Monthly Archives: June 2014

Chocolate Mink


These luxurious little desserts are like gooey flourless chocolate pudding cakes. #ChocolatefiendsofTenaciousM enjoy!!

Chocolate Mink

Yield: Makes 2 servings Active time: 15 min Total time: 1 3/4 hr


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus additional for greasing bowls or ramekins
3 1/2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
1 large egg, separated
1 tablespoon sugar

Special equipment: 2 (5- to 6-oz) ovenproof glass or ceramic bowls or ramekins

Accompaniment: coffee ice cream


1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bowls or ramekins.

2. Melt chocolate and butter in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and cool, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Whisk in egg yolk and a pinch of salt until combined.

3. Beat egg white in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until it holds soft peaks. Gradually add sugar, beating, and continue to beat until white just holds stiff, glossy peaks.

4. Whisk about one fourth of white into chocolate mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining white gently but thoroughly.

5. Divide batter between bowls or ramekins. Cover each bowl with a small square of foil and crimp foil tightly around rim. Put bowls in a baking dish, then add enough boiling-hot water to reach halfway up side of bowls, making sure that foil is above water. Bake until puddings are just set, about 30 minutes. (Puddings will be gooey to the touch.) Transfer bowls to a rack and cool puddings, uncovered, about 1 hour.

6. Just before serving, unmold puddings into serving bowls.

Standing On Their Shoulders – Zelda Wynn Valdes


You may not have heard of Zelda Wynn Valdes, but you’ve certainly seen her designs. The fashion designer is credited with creating the original Playboy bunny costume. The work of the trailblazing fashion designer/entrepreneur highlighted the coveted hour-glass figure in the 1940s and 1950s.

In 1948, was the first Black designer to open up her own shop on Broadway. Valdes created gorgeous gowns many stars like Mae West, Joyce Bryant, Josephine Baker, Gladys Knight, Sarah Vaughan, Dorothy Dandridge, Ella Fitzgerald and countless others.

Later in her life, she created costumes for the Dance Theater of Harlem, and Zelda Wynn Valdes also helped found the National Association of Fashion and Accessory Designers. She died in 2001 at age 96.

Check out some of her work.

Zelda Wynn Valdez 1
Valdes fits a gown on Dorothy Dandridge

Zelda Wynn Valdez 2
Ella Fitzgerald


Taka-Naka Spring / Summer 2014


Designers Tamara and Natasha Surguladze are Georgian-born identical twins, who arrived in London in 1996 to study design at Central St Martin’s and in 2000 Barneys NYC dedicated a wall to their awe-inspiring graduation collection. The Tata-Naka statement pieces regularly starred in the legendary series ‘’Sex in the City’’ and were worn by Carrie Bradshaw on the cover of the official book.

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Chocolate Butterfinger Pie


After testing, trying and enjoying a variety of peanut butter pies, I think this one is perfect! You can make this into small pies instead of a large one and everyone gets their own individual pie. Plus they can be individualized if someone doesn’t want certain garnishes on top.

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Yields 8 servings


1 1/2 cups chocolate graham crackers, crushed (1 packet, 9-10 crackers)
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 Butterfinger candy bar, crushed
8 ounces PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
16 ounces Cool Whip, unthawed
8 oz ounces Cool Whip Extra
8 mini pie pans or ramekins
2 Butterfinger candy bar, crushed (divided into 2 bowls)
1 ounce mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate shavings
1 ounce crushed peanuts

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FOR PIE CRUSTS: Mix together first three ingredients (chocolate graham crackers, butter and one Butterfinger).

Divide mixture evenly among eight mini pie pans, and press firmly into bottom and sides. Put pie shells into freezer to chill until ready to fill.

FOR PIE: Mix together next 7 ingredients (PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, vanilla extract, dark brown sugar, granulated white sugar, creamy peanut butter, and Cool Whip and 1 cup Butterfinger candy bar, crushed). Beat on med-low for 30 seconds, then scrap down sides of bowl. Beat on high for 1 minute. Pie filling is now ready.

TO FINISH: Evenly divide pie filling into eight mini pie pans. Garnish each pie evenly with the 8 oz ounces Cool Whip extra, crushed Butterfinger, mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate shaving, and crushed peanuts (all optional). Cover each pie and freeze for at least two hours before serving.

ADDITION: This can all be made into one large pie that serves 8 or into 8 mini pie pans for parties and other get togethers.

Icebox Chocolate Cheesecake


Brilliantly layered chocolate cookies with a quick mix of cream cheese, chocolate syrup, and a little water. The cookies soften as the cake chills overnight for a perfectly moist, chocolaty “cheater’s” cheesecake.


Yields: 8 to 10 servings
Total Time: 30 min


70 (from 2 packages) Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
24 ounce(s) (three 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup(s) chocolate syrup, such as Hershey’s
1/4 cup(s) water


1. Put 20 of the chocolate cookies (reserving 50 whole cookies) into a zippered plastic bag and, using a rolling pin, crush them to fine crumbs. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with enough plastic wrap to extend by 4 inches all around.

2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the chocolate syrup and 1/4 cup of water and beat the chocolate cream for 2 minutes.

3. Arrange 9 cookies in an overlapping ring on the bottom of the prepared cake pan and place 1 cookie in the center. Spoon one-fourth of the chocolate cream (about 1 1/4 cups) over the cookies, being careful not to disturb them. Repeat with the remaining cookies and chocolate cream, ending with a layer of 10 cookies on top. Fold the plastic wrap over the top of the cake. Lightly tap the pan once or twice on a work surface. Refrigerate the cake for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight.

4. Peel back the plastic wrap and invert the cake onto a serving plate. Carefully peel off the plastic wrap. Press the cookie crumbs onto the side of the cake to coat evenly. Cut into wedges and serve.

Rosie Assoulin Resort 2015


Ahhhh! Can’t get enough of Rosie Assoulin. Check out her resort 2015 lookbook! Incredible!

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Credit: Style Pantry

Chocolate Sacher Torte


Sacher torte is a classic Austrian chocolate cake layered with apricot preserves. You can use the preserves three ways: for moistening the cake layers, as a thick filling between the layers, and as a glaze to seal the cake before covering it in chocolate. The cake is moist and luscious on its own, but it’s also delicious served the traditional way, with unsweetened whipped cream.


Yields: one 9-inch torte
Total Time: 2 hr
Cook Time: 1 hr


6 large eggs, separated
1 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup(s) (1/3 cup) almond flour or 2 ounces blanched almonds, ground
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1 1/2 stick(s) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup(s) sugar
5 ounce(s) bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1 3/4 cup(s) apricot preserves
2/3 cup(s) light corn syrup
2 tablespoon(s) rum
10 ounce(s) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Unsweetened whipped cream, optional, for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter the paper. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, whip the egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour with the almond flour and salt. In another large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the yolks, one at a time, and beat until fluffy. Beat in the chocolate, then beat in one-fourth of the whites. Using a spatula, fold in the rest of the whites until no streaks remain.

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake in the center of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then remove the ring and let the cake cool completely. Invert the cake onto a plate and peel off the parchment. Turn the cake right side up. Using a long serrated knife, cut the cake horizontally into 3 even layers.

5. In a small microwave-safe bowl, whisk 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the apricot preserves with 1/4 cup of water and microwave until melted.

6. Set the bottom of the springform pan on a wire rack and set the rack on a baking sheet. Arrange the top cake layer, cut side up, on the springform pan.
Brush the cake with one-third of the melted apricot preserves. Spread 1/2 cup of the unmelted apricot preserves on top and cover with the middle cake layer. Brush the surface with another third of the melted preserves and spread another 1/2 cup of the unmelted preserves on top. Brush the cut side of the final layer with the remaining melted preserves and set it cut side down on the cake. Using a serrated knife, trim the cake edges if necessary to even them out.

7. In the microwave-safe bowl, microwave the remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the apricot preserves until melted, about 30 seconds. Press the preserves through a strainer to remove the solids. Brush the preserves all over the cake until completely coated. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until set.

8. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk the corn syrup with the rum and 2 tablespoons of water and bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and pour the hot mixture on top. Let stand until melted, then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate glaze is too thick to pour, whisk in another tablespoon of hot water. Let cool to warm.

9. Using an offset spatula, scrape off any excess preserves from the cake so that it is lightly coated. Slowly pour half of the warm chocolate glaze in the center of the cake, allowing it to gently coat the top and spread down the side. Spread the glaze to evenly coat the torte. Microwave the remaining glaze for a few seconds and repeat pouring and spreading. Scrape up any excess glaze. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to set the glaze, then cut the torte into wedges and serve with the whipped cream.

Off The Chain Performance – Christina Aguilera


Aretha Franklin tribute by Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Florence Welch, Yolonda Adams, Martina McBride Live From The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards 2011. I love them all, but Christina kills it!!