chocolate

Peanut Butter Hipster Cookies

Some time in the last three years, everyone in my generation decided that they’re either gluten-sensitive or lactose intolerant. Some of them probably are. A lot of them are probably hypochondriac hipsters who don’t know what gluten or lactose even is. Anyway, I stumbled across this flour-less, dairy-less recipe for peanut-butter chocolate chip cookies online and it was so weird I just had to try it. Surprisingly, it’s really good.
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Double Chocolate Butter Cookies with White Chocolate Icing

I made these chocolate cookies as Christmas cookies and decorated them with melted white chocolate. The recipe is based on this one from King Arthur Flour. Those cookies are fancy stamped cookies with molded white chocolate medallions on top. I get it King Arthur, you want to sell me fancy cookie stamps and chocolate molds, but I OUTSMARTED YOU. How? By making these as regular cookie-cutter holiday cookies and piping white chocolate on with a pastry bag. I also replaced their blend of bespoke cocoa with Hershey’s Special Dark. (more…)

Wedding Cake Chronicles Part II: Peanut Butter Chocolate Coma Cake

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So I’m getting better at taking fancy food pictures, by which I mean I applied a dopey looking edge blur effect and still couldn’t be bothered to move my random kitchen crap out of the way. I’m getting there.

Ok, so obviously this cake won’t be a tier of any traditional wedding cake, but I’m still including this cake as part of the Wedding Cake Chronicles because 1) I may use this chocolate cake recipe in the real thing, and 2) I’m contemplating making some other extra cakes for the wedding as alternative options/to accommodate more people than a 3-tier cake can feed.

With that out of the way, I must say: this cake was fucking delicious. But there’s a reason I’ve named it the coma cake–it was ridiculously rich. The first few testers took overly ambitious slices and we all ended up needing afternoon naps. The inspiration for the construction of this cake came from this blog post, though I made some adjustments to the cake recipe, used my own ganache recipe, and used a variation of the Swiss buttercream from my last post. I preferred this chocolate cake over the last one I made–whereas I thought the last one was a bit dry, this one was moist, fudgy and delicious. I’m a little concerned that said moist fudginess means it will not hold up well as a stacked wedding cake, but I will explore that issue later.

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Wedding Cake Chronicles Part 1: Chocolate cherry cake with Swiss buttercream

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There’s no peanut butter involved–I just suck at setting up fancy pictures.

Why I’m doing this:

Some friends of mine recently started planning their wedding and asked me to make the cake. [cue panic] I agreed, of course, because I am clearly not busy at all and I never turn down a chance to be awesome. I’m obviously a reasonably decent baker, but if I’m going to do this, I need to do this properly. That means finding the perfect recipes, flavors, and techniques to make this wedding cake look better than what a frantic grad student can make in her apartment kitchen. So my game plan for the next ~10 months now is to make at least one cake per month to figure out what the hell I’m doing.

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Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

A little background: it’s grant application season, and my PI has been writing grants and having us do last-minute analyses for the past couple weeks. Last week, we got some sequencing data back on Friday–I proceeded to spend all weekend slamming my head against my keyboard to get an icky icky program to analyze it. I knew it would take a long time to run, but with any luck (and running jobs in parallel) I figured I could get it done for the grant deadline on Wednesday. That is, until Windows 8 decided to fuck me over at 1 am on Wednesday by forcing a restart to install Windows updates, sending a ^C to the program and wiping 3 days of progress. So, I restrained myself from chucking my laptop out the window and instead decided to bake something my PI would appreciate–mini muffins.

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