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3 Way to Dress Up Vanilla Ice Cream

20 Aug

It has been crazy hot and humid here in Vancouver lately.  I love it if I can stay home and not turn on the oven.  If I had my choice I wish I could spend everyday at the lake or pool.  I would play with the kids and dog and everyone would listen and it would be just like tv.  I mean might as well go all the way with the wishing while I’m at it right?)  But since that is not what actually happens I’ve decided this week to do a series of no bake treats.
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Mini Mocha Cheesecakes

15 Mar

I got my first piece of mail that was addressed to Oven Adventures.  I opened it up and was so excited to see Whitewater Cooks with Friends by  Shelley Adams.  Shelley is from Nelson, BC, a picturesque community set on Kootney Lake.  A cookbook, from a BC woman, I was totally in! –keep reading

Peppermint Mocha Loaf

21 Nov

It’s officially winter here in Vancouver.  The fuzzy boots have replaced flip flops, the warm coffee has replaced the iced at Starbucks and the beautiful red leaves all fell off our front tree yesterday.  I’m sitting here now in my front room with the fire place burning.  It’s dark and gloomy outside and the rain is pouring down but at least the snow fall warning has passed.  It’s times like these when I so look forward to spring.

There are only a couple of things I like about winter.  I love Christmas, the first day of a big snow fall (Vancouver does NOT deal well with snow) and the warm fragrant smells that emanate out of the oven.  Like the smell that filled the house when I baked this Peppermint Mocha Loaf.

VERDICT

The peppermint in this loaf is perfect.  It’s not overpowering but perfectly balanced against the chocolate.  The coffee isn’t the star more a backup singer.  I served it with some sweetened whip cream and man it was moist and flavorful.  My marbling needs a little work but I really didn’t want to over do the marbling so I under did it instead.  This makes a perfect hostess gift or seriously how good would this be if you made it into french toast?

Peppermint Mocha Loaf – slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan

2 c all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c butter – room temp
1 c granulated sugar
4 eggs room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c milk
4 oz dark chocolate melted but cooled
2 tbs espresso or 1 tsp instant espresso powder and dissolved in 2 tbs of boiling water – room temp

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Preheat oven to 325 F and place oven rack in middle position.  Spray a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan with non stick spray.  I used a silicone lined gift pan from Superstore.  Get 2 baking sheets or one insulated baking sheet out as well.  You are going to put the loaf pan on top of the baking sheets while it’s baking in the oven.

In a medium size bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat butter on med speed until smooth.  Add sugar and beat for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg.  The batter may look curdled, don’t worry.  Add vanilla.  Turn mixer to low and add 1/3 dry, 1/2 milk, 1/3 dry, rest of milk then rest of dry.  Mixing after each addition just until incorporated.

Take 1/2 the batter out and place in a large bowl.  Add in coffee and melted chocolate.  Mix until all the chocolate has been mixed in.

In the remaining batter add in the peppermint extract.

Now to marble better than I did – drop batter into the pan alternating dark and light.  Run a knife through 6-8 times.

Bake in the oven for a hour and 20-30 minutes.  If you notice the top getting dark make a tin foil tent and cover the top of the loaf.  Bake until a knife inserted comes out clean.  Try not to over bake as it will make the loaf dry.  Let the cake rest for 15 minutes before removing from the loaf pan.

Enjoy!

Coconut Mocha Bark

7 Oct

I am a Starbucks girl through and through.  I used to get Starbucks before they corner and when it was still going to Starbucks not getting a Starbucks.
For a brief period in my early 20′s one of my bff’s and I pretty much lived on Starbucks.  We used to get grande mint mocha and then eat plain rice for lunch.  Then go for coffee after work. Yep we were the epitome of health.  We were also working 12 hours a day for pretty much minimum wage and dealing with crazy 20 year old problems. lol.
This summer they had a coconut mocha frappuccino that I really liked.  Now it’s gone *sad face* so I decided to make it in but in chocolate form.
VERDICT
Oooohhhh it’s really good.  I had never toasted coconut before and it made my house smell great and then mixed with the mocha chocolate I mean seriously.  It was really good and addictive.  I had never made bark before so I made it a bit too thin but other than that it was fab-U-lous.  Below is the thickness it should be.  The better the chocolate the better the bark.
Mocha Coconut Bark
1/2 c toasted sweetened coconut
10.5 oz/3 100 g bars of milk chocolate
6 oz white chocolate
1 tsp instant espresso powder
I had never toasted coconut before so here’s how I did it.
In a dry pan place your coconut and turn to medium heat stir until golden brown and fragrant.  Watch it doesn’t burn though.  That’s no fun.  Set aside.
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.
In a double boiler melt your milk chocolate until smooth and creamy.  Add espresso powder and whisk until completely mixed in.  Pour onto the baking sheet and spread out into a rectangle with a offset spatula until 1/4 inch thick.  It won’t cover the whole cookie sheet.  Set aside.
Melt white chocolate and pour over top any which way you choose.  Sprinkle coconut over the entire slab.  Put in the fridge until hard and set.
Break into pieces and try not to eat it all in one sitting.
 Enjoy!