Tag Archives: coffee

Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake

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This is another easy dessert–the only kind I make– courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen.  I’ve adapted it to bring together one of my favorite flavor combinations; chocolate and orange but I think lemon would be equally as good.  To add depth to the cake, I use a combination of semi sweet and bittersweet chocolate.

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE-ORANGE CAKE

1 pound semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces

1/4 cup strong coffee

Zest from 1 orange

8 large eggs, cold

Confectioners sugar or cocoa powder (for serving)

12 orange or Mandarin sections (for serving)

2 ounces dark chocolate melted (for serving)

Colored sugar crystals (for serving)

  • Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly coat an 8-inch spring form pan with vegetable oil spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper.  Wrap the outside of the pan with two sheets of heavy-duty foil and set in a large roasting plan.  Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
  • Heat the chocolate, butter, and coffee together in a large bowl in the microwave, whisking often, until the mixture is melted and smooth, 1 to 3 minutes.  Let cool slightly.
  • Fold the orange zest into the chocolate mixture.
  • Whip the eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until they double in volume, 5 to 10 minutes.  Fold one-third of the whipped eggs into the chocolate mixture using a large rubber spatula until only a few streaks of egg are visible.  Repeat twice more with the remaining eggs, then continue to fold until there are no more streaks.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan inside of the roasting pan and smooth the top.  Set the roasting pan on the oven rack and pour the boiling water into the roasting pan until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the cake pan.  Bake until the edges are just beginning to set, a thin glazed crust has formed on the surface, and an instant read thermometer inserted halfway into the center reads 140 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the spring form pan from the water bath and let cool completely on a wire rack, about 3 hours.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, run a paring knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, then remove the sides of the pan.  Invert the cake on a parchment-lined plate and peel off the parchment from the bottom.  Flip the cake upright onto a serving platter, discard the second piece of parchment, and let come to room temperature.
  • Dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar.
  • Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave and dip each orange section into the melted chocolate then dip in colored sugar crystals.  Place evenly along the edges of the cake.

YIELD:  one 8 or 9 inch cake; serves 10 to 12

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Tiramisu Bread

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Here’s an creative twist on one of my family’s favorite desserts. Yes I’m bragging when I say I make a mean tiramisu but because it is my most requested dessert I dare say it is really that good. So you can imagine my excitement when I came across a recipe for tiramisu bread courtesy of the always awesome Yankee Kitchen Ninja website. Yes, tiramisu bread. It has all of the goodness of the traditional dessert–mascarpone cheese, chocolate, and coffee–baked into a loaf of dessert bread. This is so good that it is sure to become another family favorite.

I made some adaptions from the original recipe. Instead of sour milk I used fresh buttermilk (honestly, because for some reason I had a lot on hand). The Ninj drizzled marsala wine over the top of her bread whereas I used Frangelico liqueur again because it was what I had available. (For those who don’t know, Frangelico is a hazelnut liqueur which is quite tasty on its own over ice or mixed into hot cocoa). Feel free to use whatever liqueur you think would pair well with coffee and cocoa; you can’t go wrong.

TIRAMISU BREAD

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon water
1 8-ounce package mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 ounces Frangelico liqueur

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In another small bowl, whisk together the cocoa, coffee granules and water until well combined. Set both bowls aside.
  • With a mixer, cream together the mascarpone and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each, then beat in the vanilla.
  • Alternately beat in the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour, until just combined.
  • Remove half the batter and place it in a separate bowl. Add the cocoa mixture to it and stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Into a prepared loaf pan, alternately place half of the vanilla mixture then half of the chocolate mixture on the bottom of the pan. Repeat with the remaining vanilla and chocolate mixtures placing the vanilla on top of the chocolate and the chocolate on top of the vanilla.
  • Swirl a butter knife through the alternating section to create the marbling effect.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Using a skewer, poke a bunch of holes into the top of the bread and pour the Frangelico liqueur all over the top. It will be completely absorbed within a few minutes.
  • Cool the bread in the pan for 15 minutes, then unmold it and cool it completely on a wire rack.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream, For Ice Cream!

Its National Ice Cream day and nothing tastes better than the homemade version. So pick your favorite ingredients and whip up a batch today:

 

A non-dairy option:

 

Technically not ice cream but cold and tasty just the same:

 

Double Coffee Chocolate Crazy Cake w/ Coffee Buttercream

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Chocolate cake is good. Chocolate cake infused with coffee is even better. And when there are two types of coffee–a rich roasted drip coffee and a healthy dose of coffee liqueur–chocolate cake is even better. Go all out and top it with a mocha buttercream or a simply dusting of confectioners sugar. Either way, you have a winner. This cake, adapted from Sweet Little Bluebird, is all that and then more.

This cake is a version of a crazy cake, meaning it contains no eggs, milk or butter. The batter can also be mixed right in the baking pan meaning no mixing bowls are required. I stumbled upon crazy cakes when we had arrived in Albania in 2011. While we were living in our house all of our household goods were making their way across the Atlantic Ocean towards Europe so my kitchen was pretty barren. The Embassy had provided us with a “welcome kit” which contained the basics needed to live until our own household goods arrived. The stash of kitchen supplies included a cake pan but no mixing bowls and an electric mixer certainly was not included. We were invited to a potluck picnic and as I struggled to come up with our contribution, I discovered crazy cakes.

Since then I’ve been experimenting with versions of crazy cakes, adding and subtracting ingredients as I have them. The basic principle behind them remains the same though;flour, sugar, a liquid, oil and a touch of vinegar. They are truly foolproof. So if you ever find yourself in transition, or in a less than well equipped kitchen, why not try your hand at a crazy cake. And even if you have a fully equipped kitchen but don’t feel like breaking out the bowls and mixers, try this cake. You won’t be disappointed. The buttercream is optional……

DOUBLE COFFEE CHOCOLATE CRAZY CAKE w/ COFFEE BUTTERCREAM

For the cake:

3 cups all purpose flour
3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups brewed coffee, at room temperature
1/2 cup coffee liqueur, I like Illy brand

For the buttercream:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

2-4 tablespoons coffee liqueur, as needed

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt in a greased 9 x 13 baking baking pan.
  • Make 3 depressions in dry ingredients – two small, one larger.
  • Pour the vinegar in one depression, the vanilla in the other and the vegetable oil in third larger depression.
  • Pour the coffee and the coffee liqueur over the entire mixture.
  • Mix well until  the batter is smooth.
  • Bake on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the buttercream by whipping together the softened butter and sugar in a standing mixer fitted with a wire whip.
  • Add the coffee liqueur, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat the buttercream for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  • When the cake is completely cool, pipe or smooth on the buttercream.

Serves 16

Bacon Jam

The old adage that everything is better with bacon holds true.  In my quest for new bacon related recipes I stumbled upon this one from King Arthur Flour.  Because it is made in a crock pot, the hands on time for this dish is minimal and your entire house will be filled with the sweet and salty aroma of this jam before you are done.  I was initially taken aback by the ingredients, which individually I love but I just couldn’t fathom being put together as a single dish (maple syrup mixed with coffee???), but the results surprised me……..after all everything is better with bacon.  Whether served on bread slices and paired with a salad for a light dinner or paired with bread and goat cheese as part of a buffet table, this jam is a hit.

Not having boiled cider on hand, and being unable to have it shipped to me, I improvised by making a reduction of apple juice cooked with a whole cinnamon stick and five whole cloves.  The result isn’t quite the same but the resulting syrup seemed to do the trick.

BACON JAM
 
1 1/2 pounds bacon
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup boiled cider
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
2 dried bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
  • Slice the bacon into 1″ slices and cook in a large skillet until well browned.  Drain the fat and reserve the bacon.
  • Place the cooked bacon and all other ingredients into a 2 quart or larger crock pot.  Cover and cook  on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  •  Remove the cooked jam from the crock pot, remove the bay leaves, and carefully transfer to a food processor or blender.  (I used a bowl and my trusty stick blender).
  • Pulse until the consistency is to your liking, a soft, spreadable jam.  You can leave the bacon in larger bits or pulse until very small, your choice.
  • If you find the jam too liquid for your taste, transfer to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the liquid has evaporated and the jam is thick and syrupy.  Adjust the seasonings and serve warm.
  •  Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Warm in the microwave before serving.
Yield:  2 cups

 

Bacon Jam

 

The old adage that everything is better with bacon holds true.  In my quest for new bacon related recipes I stumbled upon this one from King Arthur Flour.  Because it is made in a crock pot, the hands on time for this dish is minimal and your entire house will be filled with the sweet and salty aroma of this jam before you are done.  I was initially taken aback by the ingredients, which individually I love but I just couldn’t fathom being put together as a single dish (maple syrup mixed with coffee???), but the results surprised me……..after all everything is better with bacon.  Whether served on bread slices and paired with a salad for a light dinner or paired with bread and goat cheese as part of a buffet table, this jam is a hit.

BACON JAM
 
1 1/2 pounds bacon
2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup boiled cider
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
  •  Slice the bacon into 1″ slices and cook in a large skillet until well browned.  Drain the fat and reserve the bacon.
  • Place the cooked bacon and all other ingredients into a 2 quart or larger crock pot.  Cover and cook  on high for 3 to 4 hours.

  • Remove the cooked jam from the crock pot, remove the bay leaves, and carefully transfer to a food processor or blender.  (I used a bowl and my trusty stick blender).  Pulse until the consistency is to your liking, a soft, spreadable jam.  You can leave the bacon in larger bits or pulse until very small, depending upon your personal preferences.
  • If you find the jam too liquid for your taste, transfer to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the liquid has evaporated and the jam is thick and syrupy.  Adjust the seasonings and serve warm.
  • Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Warm in the microwave before serving.
Yield:  2 cups

 

Chocolate Bacon Cake

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I’m a huge fan of combining sweet and savory, sweet and salty and in particular, salty with chocolate. The best combination by far is the combination of rich and sweet chocolate with salty bacon. Yes, that is right, chocolate and bacon. Chocolate is pretty darn good on its own but since everything is better with bacon, the combination is like eating a little bit of heaven. I’ve combined these ingredients before with a chocolate bacon chip ice cream as well as in the form of chocolate ganache and caramel covered bacon. And now I’m doing it again with a chocolate bacon cake from The Noble Pig. These little cakes have it all. Crispy bacon, rich chocolate and if that wasn’t enough a dash of espresso powder and dark brewed coffee. Using both brown sugar and white sugar adds richness and the resulting cakes are super moist and delicious as a dessert or a snack.

Rather than making a single loaf cake, I baked eight miniature sized loaves. I think they make for a prettier presentation and also make them more portable and easier to share which is important since my husband recently brought a batch of these little goodies into his office for their morning coffee break. If you prefer to bake a single cake, use an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan and increase the cooking time to 70 to 75 minutes.

 

CHOCOLATE BACON CAKE

For the cakes:

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee, cold
1/4 cup whole milk
8 slices crisply cooked bacon, finely chopped, divided
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips plus more for decorating top

For the glaze:

6 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Lightly grease an 8 loaf miniature loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Beat together butter, sugars, cocoa, salt, vanilla, espresso powder and baking powder for two minutes. Scrape down bowl.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again.
  • Add half the flour, beating to combine on low speed.
  • Add the coffee, then remaining flour and all of the milk. Beat gently just until combined. Do not overmix.
  • Stir in bacon, reserving 1/4 cup for the topping. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from oven and run a knife around the edges of each pan. Let cool in the pan at least 15 minutes before turning out of the pan. Let cool completely.
  • For the glaze, place all ingredients in a small pan and heat over low heat until melted.
  • Let cool and thicken slightly before drizzling over cooled loaves.
  • Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup bacon and extra chocolate chips.
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