Double-Chocolate Marble Cake

This post was written by our 15-year-old son, Corran. He has expressed an interest in cooking and baking, and he has actually been a big help to me in the kitchen lately. As he says, this cake was very yummy, but with our large family, it was gone in a few minutes! Fortunately, we had some leftover dinner rolls that Corran made last night for anyone who was still hungry. Corran will probably be posting often as his interests also run to video games, which would be a good addition to our “Geeky” section!

-Lynn

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A couple days ago, I was looking through Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan when I saw a recipe for a marble cake. I like the way marble cakes look, and it didn’t seem too hard, so I tried my hand at it.

This recipe used quite a bit of chocolate. Normally marble cakes are made by swirling together a white cake and a chocolate cake, but this one used white chocolate in the white portion. I thought it was interesting how the cake was formed; you separate the two batters and drop spoonfuls of each into the pan, then zigzag a knife through it a couple times. It wasn’t as swirly as I would have liked, but it still looked cool.

I don’t have any more pictures of it because I didn’t know I’d be writing a post on it.

I’m not sure how often I can make it though, as it uses quite a few ingredients and takes about 2-3 hours, but with how many of us there are it was gone in 15 minutes. If I do make it again, I’d like to add mocha to the chocolate portion and cardamom to the white.

-Corran

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Apple Galette and Chocolate Pomegranate Muffins

I’ve always wanted to make a galette and today, I finally did it! It was pretty easy and I will for sure do it again. It’s a bonus to me that I don’t need to use a pie tin to make it. I wasn’t too happy with my galette crust so I will need to work on that.

When my oldest son saw that I was baking something, he wanted to bake too. So he picked out chocolate muffins to make for breakfast tomorrow.

I am a big fan of Dorie Greenspan’s cookbooks, so I used the galette dough recipe and a modified galette filling recipe from her Baking Chez Moi cookbook. My son used a recipe for chocolate chocolate-chunk muffins from her Baking: From My Home to Yours cookbook.

Here is the galette dough recipe that I used:

Blueberry Galette

And then the filling is from her Apple Pielettes recipe, which can’t be found online. I would really suggest buying her cookbooks if you can! Her instructions are very simple, easy to follow, and detailed (for which I am very thankful!)

I think any apple pie filling would work well though. Just make sure you’re only using three apples in the filling because you don’t want to over-fill your galette.

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I chilled my galette dough on parchment paper on a baking pan in the fridge for two hours before I filled it. I used two granny smith apples and one golden delicious apple in the filling. I kept the filling in the fridge also for two hours. I just mixed a splash of lemon juice in with the apples so they wouldn’t turn too brown.

Before putting the filling on the dough, I crumbled up one sheet of graham crackers and sprinkled the crumbs over the dough. Dorie said to use butter cookies but sadly, I had none of those on hand. I think the cookie crumbs help the crust not to become soggy from the liquid in the filling during baking. Or maybe they just provide some extra texture. My kids didn’t even notice the graham cracker crumbs though.

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I sprinkled bits of 1 Tablespoon of butter over the top of the galette once I folded up the sides. After a quick brush of water over the dough and a sprinkling of sugar, it went into the oven at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes.

We were eating dinner while this was baking so I wasn’t paying as much attention as I should have. I think it might have been in there a little bit too long.  It probably could have come out at around 43 minutes. Yes, 2 minutes makes a big difference! Let’s just say it is “well-baked!” It was the perfect size for my family of 8 though and there are only 2 pieces left. My two youngest aren’t fond of apple pie.

After baking, I spooned some melted orange marmalade over the fruit to give it some shine. Yes, I did that just so it would look pretty.

Josh says it tastes like McDonald’s apple pies. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment… But I’ll take it!

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Corran, my oldest son, wanted to make something for breakfast that would go with the pomegranate jelly we just canned on Saturday. He saw these chocolate chocolate-chunk muffins. Then, I remembered that I had three pomegranate chocolate bars in the pantry that I had been saving to use in chocolate chip cookies. I donated them to his cause and let him chop them up to use as the melted chocolate and the chocolate chunks in the muffins. I’m really proud of him for wanting to learn to bake. He is also interested in learning to cook something more complicated than grilled cheese or quesadillas.

I think the kids were more excited about the chocolate muffins than the apple galette. They kept asking if they could eat them now. My daughter’s exclamation, “But breakfast is sooooo far away!”

Hopefully, when it comes time for breakfast tomorrow, they will be happy they waited patiently for these chocolate muffins!

-Lynn

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Ever since I got my ice cream maker a few months back, my children have been asking for chocolate ice cream.  While I could have been boring and made just that, I decided to add a little something to the ice cream.  Personally, I think peanut butter tastes great with chocolate, and I don’t think I am ready to put chunks in my ice cream yet so I attempted to do a peanut butter swirl.  I ended up with something less than a swirl, but the chocolate peanut butter ice cream itself is amazing.

Since it is more a frozen custard than ice cream, it is very rich.  I can usually eat a lot of ice cream, but even I had problems eating what I gave myself.

I created a double batch since there are 7 of us.  If you need or want less, you can easily cut the recipe in half.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Makes 2½ quarts

We ended up serving the ice cream with one of the chocolate chip cookies that Lynn made, and some of our home made hard shell.

-Joshua

Chocolate Apple Pops

What? Lynn, another post about chocolate? Yes, yes it is.

Delish recipes will often show up on my Facebook feed. A recipe for Chocolate Apple Pops popped up and a friend asked me if I could make them. I said I probably could. Now, before I make them for my friend, I wanted to make sure I could actually make them! So I did a test run of the recipe on the Delish website.

Chocolate Apple Pops Recipe

This recipe isn’t very hard to make, but there are a few things I wanted to mention about what I will change for my next batch of these.

Number one: Use Granny Smith apples.

I used Honeycrisp apples. I adore Honeycrisp apples. They are my all-time favorite apple. My kids love them too. We all win. But I think my favorite way to eat them is just plain sliced with nothing on them.

They worked okay in this recipe, but I really think Granny Smith is the way to go.

Number two: Try to slice the apples so that you miss the core.

I kept the core in this batch and later realized that I probably should try to slice on either side of it. No one wants to bite into an apple seed unintentionally! And… what happens to all the chocolate covering that part… I guess you have to eat it off the core!  I know this is probably a little thing, but I just think it’d be more enjoyable to eat if you don’t have to worry about biting into the core of the apple, even if it is supposed to be a little like eating a caramel apple.

Number two and a half: I’m considering making more of a chocolate hard shell coating (like the ice cream topping) for these, but I am not sure about that yet.

Number three: There is no number three!  Just… boy, these are yummy and we pretended they are healthy even though they are covered in chocolate, white chocolate, caramel, and sprinkles! Did I mention they are covered in sprinkles… twice?

Definitely kid-approved, 4 out of 5 of my kids liked them (Gwen ate all the “good parts” off her apple and left the “healthy part.” lol) A little messy to eat but hey, that’s part of the fun! We went out to eat after my kids tried these apple pops. Most of them had chocolate smears somewhere on their clothing. Oops!

-Lynn

My Chocolate Love: Nibble Chocolate

I didn’t originally plan to write a blog post about chocolate, but I thought about mentioning a particular brand I buy in my mocha macaron post and then realized.. “Hey! Why not write a post about it?” So here it is!

About 6 months ago or more, Josh and I were at the Little Italy Farmer’s Market in downtown San Diego and we ran across a vendor called Nibble that was selling single-origin chocolate made with only organic cocoa beans and organic cane sugar. Now before tasting this chocolate, I wasn’t very picky about the chocolate I ate. And now because of this chocolate, I am very picky! I think I mentioned this vendor in a previous post about the Little Italy Farmer’s Market.

Their chocolate lasted me a few months! And when I ran out, I wanted to buy more. Fortunately, that opportunity came a few months ago when a friend of mine was in town and my children and I took her to Old Town San Diego for a day. I love Old Town! It’s a great day trip and it’s fun for kids and adults to visit! I hadn’t been there in a while and we were walking through one of the shop areas and there was a Nibble store there! Of course, we had to stop in and I was able to buy a new four bar flight of chocolate. My kids love Nibble chocolate also (they prefer very dark chocolate over semi-sweet or milk), but I don’t usually share. I know, I’m a mean mom. I let them try a few of the samples at the store though. Maybe for Christmas, I’ll buy them their own jar of the Nibblelitos.

I’d love to bake with this chocolate but it is too expensive for baking with, so I use Guittard extra dark chocolate chips if I can get them on sale. I also buy Ghirardelli chocolate bars for baking, also when they are on sale. I’ve thought of trying Scharffenberger, but I’m not sure I’m ready to pay that much for baking chocolate yet. Probably soon! There is Valrhona chocolate, but that is even more expensive. Maybe some time I will do a comparison bake using each kind in chocolate chip cookies. Now, that would be a fun bake! My kids would love it! Chocolate chip cookies for four days straight!

Nibble chocolate is what I eat when I need a chocolate fix (which is almost every day!) Usually, one square will do it, which is why four boxes lasts me a long time!

-Lynn