by sweetenuf | Oct 30, 2016 | Cakes and Cupcakes
Sweetenufblog.com – Chocolate Cake
I baked up this always delicious, always moist, and always popular chocolate cake for a friends birthday this weekend and although I did share the recipe over a year ago, thought it was worth sharing again.
I have seen many versions of this cake all over the internet but it is a Barefoot Contessa recipe called Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. It is unbelievably simple to prepare and bakes up well. Once you’ve made it I guarantee it will be on your favourites list as well.
The cake and icing are both fudgy…rich, moist and dense. The cake is a deep dark chocolate containing cocoa and melted chocolate. If your looking to lighten it up (I mean in the taste department not the calorie department) you may have an icing recipe that is less dense but no matter what you top this cake with it is deliciously yummy!
As usual, before getting started on your baking, make sure you have all your ingredients at room temperature, not just the butter. This means your buttermilk and eggs. Let them sit out at least 20-30 minutes before using.
Tip: This recipe calls for 2 extra large eggs. I substituted 3 large eggs and the recipe works well. REMEMBER, unless otherwise stated recipe books and magazines use large eggs in their recipes so you may want to add them to your shopping list!
Beatty’s Chocolate Cake
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and parchment line 2 x 8-inch cake pans. (I used 3 pans so I wouldn’t need to torte the cake into layers and reduced the baking time.)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Sift the flour, sugar ,cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
In a medium bowl combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. With the mixer running on low slowly pour in the wet ingredients into the dry. With mixture still on low speed, slowly pour in the coffee, and mix just until combined.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cake springs bake when touched lightly or a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes then remove from pan. Left cool and chill before icing with your favourite icing.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
3-4 cups icing sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk, cream or whipping cream
Cream butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
Add in cocoa powder and icing sugar and mix on low until combined. Add in melted and cooled chocolate. Add in milk a tablespoon at a time until mixture is smooth.
Now beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes until light, fluffy and creamy.
by sweetenuf | Oct 21, 2016 | Cookies and Biscotti
At times I like a little sweet to eat and at times I need the salty hit of a chip or pretzel. Sometimes I need both and I’m never sure which to eat first. Should I follow the sweet with the salty or start with the salty and finish with the sweet or go sweet, salty, sweet?!
Now there is no need to choose or stress which one to spend your hard earned calories on. Just whip up a batch of my Sweet ‘n Salty Cookies and both cravings are satisfied at once!
Along with the basic cookie making ingredients, flour, sugar, salt, etc., all you need to do is look through your cupboards for the makings of 1 cup of chocolate goodness and 1 cup of salty yum. This can be a combination of whatever lights your fire, be it Smarties, Kit Kats, Milk Chocolate Chips, Ruffle Potato Chips, Pretzels or something off the beaten track.
If your lucky enough to have Hallowe’en treats left over (is that even possible!!), open those small boxes and bags and use them up!
Sweet ‘n Salty Cookies
Makes approximately 24 medium sized cookies (using medium ice cream scoop).
Preheat oven to 325F. Parchment line 2 baking sheets.
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour (or use 2 1/3 cups all-purpose)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup, rough chopped chocolate bars or peanut butter cups or chocolate chips, etc.
1 cup, crushed potato chips, corn chips or broken pretzels
Whisk together, in a medium bowl, flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the softened butter with the sugars until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and beat in vanilla. Scrape down bowl and beaters.
Stir flour mixture into butter and mix until combined.
Using a wooden spoon stir in the 2 cups of sweet/salty add-ins and combine.
Use a medium ice cream scoop or tablespoon and drop dough about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
NOTE: I used a larger scoop and lightly pressed the dough with the heel of my hand to flatten slightly to ensure even baking. Make larger or smaller and adjust baking time accordingly.
Bake approximately 12 minutes in preheated oven until cookies are golden around edges and don’t look wet on top.
Remove and let cool. Enjoy!
by sweetenuf | Oct 16, 2016 | Cookies and Biscotti
If you’ve been following along for a while you know I’ve been testing pumpkin biscotti recipes. They abound!
My issue with most of them is with the addition of pumpkin puree the cookies become too cakey and loose the ‘crispness’ of a true biscotti. Pumpkin adds so much moisture and really not a whole lot of flavour, in my opinion anyway.
I decided to experiment using pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and no puree with my basic biscotti recipe. I was ecstatic with the results. Crisp, light and delicious these are a great addition to your Fall baking lineup or to add to your ‘bake for Christmas’ list.
Play around with the amounts of pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon to suit your tastes.
No Pumpkin Pie Spice, you can quickly and easily mix up your own. Combine 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ginger and 1/4 teaspoon cloves. You can easily double or triple this to have on hand for your next few batches of biscotti.
Important…if your spices have been open and collecting dust in your cupboard for 6 months or more you most likely need to toss them out and replace! Spices lose their potency after being opened and for the most flavourful end product make sure yours are fresh.
Pumpkin Spice Biscotti
Preheat oven to 325F. Parchment line a large cookie sheet or 2 small cookie sheets.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.
In a large bowl beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time beating after each until incorporated and beat in vanilla.
Stir in flour in 3 additions on low or by hand until mixed in. Add in nuts and mix well. You may find using your hands to combine the nuts into the batter works well.
Divide batter into 2 equal portions and shape each into a 2-inch by 3/4-inch log. Place on baking sheets. If using one sheet space about 3-inches apart to allow for spreading.
Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes until golden brown around edges (top will still look fairly light in colour). Remove from oven and let cool 15-20 minutes until cool and easy to handle.
TURN OVEN DOWN TO 275F WHILE BISCOTTI COOLS.
Use a serrated or bread knife and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Lay slices on cookie sheets and bake for approximately 8 minutes and then turn and lay on other side and bake for another 8 minutes until firm and golden brown.
If you prefer a softer biscotti bake for a few minutes less on each side. These delicious pumpkin spice biscotti taste delicious and freeze great. They will keep in an airtight container for a couple of weeks!
by sweetenuf | Oct 8, 2016 | Bars & Squares
Apparently size does matter. Not only does showing whose is bigger set the ground work, you are then able to start a battle with a few strong shoves to your advisary and with a well placed low blow get him out of the picture. That accomplished you can now turn your attention to the lovely female you have had our eye on since sensing her hormone levels were reaching their peak and you, being the romantic you are, will wait by quietly until she turns her attentions to you!
A play-by-play from a downtown bar?! A scenario from a dating text-book?! My somewhat crazed imagination?!
None of the above. Interestingly enough, while baking up today’s recipe, I had on the National Geographic channel and they were discussing the mating habits of wild life in Alaska. Male Sheep with the biggest horns use them to fight off other males who are lacking in this department often butting their horns in their opponents vulnerable spots and the winner also lets loose a battle cry to capture the attention of his lady.
While watching it I started thinking about recent conversations with several single women friends and their not-so-impressive dating experiences so far in 2016.
Seems today’s man could maybe take cue from the bears, long-horned sheep and a few other animals in Alaska and other parts of the world.
In a nutshell, as wild and untamed as these creatures may be, they make a show of their assets and are willing to go the extra mile and even fight for their lady. Now I know I don’t want anyone ramming their head into the gut of another potential suitor just to get my or my friends undivided attention but a sincere compliment to the fairer sex on how attractive their eyes or how nice their smile or asking something about their life and really wanting to know the answer would go a long way in securing our attention and interest.
Seems in the light of working so hard to be equal and self-sufficient we forget it is OK to have someone show us we are special and we are worth a little effort. Sure we can bear children and look after said children, and take the garbage to the curb, grocery shop, make the meals, clean the house, pay bills and pay for our own stuff BUT why do we think we are not worth someone making a little effort for us. WE ARE MORE THAN WORTH IT!
Maybe it’s not just the guys who need to look to the wild. I’m going to follow the advice of the female bear…(well, metaphorically or something like that…I’m not really going to eat grass in a field and wait for a hairy guy, but I think you’ll get my drift). She contentedly eats her way through the field while the males fight for her (just her, not the other 12 they have contacted on Match or POF and might, just might, follow-up with). Then the winner lays down in the grass nearby and waits the several weeks it takes before she is ready for his attentions.
To me this translates to the guy spending some time and attention on the woman, by taking her out, talking with her, asking about her and her interests, and paying, yes paying, for several coffees or drinks and a few meals…that’s it. Doesn’t seem that difficult and no matter how old we get it does really feel like all the emotions and thoughts haven’t changed since college and high school dating.
Obviously this recipe is super simple or there is absolutely no way I would have been able to whip it up with all of the above going through my brain!! Hope you give them a try.
Happy Thanksgiving Canada!!
Pecan Pie Bars
Preheat oven to 350F. Makes about 24 squares. You’ll need a 9×9-inch square pan, ungreased.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, powdered sugar and salt. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pat into baking dish and bake in preheated oven until light brown. About 20 minutes.
In same medium bowl whisk eggs and add in the brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
Sprinkle pecans over baked crust and pour over egg mixture. Return to oven and bake approximately 20 more or until filling is set. Let cool and cut into bars.
by sweetenuf | Oct 2, 2016 | Bars & Squares
Dark and delicious this fabulous combination of bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, toffee bits and semisweet chocolate come together in these brownies for an indulgent treat.
I found these ‘babies’ under the heading “Chocoholics Anonymous” in an old magazine (For some reason the recipe just seemed to jump out at me!!) and modified the recipe slightly. I did have a stash of Heath Bits, both plain and the chocolate/toffee combination, which friends had brought me back from shopping trips to the U.S. No Heath Bits here in Canada so use the equivalent Skor bits and for the topping just add some mini or regular chocolate chips.
For a moist brownie make sure not to overbake. They should still be a few crumbs sticking to the toothpick when checking for doneness.
I’d make doubles of this as believe me they are a huge hit! They are as tasty when cold as when still slightly warm from the oven.
Preheat oven to 350F and parchment line a 13×9-inch baking pan.
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp boiling water
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 tbsp butter
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups toffee bits
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
For topping: approximately 1 cup toffee bits and 1/2-1 cup chocolate chips or 1 1/2 cups Heath chocolate/toffee bits
Combine the boiling water and the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl over a double boiler or in the microwave melt the butter and the 2 ounces of chocolate (careful don’t burn the chocolate) and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa mixture.
In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla. Whisk in the chocolate mixture.
Add in the flour and salt and stir to combine. Fold in the toffee bits and the chocolate chips.
Spread evenly in the prepared pan and top with the Heath Chocolate Toffee bits or a combination of 1 cup of toffee bits and chocolate chips if desired.
Bake approximately 30-40 minutes until brownies are cooked through but a few crumbs stick to a toothpick inserted in the centre. FOR BEST RESULTS ROTATE PAN HALF WAY THROUGH BAKING AND CHECK AFTER 30 MINUTES.
Cool and cut into generous portions.