Chocolate

Mocha Ice Box Cake

It’s summer now.

Yep. Time to slather on that sun tan lotion, squeeze into a bathing suit :/ and eat all the watermelon available.

Summer has never been my season. I’m more of a fall leaves, scarves kind of girl (even though I live in LA, I know I’m complicated) but this is how I embrace the season: cakes that require no oven. Cakes that aren’t really cakes! Because there’s no batter, no icing, no nothing cake-like. Except this recipe relies on cookies to soak up all the mascarpone/coffee/chocolate mixture and then it slices up so lovely, so deliciously.

This cake is very tiramisu-like. The flavors are v v similar except you don’t have to both with lady fingers, which if I’m speaking honestly, is the biggest bummer about tiramisu. Most lady fingers are dry and bland and taste like cardboard. Of course, we could make our own but am I really going to do that??! I mean, maybe, yes, very likely. I am the type…stand-by maybe we’ll do this.

Mocha Icebox Cake

Mocha Icebox Cake [click to continue…]

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S'mores Pavlova

S'mores Pavlova

You know that part in Clueless when Cher turns to Ty and says, “Elton said you gave him a toothache.” And Ty was like, “What’s dat?!” And Cher was like, “It means he thinks you’re sweet, stupid.”

This S’mores Pavlova will give you a toothache, in a good way. It oozes summer fun. It shines bright just like a diamond. And it’s screaming to be made and taken and bragged about at a BBQ.

I feel like this recipe is a lil’ ratchet. It’s definitely not the most classy recipe I’ve posted in my life, but it sure is fun.

The pavlova is chocolate-y by way of sifted cocoa powder and folded in bits of dark chocolate. The 7-minute frosting acts like a marshmallow and gets all toasty when a flame kisses it. (You can also do this in the broiler.)

S'mores Pavlova

The crushed graham cracker is sprinkled on every. single. layer. My favorite part about this recipe is the chocolate-y pavlova. It’s not crisp and dry throughout, which sometimes I want; this one is gooey and fudge-y in the center.

The idea is that it’s supposed to mimic how a piece of Hershey’s chocolate gets when a warm, toasty, burnt marshmallow is placed on top. It’s like that!

S'mores Pavlova

SmoresPavlova_4 [click to continue…]

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Matcha Cheesecake

Matcha Cheesecake

Matcha everything, please!

I feel like matcha is having a moment. Spotlight is on matcha. Like every week on the Instagram I see a new-to-me dessert using beautiful green matcha and am like WHOA! SIQ! Well, here’s another I’m throwing in the mix, though when I went to Google “matcha cheesecake,” thinking I would be the sole inventor, I quickly realized a genius I am not.

That’s usually how my day goes: 1. Think of genius idea. 2. Google genius idea. 3. Discover a million people have already done it and watch as my genius idea turns into a “genius idea.” It’s sad.

So, to make mine different, I did a lil’ swirl action, which made me super excited. This cheesecake actually sort of matches this green gazpacho. If you wanted to do a green and white swirl themed dinner party, these two guys would be great for that!

Matcha Cheesecake [click to continue…]

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Baked Double Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t like doughnuts? Well, if you have, those people are called monsters and I wouldn’t get too close to them.

It’s some sort of weird doughnut week or National Doughnut Day. Whatever. I barely pay attention to days like that (except this time I did) because doughnuts are great for any day, not just one day out of a whole year, duh!

Baked Double Chocolate Cake Doughnuts

Despite my attitude, here I am participating, drinking the Kool-Aid, following the rules. But only because this day coincided which my craving to create a chocolate-y cake doughnut that felt dense, very rich, decadent and unlike most baked doughnuts. This baked doughnut is legit AF. I’m in love with it. If I was a lunatic, I would eat like five in a row but I can’t because I try to be a reasonable person in my life but sometimes i fail. I ate three. And Billy ate like three, too.

LET US LIVE!

Baked Double Chocolate Cake Doughnuts [click to continue…]

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Green Chile Chocolate Pudding Pie

Are you giving me side-eye right now? I’m pretty sure I know what you’re thinking. This is weird. You’re not wrong; putting green chiles in chocolate pudding is weird but it’s also really cool and interesting.

I think we’re all pretty used to the idea of spice and chocolate together. But it’s usually more like chipotle pepper or Ancho chile pepper, not green chiles, which aren’t really all that spicy at all.

This is another New Mexico-inspired dessert. When we had dessert at the Santa Fe Cooking School one of the desserts had butterscotch with diced green chiles. I loved the combination of sweet, rich with the pieces of green chile so I took that idea and made this.

Green Chile Chocolate Pudding Pie

Green Chile Chocolate Pudding Pie [click to continue…]

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Crackily Chocolate Meringue Cake

I’ve just binge-watched the entire eighth season of The Voice and I am in love with Gwen Stefani more than I was as a teenager, which is a crazy amount. I wish I was a singer just so I could try out for the voice with the hope she would want me on her team. But if I’m being honest, no one should hear me sing, EVER. Amelia hears me sing all day long and surprisingly she loves it (I think).

Oddly enough, I’m the worst singer in the world, but I love, LOVE karaoke. I don’t love to participate in karaoke, I just love to watch it. And here in LA, the land of Hollywood and fame and music, the karaoke bars are filled with people who moved here to become famous singers.

There was this one place in Hollywood I used to visit all the time called Miyagi’s; it was behind a Denny’s, attached to a bad sushi restaurant. No one ate sushi there but people loved singing karaoke at the bar.

The singers were incredible. There was the Asian dude who sang Guns and Roses ONLY (and he’d actually wear a Slash wig); there was this beautiful African American woman that sounded like India Aire but better; there was the guy from the mid-west who sounded like Frank Sinatra but looked like a surfer; and there was the MC who had been there since the 80s. The place was magical.

It was filled with people who had sort of given up on their dream; most of them had day jobs doing other things that they were ok with but they’d come to Miyagi’s to sing, because they couldn’t not.

Crackily Chocolate Meringue Cake [click to continue…]

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Peanut Butter Cream Pie | www.acozykitchen.com

Amelia and Joy the Baker have never met. But I know they would get along because they’re both what I could consider “peanut butter enthusiasts.”

Amelia, in her little time on this planet, has tried peanut butter every which way: cheap creamy peanut butter (read: Jiff), all-natural chunky peanut butter, smokey peanut butter, and even peanut butter mixed with honey. She prefers her peanut butter vessels to be human spoons, slices of apple, bananas or even sneakily off the side of a bowl. She does not discriminate.

Joy prefers her peanut butter on bread with pickles, coupled with bacon, and in smoothies, and in her new book, Homemade Decadence, she puts PB on a bed of buttery chocolate crumbs and tops it with perfectly whipped cream and calls it a pie. An-omg-yes-please-pie.

Peanut Butter Cream Pie | www.acozykitchen.com [click to continue…]

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Brigadeiro (Brazilian Truffles) // www.acozykitchen.com

The other day as I was perusing my morning email, I noticed all of these offerings for Father’s Day. Tool kit this, ugly tie that…and lots and lots of golf stuff. Whose dad likes this stuff?! No, my dad doesn’t want an ugly golf tie. He doesn’t even wear ties. No, he doesn’t want a grilling brush…because, well, it’s a grilling brush! I’m sorry but there’s nothing thoughtful and interesting about a brush that’s used to scratch the gross meat-bits off a grill. I think Father’s Day needs a revamp.

While all of these companies try and throw very gender-stereotypical gifts our way, I’d like to share what my dad would really like for Father’s Day.

My dad wants to have lunch with me and hear me talk because even though he’s always told me I talk too much, we don’t see each other enough, and me talking too much is exactly what he now wants. He wants to watch a game of soccer with people who are just as excited about it as he is a.k.a my brother, his father and his brothers.

He wants to run Amelia in the park and teach her new tricks because he loves her almost more than I do. My love for dogs comes from him. And to cap the day off, he’d want dessert. No one loves dessert more than my papa. His first choice would be ice cream. Second would be something chocolate-oriented. Actually, he’s a big fan of putting chocolate things on top of his vanilla ice cream. So this recipe would be the thing that goes on top.

Brigadeiro // www.acozykitchen.com

Most of my dad’s Colombian family now lives in Brazil and has for more than thirty years. So, now most of my family now considers themselves Brazilian. This recipe isn’t a recipe I necessarily learned from them, but it is one that I’ve been wanting to make for a long time.

It’s the kind of dessert you’ll most likely see on a buffet table at someone’s house. The preparation is super simple. The ingredients are somewhat minimal and it doesn’t take very long to do. Since I like to put twists on classics, I rolled mine in a variety of things like crushed pretzels, potato chips and finely chopped pistachios and walnuts. The traditional move are the chocolate sprinkles, which I recommend, too.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers and father figures out there. I’m so grateful I was raised by a good one.

(P.S. for the full recipe, jump on over to PBS Food!)

Brigadeiro // www.acozykitchen.com

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Sometimes I want to love what everyone else loves…but don’t. Like, harem pants (my thighs don’t need help looking larger – thanks) or frappuchinos (real coffee, please) or sparkly shoe clips  or Mad Men (boring). Peanut butter and chocolate is one of those things that the entire world LOVES.  And I do, too.

It’s the classic of classic combos. And there’s good reason.  Something magical occurs when chocolate and peanut butter come together. The clouds open, the symphony sounds, a Lisa Frank rainbow appears in the sky and smiles appear.

This cookie has chocolate, peanut butter, oatmeal and a good amount of salt all mixed into one.

[click to continue…]

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Have you ever had a psycho boss?

Straight out of college, I got my first big-girl job and was super pumped about being a grown-up with health insurance and a 401-K. What I didn’t plan on, was having a sort of psycho (but very nice!) boss who had trouble managing stress. (Maybe you can relate…?!)

My boss’s stress quickly became my stress (not healthy, btw). To help, we would do something very logical/normal: stress eat chocolate. It would happen pretty much daily, post lunch at around 3pm.

I’m convinced that 3pm is the hardest time of day. It’s right after lunch, lethargic feelings linger, you’re sort of ready for the day to be over…yet you have to push through to get the end of the day. Ugh.

So, we would take a 15 minute break and brew really good green tea and drink it with dark chocolate. Pretty much heaven.

I no longer have a psycho boss, but I still enjoy my late-afternoon breaks. I’ve recently become obsessed with green tea lattes. To make: add about a teaspoon of matcha powder to a saucepan with about 1 cup of milk, and heat until warm. (The green hue is both pretty and scary, eh?!)

I’m so into the combination of this drink with dark chocolate (in this case I ate Ghiradelli’s Intense Dark chocolate which is 86% cacao). Swoon-worthy.

As most of you know, my coffee addition situation is a little scary. I’ve been trying to limit myself to one cup a day, but in times when I’m weak and desperate, I’ll have two cups.

And OMG is coffee amazing with chocolate. It’s a logical pairing. They play off of each other’s flavors so well.

I generally drink my coffee without sugar so I tend to go for a sweeter chocolate and one with nuts. The one pictured is a dark chocolate with hazelnuts throughout called Hazelnut Heaven. The name is very appropriate.

Most nights, especially when I’m tired, I definitely don’t have the energy to make dessert. Maybe it’s a spoonful or two of some ice cream in the freezer. And sometimes it’s a bit of cheese and chocolate. I know some of you might be like, chocolate and cheese?!? Weird! But it’s actually amazing.

This is a gooey cheese similar to brie called D’affinois. It’s creamy, salty and light. With a slightly sweeter dark chocolate (like this Twilight Delight – 72% cacao) its tastes is similar to, say, a chocolate cheesecake.

Add a glass of pinot noir in the mix, give me some trashy TV, and BOOM: end of day relaxation session.

{This post is brought to you by Ghirardelli Intense Dark™ Chocolate}

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