Chocolate Eclairs

Delicate choux pastry filled with rich crème pâtissière topped with smooth chocolate ganache make these Chocolate Eclairs a sinful indulgence worth every bite!

Chocolate Eclairs | JavaCupcake.com

This past summer I traveled through France and was able to experience some of the most delicious pastries I’ve ever had in my life.  Seriously, so good… so so so so good!  From macarons to eclairs to cream puffs, everything I put in my  mouth was a flavor unlike anything I’d ever had before.

This past Fall I watched another season of The Great British Bake Off and got really excited when the bakers made some of these pastries I experienced while in France.  Between the two I knew I had to try my hand at something as delicate and delicious!

Chocolate Eclairs | JavaCupcake.com

On one TGBBO episode, choux pastry was made and I got to see many of the bakers create eclairs in various different ways.  I then watched a Paul Hollywood video explaining the process even more.  It seemed pretty easy, to be honest.  A  lot easier than I expected.  Pair the choux pastry with a homemade crème pâtissière and chocolate ganache and I’ve made Chocolate Eclairs!

Not going to lie, it took me three attempts at making these Chocolate Eclairs to really get the recipe down right.  Since this was a completely new endeavor for me, I wanted the eclairs to not only look good, but taste good too!

Chocolate Eclairs | JavaCupcake.com

I think I hit the mark with these chocolate eclairs too because let me tell you… they are out of this world good!  Especially when the creme pat was still cold… omg.  To die for!

I really hope you give these eclairs a try, they are so worth the effort!!!

Happy Baking!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Eclairs
 
Author:
Recipe type: pastry, dessert
Serves: 12-15 eclairs
Ingredients
Crème Pâtissière
  • 300ml whole milk
  • vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
  • 90g granulated sugar
  • 50g cornflour
  • 1Tbsp kirschwasser (you can use any liquor to flavor)
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 75g unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into cubes
Choux Pastry
  • 120ml water
  • 65g all purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
Filling
  • 250ml heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
Chocolate
  • 200g high quality semi-sweet chocolate (I used Lindt 50% chocolate)
  • 200ml heavy cream
  • 2Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1Tbsp vanilla
Instructions
Crème Pâtissière
  1. In a medium heavy bottom sauce pan, whisk together the milk, vanilla pod and it's seeds over medium high heat. Continue to cook until it begins to boil, immediately remove the milk from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
  2. While the mixture is cooling, in a medium bowl whisk together the sugar and cornflour until combined. Add the eggs, egg yolk and kirschwasser then whisk until smooth and pale yellow, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Once the milk has cooled, strain it into the eggs (discarding the pod) and whisk to combine. Immediately pour it back into the pan and place it over medium heat.
  4. Whisking continuously, cook 4-7 minutes over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Constantly whisking will insure no lumps form and you have a smooth cream. Cook until the mixture becomes thick enough to fill a bag and pipe.
  5. Pour the cream into a clean, glass gowl then cool for about 2-3 minutes in an ice bath. Press plastic wrap onto the top of the cream so a film doesn't form. Chill several hours until cold.
Choux Pastry
  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Measure the flour by weight then sift it onto a piece of parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, combine the water, salt and butter over medium high heat. Slowly warm until all the butter has melted making sure the water does not bubble or evaporate. .
  4. Once all the butter has melted, quickly bring the mixture to the boil and tip in all the flour in one go. Remove the pan from the heat and beat furiously with a wooden spoon. NOTE: The dough will come together, keep beating!
  5. Put the pan back on medium heat and continue to cook the dough for 1-2 minutes, continually stirring. You want a smooth, heavy dough that pulls away from the sides of the pan.
  6. Drop the dough into the bowl of your stand mixer and allow to cool until tepid, about 5 minutes.
  7. Beat the eggs in a bowl until combined, then gradually beat them into the dough with an electric whisk or mixer, or a wooden spoon, beating well after each addition. (You may not need all the egg.) The dough should be very shiny and paste-like, and fall from a spoon when lightly shaken.
  8. Spoon the pastry into a piping bag fitted with a 1.25cm/½in plain nozzle and pipe 12 x 10cm/4in lengths onto the greased baking tray.
  9. Sprinkle the tray, not the pastry, with a few drops of water, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then, without opening the door, reduce the oven temperature to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.
  10. Remove the tray from the oven and carefully make a small hole in the side of each éclair to allow steam to escape. Return to the oven and bake for a further five minutes, or until the pastry is completely crisp. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  11. For the filling, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until just stiff.
  12. Once the éclairs have cooled, cut down the length of one side of each éclair and pipe in the whipped cream.
  13. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or a bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water) and allow it to cool slightly. Dip the tops of the éclairs in the chocolate and let the chocolate set before serving.
Chocolate
  1. Chop the chocolate into fine pieces and place a medium glass bowl.
  2. In a small sauce pan, heat the cream over medium high heat until just boiling. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2 minutes - do not stir during these 2 minutes!
  3. With a rubber spatula, gently stir the chocolate and cream together until smooth and incorporated.
  4. Add the butter and vanilla and stir until butter has melted and vanilla has been incorporated.
  5. Allow the chocolate to sit for 5 minutes at room temperature before dipping the eclairs.
Assembly
  1. Using a ¼in round piping tip, gently press two holes on the bottom of an eclair on each end.
  2. Attach the same tip to a pastry bag and fill it with cream. Gently press the tip/bag into the holes you created and slowly squeeze cream into the hole until you see it come to the hole on the opposite side. Repeat this process with all the eclairs.
  3. Dip the top of each eclair in the warm, melted chocolate allowing the excess to drip off. Place it on a wire rack and allow the chocolate to firm, about an hour.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
Storage
  1. Store in a bakery box or on the counter with plastic wrap over the top. If you store it in an air tight container, the pastry will lose it's crisp. If you plan to keep them for more than a day, store them in the refrigerator but know the dough will become softer.

Cookies n’ Cream Macarons

Endulge yourself in these Cookies n’ Cream Macarons made with an Oreo buttercream filling sandwiched between two decadent dark chocolate macaron shells. Heaven in every bite!

Cookies n' Cream Macaron Recipe & Tutorial | JavaCupcake.com

I started out strong the first time I made macarons. The shells were perfectly smooth on top, they baked evenly and none broke or cracked.  The second and third time I made them… not so good.  I just don’t think I fully understand how the batter is supposed to work yet.

The batter has to be smooth enough for it to gently settle when you pipe it onto the pan, but not so thin that it spreads out across your pan.  If you under-fold the batter, the shells will not be smooth, yet clumpy and grainy.  Oh… and don’t forget not to underbake them.  I made that mistake once too.

*sigh*

Cookies n' Cream Macaron Recipe & Tutorial | JavaCupcake.com

Today, I should be cleaning my house to get ready for dinner guests, but instead I’m in the kitchen trying to make macarons again.  Really, they take no time at all to put the batter and fillings together, so if I can get it right, they’ll be ready in time for dessert!

As I type this, they are “resting” on the counter.  The shells look smoother than the last times I’ve made them, so I’m praying that is a good sign.

*fast forward 2 hours*

Cookies n' Cream Macaron Recipe & Tutorial | JavaCupcake.com

So, I’m back at the computer and guess what?  The Cookies n’ Cream Macarons are a SUCCESS!  The buttercream filling is perfect, the crunch and chew of the shells is delectable.  Over all, I think I finally nail it… again!

Horray for me!

The key to the success of these macarons was folding the batter enough, not piping the too much batter onto the holes in the silicone mat so they had room to settle and flatten out and finally baking them long enough!  Yay!  I’m so excited for these!

Cookies n' Cream Macaron Recipe & Tutorial | JavaCupcake.com

And to make these macarons even sweeter, I packaged them in a little bakery box tied with bakers twine that held exactly 8 macarons!  The perfect amount for gift giving!  My friend Rachel of Glitter & Bow was the sweet friend who got to enjoy this box!

I got the boxes and twine from the Lemon Drop Shop. They’re having an inventory closeout sale right now, so make sure you get what you want from them ASAP!

I hope you try them! Let me know if you do!

Happy Baking!

Cookies n' Cream Macarons
 
Prep time
Cook time
 
Serves: 24 macarons
Ingredients
Macarons
  • 90g egg whites (covered & left at room temp overnight)
  • 25g granulated sugar
  • 110g blanched almond flour
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 10g dark chocolate cocoa powder
Filling
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • pinch of salt
  • ⅓ cup finely crushed OREO cookies
Tools
  • Silicone macaron baking mat
  • Disposable piping bag
  • Wilton tip #12
  • Rubber spatula
  • Kitchen scale
Instructions
Macarons
  1. The night before, separate your egg whites from the yolks and measure out 90g. Cover with plastic wrap and leave out on your counter overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line your baking sheet with your silicone macaron baking mat.
  3. Measure out the powdered sugar, almond flour and cocoa powder and sift together in a large bowl. You may have a few chunks of almond that didn't go through the sifter, discard those. Sift the mixture again and set aside.
  4. Measure out the granulated sugar and set aside.
  5. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs on medium-high speed until they just begin to bubble and become foamy. Slowly add all the granulated sugar.
  6. Once all the sugar has been added, turn the mixer on high speed and beat until they have become glossy and firm. I know mine are done when I can turn the bowl over and nothing moves or falls out. Do not over-mix or your macarons will be dry.
  7. Add the almond mixture to the egg whites and begin to fold the two together. At first, use quick strokes to break up the mixture, but then slow down and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Fold this mixture about 50 strokes or until the batter "falls back down onto itself". Meaning that when you drop some of the batter back into the bowl, it looks like it melts back into the mixture without leaving a bump or crack. It will look seamless. Do not overmix!
  8. Fill your piping bag with the Wilton #12 tip with the batter. Fill the circles ¾ full on the silicone macaron mat with batter. This will allow them to settle and flatten out.
  9. Let the macarons rest for 20-30 minutes.
  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until firm to the touch.
  11. Cool the shells completely before trying to remove them from the mat.
Filling
  1. Cream together the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and cream until smooth.
  2. Mix in the crushed cookies.
  3. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes.
Assembly & Storage
  1. Pipe a grape size dollop of frosting onto the flat side of the macaron.
  2. Gently press another macaron, flat side down, onto the frosting.
  3. Serve immediately or store in an air tight container for up to 4 days.
Notes
The frosting will yield more than you need for this recipe. Reserve the remainder for another project or fill two cookies and create a delicious treat!

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches

Decadent cinnamon ice cream sandwiched between classic snickerdoodle cookies make these Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches the perfect summertime treat!

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches | JavaCupcake.com

Over the weekend, my husband and I put the kids to bed and decided to have a little “us” time. We drove into town to the local ice cream shop for a couple scoops of our favorite dessert. Pinguino Eis in Grafenwoehr, Germany serves the best handmade ice cream I’ve never had with flavors that are always in season! (For more, read this review of Pinguino Eis from my friend Thais!

I ordered a scoop fresh raspberry and a scoop of chocolate ice cream and my husband ordered a scoop of white chocolate and a scoop of cinnamon ice cream… both on waffle cones. (I posted a picture on Instagram if you want to see!) There is almost nothing I love more than chocolate and berries together so I was in Heaven with my cone. But then I had a lick of Dave’s cinnamon ice cream. I’d never had that flavor before… actually, I never even seen cinnamon ice cream before that day. And let me tell you, that cinnamon ice cream was out-of-this-world delicious!

Woah! So good in fact that I immediately began dreaming up ways I could use it in a baking project for JavaCupcake. And so… today’s creation was born!

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches | JavaCupcake.com

This week, my husband’s boss & family plus another guy from work were coming over for dinner. It was supposed to be a warm day, so the plan was to BBQ brats, drink beers and chill in the backyard while the kids played. We could eat, drink and get a little FRG work done in the process. I wanted to make a dessert that would please the kids and the adults and decided that using the cinnamon ice cream to make Snickerdoole Ice Cream Sandwiches was perfect for the warm Spring evening!

I began with my favorite Snickerdoodle cookie recipe from the 1963 Betty Crocker Cooky Book and added a bit of nutmeg to the batter. I think that extra spice really adds a kick to the cookie! The ice cream, of course, is from Pinguino Eis and paired perfectly with the Snickerdoodles!

If you can’t find cinnamon ice cream, you could easily make your own. Simply soften your favorite vanilla ice and stir in a few teaspoons per every cup of ice cream you’ll be using. Make sure to pop the ice cream back in the freezer if it starts to get too soft before making your ice cream sandwiches.

How to wrap & serve Ice Cream Sandwiches | JavaCupcake.com

Finally, to serve the Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches, I cut strips of brown parchment/baking paper, wrapped that around each sandwich and tied it off with bakers twine. This was a cute, simple way to fancy up this sweet dessert!

Happy Baking!

Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2-3 dozen ice cream sandwiches
Ingredients
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon, for rolling
  • ¼ cup sugar, for rolling
  • 4 cups cinnamon ice cream *(see NOTE below)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the shortening and butter until combined.
  3. Add the sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated then mix in the vanilla.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the ground cinnamon and sugar for rolling and set aside.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until a dough ball forms.
  8. Roll 1-inch balls of dough with your hands then toss them in the cinnamon/sugar mixture to completely coat. NOTE: The more uniform your balls are in size, the better sandwiches they will make.
  9. Place on prepared baking sheets and bake for 8 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE!
  10. Allow to cool on cookie sheets 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Once cooled, scoop 3-4 Tbsp of cinnamon ice cream onto the flat side of one cookie and spread evenly across the cookie. Sandwich a second cookie, flat side down, onto the ice cream.
  12. Freeze until ready to serve.
Notes
NOTE: If you can't find cinnamon ice cream, you can make your own. Buy a gallon of your favorite vanilla ice cream. Leave the vanilla ice cream out to soften for about 20 minutes. Once soft, mix in 1-2 tsp of cinnamon per every cup of ice cream you'll use. Freeze again until firm or ready to use.

Espresso Truffles

Espresso Truffles made from richly flavored espresso ganache covered in dark chocolate and crushed espresso flakes make for an indulgent dessert!

Espresso Truffles: Espresso ganache covered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with ground espresso beans!  | JavaCupcake.com

Every once in a while I surprise myself with the things I come up with.  These espresso truffles are one of those surprises.  See, I wasn’t planning on making these for you.  They were a bi-product of the mini mocha macarons I made a few weeks back.  I had extra filling from the macarons, perfectly good ganache and I couldn’t’ for the life of me throw away.  I asked on Facebook for suggestions of what to make with the extra chocolate and I got a lot of great ideas, but…

I decided to make truffles.

Decadent, rich, espresso truffles.

Espresso Truffles: Espresso ganache covered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with ground espresso beans!  | JavaCupcake.com

Making these truffles was really quite simple.  I simple rolled chilled ganache into balls, covered them in melted chocolate and then topped them with ground espresso beans.  The process couldn’t have been quicker or easier.

And the result… decadence with every bite.

Espresso Truffles: Espresso ganache covered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with ground espresso beans!  | JavaCupcake.com

If you’ve never seen an espresso grinder before… well, you’re not the only one.  I found the grinder in a Lindt store in Berlin.  There were two kinds actually, one espresso and one sugar and chocolate.  Of course, I brought home both.  You may have seen them in the Berlin giveaway I just hosted with Erin of Texanerin Baking.

There are dozens of ways you could use this espresso grinder, I mean the possibilities are endless.   On top of cookies before baking, garnishing cupcakes and cakes, in your coffee for a little extra kick.  Anywhere you’d want that bite of coffee flavor, use this grinder!

Everyone needs one in their kitchen.

Espresso Truffles: Espresso ganache covered in dark chocolate and sprinkled with ground espresso beans!  | JavaCupcake.com

One bite of these melt-in-your-mouth espresso truffles will leave you wanting more… and more…. and more.  They have a dark chocolate taste, a creamy texture, and a rich coffee flavor that is so incredibly delicious and indulgent.

Enjoy!

Espresso Truffles
 
Prep time
 
Serves: 2-3 dozen truffles
Ingredients
  • 120g semi-sweet chocolate - I used Lindt 70% schokolade
  • 120ml or ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp espresso powder
  • ½ T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ T vanilla extract
  • 80g semi-sweet chocolate - Again, used Lindt 70% schokolade
  • Lindt chocolate/espresso grinder (optional)
Instructions
  1. Chop up the 120g chocolate and place in a glass bowl.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine the espresso powder and cream with a whisk. Heat the cream and espresso together over high heat until it comes to a rolling simmer.
  3. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and let stand for 1 minute. DO NOT STIR!
  4. Add the vanilla extract and butter and stir with a rubber spatula SLOWLY until all the chocolate has melted. NOTE: Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl several times to ensure everything has been incorporated.
  5. Pound the bowl on the counter 3-4 times to remove any air bubbles.
  6. Allow the chocolate to cool, uncovered, until it reaches room temperature and begins to solidify. This should take 3-4 hours.
  7. Line a flat baking sheet with wax paper.
  8. Once the chocolate is solid, roll 1in balls of chocolate in your hands and place on the wax paper.
  9. Freeze the balls for 2-3 hours or until completely firm and very cold.
  10. Melt 80g chocolate over a double boiler.
  11. One at a time, drop the cold balls into the melted chocolate. Move around with a fork to cover completely. Lift the chocolate with the fork and tap any excess.
  12. Place the covered chocolate on the wax paper and immediately grind the chocolate/espresso over the top of the truffle. NOTE: If you don't have a chocolate/espresso grinder, you can top the truffles with anything else you'd like. Chocolate jimmies, a coffee bean, sea salt. The melted chocolate will harden very quickly - if you're going to top the truffles with something, be quick about it!
  13. Allow the melted chocolate to set completely before serving the truffles. If not serving immediately, store in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Remove 30 minutes prior to serving.

Chocolate Dipped Spoons and Cookies

Spread the love this Valentine’s Day with these simple, delicious chocolate dipped treats for your family and friends!

Valentine Chocolate Dipped Biscoff Cookies & Spoons | JavaCupcake.com

There’s nothing I love more than a hot cup of coffee mid-morning.  I have a routine everyday… wake up, eat breakfast (cereal with berries – every morning!), play with Matty, get some work done and then mid-way through the morning I treat myself to coffee!

Not just any coffee though.  My cup is always full of a chocolate flavored or pumpkin spice or something delicious topped off with whatever seasonal creamer is in stock at the commissary.   And my coffee is always served in a Starbucks mug.  ALWAYS.   It’s one of my most favorite times of the day… coffee time.

Valentine Chocolate Dipped Biscoff Cookies | JavaCupcake.com

About two weeks ago, my friend Margot dropped off a bag full of chocolate goodies to go along with my morning coffee.  She had included a few chocolate dipped cookies and a few lollipop style chocolates on sticks.  I think it only took me two cups of coffee to enjoy it all.  But, her treats gave me the idea to recreate them as gifts for Emily’s teachers for Valentine’s Day!

I had already made the White Chocolate Dipped Valentine Fortune Cookies for her teachers.  But now they could have a few days worth of goodies to go with their morning coffee at school with these Chocolate Dipped Spoons and Cookies! Perfect!

Valentine Chocolate Dipped Spoons | JavaCupcake.com

You could really make these in so many different ways.  Any type of cookie or biscuit could be used.  Any kind of chocolate could be used!  I chose the Biscoff cookies because they go so wonderfully well with coffee and dipped them in a dark chocolate.  My favorite dark chocolate is one that is 60-70% cocoa.  Not too bitter, but still smooth and oh so chocolaty!

The spoons I dipped are just from the grocery store, but you could easily used colored spoons or even order cute wooden spoons!  Instead of pink and red sprinkles, green could be used for St. Patrick’s Day or brown for Thanksgiving.  The possibilities are really endless!

Matthew | JavaCupcake.comAnd of course, Matty had to try a chocolate spoon too.  Okay… he didn’t really ask for permission before he grabbed this spoon.  But how can I bet mad at that face?  I’m just happy he loves chocolate!!

So, get creative and start dipping things in chocolate!  Valentine’s Day treats don’t have to be difficult… just delicious and fun!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Dipped Spoons and Cookies
 
Prep time
 
Serves: 12 treats
Ingredients
  • 12 Plastic spoons
  • 24 Biscoff cookies
  • 12-15oz high quality dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate)
  • Valentine nonpareils and heart shaped sprinkles
  • Valentine M&M candies
  • Wax paper
  • Double boiler
Instructions
  1. Lay out a piece of wax paper on your counter.
  2. Chop chocolate into very small chunks and place in a double boiler.
  3. Over medium-high heat, melt the chocolate until smooth.
  4. Dip the spoons into the chocolate making sure that the spoon cavity is full of chocolate. Holding the spoon horizontally flat, tap any excess chocolate off. Lay the spoon on the wax paper. NOTE: If the chocolate spills out, prop the end of the handle up with an Oreo or other cookie (or whatever you have) so that the chocolate stays in the spoon cavity.
  5. Immediately place a M&M candy and heart shaped sprinkles into the chocolate. Optionally, sprinkle with the Valentine nonpareils.
  6. Dip the Biscoff cookies into the chocolate until ½-2/3 of the cookie is covered.
  7. Tap the wrist of the hand holding the cookie so that the excess chocolate dripped off the cookies. Gently scrape the bottom of the cookie on the side of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate.
  8. Place dipped cookie onto the wax paper and sprinkle with Valentine nonpareils.
  9. Allow spoons and cookies to dry completely before packaging - about 3-4 hours.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 spoon and 2 cookies

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

This decadent chocolate brownie topped with rich and creamy raspberry cheesecake is a dessert you will definitely feel guilty about… but it’ll be so worth it! Plus, there’s a super fun Berlin giveaway! Yay!

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies | JavaCupcake.com

There’s no doubt about it.  There is nothing healthy about these raspberry cheesecake brownies.  From the eggs, butter, sugar and chocolate in the brownie to the full fat cream cheese and sugar covered berries in the cheesecake topping… everything about this dessert is decadent, delicious and oh so good!

While I was in Berlin for the New Year, I knew I had to take some time out to meet and bake with Erin of Texanerin Baking.   There aren’t many American food bloggers living in Europe and I’ve been looking forward to connecting with Erin since I’ve lived here.  Her style of baking is a it different from mine because it focuses on making healthier versions of desserts, snacks and other food yet still maintaining delicious taste and quality!

JavaCupcake & Texanerin!

I met up with Erin at her apartment and was greeted so sweetly by her husband.  Erin and her husband live in Berlin while he finishes up his education.  Before we got to baking, I had brought a surprise for Erin… a 5lb bag of all-purpose flour!  See, Germans don’t use AP flour.  They have different versions of white, unbleached flour but none of them are as good as AP flour.  Erin had never seen a bag so big before… she was pretty excited to start baking with it!

We had decided to make a Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie together… but make it two ways.  Full fat, full sugar and full flavor and then a lightened up, healthier version.  We wanted to show that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for healthier choices in baking.

Starting with a the Baked brownie recipe for the base, my recipe used all-purpose flour and granulated sugar.  Erin’s version uses whole wheat flour and coconut sugar… two easy ways to lighten up the brownie.

After taste testing both brownies, neither of us could tell a difference.  Both brownies were incredibly delicious and oh so addicting.  I think Erin mentioned that between her and her husband, most of the brownies were gone the next day!  Yeah… so were mine.  They were THAT good.

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies | JavaCupcake.com

Make sure to visit Erin’s blog Texanerin Baking for her healthier version of these brownies!

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8-12 brownies
Ingredients
Brownies
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6oz dark chocolate
  • 4oz unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp espresso powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup homemade brown sugar (Recipe Here )
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Rapsberry Cheesecake Topping
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen berries, thawed
  • 1 Tbsp homemade brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees or 180 C degrees and line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, make the brown sugar & set aside. (See recipe link above)
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, and salt.
  4. In a heat-proof glass bowl, melt the chocolate either in your microwave or a double boiler and set aside to cool slightly.
  5. Whisk in the sugars until smooth.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time and whisk until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  7. Pour the chocolate/sugar mixture into the flour mixture and fold together until no more flour is visible.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.
  9. In another bowl, mix together the softened cream cheese, ⅓ cup sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  10. Gently spread the cream cheese evenly over the chocolate batter.
  11. In a small bowl, sprinkle the 1 Tbsp sugar over the berries and mix to combine. Break up the berries until it resembles a jam consistency.
  12. Spoon dollops of raspberry over the cream cheese mixture. Using a knife, swirl the raspberry into the cream cheese.
  13. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden and the top is firm to the touch.
  14. Allow to cool in the pan completely before cutting into square and serving.

A Berlin Giveaway!

As a fun treat for our readers, since Erin and I had such a good time together baking… we’ve put together a prize package of some fun baking related goodies that are exclusive to Berlin!   To win all these great prizes, simply fill out the Rafflecopter widget below.

Contest open to those with a USA mailing address.  Contest ends Thursday, Feb. 6th at 11:00pm PST and a winner will be chosen Friday, Feb. 7th. Winner will have 24 hours to respond to our email before a new winner will be chosen.

The Prizes:

Have you ever heard of the Ampelmann? He’s the character on all the stop lights in East Berlin.  He’s pretty famous here.  So, we’re giving you a set of Ampelmann cookie cutters!

Amplemann Cookie Cutters | JavaCupcake.com

The Brandenburg Gate and the TV Tower are two iconic landmarks in Berlin.  Everyone who visits this great city goes to see them.  And now, you can enjoy these landmarks in cookie form with the Brandenburg Gate and TV Tower cookie cutters!

Berlin's Brandenburg Gate and TV Tower Cookie Cutters | JavaCupcake.comLindt is a Swiss chocolate that I know is sold world-wide.  But, I had never seen a Lindt store until I was in Berlin.  Nothing but delicious Lindt chocolates and other confections.  And when I say other confections, I mean these grinders I scored at the store in Berlin.  One is chocolate & sugar and the other is chocolate & espresso.  Can you imagine the possibilities for these?  Recently, I used the espresso grinder on top of espresso truffles.   So good.  You’ll get one of each!

Lindt Grinders | JavaCupcake.comRitter Sport is a 100 year old chocolate company based out of Germany.  Ritter recently opened a store in Berlin where you can have a bar of chocolate handmade for you with your favorite mix-ins.  You will get two hand made bars from the Ritter store with the following mix-ins: Milk Chocolate, Biscuit Bits & Mini Marshmallows AND Dark Chocolate, Strawberry Pieces & Hazlenut.  So yum!

Handmade Ritter Sport Chocolate Bars from Berlin, Germany | JavaCupcake.com

Finally, Viba is a German company that makes nougat bars that, according to Erin, everyone she knows in the USA is always asking for her to send them!  So, You’ll get 4 Praline dark nougat Bars and a 3-pack of Classic nougat Bars!

Viba Nougat Bars | JavaCupcake.coma Rafflecopter giveaway

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tartlets

Shortbread crust, chocolate ganache and salted-caramel make these tartlets an irresistibly decadent dessert! Salted Caramel Chocolate Tartlets by TotalNoms for JavaCupcake.com

Hi everyone! It’s Mallory from Total Noms and I’m really happy to be able to be guest posting on Java Cupcake today!

Betsy and I first became buddies when she graciously guest posted for me while I was out on my honeymoon in October 2013. Her Peaches ‘n Cream cupcakes quickly became one of the most popular posts of the last few months for me, and there’s no mistaking why- Betsy is a total whiz when it comes to delicious and beautiful desserts!

So I’m honored to be able to share a recipe with you today that I hope can hold up to the level of sweet beauty of Betsy’s normal fare. The truth is, I’m an absolutely TERRIBLE cake decorator (for proof, see here from the early days) so when it comes to desserts, I usually stick to the kinds that require minimal design capabilities. Drop cookies, pies, and bars are my thing. It’s really hard to make those ugly!

Case in point- these little Salted Caramel Chocolate Tartlets.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tartlets by TotalNoms for JavaCupcake.com

It’s pretty much impossible to make something terrible out of shortbread crust, chocolate ganache, and oh yeah, salted caramel. Sure, I might have caramel sauce stuck all over my stove top, fingers, and plates now, and there might be chocolate ganache drips all over my fridge shelf where I let these cool, but the finished product, man- it’s a doozy!

And no decoration required! :) Just a little sprinkling of salt on top is all you need!

Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes, originally from The Perfect Finish: Special Desserts for Every Occasion.

You may end up with a little extra salted caramel and chocolate ganache from this recipe (if you were able to keep yourself from dipping into them while assembling). This may seem like a tragedy, if you’re crazy. You can store the salted caramel in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. Use the chocolate ganache within a few days, again storing in an airtight container in the fridge. Both are perfect as dips for fresh fruit, cookies, or biscotti!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tartlets by TotalNoms for JavaCupcake.com

Thanks so much for reading, and feel free to come visit Total Noms anytime! You can also find me on YouTube, Facebook, Google + and Pinterest.

Happy Eating :-)
Mallory

My warmest, most-heartfelt thanks goes to Mallory from TotalNoms for sharing this delicious recipe with my JavaCupcake readers!  Mallory recently was married and I had the opportunity to guest post for her!  We have become sweet internet blogging friends and I hope to continue to work with her to share sweet recipes with our readers!  If you’d like to see more of Mallory’s delicious creations, check out her blog TotalNoms or find her on FacebookPinterest, YouTubeInstagram and Twitter

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tartlets
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: about 30 tartlets
Ingredients
For the shortbread crust:
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
For the salted caramel:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 and ¾ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • ½ tsp sea salt
For the chocolate ganache:
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate chips (about 1.5 cups)
Instructions
Make the shortbread crust:
  1. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat again until combined. Add the flour and salt, and mix until a dough has formed. Remove dough from the bowl, form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour.
  2. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Between two sheets of parchment paper, roll out chilled dough to ¼" thickness. Using a biscuit cutter or other circular stencil, make 2.5" circles and press them down into the muffin tin, making sure to press down the bottoms fully into the pan. Stab a fork into the bottom of each mini pie crust. Freeze for 5-10 minutes until dough is fully hardened.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Press a piece of foil over top the pie crusts, and carefully press the foil into each divot of the muffin tin so that its completely covering and touching the dough. Add pie weights, coffee beans or other dry beans into the divots to weigh the foil down. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. (My mini muffin tin only makes 12 at a time, so I had to repeat this process more than once. While each batch is baking, keep remaining dough in the fridge to keep cold in the meantime.)
Make the salted caramel:
  1. Melt the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking often. Once sugar is completely melted, add the room temperature butter, continuing to whisk (mixture will bubble!). Carefully add the heavy cream and whisk- this will cause a lot of bubbling as well. Once mixture is smooth, remove from heat, and stir in the salt. The caramel will look very liquidy, but it will thicken as it cools. Allow to cool while you make the ganache.
Make the chocolate ganache:
  1. Bring heavy cream just to a boil in a small saucepan. While cream is heating up, place the chocolate in a large, heat-proof bowl. Once cream comes to a boil, immediately pour over the chocolate and stir everything together until it comes together as a rich, beautiful chocolate ganache. Resist the urge to eat the whole bowl right then and there.
Assemble the tartlets:
  1. Carefully spoon a ½ tsp of salted caramel into each mini pie crust. Then fill up the rest of the tart with chocolate ganache, being careful not to overflow. Lightly sprinkle with kosher or sea salt over top. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. These can be stored in the fridge for a few days in an air tight container (if you really can control yourself!)

Easy Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Fudge

Swirled with peanut butter, this one-bowl fudge is a quick, easy and super delicious treat for the entire family!

Easy Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Fudge | JavaCupcake.com

This weekend I’m having a few very special guests come for a visit… Deb and her husband John and their son Jack.  Jack was here this summer for a week of rest while he backpacked and couch surfed across Europe.  This time, I get to see the entire wonderful family (minus big brother David)!   I’ve known Deb since my college days at the University of Washington.  We were in an art class together that changed my life.  I’m blessed to have kept in contact with Deb and her family ever since.  The picture below is of Johh, Deb, Me and Jack at the Flossenburg Castle Ruins during their visit!

The Richards & The Eves @ Flossenburg Castle Ruins | JavaCupcake.com

Typically, I’d bake cupcakes, a big elaborately flavored cake or some super delicious cookies! But, my friends have a son who was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease.  If you didn’t already know, Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye damaging the persons small intestine and over time can cause brain damage. A gluten-free diet is essential to battling this disease.

Easy Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Fudge | JavaCupcake.com

When Jack visited this summer, he ate lots of cereal and all the cupcakes (I made Red Velvet Nutella Cupcakes on his last visit) and junk food I had in the house.  Which was totally awesome… but this time, it had to be different.  So, I stocked up on some gluten-free mixes and started planning their visit.

Easy Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Fudge | JavaCupcake.com

The first night I’d make a pumpkin chili and serve a gluten-free corn casserole with it.  For dessert, I made this Easy Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Fudge.  Really, you can’t go wrong with fudge… everyone loves it.  And finally for breakfast the morning I’ll make gluten free pancakes filled with fresh berries and topped with homemade whipped cream all accompanied by Italian sausage, eggs and of course… lots of coffee!  (PS… They ate every last piece of fudge and I didn’t make breakfast! Deb and John did and it was DELISH!)

Easy Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Fudge | JavaCupcake.com

Although they won’t be able to enjoy my cupcakes this visit… I’m hoping that they will enjoy the delicious food I’ve so thoughtfully prepared for them.

Enjoy!

Easy Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Fudge
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 64 1-in squares of fudge
Ingredients
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk, divided
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp unsalted butter, softened
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp + 1 dash vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x8 inch metal pan with wax paper.
  2. In a medium, heavy sauce pan stir together the chocolate chips, 2 Tbsp butter, 1 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk and salt until all the chocolate chips have melted. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla extract. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a small, heavy sauce pan stir together the peanut butter chips, remaining Sweetened Condensed Milk and 1 tsp butter until all the peanut butter chips have melted. Stir in the dash of vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan. Using an offset spatula, smooth out the top until level. Drop the pan from 1in high 2-3 times on the counter to get all the air bubbles out.
  5. Dollop the peanut butter mixture evenly across the chocolate. Using a butter knife, swirl the peanut butter into the chocolate.
  6. Allow to set in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
  7. Carefully pull the wax paper up and remove the fudge from the pan. Cut into squares.
  8. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.