Tag Archives: Chocolate

Cadbury Fingers

31 Jan

Hello there, all!

Did you know that Ghana is the #3 Cocoa-producing country in the world? Yep, it’s right up there with the Cote d’Ivoire (neighbors!) and Indonesia. The English company Cadbury (Ghana was an English colony until 1957) is the largest producer in Ghana, pumping out tons of deliciousness every year, most of it being uber sweet milky kind.

To commemorate my trip to Ghana (less than one week left in America!), I decided to whip up a quick batch of these traditional Cadbury Fingers. Have you ever tasted them? They are my mom’s absolute favorite–she has admitted to regularly consuming a whole box after school as a little girl. I got to try them for the first time two years ago, and boy are they addictive! Consisting of a crisp shortbread biscuit cookie covered in a layer of creamy Cadbury milk chocolate, and in pinkie-finger-size form, I can definitely see how easy it is to eat a dozen no problem. ;)

Stock Photo from foodireland.com

Of course, they were so much easier to purchase in England, and are common imports to France, but here in America you rarely see them at the grocery store. I find them (and more Cadbury chocolate, and more international treats) at World Market in my town. As a special treat or a way to say “I love you” to my mom, I pick up a box on occasion. Do you have a World Market near you? They’re almost the best things ever!

This homemade version I adapted from a traditional shortbread recipe is quite delicious, if I do say so myself! They are slightly more buttery and rich than the store-bought ones, because of the recipe and because they are about twice as big, but who’s complaining? :) They consist of about 5 ingredients–butter, flour, salt, sugar, and Cadbury chocolate so they are super simple and easy to make!

Here’s the step-by-step–full recipe at the bottom!

First cream the room-temperature butter in your mixer (hand-held or standing). In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add it to the creamed butter and continue mixing until it forms a dough.

Ball up that dough and turn it out onto a clean floured surface. Flatten it out into a disk with your hand and flour the top. Roll out to an even thickness, about 1/4 inch.

Use a pizza cutter or another such device to square off your edges. Cut finger-sized rectangles out of your square.

Place those suckers on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 350, or until lightly browned on the top.

Cool them on a wire rack

Meanwhile… melt some milk chocolate in the microwave! For these fingers specifically, Cadbury would be best, but whatever you have is fine, too! I actually want to make these again with super rich dark chocolate. :)

When your babies are cooled, take a fork and sink them into this chocolate, like they’re Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka’s chocolate river. If you didn’t think he was the luckiest kid of the bunch, I don’t know where your priorities lie.
Oh, and tapping the fork against the edge of the bowl helps to drip the excess chocolate off the cookie.

Place them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and stick them in the fridge for a little. Resist the temptation to touch or lick!

They’ll come out looking deliciously smooth. In the middle they are SERIOUSLY buttery, crisp, and delicious! These were a perfect after-school snack for my mom, and a perfect anytime snack for me!

Cadbury Fingers
2 c. All-purpose flour
2/3 c. Powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
3/4 c. Unsalted butter, room temperature
About 6 oz. of Cadbury milk chocolate

  1.  Cream the butter in an electric mixer. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt.
  3. Mix in the dry ingredients with the butter until it forms a dough.
  4. Turn out the ball of dough onto a floured surface and roll out to 1/4 of an inch thick.
  5. Square off the edges of your dough and continue by cutting finger-sized sticks out of the dough. I cut out about 42 little fingers, and the rest of the edge dough I used for traditional shortbread wedges.
  6. Place the fingers on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes on the middle rack, or until lightly browned.
  7. Cool the fingers and melt the chocolate in the microwave in a deep bowl.
  8. Using a fork, completely submerge the fingers in the chocolate. Tap the fork on the side of the bowl to drip the excess chocolate off the finger.
  9. Place the fingers on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and refrigerate until the chocolate has set. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

The deliciousnes to easiness ratio of these cookies is SKY-HIGH, people. Make them tonight for your little taste of Ghana! Your roommates/parents/significant other/dog will thank you immensely.

-ATP

Triple Chocolate Tart

9 Dec

Sorry for the blur, y'all. This tart is from the archives... when I lived in my old apt!

Hello! I hope you’ve had a good last couple of weeks after Thanksgiving! Hopefully you’ve recovered from the massive amounts of turkey and/or candied yam leftovers, and have had the chance to get started on all the new holiday flavors that surround Christmas! I’ve been loving all the cookie ideas, hot beverage recipes, and other festive treats I’ve been seeing on my regular food blog list. They’ve definitely got me in the mood for Christmas cheer. :)

Well, this chocolate tart is no different. I don’t know about you, but in my family, the Christmas season is always accompanied by a (maybe a few) box(es) of chocolates on the coffee table. I’ve always been the family member known to eat about 5 a day, until my sister opens the box and notices there are none left for her. :[ Sorry sis. I’m definitely an extreme chocolate lover (if you couldn’t already tell from the high ratio of chocolate recipes on this blog), so I thought this Triple Chocolate Tart would be a perfect holiday recipe.

Yes–triple, my friends, I mean business. This tart is overloaded (in the best way possible) with chocolate crust, chocolate truffle filling, and a chocolate ganache topping. But even if you’re not the biggest chocolate fiend out there, this delectable dessert won’t taste too rich or strong. The tart is at a maximum 1-inch tall, so there isn’t much filling in each slice as there would be in, say, a deep-dish pie pan. It delivers just the right amount of richness for the average tart-consumer, but will leave the chocolate-devotee craving more. :)

Moreover, this tart is truly striking, with the matching deep brown colors of the chocolate crust and filling together, all in the dainty tart pan. Garnish the center with a sprig of mint, pipe whipped cream swirls along the edge, or dust the top with powdered sugar, and you’ve got a real showstopper. All the more reason to bake this treat up for a holiday party! Your guests or your host/hostess will really be impressed. But don’t tell them this took merely all but 1 hour of hands-on kitchen time. ;) That will be our little secret.

 

Here’s the simple and easy recipe! It takes no fancy techniques or special skills. The hardest part for me was the 1-hour resting time for the chocolate dough (that’s because I’m impatient, and a bad planner).

Triple Chocolate Tart
Makes about 8 servings

Chocolate Crust
1 1/2 c. All purpose flour
1/4 c. Powdered sugar
1/4 c. Cocoa powder

1/2 c. Unsalted butter, at Room Temperature
3 Egg yolks
1/4 tsp. Salt

  1. Cream the butter and sugar until well beaten.*
  2. Add the yolks and salt, and beat until incorporated.
  3. Dump in the flour and cocoa, and mix just until incorporated.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form a flattened disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat your oven to 350. Roll out your dough on a floured surface, and press it into your 9-inch tart pan. Bake in the center rack for about 10-15 minutes. After you take the tart out, keep the oven on 350.

*Notes: Since the crust is chocolate and we want a homogeneous distribution of this flavor, the typical “cutting-in” method of preparing tart/pie dough won’t work. We want to use this creaming method instead.

Truffle Filling
1 1/3 c. Semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 Sticks of butter (3/4 c.)
3 tbsp. Sugar
1/4 c. Strongly brewed coffee

  1. While the tart is baking, you can prepare the filling. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, sugar, and coffee together.
  2. Put your chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the hot liquid over the chocolate and let it stand for about 3 minutes to melt the chocolate.
  3. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until smooth.
  4. Pour this mixture into the tart shell, and bake about 20-30 minutes, or until the center has set.
  5. Cool on the counter.

 

 

Chocolate Ganache
2/3 c. Semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 c. Whipping cream
2 tbsp. Unsalted butter

  1. Scald the whipping cream on the stove (heat to just under boiling).
  2. With the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl, pour the cream over the chocolate. Let stand for about 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the butter. When the ganache is smooth, pour over the cooled tart, and smooth out with an offset spatula. Refrigerate until ganache has firmed up or until ready to serve. Then eat and enjoy!

Adapted from Tartlette

 

One more thing before I go! Last night, I finished up a little of my Christmas shopping at the malls, and had the opportunity to go and support one of my fellow San Diego food bloggers, Brandon Matzek! He was doing a live demo on 4 scrumptious recipes, and the BF and I got to go and see just how simple it is to prepare these delicious dishes, and even got to taste all of the food he made! They were downright delectable, and we both had seconds of everything. Seriously, friends, this guy has got talent! Not to mention, meeting him was such a pleasure! Really a down-to-earth, funny, super-nice guy. We chatted briefly about food blogs we like, and the challenges of posting regularly. He encouraged me to set goals, so this blog won’t fall to the wayside. So you can thank Brandon for this blogpost!

Brandon runs the ever-so-tasty Kitchen Konfidence, and has just released a new book, The Home Distiller’s Handbook, in which he took all the photos! If you’re a fan of interesting and novel flavors like Jalapeno Pepper vodka, or Chinese 5-spice and Pumpkin ice cream, definitely check out his blog (he’s got lots of equally delicious and easy recipes like this), enter the contest (just comment!) to win The Home Distiller’s Handbook, or pop over to Amazon/Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy for yourself!

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies <3 Happy Birthday Tiffany!

6 Nov

Today is a special day! If you couldn’t already tell, today is my dear friend Tiffany’s birthday! For the occasion, I baked up some very simple but very delicious “mocha chocolate chip cookies,” which should be sitting on her kitchen counter right now, along with some other goodies, if USPS did what they were supposed to! :)

These cookies are basically a glorified chocolate chip cookie recipe, infused with a good helping of cocoa powder and a couple spoonfuls of instant espresso powder, a.k.a. a match made in HEAVEN. I made these for Tiff’s birthday because of our shared love of mochas, and the many times we indulged in these drinks over our college years together. In making these, I didn’t do much in the way of fancy techniques, intricate decorating, or innovative flavor additions–these morsels are just full of plain good old espresso and chocolate flavor.

That’s OK with me though. This post is mostly about how wonderfully awesome and fabulous my good friend Tiffany is. I am writing this post as a little addition to what couldn’t fit on her birthday card, because I know she’ll be reading this eventually. Right now, however, she’s out celebrating with friends and a fishbowl margarita while I study for the MCAT all by my lonesome. I’m totally not joking either, she even sent me a picture text of it all! Yeah Tiff, thanks for that. ;]

Anyway, I must warn you that this may get a little warm… a little fuzzy… maybe even a little (OK, A LOT!) mushy. So if you’re here purely for the cookie recipe, scroll to the bottom and enjoy the sugary goodness there. I don’t presume that y’all want to know every detail that follows (this is really for her). But if you’d like to stay a few minutes and hear about an example of a true friend, keep on reading. :)

HOMAGE COMMENCES: Tiffany and I met on the very first day of our sophomore year in college. We got all settled into the dorms, and wanting to get a head-start on meeting my floormates and being social, I (and a bunch of other people) ended up in Tiffany’s double, just shootin’ the breeze about our summers. I remember how excited I felt, because here was this girl speaking in such an earnest and passionate manner, and I could see right away how easy it would be to get to know her an be friends. What made it even better was that she was a pre-med just like me, and we were even enrolled in some of the same classes! On the other hand, Tiff was so darn beautiful and vivacious, and she seemed so pulled together and outgoing that I was a little intimidated. Little did I know that Tiffany would turn out to be one of the most down-to-earth, easy-going, fun-loving, hilarious girls I would ever meet.

Here we are at a splinting workshop!

Three years later, we’ve accumulated these (and many more) memories:

  • Me (sometimes futilely) knocking on her dorm room door, trying to wake her up for our 8am bio class
  • Subsequently staggering to class, and consistently being unable to resist the call of mochas and bagels from The Coffee Spot on campus
  • Then being faced with more than 6 chalkboards full of color-coded notes that were written by our professor before anyone even showed up in the lecture hall… and then furiously trying to copy them all down before he started talking.
  • Solidarity in pain and suffering after a physics final, which included a shared pint of haagen dazs and The First Wives Club dvd. Ballin’.
  • Tiffany introducing me to the Dance Fail, Can I Have Yo Numba? (best things evar), and Glee.
  • Our shared affinity for 80′s songs we’re embarrassed to admit we love (Don Henley’s Boys of Summer, George Michael’s Faith, to name a few). I have to text her whenever I hear these songs playing in my local Safeway.
  • Random crazy Irish men
  • AMSA national conference at the Disneyland Resort, churros, and karaoke
  • Being stuck in a tiny elevator with 12 people for 45 minutes, and then being broken out by firemen with axes (AMSA, again)
  • Basically every Monday and Thursday night for the past two years of our lives (AMSA, what else?)
  • Tiffany giving me the SUBLIME gift of Philz Coffee
  • Long study sessions at The Beanery coffee shop… and basically our entire obsession with coffee.
  • Talking about everything– friends, school, guys, faith, our goals, our families, fun we’d currently be planning…
  • Shopping, need I say more?
  • Dancing in SF!
  • By chance always wanting to do the exact same thing at the same moment. This girl is “down to hang,” as she puts it :)
  • Sharing the same heart for serving in the medical field
  • Being Toasts. ’nuff said.

Wow, I did not mean for that list to get so long, but what can I say–this girl is amazing! I know all these things may sound only fun and lighthearted… The truth is, we shared a ton of those awesome carefree memories, but most of the times our friendship is a little more serious–Tiffany is constantly inspiring me with her example to be the best that I can be, to never shrink from challenges, and to not be afraid to give all of myself for my beliefs, my passions, and my goals. She may be embarrassed if I reveal these things about her, but I am actually proud of her for them. She is such a hard worker, she never settles for the status quo, but always strives for something better. That’s the way she is–a woman with a clear vision, complete confidence, but also complete humility.

We're about to walk!

Even with her many accomplishments and her bright future, above all Tiff is a friend whom I can lean on. Throughout all my ramblings, problems, insecurities, she’s always the one to listen, encourage, and strengthen me in that calming, compassionate, realistic manner that she has. Even though we are individuals and may not share the same perspective all of the time, or even though we may disagree about something, my friend will always completely consider what I’m expressing because she values me. Of course, I also value her more than I could ever say. I am so thankful for this 3-year friendship, and am SO excited for the years that are to come.

Happy Birthday, Tiffany! YOU ROCK!

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Tiffany’s Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 30 4-inch cookies

2 c. All purpose flour
1/4 c. Cocoa powder
1 tsp. Baking soda

1 tsp. Salt
1 c. (2 sticks) Unsalted butter,
room temperature
3/4 c. Granulated sugar
3/4 c. Brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
2 tbsp. Espresso powder
2 Large eggs, room temperature
2 c. Semi-sweet cho
colate chips

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F
  2. Whisk/sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. With a stand mixer or a hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter till it is light and fluffy. Add the sugars and continue beating till fluffy, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  4. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the vanilla, and add the espresso powder. Beat the espresso powder into the wet ingredients until it is dissolved.
  5. With the electric mixer again, add the egg/espresso mixture in a steady stream to the creamed butter. Beat till smooth.
  6. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just incorporated. Turn off the electric mixer, and add in the chocolate chips with the rubber spatula.
  7. Place spheres of roughly 1.5-inches onto your baking sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake about 15 minutes. After baking, let the cookies sit on the sheet for about 2 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool.
  8. Package these up and send them to your best friend, birthday or not!

“Irish Car Bomb” Cupcakes

25 Aug

While the name of these cupcakes is certainly politically incorrect, the taste is quite irresistible. The rich, full-bodied combination of chocolate and Guinness beer in the cake combined with the creamy sweetness of the frosting is downright wonderful. I hope you make these soon so you can taste their awesomeness! Make them for your Friday night get-together with your friends!

I made them for my friend Bryson on his birthday, per his request. Bryson was one of the first people I met in college, as he was suitemate to my boyfriend during our freshman year! In the four years since then, I’ve come to know Bryson as a kind, forgiving, fun-loving, faithful-till-the-end friend. He’s also very much the manly-man! Tha BF and I visited him at his home one summer, and found that his brother, his dad, and he had built a MAN-CAVE in their yard, complete with a motorcycle workshop, minifridge with frosty mugs, and a gun safe. Oh yes, I kid you not! So I agreed that these cupcakes, inspired by a guiness/bailey’s/jameson drink, would be perfect for his birthday. (SHOUTOUT, BRYSON!)

I got the recipe from the wonderful Annie of Annie’s Eats. Yeah, I gotta admit that I wanna be like her! She’s a loving wife, mother of 2 (gorgeous) kids, M.D., and blogger extraordinaire, and I can’t imagine her feeding her family anything not homemade. Check out her blog! You will love it!

“Irish Car Bomb” Cupcakes
Guinness/Chocolate Cupcakes
1 c. Guinness stout
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2/3 c. sour cream (I used vanilla yogurt)

1.  While your oven preheats to 350, line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
2.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the stout. Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth, then remove from heat to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl whisk/sift the flour, sugar, bakingsoda, and salt together.
4. Beat the eggs and sour cream until well blended, then add in the stout and butter mixture.
5. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix gently until just incorporated.
6. Fill each cupcake liner with the batter until 2/3 full. Bake them in the oven for around 17 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Frosting
1 stick (1/2 c.) unsalted butter at RT (room temp)
3-4 c. powdered sugar
4-8 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish Cream

1. Cream the butter with your mixer until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually incorporate the powdered sugar
3. Mix in the Bailey’s. You can play around with the amount of Bailey’s and powdered sugar that you add, until it’s your desired consistency.
4. Frost your cupcakes!

Do these strike your fancy? Would you like to make these for someone one day so that you can have your own batch of rich chocolatey, Guinness-y, Bailey’s-y goodness?! Who would you make these for? Even if you’re the only one eating these, let me know in the comments below!

Big Bear Cookies

15 Aug

This is one "Papa Bear" cookie, about as big as my hand. It will probably take 5 cups of tea to finish him.

For a first post, this quite fittingly contains four things I LOVE.

1.) Bears:
The bear is the noblest of creatures! Not to mention, my boyfriend, sister and I are all bears, having graduated from a university with the bear as their mascot!

2.) Big Bear:
… Is one of the few skiing spots in So Cal, where it was tradition for my family to go for a couple days every winter. While learning to “make a pie, make a pie!!!” with my skis was frustrating in the beginning, after a couple trips, skiing quickly became one of my favorite pastimes. Big Bear is a wonderful place to make great family memories to cherish forever.

3.) Chocolate (and lots of it!)
Self-explanatory?

4.) These beautiful people I get to travel with for the next few days!
Yes, I am leaving tomorrow with two families that I adore on a journey to the mountains! With this group of people, a trip inevitably means delicious food, belly-aching laughs, and an overflow of love. There’s nothing else I could ask for.

“Big Bear” Cookies
2 sticks (1 c.) of Unsalted butter at Room Temperature
1 1/4 c. Granulated sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 c. Cocoa powder
2 1/4 c. Flour (I used all-purpose)
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking powder
1 tbsp. Corn starch
2 1/2 c. (or as they say in Nor Cal, HELLA) Semisweet chocolate chips

Oooh baby...

Preheat your oven to 350 F

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
  3. Beat the cocoa into the mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and corn starch. Or stir haphazardly, like me.

    "Baby Bear," smaller-sized cookies

  5. Mix the dry ingredients into the batter until JUST combined. Mixing too much after addition of flour releases gluten proteins from the wheat, which causes your baked goods to become tough. This structure-lending process is good for baking breads, but not for a delicate cookie. :)
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips. This might have been a bit too much for my poor handheld mixer, so I put my biceps to use and did it with a spatula.

    "Mama Bear," medium-sized cookies

  7. Place lumps of cookie dough on a cookie sheet and bake! Depending on how big you make your cookies, the baking time can vary. In my (weird, crazy, psycho) oven, I baked the Papa Bear (biggest) cookies for about 20 minutes. They were flexible when I took them out, but not wet in the middle. The Mama Bear cookies took about 17 minutes, and the Baby Bear cookies took 15.

I am bringing these cookies along for everyone to eat on the trip. Our pancreatic beta cells are going to be working overtime. ;)

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