Tag Archives: chocolate

Betsy’s 1, 2, 3 English Toffee

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You can’t tell me that the holidays are done! It’s not truly over until you are passed out in a sugar induced coma on New Year’s Day. (I know we were healthy yesterday, but that earns us the right to be gluttons for another few days, right?) Well, we here at Two Carolines have got your back. This toffee recipe is super easy and ever since my rad friend Betsy taught my roommates and I this recipe years ago in San Francisco, it’s been my go-to! She was kind enough to offer to share it with all of you, as well! Lucky us, right? So, without further ado, here is Rad Betsy with her perfect 1, 2, 3 Toffee recipe…

I’m so happy to share my family’s homemade english toffee recipe!  For as long as I can remember, this toffee has been a staple of the holiday season in my house.  My grandmother use to make it during the holidays, my mom still makes it during the holidays to gift to friends and neighbors and now I do the same.  It’s always a hit, has a big wow factor and couldn’t be easier to make.

The method we use is the “1, 2, 3 recipe.”
1 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks salted butter
3 tablespoons water
Put all ingredients in your biggest, heavy-dutiest frying pan on HIGH.  Before you do this make sure you have an 8 or 9 inch metal cake pan right next to you.
Cook on high stirring CONSTANTLY with a wooden spoon.  You’ll watch it change from a melted butter looking mixture to a more creamy looking mixture and before you know it, it’ll start turning light brown.  Literally stir, stir, stir, stir until it’s basically the color of a brown paper bag (that’s how my mom and grandma always described it…no candy thermometers involved!).  While still stirring the boiling hot mixture, pour it into your cake pan and you’re done!  It will literally be just starting to smoke when you quickly dump it carefully into your cake pan.
I usually take my frying pan directly to the sink and turn hot water on it right away and I use my spoon to scrape out any remaining toffee.
Let the toffee cool in the pan for apx. 10-15 minutes or until you can sprinkle chocolate chips on it without them sinking right in (about 10 minutes).  The remaining heat from the toffee will melt them within a couple of minutes.  Once melted, smooth them over the top with the back of a spoon.  Traditionally, I top them with finely chopped walnuts but you can experiment with whatever you like (fleur de sel for your non-nut friends is delicious)!
Once completely cooled and chocolate is set, turn it out on a big sheet of foil.  I then gently bang/tap it into pieces with a mallet or my knife sharpening tool from my knife block…whatever works.
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Added bonus is the nuts that remain on the foil make the BEST ice cream topping.  Nuts with little shards of toffee and chocolate = heaven.
So that’s the official Taylor/Heywood/Santos family recipe!  It can take a tiny bit of practice.  If you cook it too long, you’ll know it b/c it’ll have a slightly bitter taste.  If you cook it too little, it may be a bit chewy.  You’ll get it though!  It’s really quite an easy process.  I have two cake pans and I’ll usually do two batches late in the evening…get them all ready and then in the morning they are perfectly ready to prep and package up for friends and neighbors.
Happy holidays!

Double Dark Chocolate Muffins

IMG_0302Chocolate for breakfast is kind of a thing for us here at the King casa – one of my children would go to school hungry if I didn’t give her something slathered in Nutella every morning.  The only time she’ll make an exception is when there’s a chocolate muffin involved.  This is only one of our favorite chocolate muffin recipes the other I will share with you soon – but let’s be honest and admit that sometimes, we eat an unfrosted cupcake for breakfast and call it a muffin so we can pull it off.  These are so decadent that a swirl of frosting on top would make for an epic cupcake, but because some nights (particularly the ones with newborn babies) require sweet chocolately mornings, I’m going to call these muffins and feel really good about it.

 

Ingredients –

2/3 cup dutch process cocoa (you can totally use normal cocoa, but the dark and decadent factor goes through the roof when you use the good stuff)

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon espresso powder (I don’t have any so I don’t use this)

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

2 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons vinegar

1/2 cup butter melted (or you can use 1/3 cup vegetable oil – I like to use coconut oil but those pictured have butter)

course sugar or pearl sugar for topping

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.  Line standard muffin pan with cups and grease the bottoms of your cups.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, sugar, baking powder, espresso (if using) baking soda, salt and chocolate chips.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl , whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and vinegar.  Add the wet ingredients, along with the melted butter, to the dry ingredients, stirring to blend; there’s no need to beat these muffins, just mix until combined.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin.  Sprinkle with raw sugar or pearl sugar.  Note that the cups will be heaped with batter and the muffin will bake into a mushroom shape.
  5. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes – mine are usually done closer to 20, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and after 5 minutes take muffins out of the pan and allow them to cool on a rack for about 15 minutes before eating.  I individually wrap what we don’t eat the first day or two and put them in the freezer so we can defrost in the morning and eat them for weeks.

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Recipe from King Arthur Flour Chocolate Breakfast Muffins – side note, their website is so awesome and their Instagram feed is beautiful so check it if you’re into food!

Coconut Crunch Cake with Dark Chocolate Sauce

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IMG_8764It was one of those times when you come across something in a magazine and your mouth starts salivating so much you may or may not have drooled onto the table. This recipe was the catalyst for a whole folder of cut-out “I want to eat that” things. Of course I kept wanting to make it, but then found myself needing to do something faster, or missing one ingredient, and in the end, what I needed to make it happen was another Caroline. When Caroline 1.0 came to visit us in June we started talking about what we wanted to bake together, because the only thing better than one Caroline in the kitchen is two Carolines in a kitchen. Things got delicious fast, and this was our result.

Coconut Crunch Cake with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Cake:

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temp, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup cream of coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs

Topping:

2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (8 oz by weight)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 10-inch spring form pan. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl stir cream of coconut and vanilla

Beat butter and coconut oil on medium-high until smooth. Slowly add sugar; beat until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each and scrape down the bowl a few times. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 batches alternating with 2 batches of cream-of-coconut mixture. Beat until just combined.

For the topping – whisk egg whites and salt with a mixer until thick and frothy, about 1 minute. Stir in milk and vanilla. Fold in coconut.

Spread batter in pan. Dollop topping over batter; carefully spread in an even layer. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 1 hour (tent with foil if browning too quickly). You may want to make the chocolate sauce now while your cake is baking so it will have time to cool.

Let cake cool completely; remove from pan. Cut into wedges, drizzle with sauce, and serve with extra sauce on the side.

Chocolate Sauce

1 cup chopped dark chocolate (you can also use chocolate chips or semi-sweet if you want your sauce sweeter)
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
One 5 ounce can evaporated milk

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until melted and thoroughly combined, about 7-8 minutes. Let the mixture cool for at least 20 minutes before using. Keeps for at least a month in the fridge.IMG_5576

Coconut Crunch Cake: Martha Stewart Living 2015, Chocolate Sauce: adapted from Mrs. Rowe’s little book of Southern Pies