EASY CHOCOLATE CAKE

Watch and learn how to make this super easy brownie-like cake that’s topped with a rich, fudgy frosting. It’s every chocolate lover’s dream. Feel free to substitute the sour cream for plain yogurt or buttermilk.

Easy Chocolate Cake
Serves 12

You’ll need: One 8-inch round cake pan

Chocolate Cake
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pan
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Chocolate shavings, for serving (optional)

Fudgy Chocolate Glaze
4 ounces coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream

*** For directions please watch the video.

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DARK CHOCOLATE WALNUT DATE BARS

No time to bake? Here’s a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth with a no-bake recipe for Dark Chocolate Walnut Date Bars. This no-bake, vegan, gluten-free decadent dessert has a lot going for it. Watch and learn how to make this no-bake layered dark chocolate with a crunchy-chewy mixture of walnuts, dates, and peanut butter finished with more nuts and flaky salt!

Dark Chocolate-Walnut Date Bar
Serves 8

You’ll need: One 9-by-5-inch loaf pan

1 Tablespoon raw unrefined coconut oil, plus more for brushing pan
1 3/4 cups walnut pieces
2 cups chopped dates
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
Flaky sea salt

*** For directions please watch the video.

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ORANGE KISSES WITH CREAM CHEESE CENTERS

“Truly, if a kiss could be embodied in a biscuit, this would be it. These are the shortest shortbreads you will ever encounter, filled with divine salty–sweet orange-infused cream cheese. Instead of lemon juice, I’ve used white balsamic vinegar, which is sweet and gives a lovely roundness to the acidity. I suggest you fill these as you want to eat them; otherwise they need to be refrigerated and, even though still lovely, won’t have that melt-in-your-mouth magic.” – Poh Ling Yeow

Orange Kisses With Cream Cheese center

Orange Kisses With Cream Cheese Centers
Makes about 24 sandwiched biscuits

250 g (9 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
60 g (21/4 oz/ 1/2 cup) wheaten cornflour (cornstarch), sifted (see note)
225 g (8 oz/1 1/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted

Cream cheese filling
250 g (9 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
50 g (13/4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
90 g (31/4 oz/ 3/4 cup) icing (confectioners’) sugar
1-1/2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) fan-forced. Line two large baking trays with baking paper.

To make the shortbreads, combine the butter, salt and zest in a medium mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy. Add the cornflour and flour, and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined – overmixing will ‘unshorten’ the mixture. Transfer the mixture to a large piping bag fitted with a 1 cm (1/2 inch) star nozzle, and pipe 4 cm (1-1/2 inch) rosettes onto the prepared baking trays. You will end up with about 48 biscuit halves. Bake for 15–25 minutes until the kisses are golden brown. Cool completely before filling.

To make the cream cheese filling, combine the cream cheese, butter, zest and half the icing sugar in a medium mixing bowl, and whisk with an electric mixer on high speed until combined. Add the remaining icing sugar, and whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the balsamic vinegar, and whisk by hand until just combined.

Transfer to a piping bag with a 1 cm (1/2 inch) diameter hole snipped off the tip, and pipe about a teaspoon of filling to sandwich between 2 biscuits. Repeat until all the biscuits are used up. These keep well for up to 2 weeks if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

Note
I only use wheaten cornflour (cornstarch) in my baking. It’s not accurately named and it’s the old-fashioned stuff everyone used until a few years ago, when gluten intolerances resulted in maize cornstarch becoming more prevalent. Texturally, maize cornflour leaves a grainy residue in the mouth. To be sure what you’re getting, always check the ingredients list on the packet.

Excerpt from Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Ling Yeow, published by ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers (Australia, 2014).

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