I often escape from my “outside life” into my “inside life” both methaphorically and physically. These days more so than ever. My outside life is partially on hold as I am sure yours is. My inside life is rich and full and can really be whatever I make it to be.There are various “inside rooms” that I go to. There is the “reading room” which is often my bed or sofa. I have my “South office room” that is not actually in my real office, which is upstairs or North, but is wherever I land downstairs with my laptop. There is “la petite cafe” which is our deck for enjoying drinks and meals al fresco, rather than sitting at our kitchen counter.
Some days the room previously known as the kitchen might be the “the room of earthly delights”. Those are the days when I make craveable delicious desserts such as this cake.
Densely chocolate and easy to make this is a cake to soothe both your “outside and inside life”. It is a cake that will make staying inside more tolerable and nice. Has the way you use the rooms in your home changed recently? Do you think of your home differently and see new uses for old spaces? Do you, like I do, give them names to specify their use? What are you baking in your “room of earthly delights”?
Do something sweet for yourself….then share it.
This recipe is from one of my favorite cooking books “Modern Baking – cakes, cookies and everything in between” by Donna Hay, published by Fourth Estate and can be purchased online or at many bookstores. My written recipe is directly from the book with a few minor changes.
Glazed Dark Chocolate Cake
Ingredients for cake:
- 250 grams unsalted butter, chopped
- 200 grams 70% dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/3 cups milk (330g)
- 1 cup caster/superfine sugar (220g)
- 1 cup light brown sugar (175g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, room temp
- 1 3/4 cups self-rising flour, sifted (260g)
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted (35g)
- 200 grams 70% dark chocolate, chopped
- 100 grams unsalted butter, chopped
- 1/4 cup corn syrup (90g)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a tube pan or Bundt pan well.
- Place the butter and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth.
- Whisk together in a large bowl the milk, both sugars and the vanilla. Add the melted chocolate-butter mixture and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and whisk until well blended.
- Add the flour and cocoa and whisk until combined. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until the caked is baked inside when tested with a skewer. Invert the pan onto a wire rack and let stand for 15 minutes before removing the pan. Let cake cool completely.
- For the glaze place the chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Add the oil and stir to mix.
- Place the cooled cake on a wire rack over a tray and spoon on the glaze. Allow glaze to set before moving the cake to a serving plate. (I had glaze left over which I stored in the refrigerator in a glass jar and used a a topping for scoops of ice cream. Delicious.)
Recipe from: “Modern Baking – cakes, cookies and everything in between” by Donna Hay published in 2018 by Fourth Estate
A craving for chocolate and for a good dark chocolate brownie in particular doesn’t come over me often. I can be happy with a little bite of a dark chocolate bar most of the time, but sometimes I get a brownie craving and nothing will sate this but to whip up a batch. The results you see above. This might be an easy recipe to make for someone you love this coming February 14th or just for yourself. I used King Arthur Gluten Free Flour, lots of dark cocoa, dark chocolate chips, espresso powder and only 1 cup of sugar….oh yes and browned butter!
The browned butter adds a layer of unexpected flavor and texture. The doubling of dark cocoa and chocolate chunks make one “lava flow looking” brownie.
I used gluten-free flour just to see how it would work with my recipe and I think the results were delicious, especially if you enjoy a less cake-like brownie. These brownies keep for days in the refrigerator as well.
Happy Valentine’s Day all Year Long.
Browned-Butter Dark-Chocolate Lava-Flow Brownies
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup raw or regular sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup King Arthur Gluten Free Flour
- 1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees with rack in lower part of the oven. Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan and line with two crisscrossed sheets of parchment paper long enough to come up the sides of the pan. Grease paper.
- To brown the butter, melt the stick of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook butter, while whisking, until it is a pale golden color with darker brown particulates, for 8-10 minutes. Stir the sugar into the browned butter.
- Stir in the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and espresso powder until well blended. Let mixture cool for a few minutes.
- Beat in eggs one at a time with a wooden spoon. The mixture will be thick and shiny.
- Stir in the vanilla extract and flour until you do not see any streaks of flour, continuing to beat vigorously for about 50-60 strokes.
- Fold in the chocolate chunks.
- Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean. Cool brownies in the pan on a cooling rack.
- Remove cooled, uncut brownies from the pan by lifting up the edges of the parchment paper and placing on a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares or smaller into 25 squares.
These brownies keep very well chilled for up to 10 days in the refrigerator. They also make a great gift for your no-gluten friends.
Holiday gift giving 2015 will soon be in full swing and there are so many ways to make it easier and more personal. I am not much for shopping but I do love to make things. This is the first in a series I will post every so often during November and December. Easy edible food gifts to help get you through the Holidays with a sense of well-being and sharing.
My recipe, if you want to call it that, for “Chipotle-Dark Chocolate Studded with Pistachios, Cocoa-coated Almonds, Sea Salt, Espresso Powder & Cocoa Nibs/Cacao Nibs” is amazingly easy. It takes no special skills and it allows for lots of experimentation. The time for this batch was about 15 minutes! It doesn’t get any better than that! Don’t you feel more relaxed already?
Olive and Sinclair Mexican Chocolate bars melted with some Nestle’s Semi Sweet Chocolate Morsels in the top of a double boiler….
…poured out on a flat pan covered with parchment paper & spread around with a rubber spatula….
…dusted & studded with toppings.
A quick chill in the freezer for about 10 minutes and it is ready to break up into bite-size pieces.
The dusting of chipotle chili and dark espresso powders give this chocolate an indulgently intense flavor that will appeal to all your chocolate obsessed friends.
Place pieces in decorative tins or boxes for gift giving. Great host or hostess gifts.
Chipotle-Dark Chocolate Studded with Pistachios, Almonds, Sea Salt, Espresso Powder & Cocoa Nibs - Edible Gift Giving 2015
- 8 ounces Olive & Sinclair Mexican Chocolate Bars (or any other bittersweet chocolate)
- 8 ounces Nestles semi-sweet chocolate chips (or other brand)
- Chipotle Powder to taste
- 1/2 cup pistachios, rough chopped
- 1/2 cup cocoa covered whole almonds or regular almonds, rough chopped
- 1 to 2 tbsp instant espresso powder
- flakey sea salt such as Maldon
- 2 tbsp cocoa nibs (optional)
- Line a sheet pan with parchment. Gather and prep all ingredients before you start melting the chocolate.
- Melt chocolate in the top of double boiler pan until smooth and without any lumps.
- Remove from heat, wipe pan bottom with a kitchen towel and pour/scrape melted chocolate out onto the parchment paper. Smooth with a dry rubber spatula.
- Dust over the entire surface with chipotle powder. More or less to fit your palate. I like more.
- Dust with the espresso powder and sprinkle with pistachios, almonds, sea salt & cocoa nibs generously. Press larger nut pieces down into chocolate gently with fingers.
- Place pan in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Remove when chocolate is hard, break into pieces. Store pieces in airtight containers. Best made and gifted within a couple of days.
Note: I made this up on a whim using what I had in my pantry, but you can totally experiment and add chopped dried fruit, coconut flakes, white chocolate chips, black pepper, etc…
Teresa Blackburn teresablackburnfoodstyling.com foodonfifth.com
One of the many things I love about traveling in Mexico are the pastelerias or pastry shops that seem to be on every corner where subtle aromas of vanilla & sugar waft out from doorways. Last year my friend Terry and I found a wonderful chocolate “cakelet” that was baked in a pie crust. Encantado con esta postre.. Que magnifico!
Here is my iphone image from my trip…
It was my first time to see a cake baked in a pie crust…easy eaten out-of-hand..not a pie, not a cake exactly…a wee “cakelet”.
I had to give this idea a try upon returning home. I made a dark chocolate batter and an almond pie crust, drizzled with chocolate sauce and dusted with sugar for my version.
Rings of almond dough await the batter.
Filled & ready for the oven.
Freshly baked and cooled.
A simple chocolate drizzle…..a sprinkling of icing/sanding sugar…
Served with Mexican Vanilla flavored ice cream! Perhaps for your special Valentiine?
Deep, Dark Chocolate Cakelets in an Almond Pie Crust
Ingredients for Almond Pie Crust strips:
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup almond flour
Directions for Pie Crust strips:
- Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter & sugar together until creamy. Add egg and mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Mix together in a small bowl the all-purpose & almond flours using a whisk.
- Add flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture and mix until well blended. Scrape dough from mixer bowl out onto a work surface lightly coated with additional flour.
- Form dough into two disks, wrap each with plastic wrap & chill for 1 hour before using.
- When ready to bake cakelets remove 1 dough ball from the refrigerator. Roll out on floured surface creating an oblong circle about 10-12 inches long. Cut dough with a knife (on one side of each strip) and a fluted pastry cutter (on the other side of each strip) into 10-12 inch long strips. Make 8 strips total.
- Stand each strip of dough on its flat edge and wrap to make a circle overlapping where dough meets. Dab one end of dough strip with water and seal together. Repeat with all dough to make 8 standing-up on edge dough strip circles. Place these on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic and put back in the refrigerator until ready to fill with cake batter.
Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Cakelet Batter:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa
- 8 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) + 2 Tbsps unsalted butter room temp
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
- 2 tsps Mexican pure vanilla extract (or any other you like or happen to have)
Directions for Cakelet Batter:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and cocoa into a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Melt 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate with the 1/2 cup butter in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave until smooth and blended. Set aside.
- Beat together the eggs & brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until thickened. Reduce mixer to low and add the chocolate/butter mixture and vanilla extract and beat until well blended.
- Add flour mixture in batches and beat on low until all of it is incorporated into the batter.
- Remove the chilled pie crust rings from the refrigerator & fill each 3/4 full with the batter.
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until batter is set in the center(s) and pie crust rings are lightly browned. Remove pan from oven and cool on a rack.
Ingredients for Chocolate Drizzle:
- 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate melted
- 1/3 cup sanding sugar
- Drizzle all the cakelets randomly with melted chocolate & sprinkle with bakers/sanding sugar.