Abuelita’s Hot Chocolate Cookies

Few things are better in life than chocolate. When I am sad, Chocolate makes it better. When it’s my birthday, I want a chocolate cake! When I’m in the mood to eat candy, I will only want dark chocolate. Chocolate is my go to!! I have made so many different variations of cookies and if you’d ask me what my favorite cookie of all time might be, I’d say probably chocolate chip lol. Chocolate is reliable. It’s never bad! Never, ever!!

Today’s cookies are pure chocolatey goodness. I ate two, but wanted so many more than that. At first bite they give you a crunchy outside and as you eat more, you get a warm, gooey, beautiful, fudgey- chocolate on the inside. Heaven!!

I dream about these kinds of cookies. I made them at my moms house tonight and left them behind because I knew if they were in my home tomorrow, I’d probably eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sigh….

A few notes to consider if you decide to follow my recipe. The batter is similar to chocolate brownies, in that it is a very runny batter. Do not make these cookies if you are in a hurry because they will need to set in the freezer for at least an hour before they head into your oven to bake.

I melted my dark chocolate down with butter in a double broiler, I didn’t use any cocoa powder. That makes for a better chocolatey taste and texture, in my opinion!

Please make sure that your eggs are room temperature before working on this. It allows the eggs to evenly disperse into the batter and will give you a more light and airy texture of a cookie.

The consistency of the batter once all is combined, is too runny to be able to scoop. I suggest freezing in a shallow dish, for about an hour or so. Basically, the batter just needs to thicken up so that it can be scoopable and formed into a ball. The end result of this recipe, I am very pleased with! I hope you enjoy them as much as I have! Thank you for reading.

Ingredients:

- 10 ounces dark semi sweet chocolate chips 
- 2 tablets of Abuelita's hot chocolate (6 ounces) 
- half stick of unsalted butter 
- 4 eggs at room temperature 
- 1 1/2 cup of sugar 
- 1 1/2 tsp Mexican vanilla 
- 1/2 tsp salt 
- 1/2 cup flour 
- 1/2 tsp baking powder

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a double broiler, combine your butter, the dark chocolate chips and the abuelitas tablets over a simmering boil. Stir the chocolate with the butter until it has melted then remove off heat and set aside.

In a medium to large bowl, add the room temperature eggs and sugar together. Beat with a mixture for about 5 minutes or until the eggs and sugar are creamy and well combined.

In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Quickly mix together then set aside.

Take the bowl of the chocolate and begin folding it into the eggs and sugar with a spatula. Continue folding and incorporating until the mixture is completely Brown in color and you can no longer see the yellow.

Next, fold in your flour mixture. Keep folding until all the flour has disappeared and you are left with a soft light chocolate batter. Now pour your chocolate into a shallow dish, cover it, then allow to set in the freezer for at least one hour.

After the chocolate has set, scoop 2tbs worth of dough and form into ball shapes. Set on baking sheets two inches apart and bake anywhere between 12-15 minutes or until the outer edges are hardened and the tops of the cookies have cracked.

Allow to completely cool on cooling racks. Pour yourself a glass of milk and enjoy!!

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Blueberry Oatmeal Bake

A recipe for my fellow oatmeal lovers out there! I really enjoy eating oatmeal for breakfast, but I REALLY REALLY love baked oatmeal. It’s warm and delicious & not too sweet (until I covered it with maple syrup) it was sugar- free syrup though, so I don’t feel too bad.

This bake is somewhere between breakfast and dessert, although it could be eaten for both… or throughout the day. I’ve seriously eaten oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t feel bad after eating it!

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Also, Oatmeal is super amazing for increasing milk supply for nursing mamas. So this past year, I really upped my oatmeal intake for that reason, but it wasn’t hard to do at all because I love it.

My son and I also love eating blueberries! I try incorporating them into our food as often as I can. The blueberries I got from HEB this week were so sweet and delicious. They are also packed with antioxidants, which is such a bonus!!

The toasted maple almonds on top of the bake provide a nice crunchy texture. You really have it all In this recipe. Warm soft oatmeal, sweet pops of berries and crunchy almonds on top. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Ingredients:

- 2 cups oats 
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds 
- 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup divided 
- 1 tsp baking powder 
- 1 tsp cinnamon 
- 1/4 tsp salt 
- 1 egg 
- 2 tsp vanilla 
- 1 and 1/2 cup milk 
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 
  2 tbs maple syrup divided

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and liberally butter the inside of an 8x8x2 baking dish.

In a saucepan over low to medium heat, begin toasting the almonds, stirring often. Once they have been toasted for a minute or two, sprinkle in 1/4 cup of brown sugar and immediately move off of the heat. Stir the sugar into the almonds, the almonds should be warm enough that the sugar slowly melts and begins to adhere to them. Add in 2 tbs of maple syrup to the almonds, stir to incorporate, then set aside.

In a medium bowl, add your dry ingredients (oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar)

In a large bowl add the wet ingredients (milk, egg, vanilla and 1/4 cup of maple syrup) quickly stir to beat the egg into the milk. Now add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold in the blueberries into the mixture. Carefully pour the mixture into your buttered pan and sprinkle the toasted almonds over it. Stick into the oven anywhere between 30- 60 minutes. Until milk has thoroughly evaporated. Let the dish sit for 20-40 minutes so that the oats can be cut into squares for serving.

Thank you for reading!

Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

Today was such a good day! We spent the morning and afternoon shopping for goodies for our kitchen! I went to Williams Sonoma and got new wooden spoons, some measuring cups, a new cooling rack and a zester. I seem to have lost my last zester from our last move. Yay for no longer having to use a cheese grater for zesting lemons!

Then I went to Sur La Table and got a couple serving platters! I just love getting new things for our kitchen. Luke and I are eventually planning to build our next home ( in the next year or two) and I have some BIG ideas for our future kitchen, I can hardly wait.

Anyway, so a few days ago we had gone to a night time farmers market at the Pearl in San Antonio. I had gotten some carrots, green onions and some other fresh vegetables. So I needed to cook them today because I was scared they would go bad soon.

 

 

I love roasting chicken with carrots/vegetables, especially when cooked in the same pan. It allows all the yummy juices from the chicken to sink into the vegetables and the flavor is so good!!

 

 

You can roast just about any vegetable combo with your chicken but I find that onions, carrots and potatoes are just the best. That’s how my mom use to bake her chicken and that’s how I like to do it too now! Plus, my picky eater of a son is into carrots and potatoes. So it’s a win-win for us.

Below, I will be sharing my usual method for roasting chicken, it makes for a tender juicy inside with a crispy skin! Crispy chicken skin is my favorite part of roasting a chicken! I hope you enjoy.

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Ingredients:

- 1 whole chicken
- 1 small orange
- 2 tsp paprika
- salt/ pepper to taste (enough to coat 
  entire chicken)
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 tbs room-temp butter
- 5-7 large carrots
- 2 large green onions
- 2 tbs chopped green onion 
  reserved for garnish
- 1 lb assorted small potatoes or red potatoes
- additional salt / pepper for vegetables to taste

Instructions

Set your oven to 400 degrees. Clean out the cavity of the chicken and rinse the entire skin well with cold water. Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel and set the chicken in a large roasting pan. Coat the outside and underneath the skin of the chicken with room temperature butter. About 2 tbs on skin and 2 tbs under the skin. Sprinkle the paprika over the top of the chicken as well as the salt and pepper (liberally).  Roughly chop one small orange and insert into the cavity of the chicken also add garlic into the cavity with the orange. Take a piece of cooking string and tie the chicken legs closed together.

Arrange the onions, carrots and potatoes around the chicken in the roasting pan. Coat the vegetables with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle entirely with salt/ pepper and the extra chopped green onions. Make sure to coat the vegetables evenly with The EVOO.

Place the roasting pan in the oven for about an hour and a half. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken. At about the 45 minute mark, open the oven and baste the chicken with the juices that begin to fill the bottom of the pan. Baste the entire chicken a few times with a spoon, then allow to continue cooking. If your chicken has achieved the perfect brown color, but is not done cooking internally, then set the oven down to 350 degrees and cover the pan with foil. If you’re Chicken is cooked internally, (you’ll know if you cut into the chicken between the leg and thigh, and the juices run clear), and the skin is not browned or crispy, set your broiler on for 3-5 minutes or until desired color of skin is achieved.

Let the chicken rest for ten minutes outside of the oven before carving.

Thank you for reading.

Roasted Corn & Black Bean Salsa

Happy weekend everyone!! In our household we love bbq-ing on our Friday’s and inviting the family over to eat with us!

Tonight Luke wanted to grill cornbread stuffed chicken, ribs and sausage. I typically make my famous boracho beans and rice when he grills, but today I wanted something a little more fresh! It was hot today and this side dish just feels like summer time!! Side note, I really need to post my boracho (drunken) beans for y’all. They are a hit and have just about everything in them, but the kitchen sink lol.

I almost got completely full just off of this alone, with tortilla chips. It’s addicting! Sometimes I like to add a jalapeño in this for a little kick, but I knew my mother in law was coming over to join us, and she doesn’t like spicy food, so I left it out this time. But I will add it as an optional ingredient below. Sometimes I’ll add chunks of avocado in it as well.

Lime is a must for this Salsa! Sometimes I’ve eaten this as a “salad” with dressing mixed in, but today I was craving extra freshness so I wanted to go with the corn & bean “Salsa” because it’s loaded with fresh vegetables, a little salt and lime juice and it’s ready to go! I feel like when it’s coated in mayo or a dressing, it loses a bit of its freshness…. and I don’t know, eating the salsa with the lime juice, really wakens everything up. Yum yum!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Tomorrow Luke is going to play golf while GM and I go visit my grandma. She’s recovering from surgery, so we want to go hang out and spend some time with her. Sunday we are going to La Cantera and I told Luke I have to go to Williams Sonoma! Ahhh I’m so excited! I need new measuring spoons, cups and wooden spoons. Who knows what else I’ll “need”. Thanks for reading!

 

Ingredients:

- 4 corn on the cobs
- 2 tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
- 1 lime
- 1 can black beans
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Uncle Chris' Gourmet Seasoning
- salt/ pepper to taste
- 1 jalapeño (optional)
- cotija cheese for garnish

Instructions:

I used a “comal” but any smooth flat griddle will work. Take a little butter and coat the pan, when griddle is hot, place the corn on heat and let it sit for a minute or two, or until some of the kernels begin to blacken. Rotate the corn from side to side so that the entire cob gets cooked. When they are done, set aside so they can cool.

Finely dice the tomatoes, onion and cilantro then add to medium sized bowl. Add in black beans. Check to see if corn is cool enough to handle with your hands. Then take a knife, place the corn standing up on a cutting board, and carefully cut downward so you begin taking off the kernels from the cob. Toss all the corn into the bowl, add seasonings and lime juice. Add cotija cheese over salsa as a garnish. Serve with tortilla chips.

Strawberry & Cream Scones

Okay y’all, let it be known that I absolutely love scones!! I’m so excited to share this post because these little treats are freaking delicious and they don’t really take a lot of effort!

So today my sister in law and my baby nephew were going to come spend the afternoon with GM and I. I told her I was going to bake something for her and asked her if she was a fan of scones! She said she had never had them before. I figured I’d make them anyway and just hope she would like them!!

I’m a big coffee drinker, so eating scones with a cup of coffee makes for the PERFECT breakfast, for me anyway!! They are typically not too sweet, but my SIL is not a coffee drinker, so I decided these would have to be a tad sweeter than normal because she wasn’t going to be enjoying them with a cup of coffee! So I added a sugary glaze over the top of these that did just the trick! OMG y’all, I’m obsessed with this recipe. I want it printed out on my fridge and I want someone to make these for me, fresh every morning.

I still had some leftover strawberries my grandfather had planted and for this recipe, I only used about a cup of fresh berries, which was perfect! When you take a bite of the crumbly bread, you get pops of fresh strawberry and the sweet glazed icing really just tied it all in together for me! Between my SIL, husband, granny and myself, these little babies were knocked out pretty quick. Seriously they are so good!

No lie, it probably took me 10 minutes to prep these! They were in the oven for about 20 minutes or so, so overall almost 30 minutes of time spent. Not bad, not bad! I want to make blueberry ones next, maybe with a lemon sugar glaze? Let me know if that sounds like a good idea.

Don’t be intimidated by making these! I would say its totally level “easy” in the baking department. Any non baker can pull these together!

I hope you enjoy 🙂

 

Ingredients:

For the bread

- 2 1/2 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda 
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter (very cold)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tbs heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup strawberries

For the egg wash

- 1 egg beaten 
- 1 tsp heavy cream

For the glaze

- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- splash of vanilla
- pinch of salt

Instructions:

Bring your oven to 400 degrees. In the time it takes you to do the next steps, take your stick of butter and put it in the freezer to get it really cold. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper then set aside. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine all the wet ingredients. Now it’s time to take the butter out of the freezer and cube into small pieces. Once the butter has been cut, place it into the bowl of dry ingredients and use your fingers to combine it. It will be very crumbly/floury and look like a mess. If it’s messy, don’t panic, you’re doing it right.

Take your bowl of wet ingredients and add into the bowl of dry ingredients/butter. Use fingers to combine the dough together, it should still be lumpy. Take your cut up strawberries and fold into the doughy mixture!

On a clean work surface, cover with a large amount of flour, so you can knead your dough without it sticking. Before kneading, this is what your dough mixture will look like. Reference photo below.

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Now, you will use both of your hands to form the dough into the work surface to incorporate the ingredients and to shape the dough into a circle with about an 8-9 inch diameter. See photo below for reference.

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I continuously added flour as I was shaping my dough, because it was getting a little sticky. If that happens, just toss a little flour over the sticky spots and it will help you form the shape. Once your dough is in a circle, slice in 8 even pieces and place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Take your egg and cream, beat together in a small bowl, and coat a small amount over each pastry. (I used a cooking brush my husband uses to coat BBQ sauce on his food with.) Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until a beautiful golden brown color is on top of the scones.

While the scones cool, in a medium bowl combine the cream, powdered sugar, salt and  vanilla. If the mixture is too runny, add a bit more of sugar, if it is too thick, you can thin it down with more cream. Lightly drizzle the pastries with the glaze. Let stand for a few minutes and they are ready to serve! Thank you for reading!

Chicken Egg Roll in a Bowl

 

Luke always asks me to make him “healthy” prepped meals that he can take to work. He works long hours, so sometimes he will eat more than one meal on a shift, so it’s easy for him to take multiple meals and eat when he can.

Anyway, I’m not a fan of healthy, green, granola lifestyle type of cooking. Give me the butter, fat, cream and sugar! That’s just how I am, but Luke is not! He tries his best to eat right and eat clean. So I try my best to accommodate for him every now and then!

A few months ago, Luke was working in the valley and found a healthy food store that prepped meals. One of the meals was a ground turkey egg roll bowl, he fell in love with it. He came home from that trip and kept asking me to make it for him, so I did.

I’ve made it a few times since, and tweaked the ingredients here and there. I like using ground chicken, but it could be done with just about anything! Hope you enjoy!

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Ingredients:

I - 1 1/2 tbs sesame oil
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 small yellow onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3/4 cup of diced carrots 
- 1/4 cup of diced green onions 
- 2 1/2 tbs soy sauce (or more, taste to your 
  liking)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbs garlic powder 
- Toasted sesame seeds optional 
- Salt and pepper to taste (lots of pepper)
- Sriracha mayo for garnish, optional

Instructions:

Dice the yellow onion, garlic and carrots, set aside. Pour sesame oil into pan over medium high heat and begin cooking the ground chicken. Salt and pepper the chicken lightly. When the chicken seems mostly cooked through, add in the cabbage, yellow onion, garlic and carrots. As they cook down, season with garlic powder and onion powder. Add in soy sauce, taste the mixture and if it needs more soy sauce add a teaspoon more at a time, till you have achieved a taste to your liking.

Remove the pan from heat and throw in diced green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve in bowl and add Sriracha mayo on top if desired. Let cool and it is ready to serve.

My Favorite Deviled Eggs

Easter is one of my favorite holidays because I love spring so much!! Bright flowers and spring colors just make my heart happy. I went to HEB yesterday and got some beautiful sunflowers for my kitchen and some marigolds for my back yard!!

So of course what is Easter Sunday without Deviled eggs!? It’s funny because we celebrated Easter today (Saturday) with Luke’s family and I was planning on baking a pie! I totally lost track of time this morning and had zero time to whip something together so I thought “well you can never have enough Deviled eggs for Easter”- plus they don’t take long to whip together.

As I was placing them in the container I was laughing to myself thinking there was probably going to be a ton of eggs to eat and I was kind of feeling bad that I didn’t take time to make a dessert.

But as luck would have it, when I walked into Luke’s grandma’s house I saw an entire table of desserts! Yummy cookies, mini pies and cakes! Everyone really outdid themselves! So then I started looking around to set my Deviled eggs, by the other Deviled eggs, (I was running a little late when I got there so all the food was set out) but there were none! Turned out my eggs were the only ones that made it to the party whewww lol 😂.

We had such a great time, and my son GM had an absolute blast playing with his cousins on the ranch. He even got to play with a baby goat! I hope everyone has a happy Easter.

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Ingredients:

- 6 eggs 
- 2 1/2 - 3 tbs mayonnaise 
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp sriracha
- salt and pepper to taste
- paprika for garnish
- chives for garnish

Instructions:

Take the eggs and place into a small pot. Cover the eggs in cold water, then set on stove with high heat. Bring pot to a boil. Once the water is boiling, set the pot aside and cover with lid for ten minutes.

Next, take a medium bowl with ice water and place the eggs into the ice bath to prevent the eggs from further cooking. Once cooled, peel the egg shells off. I like to lightly tap the eggs against the counter all around the egg, then I give the eggs a roll to loosen the shells even more before I begin peeling.

Cut the eggs in half and put all of the cooked yolks into a bowl, mix in the mayo, mustard, sriracha, salt and pepper. Place the mixture into a piping bag (or a zip block and cut one of the corners out) and pipe into the egg whites. Sprinkle paprika and fresh chives (or other fresh herbs) and serve!

 

 

Poteet Strawberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Drizzle

I had asked some of my friends on social media the other day what kind of recipes they would like me to share on the blog and cheesecake was one of the few requested! I’m not much of a cheesecake fan myself, and I’ve actually never made one, so I was nervous and excited to try and pull this off.

Also a couple days ago, my aunt had come by with a pint of fresh “Poteet” strawberries that my grandpa had planted. I knew I was going to top them onto the cheesecake. I think I was more excited to eat the strawberries than the cheesecake honestly lol. If you’ve never had Poteet strawberries you are missing out. They are so sweet and juicy!!! In a couple of weeks, the city of Poteet throws a large festival called the Strawberry Festival, and it’s kind of a big deal around here. The food is the best part, you can find strawberry nachos, strawberry funnel cakes, margaritas, ice cream, wine, etc. just to name a few!

They don’t only have strawberry food items though, there’s also a lot of really really really good Mexican food, fried foods, turkey legs… omg I’m getting hungry thinking about it.

So like I said I knew I was going to top the cheesecake with these strawberries, but I didn’t know how. I was torn between making a sauce to go over it, like a classic strawberry cheesecake or by topping the fresh berries over the cake and drizzling chocolate over them. I went ahead and let my friends on Instagram decide. Thank you to everyone who voted and helped me decide which way it was going to go!

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8E94A169-6EF2-4700-A069-D4829D1F085D.jpegFor the crust:

- 1 to 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs 
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
- 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

For the cake:

- 4 eight oz packages of cream cheese (full fat)
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- lemon juice from half of a lemon
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream

For the topping

- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbs heavy cream

Instructions:

Set your oven to 350 degrees then start assembling the pie crust. Take a 9 or 10 inch springform pan and coat the inside with butter. In a food processor, pulse the graham cracker cookies till you make about 1 1/2 cup of crumbs. In a small-medium bowl mix in cookie crumbs with cinnamon. Pour in melted butter and combine with fingers. You should be able to form a soft clump if you squeeze the mixture with your hands. If your crumbs are too crumbly and won’t stick, add tad of water to the mixture until it starts to hold.

Pour the crumb mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Take two fingers and pinch the crumbs down to the bottom of the pan until the crumbs form an even crust. Now take two pieces of foil and cover the bottom of the springform pan forming the foil up around the edges of the bowl, like pictured below, this is because later when we bake the cake, we submerge the pan in a water bath, and the foil is to protect from water seeping into the pan while it cooks. You will need a large baking dish that the springform pan can fit inside.

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Cook the crust in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

While the crust is baking, take a medium size bowl and begin whipping the cream cheese in a mixer. Once the cream cheese is creamy in consistency, add the vanilla and lemon juice.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the cream cheese mixture. Next, add your eggs and egg yolk, one by one making sure that each egg is thoroughly integrated into the cream cheese mixture.

Now take the mixture and pour evenly into the pan. Take your springform pan and set into the baking dish. Next you will take a few cups of boiling water and pour into the large pan, about an inch of the way up to the springform pan. This method somewhat steams the cake while it bakes. Now, carefully place the baking dish into the oven and bake for about an hour (could go up to one half hour depending on your oven). I had to go an extra twenty minutes or so, giving the total baking time about 80 minutes.

You’ll know when the cake is done because the outer 2-3 inches of the cake will puff up and be firm. The inside circle of the cake will slightly wiggle like jello if you gently shake the pan, that is normal.

When your cake is done, turn off the heat and crack open the oven door slightly, and allow the cake to cool up to one hour in the oven.

After one hour, take a slender knife and make sure the outside of the cake isn’t sticking to the pan. That can cause the top layer of the cake to crackle. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Once the cake is completely cool, refrigerate for several hours.

Once cake has chilled in fridge at least 3-4 hours, it is ready to serve.

Before serving, cup up the pint of strawberries into slices. Arrange berries over the top of the cake. In a small microwavable bowl, heat the chocolate chips and cream. Drizzle chocolate all over the top of the berries. Slice your cake and it is ready to serve!

“Mexican Chocolate” Dobos Torte

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Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

This was a fun one to make! It was different, but I enjoyed the process of pulling it all together.

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is my all time favorite chef to watch on television. She’s such a boss lady and I love it. I always see her post pictures of this cake on her social media and knew I’d one day have to make it.

So basically, I learned that this cake is her adaptation of a Dobos Torte. Dobos in Hungarian means “like a drum” but the cake is actually named after Hungarian pastry chef Joseph Dobos.

The concept is that the cake should have hot caramel poured over the top, right off of the stove so that it goops over the cake and hardens as it cools. After the caramel becomes hard, it’s suppose to crackle once you cut Into it! It does get kind of messy!! I had to knock it with the back of my knife to loosen it up before cutting into it.

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Anyway, as I was crafting this recipe together, I thought “what if I put a Mexican chocolate spin on this?!” The idea of that being paired with the hard caramel just sounded like music to my ears! Like I’ve mentioned before I always keep my Mexican vanilla stocked in the pantry, and by incorporating that with some cinnamon, mmmmm it would taste just like abuelitas hot chocolate! Never had that? Click here and thank me later.

My husband Luke said he enjoyed the cake and frosting, but he’d rather have the caramel not be hard. I told him that was the whole concept of this recipe, but he wasn’t really interested, lol. Now that I’ve made this, I feel inspired to make an entirely different Mexican chocolate cake. Possibly with the same frosting but with moist dark chocolate cake? Would anyone be interested in that? Hmmm, maybe I could do that and possibly have it served with a soft caramel vs. the hard crackly kind. Let me know if that sounds good!!

I ended up burning myself while tempering with the hot caramel. Please be careful if you make caramel. The sugar has to get very very hot to melt down and to become amber in color. After my sugar was dark in color, I let it rest for a few minutes, then I poured it into a bowl to cool more. I let it rest for a couple more minutes, and it was still scorching hot when I touched it!! Ugh, I burned my left pointer finger and my lip lol. 😭

So there you have it. Here is my “Mexican chocolate” version of the Dobos Torte. Hope you enjoy

Also, stay tuned for another dessert entry tomorrow. My aunt came by with some home grown “Poteet” strawberries that my grandfather planted. I can’t wait to use them!!

Ingredients:

For the cake

- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 2 cups of sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2 tsp Mexican vanilla 
- 2 tsp cinnamon

 

For the frosting:

- 12 ounces semi sweet chocolate
- 2 tbs heavy whipping cream
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 Mexican Vanilla

For the caramel topping:

- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp light corn syrup

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9 inch cake pans, then lightly dust with flour. To prepare the cake batter, sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon in one medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, begin beating the butter until creamy with mixer. Then add the sugar and continue mixing until fluffy. Next, add in the eggs slowly as you continue mixing. Then you will add the vanilla into the batter. Take the flour mixture from the separate bowl and slowly blend the dry into the wet ingredients. Careful not to over mix.

Take 1 1/2 cup of batter into each of the cake pans. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick is inserted into the center that comes out clean. Anywhere between 15-25 minutes. Remove from the oven when they are done and set on baking rack to cool. Once cooled, flip cakes over onto parchment paper. Clean off the pans, re-grease and flour them, then pour the remaining batter evenly into the pans. You can use this method to achieve having four layers, or you can carefully slice your two large cakes in half horizontally. I lost my knife that allows me to be able to do that, so I had to bake my four layers separately in my two baking pans, lol.

Clean the paddles for your mixer as you will need to use them for your chocolate frosting.

For the frosting, in a medium bowl, add the chocolate with heavy cream and simmer over a double broiler. (this is when you use a pot filled 1/4 of the way up with water and boil over medium high heat, then you set your bowl over the pot and allow the contents to cook slowly without having them submerged into the water or in the pan.) When your water is rapidly boiling, you may want to reduce heat down some, place the bowl over the pot and stir your chocolate around until it melts. When the chocolate is melted, set aside and allow to completely cool.

Take the cooled chocolate and cream in the 2 sticks of butter with mixer. Once well combined, add in the 2 cups of confectioners sugar 1/2 of a cup at a time. Then finally add cinnamon and vanilla.

Time to stack your cakes. Begin by placing first layer on your cake stand. Add about 1/2 cup of frosting to the top of layer and spread evenly over, continue by adding the second layer of cake to the top of the chocolate and repeat method of adding another 1/2 cup of frosting to the top, spreading around evenly. Continue till the last layer of cake is added. Frost the top of the cake and all around the sides.

To make the caramel, heat the sugar with the corn syrup in a large pan over low heat. Allow the sugar to melt down, stirring often so it doesn’t stick and burn. Whisk around the entire pan making sure the sugar is cooking evenly throughout. Continue to cook the sugar until smooth and it has turned to the brown caramel color.

Take the skillet and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. I poured my caramel into a second bowl, and it didn’t really help the cooling process and just made me have another dish to wash. So i’d suggest pouring the caramel onto the cake straight from the skillet. Allow to goop over the tops and side of cake. Try to make the caramel a thin layer all over.

If the caramel becomes cool or hard, warm it gently over low heat to loosen it again. Let the caramel cool and completely harden on top of the cake before serving.

Thank you for reading!!

 

 

Spicy Pork Meatballs with Spaghetti

All the time I ask my husband what his favorite dish that I make is. He always says “everything” and then I demand that he be more specific, to which he replies “probably your spaghetti”.

Honestly, that is so weird to me because I feel like I have made some pretty darn good meals for us, so how could my spaghetti be the first to top that list??

I started thinking about it, and I realized, that it is pretty good lol. I guess I kind of had this stigma against spaghetti growing up because it was such a repeat meal in our household. Mostly because, you can throw a basic spaghetti together super quickly and kids usually like it, so I get it. But, I was burnt out from it.

I guess subconsciously I started making spaghetti to be a little more interesting and I didn’t really take the time to start disassociating the stigma against it, in my mind.

But I have now, and I’m happy to share some tips with you about it. Truth be told, I make adjustments all the time to my spaghetti, but I tried marking down my favorite things about it and told my self to start being consistent with making it the way I did tonight. Here is what I have come up with! I hope you enjoy 🙂

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This cute serving platter you can find here

Ingredients:

- 1 lb. Spicy Italian Pork Sausage- remove 
  casing. 
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1-2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion 
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 TBS tomato paste
- 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes or about a 
  dozen fresh tomatoes diced (you can do 
  a combination 1/2 fresh & 1/2 can)
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 TBS brown sugar
- 1 TBS fresh basil 
- 2 TBS fresh parsley 
- 12-14 ounces of thin spaghetti noodles 
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese for topping

Instructions:

First begin by constructing your meatballs. I ALWAYS use this sausage for my spaghetti. You could use any Italian ground pork (spicy or non spicy), but the HEB Hot Italian Link Sausage is my favorite.

Remove sausage from the casing and set into a medium sized bowl. Add in garlic powder, onion powder and only 1/2 tablespoon of fresh parsley finely chopped. Start mixing the meat with the spices and begin to form meatballs using your hands. Grab enough to form a meatball about the size of a golfball.

Heat olive oil in pan over medium- high heat. Begin browning all the meatballs in the pan, turning them over from side to side. Once the meatballs are browned, add in chopped onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Next, add in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water and set the temperature down to a low simmering heat. Add in the brown sugar, 1 table spoon of the fresh basil, and the remaining 1 1/2 of fresh parsley. If you want additional spice in the sauce go ahead and add the red pepper flakes at this point. The longer you let the sauce cook down, the more flavorful it will be. Also, the more tender your meatballs will be.

I usually at least let it cook down for an hour. Always keep an eye on your sauce, if you let it simmer for a long period of time. You want to watch that it doesn’t dry out and start to burn, if it does begin to thicken and dry out, add another 1/2 – 1 cup of water.

Once the sauce is set to your liking, you can begin boiling a large pot of water for the pasta. Salt the water to the point that it tastes like salt water from the ocean. Once it’s up to a roaring boil, add the thin spaghetti pasta and cook till al dente. Which means to take it out of the water just before it’s fully cooked, because we want it to finish cooking in the sauce.

When your pasta is al dente, add the spaghetti noddles into the sauce dish with meatballs. Toss around and combine the pasta into the sauce. Let the pasta cook for a few minutes over the low simmer. If your sauce is needing a little more liquid at this point, use the water from large pot that you cooked your spaghetti in.

Turn heat off when pasta is completely cooked through. Let it sit for a few minutes so the flavors can sink in even more. Chop remaining fresh basil and add some parmesan cheese over and serve!

Thank you for reading!