I was in the mood to create something luscious…..so chocolate had to be involved! Had a crazy day dealing with the strangest technological issues…..and needing to de-stress led me to my kitchen, where out came pots and pans and chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate!
I used one bag of Trader Joe’s chocolate chips and one bar of Lindt’s darkest chocolate with cayenne in the thick decadent ganache that covered these babies…..soooo good. Also poured in two heaping tablespoons of 85% darkest cocoa in the dry ingredients. Went one step further and use four large eggs instead of my standard three, beating them well with sugar and unsalted butter, and then was it a drop or more like a 3/4 cup of good quality rum, one heaping teaspoon of ginger and another of cinnamon and popped these babies into a 350 degree oven for 17 minutes and out came the most gorgeous naked cupcakes ever! When they weren’t even at room temperature I bit into one….as I am taking them to the office and oh, my! Delicious, light and with a hint of spice coming through. Amazing. But alas, I wanted to make a good impression so I knew that ganache would be the best topping. Out came more chocolate, heated with heavy whipping cream….and oh, my, oh, my, oh, my! These are drool worthy!
Chocolate and Art? It was a no brainer to attend this delicious event this past Friday night, which included amazing art and live music, besides two towers flowing with chocolate and fruit skewers to enjoy!
I was super psyched to see Tracy Guiteau at work in the artistic competition….I asked her if she knew what she would work on and she said “No….it’ll come to me when I start” and it sure did! I enjoyed watching her work, each stroke of her brush making a face come to life in front of my very eyes…..what a gifted artist she is!
Today was experimenting day in my kitchen….and having left over egg whites made me go surfing to see what I could possibly make. I found an interesting recipe for macaroons and thought….why not?
I was happy that I had all the ingredients, including almond meal in my freezer. The hardest part of making macaroons was piping them. I definitely need to put in more practice…..they were so funny looking…but I did do a taste test and found that they are great to pair with vanilla ice cream! Crunchy goodness with French vanilla ice cream……it definitely had the “yum factor”!
I adore hazelnuts….they are just one of the top nuts to have around! And when you mix hazelnuts and chocolate….only good things happen!
Off to Trader Joe’s. Came back with two large bags of hazelnuts. Took an entire bag and toasted them, then took a kitchen towel and cleaned off their peel and into the food processor they went along with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, to be pulverized into hazelnut meal.
Took one entire bag of Trader Joe chocolate chips and melted it along with 2 oz. of Lindt’s dark chocolate with sea salt, butter and cream, and incorporated the hazelnut meal till it was well mixed together…and of course, had to take a small taste test…..and yes, absolutely delicious!
And to make things a bit more nutritious, opted to slice a pear…..because anything goes with chocolate!
I made dozens and dozens of alfajores and found myself with leftover alfajor dough…..so what could I do with that? I had a little bit of dulce de leche left and coconut, so I crushed and mashed it all together and then rolled them in chocolate!
I was asked if I wanted to provide a little something for Frank Panico’s premiere, this past Saturday at The Biltmore in Coral Gables, so I came up with a new recipe, inserting Uruguayan orange liqueur in my peach cake pops…..and the outcome was……fantastic! I received a phone call from a friend this morning, telling me that they couldn’t stop themselves from devouring the samples, as they were not so sweet, but just right!
Frank Panico created a documentary entitled “Lambs Amongst Wolves,” which premiered yesterday in South Florida. You can see more about this documentary at http://www.xsintheskyfilms.com
This is the second attempt to create yummy cupcakes without sugar and I think this one is a definite winner! I found myself devouring two cupcakes…..I should have stopped with one but they are so delicious…..I used agave syrup instead of a cup of sugar – used just a little bit more than half a cup as well as one cup of purred peaches….and that added all the sweetness that this amazing chocolate cupcake needed. Talk about light, fluffy deliciousness…..at the last minute I decided to drop some dark chocolate chips on top so that they would bake into the cupcake…..in just 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven these were done!
I had such a Great Time! Talk about intense baking…..last Friday I ran home from work and made quite a few goodies:
Strawberry Mini-cupcakes with fresh Strawberry/Neufchatel Cheese Frosting
Lemon/Key Lime Mini-Cupcakes with fresh juice
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Mini-cupcakes, with a hint of orange
Banana and Dulce de Leche Mini-cupcakes
And on the savory side
Parmesan, olive and sundried tomato mini-mini biscuits, and last but not least
Corn and black bean mini-muffins!
I had a grand time baking and what fun it was to meet so many people! We had quite a few hundred that stopped by to taste mini-baked goodies made by yours truly, as well as try the numerous yummy yogurts and awesome paninis and salads that Tart & Berry sells!
Make sure to stop by Tart & Berry and try out their Tiramisu yogurt…..talk about severe yum factor!!!!