Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix

Rather than paying a higher price to consume artificial flavor, disodium phosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, mono and diglycerides, artificial color, yellow 5, yellow 6, bha (preservative)make your own mix! It only takes a minute.

Ingredients

For the dry ingredients – make in advance and store:

  • 1/2 cup granulated *sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened *cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

The wet ingredients when ready to make:

  • 3 cups of milk (I use 1%)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  1. Have a bowl and a sieve (if you have one) ready. The sieve is to ensure a completely creamy consistency, but is not necessary.
  2. In a cold saucepan, whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. Turn on the heat and slowly pour in the milk and whisk.
  4. Cook, stirring often. Once the mixture thickens, stir constantly until it starts to boil; then remove from heat and pour into the bowl.
  5. Stir in the vanilla and butter.
  6. Allow to cool, covered, to help prevent a skin from forming on top of the pudding. Stir occasionally as it cools. Refrigerate to cool completely.

*1/3 cup sugar with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder works well too.


Fudge Pie

Original recipe: Sheryl’s Fudge Pie
You will need a metal pie tin for this recipe. Ceramic doesn’t work well. I have yet to try glass.

Ingredients

  • †2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares
  • 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter (salted is fine, except Kerrygold, which is too salty)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt (skip if using salted butter)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9-inch metal pie tin.
  2. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for one minute; stir. Heat for 30 more seconds. Let it sit for a minute and stir until the chocolate melts completely.
  3. Add sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until well blended.
  4. Pour into prepared pie tin.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is firm.
  6. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I’ve tried dozens of recipes for chocolate cake and this is the best one I’ve ever tried.

Recipe adapted from Add a Pinch.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar (I use 1 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup milk (I use 2%)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (I skip this)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Recipe for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (below)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Preferably using a bundt pan, prepare by spraying with baking spray or butter and lightly flour. You can also use two 9-inch cake pans prepared the same way.
  3. In a stand mixer or bowl mix sugar, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Place a sieve over the bowl and sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder (if using). Use your paddle attachment and mix at medium speed until combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan or distribute evenly among the two cake pans.
  6. Bake for about 35-40 minutes in the bundt pan or 30-35 minutes in the 9-inch pans, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. If making cupcakes, bake for approximately 17 minutes,
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Then, remove from the pan and cool completely.
  8. If using frosting, allow cake to cool completely. If using glaze, apply while warm.

Note to self: Baked cupcakes on middle rack in small oven. 15 minutes in small muffin tin. 

My Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk

In medium bowl, beat butter and vanilla. Add confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Add 2 tablespoons milk, and then 1 tablespoon at a time more, until a spreadable consistency is achieved.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the unsweetened chocolate and 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and place it over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate and butter have melted. Sift the powdered sugar and add it to the chocolate mixture along with 2 tablespoons of boiling water. While stirring constantly, continue adding boiling water in very small amounts until the glaze is thin enough to drizzle over the cake. Add about 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, if desired.

For Portal Cake:

After frosting the cake, carefully place crushed Oreo cookies evenly around the entire surface. Then top with Maraschino cherries placed inside a dollop of whipped cream.