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How to Care for Your Dog’s Teeth at Any Age

Just like people, dogs need regular dental care, but unfortunately, dental hygiene for dogs is sometimes overlooked. Many people seem to just expect dogs to have bad breath, and few people brush their dogs’ teeth frequently enough.

Dental hygiene is just as important to your dog’s overall health as things like nutrition, proper exercise, and routine grooming. There are several things you can do to help keep your dog’s teeth in good shape. Start a dental care routine as early as possible in your dog’s life and stick with it.

10 Reasons to Take Care of Your Dog’s Teeth

1.Reduce bad doggy breath! Persistent bad breath, in fact, is sign of periodontal disease.

2.Oral health affects the whole system. Periodontal disease can lead to infections that introduce bacteria into other parts of the body. Studies have shown that dogs with severe periodontal disease have more severe microscopic damage to their kidneys, heart muscle, and liver. Research shows that inflammation in any part of the body can have a negative impact on your pet’s internal organs.

3.Good dental care can extend a dog’s life. And what better reason than that?

4.Addressing dental issues can result in a new dog! There’s not a veterinarian who hasn’t seen the remarkable improvement in a patient that’s had one or more painful teeth removed.

5.Dental exams cover more than just the teeth. They begin with a comprehensive oral examination to evaluate structures of the face, head, and neck. Intra-oral structures are then examined ,including the teeth and soft tissues.

6.Oral exams allow a veterinarian to identify painful problems including broken teeth, periodontal disease, or even oral tumors.

7.Dental probing and X-rays are how experts find the deeper pathology. Many pets, particularly middle-aged and older cats and dogs, require periodic professional scaling in addition to ongoing plaque control.

8.Exams catch disease early. If you don’t catch periodontal disease in time, the gums become irritated, leading to bleeding and oral pain. The roots may become so severely affected that some teeth become loose and fall out.

9.Periodontal disease is difficult to treat. It’s much easier to prevent than to cure.

10.Veterinary anesthesia has become very safe. Veterinary anesthesia practices have advanced significantly with widespread use of safer anesthetic gases to provide comfort and reduce surgical stress. Additionally, a tech is always on hand to monitor.

Preparing to Care for Your Dog’s Teeth

Catching teeth problems early will help avoid severe dental disease. The simplest way to keep track of your dog’s teeth is to look at them on a regular basis and be aware of signs that may indicate a problem. Routine veterinary examinations are also important.

To inspect your dog’s teeth, lift the lips all around the mouth, looking at the front and back teeth as closely as possible. Be gentle and use caution so you do not startle your dog (and may get you bitten).

Watch for the following signs:

Halitosis (bad breath)

Reluctance to chew or crying out when chewing

Increased salivation

Red, puffy, or bleeding gums

Tartar (calculus), a brown or yellow coating on teeth caused by plaque

Missing and/or loose teeth

What You Need

Special toothbrush for dogs

Dental dog chews

Dental additives for dog’s water

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Tooth brushing is the best preventive measure when it comes to oral hygiene and should be done daily in order to be most effective. Start when your dog is a puppy so it gets used to the feeling of having its teeth brushed. Puppies have 28 deciduous teeth that typically are all in when they are about eight weeks of age and then are replaced by adult teeth by about six months of age. By this time, your dog should be on a regular tooth brushing routine.

There are specially designed toothbrushes which are well-suited for dogs’ teeth and easier to use than the ones designed for people. Some are shaped like small finger caps; you slip the cap over your index finger and rub the dog’s teeth with the textured surface. Any small, soft-bristled toothbrush can work well, however. Use a toothpaste designed for dogs to maximize the effectiveness of tooth brushing.

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11 Ways To Help Hair Grow Long And Healthy

There are a lot of factors that contribute to hair growth (or lack thereof), but one of the most overlooked is physical stimulation—as in, massaging the heck out of your scalp. Turns out giving yourself a scalp massage using some key natural ingredients can help your hair grow faster and in turn, make your strands look more Blake Lively–esque. There’s also the whole egg-yolk-mask thing, and let’s not forget the sworn-by hot castor oil treatment.

With plenty of natural treatment options, achieving the hair of your dreams doesn’t have to feel so far-fetched. Just remember, there isn’t an ingredient or method that can actually make your hair grow faster from the root. Instead, you’ll want to follow the tips ahead to grow healthier, stronger hair that will reduce breakage at the ends and in-turn promote length. To help us figure out how to make hair grow faster, we hit up the pros: holistic nutritionist Meryl Pritchard and hair restoration surgeon Dr. Alan J. Bauman.

1.Do a Scalp Massage to Stimulate Growth

We spend so much time and money piling on the products that it’s easy to forget where hair growth starts: namely, your scalp. “Just like good quality soil is essential to grow healthy plants and flowers, a healthy scalp is the foundation for healthy hair growth,” says Bauman. “Research supports the idea that a scalp massage has beneficial effects on stress hormones, blood pressure and heart rate.” A simple way to stimulate hair growth at home is to give yourself a scalp massage.

This will increase blood flow to your scalp, enhance the strength of your roots, and help nutrients get to your follicle faster. You can give yourself a scalp massage with dry hair, but adding a nutrient-rich oil to the mix will only double the benefits. (Just keep it to once a week if you have oily roots).

Rosemary oil has been used for centuries to stimulate hair growth. It dilates blood vessels and in turn stimulates your follicle to produce new growth.

2.Try an Egg Yolk Mask to Prevent Breakage

Bauman notes that on average, hair grows approximately a quarter to a half an inch per month, and while we can’t speed up this process, we can affect the quality of the hair shafts each follicle can produce (think: thicker, stronger, shinier locks). There are things we can do to “stimulate a higher percentage of hair follicles in the scalp, which will keep more hair in the growing phase and make your head of hair thicker, healthier and fuller.” Unsurprisingly, this makes how you treat your hair crucial to natural hair growth.

If your hair breaks before it gets past your shoulders, an egg mask will be your savior. Eggs contain lecithin and protein, which strengthen, nourish, and heal your strands. Plus, their high sulfur content might even help with dandruff.

To make the mask, mix two eggs with two tablespoons of olive oil. Add half a cup of water to dilute the mixture (and make it less sticky). Apply the mask directly to dry, brushed hair, and leave it on for up to 30 minutes. Then, shampoo and condition as usual.

3.Rinse With Cool Water to Strengthen Hair

Just like hot water can cause dryness on your skin, it can be damaging to your mane, too. Rinsing with cool water will help close up the cuticle and strengthen hair follicles pre-styling. Cool water is best if you can handle it, but lukewarm is the next best thing if you can’t.

4.Check Your Medications

According to Bauman, there are many prescription medications that are known to be associated with hair loss. “Some of the commonly prescribed categories of drugs that can exacerbate hair loss include antihypertensives (blood pressure), cholesterol or statins, hormone replacements like thyroid, birth control, testosterone, and certain antidepressants,” he says. As a word of caution, you should always discuss these side effects with your doctor before stopping any medications.

5.Avoid Smoking for Healthy Blood Flow

Smoking is a personal choice and we’re not here to judge, but we’d be lying if we said the act doesn’t affect your hair in some way. “Smoking restricts blood flow to the scalp and follicles, which in turn restricts the vital oxygen and nutrients that your hair and scalp need to be healthy,” notes Bauman. Also, the toxins caused from smoking can also reap into the hair follicles and cause disruption.

6.Trade Hair Growth Supplements for Healthy Fats

Sure, you can easily pop a hair growth supplement, but honestly, the word’s still out on whether or not they’re an effective way to help your hair grow faster. Plus, they can contain unnecessary large amounts of minerals and vitamins (ahem, biotin), which can actually wreak havoc in other ways (ahem, breakouts). For this reason, eating your way to longer hair is actually a smarter, nutritionist-approved way to make your hair grow faster. Vitamins and minerals occurring naturally in foods are easier for your body to utilize, and they’ll naturally deliver a healthier ratio of nutrients—just the way Mother Nature intended.

According to Pritchard, getting plenty of healthy fats like omega-3s can jump-start hair growth. “Healthy fats are essential to hair health since our bodies can’t produce omega-3 fatty acids on their own. Therefore, it’s important to get these fats through our diet,” she says. “They nourish hair follicles to give strands that strong, shiny, lustrous glow.”

7.Avoid Over-Shampooing to Let Your Hair Repair

Rumor has it that over-shampooing can lead to broken, dry, and brittle locks due to the cleanser stripping the hair of its natural oils. Depending on your hair type, the number of times to shampoo your hair per week will vary. Thicker, coarser hair types can get away without washing their hair for a few days while thinner hair types may find their hair feels greasy even after one day. In such cases, a dry shampoo can work wonders in soaking up excess grease as you await longer strands.

8.Trim Your Split Ends Regularly

It might sound counterproductive if you want your hair to grow longer, but regular trims get rid of dry, damaged split ends and are necessary for natural, healthy growth. If left untreated, split ends can work their way up the shaft of your hair strand and cause even more breakage, which means the only thing growing will be your frustration. If your stylist takes off too much length every time you go in for a visit, your hair won’t get longer, so be clear about your hair goals when communicating with them.

Depending on the condition of your hair, your hairstyle, and your daily routine, you could need a trim anywhere from every six weeks to six months. That said, the better you care for your hair on a day-to-day basis, the less often you’ll need trims, and the longer your hair can grow naturally.

9.Brush Gently When Detangling

Nothing will test your patience like properly detangling the knots in your hair, but it’s an important step in growing your strands faster and one that definitely shouldn’t be rushed. If you have a tendency to quickly and haphazardly rip a brush through your hair and call it quits, you might want to reconsider. Not taking proper care when brushing can cause your strands to break off and split—pretty much the opposite of hair growth. When it comes to brushing your hair, think: slow and gentle.

And, turns out the brush you choose makes a difference. While a brush with metal bristles has its purpose, a wide-tooth comb, a detangling brush, or a paddle brush with rounded bristles are all better options for gently combing through knots and causing minimal breakage. Almost as important as what you use to brush your hair is when you choose to do so. Instead of detangling after the shower (when the hair is most vulnerable and fragile), comb through your knots before you wash your hair.

10.Limit Heat Styling to Keep Your Hair Healthy

You probably know this already, but any hairstylist will tell you the most obvious way to help your hair grow faster is to ditch your routine of hot tools. (Sad, we know). “Blow dryers and styling irons can certainly damage your hair by making it dry and brittle, which can lead to breakage and shorter hair length,” advises Bauman.

“If you’re trying to grow your hair, I recommend air-drying your hair and avoiding any heat tools. If you do use a heat tool, I suggest using a heat-protectant spray.” We’re partial to this brilliant spray from IGK which, true to its name, speeds up air-dry time, nixes the need for a hair dryer, and imparts lustrous hydration to boot

11.Sleep on a Silk Pillowcase to Avoid Tangles

A silk or satin hair cover or pillowcase is better for the health of your hair versus cotton, which will absorb all the moisture out of your strands and lead to tangles and breakage. While this won’t necessarily speed up the hair growth process, sleeping on a silk pillowcase generates less friction and gives hair a softer surface to rest on.

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Fancy Ferrero Rocher Cake

Yield: 12 SERVINGS

Prep time: 2 HR

Cook time: 2 HR

Total time: 4 HR

This Ferrero Rocher Cake will be your favorite chocolate hazelnut treat from now on. Yes, it’s a cake, but it so closely resembles my favorite candy! It’s a perfect birthday treat or something to bake when you’re craving those chocolate flavored hazelnuts.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT CAKE:

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup hazelnut flour (Grind up 1 cup toasted, skinned hazelnuts to a fine powder. Or replace with ¾ cup of all-purpose flour)

1½ cups granulated sugar

¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted

1½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

¼ cup vegetable oil

¾ cup buttermilk

¾ cup hot water or hot coffee

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

FOR THE NUTELLA BUTTERCREAM:

1½ cups unsalted butter room temperature

¾ cup Nutella

3 cups powdered sugar sifted

¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted

FOR THE HAZELNUT MERINGUE (OPTIONAL):

2 large egg whites

5 tbsp granulated sugar

A pinch of salt

A pinch of cream of tartar

½ cup chopped hazelnuts (toasted skinned)

1½ tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted

FOR DECORATION:

Toasted hazelnuts, chopped and whole

Ferrero Rocher chocolates if desired

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT THE CAKE:

Preheat oven to 350°F(177°C), grease three 6-inch round baking pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line bottoms with parchment.

Place all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix to combine.

In a medium bowl whisk all wet ingredients (pour hot water in slowly while whisking as not to cook the eggs).

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium for 2-3 mins. The batter will be very thin.

Pour evenly into prepared pans. I used a kitchen scale to ensure the batter is evenly distributed.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out mostly clean.

FOR THE NUTELLA BUTTERCREAM:

Prepare a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whip butter until creamy (2 minutes).

In a medium bowl, whisk together sifted powdered sugar and cocoa powder.

Reduce speed to low and add in powdered sugar mixture 1 cup at a time until well blended. Scrape down sides of bowl and whisk as needed. Add in Nutella and whip on high for approximately 5 mins.

FOR THE HAZELNUT MERINGUE (OPTIONAL):

Preheat oven to 250°F(120°C) and line a 10×15-inch pan with parchment. Trace two 5-inch circles onto the parchment, flip over so the traced side is down.

Combine egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer (ensure there is no trace of egg yolks in your whites and that your mixer bowl and whisk is completely grease-free or your meringue won’t stiffen). Beat on high until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar (1tbsp at a time) and beat until stiff peaks.

Dab a bit of meringue under the corners of the parchment to secure it. Fold chopped hazelnuts and cocoa powder into the meringue. Pipe into discs using the 5-inch circles as a guide. Pipe or spread the remaining meringue in empty spaces on the parchment.

Bake for 90 minutes and cool on the pan.

ASSEMBLY:

Place one layer of the cake onto a cake stand or serving plate. Top with ⅔ cup of buttercream and spread evenly.

Place one meringue disc on top and top with additional buttercream if desired (or sprinkle with chopped Ferrero’s. Repeat with remaining layers and crumb coat the cake. Chill for 20 minutes.

Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream, smooth the sides and chill for 20mins. Press chopped hazelnuts into the sides and top with rosettes if desired.

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Learn How To Make Geode Cake

Yield: 16 SERVINGS

Prep time: 45 MIN

Cook time: 60 MIN

Total time: 1HR 45 MIN

You might think geode cake is intimidating but try this recipe, you will find out that it is WAY easier than you thought! All you need is a frosted cake, some white/clear rock candy and food coloring!

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CHOCOLATE CAKE:

3 cups (12 ounces or 340g) cake flour

3 cups (21 ounces or 595g) granulated sugar

1 cup + 2 tablespoons (3.35 ounces or 95g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 tablespoon baking soda

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

1½ cups (12 ounces or 340g) buttermilk

¾ cup (6 ounces or 170g) canola oil

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1½ cups (12 ounces or 340g) boiling hot coffee

FOR THE VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

2 cups (16 ounces or 454g) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups (16 ounces or 454g) cream cheese, room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

8 cups (32 ounces or 907g) confectioner’s sugar, sifted

FOR DECORATING:

Rock candy

Food coloring of your choice

Edible gold/silver leaf

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE CAKE:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Generously spray three 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottom of each with a parchment paper circle. Spray the parchment, too.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the dry ingredients until just combined. Slowly pour in the coffee. The batter will be fairly runny; use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. Use the rubber spatula to finish mixing until smooth and well combined, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans; if using a digital scale to measure out layers, pour 24 ounces (680g) of batter into each cake pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. The cake is done when the top of the cake bounces back when gently pressed and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool completely in the pans on a wire rack before frosting.

TO MAKE THE VANILLA CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the unsalted butter on medium-low until soft and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

With the mixer on low, add the cream cheese, half cup at a time, scraping down the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the vanilla and salt, then beat on medium-high until the frosting is creamy and smooth, 1 minute.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl once more, then beat on medium-high until the frosting is creamy and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.

After you make your frosting, be sure to set aside at least ¼ cup to ⅓ cup of the frosting to cover the cut-outs with frosting to make a geode cake

ASSEMBLY:

Use a small serrated knife to carve out cut-outs in the cake: Don’t worry too much about the shape and size of the cut-outs, just sliced out a chunk without thinking too much about it. You can do one giant cutout (which is traditional for geode wedding cakes), or do multiple ones.

Use a small offset spatula to cover the cut-outs with the remaining frosting. Unlike the rest of the cake, you don’t need to perfectly smooth the frosting on the cut-outs, because you’ll be covering it with rock candy!

Use tweezers or your fingers to cover the cut-outs with rock candy. You want to press firm enough so that the rock candy holds its place, but not so hard that you end up denting or destroying the cake inside. You’ll also want to cover any crumbs or exposed parts of the cake with rock candy to hide them.

Use a paintbrush to paint the centers of the rock candy-covered cut-outs with a darker color, then paint the cut-outs’ outer edges with a lighter color:

Tweeze gold or silver leaf onto the cake to finish the design

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Do You Like Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcake ?

Yield: 14 SERVINGS

Prep time: 45 MIN

Cook time: 20 MIN

Total time: 2 HR

These cupcakes are moist, flavorful with the perfect amount of lemon, filled with tiny, crunchy poppy seeds. The sweet blackberry buttercream is delicious and beautiful with its deep purple color.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE LEMON POPPY SEED CUPCAKES CAKE:

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature

1 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 1-2 medium-sized lemons)

2 tablespoons lemon zest

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract room temperature

⅔ cup sour cream room temperature

1½ tablespoons poppy seeds

FOR THE BLACKBERRY FROSTING:

1½ cups blackberries fresh or frozen

1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cream, if needed

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE LEMON POPPY SEED CUPCAKES:

Preheat the oven to 350°F(177°C) and line 2 muffin pans with liners. You’ll end up with about 14 cupcakes in total.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Give them a whisk.

In a separate large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until fluffy.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low speed, beat in about ½ of the sour cream followed by about ½ of the flour mixture. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Repeat the process with the rest of the sour cream and flour mixture.

Gently fold in the lemon juice and poppy seeds.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pans filling each about ⅔ full. You should get about 14 cupcakes.

Bake 1 tray at a time on the middle rack of the oven for 16-20 minutes, or until the tops look set and the inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, then continue cooling on a wire rack.

TO MAKE BLACKBERRY PUREE:

Add the blackberries to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.

Push the puree through a metal sieve to remove the seeds, push it through the sieve using the back of a spoon. Do about half the amount at a time.

Transfer the puree (without seeds) to a small saucepan over low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer while stirring occasionally for 10-20 minutes, or until it’s thick like jam consistency. You should end up with about 2-4 tablespoons in volume.

Let cool completely before adding to the frosting.

TO MAKE BLACKBERRY FROSTING:

In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft.

Turn the mixer down to low speed and beat in 2 cups powdered sugar and the salt.

Beat in 2 tablespoons of the thick, cooled puree.

Beat in the rest of the powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time, adding in a little more blackberry puree or cream as needed.

Transfer the frosting to a piping bag (I used a 1M tip) and frost the cupcakes or frost with a knife.

NOTE:

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips: Making these cupcakes the day you plan to eat them is highly recommend. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 hours, or in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you’d like to make the cupcakes the day before, make the cupcakes and store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Then make the puree, cool it fully and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Then make the frosting the day you plan to serve the cupcakes.

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Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes Recipe

Yield: 24 SERVINGS

Prep time: 45 MIN

Cook time: 20 MIN

Total time: 1 HR 30 MIN

When you need a mind-blowing treat for any cookie dough lover, YOU MUST make these Cookie Dough Cupcakes. these cupcakes are stuffed with cookie dough and topped with an indulgent chocolate chip cookie dough frosting. They are the ultimate treat for any occasion!

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH CUPCAKES:

1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1½ cups packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

2⅔ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet)

FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH FILLING:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

FOR THE COOKIE DOUGH FROSTING:

1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

3½ cups powdered sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons milk

2½ teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE CUPCAKES:

Preheat the oven to 350°F(177°C) and line 2 muffin pans with liners. You’ll end up with about 24 cupcakes in total.

Using the paddle attachment on an electric mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cream together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, approx 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl.

 

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.

Alternating add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl with the milk on low speed, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated.

Blend in the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between 24 cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

TO MAKE THE COOKIE DOUGH FILLING:

Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).

Add flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up a bit, (at least 30 minutes).

After cupcakes have cooled, fill the cupcakes by cutting a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with chilled cookie dough mixture.

TO MAKE THE COOKIE DOUGH FROSTING:

Beat butter and brown sugar with the paddle attachment on high speed until creamy and fluffy.

Mix in the powdered sugar until smooth.

Beat in the flour and salt.

Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and combined.

Frost cupcakes using a pastry bag and 1M tip. Decorate with mini chocolate chips and a mini cookie.

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Amazing German Chocolate Bombes Recipe

Yield: 10 SERVINGS

Prep time: 3 HR

Cook time: 50 MIN

Total time: 3 HR 50 MIN

In this recipe, Individual ganache-glazed chocolate cake bombes are filled with decadent chocolate mousse and creamy pecan-coconut pudding. These show-stopping desserts are the perfect ending for a dinner party because you can make them ahead.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CAKE:

Cooking spray

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 oz. (1/4 cup) natural cocoa powder

1½ cups boiling water

7 oz. (1½ cups) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. kosher salt

1½ cups packed dark brown sugar

8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened

4 large eggs, at room temperature

½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

FOR THE COCONUT PECAN FILLING:

3¼ oz. (about 1 cup) sweetened, shredded dried coconut, toasted and cooled

3 oz. (⅔ cup) pecans, toasted and cooled

⅔ cup granulated sugar

2½ oz. (5 tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into chunks

6 large egg yolks

5-oz. evaporate milk

½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

FOR THE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE:

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (preferably 70% cacao), chopped (about 1 cup)

3½ oz. (7 tbs.) unsalted butter

2 large eggs, separated

1 tbs. granulated sugar

¾ cup heavy cream

¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract

A pinch of kosher salt

FOR THE GLAZE:

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (preferably 70% cacao), finely chopped (about 1 cup)

2 tbs. light corn syrup

1 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE CAKE:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F(160°C). Coat a 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Put the chocolate and cocoa in a medium heatproof bowl, add the boiling water, and whisk to combine and melt the chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Beat the sugar and butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy, scrape the bowl halfway through. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly add the buttermilk and vanilla—the batter will look curdled at this point. Reduce the mixer speed to low.

Alternate adding the flour mixture (in 3 additions) with the chocolate mixture (in 2 additions), ending with the flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan on the counter to level the batter.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when poked in the center with a finger. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

TO MAKE THE COCONUT PECAN FILLING:

Pulse the coconut and pecans in a food processor until they resemble coarse cornmeal.

Combine the sugar, butter, egg yolks, evaporated milk, and vanilla in a 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a spoon or spatula until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon and hold a trail when a finger is drawn through it (about 6-7 minutes). Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on high speed for about 6-10 minutes until cooled, fluffy, and slightly lightened in color, .

Add the coconut-pecan mixture and beat on medium speed until combined for 1 minute. Refrigerate until ready to use. (You can refrigerate the filling for up to 1 week.)

TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE:

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl set in a skillet of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat and stir with a spatula to combine. Set aside to cool slightly.

Whip the egg whites in a clean stand mixer fitted with a clean whisk attachment on medium-high speed to soft peaks for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar and continue to whip to stiff peaks for 3-4 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whip the cream with a whisk or electric hand mixer to medium-stiff peaks.

In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt. Mix the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture with a spatula. Fold in the whipped egg whites, then fold in the whipped cream—there shouldn’t be any visible streaks.

 

ASSEMBLY:

Set two silicone bombe molds that hold at least 5 bombes each (3¼-inch diameter and ½-cup capacity) on a 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheet.

Turn the cake out onto a cutting board. Use a 3⅛-inch round cutter to cut 10 circles from the chocolate cake. Reserve the remaining cake for another use.

Scoop about ¼ cup of the mousse into each mold and smear it evenly all over the insides of the molds with the back of a small spoon. Refrigerate or freeze until set, 10 to 20 minutes. Evenly distribute the coconut-pecan filling among the molds (about 2½ tbs. each), and then gently press a cake circle into each mold. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Unmold the frozen bombes one at a time onto a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Let sit until nearly room temperature, 2 to 3 hours.

Put the chopped chocolate and corn syrup in a medium stainless-steel bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium-high heat until just boiling, then pour it over the chocolate mixture and let sit for 3 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth. Transfer to a liquid measuring cup for easy pouring.

Pour the glaze evenly over the bombes to coat them completely. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. (Glaze the bombes no more than 8 hours in advance.)

Let the bombes sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.

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Simple Chocolate Cake You Can Try It

This Chocolate Cake (dare I say) perfect. It is beyond moist, you could LITERALLY leave out it on the counter for several days and it would still be luscious.Any time I make a chocolate cake, I use this recipe.

if you are a chocolate lover I HIGHLY encourage you to make this cake!!

Ingredients

For the Cake

1/2 cup sour cream (120mL)

1 cup buttermilk (236mL)

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cup strong hot coffee (355mL)

3/4 cup vegetable oil (177mL)

1 tbs vanilla extract (13mL)

3 cup all-purpose flour (360g)

2 2/3 cup granulated sugar (533g)

1/2 cup cocoa powder (50g)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder (4.8g)

1 tbs baking soda (14.3g)

1 tsp kosher salt (5.7g)

For the Chocolate Buttercream:

1 1/2 lb confectioner’s sugar 680g

1 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature (338g)

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (60mL)

1/4 cup Cocoa powder (25g)

1 tsp vanilla optional (5mL)

1 tsp espresso optional (5mL)

1/4 tsp salt (1.5g)

1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate (45g)

For the Decoration:

1/4 cup cacao nibs or chopped chocolate (about 60 grams)

Instructions

For the Cake:

Butter and flour 3 eight inch cake pans. I highly recommend using cake strips for a more even bake.

Sift together the dry ingredients (including the sugar) into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.

Add the wet ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together.

Add the wet ingredients the dry ingredients.

Whisk to combine then mix on low for about a minute.

Distribute batter evenly to the three pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes at 350F (176C) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I recommend rotating the pans halfway through the bake.

Allow time to cool for 10 minutes then invert onto wire racks to cool fully.

For the Chocolate Buttercream:

In a small bowl, mix semi-sweet chocolate with 2 tbs of cream then microwave for 40 seconds on half power mode. Stir to combine then set aside.

Beat the butter for 2 minutes using the paddle tool (in a vertical mixer).

Add ¼ cup cocoa powder and salt and mix well to combine.

Shave the bowl down and add the sugar slowly.

Beat in cream. You can add optional vanilla and espresso in this step.

Mix until you have a nice, homogeneous mixture.

Beat in melted and cooled chocolate ganache.

For the Assembly:

Pipe chocolate buttercream between each layer.

Pipe the buttercream on the outside of the cake. Smooth with a bench scraper and offset spatula.

Add a smooth coat of chocolate buttercream to the surface of the cake.

Use an 869 tip to pipe dollops on top.

Press cocoa nibs to the bottom of the cake (or the entire side, if desired).

Note : WHAT MAKES IT MOIST AND FLUFFY

Adding the right amount of fat gives chocolate cake a moist crumb. Using oil, as I did in this recipe lets you chill the cake without having to worry about it hardening. Fluffiness comes from using the right amount of leavening agent; too much and the cake will collapse, too little and it will be dense.

Creaming the butter and sugar coupled with whipping egg whites until they reach the soft peak stage then folding them into the batter.

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Succulent Mint Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Yield: 18-20 SERVINGS

Prep time: 45 MIN

Cook time: 20 MIN

Total time: 2 HR

These are the softest, most delicious, most chocolate-y chocolate cupcakes. Topping it off is creamy, smooth mint buttercream frosting and chocolate chips. These cupcakes are perfect for anyone who loves mint chip ice cream.

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES:

1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

⅔ cup cocoa powder, I used dutch processed

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup vegetable oil

1¼ cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 tablespoons sour cream, room temperature (or plain yogurt)

⅔ cup buttermilk, room temperature*

FOR THE MINT BUTTERCREAM:

1¼ cups unsalted butter softened to room temperature

4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted

¼ teaspoon salt, to taste

¼ cup whipping cream/heavy cream**

½ – 2 teaspoons mint extract

green food coloring

mini chocolate chips for decorating

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE CUPCAKES:

Preheat the oven to 350°F(177°C) and line two 12-cavity muffin tins with cupcake liners. The recipe will make about 18-20 cupcakes total.

First – whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt) in a large bowl.

In a separate large bowl beat together the oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla and sour cream using a stand or hand-held electric mixer until combined and no sugar lumps remain.

With the mixer on low speed add in about half of the flour mixture followed by half of the buttermilk until combined. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Repeat with the second half of the flour mixture and buttermilk until smooth.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan – you should end up with 18-20 cupcakes total. Bake for 15-17 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

 

TO MAKE THE MINT BUTTERCREAM:

Using a stand or hand-held electric mixer beat the butter on medium speed until the color has lighted and the butter is fluffy.

Turn down the mixer to low and add in about ½ to 1 cup of icing sugar at a time. After almost combined, turn the mixer to high speed and beat for 5-10 seconds. Repeat with the rest of the icing sugar.

Once almost all of the icing sugar has been added, beat in the whipping cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

Then add in the mint extract about ½ teaspoon at a time along with the green food coloring until the desired color and level of minty-ness is reached.

Frost the cupcakes using a piping bag or with the flat-edge of a knife. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips for decoration.

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Amazing Earl Grey Tea Cake

Hello to all you tea lovers out there! This Earl Grey Tea Cake is the combination of three moist and tender earl grey cake layers with refreshing and tangy orange cream cheese buttercream.

Prepare to amaze your tastebuds!

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE ORANGE CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM:

55g all-purpose flour

225g granulated sugar

380g whole milk

¼ tsp salt

350g unsalted butter room temperature

100g cream cheese room temperature

2 tbsp orange juice freshly squeezed

½ tsp vanilla extract

zest of 2 oranges

FOR THE EARL GREY TEA CAKE:

3 large eggs room temperature

240 g all-purpose flour

220 g granulated sugar

50 g earl grey sugar syrup (homemade)*

140 g unsalted butter softened

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

145 g earl grey infused milk room temperature*

70 g sour cream room temperature

*Earl Grey Milk

240 g whole milk

10 g loose leaf earl grey tea

*Earl Grey Syrup

150 g water

10 g loose leaf earl grey tea

150 g granulated sugar

FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE DRIP:

75g good quality white chocolate

35g heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE EARL GREY CAKE:

*Earl Grey Infused Milk:

In a small pot, bring milk to a simmer. Add loose-leaf earl grey tea, cover with a small plate and let it steep for 15-20 minutes. Once it’s done, strain it to get rid of tea leaves and leave it to cool to room temperature before using.

*Earl Grey Syrup:

Bring water to a boil, combine it with tea leaves and let it steep for 5 minutes. Once the tea is done, strain it into a small saucepan and combine with sugar. Cook on medium to high heat until it thickens a bit and forms a syrup. Leave it to cool to room temperature before using. (You’re not going to use all of it in a cake, but it’s hard to make it with smaller quantities.)

Preheat your oven or 175˚C (350˚F). Grease and line with parchment paper three 6 inches (15 cm) round cake tins. Alternatively, you can use two 8 inches (20 cm) round cake tins.

In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until combined and set aside.

In a measuring jug combine sour cream, earl grey infused milk and vanilla extract. These are your wet ingredients.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter, earl grey syrup and sugar on a medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. (approx. 3 min) Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and add eggs one at a time – making sure it’s fully incorporated after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

Add your dry and wet ingredients, alternating between one another, starting and finishing with dry ones. (3 additions of dry and 2 of wet ingredients) Between each addition mix the batter just enough to get it combined, no more than 15 sec, to avoid overmixing the batter.

Divide the batter evenly among the 3 tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with few moist crumbs.

Once they’re done, let the cakes cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack before removing them from the pans to cool completely.

TO MAKE THE ORANGE CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM:

In a small saucepan (use heavy-bottomed one to prevent burning) combine flour, sugar, salt and milk. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until it thickens. This can take about 15 minutes. The moment you realize it’s getting thicker, cook for another 2-3 minutes. It should be gloopy, almost like a pastry cream.

Once it’s done, strain it through a sieve into a plate, put a cling film over it touching the surface to prevent “skin” forming and let it cool to room temperature. This is your pudding base.

You can do this in a fridge, but before using it let it come to room temperature.

Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 5 minutes until it’s pale and fluffy. Then add spoonful by spoonful of previously made pudding. Mix until it’s all nicely incorporated and with no lumps. Add room temperature cream cheese, orange juice and zest, vanilla extract and mix until everything is combined.

FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE DRIP:

Place finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring heavy cream just barely to a simmer and pour over chopped chocolate. Cover it with a plate and leave it 1-2 minutes. Stir with a spatula until combined and smooth. Alternatively, you can do this in a microwave for 30 seconds. If desired, add white gel food coloring.

Make it 10 minutes before pouring over the chilled cake so it has time to cool and thicken a bit.

ASSEMBLY:

Using a cake leveler or a long serrated knife level the tops of your cakes if needed.

In the middle of your cake board or a serving plate put some buttercream to stop the cake from moving around.

Place one cake layer on a cake board or a serving plate. Using a small offset palette knife or a piping bag, spread the frosting over the cake. Top it with the next cake layer and repeat the process.

Place final layer on top, upside down, and do a thin crumb coat on the cake. Chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge before final decorating.

Once cooled, frost and smooth the sides with the remaining buttercream, leaving a little for coloring and making a watercolor effect, as well as rosettes on top. Using a small offset spatula, dab the colors on a chilled smooth frosted cake and using a cake scraper, lightly scrape it leaving some behind – thus creating a watercolor effect.

Chill the cake for half an hour to an hour before putting the chocolate drip on top. It has to be cold so the drip doesn’t go all the way down.

Using a piping bag fitted with a 8B tip (or your choice), pipe some rosettes on top after the ganache has set.

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