Now that it’s Fall, I’m back in the baking mood, mostly baking with pumpkin. But two sad, black bananas on the counter prompted this recipe today. It’s delicious and moist! Especially when still warm from the oven.
Cream the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until creamy. Add the two ripe bananas and beat until frothy. Add the vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated, but don't over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes until golden brown on top. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
This rich, chocolate cake is actually derived from a Weight Watchers recipe that takes advantage of low-fat buttermilk, egg whites, and dark chocolate to produce deep flavor with reduced fat. My problem with reduced-guilt dishes like this one is that it’s difficult for me to exert portion control, and the slight decrease in fat and calories is usually overcome by my propensity for eating the whole thing. Oh well. This moist, flavorful cake (without frosting, no less), was a delight.
Enjoy rich, flavorful chocolate cake without the guilt.
Recipe type: Dessert
2 cups all-purpose flour
1¼ cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup unsweetened cocoa - I used Hershey's
1.5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped - I used Scharffen Berger 70%
½ cup boiling water
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
⅓ cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup mini chocolate chips - I used Nestlé Semi-Sweet Chips
Preheat oven to 325˚ F. Spray a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a small, heat-proof bowl, mix cocoa and chopped chocolate. Pour boiling water over the cocoa mixture, stirring until chocolate is completely melted.
In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg, egg white, and vanilla extract. Then stir in (slightly cooled) cocoa mixture. Finally, add the flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until just mixed. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and carefully lift off the pan. Let cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar (through a fine-mesh sieve).
Some of my readers may know that I started working at Common Sense Media early this year. Well, last week, I attended the annual holiday cookie swap for the first time, and there was one cookie that completely knocked me out. They were chocolate-pistachio sablés that had these salt crystals on top which made all of flavors jump right off the cookie. I had to find out who had brought these amazing a little treasures and what the recipe was. Well, parenting editor, Caroline Knorr had brought them and she happily agreed to do a guest post here on StreamingGourmet after I approached her about it. Thank, Caroline! – Amy/StreamingGourmet
Chocolate-Pistachio Sablés for the Annual Holiday Cookie Swap
The annual cookie swap at Common Sense Media is a festive — and dare I say — ultra-competitive event. We have so many talented bakers in our office that you really have to be at the top of your game to stand out. When I received my December issue of Bon Appetit, there were cookies on the cover, and I immediately pounced on the holiday baking feature, assuming that anything I chose from that section would attract attention.
I had actually made that issue’s caraway-rosemary shortbread a few times, thinking that I’d make them for the cookie swap, but though I loved them, I really wanted to make something chocolately for the party. I decided upon the chocolate pistachio sables partly because the recipe made A LOT — we have over 50 people in the office and my biggest fear is cookie shortage — and because the assembly was slice-and-bake logs and I thought it would be faster and more fool-proof than cutting shapes or doing drop cookies.
As for ingredients, I used Ghirardelli cocoa and bittersweet baking chocolate. I had to make a few substitutions because my grocery store didn’t have raw pistachios or maldon salt and the clock was ticking. I had to make do with roasted, salted pistachios in the shell and a sea-salt grinder. I was concerned that this combination would ruin the delicate interplay of salty and sweet flavors in the sables, so I compensated by sprinking on some coarse sanding sugar along with the salt.
The process was fairly simple once the logs were rolled. I was only able to chill them for about 3 hours, which was totally fine. I didn’t use a serrated knife, as the recipe specifies, because I discovered a sharp chef’s knife resulted in a cleaner edge. The only issue I ran into was that a few of the cookies were so crumbly when they came out, they fell right off the rack. That may have been due to the fact that I didn’t roll the logs tight enough — and that was because I didn’t want to make them too tough. No worries, though, my family was happy to eat the broken pieces!
On the day of the swap, I was still concerned that the cookies would be too salty for some tastes ( I loved them, though, but I LOVE salt). If you can find raw pistachios or at least unsalted ones, I would recommend using them or do what I did and sprinkle sugar on top along with the salt.
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghirardellie or Hershey's Special Dark will work)
¾ tsp kosher salt (option if using salted, roasted pistachios)
¼ tsp baking soda
1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1¼ cups (lightly packed) light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg white
5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted, shelled raw pistachios, coarsely chopped
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, kosher salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a stand-mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. It will take about 4 minutes.
Gradually add dry ingredients while mixing on low just to combine.
Add egg white and mix on low to combine as well.
Fold in chocolate and pistachios with a spoon.
Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll each into a ball. Roll each piece into an 8”-long log about 1½” in diameter. If it feels crumbly, mush the dough together more firmly. Wrap tightly in parchment paper and chill until firm, at least 4 hours. (The colder your dough, the easier it will be to slice. If you're rushed for time, you can also use the freezer.)
Preheat to 350°. Working with 1 log of dough at a time and using a serrated knife, cut logs into ¼”-thick rounds and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing ½” apart.
Sprinkle cookies with sea salt and bake, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until set around edges and centers look dry, 10–15 minutes.
For one, I’ve doubled the quantity so that you can use a larger pan (and make more at a time). The larger pan slows down the baking rate a bit, and I think helps keep everything moist. Also, this recipe calls one more egg than the average recipe. Eggs make batters more cakey, and normally, I wouldn’t want my chocolate brownie recipe to be too cakey. If it’s cakey, then it’s not fudgy, right? We’ll the balance of chocolate, butter, flour and eggs in this recipe seems to hit it just right. They’re fudgy and dark, but they hold together well.
One of the other secret ingredients in this recipe is the espresso powder. In the same way that vanilla functions, the espresso gives the chocolate flavor additional depth and complexity. It doesn’t make it taste like coffee, it just anchors the chocolate flavor.
Lastly,the chocolate chips give these brownies texture and additional chocolate umph.
I’ve had a cookie pan similar to the one pictured below for a couple of years and used it only a few times. You can purchase it from Amazon by clicking on it. Today, I thought, what if I try to make madeleines in these molds? They’re about the same size as a madeleine pan. Since it’s Christmas, I’m in the mood for chocolate, so how about chocolate madeleines? I have combined several madeleine recipe sources to create this version. These are relatively simple and quick and make a great holiday gift.
I’ve been making Nestle® Toll House® Cookies for Christmas for 35 years. I’m almost 42, so you do the math. We always sprinkled colored sugar on top. There is no way I know how to improve on the Toll House recipe, except perhaps to add an extra dash of the vanilla extract. And of course, the quality of the chips matters. You can step up to Ghirardelli, or dare I say, Sharffen Berger, but when it comes down to it, Nestlé Semi Sweet Baking Chips really do the trick, and I bought a HUGE bag of them at Costco at the beginning of December, so we’re sticking to the old favorite.
What’s your favorite Christmas Cookie?
Nestle® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies for Christmas
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
I have a soft spot for Roy’s. I celebrated my first wedding anniversary there (in San Francisco) as a way to commemorate our wedding in Hawaii. I went again recently because my office was across the street for a couple of years. I don’t particularly associate chocolate with Roy’s because it’s a Hawaiian fusion restaurant. It’s their Ahi Poke I crave most. But I’m a sucker for molten chocolate cake, so I was thrilled to find that they make their recipe available publicly and that I could make it at home. Rather than making them in rings, I used ramekins. That way I didn’t have to worry about lifting off the ring at the end. If you don’t have the patience to let it refrigerate overnight, refrigerate it for a few hours and let me know how it turns out!
Roy's famous molten chocolate cake has only 5 ingredients.
Recipe type: Dessert
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4 eggs plus 4 egg yolks
12 tbsp. butter
8 oz. semisweet dark chocolate (make sure to use a good quality)
In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. In a separate bowl, mix eggs and yolks together. In a saucepan, bring butter to a simmer, then add the chocolate. Mix until the chocolate is smooth and begins to simmer along the edges. Combine this chocolate mixture with the sugar and cornstarch and mix thoroughly. Add eggs and mix at low speed until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth. Refrigerate overnight in a bowl.
Preheat oven to 375º. Line 4 metal soufflé rings with parchment paper and coat with non-stick spray. On a baking sheet, place each ring on a square of parchment paper. Fill ⅔ of each ring with the filling. Bake for 28-30 minutes. Remove the baking sheet. While holding each mold with tongs, slide a metal spatula underneath and transfer to a plate. Gently lift the mold off, remove the paper and serve with ice cream.
Sometimes you just want the brownie you grew up with – but made with really good chocolate. December 8 is National Brownie Day, so why not celebrate by going out and purchasing a Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar and turning it into an 8×8″ pan of awesomeness? These classic brownies have Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips in them too.
I live near San Francisco, so I learned, shortly after moving here 13 years ago, that it’s pronounced with a gggg as in good. Not a g is in geez. It’s Good Ghirardelli. Now you can be in the know too!
I’m going to be selling them at the Church Christmas Bakesale tomorrow! Nothing like a little chocolate for Christmas. Happy Holidays!
4 oz. Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Bar (1 bar)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
¾ cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square baking pan.
Chop the 4 ounces of semi sweet chocolate bars into 1" pieces. In the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water, melt the 4 chopped chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Stir the brown sugar and vanilla into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs and mix well. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, mixing well until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 2-inch squares.
It’s National Chocolate Parfait Day, so I was inspired to run to the grocery store and whip up a parfait. My goal was to make some delicious and fast. So I opted for instant pudding today, but when I have more time, I’ll go for the home-made version. I did make my own whipped cream, because although most people don’t realize it, making real whipped cream is just about as fast as pulling the canned stuff out of the fridge.
I do have this great tool that enables me to whip with little effort and no noise. It’s a rotary egg beater and they have them on Amazon:
I used the rotary egg beater to whip up the instant pudding and during the 2 minutes that was chilling in the refrigerator I used it to whip up the whipped cream. Done and done.
Now for the layering. I love the flavors of chocolate and cherry together, so I used this lovely Black Cherry jam as one of the layers. It’s difficult to see in the photograph, but it’s lodged between the chocolate pudding and the whipped cream. It’s also available on Amazon if you can’t find it in your local grocery store:
Chocolate pudding, cherry jam and real whipped cream come together for a National Chocolate Parfait Day treat.
Author: Amy Wilson
Recipe type: Dessert
1 package Jell-O instant chocolate pudding
2 cups milk (I use 2%)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6 Tbsp Black Cherry Jam
Using a rotary egg beater (or a whisk), beat the instant pudding mix and milk together for 2 minutes. Let chill and set in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
While the pudding is setting, use a rotary egg beater to beat together the cream, sugar and vanilla. It takes about 3-4 minutes to get nice peaks to form.
Spoon pudding into the bottom of a champagne flute or other tall, narrow glass. Wipe rim with a paper towel to remove chocolate smudges. Spoon in a tablespoon of the jam into each flute, then top with whipped cream and garnish with a chocolate chip or a cherry or anything you like!
Today is National Oatmeal Cookie Day, so I thought it would be perfect to celebrate with these fudgy, chocolate, peanut butter oatmeal cookies that can be made with ingredients typically found in your pantry and cooked (from start to finish) in about 10 minutes. This video below, from the Food Network doesn’t demonstrate the proper technique for making these cookies at all. It’s funny to watch if you know how they’re really made. Read on for the proper technique!
I first learned this recipe in my 7th grade home economics class at Wicomico Junior High School in Maryland in 1983. I remember distinctly our teacher stressing two important factors in the preparation of these cookies. First, you must boil the mixture for exactly one minute. If you boil it for under a minute, the cookies won’t harden. If you boil it for longer than a minute, they will come out dry.
Well, to boil something for exactly one minute requires that you know exactly when to start counting. You need to know what “boiling” looks like. Is it when the bubbles to start to appear around the edge the pan? No. In this case, boiling means that there are bubbles all the way across the surface. Start your stopwatch then.
Once it’s boiled for one minute, then you add the oats, peanut butter and vanilla. It’s important to work quickly, because as it cools, it starts to harden into fudge and you want to have all of your spoonfuls onto the wax paper before it gets too hard.
In a medium saucepan stir add the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Over medium-high heat, bring it to a boil, stirring to help the butter melt. Boiling means that there are bubbles all the way across the top of the liquid. Start your stopwatch now and boil it for exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat and quickly add the peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal and stir to combine.
Working quickly, drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a sheet of waxed paper. They will cool and harden within a few minutes. Voila. You're done!