Saturday, January 31, 2015

Brandy Alexander Drinks & Brownies: National Brandy Alexander Day!

Today is National Brandy Alexander Day. A Brandy Alexander is a sweet, brandy-based cocktail that became popular during the early 20th century. It was supposedly created for the wedding of Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood, and Viscount Lascelles, in London, in 1922. The Brandy Alexander is based on an earlier, gin-based cocktail called simply an “Alexander.”

From the Brandyalexander website comes the history that Movie Stars have consumed Brandy Alexanders on sets of movies and TV shows and during celebratory events over the last century.  Among the famous calls are by Jack Lemon in Days of Wine and Roses. In one scene Lee Remick receives a Brandy Alexander and is impressed with the chocolate flavor, yet smooth taste of the drink. In the pilot of the Mary Tyler Moore show, Mary calls for a Brandy Alexander when asked if she would like a drink at her job interview and Peggy on a blind date in an episode of Mad Men, Indian Summer calls for a Brandy Alexander. Over time other movies made reference to Brandy Alexanders.

So with this exciting alcoholic Food Holiday, break out the Brandy and Creme de Cacao!

Brandy Alexander

1 1/2 oz brandy
1 oz dark creme de cacao
1 oz half-and-half
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the brandy, creme de cacao, and half-and-half. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the nutmeg

I'm not sure where I found the original recipe for Brandy Alexander Brownies, but I found a similar recipe at The Pioneer Woman that includes a recipe for Brandy Alexander Icing. My original recipe below includes optional walnuts, and I don't usually frost brownies. They're plenty rich the way they are, but I do use more chocolate, but then I'm always Dying for Chocolate.

Brandy Alexander Brownies

Ingredients
6 Tbsp sweet butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 Tbsp creme de cacao
2 Tbsp brandy
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
In mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar till fluffy.
Add eggs; beat well.
Blend in cooled chocolate, creme de cacao, and brandy.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Stir into creamed mixture.
Stir in  chopped nuts (optional)
Spread in a greased 9x9x2 inch baking pan.
Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool.
Cut into bars.

Optional: Frost with Brandy Alexander Frosting before cutting into bars!

Brandy Alexander Frosting
2 Tbsp Sweet Butter, Softened
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Creme De Cacao
1 tbsp Brandy

Mix all together!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants

Today is National Croissant Day. There's nothing quite like waking up to a flaky buttery croissant. I have my favorite sources for croissants. I love the ones at the Hotel Sofitel, and, of course, many cafes and bakeries in Paris.

Just an FYI: Starbucks (at least in the Bay Area) is utilizing a new baking company, and their croissants are better than they used to be. Today, in honor of Croissant Day, Starbucks is offering 50% off their croissants while supplies last--to Starbucks card or app holders.

I've mentioned Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants, but time for a revisit. These are some of the best frozen croissants you'll ever taste. The 'proof' is in the pudding, as they say, and these croissants are proofed (allowed to rise) overnight before they're baked for 20 minutes the next morning. The heavenly smell will take over your kitchen. Perfect for the weekend or National Croissant Day.

And, the price can't be beat--just $3.99 for 4! Chef Jean-Yves Charon from Galaxy Bakery is the genius behind Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants.

O.K., these "Croissants" are really Pain au Chocolat, as anyone can see by the shape, so feel free to imagine yourself at a sidewalk cafe in Paris when eating these! The croissants are incredibly flaky and buttery, so light and airy, and the Callebaut chocolate is rich and delicious. Since there are four to a box, and each croissant contains 18 grams of fat, you might want to offer a few to family or friends. If you don't care what they'll do to your waistline or thighs, indulge. They're terrific!

This is one product that outshines most home baked croissants. Yes, you can make your own Chocolate Croissants, but these are so good, why bother?

You'll find TJ's Chocolate Croissants in the freezer section. This product was voted by Trader Joe's Fans as one of the top 10 of 2011. I totally agree.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

CHOCOLATE CROCKPOT CAKE



Yesterday was Chocolate Cake Day. I've blogged about Cake in a Mug. How simple is that? But suppose you're having company, and you need more. This recipe for Cake in a Crockpot is simple and easy--but not fast. But... you can put the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning, set the time, and come back to an incredibly delicious moist rich chocolate cake.

CROCK POT CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients
1 pkg dark chocolate cake mix
8 ounces sour cream
1 package chocolate pudding (instant or cooked)
1 cup or 8 ounces chocolate chips (or broken chocolate bits/I put in more, but I'm a chocoholic)
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 cup water

Directions
Mix all ingredients together. Pour into lightly greased 5 quart crock pot. Cover.
Cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
Serve with whipped cream or ice-cream!


Monday, January 26, 2015

Chocolate Pistachio Cake: Green & Black's

Photo: Green & Black's
Today is National Pistachio Day, and I just had to post this recipe for Chocolate Pistachio Cake from Green & Black's Chocolate. Green & Black is a favorite chocolate--Fair Trade Earth Friendly Chocolate! I love this cake!


Chocolate Pistachio Cake

Ingredients
Butter and flour for coating pan
8 ounces dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa content, finely chopped
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) sweet butter
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure Madagascar vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped plus extra to decorate
* 1-2 teaspoons organic unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions
Position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter cake pan. Swirl some flour around to coat completely. Invert pan and tap out excess.

Put chocolate and butter in saucepan over another saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove bowl and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, sift flour, baking powder, and salt into bowl; whisk well and set aside.

Combine eggs and vanilla extract in large bowl. Whisk until foamy. Add sugar and whisk until light and frothy, about 1 minute. Blend in chocolate mixture. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, whisking to blend completely each time. Fold in pistachios.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes until skewer inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. When inserted in center, a bit of moist batter will cling to it. Do not over bake.

Cool cake on rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto plate. Invert back onto rack so shiny side is up. Cool cake completely before sliding it onto serving plate. Sift the cocoa over the top and sprinkle with extra chopped pistachio nuts. Serve.

British Chocolates Won't Cross the Pond

As a result of a settlement with the Hershey’s Company, Let’s Buy British Imports, or L.B.B., agreed this week to stop importing all Cadbury’s chocolate made overseas. The company also agreed to halt imports on KitKat bars made in Britain; Toffee Crisps, which, because of their orange packaging, and yellow-lined brown script, too closely resemble Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups; Yorkie chocolate bars, which infringe on the York peppermint patty..

Read the rest of the NYT article Here. What do you think?

I'll have to have my British friends send care packages!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Irish Coffee Chocolate Mousse

Today is National Irish Coffee Day! Irish Coffee was invented at the Buena Vista Cafe, right here in San Francisco.

On my first day in California I was lucky to hitch a ride with a visiting dignitary. The day's tour of San Francisco included the hills of San Francisco, beautiful Sonoma County, the Renaissance Fair, Sausalito, Fisherman's Wharf, the Palace of Fine Arts, Cliff House, the Golden Gate Bridge, and a stop at the Buena Vista Cafe for an Irish Coffee. I saw more of the San Francisco Bay Area on that one day than I did over the next ten years.

Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Cafe is a very San Francisco tradition. The drink was invented there in 1952. The recipe was a collaborative effort between Jack Koeppler, the Buena Vista’s owner, and Stanton Delaplane, a well-known international travel writer and San Francisco Chronicle columnist.

The official story of Irish Coffee tells of the perseverance and repeated attempts of Koeppler & Delaplane and even a trip to Shannon Airport, where a forerunner of Koeppler’s vision was served. The whipped cream posed a problem, but the input of a prominent dairy farmer turned Mayor of San Francisco, solved the problem: Age the cream for 48 hours and froth it to a precise consistency so it would float on top of the hot coffee, to Koeppler’s specifications.


So if you're in San Francisco today, it's a big day at the Buena Vista. Stop by and raise a glass!

But this is a Chocolate Blog, so once again I'm posting a recipe that includes Chocolate and the day's 'food' holiday.

Irish Coffee Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
4 tsp Irish whiskey
2 eggs
2 Tbsp plus 4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp  Madagascar vanilla extract

Directions
Put Chocolate, 1/3 cup of cream, and 1/4 teaspoon of espresso powder in heatproof bowl. Put bowl in skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove bowl from skillet, stir in whiskey, and set aside.
In heatproof medium bowl, whisk eggs with 1 Tbsp water and 2 Tsp sugar until well blended.
Put bowl in skillet and whisk eggs constantly (to prevent from scrambling) over barely simmering water until they register 160 degrees F. on instant-read thermometer.
Remove bowl from skillet and beat at high speed with electric mixer until eggs have texture like softly whipped cream, 3 to 4 minutes.
Fold one quarter of eggs into chocolate.
Scrape chocolate mixture over remaining whipped eggs and continue to fold just until evenly incorporated.
Divide mousse into ramekins. Chill at least 1 hour, or until set, before serving.

Serve with Bailey's Irish Cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp Baileys Irish Cream

Whip heavy cream to soft peaks. Add Baileys Irish Cream and whisk until combined.
Spoon small amount of whipped cream onto the top of each mousse ramekin.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

Photo: Kraft Foods
Today is National Peanut Butter Day, and lately I've been focused on Pie in the Sky lately! On Thursday I posted a recipe for Winnie the Pooh's Honey Chocolate Pie. Yesterday was Pie Day, and I posted a recipe for Guinness Chocolate Pie. So for today's holiday, here's a recipe for a decadent Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie. It doesn't get much better than that. This recipe is from Kraft Foods. You can always substitute your own ingredients. Scroll down for links to recipes for creating a similar Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie from scratch.

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BANANA CREAM PIE

Ingredients
35 NILLA Wafers, finely crushed (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided  (or a high quality dark chocolate)
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 bananas, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into quarters
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
2 Tbsp. PLANTERS Salted Peanuts, coarsely chopped

Directions
1. HEAT oven to 350ยบF.
2. MIX wafer crumbs and butter until well blended; press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake 5 to 8 min. or until golden brown. Cool completely. Meanwhile, make chocolate curls from 1/2 chocolate square. Refrigerate.
3. MICROWAVE remaining 1-1/2 chocolate squares and peanut butter in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min.; stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Place bananas in crust; drizzle with melted chocolate.
4. BEAT pudding mixes and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1 cup COOL WHIP. Spread over bananas; top with remaining COOL WHIP.
5. REFRIGERATE 3 hours. Top with chocolate curls and nuts just before serving.

Want to make your Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie from scratch? Try one of these recipes from Joy the Baker or EzraPoundCake's Hunk-a Hunk-a Peanut Butter and Banana Cream Pie.

Photo: Kraft

Friday, January 23, 2015

We Want Pie!: Retro Ad & Recipes

Happy Pie Day! Here's a great Retro Crisco Pie Ad. "We Want Pie!" Sing it!


Guinness Chocolate Silk Pie: National Pie Day

Today is National Pie Day, and I've gone back into my archives for a favorite Chocolate Pie--Guinness Chocolate Silk Pie, to be precise. It's a beautiful Friday at the Beach with temps in the low 70s. I can't think of a better pie to celebrate the day!  Here's a recipe for Guinness Chocolate Silk Pie. You can use any stout, of course, but Guinness is easily available! I make a chocolate cookie crust, but you can use a graham cracker crust or a vanilla wafer crust. I think the stout brings out the chocolate. Bookmark this recipe and make for St. Patrick's Day, too!

GUINNESS CHOCOLATE SILK PIE

Chocolate Cookie Crust

Ingredients
30 chocolate wafers (Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
5 Tbsp sweet butter, melted and slightly cooled
Dash of Salt
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract

1. Whirl cookies in food processor until finely ground.
2. Put crumbs in mixing bowl; combine crumbs, butter, salt, and vanilla; stir until crumbs are moistened.
3. Press mixture evenly across bottom of 9-inch pie plate and up sides of pan; pack tightly so crust is even and compacted.
4. Bake in 350° oven for 6 minutes until crisp.
Cool before filling.

Filling:
12 ounces dark chocolate (70-75% cacao), broken up
24 large marshmallows
Pinch of salt
2/3 cups Guinness
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1 Tbsp creme de cacao or Kahlua

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Make crust (see above)

1. Place chocolate, marshmallows and salt in blender or food processor. Blend until well mixed and chocolate is finely ground.
2. In two separate pans, heat Guinness and evaporated milk until very hot, but not boiling.
3. Slowly pour hot Guinness over marshmallows and chocolate in blender. Add hot cream. Cover and blend for one minute.
4. Add vanilla and creme de cacao or Kahlua. Blend for one minute.
5. Pour into cooled crust and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Top with Whipped Cream or Guinness Ice Cream

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Honey Chocolate Pie from The Pooh Cook Book

Tomorrow is Pie Day, so I thought I'd get a jump on the holiday and post this recipe for Honey Chocolate Pie from The Pooh Cook Book by Virginia H. Ellison, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard (1969: Dell Publishing). This Cook Book (yes, two words) is inspired by Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne.

One of my favorite stuffed animals as a child was Tigger, and I have always been a big honey fan, probably because of the Winnie the Pooh stories. I have honey every day, and perhaps Winnie had allergies, too, and needed his "Hunny."

From the Introduction to The Pooh Cook Book:

As a cook you should know that honey is almost twice as sweet as sugar, and yet when you eat it, it doesn't make you want to go on eating sweets. Honey is also healthful, and very good for active people. When used in cooking it keeps food moist and adds a flavor all its won, as you will see when you've made some of the dishes in The Pooh Cook Book. Clover honey is the best all-purpose honey but there are as many flavors, or kinds of honey as there are blossoms on flowers and bushes and trees."

HONEY CHOCOLATE PIE

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chocolate Stout Hot Chocolate

I've posted a lot of Hot Chocolate recipes over the years, but here's a Hot Chocolate Recipe that adds Chocolate Stout. And, before you ask, yes, you can taste it!

With all the microbreweries--and larger breweries- around, there are lots of choices of Chocolate Stouts. A few Chocolate Stouts: Rogue Chocolate Stout, Ass Kisser Chocolate Box Dark Oatmeal Stout, Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero, Copper Kettle Mexican Chocolate Stout, Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout, Bison Chocolate Stout, Samuel Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout, Young's Double Chocolate Stout. Be sure and check with your local brewery to see if they make a chocolate stout. As with many smaller breweries, the selection varies with the season. As always, the flavor of this Stout Hot Chocolate will change with the chocolate stout you choose, as well as the chocolate.

Chocolate Stout Hot Chocolate

Ingredients
 
Hot Chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup quality dark chocolate, chopped

1 cup chocolate stout

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp chocolate stout

Hot Chocolate Directions 
In saucepan over medium high heat, add cream, milk, sugar and chopped chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts (5 minutes).
Remove from heat.
Stir in the stout.
Return to heat and stir until desired temp.

Whipped Cream Directions
Add whipped cream ingredients to mixer and whip on high until soft peaks form.
Serve hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. http://communitytable.com/218203/jackiedodd/stay-warm-with-this-beer-based-hot-chocolate/

Monday, January 19, 2015

Colman's Mustard Spicy Chocolate Popcorn

Today is National Popcorn Day! I was at the Fancy Food Show last week in San Francisco, and I must say that Gourmet Popcorn was a definite trend this year with everything from Popcorn ice cream to popcorn with chocolate and pomegranate to blue popcorn for popcorn soup. You can buy all kinds of cool popcorn for Popcorn Day,  or you can make your own. Here's a great recipe from Colman's Mustard for Spicy Chocolate Popcorn. You might want to bookmark this recipe for your Academy Awards Viewing!

Colman's Mustard Spicy Chocolate Popcorn

Ingredients
1 bag buttered popcorn
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chopped dark chocolate)
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp Colman's Mustard
1 Tbsp light Karo Syrup

Directions
Pop the popcorn according to package directions.
In small saucepan add chocolate chips and heat on low. Add milk and stir constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth. Add mustard and Karo syrup. Mix well.
Dump popcorn into bowl and pour chocolate mixture over popcorn.
Mix well and let sit until it cools.
Serve.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie: Taza Chocolate

Photo: Taza Chocolate
If you follow me on Twitter or on this Blog, you know I eat a piece of Taza 70% Mexicano stone-ground chocolate every day.  Taza Chocolate is always in my desk, in my purse, and usually at hand for baking or cooking. So, it should come as no surprise that I follow the Taza Blog. I love this recipe for Taza Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie, not only does it contain Taza Chocolate, but it also contains Taza chocolate covered nibs.

Speaking of skillets, you should have one for your baking and cooking. I have several, but my favorite is a well seasoned cast iron skillet I've had for over 30 years. Check out these Cast Iron Skillet Tips from Real Simple.

TAZA CHOCOLATE CHIP SKILLET COOKIE

Ingredients:
6 Tbsp sweet butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup Taza Chocolate Baking Squares
1/4 cup Taza Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs

Directions
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350 degrees.
Cream together butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and egg.
In separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
Combine both mixtures until smooth then fold in baking squares and chocolate covered nibs.
Press dough into 10 inch cast iron skillet then bake for 20 minutes or until dough is set.
Let cool for 10 minutes.
Cut into wedges to serve.

See more at: http://www.tazachocolate.com

Saturday, January 17, 2015

HOT BUTTERED RUM COCOA

Today is National Hot Buttered Rum Day. Where I live we're experiencing some really strange dry winter weather with the temperature going upwards to 70 today, but if you're in a normally cold climate, this is the perfect drink to celebrate the day!

The recipe for Hot Buttered Rum Cocoa is from the Wisconsin Cheese Board. So many Food associations have great recipes. Be sure and check them out.

If you don't feel like making Hot Buttered Rum Cocoa, you can always celebrate this food holiday with Seattle Chocolates Hot Buttered Rum Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar. Fabulous! This bar is buttery, smooth with a light hint of rum and toffee crunch in milk chocolate.

Hot Buttered Rum Cocoa

Ingredients
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
4 cups milk

Directions
Combine butter, brown sugar, and seasonings in small bowl, mixing until well-blended.
Drop six spoonfuls onto plastic wrap-lined plate; chill while preparing beverage, then form into balls.
Combine rum, sugar, and cocoa in 2 quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Simmer 1 minute; add milk. Cook until heated through; do not boil.
Pour into six coffee cups or four large mugs; place one butter ball in each cup.

Friday, January 16, 2015

FIG NEWTON DAY: CHOCOLATE COVERED FIGS!

January 16 is Fig Newton Day! My Dad was a huge Fig Newtons fan. Me, not so much. However, I love figs, and I'm using this food holiday as a jumping off point for Chocolate Covered Figs. Before I embark on recipes for Chocolate Covered Dried Figs, just wanted to let you know that Vice Chocolates' Dark Chocolate Bar with Fig &Anise is one of my favorite chocolate fig combinations!

When fresh figs were available, you can make Chocolate Covered Figs. Following are two recipes for Chocolate Covered Dried Figs. The first is alcoholic, because who doesn't love a drunken fig? The second recipe calls for stuffing the dried figs with walnuts, but contains no alcohol. Actually you can mix and match these recipes to come up with whatever you think is perfect for you! As always, use the very best chocolate and figs! Different chocolate, different figs, different tastes!

And if you want a recipe for Chocolate Covered Fig Newtons, check out Cakespy's post for Chocolate Covered Fig Newtons on a Stick.

Want to make your own Fig Newtons? Try this recipe for Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Figgy Newtons.

And, just as an FYI. The original Fig Newtons are now called just Newtons.

Chocolate Covered Dried Figs

Ingredients
20 dried figs
Rum
10 ounces 85-90% dark chocolate, chopped fine
1/4 cup sweet butter
pinch of sea salt

Directions
Put figs in bowl and cover with run. Let them soak, covered, overnight in refrigerator.
Next day, drain well and pat dry.
Put chopped chocolate into top of double boiler, stirring. Add butter, stirring until smooth. 
Take figs by stems and dip in chocolate several times, covering completely.
Put figs on rack over cookie sheet to catch drips.
When finished dipping, chill figs in refrigerator.

Non-Alcoholic Chocolate Covered Figs Stuffed with Walnuts

Ingredients
9 figs, dried
9 walnut halves
5  Tbsp dark chocolate (60-75%), chopped

Directions
Make small incisions in bottoms of 9 dried figs and stuff each with a walnut half.
Melt chocolate in double boiler until smooth.
Holding the stem, dip stuffed figs into chocolate.
Let them drip from rack over cookie sheet, or place on plate or wax paper.
Put chocolate covered figs on plate or waxed paper in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or more until chocolate hardens.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

Photo: Whole Foods
Today is Strawberry Ice Cream Day. Odd holiday for the middle of winter, don't you think? But for the purposes of this blog, you can always serve strawberry ice cream and pour some hot fudge over it. Or, you make some great strawberry ice cream with chocolate chunks.

However, here's something else that's easy, pretty, and delicious--Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Cake. This is perfect for today's Food Holiday or for special celebrations! I found the recipe on the Whole Foods Market site and adapted it slightly. Some great recipes to be had there!

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM CAKE

Ingredients
14 Oreos
2 Tbsp sweet (unsalted) butter, melted
1 quart chocolate ice cream, softened
1 1/4 cup chocolate fudge sauce, divided
1 quart strawberry ice cream, softened
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Directions 
Pulse cookies in bowl of food processor until ground (you should have about 1 1/2 cups crumbs). Pour in butter and pulse just until mixed.
Press mixture firmly into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
Freeze until chilled, about 30 minutes.
Using rubber spatula, spread chocolate ice cream over cookie crust and smooth top.
Place in freezer until firm, at least 1 hour.
Reserve 2 tablespoons of fudge sauce for decorating top of cake and spread remainder evenly over top of chocolate ice cream.
Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. S
Spread strawberry ice cream over fudge, level top of cake, and freeze until whole cake is very firm, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
Remove cake from freezer. Run large knife under hot water, wipe dry, and run knife around rim of the pan to loosen ice cream from sides; repeat as necessary. Release and remove sides of springform pan. Lightly spread reserved fudge sauce over top of the cake using back of a spoon, and arrange strawberries however you like.
To serve, cut cake into wedges with knife warmed in hot water and wiped dry.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ben & Jerry's Cookie Cores Ice Cream: Truffles recipe & Video

OMG!. My friend Lauren posted a link to this new line of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream: Cookie Core Ice Cream! Dark Caramel & Vanilla Ice Creams with Speculoos Cookies & a Speculoos Cookie Butter Core. Boom Chocolatta! Cookie core. Peanut Buttah cookie core and Spectacular Speculoos cookie core. Be still my heart.  For the purpose of this blog, I'm going to try Boom Chocolatta, of course. Mocha & Caramel Ice Creams with Chocolate Cookies, Fudge Flakes & a Chocolate Cookie Core! Be sure to scroll down and watch the video!

Not enough to just eat it? Here's a recipe from Ben & Jerry's for Spectacular Speculoos Ice Cream Truffles. Of course, you can substitute any of the flavors.

Spectacular Speculoos Ice Cream Truffles:

Ingredients
1 pint Ben & Jerry’s Spectacular Speculoos Core Ice Cream
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces white chocolate
Cinnamon for garnish

Directions
Place metal cookie tray with waxed paper in the freezer.
Let ice cream soften so it is scoopable, but still firm.
Scoop small balls of ice cream onto chilled tray and place in freezer again.
Place heat proof (glass or stainless steel) bowl over boiling water, add 1 cup of cream to heat cream to low boil and remove from heat. Place white chocolate in bowl and slowly add cream while stirring. Let ganache cool, but still have liquid to dip.
Drizzle ganache over ice cream balls, sprinkle with cinnamon,  and immediately place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

CHOCOLATE HOT TODDY: Hot Toddy Day!

I can get behind a Hot Toddy as a Food Holiday on January 11. Brr... it's cold outside, even here in Northern California. Actually a hot toddy is good anytime.

Hot Toddy might be an old fashioned name, but the Hot Toddy has served for centuries as a therapeutic drink. If you add chocolate, you get all those chocolate benefits, too. Alcohol and chocolate: a great combination.

Sunset has a recipe for Brandied Hot Chocolate a few years ago that fits the bill today. I've adapted it just a bit.

Chocolate Hot Toddy!

Ingredients
1- 1/2 cups grated dark chocolate (65-85% organic, your favorite)
1/2 cup dry milk powder (not something I have on hand except for this)
4 cups whole milk
4 Tbsp Armagnac
Whipped cream or marshmallows, for garnish

Directions
In medium bowl, mix grated chocolate and dry milk powder.
In medium saucepan, heat whole milk over medium heat. Once heated, stir in chocolate mixture and whisk until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and hot.
Pour 1 Tbsp Armagnac into each mug (four mugs total), then fill each mug with smooth, hot chocolate mixture.
Serve hot, garnished with fresh whipped cream or fresh marshmallows.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Bittersweet Chocolate Bundt Cake

Today is Bittersweet Chocolate Day. Since I eat and review chocolate, the word bittersweet isn't really part of my lexicon. I certainly have purchased chocolate that is labeled bittersweet, but usually I buy chocolate based on its origins, fair-trade and amount of cacao. Bittersweet is just too vague a term for me.

According to Wikipedia, Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor (unsweetened chocolate not liqueur) to which some sugar (typically a third), more cocoa butter, vanilla and sometimes lecithin has been added. It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable in baking. Bittersweet and semisweet chocolates are sometimes referred to as 'couverture' (chocolate that contains at least 32 percent cocoa butter); many brands (the ones I like) print on the package the percentage of cocoa (as chocolate liquor and added cocoa butter) contained. The rule is that the higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sweet the chocolate will be. The American FDA classifies chocolate as either "bittersweet" or "semisweet" that contain at least 35% cacao (either cacao solids or butter from the cacao beans).

So using this definition, almost any of my recipes will work since I use mostly very dark chocolate.

Here's a recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate Bundt Cake adapted from Nestle Toll House's Chocolate Pound Cake recipe. It's easy and delicious. If you use a Nestle Toll House Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar be sure and add more sugar to the recipe.

I don't usually do a glaze. Sometimes I sprinkle this cake with powdered sugar, as in the photo. This cake goes well with ice cream or whipped cream, too!

BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp Instant Coffee Granules (something you'll only use for this)*
8 ounces dark chocolate (75%-85%), chopped, divided (save 2 oz for glaze if you're making one)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sweet butter, softened
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
3 large eggs

CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
3 Tbsp sweet butter
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract

FOR CAKE:
1. PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees F. Grease 10-inch Bundt pan.
2. COMBINE flour, baking soda and baking powder in small bowl. Bring water and coffee granules to a boil in small saucepan; remove from heat. Add 6 ounces chocolate; stir until smooth.
3. BEAT sugar, butter and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs; beat on high speed for 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture alternately with chocolate mixture. Pour into prepared Bundt pan.
4. BAKE for 50 to 60 minutes or until long wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Place on plate.
Optional: Drizzle with Chocolate Glaze or Sprinkle with Powdered Sugar

** Sometimes I pour the glaze over the bundt cake while it's still a bit warm. The cake absorbs the glaze, and it's yummy!

FOR CHOCOLATE GLAZE: Melt remaining 2 ounces of chocolate with butter in small, saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar alternately with water. Stir in vanilla extract. Drizzle over cake.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Chocolate Apricot Cream Cakes: Retro Ad & Recipe

Today is National Apricot Day! Add Chocolate. Here's a retro Baker Ad and recipe. I've never made these, but it's perfect to post today! Let me know if you make these. The second recipe can be made with apricots instead of peaches.



Thursday, January 8, 2015

English Toffee Hot Chocolate

Today is English Toffee Day, and I'm quite the toffee-holic. I've even judged Toffee at the San Francisco Chocolate Salons. Toffee Talk is one of my favorite toffees--they use different nuts in their toffees and the very best chocolate. Read this post by Toffee Talk.

So in honor of the day, here are two recipes for a novel way of using English Toffee: English Toffee Hot Chocolate.  

Although I sometimes make my own Toffee, I prefer using Toffee Talk Crumble Mumble in these recipes! It comes in a jar and is perfect. I leave the bigger pieces of Toffee in my desk to nibble on at my leisure.

1. English Toffee Hot Chocolate

Ingredients
4 cups milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
8 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
1 tsp Madegascar vanilla extract
1/4 cup English toffee, crushed (I use Toffee Talk Crumble Mumble)
Whipped cream
Unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions
Combine milk, water, and sugar in saucepan and sttir over medium heat until just boiling.
Remove from heat, and stir in chocolate and vanilla.
Beat with whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is frothy.
Pour hot chocolate into 2 big mugs.
Top with whipped cream and crushed English toffee. Sprinkle with cocoa powder.

2. English Toffee Hot Chocolate

Ingredients 
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
6 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
2 ounces butterscotch chips
Whipped cream
1/4 cup English Toffee, crushed (or Toffee Talk Crumble Mumble)

Directions
Heat milk, water, sugar to boil.
Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and butterscotch chips until they combine with milk.
Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and crushed toffee.

TOFFEE TALK CRUMBLE MUMBLE. You can order it directly from their website!

http://cjstoffeetalk.com/toffee-talk-shop/

 Disclaimer: I have not been influenced in any way by the makers of Toffee Talk. I just love it..

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Chocolate Shortbread: National Shortbread Day

Who doesn't like butter? One thing about shortbread is that it contains a lot of butter! A few years ago on National Shortbread Day I posted Michael Recchiuti's recipe for Chocolate Shortbread Cookies. They're absolutely delicious and worth the time and effort. This year for National Shortbread Day, I'm more about easy and quick, so here's my favorite recipe for Chocolate Shortbread. This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. You can also make cookies using this recipe, but that's for another day. I use sweet butter in this recipe, but then I use sweet butter in just about every recipe!

CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD FINGERS

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups plus two Tbsp all-purpose flour
4-1/2 Tbsp Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 cups sweet butter, softened  (this is really key.. butter should be room temperature)
1 cup superfine sugar (ok, I have this on hand, but if you don't, put granulated sugar in the blender. Be sure and measure again)
Granulated sugar (for sprinkling)

Directions
Preheat oven to 325F. 
Butter 12 x 8 inch pan. Line with parchment paper.
In bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda until combined
Place butter and superfine sugar in mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy – three to four minutes (use the paddle attachment). Scrape down sides of bowl and add flour mixture. Beat on medium until just combined.
Spread dough in pan, using spatula or your fingers to even out the surface. Freeze dough until firm – approximately 15 minutes. Prick dough all over with tines of a fork, and place in oven. Bake 20 (to 30) minutes. Dough should be just firm to the touch.
 Place pan on wire rack to cool. While still hot, cut dough into strips, and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Dough should cool completely in pan. 


For a twist: Sprinkle sea salt on top instead of sugar--or a mixture of both.

Chocolate 3-D Printer & Hershey: Brave Edible New World!

I reported in 2011 that a chocolate company in the U.K. was using a Chocolate 3-D Printer, but now the megalith Hershey company has struck up a partnership with 3D Systems. The big question: How does it taste?

From 3D Printing Industry:

Last year, 3D Systems knocked the world’s socks off with the ChefJet and ChefJet Pro sugar 3D printers.  The 3D printing company was quickly approached by none other than The Hershey Company, at which point, news fell silent – until about a month ago, when the two unveiled their 3-D Chocolate Candy Printing exhibit at Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction.  The delectable looking chocolate printer showcased in their promo video has now hit the floors of CES.  Dubbed the CocoJet, this chocolate printer can create elaborate shapes in dark, milk, or white chocolate.

Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of 3DS, Chuck Hull, says of the new release, “Our partnership with Hershey, the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and confections, allows us to create unique, exciting and personalized edible experiences. Our preview of CocoJet at CES showcases the power and possibilities of 3D printing, and extends our experience and innovation in culinary 3D printing.”

But does it taste the same?
 




See a video and read more here. 

HT: John Simpson

Monday, January 5, 2015

Chocolate Whipped Cream: Dark, Milk, & White!

Another day, another food holiday. Today is National Whipped Cream Day. I've posted many recipes that call for whipped cream including chocolate whipped cream for National Cream Puff Day. Today I have three recipes for Chocolate Whipped Cream--milk, dark, and white.

Chocolate Whip Cream is terrific to add to desserts, fill cream puffs, and so many other innovative uses. It's easy to make and delicious. You can use it as an icing or filling (tarts, pies, etc). You can use it with just about anything you would use regular whipped cream for, including Strawberry Short Cake!

The first recipe for Milk Chocolate Whipped Cream is from Martha Stewart.  Martha uses chocolate whipped cream for the filling of chocolate sandwich cookies. Fabulous!  I love these Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Whipped Cream, and you can use any chocolate cookie recipe!

The second Chocolate Whipped Cream Recipe uses a lot more chocolate, and it's dark chocolate. Which you choose depends on what you like and what you need!

The third chocolate is from the Queen of Chocolate, Alice Medrich. It's for White Chocolate Whipped Cream. Of course, she has great recipes for Dark and Milk chocolate, so check out her recipes online and in her many chocolate cookbooks.

The Retro Advertisement is for Reddi Wip! Don't use a can if you have the ingredients and time. It's so much better!
Photo: Martha Stewart

1. CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM (from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients
4 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
3 Tbsp sugar

Directions
1. Place chocolate in medium bowl; set aside.
2. Heat sugar and 1 cup cream in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved.
3. Pour cream mixture over chocolate; stir until chocolate has melted. Let cool.
4. Transfer chocolate mixture to electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Add remaining cup heavy cream and beat on medium speed until thick and fluffy.

How easy is that?

2. DARK CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM (from Sherry Yard)

I really love this recipe from Sherry Yard for Chocolate Whipped Cream. It's definitely more of a rich whipped ganache, but then isn't that what it's all about? Sherry Yard was the executive pastry chef at Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Beverly Hills and shared this recipe on Cookin' with Good Morning America (December 25, 2003). It's also in in her book Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts.

Ingredients
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp sugar

Directions
1. Using serrated knife, finely chop the chocolate into 1/4 inch pieces and place in medium heatproof bowl.
2. Bring cream and sugar to boil in small saucepan over medium heat. Immediately pour hot cream over chopped chocolate. Tap bowl on counter to settle  chocolate into cream, then let sit for 1 minute.
Using rubber spatula, slowly stir in circular motion, starting from center of bowl and working out to sides. Stir until all chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes.
3. Pour ganache into medium container, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. It should be consistency of peanut butter.
4. Once ganache has chilled, transfer to large bowl. Using balloon whisk, whip ganache by hand until it just reaches soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Be sure to lift whisk out of cream with each pass to bring in as much air as possible. Do not overwhip. Don't worry if cream doesn't seem firm enough. It will have consistency of mustard but will solidify more after it sets in the refrigerator. You can also use a hand mixer.
5. Use this cream immediately to fill pastries, tarts, and cakes. After dessert is filled, refrigerate for about 1 hour to set the Chocolate Whipped Cream.

3. White Chocolate Whipped Cream from Alice Medrich

Ingredients
4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons water
A pinch or two of salt (optional)

Directions
Put chocolate in medium bowl.
Bring cream and water to simmer in saucepan and pour over chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds, then stir well.
Let stand for 15 minutes to finish melting chocolate, then stir again until every last bit of chocolate is melted into cream. Let cool. Taste and add salt, if desired.
Cover and refrigerate for at least several hours, or until completely chilled.
To serve, whip the cream with electric mixer until it holds a shape.
Use immediately or refrigerate until needed.

And, as always, your final product will only be as good as your ingredients. Use the best. Here's one of my favorite whipping creams!



Saturday, January 3, 2015

Chocolate Covered Cherries Day

Life is just a Bowl of Chocolate Covered Cherries! Because there's nothing quite like a chocolate covered cherry, I thought I'd repost a few recipes from last year's Chocolate Covered Cherry Day blog in celebration of National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day. I've added another recipe, too, for Chocolate Covered Dry Cherries. That's 4 recipes for Chocolate Covered Cherries. Still don't have any time to make these? Buy your favorite chocolate covered cherries to celebrate!

When I was growing up, I always wanted the chocolate covered cherry in the Whitman Sampler Box. As I remember they were usually covered with milk chocolate, but I'm a dark chocolate fan. Here are several simple and easy recipes for Chocolate Covered Cherries to celebrate the day.

I can get fresh cherries at Berkeley Bowl, but if you're a locavore, you may not want to buy Chilean Cherries today. I've also provided recipes for dried or maraschino cherries. If you decide to use maraschino cherries, be sure and dry them thoroughly or your chocolate will seize. And, if you're using maraschino cherries, save the juice from the jar to make the Chocolate Covered Cherry Cocktail in this post! I also love Chukar Cherries. So many varieties. Any of these recipes would be great for Valentine's Day, so bookmark this page!

Chocolate Covered Fresh Cherries

Personally I like dark chocolate with cherries, but if you're a milk chocolate fan, go for it! As always, use the very best quality, organic, fair trade chocolate!  Hint: If the melted chocolate starts to harden  before you’re done dipping, put it back on the stove for a few minutes and give it a good stir.

Ingredients
8 ounces of fair-trade  chocolate (I use Guittard 65%)
1/2 pound fresh, sweet cherries

Directions
Wash and dry cherries.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt chocolate in top of doubleboiler or in a saucepan over a saucepan over simmering water.
Stir chocolate until completely melted and smooth.
Remove chocolate from heat.
Grab each cherry by stem and dip into chocolate. Swirl cherry clockwise, coating bottom 3/4.  It's always nice to see the cherry showing at the top.
Place cherry on parchment paper covered baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining cherries.
Place in refrigerator until chocolate hardens.
If not eating right away, put chocolate covered cherries in covered container and keep in the refrigerator for a few days.

Chocolate Covered Marschino Cherries

Use the above recipe with maraschino cherries. Just be sure and dry cherries thoroughly before dipping.

Chocolate Covered Dried Cherries

Ingredients
8 ounces Dark or Milk Chocolate
1 cup dried Cherries (Chukar or Trader Joe's)

Directions
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt chocolate in double boiler as above or glass bowl in microwave. Once melted, remove from heat.
Add cherries to chocolate. Stir until coated.
Remove clumps of coated dried cherries with two forks or slotted spoon (this works very well), shaking off excess chocolate on side of bowl. Transfer to lined baking sheet.
Put baking sheet in refrigerator until chocolate hardens, about 20 minutes.
Store in refrigerator.

Feel like something alcoholic to celebrate National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day? Want to drink your Chocolate Covered Cherries?

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cocktail

Fill a tall glass with ice.
Add 1/2 ounce Bailey's, 1/2 ounce Kahlua.
Add a few drops maraschino cherry juice.
Shake.
Strain into another glass with ice.
Add a Chocolate Covered Maraschino Cherry for garnish!


And for your listening enjoyment! 
"Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries" 1931.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Chocolate Cream Puffs: National Cream Puff Day

Today is National Cream Puff Day. Cream Puffs are one of the easiest pastries to make, and incredibly versatile. You can stuff them, top them, add flavoring to the choux, and really change them up! For example, during the holidays, you can make a Croquembuche, a pyramid of cream puffs drizzled with chocolate or spun sugar. You can stuff Cream Puffs with all manner of sweet and savory fillings.

A Cream Puff is just a baked puffed shell of choux pastry. In spite of the Betty Crocker Vintage Ads from the 1950s for Cream Puff mixes displayed below, they're really simple to make from scratch.  Following is an easy basic recipe for Cream Puffs and Chocolate Cream, as well as a non-traditional recipe for Chocolate Cream Puffs.

CREAM PUFFS

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour (some people use bread flour and that will really give these a different taste and texture, give it a try)
4 eggs

Directions
Preheat Oven to 425.
1. In large pot, bring water and butter to rolling boil.
2. Stir in flour and salt until mixture forms a ball. Transfer dough to large mixing bowl.
3. Using wooden spoon or mixer, beat in eggs one at time, mixing well after each.
4. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in preheated oven, until golden brown. Centers should be dry.
6. When the shells are cool,  split and fill.
How easy is that!

Chocolate Cream Filling

Ingredients 
14 ounces dark chocolate (65-85% cacao), finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar

Directions

1. Place chocolate in top pot of a double boiler over simmering water in lower pot (or in a saucepan over another saucepan that has simmering water). Stir just until chocolate melts, then remove from heat.
2. Pour cream into bowl. Using electric mixer set on high speed, beat until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form, about 20 seconds.
3. Pour all of melted chocolate into whipped cream quickly, continue to mix on high speed until evenly combined, about 1 minute.
4. Place chocolate cream in clean pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tip. Pipe into bottoms of cooled cream puffs. Replace tops on filled bottoms and serve immediately. Alternatively, spoon cream onto bottoms being careful not to put too much. Of course, it looks pretty when it's piped!
***

Or you can make Chocolate Cream Puffs. The following recipe adds cocoa to a traditional cream puff recipe. Stuff with sweetened whipped cream. You don't need to add the sugar in the cream puff recipe, but I find the chocolate cream puffs taste a little better since there's no sugar in the cocoa. Of course, you could try this recipe with sweetened cocoa. Let me know what you think if you do that.

CHOCOLATE CREAM PUFFS

Ingredients
1 cup water
1/2 cup sweet butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp cocoa
2 Tbsp sugar
4 eggs

Directions
Preheat Oven to 400.
1. Combine flour, cocoa and sugar in small bowl.
2. In heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring water, butter and salt to a boil.
3. Stir in flour, cocoa, sugar mixture, until smooth ball forms. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until smooth and shiny.
5. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls (golf ball size), 3 inches apart onto greased (or parchment lined) baking sheets.
6. Bake (in middle of oven) at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until set and browned.
7. Remove to wire racks. Let cool before splitting.
Cool puffs completely before filling with whipped Cream, Ice Cream, or whatever!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Retro Dr Pepper Chocolate Cake & Hot Dr. Pepper

I came across this retro Ad when I was looking for winter advertisements. It's so perfect for this cold day, but I've never had Hot Dr Pepper. The actual idea of it doesn't appeal. But I have had Dr Pepper Chocolate Cake. Using soda (cola) in cakes is very Retro, and this Dr. Pepper Chocolate Cake is as retro as this 60s Ad.

Want to know more about Dr Pepper? Here's a link to a post I did in 2010.

Want to make a Chocolate Dr. Pepper Cake from Scratch? Here's a good recipe from the Baylor University Alumni Association cookbook: "Homecoming: Special Foods, Special Memories." The original recipe called for margarine, but that's not an ingredient I would ever use! Not a Dr Pepper fan? You can substitute your favorite cola.

CHOCOLATE DR. PEPPER CAKE

Cake
1 cup butter
1 cup Dr. Pepper
4 Tbsp DARK cocoa
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional...I don't use it)
3 cups flour,  sifted
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs -- well beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda

Dr. Pepper Frosting
1/2 cup Dr. Pepper
1/4 cup butter
3 Tbsp DARK cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar -- sifted
1/2 cup pecans -- chopped
1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Cake:
Heat Dr. Pepper with butter, but do not boil. Set aside. Sift together flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa. Beat together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and baking soda. Add hot Dr. Pepper mixture to dry ingredients. Stir in egg mixture, and blend well. Pour into greased and floured 15x10-inch sheet cake pan. Bake at 350 deg. for 25 minutes.

Frosting:
About 5 minutes before cake is done, heat Dr. Pepper, margarine, and cocoa.
Stir in powdered sugar, pecans, and vanilla. Spread frosting on while cake is still hot.