Category Archive: recipe

Good Food Hunting: Spices, Witches and Chocolate Cake

Posted by on March 24, 2014

By Kat Nielsen

By now you’re asking, what on earth is she writing about this time? Well, I can tell you that all three of these things have quite a bit in common. Hear me out.

decadent spiced cake 2Healers are typically defined as practitioners of alternative medicine, basically it’s our terminology here in America for medicine as it’s practiced by other cultures. There is Aryuvedic, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Reiki just to name a few. As open minded individuals of Boston, many of us have embraced balancing these therapeutic modalities out with western medicine, but just how did we get to our current status of things as we know it? Believe it or not, it actually goes back to witches.

Every culture imaginable has had some version of a healer. They work with “magic,” better known as energy work, along with treatment options coming from nature’s elements. When the witch population died out here in America (Salem witch trials), we lost our ties with herbs and a form of healing energy. While I speak of medicine in our country as a whole, think about our food culture as well. Do we have a wide range of spices used in American food? Not really. Isn’t it a coincidence with the way things have developed?

This month I’m bringing to you a recipe that will perhaps stir up some magic in the kitchen by broadening your spice cabinet. And as luck would have it chocolate is a wonderful medium for spice. While I recommend cinnamon and chipotle chili powder in the main recipe, don’t be afraid to experiment with more bold pairings including curry powder and dark chocolate, cardamom and bitter sweet chocolate, ginger and dark chocolate or orange and pepper with milk chocolate.

To full plates and adding some spice into your life,

About the writer: Author Kat Nielsen is a horse enthusiast turned food blogger. She maintains a day job in the horse world handling marketing and brand support to various companies while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at or email her at

Recipe: Decadent Spiced Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:decadent spiced cake 1

4 ounces of Ghirardelli or other good quality baking chocolate
1/2 cup of butter, unsalted
3/4 cup sugar 3 eggs
1/2 cup of cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch springform pan. Line bottom with parchment paper and butter paper. If you don’t have a springform pan, a round 8-inch pan will work, just butter generously.

In a double boiler, or metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate with butter. Stir till smooth and completely melted. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture.

Add eggs one at a time and whisk generously. (A slow addition of eggs and fast whisking does not allow the egg to heat and scramble on you).

Add cocoa powder, cinnamon, chipotle chile powder and salt into chocolate mixture, whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 20 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cake will be domed, and during cooling will invert.

Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and remove from pan. If you don’t like the inverted look, cool the cake for five minutes and invert onto a serving plate. Cake can be served immediately or stored in refrigerator till consumption. Dust with powdered 2 tablespoons of powdered Sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Best eaten with ice cream and/or fresh fruit. You can also top with a homemade chocolate ganache or caramel sauce.

Oreo Cupcakes

Posted by on March 13, 2014

Oreo Cupcakes 1small

All over the web we’ve been seeing some great Oreo Cupcakes, so today we decided to try some of our own. These can be as simple or as complicated as you would like to make them based on the cupcake recipe you use and how much Oreo you want to put in them.

We’ve gone with the simplest recipe possible, for all you busy people out there. It takes no time at all to have a fabulous dessert.

The first step is the best, and a great way for kids to help out. Oreo Cupcakes 2smallLine your cupcake tin with your favorite liners (we used polka-dots) and place an Oreo in each.

Next, preheat your oven and prepare cupcake batter according to your favorite recipe or package directions. We used chocolate cupcakes, of course. Because who doesn’t want some extra chocolate in their lives? We know we do.

Once you’ve got your batter prepared, you are ready to add it to the Oreos. In order to get the Oreo to stay in the cupcake better, use a rubber scraper to shape it around the edges of the Oreo, pushing down on the batter so the Oreo “sticks” inside the cupcake instead of falling off the bottom. Oreo Cupcakes 5small

Make sure all sides of the Oreo have batter around them. Otherwise the Oreo will fall into the liner when you take it off the finished cupcake.

Bake your cupcakes according to recipe or package directions. As always, make sure they are not too close to the bottom of your oven (this is even more important than usual, as you don’t want to burn the Oreos).

Take your cupcakes out of the oven and cool completely- if you can. Oreo Cupcakes 7smallWe can never manage to not eat at least ONE warm- it’s just too good!-but do your best.

Once they are cool, frost and decorate as desired. Consider crushing some Oreos on top, like we did, or placing a mini-Oreo into the frosting.

So now that we’ve made the cupcakes what do we think? We give them 2 thumbs up. As other bloggers have mentioned, the hard Oreo on the bottom is a bit of a stark contrast to the softness of the cupcake. We think adding crumbled Oreos to the top makes this a little less unexpected. Overall, though, you can’t go wrong when combining cookies and cupcakes. Really, what’s NOT to like?!?


Cinnamon Chocolate Almonds

Posted by on February 24, 2014

One of the tour guides for Boston Chocolate Tours always opens up her tour with a question. It gives everyone a chance to get to know one another when you answer “what’s your favorite kind of chocolate?” Are you a milk chocolate kind of guy, are you a nuts and dark chocolate kind of girl?

chocolate almonds 2I always have a hard time answering this question because it varies by day. Chocolate has so many wrappings, coatings, stuffings, etc., that depending on my mood or what my body seems to be craving, dictates which variation I’ll lean towards.

However, there are two that I always seem to be in the mood for, chocolate and almonds and caramel coated chocolate. It’s a shame not too many people include all of them! But in an effort to bring one of my more enjoyable combinations to life, I decided to look at chocolate and almonds. For whatever reason I enjoy whole almonds more than the pieces in chocolate, yet trying to coat them at home usually leaves you with a blobby mess. Well that is, until now!

This recipes uses sheer force and a coating of cinnamon and cocoa. The cinnamon offers a welcome surprise that helps compliment the sweetness and nuttiness, bringing a whole new level of delicious to your chocolate almond experience. And the best part? You can whip this recipe up in just under fifteen minutes.

And if that weren’t awesome enough, you then can mix the leftover bits of chocolate and cinnamon powder for a delicious base for your next cup of hot chocolate. Sounds like a great way to spend Valentine’s, or to share the love with those around you.

As always, let us know on Twitter and Facebook what you thought of the recipe so we can continue bringing you delicious recipes and more fun ways to incorporate a little more chocolate into your life!

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

Cinnamon Chocolate Almonds

1 cup of almondschocolate almonds 1
1 cup of milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of salt

In a dry saucepan, heat the almonds on medium heat until they give off a nutty aroma, 4-5 minutes turning periodically. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

In a double boiler, heat chocolate until melted. Add the almonds and coat completely.

In a large tupperware container, container with a lid, or ziplock bag, add the remaining ingredients. Add in the almonds and all of their chocolate shaking vigorously until coated completely with the cinnamon mixture.

Lay individual almonds onto plate or cookie sheet and allow to set. Anything remaining from the chocolate/cinnamon mixture, set aside and use as a base for hot chocolate.

About the writer: Author Kat Nielsen (Tarte Chic) is a horse enthusiast/musician turned food blogger. She maintains a day job handling marketing and brand support to various companies while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at or email her at

Recipe: Chocolate Dinner Rolls

Posted by on November 25, 2013

When the holidays come about, it’s hard to reinvent family favorites or envision new ideas. It can also seem all but impossible to incorporate chocolate into anything but dessert. Luckily I’ve come up with a way to have the goodness of chocolate showing up at the dinner table way before dessert ever makes an appearance.

chocolate bread recipe - thanksgiving

Bread meets chocolate. And it’s in the shape of a roll so if your sister at the end of the table doesn’t want to hear you trying to explain to grandma why there’s chocolate in the rolls, then you can chuck one to her and not deprive anyone. It’s downright genius. You can slather cranberry sauce on them, consider the age old chocolate covered potato chips (this time with mashed potatoes and a roll), or go really crazy and make a chocolate turkey sandwich….perhaps I’ve gone too far.

If you’re thinking I’m nuts, then you obviously don’t know me or you’re not a complete chocoholic – I won’t judge of course, but you’re still reading, aren’t you?

My first memory of chocolate meets bread was with Vermont Creamery’s epic Cultured Butter with Sea Salt. Sold at Wegmans and other fine retailers in Massachusetts, it’s addicting all on its own. The little flakes of sea salt melt in your mouth and you wonder why you even put it on anything. But alas, I gave in and toasted some baguette slices with a slab of butter on top. Once they came out of the oven, I shaved some dark chocolate to become melty and then indulged. It was bliss.

Now the tables are turned and it’s chocolate that’s getting added to the bread. Changing up a recipe of Featherbed Rolls my father held onto from the Buffalo Evening News, 1940’s edition, I added chocolate to wake things up and bring my love of chocolate to the dinner table.

recipe chocolate bread - thanksgiving

As always, enjoy your chocolate obsession and let us know on Twitter and Facebook what you thought of the recipe so we can continue bringing you relevant content containing all things chocolate!

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

Chocolate Dinner Rolls


  • 2 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 package of active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 4 3/4 cups of flour
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips, good quality
  • Sea salt


In a large saucepan, scald milk and remove from the heat. Discard the film that has formed on the top of the milk. Add the butter and stir, let cool until mixture is lukewarm.

In 1/4 cup of warm water, add your yeast and sugar, stirring gently. Allow the yeast to proof (if foam doesn’t appear, start this step over).

Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Mix together the cooled milk mixture and proofed yeast until fully incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Oil another large bowl and place batter into it. Cover with saran wrap and allow to rise until doubled.

Butter two muffin pans. Scoop risen dough into muffin pans, about 1/3 full. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cover with dishtowel and place in a warm area. Let rise until dough has doubled.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

About the writer: Author Kat Wojtylak (Tarte Chic) is a horse enthusiast/musician turned food blogger. She maintains a day job handling marketing and brand support to various companies while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at or email her at

Recipe: His and Hers White Chocolate Gingersnaps

Posted by on October 23, 2013

Fall is here. It’s my favorite season in which I love to savor the moment, especially in New England. This year however, matrimony seems to be interrupting my reverie- it’s not a bad thing, there’s just too many wedding bells a jingling in my brain to focus on my fall festivities.

In an effort to whip up some fall flavors in my house and garner back my sanity, I went about concocting my own recipe for gingersnaps. It’s about the only cookie I like crispy, and one that’s perfect for enjoyment throughout the entire fall season. For starters they’re delicious with lemonade on a humid afternoon. Then as the temperatures drop, they’re a great accompaniment to tea. Yet when it’s really chilly and the holidays are right at our heels, partnered with hot chocolate there is almost no better match.

recipe: white chocolate gingersnaps

In this recipe I decided to first start off with a lot of spice (and to use up spices I had lurking in my cabinet with no other use). I combined ginger, allspice, cloves and black pepper to create the base for the recipe. I also happened to have whole spices in the cupboard, so I freshly ground them. If you don’t by chance have all the spices- don’t worry- you’ll still end up with a great cookie. Just make sure you have the ginger! The other thing I did was to melt the butter down prior to making the recipe and let the spices develop in the heated butter. It was a great way to infuse extra flavor. If you’re pressed on time, again don’t worry- it will all work out.

It was after these came out of the oven that I wanted to set them apart. White chocolate happened to be a random pairing that you don’t see too often with gingersnaps, but they’re absolutely delicious together. It made a whole lot of sense to have the flavors of fall all wrapped up in creamy goodness, so I went with it! For those of you who don’t like white chocolate, just give it a try. If you still can’t get on board, you could of course try dark chocolate dipped cookies, as ginger and chocolate make a wonderful pairing.

The “his” cookies are reminiscent of a black and white cookie, only the buttons of his suit coat are represented by mini chocolate chips. The “her” cookies are represented by a  delicate flower like those she is destined to carry. Perfect for an engagement party or as part of the dessert platter at a home wedding, these are a great way to celebrate the vows of two people, but with your own hidden agenda to enjoy the season.

To full plates and eating your tarte out.

His and Hers White Chocolate Gingersnaps Recipe

  • 1 teaspoon of allspice berries
  • 3 whole cloves (or 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of sugar, additional
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 package of white chocolate chips
  • 1/8 cup of mini chocolate chips

Take your allspice berries, cloves and black peppercorns and grind with a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Mix in your ginger and set aside.

In a small saucepan on low heat, melt your butter.  Add your spice mixture and allow to cook for about 30 seconds or until mixture is very fragrant. Place in your mixing bowl and allow to come to room temperature (until it solidifies), about thirty minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In your bowl combine butter mixture, shortening, salt and sugar. Beat until airy, about two to three minutes. Add your egg and mix until incorporated, do the same with your molasses and vanilla. Mix in your flour and baking soda.

In a small bowl combine additional sugar and cinnamon. Take heaping teaspoons of dough and roll in between your hands into a ball. Place the ball into the cinnamon sugar mixture and coat evenly. Place onto baking sheet and repeat. Using a flat bottomed drinking glass, press down on each ball until 1/2” thick. Repeat.

Bake for twelve minutes for soft cookies, and twenty minutes for crispy cookies. Allow to completely cool.

white chocolate recipe - ginger snaps

In a small microwave bowl, place your white chocolate chips. Heat the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power for thirty seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir the chocolate. Keep repeating this process until the chocolate is almost completely melted. Remove from microwave and continue stirring until the white chocolate is completely melted and smooth.

Take half of your cookies and dip one at a time into the white chocolate, coating the cookie halfway. If your white chocolate is too thick for this, place your cookie overtop the chocolate and use a spoon to smooth out chocolate on the top side. Place cookie on wire rack and repeat with remaining cookies. Take three mini chocolate chips and place them in a line down the center of the cookie on top of the white chocolate. Repeat with remaining cookies.

ginger snaps white chocolate recipe

Using a ziplock or pastry bag, scoop the rest of the melted white chocolate into the bag. Snip a small corner off of the side. Pipe flower patterns on the remaining half of the cookies. Place onto a wire rack allowing all of the cookies to set.

DON’T FORGET-We want your comments and feedback on Twitter and Facebook, so please let us know if you plan on trying this recipe, have made it, or maybe if you’ll be trying this concept on cupcakes…..Or maybe you want to tell us if crispy or chewy cookies are more your thing. Just voice your opinion so we can continue bringing you content relevant to you! Peace, love and cookies….Kat

About the writer: Author Kat Wojtylak (Tarte Chic) is a horse enthusiast/musician turned food blogger. She maintains a day job handling marketing and brand support to various companies while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at or email her at