Saturday, April 28, 2012

Goat Cheese & Fig Flatbread

I am a huge fan of flatbread. If all pizzas could be made using flatbread, I'd be a very happy person. This is a favorite combination...goat cheese and figs.

1 medium onion, sliced
8 dried figs, sliced
4 ounces goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, place the flatbread. Layer the onions, goat cheese, and onions on top of the flatbread. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is hot and the flatbread is lightly golden.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

A co-worker of mine is considered to be our "guru" at the office. He knows everything about everything. For real. Anytime there's questions about anything, he's the guy to go to. As a thank you, I made him mint chocolate chip cupcakes. It's a thank you that I benefit from as well. When I looked online, I found a recipe that so many other blogs seemed to reference and copy. So, rather than experimenting, I wanted to make sure these cupcakes turned out correctly the first time, I used the same recipe.  Thank you Chasing Delicious for the great recipe!

1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp.
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs, at room temp.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 ounces milk chocolate chips (plus extra for decoration)

Preheat an oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper cups.

Sift together the cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated well. Add both extracts and mix in well.

Add half of the dry mixture into the egg mixture and mix until combined. Add the chopped chocolate to the other half of the dry mixture and set aside. Mix in the buttermilk and mix until combined.

Add the remaining dry mixture with the chopped chocolate into the batter and mix until just combined. Spoon the batter into the lined muffin pan. Each cup should be filled 3/4 of the way.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out just barely clean. Set on a cooling rack.

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Green food coloring

In an electric mixer, mix the butter, heavy cream, and extract together. Add the powdered sugar in batches. Then add the food coloring several drops at a time until you get the desired color.

Makes 2 dozen cupcakes.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Brownie Cake with Berries

This birthday cake has a long tradition in my household. I made it first with my friend Carmen about five years ago for my birthday. I have had it every single year for my birthday since. Coincidentally, today is Carmen's birthday too! Now before I start getting happy birthday wishes, it is not my birthday, but it was one of my co-worker's birthday. Since she got to sample my birthday cake from last year, she request the same for hers.

1 package brownie mix
16 ounces sour cream
2 cups thawed cool whip topping
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chopped fruit, berries (I used blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch round cake pan with aluminum foil and spray with non stick cooking spray.

Prepare brownie batter as directed. Stir in ½ cup sour cream. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes, cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely.

Mix remaining sour cream, cool whip, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Cut brownie horizontally in half. Stack layers on plate, filling with half the sour cream mixture and about half the fruit. Top with remaining sour cream mixture and fruit.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Three Chocolate Mousse Cake

My very dear friend, Kelly, celebrated her 40th birthday recently and unfortunately, I was not in town. However, I tried to make up for it by getting together for a dinner and of course dessert to celebrate her being born! Yay! Her only request for dessert was to make something decadent and chocolately. Love those rules. So here is a three chocolate mousse cake. The bottom layer is a coffee chocolate cake. The next is a dark chocolate mousse, followed by a milk chocolate mousse. Raspberries and champagne were such a nice compliment to the richness of the cake. This also satisfies an item on my 30 Challenging Foods before 30 list.

This recipe is adapted from Chasing Delicious. Fabulous recipes on this blog!

Coffee Chocolate Cake:

4 ounces all purpose flour
1 1/2 ounce unsweetened cocoa powder
8 ounces sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup coffee, freshly brewed, cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk the milk, butter, coffee, vanilla, and eggs together. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out barely clean. Do not overcook! When done, remove from the oven and after about two minutes, remove the cake from the pan and cool on a cooling rack (to prevent it from cooking further).

Milk Chocolate & Dark Chocolate Mousses:

3 cups heavy cream
6 egg yolks
4 ounces honey (I used orange blossom)
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 ounces milk chocolate
7 ounces dark chocolate

In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside in the refrigerator.

Then in a mixing bowl, whip the egg yolks until they reach the ribbon stage (thicken).

Then in a small pan, bring the honey just to the boiling point and then immediately pour the hot honey into the egg mixture while whipping the egg yolks at medium speed. Make sure you are whipping them or else the egg yolks will begin to cook. After all honey is added, increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture is fluffy and completely cool, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Then split the yolk and honey mixture between two separate medium bowls.

Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, mixing after each one to ensure it doesn’t burn. Mix it into one of the bowls with half of the yolk mixture. Work quickly as the mixture will thicken quickly. Add half of the whipped cream mixture and fold in the cream until the mousse is even. Set the milk chocolate aside in the refrigerator

Do the same thing with the dark chocolate. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes to set before assembling.


Place the cake on a plate or cake board. Then take the dark chocolate and spread evenly over the top of the cake. Even the top off. Then spread the milk chocolate over top the dark chocolate layer. Even off the top. Then using a straight knife or icing spreader, run around the side of the cake to even them off.

Refrigerate for several hours (about 4) until set. Serve with champagne (of course) and raspberries.