Sunday, July 23, 2017

Triple chocolate muffins

A triple chocolate muffin that is made with melted chocolate, cocoa powder and chocolate chips! This super chocolate-y muffin is a wonderful treat to snack on throughout the day. It's also the perfect excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast!

Yes, I am sharing another muffin recipe. I'm sorry, I just can't help myself. When I can make excuses to eat chocolate for breakfast, I am going to take it. I mean, how can you resist eating a TRIPLE chocolate item after you wake up? You just can't.

These beauties contain three doses of chocolate - from melted chocolate, cocoa powder and of course loads of chocolate chips. Does it get any better than that? Well, I guess I could have thrown in a molten chocolate center, but maybe I'll do that next time.

My family demolished these muffins in no time flat. Addie ate one just about every day for her breakfast, and I noticed that my husband was happily enjoying them too. The muffins are a tad on the drier side, so I'd actually recommend increasing the liquid a little bit in these - maybe bump the milk up to 3/4 cup (or adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of applesauce).

The muffins will dry out a little bit if you keep them in the refrigerator. Just make sure you pop them in the microwave for about 10 seconds before serving.

Triple chocolate muffins
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, diced
  • 1 and 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk of choice
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Directions
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Generously grease a standard muffin pan and set aside.

In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and chopped chocolate together. Mix until it is completely smooth. Allow it to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar, milk, eggs and vanilla.

Add the melted chocolate and milk mixtures to the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Slowly fold until a few dry streaks remain. Fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix.

Evenly distribute the batter into your prepared baking pan, filling each well about 3/4 full. Top with additional chocolate chips if desired.

Bake in your preheated oven for 5 minutes. Then, without opening the oven, turn the temperature down to 375 degrees F and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool before serving.

Muffins should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days. They can also be frozen and thawed.


Yield: 12 muffins

Source: MyRecipes.com

Friday, July 21, 2017

Skating Fridays

Seeing Double 


One of the adult male skaters at my rink happens to be a clockwise skater like me (I don't like to call us lefties, since we jump and spin to the right). We recently decided to see if partnering up would be a possibility.

He's probably 6 feet tall, and I am around 5'4" so there is a good height difference. We're at different free skate levels, but that's not a concern right now.

Here is a fun still shot of us attempting side-by-side upright spins.
 We'll see how far this experiment goes... or not!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jeni's milkiest chocolate ice cream

A super smooth and creamy chocolate ice cream that is perfect for the summertime. Throw in your favorite add-ins for a candy-bar like treat!
Is there anything more perfect than ice cream in the summertime? I don't think so. My family and I have become such ice cream snobs that we'll only visit the places with the best ice cream and buy the smoothest and creamiest brands (when I'm not making my own batches).

We haven't touched any of the airy, cheap grocery brands in what seems like forever. One of our favorite brands is Jeni's ice creams, even though we've never technically bought a pint. We've eaten them while on vacation at their scoop shops, and I've even received an ice cream party in a box as a holiday gift, but I technically have never bought any in a store to take home. Crazy, right?

Since I own the cookbook, it makes sense to churn my own. That way, I get more ice cream for my money and we can customize our own add-ins. While I have seen Jeni's ice creams at my local grocery store, they are pretty expensive (the recent sale price was still $8-$9). I can make it for a fraction of the price.

When my husband asked me to make a baked Alaska for his birthday, the recipe asked for two pints of store-bought ice cream. Now, there was no way that I was going to use store bought ice cream for his special birthday treat so I had to make my own. The recipe suggested vanilla and coffee as the flavor combinations. But because Addie was going to have some of the baked Alaska, I didn't want to use coffee ice cream (hello, caffeine). So I opted for chocolate instead - this milky chocolate ice cream from Jeni's.

I'll write about the baked Alaska in another post, but the ice cream itself was super smooth, creamy and was reminiscent of a dreamy chocolate bar. Feel free to throw in your favorite add-ins: chocolate chips, nuts, marshmallows... you name it. Think about your favorite candy bar and include those ingredients into this ice cream so you have an ice cream version of your ultimate chocolate indulgence.

Jeni's milkiest chocolate ice cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (ideally 55%-70% cocoa)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions
In a small bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch to make a slurry. Set this aside. Reserve the remaining milk and keep it separate.

Chop the chocolate and place it in a large bowl. Set a fine mesh sieve above it.

In a medium sized saucepan, heat the cream, remaining milk, evaporated milk, sugar and corn syrup on medium to medium-high heat until boiling. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until it is fully incorporated. Continue boiling for 4 minutes.

Take the saucepan off the stove and very carefully add the cornstarch/milk slurry. Mix until everything is well incorporated and put the pan back on the stove. Allow the mixture to come back to a boil and until the liquid becomes slightly thicker, about 1 minute.

Turn off the stove and pour the liquid through the sieve into the large bowl with the chopped chocolate. Add the salt and mix well until everything is fully incorporated.

At this point, you have two options. You can either set the ice cream over an ice bath (pour the contents into a large zip-top bag, seal it shut and place it over a large bowl with ice cubes), or put it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Once the mixture is completely cool, churn it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.

Pour the ice cream into a container and set it in the freezer until it has hardened (at least 4 hours). 

Yield: About 1 quart

Source:  Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home

Monday, July 17, 2017

Christina Tosi's oatmeal cookies

Christina Tosi's oatmeal cookies are wonderful for those who don't like raisins in their baked goods. These raisin-less cookies are soft and chewy like a classic oatmeal raisin cookie and are dusted with a generous layer of powdered sugar!
Riddle me this - why do most oatmeal cookies have raisins in them? Don't get me wrong, I love oatmeal raisins, and they are one of my favorite cookies, but I started to wonder why we don't see many raisin-less cookies.

These soft and chewy oatmeal cookies taste very similar to your typical oatmeal raisin cookie. The hearty oats are enhanced with cinnamon. And before they are baked, these cookies are rolled in a generous layer of powdered sugar.

These cookies come from Christina Tosi (of Momofuku Milk Bar fame). Chef Tosi says that these are the brainchild of her grandmother. If you want, you can even toss in 1/2 cup of shredded coconut for a fun textural contrast. I'm not a fan of shredded coconut so I left that out.

So the next time you have a friend who wants an oatmeal raisin cookie without the raisins, you can bake these.

Christina Tosi's oatmeal cookies
  • 14 Tablespoons (1 and 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 and 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Directions
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line two standard baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla until well incorporated, about 1 minute.

Turn the mixer off and add in the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Using a rubber spatula, gently mix everything together. Then turn the mixer back on medium speed and beat until everything comes together, about 30 seconds.

Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Using a cookie scoop, scoop about golf-ball sized mounds of dough. Roll each ball of dough in powdered sugar, making sure to cover as much of the surface as you can.

Place each dough ball on your prepared baking sheet and be sure to leave at least 2 inches in between each cookie.

Bake in your preheated oven for 4 minutes. Then rotate the pans front to back and top to bottom and bake for an additional 5-6 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and appear crackled. The centers may appear slightly underdone, and that's OK.

Allow the cookies to cool completely on the pans before serving.

Cookies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will keep or several days.

Yield: About 2 dozen cookies

Source: Milk Bar Life, by Christina Tosi

Friday, July 14, 2017

Skating Fridays

Coach B's Spin Challenge 


Coach B came back a few weeks ago from the PSA (Professional Skaters Association) conference with lots of fun new warmup exercises. I've been slowly working my way through many of these and have enjoyed the new challenges in between my regular exercises.

One new gauntlet she threw down was a new spin challenge. She wanted to create some friendly competition among her skaters so she talked about a spin pyramid that she borrowed from Ryan Jahnke:

As an added bonus, she said that skaters that complete the pyramid would earn $100 from her. She said that I had a good chance of completing at least 50% of the pyramid, which would be an amazing feat.

I'll see how many of these items I can check off the pyramid over the next year. So far, Coach B has recorded the following for me in our first spin pyramid challenge:

  • Forward sit: 16 revolutions
  • Forward scratch spin: 22 revolutions
  • Forward camel spin: 8 revolutions
  • Backward sit: 8 revolutions
  • Backward scratch spin: 22 revolutions
  • Backward camel spin: 3 revolutions
And here are the other boxes I can also check off on the pyramid to start:
  • Forward sit difficult variation (cannonball/forward sit variation)
  • Backward sit difficult variation (backward twist)
  • Difficult entrance to a spin (illusion/windmill entry)
  • Upright difficult variation (Alaina Chartrand upright variation)
  • Forward camel difficult variation (catch foot grab)
Who wants to join me in the spin challenge? 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Brownie muffins

Want brownies for breakfast? Now you can, with these amazingly chocolate-y brownie muffins! With no baking powder or baking soda, these fabulous brownie muffins rely on whipped eggs for a perfect rise in the oven.

My husband's birthday was fast approaching, and I asked him to pick out a dessert recipe that he wanted to celebrate his big day. I checked out a few cookbooks from the library, and he was oohing and ahhing through both of them. What stopped him dead in his tracks was a Baked Alaska recipe.

While I was dissecting the recipe and finding ways to make this easily, I stumbled across this brownie muffin recipe. As soon as I saw it, I knew that I had to bake it. Brownies? In muffin form? Come on, you know that I'll make any excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast.

What's really interesting about these muffins is that there are no leavening agents. No baking soda or baking powder. The muffins get their height from vigorously whipped eggs and sugar. Then the remaining ingredients are gently folded in like you're making a meringue or macarons.

The resulting muffins are nice and chocolate-y but are a bit more delicate than your typical muffins or brownies. You'll have to be careful when you handle them, and make sure they are completely cool by the time you want to eat them; otherwise, the muffins may fall apart on you.

Bon appetit!

Brownie muffins 
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line or grease a standard muffin pan and set aside.

In a medium sized heatproof bowl, melt the chopped chocolate and butter in the microwave in 30 second increments. Stir well and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar together on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Your goal is to beat as much air into the eggs and sugar as you can, so do not skimp on this step.

Turn the mixer to low and add in the melted chocolate mixer.

Turn the mixer off and gently fold in the dry ingredients. Do not over mix the batter.

Evenly distribute the batter into your prepared muffin pan, filling each well all the way to the top.

Bake in your preheated oven for 13-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with wet crumbs. Do not over bake these. Allow the muffins to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Leftover muffins should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: The original recipe claims to make 12, but I only got 9

Source: Pretty. Simple. Sweet.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Oatmeal chocolate chip Greek yogurt muffins

A hearty muffin packed with rolled oats and chocolate chip and topped with a generous scoop of a fantastic oatmeal chocolate chip streusel. These are one of my favorite muffins to date!

There are muffins, and there are muffins. Having baked 70+ muffins on this blog, I fully understand what kinds of muffin recipes will be a hit in my family and which ones will be meh. These were most definitely a hit.

Now, although these aren't completely healthy for you, they are healthier when compared to other classic muffins out there. I used white whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt and even swapped out the oil in the muffin base for unsweetened applesauce. Yes, there is a bit of oil in the streusel, but you could just leave the streusel off completely. But that would be a big mistake because the streusel really makes these muffins WOW.

I mean, the muffins are already nice and hearty from the oats, but the crispy, crunchy and sweet streusel topping turn an average muffin into a superstar. Like the kind you could sell in a bakery.

These muffins are best when they are still slightly warm so that the chocolate is all melty and gets all over your fingers and mouth. It's inevitable that the brown sugar streusel will fall and get your fingers all sticky sweet, but that's the point. Just lick your fingers and you'll be all good.

Since I adored these muffins so much, I have no doubt that they will be on the regular rotation here at the Eva Bakes house. Next time I'll see if I can make the streusel a tad healthier.

Oatmeal chocolate chip Greek yogurt muffins 
Muffins
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (can substitute with all-purpose)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (5.3 ounce) container plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Streusel
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously grease or line a standard muffin pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the applesauce, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and Greek yogurt.

Pour the applesauce mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix until a few dry streaks remain Fold in the chocolate chips and mix until everything just comes together. Do not over mix.

Evenly divide the batter between the muffin wells, filling each about 3/4 full.

In a small bowl, mix all of the streusel ingredients together with a fork or small spatula until crumbs form. Generously top each muffin well with a spoonful (or two!) of streusel.

Bake in your preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The streusel should be golden brown.

Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Muffins should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: 12 muffins

Source: Ever so slightly adapted from The Baker Mama

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