Chocolate Bundt Cake with Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze

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Chocolate bundt cake with bittersweet ganache glaze by twocarolines.com

One thing I love about baking is that it’s something I do with my children and in particular my 6 year old Afton who is quickly becoming a master of the baked arts.  IMG_0803Sometimes I pull out a few books and let her pick what she wants to make which was how this chocolate bundt cake with bittersweet chocolate glaze came about.  It’s such a pretty cake, and on a Sunday afternoon there’s nothing I like better than spending time with my people and churning out delicious sweets.  This one is from my Martha Stewart Cakes book that has been a lot of fun to bake from.  I followed her recipe pretty closely, just increased quantities a little on the ganache glaze and in the future, I might add mini chocolate chips (1.5 cups) to the cake batter, because: obvious.  It was a really flavorful chocolatey cake though, and all the ingredients are on hand which makes it an easy cake when you need to come up with something quickly.  My cutest critic Afton was very pleased with the result and I’m sure you will be too!

For the Cake:
1 cup butter

1 1/2 cup sugar 

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sour cream

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Glaze: 
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped (if you don’t have fancy chocolate, chocolate chips will work fine)
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 and prepare a bundt pan by spraying with baking spray or butter then tap in flour to coat.
  2. Mix your milk and sour cream until combined.  In a stand mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer whip up the butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time mixing well after each.  Add vanilla to your butter/sugar/egg mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt and mix together.  with your mixer on low alternate adding your dry ingredients and the sour cream/milk mixture in batches beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined (if using add chocolate chips last).  Batter will be thick.  Turn it into your bundt pan and even out the top.
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out completely clean.  Let cool in the pan 5 minutes then put on a cooling rack while you make your glaze.
  5. To make the glaze, heat the cream in a medium saucepan until it just barely starts to boil then take it off the heat and put in your chopped chocolate.  Wait 2-3 minutes then add your butter and whisk until smooth.  If for any reason you still have chocolate chunks heat in the microwave or stove on low until you can whisk it completely smooth.  Let it sit a good 10 minutes or so in order to get a little thicker glaze then pour over the top of your cake and serve.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Cakes cookbook 

Vanilla Cream Pie with Raspberry Sauce

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Vanilla Cream Pie with Raspberry Sauce by twocarolines.com

There are times when you just want a cream pie because they are fantastically delicious and there are also times when you call your husband from the store to see if you are low on milk and he doesn’t realize there’s an extra gallon in the other fridge so you end up with 2 and a half gallons, this pie works brilliantly for both of these times.  It has a really  handy versatility, I served it multiple ways throughout the week, I enjoyed the raspberries the most, but I did strawberries as well and its also nice with blueberries or even drizzled in a nice chocolate sauce like the one we used for our coconut crunch cake.  You will likely recognize the recipe because I use this as a base for my banana cream pie, coconut cream pie, and chocolate cream pie, it’s my cream pie go to for reasons you will certainly taste and agree with.  I doubled the recipe for this pie which easily fills a deep dish pie pan and leaves enough extra filling for 2-3 ramekins of pudding to give your kids for snacks or put in your mouth at that low energy sugar hungry time between 2:30 and 4, you know what I’m talking about.  Now go get your cream pie on people!

Crust: Single 9-10 inch traditional pie crust
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Crisco shortening
4 tablespoons ice cold water

Chocolate layer:
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil

Filling:
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups milk (recipe calls for whole milk, I was trying to burn through 1% so I used mostly that and about 1.5 cups cream, but it would turn out fine with whatever you have)
8 egg yolks (you could get away with 7, recipe actually calls for 10, but I don’t usually use that many for such a large quantity of filling)
4-5 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Raspberry Sauce: 
2 cups or so raspberries
2-3 teaspoons sugar
raspberry syrup (optional)

  1.  To make the crust, mix your flour and salt, then add the Crisco and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender as you add the cold water.  It will start to come together at which point you can pull in all the dry parts with your hands and quickly knead it into a ball.  Flour your work surface and roll it into a thin circle.  Roll it on to your rolling pin and slowly into your (ungreased) pie pan.  Make a ridge around the outside and crimp as desired.  Poke all over with holes or put beans or pie weights into your crust with parchment before baking.  Blind bake at 450 7-9 minutes until lightly browned.
  2. While crust is cooling make your chocolate layer.  You’re welcome to skip this if you want, but I love having a chocolate painted crust, its just a thin layer but adds so much to the over-all flavor.  Melt your chocolate and butter (or oil) in a glass pyrex in the microwave on defrost or in 20 second increments until the chocolate loses it’s shape and you can whisk it all smooth.   Paint the bottom and sides of your crust with this chocolate and put it into the freezer or fridge so it can harden while you make your filling.
  3. Put sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan with a thick bottom.  With your burner on medium/high (I keep mine just above medium) slowly pour in the milk and stir until combined then add your egg yolks one at a time, whisking after each until no yellow streaks remain.  Now switch to a heat proof rubber spatula and stirring constantly bring to a simmer.  Once the bubbles come up scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk until smooth then return to the heat and stir constantly for 1 minute while your mixture slowly bubbles (wear an apron!).  Remove from the heat and stir in butter and vanilla until all is combined then pour into your prepared pie crust.  Remember this is a double quantity so you will likely have extra to eat as pudding or save for a donut or eclair filling!
  4. Put plastic wrap directly over the top before refrigerating.  Be sure to let it cool a solid 4 hours or so then it will be set before you slice and serve.
  5. To make the Raspberry sauce, smash up about 1/3 of the raspberries with sugar then mix that up with the whole raspberries and syrup (if using) and pour on top of each individual piece as you serve.  It’s also fantastic with a little whip cream on top of the raspberry sauce.

Recipe from Joy Of Cooking vanilla cream pie

 

Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’m always looking for ways to eat delicious things that aren’t bad for me, and mostly that is a hard feat. However, I was looking up ways to use bananas in cookies the other day and I found this recipe. No sugar! No flour! No sins! So basically, I’m practically a saint for finding and sharing this recipe with you. As always, I added and changed some things in the recipe and switched out honey for maple syrup for texture and other reasons (read: lazy and cheap) and I am very happy with the results! I mean, these are cookies that you can eat for breakfast! How much did I just improve your quality of life?
3 large, ripe bananas
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons almond flour
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a stand-up mixer, add bananas and mix until well mashed. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until just combined.

Scoop out the dough with a cookie scoop on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the edges start to brown, approximately about 15 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet. Makes about 30 cookies.

Recipe adapted from FoodNetwork.com

Baker’s Challenge: Homemade Caramel Sauce

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Anyone who knows me—or any of the Kings—for that matter, knows about our (well deserved) love for Fenton’s caramel sauce. All through my childhood, it was a special treat to go to Fenton’s in Oakland and get a delicious sundae smothered in that glorious cold caramel sauce (you specifically have to ask for the cold caramel, cause it’s way better than the warm version). A few years back, I even used to commute from SLC to Oakland every week for work and I would always pick up a bottle of the sauce to keep on hand in Salt Lake. But guess what?? My mom found a recipe that tastes almost exactly the same! My dad says he likes it even better. So, I decided to take a crack at it because 1) I need this sauce in my life, and 2) I wanted to take on a challenge. 2.0 and I have discussed adding a Baker’s Challenge segment on the blog and this recipe kicks it off! After giving this a go while calling my mom—The Master—to give me all the tricks, I thought I’d share this recipe and challenge with you! Let us know what you think and if you have questions or even tips that you’ve found working with similar recipes. Not every recipe we post will be easy, but certainly you will find a phenomenal reward for your effort.

1 cup whipping cream
1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt

1. In a small saucepan, start to heat whipping cream and whisk in butter, one piece at a time; stir until mutter melts.

2. Place sugar in a large saucepan (do not use a nonstick pan) over low heat and cook while stirring until sugar melts and turns a rich caramel color- this might take longer than you expect. The sugar will seem kind of crumbly as it comes together, but give it time,  it will smooth out.

3. When sugar is fully melted, add the cream (make sure that you keep the heat on low and that it’s not too hot when you whisk in the warm cream mixture—pour in slowly while whisking constantly). Your caramel will bubble and spit a little but don’t be scared, that’s normal.  At this point, there might be some seized up bits, but keep sauce on the heat and whisk until almost all the way smooth.

4. Strain the mixture through fine mesh sieve into a bowl and add the pinch of salt and stir in until all the way mixed in.

5. Refrigerate to thicken. Sauce can be stored in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one month.

This sauce will make your life better and happier and richer—and that’s a fact.

-CK 1.0

(Recipe originally found and adapted from Contra Costa Times newspaper, many years ago)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies by twocarolines.com

It’s a well established fact that those Caroline girls love things of the peanut butter chocolate variety, and these cookies hit all the right notes with amazing texture, chewy, crumbly, and melt in your mouth chocolatey.  This recipe was adapted by Smitten Kitchen from Magnolia Bakery in NYC.  I insist on the peanut butter chips, they make such a difference and I think that’s what makes these my favorite of all the many peanut butter chocolate chip cookies I’ve met.  In the batch that’s pictured I substituted some of the chocolate chips for m and m’s because the kids love that kind of business, and it was really delicious.  They are a cookie I only make when I know I can share them with a crowd because I want to EAT THEM ALL! And so will you!

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (I used smooth, but Deb notes that the bakery uses chunky so if you want little peanut chunks go that route)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips

for sprinkling 1-2 tablespoons sugar (I use turbinado or demerara sugar)

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips.
  3. Place sprinkling sugar on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. I like to put them on a silpat.  Using a fork, lightly indent with a crisss-cross pattern, but do not overly flatten cookies.
  4. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies by twocarolines

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cake

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Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cake by twocarolines.com

Nothing says “I love you” like a huge chocolate and raspberry heart cake with a ganache center and raspberry cream cheese frosting.  Not only do all these flavors compliment one another brilliantly, but there is a dramatic effect when you take out a slice, it’s like an edible valentine.  I used a large heart shaped cake pan so there was a whole cake per pan, but if you use a small one you can either make two, or have higher cakes that you bake longer.  You could also easily do this in 9-10″ round cake pans, just be sure to put equal amounts in each pan and deliver it with a kiss!

Raspberry Cake;

1 box pillsbury white cake mix

1/2 cup butter melted

2/3 cup raspberry juice (I used frozen raspberries I defrosted then strained)

1/3 cup buttermilk (I enjoy the little bit of sour flavor from the buttermilk, but you can use normal milk too)

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

a few drops red or pink food coloring

Chocolate Cake:

1 box pillsbury devils food cake mix

1 box jello instant chocolate pudding

1/2 cup oil (I use coconut oil, but vegetable oil of any variety will work)

1 cup sour cream

4 eggs

1/2 cup warm water

1 cup chocolate chips

Chocolate Ganache:

1 cup chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy cream

Raspberry Cream Cheese Buttercream:

1 8 ounce package of cream cheese room temperature

1/3 cup butter room temperature

2-3 tablespoons raspberry syrup

1/4 cup milk

7-9 cups powdered sugar

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.  Grease and parchment line your cake pan.
  2. To make the Raspberry Cake mix the Raspberry juice, buttermilk, vanilla  and eggs until combined then add the cake mix and beat just a minute or so.  Last add food coloring until it’s the shade of pink you’re looking for.
  3. Bake time for my large heart pan was only about 22 minutes but doneness is much more important than bake time so bake until a toothpick comes out clean.  Turn out and let cool.
  4. For the chocolate cake combine the cake mix and pudding mix then add the oil and water followed by eggs one at a time mixing after each.  Next add the sour cream and once all the ingredients are incorporated add the chocolate chips.
  5. This is a higher volume cake so I made a 6 inch mini cake with the extra batter because I wanted my layers to come out even.  It’s also a heavier cake so the chocolate should go on the bottom of your stack.
  6. Make the frosting before the ganache because in order to not have your filling bleed into your frosting you need to pipe frosting around the edge of your bottom layer before pouring in your chocolate filling.  Mix butter and cream cheese until a little fluffed and well combined then add your raspberry syrup (I made mine, which is easy, but you can buy it at the store as well).  I like to add powdered sugar and milk alternating until I get the desired texture adding more of either of those ingredients to make your frosting more thick or thin.  Once you have a nice thick but spreadable frosting either use a piping bag or make one with parchment and make a dam around the edge of your bottom cake layer.
  7. To make the ganache melt chocolate chips and heavy cream until smooth, I do this in a Pyrex with my microwave on defrost, but you can also use a saucepan.  Spread on to first layer filling in to where your frosting dam begins.
  8. Put the raspberry cake carefully on top and frost your cake being sure to never touch the cake, only the frosting, so you don’t pull up crumbs.
  9. Enjoy with someone you love! ❤️

 

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Fluffy Sugar Cookies with Raspberries

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Does anyone else feel like February through July is sugar cookie season? Is that a thing? Well, I’m making it a thing because that’s the type of thing we do here at TwoCarolines. We make things up that suit our purposes—when we want to. We do what we want, and what we want is a season for sugar cookies. I decided to go au natural with the frosting situation and used raspberries for coloring, taste and garnish. This is a slightly modified version of a recipe we’ve used in my family for ages. It’s a King go-to!

Cream:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar

Beat in:
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Add:
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour

Chill 15-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use cookie scoop to scoop out dough and arrange on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper or a silpat. Press down lightly with bottom of floured glass, about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 6-8 minutes, the tops should still be white and the bottoms should barely have any color. Let cool and frost

Frosting:
1 pint raspberries
1 teaspoon sugar for macerating

7 tablespoons butter
1 t. vanilla
pinch salt
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
In a small bowl, place rinsed berries and sprinkle sugar over the top then mix in and mash berries with a fork; let sit and set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt. beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping down sides of bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of milk; beat at high speed until light and fluffy. Add juice from macerated berries, a little at a time until reaching desired color and spreading consistency, balance out with more powdered sugar if frosting gets too thin. Immediately before serving, top with desired amount of mashed and drained raspberries.

-CK 1.0