Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate’

Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

November 18, 2011

I made chocolate chili cupcakes last night because I had some leftover chocolate ganache (#firstworld problems, am I right?) and this was the result. Not bad. There’s a nice spicy finish that you don’t notice until you’re just finishing it up, but it’s definitely there. Ancho chiles will give you some more depth of flavor, but if you don’t have it, just heap on a little bit more of cayenne pepper and you’re all set.

 

Topped with chocolate ganache, a dusting of cinnamon, and a Hot Tamale.

Want the recipe? It’s below the cut.

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Whoopie Pies

February 26, 2010

Are whoopie pies the new cupcake? Is the cupcake soo the “aughts” and the whoopie pie the “it dessert” just waiting in the wings to break out in the teens?

The Baltimore Sun thinks, maybe so.

It was a funny coincidence then that I read this article about a week after I had made a batch of whoopie pies for my birthday. Apparently my subconscious is more on-trend that I am.

Whenever my birthday rolls around I get it in my head to make treats for my classmates/friends/coworkers. Since I’ve been binge baking since Thanksgiving, though, when February rolled around I  was running out of novel ideas for treats. What’s a girl to do? I had just baked a batch of red velvet cupcakes. A platter of lemon bars. More blueberry panna cotta than is probably wise.

Whoopie pies with a cream cheese frosting instead of the usual marshmallow fluff.

When I was in elementary school my favorite treat to bring in back then were these mini “hamburger” cookies. The “meat” patty would be a thin mint, and the bun would consist of two vanilla wafers. I’d “glue” the cookies together with red, green, and yellow frosting for the ketchup, lettuce, and mustard respectively, and to literally top it off, I’d smear a little corn syrup on the top wafer and sprinkle on sesame seeds.

And while the child in me still loves the little burger cookies, because they are so cute, I’m 29 years old now. I’m barreling toward my thirties. Sometimes my knee I hurt in rec soccer in college feels funny when it rains. All this said, I need something that’s a little more adult that still appeals to the kid in me. Like whoopie pies. But let’s do this right. Let’s get rid of the shrink wrap, the preservatives. Let’s make these suckers from scratch. Impress your friends. Take a bite. Savor. Let your eyeballs roll into the back of your head. Feel the surge of pleasure tingle all the way down to your toes.

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Restaurant Review: Bastille

December 1, 2009

I chose Bastille in Alexandria for DC’s restaurant week purely because it was walkable from Braddock Rd Metro and it had 4 “$” signs. If only all shots in the dark were this much of a success! I would go back any day of the year, Restaurant Week or no. If that’s not high praise, I don’t know what is.

Appetizers

These hush puppies make for an upscale finger food!

These beignets make for an upscale snack!

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies

November 23, 2009

Every October and November I’m moved to make baked goods out of pumpkin. But hey, cold weather makes me want to bake more in general (I made an apple pie this evening, and tomorrow even more pies will be made because Tuesday at work? Is a pie party. Yes, a party with just pies. I’m making a raspberry tart with chocolate ganache and a tomato and corn pie). But back to the pumpkin . . .

Ooey, gooey, cheesey, easy(ish), peasy.

This year I made some pumpkin butterscotch bars with oatmeal topping and my annual pumpkin roll. But after that I wanted something different. After some browsing I saw pumpkin cheesecake or pumpkin brownies, but where were the pumpkin cheesecake brownies? Apparently, in my head. So I played around and came up with this recipe.

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Restaurant Review: Capital Grille

September 14, 2009

We are looking for a steak house we love more than the ones we went to back in Chicago. We chose Capital Grille for restaurant week lunch this year. We wanted dinner, but they only offered lunch. It’s located on a corner in Penn Quarter. You’ll recognize it from the ferocious lions guarding the door and the window into the aging meat locker. Yummy. Review after the bump.

There are 2 lions at the front door, guarding the delicious foods within.

There are 2 lions at the front door, guarding the delicious foods within.

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Restaurant Review: 1789

September 3, 2009

I first went to 1789 when my now husband proposed. It was a magical evening. The fireplace was roaring in the main room. Love was in the air. The food was *amazing*. You can imagine why we decided to come back.

It’s a cozy restaurant that’s good for birthdays and other celebrations.  As adventurous as we are most of the time, we’ve been three times and gotten the same entree three times. Both of us. Normally, I’d say, “BOOOORRRRING.” But their lamb is that good.

We went to 1789 for their “sizzling summer special,” a $40, 3-course dinner (lamb and steak are an extra $8). We invited another couple to join us, and of course they were sharers. Nothing is worse than going to a good restaurant and people won’t share. We even got a small taste of another dinner! One of them ordered something different.

After we ordered, we got an amuse bouche. Delicious! The bite had a sort of a ceviche of rockfish with herbs on a mini tomato on a slice of French bread.

The right amount of citrus and oil in the amuse bouche make a tasty snack.

The right amount of citrus and oil in the amuse bouche make a tasty snack.

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Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes

August 4, 2009

I was fooling around on the internet and found this *amazing* cupcake recipe on the blog Take the Cannoli. I’ve been a sucker for using booze in baked goods ever since we had waaaay too much Bailey’s and I had to find creative ways to use it (too much for even drinking – it was nuts). Anyway, the cupcake recipe is originally the Chocolate Kahlua Cupcake from the book Crazy About Cupcakes, but I thought I would give a nice shout out to Take the Cannoli. She also does a pretty mean looking mascarpone frosting that I didn’t do, but I bet is mighty delicious. I used a pretty basic cream cheese frosting recipe and added some things to spice it up.

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Matzo does Passover!

April 13, 2009

I consider myself to be more of a cultural Jew than a religious one. Because of this, some find it surprising that I love Passover. I go all out eating only matzo, no meat with milk, no pork, no shellfish, no random grains that were banned because my people might get them confused with other forbidden grains (*cough* rice *cough*).  Anyway, what I really love about Passover are the stories. There are Plagues! Darkness! Disease! Killing first borns! Pissed off G-d! Awesome!

Plus, even though I haven’t been home for Seder in 3 years (this year being the first year I haven’t done one at all), eating the food is a way for me to get back to my roots and remember my family. So, I would like to dedicate this post to my Grandpa, who always hid the afikomen and may or may not have given me more hints than my cousins; and my Dad, while not a Jew, dove in head first into tradition and made Seder more fun (including singing Freak Nasty’s “Da Dip” chorus during the part where you dip parsley into salt water. “You put your hand up on my hip, when I dip, you dip, we dip!”). So, Grandpa and Dad – this is for you!

Mmmm Schmaltz!

Mmmm Schmaltz!

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Frou Frou Chocolate

September 23, 2008

Bacon and chocolate are ALWAYS relevant. Together they demand attention.

I finally got to taste this salty/sweet bar. Vosges says, “Breathe…engage your five senses, close your eyes and inhale deeply. Be in the present moment, notice the color of the chocolate, the glossy shine. Rub your thumb over the chocolate bar to release the aromas of smoked applewood bacon flirting with deep milk chocolate. Snap off just a tiny piece and place it in your mouth, let the lust of salt and sweet coat your tongue. Mo’s Bacon Bar: applewood smoked bacon + Alder wood smoked salt + deep milk chocolate, 41% cacao.”

I closed my eyes. I rubbed my lips on the glossy chocolate. I tasted it. I looked silly. It was OK. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some $8 chocolate. I’m just not that big of a fan of MILK chocolate. I tasted smoke. I did not taste bacon. I was a bit disappointed.

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