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

Friday, September 6, 2013

Triple Chocolate Mini Bundts #Bundtamonth

Deep chocolate mini Bundt cakes covered in semi-sweet and white chocolate then sprinkled with silver dragees are pretty, but not too pretty to eat!

How does one celebrate the one-year birthday of the Bundt-a-Month challenge?  Well, by baking more Bundts, of course.  My daughter and I were discussing this month’s “fancy” theme for this first anniversary, and she suggested that I didn’t need a fancy Bundt at all, just stick a flowering plant in it!
  After all, that was good enough for an engagement celebration on My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Anybody else LOVE that movie?  I could watch it over and over.  Just as funny each time.

While I acknowledged the truth in that, I wanted to make something pretty, something special.  So it had to be chocolate.  Dark chocolate.  And white chocolate.  And with silver balls.  Because those have always said PARTY to me, even if they do want to break your teeth.  They are like sprinkles for grownups.

When it came time for decorating, I couldn’t decide on a pattern so I just went a little crazy, drizzling on both chocolates and having a wild time.  I don't know when to stop, but more is more, right?  No two little Bundts are alike, but they sure looked pretty all together.  Like I imagine a dessert table set out with all the BundtaMonth Bundts would look, if we could ever get them all in one place.  Maybe for the second anniversary?   Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom to see what my fellow bloggers have baked for you, along with our hosts, Anuradha from Baker Street and Lora from Cake Duchess.

The batter for these little cakes is slightly adapted from Molly Wizenburg’s recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes in her fabulous book, A Homemade Life.

For the cakes:
2 oz or 55g dark chocolate
1/2 cup or 120ml hot brewed coffee
1 cup or 225g sugar
3/4 cup flour plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pan
1/2 cup or about 40g unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pan
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup or 60ml canola oil
1/2 cup or 125g well stirred plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For decoration:
8 oz or 230g semi-sweet chocolate
4 oz or 115g white chocolate
1 tablespoon (or more!) dragees or little silver balls

Preheat oven to 325°F or °C.  Prepare your mini Bundt pan by spraying it liberally with non-stick spray or generously buttering it.  Put one tablespoon each of flour and cocoa powder in a sieve or sifter and sprinkle all over the pan, tipping it this way and that to make sure that all the insides of the little cups are covered.  Bang the pan gently on the cabinet and dump the excess out into your sink.  Set aside.

Chop the chocolate for the cake into small pieces and put it into the measuring cup with hot coffee.  Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted.

Into a medium bowl, sift the cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk in the sugar and flour.   Set aside.

For the best batter, electric beaters or a stand mixer with the K-beater in place is essential here.  In a large bowl, beat your egg on medium for a minute or two or until it becomes pale yellow.  Add in the oil, yogurt and vanilla, once again, beating well.

Gradually pour in the melted chocolate/coffee mixture and beat to thoroughly combine.

Add the dry ingredients all at once.  Beat on low speed until the batter is just combined.

Scrape down the sides and bottom to make sure all the flour is incorporated.

Divide your batter between the cups of your prepared mini Bundt pan, but don’t fill them more than two-thirds full.  If you have a little batter left over, it’s better to make a couple of extra cupcakes instead.  Your tasters will be happy.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Meanwhile, let your helper clean out the yogurt pot before recycling.

Cool your mini Bundts in the pan for about 10 minutes, then place a wire rack on top of the pan and carefully invert the pan and rack so that the little cakes can fall out.  If any don’t fall out, loosen them gently with a knife or toothpick and remove them one by one.

Allow the little cakes to cool completely before topping with melted chocolate.

For the decoration, break up your dark and white chocolate into smaller blocks (or chop if you need to) and put each kind in a separate microwave-proof bowl.  Zap them one at a time on high for 10-15 seconds, then stir and repeat until both of the chocolates are pourable.

You can drizzle these over the mini Bundts with a small spoon but I prefer to put the melted chocolate into cake decorating bags with small tips (Wilton no. 3, 4 or 5) for better control.

Have fun drizzling on the dark chocolate, followed by swirls of the white chocolate.  Sprinkle a few silver dragees in the middle to complete the festive party look.


Check out everyone else’s Bundt cakes if you are looking for fancy inspiration:

Since these are fancy little triple chocolate Bundt cakes, I am also submitting them to this month's We Should Cocoa anniversary challenge to create a show stopper, hosted by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Liquid Cocaine (Espresso and White Chocolate) Muffins

Having fun with muffins:  Our Muffin Monday ingredient today is coffee.  My younger daughter/art director suggested that I research alternative Starbucks recipes and then turn one of them into a muffin.  (The photo set up above was also her brilliant idea.)  Who knew there is a whole list of secret drinks that aren’t on the Starbucks menu?  Neither did I!  But a simple search turned up lots of fun and delicious choices.  I couldn’t resist the one called Liquid Cocaine.

Here’s how to get one at your nearest Starbucks:  Order 4 shots of espresso and 4 pumps of white chocolate syrup over ice in a grande cold cup.  Stir and enjoy.

Or make these muffins.

1 cup or 160g white chocolate chips (reserve about 1/8 cup or  20g to sprinkle on muffins before baking)
2 cups or 250g flour
1 cup or 225g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup or 80ml milk
4 shots espresso (1/2 cup or 120ml), cooled
1/2 cup canola or 120ml other light oil
1 egg

Preheat your oven to 350°f or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing or lining it with muffin papers.

Put your white chocolate chips (reserving some to sprinkle on before baking) in a microwaveable bowl.  With the microwave on 50 percent power, heat for about 1 minute.  Remove from the oven and stir.  If it’s not completely melted, microwave for 30 seconds more.  Stir well and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, canola, egg and espresso.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ones, until just mixed.  Some flour may still show.

Pour the melted white chocolate into the bowl and fold gently until just mixed.  There should still be some swirls of while showing a little bit.

Divide your batter between the 12 cups.

Sprinkle with the reserved white chocolate chips.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes and them remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy the pick-me-up!

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street, a culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week.  Drop Anuradha a quick line to join her on this journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.  Make sure to go and check out what my fellow bloggers have come up with this week!

Plus learn all you ever need to know about muffins, right here at Muffin 101.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Grand Marnier White Chocolate Cranberry Muffins #MuffinMonday

It's Muffin Monday again!  Sometimes I don't know how the week goes by so quickly but this week, oh, my goodness, this week was special.  I was honored to be invited on a Benevolence Committee charity audit to Damanhour, a two-hour train ride north of Cairo.  I took the Cairo metro for the very first time and only got knocked down once by the stampeding hordes.  No kidding!  I was trying to get off at our stop and the women (I was traveling in the ladies-only car.) pushed in so hard that they knocked me over backwards, back into the car.  I don't know who was more stunned, them or me!  They helped me up and I went on my way.  Next time I know to lean into the crowd and push just as hard to get out.  Anyhoo, I caught the train to Damanhour with two other lovely ladies and we were met on the other side by Father Daniel, a Coptic Christian priest, who took us around to several orphanages, charity dental and medical clinics, a preschool and a small home that houses needy girls and teaches them to sew so they can earn money for themselves now and later for their families.  We were told that when a girl gets married, she is given a sewing machine so she can always provide for herself.

We collected receipts from purchases the Benevolence Committee had funded this last year and I took a ton of photos of people and places as well as the items that were purchased.  It was such a joy to meet the gentle folk that run the homes and clinics and other enterprises and clearly care so deeply for the needy they serve.  The orphanages house the sweetest girls and boys, all Coptic Christians, but the clinics help anyone, Christian and Muslim alike.  (Scroll down past the recipe to see a few photos of our trip.)

It was my privilege to be a part of the visit and help in a small way by asking questions which will become part of the audit report and taking photos.  I am going to miss the Benevolence Committee ladies when I leave.  Do they ever have a heart for the poor here in Egypt!

Meanwhile back to our regularly scheduled muffins!  This week's muffin is from a culinary mystery - frankly a genre I didn't even know existed! - called Killer Pancake.  It called for actual cranberries, which I didn't have, so I had to change the recipe to include jellied cranberry sauce, which I did have.  I also added white chocolate chips because they go so well with cranberries.  They turned out wonderful!

1 3/4 cups or 220g flour
3/4 cup or 170g sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 14 oz or 397g can jellied cranberry sauce, divided into 1 cup and a 1/2 cup or about 235ml and 120ml.
1/8 cup or 30ml Grand Marnier liqueur
1/3 cup or 80ml canola oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup or about 85g white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C and either grease your 12-cup muffin tin or line it with paper liners.  (I use paper liners but give the whole thing a quick spray with Pam so that any drips or overflow on the tin will clean off easily.)

In one big mixing bowl, add your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Whisk the one cup or 235ml cranberry sauce, the Grand Marnier, the oil and the eggs together.

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until just moist.

Fold in the white chocolate chips.

Put one scoop or large spoon into each muffin cup.

Divide the extra cranberry sauce between the muffins.

Top with the rest of the batter.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Remove from the muffin tin and finish cooling on a rack.


For those who are interested, here are a few photos from the Benevolence Committee trip to Damanhour.

Father Daniel and our translator, examining receipts

Dr. Ebraam showing off the blood analyser that was funded by the Benevolence Committee. 
One of the dental clinics.  The machines are powered by a small generator so that power outages won't stop treatment. 

Girls are the same the world over!  Bed in the girls' orphanage. 

Except, perhaps here, they are more devout than most.

Some of the sweet girls leaned out to say goodbye as we left. 
Sewing uniforms on contract from one of the Christian schools. 

They do a most professional job. 

The old Coptic church built in 1885.  I did get permission before taking photos. 
And right next door, the brand new church.


And inside.
The bishop's reception room.  This was in his residence and we only got a quick peek
on the way to the bathroom.  It was very grand and formal. 

A few street scenes from Damanhour.

Laundry day.

Looks like someone got a bread delivery when they weren't home. 

View from the roof of one of the homes. Don't miss the lady watching the scenery from her curtained balcony. 

Lady cleaning her roof top home.  Must confess I had hidden
my camera by the time she looked up.  We nodded at each other and smiled. :)

Beautiful mosque near the train station.