Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cooking Club #16

*Cooking Club is coming up soon, and now that I'm blogging, I want to share these moments but I thought I should play catch-up first. So without further ado, here (and in other posts) is what we've been up to. Enjoy!

November: Ingredient Chocolate

The Menu:

              Main Course
Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes
Raspberry Fondue with Pound Cake
Easy Pudding Cookies
Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallows

Jenny's Easy Pudding Cookies

[Because of everybody's crazy-busy schedules, we had to forgo last month's Cooking Club. We decided to start scheduling our meetings every other month.]

It's time for this month's Cooking Club! Someone decided they wanted chocolate. So, chocolate it is. It didn't have to be all chocolate, just as long as your recipe had chocolate or cocoa as an ingredient.

Of course I went to my heavenly cookbook, The Chocolate and Coffee Bible, to find this month's dish. There were so many mouth-watering options that I couldn't choose. I looked through the whole book and wanted to make 80% of it! I needed more time to decide.

But then I realized, if everyone was bringing chocolate, more likely than not, everyone would have a sweet recipe. And a table full of sweets....hello, sugar coma. And I'm a big supporter of "everything in moderation."

Whoopie Pies

So, I decided to make a less-sweet dish for our chocolate menu:

Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes.

This can be made as a dessert or a weekend brunch. And the pancakes are small enough that it's not too heavy. And the recipe only calls for 1 Tbsp of chocolate chips for the entire batter!

The banana really hits the palate because the chocolate isn't overwhelming, allowing that lovely taste to shine through. And you can't even taste the almonds in the batter.

I would definitely have to say that this month's meeting was my least favorite....only because we were all starving and there were only sweets to munch on. We wanted real food!

This is something we have to start thinking about when we plan our future themes.

Or we're going to leave our meetings hangry.

Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes
* adapted from The Chocolate and Coffee Bible recipe

Makes 16 pancakes

2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
scant 1 c milk
1 1/4 c flour, or whole wheat flour
1/3 c ground almonds + 2/3 c sliced almonds
1 Tbsp Stevia, or other sugar
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
butter, for frying (or cooking spray)
2/3 c heavy cream (or Sugar-Free Cool Whip, or whipped cream of choice)

Mash bananas in a bowl. Beat in eggs and half the milk. Mix in the flour, ground almonds, sugar and salt. Add remaining milk and chocolate chips.

Stir mixture well until it makes a thick batter. Heat a pat of butter in frying pan. Spoon pancake mixture into heaps, allowing room to spread. When cakes are lightly browned underneath, flip and cook other side. Slide on to plate and keep hot while making the next batch.

For topping, whip cream to soft peaks in a bowl. Spoon cream on to the pancakes and decorate with sliced almonds. Serve immediately.

*The cream on top is perfection.

Everyone's dish turned out well, but we were so hungry for food that everyone ended up taking home the leftovers of what they made only. haha

The cream cheese-pumpkin filling tasted amazing, and I think it would be perfect on toast in the morning. Yum-O. I didn't know Jenny had used mint M&Ms, so when I bit into her cookie I got a surprise. They were good, I'm just not a fan of mint. And Jessica's fondue, raspberry and white chocolate...delicious, but it didn't thicken.

The Fondue before it melted.

[Now I need to go search for some real food before I gnaw my arm off.]

**I hope you enjoyed these Cooking Club snippets. I hope these themes, and even Cooking Club itself, inspire you to gather with your friends and family in the kitchen, and make sweet moments (and delicious food) of your own.

***I've only included the recipes to the dishes I made. Only because I'm unsure of where everyone got theirs...and hey, we gotta give credit where credit is due.

[If you have any questions about the other dishes, I'll ask the other members where they got their recipes and pass it along!]

Until next time....

Check out our previous meetings!
Cooking Club #1-4
Cooking Club #5-8
Cooking Club #9-12
Cooking Club #13-15

With Love and God Bless,

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