Donna Hays’ Chocolate Meringue Cake

chocolate meringue cake

I like a fancy cake. You know, the pretty decorated swirls and swooshes kind, they have a soft spot in my heart. But when it comes to what a chocoholic like me really craves it is this Chocolate Meringue Cake. It is deeply chocolatey, fudgy, but not too sweet with a thin crackly layer of cocoa dusted meringue that adds so much in terms of both flavor and texture. My favourite part about this cake is that since it is neither too sweet nor too rich I can truly enjoy an entire slice without feeling like it is too much. As you can imagine that makes this Chocolate Meringue Cake a little dangerous too!

chocolate meringue cake donna hays

It is definitely a cake for dark chocolate lovers, I used Lindt dark chocolate bars for mine, but generally you can use any brand that you like to eat. It also keeps well at room temperature. In fact it seems to improve for the first few days which makes it a fantastic do ahead dessert for when you’re hosting a big dinner or lunch. You could serve it with some berries and lightly sweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche.

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An Easy Chocolate Mousse Tart

There is a kind of dessert that everyone needs in their arsenal. The kind that requires minimal muss and fuss and that you put together in advance of a dinner party. The kind that you can tailor according to circumstance and guests without undergoing any of that awful “will they or won’t they like it” anxiety. If you have ever had people over you know exactly what I am talking about. This Chocolate Mousse Tart hits all those boxes. The ‘Mousse’ is simply chocolate, coffee, and cream. The crust is Oreos and butter. What is there not to love?

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Brigadeiros – Irresistible Brazilian Chocolate Fudge

What are Brigadeiros you ask? If I told you these yummy little things are like caramels and fudge had a beautiful baby then would I need to say anymore? How about if I said that there are only six ingredients involved? How about we just take a minute and look at one. 

Aah Brigadeiros, you get me every time *sigh*

I first discovered these chewy chocolatey treats when I was in college. The international house often had these themed dinners and these made what for me was an unforgettable experience at the Brazilian one. I pestered the Brazilian girls for the recipe, but they suggested that it wasn’t something that could be easily done with American ingredients. Let’s just say I am thrilled to bits that they were wrong (or just messing with me). 

Brigadeiros: A Chocolatey Fudgy Brazilian Treat
Having made them once or ten times I have made probably all the mistakes you can make and here is what I have learnt. They are best consumed that day or a day after. If you really wrap them tightly then two days at most, but room temperature is the only way to go. If they are undercooked and not rolling well run to the party store grab those tasting spoons that resemble the ones you have soup with at a Chinese restaurant. Put a dollop in each spoon, top with sprinkles and call it a day.  

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A One Bowl Chocoholics Chocolate Cake w Chocolate Ganache + What is the difference between all these recipes?

Here is my philosophy on cakes – they should be easy to make. Oh wait – that is my philosophy on just about everything.  But here is the thing, a great chocolate cake is just a must know and it can seem intimidating, so intimidating that you just give in and reach for the boxed mix. Do yourself a solid and walk away from the mix. This delicious Chocoholics Chocolate Cake is ridiculously easy to make, has a rich moist crumb and can be made in just one bowl. Oh and the ganache – the ganache just makes me swoon, and it is the perfect decadent pairing for this richly chocolate cake.

chocolate cake best

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A Small(er) batch of Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

A Small(er) batch of Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

When Oreos meet Rice Krispies magic happens. Okay so maybe that is a little dramatic, but I am happy to say deliciousness definitely does. This riff on a childhood classic is more delicious than you remembered it and with only 5-ingredients it isn’t so hard to convince yourself to make them. The fact that this recipes makes half the ‘usual’ amount of Rice Krispie treats is also a bit of a blessing.

A Small(er) batch of Oreo Rice Krispie Treats

This is also a kid friendly treat that is easy for kids to make. My 5 year old can measure the ingredients out, melt the marshmallows (with supervision) and help get the mixture in the pan. The pressing in is the only persnickety part where an adult will need to do most of the work. I like to get a mini oreo snack cup for these, that way I am not ‘forced’ to eat the better part of a box of oreos 😉

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A Decadent Brownie Tart topped with Caramel Sauce & Peanuts

I cook for many reasons – because I have to, because I ought to, because I want to, because I like to. Baking is different – that comes from a place of love. It is my therapy and my cure all. Whipping up eggs to magical frothiness, the aroma of melting chocolate, that first bite, the feeling that it has all come together just right is a balm like no other. This brownie pie with it’s caramel sauce and smattering of peanuts is gloriously indulgent. The brownie base is decadent and rich, the caramel luxuriously oozy and the peanuts provide a counter crunch. It is so good on it’s own, but I suspect it would be even better paired with some simple vanilla ice cream. 
A Decadent Brownie Tart topped with Caramel Sauce & Peanuts

You can bake just the pie on it’s own and top it with mounds of ice cream drizzled with chocolate and topped with flaked almonds for a dramatic pretty dessert. For more casual affairs slice and serve each piece with a dollop of cream and the most colourful sprinkles you can get your hands on.
A Decadent Brownie Tart topped with Caramel Sauce & Peanuts

 

Brownie Tart with Caramel Sauce & Peanuts
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Tart
  1. 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  2. 2 cups semi or bitter sweet chocolate chips
  3. 3 large eggs
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  6. 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  8. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Caramel
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. Water to sprinkle over the sugar
  3. 3 tbsp whipping cream
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 2 tbsp butter
  6. 1 - 1.5 cup peanuts (optional)
Tart
  1. Grease and flour a 9-inch tart pan with removable sides. Make sure you are thorough.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl. Add the chips and stir till melted and combined. Heat for another 20 seconds if necessary
  4. Beat the eggs, sugar, coffee, and vanilla on medium-high speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cooled chocolate.
  6. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl then fold the flour mixture into the batter until just combined.
  7. Pour into the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the center is puffed (the top may crack). Cool to room temperature before removing the sides of the tart pan. If parts stick then use a wooden skewer or toothpick to separate the brownie from the sides of the tart pan.
Caramel
  1. Spread sugar in the bottom of a heavy bottomed pan and sprinkle with water, approximately 2 tbsp, just enough to moisten the sugar.
  2. Cook on medium heat watching carefully as it changes color. Do not stir, tilt the pan to swirl if needed.
  3. When it becomes amber immediately pour in the cream and stir rapidly till the mixture becomes smooth.
  4. Add the butter and vanilla.
  5. Fold in the peanuts if using.
Adapted from Ina Garten (Tart Recipe)
Flour & Spice http://www.flourandspiceblog.com/
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Malted Chocolate Cake + A Welcome!

I want to put out a welcome mat, hand out party blowers, maybe even some silly string (that stuff is awesome) because I am so darn excited to finally be able to welcome you to my new home! As many of you know I used to blog over here, but the love and support I get from you guys made me think it’s time for an upgrade.

The process took a lot longer than I thought it would, partially because the logo was such a struggle for me until I finally hired the wonderful Sadaf F K from Design Bliss Feast with her modern fun aesthetic. The whole process that goes into creating a logo was a real eye opener and I have enormous respect for Sadaf and other graphic designers who put up with persnickety clients! She really went above and beyond to ensure that I was happy with the final product. Just look at it – who wouldn’t be!??!

It can’t be a housewarming party/ blogwarming post without some cake so without further ado I present my malted  chocolate cake with malted vanilla buttercream. This chocolate cake is so lovely with it’s fine but tight crumb and a mellower taste than my usual dark chocolate cake. The frosting though is a revelation – I have typically shied away from ‘plain vanilla’ frostings unless I need to make a decorators buttercream, but this one I would eat with a spoon. I may even eat several spoons of it when no ones looking….

Chocolate Malt Cake w Malted Vanilla Butter Cream

The original recipe is from Chowhound and while the cake recipe is the same I have made changes to the frosting recipe to make it less greasy and easier to use for decorating. Being able to pipe stars is almost a must for me! Please note that when you spread frosting versus decorate with a piping bag you use less frosting. To cover it with stars or roses please increase the frosting by at least 50%.

Ooh and before I forget please do <a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14749793/?claim=3ehpsk7kbh2″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>!

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Chocolate Caramel Crack

Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers) or Chocolate Toffee Bark

I wasn’t going to make this. Nope, not me. You see I usually like my christmas treats to be complicated and require at least an hour of labor. But then I had my second kid and she hit the terrible twos and now …well… now I am a lot more open to trying quicker things. But in all honesty I would not have tried this delicious recipe if it wasn’t for my all-things-food-person Marium. She made it and raved about it and then I had to. Yes folks, after all that resisting, all it took was someone I think is cool to make it and I turn into a big ol’ copycat.

The first time I made it I messed up a little (oops), but by the second I had learnt my lesson. The right sized baking sheet is key, otherwise the whole caramel to cracker ratio is off. The recipe is definitely very very sweet so adding instant coffee to the caramel helped temper that overt sweetness. Also please please stick to semi sweet chocolate or darker, anything sweeter is too much.

You could add anything you want to the top and I toyed with christmas-sprinkes, but then I decided that this delicious delicious beauty didn’t need to get any sweeter and I stuck to toasted flaked almonds as suggested by Deb at Smitten Kitchen.

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5-Ingredient Nutella Brownies

Have you ever wished you could just hold a piece of Nutella in your hands and bite it instead of that awkward licking it off a spoon thing? Well, here’s the answer to those prayers and all you need is a bowl, a spoon and five ingredients. Oh and something to bake the brownies in.

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Nutella brownie recipes have been floating around for a while but after a few run ins with recipes that consumed a jar or more of Nutella and had minimal Nutella taste I was very hesitant to try them. One day I succumbed, but not after making some alterations. First of all, I didn’t see the point in additional butter, second of all a little leavening never hurt anything and third of all Nutella is so sweet that some coarse salt is almost a must have. The result is what I had hoped it would be.

The best part? Because they are so gooey they don’t dry out making them a great make ahead dessert for the holiday season!

So without any further ado I present to you these incredibly gooey undeniably Nutella-y brownies.

nutella bownies
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The Very BEST Cocoa Brownies and a Blogger Challenge!

Hello friends – how goes the long weekend? Good you say? Let’s make it great by rustling up a pan of these brownies. All it takes is some undecidedly fancy ingredients to get some pretty darn delicious results. Now I have had a go-to brownie recipe for a long time now, it is quick and delicious. With a few notable exceptions other brownie recipes have left me feeling a little ‘meh’ especially the ones that have involved elaborate procedures and recommended that I wait 24 hours before trying a piece – laughable really.

When I came across this one from Cookie + Kate I had a feeling. For one she takes crackly tops seriously, as do I. For another she seems to really get that a brownie, a perfect brownie, should be mostly fudgy but with a little bit of heft. A rich caramelly back note, a touch of coffee and a little extra cocoa powder doesn’t hurt. Also I think the stirring is kinda magical – the last 50 strokes at the end – don’t skip it.

The Very BEST Cocoa Brownies

Speaking of skipping things, I think I may have failed to mention something – the South Asian Bloggers Network. A duo of wonderful women came up with the idea of bringing South Asian bloggers under one banner to help foster the advantages of a community both in terms of blogging support and sponsorship. You can read more about it here.

Well the same duo also came up with a challenge a few weeks ago – a two week blogging challenge, a post on each weekday for two weeks straight making for a total of 10 posts over 14 days. Bring it on I say! Actually moment of truth:  I totally panicked and am now faking a cool bring-it-on-its-no-bigs attitude. What I am genuinely excited about is bringing you a slew of yummies over the next two weeks – as my insta followers now I have been cooking and baking away and now it’s time to get blogging!

The BEST Cocoa Brownies

Hope you enjoy this sweet start to the next two weeks!

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