Friday, November 22, 2013

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

I guess you could kinda say these muffins are what we were raised on, in a way.  I remember eating them growing up- we were always thrilled to eat them- they're really stuff of childhood dreams- gooey, chocolatey, and just downright yummy.  You'd stuff as many of them as you could without people looking.... and could almost get away with it.  

And honestly, there's not much you can do to make them any better.  Except for the fact that I always add way more chocolate chips in it.  But hey, where would any cook be without an inner child busting at the seams?  (oh, and the espresso powder. but that's our little secret.)

(this is my little secret.  that I put in EVERYTHING with chocolate.  EVERYTHING.)

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup dutch cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder

Stir together dry ingredients in medium bowl.

In a 4 cup measuring cup, thinly slice 3 large bananas.  Mash.  You should have at least 1 and 1/3 cups of bananas.  Stir in 1 egg and 1/3 cup veg. oil til combined.  Stir into dry ingredients just till moistened.  Stir in ½ cup chocolate chips and ½ cup white chocolate chips.  Do not overmix.  Sprinkle tops of batter with sugar.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or till muffins test done in center.  Make 1 to 1 ½ dozen muffins.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Chocolate Shadow Cake

I, quite honestly, had never ever even ate 7 minute frosting before.  Or made it for that matter.  And just to clear any poor confused soul (like me) who is deranged enough to think that 7 minute frosting actually takes 7 minutes to make, let me clear that little bit of information up for you.  

It takes 16 minutes.  Exactly.  So now you know.

And I felt so lied to as I made it.... I mean, who names a frosting after an amount of time if it doesn't take that long to make it????  *sigh*  Ah well.

That point aside, I have to say, this is one of my new favorite cakes.  I now know that I loooooove 7 minute first frosting- it tastes almost exactly like marshmallow fluff.  Which is one of the best things in the whole wide world.  Right next to cookie butter. 

But back to the cake...... It's really good.  Like, really really good.  And I think it's because it really is a simple enough idea, and the frosting and cake really just belong together.  So here you go.  You can make it too.    

Chocolate Shadow Cake

From Cooks Country
Serves 12

To make this cake, you will need:
4 large egg whites
3 tablespoons water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 (8-inch) chocolate cake rounds (I use Cook's Illustrated Chocolate Cake recipe- it really is the best recipe out there for chocolate cake)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

For the icing: Whisk egg whites, water, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in large heat-resistant bowl set over medium saucepan filled with ½ inch of barely simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water). With hand-held mixer on medium-high speed, carefully beat egg white mixture to stiff peaks, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove bowl from heat, add vanilla, and continue to beat until icing is very thick and stiff and cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.

To assemble: Spread 1 cup icing on bottom cake layer. Repeat with second cake layer and additional 1 cup icing. Top with final cake layer and spread top and sides with remaining icing.

To decorate: Place chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in large heat-resistant bowl set over medium saucepan filled with ½ inch of barely simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water). Stir until melted and smooth, then remove bowl from heat and let cool 5 minutes. Spoon ¼ cup chocolate mixture over top of cake and then drizzle remaining glaze along top edge of cake, allowing it to drip about halfway down the sides.