Posts Tagged 'chocolate'

Pipe Dream #179: To Forget Your Order and Gleek All Over – Chocolate Clementine Marquise

marquise 3

If you have ever wanted to eat five truffles, but didn’t because you were embarrassed because clearly everyone else at the table was only going to order one and then nibble on half, this cake is for you.

This situation, which of course has never happened to me, is easily remedied by a cake so chocolately and dense, you might as well just skip your breakfast Nutella in anticipation. I made a similar torte ages and years ago, but it was a flourless version. This cake, while nearly flourless, will not make your GF friends happy, so keep that in mind. It made my dinner party friends happy, in lieu of these chocolate creme pot fails.

marquise 1

GUYS IT’S CITRUS SEASON TAKE ADVANTAGE. The flavor is delicate and perfect.

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marquise 5

And correct me if I’m wrong, but there is never a season when it is not chocolate season. In my life, at least. And if it’s true in my life, it must be true in yours. Truth is truth, yeah? Yes.

marquise 4

For decoration, I just cut up some strips of parchment and layered them in a criss-cross pattern to create the diamond effect with powdered sugar you see below. If you wanted to be really cool, you could do this part not on the serving plate, so that your powdered sugar looks clean. Whatever. Rustic elegance?

marquise 2

marquise 7

Classically bad cutting skills. But who says a cake slice needs to look super sharp to make you gleek? I certainly didn’t. P.S. My mouth waters.

marquise 8

This one looks a bit better.

My mouth still waters,

L

Chocolate Clementine Marquise

Adapted from Greatest-Ever Chocolate Cookbook by Christines McFadden & France

Scant 1 cup (200 grams, 7 ounces) white sugar or caster sugar

4 tablespoons (60 mL) fresh clementine (or orange) juice

12 ounces (350 grams) dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate (I used semisweet)

1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces, 225 grams) unsalted butter, cubed

5 eggs

finely grated rind of two clementines (or oranges)

3 tablespoons (45 mL) all-purpose flour

icing sugar and pared strips of clementine (or orange) rind , to decorate

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch x 2 1/2 inch (23 centimeter) round cake  tin with non-stick spray, and line the base with parchment.

Place 1/2 cup (115 grams, 4 ounces) sugar in a large saucepan. Add the clementine juice, and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from the the heat, and stir in the chocolate until melted. Add the butter, cube, by cube, until melted.

Whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar in a large bowl until pale and very thick. I was kind of weak, so it might be better to do this with an electric mixer. Add the grated clementine rind. Using a metal spoon, fold the chocolate mixture lightly and evenly into the egg mixture. Sift the flour over the top, and fold in evenly.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, and place the pan into a roasting tin. Transfer the tin to the oven, then pour hot water into the roasting pan sot that it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan.

Bake for about 1 hour or until the cake is firm to the touch. Remove the cake pan from the roasting pan, and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Carefully run a sharp knife around the edges of the cake, then turn out onto a serving plate and let cool completely. Chill. Before serving, dust with icing sugar, and garnish with strips of clementine rind.

The cookbook says this serves 8, but I would say it serves closer to 12. Real rich.

Random Texture FAIL – Mocha Velvet Cream Pots

pot de creme 1

With a name like ‘Mocha Velvet Cream Pots,’ you’d think this would be the best dessert ever. To parse, via Google dictionary:

Mocha – A drink or flavoring made with or in imitation of fine-quality coffee, typically with chocolate added.

Velvet – A closely woven fabric of silk, cotton, or nylon that has a thick short pile on one side. Alternately, soft downy skin that covers a deer’s antler while it is growing.

Cream – The thick white or pale yellow fatty liquid that rises to the top on raw milk, used in cooking.

Pot – A container, typically rounded and of metal, used for storage or cooking. Alternately, cannabis.

However, this was not the best dessert ever.

pot de creme 2

I failed this pretty bad, mostly because I used the wrong amount of egg yolks that had previously been frozen, that I then tried to thaw on the quick in the microwave and cooked them halfway. Which in turn curdled the “velvet” part of the cream pots. I knew I knew I knew that thawing the eggs in the microwave would be a PLC (poor life choice for those of you who aren’t my close friends), but I did it anyway. It was a #bakingsaturday, and I was crazy.

pot de creme 3

They might have been more aptly named Mocha Kelt Cream Pots or Mocha Mocha Velvet Ratiné Pots. P.s. I’ve learned so much about fabric today. They had a lovely flavor, but this recipe is all about texture, and the texture of these was nubby and chunky. Far from velvety. I tried to deal with this by adding a chocolate-covered coffee bean. Heh.

pot de creme 4

I was going to bring these to a dinner party, but declared them unfit. Stay tuned for what I actually brought, which was far better. Try this with real egg yolks. Try not splashing the chocolate up the sides of the dishes (see notes below). It sounds like the best thing ever, and you could probably do it right.

Tuning it up,

L

Mocha Velvet Cream Pots

Adapted from Greatest-Ever Chocolate Cookbook by Christines McFadden & France

1 tablespoon (15 mL) instant coffee crystals

2 cups (16 fl. ounces, 475 mL) milk

6 tablespoons (3 ounces, 75 grams) white sugar

8 ounces (225 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla extract

2 tablespoons (30 mL) coffee liqueur or creme de cacao (I chucked in the creme de cacao in lieu of the coffee liqueur)

7 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degress C).  Place eight ramekins (120 mL, 4 ounces, 1/2 cup) in a roasting pan or glass baking dish.

Put the coffee granules into a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the milk and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until the coffee and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate (or chips), stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla and liqueur if using.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks to blend lightly. Slowly whisk in the chocolate until well-mixed, the strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large pitcher or measuring cup. Pour this equally into the ramekins. I recommend placing the pan with the ramekins into the oven without pulling out the rack that the pan sits on, and pouring the mixture in. This way, the mixture won’t splash up the sides of the ramekins like mine did. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until the custard is just set and a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean. Remove from the roasting pan and cool. Once cool, cover and chill. Decorate with a chocolate covered coffee bean before serving. You could also sprinkle on some powdered sugar cocoa powder or whipped cream.

Pipe Dream #139: To Be Smart At Science – Chocolate Sour Cream Cupcakes with Chocolate SMBC

Some bloggers are so cool. They are, like, actually serious bakers/scientists. They know about why we should use unsalted butter. They can tell you why one cake method makes for a denser outcome than another. Or why you should bake things at a different temperature if you live in a high altitude mansion.

They could probably also tell you why every time I try this chocolate cupcakes recipe, I fail it. I think it is because I overfill the liners, but I can’t be sure because I’m not one of those really smart scientist bloggers. In fact, I had to rename the first attempt something like “Hot Lava Marshmallow Epic Fail.” It was an “epic” fail because I made these back in 2008, and that’s what all the cool kids said all the time.

Don’t get me wrong. Hot Lava Marshmallow Epic Fail was delicious. It was a giant mess of exploded chocolate cake and marshmallow frosting that absolutely would not stiffen up. Probably for a number of reasons. But I wanted to get it right this time.

Of course, I still overfilled the liners. But not so much that they exploded, so I guess we’re working in baby steps here. This chocolate cake recipe has sour cream in it (fun!), which makes for a slightly tangy cake. It’s not bad at all; very light and not so chocolate-y that you feel like you are eating ganache. Martha uses the flat tops of these cupcakes to make huge peaks of a marshmallow frosting that is subsequently dipped in chocolate. They look fab, but given my track record with these, I figured that going for massive dip cone swirls was a little ambitious.

Instead, I paired these with a little SMBC recipe I made up. Basically, it is just SMBC with liquid chocolate mixed in. Light cupcake, light frosting, light heart. I used the famous Wilton 1M tip to make the rose piping.

Will someone please try Martha Stewart’s original recipe with the dip cone swirls? Maybe you will do this a lot better than me. I’d love to know your tricks.

Until the next rainy day,

L

Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes

from the book “Cupcakes!” via Martha Stewart — and heaven knows I am leaving it exactly as she wrote it because I have no insights on how to make it better…

makes 12 cupcakes

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Prepare the batter: Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl, and set it over a medium saucepan of barely simmering water; stir chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from heat, and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl as needed, until light and fluffy. On low speed, mix in melted chocolate. Increase speed to medium, and add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla, and beat until mixture is creamy and color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in sour cream. On low speed, add half of reserved flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Mix in 1/2 cup water. Add remaining flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Fill each liner with enough batter to come 1/8 inch from top, about 1/3 cup. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  5. Use a small knife to loosen any tops stuck to the pan. Carefully invert cupcakes onto the wire rack. Turn cupcakes right side up, and let cool completely.

For the chocolate SMBC:

1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
26 tablespoons butter, softened
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces liquid baking chocolate*
*I am going to call this “liquid baking chocolate.” It was Hershey’s, but I forgot the exact product name. If you don’t have this on hand, I believe you could melt some chocolate and whisk it in, too. Careful not to burn it, though. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one, or melt in a double boiler.
Combine the sugar and egg whites in a double boiler. Heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is warm and you can no longer feel sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers. This should be about 160 degrees F.
Transfer the mixture to a stand mixer and beat on medium high until white, doubled in size and completely cool. Add the salt and vanilla. Chunk up the butter, and add a few tablespoons at a time. Then just whip it good. It might look like it has split, but fear not, you just need to whip it until it comes together.
When the mixture is smooth, turn your mixer to low and whisk in the chocolate until well incorporated. Voila!

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