Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Cake!!!

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

I thought I was in need of a jaw-dropping delicious recipe post, so I am pulling out the big guns and putting up the photos from the recent baking class I taught at Prep Kitchen Essentials in Seal Beach, CA. The class was on all chocolate desserts, so you can imagine how excited I was when it came to making the menu.  I couldn’t deny myself once I came across this delicious recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Cakes…I knew I had to try it!  These little beauties were outrageously delicious and rich!  We made some other yummy treats at the class too…here was the menu:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Cakes

Chocolate Malted Cheesecake with Shortbread Crusts

Chocolate Souffles

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with Espresso Cinnamon Sauce

Well, hope you enjoy the photos and the yummy recipe!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Molten Cakes
adapted from Food & Wine Magazine
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus melted butter for brushing
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 ounces dark chocolate (70 percent cacao), chopped
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 425°. Brush four 6-ounce ramekins with melted butter. In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder with 1 tablespoon of the flour; dust the ramekins with the cocoa mixture, tapping out the excess. Transfer the ramekins to a sturdy baking sheet.
In a medium saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter with the chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly.
In a bowl, blend the peanut butter with the 1 tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the granulated sugar with the eggs and salt at medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow, 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate until no streaks remain. Fold in the 1/4 cup of flour.
Spoon two-thirds of the batter into the prepared ramekins, then spoon the peanut butter mixture on top. Cover with the remaining chocolate batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 16 minutes, until the tops are cracked but the centers are still slightly jiggly. Transfer the ramekins to a rack and let cool for 5 to 8 minutes.
Run the tip of a small knife around each cake to loosen. Invert a small plate over each cake and, using pot holders, invert again. Carefully lift off the ramekins. Dust the warm cakes with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.

Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Well, looking at some of my recent posts I realized that I hadn’t posted a really good recipe lately, so I thought I would pass this one your way…since we all need to pack on a couple more pounds before summer…right?!?  Well, even if packing on a couple pounds doesn’t sound appetizing to you, once you see these cupcakes you won’t care what the results are…you’ll just want to eat one…or two or three!

These photos are from a recent class I taught at Prep Kitchen Essentials in Seal Beach, CA.  The class was of course all about cupcakes and this time we focused on really decadent, yummy cupcakes and not so much on the decorating aspect of it.  Here was the menu…

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Samoas Cupcakes (Courtesy of Chockylit)

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling & Chocolate Ganache Frosting

I would have to say that the Samoas Cupcakes were the biggest winner of the day.  Everyone in the class agreed that they were definitely worth the extra effort and couldn’t stop talking about how yummy they were. If you haven’t visited Chockylit’s blog,, then you have to!  You will get lost in the delicious looking photos and the yummy flavor concepts.  Well, without further ado here are the photos and the recipe for the Samoas Cupcakes!

Samoas Cupcakes

Brown Sugar Butter Cupcakes

24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cup light brown sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
2. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds after each.
4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
5. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
6. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
7. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.
8. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.
9. Scoop into cupcake papers about half to three-quarters full.
10. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Toasted Coconut Topping

2 eggs

10 ounces evaporated milk

1-1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

3 cups shredded, sweet coconut

1. Spread the coconut onto a sheet pan. Toast in a 350 degree oven, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the coconut is an even brown color, about 10 minutes.
2. Crack the eggs into a small saucepan and beat lightly to break up.
3. Add milk, sugar, and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thick, bubbly, and golden, about 15 minutes.
4. Press mixture through a metal sieve and into a bowl to remove any lumps.
5. Add 2 cups of the coconut, reserving the remainder for assembly, stir to combine.
6. Let the mixture cool.


1/2 cup water

2 cup sugar

4 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoon butter

1. Combine the water, sugar, and the corn syrup in a deep saucepan and cook over medium heat.
2. Stir together with a wooden spoon until the sugar is incorporated.
3. Cover the saucepan and let it cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
4. After 3 minutes, remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
5. Do not stir from this point on, but it is important to carefully shake the pan so that one area of the caramel doesn’t burn.
6. Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color then remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
7. *** This is the dangerous part *** Pour the heavy cream into the mixture. Wear oven mitts, stand away from the pan, and be careful. The mixture will bubble up significantly.
8. Stir the mixture, again being careful. Add the butter and stir until combined.
9. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Note: You will have leftover caramel, it stores well refrigerated in an airtight container for about a month.

Chocolate Ganache

16 ounces bittersweet chocolate like Valrhona 61% cocao

2 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.
3. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. Add vanilla and stir until combined.
5. Let cool to room temperature.


1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with a teaspoon of caramel.
3. Replace the top of the cone.
4. Smooth on a light coating of chocolate ganache.
5. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to harden the ganache.
6. With your hands, press out a disk of the coconut topping and place on top of the cupcake. Press to shape the mixture into a dome.
7. Press in some more plain toasted coconut on top of that.
8. Drizzle the top with lines of ganache. Note that you may have to warm the ganache over a water bath to get it to drizzling consistency.

Hope you try them out and enjoy them as much as I did!







Top Ten Posts of 2008

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

I first want to thank everyone for such a wonderful first year of blogging!  I started blogging last February and would never have thought that blogging would have impacted my life so much.  I absolutely love sharing my passion with everyone in the world and all of you have been so nice and encouraging along the way.  I have taken a look at this last year’s posts and tallied up the numbers, so here are the top ten posts of the year…hope you enjoy them!

#1 – Chocolate Dipped Tuxedo & Wedding Dress Strawberries

#2 - Peanut Butter Balls

#3 – Princess Birthday Cake

#4 – Flower Cupcake Tutorial

#5 – Fondant Flower Tutorial

#6 – Reese’s Bar

#7 – Purse Cake Tutorial

#8 – Movie Premiere Cookies

#9 – Halloween Cupcakes

#10 – Cake Designs

Thanks so much for taking a look!






Christmas Dinner Party

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas!!!  I had a wonderful time with all of my family and now am on a vacation in June Lake, CA.  We are loving the beautiful white mountains and braving the slopes.  I found out that I am not cut-out for snowboarding after experiencing quite the wipe-out my first day, but I was determined not to stay inside the cabin and just eat all day so I tried cross-country skiing with my father-in-law today and loved it.  It is more controlled than snowboarding and yet quite the workout…I am sore all over!  Well, as I pondered about what to blog about I found myself looking at all of my Christmas photos and realized that I had forgotten to share a wonderful dinner party that I had with a bunch of friends a couple weeks ago.  We had a fantastic time and loved trying out each other’s recipes.  I hope you enjoy the photos and the yummy recipes at the end of the post.  

One of my best girfriends, Kate, made an easy and yummy appetizer.  She cooked some dried cranberries in a little Grand Marnier and brown sugar and then place it over warm Brie cheese.  We devoured it!

I prepared the salad and dessert for everyone.  The salad had a Mandarin Orange Vinaigrette and tasty add-ins like blue cheese, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, golden raisins, apples, and mandarin oranges. 

My friend Matt made the Pomegranate Margaritas for the night!  They were sooo good and definitely a special treat for the night!

Brian made a delicious soup for us to enjoy for dinner.  It was a new recipe he tried out for the first time and I thought it was quite tasty.  It was a hearty Butternut Squash Soup that had Chorizo and Pepitas in it along with a bunch of other delicious ingredients.

For dessert I made one of my all-time favorites…Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Gingersnap Crust.  The recipe is a little time-consuming, but well worth it!

Here are a couple more photos from the fun night!

And of course I couldn’t leave you without a couple of the delicious recipes…both from the lovely

Anasazi Butternut Squash Soup with Chorizo and PepitasBon Appétit | October 1999


Yield: Makes 6 servings


3/4 cup dried kidney beans
1 pound beef chorizo sausages, casings removed
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups water
2 14 1/2-ounce cans beef broth

3 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled seeded butternut squash
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups frozen corn kernels
2/3 cup shelled pepitas, toasted


Place kidney beans in medium bowl. Pour enough water over to cover beans by 3 inches. Let stand overnight. Drain.

Sauté chorizo in heavy large pot over medium heat until cooked through and fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Transfer chorizo to paper towels; drain, leaving 2 tablespoons drippings in pot. Add onion and garlic; sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add 3 cups water, broth and beans; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover. Simmer until beans are tender, 1 hour.

Add squash to soup. Cover; simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in bell peppers, corn and chorizo; simmer uncovered about 10 minutes longer.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Swirl Bon Appétit | November 1993


Yield: Serves 10


1 1/2 cups ground gingersnap cookies
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin
9 tablespoons whipping cream
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon (about) purchased caramel sauce
1 cup sour cream

For Crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind ground cookies, pecans and sugar in processor. Add melted butter and blend until combined. Press crust mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides.
For Filling:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light. Transfer 3/4 cup mixture to small bowl; cover tightly and refrigerate to use for topping. Add pumpkin, 4 tablespoons whipping cream, ground cinnamon and ground allspice to mixture in large bowl and beat until well combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. Pour filling into crust (filling will almost fill pan). Bake until cheesecake puffs, top browns and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack and cool 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around cake pan sides to loosen cheesecake. Cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Bring remaining 3/4 cup cream cheese mixture to room temperature. Add remaining 5 tablespoons whipping cream to cream cheese mixture and stir to combine. Press down firmly on edges of cheesecake to even thickness. Pour cream cheese mixture over cheesecake, spreading evenly. Spoon caramel sauce in lines over cream cheese mixture. Using tip of knife, swirl caramel sauce into cream cheese mixture. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Release pan sides from cheesecake. Spoon sour cream into pastry bag fitted with small star tip (do not stir before using). Pipe decorative border around cheesecake and serve.


Reeses Bars…Utterly Delicious! Plus another cookbook giveaway!

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

As promised here is the recipe and photos of the recent Reeses Bars I made.  This is a recipe from Pichet Ong’s book, The Sweet Spot, but I did tweak it slightly by using semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate.  Although I do love milk chocolate with some desserts, I am definitely more of a fan of semi-sweet and bittersweet, so I thought I would try it instead…and believe me…they turned out sooo good!  So without further ado here is the sinful recipe!

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Bars aka Reeses Bars

adapted from The Sweet Spot

Makes 8 Servings

Peanut Chocolate Base

1 T. plus 1 t. canola oil, plus more for greasing the pan

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 c. peanuts, toasted and chopped

1/4 t. salt

Peanut Butter Chocolate Filling

3 1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 c. plus 2 T. heavy whipping cream

3 T. cream cheese, at room temperature

3 T. creamy peanut butter, plus 1/2 c. for garnish

1/4 t. vanilla 

1/4 t. fleur de sel

Lightly grease a 9 x4-inch loaf pan and set aside.  Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring well between each, until the chocolate is melted.  Add the peanuts, salt, oil and stir well.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer.  Freeze, uncovered, until hard.  

Meanwhile, make the filling: Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring well between each, until the chocolate is melted.  Set aside.  

Whisk the cream in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until medium peaks form.  Transfer to another bowl and set aside.

Put the cream cheese, peanut butter (3 T.), and vanilla extract into the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on medium speed until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, about 7 minutes.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, turn the mixer speed to low and add the melted chocolate in a slow, steady stream.  Once all the chocolate has been incorporated, gently fold in the whipped cream. 

Spread the filling on the frozen peanut chocolate base in an even layer and freeze until hard, at least 2 hours.

To unmold, invert the loaf pan onto a cutting board and gently tap the bottom to release the chocolate bar. Spread the peanut butter on top and sprinkle on the fleur de sel.  I also topped these bars with half of a reeses from Trader Joes and Valrhona Chocolate Crunchy Pearls.  Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the loaf crosswise into 1″ wide bars.  You can let them come to room temperature or eat them now…I prefer them cold.  

Hope you try these out…they are FABULOUS!!!

Well, since I do love sharing my dessert passion with others I thought I would do a book giveaway using one of my favorite books that I got this past year.  The book is David Lebovitz’s book, The Perfect Scoop!  If you don’t have this book then you are definitely missing out!  

To enter the giveaway contest just tell me your favorite flavor of ice cream and let me know by Saturday night!  Good luck eveyrone!


Cupcake Class Plus A Yummy Recipe

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

My cooking classes are in full swing and this time I have some fun photos from Prep Kitchen Essentials latest class on Cupcakes!!!  We had a great menu full of tasty cupcakes, fillings, and frostings and also played around with some fondant and marzipan.  We used the fondant to make little embellishments for the top of our cupcakes by imprinting them with scrapbooking stamps.  To check out this technique you can look at some of my past posts.  I will also show the easy pumpkin making technique in another post this week.  So here goes the menu for the class:

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cream Frosting

Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Ganache Glaze

Candy Bar Cupcakes: Brown Sugar Cake, Caramel Filling, & Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache Frosting


As you can see we had a great time and they came out with some yummy creations.  As always, I couldn’t leave you without one yummy recipe from the class so here it is!

Candy Bar Cupcakes

adapted from Demolition Desserts

Caramel sauce

1/2 cup water

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or fresh lemon juice

2 cup (14 ounces) granulated sugar

½ c. light corn syrup

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

In a medium saucepan with high sides, mix together the water, cream of tartar and sugar. Add the corn syrup and stir until just combined. Place the pan over high heat and cover. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture comes to full rolling boil. Remove the lid, and cook until the syrup is a dark amber, 5-7 minutes. Remove the pan and add the butter. Carefully add the cream, standing back because it will sizzle and pop. It may form clumps, but that’s fine. The lumps will melt when the caramel is put back over the heat.

Place the pan over medium-low heat and stir gently with a whisk. Bring the mixture back to a boil and as soon as you see bubbles around the edge, remove it from the heat and strain the mixture into a heatproof container. Stir in the salt and vanilla and set aside to cool. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 2 weeks. 

Brown sugar cupcakes

3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

16 tablespoons (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but still cool

1 ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon granulated sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 ½ cup whole milk 

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 24 cup standard muffin pan with paper liners

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the salt and set aside. In a large bowl, using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.

On low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions and the milk in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and beating after each addition for about 15 seconds or until combined. Divide the batter evenly among the cups.

Bake the cupcakes, rotating the pan after 10 minutes, for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cook in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, loosen the cupcakes from the pan, then let them cool completely in the pan before removing them.

Fill the cupcakes with the caramel sauce by putting the sauce in a 8-ounce squirt bottle with the tip cut to about 1/4-inch wide, plunging the tip into the center of the cupcake, and squeezing. When you see the top of the cupcake rise just slightly, stop squeezing the bottle and slowly pull the tip out of the cupcake. Don’t worry if some of the sauce comes out of the top; it’ll be covered with frosting. 


4 tablespoons (2 ounce) unsalted butter, softened but still cool

1 ¼ c. powdered sugar, sifted

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoon whole milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

10 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 heavy cream

6 tablespoons peanut butter


1 cup salted, roasted peanuts

Fleur de sel for sprinkling 

In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute until light and creamy. Gradually add the sugar while continuing to beat, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. When all the sugar has been incorporated, add the salt, milk, vanilla and lemon juice, beating well after each addition. Then continue to beat on high speed for 5-6 minutes until fluffy. Set aside.

In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolates. In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat for 4-5 minutes or just until it comes to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the peanut butter. Let mixture cool for 10-20 minutes, then whisk in the butter frosting. You should have about 1 1/4 cups.

Spread the frosting over the filled cupcakes with an offset icing spatula. Garnish with the peanuts and a few grains of fleur de sel. 

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