Showing posts with label dark chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dark chocolate. Show all posts

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Chocolate chip cookies with oats

Cookies com pedaços de chocolate e aveia / Chocolate chip cookies with oats

I made these cookies last week and the inspiration was something very simple: while I was grabbing a can of chickpeas in the cupboard to make a soup, I saw the jar of oats right next to it, and thought that I hadn’t baked cookies in a very long time. Some more searching through the bags, jars and cans and I found some very good dark chocolate begging to be used.

It is a simple cookie but the bitterness of the chocolate really makes it. There is not a lot of oats in the recipe, but I do feel virtuous eating my cookies and thinking that they have a little bit of goodness in them, from the oats and from the chocolate. These days, isolated and feeling blue, thinking positive is one of the things I try to do the most.

Chocolate chip cookies with oats
slightly adapted from Donna Hay

1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
½ cup (44g) rolled oats
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (116g) light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate, chopped – I used one with 70% cocoa solids

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
Place the butter, sugars and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated and a dough forms. Fold through the chocolate pieces.

Roll 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie into balls and place onto prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake for about 14 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 28 cookies

Friday, March 23, 2018

Rye chocolate chip financiers

Rye chocolate chip financiers / Financiers de centeio com gotas de chocolate

Financiers are one of my downfalls: petite, delicate, but full of flavor, they are a great way of using leftover egg whites. I have been trying to make them using olive oil instead of butter, but the texture was a bit off, so more tests are necessary.

The recipe I bring you today is from ages ago (when I could still eat butter) and it is delicious: the rye flour makes the financiers a little bit heavier on texture, yet flavorsome, and the flavor of the rye flour goes really well with chocolate.

Rye chocolate chip financiers
own recipe

85g almond meal
¾ xícara (105g) icing sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons (30g) all purpose flour, sifted
3 tablespoons (30g) fine rye flour, sifted
pinch of salt
5 large egg whites
85g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (85g) dark chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, icing sugar, all purpose flour, rye flour and salt. Whisk in the egg whites. Whisk in the butter and vanilla until smooth, then fold in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Butter ten 100ml-capacity molds or mini muffin pans.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the top. Divide the berries among the pans, placing them on top of the batter and pushing them slightly into the batter. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and risen – a skewer in the center should come out clean.
Cool in the pans over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully unmold and transfer to the rack, cooling completely.

Financiers are tastier on the day they are made, however they can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days

Makes 10

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pear, olive oil and chocolate cake

Pear, olive oil and chocolate cake / Bolo de pera, azeite de oliva e chocolate

I have been running around like a headless chicken lately, with loads of work and other things to solve. For that reason, I haven’t posted much and I am also behind with my personal emails.

I decided to stop by very quickly with an equally quick to make cake: put together in almost no time, it is a tender and delicious combination of fruit, olive oil and chocolate. Good for those weeks you have barely time to breathe but still want a slice of cake and a cup of coffee or tea at the end of a tough day.

Pear, olive oil and chocolate cake / Bolo de pera, azeite de oliva e chocolate

Pear, olive oil and chocolate cake
own recipe

2 large pears, about 200g (7oz.) each
lemon juice, for drizzling over the pears
1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup (120ml) extra virgin olive oil
½ cup (130g) plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g dark chocolate, finely chopped – I used one with 70% cocoa solids

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a tall 20cm (8in) round cake pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan*, line the bottom with a circle of baking paper and butter it as well.

Peel and core both pears, slice one thinly and dice the other. Drizzle with a little lemon juice to keep them from browning.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, yogurt and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the diced pear. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top. Arrange the pear slices on top of the batter, then sprinkle evenly with the chocolate. Bake for about 50 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan over a wire rack.

* if your pan is not very tall, use a 9in (23cm) pan

Serves 6-8

Friday, September 1, 2017

Brown butter rye choc chip cookies - another great recipe with rye flour

Brown butter rye choc chip cookies / Cookies de manteiga queimada, centeio e chocolate

My confessed love for the fine rye flour has been resulting in several great recipes in the past months, and it makes me really happy that my dear and lovely reader Ellen from the U.S., together with several other readers of my Brazilian blog have been enjoying one of them: the soft rye bread I posted a while ago.

It is my favorite recipe made with rye – and it does taste exceptionally good paired with the sardine rillette, it is like they were made for each other. However, the bread has been closely followed by the cookies I bring you today: the combination of the nutty rye flavor with brown butter and dark chocolate is one the most delicious out there – trust me. ;)

Brown butter rye choc chip cookies
own recipe

½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (160g) all purpose flour
½ cup (70g) fine rye flour – the one I mentioned on this post
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon table salt
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
¾ cup (131g) light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped or in chips – I used one with 70% cocoa solids

Start by making the brown butter: place the butter in a small saucepan (avoid using dark nonstick since that way you will not be able to see the color of the butter clearly). Cook over medium heat until butter is golden and smells nutty, swirling the saucepan around a few times – butter can burn very quickly, to keep an eye on it. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl to cool completely.

Now, the cookies: preheat the oven to 150°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, rye flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Place brown butter and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until creamy and light in color – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the recipe making. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients and mix only until a dough forms – do not overmix. Stir in the chocolate pieces. If day is too hot, refrigerate dough for 30 minutes before baking.

Drop 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared pans, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges. Cool in the pans over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then slide the papers with the cookies onto the rack and cool completely.
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes about 23

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Chocolate chip, crystallized peel and cranberry cookies + a hug as a gift

Chocolate, crystallized peel and cranberry cookies / Cookies com gotas de chocolate, laranja cristalizada e cranberries

As the year started and I got back from my week off, I started working on things around the house, maybe trying to clear my mind as I cleared the cupboards and the closet, I don’t know. :)

As I checked the ingredients in my cupboard, I found a bit of crystallized orange peel left from my holiday baking and right next to it I saw a jar of dried cranberries – I immediately thought of putting them together in cookies, and added a bit of dark chocolate for balance. The cookies tasted great and I turned them into a gift for a colleague who is going through hard times now – I hope she felt a bit better with the cookies and the big hug I gave her then.

Chocolate chip, crystallized peel and cranberry cookies
slightly adapted from BBC Good Food

225g all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
80g light brown sugar
80g demerara sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
120g dark chocolate chip or chunks
50g crystallized orange peel, chopped
100g dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars together until creamy and light. Beat in the vanilla extract and egg. On slow speed, beat in the dry ingredients and mix only until incorporate. Stir in the chocolate, crystallized orange peel and cranberries.

Drop 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared pans, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges. Cool in the pans over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then slide the papers with the cookies onto the rack and cool completely.
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Makes about 25

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chocolate rye cake

Chocolate rye cake / Bolo de chocolate e centeio

I’m not a chocolate cake person as some of you already know, but I’m aware that most people love them, especially the ones I share my baked goods with so from time to time I catch myself searching for a good chocolate cake recipe.

I found a beautiful loaf on Good Food magazine and it looked chocolaty, delicious and, above all, moist – this is one of my pet peeves with chocolate cakes: some of them turn out too dry – so I gave it a go. The recipe called for almond meal, an ingredient I love using in cakes because of how much it improves their texture, and I added a bit of rye flour to see if it was any good paired with chocolate.

Rye flour is as great with chocolate as it is with citrus, plums, berries, leeks and cheese – beetroot and onions, too, but more about that soon. :)

The cake turned out tender and flavorsome, and moist as I expected it to be – a good, simple chocolate loaf. The original recipe called for drizzling melted chocolate – both dark and white – over the cake, but I did not think that was necessary: in this case, less is definitely more.

Chocolate rye cake
slightly adapted from Good Food magazine

175g unsalted butter, softened
175g granulated sugar
3 eggs
70g all purpose flour
70g rye flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
85g almond meal (finely ground almonds)
100ml whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
70g dark chocolate, in chips or chunks, slightly dusted with flour – I used one with 53% cocoa solids

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 20x10cm (6-cup capacity) loaf pan, line it with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, flours, baking powder, almond meal, salt, milk, vanilla and cocoa until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips, then scrape into the tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden, risen and a skewer poked in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 30 minutes, then carefully lift using the paper and transfer to the rack to cool completely before peeling off the paper.

Serves 8-10

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Quinoa choc chip cookies and things stuck in my head

Quinoa choc chip cookies / Cookies de quinoa e chocolate

Some movies have such great soundtracks that after I watch them I catch myself singing or humming the songs for days in a row (sometimes I listen to them on a daily basis for months, too).

I watched The Color of Money last Sunday and now I can’t get It's In The Way That You Use It out of my head – but to be honest the song is so great I’m not even trying to let it go, really. :)

I once read that when Tom Cruise started to pursue acting as a career he made a list with the names of great directors he wanted to work with, people like Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott and Oliver Stone – time went by, he became a star (if you’re my age you probably remember his sex symbol status and how the girls went crazy over him) and he managed to cross many names – if not all of them – off that list. I don’t think he’s all that as an actor - he's done some good things, in the end he's irregular -, but I admire the guy for setting the bar so high right at the beginning of his career – like Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon after him, Cruise could have taken the heartthrob route and stayed there very comfortably.

But I digress – I was telling you about a song that got stuck in my head. And there was a recipe that I kept thinking about, too, I had it in my mind for weeks – these quinoa choc chip cookies. I had used quinoa flakes in a granola recipe but did not like the result very much: I thought the flavor wasn’t all that. But after tasting the granola again I found that the problem with it was the lack of some sort of fat, not the quinoa flakes so I decided to give the ingredient another chance, this time in cookie form – it was a hit with family and friends. I highly recommend using dark chocolate here, 70% if at all possible, since its bitter flavor compliments the sweetness of the cookie dough beautifully.

Getting songs out of our head might be a bit tricky sometimes, but for recipes the solution seems to be simpler: a trip to the kitchen and you’ll know if it’s any good (and stop being curious about it). :)

Quinoa choc chip cookies
slightly adapted from the wonderful Supergrains: Cook Your Way to Great Health

130g unsalted butter, softened
65g light brown sugar
65g granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
110g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
110g quinoa flakes
200g dark chocolate, chopped – I used one with 70% cocoa solids

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugars until pale and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix on low to combine. Stir in the quinoa flakes and chocolate.
Place 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, than bake until golden brown around the edges, 12-15 minutes.
Cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Makes about 22

Monday, May 5, 2014

Milky Way and chocolate chip cookies and a movie that oscillates too much

Milky Way and chocolate chip cookies / Cookies de Milky Way e chocolate amargo

Despite being addicted to both movies and music I’m not into musicals – with very few exceptions (one that comes to mind right now is Moulin Rouge), it seems impossible for me to enjoy that kind of movie, no matter how hard I try – like the four times I tried watching Chicago with no success (the movie made me fall asleep every single time and I wasn’t even tired).

Last night, however, I gave Hustle & Flow a go, because I remembered all the fuss created by the movie back when it was released and how praised Terrence Howard’s performance was; indeed Howard is amazing as Djay – and I never expected much from him as an actor – and I found really wonderful to watch a movie with a cast formed basically by black actors (how rare is that?), but by the end of it I had mixed feelings, and the reason was that I thought it oscillated too much: there were great scenes permeated with scenes that added nothing to the story or were poorly written/acted, and it kept going that way up until the end. It’s not a bad movie at all, but I certainly expected more from it.

Chocolate chip cookies, on the other hand, hardly ever disappoint, and Jo Wheatley’s are no exception – crunchy around the edges and soft in the middle, they are great all the way, no oscillation in sight.
The original recipe calls for dark chocolate only, but after I added chopped candy bars to brownies and got these as a result I thought it was about time I tried doing the same with another classic, and when I tried one cookie still warm from the oven I knew I’d done good. :D

Milky Way and chocolate chip cookies
slightly adapted from the oh, so delicious A Passion for Baking

185g unsalted butter, room temperature
200g light brown sugar
125g demerara sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
400g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
100g dark chocolate, chopped – I used one with 70% cocoa solids
4 Milky Way bars, chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper*.
Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
On low speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix just until combined. Still on low speed, mix in the chocolate chunks and the chopped candy bars (if necessary, finish mixing with a rubber spatula).
Place 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie onto the prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and sharply bang the baking tray on the work surface to deflate the cookies, then return to the oven for a further 6-8 minutes until pale golden brown.
Cool on the sheets over a wire rack.

* some bits of nougat/caramel might melt and stuck to the paper once cold – to avoid that, while the cookies are still warm, gently release them from the paper and reshape the cookies into a circle if the melted bits run off and change their shape; I thought of using foil instead of baking paper to avoid the sticking issue, but then I thought the foil would transfer more heat to the cookies and make them too flat

Makes about 38 large cookies

Friday, December 6, 2013

Chewy speculaas blondies and one of the most beautiful trailers I've ever seen

Chewy speculaas blondies / Blondies de speculaas

My sister and I love watching the trailers when we go to the movies, and after each one we turn to each other and say “yes” or “no” (if we will or will not watch that movie once it premieres). Weeks ago, on the Catching Fire session, we saw the trailer for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and I must confess that when Ben Stiller’s face first appeared onscreen I was more than ready to say “no” – I really can’t stand his movies – but by the end of the trailer we were both enthusiastically saying “yes”. :)

One of the most beautiful trailers I’ve seen and the equally amazing music (the song has been in my head ever since) have made me want to watch a movie starring Ben Stiller – I could barely believe it. :D

It was also hard to believe I could have speculaas without all the rolling and chilling and cutting (and then more chilling) of dough – one roll out cookie in this heat is enough already. :) Edd Kimber’s blondies do deliver all the speculaas delicious flavors and with chocolate to boot – what’s not to love? :D

The blondies turned out flavorsome and thin, but to me that’s not a problem: I became fan of thin bar cookies after being introduced to Alice Medrich’s brownies.

Chewy speculaas blondies
slightly adapted from the delicious The Boy Who Bakes

½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
200g light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
30g white chocolate, in chips or chopped
30g dark chocolate, in chips or chopped
60g almonds, lightly toasted, cooled and chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 20cm (8in) square baking pan, line it with foil leaving an overhang on two opposite sides and butter the foil as well.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium high heat, add the spices and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and cool. Whisk in the egg and vanilla, then fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the white and dark chocolates and almonds, then pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs (like a brownie). Cool completely in the pan over a wire rack, then slice into squares to serve.

Makes 16

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Double chocolate peanut butter cookies and being short

Double chocolate peanut butter cookies / Cookies de manteiga de amendoim, chocolate branco e meio-amargo

Back in my school days, I hated being short – I had all sorts of nicknames, and not many were cute as Smurfette (I believe that was the only one I liked). At 34 I no longer care and funnily enough I have developed a taste for mini food – humans are strange beings, I know. :D

A jar of peanut butter in the cupboard and a Donna Hay magazine with several pb recipes (which had already produced these lovely cupcakes) were the reason behind these cookies. I decided to make them fairly small using only 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie, and since they did not spread while in the oven – partially because I added more flour to my dough and partially because I did not flatten them before baking – the result was a tiny, delicate cookie that reminded of petit fours served with tea - the difference is that these are much better served with a glass of cold milk.

Double chocolate peanut butter cookies
slightly adapted from the always amazing Donna Hay Magazine

185g all purpose flour – my dough was much too soft, I ended using 200g flour total
¼ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
100g unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (130g) crunchy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175g light brown sugar*
1 egg
75g dark chocolate chips
75g white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until creamy and well combined. Beat in the egg until evenly incorporated. On low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Using 1 leveled tablespoon of dough per cookie, roll into balls and place 5cm (2in) apart onto prepared sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown, especially around the edges. Cool on the sheets over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to rack and cool completely.

* I used less sugar than the amount called for in the recipe, but still thought the cookies were a tad too sweet – if I were to make these again I would use 150g sugar

Makes 45

Monday, January 21, 2013

Marbled sour cream pound cake with white chocolate icing

Marbled sour cream pound cake with white chocolate icing / Bolo mármore de sour cream com cobertura de chocolate branco

A while ago I nominated Flo Braker and Lisa Yockelson the Queens of Pound Cakes but now I have to add another name to that fabulous list: Alisa Huntsman, who to me was already the Queen of Layer Cakes, kicks ass in other fields, too, and her pound cakes have become favorites of mine, not only because they are insanely tender and delicious but also because her pound cake recipes from this wonderful book make more than one cake, and to me that is always a bonus. :)

I’ve had my share of marbled cakes and always felt that the chocolate part was usually a bit on the dry side, but not here: this cake is sheer perfection and to be honest with you the icing is not even necessary.

Marbled sour cream pound cake with white chocolate icing
cake from the absolutely delicious Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe and icing from the equally wonderful Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

Cake:
1 ¾ sticks (200g) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups (350g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 ¼ cups (315g) unbleached all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2/3 cup sour cream*
85g (3oz) dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

Icing:
¾ cup (105g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
65g (2¼ oz) best-quality white chocolate, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter two 20x10x5cm (8x4x2in) loaf pans, line with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the whole eggs and egg yolks in 2 or 3 additions, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat to incorporate. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into the batter, add the sour cream and fold with a rubber spatula until batter is evenly blended.
Measure out 2 cups of the batter into another bowl. Add the chocolate and mix to combine. Spoon both vanilla and chocolate batters into prepared pans in layers, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate. To create marbling, run a table knife (or wooden skewer) through the batters in a swirling motion.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the pans over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then very carefully unmold, remove the paper and let cool completely on the rack.

Icing: in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and milk. The mixture should have the consistency of thin sour cream. Add the melted chocolate and whisk until glaze is smooth. If it is too thin, add more sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; if too thick, add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. Immediately pour over the cake.

* homemade sour cream: to make 1 cup of sour cream, mix 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream with 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour or until thicker (I usually leave mine on the counter overnight – except on very warm nights – and it turns out thick and silky in the following morning; refrigerate for a creamier texture)

Makes 2 cakes, each serving 6

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Cherry brownie bites

Cherry brownie bites / Mini brownies com cereja

I've just finished watching "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" (probably for then 15th time) and it's possible that I'll watch it a couple more times in the years to come: the movie is so much fun and an absolut classic. I love classic movies (most of them) and I love classic desserts like brownies, which are an American classic and nowadays are extremely popular here in Brasil, and this bite-sized version not only is delicious with the bits of dried cherry but also they're so cute! And they pop out of the molds so easily you don't have to worry about making perfect slices or squares.

Cherry brownie bites
from the delicious Rose's Heavenly Cakes

55g (2oz) dried cherries, roughly chopped
½ tablespoon dark rum
½ cup + 1 tablespoon (127g) unsalted butter
55g (2oz) dark chocolate, chopped – I used one with 53% cocoa solids
1/3 cup (33g) cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
55g (2oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup (47g) all purpose flour
pinch of salt

Place the cherries in a small bowl and mix in the rum. Let steep for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 165°C/325°F. You’ll need fourteen lightly buttered ¼ cup capacity silicon molds or mini muffin pans – I used silicon molds and the brownies were easy to unmold; they’re very moist so I guess it would be difficult to unmold them from metal pans.
Place butter and chocolate in a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Transfer to the large bowl of an electric mixer. Add the cocoa, beat in medium speed to incorporate, then beat in the sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. When incorporated, beat in the cream cheese until only small bits remain. Add the flour and salt and mix only until the flour is fully moistened. Drain the cherries and stir them into the batter.
Fill the molds about ¾ full and smooth the tops. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the batter has set. The batter will puff and rise a little above the top of the cavities but sinks slightly on cooling - if pressed lightly with a finger tip they will spring back.

Makes 14 – I made the exact recipe above, used 3 tablespoon-capacity molds and got 19

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Double chocolate cookies (made with sweetened condensed milk)

Double chocolate cookies (made with sweetened condensed milk) / Cookies duplos de chocolate (feitos com leite condensado)

After a time consuming cake I thought you deserved an easy recipe, and these cookies are very, very easy; I have made tons of chocolate chip cookies so far but what made me curious about these was the sweetened condensed milk based dough - I'll just warn you that it is going to be very difficult not to eat the dough right out of the fridge by spoonful. :D

Double chocolate cookies (made with sweetened condensed milk)
from the great Delicious Magazine

200g good quality dark chocolate (minimum 50% cocoa solids)
50g unsalted butter
397g can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225g all purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
100g white chocolate chips or chunks

Break up the chocolate and gently melt it along with the butter in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Stir in the condensed milk and vanilla, remove from the heat and cool completely. Mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate buttons and chill the mixture until firm enough to handle*.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Place leveled tablespoons of the mixture 5cm (2in) apart onto prepared sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes – the cookies should still look soft and will glisten. Don't overbake them as they soon become very hard. Cool in the sheets over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the cookies with a palette knife and cool on the rack.

* do not let it get too stiff – my dough was so hard it broke my cookie scoop :(

Makes about 45

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Almond joy tartlets

Almond joy tartlets / Tortinhas almond joy

A couple of months ago my friend Ana Elisa and I were talking about the new Baked cookbook that was about to be released (it’s out now). We were talking about purchasing the book or not, since both of us have the other twoBaked cookbooks but neither of us have baked much from them. Culinary coincidences, I guess. Then Ana decided to put those cookbooks into some good use and kept telling me how pleased she was with the results, that was when I thought I should do the same – that is why I baked these tartlets (that and the fact that I needed to use up some cream I had in the fridge).

I have never had an Almond Joy candy bar but thought that the combination of chocolate, almonds and coconut would certainly turn out delicious; the tartlets are a bit time consuming because of the three components that have to be made, but you can break the recipe down into little projects and divide the whole thing in two days – that is what I did.

Almond joy tartlets
from a cookbook I’m determined to use more often

Dough:
1/3 cup (33g) almond meal
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups + 1 tablespoon (195g) all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 large egg
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and chopped

Filling:
225g (8oz) white chocolate, chopped
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
2 cups (200g) sweetened flaked coconut
1 tablespoon Amaretto or rum

Glaze:
55g (2oz) semisweet chocolate, chopped
55g (2oz) milk chocolate, chopped
½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
6 whole toasted almonds

Dough: place the almond meal, sugar, flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process to combine. Add the butter and pulse until sandy. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg and vanilla together with a fork. With the machine running, pour in the egg mixture, a little at a time, just until the dough comes together – you might not need all the mixture. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Filling: place the white chocolate and the cream in a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Lightly butter six 10cm (4in) tartlet pans with removable bottoms. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and place each part between two pieces of lightly floured baking paper – dough is sticky, so make sure it’s cold when you roll it. Roll into a rough circle, then carefully transfer to the tartlet pan and gently press it to the bottom and sides of the pan. Remove any dough scraps. Repeat the process with the remaining dough. Prick the base of the dough with a fork and freeze for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line crusts with a piece of foil or baking paper and fill it with dried beans/baking weights. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the beans/weights and the paper and bake for 10 minutes longer or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool completely over a wire rack.
Place the chilled white chocolate ganache in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Do not overwhip. Gently fold in the coconut and the Amaretto. Spread the filling over the crusts and place one almond in the center of each tartlet. Refrigerate while you make the glaze.
For the glaze, place the chocolates in a small heatproof bowl. Heat the heavy cream until it just comes to a boil, then pour it over the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes, then spoon the glaze evenly over the tarts. Refrigerate again until glaze is set, about 10 minutes.
Tarts can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for 2 days.

Makes 6 – I halved the recipe above, used tartlet pans the same size called for and got 4 tartlets

Friday, July 6, 2012

Easy double choc brownies make happy coworkers

Easy double choc brownies / Brownies fáceis com chocolate branco

My idea was to bring brownies to work but had so much to do I was running out of time to actually bake them – that was when I turned to the cookbook for all things sweet, which I have baked very delicious things from. When I’m pressed for time and can’t go to Eat Your Books or flip through my cookbooks I go straight to Bon Appétit Desserts and up until now I have been extremely happy with that.

These brownies are easy, the recipe calls for simple ingredients that are mixed in one saucepan and you can even make them without the white chocolate – that was something I added to jazz the brownies up a little. Totally optional – and a hit with the coworkers.

Easy double choc brownies
slightly adapted from the magnificent Bon Appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful

140g (5oz) dark chocolate, chopped – I used one with 53% cocoa solids
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
1 ¼ cups (230g) white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a 32x22x5cm* (13x9x2in) metal baking pan with foil, leaving overhang. Butter the foil.
Stir dark chocolate and butter in heavy large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool 15 minutes. Whisk in sugar and vanilla, then whisk in eggs and salt; stir in flour just until absorbed. Stir in the white chocolate chips. Spread batter in prepared pan.
Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan.
Cut into bars and serve.

* I made the exact recipe above using a 20x30cm (8x12in) pan

Makes 20

Friday, June 8, 2012

Milk chocolate stracciatella ice cream

Milk chocolate stracciatella ice cream / Sorvete de chocolate ao leite e flocos

The day is cold, gray, cloudy, the rain comes and goes, and I plan to spend the afternoon under the blankets, with a bowl of popcorn and a good movie. Too bad this delicious ice cream is long gone - it was so amazing I would certainly have a bowl of it even on this chilly day. :)

Milk chocolate stracciatella ice cream
from the always amazing The Perfect Scoop

225g (8oz) milk chocolate, finely chopped
1½ cups (360ml) heavy cream
1½ cups (360ml) whole milk
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
generous pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons Cognac
140g (5oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped

Combine the milk chocolate and cream in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from the saucepan and set a strainer on top.
Warm milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the hot mixture over the yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Pour the custard through the strainer onto the milk chocolate cream, add the Cognac and mix. Cool completely, stirring occasionally, over an ice bath.
Refrigerate, covered, at least 6 hours. Freeze custard in ice cream maker.
While ice cream is freezing, melt the dark chocolate in a clean metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring frequently, In the last minutes of churning, carefully pour the melted chocolate in a slow stream directly onto ice cream as it churns and continue to churn 30 seconds (chocolate will harden in streaks). Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Makes about 1 quart (950ml)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dark chocolate, pear and pistachio cake

Dark chocolate, pear and pistachio cake / Bolo de pistache, chocolate e pêra

A long time ago I told you that I was addicted to IMDb’s movie trivia – I still am, therefore it was a joy for me to find Gabrielle Wee’s gorgeous Tumblr: just be careful because you’ll probably lose track of time reading it (I speak of personal experience). :D

On that same post I also told you how much I loved browsing Gourmet Traveller’s recipes – I still do, and this delicious cake comes exactly from that magazine: I was so intrigued by the combination of pear, chocolate and pistachio in cake form that I had to try it – it was amazing.

Dark chocolate, pear and pistachio cake
slightly adapted from the always beautiful and delicious Australian Gourmet Traveller

Cake:
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (150g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped – I used one with 53% cocoa solids
½ cup (65g) unsalted pistachios
2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Packham pear, cored and coarsely chopped

Chocolate ganache:
1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped – I used one with 53% cocoa solids
handful of pistachios, for decorating

Cake: preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 22cm (9in) springform cake pan*, line the bottom with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Process chocolate and pistachios in a food processor until coarse crumbs form, set aside. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating until well combined, then beat in the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture, followed by the pistachio and chocolate mixture and the pear. Pour into prepared pan and bake until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 20 minutes then carefully unmold onto the rack. Cool completely.

Chocolate ganache: Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat to just below boiling, add chocolate, stand until chocolate melts (3-5 minutes), then stir until smooth. Set aside until slightly thickened (5-10 minutes). Pour ganache over the cake, scatter with pistachios, set aside to set (20-30 minutes), then serve. Cake will keep, stored in an airtight container, for 3 days.

* I made the exact same recipe using a 20cm (8in) cake pan (with a removable bottom)

Serves 10

Friday, April 27, 2012

Rocky road brownies

Rocky road brownies / Brownies rocky road

I bought a bag of mini marshmallows last week with these cookies in mind – I found the recipe going through my folder of torn magazine pages and thought it would be great to use whole wheat flour in my baking (haven’t done that in a while now). But the reviews discouraged me to make the cookies. :(

Luckily, Alice Medrich – a.k.a. the Chocolate Queen – came to my rescue and I ended up with these brownies: they are so good, so sinfully delicious that I wished the recipe had yielded more than 16 pieces. :D
While tasting one of the brownies I knew I had done the right thing by buying Medrich’s new cookbook – cannot wait for it to arrive.

Rocky road brownies
from the wonderful Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies

120g (4oz) dark chocolate – I used one with 50% cocoa solids
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (90g) all purpose four
¼ teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon (262g) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup mini marshmallows
90g (3oz) milk chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup (110g) pecans

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter an 8in square cake pan, line with foil leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Butter the foil as well.
Melt the dark chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool to lukewarm.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat eggs, sugar and salt on high speed until the mixture is thick, pale and about double in volume. Fold the chocolate mixture into the eggs until partially incorporated. Sift the flour mixture over the batter and fold just until blended. Transfer to the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Distribute the marshmallows over the batter, followed by the pecans and the milk chocolate. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a cakey part of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Cool completely in the pan over a wire rack. Cut into squares.

Makes 16

Monday, April 2, 2012

Chocolate crème brûlée tartlets

Chocolate crème brulée tartlets / Tortinhas de crème brûlée de chocolate

Sometimes it takes me forever to do certain things – make a recipe, watch a movie – and then, when I finally do it, it just feels... bleh.

Many, many years ago I watched the trailer for “November” and it intrigued me: I thought it looked interesting and I liked the idea of watching Courteney Cox in a drama: to me, she was the funniest of the girls in “Friends” – to this day I haven’t understood Jennifer Aniston’s wins at the Emmys and the Golden Globes. But then it took me 7 years to watch the movie and... bleh.

*spoilers*

It made me think of “Stay” – which is a movie I really like – but in a poor way.

*end of spoilers*

With that in mind I decided to make these tartlets, because I’d been meaning to make them since August 2008 – they turned out delicious! Thank heavens. :)

If you’re not into pastry making, make the chocolate custard only, pour into small bowls and serve, no need to caramelize it – it’s that good.

Chocolate crème brûlée tartlets
slightly adapted from the always wonderful Donna Hay Magazine and Modern Classics Book 2

1 recipe sweet shortcrust pastry
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
100g dark chocolate, chopped
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon Amaretto (optional)
granulated sugar, extra, to sprinkle
whipped cream, to serve

Tart cases: lightly butter eight cavities – 1/3 cup capacity each – of a muffin pan. Divide the pastry into 8 equal parts. Roll each one into a rough circle and line the muffin pan with the pastry. Prick the bases with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Roughly cut 8 pieces of foil – the size of the tart cases – and brush one side with butter. Press the foil pieces onto the frozen pastry (buttered side in contact with the pastry) and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 5–8 minutes or until golden and crisp. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Carefully remove the tart cases from the pan.

Filling: place the milk, chocolate and vanilla in saucepan over medium heat and stir until melted. Bring to the boil and remove from heat. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale and creamy. Add the corn starch and whisk to combine. Gradually pour in the hot milk mixture, whisking continuously. Return to saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously, for 1–2 minutes or until thickened. Stir through the Amaretto. Set aside to cool. Pour the filling into the tart shells and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set. Sprinkle tarts with the extra sugar and use a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar. Top with the cream to serve.

Makes 8

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dark and white chocolate cookies

Dark and white chocolate cookies / Biscoitos de chocolate meio-amargo e branco

No, these are not the traditional black & white cookies – but it was impossible for me not to think of Seinfeld after baking them.

Peace! :)

Dark and white chocolate cookies
from the always gorgeous Donna Hay Magazine

¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter, chopped
100g dark chocolate, chopped – I used one with 53% cocoa solids
½ cup (88g) brown sugar, packed
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (150g) all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
150g white chocolate, melted

Place butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add the vanilla, egg and the butter+chocolate mixture and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms. Turn dough onto a large piece of baking paper and shape into a long cylinder – like Martha does here. Twist the ends and refrigerate until firm, 2-3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
Remove the dough cylinder from the baking paper and slice into 5mm thick slices. Place onto prepared baking sheet 2.5cm (1 in) apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies begin to firm up.
Cool completely on the sheet over a wire rack.
Dip half of each cookie in white chocolate and place onto a rack or piece of baking paper to set – be gently when removing the cookies from the rack or paper because the white chocolate coating might stick to it.

Makes 36 – I made the exact recipe above and got 24 cookies

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