Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Frosting

So this recipe, and the one that’ll follow it, are basically the same cake. I originally found the one I’ll post after this and was intrigued because it has Kahlua in it. It called for a strawberry frosting as well, which I thought was gross. Strawberry and coffee, which is the flavor of Kahlua, just do not go together as far as I’m concerned. So the next cake, which I make before this one, has a completely different frosting. Then a Facebook friend sent me this recipe, which was great! I made a few modification. The original called for 3 cups of sugar, way to much if you ask me. And I switched up the frosting, again I’m not a huge fan of buttercream frosting.

Now as I was on a cake kick, and this was really the 3rd cake recipe in a row, I decided to mix it up a bit. I made this into mini cupcakes instead. But you can certainly make this as a cake as well, either rounds or a sheet cake. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Dutch processed cocoa powder (the darker the better)
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. real vanilla extract

Frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp*
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1 tbsp. real vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely dices strawberries
  • 2 tbsp. strawberry syrup (I use DaVinci coffee syrup)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350° and line four 24 mini cupcake pans. If you’re going to make a cake, then you’ll want 3 round 8″ cake pans. Standard spray the non-stick cooking spray, parchment paper, yada yada yada. If cupcakes, use cupcake liners; super easy.

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder & soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Nuke the water until warm, about 1 minute. Add in the espresso powder (this really enhances the chocolate flavor).

In a large measuring cup, beat together the eggs and sour cream. Add in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Pour the warm water mixture and the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients. Use a spatula to fold all the ingredients together until combined. Like brownies, you don’t want to over mix it or you’ll get a chewy cake.

If making mini cupcakes, about 1 heaping tbsp. per cupcake of batter. Regular cupcakes, fill about 3/4 full. Rounds you’ll divide the batter evenly between 3 pans. Sheet cake, just dump it all in.

  • Mini cupcakes – bake for 15 minutes
  • Rounds – 35 to 40 minutes
  • Sheet – 40 to 45 minutes

Standard: you’ll know they’re done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean. For cupcakes, pick on in the middle of the pan to test.

For the frosting:

Dice up the strawberries. Put them in a bowl, or I used a ziplock bag, and add in the strawberry syrup. I found that adding the syrup really enhanced the strawberry flavor. This is really helpful if you can’t find good, flavorful strawberries (heyI made this in February, it’s not like they’re going to be great).

Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. *Note: as I mentioned in the previous recipe, for butter cream frostings you want the butter super soft. So while I say at room temp, the softer the better. Otherwise you’ll end up with chunks of butter in your frosting.

Once it’s smooth add in the strawberries and vanilla. Continue beating until smooth again and then turn down the mixer and slowly add in the powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Frost away and then eat!

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Irish Cream Frosting

Ok I’ve been on a complete chocolate kick of late. This recipe is going to be 1 in a series of 3 that are all pretty close. In fact I realized that the next 2 that I’ll post are basically the same recipe, the only difference is one has Kahlua in it. Now with all three of these it’s all about the cocoa. Use good cocoa, not that Hershey stuff!

This one is my favorite of the 3 that I’ll be posting. It’s super moist and the frosting, which has Bailey’s in it, is super flavorful. The original recipe had the frosting as a buttercream, which I am not a fan of. So I cut it down by adding a little cream cheese and reducing the sugar dramatically. I mean really, do you need 6 cups of powdered sugar in your frosting? Enjoy!

 

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Irish Cream Frosting

Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder (darker the better)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup sour cream of plain full fat yogurt (I used sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Guinness beer

Frosting:

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp*
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°. Spray two 8″ cake rounds, or one 9″x13″ cake pan, with non-stick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and spray again.

Sift together, in a large bowl, the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda & powder, and salt. In a large measuring cup, beat the eggs and sour cream until smooth. Add in the vegetable oil, vanilla and bear.

Add the liquid to the sifted dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula until just combined. Like brownies, you don’t want to over mix it or you’ll have a chewy cake. Pour into your cake pan or pans and bake for 40 to 45 minutes; or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Allow to cool completely.

In a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. *Note: buttercream based frostings can be a real bitch. You want the butter soft, and I do mean soft! So while I put “at room temp” the warmer the better. But DO NOT MICROWAVE IT! Doing so has a tendency to make the butter melt in pockets and that won’t work for your frosting. Once it’s smooth Alternate the Bailey’s with the powdered sugar until it’s all incorporated and smooth. Then frost your cake.

Stuffed Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Here’s another cupcake recipe that I’ve adapted. I liked the original but felt the need to bump it up a notch, added some Brown Sugar Bourbon to it. They were a big hit! Enjoy.

 

Stuffed Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Filling:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Brown Sugar Bourbon

Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour*
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup espresso
  • 2 tbsp. Brown Sugar Bourbon

Topping:

  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

Directions:

In a medium bowl beat together the peanut butter and unsalted butter until smooth. Turn down to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar and BSB. Beat on high until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Spoon the filling into a piping bag with a medium size tip.

Preheat your oven to 325° and line your muffin tins with cupcake liners. I spray mine with non-stick cooking spray, it helps pealing them off the finished cupcakes.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, and salt. *Cake flour is different from all-purpose flour. It contains less protein and makes for lighter, well cakes. Combine the buttermilk, espresso, and vanilla; I use a liquid measuring cup for easy pouring.

In your stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. You’ll need to scrap down the sides at least once. Turn down to low and add in the eggs one at a time, beat until combined. Turn up the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy again. Turn back down to low, add in 1/3 of the flour beat until combined. Add in 1/3 of the buttermilk mixture, beat until combined. Repeat until it’s all in there. Divide the batter between the muffin tins, filling them up about 1/2 way. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely.

Take the piping back of filling, shove it in the middle of each cupcake, and squeeze until you just start to see the filling ooze out from around the piping back tip.

Take the heavy cream and nuke it for about 90 seconds or until piping hot. Pour it over the chopped chocolate and let stand for about a minute. Stir until smooth. If it’s still lumpy nuke it for 15 seconds at a time, stirring in-between, until it’s smooth. Let stand for about 10 minutes. It should be thicker but not solid. You can either spoon it over the cupcakes or dip each on into the chocolate. I found spooning to be easier, dipping tended to leave some cake in the mix. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes or until the ganache is set.

Chocolate Pumpkin Swirled Cupcakes

So a couple of my coworkers were lamenting the fact that almost all of the treats I bring into work are sweets. One is diabetic and the other is on a no-sugar diet. So I took that as a challenge and found this recipe, which is diabetic friendly and has no sugar. I did modify it slightly, as is my want, by adding a little brown sugar bourbon. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Pumpkin Swirled Cupcakes

  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used coconut milk as I had it on hand)
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar bourbon
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Dutch-processed, it’s the best)
  • 1/2 cup (or so) chocolate chips, divided

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with liners and spray the insides with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl mix together the pumpkin, syrup, eggs, milk, bourbon, and vanilla.

In another bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and fold in until just combined. Add the melted butter and stir until combined.

Now divide your batter in half. To one half add in the cocoa and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips. Stir to combine. Now add it back into the other half and gently swirl them together. You don’t want them too mixed if you want to see a swirled pattern.

Scope into the lined muffin tin, filling about halfway. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and eat.

 

German Chocolate Pie

I came across a recipe for this pie and it immediately caught my attention. Mostly because I have a good friend who loves German Chocolate cake; in fact, I made one for him for this birthday one year. So I thought I would give it a try. I only modified it slightly. Used my own pie crust recipe and added some good Dutch-processed cocoa. Warning! This is really rich so a little goes a long way! Enjoy!

 

German Chocolate Pie

Filling:

  • 4 oz sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Direction:

Preheat your oven to 400°. Roll out the pie dough using my recipe (which will make 2 pies) and line a pie plate. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Line the pie dough with parchment paper and pie weights (I just use dry beans). Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully take the weight and parchment out and put it bake in the oven for another 10 minutes or until light brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

Preheat your oven to 350°. Put the chopped chocolate in a microwave bowl and nuke to 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Allow it to cool slightly until just warm to the touch. Whisk in the milk, yolks, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the chopped pecans. Pour into the pie shell and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Once it’s cool, combine the brown sugar, cream, and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. In a small bowl whisk the yolks. Slowly whisk in a small amount of the hot sugar/cream mixture. Pour the yolks into the remaining sugar mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until the mixture is thick. Stirr in the coconut ad vanilla, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Pour over the pie filling and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. Refrigerate until completely chilled. Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

To get ideas for cooking, and to post to this blog, I frequently ask people I know what their favorite dessert is. Recently one of those was peanut butter. Since I’ve already made peanut butter cookies I decided to try coming up with something else. Lucky for me I had recently come across a recipe for peanut butter pie. Which was fine but I happen to like chocolate with my peanut butter so I added a layer to the top. It turned out pretty good. Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

  • Pastry for a single-crust pie (see previous blog post)
  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temp
  • 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 4 1 1/2 oz Hershey chocolate bars

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350°. On a lightly floured workspace roll out the dough and line a pie pan with it. Chill while making the rest of the pie.

In a large bowl, beat together the corn syrup, sugar, peanut butter and salt until creamy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Pour into the pie shell and bake for 60-70 minutes. It will puff up, that’s fine. It will also fall once you take it out, that’s fine too. You want it to be almost set, so a knife inserted in the middle will come out almost clean.

Allow to cool. Break up the Hershey chocolate bars and microwave in a microwave proof bowl for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between, until melted and smooth. Pour over the top of the cooled pie and smooth out. Eat.

Coconut Chocolate Pie

I made this recipe as a follow up for my Hawaiian friend who had a birthday. I figured, why only celebrate once? It was one of the recipes suggested by my friend, Google. I only modified it slightly. Instead of using a store bought pie crust, I used the recipe I’ve posted before in my Dutch Apple pie for the crust.  I really liked that the coconut flavor was subtle, not in your face. Enjoy!

 

Coconut Chocolate Pie

  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup creme de cocoa liqueur, divided in half

Directions:

Bake the pie crust in a 350° oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. You want to poke the bottom and sides with a fork first.  I weight mine down with parchment paper and some old dried beans. This prevents it from puffing up but can take longer to bake. Allow to cool completely.

In a medium pan; whisk together the milk, coconut milk and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to low. Combine the corn starch and cold water, I like to use a jar for this. Shake well until it’s mixed (no lumps of cornstarch). Slowly pour into the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue stirring until it thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Use a microwave safe bowl and nuke the chocolate in 20 second interval, stirring between, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add in 1/2, or 2 Tbsp, of the cocoa liqueur.

Divide the milk mixture evenly, I like to use 2 identical liquid measuring cups for this. Add the chocolate to one of them. Pour one of the mixtures into the cooled pie shell and smooth out. The original recipe called for the chocolate first but I missed that and poured the coconut first, I don’t think it really matters but I liked the light/dark/light layering. Pour the second mixture and gently smooth out. Refrigerate for at least an hour, longer is better.

Place a mixing bowl and beaters, or whisk attachment if using a stand mixer, in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes. Once cold, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and remaining cocoa liqueur and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of the pie and serve.

Dulce de Leche Pie

So I was requested (more like a demand) that I make a Dulce de Leche recipe. I was pretty sure what was wanted was actually a tres leches cake but that’s another story (turned out I was right). I’ve modified it a bit, like most recipes I make, and I think it turned out pretty good (or so I heard since I didn’t get any). The original recipe called for white chocolate and I didn’t think that really paired well with the leche. The crust is based on the recipe I posted earlier for dark cocoa cookies. Just let them dry out for a day or too. And an added bonus? There’s not baking involved. Enjoy!

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Dulce de Leche pie

Crust:

  • 14 to 16 oz of dark cocoa cookies, crushed (amount depends on your pie tin size)
  • 8 Tbsp melted butter

Filling:

  • 10 Oz chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1 cup dulce de leche (I make my own)

Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chocolate vodka or liqueur (optional)

Directions:

Pulse the cookies in a food processor until fine. Add the melted butter and mix well. Pour into a pie tin and press firmly into the button and up the sides to create a thick crust. Chill.

Place a mixing bowl and beaters, or whisk attachment if using a stand mixer, in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Using a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate by nuking for 20 seconds at a time; stirring in-between until it’s completely melted and smooth. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat again until smooth. Add the dulce de leche and beat again, until smooth.

Take the bowl out of the freezer and beat the heavy cream until it starts to form peaks. Add in the powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into the cream cheese/chocolate/leche mixture until well combined. Pout into the pie shell and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, or until set.

Before serving; put a mixing bowl and beaters, or whisk attachment if using a stand mixer, in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Beat the heavy cream until soft peaks start to form. Add the powdered sugar and chocolate vodka, if using, and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of the set pie and serve.

Dark Cocoa Cookies

So I had a request to make a Dulce de Leche dessert. I gave it some thought, consulted my friend Google, and came up with the idea of a pie. The recipe I found, which I’ll post later, wasn’t exactly what I wanted so I modified it extensively. But one of the things it called for was ground up Oreos for the crust. Unfortunately it called for them WITH the filling, which I thought sounded awful (and way too sweet). So I decided to make my own but more in the style of Paul Newman’s tops & bottoms.  I found this recipe, which is one of the few I haven’t modified really, and they turned out exactly how I wanted. No, in fact, better than what I wanted. Unlike the above mentioned, they were just a tiny bit moist. Well until I let them dry out for my pie. The key is GOOD cocoa. Don’t go buy cheap stuff, like Hershey’s, but true Dutch processed cocoa. The darker the better! Enjoy!

 

Dark Cocoa Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups butter at room temp
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Dutch processed cocoa
  • 1/2 Tsp kosher or fine salt
  • 1 Tsp real vanilla
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups flour

Directions:

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Turn down to low and add the cocoa a little at a time, careful it’s very powdery and will fly everywhere if you’re not careful. Once incorporated, add the salt and vanilla, mix until combined. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time. And each time you want to mix it until all the flour is incorporated. Mix until the dough is mostly dry and crumbly. It’s a fine line here, you don’t want it too moist because you want a crisp cookie; but you don’t want it too dry either. It should stick together but not be sticky at all. Divide it into 2 disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 15 minutes. You want it cold but not so cold it won’t roll out. If it goes longer that 15 minutes then let it warm up at room temp for 15 minutes before trying to roll it out.

Preheat your oven to 350° and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thickness. Again not to thick, you want a crisp cookie after all. I used a couple of pieces of waxed paper and sandwiched the dough between them so it wouldn’t stick. Use a 2″ circle cutter, like a biscuit cutter, to cut out the cookies.

Bake for 8-9 minutes. It’s almost impossible to tell when they’re done because they’re so dark but you should be fine as long as you stick to this range. You may need to adjust slightly depending on your oven. Better a little underdone and needing to be popped back into the oven for a minute or two than over done and burnt.

 

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I’m always on the lookout for gluten free options for desserts. You know, we all have that one friend. This is based off of a recipe from Pati Jinich, who is on PBS. Her recipe calls for pecans, not a fan here so I substituted almonds instead. I added a few other things and bam! A great gluten free dessert. Another bonus? You can make this in your blender. Enjoy.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 Tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1 Tsp Espresso powder
  • 1 Tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350°. Spray a 9″ springform pan with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Set a medium glass or metal bowl over a medium pot with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer. Add in the chopped chocolate and butter, stir until it’s smooth and melted. Set a side to cool slightly.

In a blender, chop the almonds until they are finely ground. Add the eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt and melted chocolate. Blend until smooth. Pour into the pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes our moist but not wet.

Allow it to cool and then release the springform pan. Invert onto a plate and then flip it again. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar, or whip cream or even chocolate sauce. Some berries add a fine touch as well.