German Chocolate Cupcakes

Soft and moist German Chocolate Cupcakes made with homemade chocolate and coconut pecan frosting are the stuff of dreams. 

It’s no secret that I have a major sweet tooth and easy (yet fancy looking) cupcakes are always one of my favorite things to take to a party.   Don’t miss my Reese’s Peanut Butter cupcakes or Pumpkin cupcakes.

Our “Special Occasion” dessert growing up was always my Mom’s famous German Chocolate Cake. It’s what everyone requested for their birthday cakes (except me…I was the outcast who wanted Carrot Cake).

I wanted to make my mom’s version into cupcakes because sometimes they are more fun for parties with a lot of people because everyone can just take one and there’s no mess involved– no plates, knives, forks, and all that.

How to Make German Chocolate Cupcakes:

1. Make chocolate cupcakes.  Any chocolate cupcake recipe will do and you can even make them in advance and store them in the freezer for several weeks.

2. Make coconut pecan frosting.  Combine sugars, butter, egg yolks, and evaporated milk in a saucepan. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Stir constantly for several minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, nuts and coconut.

Two process photos for making coconut frosting for German Chocolate cupcakes.

3. Make chocolate frosting.  Melt butter, stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.  Stir in vanilla.

4. Frost cupcakes.

Two process photos of adding chocolate and then coconut frosting to German chocolate cupcakes.

MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS:

To make ahead: Bake cupcakes one day in advance.  Allow to cool completely and store in refrigerator until ready to frost. Or make cupcakes several days in advance and freeze.

To freeze frosted: Make chocolate cupcakes and allow them to cool completely. Top with coconut filling and frost with chocolate frosting and place cupcakes on a sheet pan.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze for a few hours. Once well frozen, transfer them to an airtight container and freezer for 2-3 months. Thaw at in the fridge overnight.

Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 3 months.

German Chocolate Cupcakes on a board with chopped pecans scattered around.

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German Chocolate Cupcakes with a bite taken out of one.

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German Chocolate Cupcakes

Soft and moist German Chocolate Cupcakes made with homemade chocolate and coconut pecan frosting are the stuff of dreams. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 20
Calories 475kcal
Author Lauren Allen

Ingredients

  • 24 baked Chocolate Cupcakes (homemade or doctored-up Cake Mix version)

Coconut Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

For the coconut frosting:

  • In a medium saucepan add brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, egg yolks, and evaporated milk. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat. Stir constantly for several minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, nuts and coconut.

For the chocolate frosting:

  • Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. 
  • Pipe chocolate frosting along the outside edge of a chocolate cupcake. Spoon coconut frosting in the center.

Notes

Make ahead Instructions: Bake cupcakes one day in advance.  Allow to cool completely and store in refrigerator until ready to frost. Or make cupcakes several days in advance and freeze.

Freezing Instructions: To freeze frosted cupcakes, Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, Add frostings and place cupcakes on a sheet pan.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze for a few hours. Once well frozen, transfer them to an airtight container and freezer for 2-3 months. Thaw at in the fridge overnight.

Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 1.6mg

I originally shared this recipe February 2016. Updated March 2020 with process photos and freezing instructions.

HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

The post German Chocolate Cupcakes appeared first on Tastes Better From Scratch.

Irresistible Edible Cookie Dough

Looking for a fun and tasty treat that doesn’t involve baking? This edible cookie dough will definitely hit the spot. No need to steal those risky bites of cookie dough anymore, make an entire bowl of this safe to eat cookie dough! 

This edible cookie dough can be added to ice cream or eaten straight from a bowl. Even store a batch in the refrigerator and enjoy a spoonful as a snack when the craving hits! This dough is completely safe to eat! If you’re looking for a baked cookies though, this dough won’t work. But make sure you check out: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER, Easy 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies, or these Chewy Oatmeal Cookies. 

Edible Cookie Dough

Can we all agree that the best part of making cookies is sneaking in those little bites of cookie dough. Why is cookie dough so much tastier than baked cookies?! With this completely safe to eat, edible cookie dough, we can easily enjoy those bites of dough without any risk, and without the extra task of having to bake cookies! Enjoy a spoonful, a small bowl, or add small bits to some homemade ice cream. However you want to enjoy it, this edible cookie dough is completely irresistible.

How to make edible cookie dough:

  1. Heat treat the flour: this can be done in the oven or the microwave. 
  2. Cream butter and sugars
  3. Add in salt and vanilla 
  4. Mix in flour
  5. Slowly add in milk until desired consistency. 

The process of making edible chocolate chip cookie dough.

Is cookie dough safe to eat? 

Typically cookie dough is not safe to eat, this recipe is designed to be completely safe to eat though! 

Most cookie doughs involve raw eggs and raw flour. There is a risk in eating either of these ingredients without cooking. People who are immune compromised or pregnant should avoid eating raw eggs. 

Eggs could possibly contain salmonella and should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160℉ to kill any possible bacteria. 

Flour is another ingredient that shouldn’t be eaten raw. During processing, flour isn’t treated to kill germs. It is packaged and sold raw. Flour could possibly contain E. coli and should also be cooked to an internal temperature of 160℉ to kill any possible bacterias. 

How to heat treat flour:

  • Oven: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the flour onto a large baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes, flour should not be browned or toasted looking. Ensure that the flour reached an internal temperature of 160 by using an instant read thermometer. 
  • Microwave: place flour in a microwave safe bowl or dish. Heat for 30-45 seconds, up to 1 minute. Check the temperature of the flour using an instant read thermometer. 

After heat treating, be sure to run the flour through a sifter to help break up any clumps that formed from heating. This will prevent any lumps in your dough.

Edible cookie dough scooped in a 1 in cookie scooper.

Variations:

  • Chocolate Dough: replace 1/4 cup of the flour with 1/4 cup of cocoa powder. (Cocoa powder doesn’t need to be heat treated.)
  • Peanut Butter Dough: replace 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of peanut butter. 
  • Birthday Cake: replace 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of yellow cake mix (cake mix would need to be heat treated just like flour). Instead of using chocolate chips use colorful sprinkles.

Edible cookie dough in a white bowl with a wooden spoon.

More Dessert Recipes To Enjoy:

  • Thick Chocolate Chip Cookies (Texas Size!)
  • Brown Butter Toffee & Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
  • Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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Irresistible Edible Cookie Dough

A fun and tasty treat that doesn’t involve baking! This edible cookie dough will definitely hit the spot. No need to steal those risky bites of cookie dough anymore, make an entire bowl of this safe to eat cookie dough! 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword edible cookie dough
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 scoops
Calories 374kcal
Author Serene Herrera

Equipment

  • Baking Pan
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350℉. Spread flour out on large baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes until flour reaches internal temperature of 160℉. Or can add flour to a large heat safe bowl, microwave for up to 1 minute until flours internal temperature reaches 160℉.
  • Run the flour through a sifter to break up any clumps made from heat treating.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl add the butter, light brown sugar, and white sugar. Cream together.
  • Add in the salt and vanilla extract. Stir together.
  • Stir flour into dough mixture.
  • Add milk in 1 tbsp at a time stirring, add just enough to reach desired consistency. Dough will be soft.
  • Stir in mini chocolate chips.
  • Serve immediately or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Notes

Storage: store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Once chilled, the dough will need to be softened slightly to eat. Heat in microwave for 15-30 seconds, just enough to soften. 

Baking: This cookie dough is not able to be baked. 

 

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 506IU | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg

Low Carb Tonkatsu Curry

Here’s another Low Carb Meal idea…

Since we love Katsu Curry so much, I thought why not make a low carb version of it? It wouldn’t hurt to try diba?

READ: TONKATSU CURRY

Here’s what I did:

  • For the Curry Sauce – I used the regular curry sauce cubes. I just didn’t add the usual carrots and potato in it because those are starchy vegetables, therefore considered high carb.
  • For the tonkatsu – I used our favorite pork loin cut but Instead of using flour and japanese bread crumbs for the breading, I used just egg and almond flour.
  • For the rice – I used Cauli Rice instead of Japanese Rice.

READ: CAULIFLOWER RICE RECIPE

My Final Take:

  • If you’re a potato lover, you’ll surely miss the potato in the curry sauce.
  • The almond flour doesn’t stick as well as panko bread crumbs. It’s crumbly and there are times that part of the breading lose it’s stickiness to the pork slices and ends up in the oil.
  • I think almond flour burns faster than bread crumbs so better stick to low – med heat when frying.
  • But overall, your craving will be very satisfied!
Low Carb Katsu Curry
 
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Author:

Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • 700ml water
  • your favorite curry cubes, I used Kokumaru Curry Roux
  • cauli rice for serving
for the tonkatsu
  • 500g pork tenderloin, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • coconut oil for frying

Directions
  1. Cook The Curry: Bring water to a boil in a pot. Add the Kokumaru Curry Roux cubes and stir to dissolve. Simmer for 15 minutes until thickened. Turn off heat and cook the tonkatsu.
  2. Make the Tonkatsu: Season the pork tenderloin slices with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the egg and almond four on separate shallow bowls or plate to get ready for dredging.
  4. Working one pork slice at a time, dip a slice of pork in egg. Allow excess egg to drip, then transfer to the almond flour.
  5. Cover the entire pork slice with almond flour, making sure that a good layer of almond flour is stuck on both sides. Repeat for the rest of the pork slices.
  6. Heat oil in a deep frypan to 170-180ºC. Depth of oil should be twice the thickness of the meat you’re frying.
  7. Fry each breaded pork slice for 5-7 minutes. Frying time would depend on the thickness of your pork. Each should be golden brown when cooked. Remove cooked tonkatsu and transfer on a paper lined plate.
  8. To Serve: Layer cauli rice on a bottom of a shallow bowl. Put a piece of tonkatsu and scoop a generous amount of curry.
  9. Enjoy!

 If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and tag @thepeachkitchen on Instagram (OR hashtag it #thepeachkitchen). I’d love to see what you cook!

The post Low Carb Tonkatsu Curry appeared first on The Peach Kitchen.

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas made from scratch – juicy, cheesy and full of flavour! There’s a few components to homemade enchiladas, but it is absolutely worth the effort with flavour you can never achieve with packet spice mixes and bottled enchilada sauce.

The foundation of this recipe is a double duty Enchilada Spice Mix that flavours the homemade Enchilada Sauce and also seasons the chicken filling.

Chicken Enchiladas

I like my Enchiladas plump and generously stuffed, rather tham skimpy on the filling

I want the filling to be JUICY and full of flavour, rather than dry and crumbly inside.

And I want the sauce to actually still be there when it comes out of the oven, not just a dried up crusty layer of red.

If this sounds like your kind of Chicken Enchiladas, then this recipe is for you!

Plate of juicy Chicken Enchiladas, ready to be devoured

Chicken Enchilada filling

What you need for Chicken Enchiladas

Here’s what you need for these homemade from-scratch Chicken Enchiladas.

1. Enchilada Spice Mix

Used in the Enchilada Sauce as well as seasoning the chicken filling.

What goes in Chicken Enchilada spice mix

2. Enchilada Sauce and Filling

Let’s pretend I didn’t forget to include the tortillas for rolling all this up in!

What goes in Chicken Enchiladas

  • Refried Beans – This is the “secret ingredient”. It fills out the filling so we can make big, plump enchiladas without using tons of chicken, holds it all together and makes it nice and juicy – and I wrote exactly the same thing about Chicken Burritos just a few weeks ago!
  • Tomato Passata – I use Tomato Passata as the base for enchilada sauce which is smooth, pureed tomato sold in cans. It’s plain tomato, no flavourings or salt added, and I prefer it over crushed tomato because it makes a smooth sauce. US: What you call “tomato sauce” (such as Hunts) is an ideal substituted.

Passata is sold in the pasta aisle in supermarkets for around the same price as crushed tomato.

Pouring enchilada sauce over Chicken Enchiladas

How to make homemade Chicken Enchiladas

The 3 components to making homemade Chicken Enchiladas are:

  1. Enchilada Sauce
  2. Chicken Filling
  3. Rolling and baking

1. How to make Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce is thickened with flour and flavoured with chicken stock/broth and Enchilada spices. A simple 5 minute mix and simmer job (and light years better than store bought!).

How to make Enchilada Sauce for Chicken Enchiladas

2. Chicken Filling

We coat the chicken in the homemade Enchilada Spice Mix, then sear for maximum flavour. The smell when it hits the pan is wickedly good!

The Filling base starts with sautéed garlic and onion (flavour, flavour, flavour), then we mix in refried beans, stir in corn and the chopped chicken. As it simmers away, the generous amount of seasoning on the chicken will seep into the sauce, flavouring it with all those tasty Enchilada flavours!

How to make filling for Chicken Enchiladas

3. Rolling and assembly

It’s best to cool the Filling slightly so it thickens up a bit, making it easier to roll up.

I can never resist adding a little (or big ) sprinkle of cheese before rolling it up!

TIP: Add a little smear of sauce in the pan so the enchiladas don’t slip and slide as you place them in.

How to assemble Chicken Enchiladas

Pop it in the oven to bake for just 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese is melted and the whole thing is bubbly and golden….

Close up of Chicken Enchiladas in a baking dish, fresh out of the oven

I know there’s a few parts to making homemade Chicken Enchiladas, but honestly, I really feel like the hardest part is serving it! These are big, floppy, juicy, saucy cheesy rolls of goodness. I always use TWO spatulas to try to hold them together as best I can when serving onto plates!

Close up of Chicken Enchiladas showing juicy inside

What to serve with Enchiladas

If you want to go all out, serve your Enchiladas with sour cream, Guacamole or Avocado Sauce, and/or Pico de Gallo (tomato salsa) to dollop on top.

Pico de Gallo is also a good side dish to add to more vegetables into the meal. Another firm favourite is Cucumber Salad with Herb & Garlic Dressing – it’s terrifically refreshing so it’s a great contrast to the cosy cheesy Enchilada flavours! Otherwise, try this Chipotle Lime Roasted Cauliflower – very on theme with Mexican-esque flavours.  – Nagi x


Watch how to make it

Plate of juicy Chicken Enchiladas, ready to be devoured

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Chicken Enchiladas

Recipe video above. If you like your enchiladas plump, juicy, saucy and full of flavour, this is the recipe for you! Homemade from scratch, the foundation of this recipe is a double duty Enchilada Spice mix.
Course Mains
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Chicken enchiladas, Enchiladas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 471kcal
Author Nagi

Ingredients

  • 8 tortillas (about 20cm/8″ wide)

Enchilada Seasoning:

  • 1 tsp EACH onion powder, garlic powder, salt
  • 1 tbsp EACH dried cumin powder, paprika, dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, adjust to taste)

Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp flour , plain/all purpose
  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock/broth , low sodium
  • 1.5 cups (375ml) tomato passata or US tomato sauce (eg Hunts)

Chicken Filling:

  • 600g / 1.2lb chicken breast , sliced in half horizontally (or boneless thigh) (Note 1)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil , separated
  • 1/2 onion , chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely minced
  • 1 red capsicum/bell pepper , diced
  • 400g / 14oz refried beans (Note 2)
  • 400g/14oz canned corn , drained (sub frozen 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup (65ml) water
  • 1 cup (100g) cheese shredded (Mexican cheese blend, Monterey Jack, cheddar)

Topping

  • 1.5 cups (150g) cheese , shredded
  • 2 tbsp coriander/cilantro , roughly chopped

Instructions

  • Enchilada Seasoning: Mix Enchilada Seasoning Spices. To be used for Filling and Sauce.

Enchilada Sauce

  • Make roux – Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir 20 seconds.
  • Add other ingredients – Add 2 tbsp Enchilada Seasoning, broth and tomato. Stir to combine.
  • Simmer to thicken – Increase heat slightly to medium high. Cook for 4 minutes, whisking regularly, until the sauce thickens to the consistency of thick syrup (see video). Remove from stove.

Chicken Filling

  • Coat chicken – Drizzle 1 tbsp oil over chicken, mix to coat. Sprinkle with Seasoning, toss to coat.
  • Cook chicken – Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add chicken, cook 2 minutes. Turn and cook 1.5 minutes. Remove, rest 2 minutes then chop.
  • Saute onion – In the same skillet, add onion and garlic, cook 1 minute. Add capsicum, cook 2 minutes until onion is translucent.
  • Add everything else – Add refried beans, diced chicken, corn and water. Stir and cook for 2 minutes until reduces slightly. Should be thick and juicy, not watery.

Assemble and bake:

  • Roll – Lay tortilla on work surface. Spread 2/3 cup Filling on lower third, sprinkle with cheese then roll up, finishing with the seam side down (to hold it closed). Repeat to make 8.
  • Smear a scoop of Enchilada Sauce across base of 9 x 13″ glass pan. Place Enchiladas in, pour over remaining Sauce, sprinkle with cheese.
  • Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Serve immediately, sprinkled with coriander!

Notes

1. Chicken – I do this to make thin steaks so there’s more surface area to coat in the spice mix!

2. Refried beans – don’t judge! It’s a bit of a secret ingredient here, makes the burrito filling juicy and holds it together, rather than dry and crumbly (which too many burritos are!)

3. Nutrition per enchilada. These are BIG and plump! I find that 1 1/2 fills me up!

Nutrition

Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1152mg | Potassium: 716mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1192IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 300mg | Iron: 3mg

Life of Dozer

Karma in action after I teased Dozer by showing him a Strawberry Custard Tart I made…..(scroll down to see what happened )

Nagi-Dozer-strawberry-custard-tart-dropped_1

Nagi-Dozer-strawberry-custard-tart-dropped_2

Nagi-Dozer-strawberry-custard-tart-dropped_3

 

The post Chicken Enchiladas appeared first on RecipeTin Eats.


Sunshine Pad Thai (Vegetarian)

Pad thai is nearly always a crowd-pleaser. It’s the sort of food that’s good, even when it’s bad. I mean, everyone loves a noodle-based stir-fry. Also, all the gluten-free people can get on board, because, rice noodles. Today’s pad thai recipe is the riff I’ve been making lately – combining a Thai heart and a California spirit. Hot water is traditionally used to soften the rice noodles. I boost that water with lots of turmeric and the noodles drink it up until they glow a hot yellow. Also, this typically ends up being a one-dish meal for us, and I can’t help but add a significant green component. Enter broccolini.

The Pad Thai Set Up

Like any other stir fry, you want to have all your ingredients prepped, and your noodles soaked before you fire up the burner. Once you start cooking, things go down fast. For this recipe I have you cook the broccolini first, remove it from the pan, and then proceed with the recipe. One pan meal.

The other wild card here is in relation to the bean sprouts. Sometimes, none of the stores within walking distance of my house have them, or they are sad looking. I substitute dice celery, which I actually love – lots of crunch and flavor! Hope you enjoy!

Variations

A number of you have left tweak and variations in the comments that I wanted to highlight. Shanti noted, “I used normal broccoli and also threw in peppers and carrots I had lying around for extra crunch.” Similarly, Christine says, “we used regular broccoli instead of broccolini – next time I will use even more. I also used both celery AND sprouts to up the veggie content.” Jen is a cook after my own heart (using what she had on hand) saying, “Made this with what I had – broccoli, cashews for peanuts, no green onion or bean sprouts/celery – and brown rice noodles. Still delicious!”


For you turmeric lovers, you can also browse these turmeric recipes. This pad thai recipe is one of my favorite ways to incorporate the super spice, but you’ll find lots of other ideas as well. Enjoy!

Continue reading Sunshine Pad Thai (Vegetarian) on 101 Cookbooks

A Few Words on How to Cook Artichokes

This is a primer on how to cook artichokes – if you’re going to invest the time into cooking artichokes, you want them to be fantastic. Spring is the time I tend to cook them once or twice a week. And, although the process takes time and attention, I can’t help myself. When artichokes are good, there are few things I’d rather be eating. 

Straight up, I think a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of cooking artichokes, or they think it’s not worth the effort. My friends confirm this. The topic has come up a few times lately, and the conversations are typically punctuated by a confession that they never cook artichokes at home.

So(!) I thought I’d do a quick outline of how I handle these armored spring ambassadors. Eight times out of ten I use the cooking method I’m going to outlined in the recipe section below. It requires nothing more than good (baby) artichokes, olive oil or clarified butter, and sea salt. If you can pair those ingredients, with a bit of practice, a hint of patience, and a window of time, you can absolutely cook some of the best artichokes. Not kidding. Once you hit your groove with these wondrous thistles, few of you will look back.

A Case for Cooking Artichokes

Nutritionists celebrate artichokes for a long list of reasons. They’re packed with fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, and have long been known to support the liver. They don’t get as much of the limelight as other ingredients – for example pomegranate, turmeric, acai, etc. – but they bring quite a lot to the table. It’s worth incorporating them into your meals, particularly when they’re in season.

A Worthwhile Shortcut

Update(!): I recently discovered frozen bags of artichokes at a local Trader Joes, and started experimenting to see if using them would be a worthwhile substitute to using fresh artichokes. At the very least, this could be a way to extend artichoke season. I don’t love canned or jarred artichokes, and it turns out, the frozen option is pretty great. You can cook them in a covered skillet in a bit of olive oil, straight from the freezer, until they’re cooked through, and then remove the cover and dial up the heat to get some nice, golden color on them. Season and serve. So good!

Continue reading A Few Words on How to Cook Artichokes on 101 Cookbooks

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Many of you were enthusiastic about the lentil soup recipe I posted a few weeks back. Today’s split pea soup recipe is similar in spirit. It’s a delicious, healthy, textured soup made from an impossibly short list of ingredients. Seriously, just five! No ham hocks in this version, simply green split peas and onions cooked until tender, partially pureed, seasoned and flared out with toppings.

Like many lentil soups, this one delivers many of the same nutritional benefits – a good amount of vegetable protein and plenty of staying power. It is hearty and filling, and even better reheated later in the day. You can find dried split green peas in many natural foods stores, I picked these up in the bin section at Whole Foods Market.

Split Pea Soup: Finishing Touches

I like to finish each bowl with a generous drizzle of golden olive oil, a few flecks of lemon zest, and a dusting of smoked paprika to give the soup some smoky depth. If you have scallions or toasted nuts on hand (pictured), great! Toss some on as well.

Hope you enjoy the soup, and for those of you who have never tried split peas, this might be the time to give them a go! 

Variations

A number of you had great suggestions for tweaks and variations in the comments. Here are a couple that stood out.

Renae took the soup in a more herb-forward direction. “This soup is divine. I added fennel and sage to give it a warmer texture. Used almond milk to thin it out while blending.”

Jesper noted, “Great looking soup. Instead of using cubed bouillon, I use the water left over from cooking chick peas. Usually I cook them with an onion, a garlic clove or two, black pepper corns and a bay leaf. The result is a lightly flavored vegetable stock, and it freezes well, too.”

And if you’re looking for more lentil or pulse based soups, I really love this Coconut Red Lentil Soup, and this Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter. 

Continue reading Vegetarian Split Pea Soup on 101 Cookbooks


An Incredible No Bake Chocolate Cake

I suspect this will be the easiest chocolate cake you’ll ever make. And it’s always a huge hit. It’s the sort of easy dessert that is perfect for summer (and entertaining!) because you don’t need to heat your oven. I think of it as a no bake chocolate cake, you wouldn’t be far off calling it a slice-able truffle. Or, imagine an espresso-spiked, velvety, chocolate mousse you were able to cut into beautiful wedges. Sounds incredible, right? If you have ten minutes,  some dark chocolate, cream, and something to infuse the cream with, you’re in business. I also have some non-dairy variations as well.

When this Sort of Chocolate Cake is Perfect

This is the sort of thing I’ll throw together if we’re having friends over for dinner and I run out of steam on the dessert front. It’s less trouble to make than it is to go out and buy something. A small slice really goes the distance. It’s intense, it’s hardcore chocolate. Paired with a touch of whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream) it’s a total crowd-pleaser. I infused the cream used in the cake with espresso adn allspice in this version, but you could play it straight. Or take it in any direction you’re inclined – there are dozens of great suggestions in the comments.

Choosing the Right Pan

This is a small but mighty chocolate cake. The choice of pan warrants a mention. You end up with with ~ two cups of batter, and for the most part you can pour that into any small-ish, parchment-lined cake pan you like. The parchment is important if you ever want to get the cake out of the pan. For this cake, I used a little loaf pan I like, but I’ve done this in small spring-form pans, and on occasion little tart pans. Just keep in mind, a bigger pan will mean a thinner slice. A small loaf pan like this yields a deeper slice, and so on. It’s hard to screw up – I mean, it’s a slice-able truffle cake. In the lead photo I’ve used a 6-inch springform pan. In the shot below, I’ve used a small loaf pan.

In a pinch – a number of you have mentioned that you simply pour the chocolate mixture into individual muffin tins, or dessert cups, allow it to set, and served this way. Brilliant! Less cake like, but I suspect no one will complain.

Variations

If you want to avoid heavy cream, there are a number of substitutions that work well. I love using cashew cream in place of the heavy cream called for in the recipe. Make cashew cream by combining 1 part cashew nuts + 1 part water and process in a high speed blender until silky smooth. No need to strain. Coconut milk also works nicely as a substitution.

Choosing the Right Chocolate

Because this cake is all about the chocolate, you don’t want to skimp on quality. I’ve been using Guittard Organic 74% Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers for this cake. It works beautifully. I often use it straight, meaning, without the added espresso or allspice noted in the recipe. So it’s just the beautiful chocolate notes coming through. San Francisco family-run chocolate represent! But, any good chocolate between 70% – 80% will work.

Finishing Touches

I like to bring a bit of extra flavor (and some pretty) with a dusting of cocoa powder, a few dried rose petals, and a sprinkling of cacao nibs. Others like to finish things of with a few berries. Generally speaking, if it pairs nicely with chocolate, go for it. A few toasted nuts, or crumbled cookies wouldn’t be unwelcome.

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Seeded Pumpkin and Feta Muffins

I originally highlighted this recipe in 2010, and revisited it last week. So good! You all know by now, I love self-published cookbooks. Particularly ones with a strong point of view, thoughtful design, and inspired recipes. In that spirit, I have a gem to share with you this afternoon. It is a light-hearted little cookbook titled Martha Goes Green, created by a media-savvy trio of friends in Melbourne, Australia. The book includes a recipe for these sunflower seed and spinach-flecked pumpkin feta muffins. Savory muffin fans, you know who you are, these don’t disappoint.
When I spent a month traveling around New Zealand a few years back, it became clear that New Zealand is the land of the A+ muffin. Scones too, but muffins in particular. There were lots of savory versions to choose from, but my favorites always had winter squash in them. If this book is any indication, I suspect Australia might be similar. Anyhow, these muffins are exactly the sort of thing I crave and remember from that trip. I love the kick of black pepper here, and the blend of cheese. It’s not quite pumpkin season here, so I substituted butternut squash. But really, just about any winter squash will do.

Other things to know about these muffins from people who have baked them over the years:

Michele says, “I froze a bunch, so wanted to let you all know they freeze well. And, while this is probably obvious, they need to be stored in the fridge. I forgot they weren’t “regular muffins” and just left them in a container on the counter and the cheese went bad.” Julia noted, “I only had fresh dill instead of the parsley and asiago in place of the parmesan. Was still really tasty.” There are a bunch of other ingredient swap suggestions in the comments along with people reporting back on gluten-free and vegan versions!

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Really Great Vegan Ramen

Today we’re going to tackle vegan ramen. Slurping noodles from a big bowl of feisty, aromatic broth is hard to beat, and I wanted to share how great ramen bowls can come together relatively easily, year round. Ramen is incredibly versatile, and I play fast and loose with the concept overall. You have the ability to adapt the noodles, the tare (seasoning), the broth base, and the toppings. I’ll talk through a bunch of the ways you can play around below. The goal here is to give you a great jumping off point. This approach allows you to wing it on a weeknight based on what you have on hand.

What Makes a Great Vegetarian or Vegan Ramen?

If I’m eating out, and a vegetarian or vegan ramen is on the menu, I’ll order it. I’ve had some incredible versions, but broadly speaking they can be very salty, and quite oily. This version is not that. In fact, part of what I love about making ramen at home is that you can season your broth to be just how you like it. You can really personalize it. This version delivers a rich miso-scallion nut milk broth. You introduce your favorite noodles, a blitz of seasonal toppings, and spicy turmeric oil to finish.

How to Choose Your Noodles

There are many different noodles you can use here. Seek out fresh udon or ramen noodles, or keep a variety of dried noodles on hand for last-minute ramen. Soba noodles work great. I’ve also been using some of the whole-grain noodles, and they’re pretty good. The one in the photograph is a millet & brown rice ramen.

What is Miso Tare?

Think of this as the seasoning paste for your ramen broth. I’ve included a base recipe here, but please(!) use it as a jumping off point. It’s fine to adapt with other chopped herbs and spices as well. My main advice here – make a big batch of the miso tare and keep it on hand. I keep some in the refrigerator, and the bulk portioned out in the freezer. This is the secret to quick weeknight ramen. If you’re avoiding soy, use a chickpea miso.

The Importance of Great Broth

You want to get the broth right. My favorite broth base for this is a blend of homemade cashew milk & almond milk. It has beautiful body and flavor, and grips the noodles nicely. That said, there are plenty of nights when I’m feeling lazy, and I just grab for whatever almond milk is in the refrigerator. Still delicious.

The Secret Turmeric Weapon

This is another component you can keep on hand. Both in the refrigerator and/or freezer. If you have everything else needed to make a ramen bowl, but don’t have the spice oil – cheat with a dollop of something spicy from the condiments in your refrigerator, or stir some crushed chile flakes into a bit of oil over gentle heat, and use that as a finishing drizzle, or to toss the raw veggies.

Keep your Vegan Ramen Seasonal

The ramen you see pictured is a late-summer version, but part of the fun here is adapting through the year. Toss quick-cooking vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and cauliflower into the noodle water for the last minute, and drain everything together. No need to get an extra pot going.

If you like this recipe, be sure to browse all these other favorite soup recipes as well!

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