Dark Chocolate Banana Bread

While most banana breads tend to be on the sweeter side, the addition of dark cocoa powder strikes a nice balance with the banana and dulce de leche. To achieve the best flavor, use very ripe, plump bananas. If you have ugly bananas that are on the verge of spoiling but are unable to make this bread right away, peel and freeze them until ready to use.

2 cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup dark cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup traditional dulce de leche

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, with a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream the butter with the dulce de leche until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, vanilla and bananas until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out almost clean. Cool for at least 15 minutes in the pan, then turn the cake out onto a wire cooling rack. Cut into thick slices to serve.  Bread keeps, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature for 5 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

GoFundMe campaign to raise money to buy cooking supplies for children in Sharpsburg

Won’t You Consider Donating?

Gaston and I have created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to buy cooking supplies for the Sharpsburg children that attend our free Monday night cooking class. Many of these children don’t have the basic cooking supplies at home that many of us take for granted. We are hoping to buy a Ninja Supra Kitchen system, hand held blender and chef’s knife for each of the kids. Your donations can help to make a world of difference in their daily lives! Thanks for taking a look and spreading the word!  You can check out our campain here.

Extra Crispy.com: Candied Bacon with Soft-Boiled Eggs

The secret to preparing these candied soldados, or soldiers, so that the bacon is crisp rather than chewy is to slow-roast the bacon in a low oven for up to an hour. Be patient; the result is worth the wait! At our house we ration out the bacon equally to each family member before digging into the eggs to avoid any arguments. Keep this dish in mind as a starter, snack, or even for lunch alongside mixed salad greens. On their own, the candied-bacon soldados make a great hors d’oeuvre.  Click here for recipe.

 

Edible Allegheny: A Recipe for Love: Inside the Pages of “Dulce de Leche”

By Olivia Kappler | Photographs by Michael Fornataro | Styling by Alyssa Otto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click Here for Story

Dulce de Leche-Glazed Ham

ddl-glazed-hamThis recipe is adapted from Food and Wine and is a super easy, hands off recipe for a no-fuss Christmas dinner.  Takes 5 minutes to prep, and the rest of the magic happens hands-free in the oven.

  • ½ cup dulce de leche
  • 6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • One 10-pound bone-in smoked ham

Preheat the oven to 325°. In a small bowl, whisk the dulce de leche with the two mustards, and the shallot and cayenne. Whisk in the white wine.

Trim the skin off the ham, leaving a ¼-inch-thick layer of fat. Score the fat in a shallow cross-hatch pattern. Set the ham in a large roasting pan and brush generously with the dulce de leche glaze, allowing the remainder to fall to the bottom of the pan.  Cover the roasting pan with foil and roast the ham for 1¼ hours.

Remove the foil and parchment.  Glaze the ham for a second time with the pan drippings.  Roast the ham for 1 hour longer, or until nicely glazed all over. Transfer the ham to a cutting board and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the pan drippings into a small saucepan and skim off as much of the fat as possible. Set the roasting pan over 2 burners. Add the chicken stock and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom and side of the pan. Pour the deglazed liquid into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Transfer the gravy to a warmed gravy boat. Thinly slice the ham and serve with the gravy.

Dulce Delish Choco-Oat Cookies

Poupee eating a dulce de leche chocolate chip cookieWho doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? They are so easy to make and their smell alone while baking can lighten the mood in any household. I pack these cookies with oatmeal; it creates a much heartier cookie that holds up well when dipped in a glass of cold milk. You won’t be able to eat just one!

Makes 2 dozen large cookies; Prep time: Active: 45 MIN.; TOTAL: 1 hour

10 ounces 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (two sticks)

3/4 cup original dulce de leche

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/4 cups unsifted flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups oats, uncooked 

Photo Credit: Kathy Wolfe Photography
Photo Credit: Kathy Wolfe Photography

Preheat oven to 375°.  Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with dulce de leche and brown sugar at medium speed until mixture is creamy, light in color and has a fluffy, airy texture.  Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Drop tablespoon-sized amounts onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool on wire racks.


 

 

La Dorita Liqueur Iced Espresso

This cool drink will be a show stopper at your next dinner party. It is the perfect after-dinner drink to sip; just make sure to use decaf espresso or your favorite coffee flavor. It’s also a great way to put a leftover pot of coffee to good use. Instead of pouring it down the drain, grab an empty ice cube tray and create your own DIY coffee ice cubes. As the coffee melts, it creates a luscious layered drink that is a feast for the eyes and palette. The drink will become sweeter as the coffee continues to mix with the liqueur. IMG_4677

7 shots freshly brewed espresso, or coffee roast of your choice

3.5 ounces La Dorita dulce de leche liqueur

Orange peel, for garnish

Honey tea lollipop spoons (optional)

Brew coffee (we prefer espresso because the bitter roast provides quite a contrast to the sweetness of the liqueur) and set aside to cool. Pour into a mini-cubette ice tray and freeze overnight. Place half of the tray of coffee cubes into a tumbler and pour La Dorita on top. Garnish with orange peel and a honey teaspoon, to further offset the bitterness of the espresso cubes.