Chocolate Cranberry Bread Pudding

Chocolate Cranberry Bread Pudding // Frock Files

Over the weekend, we watched a documentary called “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” about this guy who goes on a juice-based fast for sixty days, and James and I were all, “Yeah, let’s do it! We’re gonna get so healthy!” So we ordered a juicer, went to bed, woke up and immediately had amnesia about the documentary. Instead of eating something healthy, we headed out for brunch at a restaurant called 15 Walnut, where we dove into a decadent chocolate and cranberry bread pudding that left us in need of a nap.

And, of course, then I had to try to make my own version of the chocolate bread pudding. I modified my mom’s original bread pudding recipe, substituting sweet bread with challah, adding some cocoa powder, and swapping out the raisins and bananas with cranberries. The result is possibly the only thing that makes me feel okay about the fact that we have another storm coming. Because it’s basically chunks of bread soaked in a semi-sweet cocoa-custard, which is totally justified when your state is about to hit sixty inches of snow for the season.

Chocolate Cranberry Bread Pudding // Frock Files

Ingredients:

2 sticks butter
2 cups half-and-half
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 oz. grated semi-sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 loaf challah (16 oz.)
1 cup dried cranberries or cherries
2 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Cut the challah into 1″ chunks. Layer half on the bottom of a 9 x 13″ pan. Sprinkle with cranberries. Top with remaining bread.

2. In a medium pot, melt the butter. Add the half-and-half and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Slowly incorporate the cocoa powder. Follow with the shaved chocolate, whisking until smooth.

3. Remove the mixture from heat. Lightly beat the eggs and egg yolks together and incorporate with the milk/sugar/butter/cocoa mixture. Stir in the vanilla. Whisk until completely incorporated.

4. Pour the mixture over the challah. Sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Allow to cool. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Or eat it straight out of the pan with a cup of coffee in one hand because you just can’t wait. (Yes, that was me.)

How to Make Chocolate Mochi

Chocolate Chi Chi Dango Mochi | Frock Files

Long before I ever posted my first mochi recipe here, my friend Eling and I were talking about our shared love of it. She once bought fresh strawberry mochi in Hawaii and packed it in her suitcase, only to arrive home in Massachusetts to the news that the airline had lost her luggage. For mochi lovers like us, that’s a big bummer.

After I got started on my mochi kick last year, Eling had the ingenious idea of mixing cocoa powder into my grandma’s chi chi dango mochi recipe. It was immediately a hit with everyone she shared it with, and I asked if I could share the recipe here with you. Not only did she say yes, she also offered to publish her chocolate version of the butter mochi recipe on her blog! Oh, you lovers of chocolate and mochi, you’re in for a treat. You’ll find chocolate chi chi dango mochi here, and chocolate chip butter mochi over at Eling’s blog.

Chocolate Chi Chi Dango Mochi | Frock Files

Ingredients

1 lb. mochiko (Sweet Rice Flour from Bob’s Red Mill)
2 ¼ cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups water
1 (12 ounce) can coconut milk

Plus 1/4 cup each confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder to for rolling. Eling uses plain cocoa, and has also used shredded coconut. Let your imagination run wild!

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. Mix the mochiko, sugar, cocoa and baking powder together. In a separate bowl, mix the vanilla, water, and coconut together. Then, blend the wet and dry ingredients well, using your hands to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
  3. Pour the mixture into a greased pan. Cover tightly and bake for 90 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the foil and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, replace the foil and allow to stand for up to 10 hours.
  4. Using a plastic knife, cut into small pieces. Mix the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder together, and roll the mochi in the mixture before wrapping with wax or parchment paper.

Chocolate Chi Chi Dango Mochi | Frock Files

P.S. Don’t forget to visit Eling’s blog for her chocolate chip butter mochi, which is basically a decadent gluten-free brownie. Impossible to resist, I tell ya.

P.P.S. More mochi recipes.

 

The Very Best Hot Chocolate

The very best hot chocolate | Frock Files

I’ve always been more of a coffee/tea/apple cider fan than a hot chocolate fanatic, but my lovely friend Monica of Smart Creative Women introduced me to this recipe and I’ve since become a convert. It isn’t too sweet and has a depth that comes from all the different flavors: chocolate, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and just a hint of salt. I like to stir a teaspoon into my morning coffee with some cream for a perfect mocha au lait. It’s equally decadent in hot water or milk, for you purists out there.

Since I’m in love with this mix and it only takes five minutes to concoct, I’m whipping some up as last minute Christmas gifts and using these printable gift tags that Monica illustrated to fancy up the packaging!

The very best hot chocolate | Frock Files
Adapted from Alton Brown’s hot chocolate recipe.

Ingredients

1.5 cup powdered sugar
1 cup Dutch process cocoa
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 t salt
2 t cornstarch
1/4 t cayenne
1/4 t cinnamon

Instructions

Stir three tablespoons (or more!) into hot water or warm milk. Drift away into a chocolate-y land of bliss. (And they go perfectly with these meltaway cookies, if I do say so myself.)

The very best hot chocolate | Frock Files

Thank you for introducing me to this recipe, Monica!

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P.S. Still Christmas shopping? Here are five instant gifts that don’t require shipping or hitting the mall!

Frock Files | More Simple Recipes

 

Simple Recipe: Butterscotch Mocha Cake

Butterscotch Mocha Cake (Easy!)

To close out this month of cake recipes, I’ve concocted a really easy cake using three flavors I love: coffee, chocolate, and butterscotch! The recipe is adapted from a cake my mom made when we were growing up called BTS cake. Better Than Sex. We thought that was scandalous!

The cake isn’t actually BTS (I mean, come on), but it is pretty delightful. The sour cream keeps it moist, while the fluffy coffee-flavored whipped cream balances out the sweetness.

Butterscotch Mocha Cake (Easy!)

Ingredients

1 box super moist chocolate cake
4 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
8-ounce sour cream
6-ounce package butterscotch chips

Whipped Cream Topping
2 cups whipping cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee

Instructions:

1. Place the butterscotch chips in a small bowl and roll them in some of the dry cake mix. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine cake mix, eggs, oil, water, vanilla, and sour cream.

3. Pour evenly into two 8″ cake pans. Sprinkle butterscotch chips on top of the cakes. They’ll sink while they’re baking, so it’s always a good idea to add them last rather than folding them in. Bake for 35 minutes.

4. While the cakes are cooling, make your whipped cream by mixing the cream, sugar, vanilla, and coffee on medium to medium-high speed until soft peaks form.

Yields: Two 8″ cakes

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Simple Recipe: Strawberry and Chocolate Cupcakes

Strawberry Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

When I lived in Portland, there was a great cupcake truck that made an awesome strawberry frosting. It was the first time I’d ever had a frosting that tasted like fruit — it even had strawberry seeds in it!

I decided to attempt my own version of this frosting atop some chocolate cupcakes. Confession time: the cupcakes are really just a frosting delivery system so I cheated and turned to my old friend Betty (Crocker). If you want a really sinful chocolate cake that isn’t totally from a box, come back next week.

Strawberry Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Ingredients

Chocolate cake mix of your choice
1 cup strawberries, hulled
1 cup milk (I used 2%)
5 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 blocks butter (room temperature)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

Instructions
  1. Bake cake according to package instructions.
  2. Puree strawberries in a blender until smooth. In a small saucepan, heat until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until reduced halfway.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine milk and flour on medium heat, until it becomes thick and doughy. This takes roughly five to seven minutes from the moment you turn on your burner. Stir the entire time.
  4. Remove flour mixture from heat and transfer to a bowl. Stir to combine. Cool completely.
  5. Using a hand blender or stand mixer, blend butter and sugar on medium for three minutes. Add the milk and flour mixture; blend on low for one minute and on medium-high for two minutes. Slowly add strawberry puree one tablespoon at a time.
  6. Frost cupcakes. Devour!

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