** healthy double chocolate cupcakes **

Jack-O-LanternHAPPY HALLOW’S EVE EVERYONE Jack-O-Lantern

What’s Halloween without anything yummy to eat ;) candy, chocolates, bars, food, junk, love, more food… if that’s the case, then it’s Halloween all year long for me hehehe :D

What’s healthy, yummy, and chocolaty, and moist? Those cupcakes I made…

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can you believe this baby is healthy? no butter? sugar substitute? but believe me, one was just more than enough! I substituted sugar with fructose and butter with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. They were absolutely moist, even when coming out of the fridge! you can also substitute flour with whole wheat flour, or almond flour if you want them gluten free!

For the Cupcakes:

1 c unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ c all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

2 tbsp of coconut oil

2 eggs, room temperature

1 tbsp vanilla extract

½  c of fructose sugar

¼ c plain nonfat yogurt

½ c nonfat milk

For the Frosting:

1 c unsweetened cocoa powder

½ c honey or agave

2 tsp vanilla extract

8-10 tsp nonfat milk

     1. Preheat your oven at 177 deg C. Line your muffin mold with cupcake liners. Spray oil the liners and set them aside.

     2. In a bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the eggs, vanilla, and                 coconut oil. Add the sugar and yogurt, and beat just until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and milk gradually, starting and ending with the flour. (1/3 of the flour         mixture, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour mixture, 1/2 milk, and 1/3 flour mixture). Don’t over mix, just until everything is incorporated. Divide the batter equally into your prepared         liners.  Bake for 21 minutes. Set them aside for 5 mins before you transfer them to cool completely onto the wire rack.

    3. For the frosting: add the cocoa powder, agave or honey (i used agave), vanilla, and 8 tsp of milk. Stir until smooth, if you feel the frosting is too thick, add the             remaining or more milk until you reach your desired consistency. Frost the cupcakes after they have completely cooled. Place them in an airtight container in the           fridge over night before devouring.

Adapted from: Amy’s Healthy Baking

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BON APPÉTIT

** Chocolate Caramel Tart **

I have to admit, the best part was making the caramel. Although I did burn it the first time, it was super fun remaking it correct the second time. I loved it. The taste was just amazing, my uncle said it tasted like a Mars bar, well not bad. Took that as a compliment.

Why did I bake during the week instead of the weekends like I usually do? Because I have  previously promised an awesome friend of mine to bake anything of his choice. So basically our Friday night was made up of pizza (YUM), GOSSIP, chocolate caramel pie, and more gossip.. anyways, here’s the delicacy :D

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I solemnly swear that this caramel recipe is EASY, YUMMY, and so caramalyyyy

INGREDEINTS

FOR THE CRUST:
1 ½ cups flour
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp. salt
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and softened
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
2 egg yolks,  room temperature (but when separating, make sure they are cold)
½ tsp. vanilla extract

FOR THE CARAMEL:
1 ½ cups sugar
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
¼ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 tbsp. heavy cream
1 tbsp. crème fraiche

FOR THE GANACHE:
½ cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Make the crust: Heat oven to 177 deg C. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Using your food processor, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy; mix in yolks and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Transfer dough to a 9″ fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and press dough evenly into bottom and sides of pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prick the tart shell all over with a fork and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

2. Make the caramel: In a saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 6 tbsp. water and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 170°C. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, cream, and crème fraîche (the mixture will bubble up) until smooth. Pour caramel into cooled tart shell and let cool slightly; refrigerate until firm, 4–5 hours.

3. Make the ganache: Bring cream to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Put chocolate into a medium bowl and pour in hot cream; let sit for 1 minute, then stir slowly with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour ganache evenly over tart and refrigerate until set, 4–5 hours. Slice and serve chilled.

 

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Derived from: Saveur.com 

BON APPÉTIT

** Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake **

It’s cinnamon season, so of course I got myself into the kitchen to prepare something cinnamon-y. I’ve been asked before what’s the best thing about cooking/baking. Truth is, it gets my mind off a lot that’s going around. Anyhew, this time it was a super fast recipe; I just placed everything inside my mixing bowl and prepared it.

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and this recipe is perfect for something to eat right out of the oven and not having to wait over night to devour it.

Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake:

Ingredients:

- 3 cups flour
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 cup sugar
– 4 tsp baking powder
– 1 1/2 cup milk
– 2 eggs room temperature
– 2 tsp vanilla
– 4 tbsp butter, melted
– 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 2 tbsp flour
– 1 tbsp cinnamon

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Glaze:

- 2 cups of powdered sugar

- 5 Tbsp of milk

- 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1- With an electric mixer or stand-up mixer, mix 3 cups flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well, slowly stir in 4 tbsp melted butter. Pour batter into a greased baking pan, 26 cm.

2- In a large bowl, mix the 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons  flour, cinnamon, and nuts until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by the tablespoon and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.

3- Bake at 177 degrees C for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out nearly clean from center. Place powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm cake. Serve warm out of the oven or at room temperature.

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Adapted from: Six Sisters’ Stuff

BON APPÉTIT

** The Nutty Cake **

And here we are, on my favorite month of the year, October, the Autumn month. The month of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nuts, and spices. The month I just want to grab a cup of cocoa and a ginger bread cookie. But since I live in Lebanon and with the whole global warming issue, an icy cold water is just perfect. But wait, that didn’t stop me from getting into the kitchen on a Saturday evening and mixing up a beautiful nutty cake. Although I wanted to make it a healthy one, using olive oil instead of of 200 grams of butter, I just decided to make them all fat in my family! I mean a little butter shouldn’t hurt right? come on, I’m being nice.

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I love the way pecans look, they remind me of tanned skinny versions of walnuts :D

Recipe:

For the cake: 

- 3 cups of flour

- 3 cups of sugar

- 200 grams or 2 sticks of butter softened

- 3/4 tsp of salt

- 1/2 tsp of baking soda

- 1/2 tsp of baking powder

- 1 tsp of cinnamon

- 1 cup of full fat milk

- 5 eggs at room temperature

- 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract

- 1/4 cups of ground pecans

- 1/4 cups of ground almonds

- 1/4 cups of ground walnuts

- 1/4 cups of ground hazelnut

- whole walnuts and pecans for assembly.

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For icing: 

- 500 grams of cream cheese room temperature

- 230 grams of powdered sugar

- 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon

Preparation:

1- make sure before ever starting a recipe, to remove the eggs and butter out of the fridge an hour before starting. butter or spray oil two 26 cm cake pans. Add parchment paper and set aside. Preheat your oven at 170 deg C. mix all the nuts in a bowl. remove 1/4 cup of the mixed nuts and set aside for later assembly.

2- in the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter. add the sugar gradually until fluffy. add each egg at a time, beating well after each addition. add the vanilla and beat. in a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. add 1/3 of the flour mix to the egg mixture and 1/2 the milk. beat just until incorporated. add 1/3 of the flour, and beat. add remaining milk and flour mix, do not over mix. using your rubber spatula, fold in the nuts.

3- add the batter into your prepared pans. bake for 30-35 mins or until insert toothpick or skewer comes out clean. make sure you start checking your cakes after 25 mins, just to make sure you don’t over bake or burn the cakes. after cakes are ready, set them aside to cool for 10 mins before you flip them onto the dish. flip the first one on your serving dish and the second on a rack to cool completely before icing.

4- to prepare the icing, beat the cream cheese until softened. add the sugar gradually until you get a soft creamy mixture. add in the vanilla and cinnamon and beat.

5- to assemble: once the cakes have complete cooled, add a generous amount of cream on top of the first cake and spread evenly. add the second cake on top and spread the remaining cream. add the walnuts and pecans around the cake and sprinkle the 1/4 cup of mixed nuts over. place in the fridge for at least 4 hrs or over night before serving it.

BEST SERVED WITH AN AWESOME CUP OF COFFEE OR JASMINE TEA ;)

 

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BON APPÉTIT

** Chocolate Beet Cake with Beet Cream Cheese Frosting **

Yes the title says it all, beets in a chocolate cake.. Verdict? My GOD I will be baking this again, but in a slightly different way. Next time, instead of actually putting the beets in a steamer, I will just put them in the oven like the original recipe. Steaming the beets made them completely soaked and after I grated them as well. Basically, I also didn’t end up using buttermilk. Using 2 tablespoons of the grated soaked beets, my cream cheese frosting ended up being too watery as well. So take it from me, let the beets cook for an hr in the oven then grate them and it will come out as a perfect recipe.But this didn’t mean my cake didn’t come out super MOIST! It didn’t even need frosting, the cake was just perfect. The chocolaty feeling in my mouth hit the spot perfectly… So if you are not willing to use milk, go ahead and steam those beets ;)

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Oh I forgot to mention, the natural pink color is just so beautiful, right? Here’s the recipe guys. Try it and let me know your feedback :D

 

Chocolate Beet Cake with Beet Cream Cheese Frosting

* Makes 2×23 cm cake, frosting in the middle and all over ;)

* Taken from Joy the Baker

For the Cake:

- 2 medium beets, unpeeled but trimmed of their greens

- 170 grams  (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

- 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

- 3/4 cup granulated sugar

- 2 large eggs, room temperature

- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

- 2 cups all-purpose flour

- 2/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder

- 1 teaspoon baking soda

- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

- 1 teaspoon salt

- OPTIONAL: 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (Substitute: add one tablespoon + 1/4 tsp of white vinegar to milk and set aside for 15 mins before use)

** since I steamed the beets, I didn’t end up using milk at all! Unless you grate them raw or grate them oven cooked, use the milk.

For the Frosting:

- 200 grams (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

- 227 grams (1 brick) cream cheese, softened

- 4 to 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted

- 2 tablespoons finely grated beets, mashed with a fork (if you steamed the beets, drain it’s water properly before adding so the frosting doesn’t become soupy, it’s preferable to use oven grated beets, or raw grated beets)

- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

- 1-2 teaspoons milk, depending on desired consistency

- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

- pinch of salt

1- Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven.  Preheat oven to 200 deg C.

2- OVEN WAY:Wash beets under running water, and trim their leaves, leaving about 1/2 inch of stem.  Place clean beets in a piece of foil.  Drizzle with just a bit of vegetable oil.  Seal up foil.  Place on a baking sheet in the oven.  Roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Remove the beets from the oven.  Open the foil and allow beets to cool completely.  Beets will be easy to peel (just using a paring knife) once completely cooled.Using a box grater, grate the peeled beets on the finest grating plane.  Measure 3/4 cup of grated beets for the cake and 2 tablespoons for the frosting.  Set aside.

STEAMER: Place the beets in the bowl of your steamer and cook for 35 mins. Then let it cool, peel, and grate. I suggest you drain them. If you don’t, just don’t use milk or butter milk.

3- Reduce the oven temperature to 177 degrees C.  Spray two 23 cm round baking pans with oil and if you want trace a piece of parchment paper.Set pans aside while you prepare the cake.

4 – In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars.  Beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, for one minute after each addition.   Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Once eggs are incorporated, beat in beets and vanilla extract until combined.

5 – In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture.  Beating on low speed , slowly add the buttermilk if necessary, again you might not use the milk if you steamed the beets.  Once just incorporated, add the other half of the dry ingredients.  Beat on medium speed until milk and dry ingredients are just incorporated.  Try not to overmix the batter.  Bowl can be removed from the mixer and mixture folded with a spatula to finish incorporating ingredients.

6- Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.  Bake for 25-30 mins.  Cake is done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove cakes from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Invert cakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting and assembling the cake.

To make the Frosting:

1- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese for 30 seconds, until pliable and smooth.  Add the butter and beat for another 30 seconds, until well combined.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl as necessary.  Beat in the beets.  Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, milk, lemon juice, and salt.  Beat on medium speed until smooth and silky.  Refrigerate the frosting for 30 minutes before frosting the cooled cakes.

2- To assemble the cake, place one layer of cake on a cake stand or cake plate.  Top with a generous amount of pink frosting.  Spread evenly.  Place the other cake on top of the frosting.  Top with frosting.  Work frosting onto the sides of the cake.  You will have extra frosting left over.  Refrigerate for an hour or over night before serving.

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BON APPÉTIT

** Lemon Cake with a Beautiful Fuchsia Twist **

a while back i baked this gorgeous looking lemon cake and totally forgot to share it with you! but here you go…

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I tried going for a zebra style, but i ended up with a marble cake instead! don’t be fooled, the pink is just coloring, but you know you can always add raspberries to it and you will get the same thing ;) and this cake is absolutely perfect for this weather!

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Ingredients:

- 230 grams (1 cup) butter at room temperature

- 1 cup of white sugar

- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

- 4 eggs room temperature

- zest of one large lemon

- 2 cups of flour

- 1/4 tsp salt

- 2 tsp of baking powder

- 1/4 cup of lemon juice

- 1/4 cup of milk

Preparation:

1- preheat your oven at 180 deg C and butter a 23 cm or 26 cm cake pan. i usually like to spray some oil. set aside

2- in a bowl, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy and pale in color (3 – 5 mins). add the vanilla extract and beat. add each at a time, beating well after each addition. in a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and zest.

3- add the dry ingredients to the egg batter in 3 additions, alternating with the milk and lemon juice in 2 additions. you will then have a smooth batter.

4- take out 1/3 of the batter and add 3 – 4 drops of fuchsia food coloring. in your prepared cake pan, add 1/3 of  the lemon batter, then 1/2 the fuchsia batter, then 1/3 lemon batter, then remaining 1/2 fuchsia batter, then the remaining lemon batter. you can use a knife to move the batter around, if you want.

5- bake for 30 – 40 mins, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. start checking your cakes after 30 mins of being in the oven, sometimes it might be done at that time, and sometimes it needs a little or a lot more. just keep a watch for it, it all depends on how high your oven is.

6- after your cake has cooled down completely, flip onto your serving dish. *note you need to flip it twice to get the top part onto your serving dish

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source: joyofbaking.com 

BON APPÉTIT