Chocolate Quinoa Cake

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (16) WM

You’d never guess what’s in this amazing chocolate cake (except if you read the title of this recipe 🙂 ).  Yep, it’s quinoa.  You can’t even tell at all.  It’s probably one of the most moist chocolate cakes that I have had.  My sister is celiac and came into town so I made this cake so that she’d have dessert at my friend’s birthday party.  For some reason the cake came out of the pan in two pieces, so I made what was supposed to be a two-layer cake into a “dirt cake” (I’m not sure what else to call it, but it’s like the “dirt cake” I had as a kid minus the gummy worms).

I am going to try making this recipe again and hope that I have better luck with the cake coming out of the pans so that I can actually have a beautiful looking layered cake 🙂  I added the whipped cream that was supposed to be the frosting into the mess of cake and also made vanilla pudding.  This doesn’t keep that well so eat it the day you make it (and refrigerate covered until you do).

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (6) WM

Chocolate Quinoa Cake Ingredients:

1/2 cup dried quinoa, cooked to package directions (plus a tad bit more water) & cooled

1/3 cup milk

4 large eggs

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Cake Directions:

1) Cook the quinoa, make sure that it is completely cooked and not crunchy at all.  Set aside to cool.

2) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 8-inch round pans, line the bottom with parchment paper (I think I skipped this step because I used Wilton’s cake release, don’t skip this step).

3) Blend together the milk, eggs & vanilla in a food processor.

4) Add the cooked & cooled quinoa and butter to the milk, eggs & vanilla mixture in the food processor.  Blend until completely smooth – you do not want chunks of quinoa.

5) Wisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Then stir in the quinoa mixture from the food processor.

6) Pour the cake mixture evenly into your two pans.

7) Bake the cake for about 30 minutes / until it is cooked through.

8) If the cake comes out of the pan in one pieces (!! I hope yours does !!) skip the vanilla pudding step.  Or, break your cake up in a decorative dish if you want to add the vanilla pudding.

 

Vanilla Pudding Ingredients:

2 cups milk

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon butter

 

Vanilla Pudding Directions:

1) While the cake is baking, heat the milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles – be sure that you don’t over cook or burn the milk!  Turn down to low.

2) Stir together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a bowl.  Pour the mixture into the heated milk a little bit at a time, stirring during each addition.

3) Continue to cook the pudding until it thickens just enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Do not boil!!

4) Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.

5) Pour into a bowl and let cool in your refrigerator.

 

Whipped Cream Ingredients:

small container of heavy whipping cream

sugar

vanilla

 

Whipped Cream Directions:

1) With the wisk attachment beat the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form.

2) Gently stir in the sugar & vanilla to taste – don’t add too much sugar as this will be going into the already sweet chocolate cake with the vanilla pudding.

 

Cake Assembly:

1) Pour the cooled vanilla pudding and whipped cream into the dish with the crumbled chocolate quinoa cake.

2) Gently stir together until it’s all combined; serve chilled the same day.

Chocolate Quinoa Cake (8) WM

Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Cookies

chocolate caramel cookies (1) WM

I love oatmeal cookies.  I love chocolate.  I love caramel.  Why not combine all 3 into an amazing cookie?  Well, I did.

chocolate caramel cookies (10) WM

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt

3/4 cup butter, soft at room temperature

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal

dark chocolate broken into pieces, we’re talking good chocolate – Lindt, Ghirardelli
soft caramel candy (mine was store bought, though you could make your own), chopped into tiny pieces

 chocolate caramel cookies (4)

1) Preheat your oven to 350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2) In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3) In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars until the mixture is creamy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla followed by the flour mixture one scoop at a time.  Stir in the oatmeal, chocolate and caramel candy, mixing just until well combined.

4) Shape dough into 1/2″ balls and arrange on baking sheet leaving about 2-inches between them to allow them to spread.  Gently flatten each ball (so they are approximately 1/2 as high) with your fingertips.

5) Bake the cookies for approximately 12-15 minutes until they are are golden brown.

6) Allow the cookies to cool for 2ish minutes on the baking sheet, then gently place on a wire rack to cool completely.

chocolate caramel cookies (9) WM

Baked Brie with Chocolate & Blackberry Jam

baked brie w-choc& rasp (5)

I could not believe how good this dessert / appetizer turned out, I mean it was no surprise since I mixed brie, chocolate and blackberry jam together.   I’m sure that you could use any other kind of jam, but I’m a believer that blackberry and chocolate just go together.

Ingredients:

pie crust dough (1 or two depending on if you are using a wheel of brie or two triangles)

brie (either a wheel or two triangles)

chocolate chips

blackberry jam

1 egg, beaten

water crackers to serve this with, if desired

baked brie w-choc& rasp (6)

Directions:

1. Roll out the pie crust to make it just a tad thinner on a floured surface, place on a tin-foil lined or greased baking sheet.

2. If you are using two triangles of brie cheese place them skinny end to fat end on the center of the rolled out pie crust, or just place the wheel of brie on the pie crust.

3. Scoop out a good amount of blackberry jam on top of the brie cheese, sprinkle the chocolate chip pieces on and around the jam (the jam will slide off the top of the cheese).

4. Pick up the pie crust over the sides of the cheese and cover the top of the cheese.

5. Beat the egg, and brush over the pie crust.

6. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for roughly 30 minutes or until golden brown.  I envisioned a lovely held together brie/chocolate/blackberry pie that you cut into, but instead everything melted into one amazing mess.  All of my friends could not get enough of this cheese, chocolate, jam delight.  I was worried that two triangles of brie would be too much for 5 people but it was not at all!!

baked brie w-choc& rasp (3)

4-Layer Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake

chocolate salted caramel cake (1) WM

it’s so owey gooey it won’t stand up straight!

This cake is pretty amazing.  Like over the top amazing.  Like you have died and gone to heaven amazing.

So, as I’m sure by now you know I live in Colorado and I stick to box cakes because I’m scared of the whole altitude baking thing, and yes, this is a box cake mix.  If you have a favorite from scratch chocolate cake mix feel free to use that, otherwise pick out your choice of boxed chocolate cake mix.  Also, since this cake uses a boxed cake mix and a jar of pre-made chocolate frosting, it’s pretty dang easy to make (again, if you have a favorite frosting recipe, use that).  The hardest part is making the salted caramel, but if you don’t freak out the homemade caramel is pretty amazing (you can cheat on all 3 ends and buy a jar of caramel too!).

Ingredients:

Chocolate cake mix + eggs, oil, water as stated on the box

large can of pre-made chocolate frosting

Ingredients for the Salted Caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 7 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

Directions for the chocolate cake:

1. Mix all of the ingredients, per the directions on the back of the box.

2. Pour into 4 greased and floured round cake pans.

3. Bake per instructions on the back of the box.

4. Let the cakes cool completely before attempting to frost / assemble the layers of the cake (do not start on the caramel sauce until the cakes are cool).

Directions for the Salted Caramel:

1. Add the sugar and water into a saucepan over medium low heat.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Use a spoon to remove any crystals that form on the side.

2. Once the sugar has dissolved increase the heat to high.  Now and then, using the handle, give the pot a swirl to keep the mixture moving  – do not stir the mixture directly.  The mixture will start to bubble after a minute.

3. As the mixture darkens to a medium amber color, approximately 5-7 minutes, add the butter, heavy cream and kosher salt to saucepan.  The mixture will bubble wildly.  Whisk to combine.

A note: even if the heat is on high the sugar might start to clump and not be liquidy (mine turned from clear liquid to clumps) – don’t worry!  Just begin to whisk the sugar so it all becomes hot again.  If you wait too long you’ll have to chop up the sugar clumps with a wooden spoon.  I turned the heat down to low during this declumping process so the caramel wouldn’t burn.  This clumping didn’t happen the first time I made caramel but it has all of the subsequent times for some reason.  After the sugar is clear liquid again (no clumps) it will start to turn that beautiful amber color, then you can add the butter, heavy cream and salt DO NOT add these ingredients when the sugar is still clumpy and before the sugar has turned into the amber color of caramel.

Assembling the cake:

1. Slice off the tops of the cake layers to make sure that each layers is flat.

2. Frost the top and sides of the first layer.  Pour and spread 1/4th of the warm salted caramel over the frosted cake layer.

3. Repeat with the other 3 layers, placing toothpicks between each layer otherwise you will end up with a cake that leans like in the picture above.

4. Spread frosting over the sides of the cake if necessary.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or milk as this cake is over the top sweet and needs cream to help with that!