Peoplewhoeat’s Weblog

December 27, 2010

Christmas Cookies

I was under de facto house arrest for a large portion of my winter break, so I took the opportunity to explore some new Christmas cookie recipes. My Mom made her usual assortment: Pinwheels, Nutella Stars, Sandtart Trees, Thumbprints, Russian Tea Cakes and Rugulach (unfortunately I don’t have her recipes, but if I get them, there will be some follow-up here). I made these:

These are probably my new favorite: Coffee-Spice Shortbread

If you don’t have a tart pan, you can also use a cake pan with removable sides. You just want to be able to get to the shortbread without making a mess of it.

These are delicious and gorgeous, but kind of difficult: Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels

A few tips:
Make sure you crush the living daylights out of the peppermints or candy canes. Any large pieces will make it REALLY difficult to make slices of the roll.
The chocolate dough is hard to work with, but delicious. Just tough it out.
These cookies don’t expand very much, so if any of them look less than perfect when you cut them (as many probably will) squish them back together before you bake them. They’ll look pretty much exactly the same when you take them out as when you put them in.
The peppermint melts, so you’ll want to take measures to still be able to get them off the pan.

I also used red and green M&Ms in my usual chocolate chip cookies:

If I were to do it again, I would put in a little extra flour and use parchment paper or something. They spread a little too much, making the M&Ms bleed and stick. Still delicious, though!


April 11, 2010

Chocolate Soup!

Filed under: Dinner, Healthy, Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 8:49 pm

Once I saw a soup recipe with chocolate in it, I absolutely had to try.  Adapted from


1 tablespoon oil (the recipe calls for canola, but I use olive)

1 small onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large carrot chopped

1 stalk celery chopped

1 cup diced bell peppers

4 cups vegetable broth (I used chicken)

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chile powder

2 cups canned or pre-soaked black beans

1 lime, zested

Agave nectar, if necessary (I’m often too lazy to measure, and added way too much cocoa powder, making the soup bitter, so this balanced the bitterness)

Sautee the onion and garlic in the oil.  Add chopped veggies, and cook until they begin to soften.  Add broth, beans, and spices and bring to a boil.  Allow to simmer until beans are soft.  Add the lime zest, and simmer for 10 more minutes or so.  Serve with warm, buttered tortillas.


October 13, 2008

Proper Brownies

Filed under: Dessert, Snacks — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 3:05 am

In my house cake, muffins, and brownies all had distinctly different textures.  I notice this difference disappearing in most commercial bakeries.  Try a proper brownie, they really are an entirely different food than just small pieces of chocolate cake!

Recipe for a 13×9 (in.) cake pan:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a baking pan lined with foil.

Melt in a small saucepan:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate

Let cool.

Beat until light in color and foamy in texture:
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt

Gradually add and continue beating until thick:
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

With a few swift strokes, stir in the cooled chocolate mixture just until comvines.  Even if you are using an electric mixer, switch to a wooden spoon for this.  Stir until just combined:
1 cup all-purpose flour

Gently stir in, if desired:
1 cup chopped nuts (or other goodies)

Scape batter into the prepared pan.  Bake about 25 minutes.  Cool completely in the pan on a rack.

-From “The Joy of Cooking”


September 28, 2008

Profiteroles filled with Creme Patisserie and covered in Chocolate Butter Sauce

Filed under: Dessert — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 10:29 pm

Here’s a fancy and impressive dessert recipe to try!

Profiteroles filled with Creme Patisserie and covered in Chocolate Butter Sauce

For Profiteroles:

65 g / 2.5 oz. flour
50g/ 2 oz. Butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
120 ml/ 4 fl. oz. Water
1 egg beaten with 2 tbsps. milk (for brushing)

Preheat oven to 200 C/400 F.  Grease cupcake tray with 12 depressions at least.

Put butter and water in saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously until butter melts.  Bring to boil then remove from heat.  Add all flour and salt and stir until well mixed.

Return saucepan to medium heat and stir mixture continuously until it comes away from the sides of the pan.

Add two eggs, one at a time, beat until smooth.

Spoon pasty into tray.  Whisk remaining egg with milk and brush the resulting mixture over the pastry.

Bake in oven 25-30 minutes.  Poke each profiterole with a sharp knife or fork to release the steam.  Leave to cool.

For Creme Patisserie

1 Tbsp Flour
7 Fl. Oz. Hot Milk
2.5 Oz. Sugar
2 egg yolks
2 Tsp. vanilla

Beat egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl

Add flour and stir in

Heat milk in saucepan.  When hot (but not boiling!) slowly pout into egg, sugar, and flour mixture.  Mix well.

Return mixture to saucepan and cook on low-medium heat, stirring constantly.  The mixture will start to turn lumpy, keep stirring until it recovers a uniform consistency and add vanilla.  The resulting mixture should taste very like thick custard.  Add more sugar if desired.

For Chocolate Butter Sauce:

225 g./ 8 oz. Plain Chocolate, broken into pieces
250 ml/ 8 fl. oz. Water
90 g./ 3.5 oz. butter, but into pieces

Stir chocolate pieces and water together in a saucepan over low heat until the chocolate is smooth and completely melted

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until the mixture is glossy.

Open the profiteroles, fill with custard, and douse in chocolate sauce.


August 4, 2008

dark chocolate and orange…

Filed under: Baked items, Dessert — Tags: , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 1:36 am

Since returning home about a month ago, ive rarely ventured into the kitchen… barring the occasional snack raid. My grandma and aunts are always refusing any kind of assistance while preparing lavish feasts for the family (nearly every weekend)…. and if its not that, i find myself dining out almost every other day as there are always new places to try out and people to catch up with.

Worried that i might lose that baker’s touch (yes, i sometimes like to believe that ive been bestowed with such a gift), i decided try out a recipe that i found in one of the books my aunt had lying around. I found the exact same recipe on BBC Good Food so im going to shamelessly steal the picture from there. My cake looked pretty simillar to this one, except it was a square cake and i decorated it with a dusting of confectioners sugar as opposed to candied orange peel.  

While the cake turned out amazingly moist (thanks to the sunflower oil), the orange flavour is very VERY subtle. This may be due to the fact that i didnt bother looking for a seville orange.. and just used what was lying in my fridge. Also, reducing the sugar by about 50 grams is a good idea, as the dark chocolate ganache more than makes up for it.     

Ingredients :

  • 1 Seville orange
  • a little melted butter , for greasing
  • 100g plain chocolate , broken into pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 240ml sunflower oil
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • orange candied peel , to decorate
  • Method :

    1. Pierce the orange with a skewer (right through). Cook in boiling water for 30 minutes until soft. Whizz the whole orange in a food processor until smooth; let cool.
    2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C.Grease and line the base of a 23cm/9in round cake tin. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave for 2 minutes on High, stirring after 1 minute. Let cool.
    3. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs, sugar and oil. Gradually beat in the puréed orange, discarding any pips, then stir in the cooled melted chocolate. Sift in the cocoa, flour and baking powder. Mix well and pour into the tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 55 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle. (Check after 45 minutes and cover with foil if it is browning too much.) Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
    4. Make the chocolate ganache: put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside until firm enough to spread over the cake – up to 1½ hours.
    5. Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Using a palette knife, swirl the ganache over the top. Decorate with strips of candied orange peel.
    6. Since my cake tin was slightly smaller in width, my cake turned out to be slightly taller. So, once it cooled down, i sliced the cake into half (horizontally), spread some ganache on one slice, then placed the other slice on top and finally swirled it over the whole cake.


    Eat well… because life’s too short not to!


    July 30, 2008

    So tasty and addictive and unhealthy that I have to share

    Filed under: comfort food, Dessert — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 11:24 am

    Fried chocolate sandwiches!  I place all blame on for this one!

    Basically you put chocolate between two pieces of bread, butter the bread, and fry it.  Here are proper directions, though

    I made the “student version” with the bread I happened to have around and chocolate chips, and it was still delicious.


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