Tag Archives: chocolate

Brazilian Carrot Cake


Brazilian Carrot Cake

Do carrots scream out at you – ‘Use me’? The orange which brightens every meal. Now let me ask you another question – Did you know carrots were not always orange? Is that a – what the hell is he talking about look on your face? That is the same look I had when I first heard about it. I was in Amsterdam at the time when the tour guide bought it up and talked about how the Dutch hybridized the carrot because they wanted to honor ‘William of Orange’.

For full details you can go to Mythbusters for the entire information. However, the short version of it is that the Dutch farmers cultivated a lot of carrots (white, purple and yellow). They developed a new strain that was orange and started growing that in honor of William of Orange. The traditional just as colorful carrots were tossed aside in favor of the orange one. If you have ever been to The Netherlands you will know their national color is orange and everyone wears orange.

If you live in a big city you probably have access to a farmers market and can get heirloom varieties of carrots. If you do not and do your own vegetable gardening try growing the heirloom varieties, they will add so much color to your plate.

Now back to the cake. I have been fascinated with Brazilian desserts for a while and came across an article about their version of the carrot cake. I did a bit of research and found this site (thank you google translate) and decided to try it with some modifications. The cake is simply delicious and moist and the color. I do want to get other colored carrots and so I can try to make a carrot rainbow cake :-). The cake is not too sweet and the chocolate coating is optional. The carrot flavor is mild and the cake is really moist. Its also a very easy blender cake.


For the cake

  • 280g carrots (about 3 medium sized carrots, peeled)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 360g sugar
  • 240g all-purpose flour (sifted)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch sea salt

For the chocolate glaze

  • 170g dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 100g (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 425F. Butter your Bundt pan and lightly coat it with flour.

Blend the carrots, olive oil, eggs, sugar and salt until it is smooth. Pour this mixture into large bowl and pour the sifted flour and baking powder over it. Gently stir with a whisk until there are no lumps left.

Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Place it carefully into the oven and bake for 5 minutes at 425F. Then lower the temperature to 400F and bake for another 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the deepest part comes out clean or with a few crumbs.

Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack. Then turn the cake out onto the wire rack and let it cool completely.

For the glaze

Put the chocolate, honey and butter into a microwave safe bowl and melt it in the microwave on short 15 second bursts stirring everytime until it is smooth. This should take about 3-4 bursts depending on your microwave power. The butter needs to be melted and just keep stirring the mixture and everything will melt.

Once the cake is completely cooled place a plate under the wire rack and pour the glaze over the cake letting it run down the sides. If you are not able to cover the cake scoop up the chocolate from the plate and pour where needed.

The cake can be left at room temperature covered with plastic wrap or under a cake dome. Mine lasted only two days.





Mocha Pudding



Mocha Pudding

So this happened for a friends birthday. The ask was for something Mocha. I was scouring my recipes for something that I could make without turning on the oven and had initially thought that I would make a Mocha Crepe Cake. It did go through a couple of iterations before I finally settled on a pudding. This is a very rich pudding and as one of my friends said it was more like a Bodino (an Italian dessert) than what you generally think of as an American pudding.

This does require just a little bit of cooking but can be put together without a lot of fuss. You can make endless variations on this – making it a fruit pudding but omitting the cocoa powder and chocolate, but adding a fruit puree and fresh fruit, or making it just with white chocolate. The combinations are endless. You will also realize that you do not have to use the ready boxed pudding mixes and this is really easy to put together.


Time: 20 minutes, Serves: 8 – 10 depending on the size of your glasses

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cornstarch (spoon this into your measuring cup)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used 56% cocoa)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 sachets instant espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua (optional)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1.5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Kahlua
  • biscuits dipped in a sweet wine to serve


Whisk the cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder and salt together in a saucepan. Add the milk slowly constantly whisking to incorporate and to avoid lumps. Turn the heat on to a medium low and continue to whisk. The mixture will start to warm and then thicken. Make sure you are whisking it constantly. You will see the mixture thickening, wait a few more seconds for it to thicken a little more (total of 10-13 minutes) and then take it off the heat. Add the chocolate, vanilla extract, espresso powder and Kahlua (optional), gently stir to make sure everything is blended. Put a piece of plastic (saran wrap) on the surface and let it cool. Once it is cool put it into your serving glasses.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form and then add the sugar continuing to whip for another minute or so until the sugar is dissolved. Fold in the Kahlua (optional). Put it in a piping bag and pipe or just put a lovely dollop on top of the pudding.

When ready to serve, dip the biscuits into the wine and stick it into the pudding and serve. Enjoy








Intensely Chocolate Cake, Raspberry frosting


Here is a cake I have been making recently. I started with inspiration from here. I normally do not use shortening and for the first time used it in the cake and it was really delightful. I then tried making it a few more times and have managed to get the shortening out and added butter. I also went just for regular cocoa as I have friends who are chocoholics but like the milky variety better. Kara’s cake is absolutely delightful and if you do like dark chocolate – it is absolutely YUMMM!

I have made the icing a couple of different ways including one that uses raspberry jam so feel free to be creative. I made this cake for a bake sale and it was the highest bid cake and went for $80. It was shared in the office and got a lot of compliments. I hope you enjoy it as much as they did.


For the cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 packet freeze dried raspberries
  • 3 cups icing (confectioners) sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon milk (optional, for smoother texture)


Preheat oven to 350F. Line two 8inch cake tins with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper.

Cream butter and sugar for about 3 minutes on low in your kitchen-aid mixer, scrape down the sides if your beater blade does not have a scraper. Add the oil and turn the mixer on again until incorporated about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine and break up any lumps. Add half the dry mixture to the batter and on low to combine. Add the buttermilk and beat again to combine. Add the remaining dry mixture and beat to combine.

With the mixer on low, add the boiling water very slowly and gently down the side. This will help your thick batter thin out and avoid the forming of lumps. If your beater blade does not have a scraper make sure you scrape down the sides a couple of times. Let the mixer run on slow for about 3-4 minutes. Your batter will be fairly liquid.

Divide the batter evenly between the tins and bake in the oven for 33-35 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the center of each cake comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes before taking it out of the tin and letting it cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting

Beat cream cheese until soft. Add the butter and beat until the mixture is fluffy. This may take about 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, crush the freeze dried raspberries either in the food processor or using a rolling pin. If you use a rolling pin you may not get a fine powder, but that is fine as you will gets bursts of raspberries when you eat the cake. Pour the crushed raspberries into a bowl and sift the icing sugar into it. Use a whisk to blend.

Add the vanilla extract to the butter/cream cheese mix. Beat for about 30 seconds. Then add half the icing sugar mix and beat to blend. Then add the remaining icing sugar and salt and beat till incorporated. If your mixture is too thick you can add a teaspoon to the mixture and beat.

To assemble

Level the cakes. Brush a little sugar syrup (optional) on the cut side of the cake. Top with 1/4 of the frosting. Place the second cake on top of the frosting and brush with sugar syrup (optional). Frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with fresh raspberries. Place in the refrigerator for the frosting to firm up. Keep the cake out at room temperature for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.


Chocolate Oreo Layer Cake

Chocolate Oreo Cake

I was invited to a very dear 11 year old boy’s birthday party. I offered to bake the cake and his mum was delighted to let me do it. His favorite ingredient is chocolate and so I decided to bake a chocolate cake with Oreo’s in it. That was the biggest surprise when the cake was cut – ‘Oh goodness – does it have Oreo’s inside? ‘. I have made an Oreo cookie birthday cake before and used more of a chocolate cake batter but I wanted this one to be lighter. I looked up one of my favorite chef personalities Ina Garten and this is a take on her Double-Chocolate layer cake.

I do not always have buttermilk in the fridge so I keep powdered buttermilk on hand and make it as needed.

I will say it was a hit. The birthday boy loved it and had two pieces. Then when I was taking the cake plate with me. He asked his mum ‘Do I get to keep the cake?’ Cutest thing ever!. I got a huge compliment from my mum. She said ‘Its your best cake ever!’

I am sorry that I do not have the times that I did to make the cake and frostings – but overall prep time should not be more than 20 minutes for the cake and 15 for each of the icings.


For the cake

1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee (1 1/2 tablespoon of instant Nestle coffee)

1 package double stuffed Oreos

For the filling

Oreo cookies crushed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter + 2 tablespoons, room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream

1 cup milk chocolate chips or good quality milk chocolate
Oreo cookies to decorate


For the cake

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter two 8 inch by 2 inch round cake pans and line them with parchment paper. Butter the paper.

Whisk dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, sea salt) in a stand mixer. Whisk the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla (I use the electric whisk). Add this to the dry mixture and whisk until just incorporated.

With tongs dip 12 Oreo cookies in the hot coffee to soften just a bit and set aside. Add the hot coffee and whisk to incorporate. The batter will be very liquid. Pour the batter equally into the prepared pans. Distribute 6 Oreos per pan and make sure they are submerged.

Bake the cakes for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. Take the cakes out and let them cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge, remove them from the pan and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Filling

Reserve 8-9 Oreo cookies and set aside. Crush the remaining in a food processor or seal in a plastic bag and run a rolling pin over them till they are finely crushed.

Cream butter in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. If your paddle attachment does not have a scraper, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl at least twice. Add confectioners sugar a half cup at a time beating well between each addition. Add the crushed Oreo cookies, vanilla and milk and beat. The filling should be fairly thick but spreadable. If it is too firm add a teaspoon of milk to reach spreading consistency.

For the frosting

Microwave the chocolate with the 2 tablespoons of butter for 20 seconds. Then go for two to three 5 second bursts making sure the butter has melted. Stir the butter chocolate mixture making sure that all the chocolate has melted and let it cool. If the chocolate has not melted microwave again in short 5 second bursts stirring between each burst.

Cream the 1/2 cup of butter in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract, half the sugar and half the milk/cream and beat until incorporated. Add the remaining sugar and milk and beat again until incorporated. Add the cooled melted chocolate and beat until incorporated. Again if you feel the icing is not going to spread at this time add a little more milk/cream.

To assemble

Place one cooled cake flat side down on your cake plate. Place strips of parchment   under the edges of the cake. This will help you have a clean cake stand at the end. Spread your filling on the top of the cake in an even layer.

Place the second cake – flat side (parchment side) up on top of the filling. Press down gently to get an even top. Using an offset spatula scrape off any filling that has squeezed out.

Pour your frosting over the top of the cake and using a clean offset spatula push it gently towards the edges and let it drip over. Then using your offset spatula turn your cake plate slowly and using your offset spatula make an even edge. Gently pull out the pieces of parchment paper and you have neat edges!.

Now split the remaining Oreo cookies and scrape off the filling. Use the Oreo halfs to decorate the cake.

Refrigerate the cake for about an hour. Take it out of the fridge for about 15 minutes before you serve it.




Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

Chocolate Tres Leches

Chocolate Tres Leches

When I first tasted Tres Leches I was tickled pink with delight. It was an actual OMG moment. So I hunted around for recipes and finally make one. It was a hit. Well if you think about it you are getting the most moist (well actually flooded with liquid) cake with an amazing topping (not buttercream).

Being the chocolate lover that I am I decided to make a chocolate version of it. A chocolaty cake, with chocolate syrup and topped with a chocolate topping. Yes, its about dying and going to heaven. Now that was a hit that it was everyone’s favorite. It was the most requested cake at the office. It did help that it also had a nice swig of alcohol. The alcohol is totally optional and I have used rum, brandy and liqueur (grand mariner).

This I think has been the absolute best version ever. I made it when one of my dear friends was leaving Atlanta for good. He is the one who did the website design for me. I will miss you, but then you know Atlanta is just a flight away :-).  This is what he asked for and the request was to make it with Dark chocolate. He said it was the best one ever.

I have also given options for a cheat version of using a devil’s food cake mix. This is if you just want to throw something quickly. I have also used Dark Chocolate for the mousse, feel free to substitute a milk chocolate.


Servers 12 -15
For the cake:
Adapted from here by David Lebovitz
  • 9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (optional – I did not use it)
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
  • ½ cup strong espresso (2 teaspoons espresso)
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • OR Use a Devil’s food cake mix

for the Tres Leches

  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup (Hershey’s)
  • 1/4 cup brandy (optional)

for the Chocolate Mousse Frosting (Contains raw eggs – see Note below for alternate)

  • 7 ounces chocolate chips (dark chocolate at least 60% cocoa)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Brandy (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped (use less if you want a thicker mousse)


for the cake

If you are using the Food cake mix, bake the cake according to the package instructions for a 13 x 9 pan. Let if cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake pan and use a toothpick to poke (a fair number of) holes in the cake. Then pour in the Tres Leches.

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 13×9 inch pan and set it aside.
Sift cake flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder into a bowl. Sift the cocoa powder too if you are using it.

Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. It took me about 10 minutes as my butter (even though it was sitting out for a good two hours) was still fairly cold. If your paddle attachment does not have a scraper, make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well (and scraping) after each addition.

Add half the flour mixture into the bowl and use the mixer on low to incorporate. Add the wet ingredients and stir with a spatula, and once incorporated use the mixer again. Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. 

Bake for about 25-30 mins until a toothpick pierced into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool on the rack for about 10 mins. Using a toothpick prick the cake all over. Using a butter knife, run it around the sides of the cake to release it from the pan.

Make the Tres Leches milk mixture and then pour over the cake, ladle by ladle making sure that you are distributing it equally over the cake and sides. Let each pouring be absorbed before you pour the next one. Let the cake cool completely.

for the Chocolate Mousse

In a glass bowl add the chocolate and 1/4 cup heavy cream and heat in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Let the mixture sit for about 30 seconds and then stir mixture to combine. If all the chocolate does not melt then repeat process in the microwave for short bursts. Set aside to cool.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale yellow and has doubled in volume. This will take a little time, so be patient. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture and stir till well combined. Add the Brandy and stir to combine.

Beat the remaining heavy cream in the electric mixer on medium speed until you see it start to thicken. Add a teaspoon of sugar and increase the speed to high, beat until the cream just reaches the stiff peak stage. Gently fold in the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, folding until thoroughly incorporated. Put it over the cooled cake and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Eggless chocolate mousse topping

Heat 1 cup cream to boiling. Add 8 oz of chocolate and let it rest for about a minute. Then stir to incorporate. Add 1 tablespoon of your favorite brandy/liqueur. Whip 1 cup of heavy cream and fold into the chocolate mixture.

Milk and White Chocolate mousse

Black and White Chocolate Mousse

Milk and White Chocolate Mousse

This is something you can throw together in a pinch if you have someone coming over. It simple easy and who does not like chocolate. Well I actually do know a couple of people who do  not really care for chocolate – shocking but true. I have been making chocolate mousse for a number of years and doing it in a variety ways. this one is by far the easiest. This version does not use eggs at all. You can make multiple layers using chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa (which I tend to like more). The more the cocoa the better the chocolate is for you :-).

Janaks classmate (for 12 years in school) was coming to Atlanta for a wedding and said they would drop in for a visit.  Well their daughters love desserts and since I was swamped  at work and home, so I decided on something simple and something chocolate. Well when I did serve this their eyes lit up. Isn’t that the first best compliment that you can get. The excitement in someone’s eyes when they see something that they like. The second is the look of  sheer delight when the bite into that first morsel. Well both the girls were thrilled. We had a wonderful visit with Paresh and  his family even though it was a short one and we look forward to their next visit – which will hopefully be longer.


Makes 4 mini cups

  • 2.5 oz milk chocolate chips
  • 2.5 oz white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon rum (optional)


Heat a 1/4 cup of the cream (to hot not boiling) and pour over the white chocolate and let it sit for about 2 minutes and then stir to dissolve. In this method I leave the white chocolate partially melted so I still have some chunks. Set this aside to cool.

Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave or on a double boiler. The double boiler method is easier and you are sure to melt the chocolate evenly. For the microwave method put the chips in a bowl. Heat for 10 seconds stir. Repeat. On the second stir the chocolate should flow more easily. Then do it for 5 seconds and stir. You may have to do this one more time but make sure you stir well because the heat from the melted pieces will help the rest of the pieces melt. Set this aside.

Whip the remaining heavy cream and as it starts to thicken pour in the sugar. Keep whipping until you get soft peaks (that is if you lift your whisk out of the cream you will get a peak that will gently flop over). At this point you can add your vanilla extract and rum and gently fold in.

Use half the whipped cream and fold into the cooled white chocolate mix. Fold in completely. Use the other half to fold into the cooled milk chocolate. Layer the milk chocolate mousse into your cup and then top with the white chocolate mousse. Sift some cocoa powder on top and then top with a dark and white chocolate chip.

Nutella Mousse with Burnt Marshmallows

Nutella Mousse with burnt Marshmallow

Nutella Mousse with burnt Marshmallow

It was a while before I actually tried Nutella. I had an aversion to nuts and refused to eat anything with nuts in them and if I did get something with nuts, I would very patiently separate all the nuts out. Well I finally got around to eating them and then I was introduced to Nutella. I try not to keep it in the house as I just eat it straight out of the jar. It is so irresistible. When we go camping someone always brings along a Costco sized jar and it is cleaned out pretty quick. We just have to try and find different delivery systems to transport the nutella from the jar into our salivating mouths.

I wanted to make something with Nutella as I have a lot of friends who love it and I have been promising a friend whose birthday has gone by that I would make him a Nutella dessert. You can just make the nutella mousse as it is delicious on its own. I had egg yolks hanging around as I had just made a fresh batch of sugarpaste and decided to make a pastry cream. Hopefully you enjoy it as much as the folks who ate it here at home.

Oh and I was just looking at stats and I wanted to say hello to all my readers. You are from all over the world and it tickles me pink to see where I have hits from. Don’t be shy drop me a line. I would love to hear from you.


Make 12 5oz dessert cups

Nutella Mousse

3/4 cup whole milk
12 heaped tablespoons of nutella
3oz dark chocolate
1 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar

Heat the milk until it boils (or microwave for for 2 minutes in a microwave safe container with higher sides). Add the nutella and dark chocolate to the milk. Stir until everything is well mixed and then set it aside to cool.

Once the nutella is cool you can start whipping the cream. After the cream starts to thicken slowly add the sugar. Keep whipping until it get to the stiff peak stage. Fold a small portion (about a 1/4 of the whipped cream) into the nutella milk mixture to lighten. Then add this to the rest of the whipped cream and fold gently. Distribute among your dessert cups

Pasty Cream

2 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1.5 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon butter

Put the milk into a quart sized pot and bring it to a boil, then turn it off.

Whisk the egg yolks, flour and sugar in a small heatproof bowl. Whisk in about a 1/4 cup of the hot milk slowly into the egg mixture. Once it is blended you can then pour this mixture into the hot milk and put it back on the stove on a low heat, continue to whisk continuously until it is thickened. It should take about another 4 – 5 minutes. Take it off the stove.

Whisk in vanilla and butter. Pour it into a heatproof bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap touches the surface of the cream. This will prevent if from getting a skin. Set it aside to cool.

When cool distribute evenly among the dessert cups pouring it over the mousse. Then top it with mini marshmallows. Use your torch to singe the top of the marshmallows. Be careful as the marshmallows will continue to burn. Serve and enjoy.