Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tea Party: Chocolate Chip Shortbread

I recently threw a tea party for some of my *gasp* Internet friends. Throw yourself a wedding, find, and you'll quickly know what I mean.

Although my inspiration was British, my obsession is chocolate. Here's the menu:

Cream scones
Blueberry streusel scones
Lemon curd
Mock Devonshire cream
Pumpkin chocolate chip bread
Dark chocolate digestive biscuits (only McVities will do)
Cadbury Flakes
Egg salad tea sandwiches
Cucumber tea sandwiches
Goat cheese and watercress tea sandwiches


Chocolate Chip Shortbread
1 stick butter, diced (save the wrapper)
3/4 c. flour
3/8 c. cornstarch
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. semisweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch loose-bottom fluted tart pan (mine was 10.25 inches and turned out just fine, but watch it during cooking) with the remaining butter from the butter wrapper. Sift the flour and cornstarch into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar, then add the butter and rub it in (or "cut" it in with a fork, two knives, or dough blender) until the mixture starts to bind together.

Turn into the prepared tart pan and press evenly over the base. Prick the surface with a fork. Sprinkle the chocolate morsels and press lightly into the surface.

Bake at 325 for 35–40 minutes, or until cooked but not brown. Cut into portions. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Mom's Chocolate Inside-Out Birthday Bundt Cake!!!

First, I'd like to share a birthday in the life of inkpadchocolate.

7:15 a.m. Discover peanut butter cup wrapped in birthday wrapping paper from hubby. Devour peanut butter cup on way out the door.
8:30 a.m. Get to work, begrudgingly.
11:30 a.m. Get surprise Chocolate Truffle Cake from coworkers from Bread & Chocolate.

1:30 p.m. Break for lunch at Dickey's Frozen Custard for rich chocolate custard. (melted too fast to take a picture, sorry!)
3:30 p.m. Decide to get the heck out of there and hoof it to Georgetown Cupcake for a lava fudge cupcake. Walking 12 blocks = I deserved it!

5:30 p.m. Meet hubby for dinner at Faccia Luna in Arlington. After fettuccine alla bolognese dinner, devour their Chocolate Noir, one of my very favorites.

7:30 p.m. Meet up with parents and in-laws for Mom's Chocolate Inside-Out Birthday Bundt Cake and Peanut Butter 'n Chocolate Baskin-Robbins ice cream.

12:00 p.m. Go to sleep knowing that your arteries (and hips) can recover tomorrow. It only happens once a year. :)

Mom's Chocolate Inside-Out Birthday Bundt Cake
1 package (4-serving size) JELL-O instant chocolate pudding mix
1 box Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate cake mix (mom prefers it over Devil's Food)
12 oz. bag chocolate morsels
1 3/4 c. milk
2 eggs

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Combine pudding mix, cake mix, chocolate morsels, milk, and eggs in a bowl with a spatula. Mix by hand until well blended, about two minutes. Pour into greased Bundt pan.*

Bake at 350 for 50–55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed with finger. Cool 15 minutes in pan; remove from pan and continue cooling on rack.

Serve with ice cream. This baby's rich!

* Tips for greasing a chocolate cake: since the last thing you want to see on a chocolate cake is white flour, after greasing the pan with a leftover butter wrapper (preferred), simply dust the pan with cocoa powder instead of flour. Be sure to bang the cocoa around the pan so it adheres to most of the butter and dump out the excess.

Happy birthday to me...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Southern Chocolate Chess Pie

I'm not sure how or why, but I somehow managed to go 25 years without ever hearing about or tasting chess pie. And now it's everywhere! My first experience was in North Carolina in March. My hubby's uncle brought us a chocolate chess pie from a local bakery. Afraid that it would be bad, since he had never heard of it either, he also bought a marbled pound cake. Guess which wasn't eaten. :) The chocolate chess pie was like a gooey brownie. No! A silk pie. No! A pecan pie minus the pecans! In any case, it was outstanding, and the obsession has begun. It's very, very sweet, but not rich, if that makes sense.

Several months later, a friend graduated from grad school and his parents threw a party at their home in Richmond—with a chocolate chess pie. In fact, the joke of the evening was "Can you get me a slice with a pawn in it? What the heck is a chess pie?!" Turns out, a chess pie is just a custard pie, although its origin is up for debate.

So when my church threw a "Puttin' on the grits" retirement party for our sweet Southern belle pianist, I knew exactly what to make. Best of all, it only takes five minutes to assemble.

This recipe is from

Chocolate Chess Pie
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk
1/4 c. melted butter (1/2 stick)
1 t. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and cocoa together. Beat the eggs then add the cocoa mixture. Beat in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla.

Pour mixture into a 9-inch unbaked pie shell (I use Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts) and bake for 45 minutes or until set. (I recommend covering the pie's edges with foil or a pie guard after the first 20 minutes, or when edges attain a good brown color... so they don't burn.) Let cool before slicing.


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