Bittersweet Chocolate Budino Cake

Chocolate Budino Cake

I usually take my chocolate straight and dark, thank you very much. But the next best thing to nibbling on a slab of chocolate is when it’s baked in a warm, sludgy cake. It’s what I want to eat slowly with a spoon on a chilly night, sitting by the fire.

Italian chocolate pudding cake

Budino is an Italian pudding, and can be either sweet or savory. I think of this recipe like a soft-centered brownie baked in a cup – a chocolate pudding cake. I like to use cocoa nibs for an extra hit of chocolate and a little crunch.

Chocolate Budino Cake

Bittersweet Chocolate Budino Cake

Ingredients

1 cup (8 ounces) chopped dark chocolate

4 tablespoons butter, plus more for buttering ramekins

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cocoa nibs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter 4 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups.
  2. Place the chocolate and 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth; set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Beat the sugars, eggs, vanilla and salt in an electric mixer until pale and thickened. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Stir in half the chocolate mixture; once it’s blended add the remaining chocolate and stir until smooth.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into the ramekins; sprinkle some nibs over each. Place the ramekins in a shallow baking dish or on a sheet pan. Bake about 15 minutes, or until the cakes are puffed on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out coated with moist batter.
  5. Serve warm.
http://familystylefood.com/2012/09/bittersweet-chocolate-budino-cake/

Mochaccino Sparkle Cookies

These fudgy, sparkling cookies were my favorite holiday baking recipe this season. I wanted to bake an assortment of cookies that would hold up for packing and shipping across the country as gifts and they worked perfectly.

Also in the mix were my go-to Lemon Biscotti flavored with pistachio; hazelnut shortbread and peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies. The sparkles were my chocolate pick – I love their crackled tops, chewy-crunchy texture and layers of spice and espresso in each bite.

I promised a few people I’d share the recipe, so here it is!
Happy New Year – I hope it’s a sweet and delicious 2012.

Mochaccino Sparkle Cookies

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies

Based on a recipe from BHG

Ingredients

2/3 cup (11 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup natural cane sugar

1 ½ cups cocoa powder

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon salt

4 egg whites

1 cup plain yogurt

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sanding sugar, turbinado sugar or granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter in a standing mixer bowl on medium-high speed until light, about 1 minute. Add the sugars, cocoa, espresso, baking soda, spices and salt and beat until combined. Beat in the egg whites and yogurt.
  2. Slow the mixer speed to stir and add flour in 1 cup additions until just blended - do not overmix. Cover the mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator until the dough is easy to scoop.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop balls of dough (I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon size scoop), roll them generously in sugar and arrange on the baking sheets at least 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake cookies in batches about 12 minutes or until the edges are just firm. It's okay to underbake the middles slightly if you like a more chewy center. Cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.
http://familystylefood.com/2012/01/mochaccino-sparkle-cookies/

Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream

chocolate-truffle-ice-cream-recipe

I’m a purist when it comes to ice cream; not a fan of those what-the-hell flavors that pose as ice cream but are actually a totally different category of dessert – pumpkin pie, cotton candy and wedding cake come to mind.

I avoid distracting mix-ins like swirling candy rainbows, chunks of cake, cookies or even chocolate chips. That stuff just gets in the way.

When I indulge in ice cream, I want to be focused on the very essence of it: cream, air and sugar. I want smooth, super-luscious cream floating in my mouth; sweet, butterfatty custard in easy to understand flavors like vanilla, strawberry or chocolate.

chocolate-truffle-ice-cream-recipe

Making homemade ice cream isn’t difficult, but it does involve some patience and maybe a tiny bit of bravery during certain delicate steps such as making the custard base on the stovetop (scrambled eggs are not fun in ice cream, and neither is throwing them out and starting all over).

The demand and production of ultra-premium “artisanal” ice cream is growing. If you live or visit a city that has small shops like Jeni’s in Columbus, Ohio or Van Leeuwen in New York City, well lucky you. Bypass the recipe below and go out on the town!

But if you have some time, an inexpensive electric ice cream maker and the desire for indulgence, you can make this rich, not-too-sweet ice cream in your kitchen. The texture is very much like the inside of a chocolate truffle, only much colder…

chocolate-truffle-ice-cream-recipe

Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream

Serving Size: 1 quart

Ingredients

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

8 egg yolks

1 cup brown sugar

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

1/3 cup cocoa powder, plus more for serving

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water. Let the chocolate melt, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in an electric mixer until thickened and pale, about 5 minutes on medium-high speed.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the cream, milk, cocoa and salt in a saucepan. Bring the mixture just to a boil - when little bubbles form around the edges of the pan, you're done. Transfer to a container with a pouring spout (like a Pyrex liquid measure) and slowly drizzle into the egg mixture on low speed.
  4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook for 5 - 7 minutes over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened enough that the whisk leaves a trail in the pan. If you want to be sure, the temperature should read 175 degrees on an instant thermometer.
  5. Whisk the melted chocolate into the custard until completely smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until very cold - at least 6 hours or overnight.
  6. Scrape the mixture into an ice cream maker (it will be thick) and churn according to directions. You can serve right away, or transfer to a container to freeze for a few more hours. Scoop truffle-sized servings and dust with cocoa powder.
http://familystylefood.com/2011/07/chocolate-truffle-ice-cream/