Showing posts with label Chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chocolate. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Sheet Cake



Today is my birthday.  I can't believe I am sitting here as a 46 year old woman.

I remember thinking as a teenager that 46 was old, and yet here I am.  I don't think of myself as old or ancient (my teenagers like that word).  Although I also never saw myself at this age having a baby--LOL  Maybe that is the secret to staying young--more kids.

46 years has taught me a few things.  They are:

1.  Don't give up.


2.  Love.

3.  Smile.

4.  Be yourself.

5.  Value others.

6.  Apologize often.

7.  Time does heal most things.

8.   Accept others for who they are.

9.   Do what you love for work.

10.  Laugh often.

This list is not complete by any means but I would say these ten items are what I focus on the most.  It has been a great ride and I look forward to the next 46 years.

But this post is about the cake that I made for my husbands 47th birthday last year.  He loves a good chocolate sheet cake and so I have ventured out and made a gluten free version similar to The Pioneer Woman's sheet cake.   I am pretty sure it is the same chocolate sheet cake that every grandma and great grandma has handwritten in some shoe box stored in the pantry.

It is by far our favorite cake that I make.




A good birthday is not complete until we have attacked his office with a ton of streamers, balloons and confetti.  Oh, the fun this brings the kids.

Oh, who am I kidding--I do it for me.  I love a good party filled with messy rooms.

 Don't believe me?  Ask my kids.

They are still finding confetti from every holiday we have had for the past three years.



Gluten Free Chocolate Sheet Cake

Cake:

1 cup fine white rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca flour (tapioca starch is the same thing)
1/3 cup sweet sorghum flour
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 cups of sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter
4 heaping tablespoons of cocoa
1 cup of boiling water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

*To make the cake with regular flour, omit the first 4 ingredients and substitute with 2 cups of all purpose flour.




Icing:

1 3/4 sticks of butter
6 tablespoons milk
4 heaping tablespoons of cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lb bag or box of powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)



1.  Preheat oven to 350. Spray pan with cooking spray.

2. Combine in a mixing bowl the three flours, xanthan gum, sugar and salt. Set aside.

3. In a medium size saucepan, over medium high heat, melt butter and cocoa. Stir together. Add 1 cup boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds. Turn off heat. 

4. In a medium bowl, add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Whisk together. 5. Add dry ingredients (step 2) to warm cocoa mixture (step 3). Blend well. Add buttermilk mixture (step 4). Stir to combine ingredients.

6. Pour into 9X13 sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes. While cake is baking, make the icing:

1. Melt 1 3/4 sticks butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine. Turn off heat.

2. Add milk and vanilla. Stir well.  

3. Add powdered sugar. Stir together. 

4. Pour over warm cake and smooth out.

Serve warm. Cover leftover cake with plastic wrap.
Written by Sherron Watson







Friday, April 26, 2013

Flourless Chocolate Cake



I am always amazed when I make a recipe and it does not have any flour in it. Isn't flour in all baked goods? I grew up with this idea and only discovered in the last few years that there are wonderful desserts that do not include any flour. This makes me happy.

What I love the most about this delicious cake is that it has a crunchy top with a moist and fudge-like texture. It will melt in your mouth.

You will notice that I made this cake in an 8 inch spring foam pan (the original recipe calls for a 9 inch-if you have this size use it or leave a little bit of batter out of the 8 inch) , I had a little bit of batter left over and tried it in an oven proof ramekin that I like to use for individually sized portions--it worked wonderfully!

I was able to slide a knife around the outer edge and the mini cake came right out and I served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. DELICIOUS!


For those that have been wondering where I have been (it has been a while since I last posted) I have been consumed with my pregnancy.  I finally am through the first three months and feeling some what human again.  I won't lie-it was rough.  The morning sickness that lasted all day--did me in.  It was all I could do to get through the day with homeschooling Isabella and keeping up with the family.

Thankfully I have a very supportive family and they helped a ton!  I am feeling so much better and in my 4th month.  I cannot believe the time has gone by so fast already.  Before I know it a baby will be here.

Finding out that you are pregnant at 45 is always a bit of a shock but an even larger shock for those around you--especially your teenage kids!  LOL  They have been great about the whole thing. I honestly don't feel 45 and my body is holding up well.   I do feel tired and I worry about gaining too much weight--so far I am holding at a 6 pound gain in 4 months--as you know, they say the older you get the harder the pounds are to come off.   I have been riding my bike and walking every week.  

I can't say enough how happy I am for this new little blessing in our family.  He or she will keep us young at heart and I love that Isabella will have a sibling closer to her age.

All I can say is-life is good!  Enjoy every day.




Recipe:  Flourless Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Gastronomers Guide

8 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of butter
1 tablespoon instant coffee grounds
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper-bottom and sides. Spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl add egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form.

In a medium bowl, add egg yolks and beat until pale (4 minutes). Add sugar and continue to mix for 3 more minutes.

Place a large heat proof bowl over a simmering pot of water and melt chocolate chips and butter; add instant coffee grounds and salt, combine well.  Let chocolate cool slightly.

Slowly pour cooled chocolate into egg yolk mixture. 

Add egg yolk/chocolate mixture to egg whites and fold until no streaks of white remain.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes.

Let cool slightly and remove springform pan.

Yields: 8-10 slices





Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Strawberry Cups


We love strawberries!

I try to buy them when they are in season but there are times I just want some in the winter too.

I pay the extra money to get the large strawberries.  They make wonderful cups.

I filled these with a combination of fresh strawberries and mascarpone cheese...oh, were they good!

To make them sit better, I cut the bottoms and dipped them in chocolate AND then dipped them in little white candy balls.

The combination of strawberry, filling, chocolate along with the crunch of the white candy was a delight to our mouths. For an added touch I dusted some dark cocoa over the top.

This is a super easy dessert.  I would suggest that these be made the morning of your event or family function.  The strawberries are juicy and with each passing day they get a bit wilted and the chocolate on the bottom can get sticky--still delicious mind you--just not picture perfect.



Recipe:  Strawberry Cups filled with Mascarpone Cheese

12 large strawberries
1/2 cup of melted chocolate
2 tablespoons of white candy balls (Michaels or any place that sells cake supplies will carry them.)
1/3 cup of soft mascarpone cheese
6-8 fresh raspberries (use jam if you have that instead)
cocoa (optional) for dusting


Wash and dry the strawberries.  With a sharp knife, cut the bottoms and the tops off.

The strawberries should be hollow inside.  If you need to trim a bit out of the strawberry just use a sharp knife and carefully remove the pulp to create a cup.

Dip the bottom of each strawberry in the melted chocolate and then the white candy.  Let set on a lined cookie tray.

In a small bowl add the raspberries and mash them.  Add the mascarpone cheese and blend well.

I used a baggie and piped the filling into each strawberry.

Dust with chocolate if you desire to do so.

Refrigerate the strawberry cups until ready to serve.

Written by Sherron Watson

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hot Fudge Sauce


Recipe Update: 2020 We still use this recipe. This is our go-to hot fudge sauce for all icecream. I have even used it as a chocolate fondue in a flash and served it with pound cake or bananas.


This is the easiest recipe for hot fudge sauce that I have ever made.

My sister n law, Elizabeth, introduced this to our family 20+ years ago and we have used it for more social events than we can count.

We call it A CUP, A CAN and A CUBE.

For those that don't remember the term, CUBE, that is now our current STICK of butter.

This chocolate is best served by the spoonfuls with very little of anything else…LOL  Okay that is just how I eat the hot fudge sauce.

I love it served warm over raspberry sherbet, stirred in a glass of milk or as a fondue for some of my favorite fruits and pound cake.

It's a real treat and something that makes a wonderful gift for neighbors and friends.

Recipe:  Hot Fudge Sauce

1 cube (stick, 1/2 cup) of butter, soft
1 cup of chocolate chips
1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk

To make your own Sweetened Condense Milk, there is a great recipe HERE from Just as Delish.

In a medium sauce pan on medium heat, melt the butter.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Add the Sweetened Condensed Milk.

Stir well to combine.  The butter will take a minute to incorporate into the sauce.  It will be smooth and silky.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Good for one month in sealed container.




  






Saturday, September 22, 2012

205. No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls


Balls is such a funny word.

In our family for a while we just could not even mention the word without someone dying of embarrassment (usually our pre teen son) or a joke being cracked (usually by Dad).

I say balls to my 5 year old and she is running to the closet to get her soccer ball or basketball.

Words.

I love words.  I always have.  Challenge me to a good game of Scrabble or Boggle and I would stop almost anything to play.

Words can be funny, terms of endearment, hateful, loving, harsh, whispered, spelled out or shortened to an acronym.

Words connect a family, a recipe, a thought.  We must always choose them wisely.

In using the name balls for this recipe,  it just fit.  Orbs sounded to scientific.  Circles too boring.  Round cookies was not specific enough.  So you have balls.

No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls that are easy to prepare and a change from the ordinary no bake cookie.

Enjoy!

Recipe:  No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls

1 cup of almond meal (buy at Trader Joes)
1 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter, softened
¼ cup of peanut butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar, for tossing each ball in


Combine all ingredients, except powdered sugar, in a large bowl and mix until a dough is formed.

Using a cookie scoop, firmly pack the scoop and place each scoop on a cookie sheet.

Chill for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl add powdered sugar. Remove cookies from fridge and toss each cookie in powdered sugar until well coated. Shake off excess.

Place on a plate and chill for 10 minutes.

Keep leftovers in refrigerator

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chocolate Brownies #GlutenFree


Chocolate, coffee and almond meal make this brownie rich in flavor and moist in texture.  This brownie is a gluten free treat that will fool your friends.  I have topped it with  caramel and a few toasted nuts.



Recipe: Chocolate Brownies
Serving size: 12-16 brownies depending on size of each one

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25-30 minutes


1/2 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of light olive oil
4 large eggs
1 cup of almond meal (store bought or made at home)
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup of cocoa powder
2 teaspoons of finely ground coffee
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup of nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium size bowl, combine sugar and oil. Using a hand mixer, blend ingredients well. Adds egg and mix on high speed for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine vanilla and coffee powder. Stir and set aside.

Add almond meal, salt and cocoa to sugar/oil mix. Using a spoon or spatula mix together until smooth.

Add coffee/vanilla. Stir well.

Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.

Line a 12 X 8 ,or pan of your choice, with parchment paper.

Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until brownies puff up in the center.

Cool on wire rack. Once cooled, brownies will settle.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies









Recipe: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Cream together the butter and sugar in a table top mixer;  add pumpkin, eggs and vanilla.  Beat cookie dough for 2 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Mix well.

Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Prepare cookie sheet with spray or laying down a piece of parchment paper. Scoop cookie dough two inches apart onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 

½ C butter
1 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 C canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup of Rice Flour
1 tsp GF baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter and sugar together.

Add egg, pumpkin & vanilla. Combine together well.

Add all dry ingredients. Stir well.

Add chocolate  chips.

Prepare pan with spray or parchment paper. Scoop dough two inches apart.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. (They're best a little underbaked, so they are still really soft.)

Remove to cooling rack and let cool.









Friday, June 8, 2012

My "Everything" Chocolate Chip Cookie


What I love about cookies, is they are a lot like people, they come in every shape and size.  The types of cookies, flavors, textures and sizes are too many to number.

I believe there is truly a cookie for everyone.

This cookie is something that has evolved over the years.  The reason I love the basic recipe is because the cookie is soft and plump. It has some substance to it, a three to four bite cookie.

The secret ingredient is bacon.  I know it sounds strange but it totally makes this cookie.


My son, the other day said to me as were getting into the car, "wow, that bacon cookie is the best."

My Mom made the cookies for a church event last weekend and lets just say that after the cookies were made they didn't make it to the church.  LOL


You can find a lot more of these types of recipes here at The Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge being hosted by 52 Kitchen Adventures.  It all starts on August 15, 2012.





Recipe:  The Everything Cookie, makes about 24 cookies depending on size of cookie scoop

3 3/4 cups of cake flour
2 tablespoons of corn starch
1 teaspoon of salt (if you use salted butter, reduce this to 1/2 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks of cold butter
1 1/4 cups of packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup of buttermilk
2 large eggs, room temperature

6-8 pieces of cooked bacon, diced
1/2 cup of toffee bites
1/4 cup of pecans or almonds
1 cup of chocolate chips, I used semi sweet.

Your options may also include: coconut or dried fruit. Let your imagination guide your "everything" cookie.

With this recipe I did not use my Kitchenaid because I did not want to over work the cookie dough.  This was all done by hand.

Preheat oven to 375.

Fry up your bacon.  I found the bacon that is not super crispy works best.  Set aside to cool until you are ready to add it to your dough.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Grate your two sticks of cold butter into a medium size bowl. Add your sugars and combine until just blended.  You should see pieces of butter.


Add the vanilla, two eggs and buttermilk.  Do not over blend.  Mix until well combined.


Start adding the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture.  The dough should be moist and not dry.

Add: bacon, nuts, toffee bits and chocolate chips.  Mix until combined.


Using a large cookie scoop, place the cookies 2 inches apart on the cookie tray.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.  This depends on your oven.  They should be light to golden brown.

Transfer to a cookie rack and let cool.








Friday, September 23, 2011

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars


Two weeks ago someone posted that they were making Nanaimo bars and this instantly sent me in search of what this could possibly be.  I found several recipes for this yummy treat and then I found a peanut butter version, well...the original was pushed aside for the peanut butter and the rest is history.


They were absolutely amazing!  My family and I ate the whole recipe in one sitting, which is not hard to do because once you start you cannot stop.




So what is this and where does it come from?  Here is a brief explanation.


Nanaimo (play /nəˈnm/) (Canada 2006 Census population 78,692) is a city on Vancouver Island in British ColumbiaCanada. It has been dubbed the "Bathtub Racing Capital of the World" and "Harbour City". Nanaimo is also sometimes referred to as the "Hub City" because of its central location on Vancouver Island and due to the layout of the downtown streets which form a "hub" pattern. It is also fondly known as the "Hub, Tub, and Pub City" because of its association with the bathtub racing and the numerous "watering holes" in Old Nanaimo.




So HOW do you pronounce it?  I found some interpretations while trying to figure it out...it's still a mystery to me..LOL


Nah-nye-moe


Nuh-nye-moe 


nan-ah-IM-m-o


I can tell you this, I will keep making this yummy treat regardless of the pronunciation...LOL 


I made my own gluten free graham crackers and they were awesome used in this recipe.  You can sometimes find GF graham crackers at Whole Foods or some specialty shops.  I will post the recipe and pictures I used next week but if you cannot wait until then to make these, use google and you will find several recipes posted.


Recipe: Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars


This recipe was found on the Food Network website. I put my personal notes in red.


Ingredients

Cookie:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used GF Graham Cracker crumbs...see note above) 
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped blanched almonds (I also tried a batch with pecans and they tasted just as good)

Peanut Butter Filling:

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Chocolate Glaze:

Directions

Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan or casserole with aluminum foil, with long flaps hanging over each edge. I used parchment paper and a circle cake pan and it works great too.
For the cookie: Put the butter in a heatproof medium bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer over medium-low heat. Set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Once the butter is melted, add the sugar and cocoa, and stir to combine. Add the egg and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk, until warm to the touch and slightly thickened (it should be about the consistency of hot fudge), about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in graham crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press the dough firmly into the prepared pan. (Save the pan of water for melting the chocolate.)



For the filling: Beat the butter, peanut butter and confectioners' sugar together in a medium bowl with an electricmixer until light. Spread over the cookie and freeze while you prepare the chocolate glaze.

For the glaze: Put the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl, and set over the barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. (Alternatively, put the chocolate and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and continue to heat until completely melted, about 1 minute more.). When cool but still runny, pour the chocolate layer over the chilled peanut butter layer and carefully smooth out with an offsetspatula. Freeze 30 minutes.
To serve, remove from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Pull out of the pan using the foil flaps and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 1-inch squares with a sharp knife. Serve cool or at room temperature.

Busy baker's tips: Finished bars can be wrapped in the pan in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and frozen for up to 1 month.






Written by Sherron Watson











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