Easy Chocolate Cake

Who does not like dessert…. there is always one dessert that you crave… that one cake, that one pie, that one cookie… My weakness is chocolate cake….. I did not realize it until my 30th birthday (which was nearly 2 years ago) that I am a chocolate cake person…. For my 30th Birthday I had made this delicious Chocolate Mousse Cake that was a trial cake….layered cake with some delicious chocolate frosting… yummm…I wanted to make myself a treat and I made that cake… That is when I realized, I like Chocolate cakes… with frosting/mousse/layers….plenty of times I try chocolate cakes at restaurants and dessert places….hoping I find the right taste to meet my craving. After the birthday cake,  I did find a delicious chocolate cake at The Westin in Atlanta…. ooo delicious… then I found the recipe I am sharing today

ECC2FOOD ORGASM!!! YESSSSS….. Delicious! Delicious! Delicious! I just can’t think of the right words for this cake…. Absolutely delicious, chocolatey, perfect sweetness…. all chocolate cravings met! Of course I found this on pinterest…. and am I glad I found this keeper. Superbly easy to make…. a I-am-not-into-baking person can make it easily….just mixing ingredients and baking it. You can not go wrong…Take my word.

ECC3The cake is moist, soft, spongey (airy like my friend said)…..and the chocolate glaze over it adds to the chocolatey flavor, creaminess and goes perfect with the cake. You definitely want to cook it in bundt pan. I think pouring glaze over the bundt shape leaves just the right amount on the cake, while rest flows down. Although in hindsight, I should have waited a little for the glaze to thicken rather then pouring it when it was thin.

Easy Chocolate Cake

Recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Ingredients:

Cake:
  • 1 (15.25-oz) box Devil’s Food cake mix
  • 1 (5.9-oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup canola oil (or vegetable)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Glaze:
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips (you can replace this with all semi-sweet chips)
  • 3 cups Cool Whip topping (you could use 1 cup heavy whipping cream instead – I used heavy cream)
  • (optional) chocolate shavings and raspberries (I used Strawberries)

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a Bundt pan well with non-stick spray.
  • For the cake: In a large bowl, stir the cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil, eggs, and sour cream until combined well. You can also do this with a mixer. Fold in the 1½ cups chocolate chips.
  • Pour mixture into the Bundt pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. My oven cooks fast and it was done after 50 minutes so make sure you start checking it then. Let cake cool 5-10 minutes in the pan and then invert on a plate. Cool completely.
  • For the Glaze: In a microwave safe bowl, heat both chocolate chips and the Cool Whip for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. The mixture will be a little thin but will thicken a bit as it sets. If you like a thicker glaze add about ½ cup or more of powdered sugar and stir until smooth before glazing the cake. ( I poured half of the glaze and then realized I could keep it in fridge for some time for it to cool and thicken)
  • Pour over the cooled chocolate cake. Top with chocolate shavings and raspberries if desired. Top with additional whipped cream if you like.

ECC4I have not been able to stop eating this cake…. DELICIOUS!!! I took it my friend’s place. We warmed the slices and some of them ate it with sea salt caramel Gelato….she did not have vanilla ice-cream. But ice cream or no ice cream….This is one recipe that I am going to make over and over…. since it is so easy to put together, it would be easy to make for parties.

Try it and let me know how it turned out for you :)

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Tomato-Bean-Pasta Soup

We are bracing for a “possible winter revenge” starting next week… while the weather people are unsure whether we are going to see snow, sleet or rain…. so while we wait for the cold weather… I decided to get on some with cold weather soup. I had pinned this soup a long time …. finally made it. This recipe is from Two Blue Lemons. She has some awesome recipes…. I follow her on FB as well… she not only shared what she makes, but also delicious recipes from other bloggers.

TBPSLook at the color…. I swear I did not do any photoshop :D it is the redness from the tomatoes….makes you want to gobble it down in one go. So here is the recipe:

Tomato White Bean Pasta Soup

Recipe from Two Blue Lemons.

Ingredients

olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
pinch cayenne pepper (I did not have this so I used pinch of red chili powder)
1 28 oz. can tomatoes for a good cause (I bought crushed tomatoes)
28 oz. vegetable stock (I used 32 oz Swanson 1/3 less Sodium Vegetable stock)
1 can white beans, rinsed (I bought Cannellini Beans)
2 cups kale, chopped
1/3 lb. whole wheat chiocciole pasta (use your favorite GF pasta) (I used shell pasta)
parmesean cheese (optional)

Procedure:

1. Coat the bottom of a soup pan with olive oil, stir in chopeed garlic and onion, let cook until the onion is translucent – 5 minutes.

2. Add chopped carrots, herbs, cayenne, and salt – saute for 15 minutes.

3. Add jar of tomatoes, stock, and kale.

4. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes

5. While the soup is simmering, cook pasta until al dente

6. When the soup has reduced and is the thickness you like, add the pasta and beans, cook together for a few minutes to heat through. Taste and add salt and pepper

Serve with some grated/shaved parmesan cheese. I ate mine with a side of cibbata bread… Yum… The simple ingredients and flavor make this soup delicious. The beans and pasta make it really hearty. Absolutely worth trying and eating over and over.

TBPS1I think the ingredients can be switched out so easily…. you could add spinach, or some other kind of bean, pasta… So next time you get snowed in….or want a nice warm soup….try this delicious warmer! I am on bowl #2 while writing this post (blaming the run this morning for the hunger pang ;D)

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Healthy Corn Chowder

Soups are always yum on cold winter days…. for past 2 weeks we had been having some crazy cold weather…but it has come back to some warmer temperatures (rolling eyes) I’m so tired of this constant hot-cold game. However, nothing soothing like some warm soup to beat this crazy weather. I have been following Jamie Oliver’s “Food Tube” channel on you tube. Various chefs make this amazing recipes… Love them….and I don’t even eat meat!! They are all so delicious!

Few days ago, they shared this recipe Healthy Corn Chowder…. made by Donal Skehan….. The recipe is delicious… and Donal is cuuuute :) I love his accent…. So I had to try this recipe.

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Healthy Corn Chowder

Recipe by Donal Skehan for Food Tube

Ingredients:

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1tbsp olive oil

1/2tsp dried thyme

1 tbsp plain flour (I use whole wheat flour)

3 cups low fat milk (I used 2 %)

3 spring onion greens, chopped

1 medium potato, cubed

2 cups frozen corn (I used 1 can of no salt added corn)

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tbsp chopped cilantro (Not in original recipe)

1/2 cup water (Not in original recipe)

Method:

1. Heat oil in a pot and add the onions, celery and thyme. Cook till they are soft.

2. Add the flour and milk. Combine well. Once combined add the cubed potatoes and cook for 12 minutes-til potatoes are tender.

3. Add the chopped spring onions and corn and season as per your taste.

I added 1/2 cup water as the base started to get very thick and I wanted it to be a little thin. I also added cilantro for some added taste.

 

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The flavors of celery, spring onions and thyme just make it so delicious. I like black pepper….so I added more of it to season my chowder. I used whole wheat flour and I don’t think it made any difference. Extremely delicious and quick to make….this recipe is a keeper!!!

Do try it =)

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

I have seen all these recipes that uses cauliflower for sauce or crust and have always wanted to try it. So when thinking about tonight’s dinner… I wanted some mac and cheese and lo behold I find a Cauliflower Mac and Cheese!!! The recipe is from Honey and Brie (linked below). Had to try!

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Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

(Recipe from honeyandbrie.blogspot.com)

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Cauliflower-Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped white onions
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup half and half (or milk of choice) (I used 2 % milk)
1/2-1 teaspoon salt (depending on your taste)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups  you choice of pasta
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. In a small pot add cauliflower and 1 cup water, and steam cauliflower until tender. Drain and add cauliflower to blender.

2. Meanwhile, saute onions and olive oil on low heat. Once onions become translucent add minced garlic and saute for one more minute.

3. Add onions and garlic to blender with cauliflower as well as half and half. Puree cauliflower mixture adding water as needed until mixture is smooth, then pour back into a pot on low heat.

4. Mix the two cups of cheese together in a bowl and add half of the cheeses, salt, and pepper and whisk until smooth.

5. Boil pasta as directed and drain once pasta is al dente, about 6-9 minutes. Add pasta to cheese mixture, mixing well, and pour into an 8 x 8 baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese on top (I also added some Italian Bread Crumbs) and bake on 400 degrees until cheese starts to bubble and turn golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

6. Serve with crispy chopped bacon for an extra kick. —-I do not eat bacon…so I did not add this. SERVE HOT!

I love cauliflower…. so this was perfect dish for me…. there is a slight cauliflower taste…. but there is delicious creaminess without any flour base white sauce or sour cream or huge amount of cheese. I also added some red pepper flakes to add a little heat. I thoroughly enjoyed it as my dinner, have a big container for lunch and still have some left. This could be a perfect side dish….or an entree…. like I ate ;)

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Unfortunately I left my camera at work so had to use my cell phone to take pictures…. hence a little dark and pixelated!!! But I promise you it taste so much better than my pictures look :D

Definitely worth the try…. so do try and let me know what you think.

Until next time,

Happy eating,

Cheers =)

 

Butter Paneer Masala- Dhaba Style

Paneer is a soft cheese that most Indians like and is found in all Indian restaurants. It is vegetarian’s protein…similar to tofu. This recipe that I am sharing today is from Cooking Shooking It is a blog/website that belongs to a young budding chef…. he makes some delicious recipes….. I have tried one before and this is 2nd dish that I tried today and My husband and I both loved it.

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My main reason of trying this recipe… “Dhaba Style” … if you have lived in India or visited…. Dhaba’s are street side mom and pop restaurants that cook food with tonnes of butter and most of the times its family recipes. I have grown up on it and wouldn’t miss a beat to try and cook like them. Second the addition of “Papad”…. I have never heard of mixing papad in vegetable….so I had to give it a shot.

This recipe is definitely a good mix of Indian spice, heat and creaminess…. this young chef knows his way around the kitchen. He also has a You Tube channel where he show cases his recipes. You can find video to make this recipe HERE .

Since it was just me and my husband eating…. I halved this recipe ….after doing so too it made enough for 3 people to eat (according to portions we eat). Also I totally downsized the “Fat” amounts here.

BUTTER PANEER MASALA- DHABA STYLE

(Makes for 5-6 people) (from Cooking Shooking)

Ingredients
  • Tomatoes – 8
  • Paneer – 200 gm
  • Coriander – 2 Tbsp {Chopped}
  • Onions – 3
  • Butter – 3 Tbsp (I used 1 tbsp)
  • Black Cardamom – 2
  • Green Cardamom – 4
  • Bay Leaf – 2
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 Tsp
  • Dry Red Chili – 2
  • Oil – 2 Tbsp (I used 1 tbsp)
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 1½ Tb
  • Salt – To Taste
  • Kashmiri Red Chili Powder – 2 Tbsp (I did not have this so I just used some a tsp of red chilli powder)
  • Cumin Powder – 1 Tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1 Tsp
  • Kasoori Methi – 1 Tsp
  • Cream – 3 Tbsp (I used 2 tbsp…. I could have done with just 1)
  • Green Chili – 2 (Slit)
  • Papad – 1 Small
Instructions
  1. Puree the tomatoes and mince the onions. In a pan, add the oil. Once hot, add the cumin seeds, dried red chilies, bay leaf, and open the cardamoms and add them and then add add ginger garlic paste as well. Let them sizzle.
  2. Add the butter, once it melts well add the minced onions and salt. Stir well and cook in medium flame until light golden. Then add in the tomato pulp. Stir and as it gets a roaring boil cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until it leaves the sides checking every 2-3 minutes to prevent burning.
  3. Add the cumin powder, red chili powder, garam masala and kasoori methi. Crush the kasoori methi in between your hands before adding.
  4. While the spices cook for a minute roast a papad, crush and keep aside.
  5. And, as the spices are cooked add the water depends. I added about 1 cup in total. Followed by chopped coriander and the cubed paneer and cream. Stir well and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the slit chilies and the papad. After adding the papad I added a 1/4 cup of water as we like a little gravy.
  7. Enjoy it hot!

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It was scrumptious and is all gone already! While the ingredient list looks big….don’t let it scare you….this is one easy recipe that cooks quick, tastes yum and you will want to make it over and over!!

I am not related to this young chef, nor am I getting economic benefits for promoting him… I just feel young talents like him need to be motivated and supported! So do try this recipe and visit this young chef’s blog and You Tube Channel (Both linked above).

Until next time,

Happy Cooking,

Cheers =)

Chocolate Mousse

Thanksgiving is all about pumpkin pie…. but when you aren’t fan of pumpkin pie and neither are your friends…. you end up making some other dessert for Thanksgiving dinner….That’s what I did….I decided to make some dessert other than pumpkin pie…. and made this Chocolate Mousse.

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Yes another one of those single serve cup desserts (I love this style of serving dessert) So I found this video on You Tube. A simple, quick and easy recipe… which used Gelatin to make these. I have never worked with Gelatin… but gave it a shot this time…. They turned out delicious…. there is no sugar in the chocolate part of the mousse … some in the whipped topping on top and the oreo layer at the bottom! The original video I got the recipe from can be found HERE.

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CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Makes 7-8 servings.

(Original Recipe from Rajshri Foods)

1-1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels (I used Ghiradelli brand) + 2 oz unsweetened chocolate (I used Baker’s Baking Bar for this)

2 cup of heavy whipping cream. (1 for chocolate and 1 cup for whipping)

1-1/2 tsp gelatin powder soaked in 4 tbsp of water for 5 mins.

1 tsp vanilla essence

8 oreo cookies (crushed)

3 tbsp melted butter

Whipped cream and oreo cookies for garnish.

Procedure:

1. Crush the oreo cookies and mix with melted butter. Layer in cups and put the cups in fridge for the cookies to set.

2. Melt the chocolate and 1 cup cream in a microwave safe bowl. I cooked it in 30 seconds interval. Stir between each cooking. Once its smooth, let it cool for 5-10 mins. Add the vanilla essence and soaked gelatin and mix well again.

3. Meanwhile whip up 1 cup heavy cream and make homemade whipped cream. Alternatively you could use store bought whipped cream (cool whip). 1 cup heavy cream will make approx 2 cups of whipped cream. Fold in the cream with the chocolate mixture. Remember to fold in and not stir crazy!

4. Pour the chocolate mix in each of your serving cups and put it in fridge for it to set. 20-30 minutes later it will be set and you can garnish with some whipped cream and oreo cookie. Store in fridge till ready to serve.

Note: I made the whipped cream for garnish by taking 3/4 cup cream and 1-2tsp of sugar (If you want a sweeter topping add sugar as per your taste).

 

CM2

It was a delicious recipe…. the mix of semi sweet and unsweetened made it really delicious. I definitely had to double the recipe and convert into imperial measurements. But it turned out delicious and I enjoyed every single bite of it!

Check out the original video (linked above) and try the recipe for sure.

Until next time,

Happy cooking,

Cheers =)

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Trifle

You know how you keep pinning food recipes on Pinterest with the desire to try it asap….and then you never do it….That has been story of my life :( With work and crazy routine, it has been hard to try new recipes! Last dessert pin of mine was a recipe for Raspberry Trifle that I saw on My Baking Addiction’s facebook page. It looked soo delicious. It is a creation made for Ghirardelli’s Small Bite Campaign. The campaign is about using Ghirardelli Chocolates to create small desserts…. There are many mini dessert recipes on their website.

So even though I am not a raspberry person, I wanted to try this recipe….So I did…..

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Trifle

 

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Trifle

Recipe from Ghirardelli

Ingredients: (Makes 9 Cups)

For the Brownies
1 cup Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup granulated sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
9 Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry Filled SQUARES™

For the Ganache
6 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips

For the Garnish
2 cups freshly whipped cream or whipped topping (I made my own whipped cream- Use 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 tbsp of sugar and whip till it forms stiff peaks)
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Microwave Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips and butter in a large bowl microwave-safe bowl at medium (50%)power. Stir every 30 seconds until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth.
  3. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt to the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Gradually add in flour; stir until just combined.
  4. Spread half the brownie batter into prepared pan. Evenly place the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry Filled SQUARES™ and cover with remaining batter. Spread batter evenly over the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Raspberry Squares and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove pan to cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Once brownies are completely cooled, remove them from the pan and use a small glass or round biscuit cutter to cut the brownies into 8-9 circular shapes. Once you have 8-9 brownie circles, slice each brownie in half horizontally, directly through the centers of the brownies, so each brownie is now two thinner circular brownies.
  6. When ready to serve, make the ganache. Place Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips in a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Pour hot cream over Ghirardelli® 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips and let stand for 3-5 minutes. Whisk ganache until smooth. Allow ganache to cool at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before assembling the trifles.
  7. To assemble the trifles: Place a brownie at the bottom of each trifle dish or small glass. Evenly pipe or spoon a layer of ganache onto each brownie. Add a layer of whipped cream and then a layer of fresh raspberries. Repeats layers. Serve immediately.

It is one delicious dessert…. The brownie, the ganache and the cream…perfection…. just minus the raspberry for me!! I made this and took to my friends home….everyone liked it…. just us non raspberry lovers took our fruit out! While we ate our desserts, we discussed of variations that could be made… maybe used the Ghirardelli Dark and Sea Salt Caramel Squares and some bananas???? Or Some Dark and Truffles and strawberries?????

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Trifle

So I did miss reading in Step 5 about splitting the circles in 2….so u see thick layer of brownie in the cups… Splitting definitely is better so that when you scoop you get equal amount of brownie, ganache, cream and fruit. I used plastic beverage cups (9oz clear cups) to make this individual desserts. The best part was that inspite of the Bittersweet baking chips and Dark Squares, it did not have any bitter taste (the dark chocolate taste.) I also used less sugar then asked in the recipe as we love our dessert with just enough sugar. Another thing, I whipped up my own whipped cream…. it makes a huge difference compared to from can or cool whip (no offense to cool whip…I love that thing!!)

 It was a very easy dessert to make….. and definitely a good one if you love raspberries. Do try it!!
Until next time,
Cheers =)