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!

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 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!


Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache

For my 23rd birthday I wanted to make cupcakes! I had never made cupcakes before so for this special occassion it was on! Cupcakes are so perfect for a party because they are easy to eat and they do not require plates, forks, ect… So now for parties Im definately going cupcakes!

Ingredients

3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

4 Tablespoons melted butter

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup buttermilk

3 Tablespoons fresh espresso

Chooclate Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped

pinch of sea salt

Directions

1. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cocoa powder and sugar. Whisk till blended well.

2. In another medium bowl combine the melted butter, eggs, vanilla, espresso and buttermilk. Whisk till the mixture is blended.

3. Combine the wet to the dry ingredients and fold together. Do not over mix.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15 minutes until a toothpick insert comes out clean.

To make the Ganache…

In a double boiler heat the cream, add the chocolate and sea salt, stir until the chocolate melts. Set aside and cool until you are ready to dunk your cupcakes!!

To finish.. dunk your cakes and decorate with chocolate curls.

Happy Birthday!

Dark Chocolate Pots De Creme with Homemade Whipped Cream

This wonderfully silky, cream custard dessert are bursting with rich dark chocolate flavor. The French,Pots De Creme translates to, “Pot of Cream.” This is an elegant and fairly easy dessert for dinner parties. Each guest has their own served in little cups or dishes. This dessert is perfect for the end of any dinner. Its like eating a dark chocolate truffle only in a dish!

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, spilt and scraped

4 ounces 72% dark chocolate, finely chopped

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

pinch of  Murray River Salt or sea salt

Whipped Cream

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons sugar

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place 4-ounce ramekins or pots with lids in a baking pan.

2. Combine the milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Cover with plastic and let steep for 15 minutes. Stir the mixture until the chocolate has melted and is evenly mixed into the cream.

3. Beat together the eggs, egg yolks, and salt in a medium bowl. Return the milk mixture to the heat and bring back to a simmer. Remove from heat, and making sure the mixture is not boiling, whisk 1/2 cup of the mixture into the eggs. Whisk the egg mixture back into the pot, adding every last bit with your rubber spatula. Whisk well, the strain through a fine strainer into a bowl.

4. Fill each ramekin or pot just below the rim with the mixture. Fill the baking pan with enough hot water to measure two-thirds of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the little cups with their lids, (If they do not have lids, then cover with aluminum foil.)

5. Bake for 45 minutes, until the custards are just set. They should jiggle slightly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. They will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

6. To make the whipped cream, combine the cream and the sugar in a bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.

::(Thank you to “New Classic Family Dinners” By: Mark Peel)::

Fried Donut Holes with Cinnamon and Powdered Sugar

Donuts… I LOVE them! Crispy, dense, oily goodness is the kind that I crave, and who knew donuts were so simple to make? I was inspired to make these beautiful little babies because of my love or my obsession with the donuts from CAFE BINK in Carefree Arizona. Their donuts are so good that I have almost a daily craving for them. Therefore to satisfy my craving I had to create my own…

Ingredients

2 cups Whole Wheat Four

1/2 cup Sugar

1 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1/4-1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Butter

1/2 cup Half and Half

1 Egg

Grape seed Oil

Directions

In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon then whisk together. To the flour mixture add in the oil or butter, half and half and beaten egg. Stir together till well combined. Form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to fry.

Prepare to fry, roll out the dough into about a half inch thickness and cut out ‘holes’ with a round cutter, then set aside.

To fry, heat Grape Seed Oil in a deep pot until temperature reaches about 365 degrees F. Set the holes, only a few at a time into the oil and fry about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Take out the holes and drain on a wire rack or a paper towel.

Garnish with powdered sugar

Yum