Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cake

Yesterday, the Smith clan decided to celebrate the birthday of Grandpa and Uncle Elliot in one big shin-dig.There was food.There were festivities. Oh and there was wine. Lots and lots and lots of wine.

In celebrating a total combination of 138 years, I figured we needed one hell of a cake!

I happened across a few recipes and decided to whip up something ingenious. Something wintery and minty while not leaving the mouth with that gross toothpaste aftertaste (if you’ve ever had a bad Thin Mint, you know this all too well). Thus, I settled on a Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cake to wow the holiday tastebuds. While a bit lopsided, the resulting creation was perfection.

While it may take a bit of time to make, you won’t regret crafting this cake!

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cake

inspired by this recipe! 

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk (can be soy, lactose-free, etc.)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  •  4 cups powdered  sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • pinch of salt
  • dark chocolate for garnish

Directions

Dark Chocolate Cake: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and prepare two 9-inch cake pans.
  2. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly to combine.
  3. Next, in a separate bowl, combine milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter but be sure not to over mix .
  4. Distribute cake batter between the two pans. Bake for about 30 minute or until a toothpick  inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan to cool completely before frosting.

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting:

  1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on a medium setting until it is smooth and lightened in color, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add  sugar, ½ a cup at a time. After each cup has been incorporated, turn the mixer onto the highest speed setting and mix for about 10 seconds
  3. After all the sugar has been incorporated, add peppermint extract, salt and mix until well-incorporated.
  4. Frost cake. When finished, grate dark chocolate over the top and serve!
Advertisements

Coconut Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Kalua Glaze

Well, it’s rained about 40 days and nights here in Lausanne and things are looking a bit dreary. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love a good excuse to be all pensive, turning on the big blonde brain machine, staying indoors whist sipping a cup of tea, good book in hand while contemplating my existence. Let’s be honest though even that gets tiring after a while (am I even real? what does the word “banana” even mean?  why do we call them “toucans” and not rainbow-beaked birds?!)

To liven spirits here and elsewhere, here’s a recipe sure to find a special place in your heart, belly AND transport you to a land of tropical paradise (personally, my idea of a paradise is a land where 5’2 is a perfectly tall height and breakfast is served 24/7 but let’s not get crazy here)

photo-18

Last week, my pal David celebrated his 21st birthday and I made this cool cake, inspired by David’s love of yogurt. Absolutely loves it. I swear that kid will live to be 312 with all those probiotics floating around.

So without further ado, I present to you the aaaaaaaamazing Coconut Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Kalua Glaze

photo-19

Coconut Chocolate Chip Pound Cake with Kalua Glaze

Serves 8-10 people

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups white wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup coconut yogurt
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

For the glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons Kalua
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons milk

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a loaf pan.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, and oil.
  3. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the chocolate chips into the batter.
  4.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  5. While waiting for the cake to bake, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Next, add Kalua and milk in small increments, stirring until mixed together thoroughly.
  6. When the cake finishes, remove it from the oven and set on a cooling rack. Using a fork or toothpick, poke small holes over the top of the cake and drizzle with the frosting. Serve with lots of love!

Pistachio & Dark Chocolate Biscot-tea party!

Hello lovlies! I hope all is well!

I’ve reached the official ONE WEEK countdown until I return en Suisse and I couldn’t be more excited for round 2! Mostly because I’m dying for the heavently chocolate aisle in Migros and red wine cheaper than water but also for the Alps and the whole “speaking French” thing 🙂

Anyhoo, in honor of Downtown Abbey being on TV in the States (I found Season 3 a few months ago on my secret TV website but I didn’t want to break that to my mom, she was so excited, so I waited to watch it ’till I came home for Christmasssssssss) and that my mom finally obtained my great grandmother’s favorite china pattern, we decided to have a little tea party. It. Was. AWESOME. And of course, any Smith Family Tea Party wouldn’t be complete without some homemade pistachio & dark chocolate  biscotti!

Pistachio & Dark Chocolate Biscotti

Inspired by Janet & Greta Podleski 

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat bran or oat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine flour, oat bran/flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat together the sugars and butter on medium speed in a large bowl. Add eggs and egg white, lemon juice and vanilla, beating until well blended.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, add flour mixture to sugar mixture and stir just until blended. Add pistachios and dark chocolate chips
  5. Lightly flour hands and divide dough in half. Shape each half into an 8 x 3 x 3/4 inch loaf and place on a prepared cookie sheet.
  6. Bake on middle oven rack for 20 minutes. Remove loaves from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 275 F.
  7. Transfer loaves to a cutting board and cut each loaf on a diagonal with a very sharp knife (you should end up with 8-9 slices)
  8. Place slices back on cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes on one side, then flip them over and bake for 8 more minutes. When finished, allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.

Banana Lover’s Chocolate Chip Muffins

Happy Banana Lovers Day!

(It’s for real! Click here for a list of other foodie holidays)

While this might not be as legit as Valentine’s Day or St. Patty’s, it’s pretty important right?!?!

To celebrate that and, well, the first day of school for my fellow Aggies, I whipped up a batch of Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins to satisfy my family’s sweet tooth…and banana tooth (we probably go through a pound of ‘nanners a week).

But let’s get real. Any reason is good enough to bake a batch.

The best part? You can add these muffins to your “healthy recipe list”. With about 100 calories and only 2 grams of fat in each, they’re are a great way to stay full on-the-go without sacrificing that bodacious summer bod you worked so hard for these past months 😉 .

Also a prettttttty great addition to any afternoon, enjoy one or two accompanied by some (ahem STRONGLY CAFFEINATED) tea or coffee…. and  if that doesn’t work, maybe a nap instead. It’s all heavenly. 

So what are you waiting for? Go celebrate National Banana Lovers’ Day the RIGHT way 😀

(bowl of chocolate chips optional…. but totally encouraged)

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Servings : 12

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Sift together flour, soda and salt. Set aside
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, butter, yogurt, sugar and milk. Add bananas
  4. Fold banana mixture into flour mixture. Add chocolate chips just until combined.
  5. Fill a greased muffin tin 3/4 of the way with batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes until lightly brown
  6. Serve warm with lots of love!