Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chocolate-filled Chocolate Cookies

This recipe comes from a cookbook I haven’t picked up in ages, Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days with the Naked Chef. Of course, Jamie called them Chocolate Biscuits with Soft Chocolate Centres. I’m sharing these for Belleau Kitchen’s Random Recipe Challenge merged this month with the Chocolate Log Blog’s We Should Cocoa challenge, cohosted this month by both Dom and Choclette.

The rules are the same as normal Random Recipe Challenges. Choose a cookbook at random, make the first recipe you open to, except this month, it is make the first chocolate recipe you open to. I like to make my life simple, so I used Eat Your Books to choose both. Click on the graphic for full details.

2/3 cup or 145g butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup or 145g sugar
1 whole egg
2 cups or 250g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/3 cup or 30g cocoa powder
3 1/2 oz or 100g chocolate bar (milk, white or dark) I used chocolate mint.

Grease a large baking sheet or line it with baking parchment. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.

Whisk your flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in another mixing bowl.

Beat the egg into the butter/sugar mixture.

Add in the cocoa powder and the flour to make a soft dough. Beat until completely combined.

Wrap it in cling film and put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

When the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Roll the dough into small balls about 1 inch or 2 centimeters across and break your chocolate bar into small squares.

Press them out into circles on your prepared cookie sheet, making sure to leave a good space between them for rising while baking.

Top each circle with a piece of chocolate.

Add another dough ball on top and press out to cover the chocolate.

Bake for 10 minutes in your preheated oven. These cookies are delicious as is but would also be great for ice cream sandwiches!


***This post has an affiliate link, which means I earn some small change if you click on the Amazon link and buy.**
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Braid #TwelveLoaves

Chocolate yeast dough and peanut butter yeast dough, braided together, make a wonderful loaf. Two very different flavors that complement each other, intertwined so each bite contains a piece of both. 

In many cultures, braids are a sign of unity, symbolic of a bond that is not easily broken. After all, what is a braid but the weaving in and out of three or more strands that become one and are generally stronger for the weaving? You can see where I am headed here. This month’s theme for #TwelveLoaves is chocolate but I decided that chocolate would not stand alone. This is a loaf of love. Chocolate with peanut butter chips and peanut butter with chocolate chips. Because we are all a little sweet and all a little salty and it’s the combination of the two that makes life interesting.

The chocolate dough has been slightly adapted from David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Bread and the peanut butter dough has been adapted from Celine Steen’s Peanut Butter Bread.

For the chocolate dough:
6 tablespoons or 90ml milk, heated until just tepid
1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4 ounce or 7g)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 ounces or 45g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 egg - yolk and white separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
1/8 cup or 2 scant tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used the special dark.)
1/3 cup or 60g real peanut butter chips

For the peanut butter dough:
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4 ounce or 7g)
1/4 cup or 65g smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
3 tablespoons, packed, dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup or 65g semi-sweet chocolate chips

First we’ll make the chocolate dough.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk. Add one tablespoon of the sugar and it set aside in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes or until it gets foamy.

Put your butter and chocolate in a microwaveable bowl and give it a few quick zaps of 20 seconds, stirring in between, until both are just melted and form a smooth chocolate syrup.

Add the remaining sugar, the egg yolk, vanilla, and sea salt to the yeast bowl and mix well. (Reserve your egg white for glazing the loaf before baking.)

Stir in half the flour and cocoa powder.

Add the chocolate syrup and stir again.  Now add the remaining flour and stir until completely incorporated.

Beat for five minutes with the dough hook in your mixer or knead by hand.  The dough will be quite moist but I found that the butter kept it from being too sticky.

Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm place for two hours.

Now we’ll make the peanut butter dough.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Add one tablespoon of the sugar and it set aside in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes or until it gets foamy.

Add the remaining sugar, vanilla, and sea salt to the yeast bowl and mix well.

Stir in half the flour.

Now add the peanut butter and the remaining flour and stir until completely incorporated.

Place dough on a clean, lightly floured surface and start kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Add extra flour if the dough is too sticky. I tried to knead in my mixer with the bread hook but this dough was just too soft.  Kneading by hand worked best.

Cover and let rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours in warm place.

The two doughs. The chocolate has risen a little and the peanut butter is just ready for rising.

When both of your doughs have done their rising, it’s time for the braid!

Punch down both doughs, adding in the chocolate chips to the peanut butter dough and the peanut butter chips to the chocolate dough, reserving a few to poke on top for decoration before baking. Knead a little bit to work them in.

Now break or cut each ball in half and roll the pieces out into dough snakes about 16 inches or cm long. The chips will keep wanting to fall out. Just poke them back in.

Now lay all four “snakes” out on your baking pan which has been lined with a sheet of parchment. In order to get the best braided look, start with the two chocolate ones and the two peanut butter ones next to each other. I took photos of every step of the braiding but I have to admit, they are hard to follow. So I am going to send you to the link I used to make the braid where the illustrations are clear and the instructions are easy to follow: How to braid challah. Go ahead, I’ll wait here.

Okay!  Now put the braid in a warm, draft-free place to rise again for another hour. My house is still quite chilly, so I covered the loaf with a big plastic container and set the whole thing over the sink filled with hot water.  Then I put a pan on top that was filled with hot water. You do what you need to!

About 10 minutes before the rising time is finished, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

When the rising time is finished, whisk your egg white and brush it gently on the loaf. Add the reserved chips if desired.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until it sounds hollow when you tap it.  Mine got a little too dark because somehow my oven shot up to 375°F or 190°C while the bread was baking. Don’t let this happen to yours! The chips got quite dark as well, but fortunately, they didn’t taste any different. Mr. Lebovitz offers the useful tip that you can insert an instant read thermometer in the middle (I poked mine in from the side so the hole wouldn’t show.) and a ready loaf will read 180°F or 82°C when it’s done.)

Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.


The perfect bite, with some of each flavor!

The first warm slices were excellent with the dark chocolate perfectly complementing the rich peanut butter. If you really want to take this over the top, toast slices the next morning for breakfast and spread them with a little more peanut butter while still warm.

Looking for more chocolately bread goodness? You have come to the right place!

Would you like to join us this month? Choose a recipe featuring chocolate. (It could be a bread accented with chocolate chips, baked with cocoa powder, chocolate spreads, whatever you love!). Whatever you bake (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, grissini, braids, flatbreads, etc) have fun and let's have a delicious month of bread with chocolate. Let's get baking!

If you’d like to add your bread to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!

2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.

3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this February, 2014, posted on your blog by February 28, 2014.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess. #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Renee from Magnolia Days.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Dark Chocolate Orange Bundt with Dark Chocolate Orange Glaze #BundtaMonth

Orange and chocolate are a classic combination.  Using dark chocolate and whole Mandarin oranges pureed in the batter brings a sweet, yet bitter tartness to this tender crumbed cake.

For the British, especially, chocolate and orange are a treasured Christmas flavor combination and many would say that a Christmas stocking without a chocolate orange is half empty.  Even if it’s full.  But I must admit that it is not something that I grew up with.  Like all great relationships, it has taken a while to grow and mature.  Rather like my love of marmalade.  And Brussels sprouts, eggplant and cooked cabbage.  And other grownup things.  Such is the British influence here that the stores in Dubai are full of all kinds of candies in chocolate and orange so it was a natural choice for this month’s theme of Holiday December!

Where do you fall on the continuum of Love it (10) and Hate it (0)?  If you are somewhere in the lower half, perhaps this delicious cake will slide your opinion up the scale.

For the cake:
2 mandarin oranges (about  5 1/2 oz or 155g)
1/3 cup or 75g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
1 1/2 cups or 300g sugar
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons milk
1 1/3 cups or 170g flour, plus extra for the coating the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup or 85g dark cocoa powder

For the glaze:
5 1/4 oz or 150g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
3 tablespoons canola oil

To decorate:  chocolate orange candies  and zest of one Mandarin orange

Put the Mandarin oranges in a small pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil over a medium heat and then simmer for an hour.  Keep checking to make sure the oranges are always covered, adding more water if necessary, and turning them over occasionally.

Meanwhile, butter your Bundt pan and coat it well with flour.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine your flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside.

When the hour is up, remove the pot from the heat and leave the oranges in it until they are cool enough to handle.

Remove the oranges to a cutting board and preheat your oven to 350°F or 180 °C.  Use a sharp pointy knife to cut the oranges in half and use the pointy end to dig out all of the seeds

Puree both oranges, peel and all, with a hand blender, add in the milk and set aside.

With electric beaters or in your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between.

Mix in half of the flour/cocoa and beat until combined.

Pour in half of the orange/milk and beat until combined.

Look at the gorgeous color of that orange puree! 

Repeat with the rest of the flour/cocoa and then the orange/milk.

Pour your batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then turn out on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the glaze, melt the chocolate in a microwaveable bowl and add in the Grand Marnier and canola oil and stir well.  The liqueur makes the chocolate thicken up and the oil helps it become pourable again.  If you would prefer not to add alcohol to the chocolate, you can skip the oil as well and drizzle on straight melted chocolate.

Once the cake is completely cool, use a piping bag to drizzle the glaze all over the cake.  Or put it in a plastic baggie and cut a small corner off to do the same.   Add the chocolate orange slices and orange zest, if desired.


I hope you have all enjoyed the past year of Bundts from our BundtaMonth group.  Our fearless leaders, Anuradha from Baker Street and Lora from Cake Duchess have decided to disband.  I’d like to thank them for their support and hard work.

Meanwhile, I’ve got one last BundtaMonth list of cakes to share!

Candy Cane Bundt Cake from Felice at All That’s Left Are the Crumbs
Cranberry Walnut and Ginger Holiday Bundt from Deepti at Baking Yummies
Double Chocolate Glazed Peppermint Bundt Cake from Laura at A Spiced Life
Gingerbread Spice Bundt Cake from Jill at  Made with Love
Red and White Marbled Bundt from Holly A Baker’s House
Peppermint Pound Cake from Kate at Food Babbles
Here’s how you can be a part of BundtaMonth:

Simple rule: Bake a HOLIDAY Bundt
Post it before December 31, 2013
Use the #BundtaMonth hashtag in your title. (For ex: title could read – #BundtaMonth: Holiday Bundt)
Add your entry to the Linky tool below.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Chewy Brigadeiro Pecan Bars for #CookieWeek #Giveaway

Toasted pecans, melted chocolate, rolled oats and dulce de leche (caramelized condensed milk) make a chewy cookie bar that remind me of one of our favorite candies, Brazilian brigadeiros.

Today is the fifth day of #CookieWeek and I have yet another group of beautiful cookies for you. In fact, many of my fellow cookie bakers posted recipes yesterday as well, bring our total cookie recipes to date to 71! Hasn’t it been a great week so far?!

If you’ve just joined us you should know that Susan of The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen and Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic have joined together this week with 23 of their blog friends (including me!) with a week of cookie treats for you! We have every type of cookie you can imagine listed this week, including something for our furry friends! Now is the time to bookmark these recipes for the upcoming holidays and cookie swaps or simply follow our Pinterest board! And make sure you enter the giveaway for some fabulous prizes from KitchenAid, King Arthur Flour, OXO, Silpat and Zulka Pure Cane Sugar to help with your cookie making needs!

I first saw this recipe on The Spiced Life, written by my friend, Laura, creator of the Creative Cookie Exchange group.  It sounded fabulous just as it was but I wanted to try a couple small modifications, exchanging the condensed milk for dulce de leche and toasting the pecans first.

Ingredients for four dozen squares
For the bottom/top dough:
2 1/2 cups or 315g flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 225g unsalted butter plus more for buttering the pan
2 cups, packed, or 400g brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups or 285g old fashioned rolled oats
7 oz or 200g pecans (Half for dough, half for sprinkling on before baking)

For the chocolate filling:
14 (or 15) oz or 397-510g can dulce de leche (store-bought or homemade - very easy!)
13 3/4 oz or almost 290g semi sweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Optional: 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes for sprinkling on top of the bars before baking

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Prepare your baking pan (Mine is about 11x16in or 28x40cm.) by lining it with foil and rubbing it with some butter.

Put your pecans in a separate pan large enough to hold them all in a single layer.  Pop them in the oven while it preheats.  Set a timer for five minutes at a time and keep checking on them and giving them a shake until they smell like roasted nuts, warm and fragrant.  Depending on how quickly your oven preheats, this could take from as little as 10 minutes to as many as 20 minutes.  Just be careful not to let them scorch.  Remove from the oven and allow the pecans to cool.

When the pecans are cool enough to handle, chop them roughly.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine your flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy.  Add in the vanilla and then beat the eggs in one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.

This is the addition of the second egg. 

Add in the flour mixture in two lots and mix on the lowest speed until well mixed each time.

After the flour is all added. 
Add the oats and mix on low until mostly incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

It's pretty stiff after the oats have been added.  You'll want to scrape the beater as well.  

Add half of the pecans and mix until everything is completely incorporated.

Remove two cups or 600g of this dough and set aside.

Dump the remaining dough into your foil-lined pan.  Divide it into smaller chunks spread around the bottom of the pan and then press it down until it covers the entire bottom.  Set aside.

To make the filling, put your chocolate in a microwaveable bowl and zap for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted.

Add in the dulce de leche, vanilla, butter and the pinch of salt and stir well. The butter should melt in the heat of the chocolate but if it doesn't you can give the whole bowl another quick zap.

Pour this warm chocolate mixture over the dough pressed into the pan.

Use your fingers to break up the reserved two cups of the dough and sprinkle in over the chocolate. It won’t and shouldn’t cover all of the chocolate.

Now sprinkle the remaining toasted chopped pecans over the whole thing.

Finish by sprinkling 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes over that, if desired. I love the sweet and salty mix myself.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Allow to cool for about 15 minutes on a cooling rack before removing the foil and the whole cookie bar from the pan. Cool completely before cutting into small squares.

Store in a well-sealed container with waxed paper or parchment dividing the layers. If you live in a very warm climate, store this in the refrigerator. These cookie bars also freeze nicely and will keep for several weeks.


Check out all the beautiful recipes my fellow bakers have for you today:

And now, once again, here’s the amazing giveaway lined up this week thanks to our fabulous sponsors, KitchenAid, OXO, King Arthur Flour, Silpat and Zulka Pure Cane Sugar. If you haven’t already, just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below to enter.

Four lucky winners will win one of the following:

Prize #1: 1 (one) KitchenAid 9-Speed Hand Mixer plus 1 (one) 4lb bag of Zulka Pure Cane Sugar
Prize #2: 1 (one) OXO gift set including the following: 1 (one) 3-in-1 Egg Separator, 1(one) Cookie Press, 1(one) Autumn Cookie Disk Set, 1(one) 3 piece Cookie Cutter Set, 1(one) Bowl Scraper, 1(one) 2 Cup Adjustable Measuring Cups
Prize #3: 1 (one) King Arthur Flour gift set including the following: 1(one) King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour -5lb bag, 1(one) Snowflake Cookie Cutter Set, 1(one) King Arthur Flour Pure Vanilla Extract, 1(one) Sparkling Sugar Collection, 1(one) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Wafers - 16oz and 1(one) 4lb bag of Zulka Pure Cane Sugar
Prize #4: 1 (one) Silpat Halfsize Mat and 1(one) 4lb bag Zulka Pure Cane Sugar

This giveaway is open to US residents from November 11, 2013 through November 16, 2013 11:59pm EST and will be picked from random draw. The winners will be notified via email and have 72 hours to respond, if not their prize is forfeited and another winner will be chosen.

How to Enter:
Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment with your favorite cookie to bake during the holidays or for cookie swaps.  Many more ways to enter in the rafflecopter widget!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A little about our sponsors:
The iconic Kitchenaid stand mixer was born in 1919, from there stemmed an entire kitchen of high-performance appliances -all created with the same attention to detail and quality.OXO’s mission is dedicated to providing innovative consumer products that make everyday living easier.King Arthur Flour was founded in 1790, as America’s oldest flour company they provided pure, high-quality flour to residents of the newly formed U.S., still going strong, they are the nation’s premier baking resource.Silpat was founded in 1965 by M Guy Demarle in Northern France. He was an experience baker seeing a better way to bake bread with forms using non-stick silicone coatings. He invented the first non-stick baguete baking trays and a few years later invented and created the original Silpat.Zulka Pure Cane Sugar is a Non GMO Project Verified “Morena” sugar - a term used to described granulated sugars that do not undergo conventional refining processes. Zulka is perfect for baking, it tastes better, is less processed and is a cup for cup replacement.

Disclaimer: KitchenAid, OXO, King Arthur Flour, Silpat and Zulka Pure Cane are providing the prizes free of charge. All opinions stated are my own.

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