Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Earl Grey Truffles

Earl Grey Truffles


earl grey chocolate truffle

I have a new and special treat for tea lovers today - earl grey truffles! The tea flavor in these is subtle, but still identifiable. That's kind of the trick with tea infused truffles. You have to find the perfect middle point between too weak and too strong (and bitter).

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Also, a quick note on tea. Most of you have probably heard when cooking with wine to choose one you'd be happy to drink, and the same goes for tea. I tried a few different earl greys for these truffles, and found that this tea yielded the best flavor.

Our good friend Patrick is the winemaker at Merry Cellars Winery (Pullman locals or anyone passing through town, you should definitely stop by!), and he asked me to make these for an event a few months ago. I have to admit that it's not a flavor I would have probably thought to make, which is one reason why I'm so excited about them!

You'll see below, or if you've looked at any of my other truffle recipes, that truffles take a few steps. I know that can look a little daunting, but I actually love that about these. It means that I can break the recipe into multiple stages, and I don't need to be in the kitchen all day if I don't want to be!

Ingredients

3/4 cup heavy cream
4 tbs earl grey tea (you can also use tea bags - just cut open and pour out the leaves.)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions

Add heavy cream to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the tea leaves. Continue stirring the cream regularly so it doesn't scald on the bottom. You will know it's ready when the cream turns a light brown color (see photo below for reference), and it has reached a low boil.

 earl grey chocolate truffle

Pour the cream and tea mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring cup, and strain out the tea leaves. I like to use a small spoon or spatula to press extra liquid out of the leaves before discarding them.

Note on the cream: You actually need 1/2 cup of hot heavy cream, but the tea leaves soak up a decent amount of it. After removing the tea leaves I'm left with usually just slightly more than a 1/2 cup of cream. Truffles have a little wiggle room, so a little more than 1/2 cup is just fine - waste not!

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips, in a heat safe bowl. Wait a few minutes, and then stir together. If the chocolate chips haven't completely melted, heat in the microwave in 10 second increments until the chocolate is smooth. Stir in the sugar and salt until all combined.

Chill the chocolate mixture in the fridge for 1.5-2 hours. It's ready when you can easily roll the chocolate into balls without it becoming a gloppy disaster, but it hasn't hardened so much that the chocolate can't be formed.

Roll 1/2 Tbs balls of the chocolate ganache - I usually get about 30.

Melt the bittersweet chocolate chips in the microwave (again, in increments) until smooth.

Dip the ganache balls in the melted bittersweet chocolate. Chocolate dipping tools are actually super handy for this step! The first time I made truffles I didn't have them, and they still tasted great, but didn't look super fancy.

After dipping the truffles, put them back into the fridge until the chocolate has hardened.

Truffles are wonderful because they seem fancy, but they're actually really easy. They're also a fun way to play with new flavors, like I did with these.

I hope you enjoy!

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Kirsten Bell
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Triple Chocolate Stout Brownies with Baileys Ganache

Triple Chocolate Stout Brownies with Baileys Ganache



guinness brownies

Well you can tell from the title - these boozy brownies are not for the faint of heart! The brownies themselves are made with reduced stout (I used Guinness), and the ganache is made with Baileys, so while they make a perfect St. Patrick's day dessert, you can bet I'll be making these all year round.

If you're not a fan of beer, don't worry. Neither am I. You actually can't taste the Guinness at all in these! The beer just acts as a chocolate flavor enhancer, similar to coffee, and makes for a dense brownie.


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I took a note from one of my previous recipes, my merlot chocolate truffles, and reduced the Guinness before adding it to the batter. That just helped give my brownies a more intense, less watery flavor. Ain't nobody got time for watered down anything, but especially not brownies.

So now for the chocolate. In the brownies themselves there is your usual suspect, cocoa powder, and there are also chocolate chips stirred in to take these up a scrumptious notch. Then instead of frosting, I opted for a Baileys dark chocolate ganache. I know a lot of people like frosting on their brownies, and you can go that route too. I wanted these brownies to be an intense chocolate experience, so that's why I used a ganache instead.
 
These brownies are ooey, gooey and packed to the brim with chocolate. What more could you ask for?

Brownies Ingredients

12 oz Guinness, reduced to 1/2 cup (see instructions below)
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (regular is good too, I just went intense)
1/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Ganache Ingredients

1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Baileys
2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Brownies Directions

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper (parchment paper isn't necessary, it just makes it easier to get the brownies out).

Pour one bottle of Guinness (or other stout beer) into a small pot, and heat over medium heat until it almost reaches a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes - or until it has reduced to between 1/2 and 3/4 cups. Let cool.

Whisk together the cooled Guinness reduction, butter and sugar. Add the vanilla, followed by the eggs.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder.

Add to the Guinness mixture in two batches, stirring until just combined each time. Add the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into the greased pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Start checking to see if they're done after 30 minutes, and then check every 2 minutes after that. There's nothing worse than an over-baked brownie! Mine were done at 34 minutes, for reference.

Let cool almost completely before covering in ganache.

Ganache Directions 

Measure chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl and set aside. 

In a small saucepan, combine heavy cream and Baileys. Bring to a simmer.

Pour the heavy cream mixture over the chocolate chips, and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Pour over the cooled brownies, and let set for at least five minutes before serving.

Serve with milk or red wine, and enjoy!

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Kirsten Bell
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Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes


mint chocolate cupcakes

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope daylight savings treated everyone ok - in our house Charlotte decided to wake up an hour earlier than normal, really throwing us all off! Even our dog Hector was confused.

I am always my own worst critic, but I have to say these cupcakes are really good. I was cautious with the mint, because that's a flavor that can go from delicious to toothpaste in an instant. There is mint in the cake itself and in the frosting, but it's the perfect amount.





Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used dark chocolate cocoa powder because I wanted them really intense)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup hot brewed coffee (you can also use hot water if you don't have coffee. I've linked my favorite coffee that we drink every morning. So good!!)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick)
1 egg, whisked
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp mint extract

Mint Buttercream Ingredients 

1/2 cup butter, softened (one stick)
1.5-2 cups powdered sugar
1.5 tsp mint extract

Cupcake Directions

Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin tin with liners.

In a small pan, heat the butter and coffee until the mixture is steaming and the butter is melted. Take off the burner and let cool.

Whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through baking soda.

Mix together the eggs, buttermilk and mint extract. Add the butter mixture once cooled. If the butter mixture is still too hot when you mix these together, the egg will cook.

Add the dry ingredients into the now combined wet ingredients in two batches. Fold together until just combined. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tin and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes - until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.

Mint Buttercream Directions

When your cupcakes are completely cooled, it's time to frost them! If I have time, I like to make my cupcakes the day before and refrigerate them in an airtight container so they're totally cold when I frost them. That's obviously not necessary, but you do want them to be at least room temp since our frosting is made with butter.

Using a hand mixer, whip the butter until it's light and fluffy.

(By the way, I've linked my favorite hand mixer below. I bought mine nine years ago when I started to get really into baking (and couldn't use my mom's anymore since I was at college), and it's still going strong! I'm planning a future post focused on my favorite kitchen equipment, so look for that in the next few weeks.)

Mix in the mint extract.

Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, being careful to start your mixer on low again so the sugar doesn't go flying everywhere. Remember that you can taste this as you go, and decide if you're happy with the flavor and consistency. Once it's all incorporated, increase the speed and beat until fluffy. This usually takes 2-3 minutes.

When you've reached your desired consistency, you can add some food coloring for that minty green color! My favorite food coloring is Americolor gel coloring. It's easy to control the amount, and since it's gel it won't water down your frosting.

My go-to frosting tip for standard cupcakes is the Wilton 1M tip, but for these I decided to use the Wilton 2D tip for a softer look.

I love to hear your questions and comments, so please don't hesitate to reach out in the comments below or via Facebook/Instagram.

Have a great week everyone!

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This post contains affiliate links, which means if you follow a link and purchase the item, I may receive a small commission. I promise that any money earned will be used to produce future posts!

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Kirsten Bell
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Mocha Cupcakes

Mocha Cupcakes


mocha cupcake

A few weeks ago one of our good friends turned 40, and I made these mocha cupcakes for her party. I looooove coffee in any form: french press, latte, IV drip - and I especially love the combo of coffee and chocolate.

The "cake" part of these cupcakes is the recipe we've used for family birthday cakes for as long as I can remember. It was given to my mom by a friend, and it's so delicious! I love that these cupcakes have such good chocolate flavor and are also moist (I'm sorry, I also hate that word, but I'm at a loss for a synonym). The coffee flavor comes from the espresso buttercream I piped on top.

I have made more cupcakes in the last few months than I ever thought possible. I completely blame the tip set I bought, because I swear frosting cupcakes is an addiction. If you've never tried, you really should! I thought it would be difficult, but it's actually incredibly easy and makes cupcakes look super fancy.

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Kirsten Bell
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