Chocolate Cake with Fudgy Glaze – flourless (GF)

Flourless chocolate cake

Flour is the new food villain. Not just gluten, but all flour is now being thrown under the bus. Sigh… For years the food czars have harped on us to use only whole grains. My cupboard is filled with whole wheat, rye, whole wheat pastry, graham flour and a warehouse of other foods that are now betraying me.
Although I love whole grains – and they love me and cling to me- we are all being told to trim all flours and glutens from our diets. Zip – nada – none.
Apparently the flours are responsible for the odd shapes we have all become.

almond meal is used instead of flour


And I always thought it was sugar….or fat…..or salt….or cantaloupe. No, it’s never the fruit’s fault. Or lettuce. Rarely are we told to cut back on our lettuce input – except when there are those nasty e-coli out breaks in national-chain restaurants. But that’s just a surprise outbreak now and then – like playing Russian roulette with lettuce as the blast.

chocolate batter


So let’s set aside our fear of butter and sugar for a few moments and see if we can create a flourless chocolate cake so rich even I will ask for “just a sliver.” Scarlett O’Hara would be proud. Of course she wouldn’t see me going back for another “sliver.” And another. Just a sliver.
You can make the cake without the glaze, but why would you? If you’re going for rich, this glaze – which is really a genache -is a must. I took pictures before it set up, but it did eventually turn more fudgy and less saucy. But I tried it before the metamorphous and it was chocolate heaven.

whip egg whites

fold in egg whites


Also, this is really a torte. But because most Americans aren’t sure what a torte is (It’s a rich flourless cake) we call it a cake so those looking for rich and yummy will know this is the place. A torte is typically heavier than a cake and more dense. True here. The only leavening is egg whites. So handle them carefully. No, I’m kidding. You cannot ruin this even if you are a bit clumsy with the egg whites. Fold away.
If you must swap out the butter – use coconut oil.
If you must swap out the sugar, try coconut palm sugar. But I didn’t swap either. Did I mention this is rich?

baked cake


Flourless Chocolate Cake Ingredients
8 oz. dark chocolate chips
1 3/4 sticks of butter (That’s 2 Tbsp. shy of a cup.)
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
5 eggs – separated
3 TBS almond meal
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

pour glaze


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a spring form pan or a tall 8″ round cake pan.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave bowl – 30 seconds at a time. Stir until smooth.
Meanwhile separate the 5 eggs and put the whites in a glass or metal bowl.
Beat the egg whites until they can hold a shape. Set aside.
When the chocolate has melted, add the sugar, almond meal, salt, vanilla and egg yolks. Whisk until smooth.
Gently fold in the egg whites. They will look messy at first, but will eventually blend in and resemble a batter that you would gladly eat raw – if there weren’t five raw eggs in it.
Pour the batter in the pan and bake about 40 minutes. There should be cracks on top.
Cool the cake on a rack 10 – 15 minutes and then turn it out onto a plate to finish cooling.

Fudgy Glaze Ingredients
½ cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp butter
8 oz dark chocolate chips
Dash salt
1 tsp vanilla

Directions for Glaze
In a saucepan, bring the cream and butter to a simmer. Reduce heat and add the chocolate.
Stir until smooth.
Let it cool about 20 minutes. Pour over the cake – warm or cool.
It will set up in about 2 hours, but by then most if it will be gone. Have at it. Life is short.
If there is any left, store in the fridge.

just a sliver

Quickly, devour it before they tell us we can’t eat chocolate!

4 Easy “No Bake” Treats

Too flustered to turn on the oven? Don’t need one for these little goodies.

No bake treats

What you do need is chocolate – lots of chocolate for melting. Use either melting wafers, dark chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate bars. Semi sweet or milk chocolate will all work just fine.
Perfect for holidays, game days or when you need a chocolate fix.

Rolo pecan pretzels


Pecan Rolo PretzelsThese take only moments to put together. But first take ten minutes to gently toast your pecans in a 350 degree oven. This gives them the “snap” that is so delicious.
Ingredients
Rolo candies – unwrapped. (For those who live under a rock, these are small caramels that are dipped in milk chocolate.)
Small pretzels – use any shape you like.
Pecan halves – one for each rolo.

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lay out pretzels on a cookie sheet or bar pan.
Place one unwrapped rolo candy on each pretzel.
Bake for 2-3 minutes until the candies start to melt.
Take them out of the oven and press a pecan onto the top of each caramel.
Cool, eat. That’s it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzels


Chocolate Covered Pretzel Peanut Butter Treats

This is a new twist on the standard chocolate covered pretzels.
For this treat, look for pretzels that are filled with peanut butter.
Melt chocolate and toss in a handful of the pretzels.
Fish them out and place on a plate that has been lined with wax paper.
Cool, eat, that’s it!

Buckeyes


Buckeyes
These are old standby’s in the Midwest. Basically peanut butter balls covered in chocolate.
Ingredients
1 stick butter (or less – you could cut this in half.)
1 small jar of peanut butter – 15 or 16 oz.
2-3 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Dash salt
Dark chocolate (or semi-sweet – your choice)

Directions for Buckeyes
Mix everything except the chocolate until you have a very still dough.
Dip them out using a small cookie scoop – or about 2 tsp per ball.
Roll them into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Put in the fridge until firm. (Or outside if it’s winter in the Midwest.)
Melt some chocolate, being careful not to get any water into the chocolate.
Use a toothpick to stab a firm peanut butter ball and dip into the chocolate to coat all except the tops.
Let them set up. Don’t they look like Buckeye nuts? Sure they do.
Cool. Eat, That’s it!

Bonus –
Ritz Cracker Peanut Butter Treats

OK, if you don’t have rolos or pretzels, you probably have whole wheat Ritz crackers – right?
Sure, you’re trying to eat healthy, so you have the whole wheat ones.
Take two crackers and smear one with peanut butter (or almond butter). Make a sandwich by placing another on top.
Melt a handful of chocolate chips and coat the cracker-sandwich in chocolate.
Cool, Eat. That’s it.

Sure, we could do this all day, but this will get you started.
Happy New Year!

Rocky Road Brownies


Warning, Rocky Road Brownies don’t fit in the “Healthy Food” category but rather in the “I Need Chocolate Now” section of my blog. Well, I don’t really have a separate listing for chocolate desperation, but “cookies and bars” will fill the bill.

I made the Rocky Road Brownies for the couple who won our church auction – Kathy and Chuck. I pledged to bake goodies for six months and these folks were the bid winners.
The money goes towards mission trips for our college students, so everyone wins.

bet you can’t eat just one!

You know I love to make brownies and playing with chocolate is always fun. It’s an easy recipe and one that goes together quickly and bakes in a jiff. You will be in chocolate heaven in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Downton Abbey. As long as you don’t mind warm gooey brownies! Mrs Patmore won’t mind.

Ingredients for Rocky Road Brownies
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder – I used Hershey’s Special Dark
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup dark chocolate chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped nuts

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease a 9″ square pan or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, melt the butter and the cocoa together in the microwave.
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
Stir in the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
Spread in the pan.
Bake 20 – 25 minutes until brownies are almost done.
Remove from oven and sprinkle the marshmallows, nuts and chocolate chips on top.

Setting up in pan


Note: if you want them to look really pretty, put these ingredients on separately and sprinkle them around evenly. I mixed them all together and it was more difficult to get a nice even blend of marshmallow, chips and nuts in each bite.
Bake another 5-10 minutes until the marshmallows are golden and the brownies are set. (Toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean…unless it bumps into a chocolate chip.)

Let them cool, but cut them before they are completely set up. (About an hour.)

I had never made these before but they are worth repeating. Very chocolatey and rich.

Five days after I delivered these to Kathy and Chuck I ran into them at a Lenten Fish Fry. Chuck said he had to let his belt out a notch – High Praise Indeed! Kathy glowed when she spoke about how much they were enjoying the brownies, so I think you should give them a try.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Pecan Fudge Brownies with Fudge Frosting

God rested on the seventh day and on the eighth day he woke up and said, “Let’s make chocolate!” And he saw that it was good. Soooo good.

pecan fudge brownies


Then along came St. Valentine who said, “Chocolate is the food of love.” Or something like that. Somehow Madison Ave took it from there and now all Americans are required to eat their weight in chocolate on Valentine’s Day. And I’m OK with this.

Anyone who follows my blog knows there is no shortage of brownie recipes. When I got married I had 12 brownie recipes and an uncracked cookbook. I know have shelves of cookbooks, many with scratch and taste sections…cakes, cookies, bars, brownies, hot fudge sauce.

My writer friends are popping over and in their honor I wanted to make a new brownie recipe. Naturally I have to assist them in their goal to consume enough chocolate for the big day.

plate of yummy


I found a cookbook on my shelves entitled “Intensely Chocolate.” I have no memory of ever seeing this cookbook before. It was in pristine condition, so I suspect it must be new – sans chocolate smudges.
It does bring up a troubling condition: book shopping in my sleep.

Cookbooks seem to arrive on a regular basis and I have no knowledge of them. But they claim I’ve purchased them on Amazon, so who am I to dispute that?

I must have been having a great dream when I selected Intensely Chocolate, by Carole Bloom. Although you never want to have “bloom” on your chocolate… you know, that white chalky stuff that happens when your chocolate has become distressed. If you want to learn more about bloom, and how to avoid it, try Baking Bites. http://bakingbites.com/2012/01/what-is-chocolate-bloom/

still gooey

Valentine’s brownies

Although the recipe for Fudgy Pecan Brownies looked perfect, I found it a bit tedious. For starters it required both unsweetened chocolate in a bar form, bittersweet chocolate in a bar form and unsweetened cocoa powder. Yes, I’m a chocolate addict, but keeping a steady supply of these items is a challenge. And a trip to the store breaks the rhythm of brownie-creation. So I simplified the recipe and changed it a bit.

I hunted through my private chocolate stash in the drawers in my office, dresser and pantry until I found a pile of chocolate to substitute. Instead of the plain bars, I used a 3.5 oz bar of dark chocolate with cabernet grapes and another half eaten bar with crushed almonds. Then I had my trusty Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips step in to fill in the blanks.

So what happened? The chocolate held hands together to create a fudgy, rich brownie with the crunch of toasted pecans. Then just to be sure there was enough chocolate goodness, I added my favorite frosting. Just to be sure.

My writer friends loved them. My husband brought me roses. These are brownies to remember.

Ingredients
5 oz bar of dark chocolate (flavor(s) of your choice)
¾ cup dark chocolate chips
¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks)
3 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp instant coffee powder (smashed to create a dust)
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
3 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder (again, I used dark)
1 cup flour
1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease an 8” square pan.
Toast the pecans for 5 – 7 minutes and let them cool.
Put the chocolate bar and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Add the butter and melt.
In a large mixing bowl, crack the three eggs and beat with the sugars, vanilla, coffee and salt.
Add the butter and chocolate mixture carefully.
Mix in the cocoa powder and flour and beat just until incorporated.
Blend in the pecans.

Bake 30 – 35 minutes. Let cool
If desired (and I know you DO desire this) frost with fudge frosting

Fudge frosting
2 TBS butter
4 TBS cream cheese
4 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
Dash salt
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 TBS milk or cream
1 – 1 ½ cups powdered sugar.

Directions
Soften the butter and cream cheese. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until you have a creamy, spreadable consistency.

Enjoy!

Follow Me on Pinterest