Once again it’s time for Tuesdays with Dorie and this week Clara of I Heart Food4Thought chose the Chocolate, Chocolate Cupcakes! These cupcakes are extra chocolatey because they are made with cocoa and melted chocolate, then covered in a luscious bittersweet chocolate glaze. I apparently missed the part where Clara urged us to decorate them in spirit of Halloween, but I guess that’s alright. Having never been a fan of Halloween, I secretly wouldn’t have wanted to do that anyways. Instead my double chocolate cupcakes were filled with toffee sauce (courtsey of Harry and David), covered in the chocolate glaze, frosted with white chocolate buttercream infused with a bit of toffee sauce, and then finally finished off with a drizzle of the sauce and mini chocolate chips.
As you can see here, there was a trend in the comments about the cake coming out dry, so I decided to alter the recipe a little bit. I didn’t exactly have time to make the original recipe in order to figure out what needed to be changed, so instead I blindly modified ingredients, crossing my fingers all the way. Luckily for me, my alterations proved to be a success because the cake came out fluffy and moist! However, I think if I ever planned to make this again, then I’d probably tweak a few more parts because it still wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for it to be.
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You know, of all the things I’ve baked, of all the recipes I’ve ever tried, I do not believe I have ever actually attempted to make my own chocolate chip cookies. There have been, of course, the many occasions that I’d make the store bought, frozen dough kind or just use the cookie dough that my mom made for us to eat, but I can’t recall ever actually making my own cookies. I suppose it’s because I always thought that chocolate chip cookies were too generic. How unoriginal and boring of me to make chocolate chip cookies, right? Everyone and their dog makes chocolate chip cookies so why should I? Well I obviously had no idea just how great Alton Brown’s recipe for “The Chewy” was because if I had I for sure would have made these a long time ago! I don’t know why it took me so long to jump onto “The Chewy” bandwagon given the recent significant increase in chocolate chip cookie posts thanks to Joy’s experiment and the NY Times’ article. I’m so glad I finally made these too because they are FANTASTIC!
Now of course, knowing me and my baking addiction, I couldn’t possibly just stop with cookies. I had to make something else, something to add to my chocolate chip cookie theme. That’s when it hit me! Why not try my own version of the chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes? They’d been on the top of my ‘Future Things to Bake’ list for ages so this was the perfect opportunity to finally commit to baking them. I already had the cookie dough so all I needed was to find all of the extra components that I would need in order to make things happen.
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Zebra cake!? What on earth could that be? If you’re imagining a cake striped like a zebra, then you’d be correct! This cake comes out perfectly soft and moist with very light flavors and, more importantly, looks fantastically impressive! The elaborate design is really the only reason I desired to make this cake in the first place because it seemed very fun and different, not like your everyday plain, one colored cake.
I first came across a recipe for zebra cake when browsing My Kitchen Snippets and, although very intriguing, I figured it would be much too time consuming to actually create. Boy was I wrong! In fact, making the striped pattern couldn’t be any easier! All it involves is constantly alternating between vanilla and chocolate batter, a few tablespoons dropped in the center at a time. The magic of physics does most of the work for you by allowing the layers to spread out more and more as you add on another.
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After secretly stalking and anxiously awaiting the reveal of new challenges for months, I finally went and joined the Daring Bakers for myself! It was a good thing too because for this challenge we had to make chocolate eclairs, but not just any chocolate eclairs! Oh no, sir! These sugarcoated little creatures come from none other than Pierre Hermé, a famous and fantastically gifted French pastry chef that’s an inspiration for me and I’m sure for many, many more.
Before I go any further, I’d like to note that I wrote this entire entry and then Firefox screwed me over and I lost it all. Yes, Firefox, I am very angry at you right now! If your rival IE didn’t suck so much I’d probably make him my new best friend instead. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT, FIREFOX!?
Anyways, this challenge was hosted by Tony and Meeta. You can go to their blogs in order to view the original recipe because it is incredibly long and I am feeling way too lazy to post all it. (However, do not let the length discourage you from making these eclairs because they are fantastic and definitely not as hard as they seem. In fact, I’d say this is was one of the easier challenges I’ve seen the Daring Bakers do so far.) Their posts are also much more graphic than mine would have ever been and having a visual is always a good thing when baking something foreign.
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Tiramisu has to be one of my all time favorite desserts, but I rarely ever get to have it. It’s usually one of the first things I think about making when I want to bake, but a lot of the ingredients aren’t exactly common items that you have lying around (e.g. lady fingers, mascarpone, and coffee liqueur). However, I finally managed to get my hands on Kahlua liqueur and Bailey’s Irish Cream (not being 21 makes that a hassle to get) and couldn’t wait to do something with it.
Now how sad is this? Most kids cannot wait to turn 21 in order to be able to legally purchase their own alcohol and go out drinking whenever they want, but I only want to turn 21 so I can actually go into a liquor store and buy ingredients. I wish they at least allowed you to go inside if you’re 18, but no. I’m not even allowed to see what my choices are. Luckily I have great parents that will go and buy it for me.
So now I had the liqueur just sitting in the pantry waiting to be used. What was I going to make? Considering I hadn’t originally planned on baking I didn’t prepare myself with the other ingredients required for tiramisu, but I did manage to find a tiramisu ice cream recipe that I had all the ingredients for. How perfect! So it’s not quite tiramisu, but it’s still something fun to make. I love ice cream and I love tiramisu so a combination of the two couldn’t be bad, right?
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