Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Mocha Cake

Now I know that I already shared a cake that I made for my birthday but let’s be honest, it isn’t a GREAT birthday unless there are at least two cakes. I whipped up this Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting for a small gathering at S’s house.  I saw the recipe in Chatelaine and I knew I had to make it. Thankfully, they had it online and I easily pulled it together.

Chocolate Mocha Cake

I haven’t always had success with chocolate icing but thankfully this one worked! The recipe called for unsweetened chocolate but I didn’t have enough so I used half bittersweet. I thought the cake was delicious, especially the post-birthday Sunday night in lieu of supper!


Chocolate Oatmeal Drops- TWD

Welcome everybody! We are super excited to be hosting this week’s Tuesday with Dorie bakers. Like others in the group, we started Bake with Us for the very purpose of joining TWD. I (Caroline) had been given Dorie’s cookbook for Christmas one year and when I stumbled upon these fabulous bakers, I wanted in on the action. So I talked Claire into blogging with me and here we are today hosting. The highlight of being part of this group is that we get to try recipes that we never would have thought of baking and of course I mostly fall in love with them.

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops for my workmates

Like many other bakers we had a hard time picking this week’s recipe. For our visitors, Claire and I are sisters who love to bake and stay connected despite living five hours apart through this little project. It only took us a few emails back and forth to settle on these delicious cookies. I whipped them up on Valentine’s morning to bring to work. I am fairly new at this job and I hope that they don’t mind all the baked goods I bring in. There aren’t too many of us in the office so the jury is still out whether I make them happy or make them regret hiring me because of the calorie laden treats that I bring in;)

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops dry ingredients

Oatmeal Drops in heart cupcake liners

Thanks to all of you who baked with us and special thanks to Dorie for creating these delicious treats! I can’t recommend Baking: From my Home to Yours enough. Go check out your local bookstore and treat yourself today.

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

Getting Ready: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Put the butter in the bowl and sprinkle over the 1 tablespoon water, then add the brown sugar, followed by the chocolate. Stir occasionally until everything is just melted. Don’t let the ingredients get so hot that the butter separates from the sugar and chocolate, and don’t be concerned if the mixture looks grainy.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs on at a time; the mixture will look shiny. Whisk in the dry ingredients, stirring only until they disappear into the dough. Stir in the oats. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each spoonful.

Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until the cookies are dark around the edges and just slightly soft in the middle. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to room temperature. (If the cookies are difficult to lift from the baking sheet, wait a minute and try again.)

Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

A chocolate oatmeal drop

Fluff-Filled Chocolate Madelines TWD

So I have had a madeline pan for a year and a half and I confess I have never used it. My parents went to France on vacation and I asked them to bring me back a madeline pan but I think my mom actually purchased it in Ireland! Regardless, I like to think of it as my french baking pan. I whipped up the batter last night and baked them tonight. I don’t have a piping bag so I had to improvise but I did get some fluff into them. I decided against the glaze, mainly because I am so tired. The new job is wearing me out!

I didn’t actually taste these. I am trying to exert some self-control after a December with none. Thanks to Margot for picking this week’s recipe. You MUST go to her blog to see what these are supposed to look like. She made a great choice and has great photos to show you how it’s done. If you haven’t yet picked up Baking from my Home to Yours, I suggest you do!


Peanutiest Blondies TWD

I hosted a tea this past weekend and I whipped these up for the dessert course. My friend Robin takes amazing photos and that is why this week’s photo looks so good.  I made a bunch of other yummy treats and I hope to get them up here if my life ever slows down.

I liked these squares but didn’t love them. That was mainly because I had to cook them for quite a while to get the insides done. That resulted in the edges being a bit hard. I used Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups and I didn’t have salted peanuts. If I were to make them again, I would definitely try the salted variety and I would have added even more chocolate (teehee).

Thanks to Nicole of Bakeologie for choosing this recipe. Head on over to her blog for the details and to check out her blondies as they look amazing!


Coffee Break Muffins TWD

I love coffee. I can’t go a day without it, the darker the better. That being said, I don’t always choose coffee flavoured food. But given that Claire just finished her old job, and has a week off before starting a new one, I thought I better be a good big sister (is it weird that I still refer to her as my little sister and Sarah as my big sister?) and make this weeks recipe so she can focus on fun.

Coffee muffins on a white plate with bricks in the background

I whipped them up last night and I’ll be honest, at first I wasn’t impressed. I added chocolate chips (because they were begging for them) but otherwise stuck to the recipe. I ate one hot out of the oven and was underwhelmed. I like to bring my baked goods to work and today I gave them out apologetically. However, when I got around to having one, I was impressed by them. They were actually very tasty. I mean, I have my favourite muffin recipes and this isn’t likely to upstage them, but they were pretty darn good. Thanks to Rhiani of Chocoholic Anonymous for picking this recipe.


Espresso Chocolate Shortbread Cookies TWD

I grew up with shortbread, Irish people are all over it and my family was no exception. My nana made great shortbread and my mom makes tasty shortbread cookies. There was never chocolate or espresso in our shortbread and now I am thinking perhaps we were missing out. I loved these cookies. I baked them up tonight and promptly ate four. Needless to say I am taking them to work tomorrow and I am vowing not to eat any more. Poor S. likely won’t get a taste test, poor guy.

Delicious Espresso Shortbread Cookies

Thanks to Donna of Life’s too short not to eat dessert first for choosing this recipe. Check out the Link page on TWD to find out what other bakers got up to.


Mile-high zebra cake with fluffy vanilla cream cheese frosting

Last week was Claire’s birthday, so S. and I hopped on the 401 and headed to Ottawa for the party. Claire had requested this cake and to ensure freshness I decided to make it on Saturday morning. I was to bring cupcakes too, so I got up early to get my bake on. Things were going well and I was on track with the cake in the oven by ten. As I was getting ready to work on the cupcakes, I looked at the counter thought it was odd that the sugar wasn’t out. And then it hit me, it wasn’t out because I hadn’t actually put any sugar in the cake. Ugg.

After an emergency trip to the grocery store, I set about to making it for the second time.  Needless to say, my whole day was set off schedule and I was a bit late for the party. Fortunately, I came bearing baked goods. Butter and sugar heal most wounds.

Claire's Birthday Cake Mile High Chocolate Cake

The cake was amazing. I highly recommend it. My only beef was the icing. I think it had too much butter in it. Next time I would do more cream cheese and less butter (I know, hard to believe that I just wrote less butter!)

Mile High Zebra Cake (Two Dishes: Mother and Daughter: Two Cooks,Two Lifestyles, Two Takes)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups dutch process cocoa powder (Caroline and my mum used Frys)
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt (they used regular)
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/4 cups warm water
2/3 cup vegetable oil

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of kosher salt
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups confectioners (icing) sugar, sifted
Preheat oven to 350.

Butter three 9 inch round cake pans. Place a round parchment paper in the bottom of each pan and butter again.

For the cake, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the sugar and whisk together.

In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, warm water and oil with a mixer on low until combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on low for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl partway through mixing. Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans.

Bake the cakes for about 35 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean. If you cannot fit all the pans on the same oven rack, rotate the pans halfway through baking.

Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans and remove the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the frosting, combine the cream cheese, butter, salt and vanilla seeds in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on high for about 3 minutes, or until light and creamy.

Add the confectioners’ sugar in two batches (so as not to make a mess of your kitchen with flying white powder). Beat for 2 minutes to aerate.

Once the cakes are completely cool, cut off the slightly domed centre of the cakes with a serrated knife to make the tops completely level. Frost the cakes with a thick layer of frosting between each later. (Don’t frost the outside of the cake, just between the layers and the top. The icing will softly ooze from between layers of the cake, creating alternating black and white layers).

Claire and Caroline with the Mile High Zebra Cake

Sisters and a birthday cake

Caroline (obvious, I think)

PS Claire really digs Delica Kitchen, the restaurant owned by one of the cookbook authors (they are a mom and daughter combo). If you are in the T-dot looking for  some good eats, try a Claire recommendation

Flourless Fudge Cookies

I made these Flourless Fudge Cookies for my birthday party extravaganza. There were two reasons I settled on this recipe, one being that it was gluten-free and that was important for one of my guests and two being that I felt like my dessert table needed some more chocolate. The cookies are light and delicious, easy to make and really not that bad for you in the grand scheme of baked goods. The chocolate and espresso powder together are bang on, chocolate and coffee, does it get any better?

Image Credit Robin Bergart

The recipe is available here. The good folks at King Arthur Flour managed to make their’s much flatter than mine. Not to sure why but regardless they were delicious.

Red Velvet Cupcakes Part Two

Last month I was browsing through some cookbooks and thinking about Valentine’s Day. Last year at Valentine’s Day there was a lot of red velvet posting on various blogs and since I have never had red velvet cake, I thought this years Valentine’s Day would be the perfect time to give them a whirl. Conveniently, I was invited to a party which meant that I would be able to share my treats and avoid eating them all myself.

Cupcakes with Leah's yummy chocolate cookies


Apparently, my dear sister and I are two peas in a pod because when I called her one evening she told me she was planning on making red velvet cupcakes for Valentine’s Day too! I had looked at the Martha Stewart recipe that she chose but had already settled on this recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery book. I chose this one because it didn’t require the gel food colouring, although it did require a heck of a lot of liquid food colouring!

Since I have never had a red velvet cupcake before, I don’t have anything to compare these with but as far as I am concerned, they were pretty darn good! I did have quite a few tasters who all enjoyed them too so I guess we will call them a hit! The cake was just right and the icing was very yummy.  I think these will definitely make an appearance next Valentine’s day or even sooner, perhaps a Canada Day party!?

Red Velvet Cupcakes
source: The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

60 g unsalted butter at room temperature
150 g caster sugar ( i just used regular sugar)
1 egg
10 g cocoa powder
20 ml red food colouring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120 ml buttermilk
150 g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 325.
Put butter and sugar in freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mier up to high speed and beat until ou have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low spped and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
Spoon the mixture into 12 paper cups until 2/3rds full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cupcakes to cool slighly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. When cooled completely, ice with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

300 g icing sugar, sifted
50 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125 g cream cheese, cold
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

My good friends Rachel and George gave me Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes for Christmas. Rachel and I are old friends and she and her husband know how much I like baking and eating baked goods. In fact, they were the one’s who gave me my Dorie Greenspan cookbook, which led me to Tuesday’s with Dorie and in turn, Claire and I starting this blog. So all of you who benefit from our baking efforts, be sure to give a shout out to Rachel and George.

Anyways, when my co-worker and I decided to make our Snack Friday Valentine’s themed, I figured it was a perfect chance to try out my new cookbook. I find myself turning to Martha when I want to try a new recipe and I need it to turn out.

Red Velvet cupcake and candy hearts

The recipe is available on Martha’s website but if you don’t have a cupcake cookbook I recommend that you check this one out. I can’t wait to try more recipes from it. Now, I followed the recipe closely except when it came to the red food colouring. My grocery store didn’t have the gel-paste so I had to settle for the traditional food colouring. The bottle I bought wasn’t big enough so I didn’t get the deep red colour that is expected in a red velvet cupcake. I think I may look at using the beet juice the next time I try these,  seems a little more natural and healthy.

Red Velvet Cupcake minus a bite

All in all, these were a hit with the coworkers and with S. who loves red velvet cake. I was trying my hardest to avoid eating one as I seriously indulged in the sugar cookie extravaganza. For the sake of showing you the inside of my cupcakes, I took a bite and that was the end of that, I ate the whole thing. The cream cheese frosting and the chocolaty goodness made it impossible to have only one bite. If that’s not a sign of a good cupcake, I don’t know what is.