Best Ever Dark Chocolate Cake

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Last week I had a huge hankering for a chocolate cake! Little did I realize this would be the Best Ever Dark Chocolate Cake!


Best Ever Dark Chocolate Cake

As I’m writing this post today, I see that today is National Dessert Day…..how fitting.

Have you ever had a dessert/cake that was so delicious that you could eat it until you were sick? Well this is that cake! Continue reading “Best Ever Dark Chocolate Cake”

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Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins

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Chocolate and coffee, coffee and chocolate …….. Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins !


Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins

I love chocolate and coffee! Its one of those go great together combos. A nice piece of dark chocolate and a sip of hot coffee…….the chocolate melts just a bit and the chocolate gives the coffee a sweet boost.

Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins

Besides, you read all the time how chocolate is good for you, cardiovascular benefits and all and that coffee……1-3 cups a day, may help prevent heart disease.

So, I guess that Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins are good for your heart health. Your waistline may be a different matter…..lol. These muffins are the perfect blend of of chocolate, coffee, with a hint of almond.

Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins

I made these in standard muffin tins. If you want you can make them jumbo size, but be warned they are decadently rich and chocolatey. Regular size was perfect with a cup of Joe.

Speaking of a cup of joe, where in the world did that come from??? Well, its seems as with so many things these day there are may theories.

Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins
One theory is secretary of the Navy Josephus “Joe” Daniels issued General Order 99 which prohibited alcohol aboard naval vessels. After that the strongest drink of any kind allowed on naval ships was coffee. The sober sailors were not happy, so they started to call coffee a “cup of Joe” out of spite.

Another theory is that is a combo of two slang words for coffee, java, and jamoke, now in my day a jamoke, was what would now be a dork, but I digress, anyway, the last theory is that the name Joe is a term for the common man and coffee is the common mans drink……..cup of Joe.

Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins

I sometimes veer off……back to the muffins. The batter is just a basic batter with the addition of the espresso for the coffee flavor, almond extract to boost the slivered almonds taste, and dark chocolate chips to bump up the cocoa. I almost alway use buttermilk when baking….. its just the right things to do.

All muffins in my “expert” opinion need a crunchy topping, otherwise whats the point?? And we all know how I sing the praises of turbinado sugar. Mixing, the sugar with dark chocolate chips, and almond slivers give these muffins a crunchy, sugary, nutty, chocolatey ……..shall I go on??

Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins
If you are looking for a yummy chocolatey muffin for your cup a joe Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins are just the ticket!

Chocolate Almond Espresso Muffins
Author: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • Muffins:
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup strong espresso, cooled, I used an instant espresso powder
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • Topping:
  • 4 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 4 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 4 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F Line a 12 muffin cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and cocoa powder. Add baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and sugars and mix to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, milk, coffee, melted butter, and vanilla and almond extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and fold and mix just until combined. Do not over mix. The batter will be pretty thick. Gently fold in almonds and chocolate chips.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cups. I like to use a ice cream scoop to ensure even muffins.
  5. Make the topping by tossing together turbinado sugar, almonds, and chocolate chips in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly on top of the muffins. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Cool on wire rack until cool enough to handle. Remove muffins from tin and allow to cool.
  6. Serve.

 

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Chocolate Espresso Bean Popsicle

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Chocolate Espresso Bean Popsicle


Espresso Bean Popsicles

Warm summer evenings…….you need something cool…….but you love coffee…….too hot for coffee……..think again! Chocolate Espresso Bean Popsicles are just the ticket.

The only popsicles I have ever made were the ones you made with Kool-Aide when you were a kid. Everyone had the Tupperware popsicle mold, and all we had to fill them was Kool-Aide or juice. Well, times they have a changed!

I have seen many recipes for popsicles on Pinterest, and thought I would give some a whirl.  Tim and I love coffee! In the summer we make iced coffee by the pitcher full. We discovered that a french press makes perfect iced coffee. So why not make popsicles?

First I needed the molds. And if all else fails check eBay. With the molds purchased and on the way I needed a recipe.

I wanted a creamy sort of latte taste, so I needed some type of milk. I tried sweetened condensed milk, its sweet and creamy so I hoped it would work. I blended it with hot coffee and poured it into the mold. I also wanted some visual interest, so I mixed the condensed milk I didn’t use in with some cream. That’s how you make ice cream, so why not.

We like a little crunch in things so, chocolate covered espresso beans. Besides being chocolate and all kinds of yummy, they make them look really pretty!

I would never have tried the espresso beans, but years ago one of my girlfriends Michelle, owned a cafe, deli, bakery, coffee shop……..The Herb Garden Deli,Cafe and Bakery. It was a great place, and in the coffee shop, we had chocolate covered espresso beans……..I was leery. But I tried them and all I can say is they are addicting. So, thank you to Michelle for broadening my horizon, so I could years later make this recipe.

Layers of espresso beans, creamy latte, and creamy cream…….like foam on a cappuccino, but all frozen makes a sweet cool coffee treat. Perfect for those warm summer nights when you really want a coffee………

Espresso Bean Popsicles Collage

Chocolate Espresso Bean Popsicle
Author: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups very strong coffee, hot
  • 1 - 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk, divided
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup crushed chocolate covered espresso beans, divided
Instructions
  1. Place ⅔ cup sweetened condensed milk in a bowl or measuring pitcher. Pour the hot coffee over the top and stir until blended. Allow the coffee to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Place 1 teaspoon of crushed espresso beans into each popsicle mold, then carefully pour the coffee mixture into the molds, until about ⅔ full. Place in the freezer and freeze until slushy, about 1- 2 hours.
  3. Mix the heavy cream with 3 Tb. sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Pull the Popsicle out of the freezer.
  4. Pour 1-2 tablespoons of cream over the top of each pop and top with another teaspoon of espresso beans, add a popsicle stick to the middle.
  5. Return to the freezer and freeze until hard.
  6. To remove from the molds: Fill the sink with warm water and dip the bottoms of the molds in the warm water for 30seconds or so. If the popsicles do not come out re-dip them.Be careful not to let them in the warm water to long or they will melt.
  7. Eat immediately, or wrap in plastic wrap and place in freezer bags and return to the freezer.

 

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