Tag Archives: chocolate

happy thanksgivukkah!

happy thanksgivukkah my dear readers!photo 2

thanksgiving and hanukkah fall at the same time this year, and rumor has it that this won’t occur again for another 77,000 years, so we’re taking advantage of it and combining the two.

thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, a chance to cook delicious and comforting food, spend time with family and friends, and reflect on everything that we have to be thankful for.

last year i shared a whole list of recipe ideas, which i’ve drawn inspiration from again this year.

some highlights from last year:

sweet tea and citrus brine

sweet tea and citrus brine

popovers

popovers

mmm pumpkin cheesecake

mmm pumpkin cheesecake

sneak peak of this year’s menu:

to start:
artichoke olive crostini
parsnip potato latkes with cranberry applesauce
cranberry orange old fashioned cocktail

for the main course:
manischewitz brined turkey
challah apple stuffing
balsamic glazed pearl onions
roasted brussels sprouts
sweet potato casserole with half marshmallow, half crumble topping

to finish:
pumpkin chocolate tart (filling from here and crust from here)
pear cranberry and gingersnap crumble

my plate

last year’s plate

stay warm, blast some tunes, and enjoy this wonderful holiday!

i’m signing off to make my pumpkin pie,

bon appetit!

gluten free black bean brownies

Hello friends!!

I’ve been cooking up a storm and have so many fun recipes to share with you! I’m going to try to post one a day (I know I’ve been slacking), but stay tuned!

I was given the recipe for these incredible brownies in a nutritional sciences food lab class I took at Cornell last semester. One of my housemates has celiac, so I was very intrigued to see how these would turn out. The black beans act as the starch in place of flour to hold it all together, and they do a great job! By the way, if you’re initially turned off by the idea of black beans in a brownie, please give these a chance. Once everything goes in the food processor and gets blended together, nobody will ever know that black beans are inside!

These are low-fat, fudgy, chocolatey and delicious, and are my new go to brownie recipe. They make a great last minute dessert since you probably have everything you need in the pantry already. Enjoy!

Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 15oz can of black beans
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)
  • handful of chocolate chips (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray an 8×8 or 11×7 baking pan with cooking spray
  3. In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except nuts; blend well until very smooth
4. Stir in nuts and optional chocolate chips (or sprinkle on top)
5. Pour batter into pan and bake 35-40 minutes or just until set in the center. Do not over bake
Bon appetit!

three layer chocolate peanut butter cake

Hello friends,

I come to you today with my first celebration cake post, and let me tell you, this cake is no joke. Three layers of rich sour cream chocolate cake with thick peanut butter cream cheese frosting between each layer and all over the outside.

It was my housemate Meg’s 21st birthday, and I was given the important task of making her an epic birthday cake. Her two favorite foods are chocolate and peanut butter, so this cake was a natural choice. I had been eyeing it for months on Smitten Kitchen, but before settling I decided to check out chocolate peanut butter cakes on my other favorite blogs and what did I find? They were all copy cats of this same smitten kitchen recipe! I decided that it must be good if everyone else had made it, and I wasn’t wrong!

I will admit, this isn’t the cake I would choose off a dessert menu. I’m more of a creme brulee or cheesecake with berry compote sort of girl, but boy let me tell you, it was far from a chore to eat a piece of this. Everyone at the party LOVED it and I have been asked for the recipe on more than one occasion since then. So drum roll ladies and gentlemen, here it is:

3-Layer Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Courtesy of Smitten Kitchen (thanks Deb!!)

Chefs Notes: The original recipe calls for a chocolate peanut butter glaze on top of the peanut butter frosting, which I didn’t do, but I will give you the ingredients for in case you want to add it on. The recipe makes an 8-inch triple layer cake which will easily serve over 16 people because it is VERY rich and should be served in very skinny slices.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable/canola/soybean oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • peanut brittle, broken into pieces (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb recommended putting these cakes in the freezer for around 30 minutes once out of the oven to firm up a bit because they are very soft. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. I did this and found it very helpful, especially with assembling and then frosting the cake.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Deb recommends making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer,  which is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Once the cake is fully frosted, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

Optional Step:

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

Peanut Butter Frosting


Makes about 5 cups

  • 10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out) Note: I used chunky peanut butter which is why you will see chunks of peanuts in my frosting. It was what I had around the house and worked perfectly as well.

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

The Birthday Girl

Make this cake for a friend’s birthday (or really anytime) for a very special and highly addictive treat! Let me know how it goes!

Cheers,

E

chocolate ricotta mousse


If you like chocolate mousse but always feel guilty for over indulging, you’ve got to try this lightened up version made with part-skim ricotta, cocoa powder and beaten egg whites! It is fluffy, rich, and absolutely delicious. There are only a few easy steps, so this mousse can be the star of your next dinner party, or even your quick weeknight dinner. Enjoy!

Chocolate Ricotta Mousse

Recipe from Martha Stewart-Everyday Food

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups part-skim ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting (optional)
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Coarse salt
  • Directions:

    1. In a food processor, pulse ricotta and cocoa powder until completely smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

    2. Place egg whites, sugar, and pinch of salt in a medium heatproof mixing bowl set over (not in) a pot of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and, using an electric mixer, beat mixture on high until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes.

    3. With a rubber spatula, gently fold egg-white mixture into ricotta mixture until combined.

    4. Divide mousse among six glasses or small bowls. Refrigerate until set, 3 hours (or up to 1 day). To serve, lightly dust with cocoa powder if desired.

    finished product. delish!