Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with a Vanilla Bean Chocolate Ganache

Guinness is one of my FAVORITE beers. So I couldn’t wait to pair it with chocolate in this exotic cupcake! The Guinness hits your palate subtly but lingers in your mouth like a taste of wine. Its deep coffee-cocoa flavor is a perfect match with the chocolate and vanilla bean ganache. So if you enjoy a good brew you will LOVE these little cakes!!

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Organic Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 Cup Organic Sugar

1 Cup Organic AP Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt

6oz (half a bottle) Guinness Stout

1/2 stick Organic Butter, unsalted and melted

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Beans

1 Large Organic Egg

1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Organic Sour Cream

Ganache

4oz Dark Chocolate, Valhorna 70%

4oz Organic Heavy Cream

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Beans

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, vanilla beans, flour, baking soda and salt.

In another medium bowl, combine the Guinness and melted butter. Beat in the egg. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Dived the batter equally between 12 lined muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pan. Bake another 12 minutes until risen and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on a rack or in the muffin tin.

To make the Ganache

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and cream together. Once melted, stir in the vanilla beans. Set aside to cool. Once cooled at room temperature, dip the cupcakes into the ganache and sprinkle with cocoa powder to finish!

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Chocolate Cupcakes with an Organic Strawberry White Chocolate Ganache

Spring time means Strawberries are in season! And what better way to enjoy them, then pairing it was chocolate and making CUPCAKES!!

I adpated the chocolate cake recipe from good ol Martha Stewart’s Devil’s Food Cupcake.

But the Strawberry White Chocolate Ganache I made myself..

Ingredients

1 Cup Pureed Organic Strawberries

6oz White Chocolate

3-4 Tablespoons Butter

Directions

In a double broiler, melt the white chocolate and butter. Then set aside to cool. Mix the puree with the chocolate and refrigerate until you are ready to top your cooled cupcakes!!

Beautiful and Delicious!

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Caramel, Chocolate and Salted Almond Tart

I got inspired for this recipe when I was looking through “The Art and Soul of Baking,” by Cindy Mushet. I came across this insanely gorgeous “Baci Tart with Frangelico Cream” which, the photo itself is stunning and the ingredients were delectable. So I had to take on this recipe… with a few changes I came up with this decadent Chocolate, Caramel and Salted Almond Tart.

Ingredients

Chocolate Dough Recipe

1/2 Cup Organic Heavy Cream

1/2 Stick Organic Butter

1/4 Cup Water

2 Tablespoons Almond Flavored Syrup or 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract

1 Cup Salted Almonds, chopped

2 ounces Dark Chocolate, chopped

Coarse Sea Salt for garnish

Chocolate Dough Recipe Ingredients

1 stick Organic Butter

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Egg Yolk

1 Cup Organic AP Flour

2 1/2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Valhorna is what I use)

Directions:

1: Cream together the butter and sugar. Then add the egg yolk and beat well.

2: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder. Add to the butter mixture all at once. Blend just until the dough comes together.

3: Scrape the dough in a tart pan. Use the heel of your hand to press the dough into an even layer across the bottom and up the side of the pan. Press from the center of the pan outward, building up some extra dough where the bottom meets the side. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use

1: BAKE THE SHELL– (You can use a tart pan or 6 small tart pans)Preheat the oven to 35o degrees F. Bake the tart shell(s) for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack while you prepare the filling. You may leave the oven on.

2: MAKE THE FILLING– Combine the cream, butter and chocolate in small saucepan and heat just until the cream begins to simmer and the butter and chocolate is fully melted. Remove from heat and let the mixture sit while you make the caramel.

3: Combine the water and syrup in a medium saucepan. Sprinkle the sugar and almond syrup over the top. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a heatproof silicone spatula, until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear. Turn the heat to high and boil rapidly, swilring the pan occcasionally (do not stir) to cook the sugar evenly, until it turns a golden honey color. Then remove from the heat and immediately add the warm cream and butter mixture. Be careful!

4: Stir with a spatula to blend the caramel and cream. If there are any bits of hardened caramel, put the pan over the lowest possible heat and stir gently until the caramel melts. Add the almonds to the caramel and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel turns a light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately pour the filling into the cooled tart shells.

5: Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Then sprinkle with the coarse sea salt for garnish.

… and oh my goodness!

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

One of my favorite treats ever… Chocolate Chip Shortbread. In this new recipe I used semolina flour instead of arrowroot starch and it creates the perfect texture. Just wait.. you’ll see what I mean!

Ingredients

6oz Organic Salted Butter

2 Cups Organic AP Flour

1/3 Cup Semolina Flour

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt

1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Organic Sugar

1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Beans or Vanilla Extract

1/4 cup 60% Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cake or tart pan with parchment and butter the bottom. Combine the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together, then add the vanilla. Mix well. In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and whisk together. Combine the dry ingredients with the butter mixture and press in the bottom of the prepared pan. Press the chocolate chips on the top on the shortbread. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Just remember… There are nutrients in butter, so there should be NO guilt here 😉

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

 

These are the absolute most incredible cupcakes I have ever tasted! If you LOVE cookie dough you will go crazy over these little cakes. I will admit this is not my recipe.. I followed this Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake recipe. The only thing I changed was the ingredients I used were organic and I used less frosting.

Look at the cookie dough goodness inside…

Seriously, find ANY excuse to make this recipe. You will be so glad you did!


True Food Kitchen in Scottsdale Arizona

I finally went to the restaurant “True Food Kitchen,” in Scottsdale. Everyone told me that I would absolutely LOVE this restaurant because of the quality of food and philosophy behind True Food. Everything on the menu is healthy, local and they use the best ingredients. It is vegetarian friendly as well as gluten free. I had to take photos of everything I ate because the dishes were just so beautiful…

The delicious drink above is the

“Green Arnie” Macha Green Tea and Honey Lemonade

Wild Mushroom Pizza with Garlic and Tuscan Kale

Banana and Chocolate Tart with Mesquite Flour Crust and Brazil Nut

These are dishes you feel so good after eating… Just what I like!

Cheesecake Bites with a Shortbread Crust

These little Cheesecake bites are so delicious and surprisingly very healthy!

Ingredients

1 cup Shortbread cookie crumbs

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup honey

2 eggs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 35o degrees F.

Using a muffin pan line each sections with parchment paper or cupcake liners. In a small bowl combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Place 2-3 Tablespoons of the mixture into the bottom of the liners and set aside. In another bowl combine all remaining ingredients and whisk together. Put about 1/4 cup of the wet mixture on top of the crumb combination. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to completely cool in the fridge for at least 45 minutes.

These tasty treats will satisfy your body and soul!

“The Country Club” Organic Doggie Treats

Here is another fun and tasty that your pup is sure to love!

“The Country Club”

Be sure to also try the “Mambo Italiano” biscuits too!!

Ingredients

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used organic cottage cheese)

1/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened)

1/4 cup rolled oats (old-fashion)

2-3 slices cooked bacon (uncured nitrate free)

1 egg

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook bacon then finely chop.

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly until a dough forms. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured (brown rice) surface to 1/4″ thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Treats can be places close together as they don’t spread while cooking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Then I turn off my oven and leave the treats in. I find they get the best crunch that way. If you dont want them really crunchy, take them out after they become golden. Let cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

They will be so happy when they receive “The Country Club.”

By the way… You can eat these too! Literally they are the perfect snack 🙂

Arugula, Apple and Date Salad with Pistachios

This salad is one that I make at least 3 times a week. I just love the combination of spicy Arugula, sweet Dates, crunchy Apples and salty Pistachios. A dish this easy to make, its the perfect light dinner or appetizer for any night of the week.

*Ingredients

*Amount depends how many your are serving, so with this recipe figure the amount that suites you.

Arugula (about 1 cup per person)

Dates, sliced

Apple, sliced into strips

Pistachios, chopped

Feta Cheese, optional

Vinaigrette (recipe below)

 

Homemade Vinaigrette

1/4 cup Walnut or Olive Oil

3-4 Tablespoons Sherry, Red or Balsamic Vinager

2 teaspoons Whole Grain Mustard

1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/4 teaspoon Pepper

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with lid and shake shake shake! This recipe makes many servings, so keep it in the fridge for quick and easy dressing to any salad you make.

ENJOY!

Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Cookies

Almond Paste-Butter-Dark Chocolate… These cookies are sinfully AMAZING!

Ingredients

1 Cup All Purpose Flour

1/4 Cup Almond Flour

1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Butter, Softened

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 oz Almond Paste

3oz Dark Chocolate, Chopped

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the egg, vanilla and mix. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients and chocolate chunks. Drop a spoonful of dough on a cookie sheet with parchment. Chop the almond paste into small chunks and place on top of the cookies. (I did it this way so you have different textures to bite into, but you may add it with the chocolate chunks if you prefer.)

Bake 12-14 minutes and cool on a wire rack.