Sometimes you really luck out and a recipe is simple, elegant andreally easy.The chocolate creme caramels called for the simplest of ingredients that are pretty much always in my house.The only trick was making sure that the caramel didn’t burn.After getting it into the cups I was a little worried because it set so quickly.I moved on ahead and got the cholately goodness into the cups and water bath.Once chilled in the fridge they didn’t look too spectacular.It’s crazy how elegant these look after plating. The caramel melted perfectly. These were pretty intense with the early gray flavor, chocolate and caramel. The size was perfect and I love that you can make them ahead. I was also worried about getting them out but after a little coaxing they came out just fine. These would be great for a dessert with friends and a little espresso.
We got a rare bit of rain in the Phoenix desert this week and it seemed perfect to make Real Hot Chocolate.It was so simple and so satisfying. A little milk, dark chocolate, sugar and a pinch of salt was all that was needed for a very satisfying drink.Notice the fancy marshmallows topping of the hot chocolate. These are courtesy of my husband Scott who decided to make some giant vanilla marshmallow squares to top this off.The hot chocolate was great and I really appreciated Scott going the extra mile and I think the marshmallow’s really made this special.
This has got to be the least amount of work for the biggest payoff in this entire book.We’re not supposed to publish the recipes for this book but I feel like it’s impossible to talk about this without doing that. Melt the melty stuff, toss with the other ingredients and then scoop it into some mini paper cups. These are delicious and actually end up looking fancy, or at least way fancier than the effort it took to make. They’re also kind of addictive so be sure to share.
I’m a little out of energy this week but I did manage to get the madeleines done. I decided to brown my butter because I love the smell and find it oddly comforting. I liked how these turned out and they were a pretty great portion size. I called these chocolate lime madeleines to everyone who wanted to taste them since I thought that was a bit more accurate.For some reason Scott only shot the backs of the madeleines so it’s hard to see how pretty they came out even if they were a little full. It was a rough weekend so I’m glad this recipe got done and it tasted good too.
I’ve been kind of dreading making granola cake since I first got Baking Chez Moi. For some reason it just didn’t seem very appetizing. So glad my fears were completely misplaced for this one.This recipe had a bit more ingredients than usual with the strangest being granola. Fortunately I had recently made a batch of Garland’s granola from Sharing the Table. It is so, so good and simple to make.I tried to break up the biggest clumps in my granola and I used the unsweetened coconut flakes you can get at Sprouts. I love the unsweetened flakes, they have a great taste without the scratchy texture of sugared and shredded coconut.Everything came together pretty quick and I was starting to feel hopeful about the taste because everything smelled so good. My batter was the consistency of a chocolate chip cookie dough.I was pretty nervous after getting this into the pan because I really had to spatula the batter into the pan rather than pour it.I took the cake out before the timer went off because it just smelled ready to me. It kind of looked like a giant cookie in the pan.The cake came out of the pan looking a lot more like a cake or maybe kind of like a bar. I had it with some early gray tea and the cake was so good. Dense and chewy texture with great flavor. Almost like a brownie in a way. This recipe will definitely go into my rotation for when I have some homemade granola hanging around.
This time of year is always jam packed for us. Phoenix weather finally cools down and the aspen and oak trees start to put on a show up north. It was nice to have a homey recipe that was familiar with a twist.Everything was pretty standard except for the almond flour as far as ingredients go.Pretty standard cookie recipe again with the exception of adding almond flour near the end. I’ve never made chocolate chip cookies with a stand mixer and it went well. The golf ball size dough balls were quite a bit bigger than my standard recipe and I was a little worried. The smell of fresh cookies even roused our senior French Lita to come and see if she could grab a bite. Even after 12 years she still thinks we’re going to let her eat chocolate. Hope springs eternal.The flattening of the dough balls was strange for me. Not something I’ve ever done with chocolate chip cookies. I was pretty worried at this point but also relieved that the dough hadn’t spread to large.I liked the little bit of crackle the flattening gave the cookies. Although they kind of reminded me of something you’d pull out of a package since they all stacked so nice and flat.These were pretty great. I would love to make these anytime I had to package up cookies really neat. I really liked them best the day they were made. They were pretty intensely chewy by day two but still tasted good.
I have a love of right-from-the-box popsicles and icy treats. It was nice to make a fudgy homemade version for a change.Luckily I already had some molds and the ingredients were pretty simple.
This recipe called for a lot of different bowls and mixing but was overall pretty simple. Scott has been baking lately so I had him help me out with this one so he could practice folding. Considering the final result I think he did a pretty great job. We used the food processor to chop the chocolate.
Filling the molds was easy and mine made quite a few pops since they were rather small.
The pops were smooth, almost reminiscent of a pudding pop with the chocolate chips adding contrast. Our pops didn’t have a strong liquor flavor. Maybe because coffee is such a nice complement to the dark chocolate it ended up being more of an undertone. Nice little treat for the summer.
Life has been busier than usual and I’ve found myself dog piling both my monthly recipes into one post. I caved in and bought a Kitchen Aid mixer and I’m finding there is a bit of a learning curve.
Betty’s Chocoholic Cake
This recipe called for a ridiculous amount of butter and made for a very rich cake.The batter was a fairly simple mix of mostly butter, egg and chocolate.I’m definitely learning how powerful a stand mixer is the hard way. My layers baked up quite bubbly. Luckily after assembly with the chocolate ganache it wasn’t all that noticeable. White chocolate curls seem to cover a multitude of bubbly sins.I was worried this would be too rich and I would prefer my slice with a little dollop of sour cream. However, the taste testers seemed to have no problem making their way through and it got pretty rave reviews. I would definitely save this for a special occasion.
Everything about this cake was simple yet luxurious. I think it’s worth keeping the cupboards stocked with orange-flower water and pearl sugar so this can be made through the summer.I love tend to love yeast-risen baked goods and this cake was no exception. The batter was quite thick and it would have been quite the challenge to make without a stand mixer.This cake was perfect to make on a warm Arizona day. My house is the perfect temperature to rise dough and when it is time to make the cake it doesn’t take all that long in the oven.My baked cake turned out beautiful and I even cut it easily. Things went a little awry after filling when I put the cake top turned to the wrong side. Trying to correct it only made things goofier. Luckily the great taste and texture overcame the wonky visual result.We loved this cake. The crunchy pearl sugar and flavored cream were perfect with the brioche dough. I feel like I will be making it several times this summer.
Sometimes recipes bring about confessions that would otherwise remain unsaid. Mine is that I don’t particularly care for macaroons. So while not particularly excited for this recipe I was very excited about the simple ingredients, all of which I already had in my house.The batter for the merge cookie portion turned out to be quite a bit easier to make than I had anticipated. A few ingredients sifted together and folded into some meringue.Even the piping wasn’t as bad as I had thought. I was very grateful that this recipe had a picture as otherwise I would have been obsessing about how imperfect the cookies were.The ganache turned out to be simple as well. I actually made it in the microwave and used the refrigerator to cool it down. After piping ganache onto the cooled cookies I decided to take a taste of the leftover chocolate. It was so delicious it seriously diminished my guilt over just eating straight frosting.When the ganache sandwiched in the cookies firmed up I wanted to try one to give my honest review so decided to split one with Scott. To my surprise I really liked it. The crunch and subtle almond flavor went really well with the rich and creamy ganache. We decided they were the sandwich cookie that you wish you got in packages from the store. One of the great things about baking through this book is the surprises I get about my own palate.
February was all about chocolate. I’ve been hit with a horrible flu so Scott truly made these for me while I supervised and briefly stepped in a few times to assist. It’s funny how much he loves taking pictures of baking but really doesn’t like the baking itself. Regardless he did an excellent job at making these as they both turned out great. I was lucky to have my older sister bake along with me on one of these as well.
Soft-Centered Chocolate Teacup Cakes
These little chocolate cakes were pretty amazing in their simplicity. I typically have some version of these ingredients in my cupboard.
These were pretty straight forward with melty chocolate and fluffy eggs. The only tricky part was folding them together. I got a little worried about deflating the eggs but in the end it came together pretty well.
We ended up placing the chocolate closer to the top third than the middle which made a really pretty presentation from the first spoonful.
These were pretty tasty and a bit easier than we both expected. While I really liked the favor I’m not sure I would make them again. They are pretty reliant on timing if you want to serve them hot and are also readily available in restaurants.
Hot Chocolate Panna Cotta
When we picked these recipes in January it was still cold in Phoenix and I was pretty bummed that the hot chocolate panna cotta was a winter pick. Despite the name it’s actually a cold dessert that doesn’t require the use of an oven. Luckily, my sister Julie lives in New Zealand where it’s the middle of hot, hot summer so I convinced her to make it with me.
Christie & Scott:
I can’t wait for summer to make these again. For me, this is a perfect Phoenix dessert. Rich and chocolatey but cool and comforting and I never have to turn my oven on.
I flavoured it with a mild chai tea. I only strained it once, due to the chocolate not being in a big enough container to put all the liquid in there. If I did it again I would melt the choc in a bigger one. It smells delicious! Very hard to ‘discard’ the strained milky chocolatey goodness!!
So, it is like mega hot today and I am really looking forward to eating one of these after dinner! Not only that, but there was no added sugar (just the sugar in the choccie) so they are kinda compliant with the higher fat/lower carb diet kick we are on (I know, I know, but it’s better than sugary pavlova or something like that).
I had mine with blueberries a splash of Bailey’s Irish cream on top. Yum!
Paul (Julie’s husband) thought the form and texture was really good, smooth and not gluggy. We couldn’t taste the mild chai tea flavour in the end, so would recommend something a little stronger (85% chocolate is pretty strong). All in all, it was a great treat for a hot summer’s day and definitely satisfies a chocolate craving!