Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream cake

25 Sep

I made this cake ages ago…

I was supposed to post this at the beginning -middle of August, but I left for holidays and got lazy didn’t have any decent internet connection, so I just didn’t bother until now.

As you can see, it’s not your average plain ol’ chocolate cake. It’s more “special”. At least to me it was, as I made this for my father’s birthday. He doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, or so he says, so he is usually a bit harder to satisfy than others. I thought that you can never go wrong with chocolate and ice cream, so that’ s what I  went for.

It’s one big ice cream sandwich you could say. The cake is super moist and fluffy. The ice cream is hand made too, as I am trying to make the most of my ice cream maker, but you could always cheat with store bought.

Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream cake

recipe from La Receta de la Felicidad

Ingredients

For the cake
200 g flour (1 and 3/4 cups)
300 g sugar (1 and 1/3 cups)
90 g unsweetened cocoa powder (3/4 cups)
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
2 eggs
200 ml buttermilk (4/5 cup)
125 g butter, melted (1 stick)
200 ml freshly brewed hot coffee (4/5 cup)

Ice cream filling:

1 lt vanilla ice cream  (33 fl oz)

Chocolate frosting:
200 ml heavy cream (4/5 cup)
50 g butter (1/2 stick)
250 g dark chocolate (9 oz)
chopped almonds to decorate

Directions

Cake
Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Grease and flour (or use baking spray) two 23cm baking pans and set aside (I used 2 disposable aluminum foil pans)
Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract and beat until smooth
Add hot coffee, and mix well. The batter will be very runny (probably that is why the cake is so moist).
Distribute batter between the two pans and bake on middle rack of oven for about 20-25 minutes.
Wait 15 minutes before unmolding. Let the cakes cool completely on a wire rack.

To assemble cake
Take the ice cream out of the freezer a few minutes before starting to assemble the cake, to soften and make it more spreadable. Line a mold with paper parchment (the size of your cakes).Place a cake inside the mold, spread the ice cream over it, and top with the other cake. Freeze, if possible 24 hours (what I did as I made my own ice cream,  was after it was churned I poured it in a disposable aluminum foil pan and froze it there. You will need to trim it a bit on the sides when you put the cake together, but I found this method hassle-free for me).

Chocolate frosting
Next day, prepare the chocolate frosting. Pour cream on a medium saucepan, bring to boil, remove from heat, and add chopped chocolate and butter. Allow to rest for a few minutes, and then stir until dissolved. Place cake on a wire rack, and pour frosting over it, being careful to cover the cake completely. Drop some chopped almonds over it, and freeze again until you are going to serve it.

To serve: take the cake out of the freezer 10 to 15 minutes before you plan to serve it.

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Banana streusel snack cake

7 Sep

I really wish that while I am typing this post, I am wearing a cardigan, sweats and I am sipping warm coffee. Because autumn is here and all the leaves are brown and the air is chilling. And in my kitchen I am baking something cinnamon-y, dunno what though yet. I haven’t decided what.

Reality check…. I leave in Athens (the original one, in Greece) and it’s hot out there. Most of my friends and(sane) people I know, are still spending hours on the beach whenever they have free time and we are still semi-dressed due to the hot weather. The only thing that has come out of my kitchen the past month are mostly ice cubes, and I am lucky cause I didn’t have to make them (thanks to my fridge), so I won’t be giving you any recipe there.

In my head though, autumn is here.  My vacation time seems far away and I am back to my normal forty fifty-something- hour workweek (business as usual). I had a nice time, I can’t deny that, but now I am ready to start the new season and get back to my schedule. I’m also looking forward to doing loads of baking without instantly converting my kitchen to a sauna (it’s good for the skin, though).

I am just trying to be patient for now, and whenever I have free time I find great pleasure into going to department stores to secretly touch the new suede jackets or just feel the soft angora jumpers. I was even daring enough to use my oven the other day to make this cake.

I made it to accompany coffee, on a Sunday morning. It’s really cliché and at the same time an all time classic to make a banana bread/cake, especially now that schools are starting. But this one is not your typical banana bread. First of all it’s not a one bowl recipe, so if you were looking for a quick recipe, please come back next week. It’s more cake-y and light in texture and the streusel gives a nice crunch and feel (to me at least) and it makes it stand out (even judge G_ liked it and he always complains when he sees me making something with bananas).

Someone had cake for the first time (and from the look on his face he really liked it).

Banana streusel snack cake

slightly adapted from Technicolor Kitchen

Streusel:
6 tablespoons (60g) all purpose flour
6 tablespoons firmly packed (75g) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cake:
1 1/3 cups (233g) cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (255g) mashed ripe bananas (2 medium or 3 small)
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) demerara sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork

1/4 cup chocolate sprinkles or chips (optional, but you won’t regret it)

Directions:

Streusel:
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon with your fingertips until the mixture is lumpy; refrigerate.

Cake
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 20cm (8in) square pan then flour the pan, tapping out excess flour. Have all the ingredients in room temperature.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and set aside. Put the mashed bananas in a medium bowl and stir in the milk and vanilla; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the butter and sugar on medium-low speed until fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
Add the egg and beat until completely incorporated. Add the banana mixture (it will look curdled, but that’s OK) and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer to its lowest speed and gradually add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated (I always do this by hand, using a rubber spatula). If using chocolate, add it now.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the batter.
Bake the cake until it springs back when gently pressed in the center and a round wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan completely before cutting and serving.

Chocolate granola bars with cranberry & almond flakes

22 Aug

A snack for the road…

We are back from our holidays destination and this was our snack for the trip (to not from), but I am posting the recipe now. Better late than never, they say. Truth is, before we left I prepared the greek text and assumed that I would do this one during my time off. We had various devices with us and plenty of free time. What better to do on your free time, right? I never ever thought, that I would be without internet connection, or even mobile reception for most of my stay in that remote little village on the mountain.

Shock and horror, but after a while I just got bored of having to climb on the tree to get some 3G reception, so I just went with the flow and wire- and reception- less. And guess what? I survived!!!!!!I am really proud of myself, I have to admit.

Here is the recipe for the snack that I prepared for the road trip and to take with us to the beach. You could say they are on the “healthy” side as they have oatmeal and nuts. The bars are on the crunchy side the first day but they get softer and chewier the following days. You can pretty much adapt them to your liking, I just used what I had left in my cupboards. They are also a perfect pre workout snack (something I haven’t done in a couple of weeks though). The addition of chocolate and cranberry makes them a bit sweeter than I would have liked, so have that in mind.

(don’t you just love those little bags?)

Chocolate granola bars with cranberry and almond flakes

recipe adapted from here

Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup dried cranberry
1/4 cup almond flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
1 egg (small), beaten
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
——-
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Line a 20x20cm (8inch) square baking with parchment paper (let it hang from the sides).
In a large bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, salt, chocolate chips, almond flakes and cranberry.
Add remaining ingredients, gently mixing it all together.
Press the mixture with the back of a spoon or your hands into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cut the bars when they are still warm (either wise they will be too hard and difficult to cut).

Chocolate cookies and cream ice cream (with coconut milk)

9 Jul

Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please!

I finally got an ice cream maker (as a birthday present, thanks to my cousin and his family-you will not regret it, I swear!).

And the timing couldn’t be more appropriate, as the temperature seems to rise (I think something like 39 C / over 100F ) and the heat makes it unbearable to do anything. I didn’t go to the beach this weekend (as nearly every person living in Greece did), of course, but I spent Saturday morning outside running errands and shopping, as well as attending my regular weekly (midday) aerial yoga class (which thanks to the weather was a HOT aerial yoga class). When I went back home, I was ready to lay my body on the marble floor, underneath the A/C (trust me it’s the best thing for instant cooling), but the thought of the ice cream attachment cooling in the freezer kept me going.

I prepared a quick and easy recipe, with only 4 ingredients (plus 1 I added), to test drive my new toy. The choice of a chocolate recipe was not a very clever one (at least not in a white kitchen), but at least I could see the splatter on the walls easier than if it was a vanilla one.

I also decided that my kitchen was not hot enough, so I baked some cookie cups/”beds” for the ice cream, from cookie dough I had in my freezer (I always save some when I prepare cookies). You can see them below, they turned out lovely (at least half of them), a sugar cookie dough cup/bed, sprinkled with fuchsia sprinkles for the girls (matching my new nail polish).

Plain for the guys, on a “bed of a white choc chip cookie”. Served and consumed outside, on the balcony or in the garden (if you have one).

Α few words about the recipe:

  • It’s super easy, with only 4+1 ingredients, it really reminded me of chocolate milk (with a coconut twist)
  • It doesn’t contain any eggs, as I have a thing with using not sufficiently cooked ones in desserts
  • If you don’t have an ice cream machine, I guess you can do it manually like I did in this recipe
  • The recipe below makes about half a kilo ice cream (1 pint)
  • the cookie cups/”beds” were made from two different doughs I had stored in my freezer, one classic vanilla cookie recipe and the other this recipe

Chocolate cookies and cream ice cream (with coconut milk)

recipe barely adapted from Two Peas & their Pod

1 (400ml) can coconut milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
10 Oreos, crushed

1 tBsp. rum (optional)

Directions

Combine the coconut milk, sugar, cocoa powder and rum in the mixer bowl (or a blender, or mix by hand)  and mix for 30 seconds or until all the ingredients are combined.Chill the mixture for an hour (if you can, or more).

Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last 5 minutes of churning, add the crushed Oreos.

When it is ready, transfer the ice cream to a plastic container, cover, and freeze until ready to eat.

“Healthy” banana, coconut and chocolate oatmeal cookies

11 Jun

The word healthy is in brackets because one could argue that these are healthy. But compared to what I have made and what I am going to make in the future, these are healthy (of course if you scroll a bit further down you will notice that I have managed to “amend” the healthy side bit).

I wanted to make something sweet, but healthy, that will give a boost  of energy to my gym friends, before or after working out. Something that one can eat without feeling (too) guilty and won’t have to to spend 3 days on the treadmill to burn it off. I wouldn’t want them to think that I am sabotaging their “summer 2012 bikini/swimsuit” mission.

I am also trying to take into consideration this blog’s main judge, who, is not really fond of my attempts to sneak vegetables or “healthy stuff” into his diet (like this  and that). Since I can’t deny the fact that these fall into the “healthy stuff” category, I thought I could get away by camouflaging them a bit…

You see where I am going with these, right? I baked some of the cookies in my mini muffin pan, so I got some cookie-muffins, perfect as a base for a scoop of ice cream. The ice cream is unfortunately not home made. I feel shame just by writing it, but since I don’t have an ice cream maker we still buy it.

Anyway…. this is how I de-healthified (is there such a word, really?)  something relatively healthy….

Warning: this is not a sushi, so please don’t shove it in your mouth in one go, or you will get a brain-freeze (true story)

A few words about this recipe: Continue reading

Chocolate muffins

7 Jun

I’ve been seeing chocolate everywhere. I guess there are other sweets around me, but my system refuses to acknowledge anything else.

The chocolate I’ve been seeing, comes in fancy forms and shapes, unlike those simple looking (but “effective” I have to add) muffins, but since I’ve been away this long weekend (we had Monday off) and I’m working a more-than-full time job, it’s quite difficult for me to find the peace and quiet I need in order to bake something (it’s sorta my meditation time). So, the green mixer had the time off.

And no, if you are wondering, we didn’t go to the beach for the first of the year swim/sunburn/or ice cream (important milestones in ones summer, in Greece). We had a wedding to attend, in a small village, resulting coming back to an empty fridge and cupboards.

But I was not feeling good about not making and posting anything here, so I managed to make these muffins, which disappeared as quickly as it took me to make them. No one ever denies a chocolate treat, for sure (ok, I may have delivered a couple to friends personally).

I found this recipe on Pinterest. I’ve been resisting it for some time now, although I had registered a long time ago, but due to peer group pressure (yeah, I’m not 16, I know), I jumped on the pinterest wagon at last and created some boards. I wonder if I will manage to find time to follow everything.

A few words about the recipe

  • Quick and easy recipe, perfect for breakfast or/and to accompany coffee (they are made and eaten on the spot) and the muffins are not overly sweet
  • if you like nuts, feel free to add some, it will be a good idea
  • if you are not very fond of coffee or don’t have instant espresso you can omit it from the recipe Continue reading

Strawberry cake with chocolate glaze

21 May

Mondays….

are tough….

Ever since I was little ….

 

Especially after a busy weekend, hanging out with people, cooking, baking, and all that entails. I can say that I was kinda relieved when I returned to the office today and started my weekly routine. It’s an endless loop. At least it was quite productive and I managed to finish these for my nephew’s christening (for the children’s goodie bags). They are ready, packed waiting to be eaten.

I made this cake to accompany our coffee and lollipop decorating/packaging session and even though I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t touch this cake (I am not fond of fruit, especially when inside or on top of sweets-cakes etc- no-one’s perfect), I had to restrain myself from eating too much  (I’m supposed to be on a strict diet)

A few words about the recipe:

  • It’s not an overly sweet cake and this makes it perfect for breakfast or to accompany coffee (or tea- ok I am not a big fan, but I suppose you get the picture)
  • The strawberry taste is not too strong and it offers a discreet scent and flavor and as you eat a piece, you can feel the strawberry “seeds” pop in your mouth (like poppy seeds)
  • The strawberry purée/sauce can also be used in crepes, on waffles etc. You can prepare it earlier, or the day before (that’s what I did) and keep it refrigerated. If you like to feel and see the strawberries in the cake, just cut them in half cause they are going to melt (and disappear, like in mine)
  • Although it might look like it, it doesn’t contain any whole wheat flour, it’s dark because of the strawberry (if you look closely, you’ll see it) Continue reading
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