Tag Archives: Chocolate

English Marmalade Chocolate Cake

When I was in Santa Barbara a few weeks ago, I made this lovely chocolate cake filled with orange marmalade as a special treat. It’s not quite as dense as a Sacher torte, but rather has a nice, fluffy crumb and a deep chocolate flavor. Super easy to make.

Adapted from Enlightened Chocolate by Camilla V. Saulsbury

English Marmalade Chocolate Cake

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

8 oz of canned pumpkin, butternut squash or prune puree

3 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 Tbsp grated orange rind

2 eggs

1 oz finely chopped unsweetened baking chocolate

1/2 cup jarred orange marmalade


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine flours, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a medium bowl whisk together buttermilk, canned pumpkin, water, vanilla, orange zest, and eggs until well-blended. Using an electric mixer set on low, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

4. Place the unsweetened chocolate in a small cup and microwave 45 seconds. Stir until melted and smooth and add to the batter. Beat the batter until blended and smooth.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. When cool, invert the cake onto a cake platter or plate and slice in half horizontally. Spread orange marmalade on bottom layer. Replace top. Feel free to frost with your favorite chocolate frosting!

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Posted by on February 10, 2009 in Chocolate, Cupcakes and Cakes


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A Twist on Holiday Cookies: Mexican Chocolate Cookies

Let’s face it: everyone is sick of sugar cookies. Yeah, they’re beautiful, but by the time the 10th coworker brings some into your office, you can take it no more. Please, you beg, bake something else.

So here you go. This is a recipe from Enlightened Chocolate by Camilla Saulsbury, quite possibly my favorite dessert book ever (and a wonderful gift from a fabulous friend in Baltimore, may I add). These cookies are a little spicy, a little cinnamon-y and utterly delicious. Bake a bunch for yourself, or be a good person and bring them to the office. Everyone will thank you profusely.

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

pinch of salt

5 Tbsp butter

7 Tbsp unsweetened cococa powder (not Dutch-process)

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/3 cup plain low-fat or Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Mix the flours, spices and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Cream the butter and sugars together. Add the vanilla extract and yogurt.

3. Mix the sugar-butter mixture and flour mixtures until completely combined.

4. Drop by level tablespoons onto the cookie sheets and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until almost set. Cool completely and enjoy!!


Posted by on December 11, 2008 in Chocolate, cookies, Holidays


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Chocolate Blackout Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache

This chocolate cake is dark, luscious — and healthier than your usual egg-and-butter heavy cakes! Get the best cocoa powder you can afford; gourmet cocoa powder can make a huge difference in the quality of your chocolate cake.

We’re making this cake tonight for my sister’s 22nd birthday. Twenty-two may not be the most exciting of birthdays, but it sure deserves a big, rich hunk of chocolate cake.

Chocolate Blackout Cake

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp baking soda

1 Tbsp baking powder

2 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups of egg beaters

1 Tbsp quality vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk (low fat)

1/2 cup butter (1/2 stick)

1 cup pear butter (feel free to substitute apple or pumpkin butter here)

1 cup strong coffee (I used French press coffee for the darkest, richest flavor)

1/2 cup raspberry jam


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F) and spray cooking oil on 2 10-inch round cake pans.

2. Sift the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in a medium bowl.

3. In another bowl (or in the bowl of a stand-mixer), cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and coffee until completely mixed.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until well-combined.

5. Pour into the cake pans and bake 45-50 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

6. Let the cakes cool completely. Slice off the top of one of the cakes so that it is completely level.

7. Spread the raspberry jam on top of the leveled cake. Top with the second cake.

8. Pour the chocolate ganache over and serve! (Recipe for ganache below):

Milk Chocolate Ganache

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

4 oz. regular chocolate chips (again, try to get the best quality)

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

8 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

2/3 cup confectioner’s or baker’s sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Melt the butter and chocolate over a double boiler.

2. Pour into a medium-sized bowl when melted and add the whipping cream and vanilla. Beat (with a hand-mixer or in a stand-mixer) until completely combined and slowly add the sugar until you’ve reached your desired amount of sweetness. Mix in the vanilla. Whip until fluffy.

3. Spread on top of the chocolate cake.

If not eating the cake right away, refrigerate.

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Posted by on November 25, 2008 in Cupcakes and Cakes


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Chocolate Banana Lunchbox Cake

Moist, chocolatey and crumbly, this is one of my favorite cakes. Unlike most cakes, which call for half a cup or more of butter, this one relies on vegetable oil alone. As a result, it’s not going to be quite like the rich cakes featured in fancy bakeries, but for an afternoon snack or a late dinner munch, it works just perfectly.

Chocolate Banana Lunchbox Cake

1 cup cake flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 very ripe bananas, mashed

3/4 cup buttermilk

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 honey or agave syrup

3 Tbsp. canola oil

1 egg + 1 egg white

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Combine the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg and egg white and add the mashed banana. Add the buttermilk, brown sugar, honey, vegetable oil and vanilla extract and whisk until well combined.

4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold until just combined. Do not overmix! Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into the bundt pan.

5. Bake about 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean.

6. Let cool and then turn the cake out onto a plate. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve!


Posted by on June 2, 2008 in Cupcakes and Cakes


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You put WHAT in Chocolate?

I love lavender. Fragrant, reminiscent of a summer day in Provence, earthy.

I love chocolate. Luscious, creamy, sinful, dark. Need I say more?

One would think that a combination of the two would be delicious, no? Apparently a chocolate manufacturer (New Tree) thought so and created the “Tranquility” bar, “a milk chocolate containing an extract of lime blossoms, in addition to lavender.”

So I tried it. Lime blossoms? Lavender? In chocolate? BLEH!

Now that fine chocolates with exotic ingredients are becoming a la mode, there are myriad pairings out there. Chocolate with sea salt, chocolate with hot peppers, chocolate with curry.

Beware, my friends, beware the weird combinations. As the lavender-chocolate melted in my mouth, a memory of a soap bath came to mind. The chocolate flavor was completely lost in my mouth as I navigated the bath-and-body-works-like flavor and I was tempted to spit the nasty chocolate concoction right out. Never, ever again! BLEH!

There are some companies that have the whole chocolate fusion thing worked out, among them Vosges, one of my all-time favorite chocolate manufacturers. Based in Chicago, this boutique chocolate maker has such delicious delights as:

I can’t say I love their olive-chocolate bar and I haven’t tried the bacon-chocolate bar… I just believe some ingredients just don’t belong together. I, for instance, am not a fan of mint and chocolate and I know there are die-hard mint-chocolate-chip ice cream fans out there. So who knows! One chocolate lover’s trash may be another chocolate lover’s treasure!


Posted by on May 7, 2008 in Chocolate


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