Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake

Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate CakeI love a richly-chocolaty cake. This cake doesn’t have fancy frosting or 3 cake layers, it’s simply dense, moist chocolate decadence. Yeah, I know I’m calling it “flourless” when it has a tablespoon of flour in it – what can I say?

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, cut in a few pieces
  • 3 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • ½ cup almond flour*
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Flourless Chocolate Cake SliceDirections:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Butter an 8-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and dust with cocoa powder.
  3. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the teaspoon of sugar until medium-stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, microwave the butter and the chocolate for 60 seconds, stirring after 30 seconds. If the chocolate isn’t fully melted after 60 seconds, heat for up to an additional 30 seconds, stirring after 15 seconds.
  5. Using a hand whisk, add the egg yolks, one at a time, to the chocolate mixture. Add the ½ cup powdered sugar, the almond flour and the all-purpose flour to the chocolate mixture and whisk to fully combine.
  6. Gently whisk 2 tablespoons of the egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten it. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the remaining egg whites into the chocolate – do not over mix as the batter will deflate.
  7. Pour the batter into the tart pan and bake for 16 – 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes then loosen it out of the tart pan. Dust with powdered sugar.

Serves 8.

Notes: Almond flour should be relatively easy to find at your local grocery store, but if not, don’t fret! Here’s an easy way to get ½ cup of almond flour for this recipe: Add 1 cup of whole, unsalted almonds to a small food processor and pulse until the almonds are very finely ground. Push the ground almonds through a fine sieve.

Madeleine Cookies

Madeleine Cookies

MadeleineAt work, it’s sort of customary for me to bring treats for the guys in the warehouse during the last few days of the month as they work exhaustively to get all the last minute orders out.

This past month, Kayla, who works on my team, made scrumptious Madeleines as she’s recently gotten a Madeleine pan and wanted to try it out. Below is the AllRecipes.com version she used.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour twenty-four 3-inch Madeleine molds.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, vanilla and lemon zest with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Beat for 5 to 7 minutes or until thick and satiny.
  3. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Sift one-fourth of the flour mixture over the egg mixture, gently fold in. Fold in the remaining flour by fourths. Then fold in the melted and cooled butter. Spoon batter into the prepared molds, filling 3/4 full.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are golden and the top s spring back. Cool in molds on a rack for 1 minute. Loosen cookies with a knife. Invert cookies onto a rack and cool. Sift confectioners’ sugar over the tops or melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and dip the tips in the chocolate. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 24 cookies.

Candy Bar Cookies

Candy Bar Cookies

Candy Bar Cookies - 2I’m a big fan of Milky Way candy bars, so my friend Kim posted a recipe for Candy Bar Cookies using Milky Ways, I was intrigued. Using Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookie dough (less the chocolate chips) as the base for the cookies, she incorporates chopped Milky Way and Snickers in the dough in place of the usual chocolate chips.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Milky Way candy bars, chopped
  • 2 Snickers candy bars, chopped

Candy Bar Cookies - 021713Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in the chopped candy bars pieces. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5-10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Waffles with Raspberries and Nutella

Waffles with Raspberries and Nutella

WafflesThis waffle batter is super easy and makes four huge waffles. This nice part, it’ll keep in the refrigerator for up to a week if you only need to make two on Sunday morning.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup Nutella
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries (or other berries)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Waffle BatterDirections:

  1. Preheat waffle maker.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla to the eggs and mix until just combined, about 20 seconds. No worries, there will be some lumps.
  3. Coat the waffle maker with cooking spray. Pour a ladle of batter onto the hot waffle maker and cook until golden brown. Repeat with more waffles.
  4. Microwave the Nutella and drizzle over the waffles. Drizzle maple syrup and top with raspberries and a dusting of powdered sugar, if using.

Makes 4 waffles

Dreamy Creamy New York Cheesecake

Dreamy Creamy New York Cheesecake

CheesecakeI typically like a cheesecake with a Graham cracker crust but when I came upon this version of the New York delicacy, I knew I had to bake it. Be sure you allow the first four ingredients to come to room temperature to avoid lumps in your batter.

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups sour cream, room temperature
  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Butter the walls and bottom of a 10” springform pan.  Wrap two layers of aluminum foil tightly around the outside bottom and sides of the pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and the sour cream until lump-free.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and the butter until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat to incorporate, about 1 minute.
  6. Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat for 2 minutes.
  7. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the prepared springform pan and place it in a large roasting pan ensuring the springform doesn’t touch the walls of the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the center of the oven and carefully pour in enough boiling water in the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  8. Bake for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Remove from the water bath and carefully peel the aluminum foil from around the pan. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, run a sharp paring knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake and unclasp the springform pan. Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 4 hours. Refrigerate, covered, until well chilled. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Inspired by Food for a Hungry Soul.

Chocolate Mousse Bombes

Chocolate Mousse Bombes

1 recipe of Ghirardelli Dark Fudgy Brownies.

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients for the chocolate mousse:

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, 60% – 70% cacao, chopped
  • 7 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt

Ingredients for the glaze:

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, 60% – 70% cacao, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Chocolate mousse directions:

  1. Microwave the chocolate and butter in a large bowl for 90 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar as you continue to whip to stiff peaks, 3 to 4 minutes more.
  3. In another bowl, whip the cream to medium-stiff peak stage.
  4. Combine the egg yolks, vanilla and salt in a small bowl. Add the egg yolk mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir to fully combine. Add the whipped egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold gently to incorporate. Add the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture and fold gently until fully combined – do not over-combine or egg whites will deflate.
Cutting Brownie Rounds

Cutting Brownie Rounds

Assembly directions:

  1. Place two, (3-1/4-inch diameter and 1/2-cup capacity) silicone bombe molds on a large baking sheet.
  2. Unmold the brownies and place on a large cutting board. Using a biscuit cutter or a glass close to 3-1/4-inch in diameter, cut 10 brownie rounds.
  3. Spoon ¼ cup of mousse in each mold and spread it over the insides of the molds. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Press a brownie circle over the mousse in each mold. Cover the two molds with plastic wrap and freeze at least 12 hours or overnight.
  4. Unmold the frozen bombes on a wire rack. Place the wire rack over a baking sheet. Let the bombes thaw for 2 to 3 hours.

Glazing directions:

  1. Place the chocolate and the corn syrup in a medium heat-proof bowl.
  2. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until just boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and set aside for 3 minutes. Whisk the mixture until smooth and transfer to a large measuring cup.
  1. Pour the glaze over the bombes to coat each one completely. Refrigerate the glazed bombes for at least 2 hours but not longer than 8 hours.
  2. Take the bombes out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.
Salted Caramel, Truffle and Chocolate Bombe

Salted Caramel, Truffle and Chocolate Bombe

Makes 10 chocolate bombes.

Inspired by this recipe.

Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffles

TruffleSomeone on Twitter shared a recipe for chocolate truffles by Alton Brown that had a great tip in it: use an ice cream scoop to coat the truffles in chocolate.

I changed a few of the ingredients and the directions, but use Alton’s basic recipe. Love using a good-quality Dutch-processed cocoa like Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa Powder which is a bit bitter next to the rich chocolate ganache.

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup Scotch Whiskey or Grand Marnier (for an orange flavor)
  • ½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Truffle CentersDirections

  1. Place 10 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and the butter in a medium size bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stirring well after 30 seconds. Allow to cool.
  2. Warm the heavy cream and the corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and pour over the melted chocolate mixture. Let stand for 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir gently until all chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and creamy. Gently stir in the Whiskey. Pour the mixture into an 8” x 8” baking dish and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Using a melon baller, scoop chocolate into your hands and roll gently between your palms to create a ball. Place balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and return to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Place the cocoa powder on a plate and set aside.
  5. Place the 4 ounces each of semisweet and bittersweet chocolates into a medium size bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds, stirring well every 30 seconds.
  6. Remove the truffles from the refrigerator. Dip an ice cream scoop into the chocolate and turn upside down to remove excess chocolate. Place truffles 1 at time into the scoop and roll around until coated. Place the truffle into the plate with the cocoa powder. Move the truffle around to coat, leaving the truffle in the coating for 10 to 15 seconds before removing to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all truffles are coated. Allow to set in a cool dry place for at least 1 hour then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, Serve at room temperature.

Makes about 30 truffles.

Smooth as Silk Fantasy Fudge

Smooth as Silk Fantasy Fudge

I’ve been making the Kraft Fantasy Fudge recipe for as long as I can remember. I find that I get great results every time. About 10 years ago, I began pulsing my granulated sugar in the food processor or the blender to get it to an almost powder consistency. This extra little effort has resulted in the silkiest of fudges and I highly recommend adopting this extra step.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups granulated sugar, pulsed in the food processor for 1 minute
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 7-ounce jar marshmallow crème
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Coat either a 9” x 9” or a 9” x 13” pan with cooking spray. Use a 9” x 9” pan for thicker fudge or a 9” x 13” for thinner fudge. I find the 9” x 13” works just fine as a little of this fudge goes a long way.
  2. In a heavy-bottom pan over medium heat, bring the sugar, butter and evaporated milk to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar mixture starts to boil, cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the chocolate and the marshmallow crème to the hot sugar mixture and stir until fully melted. Add the vanilla and, if using, the walnuts. Stir to incorporate.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pan. Cool completely then cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for a month.

Makes about 40 treats.

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

This over-the-top cookie recipe was shared by my friends Carole and Nathan of Educated Foodie. The recipe was inspired by a cookie recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Holiday Cookies 2010 Special Issue.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated, plus 1 egg white
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups pecans, chopped finely
  • 14 soft caramel candies
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt in a bowl.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture until just combined – do not overmix. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Whisk egg whites in a bowl until frothy.
  5. Place pecans in a bowl.
  6. Roll dough into 1” balls, dip them in the egg whites then roll them in pecans. Place balls 2” apart on prepared baking sheets. Using ½ teaspoon measure, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Bake until set, about 12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through the baking process.
  7. Microwave caramels and cream in a bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth – 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Once cookies are removed from oven, gently re-press existing indentations. Fill each cookie indentation with ½ teaspoon caramel mixture. Cool 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Yields about 2 ½ dozen cookies.

Berliner Kranser Cookies

Berliner Kranser Cookies

My friend Kim is of Norwegian decent and has kindly shared this family recipe for Norwegian Christmas Cookies called Berliner Kranser (Berlin Wreaths). “They are a melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies” says Kim.

Ingredients:

  • 2 hard-boiled egg yolks (here’s help on how to make the perfect hard-boiled egg)
  • 2 raw egg yolks
  • ½ heaping cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 raw egg whites, beaten
  • Green decorating sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mash together hard and raw egg yolks. Add sugar and beat until a light lemon color, about 4 minutes.
  3. Alternately add the butter and the flour to the egg/sugar mixture, beating well to incorporate.
  4. Put the cookie dough in a cookie press fitted with a wreath shaped attachment. Arrange on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cookies can be close as they will not spread while cooking.
  5. Brush the egg whites over the cookies and decorate with green sugar. If you want to get fancy, you can use candy holly berries to add some red to the wreaths.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack immediately out of the oven.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.