Archive for ‘Chocolate’

May 31, 2011

Chocolatey Raspberry Shortbread Bars

by cillefish

A friend of mine makes these; I had some this weekend and they are SO GOOD. Shortbread-y crust topped with soft fudgelike goodness, topped with MORE shortbread, topped with raspberry jam & chocolate chips. Adapted from the “Chocolatey Raspberry Crumb Bars” in a joint Land O Lakes / Nestlé-sponsored recipe; click the link for the photo source and original recipe.
Nestle Chocolatey Raspberry Crumb Bars

Chocolatey Raspberry Shortbread Crumb Bars

(Makes 3 dozen bars)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
     
  • 2 cups (12-oz pkg) semi-sweet
    chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups (14-oz can)
    sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup walnuts/pecans chopped fine (OR 3/4 c of ground almonds; ground before measuring) (optional)
  • About 9 oz (1/2 an 18-oz jar) seedless raspberry jam (the original recipe called for 1/3 cup)

Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Cream butter, then cream together with sugar, flour, then salt. Lightly flour fingers and press 1 3/4 c (not all!) of the shortbread crumb mixture into pan, reserving the rest of the crumb mix. Bake 10–12 min (edges will be golden brown).

In a small, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat, combine 1 c (not all!) chocolate and sweetened condensed milk, stirring until smooth. Pour evenly onto hot baked crust.

Combine remaining shortbread-crumb mix and nuts (if using). Sprinkle evenly over chocolate-fudgy layer. Top with teaspoonsful of raspberry jam, then remaining chips. Bake for another 25–30 min. Cool before slicing.

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December 13, 2010

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

by horseradishsauce

These are one of my favorite types of cupcake/cake to make. Everybody loves them. The cake itself is delicious and the frosting is amazing. I took the original recipe from Annie’s Eats, but I added some Jameson to make it a true Irish Car Bomb in a cake.

Irish Car Bomb Cake
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
Yield: 24 cupcakes or 1 9 x 13 sheet cake*
Ingredients:
For the Guinness chocolate cupcakes:

  • 1 cup stout (Guinness)
  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream

For the Bailey’s ganache filling:

  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
  • About 1 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish cream
  • About 1/2 tbsp. Jameson Irish Whiskey

For the Bailey’s buttercream frosting:

  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 8+ tbsp. – 1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish cream

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  If making sheet cake, butter the pan(s) using your butter wrappers.
Combine the stout and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  In a separate large bowl, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend.  Add the stout-butter mixture and beat just to combine.  Mix in the dry ingredients gently just until incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 to ¾ full.  Or pour into the sheet pan/divide evenly between two sheet pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes for cupcakes…longer for sheet cakes but probably not as long for 1/2 sheet cakes…  Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Allow sheet cake to cool for about 30 minutes. Of you are serving it out of the pan, remove it and place it on your serving pan to finish cooling.

To make the ganache filling, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then pour it over the chocolate.  Let sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth.  If the chocolate is not completely melted, place the bowl over a double boiler or give it a very short burst in the microwave (15-20 seconds).  Add the butter, Bailey’s and Jameson and stir until combined.

Set aside to let the ganache cool until it is thick enough to be piped.  (You can use the refrigerator to speed the cooling process, but be sure to stir every 10 minutes or so to ensure even cooling.)  Meanwhile, cut out a portion from the center of the cupcakes using the cone method (a small paring knife works best for this).  Or, follow which ever sheet cake method you decided on. Once the ganache has reached the correct consistency, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe it (or just spoon it) into the cupcakes.

To make the frosting, place the butter in a medium bowl and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated.  Mix in the Bailey’s until smooth.  Add more if necessary until the frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading.  Frost as desired.

*Discussion on Methods for Making a Sheet Cake
The sheet cake method in the following pictures I used because my friend hadn’t given me back my second sheet cake pan.
There are two ways that I make sheet cakes with a filling.
1. Slice the final cake in half OR bake two half-thickness cakes, then cut a bit of an indentation into the bottom half (using the same method as below), fill, and add the top.
2. Take the finished single (cooled) cake and cut off the top crust, leaving a border of about 1/3-1/2 inch around. To do this, just cut into the crust about a 1/4 inch into the cake, then after the square you plan to cut out is complete, just slice horizontally underneath it. Lay the pieces on a separate pan or plate, then hollow out the exposed part of the cake. The amount you hollow out will depend on how much filling you have.
If you want the filling to be closer to the middle than the top, cut the top slices thicker and remove more cake.
Add the filling, replace the top, and frost. Bam

Pieces of the top layer, upside-down.

Filling the cake with ganache

Done!

Frosting, mmmm...

September 30, 2010

Chili-Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cocoa Buttercream

by horseradishsauce

You can't see how fluffy and wonderful the frosting is...


I found this recipe a while ago and I decided to make it last night because (1) I had a cup of buttermilk left over and I wanted to use it and (2) we had a Brigade Run today so I brought them for post-run morale noms. Nom nom.

Anyway, while I was writing the list of ingredients at work, I realized that she used a BOX CAKE! Oh noes. Inconceivable! But I didn’t have a list of other cakes using buttermilk, so I just looked through some chocolate cake recipes and they all called for freshly-brewed coffee and I don’t have coffee so I found a chocolate cake recipe on Annie’s Eats that I decided to use. Cos she uses espresso powder. So I used that recipe and added in the chili powder and cayenne pepper. Then I went to actually MAKE the cake and realized that, as usual, Annie was using sour cream instead of buttermilk. I don’t know how replacing buttermilk with sour cream changes it, so long story short and 24 cupcakes later, there’s still a cup of buttermilk in my fridge.

Now, I also mixed up the baking soda and salt measurements, so they had an extra 1/4 tsp of salt, which I countered with 1.5 tbls flour, which probably made no difference.

Anyway, everyone loved them but all the girls said there was too much cocoa powder, so maybe take it down 1/3 a cup.
This was the first frosting I made that didn’t come out more like glaze! It was stiff! Hoo-ray. Anyway, it wasn’t a LOT for each cupcake, but I think it’s a good amount just because it’s a lot of chocolate, all around. And by the way, I like to sift my powdered sugar first. I think it mixes better.

Chili-Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Cocoa Buttercream
(Adapted from Annie’s Eats and Gimmesomeoven)

Yield: 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or 2/3 cup)
  • 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).  Combine the cocoa powder and espresso powder in a small bowl.  Add the boiling water and whisk until the mixture is smooth.  Set aside and let cool to room temperature.  Once cool, whisk in the sour cream and vanilla extract.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and chili powder in a small bowl.  Stir together with a fork to combine; set aside.

Combine the butter and sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.  Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.

Mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternately with the cocoa-sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat each addition just until incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon-Cocoa Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (more or less to achieve desired consistency)

Beat the butter, cocoa and cinnamon. Gradually add the milk and sugar, alternating to get the right consistency. Beat til it’s fluffy. Frost your cupcakes.