My Favorite Valentine Treats!

french chocolates

Valentine’s Day means plenty of chocolate everywhere!

Red Velvet Brownies with cream cheese frosting in a glass baking dish.

I am sure you saw my recipe for decadent Red Velvet Brownies last week.

Chocolate lava cake. JPG

How about Chocolate Lava Cake, a quintessential favorite and oh so easy to prepare as long as you know the secret…bake the cakes cold from the refrigerator!

Truffles-2-e1544581875638

And of course Chocolate Truffles like the ones at Maison du Chocolat in Paris are unbeatable and surprising simple to make!

I hope you will be inspired to make a chocolate treat for someone you LOVE today!

Consider joining me in the kitchen for upcoming Cooking Classes, where Fun is Always on the Menu! Seats are limited, register TODAY! 

au revoir for now lorie (002)

Start your day with Chocolate!!

CA-1.jpg

I was wandering around our downtown square one day a few weeks ago and stopped into Ettiene Market.  I had a nice chat with Coryanne Ettiene, the owner and all around fabulous kitchen expert.  She showed me some of her delicious spice blends and gave me this fantastic idea to make Chocolate Flakes for adding to any hot beverage.

Start your day with the indulgence of Chocolate? How French!

I came home and made an irresistible batch and thought you might enjoy seeing how to make some for yourself!

CA 2

There are several spice blends available at Ettiene’s but this one really spoke to me.  It has been only a few months since I spent some time with my A Taste of Paris group in the precious town of Reims, France.

Reims N.39 has a honey, anise and cinnamon flavor making you think of warm cookies right out of the oven.

CA-3.jpg

To get started; melt dark chocolate(I use Ghirardelli 60% cacao) in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each time.  Always use the least amount of heat necessary to melt the chocolate.

Pour the melted chocolate out onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

CA-4.jpg

Spread the chocolate into a very thin layer.

CA-5.jpg

Using a fine mesh sieve, sprinkle a nice coating or Reims N.39 on the surface of the chocolate.

CA-6.jpg

Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator until chocolate hardens, about 1 hour, before breaking it into pieces.

CA-8-1.jpg

I put the chocolate flakes in a jar and when I have hot tea, I add a few flakes to take me right back to Reims.  I am already dreaming of my next visit!

Make some yourself, and start your day or have an afternoon pick-me-up, with decadent chocolate goodness.

Enjoy!

signature3 no block less space

Irresistible Chocolate Loaves, an All-Time Favorite

dark-chocolate.jpg

February is the month for chocolate.  Lauren Palmer at The Art of Living Beautifully asked me to assemble a list of the very best chocolate bites McKinney has to offer.

As you know, some projects are more difficult that others and this truly was a labor of love.

If you know me at all you are aware that chocolate is my all-time favorite food.  It is the only food I eat everyday without fail.  I prefer dark chocolate that is loaded with antioxidants so no need to resist temptation.

Choco cake1

Nothing beats a homemade treat right out of the oven especially when it is my dark Chocolate Loaves smothered in Chocolate Ganache. Naturally this straightforward recipe made the list.

February is here so turn on that oven and bake up a couple of Chocolate Loaves  for the ones you love.  You will be so glad you did!

Oh, and for the full list of my favorite chocolate bites, subscribe NOW to TAOLB, it will be published there tomorrow!

choco-cake-6.jpg

Chocolate Cake Loaves with Ganache Glaze

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1/3 cup extra dark coco

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

1 cup water

2 eggs

½ cup buttermilk

1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare 2 (8-9 inch) loaf pans by first spraying with non-stick cooking spray and then dusting with flour.  In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and set aside.  In a small sauce pan set to medium, heat water, coco and butter until the butter melts.  Add warmed liquid to flour mixture and stir till combined.    Add first buttermilk then eggs and stir well.  Pour batter into loaf pans and cook for 28-32 minutes.  Pour ganache over cooled cakes. 

Chocolate Ganache

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups semi sweet or dark chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla or Tuaca

Heat cream in a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer.  Remove pan from heat, add chocolate and vanilla and stir well.  Pour ganache over cooled cakes.

signature3 no block less space

 

 

Cake Pops the Perfect Valentine TREAT

Cake pops make me smile.  They are such cheerful treats!  A small bite of cake with the frosting built in, all dipped in chocolate and covered with colorful sprinkles.  They make you feel like everything is right with the world!

I spent the afternoon with a darling group of young ladies teaching them how to make cake pops for the February issue of Texas Living Magazine.

Making your own cake pops really is easy if you know a few tricks of the trade.

Start by crumbling an 8 inch layer cake into a bowl.  We used chocolate but you can use any flavor.  Next, add prepared frosting and stir well.

Scoop monds of the cake mixture onto waxed papper.  Push pop sticks into each cake mound and place in the freezer for several hours or overnight.

Dip the frozen pops into melted choclate.

Add decorative sprinkles.

Put the pops back down onto the waxed paper until the chcolate is set.

Cake pops are the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day!  Make some today, you will be glad you did!

XOXO
Lorie

Thanks again to Texas Living Magazine for the beautiful photos!

Tune in to Facebook TODAY around 6:30 to see me making cake pops LIVE

Join me for an upcoming cooking class for a few hours of tasty FUN!  CLICK HERE for class descriptions

Friday, March 17th 11:00-1:00  Lunch and Learn TEX MEX cooking

Thursday, March 23rd 6:30-8:30 Girls Night Out It’s Time for a Break!

2 Day French Workshop March 30th and 31st 10:00-2:00 AND April 5-6th

Register to lorie@atasteofparis.net or by phone 214 551 9630

Cake Pops

1 8” prepared cake any flavor

1 cup prepared frosting

1 ½ cups dark chocolate

18-20 pop sticks

Assorted sprinkles

Crumble cake finely into a bowl.  Add frosting and stir until smooth.  Using a scoop and your hands roll walnut sized balls of mixture, insert pop sticks half way into the cake balls.  Freeze cake pops for about 1 hour. Melt dark chocolate in the microwave slowly, in 30 second intervals stirring each time.  Use the least amount of heat possible to get the chocolate melted.   Dip each pop into the chocolate coating all the way to the stick.  Add sprinkles and enjoy!