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Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

It’s hard to imagine that 2012 has arrived!  2011 has flashed by quicker than either of us expected, and both of us have loved writing entries for gourm(eh?).  Neither of us could guess how rewarding this blog would prove to be.  We are so grateful for our reader’s supports and comments, and hope you will continue to enjoy our posts in the year ahead! In the meantime, we wanted to share with you our 10 most popular recipes from 2011.

To a wonderful 2012!

10. Coconut Turnovers – A  recipe Sitelle invented while reminiscing about her travels in Belize — these turnovers are mouth wartering.

9. Okra, Potato and Cauliflower Curry – Who doesn’t love Indian food?  Madhur Jaffrey spotlights okra is this spicy dish.

8. Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Onions, Roasted Asparagus, and Zucchini  – Pesto is a favourite of Catherine’s, and this pasta dish (or a variant) features at least once a month in her kitchen.

7. Mocha Chip Meringue Cake – Our very first gourm(eh?) post!  This is a little taste of meringue heaven.

6. Crispy Baked Mac and Cheese – The more cheese, the better in our opinion.

5. Chocolate Zucchini Cake – One of Catherine’s top secret family recipes, she has yet to meet a picky eater who didn’t love this chocolatey, moist cake.

4. Flaky Pastry Crust: Savoury or Sweet! – A cornerstone of both our baking inventories, delicious buttery pie crust is our foundation for most pies.  And if you need a filling, may we recommend Catherine’s two favourites from 2011:

3. Cream of Broccoli and Spinach Soup – Concocted during Catherine’s month of vegetarianism, she’d eat this any day of the week!

2. The ultimate Canadian butter tarts! – We wrote developed gourm(eh?) partially to explore Canadian cuisine.  This here is Sitelle’s take of this delicious Canadian treat.

1. Rigatoni with Eggplant and Pine Nut Crunch – The post that saw us freshly pressed (!!!!), this rich pasta casserole is keeper.

You'll devour the pine nut crunch topping!

– Catherine & Sitelle

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 With Christmas lights sparkling on the street, I was recently inspired to make a fancy Christmas desert.  It is a truth universally acknowledged that The Three Tarts Bakery makes some of the most divine tarts in Ottawa, and one of my particular favourites is their white chocolate cranberry pistachio tart.   This tart recipe, which infuses orange zest in the shortbread crust, looked like it could challenge The Three Tarts’ recipe – both for taste and for prettiness.  The added hint of citrus reminded me of oranges in my stocking on Christmas morning, the cranberries of turkey dinner, and the pistachios of eating nuts around a fire.  I could not have hoped for a better Christmas desert.
The tart exceeded all expectations: creamy and smooth, the sweetness of the white chocolate was balanced beautifully by the tartness of the cranberries, the nuttiness of the pistachios, and the zestiness of the shortbread crust.  I’ll have to find another excuse to make this again over the holidays!

 

White Chocolate Cranberry Tart with Toasted Pistachios
(1 10-inch tart: serves 12)

 

Ingredients:
TART PASTRY
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
2 Tablespoons whipping cream
Finely grated zest of one orange

 

WHITE CHOCOLATE FILLING
4 ounces shelled unsalted pistachios (or a generous 1/2 cup)
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup whipping cream
12 oz white chocolate, finely chopped or white chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate
Splash of milk

 

Directions:
TART PASTRY
Cut the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles coarse oatmeal.  Whist together the egg yolk, whipping  cream, and orange zest together, and combine with the flour until the dough clings together.  Pat into a disc, wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll our tart pastry on a floured surface and transfer to 10 inch tart pan.  Trim edges. Cover with parchment paper and weigh down with beans or pastry weights. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the pie weights, and bake for 10 minutes more, or until golden. Remove the tart shell from oven and allow to cool.

 

WHITE CHOCOLATE FILLING
Shell pistachios and toast if necessary.  Blanch cranberries in a large pot of boiling water.  Shock the blanched cranberries in an icebath and allow to dry on paper towel.
In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil.  Add the white chocolate, wait a minute, and then stir until incorporated.  Add the butter and stir until smooth; avoid over-stirring since it will result in air bubbles in the tart.
Randomly scatter the pistachios and cranberries in the tart shell, and carefully pour the white chocolate cream filling overtop until the fruit and nuts are completely covered.  You will have a little extra chocolate cream filling left over.
Microwave the bittersweet chocolate in a small splash of milk for 45 seconds.  Stir until smooth and the chocolate is completely melted.  Dribble the dark chocolate over the tart.
Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight. One hour before serving, remove the tart to allow it to soften and enhance the flavours.  Cut with a hot dry knife.

 

Bon appetit!
– Catherine

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I thought I’d perk the mood up a bit with this hot chocolate recipe, with winter approaching. I, however, will be avoiding the snow altogether in my new home in Sénégal. This situation is definitely a bit ironic: I’m one of the small number of Canadians who loves winter, as long as it is a good one, but I will also be part of the group that avoids it. So, I thought I’d share my secret hot chocolate recipe for all of you to come home with a frosted nose and pink cheeks and enjoy a cup for me (and for you, I guess)!

Let me preface this next part by saying I’m quite a chocolate-lover. This past spring I was lucky enough to go to Cacao Fest in Punta Gorda, Belize. For those of you who do not know about this, it is a week-end of festivities surrounding chocolate, from its origins in the Maya culture, to its agricultural production, processing, and finally, to its consumption. Who could refuse such an event?

A Maya woman roasting cacao beans on her stove

I was hoping to be able to eat the fresh flesh from cacao pods this time round like I’d tried in February, but they were already harvested and so I had to make do with only actual chocolate. For those of you who have the chance, I encourage you to try the “food of the gods” as they call it (the white flesh inside cacao pods). It was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tried. At Cacao Fest I visited the Cotton Tree Chocolate Factory where I learned how they make chocolate. This reminded me of when I learned how to make the traditional maya cacao drink in my last trip.

This hot chocolate recipe is absolutely delicious, and its secret is using real, un-powdered chocolate. What surprises most people when I tell them I sometimes make hot chocolate with squares of chocolate is that it takes as much time to make milk-based chocolate with squares or powder! And if you want to celebrate a special occasion or just indulge, add a bit of whipped cream.

Ingredients – Two 1.5 cup servings or three 1 cup servings

-3 cups milk
-80g your favourite chocolate (I like to use 75% for this) + a bit extra for decoration if you like
-granulated sugar (to taste – I actually don’t add any if I use 75% chocolate, but it’s up to your taste!)
-1/2 cup whipping cream
-2 tsp icing sugar (or more to taste)

Directions

Place milk in a saucepan and heat gently over medium heat. Break the chocolate up into chunks, and the place in milk. Once the milk begins to warm, begin to whisk the mixture to help dissolve the melted chocolate. Do this until you reach your desired temperature, and then remove it from the heat (if you avoid it boiling over, you avoid the risk of the chocolate forming small granules).

Now for the extra special part: in a bowl, beat (or use electric beaters) the cream until it thickens, then add the icing sugar and whisk a bit more.

Return the hot chocolate to the heat for a few minutes if it is not to your desired temperature and whisk. Pour into your favourite cups and top with a dollop of whipped cream and grated chocolate.

-Sitelle

 

 

 

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My efforts to empty my cupboards and fridge became highly fruitful when I discovered I had dark chocolate squares, pure cacao pieces from my trip to Belize, sugar, pecans, and butter all needing to be used asap. With a bottle of Les Trois Mousquetaires Porter Baltique, apparently “WBA World Beer Awards World’s best porter Baltic” from a friend, and four large farm-fresh eggs from another friend, I was set. Porter brownies? Washed down with a pint? Why not! While I’m definitely no beer connaisseur, I can certainly vouch for this recipe.

My last few excursions into Montréal’s microbrewery scene have shown me how introducing foody flavours into beer might be a good idea. So far, I have enjoyed a chocolate porter, a pumpkin ale, and a currant rousse. While I found the pumpkin ale a tad bitter, and the currant rousse a bit on the sweet side, the chocolate porter went down really well. So why not introduce porter into one of my all-time chocolate-craving fulfilling favourites: rich decadent brownies?

Ingredients – 9-12 brownies

-8 oz semisweet chocolate (or at least 70%)
-2 Tbsp dark chocolate powder (cocoa or even dark hot chocolate powder, if you don’t have cocoa)
-2 Tbsp coarsely ground cacao (you can substitute this for 1 more oz semisweet chocolate)
-3/4 cup butter, unsalted
-1 Tbsp 35% cream
-1 pinch salt
-1 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
-2 tsp vanilla
-4 large eggs at room temperature
-3 Tbsp porter
-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 cup chopped toasted pecans

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a brownie tray (rectangle or square, 2-inches deep) with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

In a double-boiler (or a small pot of water on it with a heat-proof bowl over top), melt the chocolate and butter. Add the cream while melting, and the cacao powder. Stir until fully melted and combined. Remove from heat and let cool 10-15 minutes.

Place sugar, vanilla, porter, and eggs into a large bowl. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is even. Pour chocolate mixture in, and then add the salt and flour and stir to combine. Finally, add in the toasted chopped pecans.

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and cook for 20 minutes (or more, if necessary), until a tooth pick comes out with a few lumps still on it because that means the brownies will be really moist.

This recipe attests to how this autumn spent in Montréal has been full of many wonderful adventures!

-Sitelle

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From the moment I saw a picture of this dessert, I could simply not resist. In fact, it was so tempting that today, this was all I ate for dinner. I adapted this recipe from a fantastic book my grandparents sent me for my birthday this year. It’s called Les grosses têtes en cuisine (which literally translates to the largest heads in cooking – I’m sure you get the picture). I made this while having a skype discussion, and I’m sorry because those on the other end were unable to give it a taste, although I’m not complaining about having more for myself!

As soon as they were ready, I decided to run upstairs to my roomie and give her a present, because I didn’t want to eat all alone.

The recipe is simple. 5 ingredients – I’m sure you can guess them. Chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs, and flour (yes, that order probably arranges them by decreasing weight). While did I follow the ingredients, I had to make several changes. Because the recipe is from France, all the quantities are in grams, and in my temporary home I do not have access to a scale or measuring glass, so I approximated the quantities. All I have are cup measures.  I also substituted brown sugar for white since that is all I have. Nevertheless, it was totally delicious – and I encourage you to make these as a special treat!

And if they’re not rich enough for you, feel free to complement them with whipped cream sweetened with honey or maple syrup and garnish with fresh raspberries as I did!

Ingredients – 6 individual chocolate cakes

-200g dark chocolate (I used 7 of the Semisweet Baker’s chocolate squares in the 225 g boxes) + 1 extra square of chocolate, chopped up
– 100g butter (I used just under a quarter-pound)
-3/4 cups unpacked brown sugar
-4 eggs
-1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

Directions

Cut up butter into a few chunks, and place the squares of chocolate (break it up if it is not already broken into squares) in a heat-proof bowl. Place bowl over a pot with a little water in it, and bring the water to a simmer. Carefully warm up chocolate and butter mixture, mixing occasionally. Make sure to use gloves to handle the bowl as it gets hot and sometimes steam comes out. If you have a ‘bain marie’, this is the time to use it.

Preheat oven to 350F.

While you’re waiting for the chocolate and butter to melt, mix the eggs and sugar. Once that is mixed, add the flour, and finally the melted chocolate/butter mixture.

Grease 6 muffin-tin spots with butter (if you’re using a tin with 12, make sure to space them evenly throughout). Spoon the batter into each mould, making sure not to over-fill them beyond 3/4 capacity. If you have extra batter (that you haven’t eaten already), grease up another spot and fill it too. Drop a few extra pieces of chocolate (if you kept them aside this whole time!) into the middle of each.

Cook for 10 minutes, and let cool for 4-5 minutes before serving them. If you over-cook them, they’re still good, but less gooey. While they’re cooking you can whip up some cream with a tiny bit of honey or maple syrup, and wash a few fresh raspberries if that suits your fancy. Try to serve them warm if possible, fresh out of the oven!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I have. They’re delicious and really simple to make.

-Sitelle

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I am a well-known peanut butter lover (case in point: as I type this, I am munching away on a peanut butter cookie). So when my friend’s birthday rolled around, I volunteered to make a birthday cake.  Flipping through an old Joy of Cooking, I came across a recipe for peanut butter cupcakes.  Now, I may have had a hole in my upbringing, but I had never before eaten a peanut butter cake.  So clearly this cake needed to be tried.

unsurprisingly, peanut butter cake is as delicious as it sounds.  Inspired by the flavours of reeces peanut butter cups and leftover icing, I decided to pair the peanut butter cake with chocolate icing.  Served with a glass of cold milk and topped with some raspberries (everything is tastier topped with raspberries), this cake was a hit!

Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Frosting

(serves 12)

 

Ingredients:

CAKE

1/3 cup butter

1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, divided

Generous 1/2 cup peanut butter

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup milk

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

3ish tablespoons butter

At least 3 or 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder

2-3 tablespoons of cold coffee (the stronger, the tastier)

A lot of icing sugar

 

Raspberries, if desired

 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft, then add 1 cup of the brown sugar and the peanut butter.  Blend until fluffy.  Add and combine until light the eggs, remaining brown sugar, and vanilla.  Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.  Add the sifted ingredients in 3 parts alternately with the milk.

Pour into two 8 inch circular pans (or 22 muffin cups), and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool.

To make the icing, cream together the butter, cocoa powder, and coffee.  Incorporate icing sugar until chocolate-mocha icing is thick, yet spreadable.  Adjust cocoa/coffee proportion to your liking!

When cake is coolish, remove from pan.  Place the first round on a plate and smother the top with chocolate-mocha icing.  Place the second round on top and spread the remaining icing over the cake.  Decorate with raspberries. Serve with a large glass of milk!
– Catherine

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My friend’s boyfriend is anaphylactic allergic to peanut butter, so she generally refrains from eating it.  This often proves a challenge because she is a peanut butter fiend at heart.  When her boyfriend visited Toronto for a weekend, we decided to celebrate by binging on peanut butter non-stop.  Another good friend decided to make Joy of Cooking’s peanut butter pie.  It was what you call love at first sight – oozing with peanut butter filling and topped with a gooey chocolate ganache, this was even tastier than Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Between the three of us, the pie evaporated before our eyes.

A few weeks later, we attended an Easter dinner.  Filled with delicious food and great company, the night melted away.  Instead of peanut butter, my friend tried substituting hazelnut butter.  While the peanut butter pie was indulgent, the hazelnut butter was utterly decadent.  I decided that I would have to make the pie myself for a very special occasion.

Last week, my parents celebrated their wedding anniversary.  Along with a delicious cheese fondue, we celebrated their marriage with chocolate hazelnut pie.  Now my mother is what I call a true dessert connaisseur: she lives for dessert and can spot a supreme one from just an ordinary affair a mile away. The hazelnut pie exceeded her expectations, and I have no doubt we will soon be eating it again!

Hazelnut butter can often be found in the organic section of the grocery store.  If you cannot find it, simply substitute almond or peanut butter instead.  As for serving size, a sliver is all you need to savour this smooth dessert.  Bon appetit!

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

(10-inch pie or 9-inch springform pan)

 

INGREDIENTS

Crumb crust:

1 ½ cups fine graham cracker or chocolate wafer crumbs

¼ to ½ cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the cookies)

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Hazelnut Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese (1 block)

1 cup hazelnut butter

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup whipping cream

Ganache:

¾ cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

8 ounces finely chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

 

DIRECTIONS

Crumb crust:

In a bowl, combine crumb crust ingredients. Press into a 10-inch pie or springform pan, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a 350°F oven.

Cool the crust before filling (can be done in the fridge/freezer)

Hazelnut filling:

Beat in a large bowl until smoothly blended the cream cheese, hazelnut butter, sugar, and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.Using a spatula, fold in half of the whipped cream into the hazelnut mixture to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining cream.

Spread the mixture into the crust, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pie and refrigerate until firm, about four hours (or if you are in a rush, throw it in the freezer).

Chocolate Ganache:

Bring the whipping cream to a boil, stirring in the instant coffee.  Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until most of the chocolate has melted. Cover and let stand 10 minutes, then stir/whisk gently until completely smooth. Let cool to lukewarm and then pour over the pie and spread evenly.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (again, you can also use the freezer) and up to 3 days.

Serve with masses of whipped creamand raspberries for an absolutely delicious dessert.  Eat slowly – you will want to savour each and every bite!

– Catherine

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This post comes to you at a time where I have seen more than my share of boxes, dust-induced sneezes, and tired road trips back and forth from our apartment and our parents’ homes. I can’t thank them enough for their help.

I want it to end.

Please, boxes, can you unpack yourselves on your own? Floor, mop yourself? Ok, I think I’m done ranting. There are very exciting things to come now that the move is almost behind us.

In the midst of it all, I had a wonderful dinner with my “Belize family” – we brought together much of the group from Toronto, celebrated the end of school, before many of us go into different directions.

Since my kitchen has been in boxes for the last few days, and I no longer have any kitchen I can really call mine (temporarily – don’t worry!), I am excited to share with you a guest post from Julia. She brought delicious cupcakes in an innovative tupperware set-up such that there were two layers, while preventing the tops from getting squished.

Such a treat!

Ingredients – 50 mini muffins

(adapted by Julia B. from a Canadian Living recipe)

Coffee and chocolate cupcakes

-3 cups all-purpose flour
-2 cups granulated sugar (I used 1 cup white & 1 cup brown)
-2/3 cup cocoa powder
-2tsp baking soda
-½ tsp salt
-2 cups cold coffee (the recipe called for decaf..but I’ve never understood the point of decaf coffee, so I used extra-bold! Haha)
-½ cup vegetable or canola oil
-½ cup applesauce (unsweetened)
-2 tsp vanilla
-3 tbsp cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tin with papers (24 regular-sized muffin papers or about 48 medium-sized papers).

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in coffee, oil and vanilla. Stir in vinegar. Pour into lined muffin cups.

Bake for 18-20 minutes for regular size, 15-17 minutes for medium size cupcakes, or until cake tester inserted into centre comes out clean. Remove to wire rack and let cool completely before icing.

Peanut Butta Buttercream Icing

-8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
-½ cup smooth peanut butter (don’t try and use all-natural, now’s not the time to be health-conscious!)
-¾ cup confectioners’ sugar (add more if needed to reach desired consistency)
-A pinch of salt
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 tbsp milk (add more if needed)

Using electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat butter and peanut butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the bowl, making sure to get any dry sugar from the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Add vanilla and milk, and beat again at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.
Scrape bowl, if needed, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
Depending on how you want to decorate the cupcakes, you may want to add more confectioners’ sugar to get a thicker consistency. If you’re just going to smooth the icing over the cupcake, the recipe will work with the quantities above. I ended up using almost double the original amount of confectioners’ sugar to make a thicker icing. The cupcakes are not very sweet, so making the icing a little bit sweeter ended up being a good combination!

Thanks for your awesome recipe Julia!

-Sitelle

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When Sitelle spoiled me with around my french table  for my birthday, I immediately fell in love with this gorgeous book.  Written by Dorie Greenspan, it is full of recipes with simple ingredients, packed with flavour.  This recipe immediately caught my eye – I was astounded by the idea that chocolate mousse could be so deceptively simple.  From prep to finish, this mousse takes about 6 minutes to whip up.  Trust me – you will want to savour every bite!

I was in need of a chocolate kick the other night and gravitated towards this recipe.  I doubled it, and within hours it had evaporated (helped out by my roommate and a few lovely ladies).  If you want to be adventurous, add to the melted chocolate 1 tablespoon of strong instant coffee granules or to the egg yolks 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, a few drops of pure orange oil, or 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (my personal favourite).  As Dorie says, it is truly the “quintessential French dinner-party mousse”!

Top-Secret Chocolate Mousse 

(4 delicate servings, or 2 generous servings)

Ingredients:

3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Whipped cream

Directions:

Gently melt the chocolate over a double boiler.  Remove the chocolate from the stove, and whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time.  Meanwhile, beat the egg whites with the salt until they start to foam.  Gradually add the sugar, until the egg whites are shiny and hold medium-firm peaks.

Fold one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate, until the mixture is almost smooth.  Spoon the rest of the egg whites over the chocolate, and using a large rubber spatula gently fold them in.  Be as thorough as possible, without overworking the mousse by overmixing (a few streaks are pretty and keep the mousse beautifully light).

Spoon the mousse into individual serving dishes and serve immediately, or chill until ready for dessert.  Delicious served with whipped cream and a few berries! Bon appetit!

– Catherine

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Chocolate Banana Cake

When I was in my second year of undergraduate, I volunteered in Toronto’s north end, reading with a grade 2 class. The students were over 90% first- or second- generation Canadians, and they found reading an incredible challenge. They taught me the virtues of patience and perseverance: it was magical to watch their literacy skills grow over the year. During my last session, they surprised me with a beautiful baking book, Baking: Simple to Sensational

This year, I decided to volunteer in a homework club, in the North end of Halifax where the kids similarly struggle to read. We had our final session last Wednesday (where I learned that if you don’t watch kids near an open box of cookies like a hawk, they will eat ten!), and it inspired me to flip through the baking book and reminisce about Toronto. I was seeking a chocolatey dessert, and this beauty caught my eye. With the promise of dense, moist, and with a velevety chocolate glaze, I was hooked. Chocolate cake on its own is delicious, and the bananas were sure to add depth. The resulting cake quickly evaporated (especially when served with homemade whipping cream)!

Chocolate Banana Cake
(serves 8-12)

Ingredients:
CAKE
4 semi-sweet chocolate baking squares, chopped (4 ounces total)
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 small banana, mashed
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

GANACHE:
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 semi-sweet chocolate baking squares, chopped

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom of a greased 9 inch round pan with waxed paper (I used a springform pan). Grease the waxed paper and the pan.

Over the double boiler, melt the chocolate and the butter until smooth. Allow to chill for five minutes. Meanwhile, sift all the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix all the wet ingredients. Create a well in the flour mixture, and mix the wet with the dry ingredients. Add the chocolate mixture, and blend until smooth.

Bake in oven for about 40 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely and transfer to a plate.

For the ganache, heat whipping cream until bubbles start to form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat, and stir in chocolate. Mix until the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Pour and spread over cake top and sides. Chill for at least half an hour. Serve with whipping cream!

– Catherine

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