Dutch Chocolate-Mint Cheesecake

Dutch Chocolate-Mint Cheesecake  |  Amandeleine

This cake exists to make me fat. For serious.

It has 32 oz. of cream cheese in it.

A total of 21 oz. of bittersweet chocolate.

4 eggs and a little cream.

But it’s just a little cream, so it’s cool, right?

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Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes - Amandeleine

A friend of mine got married recently. She didn’t want to have a particularly big “to-do” of a wedding, so these cupcakes were for the mini congrats that my work setup for her, involving your average amount of office decorating (streamers, coffee filter flowers and confetti), a card and flourless chocolate cupcakes! She may not have wanted a big to-do when she got married, but we gave her a medium to-do two days later, and the city gave her a huge to-do anyways outside of city hall before and after she was married.

They gave hundreds of people a huge to-do on Sunday in Seattle.

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Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Tart

One day, carpooling on the way home from work with Trevor and Joe, we decided to indulge a little with a stop at New York Cupcakes, our favourite cupcake joint in town. (Fellow Seattlites, if you like Cupcake Royale better, I can accept that. If you like Trophy better? I’m afraid we need to have a talk.) “Indulge” may be the wrong word because it makes it sound as if it’s unusual for us to stop and get cupcakes on the way home when we carpool.

It’s usual for us to stop and get cupcakes on the way home when we carpool.

Luckily for my waistline, Joe has some crazy work hours most of the time and we don’t usually carpool.

Anyway, this one particular day the cupcake shop was closed early due to an impending snow “storm” (2-in snow = “storm” in Seattle). I can still picture it clearly, Joe reading the handwritten sign, raising his fists in the air and howling in agony outside their doors at his discovery. A lone worker cleaning up shop heard his pained exclamation and quickly moved to the door, a box in hand. It was box full of half a dozen cupcakes.

Half a dozen free cupcakes, in apology for the early closure.

They all were the same flavour, but we didn’t care, they were free. Also, as we soon discovered, it was the sort of flavour you didn’t mind having six of. A moist chocolate cake, frosted with chocolate buttercream, topped with a layer of crushed pretzels and drizzled with caramel. Through a mouthful of cupcake, I asked Trevor what his opinion was of a full-sized chocolate/caramel/pretzel layer cake. He turned me down in favour of a different idea.

“A chocolate pretzel pie” he declared.

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Buckeye Cake

Do you know what a buckeye cake is?

Actually, let’s start a little smaller.

Do you know what buckeye candy is?

It’s essentially sweetened, buttered peanut butter (did you know you can butter peanut butter?) dipped in chocolate. I like to think of it as a cousin to the peanut butter cup.

So then, the buckeye cake?

Like a peanut butter cup, supersized, with the bottom layer of chocolate replaced with a dense chocolate cake.

I know. I’m excited too.

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Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

My team at work likes to hold “Wine, cheese and baked goods Fridays” every other Friday. It’s a pot luck of sorts, where people bring in their favourite reds and whites, stinky cheeses, creamy cheeses, and I am usually the one bringing baked goods (seeing as I bring them every Friday anyway!) We sit in the sun outside our building and everyone has a great time.

However, I don’t like my cheese with wine. Because I don’t like wine.

I apologize to all the people out there whose sensibilities I just offended.

What I do like my cheese with is sweetness. With fruit preserves, rich chocolate, candied pecans or perhaps whipped full of powdered sugar. Obviously we’re not talking sharp cheddars here, but creamy smooth mascarpones, oozey warm brie and tangy cream cheese. I have trouble eating any of the creamier cheeses without trying to figure out a way to make dessert out of it. It’s like a sickness. A delicious sickness.

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