Double-Chocolate Espresso Cake with the Yummiest Fudgey Icing

Double-Chocolate Espresso Cake with the Yummiest Fudgey Icing

I must admit I did miss the mark.  The Valentine chocolate recipe mark.  While most recipe bloggers were filling their pages with yummy looking chocolate desserts I was planning how to have 14 young kids make cake pops, bake up cupcakes and decorate a giant heart shaped cookie in a couple of hours.  So needless to say upon finishing up with them I had no desire to test out any type of chocolate recipe.

Fast forward to this week and I come across a beautiful photo of a luscious looking cake covered  in a thick layer of chocolate frosting among my ‘going to make’ pile.  This was it! It was time  to test out this recipe I had torn from the pages of Chatelaine magazine.

Before sharing the recipe a couple of notes:

1. The title is a misnomer – the cake is chocolate and only the icing is Chocolate Espresso.

2. I guess it’s double chocolate because there is chocolate icing on the chocolate cake not because there are 2 types of chocolate in the cake.

3. This cake will make a nice sized 15 x 11-inch cake instead of the 2 round layers.

3. I love this icing and will use it again on cupcakes or another cake.

4. I used less icing sugar and about 1-2 tablespoons of milk to get a nice spreadable consistency with the icing

5. Not sure this is a keeper chocolate cake recipe….

Why am I posting a recipe I’m not sure is a keeper you may ask.  Well I figure this blog is about sharing my experiences and sometimes what I think is just o.k. others love.  I did have about 20 people sample this cake and they all said they liked it.  A good review, well yes, but if I make a cake I want it to taste so good that I know I will definitely be baking it up for the next occasion that arises.

Now the icing, that is a different story.  A hint of coffee and a thicker consistency make this icing a keeper.

So give it a try and see how you like it.


2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup lightly pack brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or sour milk)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and parchment line the bottoms of 2 8-inch round cake pans.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the butter and sugars on medium speed for about 3 minutes.  Beat in eggs 1 at a time, scraping sides of bowl after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.

Turn mixer to low and alternately add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  Scrap down sides of bowl and divide evenly between prepared pans and smooth tops.

Bake 30-35 minutes until a tooth pick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.


1 cup butter, room temperature

225 gram package unsweetened chocolate (I used a package of Baker’s, 8 squares in total), MELTED and cooled slightly

1 tbsp vanilla

6 cups icing sugar

1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee

Milk – you may need a couple tablespoons of milk or cream to thin frosting

Beat butter for about 1 minute in large bowl of mixer until creamy.  Add in the melted chocolate, vanilla and about 1 cup of the icing sugar and mix well.  Add in the remainder of the icing sugar alternately with the espresso until well mixed and creamy.  Spread over your cooled cake.

Gingerbread Biscotti-The Choice is Yours Option #2

Gingerbread Biscotti-The Choice is Yours Option #2

Gingerbread Biscotti w white chocolate drizzle

Gingerbread Biscotti w white chocolate drizzle

Today’s biscotti recipe is very similar to the recipe I posted the other day.  It is basically wet ingredients in one bowl, dry in another and mix them together.

I was doubtful of the use of applesauce in place of the fat in the recipe as I often find people use it to reduce the fat in baked products and it affects the finished product and not in a good way.  In this recipe it worked wonderfully and I would definitely make these again.

As mentioned in the other gingerbread biscotti recipe post you determine how crunchy and hard you like your biscotti by the length of time you bake them after you have sliced them up and returned them for their second baking.  This was my preferred recipe and I drizzled a little melted chocolate after cooling.

Gingerbread Biscotti

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup applesauce

2 eggs

1/3 cup molasses

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground ginger

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the brown sugar, applesauce, eggs and molasses.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients.  Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 2-3 additions mixing together with a wooden spoon.  You may find mixing the the dough together with your hands is the best best.

Divide the dough into 2 portions and shape into 2 logs about 6 inches apart on the parchment lined baking sheet.  Press down on logs to flatten slightly and shape each into a 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick rectangle.  Dipping your hands in cold water may help with preventing the dough from sticking to your hands.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes until firm.  Remove from oven and turn oven down to 300F.  Let biscotti cool for about 15 minutes then slice into 1/2 inch wide (or wider if you prefer) cookies.  Lay cookies on their sides and return to oven to bake for 5-10 minutes and then flip over and bake for another 5-10 minutes until dry.

Remove from oven and let cool.  Drizzle with some melted white chocolate or dark chocolate or dip the ends of your biscotti into melted chocolate.

You can add nuts to these if you like or even some chocolate chips.

With using the applesauce in this recipe each biscotti contains about 1 gram of fat and 3 grams of sugar and only about 110 calories per cookie making them an everyday addition for your tea or coffee break.

Gingerbread Biscotti – The Choice is Yours

Gingerbread Biscotti – The Choice is Yours

I have been craving a Gingerbread Biscotti for a while now.  During the Christmas holidays when the urge for a Gingerbread biscotti strikes you just need to pop into a Starbucks, wait in line for 25 minutes and drop $10 for your fancy beverage and your cellophane wrapped treat.

Now that all the Christmas charge cards have arrived and strapped you of any extra cash it’s back to homebrewed coffee and memories of gingerbread biscotti.  So after looking for a recipe for these yummy cookies, I narrowed it down to 2 (well 2 for now, maybe next month I might try another GB one).  One is from Joy the Baker’s site and the other is a very similar recipe but is made with applesauce.  I will post both recipes so you can choose which you one you prefer.  Today I will post my adaption of Joy’s recpe.

For Joy’s recipe she called for 1 cup of oatmeal, wanting you to grind 1/2 cup of it to make an oat flour, but since that was an extra step and I’m all about quick and easy and yummy, I just used 1/2 cup oatmeal and added another 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour in.  Both recipes call for cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and molasses although in varying amounts.  So I added a little more cinnamon in both as that is what I prefer.  For Joy’s recipe I toasted up the walnuts before hand to bring out the flavour.

For Joy’s recipe I added another egg and a little more molasses as I found the batter very dry and hard to form together.  It reminded me of a recipe I tried a few times from Fine Cooking.   I could  never get the batter to form the logs so that recipe hit the trash.  Adding the egg and a little more molasses made a huge difference in having the dough come together to form the logs.

I was skeptical of the biscotti recipe with applesauce but it came together super quick and although in it’s description mentions the dough will be crumbly that wasn’t the case at all.  When forming the sticky dough into logs I dipped my hands into cold water to prevent it from sticking to my hands.  This works for your Rice Krispie treats as well.

For the applesauce recipe I also drizzled them with some melted white chocolate which always garners extra points for any treat in my books.

I know which recipe I prefer and I will definitely be making it again.

Remember if you don’t like your biscotti ‘Break A Tooth Off’ hard then just bake them a couple minutes less on each side.  They will taste as delicious but not be as difficult to eat.  So below is my first Gingerbread Biscotti posting and soon I will post the other recipe.

And if your counting calories these work out to about 160 calories apiece so they certainly can be worked in to your day.

Gingerbread Biscotti (Adapted from Joy the Baker)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and set aside.

3/4 cup walnuts or pecans or hazelnuts, toasted and coarsley chopped

1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup dark brown sugar,  packed

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

3 large eggs

1/3 cup molasses

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

In the bowl of your electric mix combine the oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, molasses, oil and vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Mix in the chopped nuts just until blended throughout the dough.  You may wish to do this with your hands.

Transfer 1/2 the dough onto the prepared sheet and shape it into a log, about 12 inches long and 3 inches wide.  Add the other half of the dough to the prepared sheet and shape it the same.

Bake for about 25 minutes at 350F.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.  Turn down over to 300F.  Slice the biscotti and return to oven for about another 5-8 minutes (depending on how dry you prefer them) and flip them over and bake on the other side for 5-8 minutes.  Let cool.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins-A little bite of Sunshine

On these bitter cold winter days we have been experiencing, nothing goes better with a nice cup of tea or my morning coffee like a little bite of sunshine.  For some reason lemons and oranges seem to represent sunshine to me.  Today’s recipe is another from “Butter Baked Goods” by Rosie Daykin.  While enjoying my lemon poppyseed muffin I came across a quote I wanted to pass on to everyone.  “The things you take for granted some else is praying for.”

Something to remember when the cold wind is blowing and you are scraping ice off your car and cursing…someone else doesn’t have a car or a nice warm house or maybe even a nice warm meal.  It never hurts for all of us to realize no matter how little we might feel we have there are so many more who have so much less.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Make sure you have a couple of lemons on hand to get the best flavour out of your muffins.  This isn’t the time to use the artificial kind.

Assemble Your Ingredients

Assemble Your Ingredients

For your muffins you will need:

3/4 cup butter

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup poppyseeds

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

2 eggs

Zest of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease or line 18 muffin cups and set aside.

Melt butter and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and poppy seeds.  Mix well to combine and distribute poppy seeds evenly.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, lemon juice, eggs and lemon zest.

Add the liquid ingredients and melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Make sure to not overmix the batter.

Fill the muffin liners about 2/3 full and bake in preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.