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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

The other day, I had an out of body experience. I found myself roaming around the kitchen- I’m not even exactly sure how I got there in the first place. One minute I was furtively catching up on Oprah’s latest soul series book, and the next I was rifling through cupboards and and standing in front of the open fridge trying to find something- anything- to fill the chocolate-shaped hole in my heart.

The only problem was that the usual suspects just weren’t going to cut it. All winter I had craved oozing, rich, wet, dark chocolate dishes. But now that spring was here and I had actually started working out, I couldn’t stomach that kind of guilt. I needed something wholesome which could at least reasonably pass as healthy…and which would still satisfy my choco craving.

But the perfect recipe just wasn’t appearing. So with hesitant hands (but an even shakier hankering for chocolate), I jotted down an original recipe. Holla:

8 oz. semisweet chocolate

12 T. flaxseed

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

2 t. baking powder

3 eggs

1 t. vanilla

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and let cool slightly. In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in the melted chocolate. Finally, stir in the rolled oats and chocolate chunks. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 11-12 minutes.

Mmm, mmm. Mmm. MmmmmmmMM. …And they’re healthy, right? 🙂

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On a recent baking spree, I experimented with all sorts of new recipes for cakes and cupcakes. Soon to be posted are the results of my experimentation. There are some great red velvet cupcakes with a gooey chocolate ganache surprise inside, which would be ideal to serve that special someone for Valentine’s Day. There is also a good old fashioned carrot cake, which I adapted from my famous carrot cake cupcakes. And I also took inspiration from Cupcake Bake Shop and attempted a Japanese chocolate cupcake with sweet red bean filling and green tea icing.

BUT after baking my little heart out, I got to thinking of ways to make cupcakes a little more unique. While the possibilities in flavor and texture combinations is always enough to keep me interested in cupcake baking, sometimes it’s fun to shake things up a bit. I got to thinking of how I would go about making a pyramid cake.

Now, I have to admit my fascination with the idea came from a couple other expert sources. First, Philadelphia’s Naked Chocolate Cafe serves a specialty dessert called the Nudo which is essentially a pyramid-shaped brownie, crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Oh. My. Gosh. Having spent many evenings during my college days in Philly at Naked Chocolate sampling their menu, I still get a little breathless thinking of the visual, textural, rich feast that is the Nudo:

nudo

I am also waiting for the right moment to attempt Fran Bigelow’s pyramid cake. Made from cutting up and re-assembling a sheet layer cake, this dessert is visually striking, and I cannot wait to report on my experience with it. You should take a look at her excellent cookbook, Pure Chocolate:

pure chocolate

But how to make a triangular/pyramid cupcake? While there are special molds available on the marketplace, I recently found a more resourceful solution in Gale Gand’s book Just a Bite. Gand explains that she uses the conical paper cups used with water cooler tanks- we’ve all seen them. Isn’t that too clever to resist??!!

Using any cake batter recipe, fill the paper cups up to ½ inch from the top rim. Before filling, the inside of the cups must be well buttered, all the way down to the bottom point. To bake the cups standing upright on their points, you must assemble holders from tin foil. Crumple the foil up and around the point of the cone, and place it inside a muffin tin for support. If the batter rises up beyond the top rim during baking, trim it flat using a serrated knife after it cools.

I cannot begin to imagine all the decorating options here. Gand recommends drizzling with dark and white chocolate. And they’d be perfect witches’ hats for Halloween! Or Christmas trees:

trees

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