Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Intense Chocolate Mocha Cake

Intense Chocolate Mocha Cake
Intense Chocolate Mocha Cake

Intense Chocolate Mocha Cake



Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, with frosting adapted from Martha Stewart
Yield: 9 servings

This easy snack cake packs an intense mocha punch! The espresso powder deepens the already fantastic chocolate flavor of the cake and smooth-as-silk frosting. Be sure to pour a tall glass of milk with this cake (or maybe a nice cup of coffee?)

Cake Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Frosting Ingredients:
7 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
7 tablespoons warm water
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
coffee ice cream (for serving)

Directions:
Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with Baker’s Joy® nonstick cooking spray. Place a square of parchment in the bottom and spray this with Baker’s Joy® as well.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt together and set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and water to a boil, whisking to mix. After it boils, whisk it into the dry ingredients until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs (a clean toothpick means a dry cake, so be sure to pull it out before then!) Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes before cooling the rest of the way in the fridge. When your cake is completely cool, invert it onto a square plate or platter.

Make the frosting: In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa, espresso powder, and warm water. In a separate bowl, beat together butter, powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the melted, cooled chocolate and the cocoa mixture. Let this sit for exactly 30 minutes (no really, exactly 30!) before you use it to obtain the perfect spreadability. Pile the frosting on the top of the cake and smooth it out to an even, thick layer. Cut into slices and serve with coffee ice cream.

The Ultimate Gooey Caramel Brownie Mug Cake Sundae

The Ultimate Gooey Caramel Brownie Mug Cake Sundae
The Ultimate Gooey Caramel Brownie Mug Cake Sundae

5 from 1 reviews
The Ultimate Gooey Caramel Brownie Mug Cake Sundae
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I took an already-great mug cake from one of my faves, America’s Test Kitchen, and pumped it up! I added some espresso to deepen the chocolate flavor and a slew of my favorite toppings from my pantry to create a dessert as decadent as one it takes hours to make. Throw this together at home when you want a special dessert but don’t want to get out of your jammies! I used a big espresso mug for this cake, but you can use any regular size coffee mug that’s microwave safe. Different microwaves may require different cooking times, but your finished cake should look set up but very moist.
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips (half bittersweet and half semisweet)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 square of your favorite dark chocolate bar
Topping Ingredients:
  • 3 Werther’s Original® Baking Caramels
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • melted chocolate chips
  • vanilla bean ice cream or gelato
  • crushed toasted nuts
  • crushed cookie
  • whipped cream
Instructions
  1. Place butter and chocolate chips in a coffee mug and heat on half power for 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted (about 45 seconds total). In a separate small bowl or ramekin, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl or ramekin, whisk together the egg, vanilla extract, and espresso powder. When the chocolate is melted in your mug, stir in sugar and cocoa powder. Stir in the egg mixture. Stir in the flour mixture. Stir well to eliminate lumps.
  2. Microwave the mug on half power for 30 seconds (I set mine on a plate just in case there’s spillover). Stir. Microwave on half power for 35 seconds (the cake will rise over the top of your mug like a giant soufflé, but stay calm.) Press the square of chocolate bar down into the center of the cake (I broke mine into two pieces), being careful not to burn your fingers. Microwave on half power for 40 seconds. Let the cake cool in the mug for 2 minutes while you prepare your toppings.
  3. Melt the chocolate chips by heating on half power for 20 second intervals, stirring between each, until melty. Melt the Werther’s Original® Baking Caramels by placing them in a small bowl with the milk. Heat on 30 second intervals, stirring carefully between each, until melty. Top your mug cake with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, crushed toasted pecans, a crushed cookie (I used a Biscoff cookie), and the kitchen sink. Just kidding about the sink. Enjoy!

 

Spiked Mocha Mousse Bars

Spiked Mocha Mousse Bars
Spiked Mocha Mousse Bars

Spiked Mocha Mousse Bars



Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: 9 servings

I was surprised by how quick and simple this recipe turned out to be -- and how amazing! I loved spiking it with creamy Bailey's Hazelnut Liqueur. Forget buying a fancy coffee; why not make a fancy coffee bar for dessert?

Crust Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons icing sugar

Ganache Ingredients:
6 tablespoons heavy cream
about 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (I love Ghirardelli’s 60% cacao chips)

Coffee Mousse Ingredients:
1 3/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons water
4 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons Bailey's Hazelnut Liqueur (or Kahlúa)
2 cups well-chilled heavy cream
chocolate covered espresso beans (optional, for topping)

Directions:
Make the shortbread crust: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 x 9 in. baking dish with a foil sling. Cut the butter into the flour and icing sugar and press into the baking dish (I used a food processor to cut the fat into the flour — about 6 pulses — and then the bottom of a glass to press the mixture into the pan). Bake 18-20 minutes or until light brown. Set on a wire rack to cool.

Make the ganache: While the shortbread is baking, place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan (or microwave it for a couple of minutes). Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let it stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Set it aside until your crust is finished and has cooled for a few minutes, and then pour it over the crust (it’s okay if it’s not cooled all the way). Place the chocolate covered crust in the fridge to chill until the ganache is set into a firm layer.

Make the coffee mousse: Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside as an ice bath (I just stopped up my sink and used it). Place 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and sprinkle the envelope of gelatin evenly over the top. Let it soften for 2 minutes. Add in the sweetened condensed milk and instant espresso powder. Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved and the mixture is smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, whisk in the Bailey's (or Kahlúa), and then transfer the saucepan to the ice bath. Cool, whisking frequently, until the mixture is cold and thick.

In the meantime, whip the chilled heavy cream to stiff peaks. Stir about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cold espresso mixture to lighten it up, and then pour this mixture into your remaining whipped cream, folding it in gently until there are no streaks. Pour this mixture over your chilled ganache. Chill the entire dessert until it's set up nicely (a few hours). Lift the bars out of the pan, slice into 9 servings, top each bar with a chocolate covered espresso bean, and serve.

Trashy Krispy Kreme Doughnut & Coffee Tiramisu

It was one of those long, hazy summer days of childhood: the ones with so much potential that nevertheless usually devolve into dangling oneself, dead-doornail-bored, from a creaky swingset. Not for me, though. I was holed up in my treehouse next to my immaculate play-kitchen, planning my brilliant invention.

For my genius plan, I would need dozens of new, clean foam meat trays. The ones dad threw in the trash while making chili would never do: I may have been an eccentric crackpot inventor, but I wasn't heedless to the risk of e.coli.

On the next trip to the grocery store I timidly asked the man at the meat counter for trays "for a project" -- thankfully he didn't ask many questions -- and left the store with a pile of pink foam boards.

To this day, I wonder why there was very little parental intervention at this point. Perhaps they assumed my "project" was some sort of harmless collage? A make-believe grocery store? A school assignment?

It was a hang glider. I was building a hang glider out of styrofoam meat trays. To jump off of buildings.

A HANG GLIDER, Y'ALL. Adult-me shakes her head in disbelief at 10-year-old-me, and is thankful to be alive.

It all started when I was playing with a foam meat tray I'd found. I know that it makes no sense for a child to be playing with a foam tray. I do not understand why this occurred. Maybe it's the same reason babies eschew perfectly good toys to play with keys, or cats ignore billion dollar scratchy posts to play with bags.

Anyway, I noticed that it floated across the air with lovely aerodynamics. I imagined being tiny enough to float along with it. I imagined the tray itself being gigantic enough to hold my real weight. It occurred to me that while one foam tray wouldn't hold me, dozens of foam trays might. Could I attach them together somehow to form a giant foam flying apparatus? Thus my ponderings became a mission.

You know those kids who want to tie hundreds of helium balloons together and fly, à la Up? I was basically the slightly-more-trashy, meat-tray version of those kids.

In some ways, I am now the slightly-more-trashy, meat-tray version of a creative adult. Did I just say that? Yes.

No matter how ill-advised an idea might be, if it excites me and I believe in it, I'll go for it. This tiramisu, as you might have guessed, is an example of just that impulse. But hear me out: lots of people love doughnuts and coffee, right? This is basically that: sweet, glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts with a fluffy coffee-flavored mousse and the zing of some rum for good measure. It's rich, indulgent, and not too sweet -- and a lot of fun to make.

Oh, and were you wondering how my hang glider worked out? Don't worry. Apart from having wild and delusional schemes as a child, I also had quite the attention deficit. After stapling roughly 20 pink foam trays together, I got bored and threw the whole mess in the garbage. All's well that ends with no broken bones?

What's your favorite trashy indulgence? Discuss here or on my Facebook thread about the same topic.

One year ago: Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Orange Rosemary Butter & Goat Cheese
Two years ago: Mini Apple Pies with Cheddar Crusts
Three years ago: Red Berry Pie

Trashy Krispy Kreme Doughnut & Coffee Tiramisu



Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, based on this recipe
Yield: about 8 servings

If you love coffee and doughnuts, you're going to love this "trashed up" tiramisu! This tiramisu does include raw eggs, and therefore probably should not be consumed by the elderly, folks with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, or young kids. Feel free to use pasteurized eggs, also, to minimize the risk.

Ingredients:
3 eggs, separated
7 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, divided
1/4 cup chocolate malt powder (like Ovaltine)
1/2 cup espresso or strong coffee, divided
5 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons rum, divided (I might do Bailey's next time; I'm not a huge rum fan)
1 pound Bel Gioso Tiramisu mascarpone cheese*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts
cocoa powder mixed with chocolate malt powder for dusting
dark chocolate covered espresso beans and malted chocolate candies for garnish, optional
*I accidentally used Bel Gioso's Tiramisu mascarpone instead of regular, so it already had a bit of coffee and sugar in it -- you can use it, too, or add a tiny bit more coffee and sugar to your mixture.

Directions:
In a large bowl, beat 3 egg yolks, 7 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1/4 cup chocolate malt powder, 1 tablespoon espresso, and 5 tablespoons rum for a couple of minutes. Add the mascarpone cheese and vanilla extract and beat until well combined and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

In a separate (very clean) bowl, preferably with a stand mixer to spare your arm muscles, whisk 3 egg whites until foamy. Add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and whip to stiff peaks. Stir about 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it; then fold the rest of it in gently. Taste for flavor and add powdered sugar or vanilla if more is needed. Though you don't want to be cloying, of course, you do want it to be sweet enough to counteract the bitterness of the espresso/rum mixture you'll be dipping the doughnuts in.

Pour the rest of the espresso and rum into a flat dish. Dip one side of each doughnut in this mixture for just 5 seconds (so it doesn't get soggy) before layering them, soaked side up, in a deep serving dish. Repeat, lining the entire bottom of the dish with doughnuts. Dollop about 1/3 to 1/2 (depending on how many layers you think you'll be able to get in your dish) of the mascarpone mixture (called zabaglione) over the top and use an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer. Dust this with a mixture of cocoa powder and chocolate malt powder. Repeat layering dipped doughnuts, zabaglione, and a dusting of cocoa powder, ending with a layer of the zabaglione dusted with cocoa powder.

Chill at least one hour before serving. Dot with dark chocolate covered espresso beans and malted chocolate candies and serve. Eat within 36 hours or so, or things start to get soupy.

Bailey’s Hazelnut Chocolate Tiramisu (and Photographing FOOD)

First off, let me just say that if I were a red-headed stepchild, I'd be annoyed with the world for making me into a symbol of awkwardness and ostracism. Red-headed stepchildren deserve love, too! They will hopefully forgive me when I say that photography has always been my red-headed stepchild.

In the food blogging world, there are definitely triple-threats -- bloggers who are wonderful writers, chefs, and photographers -- but they're few and far between. More often, bloggers are fantastic in one of two of these arenas and are dragging the third along as best they can. Personally, I'm unabashedly a writer first, a baker second, and a somewhat reluctant photographer eighty-fifth.

It just doesn't come naturally for me. I would never have thought to smash my food before photographing it. I would never have thought to take dark-and-moody photographs when everyone else was still going ga-ga over light-and-airy. I wouldn't have realized how pretty light-and-airy could be to begin with!

Perhaps precisely because photography doesn't come naturally to me, though, nothing thrills me like having taken a photo I'm proud of. To that end, I've done a lot of wrangling: timing my baking just right for nice daylight, struggling with huge light-bouncing foam boards, setting up tripods, climbing chairs and contorting myself into odd angles, and buying way too many oddling dishes and napkins at fancy stores where I could never afford a full set. The result has been worth it -- slowly my photos have vastly improved:


photos from 2009 (left) and 2012

The camera I used did change from 2009 to 2012, though, so maybe you need a comparison of my early photo skills and later skills with the same point-and-shoot camera:


photos from 2009 (left) and 2011 (with same camera -- hopefully you can still see a big difference!)

So. I can't say I agree with those folks who say the camera you use doesn't matter, because in terms of quality and resolution of your photos, it does. But I definitely think the skills you have matter a whole lot more -- and even with a fantastic camera, unless you know a few basics, you won't be taking great photos.

On my (somewhat frustrating) journey to better my photos, I did a lot of googling, a lot of reading, a lot of experimenting, and a lot of failing. I want to make it a whole lot easier for you. Well, actually, my amazing friend -- and fantastic photographer -- Taylor Mathis wants to. He created Photographing FOOD, a magazine packed with practical tips for how to make your food photos look as awesome as his.


...and his are definitely awesome -- like these two from the first issue!

When Taylor showed me the magazine, I knew I wanted to pass it along to you. I hardly ever do sponsored posts because I just don't find that many products compelling or unique (I mean, who cares what kind of molasses you use or what brand your mixing bowl is?), but if you love photography, this magazine is well worth the five bucks it costs per issue. So far there are issues on Window Lighting, Color & Camera, and Shooting at Night. I've seen all of them, and I kind of can't believe he's letting them go for so cheap -- they're filled with information and beautiful photos. In Issue 2 he even does a full comparison of 4 different camera types: camera phones, disposable cameras, point-and-shoots, and DSLRs.

I wish I'd had Photographing FOOD when I started working on my photos. As it is, I'm eager to learn more from it now. I wonder if he has any tips on how to keep a new cat out of your photographs?

Actually, Buckle was great with this tiramisu -- mostly because I kept it high off the ground! This version of the beloved Italian dessert is traditional in that it uses raw eggs, coffee, alcohol, ladyfingers, and mascarpone. I put a twist on it, though, by using Bailey's Hazelnut Liqueur instead of the typical Marsala wine, and adding in some chocolate between the layers. The result was fantastic (and perfect for St. Patrick's Day.) I might have finished off the last forkfuls of it for breakfast this morning, straight out of the serving dish.

Do you enjoy photography?

One year ago: Tres Leches Coconut Cake Trifle
Two years ago: Bright, Fun Blackberry Trifle
Three years ago: Vegan Pumpkin Nut Bread

Bailey's Hazelnut Chocolate Tiramisu



Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, based on this recipe
Yield: about 8 servings

Tiramisu is a brilliant and moody concoction where soaked cookies serve as a vessel for strong coffee, alcohol, and chocolate. The result is a buzzy, boozy, rich dessert -- made even more exciting here by substituting Bailey's Hazelnut Liqueur for the traditional Marsala wine. This would be a perfect dessert for St. Patrick's Day! This tiramisu does include raw eggs, and therefore probably should not be consumed by the elderly, folks with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, or young kids. Feel free to use pasteurized eggs, also, to minimize the risk.

Ingredients:
3 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup espresso or strong coffee, divided
6 tablespoons and 4 tablespoons Bailey's Hazelnut Liqueur, divided
1 pound Bel Gioso Tiramisu mascarpone cheese*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (7-ounce) package Ladyfingers
1/2 cup Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate chips, melted and cooled
cocoa powder for dusting
dark chocolate covered espresso beans for garnish, optional
*I accidentally used Bel Gioso's Tiramisu mascarpone instead of regular, so it already had a bit of coffee and sugar in it -- you can use it, too, or add a tiny bit more coffee and sugar to your mixture.

Directions:
In a large bowl, beat 3 egg yolks, 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon espresso, 6 tablespoons Bailey's Hazelnut Liqueur for a couple of minutes until well combined and thickened. Add the mascarpone cheese and vanilla extract and beat until well combined and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

In a separate (very clean) bowl, preferably with a stand mixer to spare your arm muscles, whisk 3 egg whites until foamy. Add 1 teaspoon powdered sugar and whip to stiff peaks. Stir about 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture to lighten it; then fold the rest of it in gently. Taste for flavor.

Pour the rest of the espresso and Bailey's into a flat dish. Dip one side of each Ladyfinger in this mixture for just 5 seconds (so it doesn't get soggy) before layering them, soaked side up, in a deep serving dish. Repeat, lining the entire bottom of the dish with the cookies. Drizzle cooled melted chocolate all over the cookies. Dollop about 1/3 to 1/2 (depending on how many layers you think you'll be able to get in your dish) of the mascarpone mixture (called zabaglione) over the top and use an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer. Dust this with cocoa powder. Repeat layering dipped cookies, melted chocolate, zabaglione, and a dusting of cocoa powder, ending with a layer of the zabaglione dusted with cocoa powder (I got 2 full layers of cookie/chocolate/zabaglione/cocoa powder before my cookies ran out, but it depends on the size of your serving dish.)

Chill at least one hour before serving. Dot with dark chocolate covered espresso beans and serve. Eat within 36 hours or so, or things start to get soupy.

Disclaimer: This is, as I mentioned, a sponsored post. I received compensation for reviewing the magazine and sharing it with you as well as three free issues. However, as you already know, I never share a thing with you that I don't love, and I always give my honest opinion. Hope you enjoy it, too!

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