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I love these little babies.

Surprisingly, this has been the first time I’ve ever made them myself.

 

While preparing these Chocolate Lava Cakes I learned that they are super-fun to make.

They are also surprising. That is what you find out when you dig into them.

And, with the generous amount of chocolate they contain, I’m sure they are just super seductive.

That all makes them the perfect dessert choice for Valentine’s Day, don’t you think?

 

Now, let me invite you to my kitchen and show you how I prepared my version of these adorable sweet cakes…

 
 

Here’s what we need.

Couldn’t be simpler.

 
 

1. First, preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C).

 

2. Butter 4 ramekins.

I’ve used 6-ounce (180 ml) ramekins.

 

3. Then dust the ramekins with some confectioners’ sugar.

 
 

4. Now we need the eggs, sugar, coffee and salt.

 
 

5. Throw them all into one bowl and mix them for about 2 minutes.

 
 

6. Break the chocolate into pieces. Place the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.

 
 

7. Microwave on high in 20-second increments, stirring after each, until melted.

Let cool slightly.

And be strong!

 
 

8. Add the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk to combine.

 
 

9. Then add the flour, and whisk just until combined (do not overmix).

 
 

10. Pour the batter into prepared ramekins.

I only have two, so I had to bake in two batches.

 
 

11. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.

 
 

12. And bake for about 11 minutes.

 
 

13. These babies were baked for about 14 minutes.

Too long.

 

Although nice and tasty, they weren’t that ‘molten’ in the center.

 
 

I baked the second batch for only 10 minutes.

 
 

That was much better.

I really like the moist center.

 
 

Aah, I love this game.

 

But, if I had another chance, which I think I am going to give myself soon, I’d try baking these for exactly 11 minutes.

11 minutes would make them absolutely perfect.

 

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This recipe makes 4 cakes and was loosely based on Molten Mocha Cakes from http://www.delish.com.)

 

 

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I made these babies the other day.

Then, two days later, I made them again to make sure I hadn’t been dreaming before and they really tasted like heaven.

And they did.

Again.

Just like heaven!

When it comes to their structure, they have it all. They are something between cakey and fudgy, slightly more on the fudgy side, with just a little chewiness to them. When I think about it (which is a little difficult after eating so many), these brownies have a strong potential to satisfy just about anyone. So any camp you are in – the cakey, fudgy or chewy one, these are great for you!

Now let me just run to the kitchen to grab another one before I show you how I was making them…

…Okay, thanks for your patience, I’m back now. YUM!

This is the list of ingredients.

 
 

1. To make your own Brownies, first preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).

 
2. Line the bottom and two sides of a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 22 cm) baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides. Butter the paper and set the pan aside.

Lining a baking pan this way is just gorgeous. It allows you to remove the baked stuff out of the pan in the most easy way. I find it the best invention right after wheel. Yes, that’s exactly what I think!

 
 

3. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

 
 

Just like this.

I was a naughty girl and didn’t sift the cocoa. But next time I will, I promise!

 
 

4. Now chop the chocolate roughly.

Or just brake it. Or just throw it against your counter top and watch it break into a million pieces (sorry, I just got slightly carried away).

 
 

5. Now place the chocolate and the butter into a heatproof bowl and set it over a pot of simmering water.

The bottom of the bowl shouldn’t be touching the water since what we want to do here is just gently melt these two ingredients.

 

6. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, for about 3 minutes. Then remove the bowl from the pot.

 
 

7. Add sugar and mix to combine.

 

8. Then add the eggs and, again, mix to combine.

 
 

9. Finally, add the flour mixture and mix just until moistened (do not overmix).

 
 

10. Transfer the batter to your prepared pan. Using and offset spatula or just a spoon, smooth the top.

 

11. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the batter/brownies comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs attached).

 

12. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Using the paper overhang, lift brownies out of the pan and transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on the paper).

 

13. On a cutting board cut into squares.

 
 

Yum-yum!

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

And if, by any chance, you end up with some leftovers, store them in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

 

(This recipe was loosely adapted from Martha Stewart. It takes about 1 hour to prepare and yields 24 2-inch/5cm squares.)

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Are you one of those people who, like me, had thought that cheesecake and chocolate are not possible together?

Well, then I have something to tell you.

Something very important.

Something enlightening!

Dear friends, cheesecake and chocolate ARE possible to exist together.

SO possible.

Beyond possible!

Finger-licking possible!

Let me show you…
 
 

These are our lovely ingredients.
 

1. First, place the first three ingredients in the bowl of your electric mixer…
 
 

2. …and beat them at medium-low speed until combined.

Then increase the speed to medium, and beat until well blended and crumbly.
 
 

3. Pat the mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch (33 x 22 cm) pan.

A good trick is to use the bottom part of a measuring cup or a glass to do that.
 
 

4. Preheat your oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and bake for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

This is a lovely, delicious and easy substitute for crushed wafers that are often used in cheesecake recipes.

Cool, huh?
 
 

5. Now, let’s make the cheesecake filling.

Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer and beat at medium speed until creamy.
 
 

6. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition.
 
 

7. Finally, add the sour cream, vanilla, and one cup of the chocolate chunks.

Beat just until blended.

Of course, you can use chocolate chips instead of the chunks.
 
 

8. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the baked crust.
 
 

9. And using a spoon or an offset spatula, even out the surface.
 
 

10. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 25 minutes or until set.

 

11. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
 
 

12. Then melt the rest of your chocolate chunks.

Microwave oven will work just fine.

(Oh, and use microwave friendly dishes, please. The one in the picture hadn’t gone to the microwave oven. If it had, things would have gotten sparkly… I guess. Don’t ask me how I know. Please.)

 
 

13. Stir the melted chocolate until smooth. Then drizzle the chocolate over the cheesecake.

 

14. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Then cut into bars.

Also, I’ve found out that it’s fine to reheat the bars in the microwave oven for a little while before serving. That way the chocolate will melt slightly making the whole eating experience even more divine.
 
 

Enjoy, dear friends.

 

(This lovely recipe was adapted from here. The recipe makes about 14 3×1.5-inch (8 x 4 cm) bars. The recipe takes about 1 hour to prepare and about 4 hours to chill. And the whole thing takes about 10 minutes to eat. Funny but true.)
 

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I love it when fall strikes and days get colder.

The reason why I love this time of year so much might have something to do with the fact that I suddenly have all the good reasons to indulge myself with sweet mulled wine or hot chocolate.

The best hot beverages ever!

Oh, how I love them!

They are true soul soothers!

 

The following recipe is just delicious.

The taste vastly depends on the kind of chocolate you use. So get the one you really like.

Also, there are different types of chocolate when it comes to its fat content. So remember – the higher the fat content, the more creamy and rich your hot chocolate will be.

So let’s experiment!
 
 

These are the ingredients you will need.

Just this few.
 
 

1. To prepare your own soothing drink, first break the chocolate into smaller chunks.

 

2. Place the chocolate chunks into a heatproof bowl.
 
 

3. Add the sugar.
 
 

4. Add the milk.
 
 

5. And place the bowl over a pot of boiling and steaming water.

 

6. Stir until the chocolate melts. Then keep stirring until the mixture gets hot, almost boiling.
 
 

7. Pour the chocolate into two cups and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and some grated chocolate or a dusting of cocoa powder, if desired.
 
 

And in case someone comes and steals your chocolate shamelessly be really thankful that this recipe yields two mugs.

Enjoy, dear friends!

(This lovely recipe was adapted from Joyofbaking.com.)
 

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My name is Petra and I am… ahem… a cheesecake maniac.

Yes, I dream about cheesecakes.

Yes, I collect cheesecake recipes.

Yes, I’ve prepared many.

Yes, I am sure I have yet many of them to prepare.

No, I don’t think there is a power in this world that would stop me from doing so.

Yes, I’ll be showing you all of them.

And YES, I’ll be more than happy if you had a look at how I made this awesome one…

 
 

Here we have our lovely ingredients, ladies and gentlemen.

Of course, there’s a lot of cream cheese in there. But definitely not too much.

That fact suggests that this cheesecake is a milder one.

Which I definitely can confirm (after eating many, many a slices).

Though it is not as rich as New York Cheesecake, I’d define it as being ‘heavenly’ mild.

A heavenly mild cheesecake.

That’s what it is.
 
 

1. To make it, preheat the oven to 284 F (140 C).
 

2. Second, using a vegetable oil, spray a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan.
 

3. Wrap two layers of foil around the pan. This cake is going to be baked in a water bath and the foil will prevent  the water from seeping in.
 
 

4. Place the cream cheese, butter and milk into a metal (or heatproof) bowl.
 

5. Now place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and – stirring constantly – let the ingredients melt.

If you’ve ever wondered why bowls are sometimes placed over simmering water then I have the answer for you. It’s because the ingredients in the bowl need very mild and gentle heat to melt, nothing too strong. In cases such as these, the steam from the simmering water works best. Otherwise some ingredients might not only melt but also cook and curdle. And who wants that?
 
 

6. After the melted cream cheese mixture has cooled to room temperature, add the egg yolks, the cake flour, the cornstarch (corn flour) and the lemon juice.
 

7. Whisk the mixture until smooth.
 
 

8. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy.
 

9. Then add the sugar and whip for another couple of minutes until soft peaks form.
 
 

10. In two batches, pour the cream cheese mixture into the egg whites.
 
 

11. Fold the two batters together gently after each addition…
 
 

12. …until they are well combined.

Try to be as gentle as possible in this process, since we’ve worked hard to make the whites light and airy and we definitely don’t want to lose that.

I am speaking in the name of all whipped egg whites in the world here!
 
 

13. Divide the batter evenly into two bowls and add the cocoa powder into one of them.
 

14. Mix in the cocoa gently.
 

And let the fun begin…
 

15. So this is how the zebra strips are achieved – nothing difficult at all.

Take your sprayed springform pan and place 3 tablespoons of cream colored batter in a circle in the center of the pan. Then take 3 tablespoons of the chocolate batter and place in the center. Keep adding circles and the batter will spread of its own accord.
 
 

16. Find a large baking dish that will fit the springform pan.

Fill the empty baking dish 1/4 of the way full with hot water and place the springform pan inside.
 

17. Bake in the lower third of the oven at 284 F (140 C) for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
 

18. Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside (with the door still closed) for another 10 minutes.
 

19. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely.
 
 

This cake tastes best after it’s been refrigerated for a couple of hours. It becomes slightly more dense and moist.

Enjoy, dear friends.

(This recipe was adapted from Treats.)
 

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If you are into chocolate I have something for you!

Chocolate Cookies – they are wonderful and really full of chocolate!

They are almost more chocolaty than chocolate itself.

Can you imagine?

~~~

To prepare these heavenly Chocolate Cookies you need:

8 ounces (240 grams) chopped semi-sweet chocolate; this amount will be melted

4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter

2/3 cup (86 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 ounces (150 grams) chopped semi-sweet chocolate

~~~

1. Preheat an oven to 350 F (176 C).

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Chop the chocolate into chunks.

4. In the bowl of your electric mixer mix the sugar…

5. … the eggs and the vanilla extract until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes).

6. While the mixer is doing its job we can melt the chocolate with butter (not all the chocolate, just the first 8 ounces).

You can do this in a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water or in a microwave oven.

Delicious!

I had hard time trying to resist this.

7. Now reduce the speed of the electric mixer to low and add the melted chocolate mixture.

8. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Mix in the flour mixture until just combined.

9. Stir in the chocolate chunks.

You can set some chunks aside to place on top of the cookies.

10. Drop heaping tablespoons of the dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto the baking sheet.

11.  Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers, 12 to 15 minutes.

Yummy!

This lovely recipe was adapted from marthastewart.com and makes about 12 (3-inch) cookies.

Enjoy dearest friends!

(If you’d like to see more of my posts click this.)


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I have experimented a bit today …

The inspiration to make these cookies comes from Martha’s Chocolate Pretzels but I have changed her recipe quite a lot.

These pretzels taste like coffee, chocolate and cinnamon all together.

Quite pleasing combination, hm?

~~~

To make these lovely pretzels you need:

1/4 cup (20 grams) cocoa

4 teaspoons instant coffee

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

10 tablespoons boiling water

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 2/3 cup (220 grams) all-purpose flour

confectioner’s sugar to sprinkle on top

~~~

1. In a small bowl, mix together the instant coffee, cocoa and cinnamon.

(OK, you are right, there’s no cinnamon in the bowl. My brain just doesn’t work so well in the morning and I tend to forget things. I added the cinnamon as the last step.)

2. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and stir thoroughly. Set aside.

3. Put the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer.

Mix until creamy.

Then add the egg, vanilla extract and salt and mix again.

4. Add the cocoa-coffee-cinnamon mixture and beat slightly.

5. Gradually add flour, and mix until a smooth dough forms.

6. Turn out on a lightly floured counter and form a ball.

Wrap in foil and refrigerate for about one hour.

7. Preheat an oven to 350 F (175 C).

8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

9. Shape the dough into a log and cut it into 18 equal pieces.

Form a small ball from each piece.

Shape the balls into 12-inch-long (30 cm) ropes.

10. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape (I recommend doing this on the baking sheet because it might get a bit awkward to transfer them onto the sheet).

11. Some granulated sugar on top. Here we go…

Bake for 10 minutes.

12. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.

If you’d like your cookies a bit more festive you can sprinkle them with some confectioner’s sugar.

These cute and delicious pretzels can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.


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