Chocolate RumChata Cake

Chocolate RumChata Cake

Chocolate RumChata Cake

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What sets this cake apart is the irresistible fluffy frosting. In all essence, it’s a whipped ganache, however, I add an extra dose of heavy cream to the ganache before it’s whipped to create extra volume. It’s creamy, extra fluffy and let’s not forget it’s punched up with RumChata cream liqueur for a blissful addition to the chocolate cake.

The cake itself is a one-bowl wonder made using hot boiling water. What the hot water does is give the leaveners a little extra push at the beginning by creating a warm environment. Most baking powders these days are double-acting, meaning they activate when in contact with moisture and again when exposed to heat. The cake rises up when baking but once removed from the oven the center will fall slightly to create a “fudgier” texture. The hot water also helps to dissolve the sugar and it brings out the chocolate flavour of the cocoa powder by hydrating it. Other reasons to use hot water include helping keep the cake moist and it creates a nice smooth crumb. This is one of my go-to cakes because of its simplicity, and I have no doubt it will be a favourite of yours as well. Enjoy!

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

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Chocolate RumChata Cake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Icing

  • 5 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 2 tbsp RumChata Cream Liqueur
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar

Cake

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup RumChata Cream Liqueur
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup boiling hot water

Instructions

Icing

  • Add chocolate chips to a medium bowl.
  • Heat 1/4 cup of the heavy cream until scalding and pour over the chocolate. Gently shake to ensure the cream covers the chocolate.
  • Allow to sit for 5-7 minutes to allow the hot cream to melt the chocolate.
  • Stir gently until smooth and glossy.
  • Add RumChata and stir to combine. Cover and chill until cold and firm.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream and powdered sugar to the chilled ganache.
  • Whip on low until combined and then whip on high until light and fluffy.

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Add all ingredients except hot water to a large bowl.
  • Beat on low to combine and then increase speed and beat until smooth and paler in colour, about 3 minutes.
  • Pour in hot boiling and mix gently until combined.
  • Spray a 9" x 13" cake pan with non-stick spray.
  • Pour in batter and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  • The cake will settle a little in the middle as it cools. Once completely cool spread with icing and cut into desired squares.

Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

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The Keto diet continues to be very popular and I was asked by a friend to whip up a few Keto treats. Although I am familiar with the diet, having done it with my husband about a year and a half ago, we did not eat any sweets. Not only were we not hungry, my husband (who has the sweet tooth) didn’t seem to miss sugar. We were all about the savoury side of the Keto diet, eating meat, avocado, eggs and cheese mostly. So I jumped in with both feet to experiment and learn the world of Keto baking. My Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites are delicious proof that perseverance pays off. They’re rich, chocolatey, not too sweet and the perfect size to treat yourself while staying within the parameters of the Keto Diet.

Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites being prepared in a mini muffin tin on a blue background.

Baking sweets for Keto was new to me as I’d never baked with artificial sweeteners. I started by baking a batch of cookies, and they were dry, bland and had an odd texture. I then moved on to make mini cheesecakes with greater success. Probably the biggest part of why cheesecake is a great Keto treat option is because the texture is as it should be, smooth and creamy.  With other baked items such as cookies, cupcakes and brownies the texture is not necessarily bad, but just a little different than what you would expect. Next came the cupcakes. I experimented with chocolate, chocolate chip and coconut cupcakes. I found a blend of almond flour and coconut flour work well, along with the addition of Xanthan gum which helps give structure to risen products when there is no gluten to fulfill that job.

I quickly learned that artificial sweeteners are not created equal!! If you’re just starting out using sweeteners in baked products, I highly recommend doing some research first. I started by using Splenda because I just happen to have a big bag of it. But several recipes later I learn that Splenda contains dextrose and maltodextrin, both of which are sugars and starches. So while the items made with Splenda were still considered low carb, they were not Keto-friendly.  Because Splenda was a bust, I moved on to using a monk fruit /Erythritol granulated blend, powdered Erythritol and a brown sugar Erythritol. The products worked well, tasted good and are suitable for the Keto diet. The problem with Erythritol is it has the tendency to crystallize when cooled. I found this out the hard way after chilling a batch of chocolate cupcakes. The frosting which was made with powdered Erythritol was smooth and creamy when I piped it but when I tasted a chilled chocolate cupcake from the fridge, the frosting had a gritty feel. Again, with some prior research, I would have known this could happen. I was rather disappointed but left the cupcake to sit a room temperature and tasted it again. Although the icing was not as smooth as when first made and piped, the grittiness was almost non-existent and the cupcake was good to eat. So it is important to bring items to room temperature before eating if you’re using a Erythritol sweetener that is prone to crystallizing. 

Baked Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites displayed on a wooden board with fresh raspberries on a blue background.

I think the biggest issue I have with artificial sweeteners and no added sugar chocolate is the availability and cost. Not all sweetener varieties are available for purchase in my area. I have to travel almost an hour to find some varieties at a health food store or Costco, otherwise, I have to order online. The cost seems to vary but even the best priced Erythritol blend at Costco works out to about $2.25CND per cup of sweetener. The other sweeteners I purchased which included powdered and brown sugar were more expensive yet. No added sugar chocolate is also very expensive and not a convenient item to shop for.

There are many different sweeteners to choose from, each with pros and cons. I can’t stress enough how important it is to read and learn about the varieties. Some can be a 1:1 substitution, some have a cooling sensation and some are better for baking than others. Here’s a good article from The Spruce Eats to help get you started. Happy Keto baking!!

Per one Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bite:

Calories: 85

Fat: 8 grams

Net carbs: 2 grams

Protein: 2 grams

Baked Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites displayed on a wooden board with fresh raspberries and almonds on a blue background.

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

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Baked Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites displayed on a wooden board with fresh raspberries and almonds on a blue background.
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Keto Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24 mini bites

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/2 cup almond flour/meal
  • 4 tsp granulated sweetener I used monk fruit/Erythritol blend
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp espresso powder optional
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp melted unsalted butter

Cheesecake

  • 8 ounces full fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sweetener I used monk fruit/Erythritol blend
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp espresso powder optional
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 ounces no added sugar semi-sweet or milk chocolate I used Lily's milk chocolate bar
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp no added sugar seedless raspberry jam see note

Instructions

Crust

  • Preheat oven to 300°F spray 24 mini muffin cups with non-stick spray and line with paper liners.
  • Add all the dry crust ingredients to a medium bowl and mix until there are no lumps. Add melted butter and mix until combined.
  • Scoop approximately 1 tsp of crust mixture into each mini muffin liner and press down evenly with your fingers.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, remove and allow to cool slightly while proceeding.

Cheesecake

  • Beat cream cheese until smooth using an electric mixer. Add egg and beat until combined. Add sweetener, cocoa powder, vanilla, espresso powder and salt. Beat until combined and smooth.
  • Finely chop the chocolate and melt in the microwave using 30-second intervals, stirring between each until melted. Add to cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth.
  • Using a cookie scoop, scoop the mixture generously into prepared cheesecake bases. Smooth out each using a spoon that is moistened with water. They will appear quite full.
  • Warm the raspberry jam slightly in the microwave and drizzle evenly over the cheesecake. Using a toothpick swirl the jam two or three turns.
  • Bake for approximately 15 minutes at 300°F. The centers should be slightly soft but not sloppy. Remove and allow to cool before removing from the mini muffin tin. They will firm up as they cool.

Notes

-I did not use liners for the pictures, however, they were a challenge to remove, so liners are recommended.
-If you can not find seedless no added sugar jam, warm jam and press through a mesh strainer.
-I used a disposable piping bag with no tip (just cut a very small hole) to drizzle the jam. 
-Alternatively, you can drizzle the jam over the baked cheesecake base prior to adding the cheesecake filling, eliminating the need to swirl it.  I've done it both ways and while the jam on the base is easier, they have a nicer appearance with the swirl on the top.
-The cheesecake bites can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3-4 days or several weeks in the freezer.  It is recommend to allow cheesecakes to come to room temperature before eating.

Chocolate Chambord Truffles

Chocolate Chambord Truffles

Chocolate Chambord Truffles decorated with pink hearts are arranged on a pink napkin lined plate on a black back drop.

Chocolate Chambord Truffles

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Truffles may look difficult to make, but in reality, they are quite simple. There’s no special equipment or forbidden secret, like how you get the caramel in the Caramilk bar. What is needed most is a little bit of patience and part of that is the patience not to eat the ganache before the truffles are rolled, LOL! It takes time for cooling, rolling and coating the truffles, but trust me, they are simple and delicious.

Truffles are merely chocolate ganache (chocolate and heavy cream) rolled into balls and coated with cocoa powder or melted chocolate and anything you’d like to sprinkle on them. This recipe flavours the ganache with Chambord (raspberry liqueur) and then garnished with a chocolate coating and candied hearts for an elegant yet simple finish.

Chocolate Chambord Truffles decorated with pink hearts are arranged on a pink napkin lined plate on a black back drop.

Don’t be afraid of tempering chocolate if you want a smooth glossy finish to your truffles. I did not temper the chocolate for this post (the ones in the pictures), and they still look amazing. It’s an optional process if you choose to do it. It provides stable chocolate that keeps a gloss even when set.

Basic tempering:

Finely chop chocolate and heat 2/3 of it over a double boiler until melted and not warmer than 120°F. Turn off the heat and remove the bowl, wiping any moisture from the bottom. Gradually add 1-2 tablespoons of chopped chocolate, stirring and allowing the chocolate to melt before adding more until the temperature drops to 86°F. Return the bowl to the double boiler and warm to 88-91°F and start dipping.

Chocolate Chambord Truffles decorated with pink hearts are arranged on a pink napkin lined plate on a black back drop.

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

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Chocolate Chambord Truffles decorated with pink hearts are arranged on a pink napkin lined plate on a black back drop.
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Chocolate Chambord Truffles

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Truffles

  • 8 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate 60-70% cocoa
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Chambord raspberry liqueur
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Dipping

  • 10 ounces good quality milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions

Truffles

  • Finely chop chocolate and place in a medium bowl. Heat cream until hot but not boiling. Pour cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk gently to bring cream and chocolate together and the mixture is smooth and silky.
  • Stir in the Chambord until combined and then stir in the room temperature butter. Scrape the sides of the bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the chocolate. Allow to cool at room temperature until scoopable (mixture will still be soft).
  • Using a 15ml scoop or a tablespoon, scoop chocolate onto a parchment lined tray. Chill until firm.
  • Using clean dry hands, roll each scoop into a smooth ball and place on a clean sheet of parchment. Rinsing your hands in cool water and drying them about every 4 rolls helps to achieve a uniform and smooth ball.
  • Keep truffles chilled until ready to coat.

Dipping

  • Finely chop the chocolate and place it in the top of a double boiler making sure the water does not touch the upper bowl/pot. Melt gently, stirring occasionally until liquid and smooth.
  • Pour melted chocolate into a small wide glass or wide mouth 250ml mason jar. Using a skewer or toothpick dip each ball into the melted chocolate to cover completely. Remove immediately and allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place truffle on a clean parchment-lined tray and twist toothpick gently to remove. Repeat the dipping process for each truffle. Chill truffles until firm. Alternatively, you can dip each truffle by placing one at a time directly in the melted chocolate and removing with a fork from underneath the truffle, allowing the excess chocolate to drip off.
  • Decorate truffles by drizzling remaining dipping chocolate over each truffle and garnish with your favourite edible decoration.

Notes

-You can roll each truffle in cocoa if you prefer and skip the dipping.
-Keeping the truffles chilled as you go in the dipping process helps keep them firm enough to handle.
-I did not have a 1tbsp scoop, so I used a 2tbsp scoop and sliced each ball in half before rolling.
-Placing the cup or mason jar with the melted dipping chocolate in a larger vessel with hot water helps to keep chocolate warm and smooth for dipping (plan for the water displacement). Warming for 30 seconds in the microwave will also help keep it melted as you go.
-Any remaining dipping chocolate can be poured onto parchment and allowed to set for use in another recipe (do not waste it).

Chocolate Pots de Créme

Chocolate Pots de Créme

Chocolate Pots de Creme in small white ramekins, garnished fresh raspberries and whipped cream.

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Love is in the air, and it’s time to celebrate the ones we love. As a foodie, I find there’s no better way than to share and indulge in a luscious chocolate dessert. Chocolate Pots de Crème is a decadent and indulgent spoonful meant to be eaten slowly, savouring every bite. Preferably with a tender kiss in between.

These lovely baked chocolate custards are very simple to make but taste like you’ve spent hours labouring. Your Valentine is sure to be impressed!

Ingredients for Chocolate Pots de Creme arranged on a small white platter on a dark background.

Good quality chocolate, heavy cream and egg yolks make up the structure and the water bath baking ensures they bake gently, creating a smooth and creamy texture. They can be made in advance, leaving you plenty of time to spend with your sweetheart without the worry of fussing with food. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, I hope your day is filled with love…and chocolate!

Other Valentine’s Day treats to share!

Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies

Cinnamon Heart Cupcakes

Chocolate Pots de Creme in small white ramekins, garnished fresh raspberries.

Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Epicurious

Chocolate Pots de Créme
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    6 people 30 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    40 minutes 3+ hours
    Servings Prep Time
    6 people 30 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    40 minutes 3+ hours
    Chocolate Pots de Créme
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      6 people 30 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      40 minutes 3+ hours
      Servings Prep Time
      6 people 30 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      40 minutes 3+ hours
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
      2. Combine cream and milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Allow chocolate to sit for a few minutes and then stir until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
      3. In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar. Whisk in an approximate 1/4 cup of the chocolate mixture until combined, repeat with another 1/4 cup and then slowly whisk in the remaining hot mixture. Whisk in espresso powder and salt.
      4. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then skim off any foam on the surface.
      5. Pour evenly among six 3/4 cup ramekins. Arrange ramekins in a 9"x13" baking pan and add enough boiling water to come up the ramekins halfway. Cover entire pan with foil and bake on centre rack for approximately 40 minutes until the edges are set but centers still jiggle when shaken.
      6. Remove from oven and remove custards from pan. Allow to rest for 10-20 minutes and then chill until cold, about 3 hours.
      7. Serve with fresh raspberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream.
      Recipe Notes

      -If you do not use boiling water to start with the cooking time will be longer.

      -You can also use good quality semi-sweet chocolate, however bittersweet results in a richer custard.

      -Do not skip the straining as it ensures a smooth custard.

      -Can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered and chilled.

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      Minty Hot Chocolate

      Minty Hot Chocolate

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      You will want to give up the powdery store-bought hot chocolate mix for this creamy and rich Minty Hot Chocolate. It takes only a few quality ingredients and 10 minutes to have a warming mug of chocolatey goodness. Milk and cream get a gentle simmer on the stove before bittersweet chocolate and mint flavouring are added for an amazing hot chocolate. This lovely version is not too sweet and perfect topped with lightly whipped cream.

      A blue mug overflowing with chocolate chips and garnished with red and white candy canes for Minty Hot Chocolate.

      It’s great for kids and adults alike and makes me want to strap on my skates and go down to the rink on the lake. In past years, we’ve had a self-made lake ice rink at my mother-in-laws and she would often bring down a tray of hot chocolate. One year I remember well because the ice froze very flat with little to no snow which allowed us to see the fish swimming below as we skated above. It was wonderful fun and a good way to enjoy time with friends and family. Make this Minty Hot Chocolate your delicious way to warm up after a day of outdoor activities. Enjoy!

      Minty Hot Chocolate with whipped cream in blue mugs resting on a white tray lined with a checkered blue and white napkin.

      Minty Hot Chocolate with whipped cream in blue mugs resting on a white tray lined with a checkered blue and white napkin.
      Minty Hot Chocolate
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        1 litre 10 minutes
        Cook Time
        7 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        1 litre 10 minutes
        Cook Time
        7 minutes
        Minty Hot Chocolate with whipped cream in blue mugs resting on a white tray lined with a checkered blue and white napkin.
        Minty Hot Chocolate
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          1 litre 10 minutes
          Cook Time
          7 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          1 litre 10 minutes
          Cook Time
          7 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: litre
          Instructions
          1. Whip half a cup of heavy cream with the powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to use.
          2. In a small saucepan combine milk, remaining heavy cream, and sugar. Whisk over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in peppermint extract.
          3. Divide among serving mugs and top with whipped cream and a candy cane.

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com