The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe Ever

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This seriously is the best chocolate cake recipe ever. Found on http://www.addapinch.com by my best friend Dawn and given the stamp of approval by my son. My daughter was the first to make this cake by herself after she told me she wants to be a cake baker. I’ve made it several times since.

Ingredients;
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp espresso powder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Directions;
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9 inch cake pans with cooking spray and lightly flour. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl, whisk together. Add milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla on medium speed, add water until air is added to batter. Place batter in cake pans and cook for 30-35 minutes
Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then remove from cake pans, cool completely before frosting.

Frosting;
Ingredients;
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
5 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp espresso powder

Directions;
Cream together butter and cocoa powder. Add sugar and milk this way; 1 cup sugar and 1 TBS milk at a time, mix on high. Add vanilla and espresso powder. Add more milk if dry, add sugar if too wet.

Croissant Apple Turnovers

 

This is a recipe that my best friend Dawn found online but she tweaked it to her liking so now I am only going to cite her as the source. My daughter likes it so much that she had me make them for her classroom during a heritage feast; even though they have nothing to do with our heritage. Regardless, they were a hit with all the children.

Ingredients;

  • 2-3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 can croissants
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 oz (1/2 can) lemon Pelligrino soda

Directions;

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X13 glass baking dish. Unroll croissants and cut each triangle in half making a total of 16 rolls. Place 1 apple slice in each piece of croissant. Place in dish and sprinkle remaining apples around (I coarsely chopped these). Melt butter and mix with sugar and cinnamon, pour over turnovers, then pour Pellegrino soda over turnovers.

Bake 35-45 minutes, it will be golden brown. Check to make sure the bottoms are not gooey.

Serve with ice cream if you wish.

 

 

 

Brownies

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I have made several different recipes of homemade brownies. Most tasted like cake. I finally found my go to recipe for brownies in Cook’s Country Chocolate Desserts magazine date Feb/2012. These are delicious served warmed with vanilla ice-cream.

 

Ingredients;

  • 5 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 8 TBS unsalted butter
  • 3 TBS cocoa
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Directions;

Preheat oven to 350 degree and adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Spray 8 inch square baking pan with vegetable oil spray.

In medium heatproof bowl or double boiler, set over simmering water, melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth. Whisk in cocoa powder. Set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk warm chocolate mixture into egg mixture, then stir in flour with wooden spoon. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake 35-40 minutes. Let cool for 2 hours.

 

 

 

Blueberry Muffins with Banana Butter

 

I made these muffins last week and loved how the tops were crisp and the inside moist and sweet. The banana butter complemented fantastically. This recipe was found in the May 2013 issue of Food and Wine magazine. They are very simple to make.

Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients;

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries

Banana Butter

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 very ripe banana, sliced
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of kosher salt

Directions;
1. Preheat the oven to 375° and fill 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the butter with the milk, both sugars, lemon zest and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the muffins are golden. Let cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the muffins and let cool on a rack.
3. In a food processor, puree the butter, banana, lemon juice and salt. Serve with the muffins.

Make Ahead
The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. The butter can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Dawn’s Blueberry Sauce

 

My best friend is such a great cook. Luckily I can share some of her recipes here. This is a blueberry sauce that can be used to put over ice cream, pancakes, cheesecake, or whatever floats your boat. It’s amazing and you can substitute blackberries or raspberries.

Ingredients;

2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 TBS cornstarch mixed with 2 TBS cold water
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon

Directions;
Combine blueberries, water, sugar, lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently and bring to a low boil.
In a small bowl mix cornstarch and cold water.
Slowly stir corn starch mixture into blueberries. Simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and cinnamon.
Thin with water if needed.

Lemon Bars

 

I recently made the lemon bars found in the Tartine cookbook which has many wonderful baked items. Tartine is a well known and fantastic bakery in San Francisco and they have some very tasty items. I had the pleasure of visiting once and cannot wait to go back.

Ingredients;

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 TBS lemon juice
  • I small lemon, zest, grated
  • 6 large whole eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • pinch of salt

Directions;

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, butter a 9 X 13 inch baking pan.
To make the crust, sift the confectioners sugar into a bowl with a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add the flour and stir to mix. Add the butter and pinenuts (if using) and beat on low speed just until a smooth dough forms.

Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and press evenly into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of the pan. It should be about 1/4 inch thick. To help even out the crust, use the flat bottom of any type of cup, pressing down firmly. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake the crust until it colors evenly to a deep golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees if the crust appears to be baking unevenly.

While the crust is baking, make the filling: Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and whisk until blended. Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to dissolve the sugar. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the whole eggs and egg yolk with the salt.

Kitchen notes: Whisking eggs with salt helps to denature (relax) the protein in the eggs and breaks them up more quickly and thoroughly. Do this whenever you need to whisk eggs thoroughly and there is salt in the recipe. You can also do this if you are making an egg wash.

Add the eggs to the lemon juice mixture and whisk until well blended.
When the crust is ready, pull out the oven rack holding the crust and pour the filling directly into the hot pan. Reduce the oven to 300 degrees and bake just until the center in no longer wobbly, 30-40 minutes.

Let cool completely on a wire rack, then cover and chill well before cutting. If you like, dust the top with confectioners sugar after chilled.

Brownies and Salted Caramel Sauce

I found this recipe on Bon Appetit via Twitter. It is very rich but these are the first homemade brownies I made that didn’t taste like chocolate cake. I loved it but my daughter felt the bittersweet chocolate makes it taste like dark chocolate brownies, so beware if you dislike dark chocolate flavor. The caramel sauce was easy to make and very yummy.

Brownies

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 tablespoon natural unsweetened cocoa powder plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Gray sea salt or flaky sea salt (such as Maldon; for serving)

Directions:

Brownies

Preheat oven to 350°. Coat an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess. Place butter, unsweetened chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring occasionally, until melted. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whisk flour, espresso powder, kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder in another medium bowl; set aside.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick, about 2 minutes; beat in vanilla. Fold in warm chocolate mixture, then dry ingredients, just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
Bake brownies until a tester inserted into the center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, 20-25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let brownies cool in pan. Cut brownies into 16 squares.

Caramel Sauce and Assembly

Bring sugar and 2 tablespoons water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and cook without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush, until sugar is a deep amber color, 5-8 minutes. Remove caramel from heat.
Add cream and butter (mixture will bubble vigorously) and whisk to combine. Let cool slightly in pan.
Drizzle caramel sauce over brownies and sprinkle with sea salt. DO AHEAD: Brownies can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep at room temp-erature. Caramel sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Let cool. Cover and chill. Reheat before using.

Soft Gingerbread Cookies

 

 

Merry Christmas! Christmas would not be complete without making gingerbread men. This recipe was found in simplyrecipes.com and is easy with tasty results.

Ingredients;

  • 1/2 cup un-sulfured molasses
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tbs ground ginger
  • 1 Tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1  large egg, beaten
  • 3 1/4 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose four
    Directions;

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and spices, set aside.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Mix in eggs and molasses. Gradually add the flour on low speed. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before rolling out, let sit at room temp for 5-10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set out 3 sheets of lightly floured parchment paper. Roll dough 1/8 inch thick and place on parchment paper. Refrigerate again for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut out cookies. Cut dough into shapes and transfer to baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until firm to touch.

Chocolate Mousse Dessert Cake

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This is a classic recipe from Julia Child. A rich delicious chocolate cake that does not need frosting. I watched her make this one on her show and she made it look so simple, as she often does. However, there are many steps and it can be a little tricky with the water baths but worth the effort and a great treat for the holidays.

Ingredients;

  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pound of chocolate (14 oz semi-sweet, 2 oz unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup dark Jamaican rum
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (chilled)
  • 1 TBS vanilla

Directions;
Butter and flour a 10 cup cake pan, have a piece of wax paper buttered as well and place on bottom of cake pan.
Whip eggs and sugar.
Melt chocolate, rum, and coffee in water bath and add vanilla to chocolate mixture.
Whip heavy cream into soft whip cream.
Fold chocolate into beaten eggs and sugar then fold whip cream into mixture, pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees in water bath for 1 hour. Leave in pan of water, oven off for 30 minutes.
Remove carefully from pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar.