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chocolate

KN, p.236 “Almond Cherry Chocolate Torte”

We like chocolate cake and we also like brownies because of the denser consistency. But, if we wanted to have a gluten-free chocolate dessert, neither one of Sheila’s go-to recipes would quite work. Sheila played around with some ingredients for the flavor she wanted, and then we both taste-tested the results.

After we poured the cherry juice over the cherries on top of the chilled torte, the dessert was a lot like a mousse in texture. We ate it with and without the juice, with and without the foam, with and without the ice cream. We taste-tested our way through the entire dessert while the photos were taken. My tummy liked it all.

"Almond Cherry Chocolate Torte"
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine (grease cake pan)
  • 2 Tablespoons chocolate powder (unsweetened) (dust pan)
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, broken into sections
  • 1/2 cup whipped butter
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons brewed dark roast coffee
  • 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 5 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup fine almond flour
  • 4 cups frozen cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Lightly grease sides and bottom of a springform cake pan with butter or margarine and dust with cocoa powder.
  3. Place 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate and whipped butter in the top of a double boiler, melt, and whisk together by hand until thoroughly mixed together. Remove from heat.
  4. Using large bowl, an electric mixer, and whisk attachment, whip egg yolks, 1 cup of the sugar, coffee, 1.5 teaspoons of the almond extract, and sea salt until thick and creamy.
  5. Add chocolate/butter mixture and continue to mix until blended.
  6. In a separate bowl and with a clean whisk, beat the egg whites until fluffy, about a minute. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the brown sugar and beat for another two minutes or until peaks form. (Should be stiff enough that a spoonful of the mixture will stay in the spoon when held upside down)
  7. Fold the almond flour into the egg whites, then carefully fold that mixture into the entire chocolate mix.
  8. Pour the batter evenly into the cake pan. There may be lots of bubbles in the mixture. If so, gently, but firmly bounce the pan on the counter once or twice to break up most of them.
  9. Place the pan on a cookie sheet in the middle of the oven and bake until the center puffs and cake edges pull away from the pan, about 40-45 minutes.
  10. Remove pan from oven, place on cooling rack for 40 minutes. As it cools, the center of the torte will collapse a little, creating a depression in which to put the cherries later.
  11. Place the pan on a flat cake plate/stand and remove the sides.
  12. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
  13. Place cherries, water, 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar into a sauce pan and heat on medium heat until sugar melts – about two minutes. Stir.
  14. Place cherries and the resulting juice in a covered container in the refrigerator to soak and chill for two hours.
  15. When chilled, strain the cherries and save the juice.
  16. Spread the cherries evenly in the depression on the top of the torte.
  17. Lovely with ice cream and the cherry juice poured on top.

Cherry Foam: 

If you’d like to make the foam shown in the photo below, use the electric mixer and the whisk attachment. Whisk the well-chilled cherry juice until foamy, about two minutes. This only works while the juice is cold, so work quickly.  Skim off the foam, about two tablespoons for each slice, and use as a light flavorful topping to the dessert. Or just pour the juice on top of the cherries. The flavor will be the same.


Enjoy!  🙂

Photos: by Patti Phillips

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KN, p. 204 “Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins”

 

Sheila tried out a new muffin recipe. And the muffins have PUMPKIN in them. Big smiles here.  She said that these were for breakfast, but since I was hanging around for taste-testing duty, I had the first one for an afternoon snack. She made some with chocolate chips and without, and both types were great. Chocolate and pumpkin, though? Perfect together!

 

In case you were wondering? No bodies anywhere in the kitchen or dining room. I checked before I left. 😉

 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 jumbo muffins
 
Ingredients
  • Topping
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons pecans, chopped and ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Muffins
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed oil (or other nut oil)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached King Arthur flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups organic canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mix topping ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375. Standing mixer - slowest speed. Do not overbeat at any step.
  3. Cream oil and sugar.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until just mixed.
  5. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, a little at a time and mix until evenly moistened.
  6. Add pumpkin puree and mix until just blended.
  7. Add chocolate chips and stir with large spoon until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  8. Divide mix evenly among 6 extra large greased, floured muffin tins (or use jumbo baking cup papers)
  9. Divide topping equally and sprinkle on top of the muffins, about 2 teaspoons each.
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes in center of oven - until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, muffins are springy to the touch, and lightly golden brown.
 

Let rest on cooling rack for five minutes, then enjoy!  🙂

 

 

 

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Kerrian’s Notebook, p.126 “75 Second Mookies”

 

I’ll admit it. I’ve got a sweet tooth. That’s not a secret, but the doc says I should drop ten pounds and that means cutting back on calories. No more eating a dozen cookies in one evening, or having two of those amazing chocolaty chocolate muffins for breakfast, or several of the Vegetarian Detective’s super brownies at one sitting. I could have gotten away with extra helpings of everything before I got sidelined from my very active job, but no more.

 

We plan a pretty balanced menu, with lots of fruits and veggies, but it’s the extra potatoes and slices of pie that do me in. Exercise burns some of it off, but pushing away from the table is the best diet plan out there.

 

The Doc and Sheila and I came up with a way to help me lose the weight and it’s mostly about reducing the desserts. She promised not to bake batches of three dozen cookies/muffins at a time and I promised not to hound her or sneak out to the bakery. The Doc admitted that I might feel deprived if I gave up dessert completely, so the new plan could include a daily ‘something’ for my sweet tooth – just not five daily ‘somethings.’ He hinted that fruit between meals might change my cravings, but I’m hedging my bets on that.

 

So, here’s what Sheila came up with: single serving cookies. That way, there won’t be yummy leftovers calling me from the kitchen, tempting me. She tells me the idea has been around for a long time, but she never had a reason to try it before.

 

I call them mookies, because to me they’re like a cross between a cookie and a muffin. So simple to make, not a lot of cleanup involved and I can make one myself. All you need is a microwave and a few ingredients and in less than ten minutes of prep and cooking time, you’ve got a dessert. 

 

Chocolate Chip Mookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Mookie

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract

pinch sea salt

1 egg yolk

4 Tablespoons King Arthur’s cake flour

2 Tablespoons Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

 

Pumpkin Mookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients for Pumpkin Mookie

1 ½ Tablespoons butter or margarine

2 Tablespoons light brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract

pinch sea salt

1 egg yolk

1 ½ Tablespoons organic pumpkin puree

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 Tablespoons King Arthur’s cake flour

2 Tablespoons Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

(Topping is frozen vanilla yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon)

 

 

Double Chocolate Mookie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients for Double Chocolate Mookie

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract

pinch sea salt

1 teaspoon Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder

1 egg yolk

4 Tablespoons King Arthur’s cake flour

2 Tablespoons Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

 

Preparation for all varieties

Use a medium sized glass or ceramic mixing bowl.

Melt the butter for 20 seconds in the microwave. (Doesn’t have to be completely melted)

Add all ingredients for the chosen mookie to the melted butter.

Mix thoroughly using a fork.

Transfer mookie dough to a ramekin or other cup-sized glass or ceramic dish.

Place in microwave and cook for one minute + 15 seconds (75 seconds).

Serve immediately in the ramekin.

The ramekin will be hot, so handle with care.

 

 

 

 

*Photos by Patti Phillips

 

 

 

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