Archive for the ‘Baking With Chocolate’ Category

Thank you to

Tea Lady

for choosing this delicious recipe

from Dorie Greenspan’s wonderful cookbook entitled: 

Baking From My Home to Yours.


This cheesecake is smooth and lucious.  It is a short cheesecake and the graham cracker crust was taller than the cheesecake itself, and was a little messy and caused the surface of the cheesecake to not be smooth like most cheesecakes are. 

If I were to make this cheesecake again, I would add a little more melted butter to the crust recipe, so that it would hold together better, as it was very crumbly.  I also would add more chocolate to this recipe, as 4 ounces of melted bittersweet chocolate didn’t seem to be enough to give this cheesecake’s name justice.



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Thank you to

Beth from Someone’s in the Kichen with Brina

(another person who lives in Baltimore)

who chose the recipe for this week’s “Tuesdays with Dorie”


This pie is very good and presents itself very nicely.  However, it took additional time to bake, I am assuming because of the chocolate? 

I baked this pie for an additional 30 minutes and it still “jiggled” when I took it from the oven.  I allowed it to cool, took some pictures of the whole pie and then sliced into it, and oh no!  It was so runny and the chocolate, sugary filling came oozing out and did not look appealing.  So, that is the reason that I am only including a picture of the entire pie, prior to slicing. 

Overall, the addition of the espresso powder was a very nice spice to add, as this seemed to cut the sweetness of the “usual pecan pie.”  The addition of the chocolate seemed to take away from the original pecan pie taste for me.  So, the next time I bake this pie, I will add only 1 teaspoon of the espresso powder and will leave out the chocolate.



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Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Ganache 

This cake is so delicious! 

If you love peanut butter and chocolate together, then this is the cake for you.   This cake bakes up really well into a moist and dense cake that will surely please all of the chocolate and peanut butter lovers you know.   

The assembled cake presents itself best when kept in the refrigerator right up to slicing.   Be certain to use a very sharp knife with each slice, as the layers will be precise and beautiful and will show off the different colours of dark brown from the chocolate to the light brown, creamy texture of the peanut butter/cream cheese filling.   Garnish each slice with chopped peanuts or a little bit of chopped peanut brittle.  



2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs 

Peanut Butter Frosting: 

Makes about 5 cups 

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter 

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners sugar — 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

 Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ganache

(I didn’t add the peanut butter to this ganache)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter (Optional)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half (I used heavy whipping cream)

In the top of d double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half (or heavy whipping cream), beating until smooth.

Use while still warm.


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and grease the paper.

Wisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.  Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide evenly among the three prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Assemble the Cake:

To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.

To decorate with the Chocolate Ganache, put the cake plate onto a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the ganache over the top of the cake, and using an off-set spatula, spread the ganache evenly over the top —  just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the ganache and frosting to set completely. 


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Thank you Carla from

Chocolate Moosey

for choosing this week’s selection

Chocolate Crunch Caramel Tart

for the baking group:

Tuesdays With Dorie




Chocolate Crunch Caramel Tart

Ken was very excited about this week’s selection as he dearly loves chocolate.  I was very excited about this week’s selection because I love caramel.  We were positive that combining these two flavours would certainly make up for a delicious tart.

Shortbread Crust:

We placed the flour, butter, sugar and salt into our food processor and literally whirled it up in no time.  Like the recipe states, it was so easy to pat this dough into the tart pan, rather than rolling it out.  We baked the crust for fifteen minutes.  The aroma from this shortbread smelled so delicious – almost like a bakery!  We were tempted to use a cookie cutter to cut cookies from this baked crust – however doing so would ruin the possibility of making this tart.  So instead of shortbread cookies, we set the tart crust onto a cooling rack to cool.



I have made caramel before and was a little concerned about the boiling time, as I didn’t want our caramel layer to become too candy-like.  We melted the sugar in our non-stick pan and added the corn syrup and boiled the two together until these ingredients turned into a nice caramel colour.  We added the butter and the heavy cream that we previously brought to a boil in a separate pot.  Next, we added the pieces of butter and allowed this mixture to come to a rolling boil. We checked the temperature with a candy thermometer and found that it was already at the required 225 degrees.  We poured this thick caramel into our heat-proof bowl and set it aside.



Ken and I have made ganache before, but never with bittersweet chocolate.  This recipe rendered a more thin ganache and caused me a little bit of concern that I didn’t use enough chocolate or that I measured wrong on the cream.  I called my mother to confirm what eight ounces of chocolate should be.  She always seems to know the answer to my questions and with this time being no exception, she confirmed our measurement. After talking to my “chief consultant,” I immediately felt more secure that this ganache would in fact turn out okay.  To top it all off, Ken didn’t seem to have that “I’m in heaven” look about him when I gave him the pot and spatula to lick in the end.  (Having used bitter-sweet chocolate doesn’t taste too well by itself.) However, this ganache was quick and easy to put together, as the ingredients were few and bringing heavy cream to a boil and then pouring it over the chocolate is certainly very easy to do and then swirling the mixture together with a wisk was fun, as the chocolate mixed with the cream magically reaches a certain smooth and shiny stage that heightens the senses and makes all those who love chocolate yearn for a taste.     


Assembling the tart:

This was the fun part – placing Ken’s favourite – the chocolate ganache, along with my favourite – the caramel,  that we laced with the toasted pecans into the shortbread crust. 


Our tart was beautiful.  We carefully placed it into our refrigerator to chill for the required thirty minutes, but discovered that we needed to chill it for an additional thirty minutes as the ganache was still a little giggly in the center.


As a result, we loved this tart.  The smooth chocolate and delicate caramel flavours combined along with the lightly toasted pecans and with the buttery shortbread crust all came together very nicely into what Ken and I thought was a “picture-perfect” dessert.  Because of this we could hardly hold back the temptation to taste this splendid looking chocolate tart.  Pictures came first!  Then!  The time was to have that first taste!  The whole experience was absolutely sensational!  The creamy chocolate ganache along with the thick carmel and the crunch from the pecans and the buttery crust caused a reaction with our tastebuds that immedately caused huge smiles.  A final thought was that we decided that our tart tasted like a heath bar.  How utterly delicious could that be? 


Ken and I will certainly make this recipe again,

but will try using semi-sweet chocolate rather than the bitter-sweet. 

If you would like to view this recipe, please visit Cara at Chocolate Moosey or buy the exquisite book – Baking, From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan



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