New Castle News

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February 9, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Chocolate treats for Valentine’s Day



  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 6-oz. package chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Beat together cream cheese, egg, sugar and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add oil, water, vanilla and vinegar, and mix well.

Use small cupcake liners in mini cupcake pans; fill each 1/2 full. Top with 1 tsp. cheese mixture. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes about 45 miniature cupcakes.

Triple Chocolate-Cherry Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsps. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1 tbsp. instant espresso-coffee powder
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 package (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 cup)

Powdered sugar for dusting

Whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 315. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.

In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In small bowl, place cherries with enough very hot water just to cover; let stand at least five minutes to soften cherries. In 2-cup glass measuring cup, dissolve espresso powder in 1 tbsp. very hot water; stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Set aside. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat sugar with butter until blended, scraping bowl often with rubber spatula. Increase speed to medium; beat two minutes, occasionally scraping bowl. Reduce speed to low; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

At low speed, alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat until smooth, occasionally scraping bowl.

Drain cherries and pat with paper towels to remove excess water. With rubber spatula, fold melted unsweetened chocolate into batter. Then fold in chocolate chips and drained cherries.

Pour batter into pan. Bake for one hour to 1 hour, 10 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto rack to cool completely.

To serve, sift powdered sugar over cake.

Top with whipped cream, if desired.

* Can be baked ahead and if wrapped well, kept in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Peanut-Butter Rocky-Road Bars

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