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).
After completely overdoing it at the office cookie swap in December, I decided to pull myself together and start eating mindfully. I’m feeling a lot better and have even lost 10 lbs without feeling like I’m trying that hard. I’m eating super healthy foods in quantities that my body needs to not feel full. I’ve cut down on caffeine too and rarely have dairy or refined sugar. But I don’t feel deprived. I’m going to see how far this approach can take me.
I’ve turned to Pinterest to find new inspiration for recipes and have started a board called “Getting Healthy in 2014” Come follow along!
Quinoa, Kale, Pomegranate seeds! It's a superfood extravaganza.
Recipe type: Appetizer
1 cup red quinoa
Sea salt to taste
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
¼ cup Maille Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Maille Old Style whole grain Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 10 oz bag of chopped Lacinato kale
About ¾ of a 10 oz bag of Trader Joe's shredded Brussels Sprouts
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup roasted, salted pecans
¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
Bring 2 cups of water or vegetable stock to boil. Add quinoa and simmer on low for about 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl for cooling.
In a really large bowl (the largest bowl you have), zest the lemon and squeeze out the lemon juice. Add the oil, vinegar and both mustards. Whisk vigorously until completely emulsified and smooth.
Add the quinoa to the bowl (when it's cool) and toss to coat.
Now add the kale, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, pecans, and pomegranate seeds and toss to coat completely. Allow this mixture to sit for several hours (in the fridge would be ideal) to soften the kale leaves and Brussels sprouts.
Enjoy. Can be stored in a sealed contained and enjoyed the following day as well.
These Chocolate Espresso Brownie Cookies take things to a new level by bringing the fudginess and chocolatiness of brownies, to a cookie – and don’t forget the chips! Since these cookies have a higher ratio of chocolate to flour than average, the batter is not at all firm. You must use parchment paper, and basically spoon drop the batter (which will spread) onto the cookie sheet.
The softness of the cookies does make them more challenging than usual to remove from the pan once cooked, so allow them to cool first before even trying.
It’s all worth it for that melt-in-your-mouth, death-by-chocolate taste.
3 oz semi-sweet (62%-70% Scharffen Berger) chocolate, chopped into bits
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (Guittard are great)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp espresso powder
¾ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
In a double boiler (I put a pyrex bowl on top of a pan of boiling water), combine the chocolate, half of the chocolate chips and the butter, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar and espresso powder on high speed until very thick, about 3 minutes.
Slowly add the melted chocolate mixture to the bowl, whisking just until combined.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix with a spoon until just combined. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips.
Spoon heaping tablespoons of batter about 2 inches apart onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. The batter will be looser than normal cookie dough batter and will spread a bit. Sprinkle with sprinkles. Refrigerate batter between batches.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are cracked and puffed on top.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before transferring to a platter.
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.
Now that it almost October, I’m starting to go pumpkin crazy again. This month’s issue of Fine Cooking features Holiday Pumpkin Desserts on the cover, and I was inspired by a Bundt cake featured inside. I adapted this recipe from that one, pumping up the spice a bit and making other little tweaks. The result is a moist flavorful pumpkin cake that was a hit at the church coffee hour this morning. Bundt cakes are so rewarding because they always come out looking great and aren’t that difficult to pull off. Powdered sugar is the perfect finish and a lot easier than frosting!
The filling includes crystallized ginger mixed in with the cream cheese and sour cream. Don’t skip it. It makes it have real zing. To finely chop it, I just dumped it in this MiniPrep:
And to grind the nutmeg, I used a microplane grater, like this one:
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake With Peekaboo Cream Cheese Filling
My kids (8 and 5) absolutely adore pizza. Not broccoli pizza. But pizza with cheese, a little red sauce (not too much) and shredded grilled chicken. This pizza dough works like a charm. The rye flour gives it a rich, nutty flavor that I absolutely love. Using the Reinhart method of slow rising in the fridge and minimal kneading means I can make it in the morning while we’re all getting ready for the day, have rise in the fridge while we’re at work and school and then voila: it’s ready to go when we return home.
The dough does need to sit out for an hour after being refrigerated, but if you pop it out of the fridge as soon as you walk in the door, it’s about ready to go when the oven is preheated and the fixin’s are ready.
Dark Rye deepens the flavor of this pizza crust. Sweet and nutty, this dough satisfies adults and children alike!
Author: Amy Wilson/StreamingGourmet
Recipe type: Bread
2 cups dark rye flour
2 cups Animo Caputo "00" flour
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
2 Tbsp olive oil
1¾ - 2 cups of warm water
Combine all ingredients with the mixing paddles of your stand-up mixer. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Swap in dough-hook and need on a medium setting for 5 minutes. The dough will still be rather sticky.
Separate dough into two pieces and place each in an oiled freezer bag. Place the bags in the refrigerator (or in the freezer if you don't intend to use them with 48 hours). When you are ready to use the dough, remove it from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before it's time to bake it. The dough needs to come to room temperature (in the bag so that it doesn't dry out).
Roll the dough out into a large circle on a pizza pan that has been sprayed with a little nonstick cooking spray. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 450˚F for about 5 minutes. Then add the sauce and toppings and bake for an additional 10 minutes or so.
As summer draws to a close, it’s time to pause one last time and acknowledge the plum. All summer long, they have been a staple in my weekly CSA box and I have been thinking I must make an upside-down cake.
This one is particularly easy. I made it before work this morning while also packing lunches and preparing breakfast for my two kids. Slice the fruit and mix the batter. That was about it.
The great news is the cake come out light and fluffy and the plums work their own magic so the end result is delicious. I’ve added twice the normal amount of vanilla in this recipe which made the flavor of the cake really pop.
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 baked these for the church bake sale and they were tender and rich. At first, I thought the dough was difficult to handle, but once I got it chilled enough, it was much easier to cut the shapes and transfer them to the baking sheet.
If you don’t have cream of tartar on hand, you can substitute baking powder. Baking powder is simply two parts cream of tartar with one part baking soda. It won’t be perfect, but you could use 1 tsp of baking powder instead of the baking soda and cream of tartar requirement.
In the bowl of a standup mixer, beat the butter, oil, and two sugars until well blended and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt and mix it in. Form the dough into a large ball. It will be quite soft. You may need to add additional flour, but don't overdo it. Just chill it for an hour first and then check it.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Divide the dough into 2 large balls. On a floured board, roll out the dough until it is about ⅛" thick. Using cookie cutters, cut the dough into shapes and transfer them, using a spatula to help, to a non-stick cookie sheet. Scatter sprinkles on top. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until starting to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before carefully transferring them to rack for further cooling.
The most popular post on this blog, hands down, is My Ultimate Pumpkin Bread post, and one of my personal favorites is my Zucchini Bread post, so now that it’s October, I thought, why not do a mashup? The spices for pumpkin and zucchini bread are so similar, it seems like a marriage made in heaven. And, I’ve been getting a lot of zucchini in my weekly produce box from Full Circle lately.
This version came out perfectly moist. Make sure you squeeze the excess water out of your shredded zucchini. Just press between paper towels before adding to the mixture. I used this kind of grater to prepare the zucchini:
Play with the sugar to meet your tastes. I’ve tried it with 2 cups and it’s perfect for folks who don’t like their quick breads too sweet. I prefer it with 2 1/2 or even 3 cups of sugar.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F and spray 2 9-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl (including the sugar).
In the bowl of a large standup mixer, cream the butter. Then add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fully incorporated. Add the milk and beat until mixed. Add the pumpkin and zucchini and mix on medium until blended.
Take bowl away from standup mixer. Add bowl of dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until all is moistened. Do not overmix.
Bake for 45 - 60 minutes or until top is golden brown and a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.