Flourless Chocolate Cake

Happy Independence Day!

I made this cake to celebrate some good ol’ fashioned Red, White and Blue and it turned out really well.  It was my first time making a flourless chocolate cake and I’m hooked.  It’s great for gluten-free and gluten-loving chocolate lovers! You can “accessorize” it however you want, which makes it a great recipe to keep handy all year ’round.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients
Cake
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 teaspoons espresso powder, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch-process cocoa preferred

Glaze
1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

What To Do
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease an 8″ round cake pan; cut a piece of parchment or waxed paper to fit, grease it, and lay it in the bottom of the pan.

To make the cake: Put the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat until the butter is melted and the chips are soft. Stir until the chips melt, reheating briefly if necessary. You can also do this over a burner set at very low heat. Transfer the melted chocolate/butter to a mixing bowl.

Stir in the sugar, salt, espresso powder, and vanilla. Espresso enhances chocolate’s flavor much as vanilla does; using 1 teaspoon will simply enhance the flavor, while 2 teaspoons will lend a hint of mocha to the cake.

Add the eggs, beating briefly until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, and mix just to combine.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake for 25 minutes; the top will have formed a thin crust, and it should register at least 200°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into its center.

Remove it from the oven, and cool it in the pan for 5 minutes.

Loosen the edges of the pan with a table knife or nylon spreader, and turn it out onto a serving plate. The top will now be on the bottom; that’s fine. Also, the edges will crumble a bit, which is also fine. Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze: Combine the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat until the cream is very hot, but not simmering. Remove from the microwave, and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is completely smooth.

Spoon the glaze over the cake, spreading it to drip over the sides a bit. Allow the glaze to set for several hours before serving the cake.

My Comments
For chocolate, I used semisweet chocolate chips and dutch processed cocoa.

I did include vanilla but not espresso powder.

I used an 8″ x 8″ pan, baked it for the same amount of time.

I made the glaze (chocolate ganache) while the cake was baking. I always make ganache in a pan on the stove.  Combine the heavy cream and chocolate chips and stir together on low heat.  I don’t trust the microwave.

After the cake had cooled and the ganache had cooled into a nice spreadable consistency, I frosted the cake and put it in the fridge overnight.  In the morning it was nice and firm and easy to slice.  I did rinse and dry my knife after each slice.  I sliced the cake into 16 squares.

I decided to whip some leftover heavy cream with a spoonful of powdered sugar and put little dollops on each piece, topped with fresh strawberry slices and blueberries, which I thought looked very nice for Independence Day.

 

This cake turned out super yummy and everyone loved it.  I think you’ll love it too and hope you try it out soon.  Have a wonderful day today celebrating our freedom!

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

We’ve had some unusually cool weather recently but hot and humid is on its way back soon.  Try these no-bake cheesecakes for a nice treat without having to turn your oven or stove on! These are also a great way to showcase and enjoy delicious summer fruits like peaches, strawberries, blueberries…you get the idea!

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes
slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction
makes 6-8 individual servings or one 9″ pie

Ingredients
Crust
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped fruit – I used peaches

Garnish
whipped cream
fresh fruit

What To Do
In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Evenly divide the crumbs between 6 individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer. Place serving dishes into the refrigerator while you prepare the cheesecake.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese for 2-3 minutes.

Add in sweetened condensed milk mix until smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure the cream cheese is fully incorporated.

Add in lemon juice and vanilla and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Fold in fruit.

Evenly spoon mixture into prepared serving dishes, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Before serving, top with whipped cream, fruit and lemon slices.

My Comments
I used peaches because that’s what I had.  I’d like to try this with other fruits too.

I used about 2.5 tablespoons of crust mixture for each serving dish.  I guess it depends on how big your dishes are.

I would like more lemon flavor so next time I will add some lemon zest to the cheesecake batter.

I did pipe on the whipped cream but you certainly can spoon it on and spread it around.  I was just feeling fancy.

Some Photos Along the Way
No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

No-Bake Peach Lemonade Cheesecakes

These would be great for a summer party or just to fancy up your family dinner.  All without breaking a sweat.

Happy Friday to you all – have a great weekend!

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Hand Pies

Hip Hip Hooray! It’s strawberry season!!! Matt and I got to go strawberry picking a few days ago and I’ve been in complete strawberry mode ever since.  I always want to try some new recipes using fresh berries and this year I tried these Strawberry Dark Chocolate Hand Pies.

YUM.
Strawberry Dark Chocolate Hand Pies
Strawberry Dark Chocolate Hand Pies
from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients
Your favorite pie dough recipe, for two 9″ pies.  I used King Arthur Flour’s.
2 cups chopped strawberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (or more depending on sweetness of berries)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup chopped dark chocolate
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on pies

What To Do
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. In medium bowl, combine the strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch. Stir until strawberries are well coated.

After pie dough has chilled for at least 30 minutes, roll into a square about 1/8-inch thick. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces, about 5×5 squares. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of strawberries into the center of each square, then top with about 1 tablespoon of chopped dark chocolate. Brush the edges of the square with the heavy cream. Bring opposite corners together to form a triangle and press the edges together. Use a fork to crimp the edges of the pie.

In a small bowl, combine the egg and water with a fork. Brush the top of the pie with the egg wash and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Repeat with the remaining squares of dough. Roll out the second disk of pie dough and do the same.

Transfer the hand pies to the prepared baking sheets, you should have 8 hand pies. Using a sharp knife, cut a small vent or two in the top of each pie. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pies are golden brown. The filling may bubble out a bit and that’s ok. Transfer to a wire rack and allow the pies to cool completely.

My Comments
I just made half a recipe.  I did not use all of the strawberry mixture or chocolate (I used dark chocolate chips) or cream.

I tried different shapes because I was curious.  The triangle ones were from 5″ x 5″ squares and the half-moon ones were from a 5.5″ circle.  The two little ones were 2″ circles.  These are pictured below.

After I cut out the shapes I rerolled the dough to make more.  The ones from the initial rolled out dough look the best, in my opinion.

I don’t have turbinado sugar so just used regular to sprinkle on top.

Some Photos Along the Way
Strawberry Dark Chocolate Hand Pies

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Hand Pies

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Hand Pies

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Hand Pies

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Hand PIes

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Hand Pies

 

I love these little hand pies! They’re cute and I love how you can eat a whole pie but it’s not like you ate a whole pie.  The combination of strawberries and dark chocolate is divine.  Add some flaky buttery crust and it’s a party in your mouth.

Have a great week and enjoy some fresh strawberries while you can!

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry season will be here soon!  I had been craving this Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake for a couple of weeks and, thankfully, had some sliced berries in the freezer from last year so only had to wait for some free time to bake this up.  Oh, it smells so good as it bakes! You’ll definitely want a piece (or two or three) of this delicious cake!

 

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

 

 

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake
I have no idea where I got this recipe from.  I cut it out back in college and try to make it at least once when strawberries are in season.  So sorry, I don’t know who to give credit to…just know that I did not make this up!

Ingredients
1 c miniature marshmallows
1 pkg (16-oz) frozen sweetened slice strawberries, thawed
1 pkg (3-oz) strawberry gelatin
1/2 c shortening
1 1/2 c sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
3 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c milk, room temperature
optional (I highly recommend): fresh strawberries and whipped cream

What To Do
Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Sprinkle marshmallows evenly into a greased 9″ x 13″ x 2″ baking dish and set aside.

In a bowl, combine strawberries and gelatin powder and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.

Pour batter over the marshmallows.

Spoon strawberry mixture evenly over batter.

Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

Cut into squares and garnish with fresh berries and whipped cream.

My Comments
I don’t sweeten my strawberries when I freeze them and don’t add sugar to them when I thaw them out.

I sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.

As you can see, I topped mine with whipped cream and slivered almonds.  I also like whipped cream and mini chocolate chips on top!

Some Photos Along the Way
Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

Upside-Down Strawberry Shortcake

 

How cool is that? The marshmallows and strawberries trade places while baking! This really has turned my world upside-down! In a good way :).

Here’s to a super strawberry-licious summer! It can’t get here soon enough!

Strawberry Muffins

Hello! I hope you are enjoying a beautiful spring day today like I am here in central Illinois.  I started working in my garden this morning and when I went to check on my strawberries, I noticed these pretty little white flowers, which means it’s almost strawberry season!

 

strawberry plant

strawberry plant 2

 

I super-♥ strawberry season and if you weren’t a Thirty Seconds on High reader last year, you should definitely check out Strawberry Week.  You will find a different recipe using fresh strawberries every day for a week!

In preparation for the upcoming season, here’s a great recipe for some delicious muffins! It’s not every day that you get to make muffins with fresh strawberries so be sure and take advantage while you can.  You won’t be sorry!

 

Strawberry Muffins

 

Strawberry Muffins
from Baked Perfection
makes 12 muffins

Ingredients
2 eggs
2/3 c white sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 t vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 c Greek yogurt
1 1/2 c diced strawberries
sugar for dusting

What To Do
Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

In a medium bowl mix together flour, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl beat together eggs and sugar. Mix in oil, vanilla, and Greek yogurt. Mix dry ingredients into wet mixture (be sure not to over-mix, batter will be lumpy). Gently fold in strawberries. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups so they are 2/3 of the way full.  Dust each muffin with sugar.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

My Comments
I used normal plain non-fat yogurt.

Using a cookie scoop is a great way to minimize messy transferring of batter from bowl to muffin tin.

I baked mine at 350°F for the same amount of time.  I can’t imagine baking them at 400°F and not burning.

 

I’m so excited for strawberry season to come!! I hope you try these muffins and love them as much as I do.  Have a great weekend!