Tag Archives: chocolate

Magic Chocolate Custard Cake

Versão em português

Bolo Mágico de Chocolate

Better late than never! May is over, but this is such a different recipe that I didn’t want to save it for later! (Blame the Abrates conference for my delay in posting this! Hahahahah!)

To end the Chocolate Tertulias (and celebrate my birthday, which was on the 19th), I decided to make a cake I had seen at A Cozinha Coletiva, a blog I’ve been following for years, but had never tried a recipe from.

I must confess: halfway through the recipe, I was “man, this is not going to work…” But I persisted, and it was worth it! The texture is very unusual: it resembles a cake, but also a pudding, or maybe something else… and it’s delicious!

For an 8 x 8 inch cake, you’ll need

110 g (1 cup) unsalted butter
600 ml (2 and 1/2 cups) whole milk, lukewarm
115 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
45 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
4 egg whites
4 drops white vinegar
4 egg yolks
210 g (1 and 3/4 cup) confectioner’s sugar
30 ml (2 Tbsp) prepared – and strong – coffee – you can also use espresso
1 tsp vanilla extract

For garnish (optional, but go ahead and do it):

Confectioner’s sugar
Berries – I looked all over town for raspberries, as it was my birthday! 😀

Bolo Mágico de Chocolate

Attention: Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius – yes, the lowest temperature!

Start by melting the butter and warming up the milk. Set them aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour and cocoa powder. I managed to BREAK my whisk while doing that! I still can’t figure out how I did that, but you’re (probably) a more normal person, so you won’t do that… 😀

Using the stand mixer, whisk the egg whites with the vinegar, which is there to help you reach hard peaks – have you seen that trick of turning the bowl upside-down and seeing if the egg whites will fall on your head? That’s it. If it doesn’t move, it’s ready.

In the third bowl, which should be large enough to fit all the ingredients, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until you get a light and pale cream – I had to use a FORK to whisk, can you imagine? In this bowl, add the melted (and cooled) butter, the coffee, and the vanilla. Whisk for two minutes, until combined.

Add the milk and mix well. This is when it looks as if it’s ruined, because it’s too liquid. Don’t worry, that’s how it’s supposed to be! 🙂

Add the whisked egg whites, one-third at a time, in a delicate folding motion.

Once again: don’t freak out, it is pretty liquid indeed, but it works! Pour the mix over a well-greased 8 x 8 baking pan, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Ritchie’s description for how to know when the cake is ready was perfect: “bake until you notice that, when you wiggle the pan, the cake wiggles too, but more like jell-o than a liquid. It sounds like a weird description, but you’ll understand.” And you really will! 😀

Let it cool completely. When the cake is fully cooled, cut in squares, dust some confectioner’s sugar, decorate with some berries for extra frou-frou, and serve!

Chocolate Bread

Versão em português

Pão de Chocolate

When my mom bought a bread machine, in 2000 something, we were curious about one of the recipes in the booklet that came with it: chocolate bread. We made it, but it was only ok, so we never repeated it. Last month, when I found this recipe by David Lebovitz, I decided it was time to give the idea of chocolate bread a second chance.

Don’t fool yourself: this is not a cake. It’s not a fluffy bread with a hint of chocolate, either. This dense bread has a deep chocolate flavor, and it is wonderful when toasted, with a little bit of butter! It’s perfect for a special breakfast, say… a birthday breakfast! 😀

You’ll need:

55 g (4 Tbsp) butter

85 g dark chocolate – I used a 71% one

¾ cup whole milk, lukewarm

2 ¼ tsp instant dry yeast

75 g (6 Tbsp) sugar

1 ½ tsp instant coffee – optional, but highly recommended

1 egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

280 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

90 g (3/4 cup) dark chocolate chips, or dark chocolate, chopped – I used chocolate chips, 50%

70 g (½ cup) walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts, chopped – also optional, also highly recommended! I used walnuts.

Pão de Chocolate

Start by melting the dark chocolate with the butter in a double boiler, or on very low heat. When it melts, remove from the heat and let it cool down.

In a big bowl, place the lukewarm milk, yeast, and one Tbsp of the sugar. Mix and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. When the mixture has bubbled, with a layer that looks like beer foam, it’s time to add the rest of the sugar, instant coffee (if you’re using it), egg, vanilla, and salt.

As the cocoa powder tends to clump, sift half of it and half of the flour directly in the bowl. Mix with a silicone spatula. Add the melted chocolate, mix a little bit more, and sift the remainder cocoa powder and flour. Mix until it’s all incorporated.

If you have a stand mixer, use the hook attachment and knead for five minutes – the dough won’t stick to the side of the bowl for long, but keep kneading anyway! You can also knead by hand (the original recipe called for mixing vigorously with a spatula for five minutes), but resist the temptation to add more flour. The dough is a little wetter than that of normal bread!

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for two hours in a warm place. After this, add the chocolate chips and the nuts. Place the dough in a buttered 9-inch loaf pan.

Cover the pan and let the dough rise for one hour. Bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 40 minutes. The bread will be ready when the house smells of chocolate and you hear a hollow sound when you tap it.

Now comes the hard part: let the bread cool completely before slicing it!

The Browniest Cookies

Versão em português

Biscoitos Brownie

Have you ever read a recipe, thought it would be easy to make, knew it would be tasty, pinned it, aaaaand…… never remembered to do it? Always, right? 😀 To continue the Chocolate Tertulias, I decided to finally make these cookies, which are basically little round brownies!

These are not only delicious, they’re also very easy to make: you don’t need to soften the butter and you only use one pot! I didn’t have unsweetened chocolate, so I used a70% cocoa one. It was very tasty, but next time I’ll use one with 80% cocoa, or stronger. Even if you don’t like bitter chocolate, I don’t think this recipe would work with milk chocolate – it’d be way too sweet!

You’ll need:

115 g (½ cup) unsalted butter
115 g unsweetened chocolate, chopped
190 g (1 cup, packed) dark or light brown sugar
25 g (2 Tbsp) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp fine sea or table salt
45 g (½ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
130 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
115 g (2/3 cup) chocolate chips or chocolate, chopped into chunks

Biscoitos Brownie

In a pot that fits all ingredients, melt the butter and the chocolate. You can use a water bath, or do what I did and melt everything over the lowest heat on the smallest burner of the stove, stirring constantly and being careful not to let the chocolate burn.

With a silicone spatula, mix the two kinds of sugar into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs, one by one. Mix in the vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Sift the cocoa powder over the batter − yes, I do mean sift it! 😀 − and mix. Sift the flour over the batter and mix just until you don’t see any white specs. Now all you have to do is add the chocolate chips!

Cover the pot with plastic wrap and let it cool in the fridge for about half an hour. Use a cookie scoop or make small balls (mine were about 1 Tbsp of dough), place them on a lined baking sheet, leaving plenty of room between them, and bake in a preheated oven. The original recipe said to bake for 11 to 12 minutes, warning that they would be soft. I did this on the first batch, letting them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. This gave the cookies a really brownie-like texture. On the second batch, I baked for 15 minutes, and found the texture to be closer to a normal cookie − and I liked them even better that way!

Freezer: As with most cookies, you can freeze the balls of dough in a plastic wrap-covered baking sheet. When they are fully frozen, transfer them into a Ziploc bag. To bake, take them straight from the freezer to the oven, baking for a couple extra minutes.

Devil’s Food Loaf

Versão em português

Devil's Food Loaf

I did some serious thinking before deciding on the theme for May: “I want to do chocolate, but then again, right after Easter, is it worth it?, etc…” until I realized: who gets sick of chocolate? 😀

To start off the Chocolate Tertulias, I decided to finally photograph my second favorite chocolate cake! My very favorite chocolate cake is the one my mom makes, but that is for another series 😛 Devil’s food loaf is similar to that cake, but the frosting is very different – and the best part of it!

You’ll need:
45g unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking soda
100 ml boiling water
140g flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 medium eggs
233g brown sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting:
60 g dark chocolate, chopped
14g unsalted butter
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp whole milk
½ Tbsp honey

Devil's Food Loaf

Start by preparing your loaf pan (mine was 8.5 x 9.5 inches): butter it, line it with parchment paper, making sure there’s an excess of paper so it’s easy to take the cake out of the pan, and then butter the parchment paper!

In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa with the boiling water. Mix in the baking soda and let it cool for 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the stand mixer, mix the eggs, sugar, and oil, until you get a smooth cream. Add the vanilla. Mix in the flour mixture – at this stage, I prefer to use a rubber spatula, but that’s just me. Add the cocoa/water mix and combine well.

Pour the batter into the pan. Now, something different: tap the pan on the counter a few times, to remove air bubbles from the batter. I don’t know what horrible thing happens if you skip this step; I never did! 😀

Bake in a pre-heated oven until it passes the toothpick test – here, it took about 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it – you’ll see how the parchment paper trick makes the process easy! Let the cake cool completely.

When it’s completely cooled, it’s time to make the frosting. Melt the chocolate and butter in a small pan, over a water bath. While the chocolate melts, mix the cocoa powder, milk, and honey in another small pan, stirring constantly over high heat until it simmers. Pass the contents of this second pan through a sieve over the chocolate and butter mixture, stirring well (I must confess: I sometimes just mix the contents of both pans, without fussing with the sieve). Spread the frosting over the cake – do this immediately, as it dries quickly.

Test your willpower by letting the frost set for a couple hours before serving!

Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake

Versão em português

Cheesecake de Ferrero Rocher

Before I went to Brasília, I made a list of the recipes I wanted to cook there for the blog – things with kale, yellow carrot, and other ingredients I can’t find in Uruguay. With everything I had to do there, I didn’t cook ANY of them! 😮 Then, we came up with the idea of a “Jota’s recipes” series, which would only feature recipes tested by my brother. We selected a few recipes and… we only cooked this one. 😦

But what a recipe! I always made the same cheesecake recipe, with ricotta, but this is a very different and tasty version – unlike what I had imagined, this is not too sweet! And you can still make it for Easter lunch! 😉

For the base:
240 g corn flakes
70 g unsalted butter, melted
4 Tbsp cocoa powder

For the filling:
200 g hazelnut
500 g cream cheese
200 g heavy cream
85 g sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

For the topping:
170 g dark chocolate
200 g heavy cream
Ferrero Rocher chocolates, to decorate

Cheesecake de Ferrero Rocher

Start by making the base: in the food processor/blender, finely process the corn flakes. Add the melted butter and the cocoa powder and mix well. Cover the bottom of a 10-inch round springform pan with the crust, pressing well, and place it in the fridge to firm up. You don’t need to butter your pan, as the crust is buttery enough.

While the crust is in the fridge, place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast them in a pre-heated oven. The process takes about 15 minutes. Every now and then, shake the baking sheet so that the hazelnuts don’t burn. You’ll know they are ready when the kitchen is smelling of hazelnuts 😀

Place the hot hazelnuts straight on the blender and blend WELL, until it becomes a paste. This is a lengthy process: Jota and I weren’t willing to wait that long, so we just ground them up, it was good! #truestory

In a bowl, mix the hazelnuts with the cream cheese, 200 g of cream, vanilla, and sugar, until it is nicely mixed. I mixed the cream cheese with the cream first, with a spatula, and then added the remaining ingredients of the filling, but that was just because I didn’t want to get the mixer dirty! 😀 Pour this cream over the cold crust, then cover your pan with plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge to firm up.

Meanwhile, place the cream and dark chocolate in a small pan over low heat (or a bain-marie if you’re more patient than I am), stirring well until all the chocolate is melted. Let it cool down a bit and cover the cheesecake with the ganache. Decorate with the Ferrero Rocher chocolates, put it back on the fridge for at least 30 minutes, and serve!

Phoebe’s Cookies – OK, Nestlé Toll House Cookies

Versão em Português

Cookies da Phoebe

(If you don’t know why I call these “Phoebe’s Cookies,” stop reading this and go watch Friends, season 7, episode 3)

There’s no better way of finishing the Christmas Tertulias than with Phoebe’s grandma’s cookies! 🙂 I had wanted to try these ever since I first watched that episode, in 2000 something. When I moved to Uruguay, I finally looked up the recipe and tried it. In fact, I’ve made these cookies so many times that I had to search the blog files to make sure I hadn’t posted them yet! 😀

And the most important thing is: you can still make them for Christmas! Did you forget to buy stocking stuffers? Phoebe’s Cookies to the rescue! Your children need to leave some cookies for Santa? He’ll like these better than any store-bought cookie! 🙂

I wanted to follow the original recipe strictly, for the pictures, but I ended up making a tiny alteration: I swapped ½ cup of walnuts for ½ cup of chocolate chips, because I had chopped more nuts than necessary. 😀

You’ll need:

200 g butter, room temperature

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 cups chocolate chips – If you can’t find real chocolate chips (aka not the gross hydrogenated fat, ewww), just chop some normal chocolate bars! I used 1 ½ cups of mini chocolate chips, 50% cocoa.

1 cup of walnuts, chopped (measure, then chop) – as I said before, I used 1 ½ cup.

Cookies da Phoebe

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar for approximately 3 minutes, until it’s creamy. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing a little more.

In a bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add this mixture to the stand mixer in thirds. The original recipe said to continue using the stand mixer to incorporate the flour mix, but I prefer to do this step using a silicon spatula, to make sure I don’t overwork the dough. It takes a little muscle strength, but I think it’s worth it! 😀

When you can’t see flecks of flour in your dough anymore, it’s time to add the chocolate chips and the nuts. Use a silicon spatula to mix it well.

As I still don’t have a cookie scoop, I had to shape them by hand. My suggestion: sit in front of the TV/computer, put on an episode of your favorite show, and shape! It will take a while. 😀 The original recipe calls for 1 Tbsp of dough per cookie, but I thought they turned out too big, so I only used ½ Tbsp per cookie.

Place the cookies on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, leaving approximately 2 cm of room between them. Bake in a pre-heated oven for approximately 15 minutes. Remove the cookies from the sheet and let them cool on a rack. When they are COMPLETELY cooled (it may take a while if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere!), place them in a nice box or jar and they’re ready to be gifted! 🙂

Tip: If you’re using the same baking sheet to bake multiple batches, cool it before adding the second batch, so that the cookies won’t spread too much in the oven. I usually remove the baked cookies (and the parchment paper, obviously) and place the sheet under running tap water for a few seconds, until it’s cool enough for me to touch it with my bare hands. Then, I dry it with a cloth and it’s ready for the second batch!

Freezer: If you don’t want to bake the entire batch on the same day, flash freeze the dough balls on a tray. When they are completely frozen, transfer them to a ziploc bag – they’ll last up to three months in the freezer. To bake, place the frozen balls on the prepared baking sheet and bake for a few extra minutes! It’s that easy! 🙂

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Versão em Português

To begin our Christmas Tertulias, also known as edible gifts, I decided to cook a recipe I’ve always been curious about. We don’t eat fudge in Brazil, but when I was a child a lot of books mentioned that somebody had made it for Christmas and, of course, Honeydukes sold Fudge Flies! (#Potterhead)

I’ve read several fudge recipes: some are more complicated, requiring a candy thermometer and a lot of patience, and some are more straightforward. Obviously, I chose the easiest one I could find, by Patricia Scarpin! While I was writing this post, I realized I had (involuntarily) adapted the recipe – I had read it wrong and only used ½ cup of sweetened condensed milk, instead of ½ can! 😀

This is a GREAT gift – it’s different (well, if you’re from Brazil), it will stay firm unrefrigerated, it’s delicious and… it’s so easy to make! A lot less stressful than trying to go to a shopping mall this late in the season!

To make the (adapted) fudge, you’ll need:

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk – do NOT swap for evaporated milk!

330 g of a good dark chocolate, chopped – as the recipe is basically chocolate, the quality matters quite a lot. I used a 64% cocoa chocolate.

1 Tbsp water

1 tsp vanilla extract – you’ll see that the picture looks like a lot more, and that’s right: my homemade extract wasn’t quite full-strength yet, so I added some.

Chopped walnuts, to taste − completely optional. You can use walnuts, hazelnuts… or nothing at all.

Fudge de Chocolate

Start by lining a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) baking pan with aluminum foil − leave extra foil on the sides to form handles, so that it is easy to remove the fudge from the pan.

Chop the chocolate into small chunks – as mine came in discs, I didn’t bother chopping. In a heavy-bottomed pan, place the chocolate, the sweetened condensed milk, and the water. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is completely melted.

When the chocolate is melted, you’ll notice that the fudge is in a thicker consistency. Turn off the stove and add the vanilla. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.

Spread the chopped nuts over the fudge, pressing lightly so that they stick – I once forgot to press and the nuts fell off as the fudge cooled #fail. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Use the foil handles to remove the fudge and cut it into 2.5-cm (1 inch) cubes. In theory, they last approximately 1 week in the fridge. Here, they lasted about three hours…. #self-control 😀

Chocolate and Yoghurt Muffins

Versão em português

Muffin de Chocolate e Iogurte

To end our Muffin Tertulias, nothing better than a VERY CHOCOLATY chocolate muffin – there’s cocoa and chocolate in the recipe! In addition, as the recipe calls for yoghurt, these are very soft. In fact, they were tastier on the second day!

The only part that takes a little bit of work is chopping the chocolate! I use normal chocolate, because I can’t find decent chocolate chips (only those with hydrogenated fat, ewwww). If you find decent chocolate chips, your muffins will be even prettier!

This recipe yields A LOT: I got 12 normal muffins and 15 mini-muffins! I think it would yield 16-18 normal-sized muffins .

You’ll need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

3/4 cups dark chocolate chips – I’ll add more next time!

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup whole-fat unsweetened yoghurt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup white chocolate chips, for decorating

Muffin de Chocolate e Iogurte

This is the easiest of all the recipes in this series – we don’t even need to melt the butter! 🙂

In the first bowl (the smallest), mix the dry ingredients. In the second bowl (a bigger one that can fit all the ingredients), mix the wet ingredients. Combine the dry and wet mixtures with a rubber spatula. As always, don’t mix too much – muffin batter really is a little lumpier than cake batter, so just mix until you can’t see flour specks anymore!

Fill the muffin cups, always to only 3/4 full. Sprinkle a few white chocolate chips on the top and bake for 20 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test! 🙂

Let them cool down on a rack and CHOW DOWN!

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie

Versão em português

Brownie com Avelãs

Last year, Sky came to me and said “Ana, I need to bring something to the teacher’s potluck at school….” I understood it to mean “hey, Ana, here’s an excuse to try a new brownie recipe!”

Looking on my favorite websites, I found this recipe on Moldando Afeto and decided to bake it. It was such a hit here (and at the potluck, apparently), that I decided to bake it again for Christmas (the one on the picture!), for carnival, for a cold rainy day…. 😀

You’ll need:

200 g dark chocolate – I used a bar with 70% cocoa. Although my family isn’t a fan of dark chocolate (heathens!), they loved the brownie, so I say go ahead and use the nice dark one!

200 g butter

3 eggs

100 g sugar

100 g hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

140 g flour

1 tsp baking powder

Brownie com Avelãs

Brownie recipes tend to be very similar. I always cover the pan (this time, an 8-inch square) with aluminum foil, leaving some “handles,” which make it easier to remove the brownies from the pan. Thoroughly butter the aluminum foil, being careful not to tear it, and set aside.

Melt the chocolate with the butter – you can use the microwave (30-second bursts, blah blah blah), you can use a water bath, or you can go rogue like me and just put it on the smallest burner and watch it like a hawk! 😀 Set aside.
In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until the mixture gains some volume and a lighter color.

Pour the chopped hazelnuts over the melted chocolate. Add the egg mixture, the flour, and the baking powder, mixing only until you can’t see flour specks anymore.

Brownie com Avelãs

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for roughly 20 minutes – it will be ready when a toothpick inserted into the dough comes out with a few wet crumbs, which is also when you touch the surface of the brownie and it is set, but not as firm as cake… here’s
recipe a picture that shows it!

Cut in squares, dust with some confectioner’s sugar, and serve.

FREEZER: This brownie freezes pretty well. Wrap it carefully with aluminum foil to avoid freezer burns. Let it thaw for a few hours before serving.