Barefoot Contessa’s Chocolate Cake

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When I saw the video of Ina Garten making the chocolate buttercream frosting, I was immediately sold! I was like, this is it! This will be the next cake I’ll be making. And I never regretted it. The cake is moist and has deep chocolate flavor. Not too mention, quite easy to make. The frosting, however, is the kicker. Instead of American buttercream, which oftentimes only has butter, melted chocolate and powdered sugar into it, the frosting has meringue incorporated into it (Swiss Buttercream) which makes the frosting much lighter and I think more flavorful.

This recipe makes a lot of cakes and a lot of frosting. You won’t have to fear if you have enough frosting for the layers and the pipings, as I guarantee you that you’ll have enough. I ended up with 3 6-inch round cakes and about 30 mini cupcakes. The frosting is enough to frost both the cake and the cupcakes. I guess you can halved this, but I dare not try yet.

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Red Wine Chocolate Sheet Cake

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Definitely not a cake for kids!!

The idea of adding red wine into a basic chocolate cake recipe took hold when my father threw in that suggestion to me. Red wine and dark chocolate…what could ever go wrong with that combination? I’m not a wine lover, but my dad is a connoisseur. We’ve got plenty of wine bottles in the house, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try.

The recipe that I used is my basic chocolate sheet cake recipe on which I replaced milk with red wine. I think the red wine actually gave the chocolate cake a much beautiful, darker color than usual. Frosting is a must for any chocolate sheet cake. So, please don’t skip that. I added wine both to the cake and the frosting. I initially thought that the red wine would cook off at the end of baking, but I was wrong. The alcohol flavor is still there. So, this cake is only for adults!

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Warm Chocolate Melting Cake (Lava Cake)

 

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I first had the chance of feasting on this decadent and luscious dessert on a Carnival cruise to Mexico. It was just a pure, unadulterated, and chocolatey deliciousness! It was paired with a good vanilla ice cream. The combination of warm chocolate cake and cold vanilla ice cream is one of the best in my vocabulary! Carnival Cruise Lines is willing to share the recipe to everyone, and it’s easy to find online as well. The caveat? The recipe that was given to me by a cruise staff is a recipe for a huge batch of this dessert (not surprisingly, I guess). As much as I like to devour this, I don’t think my family and I can eat that much. So, here’s my take on their warm chocolate melting cake. I tweaked some changes, reduce the amounts of ingredients (especially the sweetness), and it came out soooo delicious!!

Not to mention that you can make this in advance. Yes! I’ve experimented on this during the weekend and I was very successful. Initially, I had thought that the batter has to be cooked almost immediately as there could be some textural changes and such. Additionally, you can only serve this warm, meaning you have to make this just minutes before serving, which may not be ideal at times. However, after last weekend, I found out I was wrong on both accounts. No changes in the batter as long as it’s kept in the fridge, and even though it’s no longer served warm, it’s still quite delicious!!

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Ferrero Rocher Christmas Tree

Update 12/20/17:

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By request, I made another one to give as a gift for a family friend. We found this snowman topper in a local craft store, and it just looks so adorable as a topper. Then placed the chocolate tree on Christmas theme plate, then filled the plate with Lindt hazelnut chocolates which are darker in color. I would have filled the plate with more Ferrero Rocher chocolates, but we ran out of those while we still have an abundance of Lindt chocolates currently at home. You can wrap the whole thing up with a cello wrap, and a ribbon on top. If this doesn’t make any chocolate lovers’ dream come true this Christmas, then I don’t know what is!

 

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There was once an idea nagging in my mind to make a Ferrero Rocher Christmas Tree that could wow the people who see it. Yes, I know Ferrero Rocher chocolates alone already has that wow factor to it, but more so if you presented it as a Christmas tree. I didn’t know how to make it to fruition, however. I had this unwavering determination to do this without the help of internet. Haha! So much for my self-confidence! My first attempt was a failure. I was thinking of making a pyramid cardboard and glue these chocolate candies to that cardboard. It was a pretty good idea in my mind but the reality was not. First off, it didn’t look like a Christmas tree but more of, well, a pyramid. Second, it’s very fragile, and wavered. It didn’t have a very good base. Hence, I gave up on that idea. Mind you, I didn’t waste any Ferrero chocolates. That’s a crime right there to waste extremely good chocolates, I tell you! They were glued on the paper liner and cardboard, so nothing touched the candy at all. It’s still safe for consuming.

For my second try, I used a styrofoam pine cone as my tree base and it went so much easier. Instead of gluing the chocolates, I used toothpick to keep them stuck on the base. Less messier that way, too!

So here’s how to make a sweet Christmas Tree filled with Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

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Chocolate Peppermint Candy

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I’m pretty excited about this chocolate peppermint candies! This is my first time making these and it’s outrageously easy and good. It was truly by chance that I came upon these two silicone molds at a store and bought them for really cheap. Upon paying, my mind was already racing with thoughts on what to make using these molds. I initially thought of gum candies or chewy ginger candies, or marshmallow. And then I thought, why not make chocolate peppermint bark in a molded candy form?

I never made chocolate peppermint bark before. We’re usually loaded with all different kinds of chocolate and sweets every Christmas, so I don’t see the point of adding more chocolates to consume (not that it’s a bad thing!). I’ve always wanted to make one, though. Although I had never made one before, I do know for certain that a good quality chocolate is very much needed for this type of candy, if you want yours to stand out.

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