Decadent Dragon Bakery » Chocolate http://decadentdragonbakery.com desserts crafted with gourmet, local and unique ingredients. Sun, 15 Dec 2013 04:44:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Chocolate Banana Bonbons http://decadentdragonbakery.com/chocolate-banana-bonbons/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/chocolate-banana-bonbons/#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 14:00:04 +0000 http://decadentdragonbakery.com/?p=1528 Chocolate Banana Bonbons Title

Health-conscious, vegan or even gluten-free? I’ve got the perfect dessert for you today. These elegant morsels are Chocolate Banana Bonbons, and you simply must try them.

Being a baker is dangerous. I no longer go out to eat dessert. I literally have everything on hand to make any dessert 24/7. And when I’m testing recipes, most of what I make is quickly consumed by me, my husband or close family. One way to avoid overeating is to have a healthy alternative on hand. And to send all the test goodies off to my husband’s poor coworkers.

These Chocolate Banana Bonbons fit the bill. They’re incredibly creamy and have that chocolatey shell crunch. To top it off, you can add nuts, toffee, sprinkles and other toppings to the chocolate. But if you use a good quality dark chocolate, most of the sugar comes from the banana.

Chocolate Banana BonbonsI topped some bonbons with mixed nuts. Roasted almonds would be amazing!Toffee Chocolate Banana BonbonsOther bonbons I topped with toffee and chocolate pieces.

Chocolate Banana Bonbons
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Freeze Time: 1 hour

10 oz / 285 g Chocolate (Dark or semi-sweet, good quality & chopped)
1-2 tbsp Coconut Oil (you can sub butter or another fat)
2 ripe Bananas
Toppings, optional (ideas: sprinkles, toffee, mixed nuts, toasted coconut…)

The key to a great chocolate banana bonbon is ripe bananas. Mine were very ripe but still had structure and were in good condition under their skins.

Ugly Bananas

Begin by placing your chopped chocolate and coconut oil into the bowl of a double boiler (or a glass bowl that you can set on top of a pot of water. Make sure the water does not tough the bottom of the bowl of chocolate. Heat the water on medium-low until steaming. Stir the chocolate continuously until melted. If needed, add additional coconut oil for your desired consistency.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat silicone pad. Make sure you have enough room to place the baking sheet in your freezer.

Remove the banana peels and discard. Chop your bananas into even sections, about 1 to 1.5 inches in width.

Once the chocolate is fully melted, drop a section of banana into the chocolate and coat evenly. Using a toothpick or fork, remove the banana (ensuring it remains evenly coated) and gently place on baking sheet.

Repeat until you have coated the segments of 1 banana. Next, add your desired toppings. It if is taking a long while to coat each piece of banana, you may want to add your toppings sooner. Sprinkly and pat your toppings onto the cooling chocolate coating.

Once all banana pieces are coated and topped, place your tray into the freezer. Let freeze for at least 1 hour. When fully set, place the bonbons into a jar or tupperware. They should last 1-2 weeks.

Chocolate Banana Bonbons TrioChocolate Banana Bonbons Close up

The other thing about staying healthy is enjoying your desserts in moderation. Well, we’re still working on that one! Our two bananas’ worth of bonbons didn’t last the evening.

What do you all think? Going to give these a try? If you have an alternate version, I’d love to hear from you!

– Beth

 

 

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Martha Stewart’s Flourless Chocolate Cake http://decadentdragonbakery.com/martha-stewarts-flourless-chocolate-cake/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/martha-stewarts-flourless-chocolate-cake/#comments Mon, 18 Feb 2013 19:47:40 +0000 http://decadentdragonbakery.com/?p=1316 Martha Stewart's Flourless Chocolate Cake

Looking for a simple crowd-pleasing cake? Have a gluten-free friend you’re entertaining? Try this rich Flourless Chocolate Cake from Martha Stewart!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of hanging out with my new friend, Kristina. Being Sunday, we planned on maximizing relaxation. The game plan:

Brunch at a local restaurant.

2 mile walk to undo the effects of brunch.

Bake a decadent dessert.

The dessert we chose had to be simple…because that’s how we roll. So Kristina found this recipe from Martha Stewart.

Even though it was simple, it was SO good! We each had a slice of this decadent chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce.

Martha Stewart’s Flourless Chocolate Cake
See Original Recipe on Martha’s Site – ours includes weight measurements.
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Bake Time: 45-55 minutes

6 tbsp / 85 g  Butter, unsalted
8 oz / 225 g Semi or Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
6 large Eggs, separated (room temperature is best)
1/2 cup / 115 g  White Sugar
Powdered Sugar, for dusting
Raspberry Coulis, optional

Preheat your oven to 300F. Butter the bottom and sides (all the way up!) of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan.

Put butter and chocolate into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, then stir until melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate. Let cool to lukewarm.

While cooling, separate the eggs. Make sure that no yolk gets into your whites. Beat the yolks into the cooled chocolate mixture.

Place your egg whites into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add a pinch of the sugar. Beat the whites on medium speed to soft peaks. Continue beating, and slowly add sugar. Beat until glossy stiff peaks form.

Martha Stewart Flourless Chocolate Cake Batter

Add 1/4 of your whipped egg whites to the chocolate mixture. Mix it in with a spatula. Gently fold the remaining whites in 2 additions into the chocolate mixture. You want to mix until the batter is a single color but don’t overmix. Try to fold the whites in with as few, gentle strokes as possible to avoid deflating your batter.

Place pan in the center of the oven and turn temperature down to 275F. Bake until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and the center is set. This should take between 40 and 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Flourless Chocolate Cake in Pan

When cool, remove sides of pan. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Enjoy!

- Beth

]]> http://decadentdragonbakery.com/martha-stewarts-flourless-chocolate-cake/feed/ 7 Orange Hot Chocolate http://decadentdragonbakery.com/orange-hot-chocolate/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/orange-hot-chocolate/#comments Sun, 10 Feb 2013 04:30:06 +0000 http://decadentdragonbakery.com/?p=1207 Orange Hot Chocolate Vertical

Deceptively simple. This Orange Hot Chocolate tastes just like a Pepperidge Farm’s Orange Milano to me. It’s rich with the mild tanginess of fresh orange. 

My husband and I participate in a local farm cooperative. Each week we get locally grown produce from Full Circle Farm. Lately, it’s been a lot of citrus – oranges, tangelos, lemons, grapefruit, even pomelos.

It takes effort to find uses for all the citrus fruit. You can squeeze and freeze the juice but I wanted to use the fruit since it was so fresh. Thus, the orange hot chocolate was born!

And my husband pronounced it his FAVORITE hot chocolate to date. That means a lot. Consider my obsession with hot chocolate – Marshmallow Cream and Salted Caramel. So I hope you enjoy it, too!

Orange Hot Chocolate
3/4 cup Milk
1/4 cup Cream
4 oz Milk Chocolate (I used Callebaut)
1 tsp Cocoa Powder
1-2 Orange Slices
Zest of 1 Orange (in long strips, no white pith)
Pinch Salt

Garnish with Grand Marnier-spiked whipped cream, orange peel or a slice of orange.

Chef’s notes: You can skip the cream if you don’t have any on hand. And this recipe works with any kind of chocolate – your pick!

Orange Hot Chocolate - Orange PeelPour milk and cream into a small saucepan. Zest an orange into long strips with a knife or peeler. Don’t zest too deeply – avoid the white pith too far under the orange skin.

Add 1/2 of your orange zest and 1 slice of orange (don’t squeeze) to the milk in your saucepan. Bring the milk to a simmer on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.Orange and MilkChop your chocolate finely. Finely chopped chocolate will dissolve more easily.

Once your milk has simmered, remove from the heat and add your chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and pinch of salt. Let sit 1-2 minutes to melt, then stir to combine.

Strain your hot chocolate mixture through a fine sieve to remove the orange  and any lumps.

Orange Hot ChocolateGarnish with whipped cream, orange peel or a slice of orange. Enjoy! And let me know what you think of this orange hot chocolate.

– Beth

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Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate http://decadentdragonbakery.com/salted-caramel-hot-chocolate/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/salted-caramel-hot-chocolate/#comments Mon, 21 Jan 2013 17:30:18 +0000 http://decadentdragonbakery.com/?p=1145 Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Overflowing

Chocolate, Caramel and Sea Salt are one of those special combinations that really make your taste buds sing. I LOVE this foodie celebrity-couple. Try this 15 minute recipe for richly decadent Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.

I’m not exactly sure when I jumped on the SALT + CARAMEL bandwagon. But I am “drinking the Kool-Aid,” as a former mentor might say.

Recently, I had a wonderful chocolate caramel tart with salted caramel ice cream from The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma, an amazing French restaurant that you MUST try. [Best pork chop of my life, too].

Great quality caramel is a bit salty on its own. Salt brings out the burnt sugar, butter and vanilla-infused flavors. For this drink, you can use whatever caramel you have on-hand. However, if you have the time and inclination, I recommend making it yourself. This Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce from Brown Eyed Baker is a hit.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

For this drink, I prefer to use high-quality Sea Salt or finishing salt. Table salt is a no-go: too salty on the tongue. The size of each grain of sea salt is bigger but actually less salty on the tongue. Kosher salt or other large-grained salt will do OK as a substitute.

In addition to caramel sauce and salt, you will need good quality chocolate. You can make this with plain ‘ol chocolate chips (and it still tastes great) but if you have excellent chocolate it is a transcendent experience. Callebaut or Guittard are great options.

Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Makes 1 Mug of Chocolate

Chocolate Ganache Base
Makes enough for 2-3 mugs of chocolate
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
4 ounces Chocolate, finely chopped (I used semi-sweet but chef’s pick!)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 cup Milk
Recipe Caramel Sauce – (Recommended: Caramel Sauce)
Freshly Whipped Cream – (Use a powdered sugar recipe)
Sea Salt, Finishing Salt or Kosher Salt

Pour cream into a small saucepan. Bring to gentle simmer on medium heat, scraping the sides of the saucepan with a silicone spatula. If a skin forms on the bottom of the pan, don’t scrape it.

[If the cream ends up with bits from the bottom, you can strain it through a coffee filter to remove them. But taste test the cream to be sure there aren't any off-flavors.] 

Place finely chopped chocolate in a medium glass bowl. Once cream has simmered, pour the cream over the chocolate, add the vanilla extract on top and let it just sit 3-4 minutes. With a spoon, gently stir the mixture until thoroughly combined. There should not be any un-melted chocolate pieces and the ganache should have a shiny sheen. Set aside.

[If chocolate mixture is not 100% melted, you can zap it in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time. Or, don't even worry about it as you don't need a super-smooth ganache for this drink.]

In the same saucepan (to save on dishes), heat up one (1) cup of milk on medium heat. When hot but not simmering, remove from heat. Add 4-6 tbsp of the chocolate ganache base to the milk and stir to combine.

If cold, heat up your caramel in the microwave until pourable consistency. Grab a serving mug and spoon caramel onto the sides of the inside of the mug. Sprinkle a small pinch of salt (~1/8 tsp) into the bottom and sides of the mug.

Pour your hot chocolate mixture into the mug. Top with freshly whipped cream. Spoon caramel over the top and sprinkle lightly with sea salt to taste.

P.S. Try this drink with these freshly baked ladyfinger cookies. Or, looking for something else to do with caramel? This recipe for Apple Cider Caramels is flavorful in a completely different way!

As you can see, my Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate overflowed with happiness. Perfect for a wintery day!

Beth

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The BEST Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes http://decadentdragonbakery.com/the-best-vegan-chocolate-cupcakes/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/the-best-vegan-chocolate-cupcakes/#comments Sat, 12 Jan 2013 20:07:53 +0000 http://decadentdragonbakery.com/?p=1023 Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcake PassionfruitThese are moist, tender little cupcake morsels packed with chocolate flavor. Oh yes, and these happen to be vegan chocolate cupcakes! Pair them with your favorite vegan (or non-vegan) icing for a decidedly decadent treat.

I made these little cupcakes with a fair amount of trepidation. Cake without eggs? How unnatural! Would they be terribly dry? Would the cupcakes fail to rise and instead resemble brown hockey pucks? I took the plunge with my vegan neighbor coming to dinner. I was prepared to grab my car keys and run to Whole Foods for a vegan dessert if they were a flop.

Color me surprised when the cupcakes emerged from the oven looking just like…cupcakes. Disbelieving, I quickly grabbed one and pulled its steaming little body apart for a taste test. Tender, check; moist, check; fully-leavened, check.

In fact, I loved these cupcakes so much I barely managed a picture before we devoured them.

Chocolate Cocoa Cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Makes 18 Cupcakes
Oven Temp: 375 F | Bake Time: 10-12 minutes
Adapted from Moosewood’s 6-Minute Cake [OK, so I'm slow!]

1 & 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Cocoa Powder (Ghirardelli or other good quality cocoa is best)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Cold Water or Coffee (or use 1 tbsp instant espresso with water)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tbsp Vinegar (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)

Pre-heat oven to 375F. Prepare your pan with cupcake liners.

[Interesting side-note, Thomas Keller recommends pre-heating long enough for your oven to reach temperature and cycle on and off three (3) times or at least 45 minutes.]

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar in large mixing bowl. Mix to combine.

In a measuring bowl, combine vegetable oil, water or coffee and vanilla extract. Add liquid mixture to your dry ingredients. Mix batter until smooth (around 1-2 minutes by hand).

Add the vinegar and stir quickly to combine. Stir just until the vinegar is evenly distributed. You’ll see the vinegar reacting and forming bubbles with the baking soda. You don’t want to let too much of that leavening reaction escape.

Pour your batter into your cupcake tins. Bake 10-12 minutes. Test for doneness around 10 minutes with a toothpick – it will come out clean when the cupcakes are cooked. Let your cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Easy Vegan Icing
1/2 cup Vegan Margarine
1/2 cup Shortening
3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar (sifted if clumpy)
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 -3 tbsp cup Soy/Almond Milk (if needed for thinning)

Beat the vegan margarine and shortening together on medium speed with your mixer until fully combined and fluffy (around 3-5 minutes). Turn the mixer off and add 3.5 cups of powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on low until the powdered sugar has been incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and beat until well combined (about 4 more minutes).  Add vanilla extract and milk, if needed. Mix another 2 minutes.

Tips: I like to beat the heck out of shortening based frosting as I find it improves the mouth-feel (less gritty/greasy). If you prefer your icing less sweet, you may want to add the sugar in stages until you reach your desired sweetness. Dissolving a little salt with the liquids can draw back the sweetness somewhat, too.

To Make Passionfruit Icing: Instead of vanilla extract, add 3-4 tbsp of passionfruit puree (I get mine from the frozen section of Mexican markets in the bay area). You will not need to add the milk as the puree will thin the icing. Optional: top the cupcake with Valrhona Dark Chocolate Pearls.

To Make Vanilla Bean Icing: Add ground vanilla beans or the contents of a vanilla bean pod to the icing. (I get my ground vanilla beans from Amazon.)

Enjoy!

Beth

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Martha Stewart’s Fish Cake http://decadentdragonbakery.com/martha-stewarts-fish-cake/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/martha-stewarts-fish-cake/#comments Fri, 11 Jan 2013 22:28:01 +0000 http://decadentdragonbakery.com/?p=909 Martha Fish Cake

When I saw Martha Stewart’s Fish Cake on Pinterest, I just had to do it for myself. This is a fun, whimsical cake any beginner baker can pull off…swimmingly.

To start the new year off right, I decided to try my hand at this adorable little fish cake. I don’t typically make resolutions but if I did, my resolution would be to spend more time doing the things I enjoy most – like baking ridiculously shaped animal cakes.

Martha Stewart has a full tutorial and templates for making the Fish Cake on her website. I made a few basic changes, including subbing a chocolate cake with chocolate chips. Because you can never pack too much chocolate into a cake.

For Christmas, I received a Made in USA 13 x 9 pan from my Mom. It worked beautifully for baking the two (2) sheet cakes necessary to put this cutie pie together.

Fish Cake Side ViewI kept wondering what filet I’d choose once the cake was finished.

Martha Stewart’s Fish Cake

Part 1: Chocolate Cake Recipe
Prep Time: 20-25 minutes | Bake Time: 20-25 minutes | Oven Temp: 350 F
Makes 1, 9 x 13 cake | Modified from Love from the Oven’s Recipe 

2 cups Sugar
1 3/4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Cocoa Powder (I used Ghirardelli)
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup Boiling Water
1/4 cup Espresso or Strong Coffee (or add instant espresso to 1 cup boiling water)
1 cup Chocolate Chips (Optional)

NOTE: The recipe above makes ONE sheet cake. You will need to make TWO sheet cakes to create the fish. You can try doubling this recipe for two pans but I have not tested it.

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease your pan and line bottom with parchment paper to prevent sticking. If you don’t have parchment, flour the pans too [and pray to the non-sticking gods].

Mix together sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and mix on medium speed for two (2) minutes. Scrape mixing bowl to ensure ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Stir in boiling water and coffee to the batter. The batter will be thin and watery but don’t worry! Pour the batter into your pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Test with a toothpick. When toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready. Remove cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pans onto a wire rack. Let cool completely. If not ready to frost yet, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.

Part 2: Prepare the Frosting
I recommend Swiss Meringue Buttercream (here’s a good recipe from SmittenKitchen) frosting but just about any frosting will do for this cake.  Prepare PLENTY, around 8 cups. If using Smitten’s recipe, I would do a double batch of the 9-inch cake. You don’t want to ration your frosting…it’s no fun.

Reserve 1 cup of un-dyed, white frosting to color the fish eyes.

Tint the rest of your frosting a light teal color. I tinted my frosting with Wilton’s Cornflower Blue and Yellow. You can also use teal or other blue and yellow colors to achieve the teal effect. Or try different colors if you’d like to be adventurous!

Part 3: Prepare the Template
While your cakes are cooling, prepare your fishy templates. Print out the template from Martha Stewart’s website. With scissors or a sharp razor, cut the templates out.

Cutting out template

One thing I’ve found alleviates frustration in the kitchen is having the right tools for the job. My husband’s razor blade and my cutting mat (found in a sewing supply store) made this job so easy. I also used the razor to cut parchment paper for my pan.

Next, lay the fish templates over your sheet cakes and use a knife to trim to size.

Fish template on cakeFish Cut Out

Your trim job doesn’t have to be perfect. You’ll be icing this sucker up in a moment and that will cover up any minor defects. You’ll also have a bunch of little fish parts ready to be tacked on to the cake with your icing.

Part 4: Ice the Cakes
Start with a crumb coat to trap pesky moist chocolate crumbs. If your cake has been in the fridge/freezer, let it come back up to room temperature before you start icing.

Do your crumb coat with a small amount of frosting (perhaps 1 cup). If your frosting is thick, you can thin some of it a little with milk or cream. Attach the fish parts to the body with frosting. The purpose of this coat is to just catch and hold on to all those crumbs. Use the white icing to coat the fish eyes.

Crumb coat

After you finish your crumb coat, stick your cake back in the fridge to harden the frosting. Wait 30 minutes and then feel the frosting to see if it has dried out / crusted. If it hasn’t, wait a bit longer.

Pull your cake out and let it warm up a little before applying the next coat. Apply a full coat of frosting to completely cover the cake. Coat the eyes in white frosting. You can also even out the shape of the fish body while you’re doing this.

Add the texturing to the fish fins with a spatula. (Martha Stewart shows how to do this with a spatula.)

Take the rest of your teal icing and add a bunch of blue/a little yellow to darken it to a deeper teal blue.

Grab a pastry bag and a Wilton or Ateco petal tip (#61 or similar). Fill the bag with the darkened icing. Pipe little overlapping scales starting at the tail end of your fish and piping vertically until the body of the fish is covered.

Fish Cake Scales

Add the pupils and lips to the fish using candy. I used Valhrona Chocolate Pearls and some red tic-tacs. Martha Stewart uses sunflower seeds and a gummy lifesaver.

And there you have it. A finished fishy!

Fish Cake

Update: wanted to post a photo of the half-eaten cake. Too ridiculous?

Photo Jan 09, 2 26 59 PM

]]> http://decadentdragonbakery.com/martha-stewarts-fish-cake/feed/ 6 Chocolate Tiramisu http://decadentdragonbakery.com/chocolate-tiramisu/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/chocolate-tiramisu/#comments Sun, 23 Dec 2012 19:54:27 +0000 http://decadentdragonbakery.com/?p=870 Tiramisu Slice

So what do you do with a few dozen fresh-baked ladyfinger cookies burning a hole in your pantry? You make creamy Chocolate Tiramisu, that’s what.

Tiramisu. Chocolate. Tiramisu + Chocolate.

YES.

Tiramisu on a Plate

Two of my favorite things. Combined into one amazingly, amazing dessert. Not for the Italian purists, perhaps. But definitely for chocolate fiends or those interested in a fun twist on the classic dessert.

Let me walk you through it.

Chocolate Tiramisu

Prep Time: 45 minutes | Fridge Time: 6 hours
Makes 9 x 5 loaf pan | Adapted from Food Network

Zabaglione
2 tbsp Whipping Cream
1/4 cup Chopped Chocolate or Chocolate Chips
4 large Egg Yolks
1/3 cup White Sugar
1/4 cup Dry Marsala Wine
Pinch of Salt

The Rest of It!
6 oz Mascarpone Cheese
2/3 cup Whipping Cream
1/2 cup White Sugar
2 1/2 cups Espresso Coffee (fresh is best but instant works, too)
24 Ladyfinger Cookies (Bake your own here!)
Garnish with Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Garnish with Chocolate Shavings

Part 1: Zabaglione Preparation

First, we need to make a zabaglione. Pronounced Zab-aye-ohn, it’s a rich egg custard made on the stove.

Combine egg yolks, sugar, marsala and salt in a glass bowl (or the top bowl of your double boiler).  Whisk until fully mixed. Put bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, without letting the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Whisk the egg mixture until thick and creamy, and the mixture forms ribbons when dropped from the whisk back into the mixture. Remove from heat.

Tiramisu Zabaione

In a separate saucepan, combine chocolate and whipping cream. Cook on medium heat, stirring until smooth. Set aside and keep warm.

Tiramisu - Melted Chocolate

Fold the melted chocolate into the egg custard mixture. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

Chocolate Zabaglione

Part 2: Compiling the Tiramisu

Place mascarpone cheese in a large bowl. [You'll want it near room temp to ensure smoothness.]

Mascarpone and Cream

In a separate bowl, beat cream and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl to soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Then fold in the chilled chocolate zabaglione mixture. Cover and refrigerate.

Mascarpone Mixture

Mix it thoroughly – I just liked the marbling in this photo.

While the chocolate mixture is chilling, brew some fresh espresso (or reconstitute it, if using instant). Whisk the espresso with 1/4 of sugar until combined.

Line your loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting the wrap extend past the edges. [The purpose is to help you turn out the Tiramisu in one large log. Much easier & more elegant than cutting it out of the pan!]

Tiramisu Pan and Espresso

Place some of the espresso mixture into a shallow bowl or tray. Dip ladyfinger cookies one at a time to line the bottom of the pan. You want the cookies to be soaked but still have structure.

Spoon 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture on top of the cookies and spread to cover evenly. Sprinkle layer with cocoa powder.

Dip the next eight (8) cookies. Spoon another 1/3 of the mascarpone. Dust with cocoa powder. Repeat until all cookies and mascarpone have been used. If necessary, press the final layer slightly to help it fit in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least six (6) hours.

Chocolate Tiramisu Layers

When the Chocolate Tiramisu is chilled, unwrap it and invert it onto a serving plate. Take off the plastic wrap. Sift cocoa over the dish and grate/peel chocolate shavings over the top of the dish (to taste).

Tiramisu Dessert

So. darn. good.

– Beth

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Raspberry Fudge Cookies http://decadentdragonbakery.com/raspberry-fudge-cookies/ http://decadentdragonbakery.com/raspberry-fudge-cookies/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 04:43:03 +0000 http://decadentdragonbakery.wordpress.com/?p=563 Raspberry Tower (2)

These may be the best cookies I’ve ever made. My Raspberry Fudge Cookies are packed with Guittard chocolate, rich espresso and tart raspberries.

Raspberry Fudge Cookie I love you

Innovation in my kitchen often comes from a mistake, or starting a recipe and realizing I don’t have a key ingredient.

In this case, I was originally going to share a different cookie recipe with you (another time, perhaps). But I burned the pecans I was going to use. Plans changed. No biggie: you’re going to LOVE these, I promise.

Raspberry Fudge Cookies have made it to the top of my list. My husband wants you all to know he enjoys eating the dough raw. But officially Decadent Dragon Bakery can’t condone that!  [To me, a freshly baked cookie tastes like a molten lava cake. So good!]

Both the Guittard chocolate and raspberries are locally sourced from businesses in the Bay Area.

Raspberry Fudge Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 12-14 minutes (until just set)
Oven Temp: 325 F

1 lb Bittersweet Chocolate (high-quality is best, chopped finely)
1/2 cup Butter
3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt (ideally, Kosher – use less if using table salt)
1 &  1/4 cups Sugar
4 Eggs (large, at room temperature)
2 tbsp Instant Espresso Powder
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 pint Fresh Raspberries (frozen is probably OK in a pinch)

Pre-heat your oven to 325F. Line your baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper (you’ll need 4 pans if baking all cookie at once).

Guittard Chocolate

Begin by weighing and chopping your bittersweet chocolate into even, small pieces. This will help it melt evenly. Place the butter and chocolate into a medium-sized pot and turn the stove on medium-low. Slowly stir the chocolate until melted. Be careful to stir often to avoid burning the chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Chocolate and Butter

Chocolate + Butter 2

Chocolate + Butter 3

See? The chocolate is nice and creamy when fully melted.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine your flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until fully mixed.

Eggs in Mixing Bowl 2

Next, crack your eggs into a large bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment). Beat for 30 seconds. Add your sugar, instant espresso powder and vanilla extract. Beat for 1-2 minutes until fully combined and foamy. Your mixture should look like this:

Eggs Sugar Espresso

Grab your cooled chocolate (make sure it isn’t too hot, it should be barely warm to the touch). Beat the chocolate into the egg mixture.

Chocolate Added

Add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in your raspberries by hand with a large spoon or spatula.

Chocolate and Flour

I loved the pattern created by mixing flour into the chocolate.

It’s time to scoop some cookies! Use about 3 tbsp of dough for each cookie. [If you have a medium sized ice cream scoop with a release handle, this works really well to form the dough.] These cookies spread out, so I recommend no more than six (6) per cookie sheet. Place into your hot oven and bake around 12-14 minutes (the center of the cookies should still be quite fudgy and moist).

Raspberry Fudge Cookies on Sheet

Don’t place them this close together (only if freezing for later).

Once the cookies are out of the oven, you can transfer them to a cooling rack with a spatula (don’t pick them up by hand when warm as they’ll fall apart).

Raspberry Fudge Cookies with Powdered Sugar

These cookies really are awesome the day they are baked, so make them fresh!

Tip: If you have space in your freezer, you can scoop these cookies onto a baking sheet and freeze them for 1-2 hours.  Since they don’t need room to spread out, you can fit ~24 on one sheet. Once they are fully frozen, place cookies into a zip-lock freezer bag. You’ll be able to bake them up fresh just a couple at a time! No need to defrost before baking, but they’ll probably take a few extra minutes to finish.

I hope you enjoy them! Do you have an awesome recipe that arose from a kitchen snafu? Let us know about it in the comments!

- Beth

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