Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day.

Never have been.

But that has never stopped me from joining in the celebration with lots of chocolate sweets. Because as we all know, it's easy to fall for "the dark master".

The Cocoa Bean.

(Quick!  Can you name that T.V. show?)

Well, I  made a few heart-shaped cakepops. What would you call "a few cakepops"? Would that be considered "a gaggle"......a gaggle of pops?  Or is that term only reserved for geese? Anyway, I only made a few of them in red velvet and dark chocolate and they were promptly devoured by my nephews and niece.


So I had to have a back up recipe. It's a simple one too. It's just your basic recipe for Chocolate Cutout Cookies by Martha Stewart.  They're rich, chocolate-y, chewy and delicious!  

They are frosted with  decadent Chocolate Ganache. I love that name. Ganache. Do you know how to make it??  Using a double boiler, melt about 8 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate with about half to three quarters of a cup of heavy cream and a tablespoon of corn syrup. Stir it well, then remove from the heat and let cool slightly. 

Sweet Maria.

Yum.  Like I was saying.....this chocolate heart of mine. 

Pursing my lips, I sucked the ganache out of the pastry bag first, then
I piped a border of ganache on each cookie. 

Then I used a small frosting spatula to fill in each heart.

Then a knife with a wide flat edge to spread the ganache over the entire surface of the cookie.

Let 'em dry completely, then use Royal Icing to decorate.

Um. Yeah. Have a great Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes.....It's a good thing.

Guess what? I recently found a new baking pan. For mini cakes.

Specifically, Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes.

(Deep breath here)

Do  you SEE this??  Gulp.

Have you ever had the teeniest taste of Molten Lava Cake? If you haven't, I highly suggest that you do as quickly as possible. Better yet................MAKE THEM. They're as easy as pie. In fact, they're easier than pie because you don't have to peel or chop any fruit.

I usually try to use the best quality chocolate I can get my grubby little hands on.
            You all know that I have a "past" with Scharffen Berger. It's a deep, dark, sordid past with a bittersweet ending.

  In fact, I don't want to talk about it.

Here's the recipe.

Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

6 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate (preferably high quality)
cut into small pieces. Do not use chocolate chips.

3 eggs

1 cup Granulated Sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 teaspoon Salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt until smooth in either the microwave or double-boiler on the stove. Make sure you stir the mixture frequently, so there are no chunks. Once melted, put aside. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix until combined. Slowly pour the chocolate/butter mixture into the egg mixture, stir until combined, cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least two hours. (or overnight). Scoop the batter (which will be quite thick by now) evenly into the six baking wells OR six small baking ramekins. Bake 25 - 30 minutes.  They will be done when the outside has risen slightly above the sides of the pan and the center is all puffed up (but still soft to the touch).

Let cool slightly (if you can resist)....although these babies are at their very best when served warm. Unmold, place on serving plate and garnish with whipped cream and fruit. Or you can dust them with cocoa.  Or cinnamon.  Or dredge them in chocolate syrup.

         Go on. No one is looking.......  Go crazy!

I used a heaping cup of chocolate squares and chopped them roughly. Then melt 1 1/2 sticks of butter over simmering water in a double boiler and add the chopped chocolate.

Try not to drool.

This Measuring Spoon set is a gift from my sister Kathy. Isn't it adorable??

In a separate bowl, add the sugar,

........ Vanilla,



...and beat it all together like mad! Then slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture to the egg and sugar mixture and combine. Refrigerate this mixture for at least two hours.....or better yet....


So here's the new baking pan..

Pretty cool, huh?

Each baking well is about 2 inches deep with a removable base.

After refrigeration, the batter will have the consistency of warm fudge.


Use a light non-stick baking spray in each well, then use a medium sized scoop to divide the batter.

Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes. This recipe will contradict all of your knowledge about knowing "when the cake is done". You want the outside to look like the top of a pan of brownies, but you want the inside to be oooey and gooey.

   Can you stand this?

Wait until you taste it.

Consider yourself warned.