I have had chocoflan countless times, but there is something about this recipe that made this one stand out. The cake comes out rich and moist, and the flan is so creamy. I had never made flan with cream cheese before, but now I can’t imagine making it without it. It really helps make the overall consistency of the flan so silky. This is a great dessert to make for your upcoming holiday parties. You can choose to garnish it with your favorite fruit or nuts. The chocoflan presents itself as a gorgeous cake, and is sure to impress your family and friends. I chilled mine overnight, but you are more than welcome to enjoy it warm.
When it comes to my favorite (non-alcoholic) drinks, Agua de Jamaica and Agua de Horchata come in side by side. I just might love Horchata a little bit more, but that is simply because I am obsessed with cinnamon. When I came across the recipe for a version made with Oatmeal in Marcela Valladolid’s ‘Mexican Made Easy’ cookbook, I could not wait to make it. The oatmeal makes this drink a bit more hearty, and even something I could see myself having at breakfast. This version is not only healthier for you, but it is packed with flavor. Even though Horchata is best when served chilled, I find it to be a very comforting drink.
I have never actually had a “go to” Chocolate Chip cookie recipe before. Chocolate chip cookies have always been a recipe that I have either tried to improve myself, or thumb through cookbooks in search of that “better” recipe. This my friends, is officially my new “go to” recipe. Once you take your first bite of this moist and gooey chocolate chip cookie I am sure that you will agree.
Whenever I think of a Chocolate Chip cookie, I almost always associate it with crisp and cool weather, a tall glass of ice cold milk, or even a hot cup of cocoa. I took a bite of this cookie and it was like a giant warm and comforting hug. Everyone has those days that you just need a hug and some delicious comfort food. This can very well be a (temporary) solution for that. As I was mixing all of the ingredients together, I thought to myself, “I hope that I can last the 24 hours knowing that this dough is sitting in the refrigerator.” Let me tell you, it is more than worth it! The end product is absolutely amazing. Another added bonus? The sea salt sprinkled over the top of the cookie before they are put in the oven to bake. Once again sweet and salty components come together and have their own little soiree.
You know that you are going to have to try one of these cookies as soon as they come out of the oven. Who can resist a warm Chocolate Chip cookie? Of course a tall glass of milk is definitely in order as well.
From the New York Times
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (I used the Ghirardelli 60 Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
- Sea salt.
1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day.
Over the weekend we threw a little get together in celebration of my Birthday. I love to throw dinner parties, but this was more of a “tapas style” soiree. I chose to make a couple of different finger foods, and even made cake pops for the first time ever.
I made my Roasted Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta. You can find the recipe here. I love how simple this dish is. I can not get over how beautiful the colors are.
We have been experiencing some hot days and warm nights here in San Diego lately. I thought that the Chilled Avocado soup would be a perfect addition to the lineup. You can find that recipe here. It was served in shot glasses, which made it a delightful version of an amuse bouche. I added Tajin (chile lime powder) on the rim for an extra kick, as well as some color.
Proscioutto Wrapped Canteloupe has to be one of my favorite food combinations. The sweet and salty components are so perfect together. I actually had a few friends that had never tried it before, and they ended up loving it.
Here are the the Caramelized Onion Tartlets with Feta Cheese. I have made a French Onion tart, where I topped it with Goat Cheese. These are basically a mini version of that, but this time around I decided to use Feta Cheese. You get just the right amount of tangy and salty bite with the rich caramelized onions and flaky puff pastry.
I am normally all about cupcakes, but hearing so much about the cake pop world lately, I had to give them a shot. I made Carrot cake pops with cream cheese frosting, and Devil’s food cake pops with buttercream frosting. They came out so moist and delicious. I will definitely be making some of these for my son Giovanni’s First Birthday that is coming up. I love everything about them. They were displayed in glasses with sugar cubes, but it will be fun to experiment with different displays.
I had a wonderful time! I love to see people eat and enjoy the food that I make. I will spend an entire day in the kitchen, if that means that someone gets to enjoy what I have created. I want to thank every one that sent me birthday wishes, as well as the ones that I got to enjoy this special evening with.
A couple of weeks ago some friends of ours mentioned that there was a little food truck gathering in our neighborhood. We couldn’t make it at the time, but this week when my husband told me they were back, we weren’t going to miss it. I was especially excited because there were trucks that were going to be there, that we didn’t get a chance to try at the Del Mar Food Truck Festival.
Mangia Mangia Food Truck
The Mangia Mangia truck was our first stop, and it set a wonderful tone for the rest of the evening. I ordered the Spicy Snails. I know there are a lot of people out there that even get scared of the word snail, but you really shouldn’t, these were absolutely delicious. They had a nice texture, and not chewy at all. Nothing is worse than a tough and chewy snail right?! The word spicy was in the title, and these little guys held up to that expectation. It was a “good” spicy. I know that some people might think, well what does a “good” spicy necessarily mean? It wasn’t that knocks your socks off, can’t even finish this dish spicy. It was the perfect addition of kick to the overall dish. The snails were surrounded by a creamy Risotto that was cooked just right. I was more than happy that this was my dish that started off the night.
A friend of ours ordered the Bone Marrow. This was yet again another tasty dish from the Mangia Mangia truck. Bone Marrow is one of my husbands favorites, yes, besides hamburgers. He actually closed his eyes when he took his first bite. That’s when you know something is good. It was like biting into this amazingly rich and velvety delight. I will definitely be returning back to the Mangia Mangia truck the next time that we catch them. If it was up to me, I would try each and every thing that their menu has to offer.
Super Q Food Truck
The Super Q food truck was next in line. I can honestly admit that I don’t have a ton of experience with bbq. We have eaten at a couple of places, but it is always a type of food that I have wanted to try more often. We ordered the Super Q Beef Brisket Melt. This melt consisted of juicy brisket, 3 cheese mac and cheese, caramelized onions, and cheddar cheese. All of this in between two toasted slices of Sourdough bread. Doest that not make your mouth water just thinking about it? Putting Mac and Cheese inside of a sandwich might not be an every day move, but it sure was a smart one. It added that extra texture, and just in case it needed it, more cheesiness. Come hungry when you visit the Super Q Food Truck, you will not be disappointed.
You guys knew that we couldn’t attend anything food related without ordering some kind of hamburgers right? We ordered the Bangkok Sliders from Asian Persuasion. These handsome little guys are packed with flavor. Every bite you just get more and more flavors and textures to explore. These took sliders to a whole new level for me. One of my favorite parts was that the bun was Hawaiian bread. The slightly sweet and pillowy bun enveloped a juicy little patty full of beautiful flavor profiles. You get a kick of spice, sweetness, and even a bit of tang. Light and crunchy Won Ton Chips accompany these little beauties. If you are into hamburgers, and want to experience a different side, you must try the Bangkok sliders.
You would think that we would be too full to continue by this point, but no, we were on a mission. Hey, it was my birthday eve after all. We ordered the Spicy Pork Tacos from The Gathering Spot Bistrotruck. They were the perfect size, and the first thing I noticed was how colorful they were. These pork tacos had a lot going on, but it all worked together nicely. Yes, that is pineapple you see.. The sweetness paired well with the slight sourness of the pickled onions, and the spiciness of the Tomatillo salsa. These were great little tacos, and I loved that the corn tortillas tasted so fresh. The quality of a tortilla can really make a world of a difference. In this case, it rounded out the whole taco and made it a lovely eating experience.
You can’t have all of this savory goodness, without ending on a sweet note. Cannoli, you are one of my all time favorite desserts. I remember as a kid my Dad and I used to try them whenever they were offered on the menu. I have tasted the good, the bad, and of course the mediocre cannoli. I saw the crushed pistachio, and automatically got excited. These were delicious. They were not too sweet, and had a delightful creamy interior.
The Red Velvet Cake was nice as well. Unfortunately for it, I had the Cannoli right before, and I was a bit full from the whole evening.
Even after this little event was finished, we still couldn’t get enough of our “Food Truck Fix”. Until we meet again trucks!
Food Trucks Light up the Night
Ever since I made my Olive Oil muffins, I have been wanting to experiment more and more with the olive oil baking world. It is amazing how moist the olive oil makes cakes and muffins. This is a light cake with beautiful and bright flavors of orange. This would be a great cake for a brunch with friends, or a dessert with a cup of coffee or tea.
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 tbsp. Orange Zest
The juice of one orange
3/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Powdered Sugar, For sifting
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.
Lightly oil an 8″ Springform pan.
Whisk together the flour, Baking Powder, and Salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together the eggs, sugar, and zest until light and fluffy.
Add in the orange juice and beat until blended.
Gradually beat in the olive oil.
Stir in the flour mixture until blended.
Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes cleanly out of the center.
Transfer to a cooling rack for 15 minutes.
Remove the pan, transfer to a platter and sift the powdered sugar over the top.
Cut into individual slices.
I decided to bake this decadent cake to honor the great Julia Child on what would have been her 99th Birthday. This cake has a wonderful rich and creamy texture. I actually remember eating this cake as a child at a family friends house, and it was just as delicious as I had remembered.You can also top it with fresh raspberries or a dollop of whipped cream, to mix it up a bit.
Recipe adapted from French Cookbook: The Secrets of Classic Cooking Made Easy
- 2/3 Cup Whole and Blanched Almonds, Slightly Toasted
- 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened
- 2/3 Cup Sugar
- 3 Eggs, Separated
- 5 Oz. Semisweet Chocolate
For the Chocolate Glaze:
- 3/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 8 Oz. Semisweet Chocolate, Chopped
- 2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- Chopped or Sliced Almonds to garnish the outside
- Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.
- Place the Whole almonds on a baking sheet in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until they are light golden in color. Set aside to cool.
- Line a 9″ Springform Pan with Parchment paper, and lightly flour.
- In a food processor add the toasted almonds and 2 tbsp. of the sugar.
- Pulse the ingredients together until very fine.
- Place the flour into a small bowl.
- Sift the almond mixture over the flour.
- In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer beat the butter until it is creamy, then add half of the remaining sugar and beat until it is fluffy, and light in color.
- Slowly add the melted chocolate to the butter.
- Then add the egg yolks one at a time, making sure to beat well after each one.
- In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
- Add the remaining sugar, and beat until the egg whites are white, glossy, and form stiff peaks.
- Fold about 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
- Then alternate between the flour and egg white mixture, gently folding each into the chocolate mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly. Shake the pan a bit to make sure that any air bubbles are avoided.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes cleanly out of the center.
- Meanwhile, boil the whipping cream and in small sauce pan, remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate.
- Stir until the chocolate is melted, then beat in the butter.
- Let the melted chocolate cool for 25-30 minutes until it becomes thicker.
- Place the baked cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove the outer ring.
- Invert the cake onto a cutting board and take off the bottom of the pan and parchment paper.
- Place the cake on a wire rack with a baking sheet under it.
- Pour the chocolate glaze over the top, and spread evenly.
- Carefully place the almonds along the outside.