You are looking at a chocoholic here! Yup, c'est moi! I have a weakness for chocolate, not just any chocolates but the dark variety! Quality dark chocolates are very flavorful: first acidity, then bitterness, followed by sugary and salty tastes. The taste lingers in the mouth and has robust flavors. Plus it contains the heart healthy antioxidants; there is no reason why I would not pick dark chocolates over any other chocolates. The best one that I tasted so far is by far the Valrhona brand gourmet chocolates. I stash a box of Valrhona Manjari/Jivara lait dark chocolate in my drawer at my desk for emergency call especially on those project nights. You can buy Valrhona brand chocolate in specialty stores like Sur la table and from online. Recently, I also found it at Trader Joe's!
If you would have asked me a year ago, I would have told you that I don’t care for chocolates (fattening)! Unfortunately, I am surrounded by die-hard chocoholics like Caroline who insists on her daily dose of chocolate to get her through the day and sworn by its calming power. This chocolate love virus rubs off on me as time passes by. Now, I mourn the lost of my girly figure :-P
My love for chocolate turned into my obsession for chocolaty desserts. I first made these lovely looking, sinfully delicious ginger spice mini cakes covered in chocolate ganache last holiday as a thank you treats on Thanksgiving for my staffs! It was a winner, hands down! I am doing this again this holiday for people who I am thankful to (I will be making something different for work!). I got the clue that people loved it very much except for that ginger garnish since it was the only thing left in the box that the cakes came in. Darn it! That was the best part! I guess I am the only devoted fan for crystallized ginger. This mini cake used a lot of spices that I have never heard of or used it in the past. These spices may probably be an experienced cook's staples but not for a novice like me! It was a challenge to get all those spices but I managed to get some help from a staff at my local Whole Food Market. BTW, I think this is the only challenge part; the rest was just a piece of cake (does this means…I’m getting better at baking?!)
These cakes are full-flavored. The combinations of spices are truly a feast to the taste buds and so aromatic! It is indeed very rich so best when eaten with a glass of cold milk or a cup of green tea. Although I added more grated fresh ginger then the recipe asked for, it was still not enough ginger to my taste. However, you can taste the so very aromatic cinnamon and nutmeg in every bite! The cake is unbelievably moist and can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Although it is best eaten with the ganache glazing but it is also superb without. I suggest you eat it warm with a super size cup of ginger spice latte! Simply divine!
Last but not least, I hope you all have a wonderful turkey day! Don't eat too much now ^0^
- Bring the butter out from the fridge 20 minutes before so it will return to room temperature. It should be pliable but not melted.
- Move a rack to the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degree F/180 degree C.
- Bing the egg back to room temperature by leaving it in a bowl of warm water, 5 minutes.
- Chop chocolates into tiny pieces.
I thought you should know:
- Since molasses makes the cakes sticky; butter the muffin pans generously so the cake will slide right out and you have a beautifully shaped cake.
- I only used half of the chocolate ganache so you may want to divide that recipe in half. I used the leftover to make truffles!
- These cakes, if wrapped nicely, makes very impressive presents.
2 cup heavy cream
1 lbs semi-sweet chocolate
Everyone think that ganache is hard to make. There is nothing to be afraid of. This could be the easiest thing that you’ll learn to make. All you need are cream and chocolate. Depends on the proportion of these 2, you can also make truffles too!
Bring cream to a boil over medium heat. Add the chocolate to the cream and swirl. Let wait for 5 minutes, stir until completely melted and smooth (no more lump). Let cool a bit before it is spoon over the cakes. If it harden, put it in a bath of hot water and it will become liquidize again.
Ginger Spice Cakes
Make 1 dozen
5tbs unsalted butter @ room temperature
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1tsp baking soda
2/3 cup boiling water
1tsp baking powder
1tsp ground ginger powder
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
½ cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 (L size) egg
2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 ½ tsp finely grated fresh ginger (I added another tablespoon!)
Some crystallized ginger slices for garnish
In a small bowl, stir together the baking soda with the boiling water; set aside. Shift together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the dark brown sugar with the butter until color turns light brown and appears fluffy. Add the egg and beat till combined. Follow by the molasses, fresh ginger, and the baking soda mixture; beat till combined. The batter may look kind of spotted and curdled (little dots of grated gingers) at this point but it will become incorporated once flour is added. Next, add the flour mixture; beat until completely combined.
Divide batter evenly among the muffin pans; filing each about half way. Place into oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate if necessary. Transfer to wire rack to cool for 15 minutes then invert cakes to cool completely.
Set rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon a spoonful of chocolate ganache glaze over each cake; letting some drip down the sides. Garnish with strips of crystallized ginger. Once glazed, cakes can be refrigerated in airtight container. Bring to room signature before serving.
我是一個chocoholic﹗以前的我是不愛吃巧克力的﹐因為會致胖呀@_@﹗但是我認識的人裡有很多是chocoholic，久而久之我也被感染了。我對巧克力很挑剔的。我只愛黑巧克力﹗個人覺得歐蕾和白巧克力加了太多糖份﹐沒了巧克力的原味。很多人以為黑巧克力味道苦澀。其實品質好的黑巧克力可是很有層次﹐苦中帶甘的﹐令人齒頰留香。而且黑巧克力比其它巧克力多了一種對我們心臟有益的抗氧劑。和紅酒有異曲同工的效果喔。理由夠充足吧? 你說我怎能不愛死它﹗就目前為止﹐我品嘗到的最優的一個品牌顯然是Valrhona品牌巧克力。就連我很崇拜的Pierre Hermé大師也是對這品牌推崇不已。可想而知﹐味道很讚﹗我的抽屜裡是固定放著一盒Valrhona的Manjari/Jivara lait巧克力﹐是我捱夜做project時的食糧。它有讓我鎮定的特質^0^。Valrhona品牌巧克力可以在Sur la table, Trader Joe’s和這裡找到。嘗過一定變fans!
我對巧克力的喜愛演變成現在對巧克力甜點的著迷。就這道薑香甘那許蛋糕﹐光看就口水直流。零六年的感恩節做過一次送員工們。他們超愛﹐除了糖薑絲外都給我吃個清光﹗還有就是這個小蛋糕用了很多我從未聽過或使用過的香料。這些香料對一個像我這樣的新手很是陌生﹗我看到傻眼*__* 我讓超市裡的員工幫忙找。Whole Food的員工好讚喔﹗
- 先把奶油從冰箱取出，使恢復為室溫。用手指戳一下奶油, 變軟即可, 備用。
- 那個甘那許我只用掉一半﹐為求不浪費, 可以將食譜份量除以二。
2 杯 鮮奶油
1 磅 可可含量55%的巧克力
5湯匙 無鹽奶油 (室溫)
1 ½杯 麵粉
1茶匙 蘇打粉 (baking soda)
1茶匙 發粉/泡打粉 (baking powder)
Recipe from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook