Thursday, November 27, 2014

Chocolate: A Real Cause for Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving Leftovers: Mashed Potato Chocolate Cake

If you're like me, you'll have a lot of Thanksgiving Leftovers. I posted a recipe last year for Turkey Mole to use up the leftover turkey, but here's another great recipe for those delicious leftover mashed potatoes. This Mashed Potato Chocolate Cake recipe is easy and absolutely delicious. WARNING: This recipe won't work if you seasoned your potatoes with herbs or garlic. Mashed potatoes with butter or cream or cream cheese will work perfectly.

In case you want to make this as its own dish (not using leftovers), try the recipe I posted for White Chocolate Mashed Potatoes.

I've never met a potato I didn't like!

MASHED POTATO CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients
4 ounces dark chocolate (65-75% cacao)
1 cup sweet butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp Madagascar or Mexican vanilla extract
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 ounces dark chocolate chopped into chunks (or chocolate chips)

Directions
Melt chocolate with vanilla; cool slightly.
Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.
In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar and beat in eggs, one by one.
Add chocolate and mashed potatoes.
Beat in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk.
Fold in dark chocolate chips or chunks.
Pour into greased 13x9 x 2 inch pan (or Bundt Pan) and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chocolate Pumpkin Trifle: Perfect for Thanksgiving

Holidays are the perfect time for Trifles. I make a wicked (and easy) Trifle for the Fourth of July with sponge cake, strawberries, blueberries & kirsh. So for Thanksgiving, I thought I'd post this easy and sweet trifle recipe for Chocolate Pumpkin Trifle that combines pumpkin and chocolate.

What's a TRIFLE? The dictionary defines 'Trifle' as something insignificant, but you'll find that this dessert is anything but. I'm not trifling with you. This is a fabulous dessert!

Trifles are traditionally made in a large clear deep bowl so you can see all the layers. I have the perfect bowl! The assembled trifle is covered and placed in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours so the flavors can mingle. This Chocolate and Pumpkin Trifle is perfect for Thanksgiving since it can feed upwards of 8 guests.

There are many variations, and you can add different things in different layers--and you can vary the size of your layers. You can follow the recipe below with cookies but stack as you please: ex, layer of pumpkin cream, layer of cookies, layer of chocolate cream, etc. This is not a science. Instead of Chocolate Wafers, you can use Chocolate Cake or Brownies or try using left over Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Bundt Cake (as if there is any left over!) or Pumpkin Bread.
Waterford Trifle Bowl

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN TRIFLE

Ingredients
4 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
4 cups heavy cream
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1 cup natural pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
1- 7.5-ounce jar of Marshmallow Fluff
6 small Heath bars (toffee), chopped (still have any left over from Halloween?)
1 1/2- 9-ounce boxes chocolate wafer cookies (or chocolate cake)

Directions (but when it comes to layering, that's up to you!):
1. In small pot over another pot, melt chocolate with 1/2 cup cream over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Let cool.
2. Using electric mixer, whip 2 cups cream with 1 tsp vanilla until stiff.
3. In medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, pumpkin spice and marshmallow cream. Fold in whipped cream in 2 parts; refrigerate.
3. Add remaining 1-1/2 cups heavy cream to mixer bowl and whip until thickened. With machine on, slowly add chocolate mixture and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat until stiff but not dry.
4. Spread one-third of chocolate cream in a 4-quart clear glass trifle bowl.
5. Layer with one-third of toffee (Heath bars).
6. Make a cookie (or cake) layer--be sure and stand up some cookies along side of bowl (it will look pretty)*
7. Make pumpkin cream layer
8. Repeat with remaining cookies and more pumpkin cream (depending on how thick you make layers).
9. Add chocolate cream layer.
10. Sprinkle with chopped toffee and cover with chocolate cream.
11. Cover and refrigerate for 4-24 hours.
To serve, sprinkle with the remaining toffee (or not).

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN MARBLE BUNDT CAKE

Photo: Sunset Magazine
With Thanksgiving so late this year, we've run into another food holiday -- National Cake Day! Why not celebrate Thanksgiving with this fabulous Pumpkin Chocolate Bundt Cake!

According to Nordic Ware, the original makers of the Bundt Pan, "If there is a kitchen in the home, there is a Bundt pan." Even if there's not, I think my kitchen makes up the difference. I have all kinds of bundt pans. I find the shapes so versatile and fun. Bundt cakes always look so special. I'm always buying unique bundt pans at the flea market or White Elephant Sale.

Here are some Nordic Ware Pumpkin Bundt Pans for Thanksgiving:


Nordic Ware: Great Pumpkin Bundt Pan
Love this go-to recipe from Sunset Magazine (Charity Ferreira: 2003) for Chocolate Pumpkin Marble Bundt Cake. This marbled bundt cake features two separate batters: chocolate and pumpkin. The original recipe calls for a chocolate glaze, but that's optional. The cake is rich enough as it is.

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN MARBLE BUNDT CAKE

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups (3/4 lb) sweet butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin (I use an all natural canned pumpkin)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup buttermilk

Directions
1. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Scrape half mixture into another bowl.
2. To make pumpkin batter: Beat pumpkin into half butter mixture until well blended. In another bowl, stir together 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed or fold in with flexible spatula just until blended.
3. To make chocolate batter: In another bowl, mix remaining 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cocoa. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the other half of the butter mixture (starting and ending with flour mixture), beating after each addition just until blended.
4. Spoon half pumpkin batter into buttered and floured 12-cup bundt-cake pan. Drop half chocolate batter by spoonfuls over (but not entirely covering) pumpkin batter. Repeat to spoon remaining pumpkin and chocolate batters into pan. Gently run blade of butter knife around center of pan several times, then draw knife across width of pan in 10 to 12 places to swirl batters.
5. Bake in 350° regular or 325° convection oven until wood skewer inserted into center of cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cake cool 10 minutes in pan, then invert onto rack, lift off pan, and cool cake completely.
Nordic Ware: Turkey Bundt Pan