So here's a thank you for my flist. Some great recipes for fall and of course, chocolate!
Mocha Pudding Cake
This gooey mess of a cake is a surefire hit with kids of all ages. The hot chocolate pudding rests under a thick blanket of moist mocha cake. For total decadence, scoop it into bowls and serve drizzled with heavy cream (or milk).
Yield: 8 servings
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour or whole grain pastry flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup organic 2% milk
1/4 cup GMO-free or organic canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup hot brewed coffee
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10" deep-dish pie plate with oil spray.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in the milk, oil, and vanilla (the batter will be thick).
Spread in the prepared pie plate and sprinkle with the brown sugar, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa. Pour the hot coffee over top.
Bake until the cake is set on top and the pudding starts to bubble up through the cake, 30 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use a spoon to serve.
Helping Hand: Use decaffeinated coffee, if you prefer. Or make Chocolate Pudding Cake by omitting the hot coffee and using hot water instead.
Source: Fresh Choices by David Joachim & Rochelle Davis
Chocolate Coconut Clouds
These chocolate cookies are the perfect size when you want something big and chocolaty. I like to serve them for dessert, lightly dusted with confectioner’s sugar. But even without the dusting their taste and texture is so light and airy, just like a cloud. Alternatively, you can make these much smaller, scooping them by the teaspoon.
Yield: 16 large cookies
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups packed sweetened flaked coconut
Need: 2 baking sheets, lined with parchment paper
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)
In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave chocolate, uncovered, on Medium (50%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, or until chocolate is soft and almost melted. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Let cool slightly.
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, whipping until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into chocolate just until blended. Fold in coconut.
Scoop batter with 1/4-cup measure and mound on prepared baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until puffed, cracked and lightly firm to the touch. Let cool completely on baking sheets on racks.
Don’t make these cookies on a rainy day, as the moisture will affect the cookies (they won’t be crisp, but will be sticky instead). These cookies are best eaten the day they’re made.
Do not remove these cookies from the baking sheets until they are completely cool. They are quite fragile and will break if you try to lift them off the parchment paper too early.
Pumpkin Swirl Cake
Pumpkins speak of fall, and the autumn months are the best time to make this cake. Sage pairs with pumpkin in savory dishes. The soupçon of sage in this cake gives it a different twist.
Yield: 1 Cake, 10 Servings
1 small pumpkin, either sugar pumpkin or rouge vif d'étampes
Soft butter for the pan
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
15 tablespoons (7 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Madagascar Bourbon
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage, about 5 leaves (don't use dry sage)
Cook the pumpkin:
The pumpkin can be cooked a few days ahead.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
Cut the pumpkin into halves. Place the pieces on the baking pan, cut side down. Bake in the oven until a skewer pierces them easily, about 30 minutes.
Cool the pumpkin halves. Scrape out the seeds and discard them. Scrape the flesh out of the rinds. Purée the flesh in a food processor. You will need 3/4 cup of purée for this recipe. Save the rest for another use. (It makes great soup.)
Make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 F
Generously butter a 2-quart Bundt pan.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together.
Put the 15 tablespoons of butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Beat it with the paddle attachment at medium speed until it is creamy and smooth. With the mixer on low, add the sugar in a steady stream. Beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs together with a fork. With the mixer running, dribble the eggs into the butter and sugar.
Add the vanilla to the buttermilk.
Alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the mixer bowl, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.
Stir the sage into the pumpkin purée. Add about 1 cup of the batter to the pumpkin purée and fold the two together. Now fold the pumpkin mixture into the rest of the batter. Fold only 2 or 3 times, leaving swirls of pumpkin in the batter.
Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Place it on the middle shelf of the oven, and bake until the top is brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.
Cool the cake. Unmold it, and place it, right side up, on a serving plate.
Source: A Sweet Quartet: Sugar, Almonds, Eggs, and Butter: A Baker's Tour Including 33 Recipes by Fran Gage