Today’s Recipe: Hot Chocolate My Way

This homemade hot chocolate recipe is concocted by melting a bar of my organic chocolate, “Beyond Dark” (this flavor is part of my Virtuous Dark Collection), over the stove with rich and creamy cow’s milk, vanilla, and sugar, and then topping with a cinnamon stick and a dollop of whipped cream (no store-bought powders here!). I love the flavor and health benefits of dark chocolate, but any flavor from my organic chocolate collection would be divine. Flamin’ Mocha Zest or Hazel Mae come to mind.

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Day 2: hostess ORGANIC cupcakes

And now … the cat’s meow of Hostess!!! (Yesterday, I shared my twinkie recipe.)

MaryJane’s Organic CREAM-FILLED CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Copyright MARYJANESFARM Magazine, April/May 2010
PREP TIME: 1 hour
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
MAKES: 12 cupcakes

1    cup organic flour (I use the quality specialty flour that I sell. I’m just saying. If you start introducing variables, I can’t guarantee you’ll meet with perfection like I did.)
½   cup organic unsweetened baking cocoa
¾   t baking soda
¼   t baking powder (non-aluminum)
¼   t salt
¼   cup organic butter, softened
¾   cup organic sugar
2    eggs, at room temperature
½   t organic vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, thoroughly combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar, then beat in eggs and vanilla.
4. Fold flour mixture into wet ingredients until well combined.
5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 18–20 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack.
6. Once cool, fill with my Organic Cream Filling (inject into the bottom by punching a small hole through the paper liner), ice with Chocolate Glaze, and decorate with swirls of White Frosting (recipes below).

GLUTEN-FREE CONVERSION:
Substitute organic white rice flour (www.BobsRedMill.com), use ½ t baking powder, and use 3 eggs.

MaryJane’s Organic CREAM FILLING
¾    cup organic sugar
½    t cream of tartar
¼    cup water
1     T light organic corn syrup
2     egg whites, at room temperature
1     t organic vanilla extract

1. In small saucepan, combine sugar, cream of tartar, water, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, and using a candy thermometer, cook until mixture reaches 230°F. (Do not stir while mixture comes up to temperature).
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
3. Slowly pour hot syrup into egg whites while beating. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add vanilla and beat 5–7 more minutes, until stiff peaks form.
4. Put filling into a cake decorator, using a #7 tip (or use the frosting/cream filling kit that comes with the canoe pan from yesterday’s post), and gently inject filling into bottom of cupcake by punching a small hole in the paper liner.

MaryJane’s Organic CHOCOLATE GLAZE
1½  t organic corn syrup
¼   cup organic heavy cream
2    oz organic dark chocolate (approx. ½ cup), broken into small pieces

1. In a small saucepan, combine corn syrup and cream and heat to just before boiling.
2. Place chocolate in a medium bowl, pour hot liquid over, and stir until chocolate is melted.
3. Dip tops of cooled, filled cupcakes into warm glaze. Let glaze cool, then decorate with White Frosting.

MaryJane’s WHITE FROSTING
½  cup powdered sugar
1   T organic milk

1. In a small bowl, combine ingredients and mix well.
2. Spoon into pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip and decorate tops with swirls. (This takes a bit of practice. Get-your-swirl-on by perfecting it first on the bottom of a bowl.) -Copyright MARYJANESFARM Magazine, April/May 2010

 

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Want to STITCH some hostess goodness? The instructions for the goodies pictured here can be found in the 2010 April/May issue of my magazine, MaryJanesFarm. Here’s where you can order that back issue as part of a bundle.

Day 1: Hello ORGANIC twinkies!

Did you miss my recipes for ORGANIC hostess treats, whoopie pies, cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies (you know what I’m talking about), etc. that were published in the 2010 April/May MaryJanesFarm magazine “Garden Secrets” issue?

With all the recent hubbub about Hostess going under, it felt like the perfect time to dig out my homemade hostess recipes and share them with you. Should you need a twinkie fix … and the company can’t provide or … OR, you want to eat an organic, better-for-you twinkie, I’ve got you covered. (I don’t want you going all Woody-Harrelson-in-Zombieland on me.) How ironic is it that the company who makes Twinkies, the yellow spongy cake that will supposedly last for an eternity, is going bankrupt around the end of the Mayan calender on Dec. 21st? Many people have taken this to mean it’s seriously the end of the world. I might make myself a foil hat and dance around while eating homemade ORGANIC twinkies! (My organic version doesn’t last forever anyway.)

While in my kitchen late one night in 2010, my first attempt to make a cream-filled “canoe” gave me fits.

But after two days and an embarrassing amount of not-quite-right cake that I fed to my compost, I finally got it right. It’s a recipe for only 8 treats (the indents in a NorPro canoe pan) because the key is how some of the wet ingredients are whipped just before you fold in the final ingredients. The second half didn’t come out of the oven as light and airy (because it sat on the counter waiting for its turn in the oven). So here’s my tip: Follow my recipe to the T, even my instructions to lightly butter the pan. Oil spray didn’t work as well. If you want to double the recipe, you’re going to need two pans so they can both go into the oven at the same time.

You’ll need a “Cream Canoe” pan (below, I bought mine on Amazon). The canoe pan comes with a 9-piece decorating set, perfect for injecting a creamy surprise inside or putting a swirl on top (stay tuned for my hostess cupcakes recipe coming tomorrow).

 

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Today’s Recipe: Black Walnut Pesto Bread

About a month ago my DIL, Ashley, and I harvested the black walnuts from my 100-year-old trees. Today, those black walnuts have dried and are ready to crack—after we cleaned ’em up a bit. Here is a delicious recipe for Black Walnut Pesto bread.

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Six Already?

We don’t know how it happened, but our littlest Jane turns 6 today!!

Happy birthday to our little Stella Jane!

We love you to bits and pieces.

Today’s Recipe: Duck Dinner in a Dakota Fire Hole

Yesterday, Ashley and I showed you how to skin a duck. Today, for the recipe of the week, we’re showing you how to best cook your fowl when you are in the remote wilderness.

My suggestion?

Cook your meal in a Dakota Fire Hole.

These fire pits are SO nifty.

They take less wood to fuel.

They burn hotter.

And they’re less likely to catch nearby brush or trees on fire.

Below, Ashley and I have a three-course meal you can make when you are out camping that is totally delicious and leaves you with little KP. We also show you how to correctly dig a Dakota Fire Hole and why they are so cool. Grab yer gloves, mini shovel, and axe, and let’s get to work …

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15 ways to skin a … duck? Okay, just one.

Happy hunting season to you and yours. This year, when your guy starts busting out his neon orange, you should too! Get your girlfriends together, take a gun safety course, and get on out there. (You know, there is a sisterhood merit badge for that.) Hunting, like fishing and gardening, is a healthy and rewarding way to get outside and take part in the process of harvesting your own food. When I worked as a wilderness ranger (decades ago:), I caught fish every day for my dinner and sometimes for breakfast.

Did you know Mark Zuckerberg, the inventor of Facebook, ate ONLY meat that he had killed for an entire year? He takes on a new challenge every year …

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I Voted …

Today … I’m voting. When my kindergartner gets out of school today, I’m taking both of my daughters to the polls. We’ll probably have to park some distance from the fairgrounds, and it’s supposed to be raining, and then I have to find the map that shows my district and stand in line until it’s my turn. I can’t forget my identification and I always get nervous that I might mark something incorrectly. Taking a 3-year-old and 5-year-old to do all this with me certainly doesn’t make the task easier, but I want them to KNOW.

When the poll worker hands me three stickers, I will explain to my daughters, as I do every year, what it means to be an American and what it means to be a female American. Then, I will proudly walk through the rain hand-in-hand with my two daughters—wearing stickers on our lapels.