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Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse

Chocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse_Vegan-dessert_Merry-Christmas_Svetia_Yes,-more-please!

Chocolate, who can’t resist chocolate specially at this time of the year?…Dreaming of luscious chocolate desserts, this Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse recipe it’s the ticket for a simple crowd pleaser dessert. You would not believe how free of everything this mousse is. It should be called “Chocolate Freedom”. The truth is, If you want to make a dessert suited for all guests, taste good for all palates, and diverse diets you are at the right place.

For me, Chocolate Mousse is the perfect ending dessert for a dinner party. You can prepare it ahead, its no fuss, looks gorgeous, and suits all crowds. This recipe, especially suits guests with diverse diets: dairy-free, gluten-free,  sugar-free, nut-free, grain-free, egg-free, all free diet situations. I feel people with food sensitivities are often neglected, or end up with fruit as a dessert, why not go the extra mile? On the other hand for the cooks at home its always a little stressful to think or trying to cook or bake with un-familiar ingredients, well I got you covered, this recipe is also easy on the Cook. Simple ingredients, a few simple steps and your guests will appreciate you going the extra mile. Its is always nice to make the effort to make a happy ending dessert for everyone especially during the holiday season.

Read the recipe very carefully, and please, do not make faces; yes I can see you from here frowning about avocado and chocolate. I was one of those people as well. Now I’m converted. To be honest, once you try this combination I know you’ll be converted too. Let’s talk a little about it.

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Chocolate Coconut Pecan Susuwataris

Chocolate-Coconut-Pecan-Susuwataris_Homemade-candy_Halloween!-booh!

 

Susuwataris are my favorite creatures from the Japanese film creator, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, and Magna artist Hayao Miyasaki. He is one of my favorite people in the world (area); his imagination, and ability to create amazing stories from common daily situations always amazes me.  If you have not seen his movies please do yourself a favor and watch them all. To name a few of my favorite movies from Hayao Miyasaki-Studio Ghilbli: Castle in the sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Poco Rosso, Spirited away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, Princess Mononoke, to name a few.

Now, what are Black soots, Dust bunnies aka Susuwataris? In the first movie, Spirited Away, they appeared as lil workers in a boiler room. They have arms, legs and inquisitive eyes. They make a squeaky murmuring sounds when excited, and dissolve into powder (soot) if crushed. They are the cleansers of evil spirits.

They also appeared in the movie My Neighbor Totoro playing the role of dust balls in an abandoned house, where the main characters were moving. Susuwataris in this movie are mainly an optical illusion caused by moving quickly from light into darkness. Like the same effect at night when you turn the lights on your bedroom to go to sleep, if you quickly look into the corners, you might me able to see them. Despite their appearance, Susuwataris are good creatures in the movie, mainly they make sure that the family that is moving into the new house is composed of good people. And everybody knows that good people makes their own candy for Halloween… hehehe

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Scribbles Garabatos Cookies

Scribbles-Cookies-Mexican-Garabatos_Yes,-more-please!

At less than 10 days until Christmas there are too many cookies and so little time! This year I decided to go with just ONE cookie, yes believe it or not just one… Ahem.. let me re phrase that…because there is no way I can eat just one of these buttery and nutty lil cookie sandwiches. I mean one type of cookie, and I chose my favorite ones Garabatos, which translates to: scribbles. The name of these Scribbles Garabatos Cookies comes from the freedom and delightful abandon in which the chocolate is drizzled all over these buttery cookies.  This cookies are very popular and loved in Mexico.

These crisp cookies with a soft crumb like a shortbread are filled with raspberry jam, chocolate ganache or hazelnut spread. A fine scribbling drizzle of dark chocolate, makes these little cookies not only delicious, and appealing, but equally easy to make. Dough is made in a flash in the food processor, chilled for 30 minutes, then rolled, cut, and baked 8-10 minutes. When you bake these cookies a butter cloud hugs you with love and Christmas feelings.

If you want to enjoy and make a simple and delicious effortless buttery cookie, start scribbling, this is the perfect last-minute letter to Santa! Ho, ho, ho!

Scribbles-Cookies-Mexican-Garabatos_Ingredients

For the recipe you will need…

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Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican-Hot-chocolate_Yes,-more-please!

“If there’s no chocolate in Heaven, I’m not going.”
― Jane Seabrook

 

Chocolate must be, with out a doubt, one of the best gifts from Mexico to the world: Xocolat, Kakawa, Chocolate. Mayan and Aztec gods “seed of love and generosity”, manifested in a cacao bean, which they transformed into a beverage known as xocolatl meaning “bitter water”. Modern drinking chocolate is the result of the 17th century European addition of milk and sugar.

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is a cup of Mexican hot chocolate. It lifts my spirit, brings happiness, joy, comfort, warmth, peace, and a great sensation of fulfillment. Love in a cup Mexican hot cocoa also features amazing warm cinnamon notes, vanilla, and frothed milk.

I have fond memories of my Grandma preparing a cup of frothy hot cocoa as dinner. It was almost like an adrenalin shot when we could hear her in the kitchen frothing the milk with her molinillo, the arousing aroma of chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla coming out of the kitchen was heavenly. What is the molinillo?…it  is a wood handled tool that is used to froth and dissolve the chocolate into warm milk. By spinning the long handle between two hands, air is churned into the liquid turning it into a light cloud of goodness. My Grandma definitely knew how to use her molinillo. Her hot chocolate was like sipping a light cloud.

The following recipe is a delicious Mexican Hot Chocolate which provides an exciting experience much different from the little packets to which you add water. In my opinion, this preparation is well worth the extra time and a few ingredients added to your shopping list.
In this recipe I made the addition of chile ancho powder and a hint of pasilla negro, which tickle and warm the throat and enhance the chocolate flavor. I know you will love the recipe. Serve it at your next get-together on a chilly day and watch faces light up with surprise and satisfaction.

Keep warm and enjoy the weather!

Mexican-Hot-chocolate_warm-up_Yes,-more-please!

Mexican-Hot-chocolate_ingredients

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Makes 2 generous large mugs, serves two yetis.

2 cups of whole milk
1 cup almond milk
2 chocolate tablets Taza Chocolate brand Chocolate Mexicano 70% Cacao Puro*
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or Mexican vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoon ancho powder. Start with one, taste and decide if you need the second one.
2 generous pinches of pasilla negro powder, cayenne or one dry chile de arbol
1 stick of mexican cinnamon
Agave nectar, turbinado sugar or piloncillo to your taste. This is totally up to you, I like mine barely sweet, some people like it sweet, or extra sweet. I would say start with 2 tablespoons and move from there up to your desire sweetness. 

1 wood molinillo or blender.
1 tall pot will work best.

Why Mexican Vanilla and Cinnamon?
Everything that grows together, for me it translates in flavors that belong together. Vanilla comes from an orchid endemic from Veracruz, Mexico and the Mexican cinnamon flavor is delicate and extremely fragrant , if you can get this two your hot cocoa will taste divine!.

Vegan or Lactose intolerance substitutions: Soy milk and Almond Milk/ Rice milk and Almond Milk 
Nut allergies?: Soy milk and coconut / Rice milk and Coconut

Preparation:

1. Place all the ingredients into a tall pot, over medium low heat. With a wood spoon stir until the chocolate tablet becomes a soft paste and the heat starts dissolving the chocolate.
2. Increase the heat to medium and watch the pot at all times. (Believe me the worst spillages on the stove are from milk it can haven in a franc of a second, so watch out!)
3. As soon as you start seen bubbles on the edge of the milk, and the color of the milk has change, star frothing the chocolate with the molinillo.
Place both hands and star swirling around, making sure the molinillo is half into the milk and half out to incorporate as much air as possible into the milk. Once you see a thick layer of chocolate foam , it’s time to serve the chocolate. I usually poor it from high to achieve even more foam. At this point everything goes, sprinkle  some cinnamon and extra cayenne powder or spike it up with some mezcal, rum, hazelnut liquor, coffee liquor…Keep warm!
Mexican-Hot-chocolate_Swirl-up!

Mexican-Hot-chocolate_bate-que-bate-el-chocolate
Mexican-Hot-chocolate_poor-the-chocolate

Lets talk about chocolate:


Other Mexican chocolate brands that I find extremely good, and they all can be purchased online:
Moctezuma, this chocolate comes from Michoacan, Mexico, it has an intense chocolate flavor, notes of cinnamon and vanilla.
Mayordomo, this legendary chocolate paste is from Oaxaca, and part of a production is still made by hand, absolutely divine.
Rancho Gordo, this chocolate comes from Guerrero, Mexico, its stone ground 70% cacao and its sweetened with piloncillo! amazing, be aware it goes fast on line, but if you are on their website, check for their beans, and multiple other goodies, you can scape!
La taza, hecho en Mexico, I like its strong but balanced flavor, and their varieties. Try other flavors like clove, rose petals, anis (my favorite!), canela, almendras.. etc..
This is a list of my favorite choices, for Mexican chocolate.

Great Chocolate Sources:

Taza CacaoXocolatlMayordomo ClasicoStone Ground Chocolate from Guerrero Mexico,

Chocolate Abuelita:
This is the most common used chocolate tablets for hot cocoa in Mexico. Unfortunately and to my surprise last time I prepared some, the flavor was not the same as it used to. I had to use almost double the amount to give the punch of chocolate and cinnamon flavor that was so characteristic of Abuelita brand…

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Mexican-Hot-chocolate_cling!Yes,-more-please!

Music Pairing: Naufragar – Ana Ferper/Constantini

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My perfect dark chocolate pairing

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A cappuccino can rescue any morning or afternoon. Taking a break and indulging in a foamy creamy cup of coffee is like taking a bubble bath. I’m always craving something sweet in the middle of the afternoon, and this pairing does the trick for me. A warm cup of cappuccino and a piece of dark chocolate that I dunk into the coffee. The dark chocolate starts to warm up and slowly melts becoming sinfully silky. The flavor of coffee intensifies the chocolate notes as you sip it. The frothy warm milk foam creates an ethereal chocolate bite!…*sigh*

Last Sunday I sat and watched migratory birds under our small tree eating from our feeder. Ian help me set up a camera and I took photos through my front window while I had my cappucino and chocolate treat. It is often the little things that give my day something special.
For me cappuccino and dark chocolate is the perfect recipe for a little boost for a happy endorphinated afternoon…

My perfect Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate~Yes,-more-please!

My perfect dark chocolate pairing…

Cappuccino and dark chocolate

What about your favorite pairings?…I’d love to read you, leave us a comment!
There is always a great deal of listening when it comes to chocolate…

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Stout Marshmallows, my favorite creatures!

Stout-Marshmallows-texture~Yes,-More-please!

This sounds so wrong, but it taste so right that you will be stumbling back for more.
Homemade marshmallows are totally different creatures than store-bought, and incredible easy to make. Despite the intimidating words ”candy thermometer” and “powdered gelatin” Hey! Its easy, easy potatoes!,
You will need to flatten some dark beer, hydrate some gelatin, boil some sugary mixture, whip the hell out of it , add a powdery cloud of confectioners sugar and let it set…it is a fun process. To finish them up, drizzle chocolate and crunchy pretzels…What’s not to like?
Making candy and these confections is fun and if there is some leftover beer you should have a little glass, to cook along with … Music? Yes, more please! I was listening to one of my favorite bands “The Squirrel Nut Zippers” . For me, this is marshmallow music and I’m sharing the link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdAt4qWvz_8

My twist in this recipe has to do with the choice of stout I used. My friend Andrea introduced me to this amazing stout from Adelbert’s “Barrel of Love”.  Adelbert’s is a local brewery that produces hand-crafted Belgian style ales here in Austin,Texas. Crazy good stuff! This beer was recently released, a dark beer with chocolate and whiskey notes…kiss me now!… Wait until you try these beer marshmallows creatures…Holy Shubangwaaa!
Ok too much Blah, blah blah, let’s get started. Hands up!
I will not describe the flavor for you… be brave, be adventurous and try this… you will go bananas… it is the best way to get happy-drunk on marshmallows! Have fun.

You want to know more about where to get this fantastic beer: http://adelbertsbeer.com

Stout-Marshmallow-Creatures~Ingredients-~Yes,-more-please!

Stout-Marshmallows~Yes,-More-please!

Stout Marshmallows, my favorite creatures!

Makes 9 large glutton size, or 120 skinny jeans size.
Technically if you use a 8×8 pan 36 pieces of 1.5×1.5 inches…

3 envelopes unflavored gelatin /approx. 21 grams (I used powder, you’re welcome to use gelatin sheets )
1 cup cold, flat beer, divided in two (I used Adelbert’s brewery “Barrel of Love”) You can use any dark stout like Guinness will be fantastic too!
For Kids version: 1 cup of Miller light… not! …Use 1 cup of  Cherry soda, Dr. Pepper soda, Cream of soda and use the same method of removing the gas as much as you can see step 1. Other options can be fruit juices, like apple, beet, carrot, they will taste delicious and will give a hint of color to the fluff.
2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 pinches of sea salt
2 large egg whites beaten until stiff peaks.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To dust:

½ cup confectioners sugar
½ cup cornstarch

Toppings:

1 cup dark chocolate for melting.
3-4 tablespoons roasted salted peanuts crushed.
Salty, pretzels. (I used Snaps from Snyder’s)
1 teaspoon of sea salt.

Method:

1. Whisk the beer to flatten the beer. Remove some of the foam if necessary.
2. Lightly oil your 8×8 pan and generously dust with the confectioners sugar and cornstarch mixture. Reserve the rest for when cutting the marshmallows.
3. Using the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, place ½ cup of beer and sprinkle the 3 envelopes of gelatin powder.
4.Whisk your egg whites until stiff peaks set aside.
5. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat mix the sugar, corn syrup, and the other ½ cup of flat beer until the sugar is dissolved. At this point attach the candy thermometer to your saucepan and bring this sugary mixture to a slow boil until it reaches 240F/ 116C . Remove from heat.
6. Fitted with the whisk, start your stand mixer on the slowest speed. Being very careful, start adding the hot syrup in a low stream to incorporate with the bloomed gelatine.
Stout-Marshmallows_Blooming-gelatin,-soft-ball-syrup,-whisking
7.Once you poor all the syrup,mix for 2 minutes and proceed to add the fluffy egg whites along with the vanilla extract.
8.Mix  on high for about 10-12 minutes, until the mixture has double or tripled in size, it turns an off-white color, it has a nice shine to it and it holds stiff peaks.
9. At this point with the help of a spatula (lightly spray the spatula with some nonstick spray), Poor all this fluffy and highly sticky gooey goodness into your greased and powdery pan.
10. Flatten the top and allow the marshmallow to dry for at least 4-6 hours. Overnight is best. The marshmallow should fill springy and soft  to the  touch.

Stout-marshmallow_molding-drying-overnight

11. Once dry, over a piece of parchment paper generously dusted with powder sugar and cornstarch mixture, un-mold the marshmallow sheet with a little spatula pulling from one corner and place the big square on top of the paper. With the help of a dusted knife, pastry cutter, pizza cutter or scissors, cut your marshmallows into squares. Start by dividing them in half and then, thirds. When cutting any kind of pastry, it helps a lot start visualizing “half of the half” rather than five or six equal pieces. In this way you can end up with pretty much equal size marshmallows. Do not worry about the round edges, people is gonna eat them any way!…Although if you are going for perfect little squares just trim all the round edges to have a perfect square and then proceed to cut. (see photo below)
12. Once they are cut, place the remainder of the confectioners sugar and cornstarch mixture in a bowl and toss the squares, so every side is covered with powder to avoid sticking. Shake the excess powder, and place the marshmallows on a clean cookie rack.

Stout-Marshmallows_Cutting-and-dustingStout-marshmallows_Mariana_Yes,-more-please!

13. Melt the dark chocolate, and drizzle the marshmallows, sprinkle with pretzels and crushed peanuts.
14.Eat while the chocolate is warm…its crazy good!!!

Stout-Marshmallows_toppingsStout-Marshmallows-drizzle-chocolate,-pretzels,-peanuts,-and-sea-salt~yes,-more-please!

Stout-marshmallows-bite-size~Yes,-more-please!

Stout Marshmallow creatures…Yes, more please!

Stout-marshmallow_Ian

Ian Loved them!

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Cherry and Cacao Nibs Brownies

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownie-a-sublime-bite~Yes,-more-please!One of Ian’s greatest discoveries at my little Sunday Farmers Market, at Muller here in Austin, it’s Kiskadee Chocolates. Ian was wandering around the market and ran into this amazing hot cocoa drink. He got a sample for me and when I drank it! Immediately I was deeply in love with the chocolate elixir drink. So the next weekend I walked to the market and I had the opportunity to meet the owner, Laura Atlas, who happens to be my neighbor as well! That’s what I call luck!. We went for a walk and she told me her story.

She started her business after tasting handcrafted chocolate truffles given to her by her husband on their anniversary; that’s how her chocolate making journey began. She handcrafts chocolate bars, cacao nibs, and her recent addition to her fantastic quality chocolate collection: “The Baking Chocolate Bar” of 85% cacao and uses very little sugar. Her chocolate is organic, from single-sourced cacao from the Dominican Republic. The variety is called “La Red”. The farmers who grow the beans are part of a co-op called Guaconejo. If you would like to know more about the co-op:
http://www.raakachocolate.com/pages/cacao-origin-profile-la-red-guaconejo-dominican-republic.

Laura shows a great passion for her chocolate and you can taste the fantastic chocolate products at the Cedar Park and Mueller Market, In.gredients, Frofoyo…I totally recommend you to meet her at the farmers market, she can tell you all about her journey and you can taste and learn how to make a delicious chocolate drink.

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies~Kiskadee-Baking-Chocolate-cherry-brownies-guaconejo~Yes,-more-please!Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies

As you can tell I really loved the chocolate. I been working on this recipe for about two weeks now.
I wanted to create a great a brownie bite showcasing the flavor profile of this unique chocolate baking bar. The results…Kiskadee chocolate is on my top favorites on my chocolate list. The chocolate profile flavor its remarkable, it’s a dark chocolate that has intensity and great aroma. It finishes clean and feathery light, with a fruity natural sweetness. What to do with this lingot of chocolate gold?… Brownies.

I love brownies in small doses (yeah, right). I made these decadent little Cherry and Cacao nibs brownie bites pairing the chocolate with fresh cherries, to bringing out the fruity natural notes on the kiskadee baking chocolate. I added some cocoa nibs for extra crunch and texture contrast. These brownies are right in the middle, not overly fudg-y not too cake-y. I baked them in a mini-cupcake pan, they bake so beautifully, if you are a brownie edge lover, you are gonna  love this mini brownies, they get a nice crust all around, and a soft fudge center. I find they have a great balance and 2 or 3 bites will beyond satisfy your chocolate craving. You are gonna love them.

Remember when baking use the best ingredients, good organic eggs, great butter and if you can not have access to this chocolate, search what is your best possible option beyond the supermarket limitations. (A few of my favorite suggestions for amazing baking chocolate will be: El Rey, Cacao Barry, Valor, Valrhona, Scharffen Berger. in that order.)

I hope you enjoy them as much as Ian and I did…they are gone now, sharing with friends was great. Enjoy!

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies--whant-a-bite--Yes,-more-please!

Cherry and Cacao Nibs Brownies

Makes 24 brownie bites.

24 Fresh red Cherries pitted and steams on
1 large metal paper clip (see the super easy instruction photos below)
¼ cup Dark Rum *optional

½ cup unsalted butter= 1 stick of butter
6 oz. bitter sweet baking chocolate (El Rey, or Valrhona would be in my top favorites.)
1 tablespoon of ground cacao nibs
½ cup turbinado sugar
½ cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
5-6 drops almond extract
½ cup unbleached-all purpose flour, sifted after measuring.
2 pinches of sea salt.

1-2 tablespoons cacao nibs

Preparation method:

How to Pitt a cherry?

It is extremely easy, you just need a paper clip, yes you read well a large paper clip, unfolded, cut a little cross on the back of the cherry, insert the clip hook, gently twist, and the pit is out!no need of a fancy equipment…unless you own a cherry tree then buy one.

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies~Cherry-pitting-technique

 Soak the pitted cherries in a little dark rum or kirsch, while you prepare the brownie batter.

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies~SOAKING-CHERRIES-IN-DARK-RUM~YES,-MORE-PLEASE!Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies-INGREDIENTS~-Yes,-more-please!

Preheat oven at:
325F/165C  if is a dark metal non stick pan, if you have a light metal pan bake at 350F/175C

In a metal bowl over a double boiler melt butter and chopped baking chocolate. Be carefully, that the metal bowl do not touch the water, to prevent scorching the chocolate.
Once the chocolate and butter are almost melted remove from heat and stir until smooth.
Add both kinds of sugars into the chocolate mixture, vanilla and almond extract. With the help of a spatula mix well.
Add eggs one a at a time until well incorporated.
At last add the sifted flour and salt in folding movements until well incorporated, do not over mix.

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies~Mixing-the-brownies~Yes,-more-please!

Grease pan with soft butter and dust with cocoa powder, to prevent brownies from sticking.
Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop 1 load of the brownie batter into each mold.
Top with cherry pressing half way through the batter. (See photo below) Sprinkle some cacao nibs.

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies-scooping,-cherring-and-cacao-nibs-sprinkles~Yes,-more-please!

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few sticky cooked crumbs.

Remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes in the pan. Once they have cool down slightly, remove carefully from pan with the help of a small spatula, press and twist to release them intact.
Cool them in a wire rack. Serve room temperature or slightly warm. Dust with confectioners sugar.
Enjoy!

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies-out-of-the-oven~YES,-MORE-PLEASE!

Notes: If you are more into brownie squares, this recipe will make an 8×8 square, use a ceramic or glass dish for best results, lining the bottom with parchment paper and living enough parchment paper hanging on the sides for easy pulling. Bake time: 22-25 minutes check the center, if is not done give it another 2-3 minutes.

Cacao-Nibs-and-Cherry-Brownies-have-you-had-your-chocolate-today-~Yes,-more-please!

Sinfully delicious!

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Devil’s Chocolate and Ganache Cake…get happy!

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_close up delight

Chocolate, One of the most beautiful words in the world!… Just to say the word makes me happy, and reminds me of the Judy Garland song… when I’m making this Devil’s Chocolate and Ganache Cake. I always think positive thoughts. When it comes out of the oven, Hallelujah!.. get happy… forget your troubles…you better chase all you cares away… Oh yeah! That’s how happy this chocolate cake makes me. And well what else is there to say about the comfort that brings you when you bake your own cake?. The whole house smells like warm endorphins that activate your happy brain cells.
It’s a simple batter. You’ll need one bowl or two, and the best quality butter and cocoa powder you can get. The better your ingredients, the better results you will get.
That’s one of the keys when you are baking: always use good quality ingredients (from the eggs to the vanilla extract). If you care about them, it will be fantastic!. All ingredients when you are baking MUST be at room temperature. Read the recipe twice. Measure everything correctly using measuring cups for dry ingredients and a larger liquid measuring cup for wet ingredients. Get in the baking groove, nice music, enjoy yourself…
Here is some music link that will set your baking mood…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGk3tY4yP7k

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_Coseup slice

Devil’s Dark Chocolate Cake… get happy!

Makes 1 -12 cup bundt cake

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped *
½ cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ – ¾ cup dutch Process cocoa Powder (Valrhona, Cocoa Barry)
1 tablespoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup strong-brewed coffee -not hot just warm.(I used Medaglia D’Oro instant espresso powder)
1 cup of butter milk ( or 1 cup of whole milk + 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice)
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat the oven 350F / 176C
Butter and dust with cocoa a 12 cup bundt pan.
Melt the bitter sweet chocolate, using a double boiler on low heat, stirring constantly. Scrape the melted chocolate into a medium size bowl and let cool slightly.
Whisk in the melted butter, oil, and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and mix.
In a small bowl, Mix the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt.
Start by combining half of the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture along with ½ cup of the coffee and ½ a cup of the butter milk. Whisk until smooth. Add the remaining dry ingredients, coffee and butter milk and whisk. until smooth.
Poor the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for about 10-15 minutes, then turn it out and let it cool completely.

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_baking chocolate

* My favorites: 70% Cacao Bittersweet Scharffen Berger, 72% bitter-sweet Michael Cluizel, El Rey Venezuelan chocolate, 70%- 80% Callebaut.

Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup heavy cream
10 oz. Semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate finely chopped.
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
1 tablespoon of brandy or cognac or any liquor of your preference. ( omit this ingredient if cooking for kids)

Method:

In a small pot heat the heavy cream until small bubbles form around the pan ( do not let it boil)
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium size bowl, pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate let it stand for 3-4 minutes so the chocolate warms through. Whisk gently until the mixture is smooth, add butter mix until is melted, add the liquor mix. Add the agave nectar for a shiny finish.

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_How to make Ganache

Spoon the Ganache over the cake… save extra for plating.. for when you want a little more …

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_spreading ganache
Sprinkle cayenne pepper or cinnamon for a little  accent on the cake…

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_Cayenne

Devil's Chocolate and Ganache Cake_ with cayenne

Get happy, Chocolate cake!

Music Pairing:Judy Garland “Get Happy”

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