Posts Tagged ‘dark chocolate’
Remember during November when I shared a Thanksgiving dinner for two on Single Serving Sunday? Well I had originally intended to do a Valentine’s dinner for two today, but slacked off and only made dessert. It’s still a dessert for two, making it a perfect dessert for you and a special someone to enjoy together.
These cupcakes were inspired by my strawberry stuffed cupcakes I made awhile back which were a huge hit – white cupcakes with a whole strawberry stuffed inside and topped with fresh strawberry buttercream. But this time around the cupcakes are chocolate, making them chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes! In case that isn’t good enough, they are also topped with chocolate dipped strawberry flavored Peeps.
Two years ago: Cinnamon-Blueberry Bread Pudding
After finding the dark chocolate roasted pistachio toffee at Trader Joe’s over the holidays I have been a bit obsessed with the combination. First I annihilated that toffee, then I baked mini pistachio cupcakes with a dark chocolate ganache, and now made my own version of that toffee using the saltine cracker toffee recipe as the base.
Crispy crackers are topped with crunchy toffee, a layer of dark chocolate, and sprinkled with chopped pistachios. If you thought the original saltine cracker toffee was hard to resist, just wait until you get your hands on these. And as a side note, feel free to be amazed at the fact that I was able to make these without a trip to the grocery store. I wasn’t kidding when I said my pantry was stockpiled, needing to be used up before moving.
One year ago: Meyer Lemon Curd
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Cinnamon Raisin Apple Bars
On Sunday I told you about how I had the pleasure of meeting and baking with Heather Saffer of Dollop the day before. She was incredibly nice and very easy to get along with. It was cool to talk about her experiences in the food world – being on Cupcake Wars, owning a cupcake shop, and having a cookbook. It’s interesting how different it is from just having a food blog, living in my own little world.
Funny thing was when she said that despite all of her experience, she thinks that I am more of a baker than she is! I don’t know about that but I do tend to be a bit of a control freak when it comes to baking and cooking, so I may have taken over when we were baking together without meaning to. Oops! Thankfully I don’t think it phased her as she gave me one of her Dollop “fr<3sting” shirts when she departed – yay!!! So thoughtful! I wish I had thought of it and I would’ve given her a Spiffy Cookie necklace. Just dropping the ball left and right haha.
Today I am sharing one of the recipes we made together – mini pistachio cupcakes with a dark chocolate ganache. After much deliberation on what we should make, the pistachio dark chocolate toffee I found at Trader Joe’s inspired me and made the decision easy. We also made flourless brownies with pistachios, because why not?
Did you know that this coming Monday, October 28th, is National Chocolate Day? I’m here to tell you to not just celebrate it with any old chocolate, but try something new. Bar & Bean is an online marketplace for small-batch craft chocolate (less than 250 tons annually). The makers of the chocolates they stock are working to reintroduce and redefine a flavor that has been dominated by large producers.
I was sent Bar & Bean’s Baker’s Set which is a mix of 5 craft chocolate bars:
(2) Poco Dolce – based in San Francisco, CA and started by Kathy Wiley. “Poco Dolce” literally translates from Italian as “not too sweet”, which aligns with the company’s mission of staying on the “savory side of sweet”. Bittersweet with Sea Salt – light sprinkling of Grey Sea Salt.
(3 & 4) Escazu – based in Raleigh, NC and started by Hallot and Danielle. Uses an antique roaster and stone grinder to make chocolate in a more traditional method to bring out flavor complexity. Chipotle Chili & Vanilla – 74% dark chocolate that is complemented with a spicy kick of chipotle chili. Pumpkin Seed and Guajillo Chili – 73% dark chocoloate with roasted pumpkin seeds and guajillo chili.
(5) Dick Taylor – based in Aracta, CA and started by two college buddies Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor. Dick Taylor uses only organic cacao and organic cane sugar in its bars. They roast their beans in their modified Royal #5 coffee bean roaster. Aged for at least 2-4 weeks to further develop and stabilize flavor. Fleur de Sel – 74% Dominican Republic with hand harvested sea salt.
The first bar I tried was the Escazu Pumpkin Seed and Guajillo Chili Dark Chocolate bar, and it inspired me to incorporate pumpkin seeds into the pumpkin peanut butter cups I had been planning to make for today, which is National Pumpkin Day (and also the usual PB+Choc Saturday). Then I went after the two sea salt bars because that’s one of my favorite things in special chocolate. And as a result the pumpkin peanut butter cup with pepitas then got a sprinkle of sea salt on top as well!
Unfortunately, I did not leave enough leftover to make these cups completely out of the chocolate I was sent, but the recipe was inspired by all the craft chocolate I got to try. These little cups are the perfect combination of pumpkin, chocolate, and peanut butter in order to fully celebrate. To make the celebration even better, be sure to find the Rafflecopter widget after saving the recipe in order to enter to win your own set of craft chocolate.
As for the PB+Choc portion of today’s celebration, today Ohio State plays Penn State which means many people in my life are enemies on this day. Hopefully it will only last the day. Penn State is coming back after a 4OT win against Michigan, so it should be a really good game. They are still not eligible to play in the B1G or National championship games, so it’s really to the benefit of the conference as a whole if we win O:-). However, I don’t particularly want to go to the Championship game either because as good as I do believe we are, I am not sure we are at the same level as Alabama or Oregon. As much as I hate to admit it.
For today’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Saturday I am sharing an easy recipe for fudge. Oddly enough I was not a big fan of fudge until I discovered the kind with peanut butter. Just proves how much I am NOT a true chocolate lover. I like it as a contributing flavor instead of the star.
In other news, we may be playing Iowa but I am attending to more important things today – being a proud bridesmaid in my friend Amber’s wedding! I am actually wearing a red/maroon dress which was completely unintentional (I actually was originally hoping to find an olive colored dress).
One year ago: Guacamole Seasoning
After the success I had making healthier cookie dough fondue, I decided to apply those healthier adaptations to my favorite truffle/candy = buckeyes! And a good thing I made these babies healthier because with the stress I am afflicting upon myself this weekend in anticipation of my defense on Monday, I am shoveling more of these into my face than usual. I used coconut oil instead of the butter and dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet. I didn’t substitute the powdered sugar but I did reduce it by 1/2 cup as the coconut oil hardens more than butter when cold.
I also purposely didn’t dip these perfectly in order to emulate the true irregular characteristic of the buckeye nut. You see, not all truffles need to be perfect and pretty, so long as they taste awesome, which these do. I didn’t miss the butter at all and I’m already a big fan of peanut butter and dark chocolate together. Whether you are a buckeye fan or just a pb+c fan you’ll definitely enjoy these, and their sneaky healthier attributes.