Chestnut croissant

On one of our recent brunch outings, we went to Maialino, where I finally had one of their signature olive oil muffins (it was as good as I expected and it inspired me to bake up a batch back home a few days later).  Before going to the restaurant, I looked online at their menu and spotted something really interesting: "chestnut croissant".  I was so excited because (1) I love all things chestnut (just type in "chestnut" in my search function on the right-hand side of the page to see what I mean) and (2) I'd never had such a thing, and really wanted to! 
But when I next looked back at the menu, the chestnut croissant had disappeared.  It sounds crazy but I almost feel like I imagined it!  Well...there was only one thing to do since I've never seen chestnut croissant anywhere and that was to make it myself at home.  Sometimes an idea gets in my head and I just have to give it a go and this was one of those things.      
So I took inspiration from when I last made almond croissants and did a pretty simple version of chestnut croissant for breakfast this weekend.  It really helps if you have a stash of chestnut cream in your house like I do (otherwise, you can source it online).

To have your own chestnut croissant, all you have to do is take day-old croissants, split it, and soak it in a rum sugar syrup.  Then spread some chestnut cream/spread inside, and brush a little on the surface for fun.  Bake for about 15 minutes and you have it!  It's really easy since you're mainly working with store-bought ingredients, but with a little twist, you end up with something really special.

I'm here to say chestnut croissant is a really, really good thing! 


Ina's triple chocolate loaf cakes

New year, and much of the same routines here!  I'm thrilled with that because I'm very lucky to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favorite pastimes of cooking, baking, and eating.  Here's to happy cooking and feasting in the new year, and always!

Like so many people, I'm a fan of Ina Garten's and adore watching her cooking show.  I'm no expert but there's something about an Ina Garten recipe that usually manages to surprise you a little bit even when you already expect it to be good.  Her recipes are clearly well thought out and whatever it is we're cooking or baking, she's figured out a way to squeeze out, or amplify, every bit of flavor possible.
So you don't have to twist my arm to try one of Ina's recipe - particularly when it involves chocolate!  For a chocoholic like me, it's nearly impossible to resist a recipe called "triple chocolate loaf cakes".  And you can be sure that if Ina's offering a chocolate recipe, it's going to be unmistakably chocolate.  Here, bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened cocoa (along with a touch of coffee) bloom in boiling water to create the foundation for these cakes.  Then, chocolate chunks or chips add another decadent and delicious dimension.  I opted out of adding walnuts to these loaf cakes.  Personally, I adore nuts in baked goods but I was making them to share with others and went with a nut-free version.
This recipe makes 2 regular-size loaf cakes.  I made 4 smaller loaves so I could share with friends.  To offset our smaller slices, we just had to cut ourselves an extra one, which was easy enough.  

This moist, chocolaty cake satisfied my daily chocolate craving.  I love the light yet almost fudgy texture to the cake, and the serious chocolate flavor doesn't disappoint.  Not too surprisingly, there is something a little extra special about this particular chocolate loaf cake recipe.


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