Sunday, December 10, 2017
PEELABANANA: CHOCOLATE CHUNK BANANA BREAD
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4-5 ounces dark chocolate (70-85% cacoa) very coarsely chopped (you can always substitute chocolate chips)
Heat oven to 350ºF. Stir eggs, bananas, oil, and milk until blended. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; stir until just moistened. Stir in chocolate chunks.
Pour into greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cook in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan to cool on wire rack.
Saturday, December 9, 2017
I am not a maître pâtissier, and I imagine you're not either, but for National Pastry Day, I thought I'd post my go-to pastry recipe for Mini-Chocolate Eclairs.
My favorite eclairs are not the long thin "traditional" hotdog shaped eclairs (although I like those, too), but rather, the mini-eclairs. Pâte à choux.. little puff pastry.. that I've been making for years are simple to make and easy to fill. Well, I checked my blog, and I've already posted about these eclairs, but they're worthy of a re-post. They're so easy and yet look so beautiful and taste fabulous! Hope you enjoy making these as much as I do!
I've adapted this recipe for Mini Chocolate Eclairs from Paula Deen. It is one of my favorites because it's easy and fabulous! I never use margarine, so I've dropped that alternative from the recipe. Real butter is always best. As always, I use the very best dark chocolate for the topping. I've changed a few measurements and directions in the recipe for the novice Eclair Chef. If you're a purist, just click on Paula Deen's recipe above.
Because these eclairs are so small, feel free to have 3 or 4. :-) Yield depends on how small you make them, but I can get about 40 small eclairs from this recipe. They're great for a crowd!
Want to make these even more chocolate? Add a handful of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks to the egg cream filling or fill with chocolate cream instead: just add 1/4 dark cocoa to the dry ingredients. To fill the eclairs, I use a pastry bag, but if you don't have one, you can always fill a Ziploc bag and cut the tip off to pipe the filling into the eclair.
You will probably have some extra icing. Half the recipe if you ice sparingly. I'm all about chocolate, so there's never much left.
MINI CHOCOLATE ECLAIRS
1 cup water
8 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Preheat oven to 400F.
Heat water and butter to boiling point. Add flour and stir constantly until mixture is smooth and forms a ball when tested in cold water. Remove from heat and let cool. Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time. Drop dough from teaspoon, elongate slightly to form small eclairs (or drop in 'puffs'), onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until light brown. Set aside to cool.
Prepare filling by mixing all dry ingredients. Very slowly add milk over low heat and cook until mixture thickens (don't let heat get too high), so you don't have any lumps. Then pour this custard into the beaten eggs, stirring quickly (so eggs don't cook). Cool and add vanilla.
With serrated knife, slice pastry puffs lengthwise (or if you have puffs make a hole), but not all the way through. Pipe custard mixture into the center.
Melt chocolate for icing, add sugar and cream. Cook over medium heat until soft ball stage.
Let cool and beat until smooth.
Ice tops of eclairs.
A Dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side. During Chanukah (Hanukah, Hanukkah), children play a game that involves spinning the dreidel and betting on which Hebrew letter will show when the dreidel stops spinning. Children usually play for a pot of 'gelt' -- chocolate coins covered in gold colored foil.
You won't be spinning these tops unless you want chocolate all over the floor, but making these Chocolate Marshmallow Dreidels is a fun activity to do with children.
This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe for Chocolate Marshmallow Dreidels. If you want to take it up a notch, make your own marshmallows or buy some high end marshmallows made with natural ingredients such as those from Recchiuti. I usually use whatever dark chocolate I have, but you can use any great dark chocolate. For the white chocolate I use Green & Black's White Chocolate that's made with Madagascar vanilla. I also use Paul Newman's Own Organic pretzel sticks. They are a little long, so I snap them in half. Or, you can just use a short lollipop stick.
Apologies for the poor calligraphy. Practice makes perfect, and I'm very out of practice. :-)
CHOCOLATE COVERED MARSHMALLOW DREIDELS
12 chocolate kisses (I use Hershey's Kisses)
8 ounces melted dark chocolate
12 marshmallows (homemade or whatever you have)
12 thin pretzel sticks (I use Newman's Own)
2 ounces melted white chocolate (I use Green & Black)
Dip bottom of chocolate kiss in melted semisweet chocolate. Press onto marshmallow; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat to make 12 dreidels. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Cut small slit in bottom of each marshmallow or just one thin pretzel stick into the marshmallow. Dip dreidels in dark chocolate, and return to baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.
Fill plastic bag (or pastry bag) with melted white chocolate; cut a tiny opening in corner, and pipe Hebrew letters onto 3 sides of each dreidel. I used a pastry bag with a tip, but I should have practiced a bit first so I wouldn't have any drips.
Refrigerate at least 5 minutes or up to 8 hours before serving.
Friday, December 8, 2017
|Photo: Ghiradelli Gluten-Free Brownies|
Recently I came across the history of Brownies. Chicago Magazine says the recipe is credited to Bertha Palmer, wife of the Palmer House's original owner. Apparently the organizers of the World Columbian Exposition of 1893 asked her and the hotel to make a delicious and transportable dessert. Here's a link to that original Palmer House Brownie recipe.
Whatever the origins, Brownies have come a long way. Here's a Round-up of 90+ Brownie Recipes I've posted over the years. I'm sure I didn't catch them all, but it's an updated list. Several recipes are Gluten-Free.
And, to start, here's a link to Tips for Making the Best Brownies.
2016 Brownie Recipe Round-Up:
Links to 50+ Brownie Recipes
Aunt Sylvia's Brownies
Double Chocolate Brownies
Peanut Butter Brownies
Elsie's Fudgy Mocha Brownies
Peppermint Bark Brownies
One Bowl Oreo Brownies
TV Dinner Buttermilk Brownies
Red, White, & Blue Star Brownies
Cherry Port Heart-Shaped Brownies
Super Moon Blue Cheese Brownies
Double Chocolate Olive Oil Brownies
Extra Nutty Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies
Guy Fawkes Night: Bonfire Brownies
Peanut Butter Toffee Cheesecake Brownies
White Chocolate Brownies
Lemon Curd Brownies
Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
Best Ever Gluten Free Brownies
Easter Egg Brownies
Peanut Butter & Jelly Brownies
Milky Way Brownies
Gluten Free Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Brownies
Peanut Butter Marbled Brownies
White Chocolate Brownies with Macadamia Nuts
Full Moon Brownies
Fudgy Mocha Brownies
Cream Cheese Brownies
Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies
Guinness Stout Brownies
Creme de Menthe Brownies
Blood Moon Eclipse Brownies
Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies
Strawberry Extra-Chocolately Brownies
Ghirardelli Gluten-Free Brownies
S'mores Brownies from a Mix
S'mores Brownies from Scratch
Gravenstein Apple Chocolate Brownies
Chocolate Walnut Brownies
Gold Rush Brownies
Ghirardelli Gluten-Free Brownies
Nutella Brownie Muffins
Sea Salt Caramel Brownies: 2 Recipes
Brownie Ice Box Cookies: Retro Ad & Recipe
Cherry Cheesecake Brownies
Honey Chocolate Brownies
Chocolate Raspberry Beer Brownies
Better Bacon Brownies
Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Brandy Alexander Brownies
Bourbon Cream Cheese Brownies
Chewy Pistachio Brownies
Double Chocolate Fresh Cherry Brownies
Red Wine Brownies
Scharffen Berger Mother's Day Brownies
Chocolate Merlot Mustard Brownies
Mounds of Brownies: Chocolate Revelations
Candy Corn Brownies
Halloween Oreo Brownies
Harvest Moon Pumpkin Brownies
Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes
Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies
Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Passover Flourless Brownies (4 recipes) #Gluten-free
Dutch Process Cocoa Brownies
Spinach Carrot Brownies: Eat Your Veggies!
Judy Hogan's Healthy Brownies
Brownies in a Mug
Brownie Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches
Miss Piggy's Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Brownies
"Mounds" of Brownies
Mexican Spicy Brownies
Brownie Bites with Cherry Jubilee Sauce
Brownies in a Jar
Decadent Quadruple Chocolate Brownie Pie
Retro Chocolate Brownie Pie
Chocolate Pecan Brownie Fudge Cake
German Chocolate Brownie Pecan Tarts