Chocolate Cupcakes with a Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

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Yesterday was my mom’s birthday (Happy Birthday Mom!). We went out to a fun gastropub for dinner and then came back to our place after for dessert and presents.  These yummy cupcakes are made with coffee, which really enhances the chocolate flavor.  Again, I’m not the biggest chocolate fan, but I love the coffee addition.  The chocolate cream cheese frosting is rich and decadent and puts these cupcakes over the edge.  I love these blue polka dot cupcake liners I found at Home Goods.  They make for such a cute presentation (but to be honest they aren’t very practical for eating).  It was a great night celebrating my mama with my favorite people, good food, and a yummy dessert.

Chocolate Cupcakes (Cake recipe from: Sweetapolita)
Yield: about 24 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee (can be hot)
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared cupcake pan until 2/3 full (or just less). Batter will be liquidy.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Try not to overbake. Cool on wire racks in pans for 5 minutes then gently turn cupcakes onto racks until completely cool.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup cooled melted chocolate
tbsp spoon milk if too thick

Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer/stand mixer until smooth.

Scoop all the frosting into a piping bag or into a large ziplock bag and snip a small edge of the corner and pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

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Gâteau au chocolat Reine de Saba | Chocolate Almond Cake

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Andrew’s mom, Veronique, made us this gateau au chocolate while she was staying with us. It was so delicious! I’m not the biggest chocolate fan so the fact that I remade this cake right after she left is a very good sign. It’s very light unlike most flourless chocolate cakes. It has almond flour and whipped egg whites that create a very light and moist cake. This cake is named for the Queen of Sheba and this cake is definitely fit for a queen.

Gâteau au chocolat Reine de Saba
Ingredients:
200 grams semi-sweet chocolate (about 7 ounces)
200 grams unsalted butter (about 7 ounces)
120 grams sugar (about 4 1/2 ounces)
200 grams almond powder/meal/flour (about 7 ounces)
5 eggs

Directions:
Melt chocolate and butter. Add sugar and mix well. Add almond powder and mix well. Add 1 full egg plus 4 egg yolks and mix well. Beat 4 egg whites until firm. Carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Butter a round baking pan. Bake cake for 25 minutes in a 350°F oven. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream (and berries if you like). Enjoy!


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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Andrew and I have our first house guests arriving tonight. His mom and family are coming to stay with us for a week. I wanted to have a some homemade items for them to munch on throughout their stay. I made this tasty and healthy Low Fat Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread. I may have stolen a slice or two, but that only makes the bread more inviting.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Peanut Butter Brownies

I love the Super Bowl, not for the game, but for time with family, commercials worth not fast forwarding through, a chance to win money in the football pool and of course there is food galore! I basically snack throughout the entire 3 1/2 hour game. My favorite treat from my Super Bowl party has got to be these Peanut Butter Brownies. I use a basic brownie mix to make life easy and then make the Peanut Butter Icing to smear on top. (I baked brownies in a 7×11 pan.)

Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter Icing
Ingredients:
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp whipping cream

Directions:
Mix all ingredients except cream in a mixer or with a hand mixer. Once incorporated add whipping cream and mix until light and fluffy and lighter in color.

Cover Brownies with icing and sprinkle powdered sugar over top. Try not to devour the whole plate until your friends come over.

Peanut Butter Brownies
Peanut Butter Brownies
Peanut Butter Brownies
Peanut Butter Brownies
Peanut Butter Brownies

Chocolate Fondue

I love watching award shows and having a viewing party with friends and family makes it so much more fun. Having chocolate fondue makes it an extraordinary night!  Who can resist fruit and cakes dipped in warm gooey chocolate?  Andrew’s mom gave us this beautiful fondue pot for Christmas and the Grammy’s gave me the perfect excuse to test it out.  As expected, the fondue was a hit!  Everyone hovered over the chocolate fondue pot all night!

Chocolate Fondue

Chocolate Fondue
Ingredients:
24 oz chocolate (I used Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips)
16 oz heavy cream
liquor? (I kept mine simple for my first time, but you could totally get creative)

Directions:
All you do is mix pour the chocolate and cream into the pot, turn on and stir until melted. That’s it! It’s best to not let the chocolate boil, because it may start to separate or burn.

I served the chocolate fondue with bananas, strawberries, raspberries, apples, pound cake, butter cookies, graham crackers, pretzels and marshmallows.  Just dip and enjoy!

Chocolate Fondue
Chocolate Fondue
Chocolate Fondue
Chocolate Fondue