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hot-cocoa-challenge

Taste Test Tuesday — Take our Hot Chocolate Survey

hot-cocoa-challengeWe have an exciting Taste Test Tuesday coming up! It’s our Hot Chocolate Challenge and we want to hear from YOU.

In our research and testing, we’ve found more hot chocolate brands to try and that MUST be included in our challenge. We will be bringing the results to you soon! But for now, help us out by taking the SURVEY to tell us your favorite hot chocolate mix. And do you prefer marshmallows or whipped cream (or neither)?

Click here for the Hot Cocoa Survey. It’s only 2 questions and will just take a minute.
Thanks for your help and input.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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the-tasting-cups

Taste Test Tuesday — Starbucks vs. Dutch Brothers Hot Chocolate

Welcome to our Taste Test Tuesday Hot Chocolate Throwdown! Today, we are highlighting two powerhouses in hot chocolate: Starbucks vs. Dutch Brothers. We wanted to include Seattle’s Best (because I LOVE their hot chocolate…they even serve it up with a little chocolate swizzle stick); unfortunately, there aren’t any Seattle’s Best near us anymore. :( They all closed.

But we DO have a Starbucks (actually 2) within 1 mile and a Dutch Brothers just down the street. It’s about time we held a blind taste test between the two. And, since the weather is cooling off just a bit, now seemed the perfect time to hold this throwdown!

hot-chocolate-throwdown

We ordered 2 plain hot chocolates. Nothing fancy, no peppermint or gingerbread, no vanilla or hazelnut. Just. Plain. Chocolate.

The Starbucks hot chocolate cost us $3.25
The Dutch Brothers cost $2.50

Both came with whipped cream on top.

the-whipped-cream

I was surprised to see more whipped cream on the Starbucks (on the left), since we purchased that one first before running to Dutch Brothers (on the right). I thought it would have all melted in by the time we got to it.

the-tasting-cups

Since this was a “blind” taste test, I marked the tasting cups with an “A” and a “B” and poured the chocolate in before handing them over to the judges in the other room.
The Dutch Brothers was significantly lighter in color than the Starbucks. And the Starbucks tasted much richer, and like a dark chocolate.

And when the judges cast their votes, it was UNANIMOUS!

The Winner {Drumroll please…}
By a landslide, the winning Hot Chocolate maker is:  Dutch Brothers!!! (Crowd goes wild)….Congratulations to Dutch Brothers!!

Final Notes
After the votes were tallied and the winner was announced, one of our judges declared that the absolute BEST way to drink them, was to mix them together to get just the right balance of chocolate flavor. So, if you are in the mood to give it a try…order up one of each and mix them up. :)

I love hot chocolate in the fall!

Next Taste Test Tuesday will be a PART II to this taste test: Homemade Hot Chocolate. Yes, we will be searching all grocery stores and specialty stores for the BEST hot chocolate mix that you make at HOME.

So, what’s your favorite…leave me a comment below and we’ll include it in our next Taste Test Tuesday! Thanks for stopping by.

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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really-bright-hummus

Taste Test Tuesday — Hummus 3 ways

hummus-3-ways

Taste Test Tuesday is back! Starting with a fun experiment with hummus.
I have never made hummus before, but I’ve always wanted to. Luckily, the famous (infamous?) Casey Conrad (fitness and health guru) was here for a few days and she whipped up a batch of hummus! She divided it into thirds, added garlic to one part, spinach to another and shredded BEETS to another!

Just look at that bright pink color! I love beets in my Hot Pink Breakfast Drink so I thought it sounded perfectly reasonable to add it to some hummus. :)

Now, a quick note on the Sesame Tahini that is required to make hummus. I always thought it came in a squeezable tube…which is perhaps why I haven’t been able to FIND it in the store. It actually comes in an orange and brown can with a lid. Casey instructed me to look near the jam at the health food store, and sure enough, that’s right where I found it!

hummus-2

Hummus is surprisingly easy to make with a food processor. Just throw the basic ingredients in (garbanzo beans, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt), mix it up, add your flavor choices and VOILA! Homemade Hummus. As I work out my favorite hummus recipe, I will be back to share it with you!

And now for the taste test RESULTS:
it was completely divided! Some liked the spinach the best, some liked beets, and some liked the garlic! I personally, liked them all, but I have to say the garlic won me over.

So try adding some different veggies to your next batch of hummus and let me know if YOU find a winner.

Do you have a favorite hummus recipe? Let me know in the comments below.

Be sure to come back this week, when I will share a Gluten-Free & Vegetarian Chocolate Cake that is actually delicious! Casey taught me just how to make it…and you will be surprised at one of the main ingredients!

really-bright-hummus

Until then,

May your days be filled with sunshine,
Comments { 2 }
all-thats-left-are-sprinkles

Taste Test Tuesday — Sprinkles Cupcakes

Since we’ve been out of town, I couldn’t hold my usual taste test complete with panelists. So instead, my family & I held one of our FAVORITE tests of all time. Sprinkles Cupcakes!

This is such a great activity for you to do with your family or friends. (In fact, I love this taste test so much, and I’ve always wanted to take a trip to Sprinkles with my girlfriends to conduct one of these…and I’m sure I will someday!)

sprinkles-taste-test

Since there were 6 of us in total, we each picked out our favorite cupcake and then took them back to the beach house. Do you like the top three cupcake decorations? We just happened to be in San Diego the same time Comic Con was there, and Sprinkles had some special decor to celebrate. :)

we-picked-our-flavors

The flavors in this taste test were:

1) Salted Caramel
2) Strawberry
3) Double Cinnamon Sugar
4) Red Velvet
5) Chocolate Marshmallow
6) Vanilla with chocolate frosting and sprinkles

We cut each cupcake up into 6 pieces…which worked out great because by the time we “tasted” each of them, we had each eaten one whole cupcake.

four-cupcakes-and-cutting

the-cupcake-tastes

I know, those paper towels are fancy, right? Sometimes you have to use what you have available, ha!

I think my nephew, G, might have enjoyed this taste test the most:

Garrett-eating-like-dog

I just love that kid!

THE REPORT:

Sprinkles Owner, Candace, has really figured out how to master the basic cupcake flavors. Which is exactly what I would expect from this cupcakery. These cupcakes were all DELICIOUS, and we actually loved them all. But there were a few that stood out from the rest.

First place:

winner-vanilla-cupcake

Surprise! Perhaps one of the most basic flavors ever, Vanilla Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting, was the FIRST PLACE WINNER. It was SO good, moist, with just the right amount of chocolate frosting. And the sprinkles on top were definitely a winner with my nephews. :)

SECOND PLACE: Red Velvet
THIRD PLACE: Strawberry

So it seemed this time we preferred all the classic flavors, which really surprised me! So if you have to choose just one flavor to get at Sprinkles Cupcakes, don’t overlook the basic classics!

P.S. Before I go, I must mention that this is NOT the first time we’ve done a Sprinkles Cupcake taste test. (Did I mention it’s our favorite out-of-town taste test ever?)

And in fairness to you, dear reader, I’d like to report the first place winner of our first taste test of these cupcakes: Fresh Orange. Sooooooo good! We may have included that one in this recent taste test, but they didn’t offer that flavor on the day we were there. So try the orange cupcake (a surprise winner last time) if they have it!

all-thats-left-are-sprinkles

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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last-eaten-salad

Taste Test Tuesday — Sweet Pork (Cafe Rio Copycat) with NO cola involved

There are a lot of Sweet Pork (Cafe Rio Copycat) Recipes out there. But have you noticed that most of them call for Coke or Dr. Pepper? Well, I’ve tried my fair share of these recipes in the past…but since I strongly dislike colas (yes, all of them) I found that I did not like those recipes that included them! {Plus, I sorta have an aversion to cooking with soda pop.}

SO, I’ve been searching for a good recipe for sweet pork that didn’t have cola in the ingredient list. I’m happy to announce that I found a couple recipes and then put them up to the Taste Test Challenge!

The great thing about these recipes is: you put all the ingredients in the crock pot to cook all day (easy!), then just shred up the meat and add in the sauce. I love that!

sweet-pork-2

After I cooked up both recipes, I put a taste of each on small plates for our judges. And then, when they picked their favorite, they got to make an entire sweet pork salad (or burrito). Now those are some lucky judges!

Sorry about the half eaten salad in this next picture…it was SO good that I forgot to take a picture before I ate most of it!

sweet-pork-salad

We used the following for our salads:

Fresh cooked tortillas
Cilantro Lime Rice
Garlic Black Beans
Lettuce
Peach Mango Salsa
Kari’s Garden Salsa
Cheese
Cilantro Lime Dressing

Oh. My. Goodness. I think these homemade salads are SO delicious! (They do rival the restaurant — however, there is something lovely about having all the ingredients ready and a salad made-to-order for you at the restaurant!)

Just to make sure of our results, I took both cooked recipes to my brother and sister-in-law (who just had a baby! yay!) to try out. The difference was, they would warm theirs up for dinner the next night. And they both liked the SAME one.

THE RESULTS:

Surprise! It was a TIE. I know, I know. I can’t believe it either.

So today, I am going to share with you my mother’s recipe for Sweet Pork.

And I will link up to the other cola-free Sweet Pork recipe as soon as I get permission!  Permission granted! Here is the Sweet Pork Recipe that was a favorite among 50% of the judges! (Thank you to The Sisters Cafe for such an awesome recipe!) If you do try this recipe, be sure to try their Garlic Black Beans as well…so good!
[Note to judges: this was recipe 1 for all of you that picked the first sweet pork sample as the winner]. This one has a small hint of a spicy kick to it (probably from the enchilada sauce) that was delicious, and this one was definitely quite a bit sweeter than the other.

And the other 50% of the judges liked my mom’s recipe! {recipe to follow} This was, in my opinion, the easiest of the recipes. You just mix together all four ingredients (yes, only four ingredients!), add on top of the pork roast, cook it up all day, take out the pork and shred it up, and add back in some of the sauce (not all of it….it makes a lot of sauce!) [Note to judges: this was recipe 2 for all of you that preferred this one]

*Recipe here

Sweet Pulled Pork {Cafe Rio Copycat}

Ingredients

  • 3 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 2 8 oz. cans El Pato sauce (can use yellow or green can)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Mix ingredients together and pour over 5-7 lb. pork loin roast.
  2. Cook in crock pot on low for 8-10 hours. (You can also cook in a tightly covered casserole dish in oven for approximately 4 hours @ 325 degrees).
  3. When roast is tender and done, remove from dish and shred - saving the cooked sauce.
  4. Pour cooked sauce back over the shredded meat to desired moistness. (Note: this makes a lot of sauce and you may not need it all).
http://www.sunshineinmypocket.com/taste-test-tuesday-sweet-pork/

I used the green can of El Pato (jalepeno salsa). The yellow can said “hot” and I was a little scared hesitant to try it. If you like a little more spice, try the yellow can.

el-pato

last-eaten-salad

So there you have a couple of the BEST cola-free Sweet Pork Recipes! Give them a try and let me know what YOU think! I just love a good Sweet Pork Salad. :)

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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garretts-sugar-bread-taste-test

Taste Test Tuesday — What is “Sugar Bread”? (Nephew in charge)

Surprise! I’m back with a Taste Test Tuesday. Normally, I only publish these taste tests every other week and this is not the regular week. However, my 5-year-old nephew said he had a good idea for a taste test and he wanted to conduct this taste test!

So, of course, I agreed! I mean, how can you say no to this face:

garretts-sugar-bread-taste-test

When I asked him what the taste test was, he said “Sugar Bread!” and he needed:

Bread
White Sugar
Brown Sugar
Bowls for mixing (preferably bright colored, plastic bowls – hey, these are not my rules, that’s exactly what he specified!)

We had cinnamon bread and so that is what we used. G gave me some detailed instructions for the preparation, and I hope I can accurately report them back to you. :)

garretts-instructions

First, you put white sugar in one bowl and brown sugar in the other bowl.
Second, break up the bread into bite size pieces in each bowl.
Third, mix together thoroughly (it’s ok to use your hands)

first-put-sugar-and-bread-in-bowl

 

break-bread-and-mix-with-sugar-4-picts

And there you have it! Sugar Bread! (Yes, G came up with this recipe all by himself.)

Once the Sugar Bread was made, G assembled the taste test panel. All the judges told him which one they liked the best. When the taste test was over, I asked G which Sugar Bread was the winner.

And he looked at me and said, “I like them both!” (only instead of the “t” sound he uses an “s” sound…so it was: “I like them bose!”) So there you have it, both delicious. And a very unique recipe developed by a 5-year-old!

Which one would YOU declare the winner?

I hope you enjoyed this special edition Taste Test Tuesday. Stay tuned for our next taste test: Sweet Pork (Cafe Rio Style)…and our recipes DON’T use any soda. See you then!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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the-table-set-up

Taste Test Tuesday — Chocolate Cereal

When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to have sugar cereals often. They were a special treat for me and my siblings and I’d love to get CEREAL for my birthday or Christmas when I was young! (now I prefer gift cards, just in case you were wondering)

So now that I’m an adult, I love to have cereal as a snack every now and again. And most of the time I crave a chocolate cereal. So that is how this taste test was born. I knew that we MUST find the best Chocolate sugar cereal out there, and with the help of all my judges (which included both adults AND kids this time…a first in the history of Taste Test Tuesdays) I think we found a winner!

chocolate-cereal-challenge

When I was doing research for this taste test, I was surprised at the number of chocolate cereals out there! There were so many, that I included all that I could without adding any generic brands this time. And I just had to put my foot down on one possible contender:

the-one-not-included

I just couldn’t see myself saying “Oh, I am really craving some Fiber One” (chocolate or otherwise)! So, sorry all you Fiber One fans out there, this one was NOT included in the taste test!
But seriously, has anyone tried these? Are they any good?

So here are the REAL contenders for this taste test:

the-contestants

1) Cocoa Krispies
2) Chocolate Frosted Flakes
3) Chocolate Cheerios
4) Chocolate Chex
5) Double-Chocolate Krave
6) Cocoa Pebbles
7) Chocolatey Crunch
8) Good Morenings
9) Chocolate Lucky Charms
10) Cocoa Puffs

Wow, that’s a bunch of great chocolatey options! Have you tried all these? I have to admit, I hadn’t tried the majority of these so I knew this was going to be an eye-opening taste test.

My sister predicted the winner from the adults taste test panel would be CHOCOLATE CHEERIOS. She said it was chocolately enough without being too sweet. Guess what, sis? It placed in the top 5, but NOT first place!

We had to conduct this taste test in multiple panel meetings because there were so many cups of cereal!

the-table-set-up

Now to declare the winners in each category:

The adult taste test panel found that they enjoyed the Cheerios, but the top five cereals in order were….(drum roll, please)

top-five-ADULTS-cereals

Interestingly enough, the top five for KIDS were nearly the same:

top-five-KIDS-cereals

That Post Good Morenings is interesting…it had cinnamon mixed in with the chocolate and tasted a little like mini churro bites! Personally, I’m not sure I could eat an entire bowl of it, but it was pretty good. Many kids picked this as their favorite.

Now to declare the WINNER:

winner-both-kids-and-adults

Congratulations, Chocolate Frosted Flakes! It had the best chocolatey taste and it made delicious chocolate milk. (followed closely by Cocoa Puffs)

I’m very much in agreement with the winner…it’s been a favorite of mine for a long time. And it remained my favorite after this taste test.

THE LEAST FAVORITE:

Now, I must mention that KRAVE made it to the list of top 5 for the kids because if you are a 5 or 6 year old little boy, apparently this is the BEST cereal ever!! It was voted #1 by boys in that age bracket (only). For all others, kids and adults included, it was the LEAST FAVORITE and some had even very STRONG adverse reactions to this cereal. Most didn’t eat more than one or two bites of it.

I have lots of this box left, but I’m glad my nephew Garrett will take care of that for me! :)

least-favorite

A special thanks to all the judges, both kids and adults! I couldn’t do this without you. I hope you enjoy the extra cereal I sent home with you!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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doritos-pict

Taste Test Tuesday — Chips for dipping

It’s Taste Test Tuesday! I love this day. And today I am reporting on our taste test for TORTILLA CHIPS.

tortilla-chips-taste-test

Here are the Tortilla Chip Contestants:

1) Santitas
2) Food Club
3) Doritos
4) Mission
5) Tostitos

This was a “blind” taste test. I numbered the bowls for each brand of chips #1-5. Then all the judges took one (or more) of the chips in each numbered bowl.

When I first tried all the chips, I liked them all. But we had some judges who are true “chip conneseuirs” and took this taste test VERY seriously. You may be just like me and not really care about a dipping chip…but many judges INSISTED that there is a big difference in chips and that you’ll be much happier with a truly delicious chip.

In fact, my sister and brother-in-law had already done some chip research for me and told me to make sure to include a couple brands of chips in this particular taste test. (Thanks Wendi & Kevin!)

We started out just trying the chips alone, then added homemade salsa to the mix. And most of the judges agreed on the TOP TWO chips. Care to make any guesses?

Here are the WINNERS:

first-and-second-place-winners

First, Santitas and
Second, Tostitos!

Interestingly enough, these two chips are very similar AND they are both made by Frito-Lay in Texas!  I was actually happy to learn that Santitas chips are very similar to Tostitos, but they cost much less (see the bag: $2 only!)
(Note: Doritos are also made by Frito-Lay, but they are only available in a yellow corn chip; Most judges liked the white corn chips better).

doritos-pict

I always like to include a generic brand (ie: inexpensive) for each taste test. In this case, our generic brand did not fare so well.
Last place: Food Club & Mission. Judges reported that Food Club chips were “bland” and “boring.” They reported that Mission chips were “too thick” and “too crunchy/tough.”

{A BIG thanks to all the judges for this taste test!}

So, dear readers, let me know what are YOUR favorite tortilla chips. And comment if you have any suggestions for future taste tests you’d like to see.

Until next time…

May your days be filled with sunshine,
Comments { 2 }
four-little-chocolate-cakes-2

Taste Test Tuesday — Chocolate Molten Lava Cake Recipe (versus Mini Chocolate Souffles)

mini-choc-souffle-vs-choc-molton-lava-cake

This Taste Test Tuesday was very exciting and quite close! In fact, both of these recipes are SO delicious, that I would recommend trying them both out for yourself! Last week, I posted the Foolproof Mini Chocolate Souffle with Chocolate Sauce recipe. And today, I will review both contestants for you and share the Chocolate Molten Lava Cake recipe. Does this sound delicious or what?!

I can hardly wait! First, let me share with you this delicious little Molten Lava Cake recipe. I got it from my daughter, Amber, and she made it as one of her goals last summer. She was working on her recipe book (getting ready to leave the nest…which I was not happy about). But I WAS happy about her sharing her delicious recipes with me, including this gem of a chocolate dream recipe. :)

chocolate-molten-cake-the-darling

I call these the darlings of all mini cakes…I mean, just look at that cute little cake! It’s adorable with it’s crown of whipped cream and sprinkle of powdered sugar. I added a strawberry, too, since it was competing with those little Chocolate Souffles and needed to be on a “level” playing field.

If you were to compare the ease of whipping these Lava Cakes up versus making up the Mini Chocolate Souffles, I’d say the Lava Cakes win. All you have to do is melt a little butter with the chocolate (in the microwave!), add the powdered sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour and Voila! You’ve got your batter all ready to put into the oven. Then you just cook them up for 12-13 minutes, pull them out and invert onto a little plate. Easy. (Note: I let them cool for about a minute before inverting them onto the plate)

If you add the whipped cream too early, it melts a little down the sides, but these Molten Lava Cakes are BEST when eaten warm and fresh out of the oven!

four-little-chocolate-cakes

Doesn’t that still look so yummy!? I really don’t mind that dripping whipped cream. Just let me at it!

molten-cake-with-fork

The insides of the cake are all gooey and molten. So smooth and chocolatey. Wow.

molten-cake-with-pwd-sugar-oozing

These little darlings are delicious with whipped cream and/or ice cream! Yep, you can put a scoop of ice cream right on the top and sort of let it melt down into the cake. So. Good.

But before you make these yourself, a little note of  WARNING: do not overbake these. Really. It is easy to do (not that I would know), and it RUINS these cakes! They become dense and spongy and not delicious. Seriously. It’s bad. The last batch I only cooked for just over 11 minutes to make sure the inside was still melted and yummy. You will know these are just about done when the sides of them look cooked (like cake) and the insides are still a little soft, but not jiggly. Every oven is a little different, so you’re gonna have to test this out for your oven.

Ok, so here’s the recipe. Are you going to try this one?

**RECIPE HERE

Taste Test Tuesday — Chocolate Molten Lava Cake Recipe

Taste Test Tuesday — Chocolate Molten Lava Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces (squares) Semi-Sweet baking chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 T. flour
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • whipped cream for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spray 4 custard cups with cooking spray and place on cookie sheet.
  3. Place chocolate and butter in microwave safe glass bowl and microwave on high for about 1 minute, until butter is melted. Stir until all the chocolate is melted, too.
  4. Stir in powdered sugar until well blended.
  5. Add eggs and egg yolks and whisk until well incorporated. Stir in flour and vanilla.
  6. Divide between 4 custard cups. Bake for 12-14 minutes until sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand 1 minute.
  7. Invert onto small plates and top with whipped cream or ice cream.
http://www.sunshineinmypocket.com/taste-test-tuesday-chocolate-molten-lava-cake-recipe-versus-mini-chocolate-souffles/

Now, with all that delicious description done, I must now announce the winner of the taste test! I didn’t forget. But I must remind you that BOTH of these recipes are so good, and the winner only barely edged out over the other.

They both have a delicious chocolately flavor. They both have melty amazing centers. They both are just exactly the right size. They both are perfect for a special occasion dessert.

But the winner was the one with a little sugar coating on the outside, and an amazing ganache center. It won out a little bit because the cake part was delicious, but then pushed over the top with an addition of the melted chocolate to make it so smooth and so decadent…(my mouth waters a little). And the winner is still delicious the next day…it can be refrigerated and then warmed up again and it tastes just as good as the first day!

winner-choc-souffle

I guess the extra effort for the chocolate souffle really did shine in this competition! Congratulations to the Mini Chocolate Souffles with Chocolate Sauce.  While I still love the Chocolate Molten Lava cakes, I love these more (and the other judges agree). Try the recipe here and see if YOU agree.

four-little-chocolate-cakes-2

Until next time, enjoy every bite!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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mini-souffles-with-choc-sauce

Taste Test Tuesday– Chocolate Souffle vs. Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

It’s a great day. Not only is it Taste Test Tuesday, but my Dad is here for a visit! I knew that there needed to be CHOCOLATE for him. And he agreed to be a taste test panelist. (I may have gotten my love for taste tests partially from my Dad…we have been doing taste tests at home ever since I was a kid!)

So this is a special edition of Taste Test Tuesday. The taste test results will be posted next week, but today I am sharing the recipe for “Foolproof Mini Chocolate Souffles with Sauce.” Oh. My. Goodness. These little souffles are amazing. I got this recipe a couple years ago from my co-worker, Aubrey. (Hi, Aubrey!) And I’ve made them only a few times for special occasions, but these are some of the easiest and BEST Chocolate Souffles I have ever eaten!

mini-souffles-with-choc-sauce

I’m going to challenge these homemade Souffles to a taste test versus  homemade Chocolate Molten Lava Cake! (I’ll share this recipe next week.) The Chocolate Molten Lava Cake is a favorite recipe of my daughter, Amber. (Hi, Amber!) They are both amazing recipes that I honestly don’t know which one will be crowned the winner!

I will have some more pictures and results for you next week. Until then, try this Chocolate Souffle Recipe. You’ll either be glad you did, or you’ll be cursing me for sharing such a tempting dessert that you crave weekly! :)

Foolproof Mini Chocolate Souffles with Sauce

 

Foolproof Mini Chocolate Souffles with Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar + 4 teaspoons for coating
  • 8 squares (8 ounces semisweet chocolate)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°.  Lightly rub four individual soufflé dishes with butter.  Put 1 teaspoon sugar in each dish, and tilt the dish so that the buttered surfaces are covered with sugar.  Use more sugar if necessary.  Set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a heavy frying pan over very low heat, stirring constantly.  When the chocolate is almost melted, turn off the heat and set aside to cool.  The heat of the pan will melt the remaining chocolate.
  3. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a medium metal or ceramic bowl with no traces of grease, and the yolks in another medium bowl.  Set the yolks aside.
  4. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer just until they form stiff peaks.  Do not over beat.  Set aside.
  5. Add the ½ cup sugar and vanilla to the yolks and beat with an electric mixer or a whisk for about 1 minute, or until thick and light yellow.
  6. Add half the melted chocolate to the beaten yolk mixture.  Set aside the rest of the chocolate for making the sauce.  Stir the chocolate mixture thoroughly.  Add the beaten egg whites and fold them together gently with a rubber spatula, turning the mixture over repeatedly until no white is showing.
  7. Pour the mixture evenly among the four prepared soufflé dishes.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the mini soufflés have risen and are beginning to brown.  Remove from the oven.
  8. To Make the Sauce: While the mini soufflé are baking, add the cream to the reserved melted chocolate and stir thoroughly to incorporate, If the chocolate is too firm, heat it for about 1 minute over very low heat, stirring constantly, until it softens enough to combine with the cream.
  9. Unlike most souffles, which must be served as soon as they come out of the oven, these mini souffles can wait to be served for up to 30 minutes. Their tops will fall a little, but no one will notice because, just before serving, you make an incision in the top of each one with a knife, and then spoon in about 2 tablespoons of the warm chocolate sauce. If the souffle hasn't fully cooked, no one will notice, because of the added sauce. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator. (Ha! What leftovers?)
http://www.sunshineinmypocket.com/taste-test-tuesday-chocolate-souffle-vs-chocolate-molton-lava-cake/

 

Chef’s Note:

This recipe may look intimidating, but it is rather simple, with just a few ingredients. And it is Foolproof. The first time I made it (for Valentine’s Day a couple years ago), I left the vanilla out of the souffles, so I added it to the chocolate sauce instead. They still came out delicious…proof: my husband ate TWO of them!

I like to serve mine with a little whipped cream and a strawberry on top, but if you’re a chocolate purist then you can certainly leave this part out!

Tip:

To help get the soufflé dishes out of the oven easily, bake them on a cookie sheet and then simply lift the cookie sheet out of the oven.

You may have noticed that one of the choices I categorized this under was “Inspiration”…if you are in need of a little inspiration, I’m convinced that these souffles will do the trick. Chocolate can be very inspirational, right?! 😉

I can’t wait to post the results. Until then, Enjoy every bite!

May your days be filled with sunshine,
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