Black Forest Cake

Ingredients

6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
5 ounces semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons raspberry preserves
40 fresh black cherries, pitted (or canned cherries, drained)
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Syrup

1 cup water
I cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons kirsch

Kirsh Cream

3 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup superfine sugar (or the same quantity of granulated sugar processed in a food processor for 1 minute)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons kirsch

Method

  1. First make the sponge. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-1/2-inch diameter cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, vanilla, and sugar, using an electric handheld mixer, until thick and the beaters leave a trail when lifted above the mixture. Sift together the cocoa powder and flour, then fold in. Stir in the melted butter.
  3. Divide the cake batter among the prepared pans and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until springy to the touch. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, shave the block of chocolate by using a vegetable peeler or by carefully scraping the blade of a large kitchen knife across the surface of the chocolate. Keep the chocolate shavings in the refrigerator until needed.
  5. To make the syrup, put the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then boil for 5 minutes. Let cool, then add the kirsch.
  6. To make the kirsch cream, whip the cream and sugar to firm peaks, then fold in the vanilla and kirsch.
  7. To assemble the cake, level the tops of the sponges, if necessary, using a sharp knife. Place a little kirsch cream on a serving plate and secure one of the sponges on top. Brush the sponge with some of the syrup, then spread over the raspberry preserves. Sandwich together with a second sponge and brush again with the syrup. Spread over a thick layer of the kirsch cream, about 1/2-inch deep. Cover with the cherries, reserving eight for decoration. Spread a little more cream over the cherries to secure them, then top with the final sponge, upside down to create an even, flat surface. Brush with the remaining syrup.
  8. Spoon 1/3 cup of the kirsch cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and set aside. Using a spatula, cover the top and side of the cake with the remaining cream. Carefully stick the chocolate shavings all over the side of the cake with the palm of your hand. Pipe around the edge of the cake and eight swirls in the middle, then place the reserved cherries on top of the swirls. Serve dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

Makes 10 servings.

Source: Chocolat

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Chocolate Coffee Cake with Pecan and Marshmallow Topping

Ingredients

1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup strong black coffee, lukewarm
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Topping

2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Glaze

3 squares semi-sweet chocolate
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp hot water
1 tsp maple syrup

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Combine cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat on high speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour into a greased 9″ springform pan.
  4. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
  5. Sprinkle with marshmallows and nuts and bake 5 minutes more.
  6. Remove from oven; cool 30 minutes.
  7. To make glaze, melt ingredients over low heat or in microwave on MEDIUM, 2 minutes. Drizzle over warm cake.
  8. Cake can be served warm or made ahead and served at room temperature

Makes 12 servings.

Source: Family Circle magazine

Healthier Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup quinoa flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon hemp seed powder (use your coffee grinder)
1 teaspoon wheat germ
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup raw agave nectar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, blend together flours, baking soda, hemp seed powder, wheat germ, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix agave nectar, brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until you create a batter.
  5. On prepared cookie sheet, place cookie batter in balls that measure about 1 tablespoon. Cookies should be about 2 inches apart. Do not press down.
  6. Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, until light golden brown around the edges.

Makes 20 to 25 cookies.

Source: The Organic Family Cookbook

Marble Chocolate Tartlet with Kahlua

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder
1 cup flour
4 oz white chocolate, chopped
5 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup Kahlua

Method

  1. In food processor, combine butter, sugar and vanilla. Process until cream.
  2. Add cocoa; process until smooth.
  3. Add flour, pulse to combine.
  4. Press onto bottom and sides of twelve 3-inch tartlet pans. Chill 1 hour.
  5. Pierce bottoms well with fork. Bake on baking sheet at 375ºF, 8 minutes.
  6. Pierce again: bake another 4 minutes. Cool.
  7. Place chocolates in separate bowls.
  8. In saucepan bring cream to boil. Add Kahlua and bring to simmer. Pour 1/3 cup cream mixture over each chocolate. Stir each until smooth.
  9. Remove crusts from pans. Fill each about 2/3 full with dark filling. Pour 3 small pools of white filling onto dark filling. Marble by pulling tip of knife through fillings. Chill before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: The Best of Kahlua

Sweet Samosas with Chocolate

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
2 sheets of phyllo pastry
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely grated
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Melt half the butter in a skillet, add the banana slices and sugar, and saute for about 4-5 minutes, or until the bananas have caramelized, turning them over halfway during cooking.
  2. Cut the pastry sheets in half. Place banana slices and a good sprinkling of chocolate and cinnamon toward one end of each pastry sheet, then fold up to resemble a triangular “samosa” shape.
  3. Heat the remaining butter in the skillet over medium heat, add the pastries, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown all over. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 pieces.

Source: Chocolat