BBQ Cake​

Picture this, you invite your friends over for BBQ and you serve them cake:

BBQ Cake

This beauty was a happy accident.

It all started one late night when I tried to make a chocolate cake. After baking the layers I realized that I hadn’t put in the sugar! Instead of throwing them out, I decided to let them cool while I whipped up a new batch of batter.

While the new sugar filled layers were baking I had a brilliant idea ~ BBQ Cake ~ rich savory chocolate cake layered with pulled pork and served with the sauce of your choice! It was a thing of beauty in my mind and it turned into a reality:

BBQ Cake

For the meat:

Get yourself a pork shoulder, coat it with Cocoa Nib Rub, and cook it low ‘n’ slow in your crockpot.

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cups cacao nib powder (or cocoa powder)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1’2 cup olive oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup hot coffee

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of 3 eight inch cake pans with parchment paper & thoroughly grease the sides.

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine flour, cacao nib powder, salt, baking soda & powder. In a medium bowl combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low, add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Continue mixing and slowly add the coffee ~ mix until smooth, scraping down the sides at least once.

Pour batter evenly between the three prepared pans & bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for thirty minutes then turn them onto racks to continue cooling. Use right away or wrap & refrigerate​ (or freeze) until ready to use!

Serve your cake with slaw and BBQ sauce!

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

BBQ Cake

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

These cookies are pretty darn tasty.

If I had to describe them in the most succinct and accurate way, I’d say they are the love child of a sugar cookie and the crispy edge of a brownie.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

And they come out so perfectly smooth and delightful!! Each cookie was just flawless. I found the recipe here, and the author has some great tips for baking, I highly recommend you check out her blog!

The cookies looked like a blank canvas to me, so I added some Chipotle Royal Icing. YUP. 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder + 3 cups confectioners sugar + just enough H2O to make a thick icing.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Here’s the recipe for these lovely cookies:

6 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 cups cocoa nib powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups unsalted butter

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

3 eggs, cold

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa nib powder, salt.

In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until fluffy and pale (about 5 mins). Beat in eggs until just combined.

On low speed, add flour mixture and blend until completely combined. Make two discs with the dough. Wrap separately and chill for at least 45 minutes.

Roll out the dough on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. This cookie recipe is where I found the fun tip about using dowels to make lovely cookies that are all the same thickness – if you place a dowel on either side of the dough and roll it out until you are right up on the dowels you will be on your way to cookie perfection. Once dough is rolled out, transfer to a baking sheet and chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Cut out your cookies and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (wrap scraps back up and chill before rolling out again). Place in your freezer for another 15 minutes.

Bake for 15 minutes, or longer depending on the thickness of your cookie.

Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to continue cooling. Will last a few days in an airtight container.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Stay sweet,

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Brainstorming

We do our best daydreaming, uh, I mean, brainstorming at the farmers markets.

One of us will say, You know what I want? Vanilla ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce and peaches and blueberries.

And the other person will say, Mmmm chocolate waffles with dark chocolate chunks…

And we’ll lapse into silence as we both get lost in thought but later we’ll bring it all together:

Chocolate Waffles

Stay cool, stay sweet, and keep daydreaming,

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Chocolate Waffles

 

Ice Cream Sammies

PeanutButter and Chocolate ice cream sammies

Remember that chocolate ice cream? And those peanut butter cookies?

This is what can happen if you make them around the same time:

PeanutButter and Chocolate ice cream sammies

You can make these sandwiches and eat them right away. Or if you are planning ahead, you can make them in advance, wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and stash them in the freezer. This way you can pull out one pre-made sandwich at a time whenever you get that craving!!

PeanutButter and Chocolate ice cream sammies

Stay cool, stay sweet,

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Dreamy Creamy Chocolate Ice Cream

Chocolate Ice Cream

Things are starting to heat up here in Charleston. In anticipation for warmer nights and hotter days we are testing out ice cream recipes.

Here’s what ya need for cool creamy chocolaty ice cream goodness:

1 cup cocoa nib powder

2/3 vanilla bean sugar

1/2 firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup water

4 cups heavy cream

Mix the first four ingredients together and using an electric mixer or by hand stir until sugars are dissolved. Pour in the heavy cream and blend. Pour into your ice cream maker and follow the direction of your machine from there!!!

Stay cool,

Charleston Spice Co.

Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

Hi.

Hello.

(awkward silence accompanied by embarrassed blush)

How are you?! Are you all right? It’s been a while, it’s all my fault.

(nervous giggle followed by a hurried explanation and more blushing)

The holidays, you know, the family, the friends, the eating, the feasting, the socializing, the buying, the selling, the other friends, the other family…and then the birthdays, and the socializing, and the eating, do you know how many birthdays there are in January? A whole lot of ’em. It’s not a good excuse, I know, but are you a good blogger? Can you give me some tips? If not, can you just forgive me?

I promise, I’m back and I’m here to stay. It’s a new year and new recipes await!! Like this one:

Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

Maybe these are a little wild to be the first recipe of 2015, and to be honest I thought perhaps they were my first kitchen catastrophe of 2015. But the day after I made them, I sat down with a warm cup of Earl Grey tea, a book, and one of these cookies just for the heck of it. The next thing you know, I had to put down my book and grab another cookie to contemplate the subtle loveliness of chocolate, sugar, and Chinese 5 Spice.

The moral of that anecdote is that these cookies will be great the day they are made but they will be even better the next day. So for the best results, exercise some restraint, make yourself a cup of tea and eat one of these (or two of these) the day after you bake them.

Here’s what you need:Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons Chinese 5 Spice

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

14 teaspoons butter

1 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons double strength vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg and 1 egg yolk

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

Combine sugar and 5 Spice on a plate and set aside for future cookie rolling!

In a medium to large bowl melt the butter. While you let it cool down a bit, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder.

Check the butter, if it’s still a little warm that’s fine, go ahead and whisk in the brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth. Now add the egg, yolk, and the flour mixture. Stir until combined.

Place the dough in the refrigerator, you want it to cool down so you can easily roll it into balls. Take the balls and roll them through the sugar and 5 Spice mix you placed to the side.

Place the dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten them with a glass, sprinkling the flattened tops with a little more sugar & 5 Spice (hint: too much is never enough when it comes to sugar cookies and sugar).

Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. My dough balls were about 2 Tablespoons worth of dough and this recipe made about 24 cookies.

It’s good to be back, hope you enjoy!

XO

Charleston Spice Co.

Chocolate Chinese 5 Spice Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Sauce

Isn’t everything better with a little chocolate sauce? Ice cream, crepes, fruit, waffles, pancakes, sundaes, cocktails, yogurt, coffee drinks… I could go on for days about all the things that are made better with a little chocolate but then we’d never get to the point of this post!

Here’s how to make dreams come true, its simple, you only need four ingredients:

Chocolate Sauce: the ingredients

 

1/2 cup H2O

1/2 cup vanilla bean sugar

1/2 cup cocoa nib powder

a dash of salt

In a saucepan stir together the sugar, cocoa nib powder, and salt. Slowly add water and stir together. Once all the ingredients are combined with no lumps, place the sauce pan over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. If not using immediately pour sauce into an airtight container and refrigerate for later enjoyment!

 

Chocolate Sauce