Recipes

Decadent Double Layer Chocolate Cake

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Chocolate Lovers – this one’s for you.

This cake is hands down, the best homemade chocolate cake recipe ever.
You’ve gotta trust us on this one – we’ve tested many different kinds of chocolate cake recipes over the years, and this one blows away all the others.

This cake is soft, light, fluffy, and perfectly chocolatey. {All the things a good chocolate cake should be.}

The cake’s super fluffy & moist texture is due in part to a few things.. the use of buttermilk, and coffee! That’s right – 1 cup of hot coffee is used in this cake to help accentuate the chocolate flavour. Don’t worry, it will NOT make the cake taste like coffee.
Buttermilk is also used to help keep the cake super moist. (Buttermilk really is a great baking ingredient for cakes & cupcakes.)

For the frosting, we decided to ditch the usual chocolate buttercream that is often used for this kind of cake and went with a Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting instead. Neither of us are big fans of buttercreams, as they are usually extremely sweet and overpowering. We always tend to frost cakes using a whipping cream frosting because it is a lot lighter, less sweet, and just seems to taste better & fresher.

Natasha made this cake a few weeks ago for a birthday, and everybody raved about the cake so we decided to make a Valentine’s version! This chocolate cake is perfect for any occasion – decorate it however you wish! πŸ™‚

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Nummm! You can see just how moist & fresh the cake is.

This cake is amazing because it actually stays fresh like this for days after baking!
{Keep cake covered at room temperature for up to 4 days to ensure freshness, or covered and refrigerated for up to 6 days.}

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Decadent Double Layer Chocolate Cake Recipe + Directions

Note: it is very important that eggs are at room temperature for this recipe! using eggs at room temperature will allow the cake to rise properly. using cold eggs could ruin your cake.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder {not dutch processed}
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting Ingredients:

250g whipping cream
Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Syrup (to taste)

Directions:

Butter & flour two 9-inch round cake pans & set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, & salt; set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the buttermilk, oil, room temperature eggs, & vanilla.
With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined. Add in the coffee. {Batter will be very wet – it is supposed to be. don’t worry!}

Pour the batter evenly into the 2 prepared baking pans and bake for approx. 24-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the beater/whip attachment, whip the whipping cream on medium-high speed for 2-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in chocolate syrup to taste, and mix.

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Happy Valentine’s Baking!
Natasha & Laura xo

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Recipes

Pink & White Vanilla Delight Cupcakes

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, so in keeping with our ‘Valentine’s Day Baking‘ theme, we have yet another Valentine’s recipe to share with you guys!

This is my favorite recipe yet. These Pink & White Vanilla Swirl Cupcakes really are perfect for Valentine’s Day.
These cupcakes have a cake-like consistency (from the cake flour), and are light, tender and fluffy.
They even taste delicious without the icing – we almost ate them all up before icing them!

Really though, the best thing about these cupcakes is obviously how pretty they are.
They really are gorgeous to look at – the pink & white marbled cake with the bright pink & white swirl icing make these cupcakes the ultimate Valentine’s treat!

Happy Valentine’s Baking!

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Pink & White Vanilla-Delight Cupcakes Recipe

Ingredients:
{yield: approx. 2 dozen cupcakes}

5 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup (total) whole milk, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
pink or red food colouring

For the Vanilla Buttercream Icing:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups icing sugar
4-5 tablespoons milk (preferably whole milk)
pink food colouring

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites, 1/4 cup of the whole milk, and the vanilla extract. Stir till combined; set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients together (cake flour, sugar, baking powder, & salt) on low speed for approx. 30 seconds.
Add in the butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of whole milk & mix on low speed until just combined. Increase speed to medium and mix for 1-2 minutes.
Add the egg mixture in three separate batches, beating on medium speed for approx. 20 seconds after each addition.

Divide the batter in half and add a good amount of pink food colouring to one half of the batter. Mix until the food colouring is coated evenly.

Using a spoon, put a spoonful of white batter into each cupcake cup. Top with a spoonful of pink batter, and repeat until cups are 2/3’s full. After, use a butter knife to gently marble the colours.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (A few little crumbs on the toothpick is good – you don’t want to overcook them!).

For the Icing:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in the icing sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the milk and beat on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes until icing is light and fluffy. You may need to add a little more milk to get it to the consistency of your liking. Divide icing into two batches, and mix in the pink food colouring to one of the batches.
To get the pink and white swirl icing – Using a piping bag fitted with a 1M star tip, fill one side of the icing bag with white icing, and the other side of the bag with the pink icing.

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Happy Baking!
Natasha & Laura xo

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Recipes

Chocolate Rum Balls

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We started early with the Valentine’s baking and now we can’t stop! Until Valentine’s Day is finally upon us, there will be plenty more sweetness to come. Valentine’s Day is all about chocolates and sweet treats so today I thought I’d make some Chocolate Rum Balls. I’ve been making these Rum Balls for many years. I used to make them every year for Christmas Eve and bring them to my Uncle’s as they were his favourite. They’re a pretty little addition to any dessert tray or cookie platter.

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We found these pretty little cups at Michael’s. Adorable!

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Chocolate Rum Balls Recipe:

{yield 20-25 Rum Balls}

1 125g pkg of cream cheese
1 c. ground almonds
1 c. icing sugar
1 tsp. instant coffee
1/4 c. dark rum
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted (can melt in microwave approx 40 sec)
Topping Suggestions: Sprinkles, icing sugar, toasted coconut

Directions:

Blend cream cheese until fluffy. Stir in almonds, icing sugar, powdered instant coffee and rum. Mix well.
Add in melted chocolate.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until mixture is easy to handle. (approx. 1 hour)
Roll mixture into 1 inch balls (tsp size amount) and roll into desired toppings.
Tip: I placed the rolled balls onto a sheet of wax paper and then sifted powdered coatings on top instead of rolling the balls in the coatings.

Refrigerate in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

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Happy Valentine’s Baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

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Recipes

Sugar Cookies

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Can you believe Christmas is over & we’re well into the New Year?! And guess what’s right around the corner? Yup, it’s all about hearts, love, chocolates & candy – oh my! Okay, we may be jumping the gun just a tad but we can’t help it. We love occasions and any reason to celebrate something. We wasted no time, got all of our Christmas decor packed away and brought out our Valentine’s decor, then spent the entire day making these Valentine’s Day cookies. I’m not even kidding… a whole day. We have made Valentine cookies every year, but this year we decided to get more creative with the decorating. We searched the internet, browsed some of our favourite cookbooks and got to it.

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Can I just say that we were greatly naive in thinking that it was going to be a breeze, a cake walk, an easy task. Decorating cookies takes a lot of time, technique and patience. Don’t let those baking shows on tv fool you! They make everything appear so simple.

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When we finally figured out how to make the Royal Icing into various batches of colours and consistencies, (firmer batch for detailing and a more fluid batch for filling) we were on our way.
Oh, and may I just share a tip – make sure you twist tie the tops of the icing piping bags like the recipe says to, otherwise you will have big blobs of icing suddenly spilling out of the top and all over the front of your clothes and on top of the masterpiece decorated cookie you have been working on so diligently. Yeah, that happened. More than once! ha!

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Sugar Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:
{yield: approx. 60-80 cookies}
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
5 cups Flour
Coloured Sprinkles for decorating

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Approx 5 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla and salt, mix until combined. With mixer on low speed add flour and mix until combined.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 week).

Preheat oven to 350.
Turn dough onto a clean lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 sections.
Roll out dough into 1/4-inch thickness and cut into desired cookie cutter shapes.
Place onto prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart and bake until golden brown, approx 12-15 minutes.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Cool cookies completely before icing.

Royal Icing Recipe:

Ingredients:
4c. Icing Sugar
3tbsp. Meringue Powder
1/2 – 3/4c. Warm Water

Directions:

In an electric mixer beat icing sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add the water and beat on medium speed until very glossy and stiff. (approx 5-7 minutes)
If necessary to achieve the correct consistency, add more icing sugar or water.
Remember: To flood the entire cookie surface with icing, the proper consistency is a little more fluid.
To do detailing the icing consistency should be much more firm.

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It took us 5 hours to decorate approx 60 cookies! It was a lot of trial and error, mistakes and mishaps and a very messy kitchen- should’ve taken a picture of that! Mostly it was so much fun. We had a blast. At times we were almost falling over with laughter at each other!

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Happy Valentine’s and Happy Baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

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Recipes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

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I’m excited to share this recipe with you guys today because not only is it the simplest cookie recipe that we’ve posted, it also requires minimal ingredients! You will most likely already have all the ingredients on hand which makes these cookies even better.

I wanted to make some classic chocolate cookies but didn’t have certain ingredients on hand and of course it was too late at night to run to the store, so I scoured the cupboard and made these delish simple, soft chocolate cookies using the ingredients that I had on hand.

This is an extremely simple recipe which doesn’t require any crazy ingredients. It’s the perfect cookie recipe if you are in a rush and want to whip up some cookies for kids, or to satisfy your sweet-tooth cookie craving in a snap! (Sometimes you just need a cookie ASAP.) πŸ˜‰ These cookies bake up nice and soft, and are a perfect mix of fudgy chocolate with a hint of peanut butter.

I used Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips, but feel free to use the chocolate chips of your choice! For an extra fudgy, doubley chocolate dose – try using semisweet or dark chocolate chips.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
{yield: approx. 18-20 cookies}

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips (or any flavour chocolate chips of your choice)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray & set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop (or spoon), scoop out dough and using your hands, roll the dough into balls. Place balls on baking sheet and slightly flatten them with the palm of your hand.

Bake for only 8-10 minutes, until just set. Allow cookies to cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring cookies to a wire rack.

Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’ve never baked anything using maraschino cherries before, but my Grandma gave me some cherries to bake with so I decided to make Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Don’t let the maraschino cherries scare you – they really don’t taste strongly of cherry, and are actually really nummy when baked in a cookie. My mom & brother both cringed when I said I was baking maraschino cherry cookies. I literally had to make them try a bite – But like I suspected, they were both surprised and loved the cookies!

The white chocolate balances out the sweetness of the cherries, making the cookies not overly sweet, but just right.
These cookies are large, soft & chewy but my favorite part of these cookies is how Christmasy they look. The red & green cherries make for the perfect Christmas cookie!

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
{Note: This recipe requires chilling the dough for 3 hours.}

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup maraschino cherries, cut into small pieces & patted dry
1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter until completely melted and no chunks remain, than set aside to cool.
Once the butter has cooled: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until nice and smooth. Add the eggs, and slowly mix until combined. With the mixer on low-speed, mix in the flour, salt, & baking soda and mix until just combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the cherries and white chocolate chips.

2. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (or overnight)

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line or spray baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
Using a 1/4 cup, scoop out the dough and roll into balls. Place on the baking sheets, and flatten the balls slightly using either the bottom of a cup, or the palm of your hand. Bake for 9-12 minutes, just until the edges are golden.

Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Rustic Pumpkin Biscotti

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I have never made biscotti before and I really wanted to give it a go.
I have heard from numerous people that it is ‘difficult‘ to make. I don’t think it’s actually difficult to make, more time consuming I’d say. I went through various recipes and came up with a version that I decided to try.
The biscotti was a huge success & turned out delicious! These pumpkin biscotti are nice and crunchy on the outside and are a tad softer and crumbier on the inside. Traditional biscotti is hard throughout but because I wanted them a bit softer I cut them into thicker slices. The combination of spices + pumpkin + drizzled white chocolate makes for a perfect Fall/Winter treat.
I will now add biscotti to our regular baking list. I’m excited to try a whole bunch of different versions!

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Ingredients
3 1/2 c. Flour
1 1/2 c. Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice (or an alternative: 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp ginger, 1/4tsp cloves, 1/4tsp nutmeg)
1/2 c. Pure Pumpkin
2 lg. eggs lightly beaten
1 tbsp. Vanilla
2 tsp. Butter
1 1/4 c. Pecans or walnuts coarsely chopped
1/4 c. Melted white chocolate for drizzling or dipping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add nuts. Stir constantly until nuts are slightly browned. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl, stir well. In another bowl combine pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla mixing well.

Slowly add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture, mixing until ingredients are moistened. Mixture will be very crumbly.

Knead or gently roll nuts into the dough mixture on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 portions. Roll portions into 2 2×10″ portions then place onto a slightly greased pan.

Bake logs whole for 24 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes then cut with a serrated knife diagonally into 1/2″ slices. (I made mine a little thicker)

Reduce oven to 300 then bake slices for 8 minutes.

Flip all of the pieces over and bake for another 7 minutes.
Remove from pan and place cookies onto a wire rack to cool.
Tip: be sure to have some space between the cookies as they can become soggy if touching.

Optional: When biscotti is completely cooled, melt chocolate chips in microwave at 15 second intervals until melted. Use a spoon to drizzle on top.
Note: Store in airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

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Enjoy with a cup of hot coffee or tea. Oh my, they are so delicious!

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Happy Holidays!
Laura & Natasha xo

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