Hot chocolate – better in cake form? Leave your links here!
In honor of National Chocolate Pudding Day, we’re making Hot Chocolate Pudding Cake! Posting date is July 2.
- 3⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (105 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) well-shaken buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 ounces (1⁄2 stick/55 g) unsalted butter
- 1 1⁄2 ounces (40 g) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 1⁄3 cup (30 g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder, such as Valrhona
- 3⁄4 cup (165 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄3 cup (65 g) granulated sugar
- 1⁄3 cup (75 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (25 g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder, such as Valrhona
- 1 1⁄4 cups (300 ml) boiling water
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 2 ounces (55 g) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped (about 1⁄3 cup)
- Vanilla ice cream (optional, but highly recommended)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly spray the sides and bottom of an 8-by-8-by-2-inch (20-by-20-by-5-cm) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In another small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, and oil. Set aside.
- Melt the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl placed over simmering water (double-boiler method, see page 19) set over low heat until almost completely melted. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is combined and completely melted. Remove it from the heat and continue whisking gently for about 1 minute to cool the mixture slightly. Add the brown sugar and vanilla and continue whisking until completely combined. Whisk in the buttermilk mixture until incorporated, then, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together both sugars and the cocoa powder. You might need to use your fingers to rub the clumps of brown sugar into the rest of the mix.
- Stir the boiling water and instant espresso powder together in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chunks over the cake batter. Then sprinkle the sugar mixture over the chocolate chips and batter, covering it completely. Pour the hot espresso liquid evenly over the top of the sugar mixture. Bake the cake in the center of the oven until the cake looks set but still feels jiggly in the center, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest about 20 minutes, then slice and serve warm. Slices can be served upside down (with pudding on top), or serve each slice on a plate and spoon the pudding (the batter in the bottom of the pan) alongside the cake. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if you like.
Lots of beautiful cupcakes this week, and not one rogue baker!
Leave your links here for these chocolate-cherry delights!
Who knew there was a Black Forest Cake Festival? We’re marking the occasion with Black Forest Cupcakes! Posting date is May 7.
- 1 ounce (28 g) good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), chopped
- 1⁄2 cup (40 g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder, such as Valrhona
- 2⁄3 cup (165 ml) hot coffee
- 1⁄3 cup (75 ml) whole milk
- 1 1⁄3 cups (170 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 ounces (11⁄4 sticks/140 g) unsalted butter, cool but not cold, cut into 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) cubes
- 1 cup (220 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 scant cup (7 ounces/ 200 g) cherry preserves
- 2 tablespoons kirsch
- 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 1⁄2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Chocolate sprinkles
- 24 fresh cherries with stems
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners.
- Place the chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the coffee directly over them, let sit for 1 minute, and whisk until combined. Add the milk and whisk until smooth.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix again for 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the chocolate mixture, and beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
- Fill the prepared cups about three-quarters full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Turn the cupcakes out onto the rack, place them right side up, and let them cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine the cherry preserves with 1 tablespoon kirsch. Mix and set aside.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together 1 1⁄4 cups (250 g) of the sugar, the corn syrup, and 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) water. Once the sugar is dissolved, increase the heat to medium-high and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Without stirring, heat the mixture to almost 235°F (113°C; almost the soft-ball stage). Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup fully reach 235°F (113°C), but not higher.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1⁄4 cup (50 g) sugar over the soft peaks of the egg whites and turn the mixer to low. Slowly stream in the hot sugar syrup. Once all the syrup has been added, increase the speed to medium-high and beat the icing until it is thick and shiny, about 7 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat again for 10 seconds. Set aside.
- Line up the cupcakes on a sheet tray. Stick a large round pastry tip (the kind you usually use in tandem with a pastry bag) into the center of each cupcake, pressing it about halfway down, essentially coring the cupcake. (Alternatively, you can use a small paring knife.) Remove the excess cake.
- Using a pastry brush, spread the remaining tablespoon of plain kirsch on each cupcake top. Spoon a teaspoon of the cherry preserves mixture into each cored cupcake.
- Transfer the frosting to a large pastry bag using the same large round pastry tip you used to core the cupcakes. Generously pipe frosting onto each cupcake.
- Sprinkle each with chocolate sprinkles and top with a cherry. Serve immediately.
Let’s see those brownies!
For Halloween, our bakers have a chance to show off their decorating skills with some milk chocolate malted brownies with chocolate ganache. Posting date is October 23.
- 1¼ cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (70 g) malted milk powder
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 ounces (170 g) milk chocolate (40 to 60% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 4 ounces (115 g) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 6 ounces (1½ sticks/170 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes, plus more for the pan
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (110 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 6 ounces (170 g) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 3 to 4 cups (340 to 450 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Blue, yellow, red, and black food dyes or gels (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and position a rack in the center. Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) pan. Line the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper so that it overhangs about 1 inch (2.5 cm) on the long sides of the pan, and butter the parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, malted milk powder, cocoa, and salt.
- Place both chocolates and the butter in a large heatproof bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water (double-boiler method, see page 19), stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted, smooth, and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.
- Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and whisk until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
- Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, place the pan on a cooling rack, and let the brownies cool completely.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a saucepan over medium heat and heat just until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Pour the warm chocolate ganache over the cooled brownies in the pan and use an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer. Allow the ganache to sit for about 10 minutes, then refrigerate for another 15 minutes to set completely.
- Using a small paring knife, release the brownies from the sides of the pan and pull straight up on the parchment to remove them from the pan, then place the brownies onto a cutting board and remove the parchment. Place the brownies in the freezer for 30 minutes (this will make them easier to cut). Run a chef’s knife under hot water, wipe dry, and cut the brownies into 36 to 48 bite-size pieces (or smaller—these brownies are rich).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups (340 g) confectioners’ sugar, the egg whites, and lemon juice until the mixture is completely smooth. The mixture should have the texture of a thick glaze. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, until it is thick enough to hold its shape when piped. Divide the icing into four bowls. Royal icing will begin to harden when exposed to air. If you are not using a particular color, make sure to cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or place the icing in a pastry bag and cover the tip.
- Leave one bowl white for skulls and ghosts. In another bowl, create a black icing (about 8 drops of black gel or 2 drops each of blue, yellow, and red dye) for outlines and eyes. In the other two bowls, we recommend mixing orange for pumpkins and green for embellishments (green eyes are spooky). Put each color in its own pastry bag fitted with the smallest tip. (Pastry bags provide more control, but, if needed, you can fill four zip-tight plastic bags and cut a small corner from the bottom of each.) In essence, you want to pipe and fill all of your base layers first, then go back and add your final embellishments. (It is more difficult to decorate each brownie from start to finish.)
- For skulls and ghosts: Pipe on the shapes of skulls or ghosts in white and allow them to harden for a few minutes (see photo 1). Then fill them in completely (see photo 2). Gently pipe final embellishments (eyes, mouths, etc.) directly on top of the white icing with any other color you like (see photos 3 and 4).
- For pumpkins: Pipe on the shape of the pumpkins (not the stem) in orange and allow to harden for a few minutes (see photo 1), then fill them in completely. Gently pipe on the stem in green.
- Allow the icing to harden completely before serving.
Mixed reviews on these cupcake/brownies, which were more cupcake-like than brownie-like. And we had a rogue baker going way back to the first Baked book this week as well!
Are brownies in cupcake form as good as they are in bar form? Post your links here!