Category Archives: Chocolate

Chocolate Pie

I haven’t been baking a lot recently, just some vanilla cupcakes and kitchen sink cookies here and there. Truthfully, I’ve lost some of my baking mojo. Now that I’m on my own I’ve lost my number one taste-tester (and my sub-editor) so baking has become more of a solitary pursuit. Yes, I share my baked goods with friends, family and anyone who stops by Katie’s Kitchen, but one of the most enjoyable parts of my culinary hobby is missing. I had someone by my side who didn’t often bake but who did enjoy and participate in the process of my baking and blogging. And of course he enjoyed the eating part. It was a happy day when he liked what I’d baked. Which was well, almost all of the time. I’m sure it will just take some time to find my new normal in the kitchen and beyond. Until then, a little chocolate will help get me by.


Chocolate Pie

Base
Adapted from About.Com American Food Chocolate Pie Crust recipe

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
70g unsalted butter
Yolk from 1 large egg
2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

Directions

Preheat oven to 175°C.
In a food processor, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt until blended. Add the butter and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add the egg yolk and water and process with on/off turns until the dough forms a ball. 
Press the dough into a ball, then flatten into a 1-inch round. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 20 minutes. If not using immediately, wrap with plastic and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.
Roll out dough and press into pie tin. Blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
Note –
My pie tins are still yet to be unpacked. I had to improvise this time – I used a Baker’s Secret 2-in-1 Springform Bundt pan that was gifted to me earlier in the year. You can use it as a bundt pan or as a regular springform cake tin. I used it in the regular tin form. I used baking paper on the base of the pan just in case the crust decided to stick, but had no trouble. I pressed the crust up the side of the pan and once the filling was cooked and cooled released the pan and voila! This would work well also if you didn’t want to serve the pie in the tin you baked it in. I transferred the pie to a plate before adding the topping.

Filling
Adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice Chocolate Pie recipe

Ingredients

1 cup thickened cream
200g milk cooking chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles start to break the surface. 
Meanwhile, place the chocolate and cocoa powder to a medium heat proof bowl. Pour the hot cream over top of the chocolate and allow to sit for 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
Whisk in butter, followed by egg, milk and vanilla.
Pour filling into pie crust and bake until the edges are set but the center is still a little jiggly about 26-30 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

Topping

Ingredients

1 and ½ cups thickened cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons pure icing sugar

Directions

Using a stand mixer, whip cream, cocoa powder and sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread over cooled pie.
Store pie in refrigerator. Remove pie from refrigerator 20 minutes before serving.

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Coconut Kitchen Sink Cookies

I love to bake but it’s no fun baking in an unfamiliar oven for the first time. You’d think 180° Celsius in my oven would be the same as 180° C in your oven. Wrong! What should be 180° C in my current oven is more like 240° C. That means I’m off to buy an oven thermometer and then it’s game on for me and this hot-diggity-dog oven.
mms cookies

I did manage a batch of my good old kitchen sink cookies, with a packet of coconut M&M’s. There would have been shredded coconut in there too if I’d bothered to check my supplies before I started baking.

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Adapted from recipe by Martha Stewart
Makes about 40

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups milk chocolate chips (approx)
1 cup chopped milk chocolate (approx)
2 cups coconut M&Ms (approx)

Directions

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line baking sheets with baking paper.

Using a stand mixer, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in vanilla.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture until well blended. Stir in oats, M&M’s, chocolate chips and chocolate.

Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto trays, about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden, about 16 to 18 minutes (10 minutes in my oven). Cool on pan for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, and finish cooling completely on wire rack.

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Chocolate Orange Mousse

I had such high hopes. I love anything chocolate orange flavoured, but alas it was not to be. This is a delicious mousse, it’s just not a chocolate orange mousse. More juice next time? Some zest perhaps? I used freshly squeezed juice in the mousse but omitted the candied orange garnish after discovering the mousse wasn’t quite flavoured the way I’d hoped. This recipe is by Curtis Stone. Have you made it and had better results? Or do you have a chocolate orange mousse recipe I can add to my to-do list?

Perhaps I’ll have to stop by Rockpool for another serving of jaffa mousse cake. If I remind hubby of Rockpool’s mac and cheese I may just get that little slice of heaven soon!

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Rocky Road

Believe it or not, I still have chocolate eggs in my kitchen left over from our Easter celebrations. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a stash of chocolate last so long. I used the last of our Cadbury Easter bunnies in this rocky road slice. Raiding the pantry, I found some mini marshmallows, raspberry-flavoured lollies and strawberry wafer biscuits. I chopped each of these into small pieces while the chocolate bunnies melted over low heat. Once the chocolate was ready, I combined it with the chopped sweets and spread the whole mixture into a lined baking pan. It took a couple of hours to set in the fridge, and not too long at all for me to eat way too many pieces.

You can’t go wrong with rocky road as long as you choose a brand of chocolate you love. Add lollies, nuts or any treat you can think of and make sure to share at least a couple of slices with someone else. But only if you have to.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m putting this one down in the archives as my official chocolate chip cookie recipe. Hubby is partial to the Nestle Toll House recipe so there may be a bake-off in our future.
choc chip cookies recipe new york times

These cookies are good. Very good. Great. Crispy on the edge, dense and chewy, but not undercooked in the middle. This recipe was originally published in the New York Times in 2008. I really should have got around to baking it sooner!

Warning – this cookie dough needs to sit in the fridge for 24-36 hours before baking for the most delicious results. I want to tell you this upfront because I know how disappointing it is to start making the dough and then realise you will have to wait a day to taste the sweet, chewy goodness. Of course you can bake some right after mixing the dough, but the best flavour and texture will only come after the magical refrigeration time. It sounds silly but it’s true.

The biggest difference between this recipe and others I have tried is the call for cake flour and bread flour. Both flours have a different protein level to ordinary all-purpose flour. I haven’t used either to make cookies before but something in the combination of these two flours makes the recipe a winner.

I used a little less salt that the recipe asks and did not sprinkle salt on top on the unbaked dough. I just don’t care for the salty sweet mix in a choc chip cookie. Here’s what I did below –

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from New York Times recipe by Jacques Torres

Ingredients

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 ½ ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 ½ ounces) bread flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt (the original asks for 1½ teaspoons)
2 ½ sticks (1 ¼ cups) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (or other chocolate pieces of your choice – I used a mixture of Cadbury Milk and Dark Baking Chips)

Sea salt

Directions

Sift cake and bread flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. (I used less than 1 teaspoon of salt but next time will try the full amount.) Set aside.

Cream butter and sugars together until very light, using stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. This took more than five minutes for me. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix again.

Reduce mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Add chocolate pieces and mix gently. I used a mixture of milk and dark Cadbury Chocolate Chips.

Now it’s time to refrigerate the dough. Be patient, this step is vital for the most tasty cookies possible and the cookies will be worth waiting for. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C, line cookie trays with baking paper.

Scoop 3oz(85 grams) mounds (the original says 3½ oz) onto cookie trays, I baked two at a time as they spread considerably. Add extra choc chips to the top of the mounds so the cookies look prettier once baked. If you wish, sprinkle a touch of sea salt over top of dough mounds.

Bake for 13-20 minutes, until browned on the edges but still soft in the centre. Cool on tray for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool, or serve and eat them warm.

 

 

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Chocolate Cake

Happy birthday Elise!

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

Ingredients

For the classic chocolate cake

3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sour cream
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract

For the chocolate frosting 

180g dark chocolate, chopped
180g milk chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 tbs light corn syrup or golden syrup

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, chopped into 1 inch pieces

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8 inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out excess flour.

In medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder and sour cream with 1 1/4 cups hot water and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – the mixture will appear to string or ribbon throughout the bowl.

Add the sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing about 10 to 15 seconds after each addition until the egg is incorporated into the mixture.

Then turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, add the dry mixture and the cocoa mixture to the mixer bowl in three alternating parts, ending with the dry.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to level the batter. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Make the chocolate frosting

Place the chopped chocolate and milk chocolate in the bowl of am electric mixer. In a small saucepan bring cream and syrup to the boil, remove from heat and immediately pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture until completely smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

With the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed, gradually add the butter and mix until well combined and smooth. Chill frosting for a few minutes until it can hold its shape.

To assemble the cake

Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface, and evenly spread about 1 1/4 cups frosting on top.

Add the next layer, trim and frost it, then add the third layer. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake and put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up. (This is known as the crumb coating and will help you keep loose cake crumbs under control when you frost the outside of the cake.)

Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate it for 15 minutes to firm it up.

The cake can be stored, covered in a cake dome or cake saver, at room temperature for up to 3 days

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Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream


Happy birthday Jess! Good food, good company and cake. Not a bad Friday night at all.

Sweetapolita is an expert on Swiss meringue buttercream frosting – I highly recommend you visit her site before making it. And visit YouTube for sweetandsaucyshop’s video on making frosting ruffles. They are easier to make than they look! This was my first attempt but I’d love to try them again.

Chocolate Cake
Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

Ingredients

3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sour cream
2
 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Butter three 8 inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out excess flour.

In medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder and sour cream with 1 ¼ cups hot water and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – the mixture will appear to string or ribbon throughout the bowl.
Add the sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing about 10 to 15 seconds after each addition until the egg is incorporated into the mixture.
Then turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, add the dry mixture and the cocoa mixture to the mixer bowl in three alternating parts, ending with the dry.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to level the batter.
Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 30 to 45 minutes.
Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Sweetapolita’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Because it does take some time to make and freezes well, I make a larger batch. You can divide this recipe in 2 or even 3.

Yield: 15 cups (enough to frost and fill approximately three 8″ round cakes)

Ingredients

16 large egg whites (30g each–total 450g, or 2 cups)
4 cups granulated sugar (800g)
5 cups (2.5 lbs, 10 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
30 ml (2 tablespoons) pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Directions

Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk attachment, small bowl, and whisk with paper towel and lemon juice (or vinegar), to remove any trace of grease.
Add egg whites and sugar,  and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 140 degrees F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot (you can feel a drop in between your fingers to ensure no granules.).

Take off of stove, and place bowl back on electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and neutral (you can feel outside of the bowl to test temperature).
Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on low-speed continuously, add butter one cube at a time until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).  Add vanilla and salt, mix well. You can also add a wide variety of flavourings, extracts, and more. If buttercream is too runny, the butter was possibly too soft–place into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, then beat again.
If still too runny, add a few more cubes of butter and keep beating until it reaches Use immediately, or refrigerate/freeze.

Notes:

Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes.

Can freeze for up to 6-8 weeks. To thaw, place on counter overnight, and rewhip for 5 minutes with paddle attachment in an electric mixer.

If buttercream still doesn’t have its satiny finish after rewhipping, microwave 1/3 of the buttercream for approximately 10 seconds and add to remaining buttercream in mixer bowl, beating for a few moments to incorporate.

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Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cake

This recipe is my new favourite chocolate cake recipe. Chocolate cake with mousse-like chocolate frosting and dark chocolate ganache drizzled on top. I think I’ll tweak the recipe a little further but it’s pretty darn good just the way it is.

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cake
Recipe adapted from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.

Ingredients

For the classic chocolate cake

3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup sour cream
2  2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1  ½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbs vanilla extract

For the chocolate frosting

180 grams dark chocolate, chopped
180 grams milk chocolate, chopped
1  ½ cups heavy cream
2 tbs light corn syrup or golden syrup
1  ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but cool, chopped into 1 inch pieces

For the chocolate glaze

180 grams good quality (60-72%) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter three 8 inch round cake pans, line them with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out excess flour.

In medium bowl, mix the cocoa powder and sour cream with 1 ¼ cups hot water and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes – the mixture will appear to string or ribbon throughout the bowl. Add the sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing about 10 to 15 seconds after each addition until the egg is incorporated into the mixture. Then turn the mixer to low, add the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds.

Beginning with the dry ingredients, add the dry mixture and the cocoa mixture to the mixer bowl in three alternating parts, ending with the dry. Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Use an offset spatula to level the batter. Bake the cakes for 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack and let them cool completely. Remove the parchment.

Make the chocolate frosting

Place the chopped chocolate and milk chocolate in the bowl of am electric mixer. In a small saucepan bring cream and syrup to the boil, remove from heat and immediately pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture until completely smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

With the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed, gradually add the butter and mix until well combined and smooth. Chill frosting for a few minutes until it can hold its shape.

To assemble the cake

Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Trim the top to create a flat surface, and evenly spread about 1 1/4 cups frosting on top. Add the next layer, trim and frost it, then add the third layer. Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake and put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up. (This is known as the crumb coating and will help you keep loose cake crumbs under control when you frost the outside of the cake.) Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate it for 15 minutes to firm it up.

Make the chocolate glaze

Place the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir the glaze to release excess heat. Cool until it is still pourable but not hot to the touch. Otherwise you may melt your frosting right off your cake. Drizzle glaze over the cake. Refrigerate the cake about 15 minutes to set the glaze before serving.

Glaze the cake

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place your cake on a wire rack over the baking sheet. Slowly pour about 3/4 of a cup of the glaze over the cake. Use a small offset spatula to smooth it out to the edges. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to set the glaze. Remove from the refrigerator and slowly pour the rest of the glaze over the cake. It should run down the sides in thick streams. You should be able to control the size and length of the streams by the pour. Feel free to experiment, and have no fear in playing around. This is the fun part, and there is no right or wrong way. Chill the entire cake for approximately 20 minutes, or until glaze is set, then transfer to a cake plate. Serve at room temperature.

The cake can be stored, covered in a cake dome or cake saver, at room temperature for up to 3 days

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Kitchen Sink Cookies

Yes, I make these often don’t I? Another batch today – Easter M&Ms and McGrath Foundation pink-and-white M&Ms.


More kitchen sink cookies –

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Adapted from recipe by Martha Stewart
Makes about 40

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
Any variation of chocolate, nuts, candy etc like –
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped milk chocolate
2 cups M&Ms

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl with a wooden spoon or hand mixer, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir into butter mixture until well blended. Stir in oats, M&M’s, chocolate chips and chocolate.
  4. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto trays, about 2 inches apart. Press tops down with the bottom of a glass to flatten cookies evenly. (I roll into balls). Bake until golden, about 16 to 18 minutes (8-10 minutes in my oven). Cool on pan for 2 minutes. Remove from pan, and finish cooling completely on wire rack.

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Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

Mix smooth peanut butter (softened, about 1/4 cup) with icing sugar (sifted, about 1/4 cup). Chill mixture, then shape into egg or ball shapes (about 8). Insert lollipop sticks into peanut butter eggs, chill again. Dip eggs into melted chocolate and chill until set. Then enjoy!

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