Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Chip Cake

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It’s hard to believe my year abroad is over, but I’m so excited to be back in my own kitchen with all my toys, an oven I understand, and familiar ingredients readily available.

For my first baking adventure now that I’m home, I went decidedly simple but not very Christmas-y. ¬†It will be gone by then anyway! ūüôā

Chocolate Chip Cake

Don’t I look like a brain?

IMG_1981Almonds get all the attention, but I’ve always been partial to walnuts. ¬†The¬†halves look¬†like little brains, and I kind of like that they¬†aren’t sweet. ¬†Of course they¬†taste good with chocolate (brownies and fudge anyone?), but¬†add coffee and the faintest hint of cinnamon and we’re talking near perfection.

You’ll be¬†surprised how light and tender the crumb of this cake is¬†–¬†delicate as the flavors themselves. ¬†You could easily go the healthy route (skip the mocha frosting) and serve it for breakfast or for¬†tea, but then it would just be coffee walnut cake, and you would miss out on the chocolate and¬†the affinity that these flavors have for each other. ¬†Besides, who am I kidding?¬†Frosting has rarely stopped anyone from eating cake for breakfast.

Mocha Walnut Cake

Kickin’ Chocolate

 

I know, it’s been a while‚Ķ Let’s just say life has been a little crazier than usual this past two months.

Though I did get creative with a hotel room microwave and Lekue steamer, I missed my oven and the stress relief that baking brings.

And, what better way to celebrate my return to the kitchen than a little something chocolate (with a kick)!

Mexican Chocolate Doughnuts

The Great-Great-Great Granddaddy of all Cupcakes

Faux Hostess Cakes

Long before the tv wars and neighborhood cupcakeries, a different battle raged … for king of the lunch box. ¬†Whether it was Hostess, or Tastykakes, or whatever brand controlled the market in your hometown, it was a special treat. ¬† The one you begged your mom for at the grocery, promising to share the two-pack with your brother or sister. ¬†The one she tucked into your lunch box on a special occasion, hidden in with the apple and PB&J, and there was no way you were going to trade it for your buddy’s oatmeal raisin cookie. ¬†Sorry raisins, but if I have to decide between you and chocolate, there can be only one winner.

Faux Hostess Cakes

C is for Cookie

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I can’t help myself. ¬†I’ve come across many cookies in my life, really good cookies, but only one can be your first love. ¬†It is the first recipe you help your mother make, the one that helps you to learn fractions before you realize you are, and the one you crave when you need comforting or want to reward yourself or you just want a cookie, darn it. ¬†This is mine.

Ladies and gentlemen, the GFV chocolate chip cookie you’ll have to hide from family and friends.

Sugar, spice, and everything nice

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Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

This week I received the highest honor bestowed by a kindergartner — a friend’s daughter who is the embodiment of girlhood in all its pink and purple, sparkly grandeur¬†— two thumbs up accompanied by the awarding of “my new favorite” cookie title, which though fleeting, is a pretty big deal when you can unseat anything commercially prepared. When her mother texted me to ask for the recipe, I had all the confirmation I needed.

Sadly, since I use raw dark cocoa powder (and I’m not a food photographer), this picture doesn’t do them justice. ¬†Trust my little friend, and try them anyway.

Another Reason to Love NYC

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You’ve seen them. ¬†Those saucer sized sugar cookies covered in bold black and white icing. ¬†Like the city they hail from, these cookies have attitude. ¬†They don’t need your affection; you’ll love them, and they know it. ¬†I have nothing against Starbucks for introducing¬†Black and White Cookies¬†to the masses, but I’m willing to bet the versions¬†found at every mom and pop grocery and bodega in New York and New Jersey taste better. ¬†The problem is, I can’t tell you, because the ingredient list might as well have one big red circle with a slash through it… until now. ¬†Even though I’m not a huge fan of icing, I never seem to have a problem finishing one (or more) of these babies off and then agonizing over whether to have another. ¬†The cookie was right.

The Happy Tart

Or, perhaps more accurately, a “get happy” tart.¬† Because, how can you be anything but gleeful when you finish your meal (Or if you’re feeling particularly naughty, to start it?)¬†with a light but decadent, dark chocolate tart. Having tried the chocolate filling as I was making it, I’ll admit it was hard to focus on the main course when I knew this was the prize at the end of dinner…sinful, indeed!

Devil’s Tart

 

Exquisite Torture

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Get your minds out of the gutter, people…we’re only talking about the sinful taste of double chocolate chip cookies. ¬†As if the rich, crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, dark chocolate cookie wasn’t enough, the chocolate chips melt slowly on your tongue coating it with more chocolate-y goodness. ¬†Maybe the the torture is in stopping yourself at just one…or maybe two…

Faux Silk

20130730-200854.jpg‚ÄúIs there anything, apart from a really good chocolate cream pie and receiving a large unexpected cheque in the post, to beat finding yourself at large in a foreign city on a fair spring evening, loafing along unfamiliar streets in the long shadows of a lazy sunset, pausing to gaze in shop windows or at some church or lovely square or¬†tranquil stretch of quayside, hesitating at street corners to decide whether that cheerful and homy restaurant you will remember fondly for years is likely to lie down this street or that one? I just love it. I could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē Bill Bryson, Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe

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Okay, so this quote isn’t about the pie so much as the travel (and this isn’t a travel/food blog), but what struck me was the comparison – that of the three best things in the world the writer could think of, he chose a simple chocolate pie. ¬†I’d honestly never had one before a few weeks ago when a friend¬†similarly smitten with the silky smooth chocolate mousse filling challenged me to make one.¬†Purists may demand a traditional pie crust, but I prefer the contrasting texture of a graham cracker base. Enjoy!!!

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