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Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate’

Nutella Buttercream Frosting

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

So I made chocolate cupcakes, but what did I frost them with?  Nutella buttercream frosting.

Somehow after making this recipe, I ended up with three unopened containers of Nutella in my cabinet.  I’m not sure how exactly that happened.  Considering I only bought one, I must have already had some of this chocolately goodness on hand.  Let this be a lesson to you:  always shop your pantry before going to the store.  I guess I’m going to have to find some pretty inventive uses for chocolate hazelnut spread in the coming months.

Nutella Buttercream Frosting (Adapted from My Baking Addiction)

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3/4 of a jar of Nutella (13 oz jar)

Pinch of sea salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 pound powdered sugar

5 tablespoons heavy cream

Cream the butter and the Nutella together in a large bowl.  Mix until well combined.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, and mix until well blended.  Add the salt, vanilla, and slowly add the cream.  I added the cream one tablespoon at a time until the frosting was the right consistency.  The frosting should be smooth and fluffy.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with buttercream frostings, and I would have to say this one was my most successful.  As one of my friends said, “the frosting is really well structured.”  It also tasted delicious!

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Chocolate Cupcakes

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

You may or may not have noticed that I’m on a baking kick.  Though one of my favorite childhood memories is making Christmas cookies with my mom and sister, I have never considered myself a baker.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy baking, but I’ve never thought I was very good at it.  Baking is an exact science- perfectly measured ingredients to achieve the perfect texture- while my cooking style is more “a dash of this, a pinch of that.”  After moving to the Rockies, and numerous baking at altitude failures, I had pretty much written off baking.

Problem is I like challenges.  And I like reading recipes.  And I kept finding desserts that I desperately wanted to try.  So, about a year and a half ago, I started baking again.  It started slowly– a scone here, a cookie there–until last fall when I just couldn’t stop myself.  I was baking every other week.  There was always something I had to try.  So I keep trying new baked desserts, and I’m glad I decided to give it another go.

My most recent baking success?  Mini filled chocolate cupcakes.  There are certain things that I think everyone should have a recipe for:  pesto, mashed potatoes, pasta salad.  Chocolate cupcakes is one of those recipes for which everyone should have a go to.  Slight problem with that:  I didn’t have one.  When I was reading a recipe that called for “your favorite chocolate cake recipe,” I was at a loss.

After taking so much time off from baking, I hadn’t built up any standard recipes.  So, I had to find a one.

Here is my now go to recipe for chocolate cupcakes

 

Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup hot water

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 2/3 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder with the hot water until smooth.  In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Combine the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is complete melted.  The mixture should be smooth.  Transfer the butter sugar mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until the mixture is cool.  This should take about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated after each addition.  Add the vanilla and cocoa mixture.

Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the sour cream.  Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners.  Each liner should be about 2/3 full.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.  This will take 18-20 minutes for full size cupcakes and 15 for mini cupcakes.

Cool before frosting and enjoy!

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Chocolate, Almond and Raspberry Tart

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Now that we’re halfway through February, I think it’s time to get started on one of my New Year’s resolutions:  to post some more recipes this year!  The following post is long overdue.  This was our Christmas dessert, and it was a big hit!

Chocolate, Almond, and Raspberry Tart (Adapted from Bon Appetit)

Picture 0482 cups ground chocolate wafer cookies

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

6 oz almond paste

6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup whipping cream

3 half pint containers of raspberries

2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam

2 teaspoons kirsch

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the cookie crumbs and butter in a bowl and stir until everything starts to stick together.

Press the crumb mixture into a tart pan, covering the bottom and sides of the pan in an even layer.  Bake the crust until it begins to crisp, about 20 minutes.  (Due to the amount of butter in the crust and the structure of a tart pan, I would recommend placing the tart pan over a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.  I didn’t do this, and I almost had a major kitchen disaster on Christmas!)

Cool the crust completely on a rack.  Once it is cool, press the almond paste into an even layer over the crust.

Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to simmer.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the almond layer.  Chill the tart until the chocolate is set, about 4 hours.

Arrange the raspberries over the chocolate layer.  Mix the jam and the kirsch in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Brush the glaze over the raspberries.

Picture 045

I served this with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.  One of my finer baking efforts!

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