Monthly Archives: April 2015

Double-Chocolate Profiteroles

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Profiteroles (chocolate and cream treats) look great, taste great and are the ultimate dinner party dessert. Give it a go, you won’t regret it!

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Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 80 minutes

Serves 8

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
5 large eggs
2 pints chocolate ice cream (preferably dark)
Dark Chocolate Sauce

Directions

1. Heat oven to 400° F. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring to melt the butter; remove from heat. Add the flour and stir to combine.

2. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan and a film forms on the bottom of the pan, about 1 minute. Let cool 5 minutes.

3. One at a time, add 4 of the eggs, mixing well after each addition. The batter should be shiny and smooth and hold its shape on a spoon.

4. Using one soup spoon to scoop the dough and another to scrape it off, drop tablespoon-size mounds of the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart (you should get about 24). In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg; brush the egg over the dough.

5. Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until puffed and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheets.

6. Before serving, cut the puffs in half horizontally, fill with the ice cream, and drizzle with the Dark Chocolate Sauce.

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On Exploring Creativity

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Great read to start my week!!

A Frank Angle

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. (Steve Jobs, Founder: Apple Computers)

Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks. (Yo-Yo Ma, cellist)

The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. (Albert Einstein,scientist)

Creativity is not just for artists. It’s for business people looking for a new way to close a sale; it’s for engineers trying to solve a problem; it’s for parents who want their children to see the world in more than one way. (Twyla Tharp, dancer/choreographer)

Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity. (T. S. Eliot, playwright)

Creativity…

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Sunday Reflections

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Happy, thankful Sunday!!! Question: “What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?”

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Chocolate Cake In A Mug

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This a dirty little secret and should only be shared with other chocoholics so, shhhhh. Mix it really well and you will end up with a cake that rises beautifully and has a great texture.

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Ingredients

4 tbsp self-raising flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp chocolate chips

Directions

1. In a large mug, place all the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon. Use the spoon to grind all of the cocoa against the side of the cup so there are no lumps.

2. Add the egg and beat it a little on top of the dry ingredients to break the yolk.

3. Add the oil, milk and vanilla and mix until well combined.

4. Stir the chocolate chips in and put into the microwave on high for 3 minutes.

5. Serve with a nice big scoop of ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Triple-Chocolate Cake

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Chocolate lovers rejoice! This rich cake features three kinds of chocolate: cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, and milk chocolate. And you get chocolate in the cake batter, the filling and the glaze.

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Serves 16 (serving size: 1 slice)

Ingredients

Cake:
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa, divided
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Cooking spray
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
8 ounces cake flour (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling:
1/3 cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Dash of salt
4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons fat-free milk
2 teaspoons butter
1/8 teaspoon instant espresso granules
Dash of salt
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Directions

Hands-on: 25 Minutes
Total: 1 Hour, 25 Minutes

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare cake, combine 1 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup cocoa. Add 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Coat 2 (8-inch) round metal cake pans with cooking spray; line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust pans with remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa.

3. Place 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 1 minute. Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until combined.

4. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire racks. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Discard wax paper.

5. To prepare filling, combine 1/3 cup milk and the next 3 ingredients (through dash of salt) in a saucepan over medium-low heat; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add milk chocolate, stirring until smooth. Pour into bowl. Cover and chill. Uncover; fold in whipped topping.

6. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and remaining ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Place 1 cake layer on a plate. Spread filling over cake, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Top with remaining layer. Drizzle glaze over top of cake, spreading it out over edges.

CHOCOLATE CRANACHAN

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Cranachan is Scotland’s traditional harvest-time pudding, a blend of Crowdie (an artisanal cottage cheese), cream, toasted oats, berries, whisky, and honey. Here, it’s updated with crème fraîche (instead of the Crowdie), toasted hazelnuts, and grated chocolate, and served parfait-style in individual goblets. To allow the flavors to meld, assemble the parfaits ahead of time and chill them overnight before serving.

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YIELD: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

2 cups coarsely grated bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate (about 6 ounces)
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped (4 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (3 ounces; do not use instant)
1 3/4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup whisky

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix chocolate, hazelnuts, and brown sugar in medium bowl. Spread oats out on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Stir hot oats into chocolate mixture (hot oats will partially melt chocolate); set aside until chocolate firms, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

2. Using electric mixer, beat whipping cream, crème fraîche, and sugar in large bowl until cream mixture holds peaks. Fold in whisky.

3. In each of six 10- to 12-ounce goblets, layer 3/4 cup cream mixture and 3/4 cup oat mixture; repeat layering. Top each parfait with 3/4 cup cream mixture and sprinkle with oat mixture. Cover parfaits and chill overnight.