seriously good GF/DF chocolate molten cake

I cannot believe that 3 years has gone by since the photo on the right.  That is just crazy.  And it’s taken me this long to write about these delicious cakes.   

During covid 2020 Greg was home for his birthday – Andy too.  Andy’s request that year was a chocolate molten cake.  He loved it.  Greg’s Birthday, just four days later requested the same.  I sighed.  How to make a truly delicious gluten and dairy free molten cake?  It seemed impossible.  I am/was really inexperienced in this type of baking but I scoured the internet and thought hard about this.  (I make it sound like rocket science which is silly).  

The basic recipe for the cake is from Organically Addison –  I added what I learned from my first teacher Rick Katz – that molten is necessary for a seriously good molten cake.  No underbaked center here – but instead, a ganache ball made with coconut cream (not coconut milk)  and melted chocolate.  This little nugget placed in the center of the batter filled ramekin did the trick.  It was gooey, intense and the chocolate flavor popped.  Greg was thrilled. ūüôā  

I made them again this last month – twice actually and Jill loved.  Sylvie loved.  She isn’t even GF or DF but enjoyed immensely.  Nicole, andy’s girlfriend who is GF and DF is next at bat.  These are easy to make despite this long write up! 

Here are some important notes/thoughts (please read through before you bake):

The recipe calls for coconut sugar.  But because Greg rarely eats desserts I opted for brown sugar.  I wanted a true treat for him.  But if he had access to these all the time I would make with coconut sugar as it is healthier than refined sugar.

The recipe also suggests that you grease the ramekins  and call it a day.  As mentioned above, because this is a rare treat for Greg when home I coated the greased ramekins with sugar.  Yup I did.  Regular white sugar so that the cakes had a crunchy sugar coating.  I hope that these efforts bring him home more often :).

Laslty, make the ganache balls the day before or a few days before – or the morning before you plan to bake.  This will give the ganache time to firm up – able to form a solid ball to be dropped into the batter. 

Oh, truly lastly I tripled the recipe as it calls for only 3! ramekins.  I made 9 and and froze the leftovers.  Now I’m ready when he comes home to pop in microwave for an easy treat.  The ganache recipe below is for 9 ramekins – so 3 times the recipe!

Ingredients and Directions

Ganache balls:
3/4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup coconut cream (this is available in most supermarkets right next to the coconut milk)
tiny pinch of kosher salt

Heat the coconut cream to almost a boil.  Then pour over the chopped chocolate.  Wait a minute then whisk to combine.  Add salt.  Place in refrigerator to let cool and firm up.

When ready to make the cakes, form balls with the ganache – you can pick the size of these balls – but I’d say around 2 teaspoons or so. ¬†Place the balls back in the¬†fridge.

As mentioned the cake recipe is from Organically Addision.  Refer to my notes above before you start to bake Рspecifically eyeing my notes regarding sugar, sugar coating and tripling her recipe.

Here is the link to her terrific blog and the directions.

Follow her instructions but as mentioned feel free to coat the ramekin with sugar as I did.  And after you pour the batter into each ramekin Рdrop a delicious ganache ball into the center to create the molten lava that you will enjoy later.

Bake as directed. 

Feel free to kind of press down on cake with your finger to check if done. ¬†The center ganache ball will remain gooey and will never looked cooked – but the cake should look and feel firmer and lose its unbaked sheen. ¬†You may have to cook for a minute or two longer…keep checking and timing.

Let sit for a few minutes then run a knife around the edges and pop out if eating immediately.  Be careful the ramekin and ganache will be hot.  

If saving for a later date, let cool, then run a knife around the edges and pop out. ¬†Freeze once completely cooled. ¬† Microwave before serving – in small increments. ¬†Don’t want to kill the cakes but warm up the ganache. ¬†

Enjoy!

chocolate frosted brownies (GF + DF and sooo good!)

These are silly.  Silly good.  This is the best gluten-free and dairy-free dessert I have had to date.  I must admit that I don’t eat a lot of GF and DF sweets – but I can tell you that when I make these for Greg I’m eating them too!  Andy, Rob, Sylvie – all love them – although we are forced to abstain since Greg’s choices are so limited.  I made them for my friend Judy and she said a hit with her family too.  She then asked for the recipe which is always a good sign.

I found these gems in my Bakerita cookbook written by Rachel Connors.  She also has an amazing blog – and these are also featured in the blog.  I’ve made her chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles and both – well, just delicious.  Greg will likely have some vacation time around the holidays so I’ll start looking for some new ideas soon.  And likely from this book!

I always double the recipe and bake in a 9×13 pan.  The brownies are a little thicker this way and I prefer that.  So the timing needs to be fiddled with.  They burn easily and it is hard to tell when done so it make take some guess work.  I usually underbake a tad but we all like it that way.   If you happen to overbake, consider doubling the icing as it is sooooo good and unlikely that anyone would notice your hard brownie.  They also freeze well so I’m always ready for Greg and his sweet tooth.

Note: This recipe uses coconut sugar.   Although healthier (a non-refined sugar) I use brown sugar instead.  For the 3/4 cup of coconut sugar in the recipe I use a packed half cup of brown sugar.  You can do either and they will be good either way. 

Enjoy these!!  Here is a link to the blog post.

chocolate crusted banana blondies

Jessie’s text to me after I dropped these nuggets off was “Avery just tried your desserts and said they were a miracle in her mouth!”  Avery is her daughter btw and that made me happy because I too felt the same way but couldn’t articulate it as well.  The chewy banana top and the chocolate crusted bottom are so good together.  The addition of pecans gave these bars additional texture and cut the sweetness which resulted in a treat that went from delicious to scrumptious.  These were featured in the New York Times by food editor (among other things) Melissa Clark.  Her sweet tooth rivals mine and I find I want to bake everything that she writes about.  Her savory recipes are equally impressive.  I have her two instant pot books as well as Dinner, Changing the Game and I use them all frequently.  Enjoy! 

This recipe calls for brown butter – Here is a video review and there are more videos on youtube should you want more instruction.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/4 cups), divided!
  • 200 grams Famous chocolate wafter cookies (to make about 3 cups of crumbs)
  • 55 grams of light brown sugar (about 1/4 cup) ¬†
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt¬†
  • 2 ripe bananas¬†
  • 2 large eggs
  • 455 grams dark brown sugar (about 2 1/2 cups)¬†
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 130 grams all purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 80 grams toasted walnuts (I used pecans), chopped (about 1/2 cup)¬†
  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 and line a 9×13 pan with parchment. ¬†I¬†usually¬†spray the pan first to make the parchment stick
  • Melt 1 stick of the butter (just one stick) then place the wafer cookies, melted butter, light brown sugar and salt into your food processor and grind until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand. ¬†Dump into prepared pan, and press into an even layer. ¬†Bake for about 10 minutes or until the surface is a bit firm. ¬†Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees¬†
  • Melt the remaining butter (12 tablespoons or a stick and a half) and continue to cook the butter over medium high heat until the foam subsides and the butter becomes a nice nut brown. This should take about 5 minutes. ¬†You don’t want to burn the butter though. ¬†Here is a video review of browning butter and there are more videos on youtube
  • Combine the mashed banana, eggs, dark brown sugar, and vanilla (or rum) and then add the brown butter. ¬†
  • Gently fold the flour into the wet mixture and add the toasted walnuts or pecans (or not if you don’t want them!) ¬†
  • Pour this batter onto the cooked cookie crumb crust and sprinkle a little flaky salt on top – as you may know I love Maldon sea salt for this. ¬†
  • Place in the oven and bake for about 45-55 minutes — until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs attached or clean – but not with wet batter.¬†
  • Cool and eat!¬†
  • These freeze really well

Recipes

Chocolate Dipped Fresh Fruit

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

I’ve dipped a multitude of goodies in chocolate. ¬†My favorite is fresh fruit. ¬†Not just strawberries, but blueberries and raspberries and especially pomegranates. ¬†I might be alone here since whenever I make them I seem to be the only one standing over that platter insisting that “you need to try these!!” ¬† That feeling of the pomegranates popping while the chocolate snaps and then melts, well, it is a symphony in my mouth.

Eat these the day you make them and place in the refrigerator until you serve.  They are mediocre the next day as the fruit begins to break down and gets a little funky.IMG_0286

Read here to remind you about tempering chocolate.  And here about other valentine treats.

triple chocolate banana bread

Wowee. ¬†This is delicious. ¬†Rich in flavor and color and texture – you can’t ¬†miss this one. I mean it. ¬†Best chocolate banana bread ever. ¬†As mentioned in the post from Liv for Cake (below) you can certainly skip the chips and ganache for a less chocolatey experience. ¬†And/or add walnuts to cut some of the richness and sweetness. ¬†But we loved as is. ¬†These days when I bake the sweet often sits on our counter and eventually looks sad and dry (after several days of being ignored). ¬†This dessert never had a chance to sit and kids argued over who got the last piece. ¬†Yum. ¬†I plan to make again this week.

I used half the ganache in the recipe fyi – but saved the rest and will use tomorrow when I make this again.

Here is the recipe...chocolate banana bread.

I followed almost exactly – but used natural Valrhona cocoa powder. ¬†Oh, I also doubled the recipe but baked one cake in a larger loaf pan than in the recipe. ¬† I find I don’t have to bake as long and I have more control with the overall moistness of the cake. ¬†Muffin/cupcake shape would be great as well. ¬†You can follow my lead or follow the recipe. ¬†Also, remember to read my baking tips (esp measuring flour!) before you bake.

chocolate pudding alice medrich (no eggs)

Oh, this pudding is DELICIOUS.  I absolutely LOVE it.  Really really good and quite easy to make!

It is so thoroughly chocolatey and not at all cloying like some puddings seem to be. ¬†This one is different from the other chocolate pudding recipe on the blog in many ways, but most importantly, there are no eggs. ¬†Yup. ¬†So this is great if someone has an egg allergy and often can’t enjoy pudding.

chocolate pudding (from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich):
1/3 cup (2.33 ounces) sugar
1/3 cup (1 ounce) unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably natural and a high-end cocoa)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate or 3 ounces semisweet (not both)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whisk the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt together in a heavy medium saucepan.

Add about 30 tablespoons of the milk, and whisk to form a smooth paste.

Whit in the remaining milk and cream.

Over medium heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Try to get into the bottom edges of the pan especially as it almost reaches the boil.  Once it begins to thicken and bubble at the edges, cook for about 1 minute more on a simmer.  Add the chopped chocolate

and stir briskly until the chocolate is melted and the pudding is smooth.  (About 30 more seconds).  Remove from heat and add vanilla.

I made this into a pie – and you can too – or place in pretty glasses with freshly whipped cream. ¬†Yum. ¬†Check out an old post from April of… for a delicious crust and whipped cream topping. ¬†Delicious.

 

 

 

holiday brownies

So my mom texted this AM, asking which brownie recipe to make for my dad because he needs to put on weight.  I immediately thought of these goodies.  Looking at the blog, I realize that I had yet to finish the write up.  And when I looked closer at my draft, I realized that my parents actually tried and like them when they were here last.  Kind of funny.

Rob said these are the BEST¬†brownies to date. ¬†This¬†is an extremely compelling reason to try them because Rob is a tough crowd. ¬†And yes, I know there is no crowd in one, but he can feel like a crowd with his chocolate thoughts and opinions. ¬†Andy, Sylvie, my mom, my dad – whoever came by that week truly enjoyed. ¬†These are chewy and chocolatey, and not as rich¬†as my regular fudge brownies. ¬†The brownies have a lovely sheen on top and yummy crisp edges. ¬†It’s a really good brownie. ¬†I called them holiday brownies only because I’m embarrassed to write “brownies again” ūüôā ¬†Try them!

I love this cookbook btw – it is filled with terrific, thoughtful, healthy and quick dinner recipes and a few dessert goodies at the end — this being one of them.

holiday brownies (from The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman) 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate|
1/2 cup unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (if using table salt, cut in half)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
chocolate chips (optional)
toasted nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. ¬†Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil or parchment or use butter or cooking spray.

Place the butter in a medium sauce pan and over low heat, start to melt it.  Add the unsweetened chocolate by placing on top of the butter and slowly melt the two together.  Do not burn the chocolate or cook it.  If you are too worried doing it this way,  just use a double boiler or a makeshift one (metal bowl on top of a saucepan with an inch of barely simmering water).

Stir in the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt.  Then blend in the vanilla.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time and stir quickly after each one is added.  Then beat again once all incorporated.  Fold in the flour and chocolate chips and nuts if using.  I used chocolate chips.  I always do.  I usually use a darker semi sweet or a bitter-sweet (esp for Rob).

Bake for about 24-30 minutes…check them after 20 minutes. ¬†Bake until the edges start to pull from the sides a tad, and a toothpick comes out just clean.

Let cool and enjoy!

 

puff pastry chocolate treat

I planned to make this little treat for my New Year’s brunch, but ran out of time so Rob jumped in and made it! ¬†He will argue that he put it together, and didn’t bake anything – but even so, it shows you how easy this is. ¬†(No offense meant for Rob, he just doesn’t bake a lot.) ¬†Get some puff pastry in the house and grab a delicious piece of chocolate and you are prepared.

I love the Tasty recipes/videos on Facebook and Youtube.  They are so fun and charming.  Everything look so easy and fun.  Click here to see how to make this delicious treat.

Add almonds if you like. ¬† Rob used bittersweet chocolate and it was delicious. ¬†Enjoy –

 

chocolate cake

Eric really loved this cake! ¬†And that worked out perfectly because I made it for him. ¬†For his 50th! ¬†I took a chance (well, not really because Ina Garten is never too a risky choice). ¬†She loves this cake, said it was one of her favorites, and it seemed fairly easy to whip it up before our long car trip to Maine to celebrate. ¬†Eric asked for the recipe for Kathy to make (which is always a good sign) and I’m happy to oblige. ¬†He was curious as to why he liked it so much – and we agreed in the end, that it was the coffee that put him over the edge from happiness to bliss (and thirds!) ¬†Anyway, this is delicious. ¬†Do not over bake.

beatty’s chocolate cake (from Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten):

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour (rem to read about flour measurement in baking tips)
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk (shake first)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs at room temp  (I used large eggs and worked out well)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

chocolate frosting

6 oz good semisweet chocolate such as Callebaut, Valrhona, Guittard
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 extra large egg yolk (or pasteurized egg if raw scares you)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
pinch kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. ¬†Butter two 8×2 inch round cake pans. ¬†Line with parchment and butter again. ¬†Flour too if you feel like it.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer.  With the paddle attachment mix on the lowest speed to combing.

Mix together the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined.  Then add the hot coffee and mix until almost combined.  Finish mixing with a spatula and fold to combine.  Pour into cake pans and bake for 30-40 m.  You must check at 30 m.  Then continue to check every 5 to 3 to 2 minutes until cake is just done.  This step prob most important as you want a moist cake.

Let cool in pans, then run a knife around the edges Рinvert the pan, pull off the parchment and invert to right side up again.  Let cool completely before frosting the cake.

For the frosting, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of barely simmering water.  Once melted remover from heat.  Do not cook it.

Beat butter on medium high speed with paddle attachment until light and fluffy about 3-5 minutes.  Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for another 3-4 minutes.

Turn the mixer to low and add the confectioners’ sugar and salt – ¬†then beat at medium speed (scraping the bowl here and there) until smooth and creamy.

Dissolve the coffee into 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. ¬†Add the melted chocolate and coffee to the mixture and beat until combined. ¬†Do not whip. ¬†Spread on cooled cake and enjoy –

 

 

jimmies (chocolate sprinkles)

By now you know that I love ice cream and jimmies. ¬†And not just any jimmy but real jimmies. ¬†I’m sharing this with you so you too can enjoy the happiness I derive from my ice cream eating experience. ¬†A lot of it has to do with the ice cream I know…but seriously (as serious as I can be about ice cream toppings) what you normally get at the supermarket or ice cream parlor is really not what I’m talking about when I say jimmies.

Soo…I did a taste test of my 3 favorites and I can’t choose. ¬†I love them all so pick one and try. ¬†You may find it hard from then on to enjoy a chocolate sprinkle anywhere else but in your home (or mine!)

Ingredients in a typical sprinkle are sugar, veggie oil, corn starch, corn syrup, soy lecithin, salt, natural and artificial flavor, confectioners glaze, and carauba wax.

Ingredients in these jimmies are all similar but generally lists sugar (yeah, sorry that is first), cocoa liquor, cocoa powder, butter oil, milk powder, natural vanilla.

callebaut Belgian Chocolate

cocoa barry jimmies

guittard jimmies 

The links will take you to where you can buy – but search around for the best price.