitchen tips and tricks. If I were stranded on a desert island with extremely limited internet bandwidth, Joy’s site would be my chosen one.

I was home on PEI a few weeks ago, and as it often does when I’m there, the urge to bake struck me, hard. I had bookmarked this recipe in my mind a long time ago and knew that sharing it with my family would be the perfect way to celebrate such a tasty loaf of buttery, orangey, chocolately perfection!

My parent’s oven is a hot one, so I only baked it for 50 mins, tenting tin foil over the top at about 40 mins to prevent the top from burning. This baby is thick, and to make sure it cooks evenly, you may have to do the same. Keep an eye on her! And be prepared to have a new favourite accompaniment to your warm bevvie on a cozy Sunday afternoon.

Chocolate Orange Pound Cake

By Joy the Baker

makes one 9×5-inch loaf

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons orange zest

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup dark chocolate pieces

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.  Grease a 9×5-inch baking pan and dust with flour.  Set aside.

Whisk together first three ingredients, and set the bowl aside.

On a clean cutting board or counter, place the granulated sugar.  Add the orange zest.  With a bench scraper or the back of the spoon, work the zest into the granulated sugar, creating a fragrant and orange flavored sugar.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream together softened butter and cream cheese, stopping to scrape down the bowl and make sure that the butter and cream cheese are evenly mixed.  Add the citrus zest to the butter and cream cheese mixture, and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.

Once that’s mixed, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in one egg at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the vanilla last.

Dump your dry ingredients in to the wet. Beat on low speed until dry ingredients are completely incorporated.  Fold in those yummy chocolate chunks.

Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating once or twice during baking.  Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, or with just a few crumbs.

*Some readers of Joy’s found that the cake takes up to 75 minutes to fully cook.  You might consider loosely placing a foil tent over the cake after about 45 minutes of baking.  This will keep it from browning too much, and help the center bake up. Mine was done at 50, maybe even could have been taken out at 47 or so. Keep an eye on things!

Cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to four days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring out the fat pants, lock your doors, and close the blinds people…because you’ll have a really, really hard time sharing this with anyone. But you should share, if you don’t want to throw yourself into a downward spiral of dessert regret. This stuff is serious, it ain’t playin around.

For those of you who putter the world of food blogging, you know all too well that trends sweep through like wildfire. Cue bacon.

Bacon tore the food blogosphere a new one and refuses to back off (sorry Kelly, aka @baconandbaileys, you’re not going to like what I’m about to say). I’m over it. Mostly because I’m a vegetarian and have forgotten how delightful a sizzling slice of bacon can be; regardless of my bacon apathy, it’s been claimed as the key to world peace and the cure for just about any ailment, maybe except fatness. Ahem*baconator*

Other trendy foods/flavours of late are s’mores, doughnuts, salted caramel and chocolate, browned butter, all of which have been blown into food celebrity for good reason. They’re friggin delicious, and many of them are classic novelties reincarnated from the past into fun new modes of eating. This recipe is a prime example of taking a rampant food trend, and finding an innovative way of stuffing it in your face so it can promptly deposit itself on your rear end.

Cookie dough dip. Every little baker’s favourite finger-food, sans salmonella. Happiness.

My sister made this for my other sister’s baby shower this weekend, so I did have to share. Thank god.

We served this up with graham crackers and it was amazing. Little chocolate wafers would be definitely delicious.

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (really try to get minis if you can)
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in icing sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips, cover, refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for another hour. Roll cheese ball in pecans before serving.

Serve with graham crackers or chocolate wafers!

My girlfriend, Kathy, came over for dinner last night and like clockwork, a hankering for ANYTHING chocolate set in as soon as we finished our meal. I really had no desire to whip up a batch of cookies or something equally labour/time intensive, so I started leafing through my online bookmarks. Gina, from Running to the Kitchen, posted these a few days ago and I knew that they would be a perfect solution to our raging sweet tooths (sweet teeth?).

These are similar to a larabar in consistency, and flavour, too. Larabars have a gloriously short ingredients list,  with usually only one or two ingredients in addition to dates and nuts! They are one of my favourite things to grab for a snack on the run.  I really don’t eat much pre-made/ pre-packaged foods because my mind gets blown by all the unpronounceable ingredients on their labels;  when did people lose desire to eat real, whole foods? Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally enjoy hoeing into a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos as much as the next person, but seriously, how do we expect our bodies to function if we’re fuelling it with that shizz.  For pre-packaged food’s ingredients- less IS more!

The ‘dough’ for these tasty treats can be shaped into whatever your little chocoholic heart desires. I rolled them into balls then flattened them, and popped a walnut half on top, just cause I’m fancy like that. You could shape it into bars and wrap them individually, or roll into little power-ball bites, regardless, they are addictive. Like, get-these-out-of-my-house addictive!

Feel free to play around with different nut combos and extract flavourings, like most of my recipes, there’s tons of room for playing around and making it your own!

Raw Two-Bite Brownies

  • 1.5 cups nuts (I used a mix of almonds and peanuts)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 10 dates
  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1-3 tbsp milk or water (I used Almond Breeze)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Add the nuts and flaxseed to a food processor and process it until it turns to a flour. Don’t let it go too long or you’ll get nut butter! You may have to stop a couple of times to loosen bits/scrape down the sides. That’s cool.
  2. Add  everything but milk to the food processor and process until everything is well incorporated. If it doesn’t begin to form a dough ball, add milk or water, just a little at a time, until it does.
  3. Dump dough into a small bowl.
  4. Put into desired shapes, place on a plate/tray and pop them in the fridge! They need to sit for an hour or so to firm up. Keep ‘em in the fridge!

The bottom of the jar...big fat sad face.

The instant I finished whipping up a batch of this stuff, I knew it was a very, very bad idea. I stood in the kitchen, opened the lid to my food processor like I was unhinging a trunk full of forbidden treasures, and shamelessly spooned it straight into my mouth. Cue beam of light from the heavens and a chorus belting out Hallelujah. It happened, I swear.

I banned store-bought Nutella from my house, well, since always. I am pretty good at being an ‘in moderation’ type gal, but there is a short list of food that can catapult me into a full-blown sugar binge. On that short list, Nutella may be the #1 culprit. This is a problem, as ONE tablespoon of the stuff packs a hefty 100 calories. Now, that’s comparable to the same quantity of peanut butter, but I can put the brakes on PB. Not this stuff. Before you know it, you’ve just earned yourself an extra hour of spin class. Good one!

Now naturally, a condiment that revolves around nuts and chocolate is never going to be a health food. But I knew that there must be room for improvement. I browsed some recipes on line, and worked my way towards an epiphany. I did it. I made a healthified nutella! Huzzah! Enjoy!

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups hazelnuts, roasted
  • 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F, spread nuts on a dry baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until the skin has darkened and they begin to smell yummy. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Rub all the skins off the hazelnuts by rubbing them with a clean dishcloth. This makes kind of a mess, but is important!

Process nuts in a food processor on high until they\'ve formed hazelnut butter. This will take some time and patience, scrape down the sides of the processor as needed and have faith that it will become creamy, when the nut oils have released.

Once nutbutter consistency is reached, melt your chocolate in the microwave (about 2 mins) or double boiler until liquid. Add to nut butter and process until smooth and fully incorporated. Add honey, mix well, add vanilla and salt, mix well.

This recipe yields about 1.5 cups of spread! Store in a clean jar/container in the fridge, it will harden once chilled but the flavour just gets better and better!