Chocolate Irish Coffee Mousse




















INGREDIENTS

1 1/3 cups whipping cream
1 tsp instant espresso powder (or instant coffee)
2 Tbsps granulated sugar
Generous dash salt
4 (2 oz) squares semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur
2 Tbsp vegetable oil


DIRECTIONS

1. Heat 1/3 cup whipping cream and espresso powder in a medium saucepan and over medium heat to a boil. Remove from heat. Let stand for at least 10 minutes (the longer it stands the stronger the espresso flavor will be). Add sugar and salt. Cook until sugar dissolves and cream comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute. Stir until melted and smooth. Add liqueur and oil. Whisk until fully combined and creamy. Let cool about 15 minutes or until tepid.

2. Beat remaining cream in bowl until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate. Fold one-half of the cream mixture into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in remaining whipped cream.

3. Spoon or pipe mousse into 4 tall glass coffee mugs or place in a 1 quart soufflé dish. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours until set. (The mousse can be made up to 2 days in advance).

Copper Penny Salad (a.k.a. Carrot Salad)


















INGREDIENTS

3 cups sliced carrots
2 medium onions, finely sliced into rings (can be white or red)
1 green pepper, finely sliced (optional)
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup brown Sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS

Blanche carrot slices until fairly soft but not mush (approx. 10 minutes depending on the thickness). Place the blanched carrots, onion and pepper together in a bowl and mix well.

Mix the remaining ingredients into a small bowl. Pour the liquid over the carrot/onion mixture and toss well to blend. Store, covered, in the fridge until ready to serve.

NOTE: This salad is best made the day before you plan to eat it, so that it has time to marinade and for the flavours to develop fully.

Here's a copy of the original recipe which was printed
in an old newspaper. As you can see, there haven't
really been too many changes.

Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Mousse Filling



For the cake:

1/2 cup butter
3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup water
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp distilled white vinegar


For the mousse:

1 pound strawberries
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 egg whites
pinch of salt


For the ganache:

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract


DIRECTIONS

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour one 9x13 inch pan or two 9 inch round pans.

In a small pan melt the butter or margarine with the unsweetened chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly.

Cream together the sugar and the eggs until light in color. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs and temper mixture by beating well (so you don't end up with scrambled eggs). Add 1 cup boiled water (still warm) and blend well. Mixture will be very liquidy.

Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add this mixture to the chocolate mixture and blend well.

Mix together the vinegar and the milk and stir into the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan(s).

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before filling.


For the mousse:

In a blender or food processor, puree strawberries with lemon juice and sugar.
In a mixing bowl beat cream until it is stiff. Gradually and gently mix the whipped cream with the berries.

In another mixing bowl beat egg whites with salt until stiff. Mix one cup of egg whites into berry and cream mixture, and then gently fold this back into egg whites. (If this is not being used as a filling, then refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving.)


For the ganache:

Place chocolate chips in a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour the cream into a saucepan, and bring to a boil. As soon as the cream boils up to the top of the pan, quickly remove it from the heat, and pour it over the chips. Let stand for a minute or two, then stir with a whisk, or use the paddle attachment for the mixer, to mix until smooth. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl occasionally. Stir in the vanilla until well blended. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface, and allow to cool at room temperature.


Assembling the cake:

Place the 1st layer of cake in the center of a 9-inch springform pan and arrange sliced strawberries on top. Pour in mousse until strawberries are covered.

Place the 2nd layer of cake in the center and cover it with more mousse. Refrigerate until set (4 hours).

Once the cake is chilled, remove it from the spring form pan and cover it with the ganache. The ganache should still be warm enough to pour, but not so warm that it just drips off the sides. I like to use the ganache when it's still slightly warm so that it pours and leaves a smooth and shiny surface on the cake, so it's important the cake is chilled before adding the ganache. Garnish as desired (I like chocolate covered strawberries or chocolate curls, but you can do whatever you want).

This recipe is also linked on...

This Week's Cravings: Strawberries

Chocolate - Covered Strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries are SOOO yummy!!! Usually they are also very elegant, but they can also be fun!! Let your creative juices flow as you create these yummy treats for any occasion.



Stuffed Roasted Strawberries

After trying this inside-out version of chocolate dipped strawberries, you'll never settle for plain old dipped berries again! Roasting the fruit brings out even more flavor and juiciness and makes them so very yummy!






INGREDIENTS

12 extra-large strawberries (the bigger the better!)
1 to 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
Spray whipping cream (the real kind in the can in the dairy section)
Cocoa powder, for garnishing


DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Slice the tops of the berries off just below the stem. Cut the tips off (about 1/4-inch), so that the berries will sit upright. Next, use a small spoon or a melon ball scoop to hollow out the strawberries, working from their tops, in order to create a cavity in each one. Stuff some chocolate into the cavity of each strawberry and place them upright in a baking dish. Lightly sprinkle the berries with sugar, if using.

Roast the berries until soft and the chocolate is melted, about 10 to 12 minutes.

To serve, place 3 strawberries on a dessert plate in a triangle. If the berries have given off liquid in the baking dish, spoon it over them. Spray a small mound of cream in the center of the berries, and top each berry with a rosette of cream. Sift a little cocoa powder over the plate, and serve!


NOTE: I used chocolate chips because that's what I had and it tasted fine. Next time I think I'll try some better quality chocolate because I wanted the chocolate to melt together and chocolate chips hold their shape.


This recipe is also linked on...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Red

Quinoa Salad Recipe with Pears, Baby Spinach and Chick Peas in a Maple Vinaigrette


First you'll need to make the quinoa:

1 cup quinoa
Salt

Quinoa has a natural bitter coating called saponin. If you are buying quinoa in bulk, you will need to soak it for a few minutes and then rinse it in cold clear water until the “soapy” residue is gone. Some boxed brands may be pre-rinsed, but they still retain the nutritional goodness.

Place the quinoa in a saucepan. Add 2 cups fresh water and a pinch of sea salt. Cover and cook on a low simmer until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender- roughly 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and dump it into a large salad bowl.

For the salad you'll need:

2 good handfuls of baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chilled chick peas, rinsed, drained
2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A handful of pecans, pan toasted and salted to taste

For the Maple Vinaigrette Dressing:

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp golden balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Whisk together.

Add the baby spinach, pear, chick peas, and chopped parsley to the quinoa and fluff. Pour on the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper.

Just before serving, add the toasted pecans and lightly combine.


This recipe is also linked to...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Green
Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Nuts

Strawberry Shortcake



Ingredients

Strawberries:
4 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sugar

For Shortcake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
Whipped cream


DIRECTIONS

To prepare strawberries, combine strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar; cover and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.Lightly grease an 8-inch circular baking pan.

To prepare shortcake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through baking soda) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine buttermilk and vanilla; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist (dough will be sticky).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 times with floured hands. Pat dough into the baking sheet. Brush top with egg white; sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Carefully split shortcake in half horizontally using a serrated knife; cool layers separately on wire racks.

Place bottom half of shortcake, cut side up, on a serving plate. Drain strawberries, reserving juice; drizzle juice over bottom half of shortcake. Spread whipped cream over shortcake layer; arrange strawberries over whipped cream. Top with remaining shortcake layer, cut side down. Top with more whipped cream and strawberries.


NOTE: Due to its lower fat content, this shortcake can overcook and crumble quickly, so watch it carefully in the oven--don't allow it to brown.


This recipe is also linked on...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: RedThis Week's Cravings: Strawberries

Moroccan Chickpea Salad


For the Salad:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 cup cucumber, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 Tbsp fresh mint, minced

For the Dressing

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
1 Tbsp and 1 tsp dried ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste


Directions

Toss the chickpeas, diced vegetables, feta cheese and herbs in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, stir the dressing ingredients together. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
This recipe is also linked on...

This Week's Cravings: Summer Vegetables
This Week's Cravings: Special Diets (GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, NUT FREE and MORE)
Gluten-Free Wednesdays

Black Bean Salad with Corn and Tomatoes
















INGREDIENTS

1 can black beans, drained
1 pint grape tomatoes, washed, cut in thirds
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
handful fresh cilantro or parsley
3 Tbsp olive oil
Juice from half a lemon
1/2 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, sliced
Salt and Pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS

Toss herbs, oil, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse a few times until the herbs and garlic are finely chopped.

Add the black beans, corn and tomatoes to a large airtight container. Pour dressing over top and stir to combine. This salad will keep for three days in the fridge.

Chick Pea Salad with Tomatoes and Corn
















INGREDIENTS

15 oz can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 medium cucumber, diced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 medium or 3 campari tomatoes, diced
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Fresh parsley or cilantro (optional)


DIRECTIONS

Whisk mustard, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper and herbs together, until the mixture turns from transparent to cloudy. If you have fresh herbs, toss everything in the food processor and whiz it up.

Add diced cucumber, tomatoes, beans and corn to vinaigrette and mix. This salad will keep in the fridge for a few days.


This recipe is also linked to...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Yellow

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake



Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup butter
1 egg

Cheesecake:
4 pkg, (6 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablepoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pint fresh raspberries, pureed and strained
1 pint fresh raspberries, washed but left whole (optional)


DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325F.

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients for the crust. Press firmly on bottom of a 10" springform pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Spread jam over crust while still warm.

In large bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Beat in sugar, sour cream and eggs until smooth.

On low speed, add lemon juice, flour and vanilla, mix well.

Gently place the whole raspberries onto the crust (if using) and pour batter into prepared pan.

Using spoon, drop the raspberry puree into the plain batter. With knife, swirl filling into batter.

Bake 1 hour or until center is set.

Carefully loosen top of cheesecake from the edge of pan with the tip of a knife.

Cool.

Chill.

Remove sides of pan, garnish as desired and serve.


This recipe is also linked on...

Food on Friday: Desserts
Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Red
Sweet Treats Thursday

Sex in a Pan
















Layer #1
1 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans or almonds (optional)
1/2 cup butter, melted
Mix together with a fork and press into a 9x13 pan. Bake @350Âș for 14 minutes. Cool.

Layer #2
1- 8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup whipped cream (or cool whip)
Beat together well and spread over cooled crust.

Layer #3
1 large package instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk
1 tbsp instant coffee granules (optional)
Beat together until mixture thickens. Pour over cream cheese layer.

Layer #4
2 cups whipping cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Whip cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla and whip. Spread over pudding layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Best served within 24 hours. A 9x13 serves 12.

To garnish: grate chocolate over the whipped cream.

World's Most Dangerous Cake


















a.k.a. 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large microwave-safe mug


DIRECTIONS

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.

Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.

Add the chocolate chips and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.

The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous)

Why is it the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!



This recipe is also linked to...

This Week's Cravings: After-School Snacks

Chocolate Mascarpone Stuffed Strawberries



INGREDIENTS

2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp chocolate liqueur
10 – 12 strawberries
2 Tbsp chocolate shavings, for garnish

DIRECTIONS


In a bowl combine mascarpone cheese, sugar and chocolate liqueur. Mix well. Transfer to a piping bag or a resealable plastic bag with the corner snipped off.

Cut the tops off the strawberries so that they sit flat. Cut a crisscross in the bottom of the strawberry going about 3/4 of the way through. Be careful not to cut through the strawberry.

Pipe the mascarpone filling into the strawberries until all strawberries are filled.

Top with chocolate shavings.

Chill until ready to serve. Enjoy!


NOTE: For garnish, you could dust with cocoa powder or drizzle with melted chocolate instead of using chocolate shavings.


This recipe is also linked on...

Everyday Sisters' Sharing Sundays: Red
This Week's Cravings: Strawberries
Sweet Treats Thursdays