Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

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This month, Random Recipes and We Should Cocoa banded together to create a wonderful challenge. Randomly pick a cookbook and randomly pick a recipe from said cookbook that uses . . . you guessed it! CHOCOLATE!

Somehow, despite being random, I keep picking my favorite cookbook off the shelf. Either I just need more cookbooks to be randomly selected or there’s some sort of magnetism that keeps this book coming back to me. Welcome again my favorite cookbook, Cook Yourself Thin. In the past, for Random Recipes I’ve made the Mediterranean Chicken and Better For You Breakfast Sandwich.

Anyway, once I was holding this cookbook, I counted the number of recipes in it that used chocolate. I then put into the random number generator and was directed to this chocolate cake. I was pretty happy when I saw what recipe the generator had chosen for me, since my boyfriend’s birthday is in February (today actually) and he had asked for a chocolate cake.

This cake was sort of dry, but he raved over and over that he hates moist cakes and was so happy because he likes dry cakes and no one ever makes dry cakes. While I personally like moist cakes a hell of a lot, the lack of butter does take away a lot of the moist in a cake. Additionally, he likes it when I accidentally overcook things, so a dry cake really was the way to go for him. All in all, it was a success. The beets were such a strange addition, but in the end, you don’t even taste them.

This was a great random recipe. The universe was aligned when I randomly chose this recipe!

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And with that, I’d also like to wish my love a very happy 31st birthday!

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Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE
1 1/2 cups flour
3 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely ground cashews
5 tbsp cocoa powder
4 oz beets, peeled and finely grated
4 oz buttermilk
2 tbsp brewed black coffee
3 eggs
3/4 cups sugar

FOR THE ICING
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tbsp brewed black coffee
2 tbsp honey

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray an 8″ springform baking pan with cooking spray.

3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, ground cashews, salt, and baking soda together. Set aside.

4. In a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes using medium speed, until pale and fluffy. On low speed, beat in the beets followed by the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and coffee and beat until the batter is smooth.

5. Pour the batter into the springform pan. Place in the middle of a hot oven and bake for 30 minutes. Your cake is done with a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

6. Cool for 10 minutes then unmold and set on a cooling rack. Cool until the cake is cold.

7. To make the icing, prepare a double broiler. Combine all the icing ingredients and stir gently, until the chocolate is smooth. Stir until the chocolate mixture thickens.

9. Pour the icing over the top of the cake and allow it to drip down the sides.

* I’m also sharing this recipe with Mix It Up Monday

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

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This month’s Random Recipes challenged us to randomly pick a cookbook we received for Christmas. For the past two years I’ve been very lucky and have received cookbooks for Christmas. They are my favorite things ever. This year I received two. One book was filled with cupcakes. The other book is called Recipes Across America. Funny enough, though I made cupcakes this time, were not from the cupcake book but the other one instead. The book is filled with recipes from across this big country from Kentucky Grilled Chicken, Cheese Soup from Wisconsin, and Northwest Salmon Salad.

I opened the book hoping to get a savory recipe, but I was greeted by two different cake recipes: Devil’s Food Cake and Southern Lane Cake. Though the Southern Lane Cake intrigued me greatly (it’s essentially a glorified fruitcake,) I decided to stick with my favorite and do the chocolate.

This recipe appears in the “South sweets” section of the book. The recipe comes from Donna Carman in Tulsa, OK who shared that this recipe won the blue ribbon at several state fairs.

Though the recipe was for a cake, I decided to make cupcakes so I could more easily bring them to work. I’m not sure what I think about that option anymore, because the devil’s food made sort of weird cupcakes. It tasted good still, but they sort of drooped in the middle and shrunk.

Then when it got to the frosting, I realized I had a huge dilemma. The frosting recipe called for almost 4 cups of powdered sugar. I only had 1/4 cup!!!!!!!! (Which by the way, I need to buy more obviously.) So I found this recipe online for a frosting that didn’t used powdered sugar. It’s really more of a glaze and it hardened on top of the cupcakes.

They were super sweet, but pretty good and fluffy.

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Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Ingredients
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 cup sour cream

Directions

1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and chocolate.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture, alternately with the water and sour cream. Transfer to prepared cupcake tins.

3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

For the Frosting

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1. In a pot mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and milk. Bring to a boil for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool partially and then beat with a mixer for three minutes.

2. When your cupcakes are cool, spread this glaze on top of them.

* makes about 2 dozen cupcakes

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Yesterday I posted about restraint and how I love to indulge, but how I need to not indulge in unhealthy things. And then today I made bacon chocolate chip cookies and ate six of them. *sigh*

Cookies are my downfall. My weakness. My kryptonite. Chocolate chip cookies make it even worse.

But I ignored my better thinking and made these bacon chocolate chip cookies for this month’s We Should Cocoa. This month’s theme is New Year, New Ingredient and is hosted at Lancashire Food. Basically, this month’s chocolate recipe was to pick an ingredient to pair with chocolate that we’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t yet.

The chocolate-bacon craze has intrigued me. About a year ago (I think) I had chocolate bacon gelato. It was delicious. But I’ve been hesitant for whatever reason of actually including bacon with my chocolate. I shouldn’t have been, but perhaps I should have made only 1/2 a batch of cookies so I wouldn’t have devoured so many.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
(source)

Ingredients
8 strips bacon
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

1. In a skillet fry up the bacon. Once it’s cooked crisp, place it on a plate covered in paper towels to let drain. Once the bacon has cooled cut it into small pieces. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of your mixer, combine the butter and sugars. Beat until creamed together. Then add the egg and vanilla and beat together.

3. Add the baking soda, baking powder, and flour to the mixing bowl. Mix together well.

4. Add the chocolate chips and bacon. Using a big spoon, mix the bacon and chocolate into the dough.

5. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place 1 tbsp sized balls of the cookie dough. Leave enough room between the cookies so they can expand a little bit.

6. Bake at 350 for 11 minutes.

* makes about 2 dozen cookies
* besides We Should Cocoa, I’m sharing these cookies with Weekend Cooking

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Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

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Cookie season has arrived! December is always my favorite time of year. It’s my birthday. It’s Christmas. I get candy. I get cookies. I don’t like how cold it’s been, but life can be a compromise sometime.

I participated in Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap hosted by White Lights on Wednesday, {i love} my disorganized life, and Real Housemoms. The swap changed a bit from last year, but was just as fun. Last year we mailed our partners a handwritten copy of our recipe. This year it was all done electronically. While receiving snail mail is fun, it was a lot easier to receive the recipe via my computer rather than twiddling my thumbs until the mailman decided to drop it off.

Last year for the swap I made Pink Peppermint Chip Cookies. This year I also received a recipe for “chip” cookies – but for a very different cookie: chocolate chocolate chip – oh yeah!

This year Amy from My Little-One Room Schoolhouse is my partner. So, let’s thank her for the recipe!

I love chocolate chips and I love chocolate cookies, so this is seriously the combination of two wonderful things. I did have some problems though. I have two cookie sheets. One is thicker than the other. The cookies that baked on my thin sheet just went . . . flat. :( The cookies that were baked on the thicker sheet fluffed up more and were definitely better. I’m sure it had to do with how the heat was reacting to the cookies, but this is the first time I’ve noticed such a visible difference between my baking sheets.

And with that, cookie season has begun! Let’s see what cookies this season brings.

XMAS Cookie Recipe Swap

Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

1. Mix flour, cocoa, soda and salt together.  Set aside.

2. In another bowl, cream butter and sugars together.  Add eggs and vanilla.

3. Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Drop spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool completely.  Do not overbake.  Center may appear not to be done, but will set as cookies cool.

Because I don’t own my own domain and WordPress for some reason hates linkys, please click here to see all the other cookies shared!

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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My lack of updating isn’t currently do to a lack of cooking. Rather, my lack of updating is entirely the fault of I haven’t cooked anything to die for lately. Everything’s been blah – and I don’t really need to share those blah recipes. Just this week I made pumpkin lasagna reminiscent of baby food and beef in the slow cooker which was too dry.

One thing I did not falter on were these muffins.

I try every month to participate in Chocolate Log Blog’s We Should Cocoa. We Should Cocoa is a monthly blogger challenge – make a chocolate recipe that fits the theme of the month. This month’s We Should Cocoa is being hosted by JibberJabberUK who provided the theme of vegetables.

I initially had planned to make beet chocolate muffins, but some change in my finances has allowed me now to only go grocery shopping every other week. This basically means by week two I have to make sure to use up everything I have in the house. I was wasting too much before and spending more than I had.  Because I had no beets on the day I decided I needed to make chocolate muffins, I dug through the vegetable drawer and decided I’d make chocolate zucchini cupcakes.

I’ve made chocolate zucchini bread before and really loved it, so I knew this would be good. Also, because I didn’t go grocery shopping, these are eggless.

I guess I’m back on the We Should Cocoa muffin kick!

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
(source)

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a muffin tin by lining it with wrappers.

2. In a small container combine the milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.

3. In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Create a well in the middle.

4. In a smaller bowl combine the milk/vinegar mix, vegetable oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Pour into the well of the dry mixture. Mix together to ensure there are no dry spots. Fold the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips into the batter.

5. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

* makes 12
* Besides We Should Cocoa, I’m sharing this recipe with AlphaBakes hosted by Ros and Caroline for the letter C this month! This is also being shared with Cast Party Wednesday.

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Banana S’More Quick Bread

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Surfing the internet makes me drool sometimes. I’ll be looking from blog to blog and I’ll start feeling hungry. My mouth will start watering. I will browse my refrigerator to see if I can make the thing that made me drool. The answer is usually no. Then I bookmark it and I usually forget to actually make it.

This followed that same course, up until I actually went to the grocery store and bought what I needed to make the bread.

It’s been hot out. And despite feeling hot and sweaty, I made this in the kitchen and just got sweatier. That’s what happens when the oven’s on, obviously.

This bread was great. For as much sugary items are in it, I somehow wan’t overwhelmed by it being too sweet.

I think I’ll have a slice for breakfast.

I’m going to share this quick bread with Alpha Bake’s monthly challenge hosted by Ros and Caroline. This month’s letter is Q. I also plan on making a quiche later this month, but I figured I might as well share what I have!

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Banana S’More Quick Bread
(source)

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup graham crackers, crushed
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×5 baking pan and set aside.

2. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs. Beat together until combined.

3. In a large bowl sift together the baking soda and flour. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, beating together.

4. With a wooden spoon, stir the mashed bananas, graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate chips into the batter. Pour into the prepared baking pan.

5. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Let cool for 20 minutes before cutting.

* serves 8
* Besides AlphaBakes I’m sharing this with Mix It Up Monday

Mocha Chip Ice Cream

IMG_9166This month has been a blur, but I have found some time for things I enjoy. One of those things is chocolate. Every month We Should Cocoa, hosted by Choclette and Chele. This month’s challenge asked me to get my ice cream maker out of hiding.  With how hot it was out, this request was not opposed. In fact, this month’s theme has led me to make several different ice cream recipes (including roast peach and a strawberry batch as well.) But I’m a chocolate girl, so this mocha chip ice cream has been my favorite thus far.

The recipe comes from the first (and only) ice cream cookbook I have. It’s an ice cream book by Ben and Jerry who I believe to be the kings of ice cream. The ice cream was so creamy and delicious. I’m so glad I took that ice cream maker out.

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Mocha Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet Starbucks VIA coffee
2 large eggs
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

1. Mix the cream, milk, sugar, cocoa, and coffee in a mixing bowl until well blended. Whisk the eggs together in another bowl until light yellow. Pour the eggs into the cream and stir until well blended.

2. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze to the manufacturer’s instructions.

3. Add the chocolate chips after the ice cream stiffs (about 2 minutes before it’s done.) Then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

4. Place in a container and freeze over night.

* makes 1 quart
* Besides We Should Cocoa, this recipe is being shared with Tasteful Tuesdays

Mocha-Honey Blueberry Loaf

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I essentially ate dessert for breakfast the last few days. My only response to your judging is, “why shouldn’t I?” And seriously, why shouldn’t you? What’s stopping you from having your dessert first thing in the morning?

This loaf is such a combination of yummy flavors. I wasn’t sure how it would come together, but I liked it a lot. I hope I like the blueberry bacon breakfast cake as much that I’m making tomorrow.

I told you there were a lot of blueberries at the market.

Mocha-Honey Blueberry Loaf

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 packet of Starbucks Via instant coffee
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, coffee, and salt.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until it’s soft. Add the honey and sugar to the butter, a little at a time, making sure to cream together. Add the eggs one at a time. Add half of the dry mixture, keeping the beater beating the batter. Add 1/4 cup of the milk. Add the remaining dry ingredients, followed by the other 1/4 cup of the milk. Make sure everything is combined and that there are no dry spots.

4. Using a wooden spoon, fold the blueberries and chocolate chips into the batter.

5. Pour into your loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the loaf pan.

* makes 1 loaf
* shared with Full Plate Thursday & Showcase Your Talent Thursday

Greek Yogurt, Blueberry, and Chocolate Parfaits

IMG_9105This month upon surfing the waves of food blogs, I found a new monthly round-up that I decided to participate in. This new round-up is called Feel Good Food and it’s hosted by A Kick At The Pantry Door. Each month there will be a theme, where bloggers are challenged to make a healthy recipe holding to the theme that doesn’t lose the delicious tastes we all crave and love. This month’s theme was blueberries, which is more than perfect given the vast abundance of them right now at the farmer’s market.

I have blueberries coming out of my ears. Between the parfaits, pancakes, and a mocha-honey blueberry loaf, I still have a ton.

It’s great I’m entering this round-up so I can get some other ideas on how to use these blueberries from the other great recipes!

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Greek Yogurt, Blueberry, and Chocolate Parfaits

Ingredients
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp chocolate chips
1/4 cup granola

Directions

1. Spoon 1 tbsp of blueberries on the bottom of two glasses. Spoon 1/4 cup of yogurt over the top of the blueberries. Top with 1 tbsp chocolate chips and then 1 tbsp granola. Repeat the layers.

* serves 2
* 184 calories per serving
* Besides Feel Good Food, this recipe is shared with Wednesday Whatsits & Cast Party Wednesday

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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For the last few We Should Cocoa‘s I’ve made muffins. This month’s theme, mint, however got me into another breakfast kick. And you know, I might stick with pancakes at We Should Cocoa until I get some other ingredient that just kicks me into another direction with my chocolate. But we’ll see what next month brings before I make any pancake promises. I mean, you never quite know where the chocolate will lead you until you get there, you know?

We Should Cocoa is a monthly chocolate themed round-up hosted by Choclette and Chele. This month Victoria is hosting the mint theme!

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved pancakes. But I really loved pancakes that had chocolate chips in them. My mom also used to make me M&M pancakes when we were out of chocolate chips. Besides the fact that I have a crazy obsession with chocolate, I love chocolate chips in my pancake because they’re rather self-syruping. I’m not a huge maple syrup fan, but dry pancakes are bleh. If you add chocolate chips to the pancakes and they’re kind of melty, you really don’t need anything else. The pancake does it all on its own.

While my mom never made me mint chocolate chip pancakes when I was little, I would have went crazy for these. The mint was so nice with the chocolate (well, duh) and the pancake. It very easily could be a dessert. But dessert for breakfast works for me!

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Mint Chocolate Chip Pancakes
(source)

Ingredients
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp mint extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

2. In a smaller bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, butter, vanilla, and mint. Once well mixed, pour into the dry mix. Stir together until all dry spots are gone. Stir in the chocolate chips.

3. In a cast iron skillet sprayed with cooking spray, heat over medium-high heat. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown and the edges begin to bubble. Flip and cook on the other side for about 1-2 minutes.

* makes 8 pancakes
* besides We Should Cocoa, this post is shared with Wednesday Whatsits and Cast Party Wednesday