Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

I have fond memories of the Cherry Festival – my small hometown’s annual carnival – from when I was very young and naïve (which I just might still be, but that’s another story).

Cherry Festival

I remember soaring high through the sky on the Ferris wheel with my dad, who convinced me that the height wouldn’t be scary with him by my side and would be worth going on first so we could check out the rest of the carnival grounds from a high vantage point.

I remember going on the Graviton with my older sister time after time, until feeling so dizzy that we had to stop and go back to normal gravity. That one was scary the first time, as it was like a huge spaceship and our parents didn’t go on it with us, but I went because my all-knowing sister convinced me it was fun. After that it was exhilarating and sickening at the same time.

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

I fondly remember the swings, my absolute favorite. I adored flying through the air with the wind in my hair and my feet dangling above the people below. Sometimes I would pretend to kick them, but mostly, I would just close my eyes and dream wonderful things.

I remember the first and last time someone ever convinced me to go on the zipper – the one that spun upside down. I didn’t fit in the seat and slid up and down, hitting my head, every time the rickety ride spun upside down. Someone else puked. I almost puked. The ground was practically holy to me once I got off the ride. Never again.

Roasted Cherries

I remember the huge slide and racing down next to my friends on potato sacks. We would do this over and over because due to the typically short lines we could race up the steps and race down the slides and race up the steps and race down the slide, over and over again.

I remember the first time I ever went on the tiny dragon roller coaster for kids, which seemed huge at the time. I was convinced that the dragon carts were going to climb off the tracks and carry me away to my demise.

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

I remember spending too much money in order to win a goldfish that would die a week later.

I remember cotton candy and lemon shakeups and funnel cakes. And I remember cherries. Lots of cherry flavored and inspired foods.

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

But as I grew up, the cherry festival became less of an experience and more of a nostalgic thought. I realized the rides were overpriced and less than thrilling, if not nauseating. I also remembered the fish would die in a week, and that the game was a huge scam anyway. Sometime in the midst of childhood and adolescence, the festival lost its magic.

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

However, this year my mom convinced me to sign up for the cherry cookery contest, and again I got excited about our towns cherry fest. And this time it was all about ice cream. I’ve had a bit of an obsession with making ice cream lately, and dreamt up this lovely concoction for the contest. It’s a bit time consuming with having four different components that come together to make only one quart, but the result is very worth it.

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

Makes about 1 quart

Roasted Cherries:

2 cups fresh whole cherries, washed and pitted

1 Tablespoon orange juice

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

1 Teaspoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all in an 8 inch round or square baking dish. Roast at 400 for 30-35 minutes, stirring cherries every ten minutes. Let cool.

Cherry Syrup:

½ cup cherries, washed and pitted

¼ cup water

¼ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cornstarch

Chop cherries into quarters. Combine water and cornstarch in small saucepan, stirring to dissolve. Add sugar and cherries and cook over high heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally and slightly mashing cherries, for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain out syrup and discard cherry pieces. Set cherry syrup aside to cool.

Chocolate Ganache:

¼ cup heavy cream

1.5 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Microwave or heat cream on stovetop until it comes to a boil. Immediately after it boils remove from heat and add chocolate to cream. Let sit 5 minutes without stirring, then stir until chocolate completely incorporates into cream.

Ice Cream Base:

2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon whole milk

1 Tablespoon plus 1 Teaspoon cornstarch

3 ounces cream cheese

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 ¼ cup heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons light corn syrup

Mix 1 Tablespoon milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside. Put cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl and set aside

Combine 2 cups milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan and bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and allow to boil for four to five minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in cornstarch and milk mixture, then allow to boil for a minute longer or until mixture is slightly thickened.

Add about ½ cup of the hot cream mixture to the bowl with the cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth. Gradually add remaining cream mixture to bowl while whisking to incorporate all

Chill the ice cream base completely, then pour into the frozen canister of an ice cream maker and spin according to manufacturers instructions. (It should take about 30 minutes until the ice cream is thick and creamy).

To Assemble Ice Cream:

After the cream is frozen, swirl the cherry syrup into the ice cream by hand. Do not fully incorporate.

Layer the ice cream into a storage container: Put about ¼ of the ice cream into the bottom, drizzle on a ¼ of the ganache, add ¼ of the roasted cherries, and repeat, ending with a drizzle of ganache and cherries on the top. Freeze until firm and serve.

Roasted Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Ganache Swirl

Much love,

B

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Because of my momma . . . Flourless Chocolate Cake

Because of my momma…

 Flourless Chocolate Cake from Arts and Tarts

I am the person I am today because of my momma.

Because of her, I see the world the way I do.

I write this blog and create the content because my mom allowed me in the kitchen. She taught me to share. She encouraged me to be me.

I am shy, just like my momma.

I have ten fingers and ten toes, a mind and a soul, because my momma carried me.

I have a curved spine, from my momma’s genes.

 Flourless Chocolate Cake from Arts and Tarts

I trust, and I care, and I love, because my momma has done so for me.

Because of my momma, I talk in silly voices to my dog.

I stand on two feet and walk forward everyday, because my mom inspires me so.

I have hot coffee in a mug between my intertwined fingers every morning, because my momma spoils me.

 Flourless Chocolate Cake from Arts and Tarts

I see lovely flowers all around, because my mom gardens so beautifully.

She shows me how to care by caring so passionately and selflessly for everyone around her.

Because of my mom, I am completely and utterly blessed.

 Flourless Chocolate Cake from Arts and Tarts

I made this cake because of my mommy.

I love her, because she is my perfect and beautiful momma.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

 Flourless Chocolate Cake from Arts and Tarts

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Glaze and Berry Coulis

Cake:

½ cup water

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup granulated sugar

18 (1 oz) squares bittersweet bakers chocolate

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

6 large eggs

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease one 10 inch round spring form pan (or any similar sized pan, I used a heart shaped insert for my springform pan. Baking times may vary though).

In a small saucepan, combine water, salt, and sugar (and optional espresso powder); Stir over medium heat until completely dissolved. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Once melted, pour into the bowl of an electric mixer.

Cut the butter into pieces and slowly add to the chocolate, beating on medium speed. Beat in the hot sugar-water. Slowly beat in eggs, one at a time, until all ingredients are completely combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 300 degrees F for 45-55 minutes. The center will still be slightly jiggly. (Make sure internal temp is 140 degrees F). Chill for several hours, or overnight, to allow cake to cool completely before removing from pan. To remove, gently cut around edges and remove springform ring.

Chocolate Glaze:

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips or 6 (1 oz) squares semisweet bakers chocolate

¼ cup butter

3 Tablespoons Berry Coulis (Optional)

Combine chocolate and butter and melt over double boiler. Stir in Berry Coulis once melted. Allow to cool for ten to fifteen minutes, then pour over chilled cake.

Berry Coulis:

2 cups frozen or fresh berries (any variety)

2 Tablespoons Sugar

Juice of half a lemon

Combine all in a small saucepan and cook until berries are soft and have released their juices. Remove from heat and mash the berries well, or process in a food processor. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and discard solids. Mix in 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Use to add to Chocolate Glaze and/or serve drizzled over cake.

 Flourless Chocolate Cake from Arts and Tarts

Molly Cupcakes – Rich Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

I have a dear friend named Molly. Molly turned 20 in August, so I made her cupcakes.

“Chocolate!” she said.

So I made chocolate. Super, delectable, melt in your mouth chocolate. You see my friends, Molly is very much worth it.

I couldn’t just make a simple chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream (although, that would be wonderful too). You see, Molly has this crazy personality, so simple definitely would not work.

Instead, we start with a suuuuper incredibly moist chocolate cake. And then we fill the center with coffee flavored ganache for a nice little surprise when you take that first bite. After it’s filled, this Molly cupcake gets a huge dollop of whipped chocolate ganache. More ganache, that’s right. (Do you know what ganache is? Pronounced gah-NAHSH, this simple yet perfect thing is made from chocolate and cream, and can be used for glaze, frosting, filling, or eaten by the spoonful. It’s rich and smooth and velvety.) After the ganache, chocolate shavings are a must. Then, green (Molly’s color) pearl sprinkles and cute toothpick signs complete Molly cupcakes.

It’s impossible to put Molly’s character into words. I want to say spunky and peculiar, lovely, animated, and curious, to say the least. There will never be a dull moment with this girl around. And did I mention that she is oh so incredibly talented? She is.

Molly Cupcakes

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 18

1 ¾ cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

¾ cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup strong, hot black coffee

1 cup milk (I used 2%, but whole works perfectly too)

1 teaspoon white vinegar

½ cup vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

In bowl of electric mixer, combine all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until very well incorporated, about 2 minutes on medium speed. The batter is supposed to be very thin.

Pour the batter into prepared cupcake tins until 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs (moist is what we’re going for, so no clean toothpicks!) Let cupcakes cool for about 5-10 minutes in the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Chocolate Ganache

For the filling and the whipped ganache frosting

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

1 ¼ cup heavy cream

11 ounces unsweetened chocolate

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 10-16 cubes

1 cup sugar

Chop the chocolate into pea sized pieces. Combine chocolate and butter in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

Combine sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Once mixture boils, immediately pour over chocolate and butter mixture. Let sit for five whole minutes, then whisk well until incorporated (It might take a bit of whisking before it’s completely incorporated).

Set aside 1 cup of the ganache for the filling. The remaining ganache will be for the whipped frosting and needs to be cooled completely. When it has cooled (and is much thicker) the ganache is ready to be whipped. Transfer the ganache to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment. Whip on medium until light brown and fluffy (5-10 minutes). Use immediately to spread or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. The ganache will firm up more once spread or piped.

Filling:

Mix about 1 cup of prepared ganache with 1 tablespoon strong black coffee. If you want a stronger coffee taste, add very fine instant coffee powder or espresso powder to taste. If no coffee flavor is desired, omit coffee and just use ganache as is for filling.

Assembly:

When cupcakes are completely cooled, fill the centers with some of the ganache. There are a few techniques out there for filling cupcakes, and Annie’s Eats has a good tutorial with photos for three different methods you should check out here. For my cupcakes, I chose to use a pastry bag fitted with a round tip. To do this, insert the tip into the cupcake and squeeze to pipe in a small amount of the ganache.

When the cupcakes are filled, use a pastry bag to pipe the whipped ganache onto the cupcakes (I used a round Wilton 2A tip). Alternatively, spread a big dollop of the whipped ganache on with a spatula. Either way tastes perfectly divine.

Top with chocolate shavings and sprinkles, if desired. Cute little toothpick signs are another fun option!

Love, B

P.S. Molly enjoyed her cupcakes, here’s Instagram proof. . .

Chocolate Cupcakes slightly adapted from Sweetapolita.

Ganache adapted from this post.

Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls

I vividly remember the mornings of my childhood that began with cinnamon rolls. These mornings were always the best – my mom would quietly poke her head in my room and whisper, “Bea, time to get up” or sometimes in her silly mom voice, “wakey, wakey!” Immediately upon waking, I could smell them. The aroma of sweet rolls seemed to overtake the entire house, inviting us to leave the warmth of our beds to fill our tummies.

My sisters and I would race downstairs with the hopes that no one had squeezed the packet of icing onto the just baked rolls, as we wanted to do it. When we did get our wish, we always made sure that while doing so we claimed a certain roll to be ours. (And of course, after claiming it, we always made sure to put just a bit extra icing on, for all of our hard work.)

Cinnamon roll mornings were special. Often it signified the first day of school or a birthday, but occasionally, I think our parents just wanted to spoil us.

These mornings always seemed to be during the school year, and they managed to brighten up the rest of the day. Not only did they taste wonderfully and make my belly full and warm, but I also had something to tell on the playground.  It was an opportunity for one of those little kid bragging moments for me – I got to proclaim that I ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast while hearing all the other students get excited for me, exclaiming their appreciation with a  “lucky duck!” or “your parents must be awesome!” I cherished that attention. It wasn’t necessarily to make the others jealous, but to share in my excitement. Now that I think back on it, it really was quite a trivial thing to be so excited over, but I really loved those special mornings with the cinnamon rolls.

I love giving cinnamon rolls to people, and I think it’s partly due to these fond memories of cinnamon roll mornings. But also, it’s the taste, the gooey center, the individual rolls baked together as one, the sugar and butter, and the process of making them that I love so much. A cinnamon roll is so simple, yet it’s also sophisticated. It’s been proofed, mixed, kneaded, raised, rolled out, sprinkled with toppings, rolled back up, cut, raised again, and baked.  But don’t let that intimidate you, because although they take some time to make homemade, the process is fun and messy, easy and oh so rewarding.

These cinnamon rolls are taken to the next level with the addition of dark chocolate and toasted hazelnuts. They taste a bit like nutella, but still have a touch of the classic cinnamon taste.

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman

2 cups milk (I actually used almond milk)

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup sugar

2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)

4 cups flour + ½ cup later

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ teaspoon salt

Filling:

4 Tablespoons melted butter (or more!)

1 cup dark chocolate, chopped

½ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped

½ cup brown sugar, packed

Cinnamon (about 1 teaspoon)

For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Set aside and cool until about 115 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, make sure it’s pretty warm, but not scalding. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk until frothy.

Add 4 cups of the flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining ½ cup flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.

To assemble the rolls, on a floured baking surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin.

To make the filling, brush the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar on, then cinnamon (I used about 1 full teaspoon), then the hazelnuts and chocolate. Add more or less of each filling ingredient, the proportions are all up to you!

Beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. Alternatively, used thread or dental floss to cut the slices. You should end up with around 20-25 rolls. Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into round cake pans and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown.

While the rolls are baking, make an icing. I made a simple chocolate icing by whisking together 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons milk, and ½ teaspoon vanilla.

I think a drizzle of nutella would also make a lovely and simple topping.

Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Enjoy these all to yourself, or better yet, share a pan with some loved ones!

Beginnings – Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Spice Cookies

Ever since I can remember, I have enjoyed being in the kitchen. My mom is the one who got me started, always letting me help in the kitchen when she was cooking. I would carefully stir, cautiously pour in ingredients that were magically pre-measured, taste test everything, and grin from ear to ear when someone said he liked the food, because I had stirred, poured, tested.

Recently, I came across my first ever cookbook. It was filled with recipes that any child could master on her own – as simple as “Perfect S’mores” and as quirky as “Squirrel Sandwiches.” I remember flipping through those pages often, finding my favorite recipes, coloring the black and white pictures, and using the provided stickers to “rate each recipe.”

As I flipped through the pages, I came across a section in the book with blank recipe cards – and the first recipe I have ever written. I called my creation “Treat Pizza” and even though it was nothing more than bread with a few sweet toppings, I pretended it was the best tasting thing ever. I’m sure my parents pretended so too.

Eventually I began to use more complicated recipes to bake cookies, brownies, and sweets of those sorts, but I always seemed to stick to the recipes. I wasn’t as imaginative as the girl I was a few years back, and I just wanted everything to be absolutely perfect. And that meant following every ingredient and every step exactly as the recipe called.

It wasn’t until these cookies that I began to experiment a bit. I wanted to make oatmeal cookies, but at the time I despised the little shriveled up raisins most oatmeal cookies have tucked inside. I thought they looked and tasted like poo. However, there was no way I was making plain oatmeal cookies, as that was just not perfect either. So instead, I did what I had to do, I added chocolate. And then I couldn’t stop, I had to add extra spices too, then make them bigger than the wimpy teaspoon size the recipe called for.

These cookies were a turning point for me and my approach to food. It was no longer all about exactness, but about putting my own flair into what I make. It’s about being myself in the kitchen, not mimicking Betty Crocker. It’s about trial and error, with lots of love and sharing in between.

I like to call this recipe Dad Cookies, because my dad is always the one to remind me to make these every once in awhile. They make the whole house smell inviting while they’re baking and come out with a perfectly imperfect look to them, just like cookies should. These oatmeal cookies are soft and chewy but crisp on the edges, with melty chocolate and a kick of cinnamon and nutmeg. They will call out your name, and then there’s no turning back.

Dad Cookies (Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Spice Cookies)

 

¾ cup butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup sugar

1 egg

1 ¾ cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cloves

1 t ground coffee

½ tsp salt

2 cups oats

1 cup chocolate chips

 

Optional Topping –

1 tsp sugar

2 Tbsn brown sugar

2 tsp butter

½ tsp cinnamon

 

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugars on high until light and fluffy. Mix in egg. In another small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, coffee grounds, and salt. Gradually add this to the butter mixture, beating until thoroughly combined. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.

To make topping, combine sugars, butter, and cinnamon, working until all is incorporated.

Drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet. Add a bit of the sugar topping to the tops and optionally the bottoms as well. Gently flatten the cookies a bit, then bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Raechy – Earl Grey Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

We sat in the kitchen debating over cupcakes. It was a good sort a debate, one that ensured these cupcakes were going to be flawless because so much thought went into them. She would say this one, I would say that one, but eventually we came to an agreement. Together with our aprons on, we made a perfect cupcake.

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cupcakes, artsntarts.wordpress.com

My sister and I are Irish twins, that is, born in the same calendar year. Only eleven months separate the two of us. Well, that and our incredibly differing personalities. And then there’s the physical separation by the ocean. I guess we are rather separated after all, but sometimes I like to pretend that the mere eleven months is the only thing distancing us because that’s only a separation in age, not space.

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cupcakes, https://artsntarts.wordpress.com/

My sister did this thing that astonished us all. She joined the navy. We’re so proud of her, not only is she the beautiful, thoughtful, and bubbly sister I’ve always known, but also she’s strong. In this past year and sometime more, she has been such an example of strength and perseverance. I admire my sister.

I love that my sister is in the navy, yet I hate it. I think the navy brought us together, strengthening our relationship. It showed us how important our relationship is and how we’ve taken each other for granted before. But the navy has separated us so much also.  We live across the world from each other, one waking up while the other goes to sleep. We can’t see each other but twice a year.

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cupcakes, https://artsntarts.wordpress.com/

My sister is like another half to myself. While I’m quite shy, she’s a social butterfly. I’m timid, she’s bold. She’s always been my big sister, the one I look up to, and even through our differences, she has set quite an example for me.

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cupcakes, https://artsntarts.wordpress.com/

One thing my sister and I both agree squarely on is our love for baking. We have different baking styles, just as our styles in practically everything else vary a bit, but together I think we made something pretty spectacular.

We made Earl Grey Dark Chocolate Cupcakes. I think Raechel would like you to know that she first pinned the recipe to Pinterest, so she gets to claim it. (After all, we are sisters, there has to be some competitiveness!)

After tasting the frosting, we decided we wanted the earl grey tea flavor to shine through a wee bit more, so we brushed the tops of the cupcakes with a quick and easy simple syrup made by boiling tea and sugar. (And that was my ingenious idea, competitiveness I tell ya)

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cupcakes, https://artsntarts.wordpress.com/Earl Grey Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Desserts for Breakfast.

makes 12 – 14 cupcakes

Cake:

1 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 large eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup whole milk (we used almond milk)

1/2 cup hot coffee (dark roast for best results)

1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (optional)

Ganache Frosting:

6 teabags of Earl Grey

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup + 2 Tbspn heavy cream

5 oz unsweetened chocolate

8 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup sugar

extra tea, for brushing

Cake:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare 12 – 14 cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

In a mixer bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the beaten egg, vegetable oil, and milk.

With the mixer on low, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until evenly distributed. Pour the hot coffee into the batter gradually and mix on medium low until smooth. Stir in bittersweet chocolate pieces. Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes. When a toothpick inserted at the center of the cupcake comes out cleanly, the cakes are done. Remove from oven, remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Ganache:

Place the Earl Grey teabags, condensed milk, and heavy cream in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, cover tightly, and let steep for at least one hour.

Meanwhile, finely chop the chocolate and cut the butter into pieces. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set aside.

Remove the teabags from the milk mixture, making sure to squeeze as much liquid from the teabags as possible before discarding. Add the sugar to the milk mixture, return to the stove, and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot milk mixture over the chocolate and butter. Let sit for two minutes, then whisk until smooth.Cool completely.

Once cool, transfer the ganache to the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip on medium until light-colored and fluffy. Use immediately to spread or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

Extra Notes: Start steeping the cream and tea for the frosting first, it’ll save time. Brush tops of cupcakes with extra tea or a tea simple syrup to enhance the tea flavor. Sprinkle tops of frosted cupcakes with sea salt to make them extra special.

Dark Chocolate Earl Grey Cupcakes, https://artsntarts.wordpress.com/

The darkness of the chocolate was perfect and the earl grey tea made these cupcakes oh so sophisticated, because we like to thing we are.

Girly chat about boys, clothes, and shoes could be heard while these baked, as a smell of sweet cake wafted from the oven. They were speckled with sea salt to take them over the top and they tasted sinfully rich. We could feel nothing but happiness as we ate these cupcake; cherishing the sweet time we had together.

I love my Raechy.

Morning – Chocolate Strawberry Biscotti

So I have this thing for coffee. It’s essential to my days. My coffee must be black, unless it’s a fancy schmancy latte from a hip coffee shop.  Even then, the espresso must outshine the sugary syrup.  I simply love the bitter taste, rich aroma, and warm feeling that coffee gives, and I don’t want so much fuss covering it up.

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Biscotti are nice with coffee. Tea too. The perfect breakfast for a perfect morning.

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These Chocolate Strawberry Biscotti are –

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speckled with fresh strawberries and chocolate chunks

the sound of an inviting coffee shop with soft music and meaningful conversations

a perfectly delicate sweetness

crunchy, waiting to be dipped in coffee or tea

the aroma of a perfect morning

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Mornings are worth being lovely, take time for a hot drink and indulge in these twice-baked biscuits.

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Chocolate Strawberry Biscotti

 1 cup fresh strawberries

2 Tbsn sugar

In a small pan on medium heat, cook the strawberries and sugar, slowly bringing to a boil. Set aside to cool. There should be a few strawberry chunks, leave those it.

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 Tsp baking soda

1 Tsp salt

1 cup sugar

6 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 eggs

¾ cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a large baking sheet. In bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combined.  Fold in the cooled strawberry mixture, then stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. If it’s too wet, add a bit more flour. Add chocolate and stir just until incorporated.

Flour hands, and then on the prepared baking sheet, form the dough into two slightly flattened logs. They should each be about 12 inches long by 2 inches wide.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Let cool for about five minutes, then move to a cutting board.  Cut diagonally into ¾ inch slices. Arrange sliced side down onto the baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10-15 minutes more. Cool on a rack and store in airtight containers.

Recipe adapted from Bumbles & Light.