Category Archives: Chocolate

Pink Chocolate

The other day Luli informs me that she wants to make pink chocolate cupcakes.  So, we did.  I was planning to write a whole post about making your cupcakes moist (RRRAWWWRRR!!!), but I apparently have a poppy seed stuck under my space bar from eating on the computer (yeah, I know — unless you want to tell me how to get it out, I don’t want to hear it).  Also, I’m having some wicked braxton-hicks contractions — like nonstop.  Also, the Fetus has moved such that I can actually eat for the first time in weeks, so I’m going to go devour a box of Milk Duds.

In the meantime, here are our gorgeous Pink Chocolate Cupcakes:

Pink Ladies

SDH PINK CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 T powdered espresso or coffee
  • 1 cup boiling hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup and 1 T granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 c sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly butter, or line 20-ish muffin cups with paper liners.  In a small bowl, stir the cocoa powder, the espresso, and the boiling hot water until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and mix until smooth.

Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16 – 20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Frost after the cupcakes have completely cooled.

Frosting

  • 8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 8 oz  cream cheese, softened
  • 4 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar

In the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl, melt the white chocolate, stirring often. Remove from the heat once melted and let cool to lukewarm. Transfer the melted white chocolate to a large bowl, and add the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Beat together at medium speed until you have a smooth sauce. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.  Tint with red or pink dye (I use Wilton’s).  Or don’t.

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Filed under Babies: Making and Raising, Cakes, Chocolate, Food Pr0n, Kids in the Kitchen, SDH Exclusive Recipe

Yo, Cupcake…

Hey Cupcake...

When I’m tucking Luli in at night, we like to talk about what we are going to do the next day.  Sometimes we make plans to do mundane stuff like read books or play with blocks; other times it is more exotic things like make bacon or go to the bank.  Luli really likes going to the bank.  Anyhow, the other night Luli asked if we could make cupcakes, and I of course said ‘sure’ because I am not some sort of monster.  Also, I like cupcakes.

The next day Luli arose all excited for cupcake makin’.  Truth be told, I did, too.  But while I love cupcakes as much as the next person, I didn’t feel like using any of my usual recipes; nor did I feel like making the usual 2 – 3 dozen.  I figured a nice dozen would be enough.  Luli requested chocolate frosting.  I agreed.

This recipe is loosely based on Beranbaum’s Yellow Butter Cake recipe (from the Cake Bible); I’ve noticed the Joy of Cooking recipe is almost identical.  I don’t know which came first.  Mine is different.  As I’ve prattled about elsewhere, I follow much of what the fabulous Rose Levy Beranbaum teaches, but not all.  As a southerner, I generally find her cakes to be a tad on the dry side — especially if you have to refrigerate layers during frosting and filling.  Anyhow, I wanted a quick easy dozen cupcakes with a simplified, non-meringue buttercream, and here is what I came up with:

The Hussy’s Quick and Dirty Dozen Butter Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream

Cupcakes

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 T whole milk
  • 2 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons room temp unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Frosting

  • 8 oz milk chocolate chips
  • 8 T room temp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, lightly combine the egg yolks, oil, T milk, and vanilla extract.

In the bowl of your electric mixer combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt).  Add the butter and remaining milk.  Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened, then beat on medium for about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Turn speed to low and slowly add the egg mixture.  Beat on med for about one minute.

Divide the batter and pour into lined cupcake tin.  If you only fill the tins halfway, this will make about 14 cupcakes.  So either fill the tins a little more and just make a dozen, or bake the excess in a mini-pan and let your kids have their way with it.

I use my face to frost, right?

You might want to give them an off-set spatula to use.

Hairnets!

So, if you’re lucky, you will get something like this:

Mmmm...Nice tongue prints.

Anyhow, back to the cupcakes.

Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center. Remove cupcakes and cool on rack.

While cupcakes are cooling, melt chocolate in double broiler.  Remove from heat and stir until smooth.  Let chocolate come down to room temp.  Add butter and beat until smooth and shiny.

Frost your completely cooled cupcakes.  Put remaining buttercream in jar and refrigerate; this makes the perfect late night pretzel dip or can just be scooped out and eaten while one pretends to look for the mustard.

SDH Butter Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream

Cupcakes will best retain moisture when kept in an airtight container like tupperware or Vader’s hyperbolic chamber.

Behold my cake-frosting prowess!

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Filed under Cakes, Chocolate, Food Pr0n, Kids in the Kitchen, SDH Exclusive Recipe

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies Will Make You Feel the Love

So I had originally intended to be all dedicated to The Food and get out a fabulous chocolate-based recipe post every day this week.  You know, because of Valentine’s Day and the love and all.   And because love = chocolate.  And because I just really love chocolate and it’s a good excuse to browse through my recipes and make a bunch of incredibly rich treats.   Especially now that I do NOT have the gestational dieuhbeeedus.

But I haven’t had a whole lot of kitchen time this week, so the good folk of the intertubes are going to have make do with a quick and dirty post today.

I came up with this tasty recipe a year or so ago when I went through a phase of combining my favorites things into one easily managed thing.  After the crushing failures that were Lamb and Valium Pasties and Wine on a Stick, I finally struck gold with these fabulous cookies – which my dear friend Big Red insists are not only edible but also tasty.

The good thing about cookies from a holiday standpoint is that you can make a giant batch and give some to many, many different people while insisting that they and they alone are your one and only.  If anyone calls you out on it, just tell them that all the love went into the four cookies you gave them and anyway you are pretty sure someone’s cat peed on the rest.  Enjoy…

DARK CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO COOKIES

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 T instant espresso powder (you can substitute instant coffee but it will suck)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of dark chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar for dusting (colored powdered sugar is a safe way to go crazy)

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Add the white and brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light and creamy.  Stir in vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat for one minute.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add all of dry mixture to sugar mixture and stir until just combined.  Add chocolate chips and stir until combined.  Chill the dough for half an hour.  Form the dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet.  Use Silpats for best results.  Bake at 350º for ten minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar when they come out of the oven.

Here Comes the Love!

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Filed under Chocolate, Cookies, Food Pr0n, SDH Exclusive Recipe

Puddin’ Pop

Valentine’s Day, that most sacred and special of spiritual observances, is nigh.  So naturally we are looking for the most delicious and convenient method for transferring gobs of something into our foodholes.  I submit for your consideration, the humble pudding:

Puddin'

What better expresses the sentiment of “love” than a giant bowlful of chocolate pudding?  Easily carried around and thick enough to not spill while you rearrange your Snuggie during the “Ghost Whisperer” marathon, pudding is the answer to all of life’s problems.  Fancy it up and top it with some delicious fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of crushed Tylenol PMs.

And there is NO need to settle for the “instant” variety. With just about as much work, you can whip up your own batch of gourmet homemade goodness.  Also, you can put booze in it, which was not included in the terrifying list of ingredients in Snak Paks, last time I checked.  It really is a breeze – I made this batch while getting screamed at on the phone by a crazy client AND having my pants clawed off by a crazy toddler.  If I weren’t pregnant, I probably would have been drinking, too.

So here is my recipe for pudding.  Yes, sticklers will notice that it is technically a custard and not a blancmange.  For those of you who want something to discuss with your mother, a pudding (or blancmange) involves cream thickened with corn starch, custard is cream thickened with eggs, and a pastry cream is a hybrid of sorts — a custard base thickened with corn starch.  There are also sub-distinctions involving heating/cooking methods, but we need not get into that here.  Suffice it to say that usually I bake my custards in a bain marie, but not always.  This pudding is one of the exceptions.  So is zabaglione, another favorite of mine and fundamental part of tiramisu.

But I digress.

You can make regular old pudding with corn starch if you wish.  Personally, I only like to bake with corn starch (i.e., shortbread) because I have this crazy belief that I can feel the cornstarch in creams and liquids.  I also wanted wanted a pudding that I could cook on the stovetop so it would remain creamier and not develop a crust.

Anyhow, here is my recipe.  You will not be able to taste the espresso – it just boosts the chocolate taste.  You can substitute whatever kind of chocolate you want, though if you use white chocolate I would use a tad more vanilla and a bit less sugar.  You can also use whatever additional flavoring you want – more espresso for mocha, almond is nice with milk chocolate, orange zest with bittersweet, cinnamon and cayenne, cardamom and pistachio, whatever.

 

MILK CHOCOLATE PUDDING

a Hussy Exclusive Recipe

  • 8 oz good quality milk chocolate, either chips or broken into bits

  • 1 c heavy cream

  • 1 c whole milk

  • 1 t powdered instant espresso

  • 1/4 t salt

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1 t vanilla extract

Add the cream, milk, and salt to a medium pot. Set over a medium high heat and stir until nearly boiling. Add the chocolate and espresso and whisk vigorously until it’s melted and the mixture is smooth and evenly combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks together.  While continuously whisking egg yolks, VERY SLOWLY drizzle in about one cup of the hot chocolate mixture.  Pour tempered egg mixture it back into the pot and quickly whisk together.

Whisking continuously, bring the pudding up to a full boil. Reduce to medium heat and continue whisking while allowing the pudding to boil for three minutes or until it thickens.

Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the vanilla. Pour the pudding into a heat-proof bowl or ramekins or jam jars. Cover the pudding’s surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple hours until it’s set.

Top with fresh whipped cream and eat it all. Then lick the bowl and cry.

 

 

 

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Filed under Chocolate, Food Pr0n, Puddings Custards Creams, SDH Exclusive Recipe