Hopp Diva's Blog


Chocolate Espresso Stout Brownies July 16, 2012

My son came to visit from Washington DC this past weekend so it was a perfect reason to not only taste test some of our brews but also to head out to the store to purchase a variety of other local brewery beers.  One I picked up was called Decadent, that one we made beer floats using mocha coffee ice cream – oh my that was decadent!  One of the blueberry beers I just make some as awesome cake, which I will share with you very soon.  We also sampled my son’s  home brewed stout as well as a couple of other stout beers.

I noticed while cleaning up I had some stout left in a bottle, about a cup or so.  I put a lid on it and thought I would do some baking after the hustle  of the weekend was over.  Well, I didn’t expect the temperature to climb back up into the high 90’s but I was determined to make something with my stout anyway!  I mean why else do we have AC 🙂  The recipe that I came up with was Chocolate Espresso Stout Brownies and although they are in the oven right now and I can’t say for certain they will be wonderful, the smells are telling me I did the right thing by baking in this 90 degree heat!!  Enjoy!!!  For comments/questions email me  ramona@lowfatdivablog.com


Chocolate Espresso Stout Brownies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted room temperature butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons Blue Bonnet Lite stick margarine
  • 8 ounces dark bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Egg Beaters at room temp
  • 1 cup superfine or granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups (10 ounces) stout beer.  You can use Guinness Extra Stout if you do have any home brew or you can’t find a micro brew that you like.  Do not include foam as part of your measurement.
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick foil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt until evenly combined. Set aside.

Melt butter, bittersweet chocolate, and white chocolate chips in a double-boiler over very low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg beaters and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined.

Beat reserved flour mixture into melted chocolate mixture. Whisk in room temp stout beer. The batter will seem a bit thin. Drop semisweet chocolate chips evenly on top of batter.

Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes on center rack in the oven, time will vary depending on your oven.  Check after 20 minutes to see if tooth pick comes out clean.

Let brownies cool, uncovered, to room temperature.  YUMMMM


Beer Cake April 20, 2012

Working in the Test Kitchen this week I had a great deal of flops and some of the cakes I tried to make were actually quite disgusting as my granddaughter would say.  There were cakes that lacked taste, were rubbery (which happens when you try to remove too much  fat from baked goods), weighed enough to be a boat anchor or tasted just dreadful.  And most of this took place on just one day!  But the next day I was determined to try again for a moist, but slightly dense, tasty cake and I found one!

The guilt came when I was making the cake and the recipe called for a box cake mix (oh, my mom would so not approve) and instant pudding.  The other cakes I tried were some of my old favorites and yes they were all from “scratch” as my mom calls them (ie; no box) and how would I feel if the cake I made from a box turned out to taste just scrumptious?  At this point I would happy if I didn’t have to dump out any more cakes to the animals in the field behind my house.

I peaked in the oven as the cake was baking and it looked wonderful, there was so much anticipation as it cooled slightly before I removed it from the pan and I was just beginning to start the glaze when………….hold the phone…..I was out of powdered sugar!  Crap, with all the flops I had experienced I forgot to check my pantry for extra staples.  Off to the store I went, came back made my glaze, still antsy with anticipation.  My husband came home just as I was slicing a small piece to try and as I handed him some his comment was “what, dessert before dinner”?  But I knew what he was really thinking, “oh God, I have to try another test cake”   But to my delight (and I’m sure my husbands too) the cake was fantastic.  Everything I had hoped for, moist, rich, very flavorful and still low in fat.

This cake is not for the young or anyone who has issues with alcohol because of the beer that is used.  Yes, the alcohol is baked out of the cake but you use beer for the icing also.   Please, don’t wrinkle up your nose yet before you try it because the cake was gone in 5 minutes when the taste testers got their hands on it.  Inhaled would be more like it.  I used a chocolate cake and devils food pudding for my combination but what is nice about this recipe is you can pare the cake to what ever beer you want to use.  I used a whiskey stout that my husband made but a blue moon style with a white  or yellow cake with white chocolate mouse or cheese cake pudding would be nice too.  I would stay away from real hoppy beer like an IPA.

I do have a quick note regarding the glaze for the cake.  There is a fine line between cooking the glaze too much where it becomes crystallized and where it’s still a glaze that only slightly sets up.  Be sure as the glaze is boiling you do not over cook it.       Enjoy!!!     For comments/questions contact me ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Beer Cake

1 box cake mix (not the one with pudding in the mix – higher in fat)  of your choice to pare with beer

1 3.5 pkg. pudding – any flavor that will pare with your cake

1 cup beer – flavor that will work well with cake mix (stout, wheat, etc)

1/4 cup oil

3/4 cup egg beaters

Spray and lightly dust with flour a bundt cake pan with Pam.

Combine cake mix and pudding mix in large bowl and whisk to combine.  Add beer and oil.  Whisk to combine.  Add egg beaters and beat with hand mixer on high for about 2 minutes or until lumps are gone.  The batter will be very thick and rich.

Bake 350 for 40 minutes (be sure if you have a dark bundt pan you lower the temp to 325 and check the cake after 35 minutes so you don’t’ over bake it).  Remove cake from oven and set on rack for 10 minutes to cool before you remove it from the pan.  Place on the rack with parchment paper under for the glaze.

While the cake is cooling start your glaze.  In a sauce pan, add 2 oz beer, 1 Tlb. Blue Bonnet Lite and whisk until butter is melted.  Whisk in 1 -1/2 cup powdered sugar and bring your glaze to a boil.  Continue to whisk so the glaze is clear and  there are no lumps.   Cool for about 2-3 minutes and then drizzle/pour over warm cake.  Let the cake cool before cutting it.  I saved a small piece from the second cake I made so I could try some the next day and wow it was even better.  Delish!!!

This picture is of my first cake where I cooked the glaze a bit longer than I should have.  It still tasted good but when it cooled I found it to be firmer than I wanted.  Be careful of that fine line in over cooking your glaze.  You just want the glaze to be free of lumps and be clear.


Blackberry Wine Cake – Yes You Read That Correctly! April 13, 2012

Filed under: Desserts — Hopp Diva @ 2:58 pm
Tags: , , ,

Happy Birthday to me!  I was on the road driving my mom back from Florida this year for my birthday it was not fun.  I mean, I miss the hoopla of being home, getting a cake, going out to dinner……guess I”m still a kid at heart 🙂

Well as I was doing some research about making a beer cake for a Brew-ha we were going to have and I came across a cake made with wine.  Actually I came across a few of them but most had so much butter I felt like Paula Dean.  But the one that I”m going to share with you is rich, easy and tastes divine (I believe even Paula Dean would like it)!

If you don’t have any Blackberry Wine, I think you could easily use any fruit flavor.  Enjoy!  Send comments/questions to ramona@lowfatdivablog.com


Blackberry Wine Cake

1 box white cake mix (not super moist – higher in fat)

1 3oz package of blackberry jello

3/4 cup egg beaters

1/3 cup oil

3 Tlb. no fat yogurt

3/4 cup Blackberry Wine


In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix and jello.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on medium speed with hand mixer for about 2 minutes..  Spray a bunt pan with Pam Spray and be sure to really coat it well!  Pour cake batter in pan.  Bake 350 for about 50-60 minutes or until tester comes out clean.  Cool completely before inverting and removing cake.


You can mix some Blackberry Wine and some powdered sugar to make a glaze for the cake.  I liked it without but either way it’s really wonderful!!!






Chocolate Porter Cup Cakes March 29, 2012


 12oz. Porter Beer or you can use chocolate espresso stout or a chocolate ale – yummmm

½ cup No Fat ½ & ½

3 Tablespoons Canola Oil

2  Tablespoons  No Fat Vanilla Yogurt

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

¾ cup Egg Beaters

¾ cup unsweetened dark cocoa (Hershey)

¾ cup no fat sour cream

2 cups white sugar

2 ½ cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 24 regular muffin cups/tins with Pam.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all the liquid ingredients.  In separate bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups/tins.  Bake 17 minutes (depending on oven) or until risen and set in the middle (toothpick comes out clean but still tender)  Cool before removing from the tins.  Make a chocolate ganache and dip tops of cakes in.

Enjoy!  For comments/questions  email me ramona@lowfatdivablog.com

Chocolate Ganache

 In sauce pan bring 2/3 cup of No Fat ½ & ½ to a boil.  In a bowl place 9 ounces of chopped white/semi sweet  baking chocolate. When ½ & ½ is boilling, remove from heat, add 6 tablespoons of no fat sweetened condensed milk and 2 teaspoons of Blue Bonnet Lite.  Whisk until combined. Pour over  chocolate, wait 5 minutes before whisking the chocolate and cream mixture.  Whisk until chocolate is very smooth.  I also add about 3 Tlb of dark chocolate cocoa powder.  Chill until mixture has firmed enough to spread or dip the tops of your cup cakes.  You can also drizzle it over a cake (don’t chill as long).  If ganache is too firm, you can lightly warm the mixture over very low heat to get the consistency you want.  Be sure to whisk the ganache after chilling before you use it.

Moist and delicious chocolate porter cup cakes, dipped with a creamy low fat chocolate ganache


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