Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’
For these past few days, I’ve been staying in my kitchen longer than usual. It’s September and you know what that means, it’s pumpkin time. I’m not quite sure when pumpkin season starts, but I think it must be once Starbucks announce their pumpkin spice latte and I can see pumpkin patches around the neighborhood. I’ve been wanting to do pumpkin carving, so maybe one of these days I will definitely do that.
With pumpkin all around me, I do not want to miss the hype and I want to turn pumpkin into breakfast. Originally, I thought of making pumpkin cinnamon rolls, but then I changed my mind and made something easy peasy. This pumpkin chocolate rolls was the reason why I stayed longer in the kitchen. The smell of freshly-baked pumpkin rolls was heavenly and I wish there’s a way to preserve the aroma!
Talking about pumpkin, have you read this article, “Pumpkin Pie Arouses Guys More than Your Favorite Perfume”. It says, “Forget about lingerie — if you want to entice your man, all you need could be sitting on your dinner table on Thanksgiving. According to a new study, besides satisfying their sweet tooth, the smell of pumpkin pie really turns men on. “The number one odor that enhanced penile blood flow was a combination of lavender and pumpkin pie,” Alan Hirsch, Director of Chicago’s Smell and Taste Treatment Research Center, told WPBF in West Palm Beach, Fla”. So instead of spraying your favorite perfume, think of baking pumpkin pie instead… and while you’re doing that, why not give this recipe a try.
Pumpkin Chocolate Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze
- 31/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tbs instant dry yeast
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 2 ox cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbs buttermilk
- 11/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- Butter a round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out the excess flour.
- Mix all pumpkin dough ingredients, except chocolate chips, then mix until incorporated, about 3 minutes. The dough will feel soft and sticky.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and carefully form it into a large ball. Place it in a clean and lightly greased bowl, then cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Combine chocolate chips to the dough mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the dough one at a time and carefully place it on a cake pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the rolls are lightly browned. Let it cool.
- Beat the cream cheese and buttermilk on medium speed until the mixture are lump free.
- Add the sugar and beat on medium-low speed until smooth.
- Serve the pumpkin chocolate rolls onto a serving plate (don’t forget to remove the parchment paper).
- Pour the frosting over the warm rolls.
The Urban Mrs http://theurbanmrs.com/
p.s.: do you know that we’re celebrating National Dessert Day today?
By the time you read this post, I am already on my way to the airport because I’m going to Seattle for the IFBC! Woohoo! I know it’s not Europe or Bora-Bora (my dream vacation), but I do love Seattle. I love its gloomy days and enjoy being soaked in the rain…as long as I don’t drive. So, I’ve been imagining lots of things to do in Seattle, meeting lots of new friends as well as old ones, pigging out (of course!) without worrying about the cleaning up, washing dishes, or cooking.
Anyhoo, let me share this awesome recipe. It is bread but made out of ice cream. Have you heard of them before? I saw the recipe and am so eager to give it a go. It was weird in the beginning but it was not bad at all. I use the ice cream recipe I shared, but adding more ingredients into it. Please note that I use less sugar in the ice cream, so it’s not as sweet as regular ice cream. So, if you’re an adventurous foodie, give it a go and tell me what you think.
Ice Cream Bread
- 1 cup mocha cappuccino avocado ice cream, softened
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbs sugar
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- In a small bowl, combine the ice cream, flour and sugar. Add chocolate chips and mix well.
- Transfer to a 5 3/4-in x 3-in x 2-in loaf pan coated with cooking spray.
- Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes and let it cool on a wire rack.
The Urban Mrs http://theurbanmrs.com/
I have the best security guy in the building. He’s super nice and knows every one of us. Well, it’s a small building with a lil’ bit over 100 people working here, but he knows most of us pretty well. When I first came to this building, he already knew that I would be working here and he showed me what’s good and bad in the neighborhood, the best way to spend lunch hour, and he even shared his biography.
What surprised me was when he handed each of us christmas card…on his behalf. That’s very sweet of him and definitely extra miles! To be honest, I rarely send out cards, and mostly Frederick handles this part. He diligently lists and writes personal message on each card, yeah, he’s very thoughful.
…and with the holidays around us, what is the best way other than sharing our own homemade edible gifts. So in return, I made this chocolate truffle with a combination of baileys and vodka. I used this recipe as the foundation and use dark chocolate instead of milk so the flavor is well-balanced.
Well I’m sure you all know Waldo from Where’s Waldo. I’ve been playing this for years and still loving it. I’m also amazed on how they got the idea with all the details and for me, it’s bizarre. One time I tried to copy a simple version of it, hoping that I could play with my
nephew but using my own characters. I gave up after just couple attempts.
Well interestingly, playing Where’s Waldo always reminded me of my friend. Each time I baked something, she never fails to ask, where’s the booze? Not that we’re alcoholic, but we really enjoy desserts with extra booze. It’s making it sounds so granular. So when I read this recipe, it was like my a-ha moment. That’s it! It has booze and I know Frederick will love it because he really enjoys bourbon. So here’s to something elegant and boozy.
Chocolate Bourbon Truffle
Makes 30 small truffles.
Courtesy of Joy of Baking
- 8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)
- 2 tbs (28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 tbs alcohol (Cognac, brandy, Grand Marnier, kirsch, rum, bourbon, or Kahlua to name a few) – I use Bourbon
Different Coatings for Truffles:
- Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
- Melted or Tempered Chocolate
- Confectioners Sugar (Icing or Powdered)
- Toasted and Chopped Nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)
- Toasted Coconut
- Shaved Chocolate
- Chocolate Truffles: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a minute or two. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. (If the chocolate doesn’t melt completely, place in the microwave for about 20 seconds, or over a saucepan of simmering water, just until melted.) If desired, add the liqueur. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture is firm (this will take several hours or overnight).
- Place your coatings for the truffles on a plate. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator. With your hands, a small ice cream scoop, a melon baller, or a small spoon form the chocolate into round or mis-shaped bite-sized balls. Immediately roll the truffle in the coating and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- To Toast Nuts: Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and bake nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds) about 8 – 10 minutes or until brown and fragrant. For hazelnuts toast about 15 minutes or until the skins start to blister. Remove from oven and roll in a clean dish towel. Let the nuts ‘steam’ for about 5 minutes and then remove the skins. Once the nuts have cooled, chop coarsely.
Well, I hope you survived 12.12.12 yesterday. At least 2 of my friends got engaged and another gave birth naturally and exactly on 12.12.12 at 12.12 (midnight). Spooky! Anyways, I’ve been having peppermint cookies lately and so tempted to bake these cookies at home. One of the things that I enjoy most being in the kitchen is I get a chance to experiment new flavors. I am a believer in endless possibilities, hence I like to taste something new that I haven’t tried before. Plus it challenges me to be more open-minded.
This time, I am so challenged to add peppermint, especially since I’m not a fan of this. So to make it
safe fun, I made oreo peppermint cookies. This little cookie has sweet and minty flavors in every bite, definitely a fun combo if you enjoy chocolate and peppermint. I use Godiva Chocolatier Dark Chocolate Peppermint Crunch which has 50% cacao in it. This signature dark chocolate comes with crunchy peppermint candy cane pieces and a touch of peppermint oil. Definitely the perfect holiday treat!
Oreo Peppermint Cookies
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 100 gr (3.5 oz.) Godiva dark chocolate peppermint crunch, crushed
- 10 pcs oreo cookies, crushed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- In a mixer, whisk the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix well.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.
- Stir in the peppermint and oreo, mix well with wooden spoon or spatula.
- Use an ice cream scoop, drop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheet, leaving 2-inches apart.
- Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely
It happened few weeks ago when Frederick and I went out for a quick dinner and I spotted this big poster about apple caramel shake. The poster looked amazingly inviting, even for not an apple lover like me. So, I was debating whether I should give it a try or not. The picture looked so delicious, but I was also afraid that I would leave disappointed. Curious, I followed my guts and asked the cashier of how good it was. As someone who tried to sell as many as possible, he said it’s really good especially when I (he) made it. Hmm, perhaps i should give it a go, I replied. So, one order of apple caramel shake was placed in order.
Well, the shake came out late. In fact, our food came out way faster than the shake, but I completely understood why once I saw that apple caramel shake appeared in front of me. Those apples are chopped so neat and nice, they all came out in same sizes. I first thought the idea of apple caramel shake was just vanilla ice cream with apple juice or something apple, not realizing that it would be the real thing! I was completely wrong and I was so glad I ordered that.
Apple Caramel Shake
- 2 cups of apple, cubed (leave some for garnish)
- 3 scoops vanilla caramel ice cream
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1 tbs caramel sauce
- Whipped cream for garnish
- Chocolate shaved for garnish
- In a blender, combine apple, ice cream, milk, vanilla extract, and ice cubes. Mix well.
- Add 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce into each chilled glass and swirl around.
- Add half of the remaining apple at the bottom of the glass, then pour the shake.
- Top with whipped cream, remaining apple, and chocolate shaved.
My mom always tells me that her biggest obsession when I was still in her tummy were fish and cooking classes. To be honest, I can’t agree more with that. I love fish and can’t live without it. Cooking? I don’t quite remember when or how I started learning to cook, but it was sometime in elementary school. As far as I could remember, I baked my mom a black forest cake for her birthday. It was very tricky because mom got up at 5am. Hence, I had to get up at 4am and made sure everything returned back to normal. before she woke up Luckily, my relatives lived just across the street so I could hid the cake there. It was definitely worth it when she was surprised to get that cake at 6am, complete with Happy Birthday to Mama in Chinese characters.
Ever since I moved here, I rarely baked until few years ago. I made up so many excuses – the kitchen is too small, I need help, I don’t have time, and so on. But, first love is too powerful, so slowly but surely, I gained my strength back. One of the most memorable cakes was this baby shower cake that I did for our close friends. It was memorable because I was still in LA and the baby shower was held in SF. Hence, I went to work during the day and busy in the kitchen at night for few days. Made everything from scratch and taught myself how to make/ work with fondant from YouTube and blog.
I also made mango and strawberry marshmallow and chocolate banana mochi cupcakes. So imagine going through the security line at the airport on Friday evening with all those goodies. It was exhausting and nerve-wrecking since I had to place the cake in the overhead bin. among those luggages. Thankfully, the cake remained the same (Hallelujah!) but most of the figures were broken and I did not have any tools with me to fix it. I was glad that everyone was very supportive so I tried my best to fix them with a nervous smile.
Not bad, I supposed, though I lost so many details of the figurines. Everyone was very pleased and it was a lovely day in the park to celebrate this baby shower. Now, just last week, we had another celebration, a birthday celebration for my nephew, to be exact. He just turned five and he has planned his birthday since Summer. Kids today certainly know how to party since their early days. But of course, his parents tried not to spend too much money and teach him to be creative instead. One of the ideas was to build his own cake topper. He’s been in love with Hero Factory so his parents asked him to build it from his own toy and that will be the cake topper. He even made extra so he could share the topper with his friends.
Another fun part was this bento box. It was his mom’s idea to have this bento, instead of dessert table or pizza. Enough said, it’s healthy, easy to pack and easy to clean. Done! So, my mom and I took part in this. Honestly, my job was pretty easy but time consuming. I had to make that panda sushi, per my nephew’s request. I once made it for him and it was not a big deal when you had to make enough for 1 kiddo; but for 30 kids? Oh boy, I spent 5 hours just for that panda and went crazy that morning because I ran out of nori sheets. So, I rushed to the grocery market nearby and went back to work. Phew, glad that mission was accomplished and everyone was happy. I wish I took more pics of the final look since we added edamame and more items in it.
Pssttt…let me tell you something – I’ve always loved holidays season. Period. I remember growing up, I always looked forward to end of November because that’s when we started building Christmas tree, and celebrated my birthday (ahem…), and school vacation. Oh, I miss all those happiness.
Today, I still enjoy and love the holiday season. What’s not to love? It’s time to shop with feeling less guilty, stay late after work and enjoy the city lights and breezy weather, and of course panettone, gingerbread, hot choco, christmas music, presents, and so much more.
Any who – as much as I love the holiday season, I was having hard time when I was challenged to make muffin that screams holiday. My idea of holiday are always colorful and snow. So, tell me what do you think when you hear the word holiday….
Chocolate Hazelnut Muffin
- 100 gr sour cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup milk
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup dark cocoa
- 1/3 cup ground hazelnut
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbs warm water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a mixer, combine the sugar, eggs and butter and mix until pale.
- Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix well.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
- Then add the cocoa and mix until everything is combined.
- With a spatula, add the hazelnuts and mix well.
- Divide into muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes.
- To make the glaze: combine the ingredients and mix well.
- Drizzle the glaze over the muffin and decorate with red/ green sprinkles.