Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes


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This past Sunday, I opened my home to a group of beautiful young ladies for a cooking class. They were no specifications as what they wanted to cook so I had carte Blanche. Since I wanted to be a hands-on cooking class, I decided to teach them appetizers. I thought that it would be something that they would enjoy and benefit for their entire life if they hosted parties, showers and luncheons. I did not know any of them. All i knew that they were all seniors in high school , and they were very excited to come. They stayed for 2 hours during which we prepared a variety of appetizers and desserts. I had divided my kitchen in 3 stations  so the girls could rotate every fifteen minutes to different stations and learn to make a different dish.
They learned to make wonton purses, Brie phillo cups with raspberry chipotle, lasagna cupcakes, Mozzarella and tomato skewers, Chocolate Cookie Cupcake with Bittersweet chocolate Ganache, Chocolate strawberries and lime tartlets. Lots of food as you see. Once they cooked it, they were given some time to enjoy what they made. It was priceless to see them place the food on trays and taste what they had made. You really could see pride in their smile.

They left the cooking class happily and thanked me a million times before leaving. The next day Lisa saw a few of those ladies again at school and they  thanked her again for a wonderful time. I am so glad they did;-) What an honor to have left a little mark in the lives of those young ladies;-)

Today I will share with you a variation of the chocolate cookie cupcake that I made for them. I t was excellent, but resembled  the “Little Pot Of Gold” that i posted a few weeks ago. So here is a new recipe, equally decadent and easy. I hope that you will try them;-)

Chocolate Surprise Cups with Chocolate Ganache:
 
Ingredients for 24 mini Cupcakes:
  • 1 pack of vanilla cookie dough from Nestle ( 24 mini cookies)
  • 24 Reese cups/ or dove milk chocolate/ or even caramel
  • 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips such as bittersweet Ghiradhelli chocolate.
  • 1/2 cup of hot heavy cream.
  • colorful sprinkles.
  1. Refrigerate the dough before using so it is will much easier to use.
  2. Turn the oven to 350.
  3. Warm up the heavy cream in the microwave for 2 minutes and when it is hot, pour it over the chocolate chips. Stir vigorously so as to melt the chocolate chips and create a fluid chocolate ganache. Make sure it is free of lumps. If you still see lumps, microwave the mixture for another 30 seconds.
  4. When it is completely free of lumps, pour this ganache inside a pastry bag  with a dented tip and place it in the fridge to cool. 
  5. Place a roulpat on your counter. Detach a cookie from the cookie log and with the palm of your hand, press down  on it to make it flat.
  6. Place this flattened cookie inside the opening of a mini cupcake mold that you would have placed on top of a perforated sheet.
  7. Repeat this process with all the sugar cookies.
  8. Place a reese cup or a dove chocolate inside the cups.photo 2
  9. Place the mini muffin tray into the oven and cook the cookie cups of 11-13 minutes ( 9 to keep them soft, 11 to have firmer cups).
  10. When the cups are cooked, remove the tray from the oven and cool completely.photo 4
  11. Take the ganache from the fridge and pipe the chocolate over the chocolate cups to make a beautiful topping. Decorate with sprinkles. photo 1

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Out of This World Chocolate Eclairs


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Saturday evening I had guests for dinner. What to fix for desserts??? The choices are endless…but it had been a while since I had eaten eclairs and I really did not want to make a cake. What I knew that it needed to be chocolate so I made chocolate eclairs:

Ingredients for 8 normal-size eclairs or 16 small ones:

For the choux pastry:

  • 8 cl  or 1/4 cup,1 tbsp and 1 tsp of milk,
  • 8 cl or 1/4 cup,1 tbsp and 1 tsp of water,
  • 1/16 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of sugar,
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp of butter,
  • 1/2 cup of flour,
  • 1 pinch of salt, 
  • 2 large eggs.
  1. In a saucepan, heat up the milk, water, salt, and sugar.
  2. Add the butter cut up in pieces.
  3. When the butter has completely melted, bring the mixture to boil.
  4. Remove the pan from the stove and add the flour by stirring very well.
  5. Place the pan back on the stove ( it must be turned off, but will still be warm), and stir and stir with a heat-resistant spatula until the dough starts becoming a ball and will no longer stick to the rims of the pan.
  6. Remove the pan from the stove, empty the dough into a cold bowl and add the eggs to the dough one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
  7. Place the dough in a pastry bag, with the large circular opening make long sticks of about 5 inches or 2 inches for small ones on a large silpat that you would have previously lay on a large perforated sheet.
  8. Place the perforated sheet in a warm oven of 350 and cook the eclairs for 15 minutes for the small ones or about 25 minutes for the large ones. The dough should be brown and dry on all sides. If the dough is a little bit soft, continue cooking the eclairs for 1-3 more minutes. Take them out to cool.
  9. When they are cold, or cool enough, cut the top off at about 2/3 high of the eclairs. Set aside.

Ingredients for the Pastry Cream:  

  • 325 gr or 1 1/3 cup of whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks,  
  • 65 gr or 4.5 tbsp of sugar,
  • 15 gr. or 3 tsp of flour,
  • 15 gr. or 3 tsp of corn starch,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • 200 gr. of bittersweet chocolate chips ( Ghiradhelli Preferably)
  • 80 gr. of butter
  1. In  large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish.
  2. Add the flour and the corn starch to the eggs and mix.
  3. Warm up the milk over the stove, or in the microwave for 2 minutes,
  4. Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and stir. Place the milk/ egg mixture back onto the stove and cook until the mixture is bubbling and is becoming really thick. Remove the pastry cream from the stove, and place it into a bowl. Set aside.
  5. Pour the pastry cream in the flexipan.
  6. Cover the pastry cream with some plastic wrap and place it into the fridge to cool.
  7. Place the chocolate chips and the butter into a microwable bowl and microwave for 2 minutes or until the chocolate is completely melted.
  8. With a small whisk, mix the butter and the chocolate until you have a homogeneous mixture.
  9. Pour this mixture into the bowl.
  10. Pour the pastry cream into the same bowl, mix well.
  11. Pour this mixture into a pastry bag and fill each eclairs as shown below.

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Now let’s prepare the ganache for the glacage of the eclairs. This recipe yields more than you will need but you can freeze the rest for later use.

Ganache:

  • 100 gr. of chocolate chips
  • 100 gr. of heavy cream
  • 40 gr. of butter
  • 32 gr. of honey
  1. Place the chocolate and the butter in a large bowl.
  2. Pour the cream and the honey in a microwable container and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate and butter and mix well until the chocolate and butter have become a smooth ganache. If the chocolate is not completely melted, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and free of lumps.
  4. Take each top and dip them into the ganache.
  5. Place each top on the roulpat in case of any drippings and leave them there until the ganache is cured.
  6. Place the top on each eclairs.

Et voila!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!