Monday, December 27, 2010

Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge

Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge

1/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 jar (7 1/2 ounces) marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
pecan halves for garnish, optional

Heat butter in a heavy 3-quart skillet over low heat. Add sugar and evaporated milk; stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a rolling boil.

Continue to boil for about 4 minutes, or until a candy thermometer registers 226°. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips; stir until melted.

Stir in marshmallow creme, pecans, and vanilla until well blended. Pour into a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Place on rack to cool.

Refrigerate for several hours, or until cool enough to cut into squares. Cover and store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Squares

Peanut Butter Squares

4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1, 5 1/2 ounce package of graham crackers, crushed (about 1 2/3 cups)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels, melted

Stir together first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Firmly press mixture into a not-greased 13- x 9-inch pan. Spread melted chocolate evenly over cracker layer.

Let stand at room temperature 2 hours or until chocolate is set. Cut into squares.

Note: Layer peanut butter squares between sheets of wax paper or parchment paper, and store in an airtight container up to 1 week, or freeze up to 1 month.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Matzoh Chocolate Candy

Matzoh Chocolate Candy

8 ounces chocolate chips
4 1/2 sheets of salted matzo
1 cup margarine
1 cup dark brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x9-inch baking dish.

Cover the bottom of the prepared dish with matzohs, breaking and fitting pieces into spaces as needed.

Cook the margarine and brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat until the mixture is well combined and bubbling, about 3 minutes; pour over the matzohs in the baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven until the syrup is thickened and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. Let the candy stand for 5 minutes to melt the chocolate, then spread the melted chocolate evenly over the candy with a spatula.

Cool completely and break into pieces to serve.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Nutella Candy Bars

Nutella Candy Bars

1.75 cups crisped rice cereal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp light corn syrup, divided use
7 tbps butter, divided use
1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, divided use
1 cup Nutella or other hazelnut-chocolate spread
1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
zest of one orange

Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

First, prepare the crispy crust. Place the cereal in a large heat-safe bowl and set aside. Place ¼ cup water, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and 3 tablespoons of corn syrup in a very small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves, then brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Insert a candy thermometer and continue to cook the mixture, without stirring, until it reaches 240 degrees on the thermometer.

Once the sugar syrup reaches the proper temperature, remove it from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of butter until it melts. Pour the mixture over the cereal and stir until it is combined. Quickly scrape the cereal into the prepared pan and press it into an even layer.

Next, make the chocolate-Nutella layer. Place 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring after every 45 seconds to prevent overheating. Stir the chocolate until it is melted and smooth.

Add the Nutella, chopped hazelnuts, and orange zest to the melted chocolate, and stir until smooth and well-combined. Once all the ingredients are incorporated, pour the Nutella mixture over the crust in the pan and smooth into an even layer. Refrigerate the bars while you make the final chocolate icing layer.

Place the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Stir or whisk the chocolate until it is smooth and glossy.

Pour the icing over the Nutella layer and smooth it evenly over the top. Refrigerate to set the layers, about 1 hour. Once set, remove the candy from the pan using the foil as handles, and cut into small squares to serve. Nutella Bars taste best when allowed to sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving. These bars do become very soft when exposed to hot temperatures, so it is best to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Avocado Cream Chocolate Fudge

Avocado Cream Chocolate Fudge

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
6 cups confectioners' sugar

Place the avocados and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Blend with an immersion blender until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Scrape the mixture into a saucepan and stir over low heat.

Pour in the Irish cream and stir. Add the cocoa powder and stir until completely incorporated. Stir in the confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time, making sure the sugar is completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth before adding the next cup.

Melt the semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each melting, for 1 to 3 minutes (depending on your microwave). Do not overheat or chocolate will scorch. Pour the melted chocolate into the sauce pan and mix thoroughly. Remove from the heat.

Line a 9x11 inch pan with wax paper or foil sprayed with cooking spray. Pour the fudge mixture into the prepared pan.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chocolate Oat Cake

Chocolate Oat Cake

1 3/4 cups boiling water
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (11.5 ounce) package milk chocolate chips, divided
1 cup chopped walnuts

In a bowl, combine water and oats; let stand for 10 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in oat mixture. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in 1 cup chips.

Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Sprinkle with walnuts and remaining chips. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups chocolate chips or pieces
1 Tablespoon shortening

In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, salt, condensed milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar and mix well.

Form mixture into balls and place on waxed paper covered tray. Chill overnight or until well set.

Melt chocolate and shortening in double boiler, and stiruntil smooth. Dip each ball in melted chocolate and set aside to cool and set.

I hope you love these yummy recipes for chocolate covered peanut butter balls as much as I do. They make wonderful treats for any occasion.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Apples Chocolate Covered

Apples Chocolate Covered

10 small Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/2 cup candy-coated milk chocolate candies
2 pounds semisweet chocolate, chopped

Insert wooden craft sticks or lollipop sticks into the cores of the apples at the stem. Place the roasted peanuts and candies on separate plates. Set aside.

Place the chocolate into a metal or glass bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until melted. Remove from the heat. Dip apples into the melted chocolate, turning to coat completely. Dip or roll in candy or nuts, then place on a sheet of waxed paper.

Repeat with remaining apples. Allow apples to set at room temperature until the chocolate is firm, about 20 minutes, before serving.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Heavenly Chocolate Mulled Wine Sauce

Heavenly Chocolate Mulled Wine Sauce

1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa
1 cup cabernet sauvignon or other dry red wine
1/2 cup sugar
1 sachet Mulling Spice Blend
1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped

Combine first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes. Discard sachet.

Add cocoa and corn syrup, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Simmer 2 minutes; remove from heat.

Add chocolate, stirring until chocolate melts.

Cool to room temperature. Serve.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups

Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cups

5 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup powdered erythritol
Artificial sweetener equal to 1 cups sugar (concentrated liquid Splenda preferred)
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla

For the filling:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup almond meal/flour
Artificial sweetener equal to 1 cups sugar (concentrated liquid Splenda preferred)
Dash of salt

Heat cream and the rest of ingredients. Turn off heat and add chocolate. If you're melting it in the cream, let stand until chocolate is melted - stir once in awhile. When it is all melted, the mixture will be fairly thick. Adjust sweetener to taste.

While the cream is heating and chocolate melting, mix up the filling. If it's too sticky, put a little more almond flour or erythritol into it. You want to be able to form it easily without getting it all over your hands. Adjust sweetness (and possibly salt level) to taste.

Put heaping tablespoons or globs of the chocolate the size of a walnut into the mini muffin tin. If it is thick enough you can sort of push out a place in the center and make the chocolate even around the sides. If it isn't yet thick enough for this, don't worry, the peanut butter will push it up the sides.

Form the peanut butter into smaller globs/balls. Push them into the chocolate, including pushing the top so it's flat.

Chill the whole thing in the refrigerator for half an hour or so.

Remove from fridge and run hot water over the bottom of the pan for just a few seconds.

Pop it out.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Melt in Your Mouth Chocolate Truffles

Melt in Your Mouth Chocolate Truffles

12 ounces milk chocolate
1/3 cup light cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons shortening
cooking spray

Cover a baking sheet with wax paper, and spray paper with nonstick cooking spray. Melt milk chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.

Stir in the cream and vanilla. Spoon tablespoon-sized scoops of the chocolate mixture onto the prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 30 minutes.

Melt the chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in shortening.

Roll each piece of chilled chocolate into a ball. Use a spoon to dip chocolate balls into the melted chocolate chip mixture.

Return truffles to baking sheet, and chill until firm.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chocolate Popcorn

Chocolate Popcorn

2 tablespoons chocolate powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 stick butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 cups popcorn

Over medium heat using a 4 quart pot combine sugar, corn syrup, butter, cocoa and salt then bring to a boil.

Once mixture is well mixed add the popped corn. Cook and stir until popcorn is coated approximately 2 minutes.

Cool mixture and shape into 3" balls.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chocolate Covered Crunchy Candy

Chocolate Covered Crunchy Candy

1 pound chocolate confectioners' coating
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon baking soda

Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup and vinegar. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Heat, without stirring, to 300 to 310 degrees F (149 to 154 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda.

Pour into prepared pan; do not spread. Mixture will not fill pan. Allow to cool completely.

In the microwave or over a double boiler, melt coating chocolate, stirring frequently until smooth. Break cooled candy into bite sized pieces and dip into melted candy coating.

Let set on waxed paper. Store tightly covered.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Delicious Chocolate Pie

Delicious Chocolate Pie

4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
4 eggs
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust, baked and cooled

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in chocolate and vanilla. At medium speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, taking 5 minutes for each egg.

Spoon into pie shell and chill. Top with whipped cream before serving, if desired.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chocolate Pretzel Rings

Chocolate Pretzel Rings

48 pretzel rings or mini twists
41 (8 ounce) package milk chocolate kisses
41/4 cup M&M's

Place the pretzels on greased baking sheets; place a chocolate kiss in the center of each ring. Bake at 275 degrees F for 2-3 minutes or until chocolate is softened. Remove from the oven.

Place an M&M on each, pressing down slightly so chocolate fills the ring. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes or until chocolate is firm.

Store at room temperature.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lazy Chocolate Fudge

Lazy Chocolate Fudge

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup skim milk
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup marshmallow creme
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cocoa

Grease one 8x8 inch pie pan and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the powdered sugar, milk and butter. Mix well and stir constantly until candy thermometer reads 238 degrees F.

Remove from heat and add chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, vanilla and cocoa. Quickly stir together and pour into prepared pan. Cool and serve.

Refrigerate in an airtight container.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chocolate Covered Bananas

Chocolate Covered Bananas

2 ripe but firm bananas
6 ounces dark chocolate*, chopped, or semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup granola, chopped pecans and walnuts, or sprinkles (optional)

*or white chocolate depend on your taste

Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil or parchment paper.

Cut the bananas in half and insert a Popsicle stick into each half, as shown. Place them on the baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate with the oil in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave (check it every 30 seconds) or in a half-full pan of simmering water (about 2 minutes). Stir until smooth.

Roll each banana half in the chocolate, then quickly sprinkle with your topping (if using).

Freeze until the chocolate sets, 30 minutes. Serve or freeze in an airtight container for up to a week.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fudgy Fruit Pizza

1/2 cup (1 stick) 60% vegetable oil spread
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Cocoa, divided
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Chocolate syrup, divided
1 package (8 oz.) nonfat cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 cup Strawberry Syrup

Heat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease 12-inch pizza pan.

Beat vegetable oil spread, granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until creamy. Add 1/2 cup cocoa; beat well. Gradually add flour and 1/4 cup chocolate syrup, beating until well combined. Press dough evenly into prepared pan, forming cookie crust. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until set. Cool completely.

Prepare filling by combining cream cheese, powdered sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Spread over crust to within 1-inch of edge. Cover; refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

Just before serving, place sliced strawberries (or any fruit you like) on top; drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate syrup and strawberry syrup. Serve immediately, cut into slices.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Easy Chocolate Chow Mein Clusters

Easy Chocolate Chow Mein Clusters

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chow mein noodles
1/2 cup salted peanuts

In a microwave or heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips; stir until smooth. Stir in chow mein noodles and peanuts until well coated.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet.

Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chocolate Crackles

Chocolate Crackles

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup toasted walnuts or pecans, semi-coarsely chopped
Topping: ½ cup confectioners (powdered) sugar

In a large heavy saucepan over low heat, combine chocolate chips and butter, stir constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until melted so mixture does not burn. Remove from heat. Add brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla; beat until thoroughly mixed. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; stir until mixed. Add walnuts, stir to mix.

Cover dough and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 large baking sheets; lightly grease with shortening, or line with parchment paper, or line with a non-stick baking mat.

Shape dough into small balls, about 1” in diameter. Tip: An ice cream scoop is ideal for making uniform-sized cookies.

Roll the balls in powdered sugar until completely coated.

Place balls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes or just until cookies are set. Remove cookies from baking sheets with a metal spatula and place on a wire cooling rack to cool.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spiced Hot Chocolate

Spiced Hot Chocolate

1 1/2 ounce Bittersweet Chocolate
1 cup Cream
2 cup milk
3 tablespoons Brown sugar packed
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 Cinnamon stick
Whipping cream whipped

Chop the chocolate. You may reserve some for a garnish.

Put chocolate, milk, chili powder, 1 stick cinnamon and sugar in a pot. Heat over medium high heat, stirring often.

Once it boils, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes, taking care not to boil.
Remove cinnamon and add vanilla.

Pour into 2 espresso cups. Top with whipping cream and a cinnamon stick.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-process
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, (1 3/4 ounces)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup fruit-based fat replacement, such as Lighter Bake, or unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini, (1 medium)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.

Spread walnuts in a pie pan and bake until fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk eggs, sugar, fruit-based fat replacement (or applesauce), oil, vanilla and melted chocolate in another large bowl until blended. Add to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in zucchini and the reserved walnuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the tops.

Bake the loaves 55 to 60 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Invert onto rack and cool completely.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Delicious Chocolate Soufflé II

Delicious Chocolate Soufflé II

2 1/2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 large egg, separated, plus 2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 375°F. Lightly coat two 10-ounce ramekins with cooking spray; coat the insides of each with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar.

Place chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on Medium, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. (Alternatively, see “No Microwave?” below.)

Whisk egg yolk and cream in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk in the chocolate until smooth, then whisk in flour and cinnamon until incorporated.

Beat egg whites and salt in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in four additions, until stiff, glossy peaks form.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold half the beaten whites into the chocolate mixture until fairly smooth; then gently fold this combined mixture back into the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain.

Divide between the prepared ramekins and place on a baking sheet. Bake until puffed and firm to the touch, 18 to 22 minutes.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
Serve immediately.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Heavenly Chocolate Mousse

Heavenly Chocolate Mousse

400 g Melted chocolate
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
150 g butter
50 g sugar
250 ml Fresh double cream
250 ml Double Thick Plain yoghurt
Half a cup liqueur of your choice
Half a cup maple syrup

Whisk the yolks and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed util the mis is pale Yellow (appro 10 min).

With the mixer still running at high speed, use a hair dryer on it's highest setting to heat up the mix to at least 30 degrees.

The mix will becom 'leathery' and will form stiff points when the whisk is lifted out of the mix.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave till all pieces are melted and add in a slow stream to the egg mix with the mixer on it's slowest setting

Add chunks of butter straight from the fridge
Mix at slow speed to cool down.
Add the yoghurt straight from the firdge (it is even better to keep it in the freezerfor an hour or so)
The yoghurt will cool it down even more
Whixk the egg whites till stiff and add the heated liqueur and maple syrup in a slow stream

Be careful not to whisk the egg whites till it is dry because it can separate when folded into the chocolate mix.
It must be opaque and shiny

Fold imediately one third into the chocolate mix and mix throroughly with a metal spoon.
Add the rest and mix in slow movements

Whisk the cream till stiff and add to the chocolate mix until fully incorporated and an even colour

Keep in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving..

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Chocolate Bundt Cake

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, or walnuts
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened “natural” cocoa powder
1/3 cup whole flaxseeds, ground (see Ingredient notes)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup rice bran oil, or canola oil (see Ingredient notes)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup prune puree, (see Tip), prune pie filling or Sunsweet Lighter Bake
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray and dust with flour (or use cooking spray with flour).

Spread nuts in a small baking pan and bake until golden and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Whisk flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, ground flaxseeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, brown sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Mix hot water and prune puree (or pie filling or Lighter Bake) in a measuring cup; add to the batter and whisk until incorporated. Fold in chocolate and the nuts with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.

Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn out onto the rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chocolate-Dipped Gingersnaps

Chocolate-Dipped Gingersnaps

1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, melted (see: To melt chocolate)
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped dried cranberries
8 small gingersnaps

Dip gingersnaps into melted chocolate. Let the excess drip off. Place on a wax paper-lined plate. Sprinkle with crystallized ginger and cranberries. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.

To melt chocolate: Microwave on Medium for 1 minute. Stir, then continue microwaving on Medium in 20-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval. Or place in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir until melted.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chocolate Cheese Torte

1 1/3 cups low-fat graham-cracker crumbs (18 squares)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons water
8 ounces nonfat cream cheese
4 ounces low-fat cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg whites
1 tablespoon coffee-flavored liqueur or rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) container light sour cream
1/2 (1/2-ounce) square unsweetened chocolate, grated

1 1/2 teaspoon instant-coffee powder
3 tablespoons boiling water
2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 tablespoon coffee-flavored liqueur or rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8ounces light nondairy whipped topping
Additional light nondairy whipped topping, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend crumbs, sugar, cocoa and butter together until well mixed. Blend in water until crumbs begin to hold together. Press firmly onto the bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Leave oven on.

Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar. Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add liqueur and vanilla. Turn into baked crust. Bake for 35 minutes, or until filling no longer jiggles. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack. Gently spread sour cream over baked layer. Sprinkle with grated chocolate and refrigerate.

Dissolve coffee in boiling water over very low heat. Add chocolate. Stir until melted and blended. Gradually stir in superfine sugar. Add liqueur and vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Fold into 8 ounces whipped topping and gently spread over cooled baked layer. Refrigerate until firm. When ready to serve, loosen side of pan; remove.

Place cake on serving plate. Decorate with additional light whipped topping, if desired. Recipe makes 12 servings.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Maple Hot Chocolate

Maple Hot Chocolate

1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
4 cups skim milk
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 large marshmallows

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa and salt. Stir in hot water and butter; bring to a boil. Add the milk, maple flavoring, vanilla and 8 marshmallows.

Heat through, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows are melted.
Ladle into mugs and top each with a marshmallow.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cherry-Chocolate Fruit Decadence

Cherry-Chocolate Fruit Decadence

1 cup cherry low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup fat-free chocolate-flavored syrup
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1 (8-ounce) container frozen fat-free whipped topping thawed (3 1/4 cups)
1 pint strawberries sliced (2 cups) OR 3 medium bananas sliced

Mix yogurt, chocolate syrup and coconut in large bowl. Fold in whipped topping. Arrange layer of strawberries in each of 8 dessert or parfait dishes. Top with half of the yogurt mixture. Repeat layers. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.

The yogurt mixture may be prepared in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.

Serving Ideas : Serve it with fruit in parfaits, spoon it over reduced-fat pound cake or simply enjoy it with your favorite store-bought cookie on the side.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chocolate Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Chocolate Poppy Seed Cupcakes

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large egg plus 2 egg whites
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugar and oil. Beat in the egg and egg whites. Stir in the poppy seeds and vanilla, then the yogurt. Gently fold in the flour mixture. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups.

Bake the cupcakes for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden and set. Immediately top each cupcake with 1 teaspoon of chips. Wait 5 minutes for the chips to soften and then swirl them on each cupcake with a small knife. Remove from the pan and serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dark Chocolate Sauce

Dark Chocolate Sauce

1 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
2 ounces chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk brown sugar and cocoa powder in a large heavy saucepan.

Gradually whisk in milk until a smooth paste forms. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking constantly, for 4 minutes.

Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate; stir until melted. Stir in vanilla.
Let cool slightly; serve warm.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chocolate Pancakes

Chocolate Pancakes

2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup Hershey’s chocolate syrup
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs

Mix the dry ingredients and chocolate chips.
Add the milk, butter, chocolate syrup, and eggs.
Mix well.

Cook on hot buttered griddle and serve with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Diabetic Chocolate Cake

Diabetic Chocolate Cake

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract
6 tablespoons reduced-calorie stick margarine
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
12 packets or 4 teaspoons bulk Sweet and Low granulated sugar substitute
1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Spray bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. In small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons margarine; remove from heat. Stir in cocoa and chocolate extract. Set aside to cool. Into small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, cream remaining margarine, sugar, 9 packets Sweet and Low (or 3 teaspoons bulk), egg substitute, vanilla and orange peel. Beat in reserved chocolate mixture. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour and beating well after each addition.

In large metal bowl with electric mixer at high speed, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and remaining Sweet and Low until stiff peaks form. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely on rack.

Ready to serve.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Grilled Dark Chocolate Sandwich

Grilled Dark Chocolate Sandwich

1/4 cup fat-free evaporated milk
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
8 slices thin whole-wheat or white sandwich bread
3 tablespoons bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts, (optional)

Heat evaporated milk just until boiling. Add chocolate, let stand for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Let cool slightly.

Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Divide the chocolate mixture on the unbuttered side of 4 slices, leaving a little border. Press chocolate chips and nuts, if using, into the chocolate. Cover with the remaining slices of bread, buttered-side up, and press lightly.

Cook the sandwiches in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn over, press with a spatula, and cook until nicely browned and the chocolate is barely melted, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Serve warm.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Very Basic Truffles

Very Basic Truffles

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine chocolate and cream. Cook, stirring, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Remove from heat and whisk in flavoring. Pour into a small dish and refrigerate until set, but not hard, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Use to fill candies or form balls and roll in toppings.

This very basic truffle filling to which you can add your own flavorings or extracts. You may use this to fill the chocolate shells

or roll into balls then into powdered sugar, cocoa, sprinkles or other toppings.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Your Own Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

Start out by choosing your chocolate. You can use something as simple as a bag of chocolate chips or a block of cooking chocolate.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate and 1-2 tablespoons of Crisco shortening over medium heat, stirring until melted and smooth.

Dip pretzels in chocolate and place on waxed paper covered tray to set. Chill in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes if desired.

Decorate your chocolate dipped pretzels with crushed nuts, coconut, crushed mints, or colored sprinkles. Be sure to sprinkle on your topping before the chocolate sets.

Another decorating idea is to use contrasting colored melted chocolate to drizzle across your dipped pretzels for an even nicer look.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

White Chocolate Apricot Almond Bark

12 ounces semi-sweet white chocolate, chopped
6 ounces (about 1.5 cups) chopped dried apricots
6 ounces (about 1-1/3 cup) roughly chopped toasted almonds, divided

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil.

Temper or melt the chocolate in a large bowl.

Place 1 cup of the chopped almonds in the chocolate, and stir well to combine.

Pour the chocolate-almond mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet, and spread with an offset spatula or spoon until it is in a thin, even layer.

While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the top with the remaining almonds and all of the apricots. Press down gently to embed them in the chocolate.

Place in the refrigerator to set the chocolate for approximately 10 minutes. Once set, break the bark into uneven pieces and serve. If the chocolate has been tempered, it can be served at room temperature, but if it has not, it should be kept refrigerated until served.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Raspberry White Chocolate

Raspberry White Chocolate

6 oz white chocolate, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1.5 pints fresh raspberries

Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or waxed paper.

Place the chopped white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. White chocolate is very heat-sensitive, so it’s a good idea to stop heating it before all the pieces are melted, and simply stir it until the residual heat melts all the pieces.

Using a small spoon, drop small blobs of white chocolate about 1” round on the prepared baking sheet. Top each mound with a fresh raspberry.

Refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate, about 15 minutes. Once set, White Chocolate Raspberry Bites can be served immediately, or they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Nanaimo

Peanut Butter Nanaimo

For the base:
2 oz (4 tbsp) butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts

For the middle layer:
2 oz (4 tbsp) butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the top layer:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp butter

Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Fill a saucepan with about an inch of water, and place it over medium heat. Fit a double boiler or close-fitting metal bowl on top, and place the butter, sugar, and cocoa in the double boiler. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and the mixture is entirely smooth.

Add the beaten egg to the cocoa mixture and stir continuously until it cooks and thickens. This process should take 2-4 minutes. The mixture will get very thick and shiny. If the fat seems to separate out, continue stirring or whisking until it reincorporates.

Once the mixture is thick and shiny, remove it from the heat and add the graham crumbs and chopped peanuts. Stir until they're well-incorporated. The mixture will be a little bit dry, but should hold together when you squeeze it in your hand. Scrape it into the prepared pan and press it into an even layer. Refrigerate while you prepare the second layer.

To make the middle layer: Place the softened butter in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat it until the butter is creamy. (Alternately, you can use a hand mixer and a large bowl.)

Add the peanut butter and beat until incorporated, then add the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract, and beat on low until combined. Scrape down the bowl, and then turn the mixer to medium, beating until fluffy and light, about 30 seconds.

Spoon the peanut butter mixture onto the crust and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate it while you prepare the chocolate topping.

Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating.

Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, pour it onto the peanut butter and spread it into a smooth, even layer. Refrigerate the pan to set the chocolate and the filling, about 1 hour.

After an hour, the bars are ready to be cut. I find it easiest to cut them after they have sat at room temperature for about 15 minutes. The chocolate layer needs to warm up a bit in order to not crack and shatter when you try to cut it. It also helps to use a warm knife that is run under hot water between each cut--this will get the cleanest cuts. Cut the bars into small 1-inch squares to serve. These are delicious at room temperature, or right out of the refrigerator.

Store Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bites in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Delicious Chocolate Soufflé Cake

 Delicious Chocolate Soufflé Cake

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons Kahlúa (coffee-flavored liqueur)

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon instant espresso or 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2/3 cup Dutch process or unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sifted cake flour (such as Swan's Down)
6 large egg whites (at room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

1/4 cup raspberries (optional)
Chocolate curls (optional)

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 300°.

Coat bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, water, and espresso in a large saucepan; stir well and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add cocoa, salt, and chocolates, stirring with a whisk until chocolate melts. Stir in Kahlúa and egg yolks. Stir in flour; cool to room temperature. Set aside.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed of a mixer until foamy. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold one-fourth of egg white mixture into chocolate mixture; repeat procedure with remaining egg white mixture, one-fourth at a time. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake at 300° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely on wire rack.

Remove sides from pan; sift powdered sugar over cake.

Garnish with raspberries and chocolate curls, if desired.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rich Thick Hot Chocolate

Rich Thick Hot Chocolate

2 (3.5-oz.) dark chocolate bars (at least 70% cacao), chopped
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 cups milk, divided
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Marshmallow Whipped Cream (optional)

Whisk together cornstarch and 1/2 cup milk until smooth.

Cook remaining 3 1/2 cups milk in a large, nonaluminum saucepan over medium heat until bubbles appear around edge of saucepan (about 4 minutes; do not boil). Whisk in chocolate, honey, vanilla extract, and salt until blended and smooth. Whisk in cornstarch mixture.

Bring milk mixture to a light boil, whisking frequently (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat. Let cool slightly. (Mixture will thicken as it cools.) Serve immediately with Marshmallow Whipped Cream, if desired.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Very Chocolatey Mousse

A Very Chocolatey Mousse

1 tbsp cocoa powder
140g vanilla sugar
3 whole eggs, separated, plus 3 extra egg yolks
200ml double cream
85g unsalted butter, cubed
225g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1 tbsp armagnac

To decorate
125ml double cream, lightly whipped
50g dark chocolate, grated

Put 55g of the sugar, all 6 egg yolks, the cocoa powder and the cream together in a bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

Whisk the mixture continuously until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove from the heat and add the butter and chocolate pieces, a little at a time, whisking until melted and fully incorporated.

Stir in the armagnac.

Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the remaining sugar a little at a time, and continue to whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy and meringue-like.

Fold the meringue lightly but thoroughly into the chocolate mixture.

Spoon the mixture into a large serving bowl or individual glasses and refrigerate until set.

Decorate with a swirl of whipped cream and some grated chocolate.

Black pepper brownies

Black pepper brownies

Chocolate and black pepper can be a good mix in brownies, just try to bake one for yourself.

200g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
115g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs
250g sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp black peppercorns, freshly ground
150g plain flour

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4, moving the rack to just below the middle of the oven.

Grease and line a 20cm square baking tin with baking parchment, using enough to hang over the sides.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and put it in a heatproof bowl with the butter. Place the bowl over a pan of steaming, but not quite simmering, water (make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the surface of the water) and stir until the chocolate and butter are melted and well combined. Gradually sprinkle in the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

Beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, salt and ground pepper until well mixed. Gradually beat in the still-warm chocolate mixture, then stir in the flour, mixing well.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out very slightly sticky – brownies are meant to be gooey in the middle.

Leave the brownies in the tin until completely cool. Lift from the tin using the overhanging baking parchment. Slice into squares and serve.

A little chocolate humor to brighten your day

I could give up chocolate but I'm not a quitter.

Put the chocolate in the bag and nobody gets hurt.

A day without chocolate is a day without sunshine.

Life without chocolate is like a beach without water.

I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process.... It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?

I am a serious chocoholic. For the serious chocoholic, chocolate is better than sex.
If you believe that, you REALLY need to meet that special someone who can change your mind.
If you HAVE met that special someone and still believe that, I REALLY NEED to know where you get your chocolate!!!

Chocolate is the best when it melts so creamy and soft in your mouth and it slides down your throat.

Don't wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty.
Chocolate isn't like premarital sex. It will not make you pregnant. And it always feels good.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

1-1/2 cups dark Chocolate Chips or Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 packaged graham cracker crumb crust (6 oz.)

Place chocolate chips in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted when stirred. Set aside to cool.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and butter in large bowl on medium speed of mixer until creamy. Gradually add melted chips, beating on low speed until blended. Fold in whipped topping until blended; spoon into crust.

Refrigerate until firm. Garnish as desired. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake.

Easy Chocolate Nut Toffee

Easy Chocolate Nut Toffee

1-1/2 paper packages of graham crackers
1 cup broken pecans
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1-1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15x10" jelly roll pan with foil, then spray the foil with nonstick baking spray containing flour. Cover the pan with a single layer of graham crackers, breaking them into pieces to fit if necessary. Only make one layer. Arrange the pecans evenly over the graham crackers.

Combine the butter, sugars, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly, until the butter is absorbed and the mixture becomes smooth and thick. You have to stir with a wire whisk continuously after the butter melts. It will seem like the mixture will never become smooth and blended, but it will! Just keep stirring. Then spoon the cooked syrup evenly over the crackers to coat.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until topping is bubbly all over the surface. Immediately sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Let stand 2 minutes, then gently marble the chocolate with the tip of a knife.

Let the pan cool, then peel the foil off the toffee, break into pieces, and serve. Be sure to be very careful with that hot sugar syrup - it can burn like the dickens. Makes about 36 pieces.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Simplest Fudge in the World!

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, if desired

Place chips and milk in microwave safe bowl. You can use just the one package of semisweet chocolate chips, or add the milk chocolate chips for a fudge that is slightly sweeter and creamier.

Microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Microwave, stirring at 1 minutes intervals, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth and thick.

Pour into greased 8" square pan and cool. You can also melt the chips and milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Makes about 2 pounds candy.

You can add just about anything to this easy recipe. Stir in a cup of chopped nuts, add a cup of marshmallows after the cooking time is done, stir in chopped dried fruit or some white chocolate chips.

Have fun with the simplest fudge recipe in the world!

Monday, June 28, 2010

How to Select the Best Dark Chocolate

Does that mean you need to know the difference between Godiva and Hershey's? Nope. Choosing the best chocolate means knowing what's in it. If you pay attention to the ingredients, you will be able to select the best chocolate almost every time.

Dark chocolate should have:

1) Cocoa liquor. Sometimes called cocoa mass, cocoa solids, cocoa, or chocolate. (It is not actually a liquor and does not contain any alcohol.)
2) Sugar. Cane juice, molasses, and other natural sweeteners are acceptable substitutes.
3) Cocoa butter.
4) Vanilla. (optional) Vanillin is a fake vanilla made from pine sap. Avoid it!
5) Soy lecithin. (optional) It's used to make the chocolate bind together better. It is sold as a health food supplement, though some argue that it is not healthy.
6) Any add-ins, such as nuts, fruits, or flavorings. Make sure none are artificial or hydrogenated.

Friday, June 25, 2010

How to Put Movies into Chocolate?

There is no doubt that Chocolate is such a popular item, you can find it everywhere and many major movies are about Chocolate or at least have some Chocolate touch. Some of the best films about Chocolate are:

Chocolat (2000)

This movie, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, tells the story of a woman who cannot settle down and travels the world with her six-year-old daughter. The woman, called Vianne Rocher, opens a chocolate shop every time she moves into a new city and the film starts when she arrives in a small conservative town in the South of France. This film is based on the homonyms book, Chocolat, written by Joanne Harris.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Starring Johnny Depp, this film is a remake of an old movie, called Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, made in 1971. Both books are based on the novel for children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, written by British author Roald Dahl.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tells the story of a child from a poor family, who wins one of the golden tickets to visit the mythical Chocolate factory belonging to Willy Wonka.

Consuming passions (1988)

This film, titled ‘Cioccolato Bollente’ in Italian, was made in the UK and is a grotesque comedy about a young executive who tries to modernise a chocolate factory.

Like Water for Chocolate (1993)

This movie is based on a novel by the Mexican author Laura Esquivel. It tells the story of a strong passion between the youngest of three daughters of a widow in a remote ranch and Pedro. Pedro falls in love with the widow’s youngest daughter, Tita. However, Tita’s father wants to keep to the family tradition that the youngest daughter cannot marry until the oldest has. So, Pedro marries Tita’s oldest sister to remain close to Tita. Pedro and Tita keep having a highly sensual relationship, through the food that Tita prepares for Pedro. The expression ‘like water for chocolate’ (como agua para chocolate in Spanish) in Spanish speaking countries has a double meaning and it is a metaphor for describing a state of passion or sexual arousal.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Chocolate Cherry Cake

1 cup dried tart cherries, snipped
1/4 cup brandy or orange juice
5 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut up
1/4 cup margarine or butter
3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 recipe Chocolate Glaze (see below)
Fresh cherries (optional)

In a microwave-safe bowl combine dried cherries and brandy. Micro-cook, uncovered, on 100% power (high) 45 seconds; set aside. Combine chocolate and margarine or butter. Micro-cook on high 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside.

In a medium bowl beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed about 5 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Beat in chocolate mixture, milk, and vanilla. Beat in flour. Stir in undrained cherries and nuts.

Pour into a greased and floured 8-inch springform pan or 9x1-1/2-inch round baking pan; place on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree F oven until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, allowing 45 to 50 minutes for the springform pan or 35 to 40 minutes for the 9-inch pan. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely.

Spread 1/4 cup Chocolate Glaze evenly over top and sides of cake. Chill for 10 minutes. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining glaze. Chill until set. Let stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with fresh cherries. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Chocolate Glaze
In a glass measure combine 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut up, and 2 tablespoons margarine or butter; micro-cook on high 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring twice.

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

Chocolate Hazelnut Ice Cream Sandwiches

16 chocolate wafers (such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
1/3 cup chocolate hazelnut spread, (such as Nutella)
1 pint premium chocolate ice cream
1/3 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

Spread flat side of each wafer with hazelnut spread; set aside. Scoop 8 ice cream balls, about 3 tablespoons each; keep in freezer until ready to assemble.

To assemble sandwiches, remove ice cream balls from freezer; let stand 1 minute to soften. Place 1 cream ball on 8 hazelnut-spread wafers. Top with remaining wafers; press gently together.

Sprinkle edges with nuts. Place sandwiches on baking sheet lined with waxed paper; freeze 3 hours or until firm. To store, freeze up to two weeks in self-sealing plastic bags. Makes 8 sandwiches.

Feathering on Chocolate Cakes

Feathering on Chocolate Cakes

This is a popular and pretty design for cake decorating, and works for any kind of chocolate cake recipe.

Melt a contrasting chocolate to the chocolate icing or covering being used. Spread the chocolate icing over the cake. Place the contrasting colour into a piping bag, and pipe lines or a spiral over the chocolate covered cake.

With a skewer, draw lines across the cake, first one direction, then the other; this creates the feathered cake decoration.

French Hot Chocolate

French Hot Chocolate

50g plain chocolate, finely chopped
30g caster sugar, to taste
2 large pinches of cinnamon
½ vanilla pod, split length ways

Put 300 ml of water into a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat, then add the chocolate, sugar and cinnamon. Using the tip of a knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add into the saucepan mixture.

Using a balloon whisk, whisk the mixture thoroughly; when a good amount of froth has been created, pour the mixture into the warmed mugs, spooning the froth on top!