25 May 2016

COCONUT BERRY CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

There is something amazingly delicious in combination of chocolate and berries. Any type of berry works in that flavour mix, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and especially strawberries. The brownies are moist and fudgy, with just a hint of nuttiness from the coconut. I recommend underbaking them just ever so slightly, to keep them fudge-like for longer. One other tip I have is to keep them in a sealed container so they don't dry out after cutting.

Coconut berry chocolate brownies recipe tinascookings.blogspot.com

Ingredients
150 grams plain flour
50 grams cornflour (corn starch)
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
⅛ teaspoon baking powder
50 grams desiccated coconut
4 tablespoons freeze dried raspberries or strawberries, finely crushed
150 grams sugar
100 grams dark chocolate
200 ml oil
1 egg
200 ml water

Preparation
Sift together the flour with the cornflour (corn starch), cocoa powder and baking powder, then tip them into a large bowl, add the desiccated coconut, sugar, and the freeze dried strawberries, and whisk very well. Chop up the dark chocolate, pour over half of the oil, then melt them together over low heat. It may take some time to melt, but it will emulsify very nicely. Once melted, remove it from heat, and let it cool down slightly. In another bowl, whisk together the remainder of oil, the egg, and the water.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, add the melted chocolate, and whisk everything together until just combined. Do not overmix the batter, because the brownies will be crumbly and tough. Grease a small baking pan (15x27 cm; 6x11" or similar), pour in the batter, and bake it immediately in a preheated oven, at 170°C (340°F), for about 15-20 minutes. Test them with a toothpick to make sure they are just slightly underbaked. Let them cool completely, then slice them into cubes and serve. Yields 9 servings.

11 May 2016

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

These truffles are very dense, fudgy, and very delicious. With lots of dark chocolate, dark cocoa powder, and rum, they are nothing short of a very fragrant truffle. And, they have a secret ingredient - mashed potatoes! Of course, unseasoned mashed potatoes, because any other kind wouldn't work as well. Potatoes are rather neutral in flavour on their own, so the addition of chocolate and other goodies makes them a perfect dessert. Other than hazelnuts, you can use honey roasted peanuts, dark cocoa powder, or even just icing sugar to decorate the truffles.

Chocolate truffles recipe tinascookings.blogspot.com

Ingredients
400 grams potatoes, cooked
1 tablespoon butter
350 grams dark chocolate
100 grams icing sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
150 grams chopped toasted hazelnuts

Chocolate truffles recipe tinascookings.blogspot.com

Preparation
Peel and cook the potatoes in boiling water until they are just tender, like you normally would cook your potatoes, then strain them, and let them cool just slightly. Place them in a large bowl, add the butter, and mash with a potato masher until they are creamy. Do not use a mixer, because they will turn very gluey. You can also use leftover mashed potatoes, but only if they are unseasoned. Once they are mashed, let them cool even more. Melt the chocolate and let it cool slightly, then drizzle it in the potatoes in a few batches, folding it in very well after each. Make sure you use a wooden spoon or a spatula for this step.
Once the chocolate is folded through, sift in the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a few additions, and mix very well. Finally, add the vanilla and rum, and mix everything once more. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for about an hour, or until firm to the touch. While you are waiting, roughly chop the hazelnuts for the coating. Remove the batter from the fridge, take out tablespoons of the batter, roll each between your palms to make a truffle, then roll it in the prepared hazelnuts. Continue rolling until you use up all the batter. Keep them refrigerated until serving time. Yields 35 truffles.

03 May 2016

CHOCOLATE OREO CUPCAKES

Adding oatmeal to the cupcake batter makes the baked cupcakes very fudgy and chewy, as well as tender. Oreos give them a slight crunch, and a bit of additional sweetness. You can choose to crush the Oreos and add them to the batter, or even use the whole mini Oreos, for a crunchy surprise inside of the cupcake. Whip up some fresh cream, pour yourself a glass of cold milk, and enjoy!

Chocolate Oreo cupcakes recipe tinascookings.blogspot.com

Ingredients
For the cupcakes
100 grams old-fashioned oats
350 ml boiling water
150 grams butter, softened
200 grams icing sugar, sifted
2 medium eggs
150 grams plain flour
30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
200 grams mini Oreo cookies
For the frosting
250 ml heavy whipping cream
100 grams mini Oreo cookies

To make the chocolate cupcakes, pour the boiling water over the rolled oats, mix well, and let them soak up the water and cool down almost completely. Take another bowl, add the softened butter and beat it with the icing sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, then blend in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating just until incorporated.
Sift the flour with the cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda, add it to the batter, and blend well. Add the cooled oats and whisk until incorporated. Add the crushed Oreo cookies and fold them through. Generously grease and flour the bottom and sides of a cupcake pan (or use cupcake liners), pour in the batter and bake them in a preheated oven, at 180˚C (350˚F) for 15-20 minutes (do the toothpick test). Take them out of the oven, let them sit in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, whip the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. You can crush the Oreo cookies and fold them through the freshly whipped cream, or you can sprinkle them on top of the piped swirl of cream. Serve them well chilled with additional Oreo cookies and milk. Yields 12 standard cupcakes.

21 April 2016

CHOCOLATE CAKE TRUFFLES

Moist and tender cake layers, rich mocha frosting, and just a hint of tartness from orange preserves, all perfectly wrapped up and rounded off in these adorable little truffles. This is a great alternative to a regular cake, especially if you are transporting it, or don't have the time to frost and decorate the cake. If you wish, you can use sprinkles instead of icing sugar. Because after all, sprinkles make everything even better.

Chocolate cake truffles recipe tinascookings.blogspot.com

Ingredients
For the chocolate cake
150 grams butter, softened
200 grams light brown sugar
2 small eggs
100 ml oil
100 grams plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
250 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
100 ml hot coffee
For the mocha buttercream
100 grams butter, softened
100 grams icing sugar
50 grams instant vanilla pudding powder
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
3 tablespoons heavy cream
To assemble
2 tablespoons orange preserves
icing sugar, for decoration

Chocolate cake truffles recipe tinascookings.blogspot.com

Preparation
To make the cake, start by sifting together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. In a large bowl, beat the butter with the brown sugar for about two minutes on the highest setting, or until uniform in colour and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each. Add in the yogurt and oil, followed by vanilla. Blend well, then add the dry ingredients and whisk until just barely blended. Finally, add the coffee and whisk until combined. Take a 23x30 cm (9x13") cake pan, grease and flour the base and sides. Pour the cake batter in, level it as much as you can and bake it in a preheated oven, at 180˚C (350˚F) for about 30-35 minutes. Check it with a skewer to make sure it isn't overbaked. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 mins, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Before you start making the buttercream, sift the icing sugar twice. Beat the softened butter with an electric mixer on high for about 3-4 minutes, until it lightens up and becomes smooth and creamy. Add the coffee granules, and blend it really well. Add the icing sugar in three additions, mixing well after each. Finally, add the heavy cream gradually, and continue beating for about 2-3 minutes, until completely light and fluffy.
When the cake is thoroughly chilled, crumble it up with your hands until you get fine crumbs. Add in the buttercream and start mixing with an electric mixer on low. Keep mixing on low while slowly adding the orange preserves. Increase the speed and mix for about 30 seconds more, to completely blend the batter. Put the batter in the fridge for about 30-45 minutes, to firm up. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Using a small cookie scoop (about a tablespoon of the batter), take out the batter and roll it gently between your palms to shape the truffles. Place them on the lined baking sheet and put them in the fridge for at least an hour. When ready to decorate, roll them into icing sugar or unsweetened cocoa powder, and keep refrigerated until serving time. Yields 45 truffles.

12 April 2016

DOUBLE COFFEE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Strong coffee flavour and a hint of chocolate make this a great dessert. The coffee syrup makes them slightly sticky, and soft, and the buttercream keeps them moist and fresh for longer. The buttercream is light and airy, very smooth, with almost a whipped consistency. There is plenty of frosting, so you can pipe a very nice swirl on top of each cupcake. This type of cupcakes is a great brunch alternative, especially if you’re on the go. Coffee and snack in one.


Ingredients
For the cupcakes
100 grams granulated sugar
100 ml cold water
1 tablespoon ground coffee
1 egg
120 ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
200 grams plain flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
For the coffee buttercream
100 grams butter, softened
200 grams icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons cold water

Preparation
Take a medium saucepan and place in the sugar and the coffee, then mix it with a spatula and shake the pan to make an even layer. Pour over the cold water and swirl the pan, but do not stir. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the mixture to rolling boil, without stirring. Even if it looks lumpy, do not stir it, the lumps of coffee will dissolve as it starts to boil. Let it boil for 2 minutes, then remove it from the heat and let it cool down slightly.
Take a large bowl and whisk together the milk, vanilla and the egg, then slowly drizzle in the cooked sugar and coffee syrup. Whisk constantly as you pour it in, so you don't cook the egg. Finally, sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and whisk until just combined. Add the hot water and whisk briefly. If you overmix, the muffins will be tough. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with 6 paper liners, evenly fill each cup with the muffin batter and bake them, in a preheated oven, at 180˚C (350˚F) for 10-15 minutes. Let them cool completely before frosting.
Place the instant coffee granules into a small bowl, add the cold water and mix thoroughly until smooth. Place the butter in a large bowl, and beat it with an electric mixer on high, for about 2 minutes. It should become completely creamy and slightly lighter in colour. Sift in half of the icing sugar, add the coffee syrup, and blend on high for 2 minutes more. When it becomes creamy, add in the rest of the sifted icing sugars, beating for at least 2 minutes more.The buttercream will be airy and smooth, with a whipped consistency. Take each of the cupcakes, pipe on a generous frosting swirl, and serve. Yields 6 standard cupcakes.