Chocolate, chocolat, el chocolate or cocoa. This magical ingredient can be cooked, melted, baked and transformed into any number of exquisite forms. We can dive into various desserts (like cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes, etc) or drinks (like hot chocolate, chocolate infused cocktails, etc) to quench our cravings for this ancient delicacy.
Chocolate in its raw form is derived from the cocoa bean, and is said to have originated in the southern part of Mexico around the time of the Aztecs. They believed that this magical bean, which would be made into a drink that could give people strength, was a gift from Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom. Cocoa beans were so highly regarded that they were even used as a form of currency (can you imagine paying for your groceries with chocolate beans?).
Once it got to Europe in the 16th century, everything changed. The Aztecs used to consume their chocolate drinks sugarless, the Europeans (and us for that matter) were not that hardcore so they added sugar. We think it’s safe to say that Europeans perfected the art of chocolate dessert making (walk into a French pâtisserie and you’ll know what’s up). Below we’ve gathered two incredibly delicious takes on chocolate that you’ll want to be making all. the. time.
Chocolate Skyscraper Cake by Big Pink (Miami Beach, FL)
Chocolate Cake Layers
- 1 Pound Butter
- 2 Pounds Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1.5 Cups Cocoa Powder
- 3 Cups Buttermilk
- 1 Pound All Purpose Flour
Chocolate Pudding Layers
- 1 ½ Cups Sugar
- ½ Cup Cornmeal
- ½ Cup Cocoa Powder
- 2 Eggs
- 3 Cups Milk
- 1 Qt. Heavy Cream
- 1 Pound Semi-sweet Chocolate
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- In a large bowl, cream sugars and beaten eggs until light and fluffy and buttermilk until completely combined.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder, mixing until fully incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat until smooth.
- Pour batter into greased layer pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of each cake. Set on a wire rack to cool, at least one hour, or frosting will melt.
- Put cream, milk, sugar, and cocoa in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer, over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat.
- Whisk in cornstarch, eggs in a bowl
- Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Return to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat whisking constantly, until the pudding comes to a full boil.
- Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and add chocolate and butter, continue whisking until thick, about 2 or 3 minutes more
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight until set
White Chocolate Cheesecake With Raspberries by Somebody’s Mother Sauces
- 1 ⅔ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 oz butter, melted
- 2.2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 tbs all purpose flour
- 6 eggs, room temperature
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 lb white chocolate, melted
- 6 oz raspberries
- Spray 20 four-ounce ramekins with Pam and set aside. In a medium bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs and the sugar.
- Pour the butter over them and stir until mixed well. Place 2 tbs of the crumb mixture at the bottom of each ramekin and press down.
- Place the cups on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for about 8 minutes.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese, sugar and flour. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is very smooth.
- Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, until smooth. Add the sour cream and white chocolate and mix until combined.
- Divide the butter evenly among ramekins and sprinkle the raspberries over each cake.
- Place the ramekins in a roasting pan and pour enough hot water to reach halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake at 300° for about 45 minutes.
- Decorate with fresh raspberries and Somebody’s Mother’s White Chocolate Sauce.